Meet Our New Faculty: Part 2

In our second batch of new faculty profiles, learn about scholars and researchers who study China’s birth-planning policy, have an interest in organic gardening, and rock out to Led Zeppelin.

Find the first half of our faculty profiles here. And read on for the remainder.


Emily Pentzer
Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry

Research/scholarship focus
Organic Chemistry, Materials and Energy, Polymers, Self-Assembly

Previous positions
Postdoctoral associate, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Polymer Science and Engineering, 2010-2013

Education
PhD, organic chemistry, Northwestern University, 2010; BS, chemistry, Butler University, 2005

Recent publications, compositions or other works
With M. Baghar, A. Wise, J. Labastide, T. Emrick and M. Barnes. “Controlling Interchain and Intrachain Excitonic Coupling within Preformed Crystalline Aggregates of Functionalized P3HT Nanofibers by Cross-linking.” (Submitted.)

With Todd Emrick. “Solution Assembly of Conjugated Materials for Continuous Pathways in Electronically Active Composites.” NPG Asia Materials. (2013)

With Laju Bu, Felicia Bokel, Todd Emrick and Ryan Hayward. “Organic Donor-Acceptor Shish-Kebab Crystals by Heterogeneous Nucleating Crystallization of P3HT on Perylene Diimide Crystals.” ACS Nano. (2012)

Most influential book you’ve read, and why it was important in your life
Professionally, the most influential book I’ve read is Robert Burns Woodward and the Art of Organic Synthesis. This book shows the artistry and creativity that can be found in chemistry when making molecules—something that isn’t always apparent. Personally, Anna Karenina was the most enthralling book I’ve read; I enjoyed the exploration of the interconnected relationships and the different choices made by the characters.

Outside interests
Cooking, running, travel



Maggie L. Popkin
Assistant Professor, Department of Art History and Art

Research/scholarship focus
Ancient Roman art and architecture

Previous positions
Samothrace Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute of Fine Arts-NYU and Emory University, 2012-2013; adjunct professor, New York University, 2012; adjunct professor, University of Hartford, 2009

Education
PhD, history of art and archaeology, Institute of Fine Arts-New York University, 2012; MA, history of art, Institute of Fine Arts-New York University, 2007; BA, history of art, Williams College, 2003

Recent publications, compositions or other works
The Triumphal Route in Ancient Rome: Monuments, Experience, and Memory
(book manuscript in progress)

“Samothrace at Rome: Monuments and Cultural Exchange in the 2nd Century B.C.E.” (article manuscript in preparation for submission to the American Journal of Archaeology)

“Small Stone Finds,” in Bonna D. Wescoat et al., Samothrace: Excavations Conducted by the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University, Volume 9, The Monuments of the Eastern Hill. (in press)

Most influential book you’ve read, and why it was important in your life
Professionally, the most influential book I’ve read is Leo Steinberg’s The Sexuality of Christ in Renaissance Art and in Modern Oblivion. It persuaded me as a college student that images have as much to tell us about societies as written texts and that art history thus contributes a critical element to our understanding of the past. It’s not about Roman art, but I have it in the back of my mind every time I look at an object!

Outside interests
Painting, swimming, cooking, travel



Andrea Wolk Rager
Assistant Professor, Department of Art History and Art

Research/scholarship focus
Late 18th- through early 20th-century European art; British Pre-Raphaelitism and Aestheticism; the Edwardian era; the history of photography; eco-criticism and environmental art; curatorial and museum studies

Previous position
Visiting assistant professor of art history, Case Western Reserve University, 2011-2013; postdoctoral research associate, Yale Center for British Art, 2008-2011

Education
PhD, art history, Yale University, 2009; BA, art history, Pomona College, 2002

Recent publications, compositions or other works
Co-curator with Angus Trumble, Edwardian Opulence: British Art at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Conn., Feb. 28 – June 2, 2013, and co-editor of the accompanying catalogue (2013)

“‘Famous Men and Fair Women’: Pre-Raphaelitism and Photography Reconsidered,” in Victorians Live, Herb Sussman, ed., Victorian Literature and Culture. (2012)

“Purchasing Paradise: Nostalgic Longing and the Painter of Light™,” Thomas Kinkade: The Artist in the Mall. (2011)

Most influential book you’ve read, and why it was important in your life
John Ruskin’s The Stones of Venice (1853): Written with the passion of an old testament prophet, Ruskin’s text was ostensibly about the architectural history of Venice, but functioned instead as a stirring invective against what he perceived as the social, political, and economic ills of 19th-century Britain. He not only gave the Victorians new eyes with which to see Gothic architecture, he also inspired a generation to employ art as a means to combat the alienation of labor, the degradation of the environment, and the fragmentation of society. As an individual, Ruskin was deeply flawed, but his fervor and commitment continues to be as inspirational for me today as it was for the artists I study.

Outside interests
Visiting museums and galleries (does that count as an “outside” interest?), going for long walks and exploring the outdoors, traveling, cooking, watching movies



Lihong Shi
Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology

Research/scholarship focus
Medical anthropology; reproduction; gender and family relations; demographic consequences of China’s birth-planning policy

Previous positions
ACLS Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Anthropology, Washington University in St Louis, 2011-2013; An Wang Postdoctoral Fellow, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, 2010-2011; ACLS Visiting Scholar, Heyman Center for Humanities, Columbia University, 2009-2010

Education
PhD, anthropology, Tulane University, 2009; MA, anthropology, Tulane University, 2006; MA, women’s studies, San Diego State University, 2003; MA, English, Liaoning University, China, 2001; BA, English, Liaoning University, China, 1998

Recent publications, compositions or other works
“‘The Wife is the Boss’: Sex-Ratio Imbalance and Young Women’s Empowerment in Marriage in Rural Northeast China.” Women and Gender in Contemporary Chinese Societies: Beyond Han Patriarchy. (2011)

“‘Little Quilted Vests to Warm Parents’ Hearts’: Redefining Gendered Performance of Filial Piety in Rural Northeastern China.” The China Quarterly. (2009)

Most influential book you’ve read, and why it was important in your life
The Return of the Prodigal Son
by Henri Nouwen. It taught me love and forgiveness.

Outside interests
Watching movies and traveling to new places



Shannon Sterne
Assistant Professor, Department of Dance

Research/scholarship focus
Scientific research: nutrition and wellness for dancers; kinesiology of dance

Creative research: Contemporary dance works investigating the human psyche and human relationships

Previous positions
Part-time lecturer in dance, Case Western Reserve University, 2008-2013; adjunct faculty in dance, Cuyahoga Community College, 2011-2012; part-time instructor in nutrition, Owens Community College, 2007-2008

Education
MA, contemporary dance, Case Western Reserve University, 2004; MS, nutrition, Case Western Reserve University, 2003; BS, foods and nutrition, San Diego State University, 2001

Recent publications, compositions or other works
Recent choreographic works:

Eventide, modern trio, City Ballet of Cleveland (2013)

Our Atavistic Selves, modern quintet, City Ballet of Cleveland (2013)

Goodbye/Hello, modern ensemble, Case Western Reserve University (2012)

Most influential book you’ve read, and why it was important in your life
Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life by Thich Nhat Hanh offers simple, practical tips for the cultivation of personal happiness and peace.

Outside interests
Organic gardening, native plants, early Renaissance dance



Wanda Strychalski
Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics, Applied Mathematics and Statistics

Research/scholarship focus
My research is in scientific computing and mathematical biology. I’m particularly interested in using mathematics as a tool to understand problems in cell biology.

Previous positions
Postdoctoral researcher, University of California, Davis, 2012-2013; Krener Assistant Professor, University of California, Davis, 2009-2012

Education
PhD, applied mathematics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2009; MS, applied mathematics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2006; BS, computational mathematics, Rochester Institute of Technology, 2003

Recent publications, compositions or other works
With R. D. Guy. “A Computational Model of Bleb Formation,” Mathematical Medicine and Biology. (2013)

With R. D. Guy. “Viscoelastic immersed boundary methods for zero Reynolds number flow.” Communications in Computational Physics. (2012)

With D. Adalsteinsson and T. C. Elston. “Simulating Biochemical Signaling Networks in Complex Moving Geometries.” SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing. (2010)

Most influential book you’ve read, and why it was important in your life
Calculus by James Stewart. This book was my freshman calculus textbook. I started college as a computer science major. However, the more math I learned, the more I wanted to learn, and my interests really shifted after taking several calculus and other mathematics courses. Reading this book laid the foundation for my education and profession. I continue to use it as a reference.

Outside interests
Alpine skiing, body boarding, traveling, hiking, biking, watching live music (classical and rock)



Magdalena Vinter
Assistant Professor, Department of English

 

Research/scholarship focus
16th– and 17th-century literature, especially drama

Education
PhD, English literature, Johns Hopkins University, 2013; BA, English literature, University of Cambridge, 2003

Recent publications, compositions or other works
I’ve just completed my dissertation, “Last Acts: the Art of Dying, the Good Deathbed and the Early Modern Stage,” which looks at how dying is understood in drama and in devotional manuals.

Most influential book you’ve read, and why it was important in your life
This is a hard question for someone who works on literature because I could answer almost anything. I’ve lost track of the number of times when a book has turned me around, either because it’s given me a shock of recognition in the way it described a thought or feeling, or because it’s introduced me to a new way of relating to the world.

One book that was important to me as an undergraduate deciding that I wanted to study literature was Erich Auerbach’s Mimesis. Mimesis attempts to account for the different ways in which reality is understood and represented in Western literature from Homer to the 20th century. Auerbach wrote it with hardly any access to reference books while he was a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany living in Istanbul. The project is crazily ambitious, and I certainly don’t agree with everything it says. But I would like to share Auerbach’s sense that novels, plays and poems tell us something important about how people from different traditions and times understand the world they live in—and that we might use what we learn from these texts to think about where our current cultural presuppositions come from.

Outside interests
I enjoy playing the piano and listening to live music. I’m a mediocre cook, but I keep working at it.



Timothy Wutrich
Instructor, Department of Classics

 

Research/scholarship focus
At present three spheres define my scholarly agenda and they frequently overlap. I work broadly in the field of ancient drama (especially the relationship between Homer and Attic tragedy), Vergil (especially the heroic tradition and the Aeneid), and the Classical Tradition (especially the reception of the Homeric hero in postclassical literature and the arts).

Previous positions
Visiting Assistant Professor, Case Western Reserve University, 2007-2013; Maître de conférences, Université Catholique de Lyon (France), 2003-2007; Professeur d’Anglais, Externat Sainte-Marie, Lyon (France), 2003-2004; Associate Professor, Ohio University, 1998-2002; Assistant Professor, Boston University, 1992-1997

Education
PhD, Tufts University, 1992; MA, Tufts University, 1988; BA, Cleveland State University, 1984

Recent publications, compositions or other works
While not a recent publication, it is my major one: Prometheus and Faust: The Promethean Revolt in Drama from Classical Antiquity to Goethe (1995).

I am currently revising for publication two essays: one on the performance of Vergil’s Aeneid and another essay on the tapestries in the Cleveland Museum of Art that depict scenes from Vergil’s Aeneid.

Most influential book you’ve read, and why it was important in your life
There are three: Homer’s Odyssey, because it is exciting, beautiful and profound, and reading it changed the course of my education; Goethe’s Faust because this dramatic poem is not only beautiful and complex, but it offers (among many other things) a unified vision of antiquity and modernity; and the Bible, because its narrative has influenced so much that I admire in western literature and the arts, and because its ethics, especially the New Testament’s message of peace and love, provides a model for life with people.

Outside interests
Distance running, weight training, swimming, biking, walking, art, music (from Blue Öyster Cult and Led Zeppelin to Händel and Haydn and everything in between), theater, film, chess, food, wine, travel, and reading Tolkien.



Longhua Zhao
Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics, Applied Mathematics and Statistics

Research/scholarship focus
Mathematical modeling, fluid mechanics, scientific computation

Previous positions
Postdoc, University of Minnesota, 2010-2013

Education
PhD, mathematics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2010; MS, computational mathematics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Computational Mathematics and Scientific/Engineering Computing, 2003; BS, computational mathematics, Shanxi University, 1999

Recent publications, compositions or other works
With R. Camassa, R.M. McLaughlin, J. Martinale and L. Vicci. “Lagrangian tori induced by precessing bent rods in viscous dominated flows.” The 23rd International Congress of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics. (2012)

With R. Camassa and R.M. McLaughlin. “Lagrangian blocking in highly viscous shear flows past a sphere.” Journal of Fluid Mechanics (2011)

With D. Yu. “Boundary integral equations and a posteriori error estimates,” Tsinghua Science and Technology. (2005)

Most influential book you’ve read, and why it was important in your life
Introduction to Theoretical and Computational Fluid Dynamics by Constantine Pozirkidis

It helps to build the foundation of my research in fluid mechanics.

Outside interests
Hiking, paper folding, gardening

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