exterior of the Firestone LIbrary

Board approves 22 faculty appointments

Oct. 12, 2018 11:14 a.m.

The Princeton University Board of Trustees has approved the appointment of 22 faculty members, including seven full professors, one associate professor and 14 assistant professors.

Professor

Aisha Beliso-De Jesús, in Spanish and Portuguese and American studies, joined the faculty this summer from Harvard Divinity School, where she had been on the faculty since 2009. A cultural and social anthropologist, her research focuses on Santeria practitioners in Cuba and the United States, as well as on black and brown communities affected by police violence in the United States.

Beliso-De Jesús earned her Ph.D. from Stanford University and B.A. from the University of California-Berkeley.

Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi, in Near Eastern studies, will join the faculty in winter 2019 from his role as a professor at the University of Illinois, where he has taught since 2005. Previously, he was an assistant professor at Georgia State University. Ghamari-Tabrizi received his Ph.D. from the University of California-Santa Cruz and B.S. from Polytechnic University in Tehran.

An expert in global history and Islamist social movements, his research addresses the conceptual, political and historical significance of the Iranian revolution of 1979.

Aleksandar Hemon, in the Lewis Center for the Arts, joined the faculty this summer. From 2015-18 he was the distinguished writer-in-residence at Columbia College Chicago and from 2011-18 he was on the faculty of New York University’s Low-Residency Writers Workshop in Paris. He held earlier teaching positions at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois.

Named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow in 2004, Hemon is the author of “The Lazarus Project,” which was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award. He earned his M.A. at Northwestern and B.A. at the University of Sarajevo.

Jonathan Levine, in ecology and evolutionary biology, will join the faculty in winter 2019 from ETH Zürich, where he has been a professor since 2013. From 2003-13, Levine was on the faculty at the University of California-Santa Barbara and he previously taught at the University of California-Los Angeles.

His research examines the leading questions in plant population and community ecology, with implications for the conservation and management of nature. Levine earned a Ph.D. from the University of California-Berkeley and B.S. from Brown University.

Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis, in music, will join the faculty in summer 2019 from her post as distinguished professor and Music Cognition Lab director at the University of Arkansas, where she has been since 2003,  except for two years at Northwestern. Margulis earned her Ph.D. from Columbia University and B.M. from the Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University.

An expert in music from the perspective of cognitive science, Margulis uses theoretical, behavioral, and neuroimaging methodologies to investigate the dynamic experience of listeners without special musical training.

Laurence Ralph, in anthropology, joined the faculty this summer. He comes to Princeton from Harvard University, where he has taught since 2011. His research interests encompass urban anthropology, medical anthropology, the study of gangs, disability, masculinity, race and popular culture.

Ralph completed his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago and his B.A. at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Halil Mete Soner, in operations research and financial engineering, will join the faculty in summer 2019 from ETH Zürich, where he has been a professor since 2009. Previously, he taught at Sabanci University, Koç University, Princeton and Carnegie Mellon University. His teaching and research emphasize nonlinear analysis in partial differential equations, stochastic processes and mathematical finance.

Soner received his Ph.D. from Brown and B.S. from Bogazici University.

Associate professor

Christina Lee, in Spanish and Portuguese, was appointed to the rank of associate professor this summer after serving as a lecturer at Princeton since 2007. She earlier was an assistant professor at Connecticut College and San Jose State University.

An expert in Hispanic-Asian transpacific studies, Lee earned her Ph.D. from Princeton and B.A. from the University of California-Berkeley.

Assistant professor

Brittany Adamson, in molecular biology and the Lewis-Sigler Institute, joined the faculty this fall. Specializing in experimental genomics, Adamson was granted a Ph.D. from Harvard Medical School and B.A. from MIT.

Flora Champy, in French and Italian, joined the faculty this fall. She holds a dual Ph.D. from the Ècole Normale Supérieure de Lyon and Rutgers University, an M.A. from Université Paris IV – Sorbonne and a B.A. from Ècole Normale Supérieure de Paris. Her research interests center on 18th-century French literature and culture.

Jia Deng, in computer science, joined the faculty this fall from the University of Michigan, where he has been an assistant professor since 2014. His work focuses on computer vision and machine learning. Deng completed his Ph.D. at Princeton and B.S. at Tsinghua University.

Felix Heide, in computer science, will join the faculty in winter 2019. Heide presently is co-founder and chief technology officer at Algolux and a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford. An expert in computational imaging and vision systems, he earned a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia and M.S. and B.S. from the University of Siegen.

William Jacobs, in chemistry, will join the faculty in summer 2019 from Harvard, where he is pursuing a postdoctoral fellowship. His research tackles problems in biophysics and nanoscience, with a focus on complex self-assembly. Jacobs received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge and B.S. from the University of Virginia.

Patricia Kirkland, in politics and the Woodrow Wilson School, joined the faculty this summer from Vanderbilt University, where she completed a postdoctoral fellowship. Kirkland earned her Ph.D. from Columbia and B.A. from Temple University. Her research examines American politics with a focus on subnational politics and public policy.

Sarah Kocher, in ecology and evolutionary biology and the Lewis-Sigler Institute, joined the faculty this fall. Kocher’s research focuses on how genes and ecology interact to shape social traits. She received her Ph.D. from North Carolina State University and B.S. from the University of Illinois.

Amit Levy, in computer science, joined the faculty this fall. He comes to Princeton from the Stanford Information Networks Group. A Ph.D. graduate of Stanford, he completed an M.S. and B.S. at the University of Washington. Levy’s research interests cover distributed systems, operating systems, security, privacy and programming languages.

Eszter Posfai, in molecular biology, will join the faculty in winter 2019. She pursued postdoctoral research at the Sickkids Research Institute, and received her Ph.D. from the University of Basel and M.S. and B.S. from the University of Szeged. Her work applies quantitative approaches for understanding mammalian preimplantation embryo formation.

Michele Sarazen, in chemical and biological engineering, will join the faculty in winter 2019 from her postdoctoral research fellowship at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of California-Berkeley and earned her B.S. at Pennsylvania State University. Sarazen’s research focuses on chemical engineering and catalysis.

Maria Micaela Sviatschi, in economics and the Woodrow Wilson School, joined the faculty this summer after completing postdoctoral work at the International Crisis Group and Empirical Studies of Conflict Project. Her research interests are rooted in labor and development economics, with a focus on human capital and crime. Sviatschi earned her Ph.D. at Columbia and M.A. and B.S. at Universidad de San Andres.

Cameron Wu, in architecture, joined the faculty this summer from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where he served as associate professor. Wu is also a principal in an independent practice. From 2004-08, he worked at James Carpenter Design Associates. An expert in the organizational principles of geometric form, Wu received his B.S.E. from Princeton and his M.Arch. from Harvard.

Sanfeng Wu, in physics, will join the faculty in winter 2019 upon completing a Pappalardo Fellowship at MIT. An expert in experimental condensed matter physics, Wu earned a Ph.D. from the University of Washington and B.S. from the University of Science & Technology of China.

Owen Zidar, in economics and the Woodrow Wilson School, joined the faculty this summer. He also is a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His previous experience includes roles as an assistant professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, a staff economist at the Council of Economic Advisers, and an analyst at Bain Capital Ventures. Zidar earned a Ph.D. from the University of California-Berkeley and B.A. from Dartmouth College.