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Campus Announcements

Promotion and tenure granted to 44

Miami University's board of trustees approved the promotion and/or tenure of 36 faculty members and eight librarians at its Feb. 23 meeting

spring blooming trees frame Harrison hall
Campus Announcements

Promotion and tenure granted to 44

Miami University's board of trustees approved the promotion and/or tenure of 36 faculty members and eight librarians at its Feb. 23 meeting. The actions take effect July 1.

“It is a privilege to recognize these outstanding educators and scholars for their achievements and commitment to their disciplines,” said Elizabeth Mullenix, provost and executive vice president of academic affairs. “Their contributions in the classrooms, labs, and cross-disciplinary learning spaces are helping to develop the next generation of thought leaders and elevating Miami’s teacher-scholar model. I’m honored to work alongside them to advance our mission of student success.”

The faculty granted tenure and promotions are: 

For promotion to full professor

James Bromley, Ryan Gunderson, Seonjin Kim, Margaret Luongo, Deborah Lyons, Fadel Megahed, Eyad Musallam, Jennifer Rode, Paul Schaeffer, Byran Smucker, Susan Spellman, H. Cecilia Suhr, Christopher Sutter Jing Zhang

For promotion to full professor and tenure

Érica Fernández

For tenure

Gerard (Trace) Poll, Jie Cheng

For tenure and promotion to associate professor

Hakam Alomari, Veronica Barrios, Jonathan Bauer, Khodakhast Bibak, Saruna Ghimire, Andrea Kravats, Bo Li, Andrew Peck, Kevin Reuning, Andy Rice, Sonseeahray Ross, Adam Rottinghaus, Matthew Saxton, Damon Scott, Mark Sidebottom, Christopher Vendome, Feifei Wang, Xian Wu, Siirui (David) Yin

For promotion to principal librarian

Katie Gibson 

For promotion to associate librarian and continuing contract

Mark Dahlquist, Nathaniel Floyd, Stefanie Hilles, Rachel Makarowski, Abigail Morgan, Alia Wegner, Jerry Yarnetsky


For promotion to full professor:

James bromleyJames Bromley, associate professor of English, researches early modern English literature, the history of sexuality, and queer theory. He is the author of "Intimacy and Sexuality in the Age of Shakespeare" and "Clothing and Queer Style in Early Modern English Drama." He is currently working on a book on 16th Century poet Sir Philip Sidney and queer theory as well as another project on the influence of Roman poet Ovid on the literary depiction of sexual practices in early modern England.

Ryan gundersonRyan Gunderson is associate professor of Sociology and Gerontology. His current research projects concern the potential effectiveness and political-economic dimensions of proposed solutions to environmental problems, climate change inaction, the social and environmental impacts of technology, reification/ideology, and the renewal of classical and mid-20th Century sociological theory.

seonjin kim Seonjin Kim, associate professor of Statistics, is graduate director of the Statistics program. He earned his Ph.D. in statistics from Pennsylvania State University in 2013. His research interests lie in statistical theory and methodology, particularly in the area of nonparametric statistics for dependent data such as longitudinal and time series data. He is also interested in applying modern statistical methods such as deep neural networks and random forests to these types of data.

Margaret loungeMargaret Luongo, associate professor of English, is the author of two short story collections — "If the Heart is Lean" and "History of Art," both from LSU Press. Her stories, reviews, and creative nonfiction have appeared in Tin House, The Cincinnati Review, Granta, North American Review, the Pushcart Prize anthology, and other journals and anthologies. Recipient of the Walter E. Dakin Fellowship, a Hawthornden Fellowship, and an Ohio Arts Council grant, she teaches creative writing and contemporary fiction.

Deborah lyonsDeborah Lyons, associate professor of French, Italian, and Classical Studies, studies the literature and culture of ancient Greece, focusing on gender, religion, and anthropological approaches to antiquity. She is the author of "Dangerous Gifts: Gender and Exchange in Ancient Greece" (2012) and "Gender and Immortality: Heroines in Ancient Greek Myth and Cult" (1997). Her current project is “Immortality and its Discontents” on ancient Greek views about the eternal life of the gods.

fadel megahedFadel M. Megahed is the Endres Associate Professor of Information Systems and Analytics. He received his Ph.D. and M.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the American University in Cairo. His research focuses on creating new tools to store, organize, analyze, model, and visualize the large heterogeneous data sets associated with modern manufacturing, healthcare, and service environments. His research findings and views have been covered in over 50 media articles. Megahed is the editor of the Case Study Section for the Journal of Quality Technology. He has received numerous research and teaching awards. He was named a University Faculty Scholar in 2023. He is currently the Endres Associate Professor (2022-2025) and an FSB Research Fellow (2023-2025). He also received the Student Recognition of Teaching Excellence Award (Fall 2020) and 27 faculty commendations for impacting students' learning and development (2018-2023). 

eyed musallamEyad Musallam is an associate professor of Nursing. He received his Ph.D. in nursing from the University of Maryland Baltimore School of Nursing. Over the past 20 years he has been committed to serving his patients, fellow nurses, and nursing students as a Certified Critical Care Nurse, Certified Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, and Certified Nurse Educator. His research interests are outcomes research, accreditation outcomes, nursing care quality, and academic–practice partnerships outcomes. In his recent publications, Musallam investigated the impact of implementing innovative teaching strategies (ChatGPT-  and Learning from Errors Simulation, Game-Based Learning and Dedicated Education Unit Model) on nursing students’ outcomes.

Jennifer rode Jennifer Rode is an associate professor in the Department of Nursing and the Director of Graduate Nursing Programs. She was integral in the Department of Nursing's Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program expansion to the Oxford campus, and also led the development and launch of Miami’s Master in Nursing Program in 2022. She has been a practicing nurse practitioner for 20 years, and began her career as an adjunct instructor at Miami more than 17 years ago. Her teaching expertise crosses many areas of nursing from new BSN students to advanced Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) students. Her research agenda focuses on mental health and emotions, targeting women’s health and student health. She has recently published a study with her co-authors on interventions to improve student mental health, and is currently working on research examining FNP satisfaction. 

Paul SchafferPaul Schaeffer is associate professor of Biology. His primary research focus is the study of muscle plasticity and its implications in organismal energy balance. Experimental approaches range from cell and molecular studies to measurements of physiological activity in the field. One of his goals is to utilize the tools of molecular biology to investigate the roles of specific regulatory factors in the control of muscle phenotype in response to environmental challenges including external temperature, obesity, and inactivity. 

Bryan suckerByran Smucker is associate professor of Statistics. His research is aimed at the design and analysis of experiments, particularly practical and algorithmic approaches to screening and model-robust designs, as well as regularization methods for their analysis. Much of his work involves applied optimization. He also has an interest in statistical consulting and collaboration, in areas including experimental design and predictive modeling.

susan spellmanSusan Spellman is associate professor of History. Her work draws on her expertise in 19th and 20th Century U.S. business history, where she has published in the areas of small business innovation, the application of technology to presidential campaigning, and the development of organizational practices among emergent retail enterprises. She currently chairs the Department of Humanities and Creative Arts.

Cecilia suhrCecilia Suhr is an associate professor in the Department of Humanities and Creative Arts. Her academic career began with research on social media's impact on musicians and evaluation, which she explored in her first book, "Social Media and Music: The Digital Field of Cultural Production." (Peter Lang). Her follow-up research was funded by the MacArthur Foundation's Digital Media and Learning Research Grant Award, resulting in the publication of "Evaluation and Credentialing in Digital Music Communities" (MIT Press) and "Online Evaluation of Creative Arts" (Ed., Routledge Press). Following her tenure, her research primarily focused on a wide range of interdisciplinary creative practices, from augmented reality art to electro-acoustic music performances, with an emphasis on real-time audio-visual and human-centered interactions. She has participated in over a hundred exhibitions and performances at notable festivals, conferences, and art shows nationally and internationally. Her research has also appeared in various journals, conference proceedings, and book chapters. She has received numerous awards and honors in the fields of music, visual arts, and interactive media. 

Chris sutterChris Sutter joined Miami University in 2013 after completing a Ph.D. at Ohio State University. His research focuses on how best to foster entrepreneurship in developing countries as a means of economic development. Specifically, he studies how knowledge and institutions influence entrepreneurial activity in these environments. His work has been published in leading academic journals such as the Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Business Venturing, and Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice. He has ongoing or completed fieldwork in Guatemala, Nicaragua, India, and Ghana. He has traveled widely in Latin America and is fluent in Spanish.

jing ZhangJing Zhang is associate professor of Statistics. Her research focuses on methodology development and applications in Bayesian analysis. She has worked extensively on risk assessment in aquatic toxicology and environmental statistics. She has also collaborated with researchers in biology, engineering, and gerontology for better understanding experimental or observational data in these areas. 

For promotion to full professor and tenure 

erica fernandez Érica Fernández is associate professor of Educational Leadership and hija of Maria and Antonio Fernández. Her research is anchored and inspired by the experience of her parents who were  formerly undocumented Mexican immigrants. Because of the influence of her parents in her life and work, Fernández’s research specifically focuses on the parent organizing initiatives of un/documented Latina/o/x parents, which centrally positions them as educational and community leaders and activists. In doing so, her collaborative research with and alongside un/documented Latina/o/x parents challenges and expands notions of who and what counts as leaders and leadership.

For tenure 

Jim chengJie Cheng joined Miami University in 2018 as associate professor of Computer Information and Technology. She received her Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2009 at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and served as an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Bemidji State University and later as an assistant and associate professor at the University of Hawaii Hilo.  Her research focuses on artificial intelligence (A.I.), with extensive work in developing more efficient theoretical methods and educational applications. Specifically, her research includes: 1) designing new methods, systems, and models for more efficient classification, clustering, and feature selection for large-scale and high-dimensional data; 2) developing applications of Artificial Intelligence in Education, with a focus on chatbots, virtual reality, and virtual assistance driven by deep learning and machine learning. She has published her research findings in respected journals and conference proceedings, including ACM journals, IEEE CPS Proceedings, AACE conference proceedings, and AACE book chapters.


trace pollGerald (Trace) Poll is assistant professor of Speech Pathology and Audiology. He is a speech-language pathologist whose research focuses on developmental language disorders in school-aged children, adolescents, and young adults. He is interested in developing better assessment practices and better defining the cognitive and linguistic characteristics of language-learning disorders. His work also focuses on enabling adolescents with disabilities to be better prepared for the transition from K-12 education to adult settings.    

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For tenure and promotion to associate professor

hakim alomari Hakam Alomari is an assistant professor of Computer Science and Software Engineering. Prior to joining Miami as a visiting assistant professor in 2015, he served as an assistant professor at Jerash University in Jordan. He received his M.S  in Computer Science from Jordan University of Science and Technology and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Kent State University in 2012. His primary research domains encompass software evolution and maintenance, program comprehension, software visualization, software security, and static program analysis, with a particular emphasis on software slicing. His research journey has been dedicated to discovering and constructing methods, tools, and environments that aid in the development and evolution of large-scale software systems. His contributions have found recognition in prestigious journals and conferences, including IEEE/ACM refereed publications. His work in software slicing was recognized as one of the distinguished papers at the 19th IEEE Working Conference on Reverse Engineering (WCRE). This achievement led to an invitation for inclusion in a special issue of the best papers in the Journal of Software: Evolution and Process. Within the academic realm, Alomari delivers a diverse array of undergraduate and graduate courses that span both computer science and software engineering disciplines. In 2017, he was nominated for the Associated Student Government’s (ASG) Outstanding Professor Award. 

Veronica barriosVeronica Barrios joined the Department of Family Science and Social Work in 2018 after receiving her Ph.D. from Montclair State University. Her training as a family scientist has facilitated her research on understanding and exposing the culture of nondisclosure of sexual and interpersonal violence. Barrios works with survivors of sexual and interpersonal violence, community members, and clinical practitioners to elucidate family dynamics and socially mandated rules involved in silencing practices. She is trained as a critical, qualitative researcher and program evaluator, primarily conducting evaluation services throughout southwest Ohio. She also trains nationally in trauma- and culturally-responsive care through her lens as a queer Latina.

Jonathan bauerJonathan Bauer is assistant professor of Biology. His research lab is focused on plant ecology, with particular interest in plant interactions with bacteria and fungi and application to ecological restoration and sustainable agriculture. His research includes a combination of field experiments and observations, greenhouse experiments on plant community mesocosms, and laboratory analyses of soils and microbial communities.

bibak khodakhastKhodakhast Bibak joined Miami as assistant professor of Computer Science and Software Engineering. Previously, he was a postdoctoral research associate (September 2017 – August 2018) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a postdoctoral research fellow (May-August 2017) at the University of Victoria, from where he also received his Ph.D. in 2017. His research interests are cybersecurity, applied cryptography, quantum information science (QIS), artificial intelligence, and the related areas. He has more than 40 peer-reviewed publications including four books and papers published in journals such as Quantum Information & Computation, Quantum Information Processing, Designs, Codes and Cryptography, IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, and ACM Computing Surveys.  He has developed three new courses in Cybersecurity and has been involved in developing a B.S. in Cybersecurity.

saruna grimierSaruna Ghimire is assistant professor of Sociology and Gerontology. She leverages her background in public health and prolific research portfolio in global aging to teach epidemiology and global aging courses at Miami. Her research focuses on health and well-being in later life, including understanding the social determinants of healthy aging among diverse communities. She has ongoing research projects in Nepal and regularly works with researchers from Australia and Bangladesh.

Andrea kravatsAndrea Kravats is assistant professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Her research focuses on protein quality control mechanisms by molecular chaperones. Her multidisciplinary research program utilizes tightly coupled biochemical, biophysical, and computational studies to elucidate the molecular underpinnings of chaperones in disease and identify new points of therapeutic intervention.

bo liBo Li is assistant professor of Sport Leadership and Management. He teaches sport administration, sport marketing and sport public relations. His research has been mainly focused on sport digital media and branding. He is co-editor of the book “Sport and the Pandemic: Perspectives on COVID-19’s Impact on the Sport Industry, Sport Administration, and Governance and Administration of Global Sport Business.” He has authored more than 40 peer-reviewed academic manuscripts. His works have been published in leading academic journals, including Sport Management Review, Communication & Sport, Journal of Media, Culture, and Society, International Journal of Sport Marketing and Sponsorship, International Journal of Sport Communication, Sport Marketing Quarterly, International Journal of Sport Finance and Journal of Sport Media. 

Andrew peckAndrew Peck is assistant professor of Media, Journalism, and Film. He is a media scholar and ethnographer whose research focuses on how digital media offer new possibilities for persuasion and everyday communication. His current research examines how online communities circulate and contest knowledge using Internet memes and how hoaxes, rumors, and urban legends develop and circulate across networks.

Kevin reuningKevin Reuning is assistant professor of Political Science. His work uses quantitative methodologies to better understand American politics. He has published work on local political parties, social movements and labor unions, and the media. He has also developed new methodologies to better measure latent concepts such as respect for human rights, democratic governance, and political ideology.  

Andy riceAndy Rice is assistant professor of Media, Journalism, and Film. He is a critical media theorist and nonfiction filmmaker whose research considers the impacts of the analog to digital transition on documentary camerawork, editing, and reception, especially in the context of reenactment events. He has published on performative documentary, sensory ethnographic film, viewfinderless camerawork, and documentary production pedagogy. He also has over 20 years of experience in making nonfiction films.

sonseeahray rossSonseeahray D. Ross is an assistant professor in the Department of Commerce. Her career began in the private industry, where she led multimillion-dollar growth strategies for Fortune 500 companies. She transitioned into higher education to cultivate the next generation of business leaders. She draws upon her corporate background to pursue research that intersects the corporate, education, and community sectors, with an emphasis on urban communities and possible selves. She has presented on these topics at both national and international peer-reviewed conferences. Extending her work beyond the classroom, she started a leadership program that teaches high school students how to solve problems in their communities through social entrepreneurship. Her academic credentials include a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Miami University. Additionally, she holds an M.Ed. in Student Affairs Higher Education Administration, an M.B.A., and a B.S. in Organizational Management.

Andrew rottinghausAdam Rottinghaus is assistant professor of Media, Journalism, and Film. He is a critical, media, and cultural studies scholar/practitioner who researches strategic communications, emerging technologies, and futurism. He is the author of "Upgrade Culture and Technological Change: The Business of the Future" (2022). A Chinese language edition is forthcoming in late 2024. 

matt saxtonMatthew Saxton is an assistant professor of Biological Sciences. He received his Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Tennessee Knoxville. He is a microbial ecologist, and his research uses genomic and culture-based techniques to investigate how microbial communities respond to environmental change. His research is interested in how agricultural chemicals contribute to harmful algal blooms and how cable bacteria, a recently discovered bacterial group, influences microbial communities where they are present.

Damon ScottDamon Scott is assistant professor of Geography. His work focuses on the influence of race, gender, and sexuality on urban planning and the ways different places can reinforce specific notions of self and community. His work is informed by current trends in urban studies, queer studies, and geography that look critically at the concepts of place and space.

mark SidebottomMark Sidebottom is an assistant professor of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. Prior to joining Miami in 2018, he completed his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University and his BS in Mechanical Engineering from The College of New Jersey. He teaches courses on mechanics of materials and measurements and instrumentation. His research and scholarship focus on the development of materials for increased wear and reduced energy consumption. To evaluate these materials, he often designs and builds custom instrumentation and equipment. Additionally, he was awarded the Roger and Joyce Howe Award for Excellence in Disciplinary Writing Instruction for improving disciplinary writing instruction within the Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering department. Outside of his work at Miami, he serves on the technical program committee for the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers Annual Meeting.

chorister vendorChristopher Vendome is an assistant professor of Computer Science and Software Engineering. He completed his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the College of William & Mary. His main research interests include software maintenance and evolution, open-source software licensing, and mining software repositories. He has published over 25 peer-reviewed publications in top journals and top conferences in software engineering, receiving over 2,300 citations. 

fife wangFeifei Wang is assistant professor of Finance. She joined Miami in 2017 after completing her Ph.D. in Finance at the University of Missouri. Her research interests center on empirical asset pricing and investments. She has published in the Journal of Financial Economics. She currently teaches undergraduate courses in investments. Wang is a CFA charter holder.

Xian wuXian Wu is an assistant professor of Kinesiology, Nutrition, and Health. She received her Ph.D. in Food Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2016 and her B.S. in Biotechnology from China Pharmaceutical University in 2010. Prior to joining Miami in 2019, Xian was a postdoctoral scholar at Tufts University. The long-term goal of her research is to address the growing burden of obesity-associated chronic diseases, including colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and insulin resistance, by developing effective, safe, and low-cost dietary and nutritional interventions. 

David yinDavid Yin is assistant professor of Finance. He joined the Farmer School of Business in 2018 after completing his Ph.D. at the University of Arizona. His research focuses on the interaction among corporate executives, the board of directors, and institutional investors on various corporate decisions. His work has been published in the Journal of Corporate Finance. Prior to Ph.D. studies, he spent a year working for Merrill Lynch while completing his master’s degree in finance. 

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For promotion to principal librarian

Katie GibsonKatie Gibson is Humanities Librarian. She received a Master of Library Science from Indiana University and a B. Phil. (Interdisciplinary Studies) from Miami University. Her liaison responsibilities include Asian/Asian-American Studies; Black World Studies; French; German; Individualized Studies - Western Program; International Studies; Italian; Latin American Studies; Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies; and Spanish and Portuguese.


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For promotion to associate librarian and continuing contract

mark dahlquistMark Dahlquist is a Humanities and Social Sciences Librarian with liaison responsibilities for English and  Media, Journalism, and Film. he received his Ph.D. and M.S. in Library and Information Science from  the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Nathaniel FloydNathaniel Floyd is Student Success Librarian for Foundational Learning. He received a Ph.D. in Mass Communication and a Master of Library Science from Indiana University. His liaison responsibilities include  Interactive Media Studies, Sports Leadership and Management, and Student Affairs.

Stephanie GillesStefanie Hilles is Arts and Humanities Librarian. She received a Master of Library and Information Science from Kent State University and an M.A. Art History from Case Western Reserve University. Her liaison responsibilities include Architecture and Interior Design, Art, and Theater.

Rachel makarowskiRachel Makarowski is Special Collections Librarian. She received a Master of Library Science from Indiana University and a B.A. in Classics from the University of Virginia.

Abigail MorganAbigail Morgan is Social Sciences Librarian. She received a Master of Library Science from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Master of Education from Ohio University. Her liaison responsibilities include Anthropology,  Business, Business Legal Studies, Education, Entrepreneurship, Juvenile Literature, Marketing, and Teacher Education.

alia WegnerAlia Wegner is Digital Collections Librarian. She received an  M.S. in Information from Florida State University and an M.S. in Book History and Material Culture from the University of Edinburgh.

jerry yarnetskyJerry Yarnetsky is Web Services Librarian. He received a  Master of Library Science from Indiana University and a B.A. in  English-Journalism from Miami University.