Faculty Spotlight

Isera Miller
M.A., University of South Florida; B.A., Florida State University; A.A., Manatee Community College. Miller is pursuing her Ph.D. in Education and Leadership from Barry University (preparing to defend her Research proposal on “New Literacies”)

Miller is a very proud graduate of Manatee Jr. College (1977). In 2004 she became the first African American female to be promoted to full professor, and in 2015 became the first African American female to serve as Department Chair.

Teaches: ENC 1101, ENC 1102, AML 2600

Isera Miller
Isera Miller

Specific Areas of interest / Awards/Community Service include: Proud winner of the USF Distinguished Alumni Award, NISOD Award winner for Excellency in Teaching (Austin, Texas), served on Manatee County Headstart Board, United Way of Manatee County – Community Rep, CF’s Dr. Martin Luther King Grant- Planning Board member, SCF FIPSE  (Fund for the Improvement of Secondary Education) Grant Design Team and Family Heritage House Museum at SCF – Planning Board member

Miller won the National Council of Black American Affairs Southern Region Johnnie Ruth Clarke Award (1999) for her excellence in teaching. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa and active in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, one of the largest African-American women’s organizations in the world. Some of her hobbies include Riding Harley motorcycles and writing poetry.

Katherine Bzura
Master’s Degree in Art History from University of South Florida; Bachelor’s Degree in Art History, Criticism and Conservation from University of South Florida

Teaches: bzura-1
Art Appreciation, Art History I and II

Specific Areas of interest include: joie de vivre, the Guerilla Girls, street art, Jacques Derrida, Peggy Phelan, fine Italian handbags and contemporary performance art.

Frank Clements
Ed.D in Organizational Leadership from Nova Southeastern; MPA in Public Administration Organizational and Administration Leadership from Golden Gate University; BS in Human Resources and Management from Eckerd College.

Frank Clements

Business Courses, Engineering Courses in the BAS Program, and Computer Sciences Capstone course.

Research and Areas of interest: Clements is in the process of putting together a statistics course in Analytics using Excel, has a General in telecommunications and a General in amateur radio (W1FTC), is a Vietnam Vet who served two tours in Vietnam. Clements enjoys helping his wife rescue animals and rehabilitate horses. He spends his time practicing survival skills, camping and doing most anything outdoors. He loves working with the Family Partnership Center and is serving a second term on the board.

Margy Rich

Education: Savannah College of Art and Design, Master of Fine Arts, Painting, 2010; University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business, Bachelor of Business Administration, Marketing, 1994

Teaches: Painting, Figure Painting, Drawing, Color Fundamentals, Digital Design, Digital Illustration

Research and Areas of interest: In my studio practice, I create paintings that investigate the liminality of a particular place. I use light, color and form to explore the character and energy of seemingly banal spaces, and in this way, I recontexualize these spaces for further consideration.

During a recent project, On The Interval, I spent a year exploring the lines, planes and volumes of a gallery in-between shows. The completed large-scale paintings of the sans-event then became an exhibition. This exhibition was held in the same gallery offering a paradoxical experience for the viewer.

In addition to regularly exhibiting my work in local, national and international venues, I am an active member of SECAC, a national organization devoted to education and research in the visual arts. Papers and chaired panels on the subject of art/critical theory include: The Spectacular Unspectacular: Recontextualizing the Space Between Spectacles; Museum of Other Spaces; and The Museum as Subject.

Visit margyrich.com to view images

John “Woody” McCree

Ph.D., Union Theological Seminary; M.A., University of Illinois; B.A., Augustana College                 woody-mccree-1

Teaches: Philosophy and Religion

Areas of Interest: Woody has a wide range of Interests. Right now a major research interest is Environmental Philosophy, American Spirituality in the Transcendentalists and artists inspired by them. He is currently working on problems in speaking of God (metaphorical theology), environmentalist interpretations of Genesis 1.

Matthew Masucci
University of Delaware, Master of Arts in English, 2003; Pennsylvania State University, Bachelor of Arts in English, 2001.

Teaches: Composition, Literature, Technical Writing and Humanities Publication courses.

Areas of Interest: Matt researches and teaches literatures of the fantastic, particularly Science Fiction. In his novels course, students read apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic literature as an entry point to the form. He frequently presents at the International

Matt Masucci

Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts in the Horror Division. He enjoys (as one can) literary theory and its application to contemporary works of the fantastic. He has presented on Clive Barker, Joe Hill, F. Paul Wilson, P. D. James, and Jeff VanderMeer. A chapter applying eco-critical theory to VanderMeer’s best-selling trilogy, entitled “Angry Eden: Hyperobjects, Plant Entelechy, and the Horror of Eco-Colonization in Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy,” will appear in Dark Nature: Anti-Pastoral Essays in American Literature and Culture, edited by Richard J. Schneider.

Matt currently advises the Manatee County Public Library’s literary magazine 805 (http://www.805lit.org/) as well as the student literary and arts magazine Elektraphrog (http://elektraphrog.scf.edu/). His own fiction and poetry has appeared in Under the Bed, Mystery Weekly, Three Minute Plastic, Shotgun Honey, Illumen, Star*Line, Astropoetica, and The Undead 3: Flesh Feast. He has a story forthcoming in the Great Jones Street app, which is a Spotify for short fiction.

Jackie Smith

Education: BA, Florida State University (Psychology/English); MA, USF Tampa (English); Ph.D., USF Tampa (English/Literature)

Jackie Smith

Dissertation: “Women’s Narratives of Confinement: Domestic Chores as Threads of Resistance and Healing”

Teaches: ENC 1101, ENC 1102, LIT 2000

Specific areas of interest: Early American literature, Indian captivity narratives, slave narratives, other narratives reflecting confinement (i.e. domestic abuse, cultural constructs, incarceration, etc.).

Hyun Kim
AB Religion, Occidental College, MA School of Religion, Claremont Graduate University; PhD School of Religion, Claremont Graduate University

Hyun Kim
Hyun Kim

Dissertation: Whose Religion Is It Anyway? The “Problems” of Religious Pluralism 

Area of Specialization: Philosophy of Religion and Theology; Areas of Concentration: Epistemology and Ethics

Teaches: Philosophy and Religion
Courses: World Religions, Introduction to Philosophical Reasoning, Applied Ethics, Eastern Philosophy, Logic and Critical Thinking, Business Ethics (planned: Spring, 2017).

Specific areas of interest: inter-and intra-religious diversity, Wittgenstein, the problem of evil/theodicy, the logical sense of scriptural authority, postmodern ethics, Far Eastern Thought, Buddhism, analytic philosophy of religion, Hermeneutics of Contemplation.

Cheri L. Kittrell
: Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, M.A. in Psychology, and M.A. in Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary; B.A. in Psychology, Florida State University

Cheri Kittrell

Dissertation: Matched Parcel Reliability: A Simulation Study
Thesis: Continuous Norming: Estimation of Test Statistics for Normative Purposes

Teaches: General Psychology, Human Development: Lifespan, Child Development, and Applied Psychology

Specific Areas of Interest: Educational neuroscience and the interactions between biological processes and technology in education

Cheri worked for the Psychological Corporation and performed continuous norming and factor analysis for numerous ‘’in-press’’ psychological measures (such as the Canadian version of the WISC-III, NEPSY, the Inventory of Personal Problems, WJ-R, and WIAT). During some additional data work at UCLA’s Geriatric Psychiatry department, where she administered and scored neuropsychological batteries for Lilly/Wyeth’s research projects, she obtained an internship with a forensic neuropsychologist. In the years that followed, she would work for numerous state and private agencies, but much of her clinical work focused on conducting ‘’Jimmy Ryce’’ evaluations with sexually violent predators for the State of Florida.

When she’s not in the classroom, playing with sheep brains, she’s doing professional development seminars focusing on “teaching teachers how to teach with technology.” In her non-teaching life, she likes to travel, read, watch movies with her husband, Cameron, and go to the park with her Catahoula Leopard dogs, Wylie and Laini.

Dennis Runde

Education: BS Mathematics University of Wisconsin—Platteville; MS Mathematics University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee; PhD Mathematics Education University of South Florida.

Dennis Runde
Dennis Runde

Dissertation: Effects of Portable Computer Algebra Systems and Problem-Solving Heuristics on Community College Algebra Students’ Word-Problem Solving Abilities

Teaches: College Algebra, Precalculus Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, Topics in Mathematics, Liberal Arts Mathematics. He has also taught developmental math, calculus, trigonometry, and statistics.

Specific areas of interest: Cool applications of math that are interesting to non-STEM majors. Writing interesting mathematics problems. Outside of school, he is interested in all sports, all music, and is a trivia nut!

Runde just completed co-writing the 10th edition of A Survey of Mathematics with Applications. He has also co-written Elementary Algebra for College Students and Intermediate Algebra for College Students.

Philip Travis
B.S. in History, B.S. Philosophy from Radford University, M.A. in History from University of Kentucky, PhD in History from Washington State University.

Dissertation: Outlaw State: The United States, Nicaragua, and the Cold War Roots of the War on Terror.

Philip Travis
Philip Travis

Teaches: Western Civilizations and World War II. Wide teaching background over course of career includes, but not limited to, United States History, International Relations, the Vietnam War, the Sixties, the Cold War, Modern Germany, and Modern Russia. Will be a QEP coach 2016-2017

Specifics Areas of Interest: United States International Relations and specifically the Cold War and the War on Terror.

Phil’s article “We’re Going to Nicargua”: The United States, Nicaragua, and Counterterrorism in Central America During the 1980s” is scheduled for publication this May 2016 in Journal of Terrorism Research (Open Source, Peer Reviewed, operated by University of St. Andrews). He has a book manuscript under contract with Lexington Books (academic peer reviewed wing of Rowan and Littlefield) Outlaw State: The United States, Nicaragua, and the Cold War Roots of the War on Terror. He is also under contract for his article in the Encyclopedia of Latin American History with Oxford University Press. The working title is “The Treaty of Esquipulas” due for completion September 2016.

Ph.D., M.A., B.A., SUNY Buffalo. 2 NEH Grants to study Transcendentalism in Concord, Massachusetts and Folklore at University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Michael Buonanno

Dissertation: “The Last Adventure: A Tradition of Chivalric Narrative in Palermo, Sicily” under the direction of Bruce Jackson, Dennis Tedlock, Diane Christian, and Bruno Arcudi

Teaches: ANT 2000 (Introduction to Anthropology), LIT 2000 (Introduction to Literature), and LIT 2110/20 (World Literature I and II)

Specifics Areas of Interest: Folklore, Cultural Studies, and Anthropology of Religion

Buonanno is professor of English and anthropology at the State College of Florida–Manatee/Sarasota. His fieldwork in Sicily and his own Italian American community in western New York has led to publications in the Journal of American Folklore, New York Folklore, The World Observed: Reflections on the Fieldwork Process, and Magic, Witchcraft, and Religion: An Anthropological Study of the Supernatural.  Most recently, his book on Sicilian folklore, Sicilian Epic and the Marionette Theater was published by McFarland Press and reviewed in The Journal of Folklore Research and his article “Italian-American Political Leadership in the Tea Party Era: Conservative, Progressive, Reactionary,” coauthored with Laurie Buonanno, appeared in the book What Is Italian America?  Current projects include finalizing the manuscripts of A Singular History: The Shaping of Italian American Identity, coauthored with Laurie Buonanno and under contract with University Press of Florida and Mythologies: Culture, Religion, Identity, under contract with McFarland Press.

anna w
Anna Wasilewska

Anna Wasilewska
Education: Master’s degree in Mathematics with a concentration in numerical methods from University of Gdansk in Poland. Two-year post-master degree in education from the Gdansk Technical University. Anna used both degrees in her professional life in Poland working as an IT supervisor and teaching Computer Science at the high school level. Once she moved to the US, she attended Manatee Community College graduating with an AS degree in Computer Programming and System Analysis. After graduation she worked as a program developer, private math tutor, and a middle and high school math teacher. She has been with MCC/SCF since 2010 and is currently working on her dissertation titled “Motivation and Self-regulated Learning Efficacy Among Community College Students Enrolled in Accelerated Courses” from Barry University in Leadership and Higher Education.

Teaches: Intermediate Algebra, College Algebra, Liberal Arts Mathematics, and Topics in Mathematics.

Specifics Areas of Interest: Student motivation and Accelerated Student Learning. She also loves to sail and was part of the Sarasota Sailing Squadron.

Courtney Ruffner Grieneisen

Education: BA in English Literature, Penn State University; MA in English Literature, Clarion University; Ph.D. in Literature and Criticism with a concentration in Italian American Studies, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Dissertation: Inter-Colonialism: Onscreen Representations of Italian Americans

Teaches: Contemporary Literature, British Literature, The Novel (Gangster Literature, Banned Books, Immigrant Experience), Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature among other courses.

Specific areas of interest: Identity, Culture and Race, Literary Theory, Comparative Literature

pic for spotlight
Courtney Ruffner Grieneisen

Courtney has studied Ezra Pound’s Cantos in northern Italy, Dorf Tirol, in the castle owned by Pound’s daughter. She has also researched and studied Modernity and Pound in Madrid, Spain. She has published on Italian-Americana, Ezra Pound, Edgar Allan Poe, John Donne and Ida Lupino to name a few and has presented papers nationally and internationally on Italianity and on Pound. Courtney has also served in editorial and advisory positions, as she was advisor to the statewide award-winning student humanities magazine of SCF, Pentangle, and for over a decade was associate editor of the international journal Florida English. She is currently faculty editor for a new annual book of student writing, BLAST!

While her true passion remains teaching literature, she has contributed to numerous committees both at the college and in her academic field. She has served on the Professional Development Committee, Publications Committee, Promotion Committee, has been Adjunct Certification Coordinator, Faculty Senate President and faculty mentor to numerous full and part-time faculty. She is President of the SCF chapter of the American Association of University Professors and is involved in organizing efforts, equal representation for faculty rights and the protection of academic freedom.

Matthew Thomas

Education: BS in Biological Sciences, University of California-Irvine; Ph.D. in Biology, University of Oregon, Institute of Molecular Biology; Post Doctoral Fellow, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center.

Teaches: Fundamentals of Biology, Biotechnology technique classes, Biochemistry and Biochemistry Lab, Genetics

Matt Thomas
Matt Thomas

Specific areas of interest: Gene regulation, protein/nucleic acid interactions, Genetics, DNA forensics, Molecular Biology

Matthew Thomas’ first experience with laboratory research was studying transcription, the process of RNA synthesis, at UC-Irvine as both an undergraduate researcher and after graduation as a laboratory technician. His post-doctoral fellowship focused on mechanisms of gene regulation and was awarded a fellowship by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. After his fellowship, he left academia for an opportunity to work in the Biotechnology industry. Matthew was a Senior Scientist and Laboratory Manager at DNAPrint Genomics, a research and development firm that focused on personalized medicine solutions as well as forensic profiling of physical features based on DNA. During his time at DNAPrint, he worked on nearly 200 investigations covering diverse cases including serial killers and numerous victim identification cases, such as the identification of a murder victim in Mammoth Lakes California. He has presented his work to Scotland Yard, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences workshop on Louisiana Serial Killer and numerous other national and international conferences. After leaving DNAPrint, Matthew spent a few years working in the digital forensics area and then discovered the joy of teaching as an adjunct at New College of Florida, where he taught Genetics, before coming to SCF in 2011 to help start the Biotechnology program. When not developing new fun things for SCF students to do in the biology labs at SCF, you’ll find him biking, traveling and most of all experimenting in his kitchen as a true epicurean who loves to eat and create interesting food. Actually, most of his travels are motivated in finding that next interesting thing to eat.

Jeff Grieneisen

Education: BA in Liberal Studies, Penn State University; MA in English Literature, Clarion University; MFA in Film, Theatre and Creative Writing, University of New Orleans.

Teaches: Creative Writing, American Literature, Technical Writing.

Jeff and Bird AAUP
Jeff Grieneisen

Specific areas of interest: Poetics, Eco-poetics, Critical Theory, Modernist Literature, Ezra Pound.

An avid traveler, Jeff Grieneisen studied poetry and the literature of Ezra Pound in Northern Italy and creative nonfiction theory and practice in Madrid, Spain as part of his MFA program. He has presented papers and has been a featured poet in a number of international cities, including Edinburgh, Venice, Tyrol, London, Paris, and Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer.  He spent over a decade as an editor of the annual international literary journal Florida English and has published critical essays in anthologies and journals on the subjects of American literary modernism, Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, Edgar Allan Poe, and ecocriticism. His poems have also been featured in numerous anthologies, and he published his first book of poetry, Good Sumacs, (MAMMOTH Books) largely as a tribute to his hometown in rural Western Pennsylvania, where he spends summers with his family in the home his grandfather built.

Kristen L. Zaborski

Education: BBA in Business Administration with a major in Economics,
MS in Economics, ABD in Economics

Kristen Zaborski

Teaches: Macro and Micro Economics
Specific areas of interest: Economics education, inequality issues, labor issues, and discrimination pertaining to gender, wages, and prices. She currently writes an economics blog for her students: http://kzaborski.wix.com/obvioushuman

Faculty Website Project

Our semester project will be a Faculty Website highlighting areas of expertise, teaching focuses and concentrations in specific areas. This project will promote engagement with each other over academic interests and also will give us something to promote exactly what we do to our incoming students and interested community members.


One thought on “Faculty Spotlight

  1. Thank you Courtney for doing this! It is a great way to learn about our Colleagues on campuses and disciplines which have become quite segregated over the years. We used to know everyone, everywhere, about their contributions to our College, so we could feel appreciation and feel united; this is not so obvious today! Good luck with the future.
    Margery Robertson, PhD, Retired Professor SCF (1/1/2016) Currently Adjunct Professor


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