Six Women Scholars Join the Faculty at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota

Macalester College, the highly rated liberal arts educational institution in St. Paul, Minnesota, has announced the appointments of eight new tenure-track faculty members. Six of these appointments have gone to women.

Emily First is an expert in experimental petrology, a field of study that utilizes high temperature and pressure experiments to examine how magmas and lavas cool and crystallize. She will teach mineralogy and an intro-level course on volcanoes. Since 2020, she has been a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University. Dr. First is a graduate of the University of Georgia, where she majored in geology and French. She earned a Ph.D. in geology and geophysics from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

Christina Hughes is an assistant professor of sociology whose research examines how everyday social life is embedded and organized within the global political economy. She is currently working on a book called Bad Refugees: Practicing Statelessness at the Margins of Global Northern Citizenship. This fall, Dr. Hughes will be teaching a course called “Inequalities and Solidarities.” She is a graduate of the Unversity of California, Los Angeles and earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Washington.

Alix Johnson is a cultural anthropologist who will be joining the international studies department. Since 2019, she has been an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Florida. Her research focuses on digital infrastructure and industry, and she’s currently working on a book about the data storage industry. Dr. Johnson is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, where she majored in linguistics and French. She holds a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Coral Lumbley is a member of the English department faculty. She was a postdoctoral fellow at New York University. Dr. Lumbley specializes in the history of English literature, the history of Celtic language and literature, and how rhetorics of power intersect in the British Isles. Dr. Lumbley holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She earned a Ph.D. in English language and literatures from the University of Illinois.

Joslenne Peña has been a visiting assistant professor of computer science at Macalester College since 2020. She specializes in human-computer interaction and computer science education. A native of New York City, Dr. Peña earned a bachelor’s degree in multimedia web design and development from the University of Hartford in Connecticut. She holds a master’s degree in information sciences and technology and a doctorate in informatics from Pennsylvania State University.

Michelle Tong is a new assistant professor of neurobiology at Macalester College. She formerly taught at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Earlham College in Richmond Indiana. Her current research is focused on perineuronal nets, specialized structures that wrap around neurons in the brain. Dr. Tong earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and a Ph.D. from Cornell University.

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