Meet Our New Faculty
The College of Humanities and Sciences is full of talented faculty—an amazing group of educators, academics and researchers. We invite you to meet our newest faculty members for the 2019-20 academic year. Their disciplines and backgrounds are varied, and we have no doubt they will make their mark on the College, VCU and beyond.
African American Studies
Omobukola Usidame, Ph.D.
Usidame's research interests focus on understanding the unintended consequences of tobacco control policies on health disparities and policies that address persistent tobacco use disparities.
Travis Harris, Ph.D.
Harris's research examines the multiple dimensions of African diasporas with a specific focus on race, religion and hip hop.
Erich Damm, Ph.D.
Damm's research interests center on understanding how extracellular signals influence the initial development of blood stem cells in the embryo.
Zachary N. Ghahramani, Ph.D.
Ghahramani's research interests are in behavioral neuroendocrinology, neuroethology, neuropharmacology and innovative pedagogical approaches to scientific education.
Alaattin Kaya, Ph.D.
Kaya researches the evolution of aging and role of genomic instability and DNA damage in aging and age associated diseases.
Jason Newton, Ph.D.
Newton's research is in developing new treatments for the childhood disease Niemann-Pick Type C and other neurodegenerative lipid storage disorders.
Brian Fuglestad, Ph.D.
Fuglestad is interested in drug discovery for cancer targets that are traditionally considered undruggable.
Nick Kuklinksi, Ph.D.
Kuklinski is interested in understanding the connections between cells and behavior in the brains of nonmammalian model systems and developing new separation systems with electrochemical detection for neurotransmitters, their precursors and their metabolites.
Ka Un Lao, Ph.D.
Lao's research interests are broadly related to electronic structure theory, quantum chemistry and noncovalent interactions.
Xuewei Wang, Ph.D.
Wang's research interests include point-of-care chemical sensors and biocompatible medical implants.
Katy Resch George
George is author of the story collection “Exposure,” published by Kore Press with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Mimi Winick, Ph.D.
Winick researches gender and sexuality, popular fiction, religion and the history of scholarship in nineteenth- and twentieth-century British literature.
Stephanie Barnhouse Walcott
Walcott has experience as a firearm and toolmark examiner in the Virginia Department of Forensic Science Central Laboratory, as well as the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation Crime Laboratory.
Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies
Liz Coston, Ph.D.
Coston's research focuses, generally, on the politics of visibility and identity.
Rocio Gomez, Ph.D.
Gomez's research interests include Latin America, the history of science, environmental history and the history of medicine.
Kinesiology and Health Sciences
Salvatore Carbone, Ph.D.
Carbone investigates the role of different dietary interventions and body composition phenotypes on cardiorespiratory fitness and energy metabolism.
Click 'Read more' to view a 60 second video introduction to Dr. Carbone.
Youngdeok Kim, Ph.D.
Kim's research interests lie in behavioral epidemiology of physical activity and sedentary behaviors.
Sylvia Rozario, Ph.D.
Rozario's research interest is in maternal and child health epidemiology.
Click 'Read more' to view a 60 second video introduction to Dr. Rozario.
Mathematics and Applied Mathematics
Punit Gandhi, Ph.D.
Gandhi's research focuses on mathematical models of emergent phenomena in biological and ecological systems.
Click 'Read more' to view a 60 second video introduction to Dr. Gandhi.
Allison Moore, Ph.D.
Moore's research interests are in geometry, topology and knot theory, and their applications to physical systems.
Click 'Read more' to view a 60 second video introduction to Dr. Moore.
Jan Rychtar, Ph.D.
Rychtář co-authored the book “Game-Theoretical Models in Biology” and more than 90 papers in peer-reviewed journals.
Nicola Tarasca, Ph.D.
Tarasca's research interests are centered around the geometry and combinatorics of algebraic curves and their moduli spaces.
Media and Culture
Garabelli served more than seven years as a business reporter and editor at Virginia Business magazine.
Click 'Read more' to view a 60 second video introduction.
Walter has worked as an art director, product designer and experience designer at companies such as The Martin Agency in Richmond.
James Fritz, Ph.D.
Fritz's research looks into questions about moral disagreement, the ethics of disapproval and the relationship between morality and knowledge.
Richard Joh, Ph.D.
Joh's research focuses on how the extracellular environment affects gene regulation and contributes to tumor progression and aggressiveness.
Click 'Read more' to view a 60 second video introduction to Dr. Joh.
Daeha Joung, Ph.D.
Joung's research interests are in novel interdisciplinary approaches to form 3D, heterogeneously integrated, functional biomedical devices with recent breakthroughs in 3D bio-printed spinal cord implants and 3D origami-inspired self-folded devices.
Christiansen's research interests include political leaders, foreign policy, international conflict/cooperation and research methodology.
Andrew Murphy, Ph.D.
Murphy’s research focuses on the interconnections between politics and religion in the history of political thought.
Amanda L. Wintersieck, Ph.D.
Wintersieck's research interests lie in political behavior and political communication.
Jared Keeley, Ph.D.
Keeley's research interest involves the classification of psychopathology, especially concerning mental health professionals’ use of the diagnostic system.
Volkan Aytar, Ph.D.
Aytar specializes in urban cultural sociology, leisure consumption and entertainment, as well as sociology of media and communication.
Click 'Read more' to view a 60 second video introduction to Dr. Aytar.
Gina Marie Longo, Ph.D.
Longo's research is in digital spaces, intersectional identities, citizenship, nationalism and inequality.
Statistical Sciences and Operations Research
Anh Tuan Bui, Ph.D.
Bui's research interests lie in statistical learning, industrial statistics and data analytics for applications in manufacturing, materials and enterprise engineering.
Kai Bosworth, Ph.D.
Bosworth's research examines new forms of environmental populism emerging from struggles over oil pipelines in the Upper Midwest.
Click 'Read more' to view a 60 second video introduction to Dr. Bosworth.