Meet Our Outstanding Instructors
Annalisa Berta has a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and is professor emerita in the Department of Biology at SDSU. As an evolutionary biologist, she studies the anatomy and evolution of fossilized and living marine mammals. She has published more than 100 scientific papers and several books: Return to the Sea: The Life and Evolutionary Times of Marine Mammals (2012), Marine Mammals: Evolutionary Biology, 3 ed. (2015), Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises: A Natural History and Species Guide (2015) and The Rise of Marine Mammals: 50 Million Years of Evolution (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017).
Alexander D. Bevil is a retired California State Parks historian whose reports on historic military aviation-related crash sites in two parks resulted in a well-received article in the Journal of San Diego History and the first successful nomination of a military-related aircraft crash site in the state. He witnessed the aftermath of the crash of PSA Flight 182 and, like many San Diegans, is still haunted by the memory. Bevil’s lecture, along with an upcoming article in the Journal of San Diego History, are timed to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the crash.
Ricardo Carretero, Ph.D., is a professor of applied mathematics at SDSU (Nonlinear Dynamical Systems Group) with ample experience in chaos and fractals. He was a post doctoral research fellow at the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada; a research fellow at the Centre for Nonlinear Dynamics and its Applications, University College London; and a member of the Dynamical Systems group at the School of Mathematical Sciences, Queen Mary and Westfield College, London. Carretero earned his physics degree at the Faculty of Sciences, Mexican National University.
Alejandro Castañeda has taught at prestigious Mexican universities, including Universidad Anáhuac and Universidad Iberoamericana. Currently he is teaching Marketing and Communications online at Coahuila, Mexico State University in Torreon, Mexico. He is a visiting professor for extended learning programs at CSU San Marcos and the University of Texas at Austin. Corporate training since 1995, he has designed dozens of professional certificate programs, workshops and seminars for thousands of associates in corporations throughout the Americas. Since 2005, Castañeda has specialized on online instruction. He is also a published author with nine books on the topics of leadership, productivity, customer services and sales. Castañeda holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from La Salle University and a master’s degree in communications from Universitá Internationale delle Arte and Universitá Statale de Firenze, both in Florence, Italy.
Chuck Dunning holds a BS in marketing from Arizona State University, and worked in radio at an AM/FM station in Phoenix, writing sales proposals and sales promotion. The company moved him to San Diego for stations KSDO AM and KEZL FM. In 1978 he joined San Diego’s XETV, and for the next 39 years was marketing director, sales manager, program director, director of sales and, for the last seven years, the vice president and general manager.
Oliva M. Espín, Ph.D., is professor emerita of Women’s Studies at SDSU. She holds her doctorate in counseling psychology and Latin American studies from the University of Florida. She was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University; a professor of psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology of Alliant International University; Fulbright distinguished chair in gender studies, University of Klagenfurt, Austria; and has authored several academic books and many articles. She was a pioneer in the practice and theory of therapy with women from different cultural backgrounds, particularly immigrant/refugee women.
David Flietner, M.S., has taught at the high school and community college levels. A botanist by training, he has made Shakespeare’s history plays, their source materials, authorship, and critical commentary his study over the past three years.
Ehsan Goodarzi holds a Ph.D. in water resources engineering, and his research experience and interests span a broad range of topics including irrigation system design and scheduling, hydraulic analysis, watershed management, water reuse and sustainable development, green infrastructure, flood and erosion protection, optimization analysis, risk assessment, and climate change studies. Goodarzi’s publication record includes books, book chapters, and journal papers. He is also a reviewer for more than 10 prestigious journals in the fields of water and environmental engineering.
Rosanne Goodwin is a local historian and postcard collector. Her master’s thesis for the Cooperstown graduate program in New York was “A Catalogue of the Photographs of San Diego in the William Henry Jackson Glass Negative Collection of the Colorado History Center.” This thesis later directed her to collecting postcards, specializing in the Detroit Publishing Company. A native San Diegan, Goodwin graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in American Social History.
Sarah Heras, M.A., is a native of Spain, holds a master’s degree in Spanish from San Diego State University, and teaches Spanish at Southwestern College and San Diego Mesa College. She has been traveling and living in Mexico for the last 13 years, and notes that the Mexican history she was taught in Spain is very different from the one she learned during her travels.
Annette Hubbell formed a production company in 2007 to present historical characters in theatrical settings. Witness to Gettysburg and Women Warriors, both of which she wrote, along with Tea with Mrs. Roosevelt, are her current performances. In 2017, Hubbell became a published author with A Spoonful of Grace: Mealtime Blessings in Bite-sized Pieces. It was recently awarded the Silver Medal in the 2018 Illumination Awards, which honor the year’s best new titles with a Christian worldview. A San Diego native, Hubbell has a business degree from SDSU and an MBA from CSUSM. www.annettehubbell.com
Ann M. Johns, Ph.D., is an SDSU professor emerita of linguistics and writing studies. She has studied languages and taught English in several regions of the world, including Eastern and Southern Africa. Johns worked in a Swahili-speaking environment in 1966, and has been interested in the language since she first studied it in 1965.
Karen Kenyon, M.A., is an associate professor at MiraCosta College and a writing instructor at UCSD Extension. She is the author of the books, Sunshower, The Brontë Family: Passionate Literary Geniuses, and Charles Dickens: Compassion and Contradiction. Her feature articles have been published in Redbook, British Heritage, Newsweek, and The Christian Science Monitor.
Liz Koerner, B.F.A., is a graduate student in the Woodworking/Furniture Design program at SDSU. She enjoys making furniture and sculpture out of wood, and teaching building skills to youth and adults. Koerner earned her BFA from California College of the Arts in 2009. From 2012–2016 she lived in North Carolina, where she did fellowships at Penland School of Crafts, and Warren Wilson College. She is motivated by a love of materials and problem solving, and by art that confounds the strange and the familiar. www.liz-koerner.com
Bruno Leone, M.A., earned his master’s degree in European intellectual history, and is a lecturer, freelance writer, Fulbright Fellow, National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship recipient, and former instructor at the University of Minnesota and St. Francis College. He has authored several books including Science and Religion, Origin: The Story of Charles Darwin (published by Morgan Reynolds as part of their Biographies in Science series), and most recently, Disease in History. He has taught intellectual history, the history of science and technology, and the philosophy of history since 1980.
Yifu Lin holds a Ph.D. in political science from Waseda University, a top-two private university in Japan; is an associate professor in the Department of Public Management at Harbin Institute of Technology, a top-9 university in China; and a visiting scholar at SDSU’s Department of Political Science. From December 2015–2016, he was vice director of the Development and Reform Commission of Jiayuguan Municipal Government, Gansu Province, where he gained first-hand experience in working with the local government.
Mary McKenzie has an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from UC Santa Barbara, 1986, 1994; and a J.D. from the University of San Diego, 2007. She is a political science professor at the University of San Diego where she teaches International Organizations, International Human Rights, and European politics. McKenzie serves on the Hillcrest Town Council and as chair of the Academic World Quest competition for the San Diego World Affairs Council.
Wendy Patrick, J.D, Ph.D, is a career prosecutor, SDSU business ethics lecturer, and media commentator with over 2,500 media appearances. She has a weekly political segment on Fox 5 San Diego and comments almost daily on politics in the media, including social media. Dr. Patrick is also a behavioral expert. She is the author of Red Flags (St. Martin´s Press, 2015), and co-author of the revised version of The New York Times bestseller Reading People (Random House 2008). She also has a column in Psychology Today and is a Huffington Post contributor.
Shelly Pinomaki lost her sister at the hands of a murderer during Christmas 2011, and witnessed the additional trauma inflicted upon her family from well-meaning friends, families — even professionals — because they had no idea what to say or do. Pinomaki became impassioned to help others who wanted to help those in emotional pain, and founded Christian Crisis Care, a nonprofit division of RKM Crisis Team. She also began volunteer work with Trauma Intervention Program, a national support service that helps those in the midst of trauma. She continued her training with the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation and became a credentialed chaplain with the National Center for Chaplain Development. Pinomaki also serves as a chaplain with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department.
John Putman, Ph.D., is an associate professor of history at SDSU and historian of the modern American West (late 19th and 20th centuries). His book, Class and Gender Politics in Progressive-Era Seattle, explores class and gender politics in the urban Northwest. He is also interested in the cultural history of the 20th-century U.S. — in particular, science fiction film in the Cold War era, Star Trek, and politically-oriented music from the 1960s and ’70s.
Kath Rogers, J.D., is a research fellow and adjunct professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, where she teaches Introduction to Climate Law and Policy, and Legal Writing 1. She has presented her work in the United States, China, and Mexico. She has also worked extensively in the nonprofit sector, including serving as special projects director for Climate Action Campaign, and currently serving on the board of SanDiego350.org (the largest grassroots climate change nonprofit in the region). In private law practice, Rogers has represented a variety of clients, including in a federal class-action lawsuit on behalf of individuals who are homeless.
Francis Thumm composes original music for numerous theaters in San Diego, and is currently, writing a musical about the border, titled Tijuana Burlesque. He received a Dramalogue award for his acting role as “Tiresias” in the San Diego Rep’s production of The Whole World is Watching. While attending SDSU, Thumm discovered the unique instruments and music of American composer Harry Partch, and toured with the Partch Ensemble appearing at Lincoln Center, Aspen Music Festival, and the Berlin Festival. Later he worked as a music director and arranger on several albums by the Grammy award-winning singer and songwriter Tom Waits. He also taught music for San Diego City Schools, including chorus, jazz ensemble, and songwriting. Thumm has also written music columns and reviews for The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Reader, and La Jolla Light.
Keith Wahl, M.D., is a career head-and-neck surgeon and medical-device entrepreneur in San Diego, and has studied and worked as an avocational artist for many years. With a formal education in art and a lifelong pursuit of drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking and engraving, he combined all of these disciplines into his art journey with glass — a medium he has worked with in various forms for over 30 years.
Matthew Wion holds a Ph.D. from Marquette University in Wisconsin and an M.A. from SDSU. Born, raised, and originally educated in San Diego, Wion earned his Ph.D. in philosophy in 2011. During his graduate studies, he taught philosophy courses at Marquette, Mount Mary College, and Bryant and Stratton College (all in Milwaukee). After graduation, he was an adjunct at the College of Lake County, Harper College, McHenry County College, and Oakton in Northern Illinois. In March of 2015, he and his family moved back to San Diego where he teaches at Southwestern College, the University of San Diego, and Cal State San Marcos.