Founder Megan Ross is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Music Department and Africana Studies Concentration at the College of the Holy Cross. Ross’ integrative approach to studying and teaching hip hop began during her time at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill when developing a master’s thesis project on the entrance and development of turntablism in educational institutions from the early 2000s onward. While conducting interviews for her project, she was also actively engaged in learning the art of turntablism with legends such as DJ Rob Swift of the X-Ecutioners and the “World’s Premiere Female DJ” Shortee. She was also involved in serving as a research assistant to Mark Katz--the founder and director of Next Level, a Hip Hop diplomacy program through the US State Department.
Since receiving her doctorate, hip hop has been the sole focus of Ross’ academic life. Her teaching philosophy is centered around a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice through experiential and community-based learning. A recently funded project through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-- “Live with the Woo Crew”—offered students in her classes at Holy Cross and Clark the opportunity to conduct interviews with local hip hop artists in Worcester, MA. Ross’ experiences as a hip hop pedagogue directly fuel her work as a scholar. She is currently working on an article that examines how ethnographic projects can foster a space for discussing larger issues of social inequalities experienced from members within. She plans to turn parts of this article into her first book, which will trace the historical development and reception of hip hop pedagogy from 1970 down to the present.
Ross is originally from East Northport, N.Y., and holds a B.A. in Music from the College of the Holy Cross, M.M. in Musicology from Boston University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.