Brandeis welcomes 30 new faculty

Mosaic grid of tiles, some solid blue hues, and others faculty headshots

By Jarret Bencks
September 26, 2023

Brandeis has welcomed 30 new full-time and visiting faculty members and postdoctoral faculty fellows to campus this fall.

The group spans 19 areas of study across campus. New full-time and part-time faculty were welcomed to campus at faculty orientation in August.

"The new additions to our faculty bring a wealth of knowledge, enthusiasm, and ingenuity," said Provost Carol Fierke. "The collaborations they will foster across fields with colleagues and students promise to strengthen Brandeis for years to come."

The following new full-time and visiting faculty have joined the university:

School of Arts and Sciences

Creative Arts

Assistant Professor of Fine Arts

Maroja received her PhD from Duke University in 2015. She has held several academic appointments including positions at State University of California, Fullerton College, York University in Canada, McGill University in Canada, and Colgate University. Her teaching and research are focused on Latin American modern and contemporary art and visual studies, with an emphasis on decolonial methodology and transnational exchanges in the Americas.

Instructor in Theater Arts

Berry will receive her PhD in African American Studies and English from Yale University in 2024. She has held academic appointments at Yale University and the New School. Her research interests are in contemporary African American theater with a focus on women’s writing and performance, twentieth- and twenty-first century performance cultures, and experimental drama.


Florence Levy Kay Fellow in Premodern Disability Studies

Bloomer received her PhD in Italian Literature and Comparative Literature from Columbia University Literature in 2023. Her research focuses on the historical conception, reception, and performance of disability and gender across Europe and in the works of Dante Alighieri, with a dissertation entitled “Blameless Defect: A Dantean Model of Disability.”

Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and Professor of English

Prior to joining Brandeis, Shoulson served as Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at the University of Connecticut. Before moving into the Provost's Office at UConn, he was director of the university’s Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life, and held the Doris and Simon Konover Chair in Jewish Studies. He was professor of literatures, cultures, and languages, and professor of English, and held affiliations with the Medieval Studies Program and the Middle East Studies Program. He was previously on the faculty at the University of Miami, where he also served as director of Judaic Studies. Shoulson has authored three books: "Fictions of Conversion: Jews, Christians, and Cultures of Change in Early Modern England (2013)," "Hebraica Veritas? Christian Hebraists, Jews, and the Study of Judaism in Early Modern Europe (2004)," and "Milton and the Rabbis: Hebraism, Hellenism, and Christianity (2001)." He earned his PhD in English literature at Yale University.

Assistant Professor of English

Tam spent the last two years at Brandeis as the Florence Levy Kay Fellow in the Anglophone Literature and Film of the East Asian Diaspora. Prior to Brandeis, Tam received his PhD in English in 2019 from the University of Pennsylvania, followed by postdoctoral fellowships at Dartmouth College and the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University.

Assistant Professor of Islamic Thought, Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies

Sheibani received her PhD in Islamic Thought from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago in 2018. Her dissertation was entitled “Islamic Law in an Age of Crisis and Consolidation: ʿIzz al-Dīn Ibn ʿAbd al-Salām (577-660/1181-1262) and the Ethical Turn in Medieval Islamic Law.” Sheibani previously held the positions of Assistant Professor in the Department of Historical and Cultural Studies at the University of Toronto and Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Harvard Law School. Her research explores the ways in which Islamic thought has evolved to reflect changing socio-cultural realities in late antique and medieval Muslim societies. Her first book project, “Islamic Legal Philosophy: Ibn ʿAbd al-Salām and the Ethical Turn in Medieval Islamic Law,” explores this theme through a study of how jurists from the eleventh to thirteenth centuries pioneered a crucial ethical turn in Islamic law in a time of social crisis.

Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies

Diaz received his PhD in 2023 from Pennsylvania State University. His dissertation examines cases of creative interactions between Classic and Afro-Atlantic cosmogonies and systems of mediation in Brazilian and Cuban cultures. He draws on a multiplicity of sources to discuss the media technologies, performance practices, and artifacts involved in these Afro-Greek intersections and their symbolic and material repercussions for questions of identity, race, gender, religion, and human agency.

Lecturer in University Writing

Paskell received his PhD in Philosophy from Cornell University in 2022. His dissertation was entitled “Freedom, Action, and the Conditions for Blame and Praise.” He has previously held visiting lecturer positions at Ithaca College and Cornell University.

Lecturer in University Writing

Richardson received her PhD in English from Yale University in 2023. Her dissertation was entitled “Reading the Surface in Early Modern English Literature.”


Assistant Professor of Organic Chemistry

Jee received her PhD in Chemistry from Stony Brook University in 2015, and has since held various faculty positions including teaching positions at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Northeastern University.

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Shulenberger received her PhD in Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2019, and has since held a postdoctoral research position in the Dukovic group at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her research interests focus on spectroscopic studies of semiconductor nanomaterials with unique optical and electronic properties.

Assistant Professor of Computer Science

Cashman received his PhD in Computer Science from Tufts University in 2020. Following the completion of his PhD, he began a position as Senior Expert, Data Science and Advanced Visual Analytics at Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporation, Cambridge.

Professor of Computer Science

Di Lillo received her PhD from Brandeis in 2009. Since then, she has held academic appointments at Brandeis, Boston College, and Tufts University. Her research interests include visual pattern recognition, texture analysis, content-based image retrieval, image and video processing, and data compression.

Assistant Professor of Computer Science

Sarkar received his PhD in Computer Science from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India, in 2017. The following year he was a postdoctoral researcher at Inria Rennes – Bretagne Atlantique, France, then undertook a postdoctoral associate position at Boston University where he also held a faculty appointment. His research interests focus on designing privacy-aware data systems, working at the intersection of designing data layouts and access methods for storage engines, and developing systems-level solutions for privacy protection in modern data systems.

Instructor in Mathematics

Douvropolous received his PhD in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota in 2017. Prior to coming to Brandeis, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a postdoctoral researcher at Institut de Recherche en Informatique Fondamentale in Paris.

Assistant Professor of Mathematics

Ghosal received his PhD in Statistics from Columbia University in 2020, and has since held a postdoctoral position at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute and a faculty appointment at MIT. His research explores probability theory, especially its applications in integrable systems, statistical mechanics, quantum field theory, optimal transport, and machine learning.

Instructor in Mathematics

Ng received his PhD in Mathematics from Temple University in 2020. Prior to Brandeis, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Israel Institute of Technology.

Assistant Professor of Mathematics

Wang received her PhD in Mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh in 2016, and has since held a postdoctoral position at Ohio State University and faculty appointments at the University of Iowa. Her research interests include dynamical systems, mathematical neuroscience (multiple timescale neural dynamics and motor control), differential equations, geometric singular perturbation theory, bi-furcation theory, and network dynamics.

Senior Lecturer in Physics

Tiberi received her PhD in Physics from Columbia University in 2023, where she served as both an instructor and teaching assistant.

Social Sciences

Lecturer in Anthropology

Blignaut received her PhD in Social Anthropology from Harvard University in 2023. Her dissertation was entitled “Wayfinding on Shifting Ground: Turkish Roman Routes to Justice.” Her research and teaching interests include semiotics and linguistic pragmatics, anthropology of knowledge, anthropology of the body, the politics of recognition, nationalisms and belonging, race and social justice, heritage regimes, historical memory and mobility and belonging.

Lecturer in Anthropology

Khan received his PhD in Anthropology from Johns Hopkins University in 2023. He was previously an adjunct professor in Medical Anthropology at the University of Delaware. His articles have appeared in journals such as Medical History, Asian Anthropology, Critical Military Studies, and Journal of South Asian Studies.

Assistant Professor of Economics

Choi received her PhD from Princeton in 2023. Her research fields include labor economics, urban economics, economic history and international trade.

Assistant Professor of Economics

Westphal received his PhD from Boston College in 2023. His research interests include industrial organization, behavioral economics and household finance.

Florence Levy Kay Fellow in Racial Justice, Education, and the Carceral State

Williams received her PhD in 2023 from The New School, Public and Urban Policy. Her dissertation was entitled “Lessons and Losses: An examination of effective implementation of culturally responsive curriculum in New York City’s Segregated Schools via a CRT Lens.” She previously held positions as Senior Researcher at Columbia University, as Visiting Scholar at Rutgers University, and as a researcher at The New School.

Madeleine Haas Russell Postdoctoral Fellow in Climate Crisis, Risks, and Responses

Horn received her PhD in International Development from the London School of Economics in 2022. Her dissertation, “State Agents of the Green Economy,” examined the emergence of environmental aid from industrialized countries to conserve forests in Latin America at the end of the 1980s and its redefinition and integration into climate finance in the 21st century.

Assistant Professor of History

Murphy received his PhD in History from Columbia University in 2019 and has just completed a one-year postdoctoral fellowship at Dartmouth College's Dickey Center. Murphy is a social historian of the 20th-century United States. His work examines the Pentagon's application of a business management model in the Cold War period and the impact this had on the U.S. military. This work has been supported by the Jefferson Scholars Foundation as well as by the U.S. Army Center for Military History and the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center.

The Jack Meyerhoff Chair of American Environmental Studies and Assistant Professor of Sociology

McKane received their PhD in Sociology from Vanderbilt University in 2020. They previously held the position of Postdoctoral Research Associate at Brown University. McKane’s areas of research include environmental justice, urban political economy, housing inequality, and mutual aid.

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow

Ohman received her PhD in 2022 from the University of Oregon. In 2022-2023, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor in Black Feminist Studies in the Departments of African and African American Studies, and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies at Brandeis. Her expertise is in African American Literature and Culture, Black Feminist Theory, and Visual Culture and Performance Studies; she is currently working on a book project entitled “Looking Together: On the Politics of Black Feminist Spectatorship.” As the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow, Ohman will work with Anita Hill, Harleen Singh and ChaeRan Freeze, directors of the Mellon-Sawyer Seminar Imperiled Bodies: Slavery, Colonialism, Citizenship, and the Logics of Gender-Based Violence.

Brandeis International Business School

Assistant Professor of Data Science

Shekhar obtained his PhD in Machine Learning and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University in 2023 with a dissertation titled “Data-driven Decisions — An Anomaly Detection Perspective.” His research interests lie in unsupervised and explainable machine learning, particularly in the context of healthcare and finance.

Senior Lecturer in Finance

Makolo received his PhD in International Economics and Finance from Brandeis University in 2016. His research interests include Entrepreneurial Finance & Innovation. Makolo comes to Brandeis from the D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University, where he has been teaching graduate and undergraduate finance courses.