Five Women Appointed to Chair Their Academic Departments

Namandje Bumpus has been appointed director of the department of pharmacology and molecular sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She is the first African-American director of a department in the basic sciences at the medical school.

Professor Bumpus is a graduate of Occidental College in Los Angeles, where she majored in biology. She holds a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Michigan.

Kari Babski-Reeves was named head of the department of industrial and systems engineering at Mississippi State Univerity. Dr. Babski-Reeves has served as associate dean for research and graduate studies within the Bagley College of  Engineering at the university for the past five years. She joined the faculty in 2006 after teaching at Virginia Tech.

Professor Babski-Reeves holds a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, and a Ph.D., all in industrial engineering and all from Mississippi State Univerity.

Irena Swanson was appointed head of the department of mathematics at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Dr. Swanson will be the first woman to lead the department of Mmathematics at Purdue. She has been serving as a professor of mathematics at Reed College in Portland, Oregon.

Professor Swanson is a graduate of Reed College and holds a Ph.D. in mathematics from Purdue University.

Ruth S. Waterman has been named chair of the department of anesthesiology at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. Dr. Waterman joined the faculty at the university in 2013 and has served as interim chair of the department since 2018.

Dr. Waterman earned a master’s degree in biology at the University of New Orleans and a medical doctorate from the Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans.

Tracey Brent-Chessum was appointed chair of the theatre department at Brenau University in Gainesville, Georgia. Over the past decade, she has worked with faculty and students in theatre programs at the University of Maryland, Ball State University, and Point Park University.

A native of Los Angeles, Dr. Brent-Chessum holds a Ph.D. in theatre and performance studies from the University of Maryland.

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