Faculty: Parkside Residential Colleges

Parkside International Residential College
Oliver Mayer, Faculty Master
Associate Professor, Dramatic Writing
Oliver Mayer is an Associate Professor with tenure at the USC School of Dramatic Arts. Mayer is the author of nearly 30 plays, including his newest The Sinner From Toledo, adapted from a short story by Chekhov, scheduled for production in New York City in 2016. Other recent plays include Members Only, the sequel to his ground-breaking play Blade to the Heat; and Blood Match, inspired by the play Bodas de Sangre by Federico Garcia Lorca. Other plays include Fortune is a Woman, The Wallowa Project, Dias y Flores, Dark Matters, Conjunto, Young Valiant, Joy of the Desolate, Laws of Sympathy and Ragged Time. Mayer has also written the libretto for the opera America Tropical, as well as the words for several sung pieces by composer Jenni Brandon. Along with several collections of his published plays, Mayer completed his first children’s book Big Dog On Campus Learns to be a Trojan, and its follow-up Big Dog On Campus Goes to the Library (Figueroa Press). On campus, he has received several university honors including the 2015 Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching, and a Mellon Mentoring Award for mentoring undergraduates.

"My wife Marlene and I are honored to be the Residence Faculty Master family at Parkside International Residential College. This will be our twelfth year in residential life. Marlene is an actress and I am a playwright; we have devoted our lives to the performing arts. We have an abiding interest in international study, language and culture. We cherish the experience of living alongside students, creating fun and exciting events and programs, making new friends, and watching them grow as individuals throughout their university experience and beyond."

Parkside International Residential College
Elahe Nezami, Resident Faculty Faculty
Associate Professor, Health Promotion & Disease Prevention Studies

Dr. Nezami's research focuses on determinants of behavioral risk factors for chronic diseases, cancer and cardiovascular disease in particular. Risk factors of primary interest are tobacco use, physical activity and nutritional practices. Her other research projects include examination of personality characteristics (hostility, anger, aggression) in relation to cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Nezami's current research focuses on the self-medication theory of smoking. In particular, she is studying the relationship between depression and smoking in different cultures. Dr. Nezami is the principal investigator of a Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Center (TTURC) project studying self-medication and smoking in the U.S., China and Iran. Dr. Nezami received her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Houston and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Southern California.

Parkside International Residential College
Brett Sheehan, Resident Faculty Fellow
Associate Professor

Parkside Arts and Humanities Residential College
Gail Peter Borden, Faculty Master
Associate Professor, Architecture

Gail Peter Borden attended Rice University, simultaneously receiving Bachelor of Arts degrees (all cum laude) in fi ne arts, art history, and architecture. Upon graduation, he won the prestigious William Ward Watkins Traveling Fellowship, the AIA Certificate for Excellence, the Chillman Prize, and the John Swift Medal in Fine Arts. After receiving a Texas Architectural Foundation Scholarship, Professor Borden returned to Rice for his BARCH, also cum laude. He went on to Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design to complete a post-professional Masters of Architecture with distinction.

In addition to holding a tenured position as associate professor at the University of Southern California, Borden is the architecture discipline head and director of the graduate architecture programs. As principal of Borden Partnership since 2002, his design work has won numerous recognitions including: the Architectural League Prize; the AIA Young Architect Award; Building Design and Construction magazine’s “40 Under 40” award; and numerous AIA, ACSA, and RADA awards. Borden received artist-in-residence awards from the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas; the Atlantic Center for the Arts; the Borchard Fellowship; and the MacDowell Colony. His teaching has been recognized with an ACSA New Faculty Teaching Award as one of the top emerging architecture faculty. His first book, Material Precedent: The Typology of Modern Tectonics, published in 2010 (Wiley Press); his second, Matter: Material Processes in Architectural Production, published in 2011 (Routledge) his third Principia: Architectural Principles of Material Form, published in 2013 (Pearson); and forthcoming spring 2014 Process: Material and Representation in Architecture (Routledge) all focus on materiality.

As an artist, theoretician, and practitioner, Professor Borden’s research and practice focuses on the role of materiality and architecture in contemporary culture.

As the new faculty Master at Parkside Arts and Humanities Residential College, he lives with his wife Brooke [also an architect and partner at Borden Partnership], daughter Frieda and son Gail Calvin.

Parkside Arts and Humanities Residential College
Malancha Gupta, Resident Faculty Fellow
Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

Malancha Gupta is an assistant professor in the Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Southern California. She received her BS in chemical engineering from the Cooper Union in 2002. She received her PhD in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2007 under the guidance of Professor Karen K. Gleason. From 2007-2009, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the department of chemistry and chemical biology at Harvard University working under the guidance of Professor George M. Whitesides. She currently leads a lab group of seven doctoral students. Her current research interests include polymer coatings and thin films, surface science, chemical vapor deposition, ionic liquids, and microfluidics. She has co-authored 25 manuscripts and 3 patents in these topic areas.

Parkside Apartments
David Albertson, Resident Faculty Fellow
Assistant Professor, Religion
David Albertson is an Assistant Professor of Religion in USC Dornsife College. He has been a residential faculty member in the Parkside area since 2012, where he lives with his wife, Annie, an attorney at a design firm, and their two children. He has a Ph.D.from the University of Chicago and a B.A. from Stanford University. He studies the history of medieval and early modern Christianity. He is particularly interested in the role of mysticism, Platonism and natural science during the transition from the medieval to modern eras. He is the recipient of the USC General Education teaching award and a multi-year NEH grant for undergraduate education in the humanities. His work has been supported by a Fulbright Fellowship in Germany, as well as research fellowships from The Huntington Library and the American Council of Learned Societies. He is finishing a book with Oxford University Press on the fifteenth-century philosopher, Nicholas of Cusa, whose writings combined mysticism with geometrical speculations, and beginning a new project on visual culture in early modern Christianity.
Parkside Apartments
Kelly Sanders, Resident Faculty Fellow
Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Kelly Sanders is an assistant professor in the Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Southern California.  Her research interests include conducting system-level analyses that seek to resolve issues with technical, political, and societal significance to inform better decision making in regards to energy and water resource management.  She earned her Ph.D. in 2013 from the University of Texas at Austin, her M.S. in 2010 from the University of Texas at Austin, and her B.S. in 2007 from Pennsylvania State University.