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Humanities Edge Undergraduate Research Symposium | Spring 2021

Humanities Edge Undergraduate Research Symposium - Faculty Mentors

Faculty Mentors
Jessica Aubuchon
Social Sciences, North Campus
David DiDomenico
Arts and Philosophy, North Campus

Jessica AuBuchon is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Nationally Board Certified Counselor. She received her BA in Psychology from Florida International University and a MS in Counselling with a focus on mental health at NOVA Southeastern University. Professor AuBuchon has regularly been teaching courses in Introduction to Psychology, Human Growth and Development, Psychology of Addiction, and Psychology of Personal Effectiveness. Professor Aubuchon has other wide-ranging work experience, in particular in the fields of severe mental illness and substance abuse. Among other she has worked as a Licensed Clinician at the Memorial Regional Hospital and the Joe Di Maggio Children’s Hospital. Professor Aubuchon has a very active service engagement at MDC, including as Student Advisor for Voice of the Voiceless, an Animal Rights group on campus that she founded. In her free time she enjoys traveling off the beaten path, collecting NFTs and playing with her chihuahuas.

Dr. David DiDomenico (Ph.D., University of Miami, 2020) is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Miami Dade College, North Campus, where he teaches Intro to Philosophy and Critical Thinking/Ethics. His research interests are in philosophy of mind, epistemology, ethics, and cognitive science. Dr. DiDomenico attended the University of Miami, where he completed his doctoral work on the nature and epistemology of inference. He also earned a BA in Philosophy from the University of Akron and MA in Philosophy from Georgia State University. His work has been published in Pacific Philosophical Quarterly and he has presented at various academic conferences throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Tricia Foster
Communications, Arts, and Philosophy, Padrón Campus
John Frazier
Arts and Philosophy, Kendall Campus
Professor Tricia Foster has an MA in English Literature and has been working at Miami Dade College since 2012. She teaches English Composition 1 (ENC1101), English Composition 2 (ENC1102), and Introduction to Literature (LIT2000). She was recently awarded the President's Innovation Grant at Miami Dade College for her work on remediation modules that run concurrent with core classes to help students succeed in their freshman year. She also presented at the first Humanities Edge sponsored Creative Writing Workshop at Miami Dade College last June. John Frazier is a renowned non-Western cultural expert who has consulted with the United Nations, UNICEF, Louvre Museum, Walt Disney Company, U.S. Department of Education and numerous universities. "Frazier" has traveled the world working with disenfranchised populations and helping people educate their youth, including the Baka Pygmies of Central Africa, Ibo of Nigeria, Sudanese refugees in Chad and Kenya, Rwandan orphans in Kenya, Vodou practitioners in Haiti, and Mexican street artists. Professor Frazier's educational programs have served more than 2 million children, 65,000 teachers, and 15,000 refugees. Frazier has received numerous awards, including four American Museum Association excellence awards, three "Best Practices in Education" awards, three nominations for local educational Emmy's, Colonel Mitchell Wolfson, Sr. Endowed Teaching Chair, and curriculum-writing awards from the U.S. Department of Education and United Nations, For his contributions to humanity, former U.S. President Obama honored John Frazier with a Lifetime President's Volunteer Service Award in 2016.
Alicia Garcia
Communications, Arts, and Philosophy, Padrón Campus
Taurie Gittings Wheeler
Arts and Letters, West Campus

Alicia K. Garcia, "Professor A.K.", is a professor, writer, and performer.  Her career in education spans nearly two decades, with the past three years spent at Miami Dade's Padrón Campus where she teaches in the Communication, Arts, and Philosophy Department. She is thrilled to participate in the Humanities Edge Undergraduate Research Program again this semester. Garcia is originally from Michigan, but has lived in Miami for the past fifteen years. When she's not teaching, she's hanging out with her pets, running, or performing with her improv troupe, Society Circus Players.

Assistant Professor Taurie Gittings-Wheeler, a student of the arts since middle school and a graduate of New World School of the Arts, is an artisan, performer, and educator, with over 20 years of experience. She studied theatre at Florida A & M University. She has also earned a Master of Humanities degree in Art & Visual Media from Tiffin University and a Master of Education degree with a focus on Interdisciplinary Arts from Nova Southeastern University. Prof. Gittings teaches Humanities, Cinema, Art, and Theatre Appreciation. She is passionate about helping students expand their social and cultural perspectives through global education and has traveled with MDC students to England, France, Italy, and Greece. Currently, she is the MDC Online Faculty Developer for Art Appreciation and serves as a Faculty Lead for The Humanities Edge grant. She is dedicated to sharing the transformative power that the arts add to our lives.


Shannon Kennedy
Communications, Humanities, and Social Sciences, Homestead Campus

Michael Lenaghan
Social Sciences, North Campus

Dr. Shannon Kennedy is an Associate Psychology Professor at Miami Dade College, Homestead Campus. There, she teaches a variety of introductory and elective psychology courses, including psychology of genocide and human sexuality. She is also the advisor to the Psychology Club and the award-winning Estuaries art and literary magazine. A native of Illinois, Dr. Kennedy has been in Miami for thirteen years where she pursued her graduate studies. Dr. Kennedy holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois in Psychology and Gender and Women’s Studies. At the graduate level, she has a Graduate Certificate in Gender and Women’s Studies and a Master’s Degree in Psychology from Florida International University. Her doctorate is also from FIU in developmental psychology, focusing on emerging adults (18-25 year olds) and intimate partner violence. She has published in the Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences. When not working, Dr. Kennedy enjoys time with her husband and two daughters, especially enjoying the Miami weather at the beach. 

Eight-time NEH Summer Workshop Fellow and Endowed Chair of Teaching Excellence Professor in Political Science and International Relations, Dr. Lenaghan invites scholars to engage in exploration of literature that relates to each one’s special interests, aspirations. Presuming each student brings a unique genius to a course or seminar, he invites each to identify books, creative or performing arts or sources of ideas, insights and inspirations by which to make the learning community more meaningful. And by research, reading, writing, oral presentation or graphic representation each make the whole of the course experience greater than the sum of its parts.

Carmen Lopez
Social Sciences, Wolfson Campus
Emily Sendin
Communications, Arts, and Philosophy, Padrón Campus
Dr. Carmen Lopez is an Associate Professor at the Wolfson Campus. She earned a B. A. and M. A. at Florida International University and holds a PhD from the University of Miami. She teaches courses in American, World and Holocaust history for the Department of Social Sciences, the Honors College and MDC Online, where she serves as the developer for history courses. She also co-chairs the campus Impact Team and is a faculty co-facilitator for the Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy. She also serves on the Diverse Voices Committee as well as the Project Based-Learning Task Force. She has published articles in Tequesta Journal and History Miami Magazine and has worked several times with Cengage Publishing to revise their Global Americans textbook and create supplemental instructional materials. Most recently, she led the effort to add the History of Women in the United States to the course offerings at Miami Dade College.

Emily Andrea Sendin is a Professor of English and creative writing in her twenty-second year teaching at Miami Dade College, Eduardo J. Padrón Campus. Prof. Sendin is an Endowed Teaching Chair, Fulbright Scholar, and Florida Campus Contact Service-Learning Faculty of the Year. Prof. Sendin earned a B.A. and M.A. in English with a concentration in Women's Studies. At Miami Dade College, she teaches Global Sustainability and Earth Literacy Studies, service-learning, and Honors College courses. Prof. Sendin is the founding advisor of Urbana, the award-winning literary and arts magazine of the Padrón Campus, currently on its fourteenth volume. Her life’s passions are traveling, teaching, and service.