New Faculty: School of Liberal Arts

Anthony Proia, Director of Media Relations

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Dr. Fungisai Musoni-Chikede, Assistant Professor of History and Director of the African Diaspora Program

Originally from Zimbabwe, Fungisai holds a BA in Economic History and Shona from the University of Zimbabwe, M.A.T in History from Mercer University, M.A in Political Science from Georgia State University, and Ph.D. in African American and African Studies from the Ohio State University. Dr. Musoni-Chikede has a strong commitment to teaching and mentoring undergraduate students. Her specializations are Global North Philanthropy and Global South higher education, the Cold War, Decolonization and Independence in Africa, International Development, and US-Africa relations since WW2. Her work has been published in Changing Educational Spaces: Negotiating Global, Transnational, and Neoliberal Dynamics and Spectrum Journal of Black Men. 

Why Marist?

“Marist’s hiring initiative aimed at making the College a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive institution attracted me to this position. I look forward to supporting this initiative by coordinating the Africana Studies program and teaching African History/Diaspora survey and upper-level courses. At Marist, my goal is to train students to develop critical thinking skills that help them to be emphatic students in the twenty-first century and understand the modern world is a product of multiple histories.”

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Dr. Laura Quijano, Lecturer of Spanish

Originally from Pensacola, Florida, Laura comes to Marist via Bard High School Early College in Baltimore, where she was the founding faculty member of the Spanish program. Laura has also received multiple teaching awards for her work at the University of Maryland, where she taught while completing her graduate degrees. Some of her research interests include Asian Latinidades, decolonial theory, and Chicana and Pinay literature.

Why Marist?

“I am excited to join a community that supports innovation in and beyond the classroom, and I can’t wait to see what my students and I can create together.”


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“I am excited to welcome our four new faculty to the School of Liberal Arts and Marist College! These talented new colleagues are a dynamic and impressive group, and they will be great mentors for our students, contribute considerably to their respective departments, and diversify our course offerings and programs. Individually and collectively, they will help us develop our African Diaspora Studies and Latin American & Caribbean Studies programs.”

- Dr. Martin Shaffer
Dean, School of Liberal Arts

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Dr. Magda Desgranges, Assistant Professor of English

Magda is an educator, artist, and activist who has taught and conducted visual art workshops in the United States, the Caribbean, West Africa, and Southeast Asia. Her specializations include Haitian Historiography, Francophone Caribbean identity politics, Postcolonial Theory, and African Diaspora Women’s Lives. She is Haitian, by way of Brooklyn and spent the last four years as a Visiting Assistant Professor of English and Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Fairfield University.  

Why Marist?

“Having an intersectional, student-centered, and interdisciplinary approach, I’m looking forward to engaging Marist students in holistic dialogue, creative projects, and enriching critical analyses.”



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Dr. Shanaaz Mohammed, Assistant Professor of French

A native of Trinidad, Shanaaz comes to Marist with a wealth of experience teaching French at various higher education institutions. Over the past ten years, Dr. Mohammed has taught at Florida State University, where she completed her PhD in French, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and most recently at Davidson College. Her research focuses on the Francophone Caribbean, with particular interest in representations of the South Asian diaspora in Francophone literature. She received the 2022 Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) Postcolonial Essay Award for her essay, “Coralization: Coral Materiality in Khal Torabully’s Poetry.”

Why Marist?

“I am extremely fortunate and grateful to be a part of such a quality liberal arts institution like Marist College. I look forward to using my unique experiences as a first-generation graduate and international faculty to rebuild the French program and contribute meaningfully to Marist’s mission to promote global education. It is my hope that students leave my class with new perspectives on culture, greater confidence in their ability to communicate, and a more nuanced, enlarged sense of the world and the place of French in it.” 


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