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Honors Program at JWU Denver: Honors Faculty

Honors Thesis Courses

Christine Battista, PhD


​Christine M. Battista
Associate Professor of English
Honors Program Director
NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR)
College of Arts & Sciences
I earned a Masters of English at SUNY Fredonia ('05) and a doctorate in English, General Literature, and Rhetoric at SUNY Binghamton ('10). I've taught a range of courses at SUNY Fredonia, SUNY Binghamton and Johnson & Wales University, Denver, including American Studies and the Environment; Cultural Studies; Postcolonial Literature; Critical Media Studies; Research Methods, and other theory/philosophy/literature courses. My two most recent book publications are Ecocriticism and Geocriticism: Overlapping Territories in Environmental and Spatial Studies (Palgrave 2011)  and Critical Theory and the Humanities in the Age of the Alt-Right (Palgrave 2019). I am currently at work on my next book project with my ongoing academic collaborator, Melissa R. Sande, titled Errand into the Wilderness: Feminist Ecologies of Intersectionality in Literature of the Americas.
My passion for literature, the humanities, and writing pours into all of my classes and I love working with Honors students and helping them cultivate unique research projects. I see myself as a scholar-practitioner, consistently working with students in the creative research process while also staying active in my own research as well. 

Chef T. Stella Bernard, MBA, CWP


Stella T. Bernard, MBA, CWP

Assistant Professor

College of Culinary Arts


I started my professional chef journey in 2003 by attending the Milwaukee Area Technical College in Wisconsin where I earned my AAS in Culinary Arts.  I continued my education by earning a BA of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management from the University of Wisconsin – Stout.  Upon graduation, I was granted a scholarship to attend Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne in France under the tutelage of Anne Willan gaining an advanced French Culinary certification.  I spent a year and a half studying and staging in France including being a demo chef for a culinary river cruise on the Rhine.  Some of my most incredible experiences came while working with Michelin starred chefs such as Patrick Gauthier (La Madeleine), Stephan Mole (Les Ormes), William Ledeuil (Z Kitchen Gallery), and the amazingly talented team at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Paris.

Upon returning to the US, I took on the challenge of banquets, which has been the arena I enjoy the most.  I have worked at the Waldorf Astoria Naples-FL and the Westin Indianapolis where we hosted the NFL for Super Bowl XLVI in 2012. Other journeys included summer camp chef in a Kosher facility and professional wine training at the CIA St Helena where I became a Certified Wine Professional (CWP). 

I started teaching at the college level in 2013 and joined the faculty at Johnson and Wales University Denver in 2016. While teaching, I was also a student at JWU completing my MBA in the Sumer of 2019. I teach a variety of classes from 1st-year level, learning knife cuts to 2nd-year students learning Garde Manger and Banquets. I love showing a student something new.  It is most gratifying to see a young person inspired by my lecture, demonstration, or even a story of my own career.  This is the same reason that I love being on the Honors Council.  Seeing the culmination of a student’s ideas and research during their final defense is often breathtaking.  Hearing how the whole journey unfolded is just as important as the final work.

When I am not on campus, I enjoy hiking, gardening, canning, furniture restoration, international travel and am a huge green living advocate.  I would like to have my own little urban homestead including bees.

Favorite Cuisine: French and traditional Oaxacan Cuisine

Favorite Food: Wine and stinky cheese!

Favorite Restaurants: Bartolotta Ristorante Di Mare, Vegas, NV; Chef Roy's Frog City Café, Rayne, LA

David Hood, PhD


David C. Hood, Ph.D.

Director of Graduate Programs & Associate Professor, College of Business

Chair, Institutional Review Board


Education: B.S. (Hospitality), JWU; M.B.A. (General), JWU; M.Ed. (Language Instruction), Rhode Island College; Ph.D. (Leadership), University Nebraska- Lincoln

Years Teaching: 14 years at JWU

Courses Taught:

  • MGMT 1001: Business Management I
  • MGMT 1002: Business Management II
  • MGMT 2020: Organizational Behavior
  • MGMT 5900: Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility and Law
  • MRKT 6543: Social Media & Internet Marketing
  • MGMT 5800: Effective Leadership
  • MGMT 3060: Training and Development
  • MGMT 6800: Business Policy and Strategy
  • RSCH5700: Research and Inquiry


Notable Publications/Conferences/Certifications: 

  • 2014: “Creating Meaningful Development Opportunities for your Part-Time Instructors,” Massachusetts Association of Teachers to Speakers of Other Languages. Authors: David Hood
  • 2014: “Implications for Educational Leaders based on Helgesen and Johnson’s The Female Vision,” Women in Educational Leadership Conference. Authors: David Hood
  • 2015: “Information Literacy: The ESL Student’s Guide to Independent Learning,” Lilly Conference. Authors: David Hood and Rory Senerchia
  • 2016: “From Whence They Came,” Women in Educational Leadership Conference. Authors: David Hood
  • 2017: “A Working Typology of Chief of Staff,” American Council on Education/National Association of Presidential Assistants in Higher Education. Authors: David Hood
  • Hood, David (2017), “History of the Presidential Assistant.” Presented to the National Association of Presidential Assistants in Higher Education Members, Webinar
  • Hood, David (2017), “Personality and Success Factors for the Presidential Assistant.” Presented to the National Association of Presidential Assistants in Higher Education Members, Webinar
  • Hood, David (2017), “Chief of Staff in the Organization.” Presented to the National Association of Presidential Assistants in Higher Education Members, Webinar


David Hood is currently an associate professor at JWU’s Denver Campus and is the chair of the Institutional Review Board. Hood began his JWU teaching career in 2008, after earning a B.S. in Hospitality Administration and an MBA at JWU’s Providence Campus. He went on to receive an M.Ed. in English Instruction at Rhode Island College and his Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he studied leadership and higher education. In addition to teaching, Hood has acted as a consultant for various organizations, where he works with top leadership to strengthen business practices and offers assistance in building strategic plans.


On the Denver Campus, he serves as a Small Business Development Consultant through the Colorado Small Business Development Center Network. Recently, he left a volunteer teaching position at a Men’s Maximum Security Prison, where he taught a literature course for eligible inmates.


Originally from California, Hood now resides in Denver. Beyond his academic pursuits, he is an avid traveler and has raced in multiple full and half marathons.

Danielle Rado, PhD

Danielle Rado
Professor of English
Honors Program Director
College of Arts & Sciences


I earned my Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from the University of Notre Dame ('05) and my Doctorate in English and Creative Writing from the University of Denver ('11). I've taught composition, creative writing, and literature at Notre Dame, Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Denver, and Johnson & Wales University. I've been a writing fellow at the Prairie Center for the Arts and the Sundress Academy for the Arts. 

In addition to being a professor and co-director of the Honors Program, I’m a fiction writer. I believe writing and education is primarily about the search for what is interesting. I've had works published in Harpur Palate, Clackamas Review, Mochila Review, Unstuck, Liar's League NYC, The Other Stories, Reservoir, Liminiod Magazine and Crab Fat Magazine, among others. 

Much of the work is available online, but here are some links to a couple of my favorites:

"Things to Consider While Locked in the Back of a U-Haul"

"The       Between Us"

and an essay on Fabulist fiction: "Contemporary Fabulists" (p.27)

Currently, I teach writing and literature at Johnson & Wales, and I believe the value of the Honors Program is that it allows for a focused process of inquiry through which students can dive into the topics they love, while also instilling a strong sense of work ethic, curiosity, and professionalism.


Judy St. John, PhD


Judy St. John, PhD

Professor of Science

College of Health & Wellness


Education:  I earned my Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences from Hood College in Frederick Md (1990) and my Doctorate in Biology with an emphasis on Genome Evolution from the University of Denver (07).

Years Teaching: I am been mentoring students in the laboratory since 1987 and I started teaching in the classroom in 2001.

Courses Taught: I have taught a variety of courses including Molecular Evolution and Molecular Biology Techniques at the University of Denver and Anatomy & Physiology and Microbiology at Concorde Career College. Since joining Johnson & Wales, I have taught Biochemistry, Obesity, Microbiology Lecture, Microbiology Laboratory, Foundations in Chemistry, Foundations in Chemistry Laboratory, Introduction to Life Science, Environmental Science, Disease and Culture, History of Science, Introduction to Health Professions and The Scientific Implications of Mass Food Production (Honors seminar).

Notable Publications/Conferences/Certifications:

In addition to teaching, I have over 25 years of research experience in genome evolution, conservation genetics, renal medicine and chemical carcinogenesis. Some of my publications are listed below.

Effects of climate change on nutrition and genetics of White-tailed Ptarmigan.

Recent CR1 non-LTR retrotransposon activity in coscoroba reveals an insertion site preference.

 Identification of novel CR1 subfamilies in an avian order with recently active elements.

Rapid Capture of DNA Targets

Characterization of microsatellite loci isolated in trumpeter swan (Cygnus buccinator).

A Recent Chicken Repeat 1 (CR1) Retrotransposition Confirms the Coscoroba-Cape Barren Goose Clade.

Chromosome-specific intron size differences in the avian CHD gene provide an efficient method for sex identification in birds. 

Upregulation of endothelial and neuronal constitutive nitric oxide synthase in pregnant rats. 

Mutagenic specificities of four stereoisomeric benzo [c] phenanthrene dihydrodiol epoxides. 

What's your favorite thing about teaching honors students:  I absolutely love incorporating science into each of my classes. I especially enjoy working with students from our Honors Program and encouraging them to think more critically about the topics we cover in the classroom. The Honors Program gives our students a chance to dive deeper into myriad subjects.

Samuel Wells, EdD


Samuel Wells, MFA, EdD

Associate Professor 

College of Arts & Sciences


Education: Master of Fine Arts in Writing & Poetics, Naropa University, Boulder CO; Doctor of Higher Education Leadership with a focus on tuition structures and institutional financial decision-making from Northeastern University, Boston MA.

Years Teaching: 20

Courses Taught: Art History; City as Text; Contemporary Interpretations of Classical & World Mythology; The Problem of Evil; Introduction to Food Writing; Food in Film & Literature; Technical Writing, Rhetoric & Composition; Communication Skills.

Notable Publications/Conferences/Certifications:

Literary and Popular Representations of Satanic Individualism as Ironic Critique of Authority, Political Power and Revolution in Fin-de-Siècle France presented at the national conference of the Nineteenth Century Studies Association in Lincoln, Nebraska, April 2016

Reefer Madness by Other Means: The Role of Iatrogenic Inversion in the Drug War in Colorado presented to the annual American & Popular Culture Conference in Albuquerque, NM, April 2014

Blissful Productivity: Using Alternate Reality Games in Collegiate Education presented to the annual American & Popular Culture Conference in Albuquerque, NM, April 2013

Uncovering the Original Sacrament published by Treating Yourself: the Alternative Medicine Journal, Issue 30, 2011 (Review)

Review: Mapping the Road Ahead: A Review of the work of Chris Fichtner, MD. Published by Treating Yourself: the Alternative Medicine Journal, Issue 30, 2011 (Review)

The Simply Pure Holiday Cookbook. Privately published by the Simply Pure Foods company, Denver CO. January 2011

William S. Burroughs Estate Scholarship Award, Inaugural Year 1999

What's your favorite thing about teaching honors students: Their advanced ability to think critically and to apply that critical thinking to real-world problems. JWU Honors students are bright, self-directed and socially conscious scholars!