Introducing new faculty members

The following are among the new faculty members at the University. Others will be introduced periodically in this space.

Cheryl Block, J.D., joins the School of Law as professor. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Hofstra University and a juris doctorate from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Block clerked for the Honorable Kevin Thomas Duffy in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York and practiced tax law in New York City. Before joining the University, Block served on the faculty at the George Washington University Law School. She also has taught at the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University of New Mexico. Block has written numerous articles on taxation, public policy relating to federal bailouts, legislative voting rules, social choice theory and the interplay between federal tax and budget policy.

Jeff Catalano, Ph.D., joins the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences in Arts & Sciences as assistant professor. He earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1999 and a doctorate from Stanford University in 2004. For the past three years, he has been the Harold Urey Postdoctoral Fellow in the Environmental Research and Chemistry Divisions at Argonne National Laboratory. His research interest centers on the structure and reactivity of mineral-water interfaces, the location of important environmental reactions that affect contaminant fate, the composition of natural waters and biogeochemical element cycling. He currently is investigating the molecular ordering of interfacial water, the mechanisms through which arsenic adsorbs to mineral surfaces and ferrous iron activation of dynamic structural changes of iron oxide surfaces.

Mariska Leunissen, Ph.D., joins the Department of Philosophy in Arts & Sciences as assistant professor. She earned a master’s degree in philosophy in 2002, a master’s degree in classics in 2003 and a doctorate in philosophy in 2007, all at Leiden University, the Netherlands. She also has been a visiting scholar in the joint ancient philosophy program at the University of Texas at Austin for the past three years. Her interests are in ancient natural philosophy and philosophy of science (mainly Aristotle but also the Pre-Socratics and the ancient medical tradition) and in contemporary philosophy of biology.

Ron Shalev, Ph.D., joins the Olin Business School as assistant professor of accounting. Shalev received his doctorate from Columbia Business School at Columbia University in New York. His research interests include managerial discretion and accounting choices, earnings management, earnings quality, mergers and acquisitions, intangible assets and disclosure and financial statement analysis. Shalev formerly was chief financial officer of Goldnet Communications and chief executive officer of CreditGuard in Tel Aviv, Israel.