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FRINQ Faculty

Kenny Bagley

Leslie Batchelder a northwest native, grew up in a small town just east of Seattle. She holds a PhD in German cultural studies from the University of California at Davis. In addition to the Constructed Self, she also teaches Popular Culture and Women's Studies. Ms. Batchelder lives in Hillsboro with her computer crazed husband and her son Rhys.

Victoria Belco Victoria Belco has both a JD and a PhD in History (both from the University of California, Berkeley), and practiced law as a Federal Public Defender before turning to 20th century European history. Her research focuses on the social and institutional history of Italy, and she is currently working on crime and criminal procedure in Fascist Italy.

Joel Bettridge draws on his background in poetry and philosophy to help students develop their critical thinking and writing skills. Professor Bettridge received his BA from Emory University and his PhD from the State University of New York at Buffalo. A poet and a critic, his interests include American literature, the Modernist tradition and its legacy, and contemporary poetry and poetics.

Becky Boesch has taught in University Studies since its inception in 1993 and has a wide range of experience teaching in Freshman Inquiry, Sophomore Inquiry and Transfer Transition. Her disciplinary background encompasses American and English literature, applied linguistics, and postsecondary education with a specific focus on immigrant literature and issues surrounding immigration and immigrants in higher education. Becky grew up in South Dakota and is herself a child of an immigrant. She also has a strong environmental ethic and during her free time, she can be found hiking, camping, wildlife viewing and gardening. 

Chris Butenhoff is an Adjunct Assistant Professor. MS, 1999, Portland State University.

Christopher Carey, J.D., is a former Deputy District Attorney and currently an Assistant Professor at Portland State University. He has recently served as a Teaching Fellow at Arizona State University's Hugh Downs School of Human Communication where his focus was intercultural communication. His expertise extends to the application of international law with an emphasis on human trafficking in South Asia and working with groups to improve collaboration with the field of human rights. When not learning about the world from his Eli and Lilah, he can be found fly fishing the rivers and climbing the mountains of the Pacific Northwest.

Evguenia Davidova is a European historian who specializes in the 19th century, "It took me a while to realize that I like making drastic changes in my life. I have been deciphering 19th-century manuscripts in various archives for a very long time, an exciting effort in challenging my eyes and brains that led to a Ph.D. in history. I also worked on a project 'History of Roma/Gypsies in Eastern Europe' and, like these nomads, have traveled a lot. My imaginary travels into the past and my curiosity about the future influenced my decision to leave my native country Bulgaria and to move to the USA. Hence it is not a coincidence that my current research interests focus on travel literature. In my spare time I enjoy reading books, listening to music, and watching movies."

Grace L. Dillon, PhD, is an Associate Professor in Native American Studies and University Studies at Portland State University, where she teaches Native American cinema, popular culture, and science fiction.   She is Coordinator of the Popular Culture program. She is editor of Hive of Dreams: Contemporary Science Fiction from the Pacific Northwest (Oregon State University Press, 2003).  Her work appears in Foundation, Extrapolation, The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, Renaissance Papers, The Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, and The Journal of General Education.  Currently she is completing a book on indigenousfuturisms with University of Arizona Press.

JR Estes teaches and writes on issues related to environmental policy, sustainability, and the media, with a focus on public literacy of environmental policies. Her classroom goal is to foster students' abilities to form, connect, and communicate ideas in their areas of interest.  She models this by sharing her own research process with her students.  Professor Estes is currently working on a book chronicling the policy history of catastrophic oil spills in the U.S. and an article on the media coverage of climate change. Drawing on her experience as a first generation and multi-cultural student, Professor Estes provides her students with the tools they need to understand the language and expectations of university life at Portland State, from the first year through graduate study.  Portland is her hometown and she enjoys traveling all over the state with her family.

Michael Flower's research interests include original training and research/teaching in developmental and molecular biology; political, moral, social and economic understandings of natural science; science education reform.

Josh Fost is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and University Studies at Portland State University. His background includes a Ph.D. in neuroscience, and his primary research interest is in neurophilosophy, the relationship between philosophy and neuroscience. His recent teaching and scholarly work covers topics including beauty, free will, the philosophy of language, and artificial intelligence. He is also working on several innovative approaches to teaching about science and critical thinking, including a comic book and a deck of cards, and in 2010 he produced an award-winning short film called "Science is a vaccine." In general education, he teaches topics ranging from architecture and art history to robotics and genetic engineering. Prior to joining PSU, Josh worked as a corporate Chief Technology Officer for several international companies. For more, visit

Jeff Gerwing is an ecologist with a specialty in forest ecology and sustainable forest management. Dr. Gerwing has studied the impacts of logging on forest ecosystems in the Brazilian Amazon where he developed an interest in Brazilian music and culture. He is currently collaborating on the development of forest ecosystem restoration projects for the MT. Hood National Forest that balance environmental, social, and economic goals.  Dr. Gerwing has recently moved into the Columbia Ecovillage co-housing community where he enjoys working in the gardens and repairing neighbor’s bicycles. 

Jesse Locker is an Assistant Professor of Renaissance & Baroque Art History. He specializes in the art of Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Particular areas of interest include: baroque painting, the art and topography of Rome and Naples, and national identity and cultural syncretism in art. He has published a number of articles and reviews on various aspects of early modern art, most recently on Raphael’s Woman with a Veil for the Portland Art Museum, and is currently completing a book on the seventeenth-century Italian painter Artemisia Gentileschi.

Joseph "Chip" Long received both his M.A. and Ph.D. in English from Stanford University; he has been teaching in University Studies since 1998.  In addition, he is an assistant professor in International Studies where he teaches courses with a focus on the humanities and currently serves as the European Studies Coordinator.  In 2005 and 2009 he taught in the AHA Program in Siena, Italy and is anxious to encourage students to consider study abroad as an integral part of their undergraduate experiences.  His research is concentrated on the 20th century English novelist, Evelyn Waugh.

Thomas Luckett

Alan MacCormack has been with the University Studies Program since 1999. He is a zoologist and ecologist with a doctoral degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an undergraduate degree from Antioch College. Alan has worked with pesticide pollution, the social behavior of wasps, bird migration, and biological rhythms. Current interests include evolutionary theory, science education and the philosophy of science. He is happy to discuss almost anything other than golf and reality shows.

Karen Meenan

Anoop Mirpuri  is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at PSU. His specialties include African American literature, American studies, cultural studies, critical theory, and critical race and ethnic studies. His courses draw on methods developed throughout the humanities and social sciences. In his courses, you can expect to engage with and read very closely a wide variety of philosophical and literary texts as a way of interrogating issues such as power, identity (race, gender, class, sexual, national), racism, violence, capitalism and inequality, language and meaning, the self and the social, the relation between "humans" and "nature," and the histories of revolution and resistance.

Betsy Natter started teaching in the Maseeh College of Electrical and Computer Engineering and University Studies in 2004. Prior to teaching she spent ten years in the semiconductor industry in positions ranging from process and device engineering to management of quality and reliability. Teaching semiconductor physics had been a goal and was a natural transition, but teaching Design & Society and working with a great variety of teammates has been an unexpected delight. She hopes to make science and engineering less intimidating and more easily understood so her students can prosper in our technological society. She received her BS in Physics from Caltech and her MS in Electrical Engineering from the Oregon Graduate Institute. She loves reading, playing the piano, backpacking, skiing, and spending time with her family.

Sarah Wolf Newlands teaches Freshman Inquiry "The Work of Art" and Sophomore Inquiry "Popular Culture", as well as courses in drawing, painting, and contemporary art history.  Sarah's students often work collaboratively on interdisciplinary projects in museums and other cultural institutions. She emphasizes process, while promoting students' understanding of their work within larger theoretical and cultural frameworks.  Sarah received an MFA from Portland State University and a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, and has been actively involved in museum education since she began giving tours at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis in the mid-1990s. Her own art brings together the language of formal abstraction with commonplace everyday things, using repetition and process as methods of transformation.

Chet Orloff executive director of the Oregon Historical Society from 1991 to 2001, is a historian and planner, and adjunct professor of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University and adjunct instructor at the UofO School of Architecture.  He is  founding president of the Museum of the City. Prof. Orloff serves on numerous local, national, and international committees and commissions relating to history, city museums, and urban planning, and currently is chairing Portland’s central-city planning project.

Scott Parker joined the Theater Arts faculty in 1977 and teaches acting and improvisational acting classes. He has worked in the Portland theater community since 1968, performing with several semi-professional theaters in the area, as well as the renowned comedy group Waggie & Friends. He was Master of Ceremonies for the annual Oregon Museum of Science and Industry Gala (fund-raising event) - introducing The Temptations in 2002. Each Christmas Scott performs with the Oregon Trail Band in a benefit for "Friends of the Children." Parker's last professional presentation was for the Association of Integrated Studies Conference in 2000. Parker is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and still occasionally does film and television work in the area. He holds an MA from Portland State University.

Ben Perkins is a geologist, environmental scientist, and outdoor enthusiast. His primary research interest is exploring how geology and human activities control the occurrence of problematic trace elements such as arsenic and chromium in surface and ground waters. Ben holds a BS and MS in geology and received his Ph.D. in environmental sciences and resources from Portland State University. He has taught geology courses at Portland State University, Portland Community College, and Washington State University. He worked for eight years as a professional environmental consultant, much of that time in the Willamette Valley. Most recently, he was a postdoctoral fellow with the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, California. His wife has a Ph.D. in biochemistry. They both enjoy hiking and camping, gardening, cooking, music, and travel.

Jamie P. Ross has been teaching women’s studies, philosophy and interdisciplinary studies at Portland State University since 1992. She received her Ph.D. in philosophy and also did her undergraduate degree in philosophy at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. Her areas of specialization are Feminist philosophy and American pragmatism. Her goal in teaching is to show students that critical inquiry is the basis of all further learning. It has been said of her reputation as a professor at Portland State University that she "has high standards but is fair." One of her teaching concerns is the low number of women in philosophy as well as other traditionally male dominated fields. She hopes to contribute to a change in that trend by setting an example of alternative ways of incorporating everyday experiences into academia. Dr. Ross hails from New York City. She is a cyclist, rides horses and enjoys Dixieland jazz and baroque music.

Alex Sager is a share-lined assistant professor based in the Philosophy Department. He teaches the Globalization FRINQ for University Studies. His research interests are mostly in social and political philosophy, especially in applied political philosophy on topics surrounding migration. He also works on Hume’s political philosophy, democracy (particularly as pertains to the Hanford cleanup), and the philosophy of work and leisure. Alex is a General Editor of the Broadview Anthology of Social and Political Thought (Broadview Press) and is the co-editor (with David Rondel) of Pessimism of the Intellect, Optimism of the Will: Kai Nielsen’s Selected Political Philosophy (University of Calgary Press, 2012) His recent work has appeared in the Critical Review of International Social and Political PhilosophyGlobal Justice: Theory, Practice, and Rhetoric, European LegacyThe Routledge International Handbook of Leisure Studies and Philosophy Now.

Robert Scheller is a shared-line assistant professor with Environmental Sciences and Management.  Robert is a forest ecologist who studies how forested landscape have changed and will change in the future due to climate change, wildfires, logging, and other forces.  Robert is also interested in understanding how we can create sustainable landscapes and the natural, economic, and social challenges to doing so.  Robert enjoys all of the many rich amenities found in and around Portland, both natural and social.  You  can find more information about his very active lab at:

Ethan Seltzer

Hunter Shobe

Jack Straton earned a BFA in Photography from the University of Oregon in 1977, worked as a professional jazz drummer for three years, and then returned to the U of O in the 1980s to earn a doctorate in quantum theory. Both as a volunteer and professional diversity trainer, he has facilitated several hundred workshops on issues ranging from "Ending Sexual Assault" to "Unlearning Racism." Jack' teaching links all of this. He has served as co-chair of the National Organization for Men Against Sexism (NOMAS) and writes and speaks on ethical and public policy issues related to the overlap between child abuse and woman abuse. He loves hiking, rollerblading, photographing, yoga, and music.

Christof Teuscher holds an assistant professor position in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) with joint appointments in the Department of Computer Science (CS) and in the Systems Science Graduate Program at Portland State University. He also holds an Adjunct Assistant Professor appointment in Computer Science at the University of New Mexico (UNM). Christof obtained his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degree in computer science from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) in 2000 and 2004 respectively. His main research interests include emerging computing architectures and paradigms, biologically-inspired computing, complex & adaptive systems, and cognitive science. Christof has received several prestigious awards and fellowships, has published multiple books, and about 100 scientific papers. He is very passionate about research and teaching. For more information visit

Anmarie Trimble is editor of Born Magazine ( ), an experimental online publication that features collaborations between writers and multimedia artists. She's particularly interested in the impact of multimedia on the literary arts, and she has lectured extensively on this subject for technology and literary audiences. This intersection between technology and writing stems from a life-long passion for science that influences her poetry. Her poetry has appeared in Black Warrior Review and Field: Contemporary Poetry and Poetics, and other publications. She has also worked in the Web industry as an editor and researcher, developing web sites and kiosks for Experience Music Project, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, PBS, and others. When she's not gardening, hiking in the woods, or making music, she dreams of being official poet to the first manned mission to Mars.

Alma M.O. Trinidad,  MSW, PhD is a social worker by training, and brings an array of work and scholarship in community organizing, mental health and health promotion, and education among diverse communities.  She earned her PhD in social welfare from the University of Washington, Seattle in 2010 and her MSW from the University of Michigan in 1999 with a concentration in community organization and social policy.  She also earned her BSW from the University of Hawai'i, Manoa.  Alma's research and teaching interests involve social justice movements among youth and young adults, leadership and mentorship for social change, youth participatory action research, social justice education, and integrative learning (e.g., the use of eportfolios to assess learning outcomes).  She has published in the areas of community youth participation, critical Indigenous pedagogy of place, sociopolitical development, collective consciousness, and promotion of health and wellness.  Other research and teaching interests include community practice (e.g., youth organizing and development that promote social justice and address disparities among marginalized communities), and culturally responsible research and evaluation methods.  Alma's current appointment is a shared position with Portland State University's University Studies and the School of Social Work, Child and Family Studies.  Alma is a former Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) fellow, and a former National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Prevention Research Trainee.  In her spare time, Alma enjoys spending quality time with her family, especially her two small children, scrapbooking and crafts, photography, sightseeing, and learning hula (through her daughter's participation in her hula halau) and other Indigenous dance.  For more information, try this video: or Alma's official PSU profile:

Lindsey Wilkinson

Tony Wolk is a professor in the English Department. He has also done stints in the Freshman Inquiry program since its inception: specifically with "Embracing Einstein's Universe," "The Cyborg Millennium," and most recently, "Human/Nature." In the English Department he teaches writing classes, and also courses on Shakespeare, Dante, Philip K. Dick, Jorge Luis Borges, and Italo Calvino. Ooligan Press of Portland State has published his series of novels which center on Abraham Lincoln's scarcely known brief visit to Evanston, Illinois, in 1955. "Abraham Lincoln, a Novel Life" is the first of these novels. When Wolk served on the Oregon Lincoln Bicentennial Commission (2008-2010) he described himself as "the false historian."