This semester, Arts & Sciences welcomed 54 tenure-track and teaching-track faculty to departments and programs across the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities! Meet the newest members of our faculty community.
Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Department of Biology
Anthony Smith has accepted a position as a lecturer in the Department of Biology. He is also coordinator of undergraduate research experiences and director of the Ampersand program Hallmarks of Cancer & Patient Care. He was a PreHealth biology major at WashU before getting a doctorate in immunology and microbiology at the University of Miami School of Medicine. He was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Minnesota Medical School before a transition to teaching, which led him back to WashU as an assistant dean in Arts & Sciences.
Ben Mansfeld joins the Department of Biology as an assistant professor. His lab studies the dynamic factors that can influence plant defenses, including circadian rhythm, tissue type, and developmental stage. He received his bachelor’s degree at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and his doctorate at Michigan State University. Prior to joining the faculty at WashU, he was a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, working in the lab of Rebecca Bart.
Department of ChemistryWilliam Spees joins the Department of Chemistry as a lecturer and director of advanced teaching laboratories. He received a bachelor’s degree from Truman State University before earning a doctorate at WashU. He specializes in biomedical applications of magnetic resonance as well as NMR/MRI instrumentation (design, maintenance, repair, troubleshooting). He was a lecturer in the WashU chemistry department from 2003 to 2007. Most recently, he was a research-track assistant professor of radiology at the WashU School of Medicine.
Yusuke Okuno joins the Department of Chemistry as an assistant professor. He studies biophysical chemistry, solution-state nuclear magnetic resonance, protein-protein interactions, protein hydration, and neurodegenerative diseases. He received his bachelor’s degree at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and his doctorate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He comes to WashU after five years as a research fellow at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland.
Earth, Environmental, and Planetary SciencesMaggie Limbeck joins the Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences as a lecturer. Her main research interests are evolutionary relationships in fossil echinoderms (sea urchins and sea stars) and understanding trace metal incorporation in echinoderm skeletal elements. She received her bachelor’s degree at Allegheny College and her doctorate at the University of Tennessee.
MathematicsAlan Chang joins the Department of Mathematics as an assistant professor. He specializes in the fields of geometric measure theory and harmonic analysis. His research covers a wide range of shapes from simple circles to complex fractals as well as the decomposition of functions into waves. He received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and earned his doctorate at the University of Chicago. Before joining WashU, he was an instructor at Princeton.
Charles Ouyang joins the Department of Mathematics as an assistant professor. He studies the geometry of harmonic maps, Riemann surfaces, and Teichmüller spaces. He received his bachelor’s degree at Princeton University and his doctorate at Rice University. Prior to joining WashU, he was a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow and a visiting assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
PhysicsAlex Chen joins the Department of Physics as an assistant professor. He uses large-scale supercomputer simulations to study the physics of plasma and radiation near extreme objects such as neutron stars and black holes. He received his bachelor’s degree at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and his doctorate at Columbia University. He completed postdoctoral positions at Princeton University and the University of Colorado Boulder. Before starting his new position, he was a research assistant professor at WashU.
Tansu Daylan joins the Department of Physics as an assistant professor. He discovers and characterizes exoplanets and searches for astrophysical signatures of dark matter. He received his bachelor’s degree at Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, and his doctorate at Harvard University. Before joining WashU, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Princeton University.
Statistics and Data ScienceXuming He joins WashU as the inaugural chair of the new Department of Statistics and Data Science and the Deborah Beckmann Kotzubei and Jacob Kotzubei Distinguished Professor. His research interests include theory and methodology in robust statistics, quantile regression, pseudo-Bayesian methods, adaptive inference, and subgroup analysis. Before coming to WashU, he was the H.C. Carver Collegiate Professor of Statistics at the University of Michigan. He previously held positions at the National University of Singapore and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and served as program director of statistics at the National Science Foundation. Currently, He is president of the International Statistical Institute. He is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Statistical Association, and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics.
African and African-American StudiesDwight A. McBride joins the Department of African and African-American Studies as the inaugural Gerald Early Distinguished Professor. He also will serve as a senior advisor to the chancellor. McBride comes to WashU after serving as president and University Professor at The New School in New York City. Prior to that, he held leadership appointments at Emory University, Northwestern University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and was a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh. His work centers on Black studies, sexuality, and identity politics. He is the co-founder and co-editor of James Baldwin Review and a founding co-editor of "The New Black Studies Series." McBride earned a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, and a master’s degree and doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles.
American Culture StudiesSabnam Ghosh joins American Culture Studies as a lecturer in Asian American studies. Her research focuses on displacement aesthetics in Asian American and postcolonial studies, engaging with how issues of displacement, diaspora, migration, immigration laws, and new materialisms manifest in literary forms and disrupt questions of identity, culture, and nationhood. Before joining WashU, she was a visiting assistant professor in postcolonial and global Anglophone studies at Fairfield University. She received her master’s in comparative literature from The University of Edinburgh and her doctorate from the University of Georgia.
College Writing ProgramMeg Gregory joins the College Writing Program as assistant director and lecturer. Gregory’s background is in medieval early English literature, with a focus on gender studies and life writing. Her recent research on the scholarship of teaching and learning involves employing inclusive and equitable teaching strategies, engaging students in reflective writing, and supporting the development of students’ disciplinary reading and writing skills. She received her doctorate at Illinois State University. Prior to joining the College Writing Program, she was associate director of faculty programs in the Center for Teaching and Learning at WashU.
East Asian Languages and CulturesJiayi Chen joins the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures as an assistant professor. Chen’s research is concerned with early modern Chinese literature and its intersections with games, theater, material culture, and print culture. Her current book project explores the critical potential of games in shaping a pre-digital ludic age in early modern China. In it, she investigates how games inspired creative engagement with literature and theater, leading to the development of a distinct epistemological perspective for understanding and navigating reality. Chen earned her doctorate from the University of Chicago.
Motomi Kajitani joins the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures as a lecturer in Japanese. Her research interests include cognitive-pragmatic analyses of linguistic constructions in Japanese and other languages from a functional, usage-based perspective, focusing on how everyday interactions shape human languages. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in linguistics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and she is currently pursuing her doctorate in linguistics at the University of New Mexico. Prior to joining WashU, she was a teaching assistant in the Japanese and linguistics programs at UNM, where she received a Teaching Excellence Award.
Wonseok Lee joins the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures as a lecturer. His work primarily focuses on how musical genres emerge, what sociocultural elements affect them, and how the meaning of musical genres changes over time. He earned his doctorate from The Ohio State University. In his dissertation, “K-Pop Resounding: Korean Popular Music beyond Koreanness,” Lee examines how the meaning of “K” in “K-pop” is (re)interpreted by individuals, how K-pop resounds beyond Koreanness, and, eventually, what elements constitute the K-pop phenomenon today.
Yan Ma joins the departments of Performing Arts and East Asian Languages and Cultures as a lecturer. She obtained her doctorate from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Her current research project, “Gendering Male Dan: Jingju Male Cross-Gender Performers and Performance in the Reform Era,” identifies and explicates the gender politics of Beijing “opera” from 1978 to the present. As an artist-scholar in Asian theater, she has a broad research interest in Asian and Asian diaspora theater, queer theater, and performance studies. She has directed and performed in traditional Chinese theater and intercultural theater productions.
Yanjie Li joins the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures as a lecturer in Chinese language. Her research interests involve reading in a foreign language and pedagogy. She received her bachelor’s degree at Qingdao Agriculture University and her master’s degree at Webster University. Yanjie received her doctorate in education from Washington University, where she specialized in applied linguistics. Upon graduation, she was honored with the Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence and the Excellence in Educational Research Award.
EnglishSarah T. Weston joins the Department of English as an assistant professor. She specializes in literature and art of the 18th and 19th centuries, with a particular interest in William Blake, Romanticism, environmental humanities, and the history of science. Her current book project, “The Cypher and The Abyss,” is a cultural history of Romantic data, entwining literature, mathematics, and art. Her other research interests include book history, digital humanities, and disability studies. Weston is a writer and book artist who replicates Romantic-era printmaking techniques. She received a joint doctorate in English and the history of art from Yale University.
Film and Media StudiesJames Fleury joins the Film and Media Studies Program as a senior lecturer. His research interests include media franchises, and the intersection of Hollywood and the video game industry. He received his bachelor's degree at Le Moyne College and his doctorate at UCLA.
Germanic Languages and LiteraturesAylin Bademsoy joins the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures as an assistant professor. Her first book project examines how modernization and racialization are entwined in German and Turkish cultural discourse. Bademsoy has also contributed essays on gendered violence in capitalist patriarchies and on völkisch racism in the colonial context. She recently co-edited with Marco Abel and Jaimey Fisher a volume of translated interviews of the Berlin school filmmaker Christian Petzold. She earned her doctorate at the University of California, Davis.
Sarah Koellner joins the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures as an assistant professor. She is a scholar of 20th and 21st century German literature, culture, and media with an interdisciplinary interest in surveillance and migration studies. Her current book project, “Participatory Privacy in Contemporary German Culture,” investigates how cultural, theatrical, and literary works of art critique, resist, and challenge contemporary surveillance cultures and the role privacy plays in such artistic exploration. She earned her doctorate at Vanderbilt University.
Global StudiesElizabeth Reynolds joins Global Studies as a lecturer in Chinese and inner Asian history. Her research centers on the economic history of Tibet with a particular focus on monastic economies, currency, taxation, labor systems, and long-distance trade networks. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Barnard College and her doctorate from Columbia University. After two years as a postdoctoral fellow in WashU’s Department of History, she spent a year as a Luce/ACLS Early Career Fellow and is excited to return to WashU this fall.
HistoryAnne Schult joins the Department of History as an assistant professor. Her research interests include the transnational history of migration, the human sciences, and late European colonialism and decolonization. She is currently at work on her first book manuscript, which explores the impact of the quantitative social sciences on the politics and management of refugeedom across Germany, Britain, and France in the 20th century. Schult received her bachelor’s degree from the New School, her master’s from Columbia University, and her doctorate from New York University.
Dalen Wakeley-Smith joins the Department of History as an assistant professor. His research focuses on the history of the American Romani people and interrogates issues of race, ethnicity, and migration. He is currently working on his manuscript tentatively entitled “A Gypsy Capital: American Romani Migration, Race, and Representation in New York City.” Prior to coming to WashU, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University. Wakeley-Smith earned his doctorate from the University of Michigan.
Jonathan Judaken joins the Department of History as the Gloria M. Goldstein Professor of Jewish History and Thought. His research focuses on representations of Jews and Judaism, race and racism, existentialism, and post-Holocaust French Jewish thought. He is a founding member of the International Consortium for Research on Racism and Antisemitism. His new book, “Critical Theories of Anti-Semitism,” is forthcoming from Columbia University Press. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, San Diego, and a master’s and doctorate from the University of California, Irvine.
Jewish, Islamic, and Middle Eastern StudiesMona Kareem joins the Department of Jewish, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies as an assistant professor. Her research centers on literary cultures of race, class, and gender in the Global South, with a focus on Afro-Asian encounters in the Arabian Peninsula/Persian Gulf region. She is also an accomplished author with three poetry collections. As a Bedoon woman born in Kuwait, her stateless legal status did not allow her to attend a public university there. Her poetry and academic history, however, earned her a scholarship to attend the University of Kuwait. She received her doctorate from Binghamton University.
MusicJohn McDonald joins the Department of Music as lecturer, director of vocal studies, and director of choir. He is a highly sought-after choral clinician and guest conductor who conducts The St. Louis Children's Choir's tenor-bass ensemble, Cantus. He received his bachelor’s degree at Middle Tennessee State University, his master’s degree at East Carolina University, and his doctorate at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Prior to joining WashU, he was assistant professor of music education and director of choral activities at McKendree University.
Parkorn Wangpaiboonkit joins the Department of Music as an assistant professor. His research in the emerging field of global music history investigates musical and intellectual exchanges between Europe’s colonial powers and the empire of Siam in the 19th century. In his book project, “Sounding Civilization: Race and Sovereignty in the Imperial Music of Siam,” he examines the localization of European music and sound practices at the Siamese court as a means of negotiating new conceptions of sovereign personhood in colonial survival. He earned his doctorate in musicology at the University of California, Berkeley.
Vincent Varvel is now a lecturer and director of guitar studies in the Department of Music, as well as an instructor of guitar. At Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Varvel had the opportunity to perform with jazz greats such as Michael Brecker, Peter Erskine, and Dan Gottlieb. He began his professional career in college, freelancing with many different performers in the St. Louis area. Since then, he has toured the United States and Europe with various ensembles and led his own jazz group performing original compositions.
Performing ArtsAntonio Douthit-Boyd joins the Performing Arts Department as a professor of practice in dance. He has served as the co-artistic director of dance at COCA — Center of Creative Arts — for eight years and will continue to serve as artistic director of the dance program. Before joining WashU, he enjoyed a distinguished performing career, holding the position of principal dancer at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and soloist with the Dance Theatre of Harlem in New York City. He earned his MFA from Hollins University.
Elaine Peña joins the Performing Arts Department as a professor. Her teaching and research interests include performance as theory and method, border studies, material religion, space and place theory, and hemispheric Latinx performance. Her books include “Performing Piety: Making Space Sacred with the Virgin of Guadalupe” and “¡Viva George! Celebrating Washington’s Birthday at the U.S.-Mexico Border.” She has held appointments at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Yale University, the University of Edinburgh, and the George Washington University.
Elinor Harrison joins the Performing Arts Department as a lecturer in dance. A dancer and movement scientist, her work spans performance, choreography, teaching, and neuroscientific inquiry into human movement. Her research draws upon her performance expertise to develop arts-based therapies to improve mobility for people with impairments due to age and neurological decline. She received her bachelor’s degree in French literature and dance from Washington University and returned to pursue her doctorate in movement science. She is also the artistic director of Elinor Harrison Dance.
PhilosophyMichael Barkasi joins the Department of Philosophy as a lecturer. He studies the integration of auditory feedback into motor control during movement sonification and the phenomenology of sensory perception, episodic memory, and dreams. He received his bachelor’s degree at Kutztown University and his doctorate at Rice. Prior to joining WashU, he was a postdoctoral visitor at Harris Multisensory Integration Lab at York University in Toronto.
Romance Languages and LiteraturesDavid Cortés Ferrández joins the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures as a lecturer of Spanish. His research focuses on critical discourse analysis and discourse in the new media, especially in his native languages — Catalan and Spanish — on Twitter. He received his bachelor’s degree at Universitat Rovira Virgili in Tarragona, Spain, and his doctorate at the University of Kentucky, where he taught prior to joining WashU.
Nathan Dize joins the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures as an assistant professor. He studies the grieving process in Haitian literature and has translated the poetry and fiction of numerous Haitian authors. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and his doctorate from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to WashU, he was a visiting professor at Oberlin College & Conservatory.
S. Veronica Anghel joins the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures as a lecturer. She specializes in gender, religion, and politics in the modern West with a focus on Spain. She received her master’s in comparative literature from Dartmouth College in 2013 and will receive her doctorate in Hispanic studies from WashU in November.
Women, Gender, and Sexuality StudiesTamsin Kimoto joins the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies as an assistant professor. Their research centers on women of color feminisms, queer and trans studies, health humanities, philosophy of race, and social and political philosophy. Kimoto is currently working on a manuscript that draws connections between racial sciences, the history of plastic surgery, and contemporary trans medicine in order to think about the political potential of a radical trans of color aesthetics. Before coming to WashU, they were assistant professor of philosophy and women, gender, and sexuality studies at Goucher College.
AnthropologyAaron Neiman joins the Department of Anthropology as a lecturer in the Medicine & Society program. His research concerns the use of electronic mental health programs — such as self-guided apps and websites — to deliver automated “therapy” to more people at low cost. His dissertation examined the use of these programs in Australia, where they are publicly funded as part of a broader mental health campaign. His broad interests include the anthropology of science and medicine, psychiatry and psychoanalysis, and pop culture and film. He earned his bachelor's degree at Hampshire College and his doctorate at Stanford University.
Maddalena Canna joins the Department of Anthropology as an assistant professor. Canna specializes in global mental health, medical anthropology, and transcultural psychiatry. Her research explores the interplay between embodiment and consciousness. She has conducted research in Nicaragua, Canada, and the United States on intercultural health, functional disorders, and medically unexplained symptoms. Prior to joining WashU, she was a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University. She received her bachelor’s degree at Avogadro University and her doctorate at the School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS) of Paris.
Scott Ross joins the Department of Anthropology as a lecturer. He studies how media and technology shape interventions, specifically radio infrastructures and humanitarianism in the northern Democratic Republic of the Congo. His research has been published or is forthcoming in African Studies Review, Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, and Anthropological Quarterly. He is a contributing editor at Society for Cultural Anthropology. Prior to joining WashU, Ross earned his doctorate from George Washington University.
EconomicsM. Bumin Yenmez joins the Department of Economics as a professor. He studies economic design, recently focusing on affirmative action and diversity policies. Policies he helped design have been adopted in various settings, such as assigning students to schools in New York and Chile, and state-level vaccine allocation. He taught at Boston College and Carnegie Mellon University and worked as a researcher at Microsoft Research New England. He currently serves as an editor at Journal of Economic Theory. He received his bachelor's degree at the California Institute of Technology and his doctorate at Stanford University.
Ismael Mourifié joins the Department of Economics as a professor. His research interests lie in microeconometrics, including partial identification, treatment effects, policy evaluations, and empirical matching models. He has taught at the University of Toronto and is a research associate at the NBER. He also serves as an associate editor at the Journal of Econometrics, Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, and Annals of Economics and Statistics. Mourifié earned a bachelor’s degree from Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University in Morocco, a master’s degree from the National Institute of Statistics and Applied Economics, and a doctorate from the University of Montréal.
EducationBronwyn Nichols Lodato joins the Department of Education and the Department of African and African American Studies as an assistant professor. Her research — which utilizes a strengths-based theoretical perspective — examines how shock events like the Great Recession and COVID-19, with their acute impacts on African American communities, impact identity development and education outcomes among adolescents and young adults. Nichols Lodato’s interest in human development and person-context dynamics is enhanced by her work with community groups advocating for equitable public park policies and environmental justice. Her peer-reviewed publications have appeared in The Cambridge Handbook of the Development of Coping, Development and Psychopathology, Readings on Equal Education, and Advances in Child Development Behavior. Nichols Lodato received two master’s degrees and a doctorate from the University of Chicago.
Kerri Fair joins the Department of Education as a lecturer. Fair's recent research focused on burnout from the perspective of middle-aged/mid-career K-12 women teachers. She is interested in qualitative methods of educational research, specifically phenomenography and the use of photo elicitation. She earned a bachelor's degree from William Jewell College, a master's degree from the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a doctorate from Webster University. Before joining WashU she was an adjunct professor, principal, reading specialist, and elementary classroom teacher.
Nadirah Farah Foley joins the Department of Education as an assistant professor. Their current research uses schools as a site to explore cultural processes and racial and socioeconomic inequalities. Prior to coming to WashU, they completed a postdoctoral fellowship at New York University. They have also served as coordinator of the Contemporary Studies of Race and Ethnicity workshop at Harvard University and on the editorial board of the Harvard Educational Review. Foley received a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and a doctorate from Harvard University.
Political ScienceAmy Pond joins the Department of Political Science as an associate professor. She conducts research in international and comparative political economy. Her current research looks at how market concentration and international ownership affect domestic policies, including the provision of public goods like property rights and democratic representation. Pond has also worked on trade and financial liberalization and the broader logic of institutional change using game theory and statistical analysis in her research. She earned her doctorate from the University of Michigan. She previously taught at the Technical University of Munich and at Texas A&M University.
Stephanie N. Shady joins the Department of Political Science as a lecturer. Her research and teaching interests include the intersections of migration, national identity, religion, and political behavior, with a geographic focus on Europe and the United States. She earned bachelor’s degrees at Texas Christian University and a doctorate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to joining WashU, she was a visiting assistant professor at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.
Timm Betz joins the Department of Political Science as an associate professor. His work focuses on the politics of global markets. His research interests include political institutions and trade, the ownership structure of firms and government debt, and quantitative methods. Before joining WashU, he was a faculty member at the Technical University of Munich and Texas A&M University. Betz served as an associate editor at Political Science Research and Methods. He earned his master’s degree at Universitat Pompeu Fabra and his doctorate at the University of Michigan.
Xiaoyan (Christy) Qiu joins the Department of Political Science as an assistant professor. Before coming to WashU, she was an assistant professor in the School of Global and Public Affairs at IE University. Her research uses formal theory to understand the causes, processes, and consequences of conflict. Her current focus is on rebel strategies, state support for insurgent groups, and state formation. She earned her doctorate from the University of Rochester.
Zoe Ang joins the Department of Political Science as a lecturer. Her research interests include American federal bureaucracy, public opinion, and survey design and analysis. She received her bachelor’s degree at Stephen F. Austin University and her doctorate at Washington University.
Psychological & Brain ScienceBrian Bergstrom joins the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences as a senior lecturer. He is interested in evolutionary approaches to understanding human cognition and evidence-based pedagogy to support student learning. He received his bachelor’s degree at Luther College and his doctorate at Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to joining WashU, he was an associate professor of psychology at Maryville University.
SociologyKenneth “Andy” Andrews joins the Department of Sociology as the Tileston Professor in Arts & Sciences. He studies the organizational and strategic dimensions of social movements and the impact of movements on political and social change. Most of his research focuses on civil rights struggles in the American South, and the contemporary environmental movement. Prior to joining WashU, he was the Carl W. Ernst Distinguished Professor at the University of North at Carolina Chapel Hill and an associate professor at Harvard University. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Millsaps College, and master’s and doctorate at Stony Brook University.
Lydia Hou joins the Department of Sociology as a lecturer. Her research considers how international students are included in institutional diversity within higher education. Prior to joining WashU, she was a research assistant to the vice provost for diversity equity and engagement at the University of Illinois Chicago. She received her bachelor's degree in sociology and her master's degree in international studies from Lindenwood University, and is an advanced sociology doctoral candidate at the University of Illinois Chicago.