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News Story

College of Arts & Sciences Welcomes New Faculty for 2023-2024 Academic Year

Georgetown University’s College of Arts & Sciences is celebrating the start to a new academic year by welcoming 36 new full-time faculty members with primary appointments across 21 departments, programs and initiatives.

“Each year, it is a privilege and an honor to welcome new faculty members to the Hilltop,” said Rosario Ceballo, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. “The depth and scope of knowledge and experience brought by every new faculty member is breathtaking. College of Arts & Sciences’ departments and programs will be enriched and strengthened by our new faculty, their vital research and their dedicated commitment to teaching our students.”

Below, read more about each new faculty member, their background and areas of expertise.

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Elizabeth Antus, an assistant professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies.

Elizabeth Antus is joining the Department of Theology and Religious Studies as an assistant professor. Antus is a Catholic feminist theologian who researches the theological dimensions of sexual violence, mental health, suicidality and disability. Her work has appeared in Theological Studies, the Journal of Religious Ethics and the Journal of Religion, Disability & Health. Antus received her Ph.D. and M.T.S. from the University of Notre Dame. She earned her B.A. at the University of Virginia. 

Antus is currently completing a book titled The Tender Gift of Self-Love: A Feminist Theological Engagement with Augustine. In this book, she revisits the work of Augustine of Hippo, the figure in the Christian tradition who is most often associated with the idea that self-love is sinful. To the contrary, Antus thinks that Augustine has a more complex view of self-love, one that acknowledges its positive dimensions. Outside of her academic endeavors, she enjoys hanging out with her husband and dog, walking around, watching Drag Race, machinating with friends and listening to music (especially David Bowie).

Tim Bartley is joining the Department of Sociology and the Earth Commons as a professor. Bartley is a sociologist who studies sustainability standards, environmental/environmental justice movements and the regulation of global industries. More broadly, he is interested in the political, organizational and economic processes that shape environments, workplaces and the expression of rights around the world. Bartley received his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona. 

Bartley’s award-winning book, Rules without Rights: Land, Labor and Private Authority in the Global Economy, examined sustainable forestry and fair labor standards in Indonesia and China. His current research examines collective perceptions of distant problems, regulatory change in the European Union and how green industrial transitions proceed or falter. Bartley conducts both qualitative and quantitative research, ranging from semi-structured interviews with companies and advocacy groups to survey experiments with citizen-consumers and workers.

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Andrea Bonior is joining the Department of Psychology as a teaching professor. She will lead Georgetown’s implementation of The Connection Project, a program created by the University of Virginia to help increase a sense of belonging and community among new students. Prior to her current role, Bonior served as an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown for 16 years. In 2020, she won the national Excellence in Teaching award, given by the Society for the Teaching of Psychology, a division of the American Psychological Association. 

Bonior is a licensed clinical psychologist and the author of the best-selling book Detox Your Thoughts. She hosts the mental health talk and advice podcast Baggage Check, based on the mental health brand she built at The Washington Post. Bonior appears regularly in national media, including contributing frequently to CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper, has created several popular courses on work-life balance and cognitive skills for LinkedIn Learning, and is a sought-after speaker on emotional wellness, workplace stress and mental health. She received her B.A. in psychology and American studies from Yale University, and her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from American University.

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Lydia X. Z. Brown, a lecturer in Disability Studies.

Lydia X.Z. Brown (C’15) is joining the Disability Studies Program and the Capitol Applied Learning Labs as a lecturer after supporting the development and growth of disability studies and disability culture at Georgetown for years. 

Brown is a disability justice advocate and organizer, critical disability studies scholar-activist and disability policy attorney whose work focuses on interpersonal, state and corporate violence, deprivation and exploitation against disabled people at the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, faith, language and nation. Their other interests include carcerality and institutional violence, asexuality as queerness, algorithmic harm as an accelerating force of systemic injustice and the ableism-racism-settler colonialism nexus of transracial and transnational adoption. Brown also serves as the self-advocacy discipline coordinator for the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Fellowship program at the Center for Child and Human Development at Georgetown University Medical Center.

Outside of their work at Georgetown, Brown is also the director of public policy at the National Disability Institute and the founding executive director of the Autistic People of Color Fund, a project of collective care, redistributive justice and mutual aid. They have taught at American University as an adjunct professorial lecturer in American Studies in the Department of Critical Race, Gender and Culture Studies and at the University of Delaware in the Honors College. Brown is current vice chair and immediate past president of the Disability Rights Bar Association and Disability Justice Committee representative on the National Lawyers Guild board. Brown holds a B.A. in Arabic from Georgetown University and a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law.

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Meredith Burke, a lecturer in Disability Studies.

Meredith Burke, a proud DeafDisabled person, is joining the Disability Studies Program as a lecturer. Burke was born and raised in central Ohio and received both their undergraduate and graduate degrees in deaf studies and deaf cultural studies from Gallaudet University. Burke is an advocate and an activist fighting for inclusion and accessibility for all. 

They have worked at Hallenross and Associates, an interpreting agency as their cultural and accessibility consultant. Burke currently teaches online courses at both Gallaudet University and Columbus State Community College.  Meredith was honored in 2022 as one of the most recognized women by the Deaf Women United organization of the month of March.

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Jamall A. Calloway, an assistant professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies.

Jamall A. Calloway is joining the Department of Theology and Religious Studies as an assistant professor. He is a scholar of liberation theology, black religion, African American literature and the philosophy of religion. His published work focuses on faith proclamations amidst the tragedy of evil in all its various incarnations. Calloway received his Ph.D. in systematic theology from the Union Theological Seminary, his M.Div. of from Yale Divinity School and his B.A. in interdisciplinary humanities from Tougaloo College. 

Calloway’s current book project, The Fall of Man: Eden, Black Theology and African American Literature, is a textual meditation on the Edenic impulse in 20th-century black literature, with special attention to four particular black American writers: James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Richard Wright and Alice Walker. Each of these writers use religious and theological symbolism from the Genesis myth—referred to by early church theologians as “The Fall of Man”—to offer overlooked literary depicted constructive theologies. Prior to joining Georgetown University, Calloway was on the faculty in the Theology and Religious Studies Department at The University of San Diego, where he helped establish the Africana studies minor.

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Elizabeth Catchmark, an assistant teaching professor in the Department of English.

Elizabeth Catchmark is joining the Department of English as an assistant teaching professor and the director of the Writing Center. Catchmark previously served as an assistant director of the University of Maryland’s Academic Writing Program and a faculty fellow for the Professional Writing Program. She also independently developed and delivered a tutor-training program for the Petey Greene Program, which supports incarcerated learners. 

Catchmark received her B.A.s from Penn State University and her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. Her work in writing program administration focuses on linguistic justice in the teaching and tutoring of English, while her doctoral work examined health justice in the long Black freedom struggle. She has research expertise in linguistic diversity, Black studies and the medical humanities.

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Manu Samriti Chander, an associate professor in the Department of English.

Manu Samriti Chander is joining the Department of English as an associate professor. Chander is the author of Brown Romantics: Poetry and Nationalism in the Global Nineteenth Century and co-editor, with Tricia A. Matthew, of the Oxford University Press book series Race in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture. His second monograph, Browntology, considers the philosophical groundings of brownness in Enlightenment European thought in order to show how the figure of the model minority haunts foundational efforts to define the human. 

Chander received his Ph.D. and A.M. from Brown University. He earned his M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and his B.A. at Wesleyan University. Chander is currently editing the Fulbright- and NEH-funded Collected Works of Egbert Martin and The Cambridge Companion to Romanticism and Race.

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Amanda Sahar d’Urso, an assistant professor in the Department of Government.

Amanda Sahar d’Urso is joining the Department of Government as an assistant professor and a provost’s distinguished faculty fellow. She received her Ph.D. in political science from Northwestern University. Before joining the faculty at Georgetown, d’Urso was a Guarini Dean Postdoctoral Fellow at Dartmouth University with joint appointments in the Department of Government and the Program in Quantitative Social Science. D’Urso also studies racial and ethnic politics and American politics. She focuses on racial and ethnic identities which are ambiguous in American legal and social spheres. Her current book project details how Middle Easterners and North Africans (MENA) have been racialized throughout the 20th and 21st century, despite being legally classified as “White.”

D’Urso grew up in Northern Virginia and is an alumna of the University of Virginia (wahoowa). She is thrilled to be joining Georgetown University. Her hobby is trying new hobbies. She is of Iranian descent and also happily goes by Sahar.

Mohammad Fakhreddine is joining the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies as a full-time faculty member after completing his Ph.D. in Arabic Literature at Georgetown. His work on Arabic criticism of colloquial poetry shows a lacuna in the study of Arabic poetry that usually neglects poetic forms not produced in Standard Arabic.

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Khalil Derbel, a lecturer in the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies.

Khalil Derbel is joining the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies as a lecturer. He comes with a long and varied vita in higher education and also in the realm of diplomacy. In the fall of 2021, Derbel joined the Arabic language faculty at The George Washington University, where he taught media Arabic and other Arabic courses at various proficiency levels. Derbel taught Arabic courses at Georgetown during the 2022-23 academic year. In the 2023 spring semester he designed and taught the Arabic for Humanitarian Purposes and Moroccan Arabic courses at the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University. 

Derbel’s areas of expertise include political analysis and reporting, foreign affairs, election observation, translation and interpreting, grant management and monitoring and evaluation. He holds an M.A. in Public Policy from The European University of Tunis, an M.A. in English Literature and a B.A. in English from The University of Tunis. A native of Tunisia, Derbel is proficient in Arabic, French and English. He is a music aficionado and for more than 20 years was a member of a Tunis local music group where he enjoyed singing Arabic music with fellow choir members and being the group’s percussionist.

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Cauê Dobbin, an assistant professor in the Department of Economics.

Cauê Dobbin is joining the Department of Economics as an assistant professor. His research uses economic theory and empirical analysis to investigate the causes of inequality and how to alleviate it. Dobbin’s work covers topics such as how to expand access for low-income students to higher education and the role of firms in labor market inequality. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University.

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Dick Dubbelde, an assistant teaching professor in the Department of Psychology.

Dick Dubbelde is joining the Department of Psychology as an assistant teaching professor. His research interests are focused on investigating the neural mechanisms of how what we know about the world can influence our perceptions, memories and the functioning of our attention. He received his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and his Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience from The George Washington University. In his spare time, Dick has read enough comic books to think that neuroscience will eventually give him superpowers.

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Maraam Dwidar, an assistant professor in the Department of Government.

Maraam Dwidar is joining the Department of Government as an assistant professor. Her research focuses on American national institutions and public policy, with emphases on organized interests and collective action, intersectional advocacy, and agency rulemaking. Prior to joining the faculty at Georgetown, she served as an assistant professor of political science in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

Dwidar’s book, Power to the Partner: Organizational Coalitions in Social Justice Advocacy, documents how social and economic justice organizations strategically build coalitions to compensate for inequalities in the American lobbying landscape and evaluates the structures and characteristics of successful coalition work. Her research has been published in journals including the American Political Science Review, the Policy Studies Journal and Presidential Studies Quarterly. Dwidar holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. in government from The University of Texas at Austin and received undergraduate degrees in political science and statistics from the University of California, Davis.

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Juan Felipe Riaño, an assistant professor in the Department of Economics.

Juan Felipe Riaño is joining the Department of Economics as an assistant professor. He is an applied microeconomist and engineer with research interests spanning the fields of political economy, development economics and economic history. Riaño’s current research agenda focuses on understanding the determinants of state capacity in developing countries and the long-term impact of conflict and historical institutions on economic development. More recently, he has been interested in the organizational economics of public sector institutions and the role of cybersecurity in modern states.

Riaño received a Ph.D. in economics from the University of British Columbia in 2022 and an M.A., B.S. and B.A. in economics and industrial engineering from Universidad de los Andes. Before joining Georgetown, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the King Center on Global Development at Stanford University.

Darragh Gannon is joining the Global Irish Studies Initiative as its associate director and an assistant teaching professor. Gannon studies 20th-century Irish history, with a focus on the Irish Revolution and the Irish diaspora. 

Prior to joining the faculty at Georgetown, Gannon served as the head of Irish studies at University College Dublin and a research fellow at Queen’s University Belfast. In 2022, Gannon was a visiting Fulbright scholar on Georgetown’s campus. Gannon’s first book, Proclaiming a Republic: Ireland, 1916 and the National Collection, was written in concert with the National Museum of Ireland’s centenary exhibit on the uprising. He received his Ph.D. from Maynooth University in Ireland.

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John Griffin is joining the Department of Government as a professor. Griffin holds a B.A. from Boston College, a J.D. from the University of Colorado and a Ph.D. from Duke University. He previously taught at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Colorado. Griffin’s research focuses on the interplay between citizens’ policy preferences and the decision making of elected officials. In 2023, he was named the editor-in-chief of Political Science Research and Methods, the journal of the European Political Science Association.

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Tricia A. Hoefling, an assistant teaching professor in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program and the Capitol Applied Learning Labs.

Tricia A. Hoefling is joining the Women’s and Gender Studies Program and the Capitol Applied Learning Labs (CALL) as an assistant teaching professor. She teaches courses on gender, law and the Constitution. Hoefling has taught courses as an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law and the School of Health. 

Previously, Hoefling practiced law at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLC in New York, and worked as a consultant for Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, a national reproductive rights nonprofit with clinics across the United States. Hoefling also serves on the board of several local and national nonprofit organizations, including The Miller Center for Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, Whole Woman’s Health Alliance and the Village School of Charlottesville. She received her B.S. from the Walsh School of Foreign Service and her J.D. from Columbia Law School.

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Tony Jenkins, an assistant teaching professor in the Program on Justice and Peace.

Tony Jenkins is continuing his work with the Program on Justice and Peace as an assistant teaching professor. Prior to this appointment, he served as a full-time lecturer in the Program for four years. Since 2001, Jenkins has served as the managing director of the International Institute on Peace Education, and since 2007 as the coordinator of the Global Campaign for Peace Education.  

Jenkins’ applied research is focused on examining the impacts and effectiveness of peace education methods and pedagogies in nurturing personal, social and political change and transformation. He is also interested in formal and non-formal educational design and development with special interest in teacher training, alternative approaches to global security, systems design, disarmament and gender.

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Zhe Liu, an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

Zhe Liu is joining the Department of Mathematics and Statistics as an assistant professor. Liu studied mathematics at the University of New Hampshire, where she earned her Ph.D., and the University of Pennsylvania. She has held postdoctoral positions at the University of Pennsylvania and University of Denver, and faculty positions at the University of Central Florida and Duke Kunshan University. 

Liu’s research interests lie in functional analysis, operator algebras and mathematical physics. Her research findings have been published in journals including Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society and Mathematica Scandinavica. Liu loves teaching mathematics and working with students. In addition to mathematics, Liu enjoys watching sports, working on art projects including drawing, painting, design, and crafts.

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Crystal Luo, an assistant professor in the Department of History and the American Studies Program.

Crystal Luo is joining the Department of History and the American Studies Program as an assistant professor and provost’s distinguished faculty fellow. Luo received her Ph.D. in history from the University of Virginia in 2023. Her dissertation, Higher Rises, Lower Depths: Asian Americans and globalization, charted the changing roles of Asian Americans and Asian American politics within a globalizing United States. More broadly, her research interests focus on race and urban space in the American West; Asian American labor history and Asian American transnationalism. 

Luo received her M.A. in History from UVA in 2019 and a BMus from Boston University in 2017. Her research has been supported by organizations including the UVA Scholars’ Lab, the Huntington Library and the Jefferson Scholars Foundation.

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Andrew Edmund Merritt, an assistant professor in the Department of Classics.

Andrew Edmund Merritt is joining the Department of Classics as an assistant professor. Merritt earned his A.A. from Northern Virginia Community College, his B.A. in classics from the University of Virginia, his M.P. in classics from Cambridge and his Ph.D. in classics from Cornell University. Merritt’s role as a teacher, primarily of Greek language, texts and culture, is informed by his research-based interest in providing students with the insights of historical and comparative linguistics both into the classical languages themselves and into the development of the cultures within which speakers understood and made sense of their world. 

Merritt’s research, involving nominal morphology and Homeric Philology, is chiefly dedicated to uncovering these modes of thought by identifying the systematic relationships of word-families in Greek, Latin  and their Indo-European relatives. He enjoys learning from and sharing with all students and colleagues the fruits of research pertaining to our understanding of ourselves as echoic inheritors of various ancient worlds.

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J Palmeri, a professor in the Department of English and the director of the department’s Writing Program.

J Palmeri is joining the Department of English as a professor and the director of the department’s Writing Program. Previously, Palmeri served as a professor of English at Miami University (Ohio), where they directed the Composition Program and co-directed the Ohio Writing Project. Palmeri earned their Ph.D. and M.A. from Ohio State University and their B.A. from the New College of Florida.

Palmeri has published two books about the technologically-mediated history of English instruction: Remixing Composition: A History of Multimodal Writing Pedagogy and 100 Years of New Media Pedagogy. As a scholar, Palmeri focuses on the history and theory of writing pedagogy, multimodal rhetorics, digital humanities and queer literacies. Palmeri is excited to collaborate with faculty across campus in integrating writing and digital multimodal composing into their courses in ways that enhance student learning.

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Sebastián Patron Saade, an assistant teaching professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

Sebastián Patron Saade is joining the Department of Spanish and Portuguese as an assistant teaching professor. Patron Saade graduated from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, and has worked at the University of Oxford, the University of Missouri and Korea University, where he spent the last 7 years. 

Patron Saade has worked on Portuguese and Angolan literature, particularly with the works of António Lobo Antunes, Lídia Jorge, Hélder Macedo and Pepetela. His new research project involves the trans-pacific cultural and literary exchanges between East Asia and Latin America. Particularly, he is interested in Latin American writers that have lived or written about East Asia in the first few decades of the 21st century. The corpus he is analyzing includes novels by Andrés Felipe Solano, Horacio Castellanos Moya, Bernardo Carvalho, Santiago Gamboa and Paulina Flores.

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Andrew Prevot, a professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies.

Andrew Prevot is joining the Department of Theology and Religious Studies as a professor. He serves as the Joseph and Winifred Amaturo Chair in Catholic Studies and a senior fellow in the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs; Professor in Theology and Religious Studies. Prevot earned his Ph.D. and M.T.S. at The University of Notre Dame. He earned his B.A. from The Colorado College. Prior to joining the faculty at Georgetown, Prevot taught at Boston College. His most recent book, The Mysticism of Ordinary Life: Theology, Philosophy and Feminism, was published last year.

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Bogdan Raita, an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

Bogdan Raita is joining the Department of Mathematics and Statistics as an assistant professor. Raita completed his Ph.D. in 2019 at the University of Oxford, under the supervision of Jan Kristensen, followed by postdocs at MPI Leipzig and SNS Pisa. His primary research interests are in analysis of partial differential equations (PDEs) and calculus of variations. Secondary interests are applications to image processing and connections to algebraic geometry. The topic he finds most exciting is the study of systems of linear PDEs, which have far reaching applications in the study of continuum mechanics.

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Elissa M. Redmiles, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science.

Elissa M. Redmiles is joining the Department of Computer Science as an assistant professor. She is also a faculty associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. Redmiles was previously a faculty member at the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems and has additionally served as a consultant and researcher at multiple institutions, including Microsoft Research, Facebook, the World Bank, the Center for Democracy and Technology and the Partnership on AI. Redmiles received her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science — with a concentration in survey methodology – from the University of Maryland.

Redmiles uses computational, economic and social science methods to understand users’ security, privacy and online safety-related decision-making processes. Her work specifically investigates inequalities that arise in these processes in order to ultimately design systems that facilitate safety equitably across users. Redmiles’ current projects focus on safety in digital labor, digital intimacy and digitally-mediated offline interactions; community-based participatory research methods for cybersecurity; and building transparency tools for privacy enhancing technologies such as differential privacy. Her research has received multiple paper recognitions at USENIX Security, ACM CCS, ACM CHI, ACM CSCW, and ACM EAAMO and has been featured in popular press publications such as The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Scientific American, Rolling Stone, Wired and Forbes.

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Jessica Rodrigues Poletti, an assistant teaching professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

Jessica Rodrigues Poletti is joining the Department of Spanish and Portuguese as an assistant teaching professor. Rodrigues Poletti completed her Ph.D. in Spanish literature at the University of California, Davis, where she also earned a certificate in second language acquisition. She holds an M.A. in international communication and cooperation from the University of Milan, and a B.A. in modern languages and literatures from the University of Parma.

Rodrigues Poletti’s research explores the significant changes in LGBTQ+ rights and social perception of sexual minorities that took place in Spain in the last two decades, reflected in lesbian-themed Spanish cinema. Her research interests are, but are not limited to, Spanish and Latin American cinema directed by women, film studies, feminist studies, women writers in the Hispanic world; transnational studies, LGBT+ and queer studies and second language acquisition. She enjoys visual arts and cinema, and combines her passion for the image as an amateur analog photographer.

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Sacramento Roselló-Martínez (G’11), an assistant teaching professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

Sacramento Roselló-Martínez (G’11) is joining the Department of Spanish and Portuguese as an assistant teaching professor. Roselló-Martínez earned her Ph.D. in Spanish literature and cultural studies from Georgetown University in 2011. Subsequently, she was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship by the Danish National Research Foundation at the University of Southern Denmark. Roselló-Martínez was a lecturer at Aarhus University and University of Copenhagen and, since 2021, she has been a teaching fellow in hispanic studies at Durham University in the United Kingdom. 

Roselló-Martínez’s work intersects between medieval/early modern studies and contemporary medievalisms, Iberian Studies and gender and sexuality. Roselló-Martínez has also been engaged in the culture and creative industries through her work with NGOs and cultural organizations as advocacy and outreach coordinator and working with DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging) projects. In this capacity, her team was recently awarded an Erasmus + grant to design a professional development program for foreign artists addressing advocacy, access and active inclusion.

Katy Ryan is joining the Prisons and Justice Initiative as the director of education and a teaching professor. As the director of education, Ryan will lead the program’s two prison education programs, which currently have more than 100 active students.  

Ryan is a recognized scholar whose research and teaching has focused on the literature and history of the U.S. prison system, and she is a leader in expanding access to education for incarcerated people. Prior to coming to Georgetown, Ryan spent more than 20 years at West Virginia University, where she co-founded the Higher Education in Prison Initiative and helped lead the development of an associate’s degree program in a Pennsylvania prison. She is also the founder of the Appalachian Prison Book Project, which has sent 65,000 books to prisons across the region, creates book clubs for incarcerated people and generates public dialogue about mass incarceration.

Christi Smith is joining the Program on Education, Inquiry and Justice as an assistant teaching professor. Smith is interested in how politics and organizations shape processes of social inclusion and exclusion, both historically and in international comparison.

Smith has previously held academic appointments at The Ohio State University, Oberlin College and Washington University in St. Louis, where she also served as Assistant Dean at their Center for Diversity and Inclusion. Smith received her Ph.D. in sociology and her M.Ed. from Indiana University. She completed her B.A. at Smith College. 

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Christine Trotter, an assistant teaching professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies.

Christine Trotter is joining the Department of Theology and Religious Studies as assistant teaching professor. Trotter is an educator and research scholar of biblical literature with interests in the ethical consequences of biblical interpretation, especially in relation to women, disability, Christian anti-Judaism and ecology. While she focuses on the New Testament, her work also encompasses the Hebrew Bible, Second Temple Judaism, the Greco-Roman world, early Christian literature, the reception history of the Bible and contemporary hermeneutics. She just completed a book that explores how ancient Jews and Christians employed consolatory rhetoric to encourage those living in the midst of and in the wake of religious persecution and violence. Her current work engages with ecological hermeneutics in investigating the portrayal of creation in the Gospel of Matthew. She holds an M.A.R. from the Yale Divinity School and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

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Vanessa Watters Opalo is joining the Department of Anthropology and the School of Foreign Service as an assistant professor. Watters Opalo is an anthropologist who studies the ways that finance, broadly defined, is incorporated into projects of economic welfare and development.

Her current book project examines credit-grating institutions and the rise of the cooperative lending movement in Togo, specifically, and the West African region more broadly. This research is organized around the concept of credibility—how people, institutions and governments work to define the limits of what is and isn’t credible. Prior to joining the full-time faculty, Watters Opalo was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Science, Technology and International Affairs Program (STIA) in the School of Foreign Service. 

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Tiffany Zarrella, an assistant professor in the Department of Biology.

Tiffany Zarrella is joining the Department of Biology as an assistant professor. Zarella completed her postdoctoral training in the lab of Anupama Khare at the National Cancer Institute, where she studied polymicrobial interactions between co-infecting bacterial pathogens Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus, which often cause chronic, antibiotic resistant infections. Her research will elucidate the environmental conditions and molecular mechanisms that govern interbacterial communication and microbial behaviors. Understanding these underlying pathways in interspecies interactions will lead to novel strategies to disrupt chronic bacterial infections. Zarrella earned her B.S. in biochemistry from Syracuse University and her Ph.D. in immunology and microbial disease from Albany Medical College.

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Lingxin Zhang, an assistant professor in the Department of Classics.

Lingxin Zhang is joining the Department of Classics as an assistant professor and provost’s distinguished faculty fellow. Zhang specializes in ancient Egyptian languages and cultures during the Graeco-Roman period. Her research uses written records and material cultures to reconstruct the early scientific, divinatory and medical practices in ancient Egypt. She is particularly interested in approaching these data through the lens of critical gender theories and post-colonialist studies. 

For her dissertation and forthcoming book, she collaborated closely with the Carlsberg Papyri Collection at the University of Copenhagen and G. Vitelli Papyrological Institute to offer a critical textual edition as well as analytical discussions for two women’s astrological manuals from Roman Egypt. Besides her philological background, Zhang participated in the archaeological excavations at the Precinct of Mut and the Precinct of Montu at Karnak. Zhang studied history at Tianjin Normal University in China before furthering her studies in Egyptology at Indiana University, Bloomington, where she earned her M.A., and Johns Hopkins University, where she earned her Ph.D.

A black-and-white photo of a man with short, dark hair. He has five-o-clock shadow and wears a dark button-down shirt.

Yuri Zhukov, an associate professor in the Department of Government and the School of Foreign Service.

Yuri Zhukov is joining the Department of Government and the School of Foreign Service as an associate professor. Zhukov is also a visiting associate professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Prior to Georgetown, Zhukov served as an associate professor of political science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a research associate professor with the Center for Political Studies at Michigan’s Institute for Social Research.

His research focuses on the causes, dynamics and outcomes of conflict, at the international and local levels. Zhukov’s methodological areas of interest include spatial statistics, mathematical/computational modeling and text analysis. Zhukov receivedI his Ph.D. from Harvard University, his M.A. from the School of Foreign Service and his B.A. from Brown University.