Minerva University’s globally diverse faculty are recognized experts in their fields with extensive teaching experience and a sound belief in Minerva’s pedagogical approach.
Dr. Richard Holman joins Minerva from Carnegie Mellon University, where he was a professor of physics. His current research concerns the interface between particle physics and cosmology, with a particular emphasis on the inflationary universe paradigm. He also works on more speculative ideas such as models of dark energy and the possible observable effects of the multiverse.
One of the brightest spots in Holman’s career has been his interactions with students at all levels. His teaching awards testify to how firmly he believes in his role as a mentor to the next generation of physicists. He has long been an advocate for women in STEM, and has also worked with the Pittsburgh Public School system as well as the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Sciences, to encourage young students toward careers in the sciences.
Holman was a postdoctoral fellow at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, the University of Florida, and an NRC Postdoctoral Fellow at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. He earned his Ph.D. in Theoretical Particle Physics and M.A. in Physics from the Johns Hopkins University, and his B.S. in Mathematics from Harvey Mudd College.
Dollie Davis specializes in International Political Economy and Economic Development. Prior to joining Minerva, she worked as an International Visiting Fellow at a think tank in Taipei, Taiwan where she executed a paper, discussing the impact of Taiwan’s Non-Governmental Organizations on their International Aid, Healthcare, and Political Systems. She earned her Ph.D. degree in Political Economy from the University of Southern California and M.A. degree in Economics from the University of San Francisco.
Professor Davis taught courses on Economic Development in the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California. She believes in actively engaging with each student and providing a forum for in-depth discussion about old and new concepts and ideas in every class. Professor Davis teaches the Boom, Bust, and Bubbles: The Free Enterprise System Core Course and the Global Development and Applied Economics Concentration Course.
Professor Abha Ahuja joined Minerva from her most recent role as a Lecturer and Curriculum Fellow at Harvard Medical School. Prior to that she researched the evolution of protein function as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. Ahuja earned her Ph.D. in Genetics from McMaster University, and B.S. in Zoology from Delhi University.
As a curriculum fellow at Harvard Medical School, Ahuja's passion for helping to improve the instruction of statistics has driven her research on best practices in teaching quantitative skills to life scientists. In the classroom, she encourages her students to be active in every aspect of their learning experience, from the introduction of a topic through to mastery. Professor Ahuja teaches the first-year Empirical Analyses Cornerstone and the Genetic Blueprint to Organism Concentration Course.
Michael Bogucki’s areas of expertise include modern British and Irish literature, Victorian and modernist performance cultures, narrative theory, and the philosophy of psychology. His current research focuses on the relation between perceiving genre and moral perfectionism in Joseph Conrad, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and Samuel Beckett.
As a teacher, Professor Bogucki has always been drawn to a remark Ludwig Wittgenstein made while reading James Frazer’s The Golden Bough:
The historical explanation, the explanation as an hypothesis of development, is only one way of assembling the data--of their synopsis. It is just as possible to see the data in their relation to one another and to embrace them in a general picture without putting it in the form of an hypothesis about temporal development.
It may not be as unforgettable as some of Wittgenstein’s other formulas (i.e. “To imagine a language means to imagine a form of life”), but Professor Bogucki believes it speaks to a different way of thinking about education. In an intensive, student-centered classroom, we can let go of the generalizations others think we should know and instead focus on honing the skills we need to actually see things in relation. Especially in academic writing, we often paralyze ourselves searching for the perfect explanation or “synopsis,” rather than treating writing as a matter of acknowledging and actually conversing with our audience. Professor Bogucki teaches the first-year Multimodal Communications Cornerstone Course.
Professor Catherine Carter’s doctoral work examined the relationship between people and sustainable technologies, in a charged, bi-national context. For her dissertation, she spent nine months conducting ethnographic research on sustainability built environment projects on the U.S.-Mexico border. Professor Carter earned her Ph.D. in Sustainable Design at the University of Texas School of Architecture and Planning. She earned her Master’s in Sustainable Design, with a focus on how building technologies shift values, habits, and practices of inhabitants in sustainable directions.
Professor Carter is excited to draw on her past experiences to help students respond to complex global problems using critical thinking and creativity. Through her teaching, she aims to help students understand how people shape their built environments, how built environment shapes people, and the power of design to make sustainable and just change.
Kevin Connolly is a cognitive scientist and philosopher who works on learning. His research focuses especially on perception-based learning, as found in experts from wine tasters to radiologists, to bird watchers. Prior to joining Minerva, he was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania and a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Network for Sensory research, an interdisciplinary group of perception researchers with research hubs at Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Toronto, Glasgow, and London. Professor Connolly received his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto and a B.A. in Honors Philosophy from the University of Notre Dame.
Professor Connolly has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Toronto, Bryn Mawr College, and the University of Rutgers, Camden. His teaching goal is to give students the scaffolding by which they can think through problems themselves. He also takes an interdisciplinary approach, which aims to have students consider a single subject matter from the perspectives of multiple disciplines. Professor Connolly teaches the Perception, Cognition, and Reality core course.
Professor Alexis Diamond is one of the world's leading experts on impact evaluation in international development and public policy. Prior to Minerva, he led program evaluation for nearly a decade at IFC, the private-sector development arm of the World Bank. He earned his Ph.D. in Political Economy and Government from Harvard, and a M.A. in International Development from Carleton University.
Diamond has taught evaluation and causal inference at top-tier institutions around the world. He believes students learn best in classes that focus on problem solving and building practical skills, and encourages them to push the frontiers of their own capabilities — establishing a culture conducive to intellectual risk-taking. Professor Diamond teaches the Knowledge: Information-Based Decisions Core Course.
Before joining Minerva, Alexandra Digby was a lecturer in economic history at the University of Cambridge where she taught classes on the relationship between economy and society and on the history of economic thought. She has also worked as a consultant for the United Kingdom government and, more recently, as a writer and assistant editor at The Economist.
Professor Digby earned her Ph.D. in economic history from the University of Cambridge and her B.A. (First Class) in economics from the University of Manchester. She is committed to teaching economics from an interdisciplinary perspective and is passionate about the history of economic ideas.
Author of a publication in the Journal of Supply Chain Management, as well as several publications under review in Productions and Operations Management, IJPE, and the DSI
Presenter at the annual meetings of several organizations, including the Decision Sciences Institute (DSI), the Production and Operations Management Society, EurOMA, and the Global Manufacturing Research Group
Contributing member of The Global Manufacturing Research Group (GMRG)
Previously a Market Segment Manager, Project Manager and Managing Director for Oerlikon Balzers in Europe and the USA for more than a decade
Reviewer for the annual meetings of the DSI and Academy of Management (AOM)
Recipient of the University at Buffalo School of Management, Rising Star Award, 2013
Torsten Doering received his Ph.D. in Operations Management and an M.B.A. from the New York State University at Buffalo. His B.A. in Mechanical Engineering and his first M.A. degree were earned in Germany. Professor Doering's research interests are primarily in the fields of empirical supply chain management and manufacturing research, with a focus on demand planning and integration in a global context. He is the Director of the Global Business Program and an Assistant Professor at Daemen College in Amherst, New York.
Professor Doering believes that higher education must be exciting for students and that Minerva's unique learning model develops responsible and sustainable behavior in a global context. He will utilize his managerial skills to establish connections between salient concepts and the business environment. Professor Doering teaches the Business Operations concentration course.
Katie Donnelly uses the composition of volcanic rocks to understand the chemical evolution of the planet and dynamics of the Earth’s mantle. Professor Donnelly has applied her experience in basic scientific research to academic study, government policy as an advisor to key members of the U.S. House of Representatives, and climate and clean energy initiatives through work at private foundations and other non-profit organizations. Professor Donnelly earned a Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Sciences from Columbia University, a M.Sc. in Geological Sciences from the University of Otago in New Zealand as a Fulbright Fellow, and a B.S. in Earth Sciences from Trinity University.
Professor Donnelly views teaching as a dynamic process through which both students and professors learn, and where understanding means being able to apply basic scientific concepts to real world problems. She has experience in both Natural Science and Social Science Departments and teaches the first year Empirical Analysis and Complex Systems Cornerstone courses.
Professor Andy Dosmann has developed and taught award-winning curriculum as a teaching fellow at Stanford University's Thinking Matters program. Fascinated by how animal behavior varies over time, he has also led multiple scientific expeditions in Thailand, Suriname, Bolivia, and Kenya, and has published numerous articles on his findings. Dosmann earned his Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology from the University of Chicago.
As a teacher, Dosmann believes students learn best when applying creative problem solving skills to real-world situations. He is thrilled to be part of reinventing higher education at Minerva and to work alongside diverse, driven, and intellectually-engaged students. Professor Dosmann teaches the first-year Empirical Analyses Cornerstone.
Professor Randi Doyle has conducted critical research on the impact of stereotype threat on gender differences in math and spatial performance. Her work also aims to explain why men tend to outperform women on tests of spatial ability. Doyle earned her Ph.D. in Experimental and Applied Psychology, as well as B.A. in Psychology from the University of New Brunswick.
Doyle describes her teaching style as “student-centric” with an emphasis on the process of learning, not content. She believes the best part of teaching is when students grow excited about a particular subject matter and become inquisitive drivers of their own education. Professor Doyle teaches the first-year Complex Systems Cornerstone, "Perception, Cognition and Reality," and "Personal and Social Motivation."
Professor Doyle's Cognitive Gender Differences Lab is online at https://doylelab.ca
Nikki Eberhardt's life goal is to empower people with audacious solutions in order to tackle the globe’s most intractable challenges. She seeks to disrupt at the intersection of technology and scalable social impact. She is Assistant Professor of Business at Minerva—teaching startup finance, marketing and global business. She has an M.A. in International Development from Brigham Young University, an M.B.A. from Said Business School at Oxford, and a Ph.D. in Global Sociology from the University of Utah.
Eberhardt currently serves on Delta’s Global Talent Team to craft leadership development and mentor culture strategies. She is EVP Impact eThree + Director Partnerships at ZSchool, a digital platform promoting generational change. She also works with Global Citizen—a movement harnessing voices of global citizens, influencers, world leaders, and corporations to fundraise and advocate for the end of extreme poverty.
Recipient of the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Prize for Excellence in Teaching by Graduate Students, the School of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching by Graduate Students, and Graduate Fellowship for Teaching Excellence
Lindsey Fiorelli earned her Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests include the philosophy of film, philosophy of language, and philosophy of perception. More specifically, her work focuses on how we engage — perceptually and cognitively — with works of visual art.Professor Fiorelli taught Philosophy and Critical Writing courses at the University of Pennsylvania, including: an Introductory Aesthetics course, a Critical Writing seminar on Digital Art, and a Critical Writing seminar on the Moral Evaluation of Art. She strives to develop students’ critical thinking skills and to create an open-minded atmosphere in the classroom; she believes that intellectual rigor and enthusiasm go hand in hand.
Ph.D. in Ecology and Environmental Sciences at the University of Maine
Postdoctoral fellow at the Canadian Rivers Institute at the University of New Brunswick Saint John
Visiting professor of Ecology at Bates College and the University of Missouri St Louis
Articles in several ecology and ecotoxicology journals, including Ecological Applications, Conservation Biology, Biological Conservation, Wetlands, Landscape and Urban Planning
American Fellowship award from the American Association of University Women
Professor Gahl joined Minerva after teaching biology and field ecology at Bates College, the University of Alaska-Southeast, and the University of Missouri. As an ecologist with unending curiosity, Gahl is motivated by puzzling scientific questions, rather than discipline-specific projects. She served as postdoctoral fellow at the Canadian Rivers Institute at the University of New Brunswick-Saint John and earned a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Maine.
Gahl’s approach to teaching is to impart skills so that students can critically solve problems. She is excited to be part of the team at Minerva to design creative active learning sessions focused on these skills to help students excel both within and outside the classroom.
Allie Gale uses the geochemistry of mid-ocean ridge basalts (rocks) to make inferences regarding the composition and temperature of Earth's mantle. Prior to Minerva, she taught many different geoscience courses as an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls. She earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Harvard University.
As a teacher, Professor Gale encourages students to “think” rather than simply memorize. She frequently uses different modes of teaching in her classroom, including hands-on exercises with rocks and minerals, case studies, and humor. She is excited to participate in a new vision for higher education at Minerva and to work with diverse and motivated students.
James Genone, Ph.D., is a Professor of Social Sciences at Minerva Schools at KGI and the Managing Director of Higher Education Innovation at Minerva Project. He oversees academic strategy, program design, and program delivery for Minerva’s higher education partnerships. He also works closely with Minerva’s Product Team to develop and refine the technology we use for curriculum design, instruction, and assessment of student learning. Previously he was Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies at Minerva Schools at KGI, where he oversaw the Cornerstone courses for the undergraduate general education program and coordinated curriculum development across colleges.
Before joining Minerva, Dr. Genone was Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University, Camden. His areas of expertise include the philosophy of mind and cognitive science, and he has both taught and engaged in research on topics such as the nature of sensory consciousness, semantic reference, personal identity, concept acquisition, and perceptual knowledge. Dr. Genone earned his Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, and was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University.
Professor Goldemberg conducts research and policy work in the field of Development Economics with an emphasis on public education and financial inclusion. In parallel to her career at the World Bank, she is keen to support the coming generations of economists by teaching the Global Development core course at Minerva.
Professor Goldemberg earned a Ph.D. in Economics from EPGE, Brazil, and two masters from Harvard University. She loves contributing to and witnessing students’ growth and is astonished by Minerva’s systematic consideration of the science of learning in all aspects of the curriculum.
Aboozar Hadavand received his Ph.D. from City University of New York (CUNY,) Graduate Center and his M.A. in Economics from Texas Tech University. Prior to Minerva, Hadavand served as a postdoctoral fellow at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, where he studied how students learn through massive open online courses (MOOCs.) Hadavand’s primary research focus is on the economics of labor force and higher education. He is currently researching the new economy, also known as a shared or gig economy, focusing on skill acquisition, gender discrimination, income inequality, and workers unions.
Hadavand has previously taught at Barnard College of Columbia University, Brooklyn College, and Texas Tech University. He has also been the curriculum developer and lead of a program called Cloud-Based Data Science (CBDS) in Baltimore. The goal of CBDS is to train and prepare disadvantaged young adults for jobs in the field of data science.
Kiel Howe obtained his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Stanford University in 2015. Prior to joining Minerva, he worked as a Research Associate at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory writing mathematical poetry about subatomic particles. His current research interests involve connections between the mathematics of deep learning, statistical mechanics, and quantum information.
Published articles in the Journal of Philosophy, the Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy, and Religious Studies
Recipient of a Mellon-Wisconsin Summer Dissertation Grant
Recipient of a University Fellowship, a Marcus G. and Blanche L. Singer Graduate Fellowship and a William Hay Summer Fellowship from the University of Wisconsin-Madison
Recipient of the “Honored Instructor Award” at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Conferred by UW-Madison Division of Housing for instruction in Philosophy and nominated by a student.
Presenter at several conferences, including the American Philosophical Association, the Society of Christian Philosophers, the Wisconsin Philosophical Association, and the Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress
Alexander Hyun earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of California-Berkeley. His areas of specialization are primarily in the field of ethics, with research interests in epistemology and philosophy of religion. Prior to joining Minerva, he taught at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
As a teacher, Professor Hyun prioritizes the development of careful thinking and clear communication in his students, and is excited by the ways in which Minerva's curriculum is specifically designed to nurture these invaluable skills. He also seeks to promote intellectual self-confidence — the intellectual virtue that avoids both arrogance and excessive self-doubt. Professor Hyun has taught a variety of philosophy courses at his previous institutions, including Introductory Ethics, Applied Ethics, Business Ethics, Philosophy of Law, and Ethical Theory. Professor Hyun teaches the first-year Multimodal Communications Cornerstone, the Morality and Justice core course, as well as the Ethics and the Law concentration course.
Erin Kamler is an acclaimed composer, playwright, and academic researcher. Her work reflects her passion for the intersection of feminist social justice and the arts. Kamler earned her Ph.D. at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, where her research focused on the trafficking and migration of women in Thailand, and using the arts as a tool for political communication and human rights witnessing.
In the classroom, Kamler encourages students to apply critical and creative thinking to achieve their educational and personal goals. She teaches The Arts and Social Change, as well as Socioeconomic Influences on the Arts and Literature.
Robert Karl is a historian of modern Latin America and the Caribbean. His book Forgotten Peace: Reform, Violence, and the Making of Contemporary Colombia (California; Spanish translation Librería Lerner) is a critical reference point in academic and public debates in both Colombia and the United States about Colombia’s current peace process. He holds a Ph.D. in History from Harvard University and a B.A. from Dartmouth College.
Karl is passionate about helping students learn how to apply historical methodologies to real-life situations. His interest in bringing digital methodologies to teaching, research, and storytelling aligns with Minerva’s innovative approach to the study of history. Karl teaches Historical Forces courses on public and applied history, the craft of historical research, and comparative history.
Rated as one of the top five teachers in College of International Security Affairs at National Defense University
Presidential Management Fellowship Finalist (scored in top 2% of class) for the prestigious Federal Talent Development Program
Summer clerk at the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA)
Associate of Cosgrove, Eisenberg & Kiley, P.C., Boston, MA and Foley Hoag LLP, Boston, MA
Published the Bulletin of Regional Cooperation in the Middle East, a quarterly newsletter published by Search for Common Ground (August 2006)
Author of “The United States and North Korea Compete for China’s Support”; Power and Interest News Report, www.pinr.com (June 2006)
Nicholas Kenney has spent a decade studying the complex national security issues of the twenty-first century. His research centers on grand strategy and the rise of terrorist organizations, insurgencies, and cyberpower. His dissertation was on the British Empire and the nationalist movements in Ireland and India. He has also worked in Jerusalem and for the U.S. Departments of State and Defense. Professor Kenney earned his Ph.D. in International Relations from Tufts University, a J.D. from Boston College, and a B.A. in History from the College of the Holy Cross.
Suzanne Kern is a dedicated teacher, mentor, and scientist, with a longstanding interest in undergraduate science education. Prior to joining Minerva, she taught Biology at the Claremont Colleges. Kern earned her Ph.D. at MIT using interdisciplinary approaches to study bacterial metabolism, with implications for clinical medicine and bio-energy. For more than a decade Professor Kern has supported students’ academic and personal development through teaching and mentoring roles at the Claremont Colleges, Caltech, MIT, and Colorado College.
Professor Kern believes that learning to solve meaningful problems is best accomplished by combining rigorous thinking with mastery of fundamental concepts. Her love of both science and learning is reflected in the classroom environment she fosters, where students practice new skills through discovery, collaboration, and reflection, building upon their collective experiences and individual identities.
Professor Nadav Klein is passionate about the opportunity psychological research offers to better understand how people evaluate and interact with each other. More specifically, he is interested in reputation and how people can build, repair, and communicate it effectively. Professor Klein is a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Chicago, where he also earned his Ph.D. in Managerial and Organizational Behavior at the Booth School of Business. Before the University of Chicago, he worked in consulting and earned his undergraduate degree in psychology from Amherst College.
As a teacher, Professor Klein cares most about the opportunity to inspire students the same way he had once been with the insights psychological research can give students about how and why people behave, think, and decide the way they do.
An avid writer, Professor Mark Kukis spent a decade as a journalist before coming to academia. Early on Kukis served as a White House correspondent for United Press International. Kukis left UPI to cover American interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan after September 11, 2001, writing for Time, the New Republic and Salon. His experience inspired him to write Voices from Iraq, an oral history of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq as told entirely by Iraqis. Kukis earned his Ph.D. in United States History and International Relations from Boston University and holds a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.
Inspired by his own education, Kukis believes in maintaining an open dialogue with his students about their studies. These conversations, which he believes are a critical component to their educational experience, can often last years or even decades. Professor Kukis teaches the Global History Core Course and the Government and Social Change Core Course.
Rena Levitt earned her Ph.D. in pure mathematics at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2008. After completing her degree, Levitt joined the Department of Mathematics at Pomona College where she designed and taught classes implementing inquiry-based learning techniques in single and multivariable calculus, linear algebra, and geometric group theory.
During her time in Claremont, Levitt developed programs designed to address diversity in higher education focusing on recruitment and retention in STEM fields. She served as a faculty member for the Pomona Academy for Youth Success and developed Pomona’s Learning Communities in Mathematics — a mentoring program for students traditionally underrepresented in math and the sciences. Levitt’s research focuses on geometric and combinatorial approaches to decision problems in algebraic structures. In 2012 she was selected as a faculty supervisor for the Fletcher Jones Fellowship Grant, a research experience for undergraduates in mathematics. Levitt joined the Minerva University in the spring of 2014 as the Academic Director of Computational and Natural Sciences. Dean Levitt teaches the first-year Formal Analysis Cornerstone.
A former member of the mathematics departments at Occidental College and Pomona College, Professor John Levitt conducted research on the Minimal Model Program in algebraic geometry, derived categories, and enumerative geometry. He has also been involved in competitive machine learning.
Levitt has a background in active learning strategies inside and outside the classroom and has been involved his entire career in transforming his students' views of mathematics as a body of facts to a problem solving process. As a faculty member, he taught a broad spectrum of mathematics courses using these strategies, ranging from calculus and linear algebra to advanced seminars in geometry and set theory. Levitt has also been heavily involved in several community outreach programs.
Christine Looser is a behavioral scientist whose work combines social psychology, vision science, and neuroscience to explore how perceptual information is successfully (and mistakenly) transformed into social knowledge. Broadly, she is interested in how small cognitive biases can create large downstream consequences for interpersonal understanding, organizational management, and public policy. She holds a Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience from Dartmouth College and a B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross.
Prior to joining Minerva, Looser was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Harvard Business School and taught in the Harvard Psychology Department as a College Fellow. When teaching, her goal is to help students define questions they care about and show them the promise of scientific research to convert questions into methods, methods into data, and data into meaning. Professor Looser teaches the Market Dynamics and Product Analytics Core Course.
Nikhil Mathur is a financial economist whose work focuses on banking, financial intermediation, and macro-finance topics. His most recent research investigates the effects of financial regulation on bank risk. Mathur earned a Ph.D in Economics with a specialization in International Money & Finance and Computational Modeling from Claremont Graduate University, an M.P.P degree in Economics from Pepperdine University, and his B.A. from the University of California, Riverside.
What excites Mathur the most about Minerva is its deep focus on applying scientifically evidenced and cutting-edge pedagogical techniques. As a faculty member, he enjoys teaching the ‘art and science’ of analysis within the Strategic Finance concentration at Minerva’s Business School. He teaches Financial Planning, Budgeting, and Modeling; Enterprise, Design and Optimization; Capital Allocation and Value Creating Growth; Business Practicum; tutorials; and also serves as a Capstone Advisor.
Katie McAllister’s research at Cambridge focused on exploring the role of the prefrontal cortex and cognitive impairment in Schizophrenia. Prior to Minerva, she developed a broad skill-set as a management consultant with the London office of the Boston Consulting Group, while continuing to maintain engagement with neuroscience. Professor McAllister completed her Ph.D. in neuroscience at The University of Cambridge, following an interdisciplinary B.Sc. in Cognitive Systems at The University of British Columbia. She is passionate about interdisciplinary approaches to undergraduate education, particularly geared towards developing critical thinking, creative problem solving, and effective interaction skills.
Professor McAllister is the Head of the College of Social Sciences and teaches Cognitive Neuroscience and Complex Systems.
Before joining Minerva, Robson Morgan worked as a Postdoctoral Research Scholar at the University of Southern California’s Center for Economic and Social Research. Specializing in happiness economics — the quantitative and theoretical study of happiness — his research focuses on answering the question: what policies can governments implement to make their citizens happier? Morgan earned his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Southern California, and his B.A. from the University of British Columbia.
Morgan believes Minerva’s interactive classroom environment is vastly superior to the traditional lecture. In his own words, he says, “The constant interaction during class not only allows the students to get more out of each session, but it also allows me to get to know my students better. I love seeing them grow into dynamic intellectuals and powerful change makers.” Hearing the ambitious aspirations of his students fuels Morgan’s passion for guiding them along their education journey.
African Politics and Power Program Fellow at the UF Center for African Studies, funded by the U.K. Department for International Development (D.F.I.D.) and Irish Aid
2014 Distinguished Alumnus award from Valdosta State University’s College of Arts and Sciences (Political Science Department)
Created and led two field schools on community development in Kenya, which included students from universities in U.S. and Kenya, government officials, political leaders, and other community leaders
Founded and led five organizations focusing on socioeconomic development, political development, and food security innovations in Kenya
Levy Odera earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in Political Science from the University of Florida and served as a Postdoctoral Associate in the Center for Public Issues Education at UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. His work deals with issues of political development, citizen-politician linkages, microfinance institutions, the informal economy in Africa, and community development. He has researched, written, and taught extensively on these topics.Dr. Odera has taught courses on Africa, including courses on poverty and development, at the University of Florida. He believes in creating a teaching and learning environment that empowers students to boldly address complex global challenges through authentic practical experiences that develop their creative thinking and innovation skills. He is currently leading a longitudinal study examining the implementation of Kenya’s new constitution.
Recipient of the Social Science Research Council's International Dissertation Research Fellowship
Recipient of multiple research grants from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
Invited to present research at institutions, including the Transatlantic Doctoral Seminar of the German Historical Institute, the Freie Universität Berlin, the University of Colorado-Boulder, and Vanderbilt University
Guest Historian on "The World that Wasn't" podcast
Contributor to the blog of the Journal of the History of Ideas
Worked as an advertising account strategist, directing consumer research projects and advising clients like Coke Zero, Microsoft Windows, and Old Navy on brand positioning and strategic direction
Sonja Ostrow's primary research interests are in modern German political and cultural history and the history of the human sciences. Her current project, based on her dissertation, examines the use of public opinion polling in western Germany after World War II as a lens onto the institutionalization of democracy after fascism and the application of scientific methods of management to national populations. Professor Ostrow earned her Ph.D. in modern European History from Vanderbilt University and her B.A. in History from Yale University.
Professor Ostrow previously worked as an advertising account strategist, an experience which strengthened her conviction in the importance of historical inquiry to the analysis of culture and society in the present. In the societies and institutions of the past, she sees not only the sources of contemporary developments, but laboratories for understanding the challenges, possibilities, and complexities of modern life. At Vanderbilt University, Professor Ostrow taught courses on Modern Germany, the Holocaust, and the ethical dimensions of World War II. In her teaching, she aims to provide students with the analytical tools to formulate their own questions about historical and contemporary problems and sources. She also encourages students to sharpen their writing and communication skills, and further develop their abilities to construct and deconstruct narratives. Professor Ostrow teaches the first-year Multimodal Communications Cornerstone.
Past teaching appointments include Bogazici University, San Francisco State University (SFSU), the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, Sabanci University, University of San Francisco (USF), and the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS)
Founder and Director of Big Data Analytics Program at Bahcesehir University
Ozgur Ozluk has published research on various business applications of mathematical programming models, from supply chain optimization to pricing and revenue management. He is the CEO and Founding Partner of Verite Analytics, a predictive analytics company. Professor Ozluk earned his Ph.D. and M.Sc., both in Operations Research, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Bilkent University.
Professor Ozluk believes that the most important part of teaching nurturing a passion for lifelong learning in his students. He is thrilled to be a part of the innovative Minerva infrastructure.
Published peer-reviewed articles in political theory, including in History of Political Thought.
Recipient of awards and fellowships, including the Northeastern Political Science Association McWilliams 2016 Best Paper Award in Political Theory.
Research associate and postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Center for Ethics as well as a lecturer at Harvard's Department of Government
Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford
Professor Tomer Perry joined Minerva from his most recent role as Research Associate at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University and a postdoctoral fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Tel-Aviv University. Perry earned his Ph.D. in Political Science with a Minor in Philosophy from Stanford University in 2016, and a B.A. in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
As a research associate at Harvard's Center for Ethics, Perry worked on an ethics pedagogy project, developing active-learning exercises and simulations where students exercise ethical judgement in realistic contexts. In addition, Perry developed the principles for creating such simulations inspired by game design. In the classroom, Perry encourages a comfortable environment for genuine exchange, so that students can express, examine and revise their opinions as well as reach a better understanding of others.
Dr. Ribeiro joins Minerva building upon a career in academia as a cosmologist and in the industry as a data scientist. With a Ph.D. and a MASt from the University of Cambridge, Ribeiro has conducted formal research into theories of modified gravity applied to dark energy and the physics of the Big Bang.
Throughout her career, Ribeiro's passion for teaching and mentoring contributed to some of her best work outside class. Ribeiro is enthusiastic about sharing new perspectives on course material in the classroom and cultivating a culture of inquisitive minds on the shoulders of constructive argumentation. Her approach has also been successfully applied to leading data science teams in numerous startups.
Ph.D. in Theoretical Cosmology and M.A. in Mathematics, from the University of California, Davis
B.S. in Physics, B.S. in Mathematics, and Certificate in Biological and Medical Sciences, from the University of Rochester
Ben Richard’s research interests reside at the interface between fundamental physics and cosmology, with an emphasis on quantum field theoretic aspects of inflationary cosmologies. Professor Richard earned his Ph.D. in Physics and his M.A. in Mathematics, from U.C. Davis, in addition to his B.S. in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Rochester.
Having greatly benefited from interacting with his mentors, Professor Richard strives to remain accessible to students while encouraging them to be self-driven and involved in projects that spark their curiosity. He also enjoys bringing theoretical concepts to life through the use of examples ranging from his own research to practical everyday applications.
Carl Scheffler has extensive experience as an academic and an industry professional in machine learning. Prior to Minerva he acted as the technical lead at an edtech startup in South Africa, after which he joined South Africa’s largest online retailer as a founding member and, eventually, technical lead of the machine learning team. Professor Scheffler earned his Ph.D. in Bayesian Inference from the University of Cambridge.
Professor Scheffler has been teaching university students on and off since starting work on his M.Sc. research. He has traveled from Africa to Europe, India, the Americas, and the Middle East to help teach hands-on use of technology in underserved communities. He believes that people learn best by doing, and that we truly understand a concept once we can build something with it. Professor Scheffler teaches the Modern Computational Statistics concentration course.
Rohan Shekhar’s expertise lies in the field of dynamic systems and control. His research focuses on the application of model-based and model-free control methods to automotive systems, autonomous vehicles, and robotics. Professor Shekhar earned his Ph.D. in Control Systems Engineering from the University of Cambridge, as well as a Bachelor of Engineering with First Class Honors from the University of Queensland.
Having experience in both small-group teaching within the Cambridge supervision system and conventional lecturing at the University of Melbourne, Professor Shekhar realizes that learning happens best in small groups when students are given the right level of guidance to arrive at the answers by themselves. He also believes strongly in the use of technological tools to enhance student learning outcomes. As such, he fully endorses the bold path being forged by Minerva in enabling students to take ownership over their education through the use of state-of-the-art teaching technologies based on the science of learning. Professor Shekhar teaches the Harnessing Artificial Intelligence Algorithms concentration course.
Professor Mark Sheskin is a developmental psychologist whose research focuses on how children learn, and on the development of moral behavior. He received his B.A. and B.S. degrees from the University of Miami, and his Ph.D. from Yale University. He then completed postdoctoral training at École Normale Supérieure in Paris and at the Cognitive Science Program at Yale. His current research is run through a video chat platform he developed through Yale University, TheChildLab.com, which allows families from around the world to participate in research studies.
As a teacher, Professor Sheskin is most excited about helping students move from consumers of information to users of information in real-world contexts (and creators of new information). Reflecting this, much of his previous teaching has involved coordinating senior projects for students across cognitive science, helping them complete capstone experiences from theoretical papers in philosophy to applied projects in computer science.
Arnav Sheth teaches mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is also an associate professor (on leave) and Director of the graduate Finance program at Saint Mary’s College of California, in Moraga, California, where he teaches courses on derivatives, corporate finance, investment management, and quantitative methods to working executives enrolled in the MBA and MS Finance programs.
Outside of teaching and administrating, Sheth enjoys researching areas at the cusp of academia and the practitioner world. He has several publications in journals such as the Journal of Investing, the Journal of Investment Strategies, Computational Economics, and more. He published his first book, Optimal Operating Strategies Under Stochastic Cash Flows, in 2011.
He consults with organizations via his firm, Gaji Analytics, and is currently a Research Adviser to BrightQuery, a startup in the alternative data space. He has an MA in experimental economics, an MBA in finance, and a PhD in quantitative finance from Rutgers University.
Trisha Stan is joining Minerva from her recent role as a fellow in Stanford’s Program for Writing and Rhetoric, where she taught Written and Oral Communication with an emphasis on Science Communication. She earned her Ph.D. at Stanford University in Immunology. For her dissertation, she studied how the immune system is altered in patients with neurodegenerative disease. Professor Stan earned her B.A. in Philosophy and Molecular Biology in William Jewell College’s unique Oxbridge Honors program, where she learned first-hand the value of a liberal arts education and seminar-style instruction.
Professor Stan has taught courses in a variety of disciplines and finds that students learn best by applying knowledge and skills to solving real-world problems. She believes that students should think broadly and critically engage with ideas from diverse perspectives to challenge their own biases and ways of thinking.
Professor Geneva Stein joined Minerva from her position as Assistant Director of Undergraduate Learning Programs at Princeton University where she also served as a lecturer in Molecular Biology. Professor Stein earned her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Neuroscience from Princeton researching the genetics of learning and memory in C. elegans. Prior to this, she studied Type 1 Diabetes as a research assistant in a University of Pennsylvania Medical School laboratory and received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Bryn Mawr College.
Though Stein began her career as a molecular biologist, she is now focused on understanding how humans learn and translating the science of learning into effective pedagogical practice. In particular, Stein is passionate about helping students understand how, with effort and guidance, they can intentionally develop processes of scientific thinking and communicating, and refine methods of working both interdependently and independently towards success in their chosen field. Stein also considers active learning and purposeful reflection to be necessary components in helping students thrive in courses at Minerva.
Philip Sterne has solid foundations in both the theoretical and practical application of Machine Learning. With his Ph.D. in Physics from Cambridge University, he has contributed to the understanding of statistical inference in random graphs. In his commercial career, he has built machine learning applications in banking and online retailing. His main research interest is in understanding the brain as performing optimal statistical inference under certain constraints.
With several years of lecturing experience under his belt, Professor Sterne has found that the best teaching happens when the lecturer is approachable and enthusiastic and for optimal learning, students are pointed in interesting directions and allowed to tackle the material themselves (with a little light guidance whenever obstacles arise). Professor Sterne teaches the Computation: Solving Problems with Algorithms Core Course and the Machine Learning for Science and Profit Concentration Course.
Recipient of the Charles and Holly Housman Award for Excellence in Teaching from the MIT Mathematics Department
Developed online content for MITx Massive Open Online Courses in Calculus and Differential Equations
Instructor of the MIT Teaching & Learning Lab’s Kaufman Teaching Certificate Program; provided training for graduate students and postdoctoral candidates on teaching and course development
As a doctoral candidate, Professor Lucas Tambasco participated in various educational initiatives, such as developing online content for MITx, preparing graduate students and postdoctoral candidates through teacher-training courses, and serving as the academic coordinator for MIT Brazil’s pilot Global Teaching Lab program. He earned his Ph.D. in Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he also obtained his B.S. in Mathematics and Physics.
Professor Tambasco is a proponent of research-based strategies for classroom instruction. He has implemented active learning activities in his mathematics courses and focused on providing prompt and direct feedback to students. He is passionate about using analytical and computational tools to gain insight into physical phenomena. Professor Tambasco aims to promote this passion in the classroom by relating abstract concepts to real-world scenarios.
While obtaining her Ph.D. in Physics from the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics at York University, Alexandra Terrana conducted research in cosmology and gravitation, motivated by the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy. Using analytical methods and numerical simulations, her work illuminates the best basis for models of our universe on the largest scales. She has also pursued science education research, including student learning effectiveness in online environments.
Professor Terrana has experience in teaching a broad range of Mathematics and Science, and thrives on the challenge to make seemingly complex material accessible and exciting for students. Her focus in the classroom is on students' development of skills to break down and solve problems. Professor Terrana teaches the first-year Formal Analyses Cornerstone and the Physics of Life Core Course.
Engin Volkan received her Ph.D. in Economics from University of Southern California and specializes in Macroeconomics and Financial Economics. Her dissertation focused on sovereign default in emerging economies and their contagious effect on mature markets. She is passionate about incorporating creative and interdisciplinary approaches to her research. Engin is also an aspiring filmmaker and holds an MFA degree in Photography from Marmara University.
Patrick Watson is a neuroscientist with a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and B.S. in Molecular Biology, both from the University of Illinois (at Urbana-Champaign). He uses computational and machine learning techniques to help understand how the brain learns, remembers, and generates new hypotheses.
As an aspiring polymath, he's collaborated with historians on Individual and Collective Memory Consolidation, a book analyzing parallels between individual and collective memory, and worked with kinesthesiologists on a fitness intervention to enhance cognition. Professor Watson teaches the first-year Formal Analysis Cornerstone.
Professor Scott Wisor focuses his teaching and research on ethics and international affairs. His forthcoming book is The Ethics of Global Poverty: An Introduction (Routledge). Wisor received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder and his B.A. in Philosophy and History from Washington University in St. Louis.
Wisor encourages students to write frequently and to subject their ideas to regular critical examination. He believes Minerva's small, interactive classrooms help students to analyze and evaluate arguments, improving their critical thinking skills. Professor Wisor teaches the Morality and Justice Core Course and the Creating Ethical Political and Social Systems Concentration Course.
Grace Woods-Puckett’s research specialties include nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American and European art and the arts of sub-Saharan Africa. Questions of national identity, performance, myth, and networks inform her current research. Woods-Puckett earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in Art History from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and B.A. in Art History from Smith College.
Woods-Puckett believes curiosity and enthusiasm are two of a student’s most powerful tools; helping her students discover how to activate and harness those powers is one of her great joys. Professor Woods-Puckett teaches the Multimodal Communications Cornerstone, the Arts & Social Change Core Course, and the Decoding the Arts and Literature Concentration Course. She is also the Head of the College of Arts and Humanities.
Mina Yang is a musicologist with research interests in cultural studies, Asian American culture, and American music. A skilled pianist and musicologist, she earned a B.A. in Art History from Brown University, M.M. in Piano Performance from the New England Conservatory, and Ph.D. in Musicology from Yale University.
Yang has taught a range of classes for undergraduate and graduate students at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, University of California, San Diego, University of Southern California, and other institutions in California. Yang has also published two books and numerous essays situating music within larger sociopolitical trends. She has presented her work internationally and has consulted for and supported the marketing efforts of Disney, LA Opera, and other arts organizations. Yang is a Professor of Arts and Humanities at Minerva, where she also serves as the lead of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.
Yang can be reached at email@example.com.
Melissa Yates is a professor of moral and political philosophy. She earned her Ph.D. in philosophy at Northwestern University researching theories of public reasoning developed by John Rawls and Jürgen Habermas. She teaches courses in normative and applied ethics, social and political philosophy, and feminist theory.
Yates’ research addresses social, political, and ethical philosophical questions about the ways citizens exercise power, and the institutions that constrain, enable and coerce citizen engagement in public life. In her manuscript in progress, Democracy as Strangers: Governing without Ties of Intimacy, she argues that current democratic theory fails to account for one of the most important realities of contemporary democratic life, namely the fact that the vast majority of democratic citizens are fundamentally strangers to one another. The manuscript draws connections between democratic estrangement and algorithmic personalization in the context of democratic digital public spheres, and on the idea of trans-temporal relationships of power that are particularly relevant in the context of increased migration caused by climate change.
Peter Zoogman is an atmospheric scientist with research interests in air pollution and climate change. Zoogman has been deeply involved in the design and development of an upcoming NASA satellite mission and his research both guides and is guided by environmental policy and planning worldwide. He received his Ph.D. in Earth and Planetary Sciences, an M.A. in Physics, and a B.A. in Chemistry and Physics, all from Harvard University.
He aims to foster a class environment where students are continuously challenging themselves and each other (and him!) to figure out how to apply scientific concepts, data, and models to real-world challenges. He looks forward to engaging with students at Minerva that are committed to being active members of the global community.
Zoogman teaches the first-year Empirical Analysis Cornerstone, two science concentration courses (Monitoring and Modeling Earth Systems; Analyzing Matter and Molecules) and Research Methods. He also teaches Environmental Sciences and Engineering at Harvard University and is a researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
Joshua Fost has a diverse background centering on the intersections between science, philosophy, technology, and education. Before joining Minerva, Dr. Fost was an Assistant Professor at Portland State University, where he taught disciplinary courses on neurophilosophy, artificial intelligence, critical thinking and ethics, as well as interdisciplinary courses on artificial life, design and society, and the rise of modern physics. His background also includes six years as a private sector consultant and Chief Technology Officer for a diverse set of companies.
In his time at Minerva, Dr. Fost has led and contributed to a wide range of academic projects and programs. Chief among these include the creation of a quantitative measure of knowledge transfer used to track student progress in the general education program; the use of Big Questions to focus first-year courses on a diverse array of enduring globally significant issues; creation and management of the Master of Science in Decision Analysis program and the Minerva Baccalaureate program for high school students; and oversight of institutional and educational research.
Dr. Fost earned a Ph.D. in psychology and neuroscience from Princeton University, and a B.A. in neuroscience and philosophy from Bowdoin College.
The Board of Trustees is committed to making a Minerva education accessible to all qualified students, facilitating the administration of grant-funded research, and advocating for broad reform in higher education.
Minerva University Cabinet and directors are distributed globally and leaders in their respective fields.
Minerva has established a robust financial assistance program, funded by generous donations to the Institute, helping our students attain the full height of their potential.