Fellows Program 2007

Yasemin Besen-Cassino, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology
Dr. Yasemin Besen-Cassino is an assistant professor in the sociology department. She earned her doctorate degree in sociology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She had received a fellowship from Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Leaning, Stony Brook (2003) and the President's Award in Teaching(2004). Her research interests focus on sociology of youth, gender, work and labor. Her scholarly work has been published in prominent journals such asContexts, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Berkeley Journal of Sociology and her book on Jessie Bernard is coming out in 2008.She served as the managing editor of Men and Masculinities. She serves as reviewer of textbooks and scholarly books in her areas of expertise for Thomson, Pearson Allyn and Bacon as well as Palgrave Macmillan.

Mentor: Professor Meredyth Appelbaum

Sara Goldstein, Assistant Professor, Family and Child Studies
Sara Goldstein is an Assistant Professor of Family and Child Studies. She received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology in 2003 from Bowling Green State University, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan in 2004. Before joining the faculty at Montclair State University in 2006,Professor Goldstein was an Assistant Professor of Applied Developmental Psychology at the University of New Orleans. Goldstein has taught courses on a variety of topics pertaining to child, adolescent, and lifespan development as well as research methods. Her research focuses on the development of peer relationships and peer behavior during childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. Specifically, she is interested in how peer relationships and cognitions about peer relationships influence the development of aggression and other forms of problem behavior. In much of her work, she focuses on relationally aggressive behavior, a type of aggression that involves using relationships as the mechanism for harm (e.g., defamatory gossip, peer exclusion).

Mentor: Professor Kathryn Herr

Dawn Marie Hayes, Associate Professor, History
Dr. Dawn Marie Hayes received her Ph.D. in medieval European history from New York University in September 1998. Dr. Hayes’ teaching experience began at NYU, where she served as a Teaching Assistant from 1991-1994, winning a Golden Dozen Distinguished Teaching Award in May 1994. She taught at Iona College in New Rochelle, NY, for four years and during her tenure there received a number of campus awards and was named a Speaker in the Humanities by the New York Council for the Humanities for the 2000-2002 term. Dr. Hayes was a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow in a Paris-based summer seminar, Gothic in the Ile-de-France. Her first book, Body and Sacred Place in Medieval Europe, 1100-1389, a revision of her doctoral dissertation, was published in April 2003. Dr. Hayes joined the faculty of Montclair State University in 2003. She teaches various courses on the history of the Middle Ages in the department of history. In the fall of 2004, Dr. Hayes created Montclair State’s International Summer Institute in Sicily, which she directs. With her colleague, Dr. Nancy Carnevale, she is currently involved in a project to focus attention on the history and culture of Sicily and the southern Italian mainland; the effort earned Dr. Carnevale and her a CHSS Dean’s Recognition Award in 2007.

Mentor: Professor Leslie Wilson

Laura Nicosia, Assistant Professor, English
Dr. Laura Nicosia is Assistant Professor of English and Director of English Education at Montclair State University. Her recent literary research has focused on the narrative constructs of Gloria Naylor, Sara Orne Jewett and Philip Roth. She has published articles in both Readerly/Writerlyand Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy and has an article in the fall issue of Southern Studies and an essay in a forthcoming collection, Narratives of Community: Women’s Short Story Sequences. Her recent pedagogical research has focused on educational uses of Multi User Virtual Environments. She has collaborated with colleagues from around the globe and has pioneered several American literature virtual classes. Professor Nicosia serves as a Standing Chair of the open source literary project, Literature Alive! and serves on the Executive Board of New Jersey Council of Teachers of English.

Mentor: Professor Naomi Liebler

Anthony Pemberton, Assistant Professor, Art & Design
Daily Variety cited Tony Pemberton as One of Ten Directors to Watch when his first feature filmBeyond the Ocean premiered in the Dramatic Competition of the Sundance Film Festival 2000. It was nominated for a Grand Jury award, and received the Princess Grace Foundation Statue Award. “Beyond” weaves together a character’s life that is split in time by her own immigration and memory and was made independently in Russia and America by Go East Film and Intrinsic Value. Professor Pemberton lived for six years in Russia during this project while also working as a Creative Director at an Ad Agency (Publicis United), directing commercials, and producing documentaries. Currently Professor Pemberton has many new projects in the works such asBuddha’s Little Finger, an adaptation of the novel by Victor Pelevin to be produced by Karsten Stöter (“Russian Ark”) and he is also the Director of the new BFA Filmmaking Program at Montclair State University where he founded the program. His projects have been awarded funding from The Princess Grace Foundation Monaco, the Jerome Foundation, Arts Matters, New Jersey State Council of the Arts, and CEC Arts Link. He is a graduate from the State University of New York at Purchase with a BFA in film in 1990, as well as the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts: Bard College with an MFA in film in 1993.

Mentor: Professor Sulochana Asirvatham

Stephanie Navarro Silvera, Assistant Professor, Health and Nutrition Sciences
Dr. Stephanie Silvera received her Ph.D. from Yale University in Public Health, with a concentration in Chronic Disease Epidemiology. She has experience teaching, developing a public health curriculum, and working in health-related agencies. Her considerable research experience includes an ongoing project at Albert Einstein College of Medicine for which she is analyzing data from an intervention with 89,000 Canadian women focusing on dietary and lifestyle behaviors and cancer outcomes. In addition, she is collaborating with faculty at Yale University's Department of Epidemiology and Public Health to examine racial/ethnic disparities in cancer incidence and mortality.

Mentor: Department Chair, Professor Eva Goldfarb

Nicholas Smith-Sebasto, Associate Professor, Earth and Environmental Studies
Dr. Nick Smith-Sebasto has received numerous teaching awards or honors. While a graduate teaching assistant at Colorado State University he received the President's Teaching Excellence Fellowship. While a graduate teaching associate at The Ohio State University he was twice nominated by the students in his courses for the Graduate Teaching Assistant Teaching Excellence Award. While an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he appeared on the Incomplete List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students, was nominated for the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, and was listed in the 6th edition of Who's Who Among America's Teachers as nominated by his students. While as Adjunct Professor at Sussex County Community College he was listed in the 9th edition of Who's Whom Among America's Teachers as nominated by his students.

Mentor: Department Chair, Professor Jeff Toney

Neeraj Vedwan, Assistant Professor, Anthropology
Dr. Neeraj Vedwan is an assistant professor in the anthropology department. After receiving his PhD in environmental anthropology from University of Georgia, he worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Miami on human dimensions of climate change. Since coming to Montclair State, Dr. Vedwan has developed and taught a variety of courses in anthropology and earth and environmental studies departments. His research is in the area of human-environment interactions, and he has conducted fieldwork in diverse cultural and geographic settings. Specifically, Dr Vedwan has examined the societal responses to climate change and variability, relationship between development and environmental issues, and the role of consumerism in shaping environmentalism. Dr. Vedwan’s research has been published in leading journals, including Cultural Anthropology, Water Resources Management, and Climate Research.

Mentor: Professor Aditya Adarkar

Yawei Wang, Assistant Professor, Marketing
Dr. Yawei Wang holds a Ph.D. in Recreation and Tourism from Clemson University. Her research focuses on travel and tourism - with emphasis on mature tourism and aging. Her teaching interests include introduction to leisure and tourism, behavioral concepts in leisure and tourism, research methods in leisure and tourism. Prior to joining Montclair State, Professor Wang worked with the Gerontology Research Interdisciplinary Team in the College of Health Education and Human Development at Clemson.

Mentor: Department Chair, Professor John McGinnis

Dana J. Wilber, Assistant Professor, Early Childhood, Elementary Education and Literacy Education
Dr. Dana J. Wilber is an assistant professor of literacy at Montclair State University in New Jersey. She received her doctorate in communication and education from Teachers College in 2005. Her dissertation focused on the use of hypertext to teach The Autobiography of Malcolm X in a college history course. She has published articles on the development of new literacies among adolescents and college-age students, defining new literacies, integrating technology into higher education, and pushing past binaries in literacy and technology research. Her current research interests include new literacies, technology and higher education, remedial education in university settings, and the literacy practices of incarcerated youth. Cammack teaches courses on the history of literacy and media, the nature of reading, adolescent literature, and a basic skills class on reading and writing the world. She also works as a consultant for Teaching Matters, an organization that provides curriculum development and professional support for New York City teachers by integrating technology across the curriculum. She has been an avid blogger since 2003 and blogs for personal and pedagogical reasons.

Mentor: Professor Michele Knobel

Fall 2007 Teaching Fellows Mentors

Aditya Adarkar, Associate Professor, Classics and General Humanities
Dr. Aditya Adarkar is associate professor of Classics and General Humanities, tenured at Montclair State University, and was appointed as the university's first Asian Humanities specialist. Committed in various ways to his teaching and his students' learning, his teaching awards include the CHSS Dean's Recognition for Teaching (awarded in 2005, its inaugural year) and the NAACP Image Award, NAACP of Montclair State University (awarded in 2005, its inaugural year). He has worked on university teaching (as convener of the CHSS Teaching Discussion Group) and on the fruitful ways in which university and secondary teachers can learn from each other. He developed a "writing interns" program to help students improve their writing in General Education classes, has helped colleagues in other disciplines put this program into effect, and has published on this program. Dr. Adarkar wrote his doctorate for the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, and is a broadly trained humanist and comparativist. His special area of expertise is Sanskrit epic and its ethical and literary dimensions, and his scholarly interests include South Asian philosophical and literary traditions. He is the author of numerous articles and reviews, and has published in the Journal of Asian Studies, History of Religions, and the International Journal of Hindu Studies. He is currently working on a book-length study of the psychological depth, subtlety, and complexity of the character of Karna in the Mahabharata.

Sulochana Asirvatham, Assistant Professor, Classics and General Humanities
Dr. Sulochana Asirvatham is Assistant Professor of Classics and General Humanities. She received her Ph.D. from the Department of Classics at Columbia University in 2000. Subsequently she was visiting assistant professor of Classics at Bucknell University (2000-2001) and NEH research fellow at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens (2001-2002), and was President of the New York Classical Club from 2005-2007. Her main area of study is Greek literature of the Roman Empire, especially with regard to its treatment of the controversial figure of Alexander the Great as a Greco-Roman hero, the subject of her book-in-progress entitledConstructing Alexander: Greek Writers and the Macedonian Past in the Roman Empire. She is also the co-editor of Between Magic and Religion: Interdisciplinary Studies in Ancient Mediterranean Religion and Society (Rowman & Littlefield, 2001) and has published numerous articles on Alexander the Great, for example, in the American Journal of Philology and theClassical Outlook. Dr. Asirvatham's expertise in classical languages and history is reflected in her teaching Latin and Greek from the beginning to upper levels as well as Greek Civilization, Alexander the Great: Legend and Legacy, and the Age of Athens. Additionally, Dr. Asirvatham has taught a number of comparative or interdisciplinary courses at Montclair State, such as General Humanities, Great Books and Ideas I in the Honors program, and Contemporary Issues II and III on identity issues of national and international significance. The fruit of this teaching is reflected in a second book-project entitled Revealing Western Humanities (Thinking Strings, forthcoming January 2009.)

Teaching Fellow: Professor Tony Pemberton

Eva Goldfarb, Chairperson/Professor, Health and Nutrition Sciences
Dr. Eva S. Goldfarb, Professor of Health Education and Chair of the Department of Health and Nutrition Sciences, is a nationally recognized expert in the field of sexuality education. She has developed and led sexuality education and sexual health programs with youth, parents, educators, and other professionals and has trained current and future school teachers across the country to be better sexuality educators. Dr. Goldfarb is co-author of the groundbreaking curriculaOur Whole Lives: Sexuality Education for Grades 10-12 and Our Whole Lives: Sexuality Education for Grades 4-6, for which she was awarded and honorary doctorate of Humane Letters. She is the co-author and co-editor of Filling the Gaps: Hard-To-Teach Topics in Human Sexuality, a book for educators, and co-author of the curriculum Making Smarter Choices About Sex, a sexual abstinence curriculum for middle school adolescents. Most recently, Dr. Goldfarb co-authoredBeing Out, Staying Safe, the first HIV/STD prevention curriculum specifically geared for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual teens. Her work is featured in the video Sexuality and Our Faith and has also been featured on MTV.com, and in Newsweek, The Nation, Self and The New York Times. Dr. Goldfarb has published numerous articles and essays and presented at conferences worldwide in the area of sexuality education and sexual health. She holds a Ph.D. in Human Sexuality Education from the University of Pennsylvania, a Masters Degree in Communications from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary) from the Starr King School for the Ministry of the Unitarian Universalist Association. She completed her Post-Doctoral Fellowship at The HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies at Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute.

Teaching Fellow: Professor Stephanie Navarro Silvera

Kathryn Herr, Professor, Family and Child Studies
Dr. Kathryn Herr is a professor in the Department of Family and Child Studies in the College of Education and Human Services. Her research interests include youth and the institutions that do/don't support their growth and development, and action research. She teaches research, adolescent development, and gender issues. She is the editor for the refereed journal, Youth and Society.

Teaching Fellow: Professor Sara Goldstein

Michele Knobel, Professor, Early Childhood, Elementary Education and Literacy Education
Dr. Michele Knobel is Professor of Education and co-ordinates the undergraduate and graduate literacy programs at Montclair State University. She has taught elementary school in Australia, and has worked within teacher education in Australia, Mexico and the U.S. Her research interests focus principally on school students' out-of-school literacy practices, and the study of the relationship between new literacies and digital technologies. Michele’s most recent authored book is the second edition ofNew Literacies: Everyday Practices and Classroom Learning (with Colin Lankshear). Her most recent edited collection (with Colin Lankshear) is A New Literacies Sampler. Currently, she is co-editing The Handbook of Research on New Literacies (with Don Leu, Julie Coiro and Colin Lankshear).

Teaching Fellow: Professor Dana Wilber

Naomi Liebler, Professor, English
Dr. Naomi Conn Liebler is Professor of English at Montclair State University, where she has taught since 1972 ; in 1990 she was named a University Distinguished Scholar. She earned her B.A. with Honors in English from The City College of New York (CUNY), and her M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the State University of New York at Stony Brook where she held both a University Fellowship and several Teaching Assistantships. She has won a number of awards, including a fellowship from the Southeastern Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Duke University, three National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar grants and two Research Fellowships from the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. Dr. Liebler has published four books:Shakespeare’s Festive Tragedy: the Ritual Foundations of Genre (Routledge, 1995); Tragedy, a theory reader co-edited with John Drakakis (Longmans Critical Readers Series, 1998), The Female Tragic Hero in English Renaissance Drama, an edited collection of newly commissioned essays (Palgrave, 2002), and another edited collection of essays titled Early Modern Prose Fiction: the Cultural Politics of Reading (Routledge, 2007). She is the author of more than twenty-five published scholarly articles on Shakespeare, as well as on other Renaissance and modern dramatists, some of which have been reprinted several times, and has delivered many papers at regional, national, and international conferences and as a guest lecturer at other universities in the United States and Europe. She has served as Trustee of the Shakespeare Association of America and as co-chair of the Columbia University Seminar on Shakespeare, and continues to serve on the Executive Board of the Columbia Seminar. Her current research focuses on “Shakespeare’s Geezers,” his negotiations of old age in all of his dramatic and poetic genres.

Teaching Fellow: Professor Laura Nicosia

John McGinnis, Department Chair/Professor, Marketing
Dr. John McGinnis divides his time between his chairman’s duties and teaching in the department’s “Marketing” and “Retailing Merchandising and Management” concentrations. Prior to joining Montclair State, Dr. McGinnis worked in the Sales Promotion Division of Bamberger’s (formerly a division of R.H. Macy’s) and taught marketing at the secondary level. Dr. McGinnis holds an Ed.D. from New York University in Business Education with a concentration in Marketing. The primary focus of his research and writing is the improvement of marketing/retailing instruction. The computer-driven retail merchandising simulation which he designed, “Buy-Right” (McGraw-Hill) is used in secondary marketing education programs throughout the country. He has published articles in the Journal of Marketing Education, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Business Education, the NJ Business Education Observer and has made contributions to Great Ideas for Teaching Marketing (South-Western). In addition, he has made numerous presentations to business educators (e.g., American Collegiate Retailers Association, the New Jersey Business Education Association, the he New Jersey Cooperative Education Association), as well as, retail practitioners over the years. Dr. McGinnis is an active supporter of business education for ALL students. During the 1995-96 school year he served as President of the New Jersey Business Education Association. NJBEA is composed of over 1,000 business educators at the secondary and postsecondary levels. In his capacity as President, Dr. McGinnis presented testimony to the NJ Department of Education and the NJ State Board of Education advocating the need to include business education in New Jersey’s Core Content Curriculum Standards. In 1998, his fellow New Jersey Business Educators honored him when he was chosen as “New Jersey’s Outstanding Business Educator.” Currently, Dr. McGinnis is working with retail executives from several companies--United Retail Group (Avenue Stores), Federated Department Stores, The Vitamin Shoppe and Target) to create internships and field studies to better prepare students for the outstanding employment opportunities in the field of retailing.

Teaching Fellow: Professor Yawei Wang

Jeff Toney, Department Chair/Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Dr. Jeffrey Toney holds a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Virginia and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemistry from Northwestern University. He was an NIH NRSA postdoctoral fellow at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He then joined Merck Research Laboratories as a Research Fellow in Biochemistry and remained there until 2002 after promotion to Senior Research Fellow. He returned to academia at Montclair State University in Fall 2002, as Professor and Herman and Margaret Sokol Chair in Chemistry and became Department Chairperson beginning Fall 2005. He has taught a variety of lecture and laboratory courses, including “Elements of Chemistry”, Biochemistry and several graduate level courses. He developed and taught a new General Education course, “Contemporary Issues in Science” as well as a new graduate level course, “Biomolecular Assay Development” supported by an education grant from the Society for Biomolecular Sciences. His research is currently supported in part by a Research Corporation Cottrell College Science Award. At Montclair State, he has supervised a total of 39 undergraduate and pre-college student research projects, including American Chemical Society Summer Experience for Economically Disadvantaged (SEED) students. His undergraduate research students have majored in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biology, Molecular Biology and in Health and Nutrition Sciences. He is currently an Instructor for the American Chemical Society Continuing Education Short Courses in Biological, Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry.

Teaching Fellow: Professor Nicholas Smith-Sebasto

Leslie Wilson, Professor, History
Dr. Leslie Wilson was born and raised in New York City. He studied at Cornell University and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Although his undergraduate studies focused on British history, his graduate education is anchored in American and African American Studies with an emphasis on urban history. He thanks Richard C. Wade, David Katzman, Eric Foner, Hans Trefousse, Herbert Gutman, Alfred Kazin, and Robert Harris for encouraging his interests in American history. After teaching for several years in community colleges and adult college programs, Professor Wilson was hired at Montclair State University to teach courses in African American and African history. During the 1990s he was introduced to the work of John Goodlad and the National Network for Educational Renewal (NNER). It changed his career and the direction of his work. Though remaining a historian, a major portion of Professor Wilson's energies are directed to teacher education and encouraging democratic principles in daily teaching. Since being invited to become a national facilitator for the NNER in 2003, he has become involved in various aspects of teacher education and has worked in various non-teaching roles in the College of Education. In September 2006, Professor Wilson became the first faculty member to have a joint appointment in the Center of Pedagogy and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Teaching Fellow: Professor Dawn Marie Hayes