Promotions to Full Professor on the Charles River Campus

January 24th, 2019

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

I am delighted to announce the promotion of five members of our Charles River Campus faculty to the rank of Full Professor at Boston University.

At the heart of a successful research institution are exceptional faculty. The individuals we recognize today have emerged as leaders, both in their respective areas of research and in their classrooms. They are bridging disciplines and discovering solutions to some of our most pressing challenges, authoring foundational texts that help advance our understanding of the world, and working to inspire a new generation of young scholars and professionals to shape the future. In doing so, they exemplify each day the depth and excellence of Boston University’s talented academic community. We are proud to count them as members of our faculty and are excited to see them reach this significant milestone here at BU:

Japonica Brown-Saracino, CAS, Sociology, studies the social dynamics of cities and community life, focusing on questions of gentrification, culture, sexualities, and identities. Recognized among the leading and most creative voices in her field, she has published extensively in premier sociology journals and authored three acclaimed books, including, most recently, How Places Make Us: Novel LBQ Identities in Four Small Cities (2017). In 2016, she received the Jane Addams Best Article Award from the American Sociological Association, while an earlier work, A Neighborhood that Never Changes: Gentrification, Social Preservation, and the Search for Authenticity (2009), garnered the Urban Affairs Association Best Book Award.

Wiebke Denecke, CAS, East Asian and Comparative Literature, specializes in premodern Asian literature, exploring early thought traditions of philosophy, poetic and court cultures, the development of literary traditions in multiliterate environments, and views of ancient East Asian traditions in the global present. A past recipient of a New Directions Fellowship from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, she has published two major volumes, including 2014’s Classical World Literatures: Sino-Japanese and Greco-Roman Comparisons, and has served as an editor on numerous Norton Anthology, Oxford Handbook, and Wiley-Blackwell Companion projects. Her current research investigates early Japanese literature’s relationship to China and Korea, as well as visions for the global transformation of the humanities.

Adela Pineda Franco, CAS, Romance Studies, researches modern Spanish American literature, culture, and film and their relationship with political history – particularly that of Mexico. A leading scholar of transnational cultural phenomena and the 19th/20th century modernismo movement, she is Director of Latin American Studies in the Pardee School of Global Studies and has published 16 book chapters and two widely cited books, including 2018’sSteinbeck y México: Una mirada cinematográfica en la era de la hegemonía estadounidense, which received the Mexican government’s Malcolm Lowry Fine Arts Literary Essay Award. A forthcoming book explores Hollywood’s depiction of the Mexican revolution.

Amie Grills, Wheelock, Counseling Psychology, specializes in the treatment of child and youth anxiety in school settings, as well as the resiliency factors in individuals of all ages following traumatic events. A frequent presenter at national conferences, she is a past recipient of BU’s United Methodist Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award, is supported by significant grant funding through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and has published two books, nearly 40 papers in high-tier, refereed journals, and 17 book chapters or encyclopedia entries. The most recent book she co-edited, Critical Issues in School Mental Health: Evidence-Based Research, Practice, and Interventions(2015), received Choice Magazine‘s Outstanding Academic Title Award.

Katherine Zhang, ENG, Mechanical Engineering, studies the mechanical behavior of soft biological tissues and composites across multiple scales using experimental techniques and computational modeling – research with translational implications for the diagnosis and treatment of vascular disease. Supported by numerous major grants through NIH and the National Science Foundation (NSF), she is a past NSF CAREER Award winner, a past Clare Boothe Luce Professor, an elected fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the author of dozens of widely cited papers in premier biomedical and biomechanical journals.

Please join me in congratulating these wonderfully talented colleagues on their recent promotions and in wishing them success in their new ranks. It is thanks in large part to their hard work and to yours that Boston University upholds its tradition of excellence and is on track to remain a research and teaching leader for many years to come.

Promotions to Full Professor on the Charles River Campus – 1.24.19

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