Faculty

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. 


Monisha Bajaj

Professor, International and Multicultural Education
(415) 422-4211

Education:

EdD, International Educational Development, Teachers College, Columbia University , MA, Latin American Studies, Stanford University, BA, Sociology, Stanford University

Expertise:

Education and Development in the Global South, Peace and Human Rights Education, Education for Immigrant and Refugee Youth

Pamela Balls Organista

Senior Vice Provost for Equity, Inclusion, and Faculty Excellence; Professor
(415) 422-6894

Pamela Balls Organista, has a PhD in Clinical Psychology. Her areas of research include health issues in underserved populations, ethnic minority psychology, community-based research, and preventive interventions.

Education:

PhD in Clinical Psychology

Bernadette Barker-Plummer

Professor
(415) 422-6187

Bernadette Barker-Plummer received her PhD from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, her MA from the University of Texas at Austin, and her BA from Edinburgh University in Scotland. Her research interests are in media, social movements, and social change. Some of her work can be found in Critical Studies in Media Communication, Feminist Media Studies, Journalism Quarterly, Journalism Monographs, and Peace Review. She teaches Gender and Media, Introduction to...

Education:

BA, Edinburgh University in Scotland, MA, University of Texas at Austin, PhD, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania

Tracy Benning

Associate Professor
(415) 422-5445

Professor Benning received her PhD from the University of Colorado, Boulder in Environmental, Population and Organismic Biology. Her research interests include landscape ecology, urban ecology and resource conservation and management. Her most recent research focuses on remote sensing and GIS technologies in the study of tropical rainforest dynamics in Hawaii and riparian corridors in southern African savannas.

Education:

PhD, University of Colorado

Gregory Benson

Professor
(415) 422-5066

Professor Benson's research areas include operating systems, parallel computing, and programming languages. He has designed and developed several run-time systems and tools for parallel programming languages and libraries. Specifically, he led the development of USFMPI, a multi-threaded implementation of MPI 1.2 for Linux using either Myrinet or Ethernet. In addition, Professor Benson co-created FlashMob Computing and he implemented much of the software that enabled the harnessing of 700...

Education:

PhD from the University of California, Davis

Expertise:

Operating Systems, Parallel Computing, Programming Languages

Paula Birnbaum

Professor
(415) 422-5167

Paula Birnbaum is the Academic Director of the Museum Studies Master of Arts Program and Professor of Art History and Museum Studies at USF. She is a specialist in modern and contemporary art and holds a doctorate in Art History from Bryn Mawr College. Professor Birnbaum is a former Fulbright Scholar and fellow at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at Stanford University. Birnbaum’s research focuses on modern and contemporary art in relationship to gender and sexuality, as well as...

Education:

PhD, History of Art, Bryn Mawr College, MA, History of Art, Bryn Mawr College, BA, History of Art and French Literature, Bowdoin College

Thomas Böttger

Professor
(415) 422-5716

Tom Böttger is from Berlin, Germany and is first and foremost a teacher. He enjoys teaching the large introductory physics courses as well as hands-on courses like Electronics and Digital Electronics.In his research he studies optical, dynamical, and magnetic properties of solids, specifically optical materials doped with rare earth ions. This work is centered on understanding the fundamental material physics at the microscopic scale, but also geared towards the development of optical materials...

Education:

Montana State University, PhD in Physics, 2002, Montana State University, MS in Physics, 1999, Humboldt University, Germany, Diploma in Physics, 1996, University of Kent, England, University Diploma in Physics, 1993

Karen Bouwer

Professor
(415) 422-6390

Professor Karen Bouwer enjoys teaching all levels of French and Francophone language, culture and literature as well as classes on African literature and film. Her research interests include Francophone African literature, African cinema and gender. Her book Gender and Decolonization in the Congo: The Legacy of Patrice Lumumba was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2010.

Rachel Brahinsky

Associate Professor
(415) 422-2667

Professor Rachel Brahinsky teaches in the Urban and Public Affairs graduate program, the undergraduate Urban Studies program, and the Politics Department. She earned a PhD in geography from UC Berkeley, where she focused on the human and social geography of cities, with an emphasis on the politics of race and place. Her research and teaching center around the challenges of race and inequality in the context of rapidly changing American cities, with a longtime focus on the San Francisco Bay Area...

Education:

PhD, University of California, Berkeley

David Guy Brizan

Assistant Professor
(415) 422-4813

David is an assistant professor at the University of San Francisco. His research interests are natural language processing, machine learning, and databases — specifically on the personal and cultural/demographic information transmitted during speech and typing. This research may lead to more accurate speech recognition systems. Prior to joining USF, David was a research assistant in the Speech Lab at Queens College and an instructor at Hunter College. He has previously worked for the City of...

Education:

PhD, Computer Science, CUNY Graduate Center (candidate), MS Computer Science, San Francisco State University, BS Computer & Information Science, Brooklyn College

Expertise:

Speech Processing, Applications of Machine Learning

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