Pathways to the Professoriate

HSI Pathways/Mellon Faculty Mentors

Linda Alvarez

Linda AlvarezAssistant Professor, Department of Central American Studies
Faculty Profile 

Scholarly Interests:  Comparative Politics, Latin American Politics, Comparative Political Behavior, Political Psychology, Social Movements, Migration, Race and Ethnic Politics, Labor and Food Politics

I wanted to become a professor because I saw it as one of the most direct ways to create positive change and empowerment in my community. What I most like about being a professor are those moments in the classroom when everyone is engaged and as I look around I literally witness students learning. That is the best feeling; it's what keeps me motivated to keep teaching. I remember being in graduate school feeling like I knew that I wanted to get a PhD and eventually teach, but also feeling lost and overwhelmed about everything involved in achieving that goal. I'm excited to be able to help someone who is feeling the same way I did not only navigate through all the formalities of pursuing a PhD, but also helping to guide them on how to make this world of academia do-able, and make their dream of becoming a professor achievable.

Xochitl Alvizo

Xochitl AlvizoAssistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies
Faculty Profile

Scholarly Interests:  Women and Religion, Philosophy of Sex, Gender, and Sexuality, Feminist/Womanist/Mujerista approaches to Religion, Queer and Feminist Theologies, Congregational Studies, Feminist Ecclesiology, and new and emerging forms of church (aka Emerging Church Movement). Her most recent research project involved a feminist analysis of the developing ecclesiology of emerging church congregations. 

I always knew I wanted to be in the classroom. I love the energy of being in a learning and teaching environment. For me, becoming a professor was the perfect way to keep my brain continually sparking and intellectually stimulated. What I like most about being a professor is that I get to witness the moment of new insight and learning for students - the "light bulb" moment that opens up the world for them in exciting new ways. 

Moshoula Capous-Desyllas

Moshoula Capous-DesyllasAssociate Professor, Department of Sociology
Faculty Profile

Scholarly Interests:  My research interests and passions involve the use of arts-based research methodologies as a form of activism for social justice and as a way to highlight the voices of marginalized individuals, groups and communities. Interdisciplinary perspectives from social work, social psychology and sociology intersect to shape my interest in: feminist and queer theory, critical pedagogies, transnational issues, empowerment, social justice and diversity, anti-oppressive research and practice methods, visual sociology, community engagement, and social activism through the arts.

What I love most about being a professor is the opportunity that I have to teach and learn with passion, to inspire and be inspired by students, and to make a difference in the lives of others. What excites me about being part of the HSI Pathways program is the chance to mentor and engage with amazing students, share my lived experiences of navigating academia as a first generation immigrant, and facilitate growth, success and hope.

Melisa Galván

Melisa GalvanAssistant Professor, Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies
Faculty Profile

Scholarly Interests: Latin America, Mexico (esp. 19th century), Borderlands, Political Economy, Port Studies, Transnationalism, Chicano/Latino history, and U.S. imperialism

I decided to become a professor because I really couldn’t imagine myself not being a student.  As a professor I continue to seek out knowledge every single day, both inside and outside of the classroom, and I love sharing my passion for research and the subject with my students.  Witnessing students get excited and feel empowered by their own learning is one of the most rewarding feelings in the world.  I know how scary applying to graduate school can seem at first, so I look forward to helping ease some of those anxieties for our students.  I am also really excited to have the opportunity to work with some of our amazing and driven CSUN students, share a bit about my own journey into academia, and witness them achieve their goals (while hopefully having a little bit of fun along the way)!

Frances Gateward

Frances Gateward

Associate Professor, Department of Cinema and Television Arts
Faculty Profile

Scholarly Interests:  Cultural expression and hierarchies of power in popular culture, particularly film, television, and comic books/graphic novels.  Areas of specialization include feminist and critical race theory.

I enjoy engaging with students; sharing scholarship, exchanging ideas, and watching them reach their potential as scholars, artists, and global citizens.  As a first-generation college graduate, I understand what it means to have good mentors.  I look forward to helping others.

Santosh Khadka

Santosh KhadkaAssistant Professor, Department of English
Faculty Profile
Personal/Professional Website

Scholarly Interests:  global and digital rhetorics, new media and multiliteracies, composition pedagogies and world Englishes, intercultural communication and professional writing, and literacy practices of diverse student writers particularly in the globalized composition classrooms

What excites me most about teaching is the exchange of ideas. I firmly believe that the conversations that happen inside and outside the classrooms are central to students’ development as critical thinkers and knowledge makers. I enjoy being a facilitator of such intellectual discussions, and that’s what I like most about being in the teaching profession.

David Medeiros

David MedeirosAssistant Professor, Department of Linguistics
Faculty Profile

Scholarly Interests:  Generative syntax and connections between syntax, morphology, and semantics. Areas of focus include Hawaiian and comparative Polynesian linguistics, as well as the syntax and semantics of imperatives across languages.

I wanted to become a professor because I love the pursuit of knowledge through rational inquiry. I also love teaching, and teaching about linguistics is so fun - although humans use language constantly, we rarely notice the incredible complexity of language. My two favorite parts of being a professor are teaching - especially our general introduction to linguistics course - and working on research with students and colleagues. I'm really excited about the HSI Pathways program because I think that this program will open a path to the professoriate to students who might otherwise never consider or know how to start on the journey to a PhD and, ultimately, a professorship. This should ultimately help diversify academia, which will have the long-term effect of improving teaching and research overall.

John Paul Nuño

John Paul NunoAssociate Professor, Department of History
Faculty Profile

Scholarly Interests:  Borderlands History, Early American History, American Indian History, Atlantic World History, Colonial America, Early U.S. Southeast, Southwestern Borderlands

I always knew I wanted to teach history but I never thought I could do it as a professor at a university. Only when I became a McNair Scholar, a program very similar to Pathways to the Professoriate, was I given the support and confidence to become a professor. From that point on I simply sought to emulate the best aspects of the professors who had inspired me. My favorite part of being a professor is being a mentor to interesting and intelligent students. Nothing gives me greater satisfaction then seeing a student grow and exceed my expectations. Having those students move on to greater things gives me the motivation to continue doing this job. I am excited about HSI Pathways because both mentors and students will have the opportunity to show the academic community the quality work being done at California State University, Northridge. This program will highlight how capable our students can be when they are given support and resources. Our students will serve as important examples to the student body and the community. 

Mario Ontiveros

Mario OntiverosAssistant Professor, Department of Art
Faculty Profile

Scholarly Interests: Chicana/o & Latina/o artistic practices, empowerment, self-organizing, collectivity, exile/migration, transnational feminism, activism. 

I became a professor because many academic mentors demonstrated how teaching, research, and professional experiences can build productive links between sociopolitical awareness, political engagement, and the world around us.