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Queens College Welcomes Our New Faculty for 2017

Division of Art and Humanities

Chloë Bass (Assistant Professor, Art) is a multiform conceptual artist working in performance, situation, publication, and installation. Her work addresses scales of intimacy, in which patterns hold and break as group sizes expand, and daily life as a site of deep research. Her current project, The Book of Everyday Instruction, is an eight-chapter investigation into one-on-one social interaction. Bass is a 2017-2018 workspace resident at the Center for Book Arts, and a 2017 studio resident at Triangle Arts Association. Her projects have appeared in recent exhibitions at CUE Art Foundation, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Project Space, The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, the James Gallery, and elsewhere. Her book will be published by the Operating System in December 2017; her writing is most often found on Hyperallergic. You can learn more about her at chloebass.com.

Nicholas Cross (Substitute Lecturer, Classical, Middle Eastern & Asian Languages & Cultures) holds advanced degrees in religion and ancient history. After eight years of working in South Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines, he returned to his native state of New York to study ancient history at The Graduate Center, CUNY, earning a PhD in 2016; his dissertation was on classical Greek interstate alliances. Cross's research interests include Greek and Roman history and literature, interstate relations, ancient religions, numismatics, and historiography. His current project, titled Religion and Interstate Relations in Archaic and Classical Greece, examines the role that religious influences (gods, beliefs, and rituals) played in interstate activity from the eighth to the fourth centuries BCE.​

Kristin Dombek (Visiting Assistant Professor, English) is the author of The Selfishness of Others: An Essay on the Fear of Narcissism. Her essays can be found in Vice, The Paris Review, Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, The London Review of Books, and n+1, for which she writes philosophical advice in a column called “The Help Desk.” Her work has been anthologized in Best American Essays and elsewhere, and she has received fellowships from the MacDowell Foundation, the Rona Jaffe Foundation, and the n+1 Foundation.

Paul Joseph Fadoul (Substitute Lecturer, European Languages & Literatures) received his PhD from the French Program at the Graduate Center in August 2016. His dissertation is titled How to be a French Jew: Proust, Lazare, Glissant. He was the recipient of the Randolph L. Braham Dissertation Award for the 2014-15 Academic Year.​ Fadoul published a translation piece in International Journal of Francophone Studies, 13 (3&4), February 2011, and an article on Haitian author Pierre-Richard Narcisse for the website île-en-île. His varied areas of interest, which include the Caribbean, the Middle East and West Africa, reflect his life experiences. Until 2007, he worked in industry and commerce in Haiti, Nigeria, Lebanon, New York, and Paris, where he became familiar with the cultures and lifestyles of the French-speaking world. He teaches French literature, civilization and language classes at Queens College. Prior to his current lectureship at Queens College, he enjoyed teaching at St. John’s University, Medgar Evers College, and Brooklyn College.

Dustin Grella (Assistant Professor, Art) is an animator and documentary filmmaker whose work attempts to glean glimpses of colorful insight into the seemingly mundane. His films have screened at the Cannes Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, and won the Walt Disney Award at the Ottawa International Animation Festival. His film Prayers for Peace screened at almost two hundred festivals worldwide and won over 40 awards. He has written and mailed himself a letter every day for the past 15 years and has over 5567 sealed letters neatly filed and categorized. He is currently in production of the Animation Hotline, a series of micro-animations in which he uses crowd-sourced voicemail messages for content. If you’ve got a story, give him a call at 212-683-2490.

Deborah Gruber (Substitute Lecturer, Classical & Middle Eastern & Asian Languages and Cultures) attained her PhD in French from The CUNY Graduate Center in 2015 under the direction of Amiel Alcalay. Conducting her dissertation research in French, Hebrew, and Arabic, she focused on a representative body of Francophone Jewish Arab writers, examining the influence of 19th century French Judaism promoted by the Alliance Israélite and its validation of a powerful, alternative emancipation discourse that challenged early Zionism and simultaneously gave voice to those who had been previously ignored. Among her current interests are the effects of Franco Jewish Arab literature on the Hebrew canon. When not reading, researching or teaching, she can be found following her other grand passion: flying airplanes.

Karen Henson (Associate Professor, Aaron Copland School of Music) focuses on 19th-century opera, singers and opera performance, and opera and technology. She trained at the University of Oxford and in Paris, and her work has been supported by fellowships and awards from the British Academy, the Stanford Humanities Center, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University. Her writing has been published in the Cambridge Opera Journal, the Journal of the American Musicological Society, 19th-Century Music, and the edited volumes L’Opéra en France et en Italie and Le Spectaculaire dans les arts de la scène. She has also contributed articles to the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and the Cambridge Verdi Encyclopedia. Henson’s first book, Opera Acts: Singers and Performance in the Late Nineteenth Century, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2014. She is now finishing an edited volume on the operatic soprano’s relationship with technology, and is working on a new book project, on opera and early sound recording. Henson has been a regular guest speaker for the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, and the BBC.

Andrea Maas (Substitute Lecturer, Aaron Copland School of Music) most recently served as director of curriculum at MusicFirst in New York City and director of student teaching in the Music and Music Education Program at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she completed her EdD in Music Education in May 2016. She taught K-12 music in Vermont public schools, founded and conducted community choirs with students aged 3 to 80 for over 16 years, and maintained a private voice studio before returning to life as a student in New York City. Since then she has worked with undergraduate and graduate students to develop skills, understandings and approaches toward music education in music and non-music classrooms. Maas’s musical training and teaching experiences include piano, voice, general music, choir, band, theory, and musical theater. This background, along with her work with preservice teachers, continues to inform her commitment to music education. Her dissertation, “Musical Expression in the High School Choral Classroom,” is available online.

Clifford Mak (Assistant Professor, English) specializes in 20th-century British and American literature. He is currently completing his first book, titled Virtuoso Beasts: Modernist Instinct and the Virtuality of Style. He received his PhD in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory from the University of Pennsylvania and his BA from the University of California, Berkeley. Most recently, Mak was visiting assistant professor of English at the College of the Holy Cross. He has published on Marianne Moore and James Joyce (in English Literary History and Modernist Cultures, respectively), as well as on the role of gender in animation, and will have a chapter on animals and the natural world in the forthcoming Oxford Handbook to Virginia Woolf, ed. Anne Fernald (Oxford University Press).

Marco F. Navarro (Lecturer, English) has an MFA in Creative Writing from New York University and an MA in Language and Literacy from City College. He is currently ABD in Communication and Rhetoric at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he is writing a dissertation on the rhetorical practices of prison writing teachers. He is a native of Queens and a graduate of Queens College. His research interests include fiction writing, first-year composition, prison writing pedagogy, and writing center theory. He was a fiction co-editor for Dismantle: An Anthology of Writing from the VONA/Voices Writing Workshop.

Megan Paslawski (Lecturer, English) is a graduate of McGill University (BA/MA, English Literature) and Trinity College, Dublin (MPhil, Creative Writing). She is currently a PhD candidate in the English Program at the CUNY Graduate Center, where she will defend her dissertation, The Way We Dream Now: Contemporary Queer/Trans Memoir from America, in the fall. She is the editor of Black Mountain College novelist Michael Rumaker’s collected letters, like a great armful of wild and wonderful flowers (CUNY Lost & Found), and the co-editor of Rumaker’s memoir, Robert Duncan in San Francisco (City Lights).

Matthew Perrie (Lecturer, Library) is the electronic resources librarian at Queens College. He received his MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh in 2012, and holds an MA in Social Science from the University of Chicago and BA in Sociology from the Ohio State University. Before coming to Queens College, Perrie was an electronic resources librarian at Chadron State College in Chadron, Nebraska, and an advanced reference services specialist at Infotrieve (acquired by Copyright Clearance Center) in Wilton, Connecticut. His research interests include data-driven decision-making in the library setting and library assessment.

Kamal Soleimani (Substitute Lecturer, Classical, Middle Eastern & Asian Languages & Cultures) specializes in Islamic history and Middle Eastern politics in Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Kurdistan. He has taught in Turkish and United States universities and published a number of scholarly articles. His book Islam and Competing Nationalisms in the Middle East was published by Palgrave in June 2016. In this book, Soleimani questions the foundational epistemologies of the nation-state. By centering on the pivotal and intimate role Islam played in the nation-state’s emergence, he shows the entanglements and reciprocities of nationalism and religious thought as they played out in the modern history of the Middle East.

Division of Education

Karla Rose Manning (Substitute Lecturer, Education) earned a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Curriculum & Instruction in 2017 with an emphasis in Urban & Multicultural Teacher Education Studies. Her dissertation explored practices that K-12 teachers could engage in to support their personal and professional lives in an effort to achieve an optimal, humanizing educational environment for themselves and their students. At UW-Madison, Manning was the 2011-2012 and 2016-2017 recipient of the School of Education’s Graduate Research Scholar Fellowship, and presented her work before the American Educational Research Association, Qualitative Inquiry Congress, the National Association of Multicultural Education, the Race, Class, and Gender Conference, and the Wisconsin Council for Teachers of English. Her scholarship has been published in the Race, Ethnicity, and Education Journal, the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, and book chapters in Black Feminism in Education: Black women speak back, up, and out and Diving In: Bill Ayers and the art of Teaching into the Contradiction, respectively. Prior to her graduate studies, Manning taught high school English and ESL teacher in Chicago public schools. She also taught ESL in South Africa and organized poetry slams for her students. Her current research agenda examines food justice, sustainability, and environmental education in urban educational contexts. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, roller skating, and green smoothies.

Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Euclides Almeida (Assistant Professor, Physics) hails from Recife, Brazil, where he obtained his undergraduate degree, and in 2012, his DSc in physics at the Federal University of Pernambuco. In his doctoral thesis, Almeida studied ultrafast dynamics of nanoscale systems including nanocrystals, colloidal silver nanoparticles, and dye-functionalized titania particles. After receiving his doctorate, he took postdoctoral and senior postdoctoral positions in the Chemical Physics Department at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. There he initiated a new research thrust in nonlinear holography and in the local control of the phase of the dispersive nonlinear susceptibility and developed a wideband achromatic metalens. In 2017, Almeida won the Weizmann Institute’s Koshland Prize for outstanding post-doctoral fellows. He has been active as a student in promoting optics within the university and in poor neighborhoods in Recife.

Allison Charny (Lecturer, Director of Dietetic Internship, Family, Nutrition & Exercise Sciences) has experience in all aspects of internship management, having served as a dietetic internship director for the Aramark Corporation for the past 15 years. After completing undergraduate and graduate studies in nutrition at Queens College, Charny was an inpatient nutrition clinician and managed outpatient nutrition services at St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers. She is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator and has been an adjunct lecturer at Queens College. Charny has completed courses toward the doctorate of clinical nutrition at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Her research has focused on the development of research ability in dietetic interns and preceptors. Throughout her career, she has worked in patient education and the clinical training of health professionals, including dietetic students and interns.

Jun Yong Choi (Assistant Professor, Chemistry) received his Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry and Master’s Degree in Physical Chemistry from the Inha University, South Korea, in 2000 and 2002. After moving to the United States, he received a PhD in Chemistry from Stony Brook University in 2009. His doctoral studies focused on developing chemical agents that selectively target mammalian rapamycin (mTOR). He began postdoctoral training in the Roush Laboratory at Scripps Florida as a Pfizer-Scripps Florida postdoctoral fellow in 2009. In collaboration with research scientists at Pfizer (Groton, Connecticut), he developed novel thymidine mimetics, synthesized inhibitors, and designed and screened a focused virtual library to expedite hit-to-lead optimization. In 2012, he was promoted to senior research associate, and worked on drug discovery research projects in collaboration with several national laboratories. Thus far, 18 articles describing these efforts have been published, with four patent applications. Since 2015, he has served as a consultant for a start-up biotech company, providing computer-aided drug design supports for the development of immunotherapeutic anti-cancer drug candidates. He has been a reviewer for the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, and Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters. He was a recipient of the Robert M. Sandelman Award for Scientific Excellence in 2014.

Matthew Civiletti (Lecturer, Physics) received a BA in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in physics at The College of New Jersey in 2007, and a PhD from the University of Delaware in 2014. His dissertation was on constraints in supersymmetric hybrid inflation. He has taught a wide variety of undergraduate courses as an assistant professor at Morrisville State College, part of the State University of New York, and as a graduate student at the University of Delaware. When he was a second-year doctoral student, he was given the university-wide Excellence in Teaching Award by the University of Delaware. At Morrisville State College, Civiletti helped reinstitute the Engineering Science Program and was responsible for designing and writing laboratory experiments and modernizing the curriculum. He has advised undergraduates in the SUNY STEM Research Passport Program who researched inflationary models.

Dianne Greenfield (Associate Professor, Earth and Environmental Sciences) begins her new position at CUNY’s Advanced Science Research Center, with Queens College as her tenure home. Previously, she was an associate professor at the University of South Carolina’s Belle W. Baruch Institute for Marine and Coastal Sciences, with a joint appointment as the director of the South Carolina Algal Ecology Laboratory, located in the Marine Resources Research Institute, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Greenfield received a PhD in oceanography from Stony Brook University, where she evaluated how New York “brown tide,” a common regional harmful algal bloom (HAB) species, affects the growth and feeding physiology of juvenile hard clams. She was subsequently awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, where she worked with Dr. Chris Scholin on in situ technology, the environmental sample processor, a cutting-edge ocean observatory instrument that enables remotely deployed genomic analyses. Since moving to Charleston in 2008, her group has combined field and laboratory research with molecular tools to understand the ecology, physiology, and biogeochemistry of coastal phytoplankton, including HABs, with particular emphasis on the influences of global change stressors (e.g. development, nutrient enrichment, and climate). This work spans a wide range of activities, such as sampling of estuaries, tidal creeks and other coastal waterways; field and laboratory experimentation; environmental analyses; and molecular technology development and validation. Greenfield is excited about the opportunities to expand upon this background in the New York region to develop an integrative and collaborative program in coastal research and education.

Joshua Jessel (Assistant Professor, Psychology) received his MA at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, in 2012 while working in the Neurobehavioral Unit at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. After receiving his PhD at Western New England University in Massachusetts in 2015, he moved to Texas to help design and develop multiple clinics for children with autism who exhibited problematic behavior. He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in behavior analysis, such as applied behavior analysis, child behavior management, and drugs and behavior. Jessel’s research interests primarily involve the assessment and treatment of severe problematic behavior of those diagnosed with autism and other developmental disorders.

Concettina Pagano (Lecturer, Psychology) has more than 20 years of experience in teaching graduate and undergraduate psychology courses at Queens College, the College of Staten Island, New York University, and Westchester Community College, as well as over 20 years in the role of physical fitness trainer. Her main area of study and research is in behavior analysis and child learning, focusing on the mental and physical health benefits of exercise and fitness in children and adults with disabilities. In a society where life is becoming more technologically driven, fast-paced, and sedentary, it is important to learn how to incorporate fitness and sport for the maintenance of well-being.

Maria Efstathia Stalias (Substitute Lecturer, Psychology) received her BA from Hofstra University with a double major in Psychology and Biology (2003), an MA in Psychology from Queens College (2006), and an MSc in Clinical Vocational Rehabilitation Neuropsychology from Touro College (2008) before completing her PhD in Cognitive and Health Psychology from De Montfort University (2016). Her doctoral dissertation focused on early maladaptive cognitive schema as predictors of post-stroke depression, and her research interests focus on early developmental influences to later life psychopathology. She has a long history with Queens College, other CUNY schools, and Mercy College, serving as an adjunct lecturer since 2008 and subsequently as an adjunct assistant professor teaching a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate courses in psychology.

Kerstin Unger (Assistant Professor, Psychology) received her MS in Psychology (2007) from Humboldt University in Berlin (Germany) and her PhD in Psychology (2013, concentration in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience) from Saarland University in Saarbrücken (Germany). She was a post-doctoral research associate at Brown University’s Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences and Department of Neuroscience from 2013 to 2017. Her research focuses on brain mechanisms underlying developmental changes in executive control, learning, and affective-motivational processing across the life span. To investigate these mechanisms, she uses behavioral experiments, neuroscience methods (EEG, fMRI), and computational modeling.

Division of Social Sciences

Charles Gomez (Assistant Professor, Sociology) is a sociologist interested in the dynamics of global science, specifically how scientific knowledge and scientists traverse borders. He completed his PhD in sociology and global comparative education from Stanford. His research focuses on the way scientific knowledge diffuses globally and is shaped over time by countries and the international system. Gomez uses topic models, social network analysis, and agent-based models in his research. He has taught a broad range of social theory and methods classes, including a MOOC on Coursera and his own class at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education. Outside of academia, he has worked for Accenture in New York and did a summer internship with Facebook.

Claudia Pace (Substitute Lecturer, Philosophy) currently teaches a number of courses, mostly in ethics. She got a BA in Political Science at the University of Toronto, followed by a Master’s in Political Studies at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and a Master’s in Philosophy at Carleton University in Ottawa. Now she is a doctoral student at the CUNY Graduate Center. She has been teaching at Queens College for four years.

Natalie Bump Vena (Assistant Professor, Urban Studies) received her JD and PhD from Northwestern University’s School of Law and Department of Anthropology in 2016. Her research and teaching interests concern environmental law- and policy-making in U.S. cities.Vena is committed to publicly engaged research, and the urban political landscape has always fascinated her. In her dissertation, “The Nature of Bureaucracy in the Cook County Forest Preserves” (2016), she used archival and ethnographic methods to analyze the history of natural resources preservation in the county that encompasses Chicago, Illinois. Specifically, she explored the role of volunteerism, statutory language, and intergovernmental partnerships in creating the forest preserves over the past 100 years. Expanding her dissertation research, Vena is currently analyzing the evolution of nature education in the Cook County forest preserves and the underlying goal of transforming local residents into responsible stewards. She is particularly interested in the power of citizen scientists to influence elected officials and government agencies responsible for environmental protection. In a historical case study, she is writing about the Cook County Clean Streams Committee and its activism to end Chicago-area water pollution in the years just before and after WWII. She is also planning ethnographic research on the role of citizen science in New York City's environmental justice movement. Before joining the faculty of Queens College, Vena taught at Williams College, where she served as the Gaius Charles Bolin Fellow in Anthropology and Environmental Studies. She will join the New York City Bar Association’s Environmental Law Committee for a three-year term beginning in fall 2017.

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