Six Women Faculty Members Who Are Taking on New Roles

Junko Takeda, professor of history and the Daicoff Faculty Scholar at Syracuse University in New York, was given the added duties of interim chair of the Citizenship and Civic Engagement Undergraduate Program. She is the author of Between Crown and Commerce: Marseille and the Early Modern Mediterranean (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011), and The Other Persian Letters: Iran and a French Empire of Trade, 1700-1808 (Liverpool University Press, 2020).

Professor Takeda earned a Ph.D. at Stanford University.

Kimberly Juanita Brown, an associate professor of English and creative writing at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, was given the added duties as the inaugural director of the Institute for Black Intellectual and Cultural Life. Dr. Brown, who specializes in African American and African diasporic literature and visual culture studies, joined the Dartmouth faculty in 2020. She is the author of The Repeating Body: Slavery’s Visual Resonance in the Contemporary (Duke University Press, 2015).

A graduate of Queens College of the City University of New York, Dr. Brown earned a Ph.D. in African American studies and American studies from Yale University.

Rima Franklin, professor and chair of the department of biology at Virginia Commonwealth University, was given the added duties of interim vice provost for life sciences. She joined the university in 2007 as an assistant professor of biology and was promoted to full professor in 2023.

Professor Franklin earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. She holds a Ph.D. in environmental sciences from the University of Virginia.

Belinda Blevins-Knabe, professor of psychology at the University of Arkansas Little Rock, has been awarded the title of distinguished professor. She has been on the faculty at the university for 42 years. Her research is focused on the mathematical development of young children.

Professor Blevins-Knabe holds a bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin.

Cameron Bushnell, an associate professor of English has been selected as interim chair of the new department of interdisciplinary studies at Clemson University in South Carolina. Dr. Bushnell also serves as director of the Pearce Center for Professional Communication. She joined the Clemson faculty in 2007.

Dr. Bushnell holds a master’s degree in English, a master’s degree in government and politics with an international relations specialization, and a Ph.D. in English, all from the University of Maryland.

Michelle Starz-Gaiano, professor of biological sciences at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, has been named chair of the department. She joined the UMBC faculty as an assistant professor in 2008, after a postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Starz-Gaiano is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she majored in biology. She earned a Ph.D. in developmental genetics from the New York University School of Medicine.

Filed Under: Appointments


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