PSM faculty members represent a variety of academic disciplines, providing an interdisciplinary curriculum integrating theory and practice.  The program sponsors faculty workshops to maintain state-of-the art instruction and current understanding of public sector issues. Faculty ensure that the program is an integrated whole, not a series of separate, disconnected courses.

The following list provides the names of CSUN faculty members with scholarly and teaching expertise relevant to PSM who will teach courses or act as consultants for PSM.  Veteran faculty from other universities and professionals respected in their fields also will be invited to participate.


Lawrence H. Bailey, Ph.D.

Photo of Lawrence H. Bailey
  • POLS 360: Public Administration
  • POLS 466: The Politics of Public Spending

Bailey has taught and conducted research in the public administration field for more than 20 years. He teaches courses in public budgeting, public administration, organizational theory, public sector ethics, and bureaucracy and democracy. Bailey earned his Ph.D. Political Science from the University of Massachusetts and Master of Arts Government from the University of Virginia. He brings his educational background and extensive experience to his classes. Bailey has worked at every level of government and with the U.S. Department of State, teaching and collaborating with political science and public administration professors from over 70 countries. He also has published books on the development of the American state, and the political party system. His international expertise includes giving keynote addresses and presentations in several countries overseas. He also was awarded a Fulbright Specialist Grant to teach and collaborate with Constanta University in Romania.

POLS 360 and 466 help students develop key analytical skills and build important competencies for those seeking management and leadership positions in the public sector. Budgets are at the heart of public organizations. Understanding their design and logic, and how decisions are made, are key to management at every level. Students will have a new and broader understanding of the public sector and gain insights they can will use throughout their careers.

Jessica Baty McMillan

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Lecturer, Department of Communication Studies

  • COMS 309: Advanced Public Speaking
  • COMS 323: Group Communication
  • COMS 321: Rhetorical Discourse

Sustainability and social justice guide McMillan’s teaching and ethos. She is proud of the community engagement partnership she started with Los Angeles Police Department cadets, where her advanced public speaking courses teach youth across Los Angeles the fundamentals of public speaking. McMillan won both CSUN's Visionary Community Service Learning Award and the Exceptional Service to Students Award because of her dedication to service and community.

McMillan received her Bachelor of Arts Communication Studies from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, with a focus in journalism and writing. After working in the publishing world for several years, she received her Master of Arts Human Communication from the University of Denver, with a focus in rhetoric and communication ethics. The power of voice is a tool everyone possesses. Her communication classes help students tune, warm-up and strengthen that tool to impact the world around them.

Suzanne Beaumaster, Ph.D.

  • POLS 360: Public Administration

Beaumaster earned a Ph.D. Public Administration and Policy from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and teaches across the curriculum. POLS 360 analyzes the executive function in government processes and surveys the principles of administrative organization, personnel management, financial administration and public relations. The course is imperative for skill development and understanding public administration. Public servants are well served by an understanding of the history of the field as well as the intricacies of public management at the most fundamental level. Beaumaster provides that in-depth overview.

She has a strong understanding of this field and has published in a variety of public administration areas, including organizational theory, public management, public information management, ethics and public integrity, and aging studies. Her current research focuses on the aging workforce, system fragmentation across public sector agencies, and ethics.

Lawrence Becker, Ph.D.

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Professor, Department of Political Science

  • POLS 361: Introduction to Public Policy
  • POLS 407: Policy Implementation and Program Evaluation
  • POLS 462: Ethics in Politics and Administration

The public sector is a challenging work environment because programs and policies are implemented in a political context. Becker has a Ph.D. Political Science and brings to light the political context of public policy and administration. His research interests center on the link between legislative procedures and policy outcomes. Becker studies the connection between political institutions and public policymaking. As a political science professor, he teaches a variety of American political courses. He also teaches courses on policy and administration in the Master of Public Administration and Public Sector Management programs.

He authored the book, Doing the Right Thing, about Congressional procedures, and is co-authoring a book examining the tension between science and democracy in regulatory politics. Students will get in-depth understanding of the politics of policy making and implementation from an expert in the field.

Lori Ann Campbell

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Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology
Academic Lead, Public Sector Management program

  • SOC 401: Class, Status and Power

Campbell studied social inequality for more than 15 years and earned her Ph.D. Sociology at The Ohio State University. Her research focuses on the racial wealth gap and children's academic achievement – core topics related to social inequality, the focus of SOC 401.

Students learn how and why the United States has become a very unequal society in terms of income, wealth, educational opportunities, housing, and health. The class explores the causes and consequences of inequality. It also helps students understand why state, city and county budgets may shrink and why some people may resent the benefits received by workers in the public sector, since good healthcare benefits and retirement benefits have become less common in the private sector. In short, SOC 401 will help students understand the society in which they live and the challenges facing the public sector.

Moshoula Capous-Desyllas, Ph.D., MSW

Photo of Moshoula Capous-Desyllas

Professor, Department of Sociology

  • SOC 356: Social Welfare Institutions

Capous-Desyllas has a strong background in social welfare and social justice. Her social work experience includes working with children who suffered physical, mental, and sexual abuse and neglect; and at-risk youth and youth in the foster care system. She has worked in a variety of settings, including group homes, schools and nonprofit organizations, where she dealt with adults,such as homeless women, sex workers and Vietnam veterans dually diagnosed with mental health issues, drug and alcohol addiction, and previous incarceration. She brings her social work practice and research experiences to the classroom, giving students a real-world look at this field. Over the past 12 years, she has facilitated community-based, arts-based research projects with marginalized populations, such as grandparent caregivers, LGBTQ foster youth, sex workers, and immigrants and refugees. She often connects her research and practice experiences with the course content that focuses on social problems.

Capous-Desyllas has a Ph.D. in social welfare and social research, and a Master of Social Work degree. SOC 356 stimulates student interest in social welfare and institutions in the United States that address social problems, such as poverty, mental illness, child abuse, substance abuse, racism, sexism, aging and disabilities. She presents philosophical, historical and contemporary perspectives on the nature, extent and causes of such problems; and she highlights the role of the social work profession throughout the course.

Michael J. Carter, Ph.D.

Photo of Michael J. Carter

Professor, Department of Sociology

  • SBS 320: Social Science Research Methods
  • SOC 350: Population Dynamics
  • SOC 400: Organizational Theory

Carter has taught research methods and other sociology courses for the Department of Sociology since 2011. He has conducted extensive research and has years of experience teaching social science, population dynamics and organizational theory. He is trained in social psychology and quantitative research methodology. He also specializes in organizations and institutions. Carter earned his Ph.D. Sociology from UC Riverside, and Bachelor of Arts Communication Studies from Sonoma State University. He provides a strong understanding of research methodology and the macro and micro dynamics of a variety of social processes. Carter also teaches for the Master of Public Administration program in the areas of research methods and organization theory. His specialty fields include social psychology, research methods, self and identity, group processes, sociology of emotions, and social institutions. He has been published in numerous sociology journals and brings an array of knowledge about the field to students of public sector management.

James Clark Davidson, Ph.D.

Photo of James Clark Davidson

Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology

  • SOC 400: Organizational Theory

Davidson has a Ph.D. Sociology from Baylor University and has been published and reviewed in sociology journals, including in the field of organizations. Society is composed of organizations: People are born, educated, work and die under their influence. SOC 400 investigates the large, formal organization: one of the greatest achievements – and perhaps one of the greatest dangers – of our civilization. Davidson teaches students how bureaucracies rise, the logic of their operation, and their often unanticipated, but systematically caused, problems.

Gigi Hessamian

Photo of Gigi Hessamian

Faculty, Department of Communication Studies

  • COMS 323: Group Communication

Effective group communication is a must in every industry and organization that values effective functioning in task-oriented teams, departments and committees. Hessamian helps students understand the unique dynamics and challenges of diverse groups. COMS 323 will also empower students to function more effectively in meetings, conflict scenarios, decision-making sessions, and in leadership and support roles.

Hessamian earned her M.A. Communication Studies from CSUN and has extensive expertise in group communication. COMS 323 is a classic communication theory course combined with practical applications. Her interest in and knowledge about power dynamics, leadership, assertiveness and rhetorical strategy make this one of her favorite courses to teach.

Tom Hogan-Esch, Ph.D.

Photo of Tom Hogan-Esch

Professor, Department of Political Science

  • POLS 360: Public Administration
  • POLS 403: State and Local Government

Hogan-Esch has a Ph.D. Political Science from the University of Southern California. He has devoted virtually all his professional career to studying political reform at the state and local level, particularly in the Los Angeles region. In the process of studying reform, students learn about historical, demographic, social, and economic and political forces that shape California urban areas. Public policy areas covered in his classes include education, housing and police reform, social movements and community development.

In all his classes, he emphasizes the importance of studying politics and policy at the local level. He believes too much discussion of politics focuses on events at the national level, to the exclusion of the level of government that most directly impacts individuals’ lives. In particular, he places great attention to historical forces that shaped urban areas, along with public policy issues critical to the successful function of democracy. Students emerge from his classes better equipped to meaningfully and knowledgeably participate in the public policy process in California communities.

Tyler Hughes, Ph.D.

Photo of Tyler Hughes

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science

  • POLS 361: Introduction to Public Policy
  • POLS 406: Fundamentals of Policy Analysis

Hughes’ research focuses on agenda setting and the policy making process. He has a Ph.D. Political Science from the University of Oklahoma and has published in peer reviewed political science and public policy journals, including American Politics Research, Social Science Quarterly, Party Politics, and Review of Policy Research.

He brings his education and policy analysis skills to the classroom. In POLS 361 he gives students a broad understanding of the public policy process. This information is vital for anyone work in the public sector, as the class covers topics ranging from non-governmental policy actors to policy implementation. POLS 406 provides students with a toolkit to engage with the practice of policy analysis, an important component of many public sector jobs. By the end of the class, students will be able to identify policy problems, formulate a plan to evaluate policy solutions to address problems, and critique analyses created by other organizations/agencies.

Paul D. Krivonos, Ph.D.

Photo of Paul Krivonos

Professor Emeritus, Department of Communication Studies

  • COMS 309: Advanced Public Speaking
  • COMS 323: Group Communication
  • COMS 356: Intercultural Communication

Krivonos has taught COM 309, 323 and 356 numerous times during close to 40 years as a full-time faculty member at CSUN. The ability to communicate effectively is critical to success in any public sector organization. He has a strong background in communication in a public administration context on local, national and international levels. Krivonos holds a Bachelor of Arts International Relations from UC Davis, a Master of Arts Political Science from UC Davis, and a Ph.D. Communication from Purdue University. He served as a visiting professor in New Zealand and led training about communication and organizational behavior for public sector employees in Australia, Fiji, Morocco, New Zealand, South Africa, Tobago, Trinidad and the United States.

He also coordinated the development of the Bachelor of Arts Public Sector Management degree and served as its first director. Krivonos chaired CSUN’s Department of Communication Studies for nine years and served as dean of the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication for three years. His many years of expertise gives students a strong, in-depth understanding of effective public speaking and communication.

David Leitch, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science

  • POLS 462: Ethics in Politics and Administration

POLS 462 is a vital course, because the legitimacy of the U.S. system of public administration depends in large part on its participants acting in an ethical, thoughtful, humane manner. Absent that legitimacy, administrative procedures fall apart. Leitch earned his Ph.D. in political science at UC San Diego, and he is an expert in the issues POSL 462 raises. His degree, research and interests include political theory, public law and politics. He has taught courses in the political science department that include Great Questions in Politics, Jurisprudence, and Proseminar in Political Theory.

Dominic Little, M.A.

Photo of Dominic Little

Lecturer, Department of Criminology and Justice Studies

  • SBS 320: Social Science Research Methods

As a professional educator and consultant for more than 20 years, Little teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses that emphasize public policy and quantitative and qualitative research techniques. His consulting projects center on public policy and on small- to large scale state and international initiatives. Little has a Master of Arts Sociology from CSUN and a perspective based on an adage adapted from Karl Popper and other empiricists: “If you don’t measure, you don’t know.” Coupled with the Thomas Theorem, “If people define a situation as real, they are real in their consequences,” the results give a powerful set of presuppositions. Those presuppositions illuminate why reliable, valid knowledge – minimally contaminated by ideology and subjectivism – is important to construct a meaningful, actionable set of solutions and strategies for solving social problems, promoting social change and educating. As an experienced speaker, he interacts with experts and consumers alike. His value system is motivated by reducing suffering in the world and improving the human condition – a goal he realizes while preparing future generations in the classroom and consulting in public policy projects.

Karen Morgaine, Ph.D.

Photo of Karen Morgaine

Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology

  • SOC 426: Social Legislation and Social Policy

Morgaine has taught SOC 426 for a decade and has extensive experience in this field. She earned a Ph.D. Social Work and Social Research from Portland State University, and a Master of Arts Psychology from Antioch University. Prior to obtaining her Ph.D., she worked in nonprofit settings (mental health and public health) for 15 years. She was responsible for policy implementation and evaluation related to mental health services, domestic violence, burn prevention and child abuse. Her work in mental health and domestic violence intersected with local, state and federal institutions such as child protective services, the local criminal justice system, and state and federal medical systems. She also was a member of a local batterer's intervention advisory committee that worked with local and state agencies related to providing treatment and diversion programs. Additionally, she worked for 10 years with individuals and families involved with child protective services, which required a significant understanding of child welfare policies and policies related to domestic violence, drug and alcohol use, mental health services, and welfare/anti-poverty services.

She has engaged in research on domestic violence and developed and taught classes in community organizing, social movements and activism at CSUN. She has participated in community organizing through involvement in issues that include opposing anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, anti-racist activism and mobilization, and climate justice activism. She helped to coordinate white anti-racist events and recruited members through events related to local ballot measures. She is an active member of Extinction Rebellion Los Angeles, where she serves multiple coordinating roles in the arts working group and coordinating group. She has actively participated in social movements for many years through non-violent direct action, political education and activism. She also co-authored a textbook (and a 2nd edition) in anti-oppressive social work practice.

She brings her in depth, extensive experience and education background to SOC 426. The class enables students who plan to work in public administration and/or social service sectors to understand the ways social policies impact their work. Students learn how to analyze policy with a variety of perspectives that include historical, social and political analyses. They will understand historical impact of policies, social forces that influence policy development and implementation, and stakeholders in the support or opposition of various policies. Students can then apply the skills and understanding they develop in the course to the policies that most directly impact the communities they serve. A deeper understanding of the complex layers of social policy will provide students with tools to be more adept at providing the public with supportive services.

Randi Picarelli

Photo of Randi Picarelli

Lecturer, Department of Communication Studies

  • COMS 356: Intercultural Communication
  • COMS 494/L: Internship in Communication Studies and Lab

Picarelli is a critical/cultural scholar who has been teaching and studying race/class/sex/gender for 20 years. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Speech Communication and Master of Arts Communication Studies with an emphasis in Gender from CSUN, and she has taught in the Department of Communication Studies and Department of Gender and Women’s Studies since 2002.

In an increasingly divisive society, learning how to be ethical citizens with words and bridging cultural chasms are critical. COMS 356 explores identities and positionalities, allowing students to gaze into the mirror of their own journeys and histories and become more aware of barriers to effective intercultural communication and relationships.

Picarelli is the director of the Communication Studies Internship Program at CSUN. She received the Excellence in Service to Students award at CSUN for her work to make the internship experience more equitable and accessible to students, particularly those most marginalized. COMS. 494 is the last course in the program, and it connects material from past courses to current contexts. She gives students a look at organizational theories – development of the modern organization, organizational structures, neoliberalism and capitalism, identity in the workplace, company cultures, and their personal relationship to work. Students get the opportunity to create (often with an employer) a project that allows them to develop new skills. These projects enhance the student's profile at work, give them a new sense of competence, all while being of service to an organization or community.

Boris E. Ricks

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Associate Professor, Department of Political Science
Co-director, Center for Southern California Studies, CSUN

  • POLS 360: Public Administration

Ricks has expertise grounded in work experience in local government; education, research skills and publications; and training and development in the Rand Corporation’s Faculty Leaders Program. He earned his Master of Public Administration from the University of Mississippi and his Ph.D. Political Science from the University of Southern California.

In POLS 360 students will receive the education, training and holistic development to master the content. The goal is for students to succeed inside and outside the classroom. Ricks is a broadly trained political scientist with specializations in racial politics, urban affairs, state and local government, public administration, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. He draws upon a multidisciplinary approach to the investigation (and intersection) of racial and ethnic politics, disparities and inequality research, political incorporation and public policy. Ricks’ work has appeared in PS: Political Science and Politics; Journal of Race and Policy; and American Review of Politics.

Josh Sides, Ph.D.

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  • POLS 380: Los Angeles: Past, Present, Future

Dr. Sides joined the CSUN History Department in 2005 as the second Whitsett Professor of California History, and was appointed as the Director of the Center for Southern California Studies in 2007, where he served until 2014. He was the Editor of California History, the official state historical journal, from 2014-2019.

At CSUN, he teaches classes on the history of the United States, African Americans, California, and Los Angeles. He has published numerous articles and the books L.A. City Limits: African American Los Angeles from the Great Depression to the Present (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004) (Winner, Martin Ridge Prize, HSSC), Erotic City: Sexual Revolutions and the Making of Modern San Francisco (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009) (Winner, Bullough Prize for Best Book of 2009 by the Foundation for the Scientific Study of Sexuality and the Lewis Mumford Prize from the Society for American City and Regional Planning History). He is the editor of an anthology entitled Post-Ghetto: Reimagining South Los Angeles. In 2021, Bison Books published his newest book, Backcountry Ghosts: California Homesteaders and the Making of a Dubious Dream.

Linda-Marie Sundstrom, DPA

Photo of Linda-Marie Sundstrom
  • POLS 407: Policy Implementation and Program Evaluation

Sundstrom provides students with strong understanding of policy implementation and program evaluation. She has lengthy experience teaching public administration. Sundstrom earned her Doctorate of Public Administration from the University of La Verne; her Master of Public Administration from California State University, San Bernardino; and her Bachelor of Science International Business and Marketing from Cal Poly Pomona. In addition, she was awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to lecture in Ukraine about the structure of U.S. public administration and program evaluation.

POLS 407 provides real-world skills to assess government and nonprofit programs and determine their effectiveness. Sundstrom has worked at the County of Riverside as a policy analyst and published articles in publications that include the Journal of Public Affairs Education, PA Times, Pacific Coast Business Times, and two published book chapters. Sher shares her academic and practical experience with students to increase their understanding of implementing and evaluating programs.

Mintesnot Woldeamanuel, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Urban Studies and Planning

  • URBS 310: Growth and Sustainable Development of Cities

Woldeamanuel has extensive training in urban planning and development. He holds a Ph.D. and M.Eng. Urban and Environmental Engineering/planning from Hokkaido University (Japan); and a B.Sc. in Urban Planning from Ethiopian Civil Service University. His degrees give him high-level understanding of growth and sustainable development of cities on an international level. In addition, his research, numerous publications and presentations focus on sustainable urban development and transportation.

Cities are growing fast, at a faster rate than overall population growth. This situation creates unintended consequences for society, including environmental, social and economic. Society needs public sector employees with the knowledge and skills of urban development. Woldemanuel brings to this class instruction that helps students become better public servants who can make informed decisions.

John Yudelson, Ph.D.

Photo of John Yudelson
  • MGT 360: Management and Organizational Behavior
  • MGT 370: Management Skills Development
  • MGT 454: Leadership, Power and Politics
  • MGT 460: Strategic Human Resources Management

Yudelson has nearly 30 years of experience teaching business at CSUN, San Jose State University, California State University East Bay, and Pepperdine University. He also has more than 20 years of business and consulting experience in management, human resources and strategy that he brings to his classes. Yudelson earned his Ph.D. Organizational Communication from UC Santa Barbara; and his MBA, MSBA Strategic Management, and Master of Science Organizational Behavior from the University of Southern California.

The courses he teaches prepare students for a career in public service, and they especially prepare students to navigate the political aspect of working in the public sector.