Meet the Staff

Meet the African and African American Studies Staff! 

LaNitra M Berger

Dr. LaNitra Berger, Director

Dr. Berger is director of African and African American Studies and an associate professor of history and art history at George Mason University. From 2010-2022, she was the senior director of the Office of Fellowships at Mason. Throughout her career, she has worked toward helping underrepresented students gain access to transformational education abroad opportunities and careers in public service. She is the recipient of the Spirit of King Award (2015) and the Margaret C. Howell Award (2018) at Mason. Dr. Berger received her MA and PhD in art history from Duke University and a bachelor’s degree in art history and international relations from Stanford University.

Dr. Berger is affiliate faculty in the Center for Mason Legacies and the Department of History and Art History at Mason, where she teaches classes on African and African American art, museum curating, and South African history and culture. As an art historian, her research focuses on the intersections of art and social activism in the Black and Jewish diasporas. In 2018, she designed and led a study abroad course in South Africa called, “Monuments, Museums, and Memory in South Africa” that challenged students to look at the intersections of art and social activism in public monuments and memorials. She is the author of the NAFSA guide, “Exploring Education Abroad: A Guide for Racial and Ethnic Minority Participants.” She is also the editor of the book, “Social Justice and International Education: Research, Practice, and Perspectives,”published by NAFSA. Her first monograph, Irma Stern and the Racial Paradox of South African Modern Art: Audacities of Color was published by Bloomsbury in December 2020. 

In 2021, she was elected President and Board Chair of NAFSA: Association of International Educators. Dr. Berger also serves on several education abroad advisory boards, the AIFS academic advisory board, and Globalize DC. 


David Powers Corwin

Dr. David Powers Corwin (they/them), Interim Program Coordinator

David is the interim Program Coordinator for AAAS. They also hold a joint faculty appointment in the School of Integrative Studies and Women and Gender Studies where they teach courses that focus on feminist and queer theory, gender and sexuality in popular culture, friendship studies, and ecofeminist and queer approaches to Appalachian studies. They strive to make any course they teach writing intensive and use principles from the field of writing and rhetoric in their assignment design, feedback, and overall pedagogy. They currently serve as undergraduate director for Women and Gender Studies.

David holds a B.A. in English and Humanities from Milligan University, and an MAIS in Women and Gender Studies, an MA in English literature, and a Ph.D. in Writing and Rhetoric--all from Mason. They are currently working on a graduate certificate in Qualitative Research Methods from Mason as well. 

They were the 2017 winner of the Mary Roper Award a co-recipient of the the  University's Patriot Pathbreakers Award (with the COVID-19 Emergency Fund Team), a 2019 recipient of University Life's Outstanding Service Award and in 2022, an award was named in their honor for their teaching and curriculum efforts in LGBTQ Studies, the Dr. David Powers Corwin Award for Teaching and Scholarship.


CaseyCasey Klemmer (he/him), Graduate Assistant

Casey is the Graduate Assistant for AAAS in the 2022-23 school year. He received his B.A. in Integrative Studies with a concentration in Women and Gender Studies in the Fall of 2021, and he is currently pursuing his MAIS in Social Justice and Human Rights. He is also working on a graduate certificate in Women and Gender Studies.

His research interests focus on experiences of migration for refugees and asylum seekers, specifically for transgender and LGBTQ populations. His capstone project will result in the creation of a training module for US Customs and Immigration Officers to better serve transgender migrants to the United States. Casey also works for the Women and Gender Studies Center as the Lead Program Advisor. In his free time Casey likes to knit and hang out with his dog. 



DelinaDelina Kiflom (she/her), Office Assistant

Delina is a Junior Computer Science major with a minor in Software Engineering. She is from Ethiopia and Eritrea but grew up in Northern Virginia. She currently works as an office assistant in the African and African American Studies Office and enjoys learning about AFAM topics. In her free time, she enjoys quality time with her friends, cooking, and nature.


FaevenFaeven Dereje (she/her), Office Assistant

Faeven is a sophomore pursuing a major in Government and International Politics with a concentration in American Government and double minors in Legal studies and African American studies. She serves as the Philanthropist for the Ethiopian-Eritrean Student Association as well as the Community Service Chair for NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). 

Faeven is from Alexandria, Virginia. A fun fact about her is that she is into shoes such as Jordans. Her biggest passions are activism and advocating for those who are unable to which resulted in her motivation to become a lawyer in the future. In her free time, Faeven enjoys reading about topics such as racism, anti-Blackness, misogyny, feminism, etc.


KashmereKashmere Venable (she/her), Office Assistant

Kashmere's hometown is Washington, DC. She is a sophomore and her major is Community Health with a concentration in Nutrition. Her favorite hobby is trying new restaurants. Yes, she is a foodie! She also loves to go to the movies as well.