20 New Faculty Members Join Saint Mary's in the 2011-12 Academic Year

Saint Mary's College welcomes these new faculty members as classes get under way on August 29.

Michael Allocca is an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. A native of New York City, Michael recently served as a visiting assistant professor of mathematics at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. Michael earned his Ph.D. from North Carolina State University in 2010. His primary research interests are in homotopy algebras, which have applications in areas of theoretical physics such as closed field string theory. He is also interested in computational and applied topology. Outside of academia, he enjoys working on cars and watching baseball, offering exhaustive support of the New York Mets.


Peter Alter comes to the Kalmanovitz School of Education from the University of Louisville. Peter received his doctorate from the University of Florida, and his key areas of interest are special education, classroom and behavior management, and effective teacher preparation. At the University of Louisville, Peter was a three-time nominee as a Faculty Favorite (2008-2010). He is the co-editor of Beyond Behavior, the practitioner journal of the Council for Children with Behavior Disorders. He has 15 publications, including his co-authored textbook, "Managing Classroom Behavior Using Positive Behavior Support," published in 2011. Peter has made over 30 research presentations at state and national conferences and has conducted more than 60 teacher-training workshops nationally and internationally.


Linda Baumgardner is an adjunct faculty member in the Performing Arts department, where she has previously been a lecturer in technical theatre and a production coordinator. She holds an MFA in Theatre Design and Production with a double emphasis in Stage Management and Production Management from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and a B.A. in Performing Arts from Saint Mary's College. She has worked as a lighting designer, stage manager, production manager and producer in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and Chicago. Design credits include the premiere of "Who Is She?" for Dana Lawton Dances and the premiere of Capacitor's "The Perfect Flower." Management credits include work with the Joffrey Ballet, the North American Premiere Opera "Sextuor L'Origine des Especes" and the world premiere of Richard Foreman's "What to Wear." Producing credits include the 2009 FURY Factory, an international theatre festival and Ragged Wing's premiere of "Open."


Jeffrey Bernard is a new faculty member in the Department of Biology. He recently completed his doctoral degree in Kinesiology at the University of Texas at Austin. His doctoral research focused on the interactions of nutritional supplementation, insulin resistance and exercise. While a graduate student he taught classes in exercise physiology, human physiology, anatomy and histology. Jeffrey received his bachelor's degree from the University of California-Berkeley and a master's degree from California State University-Northridge. In his free time, Jeffrey enjoys spending time with his wife and children, hiking and snowboarding.



Nyame O. Brown, assistant professor in the Art Department, will teach Painting and Drawing. Before coming to Saint Mary's he taught at Notre Dame University, Illinois State University and the Art Institute of Chicago. His education started with a BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1993 and an MFA from the Yale School of Art and Architecture in 1997. After graduation, he returned to Chicago, where he worked in the schools with nonprofit organizations Anchor Graphics and Gallery 37. In South Bend, Indiana, he continued his work with young artists as a juror and keynote speaker for the Indiana National Scholastic Art Competition and with the Arts Council Mural Project. His interest in becoming a better teacher and scholar is matched by his interest in nurturing young artists, providing inspiration and helping them realize their potential. Noteworthy awards he has received are the Joan Mitchell and Richard Driehaus individual artist awards.


Sandy Chang joins the Physics and Astronomy Department as an adjunct professor. She will be teaching general physics as well as an advanced topics course in fluid mechanics. She encourages students with any bent toward environmental and technical science to take this course, as it will be great fun! She has taught in the Engineering Department at San Francisco State. She graduated from Stanford University with a Ph.D. and M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering, in Environmental Fluid Mechanics, and a B.S. in Geology. Subsequently, she worked at the Environmental Protection Agency and the World Bank.


Nicolas (Nick) Dahan is an associate professor of Business Administration with SEBA, where his teaching will focus on international business and strategic management. Previously, he was a faculty member at Long Island University - CW Post campus, where he was granted the 2011 Beta Gamma Sigma Professor of the Year award. He has extensive teaching and administrative experience with other U.S. institutions, including George Washington University, Tulane University and Baruch College-CUNY, as well as top French business schools. His research interests pertain to nonmarket strategies including corporate lobbying, corporate sustainability and corporate social responsibility.


Caroline Doran joins SEBA as an adjunct professor in Ethics. Caroline has a Ph.D. in management and an MBA and BA in hotel management. Her research interests are in the area of cross-cultural values and religion and their role in ethical consumption decisions. Caroline is a regular reviewer for the Journal of Business Ethics.



Makiko Imamura is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication. She completed her B.A. in English at Tsuda College in Tokyo, Japan. While attending Tsuda College, she spent one year at the University of San Francisco. She earned both her M.A. and Ph.D. in Communication Studies at the University of Kansas. In her graduate program there, she received teaching and research awards and a fellowship. Makiko's research focuses on intercultural communication from intergroup and interpersonal perspectives using quantitative and qualitative methods. In particular, her research interests include cultural identity, cultural adaptation, intergroup attitudes, interpersonal relationships and communication, and cultural values. Her recent work has been published in U.S. and international communication journals. In her free time, she enjoys dancing ballet.


Belal A. Kaifi joins the graduate and undergraduate business management faculty at SEBA. He completed his postdoctoral studies at the University of Florida's Warrington College of Business Administration, where he researched management and marketing. He earned a doctoral degree from the University of San Francisco, where he studied organization and leadership. Belal's research is in the areas of organizational behavior, diversity management in the post-9/11 era and strategic leadership. In his free time, he enjoys traveling and has spent time in Afghanistan, Sweden, Germany, Dubai, Mexico and Canada.


Lucci Lautze is a member of the math department at Saint Mary's. She just finished her master's in mathematics at UC Davis and is currently finishing a master's in education, also through UC Davis. Her research focuses on exploring nontraditional methods of teaching mathematics in all levels of schooling. This includes exploring methods of collaboration in college math classes as well as exploring the ways in which students with different educational backgrounds learn to work together and learn from one another. In addition to teaching, Lucci enjoys various sports, including basketball and rowing, and she is learning to play the guitar.


Raina J. León is a new assistant professor in the Kalmanovitz School of Education. She comes to Saint Mary's from the Department of Defense Education Activity, where for three years she taught military dependents in Bamberg, Germany. Raina received her B.A. in Journalism from Pennsylvania State University, M.A. in Teaching of English from Teachers College - Columbia University and Ph.D. in Education under the Culture, Curriculum and Change strand at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. Her research interests include high school engagement and the teaching of poetry, critical literacy in the high school classroom, and facilitating freshmen transitions. She is an active, internationally published poet. She also is a founding editor of the Acentos Review, an online quarterly, international journal devoted to the promotion and publication of Latino and Latina arts. In her free time, she enjoys traveling to trendy spots and little holes in the wall around the world, locating fantastic ingredients for her culinary experiments and sampling local and far-flung arts scenes.


Michael P. Marchetti is the new Fletcher Jones Endowed Chair of Marine and Aquatic Ecology. Prior to his arrival at Saint Mary's, he was a full professor in the Department of Biology at California State University, Chico. Michael has more than 20 years experience working in marine and aquatic ecosystems, primarily in California. His research interests include: the ecology and conservation of seasonal tributaries, understanding patterns and processes related to the establishment of non-native aquatic species, studying energy flow within stream food webs, and applying multivariate statistical techniques to aquatic communities. He has worked in California, Nevada, Mexico, Hawaii and New Zealand. He has authored or co-authored more than 24 peer-reviewed publications in academic journals, is one of three co-authors of the 2006 textbook "Invasion Ecology" and is lead author of a new conservation text for non-science students titled "Protecting Life on Earth: An Introduction to Conservation Science," published in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys playing with his 2-year-old son, being a home chef, bicycling almost everywhere, collecting wild mushrooms and fly fishing in the Sierras.


Sandra Mattar joins the Graduate Counseling Program at KSOE. Sandra received her undergraduate degree from the Universidad Catolica in Caracas, Venezuela, and her doctorate in psychology from the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (MSPP). Sandra's professional work focuses on cultural psychology, immigrant families, acculturation, ethnic and racial identity, and trauma and disaster psychology. She is a founding member of the Division of Trauma Psychology (Div. 56) of the American Psychological Association and serves as its council representative. Mattar has taught courses for UC Berkeley Extension, MSPP and Alliant University. She is an ad-hoc editor for several journals in psychology and has presented at numerous national and international conferences. Her publications include articles in the journal Traumatology, in Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice and Policy, and in the Encyclopedia of Trauma. She enjoys hiking and traveling with her husband and three children.


Rashaan Alexis Meneses joins Saint Mary's College as an adjunct professor in Liberal and Civic Studies. She has taught at Merritt College, Laney College and Diablo Valley College and holds a MFA in Creative Writing from Saint Mary's. A Jacob K. Javits Fellow, her research and writing focuses on the Filipino and Mexican diaspora, immigration and overseas workers, cosmopolitanism, and globalized cross-cultural influences. She serves as a Collegiate Seminar Governing Board member and, last fall, co-supervised the SMC Writing Center. She has been published recently in UC Riverside's The Coachella Review, University of North Carolina's Pembroke Magazine and the anthology, "Growing Up Filipino II: More Stories for Young Adults."


Phuong Anh Nguyen joins the School of Economics and Business Administration. Her research interests are in continuous improvement, innovation and creativity, and sustainable operations. Ann received her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, an MBA from California State University-East Bay and a B.A. in molecular and cell biology from the University of California-Berkeley.



Aeleah Soine joins the History Department as an assistant professor of Modern European History. She is originally from Minnesota, where she has been teaching at Macalester College since earning her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on the impact of gender, professionalization, and transnationalism on women's work, service and political activism in the 19th and early 20th centuries, including a current manuscript project on the transnational professionalization of nursing work. She enjoys teaching a range of thematic and topical courses in European and World History with an emphasis on popular culture and primary documents. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, traveling, art and soccer.


Gloria Aquino Sosa joins KSOE as an adjunct faculty member in the Graduate Counseling program. She received her doctorate in Counseling with a focus in Counselor Education and Supervision from Oakland University in Rochester, Mich. Her research concentrations include understanding human interaction within multiple-identity development, multicultural counseling strategies, and how college students, particularly underrepresented students, navigate their college experience. Gloria taught at Oakland University in the Graduate Counseling Department and the Communications Department. She was also director of the school's Center for Multicultural Initiatives, responsible for developing campus-wide diversity initiatives and diversity strategic planning. She also worked as a mental health clinician for Easter Seals of Michigan, primarily with Latino children, adolescents and families, and had a successful private practice supervising counselors and providing consultation and training for universities and businesses. Gloria is a musician who plays guitar and sings professionally, and enjoys biking, hiking, camping and water sports with her family.


Ellen Veomett is an assistant professor in the Mathematics and Computer Science department. Previously, she taught for four years as an assistant professor at California State University-East Bay. Ellen received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, where she studied Discrete and Computational Geometry. Her research involves aspects of combinatorics, modern analysis, geometry, and complexity. In her free time, she keeps busy with a wide variety of activities, including running, cooking and, more recently, circus arts.


Judith White joins Graduate Business Programs as an associate professor. She primarily teaches business ethics in the MBA programs, with an emphasis on corporate social and environmental responsibility. She has almost 20 years of experience teaching and doing research in the areas of business ethics and organizational behavior. Her research interests include leadership and moral courage in Burma's struggle for democracy and human rights, effectiveness of sanctions and divestment, experiential learning and business ethics pedagogy, and corporate sustainability and environmental justice. She has authored or co-authored more than 20 peer-reviewed publications and serves as an associate editor of the Journal of Management Inquiry.

Photos by Karen Kemp