Outstanding New Faculty Join Guttman in the 2019-2020 Academic Year

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October 16, 2019 | Academics, Faculty

Group photo of new faculty

(L to R): Raul F. Nedd, Dr. Ayisha Sookdeo, Dr. Karen G. Williams, Dr. Elizabeth Wentworth, Douglas A. Medina

Guttman Community College proudly welcomes four exemplary educators to our faculty this 2019-2020 Academic Year while one Substitute Lecturer is promoted to Assistant Professor.

Douglas A. Medina joins Guttman as Instructor of Political Science. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Political Science Program at the CUNY Graduate Center. Prof. Medina holds an M.A. in Liberal Studies from The New School and an M.Phil. in Political Science from the CUNY Graduate Center. His research is focused on the political economy of higher education and the influence of race and class politics – as well as mental health – on approaches to solving poverty and inequality. Prof. Medina has over 20 years of experience in higher education, ranging from adjunct instructor of political science to his most recent administrative position as Associate Director of the Undergraduate Honors Program at Baruch College, CUNY. Prof. Medina has also trained over 600 people in Mental Health First Aid, both at CUNY colleges and in communities throughout New York City. His areas of expertise include the political economy of higher education; critiques of dominant ideologies within American capitalism; race and class in policy solutions to poverty and inequality; and mental health in relation to political and social factors.

Raul F. Nedd is a certified project management professional with 20 years of experience building, managing, and supervising information technology solutions in the field of financial services. He has led information technology projects in a range of budgets and timelines for implementation, including multi-year data center migrations. Prof. Nedd currently heads an independent firm that specializes in crafting information technology solutions for small or medium-size organizations, typically churches and non-profits. He has written and maintained enterprise level software that facilitates the processing of trades and other financial services. Prof. Nedd is an active member of the Project Management Institute, NYC chapter. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the State University of New York at Fredonia, a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from SUNY-Buffalo, and an M.B.A. from Dowling College. At Guttman, Prof. Nedd joins Guttman as a Substitute Lecturer and teaches courses in Information Technology.

​Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Ayisha Sookdeo received her Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology from the CUNY Graduate Center at Hunter College, where her research focused on surveying gene expression and morphological profiles of fission yeast mutants. Prior to joining Guttman, Dr. Sookdeo taught a wide range of undergraduate biology courses at several CUNY campuses, including John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York City College of Technology (City Tech), and Baruch College. Her expertise includes genetics and molecular biology.

Dr. Elizabeth Wentworth became a Substitute Lecturer at Guttman in 2018-2019, after two years of teaching Quantitative Reasoning, Elementary Algebra, and Pre-Calculus as an adjunct. Having earned her Doctorate in Mathematics Education from the Teachers College at Columbia University, Dr. Wentworth now serves as Assistant Professor of Mathematics. Her research is on the impact of mathematically motivated music instruction on high school mathematics students and their performance in both mathematical content and applications.

Dr. Karen G. Williams is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Guttman. Her scholarship focuses on the carceral state and the aftermath of mass incarceration, reflecting the socioeconomic and racial inequalities that underlie the criminal justice system as well as current social justice movements. Dr. Williams has conducted ethnographic research in men’s and women’s prisons in the Midwest, examining the way that staff deliver services and adopt evidence-based practices and policies to facilitate reentry for individuals leaving prisons. Her research is relevant to social policy, providing insights into the lived experiences of marginalized communities in the United States. In addition to her work on the criminal justice system, Dr. Williams has studied mindfulness and Buddhist philosophy at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California and at Insight Meditation Society in Massachusetts. She brings mindfulness and meditative practices to her research and teaching in order to build compassionate engagement and to recognize the interconnectedness of all things. Dr. Williams specializes in urban anthropology, race and racism, mass incarceration and prisoner reentry, governance, and the intersection of mindfulness and Buddhist practices with social justice.