Clark University is pleased to welcome new members of the faculty for the 2020–21 year. These scholars bring a wealth of expertise in academic disciplines across campus, including management, biology, English, visual and performing arts, psychology, Holocaust and genocide studies, math and computer science, and education.
The following scholars have joined the faculty in tenure-track positions.
Alan Eisner’s interests include strategy, entrepreneurship, and organization theory. Prior to coming to Clark, he was the assistant dean for graduate programs at Pace University; previously, he was department chair and professor of management. Eisner has published more than 30 articles in prestigious journals, and the 10th edition of “Strategic Management,” a textbook of which he is a co-author, was published by McGraw-Hill in January 2020. Eisner earned a doctorate from the Stern School of Business at New York University, and holds a bachelor’s in operations research and industrial engineering and a master’s in engineering management from Cornell University. Learn more about Alan Eisner »
Sherry Freyermuth is a published, award-winning graphic designer with experience working for large corporate brands and nonprofit initiatives. She was named a Lamar University Presidential Fellow to create new courses in design thinking and user experience design, which included a student trip to Austin, Texas, to complete a design-thinking workshop at the IBM offices. Freyermuth’s current research focuses on creative teams in design; she is writing a book, “Surviving the Creative Space: Teamwork techniques for designers,” to be published by Bloomsbury. The book examines different types of teams in design and looks at how various collaborative systems can be used to improve creativity and drive business forward. Freyermuth comes to Clark University with eight years of experience teaching university-level graphic design, including topics in typography, brand identity, the history of graphic design, web design, and user experience design.
Justin P. Shaw is a literary and cultural critic with a specialization in 16th- and 17th-Century English literature, and his research and teaching focus on the intersections of race, emotions, and medicine in early modern literature. Prior to joining the faculty at Clark, he held the James T. Laney Dissertation Fellowship at the James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference in Atlanta. Shaw’s current book project examines the emergence of the racial category of whiteness in literature through early modern knowledge about human emotions and embodiment. His recent article on disability and race appears in the journal Early Theatre, while others are forthcoming in the journal Shakespeare and in the volume White People in Shakespeare. Shaw holds a doctorate in English from Emory University, a master’s in English and American literature from the University of Houston, and a bachelor’s in English from Morehouse College.
Javier Felipe Tabima is a biologist and fungal geneticist interested in identifying the patterns of genomic evolution of fungal and oomycete species and populations. His research evaluates the evolution of fungal genomes as a consequence of interactions with their hosts and their environment. Tabima’s current project focuses on identifying secondary metabolism genes in Basidiobolus, a cosmopolitan species of zygomycete fungi, as well as sequencing the genomes of important oomycete plant pathogens. To study fungal evolution, Tabima uses a multidisciplinary approach of integrating tools and concepts from evolutionary theory, computational biology, genomics, genetics, and plant pathology/mycology. He earned a doctorate in botany and plant pathology from Oregon State University, and a master’s in biological sciences and bachelor’s in biology at the Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia).
Frances Tanzer researches minorities, art, and nationalism in Central Europe; her current project, “Vanishing Vienna,” explores representations of Jewish absence in post-Nazi Vienna and Austria. More broadly, her research interests include Central European Jewish history, migration, and the construction of national and European cultural identities. She has received awards from the Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies, the Central European History Society, the Getty Research Institute, the German Historical Institute, and the Holocaust Educational Foundation at Northwestern University. In 2017–18, she was the Dr. Sophie Bookhalter Fellow in Jewish Culture at the Center for Jewish History in New York; she was a graduate fellow at the Cogut Institute for Humanities at Brown University in 2016–17. Tanzer received her doctorate in history from Brown University in 2018.
Atefeh Yazdanparast studies the social psychology of consumer decision-making. Her research focuses on sensory marketing and the interplay of consumers and digital technology; she studies how digital technology is changing, shaping, and challenging traditional consumer decision-making. Her current research focuses on ways to compensate for the lack of haptic information in digital contexts and examines the role of cross-modal correspondence between the sense of touch and vision in shaping consumer perceptions. Yazdanparast received the Master Scholar Award from the Marketing Management Association and the Excellence in Teaching Award from the National Society of Leadership and Success. Before coming to Clark, she was associate professor of marketing and Mead Johnson Endowed Chair in Business at the University of Evansville, where she received the Outstanding Teacher of Year, Global Scholar, and Class of 1961 Faculty Fellowship awards. Yazdanparast holds a doctorate in marketing from the University of North Texas, a master’s in marketing from Allameh Tabataba’i University (Tehran), and a bachelor’s in industrial food science and engineering from Beheshti University.
Kyunghee Yoon’s research focuses on the intersections of auditing and accounting information systems, and examines whether and how data and data analytics influence audit quality. In one of her projects, she examined how weather records can be used to verify sales revenue. Her research also covers various topics in accounting areas, such as the role of internal auditors in sustainability activities and matters associated with corporate disclosures around cybersecurity and social media. Before coming to Clark, Yoon was assistant professor of accounting at the University of San Francisco. She holds a doctorate in accounting and information systems and two master’s degrees — in statistics and in accounting — from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and received her bachelor’s in business administration from Alverno College.
These individuals also have joined the Clark faculty this fall.
Aghil Alaee Khangha’s research focuses on geometric analysis and mathematical general relativity. He investigates conjectures in general relativity — such as existence, uniqueness, and stability — and the formation of black holes using geometric analysis, which lies at the intersection of developments in differential geometry, partial differential equations, and modern physics. He has proved several geometric inequalities involving total energy, quasi-local energy, area of horizon, angular momentum, and charges of black holes. Before joining Clark University, Khangha was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center of Mathematical Sciences and Applications at Harvard University (2018-2020); a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto (2017-2018); and a Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alberta (2015-2017). He received his doctorate in mathematics, with distinction, from Memorial University in December 2015.
Nareg Djabrayan is a developmental biologist whose research combines molecular genetics with quantitative microscopy and image analysis tools to understand the mechanisms that govern cell behavior at key points in embryonic development. As a doctoral student at the University of California Santa Barbara, Djabrayan studied intercellular interactions that controlled pluripotency in the C. elegans embryo. As a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow in biology at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine in Barcelona, Spain, he studied the mechanisms that integrate positional information and hormonal cues in stem cells of the Drosophila larva. Most recently, as an associate research scholar at the Lewis Sigler Institute at Princeton, Djabrayan formed an interdisciplinary collaboration to elucidate the role of a metabolic regulator in coordinating cell cycle timing and zygotic genome activation in the early Drosophila embryo.
Kali Brandt is trained in both classic breeding techniques, molecular breeding techniques, and agricultural biotechnology. She has worked at Arcadia Biosciences in Seattle on a TILLING project, which resulted in a high amylose, resistant starch wheat that is now part of their Good Wheat portfolio. During her doctoral studies, she led multiple projects that used genotyping by sequencing and genome wide association studies to identify novel QTL and markers associated with agronomically important traits. Currently, Brandt is developing a protocol for electroporating wheat pollen grains with CRISPR-Cas9 ribonucleoprotein complexes in order to edit wheat without the need for transgenic transformation and tissue culture. She received her bachelor’s biology from the University of Washington in 2010, and her Ph.D. in wheat breeding and genetics from Oregon State University in 2019.
Rebecca Babcock Fenerci is a clinical psychologist whose research focuses on the cognitive and interpersonal consequences of child maltreatment. She is interested in identifying post-trauma cognitive processes and interpersonal schemas that influence parenting behavior and attachment among survivors of maltreatment and their children. A licensed psychologist in Massachusetts and Rhode island, Fenerci previously was a staff psychologist at Bradley Hospital and assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown Medical School. Fenerci received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Denver in 2016, and completed a predoctoral internship at University of California Davis Children’s Hospital and postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for the Protection of Children at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.
John Freyermuth’s current research focuses on the development of acoustic solutions for non-purpose-built spaces. A published, award-winning music educator, audio engineer, and computer musician, he comes to Clark with eight years of college-level teaching experience. He was appointed in 2014 as the chair of commercial music, visual, and performing arts at Lamar State College–Port Arthur. In 2017, he received the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Excellence Award and was awarded the Southeast Texas Arts Educator of the Year Award by the Southeast Texas Arts Council. Freyermuth received a master of fine arts in sound design from Savannah College of Art and Design and a bachelor’s in audio production from Emerson College. He is a member of the Cinema Audio Society and the Audio Engineering Society.
Joseph Getzoff is a cultural geographer whose research explores the intersections of human-environment interactions, comparative settler colonial contexts, and the global histories of development. Getzoff received a Fulbright fellowship to conduct field research in Israel for his dissertation, which interrogates the economic and environmental projects connected to state-led development in the arid Negev/Naqab desert. His work explores historical and contemporary economic and developmentalist narratives that propel not only Israeli claims to land, but Israeli claims to progress and modernity, as well as how developmental projects present material and ideological challenges for Bedouin-Palestinian citizens of the Negev/Naqab, who have historical claims to the region. Before coming to Clark, Getzoff was an adjunct professor at Worcester State University. Earlier this year, he received his doctorate from the University of Minnesota’s Department of Geography, Environment and Society.
Ali Maalaoui’s research interests include geometric analysis on conformal and CR-manifolds. Most of his research focuses on geometric PDEs that exhibit bubbling phenomena; his research also involves calculus of variations and Morse theory, focusing on strongly indefinite functionals. The equations that he works on originate from mathematical physics, such as the standard model and the super-symmetric non-linear sigma model. Before joining Clark University, Maalaoui was an associate professor at the American University of Ras Al Khaimah in the UAE. From 2013 to 2014, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Basel in Switzerland. He earned his Ph.D. from Rutgers University in 2013.
Cara Berg Powers has dedicated her career to leveraging education, arts, and culture to help people reimagine and reshape the world, most recently as executive director of the Transformative Culture Project. Berg Powers has developed and taught university-level courses in media, education, sociology, and social change, including at Clark. She also has produced content for MTV and NBC, and has presented at national conferences on issues of media, culture and equity. Berg Powers has written and peer-reviewed articles about the power and potential of youth-led participatory action research as a tool for community change and positive youth development. She holds a doctorate in educational leadership and change from Fielding Graduate University, an individualized master’s in transformative media arts and ethnomusicology from Goddard College, and a bachelor’s in screen studies from Clark. A lifelong Worcester resident, she is engaged in the Worcester community as a volunteer, advocate, coach, and parent.