Alumni Spotlight

Kitty Oliver, Ph.D.

Dr. Kitty Oliver is a veteran journalist, oral historian, author, and television and radio producer who came of age with integration in America. She has an MFA in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. focusing on race and ethnic communication and CNN’s "Black in America" has chronicled her innovative cross-cultural intergenerational race and ethnic relations dialogue work. Her books and videos are used widely in public schools, college classrooms and community forums and her most recent public television documentary, the 10-part series "Crossing Cultures, Changing Lives," continues to air throughout South Florida. The Race and Change Oral History Archive that she founded is one of the largest cross-cultural international collections of stories on race and ethnic relations in the country, a valuable resource for researchers. She is director of the Knight Foundation-funded multimedia website project The Race and Change Initiative at Florida Atlantic University's School of Communication and Multimedia Studies where she produces the radio webcast University iTunes channels “Voices of Race and Change” and "Voices of Race and Change: The Younger Generation," showcasing the race relations experiences of teenage immigrants, college students, and their elders. She is an award winning, in-demand scholar, writer and professional jazz singer and recording artist who is committed to conducting dialogues on differences in an entertaining, hopeful way.

Rhianna C. Rogers, Ph.D., RPA

Dr. Rhianna C. Rogers is an associate professor of Interdisciplinary Studies (History and Anthropology) at SUNY Empire State College. She holds multiple appointments, including undergraduate roles in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the School of Arts & Humanities, the School for Graduate Studies, and International Education. Rogers has won multiple awards for her innovative approach to teaching and learning, including, most recently, the 2019-2020 SUNY Empire Provost Innovation Award, the 2018-2019 Explorations in Diversity & Academic Excellence Award (EDAE), and the 2017-2018 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Rogers received a certificate in Ethnic Studies, a B.A. in Social Sciences (Anthropology Major and History Minor), an M.A. in History, before pursuing a Ph.D. in Comparative Studies from Florida Atlantic University. She is a Registered Professional Archaeologist (RPA) with over a decade of field and museum experience. She has worked in both academic and tribal archaeology as well as in historic preservation and museum studies. Rogers’ interests have taken her to various geographic locations to conduct research and teaching, including the South and Northeastern United States, the Dominican Republic, Cyprus, Lebanon, Mexico, Ecuador, Spain, and Puerto Rico. Rogers is currently the inaugural Rockefeller Institute of Government-Ernest Boyer Presidential Fellow in the Center for Law and Policy Solutions (2019-present). Before this appointment, she was the inaugural coordinator of Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Studies for the college (2017-2019) as well as the Convener for Interdisciplinary Studies (2014-2017).