9 Faculty Promoted to Full Professor

Nine Wesleyan faculty members received promotions on July 1.

In its most recent meeting, the Board of Trustees conferred tenure to Patricia Rodriguez Mosquera, associate professor of psychology. (Seven faculty members were tenured in 2012-13; Rodriguez Mosquera joins four faculty members who were awarded tenure earlier this spring, and two who received tenure in the fall.)

Additionally, the following eight faculty members are being promoted to full professor: Michael Calter, professor of chemistry; Manju Hingorani, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry; Scott Holmes, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry; Elizabeth McAlister, professor of religion; Masami Imai, professor of economics; Suzanne O’Connell, professor of earth and environmental sciences; Francis Starr, professor of physics; and Stephanie Weiner, professor of English.

More information on their research is below:

Patricia Rodriguez Mosquera is centrally concerned with how honor is constituted and experienced in specific cultural contexts, and with the relationship of honor to social image. In addition to her own research and publications, she has edited two special journal issues on honor, helping to establish the topic as a significant area of research within the study of emotion in contemporary psychology. Among students, she is noted both for being an exceptional mentor of individuals as well as fostering a comfortable classroom environment for the discussion of culturally sensitive topics.

Michael Calter’s work is in synthetic organic chemistry, for which he has received two substantial grants from the NIH. His three most recent papers have been published in the top organic chemistry journal, and he serves as referee, reviewer and panel member for several journals and funding agencies. He also has consistently achieved teaching excellence in the sophomore level organic chemistry sequence.

Manju Hingorani studies the mechanisms involved in repairing mismatch errors that occur during DNA replication. Her work has been funded by major grants from the NSF and NIH, and she has been published in high-quality journals, including the publication of a 2010 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. She has taken on substantial administrative commitments at the departmental and institutional levels, and a leadership role in the Sciences Across the Curriculum and Creative Campus initiatives.

Scott Holmes’ work is aimed at understanding gene repression and cell development. He has received grant support from the NSF for his research, and he was recently awarded a grant from the NIH for his work in identifying patterns of silencing in yeast cells. In addition to his work on major University committees, he has contributed to the institution through his substantial collaborations with colleagues in PIMMS and the Health Professionals Panel.

Masami Imai conducts research on banking and financial regulation, policy, and history, with particular interest in financial shocks and the impacts of and on institutional structures. His paper on “Bank Integration and Transmission of Financial Shocks” in American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics is considered a publication of critical importance in the field. In addition to his contributions to the Economics department and University, he has chaired East Asian Studies and served as Director of the Freeman Center from 2010-13.

Elizabeth McAlister’s research is primarily focused on religion among the African diaspora in Haiti and the US. Although a scholar of religion, she takes a broadly multidisciplinary approach, the value of which has been recognized with a major grant from the Social Science Research Council. Her teaching evaluations indicate active student involvement in her classroom, and she herself has been an actively engaged citizen of the institution, as a board member for the Allbritton Center, GLSP and the Center for Faculty Career Development.

Suzanne O’Connell’s scholarship encompasses sedimentology and oceanography, studying climate change through paleoceanography, resulting in work that has been published in the prestigious journal Geology. Her more recent work is in the sociology of the geosciences, in which her focus has been the racial and gender composition of her field, a focus that has been rewarded with a large grant from the NSF. She has actively worked to increase representation of women and minorities in her courses and her discipline. She has served on sixteen Wesleyan committees since earning tenure, and directed the Service-Learning Center for five years.

Francis Starr studies the dynamics of glass forming liquids and the modeling of phase transitions and structure formation for DNA-linked nanoparticles. His work has achieved exceptional visibility, with his papers having been cited more than 3,000 times in the scientific literature. He has been a central force in upgrading scientific computing at Wesleyan, serving on the Steering Committee for the computing center, the Academic Technology Advisory Committee, and the Advisory Panel for the Quantitative Analysis Center.

Stephanie Weiner writes about British poetry from the Romantic period to the advent of modernism, combining literary criticism with intellectual and political history and the history of art. She provides readings of individual poets within a wider context. The book manuscript for her second book is under contract with Oxford University Press. She teaches a wide variety of courses, served as a curriculum coordinator for the department for several years, and is core faculty for the Education Certificate. She also has served the wider University through service on FEC, Honors, RAB, GLSP Program Committee and CHUM Advisory Board.