View more about the members of the Community-Engaged Teaching and Learning Fellows Program for the Academic Years 2018 – 2020 below.
Professor and Coordinator of Undergraduate Advising, Psychology Department
Director, Research Academy for University Learning
Office Location: Dickson Hall 361
Dr. Milton A. Fuentes received his MA in Psychology with a Latina/o Psychology focus from Montclair State University and his PsyD 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 secured post-doctoral training in epidemiology at Columbia University. He is the 2012 President of the National Latina/o Psychological Association; the current president of the Latino Mental Health Association of NJ, a former member of the American Psychological Association (APA)’s Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs; and a current ethnic minority delegate to APA’s Council of Representatives. Dr. Fuentes’s research interests are in the areas of Latina/o and multicultural psychology, child/ family psychology, pedagogy and motivational interviewing. He serves as a consultant to several programs, including the Violence Prevention Office of the American Psychological Association, where he serves as a Coordinator and Master Trainer for the ACT Raising Safe Kids program. Dr. Fuentes is currently a professor in the psychology department and the Director of the Research Academy for University Learning at Montclair State University as well as a licensed psychologist in New Jersey and New York.
Assistant Professor, Family Science and Human Development
Office Location: University Hall 4209
Dr. Ermer’s research primarily relates to social relationships, particularly romantic relationships and friendships, older adulthood and wellbeing. Her research includes examining how the social environment matters for older adults, including forgiveness in the context of health and social relationships. Dr. Ermer often includes a community-based component in the undergraduate courses she teaches, including Families in Later Life and Aging and Social Policy. She earned her PhD from the University of Missouri in 2017.
Assistant Professor, Marketing
Manveer Mann is an assistant professor of Marketing at Montclair State University. She has over five years of experience in higher education teaching in areas including international business, marketing, and retailing. Before joining Montclair State University, she was an assistant professor at Old Dominion University, Virginia. She received a PhD from Auburn University, Alabama. Her research interests span a number of topics in marketing including consumer behavior, retailing and ethics. Her research has appeared in several academic journals including Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Business Research, and the International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management. She has presented her research in numerous international and national conferences including Society of Consumer Psychology, Transformative Consumer Research, Academy of Marketing Science, and American Collegiate Retailing Association.
Associate Professor, Cali School of Music
Brian Abrams, PhD, MT-BC, LCAT, Analytical Music Therapist and Fellow of the Association for Music and Imagery, has been a music therapist since 1995, with experience across a wide range of clinical contexts. Prior to his current position at Montclair State University as Associate Professor of Music (2008-present) and Coordinator of Music Therapy (2010-present), he served on the faculty at Immaculata University (2004-2008) and Utah State University (2001-2004). He has published and presented internationally on a wide range of topics such as music therapy in cancer care, music psychotherapy, humanistic music therapy, and the interdisciplinary area of Health Humanities, including his role as one of five authors of a 2015 book by that title. He has also contributed to the establishment of several medical music therapy programs. 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. From 2005 to 2011, he served on the Board of the Mid-Atlantic Region of the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), including as President from 2007-2009. From 2005 through the present, he has served on the AMTA Assembly of Delegates, including as Assembly Representative on the AMTA Board of Directors from 2010-2013, and as Assembly Speaker from 2012-2013.
Associate Professor, Early Childhood, Elementary, and Literacy Education
Minsun Shin, EdD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Early Childhood, Elementary and Literacy Education at Montclair State Unversity. She currently serves as a MAT Graduate Early Childhood Education Program coordinator. With a strong belief that education takes place in and through human relationships, her research interests include the development of caregiver-child relationships, social cognition and joint attention, caring pedagogy, infant caregiving, early childhood teacher education, and professionalism in early childhood education.
Assistant Professor, Communication Sciences and Disorders
Dr. Lesley Sylvan is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Montclair State University. Dr. Sylvan is a certified speech-language pathologist with over 12 years of clinical experience working with school-aged children both in public school and private clinical settings. She completed a master’s degree in educational policy and management as well as a doctorate degree in human development and education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Broadly, Dr. Sylvan’s scholarly interests center on the intersection between the field of education and the field of speech-language pathology. She studies the challenges SLPs face in K-12 school settings as well as issues related to the instruction of aspiring SLPs in higher education settings. She has a strong interest in current practice patterns and personnel preparation needs in the field of speech-language pathology.
At Montclair State, she teaches courses focused on language acquisition in children and school-aged communication disorders.
Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology
Maisa Taha is an anthropologist trained in the linguistic, cultural and applied subfields. She has conducted fieldwork in southeast Spain and the U.S., focusing on multicultural educational environments, immigrant and refugee inclusion and the communicative construction of shared value systems in changing democracies. By exploring both state and non-state contexts of intercultural meeting, she builds on a lifelong interest in the meanings of “home” and place, multilingualism and the experiences of migrants and their children. Her work as a CETL Fellow with the Center for Community Engagement focuses on building an advanced undergraduate anthropology seminar and outreach effort around the theme of “language as community resource.” This work aims to bring awareness and attention to the myriad ways that language and ways of using language hold value and creative potential for people in northern New Jersey.
Assistant Professor, Earth and Environmental Studies
My research falls at the intersection of human-environment interaction. I am an Assistant Professor in the Earth and Environmental Studies department. I received my doctoral degree from The Graduate Center at The City University of New York. I focus on research that explores human-environment interaction through environmental perception and policy, identity and planning. My work in the past has focused on the impacts of environmental policy and the production of urban space through greening policies. I am interested in environmental inequity and restoration, and how this process is shifting as a result of changing landscapes.
My research interests concern: environmental and human geography, sustainability policy, urban political ecology, environmental inequity, perception, and health, planning, water contamination and resources, environmental gentrification and displacement, brownfields and waterfront redevelopment.
Assistant Professor, Sociology
Stephen Ruszczyk, PhD, is a sociologist. His main work focuses on undocumented youth and their context for becoming adults. To date, publications on this theme have appeared in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, American Behavioral Scientist, Comparative Migration Studies, and Migration Studies. Ongoing work also looks at how organizations support urban citizenship. At Montclair State, he has taught courses on immigration, urban sociology, Latinxs and social problems.
Associate Professor of Spanish and Director of the Graduate Certificate Program in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish at Montclair State University
Office Location: Conrad Schmitt Hall, Room 205D
Dr. María José García Vizcaíno is Associate Professor of Spanish and Director of the Graduate Certificate Program in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish at Montclair State University. Here she teaches courses on Translation and Spanish. Her main current lines of research are Advertising, Translation and Audio Description. She has published extensively in prestigious academic journals such as Journal of Pragmatics, Sociocultural Pragmatics: An International Journal of Spanish Linguistics, and Perspectives: Studies in Translation Theory and Practice, and has presented her work at numerous conferences, panels, and symposia around the world. Currently, Dr. García Vizcaíno is teaching a course on Audio Description in Spanish at Montclair State and engaging students in projects to bring the Performing Arts closer to the Spanish-speaking low vision audiences. In particular, she is leading a project to make live theatre in Spanish accessible to the Latino visually-impaired community in NY.
Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership
Dr. Rachel Garver is an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at Montclair State University. She studies how educational equity is impacted by policy implementation and by safety and discipline practices in schools. Prior to getting her doctorate at New York University, Dr. Garver taught 5th and 6th grade in New York City, worked for the Racial Justice Program at the American Civil Liberties Union, and conducted applied research for youth-oriented organizations and school districts. Dr. Garver’s current projects examine how equity-oriented policies are implemented in racially and economically segregated schools and the role of police in schools. She is also working in partnership with a local community organization to leverage youth voices to inform educational policies and practices.
Assistant Professor, Early Childhood, Elementary, and Literacy Education
Dr. Jessica Bacon is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Early Childhood, Elementary and Literacy Education at Montclair State University. Jessica is the program coordinator inclusive education dual degree/ dual certification program in K-6 and P-3 education. Jessica is a co-founder and co-coordinator with Dr. Susan Baglieri of the Increasing Access to College project, which provides inclusive higher education opportunities to early adults with intellectual and developmental disability labels. Jessica’s research is informed by the field of disability studies and she investigates how neoliberal educational policies impact the inclusion of students with disabilities. She also researches the role of advocacy and self-advocacy in impacting-12 and higher educational systems towards more inclusivity. She has recently published in journals such as Disability & Society, the International Journal of Inclusive Education, and Teacher Education and Special Education.
Interim Head of Multimedia Resources Department/Electronic Resources Librarian
Steven Shapiro is Interim Head of the Multimedia Resources Department/Electronic Resources Librarian at Harry A. Sprague Library. He administers all aspects of the Library’s large array of electronic resources including databases, reference collections, and streaming audio and video products. He handles contract negotiations with vendors and consortia and provides technical support to faculty and students experiencing database access issues. In addition, he arranges trials of new electronic resources for faculty to evaluate and review. He also manages the Library’s discovery service. He is past-president of ACRL/NJ (NJLA/College and University Section) and continues to be active professionally. He has contributed articles to several professional library journals including Journal of Electronic Resources Librarianship, which is devoted to issues and practices of electronic resource management and Library Hi-Tech News. He has presented at a number of different conferences including NJEdge.net, NJLA, and VALE on the topic of marketing electronic resources.
Steve earned his BA in Anthropology and Sociology from Lafayette College, MLS from University of Maryland and MA in Social Sciences/History from Montclair State.
Assistant Professor, Theatre and Dance
Dr. Brater’s research aims to bring attention to art, artists, and audience communities, especially women, who have been underrepresented historically by theatre critics and scholars. Her work emphasizes the relationship between theatrical performance and social and political engagement.
Her book, RUTH MALECZECH AT MABOU MINES: WOMAN’S WORK, was published by Methuen Drama in 2016. Chapters on Mabou Mines appear in WOMEN, COLLECTIVE CREATION, AND DEVISED PERFORMANCE and in CONTEMPORARY APPROACHES TO ADAPTATION IN PERFORMANCE, both published by Palgrave Macmillan. Other writing has appeared in publications including AUJOURD’HUI/SAMUEL BECKETT TODAY and THEATRE JOURNAL. Current writing projects include “Shaping Broadway and Off-Broadway Plays Through Collaborations: Playwrights, Directors, Designers, and Companies” for the CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO AMERICAN THEATRE, “Nora, Lucia, and Lear: Gender and Performance at Mabou Mines” for ANALYZING GENDER IN PERFORMANCE (Palsgrave MacMillan) and a chapter on Lee Breuer for the new series GREAT NORTH AMERICAN STAGE DIRECTORS (Methuen Drama).
Brater is the founding Artistic Director of Polybe + Seats. Over the company’s fifteen-year history, they have partnered with other Brooklyn cultural organizations including the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92, the Waterfront Museum and Showboat Barge, and the Old Stone House to create socially engaged work. Most recently, Brater directed Sarah Badiyah Sakaan’s THE ART OF HIJAB, KOHL BLACK, AND THE RIGHT WAY TO PRAY, a new play that explores Muslim feminist identity. The project was supported by a 2014-16 residency at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, several Creative Space grants from ART/NY, and a grant from the Brooklyn Arts Council. The production was presented at the Bay Ridge Brooklyn Public Library and in a performance residency at the Obie-award winning gallery FiveMyles in partnership with the Arab American Association of New York.
Brater’s teaching encourages students to map connections between theater literature, history, and theory and their own stage practice, challenging them to excel both intellectually and creatively and to examine connections between the performative and the political.
She is the program coordinator for the BA and MA in Theatre Studies, a 2018-2020 Community-Engaged Teaching and Learning Fellow, and serves on the University Senate. Brater holds a PhD from the CUNY Graduate Center and a BA from Barnard College.
Associate Professor, Mathematical Sciences
Dr. Ashwin Vaidya is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. His scholarly interests lie in the general area of complexity theory which examines systems as a collection of interacting parts, where feedback leads to pattern formation and self-organization in nature. His work spans the areas of mathematical modeling of physical and biological systems, experimental physics, science education and philosophy of science. Dr. Vaidya directs the Complex Fluids Laboratory at Montclair State University where his team comprising of students and faculty collaborators conduct experiments as well do theoretical work. As an educator, he is committed to getting students to see education as a life-long and creative process and promoting a unified approach to teaching and learning.