Meet the new faculty of fall 2020

College of Arts and Sciences - Washington State University.Meet the college’s newest faculty, whose disciplinary expertise—from origin of life and supermassive black holes to political psychology, ancient economics, and interdisciplinary art—enriches and expands the arts and sciences at WSU.

Vivienne Baldassare.Vivienne Baldassare

William Band Distinguished Assistant Professor
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Research and teaching interests: Understanding how supermassive black holes form, grow, and influence the galaxies they live in by searching for and studying the smallest supermassive black holes, which provide clues to black hole formation

Previous post: Yale University

Education and training: PhD, Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Michigan, 2017; BA, Physics, Hunter College, 2012

Honors and achievements: NASA Einstein Postdoctoral Fellowship; Chandra X-ray Observatory and Hubble Space Telescope grants; discovery of the smallest supermassive black hole

Outside of work, I enjoy running, hiking, reading, and playing endless games of fetch with my border collie.

Jeffrey Bell.Jeffrey Bell

Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry

Research and teaching interests: Effect of magnetism on electrochemical processes; point-of-care diagnostics; nonlinear dynamical systems; the origin of life

Previous post: Harvard University

Education and training: Postdoctoral fellowship, Harvard University; PhD, BSc, Chemistry, University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Honors and achievements: Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarships in Science and Technology, 2015; Ontario Graduate Scholarship, 2016

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family and Siberian husky, reading, traveling, and baseball.

John Blong.John Blong

Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology

Research and teaching interests: Hunter-gatherer adaptations and landscape use; peopling of the Americas; prehistory of Alaska and the Great Basin; environmental archaeology; geoarchaeology; paleoethnobotany; lithic analysis

Previous post: Newcastle University

Education and training: PhD, MA, Anthropology, Texas A&M University; BA, Anthropology, Temple University

Honors and achievements: Investigation of Younger Dryas and Early Holocene Subsistence in the Northern Great Basin Through Multiproxy Analysis of Coprolites form the Paisley Caves, Oregon, USA, Blong, John C. et al. (2020); Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 2018 Newcastle Teaching Award, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK; 2012 National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant: Prehistoric Upland Use in the Central Alaska Range

Outside of work, I enjoy listening to music, playing guitar, and spending lots of time outdoors with my wife and our dog, Peanut.

Daryl Deford.Daryl DeFord

Assistant Professor of Data Analytics
Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Research and teaching interests: Applications of combinatorial and algebraic methods in data analysis; mathematical modeling of social data; complex systems; social networks; political redistricting; spectral methods

Previous post: Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Education and training: PhD, MA, Mathematics, Dartmouth College; BS, Theoretical Mathematics, Washington State University

Honors and achievements: Hannah T. Croasdale Scholar Award, Dartmouth College; Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies Teaching Award, Dartmouth; “A New Framework for Dynamical Models on Multiplex Networks” (with S. Pauls), Journal of Complex Networks, 6(3), 353-381, 2018

Outside of work, I enjoy playing tennis and pickleball, hiking with my wife, and building and maintaining our home library.

Samuel Ginsberg.Samuel Ginsburg

Assistant Professor
School of Languages, Cultures, and Race

Research and teaching interests: Representations of technologies and bodies in 21st-century Cuban, Dominican, Puerto Rican and Latinx speculative fiction; techno-colonialism and cyborg resistance; critical histories of science, medicine, technology, and the environment

Previous post: University of Texas at Austin

Education and training: PhD, Iberian and Latin American Literatures and Cultures, University of Texas at Austin; MA, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, New York University; BA, English, University of Pittsburgh

Honors & achievements: Fath Fellowship, University of Texas; Tinker Summer Research Grant, New York University; research has appeared in Latin American Research Review, Latin American Literature Review, and Alambique

Outside of work, I enjoy family time, biking, camping, cooking, sports, and action movies.

Nanda Gro.Nanda Grow

Scholarly Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology

Research and teaching interests: Primate behavior, ecology, and evolution; anti-predator strategies; effects of anthropogenic habitat alteration; high altitude adaptation; conservation

Previous post: Utah State University

Education and training: PhD, MA, Biological Anthropology, Texas A&M University

Honors and achievements: Cryptic Communication in a Montane Nocturnal Haplorhine, Tarsius Pumilus (Folia Primatologica, 2019, 90(5): 404-421); High Altitude Primates, edited by N. Grow, et al.; National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant in Biological Anthropology

Outside of work, I enjoy traveling, hiking, and camping with my husband, John, and my corgi, Peanut. In my spare time I draw and read sci-fi.

Angela Henricks.Angela Henricks

Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology

Research and teaching interests: Neurobiological underpinnings of substance use disorders and mental illness; sex differences in brain development; using machine learning to predict relationships between neural activity and behavior; biological basis of behavior; drugs of abuse; research methods

Previous post: Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth College

Education and training: Post-doctoral fellowship, Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth College; PhD, Experimental Psychology, Washington State University; BS, Psychology, Arizona State University

Honors and achievements: National Institutes of Drug Abuse T32 postdoctoral fellowship; principal Investigator on Hitchcock Foundation grant (Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine) exploring sex differences in alcohol abuse; publications in top addiction-related journals

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my husband, toddler, and two dogs, as well as hiking, baking, and gardening.

Rachel Horowitz.Rachel Horowitz

Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology

Research and teaching interests: Understanding ancient economic activities through studying lithics (stone) tools; Mesoamerica; Maya; experimental archaeology

Previous post: Appalachian State University

Education and training: PhD, MA, Tulane University; BA, Hamilton College

Honors and achievements: Global Perspectives on Lithic Technologies in Complex Societies, co-editor, University of Colorado Press 2019; National Geographic Grantee; Geography on a Human Scale: Global case studies exploring landscape archaeology, guest-edited issue in Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. 2018

Outside of work, I enjoy cooking, particularly baking; reading mystery novels and other fiction; ballet and modern dance.

Jacob Lewis.Jacob Lewis

Assistant Professor
School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs

Research and teaching interests: African politics; social movements; conflict processes; political psychology and social trust; corruption

Previous post: Behrend College, Penn State University

Education and training: PhD, University of Maryland; MA, American University of Paris; BA, Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Honors and achievements: “From Rallies to Riots: Why Some Protests Become Violent” with Brandon Ives. 2019. Journal of Conflict Resolution; “Corruption Perceptions and Contentious Politics.” 2020. Political Studies Review; “Signals, strongholds, and support: political party protests in South Africa.” 2020. Politics; “The role of trust in mobilization and nonviolent discipline: Civil resistance evidence from Africa” Peer-reviewed monograph. International Center on Nonviolent Conflict. Forthcoming 2021.

Outside of work, I enjoy Alpine skiing, coffee, cats, wargaming, hiking, and reading.

Joann LoSavio.JoAnn LoSavio

Assistant Professor, Career Track
Department of History, WSU Vancouver

Research and teaching interests: 20th-century transnational cultural processes of decolonization, Southeast Asia, Burma/Myanmar, Thailand, Malaya/Malaysia, Britain, United States; sports, migration, education, gender identity, womanhood; visual analysis, oral histories, ethnographic film; world and modern history

Previous post: Northern Illinois University

Education and training: PhD, History, Northern Illinois University, 2020; MA, Anthropology, Emory University; BA, History and Anthropology, Southeast Asian Studies, Northern Illinois University; AA, William Harper Rainey College

Honors and achievements: Carter G. Woodson Fellowship 2017–19; “Educated Professionals: Thai Women in Transnational Perspective,” Immigration and Ethnic History Society, 2019; Northern Illinois University 125th Anniversary Commemoration Oral History Project 2019–20

Outside of work, I enjoy creative writing, paranormal and true crime tv shows, camping, hiking, spending time with my family and our cats, cooking, eating, watching tv shows about cooking and eating, and traveling to places where there is good food to be eaten.

Fabio Menchetti.Fabio Menchetti

Assistant Professor of Piano and Keyboard
School of Music

Research and teaching interests: Piano performance; piano pedagogy and piano literature; classical and romantic repertoire; chamber music

Previous post: University of Cincinnati

Education and training: DMA, College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati; MA, Houghton College, NY; MM, MMEd, Puccini Conservatory, La Spezia, Italy; BA, Cinema, Music, and Theater, University of Pisa, Italy; BM, Piano, Boccherini Conservatory, Lucca, Italy

Honors and achievements: Libro di Canti Italiano – Steps Vol. 4, piano music by Peter Seabourne (CD Sheva Collection); Novecento Italiano, works for violin and piano by 20th century Italian composers (CD Sheva Collection); Excellence in Teaching Award for Best Doctoral Teaching Assistant, College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati

Outside of work, I enjoy traveling, reading, cinema, and sports.

Liane Moreau.Liane Moreau

Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry

Research and teaching interests: Nanoscale properties of f-element materials; nuclear science and technology; x-ray absorption spectroscopy; x-ray scattering; developing methods to study chemistry at surfaces and interfaces

Previous post: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Education and training: Postdoctoral fellowship, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; PhD, Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University; BS, Materials Science and Engineering, Cornell University

Honors and achievements: Berkeley Lab SLAM finalist; NDSEG graduate fellowship; 1st-place team leader, 2012 Jung-Hyun Oh Materials Enabled Design Competition

Outside of work, I enjoy singing, flute, piano, and dancing.

Vikas Prakash.Vikas Prakash

Professor and Associate Director
Institute for Shock Physics

Research and teaching interests: Impact and shock physics; stress waves in solids; structural phase transformations; inelastic deformation, fracture and failure processes; time-resolved frictional slip; heterogeneous materials; mechanics and thermal transport in carbon-based nanomaterials; multifunctional materials and energy storage; experimental methods in solids

Previous post: Case Western Reserve University

PhD, Engineering (Mechanics of Materials and Structures), Brown University; MS, Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, University of Rhode Island; B. Tech, Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India

Honors and achievements: Invited participant, 2006 Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, Irvine, CA, National Academy of Engineering; 2018 Rudolph Earl Peterson Award, Society of Experimental Mechanics; Editorial Board member, Experimental Mechanics; chair, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Nanotechnology Institute; Executive Committee chair, ASME Materials Division; fellow, ASME; more than 200 technical publications

Outside of work, I enjoy travel, being in the outdoors, photography, and watching sports.

Jacob Riddle.Jacob Riddle

Assistant Professor, Career Track
Program in Digital Technology and Culture

Research and teaching interests: Interdisciplinary art, education, and curation; ideas surrounding labor, class, automation, value, capital, physicality, virtuality

Previous post: University of Oregon

Education and training: MFA, Syracuse University; BFA, University of Cincinnati

Honors and achievements: Artist in Residence at Flaggfabrikken, Bergen, Norway, and Arteles, Haukijärvi, Finland; work held in collections of the Rhizome Art Base at the New Museum and PAMAL at École Supérieure d’Art d’Avignon

Outside of work, I enjoy backpacking, cycling, fishing, and furniture making.

Michael Sugerman.Michael Sugerman

Associate Professor, Career Track
Department of Anthropology

Research and teaching interests: Archaeological investigation of the emergence and maintenance of social inequality, urbanism, and states; the economic and political interaction among the cultures of the eastern Mediterranean and Near East during the Bronze and Iron Ages (ca. 1550-500 BCE); stylistic, elemental, and microstructural ceramic studies

Previous post: Binghamton University, 3 years; University of Massachusetts Amherst, 16 years

Education and training: PhD Anthropology, Harvard University; MA Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University; MA West Asian Archaeology, Institute of Archaeology, University of London; BA Religious Studies, Brown University

Outside of work, I enjoy paddling (slow water) with my wife and son, walking and hiking with my two dogs, snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing, cooking vegetarian food, and reading (endlessly)

Jacqueline Wilson.Jacqueline “Jacqui” Wilson

Assistant Professor of Bassoon and Theory
School of Music

Research and teaching interests: Performing works for the bassoon by composers from marginalized and underrepresented groups; particularly commissioning, premiering, and collaborating with Native American composers

Previous post: Southeast Missouri State University

Education and training: DMA, Bassoon Performance and Pedagogy, The University of Iowa; MM, Bassoon Performance, Boston University; BMus, Bassoon Performance, Eastern Washington University

Honors and achievements: “Gathering of Nations: Works for Bassoon by Native American Composers” solo recital, 2019 International Double Reed Society Conference; Meg Quigley Vivaldi Competition and Bassoon Symposium Executive Committee; “Strategies for Learning Luciano Berio’s Sequenza XII,” co-authored with Christin Schillinger (Ithaca College) in The Double Reed and Journal de L’Association Bassons (France)

Outside of work, I enjoy reading, travel, and meditation.