Brandeis welcomes 40 new faculty | BrandeisNOW – Brandeis University

Photo/Mike Lovett
Along with scores of new students, Brandeis has welcomed 40 new full-time and visiting faculty members and postdoctoral faculty fellows to campus this fall semester.
The group spans 21 areas of study and includes appointments in the School of Arts and Sciences, the Heller School for Social Policy and Management and Brandeis International Business School. New full-time and part-time faculty were welcomed to campus at faculty orientation in August.
“Our newest faculty bring with them so much knowledge, energy, and creativity,” said Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Carol A. Fierke, PhD ’84. “The connections they will make across disciplines, both with their peers and with students,  will be a source of strength at Brandeis for years to come.”
The following new faculty have joined the university:

School of Arts and Sciences:
Creative Arts
Music
 
Bradford Garvey
Assistant Professor
Garvey received his PhD in ethnomusicology from the City University of New York in 2019, and served as a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellow at the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research in 2020-2021.  His research brings in perspectives from linguistics, poetry, music analysis, and social and political theory. His dissertation, “Poems to Open Palms: Praise Performance and the State of the Sultanate of Oman,” was based on nearly two years of fieldwork with Arab men’s praise singing troupes in rural northern Oman and was supported by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research.
 
Julia Glenn
Associate Professor of the Practice
Lydian String Quartet 2nd Violin
Glenn received her DMA in violin performance from The Julliard School in 2018.  She comes to Brandeis following her 2019 to 2022 appointment to the Violin, Chamber Music, and Music Theory Faculty at the Tianjin Juilliard School in Tianjin, China. Her research interests include linguistics and Asian studies.  Glenn’s long list of engagements include performances across the United States, China, and many other international venues.
Theater Arts
 
Mitsu Salmon
Assistant Professor
Salmon received her master’s in fine arts from the School of Arts Institute in Chicago in 2014.  She has held several academic appointments including positions at Webster State University, School of the Art Institute Chicago, and Old Dominion University.  Salmon has an extensive record of work as a practicing artist, and her original performances and visual works have been featured both nationally and internationally in museums, theaters, and site-specific spaces.  Professor Salmon has been trained in Butoh, a Japanese contemporary dance form that looks at the body in crisis, ancestors, and vivid imagery, and it informs her artistic practice and teaching philosophy.
 
Humanities
 
Classical Studies
 
Eóin O’Donoghue
Assistant Professor
O’Donoghue joins Brandeis this fall from the School of Classics, University of St. Andrews, Scotland where, most recently, he held the position of Lecturer in Ancient History.  His research focuses on archaeology of the western Mediterranean in the first millennium BCE, especially of Roman and non-Roman central Italy and Punic culture.  His PhD in Classics, awarded in 2012 from the National University of Ireland, Galway, examined constructions of masculinities in Etruscan Italy, and he examines similar questions of identity formation through his archaeological fieldwork.  He has held academic posts at the National University of Ireland, Brock University in Canada, King’s College London, and St. Andrew’s in Scotland. He is currently assistant director of two archaeological projects: the Etruscan site of Poggio Civitate in Siena run by UMass Amherst; and an excavation of a Romano-Punic sanctuary, with Brock University, on the island of Pantelleria in Sicily
 
Rebecca Sausville
Lecturer
Sausville’s PhD in Classics from New York University is expected in 2022. Her dissertation, “Intellectual Euergetism in Cities of the Roman East,” examines the civic utility of lettered and technical professionals in the eastern Roman provinces.  Her teaching interests span Latin, Greek, history surveys, and topical courses in translation, as well as the historical contextualization of labor, gender, and multiculturalism.
 
English
 
Christopher Castellani
Writer-in-Residence, Creative Writing Program
Castellani earned his MFA in fiction from Boston University, and currently holds positions at Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the National Young Arts Foundation, and GrubStreet.  He has published five books, including four novels and a collection of essays.  His most recent novel, “Leading Men,” was selected as a New York Times Editors’ Choice in 2019; his first novel, “A Kiss from Maddalena,” is a Massachusetts Book Award winner.
 
Porsha Olayiwola
Jacob Ziskind Poet-in-Residence, Creative Writing Program
A writer and performer, Olayiwola is the author of “i shimmer sometimes, too,” founder of the Roxbury Poetry Festival, and current Poet Laureate for the City of Boston.  In 2019, she served as Brown University’s Heimark Artist-in-Residence, and in 2021 was Artist-in-Residence at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; in between, she was named a Laureate Fellow of The Academy of American Poets.  A former National Poetry Slam Champion, she holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College.
 
Philosophy
 
Katie Elliott
Assistant Professor
Elliott received her PhD in Philosophy from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2012.  Shortly after, she joined the faculty of the University of California, Los Angeles as an assistant professor, having served as a Bersoff Fellow at New York University for a year.  Her research lies at the intersection of metaphysics and philosophy of science and challenges fundamental assumptions about the general form and nature of scientific explanation, including the influence of determinism in scientific inquiry.  She is currently at work on a book, “Chance Explanation,” in which she posits a novel theory of indeterministic scientific explanation centered on the explanatory and predictive roles played by chance.  Other research interests, extending into the social sciences and social metaphysics, include a collaboration that focuses on machine learning algorithms, their accepted utility but also the controversy surrounding their innate opaqueness.
 
Romance Studies
 
Julio Ariza
Visiting Assistant Professor, Hispanic studies. 
Ariza received his PhD in 2011 from Washington University in St. Louis and has since taught at Dartmouth College and at Northwestern University.  His research interests include 20th and 21st century Latin American literature, film and cultural studies.  He utilizes his interdisciplinary background in philosophy, social communication and media theory to study new trends in Latin American cultural production.
 
Sophia Niehaus
Lecturer, French and Francophone studies. 
Niehaus’ PhD in 20th century French literature was awarded by New York University in 2014.  She has taught courses in French at all levels at Babson College, the Alliance Française/French Cultural Center in Boston, and at NYU.  In addition to language courses, she has delivered courses on “Social Justice in Contemporary France,” and “French and Francophone Cinema.”
 
Alejandra Peary
Lecturer, Hispanic studies. 
Peary holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Yucatán in México, and a Master of Education in higher education from Eastern Nazarene College.  Over the past 18 years, she has worked as a Spanish instructor at various colleges, including Boston University, Mass Maritime University, Bridgewater State University, and Massasoit Community College.
 
South Asian Studies
 
Nida Kirmani
Madeleine Haas Russell Visiting Associate Professor
Kirmani is a sociologist whose research explores the intersections of gender, Islam, and urban studies, with particular attention to women’s navigations of urban space in Pakistan.  She received her PhD in sociology from the University of Manchester, England, in 2007, then assumed the role of Research Fellow in the Religions and Development Research Programme of the University of Birmingham in England.  In 2011, she joined the faculty of Lahore University Management Sciences as assistant professor of sociology.  She is now an associate professor at Lahore University Management Sciences, and has served as faculty director of the Saida Waheed Gender Initiative there since 2017.
 
University Writing Program
 
Collin Cook
Lecturer
Cook received his PhD in English from Tufts University in 2020 with a dissertation called “Strange Subjects: Explorations of Embodiment in the Long Eighteenth Century.”  While at Tufts, he taught expository writing seminars in the First-Year Writing Program.  Most recently, he has served on the faculty of Woosong University in Daejeon, South Korea.
 
Laura Heath-Stout
Lecturer
Heath-Stout completed her PhD in anthropology, and a graduate certificate in teaching college writing, at Boston University in 2019.  She has taught expository writing at Emory University, and specializes in teaching first-year writing courses that emphasize multi-modal writing and awareness of genre, disciplinary norms, and rhetorical context.  Since 2021, she has served as a postdoctoral fellow in the anthropology department at the University of Massachusetts Boston.
 
Ethan King
Lecturer
King received his PhD in English, as well as a graduate certificate in teaching writing, from Boston University in 2022. The title of his dissertation was “Under Construction: Infrastructure and Modern Fiction.”  He was a founding member of BU’s English Graduate Student Association, and served as BU’s inaugural Graduate Colloquium coordinator, creating workshops on topics such as “Teaching in the Age of Alt-Facts.”  His teaching interests range from composition, to community-oriented service learning, to popular culture, including the relationships between politics and mainstream media.
 
Laura Kremmel
Lecturer
Kremmel received her PhD in English from Lehigh University in 2016 where she trained in writing pedagogy in the Literature and Social Justice program.  She has taught first-year writing for thirteen years, most recently at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, where her teaching portfolio comprised writing courses, including advanced writing courses in Medical Humanities, general humanities, and literature courses.
 
Sciences
 
Biology
 
Yerbol Kurmangaliyev
Assistant Professor
Kurmangaliyev received his PhD in bioinformatics in 2012 from the Kharkevich Institute for Information Transmission Problems, part of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow.  He has held postdoctoral appointments at the University of Southern California and at UCLA’s Department of Biological Chemistry. He joins Brandeis from UCLA where he has utilized his background in computational and experimental biology to study the molecular mechanisms of brain development, in particular how genes and genomes encode the architecture of neural circuits.
 
Kaushik Ragunathan
Assistant Professor
After receiving his PhD in 2012 from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Ragunathan moved to Harvard Medical School as a postdoctoral fellow in cell biology.  In 2017, he took up an appointment as assistant professor in biological chemistry at the University of Michigan. He employs a combination of genetic, biochemical and biophysical approaches to study epigenetic mechanisms to shed light on areas as fundamental as cell fate determination, multi-cellular development and cellular adaptation.
 
Mathematics
 
Assaf Bar-Natan
Lecturer
Bar-Natan received his PhD in Mathematics from the University of Toronto in 2022.  His research interests include low-dimensional topology and geometry with a focus on infinite-type surfaces and Teichmüller theory.
 
Steven Gindi
Lecturer
Gindi received his PhD in Mathematics in 2014 from Stony Brook University, and has since held a postdoctoral position at the University of Waterloo, and faculty appointments at UC Riverside and Binghamton University.  His research focuses on the areas of Ricci flow, pluriclosed flow, a new type of holomorphic twistor theory and generalized Kahler geometry.
 
Tariq Osman
Instructor
Osman’s research is situated at the intersection of dynamical systems, number theory and probability theory, in particular the use of homogeneous dynamics to answer probabilistic questions about theta sums. He completed his PhD in Mathematics from Queen’s University, Canada, in August 2022. 
 
Yun Shi
Instructor
Shi received her PhD in Mathematics in 2019 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, then joined the Center of Mathematical Sciences and Applications at Harvard University as a postdoctoral fellow.  Her research interests include algebraic geometry, enumerative geometry, Bridgeland stability conditions and mirror symmetry.
Physics
 
James Cho
Professor of physics, with an affiliation in mathematics
Cho employs computational modeling to study the dynamics of planetary atmospheres, in particular exoplanet atmospheres.  Since receiving his PhD from Columbia University in 1996, he has held postdoctoral appointments at the California Institute of Technology in the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences and at the space physics group, Spectral Sciences, Inc. In 2002, he moved to the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, DC as a research scientist. Three years later, joined the faculty of Queen Mary University of London where he remained for 14 years. He has held visiting scientist positions at Oxford, Harvard, and Princeton, and served as a technical consultant to industry, and to US government agencies. He comes to Brandeis from the Center for Computational Astrophysics of the Flatiron Institute where he has been a research professor while teaching at Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey. He is currently working on the theoretical modeling of exoplanets, neutron stars, dwarf stars, and accretion disks, as well as on the topological analysis of multi-layered and high-volume data.
 
Hannah Yevick
Assistant Professor of physics with an affiliation in biology
Yevick received her PhD in biophysics from the Institut Curie, Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris in 2014. The following year, she took up a postdoctoral appointment at MIT from where she joins Brandeis. Her expertise is in tissue-scale biophysics. Her research techniques reside at the interface of physics, developmental biology and computer science, and seek to unravel how cells in a developing tissue interact mechanically to generate tissue form and function.
 
Psychology
 
Hannah Clark
Assistant Professor
Clark received her PhD in clinical science from the University of Michigan in 2019.  The following year, she completed a clinical internship at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine then undertook postdoctoral training at Ascend Consultation in Healthcare, and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  She is also a private practice clinician. Her research interests include the social, emotional, and cognitive implications of complex trauma for women and children, the evaluation of treatment effectiveness in evidence-based psychotherapies, and employing statistics in longitudinal data modeling, latent variable approaches, and multilevel data analysis.
Social Sciences
 
African and African American Studies
 
Olajumoke Yacob-Haliso
Associate Professor
Yacob-Haliso received her PhD in 2011 from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria and joined the faculty at Babcock University in Nigeria that same year. Since 2020, she  has served as professor of political science and dean of the Veronica Adeleke School of Social Sciences at Babcock University where she earned teaching and mentoring awards offering a range of courses related to African politics; migration, gender and women in contemporary Africa; peace and conflict studies; and international relations. Yacob-Haliso’s research focuses on women in conflict and post-conflict zones in Africa, and on the status of refugees and internally displaced people, particularly in Liberia and Nigeria. Her research support includes funding from the ACLS, the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program, the UN, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, and others. She is the recipient of a joint Guggenheim/African Association of Political Science Young Scholar Award, an African Studies Association Presidential Fellowship, and most recently the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Award for Outstanding Contribution to Scholarship from the University of Texas at Austin.
African and African American Studies, and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies
 
Carmel Ohman
Visiting Assistant Professor
Ohman received her PhD in English in 2022 from the University of Oregon with a dissertation entitled “Visualizing Erotic Freedom in Black Feminist Fiction and TV, 1973-2020.”  Her research interests include Black Studies, Sexuality Studies, Visual Culture, Performance, and 20th and 21st Century African American Literatures.
 
Anya Wallace
Florence Levy Kay Postdoctoral Fellow in Black Feminist Studies, with a joint appointment as Lecturer
Wallace served as a visiting assistant professor in the departments of African and African American Studies, and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies in 2021-2022. Wallace received a dual Ph.D. in Art Education, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from The Pennsylvania State University in 2019. A visual artist with a concentration in black and white photography and painting, Wallace’s research focuses on Black feminist theory from her perspective as a practicing artist, curator, and scholar.
 
Anthropology
 
Emily Ibrahim
Lecturer
Ibrahim has a successful record of teaching, offering courses in socio-cultural anthropology, architectural and landscape design, cultural geography, design research methods, and community-based design studios at Boston University, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the University of Virginia. She brings to her courses a background and expertise in African studies, architecture, art, and community engagement. Ibrahim received her PhD in 2022 from Boston University.
 
Anthropology and Legal Studies
 
Ariel Ludwig
Florence Levy Kay Fellow in Machine Learning, Law, and Racial Justice, with a joint appointment as Lecturer, and an affiliation with the Department of Computer Science
Ludwig received her PhD in 2020 from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a dissertation titled, “The Carceral Body Multiple: Intake in the New York City Jails.” She served on the faculty of the Honors College at the University of Houston in the 2021-2022 academic year.  Ludwig has extensive experience in carceral studies and her research focuses on the intersection of mass incarceration, biomedicine, and technology.
 
Economics
 
Jingyi Huang
Assistant Professor 
Huang received her PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2021. Huang’s research and teaching expertise include empirical industrial organization, economic history, and applied econometrics. She joins Brandeis after serving as the 2021-2022 Prize Fellow in economics, history, and politics at the Joint Center for History and Economics at Harvard University.
 
Ashley Miller
Senior Lecturer
Miller served on the faculty of Mount Holyoke College from 2012 to 2015, and the College of the Holy Cross from 2015 to 2022, and brings an extensive record of excellence in teaching to Brandeis. Her research interests include education and labor. She received her PhD from Princeton University in 2011.
 
Environmental Studies
 
Prakash Kashwan
Associate Professor
After an early career in international development, Kashwan received his PhD in 2011 from Indiana University. He joined the faculty at the University of Connecticut in 2011, most recently serving as associate professor and co-director of the Research Program on Economic and Social Rights in the Human Rights Institute. Kashwan’s research focuses on the social and political dynamics surrounding global environment and climate issues, working at the intersection of justice, power, and governance. His scholarship engages climate justice questions from a global perspective including research on the broader fields of global climate governance, climate justice, and environmental justice. Kashwan has a demonstrated record of excellence in teaching, offering graduate and undergraduate courses on global environmental politics, environmental and climate justice, contentious politics, political economy of development, South Asia in world politics, and quantitative research methods.
 
History
 
Máté Rigó
Assistant Professor
Rigó is an historian of political-economic elites in late 19th and 20th century Europe, and is currently working on colonial and post-colonial projects between Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe. His first book, “Capitalism in Chaos, How the Business Elites of Europe Prospered in the Era of the Great War,” is forthcoming from Cornell University Press. Rigó has served on the faculty at Yale-NUS College in Singapore since 2017. He received his PhD from Cornell University in 2016.
 
Avinash Singh
Assistant Professor, joint appointment with the International and Global Studies program 
Singh received his PhD in History from Brandeis University in 2017 with a dissertation titled, “Sovereign, State, and Self: Sikhs and the Politics of Religion in Twentieth-Century India.”  Singh also earned a Ph.D. in English from Punjab University in 2004, with a dissertation titled, “Language and the Construction of History in Brathwaite’s Poetry: A Postcolonial Reading of Caribbean Poetics.” His research and teaching interests include Modern South Asian History, Postcolonial Literature and Film from India, Colonial History, Anglophone and Diaspora Caribbean Literature, and Transnational and Immigrant Histories.  Singh has a record of excellence in teaching, having served as a lecturer at Brandeis offering courses in history, International and Global studies, South Asian studies, and African and African American studies. 
 
Brandeis International Business School
 
Sida Li
Assistant Professor of Finance
Li received his PhD in finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2022 with a dissertation titled “Three Essays in Asset Pricing.” His research interests include market microstructure, high-frequency trading, ETFs, and big data.  Prior to Brandeis, Li held a visiting position at the National Bureau of Economic Research.
 
Yeabin Moon
Senior Lecturer in Data Analytics
Moon received his PhD in economics from the University of Houston in 2022, where he developed research fields in applied microeconomics, including labor, health, and econometrics. His research uses modern applied econometric methods and data preparation techniques, especially natural language processing (NLP), from machine learning literature.
 
Divya Khaitan
Lecturer in Accounting
Khaitan comes to Brandeis from Boston College where she has been teaching for the past nine years. Khaitan has also worked as an auditor at Pricewaterhouse Coopers, and has held analyst positions at Lord and Taylor and Cross and Guard. She has a master’s in accounting from Boston College and is a licensed CPA. 
 
Heller School for Social Policy and Management
 
Mursal Manati
Visiting Scholar
Manati has a doctor of pharmacy and master of science in food, nutrition, and dietetics, and has worked at the decision-making and leadership level in different organizations in Afghanistan. She was director of the public nutrition directorate at the Ministry of Public Health in Afghanistan, and previously served as director of the specialists’ directorate at Afghan Atomic Energy High Commission for 5 years, coordinating all nutrition programs and activities with national and international partners in Afghanistan. Manti was an essential author of the development, revision, and strategy of numerous policies concerning health and nutrition, and nuclear and radiological materials waste management guidelines in Afghanistan. She taught nutrition one-year diploma courses at Kabul Medical University and Ghazanfer Institute for Health Science, and organized training programs for different government and non-government agencies.
 
Alexandra Piñeros Shields
Visiting Associate Professor of the Practice of Racial Equity
Piñeros Shields brings over 30 years of experience working with oppressed communities to advance human and civil rights of through innovative practices that promote deep meaningful civic participation. Piñeros Shields serves as Chair of the Board of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, and on the Board of the ACLU of Massachusetts and Philanthropy Massachusetts. Prior to joining the Heller faculty, she was the executive director of the Essex County Community Organization, an interfaith, interracial, and interclass network. Piñeros Shields has also held teaching positions in the former Soviet Union and in China.
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