Program Leaders

Meet CCE’s Directors

Dr. Yvonne Teems:

Dr. Yvonne Teems is an assistant professor of Writing Studies and Composition at Hofstra University. Her research focuses on discourse and power in a variety of social contexts, specifically as it relates to aging and disability. Her work has appeared in Disability Studies Quarterly, The Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal, and Journal of Literacy and Technology, among other publications. Her dissertation study examined how seniors use literacy practices to leverage power in medical encounters.
Yvonne is currently working with CCE Fellow Nonny Mahachi to conduct assessment research for a CCE community partner, Herstory Writers Workshop. Herstory is a Long Island-based nonprofit organization that hosts memoir writing workshops in communities, schools, hospitals, and jails to generate stories that can be used to advance social change. Yvonne and Nonny are analyzing Herstory’s methods to help the organization train new facilitators and reach more writers.
Yvonne’s community work includes working as a writer with the Greater Uniondale Area Action Coalition.
Yvonne regularly teaches WSC 131: Writing for Advocacy, among other courses in the Writing Studies minor.

Assistant Professor of Writing Studies and Composition
Mason Hall 302


Aashish Kumar:

Professor Kumar has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in documentary, advocacy videos, interactive media, and television studies in the RTVF Dept. He is also an award-winning documentary filmmaker and social action scholar whose work turns a spotlight on issues such as emerging democracies, social stigmas, globalization, migration, civic engagement, and grassroots advocacy. His films have been shown in domestic and international film festivals, used in grassroots community advocacy, and distributed to academic institutions. Most recently he was awarded a Fulbright Specialist grant which will allow him to spend six weeks this summer in Durban, South Africa, working with media students and faculty in developing strategies for grassroots community media work. This is Prof. Kumar’s second Fulbright Award – he is also the recipient of the Fulbright Senior Scholar award in 2008 which allowed him to spend a semester in India teaching graduate documentary students and working on his documentary film on reverse migrants.

One of Prof. Kumar’s favorite courses at Hofstra is Media Action Project, in which students partner with nonprofit organizations and learn how to use media to stimulate change in society.  In 2014, based on successful partnerships built through that course, he was awarded a $25,000 grant from the Long Island Community Foundation for a collaborative electronic media training project for Long Island nonprofits.

Prof. Kumar’s most recent documentary follows the life of “reverse migrants” – Indian high-technology workers whose jobs were moved to India from the United States.  “Software from the Hard Rocks,” released in this summer 2014, explores how globalization transforms our sense of place and home.

Kumar has also been recognized for several films championing grassroots advocacy, including “The Community I Serve,” which called for the humane treatment of those with mental illnesses by law enforcement.  It won “Best of Festival” and the “Award of Excellence” at the 2009 Festival of Media Arts by the Broadcast Education Association, and honorable mention a the Columbus International Film and Video Festival.

His 2002 documentary, “Raising Our Voices,” addressed hate-crime victims and has been screened at the Smithsonian Institute, the Dallas Asian-American Film Festival, and more than 200 academic institutions and community-based organizations. In 2003, “Raising Our Voices” was added to the Library of Congress’s permanent collection of media related to the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

Currently Prof. Kumar is working on an interactive media documentary on the LGBTQ experiences of South Asian American millennials and their families.

Associate Professor of Radio, Television, Film
Herbert School of Communication 303


Meet CCE’s Graduate Assistants 

Rosalie Hume:

Rose is a first-year graduate student in the Zarb School of Business,Hofstra University pursuing a MBA in International business. She graduated in May 2016 from Hofstra with a degree in Marketing. Since it is her first year working for CCE she is excited to work with the fellows and community partners.

Jack Costello:

Jack Costello is a second-year graduate student in the Sustainability program at Hofstra and the graduate assistant for civic literacy and on-campus events. He graduated in May 2015 from Hofstra with majors in Geography, Global Studies, and Sustainability Studies and a minor in Civic Engagement. His current research is concerned with identifying relationships between local, national, and international education policy and enrollment rates in primary schools during times of conflict.