2015-16 Instructors & Graduate Teaching Assistants

In the second year of our pilot, the First Year Experience courses will be taught by 11 instructors from 9 different departments. Our instructors are committed to student learning, engagement, and sucess. Get to know them below.

We also work with a team of 6 graduate teaching assistants. Meet them here.

  • Lakshmi Chilukuri

    Lakshmi Chilukuri

    Revelle College | REV 1

    Lakshmi Chilukuri obtained her B.S in Zoology and an M.S. in Environmental Biology from Madras University in India, and her Ph.D. in Molecular Microbiology and Biochemistry from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD. Following graduation she served as an adjunct professor at UCSD from 1998, teaching Microbiology Lab, Nutrition, Biochemical Techniques, and the learning skills course Methods of Inquiry. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Division of Biology at UCSD and the Coordinator of the Microbiology teaching labs. In winter quarter she will take on the duties of Faculty Director of the First Year Experience. Her research interests cover three main areas: bringing authentic research and experiential learning to undergraduate labs through enrichment and bioremediation experiments; creating tools for enhancing interactive teaching and learning at the undergraduate level; and exploring strategies to ensure that students are successful at UCSD and prepared for their careers after graduation. Her most recent efforts include a series of videos and instructional tools for microbiology lab, participation in summer academy for transfer students, and teaching the freshmen Strategies for Success course. She has two daughters, the older is a lawyer and the younger is a mechanical engineer. She is a compulsive walker, loves hiking and backpacking, cooking and reading, and hopes to go back to painting and drawing some day (despite not being really good at either).  

  • John Moore

    John Moore

    John Muir College | MUIR 1

    John Moore (Professor, Linguistics, Provost, John Muir College) received his Ph.D. in Linguistics in 1991 from UC Santa Cruz.  Much of his research has been in the areas of theoretical syntax, lexical semantics, and Spanish linguistics.  His current research includes work on the syntax of objects in Moro (a Kordofanian language from central Sudan), Spanish, as spoken in the San Diego-Tijuana border region, and Heritage Languages.   Moore has served as department chair, departmental diversity representative, on the Muir College Executive Committee, and on the Academic Senate Committee on Academic Personnel (chair in 2012-13).  He began as provost of John Muir College in September 2013. Outside academia, Moore is known as a flamenco guitarist, having played semi-professionally for over 40 years.  He has led undergraduates in a Global Seminar study abroad program in Cádiz, Spain, on several occasions, where he taught courses on Spanish dialectology and flamenco.

  • Mark Guirguis

    Mark Guirguis

    Thurgood Marshall College | TMC 1

    Mark is an Associate Teaching Professor and Head of Undergraduate Design in the Department of Theatre and Dance at UCSD. He received a Bachelors Degree in Architecture from the Glasgow School of Art, Scotland and has an M.F.A. in Theatre from UCSD.   He works professionally as a set designer for theatre and has designed for numerous professional theatre companies across the country including San Diego Repertory Theatre, TheatreWorks, CA, Firefly: Theatre and Films, Cape Repertory Theatre Company, Creede Repertory Theatre, Playhouse on the Square, and Circuit Playhouse.  Design credits this past year include ”Outside Mullingar”, “Billy Elliot”, “Buyer and Cellar”, and “American Idiot”.  He is the recipient of several design nominations and four Ostrander Awards for excellence in set design.

  • Grant Goodall

    Grant Goodall

    Earl Warren College | WARR 1

    Grant Goodall did his undergraduate studies at UCLA and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and his graduate work at UCSD and MIT. He is a Professor in the Department of Linguistics, where he directs the Linguistics Language Program and the Experimental Syntax Lab.  His primary research area is natural language syntax, with a special interest in using experimental techniques to explore this area. He also has a longstanding interest in how linguistic research is applied in the public realm, particularly with regard to issues of language teaching policy and practice. Outside of work, he enjoys yoga, travel, and when possible, sleep.
  • Matthew Herbst

    Matthew Herbst

    Eleanor Roosevelt College | ERC 1

    Matthew T. Herbst is an Associate Teaching Professor at the University of California San Diego where he serves as Director of the world history Making of the Modern World Program.  Prof. Herbst was a founding faculty member of UC San Diego’s Global Seminars in 2008 and has since led programs in Thailand and Cambodia, Turkey, France, and England.  Closer to home, Dr. Herbst leads wilderness seminars in the deserts and mountains of Southern California, working with Outback Adventures.   In 2015, he was a recipient of the UCSD Distinguished Teaching Award.  Attentive to the invaluable role of pre-collegiate education, Prof. Herbst serves on the Board of Directors at a public school in San Diego County and founded “Istanbul Between East and West:  Crossroads of History,” a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute for middle and high school teachers (2013, 2015).  Dr. Herbst received his Ph.D. and M.A. in History from the University of Michigan and his BA in History, Greek, and Latin from Binghamton University.
  • Nicholas Christenfeld

    Nicholas Christenfeld

    Sixth College | SXTH 1

    Nicholas Christenfeld was educated at Harvard and Columbia where he earned, or at least received, a B.A. and a PhD in psychology.  He then became, and plans to remain, a professor of psychology at UC San Diego.  There he studies an array of topics broadly, if perhaps unhelpfully, described as the social psychology of everyday life.  His research has addressed such questions as why a baseball season is ten times as long as a football season, how people choose which box of Cheerios to take from the supermarket shelf, whether babies resemble their parents, and dogs their masters, if story spoilers actually spoil stories, which gender is funnier, when during the month one is likely to die, and whether visiting New York City would make that outcome more likely, who says “um,” whether music does soothe the savage breast, why it might be hard to tickle oneself, if men are more prone jealousy, and why one’s heart would be grateful if one made more friends.

Transfer Course Instructors

  • Stephanie Jed

    Stephanie Jed

    Revelle College | REV 2

    Stephanie Jed majored in piano performance and Classics at Lawrence University and then, went on to get her Ph.D. in Italian literature at Yale University. She is a Professor in the Department of Literature, where she teaches classes on Dante’s Divine Comedy, the Politics of Food, Folk and Fairytale, and Literary Theory. Her current research interest is in the interface between humanities and sciences (from the Renaissance to the present). She is passionate about teaching and learning and is a second degree black belt in the art of Aikido.

  • Carrie Wastal

    Carrie Wastal

    John Muir College | MUIR 2

    Carrie Wastal, PhD, is the Director of the Muir College Writing Program at UC, San Diego. In her capacity as director, she has direct responsibility for training and supervising Graduate Student Teaching Assistants, developing curriculum for program courses and for program policies. Professional and faculty examples include: developing the Workshop for Putting Diversity Training into Practice, establishing the John Muir Excellence in Writing Award for Muir Writing students; developing courses examining disability, diversity, and stereotypical identities assigned to youth as it relates to social and institutional issues. At the invitation of campus undergraduate programs and organizations, she speaks to student groups about opportunities for learning in their college and at the university.

  • Allan Havis

    Allan Havis

    Thurgood Marshall College | TMC 2

    Havis has had his plays produced at theatres across the country and in Europe, with works commissioned by England's Chichester Festival, Sundance, San Diego Rep, South Coast Rep, and Carolina Chamber Chorale. Seventeen full length published plays published by Penguin/Mentor, Theatre Communications Group, Broadway Play Publishing, Smith & Kraus, Applause Books. University of Illinois Press published his edited volume: American Political Plays. Harper/Collins published his children's novel Albert the Astronomer. His book on ninety years of eccentric cinema, Cult Films: Taboo & Transgression, was published by University Press of America, 2008. Southern Illinois University Press published his second edited volume of American Political Plays, Post 9/11. In collaboration with renowned composer Anthony Davis, he wrote to libretti for chamber operas.   Recipient of Guggenheim, Rockefeller, Kennedy Center/American Express, CBS, HBO, National Endowment for the Arts Awards, San Diego Theatre Critics Circle 2003 Outstanding New Play for Nuevo California.

  • Michael Trigilio

    Michael Trigilio

    Earl Warren College | WARR 2

    Michael Trigilio is a multimedia artist living in San Diego. Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, he received his B.A. in Humanities from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He received his M.F.A. from Mills College in 2003. His work migrates among many media, exploring themes of narcissism, humor, science-fiction, and memory. Michael's works in film, sound, performance, and tactical-media have been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the LA County Museum of Art, and the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore among many others.  

  • Stacey Brydges

    Stacey Brydges

    Eleanor Roosevelt College | ERC 2

    Stacey Brydges is an Associate Teaching Professor in Chemistry and Biochemistry at UC San Diego and Adjunct Faculty to the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Mathematics and Science Education. Born and raised in the Ottawa Valley (Canada), she received her Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from McMaster University in 2003, and served as a research scientist and lecturer in the Department of Chemistry at Columbia University in the City of New York (2004-2008) before relocating to UC San Diego. Her scholarly interests have shifted to chemical education research and practices spanning the K-12, undergraduate, and graduate continuum, with a particular emphasis on science literacy and issues of access to, and retention in, STEM studies and careers.  She is a recipient of the UCSD Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award (2013-14), the UCSD Panhellenic Outstanding Professor Award (2013), and two UCSD Office of Academic Support & Instructional Services (OASIS) Faculty Appreciation Awards (2009, 2010) for her strong commitment to excellence and diversity in teaching and learning.

  • Dan Donoghue

    Dan Donoghue

    Sixth College | SXTH 2

    Daniel J. Donoghue has been a member of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UC San Diego since 1982. Having graduated from UW Madison in with an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry, and from MIT with a PhD in Biology, he was initially drawn to the Southern California area by a postdoctoral opportunity at the Salk Institute. For many years, his research has focused on mutations that occur in human cells that underlie various types of cancer and/or developmental syndromes. Currently, his research examines the biochemical pathways activated by receptor tyrosine kinases and their intersection with inflammatory signaling pathways. For many years, Professor Donoghue has been involved in teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and loves interacting with students at all levels. He currently serves as the Program Director of a long-running training grant from the National Cancer Institute that provides support for many doctoral students and postdoctoral trainees throughout the greater scientific community of UC San Diego. As Provost of Sixth College, Prof. Donoghue is committed to providing authentic experiential learning opportunities to our undergraduates, whether they be in the social sciences, the humanities, or the sciences. With our themes of Culture, Art and Technology, and the emphasis on experiential learning through the upper-division Practicum requirement, Sixth College creates a wonderful learning community.