6 Tenure-Track Faculty Join Humanities and Social Sciences
The College of Humanities and Social Sciences welcomes six new tenure-track faculty to its ranks this year. As stellar scholars, researchers and writers, their work and interests range from public relations to non-discriminatory assessment, and from gender and disability to poetics and ethics.
Kalyca Lynn Becktel joins the Department of Communication as an assistant professor of public relations.
- Ph.D., Public Relations, University of Florida
- M.A., Mass Communication and Media Studies, San Diego State University
- B.A., Journalism and Media Studies (emphasis in public relations), San Diego State University
Becktel’s research surrounds the brand-public relationship and the public’s use of digital media. Her recent research sharply focuses on relationships with extreme organizations. Becktel has more than 15 years of working in PR. This includes a decade as an EMT and brand ambassador for the San Diego 9-1-1 system, where she implemented community-focused emergency response campaigns. Her PR repertoire also includes Caesars Entertainment and Stone Brewing. In 2021, Becktel earned her Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) credential, which points to her practice of ethical, professional and progressive PR.
Sumita Chakraborty joins the Department of English as an assistant professor in creative writing (poetry) and literature.
- Ph.D., English, Emory University
- B.A., English and Creative Writing, Wellesley College
Chakraborty is a poet and a literary scholar. The New York Times describes her poems as “full of life and joy even when she is thinking through violence and grief, but in their sweep they defy easy notions of aboutness.” Her scholarship on 20th- and 21st-century poetry often explores the relationship between poetics and ethics. Her debut poetry collection, Arrow (2020), was published by Alice James Press and Carcanet Press, and her first critical book, Grave Dangers: Poetics and the Ethics of Death in the Anthropocene, is under an advance contract with the University of Minnesota Press.
Meg Day joins the Department of English as an assistant professor in the areas of creative writing (poetry) and literature.
- Ph.D., Literature and Creative Writing, University of Utah
- MFA, Poetry, Mills College
- B.A., Literature and Human Development, University of California, San Diego
A poet and essayist, Day is the author of Last Psalm at Sea Level (Barrow Street, 2014), winner of the Publishing Triangle’s Audre Lorde Award and a finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and the co-editor of Laura Hershey: On the Life & Work of an American Master (Pleiades, 2019). Day’s work explores gender and disability — specifically transgender identity and Deafness — at the tense intersection of “wrong bodies.” The recipient of an Amy Lowell Travelling Scholarship and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in poetry, Day’s work can be found in Best American Poetry, The New York Times, Poetry Magazine and elsewhere.
Tugce Ertem-Eray joins the Department of Communication as an assistant professor in the area of public relations.
- Ph.D., Media Studies, University of Oregon
- Ph.D., Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication, Istanbul University
- M.A., Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication, Istanbul University
- B.A., Political Science and Public Relations, Yildiz Technical University
Ertem-Eray completed her second Ph.D. at the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon in 2022. Previously, she was a visiting scholar at the University of Alabama’s Department of Advertising and Public Relations (2016) after finishing her first Ph.D. at Istanbul University (2015). Her fields of interest are international public relations, public diplomacy, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and strategic communications. She won the Top Paper, Diversity and Inclusion award at the 2019 PRSA International Conference. In addition, she’s part of a multi-university research team that focuses on bibliometric studies in public relations.
Kyung Hee Ha joins the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures as an assistant professor in the area of Japanese language and Japan studies.
- Ph.D., Ethnic Studies, University of California, San Diego
- M.A., Ethnic Studies, San Francisco State University
- B.A., Sociology, Yokohama City University
Informed by critical scholarship in ethnic studies, Japanese cultural studies and postcolonial feminism, Ha’s research engages with subaltern knowledge production among Zainichi Koreans (Korean postcolonial exiles and their descendants in Japan) at the crossroads of North Korea, South Korea, Japan and the United States. As a critical ethnographer and a co-organizer of Japan’s first intersectional feminist seminar series, Ha strives to expand and transform the existing theory and praxis for social justice by focusing on the intersection of race, gender and colonialism.
Isaac Woods Jr. joins the Department of Psychology as an assistant professor in the area of school psychology.
- Ph.D., Psychology, University of Memphis
- M.S., Psychology, University of Memphis
- B.A./B.S., Psychology and History, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Broadly, Woods’ research focuses on the assessment of Black students and non-discriminatory assessment; the advancement of social justice by school-based professionals for the purpose of achieving equitable outcomes through consultation/collaboration; and community-based and school-based interventions for diverse and minoritized youth.