Introducing: New Faculty for Fall 2013

With the start of this week, thousands of new faces are beginning their journey at California State University, Dominguez Hills. But they aren’t all students.

Nineteen new full-time faculty members will be getting to know the campus community as well (although a few are familiar to CSUDH, being alumni and/or previously part-time faculty).

Dateline Dominguez offers introductions:

College of Arts and Humanities


Ryan EagleRyan Noelle Eagle, assistant professor, communications

Academic Background:
Ph.D., film and media studies, University of California, Santa Barbara
M.A., modern literature, University of York, England
B.A., cinema-television and creative writing, University of Southern California

Academic Interests: Documentary; media activism; film festivals; media industries and production studies; film and media theories; and feminist theories.

Recent Projects: Dr. Eagle is working on a book about a global network of human rights film festivals known as the Human Rights Film Network, in which she will examine from a historical and comparative perspective the themes, tensions and challenges these festivals face as they work to shape a global understandings of human rights.

Prior to CSUDH: Taught in the Department of Film and Media Studies and Department of Feminist Studies, UC Santa Barbara.

What are you looking forward to at CSUDH?: “Teaching is my greatest passion, so I am most looking forward to meeting the dynamic students at CSUDH and working together with them to think critically about media. I honestly cannot believe my incredible luck—that every day I get to talk to bright, thoughtful students and colleagues about film and media… for my job!”

Interesting fact about Dr. Eagle: Her parents named her after a character in a 1980s soap opera. “I’m pretty sure this means I was destined to be in media studies,” she said.


Brian GregorBrian Gregor, assistant professor, philosophy

Academic Background:
Ph.D., M.A., philosophy, Boston College
B.A., philosophy, Trinity Western University

Academic Interests: Philosophy of religion, history of philosophy, especially 19th and 20th century continental.

Recent Projects: Dr. Gregor’s first book, “A Philosophical Anthropology of the Cross: The Cruciform Self,” was published by Indiana University Press in March. He is currently studying ancient models of philosophy as a way of caring for the self, along with such recent thinkers as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Hadot, and Foucault, all of whom attempted to retrieve ancient practices of philosophy in a modern context.

Prior to CSUDH: Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow in the Philosophy Department at Fordham University.

What are you looking forward to at CSUDH?: “I feel privileged to be able to introduce students to new philosophical ideas, so I am excited to meet my new students.  I also look forward to getting to know my colleagues.”

Interesting fact about Dr. Gregor: He is a film buff, heavy metal fan, and reader of comic books. “I like to reflect on the philosophical elements of pop culture,” he adds.


Jane LeeJane Lee, assistant professor, English

Academic Background:
M.A., and Ph.D., University of Washington, Seattle
B.A., University of California, Irvine

Academic Interests: Nineteenth century British literature and culture.

Recent Projects: Dr. Lee is currently working on a book manuscript that examines the place of reading in the 19th century, particularly in relation to mid-Victorian liberalism and the connections between how the Victorians understood and articulated the importance of reading to certain forms of democracy and our own perceptions of the role of reading in education today.

Prior to CSUDH: Part-time lecturer, University of Washington.

What are you looking forward to at CSUDH?: “I’m really looking forward to working with the unique and diverse student population at CSUDH. I hope to be able to contribute to the continued development of both my own department and the university as a whole through mentoring, teaching, and scholarship while keeping the needs, skills, and strengths of the student body centrally in mind.”


Corine Benavides LopezCorina Benavides López, assistant professor, Chicana/Chicano studies

Academic Background:
Ph.D., education, race and ethnic studies, University of California, Los Angeles
M.A., education, gender studies and higher education, Stanford University
B.A., Chicana/o studies and women’s studies, UCLA
A.A., liberal studies, Saddleback Community College

Academic Interests: Chicana/o and Latina/o immigration history, immigrant undocumented AB540 students and families, educational inequality, multi-ethnic/racial feminisms, ethnic relations, critical race theory.

Recent Projects: Dr. López collaborated on an essay titled: “Toward a Critical Race Case Pedagogy:  A Tool for Social Justice Educators,” which was published in the anthology “The Resegregation of Schools:  Education and Race in the Twenty-First Century”

Prior to CSUDH: lecturer/adjunct faculty, Ethnic and Women’s Studies Department and Liberal Studies Department, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

What are you looking forward to at CSUDH?: “I look forward to creating new relationships with the DH community!”

Interesting fact about Dr. López: I enjoy dancing to salsa, listening to mariachi music, and traveling.


Sharrell LuckettSharrell Luckett, assistant professor, theatre arts

Academic Background:
Ph.D., theatre, performance studies, University of Missouri-Columbia
M.Ed., education, educational leadership, Kennesaw State University
B.A., interdisciplinary studies, theatre, education and music business, Georgia State Unviersity

Academic Interests: Directing & acting theory, African American theatre, fat studies, autoethnography, devising theatre, the Freddie Hendricks Method, positive psychology, hip hop theatre.

Recent Projects: Dr. Luckett is creating a one-woman show titled “YoungGiftedandFat” in which her obese self and slender self duel it out on stage. She is also working on a manuscript outlining the Freddie Hendricks Acting Method, an acting technique rooted in Afro-centrism.

Prior to CSUDH: Adjunct faculty, Department of Theatre and Performance Studies, Kennesaw State University.


College of Business Administration and Public Policy


Hugo AsencioHugo Asencio, assistant professor, public administration

Academic Background:
Ph.D., public administration and public policy, Auburn University
M.S., international relations; B.S., international studies, Auburn University at Montgomery

Academic Interests: Administrative ethics and leadership, human resources management, nonprofit management, general public management, e-government and information technology, all from a national and international perspective.

Recent Projects: Dr. Asencio is currently revising a book chapter accepted for publication in “E-Government and Websites: A Public Solutions Handbook,” and two journal manuscripts, one on employee trust in leadership related to different leadership behaviors and employee  job satisfaction; the other on ethical leadership within public organizations. He also will be presenting his research findings at the Southern Conference of Public Administration in September on another project involving the impact that different ethical organizational culture competencies have on corruption within public organizations.

Prior to CSUDH: Adjunct professor at Auburn University at Montgomery; project specialist at the Alabama State University Center for Leadership and Public Policy; facilitator, ethics training for public employees in Alabama; consultant for private, nonprofit, and public organizations.

What are you looking forward to at CSUDH? “I am looking forward to joining the CSUDH family, one in which students come first and faculty and staff work together to help students gain a high-quality education so they can fulfill their goals in life and make a difference in their communities.”

Interesting fact about Dr. Asencio: He signed his first contract to play professional soccer when he was 18, and went on to play for a couple of first-division teams in Guatemala. He also played for Guatemala’s U-17 and U-20 national teams.


You Jin KimYou-Jin Kim, assistant professor, management and marketing

Academic Background:
Ph.D., organizational behavior and human resources management, Michigan State University, East Lansing
B.A., psychology and business administration, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea

Academic Interests: Management and organizational citizenship behavior in the areas of helping, leadership, and motives, using both field and lab-based methodologies.

Recent Projects: Dr. Kim has recently had articles published in Applied Psychology: An International Review  and Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes and contributed a chapter to the “International Review of Industrial Organizational Psychology, 2012.”

Prior to CSUDH: Taught undergraduate course in human resources management and organizational behavior.


Rui SunRui Sun, assistant professor, public administration

Academic Background:
Ph.D., policy studies, University of Maryland, College Park
M.P.A., Auburn University, Alabama
M.A., B.A., international relations, Peking University, Beijing, China

Academic Interests: Fiscal federalism, state and local government finance, economic development

Recent Projects: Dr. Sun has a number of on-going research projects related to citizen participation in tax policymaking, property tax limitations and residential mobility, fiscal descentralization and economic growth in the U.S. metropolitan areas, and the impact of institutions and openness on sub-sovereign debts.

Prior to CSUDH: Assistant professor in the School of Public Administration, University of Central Florida; assistant professor, Department of Political Science, Georgia Southern University.

What are you looking forward to at CSUDH? “I look forward to a sustainable environment at CSUDH that promotes my professional growth as both an educator and a scholar. I also look forward to opportunities to work with a diverse and dynamic student body and engage with the local communities.

When she’s not working, Dr. Sun likes to travel, walk in the park, attend cultural events, and play with her son.


College of Health, Human Services and Nursing



Brittney Blankenship, assistant professor, kinesiology and recreation

Academic Background:
M.A., kinesiology with an emphasis in physical education; B.S., business administration, California State University, Dominguez Hills

Assistant Professor Blankenship is also the assistant coach for the Toros Women’s Basketball team, a position she has held for five years.




CheathamScott Cheatham, assistant professor, kinesiology and recreation

Academic Background:
Ph.D. (candidate), physical therapy, Nova Southeastern University
Doctor of Physical Therapy, Chapman University
B.A., physical education, CSU Dominguez Hills

Academic Interests: Information acquisition of allied health professionals after taking post-graduate continuing education; long-term effects of therapeutic exercise intervention for specific orthopedic pathologies.

Recent Projects: Dr. Cheatham has contributed a chapter, “Orthopedic Management of the Hip and Pelvis,” to “Fundamental Orthopedic Management for the Physical Therapist Assistant;” his article, “Fibromyalgia: Current Concepts for the Strength and Conditioning Professional,” was published in Strengthening and Conditioning Journal; and he is currently working on a manuscript, “Rehabilitation of a Partially Torn Distal Triceps Tendon after Platelet Rich Plasma Injection: A Case Report.”

Prior to CSUDH: Adjunct faculty, kinesiology and recreation, California State University, Dominguez Hills; rehabilitation director, South Bay Orthopedic Specialists Medical Center.

What are you looking forward to at CSUDH? “Helping students with academic and professional growth; participating in clinical research with the students and academic colleagues. As an alumnus, I’m looking forward to being home again.”


Roger GreenRoger Green, associate professor, nursing

Academic Background:
Doctor of Nursing Practice, Rush University, Chicago
M.S., family nurse practitioner,  University of Tampa
B.S., nursing, Curry College, Milton, Mass.

Academic Interests: Practice barriers for nurse practitioners, depression in primary care settings, access to health care.

Recent Projects: Dr. Green presented a study he co-authored on barriers to nurse practitioner practice at the International Sigma Theta Tau Conference in Prague this summer. He is currently completing a post doctoral certification in family psychiatric nurse practitioner at Brandman University.

Prior to CSUDH: Dr. Green has taught nursing at CSUDH for the past eight years, first as an assistant professor for a year and then part time as a lecturer; division vice president for a retail health company; volunteers nurse practitioner services at Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine.

What are you looking forward to at CSUDH? “Very excited to being back at CSUDH full time and working with the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Program.  I hope to start a Family Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Program in the next few years.”

Interesting fact about Dr. Green? He has achieved million miler status on Delta and is focusing on international travel now.  “I’ve been to Australia, New Zealand and all over Europe. My next adventure will be to Buenos Aires, Argentina, hopefully this academic year,” he said.


Mary GrovesMary Groves, assistant professor, occupational therapy

Academic Background:
O.T.D., Loma Linda University
M.S., human anatomy; B.S., occupational therapy, Loma Linda University

Academic Interests: Neuroscience, particularly translating new neuroscience for occupational therapists and how sensory information affects the brain; perinatal biology, with emphasis on finding the innervation of the cervix before birth.

Recent Projects: Dr. Grove is currently researching the effects of new shoulder support for persons with hemiparesis after stroke, and is working on and illustrating an anatomy book for occupational therapists.

Prior to CSUDH: Staff occupational therapist, Kaiser Permanente; per diem occupational therapist.

What are you looking forward to at CSUDH?I am looking forward to becoming part of this university. I was born and grew up in this area, as well as my parents. I have close ties to this community and look forward to contributing to its development.”


Michael LaurentMichael Laurent, associate professor, marriage and family therapy

Academic Background:
Ph.D., counseling psychology, University of Southern California
M.S., B.S., California State University, Long Beach
California licensure as psychologist and marriage and family therapist

Academic Interests: African American men’s issues, men and masculinity, diversity issues in counseling, training and supervision issues in counseling.

Recent Projects: Dr. Laurent is currently working on “Dimensions of Masculinity for Young African American Men” for National Social Science Journal.

Prior to CSUDH: Associate professor, educational psychology and counseling,  and director, Mitchell Family Counseling Clinic, California State University, Northridge; coordinator, Marriage and Family Therapist Program,University of Southern California.

What are you looking forward to at CSUDH?: “Creating of new centers that promote ‘transdisciplinary teaching and research’ across departments at CSUDH; creating a community counseling clinic on campus; expanding on community partnerships.”


Ph Tai PhanPhu Tai Phan, associate professor, human services

Academic Background:
Ph.D., social work, University of Minnesota

Academic Interests: Socioeconomic adjustments of immigrants and refugees; cultural competency of human service workers when serving immigrant and refugees.

Recent projects: Dr. Phan just completed a chapter in a soon-to-be-published book on Vietnamese American families.

Prior to CSUDH: Associate professor of social work, California State University, East Bay.

What are you looking forward to at CSUDH? “I look forward to meeting and working with students, faculty, and staff as well as getting to know the campus and the surrounding communities. CSUDH’s focus on diversity is one of the things that attracted me, so I am quite excited about the opportunity to engage with the people.”

Interesting fact about Dr. Phan? He came to the U.S. as an unaccompanied minor refugee from Vietnam. “I have come a long way,” he said.


College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences


Heather ButlerHeather Butler, assistant professor, psychology

Academic Background:
Ph.D., psychology, Claremont Graduate University
M.A., experimental psychology; B.A., psychology, California State University, San Marcos
A.A., general education, Palomar College

Academic Interests: Cognitive psychology with an emphasis in critical thinking in the areas of assessment and critical thinking’s correlation as a predictor of life events (bankruptcy, cheating, returning rental movies late); forensic psychology, specifically the aspects of false confessions that make them believable and ways to reduce cognitive bias associated with juror perceptions of forensic identification evidence.

Recent Projects: Dr. Butler published three book chapters in 2013 on topics related to critical thinking and student engagement, and this summer submitted two journal articles for publications, one examines ways to overcome cognitive bias associated with forensic evidence, and the other explores the casual mechanism behind persuasive influence of anecdotes. She is currently working on a few research projects on whether intelligence or critical thinking ability is a better predictor of life events, and what is the most effective debiasing technique for jurors who must make sense of complicated forensic testimony.

Prior to CSUDH: Adjunct faculty at CSU Fullerton, Crafton Hills College and Palomar College.

What are you looking forward to at CSUDH?  “I am looking forward to putting down some roots at CSUDH.  Everyone at CSUDH has been so warm and welcoming. I think I made a wise choice! I am also looking forward to mentoring students. A number of students contacted me over the summer to see whether it would be possible to join my research lab. They seem like wonderful students. I look forward to getting to know them, and I am thrilled to be starting my first semester with a full research group.”

Interesting fact about Dr. Butler? She has checked four items off her “bucket list” this year, including finishing her Ph.D., obtaining a position as a professor in the CSU system, swimming with sea turtles, and living on a boat.  She hopes to become a certified diver within the next year.


Wing Nam Joyce ChanWing Nam (Joyce) Chan, assistant professor, anthropology

Academic Background:
Ph.D., anthropology, The Ohio State University
M.A., anthropology, Louisiana State University
B.A., anthropology, Macalester College

Academic Interests: Biological anthropology, specifically human variation, functional morphology, and forensic anthropology. Her research concerns skeletal differences in modern and archaeological populations found in Asia. “I want to understand how cultural, temporal, and environmental factors have affected the human skull over a period of time. I also conducts taphonomic study research to under the processes affecting the human body after death.”

Recent Projects: Dr. Chan is currently working on two articles, one from her dissertation, and one from her taphonomic studies.

Prior to CSUDH: Assistant professor of anthropology, Valdosta State University in Georgia.


Jeb MiddlebrookJeb Middlebrook, assistant professor, sociology

Academic Background:
Ph.D., M.A., American studies and ethnicity, University of Southern California
B.A., ethnic studies, University of Minnesota

Academic Interests: Race and ethnicity, prison, community organizing, and music; intersectionality and transnationism.

Recent Projects: Dr. Middlebrook is currently working on two book manuscripts, “Prison Music: Containment, Escape, and the Sound of America,” which explores the aesthetics and politics of prison in U.S. culture from the nineteenth to twenty-first century through an examination of prison music, film, policy, and activism; and “Organizing Race: Antiracist Activism and Multiracial Movement-Making,” which analyzes strategic uses of race by community organizers of color and white organizers from 1960 to 2011 in their attempts to build multiracial social justice movements.

Prior to CSUDH: Lecturer, CSU Dominguez Hills (Department of Sociology),  USC (Departments of Sociology and American Studies and Ethnicity), and University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (Department of Sociology and Women’s and Ethnic Studies program).

What are you looking forward to at CSUDH?  “I am most looking forward to working collaboratively with students on community-based research projects, and linking teaching, research, and service in my contributions at CSUDH and beyond.”

Interesting fact about Dr. Middlebrook? He is from “SPAM Town, U.S.A.,” otherwise known as Austin, Minnesota, where the canned meat SPAM is made.


SalRussoSalvatore James Russo, assistant professor, political science

Academic Background:
Ph.D., M.A., political science, University of Mississippi
J.D., Fordham University School of Law
B.A., history, Tulane University

Academic Interests: American politics, constitutional law, political psychology and political behavior; the role mass media and religion play in influencing the public.

Recent Projects: Dr. Russo has an article under review for publication that deals with the influence of religious nationalism on political efficacy. He is also working on a couple of program related to campaign finance reform laws, the role of political satire in political learning, and a porject on the influence of religious television shows on viewers’ feelings toward social out-groups.

Prior to CSUDH: Research assistant and lecturer, University of Mississippi; court-appointed criminal defense trial attorney in New York and New Jersey and public defender on Staten Island.

What are you looking forward to at CSUDH?  “Mostly I am looking forward to meeting and interacting with my students. Teaching is the most rewarding part of this profession, and the students are what make the job so exciting. I am looking forward to introducing students to new concepts and ideas, and hearing their take on these interesting and important subjects.”

Interesting fact about Dr. Russo? He played rugby. “Not very well, mind you,” he added.


Bin TangBin Tang, assistant professor, computer science

Academic Background:
Ph.D., computer science, Stony Brook University

Academic Interests: sensor networks

Recent Projects: Dr. Tang is currently working on a National Science Foundation (NSF) Network Technology and Systems (NeTS)-funded project titled, “Adaptive Data Preservation in Intermittently Connected Senor Networks: A Unified Storage-Energy Optimization Approach.”

Prior to CSUDH: Assistant professor of computer science, Azusa Pacific University.

What are you looking forward to at CSUDH? Working with students and colleagues, and being a good teacher-scholar


  1. Rachel Oksun says:

    I would like to welcome the 19 new faculty members to CSUDH especially Dr. Roger Green whose class l am currently enrolled it. The esteemed credentials and experience of these faculty members are truly inspiring to me. Congratulations and welcome!!!

  2. Sociology Club says:

    The Sociology Club welcomes you and wish you the best experience at Dominguez.

  3. Dr. Benavides Lopez says:

    Lauren, thank you for the welcoming remark. I look forward to creating ties with CSUDH alumni as I build relationships with the students and community of the CHS department!

  4. lauren romero says:

    congrats to all the new faculty. As an alum, I look forward to meeting Dr. Lopez in the chicano/a studies dept. in the future 🙂

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