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

New Science Faculty

Among new science faculty joining the Colleges this semster are an engineer, world traveler, psychologist and an expert in mathematical biology.

Darrin Magee joins the environmental studies program as an assistant professor following positions as adjunct professor at Colorado Mountain College and China program associate at the Rocky Mountain Institute. A member of the Association of American Geographers, the Association for Asian Studies, and the International Water Resources Association, he is also a board member on the Community Development Plan for Western Colorado. In addition, he was an exchange student to the National Cheng Kung University in Tainan, Taiwan, the Università di Venezia in Venice, Italy, and the National Taiwan University in Taipei, Taiwan, as well as a visiting scholar to the Asian International Rivers Center in Kunming, China. He also worked as a reporter for the Asian Wall Street Journal in Hong Kong in 1997. He received bachelor’s degrees in French and mathematics from Louisiana State University, and a master’s degree in China studies and Ph.D. in geography from the University of Washington.

Joining the geoscience department as an assistant professor is Cynthia Hill, who received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in regional science and a masters in regional planning from the University of Pennsylvania. She also received a Ph.D. in soil chemistry, with concentrations in biogeochemistry and soil and water engineering, from Cornell University. For her doctoral research she studied the removal of phosphorus from agricultural runoff, testing promising methods in both the laboratory and on a dairy farm. This project involved designing and constructing a stormwater treatment facility that consisted of two sedimentation basins, two retention ponds and eight wetland cells. In the private sector, Hill has experience as an economist and ecological planner at Data Resources Inc. in Boston and at Wallace Roberts and Todd in Philadelphia. She also has significant experience as a land use planner with the Wayne County (N.Y.) Planning and the Monmouth County (N.J.) Planning departments.

Michael Geusic joins the chemistry department as an assistant professor following a position as a visiting assistant professor of chemistry at Western Connecticut State University. His prior experience in the field includes working in both industry and government. The focus of his work has been in the areas of physical chemistry and material science with an emphasis on research involving nanotechnology. He received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Dr. R. E. Smalley at Rice University.

Faten Yassin also joins the chemistry department as an assistant professor following post-doctoral research at the University of Texas at Arlington. Her work in chemistry explores bioanalytical problem-solving, the Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Mass Spectrometry and much more. Before her post-doctoral research, Assistant Professor Yassin earned her B.S. in chemistry from the Lebanese University in Beirut-Lebanon and her Ph.D. in mathematical science, chemistry option, from the University of Texas at Arlington. She also received the Eli Lilly Post-Doctoral Fellowship Award through the the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and the Outstanding Graduate Research Award from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Patricia Mowery joins the biology department as an assistant professor. She has recently studied the chemotaxis of motile bacteria as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Utah. She also has teaching experience as an instructor at the university and as a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received bachelor’s degrees in sociology from the University of Chicago and biochemistry from Indiana University, as well as a master’s degree in sociology from Yale University. She also received a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Susan Cushman ’98, a William Smith graduate, joins the biology department as an assistant professor. Cushman is currently involved with the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network Issues Committee and conducted research on streams in the Owasco Lake watershed this past summer. As a graduate student, she was awarded the Best Student Paper by the Tidewater Chapter of the American Fisheries Society Southern Division at their spring 2005 meeting. Cushman specializes in fisheries science, specifically fish and stream ecology. She received a B.S. in biology with honors from William Smith College, an M.S. in environmental sciences from Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. in marine, estuarine and environmental studies from the University of Maryland.

Assistant Professor Julie Kingery joins the psychology department with prior teaching experience as an affiliate faculty member at Loyola College in Maryland and an instructor at the University of Maine. During her postdoctoral fellowship at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Kingery participated in several National Institute of Mental Health grant funded studies evaluating the effectiveness of anxiety prevention and treatment programs for youth. Her research interests include exploring the influence of peer relationships on children’s adjustment (particularly across the middle school transition), identifying risk factors for anxiety, and evaluating outcomes of school and community-based programs for youth. Kingery is interested in developing collaborative partnerships with schools and other community organizations in the city of Geneva. She received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Richmond and a Ph.D. in developmental and clinical psychology from the University of Maine.

Ron Friedman also adds his experience and expertise to the psychology department as an assistant professor. His main area of interest in research is studying the role of conscious and nonconscious processes in motivation related to persistence and performance. He received his B.A. in political science from City University of New York, an M.A. and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Rochester. His dissertation was completed in Social-Personality Psychology.

Jonathan Forde joins the faculty as an assistant professor of mathematics and computer science following a position as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Utah. A member of the Mathematical Association of America and the Society for Mathematical Biology, his research interests include ecology, delay differential equations and linear stability analysis. He received a B.A. in German and a B.S. in mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin. He also received a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Also joining the mathematics and computer science department is Jaime H. Barrera. A member of the American Mathematical Society and the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics, he has teaching experience as a teaching assistant and instructor at Cornell University. His research interests include numerical analysis, scientific computing and nonlinear dynamics. He received a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematical sciences with a minor in statistics from Texas A&M University. In addition, he received master’s degrees in computer science and applied mathematics from Cornell University, where he is a Ph.D. candidate in applied mathematics.

The photograph above features Jonathan Forde.