A crop of new professors will join the School of Arts and Sciences for the academic year. The school has appointed 22 new members to its faculty across several departments.
Gareth Roberts and Meredith Tamminga join the Linguistics Department as assistant professors. Roberts examines the evolution of languages within societies and was sought out by the Penn Evolution Cluster, who were interested in an assistant professor who studied “evolution, broadly interpreted.” Roberts has several aspirations while at Penn concerning his research. “My biggest aspiration is to develop a real experimental science of language change,” Roberts said.
When asked about his hopes for the upcoming school year, Roberts was enthused by the atmosphere Penn provides. “Having spent close to a decade in other people’s labs, I think I’m most excited by the opportunity to establish my own lab,” Roberts said. “[But] I’m [also] very excited by the opportunity Penn gives me for encounters with other thinkers, across a broad range of disciplines, and the potential for these encounters to take my research in directions I had not imagined.”
New professors in the Earth and Environmental Science Department include associate David Goldsby, assistant Lauren Sallan and Reto Gieré, who joins Penn from Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg in Germany. Gieré has a Ph.D. from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and focuses on research concerning the use of mineralogy to combat the deterioration of the environment.
Additions to the Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations Department are assistants Isabel Cranz and Huda Fakhreddine. Cranz has a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University and her focus is in biblical studies. Fakhreddine acquired a doctorate from Indiana University and studies Arabic poetry and literature.
Rahul Mukherjee joins the English Department as the Dick Wolf Assistant Professor of Television and Media Studies. His focus is interdisciplinary and focuses on technologies in media. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Heather Williams is the Presidential Professor of Africana Studies. Williams last taught at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She has a Ph.D. from Yale University and focuses on the history of slavery in the American South, reunification of enslaved families across time and patterns of immigration in her home country of Jamaica.
Steven Weitzman has been appointed as the Abraham M. Ellis Professor of Hebrew and Semitic Languages and Literature in the Department of Religious Studies. Weitzman comes from a teaching position at Stanford University and has a Ph.D. from Harvard University. He studies the history of Jewish culture and scripture.
Errol Lord and Quayshawn Spencer are new hires for the Philosophy Department as assistant professors. Lord has a Ph.D. from Princeton University and studies reasoning and the philosophy of the mind. Spencer, who joins the faculty in the spring semester, focuses on philosophies of race. Spencer received his doctorate at Princeton University.
Other additions to the school faculty include Jessica Anna, Johannes Burge, Hsiao-wen Chang , Megan Kassabaum, Eleni Katifori , B. Harun Küçük, Michele Margolis, Greta Panova, Gregory Ridgeway and Jorge Téllez. All are assistant professors.