Faculty Tenure and Promotions on the Charles River Campus

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

President Brown and I are delighted to announce the promotion of 22 faculty members on the Charles River Campus to the rank of Associate Professor, with tenure; one to the rank of Professor, with tenure; and two to the rank of Associate Professor, non-tenure track.

Each year, these promotions and awards of tenure mark an especially proud moment for the BU community, as we’ve had the pleasure of watching these talented colleagues develop from promising junior faculty into teachers and scholars of national impact and recognition. This year, we have seen them – and our entire teaching and research community – accomplish a remarkable feat by adapting, innovating, and leading by example to successfully complete the most challenging academic term in memory.

In diverse fields across the University, these faculty members are having demonstrable impact in their disciplines and excelling as teachers in our classrooms and laboratories. We continue to see great things ahead for them and are pleased they have chosen BU as the institution at which to advance their careers.

Jennifer Balakrishnan, CAS, Mathematics & Statistics, is a computational number theorist, researching algorithmic number theory and arithmetic geometry. Supported by numerous grants from the Simons Foundation and the National Science Foundation (NSF), including a CAREER award, she is recognized among the world’s leading authorities on the quadratic Chabauty method and the application of p-adic techniques to Diophantine geometry. She is a past Sloan Research Fellow and has published one book, one book chapter, and 17 articles in top-tier mathematics journals, including Annals of Mathematics. She has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure.

Thomas Byrne, SSW, Social Welfare Policy, focuses on housing and homelessness, specifically working to improve policies impacting marginalized, low-income, minority populations and veterans. His research is supported by major grants from the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Health Resources and Services Administration, and he is an investigator with the VA Center for Healthcare Outcomes & Implementation Research. A frequent conference presenter and member of the Boston Mayor’s Advisory Committee to End Homelessness, he has published dozens of articles in respected health policy journals, including Health Affairs, American Journal of Public Health, and Housing Policy Debate. He has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure.

Manuel Egele, ENG, Electrical & Computer Engineering, specializes in systems security, with an emphasis on software security, web security, and security and privacy on mobile systems and online social networks. A recent recipient of his college’s Early Career Research Award, he leads BU’s Secure Systems Lab. His research into malware and the protection of computing platforms is supported by multiple large grants from the NSF, the Office of Naval Research, and Sandia National Labs. He has published numerous articles in his field’s primary conferences and journals and is an editorial board member for Association for Computing Machinery Transactions on Privacy and Security. He has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure.

Andrew Liam Fitzpatrick, CAS, Physics, researches applications of quantum field theory across many areas, including cosmology, astrophysics, materials, and the search for physics “beyond the standard model.” Recognized among the leading international voices in the field of high energy theory, he is a past Sloan Research Fellow, and his work is sponsored by major grants from the Simons Foundation and the US Department of Energy (DOE). He has published over 50 articles in prestigious physics journals, including the Journal of High Energy Physics. He has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure.

Marco Gaboardi, CAS, Computer Science, is an expert in programming languages, focusing specifically on their overlap with algorithms and privacy. He is credited with foundational advances in programming languages, practical software projects, and new developments in the theory and practice of differential privacy and machine learning. He is a past recipient of the Google Faculty Research Award and the Caspar Bowden Award for Outstanding Research in Privacy Enhancing Technologies. His work is funded by major grants from the US Census Bureau (where he is a lead PI) and the NSF, including a CAREER award. He has co-authored one book, edited four book volumes, and published 60 refereed journal and conference papers. He has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure.

Lei Guo, COM, Emerging Media Studies, explores the development of media effects theories, computational social science methodologies, and emerging media and democracy in the United States and China. A founding member of the Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences, she is a past recipient of the Google Research Award and the Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly Outstanding Article Award and was BU’s inaugural East Asia Studies Career Development Professor. Her current work examines the impact of international news coverage of COVID-19, and she is co-PI on a large-scale NSF grant developing tools for analyzing US news in over 100 languages. She has published eight book chapters, one edited book, and over 30 journal articles. She has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure.

Adam Guren, CAS, Economics, is an applied macroeconomist whose research focuses on the housing market and its interaction with the larger economy, including home prices, the recent housing boom and bust, housing wealth effects, foreclosure policy, mortgage design, labor supply, and macroprudential policy. Recognized among the top researchers in his field, he is a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research and past recipient of American Economic Review’s Excellence in Refereeing Award. He has published extensively in top economics journals, including Journal of Finance and Review of Economic Studies. He has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure.

Joseph Harris, CAS, Sociology, conducts comparative historical research at the intersection of sociology, political science, and global health, working to help resolve problems relevant to global and transnational sociology, medical sociology, the sociology of development, and the sociology of human rights. He is co-founder of the American Sociological Association’s Global Health and Development Interest Group and is a past Fulbright Fellow and recipient of his college’s Gitner Award for Distinguished Teaching. He has authored a book, 2017’s Achieving Access: Professional Movements and the Politics of Health Universalism, as well as a book chapter, and published articles and essays in premier medical and academic journals, including The Lancet. He has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure.

Lucy Kim, CFA, Painting, is a multidisciplinary artist specializing in sculptural painting and the exploratory use of innovative new materials. Her work – featured at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary of Art (ICA) and Museum of Fine Arts, among numerous international venues – examines modern approaches to and constructions of the body, including current experiments using melanin in prints. She holds an invitational art residency at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT and is twice a past winner of the ICA’s James and Audrey Foster Prize. Her work has been reviewed by a host of major publications including The New Yorker and The Boston Globe. She has been promoted to Associate Professor.

Sam Ling, CAS, Psychological & Brain Sciences, is a cognitive neuroscientist and vision scientist, who uses functional magnetic resonance imaging, computational modeling, and other methods to examine the mechanisms by which attention influences visual perception. He is a past recipient of the Peter Paul Career Development Professorship and CAS’s Templeton Award for Excellence in Student Advising, and his research is funded by major grants from the NSF and National Institutes of Health (NIH). He has published dozens of widely-cited articles in leading scientific journals, including Nature Communications and Journal of Neurophysiology. He has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure.

Makarand Mody, SHA, Hospitality Marketing, examines marketing and consumer behavior within the hospitality and tourism industries, focusing specifically on the “sharing economy” and rise of industry leaders like Airbnb, as well as on the intersection of hospitality and healthcare. His research has garnered best paper awards from the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education and the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education. He has published two book chapters and 30 articles in premier hospitality journals, including International Journal of Hospitality Management, and Tourism Management Perspectives. He has been promoted to Associate Professor.

Philip Muirhead, CAS, Astronomy, studies the properties and galactic demographics of low-mass stars in the Milky Way and the exoplanets that orbit them. He is a past Scialog Fellow through the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, and his research has been continually supported by grants from the NSF and NASA, where he is a PI or co-PI on multiple projects exploring dwarf stars and their exoplanets. A frequent presenter at conferences and colloquia, he has published 12 conference proceedings and 66 refereed articles in top-tier field journals, including The Astronomical Journal. He has also received his college’s Templeton Award for Excellence in Student Advising. He has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure.

Neil Myler, CAS, Linguistics, specializes in morphology – the study of the forms of words – and its interface with syntax and argument structure. His work covers the English and Romance languages, as well as endangered languages in South America and Africa. Considered among the top global scholars in his field, he has conducted extensive fieldwork on the Quechua and Southern Bantu languages and authored an acclaimed book, Building and Interpreting Possession Sentences (2016), along with six book chapters and several articles in leading linguistics publications. He has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure.

Francesco Orabona, ENG, Electrical & Computer Engineering, bridges the mathematical foundations of learning theory and data science, with applications to scientific, societal, and real-world engineering problems. His efforts have led to the development of autonomous online learning algorithms that require minimal human supervision – first-of-its-kind work that is now part of Microsoft’s machine learning toolkit. The past recipient of a Google Research Award, he is a Data Science Faculty Research Fellow at BU’s Rafik B. Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering and founding faculty member of the Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences. Last year, he served as senior area chair at the Association for Advancement of Artificial Intelligence Conference on Artificial Intelligence. He has published five book chapters and more than 60 peer-reviewed journal articles. He has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure.

Maxwell Palmer, CAS, Political Science, studies American political institutions, Congress, redistricting and election law, and local politics. His current work focuses on the local politics of housing development, the revolving door between public office and private employment, and methods for analyzing redistricting plans. A frequently invited speaker, he has written extensively, co-authoring a highly-regarded book – Neighborhood Defenders (2019) – on participatory politics, one book chapter, and numerous articles in top political science journals, including American Political Science Review. In 2020, he received the American Political Science Association’s Heinz Eulau Award for the best article published in Perspectives on Politics the previous year. He has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure.

Ayşe Parla, CAS, Anthropology, is a sociocultural anthropologist whose work focuses on issues of migration, citizenship, hope, and precarity among ethnic minorities in Turkey. A past fellow and visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study, she has authored an acclaimed book, Precarious Hope: Migration and the Limits of Belonging in Turkey(2019), along with three book chapters, nine encyclopedia entries, and a dozen articles in top peer-reviewed journals, including History and Anthropology. Her current research looks at the post-genocide dispossession of Armenians in Turkey. She has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure.

Spencer Piston, CAS, Political Science, examines American politics, with a focus on public policy, race, class, and criminal justice – in particular, political attitudes about disadvantaged groups in American society. His most recent work focuses on race and policing. He has written a widely praised book, Class Attitudes in America: Sympathy for the Poor, Resentment of the Rich, and Political Implications (2018), as well as three book chapters and 15 articles in leading political science journals, including The Journal of Politics, Public Opinion Quarterly, and Political Psychology. He has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure.

Sahar Sharifzadeh, ENG, Electrical & Computer Engineering, uses first-principles electronic structure methods to understand and predict the electronic, magnetic, and structural properties of materials with the goal of designing resilient new materials for computational and semiconductor use. A recipient of the DOE’s Early Career Award, she is a member of the American Physical Society, the Materials Research Society, and the American Chemical Society, and was named a ‘Rising Star of Science’ by Scientific American. Her research is funded by several major grants from the DOE, NIH, and NSF, including a CAREER award. She is a frequently invited presenter and has published over 30 articles in premier scientific and computing journals. She has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure.

Joshua Shifrinson, Pardee, International Relations, focuses on international security and diplomatic history, particularly the rise and fall of great powers and the origins of grand strategy. His current work examines American foreign policy in the 1990s and early 2000s to explain how great powers try to stop challengers from emerging. A Kissinger China Fellow with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, he has written a book, Rising Titans, Falling Giants: How Great Powers Exploit Power Shifts (2018), as well as seven book chapters and 12 peer-reviewed articles in top foreign policy publications, including the Journal of Strategic Studies and Foreign Affairs. He has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure.

Benjamin Siegel, CAS, History, explores the role of South Asia as the center of global economic, environmental, and political transformations, with special focus on Indian culture, history, and influence. He has published a book, Hungry Nation: Food, Famine, and the Making of Modern India (2018), along with three book chapters and numerous articles in leading US and Indian historical journals and media outlets. His current research explores the transnational history of America’s opioid crisis and is the subject of a forthcoming book. His work has been supported through grants from the American Council of Learned Societies and the American Institution of Indian Studies, and he is a past recipient of his college’s Wisneski Award for Excellence in Teaching. He has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure.

Estelle Yuan Sun, Questrom, Accounting, conducts empirical research into financial accounting, using archival datasets to analyze issues of sustainability and corporate social responsibility, earnings management, investors’ use of financial information, and economic drivers of accounting conservatism. Recognized among the top accounting scholars in her cohort, she is a Dean’s Research Scholar and a past winner of her school’s Noe Research Award and Broderick Award for Excellence in Research. She has published 17 refereed articles in top-tier accounting journals, including Contemporary Accounting Research and Journal of Corporate Finance. She has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure.

Rory Van Loo, LAW, is an expert on the law of consumer markets and governance of businesses operating in the information economy sector, specifically focusing on the intersection between technology and regulation. He is a regular presenter at conferences and symposia and regarded among the nation’s leading scholars bridging the fields of regulatory and institutional design and the conduct of private market actors. He has published 10 articles in leading law journals, including Columbia Law Review and Virginia Law Review and is a past Peter Paul Career Development Professor and recipient of his school’s Dean’s Scholarship Award. He has been promoted to Professor, with tenure.

Emily Whiting, CAS, Computer Science, uses her research in architectural geometry, computer-aided design, and 3D fabrication for numerous applications – from building masonry to the manufacture of materials – to help bridge the gap between geometric modeling, structural engineering, and design. She is a past Innovation Career Development Professor and Sloan Research Fellow, and her research is funded by large grants from the US Department of Defense and the NSF. She has published 30 widely-cited conference and journal articles and last year won the best paper award at the International Conference on Culture and Computing. She has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure.

Rosella Cappella Zielinski, CAS, Political Science, is a scholar of the political economy of security whose research and teaching explore the politics of paying for defense, international conflict, nuclear security, and the relationship between war and society. She is a founder of BU’s Project for the Political Economy of Security and is a non-resident fellow with the Brute Krulak Center for Innovation and Creativity at Marine Corps University. Her 2016 book, How States Pay for Wars, won the American Political Science Association’s best book award in international history and politics, and she has additionally published five book chapters and seven articles in top foreign policy journals, including Foreign Affairs and Journal of Global Security Studies. She has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure.

Vasileios Zikopoulos, Sargent, Human Physiology, uses cutting edge imaging and computational approaches to examine the structural organization, molecular features, and connections of brain circuits in humans or animal models and their disruption in disease – research with significant potential for better understanding attention, mood, and anxiety disorders. He is the director of BU’s Human Systems Neuroscience Laboratory, and his research is supported by several major grants from the NIH. A member of the editorial board at Frontiers in Neuroanatomy, he has published a book chapter and over 30 articles in leading health sciences journals, including Neuroscience and Brain and Language. He has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure.

Please join us in congratulating these exceptionally talented rising scholars, teachers, and researchers on their recent promotions. The standards of academic excellence across a wide variety of fields that they – and you – continue to achieve herald an incredibly bright future for Boston University as both a research leader and an intellectual home for some of the nation’s finest faculty.

Faculty Tenure and Promotions on the Charles River Campus – 5.18.21