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. 


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

Christopher Brooks

Professor
(415) 422-7086

Christopher Brooks is a professor in the Department of Computer Science at USF, with a joint appointment in the Department of Engineering. He joined USF in 2002 after completing a PhD in computer science at the University of Michigan. He also holds an MS in computer science from San Francisco State University, and a BA and JBA in English and journalism, respectively, from the University of Wisconsin. From 2010-2019, Professor Brooks served as associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences...

Education:

University of Michigan, Ph.D., Computer Science and Engineering, 2002, San Francisco State University, M.S.. Computer Science, 1997, University of Wisconsin, B.A./J.B.A., English and Journalism, 1991

Expertise:

Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Multiagent Systems, Computing and Social Justice

Brandon Brown

Professor and Chair
(415) 422-6179

Brandon R Brown pursued doctoral training in superconductivity and low-temperature physics, with postdoctoral work in science communication. Once at the University of San Francisco, he shifted his research focus to sensory biophysics. He and his collaborators and students explored the electric and magnetic sensory abilities of a variety of creatures. Brandon served as associate dean for sciences, during which time the university completed planning stages for the Lo Schiavo Center for Science...

Education:

PhD, Oregon State University (Vortex Dynamics in High-temperature Superconductors)

Expertise:

High-temperature superconductivity, Sensory biophysics, History of science, Science communication, Fundraising

Carolyn Brown

Professor
(415) 422-6749

Carolyn Brown received her PhD in English from the University of California–Davis. Her specialization is Shakespeare and Renaissance / Early Modern literature, from a feminist, psychoanalytic, historicist, and /or political perspective. She has published in several anthologies on Shakespeare and the following journals: Studies in English Literature 1500–1900; Texas Studies in Literature and Language; Studies in Philology; American Imago; Literature and Psychology; Clio: A Journal of Literature...

Education:

PhD, University of California, Davis

Expertise:

Shakespeare and psychoanalytic theory

Mayo Buenafe-Ze

Assistant Professor

Mayo Buenafe-Ze is a bilingual immigrant and multi-ethnic indigenous Filipina who has lived most of her life between the Philippines and California. She is a scholar/educator/researcher, food and cultural events experience curator, and community organizer who aims to decolonize education and support youth leadership and development. Since 2007, she has been in research and academia in the Philippines, Netherlands, and the U.S. She has done ethnographic studies with the Ifugao peoples from the...

Education:

Leiden University (the Netherlands), PhD (ABD) in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology, 2021, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, MA in Anthropology (Specialization: International Human Rights and Diversity), 2012, University of the Philippines - Baguio, BA in Social Sciences (Major in Social Anthropology; Minor in Political Science), cum laude, 2007

Sarah Burgess

Associate Professor
(415) 422-6055

Sarah Burgess is an Associate Professor in Communication Studies, Gender and Sexualities Studies, and Critical Diversity Studies. Working at the intersections of rhetorical theory, political theory, legal theory, philosophy, and gender and sexualities studies, she examines the rhetorical contours of recognition in order to understand the possibilities and limits of justice. She recently edited a special issue of Philosophy & Rhetoric that brought together authors from several disciplines to...

Education:

PhD/MA, Rhetoric, University of California, Berkeley, MA/BA, Communication Studies, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

John Callaway

Professor
(415) 422-5702

John Callaway received his PhD in Oceanography and Coastal Sciences from Louisiana State University in 1994. Prior to his position at USF, John was the Associate Director of the Pacific Estuarine Research Laboratory (PERL) at San Diego State University. At USF, Professor teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in introductory environmental science, applied ecology, wetlands, and restoration ecology. His research expertise is in wetland restoration, specifically wetland plant ecology and...

Education:

PhD, Louisiana State University, 1994

Expertise:

Wetland restoration, Wetland plant ecology and sediment dynamics

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