Christine Sheikh

Christine Sheikh, Ph.D., is an adjunct faculty in the Department of Sociology and the Gender Institute for Teaching and Advocacy at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Her expertise spans various subjects, including gender in religion, race in the U.S., economic and racial inequalities in the U.S., death and dying, mental health in the U.S., student voting engagement and Roe v. Wade. Her primary research focus is American Islam.

Currently, she is working on a special project for the Gender Institute for Teaching and Advocacy focusing on the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. She is the author of “The American Ummah: Identity and Adaptation Among Second-Generation Muslim Americans.” Sheikh also co-produced two short documentaries on American Islam, titled “Being Muslim in America: Acts of Courage and Hope”, and “Being Muslim in America: An Afghan American Family Story.”

She holds affiliations with several professional organizations such as the Religious Research Association, American Sociological Association and Sociologists for Women in Society.

Before joining MSU Denver, she was a sociology instructor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences at the Community College of Aurora and an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Denver.

Sheikh earned her doctorate and master’s degrees in Sociology from the University of Arizona and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Bachelor of Science in Sociology/Anthropology from Truman State University.

Adriana Nieto

Adriana Nieto, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Chicana/o Studies at Metropolitan State University of Denver. She has been with the university for over 15 years, first starting out as an adjunct professor and then becoming a full-time faculty member in 2009. Her teaching and research interests include Latina spiritualities and practices; women of color feminisms; mental health among Xicanas in early 20th Century New Mexico; Chicana protestants in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands; oral history and water in the ‘West’, with special interest in acequia culture and practices in southern Colorado.

Nieto received her Ph.D. in religious and theological studies form the University of Denver Iliff School of Theology, her master’s in Latin American studies with a focus on gender studies and borderland history from the University of New Mexico and her bachelor’s in Latin American and women studies also from the University of New Mexico.

Adam Graves

Adam J. Graves received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007 and is an professor of philosophy at Metropolitan State College of Denver, where he teaches courses in philosophy of religion, history of philosophy, hermeneutics and phenomenology and serves as the primary advisor for the minor in Religious Studies. Dr. Graves has published on Paul Ricoeur’s philosophy of religion and has made numerous presentations in the United States, Canada, Belgium, Denmark and Russia. He is currently editing a volume on Ricoeur’s philosophy of religion (Northwestern University Press, forthcoming) and is working on a project that traces the religious sources of modern conceptions of autonomy.

Caleb Cohoe

Caleb Cohoe studied in Princeton University’s Interdepartmental Program in Classical Philosophy, receiving his Ph.D. in philosophy in 2012. He received a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Thomas Aquinas College in 2006. He has published articles on philosophy of religion, ancient philosophy, and medieval philosophy in leading journals including Phronesis, British Journal of the History of Philosophy and Faith and Philosophy. He has served as a speaker at leading universities including Oxford University, the University of Notre Dame and the University of Colorado Boulder. He has received grants for his research in the philosophy of religion from the Templeton Foundation. He is currently in his third year as an associate professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Jeremy Castle

Jeremy Castle, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Metropolitan State University of Denver. His areas of expertise include United States elections, public opinion, polarization, religion and politics, church and state, and media and politics. Castle currently teaches American National Government and Conducting Political Analysis.

Prior to joining MSU Denver, Castle worked as a lecturer and postdoctoral teaching fellow at Central Michigan University. He received an honorable mention during his time as a Presidential Fellow in the graduate research fellowship at the University of Notre Dame. He was awarded several grants for research projects, including grants from the Rooney Center for American Democracy.

Castle’s research areas include political polarization; religion and politics; and media and politics, especially how popular films and pop culture influences public opinion. His primary research examines the role of religion in political polarization in the United States. He also has studied Martin Luther King Jr.’s contributions to political philosophy. Castle’s work includes “The Effect of the #MeToo Movement on Political Engagement and Ambition in 2018” published in Political Research Quarterly and “New Fronts in the Culture Wars?: Religion, Partisanship, and Polarization on Transgender Rights and Religious Liberty in the United States,” published in American Politics Research.

Castle received both his doctorate and master’s degrees in political science from the University of Notre Dame in 2015 and 2012, respectively. He received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Hanover College in 2010.

Meg Bertoni

Meg Bertoni, Ph.D., is an affiliate professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Her courses taught include Criminal Justice and the Social Structure, Criminological Theories, Institutional Corrections, Introduction to Corrections and Criminal Justice System, Juvenile Justice, Victimology, Research Methods and Statistics, Punishment and Society, White Collar Crime, Undergraduate Capstone in Cybersecurity and graduate-level Theories of Cybercrime.

Bertoni has spent nearly three decades working in higher education. She has taught courses and seminars in multiple disciplines, from humanities to social and behavioral sciences, to STEM and specializes in cross-disciplinary theory and methods. Her areas of research are in transnational crime, international security (including cybersecurity) and applications of nonlinear dynamics to problems in the social and behavioral sciences. She has conducted research projects about everything from policy issues and voting behavior, to national hurricane insurance, traffic patterns, how people make investment decisions, stranded energy assets and optimal orchard design.

Bertoni received her Ph.D. in international relations from the Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver in 2007, her master’s in world religion and conflict resolution from Harvard University in 1994 and her bachelor’s in literature and publishing from Emerson College in 1992.

Shelby Balik

Shelby M. Balik, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of History at Metropolitan State University of Denver where she teaches courses in early American history, American religious history, American slavery and social studies education. She is a former high school social studies teacher and still works with pre-service teachers and remains engaged in issues that affect public education. Her areas of expertise include American slavery, historical memory and American political Philosophy.

Balik has published in the “Journal of Church and State,” the “New England Quarterly,” the “Massachusetts Historical Review,” and the “Journal of Social History.” Her book, “Rally the Scattered Believers: Northern New England’s Religious Geography” (Indiana, 2014), won the 2014 Phi Alpha Theta Best First Book Award, and she is currently researching a book on the politics and practice of household religion in eighteenth-century North America.

Balik earned her Ph.D. and master’s in early American history and religion from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2006. In addition, she also has a master’s in education from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1994.

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