Holy Cross Hires 17 New Faculty Members for 2011-12 Academic Year

Fourteen tenure-track and three postdoctoral fellows to teach at College

The Office of the Dean at the College of the Holy Cross announces the hiring of 17 new faculty members, 14 in tenure-track positions and three postdoctoral teaching fellows, for the 2011-12 academic year. They are:

Alo C. Basu (assistant professor, psychology) earned B.S. degrees in Biology and Brain and Cognitive Sciences from M.I.T. and her Ph.D. in Neurobiology from Harvard University.  She has taught courses at M.I.T., Harvard Medical School, and Wellesley College.  She has been the recipient of a NARSAD Young Investigator Award from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation and the SHINE Initiative, an Andrew P. Merrill Memorial Research Fellowship, and research fellowships from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Her research interests include the effects of genes and experience on learning and memory, the neural basis of behavior, and the neurobiology of psychiatric disorders.  She has been a visiting scientist at the National Center for Biological Sciences in Bangalore, India. Basu is fluent in Hindi and Bengali, and proficient in French and Spanish.

Daniel J. DiCenso ’98 (assistant professor, music) earned his B.A. in music from the College of the Holy Cross, an M.A. in music from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.A. in classical studies from Villanova University, an M.S. in education from the University of Pennsylvania, a Ph.D. in education from the University of Pennsylvania, and is a Ph.D. candidate in musicology at the University of Cambridge.  For the past three years DiCenso has been a full-time visiting instructor at Holy Cross, teaching popular courses on topics ranging from Gregorian chant to rock and rap.  Last spring he organized a symposium for Worcester area high school students titled “Is Hip Hop Dead?”. While at Cambridge, he was a Gates Cambridge Scholar, the recipient of numerous archival research awards, and is currently the director of the Gates Ambassadors Program.

Matthew Dinan (Jack Miller-Veritas Fund Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow, political science) received his B.A. from St. Thomas University in Canada, his M.A. and his Ph.D. from Baylor University. He specializes in the history of political thought and politics and literature, including the writings of Plato, Aristotle, Shakespeare, Hegel, Nietzsche, and Derrida. He received the 2008 Stormie Schott Outstanding Graduate Student in Political Science award, and a doctoral fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) in 2009. He was named the Richard D. Huff Distinguished Doctoral Student in Political Science by Baylor University in 2010.  This is a newly created position, funded by the Veritas Fund and the Jack Miller Center, as part of the Charles Carroll Program in American Politics. In addition to his teaching duties in political science and in the Montserrat program, Dinan will be responsible for organizing a public lecture.

Lisa Fluet ’96 (assistant professor, English) received her B.A. in English from the College of the Holy Cross, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University in English Literature. She taught previously at Princeton University, Holy Cross, Trinity University, and Boston College.  She is revising a manuscript, Brilliant Career: Modernism and Class in the Twentieth Century, and is working on new project, tentatively titled Limited Empathy: Human Rights and British Narrative, 1921-1961. She has published essays in Twentieth-Century Literature, NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction, Bad Modernisms, the Chronicle of Higher Education, African-American Review and Eire-Ireland.  At Boston College she served as Associate Ph.D. Program Director/Job Placement Advisor, and was a member of the Teachers for a New Era program.

Peter Joseph Fritz (Edward Bennett Williams Fellow and assistant professor, religious studies) earned his B.A. from Loyola University Chicago, his M.A from Boston College and his Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame. Prior to coming to Holy Cross, he was an Edward Sorin Postdoctoral Fellow at Notre Dame. He teaches courses in systematic and historical theology, and is currently researching the interaction of Catholic theology and German Idealism.

Rev. John Gavin, S.J., (assistant professor, religious studies) earned his B.A. from Boston College, his M.A. from Fordham University, and his M.Div. from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkley. He received his Sacred Theology Doctorate in Rome and has been a lecturer at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome for the past three years. Fr. Gavin entered the Society of Jesus in 1991 and was ordained as a Catholic priest in 2002. He is the author of ‘They are like the angels in the heavens’: Angelology and Anthropology in the Thought of Maximus the Confessor (Rome, 2009). A member of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars and North American Patristics Society, he is fluent in Italian and French and proficient in German, Spanish, and Russian.

Robert Lee Green (Bishop James A. Healy Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow, religious studies) received his B.A. from California State University, Bakersfield, and his M.A. from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he is a Ph.D. candidate. He specializes in Catholicism in colonial Latin America, indigenous religious history, and African diasporic religions. He is the recipient of a Ford Foundation Diversity Dissertation Fellowship. The Bishop James A. Healy Postdoctoral Teaching Fellowship honors the memory of Fr. Healy, the valedictorian of the inaugural Class of 1849 at the College of the Holy Cross and Bishop of Portland, Maine, from 1875 to 1900.

Alice S. Hsiaw (The James N. and Eva Barrett Assistant Professor in Ethics and the Liberal Arts and assistant professor, economics) received her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University.  For the past year she has held a postdoctoral fellowship in the department of economics at Harvard University. She was a Princeton University Graduate Fellow from 2004-08 and won the top student award for the best undergraduate economic thesis at Berkeley. A social science analyst for the U.S. Justice Department in 2004, her research interests include behavioral economics and applied microeconomic theory.

Ben Kain (assistant professor, physics) earned his B.S from Santa Clara University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.  He has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, Santa Clara University and most recently at Rowan University.  In 2004, he was selected as an Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor (Berkeley) and in 2009 he received a grant from New Jersey Space Grant Consortium. He has been published in numerous scholarly journals and his research interests include theoretical particle physics and cosmology.

Nadine Knight (assistant professor, English) received her A.B. from Princeton University and her A.M. and Ph.D. from Harvard University.  She previously taught at, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Gettysburg College, and most recently at Whitman College, where she was an assistant professor of English.  In 2010, she received a research fellowship from the University of South Carolina Institute for Southern Studies and in 2006 she received the Derrick K. Gondwe Visiting Fellowship from Gettysburg College.  Her teaching and research interests include 19th- and 20th- century American and African American novels and nonfiction, the American civil War and the American slave narrative.

Scott Malia (assistant professor, theatre) earned his B.A. from Florida State University, his M.A. from Emerson College, and his Ph.D. from Tufts University. For the past three years he has taught in the theatre department at the College of the Holy Cross; last year he was a visiting assistant professor, and from 2008-10 he was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow. At Holy Cross he has taught classes in Italian Theatre in Performance, Theatre History I and II, and Basic Acting. He previously taught at Emerson College, Northeastern University, Bridgewater State College, and Tufts University.  He translated and adapted into metered verse The Servant of Two Masters in 2009.

Juan G. Ramos (instructor, Spanish) received his B.A. from Rutgers University and his M.A. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he is a Ph.D. candidate. His teaching and research interests include decolonial aesthetics in Latin American poetry, cinema, and music; discourses on violence in contemporary Latin American cinema and fiction; and U.S. Latino and Latin American popular culture.  While teaching at the University of Massachusetts Amherst he was awarded an Opportunity Award and Diversity Fellowship. He received a Diversity Dissertation Fellowship from the University of Massachusetts for 2010-2011 He also served as a mentor to male students of color at Holyoke Community College.  He is a member of the Modern Language Association and Latin American Studies Association.

Lorelle D. Semley (assistant professor, history) received her B.S. in French from Georgetown University, her M.A. in African Studies from Yale University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in history from Northwestern University. She previously taught at Bryn Mar College and Wesleyan University. The recipient of several grants and fellowships, she has been a fellow at the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University, and next spring she will be a fellow at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. She is the author of Mother is Gold, Father is Glass: Gender and Colonialism in a Yoruba Town (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2011).

Kevin A. Walsh (instructor, mathematics and computer science) received his B.S., M.S., and is a Ph.D. candidate at Cornell University.  He is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards including an Intel Foundation Fellowship and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. At Cornell he has taught courses on Computer Systemization and Programming, System Security, and Cryptology. His research interests include computer security, operating systems, and networks.

Melissa F. Weiner (assistant professor, sociology and anthropology) earned her B.A. in sociology, her B.S. in journalism from Boston University, and Ph.D. from in sociology from the University of Minnesota.  An assistant professor at Quinnipiac since 2006, she is affiliated with Utrecht University and the National Institute for the Study of Dutch Slavery and its Legacy, both in the Netherlands. She is the author of Power, Protest, and the Public Schools: Jewish and African American Struggles in New York City (Rutgers University Press, 2010). She has been quoted in numerous media outlets and published in many scholarly journals about her research interests, which include race and ethnicity, education, social movements, and qualitative methods. She is the recipient of numerous grants, including one from the Spencer Education Foundation, which is sponsoring her current research in the Netherlands. She is the director of Brighter World Books, a non-profit organization devoted to providing individual schools in South Africa with books.

Alex C. Yen (assistant professor, economics) received his B.A. from Michigan State University, his M.B.A. from the University of Rochester, and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.  A Certified Public Accountant (CPA), he previously taught at Suffolk University, the University of Connecticut, Indiana University, and the University of Texas.  Prior to starting his doctoral studies, he worked as an audit manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Washington D.C. and Philadelphia.  His research and teaching interests include financial accounting and auditing, and judgment and decision making.

Jonathan A. Young (Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow, history) earned his B.A. from Bowdoin College, his M.A. from The Divinity School at the University of Chicago, and is a Ph.D. candidate at Cornell University. He has taught in the department of Asian studies at Cornell and, most recently, at the University of Pennsylvania. The recipient of numerous fellowships and grants including two Sage Fellowships and three Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships at Cornell, he has studied in Sri Lanka and India.