New Faculty Roll Call

group shot of new faculty on the steps of Burrow Hall

Rhodes College welcomes 15 new faculty to its distinguished roster for the 2019-2020 academic year in the areas of  art & art history, biology, economics, English, international studies, mathematics and computer science, music and theatre, neuroscience, physics, political science, psychology, and religious studies.
Rhodes professors equip students to think and understand in new ways through rigorous academics and opportunities for exploration outside of the classroom.

“We are so pleased to have this talented and diverse group of teacher-scholars join our community,” says Dr. Milton Moreland, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Our faculty truly make Rhodes an exceptional place to learn, grow, and be inspired through life-changing discovery.”

Shameel Ahmad

Shameel Ahmad joins the Department of Economics as an assistant professor. Dr. Ahmad received a Ph.D. in economics with distinction from Yale University in 2016. He comes to Rhodes after serving as lecturer at Brandeis University. Dr. Ahmad’s research interests center on economic history, economic development and international economics. He has taught courses titled International Trade Policy in Institutions, American and European Economic Histories, and Micro- and Macroeconomics.

Raina Belleau

Raina Belleau joins the Department of Art & Art History as an assistant professor. Belleau received an M.F.A. from Rhode Island School of Design in 2015. She comes to Rhodes after teaching at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Professor Belleau has taught and co-taught courses in Fine Arts and Sculpture. In 2017, she held an artist residency at The Rocky Mountain Biology Laboratory Art Science Exchange and her works have been exhibited across the country in Minneapolis, Portland, Austin, Rhode Island, Indiana, and New York.

Kijan Bloomfield

Kijan Bloomfield joins the Department of Religious Studies as an assistant professor. Dr. Bloomfield received a religion (with a focus on religion, ethics, and politics) from Princeton University in 2018. Her research interests include African American religious thought, religion in the African diaspora, global pentacostalism, and Caribbean philosophy. Dr. Bloomfield’s dissertation was titled Refuge and Deliverance: Religion and Politics in Modern Jamaica.

Matthew Lang

Matthew Lang joins the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science as an assistant professor. Dr. Lang received a Ph.D. in computer science and engineering from the Ohio State University in 2009. He comes to Rhodes after having served as an assistant professor at Moravian College and a software engineer at Google. Dr. Lang has taught courses titled Mind, Brain, Machine: In Search of a Divide; Introduction to Computer Engineering; and Data Structures and Algorithms.

Aixa Marchand

Aixa Marchand joins the Department of Psychology and Educational Studies as an assistant professor. Dr. Marchand graduated with a Ph.D. in education and psychology and a certificate in African American Studies from the University of Michigan in 2019. Her main research focuses on the attributions that Black parents make about educational inequities and how these attributions may relate to their school engagement. Other related research inquiries include a) illuminating how students and parents of color critically analyze school structures; b) elucidating how familial processes, such as familism and parent racial socialization, impact adolescents’ academic outcomes and socioemotional wellbeing; and c) the use and development of rigorous methodological tools to address societal inequities.

Ali Masood

Ali Masood joins the Department of Political Science as an assistant professor. Dr. Masood received a Ph.D. in political science from the University of South Carolina in 2016. He comes to Rhodes after serving assistant professor at California State University in Fresno. Dr. Masood’s research interests focus on law, the courts, and judicial politics. He has taught American Government, the U.S. Supreme Court Simulation, Politics and the Court, and Administrative Law and the Judicial Hierarchy, among others.

Trimiko Melancon

Trimiko Melancon joins the English Department as an associate professor. Dr. Melancon received a Ph.D. in African American literary and culture studies (with specializations in Black women’s Llterature; Black feminist theory and criticism; and critical race, gender, and sexuality studies) from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst in 2005. She comes to Rhodes after serving as Director of African and African American Studies and Co-Director of Women’s Studies at Loyola University, New Orleans. She is the author of Unbought and Unbossed: Transgressive Black Women, Sexuality, and Representation (2014).  An emerging filmmaker, she has directed, written, and produced shorts, including I See You and 1955 on civil rights icon Claudette Colvin.

Kyle Johnson Moore

Kyle Johnson Moore joins the Department of Biology as a visiting associate professor of biology. Dr. Moore received a Ph.D. in biophysics and genetics from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver in 1994. She comes to Rhodes after teaching as an associate professor at the University of Texas at El Paso since 2004. Moore’s research interests center on virology and microbiology. She has taught courses titled Pathogenic Microbiology, General Virology, Techniques in Molecular Biochemistry, and Topics in the Study of Life with Organismal Biology Laboratory.

Shondrika Moss-Bouldin

Shondrika Moss-Bouldin joins the Department of Music and Theatre as an assistant professor. Dr. Moss‑Bouldin received a Ph.D. in performance studies with concentrations in film, gender studies, performance, and dramatic Llterature from Northwestern University in 2003. She comes to Rhodes after serving as guest director of theatre and performance at Spelman College and visiting lecturer at Georgia State University. Dr. Moss-Bouldin has taught courses titled Intro to Theatre, Acting Styles, Beginning Acting, Hip Hop (Dance), Main Stage Choreography, African-American Theatre, and Theatre and Society in the West.

Tanushree Pandit

Tanushree Pandit joins Rhodes as a William Randolph Hearst Teaching Fellow in Neuroscience. Dr. Pandit received a Ph.D. in molecular medicine from the Umea Center for Molecular Medicine at Umea University in Sweden in 2013. She comes to Rhodes after serving as a postdoctoral research assistant and teaching assistant at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Graduate School for Biomedical Sciences and has previously served as an adjunct professor at Rhodes. Dr. Pandit has taught the courses Cellular Signaling and Topics in Biomedical Sciences.

Erika David Parr

Erika David Parr joins the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science as a visiting assistant professor. Dr. David received a Ph.D. in mathematics education from Arizona State University in 2019. Her dissertation is titled “Students’ Interpretations of Graphs of Real-Valued Functions and Their Effects in Calculus Contexts.”  She has taught courses on algebra and geometry, Development of Mathematical Thinking, Calculus I with Analytic Geometry, and Precalculus.

Deborah Petrik

Deborah Petrik joins the Biology Department as a visiting assistant professor of biology. Dr. Petrik received a Ph.D. in biological sciences from Illinois State University in 2015. She comes to Rhodes after serving as a postdoctoral researcher at Pennsylvania State University where she studied the unique aspects of xylan biosynthesis and modification. Dr. Petrik has taught a first-year student research initiative course titled Fast Farming and has assisted in teaching courses in DNA and RNA molecular techniques in the laboratory.

Connor Sutton

Connor Sutton joins the Department of International Studies as a visiting assistant professor. Dr. Sutton received a Ph.D. in political science with a major in world politics and a minor in comparative politics from Wayne State University in Detroit in 2018. He comes to Rhodes after serving as an adjunct assistant professor at Aquinas College. Dr. Sutton has taught courses titled World Politics, World in Crisis, International Relations, Global Issues, and American Foreign Policy Processes.

Kate Thomas

Dr. Kate Thomas joins the Department of Psychology as an assistant professor beginning in January 2020. Her research and clinical interests involve using psychological assessment to improve well-being in people, partners, and families. She has published several studies showing how assessing individual differences and interpersonal processes helps us understand how people experience, express, and recover from psychological problems. She is spending 2019 training as a clinical fellow at the Center for Therapeutic Assessment in Austin, TX, and plans to maintain a small private practice in Memphis. At Rhodes, she will teach courses related to personality, research methods, and psychological disorders and interventions.

Greg Vieira

Gregory Vieira joins the Department of Physics as an assistant professor. Dr. Vieira received a Ph.D. in physics from the Ohio State University in 2012. He was a post-doctoral researcher at the Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics. He comes to Rhodes after serving as assistant professor at Christian Brothers University. Dr. Vieira has taught courses on Dynamics, Electromagnetic Theory and Advanced Electromagnetic Theory, Topics in Medical Physics, and Astronomy Lab.