New Arts and Sciences Faculty: Fall 2023
An impressive group of new faculty will join the School of Arts and Sciences for the Fall 2023 semester.
Aerielle Allen, Psychology
Aerielle Allen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology. She joins Tufts from New York University where she was a Postdoctoral Faculty Fellow. Her research interests include intergroup relations, racism, racial inequality, bias and discrimination, social justice, health disparities, and collective action. Allen has published her work in peer-reviewed publications such as Journal of Social Issues and Journal of Health Psychology. She completed her PhD at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. Allen will be teaching courses this year in Black Psychology and the Psychology of Anti-Black Racism in Health.
Emma Armstrong-Carter, Child Study and Human Development
Emma Armstrong-Carter is an Assistant Professor in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development. She is a developmental psychologist who researches children's and adolescents' experiences helping and caregiving for family - and how these experiences relate to their wellbeing and school success. She completed her PhD at Stanford University in 2022, and was a fellow in the Stanford Data Science Initiative and the Stanford Center for Education Policy Analysis. Her post-doctoral training was at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and was funded by the National Science Foundation. Her research has been published in Psychological Science, Child Development, and Developmental Psychology.
Qais Assali, SMFA at Tufts
Qais Assali is a Professor of the Practice in Graphic Arts at SMFA at Tufts. Assali received a BFA in Graphic Design from An-Najah National University, a BA in Contemporary Visual Art from the International Academy of Art Palestine, a MA in Art Education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an MFA in Studio Art from Bard College. Assali’s art/design practice, which includes photography, video, installation, performance, graphic design, and working with archives, engages issues of time and memory, collective trauma, and diasporic doubling through investigations of historical events, the deconstruction of their role as author, and their own subject position. They use visual analogy, translation, substitution, and appropriation strategies to rethink forms of communication architectures. From there, their work investigates truth vs. fiction, ambiguity vs. didacticism, fake/copy vs. original, and problem-solving vs. problem-making. They are the recipient of a 2021 Art Matters Foundation grant; 2020 Chicago Artists Coalition Spark Grant; 2020 Houston Arts Alliance Digital Grant; 2020 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts - Idea Fund; 2016 SAIC New Artists’ Society Award; and 2016 Palest’In & Out Festival - Plastic Art Prize.
Denise Bates, History
Denise E. Bates is a Professor in the Department of History and the Dean of University College. She was previously at Arizona State University (ASU), where she was the Associate Dean of Student Success and Community Engagement for the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts. She was also a Thought Leader Fellow with the American Indian Policy Institute and a Senior Global Futures Scholar with the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory. She is an award-winning scholar and teacher whose work has been supported by the Ford Foundation, Princeton University Library and Archives, and the Arthur and Rochelle Belfer Foundation. At ASU, she received the Outstanding Research, Senior Distinguished Scholar Award, and the Outstanding Faculty-Directed Program: Fostering Global Citizenship Award for her Indigenous Peoples of Belize: History, Leadership, and Sustainable Well-Being program. Her scholarship examines leadership, activism, community development, and education among Indigenous peoples of the 19th and 20th-century U.S. South, with some of her publications including books entitled The Other Movement: Indian Rights and Civil Rights in the Deep South and Basket Diplomacy: Leadership, Alliance-Building, and Resilience among the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, 1884-1984. She also has a long track record of building programs and designing curricula utilizing new instructional technologies to increase access to a diverse range of learners.
Corey Bregman, Mathematics
Corey Bregman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics. He comes to Tufts from the University of Southern Maine, where he started as an Assistant Professor after a postdoctoral position at Brandeis University. His research is in geometric group theory and low-dimensional topology, studying the interplay between algebraic properties of infinite groups and the geometric spaces on which they act. His work has been published in scholarly journals such as Duke Mathematical Journal and Geometry and Topology. Bregman holds an NSF grant for research on Kähler groups, surface bundles, and outer automorphisms, and previously received a Simons travel grant. He received his PhD from Rice University.
Katie Brook, Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies
Katie Brook is a Lecturer in the Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies. She is an experienced director and producer who worked for many years in the New York City theater scene, focusing on devised theatre and new plays. Some of her directing credits include The Cherry Orchard (Quantum Theatre, 2022), Dr. Ride’s American Beach House (by Liza Birkenmeier, Ars Nova, 2019) and How to Get Into Buildings (by Trish Harnetiaux, New Georges, 2017). Her company, Televiolet, has created original theatrical work using real-world content in a collaborative context. Their most recent piece, ISLANDER (HERE Arts Center, NYC 2021), was a satire made of NHL commentary about white male fragility, and was a critical and popular success as one of the first shows premiering at the end of the pandemic shut down. Brook has also produced audio drama, and worked for StoryCorps, an oral history project that airs documentary segments on NPR. Brook has previously taught at MIT and Carnegie Mellon University. She received her MFA in Directing from Carnegie Mellon University.
Amaris Brown, English
Amaris Brown is the Holmes Assistant Professor in the Department of English. She recently received her PhD from Cornell University in the Department of Africana Studies, with a Graduate Certificate in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her dissertation was titled “Desirous Disposability: Circuits of Race, Sex, and Refusal”, and her research includes 20th and 21st century African diasporic literature and visual culture, gender and sexuality studies, and critical disability studies. She was a Critical Writing Fellow in the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program and holds a BA from Brandeis University in African and Afro-American Studies and Sociology.
Elena Carrion-Guerrero, Romance Studies
Elena Carrion-Guerrero is a Senior Lecturer in Spanish in the Department of Romance Studies. She comes to Tufts from the Department of Romance Studies at Boston University. She has also been a lecturer at Boston College and Lasell College and has taught in several adult education and high school programs, from the Boston-area to Panama, Spain, and France. She holds a Master of Arts in Information and Communication Technologies for Language Teaching and Processing from the National University of Distance Education in Spain, a Master of Arts in Teaching Spanish from Tufts, and a combined BA/MA in Translating and Interpreting from the University of Granada.
Benjamin Chrisinger, Community Health
Benjamin Chrisinger is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Health. He comes to Tufts from the University of Oxford, where he was an Associate Professor of Evidence-Based Policy Evaluation in the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, and a Research Fellow with Green-Templeton College. Prior to Oxford, he was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Training Program at Stanford University School of Medicine. His research is at the intersection of urban planning and public health, using both quantitative and qualitative methods with a focus on the effects of place on health. He received his PhD in City and Regional Planning, with a certificate in College & University Teaching, from the University of Pennsylvania.
Denise Cummings, Film and Media Studies
Denise Cummings is a Senior Lecturer in the Film and Media Studies Program. Prior to Tufts, she was an Associate Professor in Critical Media and Cultural Studies and Director of Film Studies at Rollins College. Her research is at the intersection of cinema studies, cultural studies, and critical theory, with a focus on Native American and global Indigenous screen cultures, as well as Native art and visual culture. Her work engages the politics of transnational film and media production, marketing, and distribution; she also has significant expertise in the history, theory, method, and practice of film festivals and activist media. Cummings has published three books, curates film programs for the Native American Literature Symposium, and serves on several film festival committees. She received her PhD from the University of Florida.
Frank David, Biology
Frank David is a Professor of the Practice in the Department of Biology. He joins Tufts from the biopharma consulting firm Pharmagellan where he is the Founder and Managing Director. Previously, he worked at Leerink Partners, a leading healthcare investment bank, and also served as Director of Strategy in AstraZeneca’s Oncology Innovative Medicines unit. As an experienced consultant and former physician-scientist, his work combines corporate strategy, clinical medicine, and pharmaceutical research and development. David Is the author of two books, The Pharmagellan Guide to Biotech Forecasting and Valuation (2017) and The Pharmagellan Guide to Analyzing Biotech Clinical Trials (2022). His work has been published in academic and industry publications such as Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, Health Affairs Blog, and JAMA Network Open. He received his MD and PhD degrees from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, and his clinical training in anatomic pathology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Benjamin Davies, Environmental Studies
Benjamin Davies is a Lecturer in the Environmental Studies Program. He has an interdisciplinary approach to research and teaching, and focuses on coupled human-natural systems, using quantitative and qualitative methods to research climate change adaptation, mobility and resilience, and landscape modification in Africa and Oceania. He comes to Tufts from Yale University, where he was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Data Science researching long-term cultural and environmental dynamics in the Zambezian Biome of Malawi. He received his PhD jointly supervised between Geography and Anthropology at the University of Auckland.
Xinqiang Ding, Chemistry
Xinqiang Ding is the Dr. Charles W. Fotis A37, AG39 Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry. Ding comes to Tufts from a Postdoctoral Researcher position at MIT. Prior to that, he was a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Neurobiology at the University of Chicago. His research has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as Nature Communications, Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation, and The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. In 2021 he was awarded the PHYS Young Investigator Award from the American Chemical Society. He received his PhD from the University of Michigan.
Phuong (Phoebe) Dinh, Psychology
Phuong (Phoebe) Dinh is a Lecturer in the Department of Psychology. They recently received their PhD from Carnegie Mellon University where they were awarded the Herb Simon Graduate Student Teaching Award. Their research interest in causal cognitions, or how people think about causation, sits at the intersection of philosophy and psychology. Dinh is also an undergraduate alum of Tufts, where they majored in Cognitive & Brain Science. Dinh will be teaching courses this year in Experimental Psychology and Measurement in Psychology.
Cheryl Doss, Economics
Cheryl Doss is a Professor in the Department of Economics. She joins Tufts from Oxford University, where she was Professor of International Development. Doss’ research focuses on rural transformation and gender issues in agriculture, household decision-making in rural economics, and women’s control over assets. She has served as President of the International Association for Feminist Economists, and held previous appointments at Yale University and Williams College. She received her PhD in Applied Economics from the University of Minnesota.
Jamee Elder, Philosophy
Jamee Elder is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy. They come to Tufts from Harvard University where they were a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Black Hole Initiative. Previously, they were a Heinrich Hertz Fellow with the Lichtenberg Group for History and Philosophy at the University of Bonn. Broadly, Elder’s research focuses on the epistemology of science, particularly astrophysics. Their current research is around large astrophysical experiments that involve “observing” black holes. Elder completed their PhD at the University of Notre Dame.
Juan Escalona Torres, Romance Studies
Juan Escalona Torres is a Lecturer and Spanish Language Coordinator in the Department of Romance Studies. He comes to Tufts from Cornell University where he was a Lecturer and Course Coordinator of Spanish Language. Escalona Torres has designed and taught undergraduate and graduate-level language and linguistics courses both in the U.S. and abroad. His work has been published in book compilations and journals such as Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics. He received his PhD from Indiana University.
Athena Eyster, Earth and Climate Sciences
Athena Eyster is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth and Climate Sciences. She joins Tufts from a postdoctoral position at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Previously, she was at Johns Hopkins University as a Morton K. Blaustein Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, and also spent time at MIT as a Postdoctoral Associate. Her research and projects are focused on earth dynamics and earth environments. As a geologist with a physics background, her projects are grounded in extensive fieldwork. Eyster received her PhD from Harvard University.
Peilei Fan, Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning
Peilei Fan is a Professor in the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. She comes to Tufts from Michigan State University where she was a Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the School of Planning, Design, and Construction and Interim Director of the Center for Global Change and Earth Observations. She is the President of International Association for Landscape Ecology. Fan has also served as a consultant for the United Nations University – World Institute of Development Economics Research and the Asian Development Bank. Her research focuses on urban environment and sustainability, public health, innovation and economic development, and planning and policy and has been funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Science Foundation. She received her PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Heather Gilbert, Occupational Therapy
Heather Gilbert is a Lecturer in the Department of Occupational Therapy. She specializes in mental health, acquired brain injury and management. Gilbert has worked in a variety of clinical settings including serving most recently as Program Director at the David Krempels Brain Injury Center. She has also previously been an Adjunct Instructor at the University of New Hampshire and Regis College. She received her Doctorate of Occupational Therapy from Tufts.
Doug Gollin, Economics
Doug Gollin is the Jason P. and Chloe Epstein Professor in the Department of Economics. Before coming to Tufts, Gollin was a Professor of Economics and Professor of Development Economics at the University of Oxford. Previously, he was a Professor at Williams College and a Visiting Professor at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Gollin’s primary work is in agricultural and development economics and economic growth spanning across environmental economics, climate change, rural-urban migration, energy economics, structural transformation and technological change. He received his PhD from the University of Minnesota.
Matthew Gudgeon, Economics
Matthew Gudgeon is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics and an IZA research affiliate. Prior to joining Tufts, he worked as an Assistant Professor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. His research in labor economics, public economics, and political economy uses applied econometric methods to evaluate and inform public policy. His work includes studying the returns to military service, how workers and firms respond to tax and benefit policies, and conflict. He received his PhD in Economics from Boston University.
André M. Harper, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Leadership
André Harper is a Lecturer in the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Leadership Program. He is an international executive leadership coach with two doctorates: one in Organization and Leadership (Adult Learning & Leadership) from Teachers College, Columbia University, and another in Higher Education Executive Leadership from Argosy University. André’s research focuses on executive leadership and most recently African American Fortune 500 CEOs. André brings experience in designing, influencing, and delivering innovative and effective learning solutions for leadership development, with expertise in creating centrally designed programs, delivering new classroom programs, and developing content for online modules. In addition to his roles as executive coach, faculty, and facilitator in higher education, André has served as a K-12 educator, Chief Financial Officer, and Executive Board Member. He continues to serve as an Executive Coach for Stanford University School of Medicine, the United Nations (UNICEF), and leaders at other corporate and tech companies.
Sarah R. Hengel, Biology
Sarah R. Hengel is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology. They come to Tufts from the University of Pittsburgh where they were a Postdoctoral Fellow with Kara Bernstein at the Hillman Cancer Center. Hengel has been supported by the American Cancer Society and received a prestigious K99/R00 grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). Their research combines cell biology, biochemistry, biophysics, and single-molecule tweezers (C-trap) approaches to discover mechanisms of DNA repair in aging, disease, and cancer. Hengel’s work has been published in journals such as Nature Communications, eLife, and the Annual Review of Genetics. Their doctoral work was performed under the mentorship of Dr. Maria Spies in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Iowa.
Dingru Huang, International Literary and Cultural Studies
Dingru Huang is the Rumsey Family Assistant Professor in the Department of International Literary and Cultural Studies. Before joining Tufts, she was at the University of California, Berkeley, as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Chinese Studies. With a PhD in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University, her research explores the entanglement of cultural production, technological development, and ecological imaginations in China and East Asia, particularly the roles played by nonhuman animals. Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals, such as Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, Ex-Position, Wenxue, and the Chung-wai Literary Quarterly. Aside from academic research, Dingru enjoys creative writing. Her short story “Peacock Trappers” was published by Shanghai Literature.
Rebecca Jackson, Earth and Climate Sciences
Rebecca Jackson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth and Climate Sciences. Jackson is a physical oceanographer with interests in ocean-glacier interactions, coastal dynamics, and polar processes. Her work investigates submarine melting of glaciers in Greenland and Alaska, and the effect of glacial melting water on ocean circulation. She joins Tufts from Rutgers University where she was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Marine & Coastal Sciences. She received her PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology & Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
Ihnmi Jon, SMFA at Tufts
Ihnmi Jon is a Lecturer in Visual and Material Studies at SMFA at Tufts. Ihnmi received a BA in Traditional Painting and Archaeology and Art History from Seoul National University, a MA in Art Theory from Seoul National University, and a PhD in Art History from Binghamton University. Jon’s research and teaching focuses on the methodological challenges of an art history that recognizes the movement of art and artists across temporal, cultural, and discursive formations in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Through both her research and teaching, Ihnmi has endeavored to overcome predominant understandings of Asian modern and contemporary art that rarely problematize the artists’ highly racialized and essentialized identity formation. In Spring 2022, she worked for the contemporary artist Ugo Rondinone’s solo exhibition in Seoul, contributing her article Ugo Rondinone: Between Pilgrimage and Tourism to Sinsegae Art Magazine. As a series, for the magazine she wrote the two articles, Historicization is Never Neutral: Anselm Kiefer at Palazzo Ducale and The ‘Great’ Migrator: Robert Rauschenberg. Ihnmi is currently working on converting her dissertation into a book manuscript.
Hassaan Khan, Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning
Hassaan F. Khan is joining Tufts from Karachi where he was an Assistant Professor of Environmental Science at Habib University. His teaching and research focus on issues of environmental justice and equity, combining rigorous systems analysis with mixed methods approaches, to study water management in the global south. Khan currently leads an interdisciplinary research group (KWP) engaged in investigating approaches to inform water management in megacities across South Asia. He was previously a Postdoctoral Scholar at Stanford University in Earth System Science where he developed integrated hydrogeologic and human systems models to inform sustainable urban water management in Amman (Jordan) and Pune (India). Khan holds a PhD in Water Resources Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Hong Ly, Education
Hong Ly is a Lecturer in the Department of Education. She was previously a Part-time Lecturer in the School Psychology program at Tufts and also served as an Adjunct Lecturer at Endicott College. Additionally, she has held School Psychologist positions at Milton Public Schools and Worcester Public Schools. She received her MA/EdS in School Psychology from Tufts and her EdD from Endicott College.
David Martin, Physics and Astronomy
David Martin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. He joins Tufts from the Ohio State University, where he was a NASA Sagan Fellow, one of the most prestigious postdoctoral fellowships in astronomy. He is a joint observational-theoretical astrophysicist who primarily researches extra-solar planets and multi-star systems. While at Ohio State University, he served as the postdoc representative on the Ohio State committee for diversity, equity, and inclusion. During his Swiss National Science Foundation fellowship at the University of Chicago, he developed the Stanley algorithm for finding circumbinary exoplanets, and in 2022, he was named one of Astronomy magazine’s “25 Rising Stars in Astronomy”. He completed his PhD at the Université de Genève (Switzerland) and his BS at Monash University (Australia).
Katherine Mattaini, Biology
Katherine (Katie) Mattaini is a Lecturer in the Department of Biology. Before coming to Tufts, she was a Lecturer at Roger Williams University. She was also previously a Visiting Assistant Professor at College of the Holy Cross and an Adjunct Professor at Pine Manor College. Her areas of expertise include biochemistry, cancer biology, and metabolism. Mattaini completed her PhD at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She did her post-doctoral work in the lab of Karl Munger at the Tufts Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences where she was in the IRACDA Program for Training in Education and Critical Research Skills. Since transitioning to a teaching-focused career in 2017, she has worked in the areas of inclusive pedagogy, active learning, authentic assessments, and particularly, alternative grading. She focuses on building communities of practice for educators interested in alternative grading, both as an organizer of The Grading Conference, and as the founder and organizer of the group Bio Grading for Growth.
Sarah Mass, History
Sarah Mass joins the Department of History as Assistant Professor of Britain and the World. She comes to Tufts from Sam Houston State University, where she was an Assistant Professor of British History from 2019-2023, and was previously a Lecturer-in-Discipline at Columbia University. Her work joins the fields of urban history, the history of economic life, and the history of multiculturalism in modern Britain. Her 2019 article “Cost-Benefit Break Down: Unplannable Spaces in 1970s Glasgow,” published in the Urban History Journal, was awarded the Dyos Prize for the best article submitted to the journal in that calendar year. Her book in progress, Retail Citizenship: Market, State, and the Right to Sell in Modern Britain, traces “how and why ordinary town and city-center retail institutions—such as open-air markets, ethnic-minority shopkeepers, and itinerant vendors—helped define the boundaries of ‘the local’ in a globalizing economy.” Mass received her PhD from the University of Michigan.
Meredith McLain, Political Science
Meredith McLain is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science. She recently completed her PhD at Vanderbilt University. Her dissertation, titled “Strategic Presidential Unilateralism in the Face of Institutional and Public Sanctioning,” investigated when and why presidents are constrained when issuing unilateral directives and how they can still powerfully impact policy even in the face of legislative, public, and bureaucratic opposition. Her research interests include the separation of powers, presidency, unilateral policymaking, executive politics, and congressional oversight.
Zora J Murff, SMFA at Tufts
Zora J Murff is a Professor of the Practice in Photography at SMFA at Tufts. Murff received a BS in Psychology from Iowa State University and an MFA in Studio Art, Photography from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Murff is an artist and educator interested in liberation from anti-Blackness. He uses his creative practice to explore the politics of stereotypes using provocative imagery. He practices photography expansively, stretching it across disciplines to create associative or implied images. Like bell hooks, he strives to speak plainly about visual culture and its entanglement with racial capitalism and other forms of hierarchical oppression. He has created multiple books of his work including his latest monograph, True Colors (or, Affirmations in a Crisis) published by Aperture Foundation. His work has been exhibited and collected widely by institutions like the Museum of Modern Art, LACMA, Studio Museum in Harlem, and the V&A Museum. In 2023, Murff was named an International Center for Photography Infinity Award Winner.
Matthew Okazaki, History of Art and Architecture
Matthew Okazaki is a Professor of the Practice in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture. A practicing artist, designer, and educator, he is the founder of the architecture practice Field Office LLC, and a principal at Architecture for Public Benefit, a corporation providing design services for mission-driven organizations in Greater Boston. He was previously an Assistant Teaching Professor in the School of Architecture at Northeastern University, and also has taught at Tufts, Brandeis University, and Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. He received his Master of Architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.
Pamela Pecchio, SMFA at Tufts
Pamela Pecchio is a Professor of the Practice in Photography at SMFA at Tufts. Pecchio received a BFA in Photography from the University of Georgia and an MFA in Photography from Yale University, where she was awarded the Richard Dixon Welling Prize. Her work has been included in exhibitions at Aperture, Daniel Cooney Fine Art, and Wallspace Galleries in New York, as well as The Jordan National Gallery of Art, International Art Camp in Beijing, China, the Amsterdam DreamBike Festival, and Köeln Art in Cologne, Germany. She is the author of two books: eight, an artist’s book published by Nexus Press, and 509, a limited edition monograph published by Daniel 13 Press. Her work is a part of the permanent collections of the Yale University Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.
Catherine Peters, Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora
Catherine Peters is a Lecturer in the Department of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora. Last year, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the department, and the previous year, she was a postdoctoral associate in Yale University’s Program in Agrarian Studies. Her research centers on empire, race, gender, sexuality, intimacy, capitalism, and the environment in the hemispheric Americas with a particular focus on the nineteenth-century Caribbean. She completed her PhD at Harvard University in American Studies with a secondary field in Latinx Studies. Her dissertation received Honorable Mention for Best Dissertation from the Caribbean Studies Association in 2022.
Samantha Petti, Mathematics
Samantha Petti is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics. She comes to Tufts from the NSF-Simons Center for the Mathematical & Statistical Analysis of Biology at Harvard University where she was an Independent Fellow. Her research focuses on developing computational tools for inferring evolutionary relationships and mechanics from biological sequence data. Her work has appeared in scholarly journals such as PLoS Computational Biology and Bioinformatics. Petti received the Burroughs-Wellcome Fund Careers at the Scientific Interface (CASI) Award and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. She received her PhD from the multidisciplinary Algorithms, Combinatorics, and Optimization (ACO) program at Georgia Institute of Technology.
Marisa Plasencia, Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies
Marisa Plasencia is an Artist in Residence in the Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies. She comes to Tufts from Reed College where she was a Visiting Assistant Professor in Dance. Plasencia’s research examines discrete forms of protest at the intersection of postmodern dance, visual art, and black social dance traditions. She was awarded a 2021-2022 Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship to support the completion of her dissertation, which was titled “Black Minimalisms: Task, Pastiche, and Subterfuge in Choreographies of Routine Violence.” She received her PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Kévin Rocheron, Romance Studies
Kévin Rocheron is a Lecturer in the Department of Romance Studies. Before coming to Tufts, Rocheron served as Deputy Director (Pedagogy) at the Alliance française of Bogota, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Columbia. Previously, he was a Faculty-in-Residence in French at Oberlin College. Rocheron is expected to complete his PhD in European Studies at Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris in December 2024.
Leslie Rogers, SMFA at Tufts
Leslie Rogers is a Professor of the Practice in Sculpture at SMFA at Tufts. Rogers received a BFA in General Fine Art from Maryland Institute College of Art and an MFA in Sculpture & Extended Media from Virginia Commonwealth University. Rogers’ work draws from quilting, puppetry, slapstick entertainment, collaborative relationships, and horticulture. Through form and storytelling, she reveals evidence of historical violence and transcendence and expands the quilt's use beyond warmth and décor to actor and reactor. Rogers has been awarded residencies at Monson Arts, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Penland School of Craft, Jentel Foundation, Stoveworks, The Soil Factory, Prairie Ronde, ACRE, AS220, Art Farm Nebraska, Mildred’s Lane, the University Musical Society at the University of Michigan, and a three-year postdoctoral research fellowship from the Michigan Society of Fellows at the University of Michigan.
Ursina Schaede, Economics
Ursina Schaede is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics. She joins Tufts from MIT where she was a Postdoctoral Fellow. In addition, Schaede was an Academic Visitor at Aalto University School of Business in Helsinki and a CESifo Research Network Affiliate. Schaede is an applied microeconomist who studies labor markets with a focus on education and gender. She is the recipient of the Distinguished CESifo Affiliate Award and the Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation Research Grant. She holds a PhD from the University of Zurich.
Dylan Vasey, Earth and Climate Sciences
Dylan Vasey is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth and Climate Sciences. He recently received his PhD in Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of California Davis. His work includes field mapping, structural geology, geochronology, geochemistry, and numerical modeling to research the construction and history of convergent plate boundaries. He is also interested in the intersection of geology and the humanities, in particular how mythology relates to tectonic history. He completed his MS in Geology at UC Davis, and holds a BA in Black Studies/History from Amherst College.
Marcus Weera, Psychology
Marcus Weera is the Evans Family Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology. He comes to Tufts from the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, where he has been a Postdoctoral Fellow since 2017. His research is on the neurobiology of alcohol use, stress, and co-morbid disorders. Weera has published his work in peer-reviewed publications such as eLife, Journal of Neuroscience, and Neuropharmacology, and has received awards from the International Drug Abuse Research Society. He received his PhD in Integrative Neuroscience from Purdue University. Weera will be teaching a seminar on Addiction Neuroscience upon his arrival in January 2024.
Liana Woskie, Community Health
Liana Woskie is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Health. She joins Tufts from a joint Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Watson Institute at Brown University and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Previously, she was the Assistant Director of the Harvard Initiative on Global Health Quality. Her research involves evaluating health system performance and the degree to which systems are held accountable to patients. Woskie’s PhD dissertation, titled “Quantifying Structural Violence: Female Sterilization and Normalized State Repression in Healthcare,” was awarded the Guggenheim Emerging Scholar Award for research on causes and manifestations of violence against women and the Horowitz Foundation Trustees’ Award for most innovative approach to theory and/or methodology. Her work has appeared in publications such as the Lancet, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Feminist Economics, and the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and has informed congressional and senate hearings on health financing. She received her PhD from the London School of Economics.