Union welcomes new faculty members

Publication Date

Union College welcomes 10 new faculty members and two adjunct faculty members moving to visiting assistant positions for the academic year:


Sara Watkins, visiting assistant professor, comes to Union from Bucknell University. She earned her Ph.D. in 2012 from Florida State University with her dissertation, “Lucan ‘Transforms’ Ovid: Intertextual Studies in the Bellum Civile and the Metamorphoses.” She has presented at various conferences and colloquia, including the annual meeting for the Classical Association of the Middle West and South. Her areas of interest include Latin and Greek poetry and Roman history.


Jenelle Troxell, assistant professor, received her Ph.D. from Columbia University in 2009. She taught literature, media and film courses at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, and was a visiting scholar at the University of Hamburg in Germany. She has also taught at New York University, Marymount College and Columbia University. She has worked in the film industry, including as a post-production assistant for the film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”


Anouk Verheyden, visiting assistant professor, has been at Union College since 2011 as an adjunct associate professor, teaching classes such as “Introduction to Environmental Science,” “Paleontology” and “Paleoclimate.” She has worked as an earth science and biology instructor at Skidmore and Vassar colleges, and conducted postdoctoral research at the Royal Museum for Central Africa’s Laboratory for Wood Biology and Xylarium. She received her Ph.D. in 2004 from the Free University of Brussels.


Jeffrey Jauregui, assistant professor, received his Ph.D. in 2010 from Duke University. Most recently, he was a postdoctoral lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, where he taught courses in linear algebra, calculus and Riemannian geometry. He has given talks at Syracuse University, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, University of Miami and Lafayette College. His research interests include differential geometry, geometric analysis and general relativity.


Hanish Gopalan, visiting assistant professor, comes to Union from the University of Wyoming, where he was a postdoctoral research associate in the Wind Energy Research Center. Gopalan received his Ph.D. from the University of Akron in 2008 with his dissertation, “Numerical Modeling of Aerodynamics of Airfoils of Micro Air Vehicles in a Gusty Environment.” His research interests include wind resource estimation, wind turbine aerodynamics and turbine wakes.


Nicole Calandra, visiting instructor of French, has been at Union since 2008 as an adjunct professor, teaching courses such as “Identity and Migration in the 20th Century” and “Laughter and Literature at Wit’s End.” An alumna of Bryn Mawr College, she received her Ph.D. from University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2004 with her dissertation, “Laughter, Multiculturalism and Productive Chaos in the Millennial Works of Maryse Conde and Zadie Smith.” She has been honored with a Union’s Ethics Across the Curriculum Grant, and in 2001, she served a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in France.

Stephanie Mueller, visiting assistant professor of Spanish, recently received her Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. Her dissertation was titled “Conflicting Identities in Spain’s Peripheries: Centralistic Spanish Nationalism in Contemporary Cultural Production of Catalonia and the Basque Country.” Mueller completed several research fellowships in Spain’s Basque Country and was the first place winner of the Trollope Prize Essay Contest at Harvard University. Most recently, she taught Spanish language and literature at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.


Antoine Panaioti, visiting assistant professor, comes to Union from McGill University, where he taught courses in early 19th Century German philosophy and contemporary political theory. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in England in 2010 and has completed postdoctoral work at the University of Montreal. He is a past winner of McGill University’s Prince of Wales Gold Medal for Mental and Moral Philosophy.


Yelena Biberman-Ocakli, visiting instructor, is expected to receive her Ph.D. this winter from Brown University. She is an alumna of Harvard University and Wellesley College. Her studies, focusing on Russian politics, have been featured in peer-reviewed journals such as Political Science Quarterly and Problems of Post-Communism, and she recently received the Watson Institute for International Affairs Graduate Fellowship. She has appeared on the Al Jazeera News Channel and Chinese Xinhua News Agency, and her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal.

Cigdem Cidam, assistant professor, received her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota with her dissertation, “Action in Concert: Recasting Democratic Practices as Political Friendship.” Most recently, she was an assistant professor at Missouri State University, teaching courses on contemporary political ideologies, modern political theory and American democracy. Her work has been featured in Contemporary Political Theory and the Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Political Thought.

Katie Zuber, visiting instructor, is expected to receive her Ph.D. from the University at Albany later this year. She has taught courses on the U.S. Supreme Court at Albany, and most recently worked as a research project assistant at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government. She is an honoree of the Initiatives for Women Award from the Karen R. Hitchcock New Frontiers Fund.


Timothy Stablein, assistant professor, received his Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut with his dissertation, “Negotiating Spaces: A Study of Street Life, Peer Involvement and Homelessness in Harvard Square.” He has taught at Skidmore College, Bridgewater State College and the University of Connecticut. Most recently, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at Dartmouth College’s Institute for Security, Technology and Society. His areas of interest include adolescence, deviance, health and research methods. He has taught courses on juvenile delinquency, drugs and society and social inequalities.