CSUN College of Humanities Newsletter
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New faces around the college this semester—more or less!

Michael Neubauer, Professor of Mathematics, is the new Program Coordinator for the Liberal Studies Program.

Michael NeubauerMichael received his Ph.D. from USC in 1989. Since coming to CSUN in 1995, he has served as President of the Faculty Senate (2001­2004) and is currently the Co-Chair with Dean Elizabeth Say of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accreditation process.

For the past seven years Michael has been the director of CSUN’s Developmental Mathematics Program. The program prepares some 60% of CSUN’s incoming freshman class each year for the rigors of college level mathematics courses. Many of the mathematical issues students bring to CSUN reach back to the elementary school curriculum. A major part of his responsibilities in his new role will be to help future elementary school teachers improve their ability to help their students become proficient in mathematics.  “We at CSUN need to do our part in breaking the cycle of students coming to CSUN underprepared to do college level work in mathematics,” Dr. Neubauer says.

He is also working with Dr. Ivor Weiner, Department of Special Education, to establish a Numeracy Center as part of the Teaching, Learning and Counseling Consortium in the College of Education which will serve students from the community.

We are pleased to announce that Professor Mustafa Ruzgar has accepted a position in the department of Religious Studies as an Assistant Professor.

Mustafa RuzgarProfessor Ruzgar has been teaching in the department as a full time lecturer since Fall 2007.  We hope he continues to enjoy a rewarding career as a member of the CSUN faculty and we are very happy he has chosen the College of Humanities as his home.

Mustafa was born in Turkey in 1974. He attended high school, where he received both a secular and religious education. He chose to study theology at Uludag University. There he received an intensive education in Islam, both in classical and modern subjects. After college, he was hired by the Islamic Research Center in Istanbul, perhaps the most prestigious research institute in the Middle East, as a researcher candidate. Concurrently he started a Master`s degree at Dokuz Eylul University. During these years, he had no idea that he would end up in the United States. Then an opportunity arose. He applied for and received a scholarship opportunity provided by the Ministry of National Education to send students overseas for graduate education.  He attended Claremont Graduate University, studying philosophy of religion and theology and receiving an M.A. in 2002, and Ph.D. in 2008. His research interests mainly consist of process thought, religious pluralism, inter-religious dialogue, Islamic religious pluralism, and the relationship between process thought and Islam.

Political events have accelerated a world-wide interest in the religion of Islam and Muslim people’s culture. In order to keep pace with this global interest, college students need to become familiarized with this religion. Dr. Ruzgar believes that dialogue is the most effective tool to overcome cross-cultural misconceptions, and will encourage this dialogue in his role as advisor to the Muslim Student Association as well as the Interreligious Student Association. 


"We at CSUN need to do our part in breaking the cycle of students coming to CSUN underprepared to do college level work in mathematics."