Union welcomes new faculty members

Publication Date

Union College welcomes 18 new faculty members this fall as part of the 2020-21 academic year.


Kathryn Feller, assistant professor, comes to Union from the University of Minnesota, where she was a postdoc researcher. She received her Ph.D. in 2014 from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and her bachelor’s degree from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. For two years, she was also the Marie Sklowdowska-Curie Independent Postdoc Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.


Lee Pedzisa, visiting assistant professor, was most recently an assistant professor and chemistry lab supervisor at Palm Beach Atlantic University. He received his Ph.D. in 2016 from the Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Fla. Pedzisa’s research focuses on the synthesis of selenocysteine antibody-drug conjugates aimed at improving the safety of cancer drugs. He also has mentored high school and undergraduate students who were conducting research at Scripps Research.

Brandon Schabes, lecturer, comes to Union from the University of Oregon, where he received his Ph.D. in 2019 with the dissertation “Polyelectrolytes and Surfactants at the Oil/Water Surface.” He has taught courses in general chemistry, chemical principles and the chemistry of sustainability.


Laura Winters, visiting assistant professor, holds degrees in both classics and physics. She received her Ph.D. earlier this year in classical studies from Duke University and has a master’s in physics from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research interests include ancient mathematics, history of philosophy, papyrology and ancient poetic meter. Her teaching experience includes Duke University, the University of Illinois at Chicago and St. Johns College in Santa Fe, N.M.


Caroline Abraham, visiting assistant professor, comes to Union from Vanderbilt University, where she received her Ph.D. earlier this year with an examination of the U.S. Clean Air Act. Her primary research fields include environmental economics and law and economics. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at, respectively, St. Joseph’s College of Arts and Sciences and TERI School of Advanced Studies, both in India. She has taught courses on economic statistics, game theory, macroeconomics and microeconomics.

Dang “Alicia” Huong, assistant professor, comes to Union after receiving her Ph.D. from the George Washington University. She holds additional degrees from the University of Cambridge, Brown University and Li Po Chun United World College in Hong Kong. Her research fields include applied microeconomics, industrial organization, applied econometrics and development economics. Professionally, she has held consulting positions for NORC at the University of Chicago, the World Bank, United Nations Population Fund and the International Labor Organization.

Maria Dolores Garrido Garcia, visiting assistant professor, comes to Union after receiving her Ph.D. from Washington State University for the dissertation, “Innovation, Green Labels and Consumer Preferences.” She holds other degrees from the University of Wales and University of Cordoba. Her research interests include environmental and natural resource economics, game theory and consumer preferences for food, technology and information.


Amy Loya ‘14, visiting instructor, returns to Union after receiving her Ph.D. from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute earlier this year. She is an alumna and continues to be a member of the Union community as a volunteer basketball coach. As a student, she was recognized as a member of the Allstate Good Works Team, made up of 10 student-athletes in the NCAA and NAIA who demonstrate the ability to balance academics and athletics while committing themselves to giving back to others. Loya had numerous publications, posters and presentations in her time at Union and RPI.


Elena McGrath, assistant professor, comes to Union after serving as visiting assistant professor at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn. She received her Ph.D. in 2016 from the University of Wisconsin at Madison with her dissertation, “Drinking and Dynamite: Revolution and Social Struggle in a Bolivian Mining Town, 1900-1992.” She has taught at Carleton, the University of Virginia and the University of London with courses on modern Latin America, the history of the U.S.-Mexico border and natural disaster and society in Latin America.


Louisa Catalano, visiting assistant professor, most recently completed her Ph.D. at Kent State University and holds other degrees from John Carroll University and College of Wooster. She has taught courses in analytic geometry, calculus, trigonometry pathways, algebra for calculus pathways and more.

Gregory Malen, visiting assistant professor, comes to Union after serving as the Phillip Griffiths Assistant Research Professor at Duke University, where he taught courses in probability, combinatorics, data analysis and more. His Ph.D. is from The Ohio State University with the dissertation, “The Topology of Random Flag and Graph Homomorphism Complexes.” He holds a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University, where he double majored in mathematics and theater.

Phanuel Mariano, assistant professor, received his Ph.D. in 2018 from the University of Connecticut with the dissertation, “Functional Inequalities for Hypoelliptic Diffusions Using Probabilistic and Geometric Methods.” Some of his research interests include probability theory, sub-Riemannian geometry and functional inequalities.


Colin Gleason ‘11, visiting assistant professor, returns to Union after receiving his Ph.D. in physics from the University of South Carolina in 2017. Since then, he has served as a postdoctoral fellow at Indiana University. He has returned to Union several times for invited talks. His research interests include experimental nuclear and hadron physics.


Conor O’Dea, visiting assistant professor, was most recently a visiting assistant professor of social psychology at Skidmore College. He received his Ph.D. in 2019 from Kansas State University with the dissertation, “Maintaining the Status Hierarchy: The Effect of Threat on Perceptions of Reappropriated Racial Slurs.” He received numerous awards and distinctions during his time at Kansas State and taught courses in general psychology, experimental methods and lifespan personality development.


Maite Cruz Tleugabulova, assistant professor, specializes in early modern philosophy. Her research focuses on Hume’s epistemology and metaphysics. She has published articles on Hume’s theory of memory and on his views on the role of style in philosophical arguments. Before coming to Union, she was a visiting assistant professor at the University of Iowa. She received her Ph.D. from Boston University in 2019.

David Friedell, assistant professor, comes to Union after serving as a lecturer at the University of British Columbia, where he was also a postdoctoral fellow. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles with a dissertation on abstract artifacts. His areas of specialization include metaphysics, aesthetics and philosophy of language. He has taught courses on epistemology, philosophy of gender and environmental ethics.


Rosemary Patterson, visiting assistant professor, comes to Union after most recently working as a medical social worker at Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital in Schenectady and Albany Medical Center. She has also worked as an adjunct professor at Excelsior College and The College of St. Rose, teaching courses on traumatic brain injuries, post traumatic stress disorder and social work. She holds degrees from St. Rose and the University at Albany.