Seven Women Faculty Members Who Are Taking on New Assignments in Higher Education

Destine Nock was appointed an assistant professor with a joint appointment in the department of engineering and public policy and the department of civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. She has been serving as a postdoctoral fellow and adjunct professor at the university.

Dr. Nock is a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, where she double majored in electrical engineering and applied mathematics. As a Mitchell Scholar, she earned a master’s degree in leadership for sustainable development at Queens University of Belfast in Ireland. Dr. Nook holds a Ph.D. in industrial engineering and operations research from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Caroline Tolbert was named a Distinguished Professor at the University of Iowa. The program began this spring to recognize tenured scholars of national and international distinction who are having a significant positive impact within the state of Iowa and beyond through teaching, research, scholarship, and artistic creation. Dr. Tolbert began teaching at the university in 2006 and is a professor of political science. She is the co-author of Why Iowa? How Caucuses and Sequential Elections Improve the Presidential Nominating Process (University of Chicago Press, 2010).

Professor Tolbert is a graduate of the University of California, Sant Barbara. She holds a master’s degree in public policy and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Canadian-born pianist Miah Im will take the helm as director of opera studies for the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, Texas, effective July 1. Im is currently the head of music staff at the Los Angeles Opera, where she serves as an assistant conductor and pianist.

Im holds an undergraduate degree in piano performance with a minor in Italian and a master of music degree in collaborative piano and chamber music from the University of Michigan.

Shaio Zerba was named director of the Center for Intelligence and Security Studies at the University of Mississippi. The center prepares students for intelligence and security careers through an 18-credit minor focusing on the critical thinking, writing, and briefing skills. Dr. Zerba most recently was a faculty associate with the School of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University. Last October she retired as a lieutenant colonel after serving 22 years in the U.S. Air Force.

Dr. Zerba is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, where she majored in political science with a minor in Mandarin Chinese. She holds a Ph.D. in political science from Arizona State University.

Lori Wiest was appointed director of Fred Fox School of Music at Arizona State University. She has been serving as a professor of music, director of choral activities, and conductor of the concert choir at Washington State University.

Professor Wiest is a graduate of North Dakota State University where she majored in music education and piano performance. She holds a master’s degree in music from Arizona State University and a  doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Arizona.

Annamaria Lusardi, the Denit Trust Endowed Chair of Economics and Accountancy at the George Washington University School of Business, has been appointed to the distinguished position of University Professor. She is the founder and academic director of Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center at the university’s business school.

Professor Lusardi is a summa cum laude graduate of Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. She earned a Ph.D. in economics at Princeton University in New Jersey.

Vanessa Williams will serve as the 2020-2021 Dean’s Scholar-in-Residence in the department of music and performing arts professions at New York University. Williams has received 11 Grammy nominations, one Tony nomination, four Emmy nominations, and three SAG Award nominations.

Williams is a graduate of Syracuse University in New York. In 1983, Williams was the first African American woman to be named Miss America.

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