New Full-Time Faculty, 2013–14

Associate Professors
Assistant Professors
Visiting Assistant Professors

Associate Professors:

Steven LamSteven Lam
Associate Professor of Art+Design
Director, School of Art+Design
BA, Trinity University; MFA, University of California, Irvine
Steven Lam is a curator, artist, and educator who comes to Purchase College from Cooper Union, where he has served as the associate dean of the School of Art since 2008. He has taught performance art, sound theory, and critical theory at the School of Visual Arts and Cooper Union.

His recent curatorial projects have focused on geo-zones outside Euro-America (such as China and Hong Kong), including his involvement with the curatorial team for Farewell to Postcolonialism: The Third Guangzhou Triennial (2008). Recent curatorial work and collaborations in New York City include Tainted Love (2009), an exhibition on the legacy AIDS activism for Visual AIDS at La MaMa Galleria; For Reasons of State (2008), a group exhibition on the politics of secrecy at the Kitchen; Spectral Evidence (2007–10) at Rotunda Gallery in Brooklyn and 1A Space in Hong Kong; plus a series of exhibitions focused on ecology, human rights, and public speech, including Free as Air and Water (2009), The Crude and the Rare (2010), and Ruptures: Forms of Public Address (2012). Lam’s work has been published and reviewed in The New York Times, Brooklyn Rail, Third Text, and Flash Art, among other publications. He has also received numerous fellowships and awards, including a recent Asian Cultural Council fellowship.

Assistant Professors:

Anthony DomesticoAnthony Paul Domestico
Assistant Professor of Literature

AB, Harvard University; MA, MPhil, PhD, Yale University
Anthony Domestico recently completed his dissertation on modernist poetics and Christian theology at Yale University, where he was a Whiting Fellow. His research interests include modernism and intellectual history, the contemporary novel, and the digital humanities. His scholarly essays have been published in the Journal of Modern Periodical Studies, Religion and Literature, and Literature and Theology; his book reviews have appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, and Christian Science Monitor, among other publications. He currently serves as the book columnist for Commonweal and managing editor of the Yale Modernism Lab.

Ager Gondra-AstigarragaAger Gondra-Astigarraga
Assistant Professor of Language and Culture

BA, MAT, Universidad de Deusto (Spain); MA, PhD, Purdue University
Ager Gondra-Astigarraga’s research interests lie primarily on the interface of syntax and semantics. He works on syntactic phenomena that correlate with the syntactic architecture of the nominal constituent in minority languages (i.e., Basque) that are in contact with majority languages (i.e., Spanish). As a secondary focus, he is interested in second language pedagogy, second language acquisition, and indigenous and endangered languages. For example, he has been collaborating with a research team of Mayangna linguists and teachers in the design of the first Mayangna course based on a communicative approach and the development of two dictionaries of Mayanga dialects: Panamahka and Tuahka.

Riccardo HernandezRiccardo Hernandez
Assistant Professor of Theatre Design/Technology

BFA, University of Miami; MFA, Yale School of Drama
Riccardo Hernandez is an internationally regarded and highly prolific scenic designer for theatre, opera, and dance. Since graduating with an MFA from the Yale School of Drama in 1992, he has served as designer on more than 240 separate productions for the Guthrie Theater, American Repertory Theater, Goodman Theatre, Arena Stage, Center Stage, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Atlantic Theater Company, McCarter Theatre, Roundabout Theatre, Moscow Art Theatre, Cour d’Honneur at the Avignon Festival, Polish Theatre in Warsaw, and National Theatre in Oslo, among others. His credits include Il Postino (Los Angeles Opera; Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris) and several Broadway productions: the Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess; Caroline, or Change; Topdog/Underdog; Parade; and Bring in ’da Noise, Bring in ’da Funk.

Yanine HessYanine Hess
Assistant Professor of Psychology

BA, New York University; MA, PhD, University of California, Davis
Yanine Hess’s research focuses on how basic social-cognitive processes shape and guide interpersonal relations and perceptions, the self, and close relationships. It also addresses such questions as how social rejections influence people’s subsequent perceptions of themselves and their interaction partners, and how relationship schemas influence relationship decisions and well-being.

Mark JonasMark Jonas
Assistant Professor of Biology

BS, Purchase College; PhD, Stony Brook University
Mark Jonas, an alumnus of Purchase College, is an evolutionary biologist interested in the causes and consequences of evolutionary potential. His current research—focused at the intersection of quantitative genetics, conservation biology, and plant physiology—examines how climate change affects evolutionary potential in plants. He has also studied the evolutionary ecology and developmental genetics of endemic Hawaiian picture-wing Drosophila.

Gaura NarayanGaura Narayan
Assistant Professor of Literature

BA (Honors), Delhi University; MA, MPhil, PhD, Columbia University
Gaura Narayan, who has been newly appointed to this tenure-track position, has taught at Purchase College for several years, most recently as a visiting assistant professor (2009–13). She earned her BA with honors at Delhi University in India and her MA, MPhil, and PhD at Columbia University. Her research interests include 18th- and 19th-century British literature, South Asian literature, and both narrative and feminist theory.

Shruti RajagopalanShruti Rajagopalan
Assistant Professor of Economics

BA, LLB, University of Delhi; LLM, University of Hamburg, University of Ghent, and University of Bologna; PhD, George Mason University
Shruti Rajagopalan earned her PhD in economics in May 2013 from George Mason University, where she was a Mercatus Dissertation Fellow. She was most recently a Bradley Visiting Researcher in the Department of Economics at New York University. Rajagopalan’s broad area of interest is the economic analysis of comparative legal and political systems, and her research interests include political economy, law and economics, public choice theory, and constitutional economics. Her previous research has covered such topics as the economic analysis of constitutional maintenance, interest-group capture, bankruptcy law, and environmental liability. Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals, law reviews, and book chapters. She also enjoys writing in the popular press and has published opinion editorials on Indian political economy in the Wall Street Journal, Mint, and the Indian Express.

Liza G. SteeleLiza G. Steele
Assistant Professor of Sociology

BA, Columbia University; MA, PhD, Princeton University
Liza Steele will be contributing to both the sociology and Latin American studies programs. Her research focuses on how social stratification and economic inequality affect the development of beliefs, attitudes, and values through the lens of cross-national comparison. She uses both quantitative and qualitative methods and has a working knowledge of Chinese, Portuguese, French, and Spanish. Steele’s research interests include global and transnational sociology, stratification and inequality, quantitative methodology, sociology of development, public policy, urban sociology, political sociology, sociology of religion, East Asia (especially China), and Latin America (especially Brazil).

Hakan TopalHakan Topal
Assistant Professor of New Media and Art+Design

BS, MS, Middle East Technical University (Ankara); MA, PhD, New School for Social Research
Hakan Topal, an artist and scholar, will be contributing to both the new media and graphic design programs. He was the co-founder of xurban_collective (2000–12), an international art collective, and has exhibited extensively at such venues as the 8th and 9th Istanbul Biennials; apexart, New York; Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna; Kunst-Werke, Berlin; ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe; MoMA PS1; Platform, Istanbul; and the 9th Gwangju Biennial. Topal also represented Turkey in various international exhibitions, including the 49th Venice Biennial. In 2010, he was guest editor of the ArteEast Quarterly special issue, “On Silence,” and directed a film on 18th-century sculptor Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, commissioned by the Neue Galerie in New York City. He is co-editor of The Sea-Image: Visual Manifestations of Port Cities and Global Waters (D.A.P.), emerging out of work for the Istanbul European Capital of Culture 2010. Topal is currently working on a project about collateral damage and condolence payments in globalized wars, supported by the Prince Claus Fund.

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Visiting Assistant Professors:

Janis Astor del ValleJanis Astor del Valle
Visiting Assistant Professor of Arts Management

BA, Marymount Manhattan College; MFA, Columbia University
Janis Astor del Valle is a Latina lesbian writer, performer, and filmmaker whose work is published in six anthologies. Before joining the arts management faculty at Purchase College, she served as the executive director of Youth Rights Media, a Connecticut-based nonprofit. She previously taught theatre and creative writing at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts and served as director of Wesleyan University’s Green Street Arts Center. She was also a youth development specialist at the Point, a community cultural center in the South Bronx. Astor del Valle holds a BA in theatre from Marymount Manhattan College and an MFA in film from Columbia University. She has performed at numerous venues in and outside New York and tours her solo plays to foster discourse about diversity and acceptance.

Daniel Bauer
Visiting Assistant Professor of Art+Design
BFA, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design (Jerusalem); MFA, Columbia University
Daniel Bauer is an internationally exhibited photographer who lives and works in New York and Israel. His solo exhibitions include the Andrea Meislin Gallery in New York City, Alderman Exhibitions in Chicago, the Museum of Art Ein Harod in Israel, and the International Biennale of Contemporary Art in Jerusalem, with numerous group exhibitions in the U.S., Europe, Israel, and Japan. Bauer’s work is in the collection of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, the Zabludowicz Art Trust in London, and the Shpilman Institute for Photography in Tel Aviv. Since earning his MFA in 2006 at Columbia University, he has taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and at his undergraduate alma mater.

A. Dean BellA. Dean Bell
Visiting Assistant Professor of Screenwriting

BFA, Purchase College
A. Dean Bell, an alumnus of Purchase College, is a writer and director who has succeeded in a wide variety of styles and media, including a Sundance award-winning feature film and an educational television series and online travel series that have garnered New York Emmy Awards. His second feature film, What Alice Found, was a New York Times “Critics Pick” and received praise from America’s top critics, as well as a warm reception in France, where jury chair Roman Polanski awarded Bell the Grand Prize at the Deauville Festival of American Cinema. Bell has taught both directing and writing part-time since 1997 at Purchase College, and has also taught at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and the Writer’s Studio MFA program at Long Island University.

Sue BernhardSue Bernhard
Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance

BFA, Purchase College
Sue Bernhard, the artistic director of Sue Bernhard Danceworks and an alumna of Purchase College, performed internationally with the Limón Dance Company and, for 10 years, with Annabelle Gamson/Dance Solos. Her dances have been shown in the U.S., Canada, Guatemala, and Poland, and she has created pieces for Convergence Dance Co., CCDT, the Limón Institute, Long Island University, North Carolina School of the Arts, Meredith College, and others. With award-winning videographer Penny Ward, Bernhard has also created several video/dance collaborations. Their Boundaries and Exposures was featured at the International Conference on Dance and Technology. Bernhard’s work has been supported and sponsored by the Harkness Foundation, Long Island Community Trust, Barbara Deming Memorial Fund for Women Artists, American Dance Asylum, Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, and Performing Space 1, among others. She has taught as a part-time lecturer in dance at Purchase for more than six years.

Jakub CiupinskiJakub Ciupiński
Visiting Assistant Professor of Music
(Studio Composition and Production)
MA, Academy of Music in Kraków (Poland); MM, The Juilliard School
Jakub Ciupiński is a Polish composer, producer, performer, and music software developer. Since signing his first contract with Sony Music Poland at the age of 18, he has been recording studio albums and performing gesture-controlled electronica. He is also a co-founder of Blind Ear Music, a New York–based group specializing in improvised, real-time compositions using wirelessly connected laptops as musical score displays. Ciupiński has collaborated with a variety of artists, musicians, choreographers, and film directors, including Oscar-winning director Andrzej Wajda, and scored the music for United Nations documentary Opening Doors.

Suzanne ClerkinSuzanne Clerkin
Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology

BA, Purchase College; MA, Queens College, City University of New York; MS, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; PhD, City University of New York
Suzanne Clerkin, an alumna of Purchase College, earned her PhD in neuropsychology at the City University of New York and subsequently completed postdoctoral fellowships in psychiatric neuroimaging and an MS in clinical research at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Clerkin uses neuropsychological testing and neuroimaging to study cognitive deficits associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) over the lifespan. She received a Clinical and Translational Science Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the structural neural correlates of ADHD symptom persistence in adulthood and recently received funding to test the impact of an environmental enrichment program on structural brain development in preschool children with ADHD. Her other research interests include attention and executive functioning in typically developing individuals and deficits in executive functioning during periods of grief.

Michael CramerMichael Cramer
Visiting Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies

BA, Columbia University; MA, MPhil, PhD, Yale University
Michael Cramer first joined the cinema studies faculty as a part-time assistant professor in the fall of 2012. He received his BA in English and comparative literature from Columbia University in 2004 and his PhD in comparative literature and film studies from Yale University in 2011. His research interests include European and American cinema and film theory, aesthetics, and the history and theory of 20th-century leftist art, literature, and cinema. His most recent publication is “Roberto Rossellini’s History Lessons” in New Left Review (Nov./Dec. 2012), and he is currently at work on a book project dealing with the efforts of Rossellini and other European filmmakers to develop television-based projects in the 1960s and ’70s.

Jesse GastelleJesse Gastelle
Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics

BA, Metropolitan State College of Denver; MS, PhD, George Mason University
Jesse Gastelle earned his PhD in economics in May 2013 from George Mason University, where he was a Mercatus Dissertation Fellow. His research interests include the history of economic thought, macro-economics, Austrian economics, and political economy, and he has presented his work at the Association of Private Enterprise Educators annual conference.

Kaori Kubo GermanoKaori Kubo Germano
Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology

BA, Purchase College; MA, PhD, Fordham University
Kaori Kubo Germano, an alumna of the psychology program at Purchase College, is proud to be returning as a faculty member to a campus that embraces diversity and encourages community. Her research training was conducted under Monica Rivera Mindt at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where she studied HIV-related cognitive functioning in bilingual adults. Germano’s ongoing research involves bilingualism-related cognitive functioning, specifically the benefits of bilingualism for executive functioning. Other research interests include the relationship between executive functioning and moral reasoning across the lifespan.

Kristen KarlbergKristen Karlberg
Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology

BS, Stephens College; MPH, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences; PhD, University of California, San Francisco
Kristen Karlberg has been teaching sociology at Purchase College as a part-time lecturer since 2009. Her medical sociology background is enhanced by a biology undergraduate degree from Stephens College, a small liberal arts women’s college in Missouri, and a Master of Public Health from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda. Karlberg’s research trajectory includes feminist underpinnings and a focus on social relationships, power, and inequalities and the ways that technologies may affect social life. Her dissertation research focused on prenatal genetic testing decisions and how they affected family ideologies. Her ongoing research includes an examination of gamete choice, which has evolved into an interrogation of the changing understandings of what family is and how we know who we are related to. Her other ongoing project is an evaluation of the ways social media influences relationships, focusing on infidelity and new romantic involvement.

Pete MalinverniPete Malinverni
Visiting Assistant Professor of Music
(Jazz Studies)
BM, State University of New York, Potsdam; MM, Purchase College
Pete Malinverni, a pianist and composer, became head of the jazz studies program in the fall of 2012. He is an alumnus and has taught part-time at Purchase College since 1999. He also established, writes and arranges for, and directs the Purchase Soul Voices, a 50-voice choir of students from across the campus, dedicated to exploring and celebrating the music of the African-American tradition. As a performer, Malinverni has established a strong artistic presence since 1981 in New York City and abroad in Europe, South America, and Japan. His 12 recordings as a leader have earned four-star reviews, heavy airplay, and inclusion on “Year’s Best” lists in several publications, including DownBeat magazine. As a composer, he has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer Foundation, and Symphony Space, and contributed works to programs sponsored by, among others, the Jazz Composers’ Collective. Malinverni has also taught at William Paterson University and New York University, where he received the Marc Crawford Jazz Educator Award, and has presented seminars and master classes in the U.S. and abroad.

Nontsikelelo MutitiNontsikelelo Mutiti
Visiting Assistant Professor of New Media

Diploma, Zimbabwe Institute of Digital Arts; MFA, Yale University
Nontsikelelo Mutiti is a Zimbabwean-born artist and educator working across disciplines to produce work that occupies the forms of fine art, design, and social practice. Mutiti received a diploma in multimedia from the Zimbabwe Institute of Digital Arts in 2007 and an MFA with a concentration in graphic design from the Yale School of Art in 2012. Also in 2012, she was a recipient of the Alice Kimball English Traveling Fellowship and a fellow of the Create Change Program with the Laundromat Project in New York City. Her recent exhibitions include T(H)READ, a solo installation at the Edwin Gallery in Hamtramck, Mich., curated by Chido Johnson; “Aural Map Making (125th Street)“ in Remitting Default: Sonic Diagrams for Recess Activities in New York City, curated by Kenya (Robinson); a performative lecture, “A New Work/A Now Work/A Non Work,” at Yale’s Davenport College Art Gallery; and Give and Take: A Currency of Culture, at the Community Folk Art Centre at Syracuse University. She is co-founder of the Zimbabwe Cultural Centre in Detroit. Mutiti first joined the new media faculty in the fall of 2012 as a part-time lecturer.

Larry O’NeilLawrence O’Neil
Visiting Assistant Professor of Film

BFA, Purchase College
Lawrence O’Neil, an alumnus of Purchase College, has written professionally for HBO, Warner Brothers, Fox, MGM, Lion’s Gate, and Artisan. He has directed two feature films and produced three others, and was cited as one of Variety’s 50 up-and-coming directors to watch. Throwing Down, his first film as writer and director, won the award for best feature at the Hampton’s International Film Festival. He then directed the HBO feature Breast Men, starring David Schwimmer, Chris Cooper, and Emily Proctor. His recent producing credits include Another Zero in the System, written and directed by Purchase colleague Tim McCann. O’Neil began teaching part-time in the film program at Purchase College in 2006.

Sylvan OswaldSylvan Oswald
Visiting Assistant Professor of Playwriting

BA, Barnard College; MFA, Brown University
Sylvan Oswald is a transgender theatre artist originally from Philadelphia who creates plays, texts, and publications. His plays include Profanity, Nightlands, Sun Ra, Pony, and Vendetta Chrome. He is a resident playwright at New Dramatists, where he also serves on the board of directors. Oswald is the recipient of a Six Points Fellowship, the Dorothy B. Strelsin Playwriting Fellowship at Soho Rep, a Jerome Fellowship from the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, and a Thurber House Playwriting Fellowship; fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Millay Colony for the Arts, and Dramatists Guild; and a New Voices fellowship from the Ensemble Studio Theatre. His play Profanity premieres at the Undermain Theatre in Dallas this fall. Pony premiered at About Face Theatre and Nightlands premiered at New Georges in 2011. Other plays have been developed and presented at Playwrights Horizons, the Foundry Theatre, the Hangar Theatre, the McCarter Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, Portland Center Stage, Soho Rep’s Writer/Director Lab, P73’s I73 Writing Group, and Clubbed Thumb, where he is an affiliated artist. Oswald first joined the playwriting faculty at Purchase College as a part-time lecturer in 2008.

Lenka PichlikovaLenka Pichlíková
Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance

MA, University of Texas, Dallas; MFA, Academy of Dramatic Arts, Charles University (Prague); Advanced Master Artist, Czech Republic
Lenka Pichlíková is an actress (New York Actors Equity Association), director, author, and teacher with three decades of international experience in film, television, and stage productions. Educated in the dramatic arts at Charles University in her native Prague, she also studied acting with Uta Hagen and Herbert Berghof and mime with Marcel Marceau. Her stage credits include Equity regional roles, off-Broadway productions, more than 40 television roles, and 20 European and American film roles, including the principal role in The Trumpet’s Song, awarded first prize at the Monte Carlo International Film Festival. Pichlíková’s writing credits include the full-length “mimodramas” Medea and Seven Sins and a Virtue; one-person shows, including Katherine Luther; plays for children (The Emperor and the Rabbi’s Golden Secret); and school performances (Mother Goose, Time for Mime, and others). Pichlíková has taught part-time at Purchase College for many years in the theatre apadding-right:10px; padding-bottom:6 pxs Davenport College Art Gallery; and nd performance program and its antecedent, drama studies.

Robert SwainstonRob Swainston
Visiting Assistant Professor of Art+Design
BA, Hampshire College; MFA, Columbia University
Rob Swainston, who was born and raised in rural Pennsylvania, made his first relief print, “Hippopotamus,” at age five. The basic print on paper remains the core of his practice even as he mixes printmaking with installation, sculpture, painting, drawing, and video. He studied art, political science, and history at Hampshire College and received his MFA from Columbia University in 2006. He subsequently attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2007, participated in the Marie Walsh Sharpe Studio Program in 2009–10, and was a fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Swainston is a co-founder of and master printer at Prints of Darkness, a collaborative printmaking studio in Brooklyn, and an alumnus of the Philadelphia art collective Vox Populi. He has had solo shows at the Neuwerk Kunsthalle in Germany; the Hudson D. Walker Gallery in Provincetown, Mass.; the Esther Massry Gallery in Albany, N.Y.; David Krut Projects and the BravinLee Programs in New York City; and Vox Populi and Marginal Utility in Philadelphia. Swainston began teaching at Purchase College during 2012–13 as a part-time lecturer in the printmaking program.

Joshua WillisJoshua Willis
Visiting Assistant Professor of Art+Design
(General Visual Arts/Foundation)
BFA, Miami University; MFA, Brooklyn College, City University of New York
Joshua Willis first joined the faculty in the School of Art+Design at Purchase College as a part-time lecturer in the spring of 2012 and has also taught at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn College, and the National Academy. His work has been exhibited nationally in 12 states and in numerous venues in the New York City area. Most recently, his work has been exhibited at the Bradley University Galleries in Illinois, the Miami University Art Museum in Ohio, the Lexington Art League in Kentucky, the Lederer Gallery at SUNY Geneseo, Centotto and Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and the Painting Center, Chashama, and the National Academy School of Fine Arts in New York City. Willis earned his BFA in painting and printmaking at Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) in 2003 and his MFA in painting and drawing at Brooklyn College in 2007.

Updated June 6, 2014

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