New Faculty at the University at Albany
Published on October 23, 2013

Please welcome our newly hired full-time faculty in the 2013 - 14 academic year! We urge you to say "hello" if you see them in the halls of the Uptown Campus, Downtown Campus or East Campus, and to help them find their way around UAlbany and the city of Albany as they get settled into our community.

JoshuaAhmed Abukhater

Dr. Ahmed Abukhater joins the Department of Geography and Planning in the College of Arts and Sciences as a visiting assistant professor from his previous position as the General Director of product management at Pitney Bowes. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in Community and Regional Planning and a dual Masters degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His academic interests include transboundary water resources management and conflict resolution, sustainable community development, and environmental geographic information systems (GIS).

 
Jaclyn Amoroso

Ms. Jaclyn Amoroso joins the new Writing and Critical Inquiry Program in Undergraduate Education as a full-time lecturer from her former position at the College of St. Rose. She received her Master of Arts in English from the College of St. Rose. Her teaching interests include expository writing, oral communication, research techniques, American identity in literature and literary genres and traditions.

 
Lisa Arrastia

Ms. Lisa Arrastia joins the new Writing and Critical Inquiry Program in Undergraduate Education as a full-time lecturer. She will receive her Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota. Her research interests include geography of education, liberal multiculturalism and iconographies of schools. She has teaching and administrative experience in public school and at the University level and has taught writing, history and liberal arts.

 
Fabio Auffant II

Mr. Fabio Auffant II joins the Department of Information Technology Management in the School of Business as a full-time lecturer from his previous position in the Cyber Crime Unit of the New York State Police. He received his M.S. from Champlain College in Digital Forensics management. His professional and teaching interests include cybercrime, digital forensics, investigative forensics analysis, and control management of crime and digital forensics.

 
Evelyn Baldwin

Dr. Evelyn Baldwin joins the new Writing and Critical Inquiry Program in Undergraduate Education as a full-time lecturer. She received her Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Her research interests include reading, composition, religion and gender. She has extensive experience teaching writing in a global perspective, literature, linguistics and business writing.

 
Erica Barnes

Dr. Erica Barnes joins the Reading Department of the School of Education as an assistant professor. She received her Ph.D. in Development, Learning and Diversity from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College. Her research interests focus on the development of reading and vocabulary. She has taught the theory and methods of elementary reading instruction and served as a practicum supervisor.

 
Zsófia Barta

Dr. Zsófia Barta joins the Department of Political Science in the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy as an assistant professor. She received her Ph.D. in European Political Economy from the European University Institute, where she also was also awarded the Max Weber postdoctoral fellowship. Her research interests include debt sustainability, fiscal surveillance, and credit rating agencies.

 
Baskin

Dr. Mark Baskin joins the Department of Political Science in the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy as a visiting assistant professor from his previous position as a research professor and senior associate in the Center for International Development. He received his Ph.D. from the University at Michigan in Political Science. His research focuses on constituency development funds and his teaching interests include building democracy and post-conflict reconstruction.

 
Nicholas Bencherki

Dr. Nicholas Bencherki joins the Department of Communication in the College of Arts and Sciences as an assistant professor from his former position as post-doctoral fellow at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University. He earned his Ph.D in Communication Studies from the Université de Montréal. His research interests are in organizational culture and communication, and the sociology of action.

 
Rajani Bhatia

Dr. Rajani Bhatia joins the Department of Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences as assistant professor from her former position at Georgetown University. She received her Ph.D. in Women’s Studies from the University of Maryland. Her research interests include sex selection practices, reproductive rights and population control, and race and gender.

 
Ruth Boeker

Dr. Ruth Boeker joins the Department of Philosophy in the College of Arts and Sciences as a visiting assistant professor from her previous position at Bowling Green State University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, in Philosophy. Her research focuses on early modern philosophy and her teaching interests include metaphysics, philosophy of mind, epistemology, and the history of ethics.

 
James Boswell

Dr. James Boswell joins the Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences as an assistant professor, from his former position as a research assistant professor for the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Pennsylvania State University. His research focuses on psychotherapy processes and outcomes, including effectiveness and measurement-based care, implementation, and training, as well as anxiety and mood disorders.

 
Alexander Buyantuev

Dr. Alexander Buyantuev joins the Department of Geography and Planning as an assistant professor from his previous position at the Inner Mongolia University. He holds two Ph.D's, the first in Physical Geography from the Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences, and the second in Plant Biology from Arizona State University. His research interests include urban ecology, land use and land cover change, vegetation dynamics and grassland ecology.

 
Llana Carroll

Dr. Llana Carroll joins the new Writing and Critical Inquiry Program in Undergraduate Education as a full-time lecturer from her former position at New York University. She received her Ph.D. from New York University in English Critical and Cultural Studies. Her research interests lie in the writers of the Bloomsbury Group, gender, and the theory and practice of teaching reading and writing.

 
Keith Chan

Dr. Keith Chan joins the School of Social Welfare as an assistant professor. He received his Ph.D. from the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work, where he received the Hartford Doctoral Fellows Award in Geriatric Social Work from the Gerontological Society of America. His research interests focus on cross-cultural equivalence of measures of health and well-being.

 
Ambarish Chandra

Dr. Ambarish Chandra joins the Department of Economics in the College of Arts and Sciences as assistant professor from his former position at the Rotman School of Management of the University of Toronto. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from Northwestern University. His research interests lie in industrial organization, applied microeconomics, advertising markets, airline markets and cross-border economics.

 
Alan Chen

Dr. Alan Chen will join the Department of Chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences in January as an assistant professor from his current position at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biophysics from Washington School of Medicine. His research interests focus on molecular dynamics simulations of RNA, simulations of electrolytes and RNA-ion interactions and the biophysics of RNA-protein interactions.

 
Feng Chen

Dr. Feng Chen will join the Department of Computer Science in the College of Computing and Information as an assistant professor in January 2014 from his current position at Carnegie Mellon University. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Virginia Tech. His research interests focus on large-scale spatio-temporal analysis, social media mining, energy efficiency mining for sustainability, text mining and statistical machine learning.

 
Gang Chen

Dr. Gang Chen joins the Department of Public Administration and Policy in the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy as an assistant professor. He received his Ph.D. in Public Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. His research interests include state and local public finance and budgeting, public sector pension management, and financial management in natural disasters.

 
Eunae Cho

Dr. Eunae Cho joins the Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences as an assistant professor. She received her Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of South Florida. Her research interests focus on work-nonwork issues, occupational health and well-being, emotion in the workplace, career development and mentoring and cross-cultural pedagogy.

 
Bethany Aery-Clerico

Dr. Bethany Aery-Clerico joins the new Writing and Critical Inquiry Program in Undergraduate Education as a full-time lecturer from her former position in the English Department at UAlbany. She received her PhD from the University at Albany in English. Her research interests focus on Caribbean and Transnational Regionalism in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century American Literature. She has taught expository and creative writing, and Caribbean and American literature.

 
Allison Craig

Dr. Allison Craig joins the new Writing and Critical Inquiry Program in Undergraduate Education as a full-time lecturer. She received her Ph.D. in English from the University at Albany. Her research and teaching interests include late 20th Century -21st Century American literature and gender studies, film studies, multi-ethinic studies, critical pedagogy and analytical writing. She has taught writing, literature, social theory and structure and cultural studies.

 
Susan Cumings

Dr. Susan Cumings joins the new Writing and Critical Inquiry Program in Undergraduate Education as a full-time lecturer from her former position at the College of St. Rose. She received her Ph.D. in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies from Emory University. Her research and teaching interests include women’s and transgender autobiography, multicultural American literature, self and community in film and art, 20th century Canadian and American literature.

 
Jeffrey DuBois

Dr. Jeffrey DuBois joins the Department of East Asian Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences as a visiting assistant professor from his previous fellowship position at Cornell University where he received his Ph.D. in East Asian Literature. His research interests include modern Japanese literature, Japanese film, Japanese intellectual history, theories of nationality, postcolonial studies, and comparative literature.

 
Tao Dumas

Dr. Tao Dumas joins the Department of Political Science in the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy as visiting assistant professor from her previous position at Louisiana State University. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Louisiana State University. Her research interests include trial court decision-making, litigation outcomes, and political, social and economic influences on legal decision-making and litigation outcomes.

 
Paolo Forni

Dr. Paolo Forni will join the Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences in January 2014 as assistant professor from his current position as research fellow at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH). He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Cellular Biotechnology from the University of Turin, Italy. His research interests lie in cellular and developmental neurobiology.

 
Erica Fretwell

Dr. Erica Fretwell joins the Department of English in the College of Arts and Sciences as an assistant professor from her previous position at the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts. She received her Ph.D. in English from Duke University.  Her research interests are focused on sensory experience and social attachments in relation to race and gender in 19th Century American literature.

 
Amanda Giracca

Ms. Amanda Giracca joins the new Writing and Critical Inquiry Program in Undergraduate Education as a full-time lecturer. She received her terminal Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing and Nonfiction from the University of Pittsburgh. Her teaching and research interests and activities include journalism and non-fiction; introductory writing, reading and critical thinking; and creative non-fiction.

 
Zoya Gubernskaya

Dr. Zoya Gubernskaya joins the Department of Sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences as an assistant professor. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of California at Irvine in Sociology. Her research interests include social demography; international perspectives on health, aging, marriage and family; health of immigrants and naturalized citizens, quantitative and demographic methods, gender, and race/ethnicity.

 
Juliet Gutmann

Dr. Juliet Gutmann joins the new Writing and Critical Inquiry Program in Undergraduate Education as a full-time lecturer from her former position at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She received her Ph.D. from the University at Albany in English. Her teaching and research interests include creative writing (poetry, prose and memoir), first year university teaching and learning, excellence in undergraduate education, literature, and eastern religions.

 
Jan Halámek

Dr. Jan Halámek joins the Department of Chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences as assistant professor from his former position at Clarkson University. He received his Ph.D in Biochemistry from Masaryk University, Czech Republic. His research focuses on bio-nanotechnology and bio-molecular engineering, biofuel cells engineering, biosensors and bio-actuators, bio-computing and bio-molecular logic systems.

 
Moriah Hampton

Dr. Moriah Hampton joins the new Writing and Critical Inquiry Program in Undergraduate Education as a full-time lecturer from her former position at the University of Alabama. She received her Ph.D. in English at the University at Buffalo (SUNY). Her research interests lie in Modernist literature and culture, feminist theory and psychoanalytic approaches and she has extensive experience teaching writing and literature.

 
Jason Herschkowitz

Dr. Jason Herschkowitz joins the Department of Biomedical Sciences in the School of Public Health as an assistant professor. He received his Ph.D. in genetics and molecular engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has been working as a postdoctoral fellow at the Baylor College of Medicine. His major research focus is cell signaling and the genomics of breast cancer.

 
Yuan Hong

Dr. Yuan Hong joins both the Departments of Information Technology Management and Accounting and Law in the School of Business as an assistant professor from his previous position at Rutgers University. He received his Ph.D. from Rutgers University in Information Technology. His research emphasizes information security and business analytics and his teaching interests include information security, database management, and data mining.

 
Jeffrey Janssens

Mr. Jeffrey Janssens joins the new Writing and Critical Inquiry Program in Undergraduate Education as a full-time lecturer from his previous positions North central State College, Ohio and Appalachian State University. He received his terminal Masters in Fine Arts from the University of Pittsburgh in Fiction Writing. He has taught extensively, including courses in composition, introduction to fiction, creative writing, fiction writing, research writing and film.

 
Shawn Jasinski

Dr. Shawn Jasinski joins the new Writing and Critical Inquiry Program in Undergraduate Education as a full-time lecturer from his former position at Binghamton University. He received his Ph.D. from the Binghamton University in English, Literature and Rhetoric. His research interests include early 20th century and late 20th and early 21st century American fiction and cultural and political studies. He has taught literature, rhetoric and composition.

 
Meredith Jeffers

Dr. Meredith Jeffers joins the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures in the College of Arts and Sciences as a full-time lecturer from her previous part-time lecturer position at the University of Colorado at Boulder where she received her Ph.D. in Spanish Language and Literature. Her known languages include Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese, and French, and her teaching interests include introductory, intermediate and advanced Spanish.

 
Mansoor Kazi

Dr. Mansoor Kazi joins the School of Social Welfare as an assistant professor from his previous position at the University at Buffalo (SUNY). He received his Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Huddersfield, United Kingdom. He is a recipient of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Gold Award for Outstanding Local Evaluation. His research interests focus on evaluation of social programs and evidence-based practice.

 
Dimitri Korobeinikov

Dr. Dimitri Korobeinikov joins the Department of History in the College of Arts and Sciences as assistant professor from his former position with the Institute of General History at the Russian Academy of Sciences. He received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Oxford, Exeter College. His research interests focus on Byzantine studies: political history, administrative structures, agrarian history, Byzantine-Latin relations and Christian-Muslim relations.

 
Peter Kunze

Dr. Peter Kunze joins the new Writing and Critical Inquiry Program in Undergraduate Education as a full-time lecturer from his former position at Louisiana State University. He received his Ph.D.in English from Florida State University. His research interests include race, and gender, colonialism and postcolonialism, film, and children’s literature. He has extensive experience teaching freshman composition, film and children’s literature.

 
Catherine Lawrence

Dr. Catherine Lawrence joins the School of Social Welfare as an assistant professor. She received her Ph.D. in Social Welfare Policy from the University at Albany, where she received a Distinguished Dissertation Award and served as an assistant research professor. Her research and teaching interests include the effects of child welfare policy, social welfare reform and effective organizational change.

 
Ricky Leung

Dr. Ricky Leung joins the Department of Health Policy, Management and Behavior in the School of Public Health as an assistant professor from his previous position at the University of Missouri School of Medicine. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His research focuses on how technology can be used to improve the effectiveness of health organizations.

 
Brendan Mahoney

Dr. Brendan Mahoney joins the new Writing and Critical Inquiry Program in Undergraduate Education as a full-time lecturer from his former position at Binghamton University. He received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Binghamton University. His research and teaching interests include first-year writing, 19th & 20th Century environmental writing, philosophy of language, literary theory, literature and philosophy of technology, aesthetics and modernism.

 
David Matkin

Dr. David Matkin joins the Department of Public Administration and Policy in the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy as an assistant professor, from his former position at Florida State University. He received his Ph.D. in Public Administration from the University of Kansas. His research interests include public budgeting and financial management, local government administration, and metropolitan governance.

 
Alyssa Morey

Dr. Alyssa Morey joins the Department of Communication in the College of Arts and Sciences as an assistant professor. She received her Ph.D. from Ohio State University, where she was a Social and Behavioral Sciences Fellow and a Distinguished University Fellow. Her research investigates political communication, including attention and motivation during political advertising, social networks and political knowledge, and emotional political advertising.

 
Byoung Park

Dr. Byoung Park joins the Department of Economics in the College of Arts and Sciences as an assistant professor. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University, where he was awarded a Dissertation Fellowship. His research interests include micro-econometrics, econometric theory, applied econometrics, and the Roy model.

 
Jonathan Petruccelli Dr. Jonathan Petruccelli joins the Department of Physics in the College of Arts and Sciences as an assistant professor, from his former position in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He earned his joint Ph.D. in Physics and Optics from the University of Rochester. His research emphasizes Wigner functions and their use with evanescent waves, Laplace transform kernels, and paraxial and nonparaxial fields.
 
Andrew Poulos

Dr. Andrew Poulos joins the Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences as an assistant professor from his former position at the University of California, Los Angeles. He received his Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience from the University of Southern California. His research interests focus on the neurobiological systems underlying learning and memory.

 
Jamie Puccioni

Dr. Jamie Puccioni joins the Reading Department of the School of Education as an assistant professor. She received her Ph.D. from Michigan State University, where she received the King-Chavez-Parks Future Faculty Fellowship. Her research interests include early childhood and elementary education, language and literacy, educational equity, and educational and social policy.

 
Wendy Roberts

Dr. Wendy Roberts joins the Department of English in the College of Arts and Sciences as an assistant professor, from her former position at Northwestern University. She received her Ph.D. in English from Northwestern University, where she was awarded the Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. Her research explores the intersection of religion and literature, such as religion in 18th century American poetry.

 
Brian Rose

Dr. Brian Rose joins the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences as assistant professor from his previous position as research associate at the University of Washington. He received his Ph.D. in Climate Physics and Chemistry from the Massachussetts Institute of Technology. His research interests focus on the role of oceans and sea ice in climate states, and the study of multiple equilibria in climate models.

 
Puja Sahney

Dr. Puja Sahney joins the new Writing and Critical Inquiry Program in Undergraduate Education as a full-time lecturer. She received her Ph.D. from Indiana University at Bloomington in Folklore. Her research interests lie in ritual traditions and domestic life in India. Her extensive teaching experience includes courses in introductory and intermediate writing, folklore, humanities.

 
Nelli Sargsyan-Pittman

Dr. Nelli Sargsyan-Pittman joins the new Writing and Critical Inquiry in Undergraduate Education as a full-time lecturer. She received her Ph.D. from the University at Albany in Linguistic/Cultural Anthropology. Her research interests include identity discourses (gender, race, sexuality) trans-national gender studies, feminism, social change and contemporary art activism. She has taught writing, cultural anthropology and linguistics in the US and Armenia.

 
Robert Schmitz

Dr. Robert Schmitz joins the Department of Physics in the College of Arts and Sciences as a visiting assistant professor in January 2014. He earned his Ph.D. in Physics from the University at Albany (SUNY), where he was also a lecturer for the Department of Physics. His research interests include simulation modeling and experimentation in polycapillary optics. His teaching background includes general physics I and II, modern physics, and electronics.

 
John Fredrick Schwaller

Dr. John Fredrick Schwaller joins the faculty of the Department of History in the College of Arts and Sciences as full professor from his former position at SUNY Potsdam. He received His doctorate from Indiana University, Bloomington. His research and teaching interests focus on the history of the Colonial Latin America, in particular of the Catholic Church, with a concentration on the influence of the Franciscan order and indigenous intellectuals in sixteenth and seventeenth century Mexico.

 
Annalisa Scimemi

Dr. Annalisa Scimemi joins the Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences as an assistant professor from her former position at the National Institutes of Health. She received her Ph.D. in Biophysics from the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste, Italy. Her research interests focus on neuro-transmitters, neuro-receptors and brain function.

 
Carmen Serrano

Dr. Carmen Serrano joins the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures in the College of Arts and Sciences as assistant professor from her previous position at Colgate University. She received her Ph.D. in Spanish from the University of California, Irvine. Her research interests include Magical Realism, the Fantastic and the Gothic; film and film adaptation theory; the novel of the Mexican Revolution, Latin American Avant-garde and Latino Cultural Studies.

 
Jia Sheng

Dr. Jia Sheng joins the Department of Chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences as assistant professor from his previous position as research fellow at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He received his Ph.D in Bio-Organic Chemistry from Georgia State University. His research interests include synthesis of and structural insight into functional RNA, with a focus on paths to non-enzymatic RNA replication, and RNA functional and crystal structures.

 
Kelli Tamvada

Dr. Kelli Tamvada joins the Department of Anthropology in the College of Arts and Sciences as a full-time lecturer. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University at Albany, where she was a research assistant and instructor. Her research focuses on human biology, paleoanthropology, biomechanics, and paleoecological competition. Her teaching interests include human evolution, species diversity, and anatomy and physiology.

 
Oliver Elison Timm

Dr. Oliver Elison Timm joins the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences as research associate professor from his former position at the International Pacific Research Center of the University of Hawaii, Manoa. He received his Ph.D. in Meteorology from the University of Kiel, Germany. His research interests include climate change, simulations of glacial and inter-glacial cycles and paleo-climate reconstruction.

 
Tse-Chuan Yang

Dr. Tse-Chuan Yang joins the Department of Sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences as an assistant professor, from his former position at the Pennsylvania State University. He received his Ph.D. in Demography and Rural Sociology from Pennsylvania State University. His research interests include demography of health and mortality, health disparities, health system distrust, and the social and built environment determinants of health outcomes.

 

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