CLASS welcomes new faculty appointments

The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences is proud to welcome our new faculty members. The scholars joining our college this academic year have wide-ranging areas of expertise that will expand CLASS’s research capabilities as well as our academic offerings. Please welcome the following individuals to the CLASS faculty:

African American Studies

Tshepo Masango Chery, Visiting Scholar

Tshepo Masango Chery

Dr. Tshepo Masango Chéry joins CLASS from the University of Texas at Austin where she served as African Studies Certificate Coordinator and Assistant Professor in the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies. Dr. Masango Chéry earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in African history from the University of Pennsylvania. Her current book project is titled, Kingdom Come: Archbishop Alexander's Transnational Practices of Faith & Freedom in Segregationist South Africa. Her work has been supported by the Fontaine Society, The Annenberg Foundation, and The Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Crystal Edward, Visiting Scholar

Crystal Edward

After earning her B.S. in political science with a minor in African American Studies from the University of Houston, Dr. Crystal Edward attended the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee where she earned her Ph.D. in Africology. Her research and teaching interests include African American history and culture, African American girls in educational settings, Africana methodologies and Decolonial theoretical frameworks.

Jack J. Valenti School of Communications

Summer Harlow, Assistant Professor

Summer Harlow

Dr. Summer Harlow, who joins CLASS from Florida State University, has a Ph.D. in Journalism and a M.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Harlow, who is trilingual (English, Spanish, and Portuguese), researches the intersections of emerging media technologies, international communication, alternative media, and political/civic participation, with an emphasis on Latin America and marginalized groups. A former newspaper reporter, Dr. Harlow stays connected to the field of journalism practice through freelancing and her work as a press freedom analyst for Freedom House.

Wenlin Liu, Assistant Professor

Wenlin Liu

Dr. Wenlin Liu’s research and teaching interests include organizational communication, immigrant and multiethnic community building, and social network analysis. She received Ph.D. from the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, University of Southern California, M.A. from the University of Washington, Seattle, and B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from Peking University, China. For the past year, Dr. Liu has taught at the University of Houston-Downtown. Her professional experience includes working as a media analyst at the Consumer Media Division at Thomson Reuter, Beijing.

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Chereece N. Andrews, Clinical Assistant Professor

Chereece N. Andrews

Since 2008, Dr. Chereece N. Andrews has been a senior audiologist at Texas Children’s Hospital. In that role, her duties included supervising graduate audiology students and accurately assessing and identifying hearing loss in pediatric patients. Dr. Andrews has served as a volunteer audiologist in Kumasi, Ghana with an organization called Sound Seekers since 2013. She earned her Doctor of Audiology degree from the University of S. Florida and did her undergraduate work at the University of Florida.

Department of English

Sreya Chatterjee, Visiting Assistant Professor

Sreya Chatterjee

Dr. Sreya Chatterjee is Visiting Assistant Professor in CLASS’ English department where she has previously worked as a lecturer. She earned her Ph.D. in English from West Virginia University after completing her training in South Asian Literature, in India. Her research and teaching interests focus on 20th century British, Irish and Postcolonial Literature and culture, Global Anglophone writing, gender, feminist and Marxist theory and Autobiography. Her work has appeared in journals in the U.S. and India including Comparative Literature Studies where she recently published an article on Dalit Autobiography.

Amanda Ellis, Assistant Professor

Amanda Ellis

Dr. Amanda Ellis’ teaching and research competencies include Mexican American Literature and Culture, American Literature, Caribbean Literature, and Ethnic Studies. She earned both her Ph.D. and M.A. in English Literature from Rice University and also earned an M.A. in Ethnic Studies from San Francisco State University. 

Department of Health and Human Performance

Joyce Olushola Ogunrinde, Assistant Professor

Joyce Olushola Ogunrinde

The focus of Dr. Joyce Olushola Ogunrinde’s research is to uncover the cultural meanings associated with sport for African-Americans and to leverage that knowledge to redress health, social, and economic disparities for this and other underserved communities. She earned her Ph.D. in Kinesiology – Sport Management from The University of Texas at Austin, M.Ed from Temple University and is alumna of The University of Florida. Dr. Olushola joins CLASS from Arkansas State University. Her latest work, "Women Coaches of Color: Examining the Effects of Intersectionality”, co- authored with Akilah Carter-Francique, is featured in Women in Sports Coaching (Routledge).

Department of Hispanic Studies

Paola Arboleda-Ríos, Instructional Assistant Professor

Paola Arboleda-Rios

Dr. Paola Arboleda-Ríos is currently the graduate admissions advisor for CLASS’ Hispanic Studies department. In addition, for the past four years she has served as a Spanish instructor within the department. Her research interests include literary translation, women’s literature and cinema in Latin America as well as feminist, gender and queer theories. She completed her Ph.D. in Spanish and Portuguese Studies at the University of Florida where she concentrated on Latin American literature, specifically, she found and studied the very few autobiographies that exist of LGTB people in the region.

Alejandra Balestra, Instructional Assistant Professor and Director of Spanish Language Program

Alejandra Balestra

Dr. Alejandra Balestra earned her B.A. in Modern and Classical Languages from University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and her M.A. in Spanish and Ph.D. in Spanish Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition from the University of Houston. Dr. Balestra taught at University of New Mexico and George Mason University, before moving back to Houston. Since 2014, she has served as the director of CLASS’ Spanish Language Program. Dr. Balestra’s main research areas are Spanish as second language, e-learning content development, critical pedagogy, and Argentinean culture and history.

Department of History

Alexey Golubev, Assistant Professor

Alexey Golubev

Dr. Alexey Golubev joins CLASS from the University of Toronto where he has been a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at the History Department since last year. He completed his Ph.D. in history at the University of British Columbia in 2016. Prior to that he attended Petrozavodsk State University in Russia where he earned a degree of Candidate of Sciences in History in addition to a diploma in Russian and English. Dr. Golubev has been a lecturer at the University of Eastern Finland, the University of British Columbia, the University of Freiburg in Germany, and Petrozavodsk State University in Russia. His teaching and research interests include national and international migrations in Soviet history, social and material history of Russia, and networks and propaganda of knowledge in the USSR, as well as more general themes of socialist modernity and digital humanities. His first book is titled The Search for a Socialist El Dorado: Finnish Immigration to Soviet Karelia from the United States and Canada in the 1930s and was published in 2014 by the Michigan State University Press (co-written with Irina Takala).

Hobby School of Public Affairs

Daniel Engster, Professor

Daniel Engster

Dr. Daniel Engster joins the CLASS faculty from the University of Texas at San Antonio where he was chair of the department of political science and geography. Prior to that, he served on the faculty of Tulane University. He earned both his M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago. Dr. Engster has previously received awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as a Fulbright fellowship. His most recent book is titled, Justice, Care, and the Welfare State.

Man Chiu Wong, Professor

Man Chiu Wong

Since 2007, Dr. Man Chiu (Sunny) Wong has been a research associate with the Hobby School of Public Affairs. He joins the faculty from the University of San Francisco where he was department chair and professor of economics. Dr. Wong earned his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Oregon. His expertise is in Monetary Policy, Learning Dynamics, Business-Cycle Theory, Foreign Direct Investment and the Empirical Implications of Theoretical Models (EITM).

Military Science

Ricardo Bolanos, Assistant Professor/ROTC

Ricardo Bolanos

CPT Ricardo Bolanos holds a B.S. in Business Degree Concentration in Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship from the University of Phoenix, AZ. CPT Bolanos worked with the 75 th Mission Command as an instructor on Military Decision Making Process for over four years. He is a financial management officer in the US Army and has served in different positions throughout his military career. He has also completed the TERP-10 Course and is certified in SAP ERP Systems.

James A. Horn, Professor

James A. Horn

Major Jim Horn is an Airborne Infantry officer with 16 years of service. He earned a B.S. in Economics from West Point and a M.A. in International Relations from the Naval War College in Newport, RI. He also served as a Naval Strategic Studies Fellow developing concepts of warfare using the electromagnetic spectrum. MAJ Horn served on the front lines for the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003 and completed five additional deployments totaling over 36 months in Iraq, nine months in Afghanistan and six months in Qatar. He is a master-rated parachutist and has trained with armies across the Middle East, the Baltics and Ukraine.

Department of Modern and Classical Languages

Rachel Early, Instructional Assistant Professor

Rachel Early

Dr. Rachel Early earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in French from Vanderbilt University. Since fall 2013, she has taught French in CLASS's department of Modern and Classical Languages. Her dissertation was titled "Modes of Personal Presence in the Romances of Chrétien de Troyes." When it comes to language teaching, Dr. Early is interested in the roles of conversation, listening, and motivation in second language acquisition. Her research interests include Old French poetry and St. Augustine.

Department of Philosophy

Yael Rebecca Loewenstein, Assistant Professor

Dr. Yael Rebecca Lowenstein specializes in metaphysics and philosophy of language. She earned her Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Arizona, and her M.A. in philosophy from Virginia Polytechnic and State University. In 2018, Dr. Lowenstein will complete a Junior Research Fellowship at Churchill College, Cambridge.

Luis R. G. Oliveira, Assistant Professor

Luis R. G. Oliveira

Dr. Luis R.G. Oliveira received his Ph.D. in philosophy from University of Massachusetts - Amherst in 2016. His dissertation explores the role played by the notions of “epistemic agency” and “normative reasons” in contemporary epistemology. Before joining CLASS, Dr. Oliveira held a Visiting Lectureship at UMass Lowell for a year. His current research and teaching interests are in epistemology, ethics, metaethics, and philosophy of religion.

Department of Psychology

Sergey Kornilov, Research Assistant Professor

Since 2016, Dr. Sergey Kornilov has been the Duncan Scholar in Molecular and Human Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine. Prior to that, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Texas Institute of Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics here at the University of Houston. Dr. Kornilov earned his Ph.D. in experimental psychology at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. He also holds a Ph.D. in educational and developmental psychology from Moscow State University in Moscow, Russia. He completed specialized training at John Hopkins University and his research interests include cognitive neuroscience of developmental disorders, and psychopathology and molecular neurogenetics of language, reading, and cognitive ability.

Sunbok Lee, Assistant Professor

Dr. Sunbok Lee joins CLASS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was a postdoctoral associate in the department of physics. In that role he handled learning analytics for Massive Open Online Courses and developed psychometric models for Intelligent Tutoring System. Dr. Lee earned an M.S. in physics, an M.S. in statistics, and a Ph.D. in educational psychology all from the University of Georgia, Athens. His current interests include developing psychometric models for Intelligent Tutoring System to implement adaptive learning modules in Massive Open Online Courses.

Amanda Palo, Clinical Assistant Professor


Dr. Amanda Palo most recently served as a postdoctoral fellow here at CLASS where she is the associate director of the University of Houston Adolescent Diagnosis, Assessment, Prevention, and Treatment Center (UH-ADAPT) as well as the clinic coordinator for the Sleep and Anxiety Center of Houston. Dr. Palo’s clinical training focuses on assessment and treatment of children and adolescents. She received licensure to practice as a clinical psychologist in the state of Texas in 2016, and earned her Ph.D. in child clinical psychology from Southern Illinois University in 2015.

Women’s Studies Program

Jessica Waggoner, Visiting Scholar

Jessica Waggoner

For the past six years, Dr. Jess Waggoner has been a visiting lecturer and associate instructor at Indiana University, Bloomington. Dr. Waggoner holds a Ph.D. in English with a concentration in Gender Studies from Indiana University, Bloomington. Dr. Waggoner’s research specializes in U.S. literature and culture, disability studies, critical race studies, and queer theory. Their current book project, Crip Moderns, focuses on the intersection between early twentieth-century literature and culture and emerging disability social movements.