Promotions to Full Professor 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 24 members of our Charles River Campus faculty to the rank of full professor at Boston University.

Outstanding faculty are at the core of a successful research institution, producing discoveries and solutions each day that improve our quality of life, scholarship that advances our understanding of the world, and teaching that inspires and prepares new generations of young scholars and professionals to shape the future. The individuals we recognize today have emerged as leaders, both in their respective areas of research and in their classrooms. At a time of extraordinary transition in the world, they are meeting that change by embarking on highly relevant new areas of inquiry, employing innovative new approaches, and pursuing boundary-pushing collaborations across dozens of disciplines. 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 excited to see them reach this significant milestone here at BU:

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 a recent recipient of the American Mathematical Society’s Joan and Joseph Birman Fellowship for Women Scholars and the Association for Women in Mathematics’ Microsoft Research Prize in Algebra and Number Theory. She has published one book, one book chapter, and 17 articles in top-tier mathematics journals, including La Matematica.

Taylor Boas, CAS, Political Science, specializes in comparative politics in Latin America, focusing predominantly on campaigns, corruption, electoral accountability, and mass media, applying quantitative and qualitative methods. He has earned a reputation as one of the leading scholars on the politics of Brazil, with recent work examining the electoral activities of Latin America’s growing evangelical community. He has written two books, including 2016’s Presidential Campaigns in Latin America: Electoral Strategies and Success Contagion with a third currently under review, along with 10 book chapters and numerous journal articles, book reviews, and working papers examining elections in Central and South America.

Tereasa Brainerd, CAS, Astronomy, has gained international recognition for work establishing weak lensing – the tiny change in the apparent shape of distant galaxies as their light passes close to another massive object – as a powerful probe for better understanding the structure and evolution of the universe as well as furthering the exploration of dark matter. Her current NSF-sponsored research studies the spatial and velocity distributions of satellite galaxies and uses computing and data methods, such as neural networks and machine learning, to simplify simulations. She has published two books, two book chapters, and dozens of refereed articles in top science journals, including The Astrophysical Journal.

François Brochet, Questrom, Accounting, specializes in mainstream accounting, focusing on corporate governance and its interactions with and effects upon financial markets. Recent research has examined the effectiveness of investor relations in insider- versus outsider-oriented markets, as well as the impact of investor activism on corporate shareholder meetings. He is a recent recipient of The Accounting Review’s Outstanding Reviewer Award, is associate editor of Contemporary Accounting Research and Journal of Law, Finance, and Accounting, and sits on the editorial boards of three top accounting publications. A regularly invited conference speaker, he has published extensively in premier field journals.

Stephanie Curenton, Wheelock, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, studies the social, cognitive, and language development of racially marginalized children within various contexts, including parent-child interactions, early childhood care and education, professional development of the early childhood workforce, and related policies at the state and federal level. She is executive director of the BU Center on the Ecology of Early Development and associate editor of Early Education and Development and was recently named Mentor of the Year by the Society for Research on Child Development Black Caucus. She has secured major federal and foundation grant support for her research and published three books, two book chapters, and numerous widely cited articles in top journals, including Child Development Perspectives.

Anna Devor, ENG, Biomedical Engineering, is an expert in neurophotonics, whose work uses neuronal imaging and new strategies to better understand brain function. She is among the world’s leading authorities in the use of noninvasive methods to measure neural activity in humans and in animal models. Supported by several substantial National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants, she is the chief editor of the journal Neurophotonics and an elected fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. She is a frequently invited conference presenter and has published three book chapters and 88 articles – with over 8,700 citations – in high-profile scientific journals.

Theresa Ellis, Sargent, Physical Therapy, specializes in neurorehabilitation, investigating the impact of exercise and rehabilitation on the progression of disability in those with Parkinson’s disease. She is the chair of her department, the director of the BU Center for Neurorehabilitation, and a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association. In 2022, she received the American Parkinson Disease Association’s Shawn Thornton Service Award. Her research is supported by several NIH and NSF grants, and she has published over 90 journal articles, as well as established guidelines for her field. She is on the editorial board of the Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy and a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and the Movement Disorders Society.

Keith Ericson, Questrom, Markets, Public Policy & Law, researches health care and behavioral economics, examining how pricing regulation in health-care markets (such as the MA Health Insurance Exchange and Medicare Part D) interacts with imperfect competition, as well as the foundations of economic decision making. His recent work has studied how product standardization affects choice on insurance exchanges and how mandates to purchase insurance affect behavior. He is a current Dean’s Research Scholar in Questrom and a past recipient of Questrom’s Noe Research Award. He has published a book chapter and dozens of articles in important field journals, including The Quarterly Journal of Economics, the American Economic Review, and the Journal of the European Economic Association.

Terry Everson, CFA, Music, is a Grammy Award-winning trumpet virtuoso and teacher of trumpet performance, orchestral techniques, and brass chamber music, who has performed and given masterclasses throughout the United States, Central America, Europe, and Asia. He is a key player in internationally recognized ensembles, including the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and the Boston Pops, and has given dozens of solo recitals, orchestral concerts, and concerts as a chamber musician, ranging from Brandenburg’s 2nd Concerto to Gershwin, jazz, and music on sacred themes. A past recipient of BU’s Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching, he has produced seven solo recordings and 69 orchestral recordings and won or been nominated for multiple Grammys and Gramophone Awards.

Jeffrey Furman, Questrom, Strategy & Innovation, researches issues at the intersection of strategy, international business, and innovation. His recent projects examine the strategic management of science-based firms, the impact of institutions on cumulative innovation, and science and innovation policy. He is an active member of the Academy of Management and has published seven book chapters and articles in a variety of top-tier business and science journals, including American Economic Journal, the Review of Economics & Statistics, Research Policy, and Nature, among others. A frequent conference presenter, he has also served on several editorial review boards, and is a past recipient of the Questrom Prize for Excellence in Service to the Undergraduate Program.

Jennifer Greif Green, Wheelock, Teaching & Learning, is a child clinical psychologist, whose work focuses on supporting students with emotional/behavioral disorders and bullying prevention. Specifically, she studies teacher identification of students with mental health needs, racial and ethnic disparities in mental health service access, and youth bullying involvement. She co-directs the BU Social Adjustment and Bullying Prevention Laboratory and is editor of the Journal of Education. Her research is supported by several federal grants, and she has published four book chapters and over 60 articles in elite education and psychology journals, including School Mental Health. She has been named a Web of Science Highly Cited Researcher multiple times and is a past recipient of Wheelock’s Excellence in Graduate Advising Award.

Tarek Hassan, CAS, Economics, specializes in international macroeconomics and finance, as well as economic history and determinants of growth. He has gained recognition across his field for research into how portfolio-building strategies affect currency exchange markets. His more recent work applies natural language processing to earnings calls to evaluate firm-level exposure to risk, including political risk, Brexit, and COVID-19 – and how those risk factors determine outcomes such as investment and stock price volatility. He is a frequent presenter at international economics conferences and has published in numerous top-tier journals, including Annual Review of Economics and The American Economic Review.

Ahmad “Mo” Khalil, ENG, Biomedical Engineering, is a synthetic and systems biologist who seeks to understand the design principles of living systems by creating and analyzing synthetic ones in the laboratory. Specifically, he works to construct and dissect the molecular circuits that control gene regulation in eukaryotes, research that has helped produce programmable cellular therapies to address pressing human diseases. He has also helped develop automation technologies to enable greater efficiency in lab research. Supported by major NIH, NSF, and foundation grants, he has won numerous young investigator awards and ENG’s Outstanding Professor of the Year Award. He is a current recipient of the Schmidt Science Polymath Award, the US Department of Defense’s Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship, and the W.M. Keck Foundation Medical Research Award. He has published over 50 articles in top journals.

John Marston, CAS, Anthropology, is an environmental archaeologist who studies the long-term sustainability of agriculture and land use, with a focus on ancient societies of the Mediterranean and western and central Asia. His research specifically examines how people make decisions about land use within changing economic, social, and environmental settings, and how those decisions affect the environment at local and regional scales. He has secured grant funding from National Geographic, the NSF, Fulbright, and the American Philosophical Society to support his field research and has published six book chapters and 18 journal articles. He is a past recipient of CAS’s Templeton and Gitner awards for excellence in teaching, advising, and mentoring and of the Archaeological Institute of America’s James R. Wiseman Book Award.

Lida Maxwell, CAS, Political Science, is a political theorist whose work touches on several related areas, including feminist theory, queer theory, contemporary democratic theory, environmental political theory, and law and politics. She has presented her work at the meetings of the Western, Midwest, and American Political Science associations, as well as at numerous American and European universities. A 2020 recipient of Contemporary Political Theory’s best article award, she has published four widely praised books, including 2019’s Insurgent Truth: Chelsea Manning and the Politics of Outsider Truth, along with three book chapters and articles in top peer-reviewed publications. A fifth book examining the contributions of Rachel Carson and Dorothy Freeman is in development.

Rachell Powell, CAS, Philosophy, is an expert in multiple fields of philosophy, whose research explores conceptual and methodological problems in evolutionary theory, as well as ethical dimensions of the new biosciences. She has additionally made contributions in human evolution, the evolution of morality, theories of disease, animal and environmental philosophy, and the biomedical enhancement of human capacities. She has published two books, including 2020’s Contingency and Convergence: Toward a Cosmic Biology of Body and Mind, along with dozens of book chapters, papers, and articles in leading philosophical and bioethics journals. She is associate editor of Life Sciences, Philosophy & Technology, and her work has been supported through numerous federal and foundation grants.

Kate Saenko, CAS, Computer Science, specializes in machine learning, concentrating on the development of new systems to enhance vision and language understanding. The recipient of several active federal grants supporting her research into artificial intelligence, she has published extensively in leading computer science journals, and is director of BU’s Computer Vision Learning Group and a consulting professor at the MIT-IBM Watson Lab. She additionally co-directs BU’s Artificial Intelligence Research Initiative through the Rafik B. Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering. Last year, she received an AI 2000 Most Influential Scholar Honorable Mention in Computer Vision, and in 2017, she received the Most Innovative Solution award, alongside her students, in the IEEE Large-Scale Activity Recognition Challenge.

Johannes Schmieder, CAS, Economics, is an empirical microeconomist whose research is at the intersection of labor and public economics. He is among the nation’s top scholars in unemployment insurance and has made significant contributions as well in the study of domestic outsourcing, job search and matching, and the source of wage differentials across firms. He is a past recipient of BU’s Neu Family Award for Teaching Excellence in Economics and the Peter Paul Career Development Professorship and has published over a dozen articles in top-tier economics reviews, including Journal of Public Economics and Quarterly Journal of Economics. He has additionally received two excellence in refereeing awards from American Economic Review.

Henrik Selin, Pardee, International Relations, is a leading scholar of global environmental governance, researching international environmental cooperation and policy making in the context of advancing sustainable development. He has made important contributions around the governance of mercury pollution and other hazardous chemicals. He is associate dean for studies within Pardee and associate director of BU’s Institute on Sustainable Development and additionally serves as editor of Global Environmental Politics. His research has been sponsored by numerous agencies including the NSF and the International Renewable Energy Agency. He has published two books, including 2020’s Mercury Stories: Understanding Sustainability through a Volatile Element, along with 14 book chapters and articles in top journals.

Konstantinos Spiliopoulos, CAS, Mathematics & Statistics, researches probability, stochastic processes, and statistics, exploring the application of stochastic partial differential equations to challenges in the sciences, engineering, and finance. He has also worked to establish deep new mathematical theory and to solve important applied scientific problems in cellular biology, data science, machine learning, and neural networks, among several fields. Supported by numerous NSF grants, he is a member of BU’s Center for Information & Systems Engineering, a past Simons Fellow in Mathematics, and a frequently invited lecturer. He has published two book chapters and 35 articles in important mathematics and scientific journals.

Jared Weinstein, CAS, Mathematics & Statistics, specializes in number theory, with a focus on automorphic representation theory, which explores abstract algebraic structures. He is recognized internationally as a leading scholar in the field of p-adic geometry, particularly the local geometry of Shimura varieties. He is a past Simons Foundation Fellow and Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, has published extensively in his field’s top journals, and has been a PI on numerous NSF grants. He is recognized as one of the few people in the world who are conversant enough with the new “perfectoid” geometry – replacing the traditional rings of arithmetic geometry – to be able to apply it usefully and further advance the field.

Marcus Winters, Wheelock, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, is an education policy researcher whose work focuses on how educational reforms influence student outcomes, including teacher quality, standards and accountability, and charter schools. He is the chair of his department and director of the Wheelock Educational Policy Center. His research is supported by major grants from several foundations, and he has published in top academic journals, including Journal of Public Economics and Economics of Education Review, as well as in media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and USA Today. He has additionally been selected four times as “outstanding reviewer” by the American Educational Research Association journals.

Paul Withers, CAS, Astronomy, specializes in the study of the upper atmosphere and ionosphere of planets, using radio science instruments and developing theoretical models to discover how multiple factors – from solar flux to magnetic fields – interact under the unique conditions of each planet. Credited with reinvigorating the field of radio occultation experiments, he has earned several major NASA achievement awards and is a PI on numerous active NASA and NSF grants exploring conditions on Earth, Saturn, Mars, and Venus. He is associate chair of his department and associate director of the BU Center for Space Physics. He has published two book chapters and 84 articles in premier scientific journals.

Min Ye, Pardee, International Relations, is a scholar of East Asian politics, with specific focus on Chinese domestic and international political economy and security, as well as regional relations with India and other developing nations. Respected as a leading intellectual voice on the Belt and Road Initiative and US-China relations, she has published three books, including 2020’s The Belt, Road and Beyond: State-Mobilized Globalization in China, 1998-2018, along with two book chapters and a dozen articles in important field journals, including the Journal of East Asian Studies. She is a recent Rosenberg Institute Scholar at Suffolk University, a past director of BU’s East Asian Studies program, and has received grant funding from the Smith Richardson Foundation to support her research.

Please join me in congratulating these wonderfully talented colleagues on their recent promotions and in wishing them success in their new ranks.

Promotions to Full Professor on the Charles River Campus – 3.14.23