Nine Women Scholars Selected for Faculty Positions

Vinciya Pandian has been named associate dean for graduate education for the Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing at Pennsylvania State University. She most recently served as an associate professor and assistant dean for immersive learning and digital innovation for the School of Nursing at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Dr. Pandian graduated from Christian Medical College in India with her bachelor’s degree in nursing. She received her master’s degree and doctorate in nursing from Johns Hopkins University. She also holds an MBA from the University of Baltimore.

Jessica Lee has been appointed chair of the violin department at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she has been serving as a visiting faculty member in the violin and chamber music departments. She has served as assistant concertmaster of The Cleveland Orchestra since 2016.

Lee received her bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music and her master’s degree in music from the Juilliard School in New York.

Rachel Beatty Riedl has been named the inaugural director of the Center on Global Democracy in the Cornell University Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy. She currently serves the university as director of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, the John S. Knight Professor of International Studies, and as a professor in the department of government.

Dr. Riedl received her Ph.D. from Princeton University.

Aki Ishida has been appointed director of the College of Architecture and Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Design in the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. She currently serves as an associate professor and interim associate director of the School of Architecture at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Professor Ishida holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in advanced architectural design from Columbia University.

Berkita Bradford has been named chair of the hospitality and tourism department in the School of Business at North Carolina Central University. She has two decades of experience in higher education, holding positions such as commissioner for the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration and president of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities – Hospitality Management Consortium.

Dr. Bradford received her bachelor’s degree in hotel/restaurant management and master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in human resource management from Grambling State University in Louisiana. She holds a Ph.D. in hospitality management from Kansas State University.

Amy Sapkota has been named inaugural chair of the department of global, environmental, and occupational health in the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland. She has been with the university’s faculty since 2007, currently serving as director of the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health and professor in the department of epidemiology and biostatistics.

Dr. Sapkota is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Maryland where she majored in biology. She holds a master of public health degree in environmental health sciences from Yale University and a Ph.D. in environmental health sciences from Johns Hopkins University.

Julie Leftwich has been appointed director of international peace and security initiatives at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. She recently served as executive director of the Immigrant and Refugee Law Center, a nonprofit legal assistance organization in Cincinnati. She has held previous faculty appointments with the University of Denver and the University of Colorado.

Professor Leftwich received her bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. She holds a master’s degree in international relations and communications from Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and a juris doctorate from the University of Cincinnati.

Traci Brimhall has been promoted to university distinguished professor at Kansas State University. She is a professor of English and currently serves as director of the university’s creative writing program. She is also poet laureate for the state of Kansas. She has authored numerous poetry collections including Come the Slumberless to the Land of Nod (Copper Canyon Press, 2020) and the forthcoming Love Prodigal (Copper Canyon Press, 2024).

Dr. Brimhall holds a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University, a master’s degree from Sarah Lawrence College in New York, and a Ph.D. in poetry and literature from Western Michigan University.

Monifa Vaughn-Cooke has joined the faculty at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University as an associate professor in the department of health systems and implementation science in the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in Roanoke. She previously held a faculty appointment with the department of mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland.

Dr. Vaughn-Cooke received her bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering and her master’s degree in industrial and systems engineering from the University of Southern California. She earned her Ph.D. in industrial engineering from Pennsylvania State University.

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