Seven new faculty members have been hired for the 2013-2014 academic year. Most will fill professorships and one appointee will also take on the new role of director of Bowdoin’s marine lab at the Coastal Studies Center on Orr’s Island.
David Carlon, of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, will arrive at Bowdoin as a tenured associate professor of biology—contingent on the approval of the trustee’s meeting in May. He will also fill the newly-created position of the director of the marine lab on Orr’s Island.
Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd stated that a review of Bowdoin’s facility on Orr’s Island several years ago concluded that the College could use that resource to a greater extent. A bequest to support a marine biologist was used to create the position that Carlon will fill next year. As director, he will be in charge of the lab’s administration, grant writing associated with the facility, and the allocation of resources among different faculty who do their research there.
Although Carlon received his doctorate from the University of New Hampshire, his specialty is in tropical marine systems—a far cry from the temperate waters of the Atlantic. Despite this difference, he feels more than ready to take on Maine’s waters.
“Yes it’s true—I’ve been working in tropical marine systems since I was a graduate student. But I’ve also done research in the Cape Cod area, the Gulf of Maine and Newfoundland so I’m familiar with that part of the world and the kind of problems and interesting questions that come from the area,” Carlon said. “I’m excited to work in the systems again. But it will be colder, for sure.”
This new position will act as a bridge for Bowdoin’s faculty that work in biology and earth and oceanographic science.
“It’s a homerun for us because it now gives us a critical mass of people with complementary work,” said Judd. “If you’re a student who’s thinking about doing research at Bowdoin of a marine system of any sort…Bowdoin is a place you can explore that.”
Professor Michéle LaVigne, who was a visiting assistant professor in the earth and oceanographic science department at Bowdoin this year, has officially been hired to fill a position within the department. Her research specialties include marine biochemistry and paleoceanography.
The neuroscience and psychology departments will welcome Professor Erika Nyhus, a specialist in neural processes that support cognitive control and memory. Nyhus will teach Laboratory in Cognitive Neuroscience in the fall. She is currently wrapping up postdoctoral work at Brown University, and said she is excited to work in a liberal arts setting, having always worked or studied at larger research universities.
“One of the reasons I chose to come to a smaller liberal arts school is because I want to have more interaction with students,” said Nyhus. “I think overall my research will change depending on what the interests are of the students who end up being in my lab.”
Professor Amanda Redlich, who received her Ph.D. from MIT, will join the mathematics department in the fall. She is currently engaged in a three-year National Science Foundation-funded postdoctoral associateship at Rutgers. Her area of research is probabilistic combinatorics. She will teach Multivariate Calculus and Probability in the fall.
Three new faculty members will join humanities disciplines next academic year.
Professor Marcos López will be assistant professor of sociology. Educated at the University of California at Santa Cruz, he currently holds a position at Middlebury and is a proponent of the liberal arts.
“One of the reasons I decided to go to graduate school was because I wanted to teach,” he said. “Research is still very important to me but I am just as interested in teaching and the liberal arts setting is really the ideal place in terms of what I was looking for.”
López studies the immigrant experience within the United States and will offer a course in the fall that is cross-listed with the Latin American Studies department.
Joining the government and legal studies department is Barbara Elias, who is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Pennsylvania. Her dissertation is centered on counterinsurgency war policy and she will bring expertise on the politics of the Middle East. Elias has conducted research at the National Security Archive at George Washington University.
Emma Maggie Solberg—a doctoral candidate at the University of Virginia—will take a position teaching in the English department. A medieval English literature specialist, her dissertation is titled “Doubting Mary: Early English Drama from N-Town to Shakespeare.” She will teach a seminar in the fall on representations of Islam in early Europe and a 200-level course on medieval British literature.
“We’re looking for a really small group of people,” Judd said of the new hires. “We’re looking for deeply committed scholars who are going to impact their field who are focused and committed to working at an undergraduate institution and being excellent teachers,” said Judd. “What I feel confident in this year, again, is that we have found those people.”
Editor's Note: A previous version of this article stated that Erika Nyhus was completing doctoral work at Brown University. She recieved her doctorate from the University of Colorado at Boulder and is doing postdoctoral work at Brown.