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SEM Student Union Candidate Statements
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Candidates for Chair

José R. Torres-Ramos

Greetings! I have been extremely fortunate to serve SEM first as Vice-Chair for the Student Concerns Committee and now the Student Union. The SU is proposing important initiatives reflecting our commitment to the needs of our student membership. Of particular importance, is a better framework for understanding the skills and training essential to role of ethnomusicologist, and the significance of our work both, in and out of the academy. I believe the study of music, through various areas (performance, education, musicology etc.) must utilize a holistic, interdisciplinary approach, so we may better address the many social issues that plague not only our country, but the world. Ethnomusicology is uniquely poised to pave the way. I am committed through my own work, both in research and service in the SU, to this ideal. It is my hope that we can continue to diversify and utilize our creativity to bridge our various disciplines, strengthening all contributions. I believe we all share this vision, which is why I ask for your support as candidate for SU Chair. Together we can shape not only the future of our discipline, but also the study and appreciation for all cultures throughout the world. Thank you!

Deonte Harris

My name is Deonte Harris and I am a PhD student at UCLA conducting research on the music of African diasporic groups in the Atlantic region (African-Americans, African-Caribbeans, and black British). As an active student on campus, I am involved with numerous scholastic groups and music performance ensembles including the Atlantic History Cluster, the Urban Humanities Initiative, the Music and Dance of West Africa Ensemble, and the Intercultural Improvisation Ensemble. Additionally, I am also a member of the Society for Ethnomusicology, the Society for American Music, and the North American British Music Studies Association.

My involvement with each of these groups, both locally and nationally, stem from an advocacy of studying music as both practice and scholarship from a range of intellectual and cultural perspectives. Moreover, I recognize the need for members of our field, particularly students, to have a physical presence within varying interdisciplinary research groups to foster new networks of information exchange. By doing this, we allow ourselves to stay abreast of current discourses across the academy and ensure the continuity and progression of our field for the future.

As a nominee for Chair of the SEM Student Union, I respectfully ask for your vote.

Candidates for Member-at-Large

Ameera Nimjee

I am a second-year Ph.D. student in Ethnomusicology at the University of Chicago. I am eager to get involved with the SEM Student Union, and am honored at my nomination for the position of Member at Large. I have a considerable background in working on volunteer communities, and have strengths in the areas of communications, event production, and social media. As Member at Large I would seek to work with the Student Union’s executive committee to creatively liaise with the SEM’s regional chapters, Special Interest Groups, Sections, student associations, and other committees. My research in ethnomusicology focuses on the regional area of South Asia, with a specific concentration on North Indian music and dance. I am currently a member of the South Asian Performing Arts and Dance, Movement, and Gesture Sections. I am currently involved on two research and publication teams with scholars and graduate students in these Sections. I am enthusiastic to connect with other graduate students to explore interesting avenues for research in ethnomusicology, and believe strongly that the Student Union is a hub for this kind of networking. Thank you for the opportunity to get involved, and I look forward to meeting you in November.

Jeff Klein

I am a second year PhD student in ethnomusicology at the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to starting at Pitt, I earned a Masters degree in ethnomusicology from Bowling Green State University, a JD from Wayne State University Law School, and Bachelor degrees in both music and telecommunication. I wrote my masters thesis on the right of publicity, a legal action protecting musicians’ identity, and I currently study music of Nepal.

You are part of a large community of scholars doing significant work in the field of ethnomusicology and it is important that you are represented by someone whose voice is a reflection of your own. The Member-At-Large position is important because it serves as a primary point of contact within the Student Union for you.

I decided to run for this position because I care deeply about the issues affecting all student members of SEM. I have previously held public office and understand how to listen to what you have to say and to serve as both a liaison and an advocate for your needs. If elected, I will be available and responsive to you and will work hard to ensure that your voice is heard.

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