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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 Portland FRINQ, she also regularly teaches SINQS such as Popular Culture. Interpreting the Past and Sexualities. Ms. Batchelder lives in Beaverton with her computer crazed husband, two spoiled Basenjis and her son Rhys.

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 Assistant Professor. MS, 1999, Portland State University.

Christopher Carey is a former Deputy District Attorney and currently an Associate Professor in the School of Community Health at Portland State University.  His doctorate is from Arizona State University's Hugh Downs School of Human Communication where his focus was intercultural communication. His research focuses on human rights programs and laws with an emphasis on human trafficking.  He has worked with groups to improve collaboration within the field of human rights. He served as the Executive Director of a US based 501c (3) international human rights organization that addresses human trafficking, safe migration, and gender-based violence through culturally grounded, rights-based solutions. During his tenure as executive director he helped open offices in Kathmandu, Nepal, Kolkata, India, Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Mexico City, Mexico.  His work has been supported by federal, state, and private grants.  He is the author of several articles on the subject of human trafficking both in the United States and Mexico.  He also served as the editor of the first book on Legal Precedents on Human Trafficking in Nepal. The California Judicial System has identified him as an expert in human trafficking and intercultural communication and he has provided expert testimony in criminal and immigration cases.  Most recently he partnered with the US Attorneys’ office and co-authored a study on commercial sexual exploitation of children in Portland that received national attention.  He teaches a yearlong first-year seminar on globalization and other courses for around health law, policy, and human rights for the School of Community Health.   His current partnerships include the US Attorneys Office, The Department of Human Services, Mercy Corps, and The Oregon Advocacy Commission.  

Evguenia Davidova is an Associate Professor of International Studies at Portland State University. She completed her PhD in history at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (1998) and held a post-Doctorate at Oxford University (1999-2000). Her research interests focus on the Ottoman and post-Ottoman Balkans: commerce, modernization, nationalism, and medical practices (19th-20th century). Davidova is the author of several articles and a book: Balkan Transitions to Modernity and Nation-States. Through the Eyes of Three Generations of Merchants (1780s-1890s) (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2013). She likes reading books, watching movies, traveling, and hiking.

Grace L. Dillon, PhD (Anishinaabe) is a Professor in the Indigenous Nations Studies Program at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on a range of interests including Native American and Indigenous studies, science fiction, Indigenous cinema, popular culture, race and social justice, and early modern literature.   She is the editor of Walking the Clouds: An Anthology of Indigenous Science Fiction (University of Arizona Press, 2012) and Hive of Dreams: Contemporary Science Fiction from the Pacific Northwest (Oregon State University Press, 2003).  Her work appears in diverse journals including The Journal of Science Fiction Film and Television; Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction; Extrapolation; The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts; The Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television; Science Fiction Studies; and Renaissance Papers.

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.

Dr. Óscar Fernández (Comparative Literature Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University) Born in San José, Costa Rica, Dr. Fernández specializes in inter-American studies, literary theory, and the intersection of culture, sexuality, and representations of disease in literature. With more than 10 years of university teaching experience in private and public institutions, and community advocacy work here in Oregon, his teaching trajectory, in both English and Spanish, has been delineated along three main paths: (1) Latin American literature studies, (2) literary theory and Comparative Literature studies, and (3) Spanish language, Heritage-language pedagogy, and advanced rhetoric and composition. His teaching philosophy challenges students to see the world differently and to question at face value approaches; in this pedagogical “contact zone” of possible and taken-for-granted worlds, he positions his teaching, his PSU students, and himself. PSU students have honored him with M.E.Ch.A.'s Community Service Award (2006). He is currently a translation and interpretation volunteer for BRAVO Youth Orchestras (an afterschool music program at Rosa Parks School, in North Portland). Dr. Fernández is a holder of a Woodrow Wilson Foundation Practicum Grant, and a Folger Institute Faculty Weekend Grant from the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Lydia Fisher

Michael Flower's current research interests are an interdisciplinary extension of his original training in developmental and molecular biology; his focus is the intersection of those areas of science with their political, moral, social and economic contexts.

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. 

Jim Grehan

Betty Izumi

Annie Knepler

Sarah Lincoln

Marie Lo is a professor in the English Department where she teaches courses on Asian American literature and film, critical ethnic studies, and U.S. cultural studies. Her current research focuses on the intersections between U.S. immigration laws and U.S. Indian policies. Other research interests include environmental justice and the politics of craft. She is a regular contributor to The Asian Reporter and to APA Compass, an Asian Pacific American public affairs program on KBOO Community Radio.

Jesse Locker specializes in Italian art of the renaissance and baroque periods. Particular areas of interest include: the art and topography of Rome and Naples, painting and literary culture in early modern Italy; and the religious reform of art. He has published a number of articles and reviews on various aspects of early modern art, including Raphael’s Woman with a Veil for the Portland Art Museum, and, most recently, Artemisia Gentileschi: The Language of Painting (Yale University Press). Most summers he leads an intensive two-week art history program in Rome, Italy. 

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.

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.

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 and Sophomore Inquiry, as well as courses in museology, studio art, and theory.  Sarah's students often work collaboratively on interdisciplinary projects in museums and 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.

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 shared-lined assistant professor based in the Philosophy Department. His area of specialization is in social and political philosophy and he has written on the ethics of migration policy, democracy, David Hume, and the philosophy of leisure. He teaches the Globalization FRINQ for University Studies and the Philosophy in Schools Capstone and is the director of the Oregon High School Ethics Bowl ( which will take place at PSU in January 2015. Links to his publications are available at

Robert Scheller is a shared-line associate 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:

Leanne Serbulo is a Portland State alumni.  She earned her BS in Social Science, Masters in Urban Studies and Doctorate in Urban Studies and Planning at PSU.  She was a returning student who worked and parented while she went to school.  She has taught for both the Urban Studies and University Studies programs from nearly ten years.  Leanne is interested in issues of urban social justice.  Her main research focus include: urban social movements, police/community relations, and racial and economic justice.  She loves to read, cook, explore the city and spend time with family and friends. 

Hunter Shobe is a cultural geographer and Assistant Professor in the Geography Department at Portland State University. He holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Oregon.  His research explores the cultural, political and economic dimensions of how people connect to places and environments. His work articulates the on-the-ground ways in which people experience and develop senses of place. Dr. Shobe also has extensive teaching and mentoring experience. Much of Dr. Shobe’s work concerns how popular culture is implicated in how place is understood. Past studies focused on diverse topics including the role of Football Club Barcelona in constructing urban identity in Barcelona and national identity in Catalonia, the role of music plays in creating place identities and senses of place, and the politics of graffiti abatement in San Francisco. Recent work considers the social and political aspects that connect Cascadia and soccer, the place-identity role of the Timbers Army supporter group, cultural values mapping of the Portland area and graffiti abatement policies in the United States and Canada. His work appears in academic journals including Urban Geography, National Identities, The Journal of Geography and The Journal of Cultural Geography.

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.

Beth Tarasawa is a Research Scientist at Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) where she collaborates with universities, foundations, and school districts to produce rigorous and accessible research related to educational policy. Her scholarship focuses on issues related to equity, particularly those concerning race, social class, and linguistic diversity. Dr. Tarasawa’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, American Sociological Association, Spencer Foundation, and Walton Family Foundation. Prior to NWEA, she worked as a clinical assistant professor at Washington State University Vancouver and as an assistant professor at St. Norbert College. Dr. Tarasawa holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in sociology from Emory University and a B.S. in sociology from Portland State University. She enjoys playing volleyball, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

Christof Teuscher holds an associate 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 next generation 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.

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." He has also recently published a short story collection: The Parable of You: Stories (Propeller Press, 2013).