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July, 2019

Introducing Our New Faculty

This academic year, Catholic University welcomes 29 new tenure-track faculty members. They come from various parts of the United States and from South Korea, Belgium, Brazil, China, Estonia, Russia, India, Iran and the Philippines.

Five of the new professors received their doctoral degree from CUA.

Please extend your welcome to them all:

School of Architecture and Planning

  Soolyeon Cho
Assistant Professor of Architecture
Ph.D., Texas A&M University
Hometown: Seoul, South Korea
Research Interests: energy-efficient commercial building systems; building energy conservation, management and simulation; heating, ventilating and air-conditioning; renewable energy (solar photovoltaic and solar thermal) systems
Hobbies: tennis, soccer, football, travel

Jia Lu
Assistant Professor of Architecture and Planning
Ph.D., City and Regional Planning, Ohio State University
Hometown: Suzhou, China
Research Interests: housing, quantitative analysis of city planning, analyzing or predicting a city or region’s growth with computer or mathematic model, population and employment distribution with GIS (geographic information system) application and digital mapping
Hobbies: travel (has visited 42 states plus Canada), reading, concerts, art

School of Arts and Sciences

  Ed Cook
Associate Professor of Semitics
Hometown: Austin, Texas
Research Interests: Aramaic languages, the Dead Sea Scrolls, biblical languages                    
Hobbies: writing, playing guitar

Jennifer Davis
Assistant Professor of History
Ph.D., Harvard University
Hometown: Newton, Mass.
Research Interests: the political and economic history of medieval Europe's Carolingian Empire and, in particular, Charlemagne; Carolingians in Italy; medieval archaeology and legal manuscripts.
Hobbies: traveling and reading fiction

  Duilia de Mello
Associate Professor of Physics
Ph.D., Astronomy, University of São Paolo
Hometown: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Research Interests: extra-gallactic astronomy (studying other galaxies for insights into how our galaxy formed), star formation and evolution
Hobbies: collecting fossils, aerial photography

Andrew Gross
Assistant Professor of Semitics
Ph.D., New York University
Hometown: Baltimore
Research Interests: ancient Near Eastern law and history, the Hebrew Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls
Hobbies: Taking care of his three children, the Baltimore Orioles, learning about city planning and transportation infrastructure (he often checks the Web site devoted to the building of the new Woodrow Wilson Bridge to see how the bridge is progressing)


Rebecca Rainof Mas
Assistant Professor of English
Ph.D., Princeton University
Hometown: Santa Monica, Calif.
Research Interests: 19th- and 20th-century British literature, the history of the novel, narrative theory, religion and literature, literature and the visual arts
Hobbies: cooking, making homemade ice cream, testing recipes out on willing victims

Brendan Rich
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Ph.D., University of Florida
Hometown: Silver Spring, Md.
Research Interests: child psychology, neuro-imaging, pediatric bipolar disorder
Hobbies: sports, traveling


Abhijit Sarkar
Assistant Professor of Physics
Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago
Hometown: Kolkata, India
Research Interests: modeling and experiments on DNA-protein interactions, DNA and protein physics
Hobbies: reading, watching TV

Andrew Yeo
Assistant Professor of Politics
Ph.D., Cornell University
Hometown: Queens, N.Y. (but considers himself a native of Ohio)
Research Interests: international relations theory, East Asian security, politics of military bases, missionaries and world politics
Hobbies: tennis, violin, hunting for great bargains

School of Engineering

  Jae Choi
Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Ph.D., Seoul National University
Hometown: Boryung, South Korea
Research Interests: visualization, computer graphics, bioinformatics, computer games, image-guided surgery
Hobbies: playing with his sons; playing sports including golf, basketball and soccer

Arash Massoudieh
Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering
Ph.D., University of California, Davis
Hometown: Tehran, Iran
Research Interests: computer simulation of what happens to contaminants in natural systems such as bodies of surface and subsurface water
Hobbies: biking, hiking, tennis, skiing

Columbus School of Law


Roger Colinvaux
Associate Professor of Law
J.D., Indiana University
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
Research Interests: the role of nonprofit organizations in civil society, the effect of tax laws on charitable organizations, comparative philanthropy (comparing how different countries treat their charitable organizations)
Hobbies: cooking, beer making, serving on the board of the U.S. Senate's day care center, actively working in the D.C. bar association

Mary Leary
Associate Professor of Law
J.D., Georgetown University
Hometown: Boston
Research Interests: child sexual exploitation and family violence, sexual assault
Hobbies: cycling, volunteering for her child’s 2nd grade class, serving as a religious education teacher in her parish

Amanda Leiter
Associate Professor of Law
J.D., Harvard Law School
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
Research Interests: improving federal agencies’ accountability for environmental actions
Hobbies: hiking, kayaking, gardening, photography

Benjamin T. Rome School of Music

Sharyn Battersby
Assistant Professor of Music Education
Ed.D., Columbia University
Hometown: New York City
Research Interests: nonverbal communication in the music classroom, student teaching     
Hobbies: indoor gardening, reading, horseback riding


Nikita Fitenko
Associate Professor of Piano Performance
D.M.A., University of North Texas
Hometown: St. Petersburg, Russia
Research Interests: piano, Russian music, recordings, piano competitions and festivals
Hobbies: reading, musical recordings, travel, food and wine  

Stephen Gorbos
Assistant Professor of Composition and Theory in Music
D.M.A., Music Composition, Cornell University
Hometown: Bethlehem, Pa.
Research Interests: music composition, sample-based electronic music, musical borrowing
Hobbies: swimming, hiking, history and film

School of Nursing

  Janalyn Edmonds
Assistant Professor of Nursing
Ph.D., The Catholic University of America
Hometown: Washington, D.C.   
Research Interests: women’s health, health disparities for women, health promotion (i.e., promoting wellness for everyone)                                              
Hobbies: crafts, computer technology and associated devices

Eden Zabat Kan
Assistant Professor of Nursing
D.N.Sc., Widener University
Hometown: Quezon City, Philippines
Research Interests: recovery from illness, clinical nursing instruction, cardiac surgery, student success
Hobbies: interior decorating, cooking

  Teresa Walsh
Associate Professor of Nursing
Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, The Catholic University of America
Hometown: Washington D.C.
Research Interests: quality control, health care data analysis, cardiovascular nursing, image processing and information technology
Hobbies: cycling, basketball, outdoor activities

School of Philosophy

Michael Rohlf
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Hometown: Overland Park, Kan.
Research Interests: Kant, the history of modern philosophy
Hobbies: running, reading, traveling

School of Theology and Religious Studies

   Joshua C. Benson
Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology
Ph.D., The Catholic University of America
Birthplace/Hometown: State College, Pa./Bellefonte, Pa.
Research Interests: history of medieval theology, history of Franciscan thought                 
Hobby: cycling       

David Bosworth
Assistant Professor of Old Testament
Ph.D., The Catholic University of America
Hometown: Silver Spring, Md.
Research Interests: Hebrew narrative, Hebrew poetry, apocalyptic literature, the Bible and politics, religion and violence
Hobbies: cooking, hiking, visiting art museums/galleries, reading

  Sister Mary Ann Clarahan, R.S.M.
Assistant Professor of Religious Education
Ph.D., Pontifical Institute of Liturgy, Rome
Hometown: Philadelphia
Research Interests: liturgical catechesis, mystagogy (catechesis for the newly baptized), faith and culture                               
Hobbies: Italian music, cooking, reading

Hellen Mardaga
Assistant Professor of New Testament
Ph.D., Catholic University of Leuven
Hometown: Ukkel, Belgium
Research Interests: Gospel of John, the synoptic Gospels, the vocabulary of Luke, New Testament philology, the use of biblical themes in popular religious thrillers
Hobbies: reading literature, cats, collecting prayer cards

  Robert D. Miller II
Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies
Ph.D., University of Michigan
Hometown:  Apple Creek, Ohio    
Research Interests: the Old Testament, especially the Pentateuch and Psalms; biblical archaeology; biblical theology    
Hobbies: cooking, international travel, playing keyboard in a rock band

Chad C. Pecknold
Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology
Ph.D., University of Cambridge
Hometown: Seattle
Research Interests: Augustine, medieval and modern political theology
Hobbies: sailing, cycling

  Tarmo Toom
Associate Professor of Patristic Theology
Ph.D., The Catholic University of America
Birthplace: Tallinn, Estonia
Research Interests: Augustine, hermeneutics
Hobbies: travel, music                                                                                                    

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Last Revised 30-Sep-08 12:49 PM.