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Hooks Graduate Assistants

Graduate Assistantships provide scholarships and stipends to outstanding students who are dedicated to social change.  Graduate assistants, full-time students who provide 20 hours of service weekly to the Hooks Institute, research projects, assist staff in developing programs, work with faculty on Institute projects, and receive extensive exposure to the Institute’s management and guests, including national figures and noted civil rights activists.  These experiences provide graduate students with work experience and credit on certain projects that can be used to show career progression.


Former Graduate Assistants

Sasha Arnold


Sasha Diana Arnold began working with the Hooks Institute in August, 2013 through her graduate assistantship with Dr. Loel Kim in the English department. She worked with Dr. Kim and Director Daphene McFerren to create a website about the civil rights movement and tent cities in Fayette County, Tennessee and the teaching guide for the site. When the institute was asked to conduct a teacher's in-service on the movement for Shelby County educators, Sasha worked to create curriculum-related materials for the teachers. Additionally, she has worked with Special Collections in The University of Memphis libraries to organize and catalog primary-source materials from the Fayette County movement. She is a graduate of Bethel University with a BA in English earned her MA in English here at The University of Memphis. She is currently attending Washington University School of Law. 


Sasha Arnold 

Alicia Clark


Alicia Clark began working at the Hooks Institute in September of 2014. She  worked on Institute social media and communications, as well as assisting with Institute projects, including the Hooks Institute National Book Award, the Mapping Civil Rights History website, and others. Alicia earned her MA in Applied Anthropology at the University of Memphis, and her research interests include health disparities, reproductive health, and digital & visual media. She received her bachelor's degree in Anthropology from the State University of New York College at Geneseo in 2012.


Alicia Clark 

Felecia Malone

Felecia Malone began working as a Graduate Assistant with the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change in August 2012. She earned a Master of Public Health Degree with a concentration in Epidemiology from the University of Memphis in 2014. She also holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biological Sciences from Clark Atlanta University. Felecia is currently working to earn her degree and become a physician's assistant. 

Felecia Malone

Cem Akkus

Cem Akkus was a Research Assistant at the Department of Earth Sciences. He received a Bachelor of Mapping Engineering from Karadeniz Technical University in Trabzon, Turkey and Master's degree of Mapping Engineering with a concentration in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) from Yildiz Technical University in Istanbul, Turkey. He also holds a GIS Certificate from University of Memphis. He earned a PhD in the Department of Earth Sciences, at the University of Memphis. Cem was a coordinator of the Hooks GIS mapping website for the Civil Rights Movement.

Cem Akkus

James Conway, July 2013 to November 2013

James earned a Doctorate in History with a concentration in the U.S. and the Civil Rights Movement in 2014. He also holds a Master of Arts in History from the University of Memphis and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Central Arkansas.

 James Conway

Eugene Tee, February 2013 to July 2013

Eugene, a Graduate Assistant with the School of Accountancy, assisted the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute with its accounting and financial needs. He earned a Master's degree in Accounting and CPA certification. He also received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Biology from Campbell University.

 Eugene Tee


Jennifer Amido, August 2012 to April 2013


2013: Master of Public Administration Degree
2011: B.S. in International Studies and Spanish from University of Memphis. Jennifer is currently working at the City of Memphis Office of Youth.


Tera Tongumpun, January to August 2012

2012: Master of Public Health Degree with a concentration in Social and Behavioral Sciences and Health Promotion
2010: B.S. in Biological Sciences from University of Memphis. Tera, is currently working at Methodist Le Bonheur.

 Tera Tongumpun

Armanthia N. Duncan, August 2009 to 2011

Masters Degrees in History and Women and Gender Studies. B.A. in Political Science from Jackson State University, Jackson Mississippi.

Duncan’s academic research examines, among other things, institutional medical and governmental practices regarding African American female reproductive rights.

Amy Livingston, September 2007 to June 2009

2009: Masters of Philosophy Degree
2006: B.A. in Philosophy, University of Memphis





Jervette Ward, Summer 2008

Ph.D.  English Textual Studies at the University of Memphis
2004 - BA in Journalism News Editorial, with a minor in English, University of Memphis

Ward spearheaded the Hooks Institute’s Youth for Social Change initiative which sought to create a youth summer program stressing academic excellence and leadership development.






Brittany Sansbury, September to December 2011


Michael Blum, Summer 2010 & Summer 2011

Bachelor degree in Criminal Justice from York College of Pennsylvania and Master of Arts degree in History from Millersville University.

Currently Mr. Blum is a fourth year PhD student working on his doctoral dissertation at the University of Memphis in the African American history department. His dissertation focuses on the civil rights movement in Knoxville, Tennessee. In 2011, he won the history department's Teaching Assistant of the Year Award.









Tiffany Johnson, January to April 2011


Sara D. Smith, February 2005

M.A. in History from the University of Memphis, and
B.A. in African and African American Studies





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Last Updated: 4/29/15