Four Women Faculty Members Assigned to New Roles at Major Universities

Lorgia García Peña was named professor in the Effron Center for the Study of America and the department of African American Studies at Princeton University, effective July 1. Her research focuses on race and colonialism and Afro-Latinx studies. She has been serving as the Mellon Professor in Studies of Race, Colonialism and Diaspora at Tufts University since 2021. Previously, she was a faculty member at Harvard University from 2013 to 2021. Earlier, Dr. García Peña was an assistant professor at the University of Georgia from 2010-13. She is the author of several books including Community as Rebellion: A Syllabus for Surviving Academia as a Woman of Color (Haymarket, 2022).

Dr. García Peña earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Rutgers University in New Jersey and a Ph.D. at the University of Michigan.

Heather Smith, professor of geography and interim chair of the department of geography and Earth sciences at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, has been been given the added duties of faculty director of the Levine Scholars Program at the university, effective July 1, 2023. Dr. Smith’s research focuses on globalization, urban restructuring, immigrant settlement, and socio-spatial inequality.

Dr. Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in geography from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She holds a master’s degree in geography from Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, and a doctorate in geography from the University of British Columbia.

Mary Frances Luce, a distinguished professor of business administration at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, has been given the added duties of associate vice president for research and innovation, effective February 1. She has been serving as interim executive vice chancellor for Duke Kunshan University in China. She previously served six years as associate and senior associate dean for faculty at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke.

Dr. Luce is a graduate of Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, where she majored in economics and marketing. She earned a Ph.D. in business administration from Duke University.

Kyaien Conner was appointed director of the Center for Race and Social Problems at the University of Pittsburgh. She has been serving as an associate professor of mental health law and policy at the University of South Florida. Her research focuses on racial trauma and minority health disparities.

Dr. Conner earned bachelor’s degrees in psychology and Africana studies, master’s degrees in social work and public health, and a doctorate in social work, all from the University of Pittsburgh.

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