2020 Faculty Rank and Tenure

2020 Faculty Rank and Tenure

Image of Fairfield University stag statue

The Office of the Provost recognizes the following faculty members for tenure and promotion:

Tenured and Promoted to Associate Professor

Photo of Jennifer AdairJennifer Adair
The College of Arts and Sciences
History Department

Dr. Jennifer Adair is a historian of modern Latin America, specializing in 20th-century Argentina. Her first book, In Search of the Lost Decade: Everyday Rights in Post-Dictatorship Argentina, (University of California Press, 2019), reconsiders Argentina’s transition to democracy by examining the lived experience of the democratic return, far beyond the ballot box and corridors of power. She has published scholarly articles about human rights, popular politics, and the history of letter writing in contemporary Latin America. Her research has been funded by grants and fellowships from the Fulbright-Hays Program, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Endowment of the Humanities. She is currently working on a new book focused on the environmental and urban history of trash in the Southern Cone.

Photo of Catherine AndersenCatherine Andersen
The College of Arts and Sciences
Biology Department

Dr. Catherine Andersen is a nutritional scientist and registered dietitian nutritionist. She has received national and international recognition for her research investigating the relationship between diet, lipid metabolism, and immune function, in addition to the role of environmental and lifestyle factors in determining diet behaviors and metabolic health. Through this work, Dr. Andersen mentors undergraduate students in her research laboratory; her students consistently serve as co-authors on peer-reviewed publications and national conference presentations. Dr. Andersen is actively engaged in service to her profession, to the University, and to local communities; her work supports the advancement of nutrition research, promotes wellness, and aims to mitigate health disparities and food insecurity associated with social inequities.

Photo of Sergio Adrada RafaelSergio Adrada Rafael
The College of Arts and Sciences
Modern Languages and Literatures Department

Dr. Sergio Adrada Rafael is an applied linguist with an emphasis on Spanish second language acquisition (SLA); he serves as the program director for the Spanish language program. His main research and teaching interests include SLA, psycholinguistics, second language and heritage language pedagogy, and Spanish for specific purposes. Dr. Adrada Rafael has published his research in international peer-reviewed journals in the field of Applied Linguistics, as well as in handbooks and edited volumes of language teaching and acquisition. He has also presented his research at international conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, such as the American Association for Applied Linguistics conference or EUROSLA.    

Photo of Djwsjiga BelfadelDjedjiga Belfadel
School of Engineering
Computer Engineering Department

Dr. Djediga Belfadel has served as a role model, encouraging women and other minorities to pursue careers in engineering. Before joining the School of Engineering as a faculty member, she worked as an electrical engineer at Evax Systems Inc. in Branford, Connecticut. Dr. Belfadel’s research focuses on space technology and, in particular, on target tracking. Her research relates directly to national security and the need to protect the U.S. and its allies against enemy ballistic missiles, significant for homeland security and world peace. In 2016, Dr. Belfadel was recognized as the Clare Boothe Luce Scholar.

Photo of ColwellRyan Colwell
Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions
Educational Studies and Teacher Preparation Department

Dr. Ryan Colwell was a second- and third-grade teacher in Connecticut before joining the teacher preparation faculty at Fairfield University. He currently serves as the director of the Elementary Education Program, and the director of the Education Minor and 5-Year Teacher Preparation Program. Dr. Colwell’s scholarship focuses on how elementary school teachers integrate three different types of models (children’s literature, teacher writing, and student writing) to enhance their classroom writing instruction. He also explores how elementary school teachers use children’s literature to help students process and discuss challenging, real-world issues.

Photo of Lucrecia Garcia IommiLucrecia Garcia Iommi
The College of Arts and Sciences
Politics Department

Dr. Lucrecia García Iommi is a political scientist specialized in international relations. Dr. García Iommi's research focuses on international relations theory, global governance, and norms dynamics. She specializes in the International Criminal Court (ICC). She has published her research in prestigious peer-reviewed journals, such as International Studies Quarterly, International Relations, and Global Constitutionalism. Dr. García Iommi is an active member of the main professional societies in her discipline and she is currently the vice chair of the Human Rights Section of the International Studies Association.

Maggie Labinski
The College of Arts and Sciences
Philosophy Department

Dr. Maggie Labinski specializes in feminist philosophy. Much of her work focuses on bridging the gap between the social/political concerns of the present and the western medieval tradition. Dr. Labinski approaches teaching as an opportunity to discuss the relationship between philosophy and the most pressing needs of our communities, especially the pursuit of peace and justice. Her research extends this critical practice to areas including sex/sexuality, pornography, and education. Dr. Labinski’s record of service further underscores her commitment to advocacy and activism. In 2019, she was the faculty recipient of both the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Vision Award and the George E. Lang Jr. Award.

Photo of Alyson MartinAlyson Martin
Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions
Special Education Department

Dr. Alyson Martin is a certified special education teacher, the co-director of the Special Education Program, as well as the co-creator and co-director of the minor and 5-year program in Special Education. Her teaching, scholarship, and service focus on enhancing pre-service education for special education candidates, and collaborating with local schools and agencies to improve services for students and families with special needs. Dr. Martin is committed to creating meaningful experiences for pre-service special education students and individuals with disabilities. For this reason, she partnered with The Kennedy Center to create the Transition Opportunities for Post-Secondary Success (TOPS) program, which aims to address a multitude of social challenges and independent living skills for young adults with Autism (ASD) and Intellectual Disabilities (ID) on Fairfield’s campus.

The TOPS program also offers special education students the opportunity to gain valuable field experience through this unique program. Dr. Martin’s peer-reviewed publications and presentations center on special education teacher burnout, collaboration with professionals in the field and families with children with disabilities, co-teaching practices in higher education, pre-service education for special education candidates, and transition programs for individuals with ASD/ID.  

Photo of Sunil PurushothamSunil Purushotham
The College of Arts and Sciences
History Department

Dr. Sunil Purushotham is a historian of modern South Asia. His forthcoming book, From Raj to Republic: Sovereignty, Violence and Democracy in India, is being published by Stanford University Press. His research focuses on the political and intellectual history of India in the mid to 20th century, with particular interests in the Indian princely states, revolutionary communism, and Indian nationalism. His work has been published in Comparative Studies in Society and History, Modern Asian Studies, Modern Intellectual History, and Economic & Political Weekly. Two chapters on Jawaharlal Nehru are to appear in forthcoming volumes on the British Commonwealth and on the history of power and time. At Fairfield, Dr. Purushotham teaches Indian and global history, and his courses contribute to the Asian Studies and Peace and Justice Studies programs. He is currently co-chair of the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee.

Photo of Linda RoneyLinda Roney
Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies
Nursing Department

Dr. Linda Roney is certified as a pediatric nurse, pediatric emergency nurse, and academic nurse educator. She is the director of the Undergraduate Nursing Program and teaches in the graduate and undergraduate programs at the Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies. Dr. Roney continues her pediatric nursing practice at Yale New Haven Children's Hospital, where she cares for some of the most vulnerable patients, including victims of child abuse and infants born to mothers who are addicted to illicit drugs. She has been involved in education, research, and policy development on the state and national level, focusing on the care of injured children. 

Photo of Michael SciandraMichael Sciandra
Dolan School of Business
Marketing Department

Dr. Michael Sciandra is a marketing professor and researcher in the area of consumer behavior. Dr. Sciandra’s research focuses on consumer communications and examines how consumers respond to messages from marketers; how consumers communicate with one another; and how social media and mobile phones impact consumer experiences. His research has been published in leading marketing journals, including the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, and the Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice. Additionally, his research has been featured by news outlets such as NBC News, The Huffington Post, Fast Company, Men’s Health, and CTV News. His teaching interests include marketing principles, consumer behavior, social media marketing, marketing research, and brand management.

Photo of Hedieh ShadmaniHedieh Shadmani
Dolan School of Business
Economics Department

Dr. Hedieh Shadmani is a macroeconomist who earned her PhD at Kansas State University in 2015. Her primary research interests lie in the area of fiscal and monetary policy, with an emphasis on asymmetric policy reactions. More recently, she has extended her research agenda by incorporating asymmetric policy analysis into foreign exchange interventions and open economy monetary policy, with a focus on emerging markets and developing countries. Dr. Shadmani’s scholarly contributions have resulted in several peer-reviewed articles appeared in Emerging Markets Review, International Economics and Economic Policy, Empirical Economics, Applied Economics Letters, and the Journal of Investing. In March 2019, she received the Best Paper Award for presenting at the NBES Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Dr. Shadmani’s teaching experience includes "Introduction to Macroeconomics," "Introduction to Microeconomics," "Intermediate Macroeconomics," "Money and Banking," and "Economic Growth."

Photo of Lydia Willsky-CiolloLydia Willsky-Ciollo
The College of Arts and Sciences
Religious Studies Department

Dr. Lydia Willsky-Ciollo is an American religious historian who specializes in the 19th century, focusing on Unitarians and Transcendentalists, new religious movements, and women’s rights advocacy and activism. In her teaching, she is passionately committed to disrupting traditional narratives of “true” and “false” religion and challenging canonical narratives of American religion by incorporating voices often dismissed as outliers to the mainstream. In her research, Dr. Willsky-Ciollo approaches  19th-century subjects through the lens of intellectual history, exploring how religious thought and ideas influenced culture, individuals, and the texts they produced, particularly in the New England context. She is co-chair of the New Religious Movements Unit at the American Academy of Religion, a member of the executive advisory board for the journal Nova Religio, co-editor of the New Religions section of the journal Religion Compass, and section editor for the upcoming digital resource, Bloomsbury Religion in North America. 

Tenure

Photo of Cynthia BautistaCynthia Bautista
Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies
Nursing Department

Dr. Cynthia Bautista is a neuroscience clinical nurse specialist and founder of Nursing Brains, LLC. Her research is in neuroscience and critical care nursing, including topics such as epilepsy, stroke, and situational awareness. Dr. Bautista's peer-reviewed and invited presentations and publications are focused on neuroscience nursing, evidence-based practice, and situational awareness. Dr. Bautista is an active member of many nursing and interdisciplinary professional organizations; she is a member of the board of directors of the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses. Through these many organizations, she has been a mentor for several nurses throughout the nation, supporting their professional development in the field of nursing. Dr. Bautista has represented neuroscience nurses of the United States of America for the World Federation of Neuroscience Nursing.

Kimberly Gunter
The College of Arts and Sciences
English Department

Dr. Kim Gunter is a scholar of rhetoric and composition studies and a writing program administrator. Her teaching and scholarship focus on the affordances and limitations that empower or marginalize rhetors across platforms both analogue and digital, personal and political, focusing particularly on the rhetorical agency of LGBTQIA-identified folk. Dr. Gunter calls upon her teaching and scholarship in her administrative work, leading nationally recognized academic writing programs in which faculty members translate research-based best practices of the field into vibrant pedagogies that support students in becoming flexible, savvy rhetors. Dr. Gunter’s invited lectures and peer-reviewed publications focus on queer rhetorics, critical and feminist pedagogies, and discipline-informed writing program administration.

Promoted to Professor

Photo of Michael AndreychikMichael Andreychik
The College of Arts and Sciences
Psychology Department

Dr. Michael Andreychik is a social and personality psychologist with research and teaching interests in intergroup relations, implicit bias, the connection between empathy and helping behavior, and research methodology and practices. Dr. Andreychik’s scholarly work has appeared in some of the most prestigious journals in the field of social and personality psychology, and he is a decorated teacher. Since 2016, Dr. Andreychik has served as faculty liaison in Fairfield’s Center for Academic Excellence. Additionally, he currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Social Psychology and as an Executive Reviewer for the Collaborative Replication and Education Project, an initiative aimed at both educating undergraduates and improving the generalizability and reliability of the psychological literature by replicating highly cited studies in the field.

Photo of Amanda Harper-LeathermanAmanda Harper-Leatherman
The College of Arts and Sciences
Chemistry and Biochemistry Department

Dr. Amanda Harper-Leatherman is an analytical chemist with interdisciplinary scholarship and service to her profession spanning the areas of electrochemistry, biosensing, nanomaterials, metals analysis, and chemical education. She regularly mentors undergraduates in her research, many of whom go on to graduate and professional school.

She has authored or co-authored 21 peer-reviewed articles or chapters and is co-editor of two American Chemical Society Symposium Series Volumes, The Science and Function of Nanomaterials: From Synthesis to Application and Teaching Chemistry With Forensic Science. Dr. Harper-Leatherman’s leadership in service, both on-campus and nationally, has overlapped with her passion for teaching and student development. Some examples include serving as a director of the on-campus Broadening Access to Science Education (BASE) Camp, and chairing the American Chemical Society Analytical Exam Committee, which produced a standardized exam used by universities across the country.

Photo of Sean HoranSean Horan
The College of Arts and Sciences
Communication Department

Dr. Sean Horan is chair of the Communication Department. His research primarily focuses on how people use affection to lie (deceptive affection) as well as communication surrounding workplace romance. Sean was identified as the fifth most-published communication researcher for the years 2012–2016, and the 21st most central communication scholar in his discipline between 2007–2011. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, and he writes a regular series for Psychology Today. He recently received the Mentoring Award from the International Association for Relationship Research.

Photo of John MiecznikowskiJohn Miecznikowski
The College of Arts and Sciences
Chemistry and Biochemistry Department

Dr. John Miecznikowski is an inorganic chemist. Since starting his independent career at Fairfield University, he has mentored a total of 39 undergraduate and high school students in laboratory-based research projects during the academic year and the summer months. His research is focused on the following areas: synthesis, analytical characterization, and reactivity of zinc(II), copper(I), copper(II), nickel(II), cobalt(II) and iron(III) complexes; deactivation of ruthenium(II) complexes during catalysis; and innovative techniques in chemical education. He has served as principal investigator on externally-funded awards from the National Science Foundation and the NASA-Connecticut Space Grant. He is currently a member of the American Chemical Society Inorganic Chemistry (senior-level) National Exam Committee and has previously served on the 2017 and 2015 American Chemical Society General Chemistry (full-year) National Exam Committees. In addition, he is currently a VIPEr (Virtual Inorganic Pedagogical Electronic Resource) Fellow. In this role, he is part of a team of inorganic chemists from across the United States who are dedicated to improving student learning and understanding in the subject.  Additionally, Dr. Miecznikowski is an active member in the American Chemical Society, and has frequently organized and presided over sessions at national meetings.

Photo of Martin NguyenMartin Nguyen
The College of Arts and Sciences
Religious Studies Department

Dr. Martin Nguyen is a scholar of Islamic studies and Muslim theology. He has published work on a variety of topics including the Qur’an and its interpretation, Muslim theology and ethics, Islamic spirituality, and the intersection of race and religion. His research has taken him to various archives across the Muslim world including Turkey, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon. He most recently published Modern Muslim Theology: Engaging God and the World With Faith and Imagination (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018), which presents a contemporary theology rooted in the practice of the religious imagination. His earlier book, Sufi Master and Qur’an Scholar: Abū’l-Qāsim al-Qushayrī and the Laṭāʾif al-ishārāt (Oxford University Press, 2012), explores the confluence of Sufism, theology, and Qur’anic hermeneutics in the life and works of an 11th-century mystic and scholar. In addition to working on a number of publishing editorial boards and steering committees for professional societies (like the American Academy of Religion and the Society for the Study of Muslim Ethics), Dr. Nguyen has spent the last few years serving in a number of leadership capacities for the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion, and remains an active member of the Building Bridges Seminar at Georgetown University, an international Christian-Muslim theology initiative.

Photo of Christopher StaeckerChristopher Staecker
The College of Arts and Sciences
Mathematics Department

Dr. Christopher Staecker is a pure mathematician with research in the area of topology. His publications focus on topological fixed-point theory, coincidence theory, and related subjects. He also publishes in the area of graph-based digital topology, and is interested in the history of mathematics and computation. 

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