New Faculty Members Join Guttman this Fall

September 5, 2014 | Academics

Left to right: Flora Armetta, Audrey Nasar, Kristina Baines, Molly Vollman Markis, Vanita Naidoo, Meagan Lacy, Jinzhong Niu, Sebastien Buttet, and Marla A. Sole. [Not pictured: Ria Banerjee]

New full time faculty members (left to right): Flora Armetta, Audrey Nasar, Kristina Baines, Molly Vollman Markis, Vanita Naidoo, Meagan Lacy, Jinzhong Niu, Sebastien Buttet, and Marla A. Sole. [Not pictured: Ria Banerjee]

This fall four faculty members who were teaching at Guttman last year are now joining the College in new, full-time roles:

  • Forest Fisher as an Assistant Professor in Math
  • Marcia Edwards as a Clinical Professor
  • Geraldo Vasquez as Instructor in Business
  • Katie Wilson as Instructor in Interdisciplinary Studies

In addition, the College welcomes ten new full-time faculty members, including:

Flora Armetta, Assistant Professor of Arts and Humanities, earned her Ph.D. in English Literature at Columbia University, where she taught composition and great-books courses for several years. She holds an M.A. in Theatre and B.A.s in Art History and Theatre, and is a former lecturer at The Cloisters and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her research focuses on intersections between nineteenth-century narrative and artistic practice, and she has written on both Victorian and contemporary art and literature for publications including The New Yorker, American Arts Quarterly, and the Dictionary of Nineteenth-Century Journalism. At Guttman, she teaches Reading & Writing and The Arts in New York City.

Kristina Baines, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, holds a Ph.D. in Applied Anthropology from the University of South Florida, an MSc in Medical Anthropology from the University of Oxford and an MA in Social Anthropology from Florida Atlantic University. Her research looks at connections between traditional ecological practices and health in Caribbean and Latin American communities. She has both taught and designed courses, many with technological and experiential field components, for the University of Miami, Palm Beach State College, Broward College and the University of South Florida. She is the co-founder of the website and collective,, which is committed to disseminating anthropological ideas beyond the closed circuits of academia. At Guttman, Kristina teaches Social Science courses and is faculty for Academic Technology.

Ria Banerjee, Assistant Professor of English, holds a PhD from the Graduate Center, CUNY. She has taught at colleges within the CUNY system since 2007 in composition, literature, and film. Ria worked at Guttman since 2012 in other capacities and now teaches Composition and Reading & Writing courses. Her research interests include twentieth century war memorials in modernist literature.

Sebastien Buttet, Associate Professor of Business Administration, holds an MBA from the University of Ottawa, Canada, and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. His recent research focuses on improving the teaching of economics to undergraduate students. He previously published articles covering topics such as monetary policy, macroeconomics, and women’s emancipation in the twentieth century. At Guttman, Sebastien teaches mathematics, statistics, and business courses.

Meagan Lacy, Assistant Professor, Information Literacy Librarian, earned her M.L.I.S. at the University of Washington, in Seattle, and her M.A. in English at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Before joining Guttman, she served for several years as a Humanities Librarian at IUPUI. Her research interests include information literacy, reading and readers, and children’s and young adult literature; her edited book, about how academic libraries can better promote pleasure reading among college-aged students, especially in the “Age of Digital Distraction,” will be out in this fall.

Molly Vollman Makris, Assistant Professor of Urban Studies, holds a Ph.D. in Urban Systems with concentrations in urban educational policy and the urban environment from a joint program at Rutgers University-Newark, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She is the author of the forthcoming book Public Housing and School Choice in a Gentrified City: Youth Experiences of Uneven Opportunity. Her research interests are urban education reform, public housing, gentrification, and the privatization of public education, housing, and space. Previously Molly worked in the NYC public schools.

Vanita Naidoo, Instructor of English, holds an MA in TESOL from NYU. She taught previously at Hostos College and LaGuardia College. She is the author of The Complete CATW Book: Preparation for the CUNY Assessment Test in Writing and her research interests are academic reading and writing in addition to academic preparedness, engagement and technology. At Guttman, Vanita teaches Reading & Writing classes.

Audrey Nasar, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, holds an M.A. from Hunter College and a Ph.D. from Teachers College. She taught previously at Parsons, The New School for Design and Baruch College. Her dissertation provides a review of the history of algorithms and algorithmic complexity, as well as a technical monograph that illustrates the mathematical aspects of algorithmic complexity in a form that is accessible to mathematics instructors at the high school and undergraduate level. At Guttman, Audrey is teaching Quantitative Reasoning as part of the Summer Bridge program and will be teaching Statistics in the fall.

Jinzhong Niu, Assistant Professor of Information Technology, holds a B.S. from Shandong University, China, an M.Eng. from Beihang University, China, and a Ph.D. from the CUNY Graduate Center. His research interests lie between computer science and economics, focusing on agent-based computational economics and market-based control. He previously worked at Lenovo Research, Yahoo! Labs, University of Birmingham, UK, University of Essex, UK, and the City College of New York. He has served on over ten conference and workshop program committees and co-organized the Trading Agent Competition on Market Design. At Guttman, he is teaching Quantitative Reasoning and Internship in IT for the 2014 Fall I semester.

Marla A. Sole, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from New York University and an MS in Pure Mathematics from Syracuse University. Previously, she was an Assistant Professor at The New School. Her present scholarship and past publications focus on the lack of diversity in STEM fields, mathematics literacy, math modeling, statistics, financial literacy, portfolios, and issues related to education equity. At Guttman, she will be teaching statistics.