Dr. Noaquia Callahan, Founder & CEO
Dr. Callahan 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. She is an Adjunct Professor of History at Mt. San Antonio College. Dr. Callahan founded Colored Bird Institute LLC to mentor students of color about the opportunities competitive academic scholarships and international study can make possible.
At the age of 16, Dr. Callahan 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 three-time 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 is a grant guru, global educator, published speaker, and admitted coffee and writing accessories aficionado. She has served on numerous scholarship selection committees, and worked in higher education for 9 years. Her expertise has been sought after by national and international institutions such as Howard University, U.S. Embassy Berlin, University of Halle-Wittenberg, and the University of Iowa. 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 is also the recipient of other major scholarly fellowships such as the Doctoral Fellowship in African American History at the German Historical Institute in Washington D.C., Samuel Flagg Bemis Dissertation Research Grant from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, German Chancellor Fellowship Finalist (declined), Andrew Mellon-Moorland Travel-to-Collections Grant at Howard University, and a fully-funded Ph.D. with a Jonathan Walton Dean's Graduate Fellowship from the University of Iowa.
Dr. Callahan's innovative academic and community engagement work bridging African American transnational history, race, and mobility has earned her $200,000 in scholarships, grants, and fellowships. In 2017, she was awarded a Hancher-Finkbine Medallion - the highest honor awarded at the University of Iowa in recognition of those who exemplify the characteristics of leadership, learning, and loyalty. Recently, Dr. Callahan became a Startingbloc Fellow - RDU'18, completed the GRID110 business incubator in Los Angeles, CA, and was named a 2018 Atlantik-Brücke German-American Young Leader.