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2020-21 EPIC Community College Fellows

Sravani Banerjee

English Professor, Evergreen Valley College

Sravani Banerjee teaches English composition and literature at Evergreen Valley College. She also coordinates the EVC Writing Center and teaches in the ASPIRE program, catering to the needs of the Asian and South Pacific Islander students.  As the national TYCA Rep, she represents the English departments of the California community colleges at a national level.  Passionate about teaching and traveling, she participated in the Salzburg Global Seminar for educators.  Her research is focused on project-based learning, globalizing her curriculum, and celebrating diversity in the classroom. During her sabbatical, Banerjee compiled an anthology for her Asian American literature class, spanning 2500 years of literature, from the classics to the contemporary.

Project: Incorporating Social Justice and Global Issues in Freshman Composition

Learning about social justice and global issues will broaden perspectives, challenge stereotypes, and encourage students to think critically and in more complex ways about identity, society, and history.  The purpose of the project is threefold: to globalize my curriculum to serve our diverse student population, to eliminate the cost of a textbook by building OER on global and social justice issues, and finally to inspire our students to be “civically responsible global citizens,” in keeping with our college mission.

View Sravani's presentation here

Julie diLiberti

Julia diLiberti

Professor of Humanities and Faculty Global Education Liaison, College of DuPage

Dr. Julia diLiberti, professor of humanities at College of DuPage, earned her doctorate in nineteenth century French literature. Long interested in global education, Dr. diLiberti has taught the Humanities Beyond Europe and the U.S. course since 2001, and served as an NEH fellow focused on infusing Asian Studies into the undergraduate curriculum. In 2017 she became the faculty liaison for globalization and internationalization. She is currently working on a concentration and possible certificate in global perspectives for the college. Dr. diLiberti has lived in France, Belgium, Republic of Benin, and spent time in Gabon interviewing women authors.

Project: The Need for Globalizing Curriculum Post Pandemic

To heighten a global focus in curriculum, and to build (on) faculty global fluency, I will develop a course for faculty. Offering theoretical foundations surrounding global education, the course will create a space and framework in which faculty can globalize their classes; participants will leave with tangible changes to the curriculum. One goal of this project is to share tools of globalization with faculty so that they can help students think through the impact of their actions on others’ lives around the world. A secondary goal is to diversify the faculty who implement its teachings.

View Julia's presentation here

Maiya Evans

Maiya Evans

Adjunct Professor, Skyline College

Maiya Evans earned her MPH from San Francisco State University, where she was also certified in holistic health. Much of her research examines the intersection between holistic health, public health, and social justice. She previously worked as a health educator at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, and currently teaches courses in public health at Skyline College and San Francisco State University. Maiya is also the host of the Hey Girl Health podcast, a show that focuses on health issues that impact women of color and the communities they live in.        

Project: Expanding the Borders of the Public Health Curriculum

The purpose of my project is to bring a global lens to U.S. public health systems in college education. My aim is to create a public health curriculum that invites students to reimagine, reshape, and rethink our approaches to health and health care in this country. I plan to create a robust corpus of creative online resources that are innovative, educational, and interactive. These materials will borrow from public health methodologies from outside nations, challenging students to design a new national health model in the United States.

View Maiya's presentation here

Ron Herman

Ron Herman

Professor of Photography, Foothill College

Ron Herman is an award-winning educator and chair of the Photography Department at Foothill College, where he has been empowering students through visual storytelling since 1997.  He has photographed for Polo Ralph Lauren and Spiegel, and his work is included in such collections as the Fototeca de Cuba, Kinsey Institute, Snite Museum, and the South Bend Regional Museum of Art. Herman received his MFA from the University of Notre Dame, and has lectured on his work and digital imaging technologies at Cornell, Stanford, and Yale Universities.

Project: Picturing Islam: A Maximum Depth of Field Approach

Media representations of Muslims permeating the United States and Western Europe depict Muslims as bearded fanatics; veiled, oppressed women; or shadowy terrorists plotting an attack. Such images provide a narrow view of individual Muslims, reducing the complexity and diversity of the Muslim world to stereotypes. I will develop a project that explores different perspectives of Islam and contributes to a multi-dimensional view of Islam. Activities will heighten awareness of hidden preconceptions and allow students to develop self-reflective and critical thinking skills.

Melissa King

Melissa King

Assistant Professor and Faculty Chair of Anthropology Department, San Bernardino Valley College         

Melissa King has worked as an educator for 19 years. She currently works as an assistant professor and faculty chair of the Anthropology Department at San Bernardino Valley College. She earned a doctorate at University of California, Riverside, where her research examined how memory of genocide plays a role in Armenian American youth identity and activism in Los Angeles. She volunteers as a curriculum writer, is a reviewer for the American Council of Learned Societies, and she has published poems as well as academic works. She has been recognized for her service as a mentor and student advisor.

Project: Defining Moments in Global Studies Education

This project involves the creation of an AA-T global studies degree and global studies courses at San Bernardino Valley College, whose mission includes increasing the global competitiveness of the area’s local workforce. Inspired by the concept of defining moments, the goals are to 1) build a program that provides transformative learning experiences for and deep impact on students, and 2) to develop pedagogical materials that address global competencies for use in not only the developed global studies courses, but also in others with objectives relating to global awareness.

View Melissa's presentation here

Rebecca Nieman

Rebecca Nieman

Assistant Professor of Business, San Diego Mesa College    

Rebecca Nieman is an assistant professor of business at San Diego Mesa College, teaching business law and business communications.  She holds a B.S. degree in management from the University of Minnesota, and a Juris Doctor from DePaul College of Law.  Previously, Rebecca served as a law school professor, and also worked with public interest law firms, providing free legal services to underserved populations. Rebecca’s scholarship focuses on access to justice and business legal education, and recently she published an interactive business law textbook to better cater to Generation Z learners.

Project: Internationalizing Business Law Curriculum in Community Colleges Through Experiential Learning Activities

The goal of this project is to internationalize the business law curriculum, by creating experiential learning exercises, utilizing a broad range of countries for analysis. These exercises will apply an international lens when analyzing the substantive law being learned.  Business law courses are becoming more interactive with applied real-world training; and I seek to infuse more international application of legal issues through experiential activities so that students better understand the global environment in which they will operate as future business professionals.  These exercises will then have the ability to be shared and utilized among faculty across the business law curriculum.

View Rebecca's presentation here

Jose Emmanuel Raymundo

Professor and Coordinator of the Humanities Program, Santa Rosa Junior College       

Jose Emmanuel Raymundo is a professor in the humanities program at Santa Rosa Junior College. He has taught at Yale, Princeton, and Tulane, and he has been a visiting scholar at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science. He received his Ph.D. from Yale.

Project: Internationalizing the American Canon: Engaging a Diverse Undergraduate Student Population in Original Research

This project engages undergraduate community college students in primary academic research to find complementary materials for American short stories that are canonical in a liberal arts curriculum. Debates about the canon and curriculum are limited to faculty. What would community college undergraduates put in the canon? What materials would students include based on their own experiences, knowledge and culture? "Culture,” in this project's usage, is broadly defined and may include, but is not limited to ethnic, gender, physical ability, or generational backgrounds.

Oliver Rosales

Oliver A. Rosales

Professor of History and Faculty Coordinator, Social Justice Institute, Bakersfield College

Oliver A. Rosales is professor of history and faculty coordinator of the Social Justice Institute at Bakersfield College.  A current board member for California Humanities, he has directed grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities focused on community college faculty development, digital humanities, and public engagement programs.  He is currently revising a book manuscript on the history of multiracial civil rights activism in Bakersfield to be published by the University of Texas Press.  He resides in Bakersfield with his wife, Brenda, and two small children.

Project: Digital Delano: Preserving an International Community through Oral History

My project implements a place-based and culturally responsive pedagogy into my California history courses through oral history.  By leveraging the international and transnational identities among my students, I will redesign a unit that engages students in the process of oral history, digital archiving, and storytelling.  Archival research and a literature review will develop a global context to frame student archival research related to family history.

Heidi Saleh

Heidi Saleh

Art History Professor, Santa Rosa Junior College

Dr. Heidi Saleh is an Egyptian-American scholar interested in identity politics and art of the ancient Mediterranean world. As an undergraduate, she majored in archaeology and anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin. For graduate school, she attended the University of California, Berkeley, earning her M.A. and Ph.D. in Egyptian art and archaeology through the Department of Near Eastern Studies. Currently, she is an art history professor at Santa Rosa Junior College, teaching global art survey courses. Dr. Saleh strives to share her passion for art and art history with everyone and is always searching for ways to make museums, monuments, and art more accessible.

Project: Accessibility and the Arts: Exploring Ways to Incorporate Augmented and Virtual Reality Tools in Global Art History Survey Courses

This project will explore ways of making world monuments and museum collections accessible to students by integrating AR/VR features into art history survey courses.  I will investigate best practices to virtually take students to museums and heritage sites.  The goal is to simulate the experience of standing before a work of art or visiting a historical monument in a way that no slideshow or video can.  Although this project was proposed before the pandemic, its objectives are more relevant now than ever. 

View Heidi's presentation here


Solen Sanli Vasquez

Sociology Instructor, Santa Rosa Junior College

Solen Sanli Vasquez received her Ph.D. in sociology from The New School for Social Research in 2009 and her master’s degree in political sociology from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2000. She has been teaching sociology at the Santa Rosa Junior College since 2012.  Her book “Women and Cultural Citizenship in Turkey: Mass Media and ‘Woman’s Voice’ Television” was published by I.B. Tauris in 2015. Her research interests lie at the intersections of mass media, gender, immigration, social stratification, and cultural citizenship.

Project: Bringing Immigration Stories to Life through Innovative Technologies

This project aims to explore migration and cultural citizenship, and make these topics accessible to students in a tactile, affective, visually-stimulating, historicized, and contextual manner. By collecting oral histories of Circassians in Turkey, a large minority group, I will explore topics of identity-formation and memory in diaspora. Later, I will expand the project to include immigrant populations living in the U.S. Utilizing resources available at Stanford’s Poetic Media Lab, I will create online materials that will display immigrant experiences for the classroom and online settings. 

View Solen's presentation here

Joanna Sobala

Joanna Sobala

Economics Instructor, Mission College

Joanna Sobala teaches Principles of Microeconomics and Principles of Macroeconomics at Mission College in Santa Clara. However, Joanna's interests range widely especially in areas of philosophy and literature. Joanna received her M.A. in economics from San Jose State University. She also earned an M.A. in English literature, Hon. B.A. in English and philosophy, and a TESL certificate from the University of Toronto. Joanna has lived in four different countries on two continents, and has learned to see migration as both a humbling and enriching experience.    

Project: Women and Feminism in the World

My project focuses on the status of women across the world. I plan to present data on gender inequality, including data on health, reproduction, education, legal rights, employment, etc. Focusing on selected countries, I will present information about the influence of feminist ideas on the country's institutions, compare and contrast the lives of women in these countries and discuss some obstacles to change. I will attempt to bring the numbers and theory to life by highlighting stories of individual women. This work is in preparation for a social justice program launched by Mission College.

View Joanna's presentation here