faculty feature

  • dr. ria banerjee, associate professor of english

    october 23, 2020Dr. Ria Banerjee

    “we can disagree and still be friends… most of the time, a literature classroom is a philosophical space. it’s about how we live, how we react to each other, how we deal with love, and who we are constantly becoming. so, disagreement and argument… help us really understand what we think and why.”

    associate professor of english dr. ria banerjee specializes in literary modernism, primarily anglophone british, european, and indian writing of the 1910s-1930s – “partly because i love that ‘modernist mood’ and partly because so much of what people lived through at the beginning of the 20th century bears eerie parallels to what we are going through now.” presently, she is at work on the manuscript of her book, tentatively titled drafty houses, where she posits that the way “modernist [english] authors wrote about changing, renovating, and restructuring houses and personal spaces in fiction actually speaks to how they thought the uk ought to change politically.” avoiding direct confrontation with the authorities, “established authors like t. s. eliot and virginia woolf wrote about rooms, buildings, and houses as a kind of substitute for… the nation as a shelter for citizens.” these writers became what dr. banerjee calls “tepid activists,” who were “outraged at the many political atrocities carried out by the uk at home and abroad, especially in the british colonies, [but] tried to find ways to be critical without being arrested,“ or having their writing banned. 

  • dr. maggie dickinson, assistant professor of interdisciplinary studies

    september 11, 2020

    “i want for students to understand how their own curiosity can become a resource for self-education… that they can take control of their own education, follow their interests, and trust themselves to learn independently.”

    “what drew me to guttman is teaching,” assistant professor of interdisciplinary studies dr. maggie dickinson proclaims with passion, “that community of faculty who are just so dedicated to understanding teaching as a practice and putting that at the center of their work.” the online course development training she led with fellow guttman faculty dr. kristina baines, which became urgent as covid-19 took hold in spring 2020, embodied this value. “dean blake really supported us in making it a home-grown professional development. we drew on the resources at guttman to put it together [so] it really built on the work that everybody was already doing.” since coming to the college in 2016, prof. dickinson has observed the shift to recognizing “that we have faculty who are leaders in understanding some of these [pedagogical] questions and we can draw on them as experts.”

  • dr. marla sole, assistant professor of mathematics

    june 1, 2020Dr. Marla Sole

    “in all of my classes, my biggest focus is building up students’ confidence so that they can persist and overcome obstacles.”

    “when i first came to guttman” in 2014, remembers assistant professor of mathematics dr. marla sole, “i designed a signature assignment for my statistics class.” working as “empirical researchers to collect data and analyze it,” students compared the prices of iced and hot coffee. dr. sole also arranged a visit to a local café, where the coffee buyer spoke to the class and provided the essential context that makes coursework come alive. “when i think about that research,” published in 2017 in the journal of statistics education, “i always remember my first group of students” at the college, the first of many dr. sole has taught in courses ranging from the quantitative reasoning component of city seminar to calculus.

  • dr. alia tyner-mullings, associate professor of sociology

    april 6, 2020Dr. Alia Tyner-Mullings

    “the thing that you always want as a professor is that moment when the students get what you’re talking about… see something and connect it to their lives, or see [something] in their lives and connect it to [what’s] happening in the classroom… when you do something in a class and the students say it was the first time they did that, or the first time they saw the point of something.”

    there is little that associate professor of sociology dr. alia tyner-mullings has not done as a guttman founding faculty, joining in 2011, a year before the college’s doors opened to students. colleagues assume, she laughs, “that any committee that exists, i’m on it, which obviously is not true.” dr. tyner-mullings has chaired guttman’s chapter of the professional staff congress since its inception, a position she has held through several election cycles and crucial contract negotiations. a vocal advocate for establishing the academic senate, she presently serves as its vice chair. dr. tyner-mullings has collaborated to revise guttman’s unique two-semester ethnographies of work (eow) sequence and, subsequently, to create an open educational resource (oer) for these courses. in addition, the acronym she coined for the guttman learning outcomes that articulate educational goals and reflect the institution’s vision for our students – glos – has been heartily adopted.

  • dr. vivian lim, assistant professor of mathematics

    february 27, 2020Dr. Viviam Lim

    “i always say [to my students], i want you to be the master of mathematics rather than mathematics being the master of you.”

    assistant professor of mathematics dr. vivian lim finds guttman “the perfect setting for being able to teach math in a way that is meaningful, that engages students critically about the world.” teaching the quantitative reasoning (qr) component of city seminar in the first-year experience since fall 2017 has been ideal as “one of the fundamental learning outcomes is students being critical and using math in an interdisciplinary way.” dr. lim freely admits that “this is my dream job,” an opportunity to connect math directly to her students’ lives and empower them as civic agents.

  • dr. tashana samuel, assistant professor of psychology

    january 6, 2020Dr. Tashana Samuel

    “my students are deserving of the wonderful opportunities that life has to offer, even if they have to demand a seat at the table.”

    “lean into the present and don’t waste time” are tenets of dr. tashana samuel’s proactive philosophy, words by which she lives. a child psychologist specializing in cognitive development, dr. samuel holds a ph.d. from the cuny graduate center, with research experience including a longitudinal study at columbia presbyterian hospital center under drs. catherine monk and laraine mcdonough. since becoming assistant professor of psychology at guttman in 2015, dr. samuel is simultaneously teaching statistics in the first-year experience and introduction to psychology in the liberal arts and sciences – humanities and social sciences program of study; conducting research on “techniques to alleviate academic anxiety in community college students”; publishing the promising findings in an article co-authored with fellow guttman faculty dr. jared warner; and sharing their pedagogical impact in service of our students. also involved in expanding psychology course offerings at the college, she is excited to teach guttman’s upcoming first iteration of child psychology.

  • prof. keino brown, lecturer of mathematics

    november 15, 2019Keino Brown

    “you will not have learned everything possible at any point in your life. the learning process is a lifelong endeavor. it is never over.”

    defying deep-seated expectations, lecturer of mathematics keino brown reveals that he was once “hellbent on becoming an english professor. then, math happened.” he is currently pursuing a ph.d. in mathematics at the cuny graduate center, “securing the requisite firm footing in the breadth of my discipline’s concerns.” though “not yet settled on any particular interest,” prof. brown will likely select his research focus from one of the “pillars” of mathematical physics: topology, differential geometry, or complex analysis. since spring i 2014, guttman has counted him among the pure mathematicians at the college, where he has taught every mathematics course offered at least once, aiming “to make the classroom feel like a shared space for learning how to think about abstractions logically.”

  • dr. jihyun kim, assistant professor of science

    september 17, 2019Professor Ji Kim

    “don’t bring a negative attitude [to what you’re doing] – you’ll be the one to lose out. have a positive outlook!”

    it certainly takes a specialist to see potential in biowaste: an expert like guttman’s assistant professor of science dr. jihyun kim, who has a ph.d. in organometallic chemistry from georgetown university and over 20 years of experience in research and teaching. in fact, she and dr. lawrence pratt from medgar evers college, cuny, were awarded a three-year national science foundation grant toward the development of a new biofuel from a mixture of brown grease and waste plastics. student participants in the cuny research scholar program work under dr. kim’s guidance to transform brown grease – not cooking oil, she emphasizes – into biofuel.

  • dr. rodrigo lobo, assistant professor of business

    june 19, 2019Headshot of Rodrigo Lobo

    “life is good, life is beautiful. enjoy it. use it to the full extent. don’t waste your moments. create an objective for you and go for it!”

    assistant professor of business dr. rodrigo lobo has been all about business for over 30 years. before taking the daring “180 degrees toward full-time work in academia,” his career spanned the breadth of “corporate life.” for nearly a decade, dr. lobo contributed his analytical expertise to a unique public project: the itaipu binacional company, an initiative of the brazilian and paraguayan governments that jointly runs one of the most productive hydroelectric power plants in the world.

  • dr. april burns, assistant professor of psychology

    april 30, 2019April Burns

    “after my experience [as a student] at cuny, my own working-class background, and my experience as a first-generation graduate, i really saw my place in a community college.”

    further affirming “solidarity” with her students, dr. april burns calls her trajectory to becoming assistant professor of psychology at the college in 2016, “a winding path.” her doctoral research in social psychology, completed at the cuny graduate center under advisor and mentor dr. michelle fine, focused on “the experience of upward mobility through education” and the impact of this experience on “first-generation graduates[,] their beliefs about justice and equity, education, merit, and… their interpersonal and family relationships.”