College of Arts and Sciences

Our faculty embrace the USF mission of educating the whole person — both heart and mind. Our professors pursue an ambitious agenda of research, teaching, and service. As scholars, they take on some of the world’s most challenging issues and problems.

In the classroom, they bring compassion and academic rigor. Outside the classroom, they are engaged professionals, making contributions to their communities and their respective fields. 

Samira Abdur-Rahman

Assistant Professor

Samira Abdur-Rahman holds a PhD in English from Rutgers University. She completed her BA in English Literature and Africana Studies at Rutgers University and an MA in Humanities and Social Thought from New York University. Previous to joining USF, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Frederick Douglass Institute at the University of Rochester. Her teaching and research interests include: African American Literature; childhood studies; autobiography studies; literary geography; and African...

Noopur Agarwal

Assistant Professor

Noopur Agarwal is a designer and educator who has worked in the nonprofit, publishing, and technology sectors, designing for brands, exhibitions, publications, and advertisements. Agarwal is more broadly interested in explorations in identity and privilege, supporting cultural organizations in their public programming, and digital culture. Her creative works often take the form of environmental graphics—wayfinding, exhibitions, projection art, installations, and infographics/data visualizations...


MFA, Graphic and Interactive Design, Temple University, BSD, Visual Communication Design, The Ohio State University

Nola Agha

Associate Professor
(415) 422-6642

Professor Agha teaches courses in research methods and strategic management and previously taught sport finance and sport economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She worked in international business operations for several years and has also consulted to the sport and fitness industry by conducting economic impact studies, competitive analysis, and feasibility studies for clients in MLB, NBA, minor league hockey, local organizing committees, and fitness organization. Prof. Agha's...


PhD, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Alexandra Amati

(415) 422-2072

Alexandra is a musicologist specializing in the Italian Renaissance, especially the madrigal, Italian opera, Feminist criticism, Romantic piano music, and German Baroque choral music. She holds a laurea (BA/MA equivalent) in Slavic Studies and Philology from the University of Pisa (Italy) and both a Masters and a PhD in musicology from Harvard University. She has published and read papers on Renaissance, operatic, and gender related topics in several journals and conferences. She is now working...


Laurea (BA/MA equivalent) in Slavic Studies & Philology from the University of Pisa (Italy), Masters in Musicology from Harvard University, PhD in Musicology from Harvard University


Madrigal, Italian opera, Feminist criticism, Romantic piano music, German Baroque choral music

Jesse Anttila-Hughes

Associate Professor
(415) 422-6453

Professor Anttila-Hughes received his PhD in Sustainable Development from Columbia University. His research focuses on understanding the social impacts of environmental processes, particularly those influenced by environmental degradation and climate change. Professor Anttila-Hughes' current research areas include: public health impacts of the climate; behavioral responses to new information about environmental risks; and determinants of the spread of environmental attitudes and ideas.


PhD, Sustainable Development, Columbia University

Jorge Aquino

Associate Professor
(415) 422-5971

Jorge A. Aquino, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, specializing in Latin American and U.S. Latinx Christian theologies and religious history, liberation theologies, race and religion, sexuality, and the theo-politics of social movements. He is involved in research, conference work, and publishing activities throughout the Américas (see his academia.edu profile). Dr. Aquino is a principal researcher in the Theology, Ethics, and Politics Working...


PhD, Graduate Theological Union


Latin American theology and religious history, Liberation Theology, Race Theory and Faith-Based Social Movements

Inna Arzumanova

Assistant Professor
(415) 422-4985

Inna Arzumanova received her PhD in Communication from the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California and her BA from the University of California, San Diego. Her research interests include racial and gender performances, popular culture and aesthetics, and global media and arts industries. She has published on the usage of race in dance films, fashion and gender on television, gender production within digital culture, and the aesthetics of race...


BA, University of California, San Diego, PhD is from the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, at the University of Southern California

Geoffrey Ashton

Associate Professor
(415) 422-2893

Professor Geoffrey Ashton recently joined the Department of Philosophy at USF from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, where he also held an appointment as Assistant Professor of Asian Philosophy. Prof. Ashton has studied Sanskrit, Thai, and Spanish, and conducted research at numerous institutions of higher learning abroad (twice as a Fulbright scholar), including Jawaharlal Nehru University (Delhi, India), Deccan College (Pune, India), the Jñāna-Pravaha Institute (Varanasi, India...


PhD, Philosophy (Asian and Comparative Philosophy), University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, MA, Philosophy (Indian Philosophy), University of Hawai'i at Mānoa , MA, South Asian Languages and Civilizations (Sanskrit, Indian Aesthetics), University of Chicago

Byron Au Yong

Assistant Professor, Music Program Coordinator
(415) 422-4368

Byron Au Yong (歐陽良仁) creates music for chamber ensembles, moving choirs, contemporary dance, short films, museum installations, site-specific locations, taiko groups, and theater performances. Variety calls his work "claustrophobic and expansive, intimate and existential, personal and political all at once." Seattle Weekly says his “interdisciplinary works are as exquisite and imaginative as they are unclassifiable.” Dedicated to intercultural collaboration, Au Yong creates with an attention to...


New York University, MFA in Musical Theatre Writing, 2005, University of California, Los Angeles, MA in World Arts and Cultures/Dance, 2003, University of Washington, BA/BM in Music Composition/Theory, 1996

Leslie Bach

Assistant Professor

Leslie Bach is an assistant professor in the Department of Biology. She received a BS in animal science from Michigan State University and a PhD in genetics from the University of California, Davis. Her graduate research focused primarily on control of the hair growth cycle in the domestic cat and the construction of a high-resolution radiation hybrid panel to aid the correct assembly of the full cat genome. She currently teaches general biology, human anatomy, and human physiology.


UC Davis, PhD in Genetics, 2010, Michigan State University, BS in Animal Science, 2004