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. 

Olga Karpenko

Assistant Professor
(415) 422-6176

Professor Karpenko received her PhD and MS in Computer Science from Brown University, and her BS degree in Applied Mathematics from Moscow State University. Before joining USF, she was a postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley. Professor Karpenko’s research interests lie in the areas of computer graphics and human-computer interaction. In particular, her thesis focused on sketch-based 3D modeling.


PhD, Computer Science, Brown University, MS, Computer Science, Brown University, BS, Applied Mathematics, Moscow State University


Computer Graphics, Human-Computer Interaction

Elizabeth Katz

Associate Professor
(415) 422-5413

Professor Katz is PhD from University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her research areas of specialization are development economics, women in development, agricultural economics, and history of economic thought. Dr. Katz's recent research has focused on the relationship between gender, intra-household bargaining and development in Latin America.


PhD, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Kouslaa Kessler-Mata

Associate Professor
(415) 422-4372

Kouslaa Kessler-Mata arrived at USF in 2007 as an ethnic minority dissertation fellow after completing a fellowship at the National Congress of American Indians in 2006–07. She received her PhD in Political Science at the University of Chicago and serves in the Politics Department at USF as an associate professor. Her research interests include: democratic politics; the normative dimensions of policy making; negotiating political boundaries between local and tribal governments; federalism; and...


University of Chicago, AM, PhD in Political Science, San Francisco State University, BA in American Studies, Minor in American Indian Studies


Federalism, American Indian Politics, Political Theory (Self-Determination)

Laleh Khadivi

Associate Dean of Graduate Programs and Strategic Initiatives; Assistant Professor
(415) 422-6066

Laleh Khadivi is the author of The Kurdish Trilogy which includes The Age of Orphans (2009), The Walking (2013), and A Good Country (2017). Her fiction and non-fiction have appeared in the LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, VQR, and The Sun. She has worked as a documentary filmmaker since 2000 and her films have been screened in festivals and on various cable networks. 


MFA Mills College

Saera Khan

(415) 422-5794

Saera Khan is a social psychologist who received her PhD at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research explores the social cognitive processes involved in the reliance of stereotypes for judgment and the consequences of these prejudicial judgments for stigmatized groups. She also studies the role of identity and culture in the formation of moral judgments. She teaches Psychology Practicum, Social Psychology, and Advanced Research Methods.

Dorothy Kidd

(415) 422-5061

Professor Kidd graduated with a PhD from the School of Communications at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, with a specialization in international development. Her research agenda is broadly concerned with the role of grassroots communicators and movements in social change, and she worked as a popular communicator, trainer, and advocate in community radio, documentary film and video, and social justice communications. Her research has been circulated in academic and non-academic publications...


Simon Fraser University, PhD Communication, 1998

David Kim

Associate Professor, Fleishhacker Chair
(415) 422-5067

Hello, and welcome! In case you parachuted onto this page via Google, I'm the David Kim who is a philosophy prof at the U. of San Francisco, not the concert violinist, the cosmetic surgeon, the CEO of Baja Fresh (featured on Undercover Boss), etc., etc. Sorry, but I can't play Mozart, safely administer a nip and tuck, or get you a job making burritos. There's a film, Grace Lee, portraying the lives of several semi-randomly chosen women named "Grace Lee." With the sheer number of David Kims,...


PhD, Philosophy, Syracuse University

Sangman Kim

Assistant Professor
(415) 422-3938

Professor Sangman Kim is broadly interested in the interaction between hosts and microbes. His current research focuses on a family of receptors called toll-like receptors (TLRs) that are used by host immune systems to distinguish between different classes of microbes, in order to drive a tailored immune response. He is utilizing a variety of molecular methods to dissect signaling downstream of TLR activation, and investigating the impact of commonly-occurring TLR polymorphisms on microbial...


PhD, Immunology, University of Chicago, MS, Biological Sciences, Seoul National University, BS, Biological Sciences, UC Davis

Leslie King

(415) 422-5704

Leslie King is an instructor in the Department of Biology. She received her BS in zoology from the University of California, Davis in 1989 and her MA in physiology and behavioral biology from San Francisco State in 1993. Professor King's graduate research focused on hemoglobin-oxygen affinities in adult and fetal swell sharks (Cephaloscyllium ventriosum) and she participated in field studies of shark behavior and feeding in the Bahamas. She is interested in science and health communication,...


MA in Physiology and Behavioral Biology, San Francisco State University, 1993, BS in Zoology, University of California Davis, 1989

Tamara Kneese

Assistant Professor
(415) 422-5871

Prior to her appointment at USF, Tamara Kneese received a PhD from the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, an MA in social sciences and anthropology from the University of Chicago, and a BA in anthropology from Kenyon College. Her work has been supported by the Mellon Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Data & Society Research Institute, the Intel Science & Technology Center for Social Computing, the Consortium for History of...


PhD, New York University, MA, University of Chicago, BA, Kenyon College


Science and technology studies, Feminist theory , Cultural history