New Faculty 2020-2021

Welcome to the College of Charleston. 

Every year, the College of Charleston hires new faculty who ensure that our students are taught and mentored by the best educators and scholars from their respective fields. This new cohort brings a wide array of academic specialties to the College, spanning the spectrum from Native American religious traditions to bioinformatics to behavioral finance and East African studies, among many others. 
 
Hyokyung Kwak

Hyokyung Kwak

Hyokyung Kwak joined the Department of Political Science in August of 2020 as an assistant professor. A South Korean native, Dr. Kwak completed her BA in British and American Literature at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies and her MPA at SungKyunKwan University in Korea. Also, she obtained her MA in Political Science at Syracuse University and her Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration at the University of Kentucky. Her primary research interests relate to the provision of social welfare for economically disadvantaged individuals and related politics of it, with a primary focus on the United States.

Tamara Butler

Dr. Tamara Butler is the Executive Director of the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture. She is also Associate Dean of Libraries and Associate Professor of African American & African Studies. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Xavier University of Louisiana. She completed her MA in African American & African Studies and Education, as well as her Ph.D in Education from THE Ohio State University. Her research focuses on the lives and placemaking practices of Black women and girls. When she’s not reading or painting, she is refining her skills as a gardener and handywoman.

Olufunke Oladimeji

Olufunke Oladimeji

Dr. OluFunke Oladimeji is an instructor of Systems Engineering for the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the College of Charleston. She received her PhD and MSc from Texas Tech University. Her BSc from Covenant University, Nigeria. Her research interests include performance measurement, system dynamics, project management and data analysis applications. She is a member of American Society for Engineering Management and the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers.

Maryam Mahdikhani

Maryam Mahdikhani

Maryam Mahdikhani joined to the Department of Supply Chain and Information Management in Fall 2020. Maryam completed her formative and graduate studies in Iran at Industrial Engineering and Operation Management respectively and her Ph.D. at Rutgers University in supply Chain. She has taught courses at both the MBA and undergraduate levels in operation management and business analytics. Her research specialties include retail operations management, game theory and machine learning. 

Zebulon Dingley

Zebulon Dingley

Zebulon Dingley is an Assistant Professor of History at the College of Charleston. He has a B.A. in African and African-American Studies, an M.A. in Anthropology, and a Ph.D. in Anthropology and History, all from the University of Chicago. His research focuses on "occult" ritual and rumor on the coast of Kenya from the nineteenth century to the present.

Behrang Forghani

Behrang Forghani

Behrang Forghani recently joined the Department of Mathematics at the College of Charleston. He earned his bachelor's degree in Applied Mathematics from Bahonar University in his warm, sunny, and beautiful hometown, Kerman, in the South of Iran. Behrang obtained two Masters degrees in Pure Mathematics from Sharif University in Iran and Jacobs University in Germany. The University of Ottawa in Canada was his next destination, where he completed his P.hD in Probability and Ergodic Theory. Behrang is thrilled to reside in a warm climate again!

Mary Trent

Mary Trent

Dr. Mary Trent joins the Department of Art and Architectural History as an Assistant Professor with teaching areas in the History of American and African-American art, the History of Photography, and Modern Art. She previously worked as an Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in Visual Studies at the University of California, Irvine and her A.B. in Art History at the University of Chicago. In recent years, she has worked at the College in a variety of capacities, including assisting with research at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. Her current research project addresses visual expressions of freedom in family photograph albums made by African American women in the nineteenth century. Additional work considers the visualizing of marginalized identities and experiences in vernacular photograph albums and the American "outsider" artist Henry Darger's critical engagement with mid-twentieth-century gender ideals.

Navid Hashemi

Navid Hashemi

Navid Hashemi is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at the College of Charleston. Previously, he was a visiting assistant professor at Emory University. He earned his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Georgia (UGA) in 2019 and bachelor’s degree in information technology engineering from Iran in 2012. His research interests are in the field of Internet of Things (IoT) and Data Science with a focus on IoT Analytics, Spatio-Temporal Data Mining, and Crowdsensing. He has also involved in research studies in the domain of computer science education.

Eliza Jones

Elisa J. Jones

Elisa J. Jones came to the College of Charleston's Department of History with a Ph.D. and an M.A. from the University of Chicago and a second M.A. from the Catholic University of America. She received her undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University. Elisa is an historian who specializes in French history and the history of rights, and is currently working on a book she describes as a counter-intuitive history of liberty of conscience during the civil and religious wars in late sixteenth and early seventeenth-century France, known as the Wars of Religion. Elisa also brings her academic and professional experience in archives, libraries, and digital and public history to the College. Through her time as a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Renaissance Studies, she continues to be involved in digital projects that relate to book history and censorship at the Newberry Library in Chicago.

Brennan Keegan

Brennan Keegan

Brennan Keegan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies, with a focus in Native American religious traditions and religion and the environment. She completed her bachelors degree at Whitman College and her graduate and doctoral work at Duke University. Drawing on her work with an environmental non-profit, her research looks to contemporary Native American land claims and the struggle for religious freedom.

Olga Biedova

Olga Biedova

Olga Biedova is a new Assistant Professor for the Department of Supply Chain and Information Management. Biedova is currently completing her PhD from Bentley University and holds a M.S. and B.S. in Information and Communication Systems Security from the National Technical University of Ukraine. Her research interests include business analytics, statistical modeling, information management, and quantitative finance. 

Carlos Lavin

Carlos E. Lavin

Carlos E. Lavín is an assistant professor in the Department of Teacher Education in the area of special education. He earned his doctorate in special education from George Mason University in Fairfax Virginia. His research interests include the intersectional space occupied by Latinxs students with dis/Abilities, counterspaces in higher education institutions, and Special education abroad. Before pursuing his Ph. D, Dr. Lavín worked as a special educator in a resource setting, focusing on students with autism, behavior problems, and learning disabilities for over 9 years. He now lives on James Island with his awesome wife and two amazing kids.

 

 

 

 
 
Can Daylan

Can Dalyan

Dr. Can Dalyan is a new Assistant Professor for the Department of Sociology and AnthropologyA native of Istanbul, Turkey, he’s an environmental anthropologist who studies seed banks, the sociocultural impacts of climate change and multi-species relationships in the Anthropocene. His Ph.D. dissertation at Cornell University focused on seed banking in Turkey and explored the ties between genetic nationhood, modernity and climate preparedness in plant conservation. Among Dalyan’s favorite topics to teach are cultural and environmental anthropology, science and technology studies and the politics of health in the Middle East

Sarah Maness

Sarah Maness

Sarah Maness is an Assistant Professor of Public Health in the Department of Health and Human Performance. She received undergraduate degrees in Spanish Language and Literature and Biological Sciences from North Carolina State University. She holds an MPH from Emory University and PhD in Public Health from the University of South Florida. Her research focus is on social determinants of health and health equity in reproductive health. Dr. Maness is originally from Raleigh, North Carolina and joined the faculty at CofC after several years on faculty at the University of Oklahoma. In her free time she enjoys reading and spending time with her rescue dog, Raleigh Wayne.

Yuka Nishikawa

Yuka Nishikawa

Yuka Nishikawa joined the faculty of the Department of Finance as an assistant professor after finishing her Ph.D. in finance at Florida International University. She received a B.S. in civil engineering from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, an M.S. in civil and environmental engineering from Stanford University, and an M.B.A. in finance from Washington University in St. Louis. Her research interests include corporate finance, behavioral finance, investments, fintech, and real estate finance. She likes to go to the beach in her free time.

DJ Connor

DJ Connor

Dr. Dean "D.J." Connor joins the Department of Physics and Astronomy as an Instructor. Connor holds a Ph.D. in Physics from North Carolina State University and a B.S. in Engineering Physics from University of Wisconsin-Platteville. His research focuses on medical imaging, x-ray optics,and physics education. He has been awarded not only for his scientific contributions, but also his photography and beer-brewing.

Daniel Poll

Daniel Poll

Dr. Daniel Poll, whose research in applied mathematics includes a focus on computational neuroscience, has been hired as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics and comes to us from a postdoctoral position at Northwestern University.

Falcon Restrepo

Falcon Restrepo-Ramos

Falcon Restrepo-Ramos is an Assistant Professor of Spanish and linguistics in the Department of Hispanic Studies. He graduated with a PhD in Hispanic Linguistics from University of Florida and he is currently pursuing a masters in Computational Linguistics at Indiana University. His research interests focus on Spanish in contact with other languages and the Spanish of Latin American varieties. Most recently, his research has addressed issues in Spanish sociolinguistics and language development with the use of computational approaches. He loves soccer too!

Jonathan Sun

Jonathan Z. Sun

Jonathan Z. Sun is an Associate Professor of computer science for the Department of Computer Science at College of Charleston. He received PhD and MS in information and computer sciences from University of California, Irvine, and MS and BS in mathematics from Shandong University, China. His research interests are in data structures, cybersecurity, and distributed computing.

K. Hargrave

Katherine Hargrave

Dr. Katherine Hargrave is a new Instructor for the Department of French, Francophone, and Italian Studies. Hargrave specializes in early modern French and Francophone literature and civilization. A classically-trained violinist, she earned a B.A. in French and a B.M. in Violin Performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She worked for the Centre international d’études pédagogiques in Normandy, France. She combined her interdisciplinary interests to earn her Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University with an emphasis on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century French literature and music. Her current book project, Lyric Tragedy and Libretto Print Culture in Early Modern France, argues for the study of operas as literary texts used by the French to serve both political and colonial goals. Other teaching and research interests include performance, cultural studies, material bibliography, and history of the book.

Ashley Walters

Ashley Walters

Ashley Walters received her Ph.D. in History with a Ph.D. minor in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Stanford University. She will join the Jewish Studies Program. Her research explores the history of Jews, gender, race, and immigration in the early twentieth century U.S. Her dissertation, “Intimate Radicals and Radical Intimacies: East European Jewish Women in the Early Twentieth Century Anglo-American Imaginary,” considers the evolving image of East European Jewish women in American discourses through the lens of interethnic and interclass romances on the radical left. In the spring, Ashley will assume the directorship of the Pearlstine-Lipov Center for Southern Jewish Culture.

 


New Visiting Faculty of the College of Charleston 

In addition to the new members of our permanent faculty, the College is excited to welcome the following new visiting faculty members. 
 
Colleen Moorman

Colleen Moorman

Dr. Colleen Moorman is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Linguistics in the Department of Hispanic Studies. She earned her bachelors degree at Georgetown University, and then returned to Georgetown a few years later to pursue her masters and doctorate in Spanish Applied Linguistics. Colleen's research interests focus on second language acquisition, specifically the acquisition of second language phonology and phonetics. In her free time, she enjoys outdoor activities, including long distance running and currently, she is training for her 15th marathon.

Cara Tovey

Dr. Cara Tovey is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of German and Russian Studies at the College of Charleston. She received her B.A. and M.A. in German from the University of Cincinnati and her Ph.D. in German from the University of California, Berkeley in 2019 with a dissertation titled Life as a Dance: Lebensreform and the Promise of an Alternative Modernity. Her research interests include the confluence of early cinema and German literature with performance studies in the early 20th century. She is interested in questions of the body and performance, aesthetics and politics, as well as conceptions of utopia, social change, and critical disability studies. Secondary research interests include 20th century Austria, in particular Red Vienna, as well as contemporary cinema. She edited the chapter “Nature” in the forthcoming Red Vienna Sourcebook appearing with Camden House and is currently co-editing a volume on the Karl-Marx-Hof as a discourse site for modernity.

Max Kovalov

Max Kovalov

Dr. Max Kovalov is a Visiting Assistant Professor for the International Studies Program. He has taught for the College of Charleston previously and teaches courses in comparative politics and international relations. His research focuses on populism, democratization, and politics of protest in post-Communist states. His research has been published in Eastern European Politics and Societies and the Copernicus Journal of Political Studies. Kovalov's current research project is on de-communization and politics of memory in Ukraine. He earned his PhD in political science from the University of Oklahoma in 2013. In 2002-2004 he was a recipient of Edmund Muskie graduate fellowship awarded by the US State Department. .

Monica Styles

Monica Styles

Dr. Monica Styles joins the Department of Hispanic Studies as a Visiting Assistant Professor. Styles earned a PhD from University of Wisconsin-Madison, an MA from Middlebury College, and a BA from University of Pennsylvania. Style's research interests include Race, identity, the Black diaspora, race-mixture and the interplay between historical and literary discourses in colonial Latin America. 

Megan Irwin

J. Megan Irwin

Dr. Megan Irwin is a new Visiting Assistant Professor of Exercise Science for the Department of Health and Human Performance. Prior to joining the College, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Yvonne & Schuyler Moore Child Development Research Center at UofSC. She received her Ph.D. in Kinesiology with a specialization in Motor Behavior from Auburn University, as well as her MS from Oregon State University, and BS from Applachian State University. Her research focuses on improving motor skill competency and increasing physical activity in children and youth with and without disabilities. She is a Special Olympics Coach and a member of the International Consortium of Motor Development Research.