New Faculty Join the Colleges – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

New Faculty Join the Colleges

This fall, Hobart and William Smith have welcomed 18 new faculty members to tenure track positions in 13 departments such as economics, history, physics, French and Francophone studies and psychology. The talented and experienced new members of campus bring with them educational backgrounds from the most elite universities across the country – and world.

Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Sociology James Sutton returns to the Colleges after serving as a visiting professor during the 2006-2007 academic year. Sutton recently completed his fifth year teaching at California State University, Chico. His areas of research include criminology, criminal justice and deviant behavior, with a particular interest in prisons, gangs and violence. Sutton received a B.A. from California State University, and a M.A. and Ph.D. from Ohio State University.

The Department of Art and Architecture welcomes Assistant Professor Liliana Leopardi, who will help students explore the connection between magic and material and visual culture. Leopardi previously taught at Chapman University, and recently completed a translation of Camillo Leonardi’s “Speculum Lapidum.” She received a B.A. from the University of Southern California, and an M.A. and a Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.  

The Biology Department welcomes Assistant Professor Bradley Cosentino, who has a deep interest in evolutionary biology and ecology, and his research includes animal movements and population dynamics. This year, Cosentino is teaching courses on population genetics, conservation biology and biostatistics. He earned a B.A. from Augustana College, and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.

The Economics Department has gained three new members. Assistant Professor of Economics Christina Houseworth worked for the past five years as a senior economist for a small firm in New York City. Specializing in labor economics and industrial organization, much of her research focuses on marriage, migration, education and wage differentials. Houseworth earned a B.A. from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and a M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. Assistant Professor of Economics Keoka Grayson recently completed a Ph.D. at the University of Arizona with the dissertation “Income Distribution and Inequality during the Depression Era.” She received a B.A. from Xavier University and a M.S. from the University of Arizona. Assistant Professor of Economics Joseph Rebello earned a Ph.D. at University of Massachusetts Amherst with a dissertation on Marxian monetary theory. His interests include political economy, history of thought, economic philosophy and heterodox economic theory. Rebello also holds a B.A. from University of Rhode Island.

Jeremy Ortloff joins the Education Department as an assistant professor. With a dissertation focusing on language, literacy and culture, Ortloff’s research studies the trust and collaboration between content area and English as a second language instructors. He has taught English as a second language and German at high school and university levels, and has lived and worked in Berlin. He completed a B.A. at the University of Minnesota, and received a M.A.T. and Ph.D. from Indiana University.

Alla Ivanchikova joins the English Department as an assistant professor. Born and raised in Moscow, Ivanchikova uses her personal history to bring life to her research in displacement, border-crossing and globalization. She has received an M.A. from Central European University, Budapest, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Joining the Environmental Studies Department is Assistant Professor Kristen Brubaker, whose research revolves around remote sensing data to improve understanding of hydrologic, soil and terrain processes and how they impact forest landscapes. Her interests also include agroforestry, impacts of Marcellus shale and effects of land use history. Brubaker received a B.S. and Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University, and a M.S. from Mississippi State University.

The Department of French and Francophone Studies sees the addition of two new assistant professors. Marie-Helene Koffi-Tessio holds a B.A. from the Sorbonne Nouvelle in France, a M.A. from the University of Virginia, and a Ph.D. from Princeton University. With interests that include the colonial and post-colonial conditions, historical trauma and ethics in literature, Koffi-Tessio focuses on the cultures of Sub-Saharan Africa. Courtney J. Wells brings to the department a passion for medieval lyric poetry, verse and text as well as Renaissance literary theory. He earned a B.A. from the University of Dallas, and a M.A. and Ph.D. from Boston University.

Assistant Professor of History Matthew Crow is teaching courses on colonial and revolutionary U.S. history and American intellectual history. Crow, while broadly interested in the history of legal and political thought, has a particular passion for Thomas Jefferson – his worlds and his textual practices. Crow graduated with a B.A. from the University of California, San Diego, and went on to earn a M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Yan Hao joins the Mathematics and Computer Science departments as an assistant professor. As an applied mathematician, her research delves into probability and stochastic processes. This fall, Hao is teaching courses on calculus and ordinary differential equations. She earned a B.S. from Tsinghua University in China, and a B.S. and Ph.D. from the College of William and Mary.

The Physics Department welcomes Assistant Professor Ileana Dumitriu, who has taught at the freshman-sophomore level in her home country of Romania, and the collegiate level at Gustavus Adolphus College. Dumitriu is doing research on interaction of X-rays with negative ions at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She holds a B.S. in Physics from Babes-Bolyai University in Romania, a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Technical University Cluj-Napoca, and a M.A. and Ph.D. from Western Michigan University.

The Psychology Department welcomes two new faculty members this semester. Joining the campus in 2011 as a visiting professor, Emily Fisher returns as an Assistant Professor of Psychology. Her research interests are mainly in intergroup relations, with focus on intergroup contact among different communities and its effect on attitudes toward racial groups. Fisher earned a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, and a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin. Also joining the department is Assistant Professor of Psychology Daniel Graham. Specializing in the field of sensory and perceptual psychology, Graham’s work has centered on developing methods for quantitatively measuring how artists transform color and light into the reflective surface of a painted medium. Graham received a B.A. in physics from Middlebury College, and a M.S. and Ph.D. from Cornell University.

Michelle Baron and Jessica Hayes-Conroy have joined the Women’s Studies Department as assistant professors. A feminist performance scholar, Baron brings a vast knowledge of feminist and queer theories, critical race studies and visual and material cultural studies. She received a B.A. from Brandeis University, and a M.A. and Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley. Hayes-Conroy served as a visiting professor at the Colleges last year, teaching courses in feminist health. Her research focuses on alternative food activism, nutrition intervention and social difference. Hayes-Conroy earned a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College, a M.A. from the University of Vermont and a Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University.