Penn Arts and Sciences Welcomes New Faculty for 2014-2015

Penn Arts and Sciences has appointed 22 new members to its standing faculty for the 2014-2015 academic year. The School is pleased to welcome:

Jessica Anna, Assistant Professor of Chemistry: Physical chemistry and energy science, with a focus on methods to reveal time scales for dynamical motions in biological and chemical systems using multi-pulse laser and two-dimensional infrared spectroscopy; quantum coherences. Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

Johannes Burge, Assistant Professor of Psychology: Psychosocial study of visual perception; development of mathematical characterizations of complicated natural visual stimuli applied to the study of critical visual tasks in natural conditions. Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley.

Hsiao-wen Cheng, Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations: Religion, theory, women’s studies, and multi-millennial history in East Asian studies, with an emphasis on gender in medieval China and Chinese medicine. Ph.D. from the University of Washington.

Isabel Cranz, Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations: The Bible in its ancient Near East context; history of biblical interpretation and comparative religion; ancient Israelite religion; rabbinic Judaism. Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University.

Huda Fakhreddine, Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations: Modern and Classical Arabic literature and poetry; literary, interarts, and translation theory; metapoesis; modernism and metapoetry of 9th-century Abbasid era. Ph.D. from Indiana University.

Reto Gieré, Professor of Earth and Environmental Science (as of January 1, 2015): Environmental geochemistry; characterization and bioaccessibility of particulate atmospheric pollutants; application of mineralogy to environmental problems such as contaminated environments and nuclear waste. Ph.D. from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich. Comes to Penn from Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg.

David Goldsby, Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Science: Experimental geophysics, specializing in mineral and rock physics; application of materials science theory and methods to geophysical processes at large scales. Ph.D. from University of Minnesota. Comes to Penn from Brown University.

Megan Kassabaum, Assistant Professor of Anthropology: Archaeology of pre-historic North America; analysis of the role monuments and rituals play in organizing societies dating from 1,000 BCE to 1,000 CE. Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina.

Eleni Katifori, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy (as of January 1, 2015): Biophysics; theoretical physics applied attributes of living organisms; physical principles and functional requirements of modern leaf venation patterns and pollen grains. Ph.D. from Harvard University.

B. Harun Küçük, Assistant Professor of History and Sociology of Science: History of early modern science, with a focus on the Ottoman Empire; time-keeping and historical sensibility; East/West relations in the 17th- and 18th- centuries. Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego.

Errol Lord, Assistant Professor of Philosophy: Ethical theory, epistemology, and the theory of action; metaphysics and philosophy of the mind; theoretical and practical reasoning and rationality. Ph.D. from Princeton University.

Michele Margolis, Assistant Professor of Political Science: American politics, with special interests in public opinion, political psychology, religion and politics, and reciprocal relationships between partisan politics and individuals’ religiosity. Ph.D. from MIT.

Rahul Mukherjee, Dick Wolf Assistant Professor of Television and New Media Studies, Department of English: Interdisciplinary (drawing on cultural studies, media theory, and science studies) approaches to researching the role of media in debates surrounding technological development, disasters and dangers, and modernization. Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Greta Panova, Assistant Professor of Mathematics: Algebraic and enumerative combinatorics and its applications to representation theory, statistical mechanics, and other branches of computational complexity and probability theory. Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Gregory Ridgeway, Associate Professor of Criminology: Assessment of racial profiling by police; complexities of gangs, gun violence, and illegal ammunition markets; benchmarking fairness of auto stops and stop-question-frisk policing. Ph.D. from the University of Washington. Comes to Penn from the National Institute of Justice.

Gareth Roberts, Assistant Professor of Linguistics: Social evolution of language in controlled laboratory settings; language change and variation; cultural evolution; experimental semiotics; social interaction. Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh.

Lauren Sallan, Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Science: Paleobiology, macroevolution, and macroecology, using the fossil record of fishes to examine biodiversity, the ecological constraints of diversification, and patterns of adaptive radiation. Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

Quayshawn Spencer, Assistant Professor of Philosophy (as of January 1, 2015): Philosophies of race, science, and biology; interdisciplinary approaches to relationships between scientific and socio-political concepts of race. Ph.D. from Stanford University.

Meredith Tamminga, Assistant Professor of Linguistics: Quantitative sociolinguistics; variant speech clusters; examinations of context, grammar, and language processing and planning in the study of language variation. Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Jorge Téllez, Assistant Professor of Romance Languages: Colonial and 20th- and 21st-century Latin American literature; Spanish Golden Age; literary theory, digital humanities. Ph.D. from El Colegio de México.

Steven Weitzman, Abraham M. Ellis Professor of Hebrew and Semitic Languages and Literature, Department of Religious Studies: Hebrew Bible and the origins of Jewish culture; history of religion; scriptural studies; comparative literature. Ph.D. from Harvard University. Comes to Penn from Stanford University.

Heather Williams, Presidential Professor of Africana Studies: Slavery and African American history in the 18th- and 19th-century South; African American education and the separation and reunification of families during and after slavery; ethnography of Jamaican immigration. Ph.D. from Yale University. Comes to Penn from the University of North Carolina.

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