New Seaver College Faculty 2016 - 2017


Ronald P. Conlin, Assistant Professor of Marketing

Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership from Pepperdine University and an M.B.A. and M.A. in Mass Communications Research from the University of Wisconsin. His research interests focus on leadership skill requirements across business functions and consumer shopping behavior. Ron is a former Partner and Chief Research Officer at J.D. Power and Associates.


bryant smiling in front of green pines

Bryant Crubaugh, Assistant Professor of Sociology

Ph.D. in Sociology, University of Notre Dame; M.A. in Sociology, University of Notre Dame; B.A. in Sociology and Biblical Literature, Taylor University. (Dissertation, "Not All Civic Action is Equal: How Place-Based and Identity-Based Civic Organizations Differentially Impact Neighborhoods and Cities"). At Notre Dame, he taught Introduction to Sociology and seven community-based learning and immersion seminars. His research focuses on how different communities collectively organize and how their organizations shape, or are shaped by, structural inequality. This research combines insights from urban sociology, civil society, social movements, and organizations research. This and collaborative research is forthcoming in three journals, including the American Journal of Sociology, and has been presented at multiple national conferences.



Alice Labban, Assistant Professor of Marketing

Ph.D. in Management - Marketing from McGill University (Dissertation, "The Influence of Food Marketing on Purchase and the Moderating Role of Motivational Quality and Socio-Economic Status (SES)." Dr. Labban has previously taught as a lecturer at McGill University, Canada and worked as part of a consulting team for major food retailers. Her areas of specialization include marketing strategy, food marketing, and health promotion. The goal behind her stream of work is to aid policy makers and marketers in developing strategies for more favorable food environment. She has two published papers and a book chapter.



Dongkuk Lim, Assistant Professor of Accounting

Ph.D. in Accounting, University of Texas at Dallas; M.P.A. in International Economics, Cornell University; B.S. in Business Administration, Cornell University. (Dissertation, "Budget Ratcheting and Agency Problem"). Dr. Lim comes to Pepperdine from Idaho State University where he held the Excellence in Research Chair in Accounting. His areas of specialization include narrative disclosure in periodic financial reports and its effect on financial market, the role of monitoring mechanisms in ratcheting budget, and the impact of D&O Insurance on voluntary disclosure behaviors. He has presented his works at conferences and workshops and recently published an article in Management Science. Several of his former students are currently pursuing their Ph.D./J.D. in Accounting/Law.



Amanda Rizkallah, Assistant Professor of International Studies

Ph.D. in Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles; M.A. in Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles; B.A. in Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles. (Dissertation, "Coffins and Castles: The Political Legacies of Civil War"). Dr. Rizkallah previously held a pre-doctoral position in the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and taught as a summer lecturer at University of California, Los Angeles. Her teaching and research interests stand at the intersection of comparative politics and international relations, and include Middle East politics, civil war, international intervention in civil war settlement, and post-conflict politics.




Elizabeth Smith, Assistant Professor of Communication

Ed.D. in Education and Technology from Pepperdine's Graduate School of Education and Psychology (Dissertation, "Social Media and Social Journalism: A Critical Intersection for Journalism Education"). M.A. in Communication (emphasis Intercultural Communication), B.A. in Journalism (minor in French). She has taught Journalism and other Communication courses as an adjunct and visiting professor at Pepperdine the past 12 years (visiting from 2008-2016). Additionally, Elizabeth is an Emmy award-winning journalist and has worked professionally as a reporter, editor and producer across media platforms for the past 16 years. Primary areas of research are journalism, journalism education, journalism and audience diversity, and news and social media. Elizabeth has served on the national board for the Society of Professional Journalists and sits on the Advisory Board for the Associated Collegiate Press. She has delivered numerous presentations and lecture.


Hollace smiling, blazer blouse, smiling in front of tree

Hollace Starr, Assistant Professor of Theater

M.F.A. in Theater, University of California, Los Angeles (Thesis: One-Person Performance "My Dad Came Dressed As Marilyn Monroe"); B.A. in Theater, University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to her recent appointment, Hollace Starr was an adjunct professor of theater at Pepperdine, as well as at Antelope Valley Community College and at Los Angeles City College. She was also the voice teacher at the west coast branch of The Actors Studio, where she is a lifetime member. Hollace Starr's primary area of research is voice and the actor; she is working toward designation in Linklater Voice, which she will acquire in the summer of 2017. Hollace has directed and performed in numerous theater productions, mostly in the Los Angeles area. She is on the board of Trade-City Productions and is a founding member of Rogue Machine.


Nicholas Zola

Nicholas Zola, Assistant Professor of Religion

Ph.D. in Religion (New Testament), Baylor University; M.A. in New Testament, Abilene Christian University; B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Olin College. (Dissertation, "Tatian's Diatessaron in Latin: A New Edition and Translation of Codex Fuldensis"). Dr. Zola has been teaching New Testament and early Christianity as an assistant professor at Lincoln Christian University for the last three years. His areas of research include ancient manuscripts, New Testament textual criticism, Gospels and early gospel harmonies, and Syriac Christianity. He has delivered numerous presentations at professional meetings and conferences, has published articles in Perspectives in Religious Studies and Restoration Quarterly, and most recently is the co-author of a forthcoming edition of an unpublished, third-century fragment of Paul's letter to the Romans.





Steven Bauer, Visiting Professor of Marketing

M.B.A. in Marketing, Columbia University; M.A. in Psychology, University of Illinois; B.A. in Psychology, Yale University. Mr. Bauer taught as an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Florida Atlantic University and the University of Phoenix. He brings professional experience from a rich set of marketing positions, both on the domestic and international sides. Most recently, he held leadership roles at Jarden Consumer Solutions, marketer of brands such as Crockpot, Sunbeam and Oster, and a large division of the $16 billion Newell Brands Corporation. At the company, he developed new products such as the Oster 10-in-1 Multifunction Rice Cooker, one of the most innovative rice cookers launched in Latin America in the last five years. Previously, he spent a great part of his career with The Hershey Company, where he introduced Kisses with Almonds, at the time the most successful new product Hershey had ever launched.



Keith Colclough, Visiting Assistant Professor of Music

D.M.A. in Voice, University of California, Santa Barbara; M.M. in Voice, University of California, Santa Barbara; B.A. in Applied Music: Voice, Pepperdine University. (DMA Document, "Schubert's Incorporation and Transcendence of Recitative in Lieder"). Dr. Colclough has taught on the faculty at Pepperdine University and the Academy of Musical and Dramatic Arts, Los Angeles; and as a T.A. at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His areas of specialization include early Germany Lieder and modern American art song. He has been a soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Opera Santa Barbara, Pacific Opera Project, and Salastina Society. Further training includes a Student Fulbright to Mannheim, Germany; the Tanglewood Music Center; Music Academy of the West; the Aspen Music School and Festival; and Songfest.



Stephanie Lyn Cooper, Visiting Assistant Professor of Sports Medicine

Ph.D. in Kinesiology from the University of Georgia. B.S. and B.A. in Sports Medicine from Pepperdine University. (Dissertation: "The Effects of Acute Exercise on Attentional Bias, Memory, and Mood.") Dr. Cooper has taught courses within the field of exercise science at Pepperdine University, Occidental College, and the University of Georgia. Her area of specialization is exercise psychology; specifically, Dr. Cooper's research interests involve examining the acute and chronic effects of exercise on anxiety, mood, and cognition.





Roxana Blancas Curiel, Visiting Instructor of Hispanic Studies

Ph.D. Candidate in Spanish, University of California, Riverside; B.A. in Hispanic Literatures and Linguistics, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. (Dissertation, "Cuerpos (in)visibles: Tecnologías de representación y narratividad en la cultura contemporánea de la Península Ibérica"). Lic. Dr. Curiel brings teaching experience from the University of California, Riverside, where she will soon defend her dissertation. Her research and teaching interests include Iberian and Mexican culture, media, and literature from 20th and 21th century; queer studies and visual culture (particularly photography); and transatlantic studies. She has given numerous presentations at professional conferences and has published essays in Mexican publications such as El Cultural, from La Razón.



Kelly Maxwell Haer, Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology

Ph.D. in Family Therapy from St. Louis University. M.A. in Counseling from Covenant Theological Seminary. BA in Nutrition from Furman University. (Dissertation, "An Exploration of Boundary Ambiguity Among Never-Married Single Women"). Dr. Haer brings teaching experience from Covenant Theological Seminary and Maryville University. She has taught courses at the M.A. and undergraduate levels, including research methods, psychological disorders, and counseling skills. Her clinical specializations included women struggling with eating disorders and couples counseling. She has presented at local, state, national, and international conferences on singleness, eating disorders, and infidelity and communication technologies. She has co-authored articles and a book chapter in Routledge's "Advanced Methods in Family Therapy Research." She plans to continue researching and writing on the emotional experience of being single.



Tyler Kemmerer, Visiting Lecturer of Communication and Religion, Shanghai Program

M.Min. in Bible and Ministry from Harding University; B.B.A. in Management from Harding University. At Seaver College, Tyler has been a full-time Student Affairs employee for five years and has taught Public Speaking (Com180) as an adjunct professor in the Communication Division since 2013. Prior to Pepperdine, he taught courses in Business and Foreign Language at ZhongNan University of Economics and Law in Wuhan, China (2005-2010). His primary academic interests are public speaking, vocational ministry, and Chinese-relations. Tyler is still active in China and helps connect college graduates who are interested in working overseas with teaching positions in Chinese Universities.





Jane Chang Mi, Visiting Assistant Professor of Art

M.F.A. in Media Arts, University of California, Los Angeles; MSE in Ocean Engineering, University of Hawaii, Manoa. Professor Mi brings teaching experience from Chaminade University and Hawaii Pacific University. Trained as both an artist and an ocean engineer, she considers land politics and postcolonial ecologies. Exploring the traditions and narratives associated with environment through her interdisciplinary and research-based work. Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, most recently at Adjunct Positions in Los Angeles, the Honolulu Museum of Art in Honolulu, and Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall in London.




Michael Novack, Executive in Residence in Business Administration

M.B.A. in Finance and Computer Science, New York University, Stern School, B.S. in Accounting Long Island University. Mr. Novack teaching experience is as an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University for the last eight years and as Adjunct Professor teaching graduate school at Fairleigh Dickenson University. Mr. Novack has had an extensive business career in executive positions in multi-national and domestic business entities. He has served in positions as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer in both high tech medical devices companies and consumer products companies, as well as being a partner in several business consulting firms specializing in brand management and finance.



Cambry Pardee, Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion

Ph.D. in New Testament and Early Christianity, Loyola University Chicago; M.Div., Yale Divinity School; B.A. in Religion and in Organizational Communication, Pepperdine University. (Dissertation, "Scribal Harmonization in Greek Manuscripts of the Synoptic Gospels from the Second to Fifth Centuries"). Dr. Pardee has taught courses in Bible, Christian history, and theology at Loyola University Chicago, the Chicago Catholic Scripture School, and Pepperdine University. His research interests include Early Christian Gospels, New Testament Textual Criticism, and Scribal Habits. Dr. Pardee's most recent work, "Peter's Tarnished Image: Scribal Polishing in the Gospel of Luke (Manuscript 0171)," was the winner of the 2016 Midwest Society of Biblical Literature Graduate Student Paper Award and was recently published in Annali di storia dell'esegesi.



Ty Robbins, Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics

Ph.D. in Economics, University of California, Santa Barbara; M.A. in Economics, University of California, Santa Barbara; B.A. in Mathematics and Economics, University of California, San Diego. (Dissertation, "Three Papers in Environmental Economics"). Dr. Robbins has taught classes in micro and macroeconomics, probability and statistics, and environmental economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara and Cal State Channel Islands. His areas of specialization include environmental economics, applied econometrics, and experimental economics. Current research interests include international environmental agreements and consensual sanctions, domestic environmental terrorism and counterterrorism interventions, and payments for environmental services to reduce deforestation in developing countries.



Mina Soroosh, Visiting Assistant Professor of French

Ph.D. in French and Francophone Studies from UCLA (Dissertation, "Turning Inwards: A Reassessment of Pierre Charron's De la Sagesse (1601)"). Most recently, Dr. Soroosh was a Lecturer in French at USC for four years and prior to that, she taught at Pepperdine as Visiting Assistant Professor of French in the spring semester of 2012. Before completing her Ph.D. in 2012, she taught language classes and language pedagogy in the department of French and Francophone Studies at UCLA. Her areas of specialization include language pedagogy, the use of technology in the language classroom, and rating language with the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) in French. Her primary areas of research include the self and subjectivity in French Renaissance Literature, and she has given presentations at professional conferences on the topic in the works of Pierre Charron and Michel de Montaigne.


Michael Soucy, Visiting Instructor of Sports Medicine

M.S. in Kinesiology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas; B.S. in Exercise Science, California Lutheran University. Mr. Soucy is a new professor but does bring teaching experience from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. His research has been primarily related to lower extremity function during locomotion. Specifically, Mr. Soucy focuses on muscular function and kinematics of the lower extremity. Mr. Soucy has presented at both Regional and National meetings of the American College of Sports Medicine. Additionally, Mr. Soucy has recently had work published in the Journal of Novel Physiotherapies related to the application of a standing workstation.



Yasser Taima, Visiting Instructor of Mathematics

M.A. in Mathematics, UCLA; Engineer degree, UCLA; Certificate in bioinformatics, Stanford University; M.S. in Computer Engineering, USC; B.S. in Electrical Engineering, UCLA. Mr. Taima taught mathematics at UCLA Extension and financial mathematics at the UCLA Graduate School of Business; worked as a software engineer for Oracle and as a strategy consultant for Accenture. Primary areas of research are in analysis of partial differential equations and mathematical modeling in biology.





Nicolas Testerman, Visiting Instructor of Chinese Language and Literature

C.Phil in Comparative Literature, UCLA; M.A. in Comparative Literature, UCLA; M.A. in Buddhist Studies, University of Hong Kong; B.A. Duke University in Literature and Philosophy. (Tentative Ph.D. Dissertation title: "Metaphysical Devils and Misfit Materialists: Life, Literature and Philosophy in Republican Period China, 1911-1949"). Nic's research focuses on Modern Chinese and Sinophone Philosophy and Literature, comparative modernisms and transnational encounters of the philosophical. His other areas of interest include modern French Philosophy (especially Bergson, Sartre and Deleuze), Existentialism, Phenomenology, Philosophy of Religion, Buddhist Philosophy, Translation Studies, Postcolonial Studies and pluralizing the history of Philosophy. Most recently, Nic contributed an essay on "Life Philosophy" (rensheng zhexue) to the "Keywords of Taiwan Theory Workshop". Nic has taught a number of classes in comparative literature to undergrads fulfilling a writing requirement at UCLA.


David Wilkinson

David Wilkinson, Accompanist

Mr. Wilkinson is a graduate of both the Manhattan School of Music (BM) and the University of Southern California (MM). Mr. Wilkinson was a member of the vocal arts and opera faculty at the University of Southern California from 2001-2016. He also has served as an opera/vocal coach at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and at California State University, Fullerton. From 2010-2013 he was on the faculty of Manhattan School of Music's Summer Vocal Festival, where he served both as vocal coach and music director of the opera scenes program. In the summer of 2014, he joined the faculty of the Taos Opera Institute, where he has returned for the past three summers.





Sharita Kyles Wilson, Visiting Instructor of Communication

M.A. in Speech Communication, University of Missouri, B.A. in Speech Communication, University of Missouri, B.S. in Speech and Drama Secondary Education, University of Missouri. Sharita has taught courses in public speaking, media studies and interpersonal communication at University of Missouri, the University of Memphis, and Southwest Tennessee Community College. She has extensive experience in entertainment public relations, events planning and fundraising. Sharita is also very devoted to two non-profit organizations in her hometown (St. Louis, MO) which provide college scholarships and support women's health.  






Cari Myers, Religion and Philosophy Division, Faculty Fellow

Ph.D. candidate, Religion and Social Change in the Joint Ph.D. Program in Religious and Theological Studies at the University of Denver and Iliff School of Theology; M.T.S. Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University; M.A. in Youth and Family Ministry, Abilene Christian University; B.A. in English Literature, Pepperdine University. (Dissertation: "Survival Narratives and Borderland: An Ethnographic Study on Generational Narratives of Survival and Success among Latino/a Communities along the US/Mexico Border"). Professor Myers work resides at the crossroads of social ethics, postcolonial theory, Latino/a studies, adolescent development and public education. Specifically, her dissertation will focus on the ways Latino/a youth negotiate life on the U.S. Mexico border, especially in the context of the colonized classroom and the Christian church. Of particular interest are the "survival narratives" Latino/a youth receive about how to survive and succeed in the U.S.