Meet the new faculty

Twelve faculty and two library staff members join Union for the new academic year.
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Meet the new faculty

The College welcomes 12 new faculty members and two library staff members for the academic year: 


Robert Samet, assistant professor, comes to Union from University of Massachusetts-Amherst.  He earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2012 with his dissertation, “Deadline: Crime, Journalism and Fearful Citizenship in Caracas, Venezuela.” He received his bachelor’s degree from Duke University and a master’s from Columbia University. 


James McGarrah, lecturer, was most recently a professor at the State University of New York, College at Geneseo, where he taught courses in inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry and several labs. He also has taught at Barnard College and Northwestern University, where he completed a postdoctoral fellowship. He received his Ph.D. in 2002 from the University of Rochester, where he was a Sherman Clarke Fellow. 


Tommaso Gazzarri, assistant professor, received his Ph.D. from Yale University, and his dissertation focused on “A Study of the Theory and Practice of Metaphors in Seneca’s Epistulae Morales.” He has taught courses at Yale and Johns Hopkins University on Latin prose, poetry and grammar. His research interests include Roman comedy, stoicism and ancient rhetoric. 

Computer Science: 

Matthew Anderson, visiting assistant professor, comes to Union from the University of Cambridge, where he served as a research associate, performing post-doctoral research in descriptive complexity. He received his Ph.D. in 2012 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and holds a bachelors degree from Carnegie Mellon University. His research interests include theory of computing, derandomization, and computational and algebraic complexities. 

Electrical and Computer Engineering: 

Luke Dosiek, assistant professor, received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 2010 from the University of Wyoming-Laramie with his dissertation, “Estimating Power System Electromechanical Modes and Mode Shapes Using Modern System Identification Techniques.” Since then, he has worked as a research engineer at Assured Information Security, Inc. in Rome, N.Y. His research interests include power system situational awareness, signal processing and synchrophasor applications.


Rajashree Mazumder, assistant professor, comes to Union from University of California-Los Angeles, where she received his Ph.D. in 2013. Her dissertation was titled, “Indian Immigration to Colonial Burma, 1880-1940.” She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Delhi University in India. She taught several courses at UCLA, including British colonialism of India and Migration in the Indian Ocean area during modern times. She speaks fluent Bengali and Hindi. 

Mechanical Engineering: 

Jeffrey Doom, visiting assistant professor, comes to Union from GE Global Research in Niskayuna, N.Y. where he worked as a mechanical and research engineer. He received his Ph.D. in 2009 from the University of Minnesota. He has taught at Minnesota State University, and his research interests include fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, multi-phase flows and more. 

Modern Languages: 

Claire Mouflard, visiting assistant professor, received her Ph.D. in French studies this year from the University of Washington, concentrating on Francophone studies. Her dissertation was titled, “L’Autre en Mouvement: Representations of the Postcolonial Urban Other in Contemporary French Literature, Art and Cinema.” She has also taught at the University of Montana and Amherst College. 

Physics and Astronomy: 

Gregory Hallenbeck, visiting instructor, comes to Union from Cornell University where he received his Ph.D. His research focused on “Resolved Observations of HIghMass Galaies: High HI mass, Gas-Rich Local Galaxies.” He has taught courses at Cornell on physics and “Galaxies Across Cosmic Time.” For the last three summers, he has worked at the Undergraduate ALFALFA Workshop at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, leading hands-on practice observing and data reduction sessions. 

Michael Ray, visiting assistant professor, comes to Union after serving as a postdoctoral researcher at Amherst College. He received his Ph.D. in 2011 from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where he has also taught physics courses. He is the 2013 Kandula Sastry Thesis Award winner from UMass Amherst and was a National Buckeye Scholar at The Ohio State University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in 2003. 


Lindsay C. Morton, visiting instructor, received her Ph.D. from the University at Albany in social-personality psychology. She also taught courses at UAlbany in statistical methods in psychology, experimental and social psychology, and she served as an undergraduate research supervisor. She received her bachelor’s degree from Bucknell University and her masters from Villanova University. 

Religious Studies: 

Kirk Wegter-McNelly, the Wold Visiting Professor for Religious Studies, has been at Union since the winter term, and is also currently a research associate at the Institute for the Bio-Cultural Study of Religion in Massachusetts. He received his Ph.D. in systematic and philosophical theology from Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif. He has also taught at Boston University where he received a BUTSA Faculty Teaching Award. He is also a member of the International Society for Science and Religion. 

Schaffer Library: 

India Spartz, head of Special Collections, comes to Union after serving as the director of Special Collections at the University of Arizona Libraries. She has also worked at Harvard University, University of Alaska Fairbanks and Alaska State Libraries. She is a certified archivist and has a master’s degree from the University of California-Berkeley. 

Ann Mulfort, project archivist, has appraised, rehoused, preserved and arranged institutional program records as well as manuscript collections of elected officials, scientists, environmentalists, artists and others. She also established an online exhibit for processed archival materials in collaboration with Digital Library Services at the University of Minnesota. She holds a master’s degree from Dominican University in Illinois and a bachelor’s from College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minnesota.