Dr. Noaquia Callahan, Founder & CEO


Read about Dr. Callahan’s international exchange journey from high school through PhD here.

Dr. Callahan is a proud Long Beach, CA native. She earned her Ph.D. and master’s in History from the University of Iowa, graduated from California State University Long Beach with bachelor’s degrees in German and Sociology, and attended Long Beach Polytechnic High School (Go Jackrabbits!). She is also an Adjunct Professor of History at Mt. San Antonio College.

Dr. Callahan founded Colored Bird Institute LLC to mentor students about the opportunities competitive academic scholarships and international study can make possible. At the age of 16, she flew on a plane for the first time -- to Germany, for a year long academic exchange. She returned advanced in a foreign language and with a new sense of self as a young African American woman navigating the world. Almost two decades later, she is a multi-fellowship winner, and 3X study abroad student: as a high school exchange student (Cologne, Germany), undergraduate at the Universität of München (Munich, Germany), and PhD researcher at the Freie Universität Berlin's John-F.-Kennedy-Institut für Nordamerikastudien (Berlin, Germany).

Dr. Callahan has worked across the U.S. and abroad developing strategic grant initiatives focused on underrepresented minorities, community-scholarly engagement, and building global competencies for a 21st century workforce at government organizations, universities, non-profits, 9-12 education systems, and think-tanks. Her expertise has been sought after by national and international institutions that include the U.S. Embassy Berlin, Howard University, and the University of Halle-Wittenberg. Dr. Callahan’s implementation of diversity programs at majority institutions (or PWIs) was featured in Iowa Now. Her advice to prospective applicants on how to maximize a competitive international grant was published by the U.S. Fulbright program.

Dr. Callahan’s innovative work bridging African American transnational history, race, and mobility has earned her $200,000 in scholarships, grants, and fellowships. Dr. Callahan was selected as Fulbright Germany's top candidate out of 75 American grantees in 2016 to receive a special Germanistic Society of America Fulbright award. She has earned other major academic fellowships from the German Historical Institute in Washington D.C., P.E.O. International, Awesome Foundation, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Howard University, University of Iowa, and many others. In 2017, Dr. Callahan was awarded the highest honor made by the University of Iowa to student, staff, and faculty leaders: the Hancher-Finkbine Medallion Award.

Dr. Callahan is a grant guru, international educator, published speaker, and admitted writing accessories and coffee aficionado. She has served on numerous scholarship selection committees, taught at the University, community college, and high school levels, as well as taught English as a second language. Recently, Dr. Callahan became a Startingbloc Fellow - RDU'18, completed the GRID110 business incubator in Los Angeles, and was named a 2018 Atlantik-Brücke German-American Young Leader