Chang, Cotten and Merrill Awarded Tenure

Three Hamilton faculty members were approved for tenure by the College’s Board of Trustees during a recent meeting. The Board granted tenure to Wei-Jen Chang (biology), Myriam Cotten (chemistry) and Heather Merrill (Africana studies).

The granting of tenure is based on recommendations of the vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty, and the committee on appointments, with the president of the college presenting final recommendations to the board of trustees. The tenures are effective July 1. With the granting of tenure comes the title of associate professor.

Wei-Jen Chang joined the Hamilton faculty in 2006. He earned a bachelor’s degree from National Taiwan University and his master’s and Ph.D. from SUNY Buffalo. During his postdoctoral work at Princeton University Chang studied gene evolution and genome organization in unicellular organisms. He has written or co-written several professional articles in Gene, Protist, Molecular Biology and Evolution, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  Most recently a paper Chang co-authored, “The evolutionary history of histone H3 suggests a deep eukaryotic root of chromatin modifying mechanisms,” was published in the online journal BMC Evolutionary Biology. He is also part of a group who  has been awarded a Multi-Investigator Cottrell College Science Award by the Research Corporation.  This award is for developing novel computational techniques for investigating gene interaction networks in fish parasite called Ichthyopthirius multifiliis (Ich).

Myriam Cotten holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Université Pierre et Marie Curie, a master’s degree in chemical engineering from Ecole Supérieure de Chimie Organique et Minérale in Paris and earned a Ph. D. in chemistry from Florida State University. Cotten’s research interests include the use and development of biophysical and biochemical techniques such as magnetic resonance to study the structure, function, and mode of action of membrane-interacting peptides and proteins. Her long-term goal is to identify common principles that will facilitate the design of pharmaceuticals with enhanced antibacterial activity and low toxicity for mammalian cells. Cotten’s research has been supported by the Dreyfus Foundation, National Science Foundation, and Research Corporation.

Heather Merrill’s research interests include feminist and postcolonial geographies, geographies of race, identity, migration and diaspora. She is the author of An Alliance of Women: Immigration and the Politics of Race (2006), and in 2007 her book was the subject of a themed review discussion of transnationalist feminist practice in Gender Place and Culture. Merrill’s current writing is on interculturality and Italian feminism, multiculturalism and race in European discourse, immigration and the production of surplus populations in Italy. She has recently begun a comparative project on African Diasporic politics in Turin and Bologna. Merrill earned masters degrees from Teacher's College Columbia University and the University of Chicago, and a master’s and Ph.D in geography from the University of California at Berkeley.



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