This fall, Lafayette welcomes nine new professors, bringing the College’s total to 212 full-time, tenure-track faculty members.
Over the past several years, the College has been working toward increasing the size of the permanent faculty by 20 percent and decreasing the student-to-faculty ratio from 11:1 to 10:1, one of the initiatives in its strategic plan.
One of the incoming professors represents a new position. So far, Lafayette has allocated or hired 24 additional faculty. The strategic plan calls for 35 new faculty positions.
Tamara Carley joins the Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences as an assistant professor, and teaches courses in Earth and Planetary Materials, Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology, and Geochemistry. Her research focus is the origin, evolution, and significance of silicic magmas, with a special focus on Icelandic volcanoes. She has spent several years using the mineral zircon, radioactive and stable isotopes, trace element geochemistry, and geochronology to unravel the geologic history of Iceland and place it in a global context. She has been awarded research grants from the National Science Foundation totaling more than $500,000, as well as fellowships and grants from Geological Society of America, IBM, National Geographic Society, and the Washington State Legislature. She received a Ph.D. in environmental engineering from Vanderbilt University.
Jessica Carr, assistant professor of religious studies and Berman Scholar of Jewish Studies, comes to Lafayette from Kenyon College, where she served as a visiting assistant professor teaching courses in Modern Judaism, Religions in Global Context, and Visual Culture and Religious Identity. She was previously an associate instructor in the religious studies department of Indiana University, where she earned her Ph.D. in religious studies. At Indiana, she was founding president of the Jewish Studies Graduate Student Association, and later served as faculty adviser to J-Street, Kenyon College’s “pro-Israel, pro-Palestine, pro-peace student organization.”
Melissa Galloway joins the faculty as an assistant professor of chemistry. She comes to Lafayette after serving as a teaching associate at University of San Diego and a visiting assistant professor at Reed College. As a graduate student, she received a $60,000 Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship through the National Science Foundation. Her research interests include atmospheric reaction mechanisms and kinetics and the impact on the climate and human health from secondary organic aerosol formation in the atmosphere. She received a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Trent Gaugler, assistant professor of mathematics, comes to Lafayette after serving as a visiting assistant professor of statistics at Carnegie Mellon University and previously an assistant professor of statistics at Penn State University. He has taught courses on Experimental Design for Behavioral and Social Sciences, Applied Linear Models, Statistical Consulting, and Applied Statistics. His methodological research focuses on linear models and resampling methods, and his consultations include projects on the genetic risk for autism, the nutritional effects of beef, and community response to noise. He serves as article editor for SAGE Open, which publishes research in the social and behavioral sciences. He received a Ph.D. in statistics from Penn State.
Amir Sadovnik joins the faculty as an assistant professor of computer science. His research is mainly in the field of computer vision, focusing on the way humans understand and interact with images. He is also interested in signal processing, natural language processing, and machine learning. He has been part of teams developing visualization software for Barclays Capital Bank and Verizon. He has taught several courses on computer vision at Cornell University and is currently teaching Digital Media Computing and Computer Organization. He received a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from Cornell.
Roxy Swails, assistant professor of chemistry, served as a visiting assistant professor at Lafayette the last two years. Previously, she was an assistant professor of chemistry at Shorter University in Rome, Georgia, and visiting assistant at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. She teaches courses in general as well as organic and inorganic chemistry. Her research focuses on investigating potential catalysts for carbon dioxide reduction. She received her Ph.D. in organometallic chemistry from University of Florida.
Jon Wallace will join the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department as an associate professor in January 2015. He previously served as an assistant and associate professor of electrical engineering at Jacobs University Bremen in Germany, where he taught courses on computational electromagnetics, antennas and propagation, signal processing, and digital design. His research focuses on wireless network security. Wallace received two grants supporting this work totaling 590,000 Euros ($763,000) from the German Research Foundation. He received a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Brigham Young University.
Susan Wenze, assistant professor of psychology, comes to Lafayette from Brown Medical School where she served as an assistant professor (research) of psychiatry and human behavior. Her research focuses on cognitive and emotional processing in mood disorders, and she is developing innovative psychosocial treatments for mood disorders using mobile technology during patients’ typical daily routines. She conducted a two-year study with this method focusing on bipolar disorder through a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health. She serves as an associate editor of The Behavior Therapist, published by the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. She earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from American University.
Jeremy Zallen joins the faculty as an assistant professor of history. His teaching and research interests include United States history; the Atlantic world; slavery, race, and capitalism; labor history; and environmental history. Zallen served as a graduate research associate for Harvard University’s Center for History and Economics and a project coordinator for the center’s Energy History Project. His work at the center includes the use of nuclear weapons in World War II and the social and spatial history of artificial lighting. He received a Ph.D. in history from Harvard.