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

Goldfarb Faculty Associate Director

Associate Professor of Sociology

Professor Christel Kesler is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology. Her 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. In addition, professor Kesler teaches numerous courses on social inequality, social policy, international migration, methods for social research, and data analysis.

Rob Lester

Rob Lester

Associate 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 another recent article, “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 and Chair of Education Program 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. Before teaching at the college level, he taught high school English and history at Cincinnati Country Day School and directed 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. In particular, he studies the relationship between identity development and advantages in order to form better understandings of how privilege works through the daily practices of privileged individuals and the structures, policies, and practices of their educational institutions. He is the author of over 80 articles, books, and essays, including Learning Privilege: Lessons of Power and Identity in Affluent SchoolingNegotiating Privilege and Identity in Educational Contexts (with 23 Colby students), and Educating Elites: Class Privilege and Educational Advantage (with Rubén Gaztambide-Fernández).

Lindsay Mayka

Lindsay Mayka

Associate 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.

Jennifer A. Yoder

Robert E. Diamond Professor of Government and Global Studies

Professor Yoder holds a joint appointment with the Department of Government and the Global Studies Program and teaches courses on European politics and societies. Her special interests are German politics, remembrance and reckoning after communism, and borderlands in Europe. Her latest project examines the construction of European memory and the role the European Union plays in facilitating discussions of the past, particularly across the old West-East divide. Yoder is the author of two books: From East Germans to Germans? The New Post-Communist Elite (1999) and Crafting Democracy: Regional Politics in Post-Communist Europe (2013). Her articles have appeared in Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte, German Politics and Society, German Politics, German Studies Review, East European Politics and Societies, Europe-Asia Studies and Regional and Federal Studies.

Jin Xun Goh

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Jin X. Goh is an Assistant Professor of Psychology. He teaches and researches topics concerning social identities and the psychology of prejudice and stereotyping. His research currently focuses on how American history and immigration policies contribute to how people think about, stereotype, and perceive Asian Americans and Asian immigrants. Prior to Colby, he completed his postdoctoral training at the University of Washington, Ph.D. at Northeastern University, and BA at Bard College.

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.

Prof. Hanlon

Aaron R. Hanlon

Associate Professor of English

Professor Hanlon’s research takes British literature of the Enlightenment as a basis for understanding how we frame and organize knowledge and how fact, fiction, and inference work together in the various types of writing we have called “literature”: not only fiction and poetry, but also scientific atlases, political pamphlets, correspondences, and travelogues. His work brings literature (broadly defined) into conversation with history and philosophy, particularly the history and philosophy of science. His first book, A World of Disorderly Notions: Quixote and the Logic of Exceptionalism (University of Virginia Press, 2019), explains the concept of “exceptionalism,” a belief that one’s special mission or outlook on the world justifies not having to follow the same rules as everyone else. The character of Don Quixote, rewritten for differing eras and international audiences since 1605, helps us understand how exceptionalist thinking and behavior can lead to the conflation of fact and fiction. More than 65 of Hanlon’s essays for a broader audience have appeared in venues including The New York Times, The Washington PostThe AtlanticThe New RepublicThe Los Angeles Review of BooksVoxThe Chronicle of Higher Education, and others. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and an M.A. in English from Bucknell University, an M.A. in Cultural Studies from Dartmouth College, and a D.Phil. in English Language and Literature from the University of Oxford.



• 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)