Learn more about the members of the Union community who have arrived for the new academic year.
Derek Zuckerman, class dean and director of Advising, comes to Union from the College of the Holy Cross, where he was associate dean for student life. He has also held positions at Iona College, Quinnipiac University and others. He received his Ph.D. from Fordham University, a Masters of Business Administration from Bentley College and a bachelor’s degree from Le Moyne College.
Suzanne Barber, visiting assistant professor, received her Ph.D. in 2015 from Indiana University where she was a dual major in anthropology, folklore and ethnomusicology. She received her master’s degree from Western Kentucky University and bachelor’s degree from California State University, East Bay.
Ellen Robertson, assistant professor, comes to Union after working as a visiting professor at Kalamazoo College, where she also received her bachelor’s degree. She received her Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Oregon with the dissertation, “Vibrational Sum Frequency Spectroscopic Investigations of Carboxylic Acid-Containing Polyelectrolytes at the Oil-Water Interface. “ She also completed postdoctoral work at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif.
Jayson Vedad, lecturer and instrumentation specialist, recently received his Ph.D. from the City University of New York, Graduate School and University Center with the dissertation, “Mechanism and Inhibition of Human Amylin Polypeptide (hIAPP) Self-Assembly.” He also served as an adjunct faculty member at CUNY York College, where he conducted research at the Institute for Macromolecular Assembly.
Lei Wang, visiting assistant professor, comes to Union from the Missouri University of Science and Technology where he received his Ph.D. in computer engineering with the dissertation, “Multimodal Localization and Navigation.” Wang has also taught at Beijing University of Chemical Technology. Some of his teaching interests include network security, machine learning, computer organization and data structure.
Dong (Carl) Cheng, visiting assistant professor, recently received his Ph.D. in economics from Vanderbilt University where he was also an instructor in macroeconomic theory. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Renmin University of China’s School of Economics. His areas of research and teaching interest include international economics, applied econometrics, real estate economics and the Chinese economy.
Funda Dogruer, visiting assistant professor, comes to Union from Texas Tech University, where she recently received her Ph.D. with her dissertation, “Essays on Fiscal and Monetary Policy with Informational Frictions.” She received her bachelor’s degree from Ankara University in Turkey and her master’s degree from Western Kentucky University. Her research interests include macroeconomics, monetary economics and fiscal policy.
Jeeten Krishna Giri, visiting assistant professor, received his Ph.D. in economics from Southern Illinois University, where he taught courses on microeconomics, economics of contemporary social issues and more. He also holds degrees from the University of Calcutta in India and conducted research at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences in Kolkata, India.
Shena McAuliffe, assistant professor, comes to Union after teaching creative writing, short stories and an advanced writing workshop as a visiting assistant professor at Earlham College. She was also the R.P. Dana Emerging Writer Fellow at Cornell College. She is currently working on a novel, “The Good Echo,” and has published numerous short fiction and creative nonfiction. Her Ph.D. is from the University of Utah, with other degrees from Colorado State University and Washington University in St. Louis.
Ehssan Khanmohammadi, visiting assistant professor, was most recently a visiting assistant professor at Franklin & Marshall College. He received his Ph.D. from Penn State University with the dissertation “Quantization of Coadjoint Orbits Via Positivity of Kirillov’s Character Formula.” His research interests include operator algebras, harmonic analysis and representation theory of Lie groups.
Jetjaroen Klangwang, visiting assistant professor, recently received his Ph.D. in mathematics from Oregon State University with his dissertation, “Zeros of Certain Combinations of Products of Eisenstein Series.” He also holds degrees from the University of Utah and Prince of Songkla University in Thailand. His research interest is in the general area of number theory, particularly in the theory of modular forms.
Joel Lefever, visiting assistant professor, recently received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Lafayette College, where he was named to Phi Beta Kappa. Some of his research interests include nanotribology, disordered materials, strengthening mechanisms of nanoparticle packings and plasticity.
Conrad Lawrence Chu, lecturer in choral and orchestra and director of performance, comes to Union after serving as a regular guest conductor for the Litha Symphony Orchestra in New York City. He has extensive conducting experience for choral and orchestral performances and received a Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University’s College of Musical Arts.
Andrea Pedeferri, visiting assistant professor, comes to Union after working as a visiting assistant professor at George Washington University. He also has held teaching positions at Goucher College, Towson University and Universita degli Studi di Milano, which is where he received his Ph.D. In 2008, he was a Fulbright Fellow at Columbia University. His research interests include logic, philosophy of mathematics and science.
Curtis Sommerlatte, visiting assistant professor, most recently worked as an assistant professor at Concordia University in Montreal. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Indiana University, Bloomington, in 2016. He also holds degrees from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and Southwestern University. His areas of specialization include Kant, early modern philosophy, phenomenology and existentialism.
PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY:
Jennifer Carter, visiting instructor, recently received her Ph.D. from the University at Albany with the dissertation, “Estimation of Planetary Light Emissions for Extremely Close-in Exoplanets.” She received numerous honors at UAlbany, include Student Teacher of the Year, Teaching Assistant Excellence in Service and the Ford Foundation IFW Women in Science Fellowship. She also holds a bachelor’s degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
James Porter, visiting assistant professor, has taught physics courses at the University of Maine, Bates College, Colby College, New College of Florida and Darmouth College. He holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University with the dissertation, “Pair and Triplet Interactions in Wide Band Systems.” While at Colby and Bates, he supervised student research projects.
David Siegel, visiting assistant professor, was most recently an adjunct assistant professor at Brooklyn College teaching courses on international politics and law. He received his Ph.D. in 2016 from the Graduate Center, City University of New York, with the dissertation “Social Ties and State Formation in Post-Soviet Central Asia.” He also holds degrees from New York University and Syracuse University, and has also taught courses at Queens College in New York City.
Chad Rogers, assistant professor, comes to Union after serving as a staff scientist in the Peele Lab at Washington University School of Medicine’s Department of Otolaryngology. He has completed postdoctoral research at Brandeis University and Washington University in St. Louis, where he received his Ph.D. in 2010. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida.
Peter Woodford, the Dona and Marshall Robinson Assistant Professor in Science, Philosophy and Religion, comes to Union after completing postdoctoral research at the University of Cambridge. He received his Ph.D. in 2013 from Stanford University and he holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of The Moral Meaning of Nature: Nietzsche’s Darwinian Religion and its Critics. His areas of teaching and research interest include the philosophy of religion, religion and science and 18th and 19th Century Christian though and philosophy.
Andrea Belair, Special Collections and Archives librarian, comes to Union from Yale University, where she was an archivist in the President’s Office. She also worked at the James Blackstone Memorial Library in Branford, Conn. She received her master’s degree from Rutgers University and bachelor’s degree from Marlboro College. She is a member of the New England Archivists, Society of American Archivists and the Archivists Roundtable of Metropolitan New York.
Joanna DiPasquale, director of content and digital library systems, most recently served as the head of digital scholarship and technology services at Vassar College. She has also worked at Columbia University and Pima County Community College in Tucson, Ariz. She has a master’s degree with a concentration in digital libraries from Rutgers University and other degrees from Queens College, New York University and the State University of New York at Geneseo.
Jennifer Grayburn, director of digital scholarship and public services, was the Council on Library and Information Resources Postdoctoral Fellow at Temple University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia and holds other degrees from the University of Iceland and Allegheny College. She has a peer-reviewed publication forthcoming, “CLIR Report 175: 3D/VR Creation and Curation in Higher Education: A Colloquium to Explore Standards and Best Practices.”
Daniel Logan, reference and instruction librarian, comes to Union from Valencia College where he worked as a reference librarian. He also served as a media specialist at the Osceola County School for the Arts. He received his master’s degree from Indiana University, Bloomington, and his bachelor’s degree from Hampshire College.