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Five faculty to join WSU in the fall through new cluster hire program

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Five new faculty members will be joining Washington State University in the fall as the inaugural cohort of the “Racism and Social Inequality in the Americas,” cluster hire program.

The program was initiated to address systemwide needs for scholarship, teaching, and outreach aimed at dismantling systemic racism and to recruit and retain a more diverse faculty and student body.

“Our hiring committees were able to recruit outstanding colleagues, and we could not be happier to have these five individuals joining us at WSU,” Provost Elizabeth Chilton said. “Their diverse areas of research, exceptional teaching records, and strong backgrounds will be extremely valuable for WSU and I’m excited to see the impact they have in our communities.”

The faculty positions were created based on proposals submitted by departments and campuses across the WSU system last fall. The program will continue in 2022, and will focus on health inequities and health justice in marginalized communities. Proposals for next year’s program are currently being evaluated.

Professor Lisa Guerrero, associate vice provost for inclusive excellence, played a pivotal role in helping to recruit an outstanding pool of candidates for the positions.

“I’m excited we’ve taken this first step to expand our capacity to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion at WSU,” Guerrero said. “And I’m thrilled to welcome our new faculty members, who bring unique research portfolios and wide-ranging skills to our community.”

Read more about the faculty members joining WSU in the fall:


Michelle Brown

Digital Technology and Culture, WSU Tri‑Cities


Closeup of Michelle Brown
Michelle Brown

Michelle Brown’s research focuses on science and technology studies as creative praxis for human and nonhuman flourishing, and her teaching centers on inclusive Indigenous futures that are firmly committed to racial justice.

Before joining WSU, Brown was the Eastman Fellow at Dartmouth College. She holds a doctorate from the Indigenous Politics and Futures Studies programs in the Political Science Department at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Brown is currently working on the Eel Elder VR project and she continues to work with the Indigenous Protocol and Artificial Intelligence Working Group.


Alan Malfavon

History, WSU Pullman


Closeup of Alan Malfavon
Alan Malfavon

Alan Malfavon is graduating from the University of California, Riverside, this spring with a Ph.D in Latin American History. His research explores the lives of Afro-Mexicans who lived in the Port-City of Veracruz and its hinterland, known as Sotavento (Leeward), during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Malfavon has experience in public history including as a translator and as an exhibition consultant. As a teaching assistant and instructor, he has demonstrated a commitment to mentoring underrepresented students.


Arifa Raza

Criminal Justice and Criminology, WSU Pullman


Closeup of Arifa Raza
Arifa Raza

Arifa Raza received a M.S. in Justice Studies from Arizona State University, a Ph.D in Ethnic Studies from the University of California at Riverside, and a J.D. from UCLA where she was editor-in-chief of the Chicana/o Latina/o Law Review.

Arifa’s current research examines the criminalization and racialization of immigrants through immigration laws, focusing on humanitarian relief for victims of human trafficking and immigrant children. Her scholarship is grounded in her experience as a non-profit immigration attorney. She has practiced before the Los Angeles and El Paso immigration courts as well as the Board of Immigration Appeals. She is joining WSU by way of Albuquerque, New Mexico where she supervised her organization’s detention and asylum programs.


Darryl Singleton

Music, WSU Pullman


Closeup of Darryl Singleton
Darryl Singleton

Darryl Singleton earned his Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Education from Boston University, and his dissertation, “Black Band for Brown Students,” investigated some of the pedagogical and cultural assumptions present in music education.

A Washington, D.C. native, Singleton began his education career teaching at the Duke Ellington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Notably, he was then the first instrumental ensemble director at Gallaudet University for the deaf and hearing impaired. As a percussion performer, Singleton’s credits include a wide variety of experiences including performances with the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, The Scott Joplin Chamber Orchestra, and the Conrad Johnson (Jazz) Orchestra among many others.


Design and Construction

WSU Pullman


The School of Design and Construction was in the negotiation process with the final candidate for its faculty position at the time of publication. Details regarding the hire will be posted as soon as they are available.

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