• Home
  • People
  • Instructors & Lecturers

Teaching Staff

All mail for teaching staff can be sent:
African and African-American Studies
Bailey Hall, Rm 9
1440 Jayhawk Blvd,
Lawrence, KS, 66045

Lecturer, Arabic
Bailey Hall, Langston Hughes 1A

Hesham Aldamen is from Jordan and has lived in Lawrence, Kansas since 2011. He received a bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature (with a minor in Journalism and Mass Communication) and a master’s degree in Linguistics from Yarmouk University, Jordan in 1997 and 2007, respectively. He received his second master’s degree in Linguistics form the University of Kansas in 2013. He earned his doctoral degree in Foreign Language Education from the University of Kansas in 2018. He has been teaching English and Arabic as foreign languages for more than 15 years.

GTA, Arabic
Bailey Hall, room 12A

Mahmoud M. Ali is a GTA in the Arabic Program. He received his MA in linguistics from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. He has also studied English language & literature, German and Arabic for his BA degree in his home country, Egypt. He has worked as English instructor at Defense Language Institute (Egypt) and Al-Baha University (Saudi Arabia), and as Arabic instructor at Ohio University. Mahmoud has done research on conceptual transfer, non-native English speech assessment as well as dialect perception and identification. He is also interested in foreign language pedagogy and proficiency assessment. He is currently working on his PhD in Education. 

Bailey Hall, Room 1C

Allison Lewis received her undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas in 2013. She has a Bachelor of Music with an emphasis in operatic vocal performance. Her thesis topic focuses on disparities that exist for African American musicians within music education and expands into the professional arena of classical music. Her research project takes place at the Melting Pot Theater in Kansas City, Kansas and works with majority African American middle schoolers. Her research provides a program that introduces students to operatic literature either written and/or sung by African American musicians and allows them to practice, participate, and perform said literature. Allison is also a FLAS (Foreign Language Area Studies) recipient for the 2018 – 2019 school year, her chosen language being Wolof. She hopes to further explore how West African educational practices have survived in African American communities and how these values contribute to the construction of black musicality.

Ibrahima Ba
Lecturer, Wolof & Linguistics
Bailey Hall, Langston Hughes 1A
Lecturer, Islamic Studies
Bailey Hall, 12E
Teresa Lesli-Canty
AAAS Lecturer
Bailey, room 9
Bailey Hall, Room 1C

Owen MacDonald is a second year MA student in the Department of African and African American Studies. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Kansas in history, political science, and Latin American and Caribbean Studies. His research looks at the formation of a transnational black political left during the middle of the 20th Century with specific attention paid to Brazil and the United States. His thesis explores the role historical memory of quilombos, or runaway slave communities, played on the formation of the black Brazilian left throughout the twentieth century, and then explores the specific case of the Revolutionary Action Movement, originally a United Statesian organization, that forms in Brazil during the 1960s and implements a successful prison break in 1967. Other research interests include W.E.B. Du Bois’s conception of Pan-Africanism and socialism, Marxian theory and postcolonialism, and the relationship between race and sports. When not knee deep in books and documents, you can likely find Owen in the weightroom training for his next Strongman competition.   

Fulbright Foriegn Language Teaching Assistant
Wescoe Hall, Room 2043
Maryam obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Bahrain, Bahrain in 2017. She specialized in English Literature and American Studies. Since 2011, she's taught as a teaching assistant for the British Council for the “Kids Read” program.  Maryam is a recipient of the 2018/2019 Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistantship (FLTA) award and placed at University of Kansas.  Maryam is teaching courses in Arabic language and Culture.
Lecturer, KiSwahili
Bailey Hall, Langston Hughes 1A
John Muchira is a Ph.D. candidate at Florida State University (FSU) completing a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with a focus in International and Multicultural Education. He also holds a graduate certificate in Program Evaluation from FSU, a Master of Arts in Modern Languages from the University of Mississippi, and a Bachelor of Education (Arts) with a specialization in Swahili, Literature and Linguistics from the University of Nairobi in Kenya. Prior to joining the University of Kansas, John taught Swahili language and culture at New York University, University of Florida, University of Mississippi, University of Miami, and University of Maine. In addition to language teaching, John has worked for three years in the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice-president of Academic Affairs in the Critical Thinking Initiative while serving as a board member in the Quality Enhancement Plan. John is a recipient of several scholarships and awards including the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistantship at New York University where he concurrently studied Africana Studies, Matasa Fellowship through the MasterCard Foundation and the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex in the UK, as well as the European Entrepreneurship Summer School scholarship in the Netherlands.
Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant
Wescoe Hall, Room 2043

Alaa received his Bachelor's Degree from the English Language Department from the University of Kirkuk, Iraq. Since then he has gained experience by teaching English and the Arabic language; he has also been an English as a Foreign Language trainer and Language Teacher for the Iraqi Government. In 2013, he was specially selected by the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad to participate in Advanced Teachers Training Program at the Arizona State University. Alaa is a recipient of the 2018/2019 Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistantship (FLTA) award. Through this, he is teaching Arabic the University of Kansas.

Follow us:
KU Today
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times