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14 Faculty Across the Disciplines Recognized with Tenure, Promotions

Yellow flowers bloom in front of Parrish Hall

Fourteen faculty members were approved for tenure or promotion at the February Board of Managers meeting.

Three tenured faculty members were promoted from associate to full professor:

Andrew DannerAndrew Danner, Computer Science
Computer Scientist Andrew Danner researches ways to process very large geometric data sets that often arise in geographic information systems. Danner’s work explores computer science through theoretical, experimental, and educational lenses, with a goal of generating results of interest to the computer science community and students, as well as research communities beyond computer science. He is the primary developer of ParaVis (EduPar 2019), a tool for visualizing and debugging parallel applications.

Chris GravesChris Graves, Chemistry & Biochemistry and Environmental Studies
Chris Graves research responds to an increasing demand for metal-based systems for the activation and transformation of small molecules that employ non-precious metal complexes. Aluminum is an attractive choice in this vein as it is readily available, inexpensive, and non-toxic. The development of aluminum complexes as a catalyst or reagent for high-impact chemical reactions is therefore desirable and serves as a challenge of significance for green and sustainable chemistry. As program coordinator, Graves currently leads the Environmental Studies Program.

LUciano MartinezLuciano Martínez, Spanish
Luciano Martínez’s research centers on gender, sexuality, and literary pedagogy in contemporary Latin American literature. Based on his administrative experience, he recently published "Who We Really Are? Disciplinary Struggles and the Role of Literature in Language Departments" in the ADFL Bulletin (MLA, 2022). Martínez is the editor of Escritoras latinoamericanas del siglo XXI [Twenty-First Century Latin American Women Writers] (Liverpool University Press, 2023). He currently serves as the chair of the Division of Arts and Humanities. Previously, he led the Department of Spanish and served as coordinator of the Latin American & Latino Studies and Gender & Sexuality Studies programs.

Nine faculty members received tenure and promotion to associate professor:

James BlasinaJames Blasina, Music
Musicologist James Blasina specializes in medieval music history. His research explores the dynamics of music and gender in the European Middle Ages, with a special focus on the official and popular cult of St. Katherine of Alexandria in medieval Europe. His teaching and research interests include chant and liturgy, gender studies, the Middle Ages, boy bands, musical theater, and popular music in the former Yugoslavia. As the coordinator for Medieval Studies, Blasina led an embedded study trip to England and France this past summer for his course, Contesting Darkness: Music, Sound and Place in Gothic Europe.

Vasanta ChigantiVasanta Chiganti, Computer Science
Computer Scientist Vasanta Chaganti’s research focuses on the design and evaluation of next-generation network architectures, enabling device and content mobility in the Internet, and performance modeling and data analysis of large-scale networks. Her research addresses the rapid growth of the Internet that led to devices, apps, and internet service providers collecting personal information often unknown to the end user. Chaganti’s research lab aims to affect real-world change through industry collaborations She is also a recipient of the Comcast Innovation Fund.

Maggie DelanoMaggie Delano, Engineering
Electrical engineer Maggie Delano's research interests include the development of monitoring systems for chronic diseases and inclusive engineering design. Delano’s interest in inclusive and anti-oppressive design is also reflected in Inclusive Engineering Design, a course that is half seminar, and half design studio. Delano is a co-author of several papers on inclusive design. They have also authored articles discussing adversarial machine learning, the design of period-tracking apps, and privacy concerns with respect to period trackers post-Dobbs.

Lila FontesLila Fontes, Computer Science
Lila Fontes is a theoretical computer scientist who explores problems involving privacy and communication. Fontes uses math to explore the limits of computation, spanning a broad range of interests including algorithm design and analysis, proving impossibility results and lower bounds, testing and implementing theoretical results, and solving puzzles. In 2023, Fontes won the Best Paper Award at the International Colloquium on Structural Information and Communication Complexity.

Kathryn RileyKathryn Riley 10, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Chemist Kathryn Riley's research involves the analytical techniques for the characterization of nanomaterials and their dynamic transformations in biological and environmental matrices. Her undergraduate research laboratory is developing technologies to monitor and quantify silver nanoparticles and how those incorporated into consumer products, by way of clothing fabrics, may be released during the use of the product. She is also the creator of a science outreach program for students in underserved communities, the LENS Program (Labs on Environmental Science).

Ahmad ShokrAhmad Shokr, History
Ahmad Shokr is a historian of the modern Middle East who focuses on colonialism, nationalism, the history of capitalism, and environmental history. His teaching and research interests include the political economy of empire and decolonization, the history of capitalism, the history of economic thought, environmental history, and postcolonial state formation. Shokr’s forthcoming monograph, Remaking the Plantation: Cotton and End of Empire in Egypt, set between the 1920s and ’60s, explores the relationship between state power and economic management during the era of decolonization.

Hillary SmithHillary Smith, Physics & Astronomy
Physicist Hillary Smith’s research centers around deepening our understanding of the physics of materials by connecting the microscopic structure and dynamics of materials with macroscopic properties. Smith works on energy storage materials, the structure-property-function relationship in battery cathodes, and dynamics and relaxations in glasses. Her research program at Swarthmore involves students in the forefront of research and makes strategic use of national facilities and external collaborations. Smith was recently awarded the Department of Energy Early Career Award as well as a Fulbright Scholar Award.

Jonny ThakkarJonny Thakkar, Political Science
Political Scientist Jonny Thakkar’s research interests include social and political philosophy, ancient philosophy, and history of social and political thought. He is a founding editor of the award-winning literary journal The Point, author of numerous essays, and author of Plato as Critical Theorist (Harvard University Press, 2018). Thakkar’s interdisciplinary course offerings explore the intersections of philosophy, politics, and economics. He is the host of Night Owls, a popular campus conversation series which cultivates discussions of questions that are central to the lives of students and faculty.

Barbara ThelamourBarbara Thelamour, Psychology
Psychologist Barbara Thelamour’s research pursues the study of the impact of race, ethnicity, and culture on the lives of individuals in the U.S. Her research lab, the Identity, Culture, Immigration Lab at Swarthmore College, examines the identity development and cultural adaptation of first- and second-generation adolescents and emerging adults. The lab investigates how relationships with parents and peers, in home and school settings, influence social-emotional and academic outcomes for immigrant youth and other youth of color. Thelamour’s research projects have focused on African and Caribbean immigrants, Black Americans, and Roma adolescents in Eastern Europe. Thelamour is the co-editor of Conceptual and Methodological Approaches to Navigating Immigrant Ecologies (Springer, 2021).

Two non-tenure track faculty members were promoted to associate professor:

Jennifer BradleyJennifer Bradley, Educational Studies
Jennifer Bradley is an educator whose research focuses on race and identity in parenting, organizing, and schooling. Specifically, she explores what young children, educators, and families are doing to understand, disrupt, and transform systems of oppression. Her research is integrated with the work she does inside and outside of the classroom, as she is an advocate for change, equity, and justice. She is a co-founder and core member of the Philly Children’s Movement (PCM), a Black-led, youth-centered collective in service of the Black Lives Matter movement. PCM was founded in Northwest Philadelphia, and has expanded to organize with families and educators throughout the city, across the region, and outside of the U.S.

Joe SmallJoe Small 05, Dance
Taiko Drum Artist Joe Small ’05’s creative work applies elements of postmodern choreography and performance art. As a first-year student at Swarthmore in 2002, his studies in contemporary dance and theater sparked his passion for taiko. Since 2012, Small has been involved in performance and educational activities throughout Japan and overseas as the sole non-Japanese disciple of pioneering solo artist Eitetsu Hayashi and member of his professional ensemble. In 2015, Small debuted his first original evening-length work, "Spall Fragments," which toured Los Angeles and San Francisco the following year. As a solo artist, Small has performed and taught throughout the United States, as well as in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Spain, Switzerland.

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