The Catholic University of America

Meet Our Newly Tenured

Eleven new tenure-track faculty members were welcomed to the University at an orientation in August. The folllowing biographies provide some information about them.


School of Arts and Sciences


Nancy Adleman

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Nancy Adleman holds a doctoral degree in neuroscience from Stanford University. Before joining the Department of Psychology at CUA, Adleman held a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Intramural Research Training Award, which allowed her to work as a postdoctoral researcher for five years in the National Institute of Mental Health’s Section on Bipolar Spectrum Disorders. Adleman’s research focuses on the intersection of cognitive and affective neuroscience and its application to pediatric psychopathology. She is also very interested in sharing her knowledge about the human brain with the community. She has taught high school classes and gave the keynote lecture at the Montgomery County Females in Science and Technology program for middle school girls.



Aaron Butts

Assistant Professor of Semitics and Egyptian Languages and Literatures

Aaron Butts is an expert in the languages and literatures of Christianity in the Near East, especially Syriac as well as classical Arabic and Ethiopic. He joins the Department of Semitics and Egyptian Languages and Literatures after having taught for several years as lector and senior lector of Semitics at Yale University. He holds a Th.M. (master’s in theology) from Duke Divinity School and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He is the co-editor of the Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage (2011), which has already become a standard work in the field as it is the first major encyclopedic reference work devoted exclusively to Syriac Christianity. Next summer, Butts will be hosting the quadrennial International Syriac Symposium at CUA.



Angela McRae

Assistant Professor of Education 

Angela McRae joins the faculty in the Department of Education as a specialist in the area of reading motivation and educational psychology. She earned her M.A. in teaching and elementary education from Johns Hopkins University and her Ph.D. in human development and educational psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park. McRae has more than 10 years of experience conducting research using STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) to enhance students' desire and ability to read in elementary and middle school. Her research focuses on improving reading motivation and achievement for African-American students as well as in increasing teacher efficacy. Her expertise as a researcher includes designing and assessing reading-science curricula and the assessment of behavioral engagement and motivation in the classroom.


School of Canon Law


Sister Nancy Bauer, O.S.B.

Assistant Professor of Canon Law

Sister Nancy Bauer is a member of Saint Benedict’s Monastery in St. Joseph, Minn. Her academic background includes a bachelor of arts degree in photojournalism from the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis; a master of arts in theology, with specialization in monastic studies, from the School of Theology at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn.; and the licentiate and doctorate in canon law from CUA. She has served the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minn., as a reporter, photographer, and editor of the diocesan newspaper and as vice-chancellor. From 2005 to 2011, she served her Benedictine community as prioress. Before joining the faculty of the School of Canon Law, she was assistant editor of Give Us This Day, a monthly publication of the Liturgical Press in Collegeville. She is a contributing photographer for online photo agencies.



Rev. Anthony McLaughlin

Assistant Professorof Canon Law

Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Father Anthony McLaughlin was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Tyler, Texas, in 1997. After ministering in several parishes, he was assigned to The Catholic University of America to study canon law in 2001. He completed his graduate studies in 2003 and was awarded the Licentiate in Canon Law. Soon after, he began doctoral studies in canon law but was called back to his diocese in 2004, where he was appointed as a pastor and judge of the diocesan tribunal. In January 2009 he resumed his studies at CUA and the following year successfully defended his dissertation, “The Obligation of Perfect and Perpetual Continence and Married Deacons in the Latin Church,” earning a doctorate in canon law. His research focuses on the permanent diaconate, specifically the relationship between matrimony and holy orders. Following his defense, he was appointed rector of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Tyler and judicial vicar of his diocese. In 2010 he was elected chairman of the judicial vicars of the dioceses of Texas, and served in this capacity for four years until he returned to his alma mater to join the faculty of the School of Canon Law.


School of Engineering


Sahana Kukke

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Sahana Kukke comes from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where she completed a three-year postdoctoral fellowship in a joint position between the rehabilitation medicine department of the NIH Clinical Center and the Human Motor Control Section of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Her postdoctoral work focused on elucidating biomechanical and neurophysiologic characteristics of movement disorders due to early brain injury, research she plans to continue in her faculty career. Kukke received a B.S. in biomedical engineering at Northwestern University in 1999, an M.S. in biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve University in 2002, and a Ph.D. in bioengineering at Stanford University in 2009. Through her academic and laboratory work, she developed expertise in electromyography, motion analysis, force platforms, posturography, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and electroencephalography.


Min “Max” Liu

Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering

Max Liu’s research focuses on the interface of structural engineering, building science, nanotechnology, and risk and socioeconomic analysis. He leads CUA’s Structural SOS (safety, optimization, and sustainability) group to explore innovative solutions to the resilience and sustainability of our built environment. His current research topics include cost-effective mitigation of manmade hazards and natural hazards, retrofitting against structural damage and gradual deterioration, design of green buildings, and applications of promising nanomaterials in civil engineering. He received a Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has extensive industry experience in the United States and is a professional engineer (PE), professional structural engineer (SE), and accredited professional in green building design and construction (LEED AP BD+C).


Christopher Raub

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Christopher Raub received his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of California, Irvine in 2009. From 2010 to 2013 he trained as a postdoctoral scholar (NIH Kirschstein Fellow) in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of California, San Diego. From 2013 to 2014, he pursued a capstone postdoctoral experience in the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. His research areas include tissue engineering, biomedical optics, and biomechanics.



School of Theology and Religious Studies


Bradley C. Gregory

Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies

Bradley Gregory received his Ph.D. in the Hebrew Bible and early Judaism at the University of Notre Dame. His areas of specialization include the Deuterocanonical books, early translations of scripture, and Jewish ethics during the Hellenistic period. His research concerns the question of how theological traditions are reshaped in times of socio-political transition. He is the author of the book Like an Everlasting Signet Ring: Generosity in the Book of Sirach and is currently co-writing a multi-volume commentary on the Wisdom of Ben Sira.



Rev. Emanuel P. Magro

Assistant Professor of Catechetics and Religious Education

Rev. Emanuel P. Magro was born in Victoria, Gozo, Malta, and was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Gozo in 1979. He earned a Master of Science in Library Science and a Ph.D. in catechetics/religious education from The Catholic University of America. After his studies, Father Magro worked at the Library of Congress as a subject cataloguer. He then returned to Malta to direct the Sacred Heart Minor Seminary in Gozo. Before joining his alma mater, he lectured at the Sacred Heart Major Seminary of his home diocese and at the University of Malta as a lecturer in catechetics and religious education. Having served both the Archdiocese of Cologne, Germany, and his home diocese, Father Magro has been deeply involved in forming and training future catechists. His research interests are children’s catechesis and religious education in Catholic schools.



Paul Scherz

Assistant Professor of Moral Theology/Ethics

Paul Scherz began his academic career researching the genetics of embryonic development, completing a B.A. at the University of California, Berkeley, a Ph.D. in genetics at Harvard University, and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. After several years of scientific research and publishing, he was drawn to investigate the theological and ethical implications of the biomedical research in which he was engaged. He received an M.T.S. and a Ph.D. in moral theology from the University of Notre Dame. His dissertation was titled Technology and Subjectivity in the Thought of Alasdair MacIntyre and Michel Foucault. Scherz researches the ethics of biotechnology, using the case study of stem cell technology to address wider issues involved in the moral formation of the scientist. He examines how the daily use of biomedical technologies shapes the way researchers, doctors, and patients see and manipulate the world and their bodies. He views Christian meditative and ascetic techniques as an important response to the effects of contemporary technology on individual subjectivity. His scholarly interests also include Stoicism’s influences on Christian ethics and the role of risk in contemporary society and ethics.