Introducing new faculty members for the 2022-23 academic year

The College is pleased to introduce the scholars, educators and artists who will join the SUNY New Paltz community as new full-time faculty in the fall 2022 semester.

Please join us in welcoming them to the campus community:

Michael Asbill, Art

Michael Asbill joins the Department of Art as an Assistant Professor in the Sculpture Program, where he has been a lecturer since 2017. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in visual art from the University of California, San Diego.

Asbill weaves arts advocacy, community engagement, environmentalism, and curatorial endeavor into his installation and public art practice. His work, produced mostly in collaboration with others, holds space, opens channels, and constructs platforms for creative action.

Asbill lives in an intentional community in Accord, New York, and is an avid mushroom forager.

Swati Birla, Sociology

Swati Birla is trained in sociology and public health from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and is an interdisciplinary researcher and educator. Her primary focus is on violence in and of modernity (wars, genocide, hate crimes, and incarceration). She works on the politics of naming, recording, and representing different forms of violence. In her secondary research projects, she examines the political economy of global health. 

Tiffany Chiu, Business

Tiffany Chiu joins School of Business as Assistant Professor of Accounting. She holds a Ph.D. in accounting information systems from Rutgers University.

Chiu’s research mainly focuses on the application of audit analytics techniques, including process mining, robotic process automation, and deep learning. Her research has been published in several highly accredited peer-reviewed journals, such as Accounting Horizons, International Journal of Accounting Information Systems, Managerial Auditing Journal, Journal of Emerging Technologies in Accounting, Journal of Forensic Accounting Research, Journal of Forensic and Investigative Accounting, and The CPA Journal. Chiu has teaching experience in audit analytics, cost accounting, intermediate accounting, advanced accounting, managerial accounting, and financial accounting courses at Rutgers University and Ramapo College of New Jersey.

Elizabeth Forde, Teaching & Learning

Elizabeth Forde joins the Department of Teaching & Learning as an Assistant Professor. She received her Ph.D. in STEM Education from Florida International University.

Forde has teaching experience of over 15 years in K-12 and higher education. Her interest is in facilitating mathematics and science teaching and learning using integrated STEM approaches, as well as creating an awareness of integrated STEM/STEAM education among pre-service teachers, particularly in grades Pre-K through 8. Additionally, she explores how integrated approaches enhance learning opportunities for all students in equitable and meaningful ways.

Cheyne Glass, Mathematics

Cheyne Glass joins the Department of Mathematics as an Assistant Professor. His research sits in the intersection of simplicial homotopy theory and differential geometry. He earned his Ph.D. in Mathematics from the CUNY Graduate Center.

Starting as an adjunct in the CUNY system in 2008, Glass has taught across seven campuses. Lately he has developed a passion for undergraduate research, especially in his previous positions at Iona College and St. Joseph’s College. Outside of academics, he enjoys hiking, watching soccer, and playing video games and board games.

Timothy Hall, Teaching & Learning

Timothy Hall has been a passionate teacher educator in the fields of TESOL and Bilingual Education for over 15 years and comes from Flemington, New Jersey.

At The College of New Jersey, he administered and taught in two consecutive U.S. Department of Education-funded National Professional Development grants to prepare pre- and in-service teachers to work in English as a New Language/Bilingual Education.

After completing his Ed.D. in Second Language Acquisition from Teachers College, Columbia University. In 2017, he was a lecturer at Penn’s Educational Linguistics division, specializing in content-based language teaching, TESOL methods, second language development, and supporting content teacher candidates to work with multilingual learners. Hall’s current research interests include practice-based teacher preparation, L2 vocabulary development, usage-based linguistics, and functional linguistics approaches to content area classrooms.

Dasol Kim, Digital Media & Journalism

Dasol Kim joins the Department of Digital Media and Journalism this fall as an assistant professor. She earned a Ph.D. in communication from University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

She studies contemporary issues of race and gender in digital media spaces, with a special focus on influencer culture, platform economy, and the transnational connection between East Asia and the U.S. Before joining the department, Kim was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center on Digital Culture and Society (CDCS) at the University of Pennsylvania.

Jiun-Hsin (Vincent) Liao, Engineering

Jiun-Hsin Liao, also known as Vincent, joins the Division of Engineering Programs as an Assistant Professor in Electrical Engineering. He received a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Arizona State University.

He is an experienced veteran in the semiconductor industry, devoting himself to the fields of device characterization and test development for nearly two decades in both technical development and management roles. His research interests include semiconductor material and device characterization and parametric test techniques. Liao looks forward to the opportunity to extend his industry knowledge and bridge the collaboration between both academia and engineering.

Timothy Liu, English

Timothy Liu was born and raised in San Jose, California, and is the author of 12 books of poetry, including “Luminous Debris: New & Selected Legerdemain (1992-2017).” His poems have been translated into a dozen languages, and his journals and papers are archived in the Berg Collection at the New York Public Library.

Liu joins the English Department as Assistant Professor in Creative Writing.  He received his Bachelor of Arts in English from Brigham Young University and his Master of Arts in poetry from the University of Houston. He lives in Manhattan and Bearsville, New York. Click here for more of Liu’s work. 

Lauren Mark, Communication

Lauren Mark is thrilled to join SUNY New Paltz’s Department of Communication as a new Assistant Professor of Communication and Culture. She originally hails from Wisconsin, and called Taiwan, Israel, Arizona, and North Carolina home in the past.

She explored Asian theories and philosophy to develop a new methodology for her Ph.D. scholarship at Arizona State University’s Hugh Downs School of Communication. Before this, Mark worked in intercultural nonprofit management, translation/interpretation, and dance training and choreography. She studies, writes, and performs about intercultural communication, acculturation, affect, relationality, and racial representations in the media and lived experiences. To do this, she draws on her master’s degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in New Literacies and Learning and from Ohio State University in dance.

Zhuqi Miao, Business Analytics

Zhuqi (Zach) Miao joins the School of Business as an assistant professor of business analytics. Miao received his master’s and doctoral degrees in Industrial Engineering and Management from Oklahoma State University in 2012 and 2016, respectively. He also holds a master’s degree in Automation and a bachelor’s degree in management science from Xiamen University, China.

Before joining SUNY New Paltz, Miao worked as a Health Data Analyst and then Health Data Science Program Manager at Oklahoma State University Center for Health Systems Innovation from 2016-2022. His broad teaching and research interests include health data analytics, machine/deep learning, text mining, natural language processing, network analysis and optimization, with more than 20 publications in prestigious scholarly journals.

Leyla Modirzadeh, Theatre Arts

Leyla Modirzadeh joins the faculty this fall as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre Arts. She received a Master of Fine Arts in acting from the University of Washington and a Master of Fine Arts in fine art from the Pratt Institute.

Modirzadeh comes from a professional theatre background including years of work performing, directing, and theatre-making with Ping Chong & Company. Her research interests focus on theatre for social justice, documentary theatre, and interdisciplinary arts practices. Her areas of expertise include experimental filmmaking, solo performance creation, illustration, and BIPOC pedagogical practices. She has taught theatre most recently at UC Berkeley and ACT in San Francisco.

She loves comedy and is currently finishing up playing Dromio, Pinch, and Aegeon in Shakespeare’s “Comedy of Errors” in California, as well as touring with Golden Thread Theatre’s “Nasruddin’s Magnificent Journey to Samarkand,” playing Nasruddin.

Maura Musso, Teaching & Learning  

Alumna Maura Musso ’98g (Literacy Education) is excited to continue her work with a regular lecturer appointment in the School of Education’s Early Childhood and Childhood Education Program, where she has been a year-to-year lecturer since 2012. She previously worked as a literacy specialist in both elementary and middle schools and as a classroom teacher. Musso enjoys spending time with her family, walking her dog, and exploring the beautiful Hudson Valley.

Lakisha Odlum, Teaching & Learning

Lakisha Odlum joins the Department of Teaching & Learning as an Assistant Professor. She received a Ph.D. in English Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Her research focuses on the digital literacy practices of adolescent Black girls and the ways in which English educators can create meaningful learning experiences for them. Prior to coming to New Paltz, Odlum was a New York City public school teacher for 11 years. Her passion for education and community service continues outside of the classroom through her involvement with the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

Tony Speciale, Theatre

Tony Speciale, a Master of Fine Arts in Theater graduate from Columbia University, joins SUNY New Paltz as an Assistant Professor in the Theatre Arts Department after having served as Adjunct Faculty and a lecturer from 2018-2022.

In addition to being a freelance theatre director whose work has been seen off-Broadway, regionally, and internationally, Speciale is the founder of Plastic Theatre—conceiving, coauthoring, and directing the off-Broadway/world premiere of the Drama Desk Award-nominated “Unnatural Acts.”

He spent four seasons at Classic Stage Company (CSC) as Associate Artistic Director where he helped found, directed, and taught for The Young Company– CSC’s award-winning Education and Outreach Initiative. The bulk of Speciale’s work focuses on LGBTQ plays/musicals and devised/ensemble pieces.

Victoria St. George, Communication Disorders

Victoria St. George ’99 (Art; Psychology) ’02g (Special Education) returned to New Paltz in 2018 as an Adjunct Faculty member in the Department of Communication Disorders. Now, she is a one-year lecturer and the coordinator of the Deaf Studies Minor. She has taught at Marist College, Vassar College and SUNY Ulster. She is also a published author and illustrator and painter, holding art shows and book signings in her local communities.

Ashley Suchy, Computer Science

Ashley Suchy is an Orange County, New York, native who will be continuing with the Computer Science Department, where she has been teaching as an adjunct professor since 2019. She enjoys hiking, cooking, gardening, and crafting in her free time.

Sumedha Therthani, Counselor Education

Sumedha Therthani joins the College as an Assistant Professor in the Counselor Education Department. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi and served as a faculty member with Mississippi State University before coming to New Paltz.

Therthani is a passionate advocate for ethnic minority students, colleagues and clients and has presented at various conferences on diversity and inclusion. She enjoys collaborating with diverse teams, and her primary research focuses on three broad areas: 1) diversity, inclusion, and access, 2) tele-mental health in counseling, and 3) substance use issues. Besides work, she enjoys cooking, reading, and group fitness classes.

Usha Vishnuvajjala, English

Usha Vishnuvajjala teaches and researches medieval literatures and cultures and their afterlives in literature, film, and politics. Her research interests include representations of gender, emotions, embodiment, and friendship, as well as women’s writing, critical theory, and premodern world literature. Here’s a link to a recent piece. 

Since earning her Ph.D. at Indiana University in 2016, she has taught at five universities including, most recently, Cardiff University in Wales, but is originally from Maryland and very happy to be back on the East Coast.

Reed Williams, Mathematics

Reed Williams is a two-time SUNY New Paltz alumnus who holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in computer science. He joins the Department of Mathematics as a one-year lecturer.

Past research topics include disease transmission dynamics, the geometric modelling of astrocytes, and the exploration of computationally mapping gender to a spectrum based on sex differences in the brain. Outside of the classroom, you can find Williams running and coaching local cross-country teams.