Ann Waltner, Director
Telephone: (612) 626-5149
Ann Waltner teaches Chinese history and world history at the University of Minnesota. Her research interests lie in the social history of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century China, comparative women’s history, and world history. She is a former editor of the Journal of Asian Studies. She and Mary Jo Maynes have just published a book entitled Family: A World History. Recent work includes an article on spatial impropriety and other transgressions in Shen Fu’s Six Records of a Floating Life, another on family scandal and political crisis in the domestic life of the sixteenth-century literatus Wang Shizhen, as shown in eulogies and letters, and another (with Mary Jo Maynes) on the ramifications of the ways historians and archaeologists periodize very early history.
Susannah L. Smith, Managing Director
Telephone: (612) 624-2921
Susannah L. Smith is a historian of Russia and modern Europe. Her research focuses on the intersection of national identity, official arts policy, and Russian folk music in the Soviet Union, 1917-1945. She studies and performs traditional Javanese music with the Sumunar Gamelan Ensemble. Before coming to the IAS, she was the managing editor of the Journal of Asian Studies, developed the Population Studies minor program and coordinated administration on the IPUMS-International projects at the Minnesota Population Center, and was assistant director of the Making of the Modern World/Writing Program at Eleanor Roosevelt College, University of California, San Diego. Susannah teaches an honors seminar based on the Thursdays at Four series every year.
Phyllis E. Messenger, Grants Consultant
Telephone: (612) 625-8606
Phyllis Mauch Messenger is an anthropologist whose scholarship has focused on archaeological ethics and the management and preservation of cultural heritage. She was the founding director of the Center for Anthropology and Cultural Heritage Education (CACHE) at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN and carried out archaeological research in Mexico, Honduras, and Minnesota. She has led study abroad programs for the University of Minnesota and Hamline University, taking students to Mexico, Peru, Thailand, and Cambodia. Publications include a biography of early Maya archaeologists and edited volumes on the ethics of collecting cultural property, cultural heritage management worldwide, and heritage values in contemporary society. Before returning to the U of M in 2008, she directed the Wesley Center at Hamline University, funded by a $2M grant from Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment.
Sharon Fischlowitz, Program Coordinator
Telephone: (612) 624-6148
Sharon Fischlowitz is a public interest lawyer whose scholarship focuses on the social justice applicability and use of the early medieval legal texts of the barbarians. She has taught poverty law as an adjunct at William Mitchell since 2009 and religious school at Temple Israel since 2001. She serves on the boards of the Lexington-Hamline Community Council, the Twin Cities based dance company Black Label Movement and on the advisory board of MN-LRAP, the Minnesota Loan Repayment Assistance Program. She served on the staffs of Congressman Bruce F. Vento, Equal Justice Works, the University of Minnesota Center for Medieval Studies and the Minnesota Justice Foundation.
Karen Kinoshita, Executive Office and Administrative Specialist
Telephone: (612) 626-5028
Karen has been in the medical school and the deans’ office of the college of liberal arts before taking up the challenge at the institute. Karen shares her time between the institute and home and and uses her networking skills to knit students, faculty, and community together. Her interests are in arts, science, technology and diversity above special interests.
Efe Iyamba, Principal Office and Administrative Specialist
Telephone: (612) 626-5054
Efe earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota ICP (Inter-College Program) where he studied Political Science & Psychology, with an emphasis in Rhetoric. He has been an employee at the university for fifteen years. Before joining the IAS staff in December 2012, he worked in the Department of Environmental Health and Safety with the Radiation Protection Division.
Aaron Victorin-Vangerud, Website Support
Telephone: (612) 624-3237
Aaron Victorin-Vangerud has a B. A. in mathematics.
Dennis Chen Quan, Media Support
Telephone: (612) 545-6247
Dennis is a CLA senior pursuing a degree in economics. He enjoys Japanese ramen and hails from the sunny (and overcrowded) island state of Singapore.