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July, 2019

Introducing Our New Faculty

This academic year, Catholic University welcomes 36 new full-time faculty members, some in tenure-track positions and some as visiting professors. A few, like Associate Professor of Music Sharon Christman and Assistant Professor of Nursing Janet Merritt, have taught at CUA for at least one year as a lecturer or visiting professor, but are now assuming a tenure-track position.


Ten of the new faculty members were born and/or raised abroad  — in Canada, China, Cuba, Germany, Greece, India, Malta, South Korea, Sri Lanka or Taiwan.  At the other end of the spectrum, three of the new faculty members earned their Ph.D.s right here at Catholic University. 


Please extend your welcome to them all:

Benjamin T. Rome School of Music


Sharon Christman
Associate Professor of Music and Chair of the Vocal Division
M.M., Ball State University and postgraduate work at the University of Florence in Italy
Birthplace/Hometown: Cincinnati
Research Interests: professional singing (former principal artist with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, and guest soloist at the Cascade Music Festival in Bend, Ore., and with the Buffalo [N.Y.] Philharmonic); giving master classes for music festivals including that of the Washington National Opera
Hobbies: clay pigeon shooting (trap and skeet), playing bridge

Denise Puricelli
Assistant Professor of Music
M.M., State University of New York at Stony Brook, plus further studies in conducting at the Mannes School (now Mannes College The New School for Music) in New York City
Birthplace/Hometown: born in Washington, D.C.; lives in New York City for much of the year
Research Interests: continuing to work as a musician, conductor and music director for Broadway plays and for symphony orchestras
Hobbies: alternative music and improvisation, scuba diving, bicycling, being a wife and mother of two children in middle school and high school


David Searle
Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Activities and Conducting Studies
M.M., Northwestern University; diploma in conducting from the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland
Birthplace/Hometown: Knoxville, Tenn.
Research Interests: pursuing his ongoing international conducting career
Hobbies: reading, playing rock 'n' roll on bass guitar, hiking

Columbus School of Law

D. Benjamin Barros
Visiting Associate Professor of Law
J.D., Fordham University
Birthplace: Stoughton, Mass.
Research Interests: property law and theory, philosophy and law, takings (the power of the state to seize a citizen's property for government use or to impose regulations that have the effect of reducing property values)
Hobbies: food and wine, fishing, chasing after my children


Andrea J. Boyack
Visiting Associate Professor
J.D., University of Virginia
Birthplace/Hometown: Born in Madison, Wis., grew up in Arlington, Va.
Research Interests: International law issues (self-determination, minority rights, state-to-state litigation, former Soviet republics, etc.), real property and finance issues (current market trends, ownership structures, priority issues, etc.), special education issues (autism and Asperger syndrome, inclusion rights in public schools, insurance issues), and women in legal practice
Hobbies: reading, singing and music appreciation, travel, theater, scuba diving, photography, rollerblading, spending quality time with family

Cara H. Drinan
Assistant Professor of Law
J.D., Stanford University
Birthplace: Boston
Research Interests: death penalty litigation, indigent defense, lawyering norms
Hobbies: reading, cooking, travel, exercise of all kinds, spending time with my family


Tamara F. Lawson
Visiting Associate Professor of Law
L.L.M., Georgetown University
Hometown: Las Vegas
Research Interests: criminal law, criminal procedure, evidence, international criminal law
Hobbies: skiing, cooking, wine tasting, salsa dancing

School of Architecture and Planning

Raj Barr-Kumar
Associate Professor of Architecture and Planning
Arch.D., University of Hawaii
Birthplace: Colombo, Sri Lanka
Hometown: Potomac, Md.
Research Interests: sustainable design, "green" architecture, eco development, environmental technology, stewardship
Hobbies: travel photography, cricket, theater



Hazel R. Edwards
Associate Professor of Architecture and Planning
Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Birthplace/Hometown: Greensboro, N.C./Washington, D.C.             
Research Interests: livable communities, quality of life, historical campus planning             
Hobbies: cooking, gardening, golfing, cycling, swimming, reading mystery novels

Chris Grech
Associate Professor of Architecture and Planning
B.Arch. (i.e., the British equivalent of an M.Arch.), University of Liverpool
Birthplace/Hometown: Malta
Research Interests: sustainable technologies, building envelopes (i.e., the façades of a building)
Hobbies: cooking, Maltese history, collecting autograph letters


  Temple Washington
Associate Professor of Practice
M.Arch., Virginia Tech University
Birthplace: Washington, D.C.
Research Interests: urbanism and architecture, architecture and culture, making excellent design affordable
Hobbies: cycling, reading, painting/serigraphs/sketching

School of Arts and Sciences

Joy Banks
Assistant Professor of Education
Ph.D., University of Connecticut
Birthplace: Youngstown, Ohio
Research Interests: diagnosis and placement of students with special needs, reading instruction for students with special needs, culturally responsive instruction
Hobbies: hiking, rock climbing, reading



Claudia Bornholdt
Assistant Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures
Ph.D., Indiana University
Birthplace/Hometown: Kisdorf, Germany
Research Interests: medieval German and Scandinavian language, literature and culture; comparative literature and literary transfer; the rise of vernacular literature; vernacular saints' lives; bridal-quest narrative; heroic literature; medieval literature in modern culture
Hobbies: photography, hiking and biking, enjoying fine arts and music, travel

Steven J. Brust
Visiting Professor of Politics
Ph.D., The Catholic University of America
Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii
Research Interests: natural rights and natural law, church and state relations, law and morality and the common good, Catholic social teaching
Hobbies: bodysurfing, natural scenery, reading, photography



Biprodas Dutta
Associate Professor of Physics and Senior Scientist at the Vitreous State Laboratory
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University
Birthplace/Hometown: Burdwan, India
Research Interests: quantum confined nanostructures for thermoelectric devices, novel ceramic thermoelectric materials, nano-structured magnetic storage devices, ceramic-matrix composites, nuclear waste vitrification, fundamental studies on the electronic processes in non-crystalline materials
Hobbies: table tennis, long walks, literature, elocution

Anna Fournier
Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
Birthplace/Hometown: Montreal, Canada
Research Interests: cultural anthropology, identity and ethnicity, education and political anthropology, Ukraine, the United States
Hobbies: Chinese brush painting


Rebecca L.M. Fuller
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Ph.D., University of London
Birthplace/Hometown: Louisville, Ky.
Research Interests: attention, memory, schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease
Hobbies: hiking, cycling, swimming, reading                                                                    

Tobias B. Gregory
Assistant Professor of English
Ph.D., University of Michigan
Birthplace/Hometown: Northampton, Mass.
Research Interests: Renaissance literature; epic poetry, especially English and Italian; Milton
Hobbies: reading, hiking, poker, the Red Sox


Jennifer Horne
Assistant Professor of Media Studies
Ph.D., University of Minnesota
Birthplace/Hometown: Washington, D.C./Alexandria, Va.  
Research Interests: film history, silent film, film exhibition history, film preservation             
Hobbies: running, swimming, travel

Chisup Kim
Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Ph.D., Texas A&M University
Birthplace/Hometown: Seoul, South Korea
Research Interests: numerical solution of partial differential equations, finite element methods
Hobbies: hiking, theater-going



Sandra R. Leavitt
Visiting Assistant Professor of Politics
Ph.D., Georgetown University (ABD, her dissertation was scheduled to take place in November)
Hometown: Eugene, Ore.
Research Interests: contentious politics, state-minority relations, Muslim minorities, Southeast Asia
Hobbies: mountain and road cycling, gardening, photography, sewing, scuba diving, hiking

Mark S. Leson
Visiting Assistant Professor of Semitics
Ph.D., The Catholic University of America
Birthplace/Hometown:  Fort Leavenworth, Kan. (birthplace), Fairfax Station, Va. (hometown)
Research Interests: Hebrew, Aramaic and northwest Semitic philology; comparative Semitic linguistics; linguistic, literary/critical and anthropological approaches to the Hebrew Bible; ancient Near Eastern history
Hobbies: reading, travel, music, radio



John Philip
Assistant Professor of Physics
Ph.D., Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India
Birthplace/Hometown: Gudalur, India
Research Interests: spin dependent transport properties in semiconductor nanostructures, magnetic semiconductors, nanoelectronics, transport properties of nanowires/nanotubes and magnetic thin films
Hobbies: photography, reading

Enrique S. Pumar
Associate Professor of Sociology
Ph.D., American University
Birthplace/Hometown: Havana, Cuba
Research Interests: race and ethnic relations, law and transnational crime, knowledge and ideology, comparative national development
Hobbies: reading, museums and cultural institutions, movies, walking, gardening, travel



Caroline R. Sherman
Assistant Professor of History
Ph.D. candidate, Princeton University
Hometown: Oberlin, Ohio
Research Interests: Early Modern intellectual history, Early Modern France                       
Hobbies: reading, travel, classical music, going to the library

School of Canon Law

Very Rev. John J.M. Foster, J.C.L.
Assistant Professor of Canon Law
J.C.D., The Catholic University of America
Birthplace/Hometown: Escalon, Calif.
Research Interests: ecclesial structures, sacramental/liturgical law                                
Hobbies: classical music, bridge, classic movies


School of Engineering


Yuan Baohong
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Ph.D., University of Connecticut/Harbin Institute of Technology (China)                              
Birthplace/Hometown: Yun Cheng, Shan Xi Province, China
Research Interests: biomedical optics, bio-instrumentation
Hobbies: basketball, tennis, travel                                                                              

Lin-Ching Chang
Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
D.Sc., George Washington University
Birthplace/Hometown: Kaohsiung, Taiwan   
Research Interests: medical image analysis, modeling and simulation, pattern recognition, combinatorial design, information retrieval, database systems
Hobbies: reading, cooking, movies, photography, tennis, tai chi



George P. Mavroeidis
Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering
Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo
Birthplace/Hometown: Athens, Greece
Research Interests: engineering seismology, earthquake engineering, structural dynamics, structural mechanics
Hobbies: music, movies, travel, reading

School of Library and Information Science

Kimberly B. Kelley
Dean and Professor Ad Interim of Library and Information Science
Ph.D., University of Maryland
Birthplace/Hometown: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Research Interests: intellectual property, distance-education pedagogy, academic libraries and leadership, information literacy
Hobbies: cooking, movies, swimming, reading


School of Nursing


Marjorie A. Graziano
Assistant Professor School of Nursing
M.S.N. and C.R.N.P., University of South Alabama
Birthplace:  Boston
Research Interests: adolescent obesity
Hobbies: travel, sailing, swimming, cycling, stained glass, watercolor                                

Janet S. Merritt
Assistant Professor of Nursing
Ph.D., George Mason University
Birthplace/Hometown: Pittsburgh
Research Interests: psych/mental health (adult, community and patient education), curricular research/program evaluation research, action research methodology
Hobbies: gardening, hiking, reading

School of Philosophy


Christopher Kaczor
Director of the University Honors Program, Associate Professor of Philosophy
Ph.D., University of Notre Dame
Birthplace/Hometown: Born in Spokane, Wash., raised in Seattle
Research Interests: bioethics, Thomistic ethics, the Catholic intellectual tradition               
Hobbies: running, taking care of my seven children

Michael Pakaluk
Visiting Associate Professor of Philosophy
Ph.D., Harvard University
Birthplace/Hometown: Mineola, N.Y.
Research Interests: Aristotle, Plato, ancient philosophy, Hume and Scottish philosophy, medieval philosophy, history of moral philosophy, history of modern philosophy, early analytic philosophy, Quine, Rawls, philosophy of religion
Hobbies: hiking, biking, skiing, tennis, golf, music (French horn)

School of Theology and Religious Studies


Rev. Romuald Meogrossi, O.F.M. Conv.
Clinical Assistant Professor of Theology and Religious Studies
Ph.D., Loyola College, Baltimore 
Birthplace/Hometown: New York City
Research Interests: significance of the therapist's and/or client's religious affiliation in the psychotherapeutic process
Hobbies: martial arts, theater, foreign cinema

Rev. Michael G. Witczak
Assistant Professor of Liturgy and Religious Studies
S.L.D., Pontifical Liturgical Institute, Pontifical Athenaeum of St. Anselm, Rome, Italy
Birthplace/Hometown: Milwaukee
Research Interests: history of medieval liturgy, sacramental liturgy (theology and celebration), liturgical development
Hobbies: classical music, opera, Shakespeare and drama, U.S. history, cooking (and eating!), baseball (go Brewers!)


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Last Revised 28-Sep-07 03:48 PM.