Board approves seven faculty appointments

The Board of Trustees has approved the appointments of seven new faculty members, including a full professor, an associate professor, four assistant professors and a senior lecturer.


In astrophysical sciences, Stewart Prager’s appointment was effective Feb. 1, 2009. His selection as a faculty member was announced in July when he was chosen to become director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). Prager assumed leadership of PPPL after the U.S. Department of Energy announced in January that Princeton was selected to continue managing the laboratory.

Prager is a pioneer in the field of plasma physics and is internationally known for experiments that have contributed to both fundamental knowledge and the design of future reactors. He previously directed the Madison Symmetric Torus experiment at the University of Wisconsin, where he had served as a faculty member since 1977. He also conducted research for two years with the Fusion Energy Group at the General Atomic Co. (now known as General Atomics) in San Diego.

Prager holds bachelor’s degrees from Queens College of the City University of New York and from Columbia University as well as a a Ph.D. from Columbia.

Associate professor

In chemistry, Haw Yang will join the Princeton faculty effective July 1, 2009. He will arrive from the University of California-Berkeley, where he has been an assistant professor since 2002. He also has been a faculty scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory since 2006.

Yang’s research focuses on physical chemistry, materials chemistry and the biophysics of single biological macromolecules. He has received several major awards that recognize outstanding scientists early in their careers, such as the Sloan Research Fellowship, the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the Hellman Family Faculty Award and the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award.

Yang is a graduate of National Taiwan University and holds a Ph.D. from Berkeley. He spent three years as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University before returning to Berkeley as a faculty member.

Assistant professors

In history, Adam Beaver will begin a three-year term on July 1, 2009. Beaver, who focuses on early modern European history, will join the Princeton faculty from Harvard University, where he earned his Ph.D. and currently serves as a lecturer. He also earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard and holds a master’s degree from the University of Oxford.

In English, Sarah Rivett will begin a three-year term on Sept. 1, 2009. She will come to Princeton after four years as an assistant professor at Washington University. A specialist in early American literature, Rivett is a graduate of the University of California-Berkeley and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

In history, Wendy Warren will begin a three-and-one-half-year term on Feb. 1, 2010. Warren, a specialist in early American history, is a research fellow at the University of Oxford. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Santa Clara University and a Ph.D. from Yale University.

In East Asian studies, Everett Zhang will begin a three-year term on Sept. 1, 2009. Zhang, whose research focuses on Chinese anthropology, will come to Princeton from the State University of New York-Buffalo, where he has been an assistant professor since 2005. He previously spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School. A graduate of Sichuan University, Zhang holds master’s degrees from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Texas State University and a Ph.D. from the University of California-Berkeley.

Senior lecturer

In ecology and evolutionary biology, Eileen Zerba was appointed to a two-and-one-half-year term, effective Feb. 1, 2009. She previously has designed and taught classes for the Princeton Environmental Institute.