FIT Appoints New Full-Time Faculty

FIT has appointed nine faculty members to full-time positions. Their areas of expertise range from communication design to energy research to textile development and marketing.

The new full-time faculty members are Amy Ballmer, associate professor/assistant head of research and instructional services, Library; Mercedes Cepeda, associate professor/counselor, Office of Admissions; Dr. Amanda Greatens, assistant professor, Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing; Christina Lyons, assistant professor, Exhibition Design; Thomas McManus, associate professor, Communication Design; Dr. Theanne Schiros, assistant professor, Chemistry; Dr. Jennifer Shloming, assistant professor, Mathematics; Dr. Mario Valero, assistant professor, Spanish; and Dr. Min Zhu, assistant professor, Textile Development and Marketing.

Amy Ballmer comes to FIT from the CUNY Graduate Center Library. Her professional background includes the Art Institute of Chicago, the New York Public Library, and the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Her creative and scholarly activities include journal articles, book chapters and reviews, exhibitions, lectures, and presentations.  She holds a BA from Eastern Michigan University in both Art History and English Language and Literature, an MLS from Pratt Institute in Information and Library Science, and an MS from Pratt Institute in Theory, Criticism/History of Art/Design and Architecture.

Mercedes Cepeda rejoined FIT in February, coming from the Office of Graduate Admissions at Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business. She formerly served as a member of the leadership team in the Office of Admissions at FIT, and has a background in recruitment and marketing. Cepeda holds a BA from Binghamton University-SUNY and an MS from Brooklyn College-CUNY.

Dr. Amanda Greatens comes to FIT with 14 years of experience in cosmetics marketing, including three spent as the owner and founder of her own color cosmetics company. She previously served as vice president of marketing for Key West Aloe. Greatens earned her PhD in pharmaceutical science from the University of Cincinnati and her BS in biology from Butler University. She has published articles in peer journals that include Experimental Dermatology and the Journal of Electrochemistry.

Christina Lyons has been teaching visual presentation and exhibition design part time in FIT’s undergraduate and graduate programs since 2008. She comes from Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership, where she was the director of the graphics department. Lyons received a master’s degree in Communication Design from Pratt Institute and her BA from the University of Vermont. Her professional accomplishments include projects for the New-York Historical Society Museum and Library, the Mohonk Preserve and Visitor Center, the New York Hall of Science in Queens, and the Cooper Union Great Hall.

An award-winning creator of ads, Thomas McManus was art director on the advertising team that won the $100,000 Magazine Publishers of America Kelly Awards Grand Prize in 1988 and 1990 for its Absolut Vodka campaigns. Before joining FIT, McManus was an adjunct professor at Parsons The New School for Design teaching advertising and interactive concepts. He holds a BFA from Pratt Institute.

An expert on energy research, Dr. Theanne Schiros formerly was an associate research scientist at the Columbia University Energy Frontier Research Center. She developed the curriculum and course materials for a sustainable energy master’s program at Columbia and a certified distance-learning program for West African engineers. Schiros received her PhD in Chemical Physics from Stockholm University, her MA in Physics from Hunter College, and her BA cum laude in Art History and American Studies from Fordham University.

Dr. Jennifer Shloming has been teaching part time in the Science and Mathematics Department at FIT since 2006. She also has taught a summer course in precalculus at Brooklyn College. Shloming earned her PhD and MA in Mathematics Education from Teachers College at Columbia University and her BA magna cum laude from the honors program in Sociology at Cornell University. Her active professional affiliations include the American Mathematical Society, the Mathematical Association of America, and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

FIT alumnus Dr. Mario Valero taught Spanish conversation part time at FIT before becoming a temporary full-time assistant professor in fall 2013. He has been an instructor at Kean University and a teaching fellow and guest lecturer at Columbia University. Valero holds a PhD in Latin American and Iberian Cultures and an MA in Hispanic Studies from Columbia University, an MA in Art Market: Principles and Practices from FIT, and a BA in Economics from Universidad de Carabobo, Venezuela.

Dr. Min Zhu formerly was the principal of Inversion, LLC, a company that provides fashion products with air filtration function. Before that, she was section manager of technical administration for Tal Apparel Limited in Hong Kong where she conducted a series of training sessions on textile fundamental theories and new technology development. Zhu received a PhD in Textile Chemistry from Donghua University, Shanghai; an MBA from the Georgia Institute of Technology; and an MS and a BS in Textile Chemistry from Xi’an Polytechnic University in Xi’an, China.