Reporting to the Senior Vice Provost & Dean of Undergraduate Education, the Resident Faculty serve as positive and visible members of a residential college community. They collaborate with college staff to help plan and implement educational, academic, social and cultural programs while serving as a role model, advisor, and leader in the residential community. Find out more about each of Hecht's Resident Faculty below.

Faculty Master - Michelle Maldonado and Family
Michelle Maldonado and Family

My name is Michelle Gonzalez Maldonado and I am an Associate Professor of Religious Studies. I am a Cuban-American Miami native that grew up on Key Biscayne. My research and teaching interests focus on Afro-Cuban religions, Latin American religions, feminism, and religion and popular culture. I love cooking, fashion, and bad Bravo reality tv.

My husband Byron is a native of San Lucas Tolimán, Guatemala where he worked as a photographer and did social justice work with the Mayan community. Byron is currently working in Miami as a photographer. Byron loves to play soccer, basketball, and volleyball.

We have 2 boys, Byron Manuel (6 years old) and Michael (4 years old). They are very friendly and love living in the Residential College. They love sports, Pokemon, and video games. We look forward to getting to know all of you as you join us here in Hecht.

Associate Faculty Masters - Drs. Catherine Newell and Justin Stoler
Newell and Stoler

My name is Catherine Newell, and I am an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies. I was born in California and grew up in the San Joaquin Valley just south of Fresno. My research and teaching interests focus on the history of science and interaction of religion with science, technology, ecology, and popular culture. I am particularly interested in the history of the U.S. space program, environmental activism and its connection to religion, and spirituality in science fiction.

My name is Justin Stoler, and I am an Assistant Professor of Geography with an additional appointment in Public Health Sciences at the Miller School of Medicine. I am also an affiliate of the Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy. I grew up in and around the New York City metro area, and have also lived in southern California. My research and teaching focus on the geographic patterns of health disparities, particularly in cities of the developing world, and global environmental health. I have field research experience in Mexico, Jamaica, and most recently Ghana, where I currently conduct most of my work.

We both love all forms of travel and have taken multiple cooking classes together. Catherine is a science fiction junkie, enjoys distance running, and has completed several marathons and two Half Ironman triathlons. Justin plays most sports, was trained as a percussionist, and has visited over half of all U.S. National Parks. We look forward to getting to know you this year and beyond.

Associate Faculty Master - Susan Leary and Family
Susan Leary

Hi and welcome! My name is Susan Leary, and I am a Lecturer in English Composition. I teach the staple first-year writing sequence courses--English 105 and 106--and advanced special topics courses. My intellectual interests include literature and popular culture; film, television, and media studies; Victorian studies; and all things related to the critically-acclaimed television show, LOST.

My husband, Sean Kilpatrick, also works for the University and is the Director of Undergraduate Academic Services in the Department of Psychology (UASP). He advises psychology and neuroscience majors and assists in curriculum planning, research placement, and graduate school and career preparation.

We are both proud alums of the University of Miami. We met in the towers move-in day of our freshman year, and we are grateful to share in the start of your college experience in Hecht Residential College. We live with our sweet and energetic wheaten terrier pup, Ellie, who is excited to see you on campus to give you a proper wheaten greetin'!