At the start of this academic year, we’ve welcomed 15 new, full-time, tenure-track faculty to The College of Saint Rose. We asked our newest faculty members to share a little bit about themselves. Here are their answers:
Dr. Zumrut Akcam-Kibis, assistant professor of computer science: I recently earned my Ph.D. from the University at Albany, where I also received my master’s in computer science. My bachelor’s degree is in computer engineering from Ege University in Izmir, Turkey. My research interests include computational logic, graph/text mining, computational linguistics, and natural language processing.
I am interested in both theoretical and applied computer science, and I worked on different research projects, such as problems in unification for string rewriting systems, exploring representative communities in large attributed graphs, and detection of metaphors in cross-cultural datasets. I have experience in working interdisciplinary research projects thru my Ph.D., and I would love to continue collaborating with other research areas. In my leisure time, I enjoy coffee, movies, anime, journaling, and playing with my cockatiel.
Dr. Haidy H. Brown, assistant professor of management: I earned my Ph.D. in public administration and M.P.A. in labor relations from Rockefeller College, University of Albany. I received my M.C. in business leadership and management from Michigan State University and my bachelor’s degree in social sciences from the University at Albany. My professional experience includes management consultancy, labor relations, change management, and economic, fiscal, and monetary policy analysis. I have a passion for teaching behavioral and decision-theory based courses.
My most recent work has focused on decision making in the context of work-life conflict coping strategy, work-life inclusive organization, work-life balance as a social responsibility issue, and the social and economic effects of workforce female talent forfeiture due to work-life balance exclusionary tactics.
Dr. Mark Congdon Jr., assistant professor of communications: I received my Ph.D. in communication, with a concentration in social entrepreneurship in communication pedagogy and leadership, from the University of Maine. I am also a former special education teacher and a Teach for America alumnus. My scholarship and pedagogy explore innovative teaching and learning practices that increase the civic engagement and career readiness of students by using a service-learning pedagogical approach. Specifically, my work focuses on understanding how to improve higher education propensity to work in/with our local communities to enact positive social change, while simultaneously equipping students with an innovative and relational mindset that better prepares them for their future careers. My research has been published in Communication Education, Communication Teacher, The Qualitative Report, and Partnerships: A Journal of Service-Learning & Civic Engagement, among others.
I am ecstatic to be joining the Saint Rose community! As a first-generation college student, I understand the importance of having caring and supportive professors who mentor their students. From my short time here at Saint Rose, I can see that these qualities are embodied by all. I am very excited to work with my new colleagues at Saint Rose to help students discover their path and empower them to be engaged in our community.
Outside of my love for teaching, I am a huge Buffalo Bills fan, love to cook, perform karaoke, and travel, especially to the beach.
Dr. Kelly Hallstrom, assistant professor of microbiology: I earned my bachelor’s in biology at Clark University, where I was first introduced to academic research under the guidance of enthusiastic and supportive mentors. It was this experience that made me want a career where I, too, could teach and mentor students. After a few years as a technician in a cancer biology lab, I pursued graduate studies at UMass Medical School and earned my Ph.D. in biomedical sciences. My dissertation focused on how Salmonella bacteria cause inflammation in the human gut. As a post-doc at the Wadsworth Center in Albany, I studied protein regulation in mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes tuberculosis. As a result of my previous experiences, I am interested in the ways in which environmental changes affect microbial growth and physiology.
I have taught and mentored students at the graduate and undergraduate levels, and find that research and teaching are best when paired together. I am also committed to science outreach and communication in the community and enjoy finding ways to incorporate science communication skills in the classroom.
Dr. Daniel Hono, assistant professor of computer science: I received my Ph.D. and master’s degree in computer science from the University at Albany. My research interests include: string-rewriting systems, automated deduction, logic, and combinatorics. In particular, I am interested in exploring the properties of term-rewriting systems and equational axioms for which the unification problem is efficiently solvable.
My Ph.D. dissertation focused on understanding the properties of certain classes of term-rewriting systems that exhibit polynomial time unification algorithms and restricted classes of string-rewriting systems for which many undecidable computational problems become decidable. I am also interested in the combinatorics of symmetric polynomials and topics within the realm Schubert calculus. Previously, I have done research in data mining and machine learning for anomalous pattern detection in large structured data sets.
Dr. Scott I. Jerris, associate professor of accounting: I received a Ph.D. in accounting at Purdue University and a bachelor’s degree in accounting and economics from the University at Albany. Previously, I have taught at Purdue University, Southern Methodist University, West Virginia University, and for the past 21 years, at San Francisco State University. Most of my peer-reviewed journal articles have focused on the response of stock prices to earnings per share measures, and the impact of Financial Accounting Standards Board regulations upon the accounting profession.
My current research is more education-based and focuses on accounting majors, communications anxiety, and presentations pedagogy. My passion is teaching financial accounting, from undergraduate Principles to Financial Statement Analysis. I am very excited to be back “home” in New York State, especially at The College of Saint Rose, where I can help students understand how the use of accounting information can benefit their chosen careers. In my spare time, I enjoy listening to the Metropolitan Opera, watching the Montreal Canadiens or the San Francisco Giants, and playing with my Boston terriers.
Dr. Thomas Murphy, assistant professor of counseling: I am a counselor educator and clinical mental health counselor. After many years working in the publishing industry, I decided to make a major life change and enrolled in the Georgia State University graduate school to become a clinical mental health counselor. While in my master’s program, I realized that my ultimate goal was to teach counseling while also maintaining a clinical focus. I earned my doctorate in counselor education and practice at Georgia State University in 2016. Along the way, I became a National Certified Counselor, an Approved Clinical Supervisor, and became certified in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy from the EMDR International Association.
My teaching has focused primarily on clinical skills development (including motivational interviewing), crisis counseling, traumatology, and counseling across the lifespan. My research interests include qualitative program evaluation in the counseling environment, historical trauma from the early AIDS crisis, and the introduction of Death Cafes into the counselor education environment. I am hoping to continue a clinical practice in the community with a focus on trauma counseling. I am excited to join the Saint Rose family and the transition to living in the Northeast. I my spare time, I enjoy cooking, hiking, and reading fiction.
Dr. Julie Piepenbring, assistant professor of social work: I graduated with my doctorate in social work from Fordham University. Prior to joining Saint Rose, I served as the executive vice president and chief clinical officer at a leading nonprofit organization in Connecticut that specializes in serving youths diagnosed with neurodevelopmental disorders. During my tenure with the nonprofit organization, I also taught in the social work department at Southern Connecticut State University since 2012 and provided clinical therapy to children and adults in private practice for more than 10 years.
My research and academic interests have focused on autism and the impact of ASD on families, culturally competent clinical practice, and organizational leadership. I have presented on ASD-related topics at national and local conferences and was an invited panelist at Autism Speaks, CT chapter. In June 2018, I presented on “Strategic Planning” and the “It Factors of Leadership” at the National Network for Social Work Management. I strongly believe in supportively challenging students to become critical thinkers and aim to instill the value of continuous growth by encouraging students to work to their full potential. I am passionate about the social work profession, and I take great pride in educating our future leaders in the field. In my spare time, I enjoy yoga, traveling, and, most recently, learning how to swing a golf club. I am absolutely delighted to join the social work department and the Saint Rose community!
Dr. Emily Pinkerton, assistant professor, music industry: I hold degrees in ethnomusicology from The University of Texas at Austin, and in voice from Butler University. I come to Saint Rose from Pennsylvania, where I taught World Music and Latin American Music at the University of Pittsburgh for 10 years, and toured with folk trio, The Early Mays. Last year was an exciting one for my band, with a debut on NPR’s “Mountain Stage,” a No. 1 release on the Folk-DJ charts, and a concert at the Appalachian String Band Music Festival (as winners of the neo-traditional band competition).
In my solo projects, I write songs that connect with Appalachian and Andean music, drawing from studies with traditional musicians. My fieldwork in Latin America explored the revival of the Chilean guitarrón (a 25-string guitar) and the “sung poetry” (canto a lo poeta) of urban and rural performers. Most recently, I recorded “Rounder Songs,” a collection of pieces for voice, old-time banjo, and chamber ensemble, released on New Amsterdam Records and co-composed with NOW Ensemble member, Patrick Burke. I am excited to join a faculty that puts such care and creativity into their teaching, and I am especially looking forward to getting to know the students in the music industry program.
Chenique Rowe, LMSW, assistant professor of social work: I’m thrilled to be returning to my alma mater to join the Saint Rose social work department full-time. It’s amazing to see how the program has grown, and I look forward to contributing to its continued success. I received my bachelor’s degree from Saint Rose and then went on to get my master’s in social work from Springfield College. I’ve worked in direct practice in the areas of children, youth, and families, children’s mental health, and as a medical social worker in the realm of women’s and children’s services. I’m very passionate about social justice and diversity issues and am involved in many community organizations throughout the Capital Region addressing various topics. I’ve had the opportunity to teach the Social Work Diversity Workshop within the BSW program, and I’ve found great joy and reward in helping to shape future social workers into practicing professionals.
Bringing real-world examples into the classroom to ignite the passions of the next generation of social workers has been nothing short of exhilarating. Doing so while giving back to the institution that launched my own career is such an exciting opportunity.
Dr. Deborah Shea, assistant professor of educational leadership: I am so very honored to serve in a role that supports new and emerging leaders in our schools. The areas of leadership, organizational system change, and the development of cultures of learning have been my passion throughout my career. My own background includes building and district leadership positions in rural, suburban, and urban districts both in Broome County and the Capital Region. My teaching background is in literacy and special education.
My doctoral research through Binghamton University focused on leadership, particularly as it relates to shared discourses and the mutual influence of community on the beliefs and practices within the local school. My current research includes studying the nature of teacher leadership and how this influence can be described through the lens of transformational leadership so it can be coached in others leading to enhanced social capital in schools.
The College of Saint Rose has a reputation of individualized and supportive care of our students. I look forward to contributing to this culture.
Brandon Siscoe, M.F.A., assistant professor of three-dimensional design: I earned my B.F.A., with a minor in art history, from Illinois State University in 2012, and received my M.F.A. from the University of Oregon in 2015. I was the co-founder and director of Heavy Brow Gallery in Bloomington, Illinois, and was co-director of Ditch Projects (an artist-run exhibition space) in Springfield, Oregon. Before arriving at Saint Rose, I taught all levels of Sculpture and 3D Design at the University of Washington and at the University of Denver.
I create sculptures and installations in a variety of media. My current research interests include object-oriented aesthetics and material transformation. I make restrained material decisions that elicit an unexpected interpretation of the object. Chosen for their fragmented ambiguities, their encased histories, and their abilities to delineate hazy territories that may surround these appropriated objects and materials, my object selection engages a fluid definition of sculpture that understands itself not as a self-enclosed complete form, but as a deflated ontology of object relationships. Value is cast as a cultural fabrication that considers both the authentic origin of the object as well as its sensual allure.
Dr. Julienne Slichko, assistant professor of special education: I am thrilled to once again belong to the Saint Rose community. As a student, I earned a CAS in School Building Leadership in 2008. I also hold a master’s in special education and elementary education from Mount St. Mary College and a Ph.D. from the University at Albany. With over 15 years of teaching and leadership experience, I have always strived to make education accessible to all students; including my grant work that allowed for the adoption of Open Education Resources and my research that focused on efficacy of technologies that support self-regulated learning.
For the past three years, I have served the University at Albany as an instructional developer and online instructor. I have presented research and best practices at The Council of Exceptional Children (CEC) annual conference, Drexel University annual conference on assessment, and SUNY’s Conference on Instructional Technologies (CIT). I am looking forward to collaborating across campus and serving the students at Saint Rose.
Dr. Jay Stoltzfus, assistant professor of music education: I am thrilled to return to Saint Rose after serving as a visiting assistant professor of music education here last year. My formal credentials include a Ph.D. from the Eastman School of Music and a Bachelor of Music and Master of Arts from Mansfield University. I recently retired from a 31-year career in K-12 education that included both teaching and administrative positions, and I am a proud veteran of the United States Army.
My former students were selected to field test a new instrumental music method book by Frank Ticheli and Gregory Rudgers, and to pilot the Harmony Bridge program for Michael Levine, founder of Dallas Brass and Harmony Bridge. I look forward to working with the outstanding music faculty and supportive Saint Rose community to connect our music students with similar experiences.
My current research focuses on the ideal of music for all – for life, and I hope to continue investigating the role of improvisation and composition in the music-reading process.
Dr. Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard, assistant professor of educational leadership: I hold music education degrees from Grand Valley State University and Calvin College, located in Western Michigan. After 14 years in the public classroom, I embarked on an adventure to earn my Ph.D. from Kent State University in Ohio, where I earned a degree in curriculum and instruction. While this was my area of focus, I studied it through the lens of social justice education, focusing on the impact of leadership decisions that either accelerated or hindered the academic success of students who have been historically underserved.
Since then, I have been rapidly promoted, allowing me to have an impact for all students, with a special focus on those underserved through holding leadership positions in multiple school districts. With teaching as the focus, Saint Rose offers me an opportunity to meet my calling in two distinct ways: First, as I return to the classroom, I have the opportunity to meet the Saint Rose mission to help the next generation of leaders to “cultivate their creative and spiritual gifts in a diverse learning community that fosters integrity, interdependence, and mutual respect.” Second, I have the opportunity to continue to forge positive relationships and bridges between higher education and schools. I have the best of both worlds and look forward to serving the students of Saint Rose.
We would also like to welcome our 10 new full-time visiting faculty: Robert Braathe, MBA, visiting assistant professor of business administration Philip Crim, Ph.D. candidate, visiting assistant professor of biology Dr. Anne Gilman, visiting assistant professor of psychology Linda King, M.S., visiting instructor of counseling Dr. K. Frances (Kat) Lieder, visiting assistant professor of English David Mosher, M.M., visiting assistant professor of music – core curriculum Susan Schildt, M.S., visiting instructor of mathematics Dr. Daniel Schoenfeld, visiting assistant professor of psychology Dr. Dong Jo Shin, visiting assistant professor of Asian history Dr. Camela Steinke, visiting assistant professor of criminal justice