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Faculty Biographies

 


 Marc Abramiuk

Marc Abramiuk, Ph.D., is a professional archaeologist and social anthropologist who works in defense, development, cultural resource management, and education.  His book, "The Foundations of Cognitive Archeology", takes a multidisciplinary look at the study of the mind in the past, arguing that archeology and cognitive sciences have much to offer one another.  Marc is currently a lecturer in the CSU Channel Islands Anthropology program.

 


 Frank Barajas

Frank Barajas earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in History from California State University, Fresno and his Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University. He became one of CSUCI’s first 13 tenure-track faculty members and a founding member of the CSUCI History and Chicana Studies programs..


 Christine Bolli

Christine Bolli is a Ph.D. candidate in History of Art and Architecture at UC Santa Barbara. While her degree focuses on Classical and Medieval Architecture, she is passionate about art through every age and has taught a spectrum of courses at a variety of institutions, including Brooks Institute and UCSB. She also writes articles for the online Art History textbook, Smarthistory


 Kathleen Booth

Kathleen Booth received her B.S. in English, Speech and Theater from Kent State University. This was augmented by MBA education in Organizational Development and Marketing from Case Western Reserve University. Kathleen is a recipient of Soroptimist International "Women Making a Difference" Award. She manages IMAGINE Consulting, providing coaching, training, and organizational development to numerous companies. Previously, she was the Director of Organizational Effectiveness at Warner Bros., managing their Global University and supporting business units in 42 countries. She has coached and trained clients in North and South America, Europe and Asia. Kathleen's "life compass" is to be insatiably curious, a perpetual learner, comfortable with change at warp speed, willing to re-invent yourself, and passionate about what you do, what you create and what you give.


 Oliver Boyd-Barrett

Oliver Boyd-Barrett teaches for the Department of Communications at CSU Channel Islands. He is Professor Emeritus of Bowling Green State University, Ohio, and Cal Poly Pomona. He has taught and researched for the British Open University and the Center for Mass Communication Research at the University of Leicester (UK). He was born in Dublin, Ireland, and migrated to the US with his family in 1998. His books include Western Mainstream Media and the Ukraine Crisis: A Study in Conflict Propaganda (due Oct. 2016); Media Imperialism, Hollywood and the CIA; The Globalization of News; The International News Agencies; and Contra-Flow in Global News.


 John Buonamassa

John Buonamassa received his BA in music from Queens College, City University of New York, and his Master of Music from California State University LA. Originally from New York, John toured internationally for sixteen years as keyboardist and musical director for John Phillips and the Mamas and the Papas. Over the course of his career he has performed with many other artists, including Cesar Rosas (of Los Lobos), Madonna, Chuck Berry, Rupert Homes, Lou Christi, Lesley Gore, and Chris Montez. His Broadway credits include keyboard of Les Miserables, Cats, and Leader of the Pack. After relocating to Los Angeles, John composed, orchestrated and conducted The Enlightenment, which debuted in 2007 at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center, Long Beach. Since 2004, John has been a full-time lecturer in the music department at CSU Northridge, and continues to be active in the Los Angeles Music society.

 


 Rainer F. Buschmann

Rainer F. Buschmann , Ph.D. is a professor of history at California State University Channel Islands where he served as a founder of the History Program. His training in anthropology awoke a passion for oceanic settings that took him to Hawai’i where he obtained his M.A. in anthropology and his Ph.D. in history. He formerly taught at Hawai’i Pacific University and Purdue University. He has written extensively on the European Expansion into the Pacific Ocean. He spent three wonderful months in Lisbon as a Fellow of the Institute of Social Science in 2013. It was there that he discovered Port Wine, or did Port Wine discover him?


 Caroline Cicero

Caroline Cicero has a Ph.D. in gerontology from University of Southern California, Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. She also has a masters degree in planning from the University of Southern California's School of Policy, Planning, and Development, and a masters degree in Social Work, with an emphasis on community organization, planning, and administration. Caroline’s concentration is in Social Research and Aging Policy with specialization in Housing, Sociology, and Urban Demography related to Aging Families.


 Stephen Clark

Stephen Clark received his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado with a dissertation on autobiographical writings of Cuban exiles. He has lived in Spain where he completed his master's degree. His publications include criticism, literary translations, interviews of major Cuban writers, and book reviews. He has taught at Northern Arizona University and Indiana State University. He enjoys teaching Latin American literature, literary translation, and Latin American culture and civilization.


 Traceylee Clarke

Traceylee Clarke , Ph.D.teaches in the Communications Program at CSU Channel Islands. Her current research and teaching interests include environmental communication, collaborative decision-making and policy development, intercultural communication with Native American tribes, and the role of dialog in environmental conflict prevention and resolution. Dr. Clarke has over 14 years’ experience in environmental conflict management and collaborative policy development and has managed and directed large, complex stakeholder processes and mediations for federal, state, local, and tribal governments as well as private industry, dealing with issues of natural resource management, land use, endangered species protection, water supply and water quality, energy development, transportation, and toxic remediation and cleanup. Dr. Clarke also teaches communication and conflict management at Pepperdine Law School. She holds a Ph.D. in Communication and Environmental Conflict Management from the University of Utah and is certified as a professional mediator. .


Jerry Clifford 

Jerry Clifford has spent over thirty years as a research scientist and educator after receiving a Ph.D. in nuclear physics at Iowa State University. As an Air Force officer, he taught physics at the Air Force Academy, worked on nuclear weapons programs, studied particle beams for Reagan's Star Wars, and worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense . Before anti-terrorism was in vogue, Jerry worked on new technologies to detect explosives in luggage for airport security. Jerry has been teaching physics and astronomy at California State University Channel Islands since 2004.


Bruce Collins 

Bruce Collins (M.A., English, Cal State Fullerton) taught English for 26 years at Ventura College, then a decade of 250+ courses for Road Scholar. He began OLLI in 2007, teaching courses in American pop music, the musical, and film: the Western, Cult Flicks, & Cinema of Shock. He draws material from his library of more than 2500 CDs & DVDs. He is also a poet.

 


 Matthew Curtis

Matthew Curtis, Ph.D., is an anthropological archaeologist who has carried out archaeological fieldwork and museum research in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, and the United States.  He is a former Fulbright fellow and has been co-principal investigator of a National Science Foundation-funded archaeology project in southwestern Ethiopia.


 Gary Davis

Gary E. Davis has has studied nature and people since the 1950s as a scientist, aquanaut, and commercial fisherman. He has explored California's giant kelp forests, Florida's Everglades and tropical estuaries, coral reefs and ocean depths in the Florida Keys, Virgin Islands, and the Bahamas. In 2007, after a 43-year career as a marine biologist and science advisor for the National Park Service, he began working with private foundations and non-profit conservation organizations to improve ocean health and human wellbeing through science and education. His current passion is telling stories with photographs that help people connect with nature. See his work here.


 Ivor Davis

Ivor Davis has been a foreign correspondent for The London Daily Express and The Times of London in a 50 year long journalistic career. For 15 years, he was entertainment columnist for The New York Times Syndicate and an editor at Los Angeles Magazine. He covered four World Cup Soccer finals for CBS radio.  His work has been published in over 75 countries.  He has written books about the Charles Manson murders and authored the recent Beatles and Me on Tour, a memoir that tells what happened to the world’s famous band at a critical moment in rock and roll history. 


 Dr. Amy Denton

Dr. Amy Denton received her B.A. in Environmental Studies/Plant Biology from State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton, her Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Washington, and spent two years at UC Riverside as a recipient of an NSF/Alfred P. Sloan foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in Molecular Evolution. She is a professor of Biology at CSUCI, maintains a keen interest in the history and development of evolutionary thought, and is a committed advocate of natural history collections and archival research in biology.


 Shannon Diffner

Shannon Diffner holds a B.A. and an M.A. in Literature from San Francisco State University. She has worked in the entertainment industry for more than 20 years, has taught college-level English composition and literature, and has been an instructor for the OLLI program since 2005. She is co-owner of Scarlet Letters Copywriting, a small business specializing in writing for various marketing arenas.


 Owen Doonan

Owen Doonan received his Ph.D. at Brown University's Center for Old World Archaeology and Art. He is an archaeologist and art historian specializing in the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. He is an associate professor at CSUN. He is also active in the Archaeological Institute of America, serving from 2007-2010 as the President of the Los Angeles County Society. He is involved in the contemporary art of the Middle East, especially North Africa and Turkey. He is Curator of Exhibitions and co-founder of the New Sahara Gallery in Northridge. His research has been supported by the National Geographic Society and other Foundations.


 Carolyn Dorrance

Carolyn Dorrance, Ph.D. teaches courses in history, political science and philosophy at Oxnard College.. The challenge of applying political ideas in practical politics and fulfilling the ideals of effective citizenship has long been a focus in her teaching. She engages in the public dialogue at the Institute of World Culture (Santa Barbara) as President and Program Coordinator.


 BiJian Fan

BiJian Fan, Ph.D. received his B.S. and M.S. in Mathematics, and his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. He apprenticed in acupuncture, Tai Chi Chuan, and Qigong in China. He spent most of his professional career in pharmaceutical research and development at Merck and Amgen. He has moved on to visual art, and has exhibited internationally and earned numerous recognitions. BiJian integrates art and science in his creative practice and exhibits and lectures scientific art internationally.

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 Scott Frisch

Scott Frisch, Ph.D. is professor and Chair of Political Science at CSU Channel Islands. A native of New Jersey, he received his undergraduate degree at Lafayette College, his master's at the University of Pennsylvania, and his doctorate at Claremont Graduate University. Prior to becoming a college professor, Scott worked in Washington for the U.S. Department of the Treasury as an analyst for the Office of Management and Budget and as a Legislative Fellow for U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ). He consulted for a number of clients including the EPA, the County of Los Angeles, and Goodwill Industries, Inc. His areas of expertise include Congress, public budgeting, and public policy. Scott previously taught at East Carolina University and California State University Bakersfield. He is the author of several books. His most recent (co-authored with Sean Q Kelly) is Cheese Factories on the Moon: Why Earmarks are Good for American Democracy.


 Bill Garlington

Bill Garlington, Ph.D, has a B.A. and M.A. in History from UCLA, and a Ph.D. in Asian Studies and Sociology from the Australian National University. He has taught at all academic levels on three continents and carried out sociological/anthropological fieldwork in India. His main academic interests are the Sociology of Religion and the History of Ideas. 


 Cary Ginell

Cary Ginell holds a master's degree in Folklore from UCLA. He is an award-winning writer, the author of six books on music history. He is a jazz historian and discographer, a Grammy nominee, and five-time winner of an ARSC Award for Excellence. He is also a recipient of the prestigious ASCAP Deems Taylor Award.


 Herb Gooch

Herb Gooch, Ph.D. is a professor of Political Science at California Lutheran University. He directs the Masters in Public Policy and Administration program. He holds a B.A. in History from U.C. Berkeley, and M.B.A. in Business Management, M.A. in International Relations, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from UCLA.   He is a frequent local media commentator on political affairs.


Laura Hagel 

Laura Hagel received a BA and an MA in the History of Art and Architecture from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She spent 10 years at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art as the Rights and Reproductions Officer. In 2005 she was Program Manager for the "Art of Ancient Glass" exhibit showcasing the Gunter collection of vessels dating to the 6th century BCE. Since 2005 she has been teaching Art History and Art Appreciation at Ventura College..


Matt Harvill 

Matt Harvill has been a peace officer for over thirty years. The first 24 years of his law enforcement career were with the Ventura Police Department where he spent ten years as a detective, primarily investigating sex crimes and homicides. In 2005, he left the Ventura Police Department for a position with the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office as an Investigator. He retired in 2011 and currently works as an extra-help investigator with the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office; he is also a criminal justice instructor at Moorpark College.


 Saul H. Jacobs

Saul H. Jacobs and Bob Lipson  have had a lifelong interest in music we know and love as The American Songbook. They have been friends and colleagues for 63 years and have been performing together steadily since 2007 at more than 150 different venues throughout SoCal. Saul was a writer, director, and producer of informational and documentary films with experience as a lecturer on writing at UCLA Extension and CSUN, and Bob's career was in industrial real estate. After retiring they developed a series of 40 different programs called "The Golden Age of American Popular Music". Bob augments Saul's singing and multimedia lectures and the audience sing-alongs with his piano artistry and his own insights into popular music. The resulting programs are entertaining, educational, highly interactive, and lots of fun.


 Lanny Kaufer

Lanny Kaufer graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in Biology. He is a teacher, musician and songwriter who lives with his wife Rondia in Ojai, CA. The son of a Holocaust refugee, he was taught from an early age to stand up to prejudice and discrimination. His experiences registering voters in the South under Dr. Marin Luther King, Jr's 1965-66 SCOPE project are the basis of his musical multimedia presentation, Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Spirit of the ‘60s. Following a diverse career as a public and private high school teacher and restaurant manager/concert promoter, Lanny is now a public speaker and native plant educator. He is an active member of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee of Ventura County and an associate member of Veterans for Peace.


 Sean Kelly

Sean Kelly is a Professor of Political Science at CSU Channel Islands.  As an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow (1993-1994), he worked for the US Senate.  A graduate of Seattle University, Kelly earned his PhD in political science from the University of Colorado, Boulder.  Prior to joining the faculty at CI he taught at East Carolina University and Niagara University.  Kelly is co-author or co-editor of six books on American politics, most recently Politics to the Extreme:  American Political Institutions in the 21st Century and Cheese Factories on the Moon: Why Earmarks are Good for American Democracy.


 Steve Kohn

Steve Kohn is a board member of the Opera League of Los Angeles, with much of his work concentrated in community education, fundraising, and volunteer recruitment. He has been a Community Educator for Los Angeles Opera for 14 years and is one of the more active speakers in the group.


 Bob Koster

Bob Koster has over 40 years of experience in film and TV production.  He has taught production at UCLA, USC, Art Center College, the AFI, and lectured here and abroad, concentrating on early history of film and television.  He has authored three books on film production, and has worked in the archive department of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


 Priscilla Liang

Priscilla Liang has an MBA in Finance and received her Ph.D. in Financial Economics from Claremont Graduate University. She is an Associate Professor in the MVS School of Business and Economics at CSUCI. Dr. Liang's research focuses on behavioral finance and international finance, in particular the development of emerging financial markets and global portfolio management.


 David Knight Lynch

David Knight Lynch received a B.S. in Astrophysics in 1969 from Indiana University and a Ph.D. in Astronomy in 1975 from the University of Texas in Austin. He specializes in infrared spectroscopy of comets, novae, supernovae, young stars and very old stars. Dave also works in the field of optics in nature (rainbows, mirages, etc.) and geologic mapping. Dave's recreational activities include playing the fiddle in assorted southern California bands, camping, collecting rocks and rattlesnakes and reading the New Yorker. He also enjoys writing and won the 2004 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (Romance Category), as well as several "dishonorable mentions" since.


Michael Markman attended the New England Conservatory and Yale University.  He has collaborated with Leonard Bernstein, Leopold Stokowski, Boris Goldovsky, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, John Williams, Andrea Bocelli, Antonio Banderas, David Foster, Steven Spielberg and more. Michael has performed music in over 1000 films, hundreds of TV programs, including 24 years of "The Simpsons", countless CD's, and 19 Academy Awards telecasts.


 Roz McGrath

Roz McGrath received her M.A. in Early Childhood Education at San Francisco State University. She was born and raised in Ventura County to a large 4th generation Irish family. She is a retired kindergarten teacher and since the late 1970’s she has worked for various non-profits; she co-manages a family farm, volunteers for the local hospice playing the Celtic harp, and assists in various fundraising endeavors. Roz ran for State Assembly during the 1990's. She and her partner planted a one acre vineyard and continue to restore her family home in Camarillo.


 Brent Meeker

Dr. Brent Meeker has a B.A. in Mathematics, M.S. in Computer Science, and a B.S. and Ph.D. in Physics. He had a long career at the Naval Air Warfare Center, Point Mugu, and most recently worked for Jacobs Technology Naval Systems Group. Many of his scientific articles have been published.


Peter Neff 

Peter Neff , M.M., is a composer/guitarist. His compositions can be heard in numerous movies, TV shows, recordings and commercials, including "The Sopranos," "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "Saturday Night Live" and "Nova." He has performed with Smokey Robinson, Wilson Pickett, Eartha Kitt, John Raitt and Petula Clark. He holds degrees from Berklee College of Music and the University of Miami


 Steve Norris

Steven M. Norris earned his Ph.D. in Zoology from Arizona State University. He has conducted ichthyological research in the US, Africa, and Europe, is an Adjunct Research Associate of the Fish Division of the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, and is an internationally recognized ichthyologist. He is interested in nearly all aspects of the biology, ecology, evolution, and conservation of fishes. Dr. Norris is an active faculty member at CSUCI.


 Claudio Paiva

Claudio Paiva received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois and is an Economics professor at CSUCI. He was born and grew up in Brazil. After graduating from college, he came to the US for his graduate studies. He worked for the IMF for 12 years, analyzing sources of macroeconomic problems and how to address them. He wrote various research papers and also delivered courses in macroeconomic theory and policies to government and Central Bank officials around the world. His passion for teaching eventually brought him back to academic life.


 Nitika Parmar

Dr. Nitika Parmar received her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from UCLA and completed a Post-Doctoral fellowship at UCLA. She received her BS in Biophysics and her MS in Biotechnology and MTech in Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi. Nitika’s fields of interest include molecular biology, genetic engineering, and DNA recombinant technology. Her research focuses on understanding signal transduction pathways controlling cellular growth (normal and cancer) as well as studying protein damage in response to aging. She enjoys the excitement of research but tremendously enjoys teaching and interacting with students as well. She feels that molecular biology has no limits and that its benefits can be tapped with an unending potential--the only requirement being a sense of intense motivation and enthusiasm!


 John Pendleton

John Pendleton has a Ph.D. in History and teaches at CSU Channel Islands, Ventura College, and in the Road Scholar and OLLI programs. He is the author of a textbook on popular culture and is currently working on An American Identity: Heroism, Innovation, and Popular Culture. He is close to completion of Volume Two (since 1903) and will then work on Volume One (1776-1902). He is Director of Internet Research and a writer for an interactive educational course on American innovation.


 Mark Rafter

Mark Rafter, Emeritus Professor of Psychology at College of the Canyons, is a member of the Association for Psychological Science and has a B.A. in Psychology from UC Riverside and an M.A. in General Experimental Psychology from CSU San Bernardino. He is known for emphasizing how the psychological theory and research related to each topic may be applied to our daily interactions.


 Brian Rasnow

Brian Rasnow received his Ph.D. in physics at Caltech. He is a lecturer in physics at CSUCI and a mentor, inventor, and consultant. He was a Principal Scientist in Research & Automation Technologies at Amgen Inc., earning Amgen's "Excellence in Science and Engineering" award. He co-founded a research instrument company. He is an amateur astronomer and photographer, competent in electronics and programming, an organic farmer growing ~100 varieties of fruit trees, and he mentors students from Caltech and other universities on numerous international development projects for the poor in Central America.


Bob Rumer 

Bob Rumer, California Lutheran University professor since 2006, has taught a variety of classes in physics, electronics, and bioengineering with the goal of sparking student interest in STEM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). He also teaches Introduction to Engineering to Upward Bound and Math/Science Upward Bound students as well as Engineering Innovation to local high school students as an Adjunct Faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University.


 

 Holly Sacks

Holly Sacks received her BA in anthropology from UC Berkeley in 1970. After a long career as a senior marketing and strategy executive in multinational high tech companies, she completed the CMF certification program at UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center in 2014.


John Snibbe 

John Snibbe, received his Ph.D. at the University of Utah and has worked for LAPD and the Sheriffs’ Department in Los Angeles. He managed Mobile Psychiatric Emergency services for LA County and has worked with the homeless and mentally ill offenders in jail and state hospitals. He lectures at UCLA OLLI on mental health issues, aging, mental health treatment and diagnosis.


 

 Robert Stellwagen

Robert Stellwagen was trained in biochemistry at Harvard University (A.B. degree) and UC Berkeley (Ph.D.). He conducted postdoctoral research at the National Institutes of Health and UC San Francisco before joining the faculty of the University of Southern California where he taught biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics and carried out laboratory research in the School of Medicine for many years.


 

 James Stemen

James Stemen, Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Goshen College, Goshen, Indiana. Master’s of Music in Music Education and Masters of Sacred Music in Conducting from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas. Professor Emeritus of Music at Moorpark College for 38 years while teaching music history and appreciation, choral music, voice and conducting. Founder and former conductor of the Los Robles Master Chorale for 30 years.


 


 Michael Teasdale

Michael Teasdale received a BA in Philosophy from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in International Economics from the Sorbonne, Paris. He directed theatre for 10 years in Europe winning the prize for best foreign language play at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival in 1984 for the Voix Humaine by Jean Cocteau. Michael has run his own consulting firm and has taught courses on Escalating Inequality, Hamlet and Comparative Healthcare Systems.

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 Margaret (Peggy) Tranovitch

Margaret (Peggy) Tranovitch, M.Phil, History of Art and Connoisseurship, University of Glasgow, has broad interests in art history. She did her Master’s thesis on Art in the Court of Queen Melisende, and is anxious to share her knowledge and enthusiasm for art and culture. She currently teaches at Oxnard College and has taught several popular OLLI classes.


 Jeannette Webber

Jeannette (Jinny) Webber,  Ph.D., is Professor Emerita from Santa Barbara City College and writes historical fiction. The first two books of her trilogy set in Shakespeare's England, The Secret Player and Dark Venus, have been published; the third volume, Bedtrick, will be out in November, 2015. In addition to her interest in British literature, she's fascinated by Greek and Roman mythology and currently is at work on a novel set in Bronze Age Greece.


 Matthew Weisman

Matthew Weisman received his MFA in Film from Columbia University School of the Arts. He is a professional screenwriter and producer, and a retired member of The Writers Guild of America. He is a devotee of World Cinema as art as well as movies in popular culture. Matthew Weisman received his MFA in Film from Columbia University School of the Arts where he also taught classes in Cinema Studies and directed the Cinematheque film program. A professional screenwriter and producer, he taught Graduate Screenwriting at the USC School of Cinema for fifteen years. He is a retired member of The Writers Guild of America. A devotee of World Cinema as art as well as movies in popular culture, he looks forward to sharing these lifelong passions at OLLI.


 Clifford Wilcox

Clifford Wilcox, Ph.D., received his Ph.D. in American Intellectual History from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He focuses on the history of ideas and education in American society. An OLLI instructor since 2011, Cliff teaches courses on American culture and the history of American colleges and universities..


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