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Curry College Welcomes New Faculty to Campus
August 19, 2020



Curry College welcomes six new faculty members to campus for the 2020-2021 academic year.

"Our new faculty bring a wealth of real-world experience and diverse perspectives to the College, which will only further enhance our vibrant educational community," says Curry College Executive Vice President and Provost Dr. David Szczerbacki. "The partnership between our faculty and students is what makes Curry's community truly unique, and we have no doubt this new group will be just as committed to empowering our students to succeed inside and outside the classroom."

Dr. Giordana Basta joins the Education Department as an Assistant Professor and the Director of Graduate Programs. She has been active in public education in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.  She has been a classroom educator, instructional coach, and administrator while most recently serving as a Director at a national non-profit educational research organization. Dr. Basta has worked with schools and districts nationally to embed high-quality instruction and support educational teams with change initiatives. Her dissertation research entitled, "Elementary School Teacher Perceptions on Student Social-Emotional Learning and Implications for Instruction," examines how immense changes to the culture of childhood have influenced opportunities for children to engage in social discourse and the impact of this on the educational system. Giordana is an SEL expert who has consulted for local and regional school districts as well as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Dr. Basta has presented locally, regionally, and nationally on topics ranging from early literacy to social-emotional learning and self-regulation. Her most recent presentations have been in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Florida, and Tennessee.

Kenneth Carberry '80 joins the Communication Department as an Assistant Professor and Director of the Curry College Radio Station, WMLN-FM. Ken earned his B.A. at Curry College, and his J.D. from New England School of Law, where he was Class Orator at Commencement. Majoring in Communication, Ken was very involved in the on-air sound and operations at WMLN, where he served as Station Manager during his junior and senior years. Upon graduation, Ken and Curry classmate Jordan Rich '80 founded Chart Productions, Inc., a media services and audio production company that they operate to this day. Ken has worked in many on-air capacities in Boston radio, most notably as disc-jockey at 92.9 WBOS and 99.5 WSSH. He can currently be heard as voice-over talent on many radio and TV commercials. Ken is part of the ownership group of Carter Broadcasting, which owns and operates radio stations in the Worcester and Springfield markets.  He is active in community theater and is on the Board of The Milton Players. Ken also serves on the Executive Board of The Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

Emily Howe joins the Fine and Applied Arts Department as an Assistant Professor. She is an American ethnomusicologist, conductor, and music educator who through her research and practice explores music and sound as a lens into global history and culture, as well as a means of catalyzing social change in diverse contexts. Active as a conductor and music educator, Howe is passionate about working to make meaningful musical experiences accessible to all who might want them. She has led ensembles as a conductor for the Boston Children's Chorus, where some of her youngest students were featured prominently in filmmaker Mary Jane Doherty's documentary Let the River Run (2018). Previously a faculty member of Boston University's Prison Education Program and Harvard University, Howe has worked collaboratively with refugee and immigrant communities, people experiencing disability, and women artists, among others, to craft musical programs giving voice to their particular experiences in the world. She has authored publications, given presentations, and taught university courses on topics related to music education, choral music, and world music cultures, and she continues to explore issues related to global repertoires, performance, and identity in her scholarly and creative practice.

Dr. Melissa Kagen joins the Communication Department as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Kagen received her Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2016, where she then taught for a year before spending two years designing and teaching a new Game Design program at Bangor University in Wales. Her research focuses on walking simulators, indie games, critical play, postcolonialism and queerness in gaming, mechropolitics and death studies, and immersive performance. She has been published in Game StudiesGamevironments, and Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, as well as in German Quarterly, Opera Quarterly, and occasionally in popular outlets like The Guardian. Her book project, Wandering Games, is under contract with MIT Press. She serves as an associate editor of the Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds

Dr. Gokhan Karaatli joins the Business Management Department as an Assistant Professor. He received his Ph.D. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and M.B.A. from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Prior to joining Curry College, Dr. Karaatli has worked as a marketing faculty member at Valparaiso University, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He also held marketing positions at various industries, such as advertising and financial investment. Dr. Karaatli's research focus is primarily in the areas of digital marketing and consumer behavior.

Natalie West joins the Business Management Department as an Assistant Professor. West brings extensive experience in sport and recreation management to Curry College, with particular expertise in sport communications and marketing. Prior to joining Curry, she was a Lecturer at the University of New Hampshire and an Assistant Professor at Thomas College in Maine. Professor West is currently finishing her Ph.D in Educational Leadership with a research focus on the academic performance of Division III student-athletes. Before transitioning to the classroom in 2015, she worked as the marketing director for privately owned sport organizations, including youth club sport organizations and indoor athletic complexes. West also served as the Assistant Commissioner and Director of Communications for the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) and held coaching positions in collegiate athletics. Natalie earned a B.A. from Simmons College, a Masters in Sport Leadership from Northeastern University, and is finishing her Ph.D in Educational Leadership from Simmons University.