Brandeis welcomes new faculty to campus

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Brandeis welcomes new faculty to campus

The 28 new faculty span 20 different academic departments across campus

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Sept. 20, 2018

A diverse group of new full-time faculty members and postdoctoral faculty fellows has arrived at Brandeis University.

“These new faculty members, along with our new part-time faculty, will deepen the already robust academic experience and scholarly exploration in our university community,” said Provost Lisa Lynch. “They represent a tremendous amount of knowledge, perspective and expertise.”  

The 28 new faculty span 20 different academic departments across campus. Four additional searches for faculty positions that were conducted during the 2017-18 academic year have also concluded, and those new hires will officially join the Brandeis community in the 2019-20 academic year.

Brandeis is pleased to announce the following new faculty and postdoctoral faculty fellows:

College of Arts and Sciences:

Division of Creative Arts 

 

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Sheida Soleimani

Fine Arts
Sheida Soleimani
Assistant Professor

Soleimani’s research investigates the intersections of art and activism, as well as how social media has shaped the landscape in current socio‐political affairs and uprisings. Soleimani makes work that melds sculpture, collage and photography, and highlights her own critical perspective on historical and contemporary socio‐political occurrences in Iran. She received her MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art. 

Division of Humanities

Caitlin Gillespie

Classics
Caitlin Gillespie
Assistant Professor

Gillespie has held faculty positions at Temple University and, more recently, at Columbia University. Her research examines the intersection between social history and historiography, focusing on women of the early Roman Empire. Her current book project, “Boudica: Warrior Woman of Roman Britain,” is under contract with Oxford University Press. She received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. 

Dorothy Kim

English
Dorothy Kim
Assistant Professor

Kim joins Brandeis from Vassar College, where she was a tenure‐track faculty member. Her research areas are Early Middle English culture (1100‐1350) and the digital humanities. Current research projects include a forthcoming monograph published by the University of Toronto Press, “Jewish/Christian Entanglements: Ancrene Wisse and Its Material Worlds,” and an NEH‐supported digital humanities project, “Archive of Early Middle English.” Kim received her PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2009.

English
Chen Chen 
Jacob Ziskind Poet-in-Residence

Chen’s teaching and research interests include literature by underrepresented peoples, poetry of the political imagination, intersectionality and hybridity as politics and writing practice, erasure texts, the use of humor in poetry, innovative structures of poetry books, and the role of research in creative work. His full-length poetry book, “When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities,” won the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize and was longlisted for the 2017 National Book Award for Poetry.  His most recent teaching appointment was at Texas Tech University, where he is completing his PhD. Chen holds an MFA in Poetry from Syracuse University.

Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
Hassan Almohammed
Madeleine Haas Russell Visiting Professor in the Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies Program

Almohammed’s work focuses on the relationship between text and images in social and political context. He has written on the Palestinian characterist Naji Al Ali, on Iraqi traditional Maqam, and on religious practices on Jaafarya in Damascus. He worked as an interpreter and journalist in France as well as a translator for the French newspapers Le Monde, Radio France Info, and France Culture. He also wrote the subtitles for four French documentary films describing the current situation in Syria that aired on French television. His scholarly output was severely impacted by his status as a refugee after deserting the Syrian army in 2012. In academic year 2017-18, Almohammed served as a visiting professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara. At Brandeis, he is teaching “Photology of the Syrian Uprising.” He holds a PhD from the Université Blaise Pascal.

Near Eastern and Judaic Studies
Alexander Kaye
Assistant Professor, The Stoll Family Chair

Kaye has been appointed to the Karl, Harry and Helen Stoll Family Chair in Israel Studies. He comes to Brandeis from the Ohio State University, where he has held the position of assistant professor of history since 2014. He received his doctorate in Jewish history in 2013 from Columbia University, where he studied ancient, medieval and modern Jewish history and European intellectual history, specializing in the legal and political thought of religious Zionists in the 20th century.

Lynn Kaye

Near Eastern and Judaic Studies
Lynn Kaye
Assistant Professor

Kaye’s area of expertise is Rabbinic literature with a particular focus on the application of methods current in comparative literature, philosophy and gender studies to classical texts. After receiving her PhD from New York University in 2012, she was appointed assistant professor of Rabbinics at Hebrew Union College‐Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, where she served for two years. She joins Brandeis from the Ohio State University, where she has been assistant professor since 2014. 

Brendan Cline

Philosophy and Neuroscience
Brendan Cline
Florence Levy Kay Fellow in Philosophy and Neuroscience

Cline has been appointed Florence Levy Kay Fellow in Philosophy and Neuroscience. He received his doctorate in philosophy from the University at Buffalo, SUNY in 2017. His areas of specialization are ethics (with a particular interest in metaethics) and moral psychology; more broadly, his interests encompass environmental ethics, bioethics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of science. He comes to Brandeis from Grand Valley State University, where he has served since August 2017 as a visiting assistant professor.

Andrew Sewick

Romance Studies
Andrew Sewick
Lecturer in Hispanic studies

Sewick comes to Brandeis from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, where he has served as lecturer in Spanish since 2013. He earned his master’s in Spanish and Latin American languages and literatures from New York University’s graduate program in Madrid, Spain, in 2008. He has taught Spanish at all levels at a variety of institutions ranging from elementary schools to colleges.

Kristen Turpin

Romance Studies
Kristen Turpin
Lecturer in Hispanic studies

Turpin joins Brandeis from the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at Villanova University, where she has served as visiting assistant professor of Spanish since August 2016. She holds a PhD in comparative literature and literary theory from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research and teaching fields include writing and second language pedagogy, Latin American literature and culture, and disability and gender studies.

Division of Sciences

 

Niels Bradshaw

Biochemistry
Niels Bradshaw
Assistant Professor

Bradshaw comes to Brandeis from Harvard University where he has served as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology since 2009. His work combines mechanistic enzymology, structural biology, genetics, and cell biology, and aims to identify the signals to which cells respond, and the conserved molecular mechanisms of enzyme regulation. He received his PhD from the University of California, San Francisco.

Julia Kardon

Biochemistry
Julia Kardon
Assistant Professor

Kardon joins Brandeis from MIT, where she has been working in the Department of Biology as a postdoctoral scholar since 2009. Her research identifies the mechanisms that control the quality and activity of mitochondrial proteins and the signals that direct these mechanisms. In carrying out this work she draws on genetic, metabolomics, cell biological, and biochemical techniques. She received her PhD from the University of California, San Francisco.

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Grace Han

Chemistry
Grace Han
Assistant Professor

Han comes to Brandeis from MIT, where she also received her doctorate in 2015, and has been working as a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. In broad terms, her recent work has focused on solving energy problems at the interface of chemistry and materials science.

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Rebecca Gieseking

Chemistry
Rebecca Gieseking
Assistant Professor

Gieseking joins Brandeis from Northwestern University, where she has been working as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Chemistry since 2015. Her research uses a combination of computational and theoretical approaches to study materials for emerging energy technologies. She received her PhD in 2015 from Georgia Institute of Technology.

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Hongfu Liu

Computer Science
Hongfu Liu
Assistant Professor

Liu’s research interests include machine learning, data mining and bioinformatics, with a specific focus on cluster analysis. He has served as a data scientist intern at Adobe Research in San Jose, California, and at Microsoft Research Asia in Beijing. He has a number of publications in journals and in computer science conferences such as IEEE BigData. He received his PhD in computer engineering from Northeastern University. 

Thomas Fai

Mathematics
Thomas Fai
Assistant Professor

Fai’s primary research interests are mathematical biology and computational fluid dynamics. He joins Brandeis from Harvard University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, where he has served as a postdoctoral research fellow in applied mathematics since 2014. He received his PhD from the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University.

John Wilmes

Mathematics
John Wilmes
Assistant Professor

Wilmes’ research is in discrete mathematics with applications to the analysis of algorithms. Present areas of focus include theoretical guarantees for machine learning and the dynamics of Markov chains for combinatorial sampling problems. He joins Brandeis from Georgia Institute of Technology’s Algorithms and Randomness Center, where he has worked as a postdoctoral scholar since 2016. He received his PhD in 2016 from the University of Chicago.

Division of Social Sciences

Amber Spry

African and Afro-American Studies and Politics
Amber Spry
Assistant Professor

Spry’s research examines the relationship between group identity and political attitudes and behavior in American politics. Broader research interests include political psychology, public opinion, race and ethnic politics, and inequality. Professor Spry received her PhD in 2018 from Columbia University.

Lee Bloch

Anthropology and American Studies
Lee Bloch
Florence Levy Kay Fellow in Native American and Indigenous Studies, Lecturer in Anthropology and American Studies

Bloch is an anthropologist trained in sociocultural and archaeological subfields. He works with members of a small Native American community in the U.S. South who identify as of Muskogee (Creek) ancestry. Bloch’s research utilizes the nondestructive methodologies of archaeological ethnography, oral history research, and collections-based research, to understand how Indigenous ways of knowing and caring for ancestral places can inform alternative ways of doing archaeology. His current book project focuses on the unfinished histories of mound landscapes: earthwork constructions built by diverse Native American peoples across eastern North America over the past 5,500 years. Bloch received his PhD from the University of Virginia in 2018.

Anthropology
Dorothy Hodgson
Professor and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

Hodgson is a cultural and historical anthropologist who has worked in East Africa for more than 30 years, primarily among Maasai pastoralists and agro-pastoralists in Tanzania. Her research has examined such topics as gender, ethnicity, cultural politics, colonialism, nationalism, modernity, the missionary encounter, transnational organizing and the indigenous rights movement. She has authored numerous books about the intersection of gender, culture and politics in Africa. Prior to joining Brandeis, Hodgson served as senior associate dean for academic affairs at Rutgers University’s School of Graduate Studies. Hodgson earned her PhD at the University of Michigan.

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Barry Shrage

Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program
Barry Shrage
Professor of the Practice in the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program

Shrage served for 30 years as president of Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, and continues to serve as a powerful voice on the American Jewish communal scene. He is known in Boston and throughout the world for his tireless support of Jewish education; his promotion of engagement by religious and nonreligious Jews; his commitment to working for social justice at home and abroad; his strong support of Israel; and his bridge-building, outreach and engagement with the non-Jewish community in creative partnerships. At Brandeis, Shrage is training and mentoring students in the Hornstein Program for future roles as Jewish professional leaders. He is also leading a new initiative on Jewish identity that will draw on Brandeis’ deep strength in the study of Jewish life to develop innovative programming for teaching and engaging members of the Jewish community. The Initiative for Jewish Identity is be housed at the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies/Steinhardt Social Research Institute.

Alejandro Trelles

Politics
Alejandro Trelles
Assistant Professor

Trelles is a political scientist, political analyst, and expert in electoral matters. He specializes in the comparative study of public institutions, elections and electoral boundary delimitation in Latin America and the Caribbean. Professor Trelles received his PhD in 2017 from the University of Pittsburgh.

 

Politics and the Crown Center for Middle East Studies
Gary Samore
Professor of the Practice in the Department of Politics and Senior Executive Director of the Crown Center for Middle East Studies

Samore is an expert on U.S. foreign relations. His career includes leadership roles at the Department of State, the National Security Council, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Council on Foreign Relations. He earned a PhD in government from Harvard University, where he recently served as executive director for research at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government.

Siri Suh

Sociology
Siri Suh
Assistant Professor

Suh joins Brandeis from the University of Minnesota, where she served as assistant professor in Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies and Global Studies. Her research bridges the fields of global maternal and reproductive health, population and development studies, and feminist studies of technology, medicine and science. Professor Suh received her PhD and MPH from Columbia University.

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Joanne Nicholson

Heller School for Social Policy and Management
Joanne Nicholson
Professor of the Practice

Nicholson is a clinical and research psychologist. She joined the faculty at the Heller School’s Institute for Behavioral Health in the spring 2018. She continues to serve as adjunct professor of psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where she is co-editor of the Journal on Parent and Family Mental Health, and is an affiliated investigator with the Dartmouth Center for Technology and Behavioral Health. Nicholson is internationally known for her work with families living with mental health and substance use disorders. She is the author of more than 100 publications, and is co-principal investigator for the National Research Center on Parents with Disabilities at the Lurie Institute on Disability Policy at the Heller School. She holds a PhD from The Pennsylvania State University.

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Sava Berhané

International Business School
Sava Berhané
Senior Lecturer

Berhané started her career in mergers and acquisitions at General Electric. She then earned a law degree from Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the Yale Journal of Regulation. Most recently, she was the chief operating officer for Building Excellent Schools, managing the operations, finance, marketing and data analytics teams serving 110 schools across the U.S. and over 25,000 students. She has received the distinguished Pinnacle Award from the Boston Chamber of Commerce. A recipient of a 2018 Brandeis Provost Research Grant, Berhané’s research focuses on the future of work, leadership in an evolving society, and women in the workplace.

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Ahmad Namini

International Business School
Ahmad Namini
Professor of the Practice of Business Analytics

Namini’s expertise is in quantitative strategies and he brings both academic and industry experience to the International Business School. Namini was previously a tenured associate professor at the University of Miami and was executive director of the quantitative finance program at the Questrom School of Business at Boston University. He has also served as a quantitative analyst and developer at Deutsche Bank in New York, and as head of analytics and technology at City Bank in Hong Kong. He holds a PhD from the University of Maryland.

Steve Xia

International Business School
Steve Xia
Professor of the Practice of Finance

Xia comes to Brandeis International Business School having lead the quantitative research effort supporting the active asset allocation decision for over $200 billion of multi-asset funds at Fidelity Investments. Prior to Fidelity, Professor Xia was a principal at the Vanguard Group, where he led a team of quantitative analysts focusing on developing fixed income trading strategies and managing credit long-short hedged strategies. Xia is a CFA and FRM charter holder.

Author: Admin