Faculty / Staff

Faculty and Staff of the Behavioral Sciences.

Department Chair

Villegas, Francisco
Associate Professor
O: AC-3F05

Dr. Villegas’ central interest is based on contemporary research using adult stem cell (neurospheres) transplantation and recovery of cognitive functions in a rat model of Alzheimer’s disease. The rat Alzheimer’s model is produced by chronic infusion of neurotoxins. The behavior test includes using the Morris water maze for testing learning and memory, and a ‘serial reaction time task’ for testing attention. The study presents an innovative strategy for exploring more permanent treatments for neurodegenerative disorders.

Full-Time Faculty

Ashton, William
Associate Professor
O: AC-3E05

I’m a Social Psychologist and specialize in how people perceive and think about other people and the common errors people make when thinking about people.  My specific research interests involve the stigma of mental illness and how people think about blame and responsibility in sexual assault situations. I also have training in Community Psychology and worked for about 10 years outside of academia in community development, namely leadership development and community organizing. I also have interests in fringe areas of Psychology.  I’ve published articles and letters about Jungian Archetypes and anomalous phenomena (e.g. ESP).

Austin, Susan
Doctoral Lecturer
O: AC-3E05
My areas of expertise are in research methodology, child development, personality, and abnormal psychology.

Berwid, Olga
Assistant Professor
O: AC-3E05
Dr. Berwid's research is focused both on the course of neurocognitive development from preschool through late adolescence/early adulthood, particularly of higher-order cognitive functions in those affected by Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and related conditions, as well as on the potential utility of physical exercise as a broad-based, non-pharmacological treatment for these disorders.

Boris, Richard
O: AC-4D04

Richard J. Boris is professor of political science at York College, City University of New York (CUNY) and was executive director (2001--2014) of the National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions at Hunter College, CUNY.

Boris graduated from Hunter College (1964), City University of New York and received his PhD (1972) in political science from Indiana University where he was a university fellow and Woodrow Wilson Doctoral Fellow. In 2013 Boris was inaugurated into Hunter College’s Hall of Fame.

He was chapter chair of the Professional Staff Congress at York College, then vice-president of the Professional Staff Congress and briefly its president.

He has been interviewed often in trade journals such as the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Education. And by newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal and the Baltimore Sun, Los Angeles Times, and by regional news outlets.

Daniels, Ron
Distinguished Lecturer
O: AC-4E06

As former Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights and a veteran social and political activist, I have an extensive familiarity with issues and policy affecting African Americans and other people of color. In addition, I am conversant with First Amendment issues, the Patriot Act, torture, rendition and related issues. As former Deputy Campaign Manager for Rev. Jesse Jackson’s 1988 presidential campaign and a former independent candidate for President, I regularly comment on electoral and political issues in my weekly column Vantage Point and my radio show on WBAI. My principal international work is Haiti via the Institute of the Black World 21st Century and the Haiti Support Project. Conversant with U.S. policy towards Haiti and political trends in Haiti.

Davies, Kristin
Assistant Professor
O: AC-4D06D
My research is an intersection of intergroup and interpersonal relations theory. I am interested in the process of cross-group friendship development; I seek to clarify the roles that intimate processes (such as closeness, trust and self-disclosure) may play in the formation of one's attitude about members of differing social groups ("outroups"). I would like to discover what makes people go beyond general tolerance for outgroups, and encourages them to develop a deeper level of compassion for others, motivating them to actively assist outgroup members.

Duncan, Robert
Assistant Professor
O: AC-4D03
Dr. Duncan's primary research interests are (1) to study the physiological mechanisms of visually guided behavior in healthy individuals and (2) to develop novel functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) techniques to quantify neuronal, vascular, and metabolic contributions to neurodegenerative visual disorders. Dr. Duncan's current research uses fMRI to compare measurements of neuronal activity and blood flow throughout the retino-cortical pathway to standard clinical measures of visual function. Additional interests include inquiry-based pedagogy and games-based learning for behavioral intervention or social impact.

Dyer, Conrad
Associate Professor
O: AC-4D06

Courses include American Government, Urban Government, American Political Thought, Congress and the Presidency, African Culture and Politics; special interest in the practice and scholarship of teaching.

Gregory, Michele
Associate Professor
O: AC-3A03

My research is on the relationship between hegemonic masculinities and organizational inequality, which includes examining issues pertaining to gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity and class.  In addition, I examine how sports are used in the workplace by employers and employees to construct competitive masculine discourses of embodiment.

Hansen, Ian
Assistant Professor
O: AC-4D06
I am an Assistant Professor in Psychology, with experience in social psychology, cultural psychology, political psychology and psychology of religion. My current projects focus on (1) understanding religiosity as a correlate of psychological conservatism that is potentially quite different from political conservatism (2) more generally assessing whether 2- or N-dimensional models of ideology strike a better balance between simplicity and explanatory power than the traditional one-dimensional (liberal vs. conservative) model (3) experimental approaches to transforming ideological self-construal, and (4) investigating whether there are moral objections to certain practices (like torture) that cannot be reduced to the known differences in moral priorities between liberals and conservatives.

Harper, Robin
Assistant Professor
O: AC-4D06G
Robin A. Harper is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and Pre-Law Advisor. Her research focuses on immigration, citizenship, and civic engagement. Current research examines how people think about citizenship and how those understandings influence their civic engagement; a sponsored research project comparing citizenship manuals; and a third project on foreign workers in Israel. She teaches American Politics, the Supreme Court and Introduction to Law. Prior to coming to York, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Wellesley College. She is a former Deputy Director of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and Language Services and the Social Services and Immigrant Affairs Policy Supervisor at NYC OMB. She was a Policy Analyst as a Robert Bosch Fellow in the Berlin, Germany, Office of Integration Affairs and the Ministry for Labor in the Immigrant Integration Department. She was a Project Supervisor for a cross-border social service program in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Kostrzewa, Aneta
O: AC-3A02
Aneta Kostrzewa is a second-year Writing Fellow and a doctoral candidate in the Sociology program at the CUNY Graduate Center. Prior to becoming a Writing Fellow, she taught introductory sociology courses at York College, as well as advanced courses in urban sociology at Hunter College. Currently she is working on her dissertation titled " Remembering Nowa Huta: Working Class Communities and the Politics of Memory in Post-Socialist Poland". Faculty collaboration, CPE workshops and WAC-related video projects are at the top of her agenda for the current academic year.

Levey, Tania
Associate Professor
O: AC-3A09
Dr. Tania Levey's research interests include sex and gender; work and occupations; stigma; and sex work. Her past research focused on the effects of public higher education on the long-term educational and occupational attainments of low-income women and their children. Currently she is examining issues relating to emotional labor and stigma among sex workers, specifically professional dominatrixes, and sexual shaming through social media.

Majerovitz, Deborah
O: 4D-06

Professor Majerovitz has a doctoral degree in Social and Personality Psychology with a concentration in Health Psychology. Her areas of expertise include the psychology of aging, coping with chronic illness and disability, the impact of illness on marital and family relationships, and the role of social support in buffering stress. Her research interests encompass the psychological impact of family caregiving, family decision making in long term care and nursing home placement, communication in health care settings, and cultural differences in beliefs about elder care. She has worked with non-profit organizations on program evaluation, outcomes assessment, and applied health policy research.

Mokrue, Kathariya
Assistant Professor
O: AC-4D06D

Evidence-based interventions such as cognitive behavioral therapies and mindfulness-based stress reduction program have been demonstrated to be very effective in reducing common problems such as depression, anxiety, insomnia and disordered eating and improving quality of life for many.  Interventions are brief, problem-focused, and very cost-effective compared to traditional psychotherapies or medication.  Yet, many individuals (e.g. ethnic minorities, immigrants, elderly) do not seek or receive this quality care.  My research focuses on modifying these interventions for use among underserved and overlooked populations, addressing barriers, and improving access to such care. 

Pitsikalis, Harry

O: AC-4D06
Dr. Pitsikalis’ research interest fall generally within the domain of gender role socialization that contributes to the development and maintenance of psychopathology. He is interested in how men and women express symptoms of depression, anxiety, and personality disorders. In particular, his objective is to increase our awareness that therapists may hold different standards of mental health based on gender. Clinically, he enjoys working with the severally mentally ill (SMI) inpatient populations, especially those clients diagnosed with schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder.

Preiser, Lawrence
Assistant Professor
O: AC-4D06H
Professor Preiser's current research surrounds Autistic Spectrum Disorders, specifically Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS). Professor Preiser is actively involved in the Early Intervention and Committee on Preschool Special Education Program's which service children birth through 5 years of age. Professor Preiser is a proponent of experiential learning and has conducted research which has examined this in a Psychology gateway course (Human Development I). Professor Preiser also conducts research regarding quantitative literacy and its effects on learning.

Sharpe, Michael
Assistant Professor
O: AC-4E05
Dr. Sharpe’s areas of specialization are comparative politics and international relations and his research interests include looking comparatively at globalization, the politics of international migration, immigrant political incorporation, and political transnationalism. His current research analyzes the factors that propel migrations of postcolonial citizen and coethnic immigrants and what limits or facilitates their political incorporation and political transnationalism in liberal democratic host societies. To examine this, Dr. Sharpe focuses on post-colonial citizen Dutch Caribbean immigrants in the Netherlands and Latin American Nikkejin (Japanese descendant) immigrants in Japan. At York College, Dr. Sharpe teaches classes that include comparative politics, international relations, US politics and government, American foreign policy, comparative politics of migration, Caribbean Politics, and Asian Politics.

Smickle, Winsome
O: AC-3E05
Prof. Smickle an Alumni of York College, graduated in June 1999 with a BA in Psychology. She went on to Adelphi University and completed her MA in General Psychology. Immediately after she began working as a Special Ed teacher and Dean at the Department of Education and an Adjunct Lecturer at York College. In spring 2009 she was hired as a full time Lecturer in the Department of Behavioral Sciences. Prof. Smickle has continued to assist Dr. Villegas with his ongoing research, Intracerebroventricular Infusions of Amyloid β-peptides Causing Memory Deficits and Alterations in Sleep-Wake Patterns. She has also participated in the YC Summer Research Program where she mentored a high school student with her research project, Spatial Navigation Facilitates the Encoding of LTM. Prof. Smickle's research interests are in the assignment of labels and its impact on the developing child and, the effects of early academic intervention in school-aged children.

Swoboda, Debra
Associate Professor
O: AC-4D06E

Dr. Swoboda's disciplinary research focuses on layperson understanding of genetic testing for risk of health problems, including psychiatric disorders, and how technologies of genetic enhancement impact conceptions of disability. She has published articles and book chapters on the social construction and diagnosis of contested illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome and environmental illness/multiple chemical sensitivities. Her scholarship of teaching and learning research looks at faculty understanding of threshold concepts, use of expert/novice distinctions in teaching and learning, and engagement with constructivist pedagogies.

Zhang, Xiaodan
Associate Professor
O: AC-3A11

Xiaodan Zhang's research focuses on changing labor relations under the economic reform in China. It is part of her larger intellectual inquires into construction and reproduction of power relations in society. The theoretical questions are centered on the relations between institutions, human actions and social changes. She also examines the cultural factor; but her interest is in finding out how and why certain cultural elements survive different social systems. Gender is another area of study. She is interested in women’s social movements in China and how it adopts, applies and redefines feminist theories from the West.

Professor Emeriti

Dick, Stuart
Professor Emeritus
Karp, Eric
Professor Emeritus
O: AC 4DO6
Ostholm, Shirley
Professor Emerita
O: AC-4D06
Ranis, Peter
Professor Emeritus
O: AC-4D06
Rosenberg, Sidney
Professor Emeritus
O: AC 4DO6
Walker Ray, Jacqueline
Professor Emeritus
O: AC 4DO6
Wynne, J. Donald
Professor Emeritus
O: AC 4DO6

Part-Time Faculty

 Batson, Horace, Adjunct Assistant Professor

 Campbell, Jennifer, Adjunct

 Elfers-Wygand, Patti , Adjunct

 Erlbaum, William, Adjunct Professor

 Feldmar, Gabriel, Adjunct Assistant Professor

 Giamanco, Jack, Adjunct

 Giosan, Cezar, Adjunct Assistant Professor

 Higgins, Kathryn, Adjunct

 Jenkins, Sharmayne , Adjunct

 Kiefer, John, Adjunct

 Kreider-Verhalle, Esther, Adjunct Lecturer

 Reynolds, Tina, Adjunct

 Rodgers, Cathy, Adjunct Assistant Professor

 Segal, Peter, Adjunct Assistant Professor

 Seiser, Richard, Adjunct

 Sperry, Ryan, Adjunct Assistant Professor

 Thomas, Adair, Adjunct Lecturer

 Walsh, Neil Ryan, Adjunct Lecturer

College Laboratory Technician

 Manifold, Karen, College Laboratory Technician


 Biskup, Maria, Adjunct Lecturer

 Boeri, Natascia, Adjunct Lecturer

 Campbell, Jennifer, Adjunct Lecturer

 Hernandez, Mario, Adjunct Lecturer

 Howie, Juan, Person of Interest

 Johnson, Carol, CUNY Administrative Assistant

 McCleod-Spruill, Andrea, Office Assistant

 Mohyuddin, Ameena, Adjunct Professor

 Ortiz, Randolph, Adjunct Lecturer

 Stevens, Allen, Adjunct Assistant Professor

 Trappen, Sandra, Adjunct Lecturer

 Yarru, Errol, Adjunct Assistant Professor