The College welcomes new faculty

College of the Pacific welcomes new faculty members to the Pacific family.

guillermo barro

Guillermo Barro Calvo, Physics

Guillermo Barro Calvo: Physics

Hometown: Madrid, Spain

What are your research interests?

My main research is in Astrophysics. I study the formation and evolution of galaxies since the very first instants of the Big Bang to the fully grown galaxies that we see today, like our own Milky way.

I try to understand what are the main physical processes that give galaxies their shapes and controls their interactions with one another. I’m really fortunate to work with some of the largest and most advanced telescopes in the ground, like the ones on the big island of Hawaii or in the desert of Chile, and also in the sky, like the Hubble Space Telescope and, hopefully very soon, its successor, the James Webb Space Telescope.

Why should students take your class?

Well, mainly because they want to learn, but hopefully because they have a natural curiosity about the way nature around us works.

I strive to make my classes approachable and applicable by trying to connect the physical concepts that we learn in class with everyday phenomena.

Fortunately physics provides a lot of those opportunities, and I hope that all my students learn not only how to think and solve problems in physics, but also that they understand intuitive facts that happen around them every day, like blue skies, red sunsets or the colors of the rainbow.

Why are you excited to be at Pacific?

I’m thrilled to be at Pacific. I have always had a passion for teaching and mentoring, and my experience at Pacific couldn’t be better.

I find that having enthusiastic students in our relatively small classes creates a very close and lively environment that makes the classes really fun.

nancy brown

Nancy Brown, Sociology

Nancy Brown: Sociology

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

What are your research interests?

My research interest includes restorative justice, its application in juvenile diversion, and race and crime. My goal is to include restorative justice ideology in mainstream academia and to use as an additional tool in the movement of social justice, criminal justice, and academia.

Why should someone take your class?

In my sociology courses, I am compelled to create a safe learning environment which allows students to ‘stand in their truth’ while respecting the opinions of others. My classes encourage students to have a voice regarding sensitive social issues which can be a liberating and empowering experience. My teaching style supports the belief that students should experience frequent opportunities to act, react, and interact with other students in a participatory manner.  My sociology courses often address social justice and injustice as well as the intersection of race, class and gender as they relate to past and current events and speak ‘truth to power’.  Each of my courses includes a restorative justice circle which makes a safe space for shared experiences, making connections and relationship building. My goal is to encourage students to use their knowledge to give back to their communities. Higher education is a privilege not to be taken lightly and comes with obligations and responsibilities to the global community.

Why are you excited to be at Pacific?

I am humbled and honored to be a faculty member at Pacific. I enjoy the small campus atmosphere, small classes and Pacific’s excellence in academics and scholarship.  The students are engaging and focused on their course of study.  I am particularly pleased to be a part of the Sociology Department and their commitment to expanding the program to include criminal justice related courses. Students are responding with a resounding YES!  It’s great to be here at Pacific.

Anything else you’d like us to know about you?

I enjoy baking, gardening and of course…Denzel Washington!

Binod Nainabasti

Binod Nainabasti, Physics

Binod Nainabasti: Physics

Hometown: Lamjung, Nepal

What are your research interests?

My research interests lie in the area of learning and teaching of Physics Education Research (PER). Specifically, I would like to engineer learning environments to investigate how STEM students can teach themselves, acquire scientific abilities and develop positive attitudes toward science.  I am also interested in curriculum design, course practices and investigating student learning across the disciplines of STEM fields. My long-term goal is advancing evidence-based teaching and learning practices in science education.  I would like to meet collaborators with similar interests.

Why should students take your class?

I believe that a physics course should emphasize the essential connection between theories and activities around us. I expect students to understand some fundamental ideas of physics. These ideas include reconciling everyday experiences with the material learned in my class, making sure that new ideas make sense, connecting what is learned in class today to what was learned yesterday, linking concepts and applying ideas instead of memorizing facts. As I believe in learning through interaction, I always provide opportunities to students to share their ideas and concerns in class so that students can help each other in their learning.

Why are you excited to be at Pacific?

I am excited to be a part of the oldest chartered college in California that values diversity and innovative teaching in a student-centered environment. I also found that academic leaders of Pacific are highly motivated to implement research-based teaching and learning methods in the classroom.

Anything else you’d like us to know about you?

I love to spend time playing volleyball with friends and basketball with my wonderful boy.

Kevin Pontuti

Kevin Pontuti, Media X Director

Kevin Pontuti: Media X

Hometown: Carrolltown, PA

Why are you excited to be at Pacific?

The history and the strong liberal arts background were something I was definitely excited about. The College of the Pacific and the humanities programs are super strong.

 

 

 

 

Carla Strickland-Hughes

Carla Strickland-Hughes, Psychology

Carla Strickland-Hughes: Psychology

Hometown: Statesboro, GA, and Raleigh, NC

What are your research interests?

I am a developmental psychologist. My research area is social cognition and aging. The goal of my research program is to promote cognitive health in adulthood. To that end, my research examines (1) the impact of non-ability factors, such as confidence and performance feedback, on cognitive performance, (2) ways to enhance everyday memory through training, and (3) personal beliefs about aging that might limit cognitive success. My basic and applied research projects employ experimental and quantitative methodology to examine these issues.

Why should students take your class?

Classes I teach include developmental psychology, topics in advanced developmental psychology (e.g., psychology of aging), the first-semester Pacific Seminar, and research methods and statistics in psychology.

All my classes give students the opportunity to sharpen skills essential for realizing success with their post-graduate goals. My students can expect to evolve into independent, analytical thinkers, to perceive the world through a scientific lens, and to strengthen their written and oral communication. They learn how to relate psychological principles to our daily lives and how to begin to explain thinking and behavior using the scientific method. My developmental classes explain how humans mature from conception to death and explore the processes that shape us into “who we are.”

My former students have gone on to be undergraduate research assistants, do honors theses, win awards for their work, go to graduate school in psychology, and get wonderful jobs in psychology!

Why are you excited to be at Pacific?

I am excited to be at Pacific because of the enriching diversity of the study body and the genuine commitment to student-centered teaching and practical learning outcomes. I am particularly enthusiastic about the opportunities to engage undergraduate research assistants in all stages of my research, from the development of meaningful research questions to data collection and processing to dissemination of findings via presentations and publications. I am proud to join the community of teacher-scholars in the Psychology Department, the College of the Pacific and the University of Pacific.

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