New Faculty - 2014-2015

Angela BrownJonas Baltrusaitis
Assistant Professor, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Jonas Baltrusaitis earned his doctorate in chemistry from the University of Iowa and his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in chemical engineering from Kaunas University of Technology (Lithuania). Before coming to Lehigh, Baltrusaitis served as an assistant professor of chemical engineering at the University of Twente (Netherlands). His research revolves around renewable catalysis, surface physicochemical processes and nanoscience. He has published his work in Science, Environmental and Energy Science, Journal of American Chemical Society, and Applied Surface Science.

Serge Da Motta VeigaRicki I. Bliss
Assistant Professor, Philosophy

Ricki Bliss earned her doctorate from the University of Melbourne (Australia), and her postgrad diploma as well as double bachelor’s degrees from the University of Queensland (Australia). Before joining Lehigh’s faculty, she served as a visiting lecturer at Otago University, New Zealand, and as a postdoctoral research fellow at Kyoto University in Japan. Bliss’ research interests include metaphysics, metametaphysics and Asian philosophy. She is publishing her works in journals such as Philosophical Studies, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews and Metaphilosophy, and has presented her work nationally and internationally. She is also the recipient of a research grant from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Boris DefournyJavier Buceta Fernandez
Associate Professor and Dolores T. & William E. Schiesser Faculty Fellow, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Javier Buceta Fernandez earned his doctorate in physics from the Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia and his master’s and bachelor’s degrees, also in physics, from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Before joining Lehigh’s faculty, Buceta Fernandez served as researcher at University of California, San Diego and as Ramon y Cajal fellow at the Barcelona Science Park. His research revolves around systems biology using theoretical, computational and experimental approaches. He has presented his work nationally and internationally and has published in BMC Systems Biology, Cell Reports, Biophysical Journal, Biophysical Reviews and Letters and PNAS among other journals.

Bridget DeverPaola M. Cereghetti
Professor of Practice, Physics

Paola Cereghetti earned her Ph.D. in physics from the ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) with a dissertation titled “On the Dynamics of Glassy Phase States: An NMR Investigation.” Cereghetti also holds a master’s in Chinese Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, where she investigated colored Chinese materia medica produced over a period ranging from the Eastern Han dynasty to the Ming dynasty. Before her appointment as a professor of practice, Cereghetti served as an adjunct professor and research associate at Lehigh. Cereghetti’s present interests include the development of teaching material for non-major students in physics, as well as a curriculum that interweaves the teaching of physics concepts with the history of science.

Panos DiplasHugo Ceron-Anaya
Assistant Professor, Sociology & Anthropology

Hugo Ceron-Anaya has a BA in history from the National University of Mexico (UNAM), and an MA and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Essex (United Kingdom). He was a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Lehigh from 2012 to 2014. Ceron-Anaya’s research employs a mixed-methods approach to analyze the reproduction of power inequalities through gender, class, and racial dynamics using upper-class golf clubs in Mexico, as a case study. In his research Ceron-Anaya situates the body as the site where class, gender, and racial categories can be collapsed into a more complex understanding of society. He has published a book chapter and two articles from this work, and another sole-authored article “Bourdieu and Affluent Bodies in Mexico” is under revision at Sociological Inquiry.

Craig HochbeinMark S. Chen
Assistant Professor, Chemistry

Mark Chen earned his doctorate and bachelor’s degrees in chemistry at Harvard University. Prior to coming to Lehigh, he served as the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests include the investigation of new catalytic methodologies for organic synthesis and the design and study of novel organic electronic materials. He has been awarded the Roche Excellence in Chemistry Award and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Graduate Fellowship in Synthetic Organic Chemistry and has published his work in Macromolecules, Advanced Materials, Journal of the American Chemical Society and Science.

Heather JaegerEunice Cortez
Lecturer, Modern Languages & Literatures

Eunice Cortez earned her doctorate in Hispanic linguistics and her master’s in Spanish and Hispanic linguistics from Temple University and her bachelor’s in linguistics from the National University of San Marcos (Peru). Her area of specialization in sociolinguistics includes the construction and representation of local and global identities in the Andean context. She taught numerous courses at Temple and has presented nationally and internationally. She has published her works in journals such as Revista de Critica Latinoamericana and the book Choquequirao, Simbolo de las Resistencia andina.

Justin JaworskiDinissa Duvanova
Assistant Professor, International Relations

Dinissa Duvanova earned a doctorate degree in political science from the Ohio State University, a master’s in Slavic and East European studies also from Ohio State University, a master’s in political science from Utah State University and a bachelor’s in political science from Kazakh State University in Kazakhstan. Prior to joining Lehigh’s faculty, Duvanova served as a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University and as assistant professor of political science at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. Her research focuses on the international relations of post-communist Eastern Europe. She has presented her work at colleges and universities in the U.S., U.K., and Canada; and her works have appeared in publications such as the British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Politics, and World Development.

Susan KartJoshua W. Ehrig
Professor of Practice, Management and Baker Institute

Joshua Ehrig earned his master’s in history, his master’s in political science and his bachelor’s in economics from Lehigh University. Ehrig also completed an executive education program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Before being appointed as a professor of practice at Lehigh, Ehrig served as a lecturer in the Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship. He has also taught undergraduate and graduate courses at DeSales University, and undergraduate courses at Muhlenberg College and Penn State Lehigh Valley.

Martin KavkaImaani El-Burki
Professor of Practice, Journalism & Communication and Africana Studies

Imaani El-Burki earned her doctorate in communication, culture and media and her master’s in communication from Drexel University and her bachelor’s in communication from Temple University. She served as a postdoctoral fellow in the Africana Studies program at Lehigh before being appointed as a professor of practice. She has presented her work nationally and has published in journals such as the International Journal of Cyber Criminology and Cyber Criminology: Exploring Internet Crimes and Criminal Behavior.

Taewan KimJames A. Femister
Professor of Practice, Computer Science & Engineering

James Femister earned his Ph.D. and master’s in computer science from Lehigh University and his bachelor’s in computing science, also from Lehigh University. Before being appointed as a professor of practice at Lehigh, he held teaching positions at Kutztown University, DeSales University and Lafayette College, and served as a research fellow at Pentamation Enterprises. Femister is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery.

Brandon KrickYinan He
Associate Professor, International Relations

Yinan He earned her doctorate in political science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, her master’s from Fudan University, and her bachelor’s degree from Peking University in international politics. Before joining Lehigh’s faculty, He served as an associate professor at the School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University. Her research focuses on the politics of memory and reconciliation, East Asian international security, Chinese and Japanese foreign policy, and national identity and nationalism of East Asia. He has presented her works at conferences, colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and internationally. In addition to her book, The Search for Reconciliation: Sino-Japanese and German-Polish Relations Since World War II, she has published in journals such as Journal of Contemporary China, Europe-Asia Studies and History and Memory.

Tamara LambertJennifer M. Jensen
Deputy Provost for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor, Political Science

Jennifer Jensen earned her doctorate and master’s degrees in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her bachelor’s, also in political science, from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Before joining Lehigh as Deputy Provost for Academic Affairs, Jensen served as associate professor of political science and associate dean for academic affairs at Binghamton University. Jensen’s research focuses on state-federal relations and questions surrounding why individuals seek to work in government and politics. She has presented her work nationally and has published in journals such as Journal of Policy History, Political Research Quarterly and Judicature.

Gregory LangHartley Lachter
Associate Professor and Philip & Muriel Berman Chair in Jewish Studies, Religion Studies

Hartley Lachter earned his doctorate degree in medieval Jewish mysticism at New York University, his master’s in history of Hebrew bible interpretation and bachelor’s in Jewish Studies and philosophy from McGill University. Before coming to Lehigh, Lachter served as associate professor of religion studies and director of Jewish Studies at Muhlenberg College. Dr. Lachter’s research focuses on medieval Jewish thought and literature and the manifestations of Jewish mysticism. He has presented his work both nationally and internationally and has published in journals such as Jewish Quarterly Review and Journal for Jewish Thought and Philosophy. Lachter is also the author of Kabbalistic Revolution: Reimagining Judaism in Medieval Spain, published by Rutgers University Press.

Jayeon LeeMichael J. Layden
Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences

Michael Layden earned a doctorate degree in biology at the University of Oregon and a bachelor’s in cell and developmental biology from the University of Rochester. Before coming to Lehigh, he served as an assistant researcher at the Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience at the University of Florida, Gainesville. His research focuses on regenerative possibilities within the nervous system with potential applications for a host of therapies for human disease. Layden has presented his work at numerous conferences and symposia in the U.S. and abroad. He has published his work in Nature Protocols, Molecular Ecology and Development and is the recipient of the Best Postdoctoral Oral Presentation from the Society of Developmental Biology.

JuYeon LeeWenxin Liu
Assistant Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering

Wenxin Liu earned his doctorate in electrical engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology and his master’s degree in control theory and applications and a bachelor’s in industrial automation from National Research Center of Automation at Northeastern University in China. Before coming to Lehigh, Liu served as assistant professor at New Mexico State University. He has published 20 papers in peer-reviewed journals/transactions and has filed two U.S. patents. Dr. Liu has been awarded $1.2 million in external research grants as the sole investigator for all projects. He was named the Conoco Phillips Faculty Fellow in 2011, received the Dean’s Recognition Award in 2012, and the Early Career Award in 2013 at NMSU.

Monica MillerKrystle J. McLaughlin
Professor of Practice, Biological Sciences

Krystle McLaughlin earned her doctorate and master’s in biophysics from the University of Rochester and her bachelor’s in physics from Colgate University. Before being appointed as a professor of practice at Lehigh she served as a SPIRE postdoctoral scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she had extensive pedagogical training while completing her postdoctoral research. In the classroom, she is interested in the integration of novel active learning techniques to assist student outcomes. Her research interests revolve around X-ray crystallographic and biochemical studies of protein-nucleic acid interactions from a range of systems including Mycobacterium macrophages and the commensal human gut bacteria Bacteroides ovatus. She has published her work in journals such as Molecular Cell, Biochemistry, and Journal of Bacteriology.

Keith Moored IIIPaul A. Myerson
Professor of Practice, Management

Paul Myerson received his MBA in physical distribution from Temple University and his bachelor’s in business logistics from the Pennsylvania State University. Before his appointment as professor of practice at Lehigh, Myerson was a successful change catalyst for a variety of clients and organizations, having over 30 years’ experience in supply chain and logistics strategies, working with companies such as General Electric and Unilever. He is the author of two books as well as a lean supply chain and logistics management simulation training game. Myerson also writes a column on lean supply chain for Inbound Logistics Magazine and a blog for Industry Week magazine. His research interests include lean supply chain and logistics management and forecasting and demand planning.

Irina PanovskaLucy Napper
Assistant Professor, Psychology

Lucy Napper earned her doctorate degree in health and social psychology and her bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom. She was the recipient of a National Institutes of Health Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award to develop a measure of HIV risk perception. Before joining Lehigh’s faculty, Napper was the codirector of the HeadsUp Alcohol Research Lab at Loyola Marymount University and the principal investigator of a grant examining the efficacy of a parent-based alcohol intervention. Her research interests include substance abuse, responses to health risk information, psychometrics and the evaluation of health interventions. She has presented her work nationally and internationally and has published in Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Prevention Science and Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.

Joshua PepperGeorgette Chapman Phillips
Kevin L. Clayton ʼ84, ʼ13P and Lisa A. Clayton ʼ13P Dean and Professor, Perella Department of Finance and Africana Studies
Georgette Chapman Phillips earned her J.D. degree from Harvard Law School and her bachelor’s degree in political science from Bryn Mawr College. Phillips has been appointed the Kevin L. Clayton ’84, ’13P and Lisa A. Clayton ’13P Dean of the College of Business and Economics and member of the Perella Department of Finance. She also will hold an appointment in the Africana Studies Program. Before joining Lehigh, she held several posts at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania including serving as vice dean and director of the Undergraduate Division. Phillips’ teaching and research focuses on the intersection of law, economics and public policy within the context of the built environment. She publishes in the areas of urban/regional planning and local government law.

Spencer QuielMiguel A. Pillado
Assistant Professor, Modern Languages & Literatures

Miguel Pillado earned his doctorate and master’s degrees in Hispanic languages and literatures from the University of California, Berkeley, and his bachelor’s in history and Spanish from Occidental College. Before joining Lehigh’s faculty as an assistant professor, Spanish and Hispanic Studies, Pillado served as a graduate student instructor at the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests include 20th and 21st century Latin American literature, Mexican and Central American literature, hemispheric border studies of America and foreign language pedagogy. He has presented his works nationally and is presently the co-editor-in-chief of Lucero, the graduate student journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

Kelly SchultzMarina Puzakova
Assistant Professor, Marketing

Marina Puzakova earned her doctorate in marketing from Drexel University and her bachelor’s in business economics and management from Voronezh State Technical University in Russia. Prior to joining Lehigh’s faculty, Puzakova served as an assistant professor of marketing at Oregon State University. Puzakova’s research focuses on brand positioning strategies, brand anthropomorphization, and international and cross-cultural branding. She has published in journals such as Journal of Marketing, Journal of Advertising, International Journal of Advertising, and Advances in International Marketing and has presented at numerous conferences across the U.S.

Charles StevensBrooke Rollins
Assistant Professor, English

Brooke Rollins earned her doctorate and master’s degrees in English at the University of South Carolina, where she specialized in rhetoric and composition studies. She earned her bachelor’s degree, also in English, from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. Before coming to Lehigh, Rollins served as an assistant professor at Louisiana State University. Her research interests include the ethics of the rhetorical encounter and she presently has a book manuscript, The Ethics of Persuasion: Derrida’s Rhetorical Legacies, under review. She has published several textbooks and her work has appeared in College English, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, and JAC: A Journal of Rhetoric, Culture, and Politics.

Tara TroyAleksandr Stolyar
Professor & Timothy J. Wilmott ’80 Endowed Faculty Chair, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Aleksandr Stolyar earned his Ph.D. in math from the USSR Academy of Science, and his master’s in applied math from the Moscow College of Transportation Engineering. Before joining Lehigh, he was a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, NJ. His research interests include stochastic processes, queueing networks and stochastic modeling of service and communication systems. Stolyar has published in journals such as Operations Research, Queueing Systems, Annals of Applied Probability, and Journal of Applied Probability.

Natasha VermaakMartin Takac
Assistant Professor, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Martin Takac earned his doctorate in operations research at the University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom) and his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in mathematics of economics and finance at Comenius University (Slovakia). He has filed for a patent and has received numerous awards including INFORMS Computing Society Student Paper Award and the 16th IMA Leslie Fox Prize. Takac’s research includes convex optimization for big data problems, coordinate descent, stochastic gradient descent and machine learning. He has published in Mathematical Programming, Series A and International Journal of Numerical Analysis and Modeling.

Darius Omar WilliamsMatthew Veto
Professor of Practice, Journalism & Communication

Matthew Veto earned his master’s in journalism from the University of Missouri and his bachelor’s in journalism and radio/TV from St. Ambrose University. Before his appointment as a professor of practice, Veto served as a lecturer and student newspaper adviser at Ursinus College. He has held numerous reporting positions across platforms. In addition to his practical instruction, Veto serves as the adviser to the Brown and White. His research interests include journalism practice, sports journalism, political journalism, journalism ethics and ideology, and nonprofit news production.

Maria Barbara Zepeda CortesTerrance Wiley
Assistant Professor, Religion Studies and Africana Studies

Terrance Wiley earned his doctorate and master’s degree in religion (religious ethics) from Princeton University, J.D. from Georgetown University, and bachelor’s degree in religious studies from Southern Methodist University. Prior to joining Lehigh, Wiley served as an assistant professor of religion at Carleton College. His research interests include religious ethics, social movements, law and religion, human rights, dispute resolution, and peace education. Wiley recently published Angelic Troublemakers: Religion and Anarchism in America and is presently working on a book-length analysis of transnational prison reform activism.

Darius Omar WilliamsXiaoji G. Xu
Assistant Professor, Chemistry

Xiaoji Xu earned his doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and his bachelor’s in chemistry from Peking University, Beijing, China. Prior to joining Lehigh’s faculty, Xu served as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Toronto. His research interests include chemical sensitive near-field microscopy, surface chemistry, and ultrafast spectroscopy, with research focus on energy related nano-materials. He owns two patents and has published in a variety of journals such as Nature Communications, Nature Physics, Nano Letters, Journal of Physical Chemistry, Journal of Chemical Physics, Optics Letters and Optics Express.

Maria Barbara Zepeda CortesYue Yu
Assistant Professor, Mathematics

Yue Yu earned her doctorate in applied mathematics and her master’s in mechanical engineering from Brown University and her bachelor’s in mathematics at Peking University, Beijing, China. Before coming to Lehigh, Yu served as a postdoctoral fellow in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University. Her research interests include mathematical modeling for the energy and health care fields, as well as numerical analysis, mathematical biology and computational solid and fluid mechanics. She has presented her work both nationally and internationally and has published in Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, Journal of Computational Physics, International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering, and ASME Journal of Biomechanical Engineering.

Female student taking notes