Twelve profs receive tenure

In an unprecedented move, the Committee on Appointments and Promotions (CAP) has endorsed all 12 professors who applied for tenure.

Ondine Chavoya, Stefanie Solum, Cecilia Chang, Manuel Morales, Dieter Bingemann, Stephen Freund, Lucie Schmidt, Theo Davis, Heather Stoll, Janneke van de Stadt, Noah Sandstrom and Jennifer French will be offered tenure, pending final approval from the Board of Trustees, at the end of January.

“The board will be reviewing the recommendations of the CAP at its meeting later this month,” Wagner said. “It would be very rare for the board not to approve the recommendations of the committee.”

The CAP is composed of the president, dean of the faculty, provost and three elected full professors. Assistant professors are eligible for tenure after teaching at the College for six years.

According to Jim Kolesar, director of public affairs, the high number of tenure recommendations this year is largely due to the peak in faculty expansion. Departments have also provided clearer signals regarding the likelihood of tenure for assistant professors, Kolesar said. Professors who are unlikely to receive tenure often leave the College before the tenure application comes up.

Ondine Chavoya

Ondine Chavoya is assistant professor of art history and Latina/o studies. His current project is an anthology of Chicana art theory focusing on the four-member Los Angeles-based group, Asco. After earning his B.A. from the University of California at Santa Cruz, Chavoya received his Ph.D. at the University of Rochester in New York.

Stefanie Solum

Praised by her colleagues in the art department for her enthusiasm and intensity, Stefanie Solum earned her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and her Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley.

Her research interests include Michelangelo and historical biography in artistic interpretation. Solum is writing a book on Lucrezia Tornabuoni de’ Medici and female patronage of the arts in Renaissance Florence. She will have an article coming out in The Art Bulletin this spring.

Cecilia Chang

Cecilia Chang, assistant professor of Chinese, knows that Chinese is a challenging language, but she is continually impressed by her students. “Students struggle a lot in the beginning . . . [but] it’s okay to make mistakes. They’re here – they’re smart,” Chang said. “[Learning Chinese] is not a test of intellect. It’s about finding out things about themselves, like who they are and what type of learners they are.” Chang is currently researching the reading strategies of Chinese-language students.

Chang’s B.A. is in Chinese literature from Fu-Jen University in Taipei, Taiwan. She received an M.A. in applied linguistics at UCLA, and an Ed.D. at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst School of Education.

Manuel Morales

Specializing in ecology, Manuel Morales, assistant professor of biology, is interested in mutualism in nature, interactions benefiting both species involved. At Hopkins Forest, he observes the interactions between ants and treehoppers and tracks the spread of an invasive ant in the Hoosic River Valley. Morales studied biology at Kenyon College, later earning a Ph.D. in ecology at the University of Connecticut.

“He has a lot of enthusiasm for what he’s doing,” said fellow biology professor Henry Art, “He’s always looking at different ways to ask and answer questions. When he discovers new things in the field, he’ll go and study them.”

Dieter Bingemann

Assistant professor of chemistry Dieter Bingemann is originally from Germany but found his true home for teaching in the College’s liberal arts atmosphere. Bingemann praises students at the College for their strong work ethic and intellectual curiosity. He is currently using experimental single molecule spectroscopy to examine the changing structure of glass products and materials.

Bingemann’s B.A. in Chemistry is from Georg-August Universitat, and his Ph.D. is from the Max-Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, both in Germany.

Stephen Freund

Stephen Freund, assistant professor of computer science, earned his B.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University. His research interests include programming languages, virtual machines and type-based program analysis. Last year, Freund was a recipient of the National Science Foundation’s $400,000 CAREER grant, one of the most prestigious awards for developing professors. He will be investigating a method of identifying viruses in software systems called hybrid atomicity checking. Freund is also noted as one of the developers of Sage, a programming language with hybrid type-checking.

Lucie Schmidt

Lucie Schmidt received an B.A. in government at Smith College, an M.A. and a Ph.D. in economics at the University of Michigan.

As a professor of economics, Schmidt specializes in family welfare and government transfer programs. “Professor Schmidt is very knowledgeable and responsive,” said Zhichun Ying ’08. “She is really amazing as a thesis adviser.”

Theo Davis

For professor of English Theo Davis, tenure recommendation follows the publication of a substantial work on the formation of American literature. Praised by English chair Peter Murphy as a “wonderfully intelligent and original literacy critic,” her next book will examine American and British aesthetics.

After a B.A. from Brown University, Theo Davis received her Ph.D. from John Hopkins University.

Heather Stoll

Heather Stoll, professor of geosciences, received her B.A. in geology from Williams in 1994 and her Ph.D. in geochemistry from Princeton University in 1998. Stoll’s recent research examines evidence in sedimentary records of climate changes on the ocean.

Last April, Stoll was awarded the Young Scientist Award from the European Geoscience Union for work focusing on historical patterns of climatic and oceanographic changes. She devotes her spare time to poetry and hiking.

Jennifer French

Before becoming a professor of romance language, Jennifer French received a B.A. from the College of William and Mary and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Rutgers University. French specializes in Latin American literature and cultural studies. She wrote her doctorate thesis on neo-colonialism and the Spanish-American novel.

In addition to writing her book Nature, Neo-Colonialism, and the Spanish American Regional Writers, French has translated two books from Spanish by Susan Rotker.

Noah Sandstrom

After receiving his B.A in psychology from Knox College, Noah Sandstrom attended Duke University where he earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in psychology. Sandstrom is affiliated with the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocronology, the Society for Neuroscience and the American Psychological Association.

Sandstrom was one of five professors who team-taught Psychology 101 this past fall. “He was one of the most engaging professors,” said Cristine Ihara ’11, “He made sure you learned and learned well.”

Janneke van de Stadt

Janneke van de Stadt, a member of the Russian and comparative literature departments, received her B.A. from Amherst. She later pursued her M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, staying to teach Russian, Spanish and Italian. Van de Stadt specializes in body theory, biopoetics and music in literature.

“She takes the effort to reach out to her students while still remaining firm and fair,” said William Lee ’11.