Promotions and Tenure Announced for 12 Charles River Campus Faculty Members

May 10th, 2013

From Dr. Jean Morrison, University Provost and Chief Academic Officer

President Brown and I are delighted to announce the promotion of 10 members of our Charles River Campus faculty to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure, one to the rank of Professor with tenure, and one award of tenure to an Associate Professor.

These promotions and tenures mark a very proud moment for the BU community, as we’ve had the pleasure of watching these talented women and men develop from junior faculty into scholars and teachers of national impact and recognition. In fields as diverse as the sciences, humanities, business and law, these faculty members have fulfilled the promise we saw in them as they began their careers at Boston University.  They are producing research and scholarship that is having a demonstrable impact in their disciplines and they are excelling as teachers in our classrooms. We see great things ahead for them and are pleased they have chosen BU as the place to launch their independent careers:

Elizabeth Blanton, CAS, Astronomy, specializes in cosmology, with a focus on the evolution of galaxies. In particular, she studies the X-ray emissions from the superheated plasma at the heart of clusters of galaxies. She has received substantial NASA funding to support her X-ray telescope observations of galaxy clusters.  In addition to teaching Astronomy at all levels at BU, she is active in public science outreach through the Boston Museum of Science, where she is an adviser on the science of black holes. She has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure.

Brooke Blower, CAS, History, specializes in the cultural history of the 20th century United States, with emphasis on transnational contexts, actors and approaches to U.S. History. She is the author of the award-winning Becoming Americans in Paris: Transatlantic Politics and Culture between the World Wars (2011), a forthcoming book tracing Americans’ engagement with international politics from 1900-1950, and numerous articles, essays, book chapters and presentations.  She has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure.

Arianne Chernock, CAS, History, specializes in modern British and European history, with an emphasis on gender, culture and politics. A Royal Historical Society Fellow, she is the author of the award-winning Men and the Making of Modern British Feminism (2010), a forthcoming book on the rights of women in Victorian Britain, and numerous articles and presentations on the history of women and human rights across national boundaries and chronological epochs. She has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure.

Irit Ruth Kleiman, CAS, Romance Studies, specializes in literature of the late Middle Ages, with particular emphasis on the birth of autobiography in France. An emerging international authority on medieval writing, she has received several BU-based awards for her scholarship and is the author of six book chapters, numerous highly praised reviews, articles and translations. Her award-winning book, Philippe de Commynes: Memory, Betrayal, Text was just published by the University of Toronto Press.  She has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure.

Cheryl Knott, CAS, Anthropology, specializes in biological anthropology.  She is a world’s expert on orangutan behavior and biology, and established the Gunung Palung Orangutan Project research station in Indonesia in 1994. She is very active in both research and conservation activities, and received the 2011 Templeton Award for Excellence in Student Advising for her work with undergraduates. She has been awarded tenure as an Associate Professor.

Sigrun Olafsdottir, CAS, Sociology, specializes in medical sociology and sociology of mental health, focusing on how institutional arrangements – including cultural and political factors – influence individual patient outcomes. A core member of the Global Stigma study team, she has received numerous federal and international grants to support her research and authored three book chapters, and dozens of papers and journal articles on mental health and health disparities. She has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure.

Merav Opher, CAS, Astronomy, specializes in computational and theoretical plasma physics in space and astrophysics, most recently working to develop an understanding of generic star-planet interactions in extra-solar planetary systems. The recipient of a Presidential Early Career Award and an NSF CAREER Award, she has written dozens of well-cited journal articles on magnetic fields and solar systems and has served in several leadership roles in the Space Physics and Astronomy community. She has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure.

M. Kevin Outterson, LAW, specializes in corporate and health law, focusing his interdisciplinary research on the organization and finance of the health sector. A co-director of the Health Law Program and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, he has published nine book chapters, dozens of acclaimed articles in medical and legal journals, and most recently, four amicus briefs for the U.S. Supreme Court on the Affordable Health Care Act. He has been promoted to Professor, with tenure.

Zhongjun Qu, CAS, Economics, specializes in the science of econometrics, using and developing data processes, models and equations to help extract patterns and correlations from vast economic information over time. He has published or co-written numerous widely cited scholarly articles and working papers on topics ranging from structural changes in equations to inference and identification in macroeconomic models. He has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure.

Timothy Simcoe, SMG, Strategy and Innovation, specializes in the science behind standards setting, with a focus on the dynamics of voluntary standard-setting organizations. He is the winner of a Rotman Excellence in Teaching Award and has authored numerous widely cited journal articles, papers and book chapters on a range of topics, from strategy and economics to the management of technology and innovation. He has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure.

Corey J. Stephenson, CAS, Chemistry, specializes in synthetic organic chemistry, focusing on the use of simple, environmentally friendly light sources to initiate chemical reactions. He is the recipient of an NSF CAREER Award, a Sloan Fellowship, and, most recently, a Novartis Early Career Award, and has been called a pioneer in the field of photocatalysis. He has published more than 25 articles in leading organic chemistry journals and has delivered more than 75 talks around the globe. He has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure.

J. Keith Vincent, CAS, Japanese and Comparative Literature, specializes in East Asian languages and cultures, with an emphasis on Japanese canonical literature and the culture’s shifting views of sexuality over history. The winner of two top awards for Japanese-English translations, he has emerged as a leading scholar of Japanese writing, authoring or co-editing seven books and dozens of articles, book chapters, encyclopedia entries and academic reviews. He has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure.

Please join me in congratulating these exceptionally talented rising scholars, teachers and researchers on their recent promotions and in wishing them the best of luck in their new positions. The standard of academic excellence they – and you – continue to set each day heralds an incredibly bright future for Boston University as both a research leader and launching pad for some of the nation’s finest faculty.

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