Faculty


Peter Novak

Department Chair
(415) 422-4110

Peter Novak is a co-founder of the Performing Arts and Social Justice (PASJ) program at the USF and teaches a wide range of courses from Shakespeare...

Education:

Doctor of Fine Arts, Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism, Yale School of Drama | MFA Acting, American Conservatory Theater | MA English, Loyola University Chicago | BA Theater, Marquette University

Courses:

Erasmus Community, Erasmus Community, Erasmus Overseas Program, Davies Seminar, Theater and Social History, FYS: First-Year Seminar, Voice for Performance, Sexuality, Performance and Culture, Workshop: Play Production

Graciela Acedo

Adjunct Instructor, Dance
(415) 422-3888

Graciela Acedo is a ballet teacher, choreographer, and a USF grant recipient. She trained in Caracas and at Boston Ballet with a government...

Education:

BFA | Methodology/Pedagogy Certificate of Cuban syllabus

Expertise:

Ballet, Dance teaching, Choreography, Curriculum creation, Judging competition, Dance somatics

Courses:

Beginning Dance/Creative Movement Series, Motor Skill & Perf Analysis

Philip Agyapong

Adjunct Instructor, Dance
(415) 422-3888

Philip Amo Agyapong is a dance teacher and researcher. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance and Theater Arts and a Master of Fine Arts...

Education:

MFA, Choreography, University of Ghana | BFA, Theater and Dance, University of Ghana

Expertise:

Teaching Ghanaian Traditional Dance, Teaching Philosophies of Ghanaian Traditional Games, Teaching West African Popular Dance , Choreography, Acting

Courses:

Beginning Dance/Creative Movement Series, Workshop in Dance Production, Motor Skill & Perf Analysis

Alexandra Amati

Professor
(415) 422-2072

Alexandra is a musicologist specializing in the Italian Renaissance, especially the madrigal, Italian opera, Feminist criticism, Romantic piano music...

Education:

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

Expertise:

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

Courses:

Music Appreciation, FYS: First-Year Seminar, History of Western Art Music, Seminar in Western Art Music, Directed Study

Byron Au Yong

Assistant Professor, Music
(415) 422-4368

Byron Au Yong composes songs of dislocation dedicated to intercultural collaboration and the places people call home. Works include Kidnapping Water...

Education:

MFA, Musical Theatre Writing, NYU | MA, World Arts & Cultures, UCLA | BA/BM, Music Composition/Theory, University of Washington

Courses:

Special Topics, Musicianship and Principles of Tonal Theory, Instrumental Ensemble, Music and Social Protest, Music Theory I, Creating Soundscapes, Special Topics in Western Art Music, Directed Study, Music and Social History

Carolyn Burgoyne

Adjunct Instructor, Music
(415) 422-2721

Cara Burgoyne is a vocalist, musical-theatre actress, and solo cabaret artist, performing Broadway, American Standards, country music and pop songs...

Education:

Bachelor of Music in Musical Theatre from the Catholic University of America | Master of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of California, Davis | Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from California State University, East Bay

Expertise:

Vocals, Acting, Music theatre, Speech-language pathology, Character creation, Musical expression

Courses:

Voice Lessons

Eugenie Chan

Adjunct Instructor, Theater
(415) 422-5255

Eugenie Chan is a 5th generation San Franciscan and playwright. Theaters that have produced or developed her award-winning plays include Cutting Ball...

Expertise:

Playwriting

Courses:

Playwriting

Brenton Cheng

Adjunct Instructor, Dance
(415) 422-3888

Brenton Cheng (CLMA, CMT-SE, MSME) is a teacher, director, and performer of improvised and choreographed work, based in the San Francisco Bay Area....

Education:

CLMA | CMT-SE | MSME

Expertise:

Movement education, Contact improvisation & partnering, Laban Movement Analysis, Bartenieff Fundamentals, Performance direction

Courses:

Body in Performance: Laban

Daria D'Andrea

Adjunct Instructor, Music
(415) 422-2721

Daria D'Andrea performs across stylistic boundaries from 17th century Italian to 21st century tango. Daria plays with the San Francisco Opera Center...

Education:

San Francisco Conservatory of Music | Reed College

Expertise:

17th century Italian, 18th century fortepiano, 21st century tango, Baroque

Courses:

Instrumental Ensemble, Violin and Viola Lessons

Poppea Dorsam

Adjunct Instructor, Music
(415) 422-2721

Poppea Dorsam, cellist, received Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from Boston University under Michael Reynolds and George Neikurg...

Education:

Doctor of Musical Arts, Boston University | Master of Music, Boston University | Bachelor of Music, Oberlin Conservatory

Expertise:

Cello, Music

Courses:

Violin and Viola Lessons

Amie Dowling

Associate Professor
(415) 422-4888

Amie Dowling creates dance and theater for the stage, for film and in community settings. For the past several years, her work has considered the...

Education:

MFA, Smith College

Courses:

Composition I, Composition II, Dance in the Community, Directed Study, Art and Incarceration, Performing Arts and Community Exchange, Composition I

Irene Faye Duller

Adjunct Instructor, Dance
(415) 422-3888

A street culture cognoscente, Professor Duller is a founding member of 8th Wonder (2000), the nation's premiere Pilipina/o performance poetry...

Education:

MA in Asian American Studies/Ethnic Studies (focusing on Contemporary Women Artists, Critical Artistry & Cultural Theory), San Francisco State University

Expertise:

Asian American studies, Ethnic studies, Dance, Critical artistry, Cultural theory, Pedagogy

Courses:

Hip Hop Dance and Culture, Intro to Philippine Studies, Barrio Fiesta: Introduction, Barrio Fiesta: Performance, Directed Study

Brian DuSell

Adjunct Professor
(415) 422-5779

Brian DuSell comes from upstate New York and began his work as Associate Director for Liturgy, Music and Interfaith programs at USF in August 2017....

Education:

Doctor of Musical Arts, Arizona State University | Master of Music, University of Notre Dame | BA, Music, University of Michigan

Courses:

Choir

Katie Faulkner

Adjunct Instructor, Dance
(415) 422-3888

Katie Faulkner is a choreographer, performer, and teacher artist. Since graduating with her MFA in Dance from Mills College, Faulkner has performed...

Education:

MFA in Dance, Mills College

Expertise:

Dance, Choreography, Teaching dance, Filmmaking

Courses:

Contemporary Dance (Int), Contemporary Dance (Int/Adv)

Giacomo Fiore

Adjunct Instructor, Music
(415) 422-2721

Italian guitarist and musicologist Giacomo Fiore has performed across the United States, Brazil, Canada, and Europe, premiering works by Larry...

Education:

PhD, University of California, Santa Cruz

Expertise:

Guitar, Musicology, US experimental music, Tunings, Performance

Courses:

Music Appreciation, Instrumental Ensemble, Music and Art, Directed Study, Music and Art, St Ignatius Institute Symposium

Mike Fiorentino

Adjunct Instructor, Music
(415) 422-2721

Mike Fiorentino is a Bay Area guitarist and violinist since moving from the east coast in 1999, and performs with Dear Liza and Viv. He has shared...

Expertise:

Guitar, Violin

Courses:

Instrumental Ensemble, Guitar Lessons

Suzanne Garramone

Adjunct Instructor, Music
(415) 422-2721

Suzanne Garramone has played piano as an accompanist and chamber musician for more than 40 years. She earned her Master's Degree in piano performance...

Education:

Master's Degree in Piano Performance, University of Iowa

Courses:

Piano Lessons

Natalie Greene

Adjunct Instructor, Dance
(415) 422-3888

Natalie Greene is a performer, teacher, creator and collaborator working in dance and theater. Since 2003, she has worked as an Artist-in-Residence...

Courses:

Minds in Motion: Movement as a Tool for Curriculum, Beginning Dance/Creative Movement Series, Dance Appreciation, FYS: First-Year Seminar, Jazz/Theatre Dance (Intermediate/Advanced), Dance in the Community, Workshop in Dance Production, Directed Study, Directed Study, Expedition USF, Motor Skill & Perf Analysis

Roberto Gutièrrez Varea

Professor, Theater
(415) 422-2071

Roberto Gutiérrez Varea began his career in theater in his native Argentina. His research and creative work focuses on live performance as means of...

Courses:

Perform & Cultural Resistance, Directed Study, Latin@ American Performance & Culture, Directed Study, Perform & Cultural Resistance, Latin@ American Performance and Culture, Cabaret Production, Workshop: Play Production, Directed Study

Angela Hayes

Adjunct Instructor, Music
(415) 422-2721

Angela is interested in and maintains a career in performing jazz, folk, pop, Broadway, opera, and sacred music. She is passionate about performance...

Courses:

Voice Lessons

Stephanie Hunt

Adjunct Instructor, Theater
(415) 422-5255

As a Core Member of the Bay Area theatre company, Word for Word, Stephanie has acted in numerous productions, including Upton Sinclair’s Oil! and...

Education:

MFA from the American Conservatory | Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework

Courses:

Theater and Social History, Acting for Non-Majors, Acting I: Spoken Text, Voice for Performance, Special Topics in Theater, Directed Study

Joseph Lares

Adjunct Instructor, Music
(415) 422-2721

Joseph Lares is the conductor and faculty advisor for the USF Don Marching Band, which he formed in 2009. Born and raised in Northern California, his...

Education:

Technocultural Studies Program, University of California, Davis

Courses:

Instrumental Ensemble

Jeffrey Lee

Adjunct Instructor, Dance
(415) 422-3888

Jeffrey Lee studied various forms of martial arts in his youth attaining mastery levels in later years. He has progressed to incorporate and apply...

Education:

BSCE | MAc | Certificate of Dance and Social Performance

Expertise:

Ballroom & Latin Dances, Dance teaching, Choreography, Sports Competition

Courses:

Beginning Dance/Creative Movement Series, Motor Skill & Perf Analysis

Sharonjean Leeds

Adjunct Instructor, Dance
(415) 422-3888

Sharonjean Leeds has taught Ballet, Modern, Dance Exploration, Choreography & Tap at USF since 1973. She has choreographed for USF's Dance...

Education:

BA in Theater & Dance from Smith College | MA in Dance from University of California, Los Angeles

Courses:

Ballet (Intermediate - Advanced)

Sydney Loyola

Adjunct Instructor, Dance
(415) 422-3888

Sydney Loyola toured internationally as a principal dancer of the Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company and was considered a protégé of...

Courses:

Philippine Dance and Culture, Filipino Music and Theology, Philippine Dance and Culture

Gabe Maxson

Assistant Professor, Production Manager, Performing Arts
(415) 422-5991

Gabe Maxson teaches courses in production, design, theater appreciation, acting, and student-producing, in addition to serving as the department's...

Education:

MFA, University of Tennessee

Courses:

Production and Design I, Special Topics, Appreciation of Theater, Acting for Non-Majors, FYS: First-Year Seminar, Workshop: Play Production, Special Topics in Theater, Directed Study

Michelle Maxson

Adjunct Instructor, Theater
(415) 422-5255

Michelle is an actress with over 20 years experience performing in traditional and experimental theater. She has appeared internationally, regionally...

Education:

Master of Fine Arts, University of Tennessee

Courses:

Acting for Non-Majors, Acting: Solo Performance, Directed Study

Judith May

Adjunct Instructor, Music
(415) 422-2721

Judith May, educator, vocalist and songwriter has been using music to promote community building, change, activism and healing since 1980. She has...

Education:

Master's Degree, Music, Juilliard School, New York City | Bachelor's Degree, Music, Juilliard School, New York City | Master's Degree in Somatic Psychology

Courses:

Voice Lessons, Songwriting, Directed Study

Joshua McDermott

Technical Director
(415) 422-6134

Joshua McDermott has been working in the Bay Area as a Designer and Technical Director since 2005 and joined the Performing Arts Department at the...

Education:

MA in Asian Theatre, University of Hawaii | MS in Physics, Brown University

Expertise:

Design, Technical Direction

Courses:

Production and Design I, Directed Study

Florentina Mocanu-Schendel

Adjunct Instructor, Theater

Florentina Mocanu-Schendel was born and raised in Romania. She studied at the People's School of Art in Bucharest and University of Theater Arts in...

Education:

MFA for Theatre and Film, University of Theater Arts in Targu Mures | Diploma in Acting, People's School of Art in Bucharest | MA in Drama, San Francisco State University | PhD in Drama/Theatre and Performance Studies, Stanford University

Courses:

Classical Dramatic Literature

Dexandro Montalvo

Adjunct Instructor, Dance
(415) 422-3880

Born and raised in New York, "D" began dancing professionally at 14 and began instructing dance classes one year later. His work has appeared in...

Education:

BFA in Dance, SUNY Purchase College

Courses:

Hip Hop (Int/Adv)

Eli Nelson

Adjunct Instructor, Theater
(415) 422-3888

After receiving a bachelor's degree in composition and choreography from the University of California, Riverside, Eli danced with Heidi Duckler's...

Education:

Bachelor's Degree in Composition & Choreography, University of California, Riverside

Courses:

Music for Dancers, Directed Study, Workshop in Dance Production, Directed Study, Senior Project

Megan Nicely

Associate Professor
(415) 422-3318

Megan Nicely is an artist/scholar whose teaching and research integrate theory and practice. Her scholarship brings together experimental...

Education:

MA, PhD in Performance Studies, New York University | MFA in Dance, Mills College | BA in Art History, Reed College

Courses:

Popular Dance Culture and Subcultures, FYS: First-Year Seminar, Workshop in Dance Production, Davies Seminar, Dance and Social History, Contemp Perf. Practices (COPP), Writing in the Arts

David Pangaro

Director, Presentation Theater, Adjunct Instructor, Theater
(415) 422-2311

David has been employed by USF since 1984. Longtime Technical Director for the USF College Players and transferring in that position to Performing...

Education:

BA in Communications & Theater, University of Vermont | MFA in Theater Design, San Francisco State University

Courses:

Appreciation of Theater

Jennifer Polyocan

Adjunct Instructor, Dance
(415) 422-3888

Jennifer Polyocan has completed a three year training course at the Alexander Technique Center in Cambridge Massachusetts and is ATI certified. She...

Education:

Degree, Arts and Social Change, New College of California

Expertise:

Ballet, Pointe, Repertoire classes, Choreography, Alexander Technique, Mind Body therapies, Somatics

Courses:

Ballet (Int)

Rashad Pridgen

Adjunct Instructor, Dance
(415) 422-3888

Rashad Pridgen is a dance artist, somatic educator (CMT-SE) and teaching practitioner & performer. His recent works include: selected artist with...

Courses:

Beginning Dance/Creative Movement Series, Motor Skill & Perf Analysis

Mark Rafael

Adjunct Instructor, Theater
(415) 422-5255

Mark Rafael (aka. Truitt) has been a professional actor for the past 25 years. His Bay Area appearances include Ted Kaczinski Killed People with...

Courses:

Acting for Non-Majors, Acting: Shakespeare, Acting: Stanislavski & Chekhov, Directed Study

Francesca Rivera

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

Francesca is an ethnomusicologist, teaching courses music, cultural anthropology and Latin American studies. Research areas include: genre labeling...

Education:

BA, Sarah Lawrence College | MA, University of California, Berkeley

Courses:

Anthropology of Music, Music of the Americas, Music and Social Protest, Music of the Americas, Anthropology of Music, Music and Social History

Rick Roberts

Adjunct Instructor, Music, Rhetoric and Language
(415) 422-2862 x2721

Rick Roberts is now approaching his 22nd season of conducting both Voices and Voices sub-groups (Men's, Women's, Jazz, and Six). Roberts is an alumni...

Education:

Alumnus, University of San Francisco | Alumnus, San Francisco State University

Courses:

Choir, Voice Lessons, Public Speaking

Christopher Ruscoe

Adjunct Instructor, Music
(415) 422-2721

Christopher "Kit" Ruscoe, originally from Louisville KY, studied Classical Composition at the University of Louisville and Jazz Performance and...

Education:

Classical Composition, University of Louisville | Jazz Performance and Improvisation, University of North Texas

Courses:

Guitar Lessons

Rebecca Seeman

Adjunct Instructor, Music
(415) 422-2721

Rebecca has been a member of the music faculty at University of San Francisco since 2001, where she conducts the University Classical Choral...

Education:

Bachelor's degree, Voice & Conducting, University of California, Santa Cruz | Master's degree, Voice & Conducting, University of California, Santa Cruz | Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting & Pedagogy, University of Iowa

Courses:

Musicianship and Principles of Tonal Theory, Choir, Voice Lessons

Lauren Simpson

Adjunct Professor, Dance Program
(415) 422-3888

Lauren Simpson is a San Francisco-based choreographer, performer, and arts educator. She has danced for Liz Lerman, Christine Cali/Cali & Co.,...

Education:

MFA, University of Colorado-Boulder | EdM, Harvard University | BA, Carleton College

Expertise:

Education, Contact improvisation & partnering, Dance history

Courses:

Beginning Dance/Creative Movement Series, Dance Appreciation, Contemporary Dance (Int), Motor Skill & Perf Analysis

Ken Sonkin

Adjunct Instructor, Theater
(415) 422-5255

Ken Sonkin is an actor/director who has worked at American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Rep, SF Playhouse, Magic Theater, Center REP, Sonoma Rep,...

Education:

BA, Acting, Ohio State University | MFA, American Conservatory Theatre

Courses:

Acting for Non-Majors, Acting II: Scene Study, Workshop: Play Production, Special Topics in Theater, Directed Study

Paul Stojsavljevic-Flores

Adjunct Instructor, Theater

Paul S. Flores is a writer and performer whose work has been featured on hundreds of stages and universities across the hemisphere. He appeared on...

Courses:

Foreword: Writing, Foreword: Contemporary Issues, Hip Hop Theater

Pascal Thiam

Adjunct Instructor, Music
(415) 422-2721

Pascal Bokar Thiam has earned a Master's Degree from Cambridge College, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a Doctorate Degree in Education with honors...

Education:

Master's Degree, Cambridge College | Doctorate Degree in Education (cum laude), University of San Francisco

Expertise:

Jazz, R&B, Afro Pop, Bebop, African harmonies, West African rhythms

Courses:

Instrumental Ensemble, Jazz, Culture and Social Justice, Survey of African Music, Directed Study

Christine Young

Associate Professor
(415) 422-6733

Christine Young is Director of the Honors College. As a feminist theater practitioner, Professor Young’s research combines creative and scholarly...

Education:

MFA, Theater Directing, University of Iowa | BA, Religion, Princeton University

Courses:

Directed Study, Directed Study, Contemp Perf. Practices (COPP), Sexuality, Performance and Culture, Cabaret Production, Workshop: Play Production, Special Topics in Theater, Directed Study

Contact Info

Performing Arts Department

Mon-Fri, 9a.m. - 5p.m.

Masonic 201 (415) 422-5979 (415) 422-2815