Visiting Scholars 2011-12


Eilaf Ahmed received her Ph.D. from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Washington in June 2011. Her graduate work focused on organic electronic materials directed at photovoltaics and thin film field- effect transistors. As a MLK Visiting Scholar, she worked closely with Professor Timothy Swager on DNA hybrid assemblies with carbon nanotubes in the Department of Chemistry. The plan is for creating innovative hybrid assemblies of conjugated organic molecules, DNA and carbon nanotubes.

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Paul Ampadu is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Rochester. As an MLK Visiting Associate Professor, he was hosted by Professor Vladimir Stojanovic in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He continued his research activities involving algorithm and implementation methodology for energy constrained sensing and communication systems. In the Fall of 2011, he assisted in courses offered under the new EECS curriculum.

Political Science

Andra Gillespie is an associate professor of political science at Emory whose research is on generational conflict among African-American political elites. Profs. Nobles and Stewart were her hosts at MIT in the Department of Political Science. As an MLK Visiting Associate Professor, Dr. Gillespie co-taught a graduate seminar in the Fall 2011 and an undergraduate subject in the Spring 2012 in the Department of Political Science.


Keivan Guadalupe-Stassun is currently Professor of Physics at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee and an Adjunct Professor of Physics at Fisk University. Prof. Stassun is well known for his research on star and planet formation, and leadership of the Fisk-Vanderbilt Masters-to-Ph.D. Bridge Program. As a MLK Visiting Professor, he was hosted by Professors Ed Berstchinger and Enectali Figueroa-Feliciano in the Department of Physics. During his stay at MIT, he concentrated his efforts on increasing the number of underrepresented minority students in the Physics graduate programs.They also collaborated on a project to measure trace chemical species in supernova remnants via x-ray and infrared spectroscopy.


Juana Mendenhall is currently an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Morehouse College. As an MLK Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and with Prof. Timothy Swager as her host, she plans to develop cohesive long-term collaborations between Morehouse College and MIT’s research laboratories in chemistry, chemical engineering, materials science and biomedical engineering.


Susan Perkins, Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations & International Business and Markets at the Kellogg School of Management, visited in the Organization Studies Group as an MIT MLK Visiting Assistant Professor. Susan is an international business Strategy Scholar who’s research focuses on cross-country variations in the institutional environment and their effects on firms performance, strategic responses, alliance formations and Broader societal outcomes. She teaches International Business Strategy in Non-Market Environments at Kellogg in the Full Time, Part Time and Executive MBA Programs. As a MLK Visiting Assistant Professor, Dr. Perkins expanded her research agenda to better understand how multinational corporations leverage prior institutional experience as a source of competitive advantage. Her research has interdisciplinary implications traversing the fields of strategy, and organizations, political science, law and economics which all play a part in solving complex institutional puzzles.

Chemistry / Science, Technology, and Society

Sean Seymore is an Associate Professor of Law and an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Vanderbilt University. His research focuses on how patent law should evolve in response to advances in science and technology and how the intersection of law and science is critical to the formation of public policy. He has a B.S. in Chemistry from Tennessee (Tenneesse Scholar), a M.S. Chem. from Georgia Tech, a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Notre Dame (Arthur J. Schmitt Presidential Fellow), and J.D. from Notre Dame (Allen Endowment Fellow). Before moving to Vanderbilt, Prof. Seymore taught at Washington & Lee and Northwestern and practiced patent law at Foley Hoag in Boston. As an MLK Visiting Professor, Prof. Seymore worked on current research projects relating to the disclosure function of the patent system and transformative proposals to promote the shared policy goals of science and patent law. He will be hosted by Professors Roe Smith and David Mindell in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society.