By: Kaitlyn Sutton

This year, we are pleased to welcome 22 new faculty members from a variety of disciplines to the College of Liberal Arts. These new faculty members will be teaching in our classrooms, leading our research, and forging partnerships across the community. They join our already impressive list of more than 400 full-time faculty.

“We promote academic excellence and progressive thinkers and doers at the College of Liberal Arts,” stated Dean Richard Deeg. “I believe with the help of our new faculty, we will continue to make major contributions to society and the world.”

Tenure-Track Faculty

Dr. Chloé Bakalar, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania and her B.A. in Politics from New York University. Most recently, she served as Senior Research Specialist at Princeton University's Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP). Her research interests include: constitutional law (esp. First Amendment); civil rights/civil liberties; American political development; ethics and public policy (esp. technology ethics); normative ethics; democratic theory; modern political thought; contemporary political thought; the history of ideas; and race, class and gender studies. She recently co-authored a series of educational use case studies on AI Ethics. She is currently completing a book, Small Talk: The Impact of Social Speech on Liberal Democratic Citizenship, which explores the positive and negative effects of everyday talk on the political. 

Dr. Austin B. Bean, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics.  He received his PhD from the University of Texas - Austin, and an MA and BA from NYU and from the University of Chicago.  Dr. Bean received his PhD in economics with specializations in industrial organization and health economics.  His work is a study of the incentives that hospitals have to make investments in advanced medical technology and how these investments may be harmful to aggregate patient welfare.  He is also interested in the relationship between patient volume and outcome quality in hospitals.  His teaching responsibilities at Temple will include industrial organization and health economics at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  His research interests include the estimation of dynamic models and the production of quality in health care.

Dr. Lee-Ann Chae has been appointed Assistant Professor of Philosophy in the College of Liberal Arts. She received her Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her J.D. from the University of Southern California School of Law.  From 2016-2018, she was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Legal Studies and Business Ethics Department at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.  Her current work defends pacifism and nonviolent resistance, and offers a critique of just war theory. She is interested in understanding how we might resist the moral allure of violence (including self-defensive killing), and her research focuses on questions about nonviolent conflict resolution, trust and moral deliberation, and hope for a peaceful future. Her most recent publication is “Pacific Resistance: A Moral Alternative to Defensive War.” At Temple, she will be teaching courses in social and political philosophy.

Dr. Rebeca L. Hey-Colón, Assistant Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Hey-Colón received her PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures from Harvard University. She specializes in Contemporary Latinx and Caribbean Studies, and she looks forward to growing the presence of these disciplines at Temple. Her current book project places Chicanx cultural production in dialogue with Caribbean Latinx communities through the lens of spirituality. Before coming to Temple, Hey-Colón was Assistant Professor of Spanish at Colby College. She was also the 2017-2018 Center for Mexican American Studies Carlos E. Castañeda Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin. Currently, she is a 2018 Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellow.

Dr. Johanna Jarcho, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology. Dr. Jarcho received her BA from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she also obtained her PhD in social psychology. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health prior to joining the faculty at Stony Brook University. Her research focuses on identifying the neurocognitive mechanisms that promote social competence in adolescence and adulthood. She has published over 40 peer-reviewed papers and recently completing studies using nonverbal behavior to predict rejection-elicited aggression and using fMRI and EEG to map neural responses during peer-based interactions.

Dr. Travis Meyers was born and raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He joined the faculty of the Department of Criminal Justice at Temple University in fall 2018. Travis received his B.S. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and his M.S. in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Arizona State University. This spring, Travis received his Ph.D. in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Arizona State University. His research interests include corrections and correctional policy with a specific emphasis on offender rehabilitation and programming. Travis has spent the last year interviewing incarcerated individuals housed in Arizona prisons to better understand the effects of living in maximum custody and restrictive housing.

Dr. Katya Motyl has been appointed Assistant Professor of History in the College of Liberal Arts. She received a PhD with Distinction from the Department of History at the University of Chicago. Prior to joining Temple, she served as a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute near Florence, Italy. Her research and teaching center on gender and sexuality, urban space, and the history of Modern Europe. She is currently writing a monograph, which traces the emergence of new womanhood in a globalizing Vienna at the beginning of the twentieth century. 

Dr. Jessica Newman has been appointed Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology. She received her PhD in Anthropology with a graduate certificate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Yale University. Dr. Newman's multi-sited research focuses on activisms and care surrounding unplanned pregnancy in Morocco, in NGOs, clinical spaces, and the public sphere. Her published works include a peer-reviewed article on “aspirational maternalism” in a Moroccan single mother NGO and chapters in three edited volumes on sexuality and medical anthropology in the Middle East and North Africa.

Dr. Ryan Omizo joins the Department of English as an Assistant Professor. He received his BA and MA in English at the University of Hawaiʻi and his Ph.D. in English at The Ohio State University. His research focuses on professional writing, computational rhetoric, digital humanities and Asian-American rhetoric. His work appears in the Journal of Writing Research, Enculturation, and the Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy. 

Dr. Aaron X. Smith has been appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Africology and African American Studies. Dr. Smith received his Ph.D. in African American Studies in 2015 from Temple University.  He is the author of "The Murder of Octavius Catto" (Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia 2015).  In 2015, he received the Molefi Kete Asante Award for academic excellence and innovation in the field of African American Studies.  He will teach in the Department of African American Studies and will continue his research for a new book offering a contemporary analysis and application of the Afrocentric Paradigm codified by Dr. Ama Mazama.

Dr. Kimberley Thomas joins the Department of Geography and Urban Studies as an Assistant Professor. She received her BSc in Biology from the University of Victoria, her MSc 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 most recently served as an Assistant Professor at Penn State 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. Janire Zalbidea has been appointed Assistant Professor of Spanish Linguistics in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. She holds a BA from the University of Deusto (Spain), an MA from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a PhD from Georgetown University. She specializes in applied linguistics, with a focus on second and heritage language acquisition across learning contexts (classroom, study abroad, etc.). She has contributed to several edited volumes and recently published a single-authored article in the Modern Language Journal. She will be teaching graduate and undergraduate courses on linguistics and Spanish for both foreign and heritage language speakers. 

Dr. Amarat Zaatut has been appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice. She received her B.A. in Criminology and Sociology from Bar-Ilan University, her M.A. in Criminology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and her Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from Rutgers University. Her research examines the relationship between immigration and crime, with a special focus on Arab and Muslim communities in the United States. 

Teaching Instructional Faculty (NTT)

Dr. Patricia Amberg-Blyskal has been appointed Assistant Professor of Teaching Instructional in the College of Liberal Arts.  Pat teaches in the Department of Political Science and the Master of Public Policy Program. Pat holds a Bachelor Degree from Millersville University, a Master in Business Administration from St. Joseph’s University, a Master of Education in Adult and Organizational Development, a Master of Political Science and a Doctor of Philosophy of Political Science from Temple University.  Her dissertation, Public Pensions: Retrenchment or Investment? Evidence from the States, investigates the funding and underfunding of pensions following the 2008 recession. Prior to returning to graduate school, Ms. Amberg-Blyskal completed a thirty-year career in federal service. Pat was appointed to the Senior Executive Service during the Clinton Administration and served as Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) New York Regional Office from 1998 to 2009. The New York Regional Office administers veterans’ benefits for the 31 Eastern counties of New York, within which nearly 800,000 veterans reside. In that position, Pat directed a staff of approximately 300 employees with an annual operating budget of approximately $17 million with benefit outlays in excess of $750 million. The New York Regional Office during Pat’s tenure was nationally recognized for innovative approaches to serving veterans.  In addition to her leadership responsibilities with the VA, Pat served as Chair of the New York Federal Executive Board, a consortium of Federal agencies in the NY metropolitan area.

Dr. Shreyasee Das has been appointed Assistant Professor of Teaching Instructional of Economics in the College of Liberal Arts. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics, an M.A. in Economics and a B.Sc. in Economics, all from the University of Houston. Prior to joining Temple University, she was an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Her research focuses on analyzing the effects of public policies concerning women’s property rights, intra-household allocation, water allocation and education. Her teaching responsibilities at Temple University will include Introductory Microeconomics and Development Economics.

Mandy Gutmann-Gonzalez is an Assistant Professor of Teaching Instructional in the First Year Writing Program. They hold an MFA in Poetry from Cornell University. Their poetry has appeared in BLOOM, Hobart, West Branch, and other literary journals. Their novel in Spanish, La Pava (Ediciones Inubicalistas, 2016), follows three children who indirectly experience the trauma of the Pinochet military dictatorship in Chile. They received the Boulevard Emerging Poets Prize (2018) and fellowships from the Lambda Writing Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices and the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets. Their research examines the construction of gender, space, and affect in ambient horror films. 

Dr. Sandra Sepulveda-Kozakowski, Assistant Professor of Teaching Instructional, Department of Psychology. She earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Delaware in 2006 and completed her clinical internship at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Johns Hopkins University in 1998. Sandra completed a postdoctoral fellowship at The John Jay College of Criminal Justice where she investigated the long term impact of childhood maltreatment on adult attachment relationships. Sandra continued to investigate the impact of childhood maltreatment and early disruptions in care as a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Delaware in 2008. She has provided child, adult and family therapy in a variety of clinical settings including a private practice and nursing home. Sandra began teaching as an adjunct professor at The College of New Jersey in 2011 and was a Visiting Assistant Professor at TCNJ from 2017-2018. She has also taught psychology courses at Rider University. Her research and publications focus on investigating the impact of foster care, adoption and maltreatment on children’s healthy development.

Dr. Rimun Murad has been appointed as an Assistant Professor of Teaching Instructional in the Department of English. He received his undergraduate education in English at the University of Aleppo, Syria, and the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). Dr. Murad received his MA from UNO before going on to do his doctoral work in English at Louisiana State University, where he received his PhD in 2017. His scholarly work and interests include the teaching of first-year writing and Arab American literature. His article “Emotional Distance: Transnational Pleasure in Tayeb Salih’s Season of Migration to the North” is forthcoming in the summer issue of Arab Studies Quarterly. His teaching responsibilities in the Writing Program at Temple University will include first-year composition, and, potentially, introductory literature courses.

Dr. Scott B. Ritner has been appointed Assistant Professor of Teaching Instructional in the Department of Political Science in the College of Liberal Arts. He received his B.A. in Government and International Relations from Clark University, a M.A. in Russian Studies from the, now-suppressed, European University of Saint-Petersburg, and his M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in Politics from The New School for Social Research. He received his Ph.D this May after defending his dissertation, “The Critical Spirit, Simone Weil’s Pessimistic Heterodoxy,” in April. His research focuses on the pessimism in the history of radical political thought. He is the author of a published book chapter and has a book manuscript and several journal articles in progress. This past year, he also served as Adjunct Instructor of Political Science at Hunter College, City University of New York. His teaching responsibilities at Temple will include courses in Political Theory and Comparative Politics.

Dr. Wendy Thompson has been appointed Assistant Professor of Teaching Instructional in the Department of Criminal Justice in the College of Liberal Arts. She received her PhD in Criminal Justice from Temple University.  Most recently, she has been teaching at Temple and LaSalle universities as an adjunct professor.  Her teaching interests include a wide variety of classes such as criminological theory, statistics in criminal justice, minorities in justice, victimology, and juvenile justice.  Her research interests are mainly focused on juvenile justice and delinquency. 

Dr. Amelia Duffy-Tumasz, Assistant Professor of Teaching Instructional, Department of Geography and Urban Studies. She received the BA from the University of Pennsylvania, and a MSc from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London. Dr. Duffy-Tumasz received the PhD in Geography from Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Twice a Fulbright Fellow in Senegal, her teaching responsibilities at Temple will include courses in world cultures, research design, and environmental studies.


Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Rachel Goffe, is a Postdoctoral Research Assistant Professor in Black Geographies in the Department of Geography and Urban Studies. Rachel received a BArch from Temple University, and a PhD from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is a human geographer and a licensed architect. She has done research in Jamaica, where she is originally from, and in Philadelphia, where she has lived and been involved in organizing work for many years. Her research focuses on the relationships between the built environment, land rights, and livelihood, and how these relationships structure and are structured by the racial capitalist state.

Shaeeda Mensah has been appointed Postdoctoral Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy. Mensah earned her BA in Sociology from Spelman College. She received her master’s in philosophy from Pennsylvania State University and is currently working towards the completion of her Ph.D. in the same department. Her areas of specialization are Social and Political Philosophy, African American philosophy, Critical Philosophy of Race, and Feminist Philosophy. Her research focuses on the intersections of race and gender particularly as they relate to mass incarceration and the infliction of state violence on racialized bodies. Shaeeda has taught in a variety of subject areas including Social and Political Philosophy, Ethics, Philosophy of Love and Sex, Western Philosophy, Philosophy of the Black Experience, Logic, Critical Thinking, and Feminist Theory. Additionally, she has spent the last three years as a co-facilitator for the Women of Color Leadership Program, a program sponsored by National Women Studies Association.

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