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Front Row (L to R): John Foley, Alena Giesche, Allison Jacobel, Virginia (Gina) Thomas. 2nd Row: Daniel Fram, Ajay Verghese, Carolyn Dash, Zu Wei Zhai, Jennifer Crodelle. 3rd Row: Kara Karpman, Niwaeli Kimambo, Emily French, Tessa Wegener, Raphaelle Gauvin-Coulombe. 4th Row: Olga Sanchez-Saltveit, Cole Dovey, Gyula Zsombok, Kate Crawford, Greg Pask.

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Middlebury Welcomes 33 New Faculty

October 13, 2020


MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Middlebury College welcomes 33 new faculty members this fall, including 13 in tenure-track positions. The new teachers and researchers participated in orientation sessions that were conducted weekly throughout August via Zoom. As a group, they represent 19 academic disciplines.

“Middlebury is fortunate to be able to hire some of the best faculty emerging in their fields,” said Sujata Moorti, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty. “They come from a wide array of institutions and offer expertise in research topics ranging from ethnic violence in India to pain processing in the spinal cord.

“We are excited to welcome them to Middlebury,” said Moorti.

The following will join Middlebury this fall as tenure-track faculty members, with the exception of Alexis Mychajliw, who will join in the spring.

Kathryn Crawford, assistant professor of environmental studies, comes to Middlebury from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, where she was a postdoctoral research associate in epidemiology. Crawford earned her PhD in environmental health at Boston University, and an MS in natural resources and a BS in environmental science at the University of Vermont.

Jennifer Crodelle, assistant professor of mathematics, was most recently a postdoctoral research fellow at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University. Crodelle earned her PhD in mathematics and her MS in applied mathematics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and her BS from Marist College. Her research interests include the dynamics of neuronal networks during development and mechanisms underlying pain processing in the spinal cord.

John Foley, assistant professor of computer science, earned his PhD and MS in computer science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and his BS in computer engineering at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Before teaching at Middlebury, he was a visiting assistant professor at Smith.

Raphaelle Gauvin-Coulombe, assistant professor of economics, earned her PhD and MA in economics at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and her BA in economics at the University of Ottawa in Ottawa, Ontario.

Kara Karpman, assistant professor of mathematics, earned her PhD and MS in applied mathematics at Cornell and her BS in mathematics at Duke University. 

Niwaeli Kimambo, assistant professor of geography, was previously a GIS teaching fellow at Middlebury beginning in 2019. She earned her PhD and MS in geography from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She also holds a BA in geologic sciences and history from Brown.

Alexis Mychajliw, assistant professor of biology and environmental studies, will join the faculty this spring. She is a postdoctoral research fellow at Hokkaido University in Japan. Mychajliw earned her PhD in biology at Stanford and her BS in biological sciences at Cornell. Her areas of interest include the study of genomes, bones, and sediments to determine how organisms responded to anthropogenic and climatic changes in the past.

Gregory Pask, assistant professor of biology, comes to Middlebury from Bucknell University, where he was an assistant professor of biology. He earned his PhD in biological sciences at Vanderbilt University and his BS in biochemistry at Muhlenberg College. His area of research includes the powerful sense of smell insects use to locate food, find mates, and communicate with others.

Olga Sanchez-Saltveit, assistant professor of theatre, earned her PhD in theatre arts from the University of Oregon, her MA in human and bicultural development from Pacific Oaks College, and her BA in theatre at Hunter College. Most recently she was a visiting assistant professor of theatre at Franklin and Marshall College.                                   
Virginia Thomas, assistant professor of psychology, arrived at Middlebury from Wilmington College, where she held the same position. She earned her PhD in developmental psychology with an emphasis on feminist studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz; MA in depth psychology at Sonoma State University; and BS in psychology at the University of Evansville.   

Ajay Verghese, assistant professor of political science, served in the same role at the University of California, Riverside, prior to coming to Middlebury. He earned his PhD in political science at George Washington University and BA in political science and French at Temple University. His first book, The Colonial Origins of Ethnic Violence in India, was published in 2016 by Stanford University Press.

Zu Wei Zhai ’07, assistant professor of neuroscience, joined the Middlebury faculty as a visiting assistant professor of psychology in 2017. He received his PhD in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Pittsburgh and his BA in neuroscience from Middlebury.

Gyula Zsombok, assistant professor of French and Francophone studies, earned his PhD and MA in French linguistics at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and his BA in French philology at Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem in Budapest.

Middlebury is also pleased to welcome the following visiting faculty, professors of the practice, instructors, lecturers, and teaching assistants: 

Visiting Assistant Professors

Cole Dovey ’06, PhD, University of California, San Francisco, visiting assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry

Alla Fil, PhD, Georgetown University, visiting assistant professor of Luso-Hispanic studies

Michael French, PhD, Northwestern University, visiting assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry

Alena Giesche ’11, PhD, University of Cambridge, UK, visiting assistant professor of geology 

Robert Izsak, PhD, Cardiff University, visiting assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry

Allison Jacobel, PhD, Columbia University, visiting assistant professor of geology

Joshua Nelson, PhD, Fordham University, visiting assistant professor of psychology

Shelly Pottorf, MArch, Rice University, visiting assistant professor of architecture

Roger Russi, PhD, University of North Carolina, visiting assistant professor of first-year seminar

Tessa Wegener, PhD, Georgetown University, visiting assistant professor of German

Roger White, MFA, Columbia University, visiting assistant professor of studio art

Visiting Instructors

Tina Donaldson, MA, University at Albany–State University of New York, visiting instructor in psychology

Mon Zabala, BA, University of Puerto Rico, visiting instructor in Luso-Hispanic studies

Lecturers and Teaching Positions

Catherine Canavan, MA, Castleton State College, lecturer in education studies, will join the faculty in the spring.

Carolyn Dash, PhD, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, visiting assistant laboratory professor

Daniel Fram, PhD, Michigan State University, postdoctoral fellow in political science

Emily French ’19, assistant in instruction, geography

James Gallagher, PhD, Princeton University, visiting assistant laboratory professor, chemistry and biochemistry 

Emily Malcolm-White, MS, University of Victoria, lecturer in mathematics

Ori Tzuriel, BA, Bar-Ilan University, Israel, lecturer in modern Hebrew

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