Five Women Taking on New Faculty Assignments in Higher Education

Olga Pierrakos was named the founding chair of the department of engineering at the downtown campus of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem North Carolina. She will begin teaching there this coming fall. Dr. Pierrakos currently serves as program director of the Division of Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation.

Professor Pierrakos holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering of science and mechanics and a master’s degree in engineering mechanics from Virginia Tech. She holds a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the Virginia Tech/Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering & Sciences.

Elena Litchman, a professor of integrative biology, was named a Foundation Professor at Michigan State University. The honor is given to faculty members who “demonstrate excellence in research and teaching while enhancing the prominence of the institution.” Professor Litchman joined the faculty at Michigan State University in 2005.

Dr. Litchman is a graduate of Moscow State University in Russia. She holds a Ph.D. in ecology from the University of Minnesota.

Laura Hill was appointed an instructor in human nutrition and hospitality innovation in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Arkansas. She was a clinical nutrition manager for the Mercy Medical Center in northwest Arkansas.

Dr. Hill is a graduate of John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas.

Kristee Willett, a professor of pharmacology and environmental toxicology at the University of Mississippi, was named chair of the department of biomolecular sciences at the university. Dr. Willett joined the faculty at the university in 2000 and was promoted to full professor in 2013.

Professor Willett is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she majored in chemistry. She holds a Ph.D. in toxicology from Texas A&M University.

Jiexin Wang is a new assistant professor of psychology at the Worthington campus of Pennsylvania State University in Scranton. Her research focuses on work-family balance and employee retention strategy.

Dr. Wang is a native of Beijing, China. She holds an MBA from California State University, Chico and a Ph.D. in organizational behavior and human resources from Texas A&M University.

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