Meet Our Faculty Advisors

The Goldfarb Faculty Advisory Committee is charged with advising the Executive Director on ways to integrate Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs programming with the current curriculum, particularly in public policy. The group helps shape policy themes and priorities, as well as helps identify speakers and students for events. In addition, the committee helps the Center support and fund faculty-led work on issues of public policy research and development, including awarding public policy grants to faculty.  

Christel Kessler

Christel Kesler

Chair, Goldfarb Faculty Associate Director

Associate Professor of Sociology

Christel Kesler joined the Colby faculty in 2017. She previously taught at Barnard College and conducted postdoctoral work at Oxford University.

Professor Kesler’s research focuses on cross-national comparisons of social inequality. She is particularly interested in how political-economic institutions and social policies shape the experiences of immigrants and their host societies in North America and Western Europe. She has worked on several projects that consider immigrant socioeconomic incorporation in various countries. Other recent projects examine immigration-driven diversity’s effects on social solidarity and the welfare state and patterns of racial, ethnic, and national belonging among immigrants’ descendants. Professor Kesler’s work has appeared in journals such as the International Migration ReviewSocial Science Research, and Social Forces. She is currently a commissioning editor for the American Sociological Association’s public sociology blog Work in Progress and has been a consulting editor for the American Journal of Sociology.

Professor Kesler teaches numerous courses on social inequality, social policy, international migration, methods for social research, and data analysis.

Rob Lester

Rob Lester

Assistant Professor of Economics
Rob Lester is a macroeconomist with research interests in monetary policy and the labor market. In a recent journal article, “Without Looking it May Seem Cheap: Low Interest Rates and Government Borrowing”, he and coauthors examine the circumstances under which periods of low interest rates are an advantageous time for governments to borrow. In a working paper, “On the Welfare Effects of Phasing Out Paper Currency”, he and coauthors ask if it is optimal for governments to partially or completely eliminate currency.
Adam Howard, Ed.D.

Adam Howard

Charles A. Dana Professor of Education

Adam Howard is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Education at Colby College. Prior to Colby he taught at Hanover College, Lesley University Graduate School of Education, and Antioch College. At Antioch he also held the administrative positions of Director of Teacher Education and Associate Dean of Faculty. Prior to teaching at the college level, he taught high school English and history at Cincinnati Country Day School and directed Summerbridge Cincinnati, Inc., a non-profit organization designed to provide academic support to disadvantaged middle school students while encouraging high school and college students to consider a teaching career path.

Professor Howard’s research explores social class issues in education with a particular focus on privilege and elite education. He is co-editor (with Ruben Gaztambide-Fernandez) of Educating Elites: Class Privilege and Educational Advantage and (with Patricia Linn and Eric Miller) Handbook for Research in Cooperative Education and Internships.

He is author of Learning Privilege: Lessons of Power and Identity in Affluent Schooling and co-author (with 23 current and former Colby students) of Negotiating Privilege and Identity in Educational Contexts.

Lindsay Mayka

Lindsay Mayka

Assistant Professor of Government

Lindsay Mayka is an Assistant Professor of Government at Colby College. Her areas of research include social-citizenship rights for marginalized populations, citizen engagement in the policymaking process, and the politics of institutional weakness, with a regional focus on Latin America. Mayka’s first book, Building Participatory Institutions in Latin America: Reform Coalitions and Institutional Change, was published in 2019 by Cambridge University Press. The doctoral dissertation on which her book is based received the Latin American Studies Association/Oxfam Martin Diskin Dissertation Award. 

In 2020, Mayka received the Clarence Stone Scholar Award from the APSA Urban and Local Politics Section, which recognizes scholars who are pre-tenure or recently advanced who are making significant contributions to the study of urban politics. Her research has appeared in Comparative Politics, Journal of Democracy, Journal of Development Studies, and Latin American Politics and Society. Mayka has served as a Democracy Fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School, and a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley’s School of Social Welfare. 

She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from UC Berkeley, an M.P.P. in public policy from UC Berkeley, and a B.A. in Political Science from Carleton College.

Kerill O'Neil

Kerill N. O’Neil

Julian D. Taylor Professor of Classics

Kerill O’Neill, the Julian D. Taylor Professor and Chair of Classics at Colby College, is the founding Director of the Center for the Arts and Humanities. Prior to this appointment, he served as Humanities Division Chair (2008–2012). He serves as leader of the Network of Liberal Arts Colleges and Small Universities, and is a member of the International Advisory Board for the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI). He also serves on the board of the New England Humanities Consortium (NEHC). For many years, he was the Field Director of the Mitrou Archaeological Project, a survey and excavation project run in cooperation with the University of Tennessee and the Greek Archaeological Service. He frequently serves as a consultant to colleges and universities looking to strengthen the humanities, enhance student learning, or build faculty initiatives. His research interests focus on the intersection of literature and material culture and, increasingly, on the classical tradition. He has written on love magic in Latin poetry, religious cult in Bronze Age archaeology, and the impact of Greek tragedy on later literature and art. He holds a B.A. from Trinity College, Dublin, a Ph.D. from Cornell University, and was a Townsend Scholar at the Centre Louis Gernet in Paris.
Carrie LeVan

Carrie LeVan

Assistant Professor of Government

Carrie LeVan is an expert on voter mobilization and social networks and their role in affecting the participation of individuals from varying socioeconomic and racial/ethnic backgrounds.  Her recent journal publication titled “Neighborhoods that Matter:  How Place and People Affect Political Participation” is part of a larger project that examines the relationship between neighborhood characteristics and civic engagement.  Specifically, she explores how both the physical design and racial/ethnic/class composition of one’s neighborhood impacts neighbor-to-neighbor contact and how these neighborly interactions subsequently affect one’s propensity to participate in politics and one’s attitudes towards racial/ethnic minorities and the poor.


Denise A. Bruesewitz

Associate Professor of Environmental Studies

Professor Denise Bruesewitz is interested in how human activities alter aquatic ecosystem function. Specifically, she studies nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon cycling in aquatic ecosystems with the goal of understanding how ecosystem function and ecosystem services change in response to human activities. Her ongoing projects include understanding how restored oyster reefs in New York City mitigate nutrient pollution, how lakes across the globe process carbon, and determining how rivers and estuaries in south Texas respond to drought and storms. At Colby, she will build upon ongoing research in the Belgrade Lakes, as well as local streams and rivers, with a focus on carbon and nutrient cycling in these aquatic systems.

Nadia R. El-Shaarawi

Assistant Professor of Global Studies

Nadia El-Shaarawi is Assistant Professor of Global Studies at Colby College. At Colby, she teaches courses on refugees and migration, humanitarianism, and global health. She is a cultural and medical anthropologist who specializes in transnational forced migration, humanitarianism, and mental health in the Middle East and North Africa and Europe. She is currently working on two research projects. First, her current book project focuses on how Iraqi refugees in Cairo, Egypt negotiated uncertain conditions of protracted urban exile and how interactions with transnational and local humanitarian institutions and policies, especially refugee resettlement, had implications for mental health and well-being. The second project (in collaboration with Prof. Razsa), Insurgent Mobilities, is an ethnography of the Balkan route that tells the story of the migrants who challenged and circumvented borders in their efforts to reach Europe in a struggle for what they and their activist allies called freedom of movement. Prior to joining Colby, Nadia was the Global Migration Postdoctoral Fellow at the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University, where her work included collaborative research on the health and social effects of displacement and resettlement. Nadia received her PhD in Anthropology and her MPH in International Health from Case Western Reserve University.


• Be a vibrant information hub on the most pressing current events in the world
• Increase awareness of the role of public policy to address these complex challenges
• Inspire active citizenship among the Colby Community
• Empower and build the leadership skills of Colby students
• Create networking opportunities to connect students to alumni and world leaders who have established careers in public affairs
• Spark thought-provoking public policy conversations
• Provide forum for open, healthy discourse for all (all majors, all opinions, all people)