16 new faculty members join Rider for fall 2018
There are 16 new faces joining the Rider faculty in the fall 2018 semester, including 10 in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences alone. They bring expertise and research findings from a variety of disciplines including mathematics, computer science, communication, marketing, music and more.
Dr. Md Liakat Ali joins the Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Physics as an assistant professor I. He holds a bachelor's, master's and doctorate in computer science and a master's in electrical engineering. His research interests include cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, data mining and machine learning.
Dr. Samaneh Gholizadeh Hamidi holds a bachelor's, master's and doctorate in mathematics. Prior to joining Rider, she was a research scholar at Brigham Young University and an adjunct lecturer in mathematics and computer science at Utah Valley University. She is an acting assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics.
Dr. Robert Isenhower joins the Department of Psychology as an assistant professor I. He is a board certified behavior analyst who specializes in the assessment and treatment of maladaptive behaviors in those with autism spectrum disorders and developmental disabilities. He earned a bachelor's in psychology from Clemson University and a doctorate in experimental psychology from the University of Connecticut.
Dr. Adam McMahon is an assistant professor I in the Department of Political Science. He earned a bachelor's in political science and Spanish from Bowling Green State University, a master's in political science from Portland State University and his doctorate in political science from City University of New York.
Dr. Ahmad Mojiri brings nearly 15 years of teaching experience as the new chair of the Department of Mathematics. Previously, he was the math department chair at Saint Xavier University. He holds a bachelor's, master's and doctorate in mathematics and his research interested include algebra, ring theory and representation theory of finite dimensional algebra.
Dr. Fred Moolekamp, who was previously a postdoctoral research associate, outreach coordinator for the Astrophysical Sciences Department and undergraduate research mentor at Princeton University, is an assistant professor I in the Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Physics. He earned a bachelor's in physics from the University of New Orleans and a master's and doctorate in physics from Princeton.
Jay Stern joins the Department of Communication and Journalism as an assistant professor I. He earned a bachelor's in writing from Columbia University and a master's from European Graduate School in Switzerland. He is currently completing his doctorate in media philosophy. Stern has produced and directed more than 30 short films that have played at festivals across the U.S. and Canada in addition to directing four feature-length films.
Dr. Joshua Stratton holds a bachelor's in chemistry from Wartburg College and a doctorate in chemistry from Colorado State University. Since 2009, he has taught a variety of chemistry courses at Colorado State University and Saint Ambrose University. He joins the Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Physics as an assistant professor I.
James Wojtowicz joins the Department of Sociology and Criminology as a lecturer I. He is the managing director of the Command, Control and Interoperability Center for Advanced Data Analysis, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security University Center for Excellence at Rutger's University. He holds a bachelor's in economics and political science and a master's in statistics from Rutgers.
Richard Zdan II has served as an adjunct instructor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology since 2006 and is now a lecturer. He earned a bachelor's in political science and psychology from Carnegie-Mellon University and a master's in social sciences from the University of Chicago. He is currently completing his doctorate in sociology from the City University of New York. His research interests include microsociology, subcultures, political sociology and public policy.
Susan Ashbaker brings more than 30 years of experience to the Department of Piano and Voice as an associate professor. Ashbaker's connection to Westminster Choir College stems back to 2005 when she first became an adjunct professor, vocal coach, assistant conductor and artistic adviser for the CoOPERAtive program. She holds a bachelor's in piano performance, and choral and instrumental education from Southern Illinois University, a master's in piano performance from Southern Illinois University, and a master's in vocal accompanying/coaching from the University of Illinois. She also completed graduate studies in piano at L'ecole Normale de Musique in Paris.
Dr. Sangmi Kang brings 16 years of teaching experience to Westminster Choir College as an assistant professor I in the Department of Music Education. She holds a bachelor’s in music with a focus on Gayageum performance, a master’s in music education from Seoul National University in South Korea and a doctorate in music education from University of Florida. Kang’s research interests include world music pedagogy, intercultural approaches in music education, technology for music learning and creativity in music composition.
Robin Shane is now an assistant professor I of theatre after serving as an adjunct professor since 2016 and costume shop supervisor since 2011. She created new courses in costume and makeup design and designed costumes for more than 30 Rider productions. She holds a bachelor's in theater and psychology from Wesleyan University and a master's in costume designer for theater and film from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.
Dr. Jason Vodicka '02, '09 is an assistant professor II in the Department of Music Education. Prior to joining Rider, he was an assistant professor of music at Susquehanna University and music director for the Harrisburg Choral Society. Since 2008, he has participated in Westminster Choir College's summer sessions as a faculty member. He holds a bachelor's and master's in music education from Westminster Choir College and a doctorate in conducting from the University of Georgia.
Dr. Ilene Fink is an assistant professor I in the Department of Marketing, Sport Management, and Legal Studies. She earned her bachelor's in design and merchandising and her master's in business administration from Drexel University. She recently earned her doctorate in marketing and international business from Pace University, where her dissertation focused on corporate social responsibility from the perspective of working conditions.
Lisa Teach '02, '09 is a visiting assistant professor of entrepreneurial studies in the Department of Management. She will teach courses in new venture planning, small business management, international entrepreneurship and more. She has been an adjunct professor and entrepreneur-in-residence for the College of Business Administration. She earned a bachelor's and master's in business administration from Rider.