Colorful close-up image of Lehigh University's Linderman Library rotunda stained glass

Meet Lehigh's Newest Faculty Members

Learn more about some of the more than 40 new scholars who have joined Lehigh's faculty this year. 

Story by

Kelly Hochbein

The 2021-22 academic year has brought to Lehigh more than 40 new faculty members in a wide range of disciplines and from a variety of backgrounds. Most arrived on campus this past fall. 

“Every year, Lehigh hires outstanding new faculty from across the country and across the globe,” says Nathan Urban, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “These faculty bring new expertise, new ideas and new perspectives to the research and education that happens here at Lehigh. Over time, the faculty we hire lead their departments, colleges and the university to innovate and change as we seek to enhance the impact that Lehigh and its students have. The faculty hired this year, who applied for their jobs and came to Lehigh amidst a pandemic, are a truly exceptional group of scholars and teachers, inventors and innovators who will bring new perspectives to Lehigh and create a richer, more vibrant and more diverse environment in which the research and teaching of Lehigh occurs. I hope that you join me in welcoming this new class of faculty to the Lehigh family.”

During the Fall 2021 semester, some of these new scholars shared reflections about their research, their teaching interests and what drew them to Lehigh. Read on to learn more. 


 

Shimon Attie

Shimon Attie

Shimon Attie, Horger Artist in Residence and Visiting Assistant Professor of Art, Architecture and Design, College of Arts and Sciences

What are your research interests?
My artistic research may best be described as trans-media in nature, combining primarily lens-based practice with Installation art.  More specifically, my work spans creating small and large scale public and museum site-specific installations, art photography, realizing single and multiple channel immersive timed-based video and mixed media installations, video/performance hybrids, social practice, sculpture, performance and public projects. Many of my works are conceived for public sites, while others are created for more traditional venues such as art museums and galleries. Broadly speaking, much of my work explores how a variety of contemporary media may be used to re-imagine new relationships between space, time, place, and identity. More specifically, some of my practice involves creating site-specific media installations that give visual form to invisible, forgotten or erased histories and/or communities in the physical landscape of the present. While in other works, I engage local communities which have been marginalized and/or traumatized, to find new ways of representing their history and memory, present and potential futures.

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
I will be teaching a Studio/Seminar hybrid course in Fall 2022.  The working title for the course is "The Art of Sites and Communities."

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.) 
M.F.A., San Francisco State University; M.A., Antioch University; B.A., University of California, Berkeley

What was your previous institution?
I am currently the Inaugural Charles C. Bergman Endowed Visiting Professor in Studio Art at Stony Brook University. I am also on the faculty for the MFA department of Photography, Video and Related Media at the School of Visual Arts in NYC.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
What I most enjoy about teaching is having the opportunity to inspire younger artists and to hopefully be a meaningful catalyst in supporting their artist growth.

Why did you choose Lehigh?
I chose Lehigh because of the contour of the Horger Artist-in-Residence position to which I have been appointed.  It very closely matched the texture, breadth and scope of my artistic practice over the past many years.


 

Lee Bauknight

Lee Bauknight

Lee Bauknight, Visiting Professor of English, College of Arts and Sciences

What are your research interests?
I've worked extensively on the education and support of new teachers of college writing. Most recently, I've been researching new approaches to teaching media literacy. And, of course, I'm always working on my creative writing.

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
This semester, I'm teaching English 1 and English 11. In the past, I've also taught English 2 and English 144 (Introduction to Writing Fiction).

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
I have a B.A. in Journalism and an M.F.A. in Fiction, both from the University of South Carolina.

What was your previous institution?
Most recently, I taught at Penn State Berks. I've also taught at West Chester University, Louisiana State University, and the University of South Carolina.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I love working one-on-one with students on writing, whether it's academic, creative, or something else.

Why did you choose Lehigh?
Lehigh's motivated, curious, and creative students were the biggest draw.


 

Michael Boldin, Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics, College of Arts and Sciences

What are your research interests?
Statistical methods, business cycles

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
MATH 12,  MATH 365 / STAT 465

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania; B.B.A., Temple University

What was your previous institution?
Temple University

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
Interacting with students, especially when they relate their interests and what they are curious about in a subject

Why did you choose Lehigh?
I was offered an interesting open (temporary) position and felt it would be invigorating to work with students of a high caliber (at Lehigh).


 

Chen Cai, Professor of Practice in Finance, College of Business

What are your research interests?
My research interests include mergers and acquisitions, executive compensation, and corporate governance.

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
I am teaching FIN 333 Global Finance, FIN374 Portfolio Management Practicum, and GBUS 473 International Finance.

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
Ph.D. in Chemistry, Brown University; Ph.D. in Finance, Georgia State University

What was your previous institution?
Cleveland State University

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
The great interaction with students

Why did you choose Lehigh?
Prestigious university and elite students


 

Arielle K. Carr

Arielle K. Carr

Arielle K. Carr, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science

What are your research interests?
My research focus is in the fields of applied linear algebra, applied numerical analysis, and scientific computing.  Specifically, I am studying the efficient solution of large linear systems and eigenproblems using Krylov subspace methods and preconditioning techniques.

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
I am currently teaching CSE398/498: Iterative methods for large, sparse linear systems.

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
I earned my Ph.D. in math from Virginia Tech (VT) in 2021. I hold a B.S. and M.S. in math from VT, as well as a B.S. in sociology from Roanoke College. I also minored in computer science (VT) and education (Roanoke).

What was your previous institution?
Prior to my current appointment, I was a professor of practice (PoP) at Lehigh, and before that, I was a graduate teaching assistant at Virginia Tech.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I love that I am able to share the knowledge I have spent decades building (and will continue to build) with my students. I'm not sure there are too many other careers where you can give away so much of what you've earned yourself without losing anything at all.

Why did you choose Lehigh?
I had already experienced working with the amazing faculty and students as a PoP, and couldn't imagine being anywhere else as I moved forward in my career.


 

Thomas Cavanna

Thomas Cavanna

Thomas P. Cavanna, Visiting Assistant Professor of International Relations, College of Arts and Sciences

What are your research interests?
My research interests include U.S. foreign policy and grand strategy, and U.S.-China relations.

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
I am teaching three classes: The Nuclear Revolution, The U.S. War in Afghanistan, and U.S. Foreign Policy 

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
M.A. and Ph.D. in History from Sciences Po Paris (Institute of Political Studies); M.A. in Management from Audencia Business School; B.A. (online) from Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle, French "agrégation" in History; Former Fox Fellow at Yale (2009-2010); former lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania (2012-2015); former postdoctoral fellow at Southern Methodist University (2015-2017); former Visiting Assistant Professor at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy (Tufts, 2017-2021)

What was your previous institution?
Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy (Tufts University) 

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I enjoy helping students realize their intellectual potential and make the most of it.

Why did you choose Lehigh?
I had known Lehigh's reputation (both in general terms and in my field) for a long time. I was already familiar with the work of some of my colleagues. I knew about the quality of the teaching and research environment at Lehigh. I also became more familiar with the institution during the hiring process, which confirmed that I would be in an ideal place to grow as a teacher and researcher, in an environment that values respect, open-mindedness, academic rigor, and the ideal of intellectual pursuits.


 

Yuyue Chen

Yuyue Chen

Yuyue Chen, Professor of Practice in Decision and Technology Analytics (DATA), College of Business

What are your research interests?
My research interests include Machine Learning, Mathematical Modeling and Optimization Algorithm.

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
I am teaching BIS 244: Business Analytics II and BIS 348/448: Predictive Analytics in Business

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
Drexel University, Ph.D.; Drexel University, M.S.; Beijing Forestry University, B.S.

What was your previous institution?
I just graduated from Drexel University.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
Teaching has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I believe that teachers should always be responsible for and flexible in what they teach. I believe that the classroom is not just a place for students to get a grade, but a platform where we can build strong connections among the teachers, students and knowledge.

Why did you choose Lehigh?
I enjoy teaching at Lehigh! The campus is so gorgeous. The students are smart, engaging and hard-working!


 

Crystal Chu

Crystal Chu

Crystal Chu, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences

What are your research interests?
My research interests include organic and polymer synthesis, structure-property relationships of biomaterials, drug delivery, and regenerative medicine.

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
I am currently teaching graduate physical organic chemistry.

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
I earned my B.S. from UC Berkeley and my Ph.D. from Caltech. Following graduate school, I was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at MIT.

What was your previous institution?
Prior to joining Lehigh, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I enjoy in-class problem solving and considering how we can think about a familiar problem in a different way.

Why did you choose Lehigh?
I chose to join the faculty at Lehigh to teach and mentor students in the classroom and lab, and for the campus' growing involvement in interdisciplinary research.


 

Benjamin De Bari

Benjamin De Bari

Benjamin De Bari, Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences 

What are your research interests?
I study the physics of self-organizing systems with applications to biological behavior. I aim to address how perception-action capabilities in organisms are related to physical principles in complex systems.

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
I teach Introduction to Psychology as well as Research Methods and Data Analysis for Psychological Sciences. In Spring 2022 I'll additionally be teaching Introduction to Cognitive Science.

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
I received my B.S. in Cognitive Science from the University of Connecticut. I recently received my Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology with a concentration in Perception-Action-Cognition from the University of Connecticut.

What was your previous institution?
I recently graduated from the University of Connecticut.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I am excited about the topics I teach, and I value being able to encourage similar excitement and appreciation for those topics in students. It is also deeply rewarding to play even a small part in the intellectual development of young minds.

Why did you choose Lehigh?
Lehigh offers a remarkable venue for balancing both excellence in teaching and the pursuit of high-level research. Academics aside, the campus is incredible and the connection to the community is unique and enriching.


 

Ebru Demir

Ebru Demir

Ebru Demir, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics, P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science

What are your research interests?
My research program focuses on utilizing fluid mechanics/dynamics and machine learning techniques to solve engineering problems across various engineering disciplines, such as robotics, biomedical engineering, and advanced manufacturing. For this purpose, I 1) use bio-inspired numerical and experimental models to explore locomotion in low Re environments mimicking in-vivo media to develop novel targeted drug delivery and minimally invasive surgery techniques, 2) leverage advanced manufacturing techniques to create robotic parts, lab-on-a-chip devices and skin conformable sensors for human use, and MEMS devices for environmental analysis, 3) apply machine learning techniques to create smart amphibian robots (macro and micro scale) that can learn how to navigate in challenging environments.

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
I am teaching ME231-Fluid Mechanics in the spring term. I will also prepare a new mechatronics focused curriculum for ME207-Mechanical Engineering Laboratory III and co-teach ENGR10-Applied Engineering Computer Methods.

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
I have worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Mechanical Engineering in Santa Clara University (SCU), California since June 2019. I became the inaugural recipient of the School of Engineering Inclusive Excellence Postdoctoral Fellowship in May 2021. I held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Mechanics Division in the Computational Science Research Center in Beijing between April 2019 - May 2021. I earned my Ph.D. and B.Sc. degrees in Mechatronics Engineering from Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey, in 2018 and 2011 respectively.

What was your previous institution?
Santa Clara University, California

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I have always been a huge advocate of hands-on learning. I like to get my hands dirty, so to speak. I enjoy it very much to see when students translate abstract concepts into something tangible, see their knowledge in action and they reach this moment of clarity... Suddenly, every piece of information we teach them falls into place, to be understood in a profound manner, and their eyes light up that moment... It is truly something to see! So in short I enjoy seeing my students enjoy learning and I do my best to make that happen.

I identify as a woman, and as such, I am a member of one of the minoritized gender expressions in engineering. I am also a first generation college graduate. Therefore, I feel compelled to mention that it makes my day when a student who faced similar challenges shares that they feel more confident in becoming an engineer/researcher/scholar because of their interactions with me. I enjoy making sure that my students know they belong there, in that classroom, and in that profession they chose!

Why did you choose Lehigh?
Lehigh University Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics Department has a long history of strong leadership in engineering research, and it is home to faculty members renowned for their excellence. One of the strengths of the department lies in fluidics research, which is my main area of focus. Joining Lehigh Faculty, I am surrounded and supported by the faculty that carry this immense expertise, which will help me grow and succeed as a new faculty member and an early career researcher. I also wanted to make sure that I will be in a place where my research would complement the research programs already established, introduce new and exciting directions, and create new challenges that will facilitate collaborations with faculty members across disciplines. I enjoy interdisciplinary collaborations and adapting techniques used in other fields into my research, and Lehigh encourages interdisciplinary dialogues and creating a synergy. I believe that the size of the university will also help facilitate such productive interactions within the faculty. Lehigh University is the right place for me to establish the research program I envision, and I am grateful to be granted the privilege to join Lehigh University faculty.


 

Devin Finn

Devin Finn

Devin Finn, Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science, College of Arts and Sciences

What are your research interests?
My research interests include how civilians participate in violence and democratic politics during and after civil wars. In studying these dynamics I focus on Peru and Colombia through field work, ethnography, and archival sources. Out of this work a specific focus on what I call "forensic politics" emerged, in which I look at how relatives of victims and other political actors participate in searches for disappeared persons in post-conflict contexts. I also research the local politics of extractive industry in mining communities in different regions of Peru and these communities' conflicts and relations with corporations.

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
In Fall 2021 I taught Comparative Politics and a first-year seminar called Politics, Violence, and Human Rights in Latin America. During spring semester 2022, I will teach Latin American Political Systems and continue with Comparative Politics.

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
Before coming to teach at Lehigh, I was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Government at Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia (2017-2018). For a few years after that, I continued teaching there and in Political Science at los Andes. I had a pre/postdoctoral Fellowship at the Sie Cheou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. In 2017, I completed the Ph.D. in Government (Political Science) at Georgetown University. I had studied and earned an M.A. in International Studies and Human Rights at the Korbel School at DU (2009). Back in 2004 I completed a B.A. in Political Science at Duke University.

What was your previous institution?
Previously I was teaching and doing research at Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I really enjoy watching my students do incredible things and own their passions. I see mentoring as an important part of my work. I have had wonderful mentors who have shown me how much caring about a student's future can mean. I take this responsibility seriously, and it is really gratifying to see students set goals and take on fascinating professional projects.

Why did you choose Lehigh?
Lehigh is a place with great history and a distinctive intellectual character. I grew up in Philadelphia, and it is good to be in the area again and close to family.


 

Charles French, Visiting Assistant Professor in English, College of Arts and Sciences

What are your research interests?
My research interests are Irish Literature, the Gothic, and Shakespeare

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
I am currently teaching one section of English 001 and 3 sections of English 011

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
I hold these degrees: A.B. in English, Lafayette College; M.A. and Ph.D. in English, Lehigh University

What was your previous institution?
I have taught in several schools, including in the evening program at Muhlenberg College.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I love the exchange of ideas with students. Teaching is a way not only to guide students in their studies but also a way for the professor to continue to learn.

Why did you choose Lehigh?
I did my graduate work at Lehigh University, and I have always had great respect for this school.


 

Lyam Gabel

Lyam Gabel

Lyam Gabel, Assistant Professor of Theatre, College of Arts and Sciences

What are your research interests?
I study how theater can create and strengthen communities and I develop new plays and performances locally and nationally. My creative scholarship includes performances and multimedia events that explore queer history, patriarchal violence, and other topics. Right now I am developing a new work about queer care from the early years of the HIV epidemic through the COVID-19 pandemic called the dance floor, the hospital room, and the kitchen table that will tour to Pittsburgh and New Orleans this spring. I also write about transgender theater pedagogy.

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
I'm teaching acting and directing. In the spring I am teaching a new class called Performance as Protest, a practical exploration of theater and activism in the United States from the 1960s to the present. With readings, discussion, research, and case studies we will track the history of performance protests from The Free Southern Theater and ACT UP! to contemporary movements like #metoo and Black Lives Matter. I also co-directed Open Up! a showcase of Lehigh Talent in the Diamond Theater in November 2021.

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
I earned my B.F.A. in Theater Performance and B.A .in Political Science from Virginia Commonwealth University and my M.F.A. in Directing from Carnegie Mellon University.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I love helping artists find their voice, develop a practice, and learn new things about themselves. Theater is a great way to build community and I cultivate a classroom that encourages students to make connections with one another. I am passionate about coaching and mentoring LGBTQIA+ artists.

Why did you choose Lehigh?
Lehigh's theatre department is full of amazing artists and teachers. The students get to pursue a range of interests in the art form with high individual attention and mentoring. I am really excited to be a part of this community.


 

Fabio Gómez-Rodríguez

Fabio Gómez-Rodríguez

Fabio Gómez-Rodríguez, Assistant Professor of Economics, College of Business

What are your research interests?
I am interested in time series analysis and macroeconomics. I strive to understand the effects of monetary and fiscal policy on the economy using modern statistical and econometrical techniques.

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
I am currently teaching ECO 157 (Statistics II) and ECO 415 (Econometrics I) at the College of Business.

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? 
I first got my diplom (a sort of advanced degree in Germany) as Wirtschaftsmathematiker (which is German for Mathematician for Economics) at the Technische Universität Darmstadt in Germany. Then, I got a Master of Arts and a Ph.D. in Economics at Indiana University.

I just graduated from Indiana University and I also still do economic research for the Central Bank of Costa Rica.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I am quite passionate about teaching. I think the best feeling is to see when students master a concept that they believed was too difficult or abstract. My teaching philosophy is that intuition is key for all pieces falling right into place when you are trying to learn something new.

Why did you choose Lehigh?
The collegiality among colleagues and students is heartwarming. It just felt right.



 

Tomas Gonzalez-Fernandez

Tomas Gonzalez-Fernandez

Tomas Gonzalez-Fernandez, Assistant Professor of Bioengineering, PC. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science

What are your research interests?
My main research interests include the engineering of cell-instructive biomaterials for their use in combination with advanced biofabrication technologies for the regeneration of damaged tissues, specifically those affected by degenerative diseases such as arthritis and diabetes. Therefore, my lab will focus on the engineering of novel cell-instructive 3D printable biomaterials to advance towards the clinical translation of 3D bioprinting for tissue repair.

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
Currently I am teaching BIOE 20 (Bioengineering Sophomore Research Seminar) and BIOE 242 (Undergraduate Research), which are focused on exposing the students to current undergraduate research opportunities in the Bioengineering Department and on developing scientific writing and presentation skills.

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
Ph.D. at Trinity College Dublin (Ireland); supervisors: Prof. Daniel Kelly and Prof. Fergal O'Brien

Postdoc at University of California Davis; supervisors: Prof. Kent Leach and Prof. Scott Simon

What was your previous institution?
University of California Davis (Postdoc)

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
What I enjoy the most about teaching is to guide my students to develop critical thinking and an interdisciplinary understanding of bioengineering concepts to find creative solutions to real clinical problems. Additionally to teaching, one of my main drives to pursue a career in academia is student mentoring and helping my trainees to develop their scientific skills to achieve their professional goals.

Why did you choose Lehigh?
Lehigh will provide my lab with a community of highly driven researchers and engineers, and world-class facilities which will propel my research and academic career. Moreover, Lehigh’s geographical situation will also provide close proximity to other bioengineers and clinicians in the Philadelphia and New York areas to start exciting scientific collaborations.


 

Michael Gusmano

Michael Gusmano

Michael K. Gusmano, Professor of Health Policy and Associate Dean for Academic Programs, College of Health

What are your research interests?
I am interested in health policy and politics, comparative health systems, and bioethics. My research focuses on the consequences of policies for poor and vulnerable populations and the extent to which those populations have a voice in shaping the policies that govern their lives.

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
This fall, I am teaching our introduction to community health course. In the spring, I hope to teach a cross-national comparative health system course.

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
I received a B.A. in political science and an M.A. in public policy from the State University of New York at Albany. I have a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Maryland at College Park. I was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in Health Policy at Yale University.

What was your previous institution?
Rutgers University School of Public Health

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I enjoy conversations with students about the ideas they are studying. I particularly enjoy it when it is clear that students are able to generate their own arguments and make use of evidence from the literature to support their positions.

Why did you choose Lehigh?
In addition to the fact that Lehigh has an excellent reputation as a high quality university, I decided to come here because I am excited about helping to build the new College of Health. We want to train students, not only to understand the multiple factors that shape population and community health, but to develop and evaluate interventions that will improve health.


 

Santiago Herrera

Santiago Herrera

Santiago Herrera, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences

What are your research interests?
My research seeks to understand how diversity arises in and interacts with the ocean environment. I make use of high-throughput data-gathering techniques and computationally-intensive analytical approaches, in combination with oceanographic field expeditions and laboratory experiments, to generate and test ecological and evolutionary hypotheses. My research focuses on deep-sea and mesophotic benthic ecosystems, populations, species, and organisms. My work is cross-disciplinary; I work closely with physicists, geochemists, molecular biologists, engineers, and natural resource managers.

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
Marine Biology, Biodiversity in a Changing Planet, Oceanography, Molecular Ecology, Epigenetics.

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
Postdoc, University of Toronto; Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography, Massachusetts Institute of Technology & Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; M.Sc. in Biological Sciences, Universidad de los Andes; B.Sc. in Biology and B.Sc. in Microbiology, Universidad de los Andes

What was your previous institution?
Before Lehigh I was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
What I enjoy most about teaching is inspiring curiosity about our world.

Why did you choose Lehigh?
I chose Lehigh because of its focus on research and teaching excellence, and its welcoming community.


 

Niels Holten-Andersen

Niels Holten-Andersen

Niels Holten-Andersen, Associate Professor of Bioengineering and Materials Science and Engineering, P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science

What are your research interests?
My research is focused on bioinspired materials design, fabrication and characterization. My long-term research goal is to employ nature’s design principles to sustainably manufacture functional materials that can help overcome a variety of challenges in global health and the environment.

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
I will be teaching BIOE 257 - Biomechanics and Biomaterials in Spring 2022.

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
I obtained my Ph.D. from the Biomolecular Science and Engineering Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara and I did a postdoc at the Institute for Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago.

What was your previous institution?
I was an Associate Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
What I love about teaching is learning together!

Why did you choose Lehigh?
I chose Lehigh because of my admiration and respect for the people already here.


 

John Hughes

John Hughes

John Hughes, Associate Professor of Community and Population Health, College of Health

What are your research interests?
My research interests include statistical methods for dependent data, especially high-dimensional data (e.g., spatial, spatiotemporal); Bayesian methods; and statistical computing. I have done interdisciplinary work in a number of fields, including environmental and occupational health, bioimaging, magnetic-resonance safety, and the spatial epidemiology of HPV-related cancers.

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
In the fall I taught BSTA 101 Population Health Data Science 2. The course covers widely applicable regression methods for continuous data, binary data, and count data. I am currently teaching BSTA 396 Advanced R Programming and BSTA/STAT 397 Nonparametric Statistics.

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
I earned a B.S. in mathematics and computer science, and an M.S. in applied computer science, from Frostburg State University. Then I earned an M.S. and a Ph.D. in statistics from Penn State University.

What was your previous institution?
I previously held tenure-track appointments at the University of Minnesota and the University of Colorado. Just prior to coming to Lehigh I held a research faculty appointment in the Department of Statistics at Penn State University.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I really enjoy introducing my students to the beauty, simplicity, and power of mathematical statistics and statistical computing.

Why did you choose Lehigh?
I chose Lehigh because both research excellence and teaching excellence are highly valued here, because Lehigh offers a real sense of community, because this area is rich in cultural and outdoor activities, and because Lehigh is not far from western Maryland, which is where I grew up and where much of my family and many of my old friends live.


 

Javad Khazaei

Javad Khazaei

Javad Khazaei, Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science

What are your research interests?
My research interests include integration of energy storage and renewable sources to the grid; power system dynamic modeling and stability analysis; smart grid cybersecurity, control, and optimization; and water-energy-building microgrids.

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
I taught Signals and Systems (ECE 108) last fall and am teaching Advanced Circuits and Systems (ECE 420) this spring. 

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
I earned the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering with a focus on power and energy stems from University of South Florida in 2016.

What was your previous institution?
From 2016 to 2021, I was an assistant professor with the electrical engineering department at Penn State Harrisburg and was affiliated with the architectural engineering department at Penn State University Park. 

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I enjoy transferring my knowledge to the next generation, interacting with my students, and helping them with course material. I try to make myself available to them and enjoy talking to them about their future career. They motivate me to become a better teacher.

Why did you choose Lehigh?
My first visit to the campus was in 2017 and I loved its beautiful architecture and beautiful grounds. Last year, I was invited to give a presentation in the ECE seminar and was fascinated by the level of engagement of students and faculty. As soon as I was offered the chance to become a faculty member at Lehigh, I accepted immediately.


 

Johanna Kowalko

Johanna Kowalko

Johanna Kowalko, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Science

What are your research interests?
The ability of an animal to interact with its environment requires the coordination of sensory perception, central nervous processing, and motor outputs. Given this multifaceted integration, how does genetic variation contribute to individual differences in behavior?  Further, how do behaviors evolve? My research program seeks to address these complex questions.

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
I am currently teaching a graduate course titled "Readings in Evolution and Development" in which we are reading primary literature articles to learn more about evolution, development, and evolutionary developmental biology.  For the spring, I will be developing a Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience course in which students will have the opportunity to pursue research projects uncovering the genetic underpinnings of behavioral diversity.

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
I completed my B.A. in Biology at Brown University. After working for two years as a research technician in a lab at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, I got my Ph.D. from Harvard University in Genetics, where I did my research work in Dr. Cliff Tabin's lab.  Following an independent postdoc at Iowa State University with Dr. Jeff Essner, I was an Assistant Professor at Florida Atlantic University for three years before joining the faculty at Lehigh.

What was your previous institution?
I was most recently at Florida Atlantic University - teaching and doing research at the Wilkes Honors College - in Jupiter, Florida.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I really enjoy teaching students in the laboratory setting, either through inquiry based laboratory courses or in my research lab!

Why did you choose Lehigh?
I was really excited to find in Lehigh a place where I can both teach and continue developing a rigorous research program.
 


 

Joseph Kramer-Miller, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, College of Arts and Sciences

What are your research interests?
Number theory and arithmetic geometry

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
Calculus (but others soon)

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
B.A., Oberlin College; M.A., CUNY; Ph.D., CUNY; Postdocs at University College London and University of California-Irvine

What was your previous institution?
University of California-Irvine

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
Dealing with smart, passionate students

Why did you choose Lehigh?
Lehigh is one of the few places that values both scholarly research and undergraduate teaching.


 

Stephen M. Lee-Urban, Professor of Practice in Computer Science and Engineering, P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science

What are your research interests?
Cognitive Systems, Planning, Reinforcement Learning, AI in Games

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
Software Engineering, CS Capstone, Programming Languages

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
I received my B.S. in Computer Engineering, M.S. in Computer Science and Ph.D. in Computer Science from Lehigh University, and I was a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at Georgia Tech.

What was your previous institution?
Georgia Tech Research Institute

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
Being a part of the growth of another

Why did you choose Lehigh?
Lehigh's commitment to excellence in teaching while doing world-class research


 

Xinliang “Albert” Liu

Xinliang “Albert” Liu

Xinliang “Albert” Liu, Associate Professor of Community and Population Health, College of Health

What are your research interests?
My research focuses on health services utilization, costs, quality of care, and performance evaluation of health care organizations.

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
I am teaching U.S. Healthcare Ecosystem to undergraduate students this semester.

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
I received my Ph.D. degree in Health Services Organization & Research from Virginia Commonwealth University. I also received an M.S. degree from Capital Medical University and M.B.B.S. degree from Sichuan University in China.

What was your previous institution?
Before joining Lehigh, I worked at the University of Central Florida for nine years.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I try to engage students and create a tailored learning environment in my class. It is most rewarding to me when students find the connections between the knowledge they learn in the classroom, their life and career goals.

Why did you choose Lehigh?
The College of Health at Lehigh strives to improve population health outcomes, which aligns well with my teaching, research, and service.


 

 Farrah Moazeni

Farrah Moazeni

 

Farrah Moazeni, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science

What are your research interests?
My research interests are mainly focused on two areas: (1) optimization, modeling, and control of smart water systems integrated with other critical infrastructures and (2) security of smart infrastructure systems against cyber-physical attacks.

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
I am teaching hazardous waste management, which is cross listed as an undergraduate and graduate course (CEE 378/478).

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
I have a bachelor's and master's degree in Chemical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology (Iran) and a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from University of Nevada (Las Vegas).

What was your previous institution?
I was a research assistant during my Ph.D. studies at Desert Research Institute and then adjunct faculty at Penn State Harrisburg.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I enjoy interacting with students. I like how they get excited when they understand a new topic.

Why did you choose Lehigh?
To me, it was the attitude of the search committee that was most appealing. I thought I would be joining a supportive, passionate, and smart group of faculty members, which has the potential to help me make progress in my career and contribute to the growth of Lehigh. It's no secret that Lehigh is one of the nation's most prestigious schools, but the friendly and supportive atmosphere that I encountered over the multiple rounds of interviews was the reason I chose Lehigh in the end. I knew I would be happier and more successful at Lehigh than other schools.


 

Mark Noble, Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology, College of Arts and Sciences

What are your research interests?
My research interests include climate change, democracy, conflict, global health, and international development. A major focus in much of my research is on health, environmental, and gender inequalities. Although much of my research is comparative and cross-national in nature, I also have a special interest in East African politics, including Uganda.

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
I am teaching classes in Sociology, Global Studies, and Health, Medicine and Society. This semester I am teaching social interaction, introduction to global studies, and medicine and society.

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
My bachelor's degree is in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. I also have a master's degree in Latin American Studies from Tulane University. My master's degree and Ph.D. in Sociology are from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

What was your previous institution?
Before Lehigh I was an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Susquehanna University.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I really enjoy working with students at all phases of their undergraduate education. Introducing students to Sociology, helping them to think critically, and teaching them to utilize their sociological imagination is highly rewarding. I also find that working with more advanced undergraduates in upper level seminars and with independent research is highly fulfilling.

Why did you choose Lehigh?
I chose Lehigh because of the high quality of the students.


 

Akwum Onwunta

Akwum Onwunta

Akwum Onwunta, Assistant Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering, P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science

What are your research interests?
My research interests include uncertainty quantification, PDE-constrained optimization, machine learning and statistical inverse problems.

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
I am teaching ISE 405 (Special Topics in Industrial Engineering) and ISE 339 (Stochastic Models and Applications).

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
Prior to joining Lehigh University, I held postdoctoral research positions at:

The Center for Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence, George Mason University, VA (August 2020 - August 2021)

University of Maryland at College Park, MD. (July  2018 - June 2021)

Before my postdoctoral research positions, I had earned the following degrees:

Otto von Guericke University & Max Planck Institute, Magdeburg, Germany; Dr. rer. nat. (Ph.D) in Applied Mathematics (2016)

Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany; Dr. rer. pol. (Ph.D) in Economics (2010)

University of Paris 1, Pantheon-Sorbonne, Paris, France; Graduate Diploma, Mathematical Models in Economics and Finance (2007)

University of Stellenbosch, South Africa; Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Physical and Mathematical Analysis (2006)

Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Nigeria; Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Mathematics (2003)

What was your previous institution?
George Mason University, Fairfax, VA (August 2020 - August 2021)

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I enjoy seeing my students having fun with mathematical tools and cleverly applying them to solve problems from computational science and engineering.

Why did you choose Lehigh?
Lehigh University is indeed a great place with distinguished scholars; thus, I am not only incredibly excited to join the ISE Department at Lehigh, but also deeply passionate to collaborate with other ISE faculty in training next generations of researchers and engineers of world-class repute.


 

Wesley Perkins

Wesley Perkins

Wesley Perkins, C.C. Hsiung Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics, College of Arts and Sciences

What are your research interests?
My research interests include studying the existence, stability, and dynamics of nonlinear waves in partial differential equations arising from physical and numerical applications.

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
I am currently teaching Math 021 (Calculus 1) and Math 205 (Linear Methods).

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
I have a B.A. in Mathematics from Lyon College, an M.A. in Mathematics from the University of Kansas, and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Kansas. I am currently in a postdoc at Lehigh University!  

What was your previous institution?
My previous institution was the University of Kansas.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I really enjoy getting to invest in students both inside and outside the classroom. I love helping students to understand the connections between concepts, teaching about why we actually care about the concepts that I am teaching them, and talking with students about the importance of self care. One of the most rewarding parts of teaching, in my opinion, is seeing students succeed in my class and beyond.

Why did you choose Lehigh?
I chose Lehigh because I liked the size of the university. I loved that it was an institution that has a strong focus on and dedication to teaching, as teaching is why I got a Ph.D. I was also excited by the fact that Lehigh gives space for research and encourages research with undergraduates. My undergraduate research experience was super rewarding, so I love that Lehigh encourages it!


 

Stephanie Prevost

Stephanie Prevost

Stephanie Prevost, Visiting Professor of Law, Perella Department of Finance, College of Business

What are your research interests?
Coming from the private sector, research has not been a primary focus of my career, but I am interested in exploring equity issues in client-based industries as well as corporate ethics and transparency.

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
In the fall I taught LAW 201 - Legal Environment of Business to undergraduates and in the spring I am continuing to teach LAW 201, but will also teach LAW 417 - Regulatory Environment of Business to Lehigh's MS in Management graduate cohort.

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
I received my B.A. in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. I earned my law degree from the University of Pennsylvania's Carey School of Law, where I also received a Certificate in Business and Public Policy from The Wharton School. I earned a Master's degree in Library and Information Science from Drexel University as well.

What was your previous institution?
My previous role was in the private sector, where I was the General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer of a boutique financial advisory firm that focused on tax-oriented investments in the renewable energy sector.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I love interacting with and learning from the Lehigh students. They are curious and actively involved in their education, which makes teaching rewarding and exciting.

Why did you choose Lehigh?
There are a lot of exciting things happening at Lehigh's Business School. I appreciate the long-term outlook and student-focused approach of the leadership and look forward to contributing to the high-quality education the school provides.


 

David Rea

David Rea

David Rea, Assistant Professor of Decision and Technology Analytics (DATA), College of Business

What are your research interests?
My research aspires to improve human well-being inside service systems. It integrates predictive and prescriptive analytics methodologies, largely focusing on operational problems in the delivery of basic-needs services. Motivated by practice, I have collaborated with healthcare and humanitarian organizations, including University of Cincinnati Health, Cleveland Clinic, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, and the Freestore Foodbank.

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
I am teaching "Supply Cost and Risk Management" & "Supply Chain Operations Management."

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
I hold a Ph.D. in Operations and Business Analytics from the University of Cincinnati, an M.S. in Mathematical Sciences from Clemson University, and a B.A. in Mathematics & Economics from Wittenberg University.

What was your previous institution?
I was most recently with the University of Cincinnati.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
The thing I enjoy most about teaching is seeing "the lightbulb appear" above students' heads when something finally clicks.

Why did you choose Lehigh?
I joined Lehigh for the people and the strategic vision.


 

Liesje Steenkiste, Visiting Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
I am primarily teaching classes with a focus on cell biology. I am teaching cell biology lecture and lab classes for students majoring in the sciences. I am also teaching a class for non-majors, with a focus on cells and disease. In the spring semester, I will continue to teach the cell biology lab. In addition, I will be teaching a class about signal transduction and an introductory cellular and molecular biology course.

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
I received a B.S. in Biology from Denison University and a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Washington.

What was your previous institution?
I was previously completing a Ph.D. at the University of Washington, where my research was conducted at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I most enjoy my interactions with my students - helping them master challenging material and seeing that spark of recognition when a difficult concept becomes clear. I love when students are actively engaged with the material and ask creative questions, which can lead to dynamic, interesting group discussions.


 

Gauri Subramani

Gauri Subramani

Gauri Subramani, Assistant Professor of Management, College of Business

What are your research interests?
My research interests lie at the nexus of innovation and representation. In my work, I quantify the magnitude of gender and resource inequalities in innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as identify the mechanisms by which these arise. Then, I am interested in identifying opportunities for interventions to reduce performance gaps; that is, how can we improve outcomes for underrepresented groups? I use empirical tools and quantitative analysis to explore the dynamics of representation in a variety of settings, including the U.S. patent application system and digital platforms (such as online reviews and crowdfunding).

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
I am teaching Leadership in Organizations, an undergraduate business class.

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
I have a B.A. in Economics and English from Wellesley College and a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

What was your previous institution?
I finished my Ph.D. at UC Berkeley in the summer of 2021.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I see teaching as both important and personally meaningful; I feel lucky to have the opportunity to help students learn and feel excited about their work and ideas! My goal is to equip students with analytical skills and frameworks that enable them to ask and answer important questions, communicate effectively, and approach real-world problems.

Why did you choose Lehigh?
I chose Lehigh for a number of reasons, including the wonderful faculty at the College of Business. My colleagues do rigorous, important work across a variety of fields and I am excited to work with and learn from them. I also was attracted to Lehigh’s small class sizes and the chance to teach motivated and curious students.



 

Lawrence Tartaglia

Lawrence Tartaglia

Lawrence Tartaglia, Professor of Practice in Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences

What are your research interests?
My research interests are in vaccinology and gene therapy applications using viral-based vector systems. In addition, I have always had a passion for understanding how extremophilic organisms can survive in some of the most inhospitable environments on the planet.

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
I teach Introduction to Cellular and Molecular, and Genetics as part of our core biology series, as well as upper-level classes in Virology and Biochemistry Laboratory.

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
I earned a B.A. in Biology and M.S. in molecular biology from Rutgers University. I then pursued a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Florida College of Medicine, followed by a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Harvard Medical School.

What was your previous institution?
Harvard Medical School

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
The expression on my students' faces when they have that eureka moment in class!

Why did you choose Lehigh?
I chose Lehigh University because of the rigor and quality of their science education programs, the ability to collaborate with other like-minded faculty members, and most importantly, the students. The students of Lehigh University are highly ambitious and dedicated to their education and go on to pursue many amazing career paths after graduation. If I can help them achieve their dreams, then I have done my job.


 

Jeff Trimarchi, Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology, College of Arts and Sciences

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
In Fall 2021, I taught a first-year seminar (BIOS 090-014 The Biology of Human Disease and Disease Therapy), a section of Biochemistry Laboratory (BIOS377) and assisting with Genetics (BIOS 115). In the spring I am teaching Developmental Biology (BIOS376), a writing in Biological Sciences course (BIOS251) and assisting with Biology Core I labs.

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
I got my B.A. in Biology in 1993 from Amherst College, my Ph.D. in Biology from MIT in 2001, and then did a Postdoc at Harvard Medical School.

What was your previous institution?
Prior to coming to Lehigh, I was an Assistant Professor for 8 years at Iowa State University. For the past 3 years I worked for a biotechnology company called Emmune, Inc. in Florida.


 

Yury Ustinovskiy, Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics, College of Arts and Sciences

What are your research interests?
In my research I apply analytical tools to tackle problems in geometry and topology.

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
In the Fall 2021 I taught two sections of Calculus 1 (course Math 021).

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
I have a master’s degree from the Moscow State University and hold a Ph.D. degree in mathematics from Princeton University.

What was your previous institution?
Before coming to Lehigh I was a postdoc at New York University.


 

Michelle L. Washington

Michelle L. Washington

Michelle L. Washington, Professor of Practice in Management, College of Business

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
MGT243; MGT363

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
Ph.D., Temple University; MBA, University of Michigan; B.A., Tulane University

 

 

 


 

Yu Yang

Yu Yang

Yu Yang, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science

What are your research interests?
My research interests include Cyber-Physical Systems, Ubiquitous Computing, Mobile Sensing, and Data Science. My research utilizes various data generated in our cities to perform sensing, prediction, and decision-making to enable more efficient and human-friendly cities. The applications of my research include smart cities, gig economy, intelligent transportation systems, connected vehicles, etc. The outcomes of my research have been deployed in the industry and are serving millions of users every day.

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
I am teaching CSE 398/498: Data Science for Smart Cities, which enables the discussion of various state-of-the-art researches with our students about how to use data to make our cities smarter and guides students to find their own interests with a project based on real-world scenarios and data.

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
Ph.D. from Rutgers University

What was your previous institution?
Rutgers University

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I am enjoying seeing a lot of new ideas coming up from our students and what they can achieve based on the knowledge learned from the class.

Why did you choose Lehigh?
High reputation in education and research, great colleagues and mentors, nice campus


 

Zi Ye

Zi Ye

 

Zi Ye, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, College of Arts and Sciences

What are your research interests?
My research area is statistics. Broadly speaking, my interests include multivariate and nonparametric analysis.

What classes are you teaching at Lehigh?
The class I am teaching is Math 312 Statistical computing and applications

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them? (Please include postdocs if applicable.)
I have a Ph.D. degree from the University of Kentucky.

What was your previous institution?
I just graduated from the University of Kentucky

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
The students are eager to learn.

Why did you choose Lehigh?
I chose Lehigh because of the good colleagues, students and location.


 

Story by

Kelly Hochbein

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