It is with great sadness the department announces the passing of one of our graduate students, Janeen Irving. With her humor and intelligence, Janeen was a bright light in our department. She was completing her MA thesis and would have graduated in May 2021. She was a gregarious, generous mature student who was whip smart and excited about completing her studies. She brought her full self to all she did in the classroom, hanging out with other students and staff.
As our very first Mellon Arts Graduate Fellow, Janeen was assisting with our Black Arts Dialogues and had been a key factor in developing our podcast “Black Lives in the Era of COVID 19,” which characterizes her invaluable contribution to our academic community.
Janeen resided in New Orleans at the time of death, while completing her studies online. She is survived by two children Adjani and Jalil. Janeen's dedication to and passion for the arts and for African American and African Diaspora Studies is something we will never forget.
Family and friends have organized a GoFundMe site to assist with funeral and other expenses.
If you wish to contribute we have provided the link below.