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Excellence and Expertise

Introducing the newest CAS faculty for the 2023-24 academic year

The College of Arts and Science is proud to announce our newest faculty members, beginning this fall semester.

Excellence and Expertise

Introducing the newest CAS faculty for the 2023-24 academic year

alumasa_john.jpgJohn Alumasa

Assistant Professor of Biochemistry

Dr. John Alumasa joins the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry this fall as a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Biochemistry. He earned his B.S. degree with honors at the University of Nairobi (Kenya), and both his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry at Georgetown University (Washington, DC). He completed his postdoctoral training in Biochemistry and Microbiology at Penn State University before joining the faculty ranks first as an Assistant, then as an Associate Research Professor. His Biomedical-oriented research focuses on elucidating bacterial mechanisms that cause antibiotic resistance and devising strategies for developing new drug candidates to tackle these deadly pathogens.

Shu (Sarah) Chang

Assistant Professor of East Asian History

Sarah Chang is a historian of modern China. Her research focuses on the rise and fall of state-owned factories in socialist China, from the 1950s to the present. She completed her Ph.D. in history at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She also holds an M.A. in history from UC Santa Cruz and a B.A. in philosophy from Stanford University.

Christopher Grimm

Assistant Teaching Professor, Physician Associate Program

Christopher Grimm, PA-C is an Assistant Teaching Professor of Physician Associate Studies in the new Master's in Physician Associate (PA) Studies program. He is a retired firefighter/paramedic, who earned his MPAS from Kettering College and has been practicing in Emergency Medicine since graduation. As a PA, before joining Miami, he mentored and precepted PA students. He is now teaching the next generation of caregivers at Miami. At Miami, he is looking forward to helping with the Irish Dance Club. Academically, he is concentrating on using behavioral keys to improve patient health outcomes, along with improving access to, and utilization of, healthcare resources.

Chris Hackett

Assistant Teaching Professor, Physicians Associate Program

Christopher Hackett is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Miami University Physician Associate Program. He has been a full-time practicing PA since graduating from Kettering College PA Program in 2018. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Thomas More University. Following his graduation from Thomas More University, he has worked in various anatomic pathology laboratories around the Cincinnati area as a histology technician, where he performed primary and advanced immunohistochemical staining. During this time Prof. Hackett utilized these acquired skills to contribute to various cancer research studies and gained an appreciation for how advancing his education would allow him to take his healthcare experience further.

Sarah Henegar

Assistant Clinical Lecturer of Speech Pathology and Audiology; expertise in American Sign Language (ASL) and Deaf Culture

Sarah Henegar graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a B.S. in Special Education with specialization in Signed Language Interpreting in 2012. In 2021, Sarah graduated with an M.S. in teaching American Sign Language (ASL). She has taught ASL and Deaf Culture courses for several universities as well as K-12 settings. Sarah has been a member of the Ohio American Sign Language Teachers Association (OASLTA) and American Sign Language Teachers Association (ASLTA) since 2012.

Shenyue Jia

Assistant Professor of Geography

Dr. Shenyue Jia studies how satellite data and crowdsourced data can be applied to track the cascading effects of climate change in semi-arid and arid ecosystems and how they affect people who live in these areas. She is also interested in reimagining Geographic Information Science (GIS) education and equipping students with abilities to get their questions related to space answered by captivating maps and geospatial analytical methods beyond using traditional GIS software. She completed her Ph.D. in Geography from the University of California, Los Angeles. She also holds an M.S. in Cartography and Geographic Information Science from Nanjing University, China and a B.S. in Geographic Information Systems from Nanjing Normal University, China.

Carole Johnson

Assistant Lecturer of Media, Journalism and Film

Carole Johnson joins the department in the area of strategic communications. She brings to the position more than 20 years of experience, much of it at Miami. Her most recent role was director of marketing communications within University Communications for the College of Engineering and Computing. Prior to this role, she was the associate director of university news and communications. Carole served on numerous committees, most recently, the Covid-19 Response Team and the Safe Return to Campus Steering Committee. In 2020, she led the news department as interim director. She also served as the editor of Miami Matters. Carole has taught courses as an adjunct instructor. She has a B.A. in journalism from Bowling Green State University and an M.A. in strategic communication from Miami University. 

Indivar Jonnalagadda

Assistant Professor of International Studies

Indivar is an anthropologist who studies international development and global cities. He has recently completed a Ph.D. in Anthropology and South Asia Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. His research over the past nine years has contributed to debates on good governance, housing rights, water and sanitation infrastructures, and other issues in urban environments. He has published multiple peer-reviewed articles, online blogs, and is also engaged in ethnographic filmmaking projects.

larson_sarah.jpegSarah Larson

Associate Professor of Political Science

Sarah E. Larson is an Associate Professor of Political Science in the Department of Political Science at Miami University. She earned her joint Ph.D. in Public Policy from the Department of Political Science and the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. Before Miami University, Larson was an Assistant Professor of Public Budgeting and Finance at the University of Central Florida. Her research, published in leading journals, including Public Budgeting and Finance, focuses on issues in taxation policy; specifically, she examines sales, use, and property taxation and methodological advancements in public administration and policy. As a proud alumnus of Miami University, she is excited to be back in Oxford. 


Sandra Leventen

Assistant Teaching Professor, Physicians Associate Program

Professor Sandy Leventen is an Assistant Teaching Professor for the Physician Associate Studies program. She has been a full-time clinician in Emergency and Trauma for more than a decade. While working in this position, she has gained experience treating complex acute and chronic medical conditions and traumatic injuries. She recognizes the value of the whole patient experience, including not only the presenting patient condition, but the dynamics of the patient-provider relationship, and interpersonal relationships between the broader patient care team.

Tamika McElveen

Assistant Professor of Psychology 

Tamika L. McElveen is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Miami University. Her research examines the social and cultural influences on child and adolescent development. Her non-profit work promotes the positive leadership and academic development of minoritized youth. She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the Department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences at North Carolina State University. She also holds an M.Ed in School Counseling and B.A. in Psychology from UNC-Chapel Hill. Prior to Miami University, Tamika was a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Human Development and Family Science at Purdue University.

Heather Menne

Scripps Gerontology Center, Associate Professor of Gerontology

Heather L. Menne, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Gerontology and a Fellow of the Scripps Gerontology Center. Her research career focuses on older people, caregivers, and long-term services and supports, with a specific emphasis on people living with dementia. Before joining Miami, she worked at RTI International; the Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and at the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging. Dr. Menne earned her Ph.D. in sociology from Case Western Reserve University, her master's degree in gerontological studies from Miami University, and a bachelor's degree from Ripon College.

Rebekah Moore

Assistant Teaching Professor, Physicians Associate Program

Rebekah Moore is an assistant professor and academic director for the PA Program. She has been a Physician Associate for 23 years. During this time, she has gained clinical experience in occupational, urgent, emergency, and family medicine. After PA school, she was employed at Ohio Health for 15 years. While precepting PA students during these years, she developed a passion for education. She launched her experience in PA education as the academic director and assistant professor at a PA Program in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 2023. She was appointed as academic director to the PA Associate Program at Miami University. She volunteers at Good Sam free Clinic and the Henry Hosea House.

neitch_kenna.jpgKenna Neitch

Assistant Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Kenna Neitch (she/her) is an Assistant Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies in Global and Intercultural Studies. Her research is focused on Central American women’s organizing, transnational feminisms, and sustainable activist methodologies, and she has a Ph.D. from Texas Tech University. Her current book project is Persistence: Women’s Testimony and Organizing across Central America. She is also one of the co-creators of QT-Con, a queer and trans conference at Miami that brings together individuals from academia and beyond to center LGBTQIA+ research, creative works, and lived experiences.

Carlos A. Ortiz

Assistant Professor of Spanish

Carlos Ortiz is an Assistant Professor of Spanish in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. He received his B.A. in Hispanic Literatures at CUNY Hunter College and completed both his M.A. and Ph.D. in Spanish at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research focuses on the intersections of 20th and 21st-century Latin American literature and culture, hemispheric approaches to theatre and performance, queer studies, transnational studies, and gender and sexuality studies. As a scholar of performance, he has also directed and produced Latinx theatre.

Cory Rusinek

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Cory Rusinek is an electroanalytical chemist who joins the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry after 4 years as an Assistant Professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He received his undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Case Western Reserve University before completing the Ph.D. at the University of Cincinnati under the direction of Prof. William R. Heineman. He then completed his post-doctoral research at the Michigan State University-Fraunhofer USA, Inc. Center Midwest. Dr. Rusinek works in the areas of nuclear energy, biosensors, materials electrochemistry, and environmental management.

Scott Shreve

Assistant Teaching Professor of Biology

Scott received his bachelor’s degree in Zoology at Miami University in 2003 and did his graduate work in entomology at the University of Illinois studying the population genetics and evolution of barklice. He taught at several schools in Kentucky and Illinois, teaching courses in introductory biology, evolution, and organismal biology, and mentoring student research in the diversity and habitat specialization of barklice. Scott returned to Miami in 2021 as a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Biology. Now starting as a teaching professor, he also serves as the laboratory coordinator for the introductory biology sequence. 

Kelly Stiffler

Assistant Teaching Professor, Physicians Associate Program

Professor Kelly Stiffler is one of our Assistant Teaching Professors for the Physician Associate Program. She has been a full-time practicing PA at Dayton Children’s Emergency Department in Dayton, OH since 2012. Starting her position there she worked with only one physician associate and now has helped grow the practice to over 15 physician associates. While practicing in the emergency department, she has gained vast knowledge and experience treating the complex medical condition of the region’s pediatric population. The fast-paced and urgent nature of the emergency department has also helped her master the dynamics of the patient-provider relationship. In the emergency department, you get to develop strong working relationships between emergency medicine and other medical specialties which help you understand many sides of medicine. Prior to working at Dayton Children’s, she worked in a rural setting in family practice and a school-based clinic in Gouverneur, NY. There she developed a passion for helping the underserved in our rural populations. She gained knowledge and insight into the unique culture and develop relationships with her patients to help foster better medical health.

Emily Spencer

Assistant Professor of English

Emily Spencer is an Assistant Professor of English in the Creative Writing program at Miami University and previously a Visiting Assistant Professor and Heanon Wilkins Faculty Fellow at Miami in 2022. She received an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa’s Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her first book, East Walnut Hills, won the Zone 3 Press first book award and was nominated for an Ohioana book award. She received her B.A. in English from The Ohio State University. 

Natalie Teale

Assistant Professor of Geography

Natalie Teale is a hydroclimatologist trained in physical geography. She utilizes methods and concepts from climatology, hydrology, and geography to ask and answer research questions surrounding spatial and temporal precipitation patterns, particularly variability in extreme precipitation and its impacts. She received her B.A. in Earth Sciences and Geography from Syracuse University, M.S. in Geography from Texas A&M University, and Ph.D. in Geography from Rutgers University, and continued her postdoctoral training at The Ohio State University and at Dartmouth College before joining the Department of Geography at Miami University as an Assistant Professor.

Anne Williamson

Associate Professor of Political Science

Dr. Anne Williamson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Miami University. She earned a Ph.D. in Public Administration and Policy at The University of Georgia and has significant experience in leadership in public and private sector organizations. Dr. Williamson's teaching includes public management and decision making in public affairs. Her research focuses on collaboration and equitable outcomes in housing policy, community development and citizen participation.

Other new faculty include:

  • James Leong, Dept of Geology & Environmental Earth Science
  • Marcy Shieh, Dept of Political Science