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Faculty Fellows - Fall 2018

For the third cohort of Mellon Faculty Fellows, nine faculty members were hired for tenure-track positions

Beloit College

Sonya Maria Johsnon headshot

Sonya Maria Johsnon 

Sonya Maria Johnson
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies

Ph.D. Dual Major in Socio-Cultural Anthropology and African American & African Studies, Michigan State University

B.A. Anthropology and Ethnic Studies, University of Colorado, Boulder

Teaching: Religions of the Black Atlantic: The Caribbean and Latin America; Religious Thought in the Black Atlantic: Cuba; Ritual and Culture in the African Diaspora; Religion and Reality; and The Anthropology of Religion

Research: Cuban African descendants’ engagement of ancestral spirits from Cuba’s colonial past to maintain their “African” identity, integrating the significance of contemporary ritual realities into theoretical discourses about the “Black Atlantic”

Faculty Profile

Carleton College

Candace Moore headshot

Candace Moore

Candace Moore
Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Cinema and Media Studies

Ph.D. Cinema and Media Studies, UCLA

M.F.A. Creative Writing, San Francisco State University

B.A. Literature, University of California – Santa Cruz

Teaching:  Courses include Introduction to LGBT/Queer Studies, Feminist and Queer Theory, and Race Gender and Sexuality in Popular Culture

Research: Feminist and Queer Media Studies, American Television History, LGBTQ Studies, Minoritarian Media Industries and Production Cultures, Sex in the Media, and Digital Television and Convergence Culture

Faculty Profile

Coe College

Laissa M. Rodríguez Moreno headshot

Laissa M. Rodríguez Moreno

Laissa M. Rodríguez Moreno
Assistant Professor of Spanish

Ph.D.  Spanish Literature and M.A., University of Wisconsin – Madison

B.A. Literary Studies, Universidad Nacional de Colombia

Teaching:  Spanish Language, Latin American history, and advanced literature classes on Hispanic graphic novels, performance and politics, theater and literature

Research:  Combines topics related to 20th – 21st c. Latin American political violence with scholarly interests in Latin American history, theater and performance, political philosophy, cultural and visual studies ,and Illustrated Books

Faculty Profile

Alexander Zambrano headshot

Alexander Zambrano

*Alexander Zambrano 
Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Ph.D. Philosophy, University of Colorado – Boulder

B.A. Philosophy, Loyola Marymount University

Teaching:  Applied ethics (including bioethics and environmental ethics), the history of philosophy (ancient and early modern), philosophy of race, philosophy of religion, and normative ethics

Research:  Biomedical Ethics, with focus on the allocation of scarce medical resources and bio-enhancement technologies and their implications for distributive justice

Knox College

Roya Biggie headshot

Roya Biggie

Roya Biggie
Assistant Professor of English

Ph.D. English, CUNY Graduate Center

M.A. English, Georgetown University

B.A. English, St. Mary’s College of Maryland

Teaching:  Early Modern Ecologies, Early Modern Cross-Cultural Encounters, Shakespeare, and survey courses in medieval and early modern literature

Research:  Shakespeare, early modern drama, early modern medical texts and botanicals, ecocriticism, and affect theory

Faculty Profile

Lake Forest College 

Vivian Ta headshot

Vivian Ta

Vivian Ta
Assistant Professor of Psychology

Ph.D. Experimental Psychology and M.S., University of Texas at Arlington

B.A. Experimental Psychology, University of Texas at Arlington

Teaching: Research Methods and Statistics I and II, Psychology of Language

Research: Using computational linguistics techniques to investigate the influence of language on interpersonal dynamics, the impact of personality and individual differences on interpersonal relationships, and the role of technology and computer-mediated communication on psychological processes

Faculty Profile

Luther College

Kelly Sharp headshot

Kelly Sharp

*Kelly Sharp
Assistant Professor of African Studies and History

Ph.D. History and M.A., University of California – Davis

B.A. History, Willamette University

Teaching: Intro to African American History, Black Student Activism in Higher Education

Research: Material culture, food, the ante-bellum South, race and labor, and business history

St. Olaf College

Jessica Benson headshot

Jessica Benson

Jessica Benson
Assistant Professor of Psychology

Ph.D.  Psychology and M.A., Rutgers University – Newark

B.A. Psychology, University of California – Davis

Teaching: Issues in Diversity, Social Psychology, and Research Methods in Psychology

Research: Stereotyping and discrimination, identity, resilience, and academic achievement

Faculty Profile


Stephanie Montgomery headshot

Stephanie Montgomery

Stephanie Montgomery
Assistant Professor of History and Asian Studies

Ph.D.  History and M.A., University of California – Santa Cruz

B.A. University of Nevada – Reno

Teaching: Courses include the Making of Modern East Asia, Engendering Modern East Asia, China Past and Present

Research: Modern China, history of gender, sexuality, and the body; women’s history; the history of criminality and penology; and the history of science, medicine, technology, and drugs

Faculty Profile

*No longer at participating campus