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New tenure-track faculty, front row from left: Khyree Davis, Elsa Mendoza, Lizz Ultee. Back row from left: Ben Cotts, Sam Byrne, Ryan Kaveh Sheldon, Matthew Schrader. Not pictured: Allison Jacobel, Viola Huang.

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Middlebury Welcomes 44 New Faculty for Fall Semester

September 13, 2021

Middlebury welcomes nine new tenure-track faculty members this fall, representing expertise in a broad range of academic disciplines, including Black studies, history, biology, global health, studio art, chemistry, biochemistry, geology, and English and American literatures.

"I am delighted to be welcoming such a diverse and talented group of scholars to our community," said Sujata Moorti, vice president of academic affairs and dean of the faculty. "As part of our larger institutional commitment to preparing students to address the world’s most challenging problems, we have hired faculty whose expertise allows us to engage with questions of global health, climate change, race, and racism. In addition we now have a cohort of faculty who will contribute to our Black Studies Program, deepening our engagement with questions of reparative and transformative pedagogies."

An additional 35 faculty will join this fall in term positions as visiting faculty, instructors, lecturers, teaching assistants, and assistants in instruction.

The following will join the Middlebury faculty in tenure-track positions:

Sam Byrne, assistant professor of biology and global health, earned his PhD and MS at the University at Albany School of Public Health and his BA in human ecology from Hampshire College. An epidemiologist who focuses on health disparities caused by environmental injustice, Byrne comes to Middlebury from the Department of Environmental Studies at St. Lawrence University, where he taught courses including Introduction to Environmental Studies, Health Effects of Pollution, Environmental Epidemiology, and Natural History of Disease. He'll be teaching epidemiology this fall.

Benjamin L. Cotts, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, comes to Middlebury from Stanford University, where he has been a postdoctoral scholar in materials science and engineering. Cotts earned his PhD in physical chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and his BA in chemistry from Carleton College. His research focuses on time-resolved spectroscopy of excited states in next generation solar energy and display materials. He has taught topics including organic semiconductors for electronics and photonics, general chemistry and quantitative analysis, and chemical structure and reactivity.

Khyree Davis, assistant professor in Black studies, earned their BA, MA, and PhD at the University of Texas, Austin. Their dissertation is titled "Black Queer Spatialities: Lessons in Re-Mapping." From 2020–2021, Davis was a doctoral fellow at the university's Center for Black, Brown, and Queer Studies. They earned an inclusive classrooms leadership certificate from UT in 2020.

Viola H. Huang, assistant professor of Black studies, earned her PhD and MPhil in history and education from Columbia University Teachers College. She earned her teaching degree for German secondary schools in English, philosophy, and history from University of Konstanz, Germany. Huang's research interests include African American history, particularly the Civil Rights Movement and Black Power Era; history of education in the United States, particularly Black education and education as activism; and public history, particularly representations of Black history in U.S. and German contexts.

Allison Jacobel, assistant professor of geology, is a paleoclimatologist with expertise in geochemistry, sedimentology, and paleoceanography. She earned her PhD and MA in earth and environmental sciences at Columbia University, and her BA in geology from Macalester College. Jacobel was recently named lead investigator on an $860,000 National Science Foundation grant to investigate Earth’s climate history using marine sediment cores. The grant will support student research projects and professional development, help outfit a new geochemistry lab at Middlebury, and provide opportunities for students to collaborate with project scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Elsa Mendoza, assistant professor of history, earned her MA and PhD in history at Georgetown University. She is a historian of slavery and interested in digital humanities. She is the associate curator of the Georgetown Slavery Archive and recently co-edited Facing Georgetown’s History: A Reader on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation.

Matthew Schrader, assistant professor of studio art, earned his BA at the Rhode Island School of Design and his MFA in sculpture from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College. An artist and teacher working between sculpture, image making, and site-specific intervention, Schrader had a solo exhibition at White Columns gallery in New York earlier this year that focused on landscape, migration, and material memory. He also recently taught sculpture in the MFA program at the Milton Avery Graduate School.

Ryan Kaveh Sheldon, assistant professor of English and American literatures, earned his PhD and MA in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He earned his BA in English from Wesleyan University. At SUNY, Buffalo, where he specialized in restoration and 18th-century British literature, he has taught composition, British literature, creative writing, and a course on writing about science. His article “How to Read by Numbers: Plague, Political Arithmetic, and the Production of History” appears in the most recent issue of The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation.

Lizz Ultee, assistant professor of geology, earned their PhD from the University of Michigan and BS from Queen's University. Their research focuses on the physics of glaciers and ice sheets and their response to climate change.

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

 

Visiting Assistant Professors

Maya Bhave, PhD, Loyola University, visiting assistant professor of sociology

Heather Mason-Christie, PhD, Harvard University, visiting assistant professor of biology

Catherine Miller, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, visiting assistant professor of physics

Katherine O’Brien, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, visiting assistant professor in first-year seminar program

Kyle Saulnier, DMA, New England Conservatory of Music, visiting assistant professor of music

Phoebe Streblow, MFA, School of Visual Arts, NY, visiting assistant professor of studio art

Michal Strier, visiting assistant professor of Hebrew

 

Instructors

Harrison Hsiang ’17, BA, Middlebury College, visiting instructor in neuroscience

Lisa Luna, MS, University of Potsdam, visiting instructor in geology

Alexandra (Sasha) Portice, MA, University of Wisconsin, Madison, visiting instructor in Russian

Lecturers and Teaching Positions

Lauren Ash, MRes, University College, London, visiting laboratory instructor, biology

George ‘Ro’ Boddie, Diploma, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, artist in residence in theatre

Kyle Brudvik, MA, University of California, Berkeley, lecturer in anthropology and first-year seminar

Derrick Burt ’20.5, BA, Middlebury College, assistant in instruction, geography

Maja Cannavo ’21, BA, Middlebury College, assistant in instruction, computer science

Meshi Chavez, Certificate, East-West College, Portland, artist in residence in dance

Matt Considine, MBA, Wharton School, professor of the practice

Diane DeBella, MA, California State University, lecturer, first-year seminar program

Logan Fischer, PhD, Iowa State University, laboratory instructor, chemistry/biochemistry

Markus Gerke, MA, York University, Toronto, dissertation fellow, sociology

Ruth Hardy, MPA, University of Texas, Austin, lecturer in political science

Shu-Ching Huang, MA, National Taipei University of Education, lecturer in Chinese

David Pratt, PhD, University of California, Berkeley, visiting laboratory professor

Roger Sandwick, PhD, Lehigh University, visiting laboratory professor

Fayza Shammin ’20.5, BA, Middlebury College, assistant in instruction, film and media culture

Keyue Song, MA ’21, Middlebury Institute, Monterey, lecturer in Chinese

Rebecca Warholic, BA, Smith College, assistant in instruction, computer science

 

Language Teaching Assistants

Emma Auden ’17, BA, Middlebury College, teaching assistant, Chinese

Josel Cando, MS, EAE Business School, Madrid, teaching assistant, Spanish

Lea Canu, teaching assistant, French

Robert Deuckershoff, teaching assistant, German

Vinicius Guarilha Alves, MA, University of Lisbon, teaching assistant, Portuguese

Maryait Khader, MA, University of Jordan, teaching assistant, Arabic

Nastasiia Kozhukhova, BA, Russian State University, teaching assistant, Russian

Kokoro Nakasone, BA, International Christian University, teaching assistant, Japanese