New faculty

New faculty

October 23, 2017

Super-resolution microscopy, pre-Columbian Mesoamerican deity sculptures, site-responsive theater, mobile and wearable computing, socioeconomic stratification in schools, amputee gait patterns and early medieval Buddhist texts are just a few areas of expertise brought to Skidmore this fall.

In all, 36 scholars from more than 20 disciplines (and from Canada, China, India, Israel, South Korea, Sri Lanka and the US) have joined the ranks of Skidmore's 300-strong faculty, for a student-faculty ratio of 8:1 and intimate, engaged classes of which 94% have 16 or fewer students.

Yubo Hou
Yubo Hou

One newcomer is Yubo Hou, who studied at Xiamen University in the south of China before earning a PhD at the University of Connecticut. A biologist, she says bioinformatics has become "essential for genomic and molecular biology research, but is also having a major impact on knowledge-based drug design, forensic DNA analysis and agricultural biotechnology." The best part of being at Skidmore? Besides its "friendliness and versatility," it's not having to write her name in Chinese, which requires 27 strokes.



Ruth McAdams
Ruth McAdams

Ruth McAdams, who taught last year at Bogazici ("boh-AH-zee-chee") University in Istanbul, is a scholar of 19th-century British literature, especially historical fiction, theory of the novel, life-writing and composition. She is currently writing How the Victorians Invented the Regency: Historicizing the Recent Past and teaching two sections of first-year writing on the theme of gender. She holds a PhD from the University of Michigan. Also an oboist, she's eager to "jam with other classical musicians."



Guy Mastrion
Guy Mastrion

Branding and advertising expert Guy Mastrion is a founder of Saratoga's Palio Communications and of Brandforming (offering design, campaign and digital work). He is Skidmore's new Harder Professor of Business Administration. His thoughts on Skidmore's "Creative Thought Matters" catchphrase? "Creativity in business is widely recognized as an asset but also widely misunderstood. It deserves more airtime, and there are many fundamental skills to be learned that will help Skidmore students no matter their career paths." Mastrion says, "Professionally, I turn emotional chaos into meaningful ideas. Personally, I turn meaningful ideas into emotional chaos, as I'm the father of two teenage girls." He earned a BFA in communications design at Parsons School of Design.

Victor Guevara
Victor Guevara

A collegiate cross-country runner and a jogger with Jordie, a dog he adopted at a craft beer festival, Victor Guevara is passionate about "exhumed metamorphic rocks." He recently earned a PhD at Virginia Tech and has already taken his students to the New England Intercollegiate Geological Conference, including a weekend camping trip through the White Mountains. He says, "A few miles off of Skidmore's campus toward Daniels Road State Forest [video], you cross a fault that juxtaposes 500-million-year-old sedimentary rocks against 1.1-billion-year-old metamorphic rock, in which you can see large garnet crystals and flaky, shiny biotite—a fascinating glimpse into the evolution of mountain belts and continents."

Marisol Diaz
Marisol Diaz

For Marisol Diaz, the mountains in her hometown of El Paso, Texas, have served as her north star. Without them, she admits that she has no sense of direction and may get lost on campusso be on the lookout. But she's the one leading the way when it comes to social justice in education, specifically how schools often maintain and perpetuate socioeconomic stratification through various teaching methods and practices. Diaz earned a PhD in curriculum and instruction from New Mexico State University and also a 2014 award for exemplary teaching from the National Association of Multicultural Education.

More fun facts about incoming faculty:

Joowon Park
Joowon Park

Anthropologist Joowon Park earned a PhD at American University and researches migration, refugee settlement and the politics of humanitarianism. A native of South Korea who spent his childhood in Kenya, he threw the ceremonial first pitch [video] at the Korean World Series last year.





Megan Turnbull
Megan Turnbull

Political scientist Megan Turnbull, a Brown University PhD, shares a birthday with Fidel Castro (and her brother with Benito Mussolini). No wonder her research and teaching focus on political conflict, violence, development and democratization.





Madushi Raththagala
Madushi
Raththagala

Madushi Raththagala confesses that she'd like to take 20-minute naps after lunch. Given that the Michigan State University PhD is a biochemist working on understanding the structure-and-function relationships of proteins at the molecular level, perhaps a little shut-eye is warranted?






Mary Roberts
Mary Roberts

Mary Roberts, in health and exercise sciences, says, "I'm a Canadian, and I've been told I apologize a lot. Sorry!" One thing the PhD candidate at the Université de Montréal shouldn't apologize for is her research focused on gait biomechanics and helping amputees.





Bernardo Ramirez Rios
Bernardo
Ramirez Rios

Anthropologist Bernardo Ramirez Rios earned a PhD at Ohio State University but is a proud Chicano from California. He specializes in sports, migration and identity. Also, "I know it's rather judgmental," he says, "but I do not trust people who do not like tacos. Tacos are delicious. #FACTSMATTER"






Julie Douglas
Julie Douglas

Mathematician Julie Douglas, with a PhD from the University of Michigan, has devoted her professional life to developing statistical tools that identify genetic risk factors for medically important traits and common diseases such as breast cancer. She has also jumped out of an airplane twice—once with a parachute that opened and once with one that did not. May we suggest staying on the ground?




John Diresta
John Diresta

John Diresta, who earned an MFA at Northwestern University, is particularly keen on theater for social justice, queer theater, and 20th-century American naturalism. Plus he wants the campus community to know that he offers reasonable prices for his homemade yogurt, bacon and jam. "Great holiday gifts!"





Amy Oh
Amy Oh

Amy Oh earned a classics PhD at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is an expert in the literature and social history of the waning Roman Empire, especially in the late 300s to early 400s. In grad school, she made her own social history by playing keyboards for a Pink Floyd/John Denver cover band called Wish You Were Here to Take Me Home, Country Roads.




Tags: Admissions, Yubo Hou, Department of Biology, bioinformatics, Ruth McAdams, Department of English, literature, historical fiction, composition, Guy Mastrion, Department of Management and Business, branding, advertising, Palio Communications, Harder, business administration, Victor Guevara, Department of Geosciences, sedimentary, metamorphic, Marisol Diaz, Department of Education Studies, social justice, Joowon Park, Department of Anthropology, migration, refugee settlement, humanitarianism, Megan Turnbull, Department of Political Science, conflict, violence, development, democratization, Madushi Raththagala, Department of Chemistry, protein, Mary Roberts, Department of Health and Exercise Sciences, biomechanics, amputees, Bernardo Ramirez Rios, Department of Anthropology, sports, migration, identity, Julie Douglas, Department of Mathematics, statistics, genetic risk, cancer, John Diresta, Department of Theater, queer theater, 20th-century American naturalism, Amy Oh, Department of Classics
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