Rhodes Welcomes New 2020 Faculty

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Rhodes College welcomes 10 new faculty to its distinguished roster for the 2020-2021 academic year in the areas of anthropology and sociology, biology, history, modern languages and literatures, political science, psychology, and religious studies.

"I am pleased to be joining Rhodes along with this outstanding cohort of teachers and scholars," says Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Katherine Bassard. "They will bring a variety of engaging course offerings to our curriculum. In addition, excellence in scholarship as well as the mentorship relationship between professors and students is at the heart of a Rhodes education, and I know that those who have joined us share these values."

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Dr. Sarah Ifft Decker joins the Department of History as assistant professor. Ifft Decker received a Ph.D. from Yale University in 2017 and comes to Rhodes after teaching at Indiana University as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer. She has taught  courses on Jewish History, Women in the Bible, and Medieval and Early Modern Jewish Religious Movements. Ifft Decker serves on the Program Committee for the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America and has presented at conferences across the world. 

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Dr. Joshua Goodman joins the Department of Psychology as assistant professor. Goodman received a Ph.D. in 2018 from the University of California and  comes to Rhodes after serving as a visiting assistant professor of psychology at Bates College. His publications about the struggles of the LGBTQ+ community have been featured across the country, and he has presented his research—from the psychological behaviors of individuals with schizophrenia to recruiting parents of sexual minority youth—in Chicago, Denver, Portland, and Rio de Janeiro.

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Dr. Hadi Khoshneviss joins the Department of Anthropology and Sociology as assistant professor of sociology. Khoshneviss received a Ph.D. from the University of South Florida in 2019 and comes to Rhodes after teaching at Kenyon College for one year as a visiting assistant professor. His research areas are whiteness studies, immigration, social movements, and decolonial theories, and his papers and essays have appeared in Ethnicities, Postcolonial Studies, and Mobilities.

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Dr. Brent Morgan joins the Department of Psychology full time as visiting assistant professor. Morgan received a Ph.D. from the University of Memphis in 2014 and comes to Rhodes after serving as an adjunct professor at the University of Memphis since 2015 and Rhodes College since 2019, teaching both graduate and undergraduate level courses. Morgan is a cognitive scientist researching bidirectional adaptability in human-computer interaction. His primary interest is in artificial intelligence in education, specifically intelligent tutoring systems (ITS).

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Dr. Sydney Moyo joins the Department of Biology as an assistant professor. Moyo received a Ph.D. from Rhodes University (South Africa) in 2016 and comes to Rhodes after serving as a postdoctoral researcher at Louisiana State University (LSU) and a postdoctoral fellow at Albany Museum (South Africa). Moyo uses invertebrates, biochemical techniques, and mathematical models to reveal the connections between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and  how those connections are shaped by humans. 

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Dr. Justin Rose was appointed Dean for Faculty Recruitment, Retention, and Diversity effective July 1, 2020, and also serves as associate professor and chair of the Department of Political Science. Prior to joining Rhodes, Rose served as an associate professor of political science and co-director of the Africana Studies program at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Most recently, he was a fellow in the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging at the Harvard Kennedy School. As a member of Academic Affairs, Rose’s primary responsibility is to help recruit and retain a first-rate and diverse faculty. 

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Dr. Qian Shen joins the department of Biology as assistant professor. Shen grew up in Zhejiang, China, and received his bachelor’s degree from China Agricultural University. He received a Ph.D. from Ohio State University in 2019 and was an instructor at Ohio Wesleyan University and a postdoctoral researcher at Ohio State University before joining Rhodes. He studies the deadly fungal pathogen Histoplasma that causes life-threatening infections to immunocompromised people and has presented his work at national and international conferences. 

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In January, Dr. Raissa A. von Doetinchem de Rande will join the Department of Religious Studies as assistant professor. Von Doetinchem de Rande received a Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2020 and comes to Rhodes after teaching at Princeton as an assistant in instruction to classes pertaining to Christian Ethics and the Qur’an. In 2019, she organized a public lecture and graduate seminar called “Sharia at the University," and her publications have been well-received at conferences across the country.

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Dr. Earl Wright II joins the Department of Anthropology and Sociology as professor of sociology. Wright received a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska and has served on faculty at the University of Cincinnati, Texas Southern University (as Chairperson of the Department of Sociology), Fisk University, and University of Central Florida. His primary research and teaching interests are on the contributions of Blacks to American sociology and the sociology of hip hop. In 2016, he was selected by the Southern Sociological Society (SSS) as the recipient of the Charles S. Johnson Award for excellence in research on race and the south.

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Dr. Yinyin Xue joins the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures as assistant professor of Chinese studies. Xue received a Ph.D. in Chinese Literature and Culture from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2019 and joins Rhodes after teaching as a visiting assistant professor of Chinese at Kenyon College. Her specialization is twentieth century Chinese literature and media culture. Xue will be teaching a wide variety of courses in Chinese literature, media, and film as well as Chinese language of all levels.