The College of Liberal Arts has more than 300 faculty members, making it one of the largest colleges by not only student count but by number of teachers. This year, the College welcomes 19 new tenure-track faculty.
Get to know them below.
Department of Anthropology and Geography
Andrew Du is a researcher of human evolution. He studies the ecological context and spatial/temporal distribution of ancient human species in the fossil record. He received his PhD from The George Washington University and recently completed his postdoc at The University of Chicago. He also loves ice hockey and Bruce Springsteen.
Department of Art and Art History
Roberto Muntoreanu is a Brazilian graphic designer. He holds a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from PUC-Rio and a master’s degree in design management from The University of Kansas. He has approximately 20 years of experience working in different design areas, from small design studios to big communication groups. In addition to his professional experience as a designer, he has been teaching in design schools since 2011.
Aitor Lajarin-Encina (Painting)
Aitor Lajarin-Encina is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, and organizer born in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain. He received his BFA in painting from the University of Basque Country, Bilbao, and his MFA in visual arts from the University of California, San Diego. Lajarin-Encina’s creative work and research interests include contemporary painting and drawing, critical issues in the interdisciplinary field, reception and participation aesthetics, alternative self-organizational models of production, collaboration and organization within the arts, minimum scale and materiality poetics, public space, public culture, identity politics, and more. He is cofounder and codirector of DXIX Projects and DX-File, two nomad initiatives for production and dissemination of contemporary culture and art-related projects and materials.
Department of Economics
Prior to joining CSU, Guy Numa was an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston, a Research Fellow at the Institute for New Economic Thinking, and an Arthur Sachs Research Scholar at Harvard University. Numa specializes in History of Economic Thought, Macroeconomics, Monetary Economics, Industrial Organization, and Caribbean Political Economy. Numa’s work has appeared in leading journals such as The Journal of Economic Perspectives, History of Political Economy, and The European Journal for the History of Economic Thought. Numa is the author of a book on the regulation of the railroad industry and co-author of two books on the 2009 social movements in the French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique.
Department of English
Ramona Ausubel (creative writing)
Ramona Ausubel is the author of two novels and two story collections. Her work won the PEN/USA Fiction Award and has been a finalist for both the California and Colorado Book Awards and the New York Public Library Young Lions Award. Her work has been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Paris Review daily, Tin House and many other places.
Ryan Claycomb (literature)
Ryan Claycomb is a professor of English, coming from West Virginia University, where he was professor of English (with associate appointments in Theatre and Women’s and Gender Studies). At WVU, he also served as founding director of the WVU Humanities Center, and spent several years in administration in the Honors College, where he was most recently acting dean. He is author of Lives in Play: Autobiography and Biography on the Feminist Stage (Michigan, 2012), and co-editor of Writing Against the Curriculum: Antidisciplinarity in the Writing and Cultural Studies Classroom (Rowman and Littlefield, 2009). He earned his PhD from University of Maryland, College Park.
Lynn Shutters (literature)
Lynn Shutters is a medievalist who specializes in 14th-15th century English and French literature. She has been teaching at CSU since 2011 and is the Thomas Mark Scholar in the department. In her research, she examines late-medieval literary accounts of marriage and virtuous wifehood. Her work has recently appeared in Comparative Literature and The Chaucer Review. She is currently co-editing a Chaucer Companion for Arc Humanities Press. She has held several academic positions, including at the University of Georgia, Emory & Henry College, and Idaho State University. Her PhD is from New York University.
Erika Szymanski (rhetoric)
Erika Szymanski is an assistant professor of rhetoric of science affiliated with the cross-disciplinary Microbiome Network at CSU. She comes from the University of Edinburgh, where she was a post-doctoral research fellow in Science, Technology and Innovation Studies working with the synthetic yeast project and human-microbe relationships in genomic biotechnologies. Her background includes study and research in microbiology, rhetoric and composition, wine science, science communication, and science and technology studies.
Department of Journalism and Media Communication
Jaime Jacobsen is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker whose work explores the intersection of identity, culture, and social change. Her most recent film, Finding Traction, premiered at the Banff Mountain Film Festival, was featured on Netflix, and screened in 26 countries. Her passion for filmmaking and teaching has taken her to every continent except Antartica, where she has led documentary and photography expeditions for National Geographic Student Expeditions. She has taught as a Faculty Fellow in the Honors College at Montana State University and as an Assistant Professor of Media Studies at Notre Dame University–Louaize in Beirut, Lebanon. She has a MFA in Science and Natural History Filmmaking from Montana State University.
Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
María Inés Canto
María Inés Canto is an Assistant Professor of Spanish in Modern Mexican Literature and Culture. She holds a Ph.D. in Hispanic Languages and Literatures (2016) and an M.A. in Portuguese and Brazilian Literatures (2015) from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research engages with the relationships of literature and visual arts. She has published many articles on Mexican and Latin American Literature. Her book in progress focuses on Xavier Villaurrutia’s interdisciplinary work as a poet, art critic, movie screenwriter, and visual theorist in Mexico during the first half of the 20th century.
School of Music, Theatre, and Dance
A mezzo-soprano, Nicole Asel is an assistant professor of voice, teaching voice and vocal pedagogy. She holds degrees from The University of Colorado at Boulder (DMA), the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (MM), and Ithaca College (BM). A 2010 Regional Met Competition finalist, Dr. Asel has sung roles with regional opera companies in the U.S. and in Europe. She has previously been on faculty at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and Sam Houston State University. Dr. Asel is an active recitalist and proponent of new American art song and opera.
Erin Carignan is a versatile costume designer who has worked in regional theatre, opera, dance, music, videos, and print, in roles ranging from costume designer, stylist, textile artist, to crafts artisan. She has been a part of more than 150 professional productions with several theatre companies, most notably Old Globe Theatre, Los Angeles Opera, La Jolla Playhouse, and Pioneer Theatre. Her research centers around her most passionate subjects: costume design, textile surface modification, and pushing the boundaries of design and technology using digital mediums and interfaces. This research ties in with her own book The Dye Book: Dyeing and Painting for the Entertainment Industry (on contract with Focal press 2021).
Stanley Curtis has developed a multi-faceted career as a teacher, a modern trumpet player, and a performer on baroque trumpet and cornetto. After studying at the University of Alabama, the Cleveland Institute of Music and in the Netherlands on a Fulbright Scholarship, he received his Doctor of Music degree from Indiana University in 2005. He has taught at George Mason University and served as Historic Trumpet Division chair of the National Trumpet Competition. Curtis blogs on the Trumpet Journey website. Having retired from a 20-year career in the U.S. Navy Band in Washington, D.C., he accepted an offer as Assistant Professor of Trumpet.
Saffron Henke holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from the University of Iowa and M.F.A. from the Professional Actor Training Program at the University of Washington. She has performed at many regional theatres, including Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, Idaho Rep, Seattle Children’s Theatre, the Recklinghausen Ruhrfestspiele in Germany, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where she also devised and directed The Pale Fire Project. She was an associate artist and resident acting company member for four seasons at the Sacramento Theatre Company. In Los Angeles, she taught at the University of Southern California, the Center Theatre Group, and at A Noise Within Theatre.
Drew Leslie is an assistant professor of trombone. Prior to CSU, Dr. Leslie was associate professor of trombone at the Hayes School of Music at Appalachian State University. He has broad experience as a professional trombonist and music educator, performing and teaching throughout the world in a number of different settings. He is currently a member of the North Carolina Brass Band and the Blue Ridge Trombone Quartet. Leslie has presented numerous masterclasses at universities across the country and served on the faculty of the Cannon Summer Music Camp. Leslie received his D.M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin, his M.M. from the Manhattan School of Music, and his B.M. from the University of Michigan.
Bryan Wallick is gaining recognition as one of the great American virtuoso pianists of his generation. He has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Africa, including Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall in New York City, London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, Brevard Symphony, and Cape Town Philharmonic, among others. Wallick is an avid chamber musician and performs/organizes concert tours throughout South Africa. Wallick has explored synesthetic realities in a multimedia project that allows the audience to see the colors he experiences while performing; he sees colors with each musical pitch and has created a computer program that projects images of his colored visions to the audience.
Michael Seman – LEAP
Dr. Michael Seman is an assistant professor. He received his doctorate in urban planning and public policy from the University of Texas at Arlington. His work primarily examines the intersection of music, entrepreneurship, and economic development on the urban landscape. Before joining Colorado State University, Michael was Director of Creative Industries Research and Policy at the University of Colorado Denver College of Arts & Media.
Department of Political Science
Heather Hicks has a Ph.D. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland. Her research broadly focuses on race and gender in American politics and the psychological mechanisms that underlie public opinion and political behavior. She uses survey and experimental methods to study the influence that attitudes about race and gender have on Americans’ political beliefs and decision-making. Her research has been published in the American Journal of Political Science and Political Psychology. Heather received her M.A. in Political Science from the University of Florida’s Political Campaigning Program and her B.A. in Political Studies from Westminster College, in Salt Lake City.
Department of Sociology
A Wyoming native, Anthony Roberts is an assistant professor specializing in the areas of economic sociology, global and comparative political economy, stratification, and quantitative methodology. He is currently studying the impact of financialization and global manufacturing on economic inequality and regulation in emerging and advanced economies. Prior to joining CSU, he served as an assistant professor of sociology for four years at California State University – Los Angeles.