Eleven tenure-track professors and one tenured professor join Macalester faculty this fall

(l to r): Samuel Asarnow, Philosophy; Dennis Cao, Chemistry; I-Chun Catherine Chang, Geography; Alan Chapman, Geology; Penelope Geng, English; William Hart, Religious Studies; Brian Lozenski, Educational Studies; Lisa Mueller, Political Science; Megan Reilly, Theatre and Dance; Linda Sturtz, History; Andrea Kaston Tange, English; Lori Ziegelmeier, Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science.

St. Paul, Minn. – Eleven new tenure-track faculty members and one tenured professor have joined Macalester this fall. Linda Sturtz will join the History Department with tenure as professor and chair. The 11 new tenure-track professors are: Samuel Asarnow (Philosophy), Dennis Cao (Chemistry), I-Chun Catherine Chang (Geography), Alan Chapman (Geology), Penelope Geng (English), William Hart (Religious Studies), Brian Lozenski (Educational Studies), Lisa Mueller (Political Science), Megan Reilly (Theatre and Dance), Andrea Kaston Tange (English), and Lori Ziegelmeier (Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science).

Asarnow works at the intersection of moral philosophy, action theory, and metaethics.  His research concerns foundational questions about reasoning, rationality, and the nature of intentional action, with particular focus on the idea of acting for a reason. He teaches courses in applied ethics and biomedical ethics.  He received his PhD from Stanford University and his BA from Swarthmore College.

Cao is an organic chemist who is interested in working collaboratively with Macalester students to synthesize novel compounds that can and will be incorporated into functional materials. He is seeking to leverage alkyne metathesis to produce porous 2D and 3D “alkyne-expanded” hydrocarbon compounds that are valuable for gas adsorption and molecular encapsulation applications. Cao is also targeting the synthesis of electron deficient compounds because their predicted tendency to stabilize radical electrons makes them attractive targets for molecular electronics. He received his PhD from Northwestern University and his BS from the University of California-Berkeley.

Chang is an urban and economic geographer whose scholarship focuses on the complex urbanization processes in the global South; in particular, the political economy of urban infrastructure projects in East Asian cities. Her current work examines how these infrastructure projects are situated in various place-specific contexts and embedded in trans-local circulation of knowledge, discourse, and practices.  Chang received her PhD from the University of Minnesota, and her MSc from the National Taiwan University and her BA from the National Kaohsiung Normal University.

Chapman studies the tectonic and petrologic development of continental margins, focusing on the North American Cordillera and the Central Andes.  As a tectonicist, he works to synthesize all available geologic information from the submicron to regional scale to formulate and discriminate among models of the formation, deformation, and destruction of continental lithosphere. He’s primarily interested in understanding regional scale tectono-petrologic processes that lead to the growth and consumption of continental lithosphere.  He received his PhD from the California Institute of Technology and his Bachelor of Science degrees in Geology and Geophysics from the University of Minnesota.

Geng teaches Shakespeare and early modern literature. Her research combines historical and theoretical methods to explore the politics of literature. Currently, she is working on her first book Poetic Justice, an investigation of the vital contribution of early modern literature, especially Shakespearean drama, to popular understandings of justice.  She received her PhD from the University of Southern California, her MA from the University of Chicago and her BA from the University of Toronto.

Hart comes to Macalester as a professor and the holder of the Margaret W. Harmon Chair in Christian Theology and Culture.  His areas of interest include theories of religion, ethics, and politics, African American religious thought and American religious and philosophical thought.  Most recently, he was a professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His latest book is titled, Afro-Eccentricity: Beyond the Standard Narrative of Black Religion (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).  He received his PhD from Princeton University and his MA from the Arizona State University and his BA from the University of Arizona.

Lozenski’s research/teaching interests lie in the areas of urban education, educational inequality, historical foundations of Black education, critical participatory action research and the education of Black youth. He received his PhD from the University of Minnesota, his MEd from the University of Pennsylvania and his BS from Cornell University.

Mueller specializes in comparative politics, political economy, and social movements and is currently studying the interplay of material and political grievances in African protests, with a focus on Niger and Senegal.  She received her PhD and MA from the University of California-Los Angeles, and her BA from Pomona College.

Reilly is a lighting and media designer whose research interests lie in design-driven performance, lighting design for immersive theatre and the use of game mechanics in theatrical production. Video games and Alternate Reality Games have always been an influence for her and are responsible for her path as a lighting designer and her desire to create interactive art.  She received her MFA from the University of Texas and her BA in Theater and BS in Biology from the University of New Hampshire.

Sturtz taught at Beloit College for over 20 years and comes to Macalester as a tenured professor and chair of the History Department. Her current research focuses on the ways that African-Caribbean women sought to cultivate an expressive culture within a slave society and how their tactics adapted to new forms of social control in the aftermath of abolition.  She received her the PhD from Washington University, her MA from the College of William and Mary and her BA from Carleton College.

Kaston Tange comes to the English Department as a professor. She was most recently a professor of English at Eastern Michigan University.  She has long been interested in the intersections of gender, class and identity in the nineteenth century, and her research and teaching reflect a deep commitment to a cultural studies approach to history and literature. Her book, Architectural Identities (University of Toronto Press, 2010) examines representations of Victorian domestic life in a range of sources–from fiction to floor plans, autobiography to housekeeping guides.  Her current book project focuses on Victorian travel and Britishness in the age of empire.  She holds a PhD and MA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her BA is from the University of Vermont.

Ziegelmeier’s interests lie in the field of geometric and topological data analysis, an area of mathematics at the intersection of linear algebra, geometry, topology, computing, data mining, statistics, and optimization.  She applies techniques from these areas in order to understand the structure of data sets, with a particular emphasis on biological data, image analysis, and classification.  She was a long-term visitor at the Institute for Mathematics and Its Applications during the thematic program of Scientific and Engineering Applications of Algebraic Topology as well as a visiting assistant professor at Macalester for two years before becoming tenure-track. She received her PhD, MS, BS, and BA from Colorado State University.

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 2,045 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism, and civic engagement. Learn more at macalester.edu.

August 30 2015

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