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DOC Faculty Biographies

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Director, Dimensions of Culture Program

PhD, Literature, UC San Diego
MA, Literature, UC San Diego
BA, English Writing, University of San Francisco

As DOC Director, Dr. Solomon Amorao is committed to building and teaching in a program that helps Marshall students sharpen their critical reading, writing, and thinking skills through an investigation of the promises and paradoxes of U.S. culture and society. She received her MA and PhD in Literature from UC San Diego, and her research and teaching interests include U.S. multiethnic literature, Asian American Studies, Filipino/a/x American cultural productions, critical race studies, decolonizing pedagogies, and women of color feminism. Her most recent book project, a co-edited volume with DJ Kuttin Kandi and Jen Soriano on Filipina American feminism and activism, will be published in fall 2021 by Cognella Academic Publishing. 

Dr. Solomon Amorao has almost two decades of experience teaching writing at UCSD, including serving as a teaching assistant then lecturer at Revelle Humanities and as Associate Director of Writing at Sixth College’s Culture, Art, and Technology Program. Dr. Solomon Amorao has also taught for UCSD’s Critical Gender Studies Program, Literature and Ethnic Studies departments, USD’s English department, and SDSU’s Center for Asian and Pacific Studies. When she isn’t teaching at UCSD, she is active in the San Diego Filipinx American community. Dr. Solomon Amorao proudly served from 2011 to 2017 as the Executive Director of the Kuya Ate Mentorship Program, a grassroots educational organization that empowers Filipino American youth in their exploration of history, culture, identity, and social justice. 



Associate Director, Dimensions of Culture Program

PhD, English Studies, Illinois State University
MFA, Creative Writing (Poetry), University of Alaska Fairbanks
BA, Women’s and Gender Studies, University of California Davis

Dr. Emily Johnston (Dr. Emily) is excited to welcome all new and continuing students to the Dimensions of Culture Program! As Associate Director of DOC, she lectures in the lower and upper division courses and teaches DOC’s graduate pedagogy seminar. Dr. Emily aims to cultivate a culture of “writing justice” in DOC, emphasizing critical reading, writing, and thinking as pathways to Marshall College’s “scholar and citizen” mission. Dr. Emily utilizes the concept of languaging in DOC courses to teach about the work language does not only to structure our daily lives, but also to establish entire nations. Through languaging, students in Dr. Emily’s courses learn to analyze the promises and paradoxes embedded in U.S. history, culture, and society.

Dr. Emily has seventeen years of experience teaching at universities across the United States. Teaching is her passion and priority. From the sparkling lights of Reno, Nevada and the arctic tundra of the Alaskan Interior, to the second smallest (after Rhode Island) “First State” of Delaware, she has taught courses in composition, rhetoric, English as a second language, film, contemporary global literature, and gender and sexuality. In all courses she teaches, Dr. Emily emphasizes writing as an act of bearing witness and a powerful tool for social change. In 2018-19, she was awarded the Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award by UCSD’s Graduate Student Association.

Dr. Emily’s research contributes directly to her writing justice mission. Selected publications include an article on representations of PTSD in news media coverage of mass shootings in Rhetoric of Health and Medicine; a chapter on teaching about trauma in undergraduate writing courses in Composing Feminist Interventions: Activism, Engagement, Praxis (WAC Clearinghouse, 2018); and an article on literature, activism, and pedagogy in Antipodes: A Global Journal of Australian and New Zealand Literature (2014). She has also published a chapbook of poetry, Meditations on Leaving (Press 254, 2017). You can learn more about Dr. Emily and her work at

Dr. Megan STROM

Dr. Strom currently serves as a full-time Lecturer in the Dimensions of Culture Program, teaching all three lower-division courses.

She has taught DOC 1 lectures since Fall Quarter 2015, as well as DOC 2 and 3 lectures since 2017.  She served as Interim Assistant Director of the DOC Program in 2017-18.

Dr. Strom earned her Ph.D. in History from UCSD in 2015.  She holds a Bachelor's degree in History from UC Davis, as well as an M.A. in Latin American Studies from UCSD's Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies (CILAS).  Her doctoral work examines the culture and Cold War politics of student movements in Uruguay during the 1950s and 60s.


Mrs. Harpin earned her BA and MA in History from UC San Diego, focusing on social revolutions and history of the Diaspora.  (In the Schedule of Classes, Mrs. Harpin is listed as "Natalye Pass.")  She has taught DOC 100D since Winter Quarter 2016.  This upper-division class is designed for Thurgood Marshall College transfer students, as well as juniors and seniors from the other six colleges. 

Passionate about history, Natalye Harpin is compelled to showing connections between past history and current events. Natalye Harpin is a lifelong learner, and believes that when you get information, you have an obligation to share it. Her DOC 100D course is student-driven, and focuses on critical analysis of the contradictions of the promises given throughout American history, and the lies of colonial imperialism that are still perpetuated today. As someone who never felt represented in traditional history classes, she frames her classes to be as inclusive as possible, and to examine shared experiences of people in the western hemisphere. Natalye Harpin also teaches at the community college level, and was a transfer student herself when she came to UC San Diego for her BA. She is active in her community, and works at establishing solidarity with other communities by learning about their unique struggle. In her spare time, Natalye is an avid crafter, travels, and loves to try new recipes.