Georgetown University College of Arts & Sciences welcomed 30 new faculty members for the upcoming academic year across 17 different departments and programs.
The university hired new professors, associate professors, assistant professors and lecturers with a wide range of professional and academic experience. Rosario Ceballo, the dean of the College, said the university selected the new faculty members to meet the unique curricular and scholarly needs of their departments or programs.
“The hiring process for each and every position begins at the departmental level, where we evaluate course offerings, degree requirements and the ongoing research conducted by our professors,” Ceballo wrote to The Hoya. “At the end of the process, I’m convinced we bring some of the brightest minds from around the globe to enrich our school.”
The departments of government and theology and religious studies hired the most new faculty, each welcoming four professors into the Georgetown community.
Christine Trotter, a new assistant professor in the theology and religious studies department, said she will bring her interest in the implications of biblical interpretation to the course “Introduction to Biblical Literature” during the Fall 2023 semester.
Trotter said she appreciates the balance between historical context of the Bible and its contemporary relevance in biblical studies at Georgetown.
“I want students to know why this matters today, like there is contemporary relevance in terms of how we’re interpreting the Bible, and Georgetown also really invites that,” Trotter told The Hoya. “This is a school that cares about social justice, sustainability, gender equality. These are all things that need to be talked about when interpreting the relevance of the Bible for today.”
Other departments with new faculty members this fall include, but are not limited to, classics, disability studies, English, economics and Spanish and Portuguese.
Juan Felipe Riaño, an assistant professor of economics, joins the department of economics after he recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the King Center on Global Development at Stanford University. Riaño’s research interests focus on political economy, development economics and economic history.
Riaño said his experiences growing up in Colombia and studying in Canada will guide how he approaches his new role at Georgetown.
“These experiences made me realize the significance of governance, institutions, and their impact on economic development,” Riaño wrote to The Hoya. “In my new role at Georgetown, I aim to leverage this multi-dimensional background to contribute to the academic community, foster critical thinking among students, and engage in research that can inform policies and practices aimed at improving governance, inclusive institutions, and economic development.”
“I was particularly drawn to Georgetown because of its strong emphasis on engaging with real-world challenges and its dedication to fostering global perspectives,” Riaño added.
Three members of this year’s new faculty are also Provost’s Distinguished Faculty Fellows: Amanda Sahar d’Urso, Crystal Luo and Lingxin Zhang.
Through this fellowship, the university hired the trio as assistant professors on the tenure track because of their commitment to academic excellence as well as diversity, equity and inclusion. None of these fellows will be teaching during their first year at Georgetown, instead dedicating their time to research projects.
Luo plans to turn her dissertation, “Higher Rises, Lower Depths: Asian Americans and Globalization,” into a book manuscript while on fellowship. Luo said that she wants to help students connect classroom learning with taking action in their own lives and communities.
“I did my graduate study at an institution where only a very small handful of scholars were actively engaged in research and teaching on Asian American history,” Luo wrote to The Hoya. “I’m excited to not just start teaching, but also to work with the other GU faculty in this field to build up more programming and mentorship capacity for students who are interested in Asian American and Asian immigrant histories.”
D’Urso also hopes to finish her current book project. Her manuscript explores the connection between politics and Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) identity in America — including how MENA individuals have been legally classified as “white” despite how they may be viewed or view themselves.
D’Urso said she is excited to join the College, in particular because many of the students share her passion for politics.
“It seems like a lot of the students here are also interested in politics, so they are coming in ready to ask really tough questions that I might not even know the answer to and work through them together,” d’Urso told The Hoya. “It’s very unique that Georgetown has a student body that is very interested in the things that I’m also interested in.”
Ceballo said she looks forward to seeing these new faculty members enrich the Georgetown community.
“Welcoming new faculty to the College of Arts & Sciences is always an honor,” Ceballo wrote. “The exciting part of welcoming new faculty is what’s to come — the classroom conversations and scholarly impact that benefit our entire community.”