Fellows Program 2009-2010


William Batkay, Associate Professor, Political Science and Law
William M. Batkay, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Political Science and Law Department at Montclair State University, having taught here since 1971. He received his BA in political philosophy and government from Fordham University in the Bronx in 1965, and then attended Columbia University, from which he received several graduate degrees. While in graduate school, Dr. Batkay spent a semester in Budapest, Hungary, researching his dissertation. For his sabbatical in spring 1995, he returned to Hungary to teach American and Soviet politics and government at the Kossuth Lajos University in Debrecen. At Montclair State University, Dr. Batkay has taught a wide range of political science courses, focusing on comparative politics, international relations and, more recently, classical and modern political theory. His book on Hungarian politics in the 1920’s, Authoritarian Politics in a Transitional State, was published in 1982 as part of the East European Monographs series distributed by Columbia University Press. In addition, Dr. Batkay has written about Jewish religious politics in Israel and about the political ideas of Hannah Arendt.

Fellow: Tony Spanakos
  Lora Billings, Associate Professor, Mathematical Sciences
Lora Billings is an associate professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences. She received her Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1998. Her research interests focus on applied dynamical systems, defined as the study of mathematical models applied to real world problems. She works with a variety of applications, including epidemiology, lasers, and swarming objects. Dr. Billings has published over thrity-five journal articles and conference proceedings. She has had over $1.2M in external funding from NSF, NIH, ARO, and ONR. Currently, she is funded by the NIH as part of a research team that aims to develop new mathematical models and methods that predict and prevent outbreaks of infectious diseases. Dr. Billings incorporates numerous students in her research, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and uses examples from her research in classes to promote interdisciplinary projects. Fellow: Victoria Puig
  Hugh Curnutt, Assistant Professor, Communication Studies
Hugh Curnutt is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in 2008. His teaching focuses on critical theory, Lacanian psychoanalysis, media history and criticism, and television studies. His research explores the media industry’s growing reliance on user-generated content and the corresponding intersections between production and consumption that result from this institutional realignment. Mentor: Anthony Pemberton
  Elizabeth Erwin, Professor, Early Childhood, Elementary Education, and Literacy Education
Elizabeth Erwin is the Graduate Program Coordinator of the Inclusive Early Childhood Education Program which is the first in the state to prepare experienced practitioners to work with young children with disabilities and their families. Her research, teaching and advocacy are grounded in the value that children with and without disabilities should be educated together, a concept know as inclusive education. She is co-author of “Families, Professionals and Exceptionality” a leading text which will be published in its 6th edition this year. Elizabeth was recently awarded a 3 year grant from the U. S. Department of Education with 2 other leading universities to examine self-determination in young children with disabilities within family-professional partnerships. Serving as the faculty liaison to the Ben Samuels Children’s Center at Montclair State University, Elizabeth is engaged in a participatory action research investigation to explore issues of diversity and community within an inclusive early childhood environment.
Fellow: Tamara Spencer
  Anna Feldman, Assistant Professor, Linguistics/Computer Science
Anna Feldman is an assistant professor of Linguistics and Computer Science. She received her Ph.D. from the Ohio State University. Her research interest is robust language technology.
Mentor: Dr. Longxing Wei
  Anthony Inciong, Assistant Professor, Graphic Design
Anthony Inciong is an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design in The College of the Arts. His scholarly interest lies in pedagogy; methods of teaching that engender interdisciplinary strategies and critical approaches to the production of designed artifacts. He is an alumnus of NC State University College of Design and Mason Gross School of the Arts (by way of Rutgers University – Newark). Prior to teaching, Professor Inciong worked as a full-time graphic designer in Manhattan for multi-disciplinary studios and corporate design offices and, prior to graduate school, worked as a television Graphic Artist on The Late Show with David Letterman.
Mentor: David Keiser
  David Keiser, Associate Professor, Curriculum and Teaching
David Lee Keiser, Ph.D. is a Teacher Educator at Montclair State University. Dr. Keiser studies the intersection of contemplation, compassion, and teacher education, and has taught a graduate course, Mindful Teaching, at Montclair State University. He works with the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society and the Garrison Institute on contemplative pedagogy and emotional regulation for teachers. He is a published poet as well as the co-editor of Teacher Education for Democracy and Social Justice (RoutledgeFalmer Press, 2005). A recent article, “The Buddha in the Classroom,” appeared in the Summer 2007 issue of The Journal of Transformative Education. Fellow: Anthony Inciong
  Li-Chun Lin, Associate Professor, Hospitality Management
Dr. Li-Chun Lin, is a tenured Associate Professor in the area of Hospitality Management in Department of Management and Information System, School of Business. Dr. Lin joined Montclair State University in 2002 after teaching three years at University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Dr. Lin received her Ph.D. from Kansas State University, her M.S. from Purdue University in the area of Hospitality Management. She received her B.S. from Department of Statistics, National Chung-Kung University in Taiwan. Dr. Lin is a Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) and currently teaches Hospitality Management (Hybrid), Management Process (Hybrid), and Lodging Operations. Fellow: Soo Kim  
  Venezia Michalsen, Assistant Professor, Justice Studies
Dr. Venezia Michalsen has been an Assistant Professor in the Justice Studies Department since the Fall of 2008. Dr. Michalsen received her Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from CUNY, and her B.A. from Barnard College. She is committed to social research, specializing in gender and the criminal justice system. Her dissertation, “Going Straight for Her Children? Women’s Desistance after Incarceration” explored the impact of the mother-child bond on women’s desistance from criminal behavior. Dr. Michalsen’s is also working on research projects investigating how time constraints of women re-entering the community after incarceration affects their ability to find and keep work, the impact of parental incarceration on children, and the impact of correctional system policies on families of people in prison. Before starting her position at Montclair State, Dr. Michalsen worked for almost six years at the Women’s Prison Association (WPA), a non-profit organization in New York City which helps women with criminal justice system histories realize new possibilities for themselves and for their families. Mentor: Norma Connolly 
  Olena Nesteruk, Assistant Professor, Family and Child Studies
Olena Nesteruk is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Child Studies. She completed her Ph.D. at Louisiana State University in 2007.Her research interests include immigrant families and acculturation, Eastern European immigrants, cultural diversity, and family stress and coping. Her collaborative research includes a study of retired women and studies of religious families and African American families. She teaches several undergraduate courses in family and child studies, and actively seeks every opportunity for continued professional development.
Mentor: Christine Price
  Anthony Pemberton, Associate Professor, Art & Design
Daily Variety cited Tony Pemberton as One of Ten Directors to Watch when his first feature film Beyond 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 as Buddha’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.
Fellow: Hugh Curnutt
  Christine Price, Associate Professor, Family and Child Studies
Christine A. Price is a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Child Studies at Montclair State University. Previously, she was on the faculty at The Ohio State University (2000-2006) with a dual appointment in the Department of Human Development and Family Science and OSU Extension as an Extension State Gerontology Specialist. She also served on the faculty at Missouri State University (1996-2000). She teaches courses in family gerontology and family science. Her scholarly interests emphasize the transitional adjustment and psychosocial experiences of retired women. She earned her PhD and a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology at The University of Georgia. Fellow: Olena Nesteruk
  Victoria Puig, Assistant Professor, Department of Early Childhood, Elementary, and Literacy Education
Victoria Puig is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Early Childhood, Elementary, and Literacy Education. She earned her Ed.D. degree in early childhood special education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research interests include cultural and linguistic diversity, partnering with families of young children with special needs, and mentoring new teachers. Victoria has worked in the field as a preschool special educator, early interventionist, and Early Head Start Coordinator.
Mentor: Lora Billings
  Tony Spanakos, Assistant Professor, Political Science and Law
Tony Spanakos is an assistant professor of political science and law. His research investigates issues in political economy, democratization studies, and foreign policies by using cases from Latin America and Asia. He has published articles in Comparative Political Studies, New Political Science, Latin American Politics and Society, and Latin American Research Review, He is the co-editor of Reforming Brazil (Lexington Books, 2004) and he has written chapters in a number of edited scholarly volumes. He has also written a number of essays on popculture and philosophy on subjects such as Batman, the Watchmen, Iron Man, and Spiderman. Mentor: William Batkey 
  Tamara Spencer, Assistant Professor, Early Childhood, Elementary and Literacy Studies
Tamara Spencer is an assistant professor in the Department of Early Childhood, Elementary, and Literacy Studies at Montclair State University, Montclair, New Jersey. She received her Ed.D. from Teachers College, Columbia University; her M.S.Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania; and her B.A. from the Colorado College. Her research and teaching interests include early childhood language and literacy studies, urban education, and curriculum design. She has published several articles about early literacy education and prior to joining Montclair State University, she worked as both a teacher and district-wide administrator for New York City public schools. Mentor: Elizabeth Erwin
  Longxing Wei, Associate Professor, Linguistics
Dr. Longxing Wei is an associate professor in Linguistics Department and a specially invited professor in College of Foreign Languages at Shanghai Normal University. He received his Ph.D. in Linguistics from University of South Carolina, an M.A. in Linguistics from University of Colorado at Boulder, and an M.A. in English Language and Literature from East China Normal University. Before he came to the United States in 1989, he had taught English language and literature in Department of Foreign Languages at East China Normal University for 10 years. He joined Montclair State University in 1997 and has served as the Coordinator for the Certification Program for Teaching English as a Second Language for 8 years. He is currently the Graduate Advisor and Coordinator for the Graduate Program in Applied Linguistics. He teaches a range of undergraduate and graduate linguistic and applied linguistic courses. Among the courses that he regularly teaches are Advanced Structure of American English, Semantics, Pragmatics, Principles of Second Language Learning, Languages in Contact, Translation Theory, Current Theories of Second Language Acquisition, Methodology of Teaching English as a Second Language, Research Design in Applied Linguistics, and Cognitive Linguistics. He has been actively involved in many international projects of Global Education Center at Montclair State University. Since 2005 he has been the Director of Teaching in English: An International Faculty Training Program. His major research interests are in bilingualism, second language acquisition, pragmatics, bilingual mental lexicon, code-switching, interlanguage, language transfer, language and cognition, and linguistic stylistics. His scholarly work has been published in top tier journals, including Oxford Applied Linguistics, Journal of Cognitive Science, Brain and Language, International Journal of Bilingualism, International Journal of Multilingualism, Studies in Linguistics, Research in Language, and International Review of Applied Linguistics. His significant publications also appear in edited books, such as The Cambridge Handbook of Linguistic Codes-witching, The Multilingual Lexicon, The Status of Constraints, and Sociolinguistic Variation. Teaching Fellow: Anna Feldman