W&L Welcomes New Faculty
Washington and Lee University has welcomed 20 new faculty members who will instruct classes in the College, the Williams School and the Law School this fall.
The new members of the faculty are:
Camilo Alvarez, Assistant Professor of Economics
Alvarez earned a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Minnesota and his previous experience includes serving as an economics fellow at W&L and as a research analyst with the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. His research and teaching interests include international macroeconomics, monetary economics, sovereign debt and Latin American economics.
Nicholas Barber, Assistant Professor of Earth & Environmental Geoscience
Barber holds a Ph.D. in earth sciences from the University of Cambridge (U.K.) and he spent the 2022-23 academic year as a postdoctoral research fellow at McGill University (Canada). His research and teaching interests include volcanology, natural hazards, critical minerals and mineralogy.
Mauricio Betancourt, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies
Betancourt received a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Oregon and his previous experience includes serving as a visiting assistant professor at Oberlin College. His research and teaching interests include agriculture and global food systems, as well as global environmental change and unequal development.
Wendy Castenell, Assistant Professor of Art History
Castenell earned a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Missouri and her prior experience includes serving as an assistant professor of art at the University of Alabama. Her research and teaching interests include American art history and visual culture, African American art, portraiture, photography and film studies.
Andi Coulter, Assistant Professor of Business Administration
Coulter holds a Ph.D. in English from the University at Buffalo and she previously served as a visiting assistant professor at W&L. She has also taught at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Grand Valley State University. Coulter’s research interests include the music industry, user-centered design and social sustainability in art.
Michelle Cowan, Assistant Professor of Business Administration
Cowan earned a Ph.D. in technical communication and rhetoric from Texas Tech University and her recent experiences include digital communications with NRG Energy. Her teaching and research interests include workplace discourse, rhetoric of health and medicine and content management.
Anushka Daunt, Assistant Professor of Business Administration
Daunt earned a Ph.D. in entrepreneurship and strategic management from the University of Pittsburgh. Her teaching and research interests are entrepreneurship and gender, gender gap in early-stage entrepreneurial funding, cognition and strategic leadership.
Maureen Edobor ’17L, Assistant Professor of Law
Edobor, who will also be a core faculty member for the DeLaney Center, received a J.D. from Washington and Lee in 2017. Her prior experience includes serving as an adjunct professor at Neumann University and as policy director and counsel for the Congressional Black Caucus. Her areas of expertise are election law and voting rights.
Bright Frimpong, Assistant Professor of Business Administration
Frimpong holds a Ph.D. in management information systems from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. His teaching and research interests are digital fundraising and entrepreneurship, information privacy and security compliance, and platform and consumer behavior.
Jane Hopkinson-Wood, Assistant Professor of Physical Education/Head Women’s Golf Coach
Hopkinson-Wood holds a B.S. in marketing and sports management from Wittenberg University, where she was a four-time All-American for the women’s golf team. She had been serving as the head women’s golf coach at Centre College, leading the Colonels to a 10th-place finish at the 2023 NCAA Division III Championship.
Sarah Kim, Assistant Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry
Kim earned a Ph.D. in molecular biophysics from Johns Hopkins University and she has previously taught at Johns Hopkins and Bard College. Her research and teaching interests are the design of non-allergenic liposomal drugs and biochemisty.
Nikki Lee, Assistant Professor of Cognitive & Behavioral Science
Lee received a Ph.D. in neuroscience and behavior from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and her prior experiences include postdoctoral fellowships at Colgate University and the University of California, Berkeley. Her research and teaching interests are neuroendocrinology, hormones and behavior, and social behavior.
Jay Margalus, Johnson Professor of Entrepreneurship and Leadership and Director of the Connolly Center for Entrepreneurship
Margalus holds an M.S. from DePaul University, where he had previously served as the faculty director of maker innovation in the school’s Idea Realization Lab. His teaching interests include fostering creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship, makerspaces and design studios.
Alexi Pfeffer-Gillett, Assistant Professor of Law
Pfeffer-Gillett earned a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and his prior experience includes serving as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Maryland. His areas of expertise are civil procedure, consumer protection and contracts.
Alicia Reigel, Assistant Professor of Biology
Reigel earned a Ph.D. in biology from Louisiana State University and her prior experience includes serving as a postdoctoral researcher in biology at Appalachian State University. Her research and teaching interests include the role of microbial symbionts in metabolic processes of marine invertebrates, especially corals, sponge and oysters.
Franklin Sammons, Assistant Professor of History
Sammons earned a Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Berkeley and he has previously served as a visiting assistant professor at W&L. His research and teaching interests include 18th and 19th-century North America, borderlands and indigenous history, legal history and the history of capitalism.
Kim Sims, Associate Professor & Associate University Librarian for Special Collections and Archives
Sims holds an M.A. in public history from North Carolina State University and she comes to W&L after serving as the coordinator of special collections, university archivist and director of records management at Appalachian State University. Sims’ research interests include oral histories and cemeteries as primary sources.
Joey Smith, Assistant Professor of Finance
Smith holds a D.B.A. from the University of Florida and a J.D. from the College of William & Mary. His prior experiences including teaching at William & Mary, Missouri Southern State University and the University of Arkansas. Smith’s research and teaching interests are corporate governance, sports finance and investments.
Amira Walker, Assistant Professor & Research Services Resident Librarian
Walker earned a M.L.S. from the University of North Texas and a M.A. from the University of Texas-San Antonio. Her areas of interest include building diverse collections, inclusive representation in archives, teaching with primary sources and the history of libraries.
Clyde Wang, Assistant Professor of Politics
Wang received a Ph.D. in political science from Boston University and his research and teaching interests include Chinese politics, public opinion, nationalism, media politics and political ideology.
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