Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching & Service
Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching & Service

Faculty Fellows

The CSJ’s Faculty Fellows Program is a two year commitment designed as a learning community with the goal of working collaboratively across Georgetown faculty to advance the reach of the faculty’s work centered on community engaged scholarship and learning. Ultimately the cohort’s work is intended to mobilize the power of knowledge for the common good.

Selected after a University-wide call, the 2023-2025 cohort of scholars represent the breadth of excellence from across schools, fields, and campuses at Georgetown. Through the CSJ’s Faculty Fellows Program these thought-leaders will bring ideas that foreground community engagement and socially and politically engaged scholarship to our learning community and to campus. Over monthly meetings and through individual research projects, they will share their research and incubate innovative approaches to engaged scholarship. 

Ricardo L. Ortiz

Professor, Department of English and Director of MA Program in Engaged and Public Humanities, College of Arts & Sciences

Ricardo L. Ortiz is Professor of Latinx Literary and Cultural Studies in the English Department at Georgetown University; he also directs Georgetown’s Master’s Program in Engaged and Public Humanities. Prof. Ortiz’s research focuses on representations of exile and immigration, political violence and its survival, and the politics of gender and sexuality, in a wide array of literary, cultural and media texts by artists across various US Latinx communities, and covering both the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Over his scholarly career he has published two books, Cultural Erotics in Cuban America (2007) and Latinx Literature Now: Between Evanescence and Event (2019), and over twenty articles and chapters. Since arriving at Georgetown in 1998, Prof. Ortiz has served as Director of the MA Program in English, and as Chair of the Department of English; he has also enjoyed long-standing faculty affiliations with the Programs in American Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, Latin American Studies, and Global and Comparative Literature. In that time has also enjoyed partnering with Georgetown’s Community Scholars Program, Center for Multicultural Equity and Access, LGBTQ Student Resource Center and Center for Social Justice. Beyond Georgetown Prof. Ortiz served for ten years as a consultant on Latinx history and culture for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (2009-2019); in addition, he has been invited to speak on matters relating to Latinx culture, LGBTQ culture, and the public humanities by multiple organizations across the United States and abroad, and in 2022 he served as President of the Association of Departments of English.

Desh Girod

Associate Professor, Department of Government, College of Arts & Sciences

Desh Girod (Ph.D., Stanford University, 2008) is an associate professor in the Department of Government in the College of Arts and Sciences at Georgetown University. He is also affiliated with the Department’s Conflict Resolution Program. Dr. Girod’s most recent research examines how White Supremacy functions internationally and in the United States as a political and economic project. He is using interpretive methods. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Dr. Girod grew up thinking about the impact of dominant nations on smaller ones. He has studied these dynamics for two decades, publishing in prestigious journals such as the American Journal of Political Science and International Organization. Oxford University Press published his first book, Explaining Post-Conflict Reconstruction. Dr. Girod was recognized in 2020 as a Latinx Foreign Policy Expert by the Diversity in National Security Network and an LGBTQIA+ Foreign Policy and National Security Leader by Out in National Security. He is a transgender man. The Political Instability Task Force, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, Georgetown University’s College of Arts and Sciences and Office of the Provost, and Stanford University’s Center for Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law have all funded and his research. Dr. Girod earned a Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2008, an M.Phil from Trinity College, Dublin, in 2002, and a B.A. from Penn State in 2000. The Bachelor of Arts degree was funded by the Bunton-Waller Award for underrepresented minorities. The M.Phil. was supported by the US-Ireland Alliance. The Harry S. Truman Foundation, the Stanford Political Science Department, and the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law funded the Ph.D.

Shabab Wahid

Assistant Professor, Department of Global Health, School of Health

Dr. Shabab Wahid is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Global Health, School of Health. He is a global mental health expert, focused on psychiatric and behavioral research primarily in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). His three areas of research include: (1) the connection between climate change and mental health; (2) cultural influences on the lived experience of mental illness; and (3) developing and evaluating community-based interventions targeting mental illness and reducing stigma towards mental health conditions. Dr. Wahid’s recent work examining the association between climate-related stressors and adverse mental health outcomes in Bangladesh was published in The Lancet Planetary Health (new window), and was featured in TIME Magazine (new window) and BBC World Service Radio (new window). In a follow-up project, he is currently examining the association between air pollutants and depressive outcomes in Bangladesh. In addition, he conducts mixed-methods research on cultural adaptation of mental health measurement instruments and neuropsychological tasks through the ALIVE project (new window) in Colombia, Nepal and South Africa; and reducing mental illness stigma and discrimination through the INDIGO Partnership (new window) project in China, Ethiopia, India, Nepal and Tunisia. He previously led research efforts in Bangladesh, Brazil, Nepal, Nigeria, and the UK examining the culturally salient explanatory models and idioms of distress connected to depression in adolescence and young adulthood.

Yael Zakai Cannon

Associate Professor of Law and Director of Health Justice Alliance Law Clinic, Georgetown University Law Center

Yael Zakai Cannon is an Associate Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center and Director of the Georgetown Health Justice Alliance Law Clinic, a medical-legal partnership training the next generation of leaders in law and medicine to remove legal barriers to health and advance health equity. She researches the role of law in promoting health justice and well-being for children and families. Professor Cannon is a 2023-2025 Georgetown University Center for Social Justice Faculty Research Fellow, an Executive Committee member of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) Section on Law, Medicine & Health Care, and past Chair of the AALS Poverty Law Section. She was recognized as a 2022 American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics Health Law Scholar. Professor Cannon is co-author of the textbook Special Education Advocacy and the treatise AIDS and the Law and has written articles in law journals and other periodicals. She also serves as faculty advisor for the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy. Professor Cannon previously taught as an Associate Professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law and as a Practitioner-in-Residence and Acting Director of the Disability Rights Law Clinic at American University Washington College of Law. Prior to joining the legal academy, she was an attorney with the Children’s Law Center’s medical-legal partnership.  Professor Cannon graduated with distinction from Stanford Law School and summa cum laude from the University of Maryland.

Min-Ah Cho

Assistant Teaching Professor, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, College of Arts & Sciences

Min-Ah Cho is a scholar of Constructive Theology and Christian Spirituality, critically engaging with feminist and postcolonial theories, the Christian mystical tradition, and Asian/Asian American religion and spirituality. Her research focuses on examining the conflicts, negotiations, and reconciliations between the spirituality of Christian individuals, especially the vulnerable and excluded, and the public and institutional representation of religion and theology. She is passionate about exploring how new and innovative theological languages, spiritual expressions, metaphors, works of art, and actions emerge from the various life contexts of Christian individuals in their relationship with the public sphere and the institutional Church. Her greatest desire as a scholar, teacher, and activist is to bridge gaps between different cultures and promote communication among people with different points of view. As a native of South Korea who has been educated in American institutions and as a theologian trained in both Protestant and Roman Catholic traditions, her experience sharpens her sensitivity to the various forms of human diversity and shapes her teaching philosophy. While she publishes books and articles in both English and Korean, she also engages with grassroots movements concerning peace activism against war, women’s and LGBTQI+ rights, and immigrant and refugee rights. She encourages students to reach out to those on the margins, listen to their stories, and make themselves available to others. Before joining the faculty at Georgetown University in 2019, She taught at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN (2011-2015) and Manhattan College in the Bronx, NY (2018-2019). Along with numerous journal essays and book chapters, she has authored two monographs: Everyday Life and Mysticism (Seoul, Korea: Sam In, 2022) and The Silent God and Suffering (forthcoming, Washington DC: Georgetown University, 2023).

Christina X. Marea

Assistant Professor, Midwifery/Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Program, School of Nursing

Dr. Christina Marea is Certified-Nurse Midwife and Assistant Professor at Georgetown’s School of Nursing. Her research broadly focuses on disparities in perinatal and reproductive health outcomes for marginalized and structurally disadvantaged populations, and health services interventions to address these disparities. Dr. Marea has practiced clinically as a midwife in birth centers, refugee camps, rural hospitals, and tertiary care hospitals. She has conducted research, clinical, and consulting collaborations in Guatemala, Jordan, Syria, Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda and here in DC. Christina currently practices midwifery at Community of Hope, a local FQHC, with whom she is collaborating to develop a 12-month model of postpartum care informed by client perspectives and priorities. Christina collaborated with the World Health Organization on research to establish a framework to guide training and assessment of health care providers caring for women and girls with FGM/C. Christina was an undergraduate in the SFS at Georgetown, received a Masters in Conflict Resolution from the University of Bradford as a Rotary World Peace Fellow, and a Masters of Science in Nursing from Yale University. She obtained her PhD from Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. Christina was the inaugural Co-chair of the DC Maternal Mortality Review Commission from 2019-2023 and continues as an MMRC member, served on DC Maternal Health Advisory Group via DC Department of Healthcare Finance, is the Maternal Health Advisor for the Maternal-Child Health Advisory Council with DC Department of Health, and is the Chair of the Division of Global Engagement at the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

Kwame Edwin Otu


If you are a Georgetown University faculty member interested in learning more about the CSJ Faculty Fellows program, please contact CSJ’s Director of Engaged Scholarship and Pedagogy, Dr. Fatemeh Hosseini at