Meet Our Faculty

Want to learn more about becoming a Residential Faculty member?

Residential Faculty and Faculty Fellows work with Housing & Residential Life to increase faculty and student engagement and contribute to the development of an intellectual community in the Residential Colleges. 

Residential Faculty and Faculty Fellows achieve this by serving as a mentor and advocate to students as well as putting a human face to faculty members.

Coral Residential College

Dr. Karoline MortensenDr. Karoline Mortensen

Residential Faculty

Dr. Karoline Mortensen is Associate Dean of Business Programs and Professor in the Department of Health Management and Policy at the University of Miami Herbert Business School. She earned her Ph.D. in Health Services Organization and Policy from the University of Michigan. Dr. Mortensen is a health services researcher, and her research interests are focused on health insurance, health care utilization, and the health care delivery system. She was recently named a Poets&Quants top 50 undergraduate business school professor. She lives in Coral with her son Adeler and her daughter Sofie, and their dogs Henry and Sara.

Dr. Zheng WangDr. Zheng Wang

Faculty Fellow

Dr. Zheng Wang is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science. He also has joint appointments in the Department of Biology and the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. His research is to apply cutting-edge deep learning or artificial intelligence (AI) to biological and medical problems, e.g., studying the 3D structure of the DNA in the nucleus, predicting the function and structures of proteins to facilitate drug design, and understanding why certain damaged neurons can regenerate after injury. The deep learning architectures used in his research have also been applied in other applications such as ChatGPT, image generation, and video prediction by other computer scientists.

Dr. Wang and his wife Michelle have triplet 6-year-old sons who were born on the night of Thanksgiving and early morning of Black Friday, minutes apart from each other. Before having these three lovely and energetic boys, Dr. Wang's hobbies included playing various sports and musical instruments, as well as occasionally playing computer games.

Eaton Residential College

Dr. Nick CarcioppoloDr. Nick Carcioppolo

Residential Faculty

Dr. Carcioppolo (Dr. C) is an Associate Professor in the School of Communication. Dr. C’s approach to research is largely divided among three complementary approaches: (1) the identification of salient attitudinal, belief-based, and normative risk perceptions that can be addressed through intervention; (2) the design and evaluation of persuasive messaging interventions to improve health outcomes; and (3) the development and validation of health communication measurement. Taken together, his research involves understanding the complex network of attitudes, beliefs, and norms that contribute to the (non)performance of recommended health behaviors, designing and testing strategic interventions targeted toward specific audiences, and developing sound measurement to empirically assess intervention effectiveness.

You’ll often find Dr. C. walking around on campus with his dog Toasty and his daughter Eloise. His wife (Dr. D) is faculty at Florida international University. He’s a big fan of reading (sci-fi/fantasy, contemporary fiction, non-fiction), music (his favorite genre is progressive metal although his tastes are broad), games (cards, chess, tabletop boardgames), and probably pays more attention to fantasy football than any reasonable person should. 

Dr. Lorella Di GregorioDr. Lorella Di Gregorio

Faculty Fellow

Dr. Lorella Di Gregorio teaches all levels of Spanish and Italian at the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, where she also coordinates SPA 105 and SPA 201. Her research interests span from Cultural Studies to Ideologies of Language.

She studies 20th and 21st century Mexican and Southern Italian cultural production related to migration and organized crime and has been awarded numerous research and travel grants. Her recent article “Exvoto: Folk, Outsider, Transnational. Debating Definitions,” was published by Studies in Latin American Popular Culture, University of Texas Press. In 2023 she was a visiting co-editor for the special issue of Letras Hispanas on the representation of migrant families from Central and Mesoamerica to the US. Her chapter “Rearticulating Exvotos within Digital Spaces” will be published in 2024 by Routledge within the volume Digital Rhetoric and Borders: Human Mobility Between Mexico and the United States

Lorella’s passion for fine arts and popular cultural production has undergirded her entire educational journey, which started in Italy with a BA in Literature and Philosophy at the University of Catania and an MA in Art History at the University of Bologna, and continued in the US with an MA in Spanish at Texas State University and a PhD in Literary, Cultural, and Linguistic Studies at the University of Miami. 

She enjoys being around students and considers her role as a Faculty Fellow for HRL a blissful experience. Lorella loves teaching and shares her pedagogical mission with her husband Luca, who leads a program for advanced piano students at the Frost School of Music. Their spirited 5-year-old daughter Lara is very fond of Sebastian the Ibis, gets excited when Pancakes with Pat is approaching and thinks that the Coral Gables campus is her scooter path. 

Ibis Residential College

Dr. Leslie KnechtDr. Leslie Knecht

Senior Residential Faculty

Leslie Knecht is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Chemistry. She grew up on a tobacco farm up a holler in rural Southeastern Kentucky and was a first-generation college student. Her research interests focus on bioanalytical chemistry.  Her husband, Marc Knecht, is a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry. They enjoy taking their two sons and dog Proton on many adventures. 

Dr. Marc KnechtDr. Marc Knecht

Senior Residential Faculty 

Dr. Marc Knecht is a professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry in the College of Arts & Sciences. He was born and raised in a small town outside Pittsburgh, PA, and is a first-generation college student. Dr. Knecht completed his BS degree in Chemistry from Duquesne University and received his Ph.D. in chemistry from Vanderbilt. His research is focused on the use of bio-based, sustainable methods for functional materials, which has been funded by several federal agencies including the National Science Foundation, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the Army Research Office. When he is not researching in the lab, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Leslie Knecht, their two boys, and their dog Proton.

Dr. Joseph UscinskiDr. Joseph Uscinski

Faculty Fellow

Dr. Joseph Uscinski is a professor of Political Science in the College of Arts & Sciences. Dr. Uscinski has been at the University of Miami for 17 years, but he is originally from New England—mostly Connecticut and New Hampshire. He also lived in Tucson, Arizona for four years while completing his graduate work. He earned his BA degree in Political Science at Plymouth State University, his MA in Political Science at University of New Hampshire, and his Ph.D. at University of Arizona. His research is focused on conspiracy theories and their impact on politics; his research projects are currently funded by the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health. Dr. Uscinski teaches courses on conspiracy theories, elections, mass media, and public opinion.

Mahoney Residential College

Dr. Melvin ButlerDr. Melvin Butler

Residential Faculty

Dr. Melvin L. Butler is Associate Dean in the Office of Academic Enhancement for Undergraduate Affairs and Associate Professor in the Department of Musicology. He teaches in the Frost School of Music’s Experiential Music Curriculum and also offers courses on Caribbean and African American music. As a saxophonist, he has toured and recorded with numerous internationally renowned artists. A native of Kansas City, Kansas, he moved to South Florida in 2016 with his wife, Lori, and their son, Stanley. Outside of his academic and professional interests, he enjoys chess, science fiction, sports, and listening to jazz and gospel music.

Dr. Justin RitzingerDr. Justin Ritzinger

Residential Faculty 

Justin Ritzinger 芮哲 is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences where he teaches Asian religions. He teaches courses on topics including Buddhism, Chinese religions, karma, and Buddhist social activism. His research focuses on modern Buddhism in China and Taiwan. He has spent nine years in the Chinese-speaking world, primarily Taiwan. There he met his wife, Amei, who now teaches Chinese lessons in Miami. They have two daughters: Anne (16), a budding artist; and Maggie (8), an aspiring naturalist.

Dr. Seth LevineDr. Seth Levine

Faculty Fellow

Seth was born in New York and moved to Florida as a teen. He graduated high school in Hollywood and promptly enrolled at the University of Miami, where he earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in 1984, his Master of Professional Accounting in 1985, his Master of Business Administration in 1989, and his Doctor of Education, specializing in Applied Learning Sciences, in 2021.

Seth became a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Florida in 1987. He began his professional career as an auditor and consultant with Price Waterhouse in 1985 where he eventually became a Human Resources Manager. From 1996 until 2001, he served as Chief Financial Officer with a family-owned import and export agribusiness.

Seth has been on faculty at the University of Miami since 1990 where he has taught many undergraduate and graduate accounting courses. Since 1989, he also serves as a senior faculty member and Subject Matter Expert for the Becker CPA Review Course. He is married to Carolina, another CPA (and University of Miami alumnus), and they have two daughters, Alexandra, 28, and Victoria, 26, a double-Cane who lived in Mahoney. He enjoys running, biking, fishing, college football and baseball, and playing the Basque sport of Jai-Alai. 

Pearson Residential College

Dr. Joy BeverlyDr. Joy Beverly

Chair of the Residential Faculty and Senior Residential Faculty

Joy Beverly is a Mathematics Senior Lecturer whose research interests include student persistence and inclusive classroom instructional methods. She is the recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award and the Provost’s Teaching Award for Mentorship. She and her husband, Jerry, often foster service dogs in training as part of their role as U Pup club advisors. The Beverlys, both first-generation college students, were collegiate athletes when they met and now enjoy cheering for UMiami sports teams. Dr. Beverly loves cooking, reading, and spending time with her family.

Kimberly McGrath MoreiraKimberly McGrath Moreira

Residential Faculty 

Kimberly McGrath Moreira (she/her/hers) is a Department of Writing Studies Senior Lecturer and a Faculty Fellow for the Platform for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (PETAL). Born in Toronto, Canada, her father's engineering career took the family to varied cultural contexts where she attended American International Schools in Nigeria, South Africa, and Singapore. She earned a BA (Honors) in Political Science and a Master’s in Education with a focus on teaching and applied linguistics. Her long-time tenure at UM also encouraged her to pursue a certificate in Enrollment Management studying the history and systems of higher education administration as it applies to student success.

As a senior global educator who has taught at Harvard University, Boston University, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and in Japan, she has built knowledge and expertise in community engaged teaching and learning,composition/writing studies, administration,curriculum development,teacher training,and housing and residential life. Both global and local professional experiences have continued to inform her passion for cross-cultural education, facilitate ease in communicating with people from diverse backgrounds, and inspire continuous learning and search for professional excellence connected to diversity, inclusion, and community building. Kimberly genuinely loves teaching and mentoring students in community outreach connected to building writing and communication skills. Over the years, her teaching and course concepts have been celebrated while receiving awards such asUM’s Excellence in Civic Engagement Award(2023), the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of South Florida’sChangemaking Education Award(2022), and severalExcellence in Teachingrecognitions at Harvard University (1995-1997).

Given the fact that her 17-year-old daughter will move away to college this year, she, her husband Alex, and dog Scooby also look forward to “going to college” as one of the newest faculty-in-residence joining Pearson Residential College.