Holy Cross Welcomes Ten New Tenure-Track Faculty Members in 2017-18 Academic Year

The accomplished scholars are bringing their expertise to six departments and all students across campus

English. Their expertise runs the gamut of topics, from colonialism on the Indian subcontinent to pediatric obsessive compulsive disorder to computational social choice in artificial intelligence.

Meet the College’s newest faculty members below.

Noah Berman, assistant professor of psychology

I was born and raised in Minnesota and earned my B.A. from Bowdoin College (major in psychology and minor in film studies). After graduating, I worked at Brown University School of Medicine evaluating novel treatments for pediatric obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). I continued to research cognitive processes in OCD at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for my M.A. and Ph.D. I completed my training (pre- and post-doctoral fellowship) at the OCD and Related Disorders program at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School in 2013 and was then promoted to assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry. As a junior faculty member, I examined how familial factors contribute to the development of OCD in children and the mechanisms underlying threat perception in individuals with severe OCD. I am very excited to join the faculty at the College of the Holy Cross to teach courses on psychiatric illness and the effectiveness of psychotherapy. Outside of academics, I am a practicing clinical psychologist and can frequently be found spending time in the park with our greyhound.


Monica Carney, assistant professor of economics

I just received my Ph.D. in economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara in June 2017. My research is in the field of labor economics and includes topics in health, gender, and intra-household decision-making in the U.S. and developing countries. Part of my dissertation explored the impacts of greater access to mental health care for pregnant women on birth outcomes. Prior to my doctoral studies at UCSB, I obtained a B.A. in economics and public policy from the University of Chicago and an M.P.A. in international development at the Harvard Kennedy School. I have also worked as an economic consultant contributing to expert arguments on antitrust cases and assisted a non-governmental organization, Child Welfare, in South Africa for two years as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer. I am thrilled to be joining the faculty at Holy Cross, especially as my husband, also an economist, is a 2007 graduate with fond memories of his experience here.


Danilo Antonio Contreras, assistant professor of political science

I will join the political science department from the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies at Holy Cross, where I was a postdoctoral fellow over the past two years. Previously, I was a Bolin fellow at Williams College. I research the conditions under which ethnoracial identity is central to the political claims of elites and marginalized populations in Latin America, specifically Afro-Latin America. I am particularly interested in electoral behavior, forms of social resistance, political representation, and nation-building. I plan to teach courses on comparative politics, ethnoracial politics in Latin America and the United States, and Latin American studies. I earned a B.A. in government and Spanish at Georgetown University and a Ph.D. in government at the University of Texas at Austin. I am originally from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and was raised in New York City.


Steven DeSimone, assistant professor of accounting

I was born and raised in Methuen, Massachusetts and earned my B.A. from UMass Lowell in 1996. While managing various back-office groups for State Street and Putnam Investments, I earned my M.B.A. from Bentley University in 2004. Following this and time as a product manager at Broadridge, Inc., I earned my Ph.D. in accountancy from Bentley University. My research focuses on the internal audit function’s role in corporate governance, sustainability assurance, and its effects on financial statement quality. In addition to teaching Intermediate Accounting II in the fall, I will teach Principles of Accounting in the spring. My greatly supportive wife, Mary, is a Holy Cross alumna. We enjoy spending time with our dog Willow, travelling and playing and watching hockey. I also play tennis and basketball and enjoy cooking.


Zack Fitzsimmons, assistant professor of computer science

I am very much excited to be joining the faculty at Holy Cross! I recently completed my Ph.D. in computing and information sciences at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where I was supported by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Before that, I received my B.S. in computer science and mathematics from Siena College. My research interests are in computational social choice, an area of artificial intelligence and multiagent systems, and my work has focused on studying how the computational complexity of manipulative attacks on elections are affected by different natural models for the problems. While I was at RIT, I also had the opportunity to teach courses in computing theory and cryptography and to coach RIT’s ACM programming contest team. I enjoy running and hiking, and I am looking forward to hiking the mountains of New England.


Aditi Malik, assistant professor of political science

I was born in New Delhi and grew up in several cities across India. I earned my B.A. in government and economics from Franklin & Marshall College. I hold graduate degrees from the University of Cambridge and Northwestern University. My current research explores the link between projected party lifespans and elites' incentives to organize electoral violence. I study this question in two developing democracies — Kenya and India — where I have conducted extensive fieldwork. In addition to teaching Introduction to Comparative Politics at Holy Cross, I will also be offering classes on African politics and South Asian politics. In my free time, I enjoy reading, traveling, playing the piano and practicing yoga.


Sanjog Rupakheti, assistant professor of history

I was born and raised in Nepal. I received my undergraduate education at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, triple majoring in anthropology, history and international studies. In 2006 I began my graduate training in South Asia, including global comparative history at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Following the completion of my doctoral training in 2012, I joined the history department at Loyola University, New Orleans where I taught until 2017. My research and teaching broadly span histories of caste, colonialism, gender, law, labor and modernity in the Indian subcontinent. In my free time, I enjoy exploring nature. On that note, I have a somewhat ambitious plan to visit all the national parks in the United States and trek to the Everest Base Camp. Interestingly enough, while growing up in the shadow (figuratively!) of the Mt. Everest, my first encounter with snow took place far away from home here in New England.


Melissa Schoenberger, assistant professor of English

Having enjoyed very much two years teaching at Holy Cross as a visiting assistant professor, I’m thrilled to be joining the tenure-track faculty. I graduated from the University of Rochester in 2009, having concentrated in English, Spanish, Latin, and literary translation studies. At Boston University, I earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in English. I primarily research and teach British poetry written between the mid-seventeenth and mid-eighteenth centuries, with a special interest in translation practices. The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries are deeply rewarding to teach; I find again and again that students come to delight in the process of learning about a period in which are rooted the problems and successes of the complicated world we inhabit today. In my free time, I like to run, read, and discuss the gripping human narratives of the NBA.


Daniel Schwab, assistant professor of economics

I grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland, and earned my B.A. from Williams College. It’s always been my dream to teach at a liberal arts college, so I am thrilled to be at Holy Cross! I recently completed my Ph.D. in economics at Boston University, where my dissertation focused on the effects of labor market regulations in India. My more recent research has been on the workers’ compensation laws in the United States, and their effect on workplace injuries and deaths. This semester, I am teaching game theory for the first time, as well as principles of microeconomics. Game theory is a topic close to my heart, as I spent five years playing poker professionally before graduate school. I spend most of my free time with my wife, Amanda Schmidt, chasing after our adorable two-year old, Hazel. In any spare moments, you can usually find me on a basketball court.


Daniel Tortorice, assistant professor of economics

I come to Holy Cross from Brandeis University where I taught and did research in economics and finance for nine years. Prior to that, I completed a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University and undergraduate degrees in economics and mathematics from MIT. However, I’m no stranger to Catholic educational institutions, having gone to Catholic schools while growing up in Bristol, Rhode Island, and attending a high school run by Benedictine monks in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. At Holy Cross I will continue my research on how people form their expectations about their economic future and teach courses in finance, macroeconomics and statistics. Despite managing to never work or study more than 50 miles from where I was born, I fancy myself a world traveler, having been to Singapore, Indonesia, India, Australia, Thailand, Greece and Cambodia, among other far-flung destinations. When I’m not doing economics, I cook, play the piano, read, listen to music, hit golf balls at the driving range, and parent my adorable and indefatigable 3- and 5-year-old boys, Jai and Sammy.

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