Skip to main content

MMW Program Staff & Faculty

  • Matthew T. Herbst, Ph.D. - Director

    Matthew T. Herbst, Ph.D. - Director

    Matthew T. Herbst is the director of the Making of the Modern World (MMW) general education program.  He also teaches in Environmental Studies and holds affiliate appointments in History and Classical Studies.  A proponent of experiential learning, Prof. Herbst was an inaugural faculty member for UC San Diego’s Global Seminars in 2008 and is a Faculty Co-Director of the Study Abroad Office.  He has led 10 world history programs in Europe, Asia, and Oceania (2008-2019) with an 11th program planned for 2021.  He has led experiential programs in National Parks, on the Navajo Reservation, and in Turkey, and has offered 22 environmental humanities seminars in deserts and mountains of California in partnership with UCSD’s Outback Adventures.  In addition, Prof. Herbst was a founding faculty member of the college-based First Year & Transfer Year Experience programs, designed to facilitate successful student transition to the university, and teaches these courses each year.   His current projects include the creation of a new online ‘wisdom of the world’ course, studies on environmental history in the context of pre-modern world history, and a work of historical fiction.  Dr. Herbst has received multiple awards for his professional activity, including Outstanding Faculty, Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching, and an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Award.  For more, see his website.
  • Eberly Barnes - Assistant Director

    Eberly Barnes - Assistant Director

    Eberly Barnes is Academic Coordinator for MMW 11, 12, and 13. Dr. Barnes hires and trains new TAs; supervises TAs in MMW 11, 12, and 13; oversees writing instruction in MMW 12 and 13; and manages academic integrity cases.  Dr. Barnes earned her PhD in English at St. Louis University, where she specialized in critical theory; studied the evolution of consciousness and history of rhetoric with Walter J. Ong; and wrote her dissertation on the critical history of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.  In addition, she holds an MA in English from The University of Texas at Austin and a BA in English from Louisiana College.  Her research and teaching interests include writing pedagogy; rhetoric, composition, and the writing process; writing program administration; the evolution of consciousness; sustainability, diversity, and social justice; creative non-fiction; and kinesthetic education.   Dr. Barnes also enjoys yoga, tai chi, and exploring nature.
  • Johanna Peterson - Assistant Director

    Johanna Peterson is Academic Coordinator for MMW 14, 15, 121, and 122. Johanna supervises TAs, administers the writing assignments in MMW 14, 15, 121, and 122, and manages academic integrity cases. She is a PhD candidate in the History Department at UC San Diego, writing her dissertation on the relationship between girl’s education and women’s citizenship in French mandate Lebanon. Johanna received her BA in History from California Lutheran University and her MA in History from Cal State Fullerton. Johanna was a Teaching Assistant for MMW for five years; lectured for MMW 122 and for the History Department; and has taught at San Diego Mesa College. She received the Don Tuzin Teaching Excellence Award for MMW. Johanna is interested in history and writing pedagogy. Outside of work, Johanna enjoys traveling, spending time outdoors, reading, and playing with her toddler.
  • Edmond Chang - Lecturer

    Edmond Chang - Lecturer

    Edmond Chang received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California, San Diego in 2002. A former Fulbright Grant recipient, he focused on comparative philosophy with an emphasis on Chinese aesthetics in the 4th century C.E. Dr. Chang also holds a M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa, as well as a B.A. in History and International Relations from Tufts University. Aside from teaching, Dr. Chang has published poetry and worked as a professional translator and editor.  His hobbies include many sports and hiking in the Sierras with his family.  As the Lecturer for the MMW program, he teaches MMW 12, 13, 14, 15, 121 and 122.
  • Vilaya Roberts - Program Coordinator

    Vilaya Roberts - Program Coordinator

    Vilaya Roberts provides administrative support to the program, including website management, fiscal management, scheduling lectures and sections, and providing support to faculty and TAs. She attended UCSD during the “wild & wooly” days of the early 70’s as a student at Third College (now Thurgood Marshall College). She majored in Theatre and minored in music, and was cast in several school productions under the direction of Dr. Floyd Gaffney. After college, she worked for a while at the Old Globe Theatre in the costume shop; formed a theatre company with friends called “A Wing and a Prayer”; and performed around southern California as a jazz vocalist. Her favorite pastimes are cooking, reading and spending time with her friends.
  • Myra Dang - Program Assistant

    Myra Dang - Program Assistant

    Myra Dang grew up in Los Angeles and was a first-generation college student at UC San Diego and graduated with a BS in Public Health.  During her undergraduate career, she was involved in the Ladnaan Project, which focused on implementing a culturally-sensitive physical activity program for Somali women and also on a study that assessed the health and fatigue of taxi drivers.  As an Eleanor Roosevelt College alumna, it is quite fitting that Myra studied abroad, participating on an MMW Global Seminar in Istanbul, Turkey.  Afterwards, Myra provided administrative support for two MMW Summer Institutes for teachers, which were also held in Istanbul.

    Myra loves the outdoors and spends much time hiking and running along the beach.  Her varied interests include yoga, reading, and time with cats and dogs.

MMW Departmental Faculty

MMW Teaching Assistants

  • Baris Tasyakan

    Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
    Degree: PhD Candidate
    Department: History
    Speciality: Late Ottoman Empire, Modern Middle East
    Email: batasyakan@ucsd.edu

  • Brady Liss

    Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
    Degree: M.A | Candidate in Philosophy
    Department: Anthropology/Archaeology
    Email: bliss@ucsd.edu
  • Brandon Gay

    Preferred Pronoun: he/him/his
    Degree: MA
    Department: Anthropology
    Email: bmgay@ucsd.edu

  • Brianne Itaya

    Preferred Pronouns: she/her/hers
    Degree: PhD Candidate
    Department: Art History, Theory, and Criticism
    Speciality: Art of Ancient Mesoamerica
    Email: bitaya@ucsd.edu
  • Dionysios Skouloudis

    Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
    Degree: Doctoral Student
    Department: History
    Speciality: Modern Greece and Europe
    Email: dskoulou@ucsd.edu
  • Emre Sunu

    Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
    Degree: M.A | PhD Candidate
    Department: History
    Speciality: Social and Cultural History, 19th century Balkans
    Email: sesunu@ucsd.edu
  • Francisco Laguna Álvarez

    Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
    Degree: PhD Candidate
    Department: History
    Speciality: Colonial Latin America
    Email: flagunaa@ucsd.edu
  • Ivana Polic

    Preferred Pronouns: she/her/hers
    Degree: PhD Candidate
    Department: History
    Speciality: Modern Europe, History of Children and Childhood
    Email: ipolic@ucsd.edu
  • Joe Djordjevski

    Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
    Degree: PhD Candidate
    Department: History
    Speciality: Cultural and Environmental History
    Email: jdjordje@ucsd.edu
  • Julian Haddad

    Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
    Degree: Master of International Affairs
    Department: School of Global Policy & Strategy
    Speciality: International Political Economy
    Email: j3haddad@ucsd.edu
  • Lauren Wood

    Preferred Pronouns: she/her/hers
    Degree: PhD Candidate
    Department: History
    Speciality: Medieval Europe
    Email: lewood@ucsd.edu
  • Leung Ho-chiu

    Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
    Degree: PhD Candidate
    Department: History
    Speciality: Modern East Asia, History of Capitalism
    Email: c0leung@ucsd.edu
  • Meaghan Baril

    Preferred Pronouns: she/her/hers
    Degree: M.A | Candidate in Philosophy
    Department: Literature
    Speciality: 20th/21st American Literature
    Email: mbaril@ucsd.edu
  • Mohammad Khamsya Bin Khidzer

    Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
    Degree: PhD Candidate
    Department: Sociology
    Speciality: Medical Sociology; Race, Health and Medicine; Southeast Asia
    Email: mbinkhid@ucsd.edu
  • Patrick Ruhl

    Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
    Degree: M.A.
    Speciality: History of the Americas
    Email: pruhl@ucsd.edu
  • Paul Tchir

    Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
    Degree: PhD Candidate
    Department: History
    Speciality: Modern Middle East, Egypt
    Email: ptchir@ucsd.edu
  • ​Reem Taşyakan

    Preferred Pronouns: she/her/hers
    Degree: MA - Near Eastern Studies | 
    PhD Student - Literature
    Department: Literature
    Speciality: Contemporary Arab-American Literature
    Email: rehazbou@ucsd.edu

  • Reuben Silverman

    Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
    Degree: PhD Candidate

    Department: History
    Speciality: Modern Turkey and the Middle East
    Email: rwsilver@ucsd.edu
  • Semih Gokatalay

    Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
    Degree: PhD Candidate

    Department: History
    Speciality: Modern Middle East, economic history, business history
    Email: sgokatal@ucsd.edu
  • Shane McClain

    Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
    Degree: MA - Linguistic Anthropology

    Department: Anthropology
    Speciality: Indigenous languages Mexico
    Email: sbmcclain@ucsd.edu
  • Tricia McMaster

    Preferred Pronouns: she/her/hers
    Degree: M.A. - English

    Speciality: Teaching English as a Second Language
    Email: pgmcmaster@ucsd.edu
  • Virginia Johnston

    Preferred Pronouns: she/her/hers
    Degree: M.A.- Ecumenical Studies | MDiv

    Speciality: Global Christianity, Protestant Theology
    Email: vijohnston@ucsd.edu