New Faculty

The College of Social Sciences welcomes seven new faculty members, Darwyyn Deyo, Gordon Douglas, Yvonne Kwan, Leonard Lira, Raymond March, Matthew Record, and Elizabeth Sweet.

Darwyyn Deyo

Newly Appointed Assistant Professor in Economics

Dr. Darwyyn Deyo earned her Ph.D. in Economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. in 2017. Her research interests focus on using rigorous empirical research methods to study law and economics, criminal labor markets, and health economics. Her work has appeared in journals including Journal of Economics and Finance Education and The Journal of Private Enterprise. Her teaching interests include law and economics, labor economics, and engaging students in the classroom by applying popular media to economic concepts.

Prior to accepting a position as an Assistant Professor of Economics at San José State University, Darwyyn served as a Research Fellow at the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute in Reston, Va., which studies evolving health care delivery and payment systems. She has also worked with the Institute for Justice on occupational licensing issues, and as a journalist for The Pennsylvania Independent covering policy and legislative news out of the state capitol.

Dr. Deyo also earned a Masters in Economics from George Mason University and dual bachelor’s degrees in economics and international studies from Saint Mary’s College of California in Moraga, Ca.

Gordon DouglasGordon Douglas

Newly appointed Assistant Professor in Urban and Regional Planning

Dr. Gordon Douglas is a multidisciplinary urbanist who received his PhD in Sociology at the University of Chicago. Much of Gordon’s research concerns questions of local identity, peoples’ relationships to their physical surroundings, and social and spatial inequality in urban development. His forthcoming book, The Help Yourself City, concerns unauthorized but functional “DIY urban design” interventions and what these informal improvement efforts tell us about planning, participation, and privilege in the American city. Other recent studies have examined the impacts of local character on new development projects; how climate change is shaping urban design; the cultural geography of gentrification in Chicago; and how the naming and design of transit stations can help promote neighborhood identity. Gordon’s writing and photography have appeared in City & Community, the Journal of Urban Design, and Urban Studies, as well as a number of magazines, newspapers, and blogs.

This fall, Gordon will be teaching Social Issues in Planning and a course on Urban Design. As the new director of San José State’s Institute for Metropolitan Studies, he will also be working with planning students to put together a documentary film series and is excited to begin arranging new events at the Institute. Prior to joining San José State, Gordon held a postdoc at New York University’s Institute for Public Knowledge, where he also served for a year as its director.

Yvonne Kwan

Newly Appointed Assistant Professor in Sociology & Interdisciplinary Social Sciences

Dr. Yvonne Y. Kwan joins the Department of Sociology and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences as an assistant professor of Asian American Studies. This summer, she wrapped up her postdoc as a part of Dartmouth College’s inaugural cohort of the Society of Fellows Program. Dr. Kwan received her PhD in Sociology from UC Santa Cruz. She also has an MA in Education from UCLA. Her research has been generously funded by the American Sociological Association’s Minority Fellowship Program and the University of California. She has also served as a mentor for the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, Dartmouth’s First Generation Mentorship Program, UCSC EOP, and Southeast Asian American Studies Conference.

Dr. Kwan’s current book manuscript, entitled “Afterlives of Diaspora: Cambodian American Trauma and Memory,” explores how social trauma may not be verbalized or articulated, but yet children of survivors can still develop the capacity to both identify with and experience the pain of previous generations. The successive generations bear witness to the pain of trauma, genocide, and relocation, whether consciously or not. Transgenerational traumatic memory then mediates the present with the past and the future, creating bodily intensities in the successive generations that open possibilities for social justice action and coalition building. The main lines of inquiry of this manuscript address 1) ways in which individual models of trauma converge with collective and affective notions of trauma as a collective and transgenerational phenomenon, 2) mechanisms of transference, and 3) implications of trauma for mental health and education—for the first and successive generations.

Leonard Lira

Newly Appointed Assistant Professor in Political Science

Dr. Leonard Lira joined the faculty in 2017. Previously, he was the founding Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence at the Army University, where he also taught Strategic and Operational Studies, Enterprise Leadership and Public Management for ArmyU’s Army Command and General Staff College and the Army Management Staff College. His additional teaching experiences include teaching American Politics at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He has over 20 years of public service with direct, organizational and enterprise public management and leadership experience. He retired from the Army as a Colonel in 2016. Len’s scholarly and teaching focus is on Organizational Theory and Public Management. His current research effort is on collaboration and its impact on performance. He received a Ph.D. in Public Administration from the University of Kansas in 2016, and M.A. in International Relations, a Masters of Public Administration, and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Conflict Resolution from the Maxwell School of Public Affairs and Administration at Syracuse University in 2003. He received a B.A. from Sam Houston State University in Criminal Justice and Police Administration in 1994. He teaches Public Management, Public Budgeting, and Organizational Theory at the graduate level, and International Relations and American Politics at the undergraduate level.

Raymond March

Newly Appointed Assistant Professor in Economics

Dr. Raymond March is Assistant Professor of Economics at San José State University. He earned his Ph.D. From Texas Tech University in 2017. His research examines the public and private provision and governance of healthcare in the United States, particularly in pharmaceutical markets. Dr. March’s research has appeared in the Journal of Institutional Economics, the Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, and the International Review of Economics. In his spare time, Ray enjoys reading, hiking, climbing, fishing, and cheering for Miami sports teams (even the Dolphins).

Matthew Record

Newly Appointed Assistant Professor in Political Science

Dr. Matthew Record joined the San José State faculty in 2017. He earned his doctorate in Public Policy and Management from the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at Ohio State University. At Ohio State, Matthew taught Intro to Public Affairs, Civic Engagement and Policy Analysis at the undergraduate level and; at San José State, he teaches Graduate Research Methods and Policy Analysis as well as undergraduate U.S. History and Government. Matthew is a drummer who has played in various indie rock and pop bands throughout his life. He is an avid boardgamer and his conversational interests include politics, sports and philosophy in general.

Elizabeth Sweet

Newly Appointed Assistant Professor in Sociology & Interdisciplinary Social Sciences

Dr. Elizabeth Sweet is a sociologist who is interested in how the threads of social inequality are woven into children’s culture. She earned her Ph.D. in Sociology at UC Davis in 2013, and following this she was a Postdoctoral Scholar and Lecturer at UC Davis and a Lecturer at Sacramento State. In her dissertation and postdoctoral research, she examines how gender and race were encoded into children’s toys and toy advertisements over the course of the 20th century. She is ultimately interested in how the messages about gender and race that are embedded into products like toys both reflect and reinforce larger social systems of inequality. Dr. Sweet’s research on toys has been of interest to the public and to policymakers. In 2016, Dr. Sweet presented on gender and toys at the White House during a conference on children’s toys and media. She has also written for the New York Times and the Atlantic, and her work has been featured in many national and international news outlets.

Dr. Sweet is passionate about teaching, and she is excited for the opportunity to teach and learn from the students at SJSU. Her favorite class to teach is statistics because she loves helping students to overcome math anxiety and to see how statistics are relevant to their everyday lives. She also enjoys teaching courses on gender, the sociology of childhood, and the sociology of family. In her teaching, Dr. Sweet aims to make sociological concepts and research methods feel accessible and pertinent to students. Her goal is for students to gain critical thinking and media literacy skills, helping them to become more informed consumers of information.