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News Archive

New Faculty for 2008-09

©2008 Kara Donaldson

The School of Arts and Sciences is pleased to welcome the following new faculty members, who have been appointed to begin at Rutgers for the 2008-2009 academic year.

Click on a department's name to visit that department's homepage.

American Studies
Allan Punzalan Isaac, Associate Professor
Dr. Isaac’s research interrogates the dominant tropes guiding legal texts, early 20th century popular literature, and mid-century films. He explores the imbrications of the U.S.-Philippine colonial relationship within other geo-cultural networks such as the Caribbean, the American borderlands, the Pacific, and the continental United States. His most recent project is a study of the structure of “disavowal” through specific legal cases and legal language, and how it becomes a matter of law and literary style. Dr. Isaac joins Rutgers from Wesleyan University, and he received his Ph.D. from New York University.

Anthropology
Ulla D. Berg, Assistant Professor
Dr. Berg’s research encompasses Latin America, Latino Studies, and cultural anthropology. She works on communicative practices and new media in the context of Peruvian migration to the U.S.  Dr. Berg received her Ph.D. from New York University.
 
Art History
Tarek Kahlaoui, Assistant Professor
Dr. Kahlaoui’s research has focused on the depiction of the Mediterranean in Islamic cartography using visual sources from the 11th to 16th centuries, including a largely unstudied list of cartographic samples along with geographic writings. He joined various excavations of Islamic and ancient sites in Tunisia and worked on the archival sources and rural landscape of the medieval and early modern history of the island of Jerba.  Dr. Kahlaoui is currently researching North African collections of Islamic manuscripts for a project on early Islamic codicology and paleography. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Tanya Sheehan, Assistant Professor
Dr. Sheehan specializes in American visual culture and teaches courses on race and representation, art and science, the historiography of photography, and visual humor.  She is currently working on a book about the relationship between studio portrait photography and medical discourse in nineteenth-century Philadelphia and on a project which examines racial jokes in American photographic humor from the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.  Dr. Sheehan received her Ph.D. from Brown University.

Asian Languages and Cultures
Weijie Song, Assistant Professor
Dr. Song studies modern Chinese literature and film, Beijing narratives, martial arts culture, Chinese diaspora writing, and Sinophone literature.  He is currently researching the literary and cultural topography of Beijing in the 1900s-1950s. His previous appointment was at Purdue University, and he earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Cell Biology and and Neuroscience
Ping Xie, Assistant Professor
Dr. Xie’s research interests lie in the area of immunobiology and its relationship to cancer.  Her focus in recent years has been on the role of the tumor-necrosis-factor-associated-factor-3 (TRAF3) in the function of the B-lymphocytes.  Dr. Xie’s current research interests include the intersection of CD40, LMP1 and Toll-like receptor function with the signaling properties of the TRAF3 adaptor protein. She joins Rutgers from the University of Iowa, and she holds a Ph.D. from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Chemistry and Chemical Biology
David A. Case, Professor
Dr. Case specializes in theoretical chemistry and biochemistry, using computer simulation methods based on classical dynamics to connect structure and dynamics of proteins and nucleic acids to their thermodynamic and spectroscopic properties. Dr.Case’s research also focuses on interpretation of biomolecular nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) studies, and studies of active sites of proteins that include metals such as iron or copper. His previous appointment was at The Scripps Research Institute, California, and he received his Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Charalampo (Babis) Kalodimos, Associate Professor
Dr. Kalodimos’s main research focuses on the elucidation of the molecular and mechanistic basis of a wide range of important biological phenomena and to understand, at the atomic level, the fundamental mechanisms underlying these biological processes using modern NMR spectroscopy methodologies complemented by many other biochemical and biophysical techniques to characterize the structural, dynamic and thermodynamic properties of biological systems and their interactions.  He earned his Ph.D. from the Institute Curie in Paris, France and was previously at Rutgers-Newark.  

Ki B. Lee, Assistant Professor
Dr. Lee has researched the interface of nanoscale science and biological materials, with his focus on the development and integration of chemical and functional genomic tools to study stem cell biology.  His current research interests include biomolecular interactions within cellular compartments; controlling biological interactions at the patterned substrates; nanobiomaterials; and biosensors and chemical/functional genomics. Dr. Lee earned his Ph.D. from Northwestern University.

Classics
Serena Connolly, Assistant Professor
Dr. Connolly specializes in Roman history, Latin prose, and Roman law. Her research explores the social, political, and legal significance of the system of petition and response. She is currently editing part of a previously unpublished translation of the Codex Justinianus as a contributor to a larger project centered at the University of Michigan. Dr. Connolly joins Rutgers from Yale University where she also earned her Ph.D.

Timothy Power, Assistant Professor
Dr. Power researches ancient Greek music and poetics. He is particularly interested in archaic and classical choral and monodic lyric poetry, Greek music, and drama. Dr. Power joins Rutgers from the University of Washington and earned his Ph.D. at Harvard University.

Comparative Literature
Yolanda Martínez-San Miguel, Professor
Dr. Martínez-San Miguel’s research interests include Latin-American literature; colonial, Hispanic Caribbean, and Latino literature; colonial and postcolonial theory; migration studies; and literary theory.  She is the author of several books and joins Rutgers from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Martínez-San Miguel earned her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley.

Computer Science
Andrew Nealen, Assistant Professor
Dr. Nealen’s research focuses on computer graphics, interactive shape modeling, and digital games.  He is interested in theoretical foundations and practical algorithms for digital content creation tasks, such as shape representation and editing, artistic modeling techniques and computer animation. He has also worked on other fundamental problems in computer graphics, including texture synthesis, physically based animation and mesh optimization. Dr. Nealen received his Dr.-Ing. from Technische Universität, Berlin, Germany.

Daphne Yao, Assistant Professor
Dr. Yao specializes in network and information security and applied cryptography, concentrating on the topics of privacy and anonymity.  She has also carried out research in the areas of algorithms and data structures.  Dr. Yao’s current work on security and cryptography addresses aspects of authentication and authorization systems, including authentication of data transformations, message authentication, and user privacy in authorization systems. She earned her Ph.D. from Brown University.

Alexander Schliep, Associate Professor
Dr. Schliep employs machine learning models and algorithms to investigate molecular biology issues. Using an interdisciplinary approach, his methods include the use of multi-model data from molecular imaging. Dr. Schliep is interested in examining research which stresses temporal spatial aspects of biological systems, and in relating genotypes to quantifiable complex phenotypes and diseases, such as ADHD.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of Cologne, Germany.  Professor Schliep has a joint appointment in the BioMaPS Institute.
 
Economics
Jae Won Lee, Assistant Professor
Dr. Lee’s primary fields of expertise are macro/monetary economics and applied time series econometrics. He studies various macroeconomic implications of heterogeneous households or incomplete financial markets, employing dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models, and how monetary policy should be conducted when asset markets in the economy are less than perfect. Dr. Lee’s secondary fields are international finance and open economy macroeconomics. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University.

Earth and Planetary Sciences
Silke Severmann, Assistant Professor
Dr. Severmann’s research interests lie in the cycling of metals, nutrients, carbon, and sulfur as they relate to the Earth's biogeochemical evolution. She studies chemical and isotopic tracers in the ocean, lakes, and rivers to gain a better understanding of how interactions between physical, chemical and biological processes are recorded in modern sediments and ancient sedentary rocks. Dr. Severmann also looks at how changes in biogeochemical cycles may be related to anthropogenic perturbations, global change, the evolving ocean and atmosphere, and the early evolution of life. Her previous appointment was at the University of California, Riverside, and she earned her Ph.D. from Southampton University, U.K. She has a joint appointment with the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.

English
Lynn Festa, Associate Professor
Dr. Festa is currently working on two projects: how eighteenth-century representations of circulating goods and bodies unsettle the boundaries between subjects and objects, persons and things in eighteenth-century Britain; and a comparative literary and cultural history of the elaboration of Enlightenment categories of human classification in eighteenth-century Britain and France. She joined Rutgers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

German
Edyta Bojanowska, Assistant Professor
Dr. Bojanowska’s research focuses on nationalism and imperialism in the journalism, literature, and cultural history of 19th century Russia.  She studies additional Central European literatures, especially Polish, and is interested in postcolonial theory, reception studies, and literature and ideology.  Dr. Bojanowska’s previous appointment was at Harvard University where she also earned her Ph.D.

History
James Delbourgo, Associate Professor
Dr. Delbourgo is an historian of the early modern Atlantic world, with a particular focus on the history of science and its relationship to colonialism.  His work offers a re-interpretation of the American enlightenment as a cultural movement through the practice of experimental science and the social history of the bodily experience in public culture.  He is currently exploring questions and approaches to the relationship between early modern knowledge and colonialism.  Dr. Delbourgo joins Rutgers from McGill University, and he received his Ph.D. from Columbia University.
 
Melissa Feinberg
, Associate Professor
Dr. Feinberg’s research focuses on the twin themes of gender and citizenship, examining how fears about the social impact of women’s equality served to undermine support for democratic governments in Europe before the Second World War.  Her most recent work looks at how fear shaped European political culture during the first years of the Cold War.  Dr. Feinberg’s previous appointment was at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, and she earned her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.
 
Douglas Greenberg, Professor and Executive Dean, School of Arts and Sciences
Dr. Greenberg specializes in public history with a particular interest in the Holocaust and comparative genocide. He is also interested in technology and scholarship in the humanities. Dr. Greenberg’s previous appointment was Professor of History and Executive Director of the Shoah Foundation Institute, the University of Southern California. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University.
 
Tarek Kahlaoui, Assistant Professor
Dr. Kahlaoui’s research has focused on the depiction of the Mediterranean in Islamic cartography using visual sources from the 11th to 16th centuries, including a largely unstudied list of cartographic samples along with geographic writings. He joined various excavations of Islamic and ancient sites in Tunisia and worked on the archival sources and rural landscape of the medieval and early modern history of the island of Jerba.  Dr. Kahlaoui is currently researching North African collections of Islamic manuscripts for a project on early Islamic codicology and paleography. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Peter Silver, Associate Professor
Dr. Silver’s research offers an analysis of the meanings and consequences of violent clashes between Europeans and Indians in mid- and late-18th-century Pennsylvania.  He previously taught at Princeton University and holds a Ph.D. from Yale University.

Paola Tartakoff, Assistant Professor
Dr. Tartakoff specializes in the history of interactions between Jews, Christians, and Muslims in medieval Spain.  Her research focuses on religious conversion and inquisitions in the fourteenth-century Crown of Aragon.  She is also interested in the religious and cultural history of medieval Europe generally.  Dr. Tartakoff has been the recipient of several grants, and she earned her Ph.D. at Columbia University.

Jewish Studies
Paola Tartakoff, Assistant Professor
Dr. Tartakoff specializes in the history of interactions between Jews, Christians, and Muslims in medieval Spain.  Her research focuses on religious conversion and inquisitions in the fourteenth-century Crown of Aragon.  She is also interested in the religious and cultural history of medieval Europe generally.  Dr. Tartakoff has been the recipient of several grants, and she earned her Ph.D. at Columbia University.

Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies
Ulla D. Berg, Assistant Professor
Dr. Berg’s research encompasses Latin America, Latino Studies, and cultural anthropology. She works on communicative practices and new media in the context of Peruvian migration to the U.S.  Dr. Berg received her Ph.D. from New York University.
 
Yolanda Martínez-San Miguel, Professor
Dr. Martínez-San Miguel’s research interests include Latin-American literature; colonial, Hispanic Caribbean, and Latino literature; colonial and postcolonial theory; migration studies; and literary theory.  She is the author of several books and joins Rutgers from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Martínez-San Miguel earned her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley.

Linguistics
Shigeto Kawahara, Assistant Professor
Dr. Kawahara primarily works in phonetics, phonology, and their interface. He studies how speech perception affects phonological patterns, and vice versa. Dr. Kawahara is also interested in how speakers create novel phonological patterns, especially in terms of how phonetic and psycholinguistic factors influence emergent phonological patterns. He comes to Rutgers from the University of Georgia and received his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Philosophy
Ishani Maitra, Assistant Professor
Dr. Maitra’s primary research interests include philosophy of language, feminist philosophy, and philosophy of law.  Her work focuses on issues such as free speech and harmful speech, speech acts, and testimony.  Dr. Maitra comes to Rutgers-New Brunswick and the Department of Philosophy Rutgers-Newark from Syracuse University and holds a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

Brian Weatherson, Associate Professor
Dr. Weatherson’s main areas of research are epistemology, decision theory, philosophy of language, philosophical logic, philosophy of economics and metaphysics.  He is particularly interested in how probabilistic epistemology developed in the last few decades constrains, and should be constrained by, broader epistemological debates. Dr. Weatherson is widely published, joins Rutgers from Cornell University, and holds a Ph.D. from Monash University.
 
Physics and Astronomy
Girsh Blumberg, Professor                                                                      
Dr. Blumberg’s research focuses on condensed matter physics and materials science with a particular interest in using optical techniques to study highly correlated systems.  He is also interested in applications of photonics, plasmonics, and optoelectronics.  The author of numerous refereed journal articles, he holds seventeen patents and was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society. His previous appointment was with Bell Laboratories, and he holds a Ph.D. from the Institute of Physics, Estonian Academy of Sciences.

Yuri Gershtein, Assistant Professor                                                                                                                     
Dr. Gershtein specializes in experimental high energy physics, in particular the hunt for the Higgs boson, and in physics beyond the Standard Model, especially signs of supersymmetry in hadronic colliders. In 2004 he received the outstanding junior investigator award from the U.S. Department of Energy. Dr. Gershtein’s previous appointment was at Florida State University, and he earned his Ph.D. from the Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics, Moscow. 
 
Political Science
Andrew R. Murphy, Associate Professor
Dr. Murphy studies the interplay between religious and political thought in the Western tradition, the ways in which citizens link their religious and political commitments in their search for individual and collective meaning. Dr. Murphy also considers the ways in which religion has functioned as a force for social integration or division in the Anglo-American past and present. He joins Rutgers from Valparaiso University, and he earned his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin.

Psychology
John R. Z. Abela, Professor                                                                                       
Dr. Abela is a clinical psychologist whose research focuses on cognitive, interpersonal,
and genetic vulnerability to depression in children, adolescents, and adults.  He is widely published and is a two-time recipient of a young investigator award from the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression.  He joins Rutgers from McGill University, and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.
 
Elizabeth B. Torres, Assistant Professor
Dr. Torres’ research involves understanding the planning of voluntary movements (e.g. reaching) at different levels of representation, including behavioral and neural, in order to develop a new, general formal theory, driven by empirical data, to explain how the primate brain copes with planning and learning across various cortical and sub-cortical structures. This research promises to help guide the design of compensatory therapies to help rehabilitate compromised systems. Her previous appointment was at the California Institute of Technology, and she holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego.  Dr. Torres has a joint appointments with the Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science (RUCCS), and the Center for Computational Biomedicine Imaging and Modeling (CBIM).

Religion
Emma J. Wasserman, Assistant Professor
Dr. Wasserman studies early Christianity with a focus on the letters of Paul and on Christian origins.  Her areas of research include Philo of Alexandria, apocalypticism in early Judaism and Christianity, Hellenistic philosophy, especially ethics and cosmology, and theories of religion with strong interests in social theory.  Dr. Wasserman’s current projects include exploring beliefs about demons and possession, alternative accounts of belief in the study of religion, and the social description of ancient intellectuals.  She earned her Ph.D. from Yale University.

Sociology
Phaedra Daipha, Assistant Professor
Dr. Daipha’s research interests are in science and technology studies and the sociology of knowledge, in addition to culture and theory.  Her teaching focuses on science and technology, the sociology of culture and public engagement with science.  Dr. Daipha received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

Joanna Kempner, Assistant Professor
Dr. Kempner’s research centers on the sociology of science and knowledge, medical sociology, gender studies, and qualitative methods. She is the recipient of the 2006 Roberta G. Simmons Award for Outstanding Dissertation, Medical Sociology Section, from the American Sociological Association. Dr. Kempner received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.   

Zakia Salime, Assistant Professor
Dr. Salime’s research interests include race, gender, development, globalization, political Islam, and transnational feminism and movements. Additionally, she examines interactions among global and local feminist movements and discourses. She joins Rutgers from Michigan State University and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign/University of Toulouse-Le Mirail, France.

Spanish and Portuguese
Miguel Jiménez, Assistant Professor
Dr. Jiménez specializes in translating and interpreting processes, translator training, the use of technology in translation, and corpus linguistics applied to translation research. He also focuses on localization, the translation of digital texts such as software programs or web content. Dr. Jiménez earned his Ph.D. from the University of Granada, Spain.

Statistics
Ying Hung, Assistant Professor
Dr. Hung’s areas of expertise include time series analysis and applications in cell biology, as well as design and analysis for computer experiments. She has developed a new time series model to systematically study the cell adhesion frequency assay for measuring the kinetic rates of cell adhesion, which plays an important role in many physiological and pathological processes. Dr. Hung holds a Ph.D. from Georgia Institute of Technology.

Women's and Gender Studies
Melissa Feinberg, Associate Professor
Dr. Feinberg’s research focuses on the twin themes of gender and citizenship, examining how fears about the social impact of women’s equality served to undermine support for democratic governments in Europe before the Second World War.  Her most recent work looks at how fear shaped European political culture during the first years of the Cold War.  Dr. Feinberg’s previous appointment was at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, and she earned her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

Ishani Maitra, Assistant Professor
Dr. Maitra’s primary research interests include philosophy of language, feminist philosophy, and philosophy of law.  Her work focuses on issues such as free speech and harmful speech, speech acts, and testimony.  Dr. Maitra comes to Rutgers-New Brunswick and the Department of Philosophy Rutgers-Newark from Syracuse University and holds a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

Mary K. Trigg, Associate Professor
Dr. Trigg’s areas of expertise include the history of American feminism, women’s education and leadership development, work and family issues, and community organizations. She also directs the Leadership Scholars Certificate Program, a leadership education honors program for undergraduate women. Dr. Trigg received her Ph.D. from Brown University.  Dr. Trigg is also the Director of Leadership Programs and Research at the Institute for Women’s Leadership.
 

 

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