Academic Programs at WSU Tri-Citiies College of Arts and Sciences

Faculty & Staff


Kathleen McAteer

Kathleen “Kate” McAteer, Ph.D.

Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Clinical Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences

Kathleen McAteer (2002) earned her Ph.D. from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of South Carolina. Her research has three focus areas: 1) Analysis of metabolism in pathogen bacteria to gain a better understanding of the infection process, 2) Analyzing metabolic changes in filamentous fungi mutants to determine their utility in bioprocessing, 3) Characterization of immobilized enzymes in hydrogels to determine the optimal properties for these solutions as threat-detection agents. All of these projects utilize NMR spectroscopy as the main tool for probing biochemical changes in the systems being studied. McAteer currently lead a program for 4th and 5th graders at Lewis and Clark Elementary called “Science Extravaganza” which involves recruiting scientists to go their classrooms and give presentations. She is also an annual presenter for the MESA program at local high schools.

Andrea Aebersold

Andrea Aebersold, Ph.D.

Clinical Assistant Professor, English

CIC 202K

Andrea Campbell Aebersold (2010) received her Ph.D. in English Literature from Washington State University. Her areas of expertise include 20th century American literature, women writers, multicultural literature, and ecocriticism. Her research focuses on environmental literature written by women such as Octavia Butler, Toni Morrison, and Ruth Ozeki. Her most recent project focuses on environmental experiences and contested landscapes in Asian-American literature.

Simon Aebersold

Simon Aebersold

Instructor, English
Director of Writing and Tutoring Centers

CIC Library 201AE

Simon Aebersold (2010) earned his M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) from the University of Idaho. Before coming to WSU-TC, Aebersold taught English in Fukuyama, Japan and ESL at the University of Idaho. His research interests include linguistics, composition and rhetoric, and formal writing mechanics.

 Banks, Katie

Katherine Banks

Instructor, School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs

CIC 125R
Robert Bauman

Robert Bauman, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, History

CIC 125K
Office hours: By appointment only

Robert Bauman (1997) received his Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Bauman is an award-winning scholar whose research and teaching interests are in 20th Century U.S. social policy and race in the American West. His book, Race and the War on Poverty: From Watts to East LA, was published by the University of Oklahoma Press in 2008. He has been invited to present his research on the War on Poverty at several academic institutions, including Dartmouth College, the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University, and the Miller Center for Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. His article, “Jim Crow in the Tri-Cities, 1943-1950” won the Charles Gates Award for the best article published in the Pacific Northwest Quarterly in 2005.

Stephanie Bauman

Stephanie San Miguel Bauman, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Psychology

CIC 125L

Stephanie San Miguel Bauman (2011) received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research looks at developmental concerns and the role of resilience and empowerment within the broader scholarly areas of multicultural psychology and health psychology. In the area of multicultural psychology, she recently co-authored a chapter about lifespan development which appeared in The Oxford Handbook of Multicultural Feminist Counseling Psychology. Given her interest in the generation, transmission, and application of knowledge to serve the needs of Latino/Mestizo and Native/Indigenous communities in the Pacific Northwest, she serves on the advisory board of the Pacific Northwest Center for Mestizo and Indigenous Research and Outreach. In the area of health psychology, Bauman examines the psychosocial and school adjustment of adolescent and young adult survivors of childhood cancer.

 Bell, Brett

Brett Bell

Instructor, Department of History

CIC 125S
Matthew Berretta

Matthew Berretta

Instructor, English

CIC 202D
Bhaskar Bondada

Bhaskar Bondada

Associate Professor of Viticulture

East 103B
Cigdem Capan

Cigdem Capan, Ph.D.

Instructor, Physics

Cigdem Capan (2010) received her Ph.D. in Condensed Matter Physics from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris. She has been invited to speak across the globe including Italy, Poland, England, and throughout the United States. Her research specialty is Condensed Matter Physics. It is a frontier area of research, at the crossroads of solid state chemistry, materials science, and quantum many body theory. The aim of this interdisciplinary approach is to understand and describe the quantum mechanics of a very large number of particles, be it electrons in metals, or atoms in optical lattices. Capan has experience in conducting a large variety of measurements, including transport properties such as magnetoresistance and Hall Effect, and thermodynamic properties such as magnetization and specific heat, at low temperatures and high magnetic fields. She is also experienced in the crystal growth, solid state synthesis, and X-ray characterization of new materials.

Peter Christenson

Peter Christenson

Assistant Professor, Fine Arts, Digital Technology & Culture

Digital Technology & Culture Program, WSU Pullman

West 101D

Peter Christenson (2012) earned his M.S.W. from the University of Michigan and his M.F.A. in Intermedia from Arizona State University. Christenson is a multidisciplinary artist, writer, and filmmaker, and he is the recent recipient of a US-UK Fulbright Scholar Award in Art & Design. He is co-founder and Artistic Director of Left of Centre, a guerrilla-marketing/consulting firm and artist collective started in Detroit, MI.  His current practice and research are rooted in interventionist, social art, and institutional critique theories and significantly influenced by his past experiences working as a licensed psychotherapist. Christenson’s research focuses on New Media and Digital Culture, Installation and Immersive Environments, Institutional Critique and Interventionist Theory, Relational Aesthetics, and Psychosocial Art.

Jim Cooper

W. Jim Cooper, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences

West 128
Related website:

Jim Cooper (2011) specializes in the adaptive divergence of cranial anatomy in fishes. He earned a Ph.D. in Evolutionary Morphology from the University of Chicago. His research interests include functionally intricate skulls of those fishes in the lineage Percomorpha, skull evolution and how genetic changes affect fish skull evolution.

Vanessa Cozza

Vanessa Cozza, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, English

CIC 202E
Office hours: By appointment only

Vanessa Cozza (2011) specializes in multilingual composition and rhetorical studies. She earned a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Writing at Bowling Green State University (BGSU). Her research interests include student enculturation and assimilation, cultural differences in communication styles and its impact on literacy learning, teaching composition to U.S.-educated multilingual writers, Latino/as education, visual literacy and rhetoric, writing studies, critical pedagogy and social justice. Prior to arriving at WSU Tri-Cities, Cozza taught first-year writing as a graduate instructor at BGSU and a range of English courses at Neumann University and Delaware County Community College.

Sena Clara Creston

Sena Clara Creston

Clinical Assistant Professor, Fine Arts

Sena Clara Creston is an exhibiting interactive installation artist from New York City. Creston earned her MFA in electronic art from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2012 and her BFA from NYU for photography and imaging in 2005. Creston uses a combination of old and new technology to construct immersive electronic, kinetic and interactive sculptural installations as well as photographic environments. Her research and creative practice focus on the impact materials, process and mythology can have on interactive art and reflect on alternative associations with what is considered natural.

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Nelmi Devarie Baez

Instructor, Department of Chemistry

East 132
Brigit Farley

Brigit Farley, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, History

Brigit Farley (1995) received her Ph.D. in History from Indiana University. Her research interests include 20th century Russia and Europe, War and Peace in the 20th century, Holocaust, and commemoration, translation/annotation of historical works from Eastern Europe and Russia. Her expertise covers a wide span: Russia/Eastern Europe, US and European foreign affairs, 1914 to present, Cold War, Great War, World War II, European ethnic conflict, and the Holocaust. Farley worked in the Soviet Union as a United States Information Agency Exhibit Guide in the Soviet Union during the late 1980s. She shares her knowledge with the Richland Kiwanis, Pasco and Kennewick Rotary Clubs, senior citizen groups and local schools. Farley speaks Russian, French, and the Serbo-Croatian languages fluently and speaks Hungarian on a limited basis.

Allan Felsot

Allan Felsot, Ph.D.

Interim Academic Director
Professor, Entomology and Environmental Toxicology
WSU-TC Graduate Coordinator, School of the Environment

East 128
Office hours: By appointment only

Allan Felsot (1993) earned his Ph.D. in Entomology from Iowa State University. His research and extension interests include hazard assessments of transgenic crops, pesticide drift and buffer zone design, reduction of insecticide application rates using new sprayer technologies, enhanced biodegradation of pesticides, remediation of pesticide waste in soil, best management practices for controlling agrochemical movement to surface and ground water, analytical chemistry of pesticide residues in soil, water, and food, pesticide toxicology, regulations, and risk communication. He teaches a graduate course entitled “Applied Environmental Toxicology.” He also team teaches the course, “Pesticides: Toxicology and Modes of Action.”

Doug Gast

Doug Gast

Associate Professor, Fine Arts
WSU-TC Program Director, Digital Technology and Culture

West 101B
Curriculum Vitae
Related websites: — a collection of work in film, video, photography, and interactive media — a project website — a project website

Douglas Gast (2005) received his M.A. in Communication Studies from Baylor University and his M.F.A. in Electronic Art from the University of Cincinnati. Gast is an exhibiting artist whose work has been shown worldwide. His research and creative interests include Video/Film/Animation, New Media/Electronic Art, Photography/Imaging, Installation, Performance, Web/Net Art, Sound, Interactive Art, Conceptual Art/Fluxus/Dada, Semiotics, and Curatorial Studies. While typically digital or electronic in nature, his work involves the identification and activation of the inherent elements of the media which stands to best serve his chosen message. Gast is the advisor of the Digital Technology and Culture Student Organization.

Vincent Herbert

Vincent Hebert, Ph.D.

Associate Scientist, Entomology

Vince Hebert (2000) received his Ph.D. in Environmental Chemistry from the University of Nevada. Hebert is responsible for the administration of a state-mandated food and environmental regulatory science facility that conducts studies under federal 40CFR Part 160 Good Laboratory Practices (GLP). Hebert has a long-standing interest and professional involvement in understanding the environmental fate and transport of trace-level volatile and semi-volatile organics in air, water, and on land surfaces. His recent areas of research focus on field cover crop natural product biofumigation for soil-borne pathogen suppression and investigating efficacy of alternative emission-reducing field application practices to traditional center pivot fumigation. He also teaches graduate courses in environmental chemistry, natural products, and analysis of environmental contaminants.

Steven Hoch

Steven Hoch, Ph.D.

Professor, History

CIC 125H

Steven Hoch (2008) received his Ph.D. in History at Princeton University and has studied at L’Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris and at Moscow State University. Hoch’s research focuses on modern Russian history, European agrarian history, and historical demography. He has written two books and a number of articles on Russian history and the nation’s socioeconomic conditions. While at the University of Iowa, he received an $825,000 U.S. Department of Education grant to establish a National Resource Center in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies.

 Kuster, Nora

Nora Kuster, Ph.D.

Instructor, Department of English

CIC 125N
Mark Mansperger

Mark Mansperger, Ph.D.

Clinical Associate Professor, Anthropology

CIC 125N

Mark Mansperger (2003) earned his Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from Washington State University. His research includes Cultural Ecology, Cultural Change, Human Evolution, and Primate Behavior. Primarily a cultural anthropologist, Mansperger is active across the field including physical anthropology and paleo-anthropological discoveries. Originally trained in economics, his research interests also include political economy where he studies comparative economic systems, globalization, and democracy. He is also interested in Contemporary American Social Problems and deeply committed to investigating the looming challenges of dwindling resources and exorbitant wastes that humans have created on this planet. Mansperger taught and worked in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles prior to returning to Washington.

Allison Matthews

Allison Matthews, Ph.D.

Clinical Assistant Professor, Psychology

Allison Matthews (2011) earned her Ph.D. in Psychology from Washington State University. Matthews is an experimental psychologist with a specialty in cognitive psychology. Her research interests include theoretical and applied study of the interaction between affect and “cold” cognitive processes within dual-process models of decision making and reasoning, biases in decision making and reasoning, and executive control in working memory in clinical and non-clinical populations.

Michael Mays

Michael Mays, Ph.D.

Director, Hanford History Project
Professor, English

CIC 125C
Curriculum Vitae
Michael Mays (2012) received his Ph.D. in English from the University of Washington. Mays’s research and teaching interests include Modern and Contemporary Irish and English Literature. His book Nation States: The Cultures of Irish Nationalism was published in 2007.
Mays, Robin

Robin Mays

Instructor, Department of English

CIC 125D
Dan Mitchell

Dan Mitchell, Ph.D.

Clinical Assistant Professor, Chemistry

Dan Mitchell (2000) received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Washington.


Janet Peters, Ph.D.

Clinical Assistant Professor, Psychology

CIC 125D
Michael Pieracci

Michael Pieracci, Ph.D.

Clinical Associate Professor, Humanities and Social Sciences

CIC 125R

Michael Pieracci (1991) obtained his Ph.D. in Psychology from Saybrook University in San Francisco. Pieracci’s research specialties include World History and Civilizations, Religious Studies, Cultural Psychology, Psychoanalytic Theory and Practice, Narrative Politics, and American problems. He has a background in psychology and social services working as a self-employed psychologist, for Catholic Family and Child Services in the Tri-Cities, and for several social service agencies in Portland and San Francisco. He is the co-founder of the “Reflection Café,” a community-based discussion group and is the advisor of the Humanities Student Organization.

James R. 'Dick' Pratt

James R. “Dick” Pratt, Ph.D.

Professor of Environmental Science

East 103B

James R. “Dick” Pratt joined Washington State University Tri-Cities as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs on Aug. 1, 2008. He served as Interim Chancellor for the 2012-2013 academic year, transitioning in August 2013 to Professor of Environmental Science. Dick received his Ph.D. degree in Zoology from Virginia Tech, his Master’s of Science in Biology from Eastern Washington University, and his Bachelor’s of Arts in Biology from the University of Washington. He graduated from Kennewick High School in 1968.

Paul Strand

Paul Strand, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Psychology

Paul Strand (1997) earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Tennessee Knoxville. His research centers on school readiness and social skills development of children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Strand studies how shyness, social values, and emotion relate to social skills development and school engagement. He is concerned with verbal processes that emerge in cultural context and guide behavior, such as verbal-relational learning, IQ, social values, and religious practices. He is the Vice-Chair of the Benton Franklin Head Start Board of Directors, consults with the National Children’s Reading Foundation and the Children’s Developmental Center in Richland.

Sweet, Elly

Elly Sweet, Ph.D.

Clinical Assistant Professor, Biology

ICB Suite A
Sarah Tragesser

Sarah Tragesser, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Psychology

CIC 125Q

Sarah Tragesser (2007) received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Colorado State University. Her research focuses on personality features associated with substance abuse. Specifically, she studies Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), features of affective instability/negative affectivity and impulsivity, and how these relate to alcohol and prescription opioid use. She examines these features through exploring motives for using substances, and the role of physical pain in substance use and dependence. She studies the association between pain and personality features, and how motives mediate the association between BPD features, substance use, and consequences. Tragesser’s research spans both non-clinical and clinical populations, including research among college students, individuals in treatment for substance use disorders, and individuals in treatment for chronic pain. Currently, she is researching how chronic pain conditions and their interaction with personality features contributes to both negative emotionality and to the development of opioid dependence and dependence on other substances.


Carol Wilkerson, Ph.D.

Clinical Associate Professor, Foreign Languages and Culture

CIC 125F

Carol Wilkerson received her Ph.D. in Foreign Language Education from the University of Georgia. Her research focuses on second language acquisition and language teaching, including classroom discourse, code switching, language acquisition in adult learners, methodology, and language teacher certification. Dr. Wilkerson is a recipient of the Professor of the Year Award from the Foreign Language Association of Georgia. She has served on the board of directors for state, regional, and national language organizations. She was editor for Dimension, the journal of the Southern Conference on Language Teaching and a peer reviewer for culture and language journals. Dr. Wilkerson has been recognized for her professional service by the Georgia Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, the Foreign Language Association of Georgia, the Southern Conference on Language Teaching, and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.

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Kristy Valenciano

Program Specialist

West 263D

Cheryl Jensen

Administrative Assistant to the Vice Chancellor

West 263F

Lunstad, Jana Kay

Jana Kay Lunstad


West 263C

Gretchen Graber

Gretchen Graber

Native Plant Greenhouse Manager


Meg Mercer

Meg Mercer

Sciences Lab Coordinator

East 118

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 Meiers Mysti

Mysti Meiers

Senior Academic Advisor
CIC 125H

Kristen Wilson

Kristen Wilson

West 207D

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Last Updated: March 25, 2016