Introducing new faculty members

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

Jeff Gill, Ph.D., joins the Department of Political Science and the Center for Applied Statistics, both in Arts & Sciences, as professor. He earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, a master’s degree in business administration from Georgetown University and a doctorate from American University. He served as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. His major areas of research include political methodology, American politics, statistical computing, research methods and public administration. Gill’s current research is focused on projects such as Bayesian hierarchical models, Markov chain Monte Carlo theory, bureaucratic behavior in national security agencies and issues in political epidemiology. He serves as director of WUSTL’s Center for Applied Statistics and is vice president of the Society for Political Methodology.

Caitlin Kelleher, Ph.D., joins the School of Engineering as assistant professor of computer science and engineering. She recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship and earned her doctorate in computer science at Carnegie Mellon University. Her research is in the area of human-computer interaction, and her work focuses on the design, development and evaluation of a programming system for middle-school girls called “Storytelling Alice.” This program includes high-level animations that enables users to program social interactions and features a gallery of characters and scenery designed to spark story ideas and a story-based tutorial.

Peter Schmelz, Ph.D., joins the Department of Music in Arts & Sciences as assistant professor. Peter earned a bachelor of arts degree from The George Washington University in 1995 and a master’s degree and doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1997 and 2002, respectively. For the past four years, he served as assistant professor of musicology at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. His primary area of interest is 20th-century music (especially music after 1945), with a focus on the music produced in Russia and the Soviet Union, including that by Dmitri Shostakovich and Alfred Schnittke. His secondary areas of research include popular music and popular culture (both American and Russian), music and the Cold War, and music and politics more broadly.

Roya Beheshti Zavareh, Ph.D., joins the Department of Mathematics in Arts & Sciences as assistant professor. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Sharif University of Technology in Iran in 1999 and a doctorate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2003. After completing her doctorate, she did postdoctoral research at Max-Planck Institute in Germany, Queen’s University in Canada and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, Calif. Her main area of research is algebraic geometry.