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INSIDE BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY

New faculty

Mona Basta is teaching Practice with Organizations and Practice with Communities, both of which focus on social work macro practice.

She specializes in ethnographic research on client perceptions of social services and policy implementation as it affects single mothers in poverty, particularly in relation to welfare reform and child care.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology from Johns Hopkins and a master of social work degree from Temple University. She’s working to complete a doctorate in social welfare policy from the University of Pennsylvania.

Basta enjoys the outdoors and relaxing as well as active pursuits such as yoga, swimming, nature walks, riding horses and ice skating.



Susan Currie joined the Binghamton University Libraries in January 2005 as associate director for public services. She comes to Binghamton after more than 20 years at Cornell University. Before that, she briefly taught high school English in Mississippi.

Currie holds a master’s degree in library science from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a bachelor’s degree from Belhaven College in Mississippi.

She enjoys snowshoeing, gardening and (of course) reading.



Christopher Dwyer is teaching freshman calculus this semester. His specialty is algebraic topology. “Basically I study objects in space and how they can be manipulated — stretched, for instance — without changing their basic properties,” he explained. Dwyer, 30, received his doctorate in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison this year. He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Notre Dame. Dwyer grew up in Indiana, where his family still lives. He enjoys football, reading, music and traveling.



Qingfu Feng is teaching Calculus 1. His research interests are dynamical systems and ergodic theory. He’s also interested in topology and probability.

Feng earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Hebei Normal University in China. He taught at the school until he left to pursue a doctorate at Peking University. He eventually finished his doctoral degree at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Feng enjoys sports, especially basketball, football and soccer. He likes Chinese traditional music as well as rap. His wife and daughter still live in Cleveland.



Assistant Professor Jenny Gordon is teaching Child Growth and Development as well as Curriculum and Teaching.

She holds a doctorate in education from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill as well as a master’s degree from Bank Street College. She did her undergraduate work at Sarah Lawrence College.

Gordon comes to Binghamton from George Mason University, where she taught for five years. Her research interests include racial identity and methodological issues associated with qualitative research.

Gordon, who grew up in Rockland County, lives on Binghamton’s West Side with a cat named Rumble. She enjoys antiquing and taking long walks in pretty places.



Sharon Holmberg, associate professor of nursing, is teaching undergraduate and graduate nursing research courses this fall. She holds a doctorate in nursing from the University of Rochester, a master’s degree from New York University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska.

Holmberg began her teaching career at Yale University in a joint clinical/teaching role after returning from a two-year international scholarship at Stockholm’s University, Sweden, with a major in social welfare. She has taught at the University of Rochester, Indiana University and the State University of New York College at New Paltz.

Her research interests focus on adaptation, coping and interventions with clients and families who are coping with geriatric medical/psychiatric illnesses and persistent psychiatric illnesses. Holmberg is a native Nebraskan who spent summers in the hay fields of the family ranch and now loves most outdoor activities, including cross-country skiing, rowing, kayaking, hiking and sometimes wondering about the “Big Red” football team.



Emma Hunt, a visiting assistant professor in the English Department, is teaching a graduate course about the city in post-colonial literature and an honors seminar on Caribbean and South African fiction this semester.

Hunt, 33, received her doctorate from the University of Toronto this year. She did her undergraduate work in Durban, South Africa, at the University of Natal, now called the University of KwaZulu Natal. She’s working on turning her dissertation into a book about representations of urban space in South African literature. Hunt, a native of South Africa, considers Canada home. She enjoys cooking, watching movies and visiting her family in South Africa.



Richard Sileo, a new lecturer in mathematical sciences, is teaching two sections of Calculus I and a section of Algebra and Trigonometry.

The Vestal native holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame, a master’s degree from Binghamton University and a doctorate from Cornell University.

He worked for IBM Corp. for 25 years before retiring and pursuing a master’s degree.



Gang Xu, a visiting assistant professor of geography, has eight years of teaching experience. His areas of expertise include globalization, economic geography, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), international business and East Asia.

Xu earned his doctoral degree in geography from Johannes Gutenberg University in 1996 and his master’s degree from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1985. He is teaching economic geography and world regional geography this semester. In the spring, he’ll teach geography of globalization, East Asia and world regional geography.

He has written one book and several journal articles and book chapters. His teaching career has brought him to several countries, including China, Germany, Japan, Singapore and the United States. He has taught at the University of Vermont and Southern Illinois University.

Xu’s wife, Wanxiao, is a remote sensing and GIS specialist. He and his wife have two sons named Jiajia and Sunny. Xu enjoys traveling, listening to music and playing tennis.
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Last Updated: 10/14/08