Syracuse University

SU News

Arts and Sciences announces new academic chairs, directors for Fall 2009

August 14, 2009

Rob Enslin
(315) 443-3403

The College of Arts and Sciences has announced the appointments of 11 new department chairs and program directors.

New chairs are Professor Joanna Masingila (science teaching), Professor Karin Ruhlandt (chemistry), Professor James Watts (religion), and Associate Professor Amanda Winkler (art and music histories). Associate Professor Peter Vanable (psychology) is interim chair for 2009–10.

New directors include Professor Harvey Teres (Judaic studies). Professor Pinyuen Chen (applied statistics), Associate Professor Prema Kurien (Asian/Asian-American studies) and Professor and Associate Dean Susan S. Wadley (Soling) are acting directors. Professor Richard Loder (Native American studies) has renewed his appointment for another year.

Associate Professor Kandice Salomone is the new associate dean for student services.

“This new cohort of leaders sets the tone for the college,” says Arts and Sciences Dean George M. Langford. “Each person is a distinguished scholar in his or her own right, as well as a capable administrator. They advance the strengths of The College and bring distinction to the University.”

Masingila is the Laura J. and Douglas Meredith Professor for Teaching Excellence in both The College and School of Education. She also coordinates SU’s mathematics education program. Much of Masingila’s research is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and pertains to students’ out-of-school mathematics education and teacher learning. One of her NSF grants was the highly regarded CAREER Award. She was also a Fulbright Scholar in Kenya in 1998.

Ruhlandt is interested in inorganic and organometallic chemistry, as well as crystallography. Her research encompasses heavy alkali and alkaline earth metals, in connection with polymerization and with bioinorganic, materials and synthetic chemistry. Ruhlandt is the recipient of numerous awards, including the CAREER Award, and has been the holder of various professorships throughout the United States, Australia and New Zealand. She is director of the NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU), which includes an exchange program between SU and Graz University of Technology (Austria).

Watts is an expert in the Hebrew Bible and ancient Near Eastern textual traditions. He recently founded SU’s Iconic Books Project, amassing a database of more than 2,000 images with accompanying documentation. Watts is also a prolific scholar with six books to his credit, including “Ritual and Rhetoric in Leviticus: From Sacrifice to Scripture” (Cambridge University Press, 2007). He is former director of SU’s Religion and Society Program, as well as the religion department’s graduate and undergraduate studies programs.

Winkler teaches in art and music histories (formerly fine arts), where she specializes in English theater music from the 1600s and 1700s. Her book, “O Let Us Howle Some Heavy Note” (Indiana University Press, 2006), was a finalist for the American Musicological Society’s Lewis Lockwood Award. She also has contributed articles and reviews to several prestigious publications, including Cambridge Opera Journal, The Journal of Musicology and Journal of 17th-Century Music. In 2007, Winkler and associate professor Eileen Strempel co-organized “Music, Justice and Gender,” a three-day international symposium sponsored by The Andrew W. Mellon Central New York Humanities Corridor. Winkler is general editor of the eight-volume set of the collected works of English theater composer John Eccles (forthcoming, A–R editions).

Vanable is a faculty member of both the Psychology Department and SU’s Center for Health and Behavior. His research encompasses the psychological aspects of health and illness, with emphasis on the behavioral aspects of HIV/AIDS. He is principal investigator of several projects, including a five-year, NIH-funded study with the University of Pennsylvania, Emory University, the University of South Carolina and Brown University, designed to test the impact of mass media campaigns on health-promoting behaviors among at-risk youth.

Chen is an expert in statistical signal processing, ranking and selection, multivariate analysis, Dirichlet integrals and multinomial selection. Since joining the SU faculty in 1982, he has held numerous positions, including director of the interdisciplinary statistics program for more than a decade. Chen is also active in the Syracuse chapter of the American Statistical Association, of which he has served as president and program chair. His research has been funded for more than 15 years by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and Air Force Research Laboratory. He is the author of many articles and is an internationally sought-after speaker.

Loder G’78 was recently named SU’s official emissary to the Haudenosaunee community, in addition to directing Native American Studies (NAS). A sociologist by training, he is an expert in contemporary Native American issues and problems, including land claims, gaming and gambling, higher education and public sector employment. At SU, Loder has been instrumental in establishing the Haudenosaunee Promise Scholarship Program, Onondaga Nation Land Rights Educational Series and Arctic Journey Program. Loder previously taught at SUNY Oswego, where he founded its NAS Program.

Kurien is an authority on immigrants and immigration, religion, ethnicity, immigrant politics and India. A prolific scholar, she is the author of two award-winning books: “Kaleidoscopic Ethnicity: International Migration and the Reconstruction of Community Identities in India” and “A Place at the Multicultural Table: The Development of an American Hinduism,” both published by Rutgers University Press, in 2002 and 2007, respectively. Her sponsored research includes a fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson for International Scholars and a recent grant from the Carnegie Corp. to examine how Indian Americans exercise their citizenship rights and participate in American politics. Kurien is writing a book manuscript based on research she has done on transnationalism and the generational transmission of religion in U.S. churches that are part of the Mar Thoma denomination of southwestern India.

Teres specializes in Jewish-American literature and in 20th-century American literature and culture. In his more than two decades of university service—seven years at Princeton University, 16 at SU—he has served on more than 30 major committees, including the University Senate's Academic Affairs Committee, the Humanities Council and the Imagining America National Conference Organizing Committee. He is a Fulbright Scholar who is the author of “Renewing the Left: Politics, Imagination and the New York Intellectuals” (Oxford University Press, 1996) and “The Word on the Street: Linking the Academy and the Common Reader” (University of Michigan Press, forthcoming).

Wadley is the Ford-Maxwell Professor, internationally regarded for her work in anthropology, South Asian studies, folklore and women’s studies. Wadley’s study of gender in India has resulted in several well-known books and articles and has prompted national interest in the complexities of gender and power in South Asia. In her dual role as associate dean for curriculum, instruction and programs, she oversees the Soling Program, a University-wide program promoting experiential learning, interdisciplinary collaboration and civic engagement.

Salomone G’ 80, ’92 oversees academic advising and counseling, career and major exploration services, student records and pre-professional advising services in the college. She also directs iLEARN, which administers the Ruth Meyer Scholars, undergraduate research and SU Undergraduate Mock Trial programs. Salomone assumes these roles after spending four years as dean for administration, overseeing Syracuse Symposium and other special initiatives of the college. Salomone is dually appointed to the S.I. Newhouse School for Public Communications as associate professor of communications. Areas of research include the communication of science and environmental risk to the public, as well as news coverage of environmental risks.

The College of Arts and Sciences is home to 16 departments and 14 interdisciplinary programs in the sciences, humanities, and mathematics. Research, teaching, and innovation flourish at the highest levels, making Arts and Sciences one of the nation’s premier residential liberal arts colleges. It is also the oldest and largest college on the SU campus, accounting for more than a third of the faculty and undergraduate student body. More information is available at

Recent News