W&L Welcomes New Faculty for 2020-21 Twenty-four new full-time professors have joined the faculty this year.
Washington and Lee University has welcomed 24 new faculty members to the College and the Williams School for academic year 2020-21. The list includes tenure-track faculty, visiting professors and the first Ted Delaney Postdoctoral Fellow.
The new faculty members are:
Jill Sundie is an associate professor of business administration in the Williams School. Sundie’s research and teaching interests include consumer frugality, social influence and the application of biological theories to enhance understanding of the motivations for consumption behavior. This semester, she is teaching Marketing Management.
Pooja Thakur-Wernz is an assistant professor of business administration in the Williams School. Her research and teaching interests include emerging economy firms, innovation, international expansion, offshoring and outsourcing. Thakur-Wernz is teaching Strategic Management this semester.
Alice Zhang is an assistant professor of economics in the Williams School. In her first semester at W&L, she is teaching Statistics for Economics. Zhang is interested in environmental energy, development economics, climate change impact, political economy and social justice.
Victor Ricciardi is a visiting assistant professor of finance in the Williams School. He studies managerial and behavioral finance, personal financial planning, risk perception and behavioral coaching/financial therapy. Ricciardi is currently teaching Managerial Finance.
Katie Yewell is a visiting associate professor of economics, and this semester, she is teaching Introduction to Economics. Her professional interests include applied microeconomics, health economics, and public policy and household behavior.
Henryatta Ballah is an assistant professor in the History Department. Her teaching and research focus on 19th and 20th century Africa, and her current book project explores the political activism of Liberian youth from 1950 to 2010. She is currently on leave as a recipient of a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship.
Nneka Dennie is an assistant professor of history. Her teaching and research focuses on 19th and 20th century Black women’s intellectual thought. This semester, she is teaching The History of African-American People to 1877 and Women and Slavery in the Black Atlantic.
Emily Filler, an assistant professor of religion, focuses her teaching and research on modern Jewish and continental philosophy, political and ethical theory, and classical Jewish texts. For Fall Term 2020, she is teaching The Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and Special Topics in Religion: Judaism.
Mohammad “Taha” Khan is an assistant professor of computer science. His teaching and research focus on computer security, privacy and human-computer interaction, including cybercrime, commercial VPN services privacy and privacy-centric management of longitudinal data in the personal cloud. He is teaching Fundamentals of Programming II.
Sybil Prince Nelson ’01, an assistant professor of math and data science, is teaching Probability this term. Her research has focused on classifying and predicting disease outcome from continuous and binary predicators and their interactions.
Beth Staples has been a visiting professor at W&L for three years. She starts this year as an assistant professor in the English Department. In addition to teaching Topics in Creative Writing: Fiction, she is leading directed individual study and is editor of the W&L literary magazine Shenandoah.
Bethany Dannelly ’05 returns to W&L as associate director of Athletics and assistant professor of physical education. She formerly served as the director of championships for the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, where she assisted with finances, leadership and diversity and inclusion efforts.
Vaughn Johnson is an assistant professor of physical education and assistant football coach. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and spent the last two years at Dartmouth College, where he was defensive quality control coach. While he was at Dartmouth, the program compiled an 18-2 record and won the 2019 Ivy League Championship.
Taylor Steele comes to W&L from Randolph College, where he was head swimming coach. He is an assistant professor of physical education, assistant swim coach and Natatorium coordinator. Steele holds a M.Ed. in coaching, sport, fitness and recreation, and he is a certified strength and conditioning coach.
Jumana Al-Ahmad is a visiting assistant professor of Arabic. She is an ABD Ph.D. candidate at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and she specializes in Middle Eastern culture and Islamic religious reform. She is currently teaching First-Year Arabic, Women and Gender in Islam, and a first-year writing seminar, The Middle East and North Africa in Films.
Robert Elder is a visiting assistant professor of physics. He studies the structure of atomic nuclei with rare-isotope beam experiments, and his work developed a new technique to measure the half-life of isomeric quantum states. He is teaching General Physics this term.
Celeste Lanuza is a visiting assistant professor of dance. Her teaching, scholarship and creative work focus on the identity of the Mexican-American, and she is completing her Ph.D. in performance studies at Texas Women’s University. Her first classes at W&L are University Dance and Intermediate Contemporary Modern Dance.
Michiko Nakada, who previously worked as a foreign language teaching assistant in Japanese, returns to W&L as a visiting instructor of Japanese. Nakada’s current research focuses on teaching and learning a second language with technology such as mobile apps and Hentai-gana (anomalous Japanese cursive syllabary). This term, she is teaching Second- and Third-Year Japanese and Advanced Japanese.
Sandhya Narayanan is a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. She specializes in indigenous language maintenance, the management of multilingualism in society, and the relationship between language, race and gender. She is teaching Introduction to Anthropology and the Anthropology of Insults and Sarcasm.
Amanda Rodriquez-Newhall is the Ted DeLaney Postdoctoral Fellow in Cognitive and Behavioral Science. Her teaching and research focus on the intersections of Latinx identity, social justice education and civic activism. She is currently teaching Community Psychology.
Jayne Reino is a visiting assistant professor of Spanish and a liaison to the Office of Community-Based Learning at W&L. Her research explores questions of gender and identity in various ambits of cultural production regarding historically marginalized figures on the U.S./Mexico borderlands. Reino is teaching Elementary and Intermediate Spanish.
Todd Rutkowski is an instructor of physics. His research focuses on magnetic properties of gasses cooled to ultra-low temperatures. He has worked to reform introductory physics classes by creating inclusive environments and promoting active learning. This term, he is applying those skills to teaching General Physics.
Shaundel Sanchez is a visiting assistant professor in the Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capability. Sanchez’s teaching and research interests focus on people’s everyday navigation of policies, transnational connections and the relationship between citizenship and belonging. She studies U.S. citizen Muslims who have lived in the UAE since the early 1990s. This term, she’s teaching An Interdisciplinary Introduction to Poverty.
Alan Straub is a visiting assistant professor of engineering who has spent the past 20 years evaluating and implementing engineered solutions with municipalities and authorities to improve the treatment of potable and wastewater streams. He is currently teaching Introduction to Environmental Engineering and Solid Mechanics.