By: Nick Santangelo

For the start of the 2019-2020 academic year, the College of Liberal Arts is excited to welcome 27 new faculty members to campus. These passionate educators and researchers will bring new perspectives to our classrooms, labs and communities. Take a few moments to get to know them before the semester officially starts on August 26!


Tenure -Track Faculty

Dr. Eli Alshanetsky has been appointed as a Philosophy Assistant Professor. Previously, he was an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in the Humanities at Stanford University. He received his PhD in philosophy from New York University. His research and teaching interests are at the intersection of the philosophy of mind and language, the theory of knowledge, and cognitive science. His recent book Articulating a Thought (forthcoming with Oxford University Press this fall) examines how we make our thoughts clear to ourselves in the process of putting them into words.

Dr. Chelsea Helion is a Psychology Department Assistant Professor. She received her BA in Psychology from Temple University and her PhD in Social Psychology from Cornell University. Prior to joining Temple’s faculty, she was a postdoctoral research scientist at Columbia University. Her research focuses on self-regulation and decision-making, with a particular focus on emotion-regulation across development.

Dr. Rhiannon Jerch has been appointed Assistant Professor of Economics. She received her PhD in applied economics from Cornell University. Her research applies empirical methods from microeconomics to understand the relationship between urban growth, public goods provision and environmental regulation. Most recently, she completed research on municipal compliance with the Clean Water Act and found that this major environmental regulation not only improved local water quality among U.S. cities but attracted people to move into now cleaner cities. Dr. Jerch has published work on the welfare of privatizing public transportation and is currently testing how air pollution regulation in Beijing is changing patterns of gentrification and the gender commute gap within married couples. Her teaching responsibilities at Temple will include offering courses on microeconomic theory, econometrics and environmental economics at both undergraduate and graduate levels. In future work, she looks forward to exploring how historic decisions on the placement of early sewer pipes impacts economic persistence across Philadelphia. 

Dr. Xiaojiang Li is a Geography and Urban Studies Department Assistant Professor. He received his PhD in Geography from the University of Connecticut. Most recently, he completed his postdoc fellowship from Senseable City Lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His current research focuses on developing and applying geospatial technologies and data-driven approaches in the domain of urban studies. He has proposed to use Google Street View and Artificial Intelligence for urban environmental studies and developed the Treepedia project, which aims to map and quantify street greenery for cities around the world. As a spatial data scientist and urban scientist, his research interests include data-driven urban studies, spatial data science, machine learning, urban computing and spatial analyses, computer vision, and remote sensing. His research aims to provide a better understanding of human and urban environment systems and explore how digital technologies could benefit human society. His work has been featured in popular media outlets, including TIME, Scientific American, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Guardian, Wired, CBC News, The Atlantic and Associated Press.

Liz Moore has been appointed Associate Professor in the MFA Program in Creative Writing (Fiction). She received her MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from Hunter College - CUNY. She has published three novels, along with short stories, essays, articles, and book chapters. Her teaching responsibilities at Temple will include both graduate and undergraduate creative writing courses. Her fourth novel is forthcoming in January 2020. 

Dr. Lauren Olsen has been appointed Assistant Professor of Sociology. She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of California San Diego. Most recently, she completed the UC Dissertation Year Fellowship and published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior. Her research and teaching interests at Temple will include the sociology of medicine and education.

Dr. Laura A. Orrico is a Department of Sociology Assistant Professor. She received her PhD in Sociology from UCLA, an MA in Latin American and Caribbean Studies from NYU and most recently served as Assistant Professor of Sociology at Penn State Abington. Her research centers on the everyday ways people navigate conditions of marginality and precarity in the urban context. In addition to published journal articles, she has a co-authored book under contract with NYU Press and a sole-authored book manuscript in development.

Dr. Danya Pilgrim has been appointed Assistant Professor of History. She received her PhD in African American Studies and American Studies from Yale University. A historian of 19th-century African America, Dr. Pilgrim’s research and teaching focus on topics such as food, labor, intersectionality, material and visual culture as well as public history and the digital humanities. Her current research project traces the development of Philadelphia’s black catering industry over the course of the long 19th century.   

Dr. Michael W. Sances is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science. He received his BA from the University of Massachusetts and a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Sances was previously a postdoctoral scholar at Vanderbilt University and was an Assistant Professor at the University of Memphis from 2015 to 2019. He studies political accountability and representation in American state and local government and has published articles on inequalities in property tax assessments, the causes and consequences of cities' use of criminal fines as for revenue, and the political impacts of the Affordable Care Act.

Dr. Viviane Sanfelice has joined Temple University as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics. She received her PhD in Economics from the University of Rochester. Prior to her doctoral studies, she also received an MA in Economics from Fundação Getúlio Vargas in 2010 and a BA in Applied Mathematics from the University of São Paulo in 2008. Her research focuses on applied microeconomics, with applications to topics on development, public and urban economics. Her responsibilities at Temple will include teaching undergraduate and graduate Econometrics.

Dr. Jessica Stanton has been appointed Associate Professor of Political Science. She received her PhD in political science with distinction from Columbia University and her BA in international relations with distinction from Stanford University. Her research focuses on the causes, dynamics and resolution of civil wars; the role of international law in international relations; and criminal accountability for wartime violence. Her book, Violence and Restraint in Civil War: Civilian Targeting in the Shadow of International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2016), examines why some governments and rebel groups engaged in civil war adopt strategies involving the deliberate targeting of civilians, while other groups, in accordance with international humanitarian law, refrain from attacking civilians. Violence and Restraint in Civil War received the International Studies Association’s Best Book Award as well as the Lepgold Book Prize from the Mortara Center for International Studies at Georgetown University, both recognizing the best book on international relations published in 2016. Professor Stanton’s research has also been published in The Journal of Politics, the Journal of Conflict Resolution and International Studies Quarterly. Before joining Temple, Dr. Stanton was a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Minnesota. She has also held fellowships at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University, the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University and the Christopher H. Browne Center for International Politics at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Dr. Kimberley Thomas has joined the Department of Geography and Urban Studies as an Assistant Professor. She received her BS in Biology from the University of Victoria, her MS in Oceanography from the University of Hawaii and her PhD in Geography from Rutgers University. She was an Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania and an Assistant Professor at Penn State University. She spent the past year in Japan as a Visiting Research Fellow in the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at Kyoto University. Her research focuses on environmental politics and climate change adaptation in South and Southeast Asia and appears in peer-reviewed journals, education articles and popular media.

Dr. Olga Timoshenko has been appointed as an Associate Professor of Economics. Dr. Timoshenko received her PhD in economics from Yale University. Her research lies in the area of international trade and examines the role of information in firms’ decisions. Her published work includes a book chapter and six articles published in peer-reviewed academic journals.

Dr. Steven Windisch is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice. He received his PhD in Criminology from the University of Nebraska. His research examines the overlap between conventional criminal offending and violent extremism. He has published several articles and book chapters related to these topics and has worked on multiple projects funded by the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Institute of Justice. Most recently, Dr. Windisch served as Managing Editor for the academic journal Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict: Pathways toward Terrorism and Genocide.

Dr. Celeste Winston is a new Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Urban Studies. Her research expertise is in the areas of black geographies, urban development and planning, GIS, and qualitative methods. Dr. Winston conducts research that centers black communities’ lived experiences with issues such as displacement, divestment and policing. Simultaneously, her work explores the ways that organizing and everyday life practices in black communities offer a way out of social injustices. These lines of inquiry aim to document spatially and temporally overlapping systems of racial and economic violence in order to generate evidence for more livable and equitable geographies. She uses critical qualitative and quantitative methods—often in collaboration with community organizations and leaders. Dr. Winston received her PhD in 2019 from the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her dissertation is entitled How to Lose the Hounds: Tracing the Relevance of Marronage for Contemporary Anti-Police Struggles. She received her MPhil from the same program in February 2018 and a BA in Geography from Dartmouth College in 2014.


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Teaching Instructional Faculty

Dr. Nicolaos Catsis  has been appointed Assistant Professor of Instruction of Political Science. He received his doctorate in political science from Temple University in 2014. Most recently, he served as the Assistant Professor of Global Studies at Wilson College. At Temple, he will be teaching a variety of courses in comparative politics and international relations. 

Dr. Declan Gould has been appointed Assistant Professor of Instruction in Intellectual Heritage. She recently received her PhD in English at SUNY Buffalo. Her work is rooted in both literary studies and disability studies, and she brings a particular wealth of knowledge on connecting disability to pedagogy.  She also holds an MFA in creative writing from Temple University and a BA in English from the College of William and Mary, Magna Cum Laude. Her teaching responsibilities at Temple will focus on General Education courses.

Dr. Douglas Green has been appointed Assistant Professor of Teaching Instruction of Criminal Justice.  He received his PhD in Criminal Justice from John Jay College/The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, as well as MAs in Forensic Psychology and Criminal Justice from John Jay College. Dr. Green recently retired from a 28-year career as a special agent and a digital forensic examiner with Homeland Security Investigations, the largest investigative component of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. His research interests include the expression of traumatic stress reactions by law enforcement personnel, issues in cybercrime and other topics that have been informed by his career in law enforcement. 

Dr. Nah Dove has been appointed as Assistant Professor Instruction in the Department of Africology and African American Studies. She received her PhD in American Studies from SUNY Buffalo. Her work focuses on African cultural history and, in particular, the status of people (particularly mothers) of African descent living in developing patriarchal societies. With an MSc in the Sociology of Education from the Institute of Education, University of London, Dr. Dove is particularly interested in curriculum context in the teaching of cultural identity as a way of understanding one’s location in human history. Most recently, she has contributed to The Encyclopedia of African Cultural Heritage in North America, is working on a Blueprint for Afrocentric Education and has a sole-authored book published in 1998 Afrikan Mothers; Bearers of Culture, Makers of Social Change.

Dr. Michael McGlin is an Assistant Professor of Instruction, Department of Greek and Roman Classics. Dr. McGlin received his PhD in classics from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2019. He earned his BA in classics at the College of the Holy Cross and his MA at SUNY Buffalo. His research interests include the ancient economy, its intersection with Greek religion and Greek epigraphy. His current research project focuses on loan transactions from the temple of Apollo on the Aegean island of Delos during the period of the island’s independence, 314-167 BCE. 

Nicole Nathan is an instructor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. She received her BA from Hanover College and her MA from Temple University. She is currently a doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Temple University. Her research is on cross-cultural encounters during religious tourism. Most recently, she completed a Fulbright Scholarship in the Dominican Republic to complete her doctoral fieldwork and a dissertation writing fellowship through the Center for Humanities at Temple. Her teaching responsibilities at Temple will focus on general education courses.

Dr. Fernando Fonseca Pacheco is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. He received his BA in Literary Studies from the Universidad Nacional de Colombi, and his MA and PhD in Spanish from Penn State University. His research focuses on long-term institutionalization processes of literary and cultural production in both Spanish America and Brazil. His scholarly work has been published in the Hispanic Review, The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism and other academic outlets. 

Dr. Valentina Parma is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology. She earned a PhD in experimental psychology from the University of Padova, Italy and held postdoctoral fellowships at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia; the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste, Italy; and at the William James Center for Research in Lisbon, Portugal. Her research explores how the sense of smell helps people navigate and make sense of their (social) world. By studying the ways in which odors bias people's physiology and behavior across typical and atypical development, her research offers insights into how individuals with autism spectrum disorder can better cope with complex social situations. She has authored 40 publications, published in Biological Psychiatry, Cortex and Scientific Reports, among others.

Dr. Christopher Swann has been appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics.  His specific assignments will include Principle of Macroeconomics, Managerial Economics and the Capstone Writing Seminar. He had previously served as an Adjunct Professor of Economics in the Economics Department. Prior to teaching as an adjunct, he was Vice President of Research at Select Greater Philadelphia. He holds a BA in economics from Washington University, St. Louis and an MA and PhD in economics from Temple University.

Dr. Jamie Zelechowski has been appointed Assistant Professor of Teaching Instruction in the Department of French, German, Italian, and Slavic. She received her PhD in Germanic Languages from the University of California, Los Angeles. Most recently, she served as Visiting Assistant Professor of German at Illinois Wesleyan University. Her teaching responsibilities will include courses in German language and culture.


Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Usha Vishnuvajjala is a new postdoctoral fellow in pre-modern literature and culture in the English department. Since completing her PhD in English and medieval studies at Indiana University in 2016, she has taught writing and literature at Coppin State University, American University and Tulane University. Her research focuses on gender and friendship in late medieval literature and on gender in modern representations of the Middle Ages. Her work has appeared in Arthuriana and Texas Studies in Literature and Language and is forthcoming in Studies in Medievalism and a number of edited collections, and her monograph, Feminist Medievalisms, is under contract with Arc Humanities Press. At Temple, she will be teaching a course on gender, power and community in Arthurian literature.

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