Ethnic Studies at College of San Mateo - Meet the Faculty
skip directly to Main Content Navigation Search A-Z Index Ask the Bulldog Find People Top Story Breadcrumbs Footer
Fall 2018 Final Exams
December 11-17, 2018
Winter Recess
Dec. 22, 2018 - Jan. 13, 2019
Deadline to pay Spring 2019 fees
January 3, 2019
Sexual Misconduct & Title IX
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linkedin
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
Ethnic Studies

Meet the Faculty

Frederick Gaines, Professor/Chair of Ethnic Studies

Frederick Gaines

Title: Professor/Chair of Ethnic Studies
Degrees: B.A. Psychology, M.A. Ethnic Studies, Ed.D. Educational Leadership
Teaching Experience: I was a principal for five years at Walden Academy and Education, Educational Coordinator at Samaritan House, Coordinator of the Urban Institutes' Stay In School Family Resource Center and Executive Director for Aspire, a college prep after school program in North Central San Mateo. While working in Leadership in the non-profit sector, I accumulated 10 years of adjunct teaching experience at various community colleges like Contra Costa, Solano, City College of San Francisco, College of San Mateo and Alameda, before becoming full-time at CSM.
Career Highlights:
 have been watching students cross the stage and move on to the University or career empowered, confident and prepared to pursue their passions and dreams.
Hobbies: I enjoy acting, directing, conducting research on African American Male students and student-athletes in community colleges and community college student athletes in general.
Quote: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Malathi Iyengar, Assistant Professor

Malathi Iyengar

Title: Assistant Professor
Degrees: Ph.D., Ethnic Studies, UC San Diego; M.A., Education, Cal State LA; M.F.A., Music, California Institute of the Arts; B.A. Music, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill  
Teaching Experience: Prior to becoming an Ethnic Studies instructor, I was a credentialed dual-language immersion (Spanish-English) elementary school teacher and wrote fiction and poetry for young children. I have also taught music to students of all ages. My approach to teaching and learning echoes the great postcolonial theorist Edward Said: "I like disobedience and transdisciplinarity."
Career Highlights: As a scholar of Ethnic Studies, I have published work related to anti-racist and anticolonial social movements, theories of non/citizenship, and histories of education. 
Hobbies: All kinds of writing! I also love music and the sounds of spoken language. And I like to relax by doing nothing.
Quote: "[L]earning is a place where paradise can be created. … This is education as the practice of freedom." – bell hooks
Lewis Kawahara, Assistant Professor

Lewis Kawahara

Title: Assistant Professor
Degrees: M.A., Museum Studies, SFSU, M.A.; Asian American Studies, UCLA;
B.A., U.S. History (major), African History(minor); A.A., History, Cañada College
Teaching Experience: Since 2006
Career Highlights: Teaching is my second profession. My first career (31 years) was in the airlines business. I have had a few articles published and authored a book on Northern California Japanese American gardeners. At CSM's 2009 Commencement we honored our former Japanese American students who had their educational dream derailed when person of Japanese ancestry was sent to internment camps during World War II. Currently the Asian Pacific American Film Festival Director which will be celebrating its 4th annual Film Festival in May 2013.
Hobbies: Love to travel and going to the movies.
Rudy Ramirez, Assistant Professor

Rudy Ramirez

Title: Assistant Professor
Degrees: B.A., Ethnic Studies; M.A., Ethnic Studies; Teaching Certificate in ESL

Teaching Experience: Since 1998
Career Highlights: Taught for the Teaching Abroad Program in Spain, Fall 2008. Put on "edu-tainment" presentations in the CSM theater every semester since 2006. Have been taking On Course workshops since 2010. On the Scholarship Committee. Faculty advisor to the Latinos Unidos Club as well as the Toastmaster's International Club. Took part in weekend workshop at the Museum of Tolerance in Beverly Hills in 2007.
Hobbies: Play guitar (acoustic/electric) and conga drums professionally. Love to walk in nature. Working out is a joy. Always learning and finding new teaching techniques. Big boxing fan.
Quote: "If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life."
David “Vika” Palaita, Instructor

David “Vika” Palaita

Title: Instructor