Meet our Faculty and Staff

Fairfield's faculty are not only experts in their field but are exceptional at fostering a classroom learning environment that is engaging as well as enlightening.


Robert Epstein, Associate Professor of English

Professor Epstein received his PhD from Princeton University and joined the Fairfield University English Department in 1998. His primary research and teaching interests are in Chaucer and medieval English literature, but he also teaches classes on Renaissance literature, Celtic myths and legends, and the historical representation of Eve, as well as fairy tales and folklore. In his spare time he enjoys reading and he is an aficionado of audiobooks. He lives in Fairfield with his wife and two sons.


Kevin Ford, Part-time Professor of Visual and Performing Arts

Professor Ford received his BFA in painting from Boston University in 1997 and his MFA in painting and printmaking from Yale University in 1999. His work has been included in numerous group exhibitions and has been featured in the book Artists II, V magazine and reviewed in The New York Times. He began teaching at Fairfield University in 2011 and the Pratt Institute in 2003.  He teaches the following courses: Foundation: Drawing, Intermediate Drawing, Advanced Drawing, Figure Drawing, Printmaking, Light and Color Design, Structures, Spaces and Environments, Sculpture I, and Creating Specific Objects. Outside of the academic setting, he enjoys boating and rooting for the NY Rangers.


Olivia Harriott, Associate Professor of Biology

Professor Harriott received her Ph. D. in microbiology in 1994 from the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT. She was a postdoctoral research fellow at Rutgers University before joining the faculty at Fairfield University in 1997. Professor Harriott teaches courses in general microbiology, bacterial pathogenesis and DNA science. In addition to teaching, Prof. Harriott maintains an active research lab where she trains undergraduates in environmental microbiology research.


Philip J. Lane, Associate Professor of Economics

Professor Philip Lane received his Ph.D. from Tufts University in 1983 and has been teaching at Fairfield University since 1981. He studies financial markets and institutions with a focus on community banks. He continues to work with the community bankers through the Stonier School of Banking of the American Bankers Association. He has been named teacher and advisor of the year by his students at Fairfield University. He has two daughters who are both teaching and coaching lacrosse. He is a practicing golfer and skier who enjoys community service through his local Rotary Club as well as the Knights of Columbus.


Elizabeth Hilts, Part-time Professor of English

Professor Elizabeth Hilts has been teaching at Fairfield University since 2011. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing with a concentration in Creative Nonfiction and a BA in Liberal Studies from Fairfield University. Her essays and poetry have appeared in "Feast: Poetry & Recipes for a Full Seating at Dinner," Spry Literary Journal, and Extracts. Her essays have been nominated for Pushcart and Best of The Web awards. In addition to teaching at Fairfield, Hilts leads writing workshops for local libraries and other organizations, is a contributing editor to Spry Literary Journal, and served as co-editor for Mason's Road, the online literary journal sponsored by Fairfield University's low-residency MFA in Creative Writing. She is currently at work on a novel and a series of personal essays.


Kris Sealey, Associate Professor of Psychology

Professor Kris Sealey received her Ph.D. from The University of Memphis and has been a member of Fairfield’s Philosophy department since 2006. She also directs the Peace and Justice Studies Program and Fairfield. Her research areas include Social and Political Philosophy, Recent French Continental Philosophy, Existentialism and Race Theory. She particularly enjoys teaching introductory classes in philosophy to first and second year students. Outside of the academic setting, she enjoys spending time with her four sons (one of whom is currently six months old), outdoor running, and bike riding.


 Brian Q. Torff, Professor of Music 

Bassist, vocalist, and composter Brian Torff has been teaching at Fairfield since 1993 on the subjects of jaz, rock, and world music. He also leads Phantom Pluckers, a dynamic four-piece rock band that combines fresh, original songwriting with high musicianship. Torff leads the Pluckers using his extensive jazz background to craft tight arrangements for vocals, guitar, saxophone, bass and drums. Formed in 2012, the band has played numerous shows in the Northeast, recorded an EP and has released live performance material on YouTube. This new band is very different from most indie bands with its tightly scored sound that incorporates blues, rock, world music and jazz styles.

Maggie Wills, Associate Professor of Communication

Professor Wills received her Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University and is an associate professor of communication at Fairfield University, where she has taught courses in public speaking, research methods, and family communication since 1992. Her scholarship in health communication and spiritual communication is informed by her previous experience as a certified drug and alcohol counselor in State College, Pennsylvania, where she also presented workshops on recognizing and assisting children of chemically dependent parents. Outside of the academic setting, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters, along with running, cooking, and boogie boarding.     

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