Sandra Mew is the Confidential Executive Assistant to Dr. Elizabeth Hendrey, Acting Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Queens College of the City University of New York. Her role includes responsibility for internal and external communications, and managing public relations for the office. Prior to this appointment, Ms. Mew worked in the Office of the President for more than 14 years, as Executive Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer/Vice President). Mew received her Bachelor of Arts degree (summa cum laude) with a major in Sociology and a minor in Urban Studies from Queens College. She also earned her Masters of Arts degree in Liberal Studies from Queens College. As part of her interest in international affairs, especially reflected by the diverse student demographics at Queens College, Ms. Mew has worked closely with academic groups on both content and in-country experiences to Israel, Turkey and South Africa. She has brought back the knowledge and experience gained in those programs to her work in the Provosts’s office at Queens College.
Larissa Swedell is Professor of Anthropology at Queens College and the Anthropology and Biology Doctoral Programs at the CUNY Graduate Center. She was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Cape Town in 2006-2007 and holds a secondary affiliation as Honorary Research Associate in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Cape Town.
A biological anthropologist by training, Swedell specializes in primatology; her research focuses on the behavioral ecology of baboons. Her PhD and post-doctoral work focused on the social behavior, ecology, and reproductive strategies of hamadryas baboons in Ethiopia, where she still directs a long-term field project at Filoha. She has been running a second research project, focusing on the social behavior and ecology of chacma baboons in South Africa, since receiving a Fulbright Fellowship to teach at the University of Cape Town in 2006. This research currently focuses on the baboons of Tokai in the southern suburbs of Cape Town. She maintains ongoing research and student training at both sites, along with a public outreach website aimed at reducing human-wildlife conflict, which is an increasing problem across Africa.
Together with Professor Jason Tougaw and the Queens College Study Abroad Office, Swedell helped develop the Queens College Study Abroad Program in South Africa, for which she teaches a course called Humans and Nature in South Africa. This course will be offered in January 2015 (QC winter session) as part of the Year of South Africa programming.
Jason Tougaw is Associate Professor of English and Director of the English Honors program at Queens College. He is the author of Strange Cases: The Medical Case History and the British Novel (Routledge) and co-editor, with Nancy K. Miller, of Extremities: Trauma, Testimony, and Community (U Illinois). He blogs about relationships between art and science at californica.net. He worked with Larissa Swedell and the Study Abroad office to establish QC’s January program at the University of Cape Town, for which he teaches a course entitled Memoirs of Life in South Africa.