Photo of Dickson with Daffodils

CHSS Strategic Review Committee


The Strategic Review Committee liaises with the CHSS Dean’s Office on matters of strategic importance to the College. It proposes and evaluates ideas for enhancing interdisciplinarity processes, programming, enrollment and retention, and student success in CHSS. The Strategic Review Committee also reviews applications and recommends funding allocations for the CHSS Dean’s Office Initiatives.

Strategic Review Committee Members

Amanda Choo is the Applied Learning Specialist for the Department of Justice Studies. She joined Montclair State University in October 2019 and received her Masters in Human Resource Management from Rutgers University. She provides guidance and expertise to students on topics surrounding career readiness and experiential education. She assists students with securing impactful internships for credit through managing employer partnerships and developing curriculum to unpack their experience.
Bekki Davis has been a professional Academic Advisor for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences since 2018. She completed her master’s degree in Counseling and Higher Education through Montclair in 2011. Her interests include program development and addressing equity and diversity needs in higher education. As an advisor, Bekki seeks to help students find the significant connections between what they want to study and the world’s problems they want to help solve.
Emily Douglas is a Professor in the Department of Social Work & Child Advocacy. Douglas joined the Montclair State faculty in fall 2020 coming from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, where she was also a full professor and department head. Her research focuses on the program and policy implications of issues that address child and family well-being, largely in the areas of family violence: fatal child maltreatment, under-represented victims of partner violence and help-seeking, children’s exposure to partner violence, corporal punishment, family disruption, and the connection between research and policy. Dr. Douglas is the author of 60+ peer-reviewed publications, 4 books, and she presents annually at domestic and international conferences. Dr. Douglas has spoken at the State Houses in Maine, Massachusetts, and Connecticut and provided invited testimony before a Congressionally-created committee focused on children’s deaths. In 2016-2017 she was a Congressional fellow in Washington, D.C., dually sponsored by the Society for Research in Child Development and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Technology; during this time, she held a position in the U.S. Senate where she was the lead author on an investigation concerning for-profit foster care.
Glen Robert Gill, associate professor in the Department of Classics and General Humanities, received a PhD from McMaster University. His research interests include Theories of Myth (esp. Northrop Frye, C.G. Jung, and Joseph Campbell), Literary Theory and Criticism, Depth Psychology, Phenomenology, Biblical Studies, Classical Mythology, Celtic Mythology, Twentieth-Century Literature (esp. J.R.R. Tolkien), and Popular Culture. He teaches a variety of courses including Principles of Mythic Symbolism, J.R.R. Tolkien: The Mythology of Middle-Earth, Celtic Mythology, Classical Mythology, Myth and Popular Culture, Humanities I, and Honors Great Books I. He is author of Northrop Frye and the Phenomenology of Myth, the editor of Northrop Frye’s Writings on Twentieth-Century Literature, and is currently working on a book on J.R.R. Tolkien.
Lucy McDiarmid, the Marie Frazee-Baldassarre Professor of English, received her PhD from Harvard University. Her research focuses on writing by Yeats, Lady Gregory, Maeve Brennan, T. S. Eliot, Auden, and Stevie Smith, among others. She teaches courses on Modern British and Irish Poetry; Women Poets; Irish Women Writers; Irish Revival; Irish Film; Contemporary Irish Poetry; Modern Irish Drama; The Art of Poetry. Her books include At Home in the Revolution: what women said and did in 1916 (2015); Poets and the Peacock Dinner: the literary history of a meal (2014); The Irish Art of Controversy (2005); Auden’s Apologies for Poetry (1990); Saving Civilization: Yeats, Eliot, and Auden between the wars (1984); and several co-edited collections. Her current project is a book on 21st century Irish poetry.
Daniel Mengara, professor of French in the Department of World Languages and Cultures, received a PhD in Anglophone Studies from the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis. His research interests include: African civilization and literature in French and in English, Diaspora Studies, Postcolonial Studies, African Sociolinguistics and the French language, Comparative Gender Issues, Issues in Language Acquisition and Teaching, General Literary and Cultural Issues, Literary Theory and Criticism, Comparative Literature, and Africa and the West. He teaches all levels of French language and literature including courses in grammar, composition, translation, and Francophone film and literature.
Sangeeta Parashar, associate professor in the Department of Sociology, received a PhD in sociology from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research interests include: Social Demography; Development/Globalization; and Sociology of Health and Work. She teaches courses including Statistics for Social Research, Sociology of Aging, Sociology of Rich and Poor Nations, Social Inequality, and Sociology of Population.
Daniela Peterka-Benton, associate professor in the Department of Justice Studies, has a PhD in Sociology with a specialization in Criminology from the University of Vienna, Austria. Her research interests center around transnational crimes such as human trafficking, human smuggling, arms trafficking, and right-wing terrorism and extremism. Dr. Peterka-Benton teaches courses including Intro to International Justice and Research in Justice Studies and has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals including International Migration Review, Journal of the Institute of Justice & International Studies, and Journal of Applied Security Research.
Gabriel Rubin, associate professor in the Department of Justice Studies, has a PhD in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research interests include: Terrorism, Political Theory, Civil War, Middle East and African Politics. He teaches courses including Intro to International Justice, Perspectives in Justice Studies I, International Justice II, Statistics for Social Research, Research in Justice Studies, Theories of Justice, Terrorism and Social, Rights, Liberties and American Justice, and International Civil Conflicts. He is the author of Freedom and Order: How Democratic Governments Restrict Civil Liberties after Terrorist Attacks–and Why Sometimes They Don’t by Lexington Books (2011). Rubin is the faculty coordinator for the International Justice program.
Stephen Ruszczyk, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, received a PhD from the City University of New York. His research interests include immigration, citizenship, schools, Latinos, community-based organizations and qualitative methods. He currently teaches courses including Urban Sociology and Latino Sociology.
Valerie Sessa, Professor of Psychology, received a PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from New York University. Her research interests include leadership development in college students and continuous learning at the individual, group, and organizational levels. She teaches courses including Leadership Theory and Development, Groups in Organizations and Work Attitudes and Motivation. She is the author of three books: Executive selection: Strategies for success, Jossey Bass (with Jodi Taylor, 2000), Continuous learning in Organizations: Individual, group, and organizational perspectives, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. (with Manny London, 2005), Work group learning: Understanding, improving, and assessing how groups learn in organizations, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. (edited with Manny London, 2008), and has one book in progress: College Student Leadership Development: Learning from Experience, Taylor and Francis.
Photo of Lesley Sylvan

Lesley Sylvan

2182 1515 Broad Street, Bloomfield, NJ

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.
Maisa C. Taha, assistant professor of Anthropology, received her PhD from The University of Arizona. Her research interests include language and power, migration and multicultural politics, and discourses of diversity. She teaches courses in linguistic and cultural anthropology and has conducted primary and applied research in Spain and the southwest United States. Articles based on her research with Moroccan immigrants and Spanish social workers and teachers have appeared in The Journal of North African Studies and Crossroads of Language, Interaction, and Culture.
Marisa S. Trubiano, associate professor of Italian in the Department of World Languages and Cultures, received her PhD from Rutgers University. Her research interests include: 20th-century Italian literature and cinema, Italian and Italian American Cultural Studies, and translation. She teaches courses in Italian language, literature and cinema, Translation and Italian and Italian American Cultural Studies. Her book-length study of Ennio Flaiano, Ennio Flaiano and His Italy: Postcards of a Changing World published by Fairleigh Dickinson University Press (2010), was awarded a literary prize, a Premio Internazionale Flaiano per l’Italianistica in Pescara, Italy (July 2011).
Elizabeth Wishnick, professor in the Department of Political Science and Law, received a PhD in Political Science from Columbia University, New York. Her research interests include U.S.-China-Russia relations and non-traditional security issues. She teaches courses in International Relations, Globalization and Security, Intelligence, Global Environmental Politics and Asian Studies. She is the author of Mending Fences: The Evolution of Moscow’s China Policy from Brezhnev to Yeltsin (University of Washington Press, 2001 and 2015). Her latest book, China’s Risk: Oil, Water, Food and Regional Security (forthcoming, Columbia University Press) addresses the security and foreign policy consequences for the Asia-Pacific region of oil, water and food risks in China. She is also the coordinator for the Asian Studies program.