We are delighted to welcome 6 new Full and 3 new Associate Members to the NCIS fold. They hail from the USA, Great Britain and India, and their research interests include mechanical engineering, law, librarianship, disability studies, social work, literature, art history and gastronomy. Welcome all!
Dr. Leopoldine Prosperetti (USA) is an instructional professor at the University of Houston’s School of Art. She obtained her candidate degree in Art History from the University of Utrecht and her doctorate in the history of art from John Hopkins University. Her research analyzes the intersection between environmental humanities and the history of landscape painting. Prosperetti’s most recent work, Woodland Imagery in Northern Art, c. 1500-1800: Poetry and Ecology, published in 2022 through Lund Humphries explores lyrical naturalism. In addition to her recent work, Prosperetti has authored a wide array of texts on the intersection of creative imagination and the natural imaginary.
Mr S. Rajeshkumar (INDIA) is an independent researcher from Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India. He obtained his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Ganadipathy Tulsi's Jain Engineering College, and his master’s degree in engineering design from SKP Engineering College. His research interest areas include the dynamics of composite structures, sandwich structures, hybrid materials modeling, and stress analysis of structures. He has published more than ten research papers in peer-reviewed international journals with high impact factors. He is a member of the Institute for Engineering Research and Publication (IFERP), India.
Dr. Kennedy Schultz (USA) earned her PhD in French Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2000. She received her master’s degree from UW-Madison in 1996, and her bachelor’s degree in French and Cultural Studies from the College of Wooster in 1991. She has conducted research on the representation of history and identity in Francophone literature from Africa, the Caribbean, and Quebec. As a language educator, she has studied the cognitive benefits of early language learning. She has authored works published in Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature and Learning Languages magazine, as well as authored conference publications. Currently she is working as a cultural diversity consultant and researching the impact of cultural identity on instructional practices, particularly in K-12 schools.
Mitchell L. Silverman (USA) is a research librarian and attorney who earned a bachelors degree from the New College of Florida and a juris doctor and a master’s degree in information technology both from Florida State University. His research interests include reference and public-service librarianship, legal ethics and lawyer admission and discipline, mental and neurodevelopmental disability rights and visibility issues, dramaturgy, theatre history, general humanities, government information, and qualitative research methods. He is a Company Member and the Research Librarian for Thinking Cap Theatre (http://thinkingcaptheatre.org), He is currently working on an article on intuition in librarian reference work, and researching in theatre with Thinking Cap Theatre’s Producing Artistic Director, Nicole Stodard (Ph.D, English), who is working on a book on Restoration playwright Aphra Behn, the first woman playwright in the English-speaking world.
Dr. K E (Ken) Smith (GREAT BRITAIN) is a retired university lecturer with degrees in English from the universities of Oxford and Aberystwyth, and in creative writing from the University of Bolton. He has two main research areas: the age of Sensibility and Romanticism, where he has published books on Cowper, Blake and Dorothy Wordsworth; and the subject of his PhD thesis, twentieth-century British novelist and playwright J B Priestley. A published poet and novelist, his novel The Narrow Cut, set in 1799, drew extensively on his academic research. He is currently editor of the J B Priestley Society Journal.
Dr. Jordan Steiner (USA) has a PhD. in Social Work from the Rutgers University School of Social Work as well as an master’s degree in social work from Rutgers, and a master’s degree in International Education from the Teachers College, with a Certificate in African Education. Dr. Steiner is currently a Supervising Analyst for the New Jersey Office of Justice Data with the Office of the Attorney General and she has served as an Adjunct Professor at Rutgers. She is also a licensed social worker. Her research interests include gender-based violence, the intersection of gender and migration issues, gender-based violence in schools, mental health, justice, public safety, and culturally responsive international social work. Some of her current publications in progress focus on sexual violence in New Jersey, trauma-informed sexual health care about IPV and sexual violence survivors in a refugee resettlement context, and identifying vulnerable populations in the Republic of Congo. She has extensive work and field experience in West and East Africa, the Middle East, and in the USA within refugee/immigration resettlement contexts, and with survivors and victims of violence.
Dr. Ruth J. Heflin (USA) is an author who earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Kansas State University and her doctorate in English from Oklahoma State University. Following the completion of her dissertation, Heflin’s works include a book entitled “I Remain Alive”: The Sioux Literary Renaissance published by Syracuse University Press and a chapter in edited volume, The Black Elk Reader. In addition to her work, Heflin is a writing consultant https://ruthjheflin.com.
Laura Kitchings (USA) earned her master’s degree in gastronomy from Boston University's Metropolitan College in 2021, with a thesis exploring the possibilities of using computational linguistics to explore the changes in the frequency of specific food terms in cookbooks between 1872 and 1920. She also holds master’s degrees in museum studies from the University of Washington, and in information science and in history from Simmons College (now Simmons University). Her book chapter for an edited collection on Food and Settler Colonialism exploring who defined "Hawaiian" cuisine in cookbooks 1896 and 2021 is due shortly, and she is currently working on a paper exploring meanings of food in children's literature focused on Paddington Bear. She has worked as an archivist at several institutions in Massachusetts and is beginning to professionally transition to working on Data Analytics projects. She can be found online at laurakitchings.com or @FoodandArchives on Twitter.
Dr. Rose Neal (USA) is currently writing a full-length biography on nineteenth-century American author E.D.E.N. Southworth. She was previously an assistant professor at the University of Central Oklahoma and Southwestern Oklahoma State University before retiring in 2021. In 2015, Dr. Neal finished her doctorate in English literature from Swansea University in Wales where she successfully defended her dissertation on Southworth and her impact on female education. Previously, Dr. Neal earned a bachelor’s degree in English education from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in 1984 and a master’s degree in English from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2012. She also earned the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification in Adolescence and Young Adulthood/English Language Arts in 2007. Prior to working at university, Dr. Neal taught high school English in Oklahoma public schools.

Contact us

National Coalition of Independent Scholars