Press Releases

Purchase Welcomes New Faculty

Date Released: 8/31/2010

Purchase has appointed eight tenure-track faculty members in arts management; cinema studies; dance; media, society and the arts; Latin American history; printmaking; psychology and sculpture and a lecturer in sociology. Click for bios.

Purchase has appointed eight tenure-track faculty members in arts management; cinema studies; dance; media. Society, and the arts; Latin American history; printmaking; psychology; and sculpture along with one lecturer in sociology.


Meagan E. Curtis

Assistant Professor of Psychology


Dr. Meagan Curtis joins Purchase  following postdoctoral teaching and research at Tufts University, where she investigated the communication of emotion in the domains of speech and music, the interaction between the processing of musical phrase structures and linguistic syntax, the influence of culture on musical behaviors in Indian and Western musicians, and music perception within and across cultures. In June 2009, documentary footage of her research was featured at the World Science Festival in New York City. Her work was also recently featured in Scientific American and on WNYC’s Soundcheck. Dr. Curtis earned her BA in cognitive science and music at Hampshire College and her PhD in psychological and brain sciences at Dartmouth College.

Antonio C. Cuyler
Assistant Professor of Arts Management

Dr. Antonio Cuyler is from American University’s College of Arts & Sciences in Washington, D.C., where he served as director and assistant professor of arts management. Prior to joining the AU faculty, he was professor of arts administration at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). He has also served as a fundraising consultant for the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum in Savannah, Georgia, and the Ritz Chamber Players in Jacksonville, Florida. Dr. Cuyler has published widely and has presented research in the area of arts management in the U.S. and abroad. He received his BM in voice with elective studies in foreign languages from Stetson University and his MA and PhD in arts education/arts administration from Florida State University.

Stella Ebner
Assistant Professor of Art+Design

Stella Ebner has exhibited in numerous galleries and museums, including the Minnesota Museum of American Art (St. Paul) and the Highpoint Center for Printmaking (Minneapolis), the International Print Center New York (New York City) and the Print Center (Philadelphia), RISD Museum (Providence), Boston Center for the Arts, Kala Art Institute (Berkeley), SFMOMA Artists Gallery and Elizabeth Laurence Contemporary Art Space (San Francisco), and the Pont-Aven School of Contemporary Art in France. She is the recipient of several grants, including a Central Minnesota Arts Board Individual Artist Grant, a Minnesota State Arts Board Career Opportunity Grant, and a Minnesota State Arts Board Artists’ Assistance Fellowship. Her work is included in the collections of the Minnesota Museum of Art, General Mills, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Kala Art Institute, University of St. Thomas, and the Minnesota Historical Society. Ms. Ebner received her BFA from the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis in 1998 and her MFA in printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 2006. Since 2007, she has taught both undergraduate and graduate printmaking students as a visiting faculty member at the University of California at Davis.

Richard N. Gioioso
Lcturer in Sociology

Dr. Richard Gioioso received his BA, magna cum laude, in Spanish, Latin American, and European studies from St. Joseph’s University, and his MA in international studies and PhD in international relations from Florida International University. His research interests include migration and Latin American studies; identity, trust, and civic engagement; and urban geography. In addition to his appointment in sociology, Dr. Gioioso is a contributing faculty member in anthropology.

Paula Halperin
Assistant Professor of Latin American History

Dr. Paula Halperin, a specialist in the history of Latin America, earned her BA with honors at the University of Buenos Aires and her PhD in history at the University of Maryland. Her doctoral thesis examines film and photojournalism in mid-20th-century Argentina and Brazil. Dr. Halperin’s research and teaching interests include visual culture studies as well as the social history of the Americas.

Carmen Oquendo-Villar
Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies

Dr. Carmen Oquendo-Villar earned her BA in philosophy at Boston University, her MA in comparative literature at the University of Puerto Rico, and her PhD in Latin American studies and Romance languages and literatures at Harvard University. Currently a midcareer Guggenheim fellow in film, video, and new media, she is working on a book manuscript, Chile 1973: The Media Coup, a multidisciplinary exploration that engages with a diverse body of theoretical approaches, including speech act, media, and performance theories. She is also working on two films about transgender issues in Latin America, The Needle and Diana de Santa Fe. Her films and research have been supported by numerous grants, residencies, and fellowships, including a Jacob Javits Fellowship; the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies; National Endowment for the Arts; John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation; WGBH; NALIP’s Latino Producers Academy and Latino Media Market; Harvard University’s Film Study Center and NYU’s Kanbar Institute of Film, Television, and New Media; the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics; the Institute for Caribbean Studies at the University of Puerto Rico; the Institute for Caribbean Studies (UPR); and the Artist Residency Program at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia.

Jason A. Pine
Assistant Professor of Media, Society, and the Arts

Dr. Jason Pine, who began teaching at Purchase College in 2007–08 as a lecturer in media, society, and the arts and in anthropology, has been appointed to the tenure track after a national search. His areas of research include an extended study of organized crime and neomelodica music in Naples, Italy; methamphetamine production and addiction in North America and its relationship to the everyday demands of optimal performance and productivity encouraged by Big Pharma; and the aesthetics and political economy of virtual world-building in Second Life. His research projects, which incorporate photography, video, and machinima, have been funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the U.S. Department of Justice. Dr. Pine earned his BA at the University of Chicago, his MA at the New School for Social Research, and his PhD at the University of Texas at Austin. In addition to his appointment in media, society, and the arts, Dr. Pine is a contributing faculty member in anthropology.

Christopher Robbins
Assistant Professor of Art+Design

Christopher Robbins works “on the uneasy cusp of art and community development, creating sculptural interventions in the daily lives of strangers.” His collaborative project, the Ghana Think Tank, was recently shortlisted for the 2010 Frieze Foundation Cartier Award. He has served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Benin, West Africa; spoken at a United Nations conference about his cross-cultural digital arts and education work in the South Pacific; and has lived and worked in London, Tokyo, West Africa, the Fiji Islands, and the former Yugoslavia.

 Mr. Robbins has exhibited extensively in the U.S. and abroad at such venues as Eyebeam and the Queens Museum of Art, the David Winton Bell Gallery at Brown University, the National Museum of Wales, the Wimbledon College of Art in London, the Foundation for Arts and Creative Technology in Liverpool, PERFORMA 07, the Kunsthallen Nikolaj (Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center), the International Lisbon Fair, and the 13th Pancevo Biennial of Art in Serbia. He has been awarded residencies/fellowships from Skowhegan, MacDowell Colony, Haystack, Penland, and Anderson Ranch, among others. Mr. Robbins received his BA in psychology and Asian studies from the University of Virginia at Charlottesville and his MFA with honors from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).

Wallie Wolfgruber
Associate Professor of Dance
Director, Conservatory of Dance

Wallie Wolfgruber is a German-born choreographer who has danced with some of the greats of the international modern dance scene, including Lar Lubovitch and Ohad Naharin. She has performed in more than 30 states in the U.S. as well as in Canada, Central and South America, Asia, and Europe. She served as Mr. Lubovitch’s choreographic assistant, setting his signature work Concerto 622, and performed his acclaimed duet Fandango worldwide. Her choreography has been presented in Germany, Canada, and France and in New York City at the Abrons Arts Center, La MaMa E.T.C., the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, and with DanceNOW at the Joyce SoHo, Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater, the Duke Theater on 42nd Street, and Dance Theater Workshop. Her interests include collaborations with composers and film/video artists. Her video dance A Hands-On Affair (created with British photographer/video artist Alvin Booth) was selected for the international Dance Camera West Festival in Los Angeles and the Lincoln Center Dance on Camera Festival in New York City.

 Ms. Wolfgruber cofounded the Salzburg Experimental Dance Academy (SEAD), one of the first places in Austria to provide professional-caliber training for contemporary artists. She has also taught in Kenya, Germany, and Brazil, and has been a member of the faculty at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University; the Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn; the College at Brockport, SUNY; Manhattanville College; and Florida State University. After six years of directing the undergraduate dance program at Brockport, she returned in 2008 to New York City to establish Wallie Wolfgruber & Company, where she serves as choreographer and artistic director. Ms. Wolfgruber earned her MFA in dance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.