Dickinson Welcomes New Faculty

35 new faculty members join the Dickinson community

Take a minute to find out a little about each new faculty member coming to campus this fall.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics Ishraq Ahmed received his Ph.D. in economics in May 2017 from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He completed his undergraduate degree from Centre College, Kentucky, and holds an M.Sc. in economics from University of Nottingham, UK. He has worked in various research institutes, think tanks and multilateral organizations worldwide. He was formerly with the Institute of South Asian Studies with the National University of Singapore, and prior to that he worked at the International Labour Office (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland, and the Policy Research Institute in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He also served a short stint in the World Bank in Dhaka.

Assistant Professor of Political Science Santiago Anria received his Ph.D. in political science in 2015 at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He holds a B.A. in international relations from the Universidad del Salvador, Argentina, and an M.A. in Latin American studies from Simon Fraser University, Canada. Prior to arriving to Dickinson, Anria was a postdoctoral fellow at Tulane University. Anria has won a teaching award and has been recognized with research awards at UNC. He has published on social movements, political parties and democracy in Latin America. At Dickinson, he will continue to work on his book Movement, Parties, and Power: The Bolivian MAS in Comparative Perspective, which is currently under contract, and will continue his research on the connections between movements and parties and the impact they have on public policies. He will be teaching courses on Latin American politics, comparative politics and social movements.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Studies Nina Barzachka received her Ph.D. in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia in 2012. She specializes in electoral system reform, institutional change, political parties, and protests and social movements in Western and Eastern Europe. Barzachka’s research analyzes the institutional and extra-institutional tactics of actors that seek major institutional changes. Her book project examines electoral reform during democratization in Belgium, Great Britain and France and in post-communist Bulgaria, Poland and Czechoslovakia. The book includes interviews with participants in Bulgaria’s transition to democracy, funded by the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX). Her most recent research interests include antisystemic protest movements and Brexit. Her work has appeared in Comparative Politics and The Monkey Cage. Barzachka has previously taught at Transylvania University, Gettysburg College and Mary Baldwin College. At Dickinson, she will be teaching international relations, politics of the European Union and upper-level courses in European politics.

Visiting Instructor in French Mrin Bhattacharya has just submitted her Ph.D. dissertation in French at the University of California, Davis. She holds a M.A in French literature from the University of Kansas, Lawrence. At Dickinson, she will pursue her wider teaching and research interests in the Enlightenment and its legacies in the contemporary world.

Assistant Professor of History Say Burgin received her M.A. in race and resistance in 2009 and her Ph.D. in history in August 2013, both from the University of Leeds, England. She graduated from St. Olaf College in 2006 with a B.A. in English and women’s studies, before working as a community organizer on Pittsburgh’s Northside for two years. Burgin taught at the University of Leeds for four years, as American History Teaching Fellow from 2013 to 2015 and as lecturer in U.S. history from 2015 to 2017. While a full-time faculty member at Leeds, she co-created inclusive learning and teaching materials to promote good practice across campus. Say has published several articles in the areas of black power, gender, race and U.S. social movements and has co-developed a digital humanities project focusing on Rosa Parks’ lifetime of activism. Her book-in-progress historicizes the myth of white ejection from the black power movement.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish Karin Davidovich received her Ph.D. in Spanish in May 2014 from Vanderbilt University. She holds an M.A. in Hispanic literature from the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on 20th-century Latin American literature, testimonio, memory studies, gender studies and film with a regional emphasis on the Southern Cone. Her work analyzes how representations of traumatic memories change over time and are affected by the gender of the witness. Her articles have appeared in the academic journals Catedral Tomada Revista de Critica Literaria Latinoamericana of the University of Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt e-journal of Luso Hispanic literature and Kamchatka Revista de Análisis Cultural. She is currently the co-editor of a volume for Hispanic Issues Online of the University of Minnesota titled “Vestiges of the Past: Memory Site and Its Artistic and Political Representations.”

Assistant Professor of Environmental Science Maggie Douglas received her dual-degree Ph.D. in entomology and international agriculture & development in 2016 from Pennsylvania State University, where she was a U.S. Borlaug Fellow in Global Food Security. She holds a B.A. in biology from Oberlin College and an M.S. in entomology from Penn State. Her teaching and research interests include the ecology of agricultural systems, invertebrate conservation, ecotoxicology and Asian agriculture. Previous work characterized the rising use of seed-applied insecticides (neonicotinoids) and demonstrated that these products can move through the soil food web, ultimately poisoning predatory insects. Currently she is contributing to models that predict pollinator health as a function of landscape context and beekeeping practices. In the Dickinson spirit, her work is oriented to practical application through dialogue with farmers, beekeepers, conservation organizations and policymakers.

Visiting International Scholar in Italian Riccardo Dragani received his master's degree in cinema, television and media from the University of Bologna. He is currently working on two different research projects: “Battle Royale: The DYA Narrative Nation” and “Suburra: The Role of Netflix on the Gomorra’s Ecosystem." Both studies focus on the effects of media on people from a diatopic and diachronic perspective. At Dickinson, he teaches beginner-level language classes and organizes activities for the Italian Club and the Italian House.

Visiting Assistant Professor of American Studies Nikki Dragone received both her Ph.D. in American studies in June 2010 and a J.D. in June 2006 from the State University of New York at Buffalo and the State University at Buffalo School of Law, respectively, where she was a Gilbert D. Moore Fellow in Law and Social Policy. She holds a B.A. in Native American studies from Humboldt State University and an M.A. in English from the University of Oklahoma. Dragone has published on Native American literature, Native American activism and international indigenous rights. At Dickinson, she will continue to work on her book-in-progress, The Good Mind in Haudenosaunee Literatures: A View from Outside the Culture, and an article on performance-based storytelling and Native women’s activism. Dragone also will begin research for an article on Haudenosaunee activism in the mid-20th century. As a visiting professor of Native American studies, in the classroom, Dragone will pursue her wider interests in Native American studies, specifically Native education, activism, history, literary and visual arts; Native feminism and Native women’s activism; and international indigenous rights. Dragone is interested in how each of these strands of Native American studies intersects with critical indigenous theory, sovereignty, self-determination and peoplehood.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics Sohani Fatehin completed her B.S.S. and M.S.S. in economics at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. She started her doctoral program in fall 2011 at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University (GSU) and received her Ph.D. in economics in July 2017. During her years at GSU, she has received the E.D. (Jack) Dunn Fellowship for her research in public finance along with the Second Century Initiative Fellowship for three consecutive years. Furthermore, at GSU she taught Principles of Microeconomics, Principles of Macroeconomics, Intermediate Microeconomics, Public Finance and International Trade as an independent instructor. She also worked at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, as a lecturer for one year. Her research interests are public finance and development economics.

Assistant Professor of Psychology Christine Guardino received her Ph.D. in health psychology with a minor in quantitative psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), in June 2014. She also holds a B.A. in English from Vassar College and an M.A. in psychology from New York University. Guardino's research focuses on the physiological and behavioral pathways through which stress affects health and examines personal and social resilience resources that allow individuals to survive, manage and thrive despite difficult life circumstances. She primarily studies these stress and resilience processes in the context of maternal and child health. Her current research examines how maternal physical and mental health during pregnancy and the preconception period affect early childhood development. Guardino has published recent work in the journals Health Psychology and Annual Review of Clinical Psychology.

Visiting Assistant Professor of English James Harris received his Ph.D. in May 2017 from Ohio State University. He holds a B.A. in liberal arts from Ohio University, as well as an M.A. in English from Ohio State University. In addition to years of teaching experience, James has worked on finding solutions to critically integrate technology into the humanities classroom, both as an administrator and as co-founder of the Rhetoric, Politics and Games event series at Ohio State. He has published on the novels of Octavia Butler and is currently editing a critical collection on the work of filmmaker F. Gary Gray for the ReFocus series. At Dickinson, he will divide time between revising his dissertation project, “Unbecoming Adults: Difference and the Technologies of Adolescence in Post-1960 U.S. Ethnic Literature," into a monograph and beginning preliminary research for an upcoming project about race, interactivity and the virtual imaginary, tentatively titled “Race/Play.”

Visiting International Scholar in International Studies and Political Science Jacob Udo-Udo Jacob comes to Dickinson from the American University of Nigeria, where he is interim dean in the School of Arts & Science. He is also a visiting scholar at New York University’s Center on International Cooperation, where he started a new project on religious identity and violent extremism. At Dickinson, he will continue work on the project while also teaching a course for the international studies program. Jacob earned his Ph.D. from the University of Leeds and previously studied at Lancaster University, UK, and at the University of Uyo in Nigeria. Jacob’s teaching and research interest is located at the intersection between communications and peacebuilding. He has won awards and has been widely recognized for his work. He has just released a new book, Convincing Rebel Fighters to Disarm: UN Information Operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DeGruyter, 2017).

Assistant Professor of Military Science Eric Johnson received his B.S. in industrial engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.

Visiting International Scholar in Philosophy Jean-Pierre Karegeye earned a Ph.D. in francophone literature (University of California at Berkeley); two master’s degrees, in social ethics (JST at Santa Clara University) and in French (UC Berkeley); and three bachelor’s degrees, in African linguistics, philosophy and theology. His areas of research and teaching are mostly based on francophone literature and literary theory in dialogue with other disciplines and studies such as social ethics, linguistics, African philosophy, African theology and genocide studies. His work on genocide and child soldiering focuses on testimony and explores both fictional and nonfictional narratives. Some of his current projects explore how genocide and mass violence in Africa imply a reconstruction and a relocation of social sciences and humanities. Another important element of his academic life has been his involvement, as director, with the Interdisciplinary Genocide Studies Center. Its mission is to encourage the study of genocide through rigorous cross-disciplinary analyses and to organize and host conferences, colloquia, symposia and study abroad groups.

Visiting International Scholar in German Andrey Kukhtenkov received his Ph.D. in philosophy in December 2003 from State University in Tula. He studied German teaching and pedagogics at the State Pedagogical University in Kursk. He earned his master's degree at the Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow. He focuses on contemporary approaches to German teaching of all levels A1-C2.

Visiting Assistant of Professor of Biology Heather Lehman received her Ph.D. in biological sciences in 2012 from the University of Delaware and holds a B.S. in biology from Shippensburg University. During her graduate career, Heather studied inflammatory breast cancer, becoming passionate about research and community outreach. The University of Delaware awarded her with the first Fellowship for International Research, affording Heather the opportunity to study inflammatory breast cancer in Belgium. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Penn State College of Medicine, where she studied esophageal cancer. During her postdoc career, Lehman received multiple awards recognizing her for her research efforts, including national conference travel awards and speaking invitations. Heather was recognized as Postdoctoral Scholar of the Year at the College of Medicine. Her research interests lie in studying the mechanisms that make cancers invasive and metastatic. She is passionate about science education and research as well as cultivating the passion and potential in others.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics Douglas MacKenzie earned his Ph.D. in economics in May 2006 from George Mason University. He received a B.A. in economics from Kean University and an M.A. in economics from the University of Connecticut. He has published research in various journals, including The Eastern Economic Journal and The Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. At Dickinson, he will work on research in the areas of macroeconomic policy, the economic and intellectual history of the Interwar Years, the economics of democracy and labor demand. Mackenzie is also developing two texts: Microeconomics: Private Action and Social Order and Macroeconomics: Trends in the Wealth of Nations.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Film & Media Studies Steven Malcic completed his Ph.D. in film and media studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, specializing in the areas of media infrastructures, media industries, internet history and digital culture. He is currently completing a manuscript called Digital Identity From ARPANET to Anonymous, which examines four infrastructures of digital identity that have shaped the development of internet governance between 1969 (the beginning of ARPANET) and 2013 (the Snowden leaks). Malcic has published articles in internationally refereed journals, including the Internet Policy Review, Convergence and the Journal of Information Policy, and has presented research at institutions such as MIT, the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, NYU and UCLA. In 2014, Malcic co-authored a project on international privacy standards for the U.S. Federal Communications Commission in Washington, D.C., where he presented policy recommendations to FCC bureau chiefs and Department of Justice officials.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology Joshua Marshack received his Ph.D. in anthropology in May 2016 from Washington University in St. Louis, where he was a Chancellor’s Graduate Fellow. He holds an A.B. in anthropology, also from Washington University. He has published on the social behavior and ecology of wild savanna chimpanzees, as well as on the evolution of lethal aggression. At Dickinson, he will continue work on social order and change in Senegal’s Fongoli chimpanzee community. In the classroom and in the field, Marshack uses primates as a jumping-off point to study the evolution of sociality, challenge biological determinism and scientific racism and assess longstanding arguments about competition and cooperation. He will work with students seeking answers to big questions about humanity’s past to be better prepared to shape our future.

Assistant Professor of Music James Martin, baritone, has received international critical acclaim for his performances in opera, concert, musical theatre, on recordings and as a teaching artist and coach. Martin received his master of music degree from the Juilliard School, receiving the SONY Elevated Standards Award and the William Schuman Excellence and Leadership in Music Award. He holds a B.M. from Illinois Wesleyan University (President's Award) and has apprenticed with the Juilliard Opera Center, San Francisco Opera, the Santa Fe Opera (Katherine Mayer Award) and Les Jeunes Voix du Rhin in Strasbourg, France. He has toured prestigious stages, concert halls and festivals throughout North America, Europe and, recently, Asia. Martin can be heard on the Naxos, Albany and Copland House Blend recording labels. Currently he is working to publish a new volume of songs commemorating the work of the distinguished African American composer William Grant Still as well as a recording of music by modern African American composers.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Africana Studies Trent Masiki received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Afro-American studies from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He holds a B.S. in computer science from Southern University, an M.A. in English from Texas A&M University and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College. As a Fulbright U.S. Scholar, he taught first-year writing and U.S. literature in the English department at the Universidad Autónoma de Chiriquí in Panama. His current book project, The Afroethnic Impulse and Renewal, examines how and why Afro-Latino authors use African American narrative strategies and cultural tropes to write themselves into the national archive of literary and cultural history in ways that redefine what it means and has meant to be an Afro-descendant in the U.S. Masiki’s next book project will focus on Cuba and Cubans in the African American cultural imagination from 1859 to 2017.

Lecturer in Mathematics and Computer Science Tracy McKay earned her Ph.D. in mathematics from Iowa State University in 2012 and her B.A. in mathematics from Bowdoin College in 2006. She was recognized for excellence in both teaching and research at Iowa State University, where she spent a semester as a graduate assistant in the Center for Excellence in Undergraduate Mathematics Education. She also spent a summer as a graduate assistant to a Research Experiences for Undergraduates project on dynamical systems and Markov chains. She has worked on projects concerning the minimum rank of graphs, graph coloring problems and graph edit distance. Some of her work has appeared in Linear Algebra and Its Applications and Journal of Graph Theory. Most recently, she has enjoyed sharing her enthusiasm for mathematics with her students at Dickinson and looks forward to continuing to do so as a lecturer in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science.

Assistant Professor of Philosophy Amy McKiernan received her Ph.D. in philosophy from Vanderbilt University in 2017, where she focused on ethics and feminist philosophy. Prior to that, Amy earned her M.A. in philosophy and social policy from American University in 2011 and her B.A. from the University of Scranton in 2007. During the past four years, Amy participated in a weekly reading group on philosophy and social justice with men on death row at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville. Her research interests include the ethics of blame, the ethics of punishment and the intersections of pain and oppression.

Visiting Assistant Professor of American Studies Stacey Moultry received her Ph.D. in American studies and a graduate certificate in gender, women’s and sexuality studies in 2017 from the University of Iowa. She holds an A.A. in sociology from Bard College at Simon’s Rock; a B.A. in sociology and social and ethnic relations from the University of California, Davis; and a M.A. in American studies from California State University, Fullerton. Her dissertation examined the work of self-identified mixed-race authors, playwrights and visual artists from the 1960s through the 1980s and how they understood notions of racial and cultural hybridity in the midst of emerging arts and social movements. She will be working on turning her doctoral project into a monograph while at Dickinson. Her research and teaching interests include comparative ethnic studies, women’s studies, sexuality studies and performance studies.

Assistant Professor of Religion Peter Schadler earned his D.Phil. in history from the University of Oxford in 2011. Prior to that, he did an M.St. in Byzantine studies at Oxford and a B.A. at St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland. His book, John of Damascus and Islam: Christian Heresiology and the Intellectual Background to Earliest Christian-Muslim Relations, will appear later this year with Brill. Before coming to Dickinson, Schadler held postdocs at Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece, and Holy Cross Graduate School of Theology in Boston and was a visiting assistant professor at the College of Charleston. In addition to Christian-Muslim relations, his research interests include late antique and medieval Christian storytelling and the lives of saints and the forging of confessional identities in the Mediterranean world. His work has won funding from the Onassis Public Benefit Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among others.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science Eleanor Schiff received her Ph.D. in political science from Penn State in 2017. She also earned an M.B.A. from Penn State and a B.A., cum laude, from Carleton College. She specializes in American political institutions with a particular focus on interbranch interactions with the federal bureaucracy, policymaking dynamics (particularly education) and extrainstitutional actors’ influence on the bureaucracy. Her work has appeared in Interest Groups & Advocacy. Prior to her academic career, Eleanor held numerous demanding roles across the U.S. government, including four years at the White House. Additionally, she served as the deputy director for the Commission on the Future of Higher Education and held staff positions in the U.S. Senate. Eleanor is most at home in the classroom and enjoys engaging with students helping them to grow as thinkers and writers. Outside of teaching, Eleanor is working to complete her book project on political control of the bureaucracy.

Assistant Professor of Spanish & Portuguese Amaury Sosa holds a B.A. in literary studies from Middlebury College and is completing a Ph.D. in Spanish and Portuguese at New York University (expected September 2017). Comparative and cross-disciplinary in scope, his research and teaching focus on the cultural productions of early modern Iberia and colonial Latin America. Specifically, he works on the relation between inquisitorial subjects and the ethical, political and aesthetic other during the 16th and 17th centuries and in contemporary artistic adaptations of the period. He has presented his work at conferences like that of the Renaissance Society of America, and his research has been supported by awards like the Mellon Dissertation Fellowship in the Humanities. He is currently working on a book manuscript titled The Auto/Biographical Imperative and the Governmentality of Life/Writing. At Dickinson, he looks forward to unpacking with others the ways in which difference fashions spaces that foster curious and invested individuals, citizens and scholarship.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Italian and Film Studies Giacomo Tagliani holds a Ph.D. in visual studies from Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane/Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa and has been visiting scholar at the EHESS of Paris and at Calarts in Valencia (California). His main fields of research are Italian cinema, biographical films, contemporary TV series, cinema and painting and image theory. He is a member of the editorial board of Carte Semiotiche, International Journal of Semiotics and Image Theory and the online journals Il Lavoro Culturale and Fata Morgana Web. Tagliani is the author of a monograph about the TV show Homeland (Rome 2016) and co-editor of books devoted to contemporary Italian cinema (Genoa 2009), the images of control (Florence 2016) and photography (Milan 2017); articles about Tagliani have appeared in Italian as well as international journals. At Dickinson, he will teach film studies and Italian language classes, and he will continue working on his book-in-progress about contemporary political biopic, The Images of Control: Visibility and the Government of Bodies.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish & Portuguese Giseli Tordin holds a Ph.D. in Hispanic literatures and cultures from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (2017); a B.A. in humanities (2005); a B.S. in biology (2011); and an M.A. in literary theory (2010) from the University of Campinas. Her research interests focus on the 20th-century literatures and cultures of Southern Cone, Brazil and Spanish postwar period; literature and psychoanalysis; and digital humanities. Her last award includes a graduate research grant through which she analyzed Silvina Ocampo’s archives. She is currently working on a book manuscript with the tentative title of Ojos para desmirar: locura y (des)identidad en la literatura y en periódicos contemporáneos. At Dickinson, she will begin research on the women writers who were hospitalized in asylums and wrote within those institutions. In the classroom, Tordin will pursue her wider interdisciplinary interest, which ties in with the incorporation of new technologies, inasmuch as the students delve into a real communicative situation.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology Nikolaos (Nik) Tsotakos received his Ph.D. in biological chemistry in 2015 from the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece. He holds a B.Sc. in biology from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. He spent close to six years performing research at the Penn State University College of Medicine in Hershey, PA. His research has been published in peer-reviewed journals, and he has won travel awards and has presented his research in many international scientific meetings. At Dickinson, he will teach cell and molecular biology and begin research with undergraduates in an exciting field of kidney biology.

Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science Eddie Tu earned his Ph.D. in mathematics as well as his M.S. in statistics in August 2017 from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He previously earned his M.S. in mathematics from the same institution in 2014 and received the Yueh-Er, Hong-Hsu and Clarence Cheng Kuo Fellowship Endowment as an outstanding master's student. During his graduate career, Tu worked as a graduate teaching associate. For his undergraduate studies, he attended Randolph-Macon College in Virginia, where he received a B.S., majoring in mathematics and minoring in English literature. His research interests lie in stochastic processes, probability and statistics. Outside of academics, Tu is an avid soccer fan and enjoys playing a friendly game of soccer and volleyball.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology Catalina Villamil received her Ph.D. in biological anthropology in May 2017 from New York University. She holds a B.A. in anthropology, with a minor in biology, and an M.S. in physical anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania. Villamil has presented and published on the evolution of the head and vertebral column in humans and other primates and has collaborated on research into the evolution of gibbon teeth. While at Dickinson, she will continue to work on understanding the developmental and evolutionary mechanisms that lead to anatomical change in mammals.

Visiting International Scholar in Russian Alla Zaytseva studied journalism at the Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH). She earned her master’s degree in philology both at RSUH and at the University of Freiburg (Germany). Her interests include cognitive linguistics, cultural linguistics, cultural transfers, language of mass media and theory of Russian. As a visiting international scholar at Dickinson in 2014-15, she taught several courses for the Department of Russian.

Visiting International Scholar in East Asian Studies Yanfeng Zhao received her M.A. in Chinese at Peking University, where she began her career teaching Chinese language and culture to foreign students in 1994. From 2007 to 2010, she worked at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan, as the dean of Ritsumeikan Confucius School. When she came back to Peking University, she won teaching awards for her work in Chinese culture teaching. She has published on Chinese history and Chinese philosophy as well as some popular teaching materials. At Dickinson, she will work on Chinese teaching and begin research on comparative study between China and America. In the classroom and as a Confucius classics lover, Zhao will try to integrate the elements of Chinese traditional classics into advanced Chinese teaching.

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Published September 1, 2017