New Faculty


We welcome everyone to an exciting academic year. Below you will meet an extraordinary cohort of new faculty joining the School of Arts and Sciences. Their accomplishments in research and teaching are already truly impressive, and they join a vibrant University of Rochester community of dedicated scholars and teachers who are transforming the lives of students and expanding their research fields.

See the past new faculty page for a list of new faculty from previous years.

Headshot of Stefanie Bautista.

Stefanie L. Bautista

Assistant Professor, Department of Religion and Classics

Stefanie L. Bautista joins the faculty as an assistant professor after having served as a visiting professor. Before coming to Rochester, Bautista earned a doctorate in anthropology at Stanford University.

Bautista’s research and teaching primarily focuses on Andean prehistory, household archaeology, ceramic analysis, prehispanic ritual and religion, and the creation and management of digital databases for archaeological projects. She has led excavations at various archaeological sites throughout Peru, including Uchuchuma in the Nazca Valley, Chavín de Huantar in the Callejon de Conchucos, and Quilcapampa in the Arequipa Region. She will continue her research in the Peruvian Andes where she plans to codirect a multidisciplinary archaeology project in Arequipa that looks at how religious practice affects local community identities and social structure.

Bautista has coauthored chapters for several books, including Quilcapampa: A Wari Colony in a Networked Horizon, Powerful Places in the Ancient Andes, and Rituals of the Past: Prehispanic and Colonial Case Studies in Andean Archaeology. In addition, she has written for the refereed journals Antiquity, Nawpa Pacha, Digital Applications in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage, and Journal of Archaeological Science.

This year, she will teach courses titled Aztecs and Their Ancestors; Public and Community-Engaged Archeology; Inkas and Their Ancestors; and Research Methods in Archaeology.

  • Undergraduate degree: BA, anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Graduate degree: PhD, anthropology, Stanford University
  • Most recent appointment: Visiting assistant professor, University of Rochester

Ashley Conklin

Assistant Professor of Instruction, Writing, Speaking, and Argument Program

Ashley Conklin joins the faculty as an assistant professor (instructional track) after having served as a writing instructor with the University’s Writing, Speaking, and Argument Program (WSAP) while pursuing a doctorate in English, expected this fall.

Conklin brings interdisciplinary themes, multimodal texts, and global perspectives to her teaching. She encourages in her students an awareness of rhetorical situation, including audience, genre, and purpose, to help them develop an understanding of reader expectations and their choices as writers. One of her goals is to help students become empowered, flexible writers through an understanding of how the contexts in which they write provide a range of choices for effective communication.

She teaches first-year composition, and coteaches a practicum in writing for new WSAP instructors as well as the program’s innovative course for undergraduates titled Communicating Your Professional Identity.

  • Undergraduate degree: BA, University of Connecticut
  • Graduate degrees: MA, English, Boston College; PhD, English, University of Rochester (expected, fall 2023)
  • Most recent appointment: Writing instructor, University of Rochester
Headshot of Mary Cook.

Mary Cook

Assistant Professor of Instruction, Department of Mathematics

Mary Cook joins the faculty as an assistant professor of instruction after having served as a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics. Before coming to Rochester, she earned a doctorate in mathematics at Arizona State University.

Cook’s research area is geometric analysis, with a particular interest in geometric flows. In her work, she studies the Ricci flow and certain properties which it preserves. Her research has been published in Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society and arXiv. She has also presented her work at seminars at Arizona State University, the University of Oklahoma, and the University of Rochester.

This fall, Cook will teach undergraduate courses in Calculus II and Intro to Probability.

  • Undergraduate degree: BS, mathematics, and BMus, music, Arizona State University
  • Graduate degree: PhD, mathematics, Arizona State University
  • Most recent appointment: Visiting assistant professor, University of Rochester
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James Druckman

Professor, Department of Political Science

James Druckman joins the faculty as a professor of political science beginning in January 2024, after having served as the Payson S. Wild Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University and the associate director of Northwestern’s Institute for Policy Research.

An expert in political behavior and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Druckman studies public opinion formation, political polarization, political and scientific communication, political psychology, and experimental and survey methods. He recently published Equality Unfulfilled: How Title IX’s Policy Design Undermines Change to College Sports (Cambridge University Press, 2023) and Experimental Thinking: A Primer on Social Science Experiments (Cambridge University Press, 2022). His forthcoming book is titled Partisan Hostility and American Democracy (University of Chicago Press).

Druckman has authored or coauthored more than 150 articles, which have appeared in journals such as Nature Human Behavior, Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), Quarterly Journal of Political Science, and American Political Science ReviewHe is currently a co-principal investigator of the COVID States project, a multi-university collaboration of researchers working to identify the links between social behaviors and virus transmission. In addition, he serves in several editorial roles, including for PNAS Nexus and Time-sharing Experiments in the Social Sciences (TESS).

Druckman is an honorary professor of political science at Aarhus University in Denmark. Prior to joining Northwestern in 2005, he held a position at the University of Minnesota.

At Rochester, he will teach courses on elections and campaigns, public opinion, political psychology, and experimental methods.

  • Undergraduate degree: BA, mathematical methods in the social sciences and political science, Northwestern University
  • Graduate degree: PhD, political science, University of California, San Diego
  • Most recent appointment: Professor, Northwestern University
Headshot of Jordan Ealey.

Jordan Ealey

Assistant Professor, Department of Black Studies

Jordan Ealey (she/they) joins the faculty as an assistant professor after having completed doctoral work at the University of Maryland.

Ealey’s research focuses on how Black creativity in the forms of language, sound, and movement can transform individuals and society. To reach that understanding, Ealey explores Black theatre, Black feminist theories, musical theory history, Black girlhood studies, popular music, and sound studies. She/they is particularly interested in examining Black women-created musicals as a form of Black feminist theory.

Ealey has authored scholarly articles for Theatre History Studies (under review), Girlhood Studies, The Black Scholar, Theatre Topics, and Studies in Musical Theatre. She/they also publishes cultural criticism and commentary on theatre, media, popular culture, and literature through features, interviews, and reviews. A playwright, Ealey addresses a variety of social themes—including art, activism, and community engagement—by exploring little-known history and politicized ideas in her/their artistic work.

Ealey has participated in numerous panel discussions and roundtables. At the conference of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education this past summer, she/they presented on “Queer Archival Praxis: Histories and Methodologies.”

At Rochester, Ealey will teach an undergraduate course on Black drama in the fall and another undergraduate course on Black feminist theory in the spring.

  • Undergraduate degree: BA, theatre and English, Wesleyan College
  • Graduate degree: PhD, theatre and performance studies, University of Maryland
  • Most recent appointment: Doctoral student, University of Maryland
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Elizabeth Handley

Associate Professor, Department of Psychology

Elizabeth Handley begins an appointment as an associate professor of psychology. She joined the University in 2012, most recently serving as director of research at the Mt. Hope Family Center, which is affiliated with the psychology department. For the past 11 years, Handley has held a variety of positions with the department, the Mt. Hope Family Center, and the University of Rochester Medical Center.

As a clinical psychologist, Handley studies the impact of childhood adversity on mental and physical health across a person’s lifespan and across generations. She has a particular interest in understanding the biological embedding of stress and the way exposure to childhood adversity affects well-being.

Handley has authored or coauthored more than 60 peer-reviewed publications and is currently the principal investigator on a National Institutes of Health–funded research study examining the long-term consequences of child maltreatment exposure on mental and physical health in adulthood. In 2019, she received the American Psychological Association’s Karen Saywitz Early Career Award for Outstanding Contributions to Research/Practice in the Field of Child Maltreatment.

Handley will teach graduate-level quantitative methods courses while continuing her research on the impact of child adversity on development. She will also remain in her current role at the Mt. Hope Family Center.

  • Undergraduate degree: BA, psychology, University of Richmond
  • Graduate degree: PhD, clinical psychology, Arizona State University
  • Most recent appointment: Director of research, Mt. Hope Family Center, University of Rochester
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Isobel Heck

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

Isobel Heck joins the faculty as an assistant professor of psychology after having earned her doctorate in psychology at the University of Chicago earlier in the year. Her dissertation focused on children’s thinking about societal power and status hierarchies.

Heck’s research examines how people learn about, make sense of, and begin participating in the systems and structures that make up the multidimensional social world. By focusing on childhood, she aims to bridge the individual and the societal by offering a lens into how societal structures first become represented in people’s minds. Her current lines of research include the emergence and development of sociopolitical worldviews, children’s thinking about leadership, and the mechanisms and inputs through which young children learn about—and begin responding to—social group-based hierarchies and biases.

Heck has written for numerous journals and publications, including Cognition, Developmental Science, and Trends in Cognitive Sciences. She also helped develop a recent issue in Psychological Inquiry on the importance of a developmental lens for understanding and addressing gender gaps in political leadership.

Heck has presented her work at numerous conferences, lectures, and panel discussions, including at Princeton University, Cornell University, the University of Chicago, Duke University, Northwestern University, and the University of Padova.

This year, she will teach a course on social and emotional development and lead a graduate seminar on her research.

  • Undergraduate degree: BS, cognitive science, Brown University
  • Graduate degree: PhD, psychology, University of Chicago
  • Most recent appointment: Doctoral student, University of Chicago
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Jesse LeFebvre

Assistant professor, Department of Modern Languages and Cultures

Jesse LeFebvre joins the faculty as an assistant professor of Japanese after having earned a doctorate in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University. Prior to beginning graduate study, he spent several years in Japan as a Buddhist priest in the Buzan Order of Shingon Buddhism.

His primary research focuses on the complex interaction between disaster and religion within the context of premodern Japan. In particular, he explores the ways in which Buddhism—a religion that embraces the impermanence and inevitable cessation of all things—contributed to the sustainability of Japan’s most important religious sites and inspired some of the nation’s most enduring literary and artistic works. His first book will trace the emergence of a religious culture of generative destruction in premodern Japan, in which calamity became the language by which the Kannon—the Goddess of Mercy—was believed to express her will, and the means by which she was thought to compassionately intervene in the karmic destinies of individuals, society, Buddhist institutions, and politics.

LeFebvre has published in both Japanese and English, with his articles having appeared in the Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, Journal of Religion in Japan, and Mikkyōgaku. His most recent translation, a set of annotated selections from the 12th-century collection of miracle tales Hasedera rengenki (The Miraculous Accounts of Hasedera), was a finalist in the Cornell University Kyoko Selden Memorial Translation Prize.

This fall he will teach courses on premodern Japanese literature and the literary cultures of Japanese Buddhism.

  • Undergraduate degrees: BA, history, University of Minnesota—Twin Cities; BA, Buddhist studies, Shuchiin University
  • Graduate degrees: MA, Japanese religion, University of Hawaii—Manoa; PhD, East Asian languages and civilizations, Harvard University
  • Most recent appointment: Doctoral student, Harvard University
Headshot of Philip V. McHarris.

Philip V. McHarris

Assistant Professor, Department of Black Studies

Philip V. McHarris joins the faculty as an assistant professor of Black studies after
having served as a presidential postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University’s Department
of African American Studies.

McHarris’s research focuses on racial inequality, housing, and policing. His forthcoming
book, Beyond Policing (Legacy Lit), traces the historical arc of policing and presents a
prescription for safety and justice. He is also working on a second book, Brick Dreams:
The Unfinished Project of Public Housing, which ethnographically explores the
contemporary realities and challenges of public housing in America through the lens of
residents in a high-rise public housing development in Brooklyn, New York.

McHarris has written about his research in Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, Social
Psychological Review, and Literary Hub. He has also authored articles for numerous
other publications, including the New York Times, Slate, Washington Post, and The

This fall, McHarris will teach an undergraduate course on Black geographies, which
explores how Black communities shape—and are shaped by—space and place.

  • Undergraduate degree: BA, sociology, Boston College
  • Graduate degree: PhD, sociology and African American studies, Yale University
  • Most recent appointment: Presidential postdoctoral fellow, Princeton University
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Matías Moretti

Assistant Professor, Department of Economics

Matías Moretti joins the faculty as an assistant professor of economics. Previously, he served as a research economist with the Development Economics Group at the World Bank after completing an appointment as a postdoctoral associate with the International Economics Section at Princeton University.

Moretti, who earned a doctorate from New York University in 2021, studies international economics and macrofinance, with a focus on large quantitative models of government and corporate debt. His recent work explores the links between sovereign and corporate risk; quantifies how changes in global conditions affect the financing and investment of firms in emerging countries; and describes how a government’s reputation in international markets may affect its cost of funding. Moretti’s paper titled “Information Frictions, Reputation, and Sovereign Spreads,” coauthored with economist Juan Morelli at the Federal Reserve Board, was recently accepted by the Journal of Political Economy, one of the leading journals in economics.

Moretti has presented his work at numerous conferences and seminars, including at the University of Chicago, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins University, and the Minneapolis Federal Reserve, among other research institutions.

Beginning in the spring semester, Moretti will teach both undergraduate and graduate economics classes.

  • Undergraduate degree: BA, economics, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo
  • Graduate degrees: MA, economics, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella; PhD, economics, New York University
  • Most recent appointment: Research economist, The World Bank
Headshot of Sheth Nyibule.

Sheth Nyibule

Assistant Professor of Instruction, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Sheth Nyibule joins the faculty as an assistant professor (instructional) of physics and astronomy after having served for six years at Rochester Institute of Technology, most recently as a senior lecturer of physics. Previously, he received a PhD from the University of Rochester and served as a postdoctoral research fellow.

Nyibule’s research focuses on experimental nuclear physics. In particular, he studies heavy-ion reactions, which are tools to probe and gain insights into the structure of atomic nuclei. Some examples of heavy-ion reactions include nuclear scattering, nuclear fusion, and fission. He also investigates how neutrons and gamma rays interact with matter and develops methods and tools for detecting and distinguishing neutrons from gamma rays.

At Rochester, Nyibule will teach undergraduate courses in subjects such as mechanics and electricity and magnetism. He will also mentor undergraduate students in research and train them to be teaching assistants.

  • Undergraduate degree: BSc, physics and mathematics, Moi University
  • Graduate degrees: MSc, high energy physics, the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics; MA, physics, University of Rochester; PhD, experimental nuclear physics, University of Rochester
  • Most recent appointment: Senior lecturer, Rochester Institute of Technology
Headshot of Benjamin Peter.

Benjamin Peter

Assistant Professor, Department of Biology

Benjamin Peter joins the faculty as an assistant professor of biology. Previously, he was a research group leader in the Department of Evolutionary Genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany.

Peter is a computational population geneticist interested in developing and applying mathematical and computational tools to study ancient DNA and genetic data from people and animals that died tens of thousands of years ago. He is particularly interested in studying the genetic history of Neanderthals, Denisovans, and other early human groups to develop insights into their history, biology, and everyday lives. He received a European Research Council grant to develop population genetic methods for studying gene flow between Neanderthals and humans, and he was recently involved in a project that sequenced almost half the Neanderthal genomes that have been published today.

His research has been published in peer-reviewed journals including Nature, Science, Nature Communications, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

At Rochester, he will continue his research program in theoretical and applied population genetics and will teach classes related to genetics and evolution.

  • Undergraduate degree: BSc, biology, University of Bern
  • Graduate degrees: MSc, ecology and evolution, University of Bern; PhD, integrative biology, University of California, Berkeley
  • Most recent appointment: Group leader, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
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Casey Petroff

Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science

Casey Petroff joins the faculty as an assistant professor of political science after having completed a doctorate in political economy and government at Harvard University.

She studies historical political economy with a focus on the politics of scientific discovery and technological innovation. Her dissertation comprised three papers that combined novel data sourced from archives and historical sources with empirical methodologies to generate insights with contemporary relevance to the field of political economy. Her work received the 2023 prize for best dissertation on a topic involving women and politics from Harvard’s Department of Government.

Petroff, who worked as a research assistant at Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science and at the University of Zurich, also has experience contracting for the public and nonprofit sectors.

At Rochester, she will teach an undergraduate course in the spring on the politics of scientific expertise.

  • Undergraduate degree: BS, mathematics and economics, American University
  • Graduate degree: MS, economic history, London School of Economics and Political Science; PhD, political economy and government, Harvard University
  • Most recent appointment: Doctoral student, Harvard University
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Michael Ruggiero

Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry

Michael Ruggiero joins the faculty as an associate professor of chemistry after having served as an associate professor at the University of Vermont.

Ruggiero’s research focuses on physical and solid-state materials chemistry. The molecules that comprise advanced materials—from active pharmaceutical ingredients to television screens—are constantly in motion, even in materials that are solids. These molecular dynamics influence a material’s properties. Ruggiero employs theoretical techniques, experimental laser spectroscopy, and quantum calculations using high-performance computers coupled with artificial intelligence to understand the relationship between molecular structures and motions. His research has applications in creating more efficient solar cells, new materials for filtering dangerous compounds from air and water, and more effective pharmaceuticals.

In addition to being named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2018, Ruggiero’s accolades include an NSF CAREER award and a Young Scientist Award from the Infrared, Millimeter, and Terahertz Wave Society. He was also named an Emerging Investigator by the journals Chemical Communications, Journal of Materials Chemistry, and Crystal Growth and Design.    

At Rochester, he will teach undergraduate- and graduate-level courses in chemistry, specifically spectroscopy and kinetics and computational chemistry.

  • Undergraduate degree: BS, chemistry, State University of New York, College at Geneseo
  • Graduate degrees: MPhil, physical chemistry, Syracuse University; PhD, physical chemistry, Syracuse University
  • Most recent appointment: Associate professor of chemistry, University of Vermont
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Agnes Thorarinsdottir

Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry

Agnes Thorarinsdottir joins the faculty as an assistant professor of chemistry after having served as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University.

Thorarinsdottir’s research spans inorganic chemistry, materials chemistry, electrochemistry, and catalysis. She applies tools of synthetic molecular and materials chemistry to designing new electrochemical systems that address challenges in energy, catalysis, and environmental sustainability. Specifically, she is developing new strategies for controlling the chemical and physical properties of electrochemical interfaces. This will increase the energy efficiency and selectivity of reactions and devices to make electricity, fuels, and organic chemicals.

Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals including Nature Communications, Nature Catalysis, The Journal of the American Chemical Society, and Chemical Reviews. The American Chemical Society has awarded Thorarinsdottir the Division of Inorganic Chemistry’s Young Investigator Award and the Women Chemists Committee Merck Award.

At Rochester, she will teach undergraduate and graduate chemistry courses, including two graduate-level courses in inorganic chemistry.

  • Undergraduate degree: BS, chemistry, University of Iceland
  • Graduate degree: PhD, chemistry, Northwestern University
  • Most recent appointment: Postdoctoral fellow, Harvard University
Headshot of Nestor Tulagan.

Nestor Tulagan

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

Nestor Tulagan joins the faculty as an assistant professor after having served as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Irvine. He holds a joint appointment as an assistant professor at the Warner School of Education and Human Development.

Tulagan’s research focuses on adolescence, family processes, achievement motivation, and identity development. Specifically, he investigates the factors that help teens stay motivated and succeed in school, as well as develop their identities in terms of race-ethnicity, social class, and gender. As a postdoctoral researcher, he was the primary investigator on a research project funded by the National Science Foundation that focused on the ways in which Latinx parents in Southern California supported their middle-school children in their math motivation and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tulagan has authored numerous articles for refereed journals, including Developmental Psychology, Journal of Child and Family Studies, Educational Psychology Review, and Applied Developmental Science.

In the fall semester, he will teach a graduate seminar at the Warner School on adolescent development and youth culture. In the spring semester, he will co-teach a doctoral proseminar course at Warner on theories and methods in human development.

  • Undergraduate degree: BA, psychology and social behavior, University of California, Irvine
  • Graduate degree: PhD, education, University of California, Irvine
  • Most recent appointment: Postdoctoral researcher, University of California, Irvine
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Scott Tyson

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science

Scott Tyson returns to the faculty as an associate professor of political science after serving as an associate professor in the Department of Quantitative Theory and Methods at Emory University. Tyson initially joined the Rochester faculty in 2018 as an assistant professor of political science and a research associate with the University’s W. Allen Institute of Political Economy. Before moving to Emory, he completed a year as a visiting research scholar in quantitative and analytical political science at Princeton University.

Tyson’s research focuses on formal political theory, political economy, conflict, authoritarian politics, external validity, and experimental design. He has authored or coauthored scholarly articles that have appeared in The Journal of Politics, American Journal of Political Science, American Political Science Review, Political Science Research and Methods, and PS: Political Science and Politics.

Before his initial appointment at Rochester, he was on faculty at the University of Michigan and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy Studies.

This year, he will teach graduate courses on game theory and on theoretical implications of empirical models, as well as an undergraduate course on conspiracy theories in American politics.

  • Undergraduate degrees: BS, pure mathematics, and BA, economics, University of Texas at Austin
  • Graduate degrees: MS, economics, University of Texas at Austin; PhD, politics, New York University
  • Most recent appointment: Associate professor, Emory University
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Floria Mora-Kepfer Uy

Assistant Professor, Department of Biology

Floria Mora-Kepfer Uy begins an appointment as an assistant professor of biology. Uy initially joined the Rochester faculty in 2020 as a research assistant professor and an assistant professor of instruction. Previously, she was a research associate at Cornell University.

Uy’s research focuses on understanding the relationship between brain development and sociality, including the evolution of cooperation and the selective pressures that favor group living. She accomplishes this by studying how the genome of social insects influences the insects’ underlying behavior. She and her team are currently exploring questions related to longevity and aging. For instance, why do some individuals in a group live longer and maintain better cognitive functions than others? As a model system, she uses a parasite that manipulates a social wasp as its host by hacking the wasp’s neural and molecular mechanisms; this changes the wasp’s behavior and increases its lifespan.

At Rochester, in addition to teaching undergraduate biology courses, Uy serves as director for the University’s study abroad program in the Galapagos Islands. She is also committed to mentoring students of diverse backgrounds and serves as a faculty mentor for Rochester’s chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (UR SACNAS).

  • Undergraduate degree: BS, biology, University of Costa Rica
  • Graduate degrees: MSc, biology, University of Costa Rica; PhD, biology, University of Miami
  • Most recent appointment: Research associate professor and assistant professor of instruction, University of Rochester
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Ning Wang

Assistant Professor, Department of Biology

Ning Wang joins the faculty as an assistant professor of biology. Most recently, she served as a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School.

Her research focuses on how organelles inside cells are generated, maintained, or degraded. An organelle is a structure within a cell that has one or more specific jobs to perform, much like an organ does in the body. These jobs include producing energy, storing materials, and helping the cell get rid of waste. Wang uses genetics, biochemistry, and cell biology methods to study the roles of proteins that help create and maintain specific shapes of distinct organelles; organelles need these shapes to properly perform their tasks.

Wang’s research has appeared in peer-reviewed journals including Nature Communications, PLoS Biology, and the Journal of Cell Biology. During her graduate studies, Wang received several awards from The Ohio State University, including the Molecular Genetics Teaching Award and OSU’s most competitive and prestigious scholarly recognition award, The Ohio State University Presidential Fellowship.

At Rochester, in addition to conducting research, Wang will teach undergraduate and graduate courses in cell biology and biochemistry.

  • Undergraduate degree: BS, biological science, Shandong University
  • Graduate degree: PhD, molecular genetics, The Ohio State University
  • Most recent appointment: Postdoctoral fellow, Harvard Medical School
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Tingting Xu

Assistant professor, Department of Art and Art History

Tingting Xu joins the faculty as an assistant professor of art history and as an affiliated faculty member in the Graduate Program in Visual and Cultural Studies. She served most recently as the Arnaldo Momigliano Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Chicago, and before that as a A. W. Mellon postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Art History and Archaeology and with the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at Columbia University.

Xu is a historian of Chinese art with a focus on medium, format, and related discourses. Her research interests include the history of Chinese photography, the philosophy of visual technology, the theory and historiography of Chinese painting, and the relations between image, ekphrasis, and imagination. She is working on a book about the practices and ontologies of early Chinese photography undergirding the transitions of the late imperial and early Republican eras.

Xu will teach survey courses on the arts in China and East Asia as well as graduate seminars on early photography and late imperial Chinese art.

  • Undergraduate degree: Renmin University of China
  • Graduate degree: MFA, photography, Parsons School of Design; PhD, art history, University of Chicago
  • Most recent appointment: Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Chicago
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Sidak Yntiso

Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science

Sidak Yntiso joins the faculty as an assistant professor of political science after having served as a postdoctoral researcher and instructor at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy.

With research interests that lie at the intersection of American politics, political economy, and criminal justice politics, Yntiso studies how political institutions shape racial inequities in the administration of criminal justice and electoral representation. In a recent project, he examined the causal impact of prosecutor partisanship on charging decisions in criminal cases, finding that narrowly elected Republican prosecutors seek more severe charges than their Democratic counterparts—and that this difference appears largest in the charging of minority defendants. Yntiso is also developing methods to diagnose gerrymandering. His research has appeared or is forthcoming at publications including The Journal of Politics, The Journal of Legal Studies, Political Analysis.

While working toward a doctorate, Yntiso received several awards and grants, including the Dean’s Outstanding Dissertation Award from New York University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. In 2022, he was awarded the Lee J. Alston Prize for the best article in the first volume of the previous year’s Journal of Historical Political Economy.

This year, he will teach an undergraduate course on the politics of punishment and a graduate seminar on race and ethnic politics in the United States.

  • Undergraduate degree: BA, economics, New York University Abu Dhabi
  • Graduate degree: PhD, politics, New York University
  • Most recent appointment: Postdoctoral researcher (instructor), University of Chicago