Retired Faculty

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I was born in and grew up in New York. I went to the University of Michigan for my undergraduate education. I majored in History, Political Science, and Russian. Afterwards, I went to Berkeley for my Master's in History. I focused on sub-Saharan History, particularly South Africa and East Africa. Then I went to UCLA. Initially I continued in African history but then switched into anthropology. I continued my interest in Africa and politics, but i also focused on economic development, folklore and mythology, religion, and psychological anthropology. I received my PhD from UCLA.

While in Los Angeles, I taught American History and Government at Los Angeles Valley College and then part-time at CSU Long Beach and CSU Northridge. I came to Hutchins in 1971, and I got deeply involved in the upper division, which had just started. I organized and ran the field experience component, including internships and CIP, for most of the time I was here. I tried to teach new classes in fields in which I had no or little background. that is how i got into Garbage, Mars Colony, and Mass Transit, among other esoteric topics. I also tried to teach in other departments--Math, Journalism, Education Criminal Justice, and Environmental Studies. As I wound up my tenure in Hutchins, I primarily focused on the teacher training track.

In the mid-1980's, I returned to graduate school and completed a PhD in Psychology at the Center for Psychological Studies. I did my pre-licensure hours at Rohnert Park Youth and Family Services Program and at Sonoma County Mental Health. I became very interested in learning to work with doctors, so I did my last bout of hours in the Family Practice Program at Community Hospital, which is now Sutter. Since starting practice, I found myself interested in working with the developmentally disabled among other groups.

In terms of my work in the community, when I was in Hutchins, I worked with many state and local educational agencies on education related topics. I also joined the board of the local child care council, the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce, the local task force on garbage, and Disability Services/Legal Center. I continue my involvement on the Center.

Since retirement, I continue my practice. I like working with people with Asperger's in particular. I am also increasing my involvement in museums, writing articles about different ones and becoming active in local ones. I continue my interest in politics and food.

Roshni Rustomji-Kerns earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon (1961), a Master of Arts in English and American Literature from Duke University (1963) and a Ph. D. in Comparative Literature (English Literature, Classical Sanskrit Literature and Classical Greek Literature) from the University of California, Berkeley (1973). She taught at the American University of Beirut in the General Education Department 1961-1962. She is Professor Emerita from the Hutchins School of Interdisciplinary Studies, Sonoma State University (California), 1993. She began her career at Sonoma State in 1973 as the Coordinator of the BA Program in India Studies. She was a member of the Hutchins School faculty from 1989- 1992. During her tenure at Sonoma State University she taught in the India Studies Program, the English Department, the Women’s Studies Department and the Hutchins School of Interdisciplinary Studies. She was the coordinator of the India Studies Program from 1973 to 1989 and the coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program from 1978 to 1980. She was a Consulting Professor and Visiting Scholar at the Center for Latin American Studies, Bolivar House, at Stanford University 1997-2005. She was an adjunct faculty member at the New College of California in San Francisco 1997-2008.

Roshni Rustomji-Kerns is the coeditor of BLOOD INTO INK: SOUTH ASIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN WOMEN WRITE WAR (Westview, 1994) and the editor of LIVING IN AMERICA: FICTION AND POETRY BY SOUTH ASIAN AMERICAN WRITERS (Westview, 1995). She is the editor of the anthology, ENCOUNTERS: PEOPLE OF ASIAN DESCENT IN THE AMERICAS (Rowman and Littlefield, 1999). She is the coeditor of a special edition of ARTES DE MEXICO on the subject of the China Poblana and her essay on Mirrha- Catarina de San Juan is included in the journal (2003).

Roshni Rustomji-Kerns’ essays have appeared in publications such as THE JOURNAL OF SOUTH ASIAN LITERATURE, THE TORONTO SOUTH ASIA REVIEW, THE MASSACHUSETTS REVIEW, THE HEATH ANTHOLOGY OF AMERICAN LITERATURE, THE OXFORD COMPANION TO WOMEN WRITING IN THE UNITED STATES and AMERASIA (UCLA). She has edited two special issues of the JOURNAL OF SOUTH ASIAN LITERATURE and coedited a special Issue of WEBER STUDIES JOURNAL on South Asian American literature and culture (1998). Her short stories and narratives have been published in journals and anthologies such as THE JOURNAL OF SOUTH

ASIAN LITERATURE, THE TORONTO SOUTH ASIA REVIEW, THE MASSACHUSETTS REVIEW, OUR FEET WALK THE SKY: WOMEN OF THE SOUTH ASIAN DIASPORA (Aunt Lute Press, 1993), HER MOTHER’S ASHES AND OTHER STORIES vols. I and II (Toronto South Asia Review Press, 1994 and 1999), CONTOURS OF THE HEART: SOUTH ASIANS MAP North America (Asian American Writers Workshop/Rutgers University 1996), ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN JOURNAL (March 1997) and GROWING UP ETHNIC IN AMERICA: CONTEMPORARY FICTION ABOUT LEARNING TO BE AMERICAN (Penguin, 1999), ASIAN AMERICANS ON WAR AND PEACE (UCLA, 2002), CHEERS TO THE MUSES (Asian American Women Artists, 2008), AND THE WORLD CHANGED: CONTEMPORARY STORIES BY PAKISTANI WOMEN (Women Unlimited, India, 2005. The Feminist Press, NY, 2008), WHERE WOMEN TELL STORIES (UCLA, 2009), CHEERS TO MUSES: CONTEMPORARY WORKS BY ASIAN AMERICAN WOMEN(2009). Her novel, THE BRAIDED TONGUE was published in 2004 (TSAR).

She continues to work in the area of contemporary literature and ethnic and colonial studies.

Born in Amsterdam, Holland I came to America on the run from Hitler. After World War II, I returned to Amsterdam and attended an innovative high school. There I grew to love literature, history and especially the visual arts and birds. Back in America for college, my interest in birds led to one in science. After some zigs and zags, I ended up advanced degrees in Physics and Biology. Meanwhile, when I could, I painted and read widely.

In 1970 I was lucky enough to be able to put it all together by teaching at Hutchins. I helped develop some of the lower division courses, particularly 202. In the upper division, I created interdisciplinary courses in the human body, hands-on explorations in the visual arts and multi-modal ways of perceiving nature. In retirement, I continue to paint and read in science, the visual arts, history and literature.

Les Adler was a faculty member in the Hutchins School from 1970-2012, serving also as Provost from 1977-1979, from 1987-1997, and as the Dean of Extended Education. Additionally, he spent a half-year teaching in England in 1983 for the American Institute for Foreign Study, and a year in Southeast Asia as Fulbright Professor of American history and foreign policy as the National University of Singapore in 1991-1992. He earned his BA degree in Russian and European history from the University of New Mexico in 1963 and his MA (1965) and Ph.D. (1970) degrees in American history from the University of California at Berkeley.

His original research interests dealt with the cultural origins of the Cold War, culminating in several articles and a book, The Red Image: American Attitudes Toward Communism in the Cold War Era, published in 1991. Most recently, his research has focused on the multi-faceted life and career of the political activist, writer, historian, philosopher of science and innovative interdisciplinary thinker, Arthur Koestler.

A book reviewer on subjects in East European and American history, culture and foreign affairs for the San Francisco Chronicle since 1987, he has also contributed articles and essays on issues related to the Persian Gulf War, Sikh religious traditions and Nuclear Accidents during the Cold War era to several national newspapers and National Public Radio.

In addition to teaching both lower and upper division interdisciplinary classes in Hutchins, Dr. Adler also served as Director of the Hutchins Center for Interdisciplinary Learning which manages a variety of projects designed to share the innovative teaching and learning experience of the Hutchins School with the larger regional, statewide and national communities.

I started teaching at Hutchins in the Fall of 1971 on the heels of the turbulent politics of the 1960s. During that time I was busy acquiring a Ph.D. in Political Science, and believe me, that immersion in both academic and revolutionary (or so we thought then) politics made the events of that era even more poignant. The only way out of the political vortex in which I found myself was to join an interdisciplinary program, called the Hutchins School. Seminars in my office allowed me the opportunity to enter into discussions about religion, energy policy, film, politics, economics, creative process, China, physics, history, literature and a number of other topics that served to expand my awareness of myself and the world around me in ways I would have never experienced. There were incredible moments when it would all come together in a seminar discussion, or I would read an absolutely superlative student paper and I would say that "this is the type of learning that should be available for people of all ages." We had delightful potlucks that were a staple of the early years at Hutchins.

All of this gave me the background in and thrill of interdisciplinary pursuits that led me into the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute with fellow Hutchinsonian Les Adler. We put together similarly exciting and mind-altering educational experiences for people 50 and over who attended classes only because they still longed for the opportunity to expand their horizons and knowledge of the world around them. They wanted to keep their minds young so that they could remain creative, informed and caring.

After twenty-nine years in Hutchins, two years of ceramic art, eight years in OLLI, and eighteen with wife Lynn (a former Hutchins student), and getting our son Alex off to college, I decided a year or so ago to place a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door, and write a novel.

Dr. Louallen Miller passed away in January, 2014.

I was one of three women hired by The Hutchins School of Liberal Studies in 1972. Affirmative Action was in place. I was 29. I had a year more of graduate school and a dissertation to perform and write. I took upper division students to Napa State Hospital for Independent Study. We taught sign language to 6 autistic boys. One boy "graduated" and went home.

The campus was fun in those pre-Dimo days - dope and dogs, free speech and free love. Hutchins appealed to re-entry students with marvelously diverse backgrounds and life experiences that informed their discussions and opinions. Seminars were often exciting. I loved combining psychology and biology and literature and comparative religion and women's studies in various upper division courses. And I marveled at the wealth of independent study projects that students chose. I hated the times the faculty disagreed in those long Friday afternoon faculty meetings. Over time we lost our youth and some of our ideals and yet, as a faculty, we treated each other pretty well, and made some lasting friends and passing lovers. Several waves of younger faculty enlivened and enriched the program, thank goodness!

Today I live alone on the northwest corner of the Big Island of Hawaii in a house I dreamed and a farm of fruit and nuts and herbs and flowers. I make flower lei, weed the garden a lot and talk to my chickens. Life is good. Hutchins was and is my ohana; faculty, students and staff.

Hutchins faculty always wished that our program would make Life After Hutchins richer and fuller. Speaking as a retiree, I have to say that teaching in Hutchins did that for me. Now there is time to follow up on interests and ideas that cropped up in Hutchins but which had to wait for a while to be realized. One major interest that I was able to cultivate while doing program planning for the Degree Completion Program is a concern with the environment and what actions make sense in the light of what we know. So now I volunteer each week for the Climate Protection Campaign of Sonoma County; I do low-level computer entry and high-level envelope stuffing. The people in that program are focused, highly competent, and productive; it is a great pleasure to be in their company once a week.

Another very major interest started when I was teaching Exploring the Unknown, and first found out about Taoism and Qigong. I have been practicing Qigong for quite a few years now, and started teaching five years ago at a Pilates studio, at Friends House retirement community, and at my home. I attend several workshops and retreats around the country each year, and have gone on Qigong expeditions to China twice.

Then there's ESL tutoring, League of Women Voters, and just taking time to be with family and friends.

Marylu Mattson, one of the first professors to teach in the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies at Sonoma State University, passed away on December 30, 2012. Admired by colleagues and students alike for her combination of rigor and creativity in teaching, she was also a dedicated researcher in the humanities and sciences.

A lifetime love of California history led her to explore many corners of the state and culminated in a comprehensive historical narrative: Shaman's Dream: The Modoc War came out in print a few weeks before her death. She also co-authored an acclaimed textbook on writing, Help Yourself: A Guide to Writing and Rewriting, which went through several editions and was used by teachers throughout the country.

Marylu Catherine Mattson was born on September 12, 1933, in Los Angeles, California, daughter of Fred and Lucille Mattson and younger sister to Fred Junior. She attended St. Agnes grammar school in the central area of Los Angeles, then following the war the family moved to San Fernando where her father had a grove of ornamental eucalyptus that also included resident geese, goat, cow, dogs, and her cherished horse.

Childhood friends remember her playing the ukelele with the same zest that she prepared for debates, at which she shone. Lu attributed her intellectual awakening to an elderly woman in the neighborhood who shared with her a rich and varied library and collection of classical music, the origin of her lifelong love of literature and opera.

She graduated in 1951 from the high school at Mission San Fernando, and that fall entered Mount St. Mary's College in Los Angeles. Her classmates remember her wit and passion, and "creativity in subverting draconian dormitory regulations." In 1955 she graduated with B.S. in microbiology and chemistry; the avant-garde yearbook she produced that year anticipated lifelong experiments in the arts.

After a year spent touring Europe, she returned to Mount St. Mary's and completed requirements for the B.A. in English, then went on to UCLA, earning an M.A. in English in 1964. A summer spent in art classes in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, initiated a lifelong avocation in visual arts, especially sculpture and printmaking.

In 1965 Lu entered the Ph.D. program at the University of Southern California. From graduation through her years of postgraduate study in the humanities she continued scientific work, primarily in the UCLA Hematology Research Laboratory.

Co-workers note that she mastered the arcane language of enzyme biochemistry and developed into a highly sophisticated experimentalist, making a valued contribution to a seminal study in pyruvate kinase deficiency.

In 1967-68 she returned to Europe, first participating in an archeological excavation, then traveling via an Italian scooter through England and the continent, and eventually plunging into the intensive research in London libraries, archives and public records offices that culminated in her frequently-cited Ph.D. dissertation, "Censorship and the Victorian Drama" (1969), still one of the most comprehensive studies of the subject.

From 1968-1970 she was a lecturer in English at California State University Los Angeles, where she initiated an innovative student-to-student tutoring program. In 1970 Marylu Mattson joined the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies at Sonoma State University as one of the original faculty members hired to create the new School's interdisciplinary curriculum.

She was valued as colleague and administrator, at different times serving in the Academic Senate and the Vice President's Council, as Campus Coordinator of Computer Assisted Instruction, as elected Chair of the Division of Cluster Schools, and as Provost of the Hutchins School.

Students and peers alike recognized her excellence in teaching: besides teaching expository and creative writing she helped design team-taught undergraduate courses as well as upper division seminars in her areas of special interest including "Censorship in the Arts," "Masterpieces of the Humanities" and "The Irrational in the Western Tradition."

A skilled seminar leader, Professor Mattson modeled intellectual curiosity and openness to new ideas with strong critical sensibility and an absolute commitment to high standards.

A former student spoke for many in saying she was "blessed to be among the fortunate lives she touched and enriched," and a colleague commented on Lu as "a wonderful colleague, and a person of great depth and kindness."

Retirement in 1992 brought more opportunities for research, travel and exploration in the arts. In 1998 she relocated to a vacation cabin in South Lake Tahoe, and in 2001 moved to Santa Fe and then to Glorieta, New Mexico; the southwest sojourn included many trips to San Miguel where she continued study in graphic arts and was welcomed into an intellectual expatriate community.

In 2009 she returned to her beloved Russian River valley and resumed research on the Modoc War. Shaman's Dream: The Modoc War began in the 1970s as a film project and eventually engaged her in far-flung and obscure archives and libraries throughout the west and in Washington, D.C.

Framed as "creative non-fiction," it is the most comprehensive and well-documented study available of the last "Indian war." She also continued work in the arts, proudly showing friends a new press she was using to produce graphic designs, and she integrated professional and artistic interests by promoting a collaboration between the Mendocino Art Center and the Sonoma State art department.

Those who knew her--friends, colleagues, students from many places and diverse backgrounds--share admiration for her intellectual integrity, her personal loyalty, and above all her generosity and courage and her great joy in life. Faced with risky and complicated surgery for cancer, her question was, "Which procedure will leave me still able to ski?"

After suffering a massive stroke, she fought to regain her verbal skills by writing a novel. She loved to gamble, at the blackjack table and at the track; when she won a scratch-off prize she used the money to treat friends to a day at Santa Anita-- where she won the daily double; when she lost, she threw back her head and laughed at the unpredictability of everything.

She plunged wholeheartedly into all her projects, she was constant in support of her friends and colleagues and their endeavors, and from their first appearance in California she was a dedicated fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Marylu is survived by her life partner of 35 years, Linda Day, and was a wonderful second mother to Linda's children Erica Sargent, Andrea Sargent Harbin, and Scott Sargent . She will also be missed by her grandchildren Clara and Amelia Schaeffer, Rowan and Duncan Harbin, Owen and Tavis Sargent.