LMU welcomed 29 scholars to its tenure-lined faculty ranks this fall. These new members of the LMU community come from all parts of the country and represent an array of expertise and research, including African Diasporic literature and popular culture; American politics and research methods; medieval Islamic thought; health and human sciences; the social and cultural contexts of minoritized learners and teachers in special education; and much more.
“I am thrilled to welcome a diverse and outstanding group of teacher-scholars to our tenure-line ranks this fall,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Thomas Poon. “Their expertise and personal journeys will enrich our students’ educational experiences and provide myriad opportunities for academic enrichment through their research, teaching, and scholarship.”
LMU Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts
Jalylah Burrell, Assistant Professor, African American Studies
Jalylah Burrell earned her B.A. in English from Spelman College and an M.A. in Africana Studies from New York University. She earned her Ph.D. in American Studies and African American Studies from Yale University and most recently taught at San José State University where she was an assistant professor of African American Studies. Her research and teaching are focused on African Diasporic literature and popular culture and enhanced by experience as a multiplatform storyteller — pop culture critic, digital producer, oral historian, and deejay. Her current book project is tentatively titled “Capacity for Laughter: Black Women and the American Comedic Tradition.”
Nathan Chan, Assistant Professor, Political Science and International Relations
Nathan Chan earned his B.A. in political science from the UCLA and his Ph.D. in race, ethnicity, and politics from UC Irvine. Chan specializes in American politics and research methods and has published or has forthcoming journal articles in Perspectives on Politics, Political Behavior, and Political Research Quarterly among others. His research has been featured in the Washington Post and the Brookings Institute. He teaches courses in race, ethnicity, and politics; political behavior; and empirical approaches in political science.
Saqib Hussain, Assistant Professor, Theological Studies
Saqib Hussain earned his D.Phil. in Oriental studies and his M.Phil. in Islamic studies and history at the University of Oxford. His research focuses on the Quran’s literary features and its engagement with the communities and ideas of late antiquity, especially the Jewish and Christian traditions. His D.Phil. was an examination of the Quran’s engagement with Jewish and Christian attitudes to law and morality. He has publications on the Quran and gender, the Quran and the apocalyptic tradition, and, in a forthcoming volume, on the Quran’s portrayal of various biblical figures, including Jesus.
Fan Liang, Assistant Professor, Economics
Fan Liang earned her B.A. in economics from DePaul University and her M.A. in economics from the University of Iowa. She earned her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Georgia. In her research, she primarily studies asset markets with search and information frictions.
Carla Moreno, Assistant Professor, Economics
Carla Moreno earned her B.A. in economics from the Universidad del Pacifico in Lima, Peru. She earned her M.Sc. and Ph.D. in economics from Emory University. In addition to her academic accomplishments, she worked in the Congress of the Republic of Peru as an economic assistant and at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta – Americas Center as a research assistant. She co-authored a book, “El porvenir de la vejez: demografía, empleo y ahorro”, analyzing Peru’s pension system (2018). Moreno’s research focuses on labor macroeconomics, savings and retirement, and social security systems.
Ali Olomi, Assistant Professor, History
Ali A. Olomi earned his B.A. at UCLA and his M.A. and Ph.D. at UC Irvine. Prior to joining LMU he was tenure-track faculty at Pennsylvania State University Abington and is an affiliated scholar with the Rutgers Center for Security, Race, and Rights. Olomi is a historian of medieval Islamic thought and its reception in modern Middle East political movements. He examines the entanglements of science, religion, and imperial imagination in the 10th-14th century Perso-Islamic world and the ways premodern formations were redeployed in discourses of modernity in 19th century pan-Islamism.
Heangjin Park, Assistant Professor, Asian and Asian American Studies
Heangjin Park earned his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Chicago, where he was a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Department of Anthropology and the College. He earned his B.A. and M.A. in anthropology from Seoul National University, South Korea. Park’s research and teaching interests are broadly concerned with the global circulation of commodities, industrial production and distribution of food, and nationalism in contemporary Northeast Asia. Based on his ethnographic research in a kimchi company in China, his book project “Manufacturing ‘Korea’ in China” examines transborder mobilities and nationalist worldviews across South Korea and China.
Adam Thal, Assistant Professor, Political Science and International Relations
Adam Thal earned his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his Ph.D. in political science from Princeton University. Prior to joining LMU, Thal was a postdoc at Yale University and a research scientist at Meta. His research focuses on topics including American politics, political behavior, social media, and inequality. His dissertation on the politics of rich Americans was chosen as the best dissertation on political psychology by the American Political Science Association in 2018.
Rebecca Wall, Assistant Professor, History
Rebecca Wall earned her Ph.D. in history from Stanford University. Prior to LMU she was a visiting assistant professor of history at Hamilton College. Wall is passionate about interdisciplinary research, and she co-directs a digital history project, the Senegal Liberations Project, with colleagues at Stanford University and the National Archives of Senegal. In her book manuscript, Wall considers how West African nations balanced individual sovereignty with need to jointly manage a critical water resource, the Senegal River. She has also begun a project on the long-term relationship between climate change and migration in the Western Sahel.
Chela Willey, Assistant Professor, Psychological Science
Chela Willey earned her B.A. in psychology with a second major in justice studies and criminology and her M.A. in experimental psychology from California State University, San Marcos. She earned her Ph.D. in psychology from the UCLA with a specialization in cognitive psychology. Her main research focus is on perceptual, cognitive, and neurological mechanisms that underlie bodily awareness, self-motion, and self-orientation in 3D gravitational space. Along with conducting basic research of these mechanisms, she also applies these findings to further understand how they contribute to vestibular and motion-related disorders such as motion sickness, vertigo, dystonia, and acrophobia.
Timothy J. Williamson, Assistant Professor, Psychological Science
Timothy Williamson earned his Ph.D. in clinical health psychology from the UCLA. Williamson is a clinical health psychologist with research interests in stress, stigma, and health. In his research, Williamson uses qualitative and quantitative methods to understand how some psychological and social factors (e.g., stigma, social adversity) can increase risk for negative mental and physical health outcomes, whereas others (e.g., self-compassion, mindfulness) can promote resilience in the face of profoundly stressful experiences, including chronic medical diseases such as cancer.
LMU College of Business Administration
Jade Chen, Assistant Professor, Accounting
Jade Chen earned a Ph.D. in accounting from the University of Arizona, a Bachelor of Economics in public finance from Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, and a Master of Science in accounting from Michigan State University. Her primary research interest is in the area of auditing, with a focus on various factors that affect auditors’ ability to deliver high quality, such as audit firm internal governance and human capital management. Her solo-authored paper “When Employees Go to Court: Audit Office Labor Market Reputation and Audit Quality” was recognized as the Best Archival Paper by the Auditing Midyear Meeting 2022.
Bassam Farah, Assistant Professor, Management
Bassam Farah earned his B.A. in psychology and MBA from the American University of Beirut, his master’s degree in psychology and Ph.D.in psychology from the Lebanese University, and his Ph.D. in business administration with a specialization in strategy and international business from the Ivey Business School at Western University in Canada. He is a legally blind professor of strategy and international business. Farah’s research focuses on international corporate governance, global leadership, and (dis)abilities, and his work has been published in quality journals such as Leadership Quarterly, Journal of World Business, and AACSB Insights. He has received multiple prestigious national and international awards and grants for his research, teaching, and service. He is also an experienced leadership coach and (dis)ability activist.
Melissa Fitzpatrick, Assistant Professor, Management
Melissa Fitzpatrick earned her Ph.D. in philosophy from Boston College, just before starting her previous position as an assistant professor of the practice in ethics in Boston College’s Carroll School of Management. Fitzpatrick earned an M.A. in philosophy from LMU (2013) and a B.S. in communication from Boston University. She is the co-author of “Radical Hospitality: From Thought to Action.” Chief among her research interests is understanding how to foster a more sustainable community with the other-than-human world, and, as a vital foundation for that, how to overcome instrumental values. Fitzpatrick has also integrated teaching, research, and community outreach in pre-college philosophy in the Mississippi Delta and on the Mexican-American border in El Paso, Texas.
Chloe Moon, Assistant Professor, Marketing and Business Law
Myounghee “Chloe” Moon earned her Ph.D. in marketing at UC Riverside. She earned her B.B.A. in business administration from Ewha Womans University, South Korea, and her M.S. in integrated marketing communications from Northwestern University. Moon’s research has focused on modeling the impact of new technology-enabled channels on product manufacturers and consumers, applying industrial organization and econometrics methods. Her doctoral research examined the effect of ride-sharing platforms on automobile manufacturers and consumer’s vehicle purchase decisions. Moon taught database marketing and services marketing at UC Riverside before joining LMU. Prior to her academic career, she worked as a marketing manager for an e-commerce company in South Korea.
Sina Zare, Assistant Professor, Information Systems and Business Analytics
Sina Zare earned his Ph.D. in management science from the University of Texas at Arlington. He earned his M.S. in production engineering and management from the Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. Prior to joining LMU, Zare was assistant professor of supply chain and operations management at Neil Griffin College of Business, Arkansas State University. Zare’s primary research encompasses topics in behavioral operations management, decision-making strategies, crowdsourcing, and the application of blockchain in operations and supply chain management. He has extensive international work experience involving the application of data-driven analyses and quantitative techniques to the business sector. Moreover, his professional experience includes consulting for organizations including tech companies, entrepreneurial start-ups, and nonprofits.
LMU College of Communication and Fine Arts
Paloma Barhaugh-Bordas, Assistant Professor, Studio Arts
Paloma Barhaugh-Bordas earned a B.A. in studio arts with distinction from Carleton College and an M.F.A. in print media from Rhode Island School of Design. Barhaugh-Bordas is an artist, activist, and educator who uses a connection-based approach to build community through their creative and scholarly practice. Their solo exhibition at the Handwerker Gallery in Ithaca, New York, explored the notion of becoming local by working with non-native and invasive plants using textiles, sculpture, print, and a 60-foot hand-knotted net.
Divine Kwasi Gbagbo, Assistant Professor, Music
Divine Kwasi Gbagbo earned his Ph.D. in interdisciplinary arts with specialized focus in ethnomusicology and musicology from Ohio University. He earned a master’s degree in ethnomusicology from Kent State University and a Bachelor of Education in music and Ghanaian languages (Ewe) education at the University College of Education in Winneba, Ghana. Gbagbo’s varied levels of expertise in scholarship, research, teaching, and performance has given him more than two decades of teaching experience in world music cultures, African and African American music, music history, African studies, and interdisciplinary arts in different cultural contexts. His research interests include the postcolonial influence and its ramifications on musical traditions of the Ewe of Ghana and Togo.
Sergio Juarez, Assistant Professor, Communication Studies
Sergio Fernando Juárez earned his Ph.D. in communication studies from the University of Denver. Prior to coming to LMU, he was a tenure-track faculty member at California State University, Fresno where he also served as graduate teaching coordinator. He works on developing equitable pedagogical practices within and outside classroom spaces. Juárez’s areas of research include critical pedagogies within the field of communication and development of equitable educational practices within institutions to better value multiple forms of intelligence and knowledge. Juárez is the author of “Chicana Feminist Ontologies and the Social Process of Constructing Knowledge” published in the journal Review of Communication (2019).
LMU Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering
Ryan Hunt, Assistant Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Jonathan Ryan Hunt earned his B.S. in chemistry with a minor in mathematics from Centre College. He earned his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from USC, where he used ultrafast spectroscopic methods to study the kinetics of excited state proton- and electron-transfer reactions. His graduate research was partially funded by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program. While at USC, Ryan taught general chemistry through the Burg Teaching Fellowship and learned teaching methodologies at the CET Future Faculty Training Institute. Recently, Ryan was a lecturer of thermodynamics at UCLA.
Robert Musci, Assistant Professor, Health and Human Sciences
Robert Musci earned his B.S. in health and exercise science at Wake Forest University and his M.S. in health and exercise science at Colorado State University. He earned his Ph.D. in human bioenergetics at Colorado State University where he studied the mechanisms of aging and chronic diseases such as muscle wasting. His research primarily focuses on the role of mitochondrial function, whole-body metabolism, and protein turnover in the context of heath, aging, and chronic disease. In 2016, he completed a Fulbright fellowship in Venice, Italy, studying the influence of the urban environment on older adult health and mobility.
Caio Sousa, Assistant Professor, Health and Human Sciences
Caio Victor Sousa earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in physical education and exercise science at Catholic University of Brasilia, Brazil. In 2018, he completed a fellowship in the Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, studying the influence of a community-based exercise program on depression scores in people living with HIV. His research primarily focuses on exploring how lifestyle influences aging biomarkers, modulating the risk to age-related diseases. Part of his research also explores the interaction between age, training level, physiological parameters, gender, and performance in endurance sports.
Le Wang, Assistant Professor, Mathematics
Le Wang earned her Ph.D. in biostatistics from the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her M.S. degrees in applied statistics and biology from Villanova University, and a B.S. in biological sciences from Zhejiang University, China. Prior to joining LMU, Wang was an assistant professor of statistics at Villanova University. Her research interests include design and statistical methods to analyze two-phase sampling studies; statistical methods to correct for participation bias in genetic association studies; and collaborative research in biomedical and ecological studies. She recently published her work on the novel two-phase sampling designs for studying binary outcomes in biometrics.
Robin Wilson, Professor, Mathematics
Robin Wilson earned his Ph.D. at UC Davis. Wilson previously served as professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Wilson has also been a visiting professor at Georgetown University and Pomona College. His scholarship includes both mathematics and the scholarship of teaching and learning. His research in mathematics is in the field of low-dimensional topology where he is interested in problems related to knots and surfaces in 3-manifolds, problems in spatial graph theory, and the Steinberg module of the braid group. Wilson’s work in mathematics education focuses on issues of equity and access for students of color in the K-12 and undergraduate mathematics classroom.
LMU School of Film and Television
Weiko Lin, Associate Professor, Screenwriting
Weiko Lin earned his M.F.A. in film and television and B.A. in English creative writing from UCLA. Fluent in Mandarin, Lin is a writer/producer and author who explore Asian diaspora and create global narrative content. A Sundance Collab Advisor, he was an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Nicholl Fellowship Finalist, and Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award recipient. Prior to LMU, he was a tenured associate professor of screenwriting at Emerson College and has taught at Northwestern University, UCLA Film and TV Professional Program, and Taipei National University of the Arts as a Fulbright senior specialist.
LMU School of Education
Cynthia Alcantar, Associate Professor, Educational Leadership and Administration
Cynthia M. Alcantar is an associate professor and director of the Higher Education Administration program in the School of Education. She earned a B.A. in liberal studies with a concentration in psychology from UC Riverside, an M.A. in higher education from Claremont Graduate University, and a Ph.D. from UCLA in social science and comparative education. Her research focuses on the social structures that impact the social mobility and integration of racial/ethnic minoritized and immigrant populations in the United States. Prior to joining LMU, she was an assistant professor of higher education leadership at the University of Nevada, Reno, and held postdoctoral fellowships from the Consortium for Faculty Diversity and the Institute for Global-Local Action and Study at Pitzer College.
Christopher Cormier, Associate Professor, Teaching and Learning
Christopher J. Cormier earned his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in special education. He earned a master’s degree in education with emphasis in psychology from Pepperdine University, a master’s degree in theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, and a B.S. from Fisk University. Cormier is a former special education teacher and has taught first through 12th grades in Title 1 schools in the Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan area. His research program focuses on the social and cultural contexts of minoritized learners and teachers in special education. Under this overarching theme, he has two lines of scholarship: The first is on the professional and socio-emotional lives of minoritized teachers; the second is on culturally informed identification of minoritized students in special education.
Maia Hoskin, Assistant Professor, Specialized Programs in Professional Psychology
Maia Niguel Hoskin earned her Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, in counselor education and clinical supervision. She has more than seven years of school and mental health counseling experience. Her scholarship explores how popular culture, social media, and mediated images of people of color impact various mental health challenges among minoritized persons such as depression, anxiety, and racial battle fatigue. She is also interested in examining how mediated images of the black community perpetuate systemic racism and anti-Black racism. Hoskin is passionate about training multiculturally conscious counselors on how to utilize culturally safe and relevant interventions with marginalized student populations and has taught courses such as “Multicultural Counseling,” “Group Counseling,” “Crisis Counseling,” and “Counseling Theories.”
Kenzo Sung, Associate Professor, Teaching and Learning
Kenzo Sung earned a Ph.D. in education policy and social cultural studies in education from the UC Berkeley, an Ed.M. in teaching and learning from Harvard University, and a B.A. in integrative biology from the UC Berkeley. Sung’s research areas include urban education and policy, ethnic studies, history of education, political economy, critical race theory, and 20th century social movements and reforms. His current research analyzes how the interplay of social movements, forces, and policies shaped urban schooling and communities since the 1960s U.S. War on Poverty, drawing from the cases of bilingual education, Head Start, racial desegregation, and school-to-work programs.