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Nicole Truesdell

Nicole Truesdell
Office Phone: x2120

General Interests:
Nicole is the Senior Director of Academic Diversity and Inclusiveness for the Office of Academic Diversity and Inclusiveness (OADI) and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Beloit College. Nicole’s general interests are in radical pedagogy, academic hustling, and social justice.  Her research focuses on the intersections of race, racism, gender, citizenship and belonging, nationalism and the nation-state, community organizing and activism, social movements, equity in higher education, mentoring and radical black thought.  A founding member of #blacklivesmatterbeloit, Nicole is committed to pushing against dominant narratives to ensure marginalized voices and bodies are seen and heard. 

Nicole’s previous training at a Masters level was in biological/forensic anthropology.  She worked on three forensic cases at Louisiana State University in the FACES Lab and conducted research on questioning the validity of biological notions of race, using nonmetric techniques on crania to identify ancestry.  She uses her biological training to inform her current work around race and racism.

Professor at Beloit Since: 2013

Ph.D., Anthropology. 2011. Michigan State University
M.A., Anthropology. 2008. Michigan State University and 2005 Louisiana State University
B.A., Anthropology. 2003. Beloit College

Teaching Philosophy:
What are the intersections between personal lived experience and academic knowledge consumption and production?  This question underpins the ways in which Nicole engages with her students as they learn to “do” anthropology.  As a teaching philosophy Nicole believes that student self-awareness is the first step in engaging with anthropological theory and practice, therefore she uses social media, theory, and personal reflections and experiences as a means to get students to “see” the world from different worldviews.  The application of anthropological thought and practice underpins all aspects of Nicole’s classes.

Selected Publications:
2015 Truesdell, Nicole. “A Call To Action: Bringing The Black Lives Matter Movement Home.” Savage Minds. Electronic Document,

2015 Truesdell, Nicole.  "Motherhood in the Ivory Tower."  Review of Nzinga-Johnson, Sekile.  Laboring Positions. Black Women, Mothering and the Academy.   2013. Demeter Press: Ontario. Electronic document,

2013 Truesdell, Nicole. Researching Race While Being Race: Reflections on Race Politics in Anthropology. Anthropologies. Electronic document,

2013 Hunt, L.M., and Truesdell, N. Observations on the Tenacity of Racial Concepts in Genetics Research.  IN Rethinking Race and Science: Biology, Genes and Culture. J. Hartigan, editor. Pp. 83-106. Santa Fe: School for Advanced Research Press.

2013 Hunt, L.M., Truesdell, N. and Kreiner, M.J. Race, Genes and Culture in Primary Care: Racial Profiling in the Management of Chronic Illness. Medical Anthropology Quarterly. 27(2): 253-271.

Selected Presentations:
2015 "This Too is Ferguson: Denaturalizing Race in Service, Teaching, Mentoring and the Production of Knowledge by Anthropologists at the Margins.” Roundtable for Annual American Anthropological Association Conference and Session Co-Organizer/Chair. Denver, Colorado. November 18.

2015 “Mentoring Minority Faculty in the Academy.” Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD) Bi-Annual Conference.  Roundtable Discussion. Charleston, South Carolina. November 4.

2014 “Ways of Knowing: The Struggle to Produce Anthropologists of Color.”  Roundtable for Annual American Anthropological Association Conference and Session Co-Organizer/Chair.  Washington, D.C. December 3.

2013 “Racialized Citizenship In The UK: The Construction of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) As A Political Identity”. Paper presented at Annual Beloit College McNair Symposium, July 26.

2011 “The Politics of Being Labeled a “Black and Ethnic Minority” (BME) Organization in England: The Narrative of Social Exclusion”.  Paper for Annual American Anthropological Association Conference. Session Organizer. Montreal, Canada. November 18.

2010 “Doing Race as Research and Using Creative Non-Fiction as a Method of Self Reflection”.  Race and Ethnicity in the Arts Conference.  Co-organizer. London Southbank University. London, England.  June 10.

2010 “Measuring Fairness and Negotiating Britishness: The Construction of Mixedness within Equality Legislation”.  Invited Paper at the Economic and Social Science Research Mixedness and Mixing Seminar. London School of Economics. London, England.  March 16.

Selected Grants/Awards:

2015  Touissant Foundation Grant for Student Support Services, Beloit College

2015  Co-PI, WiscAMP Small Grants Award for Using Peer Mentors to Recruit, Retain, and Create STEM majors, Beloit College

2014  Leadership Fellow, American Anthropological Association

2011  Michigan State University Dissertation Completion Fellowship

2011 and 2009 Ford Foundation Dissertation Completion Fellowship, Honorable Mention

2009 National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant (co-PI)

As a Consultant:
2013 Heritage Lottery Fund, Our Heritage Grant, “’Race’ Through The Generations: Digital Stories From BME Communities In Gloucester and Bristol” – a digital storytelling project aimed at understandings the generational place and use of race within BME communities  

2011 Heritage Lottery Fund, Our Heritage Grant, “Back to the Future” - an oral history project aimed at understanding the impact of Black and Ethnic Minority (BME) voluntary and community organizations within the Southwest of England

2010 UK Online Smarter Government Champion Centre grant - a digital inclusion project aimed at training disadvantaged communities

Ongoing Research:
Black Lives, Black Women, and the Academy: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Work at PWIs.

Structural Racism and the Academy

Community Organization within Black and Ethnic Minority Communities in the UK

Professional Service:
2015-Present. Co-Founder, Black Lives Matter Beloit, Beloit College, Beloit, WI.

2015-Present. Secretary/Treasurer, Association for Black Anthropologist

2010-Present. Research and Development Consultant for Black Southwest Network – a Black and Minority Ethnic Regional Organization in Bristol, England.