Monthly Archives: September 2012

Class of 2012-13 Faculty and Visiting Scholars

Dear Richland Community,

I am delighted to officially introduce Richland’s class of 2012-13 faculty and visiting scholars. Visiting scholars are selected to participate in the nationally recognized Richland/DCCCD Visiting Scholars Program. Please extend a warm welcome to our colleagues joining the ranks of Richland faculty who strive for excellence and demonstrate continuous dedication to student centered values, learning, and personal growth. I invite you to take time to review their bios and get to know our colleagues who bring diverse skills and talents. These new faculty and visiting scholars already actively serve on committees, as assessment team leaders, and as program coordinators. We embrace them as part of our community of faculty who contribute so much to help advance Richland College’s vision of being the best place we can be to learn, teach and build sustainable local and world community.

Melinda Andrews

Melinda Andrews

Melinda Andrews
Melinda has been an adjunct faculty member at Richland College for three years, teaching EDUC 1300 Learning Framework and student success courses. She has also been teaching college and career preparation and senior capstone for Richland Collegiate High School (RCHS). Melinda earned a master’s degree in human development from the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD). She completed all of her coursework except the dissertation for a doctorate in behavioral and brain sciences at UTD. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in business management and marketing. Melinda has worked as a contract negotiator for Texas Instruments, in management at Tom Thumb Food Stores, and as preschool director at several centers. Melinda sponsors the RCHS Celebration Club, the DUO Club, and the Urban Arts of the Future.

Jennifer Baggett

Jennifer Baggett

Jennifer Baggett

Jennifer began her teaching career at Richland College as an adjunct instructor of biology in 2005 and joined the School of Mathematics, Science, and Health Professions as a visiting scholar in January 2012. She attended graduate school at Johns Hopkins University, where she studied the mechanisms of key cellular events such as the movement of small particles into cells. After completing a doctoral degree, Jennifer continued researching basic cellular processes at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and later at Southern Methodist University. Over the last several years, she has also worked as a lab coordinator on an NSF grant project at Eastfield College and helped to develop an online biology course for the LeCroy Center.

Christopher Curra

Christopher Curra

Christopher Curra

Christopher was most recently a managing partner and head of production at Perpetual FX Creative, a firm he co-founded in 2005. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Computer Art with a specialty in 3-D animation. He has over 10 years experience working in film and video games as a 3-D artist, animator, and producer. Christopher also has worked for companies including Electronic Arts and Ritual Entertainment. He is accredited on 20 video game titles such as “Medal of Honor Airborne,” “007: Quantum of Solace,” “Luxor Adventures,” “The Office,” “Sin Episodes: Emergence,” “Galactic Bowling,” “Rocket Racing League,” Inception: Mind Crime,” and “Alien Monster Bowling League.”

Praveena Dhayanithy

Praveena Dhayanithy

Praveena Dhayanithy

Praveena joins the mathematics faculty as visiting scholar for the School of Mathematics, Science, and Health Professions. She earned a master’s degree in applied mathematics from the University of Texas at Dallas. She also holds a master’s degree in mathematics from Anna University in India and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Madras in India. Praveena has been an adjunct at Richland College and in other Dallas area colleges teaching several areas of mathematics including calculus and algebra. Her work experience also includes working on software projects in India and the U.S. Praveena currently is pursuing a doctorate in applied mathematics.

Mrudula Ganga

Mrudula Ganga

Mrudula Ganga

Mrudula initially joined Richland College as an adjunct faculty member in the School of Mathematics, Science, and Health Professions but later accepted a position as a visiting scholar in 2012. Mrudula received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in biology from Osmania University (India) where she earned a gold medal for academic achievement and excellence, the university’s highest honor. She completed a doctorate in molecular biology at the University of Tulsa and then worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, where she was awarded a grant for her project entitled, “Elucidating the Mechanism whereby Mutations in MLL Contribute to Infant Leukemia.”

Sobia Khan

Sobia Khan

Sobia Azhar Khan (Class of 2011-2012)

Sobia is ABD (all but dissertation), pursuing a doctoral degree in literature from the University of Texas at Dallas. She joins Richland College as a visiting scholar teaching English. She has taught English composition, literature, and creative writing at the University of Texas at Dallas and at Richland. She is an active scholar presenting her work at numerous conferences around the nation. Her creative work has been published at Secretlytimid.com, in RiversEdge, Sojourn, and Parallax. She has won awards and recognition for her creative work by WOW! Women on Writing, Sojourn magazine, the Dallas Public Library, and the League for Innovation.

Charles Kurtz

Charles Kurtz

Charles Kurtz

Charles joined Richland College in January 2012 as a visiting scholar in mathematics. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics from Michigan State University, as well as a doctorate in philosophy from Syracuse University. He most recently taught at Tarrant County College and the University of North Texas, but previously taught at Thiel College in Pennsylvania and Central Missouri State University.

Jordan Kuspa

Jordan Kuspa

Jordan Kuspa

Jordan’s music has been praised in The New York Times as “animated and melodically opulent” and “consistently alive and inspired.” His compositions have been performed by ensembles such as the Pittsburgh Symphony and the 21st Century Consort, in venues such as Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Prior to joining the Richland College faculty as a visiting scholar, Jordan taught at Yale University, where he earned two master’s degrees and is currently pursuing a doctorate. Jordan earned a bachelor’s degree at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where he studied cello and composition.

Yolanda Manzano

Yolanda Manzano

Yolanda Manzano

Yolanda transferred to Richland College’s School of Learning Enrichment and Academic Development team during the Fall 2012 semester. The daughter of educators, Yolanda discovered her true calling in teaching and began her DCCCD service as a tutor in Eastfield College’s Upward Bound program. Since then, she has taught mathematics at all levels from middle school through university, remedial through honors, and in formats including lecture, lab, and online. Yolanda has taught at Eastfield and Austin Community College. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics from St. Mary’s University and a master’s in mathematics from Baylor University. Yolanda went on to study education and received a Master of Education degree from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Dwight Randle

Dwight Randle

Dwight Randle

Dwight has taught biology as an adjunct instructor at Eastfield College and began teaching chemistry at Richland College as an adjunct in the spring of 2012. He became full-time this fall. He taught as a special chemistry instructor for the U.S. Naval Academy while working on a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Maryland. He was post-doctoral research fellow at the Hammon Center for Therapeutic Oncology Research at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, investigating the genetic basis for multiple drug resistance (MDR) and assisting in the design and functional analysis of several anti-cancer drugs, which reverses MDR. He served as science and medicine advisor for the American Heart Association; and senior science advisor and director of national research grants for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Robyn Robertson

Robyn Robertson

Robyn Robertson

Robyn began teaching accounting courses for Richland College as an adjunct instructor in 2009. She completed both her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in accounting at Texas A&M University. Before Robyn joined Richland as a visiting scholar, she was a tax manager at Grant Thornton where she practiced corporate tax. She is also a certified public accountant in the state of Texas.

Jennifer Rose

Jennifer Rose

Jennifer Rose

Jennifer completed a master’s degree from the University of North Texas in 2002 and began teaching at Richland College as an adjunct instructor in 2003. In 2009, she became an instructional specialist at Richland before accepting the position of visiting scholar in ceramics this fall. In addition to her teaching career, Jennifer has an active exhibition record and has partnered with many area museums to teach a variety of family and adult programs. Her artistic interests extend beyond the craft genre to include drawing, installation, printmaking, creative movement, and art history.

Ronald Stout

Ronald Stout

Ron Stout

Ron has had a diverse professional career, from being an award-winning master scuba instructor to a travel wholesaler.  He has also enjoyed a successful career in corporate training and development for organizations such as American Airlines, Volkswagen of America, Electronic Data Systems (EDS), and Cingular Wireless, and AT&T. Just before coming to Richland, he was the senior vice president for a company in Fort Worth. As a recognized expert on gender differences and issues, he wrote the popular selling book “Secrets From Inside The Clubhouse: What Men REALLY Think About Women. Ron is also a very proud member of the very first graduating class at Richland College and taught as an adjunct faculty member for 17 years before becoming full time in the School of Learning Enrichment and Academic Development.

Kendra Unruh

Kendra Unruh

Kendra Unruh

Kendra graduated with a doctorate in American studies from Purdue University in August 2012. Since 2003, Kendra has taught a variety of English and women’s studies courses at multiple institutions including Wichita State University, Hutchinson Community College, Purdue University, and Ivy Tech Community College. Her research areas include 20th century American literature, gender studies, dance studies, and popular culture. A selection from her dissertation, “‘Jubilant Spirits of Freedom’: Representations of the Lindy Hop in Literature and Film from the Swing Era to the Swing Revival” was published last fall in the Journal of Pan African Studies. Besides her scholarly interest in the Lindy Hop, Kendra is also an avid swing dancer.