Mills Welcomes New Faculty to Campus

Oakland, CA—September 18, 2019

This fall, five new professors have joined the ranks of our exceptional faculty. Recently ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the Best Undergraduate Teaching schools, Mills is excited to welcome these talented scholars to our academic community. Learn more about our new professors and their backgrounds below:

Portrait of Shirin Bakhshay, a new adjunct faculty member of Mills CollegeSocial and Historical Studies Department | Social Sciences and Humanities Division
Shirin Bakhshay, Assistant Adjunct Professor in Sociology

Shirin Bakhshay is currently completing her PhD in Social Psychology at UC Santa Cruz and holds a JD from Yale Law School. Her research critically examines criminal justice attitudes, processes, and institutions in service of broad penal reform. Her current work focuses on ways to build public support for alternatives to incarceration, such as restorative justice, and combat dominant narratives of criminality that fuel mass incarceration. She has received a number of grants and fellowships to support her work and has been published in outlets such as Psychology, Public Policy, and Law. She has taught numerous psychology and legal studies courses, including Psychology and Law, and developed her own course on gender, sexuality, and constitutional law as a Chancellor’s Teaching Fellow.

"I am thrilled to be joining Mills because it is a place that truly prioritizes students. Mills believes in the power of education to transform lives and works to ensure that kind of transformative experience is accessible to everyone. The small classes will allow me to develop close, mentoring relationships with my students and employ innovative pedagogical approaches. I am also excited to be among a community of like-minded scholars who collaborate and support each other. The intellectual community at Mills is innovative, diverse, and focused on social justice. It is an ideal place to pursue my twin passions of impactful teaching and research."

Portrait of Jonathan Iris-Wilbanks, a new adjunct faculty member of Mills CollegeChild Life | School of Education
Jonathan Iris-Wilbanks, AMFT, CCLS, Assistant Professor of Practice and Child Life Program Head

Mr. Iris-Wilbanks received his first Master of Arts in 2014 from the Mills College School of Education. His degree was in Early Childhood Education with an emphasis on Child Life in Hospitals. Later, in 2017 he earned a second master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from the Wright Institute. At UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, he supported children and families in the pediatric intensive care unit, and pediatric imaging, focusing on minimizing trauma and pain. Along the way, he discovered a passion for educating and training new child life professionals.

“Mills College is where my child life journey began. From the first moment I stepped foot on this historic campus, I knew I was home. At Mills, I found dedicated professors who challenged me and a cohort of peers that lifted each other through hardship and success. Intertwined with the eucalyptus roots at Mills College are the roots of the child life profession. Emma Plank graduated in 1947 and was the first director of a US child life program. Now I have the chance to follow in the footsteps of my profession’s founders and guide new clinicians towards a deeply fulfilling and powerfully impactful career.”

Portrait of Maria Catrina Jaime, a new adjunct faculty member of Mills CollegeBiology Department | Natural and Health Sciences Division
Maria Catrina Jaime, Assistant Adjunct Professor of Public Health and Health Equity

Dr. Jaime earned her PhD in Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health’s Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences in 2017. Her research has focused on the health of marginalized populations with limited access to quality care. As a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Davis, Dr. Jaime led a community-engaged qualitative research study rooted in her dissertation work on young men’s attitudes towards pregnancy, partner communication, contraception, abortion, and family planning. She has more than ten years of experience as a clinical researcher and has published twenty peer-reviewed scientific articles.

“As my love for teaching burgeoned, I wanted to find an academic home that promotes student-centered learning in a diverse and inclusive environment. After reviewing the principles of diversity, empowerment, and creativity on the Mills College website, I decided to pursue the open faculty position in the Public Health and Health Equity program. My in-person interview solidified that Mills practiced these principles. While on campus, I saw a black and white picture of three women in uniforms doing archery. I couldn't identify why I liked it so much, until—after texting my husband—he pointed out that ‘it portrays strong women doing something unconventional.’ I wanted to be a part of that culture and contribute to it.”

Portrait of Pamela Price, a new adjunct faculty member of Mills CollegeMathematics and Computer Science Department | Natural and Health Sciences Division
Pamela Price, Assistant Adjunct Professor in Computer Science

After 15 years in various Silicon Valley companies ranging from startups to multinationals, Pamela Price started a career helping students develop a strong foundation in programming concepts. Price is a passionate STEM educator with more than 19 years of experience as a Computer Science Professor at College of San Mateo, Ohlone College, and DeVry University. Her expertise is teaching all levels of programming, in particular Java and C++. She has also worked with Girls Who Code as an instructor in their Summer Immersion Program. She loves to inspire the learning process and help students at all levels develop a love of coding. Her education includes a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Rice University and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.

"As an Electrical Engineering major in college and throughout my work experience, I quickly realized that high tech was a male-dominated environment. When I started my teaching career, I was disheartened to find that the male to female ratio in the computer science classroom had not changed much. I began to work with various STEM organizations to introduce coding to young girls. I am thrilled to now have the opportunity to teach and inspire young women at Mills to reach for big goals in the tech world, increase diversity, and help to change the narrative. Representation matters."

Portrait of Colin Schatz, a new adjunct faculty member of Mills CollegeMathematics and Computer Science Department | Natural and Health Sciences Division
Colin Schatz, Assistant Adjunct Professor in Computer Science

Dr. Colin Schatz has worked full-time at Las Positas College since 2008, serving as a tenured Instructor of Computer Science and the coordinator of the college's Honors Transfer Program.  He has taught courses across a broad spectrum of Computer Science topics, as well as advised students pursuing Computer Science capstone projects and independent, cross-disciplinary Honors projects. Dr. Schatz earned a PhD in Curriculum and Teacher Education and a Masters degree in Computer Science from Stanford University. His research interests and teaching practice focus on conceptual and identity development among novice coders. Dr. Schatz lives with his spouse and two daughters in Oakland, where he has been involved in youth and community CS education activities with Girls Who Code, Girl Develop It and in Oakland public schools. When not teaching, he enjoys singing, improv, board games, logic puzzles, cats, and large evergreen trees.

"As a computer science educator and Oakland resident, I am excited to join this educational community with such a distinctive history and mission. Mills is an ideal setting to support learning and excellence in my discipline while cultivating a critical, interdisciplinary perspective and working for greater inclusion and equity. Oakland lies on the front lines of tech’s deepest contradictions—possibilities for liberation and empowerment, but also for displacement, marginalization, and the reproduction of existing power structures—while Mills is located at the epicenter of local institutions and communities dedicated to the fight for tech equity. I have been especially impressed by the leadership and activism of the college's Computer Science faculty and students in that fight, and I am honored to join them."

Please see this news story for information about our new tenure-track faculty. 

About Mills College:
Located in Oakland, California, in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area, Mills College is a nationally renowned independent liberal arts college for women and gender nonbinary students, with graduate programs for all genders. Ranked one of the top-tier regional universities in the West by U.S. News & World Report, Mills is also recognized as one of the Best 385 Colleges in the nation by The Princeton Review. Since 1852, we’ve been empowering students to become creative, independent thinkers and leaders who take and inspire action. Take a virtual tour.