Five Women Scholars Who Are Taking on New Assignments at Universities

Shirin Saeidi has been named director of the King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas. She is the first woman leader of Middle East studies program since the center’s founding in the early 1990s. Dr. Saeidi joined the faculty at the university in 2018. She is the author of Women and the Islamic Republic: How Gendered Citizenship Conditions the Iranian State (Cambridge University Press, 2022).

Dr. Saeidi holds a bachelor’s degree in government and politics from the University of Maryland. She earned a Ph.D. in politics and international studies at the University of Cambridge in England.

Wendy Goldberg has been appointed a professor of directing in the School of Theatre in the College of Fine Arts at Boston University. Goldberg, who also serves as the artistic director of the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, will lead the university’s master of fine arts directing program.

Professor Goldberg is a graduate of the University of Michigan. She earned a master of fine arts degree in directing from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Cristina Zepeda is a new assistant professor of psychology and human development in the Peabody College of education at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. She was a lecturer in psychology and a postdoctoral research associate at Washington University in St. Louis.

Dr. Zepeda is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from the University of Pittsburgh.

Pelin Bicen, an associate professor of marketing at Suffolk University in Boston, was given the added duties of associate dean of undergraduate programs. Her research focuses on intra- and inter-firm marketing and innovation strategy, global supply chain strategies, and inter-organizational governance issues.

Dr. Bicen is a graduate of Bogazici University in Türkiye, where she majored in mathematics. She holds an MBA from Yildiz Technical University in Türkiye and a Ph.D. from Texas Tech University.

Ann-Marie Knoblauch has been named director of the School of Visual Arts, now part of the newly restructured College of Architecture, Arts, and Design at Virginia Tech. An associate professor of art history, Dr. Knoblauch has served as interim director of the school since 2020. A member of the faculty since 1998, Dr. Knoblauch’s research focuses on underrepresented groups in the ancient Mediterranean world.

Dr. Knoblauch has bachelor’s degrees in history of art and classical civilization from New York University. She earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. in classical and Near Eastern archaeology at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania.

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