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Hamilton Welcomes New Faculty for 2015-16


New tenure-track members of the faculty (from left to right) Catherine Beck, Farah Dawood, Cynthia Downs, Quincy Newell and Javier Pereira.
New tenure-track members of the faculty (from left to right) Catherine Beck, Farah Dawood, Cynthia Downs, Quincy Newell and Javier Pereira.

Patrick Reynolds, vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty, announced the appointment of new faculty for the 2015-16 academic year, including five tenure-track appointments, 24 visiting professors and instructors, and two teaching fellows.

New tenure-track appointments are  Catherine Beck, geosciences; Farah Dawood, chemistry; Cynthia Downs, biology; Quincy Newell, religious studies; and Javier Pereira, economics.

Catherine Beck received her B.S. in geology and archaeology from Tufts University, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in geosciences from Rutgers University. Beck’s research focuses on how sediments from the East African Rift Valley preserve changes in paleoclimate and paleoenvironment over the past 4 million years.  This work is strongly based in field research and she is particularly interested in coupling the study of lake sediments with paleoecology and stable isotope analyses in an effort to better constrain the conditions in which early hominins evolved.

Farah Dawood completed postdoctoral research at The Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where she developed new lithographic methods for spatially organizing soft materials, in particular, for enabling applications in next-generation quantum computing. Prior to that, she was a postdoctoral researcher in physical chemistry at the University of Maryland, where she studied new nanofabrication methods using ultra-fast lasers to design biomolecular scaffolds and sensors. Dawood earned her Ph.D. in materials chemistry at Penn State, and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Concordia College, Moorhead. At Hamilton, Dawood will develop the experimental physical chemistry curriculum and initiate a research program grounded in nanolithography for designing optically active materials for manipulating light, and sensors for detecting low concentrations of biomolecules.

Cynthia Downs is an ecological physiologist who investigates how the diverse physiological traits expressed by animals alter an animal’s interaction with its environment and mediates the animal’s ecology and evolutionary trajectories.  Her research focuses on the organismal level, but she integrates across levels of biological organization to ask questions about how animals work.  Specifically, her research program seeks to understand (1) mechanisms that mediate physiological traits and trade-offs, (2) how physiological traits determine life histories, and (3) how environmental conditions affect physiological phenotypes.  She received a Ph.D. from University of Nevada Reno, and completed postdoctoral appointments at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and University of Nevada Reno. 

Quincy D. Newell, a native Oregonian, earned her bachelor’s degree from Amherst College, and her master’s and Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  In 2004 she headed back west to teach at the University of Wyoming, where she was on the faculty for 11 years.  Newell studies American religious history, focusing on the construction of racial, gender, and religious identities in the nineteenth-century American West. Her first book examined the ways Native Americans around the San Francisco Bay adapted, adopted, and rejected Catholicism during the Spanish colonial period; these days, she spends her time thinking and writing about nineteenth-century African American and Native American Mormons.

Javier M. Pereira received his B.A. and post-graduate degree in economics from Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in Argentina, and his master’s degree and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Washington in Seattle. His research interests are in financial intermediation, credit risk and international finance. His current research focuses on the role of underwriter reputation in financial market stability. He worked previously as a consultant in the Latin America Finance and Private Sector Development Unit at The World Bank. Prior to joining the Bank, he was an associate analyst in the Structured Finance Team at Moody’s Investor Service and a research analyst at Consultatio Asset Management. He has taught courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics and finance at the University of Washington.

Visiting faculty members for 2015-16 are: Melinda Andrews, physics; Cameron Brick, psychology; Luisa Briones-Manzano, Hispanic studies;  Ryan Carter, music; Liam Considine, art history; Simon Coppard, biology; Melissa Demos, German and Russian; Jane Fine, art;  Jessica Gordon-Burroughs, Hispanic studies; TiaoGuan Huang, East Asian languages; Michael Klosson, government; Cynthis Laborde, French; Camilla McMahon, psychology; Faiza Moatasim, history; Rajinikanth Mohan, biology;  Chuyun  Oh,  East Asian languages; Reynaldo Ortiz-Minaya, Africana studies;  Benjamin Peterson, art; Thomas Phelan, communication;  Ivan Rasmussen, government;  Sarah Rosenstein, chemistry; Mark Sasaki, biology; Nhora Serrano, literature and creative writing; Colleen Smith, psychology; and Julie Starr, anthropology.

Two new teaching fellows have joined the language departments: Julien Ribrault, French, and Huili Zhang, Chinese.

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