Promotions Recognize Faculty Across the Disciplines
by Audree Penner
In February, the Board of Managers approved the promotion of three faculty members from associate to full professorship:
Aurora Camacho de Schmidt, whose research interests include Mexican and Central American social movements in literature, indigenous populations, immigration, pre-colonial critical theory, the making and reading of poetry, and the works of Octavio Paz, Ernesto Cardenal, Carlos Fuentes, and Elena Poniatiwska.
Eric Jensen, of the physics and astronomy department, whose research interests include astrobiology, the study of the origin and distribution of life in the cosmos, specifically, trying to understand the formation of planets around other stars through observations of young stars whose ages (1-100 million years) suggest that they may be in the process of forming planets.
Elizabeth Vallen, a biologist, who researches the interactions between cnidarians (coral, sea anemones) and their intracellular symbiotic algae of the genus Symbiodinium-a relationship that is essential for the growth of corals, and whose breakdown, known as coral "bleaching," can result in the collapse of entire reef ecosystems.
Jane Gillham, an associate professor of psychology, was awarded continuous tenure. Her research interests include clinical psychology, especially child clinical; prevention and treatment of depression in childhood and adolescence; school-based intervention programs; assessment and treatment of autism.
Four faculty members were promoted from assistant professor to associate with continuous tenure:
Tariq al-Jamil, a scholar of medieval Islamic social history and law, with a particular focus on Shi'ism. An expert on Sunni-Shi'i relations, he is able to address issues related to the academic study of Islam and the social history of Iraq, Iran, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. He researches and publishes on topics including Islam and inter-communal violence, pre-modern religious identity, religious dissimulation, the transmission of knowledge in Islam, and women in Islamic jurisprudence.
Linda Chen, a mathematician, pursues research interests including Algebraic geometry and algebraic combinatorics, Schubert calculus, quot schemes, Fulton-MacPherson spaces, the moduli space of curves and its generalizations, quantum cohomology, toric varieties, Hilbert schemes of points on surfaces, equivariant cohomology and GKM spaces, orbifold cohomology and Gromov-Witten theory of stacks, Hessenberg varieties, affine Grassmannians, and other aspects of enumerative and combinatorial geometry.
Luciano Martinez is a scholar of Latin American Literature, whose research interests include research interests center on the representation of minor subjectivities-specifically gays, lesbians, and travesties-both in literature and cinema. He is editor of the first special issue of Revista Iberoamericana on gay and lesbian studies and queer theory, which brings together the most current theoretical perspectives from Latin American, European and American scholars.
Tomoko Sakomura is a scholar of East Asian Art, who teaches courses on topics including pictorial narratives in Japan, such as handscrolls and comic books; the art of Japanese tea culture, the art of landscape in East Asia, contemporary Japanese visual culture, East Asian calligraphy, and word and image in Japanese art.