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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

Omobukola Usidame, Ph.D.

Job title: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: Department of African American Studies

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

Travis Harris, Ph.D.

Job title: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: Department of African American Studies

Harris's research examines the multiple dimensions of African diasporas with a specific focus on race, religion and hip hop.

Biology

Erich Damm

Erich Damm, Ph.D.

Job title: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: Department of Biology

Damm's research interests center on understanding how extracellular signals influence the initial development of blood stem cells in the embryo.

Zachary Ghahramani

Zachary N. Ghahramani, Ph.D.

Job title: Instructor
Affiliation: Department of Biology

Ghahramani's research interests are in behavioral neuroendocrinology, neuroethology, neuropharmacology and innovative pedagogical approaches to scientific education.

Alaattin Kaya

Alaattin Kaya, Ph.D.

Job title: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: Department of Biology

Kaya researches the evolution of aging and role of genomic instability and DNA damage in aging and age associated diseases.

Jason Newton

Jason Newton, Ph.D.

Job title: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: Department of Biology

Newton's research is in developing new treatments for the childhood disease Niemann-Pick Type C and other neurodegenerative lipid storage disorders.

Chemistry

Brian Fuglestad

Brian Fuglestad, Ph.D.

Job title: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: Department of Chemistry

Fuglestad is interested in drug discovery for cancer targets that are traditionally considered undruggable.

Nick Kuklinski

Nick Kuklinksi, Ph.D.

Job title: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: Department of Chemistry

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

Ka Un Lao, Ph.D.

Job title: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: Department of Chemistry

Lao's research interests are broadly related to electronic structure theory, quantum chemistry and noncovalent interactions.

Xuewei Wang

Xuewei Wang, Ph.D.

Job title: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: Department of Chemistry

Wang's research interests include point-of-care chemical sensors and biocompatible medical implants.

English

Katy Resch George

Katy Resch George

Job title: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: Department of English

George is author of the story collection “Exposure,” published by Kore Press with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Mimi Winick

Mimi Winick, Ph.D.

Job title: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: Department of English

Winick researches gender and sexuality, popular fiction, religion and the history of scholarship in nineteenth- and twentieth-century British literature.

Forensic Science

Stephanie Barnhouse Walcott

Stephanie Barnhouse Walcott

Job title: Instructor
Affiliation: Department of Forensic Science

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

Liz Coston, Ph.D.

Job title: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies

Coston's research focuses, generally, on the politics of visibility and identity.

History

Rocio Gomez

Rocio Gomez, Ph.D.

Job title: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: Department of History

Gomez's research interests include Latin America, the history of science, environmental history and the history of medicine.

Kinesiology and Health Sciences

Salvatore Carbone

Salvatore Carbone, Ph.D.

Job title: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences

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

Youngdeok Kim, Ph.D.

Job title: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences

Kim's research interests lie in behavioral epidemiology of physical activity and sedentary behaviors.

Sylvia Rozario

Sylvia Rozario, Ph.D.

Job title: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences

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

Punit Gandhi, Ph.D.

Job title: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics

Gandhi's research focuses on mathematical models of emergent phenomena in biological and ecological systems.

Allison Moore

Allison Moore, Ph.D.

Job title: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics

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

Jan Rychtar, Ph.D.

Job title: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics

Rychtář co-authored the book “Game-Theoretical Models in Biology” and more than 90 papers in peer-reviewed journals.

Nicola Tarasca

Nicola Tarasca, Ph.D.

Job title: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics

Tarasca's research interests are centered around the geometry and combinatorics of algebraic curves and their moduli spaces.

Media and Culture

Veronica Garabelli

Veronica Garabelli

Job title: Instructor
Affiliation: Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture

Garabelli served more than seven years as a business reporter and editor at Virginia Business magazine.

Abby Walter

Abby Walter

Job title: Instructor
Affiliation: Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture

Walter has worked as an art director, product designer and experience designer at companies such as The Martin Agency in Richmond.

Philosophy

James Fritz

James Fritz, Ph.D.

Job title: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: Department of Philosophy

Fritz's research looks into questions about moral disagreement, the ethics of disapproval and the relationship between morality and knowledge.

Physics

Richard Joh

Richard Joh, Ph.D.

Job title: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: Department of Physics

Joh's research focuses on how the extracellular environment affects gene regulation and contributes to tumor progression and aggressiveness.

Daeha Joung

Daeha Joung, Ph.D.

Job title: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: Department of Physics

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.

Political Science

William Christiansen

William Christiansen

Job title: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: Department of Political Science

Christiansen's research interests include political leaders, foreign policy, international conflict/cooperation and research methodology.

Andrew Murphy

Andrew Murphy, Ph.D.

Job title: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: Department of Political Science

Murphy’s research focuses on the interconnections between politics and religion in the history of political thought.

Amanda Wintersieck

Amanda L. Wintersieck, Ph.D.

Job title: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: Department of Political Science

Wintersieck's research interests lie in political behavior and political communication.

Psychology

Jared Keeley

Jared Keeley, Ph.D.

Job title: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: Department of Psychology

Keeley's research interest involves the classification of psychopathology, especially concerning mental health professionals’ use of the diagnostic system.

Sociology

Volkan Aytar

Volkan Aytar, Ph.D.

Job title: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: Department of Sociology

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 Longo

Gina Marie Longo, Ph.D.

Job title: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: Department of Sociology

Longo's research is in digital spaces, intersectional identities, citizenship, nationalism and inequality.

Statistical Sciences and Operations Research

Anh Bui

Anh Tuan Bui, Ph.D.

Job title: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: Department of Statistical Sciences and Operations Research

Bui's research interests lie in statistical learning, industrial statistics and data analytics for applications in manufacturing, materials and enterprise engineering.

Chenlu Ke

Chenlu Ke, Ph.D.

Job title: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: Department of Statistical Sciences and Operations Research
Indranil Sahoo

Indranil Sahoo, Ph.D.

Job title: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: Department of Statistical Sciences and Operations Research

World Studies

Kai Bosworth

Kai Bosworth, Ph.D.

Job title: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: School of World Studies

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.

Kamilia Rahmouni

Kamilia Rahmouni, Ph.D.

Job title: Assistant Professor
Affiliation: School of World Studies