Faculty Associates


Dr. Amitav Acharya is the UNESCO Chair in Transnational Challenges and Governance and Distinguished Professor of International Relations at the School of International Service, American University, Washington, D.C., and the Chair of its ASEAN Studies Initiative. He is author of Whose Ideas Matter? (Cornell 2009), The Making of Southeast Asia (Cornell 2013), Rethinking Power, Institutions and Ideas in World Politics (Routledge 2013) and The End of American World Order (Polity 2014, Oxford 2015). He was a Fellow of the Asia Center, Harvard University, and a Fellow of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.


Dr. Tanja Aho is a Visiting Assistant Professor of American Studies in the Critical Race, Gender & Culture Studies Collaborative at American University. Her research focuses on cultural engagements with psychiatric and developmental disabilities, as well as representations of disability more generally in reality television and children's literature. Her current research project explores the role of psychiatric and developmental disabilities in discourses about the economy. As a previous Public Humanities fellow, Dr. Aho has worked with grassroots organizations to document oral histories and create supportive spaces for psych survivors, refugees, and LGBTQ communities in Buffalo, NY.


Dr. Alida Anderson is an Associate Professor at the School of Education, College of Arts and Sciences, American University. She earned her PhD in special education from the University of Maryland, College Park. Research and teaching interests focus on contextual factors associated with language development and literacy acquisition in children from diverse backgrounds. Current research projects examine the influence of arts integration on school age students’ oral and written language in academic content area instructional settings.


Dr. Marilyn Arnone is an Associate Professor of Practice and Research at the School of Information at Syracuse University. She was co-director of the Center for Digital Literacy from 2010-2015 and serves as principal investigator for one of the Center's signature projects, S.O.S. for Information Literacy. With a background in instructional design, development, and evaluation, Dr. Arnone’s research explores motivation and achievement in face-to-face and cyberlearning environments with a keen interest in intellectual curiosity and engagement.


Dr. Sarah Irvine Belson is an Associate Professor at the School of Education, College of Arts and Sciences and the Executive Director Institute for Innovation in Education, American University. She holds a PhD from Arizona State University. Her research explores educational opportunity for children with disabilities and teacher education policy. Her focus on applied interventions for children at risk attends to two major areas of research, namely special education technology and teacher education policy and practice.


Dr. Robert Dinerstein is professor of law, director of the clinical program (1988-96 and 2008-present), associate dean for experiential education (2012-present) and director of the Disability Rights Law Clinic (2005-present) at AU's Washington College of Law, where he has taught since 1983. He was the law school's associate dean for academic affairs from 1997-2004. He specializes in the fields of clinical education and disability law, especially mental disabilities law (including issues of consent/choice, capacity and guardianship), the Americans with Disabilities Act, Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, legal representation of clients with mental disabilities, the interaction between disability and the criminal justice system, and disability and international human rights.


Dr. Jennifer Ellis is Associate Professor and Director of STEM Education at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC), where she focuses her research efforts on enhancing STEM teaching, learning, and assessment via effective educational technology integration. Dr. Ellis has worked as an explosive engineer for the U.S. Army, a Computer Applications and Web Design teacher for Hamilton County, and served as a senior instructional designer with the Walker Teaching Resource Center at UTC. She designed, implemented, and managed a variety of programs to improve UTC faculty teaching and technology skills related to online and distance education.


Dr. J. Alberto Espinosa is the Chair of the Information Technology Department, a Professor of Information Technology and a Kogod Research Professor. His research focuses on coordination and performance in global technical projects that span multipe global boundaries, particularly distance and time time zones. Prof. Espinosa employs a multiple method approach in his research, including theoretical, lab experiments, qualitative studies and survey methods, but his primary focus is on on-site field studies in large technical organizations. Professor Espinosa has several years of working experience as a design engineer and as a senior manager with international organizations.


Dr. Louis Goodman is Professor and Dean Emeritus at the School of International Service, American University. He carries out research on social change and politics in Latin America and in Asia. His current research focuses on public goods, regional alliances and development. He has published widely on civil-military relations in Latin America, on foreign investment in developing countries and on determinants of career success for blue-collar workers. He has researched and lived abroad in Chile, Ecuador, Mexico,Peru and Singapore. In 1992 Dr. Goodman served as the President of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs.


Dr. Mary Hansen is the Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences, American University. She is widely published in the fields of child welfare policy and economic history. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Institute for New Economic Thinking.


Dr. Pek Koon Heng-Blackburn is an Assistant Professor and the Director, ASEAN Studies Center at the School of International Service, American University. Dr. Pek Koon Heng teaches courses on International Relations and International Political Economy in Southeast and East Asia. She also directs SIS’s summer graduate program on “Globalization and Regionalism in East Asia” in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In addition, she runs the Insular Southeast Asia Advanced Area Studies Program at the State Department Foreign Service Institute (as a contractor), which prepares US Foreign Service Officers for assignments in the region.


Dr. Eric Hershberg is the Professor of Government and Director, Center for Latin American and Latino Studies, American University. He is Director of the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies and Professor of Government at American University. His research focuses on the comparative politics of Latin America, and on the politics of development. Current research projects analyze the state of democracy and emerging development strategies in South America, and the ways in which elites exercise power in Central America. He has served as a consultant to numerous development and educational agencies, including the Ford Foundation, the World Bank and the Swedish International Development Agency.


Dr. Nanette S. Levinson is Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Academic Director of the SIS/Sciences-Po Exchange at the School of International Service at American University. Currently Faculty Director of the Internet Governance Lab, she also serves as Editor of the International Communication Section, The International Studies Compendium Project. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. Recipient of awards for outstanding teaching, program development, academic affairs administration, multicultural affairs and honors programming. In 2011, the Ashoka Foundation presented her with an “Award for Outstanding Contributions to Social Entrepreneurship Education.”


Dr. Tina Kempin Reuter is the Director of the Institute for Human Rights and Associate Professor of human rights, peace studies, and international politics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Her research focuses on human rights, minority rights, ethnic conflict and genocide studies, and conflict management and peace making with a geographical focus on Europe and the Middle East. Before joining UAB, she was the Director of the Reiff Center for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution and Associate Professor of international and comparative politics at Christopher Newport University.