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First Year Seminars
Spring 2014 Faculty Profiles

Suzanne Braunschweig is a former American Sign Language Interpreter who has also taught at Gallaudet University, the only liberal arts university in the world for Deaf students. She has been at UMBC since 2008 and is currently a lecturer in the Geography and Environmental Systems Department and the Director of the Interdisciplinary Science Program. She teaches SCI 100 Water: An Interdisciplinary Study, GES 220 Laboratory and Field Techniques for Environmental Science and FYS102S The Deaf Community and Its Culture. Dr. Braunschweig earned a Ph.D. in biology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1993. Her research interests include science education and student perceptions about science, and long-term forest community dynamics.

Dr. Braunschweig and Ms. Purdue are teaching FYS 102: The Deaf Community and Its Culture.


Nandita Dasgupta has been engaged in teaching Economics and Statistics at UMBC since 2002. A motivated and enthusiastic teacher, she has taught diverse courses in Economics ranging from the Principles of Microeconomics and Macroeconomics to Intermediate Microeconomics, Econometrics, Managerial Economics, Economics of Strategic Interaction and Cost Benefit Analysis with the same excitement and dedication. She has received the Best Instructor Award in Economics seven times at UMBC. A Ph.D. in Economics from Calcutta University, India, she publishes in the area of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Her current research interests include international business, in particular the implications of FDI outflows from developing countries. She has extensive teaching and research experience both in India and USA. In USA, she has also taught at George Washington University, Towson University, and Johns Hopkins University. She was a consultant with the Columbia Earth Institute in Columbia University over 2002- 2004 where she had co-authored several working papers on FDI inflows in India. She has received best research paper awards from academic research conferences. Her research studies have been published in refereed journals and also as a chapter on Indian FDI to USA in an esteemed book on outward FDI from India published by Palgrave Macmillan.

Dr. Dasgupta proactively expressed her keen interest in teaching the First Year Seminar program to introduce new students to the basic economic elements of poverty in in the US. Especially since the current global financial crisis, the issues of poverty have become increasingly compelling subjects of ongoing public debate in USA in the academic and political arena and also as topics of casual journalistic empiricism. She therefore feels that it is important for the students of UMBC, regardless of their academic disciplines, to familiarize themselves with the characteristics of poverty, the intensity of US poverty, causes and consequences of poverty, public and private sector responses to combat poverty and the effectiveness of the anti-poverty measures. Given the gripping nature of the topic, the course should interest all students, irrespective of their majors.

Dr. Dasgupta is teaching FYS 102: Poverty Amidst Plenty: The Economics of American Poverty.

Karen Frieberg

Karen Freiberg is Senior Lecturer Emerita with 34 years of teaching experience in the Department of Psychology. She earned a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Syracuse University in 1974 and an M.S. in Developmental Psychology from Cornell University in 1968. An outstanding teacher and mentor, she has been the Psychology Department Teacher of the Year as well as an advisor to undergraduate and graduate researchers. Dr. Freiberg wrote the textbook Human Development: A Lifespan Approach, which went through four editions and won best book of the year award from the American Nurses Association for three of the four editions. She has edited 14 Annual Editions about Human Development and 13 Annual Editions about Educating Exceptional Children. Additionally she creates PowerWeb books and test banks. Dr. Freiberg's background is in nursing and science and her areas of interest are health psychology and physiological psychology. When not teaching, she spends much of her time writing.

Dr. Freiberg is teaching FYS 102: Passive-Aggressive Behavior.

David Irvine

David Irvine has a wide range of intellectual interests, ranging from science to philosophy, as well as a passion for teaching. He earned a B.S./M.S. in aerospace engineering from Purdue University in 1973 and a Ph.D. in Geophysical Fluid Dynamics from The Johns Hopkins University in 1983. Dr. Irvine worked as a senior scientist at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory for nearly a decade. He has also served on the faculty at St. John’s College in Annapolis, been a technical consultant at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and taught both philosophy and logic at local community colleges. He now teaches freshman and sophomore engineering science courses at UMBC. He actively sought out the First Year Seminar program to get involved with students just entering the college environment, hoping to excite them with some of the basic human questions, and to help them develop the intellectual skills needed to really profit from group discussions.

Dr. Irvine is teaching FYS 101: Discussing Classics.

Alan Kriezenbeck is a theatre practitioner with strong interests in alternative performance, film, and social change. He is an Associate Professor in the Theatre Department with a Ph.D. in Drama from New York University. Dr. Kreizenbeck teaches courses in acting, theatre history, film, and Japanese performance. He has published numerous articles and presented papers at national conferences. His book on Zoe Akins, a 1920s playwright, garnered many strong reviews. He is past director of the Linehan Artsit Scholar Program and past chair of the Theatre Department. In 2003, he was named Honors College Professor of the Year. He is currently involved in creating theatre with the developmentally disabled, as well as developing theatrical activities and performances that can foster social awareness.

Dr. Kreizenbeck is teaching FYS 101: But is it Art? Filmmakers, Art, and the Artist.

Diane Lee is Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education. Although in a primarily administrative position at this time, she is best known as "a teacher of teachers." During her tenure at UMBC, she was elected by her colleagues to receive the Presidential Teaching Professor Award in recognition of her scholarly accomplishments. When Diane is not working, you will most likely find her reading a good book, visiting a local crafts fair, gardening, or visiting family.

Dr. Lee and Ms. Randles are teaching FYS 101 Turning to One Another: Beliefs and Behaviors.

Joel Liebman is a firm believer that science is an interpersonal, international, and interdisciplinary endeavor and he has ongoing collaborations with scientists around the world as well as in the US. He teaches chemistry courses ranging from CHEM 100 The Chemical World (a distribution-fulfilling course emphasizing science and society) through CHEM 410/610 Quantum Chemistry/Special Topics in Theoretical Chemistry/Chemical Bonding (a senior/graduate elective in his scientific specialty). Dr. Liebman earned a Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1970. He has many professional journal publications; has coauthored or co-edited numerous books, book chapters, and data bases; and has had poems published as well. Dr. Liebman enjoys thinking and understanding, and thinking about thinking and understanding in particular. He is responsible for some new words in the scientific vocabulary associated with new concepts, and has been heard verbalizing some of the ”worst” puns at UMBC. He says, “Chemical and comical are not antonyms nor antithetical” and “Theoretical, theatrical, and heretical are often intertwined.”

Dr. Liebman is teaching FYS 103: Paradigms and Paradoxes: An Attempt to Understand the Universe

Steven McAlpine is a teacher, advisor, and musician. He has worked in Interdisciplinary Studies (INDS) since 2006, currently serving as Assistant Director and Instructor for INDS 480 Capstone Project Seminar. He also teaches the core writing-intensive course INDS 330 Ways of Knowing and has co-taught the interdisciplinary special topics course Journeys and Transformations through the Arts. In summer 2012 Mr. McAlpine facilitated an Interdisciplinary Faculty seminar on teaching and learning. Before coming to UMBC, Mr. McAlpine worked as a researcher and seminar facilitator for the Interdisciplinary Studies Project at Harvard Project Zero. While at Harvard, he designed a Teachers’ Guide for Walden Media’s IMAX film “PULSE: a STOMP Odyssey” and worked as an education consultant for the Boston Arts Academy. Mr. McAlpine is also a co-founder of the UMBC performing group Straight Up Tribal and a composer of three albums, including the musical “The Education of Orpheus.”

Mr. McAlpine is teaching FYS 101: Perspectives on the Heroic Journey.

Denise Gagnon Perdue, CSC, came to UMBC to coordinate services to deaf and hard of hearing students in December 2008. Prior to joining UMBC, she was the Assistant Director of the Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (2005-2008) and was on the faculty at Towson University (1996-2005) as a First Year Experience Advisor and Lecturer with the Deaf Studies program. A seasoned interpreter, Ms. Perdue has been a freelance interpreter for more than 30 years and has taught and mentored interpreters for more than 20 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, University College and a master’s from Johns Hopkins University. Ms. Perdue and her family have lived on Maryland’s beautiful Eastern Shore for more than 25 years in a renovated home that was originally built as a country store. While the last name is spelled the same as the more famous chicken Perdue’s of Perdue Farms, Inc, they are not related – a question asked almost daily.

Dr. Braunschweig and Ms. Purdue are teaching FYS 102: The Deaf Community and Its Culture.

Jill Randles is the Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education. She is a student advocate at heart and has worked closely with UMBC students as an academic advisor. She is the recipient of the 2010-11 Presidential Distinguished Staff award acknowledging her campus-wide contributions. She is also the UMBC Equestrian Club advisor. When not on the job, she spends time with family and friends, runs, rides her horse Hudson, judges horse shows, and is an avid reader.

Ms. Randles and Dr. Lee are teaching FYS 101 Turning to One Another: Beliefs and Behaviors.

Sue  Small is a lifelong learner who believes in a holistic and developmental approach to teaching and learning. She earned her Ed.D. from University of Maryland, College Park in 1985. As a clinical associate professor, Dr. Small teaches reading assessment courses in the Early Childhood and Elementary Education programs as well as seminars for student-teaching interns and first-year students. Her passion is grounded in the formation of courage within both individuals and communities, including herself, to find the “hidden wholeness” within their identity and integrity. Her most recent challenge is to shift her own teaching and learning processes to facilitate the clarity and application of her students’ learning through the use of activities, case studies, reflection, journaling, listening, questioning, and encouragement.

Dr. Small and Stephanie Dahlquist are teaching FYS 102: Diversity, Ethics and Social Justice in the Context of Schooling.