FMAC Member Profiles

Heather Albanesi

Heather Albanesi is an Associate Professor and chair of the Sociology Department. Heather completed her undergraduate studies at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut and received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley. Her research and teaching interests include gender, disability, heterosexuality, parenting, education, and religion. She is the author of the book Gender and Sexual Agency: How Young People Make Choices about Sex and has recently published in the journals Gender and Education, Understanding and Dismantling Privilege, and Social Science Journal. Her current research project explores experiences and narratives of disability among veterans with service-connected injury.

Melissa J. Benton

Melissa J. Benton is an Associate Professor in the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing & Health Sciences. She came to UCCS in 2013 from Valdosta, Georgia. Prior to completing her PhD, Dr. Benton’s clinical practice in San Francisco, CA focused on physical rehabilitation, aging, and chronic disease. Now, her research focuses on evaluation of lean mass in healthy and chronically ill middle-aged and older adults.

George Cheney

George Cheney is Professor of Communication at UCCS. He is also an unpaid adjunct professor at the University of Utah and at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. He has also taught at the universities of Illinois, Colorado-Boulder, Montana, Texas, and Kent State. As a specialist in organizational communication, George regularly assists students with career development while encouraging reflection on their roles in society. He has lectured and published widely on topics including organizational identity, workplace participation, professional ethics, alternative organizations, globalization, consumerism, peace, human rights, and sustainability. George is a strong proponent of service learning as well as other forms of community outreach.

Anthony Cordova

Anthony Cordova is the Director of the Multicultural Office for Student Access, Inclusiveness and Community (MOSAIC) at UCCS. He builds communities and relationships across campus with underserved populations. The work he does is not limited to race and ethnicity, as he serves as a mentor and advisor to all. During his 23 years at UCCS, he created, and continues to drive, the MOSAIC Gateway program, which admits and supports students who do not meet automatic admission criteria, and developed and supervises the LGBT Resource Center at MOSAIC. Additionally, he is actively involved in strengthening and increasing the diversity population of faculty and staff. Anthony discovered a love for advocacy when he started at UCCS as a 40-year-old freshman in 1994, earning dual undergraduate degrees in communication and psychology and a Master’s degree in counseling (1999), all the while working as an academic advisor and mentor in multiple student support positions. After completing his education in five years, he worked as an academic advisor responsible for outreach to transfer students and as an assistant director for the Pre-collegiate Development Program before accepting the challenge of developing the Student Multicultural Affairs Office (2003), which evolved into his current role as the Director of MOSAIC.

Édgar Cota-Torres

Édgar Cota-Torres is Associate Professor of Spanish and Chair of the Department of Languages and Cultures. He holds a B.A. as well as an M.A. in Spanish from San Diego State University and a PhD. from The Pennsylvania State University in Latin American Literature. He specializes in U.S.-Mexico border and Latin American literature and culture. Cota-Torres was the 2015 recipient of the Letters, Arts, and Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award. In 2013, he was recognized with the Faculty Award for Outstanding Contribution to Diversity and Inclusiveness. He has published numerous academic articles, chronicles and poems in the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Martinique, Spain and Italy. His first book is titled La representación de la leyenda negra en la frontera norte de México(The Representation of the Black Legend in Mexico’s Northern Border) (2007). He currently works in a joint publishing venture, which so far includes nine titles. The project is titled New Borders/Nuevas Fronteras. This has been accomplished with the institutional support of the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Mexicali, Mexico, Editorial Artificios and UCCS.

Carlos Duarte

Carlos Duarte is the Outreach and Intergeneration Librarian at the Kraemer Family Library, serving as liaison to the Women's and Ethnic Studies and Anthropology departments. He is a current Member at Large with the American Indian Library Association and spends his off time cooking and wandering the hillsides of Colorado Springs.

Melanie Ann Fields

Melanie Ann Fields recently joined UCCS as an Instructor in the Professional and Technical Writing Program. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, she holds an M.A. in English with a Specialization in Technical Communication from Bowling Green State University and an M.S. in Technical Communication from Illinois Institute of Technology, where she has taken courses toward a Ph.D. She has taught online, blended, and face-to-face English classes at the undergraduate and graduate level at both public and private institutions since 2002, and has worked as an editor for IEEE, created promotional materials for Bowling Green State University, and conducted research for the Sierra Club. As an educator who enjoys teaching and working with students, her goal is to get more and more students to express themselves in oral and written form each term or semester better than the previous term or semester. She is a member of the Association for Business Communication, Association of Teachers of Technical Writing, TESOL International Association, and West Virginia TESOL. She is excited to be here at UCCS!

Cerian Gibbes

Cerian Gibbes is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies. Her research interests revolve around human-environment interactions within the field of land change science. More specifically her work examines multi-scale analyses of landscape change as it relates to land use policies, and climate-land interactions. Dr. Gibbes’ is concentrated on landscape change in spaces where conservation and agriculture interface within Southern Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

Rhonda Goodman-Gaghan

Rhonda Goodman-Gaghan is the Curator of the Heller Center for Arts & Humanities. She came to UCCS in 2016 from the Sangre de Cristo Arts & Conference Center.  She teaches classes in the Visual and Performing Arts Department’s Museum Studies & Gallery Practice minor.  Her current research focuses on vernacular architecture landscapes of the American Southwest.

Christina M. Jiménez

Christina M. Jiménez is Professor and Chair of History at UCCS and teaches courses in Mexican, Latin American, and Latino History, and on City and Citizenship, among others. Her research explores dynamics of citizenship, popular activism, civic organization and public space in Mexican cities from the 1870s to 1960. Jiménez also publishes in and works to promote inclusive teaching pedagogies, collaborating with colleagues from the College of Education to co-develop grants and professional development for K-12 teachers. She co-edited (with Ferber, Herrera, and Samuels),The Matrix Reader: Examining the Dynamics of Oppression and Privilege (McGraw-Hill, 2008) and co-organizes the Knapsack Institute: Curriculum Transformation Workshop. She has won several research grants or fellowships, including from the Colorado Department of Education, Davis Center of Historical Studies at Princeton University, and Center for Cultural Studies at UC Santa Cruz. Jiménez has received several awards, including the campus-wide “Chancellor’s Award” (2016), Award for “Outstanding Faculty Contributions to Diversity and Inclusiveness” (2012) and the “Outstanding Teaching Award” (2007) of the LAS College.

Esther O. Lamidi

Esther O. Lamidi is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at UCCS. She earned her Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University in 2016 and is a former Policy Communication Fellow of the Population Reference Bureau. Lamidi studies health and wellbeing of families and children. Her research interests include social and spatial inequalities in health and wellbeing, maternal and child health, food security, and population studies.

Christina Martínez

Christina Martínez is the Associate Dean and a Senior Instructor at the Kraemer Family Library. She received the B.A. in Anthropology from Arizona State University and an M.A. in Librarianship from the University of Denver. As Associate Dean most of the departments in the library report to her. In addition, she is the library liaison for the departments of Communication, English, and Languages and Cultures. As liaison she is responsible for building the library collections and providing assistance to students and faculty in those departments. During her long career at UCCS she has had a particular interest in building the library collection touching on all aspects of minority groups. She does frequent book displays in the library highlighting commemorative months such as Hispanic-American Heritage Month, Women's History Month, African American History Month, etc.

Federico Martínez-García Jr

Federico Martínez-García Jr is the Director of Access Services, Business and Economics Librarian and an associate professor with the Kraemer Family Library. He holds a B.A. in Spanish Linguistics, a B.A. in French, and a Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Arizona, as well as a Master in Public Administration from Arizona State University. His research interests include copyright, library services and access to information for minority students, and student retention in correlation with academic library services. He serves in a number of Library Association Committees including being the Co-Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee with the Association of College and Research Libraries.

Jeffrey Montez de Oca

Jeffrey Montez de Oca is an Associate Professor in the Sociology department. His past research focused on college football, media, and popular culture during the early cold war, which he studied through the lens of citizenship and political economy. His current research primarily focuses on the National Football League’s marketing strategies operate as a strategy of neoliberal governmentality. Montez de Oca teaches courses on sport, media, sociological theory, gender, sexuality, and race.

Edin Mujkic

Edin Mujkic is an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Affairs. He is also a UCCS Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Faculty Fellow for 2017-2018. Edin received his BA from Auburn University Montgomery, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Criminal Justice. Edin followed up his Bachelor's Degree with a Master's in International Relations (2008) and was a Prince Khalid bin Sultan Fellow. Upon completing his Master’s degree, Edin entered the Public Administration and Policy Ph.D. program at Auburn University, graduating December 2012. While earning his PhD, Edin furthered his education studying Strategic Leadership and National Security at Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL. Edin is continuing his research focusing on national security, defense, homeland security and U.S. foreign policy.

Andrea O’Reilly Herrera

is Professor of Literature and Director of the Women's and Ethnic Studies Program. She is a President’s Teaching Scholar and is a recipient of the system-wide Thomas Jefferson Award and the 2015 Chase Award. She was also selected as a Fulbright Distinguished Chair in American Studies and completed a residency in Lublin, Poland in 2006. Her publications include a collection of testimonial expressions drawn from the Cuban exile community and their children residing in the United States (ReMembering Cuba: Legacy of a Diaspora, University of Texas Press, 2001); a novel (The Pearl of the Antilles, Bilingual/Review Press, 2001); an edited collection of essays (Cuba: Idea of a Nation Displaced, SUNY Press, 2007); and the co-edited textbook (McGraw Hill, 2008), which presents an intersectional approach to the study of race, class, gender, and sexuality. Her most recent work is a monograph titled Cuban Artists across the Diaspora: Setting the Tent Against the House, which focuses on the traveling art exhibition CAFÉ (University of Texas Press, 2011), and Tres Flores, a play based on her novel Pearl of the Antilles.

Jesse Perez

Jesse Perez is the Program Director of the LGBT+ Resource Center at UCCS. The LGBT+ Resource Center is a resource for and about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, asexual, questioning, queer, and ally members of the UCCS community. As Program Director, Jesse works to create a safe and supportive campus environment by offering educational and community building opportunities and advocating for the needs, visibility, and inclusion of the LGBT+ community on campus. Jesse joined FMAC for the opportunity contribute to inclusivity efforts on a broader scale within the UCCS Community.

Deborah Pina-Thomas

Deborah Pina-Thomas is a nursing instructor in the Helen and Arthur E Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences. She retired as an LTC from the US Army Nurse Corps in 2013. Deborah has a master's degree in nursing and is currently working on her doctoral degree.

Stephany Rose

Stephany Rose is an activist, public commentator, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Colorado Springs, and Associate Professor and Chair of Women's and Ethnic Studies at UCCS. She holds a B.A. in English from Clark Atlanta University, as well as an M.A. in American Literature and a Ph. D. in American Studies from Purdue University. Rev. Dr. Rose is the author of Recovering from Racism: A Guidebook to Beginning Conversations (2015) and Abolishing White Masculinity from Mark Twain to Hiphop: Crisis in Whiteness (2014). She is an astonishingly creative and vocal being, whose expertise in diversity and inclusion has made her a well-sought-after leader in the field.

Max Shulman

Max Shulman is an assistant professor of Theatre in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts. He is a theatre historian with an expertise is 19th and early 20th century American theater with a focus on the formation of national identity. He additionally works as a director and dramaturge. At UCCS he runs UCCS Dramaturgy and the HomeFront Theatre Project that explores issues facing our military and veteran populations.

Emily Skop

Emily Skop is a Professor in the Department of Geography and Environment Studies and Founding Director of the Global Intercultural Research Center at UCCS. Through the lens of urban, ethnic, and social geographies, Professor Skop’s scholarship confronts persistent notions about how identity and inequality are constructed across places, and also examines the multiple ways in which scale is utilized as a concept to create legacies of advantage and disadvantage. Professor Skop has built a significant research record, including a book titled The Immigration and Settlement of Asian Indians, and forty-two peer-reviewed book chapters and research articles. In addition, she maintains ongoing academic and service interests in the discipline of geography. As evidence of her continued contributions, Professor Skop was recently awarded the 2018 Distinguished Scholar Award in Ethnic Geography from the American Association of Geographers, as well as the 2017 UCCS Faculty Award for Outstanding Contribution to Diversity and Inclusiveness.

Kimbra Smith

Kimbra Smith is Associate Professor and Chair of Anthropology. Smith is a cultural and applied anthropologist concerned with how communities challenge persistent inequalities and negotiate around and within oppressive political and economic systems. Her most recent theoretical work considered fluidity and the creation of fields of interactive practice as indigenous methodologies of decolonization (Practically Invisible: Coastal Ecuador, Tourism, and the Politics of Authenticity, Vanderbilt UP, 2015). Smith's applied projects have included a community-based initiative to produce alternative pedagogies for rural indigenous schools in Ecuador, the development of local applied community theatre projects, and initiatives increasing access to and knowledge of labor rights for immigrant workers within the U.S. Smith recently completed a year of research in Catalunya, Spain, followed by ongoing local work in Colorado, on the potential for applied community theatre to reveal shared experience and enhance empathy among participants from different backgrounds. Professor Smith was recently awarded the 2018 UCCS Faculty Award for Outstanding Contribution to Diversity and Inclusiveness.

María Sergia Steen

María Sergia Steen is a Professor in the Department of Languages and Cultures. She is the author of 4 books on Spanish literature. She received the 2015 Clarin prize in Madrid, Spain for one of her short stories. Dr. Steen specializes in Spanish Peninsular literature of the XX and XXI centuries (Unamuno, Lorca, Vila Matas, Mendoza, Cercas, J.J. Millas) as well as in the literature of women (C.Laforet, M.Rodoreda, A.M.Matute and C.Martín Gaite). For the past 16 years she has coordinated a summer study trip to the University Complutense of Madrid, Spain, and the University of San José, Costa Rica. She is a collaborator with ANLE (the North American Academy of the Spanish Language), a member of the Committee on Academic Progress and the Faculty Minority Affairs Committee, and sponsor of the Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica, Chapter Omega Tau.

Stephen Cho Suh

Stephen Cho Suh is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Women's and Ethnic Studies at UCCS. His scholarly interests lie at the intersection of race, ethnicity, gender, migration, and identity, especially in relation to Asian Americans and the Korean diaspora. His current research examines the phenomenon of ethnic return migration through the lived experiences of US-raised Korean "returnees." He has works published in outlets such as The Journal of Asian American Studies, Men & Masculinities, and The Society Pages.

Patty Witkowsky

Patty Witkowsky is an Assistant Professor and the Program Coordinator for the Student Affairs in Higher Education program at UCCS. She received her Ph.D. in Higher Education and Student Affairs Leadership with a minor in Applied Statistics and Research Methods from the University of Northern Colorado, her M.A. in College Student Personnel from the University of Maryland, and her B.A. in Sociology from Occidental College. Dr. Witkowsky teaches leadership, college student development theory, qualitative research, internationalization, and supervised practicum courses in the M.A. in Leadership with a concentration in Student Affairs in Higher Education program and in the Leadership, Research, and Policy Ph.D. program.

Monica S. Yoo

Monica S. Yoo is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning at UCCS. She teaches courses in the following programs: Teacher Education and Licensure, Literacy, and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Her research centers on how students and teachers think about their identities and approaches to reading and writing and on how language and literacy intersect with issues of equity.

Mingming Zhou

Mingming Zhou is an Associate Professor of Finance at College of Business, UCCS. She graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2007 and joined UCCS in 2009. Dr. Zhou has been working in the area of banking and corporate finance, especially issues related to transitional economies and corporate governance. Her work has been published in high impact finance journals such as Journal of Banking and Finance, Journal of Financial Services Research, etc. Besides academic life, Dr. Zhou enjoys reading novels and going to the mountains.