2012-2013 Fellows and Mentors

Teaching Mentors 2012-2013


Brian Abrams, Associate Professor of Music

Brian Abrams, Ph.D., MT-BC, LPC, LCAT, Fellow of the Association for Music and Imagery, has been a music therapist since 1995, with clinical experience involving a wide range of populations. Dr. Abrams completed undergraduate studies at Vassar College and SUNY New Paltz, and graduate studies at Temple University. Prior to his current position at Montclair State as Associate Professor of Music and Coordinator of Music Therapy, he served on the faculty at Utah State University (2001-2004) and Immaculata University (2004-2008). He has published and presented internationally on a wide range of topics such as music therapy in cancer care, music psychotherapy, and humanistic dimensions of music therapy. He has served on the editorial boards of numerous journals, such as Music Therapy Perspectives, the Nordic Journal of Music Therapy, and Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy. His current interests include contributing to the development of the global, interdisciplinary area of Health Humanities. He has also recently helped to create a number of music therapy clinical programs, such as at Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, and at Trinitas Comprehensive Cancer Center in Elizabeth, New Jersey. From 2005 to 2011, he served on the Executive Board of the Mid-Atlantic Region of the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), including as President from 2007-2009. On a national level, from 2010 to Present, he has served on the AMTA Board of Directors as an elected representative from the AMTA Assembly of Delegates, and has been selected to serve as Speaker of the Assembly for the 2012-2013 term. 

  Jean Alvares, Chairperson, Classics & General Humanities

Bio Coming Soon

  Amanda Birnbaum, Associate Professor, Health & Nutrition

Amanda Birnbaum is a public health behavioral scientist with over 15 years experience in adolescent health promotion. She holds a PhD in behavioral epidemiology from the University of Minnesota and an MPH from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Her research interests focus on adolescent eating and physical activity behaviors, social environmental influences on health behavior, and gender issues in health promotion. She is an associate professor in the Department of Health and Nutrition Sciences and serves as Graduate Program Coordinator for the Master of Public Health. Prior to joining the faculty at MSU in 2005, she was a public health researcher at Weill Medical College of Cornell University and the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. She has experience collaborating with schools and community organizations on adolescent health promotion.


William Colucci, Associate Professor, Information Systems & Decision Sciences

William Colucci is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Information and Operations Management teaching the gateway course "Introduction to Computers in Business" - a hybrid course that provides students with an important overview of key applications. Dr. Colucci‘s principal areas of scholarship and research include the role of technology in culture and society, higher education learning (with a focus on distance, online or hybrid education), theories of modernity, social scientific epistemology, and social network analysis. He has studied extensively communication and identity in organizations. In addition to his work at the School of Business, he has taught at William Paterson University, Rutgers, Kean University, the Katherine Gibbs School and County College of Morris. He has also worked as a network administrator and information technology manager in the private sector. He provides general computer technical support services for small business as well.

  Milton Fuentes, Associate Professor, Psychology

Dr. Milton Fuentes received his MA in Psychology with a concentration in Latino Mental Health from Montclair State University and his Psy.D in clinical psychology from the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University. He completed a pre-doctoral fellowship in clinical and community psychology at Yale University and directed a one-year epidemiological study at Columbia University. He is currently an Associate Professor at Montclair State University, a licensed psychologist in New Jersey and New York as well as the Director of the Clinical and Community Studies laboratory in the Psychology department. He is a founding member and former president of the Latino Psychological Association of New Jersey and the current President of the National Latino Psychological Association. Dr. Fuentes' interests are in the areas of Latino and multicultural psychology, child psychology and family psychology. He serves as a consultant to several schools and community-based programs, including the Puerto Rican Family Institute.

  Karen Goodman, Professor, School of Music

Karen Goodman, Professor, Music, teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in psychology of music, music therapy intervention, psychology of exceptional children, piano improvisation, music therapy assessment and music therapy education and training. Since coming to Montclair over three decades ago, she developed the undergraduate and graduate programs in music therapy and infused music therapy into on campus clinical programming. Her experiences in teaching , service learning and RAUL mentoring motivated her to write Music Therapy Education and Training: From Theory to Practice, published by Charles C Thomas in 2011. She remains dedicated to qualitative research in music therapy through her own clinical practice in child and adult psychiatry, helping students formulate their own ideas about music therapy and sharing the ongoing issues developing in higher education with colleagues both in her field and related to her field.

  Julian Keenan, Professor, Psychology

Julian Paul Keenan, PhD is a member of both the Biology/Molecular Biology and the Psychology departments. His research focuses on the brain, neuroscience, genetics, and issues related to self-awareness and deception. He teaches a wide-range of classes in both departments from Statisticics to Evolutionary Psychology. Dr. Keenan is a true believer in the notion that the best teachers allow the students to engage, and as such he runs a student-focused laboratory. Most of his published works feature students as authors reflecting the expertise the learners gain at Montclair State University. The student-center focus is what attracted Dr. Keenan to the school and he remains dedicated to providing students with the best education possible inside both the classroom and laboratory.

  Christine Lemesianou, Deputy Chair and Associate Professor, Communication Studies

Christine A. Lemesianou is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in public and organizational relations, persuasion and new media, public speaking, research methods and globalization and has a strong interest in creating innovative pedagogical practices. Her research agenda is interdisciplinary and some of her ongoing projects examine communication and identity, globalization and borders, critical pedagogy, digital rhetoric, and new media and interactive technologies. She is a frequent participant at regional and national conferences and is currently working on a manuscript that interrogates emerging global literacies. She also serves as the Director of the Basic Communication Program at MSU and offers workshops and training on presentation skills and communication coaching.

  Lenore Molee, Associate Professor, Justice Studies

Lenore M. Molee is an associate professor and deputy chair of the Justice Studies Department. She received her JD from Seton Hall University School of Law. Her research focuses on service-learning, civic engagement, faculty development, critical reflection and assessment. She has taught Service-Learning courses related to issues of law and social justice since 2001. She has lectured on the topic of Service-Learning pedagogy and research at numerous international, national and Montclair State University conferences. She was selected as a Service-Learning Faculty Scholar with the Research Academy for University Learning’s Service-Learning and Community Engagement Program for 2008-2012 and serves as chair of the University Experiential Education Committee.

  Dibyendu Sarkar, Professor and Director of the Doctoral Program in Environmental Management, Earth & Environmental Studies

Bio Coming Soon

  Stephanie Silvera, Chairperson, Health & 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.

Fellows 2012-2013


Cathy Brown, Professor, Center for Child Advocacy & Policy

Ms. Brown received her Bachelor’s Degree from Wesleyan University in Connecticut. After attending John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and graduating from the Bergen County Fire Academy, she was the first woman in the country to be awarded a Master’s of Science in Fire Protection Management. Her research explored the impact of the Americans’ with Disabilities Act on fire protection strategies, for which she won the Hawley Award for Writing and Community Service. Ms. Brown, formerly a practicing attorney, graduated from Columbia University School of Law. At New Jersey Institute of Technology, she has taught “Reading, Writing and Thinking”. Currently, she is enrolled in the Family Law LLM program at Hofstra University. Her research there concerns the proper child advocacy response to pregnant women who ingest dangerous substances.

  Angela Chale, Assistant Professor, Department of Health & Nutrition Sciences

Dr. Angela Chalé is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health and Nutrition Sciences. She has a diverse background with degrees in political science, government and foreign affairs, and nutrition science. Her postdoctoral training includes neuroscience and exercise physiology. In addition, Dr. Chalé completed a program in culinary arts and has worked as a culinary professional. Dr. Chalé specializes in nutrition, exercise physiology, and chemosensitivity in older adults.

  Lyndal Bee Lian Khaw, Assistant Professor, Family & Child Studies

Dr. Lyndal Khaw is an assistant professor in the Department of Family and Child Studies (FCST) at Montclair State University. She received her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies in 2010 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and joined the MSU faculty in Fall 2010. Influenced by a feminist and family systems perspective, her research interests center on the issue of intimate partner violence, particularly on mothering and decision-making processes within an abusive relationship, changing family dynamics, and the personal, familial, and socio-structural barriers and facilitators to leaving an abusive relationship. She has co-authored several publications on intimate partner violence within different contexts in journals such as Family Relations, Violence Against Women, and the Journal of Family Theory and Review. Her work has been featured on several national media outlets including CNN.com and Chicago Public Radio. Currently, she also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Council on Family Relations as the Student/New Professional Board Representative. At MSU, Dr. Khaw teaches several core undergraduate FCST courses, including Introduction to Family Studies, Working With Diverse Families and Children, and Senior Seminar.

  Pankaj Lal, Assistant Professor, Earth & Environmental Studies

Bio Coming Soon

  Christopher McKinley, Assistant Professor, Communication Studies

Dr. McKinley specializes in health communication and media effects. In particular, he examines the role that messages play in shaping individual’s health perceptions and behaviors. Dr. McKinley’s research addresses important public health issues, including, but not limited to, binge drinking, childhood obesity, disordered eating habits, and mental health concerns. His research has been published in Health Communication, Journal of Health Communication, and Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. Dr. McKinley is currently investigating how public opinion toward health care reform is impacted by presidential rhetoric and mass media messages.

  Douglas Murray, Assistant Professor, Health & Nutrition Sciences

Dr. Murray completed his doctoral degree in Nutrition and Food Science at Auburn University where he was awarded the Malone-Zallen Graduate Research Fellowship. In addition to his teaching and research experience Dr. Murray brings extensive food management expertise, having held leadership positions in chain restaurant operations, private clubs, and institutions. He has been published in the Journal of Human Resources in Hospitality and Tourism and the British Food Journal. Currently, Murray’s research includes food safety in ready to eat foodservice operations and chef/restaurateur knowledge and perceptions of salt use and intake.

  Christopher Salvatore, Assistant Professor, Justice Studies

Christopher Salvatore joined the faculty of Montclair State University in the fall of 2011. He received his MA in Criminal Justice from Widener University, and PhD in Criminal Justice from Temple University. Before joining Montclair State University he was a research assistant at Temple University where he worked in the following areas: program evaluations of therapeutic communities and juvenile drug courts, a study examining the effectiveness of using Juvenile Assessment Centers for STI screening and treatment in Hillsborough County Florida, and the implementation of evidence based practices in criminal justice settings. Christopher also worked as an instructor at Widener University and Holy Family University where he taught numerous classes including: Correctional Management, Current Issues in Criminal Justice, Deviance, Introduction to Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement, Public Policy and Criminal Justice, Senior Seminar, Social Problems, Research Methods, Victimology, and Youth and Crime. Christopher is currently working on projects examining the influence of emerging adulthood on offending, the influence of negotiated order on police practices, public perceptions of biosecurity and terrorism related threats, and the identification of barriers to STI screening and treatment services for juvenile offenders. Christopher has published in numerous journals including: Deviant Behavior, the Security Journal, Drug Court Review, and The Prison Journal.

  Ashwin Vaidya, Assistant Professor, Mathematical Studies

Ashwin Vaidya is an assistant professor of physics in the Department of Mathemaashwintical Sciences at Montclair State University. He earned his Ph.D. in 2004 from the University of Pittsburgh and has worked as a postdoctoral scholar at Carnegie Mellon University, Florida State University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and arrived at MSU in 2009. Ashwin's research lies in the area of theoretical and experimental fluid mechanics and he is also interested in science education and `creativity' in the sciences. He hopes to find ways to make physics, especially at the introductory level, more exciting and attractive through his participation in the Engaged Fellows program.

  Dirk Vanderklein, Associate Professor, Biology & Molecular Biology

Dr. Vanderklein is an associate professor in the Department of Biology and Molecular Biology. He received his PhD from the University of Minnesota where he studied the impact of insect defoliation on tree seedling growth and physiology. His current research interests are to understand how Japanese knotweed impacts our water supply and the mechanisms that make is such an effective water user and to understand why certain trees in the New Jersey Pine Barrens are stunted in their growth. His interest in teaching led him to take courses in adult education while working on his PhD. Since coming to MSU he has been one of the primary faculty involved in developing and teaching the core freshman and sophomore biology courses. An integral part of these courses has been to involve students in developing and conducting their own research projects.

  Johannes Verstraete, Adjunct/Visiting Specialist, Classics & General Humanities

Johannes Verstraete, Adjunct, Classics & General Humanities Johannes Verstraete holds B.A.s in Archaeology and History from the University of Louvain, Belgium and a M.A. in Classics (with a specialization in Aegean prehistory) from the University of Cincinnati. He is finishing his Ph.D. at the University of Cincinnati and is writing his dissertation about the social significance of Aegean-like pottery in the local society of the Amuq (Turkey). He is interested in human interaction with the material world and in the selective reinterpretation of the past. Recently, he has begun research on the social construction of disability and the negotiation of the disabled person’s place within ancient society. Since 2009 he has taught a variety of courses within the Classics and General Humanities Department at Montclair State University, NJ. In his teaching, he challenges students to relate their knowledge of the past to ongoing contemporary events and to issues relevant in their own lifes.