Five Women Taking on New Faculty Roles at Major Universities

Lisa J. Kewley has been named the director of the Center for Astrophysics jointly operated by Harvard University and the Smithsonian Institution. Dr. Kewley currently serves as the director of ASTRO 3D, a $40-million Australian Research Council Center of Excellence that seeks to understand the evolution of matter, light, and the elements, from the Big Bang to the present day. She will begin her new job on July 1, 2022.

Dr. Kewley earned a bachelor’s degree in astrophysics from Adelaide University in Australia. She holds a Ph.D. in astrophysics from the Australian National University.

Kathryn Higley was named a University Distinguished Professor at Oregon State University. Dr. Higley, the Edward N. Rickert, Jr. Professor in the School of Nuclear Science and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the university, is internationally recognized for her research on the health effects of radiation. She also serves as the interim director of the Center for Quantitative Life Sciences at Oregon State.

Dr. Higley is a graduate of Reed College in Portland, Oregon. She earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in radiological health sciences at Colorado State University.

Deidra Hodges, an associate professor with expertise in photovoltaics and solar energy, has been named chair of the department of electrical and computer engineering at Florida International University in Miami. She is the first Black scholar to serve as a department chair in the College of  Engineering and Computing. Dr. Hodges joined the faculty at the university in 2021.

Dr. Hodges earned bachelor’s degrees in both physics and electrical engineering in a dual-degree program between Dillard University in New Orleans and Columbia University in New York City. She earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering at Columbia University and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of South Florida.

Maysaa Basha, an associate professor of neurology, has been named interim chair of the department of neurology in the School of Medicine at Wayne State University in Detroit. Born and raised in Detroit, Dr. Basha joined the School of Medicine faculty in 2010.

Dr. Basha earned her undergraduate degree and medical doctorate, and completed residency training, at Wayne State University. She completed epilepsy training at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

Michelle Rinehart was named vice provost for education at the Georgia Institute of Technology. In 2013, Dr. Rinhehart joined the faculty at Georgia Tech as assistant dean for academic affairs and outreach. She was promoted to associate dean in 2015. In 2021, Dr. Rinehart served as interim dean for the College of Design.

Dr. Rinehart is a graduate of Tulane University in New Orleans, where she majored in architecture. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Michigan and an educational doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania.

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