Seven Women Scholars Who Are Taking on New Assignments in Higher Education

Kerstin Perez was named the Class of 1948 Career Development Associate Professor of Physics and granted tenure at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her work focuses on opening sensitivity to unexplored cosmic signatures with impact at the intersection of particle physics, astrophysics, and advanced instrumental techniques.  Dr. Perez joined the department of physics in 2016, after a National Science Foundation astronomy and astrophysics postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University and a faculty appointment at Haverford College.

Dr. Perez is a graduate of Columbia University, where she majored in physics. She holds a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology.

M. Suzanne Lang, an associate professor of horticulture at Michigan State University, was named associate provost and associate vice president for academic human resources at the university. She is the former associate dean for faculty and administrative affairs and the director of faculty development in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the university. She has been on the Michigan State faculty since 2000.

Dr. Lang earned a bachelor’s degree in horticulture at Michigan State University. She holds a master’s degree in horticulture from Clemson University in South Carolina and a Ph.D. in horticulture from North Carolina State University.

Jeannette Wing, a professor of computer science at Columbia University in New York City, was given the added duties of executive vice president for research at the university. Dr. Wing has led the Data Science Institute at Columbia since 2017 after serving as corporate vice president of Microsoft Research. Prior to that, Dr. Wing was the head of the department of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Professor Wing earned bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in computer science, all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dorothy E. Hines was promoted to associate professor of African and African-American Studies and associate professor of curriculum and teaching in the School of Education at the University of Kansas. She was also granted tenure.

Dr. Hines is a graduate of North Carolina State University, where she majored in political science. She holds a master of public administration degree from North Carolina Central University and a Ph.D. in educational policy from Michigan State University.

Sarah Rifky is the new senior curator at the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University. She also holds a faculty appointment in the university’s School of the Arts. Rifky taught modern art history and advanced studio seminars at the American University in Cairo.

Rifky earned a master of fine arts degree in critical studies from the Malmö Konsthögskolan in Sweden. She is completing work on a Ph.D. on the cultural infrastructure in Egypt at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Christine Rapp Prescott was appointed an associate professor of ophthalmology at Grossman School of Medicine at New York University and vice chair for education and director of the cornea service for the department of ophthalmology at NYU Health. She was an assistant professor in the department of ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Dr. Prescott earned a bachelor’s degree in biophysics at Columbia College. She completed a combined Ph.D./MD program at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver.

Trimiko Melancon is joining the department of African American and African studies at Michigan State University as a full professor with tenure. A scholar, cultural critic, and documentary filmmaker, Dr. Melancon is an expert in critical race, gender, and Black feminist and sexualities studies. She was an associate professor of English and Africana studies at Rhodes College in Memphis. Dr. Melancon’s book Unbought and Unbossed: Transgressive Black Women, Sexuality, and Representation (Temple University Press, 2014) received the College Language Association Creative Scholarship Book Award.

Dr. Melancon earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Xavier University of Louisiana. She holds a Ph.D. in African American studies from the University of Massachusetts.

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