Honors Project at College of San Mateo - Meet the Faculty
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Honors Project

Meet the Faculty

David Laderman

David Laderman

Title: Professor, Film; Honors Project Coordinator, Alpha Gamma Sigma advisor
Degrees: Ph.D., Cultural Studies, UC Davis; M.A., Film, San Francisco State University; M.A. French, Emory University; B.A., English, CSU Northridge
Teaching Experience: Since 1989
Career Highlights: Writing two books, one on road movies, one on punk music and film; teaching for CSM's Study Abroad program in London and Paris; being interviewed for the IFC documentary Wanderlust; most of all, engaging, and being engaged by, my students.
Hobbies: Reading fiction, playing music, watching films, loving my dogs
Quote: "Every moment is a word, every word is yes, every yes is now, every now is a vision of belief."
– Denis Johnson, Angels
Teeka JamesTeeka James
Title: Professor, English
Degrees: B.A., American Studies and Religious Studies, William Smith College; M.A., English, Graduate Certificate in the Teaching of Composition, San Francisco State University
Profile: Teeka James has taught English at CSM since 1997 and has co-coordinated Writing in the End Zone since its incepption in 2004. She has no doubt that her students will, in fact, go on to be formidable agents of change in this world, for they have made all the difference in hers.
Rob Komas

Rob Komas

Title: Professor, Mathematics
Degrees: M.A., Mathematics, San Jose State University; B.A., Mathematics, UC San Diego
Teaching Experience: Since 1982
Career Highlights: Every day we loved learning.
Hobbies: Music, running and taking time regularly to get really uncomfortable.
Quote: "What we're doing here today, Won't make the bad life go away, You gotta grow the beard, Find the doubt, And maybe you'll work everything out hey!" 
– Karl Walinger and Karl Edmond de Vere
Sara Lawrence

Sarah Lawrence

Title: Assistant Professor, English
Degrees: M.A., English, San Francisco State University; B.A., Italian, San Francisco State University; B.A., Psychology, San Francisco State University; B.A., English, UC Santa Barbara
Teaching Experience: Since 2011
Career Highlights: Watching my students follow their curiosities
Hobbies: Cooking, music, coffee, making my daughter laugh
Quote: “Seek and be able to recognize who and what, in the midst of the hell, are not hell, then make them endure, and give them space.”
– Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities
Sarah Mangin-HinkleySarah Mangin-Hinkley
Title: Assistant Professor, English
Degrees: B.A., English and History, Stanford University; M.A., English Literature, Certificate in Teaching of Composition, San Francisco State University
Profile: Sarah is completing her Ph.D. at U.C. Berkeley, where she studied seventeenth-century literature and religion. Since joining the CSM English Department in 2016, Sarah has been inspired by the creativity, dedication, and incisiveness of all the students she has met in her courses and in the Writing Center. Sarah grew up near San Diego, and she currently lives in the East Bay. Her perfect weekend would include a redwood hike and a Sleater-Kinney concert.
Madeleine Murphy

Madeleine Murphy

Title: Professor, English
Degrees: B.A. Hons, King's College, Cambridge, U.K.; M.Litt, Edinburgh University, Scotland, U.K.
Teaching Experience: Since 1988
Career Highlights: Twenty-three years (and counting) of listening to, talking to and working with some of the most interesting and rewarding students anywhere
Hobbies: Reading, quilting; going for walks, traveling
Quote: "You have learned something. That always feels, at first, as if you had lost something."
– George Bernard Shaw
Elisha PolomskiElisha Polomski
Title: Professor, Astronomy
Degrees: Ph.D., Astronomy, University of Florida; B.A., Astronomy, Wellesley College
Teaching Experience: Since 2005
Career Highlights: Using Hubble Space Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope, EUVE Space Telescope and many many Earth based telescopes all over the planet to study the birth and death of stars and planets.
Hobbies: Canoeing and backpacking in VERY remote places on planet Earth for 30 days at a time.
Quote: "I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion."
– Henry David Thoreau
Christopher Walker

Christopher Walker

Title: Professor, Mathematics
Degrees: Ph.D., Mathematics, UC Riverside; M.A. & B.A., Mathematics; CSU San Bernardino
Teaching Experience: Since 2004
Career Highlights: Seeing my student present origianl work at conference
Hobbies: Golf, coaching soccer, Playing games of all kinds
Quote: "Students must be taught HOW to think, not WHAT to think."
 Margaret Mead
Alex WongAlex Wong
Title: Associate Professor, Physics
Degrees: M.S., Physics, San Francisco State University; M.S., Earth and Planetary Science, UC Berkeley; B.A., Physics, Carleton College
Teaching Experience: Since 2009
Career Highlights: When former students return knowing more physics than I do. That one day I got paid to walk up a beautiful stream in the woods and look for frogs.
Hobbies: Backpacking, looking at plants, reading books, climbing rocks.
Quote: “If you must put me in a box, make sure it's a big box. With lots of windows.”
– Dan Bern, Jerusalem