2018-2019 Career Development Professorship Awardees

September 11th, 2018

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

Each year, Boston University has the pleasure of recognizing a handful of talented junior educators emerging as future leaders within their respective fields through the award of Career Development Professorships. Made possible through the generous support of distinguished donors and alumni, these professorships are presented to promising junior faculty near the beginning of their independent academic careers.This fall, President Brown and I are delighted to announce the award of four such named professorships.

Supported since 2006 by BU Trustee Peter Paul, thePeter Paul Career Development Professorshipis awarded each year to junior faculty University-wide. The East Asia Studies Career Development Professorship, meanwhile, has been supported since 2015 by a BU alumnus based in Taiwan and recognizes assistant professors in the College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Communication, the College of Fine Arts, and the Questrom School of Business whose research is specific to East Asia, particularly China and Taiwan.Both of these professorships include a three-year award to support research and scholarly or creative work. Nominations are submitted by the academic deans, and awardees are selected by the Office of the Provost.

Additionally, two of this year’s professorships recognize junior faculty in specific BU schools and colleges. Created in 2015 and made possible by gifts in honor of former BU President Aram Chobanian, the Aram V. Chobanian Assistant Professorshipis presented to a full-time Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine as part of BUSM’s ongoing efforts to recruit and retain outstanding junior faculty.

Finally, the Peter J. Levine Career Development Professorshipwas developed in 2015 by the College of Engineering, in partnership with BU alumnus Peter Levine (ENG ’83), to support rising junior faculty in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering. Awardees are selected by the Dean and receive a three-year stipend to support scholarly and laboratory work.

Both individually and collectively, these awards highlight the caliber, potential, and continued vitality of Boston University’s diverse faculty, and serve to buttress BU’s ongoing efforts to lead not only as a global research institution, but also as an incubator of outstanding young talent and exciting new ideas.

This year’s Career Development Professorship recipients have been cited for their exceptional accomplishments in their areas of study, the passion they bring to the creation and transmission of knowledge, and their efforts to enhance the student experience. Whether crossing disciplines to make tangible and lasting research discoveries or authoring foundational texts and new approaches in their fields of exploration, all are having substantial impact and forecast an exceptionally bright future for scholarship at Boston University.

We are delighted to announce that this year’s Peter Paul, East Asia Studies, Aram V. Chobanian and Peter J. Levine Career Development Professors are:

Peter Paul Career Development Professorship

  • Megan Cole
    Assistant Professor of Health Law, Policy & Management, School of Public Health
    Megan Cole’s research studies health care coverage for Medicaid and safety-net populations, focusing on how state and federal reform efforts affect the quality and equity of care for these groups. She holds a doctorate in health services research from Brown University, a master’s degree in health policy and administration from Yale University, and a bachelor’s degree from University of Massachusetts Amherst.
  • Ahmed Ghappour
    Associate Professor of Law, School of Law
    A computer engineer by training, Ahmed Ghappour merges multiple disciplines, exploring the interplay between emerging technologies and law enforcement, particularly in the context of the modern surveillance state and cybersecurity.He holds a law degree from New York University and a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University.
  • Victor Kumar
    Assistant Professor of Philosophy, College of Arts & Sciences
    Victor Kumar’s writings center on ethics and cognitive science, examining how issues around evolutionary theory, feminism, race, and social justice reshape our understanding of individuals and societies. He received his doctorate in philosophy from University of Arizona, his master’s degree in philosophy from University of Alberta, and two bachelor’s degrees from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia.
  • Charlene Ong
    Assistant Professor of Neurology, School of Medicine
    Charlene Ong’s research seeks to create personalized risk assessments of patients with ischemic stroke through development of a comprehensive diagnostic imaging tool that processes physiologic, clinical, and radiographic data. She holds a master’s degree in population health sciences from Washington University (where she completed her residency), a medical degree from Columbia University, and two bachelor’s degrees from University of Pennsylvania.
  • Portia Pedro
    Associate Professor of Law, School of Law
    Portia Pedro teaches and writes about the processes that judges use to make procedural decisions. She also explores the ways in which judges use civil procedure to navigate the tensions between law and equity, standards and rules, finality and fairness, and governments and marginalized groups. She holds a PhD in law from Yale University, a law degree from Harvard Law School, and a bachelor’s degree from University of California, Los Angeles.

East Asia Studies Career Development Professorship

  • April Hughes
    Assistant Professor of Religion, College of Arts & Sciences
    A scholar in the relationship of Buddhism to rulership in medieval China, April Hughes uses lenses of history, politics, and art – including Chinese Buddhist manuscripts and mural paintings – to understand religion within broader cultural and social contexts. She received her doctorate in religion from Princeton University and holds master’s degrees in Asian Studies and East Asian Studies from University of California, Berkeley, and University of California, Los Angeles, respectively, and a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Northridge.

Aram V. Chobanian Assistant Professorship

  • Hugo Aparicio
    Assistant Professor of Neurology, School of Medicine
    Hugo Aparicio’s research focuses on the impact of lifestyle risk factors – namely body weight – on survival after stroke. He additionally works to identify and better understand vascular risk factors to brain injury and aging, cognitive dysfunction, and the development of Alzheimer’s disease and to improve care for those with stroke and dementia. He holds a medical degree from University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree in public health from Harvard University, and a bachelor’s degree from Emory University.

Peter J. Levine Career Development Professorship

  • Wenchao Li
    Assistant Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering, College of Engineering
    A leading researcher in all areas of dependable computing, Wenchao Li develops computational proof methods and machine learning techniques to aid the construction of safe, reliable, and secure systems. He holds both a doctorate and master’s degree in electrical engineering and computer sciences from University of California, Berkeley, where he also received his bachelor’s degree. 

Please join us in congratulating these talented educators for this achievement, and in wishing them continued success in their teaching and research in the years ahead.

2018-2019 Career Development Professorship Awardees – 9.11.18

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