Five Women Faculty Members Who Are Taking on New Roles in Higher Education

Meenakshi Arora will join the faculty at the University of Alabama for the spring 2021 semester as an associate professor of biomedical engineering. She has been serving as an assistant professor of research at Texas A&M University.

Dr. Arora is a graduate of Chaudhary Charan Singh University in Meerut, India. She holds a master’s degree in organic chemistry and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee

Kendra Sharp, a professor in the College of Engineering and associate vice provost for faculty development at Oregon State University, has been selected to lead the National Science Foundation’s Office of International Science and Engineering. When she begins her new duties in February, Dr. Sharp will retain her affiliation with Oregon State University.

Dr. Sharp joined the faculty of the College of Engineering at Oregon State in 2010. She holds a bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, and master’s degrees from the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Cambridge in England.

Florastina Payton-Stewart, an associate professor of chemistry at Xavier University of Louisiana, has been named associate vice provost of academic affairs. She previously served as the faculty administrative fellow for diversity and inclusion.

Payton-Stewart is a graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana where she majored in chemistry. She holds a Ph.D. in bioorganic chemistry from Tulane University in New Orleans.

Emily Sundman is a new assistant professor of veterinary medicine at Texas Tech University in Amarillo. Since December 2013, Dr. Sundman has served a role in clinical development for Kindred Biosciences, which takes strategies that are safely used for human therapeutics and applies them to the development of animal biologics.

Sundman earned a bachelor’s degree in history and biology from Syracuse University in New York. She holds a doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Cornell University

Ruha Benjamin was promoted to full professor of African American studies at Princeton University in New Jersey. She is the author of People’s Science: Bodies and Rights on the Stem Cell Frontier (Stanford University Press 2013) and Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code (Polity 2019).

Professor Benjamin received a bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology from Spelman College in Atlanta. She earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.

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