Honors Faculty: Committed to Excellence

Seminole State's honors faculty are respected for their excellence in teaching, ability to motivate students, and commitment to building and growing the Honors Institute. They enjoy the challenge of developing courses that include alternative teaching and learning strategies and result in creative interaction for both students and teachers.

Professor Biographies

Dr. Michael Artiaga

Dr. Michael Artiaga is a speech professor at Seminole State. In this capacity, he teaches Public Speaking, Argumentation and Debate, and a Freedom of Speech Seminar.

Dr. Artiaga was a debate coach and lecturer of speech and mass communication for six years at Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colo. He then attended the University of Kansas School of Law, where he attained his Juris Doctor in 2001, replete with a certificate in Media Law and Public Policy. Dr. Artiaga has conducted research and written legal briefs for Dines, Gross and Esquivel in Albuquerque, N.M., and served as a telecommunications attorney for Pinnacle Towers Inc. in Sarasota. He also took a leave of absence from his career in 1994 to manage the Ben Chavez for U. S. Congress campaign in New Mexico's Second Congressional District.

Dr. Artiaga has his B.A. and M.A. in Communication from the University of New Mexico, where he graduated with distinction and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Rachel Braaten

Professor Rachel Braaten is on the Honors Advisory Committee, and teaches Humanities and Film Studies classes, as well as being a leader in Global Studies at Seminole State College. She has designed and taught eight study abroad classes for the college in places throughout Asia and Europe, including Japan, India, China, and Cambodia.   

She has a variety of research interests that include the evolution of Buddhism in Asia, The Grand Tour of the 18th and 19th Centuries, and many film-related topics, including Hong Kong Cinema, women in film history, and international new wave film movements. Her current research involves recovering the life and works of female filmmakers around the world, and their contributions to feminist movements, gender equality, and social justice.  

Recent publications include The Historical Dictionary of Hong Kong Cinema, Second Edition, published by Rowman and Littlefield. 

Doreen Collins-McHugh, Ed.D., L.M.H.C.

Doreen Collins is a full time professor of psychology. She has over twenty-five years of experience in academia and in the counseling psychology field. Prior to coming to Seminole State College she held multiple positions as a licensed mental health counselor; serving as the director of a college counseling center, maintaining a private practice, and working as a hospital clinician. Dr. Collins received her Ed.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Central Florida in 2016. Her research interests are in the benefits of meditation to teachers and students and other transformational teaching and learning practices.

She has had a personal meditation and yoga practice for over a decade and is a trained Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) instructor. She facilitates meditation workshops regularly at the college and in the community.

Christopher Janus

Professor Christopher Janus is an English professor at Seminole State College. He has an MA in English Studies at Western Washington University (specializing in composition rhetoric and medieval literature), a BA in Creative Writing and English from the University of Tampa, and is actively working toward a professional writing graduate certificate at UCF. Professor Janus’s approach to teaching writing is recursive to have students gain a better sense of who they are as writers, to identify their own strengths and limitations as writers, and to understand how to fit their own unique voice into a larger academic conversation. Students leave his course prepared to face the rigors of academic writing they will encounter in higher level classes at Seminole State and beyond. Professionally, much of Professor Janus’s own scholarship and presentations at academic conferences have to do with composition pedagogy, first-year-writing curriculum, and approaches to teaching developmental writing.

Michael Mendoza

Michael Mendoza is an English professor at the Oviedo Campus of Seminole State College. He received his Bachelor’s degree with Honors in English from the University of Florida and later earned a MA in Medieval Studies from the University of Connecticut specializing in literature, Latin and history. He then began a PhD program in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies. Since his return to Florida and full-time teaching, Professor Mendoza enjoys presenting research on Comic Studies and its application to rhetoric-comp theory. He also enjoys hosting guest speaker events revolving around super-heroes and graphic novels in conjunction with the library. He also enjoys conducting book clubs through the Read to Succeed program.

Kathryn Steinhaus, PhD

Dr. Kathryn Steinhaus is a professor in the Department of History, Humanities, and Modern Languages at Seminole State. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Gonzaga University where she graduated summa cum laude with a degree in History, minor in Classics, and concentration in Women’s Studies. Her Masters and Doctorate in History are both from McGill University.  Her MA research project involved a comparison of the Welsh Nationalist Party, Plaid Cymru, under Saunders Lewis and Gwynfor Evans. Her doctoral work was a microhistory of English fascist Unity Mitford with special emphasis on gender, class, and the ideological appeal of fascism. Her fascination with fringe movements stems from her background as an activist involved with several social justice movements.

At Seminole State College, Dr. Steinhaus teaches classes in both History and Humanities in between work as a club advisor and various projects such as organizing field trips to local museums and work on the Gender Violence Awareness Committee. She is dedicated to the mission of accessible education, and her teaching philosophy focuses on the need to education students on intellectual, emotional, political, and cultural levels.

Trent Tomengo

Professor Trent Tomengo is a Humanities instructor at Seminole State and the assistant curator of the Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts. He has an M.F.A. from the University of South Florida as well as a graduate certificate in Museum Studies.

Professor Tomengo's philosophy on teaching includes the notion that students must see themselves and their ideas as valid parts of the ongoing dialogue of humanities in order to have a sense of ownership and interest in the subject matter.

In his spare time, Professor Tomengo is an award-winning artist who has conducted art workshops and lectures throughout the Central Florida area. His work has been exhibited in Florida, Georgia and Louisiana and has enjoyed visibility in both public and private collections.

Adrienne Vivian

Adrienne Vivian is a professor of English at Seminole State. She completed her undergraduate work in Spanish and French at Loyola University in New Orleans before graduate studies in French at Georgia State University and English at the University of Central Florida. She has earned a graduate certificate in Comparative Literary Studies and is currently pursuing her PhD in English at the University of South Florida. Adrienne Vivian’s fields of interest and research include post-colonial literature, multi-ethnic literature of the United States, Caribbean literature, and translation studies.

Other Honors Faculty Members

  • Dr. Susan Bell, Social Sciences
  • Professor Christina Bisirri, English
  • Professor Rachel Braaten, Humanities
  • Dr. Monica Butler, History
  • Dr. Maya Byfield, Biological Science
  • Dr. Jordan Camenker, Business Management and Entrepreneurship
  • Professor Dianna Campbell, Arts and Communication
  • Professor Laura Dickinson,  Arts and Communication
  • Dr. Scott Freeman, Social Sciences
  • Professor Daniel Gabilondo, Mathematics
  • Dr. William Gaught, Information Technology, Digital Media and Networking
  • Professor Tracy Harbin, Social Sciences
  • Professor Christopher Janus, English
  • Dr. Katherine Kellen, English
  • Dr. Christopher Lorscher, Physical Sciences
  • Professor Michael Mendoza, English
  • Professor Terina Nusinov, Biological Sciences
  • Dr. Van Quach, Physical Sciences
  • Professor Adam Shafer, Mathematics
  • Dr. Debra Socci, Biological Science
  • Dr. Kathryn Steinhaus, Humanities/History
  • Dr. William "Travis" Suits, Social Sciences
  • Professor Trent Tomengo, Humanities
  • Dr. Tiffany Traylor, Humanities
  • Professor Adrienne Vivian, English
  • Professor Terri Walsh, Business, Management and Entrepreneurship
  • Professor Diana Wenzel, Physical Sciences
  • Professor Timothy Werhner, Physical Sciences


The Honors Institute
L-230, Sanford/Lake Mary Campus

8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.Available remotely