New faculty begin first year on the Hill

Forty-six new faces cover nearly every corner of campus

Jacquelene Brinton


Scott Bronson


Clinton Chadwick


Jungwon "Janet" Choy


Eric Deeds


John Derby


Florence DiGennaro Reed


Jacob Fowles


Xin "Felicity" Fu


Veronica Garibotto


Heather Getha-Taylor


Virginia Harper Ho


Miloche Kottmann


Pym Manopimoke


Felix Meschke


Lumen Mulligan


Peter Ojiambo


Paul Popiel


Derek Reed


Mary Jo Reiff


Chris Silvia


Jeff Vitter


Robert Walzel


Tara Wenger


Carol Woods


Liang Xu


Molly Zahn


A new academic year brings not only a crop of beginning students, but also a new class of KU faculty. Forty-six scholars are beginning their careers as KU faculty members this year. They represent nearly every corner of campus and come from a variety of backgrounds, having taught, studied and researched at institutions across the country and around the world. New faculty members, their disciplines and research interests are detailed below.

Jacquelene Brinton, assistant professor of religious studies

Brinton earned her doctorate from the University of Virginia. She most recently was a visiting assistant professor at Davidson College. Her research interests include Islamic religious history, modern Islam, Islamic ethics and gender issues in Islam.

Scott Bronson, assistant professor of business

Bronson earned his doctorate from the University of Tennessee. He most recently was an assistant professor at Michigan State University. His research interests are in auditing and corporate governance and he is a certified public accountant.

Hongyi Cai, assistant professor of civil, environmental and architectural engineering

Cai earned his doctorate from the University of Michigan. He most recently was a research associate at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. His research interests include daylighting, solar energy, legible buildings and environments and architectural lighting.

Darren Canady, assistant professor of English

Canady earned his master’s from New York University and an artist's diploma in playwriting from the Juilliard School. His plays focus on his Midwestern roots and the fault lines between race, history and social change.

Clinton Chadwick, associate professor of business

Chadwick earned his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. He most recently was an associate professor at the University of Alabama-Huntsville. His research focuses on the impact of human resource systems and human capital on firm competitiveness.

Promothesh Chatterjee, assistant professor of business

Chatterjee comes to KU while completing his doctorate at the University of South Carolina. His research interests include processes influencing consumers' valuation of products, sequential decision-making and product choice.

Jungwon “Janet” Choy, assistant professor/assistant scientist, speech-language-hearing, Life Span Institute

Choy is a doctoral candidate at Northwestern University. Her research focuses on the effects of lexical processing on comprehension of agrammatic sentences.

Eric Deeds, assistant professor of bioinformatics/molecular biosciences

Deeds earned his doctorate from Harvard University. He most recently was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School. His research interests include modeling the assembly of biologically important macromolecular structures and understanding the dynamics of signaling networks.

John Derby, assistant professor of visual art education

Derby earned his doctorate from The Ohio State University. He most recently served as a lecturer at KU. His research interests include disability studies, social theory, contemporary art, and visual and material culture studies.

Prajnaparamita Dhar, assistant professor of chemical and petroleum engineering

Dhar earned her doctorate from Florida State University. She most recently was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of California-Santa Barbara. Her research focuses on the dynamics of biological soft matter systems.

Adrian Finucane, assistant professor of history

Finucane is a doctoral candidate at Harvard University, where she is an Artemas Ward Fellow. Her research interests include contact between peoples in the early modern Atlantic world, race and gender in early European colonies and beliefs about witchcraft in early America.

Jacob Fowles, assistant professor of public administration

Fowles received his doctorate from the University of Kentucky. His research interests include higher education governance, finance and policy and public budgeting and financial management.

Xin "Felicity” Fu, assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science

Fu earned her doctorate from the University of Florida. She most recently was a computing innovation fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include processor microarchitecture, multi-core computer architecture and non-scale technology scaling.

Verónica Garibotto, assistant professor of Spanish and Portuguese

Garibotto earned her doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh. She most recently was an adjunct assistant professor at Queen's University. Her research focuses primarily on the links among narrative (literature and film), history and politics in Latin America.

Heather Getha-Taylor, assistant professor of public administration

Getha-Taylor earned her doctorate from Syracuse University. She most recently was an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina. Her research focuses on public and nonprofit management, with special emphasis on personnel administration, executive leadership and organizational behavior.

Alfred Tat-Kei Ho, associate professor of public administration

Ho earned his doctorate from Indiana University/Purdue University-Indianapolis. He most recently was an associate professor at Indiana University/Purdue University. His research interests include performance measurement and budgeting, e-government and state and local applied finance.

Virginia Harper Ho, associate professor of law

Ho earned her law degree from Harvard Law School. She most recently served as a visiting assistant professor at Indiana University. Her research interests include corporate governance, Chinese law and legal reform and the regulation of multinational corporations.

Kyoungchul “K.C.” Kong, assistant professor of physics and astronomy

Kong earned his doctorate from the University of Florida. He most recently was a research associate at SLAC National Accelerator Lab. His research focuses on physics beyond the standard model: collider physics, supersymmetry, extra dimensions and Higgs physics.

Miloche Kottman, assistant librarian, KU Libraries

Kottman earned her master’s from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She most recently was interim assistant head of cataloging/head of Spencer Research Library processing at KU. Her scholarly interests involve metadata and the discovery interfaces used to create and/or display it.

Chad Kraus, assistant professor of architecture

Kraus earned his master’s from McGill University. He most recently was a visiting assistant professor at KU. His research interests include phenomenology in architecture and natural sustainability.

Pym Manopimoke, assistant professor and Oswald Scholar, economics

Manopimoke is a doctoral candidate at the University of Washington. Her research interests include time series econometrics, empirical macroeconomics and monetary economics.

Afshin Marashi, associate professor of history

Marashi earned his doctorate from the University of California-Los Angeles. He most recently was an associate professor at California State University-Sacramento. His research focuses on the Middle East, Iran and nationalism.

Marshall Maude, assistant professor of visual art

Maude earned his master’s from KU, where he most recently was a lecturer. His scholarly interests include ceramics, casting, metal fabrication and stone carving.

Felix Meschke, assistant professor of business

Meschke earned his doctorate from Arizona State University. He most recently was an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota. His research interests include corporate finance, corporate governance, mutual funds and international finance.

Lumen Mulligan, professor of law

Mulligan earned a bachelor’s from KU and his law degree from the University of Michigan. He most recently was an associate professor at Michigan State University. His research addresses the jurisdiction and remedial powers of the federal courts and ethical governance of nonprofit organizations.

Carlos Nash, assistant professor of anthropology

Nash is a doctoral candidate at the University of California-Santa Barbara. His research interests include articulatory phonetics, acoustic phonetics, linguistics and technology and sociocultural linguistics.

Peter Ojiambo, assistant professor of African and African-American studies

Ojiambo earned his doctorate from Ohio University. He most recently was a lecturer and language coordinator at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research interests focus on African language pedagogy: educational objectives and theory; and philosophical, administrative and curriculum challenges.

Margaret Wickens Pearce, assistant professor of geography

Pearce earned her doctorate from Clark University. She most recently was an assistant professor at Ohio University. Her research interests include critical cartography, indigenous cartography, map design, geovisualization and historical and cultural geography.

Paul W. Popiel, assistant professor/director of bands, music

Popiel earned his doctorate from Michigan State University. Previous positions include Oklahoma State University and the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. A proponent of distinctive new music for bands, he has commissioned and premiered numerous new works for wind ensemble and chamber winds.

Derek Reed, assistant professor of applied behavioral science

Reed earned his doctorate from Syracuse University. He most recently was assistant director of clinical services at Melmark New England. His research interests include the behavioral processes underlying choice and decision making and the translation of basic research on behavioral economics into application.

Florence DiGennaro Reed, assistant professor of applied behavioral science

DiGennaro Reed earned her doctorate from Syracuse University. Her research focuses on staff training practices, performance management of employees in nonprofit settings and outcomes for children with disabilities.

Mary Jo Reiff, associate professor of English

Reiff earned her doctorate from KU. She most recently was an associate professor at the University of Tennessee. Her research interests include composition studies and public rhetoric.

Paola Sanguinetti, associate professor of architecture

Sanguinetti is a doctoral candidate at the Georgia Insitute of Technology. She is returning to a position as an associate professor at KU following doctoral study at Georgia Tech. Her research focuses on building performance and sustainability.

Sonya Satinsky, assistant professor, health, sport and exercise sciences

Satinsky received her master’s and doctorate at Indiana University. Her research interests include community-based health research, sexual health and body image.

Frederic Sellet, assistant professor of anthropology

Sellet earned his doctorate from Southern Methodist University. He most recently was an assistant professor at the University of Northern Colorado-Greeley. His research interests include plains and Rocky Mountains archaeology and Pleistocene and Holocene hunter-gatherers.

Chris Silvia, assistant professor of public administration

Silvia earned his doctorate from Indiana University. His research interests include public management, leadership, organizational behavior and networks and collaboration.

Scott McBride Smith, Cordelia Brown Murphy Professor of Music

Smith earned his doctorate from the University of Southern California. He most recently was a visiting professor at KU. He is an internationally recognized authority on piano teaching and pedagogy.

David Alan Street, assistant professor of music

Street earned his doctorate from Exeter University in the United Kingdom. He most recently was a teaching fellow at University College Dublin. His scholarly interests relate principally to musicology and music theory.

Xuemin Tu, assistant professor of mathematics

Tu earned her doctorate from New York University. She most recently was an assistant researcher at the University of California-Berkeley. Her research interests include scientific computing, numerical analysis and applied mathematics.

Jeff Vitter, provost and executive vice chancellor and professor of electrical engineering and computer science

Vitter earned his doctorate from Stanford University. He has been provost and executive vice president for academics at Texas A&M University; the Frederick Hovde dean of the College of Science at Purdue University; and distinguished professor and chair of the computer science department at Duke University. His research focuses on the algorithmic aspects of processing massive amounts of information.

Robert Walzel, dean of the School of Music

Walzel earned his doctorate from the University of North Texas. He most recently was director of the School of Music at the University of Utah. He has performed extensively in virtually every medium featuring clarinet and saxophone, from major symphony orchestras to jazz and commercial music.

Tara Wenger, assistant librarian, KU Libraries

Wenger earned her master’s from the University of Texas-Austin. She most recently was the interim head of reader services at Spencer Research Library at KU. Her scholarly interests include literary copyright and access to cultural heritage materials.

Carol Woods, associate professor, quantitative psychology, and associate director, Center for Research Methods and Data Analysis

Woods earned her doctorate from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She most recently was an associate professor at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research interests include item response theory, differential item functioning and categorical data analysis.

Liang Xu, associate professor of molecular biosciences

Xu earned his doctorate from the Fourth Military Medical University in China. He most recently was an assistant professor at the University of Michigan Medical School. Xu's cancer research focuses on therapy targeting pathways for radio- and chemo-sensitization by molecular modulation of apoptosis/autophagy pathways.

Shi Du “Shirley” Yan, Mossberg Distinguished Professor of Pharmacogenetics, Pharmacology and Toxicology

Yan earned her doctorate from Fujian Medical College. She most recently was a professor at Columbia University. Her research investigates the cellular and molecular mechanisms of cellular stress and survival in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.

Molly Zahn, assistant professor of religious studies

Zahn earned her doctorate from the University of Notre Dame. She most recently was a lecturer at KU. The main focus of her research is perceptions of scripture and scriptural authority in early Judaism and Christianity, especially in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Zhongquan “Charlie” Zheng, associate professor of aerospace engineering

Zheng earned his doctorate from Old Dominion University. He most recently was an associate professor at Kansas State University. His research interests include aerodynamics, vortex dynamics, computational fluid dynamics and heat transfer and turbulent flows. He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.


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