New faculty add to academic excellence at Wooster

A virtual new faculty orientation earlier this summer as well as a number of teaching workshops allowed faculty to collaborate and develop strategies for online classes.

September 10, 2020   /  

This fall as faculty and staff worked to revamp courses and prepare for an unpredictable semester with hybrid learning environments and innovative teaching methods, more than 30 new faculty and academic staff join The College of Wooster community. They bring new perspectives and add to the academic excellence of a Wooster education in a number of different departments, with a full list included below.

“Welcoming our new faculty each year is always one of the highlights for me. Whether they’re here for a year or hoping to stay for many years, they bring new areas of research, different life experiences, and innovative teaching ideas with them,” said Lisa Perfetti, provost and professor of French and English at The College of Wooster. “Our new colleagues have taught at many other institutions around the globe, have won teaching awards and competitive research grants, and have important projects that will make a difference in addressing social inequalities, contribute to scientific advances, and help us understand the value of the arts and humanities in creating societies where all can thrive.”

Perfetti noted that the COVID-19 pandemic makes creating a festive and welcoming environment for new colleagues more challenging. New faculty participated in a virtual new faculty orientation earlier this summer as well as a number of teaching workshops that allowed faculty to collaborate and develop strategies for online classes. “Our faculty and staff have worked hard to reach out and create that sense of welcome and support that we so value here,” Perfetti said.

Among those listed below, new tenure-track faculty include Huiting Tian in economics, Heather Guarnera in computer science, Michael Miyawaki in sociology, Naoko Skala in theatre, Hamed Goharipour in urban studies, Erum Haider in environmental studies and political science, and Beth Derderian in museum studies. Takiyah Amin in Africana studies and Subhadip Chowdhury in mathematics have accepted 3-year positions.

Takiyah Amin – Africana Studies
Leah Gaines – Africana Studies
Siavash Samei – Anthropology/Archeology
Cassidy Ely – Art and Art History
Stephen Ferguson – Biology
Rebecca Williams – Biology
Ferdinand Nanfack Minkeu – Biology Postdoctoral Fellow
Carrie Salmon – Chemistry
Robert Razzante – Communication
Heather Guarnera – Computer Science
Drew Guarnera – Computer Science
Moses Luri – Economics
John Schwendel – Economics
Huiting Tian – Economics
Allison Neptune – Education
Kevin Zayed – Education
Katy Holihan – German Studies
Subhadip Chowdhury – Mathematical/Computational Sciences
Elizabeth Derderian – Museum Studies
Bethany Mamola – Music
Avram Munoz – Political Science
Erum Haider – Political Science and Environmental Studies
Michelle Colvin – Psychology
Terry Hawley Reeder – Religious Studies
Nicholas Szymanski – Registrar
Thomas Dyne – Russian Studies
Michael Miyawaki – Sociology/Anthropology
Emily Baird – Theatre and Dance
Suwatana Rockland – Theatre and Dance Costume Shop
Naoko Skala – Theatre and Dance
Hamed Goharipour – Urban Studies

The College also welcomes three new adjunct faculty including Andrea Rissing in environmental studies, Cathy Roche in economics, Mingyao Zhao in music, and Kate Ferguson in music and also director of the Scot Marching Band.

The College of Wooster is America’s premier college for mentored undergraduate research. Wooster offers an excellent, comprehensive liberal arts education, culminating in a rigorous senior project, in which each student works one-on-one with a faculty mentor to conceive, organize and complete a significant research project on a topic of the student’s own choosing. Through this distinctive program, every Wooster student develops abilities valued by employers and graduate schools alike: independent judgment, analytical ability, creativity, project-management and time-management skills, and strong written and oral communication skills. Founded in 1866, the College enrolls approximately 2,000 students.