New Full-Time Faculty, 2011–12

Assistant Professors
Visiting Associate Professors
Visiting Assistant Professors

Assistant Professors:

Marc BrudzinskiMarc Brudzinski
Assistant Professor of Language and Culture

BA, Williams College; PhD, Duke University
Marc Brudzinski has taught in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at the University of Miami and at North Carolina Central University. Brudzinski, who began teaching full-time at Purchase in 2009–10 as a lecturer and then as a visiting assistant professor, has been appointed to this tenure-track position following a national search. His scholarship focuses on Caribbean literature and postcolonial theory. He is currently working on a book devoted to the study of the “island” and the “secret” as metaphors for cultural control in the Caribbean. Fluent in both French and Spanish, Brudzinski will be working to regularize instruction in both languages and will also participate in the literature and Latin American studies programs.

Cedric CeulemansCédric Ceulemans
Assistant Professor of Economics

BS, Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium); MS, Université Libre de Bruxelles, European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (Belgium)
Cédric Ceulemans is a cultural economist who studies the reputation and success of musicians from the Baroque and contemporary worlds, using microeconomic and econometric tools, as well as musical characteristics, to predict commercial success. He has broad interdisciplinary interests and is currently completing his PhD in economics at ECARES.

Stephen A. Cooke, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
BSc, PhD, University of Exeter (England)
Stephen Cooke comes to us from the University of North Texas, where he has been a member of the chemistry faculty for six years. He was initially interested in Purchase both because of our rigorous chemistry program and because he wants to live in the New York City metro area. As a physical chemist, he studies heavy molecules. He is passionate about teaching and recently developed a course, “Problem-Solving for the Chemical Sciences,” to address the inadequate math skills of many chemistry students. Cooke has an impressive publication record and an excellent track record of obtaining funding for research.

Peter DenenbergPeter Denenberg
Assistant Professor of Music
(Studio Production)
BPS, Empire State College, SUNY
Peter Denenberg, newly appointed to this tenure-track position, began offering master classes in the Conservatory of Music in 2006 as a visiting affiliate artist, became a part-time lecturer in January 2007, and was appointed as a full-time lecturer in fall 2009. Denenberg is a producer, engineer, and owner of the award-winning Acme Recording Studios, which he co-founded in 1979. He has worked on tracks for a veritable Who’s Who of contemporary musicians, and has produced and engineered multiplatinum recordings, Grammy and Emmy-nominated projects, and music for feature films. Among his many accomplishments are Spin Doctors recordings that he produced and engineered (15 million sales worldwide) and music restoration and mixing for the Academy Award–winning film When We Were Kings. Denenberg earned his bachelor’s degree in professional studies in the arts, with a concentration in music studio production and recording, from Empire State College, SUNY.

Kate GilmoreKate Gilmore
Assistant Professor of Art+Design
BA, Bates College; MFA, School of Visual Arts
Kate Gilmore has had numerous solo exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Houston, London, Torino, and Madrid, among others, and her work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Brooklyn Museum, as well as private collections in Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. Gilmore was one of 55 artists selected by curator Francesco Bonami and associate curator Gary Carrion-Murayari to participate in the 2010 Whitney Biennial. She received the Rome Prize from the American Academy in 2007 and has received awards and grants from the Tiffany Foundation, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Public Art Fund, Franklin Furnace Fund, and New York Foundation for the Arts. A frequent lecturer in the U.S. and around the world, Gilmore has been teaching at Purchase College as a visiting assistant professor since 2005.

John Lehr, Assistant Professor of Art+Design (Photography)
BFA, Maryland Institute of Art; MFA, Yale University
John Lehr has exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, Walker Art Center, Carnegie Museum of Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Kate Werble Gallery, and Yancey Richardson Gallery. His work is included in numerous public and private collections, including the Yale University Art Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the Cleveland Clinic. Lehr has been a lecturer in photography at Yale University since 2006.

Susan LetcherSusan Letcher
Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies

BA, Carleton College; PhD, University of Connecticut, Storrs
Susan Letcher’s primary research interest is in the ecology and restoration of tropical forests. She is currently collaborating with researchers in Brazil, Mexico, and Costa Rica, examining the distribution of tree species in tropical landscapes and the phylogenetic structure of successional communities. She has also spent the past few years as director of (and instructor at) the Organization for Tropical Studies in Costa Rica, a nonprofit education and research organization. Letcher is also an award-winning writer and musician, having written about the influence of science, nature, and mathematics on Western art music.

Carmen Oquendo-VillarCarmen Oquendo-Villar
Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies

BA, Boston University; MA, University of Puerto Rico; PhD, Harvard University
Carmen Oquendo-Villar is a film/media scholar and practitioner. After serving for seven years as co-curator of the Boston Latino International Film Festival (BLIFF), she was selected by Cinema Tropical as one of the leading New York–based film professionals working in Latino and Latin American cinema today. Her films and research have been supported by numerous grants, residencies, and fellowships, including a midcareer Guggenheim Fellowship; the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies; the National Endowment for the Arts; 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; and the artist residency program at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia.

Jordan SchildcroutJordan Schildcrout
Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance

BA, Yale University; PhD, The Graduate Center, City University of New York
Jordan Schildcrout is a scholar of theatre history with a focus on gay and lesbian drama and on the representation of gender identity within theatre and popular culture; he is currently completing a book titled Queer Killers: Homicidal Homosexuals in the American Theatre. He also has substantial experience as a dramaturg and has most recently served on the faculty of the School of Theater at Ohio University.

Alexis SilverAlexis Silver
Assistant Professor of Sociology

BA, Colorado College; MA, PhD, University of North Carolina
Alexis Silver’s qualitative and quantitative research focuses broadly on immigrant communities in nontraditional migrant destinations. Specifically, she studies the transition to adulthood for undocumented 1.5-generation immigrant youth and second-generation youth in a new Latin American migrant destination. Silver also studies transnational communities in the U.S. and Mexico, examining how individuals with transnational social networks cope with family separation. She will be teaching a new course, “International Migration Today,” in fall 2011.

Jeff TaylorJeff Taylor
Assistant Professor of Arts Management

BA, Oberlin College; MA, PhD, Central European University (Hungary)
Jeff Taylor moved to Hungary with the Peace Corps in 1990 after graduating from Oberlin College with a BA in English and political science. Later he received a Rotary Scholarship to attend the Central European University in Budapest, where he earned his MA and PhD in cultural history. Taylor is an expert in the history of the art market and specializes in analyzing the dynamic of art values over time. He holds Hungarian state-recognized appraisers licenses for antique furniture and oriental carpets and works as an art agent with Taylor Art Advisors. Before accepting this position at Purchase College, Taylor was a lecturer in arts management at the International Business School of Budapest in the BAAM (Bachelor of Arts in Arts Management) program.

Jessica WexlerJessica Wexler
Assistant Professor of Art+Design
(Graphic Design)
BA, Haverford College; AAS, Parsons the New School for Design; MFA, California Institute of the Arts
Jessica Wexler is a partner at Greenblatt-Wexler, an independent graphic design studio in New York City that focuses on print- and screen-based media. Recent clients include Free Press, Wayne Koestenbaum, Gradient Architecture, MTV, Carroll and Sons Art Gallery, The West Collection, Peggy Deamer Architect, Mixed Greens Gallery, and Visual Aids. She has taught as a lecturer at Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts and as a visiting instructor at Pratt Institute.

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Visiting Associate Professors:

Cynthia LinCynthia Lin
Visiting Associate Professor of Art+Design
BA, University of California, Berkeley; MA, MFA, University of Iowa, Iowa City
Cynthia Lin was born in Taiwan and grew up near Chicago, Illinois. She has had solo and group exhibitions in venues around the world, including the Lehmann Maupin Gallery, Michael Steinberg Gallery, DeCordova Museum, Julie Chae Gallery, the National Academy of Design, ISE Cultural Foundation, the Drawing Center, Dorsky Gallery, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, Alpan Gallery, the Weatherspoon Art Museum, and the Dallas Museum of Art. A 2006 John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, she has also received awards and residencies from the American Academy in Rome, Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Ragdale, the Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, and the Hall Farm Center for the Arts and Education. Lin was a tenured associate professor at Southern Methodist University and has also taught at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, Sarah Lawrence College, and Dartmouth College.

Chuck WorkmanChuck Workman
Visiting Associate Professor of Film

BA, Rutgers University; additional coursework at New York University and The Julliard School, and independent theatrical study with Harold Clurman and Stella Adler
Chuck Workman has been involved in filmmaking for more than 25 years as an award-winning director, writer, and producer. He has served as president of the International Documentary Association, commissioner of the Santa Monica Arts Commission, and a member of the film school faculty at the University of Southern California. Mr. Workman’s theatrical short Precious Images, which won an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short, is one of five of his films circulating in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

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Visiting Assistant Professors:

Julia BlauJulia Blau
Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology

BA, PhD, University of Connecticut
Julia Blau’s research interests lie in the fractality of event perception—in particular, how people’s emotions and cognition are influenced by the structure with which they perceive their days. She studies these through human perception of film and attempts to add to the ecological approach to cognitive film theory.

Rachel DicksteinRachel Dickstein
Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance

BA, Yale University
Rachel Dickstein is a noted director, writer, and producer of movement-based theatre, and serves as artistic director of Ripe Time, a nonprofit theatre company devoted to the creation and production of ensemble-based performance. Her work includes Fire Throws, a variation on Sophocles’ Antigone heavily influenced by traditions of Balinese dance, and an acclaimed production of The Innocents, inspired by and adapted from Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth. She has trained with Anne Bogart, Tina Landau, Ping Chong, and Martha Clark, and has previously taught at Fordham College at Lincoln Center and at the Lincoln Center Institute.

Adam M. Johnson, Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology
BA, University of Richmond; MA, New York University
Adam Johnson’s research interests lie in the field of social and political cognition and educational psychology. He is currently completing his PhD in psychology at the City University of New York Graduate Center.

Tim McCannTim McCann
Visiting Assistant Professor of Film

BFA, Purchase College
Tim McCann is a New York–based independent filmmaker whose work has often been noted for its “naturalistic and emotionally charged performances.” His award-winning feature films include Desolation Angels (1996), Revolution #9 (2002), Nowhere Man (2005), Runaway (2006), and The Poker Club (2008). McCann has been a guest lecturer at Ithaca College, Cornell University, The New School, and Boston University, and has taught part-time at Purchase since 2001.

YuJune Gina ParkYuJune Gina Park
Visiting Assistant Professor of Art+Design
(Graphic Design)
BFA, Rhode Island School of Design; MFA, Yale University
YuJune Gina Park works extensively with digital media and digital production environments, including both still and time-based media, and in print, product, package, exhibition, and interactive design. She has developed designs for the Design Museum, Frieze Art Fair, Future Generation Art Prize, Marks & Spencers, and Imperial War Museum, and has developed graphics for Nike, Prada, and the Dallas Center for Performing Arts. Her work has been exhibited at the National Design Center in New York City; the Cologne Design Fair in Cologne, Germany; and the Salone del Mobile International Design Fair in Milan, Italy. Her work has also been recognized in I.D. Magazine’s Annual Design Review (2009 and 2010) and by the American Institute of Graphic Arts. Before accepting this position at Purchase College, Park was an instructor at the Yale University School of Art.

Christopher UlivoChristopher Ulivo
Visiting Assistant Professor of Art+Design
BFA, Tyler School of Art, Temple University; MFA, Rhode Island School of Design
Christopher Ulivo, previously a part-time lecturer in the School of Art+Design, has also taught at Lehman College, City University of New York; the Rhode Island School of Design; and the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. Along with interdisciplinary collaborations, he is well versed in various materials and methods of painting, including nontraditional and specialty processes. Ulivo has exhibited at North Branch Projects in Chicago; the Susan Inglett Gallery, Murphy and Dine Gallery, Abrons Arts Center, and Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City; the Benaki Museum in Greece; and in New York through the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts.

Nelly van BommelNelly van Bommel
Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance

License, Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis; License, Université de Provence; Maitrise, University of Burgundy; MFA, Purchase College; DEA, University of Paris–Sorbonne
Nelly van Bommel is an award-winning choreographer whose work has been featured in major festivals and venues in the U.S., France, Taiwan, and Canada. In 2010, she was selected as one of Dance Magazine’s “25 To Watch.” Her company, NØA DANCE, will be featured at the Baryshnikov Arts Center Gala in September 2011, and she will choreograph a full-length Hansel & Gretel for Ballet Austin II in spring 2012. She is also a co-founder and producer of the Reverb Choreographic Project, a yearly choreographic residency and festival in New York City. Van Bommel began teaching at Purchase in 2002 as a part-time lecturer in language, subsequently joining the Conservatory of Dance as a member of the professional staff and a part-time lecturer. She has also been an artist-in-residence at various institutions, most recently at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York City.

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Donna CornachioDonna Cornachio
Lecturer in Journalism

BA, New York University; MS, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Donna Cornachio, a senior writer and media trainer at Clarity Media Group, has an extensive background in print journalism. Her profiles, news, and feature articles and essays have been published in The New York Times, Newsweek, and The Washington Post, and broadcast on National Public Radio. She joined the journalism faculty as a part-time lecturer in fall 2008 and has also taught in the Department of Communications and Media Studies at Fordham University.

Elizabeth MiddletonElizabeth Rose Middleton
Lecturer in Chemistry

BA, Dartmouth College; MS, PhD, Yale University
Elizabeth Middleton is a biophysical chemist who recently completed her PhD at Yale. Her research is on the interaction of a Parkinson’s disease protein with lipid membranes and chaperones. She plans to apply various techniques to study antimicrobial peptides. She is very interested in interdisciplinary teaching and has co-taught a course titled “Scientific Writing.” She was a Yale Scientific Teaching Fellow and continues to be interested in pedagogy as it relates to science.

Deborah K. Symons, Lecturer in Spanish
BA, MA equivalent, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Deborah Symons, a bilingual writer and translator, is the author of five novels and two screenplays. She is a native of Barcelona, Spain, where she was a casting director for Catalan Films and TV before beginning her writing career. Symons began teaching at Purchase as a part-time lecturer in fall 2009 and has also taught at Sacred Heart University, Fairfield University, and Charter Oak State College.

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