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New Faculty Snapshots

Just as A&S was built in in 1871 upon the expertise of its founding faculty, today we continue to be renewed and inspired by incoming faculty members who bring a wealth of talent, knowledge and dynamism to classrooms, lecture halls and laboratories.

Meet the new faculty members of Fall 2020.

Mona Awad

Mona Awad

Assistant professor, creative writing, English and textual studies
myawad@syr.edu

I aim to give students the storytelling tools they need to move compelling and well-crafted accounts of marginalized experience into the heart of contemporary discourse. I try to help them identify places where their perspective splits or moves away from the obvious or typical, and to see those places of distinct perspective as sources of fresh language and narrative possibility.

  • Ph.D. in creative writing and English literature, University of Denver
  • Specialization: Contemporary fiction, fairy tales, horror
  • Previous position: Visiting writer at the University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Key honor/award: Amazon Best First Novel Award and Scotiabank Giller Prize Finalist

Daniel Corral.png

Daniel Corral

Assistant professor, psychology
dcorral@syr.edu

My primary teaching goal is to help students learn course content at a level that extends beyond simply memorizing information, such that they can generalize their knowledge from the classroom to everyday events and experiences. Through this type of mastery, students will gain deep insights into the course material, as well as their daily lives.

  • Ph.D. in cognitive psychology, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Specialization: Cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience, cognitive science
  • Previous position: Postdoctoral fellow, Iowa State University

Eric Coughlin

Eric Coughlin

Assistant professor, physics
ecoughli@syr.edu

Science encompasses not just knowledge but also the pursuit of knowledge. In my teaching I exemplify that the route to discovery—the creative processes we employ to make scientific progress—is tantamount in importance to the discovery itself.

  • Ph.D. in astronomy and astrophysics, University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Specialization: Astrophysical fluid dynamics
  • Previous position: Postdoctoral researcher at Princeton University
  • Key honor/award: NASA Hubble and Einstein Fellow

Jeanette Jouili

Jeanette Jouili

Associate professor, religion
jsjouili@syr.edu

I think in a moment like the current one, nothing previously written about my teaching philosophy can be replicated now. But I hope to provide students, in a moment of utmost uncertainty and fear, with lessons that are not merely intellectually stimulating, but that also help them to better cope with the present challenges that expose the vulnerability of the human condition.

  • Ph.D. from EHESS, Paris, and Viadrina University, Frankfurt/Oder, Germany
  • Specialization: Contemporary Islam, Islam in Europe, anthropology of religion, ethics, religious pluralism and secularism, popular culture, race, gender
  • Previous position: Associate professor of religious studies, University of Pittsburgh
  • Key honor/award: Society Fellow at Cornell’s Society for the Humanities, 2011-2021

Katherine Kidwell

Katherine Kidwell

Assistant professor, psychology
kmkidwel@syr.edu

I'm passionate about sharing experiential learning opportunities with students. Because the health behaviors I study (sleep, eating, stress management) are relevant for both clinical and nonclinical populations, I am able to mentor undergraduate/graduate research across many health and clinical psychology topics and create a student-structured lab.

  • Ph.D. in clinical psychology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Specialization: Clinical psychology with an emphasis in pediatric psychology
  • Previous position: NIMH T32 Fellow at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
  • Key honor/award: Strong publication record includes: Journal of Pediatric Psychology, Behavioral Sleep Medicine, and Children’s Health Care

Jillian Scheer

Jillian Scheer

Assistant professor, psychology
jrscheer@syr.edu

My goals for teaching are for students to develop critical thinking, analytical, and problem-solving skills; learn to apply knowledge in real-world settings; and, broaden their perspectives and self-awareness. As a counseling psychologist with interdisciplinary training in epidemiology, clinical psychology, and public health, I also aim to broaden students’ understanding of the influences of culture, systems, and inequality on minority health and health disparities, foster culturally inclusive and diverse classrooms, and inspire student interest in promoting health for marginalized populations.

  • Ph.D. in counseling psychology, Boston College
  • Specializations: Sexual and gender minority mental and behavioral health, trauma exposure, intervention research, health disparities
  • Previous position: NIMH T32 Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS at the Yale University School of Public Health
  • Key honor/award: National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) Research Institute Scholar

Shira Schwartz

Shira Schwartz

Phyllis Backer Professor of Jewish Studies
seschwar@syr.edu

My philosophy of teaching and learning is influenced by my research on Jewish rabbinic education, which views teaching and learning as reciprocal practices that can turn students into teachers and teachers into students. I strive to approach higher education with this kind of humility, openness and curiosity for the surprising possibilities of transformative education.

  • Ph.D. in comparative literature, University of Michigan
  • Specialization: Rabbinic Judaism, American Jewish orthodoxy and ex-orthodoxy (OTD) studies, queer/trans and feminist religious studies, textual and hormonal ethnography, Jewish education, learning spaces and learning bodies
  • Previous position and key honor: 2019-2020 Richard & Lillian Ives Graduate Fellow at the Institute for the Humanities, University of Michigan; Holstein Dissertation Fellow in Queer/Transgender Religious Studies, University of California, Riverside

Keshav Singh

Keshav Singh

Assistant professor, philosophy
kesingh@syr.edu

Though philosophy has a reputation for being an arcane and inaccessible subject, the reality is that it's relevant to all of our lives, and can be made accessible to anyone through inclusive pedagogy. My goal in teaching philosophy is to help all of my students see the relevance of philosophy to their lives, so that they feel fully welcome and included in philosophical discussions.

  • Ph.D. in philosophy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Specialization: Ethics, epistemology
  • Key honor/award: Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship

Antonio Tiongson

Antonio Tiongson

Associate professor, English
attiongs@syr.edu

In all my classes, I aim to cultivate a classroom atmosphere in which students examine what is often constructed as ‘common sense.’ My hope is that by the end of each course, students will have a deeper understanding of learning and the intricate nature of knowledge production. Ideally, they will acquire the necessary tools to ask more questions than they did when they began the course.

  • Ph.D. in ethnic studies, University of California, San Diego
  • Specialization: Comparative critique, popular culture, contemporary youth activism, Filipinx American cultural politics, and the politics and poetics of archives
  • Previous position: Associate professor, American studies, University of New Mexico
  • Key honor/award: Consortium for a Strong Minority Presence (CSMP)

Samuel Tuttle

Samuel Tuttle

Assistant professor, Earth and environmental sciences
setuttle@syr.edu

I motivate students to actively engage with course material and each other, gain self-awareness and an appreciation for diverse perspectives, and place the subject matter in the context of the broader world. Students will cultivate a mindset that through critical thinking, skill development and effort, can be adapted to novel problems.

  • Ph.D. in Earth and environment, Boston University
  • Specialization: Hydroclimatology and remote sensing
  • Previous position: Visiting assistant professor of data science in the Department of Geology & Geography at Mount Holyoke College
  • Key honor/award: Outstanding Student Presentation award, fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union

Tao Wen

Tao Wen

Assistant professor, Earth and environmental sciences
twen08@syr.edu

I am looking forward to establishing the Hydrogeochemistry And eNvironmental Data Sciences (HANDS) research group. I strive to serve students by incorporating advanced teaching/research technologies while providing students authentic tasks.

  • Ph.D. in geology, University of Michigan
  • Specialization: Hydrogeochemistry, environmental data science, and noble gas geochemistry
  • Previous position: Postdoctoral scholar at Penn State University
  • Key honor/award: Distinguished Postdoctoral Scholar in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at Penn State University

Jeff Zemla

Jeff Zemla

Assistant professor, psychology
jczemla@syr.edu

I hope to provide an inclusive space for students to learn how aging affects cognition, enable students to showcase what they have learned in varied ways, and make psychology research exciting.

  • Ph.D. in psychology, Rice University
  • Specialization: Aging, memory, reasoning, computational modeling
  • Previous position: Assistant scientist at University of Wisconsin-Madison