Cal Poly CLA News

The latest online edition of CLA's Impact Magazine

Class Acts

Get to know these new department chairs outside the classroom. 

Brady Teufel

Brady Teufel / Journalism

Specialty Area: Multimedia / Years at Cal Poly: 15 

Brady Teufel has taught at Cal Poly for 15 years, during which he has also been actively involved in student media as one of Mustang Media Group’s advisors. Teufel especially enjoys participating in the Journalism Department’s annual end-of-year banquets, where students are recognized for their contributions to the department. In his free time, Teufel likes to surf and play ultimate frisbee.

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What is/has been your favorite class to teach?

My favorite class to teach has been the Senior Media Practicum where students work in small teams to produce in-depth multimedia reporting projects every two weeks. I'm always impressed by the scope and quality of the projects which have tackled topics such as opioid use in San Luis Obispo, the disappearance of Kristin Smart and a professor with cave network on his property. 

Are there any scholars or individuals that have inspired you?

One of my inspirations is Eldra Avery who was my English teacher at San Luis Obispo High School. 

What is a fact about you that few know?

I hold dual citizenship in both the United States and New Zealand.

Christy Chand

Christy Chand / Theatre and Dance

Specialty Area: Jazz dance with an emphasis on commercial and concert styles / Years at Cal Poly: 10

Christy Chand is currently entering her 10th year working at Cal Poly. Her favorite courses to teach at Cal Poly are DANC 345 and 346, both of which involve participation in an Orchesis Dance Company production. In addition to teaching dance and choreography, Chand also writes articles for the global online network DancePlug.

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How/why did you choose to work at Cal Poly? 

After teaching dance majors at a conservatory and R1 institution, I was looking for a change. I was drawn to Cal Poly not having a dance major, yet still attracting high level dancers to whom I would get to work with in various classes including the ones that support the Orchesis Dance Company annual concert. I enjoy having the opportunity to work with students with a wide variety of interests and future goals. 

What are your research/scholarly pursuit(s)? 

My research and scholarship is mostly on the creative side. This manifests as creating new choreographic works, teaching master classes and workshops, and performing locally, around the United States, and internationally. Additionally, I write for the global online network DancePlug and work to stay current in sports and dance science especially related to warming up and cross-training for dance. 

What is your favorite class/student moment? 

I really enjoy teaching beginning level classes. I fondly remember one quarter in which seven graduating architecture majors enrolled in my DANC 133: Beginning Jazz Dance course. All seven novice dancers were inspired to include dance in a final project for a major course. One stand out project featured re-envisioning a Cal Poly building to hold seven dance studios because this student believed that all Cal Poly students should take dance due to their own positive experience. The model included tiny versions of these seven students dancing in the studio!  

What are your hobbies/extracurricular activities? 

I love spending time with my family and being home and playing with our dog or cats. I also like to work out, search real estate websites and hit balls at Top Tracer or the driving range.  

Karen Muñoz-Christian

Karen Muñoz-Christian / World Languages and Cultures

Specialty Area: Spanish (Caribbean/Latinx) / Years at Cal Poly: 18

Karen Muñoz-Christian has taught at Cal Poly for more than 15 years, specifically focusing on Caribbean, Latinx and Afro-Hispanic literary and cultural studies. She also loves to travel, especially to places where she can converse in Spanish. Her favorite getaway locations include northern New Mexico, the Russian River in northern California and just about anywhere in Spain.

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How/why did you choose to work at Cal Poly?  

I sometimes joke that I first started teaching at Cal Poly to get access to the pool, but in fact what attracted me was the university’s Learn by Doing philosophy. I’m an avid supporter of involving students in service learning, and Cal Poly seemed like a place that would encourage this. 

What is your favorite class/student moment? 

In my Introduction to Hispanic Readings class, the eerie ending of a wonderful short story, "La noche boca arriba" by Julio Cortázar, invariably evokes lively, memorable discussions. Students offer interpretations ranging from multi-verse theory to The Matrix to time travel and often want to continue talking about the story long after class ends! In any course, it’s awesome when my students are so actively engaged in a discussion that they don’t notice they’re speaking Spanish. 

Are there any scholars or individuals that have inspired you?  

Two of my grad school professors have been my greatest source of inspiration as a teacher. They are my role models for offering students challenging yet relatable learning experiences. Pretty much anything Kimberlé Crenshaw says or writes is brilliant and inspirational. My research has been enriched by the provocative work of Saidiya Hartman (Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route) and Marianne Hirsch's illuminating study of postmemory.  

If you were stranded on a desert island and could bring one book, what would it be? 

Either one of my husband’s novels (so that I would have him with me through his words) or One Hundred Years of Solitude (it’s such a rich, provocative novel that I never get tired of re-reading it). Ideally both! 


Tom Trice / History

Specialty Area: Russia/Eastern Europe / Years at Cal Poly: 19

After 19 years at Cal Poly, Tom Trice has greatly enjoyed his time teaching in the History Department. He fondly remembers how one year his HIST 216 teaching assistants decorated his office with inflatable orcas on the eve of his birthday, a tactic once used by Greenpeace to protest corporate investment in the whaling industry.


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How/why did you choose to work at Cal Poly?   

My favorite pedagogical approach is Learn by Doing, and my greatest desire was to teach at an institution primarily focused on teaching. The beauty of this region didn’t hurt either.   

What is your favorite class/student moment? 

One that occurred in HIST 216: Comparative Social Movements was due to a large group of students who were not only awesome participants in class discussion, but also routinely illustrated their response with fantastic drawings. 

What is one thing you wish your students knew about you? 

I’m a first generation college student. 



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