Mesa College Welcomes New Faculty Members

             San Diego Mesa College President, Pamela T. Luster, announced 13 new full-time faculty hires for the spring 2014 semester. They assume the faculty-tenure positions on Jan. 21, 2014.

               “These new professors — who include a world-renown ethnomusicologist, a 2011 award for teaching excellence winner, banking and business professionals, an urban planning specialist, and an sociocultural anthropologist – will help further strengthen Mesa College’s reputation as a transfer institution, and for its academic excellence with real-world workforce applications,” said President Luster.

“The addition of three new counseling faculty positions will help Mesa College to achieve new California Student Success Act initiatives,” she added.

Ten of the 13 new hires move into tenure-faculty positions following adjunct and instructor experience at area community colleges. Four hold doctoral degrees, and four are community college graduates.

The hiring of these faculty signals a significant shift for Mesa College and the San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) after the passing of Proposition 30, and the increasingly positive economic outlook in California.  The SDCCD has had in place a hiring freeze for the past five years, and as such has managed its resources elegantly, preserving full time jobs. It now strategically moves ahead to provide needed new faculty to serve our students.

The new faculty members are: Uriel Ornelas, French; N. Scott Robinson, Music; Howard Eskew, Jr., Business; Lisa Shapiro, Business; Lauren Wade, Accounting; Troy “Travis “ Clark, Geographic Information Systems(GIS); Jennifer Sime, Anthropology; Amy Beeman, Psychology; Justin Estep, Psychology; and Helen Greenbergs, Psychology. New counseling faculty members are: Irma Dagnino, Adam Erlenbusch and Kirsten Pogue-Cely.

School of Arts & Languages – Two Faculty Positions

Uriel Ornelas, French

Since 2006, Uriel Ornelas has taught French language courses at several local community colleges, including working as an adjunct at Mesa College. He has also lectured at SDSU both in their French department for three years, and as part of the Language Acquisition Resource Center (LARC) where he developed and taught a course for U.S. Navy Seals. Ornelas holds a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in French from San Diego State University, a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in French from San Francisco State University, and an associate’s degree in French from Ventura College. As a graduate of the California community college system, Orneles offers a unique perspective on students, their learning styles and experiences. Orneles is fluent in French, English and Spanish, and also speaks Portuguese and Chinese.  He is the founder of “French Angels,” a San Diego based non-profit that gives citizens the opportunity to explore French language and culture.

N. Scott Robinson, Music

Dr. N. Scott Robinson’s is a performer, and an expert in world music and ethnomusicology. He comes to Mesa from Towson University, Maryland, where he taught in the music history, culture, and instrumental music division. He has also taught at Maryland’s Goucher and Montgomery colleges, and Kent State University, Ohio. He received his Doctor of Philosophy degree and an M.A. degree in musicology-ethnomusicology from Kent State, and a B.A. degree in music, with a minor in anthropology. from Rutgers University. Dr. Robinson has an impressive international academic and performance record. He has taught all upper and lower division music courses, and specializes in the teaching of music of India, the U.S., and world music. His expertise in performing spans the globe, with his experiences playing and teaching the musical instruments of Uganda, Zimbabwe, North India, Gambia, Brazil and Afro-Cuban congas. He has directed world music ensembles. Dr. Robinson enjoys performing with his wife, an active carnatic southern Indian vocalist. His performance credits include Grammy-winning CD’s by jazz artist Benny Carter, folk musician Malcolm Daglish, and Native American performers, Bill Miller and R. Carlos Nakai.

School of Business and Technology – Four Faculty Positions

Howard Eskew, Jr., Business

Howard Eskew, Jr. joins the ranks of tenured-faculty after serving as an adjunct business and accounting instructor for Southwestern College and at Mesa, where has been active in developing online and digital resources for his students. Eskew also taught finance at Columbus State Community College, Ohio, for six years. Eskew’s professional banking experience includes holding senior level positions with JP Morgan Chase, Columbus First Bank, and Sky Bank, all in Ohio. He holds a MBA degree from St. Leo University, Florida, and a B.A. degree from Ohio Christian University, OH.

Lisa Shapiro, Business

Lisa Shapiro joins the business faculty at Mesa College after a decade of experience as an adjunct instructor at Mesa, Southwestern and Grossmont colleges.  Shapiro, who was the 2011 winner of the Award for Teaching Excellence at Grossmont College, brings experience teaching all level of business curriculum. She holds a M.S. degree in organization and management from Antioch University, New Hampshire, and a B.A. degree in Physiology from UC Berkeley.  Shapiro is known for her management consultancy in diversity training, both in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. She is in the process of completing in Feb. 2014, another M.A. degree in literature and writing from Union Institute and University, Ohio. 

Lauren Wade, Accounting

Lauren Wade has taught accounting at Mesa College, University of San Diego (USD) and Grossmont College as an adjunct professor.  A practicing CPA, Wade’s experience includes five years with McGladrey and Pullen, LLP Accounting Firm as an Audit Supervisor. Wade received her M.A. degree in peace and justice with a minor in conflict analysis and resolution, and a Bachelor of Accountancy degree, both from University of San Diego. Wade has a passion for global affairs and empowering women to Mesa College. In 2011, she spent the summer in Israel working with the Sunflower Association for Human and Environmental Protection. She has also participated in the United Nations Development Conference on women’s issues and has helped Israeli women to set up a micro business utilizing scrap fabric and old clothing to up-cycle these into sellable goods locally and on the web.

Troy “Travis “ Clark, Geographic Information Systems(GIS)

Troy “Travis” Clark brings a wealth of real world experience in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to Mesa College. He is a practicing GIS professional, having worked for Michael Baker, Inc. engineering and consulting firm for 10 years. Clark’s professional focus has been in emergency management, and as a managing liaison to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Coast Guard and FEMA, where he used GIS technologies to solve issues dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and other natural disasters. Clark also has experience in urban planning, and was the primary GIS trainer for the University of Maryland, College Park campus. He also has experience teaching as an adjunct professor in GIS at Contra Costa College. Clark received in M.S. in Library Science and M.A. degree in geography, both from the University of Maryland. He also has a B.A. from Virginia Tech in urban and regional planning. Additionally, he holds a certificate in solar and green energy from the University of California, Berkeley.

School of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Multicultural Studies – Four Faculty Positions

Jennifer Sime, Anthropology

Jennifer Sime has served as an adjunct professor at San Diego State University, Mesa College, and Palomar College, collectively for the past six years.  She has also taught as a visiting professor at Marlboro College in Vermont, and at the Dublin Business School in Dublin, Ireland. Sime’s professional and research interests are in the area of anthropology of religion, mass media, the politics of memory, social theory, and anthropology of the body. Her focus has been in the regions of Spain, Europe and Latin America, where she has for the past several years conducted research at Universidad de Santiago de Compestela (Spain) examining contemporary literature of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route. Sims received her Ph.D., Master of Philosophy and M.S. degrees in sociocultural anthropology, all from Columbia University. She received her B.A. degree in anthropology and religious studies from University of California, Berkeley.

Amy Beeman, Psychology

Amy Beeman’s teaching style involves an interactive approach. She uses her enthusiasm and passion for psychology to create a learning environment that students can relate to classroom concepts in a real life way.  Beeman honed her teaching skills as an adjunct psychology instructor at Mesa College for the last four years. She has also taught at Southwestern and Palomar colleges, as well as National University.  She received her Master of Science Degree in industrial and organizational psychology from National University, and a B.A. degree in sociology with a minor in psychology from the University of California, San Diego. A community college graduate, Beeman received her Associate of Arts degree from Modesto Jr. College. Ms. Beeman was also a SDICCCA intern in 2008, under the supervision of Dina Miyoshi, Mesa College’s psychology department chair.

Justin Estep, Psychology

Dr. Justin Estep joins Mesa College with more than six years of community college teaching experience, as well as a decade of teaching experience at two different CSU’s, including San Diego State, and at two different private colleges in Southern California. His most recently held the positions of adjunct psychology instructor at Palomar College and lecturer at Loma Linda University. Estep holds a doctoral degree in cognitive psychology from the University of California at Riverside, a M.A. and B.A. degrees in psychology, both from San Diego State University. Dr. Estep also has a solid background in working with a diverse student population. He has developed a variety of teaching methods that impact students in a way that make his classes culturally relevant.

Helen Greenbergs, Psychology

Dr. Helen Greenbergs brings to Mesa College an interesting cultural perspective, derived from growing up in Mexico in a culturally and religiously diverse family, which she says shaped her life’s work. She comes to Mesa College from its sister institution, San Diego Continuing Education, where Dr. Greenbergs held the position of associate professor of parent education for six years. In addition, Dr. Greenbergs has taught psychology courses as an adjunct at University of San Diego since 2003. Greenbergs brings to Mesa cutting-edge experience in asynchronous, or student-centered, learning, and in creating multiple modality presentations utilizing new technologies that digital native students expect and thrive on in the classroom. Greenberg received her doctorate degree in clinical psychology from the joint SDSU/UCSD program, and a B.A. degree in Psychology from Pomona College. She is a professionally  licensed clinical psychologist in California.

Student Services – Three Counseling/Faculty Positions

Irma Dagnino, Counseling

Irma Dagnino comes to Mesa College from Palo Verde College in Blythe, Calif., where she has been a counselor since 2004. Fluent in Spanish and English, her professional experience includes working with bilingual students. In addition to having a solid background in providing personal, career, and academic counseling to students, Dagnino is well-versed in matters related to articulation.  She holds two Masters degrees, an M.A. in counseling from Brandman University and another in adult education and distance learning from the University of Phoenix. Diganino received her B.A. in liberal studies and arts from Park University, and is a proud alumna of Mesa College, having graduated with a degree in transfer studies more than a decade ago.

Adam Erlenbusch, Counseling

Adam Erlenbusch brings to Mesa College a breadth of experience serving a diverse population of students both in and out of the classroom, including first-year college students, students with disabilities, and Veterans. He comes to Mesa College after servicing as an adjunct counselor at City College has for the past five years, and as an adjunct faculty member in both DSPS and Counseling at Cuyamaca College since 2010. Erlenbusch also has experience as a therapist intern for Reinicke Counseling and Associates.  He holds a M.A. in Counseling Psychology from the Southern California Seminary and a B.A. in Social Science from Point Loma Nazarene University. 

Kirsten Pogue-Cely, Counseling

Kirsten Pogue-Cely joins the counseling staff at Mesa College after serving in an adjunct counselor there since 2006, and at Palomar College since 2009. Her prior work in education includes experience in the office of admissions at UCSD. She holds a M.A. degree in counseling from the University of San Diego, and a B.A. degree in anthropology from Grinnel College, Iowa. Known as the “go to” person in the area of transfer admission, Pogue-Cely’s knowledge and skills in transfer-related matters, coupled with her love of technology, will further strengthen Mesa College’s student success efforts.

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