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New Faculty

Brian Ackley

Matthew Antonik

Krisine Bruss

Derrick Darby

Michael Davidson

Claudia Dozier

Charles Freeman

Andrew Fry

Mary Fry

Heidi Hallman

Timothy Jackson

Jelani Jefferson

Scott Jenkins

Maki Kaneko

Young-Jin Lee

Jared Llorens

Craig McLaughlin

David Mechem

Laura Mielke

Mariya Omelicheva

Paul Sneed

Tammy Steinle

Philip Stinson

Akiko Takeyama

John Vardiman

Jessica Vasquez

Nina Vyatkina

David Weis

Melanie Wilson

Kyoim Yun

Hui Zhao

Brian D. Ackley, assistant professor of molecular biosciences, comes to KU from the University of Illinois-Chicago, where he was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Biological Sciences. He received a doctorate in neuroscience from Northwestern University Institute for Neuroscience.

Shawn Alexander, assistant professor of African and African-American studies, comes to KU from Yale University’s Department of History. Alexander holds a doctorate in African-American studies from the University of Massachusetts. Alexander’s area of specialization is 19th and 20th century African-American intellectual, social and cultural history.

Matthew Antonik, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, joins KU from the Heinrich-Heine-University in Dusseldorf, Germany. He received his doctorate from the University of Maine-Orono.

Shiferaw A. Assefa, librarian I, joins KU from the Los Angeles Public Library, where he was a substitute reference librarian. Assefa is completing a doctorate in history at UCLA and holds a master’s of library science from UCLA.

Christina Bejarano, assistant professor of political science, comes to KU from the University of Iowa, where she earned her doctorate in political science and was a teaching assistant. Her research areas are in American politics, minority politics, political behavior, legislatures and women and politics.

Martin J. Bergee, professor of music and dance, comes to KU from the University of Missouri, where he was a professor of music education. He received his doctorate in philosophy and doctorate in music education from KU. His teaching and research interests include historical and philosophical foundations of music education, research and measurement in music, conducting and rehearsing techniques, and instrumental music teaching methods.

Kristine S. Bruss, assistant professor of communication studies, joins KU from Sewanee – The University of the South, where she was a Center for Teaching fellow. She earned her doctorate in communication studies from the University of Minnesota. Her research interests include speechwriting, stylistics, rhetorical education, Aristotle’s Rhetoric and ethos.

Ronald C. Caldwell Jr., assistant professor of economics, comes to KU from the University of Washington, where he earned his doctorate in economics. His fields of specialization include labor economics, health economics and economics of race, as well as public finance and applied microeconomics.

Gonzalo A. Carrasco, assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology, joins KU from Loyola University in Chicago. He earned a doctorate in biological sciences from the University of Concepción in Concepción, Chile. Carrasco’s research focuses on identifying mechanisms regulating serotonin receptor signaling in the brain and the implications thereof in treating drug abuse and other psychiatric disorders.

Caroline Chaboo, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and assistant curator at the Natural History Museum, comes to KU from the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, where she was a postdoctoral fellow. Chaboo earned a doctorate in entomology from Cornell University, and her research focuses on the systematics and biology of Chrysomelidae (leaf beetles).

Benjamin Chappell, assistant professor of American studies, comes to KU from Bridgewater College, where he was an assistant professor of sociology/cultural studies. He received his doctorate in anthropology at the University of Texas-Austin. His research interests include Mexican-American low riders, regional hip-hop, articulation of race, class and space, govermentality and security, and materiality and everyday life.

Derrick L. Darby, associate professor of philosophy, comes to KU from Texas A&M University, where he was an associate professor of philosophy. He earned his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh. Darby’s areas of specialization include social and political philosophy and African-American philosophy.

Michael M. Davidson, assistant professor of music (trombone), comes to KU from Benedictine College, where he was assistant professor of music and director of bands/orchestra. He received his doctorate in musical arts from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He is principal trombonist of the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra and solo trombonist of the Fountain City Brass Band.

Robert DeYoung, the Capitol Federal Professor in Financial Markets and Institutions, comes to KU from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., where he was associate director of the research branch in the Division of Insurance and Research. He received his doctorate in economics from the University of Wisconsin.

Jacob S. Dorman, assistant professor of history/American studies, joins KU from Wesleyan University, where he was a Mellon postdoctoral fellow. He received his doctorate in U.S. history from UCLA. His teaching interests include African-American history, African-American urban history, religions of the black Atlantic and the civil rights and black power eras.

Claudia L. Dozier, assistant professor of applied behavioral sciences, joins KU from the University of Florida, where she was the clinical director of the University of Florida Prader-Willi Syndrome Project and where she earned her doctorate in psychology behavior analysis.

Valija Evalds, assistant professor of history of art, joins KU from Smith College, where she was a lecturer for the Department of Art. Evalds earned a doctorate in history of art from Yale University. Her teaching interests include history of architecture and urbanism, medieval art and architecture and the history of costume and textiles.

Christopher E. Forth, the Howard Teaching Professor of Humanities and Western Civilization, comes to KU from the Australian National University, where he was a reader in history. His areas of concentration include European intellectual and cultural history, the cultural history of gender, sexuality and the body and modern France.

Charles S. Freeman, assistant professor of musicology, comes to KU from Palm Beach Atlantic University, where he was assistant professor of musicology. He received his doctorate in historical musicology from Florida State University. His teaching interests include 19th century music and music in the United States, and his research interests include music in the United States from 1880 to 1920 and music and nationalism.

Andrew C. Fry, professor/chair of health, sport and exercise sciences, comes to KU from the University of Memphis, where he was professor of health and sports sciences. He received his doctorate in exercise physiology from the Pennsylvania State University.

Mary D. Fry, associate professor of health, sports and exercise sciences, comes to KU from the University of Memphis, where she was associate professor of health and sport sciences. She received her doctorate in sports and exercise psychology from Purdue University.

Jeffery A. Hall, assistant professor of communication studies, joins KU from the University of Southern California, where he was an instructor at the Annenberg School for Communication and received his doctorate in communication.

Heidi L. Hallman, assistant professor of curriculum and teaching, joins KU from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was a teaching assistant in curriculum and instruction and received her doctorate in curriculum and instruction. Her research interests include sociocultural theories of language and literacy, pre-service teacher literacy preparation and curriculum studies.

David M. Hansen, assistant professor of psychology and research in education, comes to KU from the University of Illinois, where he was a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Human and Community Development. He received his doctorate from the University of Illinois in human development and family studies.

Mark T. Holder, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, comes to KU from Florida State University, where he was a computer research specialist. He received his doctorate from the Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Texas-Austin.

Timothy A. Jackson, assistant professor of chemistry, comes to KU from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where he was a post-doctoral fellow in the chemistry department. He received his doctorate in inorganic chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Sheyda F. A. Jahanbani, assistant professor of history, joins KU from Brown University, where she was an instructor of history. She received a doctorate of philosophy in history from Brown University.

Jelani F. Jefferson, associate professor of law, joins KU from Tulane Law School, where she was an instructor in legal writing and a Forrester Fellow. She received her law degree from Harvard Law School. Her teaching and research interests include criminal law and procedure, federal courts, juvenile justice and race and the law.

Scott Jenkins, assistant professor of philosophy, comes to KU from Reed College, where he was a visiting assistant professor of philosophy and humanities. He received his doctorate in philosophy from Princeton University. His areas of specialization include Kant, German idealism and Nietzsche.

David K. Johnson, assistant professor and assistant scientist of psychology and gerontology, comes to KU from the Washington University School of Medicine, where he was a faculty research fellow at the Alzheimer’s Research Center in the Department of Neurology. He received his doctorate in clinical psychology at Washington University.

Maki Kaneko, assistant professor of the history of art, comes to KU from Northwestern University, where she was a visiting assistant professor in the art history department. She received her doctorate in world art studies and museumology from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK, and Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures.

Prasad Kulkarni, assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science, comes to KU from Florida State University, where he received his doctorate in computer science. He is also a recipient of the 2006-07 IBM Ph.D. Fellowship. His research interests include static and dynamic/adaptive compilers, embedded systems and computer architecture.

Mark Landau, assistant professor of psychology, comes to KU from the University of Arizona, where he was a research associate. He received his doctorate in social psychology from the University of Arizona. His teaching interests include social psychology, the self, motivation, attitudes, prejudice and social cognition.

Young-Jin Lee, assistant professor of educational leadership and policy studies, comes to KU from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was a research fellow. Lee received a doctorate in educational psychology at the University of Illinois. His research interests include the educational use of innovative computer technologies and teaching interests include computer-supported collaborative learning.

Jared J. Llorens, assistant professor of public administration, comes to KU from the University of Georgia. He received his doctorate in public administration from the University of Georgia and was formerly a human resources specialist with the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Yang Lu, assistant professor of history, joins KU from Harvard University, where he was a lecturer of East Asian languages and civilizations. Lu earned a doctorate in East Asian studies from Princeton University and taught for several years at Princeton as an assistant professor.

Crystal Y. Lumpkins, assistant professor of journalism, joins KU from the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she was a research assistant at the Health Communication Research Center and where she is completing her doctorate in journalism.

Michael S. Lynch, assistant professor of political science, comes to KU from Washington University, where he was an instructor of political science and received his doctorate in political science.

Craig McLaughlin, assistant professor of aerospace engineering, comes to KU from the University of North Dakota, where he was an assistant professor of space studies and an adjunct assistant professor of electrical engineering. He received his doctorate in aerospace engineering sciences from the University of Colorado-Boulder.

David B. Mechem, assistant professor of geography, comes to KU from the University of Oklahoma, where he was a research scientist for the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies. He earned his doctorate in atmospheric sciences from the University of Washington.

Laura L. Mielke, assistant professor of English, joins KU from Iowa State University, where she was an assistant professor of English. She received her doctorate in American literature from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Anil Misra, professor of civil, environmental and architectural engineering, comes to KU from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he was a professor of civil engineering. Misra received a doctorate in civil engineering from the University of Massachusetts. Misra’s research interests include geomechanics/geomaterials, biomechanics/biomaterials and coal combustion products as construction material.

Andreas Moller, assistant professor of geology, comes to KU from the Universitat Postdam, where he was an assistant professor of geology. He received his doctorate in minerology from the Universitat Kiel in Germany.

David L. Neely, assistant professor of music and dance and director of orchestras, comes to KU from the University of Texas-Austin, where he was an assistant professor of opera conducting/coaching. He received his master of music degree from Indiana University.

Alison Olcott, assistant professor of geology, comes to KU from the University of Southern California, where she received her doctorate in geology.

Mariya Y. Omelicheva, assistant professor of political science, joins KU from Purdue University, where she received her doctorate in political science. Omelicheva’s research interests include Eurasian security, counterterrorism and human rights, human rights law and non-governmental actors of world politics.

Meagan M. Patterson, assistant professor of psychology and research in education, joins from the University of Texas-Austin, where she was a teaching assistant and earned her doctorate in developmental psychology. Her research focuses on topics such as relations among social identities and children’s self-views and the role of segregation in the formation of children’s inter-group attitudes.

Blake Peterson, professor of medicinal chemistry, joins KU from Pennsylvania State University, where he was an associate professor of chemistry. He was previously a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Research Foundation postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University and holds a doctorate from the University of California-Los Angeles. His research interests include the development of artificial cell surface receptors as new tools for drug delivery, the synthesis of molecular probes of biology and studies of small molecule-protein interactions to generate potential therapeutic leads.

Laura Poppo, associate professor of business, comes to KU from Virginia Tech, where she was an associate professor of organization and strategy. Poppo earned a doctorate in organization and strategy from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research has tested current theoretical perspectives in strategic management and sociology, including transaction cost economics, the resource-based view of the firm and social institutions. More recently, Poppo’s research examines strategic and governance issues in China.

Thomas E. Prisinzano, associate professor of medicinal chemistry, comes to KU from the University of Iowa, where he was an associate professor of medicinal and natural products chemistry. Prisinzano earned a doctorate from Virginia Commonwealth University. His research interests include the chemistry of drugs that exert their effects on the central nervous system, such as cocaine, methamphetamine, serotonergenics and hallucinogens, and the role of stereochemistry in drug receptor interactions.

Argun Saatcioglu, assistant professor of educational leadership and policy studies, joins KU from Case Western Reserve University, where he was an adjunct faculty member. Saatcioglu earned a doctorate in organizational theory and behavior from Case Western Reserve University. Saatcioglu’s research interests include macro organization theory, education policy and sociology of education, focusing particularly on problems in urban education.

Paul M. Sneed, assistant professor of Spanish and Portuguese, joins KU from San Diego State University, where he was an assistant professor in the same discipline. He earned a doctorate in Portuguese and 20th century Brazilian literature and cultural studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Sneed has published several papers on Brazilian music and culture.

Paulette Spencer, Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering, comes to KU from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where she was Curators Professor, the Hamilton B.G. Robinson Professor of Oral Biology and Pediatric Dentistry and director of the UMKC Center for Research on Interfacial Structure and Properties. Spencer will head a bioengineering research contingent of close to two dozen faculty members, including faculty from the KU Medical Center and 20 from the various engineering departments on the KU Lawrence campus. She holds a dentistry degree and doctorate in oral biology and physics from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and master’s from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Steven Spooner, assistant professor of music, joins KU from the University of Idaho. Spooner holds a doctorate from Indiana University. A pianist, Spooner has taught at the University of Idaho and Indiana University. Spooner is a prizewinner of several international piano competitions and has performed in major cultural centers all over the world.

Tammy J. Steinle, librarian I at the Wheat Law Library, comes to KU from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law, where she was an electronic resources librarian. Steinle also earned a law degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Philip Stinson, assistant professor of classics, is joining the faculty after serving as a lecturer at KU. Stinson holds a doctorate in classical art and archaeology from New York University. His research interests include Greek and Roman art and architecture, classical archaeology and information technology and the humanities.

Akiko Takeyama, assistant professor of anthropology and women’s studies, comes to KU from the University of Illinois. Takeyama has a doctorate in sociocultural anthropology from the same university. Her research interests include Japan, gender, sexuality, class, the body, popular culture and globalization.

Zsolt Talata, assistant professor of mathematics, comes to KU from Georgia Tech, where he was a visiting assistant professor. Talata has a doctorate in applied mathematics from Budapest University of Technology and Economics in Hungary.

Dave Tell, assistant professor of communication studies, comes to KU from the University of Maryland. He holds a doctorate in communication arts and sciences from Pennsylvania State University.

Philip Vardiman, assistant professor of health, sport and exercise sciences, is joining the faculty ranks after serving as a lecturer at KU for the athletic training education program. He earned a doctorate in kinesiology from the University of Arkansas. He will continue as the acting clinical coordinator for KU’s ATEP. His research interests include the immune response in athletes and physically active persons involved in exercise and sport training.

Jessica M. Vasquez, assistant professor of sociology, joins KU from the University of California-Berkeley, where she earned a doctorate in sociology and was an instructor. Vasquez has researched and written on topics such as racial identity formation in multi-generation Mexican American families, racial discrimination and Chicano-authored literature.

Nina Vyatkina, assistant professor of Germanic languages and literatures, comes to KU from Pennsylvania State University, where she also earned her doctorate in German and applied linguistics. Vyatkina has taught at Penn State and in Russia.

David Weis, assistant professor of chemistry, joins KU from the University of New Mexico, where he was a research assistant professor. Weis holds a doctorate in chemistry from Indiana University. He has researched topics such as protein conformation and dynamics, protein/protein interactions and enzyme kinetics in supercooled water.

Scott A. Weiss, associate professor and director of bands, comes to KU from Indiana University, where he was associate director of bands and associate professor of music. He earned a doctorate in music education from the University of Illinois. Weiss has also worked with bands at Lamar University and Emory University.

Melanie Wilson, associate professor of law, comes to KU from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, where she was an associate professor. She has a law degree from the University of Georgia. Wilson served as a federal judicial clerk for the late Richard C. Freeman, was an assistant U.S. attorney and was assistant attorney general for the state of Georgia.

Kyoim Yun, assistant professor of East Asian languages and cultures, comes to KU from Indiana University, where she earned a doctorate in folklore. Yun has published on topics such as performance-centered approach to verbal art in the United States and globalization and transformation in contemporary Korean society.

Stephanie Zelnick, assistant professor of music and dance, comes to KU from the faculties of the University of Wyoming and the University of Northern Colorado, where she was an adjunct professor. Zelnick holds a doctorate in clarinet performance from the University of Northern Colorado. She has also taught at the University of Northern Colorado and has performed with orchestras across the United States and Europe.

Hui Zhao, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, joins KU from the University of Iowa, where he was a post-doctoral researcher. He holds a doctorate in physics from Northern Jiaotong University in Beijing. He has researched topics such as semiconductor spintronics, nano-electronics and ultrafast dynamics of carriers in semiconductor.

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