Roksana Alavi, Robert Edmondson, and Todd Wuestewald recently joined the full-time faculty of the College of Liberal Studies. As with all CLS faculty, the three newest members bring experience and expertise in their fields of study that can only be gained through actively applying what they teach.
Roksana Alavi is an assistant professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at CLS as well as an adjunct faculty member in the Women and Gender Studies program. Before teaching at OU, she was an assistant professor of philosophy in South Texas College. She received her doctorate in philosophy in May 2008 from the University of Kansas as well as a graduate certificate in women’s studies in May 2004. Her general area of research is in social and political philosophy with emphasis on race, gender, human rights, stereotyping, and oppression.
“I like teaching a variety of courses in ethics, leadership, human trafficking, and cultural studies,” Alavi said when asked about the wide range of courses she teaches. “Whether we believe ethics is a human creation, divinely inspired, or based on some evolutionary processes, human beings have always looked for answers. Studying ethics and the world around us often makes me wonder how oppressive practices are perpetuated and what the best solutions are in our society, as well as abroad.”
Her most recent research focused on the trafficking of women and the philosophical impact on society. As there is little, if anything, written about human trafficking from a philosophical perspective, Alavi has been extensively involved with organizing local, national, and international conferences on the trafficking of humans over the past three years and has presented on the topic in both the United States and Mexico.
Originally from Muskogee, Oklahoma, Robert Edmondson earned a bachelor’s degree in Asian studies from Oklahoma City University in 1993, and moved to China just after graduation, teaching English, studying Mandarin and traveling throughout the country during a period of dramatic economic and social change.
Edmondson returned to the United States and earned a master’s degree in Asian studies from the University of Texas at Austin and earned his doctorate in anthropology from Michigan State University in 2009 with research focused on Taiwanese and Chinese nationalism, transnationalism and collective memory among first- and second-generation immigrants.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to continue teaching interdisciplinary courses at the College of Liberal Studies, including China-related courses,” said Edmonson regarding his role in the newly established bachelor’s degree program in World Cultural Studies. “This is truly an exciting time to be engaged in higher education, whether as an instructor or a student!”
Edmondson was a professor for the Interdisciplinary Studies program at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma before coming to CLS and has taught a wide variety of courses including anthropology, social stratification and inequality, race and ethnic relations, community development and world thought and culture.
Before joining OU’s College of Liberal Studies, Todd Wuestewald was an assistant professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Arkansas–Fort Smith. Wuestewald is a 30-year law enforcement veteran, having worked for the Broken Arrow and Tulsa, Oklahoma, police departments.
During his police career, he worked in patrol, detectives, K-9, narcotics, SWAT, professional standards, training, and administration. Between 2003 and 2011, he served as Chief of the Broken Arrow Police Department. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Michigan State, Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Northeastern State, Master of Public Administration from University of Oklahoma, and his doctorate in Education from Oklahoma State. He has published on the topics of leadership, police organization and management, law enforcement education, community policing, narcotic investigations, tactical operations, and police research collaborations.
“Teaching at OU is the realization of a longtime professional goal for me,” said Wuestewald. “Engaging with our diverse and far-flung adult students is great. I’m also very excited to have the opportunity to help build our new criminal justice master’s degree program.”
Wuestewald’s present research activities include participative management in policing, organizational climate, and practitioner-researcher collaborations. He also serves as a consultant for the International City/County Management Association where he assists with audits of public safety agencies.