UAlbany Welcomes New Faculty and Staff

The UAlbany seal. (Photo by Paul Miller)

ALBANY, N.Y. (September 3, 2015) – As the University at Albany continues to enhance its academic footprint by developing programs and affiliations that meet the needs of prospective students and employers, it welcomes new faculty and staff to support these growing areas.

Sixty-four new full-time faculty members have joined the University, including both tenure-track and full-time lecturers. New deans and provosts will lead efforts in the areas of criminal justice, engineering and applied sciences, social welfare, and international education, including:

  • College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security, and Cybersecurity
    David L. Rousseau, Ph.D., dean of the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy since 2013, has taken a temporary leave as Rockefeller’s dean to help lead the new College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security, and Cybersecurity. Rousseau will oversee the development of the basic structure, academic programs, and external partnerships for the new college. 
  • College of Engineering and Applied Sciences
    Kim L. Boyer joins UAlbany as interim dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Previously Boyer served as the department head of the Electrical, Computer and Systems Engineering Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He also has served in various appointments at The Ohio State University and the University of Bern, Switzerland. He will serve in this post until a permanent dean is secured.
  • Honors College
    Leslie F. Halpern, Ph.D., has been named interim associate vice provost for undergraduate education and director of the Honors College. She previously served as associate dean for general education in the Office of Undergraduate Education. Following postdoctoral work at Brown University, she joined the faculty at UAlbany in 1996, and achieved tenure in the Department of Psychology.
  • International Education
    Harvey Charles joins as Vice Provost and Dean, International Education. He comes to UAlbany from Northern Arizona University where he served as vice provost for international initiatives and director of the Center for International Education. He has also served in senior international education leadership roles at Georgia Institute of Technology, San Francisco State University, Wheaton College and the University of Nevada, Reno.
  • Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy
    R. Karl Rethemeyer, Ph.D., Associate Dean of Rockefeller College and Chair of the Department of Public Administration and Policy Studies, is serving as interim dean of Rockefeller College. He joined UAlbany in 2003 and most recently served as associate professor of Public Administration and Policy and chair of the Department of Public Administration and Policy.
  • School of Criminal Justice
    William Alex Pridemore, Ph.D., joins the School of Criminal Justice as dean and professor. He comes to UAlbany from Georgia State University where he served as distinguished university professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology and as senior researcher in the Cluster on Evidence-Based Policy.
  • School of Social Welfare
    Darrell P. Wheeler, Ph.D., joined the University as dean and professor of the School of Social Welfare and vice provost for public engagement. He will transition the University’s public engagement portfolio from a presidential initiative to a permanent component of the academic affairs portfolio in the Office of the Provost. Wheeler comes to UAlbany from Loyola University Chicago and has also served in appointments at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, Columbia University, the University of California, San Francisco, and the University of North Carolina.
  • University Advisement Services Center
    After serving as interim director this past year, JoAnne Malatesta, Ph.D., has been appointed assistant vice provost for undergraduate education and director of the Advisement Services Center. Under her leadership, the center has expanded its reach throughout a number of campus units and divisions and broadened its impact within and beyond the University community.
  • University Libraries
    Rebecca Mugridge was named interim dean of the University Libraries. She joined the University at Albany in January 2013, as associate director for technical services and library systems and was appointed to the library faculty at the rank of librarian. She previously held positions at the Pennsylvania State University, Yale University, Robert Morris University, and the University of Pittsburgh.

The new faculty members under the University’s schools and colleges include:

College of Arts and Sciences

  • Dr. David Agum, Visiting Assistant Professor, Africana Studies
  • Dr. Daphne Chandler, Assistant Professor, Africana Studies
  • Dr. Michelle Harris, Professor, Africana Studies/Social Welfare
  • Dr. Lauren Clemens, Assistant Professor, Anthropology
  • Ms. Kirsten Jenkins, Visiting Assistant Professor, Anthropology
  • Dr. Shira Segal, Lecturer, Art and Art History
  • Dr. Robert Fovell, Professor, Atmospheric & Environmental Sciences
  • Dr. Gabriele Fuchs, Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences
  • Dr. Wendy Turner, Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences
  • Dr. Ting Wang, Assistant Professor, Chemistry
  • Dr. Qiang Zhang, Assistant Professor, Chemistry
  • Dr. Lauren Bryant, Visiting Assistant Professor, Communication
  • Dr. Archana Krishnan, Assistant Professor, Communication
  • Dr. Aaron Proffitt, Assistant Professor, East Asian Studies
  • Mr. Kenneth Bulko, Lecturer, Economics
  • Dr. Jack Rossbach, Assistant Professor, Economics
  • Dr. Michael Leong, Assistant Professor, English
  • Dr. Thomas Narins, Assistant Professor, Geography & Planning
  • Dr. M. Alejandra Aguilar Dornelles, Assistant Professor, Languages, Literatures & Cultures
  • Dr. Luis Cuesta, Lecturer, Languages, Literatures & Cultures
  • Ms. Denise Osborne, Visiting Assistant Professor, Languages, Literatures & Cultures
  • Dr. Megan Solon, Assistant Professor, Languages, Literatures & Cultures
  • Dr. Ruth Felder, Assistant Professor, Latin American, Caribbean & U.S. Latino Studies
  • Dr. Gabriel Hetland, Assistant Professor, Latin American, Caribbean & U.S. Latino Studies
  • Dr. Marius Beceanu, Assistant Professor, Mathematics & Statistics
  • Dr. Changlong Zhong, Assistant Professor, Mathematics & Statistics
  • Dr. William Gray, Assistant Professor, Music & Theatre
  • Ms. Kimberly Stauffer, Visiting Assistant Professor, Music & Theatre
  • Dr. Monika Piotrowska, Assistant Professor, Philosophy
  • Mr. Jason Randall, Visiting Assistant Professor, Psychology
  • Dr. Heather Sheridan, Assistant Professor, Psychology
  • Dr. Trevor Hoppe, Assistant Professor, Sociology
  • Dr. Stacy Torres, Assistant Professor, Sociology

School of Business

  • Dr. Stephanie Black, Assistant Professor, Management/RNA Institute
  • Dr. Ioannis Kareklas, Assistant Professor, Marketing
  • Dr. Victoria Kisekka, Assistant Professor, Information Technology Management
  • Dr. Eric Ofori, Lecturer, Finance
  • Dr. William Wales, Standish Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship, Management

 College of Engineering and Applied Science

  • Dr. Hany Elgala, Assistant Professor, Computer Engineering
  • Mr. Norman Gervais, Lecturer, Informatics

School of Criminal Justice

  • Dr. Giza Lopes, Assistant Professor

School of Education

  • Dr. Callen Kostelnik, Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor, Educational & Counseling Psychology
  • Dr. Mariola Moeyaert, Assistant Professor, Educational & Counseling Psychology
  • Dr. Gabriel Schlomer, Assistant Professor, Educational & Counseling Psychology
  • Dr. Benjamin Solomon, Assistant Professor, Educational & Counseling Psychology
  • Ms. Caroline Williams-Pierce, Lecturer, Educational Theory and Practice

Rockefeller College

  • Dr. Elizabeth Searing, Assistant Professor, Public Administration & Policy
  • Dr. Edmund Stazyk, Assistant Professor, Public Administration & Policy

School of Public Health

  • Dr. Magdia De Jesus, Assistant Professor, Biomedical Science
  • Dr. Shao Lin, Professor, Environmental Health Sciences
  • Dr. Xiaobo Xue, Assistant Professor, Environmental Health Sciences

School of Social Welfare

  • Dr. Zhyldyz Urbaeva, Assistant Professor

Writing & Critical Inquiry Program

  • Dr. Susan Detwiler, Lecturer
  • Dr. Sarah Giragosian, Lecturer
  • Dr. Hilary Kelleher, Lecturer
  • Dr. Joseph Meyer, Lecturer
  • Dr. Peter Monaco, Lecturer
  • Dr. Rae Muhlstock, Lecturer
  • Dr. Christopher Murphy, Lecturer
  • Dr. Courtney Ryan, Lecturer

In addition, the University welcomes the following administrative professionals:

  • Communications and Marketing
    Joseph A. Brennan, Ph.D., A.P.R., joins the University as vice president communications and marketing from the University of Iowa. Brennan is an established senior leader in higher education strategic communications and comes to UAlbany from the University of Iowa, where he has served as vice president of strategic communications since 2013. For five years prior to that, he was associate vice president for university communications at the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York.
  • Government Relations
    Barbara Lee Steigerwald, J.D., joined the University earlier this year as the assistant vice president. She is an experienced legislative professional with more than 15 years of budget, legislative and advocacy experience. Before coming to the University, she worked as a contract lobbyist for Ostroff Associates where her clients included Binghamton University and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).
  • Health Sciences and Biomedical Initiatives
    Laura Schweitzer, Ph.D. has joined as vice president for health sciences and biomedical initiatives. For the past six years, Dr. Schweitzer has served as president of Union Graduate College, with a recent focus on a merger with Clarkson University. Previously, she was Vice President for Academic Affairs at SUNY Upstate and Chief Academic Officer at Bassett Healthcare, following other significant roles in health science and higher education.
  • Information Technology Services
    Carole F. Sweeton was appointed interim chief information officer. She was integral in outfitting the new School of Business building with state-of-the-art technology and expanding support for online courses and programs, and has also served in an associate CIO capacity.
  • University Health Center
    Rebecca Kobos, M.D., has been appointed medical director of the University Health Center. Board-certified in family practice, she joined UAlbany’s Health Center in 2006 as a clinical physician. Previously, Dr. Kobos worked for MedDirect Urgent Care in Carson City, Nevada, and as an assistant professor in the Student Health Center at the University of Nevada’s School of Medicine.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany-SUNY offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, businesseducation, public health,health sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare and sociology, taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.