Introducing New CCAS Faculty!

July 12, 2023
GW Professors Gate

Columbian College welcomes 26 new permanent full-time faculty this year, adding expertise to disciplines across the sciences, social sciences and humanities. This brings the total number of full-time faculty at CCAS to 507.

Clement Akpang, Corcoran's Art History Program, holds a PhD in art and art theory/history from the University of Bedfordshire in Luton, U.K. Prior to coming to GW, he was a Junior Core Research Fellow for the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Central European University in Hungary. He studies African art, with recent research focused on the decolonization of European museums and de-westernization of African art scholarship. He is the author of the books Analysing Art: A Short Guide to Art Appreciation, Criticism and Research in Visual Arts (University of Calabar Press, Nigeria; Guildford Street Press, U.K., 2020) and Nigerian Modernism 1900-1965: Anti-Europeanisation, Nationalism and Avant-garde Art (University of Calabar Press, 2019).

Kelly Bauer, Department of Political Science, is a Columbian College alumna who taught as an adjunct professor of political science at GW from 2012-2014 and earned a PhD in political science in 2015. Most recently, she was an associate professor and chair of the Political Science Department at the Nebraska Wesleyan University. Her research interests include identity and development politics in Latin America and knowledge production in political science classrooms. She is the author of the book Negotiating Autonomy: Mapuche Territorial Demands and Chilean Land Policy (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2021).

Emma Campbell, Department of Romance, German and Slavic Languages and Literature, received a PhD in medieval French literature from King’s College in London. For over 18 years, she held faculty positions teaching French at the University of Warwick. Her research interests include medieval literature and manuscript studies, especially in relation to feminist, queer and transgender theory, anthropology, postcolonial theory and translation studies. She is the author of Medieval Saints’ Lives: The Gift, Kinship and Community in Old French Hagiography (D. S. Brewer, 2008) and the forthcoming Reinventing Babel in Medieval French: Translation and Untranslatability (c. 1120–c. 1250) from Oxford University Press.

Joshua DeSilva, Professional Psychology Program, holds a PsyD and MPsy in clinical psychology from GW. Formerly, he was the director of clinical training and assistant professor of clinical psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. In his private practice, he specializes in individual therapy, interpersonal process groups and organizational consultation. He combines his interests in teaching, clinical supervision and research in psychotherapy outcomes with his goal to empower the future of psychology to work through a multicultural lens and decolonized approach to mental illness.

Tatiana Efremova, Department of Romance, German and Slavic Languages and Literature, earned a PhD in comparative literature with an emphasis in Slavic studies from New York University. She was a postdoctoral scholar and a Mellon Teaching Fellow at the Harriman Institute at Columbia University, researching the relationship between cultural memory and embodiment in post-Soviet film, television, fashion and performance art. Her other research interests include gender theory, history of global feminism and social media and cultural consumption.

Lisa Ford, Department of History, is a graduate from Columbia University, a legal historian and a prize-winning author. Her expertise includes 18th and 19th-century legal history of the British Empire and the early United States, with a particular focus on local governance, law reform and the constitution; legal encounters between First Nations people and settlers; and emergency law and peacekeeping. Before coming to GW, she was a professor of history at the University of South Wales. Her Harvard Press-published books include Rage for Order: The British Empire and the Origins of International Law, 1800-1850 (2016) and The King's Peace: Law and Order in the British Empire (2021).

Desmond Goss, Department of Sociology, earned a PhD in sociology from Georgia State University. At GSU, he was a lecturer and director of undergraduate studies in the Sociology Department. He was also the director and co-founder of the university’s Social Justice Certificate Program. His specializations include intersectional social inequality in the context of power, privilege, oppression and transgression. His book Race and Masculinity in Gay Porn: Deconstructing the Big Black Beasts is forthcoming from Routledge.

Schillica Howard, Corcoran's Museum Studies Program, holds a MA in American studies from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a MA in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies from Georgia State University. She is a museum curator and consultant dedicated to the documentation and preservation of Black history and culture along with a more inclusive museum industry. She has worked with, among other institutions, the Banneker-Douglass Museum, National Civil Rights Museum and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

James Kerr, Geological Sciences Program, earned a PhD in geoscience from the University of Connecticut where he was also a laboratory instructor and lecturer. His primary research interests include regional to global scale ecological and evolutionary processes as they are accessed through the deep time fossil record. His work has focused on the use of specimen-based techniques to study paleoecology in terms of interspecific interactions. He examines evolutionary trends through geologic time as well as the influence of environmental change on ecological interactions.

Anna Kimmel, Corcoran's Dance Program, received a PhD in theater and performance studies from Stanford University. Her work lies at the intersection of dance and legal studies, studying the relation between francophone histories and moments of public assembly. At Stanford, she devised SOLI, an evening length dance which centered experiences from death row. She has performed works of top choreographers including Ohad Naharin, Trisha Brown and John Jasperse. She serves on the board of Performance Studies International and is a reviews editor for the journal Performance Research.

Marc Lajoie, School of Media and Public Affairs, is an award-winning data and multimedia journalist. He holds a MA in international media journalism from the University of Bolton and a BS with joint honors in mathematics and physics from McGill University. His expertise is in crafting narratives using video, audio, text and code. Internationally, he has produced features for The Wall Street Journal, China Daily Asia, South China Morning Post, CBC/Radio-Canada, CNN and Barron's Magazine.

Vladimir Lazetic, Department of Biological Sciences, earned a PhD in molecular and cellular life sciences from the University of Wyoming where he was an American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellow. He is an experienced researcher in molecular biology, genetics and biochemistry. Before joining GW, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, San Diego, for more than five years. He studies mechanisms that control intestinal innate immunity against intracellular pathogens. His research has appeared in peer-reviewed journals including Genetics.

Noelle Levy-Gires, Department of Romance, German and Slavic Languages and Literature, received a PhD in French literature and linguistics from La Sorbonne. Her expertise includes French language, literature and theatre. Since 2014, she has been a lecturer and visiting professor at GW. She has taught courses that cover, among other topics, basic French, acting in French and medieval literature. Her articles have appeared in scholarly journals including Women in French Studies, and she contributes film and books reviews to Culturopoing.

James McMaster, Department of American Studies and Department of English, holds a PhD in performance studies from New York University. Prior to coming to GW, he was a professor of gender & women’s studies and Asian American studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His interests include Asian American, gender and women’s/LGBTQ+ studies. His upcoming book discusses care theory in relation with queer, feminist and Asian Americanist critique and cultural production. His writing has appeared in scholarly journals such as the Journal of Asian American Studies, American Quarterly, TDR/The Drama Review; Transgender Studies Quarterly and Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory.

Rachel Metz (Tecott), Department of Political Science, earned a PhD in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BA in government from Wesleyan University. She was previously an assistant professor at the U.S. Naval War College in the Strategic and Operational Research Department. Her research interests include international security; military strategy and operations; military innovation; and civil-military relations. She is a contributor to The Monkey Cage Blog at The Washington Post and her work has appeared in publications including Security Studies, International Security and Foreign Affairs Snapshot. Her upcoming book examines U.S. efforts to build militaries in partner states.

Lauren Pincus, Department of Chemistry, received a PhD with a focus in green chemistry and green engineering from Yale University. Her research interests lie at the intersection of chemistry, geoscience and environmental engineering. She attempts to tackle complex interdisciplinary environmental problems, such as sustainable and selective water treatment, climate change adaptation and mitigation, soil degradation and contaminant fate. Before coming to GW, she was a postdoctoral researcher fellow at Princeton University. Her research has appeared in major peer-reviewed journals including Chemical Engineering Journal, Environmental Science & Technology and Green Chemistry.

Jacob Richter, University Writing Program, holds a PhD in rhetorics, communication and information design from Clemson University. Prior to coming to GW, he was a visiting professor of technical communication at Georgia Institute of Technology. He specializes in rhetoric, composition, pedagogy and professional writing. He previously taught courses in technical communication, business communication and first-year composition. His published research has appeared in peer-reviewed rhetoric and composition journals including College Composition and Communication, Computers & Composition and Prompt: A Journal of Academic Writing Assignments.

Sharon Roosevelt, Department of Mathematics, earned a PhD in physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a MS in applied mathematics from Northwestern University. Her postdoctoral research specialized in experimental modeling in the field of ground water hydrology and remediation techniques. She has published studies in peer-reviewed journals including Environmental Science & Technology and Water Resources Research. Since 2013, she has been a professorial lecturer in the Department of Mathematics at GW.

Hazim Shatnawi, Data Science Program, received a PhD and a MS in engineering science from the University of Mississippi. Before coming to GW, he was a visiting assistant professor of computer science at Missouri State University and a senior full stack engineer and system analyst. He has worked with the United States Geological Survey on its Agricultural Integrated Management Services technologies. His areas of interest include data engineering, big data, distributed systems and parallel computing, data scraping and data mining and artificial intelligence and business intelligence.

YoungJu Shin, Department of Organizational Sciences and Communication, holds a PhD in communication from Pennsylvania State University. She was previously an associate professor at the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University. She focuses on health communication and prevention intervention. Her research includes substance use and other risky behavior prevention, media effect and narrative persuasion and immigrant health and communication. She has published studies in top-tier communication and public health journals, including American Journal of Community Psychology and Communication Monographs. She has been an investigator on projects funded by the U.S. Departments of State, Education and Health and Human Services.

Sana Smaoui, Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, earned a PhD in speech language pathology from the University of Toronto. She is a certified speech language pathologist who previously worked at St. Michael’s Hospital and the Swallowing Rehabilitation Research Lab at The KITE Research Institute, both in Toronto. She has published studies in major peer-reviewed publications including the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research.

Quito J. Swan, African American Studies Program, holds a PhD and MA in African diaspora history from Howard University. Prior to coming to GW, he was a professor of African American and African diaspora studies at Indiana University Bloomington. As a historian of the modern African diaspora, his research interests are Black internationalism, Black power and the Black Pacific. He is the author of Pasifika Black: Oceania, Anti-Colonialism and the African World (NYU Press, 2022), Black Power in Bermuda (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) and Pauulu's Diaspora: Black Internationalism and Environmental Justice (University Press of Florida, 2020), which was awarded the 2021 African American Intellectual Heritage Society’s Pauli Murray Book Prize.

Holden Thorp, Department of Chemistry, received a PhD in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology. He has been the editor-in-chief of the Science family of journals since 2019. He previously served as provost at Washington University in St. Louis and chancellor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was also the Rita Levi-Montalcini Distinguished University Professor at Washington University. He is a fellow with the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His research specialties include nucleic acid electron transfer, oxidation and enzymology.

Arika VanBrunt, Art Therapy Program, received her MS in art therapy from Eastern Virginia Medical School and has been practicing in the field for over 20 years. She is a licensed professional counselor in Virginia, a board-certified registered art therapist and an approved clinical supervisor. With a decade of experience on the Alexandria Community Services Board, she is a child welfare advocate and was awarded the Center for Alexandria’s Children 2013 Outstanding Dedication to Children Award. Continuing to use her background in attachment and cognitive-behavioral therapies, she provided strength-based art and play therapy interventions to effect change in family systems private practice for another decade.

Annakay Wright, Department of American Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, is a Jamaican first-generation healer-scholar. They earned their PhD in feminist studies from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Before coming to GW, they were a Black feminism postdoctoral fellow at Northeastern University. Their research explores communal healing justice approaches to carceral abolition. Their upcoming book, Embodied Abolition: Healing Justice, Black Feminism and Ending Carcerality, investigates how Black individuals communally and intimately live, resist and care amid carceral forces.