Academics at Fort Lewis College

Faculty profiles

Dr. Ruth Alminas
Assistant Professor of Political Science

Interests

  • Armed Conflict and Conflict Management
  • Internal Displacement
  • Nongovernmental Organizations
  • Organizational Theory
  • Social Network Analysis

Education

  • Ph.D., Political Science, University of Arizona, 2012
  • M.A., Political Science, University of Arizona, 2008
  • M.A., Religion, University of Chicago Divinity School, 2005
  • B.A., Religious Studies, University of Colorado at Boulder, 2000

Contact:

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Dr. Carolina Alonso
Assistant Professor of Spanish and Gender & Women's Studies

Expertise

  • U.S. Latina/o Literature
  • Chicana/o Studies
  • Women’s and Gender studies
  • Spanish for Second Language Learners 
  • Spanish for Heritage Speakers

Education

  • Ph.D., Spanish, with subspecialties in US Latino and Latin American Literature, Gender and Sexuality Studies, University of Houston, 2015
  • Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies, University of Houston, 2014
  • M.A., Spanish Latin American Literature, University of Texas-Pan American, 2009
  • B.A., Spanish, University of Texas-Pan American, 2007

Contact:

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Dr. Michael Anziano
Associate Professor of Psychology

Expertise

  • Applied developmental psychology
  • Cognitive and emotional development
  • Child psychology
  • Early intervention
  • Early childhood education
  • Child clinical and diagnostic psychological testing
  • Child and family therapy
  • Administration of intelligence and projective tests

Education

  • Ph.D., Educational Psychology, University of Colorado at Boulder, 1984
  • M.A., Educational Psychology, University of Colorado at Denver, 1978
  • B.A., Psychology, University of Denver, 1971

Contact:

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Dr. Rebecca Austin
Associate Professor of Anthropology &
Chair and Associate Professor of Environmental Studies

Expertise 

  • Environmental anthropology 
  • Applied anthropology 
  • Cultural ecology 
  • Community-based conservation 
  • Environmental impacts 
  • Southeast Asia 
  • Public involvement 
  • Social impact assessment 
  • Curriculum design 
  • Program evaluation 
  • Environmental justice 
  • Environmentalism  

Education 

  • Ph.D., Anthropology, University of Georgia, 2003 
  • M.A., Applied Anthropology, Northern Arizona University, 1989 
  • B.A., Fort Lewis College, 1980 

Contact:

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Judy Austin
Adjunct Faculty in Dance, Department of Theatre

Expertise

  • Choreography
  • Theatre production

Education

  • M.A., University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado
  • B.A., Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

Contact:

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Krista Bajgier
Administrative Assistant II for Adventure Education

Expertise and Interests

  • Cultural and Developmental Psychology
  • School & Community Restorative and Social Justice
  • Decolonization of Mental Health and Education
  • CBT & Group Counseling

Education

  • M.S.W. Candidate, Social Work, University of Denver, 2018
  • M.Ed., Educational Psychology Applied Developmental Science, University of Virginia 2015
  • B.A., Legal Studies, Native American Indian Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst 2004

Contact:

Phone Icon 970-247-6383
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Aaron Ball
Operations Coordinator & Lecturer of Adventure Education

Expertise and Interests

  • Wilderness medicine
  • Rock climbing
  • River running
  • Backcountry skiing
  • Mountain biking
  • Alpine mountaineering
  • River and technical rope rescue 
  • Inspiring new adventure educators and outdoor professionals to unleash their own potential
  • Risk management
  • Social justice

Education

  • M.A., Adventure Education, Prescott College
  • B.S., Environmental Science, California State University

Contact:

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Paul Bara
Adjunct Instructor, Applied Trombone & Tuba

Expertise

  • Professional and freelance music performance
  • Trombone instruction
  • Tuba instruction 

Education

  • B.M., Bachelors of Music, studied under Ardash Marderosian, Roosevelt University, Chicabgo, 1978

 

Contact:

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Aaron Belson
Adjunct Instructor of Adventure Education

Expertise

  • Backcountry Skiing
  • Backcountry Travel
  • Backpacking
  • Mindfulness
  • Mountain Biking 
  • Relational Based Therapy
  • Risk Management
  • River Running 
  • Snowboarding 
  • Social Justice
  • Social Work and Family Systems
  • Wilderness Therapy

Education

  • MSW, Simmons College, 2017
  • B.S., University of Wisconsin, 2009

Contact:

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Lauren Berka
Visiting Instructor of History

Interests

  • 19th/20th century U.S. history
  • American religious history
  • American evangelicalism and religious revival movements 
  • History of youth and childhood 

Education

  • M.A., History, Arizona State University, 2013
  • B.A., History/Political Science, Hope College, Michigan, 2008

Contact:

Phone Icon 970-382-6936
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Melinda Bezdek
Lecturer for the Writing Program

Expertise

  • Creative writing
  • Critical thinking

Education

  • M.F.A., Creative Writing, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico
  • B.A., University of Colorado, Denver, Colorado

Contact:

Phone Icon 970-382-6914
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Dr. David Blake
Co-Chair and Associate Professor of Biology

Expertise

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology 
  • Pulmonary toxicology 
  • Cellular and molecular biology

Education

  • Ph.D., Integrated Microbiology and Biochemistry, University of Montana, 2007
  • Master of Science, Biochemistry, University of Montana, 2005
  • Bachelor of Arts, Biology, University of Pennsylvania

Contact:

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Dr. Leslie Blood
Associate Professor of English

Interests

  • Media
  • Raunch Culture
  • Cultural Studies
  • Journalism

Education

  • Ph.D., University of Kansas, 2007
  • M.A.T., Park University, 2004
  • B.S., University of Kansas, 2000

Contact:

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Michelle Bonanno
Senior Lecturer for the Writing Program

Expertise

  • Communication
  • Psychology
  • Rhetorical power of mass media
  • Writing

Education

  • M.A., Communication, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 2004
  • B.A., Psychology, Fort Lewis College, 2001

Contact:

Phone Icon 970-247-7183
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Paul Booth
Chair and Associate Professor of Art and Design

Expertise 

  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe PhotoShop
  • Communication design
  • Typography
  • Poster Design

Education

  • Master of Fine Arts, Communication Design, University of North Texas, 2006
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts, Communication Design, Texas Tech University, 1999

 

Contact:

Phone Icon 970-247-7283
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Dr. Majel Boxer
Associate Professor of Native American & Indigenous Studies

Sisseton and Wahpeton Dakota, Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Reservation

Expertise

  • 19th and 20th century Native American history
  • Indigenous Women’s history
  • Native American oral and written traditions
  • Native American religions and spirituality
  • History of tribal museums and indigenous cultural centers
  • Fort Lewis Indian school
  • Fort Lewis College Tuition Waiver
  • Racial discourse and public spaces

Education

  • Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2008
  • M.A., University of California, Berkeley, 2004
  • B.A., Washington State University, 2002

Contact:

Phone Icon 970-247-6102
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Dr. Keri Brandt
Professor of Sociology and Gender and Women’s Studies

Expertise

  • Gender and sexuality
  • Animals and society
  • Queer theory
  • Feminist theory
  • Social inequality and social justice
  • Feminist qualitative methodology
  • Social psychology

Education

  • Ph.D., University of Colorado, 2005
  • B.A., Fort Lewis College, 1995

Contact:

Phone Icon 970-247-7343
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Mark Brenden
Lecturer for the Writing Program

Expertise

  • The Teaching of Writing
  • Political Rhetoric
  • Western Literature/Film
  • Literacy Studies

Education

  • B.A., English Literature, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, 2011
  • M.A., English Literature/Rhetoric, South Dakota State University, 2015

Contact:

Phone Icon 970-382-6940
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Dr. Brian Burke
Professor of Psychology

Expertise 

  • Scholarship of teaching
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Terror management theory

Education

  • Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, University of Arizona, 2003
  • M.A., Clinical Psychology, University of Arizona, 1999
  • B.S., Psychology, McGill University, 1997

Contact:

Phone Icon 970-247-7088
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Dr. Shere Byrd
Professor of Biology

Interests

  • Cellular and molecular biology
  • Type 2 diabetes 

Education

  • Ph.D., Applied Physiology, University of Oregon, 1987
  • Master of Science, Applied Physiology, University of Oregon, 1983
  • Bachelor of Arts, Biology, Western State College, 1980

Contact:

Phone Icon 970-247-7667
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