Ziyao Ma

Ziyao Ma, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of History at Metropolitan State University of Denver. His areas of expertise include the history and cultures of East Asian nations (China, Japan, Korea, Luchu), and his academic interest focuses on the political and intellectual history of Late Imperial China. 

In addition to teaching, Ma’s doctorate dissertation, “Instituting Ideas: The Reclamation of Scholarly Subjects in the High Qing (1723-1795)” revolved around Qing institutions and their ventures of conveying ideology in the eighteenth century. 

Before joining MSU Denver, Ma taught East Asian Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston.  

Ma received his doctorate in East Asian Studies from Princeton University and master’s from Columbia University. 

Mira Morton Luna

Mira Morton Luna, M.A., serves as the associate director of the Health Institute at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Her areas of expertise include health equity, diabetes, international affairs, career services, curriculum development, and organizational development. She has served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Denver, where she previously taught cross-cultural public relations, health communications, and career and internship courses. Her career focus is centered around education and healthcare, with an international perspective.  

In addition to teaching, Luna is a professional career coach and serves as a career consultant to the International Career Advancement Program (ICAP). She also holds a Society for Human Resource Management Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) credential, further contributing to her multifaceted engagement in human resources and career services.  

Before joining MSU Denver, Luna served as the associate director for Career Development at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. She also held roles as a Sales Manager at pharmaceutical companies like Kos and Bristol-Meyers Squibb. Furthermore, Luna served as a Program Director for the American Diabetes Association.

Luna earned her master’s degree in International and Intercultural Communications where she focused on cross-cultural health promotion, and a specialized graduate certificate in Human Capital in Organizations, both from the University of Denver. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications with an emphasis on Hispanic Studies from Lewis & Clark College.

Elizabeth Parmelee

Alex Boodrookas

Mary Ann Watson

Watson taught Psychology of Sexuality at Metropolitan State University of Denver since 1974. She is a professor emeritus of Psychological Sciences. 

Watson has published many papers throughout her academic career, including “SAMD: Diversity Division – My Journey,” “Female Circumcision from Africa to the Americas: Slavery to the Present” and “Bereavement in the Elderly.”

Watson has contributed to several documentaries, including, “Wearing Hijab: Uncovering the Myths of Islam in the United States” and “Africans in America: The Unfolding of Ethnic Identity.” Watson has won several Telly Awards which honor excellence in film and video productions. Watson also had a cameo role in “Combover: The Movie,” which screened at the Denver International Film Series in 2005.

Watson also maintains a private clinical and consulting psychology practice in Denver.

Xiansheng Tian

David Piacenti

David Piacenti teaches Prejudice & Discrimination, Contemporary Sociology, Art & Craft of Sociology Writing, and Sociological Theory: Past and Present.

He has taught at Metropolitan State University of Denver since 2010.

Piacenti has published “Yucatec-Mayan Immigration to the Mission and Edison Neighborhoods: A Comparison of Social Conditions and Immigrant Satisfaction” in the Journal of Méxican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos, “The Tangle of Anthropological Tourism: How the Consumption of Fantasy and Academia Share Common Spaces” in Applied Anthropologist and “For Love of Family and Family Values: How Immigrant Motivations Can Inform Immigration Policy” in the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy.

Andrew Muldoon

Andrew R. Muldoon, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of History at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He specializes in colonial South Asia, the British Empire, modern Britain and modern Ireland and is fluent in all aspects of modern British and Irish history, politics and culture.

Muldoon is the author of “Empire, Politics and the Creation of the 1935 India Act: Last Act of the Raj,” published in 2009, and his current project is a study of soldiers’ experience in India and Burma in World War II.

Muldoon received a doctorate in history from Washington University in St. Louis and masters of philosophy in European studies from Cambridge University.

Douglas Mpondi

Douglas Mpondi is a professor and chair of the Department of Africana Studies at Metropolitan State University of Denver where he teaches African Politics and Government, African History, African Peoples and Cultures and Research Methods in Africana Studies. He earned his Ph.D. in Cultural Studies and M.A. in African Studies at Ohio University. Mpondi has a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Arts in African Languages and Literature from the University of Zimbabwe. Mpondi has taught a course on South Africa which focused on Nelson Mandela and his iconic contribution to the anti-apartheid struggle. He has previously taught at The University of Michigan-Flint, Southern Connecticut State University, Ohio University and the University of Zimbabwe. His publications include the politics of citizenship in Zimbabwe and Southern Africa, the impact of globalization on Africa, and the politics of educational transition in Zimbabwe. Mpondi’s research interests are: African politics, culture and education; democratic transitions and development in Southern Africa; African political economy; and African conflicts and conflict resolutions in Africa.

Abel Moreno

Abel Moreno, Ph.D., is the chair of the Department of Computer Information Systems at Metropolitan State University of Denver.