Author Archives: Katie

Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 Faculty and Visiting Scholar

Dear Richland College Community,

When we convene on Thursday, May 12, to celebrate the graduation of our students, please take time to welcome the class of 2015-2016 faculty and visiting scholar to their first graduation at Richland College. Their bios help acquaint you to their educational backgrounds and professional experiences. You may discover that you have something in common with them. Please join me in thanking our new faculty and visiting scholar for selecting Richland College as their home to begin their academic career, and congratulating them for successfully completing this semester. I ask you to invite them to aspire to Richland’s vision of being the best place we can be to learn, teach and build sustainable local and world community.

Zarina Blankenbaker
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Success



Yousuf Adenwala
Engineering Faculty
Yousuf Adenwala has worked as an adjunct instructor of engineering at Richland College since 2012 before becoming a visiting scholar in January 2016. Prior to this, he was involved in teaching at Kimball High School in Dallas, and he has also previously worked as an assistant professor of mechanical engineering technology at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. Adenwala received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Osmania University in India and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.

HeadshotGilberto Castillo
Speech Visiting Scholar
Gilberto Castillo began teaching at Richland College in August 2015. Prior to that, his previous teaching experience includes teaching communication courses at the University of Texas-Pan American, the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College. He earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in communication from the University of Texas-Pan American. One of Castillo’s primary goals is to always help students improve their communication skills.

HeadshotSimona Farcasiu
Electronics Grant-Funded Faculty
Simona Farcasiu began teaching at Richland College in August 2015. Previously, she taught engineering and mathematics courses, developed courseware and served in administrative roles at various institutions. Farcasiu holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Universitatea Politehnica Bucuresti in Romania and a master’s in learning technology from the University of North Texas.

HeadshotEric Osei-Yiadom
Physics Temporary Faculty
Eric Osei-Yiadom moved to the U.S. in 2003 to pursue a master’s degree in materials physics at Texas State University after earning a bachelor’s degree in physics from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi-Ghana. After working in the industry for about a year, Dr. Osei-Yiadom then went to earn his Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from the University of North Texas, with his dissertation being “The Effects of Plasma, Temperature and Chemistry on Low Dielectric Constant Thin Films.” His previous teaching experiences include teaching a variety of physics courses as an adjunct faculty member at Richland College and Tarrant County College.

Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 Visiting Scholars

Dear Richland College Community,

On Thursday, May 14, we will convene to celebrate the graduation of our students. You will find new faculty colleagues amongst you who will be attending the Richland College graduation for the first time. This group is the class of 2014-2015 Visiting Scholars and Faculty. Some of you already know them well through your schools and your service on institutional committees.

You will find the bios of your new colleagues inspiring and you may even discover that you have something in common with them.

Please join me in congratulating the class of 2014-2015 Visiting Scholars and Faculty for successfully completing this academic year and thanking them for helping us accomplish Richland’s mission of Teaching, Learning, Community Building!

Warm regards,

Zarina Blankenbaker, Ph.D.
Vice President for Teaching and Learning
Richland College
(972) 238-6364


HeadshotKristoffer Stauning Truelsen
Economics Visiting Scholar
Kristoffer Stauning Truelsen, a native of Copenhagen, Denmark, is a Fulbright scholar-in-residence at Richland College for the 2014-15 academic year. He teaches economics at Niels Brock Business College in Copenhagen, the oldest business college in Denmark and a leader in international education. His experience spans business development, corporate communications and research, government relations and executive search, and he is a winner of the 2014 Politiken Prize for Teaching. During his time at Richland College, Truelsen will teach economics and interact with chambers of commerce, the public and the Richland College Global Education Development Advisory Council to create bridges between Niels Brock and Richland College.

HeadshotSteven Manley
Economics Visiting Scholar
Steven Manley has taught mathematics and economics courses for Brookhaven College, Collin College and Richland College since 2010. He has bachelor’s degrees in both mathematics and chemistry, a Master’s in economics from the University of Texas at El Paso, a Master’s in political science from the University of Texas at Dallas, and he is expected to complete his Ph.D. in political science from UTD in 2015. Steven is interested in fiscal policy, and his Master’s thesis studied the effect of the 2001 and 2003 income tax cuts on taxable income. His dissertation will focus on how popular media influences public attitude toward controversial political issues.

HeadshotMichael Puente
Mathematics Visiting Scholar
Michael Puente began teaching at Richland College as an adjunct faculty member in 2014. Michael enjoys engaging students in mathematics and guiding them to reach their goals. His previous experience includes teaching a variety of mathematics courses at the University of North Texas and Tarrant County College. He earned a bachelor’s and Master’s in mathematics from the University of North Texas.

HeadshotKevin Wortley
Business Administration Visiting Scholar
Kevin Wortley spent 10 years as a Navis Pack & Ship franchisee, operating four locations in Dallas, Ft. Worth, Houston and Kansas City, and he was awarded Navis Franchisee of the Year in 2007 and 2011. He has taught as an adjunct at Texas A&M University-Commerce, where he is also working on a doctorate degree in higher education leadership. Wortley holds a B.J. in advertising from the University of Missouri and an MBA and MA from Southern Methodist University. In addition to teaching business at Richland College, Wortley hopes to grow the student entrepreneurial opportunities among all disciplines and strength the college’s connection with the local small business community.

HeadshotJiajun Bracewell
Japanese Temporary Full-Time Faculty
Jiajun Bracewell has a background in linguistics and modern languages. She is fluent in Chinese, Japanese and English. Bracewell has a bachelor’s degree in Japanese literature from Beijing Language and Culture University, a Master’s degree in humanities with a focus on comparative linguistics of Chinese and Japanese from Hiroshima University in Japan and a Ph.D. in information science and system engineering with a focus on computational linguistics from the University of Tokushima in Japan. Bracewell has taught Chinese language and culture as both a professional and volunteer.

HeadshotJason Alvarado
Digital Forensics Visiting Scholar
Jason Alvarado has taught digital forensics topics as an adjunct at Richland College since 2013. He graduated from Richland College with an associate’s degree in science and an advanced technical education certificate in digital forensics. He recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer forensics and digital investigations from Champlain College. Alvarado has nearly 20 years of experience in the information technology and law enforcement professions.

HeadshotOmar Surillo
Music Visiting Scholar
Omar Surillo, a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, is an award-winning composer, producer/engineer and multi-instrumentalist. His music has been performed nationally and internationally in various ensembles ranging from classical to rock. Surillo received an associate’s degree from Valencia College, a bachelor’s degree in music theory and composition from Stetson University and a Master’s degree in music composition from the Yale School of Music.

HeadshotCasey Martin
Accounting Visiting Scholar
Casey Martin completed her bachelor’s degree in accounting a Master’s degree in finance at Texas A&M University. She is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the state of Texas and began her career in Dallas at the public accounting firm Ernst & Young before spending six years working in the audit and transaction advisory service practices and working in small business accounting as a consultant. Martin has been an adjunct at Richland College since 2012 and also previously taught as an adjunct at the University of Texas at Dallas and Collin College.

HeadshotSandy Toler
Computer Science Visiting Scholar
Sandy Toler earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science at Texas A&M University and worked in the industry as a database software analyst for 13 years before receiving a Master’s in computer science with a specialization in software engineering from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2002. Toler taught at Richland College for several years as an adjunct before moving to North Garland High School as an AP computer science teacher. Toler is once again happy to be working with Richland College students.

HeadshotEstifanos Haile
Geology Visiting Scholar
Estifanos Haile has been an adjunct at Richland College since the fall of 2013. Haile earned his bachelor’s degree in geology from Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, his Licentiate degree in hydrogeology at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, and his doctorate degree from the University of Kentucky, where his dissertation focused on processes that control groundwater chemistry in regional aquifers.

HeadshotDavid Robison
History Faculty
David Robison earned a bachelor’s degree in interpersonal communications with a minor in theater from Bowling Green State University and a master’s degree in history with a concentration in German history from Texas A&M University. Robison established Robison Education Consulting to design and implement strategic training and coaching solutions for a variety of clients, and he also previously spent seven years as an eighth grade social studies instructor at three Dallas-area independent schools before moving to higher education. Robison has lived his commitment to multiculturalism and diversity as an administrator at the Dallas Jewish Community Center and as a delegation leader of the Children’s International Summer Village, an international youth camp in Segovia, Spain, devoted to improving intercultural relations with a curriculum of “peace education.”