The College of LAS launched the 2016-17 academic year with 16 new faculty and staff leaders in departments and units across the college. In most cases, new leaders officially assumed their roles at the start of the fall semester. LAS is home to more than 60 departments, centers, schools, and programs.
Barbara Wilson, interim chancellor and Harry E. Preble Dean of the College of LAS, said that renewing leadership is a natural and ongoing process that helps keep academic programs innovative and on top of their fields.
“With deep appreciation for what the outgoing leaders have accomplished, we greet new department heads and unit directors enthusiastically,” Wilson said. “Thoughtful leadership at every level in the college is crucial to our success.”
Maimouna Barro is serving as the interim director of the Center for African Studies, replacing Assata Zerai. Barro served as associate director of the Center for African Studies, handling academic programming and curriculum development. Her research interests include issues related to women, gender, education, and social change in Senegal and West Africa.
Lyle Konigsberg has taken over for Andrew Orta as the head of the Department of Anthropology. A professor in bioanthropology, Konigsberg studies biological anthropology, paleodemography, and forensic anthropology.
Adrian Burgos Jr. is serving as the interim director of the American Indian Studies Program, replacing Robert Warrior. Burgos is a professor of history, African American studies, and Latino/Latina studies, and affiliated with Latin American and Caribbean studies and the Center for Global Studies. His areas of specialization include U.S. Latino history, sport history, urban history, and African American history.
Martin Manalansan replaces Soo Ah Kwon as the head of the Department of Asian American Studies. Manalansan is an associate professor of Asian American studies, anthropology, and gender and women’s studies. He is an affiliated faculty member of Latin American and Caribbean studies and the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, and a professor of LAS Global Studies. Some of his specializations include Filipino global migration, immigrant inhabitations and ethnography of Asian America.
Antony Augoustakis will take over for Ariana Traill as the head of the Department of the Classics. Augoustakis, a J. Andrew an Susan Langan Professorial Scholar, is a professor of classics and medieval studies whose research focuses on Roman drama and historiography, women in antiquity, and gender theory. In 2016, he received the Teaching Excellence Award from the Society for Classical Studies.
Martin Gruebele will replace Greg Girolami as head of the Department of Chemistry in January 2017. Gruebele, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, is the James R. Eiszner endowed chair in chemistry and a professor of biophysics at the Center for Biophysics and Quantitative Biology. He is also a faculty member at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology.
Robert Tierney has replaced Jerome Packard as the head of the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures. Tierney is an associate professor of Japanese literature. His research is focused on Modern Japanese literature, film and media, post-colonialism, gender, and sexuality and minorities in Japan.
Futing “Tim” Liao has replaced Elizabeth Oyler as the director of the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies. Liao is a professor of sociology and statistics, and an affiliated faculty of East Asian languages and cultures. His fields of study include historical and comparative family studies, demography, methodology, and collective memory.
Nancy Blake serves as the acting director of the Program in Comparative and World Literature, filling in for Lilya Kaganovsky while she is on sabbatical. Blake, a professor of comparative and world literature, has taught a wide variety of subjects, with her areas of study including European and American literature, painting and film, modernism and post-modernism, psychoanalytic theory, women’s studies, and translation.
Vicki Mahaffey is the new head of the Department of English, replacing Michael Rothberg. Mahaffey is the Clayton and Thelma Kirkpatrick Professor of English and a professor of gender and women’s studies, with interests focused on modernist literature, Irish literature, fairy tales and gender formation, and literary authority and the Holocaust.
Chantal Nadeau, a professor of gender and women’s studies, is replacing Stephanie Foote to serve as the interim chair of the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies. Nadeau’s academic background is in humanities, and her research focuses mostly on queer public discourse and legal cultures.
Zsuzsa Gille, a professor of sociology, will become director of the LAS Global Studies Program in 2017, following the retirement of Tom Bassett. Gille studies several aspects of sociology, including environmental, safety, and ethical standards in food production and their effects on economic inequality. Tim Wedig, associate director of the program, will serve as interim director until Gille’s appointment begins.
Mariselle Melendez takes over for Silvina Montrul as the head of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Melendez, a Conrad Humanities Scholar, is a professor of Spanish and Portuguese, as well as an affiliated faculty of Latin American and Caribbean studies. Her specializations include colonial Spanish America, race and gender, visual and cultural studies, and the Enlightenment.
Susan Frankenberg is the interim director of the Spurlock Museum following the retirement of former director Wayne Pitard. Frankenberg, an archaeologist and bioanthropologist, has served as the program coordinator of the interdisciplinary museum studies program in the Department of Anthropology.
Joyce Tolliver is succeeding Wail Hassan to serve as director of the Center for Translation Studies. Tolliver is an associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese and gender and women’s studies. She is an affiliate faculty in the Center for Global Studies, the European Union Center, and Latin and Caribbean studies, and gender and women’s studies. Her research focuses on gender, sexuality, and discourse in Spain since the mid-19th century, and translation studies.
Paul Prior succeeds Spencer Schaffner as the director of the Center for Writing Studies. Prior is a professor of English and has previously served as the director of the First Year Rhetoric Program. His research explores connections between writing, talk, embodied action, learning, and disciplinarity.