Welcome, New Faculty!

New Faculty
September 01, 2013

Forty-three full-time faculty members joined Columbian College this year, a figure that includes 12 new positions spread equally across the sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities. Among the new hires are two full professors with tenure: Lisa Bowleg (psychology), whose research focuses on stress and resilience among African American, lesbian, and gay communities, and Ayana Thompson (English), a specialist in Renaissance drama, with a focus on race and performance. The college now boasts 498 full-time faculty, compared to 471 last year.  

Heather Bamford, Department of Romance, Germanic, and Slavic Languages & Literatures, holds a PhD in Hispanic languages and literatures from University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests include medieval Iberian literature, early modern Spanish literature, speculative realism, and continental philosophy. Bamford comes to GW from Texas State University where she was an assistant professor of Spanish.

Winfried Barta, Department of Statistics, received her PhD in statistics from University of Chicago. Her areas of expertise include Markov chains and mixing times, Monte Carlo research methods, and applied probability. Barta was a teaching assistant at the University of Chicago.

Emre Barut, Department of Statistics, earned a PhD in operations research and financial engineering from Princeton University. His research has focused on variable selection and prediction in high dimensional problems, often found in genetics, functional magnetic resonance imaging studies, and in finance.

Lisa Bowleg, Department of Psychology, holds a PhD in applied social psychology from GW. Her research focuses on the experiences of stress and resilience in black, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. She was awarded the 2008 Red Ribbon Award for Research from the University of Pennsylvania Center for AIDS Research. Bowleg comes to GW from Drexel University where she served as an associate professor in the Department of Community Health and Prevention.  

Leah Brooks, Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, received her PhD in economics from UCLA. Brooks brings extensive research in public and urban economics as well as the political economy. She is also an experienced economist for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve and has produced numerous award-winning publications.

Jennifer Chang, Department of English, holds a PhD in English language and literature from the University of Virginia. She has lectured and written books, journals, and anthologies on poetry writing, modern and contemporary Anglophone poetry, and poetics. Chang also speaks four languages and has received many honors, including the Tennessee Williams Scholarship in Poetry.  

Imani Cheers, School of Media and Public Affairs, earned her PhD in mass communication and media studies from Howard University. Her research interests center on multimedia storytelling, online news production, and international reporting. Cheers was a director and editor for PBS NewHour Extra, and a mentor and journalism teacher at Howard University Middle School and JFK High School.

Diane Harris Cline, Department of History, received her PhD in classical archaeology from Princeton University. She specializes in Athenian democracy, Greek and Roman history and archaeology, teaching with technology, and social network analysis and network weaving. Cline has written extensively on topics in the fields of philosophy, classics, linguistics, literary criticism, foreign affairs, national security studies, history, organizational development, and religion.

Michael Döring, Department of Physics, holds a PhD from the University of Valencia in Spain. His research interests are in theoretical physics including photon- and pion-induced reactions, analysis of lattice QCD data, baryonic resonances in chiral dynamics, and meson properties. Döring comes to GW from the University of Bonn, in Germany, and is a grant and peer reviewer for numerous distinguished institutions and publications.

Jonathan Dueck, University Writing Program, received his PhD in music from the University of Alberta in Canada. Dueck is engaged in studies on the relationship between music, religion, and worship. He brings experience from positions on a variety of editorial boards including that for the Oxford Handbooks Online (Music).

Samuel Goldman, Department of Political Science, holds a PhD in political science from Harvard University. His areas of expertise include political philosophy, religion and politics, political theology, and history of conservative political thought. Goldman comes to GW from Princeton University, where he was a lecturer in religion.

Feifang Hu, Department of Statistics, earned his PhD in statistics at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. His research focuses on statistical issues in personalized medicine, bioinformatics, biostatistics, and financial econometrics. Hu has been awarded the Career Award from the National Science Foundation and served as a fellow at the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and American Statistical Association.

Dwight Kravitz, Department of Psychology, received his PhD in psychology from Carnegie Mellon University. His interests include behavioral brain research, cerebral cortex frontiers, attention, perception, and performance, and schizophrenia. Before joining GW, Kravitz was a research fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health.

Hua Liang, Department of Statistics, has no less than two doctorates:  a PhD in statistics from Texas A&M University and a PhD in mathematical statistics from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. His research includes HIV/AIDS clinical trial and dynamic modeling, measurement error models, and empirical likelihood. Liang joins us from the Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology at the University of Rochester and is a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society.

Meina Liu, Department of Organizational Sciences and Communication, holds a PhD in communication from Purdue University. Her field of expertise includes negotiation and conflict management, and intercultural and organizational communication. Lui was an associate professor at the University of Maryland.

Daniel Martinez, Department of Sociology and Africana Studies Program, earned a PhD in sociology from the University of Arizona. His research focuses on criminology, sociology of race and ethnicity, social movements and collective action, and immigration and migration. Martinez joins GW from the Catholic University of America.

Jessica McCaughey, University Writing Program, received an MFA in creative writing and her MA in English from George Mason University. Her published work in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, and other publications has earned her a number of awards, including selection for inclusion in the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt “Best American” series.

Molly McCloskey, Department of English, received her MA in philosophy from the University College Dublin. As a writer, journalist, essayist, and reviewer, her work has appeared in The Guardian, Irish Times, ELLE, Dublin Review, and has been broadcast on RTE (Irish radio) and BBC Radio. McCloskey is also the author of two short story collections, Solomon’s Seal and The Beautiful Changes, and a novel, Protection.

Michael K. Miller, Department of Political Science, holds a PhD in politics from Princeton University. His field of interest is comparative politics, formal and quantitative methodology, and political economy, with a focus in democratization and autocratic elections. Before joining GW, Miller was an instructor at the Australian National University.

David Mitchell, Department of English, earned his PhD in American culture from the University of Michigan. His research interests include disability studies, 19th and 20th century American literature, narrative theory, and body studies. Mitchell has served as the president of the Society for Disability Studies and on various committees on disability for national organizations, held numerous editorships, produced award winning documentaries, and published several books.

Jonathon Mote, Department of Organizational Sciences and Communication, received a PhD in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. His research primarily focuses on the relationship between organizational environments and networks of science and innovation. In addition to past funding from the Department of Energy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Industry Canada, Mote is currently working on research supported by the National Science Foundation. 

Dawn Murphy, Department of Political Science, holds a PhD in political science from GW. Her research focuses on international relations within Asia, Chinese foreign policy, Chinese domestic politics, political economy, and comparative politics. She comes to GW from Princeton University, where she was a postdoctoral fellow.

Mika Natif, Department of Fine Arts and Art History, received her PhD in Islamic art history from New York University. Natif specializes in Muslim art history, with a focus on Central Asia, Iran, and India in the post-Mongol era. Her first book, Eros and Sexuality in Islamic Art, was released this month. Before joining GW, Natif was an assistant curator of Islamic art and later Indian art at the Harvard Art Museums.

Peter Nemes, Department of Chemistry, holds his PhD in chemistry from GW and completed postdoctoral research at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in bioanalytical chemistry for neurobiology. Nemes comes to GW from the FDA’s Division of Chemistry and Materials Science and serves as a science advisory board member for Protea Biosciences Inc.

Ari Ofengeneden, Department of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, received a PhD in philosophy from Haifa University. He serves on the executive committee of the International Association for European-Jewish Literature Studies and has published numerous works on Israel and Palestine with a focus on religion, identity, and literature. Ofengeneden comes to GW from Oberlin College, where he was a visiting professor of Jewish Studies.

Dara Orenstein, Department of American Studies, holds a PhD in American studies from Yale University. Her research interests include capitalism and culture in modern American history, geography, and the currency of photography. Before joining GW, Orenstein was a postdoctoral fellow at Wesleyan University.

Laura Papish, Department of Philosophy, received her PhD in philosophy from Northwestern University. Her areas of expertise include applied ethics, ancient and modern philosophy, social and political philosophy, and the ethics of race and feminist theory. Before joining GW, Papish was at the State University of New York at Oswego.

Ariadna Pichs, Department of Romance, Germanic, and Slavic Languages & Literatures, holds an MA in Spanish language, literature, and culture from Syracuse University. Her research focuses on Hispanic history, culture, and identity, with a specific concentration in Latin America and the Caribbean. She was a Spanish instructor at American University.

Christopher A. Rollston, Department of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, received his PhD in northwestern Semitic languages from John Hopkins University. His research interests include ancient and modern epigraphy, scribes, Jewish literature, and biblical languages. Rolston edits the journal Maarav, is a board member for the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, and authored Writing and Literacy in the World of Ancient Israel: Epigraphic Evidence from the Iron Age.

Maurice M. Roumani, Department of Political Science, received his PhD in politics, political sociology, and the Middle East from the University of London. His field of interest is Middle East and North African politics, minorities in Arab countries, and the Islam and Judaism relationship. Roumani is the author of three books, including the recently published The Jews of Libya: Coexistence, Persecution, Resettlement.

Tara Scully, Department of Biology, earned her PhD in developmental biology from GW. A lecturer, lab instructor, and Harlan undergraduate research program manager at GW, Scully authored the introductory text Discover Biology used in classrooms and labs across the nation.

Dmitry Streletskiy, Department of Geography, holds a PhD in climatology from the University of Delaware. His areas of expertise include the Artic environment, climactic variability and change, and spatial statistics. Streletskiy was awarded two grants from the National Science Foundation to research arctic urban sustainability and climate in high latitudes of Eurasia.

Ayanna Thompson, Department of English, received her PhD in English and American literature and language from Harvard University. She specializes in Renaissance drama, with a focus on race and performance. Thompson is the author of two books, Passing Strange: Shakespeare, Race, and Contemporary America and Performing Race and Torture on the Early Modern Stage.

Cheryl Thompson, School of Media and Public Affairs, holds a MS in broadcast journalism from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She has worked as an investigative reporter, White House correspondent, and national reporter for The Washington Post, and has published over a thousand articles in major metropolitan newspapers. Before joining GW, Thompson served as chair of the journalism department at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

Emily A. Thorson, School of Media and Public Affairs, received her PhD in communications and political science from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests include information processing and media effects in elections, the evolution of political parties, political psychology, campaign dynamics and informal interpersonal communication.

John Traub, Department of Theatre and Dance, holds his MFA in scene design and technical production from Boston University. He served as scene shop manager and instructor of technical production at BU and worked on numerous professional production and set design projects.

Greg Wallace, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, received a PhD in psychology from the University of London. His research focuses on autism with a neuroscience perspective. Wallace serves as an editorial board member for three scientific journals, including Scientific Reports, and is a senior research fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health.

Judy Wang, Department of Statistics, earned her PhD in statistics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include bioinformatics, extreme value theory and applications, survival analysis, and measurement error. Wang comes to GW from Columbia University, where she was a visiting professor of biostatistics and received the 2012 Tweedie New Researcher Award from the Institute of Mathematical Studies.

Katherine Wasdin, Department of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, holds her PhD in classical philology from Yale University. Her research focuses on poetry, women and gender in antiquity, and ancient literature. Before joining GW, she was a visiting assistant professor at Rutgers University.

Tanya Wetenhall, Department of Theatre and Dance, received her MA in fashion and textiles from the Fashion Institute of Technology. She has worked as a researcher in ethnographic, design and fashion museums in the United States and Belgium. Fluent in several languages, Wetenhall previously worked at the U.S. embassies in Moscow and Rome and served as a cultural liaison in Russia, Eastern Europe, China, and Cuba.

Jon Wood, Department of Religion, holds a PhD in church history from Princeton Theological Seminary. His research interests include reformation Europe, religion and communication, and reformation theologies. Wood was a visiting professor at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis.

Anri Yasuda, Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, received her PhD in Japanese literature from Columbia University. Her research interests include Japanese literature and culture, cross-cultural intellectual exchanges, and art history. Yasuda comes to GW from the University of Southern California, where she was the provost’s Postdoctoral Scholar in the Humanities.

Hang Zhang, Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, holds her PhD in linguistics from the University of North Carolina. Her teaching and research has focused on teaching Chinese as a second language, for which she earned the 2010 Peking University Press Publication Award for the best essay in the Journal of Chinese Language Teachers Association. Zhang previously taught Chinese language at the University of North Carolina.