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Cecilia Idika-Kalu

Cecilia Idika-Kalu
Cecilia Idika-Kalu GLS, Ph.D. Candidate


Instructor of Record: POLI 2150: African Politics (Online & In-class), GNDR 2400: Introduction to Gender Studies, POLI 1120: Introduction to Comparative Politics

Research Interests

My research focuses on terrorism, human rights, gender and national security. I study the dimensions of women's agency and victimhood, analyzing intersectional dimensions of oppression in terrorist activity and insecurity in Africa with insight from other parts of the world. This work focuses on the socioeconomic predictors of women's participation. It also provides insight into the dynamics of political ideology and religion in connection to their experience. I also conduct policy-relevant research on intersectionality and equitable recovery from emergencies in the United States. My work draws on development studies, and terror management theories to analyze the experience of crises from a gendered perspective.


  • PhD: Global Studies, Option in Human Security (Candidate), University of Massachusetts - Lowell
  • MPA: Option in Human Services Management (Candidate), University of Massachusetts - Lowell
  • MBA: Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas
  • BS: Biology Education, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria


I come to my doctoral research with a background in International development and management consulting. I am a Boston Civic Action Project Policy Fellow and a Senior Certified Human Resource Professional (SHRM-SCP).
At UMass Lowell, I serve on the Family Friendly Campus Task Force, a team working to foster diversity and inclusion. I am also a member of the Lowell City of Learning UNESCO Initiative to harness learning opportunities in the University and the City for residents. I am a TEDx speaker, and enjoy volunteering at the African Community Center Lowell where I teach leadership skills. In my free time, I enjoy reading, travelling and watching movies.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Teaching Excellence Award for 2019-2020 (GLS Lecturer); Political Science Department of the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
  • Idika-Kalu, C. (2014) Graduate Dean Academic Honor Roll Spring 2014. Kelce College of Business Pittsburg State University.

Selected Publications

  • Idika-Kalu, C. (2020) "The Socioeconomic Impact of the Boko Haram Insurgency in the Lake Chad Basin Region" In: Terrorism and Developing Countries Syed Abdul Rehman Khan and Zhang Yu (Eds.), (Intechopen)

Selected Presentations

  • Idika-Kalu, C. (April 2021) Revisiting Local Agency in Human Rights and Atrocity Prevention in Africa Paper presentation on the Flash Talk Session Human Rights: Current Trends and Future Challenges at the International Studies Association (ISA)Virtual Annual Meeting 2021.
  • Idika-Kalu, C. (November 2019) Women as Weapons in Terrorism and News. Paper Presentation in the Northeastern Political Science Association (NPSA) Annual Conference, Philadelphia 2019.
  • Idika-Kalu, C. (October 2019) Potential, Potency and Penury: Women in Boko Haram Terrorism. Paper Presentation in the International Security Study Section of the ISA (ISSS-IS) Conference, Denver 2019.
  • Idika-Kalu, C. (June 2019) Weaponized and Displaced Women in Mass Atrocities and the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP), Paper Presentation in the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and Gender Conference, University of Leeds, UK 2019.

Selected Contracts, Fellowships, Grants and Sponsored Research

  • Idika-Kalu, C. (2020) Civic Action Project. Policy Fellow Award, Boston MA ($5,000).
  • Idika-Kalu, C. (2019) Professional Development Grant, Graduate Student Association, University of Massachusetts, MA ($500).

Research Currently in Progress

  • Idika-Kalu, C. (In the Works) Terror-management and Intersectionality in National Emergencies. National Security Working Group. Women of Color Advancing Peace & Security.
  • Idika-Kalu, C. (In the Works) It's Global Not Local: News Coverage of Women in Terrorism.
  • Idika-Kalu, C. (In the Works). Fragile States and Weaponized Women: Gender & Conflict in the Lake Chad Basin