This fall, fifteen new faculty members joined Bryant's community of scholars. The group is comprised of dedicated educators who are also accomplished researchers and industry leaders. Their acumen ranges from using data science to combat societal problems to reshaping how we see ourselves and society.
“We are delighted to welcome new faculty members to Bryant community who bring a wealth of expertise, experience, and perspectives that I am quite certain will enrich our learning environment and inspire our students,” says Provost and Chief Academic Officer Rupendra Paliwal, Ph.D. “I am impressed by our new faculty’s dedication to teaching and the pursuit of knowledge, I know they will create a transformative experience for our students, and I am very much looking forward to our shared academic journey together.”
These new faculty members, Paliwal notes, join Bryant at a time of growth and innovation. The university’s Vision 2030 Strategic Plan is ushering Bryant into a new era while supporting the university’s transformational learning experiences, exceptional outcomes, and mission to develop passionate, purpose-driven leaders. Cutting-edge academic programs launching this fall include Exercise and Movement Science, Arts and Creative Industries, and Healthcare Analytics, among others, alongside a new general education curriculum organized around the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Barbara Byers, Lecturer of History, Literature, and the Arts, received her Ph.D. from the University of California. An accomplished scholar, performer, and manager, Byers is trained in vocal performance, composition, dance/physical theater, Oud, and several instruments, including the piano and guitar. Her dissertation, Helwalker, took the form of an experimental folk opera audio drama exploring nature, decay, and renewal in the context of a hero’s journey narrative structure. She received her M.A. from the University of California and her B.A. from Bates College.
Kristen Falso-Capaldi, Lecturer of History, Literature, and the Arts, is a writer, educator, filmmaker, and artist. She has previously taught at New England Institute of Technology and the University of Rhode Island, in the Cranston public school system, and as part of Bryant’s Writing Workshop course. Falso-Capaldi is the RI State Chair for Women in Film and Video of New England and was a speaker at this spring’s TEDxBryantU 2023. She received her B.A. in English and Communication Studies from the University of Rhode Island and her MAT in English and Education from Rhode Island College.
Geri Louise Dimas, Assistant Professor of Information Systems and Analytics, received her Ph.D. in Data Science from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and teaches both undergraduate and graduate data science courses. The Co-Director of the Institute for the Qualitative Study of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity's (QSIDE) Stopping Trafficking and Modern-day Slavery Project (STAMP) Lab, her research focuses on applications of applied analytics and data science at the intersection of societal issues such as immigration, anti-human trafficking, and homelessness. She received her B.A. from Roosevelt University, and her M.S. from Bowling Green State University.
Amanda Fontaine, Lecturer of Politics Law, and Society, holds a Ph.D. from the University of New Hampshire. Her dissertation examined the interplay of personality, social support, and sociodemographics on college students’ mental health. Her current work involves the dissemination of peer-reviewed and evidence-based suicide prevention research/practices. Fontaine also received a Cognate in College Teaching, an M.A. in Sociology, and an M.A. in Music Studies from the University of New Hampshire, as well as a B.A. in Psychology and Music Theory/Composition from Clark University.
Mary Ann Gallo, Lecturer of Communication and Language Studies, has taught at New England Institute of Technology, Community College of Rhode Island, the University of Rhode Island, Johnson and Wales University, Nichols College, and Roger Williams University. She has also taught several Communications courses at Bryant, including “Intro to Communication,” “Public Speaking,” “Public Relations,” and “Interpersonal Communication,” and has also worked as a freelance writer, information and public relations specialist, and news reporter/anchor at different points during her career. Gallo received both her B.A. and her M.S. from Northeastern University.
Yuan Guo, Visiting Assistant Professor of Information Systems and Analytics, received his Ph.D. from Northeastern University. His industry experience includes serving as a machine learning engineer for LZ Finance and as a senior software engineer at Baidu Research USA, a research and development center for Baidu, China’s largest search engine provider. Guo’s research has been published and presented in a number of different publications and forums. He received his M.A. in electrical engineering from Tsinghua University and his B.Sc. in electronics engineering from Huazhong University of Science and Technology.
Eun Kang, Associate Professor of Marketing, received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. She has previously taught at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania and the University of Texas at Austin. Kang’s research interests include digital marketing, influencer marketing, consumer psychology and behavior, and sustainability and ethical consumption and her published work ranges from the motivations for binge watching to how advertising has affected alcohol sales. Kang received an M.A. and B.A. from Michigan State University and two B.S. degrees from Kyung Hee University.
Carrie Kell, Lecturer of History, Literature, and the Arts, has taught at the University of Toledo and the University of Rhode Island, among other schools. and has also served in a range of capacities at Rhode Island School of Design, Middlebridge school, and several other learning institutions. Her teaching philosophy is founded on student-centered teaching strategies. Kell earned her M.Ed. from Northwestern University, and an M.A., B.E., and B.A. from the University of Toledo.
David Liao, Lecturer of History, Literature, and the Arts, earned his Ph.D. from Brown University. His research and teaching interests include multiethnic U.S. literatures, comparative race and ethnic studies, twentieth and twenty-first century U.S. literature and culture, histories of dictatorship and authoritarianism, twentieth century discourses of memory, and genre fiction. Liao’s scholarly work includes examinations of the role the film Scarface has played in the evolution of hip-hop, the Godfather trilogy, and the fiction of John LeCarre. He received his B.A. from the State University of New York at Binghamton.
Melanie Maimon, Assistant Professor of Psychology, earned her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Her research examines the experiences and consequences of stigmatization and explores methods to improve the inclusion and belonging of people with minoritized identities across social environments. While completing her doctoral degree, Maimon worked with the TA Project at Rutgers University, leading inclusive teaching workshops and courses on teaching in higher education. Maimon earned her M.S. from Rutgers University-New Brunswick and her B.S. from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Taylor Maroney, Lecturer of History, Literature, and the Arts, received their MFA in painting from the University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth. They have been teaching nationally and internationally since 2010 in various environments and student demographics — from South Africa to San Francisco to rural North Dakota. Their research focuses on race and gender constructs within the United States and their work has been featured in multiple publications and exhibitions. Maroney also received their M.A. from University of Massachusetts — Dartmouth and their BFA from the University of New Hampshire.
Eric Paul, Lecturer of History, Literature, and the Arts, received his MFA from Farleigh Dickinson University. He has previously taught at Johnson and Wales and Dean College, as well as various Bryant University courses. Paul's work has been published in a variety of publications as well as several collections of his poems — 2019's A Suitcase Full of Dirt being the most recent — an audiobook, and a vinyl spoken word release. He has also served as the poetry editor for the three most recent volumes of the university's Bryant Literary Review. Paul received his B.A. from Rhode Island College.
Nafees Qamar, Associate Professor and Healthcare Informatics Director, received his Ph.D. from the University of Grenoble. With a comprehensive background spanning health informatics, applied computer science, and software security, Qamar is dedicated to bridging the gap between healthcare and technology to enhance patient care and data management. Over the course of his career, Qamar has held distinguished positions at a variety of institutions, including the State University of New York and Vanderbilt University, which has aided him in nurturing a multidisciplinary perspective. Most recently, he served as an associate professor at Governors State University in Chicago.
Jerrica Rowlett, Assistant Professor of Communication and Language Studies, received her Ph.D. from Florida State University. Rowlett’s research explores the intersection of a range of topics including gender, politics, pop culture, and social media and her dissertation explored the role Snapchat Live Stories has played in the collective identity and action of offline communities. She has previously taught as an assistant professor of Communication and Media Studies at Georgetown College. Rowlett received her M.A. from Clemson University and a B.A. from Georgetown College.
Jason Sawyer, Associate Professor and Exercise and Movement Science Program Coordinator, received his Ph.D. from Springfield College. He has previously taught at numerous institutions, most recently Rhode Island College. An accomplished scholar and presenter, Sawyer’s research interests have recently focused on the effects of exercise on depression in college-aged individuals. He has previously served as the Rhode Island state representative for the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and his coaching experience includes strength and conditioning, Olympic weightlifting, basketball, and martial arts. He received his B.S. from Plymouth State University and his M.S. from Springfield College.