Advance Excellence in Research

Advance Excellence in Research

To advance research in Trinity College, we will make strategic hires of high profile faculty in well-defined areas, partner with departments and schools, and challenge departments to think strategically about where they want to invest. We must also nurture and support our current faculty so that they serve as scholars and leaders of our academic enterprise.

Our Goals

  • Increase the distinguished profiles of our faculty as well as departments’ national and international reputations
  • Cultivate new areas of reputational strength
  • Maintain the high profile of the Humanities and Social Sciences, while developing the Natural Sciences analogous to the other divisions
  • Strengthen connections to other schools and institutes
  • Recruit and retain distinguished faculty and “game changers” who can advance departmental rankings
  • Augment support of current faculty
  • Enhance space, facilities, equipment, and infrastructure
The English department launched a pilot lab for the Humanities Unbounded proposal, “Representing Migration.” Shown are Professor

Humanities Unbounded: $3M Mellon Foundation Grant

Duke University will expand on its commitment to a strong humanities curriculum and forge new collaborations beyond campus with a $3 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, announced on May 3, 2018. The funding establishes Humanities Unbounded, which will run from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2023. The initiative will focus on three major areas:

  • Developing new collaborative curricula models that blend undergraduate education with faculty research and graduate student training.
  • Deepening Duke’s relationships with liberal arts colleges and historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
  • Piloting a new teaching partnership with Durham Technical Community College. 

Humanities Unbounded will build on the success of Humanities Writ Large (HWL), an initiative aimed at changing the role of the humanities at Duke. HWL supported labs that integrated undergraduates with faculty and graduate students engaged in humanities and social science research. With Humanities Unbounded, Duke seeks to scale up these efforts, such as embedding the humanities’ lab structure into humanities departments and curricula. 

 
The Quantitative Initiative

Cultivating New Areas of Reputational Strength

Duke’s Provost Sally Kornbluth has launched a Quantitative Initiative to build strength broadly in quantitative science and to establish Duke as an internationally recognized center of excellence in the methods and applications of quantitative science. The initiative seeks to expand quantitative faculty in schools across the Duke campus and to increase collaboration between those departments in Trinity, in Duke’s School of Medicine and in the Pratt School of Engineering.

Trinity’s goal in this first phase of the Quantitative Initiative was to strategically hire quantitative science faculty whose research portfolios have a strong biomedical focus. Our intention is that these individuals will augment our existing outstanding faculty core in this area and will catalyze greater interaction between the health system and university sides of Duke. We organized a QI community event in September 2017.

Learn More

Quantitative Initiative Faculty Hires

QI Faculty Hires

Faculty, from left to right, starting with the upper row:

  • Amy Herring, professor of statistical science
  • Amy Goldberg, assistant professor of evolutionary anthropology
  • Hau-tieng Wu, associate professor of mathematics & statistical science
  • Nicolas Brunel, professor of physics & neurobiology
  • Vahid Tarokh, professor of electrical & computer engineering
  • Peter Hoff, professor of statistical science
  • Xiuyuan Cheng, assistant professor of mathematics
  • Iman Marvian, assistant professor of physics, and electrical & computer engineering
  • Alberto Bartesaghi, associate professor of computer science & biochemistry
Image of dorsal wound closure

Building ALIS

Investing in the Sciences

In the spring of 2018, we began construction of a new experimental capability called ALIS. When completed, the Advanced Light Imaging and Spectroscopy (ALIS) facility will provide cutting-edge optical imaging technology that is beyond the capabilities of commercial instruments. The 980-square-foot facility represents a significant investment in the sciences at Duke, and complements the capabilities of the Light Microscopy Core Facility. The first instruments in the facility include a lattice light-sheet microscope, a deep-tissue serial sectioning microscope, and a multimodal pump-probe microscope. ALIS will offer the possibility of adapting these microscopes and co-developing novel microscopy approaches with researchers on campus.

illustration of biomolecules

Deepening Experimental Capabilities

Investing in the Sciences - Chemistry

In June 2018, we will install a Bruker Avance II HD 500 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer that will be used exclusively for the analysis of biomolecules. The new spectrometer broadly impacts faculty in the Department of Chemistry, and supports our research in the areas of organic synthesis, organometalic chemistry and catalysis, chemical biology, polymer chemistry, and nanoscience.

The Ruby

Enhancing the Reputation of the Arts & Humanities

The Rubenstein Arts Center opened in January 2018. The "Ruby" is a hub for artistic production at Duke University, a deepening of Duke's Arts Corridor, and a significant investment in the arts & humanities. Students, faculty, visiting artists, and other collaborators come together in flexible project studios to hone their skills and create new work. Public programs—including performances, film screenings and exhibitions—launch this work into the world. The Ruby is now home to the Trinity College's Dance Program and the Arts of the Moving Image, and courses in art, theater studies, music and visual studies will be taught here. The 70,000+ square foot building encompasses flexible multipurpose studios, seminar classrooms, a makerspace, the Ruby Lounge, the von der Heyden Studio Theater, a film screening theater, and more. It is also home to WXDU 88.7 FM, Duke’s student-run radio station.

Our Philosophy for Faculty Hiring

We firmly believe that when we hire, we must hire for future potential as well as past accomplishment and actively retain those who can become dynamic future leaders. We must aggressively promote leadership skills – the ability to collaborate, convene, and inspire; to elicit feedback; to listen broadly; and to gain wide input before making decisions. And, we must take care to nurture personal and professional growth of faculty at each stage of their careers and set clear expectations: greater engagement of junior faculty in the Duke community, expectations for associate professors to achieve full professorship, and goals for service in more senior faculty.

Faculty Hires for 2017/18

Victoria Akin

Victoria Akin
Assistant Professor of the Practice
Department of Mathematics
Research: Mapping class groups

Elabbas Benmamoun

Elabbas Benmamoun
Professor
Department of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies
Research: Syntax of functional categories, lexical & morphological relations, interface of morphology & syntax of natural language

Taylor Black

Taylor Black
Assistant Professor
Department of English
Research: 20th Century American literature, popular music, gender & sexuality studies, queer theory

Katherine Brading

Katherine A. Brading
Professor
Department of Philosophy
Research: Theoretical physics as a contribution to philosophy

Claire Catenaccio

Claire Catenaccio
Assistant Professor
Department of Classical Studies
Research: Ancient drama, the role of music in tragedies

Susanna Caviglia

Susanna Caviglia
Assistant Professor
Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies
Research: French & Italian art in the 18th Century, Early Modern theories of creative process, critical investigations of the body in art, and Early Modern Europe

Xiuyuan Cheng

Xiuyuan Cheng
Assistant Professor
Department of Mathematics
Research: Theoretical and computational techniques for high-dimensional statistics, signal processing & machine learning

Corinne Petra Crane

Corinne Petra Crane
Assistant Professor of the Practice
Department of Germanic Languages
Research: Needs of second language learners, systemic functional linguistics, second language writing, reflective teaching & learning

Michael D'Alessandro

Michael D'Alessandro
Assistant Professor
Department of English
Research: American literature and theatre history

Samuel F. Daly

Samuel F. Daly
Assistant Professor
Department of African & African American Studies
Research: 20th Century Africa

Sudipta Dasmohapatra

Sudipta Dasmohapatra
Senior Lecturer
Department of Statistical Science
Research: Qualititative analysis

Brian Fitzpatrick

Brian Fitzpatrick
Lecturer
Department of Mathematics
Research: Algebraic geometry, category theory and homological algebra

Roseen Giles

Roseen Giles
Assistant Professor
Department of Music
Research: Aesthetic, professional and personal relationships between poets and musicians of the Italian Baroque

Bridgette Martin Hard

Bridgette Martin Hard
Associate Professor of the Practice
Department of Psychology & Neuroscience
Research: Curriculum development for introductory psychology

Amy Herring

Amy Herring
Professor
Department of Statistical Science
Research: Longitudinal and multivariate data, hierarchical models, latent variables, Bayesian models, missing & mismeasured data, reproductive epidemiology, and environmental health

Paul Jaskot

Paul Jaskot
Professor
Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies
Research: Political history of Nazi art and architecture and its postwar cultural impact

Grace Kim

Grace Kim
Associate Professor of the Practice
Department of Economics
Research: Entrepreneurial behavior and financial management

Alexander Kiselev

Alexander A. Kiselev
Professor
Department of Mathematics
Research: Mathematical fluid mechanics and mathematical biology

Alison Klein

Alison Klein
Lecturer
Thompson Writing Program
Research: Gender roles in the literature of Caribbean indenture

Adam Levine

Adam Levine
Assistant Professor
Department of Mathematics
Research: Low-dimensional topology, and the study of shapes of 3- and 4-dimensional spaces

Catherine Mathers

Catherine Mathers
Associate Professor of the Practice
International Comparative Studies
Research: Examination of how representational practices construct and mediate the world
Jarvis McInnis
Jarvis McInnis
Assistant Professor
Department of English
Research: Global South, sound studies, performance studies, and visual culture

Gustavo Monteiro-Silva

Gustavo Monteiro-Silva
Assistant Professor
Department of Biology
Research: Understanding and controlling how cells respond to stressful and harmful conditions

Nan Mullenneaux

Nan Mullenneaux
Lecturer
Thompson Writing Program
Research: International writing

Aaron Pollack

Aaron Pollack
Assistant Professor
Department of Mathematics
Research: Algebraic number theory

Martha Reeves

Martha Reeves
Professor of the Practice
Department of Sociology
Research: Reward management, virtual teams, and appraisal systems

Catherine Reilly

Catherine I. Reilly
Assistant Professor
Department of Literature
Research: Central and Eastern European Modernism and the interwoven history of psychiatry, psychoanalysis, and medicine

Genevieve Rousseliere

Genevieve Rousseliere
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science
Research: modern and contemporary political philosophy, social theory, and the history of political economy, republicanism and democratic thought

Gregory Samanez-Larkin

Gregory Russell Samanez-Larkin
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology & Neuroscieince
Research: How individual and age differences in motivation and cognition influence decision making across the life span

Kristin Stephens-Martinez

Kristin Stephens-Martinez
Assistant Professor of the Practice
Department of Computer Science
Research: analysis of data from machine-gradable assessments

Anselm G. Vossen

Anselm G. Vossen
Assistant Professor
Department of Physics
Research: Experimental nuclear physics, imaging of quark and gluons

Hau-Tieng Wu

Hau-Tieng Wu
Associate Professor
Department of Mathematics
Research: Analyzing high-dimensional/big/massive datasets

 

 


 

Faculty Hires for 2016/17

Torry Bend

Torry Bend
Associate Professor of the Practice
Department of Theater Studies
Research: Scenic design, theater and studio art

Elika Bergelson

Elika Bergelson
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology & Neuroscience
Research: Link between word-form & meaning in infancy

Tyson Brown

Tyson Brown
Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology
Research: Racial/ethnic inequality; life course and aging

Sarah Gaither

Sarah E. Gaither
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology & Neuroscience
Research: Interracial interactions; intergroup relations

Peter Hoff

Peter David Hoff
Professor
Department of Statistical Science
Research: Biostatistics; Bayesian statistical methods

Maha Houssami

Maha Houssami
Lecturer
Department of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies
Research: Arabic language

Shambhavi Kaul

Shambhavi Kaul
Assistant Professor of the Practice
Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies
Research: Filmmaking and video studies

Matthias Kehrig

Matthias Kehrig
Assistant Professor
Department of Economics
Research: Macroeconomics, productivity, firm dynamics

Michael Klien

Michael Klien
Associate Professor of the Practice
Department of Dance
Research: Choreography

Kusum Knapczyk

Kusum Knapczyk
Lecturer
Department of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies
Research: Hindi Language

Adam Mestyan

Adam Mestyan
Assistant Professor
Department of History
Research: History of the modern Middle East

Adam Rosen

Adam Rosen
Associate Professor
Department of Economics
Research: Microeconometrics

Martin P. Smith

Martin Paul Smith
Assistant Professor of the Practice
Department of Education
Research: Intersections of race, sport culture and education

Corina Stan

Corina Stan
Assistant Professor
Department of English
Research: British and Anglophone literature; comparative literature

Daniel Stegmueller

Daniel Stegmueller
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science
Research: Government influence on the economy, and redistribution of wealth

Alexander Volfovsky

Alexander Volfovsky
Assistant Professor
Department of Statistical Science
Research: Theory and methodology for network analysis

Brian Weller

Brian Weller
Assistant Professor
Department of Economics
Research: Asset pricing, financial economics, and market microstructure

 

 


 

Faculty Hires for 2015/16

Christopher Bail

Christopher Bail
Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology
Research: Sociology of culture and social networks

Juliana Barr

Juliana Barr
Associate Professor
Department of History
Research: Early American colonial history

Thomas Barthel

Thomas Barthel
Assistant Professor
Department of Physics
Research: Systems studies

Marc Brettler

Marc Brettler
Professor
Department of Religious Studies
Research: Jewish studies

Jasmine Cobb

Jasmine Nichole Cobb
Assistant Professor
Department of African & African American Studies, with joint appointment in Art, Art History & Visual Studies
Research: African-American cultural studies, and visual theory

Prasenjit Duara

Prasenjit Duara
Professor
Department of History
Research: Chinese history, and comparative/global Asian studies

Stefani Engelstein

Stefani Engelstein
Associate Professor
Department of German
Research: Enlightenment & Romantic periods

Christine Folch

Christine Folch
Assistant Professor
Department of Cultural Anthroplogy
Research: South American environmental anthropology

Rong Ge

Rong Ge
Assistant Professor
Department of Computer Science
Research: Theoretical computer science, and machine learning

Sara Haravifard

Sara Haravifard
Assistant Professor
Department of Physics
Research: Experimental condensed matter physics

Tsitsi Jaji

Tsitsi Jaji
Associate Professor
Department of English
Research: African American literature

Kyle Jurado

Kyle Jurado
Assistant Professor
Department of Economics
Research: Macroeconomics, financial economics, econometrics

Andrea Lanteri

Andrea Lanteri
Assistant Professor
Department of Economics
Research: Macroeconomics

Melanie Manion

Melanie Francis Manion
Professor
Department of Political Science
Research: Chinese studies

Henry Pickford

Henry Pickford
Associate Professor
Department of German
Research: German & Russian philosophy and literature

Colleen Robles

Colleen Robles
Associate Professor
Department of Mathematics
Research: Geometry

Sudeepa Roy

Sudeepa Roy
Assistant Professor
Department of Computer Science
Research: Data and information management

Cynthia  Rudin

Cynthia Rudin
Associate Professor
Department of Computer Science
Research: Machine learning tools that help humans make better decisions

Colin Rundel

Colin Rundel
Assistant Professor of the Practice
Department of Statistical Science
Research: Applied spacial statistics

Eliana Schonberg

Eliana Schonberg
Assistant Professor of the Practice
Thompson Writing Program
Research: Writing center studies

Rebecca Steorts

Rebecca Carter Steorts
Assistant Professor
Department of Statistical Science
Research: Bayesian methodology

Nicholas Stoia

Nicholas Stoia
Assistant Professor
Department of Music
Research: European tonal music; American vernacular music

Michael Tomasello

Michael Tomasello
James F. Bonk Professor
Department of Psychology & Neuroscience
Research: Social cognition; social learning

Elvira Vilches

Elvira Vilches
Associate Professor
Department of Romance Studies
Research: Early Modern Spanish and Colonial Latin American literature

Kevin Welsher

Kevin Welsher
Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry
Research: Physical chemistry

Julianne Werlin

Julianne Werlin
Assistant Professor
Department of English
Research: Early Modern literature

Joseph Winters

Joseph Winters
Assistant Professor
Department of Religious Studies
Research: African American religous studies