Fifteen New Faculty Members Begin This Fall at SMC


Saint Mary's College recently welcomed the following 15 faculty members to campus:

Hisham H. Ahmed, Ph.D. -- Born in the Deheisheh Refugee Camp near Bethlehem, Palestine in 1963, Associate Professor of Politics Hisham Ahmed is frequently called upon by local and international media for analyses of various political issues pertaining to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. He earned his bachelor's degree in political science from Illinois State University in 1985, and his master's and doctoral degrees in political science at the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1986 and 1988, respectively. A Fulbright scholar in Palestine from 1993 to 1994, Hisham has authored many studies, including "Palestinian Resistance and 'Suicide Bombing:' Causes and Consequences." He also wrote the book, From Religious Salvation to Political Transformation: The Rise of Hamas in Palestinian Society. Between 1994 to 2006, he taught political science at Birzeit University, as well as other universities and colleges.

David W. Bird, M.A. -- Bird, an Atlanta native, earned his bachelor's degree in Spanish and German from Florida State University in 2001 and later studied for a doctorate in Spanish literature at the University of Kentucky. He has published and presented conference papers on many authors, including Jorge Luis Borges, George Orwell and Gabriel Alomar, and studies Catalan and Castilian literature of regionalism and national identity in early 20th-century Spain. His lives with his wife, Anne, a neuropsychological researcher at the University of California at San Francisco, and their "somewhat spoiled labrador" Flash. His main pursuits outside of academics are hiking, cooking, reading and oenophilia.

Cathy B. Glenn, Ph.D. -- A native of the Bay Area, Glenn earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from San Francisco State University and her doctorate from Southern Illinois University. She is an active professional member of the National, International, and Western States Communication Associations. Her scholarly and teaching interests include cultural criticism, argumentation, the philosophy of communication and critical pedagogy. She has authored numerous journal articles and encyclopedia chapters on communication activism and ethics, cultural politics and process philosophy. Glenn is passionate about many things: her family, her kitties Lola and Michel, and (with some considerable guilt) reality television.

Gustavo Guardado, Jr. -- Guardado came to the United States at age 1 from San Salvador, El Salvador, and settled in Concord when he was 5. After graduating from Concord High School in 1997, he was accepted into Saint Mary's College's High Potential Program. Guardado majored in communication and was co-general manager of Gael TV in his junior year. After earning his bachelor's degree in 2001, Guardado went on to get his terminal degree in film production at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. There he made three short 16mm films and shot various other projects as a cinematographer. His scholarly interests include digital technologies' impact on filmmaking, minorities in cinema, and eventually directing. his feature film debut. Guardado will teach video production and TV broadcasting in the fall, and looks forward to helping develop Gael Vision on campus.

Ynez Wilson Hirst, Ph.D. -- Hirst brings a diverse set of expertise areas to Saint Mary's including: social inequality; family; race, class and gender; multiracial identities, quantitative sociological methods and statistics. She was raised in Honolulu, Hawaii and in Lafayette, and received her bachelor's degree in sociology and history from Occidental College in Los Angeles. After working as an elementary school teacher in East Oakland for five years with the Teach for America program, she went back to graduate school to pursue a doctoratein sociology from the University of Southern California. Her dissertation, "The Effects of Race, Gender, and Family Background on Children's Educational Attainment: Contemporary Patterns and Historical Change," examines and tracks the effects of childhood family structure on the longterm educational-attainment patterns of African Americans and whites over the last century using pooled data from several nationally representative samples. She and her husband, Link, have two children, Dylan, 4, and Camryn, 1.

Brian Jersky, Ph.D. -- A statistician by training, Jersky has taught and done research in the field since receiving his doctorate from Cornell University in 1992. He was a professor of mathematics at Sonoma State University (SSU), then chair of the Mathematics Department there. He most recently served as director of Academic Planning & Resources of the School of Science & Technology at SSU. Concurrently, Dr. Jersky is an adjunct associate professor at UCSF, where he teaches graduate-level biostatistics on an occasional basis. His most recent grant is from the National Science Foundation, and involves the communication of modern methods of teaching statistics to faculty and students nationwide. He has been the Dean of the School of Science at Saint Mary's College since July 2006.

Dan Leopard, Ph.D. -- An independent filmmaker who has taught film and media studies at colleges and universities throughout California, Leopard earned his doctorate from the School of Cinema-Television at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and a master's in fine arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His scholarly interests include visual culture and media pedagogy, documentary and avant-garde film and video, screen technologies and digital culture and the history and ethnography of everyday media.

Adam Lucas, Ph.D. -- Before joining the Saint Mary's faculty as assistant professor in the Department of Math and Computer Science, Lucas shared an NSF grant to study connections between protein folding and computational linguistics. He became a mathematician relatively late after majoring in biochemistry and chemistry. He earned his doctorate in representational theory at MIT, and received an NIH post-doctoral fellowship to study protein folding at UCSF. Lusas is committed to inspiring his students to succeed, touting an interactive teaching style he says tries to help students find their own voice in the classroom. He is a part-time research associate with the Dill Group in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at UCSF, and was a visiting assistant professor at Mills College for three years. Lucas most enjoys spending time with his wife, Mei-Lai, and two kids, Lauren, 3, and Lance, 2. He hikes, bikes, windsurfs and runs, completing numerous marathons, most recently Boston.

Hilda Ma, M.A. -- Irvine Fellow and Saint Mary's alum Hilda Ma earned her master's in English from the University at Buffalo in 2004, and is currently working on her doctoral dissertation entitled, "Marginal Bodies: The Politics of Medical Culture in Early Modern Drama." Her research, scholarly and creative interests include: Renaissance poetry and prose, Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, early modern medical texts, post-colonial literature, feminism, Asian American literature, and ethnic American autobiography. In 2006, she won the Charles Davis Award for Best Graduate Student Presentation at the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association Annual Convention.

Derek Marks, Ph.D. -- Prior to coming to Saint Mary's, Marks taught for the Physical Education and Health Department at the California State University, Stanislaus. He earned his doctorate in exercise physiology from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. His areas of specialization include fitness assessment, sports nutrition and human performance. Upcoming projects include research into the effectiveness of various sports beverages on endurance performance and the development of an on-campus health and wellness assessment program to serve the College and local community.

Micah Muscolino, Ph.D -- Muscolino specializes in the history of modern China and comparative environmental history. He received his bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley in 1999 and his doctorate from Harvard University in 2006. His doctoral dissertation analyzes changing interactions between nature and society in the Zhoushan islands, one of China's major fishing centers, from the late 19th- to mid-20th century. An article based on this research has been published in the journal Twentieth-Century China. He is currently beginning a new project on the environmental history of World War II in China. Muscolino will be offering courses on East Asian history and the environmental history of war in the modern world.

Michael Nathanson, Ph.D. -- Nathanson joins the department of mathematics and computer science after spending last year teaching at Kenyon College in Ohio. He earned his doctorate at Northeastern University in his hometown of Boston. Michael has a longstanding commitment to promoting quantitative literacy, including six years as a high school teacher and frequent attempts to explain the Monty Hall problem to strangers. His scholarly work is in the field of quantum information theory, which explores the mathematics of performing computation and communication at the quantum scale. In his spare time, Nathanson is an amateur musician and professional Boston Red Sox fan.

Marie Pagliarini, Ph.D. -- Pagliarini earned a bachelor's degree in history and a doctorate in religious studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara and has taught courses in Women's Studies and Religious Studies at UCSB and Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She teaches courses on a variety of topics, including Christianity, religion in North America, and women and religion. She is currently working on a book-length project that explores the ritual practices of 19th-century Georgetown Visitation nuns. Pagliarini spent four summers in the Georgetown Visitation Convent, photocopying virtually everything in the archives. In her free time, Pagliarini enjoys hiking, biking, and spending time with her husband and 4-year-old son, who plans to be a teacher when he grows up.

Anne Smith, Ed.D., CMA -- Awarded the Certificate of Distinguished Performance from the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) for her top-10 score on the Certified Management Accounting examination, Smith joins the Saint Mary's family with more than 25 years of university teaching and administrative experience. She earned her doctorate with an emphasis in accounting from Northern Illinois University and has served on the national board of directors for the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs and the Delta Mu Delta National Business Honor Society. She has also served on the local and regional board of directors of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) as well as on IMA national committees. Smith's research interests are outcomes assessment, business accreditation, and accounting certification examinations.

Photo of Suzy ThomasSuzy Thomas, Ph.D. -- A full-time adjunct faculty member in the School of Education since 2003 and part-time instructor since 1998 in the multiple and single subject credential programs and the Graduate Counseling Program (GCP), Thomas earned her doctorate in educational psychology at the University of California at Davis. Her scholarly interests include school counseling research and reform, collaborative action research, counseling theory, alumni support, child and adolescent issues, and mentoring. Thomas has made presentations on these topics at local, state and regional counseling conferences, and has several publications in these areas as well.

--Erin Hallissy
Office of College Communications