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Provost and VP for Academic Affairs
Provost and VP for Academic Affairs
College P&B
Tenure, Promotion, CCE

Queens College Welcomes Our New Faculty for 2014

Division of Arts and Humanities

Kelly Marie Blanchat (Electronic Resources Librarian, Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library) holds a bachelor's degree from Sarah Lawrence College and a master's degree in Library & Information Science from Long Island University. Prior to joining Queens College in August 2013, she worked in e-resource licensing and development at Springer Science Business Media, and in digital archives at the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program. 

Matthew Crain (Assistant Professor, Media Studies) received his PhD (2013) from the University of Illinois–Urbana/Champaign. His research and teaching center on the transformation of media and advertising systems in the digital age, with an emphasis on economics, politics, and Internet technologies. He is currently completing a book that examines the historical development of online advertising and the impact of the "dotcom" era on the reconfiguration of the media system. This project provides a critical account of how the Internet was rapidly molded into a platform for large-scale consumer monitoring and draws connections between commercial and governmental surveillance. Dr. Crain's work has been published in such academic journals as Information, Communication & Society, and the International Journal of Communication. He teaches a range of courses in the areas of political economy of media, Internet and digital media, advertising and public relations, and media policy.

Mari Fujimoto (Lecturer, Classical, Middle Eastern & Asian Languages & Cultures) is a graduate of Queens College and earned her PhD in Linguistics at the CUNY Graduate Center. She has served as Director and Advisor for Japanese Studies since September 2012. Dr. Fujimoto has taught all levels of Japanese language and various courses in linguistics and literature in translation, focusing on Japanese Manga and Anime. She specializes in the acquisition of Japanese grammatical particles in infants.

Miles Grier (Assistant Professor, English) completed his PhD (2010) in American Studies at New York University. He is currently working on a book entitled, Reading Black Characters: Othello and the Staging of Atlantic Racial Literacy, 1604–1855, based on his dissertation. In it, he focuses on audience engagement with the material stuff of Othello—including ink, paper, skin, cloth, and cosmetics—to make character distinctions among types of women, races, and nations. This approach challenges the widespread reliance on legal or scientific categories to provide the history of the race concept, arguing instead that interactions with the character on the page or the stage were popular race-making opportunities. In addition to this work, Dr. Grier has written on more contemporary racial politics, publishing on racial profiling after 9/11 in the journal Politics and Culture and on Joni Mitchell's black pimp alter-ego and the image of the prostitute in rock music in the journals Genders and the Journal of Popular Music Studies

Edward Klorman (Assistant Professor, Aaron Copland School of Music) is an avid performer and committed teacher. An active chamber musician, he has performed as guest artist with the Borromeo, Corigliano, Orion, and Ying Quartets, and has collaborated with clarinetist Charles Neidich and pianists Claude Frank, Joseph Kalichstein, and Lowell Liebermann. As founding violist of the Tessera Quartet, he recorded the recently rediscovered chamber music of Harold Brown for Albany Records. Dr. Klorman made his New York City concerto debut in 2008, performing Mozart's Sinfonia concertante with violinist Stefan Jackiw and the Camerata Notturna. A dedicated teacher and a board member of the American Viola Society, he has presented master classes and lecture-demonstrations at the International Viola Congress, the Juilliard School, Salzburg Mozarteum, University of Montreal, University of Virginia, and Vanderbilt University. His major teachers include Heidi Castleman, Hsin-Yun Huang, Daniel Phillips, and Steven Tenenbaum. In addition to performance activities, he is a musical scholar, serves as chair of Music Theory and Analysis at Juilliard, and has delivered presentations at major international conferences. His teaching and research emphasizes intersections between analysis and performance, Schenkerian analysis, historical performance practice, musical form, and pedagogy. He holds a PhD in Music Theory from the CUNY Graduate Center, where his mentors included William Rothstein, Carl Schachter, and Richard Kramer.

Richard Move (Winberg) (Assistant Professor, Drama, Theatre & Dance) is Artistic Director of MoveOpolis!, a PhD candidate in Performance Studies at New York University, and a TEDGlobal Oxford Fellow. His commissions include multidisciplinary productions for Mikhail Baryshnikov and the White Oak Dance Project, Martha Graham Dance Company, American Festival of Paris, Florence Opera Ballet, Guggenheim Museum, Parrish Art Museum, Deborah Harry, Dame Shirley Bassey, Isaac Mizrahi, and New York City Ballet principal Helene Alexopoulos. MoveOpolis! has been presented by Dance Theater Workshop, New York Live Arts, Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival, SiteLines/River-to-River Festival, and international venues throughout Europe and Asia. His films include Bardo (Jury Prize nominee at Lincoln Center's Dance on Camera Festival); BloodWork–The Ana Mendieta Story (National Board of Review Award at the Director's Guild of America); GhostLight (Tribeca Film Festival premiere); and GIMP–The Documentary, whichwaspremiered at the 2014 Lincoln Center Dance on Camera Festival. His acclaimed performances as 20th-century icon Martha Graham in Martha@... received two New York Dance and Performance Awards; the production tours internationally, andwas named "Best of 2012" by ARTFORUM International and Time Out, among many others. He received his MFA in Media Arts Production from City College, CUNY. He has served as a Lecturer in Design at the Yale School of Drama.

Sherry Overholt (Assistant Professor, Aaron Copland School of Music) has enjoyed a long and successful career of operatic and concert performances in addition to her teaching positions at Queens College and Purchase College. She has sung numerous lyric coloratura roles, including Gilda, Violetta, Zerlina, Valencienne, Musetta, Pamina, Micaela, and Marzelline. On the concert stage, Dr. Overholt has appeared as guest soloist with such orchestras as the Chamber Orchestra of New England, Tanglewood Festival Orchestra, Philadelphia Virtuosi, and Baltimore Symphony. In joint operatic recital she and her husband, baritone Lee Velta, have performed nationally and internationally in over 300 concerts with Columbia Artists Community Concerts. Dr. Overholt premiered the title role in Frank Lewin's opera Burning Bright, which she subsequently recorded for Albany Records, and is currently recording Vincent Persichetti's Harmonium for Albany as well. Her students have been contracted by numerous opera companies and festivals, including New York City Opera and Santa Fe Opera, and have won many competitions, including the Liederkranz, National Association of Teachers, Jenny Lind Competition, and the Metropolitan Council Awards. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Miami, and her Master of Music, Master of Musical Arts, and DMA in vocal performance from Yale.

Douglas Rushkoff (Professor, Media Studies), the originator of such terms and ideas as "viral media," "digital natives," and "social currency," is the author of 14 books on technology, media, and pop culture, which have been translated into over 30 languages. He won the Neil Postman Award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity, and was named one of the ten most important thought leaders in the world by the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute and MIT. Dr. Rushkoff serves as a technology commentator for CNN and regularly contributes to Discover, Hemispheres, and NPR, as well as to academic journals and counterculture magazines. He wrote the first syndicated column on cyberculture for the Guardian and the New York Times, and has appeared in media from "ABC Nightly News" to "The Colbert Report." Dr. Rushkoff founded the NYU Narrative Lab, which explores storytelling in digital media. He also has taught media studies at the New School and has served as an advisor to companies started by his students and others, including Codecademy, Meetup, and Kandu. He holds an AB from Princeton, an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, and a PhD from Utrecht University.

Ryan Hartley Smith (Assistant Professor, Graphic Design) received a BFA in painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art and an MFA in illustration from the School of Visual Arts in 2011. Focusing on social justice-themed projects, he has created commissioned work for the Southern Poverty Law Center, ProPublica, Upworthy, the Juilliard School, I'm From Driftwood: the LGBT Story Archive, the Brooklyn LGBT Community Pride Center, the Baltimore Urban League Academy, and Hermes of Paris. His video collaborations and paintings have been presented at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Walters Art Museum, Baltimore Museum of Art, Miami New World Symphony, and Bowdoin International Music festival. Smith has collaborated on public murals in New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Santiago de Cuba. In 2014 he was awarded a Media Arts fellowship at BRIC, an organization that presents free and low-cost arts, television, and theatre programing for residents of Brooklyn, NY. At Queens College, he has worked with the Percy Ellis Sutton SEEK program, the Civil Rights Archive, and the Black History Month Committee to create curriculum, publications, and exhibitions to honor and expand the legacy of QC student involvement in the Civil Rights movement. Since 2012 he has taught color theory and illustration courses in the Art Department as an adjunct lecturer.

R. Shareah Taleghani (Assistant Professor, Classical, Middle Eastern & Asian Languages & Cultures) specializes in modern Arabic literature and Middle Eastern cultural studies. She earned her BA in anthropology at the University of California–Berkeley and her MA and PhD in Middle Eastern and Islamic studies at New York University. Her research focuses on the relationships between forms of cultural production, aesthetics, and political resistance. She has published essays on the cultural translations of Iranian women's memoirs and representations of torture in Syrian prison literature. Currently working on a book manuscript about prison literature and the cultural politics of human rights in Syria, she also is interested in Arabic-to-English literary translation and has translated poems by Badr Shakir As-Sayyab, Mahmoud Darwish, and Faraj Bayraqdar. She has taught Arabic, Middle Eastern literature, and survey courses on Middle Eastern and Islamic culture at NYU and the City College, CUNY.

David J. Williams (Instructor, Library) received his BS in Information Systems from Drexel University in Philadelphia, and a master's degree in Library and Information Science from Queens College's Graduate School of Library & Information Studies. He is currently pursuing a master's degree in the college's Computer Science Department. A native of Richmond, VA, Williams has enjoyed a broad range of experience in the field of Library and Information Technology, working as a Web developer, network administrator, systems analyst, and technical services assistant before joining the college's Rosenthal Library as Web & Digital Services Librarian.


Division of Education

Edwina Branch-Smith (Clinical Professor, Secondary Education & Youth Services) is a teacher educator and education policy researcher with almost 30 years of experience working in secondary schools, a research institute, and higher education institutions. She holds a BS in Engineering Chemistry from SUNY–Stony Brook, an MSEd from Fordham, and an MPA with a concentration in policy from New York University, where she is currently working on her doctorate in Teaching and Learning. A former physics, chemistry, and mathematics teacher, she has taught secondary school in NYC and Long Island. She has founded and led secondary schools in New York City and taught education courses at NYU, Brooklyn College, and Mercy College. Her interests focus on improving teacher knowledge, skills, and abilities to improve student learning.

Michael Perrone (Clinical Assistant Professor, Elementary & Early Childhood Education) received his doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University, with a concentration in educational assessment, after earning his MA from Hunter College, CUNY and MSW from Columbia. He served as an Adjunct Lecturer and Field Supervisor in the Curriculum and Teaching Department at Hunter for eight years, while also working as a Field Instructor in the Applied Linguistics and TESOL programs at Teachers College for over five years. His research interests include the construction, implementation, and evaluation of classroom-based assessments to enhance student learning, in addition to focusing on the effects of high-stakes assessments on teacher pedagogy and learners' academic development.


Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences

David Goldberg (Lecturer, Physics) holds a PhD in Physics, which he earned at the CUNY Graduate Center after earning his BS in Physics and Mathematics as well as his MA in Physics from Queens College. He previously served Queens College as part of the Adjunct Faculty, where he taught courses in introductory physics. During that time, he also developed laboratory experiments that make use of state-of-the-art computer-interfaced digital sensors as part of an enriched undergraduate curriculum. Dr. Goldberg’s research involves engineering photonic structures to enhance light–matter interaction. In recent work, he has used slow-light to increase the efficiency of an organic-based solar cell.

Adam Kapelner (Assistant Professor, Mathematics) recently earned his PhD in Statistics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. His main interests lie in developing new methodology to solve relevant problems, e.g., administering better medical treatments to patients, running randomized experiments faster and cheaper, fitting better forecasting models, visualizing patterns within these models, and finding important variables within such models. He also enjoys running randomized experiments in the fields of economics and psychology through a crowd-sourcing platform known as Mechanical Turk, and has presented tutorials at conferences on best practices. Dr. Kapelner also is interested in natural language processing, and is the inventor of's vocabulary-learning technology, which recently was granted funds from the U.S. Department of Education for further development. While working as an undergraduate researcher at Stanford University, he helped engineer the open-source software gemIdent, which enables researchers worldwide to locate objects of interest in cells under microscopy or unusual deposits in rock samples.

Kathleen Mangiapanello (Lecturer, Psychology) earned her BA in Psychology at Queens College, and her PhD at the CUNY Graduate Center. She has been an Adjunct in the Psychology Department since 2001, teaching undergraduate courses in Statistics and Experimental Psychology and graduate courses in Research Design and Ethics. During the course of her graduate studies, she twice served as co-chair for the department's annual conference on Behavior Analysis in Developmental Disabilities. After completing her doctorate, she served as the adjunct representative to the department for two years and worked as project manager on the Queens College Preschool Project, an NIH-funded longitudinal study focusing on the developmental course of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHA). Her current research interests include human time perception, developmental disabilities, and performance feedback.

Usha Menon Barahmand (Lecturer, Psychology) obtained her MA in Clinical Psychology from India and her PhD in Psychology from Iran. Since 1983 she has taught a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate courses in Clinical and General Psychology at various universities in Iran. Currently, she is working on developing a bio-psycho-social etiological model for OCD and related disorders as well as on understanding the association of hot and cold executive functions with methadone use in opioid users. She will be teaching Experimental Psychology to undergraduate students and Developmental Psychology to doctoral students.

Valentina Nikulina (Assistant Professor, Psychology) earned her PhD from the child track of the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology at St. John's University, and completed postdoctoral training at John Jay College, CUNY and the National Development and Research Institutes. Her research examines the effects of childhood neglect and poverty on mental and physical health, substance use, and neuropsychological functioning. Dr. Nikulina has taught psychology courses as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at John Jay; she is a licensed clinical psychologist.

Jennifer Stewart (Assistant Professor, Psychology) earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Illinois–Urbana/Champaign (2008), where she studied how individual differences in anger expression (aggression versus suppression) were associated with differential patterns of brain activity and symptoms of depression and anxiety. Her postdoctoral research at the University of Arizona focused on brain asymmetry as a potential marker of risk for depression, and her most recent work at the University of California–San Diego examined patterns of brain function associated with risk for, development of, and relapse to stimulant (amphetamine and cocaine) use disorders. Her work employs subjective reports, behavioral methods, electroencephalography (EEG), and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate how brain patterns linked to cognition, emotion, and their interaction intersect with individual differences in substance use, depression, and anxiety. She hopes to identify markers of risk for addiction and mood/anxiety disorders that can be used in future prevention and treatment intervention efforts.


Division of Social Sciences

Victoria Allen (Assistant Professor, Political Science) holds a BA from Barnard College and a MS from Georgia State University, both in Urban Studies, and earned her PhD in Political Science from the CUNY Graduate Center. Her dissertation and research have focused on captured-interest groups in the American political system. Since 2007 she has been an Adjunct Instructor at Queens College, teaching courses on American political institutions including the Presidency, Congress, Bureaucracy, Presidential prerogative, and American politics and film.

Lucia Cedeira (Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Library & Information Systems) carried out her doctoral studies at the University of Western Ontario's Faculty of Information & Media Studies in Canada, where she recently defended her thesis, "Young Adults Reflect on the Experience of Reading Comics in Contemporary Society: Overcoming the Commonplace and Recognizing Complexity." Her primary research lies at the intersection of young adults, reading, and public libraries, with an emphasis on reading practices related to comics. She has received several awards, including the John A. Lent Scholarship in Comics Studies at the International Comics Arts Forum, ALISE/University of Washington Information School Youth Services Graduate Student Travel Award, and the Ontario Graduate Scholarship. She has presented her research in library and interdisciplinary conferences and contributed to an edited collection, Transforming Young Adult Services: A Reader for Our Age (2013). As a professional librarian, she has worked as a young-adult librarian and researcher for the International Center for Children's and Young Adults' Books (Spain).

Deirdre Cooper-Owens (Assistant Professor, History) received her PhD from UCLA (2008), and subsequently held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies at the University of Virginia. Before joining Queens she was Assistant Professor of History at the University of Mississippi. Her research focuses on issues of race and gender in the experiences of both slavery and immigration in the U.S. in the 19th century. Her book, tentatively titled Medical Superbodies: Slavery, Immigration, and the Birth of American Gynecology, is under contract from the University of Georgia Press.

Julen Esteban-Pretel (Associate Professor, Economics) is a macroeconomist with interests in labor economics. He obtained his PhD in Economics at New York University and his BA from the University of Valencia. He began his professional career at the University of Tokyo—the Harvard of Japan—where he was one of the first non-Japanese nationals hired. He then served as Associate Professor at Tokyo's National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), one of the leading graduate schools in Asia. He is an expert on the Japanese economy and has published widely in the top journals in macroeconomics.

Mary Anne Madeira (Assistant Professor, Political Science) is a political scientist specializing in international political economy. She was awarded a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the European University Institute's Global Governance Programme in 2013–2014, and received her PhD in political science from the University of Washington (2013). Her research focuses on the domestic political and societal effects of global economic integration, primarily in the U.S. and the European Union. She is the coauthor, with James Caporaso, of Globalization, Institutions and Governance (2011, SAGE), and has published on regional integration and the politics of international trade. Dr. Madeira serves as a reviewer for a leading comparative politics journal and regularly presents her research at international conferences.

Stephen McFarland (Assistant Professor, Urban Studies) is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Urban Studies for 2014–2015. He earned his PhD from the CUNY Graduate Center (2014) and master's degree from the Department of City and Regional Planning at Cornell. He has taught courses on urban geography, urban theory, social movements, cultural geography, and GIS at Brooklyn College, CUNY, Hunter College, CUNY, Sarah Lawrence College, and CUNY's Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education. In 2013–2014 he was a fellow with the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics. His dissertation research examined the history of union halls and "labor temples" in the U.S. labor movement, with a focus on their role as spatial-cultural hubs bridging racial and ethnic difference and linking organizing in workplaces and residential neighborhoods. In 2014 Dr. McFarland's study of the New York Civic Participation Project/La Fuente was published in an edited volume on new labor organizing and community labor partnerships in immigrant communities in New York City. He is starting a research project on the role of organized labor in urban climate change adaptation and mitigation. Dr. McFarland teaches Urban Poverty and Affluence as well as Urban Diversity, and in the Spring semester will teach seminars in the Macaulay Honors College.

Juan Luis Rodriguez (Assistant Professor, Anthropology), a recent graduate of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale (2011), is a linguistic and sociocultural anthropologist whose work is focused on the use of political rhetoric, as well as the recent development of a form of neosocialism in South America. After situating himself in the Orinoco delta of Venezuela, one of the political hot spots of the continent, he conducted research by shadowing local political leaders during their election campaigns to observe the ways in which they interact with indigenous people, including public speeches and gift-giving. He engaged both the politicians and the members of their audiences in one-on-one conversations and interviews. He has published multiple peer-reviewed articles in highly regarded academic journals in the fields of anthropology, history, and linguistics; co-edited a special journal issue; and given oral presentations of his work at numerous professional conferences and as an invited lecturer.

Núria Rodríguez-Planas (Associate Professor, Economics) received her PhD in Economics from Boston University (1999). She has subsequently held positions at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics, and the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)—one of the leading think tanks in economics. She also has worked at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Mathematica Policy Research, and the Brookings Institution. Her research is on the effects of government policies designed to improve educational and labor markets outcomes for the disadvantaged, and also studies gender issues and migration; her work has attracted attention in policy circles and popular discussions. She has published in some of the top journals in the field, and edits a journal that she will bring to Queens College.

Brian Rosa (Assistant Professor, Urban Studies) is an urban geographer whose research explores the socio-spatial transformation of the built environment. His current research deals with the relationship between transport infrastructures, deindustrializing cities, and the re-appropriation of "leftover" urban spaces. Both his research and teaching draw on a variety of qualitative methods, often incorporating audiovisual materials. Rosa's research output overlaps with artistic and curatorial practice, for which he was awarded a 2013–2014 Artist Fellowship with the Massachusetts Cultural Council. He holds a PhD in Human Geography from the University of Manchester and an MRP in City and Regional Planning from Cornell.

Fang Sun (Assistant Professor, Accounting & Information Systems) received her PhD in Accounting from Temple University (2011). She has been an Assistant Professor at Hunter College–CUNY for the past three years. Dr. Sun has authored and coauthored numerous articles in the top-tier referred accounting and finance journals, including the Managerial Auditing Journal, Review of Accounting and Finance, Advances in Quantitative Analysis of Finance and Accounting and the International Journal of Auditing. In addition, she has presented 13 papers at various conferences since 2008, including at the AAA Mid-Atlantic Regional meetings and American Accounting Association annual meetings.

Suleyman Taspinar (Assistant Professor, Economics) comes to us with a PhD from the CUNY Graduate Center and a BA from Bilkent University—widely regarded as the best university in the Middle East. He specializes in econometrics, the application of statistical methods to economics, and has already published in leading journals. He will teach undergraduate economics and also contribute to the graduate program in Risk Management.

Shuheng Wu (Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Library & Information Systems) is a doctoral candidate in the School of Information at Florida State University. She will join the GSLIS faculty as Assistant Professor in January 2015. She received baccalaureate degrees in Archives Science and in Computer Science and Technology from Sun Yat Sen (Zhongshan) University in China, and an MS in Library and Information Science from Syracuse University. She is interested in knowledge organization, metadata and ontology design, and sociotechnical systems. Her current research focuses on scientific data curation, bio-ontology development and maintenance, and image indexing. She has published in major research journals, including Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, Library and Information Science Research, and the Journal of Library Metadata.


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CUNY Queens College
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