The 2020 and 2021 College of Science New Faculty Reception was hosted by our new Dean, Carmie Garzione. This event gave us an opportunity to meet our new faculty, highlight various international, national, and university level awardees, as well as recognize our College of Science Annual Teaching & Advising award recipients for their noteworthy participation in representing and contributing to the mission of the University. This year, we added “Inventors/Patent Recipients” to the ceremony. Thanks to our partners at Tech Launch Arizona for helping us recognize these patent contributions. Read more about the awardees, check out some of the new faculty bios, and view the program.
Meet Some of Our New Faculty
Research Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry
Before moving to the University of Arizona in 2020, I was a Principal Research Scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology. I received my Ph.D. in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics from the State University of Moldova in 1985. I was awarded a NATO/Royal Society Fellowship (1997), an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (1998) and a Visiting Professorship from the Paris//Seine initiative for excellence in research (2018-2019). My research interests revolve around theoretical studies of the electronic and optical properties of organic and inorganic systems.
My spouse, Dr. Lilia Coropceanu, a former UA graduate student, is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of French & Italian.
Assistant Research Professor, Astronomy
I am an astronomer from South Korea. Earning my Ph.D. in Astronomy from Seoul National University. I am building ground and space telescopes, figuring out how the universe works!
I have a 4-yr old girl and a 7-month-old boy.
CATHERINE (KATE) GRIER
Assistant Astronomer, Steward Observatory
I grew up in the Chicago suburbs and was an avid swimmer and water polo player. I study supermassive black holes and quasars and have a love of outreach -- I particularly enjoy working with planetariums.
FUN FACT: I can recite nearly the entire script of "The Princess Bride" from memory.
Associate Professor, Mathematics
I am a number theorist, working in an area that intersects arithmetic, geometry, and differential equations. I received my Bachelor's in Mathematics from the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara, and my Ph.D. from UC Irvine. From 2006 to 2021 I was a YellowJacket in the math department at the University of Rochester, NY. This past August I became a Wildcat and am looking forward to visiting the snow on the Catalinas (and not having to shovel it). My current research explores the p-adic cohomology of families of exponential sums. Outside of mathematics, I enjoy finding creative ways to spend time with my family.
Assistant Professor of Practice, Molecular and Cellular Biology
I’ve spent most of my life in Arizona—I need the sunshine! Despite that, my favorite pastimes involve getting out of the heat: hiking, camping, snorkeling and SCUBA diving. I also love curriculum design and teaching and studying how students construct their understanding of how we build knowledge in science.
One of the great joys of parenting is watching my own two kids (six and three) build their own ideas of what it means to “know” about the world!
Assistant Professor of Practice, Psychology
I was born and raised in a small farming community in Alberta, Canada. Moved to Tucson 23 years ago to attend Grad School. Fell in love with the desert and never left! However, I love going back to Canada each summer to go "glamping" with my sister and her family.
I am married and have 3 stepchildren: ages 26, 19 & 15. I have been in their lives for over a decade. I love my family, all animals, and the outdoors - especially the mountains. I am truly living my best life!
Fun Fact: I am a traditionalist around the holidays; and yes - I watch Hallmark Christmas movies!
Associate Professor, Mathematics
I come from France, and before moving to Tucson I lived and worked in New York and DC. I am an Applied and a Computational Mathematician, and my research revolves around wave propagation in inhomogeneous media from the partial differential equation point of view. I am very excited by the interdisciplinary environment offered by the University.
On a more personal note, I wish to discover mountain biking opportunities around Tucson, to learn about the local culture, and I hope to make Tucson home!
Assistant Research Professor, Astronomy
After growing up in NY's Finger Lakes region, I attended undergrad at the University of Rochester earning a degree in astronomy. My subsequent Ph.D. work at the University of Virginia focused on astronomical instrumentation to characterize exoplanets through direct imaging. Currently, I work on the James Webb Space Telescope's NIRCam instrument.
Fun Fact: Rock climbing on Mt Lemmon helps alleviate the anxiety of JWST's upcoming December launch!
Lecturer, Computer Science
I grew up in Bolivia. I have a dog named Howard. I make clothes, write, and I’m learning to box.
FUN FACT: Since high school, the longest I’ve gone without moving is 4 years (and that was college).
Assistant Professor, Geosciences
Born and raised in Kolkata, India. I am an experimental petrologist – fancy name for someone who cooks rocks in their lab. I simulate conditions in the interior of the Earth and planetary bodies to study deep processes.
My husband is a volcanologist at UA and my 4-month-old daughter keeps me very busy these days.
FUN FACT: Although I am an excellent rock chef, my cooking skills in the kitchen are subpar!
Professor and Department Head, Planetary Sciences
I grew up in Phoenix. I studied the atmospheres of extrasolar planets and brown dwarfs.
FUN FACT: I worked at NASA for 20 years before returning to UofA
Research Professor, Astronomy
I was a UA undergrad. My research interest includes multi-wavelength studies of supernovae.
My hobbies include Cub Scout parent, hiker, and birder.
Assistant Professor, Computer Science
I am an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Arizona. I work towards making security research more democratized and affordable. My research stirred both industry and academic interests, over the years. I completed my Ph.D. from Virginia Tech.
1. I like explaining why "hacking" is nothing like what we see in the movies and in reality, it's boring, mundane, and at times frustrating.
2. I manage stress by inventing new dishes.
Assistant Professor, Mathematics
I was born and raised in Mexico City. Got a Bachelor's degree in Physics from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, but slowly drifted into Applied Mathematics, earning a Master's degree in Mathematics from the same institution, and then a Doctorate in Applied Mathematics from the University of Delaware. Before coming to Arizona, I spent four years as a Postdoctoral Associate at New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. My research revolves around the study and design of computational solution methods for partial differential equations arising in science and engineering. I enjoy playing guitar, bass and can't resist a good game of chess.
FUN FACT: Before I adopted her, my sixteen-year-old cat named Cuchara (spoon) used to live in a locker in my college campus. She has traveled with me from Mexico City to Delaware to New York and now to Arizona.
Assistant Professor, Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences
I grew up in HulunBeier, China, a beautiful city with grassland landscape, cool summer, and wild winter.
I am interested in understanding and predicting land-climate interaction, especially the roles of vegetation, microbial communities, and human activity on carbon, energy, and water exchange between land and atmosphere.
In my free time, I enjoy listening to concerts, playing piano, skating, and cooking.
Fun Fact :
I visited Death Valley in July 2016 and experienced a high temperature of 126 ℉. Four years later, I realized that 2016 summer I was just practicing for my life in Tucson. Everything happens for the best.
Assistant Research Professor, Steward Observatory
I study planet formation processes through in-depth characterization exoplanets and circumstellar disks at a variety of evolutionary stages viewed using direct imaging techniques. I am currently anticipating the launch and commissioning of the James Webb Space Telescope. I am also a voracious reader, an avid baker, and a novice dog trainer to an English Shepherd named Hugo.
FUN FACT: I play the trombone.
Assistant Professor, Psychology
I used to love dancing, so I took some ballet courses with dance major undergraduate students during my PhD program! Of course, I was not as nearly as good as 18-year-old dance majors so all the Bs on my transcript were from those dance courses. I really enjoyed them, though!