Kalamazoo College is pleased to welcome the following faculty members to campus this fall:
Assistant Professor of Chemistry Josie Mitchell
Mitchell comes to K from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she received her PhD in Biochemistry through the Integrated Program in Biochemistry (IPiB). At UW-Madison, she was also a biochemistry teaching fellow and was part of the teaching team for Introduction to Biochemistry, Biochemical Methods Lab, Molecules to Life and the Nature of Science, and a journal-club style seminar for senior biochemistry majors.
Mitchell earned a Bachelor of Science in chemistry with a biochemistry emphasis from Grand Valley State University. At UW-Madison, she completed the Delta Teaching Certification and the WISCIENCE Research Mentor Training programs. Her accolades also include the Graduate Leadership and Development Committee Service Award, the Sigrid Leirmo Memorial Award in Biochemistry, and multiple awards for research.
Assistant Professor of Anthropology Nupur Joshi
Joshi recently received a Ph.D. in human-environment geography with a minor in epidemiology from the University of Arizona. Her dissertation examined the nexus between housing tenure, water insecurity and informal water supply in slum settlements in Nairobi, requiring three years of mixed-methods fieldwork. Check out her recent publication here.
Joshi’s education also includes a master’s degree in society and culture studies from the Indian Institute of Technology in Gandhinagar and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the Savitribai Phule University of Pune.
At K, Joshi is leading courses such as Development and Dispossession, which covers the political, economic and cultural dimensions of development practice, while addressing a variety of development problems, including urbanization and food security.
Assistant Professor of Computer Science Tasnim Gharaibeh
Gharaibeh has 14 years of international computer science teaching experience between Western Michigan University, where she led in-person and online classes including six semesters of labs for engineers; the University of Hail and Open Arab University in Saudi Arabia, where she guided education majors in computer courses; and Hashimat University and Yarmouk University in Jordan, where she instructed courses in C++ and general computer skills.
She holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in computer science from Yarmouk University and a Ph.D. in computer science from Western Michigan.
Assistant Professor of English Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley
Kingsley has come to K from Old Dominion University where he was an assistant professor of poetry and nonfiction in the school’s Master of Fine Arts program. Most recently, he taught classes there including a graduate poetry workshop, Contemporary Classics: Literature for Writers, an advanced poetry workshop, an introduction to creative writing and Writing for Video Games.
His accolades have included three poetry books: Dēmos: An American Multitude (2021, Milkweed Editions), Colonize Me (2019, Saturnalia Books) and Not Your Mama’s Melting Pot (2018, University of Nebraska Press), each of which are the winners and/or finalists of 19 literary awards.
Kingsley has a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Miami and a Master of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania.
Assistant Professor of Business Sydul Karim
Karim began serving K in January and has previous higher education experience as an assistant professor of international business and management at Dickinson College and a research assistant at the University of New Orleans. Hehas also been the chief investment officer at Athena Venture and Equities Ltd., a branch manager and corporate credit relationship manager at Habib Bank Limited and a principal credit officer at AB Bank Limited, all in Bangladesh.
Karim is a published author with five peer-reviewed papers and a book chapter to his credit, along with several works in progress. His research and publications can be found online. He received a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh, an MBA in Finance from the University of Akron, and a Master of Science and a Ph.D. in Finance from the University of New Orleans.
Assistant Professor of Chinese Language and Literature Yanshuo Zhang
Zhang joined K in January 2022, coming from the University of Michigan, where she was a postdoctoral research fellow in its Center for Chinese Studies. She developed courses with an emphasis on cross-cultural communication in her previous appointments. She also has prior teaching experience in higher education as an instructor at the University of San Francisco and a lecturer in the program of writing and rhetoric at Stanford University.
Her own education consists of a Bachelor of Arts from St. Catherine University in Minnesota, a Stanford Graduate School of Business Certificate and a Ph.D. from Stanford in Chinese literature and culture. During her education, she was offered several fellowships, awards and honors, most recently dissertation fellowship awards from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange in Taiwan and the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity from Stanford, and an award for excellent Chinese students studying abroad from the Chinese National Scholarship Council.
Assistant Professor of Spanish Carlos Vazquez Cruz
Vazquez Cruz has more than 20 years of experience in higher education and most recently taught at institutions including the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez and McDaniel College. His teaching interests include Spanish creative writing, Latin American contemporary narratives, Latin American poetry and the visual arts and Music in Spanish Caribbean literatures. His research interests include Hispanic queer literatures, Hispanic digital projects, Spanish Caribbean visual art, Spanish American contemporary pop music and racial discourses in Latin American literatures.
Vazquez Cruz is the author of Dos centímetros de mar, a novel; 8% de desk-cuentos and its second edition, Asado a las doce, along with Malacostumbrismo, which are collections of stories; Silente,Ares and Sencilla mente, which are poetry books; La mirilla y la muralla: el estado crítico, a criticism; and Inimaginado, a collection of poetry, short stories and essays.
He holds a Ph.D. in Latin American literature with a graduate certificate in digital humanities from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Master of Fine Arts in Spanish creative writing from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish education from the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts Anthony Hamilton
Hamilton was a guest professor and director at Western Michigan University in 2021 and 2022, where he taught beginning acting, introduction to acting, and African-Americans in theatre and media. His career directing credits include The Piano Lesson, The 1940s Radio Hour and Once on This Island at the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre; Into the Woods and Skeleton Crew at WMU; You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat at Hackett Catholic Prep; and Grandma’s Quilt and Playwright’s Competition at the Negro Ensemble Company in New York. His performance credits include Shakespeare in Love, Julius Caesar, Midsummer Night’s Dream and Evita at the Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, Florida; and Bengal Tiger at the Zoo and Ruined at WMU.
Hamilton was honored as the Director of the Decade and for Best Choreography for Once on This Island through Broadway World Detroit, and received the Young Artist Award from the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo in 2008. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in theatre studies from Western Michigan University and a Master of Fine Arts in theatre from Florida State University.
Visiting Assistant Professor of English Sam Tett
Tett is a recent graduate of Indiana University Bloomington, where she earned a Ph.D. in English with a concentration in Victorian studies. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Kenyon College and advanced-level qualifications in English, psychology and human biology from Greenhead College in the United Kingdom.
Tett’s professional experience includes serving as the managing editor for the flagship journal of 19th century British Literature, Victorian Studies. She also has held positions as an instructor, teaching fellow, associate instructor, research assistant and archival assistant between Indiana University and the University of Pennsylvania. She’s also been an invited lecturer and presenter at a variety of sites in the United States, United Kingdom and Italy, and has several fellowships and honors from Indiana University and Kenyon College.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics Dana Hunter
Hunter is arriving at K from the University of Oregon, where she earned a Ph.D. in mathematics. There she served as a graduate researcher and instructor while teaching calculus, elementary functions, probability and statistics, and elementary math classes. She also earned the university’s Frank and Dorothy Anderson Mathematics Ph.D. Student Research Award, and was an officer in the Association of Women in Mathematics Student Chapter.
Hunter performed undergraduate research through Mount Holyoke College, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in mathematics with a physics minor, and Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics Brian Wu
Wu served Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, as a visiting assistant professor in 2021–22 and Oakland University as a special lecturer in 2020–21 before arriving at K.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics and music from Albion College, and a Master of Science in applied statistics and a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Oakland University. During his graduate work, he taught an introductory undergraduate mathematics course as a solo instructor.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry Arjun Bhowmick
Bhowmick previously served as a research and teaching assistant at the University of South Dakota’s Department of Chemistry, where he earned a Master of Science and a Ph.D. He also was an assistant professor in chemistry at the Mawlana Bhashani Science and Technology University in Bangladesh.
In addition to his Ph.D., Bhowmick holds a Master of Science and a Bachelor of Science, both in chemistry, from Jahangirnagar University in Bangladesh.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology Ian VanderMeulen
VanderMeulen has previous higher-education teaching experience as a postdoctoral fellow and a postdoctoral lecturer and undergraduate advisor at New York University. He also served the League of American Orchestras for five years as the assistant editor of its quarterly symphony magazine.
He has a bachelor’s degree in music performance and religious studies from Oberlin College, a Master of Arts in near and Middle Eastern studies from the Graduate Center at the City University of New York, and a Ph.D. in Middle Eastern and Islamic studies from New York University.
His research on Qur’an recitation and sound media technologies has been published in American Ethnologist and the International Journal of Middle East Studies.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology Samhitha Raj
Raj is a molecular and developmental biologist who has prior experience teaching biology courses such as introductory biology and courses relating to the biology of infectious diseases.
After receiving her Bachelor of Engineering in biotechnology from the JSS Science and Technology University in Mysore, India, she attended the University of Michigan, where she earned her Ph.D. in molecular, cellular and developmental biology.
Since attaining her Ph.D., she has taught at Fulbright University Vietnam as a founding undergraduate faculty member. As a graduate student, she taught courses at the University of Michigan and the University of Veracruz in Xalapa, Mexico.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Elena Specht
Specht is a recent recipient of a Doctor of Musical Arts in composition from Michigan State University, where she also earned a Master of Music in music theory and a university distinguished fellowship. Additionally, she holds a Master of Music in composition and a Certificate in college teaching from the University of Colorado Boulder, where she received the Thurston E. Manning Scholarship in Composition; and a Bachelor of Music in composition and music theory from the Vanderbilt University Blair School of Music, where she received the Blair Dean’s Honor Scholarship.
Specht began teaching in higher education in 2012 as a student assistant in musicology at Vanderbilt where she later was a student teaching assistant in music theory. At CU Boulder, she was a graduate teaching assistant in music theory and aural skills from 2015–17. At Michigan State, she was an instructor in compositionand a graduate teaching assistant in music theory/aural skills.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Art Juan Carlos Guerrero-Hernandez
Guerrero-Hernandez researches and writes about contemporary and modern art and culture with an emphasis on video, photography, performance, gender, politics and experimental cinema.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in electrical engineering from Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia; a Master of Arts in philosophy from the National University of Colombia; and a Ph.D. in art history from Stony Brook University, where his dissertation was titled “Mutilated Bodies and Memories of Violence: Displacements and Contestations of Representations of Violence in Contemporary Video Art and Photography in Colombia, 1993–1998.”
Guerro-Hernandez is the author of the Spanish-language book Subverting the Order: Women Artists, Explorations and Operations in video in the 1980s in Colombia, which is due out next year. The book analyzes and discusses six paradigmatic works of six of Latin American female and Latina artists, whose work is mostly unknown or has been superficially studied.
Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow of English Monique McDade
McDade has arrived at K from the University of Nevada-Reno, where she earned a Ph.D. and was a lecturer in the Department of English, teaching classes in core writing, women’s studies, core humanities, the literature of ethnic minorities in the U.S., and theories and criticism.
She has prior teaching experience from Truckee Meadows Community College, where she taught basic English composition. Her other certifications and degrees include a Bachelor of Arts degree in literature and creative writing from the University of California, San Diego; a Master of Arts in English and creative writing from California State University, Sacramento; and a faculty teaching certificate in community engagement and a graduate certificate in gender, race and identity from Nevada-Reno.
Her book project, California Dreams and American Contradictions: Women Writers and the Western Ideal (Nebraska University Press) will be out in spring 2023.
Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow of Anthropology-Sociology Houman Oliaei
Oliaei is a sociocultural anthropologist studying forced migration, statelessness, and humanitarianism with research focusing on lived experiences of displaced Yezidis, who compose an ethnoreligious minority in northern Iraq. His first book project, On the Margins of Humanity, explores the complex interplay between humanitarian intervention, forced displacement, belonging and politics of recognition among displaced Yezidis.
Oliaei recently earned a Ph.D. in anthropology from Brandeis University, where he also earned a Master of Arts in anthropology. In addition, he holds a Bachelor of Arts in music and a Master of Arts in anthropology from the University of Tehran in Iraq.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Art Nayda Collazo-Llorens
Collazo-Llorens, who previously was a part-time faculty member at K, is a visual artist engaged in an interdisciplinary practice incorporating multiple mediums and strategies. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from New York University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
Collazo-Llorens has received grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, and Beta-Local’s El Serrucho, among others, and is a former visiting fellow at the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership. Her work has been exhibited at El Museo del Barrio in New York City, The Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh, Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum in Miami, Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids, Richmond Center for Visual Arts in Kalamazoo, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo in San Juan, and Museo Universitario del Chopo in Mexico City, among other national and international institutions.
Visiting Assistant Professor of History Akil Cornelius
Cornelius has been a fixed-term assistant instructor in the Department of History at Michigan State University, where he also earned his Ph.D. His research specializations include 19th and 20th century South Africa, migration and mobility studies, as well as a disciplinary sub-specialization in archaeology. His teaching credits include courses on the history of sports in America and a seminar in digital history.
Before his time at Michigan State, Cornelius served in the military through a 12-year career in the U.S. Intelligence Community including active duty service in the Middle East and Western Balkans. In his military service, Cornelius earned Army Commendation, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary, Global War on Terrorism Service, National Defense Service and Army Achievement medals, and Army Service and Overseas Service ribbons.
Visiting Instructor of Economics Seong-Hee Kim
Kim has previous experience in higher education between Kalamazoo College and Western Michigan University, where she taught principles of microeconomics and macroeconomics, environmental and resources economics, and money and banking courses.
She is an ABD from the University of Wyoming in natural resources and environmental economics, regional and international economics, and public utility and regulation. She holds a Master of Arts in economics from Wyoming, a Bachelor of Arts from Central Missouri State University in hotel and restaurant management administration, and a Bachelor of Arts in international trade with a minor in English language and literature from Sookmyung Women’s University in Seoul, South Korea.
She is also a certified Korean Language Teacher (Lv. 3) and a yoga instructor.
Visiting Instructor of Music Anthony Elliott
Elliott is a conductor of the Michigan Youth Symphony Orchestra at the University of Michigan and a professor of cello. He is a longtime advocate for music in public and inner-city schools, and has worked toward the development of new constituencies with symphony boards and foundations. He has given countless workshops, clinics and performances in schools and community centers across the country.
In 1987, Elliott won the Emanuel Feuermann International Cello Competition, and was the top ranked American cellist in the 1979 Concours Cassado in Florence, Italy. He has appeared frequently as a soloist with major orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony, and the CBC Toronto Orchestra. He also has conducted symphony, opera and ballet including the Kent/Blossom Chamber Orchestra at the Blossom Music Festival. He served for many years as music director of the Houston Youth Symphony and Ballet, leading that orchestra on a two-week concert tour of Holland, Germany and Austria.
Visiting Instructor of Classics Robert Santucci
Santucci teaches Greek and Latin at K. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 2022 with a dissertation on eating in the text of the Roman philosopher Seneca. He has published on Seneca, Ovid and classical reception, and has particular affinities for creative literary engagement, appetites and gender. His zodiac sign is libra, his shoe size is 13, and he plays bass guitar.