New faculty join the College for the 17-18 academic year

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CAS - Compass E-Newsletter [Vanderbilt University]

October 2017

Dean Lauren BentonDear Arts and Science community,

Each fall we are excited to welcome new faculty to the college. These appointments are the culmination of wide-ranging searches led by our faculty with the aim of advancing research and teaching across the college and university.

This year I am delighted to announce the addition of 19 new tenured and tenure-track faculty in the College of Arts and Science. These women and men are doing cutting-edge research on topics as diverse as the chemical foundations of age-related disease and the history of French photography.

Just a few examples:

T.S. Harvey,  associate professor of anthropology, is a linguist and medical anthropologist whose scholarship focuses on language use in health care and environmental health risk communications. Harvey has conducted long-term field research in Guatemala as well as comparative studies on environmental pollution in the U.S. Great Lakes region. His scholarship ranges from micro analyses of cross-cultural doctor-patient interactions to macro analyses of the role of the media in international disaster relief and crisis management efforts.

Kari Hoffman, associate professor of psychology, arrives at Vanderbilt from York University in Canada. Hoffman and her team use state-of-the-art technology to study the neural mechanisms underlying perception and memory formation. Her research aims to understand neural-circuit phenomena—in particular the emergence and control of oscillatory brain activity—and their role in adaptive behaviors such as face recognition.

Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons joins the Department of Art as a Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor. Campos-Pons is an internationally known artist whose works incorporate imagery related to the lived experiences of Afro-Cubans. Her art has been featured at high-profile international venues such as the Venice Biennale and pieces by her are included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Chicago Art Institute, and many other important collections.

I am also delighted to welcome new senior lecturers and Mellon assistant professors who are adding to our faculty strengths in French, German, biological sciences, and many other fields.

We celebrate the richness these new A&S faculty bring to our campus and to our community.


Best regards,

ean Benton Signature

Lauren Benton
Dean, College of Arts and Science
Nelson O. Tyrone, Jr. Professor of History

A&S in the news

Science: Is your Neandertal DNA making your belly fat? Ancient genome offers clues
Recent research suggests gene variants obtained from Neandertals could influence cholesterol levels, the accumulation of belly fat, and the risk of schizophrenia. Tony Capra, assistant professor of biological sciences, is quoted. Gears of Biz and The Scientist featured related articles.

Quartz: U.S. cigarette warning labels do a poor job of explaining risk—and fewer smokers are quitting as a result
A recent study shows that despite most Americans’ recognizing that smoking can lead to life-threatening diseases, they don’t understand how much that risk increases. Cecilia Hjunjung Mo, assistant professor of political science, is among the article’s co-authors.

National Geographic: This saber-toothed cat mingled with modern humans
A recent fossil discovery suggests saber-tooth cats lived more recently than previously assumed. Larisa DeSantis, assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences, is quoted.

New cleanroom will boost nanoscale research

Center for Effective Lawmaking announces highest-scoring members of Congress

Meet Vanderbilt’s first Academic Pathways fellows

Cell signals that trigger wound healing are surprisingly complex

Neuroscientist discusses the formation of remarkable brains—and minds—on ‘The Zeppos Report’

Vanderbilt is No. 10 in Thomson Reuters’ ‘World’s Most Innovative Universities’

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Notable achievements

  • 2017 MFA graduate Tiana Clark wrote a poem, “Nashville”, part of her MFA thesis, and was published in the New Yorker.
  • Kemar Reid, former Bridge Program student, won best student poster at the American Chemical Society meeting.

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