Westmont welcomed six new accomplished professors passionate about teaching and the college’s Christian liberal arts community: Anna Aboud (mathematics), Stephanie Cowell ’04 (chemistry), Barbara DeVivo (economics and business), Adam Goodworth (kinesiology), Carolyn Mitten (education), and Bruce Wydick (Westmont in San Francisco).
Aboud, who earned a doctorate this summer from Iowa State University, is designing algorithms which detect anomalies in large data sets for a project with the National Science Foundation. Her research pushes the bounds of mathematics into data science, which will benefit students of Westmont’s new data analytics program. “I work with algorithms that efficiently solve large linear systems; a need which is encountered in virtually any context in our data-driven age,” she says. She graduated from Wheaton College, taught secondary school in Alaska and has served as an instructor at two different universities. She is excited to capitalize on her education background to lead active, hands-on learning courses within the mathematics department.
Cowell, who earned a teaching credential before completing a Master of Science degree at UC Irvine, returns to her alma mater as chemistry department lab coordinator and instructor. She served as a lab instructor in 2014-15 at Westmont and most recently worked at the Environmental Charter High and Middle Schools in Inglewood and Lawndale. “I’m excited to be back,” she says. “I have loved working with Westmont faculty and students in the past in a lab setting where you see students get excited about the tangible side of what they’re learning.” Twice named an NAIA Scholar-Athlete, Cowell played on three national championship Warrior soccer teams and has taught in South Africa and Egypt.
De Vivo, who has wide marketing and management professional industry experience with medical device companies, becomes a full-time professor after serving as an adjunct professor at Westmont the past two years. “Organizational behavior offers insight into how groups work and the ways in which organizations can become more effective and efficient in their operations with their people and processes,” she says. “It’s helpful for anyone to amass an understanding of workplace dynamics, not only business students as they settle into their own careers. I am delighted to integrate my professional experience and academic knowledge of such subjects into a Christian liberal arts learning environment from which all students, business and non-business, can have the opportunity to learn and benefit.” A Cornell graduate, she recently completed her doctorate at the State University of New York in Albany and earned an MBA from Mercer College. She served as director of MBA marketing at the Fogelman College of Business and Economics at the University of Memphis, helping shape and market an MBA program that serves the metropolitan Memphis region.
Goodworth, a biomedical engineer who applies technical approaches to human movement science, looks forward to teaching and studying from a Christian perspective. In the past several years, he has conducted research on prosthetics, including efforts to assist the nonprofit LIMB International on projects in Africa. “My research also explores disabilities like cerebral palsy, studying impaired human movement from an engineering prospective,” he says. Goodworth recently won a grant from the Department of Defense to study how microprocessor knees impact perturbed walking and standing balance, and is also funded by the National Science Foundation to study mechanisms of balance in children with severe cerebral palsy. He looks forward to engaging students in both research projects. He earned a doctorate from the Oregon Health and Sciences University and undergraduate and master’s degrees at the Colorado School of Mines. Most recently, he served in the Rehabilitation Sciences Department at the University of Hartford.
Mitten, whose research focuses on preparing teachers to examine their beliefs about mathematics and to adopt equitable teaching practices that serve all students, studies how formative assessments can help teachers adapt instructional practices to motivate and serve individual learners. “God’s calling for my life is teaching and studying the integration of faith and teaching and the benefits of faith for teachers,” the Messiah College graduate says. “I’ve experienced the environment that shuts down conversation about your faith, so I can help students navigate that space and engage in a new way.” She earned a master’s degree at Penn State University and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction at the University of Florida. She served on the faculty of Moravian College for the past two years and has taught courses at all levels, including graduate courses in data analysis and probability.
Wydick, the new director of Westmont in San Francisco, brings a wealth of global and local expertise as he seeks to transform the program at the Clunie House into a hub for students doing intensive work in poverty and development studies. “We’ll transform young adult lives by teaching students how Christian discipleship leads to meaningful and effective engagement with the global poor,” he says. A highly esteemed writer and scholar, Wydick has taught economics for 23 years at the University of San Francisco and is a distinguished research affiliate at the University of Notre Dame and at the Center for Effective Global Action at UC Berkeley. “I’ve learned about God’s heart for the poor and what it means to live out the Christian life with a focus on others, particularly the marginalized,” he says. He earned a doctorate at UC Berkeley after completing undergraduate and master’s degrees at UC Davis. His latest book is “Shrewd Samaritan: Faith, Economics, and the Long Road to Loving our Global Neighbors.”