New faculty profiles 2010 - 2011

Dr. Eduardo Aponte

Eduardo AponteEduardo Aponte holds a doctorate in education policy research from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and did post-doctoral studies at Stanford University, California. He was Professor, Researcher and Coordinator of the Higher Education Research Center sponsored by the UNESCO Chair in Innovation, Leadership and Collaboration in Higher Education at the University of Puerto Rico.

Professor Aponte researchs and lectures in educational policy, urban education, economics of education and higher education; comparative and international education; society, education and development in Latin America and the USA. He has been Fulbright Fellow in Latin America, advisor to the Council on Higher Education of Puerto Rico for fifteen years, and in IESALC/UNESCO Research Projects in the Caribbean for the last ten years. He is a Board Member of the International Council for Innovation of Education-ICIE Toronto, Canada.



Hayami Arakawa, Full Time Lecturer, Artisanry

Hayami ArakawaHailing from the left coast of the United States, Hayami Arakawa graduated from the California College of Arts and Crafts in the early 90s with a BA in Wood Furniture Design.

After running the furniture studios at the CCAC for a number of years, he continued his education at the University of Wisconsin, Madison where he earned his MA and MFA in Visual Arts. He has since journeyed to New England and works as an assistant professor in the Artisanry department's wood furniture program at UMass Dartmouth and is an instructor at the infamous MIT Hobby Shop. His wooded "artifactoids" and strange yet endearing furniture pieces are exhibited nationally and internationally.




Dr. Godwin Ariguzo, Assistant Professor, Management & Marketing

Godwin AriguzoDr. Godwin Ariguzo has been a full-time lecturer in the Charlton College of Business at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth since 2002. He also serves as a visiting professor at Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences in Wolfsburg, Germany and IAE de Grenoble Université Pierre Mendes in Grenoble, France. He was a content consultant to WGBH Educational Television Foundation and a recipient of a $250,000 grant from Microsoft to develop and implement computer training programs in the southcoast. During his career, he has generated over $4.5 million in private and public grants to support his work. His research interests are in green marketing, direct marketing, international business, seafood marketing, marketing intelligence, and academic administration. Ariguzo has publications in the Information and Management Journal, the International Journal of Logistics Systems and Management, International Journal of Business Innovation and Research, and in a variety of conference proceedings. He was the recipient of the 2005 University of Massachusetts Dartmouth University-wide Leo M. Sullivan Teacher of the Year (one awarded each year) and the Charlton College of Business Higginson Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2005 and 2009. He is recognized internationally for leading innovative business and educational programs. Dr. Ariguzo coordinated the development and implementation of the Management Information System (MIS) 101 course required of all freshmen entering the College of Business and the Internship Program in the Charlton College of Business. 

As the co-advisor to the International Business Association (IBA), Dr. Ariguzo has worked with his students to conduct in-country research projects in Argentina, the Azores, Brazil, Cape Verde, China, France, Costa Rica, Germany, Italy, Peru, and Portugal. He has traveled to 20 countries in four different continents.  As the advisor for the UMass Dartmouth Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), he was recognized as a Samuel M. Walton Free Enterprise Fellow in 2004. His SIFE team has won the regional championships in 2009 and 2010.  Dr. Ariguzo has provided consulting services for various companies in the United States and abroad including the Catholic Diocese of Fall River/Bishop Connolly High School, WGBH Educational Television Foundation, Ameramesh Technologies, Wellness Inc., Charlton Memorial Hospital, and Cozyrest Guest House in Nigeria. His consulting company Ariguzo Consulting, (, is one of the most innovative business and educational consulting companies in Massachusetts, USA.  Dr. Ariguzo holds a doctorate in Higher Education Administration from the University of Massachusetts Boston, an M.B.A. in Business and Commerce, and a B.B.A. in Marketing from Marshall University. Dr. Ariguzo also holds a Certificate of Exporting from the New England Export School and Massachusetts Port Authority. 

In October 2009, the Honorable Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, appointed him to the fourteen-member Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) state board that reviews and considers municipal and business applications for certification for the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP) and designations for Economic Target Areas (ETA) and Economic Opportunity Areas (EOA). Once approved for EDIP, certified projects receive State Economic Opportunity Area Investment Tax Credit.


Brian Ayotte, Assistant Professor, Psychology

Brian AyotteBrian Ayotte received his Ph.D. in Lifespan Developmental Psychology (with a focus on social cognition and health) from West Virginia University in 2007. He then completed a Health Services Research and Development post-doctoral fellowship funded by the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

Dr. Ayotte’s primary research interests are the developmental and social processes underlying health-related behavior and cognition among middle-aged and older adults. His research has followed two closely related lines: (a) cognitive functioning in the contexts of health, health disparities, and everyday functioning; and (b) interpersonal influences on depression, cognition, and health-related behavior in diverse populations. He is also interested in the application of latent-variable modeling to the study of health and aging, both as a tool to examine relationships among latent constructs and as a method to explore sources of possible item biases in health and cognitive measures.



Xiaole Bai, Assistant Professor, Computer and Information Science

Xiaole BaiXiaole Bai is an assistant professor in the department of computer and information science. He received his B.S degree from the department of electronic engineering in Southeast University, China, in 1999, and received his M.S. degree in data communication in Helsinki University of Technology, Finland, in 2003. He received his Ph. D. degree in computer science and engineering from the Ohio State University in December 2009, and was a research scientist there thereafter.

His research interests include network science and engineering, cyber space security, distributed computing, and information science.



Kathryn Caldera, Sociology, Anthropology, Crime and Justice Studies

Kathryn Caldera received her graduate degree in cultural anthropology from UC Berkeley. She lived and worked on the Cape Verde Islands for four years and is conducting more research in the areas of motherhood and religious syncretism in the concelho de Santa Catarina on the Island of Santiago. She continues her work on Cape Verdean culture and language, and on the profound cultural differences found on each Cape Verdean island, taking into account their specific histories and the various forms of power at work in different historical periods.

Beginning in 2007 and prior to joining the faculty at UMass Dartmouth full-time, she taught introductory and upper level courses in anthropology at several state and private institutions. 



Yanlai Chen, Assitant Professor, Mathematics Department

Yanlai ChenYanlai Chen joined Department of Mathematics, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in August 2010, as an Assistant Professor. He spent the previous three years at Brown University as a postdoctoral research associate. Dr. Chen's degrees include a B.S. degree (Mathematics) from University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) obtained in 2002, an M.S. (Computer Science) and a Ph.D. (Mathematics) from University of Minnesota obtained in 2007.

His research interests are in numerical analysis and scientific computing. In particular, adaptive discontinuous Galerkin finite element method, hybridizable discontinuous Galerkin method, and reduced basis method, etc. These methods concern important topics in computational mathematics such as: the design and analysis of methodologies  that can allocate computational resource to where it is needed, how to solve certain equations more efficiently without losing accuracy, how to couple available methods utilizing their respective advantages, and how to improve efficiency for repeated simulation of problems with varying parameters. Dr. Chen taught college algebra and probability, precalculus, and calculus. He has also been a guest lecturer for graduate level numerical analysis courses.



Ruth Griffin, DNSc, RN

Ruth A. Griffin, DNSc, RN, completed her BSN degree at Salem State College and embarked on a long and varied clinical career in psychiatric nursing. At McLean Hospital, in Belmont, MA, Dr. Griffin gained clinical expertise is settings for geriatric patients, adolescents, and people with alcoholism and substance abuse. During a three-year break in the middle of her McLean experience, Dr. Griffin took a supervisory position at the Student Health Center at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, where she became the Center’s first mental health liaison. After nearly a decade of service at Mclean, Dr. Griffin worked at the Nightingale Center, an innovative facility designed to treat nurses with substance abuse issues.  Later, she provided in-service sessions based on that experience while working on MSN from Saint Louis University.  Dr. Griffin was then recruited to manage clinical trials for psychotropic medications in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University, in conjunction with the Connecticut Mental Health Center. These studies contributed to the FDA approval of new atypical antipsychotic medications now in common use. 

In 2005, Dr. Griffin earned a Doctorate in Nursing Science from the Columbia University School of Nursing. After teaching and research experiences at Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in Albany, NY, Boston College, and Regis College, Dr. Griffin recently joined the faculty teaching psychiatric nursing at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.



Beste Güçler, Assistant Professor, STEM

Beste GüçlerDr. Güçler joined the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in September 2010. She holds a B.S. degree in Mathematics; a M.S. degree in Mathematics; and a M.S. degree in Secondary Mathematics Education. She received her Ph.D. in Mathematics Education with a cognate in Teacher Education in 2010 from Michigan State University.

Dr. Güçler’s present work explores how mathematical discourse develops over history and in undergraduate calculus classes with a focus on the concept of limit. In particular, she investigates how the elements of instructors’ mathematical discourse compare and contrast with those of the students. Her general research interests include conceptual and historical development of mathematical concepts; the teaching and learning of calculus at the undergraduate level; and the connections between mathematics education and social justice issues (e.g. ability tracking, characteristics of remedial mathematics courses, students’ occupational decision-making based on their success in mathematics).



Charlotte Hamlin, CVPA

Charlotte HamlinCharlotte Hamlin, formerly Assistant Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at UMass Dartmouth from 2004-2010, has been teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in the Textile Design and Fiber Arts program since 1998. She received a BA in Anthropology from University of Pennsylvania, a BSN in Nursing from Columbia University, an MS in Nursing from Boston University and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in 1998.

Charlotte received the Walter Cass Faculty Recognition Award in 2006 and has attended residencies at Ucross in Wyoming and at the Edward Albee Foundation in New York. Her work has appeared in national and regional exhibitions including the Fiberart International, Chautauqua International for Fiber Art, and the Knitting and Stitching Show (London).



Pingguo He, Associate Professor, Fisheries, SMAST

Pingguo HeDr. Pingguo He joined the Department of Fisheries Oceanography, School for Marine Science and Technology in January 2010. He earned his degree of Bachelor of Engineering in Marine Fisheries from Zhejiang Ocean University (China) and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Aberdeen (UK). Prior to this position, he was a research associate professor at the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space at the University of New Hampshire, and a senior researcher at the Fisheries and Marine Institute of the Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada. Dr. He specializes in fish swimming, fish reaction to fishing gears, conservation-oriented fishing gear designs to reduce bycatch and ecosystem impact, as well as flume tank tests and underwater observations of fish and fishing gears.

Dr. He is an internationally recognized researcher in fish behavior and its application in marine fisheries. He has published more than thirty peer-reviewed scientific papers in international journals in a wide range of topics and fishing gear types. He made numerous presentations in international conferences and symposiums. He has just edited a new book titled “Behavior of Marine Fishes: Capture processes and Conservation Challenges” which was published in June 2010. He reviewed scientific papers for more than fifteen journals, and judged numerous research proposals for governmental and non-governmental funding agencies. He was invited as an expert to several Expert Consultations by Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations.



Saang-Yoon Hyun, Assistant Professor, Fisheries Oceanography

Saang-Yoon HyunDr. Saang-Yoon Hyun joined the Department of Fisheries Oceanography at the School for Marine Science & Technology in June 2010.  His research interests focus on inferential statistics, population dynamics, stock assessment, and ecological modeling.  His previous positions include Post-doctoral Research Associate at the University of Washington (UW) (Seattle, WA), Quantitative Fisheries Scientist at the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (Portland, OR), and tenure-track faculty at the Cheju National University (Jeju, Korea).  

He earned his Ph.D. in Quantitative Ecology & Resource Management at the UW in 2002. The main theme of his dissertation was to develop a statistical model for forecasting sockeye salmon returns to Bristol Bay, Alaska. He received his M.S. degree in Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the UW in 1997. His M.S. thesis was a study of ocean distributions of Columbia River Chinook salmon stocks and environmental effects on their cohort strength. Being awarded the Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship in 1993-1994, he started his graduate study in the USA. He was born in 1967 in Jeju, Korea, and grew up there, where he studied his undergraduate courses in aquaculture and fisheries management at the CNU.



Matthew C. Ingram, Assistant Professor of Political Science, J.D., Ph.D.

Matthew C. IngramMatt Ingram’s research in comparative politics and law seeks a better understanding of the sources of strong institutions, state building, and democracy. In 2009, he completed a dissertation on subnational judicial reform in Brazil and Mexico since 1985, a project that drew on two years of fieldwork and was funded by the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and the Fulbright Commission. His current projects aim to better describe and explain transformations in legal institutions, judicial decision-making, and changes in judicial role perception, primarily in Latin America. He recently published a report (co-authored with David Shirk), “Judicial Reform in Mexico: Toward a New Criminal Justice System.”

In 2009-2010, Professor Ingram was a Visiting Fellow at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at the University of California, San Diego, and in 2011-2012 he will be on leave as a Visiting Fellow at the University of Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies. Areas of interest include judicial politics/public law, justice systems, development and democratization, territorial politics, network analysis, spatial analysis, qualitative methods, and multi-method research.

Ingram was born and raised in Mexico and speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese.


Michelle LaFrance, Assistant Professor, English
Writing Program Administrator, First Year English

Michelle LaFranceMichelle LaFrance received her Ph.D. in English (with a concentration in Writing Studies) from the University of Washington.

As a qualitative research-scholar, Michelle’s work explores the ways that language and identity compel and inform one another in a variety of different contexts. Her work often asks: How does writing reflect the values of a community of scholars? How do our ideas about language organize us, give shape to, and order our belongings? Her interests include understanding how students join academic communities as writers, pedagogy, writing centers, language resuscitation activism, and socio-linguistic community building. In recent years, she has begun to explore new media (in particular, documentary filmmaking), looking into writing centers and classrooms as locations that may support multiple modalities of expression and communication.

Michelle has published on e-research, e-portfolios, writing center pedagogy, and independent comics, and is co-author of the forthcoming collection Peer Pressure, Peer Power: Collaborative Peer Review and Response in the Writing Classroom (Fountainhead Press 2011).

In her free time, she hangs out with a ball-crazy black lab and a snaggle-toothed Chihuahua.



Weiwei Lin, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Policy
School of Education, Public Policy and Civic Engagement

Weiwei Lin joined the Department of Public Policy as Assistant Professor in September 2010.  Dr. Lin received her Ph.D. in Public Administration from Rutgers University-Newark.  Her primary research and teaching interests are public and nonprofit management, performance measurement for public and nonprofit organizations, and public administration education. 

Dr. Lin's dissertation research investigates the relationship between nonprofit revenue diversification and organizational performance.  She has published in academic journals including Public Administration Review and has been presenting at conferences such as American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) annual meeting and Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) annual meeting. 



David Manke, Assistant Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry

Dr. Manke received his doctorate in inorganic chemistry from MIT in 2005 where he studied the principles of photocatalytic hydrogen production.  During his postdoctoral research at Cornell University, he examined the basic processes involved in carbon dioxide reduction.  He spent two years as a visiting professor at Saint Bonaventure University before joining the faculty at UMass Dartmouth. Dr. Manke’s research interests are in the areas of solid state catalysis and small molecule activation processes.



Andres Xavier Echarri-Mendoza, Assistant Professor of Spanish

Dr. Andrés Xavier Echarri is from Peru where he received his B.A. in Hispanic Literature from the Catholic University of Peru, Lima, and then completed his Master and Ph.D. in Hispanic Cultural Studies at the Michigan State University, Lansing, in 2004. He has taught at the University of West Georgia, Carrollton, where he also directed the Study Abroad Program to Mexico. His research agenda focus on Latin American Cultural Studies, Hispanic Poetry and Cinema. Currently he is committed to the study on the constructions of childhood within Latin American narrative. Dr. Echarri has also interest in visual arts, creative writing and he is a published poet.



Kara Miller, Assistant Professor, English Department

Kara MillerKara Miller joins the English department as an Assistant Professor, specializing in journalism. She received her B.A. from Yale and her Ph.D. from Tufts, where she focused on how presidents communicate with the public during wartime. She has also taught at Babson College and Tufts University.

Dr. Miller’s work has appeared in The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, Boston Magazine, and The International Herald Tribune; she writes the "Culture Club" blog on Currently, she is a contributor to WGBH-TV (PBS) in Boston, serving as a guest panelist on “Beat the Press.” She also writes commentaries for WGBH’s NPR station (89.7) and is a frequent panelist on “The Emily Rooney Show,” which she has also guest hosted. Previously, she did on-air commentary for NECN (New England Cable News). From 2003 to 2010, she worked as a contributing columnist for The MetroWest Daily News covering politics, media, and pop culture.



Pia Moisander, Assistant Professor, Biology

Pia Moisander joins the Biology department as an Assistant Professor in the fall 2010.  Dr. Moisander received her Ph.D in 2002 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Marine Sciences, with a dissertation on ecology of nitrogen-fixing, toxin-producing cyanobacteria in estuarine environments.  Her doctoral research was supported by a Fulbright scholarship.  She also has a M.S. degree in Limnology and Environmental Sciences from the University of Helsinki, Finland.  Dr. Moisander completed postdoctoral research as a National Research Council Research Associate at the NASA Ames Research Center and as a member of the research faculty at the University of California Santa Cruz Institute of Marine Sciences.

Recently Dr. Moisander has published research on the distribution and activities of nitrogen-fixing micro-organisms in the open ocean (Moisander et al. 2010, Science), microbial mats, and estuarine bacterioplankton, and nutrient limitation and diversity of toxin-producing cyanobacteria in large rivers in California and Florida.  She has conducted research onboard oceanographic research vessels in the Baltic Sea, South China Sea, South Pacific, and subtropical Atlantic Ocean.  Dr. Moisander has published 31 peer-reviewed research articles on marine, estuarine, and freshwater microbial ecology in highly ranked journals, and has authored several successful grant proposals funded at federal or local level.  She uses molecular approaches in field and laboratory investigations, cultivation, and physiological measurements to characterize microbial community composition and activity, and microbial contribution to nutrient budgets and processing of material in aquatic ecosystems.

At UMass, Dr. Moisander will be teaching marine microbiology and other courses in her field of expertise.



José Domingo Mora, Assistant Professor of Marketing, Charlton College of Business

José Domingo MoraJosé Domingo Mora holds a Ph.D. in Marketing from Simon Fraser University, Vancouver; an M.A. in Communications Management from The Annenberg School at USC, Los Angeles; as well as a B.A. in Communication, magna cum laude, and a B.S. in Biology from Universidad Central de Venezuela. He has taught college-level courses in Introduction to Marketing and Consumer Behaviour at SFU, as well as Management of Communication Firms at the A. Bello Catholic University, Caracas.

In his current research, José Domingo uses statistical models to investigate social interactions and group viewing in television audiences. He has shown that group viewing affects amount and variety of viewership; and, that watching with others is the primary social influence driving audiences. Implications of his research include that audiences are indeed clustered networks of viewers which channel a dynamic process of collective consumption of mediated contents.

His 10-year managerial experience in the television industry includes marketing, audience research and executive positions for TV networks in Venezuela. He was also head of audience analysis and marketing for Ibope-AGB Mexico, a firm of the Nielsen Media Research group, and has consulted for Caracas and Miami-based media companies. Earlier in his career, José Domingo was a supervisor of Institutional Relations in the Venezuelan oil industry, and a product development specialist for the Latin America division of Procter & Gamble.



Douglas T. Owens, Associate Professor, Music Department

Douglas T. OwensDouglas T. Owens is an Associate Professor of Music and Music Department Chair at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. His research emphasis is on music education, musicians’ health and music entrepreneurship. He earned the Doctor of Arts degree in Music with emphases in Music Education and Jazz Pedagogy at the University of Northern Colorado. Owens earned the Master of Music degree in trumpet performance and the Bachelor of Music Education degree at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

An experienced music educator since 1986, Dr. Owens was most recently an Associate Professor of Music Education at the University of Southern Maine. He has been a music educator at the elementary, middle, and high school levels in California and Wisconsin. Dr. Owens continues to serve as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator of wind ensembles, concert bands and jazz ensembles.

Dr. Owens has presented research at the national meetings of the College Music Society, the Music Educators National Conference, the Eastern Division meetings of the Music Educators National Conference, the Maine Music Educators Association, the National Hearing Conservation Association, the Health Promotion in Schools of Music Conference, the Performing Arts Medicine Association National Symposium, the Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities, the Colorado Music Educators Association Conference and the University of Northern Colorado Research Conference.

Dr. Owens has published nationally and internationally with research appearing in Medical Problems of Performing Artists, the National Band Association Journal and The Instrumentalist. He is the 2004 recipient of the Alice G. Brandfonbrener Young Investigator Award, presented by the Performing Arts Medicine Association for the paper Sound Pressure Levels Experienced by the High School Band Director.

As the lead trumpet of the Portland (Maine) Jazz Orchestra, Dr. Owens has performed with Bob Mintzer, the New York Voices and Wayne Bergeron. Additionally, Dr. Owens has been a member of the Chris Humphrey Big Band and the Thomas Snow Band. He is a former member of the Norumbega Brass. 



Kelly G. Pennell, Assistant Professor

Kelly G. PennellKelly G. Pennell received a BS in Civil (Environmental) Engineering from Lawrence Technological University in 1997. In 2001, she received her MS in Environmental Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.  And, in 2005 she received her PhD in Civil (Environmental) Engineering from Purdue University. Prior to joining UMass Dartmouth, she served on the faculty at Brown University (2005-2010).   Aside from academic experience, she has over five years professional experience working as an environmental consultant.

Dr. Pennell’s research is aimed at better understanding the fate and transport of environmental contaminants.  She is particularly interested in connecting research, practice and policy, such that health risks can be better characterized and mitigated. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the Rhode Island Water Resources Center have funded her research.  Her research findings have been published in several peer-reviewed journals, such as the Journal of the Air and Waste Management Assoc., Environmental Science and Technology, and Groundwater Monitoring and Remediation, among others.  She regularly presents research findings at national conferences. In 2007, she was an invited presenter at the NIEHS Superfund Research Program 20th Anniversary Meeting in Durham, NC.

Mehdi Raessi, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering Department

Mehdi RaessiMehdi Raessi joins the Mechanical Engineering Department at UMass Dartmouth following a postdoctoral study at Stanford University. He obtained his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto in 2008. He was then awarded a postdoctoral fellowship by the NASA/Stanford University's Center for Turbulence Research.

Mehdi's research focus is primarily on multiphase flows and free-surface flows with phase change. At the University of Toronto's Center for Advanced Coating Technologies, he studied the fluid flow and solidification of micro-droplets impacting on substrates in conditions that represented realistic thermal spray coating processes. His postdoctoral study was focused on accurate numerical modeling of multiphase flows characterized by large density ratios, encountered in liquid atomization processes.

Mehdi has served as a course instructor in the University of Toronto’s Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) in 2006 and 2007. He received the MIE Early Career Teaching Award in 2006. In addition to academic research and teaching experiences, Mehdi has worked in industry as a researcher and applied engineer.



Erin Sassin, Full Time Lecturer, Art History

Erin SassinErin Eckhold Sassin comes to UMass Dartmouth from Brown University’s Department of the History of Art and Architecture and is currently completing her dissertation, entitled: Examining the German Ledigenheim: Development of a Housing Type, Position in the Urban Fabric and Impact on Central European Housing Reform under the direction of Professor Dietrich Neumann.

Her work focuses on the development of a building type serving single people in Germany from the 1860s to the 1930s and its relationship to the surrounding community, as well as its function as a social and architectural model for later modernist experiments.

Erin is very interested in the intersection and co-dependence of the worlds of fine art, design and architecture in the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries, as well as housing reform and identity politics in art and architecture. (She is currently working on an essay for inclusion in an edited volume on the private/public world of middle-class German women in the late 19th century and has recently been published in a monograph on the work of local Providence architect Ira Rakatansky.)

Erin is excited to join the Department of Art History at UMASS Dartmouth, with its strong focus on the teaching and mentoring of students.  In particular, having studied at public universities for both her Bachelors and Masters degrees (the former at the University of Michigan and the latter at UMASS Amherst), she understands the importance of excellence in public higher education.

Erin has actively developed my approach to teaching by taking advantage of the pedagogical training programs in higher education at Brown’s Sheridan Center, as well as putting these lessons into practice as both a teaching assistant and an Adjunct at Brown and the Rhode Island School of Design.  She also looks forward to sharing with students the knowledge she has gained while working at the RISD museum, where she aided in the design and implementation of exhibitions focusing on art, architecture, and design in the four decades following the Second World War, namely the Marcel Breuer and Design Research exhibitions.



Mark W. Silby, Assistant Professor, Biology

Mark W. Silby joined the Biology Department as an Assistant Professor in fall, 2010. He received his PhD in 2002 from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, where he investigated the genetic basis of antifungal activity expressed by the soil bacterium Pseudomonas aureofaciens. Before joining UMass Dartmouth, Mark was a postdoctoral fellow and a Research Assistant Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. His research at Tufts University focused on the analysis of the genome sequence of Pseudomonas fluorescens Pf0-1, and on the genetics underlying the survival and competitive fitness of P. fluorescens in soil. Mark currently serves on the editorial board of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

His current research interests include the mechanisms used by soil bacteria to adapt to fluctuating environmental conditions such as temperature, moisture content, and the presence of pollutants and artificial fertilizers. Mark is also using genetic and genomic approaches to investigate chemical signaling that occurs between different species of soil bacteria. Long term goals include developing an understanding of the dynamics of microbial communities in natural environments, using microbial systems as sensors of environmental perturbation, and improving the use of bacteria in biological control of plant pathogens and in the bioremediation of oil spills.



Thomas Stubblefield, Full Time Lecturer, Art History

Thomas Stubblefield joined the Art History department in the Fall of 2010.  Prior to that, he earned a Ph.D. in Visual Studies from the University of California-Irvine and a Masters in Art History from the University of Illinois-Chicago.  He has taught courses in Art History and Film Studies at El Camino College, Laguna College of Art and Design, FIDM, Columbia College Chicago, University of Wisconsin-Parkside and Chicago State University.   He has also presented papers at numerous conferences on topics related to matters of visual culture and has published essays in several anthologies (A Visual Studies Reader, Photographs Histories Meanings and In the Dark Room:  Marguerite Duras and Cinema) and academic journals (The Canadian Journal of Film Studies, Postscript: A Journal of Film and the Humanities and Thresholds).  His primary areas of research are:  the visual culture of disaster, cultural memory, digital-analog discourses and postmodern aesthetics. 



Brian Sweeney, Assistant Professor, English

Brian SweeneyDr. Brian Sweeney received his Ph.D. in Literatures and Cultures in English from Brown University in 2010.  Before joining the faculty at UMass Dartmouth, he taught literature at Brown University, Saint Joseph’s University and The College of Saint Rose, where he was Visiting Instructor in Early Literature of the Americas.

His research and teaching interests include colonial American and nineteenth-century U.S. literature, African American literature, the novel, professionalism, affect, transatlantic literary relations, and print culture. His current project, Professional Sentiments, explores constructions of professional subjectivity in transatlantic fiction of the long nineteenth century.



Mazdak P. Tootkaboni, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Tootkaboni, MazdakMazdak P. Tootkaboni will join the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in September 2010. After earning his high school diploma in mathematics and physics in June 1995 he attended University of Tehran in Iran where he was awarded BSc in Civil Engineering and MSc in Earthquake engineering in April 2000 and December 2002 respectively. He joined the Department of Civil Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University in 2004 and earned his PhD degree in Structural Mechanics in May 2009.

Dr Tootkaboni’s research lies at the intersection of computational mechanics and applied probability and statistics. He develops schemes that combine recent advances in stochastic modeling (e.g. stochastic PDE solving techniques) and applied statistics (e.g. machine learning and statistical inference) with the existing methods in computational mechanics. These schemes have a wide range of applications, from uncertainty modeling (representation and propagation) to model validation and from reliability analysis to integration of experiments and computational models, and fault tolerant (uncertainty informed) design topology optimization. He is an associate member of ASCE and a member of Engineering Mechanics Institute (EMI) and its Probabilistic Mechanics Committee. 



Shawn Towne, Assistant Professor

Shawn Towne is a designer and digital media artist. His work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, including AXIOM Gallery (Boston), Fuller Museum of Art (Brockton), LiveBox (Chicago), California State Polytechnic University: Kellogg Art Gallery (Pomona), Victory Media Network (Dallas), C2C Gallery (Prague), VideoChannel (Cologne), among others. Towne studied at the College of Visual and Performing Arts at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and possesses a BFA in Graphic Design / Letterform (Summa Cum Laude) and a BFA in Electronic Imaging / Photography (Cum Laude). Towne received his MFA in Visual Arts with a focus on video art and interactive media from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University. Currently he works as a practicing designer, and video artist. He also holds an academic appointment of Assistant Professor of Digital Media within the Design Department of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. His educational pursuits maintain an emphasis on emerging technologies, interactivity, design, video and motion graphics.



Tryon Woods, Assistant Professor, Sociology/Anthropology/Crime and Justice

Dr. Woods teaches social justice, African American Studies, and critical race, sex, gender, and class studies in the Department of Sociology/Anthropology/Crime & Justice Studies.  He has previously taught criminology at Sonoma State University in northern California and sociology at Long Beach State University in southern California.  His doctorate is from the University of California and he has published in journals in the humanities, social sciences, and law.  Dr. Woods has also worked with community-based organizations in New York City, Seattle, and Oakland on HIV/AIDS prevention, supportive housing for drug users, and police accountability.  He is at work on two manuscripts, one about globalization and decolonization in Nigeria and Mexico, and the other about anti-black violence in the US.



Zhaojin (Lily) Xu, Assistant Professor of Finance, Accounting and Finance Department

Zhaojin (Lily) Xu received her PhD in finance from Virginia Tech in 2007. Prior to joining UMass Dartmouth, she was an assistant professor of finance at Washington State University. Her research interests include institutional investors, mutual funds, and market efficiency.