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The Social Justice LLC



Program Director

Alejandro Meter

Alejandro Meter, PhD

Associate Professor, Spanish
Director, Latin American Studies Program
(619) 260-7417

Office: Founders 132

Office Hours: On sabbatical until Fall 2015

Alejandro Meter, PhD, teaches courses on Latin American literature of the twentieth and twentieth-first centuries. His specializations include dictatorial and post-dictatorial fiction of the Southern Cone, migration and exile, and Latin American Jewish studies. His most recent research focuses on memory, trauma, and reconciliation. He currently directs the intersession Buenos Aires Program. He was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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Emilie Amrein

Emilie Amrein, DMA

Assistant Professor of Choral Studies
(619) 260-2938

Office: Camino Hall 161

Office Hours: To be determined.

Emilie Amrein, DMA, is an accomplished conductor, scholar, and educator, specializing in creative programming practices and community engagement. At USD, Dr. Amrein serves as the conductor of the USD Concert Choir and Choral Scholars. Prior to this appointment, she taught for six years at Lake Forest College, just north of Chicago. A champion of new music, Amrein has commissioned and premiered works for choral ensembles by acclaimed composers Emma Lou Diemer, Jocelyn Hagen, Rami Levin, J. David Moore, and John Osterhagen.


Dr. Amrein conducts the USD Concert Choir and Choral Scholars, teaches individual conducting lessons, as well as courses in Music Education. In her previous position, Dr. Amrein taught Music History, Music Theory, Choral Literature Seminar, and Careers in Music.

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Evelyn Diaz Cruz

Evelyn Diaz Cruz , MFA

Associate Professor, Theatre Arts and Performance Studies
(619) 260-7877

Office: Camino Hall 176

Office Hours: and by appointment

Evelyn Díaz Cruz is an Associate Professor of Theatre Arts with experience in writing, directing, and acting. Originally from the Bronx, New York, Professor Cruz’s study and practice of theatre is focused on community engagement by addressing issues of social justice through art. Her non-traditional approach to theatre garnered her the KPBS 2008 Hispanic Heritage Month Local Hero Award in The Arts for her contributions to the San Diego community. She is also a past recipient of the University of San Diego’s Innovations in Experiential Education Award in recognition of her pedagogical approach in combining theatre and community service learning. Professor Cruz’s teaching and creative scholarship reflects the University’s mission of compassionate service, diversity, and social justice.



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Susan Lord

Susan Lord, PhD

Professor, Electrical Engineering
Chair, Electrical Engineering
(619) 260-4507

Office: Loma Hall 219

Susan M. Lord is Professor and Coordinator of Electrical Engineering at the University of San Diego. Author or co-author of over eighty publications, her teaching and research interests include electronics, optoelectronic materials and devices, service-learning, feminist pedagogy, lifelong learning, and engineering student persistence. From 1993-1997, Dr. Lord taught at Bucknell University. Her industrial experience includes AT&T Bell Laboratories, General Motors Laboratories, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and SPAWAR Systems Center. In Spring 2012, she taught at Southeast University in Nanjing, China.

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Antonieta Mercado

Antonieta Mercado, PhD

Assistant Professor, Communication Studies
(619) 260-7644

Office: Camino Hall 126E

Office Hours: Mon./Wed.: 12:30 - 2:00 p.m.; Thurs.: 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.; and by appointment.

Dr. Mercado joined Communication Studies in the Fall of 2012 as an assistant professor in communication and social justice. She teaches classes on Media and Conflict, International Media, Introduction to Media Studies, and Public Relations and Social Movements. 
Dr. Mercado studies the communication and citizenship practices of Mexican indigenous immigrants in the United States, and how those practices extend to the transnational public sphere, contributing to forms of world citizenship or “grassroots cosmopolitanism.” 
She has been working recently on the impact of cultural festivals in the public sphere. 
She is a member of BINACOM, a Binational Communication Organization that brings together schools of communication in both the US and Mexico.

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Ivan Ortiz

Ivan Ortiz

Assistant Professor

Office: Founders Hall 171C

Office Hours: Tu/Th 1:30-3:30pm; W 4:00-5:00pm

Ivan Ortiz received his Ph.D. in English from Princeton University in 2013. Among his research interests are 18th century and 19th century British literature (especially Romanticism), poetics and aesthetics, literary theory, the history of emotion and affect, and intersections between science & literature.

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Mike Williams

Mike Williams

Associate Professor, Political Science and International Relations
(619) 260-4012

Office: KIPJ 286B

Office Hours: M 11:00a-12:00p T 9:30-10:30 in SLP W 12:00-2:00pm And by appt.

Mike Williams, J.D., PhD, is an alumnus of the University of San Diego (1992) and has been teaching at USD since 1999. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations and he is the Director of the Changemaker Hub. Williams offers undergraduate courses on introduction to political science, comparative politics, politics in sub-Saharan Africa, and politics in South Africa. His research focuses on African politics, with special interests in democratization, indigenous political structures, local governance, rule of law, the courts and constitutionalism. He has published numerous articles and one book on the chieftaincy in South Africa - Chieftaincy, the State, and Democracy: Political Legitimacy in Post-Apartheid South Africa (Indiana University Press, 2010). He offers a study abroad immersion experience to South Africa every summer where USD students collaborate with high school students in the village of Makuleke in South Africa.

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Preceptorial Assistants


Mayela Pizana

Courtney MacFarlane

Dylan Brockmeyer

Anthony Shao

Haley Pugh

Maddison Hayworth

Sarah MacInnes


Resident Assistants


Nick Bihr

Crash Ketcham

Bianca Guzman

Chelsea McLin

Christina Saad