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Alumni Notes

Biomedical Engineering

Alexander Kent (Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering ’13) is a Staff Scientist at St. Jude Medical Center.


Louise Charkoudian (Ph.D. Chemistry ’08) accepted a position as assistant professor of chemistry at Haverford College beginning fall, 2013.

Carmichael Roberts (Ph.D. Chemistry ’95) joined the Duke Board of Trustees in July 2013. Roberts is a general partner at North Bridge Venture Partners, which finances and builds companies that make new products through the use of chemistry, materials science and/or materials engineering.

German Studies

Janelle Blankenship (Ph.D. in German Studies) is an associate professor of film studies at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.

Michelle Eley (Ph.D. in German Studies ’12) is an Assistant Professor of German, North Carolina State University.

Kai Evers (Ph.D. in German Studies ’03) received tenure in German at the University of California, Irvine. His book, Violent Modernists: The Aesthetics of Aggression in 20th Century German Literature, was published by Northwestern University Press in 2013.

Caroline Kita (Ph.D. in German Studies ’11) is an Assistant Professor of German (tenure-track), Washington University at St Louis.

Molly Knight (Ph.D. in German Studies ’11) is a Visiting Assistant Professor of German, Wake Forest University.

Marc Reibold (Ph.D. in German Studies ’11) is a Lecturer in German at North Carolina State University.

Johanna Schuster-Craig (Ph.D. in German Studies ’12) is a Visiting Assistant Professor of German, Cornell College (Mt Vernon, Iowa).

Sandra Lindemann Summers (Ph.D. in German Studies ’04) is a Lecturer in the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her book, Ogling Ladies: Scopophilia in Medieval German Literature, was published by the University Press of Florida in 2013.

Chunjie Zhang (Ph.D. in German Studies ’10) is an Assistant Professor of German (tenure-track), University of California, Davis.

Liberal Studies

Kelvin Clark (Graduate Liberal Studies ’10) has been hired as an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Services, St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

Courtney Crowder (M.A. in Liberal Studies ’05) has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters (NCLCV). He is the founder of Crowder Consulting.

Ken Ilgunas (M.A. in Liberal Studies ’11) published Walden on Wheels (New Harvest Publishing, 2013), a memoir of living in a van on the Duke campus while in graduate school. The book began with his Graduate Liberal Studies final project, under the supervision of Professor Christine Askounis. Ken’s experience was reported in the New York Times on April 10, 2013, “When Home is a Campus Parking Lot.” He also appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Ken spoke at Duke on October 24 as part of the Graduate Liberal Studies’ Ideas & Conversations event series.

Natalya Wallin (Graduate Liberal Studies ’10) has begun a Masters of Public Policy at the Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago. An international affairs staff writer for the Chicago Policy Review, Natalya currently has an interview with NSA expert and writer James Bamford, “Beyond Eavesdropping: What you should know about the NSA” (November 25, 2013) (


Claire Fontijn (Ph.D. in Music ’94) has been promoted to full professor and chair of the Department of Music at Wellesley College.

Giuseppe Gerbino (Ph.D. in Music ’01) was the recipient of a Lenfest Distinguished Faculty Award at Columbia University.

Akira Ishil (Ph.D. in Music ’99) contributed “Johann Sebastian Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, and Johann Jacob Froberger: The Dissemination of Froberger’s Contrapuntal Works in Late Eighteenth-Century Berlin,” to Bach: Journal of the Riemenschneider Bach Institute, Baldwin Wallace University.

Paul Leary (Ph.D. in Music ’11) had his work, Rubix, premiered by Gaspard & Dancers on Oct. 18 and 19 in Duke University’s Reynolds Theater. Leary’s popular Souké, a piece about the Haiti earthquake, was also presented at these performances. Leary is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Duke University.


Kecia Ali (Ph.D. in Religion ’02) served as visiting scholar for the Sharia Project workshop in Leiden in November 2013 ( ). Ali is currently Associate Professor of Religion at Boston University.

William B. Bynum, Jr. (Ph.D. in Sociology '97) has been named as president of Mississippi Valley State University. With more than 25 years of experience in higher education, Dr. Bynum served most recently as Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Services at Morehouse College in Atlanta.While at Morehouse College, Dr. Bynum recruited students and implemented programs, initiatives and activities to support them and help them succeed in the classroom and beyond. Throughout his career, Dr. Bynum has led special projects and initiatives related to enhancing retention and graduation rates and developed academic policies to help students achieve and shorten their path to completion. Prior to joining Morehouse College, Dr. Bynum served as Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Lincoln University in Chester County, Pennsylvania. During his tenure there, he implemented an Enrollment Management Model, recruited the four largest classes in the university’s 150-year history, and increased the overall student enrollment.Dr. Bynum has served as the Covington Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Davidson College, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students at Clark Atlanta University and Assistant Dean of Students at Davidson College. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Morehouse College in the Sociology Department and the Leadership Center. The Leadership Center trains students to be global, ethical leaders by teaching them leadership concepts and theories and then providing real life experiences where they can hone their leadership skills and abilities. 

Claudia Camp (Ph.D . in Religion ’80) has published Ben Sira and the Men Who Handle Books: Gender and the Rise of Canon-Consciousness (Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2013). Camp is currently John F. Weatherly Professor of Religion at Texas Christian University.

Daniel Castelo (Ph.D. in Religion ’05) was granted tenure at Seattle Pacific University where he is presently Associate Professor of Theology.

James Charlesworth (Ph.D. in Religion ’67) has recently published “Odes of Solomon” in The Encyclopedia of Ancient History (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.) “Jesus Research and Archaeology,” in The World of the New Testament: Cultural, Social, and Historical Contexts (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2013).

Larry R. Churchill (Ph.D. in Religion ’73), Joseph B. Fanning and David Schenck, have published What Patients Teach: The Everyday Ethics of Health Care, Oxford University Press, 2013.

Bridget Fletcher (Graduate Liberal Studies ’13) produced a guidebook for Chinese graduate students, From Jiao Shi to Classroom: Preparing for Success in the American Graduate School Classroom, A Guidebook for Chinese Students. It can be downloaded for free on an iPad or as an iBook via iTunes. Bridget also presented her research findings and conclusions at a session on international students at the annual conference of the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs in October.

R. Stanley Ingersoll (Ph.D. in Religion ’89) contributed the chapter “Education” to The Cambridge Companion to American Methodism (2013).

Philip LeMasters (Ph.D. Religion ’90) co-authored an article with John Eric Swenson, “St. Symeon, Fool for Christ and Exemplar of Humility,” in the The American Benedictine Review. 64:3 (September 2013): 267-281. He also published a book, The Forgotten Faith: Ancient Insights for Contemporary Believers from Eastern Christianity (Cascade Books, 2013). Professor LeMasters is currently Dean, School of Social Sciences and Religion, McMurry University.

Paul Lewis (Ph.D. in Religion ’91) has become the general editor of Tradition and Discovery, the journal of the Polanyi Society. Lewis has also co-edited a book, Toward Human Flourishing: Character, Practical Wisdom and Professional Formation with Mark Jones and Kelly Reffitt ( Mercer University Press, 2013).

M. Therese Lysaught (Ph.D. in Religion ’92) has been appointed Professor, Institute of Pastoral Studies and Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics, Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago. She has also published a new book, Caritas in Communion: Theological Foundations of Catholic Health Care. St. Louis: Catholic Health Association, 2013.

Clint McCann (Ph. D. in Religion ’85) served as Consulting Translator of the Book of Psalms for the recent Common English Bible, and wrote the introduction and annotations on the Psalms for THE CEB STUDY BIBLE, which was published earlier this fall.

David McCarthy (Ph.D. in Religion ’03) has been promoted to full Professor at Hastings College (Nebraska).

Dwight N. Peterson (Ph.D. in Religion ’95) has been named Emeritus Professor of New Testament at Eastern University in St. Davids, PA. He has also been the subject of several films created by Travis Reed of The Work of the People; these are available at

Margaret Kim Peterson (Ph. D. in Religion ’98) graduated from La Salle University in May 2013 with an M.A. in marriage and family therapy. She is Associate Professor of Theology at Eastern University in St. Davids, PA.

Steve Pointer (Ph.D. in Religion ’81) is now professor emeritus of history at Trinity International University, Deerfield, IL.

Stephen Sapp (Ph.D. in Religion ’75), Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Miami, has been appointed Professor Extraordinary at North-West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa, where he is involved in a multi-national research project on political corruption.

Matthew Schlimm (Ph.D. in Religion ’08) co-edited the CEB Study Bible (Nashville: Common English Bible, 2013).

Matt Thiessen (Ph.D. in Religion ’12) has been awarded a Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise.


Christopher Challis (Ph.D. in Statistical Science ’13) is a Marketing Analysis Sr. Manager & Vice President, JPMorgan Chase.

Silvia Montagna (Ph.D. in Statistical Science ’13) is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Warwick in the Department of Statistics.

Jared Murray (Ph.D. in Statistical Science ’13) is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Duke University.

Susan Paddock (Ph.D. in Statistical Science ’99) received the Mid-career Award from the Health Policy Statistics Section (HPSS) of the American Statistical Association. The Mid-Career Award recognizes individuals making significant contributions to the development of statistical methods for health care policy and health services research and who bring the promise of continued excellence at the frontier of statistical practice and research in health care policy. Paddock is a Senior Statistician at Rand Corporation.

Fabrizio Ruggeri (Ph.D. in Statistical Science ’94) was appointed as Adjunct Professor at the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia for 3 years (2013-16).

Michael Ryschkewitsch (Ph.D. in Physics ‘78), currently chief engineer at NASA, has been selected to lead the Space Sector at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., starting January 2014. Dr. Ryschkewitsch has most recently been responsible for the technical readiness of all NASA programs. He previously served as the deputy director for NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and director of Goddard’s Applied Engineering and Technology Directorate. Dr. Ryschkewitsch has earned numerous awards, including the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, the NASA Medal for Outstanding Leadership, the Robert Baumann Award for contributions to mission success, and the NASA Engineering and Safety Center Leadership Award.      

James Scott (Ph.D. in Statistical Science ’09), an assistant professor of statistics at UT-Austin, has received a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for his project entitled: “Bringing richly structured Bayesian models into the discrete-data realm via new data-augmentation theory and algorithms.” The CAREER Award is the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious award given to junior faculty. According to the NSF, it supports the early career development of “those teacher-scholars who most effectively integrate research and education.” Scott is Assistant Professor, The University of Texas McCombs School of Business.

Eric Vance (Ph.D. in Statistical Science ’08) received a Google Research Award to seed his LISA 2020 program to create a network of 20 statistical collaboration laboratories in developing countries by 2020. The award is funding one statistician from Nigeria to train in LISA (Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis) at Virginia Tech for one year to communicate and collaborate with non-statisticians and prepare him to create a stat lab at his university upon his return. Vance is an Assistant Research Professor in the Virginia Tech Department of Statistics.