Faculty and Staff

  Dr. David Lee Keiser, Curriculum & Teaching

David Lee Keiser is Associate Professor of Teacher Education at Montclair State University. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in teacher preparation and pedagogy, and is an associate with the Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE) Program at the Garrison Institute. He is the co-editor of Teacher Education for Democracy and Social Justice (Routledge, 2005), and is a published poet. His recent scholarly and creative work can be found in Democracy and Education, Teacher Education and Practice, and Making Connections. He may be reached at david.keiser@montclair.edu

  Julie R. Dalley, Assistant Director, Research Academy for University Learning, English

Julie Dalley is Assistant Director and Editor for the Research Academy for University Learning. She holds a B.A. in History from Vermont College, Norwich University, Vermont and an M.A. in English, Writing Studies from Montclair State University. She is chief writer and editor for The Teaching Times in Higher Education, a regular blogger at Tumblr and Wordpress, and has co-authored articles for the Huffington Post. She has brought a strong background in education to the Research Academy, with experience as a high school history teacher, debate club mentor/coach and historical researcher of women in antiquity. She worked for five years as a marketing and program coordinator for an Internet Recruitment software company and a human capital research institute (non-profit). She has served in several volunteer positions, including as an Emergency Care Attendant for a local ambulance service in her hometown in Vermont, as well as a youth soccer coach for Vermont Technical College's youth programs. She continues her research into the historical, social and cultural power and influence of women, and between genders and well as continued studies in college writing and composition.

  Dr. Maughn Gregory, Associate Professor, Educational Foundations

Maughn Gregory, Ph.D., J.D. is Associate Professor of Educational Foundations at Montclair State University, where he is faculty advisor to the Institute forthe Advancement of Philosophy for Children and Director of the Classroom Inquiry Project in Newark. He publishes and teaches in the areas of Philosophy of Education, Pragmatism, Philosophy for Children, Gender and Education, and Critical Thinking. Dr. Gregory regularly conducts workshops onthese topics throughout the US and around the world.


 Dr. Aditya Adarkar, Associate Professor, Classics and General Humanities



 Ann Evans, Visiting Specialist, English



 Arlene Gordon, Adjunct or Visiting Specialist from prior semester, Family and Child Studies.


  Dr. Michael Kruge, Professor, Earth and Environmental Studies

Michael A. Kruge is Professor of Earth and Environmental Studies at Montclair State University in New Jersey. He was formerly Associate Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics at Montclair State University, Professor and Chair in the Department of Geology at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and a Geochemist for Standard Oil (Ohio)/British Petroleum. He holds a Ph.D. in Geology from the University of California, Berkeley (1985). His research interests include: Environmental geochemistry and forensics of organic contaminants in sediments. Marine, estuarine and lacustrine biogeochemistry. Geochemistry of peat. Fossil organic matter as indicator of environmental change. Applications of analytical pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Biological marker compounds and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in, petroleum, petroleum source rocks, oil shales, coal and sediments. Nature of organic sulfur in fossil fuels, a precursor of acid rain. He is the author of about fifty peer-reviewed scientific publications.

  Dr. Elizabeth Erwin, Professor, Early Childhood, Elementary Education, and Literacy Education
Michael Lees 

Michael Lees, Adjunct Professor, Philosophy and Religion

Michael Lees is an Adjunct Professor with the Philosophy & Religion Department at Montclair State University.  He also serves as the current Lead Instructor, participating member of the Advisory Board, and member of the Research Team for the Creative Thinking course at Montclair’s Research Academy for University Learning (RAUL).  Michael also serves as a member of the Contemplative Pedagogy Fellows with RAUL and recently attended the Contemplative Mind in Society’s Annual Summer Conference for Educators in Higher Education at Smith College. 

Michael obtained his BA and MA at Naropa University in Boulder, CO.  His background consists of Environmental Studies, Deep Ecology, Indigenous/Native Life Ways, minor in writing from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, Master in Gong for Balinese Gamelan Orchestra Eka Mudra, Contemplative Religions, and Buddhist Studies.  Michael is currently working on his PhD in Education with a specialization in Global and Comparative Education.  He has been practicing and using Contemplative Pedagogical methodologies in his classroom for the past 14 years.

Faculty & Staff Working Group

Denise Rodak 

Denise Rodak, Coordinator of Veteran and Military Resources, Center for Advising and Student Transitions.

Denise Rodak, Coordinator of Veteran and Military Resources at Montclair State University, directs all undergraduate veteran programs and advises the Montclair State Student Veterans Association.  Since she assumed the role in 2009, Montclair State University has received accolades for its veteran programs on both the local and national level.   She serves on advisory boards for Operation College Promise and Stockton State College.

Denise has been advising students at Montclair State since 2002.   In 2012, she was awarded the National Academic Advising Association’s (NACADA) award for advising excellence and, in 2013, she received Montclair State University’s Vice President’s Red Ribbon Award for her work with veteran and military students.

Ms. Rodak incorporates mindfulness into the program she directs and is always looking for innovative and accessible ways to help students tap into their true potential.  Her presentation Increasing Student Success Through Self Awareness was well received at the 2014 NJ NACADA Conference.  Also in 2014, she was awarded a residential scholarship, to the Omega Institute, for the Contemplative Practice in Higher Education workshop. 

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from the College of New Jersey and a Master of Arts in Administration and Supervision from Montclair State University.

 Lori Petrozzello

Lori Petrozzello, Program Assistant, Library Technical Services.

Lori Petrozzello is a student in the Teacher Training Program at the Dharmachakra Buddhist Center in Vauxhall, New Jersey.  She has been studying Buddhism in formal study programs for more than 10 years and also teaches meditation classes.  She has participated in numerous meditation retreats and regularly attends festivals of Kadampa Buddhism.  Lori earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Psychology and Art History from Syracuse University and a Master of Social Work degree from Fordham University.  As a Licensed Social Worker, she provided domestic violence counseling to women and children and academic advising to college students.  Currently, Lori is the Coordinator of Circulation and Reserves at Montclair State University’s Sprague Library.  She also teaches meditation through the University's Center for Faith and Spirituality, who in 2012 gave her the Tikkun Olam Award which is given in recognition of those that are making the world a better place.

  Esmilda Abreu, Director, Equity and Diversity

Esmilda Abreu received her interdisciplinary bachelor's degree in Psychology, Women’s Studies, and Dance from Hampshire College and her Master's Degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology from Columbia University. She is currently a Ph.D. Candidate at the Capella University Business School in Organization and Management. Her dissertation is on Women and Mentoring. She is also an engaged teaching fellow at the Research Academy at Montclair State University. Ms. Abreu began as teaching faculty at Ramapo College in 1998 and has been teaching Women's and Gender Studies and Psychology at Montclair since 2000. 

She is a speaker for the New Road Map Foundation, a national non-profit organization leading the voluntary simplicity and earth conservation movement. She gives regular seminars on environmental justice, health and conscious living. Through her work with Peace Roots, Ms. Abreu reaches out to High School students about bullying, sexual harassment, sexual assault and dating violence. She has been internationally honored for her work in the field of hypnosis for her work preparing patients for open heart surgery and organ transplants at New York Presbyterian Hospital in NYC. She has taught empathy classes for NYU’s and Columbia University’s Medical Schools. 

As Director of Equity and Diversity at Montclair State University, supervises The Women’s Center, The LGBT Center and The Bias Response Taskforce. Ms. Abreu is an engaging and talented educator who has dedicated her life to imparting cutting edge information to the public. In her role as Chair of the Council for Faith and Spirituality, Ms. Abreu aims to foster an environment of inclusion, tolerance and understanding. She created and facilitates the Building Bridges Interfaith Dialogues on campus and just opened a Center for Faith and Spirituality which was featured in the 2011 Guidebook of Promising Practices: Facilitating College Student’s Spiritual Development. 

For this work Montclair State was honored with the Youth Leadership Humanitarian Awards by the American Conference on Diversity. For the past six years she has Co-Chaired the Mentoring sub-committee for the President’s Commission on Affirmative Action and Diversity at Montclair State. 

She was also honored in 1998 with Governor Whitman’s PRIDE award for diversity initiatives. For her work with single mothers and displaced homemakers, she was given the "Woman of Peace" award by the Women’s Federation of World Peace in 1999 and in 2009 she received the “World is Moving” award for her exceptional work with women in New Jersey. 

A frequent speaker for the American Conference on Diversity, Latino Psychological Association of New Jersey and The New Jersey Women’s Center Consortium, Ms. Abreu looks for collaboration between Higher Education and Industry. She continues to work on the behalf of women and the Hispanic community as a board of trustee member of the Women’s Rights Information Center. Most recently she was a sponsored guest of the Faculty Commission on World Concerns for her work on "Trafficking in Women and Girls".


 Jhon Velasco, Health and Nutrition Sciences