Campus Visit Day Featured Faculty

Being mentored by a brilliant professor who is interested in your success, your well-being, and your future is central to the Dominican Experience.

 

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Dr. Louie holds a doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of California at Davis, where she did postdoctoral research on cancer biology. It was her desire to work with students that led her to choose teaching rather than pursue a high-profile research position in industry that brought her to Dominican.

Dr. Maggie Louie, Associate Professor of Chemistry and BioChemistry

When Connor Haysbert ’14 received his admissions offer from the College of Medicine at the University of California Davis, he immediately contacted his mentor, Dr. Maggie Louie, to share the news. Louie was not surprised to hear from him. This was his seventh medical school acceptance, and Connor had kept her up-to-date as the acceptances rolled in.

Dr. Louie has become accustomed to hearing good news from her former students – be it acceptance into medical school, landing a research job in the pharmaceutical industry, or completing a doctoral degree - as mentoring is at the core of her work at Dominican.

She has involved her students in research focused on the role environmental contaminants play in the spread of breast cancer since joining Dominican’s faculty in 2005. The Louie Lab has received more than $1 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health in support of the research, and students have co-authored journal articles and co-presented findings with Dr. Louie. She provides opportunities typically not available to undergraduates at larger institutions.

 


 

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Dr. Guevara, who joined the School of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences in August, received a PhD from Emory University and master’s with distinction from Georgetown University. He is presently at work on a book project, Inhuman Depressions, which brings together 16th and 17th-century literature, cognitive science, the history of medicine, and studies in gender and sexuality.

Dr. Perry Guevara, Assistant Professor of English

Now, as a new member of Dominican’s faculty in the English department, Dr. Guevara hopes to engage his students in research projects that foster conversation across disciplinary divides. Dr. Guevara specializes in Shakespeare and early modern literature from the 16th through the 17th century. His additional expertise includes neuroscience, the medical humanities, eco-criticism, and sexuality studies.

I have always loved literature, but my distinctly interdisciplinary approach to scholarship is motivated by past experience in biomedical research, studying, at first, the genetic basis of Parkinson’s disease and, most recently, the narratives of patients undergoing deep brain stimulation for treatment resistant depression.

A recipient of grants from the Fulbright, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the Scholars Program in Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Research, Dr. Guevara has shared his work at the Society for Literature, Science and the Arts, the Shakespeare Association of America, the South Atlantic Modern Language Association, the Hudson-Strode Program in Renaissance Studies, the Washington DC Queer Studies Symposium, and the Early Modern Interdisciplinary Group at the City University of New York.

 


 

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When not focused on national politics, Professor Howard teaches courses on the presidency, Congress, media and politics, and political parties and interest groups. Her research interests include the presidency, Congress, and the field of political communication.

Professor Alison Howard, Department Chair, Political Science and International Studies

When national reporters want insight into the President’s annual State of the Union Address, they often look to Professor Howard, whose research examining how the president uses this annual speech to communicate with target audiences and make specific policy proposals has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and on National Public Radio.

Professor Howard often involves her students in hands-on projects that have attracted the attention of several Bay Area television and radio stations.

This November, for example, Professor Howard’s students spent Election Day participating in a research project focused on determining how informed voters felt before they voted, what issues resonated with voters, where they got their information, and what motivated them to vote. 

Exit polls can tell researchers, campaign strategists, and the general public what voters are thinking and how they are making their decisions during a given election. Getting the most accurate reflection of the electorate on Election Day is important for both projections and for research. It will ultimately shape future campaigns.

 


 

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Hotchkiss joined Alonzo King LINES Ballet in 1983, after having danced with the Deutsche Oper Berlin for four years. In Berlin, Marina worked directly with such dance luminaries as Rudolf Nureyev, Birgit Cullberg, Loyce Houlton, Anna Markard, and Valery Panov.

Marina Hotchkiss, Program Coordinator, Dominican/Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA

As Director of the Dominican/Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA in Dance program, Marina Hotchkiss understands that her role is part of a team effort.

Students come to us who are inspired by the work and philosophy of Alonzo King and that means that they come ready and expecting to change. The dance faculty at LINES brings this same approach to our work with our students.

The BFA in Dance program combines the acclaimed, rigorous training and philosophy of one of the nation’s premier dance institutions with the comprehensive liberal arts education and social values of the Dominican tradition. With its direct relationship to Alonzo King, one of the foremost choreographers of our time, the program offers students unique access to the process and environment in which current dance thought and practice is being shaped.

In her 18 years with LINES Ballet, Hotchkiss has participated in the making of more than original ballets by Alonzo King. Since 2002, she has been an integral faculty member of LINES Ballet Summer and Training Programs, shaping curriculum and developing her workshop Metaphor, which explores the embodiment of meaning. In addition to her work with LINES, Hotchkiss was a tenured member of the San Francisco Opera ballet for 18 years. In 2001, Hotchkiss received an Isadora Duncan Award for Outstanding Achievement.

 


 

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Dr. Frost obtained his PhD in Chemistry in 1971 from the University of California, Davis. For 34 years, he held a variety of technical and management positions at Chevron. His background gives students unique insight into life as an industry scientist, and he often takes groups of undergraduates to his former workplace to hear about career options.

Dr. Kenneth Frost, Department Chair, Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Fortunately, retirement just wasn’t in the cards for Dr. Kenneth Frost. Dr. Frost spent more than 30 years overseeing research at Chevron. He had technical responsibility for most of the fuel and lubricant products and additives that Chevron sells, including Techron. Shortly after retiring from Chevron, Dr. Frost began teaching chemistry at Dominican. Here he found his second calling.

Teaching at Dominican gives me the opportunity to stay involved in science while providing a whole new set of challenges, simply put, I am really enjoying myself. In some small way I hope to give my students an appreciation for the thrill of scientific discovery.

At Dominican, Dr. Frost teaches organic chemistry, environmental chemistry, and quantitative chemical analysis. His research interests at Dominican include biofuels, bio lubricants, and soil carbon sequestration.

He also enjoys talking with students about shared interests, including skiing, swimming, and sailing. He’s been sailing on San Francisco Bay since the early 1950's and serves as the historian for the San Francisco Yacht Club. He is also very active in Masters Swimming and modestly states that he’s “been lucky enough to set a few records along the way.”

 


 

Lynn Sondag

Professor Sondag's goal is to increase access to art and art education through service-learning and community-based art projects. To reach this goal, Professor Sondag infuses her courses with forward-thinking attention to the power of art making and education in the 21st century.

Professor Lynn Sondag, Department Chair, Art, Art History, and Design

Professor Lynn Sondag is an accomplished watercolor artist whose work has been displayed in galleries throughout the Bay Area, as well as in Europe and India. She combines a passion for teaching and a commitment to community service in her role as the Chair of the Department of Art, Art History, and Design.

In each of her courses there is a guiding premise to provide students with experiences that develop both intellectual and intuitive skills such as visual literacy, creative inquiry, and craftsmanship. Students learn from a dynamic range of individual and collaborative exchanges between artists, artwork, and audience, in order to discover personal and alternative points of view.

Her love of teaching is anchored by a commitment to mentoring each student to become a skilled and thoughtful artist who can actively engage with and influence their future. She is particularly committed to increasing access to art and art education through service-learning pedagogy and community-based art projects.

Professor Sondag received her BFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design and her MFA from the California College of the Arts.

 


 

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Dr. Hall uses computational methods to study proteins implicated in cancer formation, biological systems and the mechanisms for the formation of environmental toxins. 

Dr. Randall Hall, Lillian L. Y. Wang Yin, Ph.D. Endowed Professor of Chemistry.

When he joined Dominican’s faculty in 2012 from Louisiana State University (LSU), Dr. Hall brought with him an extensive background working on federally funded research using computers to study materials, including nano-particles implicated in production of airborne toxins, hydrogen storage materials, and flame retardant/polymer mixtures used to manufacture a variety of plastic materials.

As he continues this work at Dominican – often in collaboration with faculty from some of the country’s top research universities - Dr. Hall involves his students in his investigations. This hands-on exposure to research is one reason students stand out when applying for internships, jobs, and graduate school.

Dr. Hall, a 1974 graduate of Terra Linda High School in San Rafael, is the author of more than 50 publications and has received several LSU awards including the 2001 LSU Alumni Association Faculty Excellence Award, recognition from Alpha Lambda Delta Freshman Honor Society for Superior Instruction of Freshman Students, the Peter A. Soderberg Award for Outstanding Presentation, THE Forum in 1998, and a Faculty Research Award in 1992.

Dr. Hall earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 1978. In 1984 he received a Ph.D. in Chemistry under the direction of Professor Bruce Berne at Columbia University.


 

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His nickname on campus is “Disasterman” because of his internationally recognized research focused on how people prepare for and react to natural disasters.

Dr. Matthew Davis, Professor of Psychology

Dr. Davis is a disaster expert. He has completed two large-scale research projects on public awareness of volcanic hazards in the vicinity of Mt. Vesuvius and Mt. Etna in Italy, as well as studies of risk perception for volcanic hazards at Mt. Rainier, Washington, and tsunami hazards along the northern California coast. His work has been used to help public safety officials figure out how best to communicate with those living in risk-prone areas. In 2006 he was interviewed about his work at Vesuvius in a documentary that aired internationally on the Discovery Channel entitled, Could it Happen Here?

Several years ago Dr. Davis was also featured in another documentary, Curiosity – Alien Invasion: Are We Ready? This program aired in the U.S. and in Europe throughout August, 2011 on the Discovery Channel and the Science Channel and brought together top scientists and military strategists to dramatize and predict what might happen if aliens attacked the earth.

Dr. Davis earned his BA in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and his MA in Experimental Social Psychology from the College of William and Mary. He moved to California to complete his doctoral work at the University of California Irvine in the interdisciplinary field of Social Ecology, with a focus on both Social Psychology and on the geological processes that create earthquakes and volcanoes.