2021-22 New Faculty


Efrain Agosto

Croghan Bicentennial Professor in Biblical and Early Christian Studies

Efraín Agosto is the Croghan Bicentennial Visiting Professor in Biblical and Early Christian Studies during Academic Year 2021-22. He was Professor of New Testament Studies at New York Theological Seminary from 2011 to 2021 and, prior to that, Professor of New Testament and Director of the Programa de Ministerios Hispanos at Hartford Seminary (1995-2011). Efraín, a Puerto Rican born and raised in New York City, received his B.A. from Columbia University (1977), MDiv from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (1982) and PhD in New Testament Studies from Boston University (1996). Among his publications are Servant Leadership: Jesus and Paul (Chalice Press, 2005), Corintios (Fortress Press, 2008), and a co-edited volume with Jacqueline Hidalgo, Latinxs, the Bible and Migration (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). At Williams, Efrain will be teaching courses in Latinx Religions, Bible and Migration, Religion and Politics in Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Caribbean Diaspora, and a critical study of the New Testament letters of Paul. Efrain and spouse Olga, live in West Hartford, Connecticut, and they have two adult children.

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Febe Armanios

Bennett Boskey Distinguished Visiting Professor of History

I am a historian of the Middle East, with a specific interest in the comparative religious history of Christian and Muslim communities, and a strong emphasis on Egypt’s Coptic Christians. Both my research and teaching delve into Ottoman and modern history, probing topics such as food history, media studies, and gender relations. My most recent and third book project, titled Satellite Ministries: The Rise of Christian Television in the Middle East, explores the introduction of American-style televangelism to the region beginning in 1981 and traces these media’s evolution since that time. I have also been researching the comparative history of food practices among Christian communities in the Eastern Mediterranean, specifically among Greeks, Copts, Maronites, Armenians, Assyrians, and others. Since 2004, I have been teaching at Middlebury College, where I am Professor of History and also co-Director of the Axinn Center for the Humanities.

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Marina Barsky

Visiting Associate Professor of Computer Science

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Rohit Bhattacharya

Assistant Professor of Computer Science

I am a causal inference researcher walking the line between statistics and machine learning. I primarily work on developing principled methods for inferring causality from unstructured and messy data. I am also interested in the application of these methods toward improving the outcomes of patients undergoing cancer immunotherapy, and improving our understanding of cancer genomics in general. I did all of my studying (undergraduate and graduate) at Johns Hopkins University in the charming city of Baltimore; this means that Old Bay is my favourite seasoning and I am happy to put it on literally everything — seafood, ice cream, popcorn, you name it. I am very excited to be teaching causal inference and other computer science courses at Williams, and I look forward to collaborating with Williams students on the many open research problems in causal inference and computational oncogenomics.

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Lynnée D. Bonner

Sterling Brown ’22 Visiting Professor of Africana Studies

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Lyndsey Bourne

Visiting Lecturer in Theatre

Lyndsey Bourne (she/they) is a queer Canadian writer, theater maker, teacher and doula. Her work has been seen at The Tank, Dixon Place, La Mama, The Joust Theatre Company, New Georges, The Barn Arts Collective, Judson Church, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Page73, 3Views, Brooklyn College, Playwrights Horizons Downtown and Ars Nova. They were a 2019 Resident artist at The Barn Arts Collective and Judson Church, a finalist for The Poetry Project’s 2020 Emerge-Surface-Be Fellowship and The Creative Residency at SPACE on Ryder Farm. Lyndsey teaches playwriting and devised theater at NYU. She is a New Georges affiliated artist, a member of the New Georges Jam and the recipient of a 2020 NYC Women’s Fund for Media, Music and Theater Grant. Her Choral Play I Was Unbecoming Then was featured on the 2020 Kilroy’s list. BFA NYU, MFA Brooklyn College

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Mariel Capanna

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Art

I am a visual artist whose unique area of experience on the level of craft is buon fresco—the ancient technique of wall-painting with alkaline-resistant earth and mineral pigments into freshly applied lime plaster. I received my MFA from Yale School of Art where I was granted the 2019 Robert Schoelkopf Memorial Travel Award to study and document colonial-era murals on lime-plaster walls in the Cusco Region of Peru, and I’ve been an Artist in Residence at Guapamacátaro Art and Ecology (Michoacán, Mexico), the Tacony LAB (Philadelphia, PA), and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (Madison, ME) where I continue to serve as a Fresco Shop Associate. My studio practice involves the concurrent development of oil paintings, collaborative exhibitions, and site-bound wallworks including my ongoing project Little Stone, Open Home—a perpetually changing fresco in a single-car garage in North Little Rock, AR. My teaching and research at Williams will be centered on the emphatically collaborative and place-based nature of fresco-painting materials and techniques, with a special focus on the environmental benefits and creative constraints and affordances of using locally sourced materials.

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Stephanie A. Cardenas

Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology

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Coby Chasman-Beck

Visiting Lecturer in Theatre

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Yu-Chieh Chen

Visiting Lecturer of Chinese

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Franny Choi

Arthur Levitt, Jr. ’52 Artist-in-Residence

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Saroya Y. Corbett

Gaius Charles Bolin Fellow in Dance

I am a Ph.D. Candidate in Cultures and Performance in the World Arts and Cultures/Dance department at UCLA. My research explores Black social dance genres as a foundation to construct histories of the everyday lived experiences of Black people. My dissertation, “The Moving Pelvis, Hips, and Butt: Dancing the Everyday through Bounce and Dance Team Performance,” investigates local dance communities in Southern Louisiana.

As a certified teacher of Dunham Technique, the afro-modern dance technique created by dance pioneer Katherine Dunham, I specialize in teaching the theories and philosophies of the technique. In 2014, I was honored to be published in Jazz Dance: A History of the Roots and Branches. My chapter, “Katherine Dunham’s Mark on Jazz,” focuses on Katherine Dunham’s contribution to the evolution of jazz dance.

I have an MFA in dance from Temple University and a BA from Spelman College. I am from East St. Louis, IL and I devote my spare time to cultivating my relationships with my family, friends, and community.

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Marek Demianski

Visiting Professor of Astronomy

I was born and educated in Warsaw, Poland. After obtaining PhD degree in physics I started to work at the Institute of Theoretical Physics at the University of Warsaw. Initially my scientific interest concentrated on general relativity. I have found the most general solution of the Einstein equations describing a black hole. Later my interest drifted toward relativistic astrophysics. I was fascinated with radio pulsars and even performed radio observations myself sometimes helped by Williams students. Currently I am interested in cosmology and gravitational waves concentrating on the mysterious dark matter, dark energy and merging black holes. I like teaching at Williams. I am looking forward to seeing students in class again this fall.

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Matthew Gonzales

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in Latinx Literatures

Matthew Gonzales is a scholar of Latinx literary studies. In 2021, he received his PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley, along with a Designated Emphasis certificate from UC Berkeley’s Program in Critical Theory. His research focuses on the intersection between Latinx literature and culture and Latin American, African American, and Anglo American modernisms. His work highlights the impact of literary and artistic cultures on social transformation processes, demonstrating how avant-garde poets and artists from the geo-social peripheries are cultivating some of the most radical and egalitarian artistic visions of the future. Matthew received his B.A. in Comparative World Literature from CSU Long Beach, where he was Ronald E. McNair Program scholar, and an A.A. from Chaffey College. Prior to his life as a scholar, Matthew played in numerous Southern California-based hardcore-punk bands. He is currently working on turning his dissertation into a book tentatively titled Forma, lo performativo, acción poética: Poetic Art’s Critiques of—and Alternatives to—an Americas of Conquest.

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Allison Guess

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Africana Studies

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Ted Gup

George R. Goethals Distinguished Visiting Professor of Leadership Studies

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Katie Gutierrez

Gaius Charles Bolin Fellow in Economics

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Farid Hafez

Class of 1955 Visiting Professor of International Studies

I am a social scientist who focuses on politics, religion and racism with a special interest in Islam and Muslims. My research, teaching, and writing involve community collaborations around the globe. My latest book (in German) was an introduction to Islamophobia (2019) and a co-edited book (English) on Islamophobia in Muslim Majority Societies (2019, Routledge) and The Other Austria (2021). Since 2010, I have been the editor of the Islamophobia Studies Yearbook and since 2015, I have been editing the European Islamophobia Report, a collaborative project with around 40 scholars, where we cover more than 30 countries in Europe. Before coming to Williams I was at the Political Science Department at the University of Salzburg in Austria. Since 2017, I have been a non-resident senior scholar at Georgetown University’s The Bridge Initiative. Previously, I also served as Fulbright Visiting Professor at UC Berkeley. I completed a Ph.D. in Political Science at Vienna University (Austria). I love listening to good hip hop beats while writing.

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Aroline Seibert Hanson

Visiting Lecturer of Spanish

Aroline Seibert Hanson has dedicated many years to studying and teaching how language is learned and is constantly evolving. She earned her Bachelor’s in Spanish at Tufts University, Master’s in Spanish Linguistics at Middlebury College, and her Ph.D. in Spanish and Language Science at the Pennsylvania State University. She earned tenure and promotion at Arcadia University, located outside of Philadelphia, PA, and now creates and edits linguistic content for Dictionary.com and Thesaurus.com. Her research focuses on second language acquisition, language learning motivation, and language processing. Her most recent work is on the effectiveness of technological tools in language classes, and on the revitalization of the Indigenous language of Brunca in what is now Costa Rica. Seibert Hanson’s work has been published in top peer-reviewed journals including Language Learning, Language Documentation & Conservation, Computer-Assisted Language Learning, and Study Abroad Research in Second Language Acquisition and International Education. She has also served as a reviewer and on the editorial board for various academic journals. Seibert Hanson is an avid runner, with 28 marathons and counting under her belt! She’s excited to be back in the classroom teaching Spanish 101 at Williams!

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Noah Horn

Visiting Artist in Residence and Director of Choral Activities

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Richard H. Immerman

Stanley Kaplan Distinguished Visiting Professor of American Foreign Policy

A historian of US foreign relations and America’s Intelligence Community, particularly the Central Intelligence Agency, I am Professor and Edward Buthusiem Distinguished Faculty Fellow in History Emeritus and Emeritus Marvin Wachman Director of the Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy at Temple University. I held faculty positions at Temple and the University of Hawaii. I was the 40th president of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR) and recipient of several of its prizes. I also won research awards from Temple and the University of Hawaii.

I’ve published about 50 articles, book chapters, and essays, and written or edited a dozen or so books. Among these are The CIA and Guatemala, John Foster Dulles, Empire for Liberty, and The Hidden Hand. I also co-authored Waging Peace with Robert Bowie, Eisenhower’s Assistant Secretary of State for Policy Planning, and co-edited The Oxford Handbook of the Cold War and Understanding the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Over my career I have served as an Assistant Deputy Director of National Intelligence, held the Francis Deserio Chair in Strategic Intelligence at the US Army War College, and chaired the Historical Advisory Committee to the US Department of State. I still chair the American Historical Association’s Committee on Relations with the National Archives and Records Administration and ride my bicycle whenever time and weather permits.

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Anne Lafont

Robert Sterling Clark Visiting Professor of Art History

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Kathryn E. Levine

Visiting Assistant Professor of French

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Nicholas R. Mangialardi

Visiting Assistant Professor of Arabic Studies

Nicholas Mangialardi is a scholar of Arabic literature and music whose research focuses on modern Egypt. His work explores conceptions of modernity, heritage, and national identity through the lens of twentieth-century Arab music. His articles have appeared in the Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication, UCLA’s Ethnomusicology Review, Smithsonian’s Folklife magazine, and ArabLit Quarterly. He has previously taught at Georgetown University and Macalester College. Nicholas received his PhD from Georgetown University in Arabic and Islamic Studies. He holds an MA in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from the Ohio State University and a BA in Linguistics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Brittany Meché

Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies

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Aamir Mufti

Margaret Bundy Scott Distinguished Visiting Professor

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Keston K. Perry

Assistant Professor of Africana Studies

Caribbean societies, especially racialized and marginalized groups face immense and myriad climate and economic challenges due to historical circumstances and marginal position in the world economic system. Caribbean peoples have endured and resisted oppressive systems, from enslavement, colonization, globalization that have continuing legacies and connect to contemporary climate crises that require interdisciplinary engagement. As a political economist, Dr. Perry is specialized in Afro-Caribbean economic thought, climate justice and finance in Caribbean, resource-wealthy and marginalized countries. Dr. Perry has been inspired by Caribbean scholars, including Lloyd Best, Sylvia Wynter, Norman Girvan, and Audre Lorde among others, and draws upon their wisdom and insights in his teaching, research and public scholarship.

Dr. Perry’s appreciation of Caribbean economic history and theory informs his scholarly and public writing that has focused to date on industrial policy, economic development, climate finance and policy, and global finance. Dr. Perry is developing new approaches and deepening analyses of current problems in his project ‘Climate Reparations, Justice and Reparative Ecologies in the Caribbean’. He utilizes subversive methods to unsettle ideological and colonialist premises of economic data and literature, as well as misapprehensions that offers a distinctive contribution to the Black Radical and Plantation Economy Traditions. This work advances political economic insights to build an emancipatory and reparative understanding of development problems arising from the climate crisis. He has taught at the University of the West of England, UK and the University of the West Indies and was a postdoctoral scholar at Climate Policy Lab, Fletcher School, Tufts University.

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Tim Pyper

Visiting Assistant Professor of Music

Tim Pyper is a musician whose interests center around performance practice and embodied learning. He received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Cornell University, where his research focused on the performance practice of English organ music in the early 20th century. As an organist, he has won numerous prestigious contests, including the national competition of the Royal Canadian College of Organists. He has also directed the music program at two preeminent North American parishes: The Cathedral Church of the Redeemer, Calgary (2010-2015) and the Church of the Holy Apostles, New York City (2017-present). A certified instructor of the Alexander Technique, he regularly gives workshops and seminars on optimal psycho-physical functioning for musicians.

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Neal J. Rappaport

Visiting Professor of Economics

Neal Rappaport is returning to Williams College after a four-year absence. During that time, he taught at Colorado College, the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, and in Asia. He is a former Chair of the Economics Department at the US Air Force Academy and is a retired Air Force Colonel with extensive overseas experience in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, as well as service at the Pentagon and at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers in Washington DC.

Neal earned his PhD in Economics from MIT while serving as an active-duty military officer and his research interests include productivity and technological change, the economics of national security, and financial economics. He also has an MBA from the University of Chicago.

Neal enjoys the outdoors and is excited about being back at Williams College.

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Barbara Samuels

Visiting Lecturer in Theatre

Barbara Samuels (she/her) is a queer lighting designer, organizer and producer residing on unceded Wappinger and Munsee Lenape land. Barbara is invested in creating design-forward live events that prioritize generosity, equity, representation, and collaboration. Working nationally and internationally, Barbara collaboratively creates intimate and explosive lighting environments for new plays, opera and dance, aiming to unearth the human condition and consciousness of our surroundings. Barbara received Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel Award nominations for her lighting of the immersive sci-fi folk concert, Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future (Ars Nova). She has designed for several OBIE award winning plays including Dance Nation (Playwrights Horizons), Great Lakes… (New Georges/WP Theater) and Grimly Handsome (minor theater). She served as the General Manager of OBIE Award-winning 13P from 2008-2012. In 2016, in addition to being a Target Margin Institute Fellow, The Interval named Barbara a Woman to Watch. Barbara holds a B.A. from Fordham University and an M.F.A in Lighting Design from NYU.  Proud member of USA Local 829. New Georges Affiliated Artist.

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Rachel P. Scudder

Visiting Assistant Professor of Oceanography at Williams-Mystic

Rachel’s research specialty is the identification and quantification of dispersed volcanic ash and other sources within marine sediment using a combined geochemical and statistical approach. When used in conjunction with discrete layers, the dispersed ash record provides valuable insight into many aspects of earth’s history relating to volcanism and arc evolution, and also addresses important questions relating to climate change, geochemical mass balances, hydration of marine sediment during alteration, the geodynamics of subduction zones, and other key components of the earth-ocean-atmosphere system. Rachel has participated in a number of scientific research cruises on vessels ranging from the SSV Cramer to the D/V Chikyu.

This is Rachel’s second time being a visiting assistant professor at Williams-Mystic and she is thrilled to be back! Rachel is a teacher at heart. In addition to Williams-Mystic she spends her days as a high school chemistry teacher. Rachel has recently moved to Providence, RI and is excited to explore the city.

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Steffen Siebert

Visiting Assistant Professor of Physical Education and Head Men’s Soccer Coach

Steffen Siebert obtained his doctorate in Sport Leadership from Concordia University in 2017. He has coached soccer in both the collegiate and professional realms as well as worked with US Soccer as a coach educator. During his time at Springfield College, Steffen instructed courses in Sport Psychology, Sociology of Sport, Advanced Level Coaching, and Introduction to Soccer Skills.

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Phi H. Su

Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology

I’m interested in people on the move and the understandings and convictions they carry with them across borders. My forthcoming book, The Border Within: Vietnamese Migrants Transforming Ethnic Nationalism in Berlin, best captures my concern with how people rebuild their lives after war and border crossings. I’ve done a bit of border crossing myself: born in Vietnam, I grew up in California and have also studied, taught, and lived in Berlin and Abu Dhabi. As my partner, Will, and I work to rebuild home once again in Williamstown, I look forward to conversations with good folks about migration and mobility, inequality, intersectionality, and creative ways to hone a sociological imagination. You’ll catch me doing a lot of walking around campus and town. I also find joy in singing, playing badminton, and describing food with perhaps a little too much zeal. I use she/her pronouns.

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Tetsuya Takeno

Visiting Lecturer of Japanese

Tetsuya Takeno is a Japanese linguist and professional percussionist/drummer/composer. He earned his MA in East Asian Studies, Japanese Linguistics from the University of Arizona (2021) and a Ph.D. in music composition from the University of Minnesota Twin-Cities (2018). Before coming to Williams College, he has taught Japanese courses at the University of Arizona, the University of Minnesota Twin-Cities, and Youngstown State University. In 2020-21, he developed the asynchronous online elementary Japanese course at the University of Arizona. In addition to his language teaching, he has taught several music courses, including American Rock History I and II, in the post-secondary institution. His current research interests include Japanese Pedagogy and Sociolinguistics in the relation between music and language, specifically how the composer’s native tongue affects the musical output.

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Annie Tang

Visiting Lecturer of Statistics

I am currently completing my PhD in statistics at North Carolina State University. My dissertation research is in theoretical statistics, working on developing novel Bayesian-adjacent methods for high-dimensional and complex data. I also work on more applied statistical problems in healthcare, primarily in collaboration with physicians in the Emergency Medicine department at Mount Sinai Hospital. I have experience working on applied projects both in data scientist and statistician roles, ranging from quantitative genetics to time series prediction in fintech.

I obtained my Master of Statistics at NC State University in 2019, and my BS in mathematics and economics at Davidson College in 2015. Outside of work, I am a foodie and enjoy most things outdoors, including hiking, skiing, and spending time with my partner and our Great Pyrenees dog Jack.

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Omer Daglar Tanrikulu

Visiting Assistant Professor of Cognitive Science

After receiving an undergraduate degree in Engineering and an M.A. degree in Cognitive Science, I received my M.S. and Ph.D degree in Cognitive Psychology from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, where I focused on visual perception from a computational perspective. In particular, I worked on how our visual system interprets depth (or 3D layout of surfaces) from 2D images. Before joining Williams College, I worked as a researcher at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik for three years. In Iceland, I studied how the human visual system reacts to statistical properties of visual scenes when performing visual search tasks. The methodology I use for my research is called “psychophysics”. Besides vision, I am also interested in philosophy of cognitive science, particularly on the concept of “mental representation”. My most recent article focuses on the probabilistic nature of mental representations in visual processing. Outside of academia, I enjoy playing sports (any kind!). Every couple years I change the sport I focus on, and also try to learn a new one. However, for the last couple years, I have been heavily concentrating on tennis.

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Sayda G. Trujillo

Visiting Lecturer in Theatre

I am the daughter of Guatemalan immigrants. I was born in Montreal and grew up in Canada, Guatemala and the USA. I am an actress, and theatre-maker/educator specializing in voice and movement, as well as devising original physical theatre performances. Identity and storytelling inspire my work, as well as collective work with actors and non-actors. I teach Voice, Acting, Tai Chi Chuan, Contact Improvisation, Solo Performance, and physical theatre forms including Commedia Dell Arte and Clown. I also facilitate community-based processes and art practices as tools for dialogue and social change.

My performance and teaching experience abroad includes work in Guatemala, Ecuador, Chile, Singapore, Spain, Germany, Colombia, UK, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, India and Palestine with The Freedom Theatre. I’ve written and performed four solo shows presented nationally and internationally at theater houses and festivals including United Solo, Monofest Tiyatro Medresesi, La Mama, REDCAT, and NYTW. Since 2005 I’ve volunteered for Clowns Without Borders performing for thousands of children in Latin America and the Middle East. My practical research and writing focus is on voice and identity, the integration of voice and movement, and decolonizing actor training and pedagogy. You can access my most recent essay Liberating Terror published at HowlRound in their Clown and Activism series.


BFA in Acting from the California Institute of the Arts

Diploma in Physical Theatre from Dell’ Arte International 

MA in Voice Studies from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London

Website: www.saydateatrera.com

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Brett L. Wery

Visiting Artist in Residence in Winds and Director of the Wind Ensemble

Brett L. Wery is an active composer/arranger and conductor living in the Capital Region area of upstate New York. He is the Music Director/Conductor of the Capital Region Wind Ensemble in Schenectady, NY and composer/editor for Sonata Grendel Publishing in Scotia, NY. For twenty-five years he taught theory, conducting, and applied woodwind studies at the State University of New York, Schenectady County Community College where he also directed the college wind ensemble. As a professor at SUNY Schenectady, Wery has been the recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities, and the SCCC Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching. Wery later served as dean of the School of Music at SUNY Schenectady before retiring from academia to pursue composition and conducting full time. Wery holds degrees from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and the University of Denver. Brett Wery’s compositions have been performed and recorded around the world. Recently premiered works include String Quartet No. 1, Oot-kwa-tah for chamber orchestra, and Quarry Songs for soprano, baritone, and piano. He is also author of Clef and Key Studies for Clarinet.

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Alena Williams

Assistant Professor of Art

Alena Williams teaches courses in modern and contemporary art history and theory; film and media studies; and the environmental humanities. Her research focuses on the epistemology of the image in art, film, and media with a long-range view across the twentieth century.

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