Faculty - Social Sciences


Jim BraceJames Brace, M.S.W.

Professor, Social Sciences Department
Jim Brace joined Medaille College in 1997 after nearly twenty-eight years of community service to children and families. Mr. Brace was the director of child protective services in Erie County, NY from 1991 until 1997.

Brace earned a master of science degree in education from Canisius College and a master of social work degree from State University of New York at Buffalo School of Social Work. Additionally, he is licensed by the New York State Education Department to practice social work. He is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and continues to serve community organizations in Western New York.

Mr. Brace has taught in the Departments of Child and Youth Services, Education, and Social Sciences of Medaille College. Additionally, he has taught social work courses at Daemen College and SUNY at Buffalo/School of Social Work. In addition to teaching, Mr. Brace has supervised master of social work students in community settings since 1990.

He has provided extensive service in faculty government and serves as the Faculty Athletic Representative to the National Collegiate Athletic Association.


No photoKim Carr, J.D.

Associate Professor, Social Sciences Department
Kim Carr joined the Medaille College faculty in 1992. Prior to that she earned a B.A. in history from the State University College at Buffalo and immediately thereafter earned her J.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School.

After working for the law firm of John Papsidiero, she turned her attention toward the criminal justice system and teaching. As a faculty member at Medaille she spearheaded the development of the criminal justice degree program and teaches primarily criminal law and criminal procedure law.

In addition to her teaching duties, her current endeavors include further curriculum development in the criminal justice degree program. Additionally, she has expanded her attention to include teaching in the inter-disciplinary studies department, learning assessment within that program and participating in a new mentoring program for incoming freshmen.

Kim has served on numerous committees for the College including the Promotion and Tenure Committee and the Grievance Committee. Her favorite honor is having been invited on several occasions by student honorees to attend with them and their families the TRIO Honors Convocation.


Timothy DzierbaTimothy Dzierba, Ph.D.

Professor, Social Sciences Department
Dr. Timothy Dzierba has taught at Medaille in the Departments of Social Sciences, Liberal Studies and General Education since 1972. He has previously taught at Daemen College, Cornell University, and the United States Naval Reserve Center. He earned a Ph.D. in history from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1983, with a dissertation topic of "Organized Labor and the Coming of the Second World War, 1937-1941." He teaches courses in United States History, the History of Buffalo, War and Peace in the Nuclear Age, Hollywood's America, and the history of terrorism. Dr. Dzierba has been listed as a public policy expert in business and labor in The Annual Guide to Public Policy Experts¸ published by the Heritage Foundation, since 1990. His recent research trip to the Middle East was sponsored by the U.S. State Department.

Rich Jacob Richard L. Jacob, Ph.D.

Department Chair, Social Sciences Department & Associate Professor and Program Director, Sport Management Program
Dr. Richard L. Jacob has been teaching and coaching at Medaille since 1995. He served as Medaille’s first full-time athletic director and first full-time head basketball coach. Currently a full-time faculty member, Dr. Jacob serves as director of the sport management degree program. He earned a Ph.D. in counseling, school and educational psychology from SUNY Buffalo, and M.S. in physical education from Canisius College, and an M.S.Ed. in educational counseling from Niagara University. Dr. Jacob teaches Sport Psychology, Sport History and Philosophy. He has a great interest in and has been highly involved in international sports over the past ten years. For more information please go to www.medaillespm.com.

Daniel Kotzin, Ph.D.

Chair, Interdisciplinary Studies & Associate Professor, Social Sciences
Dr. Daniel Kotzin (daniel.p.kotzin@medaille.edu) has been passionate about history since he attended the University of California at Irvine, where he obtained a bachelor's degree in history. As he continued his graduate studies in history at New York University in pursuit of a Ph.D., Dr. Kotzin became increasingly interested in American ethnic history and examining American history from a global perspective, particularly the ways in which Americans have tried to influence other nations.

After receiving his Ph.D. from New York University, he taught history at Beth Tfiloh Dahan High School in Maryland and then Kutztown University in Pennsylvania, where he emerged as a leader among the faculty in promoting active learning in the classroom. He has also been nationally recognized for his success as a teacher in Who's Who Among America's Teachers. Dr. Kotzin’s biography, Judah L. Magnes: An American Jewish Maverick, is due to be published by Syracuse University Press in 2010. This study of Judah Magnes, an American Jew who served as the first Chancellor of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and later emerged during the 1930s and 1940s as the leading advocate for peace between Jews and Arabs, examines the difficulty of transplanting American ideas and values to the Middle East.

Dr. Kotzin is now an assistant professor at Medaille College in the Social Science Department and Chair of the Interdisciplinary Studies Department. Currently he is writing articles on history pedagogy and beginning research on the history of the Jewish community in Buffalo, looking specifically at the papers of Rabbi Isaac Klein which are housed in the archives at the University of Buffalo.

Timothy McCorry, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Social Sciences Department
Timothy McCorry is an assistant professor in the Social Sciences Department at Medaille College.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of Buffalo where he specialized in criminology, juvenile delinquency and the sociology of law.  He teaches courses in the criminal justice program including:  Introduction to Criminal Justice; Juvenile Delinquency; Crime and Society; Policing in a Multicultural Society; Community Policing; Parole, Probation and Community-Based Corrections; and Law Enforcement Ethics. 

In addition to his teaching experience, he has worked as a research consultant for Albert Einstein College of Medicine, The Research Institute on Addictions, and The Baldy Center for Social Justice at UB where he conducted research on a variety of topics, such as juvenile crime, substance abuse and public policy. 
Also active in the community, he has partnered with the West Side Community Collaborative (WSCC), the West Side Youth Violence Prevention Coalition (WSVPC), Child and Family Services, and Journey’s End with the goal of developing approaches to effectively respond to the high level of youth violence in the city of Buffalo.  He participated in the West Side Good Neighbors Planning Alliance where he assisting in the creation of a comprehensive crime control strategy for the city of Buffalo, and helped facilitate the training of local residents on the usefulness of restorative justice programs in conflict resolution.

Recently, he was re-elected as President of the New York State Sociological Association (NYSSA), and is currently organizing the annual conference at Medaille College.  He is also the co-founder and co-editor of the online journal The New York Sociologist.  

Anne PfohlAnne Pfohl, Ph.D.

Visiting Assistant Professor, Social Sciences Department
Anne H. Pfohl has taught in the fields of counselor education and psychology for the past twelve years. In 1999 she earned her master’s in counselor education from St. Bonaventure University. Currently in the dissertation phase of her Ph.D. in counselor education, Pfohl will be graduating in December 2010 from The Ohio State University.

Pfohl has taught such courses as Counseling Techniques, Social Psychology, Group Counseling, Psychological Statistics, Theories of Counseling, Abnormal Human Behavior, Career Counseling, Child Development, Human Sexuality, Foundations of Mental Health Counseling, and a apecial topics course in trauma. Pfohl has also provided supervision and classroom instruction for counseling students’ field placements in Practicum and Internship experiences.

Pfohl has worked extensively as an educator and consultant in the field of HIV and AIDS human services, and provides professional training through the New York State Department of Health, AIDS Institute. Pfohl has served as the Mental Health Coordinator for the Pride Center of Western New York, and was a member of the core staff for the North Atlantic Teaching Institute for Sexual Health Educators.

Finally, Pfohl’s areas of interest in research and scholarship include psychological help-seeking; trauma and its impact on individuals and society; learning communities; the human-animal bond; and counseling the Deaf. She has published in such professional journals as The Journal of Counseling Research and Practice, The Clinical Supervisor and The Journal of the Kentucky Counseling Association.


Todd RinioloTodd Riniolo, Ph.D.

Professor, Social Sciences Department
Professor Todd C. Riniolo began teaching in the Department of Social Sciences at Medaille in 2001, and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park. He has an extensive list of publications in peer reviewed journals, ranging from research methods to cognitive psychology. In 2008, he published his first book, When Good Thinking Goes Bad with Prometheus Books. He teaches a wide range of courses, but his favorites are History and Systems of Psychology, Research Methods, and Parapsychology and Pseudoscience. He enjoys watching hockey, jogging, and the Harry Potter novels.



Dr. Ross RunfolaRoss Runfola, J.D., Ph.D.

Professor, Social Sciences Department
Dr. Ross Runfola is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude graduate of the University of Buffalo where he also earned his M.A., Ph.D. and J.D. degrees. He is an award-winning professor, attorney, poet and journalist, including a piece for the New York Times which was unanimously selected by the nation's sports editors as the best sports feature published in any newspaper or magazine in the United States. He has published hundreds of  academic and popular articles, film scripts and two books, co-writing the textbook Understanding Sociology (2006) and previous to that co-edited the landmark Jock: Sports and Male Identity. He has done post-graduate work at Oxford University and Stanford University. In 1995, Dr. Runfola won first place in the Greater Buffalo Oral Poetry Slam and, is a popular, if not controversial, reader in Buffalo as well as other cities.

Among the many journals his poems have been published in are the Bottle of Smoke Press Six-Pack #2 , nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize in Poetry, the Bukowski Review and X-Ray Press #10 which is displayed in the British Museum of Modern Art. He has a chapbook of poems, Up Against the Poetry Establishment: Poetry That Makes Me Literary Road Kill by the Tainted Coffee Press scheduled for publication in 2007 as well as a full-length poetry book by the same press (Ed Kauffman, Ed., GPP Reader: Selections From the Poets of the Guerrilla Poetics Project (2007), and, a selection of poems in a compilation to be published by the Guerrilla Poetics Project (GPP) of which he is a founding member (www.guerrillapoetics.org). Quercus Review has described GPP as the next step in the evolution of poetry following the Harlem Renaissance and the Beats. Dr. Runfola has been selected for every Who's Who he is eligible for, including but not limited to Who's Who in The World, Who's Who in America, Who's Who in American Law and Who's Who in American Education and, has achieved the highest rating for a lawyer in both knowledge and ethics after an anonymous survey of judges and lawyers, in the legal "bible"- Martindale-Hubble. In addition to this prodigious body of work in many areas, he has been cited many times for his charitable endeavors including selection as "The First Annual Community Hero Award" by the United Way for his work as a lawyer, professor, writer and poet for the disenfranchised poor and, forgotten. Runfola maintains a personal web site.


Uhuru WatsonUhuru Watson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Social Sciences Department
Dr. Uhuru Watson joined the Medaille faculty in 1979 as "Dr. Robert Victor Watson." Dr. Watson legally changed his name to "Uhuru" in 1980 upon completing and receiving his Ph.D. in political science from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He also received his M.A. in political science from SUNYAB and his B.A. in political science from Kent State University. [The term "uhuru" is Swahili and means "freedom."]

Dr. Uhuru [his preferred appellation], has taught a wide range of courses in Medaille College's Social Sciences, Government Services, Liberal Studies and General Education curricula. He taught at the Collins, Wyoming, and Wende Correctional Facilities from 1986 to 1993. He was an adjunct instructor in the Political Science Department at Buffalo State College from 1998 to 2005. He has also taught courses at SUNYAB, Erie Community College (City and South Campuses), Niagara University, and SUNY Brockport. He taught at the University of Houston from 1974 to 1976.

Uhuru has made many topical presentations and presented papers at various venues and conferences in Western New York. Illustrative of these topics and papers are: "Identity Dialectics: African Americans' Struggle for Authenticity," and "Black Electoral Politics in the 1990's."

His travel to Senegal in 1988 focused on his learning experiences with the Wolof. He has made 3 subsequent trips to South Africa, each lasting 30 days. In South Africa, he lived in the village with the Tsonga-speaking, Shagaan.

Dr. Watson was instrumental in establishing the first commemoration of African History Month at Medaille College. He has been the recipient of the Faculty Member of the Year Award and was listed as one of the "Top Ten Instructors in Western New York" in the Buffalo News Magazine in 1987. His current research focuses on “Students’ Attitudes Towards Africancentric Studies."

Dr. Uhuru’s "educational dream," is that Medaille College students receiving Baccalaureate Degrees in Criminal Justice, Education, Human Services, and Psychology will have taken at least one course that is Africancentric based.

I'm grateful for the education I've received.

The instructors were knowledgeable and welcomed class discussions, with
respect for each student's contribution. I've learned how to be a more
effective leader. My capstone class gave insight on how to combine all
the education learned to operate a business. That's when I realized how
much I had sharpened my knowledge.

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