University News

Newly tenured professors announced

Anthropology & Sociology Computer Science Economics Mathematics Modern Languages Music Physics Studio Art
February 23, 2016

Denison University's Board of Trustees has awarded tenure to seven members of the faculty. Those who have been granted tenure and who will be promoted to associate professor in the fall of 2016 are Jessica Bean, Wei Cheng, Fareeda Griffith, Ashwin Lall, Francisco Lopez-Martin, Riina Tehver and Sheilah Wilson. “We are thrilled to welcome these outstanding teachers, excellent scholars, and engaged members of the Denison community to the ranks of our tenured professors,” said Denison Provost Kim Coplin. “These faculty are deeply committed to our students and help to provide an incredible liberal arts education.”

Jessica Bean joined Denison's Department of Economics in 2010. She holds a bachelor's degree from Middlebury College, a Master of Philosophy in economic and social history from Oxford University and a doctorate from Cornell University. Bean teaches courses in economic history focused on the Industrial Revolution, the evolution of social policy, and the Great Depression and 20th century economic history, and also teaches courses in gender and economics, econometrics, and introductory macroeconomics. Her research has mainly focused on labor markets and female labor supply in early 20th century Britain, with a particular interest in poverty, low-wage work and the household dynamics of labor supply, and she has published in journals including the Economic History Review and Research in Economic History. Currently she is working on projects investigating female labor supply during and after World War I in Britain, prostitution and the female labor market in 19th century Europe, and the impact of commuting and mass transport on the labor market in interwar London.

Wei Cheng joined Denison’s Department of Music in 2008. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Central Conservatory of Music, Bejing; a Master of Music and a Doctor of Music Arts degree from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. Cheng is the director of choral activities at Denison and is an active clinician and guest conductor in the U.S. and China. Her recent engagements include guest conducting with the Young People's Chorus at National Center of Performing Arts, Beijing; China's national opera company (Central Opera); and Beijing International Children's Chorus.

Fareeda Griffith joined Denison's Department of Anthropology & Sociology in 2009. She holds a bachelor's degree from Paine College and a master's in demography and doctorate in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. As a quantitatively trained sociologist and demographer, Griffith advises students on research projects with interests in quantitative methods, and teaches courses on demographic changes in the continent of Africa, survey research methods and racial and ethnic relations around the globe. Additionally, Griffith has published on race relations and residential segregation patterns in South Africa and Somali immigrants and health perceptions in Columbus, Ohio. Her work appears in the Southern African Journal of Demography and Health, Culture and Society. Griffith also has received several grants to investigate racial residential segregation and chronic health outcomes in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and health perceptions of Somali immigrants in Columbus, Ohio.

Ashwin Lall joined Denison's Department of Mathematics and Computer Science in 2010. He holds a bachelor’s from Colgate University, and a doctorate from the University of Rochester. Lall has created an introductory section of the computer science course with applications in the social sciences and an interdisciplinary game design elective for the computer science major. Lall’s research is in the area of algorithms for big data sets. He works on questions to do with big data in areas such as networking, databases, and natural language processing, and has published papers with his summer research scholars. His research has been funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. Lall was named a Bayley-Bowen faculty fellow in 2013.

Francisco Lopez-Martin joined Denison’s Department of Modern Languages in 2010. He holds a bachelor’s from Universidad de Huelva, a master’s from the University of Western Ontario and a doctorate from Duke University. Lopez-Martín teaches Spanish literature and language, critical theory and writing. His area of interest is 16th and 17th Hispanic transatlantic literature and history with emphasis on the representation of time, space and the dynamics of power between America and Spain. He is also interested in European Humanism during the 16th century and in Spanish Golden Age theatre.

Riina Tehver joined Denison’s Department of Physics in 2010. She holds a bachelor’s from Tartu University and a doctorate from Pennsylvania State University. Her research field is computational biophysics. In the broadest sense, she wants to understand how biological complexity arises from basic physical principles. Specifically, Tehver's goal is to understand how biomolecules perform their cellular functions. She uses numerical analysis and computational modeling to connect protein structures via their dynamics to their operation. Tehver and her students are currently working on a class of proteins called motor proteins. Tehver's research has been funded by the Research Corporation and in 2013, and she has been named as a Bartlett Family Pre-Tenure Fellow.

Sheilah Wilson joined Denison's Department of Studio Art in 2009. Wilson holds a bachelor's from Mount Allison University in New Brunswick; a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Nova Scotia College of Art & Design; and a Master of Fine Arts from Goldsmiths, University of London. Recent work explores the relationship of place and individuals in the creation of a document. Geography, or memory of geography, creates photographs that are rarely about the place itself, but rather about the inhabitation of the body in relation to the place. Language becomes additional document. It wrestles with the image, speaking to memory and experience, while acknowledging the friction of a singular memory sliding against the larger narratives of place and history. Wilson has exhibited her work nationally in Canada and the U.S., as well as England, New Zealand and Israel. In her teaching she teaches basic skills, engagement, and critical thinking that empowers students to make decisions, take chances, and be committed to their work. She believes that the act of really looking at one's environment and considering how you can change it, through framing, is a deceptively simple, yet powerful, act.

Back to top