New Faculty Bring Depth and Experience

September 2012

Forty-six full-time faculty members have joined Columbian College this fall, bringing further depth and experience to a community of more than 471 full-time professors. From award-winning researchers to published authors and talented artists, these scholars are engaging a student body totaling 7,700 undergraduate and graduate students who come to the College with interests in the arts, the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences.

Attiya Ahmad, Department of History, holds a PhD in cultural anthropology from Duke University. Her research focuses on gender, religious conversion, domestic and affective labor, and transnational migration in the Persian Gulf and South Asia. Ahmad comes to GW from Wesleyan University where she worked as an assistant professor in both the Department of Religion and the Department of Feminist and Gender, & Sexuality Studies.

Tatiyana V. Apanasovich, Department of Statistics, received her PhD in statistics from Texas A&M University. Her research interests include data analysis, statistics and econometrics, and radiology. Before joining GW, Apanasovich worked as an assistant professor of biostatistics at the Thomas Jefferson University Medical College. 

David R. Braun, Department of Anthropology, holds a PhD in quaternary studies from Rutgers University. His areas of expertise include hominid evolution, archaeology of East Africa, early hominid technology and behavior, and lithic studies. He comes to GW from Baylor University, where he was an associate professor of anthropology.

Denver Brunsman, Department of History, earned a PhD in history from Princeton University. He comes to GW from Wayne State University where he worked as an assistant professor of history. He has authored and co-edited many books, including his forthcoming novel Citizens and Subjects: British Naval Impressment from the American Revolution to the War of 1812.

Christopher Michael Carrigan, Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, received his PhD in public policy from Harvard University. His research interests include public policy and administration, bureaucratic and regulatory politics, and political economy. Before joining the Columbian College faculty, he taught public policy and economics at Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

Hanning Chen, Department of Chemistry, holds a PhD in chemistry from the University of Utah, where he also worked as a lab lecturer. His research focuses on molecular modeling of proton transport behavior, hybrid quantum mechanics, and electron transfer.

Greg L. Childs, Department of History, holds a PhD in history from New York University. His research examines Latin American and Caribbean history with a concentration in colonial Brazil, early America, and Haiti. Before joining GW, he independently taught and designed a seminar course in the Department of History at William Patterson University.

Jamie N. Cohen-Cole, Department of American Studies, received his PhD in the History of Science Program at Princeton University. He has taught the history of science at Harvard, Yale, and the University of Chicago. His research interests include the history of computer science, psychology, and Cold War American culture.

Alessandra Corsi, Department of Physics, received her PhD in astronomy from Sapienza University of Rome. Her research examines prompt radio emission, the gamma-ray burst supernova connection, and gravitational wave sources. Before joining GW, she was a post-doctoral associate at the National Institute for Astrophysics in collaboration with the Rome University of Sapienza.

Scott R. Daly, Department of Chemistry, received his PhD in chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research focuses on inorganic and coordination chemistry, chemical separations, and radiochemistry. He comes to GW from Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he worked as a postdoctoral fellow for inorganic chemistry.

Daniel J. DeWispelare, Department of English, holds a PhD in comparative literatures from the University of Pennsylvania. His research looks at 18th and 19th century literary innovations and how they reformulate critical questions pertaining to class, gender, ethnic, and national marginalization. Before joining GW, he taught humanities courses at Bilkent University in Turkey.

Joseph P. Dymond, Department of Geography, received his Master of Natural Sciences degree in geography from Louisiana State University. He has served an adjunct professor of geography at GW since 2002. In 2010, he received the George Washington University Service Excellence “Student Choice” Award for his exceptional teaching skills.

Evgeny Finkel, Department of Political Science, holds a PhD in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research examines the variation in the behavior of victims of genocides and mass killings and provides theoretical and empirical insights on armed resistance, collaboration, and survival under conditions of extreme violence. He comes to GW from Yale University, where he was a research fellow.

Ram M. Fishman, Department of Political Science, holds a PhD in sustainable development from Columbia University, where he was also a teaching fellow. His research fields include environmental and agricultural economics, development economics, water resources, and inter-temporal discounting. Before joining GW, he worked as a post-doctoral fellow in sustainability science at the Harvard Kennedy School.

María José de la Fuente, Department of Romance, German, and Slavic Languages, holds a PhD in Spanish linguistics from Georgetown University. Her research focuses on second language learning, particularly for native Spanish speakers. Before joining the Columbian College faculty, she was an assistant professor of Spanish and second language acquisition at Vanderbilt University.

Maria Pia Gualdani, Department of Mathematics, received her PhD in mathematics from Mainz University in Germany. Her research interests include existence and qualitative analysis, nonlinear equations, mean field games, and entropy methods. She comes to GW from the University of Texas at Austin, where she was a research assistant professor in mathematics.

Danny Hayes, Department of Political Science, received his PhD in government from the University of Texas at Austin. A former journalist, Hayes interests include the influence of media and political actors on citizens’ attitudes during public policy debates and election campaigns. He comes to GW from American University where he was an assistant professor of government.

Sigridur Johannesdottir, Department of Theatre, holds a M.F.A with an emphasis on theatre costume design from West Virginia University. She has been a visiting assistant professor in costume design at GW since 2011. She also owns Scene Studios Inc., a decorative art company in Alexandria, Va.

Cory Alan Jorgensen, Department of Middle Eastern Studies, received a PhD in Middle Eastern studies from the University of Texas at Austin, where he also taught first-year Arabic courses. His research focuses on Arabic literature and culture, as well as Arabic as a foreign language.

Oleg Kargaltsev, Department of Physics, holds a PhD in astronomy and astrophysics from Pennsylvania State University. His research focuses on how the properties of matter behave under the most extreme conditions in the universe, such as the immense gravity and magnetic fields. He comes to GW from the University of Florida, where he was an associate professor of astronomy.

David A. Karpf, School of Media and Public Affairs, received his PhD in political science from the University of Pennsylvania. Before joining GW, he served as an assistant professor of journalism and media studies at Rutgers University. His research looks at the Internet’s effect on political associations in American politics. He recently published his first book, The MoveOn Effect: The Unexpected Transformation of American Political Advocacy.

Kathryn Kleppinger, Department of Romance, German & Slavic Languages, holds a PhD in French language and French studies from New York University, where she served as a postdoctoral fellow. Her research interests include postcolonial literature and politics, colonization and immigration, 19th and 20th century French history, the intersection of history and literature, and contemporary French theater.

Jessica A. Krug, Department of History, received her PhD in African Diaspora history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was an adjunct lecturer in the Department of History. Her research focuses on the intellectual, political, cultural, and social histories of Africans in the early modern world, as well as Black Atlantic cultural studies in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Ganhui Lan, Department of Physics, holds a PhD in theoretical and computational biomechanics from Johns Hopkins University, where he was a teaching assistant for science and engineering courses. His research has examined the dynamics and mechanics of bacterial cell surface and the principles for the molecular arrangement of cellular chemical receptors and its influence on E. coli.

Summer Loomis, Department of Middle Eastern Studies, received her PhD in Arabic Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests include language assessment, foreign language education, and advanced learners. Prior to joining GW, she taught English as a foreign language in Japan, and she taught Arabic at the University of Washington and the University of Texas at Austin.

Yonatan Lupu, Department of Political Science, holds a PhD in political science from the University of California – San Diego. His research includes international law and organizations, interdependence and international conflict, human rights, courts, and networks. He comes to GW from Princeton University, where he was a postdoctoral research associate at the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance.

Derek Malone-France, Department of Religion, received his PhD in philosophy of religion from Claremont Graduate University. He is the executive director of the GW University Writing Program. He has published numerous scholarly articles and is now working on a new book entitled, The Virtue of Anxiety: Faith, Fallibility, and the Logic of Liberal Autonomy.

Michael L. Mann, Department of Geography, holds a PhD in geography and environment from Boston University. He comes to GW from The University of California Berkeley, where he was a postdoctoral research fellow. His research addresses spatial, temporal modeling, and data analysis of environmental and ecological economics.

LaKeisha M. McClary, Department of Chemistry, holds a PhD in chemistry from The University of Arizona. Before joining GW, she was a supplemental instructor for general chemistry at the University of Arizona. Her research covers acidity, psychometric analysis, and organic chemistry.

Jasmine McGinnis, Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, received her PhD in public policy from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research looks at the intersections of civil society and public policy, with a focus on philanthropy, international grant making, governance, and wage equity. She comes to GW from Georgia State University, where she was an instructor in a policy data analysis course.

Timothy J. Moore, Department of Economics, holds a PhD in economics from the University of Maryland. His research addresses public and health economics, including the economics of drug addiction. Before joining GW, he was the head teaching assistant for introductory microeconomics at the University of Maryland.

Margarita Moreno, Department of Romance, German, and Slavic Languages, received her MA in teaching Spanish as a second language from Fundación Universidad de La Rioja in Spain. Before becoming a full-time faculty member, she was an adjunct instructor of Spanish and an oral proficiency examiner for the GW Elliot School of International Affairs.

Emily A. Morrison, Department of Sociology, completed her EdD in human and organizational learning at GW, where she is the director of human services. Her research in health care focuses on how people shape and are shaped by their surroundings. In 2010, she was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from GW's School of Medicine and Health Sciences for her contributions to student learning and the community. Morrison previously directed ISCOPES within GW’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences and founded the Capital City Area Health Education Center.

Damien O'Halloran, Department of Biological Sciences, receive his PhD in Genetics from the National University of Ireland. He was previously at GW as an instructor in the Harlan Fellows workshop where he designed and taught laboratory classes on DNA preparations, PCR, and fluorescence microscopy. His current research studies the cellular mechanisms that shape behavioral plasticity and how these mechanisms evolve and develop.

Alison L. Phillips, Department of Psychology, holds a PhD in social and health psychology from Rutgers University. She comes to GW from the State University of New York at Albany, where she was an instructor in health psychology. She recently received an R34 pilot grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for her research on health care policy and aging.

Scott Powell, Department of Biological Sciences, holds a PhD in biological sciences from the University of Bristol. In 2010, he received a three-year research grant from the National Science Foundation for his research on the ecological and evolutionary impact of ecosystem engineering. Before joining GW, he was a postdoctoral research associate in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona.

Adam Reid Smith, Department of Biological Sciences, received his PhD in the animal behavior program at the University of Washington. His research focuses on tropical biology and ecology, animal behavior, and evolution. He comes to GW from the University of Leeds where he was a postdoctoral fellow.

Rachel M. Stein, Department of Political Science, received her PhD in political science from Stanford University. Her research interests include the causes of violent conflict, the domestic sources of foreign policy, and the role of moral values in shaping public opinion. She is currently working on a project exploring beliefs about retribution as a source of individuals' attitudes towards war, and she is investigating the effect of cross-national variation on the use of military force by democracies.

Malathi Thothathiri, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, holds a PhD in psychology from Harvard University. Her research interests include the neural and cognitive basis of language comprehension and production, language acquisition and development, and the role of the frontal cortex and executive functions in language across the life span. Before coming to GW, she was a visiting assistant professor of psychology at Swarthmore College.

Sarah Wagner, Department of Anthropology, holds a PhD in social anthropology from Harvard University. Her research interests include identification technology and society, missing persons and the politics of memory, mechanisms of post-conflict social reconstruction, forced migration and refugee return, and resettlement. Before joining GW, she taught undergraduate courses in anthropology at the University of North Carolina Greensboro.

Victor Weedn, Chair of the Department of Forensic Sciences, holds an M.D. from the University of Texas Health Science Center and a J.D. from South Texas College of Law. As the founder and former chief of the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL), Weedn was instrumental in helping identify the remains of Czar Nicolas II, and service members who died in the first Persian Gulf War, in the Vietnam and Korean wars, and in World War II. Before joining GW, he was an assistant medical examiner in the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Benjamin Williams, Department of Economics, received his PhD in economics from the University of Chicago, where he was a teaching assistant in econometrics and a lecturer in intermediate microeconomics. In 2007, he received the Sherwin Rosen Fellowship for his research on econometrics.

Amelia S. Wong, Department of Museum Studies, received her PhD in American studies from the University of Maryland, College Park, where she was an instructor in the Department of American Studies. Her research focus is museums and technology, and she has lectured excessively on social media in the 21st century and its role in the arts and humanities.

Guangying K. Wu, Department of Psychology, received his PhD in neuroscience from the University of Southern California. His research focuses on the function and development of neural circuitry in the auditory cortex and the adaption of vision in the retina. He comes to GW from the California Institute of Technology where he was a Broad Senior Research Fellow in brain circuitry.

William Youmans, School of Media and Public Affairs, holds a PhD in communications studies from University of Michigan. His research interests include international and cross-cultural communication, journalism, law and politics, and Middle East and Arab-American studies. Before joining GW, he was the co-host and producer of Arab Radio & Television America’s “What’s Happening.”

Amy Elise Zanne, Department of Biology, received her PhD in biology from the University of Florida. Her research focuses on ecological, evolutionary, and biogeographic determinants of species distribution. In 2011, she received a grant from the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center for her research on global climate change and field biology. She comes to GW from the University of Missouri-St Louis, where she was an assistant professor of biology.



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