Whittier College Adds Two Globe-Trotting Lecturers

August 18, 2023

Along with the new assistant professors joining the ranks at Whittier College, students will have the opportunity to learn from a fresh pair of lecturers. José Alfredo Contreras will teach for the Department of Modern Languages & Literatures while Henry Andersen will be with the Department of Business Administration.

José Alfredo ContrerasJosé Alfredo Contreras, Ph.D.

Contreras grew up in Mexico and immigrated to the United States when he was in high school. He got his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Spanish from California State University, Fullerton before going to the University of Maryland for his doctorate. His research focuses on humorous representations of society and politics in literature, film, and political cartoons. 

Before coming to Whittier College, Contreras taught at Loyola University Maryland, University of Maryland, Villanova University, and Middlebury College.

Contreras said he is excited to return to Southern California so his 3-year-old son can be near his grandparents as well as spend time hiking with family. He wants to work at Whittier because the liberal arts college is a Hispanic Serving Institution that prides itself on its diversity.

“I look forward to having a diverse student body in my classroom — to learn from them, to hear their perspectives, and see how they see the world,” Contreras said.

Contreras will be teaching Introduction to Latino Studies, Advanced Grammar and Composition, Spanish for Heritage Speakers, and Chicano Literature.

Henry AndersenHenry Andersen

Like Contreras, Andersen has an international background. Born in California and raised in the Boston area, Andersen lived in Japan for 15 years teaching at Meiji University. Prior to academia, he had 20 years of experience working globally as a marketing executive for companies like Columbia Pictures and Mitsubishi.

Andersen has a bachelor’s in Japanese from Harvard University, a master’s in journalism from Columbia University, and an MBA in marketing from INSEAD, the business school in France. He has also lived in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Brazil.

Andersen was drawn to Whittier for the chance to inspire students to think outside of the box and explore new horizons.

“I think you can transform their lives much more at an undergraduate level than you can at a graduate level,” Anderson said. “Undergraduates are still exploring. I think it's an opportunity for me to help them not necessarily go into just business, but explore international options, explore new ways of thinking.”

Andersen will be teaching International Business, Sustainable Development, International Marketing, and Social Media Marketing.