Sena Clara Creston (ART) comes to us from Washington State University, where she taught Interactive Media, Digital Imaging, eSculpture, Introduction to Digital Technology and Culture, Tools and Methods for Digital Technology, Multimedia Authoring, Electronic Research and the Rhetoric of Information, Introduction to Art, 2D Design, 3D Design, Drawing, and Sculpture– among other subjects. She has worked at several different institutions on the east coast and had work featured in many solo, duo, and group exhibitions. Sena has been featured in a number of publications including those which highlighted her participation in the successful and internationally recognized, Borealis: A Festival of Light event. She has an M.F.A in Electronic Arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a BFA with Honors in Photography and Imaging from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts.
Sahar Khoury (ART) is a prominent Bay Area sculptor whose work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions predominantly in San Francisco. She has taught at the University of California, Berkeley in the subjects of Introduction to Visual Thinking, Advanced Sculpture, and Radical Printmaking and at the San Francisco Art Institute in Introduction to Sculpture and Trash: Sculptural strategies with rejected materials. Most notably, Sahar won the SFMOMA’s SECA Art Award last year in 2019 which allowed her works to be featured in an exhibit at the SFMOMA. She has an M.F.A in Art Practice and a Certificate in New Media from University of California, Berkeley and a B.A in Anthropology from University of California, Santa Cruz.
Dr. Silvia Soto (CALS) earned her doctoral degree from the University of California, Davis in Native American Studies and her master’s degree from the University of New Mexico in Latin American Studies. Her research focuses on the contemporary Mayan literary movement of Chiapas, Mexico, more specifically on concepts of identity formation, gender relations, and Mayan cosmovisions as articulated in the literature. Her book manuscript entitled, Unstoppable Clamor: The Reconstruction of a Mayan World in Chiapas, is currently under press review. Prior to joining Sonoma State, she was a visiting assistant professor and a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in American Indian Studies where she also taught courses on Indigenous knowledge systems.
Dr. Natalia Villanueva-Nieves (CALS) earned her doctoral degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara in Chicana and Chicano Studies and her master’s degree from Utrecht University in Comparative Literary Studies. Her research focuses on the relationship between contemporary systems of power and affect in Latina literary and cultural representations via a trans-Americas feminist approach. Her hemispheric perspective is reflective in her professional talks and publications. Her articles and collaborations have been published in Latin America, Europe and the United States. In addition to her research agenda, Dr. Villanueva-Nieves has several years of experience as instructor of Latina/o/x and Chicana/o/x literature, culture and critical thought.
Marie Ramirez Downing (THAR) comes to us from California State University, Chico where she taught Voice, Movement, Acting, Political Theatre and Performance of Identity. She has been visiting faculty at U.C. Berkeley, Santa Clara University, and Texas Tech University. Marie is a board member for the Voice and Speech Trainers Association and serves on the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee. Conference Presentations related to her teaching and interests include “Performance of Identity: How much labor does it take to be you?” (ATHE) and “My Spanglish Homelife, Finding my Voice” (VASTA). Marie has an M.F.A. in Acting from The Theatre School at DePaul University, a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Fresno State and is a Designated Linklater Voice Teacher (Linklater Center, NYC). She is a Bronze Founding Member of the Linklater Voice Centre in Orkney, Scotland.