The Faculty-in-Residence program is designed to connect on-campus housing students with faculty members. The Faculty-in-Residence, who reside in campus provided housing, support the Residential Curriculum, encourage the intellectual stimulation and academic involvement, and provide mentoring for student residents. Working under the general direction of the Assistant Director of Academic Initiatives and Living Learning Communities, the Faculty-in-Residence work closely with the Coordinator for Academic Success, the professional and paraprofessional staff and residential student government groups in developing a sense of community, fostering involvement in social and educational events and activities, and meeting the academic and community needs of resident students. 

Currently, Kevin Kinney (Director of Residential Life) and Lina Anastasovitou (Coordinator for Academic Success) oversee the Faculty-in-Residence program. 

Faculty-in-Residence recruitment is currently closed.

Information regarding the selection process for the 2023-2024 Academic Year will be made available in the spring semester of 2023.   

Should you have questions regarding the program, please contact:

Lina Anastasovitou at: uhs-academic-initiatives@sjsu.edu

Walter Adams




Dr. Walter Adams (he/him/his) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. His main research interests center around the constantly evolving struggle between the bad bacteria that attack us and the white blood cells that protect us. He likes to think of it as being at the center of an epic battle scene in Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones, but under a microscope. By understanding what bacterial and human factors lead to the progression or resolution of the disease, novel treatments can be developed for patients in the clinical setting.

Walter’s favorite color is green, he was born and raised in San Jose, and he is always down for a carne asada burrito. In his free time Walter loves to play and create board games, compose music on the piano, write poetry, and make really bad puns.

Walter is the Faculty-in-Residence for our First-Year Communities (Washburn, Joe West, CV2, and CVC) and our Theme Communities CELL and Black Scholars Community (Joe West). 


Etienne Brown




Dr. Étienne Brown (he/him/il/lui) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at San Jose State University since August 2019. Previously, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oxford and the Université de Montréal. He has also taught philosophy at the Sorbonne (Paris-IV), where he completed his Ph.D. in 2016. His research focuses on the philosophy of technology and looks at how social media and the internet are currently transforming our moral and political lives.

Étienne is a Québécois whose first language is French. He is an avid traveller who has lived in Montréal, Paris, Berlin and London, and visited 23 countries (his favorite trips were in India and Syria). He has an undying (and sometimes obsessive) passion for cooking, and often procrastinates by reading about wine. He loves spending time outdoors and has worked as a camp counselor at a canoe-camping summer camp. At SJSU, Étienne lives with his wife Zoe, who is a visiting researcher in the Political Science department at the University of California, Berkeley.  

Étienne is the Faculty-in-Residence for the Apartments Community (CVA & CVB) and our Theme Communities BUILD and Rainbow Village (Joe West).


Jennifer Johnston




Dr. Jennifer Johnston (Jen) (she/her/elle) is an Assistant Professor of Physiology in the department of Biological Sciences. Prior to coming to SJSU, Jen was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University in which she developed a strategy that could be used to convert any location in the genome into a safe harbor for gene addition applications. Since having obtained her PhD in Molecular Pharmacology at Emory University in Atlanta, Jen has been working towards finding a cure for hemophilia A. Specifically, here at SJSU, her and her team of undergraduates and Master's students are exploring the utilization of the CRISPR technology to edit the genome of hematopoietic stem cells for the purpose of treating patients with genetic blood disorders. As a first generation college graduate, Jen credits much of her career to a mentor she had at a primarily undergraduate institution similar to SJSU and hopes to, in the same way, impact young minds. In her free time, Jen loves exploring all the natural beauty the Bay Area has to offer by going on hikes and frequently visiting the beach. She also loves exposing the west coast to her favorite southern desserts. Ask her to make you a pecan pie - it is to die for.   

Jennifer is the Faculty-in-Residence for our First-Year Communities (Washburn, Joe West, CV2, and CVC) and our Theme Communities CELL and Sustainable Spartans (Joe West). 






Dr. Lesther Papa (he/him/siya/esuna) is an Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department and is faculty in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. His research focuses on the cognitive and emotional experience of students when they witness racial and ethnic microaggressions in college classrooms. He also has worked clinically with children and families at various sites from community sites to centers for persons with disabilities. He was recently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Child Trauma Research Program through the Tipping Point Mental Health Initiative where he provided mental health services to students at a public charter school in Richmond, California. Dr. Papa is originally from Hawaii but has lived in Arizona and Utah before coming to the Bay Area. He is a big gamer and has a range of hobbies ranging from baking to makeup art. His favorite video games are Nintendo games like Smash Brothers and Splatoon 2 and he is a big fan of games like Dominion and Magic: The Gathering. He is also a Dungeons & Dragons dungeon master and would love to introduce new players to the D&D realms. Dr. Papa is a first-generation college student with immigrant Filipinx parents and has experience trying to manage cultural expectations while also following his dreams. He loves building relationships with students and empowering them to pursue what will bring them joy and meaning.

Lesther is the Faculty-in-Residence for the Apartments Community (CVA & CVB) and our Theme Communities Arts Village and Rainbow Village (Joe West).






Dr. Yolanda Wiggins (she/her/hers) is a professor in the Department of Sociology and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences where she teaches sociology of education and research methods. Her research interests center on the family, higher education, race, and class with a focus on how Black college students balance both academic responsibilities and family obligations. Currently Dr. Wiggins is conducting research with computer science and computer engineering professors at SJSU on ways to increase underrepresented groups of students’ participation in STEM fields.  Dr. Wiggins also engages with the public, for example, on public radio as a scholarly source on postsecondary education, in order to increase understanding in addressing inequalities in educational outcomes. In Washington, D.C., she partners with community and parent leaders to advocate for structural and policy changes in D.C. Public Schools. Dr. Wiggins has worked for a wide-range of organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), Office of Minority Health, U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Department of Education, and the National Science Foundation. Her recommendation to students: go where the opportunities take you! You belong in every space. Don’t limit yourself! 

Dr. Wiggins is a native of Washington, D.C. and proudly reps the east coast! In her spare time, Dr. Wiggins  enjoys traveling, hiking, roller skating, karaoke, and salsa dancing. As a first-generation college student, Dr. Wiggins knows firsthand just how intimidating interacting with professors and finding on campus support networks can be. She looks forward to building lasting relationships with students! 

Yolanda is the Faculty-in-Residence for our First-Year Communities (Washburn, Joe West, CV2, and CVC) and our Theme Communities Arts Village and Black Scholars Community (Joe West).