Sierra Bainter
Assistant Professor
Psychology Department

Bainter received her Ph.D. in quantitative psychology in 2016 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a quantitative psychologist, Bainter is interested in improving the match between statistical models and psychological data and theory. Her projects focus on longitudinal data analysis, measurement, mixture modeling, and applications of Bayesian methods for social science research.

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Eddy Bermudez
Lecturer
English Department

Bermudez went to graduate school at the University of Chicago and studied postcolonial and  feminist literature with an emphasis on food studies.

 

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Manuel Vladimir Vega Blanco
Research Assistant Professor
Mathematics Department

Blanco is a Ph.D. graduate from CINVESTAV, Mexico. His interests focus on mathematical-physics, in particular the study of supergeometry where he intends to develop the theory of superstacks and superorbifolds. Also, he is interested in some practical applications of the differential geometry, in particular, its applications in mathematical-economics.

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Eva Silot Bravo
Visiting Assistant Professor
Modern Languages and Literatures

Bravo earned a Ph.D. in Latin-American Literature and Spanish Language from University of Miami. She has published in several online publications about her research interests on the transnational Cuban alternative music scene, and narratives of national, transnational, and post-socialist identities. She is a former consultant and diplomat in United Nations, and she received her M.A. in International Studies from Florida International University and a B.A. in International Relations from University of Havana. She also has a formal training in piano and classical music in Havana.

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Jose Alejandro Samper Casas
Research Assistant Professor
Mathematics Department

Casas grew up in Colombia and recently obtained a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Washington. His research interests are in algebraic, geometric, and topological combinatorics. He is currently on leave working as a postdoc at the Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics.

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Logan J. Connors
Associate Professor
Modern Languages and Literatures

Trained as both a specialist in early modern French literature and as a cultural historian of theater, most of Connors’ scholarship is on French drama and theater criticism, European anti-theatrical (or theaterphobic) discourses, and the cultural polemics of Ancien regime France. More recently, he has published on foreign literature pedagogy and the history of the emotions. Conners was previously an Associate Professor of French at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, where he taught French language and culture, directed study abroad in France, and served as the NEH Chair in the Humanities.

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Laura Hoffman
Lecturer
English Department

Hoffman received her M.A. in English Education from the University of South Florida in 2003. Her teaching and research interests include instructional technology, rhetoric and composition, and digital pedagogy.  Hoffman has worked as a journalist for Media General, NBC and Paxson Communications. As a Master Mentor for the Academy of College Excellence, a not-for-profit organization, she trains faculty across the country to help their college students succeed using neuroscience, mindfulness, working styles, and team-self management techniques. She won the Morrisound Studios Poetry Award for her CD of spoken poetry Summer. Hoffmanis currently completing her first novel, a young adult, modern-day take on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

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Nebil Husayn
Assistant Professor
Religious Studies Department

Husayn received his B.A. in Middle Eastern studies from the University of Virginia, with a concentration in Arabic, Persian, and early Islamic history. A Fulbright fellowship, from 2004 to 2006, provided an opportunity to complete research in Syria, where he became the Public Relations Director for the Hāshimid Genealogy Trust. In addition to genealogical research, he completed seminary coursework in Arabic, comparative law, history and theology in Syria and Yemen. He received an M.A. in Arabic and Islamic studies from Harvard University in 2010 and a Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2016. His research broadly encompasses the development of Islamic theology, especially the literary contributions of minority Muslim theological traditions.

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Rebecca Katz
Visiting Assistant Professor
Classics Department

As a scholar, Katz’s main focus is on Roman cultural history, especially issues of competition and conflict, as well as memory and monumentality. She has a great deal of interest in the field of numismatics, especially Roman Republican coinage, and as an instructor, is constantly seeking to work with film and other elements of pop culture as a means of connecting with the ancient world. She looks forward to teaching part of the introductory Latin sequence and a lecture course on sports and society.

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Sarah Beth Lesson
Lecturer
Philosophy Department

Lesson recently graduated from the University of Miami with a doctorate in philosophy. Her primary research deals with the metaphysics of mind, approaching questions of what it means to believe, intend, and desire from the direction of language and social behavior.

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Mahsa Mirzargar
Assistant Professor
Computer Science Department

Mirzargar received her B.A. from Sharif University of Technology and a M.A. and Ph.D. from University of Florida. She served as a postdoctoral research associate at Scientific Computing and Imaging (SCI) Institute at the University of Utah for three years before joining UM. Her primary research interests lie in scientific data visualization, statistical analysis, and uncertainty quantification. Her research is driven by combination of ideas from interdisciplinary concepts to design techniques for data-driven analysis.

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Lenny Salas Moreno
Lecturer
Art & Art History Department

Moreno received her B.F.A. from New World School of the Arts and her M.F.A. from Florida Atlantic University. She has over fifteen years of professional experience in graphic design and art direction. Her work has been recognized in the industry by a number of Gold and Silver ADDY Awards. Moreno’s creative research reflects on concepts of materiality, memory, possession, and social identity as more people accumulate larger collections of digital content. With her research she hopes to continue to explore emerging socio-cultural practices, new technology, and how graphic design can create more tactile and emotional experiences in a pervasive digital environment.

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Kathryn M. Nowotny
Assistant Professor
Sociology Department

Nowotny completed her Ph.D. in sociology and demography at the University of Colorado Boulder and is the recipient of an NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Fellowship. She has an active research agenda in the field of health and health disparities with a primary focus on policy oriented research to improve the health of adults in the criminal justice system.

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Jean-Hubert Olivier
Assistant Professor
Chemistry Department

Originally from Strasbourg, France, Olivier attended the University of Strasbourg where he obtained a MSc in Organic and Supramolecular Chemistry. He then obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Strasbourg where he developed new classes of luminescent liquid crystals. He then moved to Duke as a postdoctoral associate and developed novel carbon nanotube-based materials for solar energy capture and conversion.

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Laura Rikard
Assistant Professor
Theatre Arts Department

Prior to joining UM, Rikard was a visiting Assistant Professor of Acting with the Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies at Brown University. Previous to her tenure at Brown, she was the Head of Acting and Movement and the BFA Coordinator with Stephen F Austin State University School of Theatre in Texas. Rikard has performed both in film and theatre. She began her career in New York and continued it throughout Europe and in the regional theaters of the United States.

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Manuel Rivera
Research Assistant Professor
Mathematics Department

Rivera was born and raised in Puerto Rico and attended MIT in Boston before earning a Ph.D. at City University of New York - Graduate Center in 2015. He spent a year as a postdoctoral researcher in Paris, France, before joining UM. Rivera’s research is in a field called algebraic topology, in which we investigate the mathematical relationship between algebraic structures (such as numbers and operations on them) and geometry.

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Saul Schwartz
Research Assistant Professor
Anthropology Department

A linguistic and sociocultural anthropologist, Schwartz’s research examines Native American language documentation and revitalization focusing on Chiwere and related Siouan languages. He will be teaching Principles of Linguistic Anthropology and Language & Gender in the fall 2016 semester.

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Carlos Simpson
Visiting Assistant Professor
Mathematics Department

Prior to joining UM, Simpson was an Assistant Professor at Princeton until he moved to France 1991 and was recruited by the CNRS directly at a Directeur de Recherche level. His research topics include the topology of complex algebraic varieties, including in particular Nonabelian Hodge theory, which aims to put additional structures on the space of representations of the fundamental group of an algebraic variety.

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Lindsay Thomas
Assistant Professor
English Department

Thomas’ research and teaching focus on the digital humanities, media studies, and contemporary American literature. Her current book project, Training for Catastrophe: Preparedness and the Management of the Future, argues that the media of the national security state train us to accept catastrophe as part of everyday life. She is also co-director of WhatEvery1Says, a multi-institutional computational text analysis project that is exploring the shape of contemporary public discourse on the value of the humanities.

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Susanna Alles Torrent
Assistant Professor
Modern Languages and Literatures

Torrent’s research explores several aspects of digital humanities, especially scholarly digital editions, electronic text analysis, intertextuality and text reuse, and digital lexicography. She also works with the intersection of the Iberian Peninsula and Italy in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, reconstructing cultural and literary networks between the two. Torrent plans to combine her different fields of expertise integrating digital methodologies into her research as a humanities scholar, and to work towards the integration of digital humanities in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures.

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Mike Touchton
Assistant Professor
Political Science Department

Touchton studies the comparative political economy of development and underdevelopment. His areas of interest include how countries attract investment, how they reduce poverty and promote human development, and how they redevelop following economic crises. He comes to Miami from Boise State University and received his Ph.D. at the University of Colorado.

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He Wang
Assistant Professor
Physics Department

Wang received her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2013 and then went to UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab as a postdoctoral fellow. Her research interests focus on investigating device physics and photophysics of organic and organic-inorganic hybrid optoelectronic materials. She utilizes ultrafast laser spectroscopy to understand excited state dynamics and synchrotron based X-ray techniques to characterize materials structure. Combining with the study on device physics, she seeks to better understand basic physics, chemistry, and potential application of next-generation solar cells, light-emitting diodes, transistors, and lasers.

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