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The Office of Academic Personnel

Meet Our Newest Faculty 2017

Jonathan Ehrenberg, Assistant Professor
Jonathan Ehrenberg
Mr. Ehrenberg earned his MFA from Yale (1999) and his BA from Brown University in art-semiotics (1997). He later attended the Skowhegan School of Art in Maine (2011). He has taught widely around the NYC and northeast, at institutions including Lehman, NYU, SUNY Purchase, Pace, Parsons, and Brown University. He served as a substitute assistant professor at Lehman, focusing on 3D modeling, animation, digital storytelling and marketing, and design. He was a fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA and has been an artist-in-residence at organizations and studios around NYC. Mr. Ehrenberg’s work has had wide exposure at galleries and museums across the nation and at international venues. He has also worked in the industry as an animator for commercial productions. While in his former position at Lehman he served on the CUNY 20/20 grant committee.
Biological Sciences
Jack Henning, Lecturer
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Mr. Henning has worked at Lehman since 2003 as an undergraduate and graduate adjunct instructor. He teaches a broad range of courses in the Department of Biological Sciences: everything from Human Biology and Microbiology, to Economic Botany and Urban Ecology. He earned his MPhil and PhD in plant sciences from the CUNY Graduate Center in conjunction with Lehman (2006-2015), as well as an MA in biology from Lehman and an MSin systematics and biodiversity from the University of Capetown, both in 2003. He attended University of Missouri-Columbia and graduated with a BS in ornamental horticulture in 1980. In 2008 he was named the Lehman College Adjunct Lecturer of the Year.
Melissa Deri, Assistant Professor
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Dr. Deri earned her doctorate in chemistry from the CUNY Graduate Center in conjunction with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in 2015. She earned her undergraduate (2010) and master’s degree (2011) in chemistry from NYU, and most recently completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Chemistry at Lehman. Dr. Deri earned her doctorate in chemistry from the CUNY Graduate Center in conjunction with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in 2015. She earned her undergraduate (2010) and master’s degree (2011) in chemistry from NYU, and most recently completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Chemistry at Lehman. Dr. Deri’s areas of expertise include science pedagogy and developing radioactive imaging agents for detection of diseases like cancer. She has won several prestigious research awards.
Sonjaé Sycoria Wallace, Clinical Professor
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Dr. Wallace is a CUNY alumnus who earned his BSc from York College (2003) and his MPhil and PhD from the Graduate Center (2014); his thesis investigated quantum crystallography of hydronium cations (positively-charged ions). He taught a range of undergraduate chemistry/lab courses, both while a doctoral candidate and after earning his doctorate, at Hunter and Baruch Colleges, and Queensborough Community College. From 1998-2003, he developed curriculum for and taught computing in a number of programming languages. During this period he also worked as a junior analyst at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, advised by climatologist Dr. James Hansen. As a research associate at Hunter he collaborated on faculty members’ research and pursued his own project developing artificial intelligence and neural network algorithms for use in chemistry. Dr. Wallace was awarded a number of prestigious fellowships during his undergraduate and graduate careers, from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, NASA, Hunter College, and the Louis Stokes Educational Scholarship Program. He has collaborated on five published articles, three of which focus on his area of expertise, hydronium cations.
Computer Science
Liang Zhao, Assistant Professor
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Dr. Zhao completed PhD at the CUNY Graduate Center this past spring; his advisor was Lehman Distinguished Professor Victor Pan. Dr. Zhao earned his BS in mathematics from Tsinghua University, Beijing in 2008. From 2010 to 2016, while in graduate school, he was an adjunct instructor within CUNY and has a deep interest in undergraduate education. He has published extensively, and his research shows great promise to advance the field of artificial intelligence.
Economics and Business
Richard Lahijani, Assistant Professor
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Professor Lahijani is a CUNY alumnus, having earned his BA in accounting and information systems from Queens College and his MS in taxation from Baruch (2007). He has been an adjunct lecturer at Queens since 2008 and has extensive experience in the field of accounting. Since 2005 he has worked at Deloitte & Touche, LLP, where he is a senior tax manager.
Health Sciences
Andrew Alto, Instructor
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Mr. Alto is currently pursuing his EdD in sport and performance psychology at the University of Western States in Portland, OR. He earned his BS in exercise science (2015) and his MA in health education and promotion (2016) at Lehman, where he graduated with honors and was a Presidential Scholar. Since 2016 he has been an adjunct lecturer at Lehman in exercise science. Mr. Alto has published, presented, and has both practical and research experience in areas related to biomechanics and sports medicine. His engaging approach to teaching has been appreciated by both his colleagues and students at Lehman.
Ileana Carillo, Assistant Professor
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Doctor Carillo earned her EdD from Dowling College in educational administration, leadership, and technology in 2011; her MA in business education from Hofstra in 1988, and her BS in business education from Long Island University in 1986. Since 2003 she has taught health information technology and administrative business technology at Nassau Community College, and has been a professor in the School of Business at SUNY Old Westbury since 2008. In addition to her teaching, Dr. Carillo served for eight years as Director at the Center for Workforce Development and Corporate Credit Programs at Nassau Community College. For ten years (1993-2003) she was president and owner of a NYSED-licensed computer skills business school.
Andrew Kim, Assistant Professor
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Dr. Kim recently earned his PhD in health policy and management from University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana; in 2012 he received his MPH from University of Illinois, and earned a BS in both Psychology and Public Health from there in 2011. Until earlier this year Dr. Kim as a visiting faculty member in the department of public affairs at the University of South Florida, where he served as interim director of the Health Administration Program. He also has practical experience in hospital administration, and has taught courses on community health and US healthcare policy.
Sean Stein Smith, Assistant Professor
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Professor Smith earned his doctorate in business administration from Capella University in 2015, and his BS (2010), MS (2011), and MBA (2013) from Fairleigh Dickinson University. In the past academic year he was on the faculty at Rutgers University, where he taught undergraduate and graduate courses. Working in the field since 2010, he also served as an adjunct instructor at several institutions. He has published and presented extensively on a range of topics; among his honors he was named Young Professional of the Year
Latin American, Latino and Puerto Rican Studies
Mila Burns, Assistant Professor
Mila Burns
Dr. Burns earned her PhD from the CUNY Graduate Center in Latin American history with a certificate in Africana studies (2017), an MA from Columbia in Latin American studies (2012) and an MA in social anthropology from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (2006), and a BA in journalism, also from the Universidade Federal (2002). Her dissertation, about Brazil’s influence on the dictatorial regime in Chile, is being considered for publication; she currently has a book under contract about the social impact of the Brazilian singer-composer Dona Ivone Lara, and previously published a book on the same artist in Brazil. In addition to her teaching experience at CUNY, she has worked as a journalist for a wide range of international publication, and served as the administrative director for the CUNY Graduate Center’s Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies.
Leadership, Literacy and Special Ed.
Faith Maturia, Doctoral Lecturer
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Dr. Maturia joined the Lehman faculty in the spring of 2017. She earned her MS (2003) and PhD (2007) in education from Iowa State University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Nairobi, specializing in the arts, in 1998. She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in elementary and special education at Iowa State, Des Moines Area Community College, pre-K through middle school in both the US and Kenya, working with general and special education students.
Michelle Ehrenpreis, Electronic Resources-Systems Librarian
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Ms. Ehrenpreis earned her BA literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey in 2007 and her MLIS from Pratt Institute in 2008. She has worked in numerous regional academic libraries since 2007, serving a diverse range of patrons, has taught courses in information literacy, and has published in her field.
Stephen Walker, Assistant Professor
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Mr. Walker earned his BA in philosophy from Iona College in 2000, his MLIS from Long Island University in 2006, and his MSEd from Baruch College in 2015. He is not new to Lehman, having worked at Leonard Lief Library in various positions since 2000.
Joseph Fera, Assistant Professor
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Professor Fera has taught in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science as a doctoral lecturer for the past six years. He earned his PhD from Wesleyan University in 2011 and his BA in mathematics from Vassar in 2005, where he also earned a NYS teaching certificate in secondary school math. He has been lauded by both students and colleagues for his teaching, and has given extensive time and service to his and other departments at Lehman--and to the college overall. Dr. Fera has published a number of papers, including one for which he was the sole author.
Music Multimedia, Theatre, and Dance
David Font-Navarrete, Assistant Professor
David Font-Navarrete
Dr. Font-Navarrete earned his PhD in ethnomusicology from York University in Toronto 2011), an MA in ethnomusicology from the University of Maryland (2007), and a BA in sociology/anthropology from Antioch College (1995). He has been a lecture and teaching fellow at Duke University since 2012, and taught at Miami-Dade College, Miami International Museum of Art and Design, and Washington College. He has also served as a project specialist for HistoryMiami; and the South Florida Composers Alliance. Dr. Font-Navarrete is a wide-ranging scholar, thinker, and musician whose expertise includes percussion, Afro-Cuban music and performance, and digital interventions. He has published and presented extensively across the range of his interests, and has directed two documentary films on African music.
Sandra Maldonado, Assistant Professor
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Dr. Maldonado earned her BS in health sciences from Hunter College in 1975, her BS in nursing from SUNY Downstate Medical Center in 1983, her MS in nursing from Hunter in 1992, and her EdD in nursing leadership/administration from Walden University in 2014. She also has post-master’s certificates for Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Midwifery, and Nurse Educator. Until now she was an assistant professor of nursing at BMCC as well as the RN/BS program director at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. She has also held assistant and adjunct professorships at Columbia University and Long Island University. In addition to Dr. Maldonado’s extensive academic experience, she was a nurse practitioner and midwife from 2001-2010 for several local agencies. She is also a military veteran and served as a flight nurse in the US Air Force. Her interests as a nurse educator focus on teaching strategies and critical thinking. She has previously taught at Lehman, where she was highly regarded by students and faculty.
Umrao Sethi, Assistant Professor
Umrao Sethi
Dr. Sethi holds a BA from Columbia University (2006) and her MA and PhD in Philosophy (2011, 2017) from UC Berkeley. Her dissertation analyzed sense perception through metaphysics. She has presented her research around the US and in the UK, and co-authored an article for Cognitive Neuropsychology in 2012. She recently served as the co-PI on a project for Cambridge University’s New Directions in the Study of Mind initiative. After graduating from Columbia she managed its memory and metacognition lab and worked as a researcher in its social, cognitive, and affective neuroscience imaging lab.
Rita Obeid, Substitute Assistant Professor
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Dr. Obeid earned her PhD from the CUNY Graduate Center in 2017, specializing in developmental psychology; she attended American University in Beirut, where she earned her BA (2010) and MA (2012), both in psychology. She has taught psychology and writing (as a WAC fellow) at the College of Staten Island, and was a teaching assistant at the American University while earning her MA. Dr. Obeid has published numerous journal and book articles, with seven currently under review. She has presented widely, with an emphasis on issues around autism, and has research and clinical experience in a broad range of issues affecting her field—from language development, to infectious diseases, to behavioral health. As a graduate student she mentored undergraduates in their research and served as a reader on honors theses.
Social Work
Nicole Saint-Louis, Assistant Professor
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Dr. Saint-Louis holds a DSW in clinical social work and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania (1998, 2010), and earned a BS in psychology from the University of Scranton (1996). She is also a licensed clinical social worker in both New York and Pennsylvania. Before coming to Lehman she was Assistant Professor and founding faculty member at Stella & Charles Guttman Community College. In addition, she has taught in adjunct positions at Lehman, UPenn, and Temple. For many years she practiced as a social worker and psychotherapist for oncology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and at other hospitals and community agencies. She has published and presented extensively in narrative medicine; her other areas of interest include palliative and end-of-life care, social justice education, and culturally-responsive pedagogy.
Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences
Christine Neumayer, Lecturer (January 2018)
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Christine Neumayer, MA, CCC-SLP, TSSLD is a Lehman alumna who earned her BA (2008) and MA (2010) in Speech Pathology. She is a certified speech pathologist who specializes in neurophysiology and neurogenic speech and language disorders. She not only has extensive clinical and therapeutic experience with children and adolescents in hospital settings, but she served as an adjunct lecturer and clinical educator at Lehman since 2015, where she worked with undergraduate and graduate students in the classroom and the clinic. In her senior clinical position at Blythedale Children’s Hospital, she supervised graduate student externs and contributed to the externship curriculum.