Meet the Newly Promoted Charles River Campus Professors

Faculty from CAS, CFA, ENG, LAW, Pardee, Questrom, Sargent, SSW, STH, Wheelock

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The recently promotd BU faculty on the Charles River Campus “are having demonstrable impact in their disciplines and excelling as teachers in our classrooms and laboratories,” says Jean Morrison, University provost. Photo by Cydney Scott

June 10, 2019
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Nearly three dozen faculty on the BU Charles River Campus—with areas of expertise ranging from fluid dynamics to the literature of late imperial Russia and the effectiveness of rehabilitation and exercise interventions for patients suffering from neurological conditions to the history of American religion—have been promoted to the rank of associate professor, 31 with tenure and 2 non—tenure track. In addition, a School of Law professor has been promoted to the rank of professor with tenure.

“BU faculty continue to demonstrate that they are some of the very best in the country. The highly talented professors we recognize with these promotions are leading the way across their diverse fields of study,” says Jean Morrison, BU provost. “They are producing important new scholarship, research, and creative work that positively advance our way of life. We are delighted to celebrate and support their success as they move forward in their careers at Boston University.”

Promoted to associate professor with tenure:

Aaron Beeler, College of Arts & Sciences associate professor of chemistry, combines organic chemistry, engineering, and biology to synthesize complex small molecules for use in medicinal chemistry and the treatment of disease. He is a current National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award recipient, is supported by multiple major grants from the NSF, the Department of Defense, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and has authored nearly 50 widely cited articles in top-level field publications. He is a past recipient of the CAS Dean’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Education and the Thieme Chemistry Journals Award and is the regional editor for the Journal of Flow Chemistry.

Peter Blake, CAS associate professor of psychological and brain sciences, examines the development of children’s cooperative behaviors from early childhood, focusing on the cognitive and social processes—from altruism and fairness to competition—that underlie their interactions around material goods. He has published dozens of articles in premier field journals, including Nature, is a frequently invited speaker at national and international conferences, and his work has been profiled by the Boston Globe, CBS Boston, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He is the director of the BU Social Development and Learning Lab.

Yuri Corrigan, CAS associate professor of Russian and comparative literature, studies the intersections of literature, philosophy, religion, and psychology in the literature of late imperial Russia, with a special focus on Chekhov and Dostoevsky. He has written several book chapters, reviews, journal articles, and a book, Dostoevsky and the Riddle of the Self (Northwestern University Press, 2017), with two more in development, surveying Chekhov’s and Dostoevsky’s influence on contemporary ethical and religious thought.

Daniel Erker, CAS associate professor of Spanish and linguistics, specializes in sociolinguistics, exploring issues of language variation, acoustic and articulatory phonetics, Spanish in the United States, the languages of Latin America, and the evolution of human language. He is the director of the NSF-funded Spanish in Boston Project, has published seven book chapters and numerous articles in top-tier linguistics journals, and is a past recipient of the CAS Templeton Prize for Excellence in Student Advising.

Jonathan Foltz, CAS associate professor of English, specializes in 20th-century British and American literature and film, with particular expertise in Modernism and the relationship between written texts and moving-image media. A frequent conference presenter and guest lecturer, he has written the book The Novel after Film: Modernism and the Decline of Autonomy (Oxford University Press, 2018), a book chapter, and numerous articles, essays, and film reviews in leading literary publications. He received a junior faculty fellowship from BU’s Center for the Humanities in 2015.

John Marston, CAS associate professor of archaeology and anthropology, studies the long-term sustainability of agriculture and land use, especially in the Mediterranean and western Asia, focusing on how people make decisions about land use within changing economic, social, and environmental settings. A past recipient of the CAS Gitner Award for Distinguished Teaching and BU’s Peter Paul Career Development Professorship, he has authored two books, most recently the award-winning Agricultural Sustainability and Environmental Change at Ancient Gordion (University of Pennsylvania Museum Press, 2017), and dozens of manuscript reviews and articles in leading field publications.

Alexis Peri, CAS associate professor of history, specializes in the history of modern Russia and Eastern Europe, particularly the Soviet period, with strong interest in the history of modern warfare, terror and terrorism, women and gender, and the importance of literature in history. She has written The War Within: Diaries from the Siege of Leningrad (Harvard University Press, 2017), which won the Pushkin House Russian Book Prize and the Southern California Book Prize in Literary and Cultural Studies, four book chapters, and three articles in leading Russian history reviews.

Deborah Perlstein, CAS associate professor of chemistry, is a chemical biologist who works to understand the molecular details of how important enzymatic processes function in living systems—in particular, iron-sulfur cluster biosynthesis and its role in bacterial cell growth and division. A current NSF CAREER Award recipient, she is supported by two major federal grants, has published more than 20 articles in top biochemistry journals, and has delivered dozens of conference presentations, including several invited talks in her field at Gordon Conferences.

Anthony Petro, CAS associate professor of religion and of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, examines the history of American religion, focusing largely on its intersection with other cultural forms, including sexuality, politics, medicine, and art. He is the author of After the Wrath of God: AIDS, Sexuality, and American Religion (Oxford University Press, 2015) and has two additional book projects in development, exploring sex, art, and religion, and the history of religious engagements with US health and disability policy. He has written six book chapters and three journal articles and won several BU-based honors for writing and scholarship in the humanities. He is the Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies program director of graduate studies.

Simon Rabinovitch, CAS associate professor of history, is a scholar of modern Jewish and European history. His writings examine legal history, Jewish politics in revolutionary Russia, Jewish nationalist thought, and Jewish folkloristics and ethnography. A past recipient of BU’s Peter Paul Career Development Professorship, he has published three books, most recently Defining Israel: The Jewish State, Democracy, and the Law (Hebrew Union College Press, 2018), seven book chapters, and several articles in leading history journals. His book Jewish Rights, National Rites: Nationalism and Autonomy in Late Imperial and Revolutionary Russia (Stanford Studies in Jewish History and Culture, 2015) was named Outstanding Academic Title by the American Library Association’s Choice magazine.

Trevor Siggers, CAS associate professor of biology, specializes in molecular and computational biology, using integrative biochemical and genomic approaches to study gene regulation in the immune and inflammatory systems. A recent recipient of the CAS Dean’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Education, he has been supported by major NIH and NSF grants and has written a book chapter and numerous articles in top scientific journals, including Science.

Amanda Tarullo, CAS associate professor of psychological and brain sciences, examines the effects of early experiences, including stress and adversity, on the neural and behavioral development of infants and young children across a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds. She was named Outstanding Early Career Psychologist last year by the American Psychological Association, is an elected board member of the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology, and is a past recipient of the CAS Templeton Award for Excellence in Student Advising. She is director of BU’s Brain and Early Experiences Laboratory and has published extensively in premier psychological journals.

James C. Bird, College of Engineering associate professor of mechanical engineering and of materials science and engineering, specializes in fluid dynamics, studying the physical properties of drops and bubbles and their implications for areas as diverse as healthcare, energy, and materials. A past NSF CAREER Award and Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award winner, he holds three patents, has published extensively in leading scientific and engineering journals, including Nature, and was named this past year to PRISM Magazine’s “20 Under 40” list by the American Association for Engineering Education.

Mary Dunlop, ENG associate professor of biomedical engineering, researches how microbes use feedback to respond to changes in their environments, focusing primarily on single-cell differences in antibiotic resistance. Considered an emerging leader in the field of synthetic biology, she is a past recipient of the American Chemical Society’s Synthetic Biology Young Investigator Award and an NSF CAREER Award, has written dozens of articles in top scientific journals, including Science, and is supported by several major NSF and NIH grants

Douglas Holmes, ENG associate professor of mechanical engineering and of materials science and engineering, investigates the mechanics, physics, and geometry of slender structures (typically comprising rods, plates, and shells), working to harness material and structural instability for advanced functionality. A past NSF CAREER Award recipient, he is supported by major grants through the NSF and the Department of Defense and has written a book chapter and dozens of articles in leading engineering and physics journals.

Ahmad “Mo” Khalil, ENG associate professor of biomedical engineering, specializes in synthetic and systems biology, researching the function and evolution of molecular networks and how to build handles to control such networks in cells—a field with therapeutic and diagnostic applications. Supported by numerous major federal and private grants, he has published extensively in premier engineering and scientific journals and is a past recipient of a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, an NSF CAREER Award, a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Young Faculty Award, a BU Innovation Career Development Professorship, and ENG’s Outstanding Professor of the Year award.

Alex Olshevsky, ENG associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and of systems engineering, researches optimization and control, especially in distributed, multi-agent, and networked systems. Supported by numerous major grants from the NSF, the US Air Force, and the US Navy, he is a past NSF CAREER Award and Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Award winner and has published dozens of articles and papers in leading electrical and electronics engineering journals and conference proceedings.

Miloš Popović, ENG associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, specializes in silicon chip technology, employing first-principles theory and photonics at the micro- and nanoscale to create integrated systems-on-chip that enable new modes of communication, computation, signal processing, and sensing. A past BU Innovation Career Development Professor and David & Lucille Packard Foundation Fellow, he holds 20 US patents, has been supported by several major NSF grants, and has written two book chapters and dozens of conference papers and articles in premier scientific and engineering journals, including Nature.

Darren Roblyer, ENG associate professor of biomedical engineering, utilizes optical imaging and spectroscopy to study cancer at the molecular, cellular, and tissue levels, with the goal of personalizing cancer therapies through continuous monitoring with label-free and safe optical technologies. Widely regarded as a pioneer in this emerging field, he is supported by major Department of Defense and NSF grants and is a recent recipient of the American Cancer Society’s Mission Boost Award, BU’s Technology Development Ignition Award, and the Coulter Translational Research Partnership Award. He has written three book chapters and dozens of articles in leading biomedical journals.

Wilson Wong, ENG associate professor of biomedical engineering, researches synthetic biology, applying new advances in metabolic and immune cell engineering to T-cell therapy for cancer, drug-regulated synthetic gene switches, and biocomputing in mammalian cells. A recent recipient of American Chemical Society Synthetic Biology’s Young Investigator Award and of ENG’s Early Career Research Excellence Award, he is supported by numerous major NSF and NIH grants, holds four patents, and has written two book chapters and dozens of articles in leading scientific journals, including Cell.

Kaija Schilde, Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies associate professor of international relations, studies the political economy of security and transatlantic security, focusing on issues related to European defense industry policy, spending, and technology, as well as migration, trafficking, and border security. She has written The Political Economy of European Security (Cambridge University Press, 2017), three book chapters, and several articles in leading international relations journals. She is a recent recipient of the Pardee School Gitner Family Faculty Excellence Prize.

Michael Woldemariam, Pardee associate professor of international relations, is a scholar of African politics, focusing on the dynamics of armed conflict, the behavior of rebel organizations and self-determination movements, and post-conflict institution-building—largely within the Horn of Africa region. A frequent presenter at international conferences, he has written Insurgent Fragmentation in the Horn of Africa: Rebellion and Its Discontents (Cambridge University Press, 2018), two book chapters, and four articles in premier international relations publications and is a Security Fellow at the Truman National Security Project in Washington, D.C.

Tal Gross, Questrom School of Business associate professor of markets, public policy, and law, bridges health economics and health policy through his research, examining the impact of health insurance policy and coverage on labor supply, the utilization of public and private healthcare options, and consumer finance—particularly bankruptcy. He has published more than 20 articles in premier economics journals and is a past recipient of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management Raymond Vernon Memorial Award for best article. He is also a National Bureau of Economic Research Faculty Research Fellow.

Scott Robertson, Questrom associate professor of finance, specializes in mathematical finance, focusing on theoretical and practical problems, including portfolio choice for long-term horizons, large investor behavior, mortgage-backed securities, and valuation of contingent claims. He has published extensively in top math finance journals, is supported by a major NSF grant, and is a past recipient of the Questrom Broderick Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Andrea Vedolin, Questrom associate professor of finance, studies international finance and the effects of uncertainty on asset prices, constructing theoretical models around markets that are then followed by careful empirical analysis. She has published seven articles in some of her fields’ top journals, among them the Journal of Finance, and is a past recipient of the Institute of Financial Mathematics in Montreal Mathematical Finance Days Best Paper Award.

Georgios Zervas, Questrom associate professor of marketing, works on problems at the intersection of marketing, computer science, and economics, focusing especially on large-scale empirical studies of internet markets. A computer scientist by training, he has written several widely cited articles for top-tier marketing and computer science journals, including Journal of Marketing Research, chronicling issues ranging from Airbnb’s impact on the hotel industry to online reputation management. He is a past recipient of the Questrom Shadadpuri Research Award.

Theresa Ellis (MED’05), Sargent College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences associate professor of physical therapy, investigates the effectiveness of rehabilitation and exercise interventions for patients with neurological conditions like Parkinson’s disease, focusing additionally on the use of mobile health technologies and behavioral interventions. She is the director of the BU Center for Neurorehabilitation and the Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency Program, has published 8 book chapters and more than 60 articles in leading therapy and scientific journals, and is currently supported by several major grants from the NIH and other organizations.

Christopher Salas-Wright, School of Social Work associate professor of human behavior, investigates substance use disorders, cultural stress, and adaptation among immigrants and works to develop prevention and intervention programs to tackle substance abuse and violence among Latino adolescents. Supported by major grants through the NIH, he is the coauthor of Drug Abuse and Antisocial Behavior: A Biosocial Life-Course Approach (Palgrave MacMillan, 2016) and has written 9 book chapters and more than 120 articles in high-impact social work journals. He received the Society for Social Work and Research 2019 Deborah K. Padgett Early Career Achievement Award.

Linda Sprague Martinez, SSW associate professor of macro practice, researches urban community practice, focusing on improving conditions for communities of color suffering disproportionate consequences from a range of social and health problems. She is a past Boston Housing Authority Resident Empowerment honoree, is supported by major grants from the NIH and the Department of Health and Human Services, and has published 8 book chapters and 30 articles in leading social work journals.

David Decosimo, School of Theology associate professor of theology, explores the writings of Thomas Aquinas, Christian ethics, and Christian-Muslim comparative theology, focusing especially on philosophical, theological, and theoretical questions surrounding relations among Christians, Muslims, Jews, and atheists. In addition to numerous journal articles, essays, and book chapters, he has published the book Ethics as a Work of Charity: Thomas Aquinas and Pagan Virtue (Stanford University Press, 2014), which won the University of Heidelberg’s Manfred Lautenschlaeger Prize for Theological Promise. He is currently at work on two books, examining Christian ethics and domination in Christianity and Islam.

Leslie Dietiker, Wheelock College of Education & Human Development associate professor of mathematics education, specializes in the study and creation of mathematics curricula and the professional development of future high school math teachers. A past NSF CAREER Award winner and recipient of its Robert Noyce Teaching Scholarship Program award, she is an elected board member of the International Society of the Design and Development of Education and a frequent conference presenter and has published numerous book chapters and articles in leading mathematics education journals. She is also a past Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators STaR Fellow.

Promoted to associate professor:

Karen Hendricks, College of Fine Arts associate professor of music education, is a K-12 music education scholar, with a specialty in stringed instrument instruction. Additionally, she researches issues of power, privilege, and inclusion of marginalized groups in music education. She is the author of two books, including Compassionate Music Teaching (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018), six book chapters, and several articles for top music journals and is a past winner of the American String Teachers Association National Early Career String Researcher Award.

Catherine “Ketty” Nez, CFA associate professor of composition and music theory, is an opera composer and pianist, focusing her artistic work most recently on Eastern European folk tales and women’s experiences within these stories. She has released three CDs since arriving at BU in 2005, two with Albany Records, the premier recording label for American music. A frequently invited lecturer at some of the nation’s top music schools, she has received nine commissions from institutions around the world, in Italy, Macedonia, Hungary, Canada, New York, and Boston, among others, and has had more than 90 performances of her works globally.

Promoted to professor with tenure:

Paul Gugliuzza, School of Law professor of law, specializes in civil procedure, federal courts, and intellectual property law, with particular focus on how patent law is formulated and applied. A past recipient of the LAW Dean’s Award for Teaching, he is considered among the nation’s top scholars in patent litigation and has testified before Congress on patent enforcement. He is the author of numerous articles for leading law reviews, including the Emory Law Journal and Georgetown Law Journal.

BU Today will publish a list of Medical Campus faculty promoted to associate professor on June 14.

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Meet the Newly Promoted Charles River Campus Professors

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