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14 New Professors Join UC Merced for Fall Semester

August 27, 2007

MERCED - When classes begin today (Aug. 27) at the University of
California, Merced, students will notice some important new faces
on campus. Fourteen new professors have joined the faculty lineup
for the fall semester, bringing the total number to 91.

“This round of faculty hiring adds significant depth to our
research and teaching capabilities,” said UC Merced Executive Vice
Chancellor and Provost Keith Alley. “All three of our schools - and
all of our students - will benefit from the experience and
knowledge these new professors bring and the work they will do here
in teaching and research.”

New faculty members who have joined UC Merced’s team of
top-notch professors (in alphabetical order):

* Gregg Camfield comes to UC Merced from University of the
Pacific in Stockton, where he has been director of the university’s
honors program. He joins the School of Social Sciences, Humanities
and Arts (SSHA) as an English professor. He has published several
books including “The Oxford Companion to Mark Twain” and
“Sentimental Twain: Samuel Clemens in the Maze of Moral Philosophy.”

*

Miguel Carreira-Perpiñan
is a new member of the faculty in
the School of Engineering. A native of Spain, he previously
distinguished himself on the faculty at the Oregon Health and
Science University researching learning and vision issues related
to artificial intelligence.

* Michael D. Cleary completed his Ph.D. at Stanford and a
postdoctoral position at the University of Oregon before accepting
his new position in the UC Merced School of Natural Sciences. He
specializes in time-related signals that regulate cell development
- an important aspect of stem cell research - and gene expression
in the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis.

* Yarrow Dunham, who has been teaching psychology at Harvard,
adds his expertise in human development to the psychology program
in SSHA. He has published numerous articles on race and prejudice
and self and identity. He is fluent in Japanese.

* Maurizio Forte comes to SSHA from Rome, Italy, where he has
been the director of and a senior scientist at CNR, the national
research council. He has degrees in ancient history and
archaeology, specifically studying the Etruscans, and has been a
professional archaeologist since 1981.

* Ignacio López-Calvo, formerly of the University of North
Texas, joins the faculty in SSHA to research and teach in his field
of Spanish-language literature. He has studied California Chicano/a
literature and Cuban literature, among other literary subgenres.

* Songhwai Oh completed a Ph.D. and a postdoctoral research
appointment at UC Berkeley and joins the School of Engineering at
UC Merced to expand the Computer Science and Engineering faculty’s
expertise in distributed networked sensing and control systems.

* Jason Raymond joins the faculty of the School of Natural
Sciences following his appointment as an E.O. Lawrence Fellow at
the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He studies the
evolution of metabolism and how microbes interact with their
environment, along with broader evolutionary questions.

* Wolfgang F. Rogge, a specialist in air pollution engineering
and science, is an associate professor in the School of
Engineering. His previous faculty job was in Civil and
Environmental Engineering at Florida International University in Miami.

* Jian-Qiao Sun, formerly of the University of Delaware, applies
mechanical engineering principles like modeling of human-machine
interactions, nonlinear adaptive controls, sensor and actuator
studies, signal processing and “sandwich” material design, to
“smart” devices for physical therapy and sound-control panels for airplanes.

*
Meng-Lin Tsaois a
new faculty member in the UC Merced School of Natural Sciences
following a postdoctoral appointment at the Scripps Research
Institute in La Jolla. His work focuses on organic chemistry
questions including how organic compounds react to lasers.

* Jan Wallander joins SSHA as a psychology professor after
several years as the vice president of Sociometrics Corp., and a
psychology professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He
has taught psychology and nursing since the early 1980s.

*

Vicki Wedel
joins SSHA from UC Berkeley. A bioarchaeologist and
forensic anthropologist, she studies the experiences of life and
events of death that are recorded on the skeleton to help provide
richer context for describing human biology and historical perspectives.

*
Tao Yeis a
new professor in the School of Natural Sciences who recently
completed a postdoctoral research appointment at Penn State. His
research encompasses chemistry-driven nanoscale devices like
molecular rotors, linear molecular machines and light-driven,
single-molecule motions.

As of today, five more faculty members have signed acceptance
letters indicating their intention to join the UC Merced faculty
Jan. 1, 2008. More professors may still join that group.

A few professors arrived mid-year last year, including

Stefano Carpin
, a robotics expert;

David Noelle
, who specializes in cognitive science and
artificial intelligence; and

Jennifer Lu
in materials science and engineering.

Faculty hiring is vital to the growth of the newest UC campus.

“An outstanding faculty with a broad range of research and
teaching interests is the key to developing attractive, rigorous
academic majors and coursework,” said Alley. “That’s the single
most important way for us to draw students to our campus and to
grow the research opportunities for our students.”

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