Macricostas School of Arts & Sciences

Social Sciences

Social Sciences Faculty Bios

Advisement is available!

Please email to schedule a time with your advisor. They will reach out to you to let you know what platform they will use to connect with you.

Please see the Office Hours page to see when your professor or advisor is available.

Dr. Carina Bandhauer, Chair and Professor of Sociology, 203-837-8650

Dr. Carina Bandhauer, Professor of Sociology, earned a Ph.D. at Binghamton University in 2001. She specializes in the sociology of racism, immigration and globalization with a regional specialization in Latin America. She has two research foci: racism targeting Latinos, specifically as it foments from the anti-immigrant movement; and, also, the racialized rifts or disconnects between people of color and white native born citizens. Bandhauer is committed to teaching, researching and working to achieve social justice through awareness. Dr. Bandhauer volunteers as a consultant and does diversity trainings both on and off campus. Moreover, she has long worked with immigrant communities in many capacities, but especially with undocumented students. She has also worked with U.S.-El Salvador Sister Cities to build and strengthen ongoing partnerships with rural communities in El Salvador since 1993. Bandhauer served as creative consultant for the production of the film, “El Pueblo Unido,” which documented her work in El Salvador and premiered at the Montreal Film Festival in 2004.


Dr. Christine Hegel-Cantarella, Associate Chair and Associate Professor of Anthropology, 203-837-3914

Dr. Christine Hegel holds an M.Phil. and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She teaches courses on economic and legal anthropology, public anthropology, qualitative research methods, and the Middle East, among others. In 2017, Hegel received the CSCU Board of Regents Award for Teaching Excellence. Her current research project examines and contributes to the fight for livelihood rights for waste pickers (also called canners/informal recyclers/micro-haulers), for which she conducts field research in Brooklyn, New York and collaborates with local and global organizations. Prior collaborations have taken her to Finland to study hockey workers as part of research on Arctic economies, and she has undertaken a number of projects since 2012 focused on the intersections between design and anthropology. Her recent co-authored book, Ethnography by Design: Scenographic Experiments in Fieldwork, (2019, Routledge) with George E. Marcus and Luke Cantarella, offers a model for using design thinking and methods for ethnographic research. She has been awarded research grants from the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and the Fulbright Commission to conduct ethnographic research in Cairo and Port Said, Egypt, on on the use of legal fictions to reconfigure debt relations. Hegel has authored essays for the edited volumes Collaborative Anthropology Today: A Collection of Exceptions (2021, Cornell University Press) Anthropology of the Middle East and North Africa Into the New Millennium (2013, Indiana University Press) and Family Law in the Muslim World (2016, I.B. Tauris) and articles, essays, and reviews in The Anthropology of Work; Proceedings of the Participatory Design Conference; American Anthropologist; Cultural Anthropology; Anthropological Quarterly; and Law, Culture, and Humanities Journal. Her website is

Dr. Rotua Lumbantobing, Associate Professor of Economics, AAUP WCSU Chapter President, 203-837-8457

Dr. Rotua Lumbantobing, holds a Master’s and a Ph.D. in economics from North Carolina State University. She also has a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Indonesia and an MBA from the University of Rochester. Prof. Lumbantobing specializes in sports economics. Her current research projects concern competitive balance in the National Basketball Association and the National Football League. She teaches sports economics, environmental economics, economic development, comparative economic systems, and statistics, as well as principles courses.





Dr. Manoj Misra, Associate Professor of Sociology, 203-837-8453

Dr. Manoj Misra earned a PhD in Sociology from the University of Alberta, Canada. Before joining this university, he was an Assistant Professor of Sustainable Development at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, Republic of Korea. After the completion of his PhD, Dr. Misra was invited as a visiting research fellow at the Agrarian Alternatives cluster at Heidelberg University, Germany. His writings have won best graduate paper awards at the American Anthropological Association and the Canadian Association for the Study of International Development. He has published research articles in top-tier academic journals including in the Journal of Agrarian Change, Agriculture and Human Values, and Climate and Development. He also regularly writes in newspapers and magazines. His research interests are agrarian change and food sovereignty, energy issues and climate justice, and development dispossession in South Asia.



Dr. Oluwole Owoye, Professor of Economics, 203-837-8456

Dr. Oluwole Owoye teaches microeconomics, macroeconomics, monetary economics, labor economics and economic development. He has presented research in these areas at national and international economic conferences. Owoye, who holds a Ph.D. from Northern Illinois University, has published numerous articles in periodicals such as The Journal of Developing Areas, Global Economic Review and The Journal of International Trade and Economic Development. He was a visiting Senior Fulbright Scholar in the department of economics at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, in 2003, where he was among the initial group of professors who taught in the collaborative Ph.D. program for West, East, and Southern Africa at Ibadan, Nigeria. Since 2004, he has been a visiting professor of monetary economics in the collaborative Ph.D. program’s Joint Facility for Electives, African Economic Research Consortium in Nairobi, Kenya.



Dr. Zuohong Pan, Professor of Economics, 203-837-8462

Dr. Zuohong Pan earned a Ph.D. from Wayne State University. He teaches macroeconomics, microeconomics, money & banking, mathematical economics, economic development, applied econometrics, contemporary domestic economic issues, social research issues and social research seminars. His research interests include international trade and finance, financial modeling & forecasting, economic development and urban economics. He has co-authored/edited a number of books, including Investment Banking in the United States and Taiwan in the 21st Century. Pan has published numerous papers in periodicals such as Urban Studies, China Economic Review, the Journal of Computational Intelligence in Finance and Computational Economics. He also reviews for professional journals, such as Urban Studies and China Economic Review.




Dr. Jessica Anderson Schofield, Assistant Professor of Political Science, 203-837-8454

Dr. Jessica Anderson Schofield earned a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Missouri in 2017 and a B.A. in Global Studies and Political Science from South Dakota State University. She specializes in the study of international relations and comparative politics. Her research focuses primarily on issues relating to international human rights and enforcement of human rights law through international courts, and she is currently working on a project examining allegations of African bias in the International Criminal Court. Dr. Schofield also conducts research on topics relating to women’s rights, political violence, and African politics. She has presented her research at numerous national and international conferences, and her work on human rights theory has been published in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Empirical International Relations Theory. 


Dr. Robert D. Whittemore, Professor of Anthropology, 203-837-8461

Dr. Robert D. Whittemore earned his Ph.D. at the University of California in Los Angeles. After serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer and teacher and educational director for a child development center in Massachusetts, he did ethnographic fieldwork among the Mandinka people of the Casamance region of the Republic of Senegal. He also worked in urban Los Angeles with the developmentally disabled. As an associate of the Institute for Writing & Thinking at Bard College, Whittemore, in his classes at Western, explores the relationship between writing and thought, underscoring the importance of developing the kind of ethnographic sensibility essential to global citizenship. His wife, Elizabeth, who has collaborated with him on some of his research and writing, is a poet, playwright and novelist. Their eldest daughter, Miranda, is a novelist and their youngest, Vanessa Kai, is a filmmaker.



Dr. Howell Williams, Associate Professor of Political Science, 203-837-9335

Dr. Howell Williams holds a PhD in Politics from the New School for Social Research. His doctoral dissertation, “Re-Focus on the Family: The Development of a Liberal Family Politics,” was awarded the 2017 Hannah Arendt Dissertation Award in Politics. Williams researches the relationship between families and the state in America politics from the mid-twentieth century to the present. This research combines Williams’s interest in welfare policy, political discourse, and the rights of women and LGBT people. Williams incorporates these research interests into his political science classes on a range of topics, including American government, political institutions, political theory, and gender and sexuality politics. He has fellowships from the British Library and the U.K. Higher Education Academy. His writing has appeared in PS: Politics & Political Science, American Immigration (2nd Ed.), and The Guardian, and he contributes political commentary for the BBC. His current research project is a book on family values rhetoric in the contemporary Democratic Party.



Social Sciences Department Emeritus Faculty


Dr. R. Averell Manes, Professor Emeritix of Political Science, Conflict Resolution, and Peace Studies, 315-869-0869

Dr. R. Averell Manes earned a Ph.D. from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She taught comparative politics, research methodology and conflict resolution courses at WCSU for 28 years. As the founder and Director of the Conflict Resolution Project, she offered information, training and services to members of the WCSU from 1995 to 2020. Since its inception in 2008  until 2019, Dr. Manes co-founded, co-chaired and coordinated the Hancock Student Leadership Program with the Office of Academic Affairs. She served as the faculty editor of the Social Sciences Journal from 2001 to 2016. A conflict analysis and resolution specialist, she continues to work as a consultant, trainer, and intervener with non-profit organizations, government agencies, public and private schools, businesses, and private individuals. In 2021, the R. Averell Manes Gender Equity Award was created in recognition of her career of service in the fields of gender justice and conflict resolution. Currently, she is a Faculty Affiliate at the Program on the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration (PARCC) at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University.




Dr. Laurie Weinstein, Professor Emeritus of  Anthropology                                     , 203-241-8131

Dr. Laurie Weinstein is Professor Emeritus at WCSU Anthropology. Although she is retired, she still teaches for the Department and handles the Permaculture Garden logistics or everything from grant-writing to managing the student interns and networking with the food pantries in the Danbury region. The Permaculture Garden was her initiative when she was Chair of the JGC. When she is not working at WCSU, she is writing her books about Native England (Between Two Rivers and Two Wars: Western New England in the 18th century with Dr. Lucianne Lavin, for U of Arizona Press) and managing a major series for the U of Arizona Press. Weinstein also started the Archaeology Program and CRM minor at WCSU and she still consults with state officers, local museums, and historical societies about regional culture history. In particular, she is active with the Institute for American Indian Studies in Washington, CT. Dr. Weinstein has a lot of pets and helps to rehab small animals up in Massachusetts where she lives.








Social Sciences Department Adjunct Faculty


Elan Abrell, Ph.D.,

Robert Brown, Ph.D.,

Bernard Fitzpatrick,

He has been teaching at Western since 2000 in the Social Science Department. At Western he has taught Introduction to Political Science (PS 100), American Government (PS 102) World Governments, Economies and Cultures (PS 104), Introduction to Sociology (SOC 100) and State and Local Governments (PS 218). He also teaches at Naugatuck Valley Community College in the Social Sciences Division where he has taught Principles of Sociology (SOC 101), Contemporary Social Issues (SOC 201) Sociology of the Family (SOC 210), Social Inequality (SOC 221) and American Government. He previously taught at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue, New York. After a career in public service (Peace Corps, VISTA, Head Start and Public Housing), he went back to graduate school in Political Science at UCONN.

Lisa Worth Huber, Ph.D.,

Dr. Lisa Huber holds a Ph.D. in Peace Studies and Conflict Transformation from Lancaster University in the UK. She designed and implemented CT’s first accredited MA program in Conflict Transformation at The Graduate Institute in Bethany, CT, where she was the Academic Director. She serves on the Board of Directors for the National Peace Academy and the Advisory Board for the Connecticut Center for Nonviolence. Lisa is a specialist in community peacebuilding and conflict resolution and has worked in diverse settings as a consultant, facilitator, and peace and justice educator. Lisa is certified and trained in a variety of dialogue and peacebuilding practices from restorative justice to Kingian nonviolence. She is a participatory action researcher with a focus on empathy development, one of the essential skills for creating a compassionate global society.

John Jowdy,

Attorney Jowdy has been associated with the university since 1998 as an Adjunct Professor teaching courses in Political Science and American Government. A graduate of Boston College and New England School of Law (Boston), Attorney Jowdy is a trial lawyer with the Danbury law firm of Jowdy & Jowdy with an emphasis on civil litigation. In addition to his position at the university, Attorney Jowdy has served as an Attorney Trial Referee, Special Master in domestic relations cases, Attorney Fact Finder and Small Claims Hearing Magistrate in the Danbury Judicial District.

Ali El Moustakim,

Bhargavi Ramamurthy, Ph.D.,

Joshua Regan, Ph.D.,

Faline Schneiderman,

Adjunct Professor of Sociology and Anthropology.  She completed her MA in Anthropology at the University of Connecticut and is vice president and principal investigator at a professional cultural resource management firm in Connecticut.  Her focus on historical research and archaeology has led to excavations throughout the Northeast, with expertise on abandoned cemeteries, urban infrastructure systems, disenfranchised communities, rail corridors, and precontact sites. She is passionate about environmentalism and historic preservation and serves on the board of three preservation organizations as well as the Candlewood Valley Regional Land Trust.

Cosimo Sgarlata, Ph.D.,


Peggy Southard,

Adjunct Professor of Non-Western Culture, earned a MA from Yale Graduate School of East Asian Studies. Her focus of study was on China and Japan. At WCSU, Peggy teaches Japanese Culture and Cultural Anthropology. Born under the Japanese Occupation in Hong Kong (1941-1945), Peggy has many stories to tell about her parents’ life during the four years of Japanese occupation. After the war, the colony was reverted to British rule until 1997 when it was returned to China. Peggy grew up under British colonial rule and received her primary and secondary education in a French Convent school. She received a teaching degree to teach English to Chinese students. Peggy and her husband have lived in Hong Kong, Paris, France and Saudi Arabia and traveled extensively throughout Europe and the Middle East when her husband flew as a pilot for Saudi Arabian Airlines on loan from TWA. Besides English, Peggy speaks Chinese and French.

Maureen Sperrazza,

Nicole Struth,

Adjunct Professor of Political Science, graduated from WCSU in 2012 with a degree in Political Science and a minor in conflict resolution. She currently works as the Education and Special Projects Director at the World Affairs Council of Connecticut, where she works to manage and expand CTWAC’s education related programs such as the annual Model UN, reaching over 1100 Connecticut high school students each year. Nicole completed a dual graduate degree program, receiving an M.A. in International Relations from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and a Masters of Development Studies from the International Institute of Social Studies at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Prior to her studies, Nicole served as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Washington State assisting with the management of a college preparedness program for underserved high school students. Nicole has extensive travel experience that includes living abroad in Germany and The Netherlands.

Julie TelRav, Ph.D.,

Hans Tokke, Ph.D.,


Bieu B. Tran, MBA, MPA, MLitt, CAMS, CFE, CGSS,

Adjunct Professor of Political Science. Bieu Tran earned his MBA from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, MPA from CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice, MLitt in Political Philosophy from the University of St. Andrews (Scotland), and his BA from the University of Connecticut. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, RI. Together with his teaching at WCSU, Bieu has taught over 26 graduate and undergraduate courses at a variety of universities in Connecticut and New York, including three MPA programs. His career spans both the public and private sectors, as well as service in all levels of government. Bieu’s proudest professional accomplishment has been his service as an officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve. He is honored and humbled to have had the opportunity to serve alongside the nation’s finest Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen at home and abroad. Currently, Bieu is the Export Control Officer for the University of Connecticut and UConn Health, managing the entire export compliance portfolio for all areas within the university, including more than $375M in annual research enterprise.