College of Humanities and Social Sciences

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RONALD BROOKS
Associate Professor and Chair
Writing Studies Department
brooksjrr@mail.montclair.edu
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DR. BROOKS, whose scholarly work spans rhetorical theory and history, peace activism, writing center theory/practice, and composition theory, will be assuming the position of founding chair for the Department of Writing Studies. He has published his scholarship in journals such as College Composition and Communication, Enculturation, and Technical Communication Quarterly, and he is currently at work on a book that examines Cold War professional writing. Dr. Brooks has taught courses in composition, writing pedagogy, style and editing, and digital writing. While at Oklahoma State University, Dr. Brooks served as the Director of Composition, the Director of Rhetoric and Professional Writing, and the Associate Head of the English Department. As an administrator, he specializes in building collaborative environments and introducing teachers to ways of meeting writing-related objectives as reflective practitioners.



TYRONE CHENG
Full Professor and Chair
Social Work and Child Advocacy Department
chengt@mail.montclair.edu
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Office Location: Dickson Hall

DR. CHENG is joining the newly formed Department of Social Work and Child Advocacy as its inaugural department chair. Dr. Cheng comes to MSU from the School of Social Work at the University of Alabama flagship campus in Tuscaloosa, where he directed the MSW program from 2008 to 2016. Prior to his appointment at UA, he directed the social work program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham He doubled enrollment numbers in the BSW program
within one year and in the MSW program within four years. The latter achieved regional and national recognition under his direction. He earned both his MSW and PhD from the University of Alabama and has published over 70 peer-reviewed articles, serving as first or sole author of most. His research has focused on topics in child welfare, including child-maltreatment reoffending, family reunification, addiction, and maternal/child health. Outside academia, Dr. Cheng has been a child welfare worker, child therapist, and community organizer in the Midwest.



KIRA DREHER
Assistant Professor
Writing Studies Department
dreherk@mail.montclair.edu
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Office Location: 

DR. DREHER earned her Ph.D. inRhetoric and Technical and Scientific Communication from the University of Minnesota in 2017. Her dissertation focused on plain language and insider audiences within the context of a Minnesota city charter. She has also published work in the journals IEEE: Transactions on Professional Communication and Written Communication. Dr. Dreher has taught courses in technical and professional writing, business writing, and interpretation and argument. Her plans for future scholarship include a book project in which she traces the rhetorical work that plain language accomplishes, specifically how medical and government organizations can rhetorically navigate multiple, dynamic audiences—both expert and non-expert—in their obligations to make texts accessible or "plain."

 

CARRIE MASIA
Full Professor
Psychology Department
masiac@mail.montclair.edu
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Office Location: Dickson Hall

DR. MASIA is a clinical psychologist who will be integral to the new PhD program in child clinical psychology, where she will teach and mentor students. She received her BA from Binghamton University and her PhD from West Virginia University, followed by a post-doctoral NIMH research fellowship at Columbia University, Department of Child Psychiatry. She comes to MSU after being on faculty for 13 years in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, NYU Langone Medical Center, followed by four years in the Department of Psychology at William Paterson University. Dr. Masia’s research program is dedicated to improving child and adolescent mental health services through rigorous scientific investigation. She focuses on the implementation and evaluation of evidence-based interventions for anxiety disorders in schools and pediatric medical settings. Dr. Masia has published extensively in top tier journals in her field, and has had great success in obtaining external funding throughout her career.



‌ALAN PEHRSON
Assistant Professor
Psychology Department
pehrsona@mail.montclair.edu
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Office Location: Dickson Hall

DR. PEHRSON is a neuroscientist whose research focuses on understanding how glutamate neurotransmission is regulated by neuromodulatory systems, and how these mechanisms can be leveraged to ameliorate the cognitive impairments and mood dysfunction associated with psychiatric disease. Dr. Pehrson received his PhD in Biological Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University and completed postdoctoral fellowships at the Center for Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh and at Lundbeck, an industrial science organization. Dr. Pehrson was a key player in the development and differentiation of vortioxetine (Trintellix), which was FDA approved for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder in late 2013.



PETER POPOLO
Assistant Professor
Communication Sciences and Disorders Department
popolop@mail.montclair.edu
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Office Location:

DR. POPOLO received his PhD in Speech and Hearing Science from The University of Iowa; he also holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering from Rutgers University. With this background, he was able to customize his doctoral degree to combine digital speech and image processing technology with clinical applications in speech and voice, and he now contributes his talents as a Voice Scientist in the fields of acoustic analysis of voice and high-speed imaging of the vocal folds. Dr. Popolo has worked in the medical device industry, developing diagnostic tools used by ear, nose, and throat doctors and speech-language pathologists; and in academic settings, most recently at the National Center for Voice and Speech, where he helped develop tools for ambulatory monitoring of voice to study vocal fatigue and recovery. Current research interests include the development of wearable biosensors to be used with smart phones to collect voice data from disordered voice patients over a cloud-based network, for the purpose of creating a database that can be used by researchers and clinicians to study the efficacy of vocal therapies and track improvements in their patients.

JAZMIN REYES-PORTILLO
Assistant Professor
Psychology Department
reyesportilj@mail.montclair.edu
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DR REYES-PORTILLO is a clinical psychologist whose research focuses on examining the utilization of digital health technology to reduce mental health disparities among racial/ethnic minority youth. For example, she examined how electronic health record alerts and text messaging might be used to reduce barriers for treatment and improve treatment engagement among at-risk Latino youth. She also examines ways to improve the implementation and dissemination of evidence-based practices in schools and community clinics. Dr. Reyes-Portillo received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Rutgers University. She was a Sallie Foundation Child and Adolescent Mental Health Technology Program Postdoctoral Research Fellow and an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Reyes-Portillo has published in top tier journals in her field such as Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, and has demonstrated success in obtaining external funding.



ANA SCHWARTZ
Assistant Professor
English Department
schwartzan@mail.montclair.edu
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Office Location:

DR. SCHWARTZ earned her PhD from the Department of English at the University of Pennsylvania in August 2017, and joins the Department of English at MSU after completing a pre-doctoral fellowship in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Schwartz studies the literature of English colonial settlement in America, and through these texts demonstrates how to recognize evidence of emotion's instrumental function as a historical technique of efficient governance. Her teaching draws this research into lively conversation with broader European writings on discovery and conquest, as well as recent popular discourse on the exploration of space.



LESLEY SYLVAN
Assistant Professor
Communication Sciences and Disorders Department
sylvanl@mail.montclair.edu
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DR. SYLVAN has been a practicing pediatric speech-language pathologist in both public school and private clinical settings since 2007. She completed a Master degree in educational policy and management as well as a Doctorate degree in human development and education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. At Harvard, Dr. Sylvan’s research focused on the delivery of speech-language services in public schools. Her research interests include legal issues in special education, SLP caseload management, and identification procedures for special education services in public school settings. Dr. Sylvan has published several manuscripts on the implementation of speech-language services in school settings in including articles in the Journal of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals and Educational Policy. She is an active member of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association and regularly presents at the annual national conference. At Montclair State, she will be teaching courses focused on language acquisition in children and school-aged communication disorders.

YINGYING (JENNIFER) YANG
Assistant Professor
Psychology Department
yangyi@mail.montclair.edu
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Office Location: Dickson Hall

DR. YANG is a developmental psychologist whose research focuses on the development of spatial cognition in the important transition phase between the ages of 6 and 12. She studies the cognitive development of spatial learning that may happen implicitly, such as remembering the layout of your favorite food store, and the spatial learning that requires explicit mental efforts, such as navigation. Dr. Yang received her PhD in developmental cognitive psychology from the University of Alabama and served as a Research Associate Professor at Sun Yat-sen University, China. During her career she published in top tier journals such as Journal of Experimental Child Psychology and Research in Developmental Disabilities and was successful in attracting external funding. Dr. Yang unique field of study and her focus on children will enhance the Psychology Department’s already strong teaching and research offerings in the area of developmental studies.