New faculty profiles 2011 - 2012

Steven J. Baden, Full Time Lecturer, History and Religious Studies

 Steven J. Baden had joined the History Department at UMass Dartmouth in 2004 as a part-time lecturer after finishing his Ph.D. at the University of Iowa. He has taught courses in ancient and classical civilizations, religious history and intellectual history.

Dr. Baden has participated in and moderated several panels on religious history. His dissertation examined the impact of the British Oxford Movement on the theology and missionary movements of the Episcopal Church.

Dr. Baden received his B.A. in History from Southeastern Massachusetts University in 1989, and his Masters in History from the University of Connecticut in 1990.


Anicca Cox, Full Time Lecturer, English

Annica Cox Anicca Cox is teaching in the English department here at UMass and is also the FYE program assistant. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of New Mexico in photography and her MA in composition and rhetoric from Humboldt State University in California with a minor in TESL.




Kaisa Holloway Cripps, Full Time Lecturer, Decision and Information Sciences and Management & Marketing

Kaisa Holloway Cripps is a Doctorate of Management candidate at the University of Maryland University College. She has an MBA from the Charlton College of Business at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and a BA in Humanities and Social Sciences. Holloway Cripps began her undergraduate at American University in Washington DC in the School of International Service.
She is a Lecturer at the Charlton College of Business and Sustainability Studies at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. She works in Corporate Communications/Public Relations and Sustainability for a large IT firm. Holloway Cripps previously held positions as the Editor in Chief for a Dow Jones Local Media Group publication and several positions in international businesses and in the public school sector. She has several publications, and current academic works in progress. She teaches foundation courses in the Decision & Information Sciences department and Organizational Behavior in the Charlton College of Business. She has been a member and Past President of Net Impact, and has been a member of Academy of Management, the US Tennis Association,the Board of Directors of the Fairhaven Tennis Association and The Green Grid.

Gregor Kranjc, Assistant Professor, History

 Dr. Gregor Kranjc received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Toronto in 2006. His dissertation examined the topic of collaboration with the enemy during World War II, focusing on occupied Slovenia and Yugoslavia. Before arriving at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Dr. Kranjc served as senior historian with the Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Section of the Canadian Department of Justice in Ottawa from 2007 to 2008. As a Balkan specialist, he was tasked with undertaking historical research on alleged war crimes that occurred in the former Yugoslavia during its violent disintegration in the 1990s. From 2009 to 2011, Dr. Kranjc was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of History at The College of William & Mary.

Although he has enjoyed teaching a wide variety of courses in modern European history, Dr. Kranjc’s teaching interests are focused geographically on the history of East Central Europe, the Balkans, and Russia/Soviet Union. His research interests include war and society, the intersection between historical trauma and memory, and the history of ethnic and religious minorities, particularly as they apply to Slovenia. His published articles have appeared in numerous scholarly journals including the Journal of Women’s History, Slovene Studies, East European Jewish Affairs, East European Politics and Societies and The Journal of Slavic Military Studies. Dr. Kranjc’s most recently published work was a book chapter on occupied Slovenia and its propaganda war which appeared in War in a Twilight World: Partisan and Anti-Partisan Warfare in Eastern Europe, 1939-1945, published in 2010 by Palgrave and edited by Juliette Patterson and Ben Shepherd. His forthcoming book To Walk with the Devil: Slovene Collaboration and Axis Occupation, 1941-1945 will be published by the University of Toronto Press. He is currently working on a new book entitled “Kočevski Rog: The Story of a Post-War Massacre” which will recount the experience of thousands of anti-Communist Yugoslavs who were forcibly repatriated from Austria to Yugoslavia by the British beginning in May 1945 and summarily executed. The book will be a study of the shifting memories of this massacre, which after a four-decade forced amnesia have resurfaced with the collapse of Yugoslavia.

Rachel Kulick, Assistant Professor, Sociology, Anthropology, Crime, and Justice Studies

Rachel Kulick joins the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Crime, and Justice Studies as an Assistant Professor starting in 2011. She has a M.Ed in arts and education from Harvard University and received her Ph.D. in sociology from Brandeis University in 2010. Her research interests are social movements, visual culture, media democracy, and gender and race relationally. Her research examines the prefigurative role of independent media in the larger social movement for media change. She specifically explores the strategic dilemmas that media activists confront as they seek to enact media change in their organizational structures, production practices, and distributed content. Prior to starting at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, she served as a research associate at City University of New York where she evaluated the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Tobacco Policy Change Initiative, which sought to expand the tobacco control movement to include marginalized communities that are most burdened by tobacco. This research looks to help funders better support public health advocacy and movement building work in tobacco and other community health areas. Dr. Kulick will be be teaching sociology courses in research methods, media and education, and related areas. She is excited to cultivate learning environments in the classroom that facilitate community engagement and multimodal learning.

Tara Lyons, Assistant Professor, English

Tara Lyons Dr. Tara Lyons received her Ph.D. in English Literature in 2011. Her research interests include early modern drama, book history, and gender studies. She is currently working on a book project that constructs a history of the drama collection in the hundred years before the publication of Benjamin Jonson’s Works (1616) and William Shakespeare’s First Folio (1623). In her book, she aims to redefine the collection and show how the Jonson and Shakespeare folios are inscribed by earlier collections and their organizational frameworks. Her scholarship on Renaissance drama has been published in two edited collections, Locating the Queen's Men (Ashgate, 2009), and Gender Matters (Rodopi, forthcoming 2012).

Having taught an array of English and American literature courses, Dr. Lyons looks forward to designing and implementing experiential learning projects in her classes at UMass-Dartmouth. She will be teaching Introduction to Shakespeare and Literary Studies this fall. She was awarded a Campus Teaching Excellence Award at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana in 2008.


Sheila Macrine, Associate Professor, Teaching and Learning

Sheila MaCrine Sheila Macrine, formerly on faculty at Montclair State University in New Jersey, has been teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in literacy/reading and special education since 1995. She received her BA in Sociology from University of Massachusetts. She received her Masters in Reading at Temple University and compl eted a dual Ph.D. program in the Psychology of Reading and School Psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA

Sheila Macrine, Ph.D, is the Chair of the Teaching and Learning Department at UMASS Dartmouth. A school psychologist and a reading specialist, her research focuses on connecting the cultural, political, and institutional contexts of pedagogy and learning theory as they relate to the public sphere, democratic education and social imagination. She examines these issues on many levels including educational reform and policy, as well as, teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse students. She has published numerous articles on diverse learners and recently published four books. She is currently studying the political and cultural forces at work in our national education policies.


Andrew Nixon, Full-Time Lecturer, Fine Arts

Andrew Nixon Andrew Nixon studied sculpture at Boston University's School of Visual Arts (B.F.A.) and at the Indiana University Hope School of Fine Arts (M.F.A.). He has taught drawing in the Department of Fine Arts since 1992. Mr. Nixon has also taught painting and drawing at the Pont-Aven School of Contemporary Art in Brittany, and has conducted drawing workshops in Scotland. In addition to studio courses, he has taught 20th Century modernism at Boston University and has co-taught an art and philosophy course here at UMD. His landscape and figurative paintings have been exhibited in galleries in New York, Boston, Chicago, France and Scotland and have received top awards. His work is in the collection of the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, the Stewartry Museum in Scotland, and the corporate collections of Fidelity Investments and Nordstrom. In early 2012 he will have in a one-person show at the Newport Art Museum. You can see his work at



Mark Paige, Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership & Public Policy

Mark Paige joined the faculty of the Department of Educational Leadership & Public Policy in 2011. He holds a J.D. (2007) and Ph.D. (2011) in Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dr. Paige researches legal issues in education, including school finance, collective bargaining, and special education. He has a particular interest in the intersection of law and education policy. In 2007, he received a fellowship from the Institute of Equity and Educational Opportunity to serve as a school finance attorney in Wisconsin. He has published in numerous journals. Mark is also a member of the Massachusetts and New Hampshire bars. As an attorney, he represented school districts in a variety of labor and employment matters before state agencies and courts, including the New Hampshire Supreme Court. He has presented at numerous national conferences and trainings for school administrators. He grew up on Cape Cod.

Richard Peltz-Steele - Associate Professor of Law

Richard J Peltz J.D., Duke University, B.A., Washington & Lee University

Richard J. Peltz-Steele is a professor teaching media law topics including torts and freedom of information. He is author or co-author of qualitative and quantitative research articles in law and mass communication journals, as well as book chapters, a treatise in the law and mass communication field, a casebook in tort law, and a forthcoming casebook in freedom of information law and policy. He is especially active in international media law and policy, having presented papers in Malaysia and South Africa, and having published in international and foreign journals, most recently regarding African development and the 2010 men's World Cup in football.

Peltz-Steele has won awards in teaching, research, and public service. He practiced commercial law in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., and taught law for more than thirteen years before coming to UMass Law. Peltz-Steele received his law degree from Duke University and a bachelor’s in journalism and Spanish from Washington & Lee University. He volunteers in international hostelling and Latino community outreach. SSRN web page:

Ricardo D. Rosa, Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership and Public Policy

Ricardo Rosa Dr. Ricardo D. Rosa is Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Public Policy in the School of Education, Public Policy and Civic Engagement (SEPPCE).

His Doctorate was earned at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction. His areas of concentration within curriculum and research include: language, literacy and social studies education. His Masters was attained at the University of Massachusetts Boston’s Department of Bilingual and ESL Education. Dr. Rosa has been a teacher and administrator in several middle schools and high schools in Massachusetts and Florida.

He recently released a book out of Peter Lang titled ‘Pedagogy in the Age of Media Control: Language Deception and Digital Democracy’ co-authored with Joao J. Rosa. His work has also been included in Michael W. Apple, Wayne Au, Armando Gandin’s ‘The Routledge International Handbook of Critical Education;’ and in Pepi Leistyna’s ‘Defining and Designing Multiculturalism.’ His research interests include social policy, urban as well as migrant education, neoliberalism, and curricular theory within and beyond the boundaries of normative schooling.

Peter Sandby-Thomas, Full Time Lecturer, Political Science

Dr Sandby-Thomas’ research principally focuses on the politics of China and its foreign relations in the post-Mao period, paying particular attention to the internal and external dimensions of the Chinese Communist Party’s legitimation strategies. He is the author of Legitimating the Chinese Communist Party since Tiananmen: a critical analysis of the stability discourse (Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2011) and his work has appeared in The China Quarterly and Political Studies. His current projects include examining the strategies of the CCP to enhance its global media soft power as well as the representation of China in US political discourse. In addition, he has lived and worked in China for a total of four years and has previously taught at the University of Nottingham and the University of Winchester in the UK.

Shaun B. Spencer, Assistant Professor, Director of Legal Skills

LL.M. Harvard Law School, J.D. Boston College Law School, B.A. Boston College

Professor Spencer teaches Privacy Law, Legal Skills I and Legal Skills II. He also directs the law school’s Legal Skills Program. Before joining UMassD, he was a Lecturer at Harvard Law School and an Adjunct Professor at Boston College Law School. In addition, Professor Spencer worked as a litigation associate at Boston’s Bingham, Dana & Gould, and later founded his own firm specializing in civil appellate practice and employment litigation. His research interests include privacy law and policy, legal skills pedagogy, and judicial decision making.

Professor Spencer’s publications include: Preserving appellate rights when moving for reconsideration, Mass. L. W, Aug. 30, 2010, at 39; Wage Act claims: The SJC giveth, and the SJC taketh away, Mass. L. W., Nov. 21, 2005, at 55; Dr. King, Bull Connor, and Persuasive Narratives, 2 J. Assoc. Leg. Writing Directors 209 (2004); Nevada Case Threatens to Expand Terry Stops, Boston Bar. J., Mar.-Apr. 2004, at 27; Security Versus Privacy: Reframing the Debate, 79 Denv. U. L. Rev. 519 (2002); Reasonable Expectations and the Erosion of Privacy, 39 San Diego L. Rev. 845 (2002); and CyberSLAPP Suits and John Doe Subpoenas: Balancing Anonymity and Accountability in Cyberspace, 19 J. Marshall J. Computer & Info. L. 493 (2001).

Parag Waknis, Assistant Professor, Economics

Parag Waknis Parag Waknis joins the Economics department at UMass Dartmouth as an Assistant Professor starting Fall 2011. He has an M.Phil. in economics from the Jawaharlal Nehru University in India and recently defended his Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. His research interests are in macroeconomics, monetary economics and political economy. In his doctoral researc h, he uses theory of money search and repeated games to analyze an environment where fiscal policy drives monetary policy. Such policy environment has characterized various economies time and again, with the policy response to the financial crisis being one of the recent examples. Parag has taught economics for several years in India and the United States. At UMass Dartmouth, he will teach macroeconomics and related courses. 



Barbara Weatherford Ph.D., RN, College of Nursing

Barbara Weatherford Barbara Weatherford PhD, RN has been a full time lecturer in the College of Nursing since 2004 teaching in the undergraduate, RN-BSN and graduate programs with a focus on professional role development and leadership. She received her Ph.D. in June 2011 from the University of Massachusetts Worcester, Graduate School of Nursing. Her dissertation research focused on the nursing work environment, organizational culture and their influence on patient safety in the acute care setting.

Prior to coming to UMD, Prof. Weatherford’s career has included over twenty years in senior leadership positions in healthcare. This has influenced her research interests in patient safety, leadership development and quality improvement in healthcare settings. She is also affiliated with the Institute for Nursing and Healthcare Leadership in Boston and an active member of the Organization of Nurse Leaders of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.