26 Faculty Join Humanities and Social Sciences
The College of Humanities and Social Sciences welcomes 26 new tenured and tenure-track faculty to its ranks this academic year. Their diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise will build upon the outstanding commitment to excellence in teaching and research and to innovation, collaboration and inclusion that characterizes the college’s culture and community.
As scholars, researchers and writers, their work and interests range from energy transition and Caribbean literature and cultures to film, media history and theory, and from race, gender and family within the context of health to the philosophy of language and 20th-century African American history.
Brantley joins the college as a professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.
- Ph.D., Sociology, University of South Carolina
Brantley’s scholarship lies at the intersection of race, gender and family within the context of health. Her research agenda utilizes both qualitative and quantitative methodologies to explore: 1. How race-related stress is transmitted within Black families, and 2. In what ways does racism shape the well-being and lived experiences of Black mothers? She provides both exploration and insight into the multiple pathways through which racism-related stress impacts the well-being and lived experiences of Black families.
Choi joins the college as an assistant professor in the School of Public and International Affairs.
- Ph.D., Public Administration, University at Albany, State University of New York
Choi’s research focuses on important issues regarding how governments can deliver effective and equitable outcomes to citizens, and how to make a diverse and inclusive public sector workforce, with a particular focus on performance management. Her work uses a human-centered approach and behavioral insights.
Cole joins the college as a professor in the Department of English.
- Ph.D., Rhetoric and Composition, Arizona State University
Cole is a writing and rhetoric specialist who works with teachers and faculty to find the best methods for teaching writing.
Nishani M. Frazier
Frazier joins the college as a professor in the Department of History.
- Ph.D., History, Columbia University
Frazier’s research interests include 1960s freedom movements, oral history, public history, digital humanities and black economic development. Her publication, Harambee City: The Congress of Racial Equality in Cleveland and the Rise of Black Power Populism was released with a website that included interactive maps, augmented reality, archival documents, teacher lesson plans, and oral history interviews. Currently, Frazier is working on a new book titled Cooking with Black Nationalism.
Gastrow joins the college as an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.
- Ph.D., Anthropology, University of Chicago
Gastrow is an urban anthropologist interested in African cities, with a specific focus on Angola. Her work has focused on how urban planning, aesthetics and materiality shape conceptualizations of political belonging. More recently she has begun two new long-term ethnographic projects. The first investigates how African cities are produced through risk analyses and the effects of this on emerging cityscapes. The second explores the Cuban role in urban planning and construction in socialist Angola.
Ajamu A. Dillahunt-Holloway
Dillahunt-Holloway joins the college as an assistant professor in the Department of History.
- Ph.D., History, Michigan State University
Dillahunt-Holloway’s research is on 20th-century African American history with a focus on the U.S. South, labor, and the Black Freedom Struggle. For his dissertation project, he explored the contributions of the North Carolina-based Black Workers for Justice to the workers’ movement and Black Freedom Struggle.
Hessler joins the college as an assistant professor in the Department of English.
- Ph.D., Film and Media Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara
Hessler’s research integrates history and digital media theory in the study of television content, programming and distribution; the way audience data is collected and used; and how audiences interface with media technologies and platforms. Her current book project, “Surveilling the Viewer: Audience Measurement Technologies from Audimeter to Big Data” (under contract with MIT Press) tracks the historical evolution of audience measurement technologies and their increasing amalgamation with the cybernetics industries.
Hill joins the college as an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.
- Ph.D., Sociology, Rice University
Hill’s research qualitatively investigates how identity and social position impact professional and family life. She is particularly interested in social mobility and the role of gender and race in patterning aspirant class goals and efforts.
Hoggard joins the college as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology.
- Ph.D., Personality and Social Contexts Psychology, University of Michigan
Hoggard’s research focuses on racism as a systemic and chronic psychosocial stressor that heightens African Americans’ risk for physical and mental health concerns. In particular, she is interested in 1. Explicating the mechanisms that underlie the associations between racism and deleterious outcomes, 2. Identifying person-related characteristics that serve as potential protective or vulnerability factors (e.g., racial identity) in the context of racism, and 3. Developing antiracist interventions.
Hughes joins the college as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology.
- Ph.D., Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Bowling Green State University
His research primarily explores the nuances of social exchanges (e.g., helping behavior, mistreatment) at work. Specifically, it focuses on how such exchanges influence well-being outcomes (both at work and at home), how their dynamics are influenced by individual differences in personality, and how morality shapes behavioral decision-making. He also researches the impacts of social media use on work outcomes.
Johnson joins the college as an assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies.
- Ph.D., Philosophy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Johnson’s research focuses on the most fundamental aspects of legal and moral reasoning. In law, he looks at the most fundamental principles of legal reasoning, seeking to find what if anything they all have in common. In ethics, he examines the idea of basic moral equality, the premise that all people are equal and look for what the basis of this equality is.
Kim joins the college as an assistant professor in the School of Public and International Affairs.
- Ph.D., Public Administration, Florida State University
Kim’s research lies at the intersection of data science and public policy, with a primary focus on the energy transition. Her recent projects include the analysis of spatial patterns in rooftop solar system installations, measuring public sentiment toward solar energy, developing a community energy resilience index, exploring the potential of vehicle-to-grid technology and employing socioeconomic modeling to understand the uptake of distributed energy resources. Kim teaches courses on data analytics and research methods.
Lane joins the college as an assistant professor in the School of Public and International Affairs.
- Ph.D., Political Science, Michigan State University
Lane’s research is motivated by an interest in how Supreme Court justices’ evaluation of information influences their decision-making. She is particularly interested in how attorneys and members of Congress shape the decision-making process at the Supreme Court, and how these actors influence the public’s perceptions of the Supreme Court, which ultimately shapes important policy outcomes.
McQueen joins the college as an assistant professor in the Department of English.
- Ph.D., English, University of Missouri-Columbia
McQueen is a creative writer of fiction and nonfiction. She has written two books— The essay collection And It Begins Like This (Black Lawrence Press, 2017) and the novel When the Reckoning Comes (Harper Perennial, 2021).
Aura Ankita Mishra
Mishra joins the college as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology.
- Ph.D., Human Development and Family Studies, Purdue University.
Mishra’s research examines the interplay between exposure to adversity and violence, and biopsychosocial contexts and mechanisms of health and behavior among groups at-risk for health disparities.
Patton joins the college as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology.
- Ph.D., Cognitive Psychology, Colorado State University
Patton’s research broadly focuses on questions of spatial uncertainty and decision-making in the context of human-automation interaction. She also seeks to understand the factors involved in people’s decision to use automation, particularly in contexts containing uncertain decisions. As automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning applications grow — especially in military contexts — Patton looks to understand how these tools can be utilized in human interaction to produce productive solutions to real-world problems.
Schneider joins the college as an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.
- Ph.D., Sociology, The Ohio State University
Schneider studies two focal points in the cycle of criminal-legal contact: how defendants’ crimes are adjudicated and how their lives are impacted after being convicted of a crime. She uses mixed methods to examine how interactions with organizations and institutions, like employers and prosecutors’ offices, and categorization decisions, such as more punitive charges, impact the well-being of justice-involved people. Her research showcases how interactions between individuals and organizations produce and reproduce social inequality.
Schwartzman joins the college as a professor in the Department of Communication.
- Ph.D., English, University of Iowa
Schwartzman investigates how power and knowledge interface in forming beliefs and in public advocacy. His primary current areas of research involve 1. The formation and reformation of prejudice, especially in antisemitic propaganda. His research in this area focuses on Nazi and current antisemitism as well as Holocaust survivor testimonies. 2. Communication about science, technology and medicine. This line of research addresses the persistence of non-scientific beliefs. 3. How power and identity affect post-pandemic education.
Ariel E. Seay-Howard
Seay-Howard joins the college as an assistant professor in the Department of Communication.
- Ph.D., Communication, Wayne State University
Seay-Howard, a rhetoric scholar, studies how the public remembers slavery and racial violence through memory spaces and material objects. Her research agenda is motivated by the desire to understand how racial violence has and continues to impact the African American community. Her current research investigates the nation’s remembrance of racial violence and how it has impacted African Americans’ experiences in the U.S. She examines how new modes of commemoration, lynching memorials, former slave plantations, now museums and documentary films operate as counter-memories that help the public remember racial violence differently than the sanitized white narrative typically remembered. In exploring these new approaches to remembering, she hopes to create a new paradigm for recalling this violent history and illuminating ways to transform how we discuss the past, present and future.
Self joins the college as an assistant professor in the Department of Communication.
- Ph.D., Communication and Media Studies, Louisiana State University
Self is an award-winning interdisciplinary rhetorical and cultural critic whose research investigates issues surrounding race, class, gender, sexuality and other categories of difference in historic and contemporary American culture. His work, rooted in Black feminist and queer studies, has been published in leading journals and edited volumes.
Sickels joins the college as an assistant professor in the Department of English.
- MFA, Creative Writing, Pennsylvania State University
Sickels is a fiction writer and essayist, whose research explores the complexities of gender, masculinity and place. His novel, The Prettiest Star (2020), examines the AIDS crisis of the 1980s through the lens of rural America, and The Evening Hour (2012) is set in a community living under the threat of mountaintop removal coal mining. His current novel-in-progress follows a transgender man returning to his hometown and interrogates myths of manhood, Appalachia and whiteness.
John Paul Stadler
Stadler joins the college as an assistant professor in the Department of English.
- Ph.D., Literature, Duke University
Stadler’s research and teaching center on the role of film and media in shaping modern notions of difference, particularly about gender and sexual identities. His recent publications have covered the proliferation of deepfake technologies, the surge of phone sex during the AIDS epidemic and recent shifts in health protocols in the adult film industry. Stadler is currently writing a book on how pornographic media have influenced queer social, cultural and political life from the 1960s to today.
Thapa joins the college as an assistant professor in the Department of English.
- Ph.D., Film Studies, University of Iowa
Thapa’s research and teaching areas include film and media history and theory, South Asian cinemas, digital humanities, as well as postcolonial and decolonial theory. Her current book project explores special effects as the locus where religion and technology intersect in cinema.
Alison M. Turner
Turner joins the college as an assistant professor in the Department of World Languages and Cultures.
- Ph.D., Bilingual Education/ESL Education, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Bilingual in Spanish and English, Turner’s research focuses on strategies for connecting schools, community-based organizations and families to improve outcomes for multilingual learners. She promotes an asset-based perspective when working with immigrant, refugee and English language-learning students and families. Her recent publications can be found in the Bilingual Research Journal and English Teaching: Practice & Critique.
Mónica E. Lugo Vélez
Vélez joins the college as an assistant professor in the Department of World Languages and Cultures.
- Ph.D., Spanish Literature and Culture, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Lugo Vélez’s primary research area is Caribbean literature and cultures, food studies and digital humanities. Her interests include national identity, race, gender, pop culture, and Puerto Rican Diaspora and Latinx studies.
Wu joins the college as an assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies.
- Ph.D., Philosophy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Wu’s areas of expertise include philosophical and mathematical logic, philosophy of language and metaphysics. Recently, she was a research associate on the European Research Council project “Truth and Semantics” at the University of Bristol. She is especially interested in Boolean-valued models, vagueness and indeterminacy, semantic paradoxes, set theory, formal theories of truth and truthmaker semantics.