Tenure Track Faculty 2022

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Sasha Allgayer, Assistant Professor

Languages & Linguistics
College of Liberal Arts
PhD in Media & Communication, Bowling Green State University, August 2020

My research area intersects critical/cultural studies and International development with mass-cultural events like sports and music events. Included in that, social media activism and global media have been key factors in much of my research. My central teaching interests involve the world and culture, with specific courses such as international studies, global sports, music and culture, activism, and digital oriented pedagogy like travel vlogging and documentaries.

I chose SIU because I believe it's a place where I can continue to grow as a scholar while making meaningful contributions to the campus community here. I am also excited to work with my new colleagues, who have been tremendously supportive, friendly, and kind ever since I was brought to campus initially. 

Anas Alsobeh, Assistant Professor

School of Computing
College of Engineering, Computing, Technology, and Mathematics Information Technology
PhD, Utah State University, 2015

My research involves web applications, security of information systems, and software engineering. I study web applications, software design and modeling, cybersecurity and analysis. SIU's School of Computing uses a holistic approach to identify and select a diverse IT faculty that is best suited to fulfill its mission: it typically looks for innovative ways to ensure students are successful in learning all IT subjects where it is most relevant to them; It also seeks to help its students understand their technology needs through teaching, research, and community service. 

Artie Berns, Assistant Professor

Artie Berns, Assistant Professor

School of Law
MLIS, August 2015, University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Champaign, IL JD, May 2013, Southern Illinois University School of Law, Carbondale, IL BGS, May 2010
JD, Southern Illinois University School of Law, Carbondale, IL, May 2013
BGS, Summa Cum Laude, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston IL, May 2010

My research involves legal research methodology & instruction, legal technology skills instruction, open source educational materials. Being an SIU alum certainly influenced my decision to apply here. The same things that attracted me to SIU as a student, public interest, the cooperative atmosphere, the support that faculty and staff give are very attractive. As a new faculty member I want to be a part of that. I want to spend my efforts in service of an institution I can believe in, that is doing good work, and is focused on creating well trained, hard-working, and ethical attorneys.

Erica Blumenstock, Assistant Professor

School of Health Sciences
College of Health & Human Sciences
Ph.D., Nursing Practice, McKendree University 2020
Master of Science, Nursing Education, University of Southern Indiana 2012
Bachelor of Science, Nursing, Barnes College 1994

My research priorities include expanding the science of nursing education through developing innovative teaching and learning strategies and creating collaborative partnerships to improve health care equity to meet global health concerns. The healthcare system is currently experiencing a significant nursing shortage. Research is vital to identify evidence-based strategies to improve the retention of nursing students and ensure that graduates develop the clinical judgment necessary to enter the nursing practice. Specific areas of interest include using technology and innovation to improve clinical reasoning and the effects of tutoring and mentoring to improve retention in rural nursing education settings. Creation of collaborative partnerships to improve health care equity and global health. The recent global pandemic identified a need to develop strategies for strengthening global health concerns and creating equitable access to healthcare. Rural healthcare organizations face significant challenges meeting the social determinants of health. Research is needed in rural areas to develop collaborative efforts necessary to meet the needs of the rural residents as they face challenges with economic stability, education, healthcare, environment, and community.

Undergraduate Nursing: Medical/Surgical, Global Health, Nursing Leadership, Obstetrics, Pediatrics

I am excited to have the opportunity to teach nursing at SIU-C. I chose the university because I will have the ability to help improve the local healthcare system as they face the urgent healthcare crisis caused by the mounting nursing shortage. I look forward to working with the administration and faculty in building an innovative nursing program to meet the needs of our students and healthcare organizations. I am a lifelong resident of Southern Illinois and look forward to helping students in my community as they work toward entering the nursing practice. Finally, I am excited to be a Saluki Faculty member and look forward to working with other departments to create an exceptional university experience for our students.

John Ken Bro, Assistant Professor

School of Aviation
College of Health & Human Sciences
B.S. Human Factors, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, 2012
MBA, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, 2020

My research involves aviation human factors, flight data monitoring, business aspects of aviation management. I joined SIU because of its premier aviation program! 

Matthew J. Brown, Professor

College of Liberal Arts
Jo Ann and Donald N. Boydston Chair of American Philosophy (Professor)
Director of the Center for Dewey Studies
PhD in Philosophy, University of California, San Diego, 2009
MA in Philosophy, University of California, San Diego, 2006
B.S., School of Physics, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2003

My primary areas of research are the history of philosophy, history and philosophy of science, and cognitive science. In the history of philosophy, I focus on the 19th and 20th centuries, particularly on the history and legacy of John Dewey and American pragmatism, as well as the history of philosophy of science. I have devoted careful attention to John Dewey's theory of inquiry as a philosophy of science, and have argued that Dewey's thinking can help us better understand the nature of scientific evidence and the interplay of science and values. My other areas of interest in the history of philosophy include other traditions in American philosophy, the emergence of the analytic/continental divide in philosophy, Marx and Marxism, the relationship of philosophy and science (especially psychology), and naturalism and anti-naturalism. I also work on topics in history and philosophy of science including the role of values in science and engineering, the role and authority of science in politics and policymaking, feminist science, scientific evidence, models, objectivity, the social structure of science, climate science, the history of psychology and cognitive science, and the interpretation of quantum mechanics. Finally, I am interested in contemporary theory and methods in cognitive science, particularly related to the emergence of theories of cognition called social, distributed, extended, etc. I conduct research using the methods of cognitive ethnography, especially to the study of laboratory research and education in science and engineering.  

I teach the tradition of philosophical pragmatism, the history of philosophy in the 19th and 20th centuries, the history and philosophy of science, and interdisciplinary classes in the humanities. I regard pragmatism as not only an object of historical study, but a living tradition in philosophy with an approach to the field that has much to offer contemporary philosophical debate and is uniquely valuable in tackling contemporary philosophical problems. In this sense, I can and do teach the pragmatist tradition both historically and topically. I will teach several classes devoted to the study of John Dewey's work in philosophy, both his general approach and specific works. I have also taught classes on the history of American philosophy, the development of philosophy throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the emergence and nature of the analytic/continental divide in philosophy, and the philosophy of Karl Marx. I teach both general classes on the history and philosophy of science as well as classes specialized on science and values, science and democracy, gender and science, and philosophy of medicine. I teach on sociocultural theories of mind and cognitive science, as well as a methods course on cognitive ethnography.  

I am stepping into an incredible legacy by joining the Philosophy Program and the Dewey Center at SIU. The Philosophy Program has a long-running reputation as doing and teaching philosophy in a pluralistic spirit, and has trained many philosophers that I admire. In particular, it has been a major force in keeping alive and well the traditions of American philosophy and philosophical pragmatism, and I look forward to continuing that legacy.  

Yancy Cruz, Assistant Professor

Yancy Cruz, Assistant Professor

School of Health Sciences
College of Health & Human Sciences
PhD, Southern Illinois University Carbondale 2017
MRC, Univ. de Puerto Rico, 2017
MBA, UMET (PR) 2006
BBA Univ. de Puerto Rico 2004

I have conducted research and publications in areas of chronic morbidly obese, dialysis and kidney transplant patients, multiculturalism and academic advising in the rehabilitation counseling field. I am interested in developing other research topics such as employment of people with disabilities, mental health crisis management, multiculturalism and program evaluation in the rehabilitation counseling field and related areas.  Currently, I am developing the design to conduct two research mixed methods.   The first research is analyzing and evaluating the experiences of persons with a kidney transplant that have more than ten years. The second research will evaluate dialysis treatment patients with more than ten years.  Also, I am interested in developing research including persons with severe disabilities that have maintained a long-term employment, mentoring, support to first generation of students, minority and non-traditional students.  

As a faculty member I bring a dynamic and creative perspective to the classroom, including my experiences in the non for profit, private and higher education settings. I have experience teaching in undergraduate and graduate level. As a professor it is very important for me to use a combination of tools to enhance the learning experience using the textbook required and supporting educational materials as articles, websites and immerse real life experiences.   

Second, at the beginning of each course I like to ask the student about their expectations in the course, their academic goals and future interests to strategically combine the syllabus content with any additional guest speaker or supplement information.  

Third, I promote and maintain a continuous and open communication with my students.  During class I promote an environment with respect, openness, honesty, ethics and professionalism in the classroom or through virtual platforms.  

Fourth, I believe in the importance of being available face to face (even through a facetime call or any meeting platform available), phone calls or emails.   

Fifth, as a teacher I attempt to engage, challenge, and inspire growth in my students. Every student its important in my course and I believe in their contributions.   

Overall, my teaching philosophy embrace the opportunity to highlight the best in my students and care for their academic and professional development.  I have included in my courses a QFC weekly activity.  Questions, Feedback and Check In allows to have an interaction with each student’s needs and understand if they have any situation that are affecting them.   

As an SIU alumni I strongly believe in the academic excellence and students’ support services that the university and faculty offer.  I appreciate and believe in the important role SIU has in impacting diverse and multicultural students.  I can find at SIU the perfect balance between teaching and having the resources to model through direct service centers, at the SIU Evaluation and Developmental Center.  I truly believe SIU offers a balance between excellence in teaching from its faculty and support to the needs of the students through the Student Multicultural Resource Center initiatives. As a doctoral alumni I feel very proud, honor and enthusiasm to return as a faculty member in the rehabilitation counseling program.   

Patrice DeBlois

Patrice DeBlois

Finley Freibert, Assistant Professor

Finley Freibert, Assistant Professor

School of Media Arts
College of Arts and Media
PhD in Visual Studies, University of California, Irvine, 2019
PhD in Applied and Industrial Mathematics, University of Louisville, 2012

With research areas encompassing media industry studies, LGBTQ+ cultural histories, digital media, and archival studies, my work has appeared in peer-reviewed scholarly venues such as Film Criticism (University of Michigan), Spectator (University of Southern California), the Journal of Anime and Manga Studies (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Synoptique (Concordia University, Montréal), and Flow: A Critical Forum on Media and Culture (University of Texas at Austin). I am coeditor (with Alicia Kozma) of the book Refocus: The Films of Doris Wishman, published by Edinburgh University Press in 2021. In addition to contributing peer-reviewed chapters to books on under-researched film directors including Jesús Franco and Roberta Findlay, I have written columns for two of the oldest American LGBT news outlets, the Advocate and the Washington Blade, and for the popular magazine The Gay & Lesbian Review. Before pursuing research in media studies, I applied mathematics work on digital communications was published in peer-reviewed scientific journals such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Transactions on Information Theory and Advances in Mathematics of Communications. Currently, I am working on a book manuscript that excavates a history of media industries run by women and gay men in 1970s Los Angeles. My research broadly tracks how communitarian cultural productions (such as feminist and LGBT media) have been tied to commercial structures, and how such media exist in a complex relationship with economic and cultural systems of regulation. To share this research, I have presented at numerous conferences including the American Anthropological Association annual conference; the American Historical Association annual meeting, the annual conference of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies; the FLOW Conference at the University of Texas at Austin; and the Film and History conference at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  

I teach courses in media studies and media history on film, television, social media, and digital cultures, and how such cultures intersect with local and global cultural formations of gender, race, socio-economic class, sexuality, and nation. At the University of California, Irvine, I have also taught courses on film history in the Film and Media Studies department. More recently, I worked as a Senior Lecturer in the Comparative Humanities and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies departments at the University of Louisville teaching courses on a wide array of subjects including film and media theory, transgender studies, social media and gender, histories of sexuality, and global melodrama.  

At Southern Illinois University, I will teach a variety of courses in the School of Media Arts including upcoming courses on New Media Then and Relationships and Screen Media. I chose SIU because I really appreciate the innovative and interdisciplinary structure of the School of Media Arts and its possibilities for integrating theory and practice in the production and study of media. I’m excited to develop classes in film and media studies, history, and theory and work in collaboration with my colleagues in the school and broader university. I was also drawn to the warm, welcoming, and diverse atmosphere created by the hard-working and dedicated faculty and staff at SIU and the thoughtful and passionate students. 

Mathew Gluck, Assistant Professor

Mathew Gluck, Assistant Professor

Mathematical and Statistical Sciences
College of Engineering, Computing, Technology and Mathematics
PhD, Mathematics, University of Florida, 2014

My research includes partial differential equations, differential geometry and applied mathematics. Any field of pure or applied mathematics that is near my research interests. SIU offers career advancement opportunities that suit my ambition   

Nicholas Guardiano, Alwin C. Carus Archivist and Professor of Philosophy

Nicholas Guardiano, Alwin C. Carus Archivist and Professor of Philosophy

Special Collections Research Center and School of History and Philosophy
Library Affairs and College of Liberal Arts
PhD, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, 2014
MA, The New School, 2009. BS, SUNY Stony Brook, 2002

My research involves American philosophy and art, transcendentalism, metaphysics, aesthetics, nature and semiotics. I enjoy teaching my research areas, plus anything in the history of philosophy--including ancient Greek and Roman, early modern and 19th century European--in terms of a legacy of ideas having an abiding relevance for humanity. 

For over half a century, SIU has been a center for American philosophy--its professors, educational programming, research centers, and library resources. So it's a natural fit. Moreover, there remains a lot of potential for growing philosophy at SIU and for using it to inspire a positive sense of wonder in our universe. The broad range of student backgrounds at SIU from those new to higher education to those pursuing specialized graduate work provide the chance as a teacher to make a real difference in people's lives for the better. 

Ahmed Imteaj, Assistant Professor

Ahmed Imteaj, Assistant Professor

School of Computing
College of Engineering, Computing, Technology, and Mathematics
PhD in Computer Science, Florida International University, August 6, 2022

My research bridges the domains of distributed machine learning (ML), internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity. The overarching aim of my research is to develop novel learning algorithms considering resource-constrained heterogeneous and unreliable IoT environments. I am particularly interested how distributed agents can learn effectively collaboratively without sharing any sensitive data using their limited and heterogeneous edge resources, and can prevent various cyberattacks. My experience as a PhD student in Computer Science at Florida International University and research lab member of solid lab has provided me excellent opportunities to explore the cutting-edge research in distributed ML and IoT domain. I focused on developing novel distributed ML algorithms for IoT environment that can be applied tackling the challenges of systems, model and statistical heterogeneity, straggler issues, false model injection, and training of large-size models. We developed a distributed sensing mechanism through which any distributed agents can be triggered and activated for sensing the environment. That novel approach shows a pathway to carry out the FL process in a real-world environment. Following this, we developed a privacy-preserving distributed ML model, FedAR by monitoring agent activities and leveraging available local computing resources, particularly for resource-constrained IoT devices (e.g., mobile robots), to accelerate the learning process. After that, we propose a tri-layer framework, FedPARL that helps resource-constrained agents consume less resources during training, avoid untrustworthy and out-of-resource agents (e.g., low battery life) during agent selection for training, and perform variable local epochs based on the agent’s resource availability. We perform model pruning to reduce the size of the agent model that is effective for an FL-IoT setting. In order to evaluate our proposed distributed ML algorithms, we have explored three real-world applications: i) using FL to improve the resilience of critical infrastructures through knowledge exchange; ii) Using FL to recognize human activities; and iii) forecast customers’ financial distress in resource-constrained environments.  

I believe that teaching should have two essential aspects. The first one is to deliver a high-quality lecture that presents the classic material and also exposes students to the highest level of development. This can be ensured by providing the best available resources and tools (e.g., presentation slides, textbooks, assignments, software, projects, etc.). The second aspect is providing a suitable and effective learning environment.  

I am committed to sharing my knowledge and experience with students and venturing together on an exciting journey of knowledge discovery while serving as a guide. I will not only focus on becoming the best possible teacher but also will play the role of in-class leader that will eventually help students learn skills and motivation independently alongside their course materials.  

I have chosen SIU because as a public university, it promotes excellence in academic, scholarly, and service activities. SIU is a Carnegie-classified doctoral research university at Carbondale, Illinois, which is the oldest and flagship campus of the Southern Illinois University system. It has a strong undergraduate Computer Science program having a standard student-faculty ratio, and small class sizes that can create a nourishing environment for teaching, learning, and research.  

Wasantha Jayawardene, Assistant Professor

Wasantha Jayawardene, Assistant Professor

School of Human Sciences
College of Health & Human Sciences
Postdoctoral Training, Indiana University Bloomington, June 2017; PhD, Indiana University Bloomington, June 2014
Ph.D, Indiana University Bloomington, June 2014
MS, Indiana University Bloomington, December 2010
MD, People's Friendship University of Russia, June 2002

Currently, I focus on two major areas in public health, and I plan to continue working in these areas. First, I have been studying opioids, alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use behaviors. With this regard, my research is aimed at understanding epidemiology, involvement of healthcare system data analysis, application of mobile and other digital solutions, increasing access to care, companion animal interventions for substance use prevention and treatment and assessment of community needs using mixed methods. I have served as the Principal Investigator in two recent projects in this area of my research, including one funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Using a Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase-I grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), we developed the ‘Opioid Rapid Response System (ORRS)’ for recruitment and training of citizen responders to administer naloxone. For the Phase-II, we are currently exploring the possibilities commercialization. The second area of my research is pediatric and adult obesity. With respect to this line of my research, I attempt to understand the epidemiology and trends, possibilities of utilizing behavioral telehealth interventions for obesity prevention and early treatment, use of novel recruitment strategies for interventions, success of retention in telehealth studies, use of interprofessional curricula in telehealth interventions, development of objective measurements to monitor the outcomes of remote interventions, and comparison of rural versus urban telehealth. I have served as the Principal Investigator in two recent projects in this area of my research. My project ‘eatNplay’ was funded by Indiana University Center for Rural Engagement. 

Based on my research interests, educational background, and work experience, I am interested in teaching research methodology courses with a focus on experimental interventions and surveys as well as accuracy of measurements. I am also interested in introducing new courses, such as, digital solutions in rural health and interprofessional education programs. As an Adjunct Lecturer, I have taught a large undergraduate class of Community Health B366 – a core course for BS in public health as well as two medium size classes – H174 Prevention of Violence in American Society and H172 International Health and Social Issues. With the pandemic, I have successfully transformed my teaching from in-person to an 100% online or hybrid platforms, using creative and interactive online teaching methods. I also like to work with diverse groups of students.  

SIU system received my attention when I had been exploring research projects and programs that are being conducted in neighboring states of Indiana. First, SIUC overall has a rural focus, and the School of Human Sciences as well as SIU School of Medicine and School of Nursing have a focus on rural health with an established network with communities, stakeholders, and Southern Illinois Health (SIH) system. I have realized that there are opportunities for collaboration. Faculty members have a range of expertise, from nutrition and physical activity to cancer survivorship that may align with my secondary research areas. For example, I have completed substantial work in cancer survivorship and have collaborators who can develop mutually beneficial partnerships with SIU

Amos Kalua, Assistant Professor

Amos Kalua, Assistant Professor

School of Architecture
College of Arts and Media
PhD in Architecture, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, August 2021
MA, Architecture, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, December 2018
Master of Engineering in Architecture, Harbin Institute of Technology, China, December 2015
BS, Architecture with credit, University of Malawi, 2008

My research and practice attempt to solve architectural problems in a way that benefits both the community and the individual. At the community level, I seek to make a contribution towards architecture that minimally impacts on the environment. At the individual level, I seek to make a contribution towards architecture that speaks to multiple needs of the human being, architecture that speaks to not only the sense of sight, but also the totality of the other senses such as touch, smell and hearing. Through my work, I seek to investigate the interactions between architecture, building physics and environmental sustainability with the objective of enhancing human health and  

I subscribe to the critical pedagogy theory of teaching which requires that teaching must be grounded within the wider social context. For this contextual grounding to be possible, the teacher must learn of the students’ needs and experiences. The learners, on the other hand, having been exposed to the teacher’s knowledge and equipped with their own prior experiences and knowledge, must then create new knowledge that relates to realities in their own social contexts. The newly created knowledge essentially teaches the learners of other alternative realities. In this way, teaching and learning interact in harmony to become one and the same. In order to remain true to my teaching philosophy, I approach teaching as a four-tiered process involving explorative learning, immersion into the subject matter, dialogue on the subject matter and finally, assessment, in that order. The explorative learning precedes all the other tiers. I use this explorative step to gather information and understand the For a cumulative period of about 5 years between 2009 and the present, I have taught Building Technology courses at Mzuzu University in Malawi where I also headed the Department of The Built Environment under the Faculty of Environmental Sciences from March, 2016 to July, 2017. The Building Technology courses that I teach seek to articulate the environmental impact of buildings while also examining avenues for mitigation of the adverse impacts. In addition to teaching, I also supervise several undergraduate and postgraduate students’ research projects. Professionally, I am a Chartered Architect registered with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), a Chartered Engineer (CEng) registered with the Engineering Council in the United Kingdom and a Member of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE). I am also a Member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). My professional practice experience spans across a wide 

Oliver Keys, Assistant Professor

Oliver Keys, Assistant Professor

School of Automotive
College of Health & Human Sciences
MBA, Webster University August, 2021
B.S., Automotive Technology, Minor in Marketing, Southern Illinois University May, 2014

My research involves electrical vehicle and communication systems   Technical learning styles, as well as automotive financial management, dealership variable and fixed operations management, electrical and network communication systems, and business marketing.  

I chose to work in SIU's School of Automotive because of my long history with this prestigious program. The education I received there prepared me for a successful career in the automotive industry. I received valuable skills, support, and encouragement. Now, I want to be able to impact future students in the same way that I was impacted. 

Roohallah Khatami, Assistant Professor

Electrical, Computer & Biomedical Engineering
College of Engineering, Computing, Technology, and Mathematics
PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Utah, 2019
MS in Electrical Engineering from Amirkabir Univerity of Technology, 2013
BS in Electrical Engineering from ran University of Science and Technology, 2007

My research interests span a range of interdisciplinary topics including power systems, energy economics, and energy-water nexus. Thus, my future research program will be a valuable interdisciplinary contribution to the research conducted at the School of Electrical, Computer, and Biomedical Engineering at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and it will undoubtedly foster fertile grounds of collaboration with the prominent faculty members in this department. I plan to design courses in distribution-level electricity markets and in stochastic optimization with particular emphasis in power systems  

SIU has a beautiful campus located in a peaceful city and a thriving state. It has, by committing to equity, diversity and inclusion, created a welcoming and dynamic educational environment home to countless domestic and international talents. Also, the School of ECBE offers an independent program in Power and Energy aimed at training the future leaders of energy industry and paving the way for a greener energy future. As a researcher/educator pursuing an academic career in Power and Energy, and a human-being with environmental concerns, I saw real opportunities on offer by SIU to fulfill my career goals and, more importantly, contribute to environmental sustainability via conducting cutting-edge research and educating the younger generation. Being a part of Saluki family is a true privilege. 

Lindsey-Kay Lauderdale, Assistant Professor

Lindsey-Kay Lauderdale, Assistant Professor

Mathematical and Statistical Sciences
College of Engineering, Computing, Technology, and Mathematics
PhD in Mathematics, University of Florida, 2014
MBA, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2021
MS in Mathematics, University of Florida, 2011
BS in Mathematics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2009

In the area of mathematics, I study an intersection of finite group theory and graph theory.  I am particularly interested in how a given finite group can be associated to the structure of a combinatorial object; my research has applications in localization of wireless sensor networks, robotic manipulation, switching circuit theory and the enumeration of chemical compounds.  

I have enjoyed teaching a wide range of mathematics classes, from freshman-level Calculus to graduate-level Algebraic Structures. I pride myself on helping students discover new avenues and explore different options to support them in attaining their educational goals. At SIU, I am looking forward to teaching Abstract Algebra, Graph Theory, and Linear Algebra. I grew up an Illinois, and after living in Florida, Texas, and Maryland, the opportunity to work at SIU brings me home. SIU offers an ideal balance between teaching and research, and I choose to SIU because  the faculty in the  School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences are supportive, intelligent, and friendly.  

Brittany Leach, Assistant Professor

Brittany Leach, Assistant Professor

School of Anthropology, Political Science, and Sociology
College of Liberal Arts
PhD in Politics, University of Virginia, 2020
MA in Political Science & International Affairs, University of Georgia, 2014
BA in Political Science, University of Texas-Dallas, 2012

My research examines interactions between race, gender, immigration status, class, and other marginalized identities in the context of reproductive freedom and justice. My approach connects theory and practice by analyzing social and political values in relation to qualitative documents drawn from court cases, advocacy groups, social movements, and public debates. I have published articles on reproductive injustices in immigration detention, debates over fetal remains disposal regulations, and whether the pro-life movement can be explained as a "backlash" against feminism. I am currently working on a book project that aims to strengthen feminist defenses of abortion rights by re-imagining bodily autonomy in ways that integrate concern for the freedom and well-being of individuals with the pursuit of more just communities. As part of this book project, I'm looking forward to conducting archival research about Jane, a feminist group that provided safe illegal abortions in Chicago before Roe v. Wade. Other chapters of the book will examine similar groups in Italy and Latin America, as well as bigger questions about the meaning of bodily autonomy in a post-Roe era. Other projects I'm working on include a paper on democratic deliberation over Confederate monuments in the South and the disruption of these democratic processes by racist violence, and a paper on mutual aid as a political principle and practical tool for community-building employed by movements for social and economic justice.  

I am interested in teaching courses that invite students to think critically about society, politics, and law, including the connections between them and their philosophical underpinnings. Many of my courses will likely focus on marginalized perspectives, inequality, identity, or social movements. During the 2022-2023 academic year, I will be teaching courses on the Politics of US Diversity, Gender and Global Politics, the Sociology of Race, and Law in American Society. In the past, I have taught courses on political theories of identity and intersectionality, feminist theory, reproductive justice, transnational feminism, and feminist perspectives on capitalism and alternative economies. In the future, I hope to teach courses on critical legal theory, including critical race theory and critical race feminism. My teaching methods emphasize active learning and student participation in both undergraduate and graduate courses. 

I'm excited to join the faculty at SIU because the university values research, teaching, and community engagement, and I believe that each of these dimensions of academic life reinforce one another. SIU has excellent social science programs at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, a diverse student body, and a commitment to fostering interdisciplinary research and teaching. During my first visit to campus, I was charmed by local traditions like the Great Cardboard Boat Regatta, impressed by the university's strong history of support for students with disabilities, and enriched by scholarly conversations with faculty and graduate students. 

Hui Li, Assistant Professor

Hui Li, Assistant Professor

Electrical, Computer & Biomedical Engineering
College of Engineering, Computing, Technology, and Mathematics
PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Pennsylvania State, 2019
MS Institute of Microelectronics, Peking University, 2013
BS in Electronic Science and Technology from the North University of China, 2010

I have great interest to explore translational medical devices in the long-term run and my initial research plan is to investigate biosensors for personalized pathogen diagnostics and investigate bioinspired surface techniques to secure biosafety of implantable devices.  

I have received professional teaching training from John Hopkins Teaching Institute and gained practical experience from guest-lecturing undergraduate classes. I believe the School of Electrical, Computer & Biomedical Engineering provides a great environment for my research interests, and I will significantly contribute to the advancement of research and educational missions in the future as well. 

Xiaoyu Liu

Xiaoyu Liu

Karumbaiah Chappanda Nanaiah, Assistant Professor

Applied Engineering & Technology
College of Engineering, Computing, Technology & Mathematics
PhD, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Utah, 2013
M.S., Electrical Engineering, Michigan Technological University, 2010
Bachelor of Engineering, Electronics and Communication, Visveswaraiah Technological University, 2007

My research interests include electronic materials, MEMS, flexible electronics, soluble electronics, and gas plasma with applications focused on sensing (bio/chemical/physical), harsh environment computing, energy storage, and renewable energy. My long-term vision is to develop efficient sensors, implantable bio-medical devices, early disease detectors, ultra-fast harsh environment computing circuits, sustainable and economical clean energy systems, and smart health monitoring systems. 

I am always open to learning and researching new areas outside my comfort zone. My goal as a teacher is for my students to develop a passion for learning new things, learn how to think and not what to think, and develop logical thinking and problem-solving skills. I will nurture the students in a stress-free and non-competitive environment, where the students will learn with real-life examples and gain hands-on experience. As a faculty in the School of Applied Engineering and Technology, I will be teaching courses related to electronic engineering. I aim to introduce the undergraduate students to academic research through the course curriculum and develop new courses on nanoscience/nanotechnology to kindle their interest in higher studies. 

I look forward to mentoring students from diverse backgrounds at SIUC. Other than the apparent reason that SIUC has a great environment to achieve my teaching, research, and career goals, I chose SIUC simply because being part of this institute makes me proud. The mesmerizing campus surrounded by nature makes it a fantastic place to work. Unlike the big cities, Carbondale is a great place to live and raise a family and has a perfect blend of mild winters and pleasant summers. 

Shelly (Cheryl) Page, Assistant Professor and Director of Experiential Education

School of Law
Doctor of Jurisprudence, Texas Tech, University School of Law, 1993
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (Major) English (Minor) Howard University 1990

Human trafficking is my research area. I have co-authored a textbook on this topic. I am listed as an expert by the ABA on Human Trafficking. My work also involves criminal law, evidence, criminal procedure, human trafficking, human rights, domestic violence law, education law. I chose SIU because it is in a small community with a smaller teacher/student ratio less crime, less traffic, and a lower cost of living. Also, Camille Davidson is a great leader, visionary and dean and I believe in her direction and vision for the law school. 

Divya Prakash, Assistant Professor

Divya Prakash, Assistant Professor

Chemical and Biomolecualr Sciences
College of Agricultural, Life, and Physical Sciences
PhD, Auburn University, Dec. 2014

My research involvers biological C-H bond activation of methane and electron transport in anaerobic microbes. My research group studies a fascinating group of proteins containing complex clusters of metal ions and inorganic ligands at their active sites. These proteins play a crucial role in biochemical reactions such as respiration, photosynthesis, methane activation, nitrogen fixation, disulfide reduction, and ribonucleotide reduction. The focus of research in my lab is primarily on understanding the mechanism, structure, and function of iron and nickel-containing metalloproteins that participate in the crucial biological processes of disulfide reduction and energy conservation.  

Methane, on the one hand, is a potent greenhouse gas, and on the other, it is a cheap, renewable fuel with immense potential for manufacturing value-added chemicals. Thus, one of the research objectives of my lab is to investigate the mechanism of C-H bond activation of methane by methyl coenzyme M reductases (MCR) from methane-oxidizing anaerobic methanotrophic (ANME) archaea and to elucidate the molecular mechanism of reduction of external electron acceptors such as Fe(III) which are necessary to activate methane. This study will contribute to the development of fundamental knowledge and tools necessary for the utilization of MCR-based biocatalysts for the conversion of methane into liquid fuels.  

My laboratory work at the interface of biochemistry, bioinorganic chemistry, and biophysical methods, and members of my lab will have the opportunity to learn a wide array of techniques, including molecular biology, protein expression, and purification (soluble and membrane) to structural biology (Bio-SAXS, X-ray crystallography & cryo-EM), spectroscopy (Electron paramagnetic resonance, and Mӧssbauer), and anaerobic techniques. Ultimately, our research seeks to contribute to the advancement of alternative energy research and the health of the public. My primary objective as an educator is to instruct students not just to recall information but rather to process the knowledge critically for solving real-world problems.  

I am passionate about discussing and teaching Biochemistry. During my graduate training, I served for four years as a teaching assistant, which included giving course lectures and guiding students in the laboratory. Presently, I am actively involved in mentoring undergraduate and graduate students and assisting postdocs in the laboratory from diverse backgrounds.  

In my future role as a faculty member and educator, I will emphasize critical thinking, creative scholarly effort, teamwork, effective communication, and intellectual growth. To achieve my teaching goal, I will organize a "flipped classroom.” Students will be introduced to the learning material before class, with classroom time then being used to deepen understanding through discussion with peers and problem-solving activities.  

Several reasons motivated me to apply for a faculty position at SIU. Foremost, the interdisciplinary nature of my proposed research will allow my lab to collaborate with faculty from the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Sciences, the Department of Microbiology and Nutrition Science at Southern Illinois University. These collaborations will enhance scientific discussions, which will greatly benefit my research program. Second, I will bring a unique perspective to the department by studying the emergent field of “C-H bond activation of methane” and “Archaebiotics.” Thirdly, I will be able to perform my research greatly aided by the on-departmental instruments facilities available at SIU.  

Julia Rendleman, Assistant Professor of Photojournalism

School of Journalism & Advertising
College of Arts and Media
M.S., Southern Illinois University Carbondale, 2010
B.A., Loyola New Orleans, 2003

My work is based around the themes of health, environment and social justice. I have worked in the criminal justice system to tell stories of rehabilitation and alternatives to incarceration. Another important theme under the banner of human health and the environment in my work is water insecurity with a focus on some of the two million Americans living without access to clean drinking water. For the past two years, I have been working on stories of American culture and social change for European audiences via the Helsingin Sonamat, the largest daily newspaper in Finland. I am interested in teaching the foundational skills of photojournalism which can be applied to any media platform. I am also interested in the ethical responsibilities of photojournalists and teaching the current tension within the profession regarding shifting standards and cultural climates.  

SIU is home. I care deeply about this institution which has educated four generations of my family and hope to continue to develop the school of journalism's legacy for graduating exceptional photojournalists. 

Brianna Janssen Sánchez, Assistant Professor World Language Education

Brianna Janssen Sánchez, Assistant Professor World Language Education

School of Education/School of Languages & Linguistics
School of Education
College of Liberal Arts
PhD, Second Language Acquisition, University of Iowa, December 2015
M.A. Foreign Languages & Literatures (Spanish), Southern Illinois University Carbondale, May 2009
B.A. Foreign Language and International Trade /Spanish, May 2007

K-16 world language teacher education and professional development, action research in the world language classroom, intercultural virtual exchange in education, instructional technology for world language teaching, learning and assessment. Language Teaching Methodology (world language, second language, heritage and bilingual learners), teaching learners of diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, second language acquisition and applied linguistics, multiliteracies in world language and bilingual education. 

I am fortunate to return to SIU to join the excellent faculty, administrators and students in the School of Education and the School of Languages and Linguistics to prepare future world language teachers and scholars in my field. As a two-degree SIU alumna, I recognize that SIU gave me many opportunities that set me on a path to academic, professional, and personal success including learning with faculty mentors who engaged and encouraged me, study abroad and an international internship in Mexico, and my first experiences teaching Spanish as a world language. As a Saluki, I look forward to educating and mentoring current and future Salukis and collaborating with the community of inspiring world language teachers in the region. My family and I, (my husband Ivan Sanchez, two-degree SIU alumnus and current Assistant Swimming & Diving Coach, and our three daughters) are happy to call SIU home again. 

Debarshi Sen, Assistant Professor

Debarshi Sen, Assistant Professor

School of Civil, Environmental and Infrastructure Engineering
College of Engineering, Computing, Technology, and Mathematics
PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rice University, Houston TX, May 2018
M. Tech in Civil Engineering, IIT Kharagpur, WB, India, May 2013
B. Tech in Civil Engineering, IIT Kharagpur, WB, India, May 2011

My research lies at the intersection of structural dynamic systems and data science, focusing on infrastructure monitoring, system identification, regional fragility assessment, and resource allocation that facilitates the development of resilient infrastructure systems. Currently I am working on the development of a crowdsourced mobile sensing-based bridge condition assessment paradigm, the application of reinforcement learning in active structural control, the application of transfer learning in structural system identification and monitoring of regions with an aim of developing more interpretable surrogate models, and the development of effective schemes for regional fragility assessment that can inform maintenance and decision-making paradigms. My teaching interests are in the general area of structural engineering including mechanics, statics, structural analysis, structural dynamics, finite element method, and reinforced concrete and steel design. I am also interested in teaching probability and statistics, and structural reliability. Finally, I want to develop new courses for undergraduate and graduate students, such as system identification, infrastructure monitoring, and applications of artificial intelligence/machine learning in structural engineering. The key reason that attracted me to SIU was the emphasis on the balance between teaching and research. Additionally, I thoroughly enjoyed my interactions with fellow faculty members during and after my interview, and loved the department culture in general. 

Jennifer Spreng, Assistant Professor

Jennifer Spreng, Assistant Professor

School of Law
BA in American History, Washington and Lee University, 1990
J.D., Saint Louis University, 1995
LLM in Biotechnology and Genomics, Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, 2014

I regularly publish and lecture both here and abroad about authentic learning, integrated course design, legal writing course delivery, and other law teaching and curriculum issues.  My current research interest is effective feedback and self-assessment, and particularly the impact of both on in course design, developing student feedback literacy, and nurturing students’ appreciation of professional standards of quality and performance in both legal writing and doctrinal law courses.  I am the author of the book, Abortion and Divorce Law in Ireland, and my articles about school desegregation in Prince Edward County, Virginia, and possible Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reorganization are leaders in their fields.  I maintain interests in these subjects as well as those of her other publications in consumer bankruptcy exemption law, religious and other individual liberties, and food, drug, and pharmacy law.  I won the Faculty Scholarship Award at a prior institution, and prior to law teaching I published a white paper for a United States Congressional group about state welfare reforms. In 2022-23, I am teaching Legal Writing and Mastering Legal Education while also serving as the School of Law’s Director of Academic Success.  This will be my sixth year teaching legal writing and seventh teaching academic and bar support courses.  I previously also taught Bankruptcy, Civil Procedure, and Constitutional Law for nine years.  My interest in teaching include assessment and feedback and course and curricular design, and I have designed and taught numerous innovative doctrinal, writing, simulation, academic support, bar preparation, and integrated law courses, often in experimental formats.  My courses are notable for their course-long authentic anchoring scenarios and extensive formative assessment, and I regularly infuse them with other innovative classroom activities and teaching materials such as the “Great Civil Procedure Shootout.”   

I chose Southern Illinois University School of Law because of its commitment to teaching innovation and excellence and both the faculty and administration’s palpable respect for serving all students’ educational needs and opening doors to futures they may not have imagined.  Opportunities to grow and contribute as a teacher abound while also pursuing my scholarly interests.  My roots are also in the region; my family now lives in Southern Illinois and Saint Louis, and my nine-year entire practice career was in nearby Owensboro, Kentucky, where I graduated from high school.  

Danni Tu, Assistant Professor

Analytics, Finance, and Economics
College of Business and Analytics
PhD, Finance, Iowa State, 2022

My research involves empirical corporate finance and market efficiency, with focuses on mergers and acquisitions, and market anomalies, as well as investment, corporate finance and financial statement analysis. The potential collaboration opportunities between current faculty and me is the main reason why I chose SIU. The supportive and welcoming environment, especially for junior faculty, is another important factor. I also believe deeply in the same mission that SIU wants to convey.  

Sevincgul Ulu, Assistant Professor

School of Management and Marketing
College of Business and Analytics
PhD, Rutgers University, 2018

My research provides new and important insights into how consumers respond to various Word of Mouth (WOM) actions from authenticity, identity, brand activism, and evolutionary psychology perspective. As such, my work provides valuable implications for marketers in terms of how to effectively manage their WOM strategies in both online and offline settings. An important component of my research is to understand the context-specific and gender-specific effects on consumer decision making. My teaching interest is complementary to my research interests. I love teaching consumer behavior, social media marketing, branding, and analytic courses. These courses help me apply my research background to my teaching and discuss them all with my students. My approach to teaching is to make marketing understandable, applicable, and enjoyable. It is very rewarding to see students understand the connection between research and industry and how they start to question their own consumer behavior. I love to see when my students transfer what they learn in the class to real life.   

SIU is a research-intensive school and values the quality teaching. These are the two main reasons why I chose SIU. I was especially attracted by the research opportunities and the possibility to teach and advise doctoral students. In addition, low turnover rates show how happy people are being a part of Saluki culture.