2020-21 PRODiG Cohort

2020-21 PRODiG Faculty Cohort

The following individuals were part of the second cohort, class of 2020-21, of PRODiG faculty across the SUNY System. 

Meet the inaugural PRODiG cohort from 2019-20.

Monica Adams headshot
Monica Adams
Binghamton University
Assistant Professosr, School of Social Work
Monica Adams

Dr. Adams’ research addresses health disparities from a strengths perspective. As a researcher, she strives to empower practitioners from various disciplines to develop strength based interventions to reduce and eliminate health disparities. Dr. Adams' dissertation focused on identifying socio environmental protective factors against overweight and obesity among women with low incomes. She is also interested in advancing an understanding of the role of public policies as both an inhibitor and promoter of health disparities, and interested in developing strength based health messages tailored to the specific needs of marginalized populations (e.g., motherhood status, racial/ethnic minorities, low income populations)

She has a PhD from the University of Louisville and a MSW from the Virginia Commonwealth University,

 

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Michelle Akin
Adirondack Community College
Assistant Professor, Mathematics
Michelle Akin

Ms. Akin received MS Electrical Engineering from Kansas State University. Having several years teaching in a broad array of technical subjects, Professor Atkin has incorporated many active learning strategies to promote learning build student success

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Toivo Asheeke
Purchase College
Assistant Professor, Sociology, School of Natural and Social Sciences
Toivo Asheeke

Toivo Asheeke teaches courses on global Black radical history, social/anti-colonial movements, race/racism, historical-sociology, African History (post-1800), Black Atlantic/slavery studies, and political economy. He is currently in the process of publishing his manuscript titled “‘The Ball of Liberation is in Our Hands’: Black Consciousness, Black Power and South Africa’s Armed Struggle” (2021). Toivo also seeks to document and analyze the impact and importance of the Black Lives Matter Movement in the USA and globally. His research and teaching interests are reflected perhaps most strongly in social justice activism.

he holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Binghamton University.

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Gwendolyn Baxley
University at Buffalo
Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership and Policy
Gwendolyn Baxley

Drawing on critical qualitative and quantitative methodologies, Dr. Baxley's research explores how urban Black youth and families survive, thrive and navigate their environments. She specifically investigate how school and community leaders cultivate nurturing, affirming spaces for Black youth as well as the structures, practices, and ideologies that facilitate or hinder the development of such spaces. Her current research projects explore these areas within the context of school-community-family initiatives, with an emphasis on historical and contemporary community schooling.

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Sharon Beckford
University at Buffalo
Associate Professor, Department of Africana and American Studies
Sharon Beckford

 

Beckford has been involved in teaching for many years and brings a wealth of knowledge to classroom discussions on race in literature.

She has a Ph.D. in Literature from York University.

 

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Marcus Bell
SUNY Oswego
Assistant Professor, Sociology
Marcus Bell

Marcus Bell is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and a Diversity Faculty Fellow at SUNY Cortland in Central New York. In his work, Marcus explores processes of ideology, inequality, and identity, focusing on the way(s) they intersect, contradict, and reinforce one another in individual and collective experience. Broadly speaking, Marcus uses qualitative methods to decompose the numerous, and at times, conflicting ways that racial ideology, racial inequality, and racial identity are constructed and experienced, and how these processes change over time. More specifically, he examines the ways that race and racial identity are localized, shifting from one environment to the next, and shaping how people understand themselves and the racial world around them. Marcus has published numerous peer reviewed studies, as well as a book with Duke University Press.

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Adolfo Béjar Lara
SUNY New Paltz
Assistant Professor, Languages, Literature and Culture
Adolfo Béjar Lara

Dr. Béjar Lara's areas of research include Latin American and Latinx literary and cultural studies, border and migration studies, and postcolonial and critical theory.

Béjar Lara is a former DREAMer who migrated with his family from Mexico to the United States when he was 15. He plans to continue advocating for undocumented and DACA students within and beyond SUNY New Paltz migrant community.

Dr. Béjar Lara holds a Ph.D. in Spanish from the University of Arizona and a Master's Degree from the University of Kansas

 

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Kanisha Bond
Binghamton University
Assistant Professor, Political Science
Kanisha Bond

Kanisha Bond's research and interests center on the influence of identity and organizational affiliation in polarized societies. She has examined mobilization and institution-building among radical socio-political groups around the world, and particularly in North America, Latin America, and Africa. Her publications appear in the American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, British Journal of Political Science, International Negotiation, Qualitative and Mixed Methods Research. She has contributed to the Newsletter of the Comparative Politics Section of the American Political Science Association and provided research-based public commentary to Foreign Policy and The Washington Post

She has a Ph.D from Penn State University in Political Science, MPP in International Development & Crime Policy from Georgetown University, and a BA in International Relations & Spanish from Bucknell University.

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Latanya Brandon
SUNY New Paltz
Assistant Professor, Science Education School of Education
Latanya Brandon

Dr. Brandon joins the School of Education as an assistant professor focusing on science education, with teaching experience at the secondary and higher education levels. Dr. Brandon’s research interests lie at the intersection of teacher learning and leadership for equity in science education. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Science Teacher Education and the International Journal of Leadership in Education, and at conferences hosted by Northeast Association for Science Teacher Educators and the American Educational Research Association, among others. She has also facilitated professional development sessions for in-service classroom teachers and adjunct faculty.

She holds a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Connecticut, Storrs Campus, Neag School of Education.

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Whitney Brown
SUNY Geneseo
Assistant Professor, Psychology
Whitney Brown

Dr. Brown researches how students regulate (manage) their emotions and to what extent they use substances to regulate emotions. Her clinical work focuses on the use of cannabis and alcohol, their simultaneous use, and the consequences of college students' substance use. Dr. Brown is also interested in emotional dysregulation, including difficulties in identifying and describing emotions.

 

She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Missouri.

 

 

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Holly Buck
University at Buffalo
Assistant Professor, Environment and Sustainability
Holly Buck

Dr. Buck has done extensive work on environmental policies and  has developed strategies and technologies for preventing and adapting to climate change. Dr. Buck has published extensively on the politics of carbon removal. Her 2019 book, "After Geoengineering: Climate Tragedy, Repair, and Restoration," examines topics such as industrial seaweed farms, large-scale carbon sequestration, restoration of wetlands and reforestation. She has also written about uncertainties surrounding solar geoengineering, in which — hypothetically — tiny aerosols could be injected into the atmosphere to block solar radiation. She is interested in how communities can adapt to climate change.

She holds a PhD in Development Sociology from Cornell University and a MSc in Human Ecology from Lund University.

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Nichol Castro
University at Buffalo
Assistant Professor in Communicative Disorders and Sciences
Nichol Castro

Dr Castro's research focuses on word retrieval in aging adults and adults with language impairments (e.g., aphasia, dementia), with a particular focus on how words are organized in memory. Her research uses behavioral studies and computational modeling. She is teaching two courses in this area:

  • CDS 151: Introduction to Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology
  • CDS 564: Adult Language Disorders

She holds a dual area Ph.D. in Psychology (Cognitive) and Gerontology from the University of Kansas. 

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Matthieu Chapman
SUNY New Paltz
Assistant Professor, Drama and Theater Department
Matthieu Chapman

Chapman has acted on the American Shakespeare Center's Blackfriars stage, served as a dramaturg for San Diego Repertory Theatre, and worked for the La Jolla Playhouse. His scholarship has appeared in several journals including Early Theatre, Theatre History Studies, and Theatre Topics, and his research focuses on the ontological structures of Blackness in the Early Modern World and their resonances with the ontologies of race today. Chapman’s monograph, "Antiblack Racism in Early Modern English Drama: The Other Other," is available from Routledge Press. He is also the co-editor with Anna Wainwright of "Teaching Race in the European Renaissance," from ACMRS Press.

He holds a Ph.D. in Theatre History, Theory and Criticism from UC San Diego, Department of Theatre & Dance and a MFA in acting from Mary Baldwin College’s Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature in Performance Program.

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Camille Clare
Downstate Health Sciences University
Chair and Full Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology
Camille Clare

An accomplished researcher, Dr. Clare has received grants as a principal investigator for several projects, including those addressing barriers to contraception in adolescents from the NYC-NYU Clinical and Translational Science Institute on female genital-cutting, and from the Society of Family Planning Research Fund. She is well-published in several peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Disparities, American Journal of Perinatology, and Obstetrics and Gynecology, among others. Dr. Clare is a sought-after speaker for her expertise in diversity, equity, and inclusion, especially in obstetrics and gynecology. She is set to assume the role of chairperson for the Obstetrics and Gynecology Section of the National Medical Association, the largest and oldest organization of African American physicians in the United States. She is also the NMA Region 1 Trustee, and secretary of the NMA Board of Trustees.

She holds a M.D. from Albert Einstein Medical College.

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Kimberly Cossey
SUNY Oneonta
Assistant Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Kimberly Cossey

Dr. Cossey's focus is organic chemistry, with expertise in chemical education, assessment, and development of novel pedagogies for teaching chemistry, and many forms of spectroscopy, especially  nuclear magnetic resonance.

Dr. Cossey's research interests center around using chemistry to serve society. Projects include designing and optimizing chemical reactions for future lab courses and community-based research projects. Previous community projects have included: determining the amount of caffeine in coffee for a local coffee shop and checking well water for heavy metals for communities with known arsenic problems.

She holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Penn State University.

 

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Aurora DeArmendi
SUNY New Paltz
Assistant Professor, Deptartment of Printmaking, Letterpress, Offset Lithography
Aurora DeArmendi

Aurora De Armendi is a visual artist, working primarily in printmaking and artist books. She previously taught at the Cooper Union School of Art, Parsons School of Design and the New School in New York City. Born and raised in Cuba, De Armendi's projects have been exhibited nationally and internationally, including at Wave Hill Garden, the International Print Center, the Center for Book Arts, Instituto Cervantes, San Francisco Center for Book Arts, Minnesota Center for Book Arts, the MDCC Museum at the Freedom Tower in Miami, Fototeca de Cuba, and Biblioteca de Cantabria, among others. Her work explores the poetics of place and displacement, and the individual and collective memories therein, through a balance of scholarly and material research.

She holds a MFA from the University of Iowa.

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Brian Dunbar
SUNY Potsdam
Assistant Professor, Crane School of Music
Brian Dunbar

Dr. Dunbar is a recognized flute composer, performing in numerous competitions including: the 2017 Monroe Symphony League Marjorie Stricklin Emerging Artists, Stetson University (2008) and Louisiana State University (2013) Concerto, 2014 Sankyo Flutes Orchestral Excerpts, 2015 Music Teachers National Association, and the Louisiana Flute Society (2014, 2015) competitions. In 2018, he received first prize in the Inaugural International Low Flutes Festival Alto Flute Competition held in Reston, VA. He has performed at The National Flute Association Annual Convention in Chicago, San Diego, Orlando, and Salt Lake City, and has also presented at the Florida Flute Convention and Mid-South Flute Festival. He has  served as a community teaching artist in Baton Rouge, working with some 1,000 children through a non-profit, Kids' Orchestra, a 501(c)3, based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, offering afterschool musical training and enrichment.

He holds a Ph.D. in Musical Arts from Louisiana State University & A&M College and a Master's degree from the University of Michigan.

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Karin Dyckman
SUNY Oswego
Assistant Professor, Technology, Education
Karin Dyckman

Professor Dyckman specializes in extensive instructional development activities in technical education in the K-12 environment focused on contextualized learning where the student takes an active role in self-directing learning activities.

Professor Dyckman holds several administrative certifications as a school building leader and has an extensive background in technology.

She holds a Certificate of Advanced Leadership from SUNY Oswego and a MS in Elementary Education from SUNY Oswego.

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Patricia Diaz-Moreno
University at Buffalo
Assistant Professor in Dental Medicine,
Patricia Diaz-Moreno

Dr. Diaz-Moreno specializes in oral biology and periodontology.

Her faculty affiliation at the University of Connecticut Health Center comprises significant experience in many other aspects of dentistry.

She holds a DDS Doctor of Dental Medicine from the Instituto de Ciencias - Colombia and a Ph.D in Microbiology from the University of Adelaide, Australia.

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Erika Taylor (Gendron) Ebbs
Purchase College
Assistant Professor, Biology, School of Natural and Social Sciences
Erika Taylor (Gendron) Ebbs

 

Ebbs is specifically interested in how host-specific traits influence parasite evolution and population dynamics and have a particular interest in helminths of waterfowl and the micro-evolutionary consequences of infecting migratory hosts. 

Apart from her research, she is active in science outreach, and education, specifically in promoting the use and appreciation of natural history collections.

She has a Ph.D. inBiology from the University of New Mexico.

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Leonardo Falcon
Nassau Community College
Instructor, History/Political Science
Leonardo Falcon

Leonardo has Research Interest in Latin American Studies, and is the faculty coordinator of the Latin American Studies Program, which supports understanding of Latin America and Latino communities in the U.S. that foster civic engagement and that lead to an appreciation of the rich cultures of Latin American nations. His dissertation studies the Inquisition in the Greater Caribbean in the early 17th century. He currently serves as an instructor of history and Latin American studies and is passionate about helping students. He is a speaker for NCC’s Traveling Professor Series in 2021 on Dubai and Thailand.

Heholds a MA and Ph.D. from Florida International University.

Ashley N. Ford Versypt headshot
Ashley N. Ford Versypt
University at Buffalo
Associate Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering
Ashley N. Ford Versypt

Dr. Versypt leads the Systems Biomedicine and Pharmaceutics Laboratory. She hopes to develop multiscale mathematical and computational models to enhance understanding of the mechanisms governing tissue remodeling and damage as a result of diseases and infections and to simulate the treatment of those conditions to improve human health. The Systems Biomedicine and Pharmaceutics Laboratory specializes in modeling kinetics and transport processes involved in biological and chemical interactions for both physiological microenvironments and engineered biomedical and pharmaceutical systems, particularly those involved in tissue damage and treatment. 

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Asilia Franklin-Phipps
SUNY New Paltz
Assistant Professor, Department of Teaching and Learning
Asilia Franklin-Phipps

Dr. Phipps has written extensively on adolescence and identity with recent exploration of modern-day America within readings of anti-blackness and heteronormativity. She is currently exploring the pedagogical and research potential of art, film, digital media, and popular culture in teaching and learning about race and racism.

She holds a Ph.D. inCritical and Sociocultural Studies in Education from the University of Oregon.

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Mtume Gant
Purchase College
Assistant Professor, School of Film and Media Studies
Mtume Gant

Professor Gant has committed to representing the under-represented as both a performer and artist in film, theater, and art. He made his directorial debut on a short film vignette for singer/songwriter Conchita Campos's song, "Easy My Mind." Months later, he started production on his first film, "Spit,"which went on to great success screening at nearly two dozen film festivals, including Aspen Shortsfest, the Woodstock Film Festival, and many others.

He holds a BFA from the Purchase College Acting Conservatory.

Julius Green headshot
Julius Green
SUNY Cortland
Assistant Professor,Organic Chemistry
Julius Green

Dr. Julius Green I earned his Ph.D. in Medicinal Organic Chemistry working with David W. Boykin at Georgia State University. There, he studied anti-parasitic DNA minor groove binders for Trypanosomiasis and Leishmaniasis and borylated compounds for Boron Neutron Capture Therapy cancer treatments. After his Ph.D. studies, Dr. Green worked in advocacy and education in Washington, DC and served as Executive Director of a community-based nonprofit supporting disadvantaged youth in the DC area. Afterwards, Dr. Green rejoined academia to serve as a Visiting Scholar at Bentley University where he studied borylated DNA binders and utilized Bentley’s supercomputer for computational studies of dsDNA structures. Dr. Green’s current research interests are investigating anti-viral and anti-parasitic DNA binders, synthesizing borylated DNA binders for Boron Neutron Capture Therapy, developing machine learning algorithms for sequence specific DNA binders, and exploring strategies to improve minority and disadvantaged student achievements in Chemical Education.

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Kamonta Heidelburg
University at Buffalo
Assistant Professor, Counseling School and Educational Psychology, School of Education
Kamonta Heidelburg

Dr. Heidelburg has pursued many research foci to help develop strategies to ensure educational success for men of color and students from urban areas. He is teaching a variety of courses:

  • CEP 601B |Advanced Practicum |A two-semester supervised field placement course for advanced doctoral students in Counseling Psychology and School Psychology
  • CEP 650 |Behavioral Therapy in Children and Adolescents
  • CEP 694 | Interventions for Academic Skills

He holds a Ph.D., Psychology and a M.Ed., Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of Cincinnati.

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Fabiola Henri
University at Buffalo
Assistant Professor, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures
Fabiola Henri

Dr. Henri's research explores the complex morphology of language - as well as language acquisition and change, particularly in the Creole expression among peoples in Mauritius.

She has been involved with a linguistic association - the Laborataire de Linguistic Formelle - to delve into formal analyses of discourse and the cognitive system of language in its entirety.

She holds a Ph.D. in Descriptive and Theoretical Linguistics from University of Paris.

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Leigh Anna Hidalgo
Binghamton University
Assistant Professor, Sociology and a faculty affiliate of the Latin American and Caribbean Area Studies
Leigh Anna Hidalgo

Dr. Hidalgo is an interdisciplinary scholar specializing in urban ethnography, digital humanities, and critical race spatial analysis. Her book project, "Abolitionist Marketplaces," is based on a six-year visual ethnography with the Black and Brown leaders of the Los Angeles Street Vending Campaign (LASVC). Hidalgo’s book uncovers how informal workers living under legal forms of violence strategize to collectively organize, transform urban space, and city policies. As an educator she centers community-engaged research approaches. Hidalgo teaches students to translate empirical data into digital humanities projects in direct support of non-profits, schools, or campaigns, thus acknowledging how direct action can yield the most profound understanding about structural violence and community resistance.

She has a PhD in Sociology from UCLA.

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Odalis Patricia Hidalgo
SUNY Cortland
Diversity Faculty Fellow – Modern Language Department
Odalis Patricia Hidalgo

 

Odalis Patricia Hidalgo is originally from Lima, Perú. She is a Ph.D. candidate in the Spanish and Portuguese Program at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst where she is also pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Latin American Studies. She holds a B.A in Spanish and French languages and an MA in Hispanic Studies from Montclair State University NJ. Her research focus on questions about racial and social inequalities among indigenous groups. The core of her argument is centered on how these communities have struggled on finding recognition, justice, and space for debate on the literary and film work during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

 

 

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Sabina Hirshfield
Downstate Health Sciences University
Principal Scientist, Associate Professor, School of Medicine
Sabina Hirshfield

Dr. Hirshfield's expertise lies in designing and conducting online HIV-related research and intervention studies of men who have sex with men (MSM). Collaborations with a team of researchers on Internet-based behavioral risk MSM have resulted in survey outreach to more than 60,000 men. Recently, she has specialized in digital technology interventions specifically prevention videos which can be viewed at HIVBigDeal.org. Her research areas of interest include sexual risk reduction, online mental health screening, health disparities, sexual dysfunction, and substance use. Dr. Hirshfield’s populations of interest are HIV+ MSM and transgender women.

She holds a Ph.D. in Sociomedical Sciences from Columbia University and a MS in Sociology from St. John.s University.

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Tracy Hudson
SUNY Cortland
Assistant Professor, Physical Education Department
Tracy Hudson

Dr. Hudson joins the School of Professional Studies as an Assistant Professor in the Physical Education department. She brings with her over 30 years as a practitioner in k-12 public school education serving as a physical teacher, dean of student, high school assistant principal and elementary/middle school principal. Her research interest focuses on building teacher capacity to create a culture of care for all students with a special emphasis on males of color. Her work in this area was featured in the book Developing Inviting Schools: A Beneficial Framework for Teaching and Leading (Purkey, W., Fretz, J., Novak, J., 2020).  

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Varuni Jamburuthugoda
SUNY Geneseo
Assistant Professor, Biology
Varuni Jamburuthugoda

Dr. Jamburuthugoda possesses wide teaching experience, including advanced courses in cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, and biochemistry and genetics with research areas including RNA sequencing and binding motifs.

She holds a Ph.D in Biochemistry from the University of Rochester Medical Center.

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Sujatha Kabada
Hudson Valley Community College
Instructor, Biology, Chemistry and Physics
Sujatha Kabada

Research Interests: Genome editing, next generation DNA sequencing and Sanger sequencing, recombinant DNA, RNA analysis, protein analysis, standard protein purification & western blotting, ELISA assays, immunohistochemistry, yeast genetics, fluorescent hybridization and microscopy, and human and plant tissue culture.

Dr. Kabada holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Marquette University and a MA from Mysore University.

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Christine Koehne
SUNY New Paltz
Assistant Professor, Mathematics
Christine Koehne

Dr. Koehne' work focuses on K-12 mathematics teaching, learning, and teacher preparation, with particular emphasis on productive struggle, students' habits of mind and interactions, teaching habits, and classroom authority. She is also interested in supporting undergraduate student research in mathematics.

Her research interests are in pre-service teacher education with a dissertation titled: "Elementary Preservice Teachers’ Conceptions of and Reflections on Student Autonomous Problem-Solving and Mathematical Practices."

She holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from Texas State University and a MS in Mathematics from Texas State University.

 

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Angel Lara
SUNY Old Westbury
Assistant Professor, Modern Languages
Angel Lara

Dr. Lara's research Interests include: Spanish, Latino, and Latin American cultural studies, creative writing, scriptwriting, television, convergence culture, decolonial thinking, collaborative research methods, cognitive and immaterial labor, and social movements.

He holds a Ph. D. in Sociology from Complutense University of Madrid and a M.A. in Social Dynamics in Contemporary Society from Complutense University of Madrid.

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Ethan Madarieta
SUNY New Paltz
Assistant Professor, English and LatinX Literature
Ethan Madarieta

Dr. Madarieta's areas of specialization are performance, memory, and anti-colonial resistance in LatinX and Latin America. His recent publications include peer-reviewed articles in the Latin American Theatre Review and A Contracorriente: una revista de estudios latinoamericanos.

He holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Latina/o Studies from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

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Pauline Mendola
University at Buffalo
Chair, Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health (EEH)
Pauline Mendola

Throughout her career, Dr. Mendola's research has focused on environmental factors that impact reproductive and pediatric health with a strong focus on the interplay of immune function (asthma, allergy, maternal-fetal tolerance), oxidative stress and air pollution in relation to preterm delivery, preeclampsia and other complications of pregnancy. Her work on women’s health includes investigations of chronic disease (autoimmune disorders, hypertension, diabetes) during pregnancy and long-term health effects related to pregnancy complications.

She holds a Ph.D. in Epidemiology and a MS. in Epdemiology from the University at Buffalo.

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Viviana Monje-Galvan
University at Buffalo
Assistant Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering
Viviana Monje-Galvan

Monje-Galvan is active in the areas of computational biophysics and molecular biology. Her expertise is on realistic membrane modeling and the study of biological processes at the cellular membrane interface. She is specially interested on the role of lipids as active modulators of cellular processes. She has been actively involved in the Louis B. Stokes Alliance program as a fellow and mentor for underrepresented scholars in STEM.

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Melissa Morales
Binghamton University
Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences
Melissa Morales

Prior to joining the department, Morales was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at Wake Forest School of Medicine, where she studied the neurophysiological changes that occur following chronic alcohol use in a rat model of dependence. Her current research (funded by Cure JM) focuses on understanding the contribution of type 1 interferons on muscle weakness and fatigue in a rare neuromuscular disease, Juvenile Dermatomyositis (JDM). Additionally, Morales is working on a JDM urine biomarker discovery project that is funded by the Myositis Association.

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Sophie Nowicki
University at Buffalo
Empire Innovation Professor in the Department of Geology and RENEW Faculty
Sophie Nowicki

Dr. Sowicki's research focuses on the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, their connections to the Earth's climate system and their impact on sea level. Her work is aligned with the RENEW Climate Change and Socioeconomic Impacts focus areas. She is most proud of her mentoring award (the Robert Goddard Honor Award for Mentoring) but moreover, the talents and work of postdocs and young scientists she mentored.

She holds a Ph.D. from University College, London and a MSc in Remote Sensing and Image Processing from University of Edinburgh.

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Eric Owusu
SUNY Brockport
Assistant Professor, Computer Information Systems
Eric Owusu

Dr. Owusu's interests lie in research on human-computer interactions and computer systems for mobile health applications. He is focused on mobile health technology as a resource to empower users and equip users with vital health management information. Dr. Owusu’s publications on information systems encompass such factors such as ease of use, cross-cultural interface design and recognition that usable products will apply human-centered design methodologies.

He holds a Ph.D in Computer Science from Towson University.

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Chéri Phillips
SUNY Cortland
Assistant Professor, Economics
Chéri Phillips

Dr. Chéri Phillips is a teaching macroeconomist with more than ten years progressive leadership experience in corporate finance and seventeen years experience in secondary and post secondary education and leadership. 

Chéri is the Principal of Econometrics Consulting, LLC. She is also an Assistant Professor of Economics at The State University of New York (SUNY) at Cortland. Previously, Dr. Phillips was employed as an Assistant Professor of Management & Economics at Lipscomb University (Nashville, TN); Assistant Professor of Economics & Business Department Head at Lane College (Jackson, TN) and Business Faculty at Shandong University of Science and Technology in Jinan, Peoples Republic of China.

Chéri is a Duke University DITE Fellow and hold professional memberships with the National Economic Association and the American Economic Association. She has previously served on the Education Advisory Board for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the Dallas Morning News Community Voices Editorial Panelist, and a Citizen Advisory Panelist on Public School Finance for Texas State Senator Bob Duell. 

Chéri currently serves as a mentor, counselor and trainer at Christian Community Services, Inc. She sits on the Board of Directors for East Jackson Community Empowerment Program, Inc. Dr. Phillips has worked as a political statistician and strategic advisor; and provides commentary on economic issues, political issues and current events on social media (@drcheriphillips) and on the blog, The Financial Vitamin

Dr. Phillips holds a Doctorate degree in Business Administration (Economics) from the Davis College of Business at Jacksonville University. She attended Fisk University & holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration (Economics) from the Harrison College of Business at Southeast Missouri State University. Chéri also holds a Master of Science degree (Economics) from Texas A & M University - Commerce. 

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Kinning Poon
SUNY Old Westbury
Assistant Professor, Biology
Kinning Poon

Dr. Poon has done extensive research in neurobiology, presenting on the effects of excessive dietary fats on the neurochemistry of the hypothalamus, leading to increased ingestive behavior. She is scheduled to teach Basic Biology and Lab in the Spring 2021 semester.

She holds a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Cornell University.

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Jamel Ramsay
Nassau Community College
Instructor, Health Sciences and Physical Education
Jamel Ramsay

Jamel has a significant career playing and coaching football, now serving as the head football coach and instructor. In his work with athletes, he fosters  a collaborative, strategic, disciplined, and results-oriented academic and athletic organizational culture. He works to motivate, mentor, and guide young student athletes to perform to the best of their ability and creates opportunities for scholar-athletes to demonstrate increased capacity to lead.

He holds a Master of Sports Science with a Dual Concentration: Sports Psychology and Sports from Lock Haven University

 

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Valerie Rapson
SUNY Oneonta
Assistant Professor, Physics
Valerie Rapson

 

Dr. Rapson has a passion to share her love of astronomy with others and served as the Dudley Observatory outreach astronomer for over five years prior to joining the Oneonta faculty. She has led many to explore the Cosmos through programs held throughout the Capital Region, and continues to use her exuberance to draw students to the field.

She holds a Ph.D. in Astrophysical Sciences and Technology from.RIT

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Shebuti Rayana
SUNY Old Westbury
Assistant Professor, Computer Science
Shebuti Rayana

Shebuti Rayana’s research interests include misinformation mining, event and anomaly detection, large-scale graph mining, data mining, and machine learning. During her Ph.D., she was involved in several projects funded by Northrop Grumman and the NSF to develop anomaly mining algorithms and apply them to solve real-world problems.

She holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stony Brook University.

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Emily Reisman
University at Buffalo
Assistant Professor, Department of Environment and Sustainability
Emily Reisman

 

Dr. Resiman's research areas include sustainable agriculture & food systems, political ecology, science & technology studies, more than-human geography, and hydrosocial systems.

 

Recent publication on almonds as a superfood reckons with need to prepare for the needs of astronauts developing future space travel.

She holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from the University of California Santa Cruz                    

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Taryn Rella
Nassau Community College
Instructor, Accounting and Business Administration
Taryn Rella

Professor Rella has expertise in auditing, internal controls, corporate finance, accounting, and teaching. She has worked as a CPA in tax preparation privately. 

She holds a MS in Accounting from SUNY Old Westbury.

 

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Kristen Repa
SUNY Brockport
Assistant Professor, Physics
Kristen Repa

Dr. Repa has a deep interest in magnetic nanostructures and polymer nanocomposites with magnetic fillers. Her recent work has focused on filling multi-walled carbon nanotubes with magnetic nanoparticles and studying static and dynamic magnetic properties.

She has a Ph.D. in Applied Physics and a M.S.C. in Materials Science and Engineering from University of South Florida.

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Maria A. Rodriguez
University at Buffalo
Assistant Professor, School of Social Work
Maria A. Rodriguez

Dr. Rodriguez uses applied demography, computational social science, and social policy in her work. How these tools impact ethical implications and algorithmic decision-making in human services is a focus of her work. A second line of her research looks at the lived experience of marginalized communities as described on social media. The through line between the two concerns the methods involved are that she identifies as a methodologist in social work spaces, in as far as her substantive focus is on how computational methods can support using large, unstructured data to scale social work interventions. She founded the caretLAB, the first lab housed in a school of social work, to advance computational research methods in the public interest. Her lab works with technologists across fields of inquiry to leverage cutting edge, innovative technologies to develop, implement, and evaluate scaled interventions. 

She holds a Ph.D. in Social Welfare from the University of Washington, Seattle and a MSW in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania.

 

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Nadine Samuels
SUNY Canton
Assistant Professor, Accounting/Business,
Nadine Samuels

Ms. Samuels, CPA, earned her bachelor's degree and master's degree from SUNY Albany and Hofstra University, respectively. She is also a Certified Public Accountant in New York State. Ms. Samuels has a long and varied professional career in public and private accounting, with specialized experience in accounting for Alternative Investments. She has lived and worked in China and Singapore and traveled throughout North America and Europe performing accounting work. Ms. Samuels teaches financial, managerial, intermediate accounting and auditing.

 

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Stephen Santa Maria-Ramirez
University at Buffalo
Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership and Policy,
Stephen Santa Maria-Ramirez

Dr. Ramirez focuses on campus racial climates; first-generation students' sense of belonging; and the ways that race, ethnicity and immigration inform Latinx collegians experiences in higher education. He is committed to supporting undocumented students and can provide a deep knowledge of The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in the context of higher education and the challenges undocumented students face when they enroll in college.​

He holds a Ph.D. in Educational Policy & Evaluation from Arizona State University, College of Education and a M.A. in Student Affairs Administration from Michigan State University.

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Mahmoud Seraj
Hudson Valley Community College
Instructor, Applied Technology, HVAC Systems
Mahmoud Seraj

Professor Seraj has an expertise in HVAC systems and is teaching a wide variety of courses in applied technology areas.

He earned his education at the Ingersoll Rand Training Center with technical training in many HVAC areas and on different proprietary systems.   

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Ramon L. Vasquez
SUNY New Paltz
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Teaching and Learning
Ramon L. Vasquez

Dr. Vasquez specializes in critical race theory, decolonizing pedagogies, curriculum studies, and abolitionist education, and has presented extensively on issues of representation in academia. Prior to working at University of Dayton and Westfield State University, Dr. Vasquez served as a bilingual elementary teacher in his hometown of Los Angeles, California. He has focused on LatinX acculturation.

he holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Education and a Ed.M. from Harvard University

 

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Jingyun Wang
SUNY Optometry
Associate Professor, Biological and Vision Sciences
Jingyun Wang

Dr. Yang's research has focused on normal and abnormal eye development infants and children for more than 20 years.

On joining SUNY Optometry, she indicates she will focus on amblyopia and ROP clinical translational research, saying, “I am very happy to join SUNY and be a part of a team of educators and clinicians with strong research backgrounds and an understanding of the importance of research to advance patient care.”

She holds a Ph.D. from the Indiana University School of Optometry.

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Diantha Watts
SUNY Brockport
Assistant Professor, Educational Administration
Diantha Watts

Extensive background in pre-service education for teachers and work with undergrad and graduate students through teaching and professional education coaching. Focused on providing inclusive classroom practices to support multicultural and special needs students.

Diantha has an Ed.D. in Educational Administration from Saint John Fischer University.

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Melvin Whitehead
Binghamton University
Assistant Professor, School of Public Administration,
Melvin Whitehead

Whitehead's research interests include studying whiteness and anti-blackness on U.S. college campuses. Through my scholarship, I seek to address problems related to the campus experiences of minoritized college students, racism, and teaching and learning about race in higher education.

Specialty areas include community colleges, developing and facilitating learning experiences centered on diversity and social justice, developing and implementing assessment strategies for enhancing student learning, course development and instruction, and advising student organizations.

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Nana Yaw Ankrah
SUNY Plattsburgh
Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences
Nana Yaw Ankrah

His expertise includes: cell culture and microbiology techniques.

Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville; Post-Doctoral research at Cornell University.