Nineteen New Faculty at Saint Mary's for 2008-2009
Mazi Allen teaches in the Philosophy Department and is an Irvine Fellow completing his doctorate from SUNYâ€“Binghamton. His interests include early analytic philosophy, the history and philosophy of science, Cold Warâ€“era literature and political thought, and exploring used bookshops and eateries in the Bay Area. A Saint Mary's graduate of the Class of 1999, Allen looks forward to teaching generations of Gaels to come.
Jyoti Bachani is a management scholar in the Graduate Business Department who combines sociology and computer science methods to address questions in three primary areas: (1) change in organizations, using algorithmic and pattern-recognition approaches; (2) the role of the individual, using case studies and agent based models, and (3) strategy-making processes, using decision analysis. She holds a doctorate from London Business School and a master's from Stanford University. Previously, she was an assistant professor at the University of Redlands and an adjunct professor at San Francisco State University and Virginia Tech. She also has several years of experience as a strategy consultant to Fortune 200 companies.
Vidya Chandrasekaran has taught genetics and developmental biology for the past year in the Biology Department and now is in a tenure-track position. Prior to coming to Saint Mary's, she was at Biorad Laboratories. Chandrasekaran did her doctoral work on neuronal development at SUNYâ€“Buffalo and her postdoctoral work in Drosophila genetics at UC Berkeley. Her research focuses on organ formation during embryonic development. Her other interests include tennis, astronomy and Indian classical music. She lives in Moraga with her husband, Amarnath, and two daughters, Namratha and Bhavana.
Andrea Eagleman completed her doctorate in sport management at Indiana University in April 2008, where she also served as an associate instructor in the Department of Kinesiology. She previously worked for three years as the public relations manager of Lehman Racing, a Chicago-based professional motorsports team competing in the National Hot Rod Association. She has taught sport management and sport communication courses at Columbia College of Chicago, Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana and Indiana University. Eagleman's research focuses on the portrayals of athletes in the mass media and the differences in media portrayals of race, nationality and gender. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Karl, gymnastics, running, working out, traveling, photography and cheering for her favorite sports teams: the Chicago Cubs, Oakland A's, Chicago Bears and Indiana Hoosiers.
Keith Garrison is a new faculty member in the Biology Deparment. He received his bachelor's degree in molecular and cell biology with an emphasis in genetics from UC Berkeley. He then worked at the California Department of Justice DNA Laboratory in Berkeley in forensic human identification. Garrison enhanced his teaching skills in a position training forensic users on new identification techniques at Hitachi Genetic Systems in South San Francisco. His human identification knowledge was very useful when he began to study grape genetics in graduate school at UC Davis with professor Carole Meredith. While at UC Davis, Garrison became interested in the biology of retroelements and studied their use as genetic markers in grapes with a French research group in Colmar. His study of retroelement activity led him to explore their interactions with the immune system during HIV infection as part of his postdoctoral research at UCSF in the laboratory of professor Douglas Nixon. Garrison looks forward to teaching biology, immunology and molecular biology at Saint Mary's.
Erik Katz teaches in the Biology Department. He is a doctoral candidate at Kent State University and holds a bachelor's degree in biology from UC Berkeley and master's from Portland State. Prior to teaching at Saint Mary's, Katz has held adjunct faculty appointments at Kent State, Merritt College, Diablo Valley College and CSUâ€“East Bay.
Guido Krickx has served as the College's director of Graduate Business Programs for the last several years and is now a tenure-track professor. Krickx taught at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School for eight years and has done consulting for General Motors and Pacific Bell. His research interests include competition in high-technology industries, vertical integration and industry standards. He holds an MBA and doctorate in organizational and strategic studies from UCLA.
Dana Lawton is director of the Saint Mary's College Dance Company. She is also a faculty member at the Shawl-Anderson Dance Center in Berkeley and a certified yoga instructor. In the studio, Lawton teaches choreography, modern dance and yoga, and in the classroom,"Perceiving the Arts" and "World Music and Dance." She danced professionally with the renowned San Francisco company Janice Garrett & Dancers from 1997 to 2004. Lawton has choreographed her own work and was presented at ODC and the Cowell Theater in San Francisco, Eighth Street Studios and the Temescal Arts Center in Berkeley, as well as several stages in the Northwest. She served as artist-in-residence at the Shawl-Anderson Dance Center in 2006, was awarded Outstanding Performer in the 2000 Vision Series, and was nominated for an Isadora Duncan Award for her performance in Janice Garrett's "Wayfarers." Lawton holds an MFA in choreography from Mills College and a BFA in dance from California Institute of the Arts.
Helga Lenart-Cheng, a new adjunct faculty member in the Modern Languages Department, recently completed her doctorate in the Department of Literature and Comparative Literature at Harvard University. Her dissertation focused on the relation of literary and political theories of representation. At Saint Mary's, Lenart-Cheng will teach Spanish and French language and literature. Her primary research focuses on first-person literature (autobiographies, diaries, blogs, etc.) and on theories of subjectivity. Her other interests include Eastern European culture and history, Hungarian and German language and literature and phenomenological hermeneutics.
Rena Levitt is joining the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. She recently completed her doctorate in mathematics at the University of Californiaâ€“Santa Barbara. Levitt's dissertation focused on algorithmic properties of symmetries of spaces. While completing her graduate education, Levitt taught a wide range of courses spanning the traditional undergraduate mathematics education, from calculus for the life sciences to advanced linear algebra. Levitt is also interested in issues relating to diversity in academia. As a graduate student, she was a co-founder and co-organizer of UCSB's Hypatian Seminar. The Hypatian Seminar explores the contributions of underrepresented groups to mathematics and provides a forum to discuss the unique challenges they face in academic settings. When not focused on teaching and research, Levitt enjoys spending time with her family, cooking and practicing Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Jennifer Locke has been a studio art lecturer for two years in Saint Mary's Art Department and is now an adjunct professor. She is a San Franciscoâ€“based artist, obsessed with power structures in relation to voyeurism, the body and technological mediation. Working in performance, video and digital photography, she turns the camera on herself in the act of filming and photographing subjects, such as men from her wrestling team. Locke has exhibited in venues such as the 48th Venice Biennale; Air de Paris, Paris; the 9th Havana Biennial; the Basel Art Fair; La Panaderia, Mexico City; Palais de Beaux-Arts, Brussels; and Hallwalls, New York. She has also shown locally at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Lisa Dent Gallery, Queen's Nails Annex, New Langton Arts, Southern Exposure, Artists' Television Access and SF Cinematheque. She received her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute.
AndrÃ¡s Margitay-Becht is a new faculty member in the Economics Department. Holding master's degrees in finance, stochastic methods and computer science and a doctorate in economics, he focuses on agent-based simulation of economic development and the international financial aiding process. His primary research is on incorporating sociological, anthropological and political effects into economic simulations, while his alternate research examines ludology and its influence on education and corporate management.
Carole McKindley-Alvarez is an adjunct professor in the Psychology Department. She received her clinical psychology doctorate in 2003 and has been a professor for seven years. McKindley-Alvarez has also been an administrator for mental health and medical programs for more than 12 years, responsible for annual budgets up to $18 million and more than 200 employees. Her areas of expertise are family, community and gender violence; cross-cultural studies; working with the aging population; and psychological assessment. She has created and provided numerous trainings, seminars and workshops on cross-cultural awareness, education and the impact of violence on families and communities. Through collaboration with the city and county of San Francisco, she created a curriculum addressing the impact witnessing domestic violence has on children. McKindley-Alvarez has pursed teaching opportunities that afforded her the opportunity to expose underprivileged youth and young adults to new learning experiences which embraced their natural gifts. She has also educated developing clinicians on viewing mental health services through a multidimensional socio-cultural lens as opposed to traditional Westernized views.
Shobhana Murali is joining the Math Department as a full-time adjunct professor after having been a lecturer in the department over the past year. She will be the coordinator of mathematics readiness and also teach the new mathematics readiness course. Her most recent appointment prior to Saint Mary's was a postdoctoral position at Lehigh University, where she was the C. C. Hsiung visiting assistant professor. Murali received her doctorate in applied mathematics at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her area of expertise is probability - more specifically, the discrete curvature of Markov chains. She is also interested in statistical physics.
Murali left academia in 2003 after the birth of her older son. Teaching at Saint Mary's after this hiatus made her realize how motherhood had positively altered her, making her more adaptable, more patient and a better listener - all skills that she is planning to bring to the classroom.
Berna Polat teaches in the Graduate Business Program. She was previously an assistant professor of management at CSUâ€“East Bay. Polat received her doctorate from the University of Washington's Foster School of Business in 2005, writing her dissertation on failure patterns of new ventures.
James Shaw holds a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of San Francisco; a master's in communications from Stanford University; and the M.A., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in managerial science and economics from the University of Nevada. Shaw has served as an adjunct instructor at the College's Graduate School of Business since 1998 and has taught at six other universities. He has consulted in the fields of management and economics in both the public and private sectors since 1979, and is the author of four books: The Business-Government Relationship, Telecommunications Deregulation, Strategic Management in Telecommunications and Telecommunications Deregulation and the Information Economy. Shaw's recent research interests involve the application of strategic and economic analysis in networked industries.
Saroja Subrahmanyan joins Saint Mary's faculty as an associate professor in the Graduate School of Business. She got her doctorate in marketing from New York University and has taught at various universities in the United States and abroad for the last 17 years, including at the National University of Singapore. Most recently, she has been a visiting faculty member at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management. She has also been a marketing research consultant for various firms, including nonprofits and government agencies. She has published several papers and business cases in refereed journals and books, including an award-winning paper on a price-inventory model in the Journal of Retailing. Her current research interests include various aspects of consumer behavior and decision-making, including consumer motivation, cross-cultural perceptions and cause-related marketing. Subrahmanyan is also a certified yoga teacher and will be teaching a Jan Term course on yoga.
Sawako Suzuki teaches in the Educational Leadership Program at the School of Education. She holds a doctorate in education from the University of Californiaâ€“Berkeley and her publications include Determinants of Parental Involvement in Early Schooling: Evidence from Japan.
Jia Wu is joining the Performing Arts Department this fall. A native of China, she earned a bachelor's degree in choreography and performance from the Beijing Dance Academy and an MFA in choreography from the UCLA. As a choreographer, performer and dance filmmaker, her provocative works apply Asian dance vocabularies and aesthetics to explore modern issues such as globalization, feminism and multiculturalism. She has earned numerous honors and awards, including a Prix d'Excellence for best performance at the 2004 Festival International de Musique Universitaire in Belfort, France; the Evelyn and Mo Ostin Performing Arts Award; the Edna & Yu-Shan Han Scholarship and the Clifton Webb Scholarship from UCLA's School of Arts and Architecture. Wu has performed her contemporary choreography and traditional works in China, Japan, France, Germany and the United States. Her dance films have been presented at international festivals in Germany, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Hungary and the United States. Wu is also currently the artistic director of the American Dance Film Association in China.
Compiled by Nancy Clark and John Grennan
Photos by Gabrielle Diaz '11