Ten Faculty Members Awarded Tenure
Ryan Carter (Ph.D., New York University; M.A., Stony Brook University; B.Mus., Oberlin College Conservatory of Music)
Carter’s music has been commissioned by Carnegie Hall, the National Flute Association, the MATA Festival, the Metropolis Ensemble, Present Music, The Milwaukee Children’s Choir, and the Calder Quartet. Besides composing acoustic music, he is an avid computer musician and programmer.
His iMonkeypants app, which is available for download, is an album of algorithmically generated, listener-interactive electronica synthesized in real time from code in the RTcmix audio programming language. Recent work has included motion-controlled interactive sound for audience participation on mobile devices. This project has led to collaborations with the Boise Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony, and Seattle Symphony Artist-in-Residence Seth Parker Woods.
Carter, who joined the Hamilton faculty in 2015, previously taught at New York University and Virginia Tech.
Jose Ceniceros (Ph.D., M.S., Louisiana State University; M.S., California State University, Los Angeles; B.A., Whittier College)
Ceniceros, who came to Hamilton in 2017, focuses his research on the classification of transverse knots in contact 3-manifolds. Currently, he is in the process of defining a combinatorial invariant for transverse knots that will allow for computations. In the past two years, he has worked with several knot theory researchers to explore and develop the theory of singular knots.
With fellow researchers, he published an article last year that collects several of their recent results involving invariants defined using two different algebraic structures. “Singquandles, psyquandles, and singular knots: A survey” appears online in the Journal of Knot Theory and Its Ramifications.
Alexsia T. Chan (Ph.D., M.A., University of California, Berkeley; B.A., Rutgers University)
Alexsia T. Chan’s research examines authoritarian politics and inequality with a focus on China. She is author of the book Beyond Coercion: The Political Logic of Inequality in China, under contract with Cambridge University Press. Chan’s articles have been published in The China Journal and Business and Politics, and her book chapters in edited volumes separately analyze migrant inequality and authoritarian crisis response.
Chan served as a Mellon C3 postdoctoral fellow in Middlebury College’s Political Science Department. She joined the Hamilton faculty in 2016.
Justin Clark (Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara; M.A., Western Michigan University; B.A., University of Iowa)
Clark came to Hamilton in 2018 and concentrates his research on ancient theories of virtue, as well as various problems in moral psychology. In 2022, he published Plato’s Dialogues of Definition: Causal and Conceptual Investigations (Palgrave Macmillan). His article “Love and Friendship in Plato’s Lysis: a Socratic Account” is forthcoming in Illinois Classical Studies.
Clark's book chapters include “Socratic Virtue Intellectualism” in Bloomsbury Companion to Socrates, eds. Nicholas Smith, Ravi Sharma, and Russell Jones (2023), and “Locke, Money, and the ‘Raising of the Coin’” in The Lockean Mind (Routledge), eds. Shelley Weinberg and Jessica Gordon-Roth (2021).
Clark’s dissertation focused primarily on the theory of virtue in early Plato and the moral psychology of Plato’s “dialogues of definition.” He is a proponent of virtue ethics as a viable alternative to deontological and consequentialist theories.
Matthew Grace (Ph.D., M.A., Indiana University; B.A., Boston University)
Grace’s research examines how stratification processes unfold within the contexts of medical education, medical practice, and physician decision-making. In 2022, he co-authored the study “Factors Affecting Public Opinion on the Denial of Healthcare to Transgender Persons” that was published in the American Sociological Review.
Grace joined the Hamilton faculty in 2017. Among the courses he teaches are The Sociology of Health and Illness and Research Methods.
Thomas Helmuth ’09 (Ph.D., M.S., University of Massachusetts Amherst; B.A., Hamilton College)
Thomas Helmuth ’09 focuses his research on genetic programming, a subfield of artificial intelligence that borrows ideas from biological evolution to artificially evolve populations of computer programs. His work examines the use of genetic programming for automatic program synthesis, the generation of programs similar to those that humans write. Helmuth has contributed to areas such as genome/program representation, parent selection, and the creation of benchmark problems to assess program synthesis.
During the two years before he returned to Hamilton in 2017 to teach, Helmuth worked as an assistant professor of computer science at Washington and Lee University.
Natalie Nannas (Ph.D., M.A., Harvard University; B.A., Grinnell College)
Natalie Nannas investigates how genetic information, packaged into chromosomes, is properly segregated when cells divide in meiosis, the specialized division that creates egg and sperm. Her research focuses on how the spindle machinery is assembled, how chromosomes are properly attached via kinetochores, and how this process is safeguarded as errors can lead to miscarriage, infertility, and genetic disorders.
After her graduate work at Harvard, she was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in Plant Genomics at the University of Georgia, studying mechanisms of meiotic chromosome segregation. She has published research articles in many top journals including Genetics, Journal of Cell Science, Plant Cell, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Nannas is also the recipient of multiple grants from the National Science Foundation.
Many of her studies are co-authored with Hamilton students, including recent publications with Jodi Weiss ‘19, Sarah Stinebaugh ‘19, Caroline Sullivan ‘20, Shelby McVey ‘22, Michaela Murdock ‘22, and Jenna Cosby ‘23. Nannas and her students have also launched a new digital outreach program, SciKids Network, a college-sponsored YouTube channel aimed at increasing STEM participation in elementary age students.
Colin Quinn (Ph.D., University of Michigan; M.A., Washington State University; B.A., University of Notre Dame)
Quinn, an anthropological archaeologist interested in understanding how social inequality first emerged in human societies, came to Hamilton in 2017. In his research he examines the emergence of inequality through the intersection of political economy, identity, mortuary ritual, material culture signaling, and landscapes. Combining fieldwork in Transylvania, Ireland, Jordan, and the southern Appalachians, his work explores the dynamics of inequality in mining communities in the past and present. He is the co-director of four ongoing archaeological and public archaeology projects in Romania and the southeastern U.S.
In 2022, Quinn was awarded an American Philosophical Society Franklin Grant to help fund his fieldwork in Romania. In 2021, articles he co-authored were published in a special issue of the journal Bioarchaeology International. He also co-edited the issue on “Living and Dying in Mountain Landscapes” with Jess Beck of Vassar College and was among co-authors with Emily Hull ’18 of “Presenting Effective and Award-Winning Student Posters at SAA Meetings” published in The SAA Archaeological Record.
Anne Valente (Ph.D., University of Cincinnati; M.F.A., Bowling Green State University; M.S., University of Illinois; B.A., Washington University in St. Louis)
Having joined the Hamilton faculty in 2017, Valente is the author of two novels, Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down and The Desert Sky Before Us, as well as the short story collection By Light We Knew Our Names, which won the Dzanc Prize. Her short stories have appeard in American Short Fiction, The Kenyon Review, One Story, and The Chicago Tribune, and her essays in The Believer, Guernica, Literary Hub, and The Washington Post.
Valente has been awarded fellowships from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference and the Women’s International Study Center, and her work has been recognized in Best Small Fictions 2017 and Best American Essays 2022.
Keelah Williams (Ph.D., J.D., M.A., Arizona State University; B.A., University of Michigan – Dearborn)
Williams is an evolutionary psychologist whose current research focuses on two areas: friendship and legal decision-making. Her work has been published in such journals as Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and she co-authored a paper, “Sometimes we want vicious friends: People have nuanced preferences for how they want their friends to behave toward them versus others,” published in Evolution and Human Behavior in February.
Having joined the Hamilton faculty in 2017, Williams received her doctorate from Arizona State University and her juris doctor from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. During her time in law school, she served as editor-in-chief of the Arizona State Law Journal. A dual citizen of the U.S. and Australia, Williams has had a lifelong passion for travel.