CAP approves nine professors to receive tenure in 2013-14

The Committee on Appropriations and Promotions (CAP) recommended nine assistant professors for tenure on Dec. 20. The Board of Trustees Executive Committee approved all nine recommendations, and the board’s vote will become official at the full board meeting in January.

The following assistant professors were promoted to positions of associate professor with tenure: Jeanine Albrecht, computer science; Lisa Gilbert, geosciences at Williams-Mystic; Amy Holzapfel, theatre; Jason Josephson, religion; Sara LaLumia, economics; James Manigault-Bryant, Africana studies; Keith McPartland, philosophy; Ngonidzashe Munemo, political science; and Amanda Wilcox, classics.

Jeanine Albrecht

Albrecht works with computer systems with an emphasis on distributed systems, green computing, mobile and wide area networks and operating systems. ““I am very happy to have been awarded tenure,” Albrecht said. “The highlights for me have centered on my interactions with students and colleagues. I have truly enjoyed working with students both in my courses and in my research, and I feel grateful to be part of such a supportive department.” Albrecht’s current research focuses on constructing energy monitoring systems that reduce the carbon output of homes and buildings. “We currently are exploring ways to reduce the carbon footprint of homes using techniques that do not impact the occupants’ behavior,” she said.

Albrecht has garnered funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI) project.

Albrecht earned her B.S. at Gettysburg College, her M.S. from Duke and her Ph.D from University of California, San Diego.

Lisa Gilbert

Gilbert, a professor in the Williams-Mystic program, studies undersea volcanoes.

“I study seafloor volcanoes from all over the world,” Gilbert said. “I research the formation, structure and hydrothermal evolution of the oceanic crust formed at mid-ocean ridges. I’m also really into seamounts because I think they’re a crucial influence on heat flow and chemical cycling in the ocean.” Her work has run in a variety of publications, including Science. Gilbert cited the students and faculty with which she works as one of the most rewarding parts of her job.

“There’s no other program in which I’d get to take students to sea and compare the East, West and Gulf Coasts of America by actually visiting [them],” Gilbert said. “Teaching together with colleagues from literature, history, policy and ecology has become a normal way of life, such that it’s hard to imagine not being part of an integrated, interdisciplinary curriculum.”

Gilbert earned her AB from Dartmouth and her Ph.D from the University of Washington.

Amy Holzapfel

Holzapfel’s work focuses on 19th-century theatre, visual art and scientific culture. Holzapfel is currently revising her book, Art, Vision & the Nineteenth-Century Realist Drama: Acts of Seeing, which is scheduled for release this year. According to Holzapfel, Acts of Seeing “presents a new definition of what realism meant in the nineteenth-century theater.” Holzapfel says that she has relished the culture and environment at the College. “I have loved being part of a culture of learning that includes not only a wonderful theatre community but also two major, world renowned art museums, which I try to take advantage of as much as possible, both in teaching and my own interdisciplinary research,” she said. Holzapfel received her DFA and MFA from Yale.

Jason Josephson

Josephson researches Japanese and European history and investigates the transformation of cultural systems into sciences and religion. In 2012, Josephson authored The Invention of Religion in Japan, and currently has two other manuscripts in the works. Josephson referenced the quality of discourse at the College as one of his favorite components of his job. “During my time at Williams, I have been blessed with wonderful dialogue partners – both students and fellow faculty – who have helped to broaden my scholarly horizons through engagement with a diversity of experiential backgrounds and differing academic fields,” Josephson said.

Josephson received his MTS from Harvard and his Ph.D from Stanford.

Sara LaLumia

LaLumia focuses her work on income and tax policy and public finance. “In current research conducted with co-authors at the U.S. Treasury Department, I am making use of detailed panel data linking the tax returns individuals file over several subsequent years,” LaLumia explained. “In one project, we used new measurements of the wage losses associated with a spell of unemployment. In another project, we are investigating the extent to which birth timing is shifted just around the turn of the year in response to child-related tax benefits.” In 2009, LaLumia was awarded the Richard Musgrave Prize for best article in the National Tax Journal. She has been published in numerous journals, including the Journal of Public Economics. “I am delighted to have been granted tenure at Williams, as I absolutely love my job here,” LaLumia said. “I feel very lucky to work with such great students and colleagues. There is a frequently-repeated joke in my department that we are expected to spend 60 percent of our time on teaching and 60 percent of our time on research.”

LaLumia received her BA from Youngstown State and her Ph.D from the University of Michigan.

James Manigault-Bryant

Manigault-Bryant researches in Africana studies, the sociology of religion and environmental studies. Manigault-Bryant is currently working on two manuscripts and has been published in several journals, including Critical Sociology. He received his BA from Tulane and his Ph.D from Brown. “What I’ve most enjoyed about my time at Williams is working with faculty and students affiliated with the Africana Studies Program,” Manigault-Bryant. “My primary goal going forward is to make curricular and service contributions that strengthen and expand the reach of Africana studies at Williams College.”

Keith McPartland

McPartland studies Aristotle’s ontology and theory of truth. In 2009, McPartland received a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship and later became a Herbert H. Lehman Fellow. McPartland received his BA from Rutgers and his Ph.D from Cornell. McPartland could not be reached for comment as of press time.

Ngonidzashe Munemo

Munemo conducts research in comparative politics with a focus on draught and famine relief and institutions, executive succession and stability. “Since graduate school, I have known that I wanted to teach at a small, liberal arts college where teaching and research where equally important,” Munemo said. “Williams has been a wonderful place for me in both regards.” In 2012, he released his book, Domestic Politics and Drought Relief in Africa: Explaining Choices. He is currently researching the underlying causes of orderly versus coercive executive successions in Africa. “Essentially, the project examines the relationship between institutional choice and patterns of political development and decay in Africa,” Munemo said.

Munemo earned his BA at Bard and his Ph.D from Columbia.

Amanda Wilcox

Wilcox researches Roman literature and the culture of the late Roman republic and early Roman Empire. In 2012, Wilcox authored The Gift of Correspondence in Classical Rome: Friendship in Cicero’s Ad Familiares and Seneca’s Moral Epistles, which investigates two major collections of Roman letters.

“My next book will be about the nexus of metaphors having to do with family, the house and the household that Roman literature uses during the early empire to sort out the domain of traditional paternal authority from the new powers wielded by the emperor, whose epithets included the honorific ‘pater patriae’ or ‘father of the fatherland,’” Wilcox said.

Wilcox received her BA from Reed and her Ph.D from the University of Pennsylvania.

“During my time at Williams so far, I’ve especially enjoyed the students, who are consistently warm, thoughtful, intelligent people. As a rule, I’ve found Williams students to be generous, considerate and responsible, particularly toward each other,” Wilcox said. “That position of mutual respect and trust is a really good place to start from when you’re going to ask students to undertake conversations that will be challenging for everyone in the room.”