Social Sciences Faculty Bios

Dr. Carina Bandhauer, Professor of Sociology (, 203-837-8650), earned a Ph.D. at the State University of New York – Binghamton. Bandhauer is committed to teaching, research and working with the people of El Salvador. She is involved with U.S.-El Salvador Sister Cities, a national grassroots organization of U.S. citizens and residents who have formed ongoing partnerships with rural communities in El Salvador. Bandhauer served as creative consultant on production of the film, “El Pueblo Unido,” which documented her work in El Salvador and premiered at the Montreal Film Festival in 2004. She specializes in the sociology of racism and in migration studies and is currently working on a book based on her research on racism targeting Latinos and on the anti-immigrant movement. In June of 2006 she married David Amdur whom she met while doing solidarity work in El Salvador.
Christine Hegel-Cantarella holds an M.Phil. and a Ph.D. In Anthropology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.  She teaches legal anthropology, economic anthropology, qualitative research methods, and Middle East anthropology, among other courses.  She is broadly interested in the intersections between the law, economic practices, and culture, and examines access to and modalities of justice; contracting, status and personhood; and bureaucracy and documentary regimes.  She has been awarded research grants from the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and the Fulbright Commission to conduct ethnographic research in in Cairo and Port Said, Egypt, and has authored essays for the edited volumes Anthropology of the Middle East and North Africa Into the New Millennium (Indiana University Press) and Family Law in the Muslim World (I.B. Tauris) and an article for a special issue of Law, Culture, and Humanities Journal.  Hegel-Cantarella has also been engaged in projects that explore the intersection between art, theatre, and ethnographic research.  In collaboration with her husband, scenic designer and Associate Professor of Design at Pace University Luke Hegel-Cantarella, she co-designed an installation piece on temporary housing entitled 214 Square Feet, which has been displayed at numerous locales in Orange County, California, and is currently designing a video installation tentatively entitled Trade is Sublime that responds to and engages with ethnographic research on the World Trade Organization being undertaken by a team of American and European anthropologists.  
Matthew S. Dabros, Assistant Professor of Political Science, graduated from Purdue University with a Ph.D. in Political Science and an M.S. in Economics. A specialist in American Politics and Political Economy, he teaches courses on political institutions, public opinion, campaigns and elections, and research methods. His research, which applies economic theory to political problems, has appeared in Public Choice and Business and Society. He is currently studying the effects of post-elective employment on legislative productivity.
Dr. Christopher Kukk, Professor of Political Science (, 203-837-8247)is the Director of Western’s Honors Program and was the founding coach of the university’s Roger Sherman Debate Society. Kukk, who received his Ph.D. in International Politics from Boston College and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, is a former International Security Fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and a 2007-2008 Fulbright Scholar at the University of Tartu in Estonia. His research and publications focus on political economic relations over fresh water resources as well as the creation and sustainability of civil society. Before entering the field of higher education, Kukk was a counter-intelligence agent for the United States Army, a research associate for Cambridge Energy Research Associates, and is often asked by the media (e.g., Associated Press, National Public Radio, and the Economist magazine) for his analysis on issues regarding American politics and United States foreign policy. Kukk is married to his high school sweetheart, Elly, and they have three sons who love baseball, soccer, and rock-n-roll.

Rotua Lumbantobing, Assistant Professor of Economics (, 203-837-8457), teaches development economics, environmental economics, comparative economic systems, and statistics. At North Carolina State University, where she earned her PhD, her work concerned economic development in South Asia. She published a portion of her doctoral research, which applied sorting equilibrium models to water infrastructure in Sri Lanka, in the American Journal of Business Research; she also presented work on development at numerous academic conferences. More recently, she has conducted research in the exciting new field of sports economics. She is currently working on two projects: the first explores the economic outcomes of the NBA playoffs, and the second takes tennis as a lens onto the intersections of economics and gender in the United States.

Dr. R. Averell Manes, Professor of Political Science and Conflict Studies (, 203-837-8452), earned a Ph.D. from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, at Syracuse University. Manes teaches comparative politics, research methodology and conflict studies courses.  She is the founder and director of the Conflict Resolution Project, which has offered information, training and services to members of the WCSU community since 1995.  In 2008, Manes founded, co-chairs and coordinates the Hancock Student Leadership Program, with Dr. Walter Bernstein, Vice President of Student Affairs.  A conflict analysis and resolution specialist since 1985, Manes has worked as a consultant, trainer and intervener with government agencies, public and private schools, businesses, non-profit organizations, political parties, town councils and private individuals.  Manes’ publications include The Pieds-noirs, Academica Press, 2005 and “TALK Time: Training Children in Creative Problem-Solving,” ACResolution, Fall 2006.
Dr. Oluwole Owoye, Professors of Economics (, 203-837-8456), teaches microeconomics, macroeconomics, monetary economics, labor economics and economic development. He has presented research in these areas at national and international economic conferences.  Owoye, who holds a Ph.D. from Northern Illinois University, has published numerous articles in periodicals such as The Journal of Developing Areas, Global Economic Review and The Journal of International Trade and Economic Development. He was a visiting Senior Fulbright Scholar in the department of economics at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, in 2003, where he was among the initial group of professors who taught in the collaborative Ph.D. program for West, East, and Southern Africa at Ibadan, Nigeria. Since 2004, he has been a visiting professor of monetary economics in the collaborative Ph.D. program’s Joint Facility for Electives, African Economic Research Consortium in Nairobi, Kenya.
Dr. Zuohong Pan, Professors of Economics (, 203-837-8462), earned a Ph.D. from Wayne State University. He teaches macroeconomics, microeconomics, money & banking, mathematical economics, economic development, applied econometrics, contemporary domestic economic issues, social research issues and social research seminars. His research interests include international trade and finance, financial modeling & forecasting, economic development and urban economics. He has co-authored/edited a number of books, including Investment Banking in the United States and Taiwan in the 21st Century. Pan has published numerous papers in periodicals such as Urban Studies, China Economic Review, the Journal of Computational Intelligence in Finance and Computational Economics. He also reviews for professional journals, such as Urban Studies and China Economic Review.
Dr. Steven Ward, Professor of Sociology (, 203-837-8459), earned his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of New Hampshire. His primary teaching areas are in social and cultural theory, urban sociology, modern and postmodern societies, class, status and power and the senior research thesis. He is the author of three books, Reconfiguring Truth: Postmodernism, Science Studies and the Search for a New Model of Knowledge (Rowman & Littlefield); Modernizing the Mind: Psychological Knowledge and the Remaking of Society (Praeger) and Neoliberalism and the Global Restructuring of Knowledge and Education (Routledge).  His work has also appeared in journals such as the American Sociological Review, Sociology: The Journal of the British Sociological Association, The Canadian Journal of Sociology and The Journal of Cultural Economy.
Curriculum vitae
Dr. Laurie Weinstein, Professor of Anthropology (, 203-837-8453), received her Ph.D. from Southern Methodist University. She is passionate about teaching anthropology and researching the indigenous peoples of the Americas.  She has edited or written many books and articles on such diverse topics as New England Indians and Indians of the Southwest to women in the military.  She is also passionate about historic preservation and she enlists students to work with her on projects in the surrounding communities to both learn about and protect prehistoric and historic sites.  Weinstein created the Cultural Resource Minor program at Western, as well as the field program in archaeology that runs a five week field school during the summer.  Weinstein works closely with Dr. Bethany Morrison and Dr. Cosimo Sgarlata in the archaeology program; the three professors offer students a broad exposure to archaeological methods and theory.  Lastly, Weinstein is absolutely committed to teaching students compassion--the understanding of cultures and subcultures that are different from their own.  Class expectations include applied work in local communities, whether as researchers in historic preservation, or as servers in soup kitchens, working with the homeless.  Weinstein also loves animals!   
Curriculum vitae
Laurie Weinstein's homepage
Dr. Robert D. Whittemore, Professor of Anthropology (, 203-837-8461), earned his Ph.D. at the University of California in Los Angeles. After serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer and teacher and educational director for a child development center in Massachusetts, he did ethnographic fieldwork among the Mandinka people of the Casamance region of the Republic of Senegal. He also worked in urban Los Angeles with the developmentally disabled. As an associate of the Institute for Writing & Thinking at Bard College, Whittemore, in his classes at Western, explores the relationship between writing and thought, underscoring the importance of developing the kind of ethnographic sensibility essential to global citizenship. His wife, Elizabeth, who has collaborated with him on some of his research and writing, is a poet, playwright and novelist. Their eldest daughter, Miranda, is a novelist and their youngest, Vanessa Kai, is a filmmaker.



Dr. Patricia A. Crouse, adjunct Professor of Political Science (, earned a Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut. Dr. Crouse has been teaching at Western Connecticut State University since 2010 and teaches both introductory and upper division political science courses, primarily in the area of American politics/ public administration. Dr. Crouse also teaches at Manchester Community College, Manchester, CT and Naugatuck Valley Community College, Waterbury, CT. She is also a professional writing tutor in the Academic Support Center at Manchester Community College. Prior to coming back to Connecticut in 2009, Dr. Crouse taught for 3 years at Northern Virginia Community College, Woodbridge, VA


Bernard Fitzpatrick
I have been teaching at Western since 2000 in the Social Science Department.  At Western I have taught  Introduction to Political Science (PS 100), American Government (PS 102) World Governments, Economies and Cultures (PS 104), Introduction to Sociology (SOC 100) and State and Local Governments (PS 218).  I also teach at Naugatuck Valley Community College in the Social Sciences Division  where I have taught Principles of Sociology (SOC 101), Contemporay Social Issues (SOC 201) Sociology of the Family (SOC 210), Social Inequality (SOC 221) and American Government.  I previously taught at St. Joseph's College in Patchogue, New York.  After a career in public service (Peace Corps, VISTA, Head Start and Public Housing), I went back to Graduate school in Political Science at UCONN.


Attorney John Jowdy- Adjunct Professor- Political Science- Attorney Jowdy has been associated with the university since 1998 as an adjunct professor teaching courses in Political Science and American Government. A graduate of Boston College and New England School of Law (Boston), Attorney Jowdy is a trial lawyer with the Danbury law firm of  Jowdy & Jowdy with an emphasis on civil litigation. In addition to his position at the university, Attorney Jowdy has served as an Attorney Trial Referee, Special Master in domestic relations cases, Attorney Fact Finder and Small Claims Hearing Magistrate in the Danbury Judicial District. 


David F. Matte, adjunct professor of political science,                                         
After graduating from Fair Haven High School in Fair Haven, Vermont, I attended the University of Vermont for four years. I graduated from the University of Vermont with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Secondary Education and a major in history. Upon graduation from college, I became a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army and had duty assignments in Cleveland and Pittsburgh.
I began my teaching career as a high school social studies teacher in Southbury, Connecticut. Then I became a graduate student at the University of Bridgeport in Bridgeport, Connecticut where I earned a Masters Degree in European History. After completing the Masters Degree, I became a high school social studies teacher in Randolph, Vermont.
I returned to Connecticut in 1974, married my wife, Lauren, and secured a position as a high school social studies teacher in Bethel, Connecticut. I taught social studies courses in Bethel covering subjects such as Politics, Government, and Law as well as U.S. and European History. During this time period, I also earned my Sixth Year Degree in Intermediate Administration from Southern Connecticut State University. I spent the last fourteen years of my teaching career as the department head of the social studies department in Bethel High School. I retired from Bethel in 2008 with thirty-eight years of public school teaching experience. I began teaching at Western Connecticut State University as an adjunct instructor of American Government soon after my retirement from Bethel public schools.
Lauren and I have two grown children; Mrs. Jane King, who is a special education teacher and Mr. Jeffrey Matte who is an ESL teacher. They both teach in the New York City Public School System. .


Dr. Bethany Morrison  see


Jack Alan Robbins, Ph.D. With a Ph.D. in Political Science from Fordham University, 1972, I have 40 years work experience in local and regional government and politics. This includes budget preparation and management, public policy formulation and implementation, drafting legislation, public administration. My experience includes managerial direction of a large operational department, supervision of academic-government partnerships, development and implementation of comprehensive conservations programs for 17,000 acres of parkland in 43 county parks, and a diverse series of special projects. I have taught American Government, Comparative Ideology, and State and Local Governments at several colleges, part-time.


Ms. Faline Schneiderman, Adjunct Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, ( earned an M.A. from the University of Connecticut in Anthropology, and has since pursued cultural resource management, archaeology, historic preservation, land use, and environmental activism.  She is passionate about anthropology, archaeology, and historic preservation and serves as the President of Preserve New Fairfield, Inc.  Ms. Schneiderman has been a professional archaeologist since 1987, meets the professional qualifications of the National Park Service’s 36CFR 61 and is certified by the Register of Professional Archaeologists (RPA).  Her numerous publications include cultural resource assessments for local, state, and federal agencies, in addition to published papers on historical and archaeological findings.  Her interests include urban transportation networks, large-scale public infrastructure systems, and Native American prehistory.  She has served on local land-use and historic preservation boards, and is a founding member of her local Historic Properties Commission. 


Dr. Cosimo Sgarlata  see


Peggy Southard, adjunct professor of Non-Western Culture (, earned a MA from Yale Graduate School of East Asian Studies.  Her focus of study was on China and Japan.  At WCSU, Peggy teaches Japanese Culture and Cultural Anthropology.  Born under the Japanese Occupation in Hong Kong (1941-1945), Peggy has many stories to tell about her parents’ life during the four years of Japanese occupation. After the war, the colony was reverted to British rule until 1997 when it was returned to China.  Peggy grew up under British colonial rule and received her primary and secondary education in a French Convent school. She received a teaching degree to teach English to Chinese students.  Peggy and her husband have lived in Hong Kong, Paris, France and Saudi Arabia and traveled extensively throughout Europe and the Middle East when her husband flew as a pilot for Saudi Arabian Airlines on loan from TWA.  Besides English, Peggy speaks Chinese and French. 


Dr. H.Ertug Tombus, adjunct professor of Political Science and Sociology,  ( holds a Ph.D. degree in political science from Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey and is currently working on constitution making, comparative constitutionalism and secularism at the New School for Social Research, New York. His primary teaching and research areas are theories of democracy, politics and law, theories of constitution-making, secularism and its critics, sociology of law, political sociology, contemporary social theory and Turkish politics. His work has appeared in journals such as Constellations: An International Journal of Critical and Democratic Theory and Philosophy and Social Criticism.


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