Introducing new faculty members

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

Hillary Anger Elfenbein, Ph.D., joins the Olin Business School as associate professor of organizational behavior. Elfenbein served as visiting assistant professor at Olin in spring 2008. She comes from the University of California, Berkeley, where she served as assistant professor of organizational behavior and industrial relations. She earned a doctorate in organizational behavior from Harvard University in 2001 and spent the following two years on postdoctoral work at Harvard Business School. Before graduate school, she worked for two years at the Monitor Group and earned undergraduate degrees at Harvard in physics and Sanskrit. Elfenbein serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Nonverbal Behavior and the Journal of Organizational Behavior, Cognition and Emotion.

Jenny Lovell joins the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts as assistant professor of architecture. A registered architect in the United Kingdom, Lovell specializes in the design, development and application of building envelope strategies in both the United Kingdom and the United States, with current research focusing on the integration of environmental systems. She previously taught at the University of Virginia and the University of Michigan and has worked for Allies and Morrison Architects, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris Architects and Arup Associates (all in London) as well as William McDonough Partners in Charlottesville, Va. Lovell earned a bachelor of arts degree in architecture from the University of Manchester in 1990 and a diploma in architecture from The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, in 1993.

Frederic Moynier, Ph.D., joined the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences in Arts & Sciences in January 2008 as assistant professor. He earned a bachelor of science degree in 2001 and doctorate in 2006, both from the Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon, France. He also earned a master’s degree from the Universite Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, in 2002. Moynier measures the isotopic compositions of terrestrial, lunar and meteoritic materials to understand the chronology of the first million years of the solar system and of planetary differentiation; the physical and chemical processes that have modified these materials; and the nucleosynthesis and the stellar environments at the birth of our solar system. To reach these goals, he uses high-precision mass spectrometry associated with chemical purifications in ultra-clean chemistry lab.

Mohamed-Salah Omri, Ph.D., joined the Department of Asian and Near Eastern Language and Literatures in Arts & Sciences in January 2008 as associate professor of Arabic language and literature. He earned a doctorate from WUSTL in comparative literature in 2001. He was senior lecturer in Arabic and director of the Centre for Mediterranean Studies at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom for 10 years. His key research interests include modern and premodern Arabic literature, Francophone literature of the Maghreb, comparative literature, Arab cinema, literature and history, and Tunisia. He has published or edited several books and has lectured on Francophone North Africa, Arab diaspora, political cartoons, classical Arabic literature, Mediterranean culture and tourism.

Carolyn Sargent, Ph.D., joins the Department of Anthropology in Arts & Sciences as professor, with a joint appointment in the Women, Sexuality and Gender Studies Program. Sargent’s research and teaching are primarily in the domain of gender and health, with a particular focus on reproduction, medical decision-making and the management of women’s health in low-income populations. She has worked in West Africa, Jamaica and France. Most recently, her writing has focused on how colonial and postcolonial relations between France and its former West African colonies in the context of the global economy have shaped the policies and politics of state institutions responsible for managing immigrant populations. She is interested in how women — as migrants, wives and mothers — routinely negotiate these structures of inequality.

Alex Seidel, Ph.D., joined the Department of Physics in Arts & Sciences as assistant professor in January 2008. He earned a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2003 and has held postdoctoral positions at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (2003-06) and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (2006-07). Seidel’s research interests focus on topological and general nonperturbative aspects of strongly correlated matter, in particular quasi-one-dimensional conductors, quantum magnets and fractional quantum Hall systems. His recent development of a new framework to study and discuss fundamental properties of quantum Hall states has led to the first derivation of nonabelian statistics through adiabatic transport of quasi-particles using only the associated trial wavefunctions as an input, independent of the assumed effective field theories.

Yongseok Shin, Ph.D., joins the Department of Economics in Arts & Sciences as assistant professor. After earning a doctorate at Stanford University in 2004, he joined the University of Wisconsin-Madison as assistant professor. Shin’s area of research is macroeconomics and economic development. In his research on economic development, he quantitatively analyzes the role of financial markets in resource allocation and in promoting economic growth. His research emphasizes the importance of microeconomic foundations in understanding macroeconomic phenomena.