A Dozen Women With New Faculty Roles at Colleges and Universities

Lara Gerassi is a new assistant professor of social work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is also affiliated with the department of gender and women’s studies. Her research is focused on intimate partner sexual violence.

Dr. Gerassi is a graduate of New York University. She holds a master of social work degree and a Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis.

Kathryn Edin was named professor of sociology at Princeton University in New Jersey. She will join the faculty for the Spring 2018 semester. Since 2014, she has taught at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Her research focuses on poverty issues.

Professor Edin is a graduate of North Park University in Chicago. She earned a Ph.D. in sociology at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

Mary-Margaret Chren was named the inaugural chair of the department of dermatology at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She is a professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco and will join the Vanderbilt faculty in January.

Dr. Chren is a graduate of Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she majored in biological sciences. She earned her medical degree at Yale University.

Todne Thomas is a new assistant professor of African American religions at Harvard Divinity School. She is also serving as the Suzanne Young Murray Assistant Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

Dr. Thomas is a graduate of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. She earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. at the University of Virginia.

Kristin Ashford, an associate professor and director of the Perinatal Research Wellness Center in the College of Nursing at the University of Kentucky, was named associate dean of undergraduate faculty and interprofessional education affairs at the nursing school.

Dr. Ashford is a graduate of Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. She holds a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Louisville and a Ph.D. in nursing from the University of Kentucky.

Nora Noffke, an associate professor of ocean, earth, and atmospheric sciences at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, was named chair of the subcommission on Precambrian stratigraphy of the International Commission on Stratigraphy.

Dr. Noffke hold bachelor’s and master’s degree in geology from the University of Tübingen in Germany. She earned a Ph.D. in geo-microbiology from the University of Oldenburg in Germany.

Lisa Zurk was named a full professor of electrical engineering at the University of Washington. She will also serve as the first woman executive director of the Applied Physics Laboratory at the university. She has been serving as program manager in the Strategic Technology Office of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Dr. Zurk is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She earned a master’s degree in computer and electrical engineering from Northeastern University in Boston and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Washington.

Dorene Medlin, an associate professor in the College of Education at Albany State University in Georgia, was named director for the Center for Faculty Excellence at the university. Dr. Medlin has been on the faculty at Albany State for the past seven years.

Dr. Medline earned an educational doctorate at the University of Georgia.

Laura Sheble is a new assistant professor in the School of Information Sciences at Wayne State University in Detroit. She was conducting postdoctoral research at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

Dr. Sheble is a graduate of Auburn University in Alabama, where he majored in botany. She holds a master of library and information science degree from Wayne State University and a Ph.D. in information and library science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Melissa Coleman was named professor of military science at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. She served in the U.S. Army in Korea, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

Professor Coleman is a graduate of Michigan State University and holds a MBA from the University of Phoenix.

Sheila R. Cotten was named a Foundation Professor at Michigan State University. She is a professor in the department of media and information. She is also the director of the university’s Center for Innovation Research. Professor Cotten joined the faculty in 2013 after teaching at the University of Alabama Birmingham.

Dr. Cotten is a graduate of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in sociology from North Carolina State University.

Jianjing Lin is a new assistant professor of economics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. She was a postdoctoral researcher at Tulane University in New Orleans.

Dr. Lin is a graduate of Sun Yet-san University in China. She holds a master’s degree from the City University of Hong Kong and a second master’s degree and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Arizona.


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