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Lafayette welcomed 13 new faculty members this fall, including three “old friends” who had previously served as visiting faculty.

Jamila Bookwala, assistant professor of psychology, comes to Lafayette from Penn State University, Abington College, where she was assistant professor since 1998. Her research focuses on adult development and aging. Bookwala conducts research on a wide range of topics, including family caregiving, mental and physical health in older adults, intimate relations, gender differences in the aging experience, and measurement issues in aging research. She holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in social psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. She earned an M.A. in psychology from the City University of New York and a B.A. in psychology from the University of Bombay, India.

Joining the department of psychology as assistant professor is Gabrielle B. Britton, a neuroscientist with special interests in the biological bases of learning and memory. She is particularly interested in how several brain areas interact and encode different aspects of the learning experience. She comes from Indiana University, where she did post-doctoral research after earning a Ph.D. in psychology and neural science in 2000. Her interests include the neurobiology of learning and memory. She also holds an M.A. in psychology from Mount Holyoke College, and a B.A. in psychology from Vanderbilt University.

Biophysical chemistry, protein quaternary structure, and time-resolved spectroscopy are among the research interests of Yvonne M. Gindt, assistant professor of chemistry. She joins Lafayette from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, where she taught since fall 1995, the last year as an associate professor with tenure. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. She served as a post-doctoral research associate at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and Michigan State University.

Andrew Kortyna, assistant professor of physics, joins Lafayette from Colby College, where he served as an NSF-AIRE Fellow in physics for two years. Previously he was visiting assistant professor at Bates College, a post-doctoral scholar at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory; and visiting scientist at Cornell University, among other positions. His interests include atomic and molecular physics, particularly the application of laser spectroscopic techniques to the study of atomic and molecular scattering phenomena. He holds a Ph.D. in physics from Wesleyan University and a B.S. in physics from Juniata College.

As visiting assistant professor for the past two years, Chip Nataro, assistant professor of chemistry, has taught courses and mentored one student in a senior honors thesis, one in an independent study, and five in the EXCEL Scholars program. His research focuses on the synthesis and characterization of transition metal complexes that contain triphenylphosphines functionalized with crown ether groups. He came to Lafayette from the University of Vermont, where he was a post-doctoral fellow in the department of chemistry for two years. He holds a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from Iowa State University and a B.S. in chemistry from Messiah College.

Jeannine Pinto, assistant professor of psychology, studies visual perception with a special interest in the visual perception of human and animal form and action, perception-action relationships, scene and event perception, and perceptual learning. She joins Lafayette from Swarthmore College, where she was visiting assistant professor for two years. She was also visiting assistant professor at Rutgers University for one year. She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in psychology from the University of Virginia and a B.A. in cognitive science from Vassar College.

David A. Rich, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, comes to Lafayette from Lucent Technologies-Bell Labs, where was technical manager in the Wireless IC Products Group since 1996. Prior to that he was with AT&T Bell Labs, TLSI Inc., and General Instrument Corp. He also taught courses at Polytechnic University. He holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, with a concentration in wireless communication circuits, from Polytechnic University, an M.S. in electrical engineering from Columbia University, and a B.S. in engineering science from Columbia University.

“The role of the student is to actively engage the subject, and the role of the teacher is to facilitate this engagement,” says Kristen L. Sanford Berhnardt, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering. “Engineering students must be prepared not only to solve engineering problems and design engineering solutions, but also to communicate their ideas and to understand how engineering problems fit within the context of the 21st century.” She joins Lafayette from the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she was assistant professor for four years. She holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in computer-aided engineering and management from Carnegie Mellon University and a B.S.E. from Duke University.

Andrew M. Smith, instructor of English, has been visiting instructor at Lafayette for two years, teaching four courses. His areas of interest and expertise include 19th-century American literature; the novel; composition and rhetoric; American Studies; film studies; visual representation and culture; Native American literature; nature writing and the politics of gender, race, and class; and ecological literary criticism. He is completing a Ph.D. in English at the University of New Mexico. He holds an M.A. in English from New Mexico and a B.A. in English from Hamline University.

With interests that include X-ray binary systems and pulsars; observations and theory of ?-ray and x-ray emission from point sources; and gamma ray bursts, Michael J. Stark, assistant professor of physics, comes to Lafayette from Denison University, where he was assistant professor last year. He was also assistant professor at Marietta College and a research associate at the University of Maryland, College Park, and Lab for High Energy Astrophysics at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. He holds a Ph.D. in physics from Maryland and a B.S. in physics from Harvey Mudd College.

Kristen D. Turner, assistant college archivist and records manager, comes to Lafayette from Princeton University, where she was project archivist on the Bill Bradley Papers Processing Project at Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library since 1998. She received an M.L.S. from Rutgers University, an M.A. in history from Penn State University, and a B.A. in history from Bloomsurg University.

“I’m teaching majors in biology, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, chemistry, art, and so on. It’s exciting to take these kinds of students through a course that could prepare them for achieving a high level of music,” says Walter R. “Skip” Wilkins, assistant professor of music. “They may not plan on making a living from music, but they have a ‘life of the mind’ commitment and are looking for connections with the musical arts. I find Lafayette students to be very engaging that way.” A jazz pianist, composer, and arranger, Wilkins had been visiting instructor of music at Lafayette for two years. He has also been music instructor and ensemble director at Moravian College, Muhlenberg College, the University of Northern Colorado, and Berklee College of Music. He holds an M.M. from Northern Colorado and an A.B. from Holy Cross.

Control applications in electromechanical systems and medical device development are among the research interests of Yih-Choung Yu, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. He comes to Lafayette from Cardiac Assist Technologies in Pittsburgh, Pa., where was R&D program manager since 1998. He holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, an M.S. in electrical engineering from the State University of New York at Binghamton, and a B.S. in electrical engineering from Chinese Culture University, Taipei, Taiwan.

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