Staff

Ashley Cheyemi McNeil

color headshot of Ashley Cheyemi Rae McNeil
HPG Postdoctoral Fellow
Obermann Center for Advanced Studies

As the 2019–2021 Postdoctoral Fellow for the Andrew W. Mellon–Funded Humanities for the Public Good initiative, McNeil serves as HPG's lead project manager, collaborating closely with faculty, staff, and graduate student members of the HPG Advisory Committee and with the Obermann Center to design institutes and workshops, conduct research and interviews with stakeholders, and assess and document program activities. She also provides project management support for the HPG program and participates in meetings with other Obermann Fellows-in-Residence to share work-in-progress.

Dominic Dongilli

Dominic Dongilli
HPG Graduate Research Assistant
Obermann Center for Advanced Studies

Dominic Dongilli is a PhD student in American Studies and Gender, Women & Sexuality studies. His research interests center on American zoos; how space and place frame constructions of interspecies relationships, bodily integrity, and the reproductive politics of conservation breeding programs. He is interested in questions of what it means to know and experience the world and its diversity of spaces as embodied beings. Prior to graduate school, he spent three years as a Gorilla & Orangutan Zookeeper and conservation educator.

Erin Hackathorn

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Director of Operations
Obermann Center for Advanced Studies

Erin Hackathorn is the Obermann Center Director for Operations. She served as the Administrative Services Coordinator for the English Department for seven years. Erin is an active reader and vegetarian cook. A graduate of the University of Iowa, she lives in Oxford and enjoys spoiling her nephew.

Jenna Hammerich

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Communications Specialist
Obermann Center for Advanced Studies

Jenna assists with Obermann's web presence and communications. Previously she served as Deputy Managing Editor of The Iowa Review and as a writer for the UI College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. She has an MFA in nonfiction writing and an MA in English literature, and she serves on the UI Sustainability Charter Committee. She lives on a blueberry farm near Iowa City with her husband, daughter, and two llamas. 

Jennifer New

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Associate Director
Obermann Center for Advanced Studies

Jennifer oversees the Center's communications and plays a major role in facilitating the programs, community engagement, and event planning. An accomplished writer, she is the author of three books, Dan Eldon: Safari as a Way of Life (Chronicle Books, 2011) being the most recent. She has curated several exhibits and co-directed two short documentaries. Jennifer is a lifelong student of yoga and teaches locally.

Laura Perry

color headshot of Laura Perry
HPG Postdoctoral Fellow
Obermann Center for Advanced Studies

Laura Perry is the 2020-2022 Postdoctoral Fellow for the Andrew W. Mellon-Funded Humanities for the Public Good initiative. Before joining HPG, she was Managing Editor of Edge Effects magazine and received her PhD in English from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Her work engages with environmental and racial justice, digital publishing, and the public humanities. She has collaborated on several grant-funded projects, including the research group Environmental Justice in Multispecies Worlds as well as a year-long public humanities partnership with a local nonprofit. Her current book project, tentatively titled “The Nuisance: A Cultural History,” examines how ideas about nuisances have shaped American neighborhoods in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Teresa Mangum

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Director
Obermann Center for Advanced Studies

A Professor in the Departments of Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies and English and Affiliate Faculty with the Public Policy Center, Mangum was appointed as Director of the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies in 2010. She is the author of Married, Middle-brow, and Militant: Sarah Grand and the New Woman Novel (1998); editor of A Cultural History of Women: Volume 5: The Age of Empire, 1800–1920 (Berg 2013); and guest editor of special issues of Philological Quarterly, Nineteenth-Century Contexts, Victorian Periodicals Review, and the Journal of Aging Studies. With Anne Valk of Brown University, she co-edits the book series Humanities and Public Life for the University of Iowa Press. A full bio appears at https://obermann.uiowa.edu/people/teresa-mangum.