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School of Arts and Sciences

New Arts and Sciences Faculty: Fall 2020

Friday, August 28, 2020

An accomplished group of faculty will join A&S for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Columns of Ballou in the fall


Stephanie Badde, Stibel Family Assistant Professor of Brain and Cognitive ScienceStephanie Badde, Stibel Family Assistant Professor of Brain and Cognitive Science, Department of Psychology, comes to Tufts from New York University, where she was a Postdoctoral Associate. She earned her doctoral degree at the University of Hamburg in Germany, where she also taught lectures and seminars. Recently, her research has focused on priors in tactile and proprioceptive localization, optimal integration of multisensory information, cross-modal recalibration, and Bayesian models of perception. She has received several awards for her research achievements including the biannual Best Dissertation Award by the German Psychological Society and the Lucien Levy Best Research Article Award by the American Journal of Neuroradiology. She is an active scholar and has published her research in journals such as Current BiologyNeuropsychologia, eLife, and Nature Communications.

Kimberly Bain, Assistant Professor, Department of EnglishKimberly Bain, John Holmes Assistant Professor in Humanites, Department of English, comes to Tufts from Princeton University, where she recently completed her PhD in English and Interdisciplinary Humanistic Study. In 2019 she was named as a University of Maryland African American History, Culture, and Digital Humanities Scholar. Bain’s intellectual interests include the history, theory, and philosophy of: race, gender, enslavement, environmental and medical racism, and subjection and subjecthood. In her book project, "On Black Breath," she traces a genealogy of breathing and Blackness in the United States.

Leone Brown, Lecturer, Environmental StudiesLeone Brown, Lecturer, Environmental Studies, completed her PhD at Stony Brook University. She then held a postdoctoral researcher position at Tufts, and after working in research positions at the University of Connecticut and the University of Georgia, returned to Tufts to work with the Crone lab. She has been a research associate here since 2017. Her interests include population ecology (particularly of birds and butterflies in response to anthropogenic change), movement ecology, landscape ecology, conservation biology, translational ecology, and the intersections of art and science.

Ira Caspari, Assistant Professor, Department of ChemistryIra Caspari, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry comes to Tufts from the University of Massachusetts, Boston where she was a postdoctoral research associate studying science instruction. She also has an appointment in the Department of Education. She is starting her research at Tufts with an NSF-funded study of how undergraduate learning assistants and graduate teaching assistants facilitate student learning in introductory chemistry and physics lectures. Her research has been published in academic journals such as the International Journal of Physics and Chemistry Education and Chemistry Education Research and Practice. She completed her doctoral degree at Justus Liebig University in Germany, has teaching experience at undergraduate, middle school, and high school levels, and will be teaching second semester Introductory Chemistry at Tufts this fall. 

Steve Cicala, Assistant Professor, Department of EconomicsSteve Cicala, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, comes to Tufts from the University of Chicago, where he was an assistant professor at the Harris School of Public Policy. He is also a Faculty Research Fellow with the National Bureau of Economic Research. He completed his PhD at Harvard University, where he also spent time as a visiting assistant professor. His research focuses on the economics of regulation, particularly with respect to environmental and energy policy. Cicala has published his work in academic journals such as American Economic Review and Journal of the European Economic Association. He has also written articles for business publications such as Forbes. His pioneering work using electricity consumption data to obtain accurate and near immediate estimates of movements in gdp has received wide attention in the press including an extensive piece in the New York Times

Anjuli Fahlberg, Assistant Professor, Department of SociologyAnjuli Fahlberg, Department of Sociology, has been promoted to Assistant Professor. She has been a lecturer at Tufts since 2018. She completed her PhD at Northeastern University and won the Best Dissertation Award from the American Sociological Association for her dissertation "Activism Under Fire: Violence, Poverty and Collective Action in Rio de Janeiro." Her current book project, Activism under Fire: The Politics of Non-Violence in Rio de Janeiro's Most Dangerous Favela (now under contract at Oxford University Press) is based on her dissertation work and documents how activists residing in Rio de Janeiro’s poor neighborhoods mobilize for social services, local development, and citizenship rights in a context of armed drug gangs and a racist and violent state. Her research focuses on the intersections of race, gender, urban violence, governance, social movements, and uneven development in and beyond Latin America. Her work has been published in journals such as Politics & Society, Qualitative Sociology, the Journal of Urban Affairs, and more.

Sarah Fong, Assistant Professor, Department of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and DiasporaSarah Fong, Assistant Professor, Department of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora, comes to Tufts from the University of Southern California where she recently completed her PhD in American Studies and Ethnicity and served as a teaching assistant for undergraduate courses. Fong’s areas of expertise include American studies, critical ethnic studies, comparative racial formations, critical indigenous theory, racial capitalism, and U.S. colonialisms. Her work has been published in the American Indian Culture and Research Journal. Her dissertation, “Making Citizens: Racialization, Settler Colonialism, and the Logics of Social Welfare, 1865-1924,” is a comparative historical analysis of two late-nineteenth century residential schools for Black and Native youth.

Emily Gephart, Lecturer, SMFA at TuftsEmily Gephart, Visual and Material Studies, School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts, has been promoted to lecturer. She has been a part-time lecturer at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts since 2005. Gephart is a historian of the art and visual culture of the United States, with an emphasis on ecocriticism and on the history of perceptual psychology. She is the co-editor of a collection of essays entitled Ecocriticism and the Anthropocene in Nineteenth Century Visual Culture (Routledge, 2019). Her published articles and reviews have appeared in journals such as American Studies Journal, Panorama, and William James Studies as well as in anthologies of essays devoted to fashion history and the architecture of modern department stores. She holds a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the History, Theory and Criticism program.

Kerri Greenidge, Mellon Assistant Professor, Department of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and DiasporaKerri Greenidge, Department of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora, has been promoted to Mellon Assistant Professor. She earned her PhD at Boston University and has been a lecturer at Tufts since 2018. Her research explores the role of African American literature in the creation of radical Black political consciousness, particularly as it relates to local elections and Democratic populism during the Progressive Era. She is the author of Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter (Liveright, 2019), which was named by the New York Times as one of its critics’ top books of 2019. Black Radical also won the Mark Lynton J. Anthony Lukas Prize in History from the Nieman Foundation. She is the co-director of the African American Trail Project through Tufts’ Center for the Study of Race and Democracy. For nine years she worked as a historian for Boston African American National Historical Site in Boston, through which she published her first book, Boston Abolitionists (2006). 

Theo Klimstra, lecturer, Department of Child Study and Human DevelopmentTheo Klimstra, Lecturer, Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development, comes to Tufts from Tilburg University in the Netherlands where he held the position of associate professor. His research focuses on personality and identity development in adolescence and young adulthood. Previously, he held postdoctoral positions at the Catholic University Leuven in Belgium and Utrecht University, and he was a visiting scholar at Tufts in 2018. He earned his PhD from Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

Jasmine Mote, Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational TherapyJasmine Mote, Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, comes to Tufts from Boston University where she has been working as a postdoctoral research associate. She is interested in understanding and improving the social and emotional lives of people with serious mental illness. Previously, she completed her PhD in Clinical Science at the University of California, Berkeley and was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Social and Community Reintegration Research Program at Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital. Mote’s research has been published in journals such as Journal of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy and Schizophrenia Research.

Kasso Okoudjou, professor, Department of MathematicsKasso Okoudjou, Professor, Department of Mathematics, comes to Tufts from the University of Maryland where he was a professor in the Department of Mathematics. He also previously served as the Martin Luther King Visiting Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In his extensive research career, he has been principal investigator on projects funded by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Army Research Office. His interests lie in pure as well as applied and computational harmonic analysis, especially frame theory, time-frequency and wavelet analysis, and multilinear pseudodifferential operators. Okoudjou is the author of many scholarly journal articles and is author and editor of a number of books on mathematics. He earned his PhD at Georgia Institute of Technology.

JP Pizutti, lecturer, Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance StudiesJessica "JP" Pizzuti, Lecturer, Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, joined Tufts in 2017 as the Assistant Technical Director, and has served as the Interim Technical Director for the last two academic years. They completed their undergraduate degree at Brandeis University before joining the Huntington Theatre Company for a year-long apprenticeship, and held design and technical positions with numerous local companies throughout the last five years. Most recently, JP worked as the Technical Director for SpeakEasy Stage Company and holds a recurring position as Scenic Supervisor with the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival.

Caleb Scoville, assistant professor, Department of SociologyCaleb Scoville, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, comes to Tufts from the University of California, Berkeley where he recently completed his PhD. His research interests span social and political theory, cultural sociology, science and technology studies, environmental sociology, political sociology/economy/ecology, economic sociology, and law and society. His primary empirical focus is endangered species conservation and water management in California. Scoville’s article “Hydraulic Society and a ‘Stupid Little Fish’: Toward a Historical Ontology of Endangerment” was awarded the 2017 American Sociological Association Animals and Society Section’s Jane Goodall Award for Distinguished Graduate Student Scholarship. .

Caleb Scoville, assistant professor, Department of SociologyPhilip Shushkov, Dr. Charles W. Fotis A37, AG39 Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, comes to Tufts from the California Institute of Technology where he was a postdoctoral fellow. His current research focuses on the development and application of theoretical methods for quantum simulation to study molecular systems for quantum computing and sensing and chemical processes at interfaces. His research work has been published in academic journals such as Nature Communications, Angewandte Chemie, and The Journal of Chemical Physics. He earned his PhD at Yale University and previously was an Alexander von Humboldt fellow at the University of Bonn in Germany. He will be teaching undergraduate Physical Chemistry at Tufts this fall.