Resource Faculty

Resource Faculty from each College or School are assigned to the New Faculty and provide informal guidance and support. The Resource Faculty also help facilitate the weekly orientation sessions.

Resource Faculty 2016-2017



Director, New Faculty Program
Department of Biology
ext. 5426
Office Location: Science Hall 122
Personal Link:

Scott Kight is an Associate Professor in the Biology Department. His Ph.D. from Indiana University, Bloomington, is in Biology, concentrating in Ecology, Evolution and Animal Behavior. Scott teaches courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He has been a member of the faculty at Montclair State University since 1997.
Scott’s teaching interests include evolutionary biology, ecology, entomology and animal behavior. He has developed and taught courses for biology majors, non-science majors, and students in the University Honors Program. In recent years, Scott has developed online versions of some of his courses to provide alternative options to students during summer and winter intersessions. He was named University Distinguished Teacher in 2011.
Scott’s research interests focus on the evolutionary and ecological aspects of animal decision making. Using diverse animal species as model systems (ranging from mosquitofish, salamanders, and Japanese snow monkeys to cockroaches, waterbugs and roly-polies), Scott and his students examine the decisions animals make about parental care, mate choice, social behavior, and even how arthropods tell the difference between left and right. Scott sits on the editorial boards of several journals, including Invertebrate Reproduction and Development and Life: The Excitement of Biology (LEB).

Scott has been a member of the New Faculty Program for many years, serving in the past as a Resource Faculty Member for the College of Science and Mathematics. This year marks his second as director of the program.


School of Communication and Media
ext.  4464
Office Location: Morehead Hall 125

Hugh Curnutt is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies in the School of Communication and Media where he specializes in media history and cultural theory.  He came to Montclair State University in 2008 after receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.  Dr. Curnutt’s research is broadly concerned with evolving communication technologies and the shifting intersection of media producers and consumers.  His teaching has included courses on critical theory, postmodernism, media ecology, and television studies.


Justice Studies Department
ext.  4152
Office Location: Dickson Hall

Jessica S. Henry is an Associate Professor in the Department of Justice Studies, and received the University Distinguished Teacher Award in 2015. After serving as a public defender for nearly a decade, Professor Henry joined the Montclair State University faculty in 2005. She teaches a wide range of courses, including Criminal Law and Procedure, Death Penalty Perspectives, Hate Crimes, and Wrongful Convictions. Professor Henry has appeared as a frequent commentator on national television, radio, and in print media, and is a frequent blogger with the Huffington Post. Her areas of research include severe sentences (including the death penalty and life without parole), prisoner reentry, hate crimes and the criminal justice system. This is her second year serving as a Faculty Resource for the New Faculty program.


Psychology Department
ext.  7951
Office Location: Dickson Hall 247

Laura Lakusta is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology. After completing a NIH funded postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University, Professor Lakusta joined the Montclair State University faculty in 2008. She teaches a wide range of courses, including Developmental Psychology both at the undergraduate and graduate level, Child Psychology, and Introduction to Statistical Methods in Psychology. Professor Lakusta is the recipient of a grant from the National Science Foundation that has supported her research exploring how infants conceptualize events and how such preverbal representations may support early language acquisition. She has numerous peer-reviewed publications including recent publications in the journals, Infancy, Language Learning and Development, and Cognitive Science. This is her first year serving as a Faculty Resource for the New Faculty program.



Early Childhood, Elementary and Literacy Educationd
ext.  5407
Office Location: University Hall

Dr. Priya Lalvani is an Associate Professor in the department of Early Childhood, Elementary, and Literacy Education. She teaches courses in the graduate programs in Inclusive Education.  She has a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the City University of New York.  Her scholarship is focused on examining the sociopolitical contexts which frame the lived experiences of individuals with disabilities and their families.  Through her research she seeks to confront ableism in schools and society, and to problematize the practice of ability-based segregation for many students with disabilities in schools.  She was the recipient of the Irving Zola Disability Studies Scholar Award in 2015.



Biology and Molecular Biology Department
ext.  2027
Office Location: Science Hall 110

Dr. Petroff received her PhD from the University of York, UK, and her postdoctoral training at Cambridge University, UK. Prior to joining MSU she was a Research Scientist at the University of Iowa studying molecular and cellular neuroscience. Dr. Petroff’s NIH funded research is focused on how brain cells function and how this activity is regulated in physiological and pathophysiological conditions including brain tumors. Dr. Petroff is teaching Neurobiology, Advanced Neuroscience, Advanced Cell Physiology, and other coursed in the Department of Biology and Molecular Biology.


Economics, Finance and Real Estate Department
ext. 2126
Office Location: The Feliciano School of Business

Luis San Vicente Portes is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics and Finance. He joined MSU in 2005 after the completion of his doctoral degree at Georgetown University. He earned his bachelor's degree at the Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM), holds diplomas in Business Development and Administration from ITAM, and on the Economics of the European Union from the London School of Economics. Dr. San Vicente Portes has worked for the Inter-American Development Bank for the World Bank in Washington, DC., and for the Ministry of Finance and Petroleos Mexicanos in Mexico.

Dr. San Vicente Portes' research focuses on macroeconomics and international economics. Using computational techniques he takes a theoretical approach in the study of business cycles, international trade and inequality. In particular, his research analyzes the macroeconomics effects of greater economic integration on business cycles and the distribution of income and wealth and has been published in journals such as Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, The Berkeley Journal of Macroeconomics, The Global Economy Journal, and the Journal of Development Economics, among others.