Haverford Welcomes Eight New Faculty Members
This year, new professors joined the Departments of Chemistry, East Asian Languages and Cultures, History, Music, and Spanish, as well as the Gender and Sexuality Studies and Health Studies Programs.
Ruodi Duan comes to Haverford as an assistant professor of history and East Asian languages and cultures. She is a historian of modern China, with research and teaching interests in social and political history, comparative ethnic studies, China-Africa relations, and transnational history. She received her Ph.D. in history from Harvard University and her B.A. in Black Studies from Amherst College. Her current work concerns how 20th-century Chinese conceptions of race, ethnicity, and nation have been formulated in conversation with developments in Africa and the African Diaspora. In the fall, she will teach “China in the World, 1895-1921” and “Race and Ethnicity in Modern East Asia.”
Theresa Gaines joins the Chemistry Department as an assistant professor. She received her Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Georgia State University, served as a postdoctoral teaching fellow at Dixie State University, and was an assistant professor of organic chemistry at Delta State University in Mississippi. Her research centers on the design, synthesis, and evaluation of small molecule modulators for the chemokine receptor CXCR4. Gaines also brings expertise in game design to her work. As a first-generation college student, she brings a deep, personal commitment to diversifying the STEM fields of study and is focused on developing inclusive teaching pedagogies.
Lina Martínez-Hernández joins the Spanish Department as an assistant professor. Originally from Colombia, she researches queer aesthetics and politics in the Hispanic Caribbean. She is currently working on a book that explores popular education pedagogies of contemporary queer, feminist, and activist collectives in the Hispanic Caribbean and Latin America. In her previous role as a visiting professor in the Spanish Department, she began developing pedagogical collaborations that focus on community-engaged learning between Haverford students and Latinx and Spanish-speaking communities in Philadelphia. Martínez-Hernández is also part of the Philadelphia Language Justice Collective and works to create more awareness about language justice and access in multilingual and multiracial spaces.
Young Su Park joins the faculty as an assistant professor of health studies. Young Su is a physician anthropologist with an interdisciplinary background that combines medical anthropology, global health, Korean Studies, and African Studies. His past works involves research on healthcare systems for undocumented migrants, North Korean refugee doctors and cultural adjustment, illness experiences of Korean Chinese migrant workers in South Korea, and socially vulnerable groups during the Covid-19 pandemic. He received his Ph.D. in anthropology from Stanford University. Before he joined Haverford, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Freie Universität Berlin and University College London. At Haverford, Young Su was an ACLS postdoctoral fellow in medical humanities at the Hurford Center for Arts and Humanities. He taught such courses as “Trauma, Historical Memory, and Embodiment,” “Radical Medicine,” “Cancer Narratives,” and “Race and Political Economy of Infectious Diseases.
Edwin Porras joins the Music Department as the inaugural Norton Family Assistant Professor of Music. He received his Ph.D. from UCLA with a dissertation on “Music-Making Practices of Cubans of Chinese and African Descent.” He teaches courses on world music—including folkloric, popular, and ritual forms—that also explore issues of identity, gender, class, and race. Porras has conducted extensive field and archival research in Cuba, and the U.S., and has worked as an interpreter and translator for English-speaking scholars presenting in Cuba. He has also worked for the Smithsonian Institution as a curator and content creator for a specialized education project. Porras has taught at California Institute of the Arts, UCLA, and California State University, and maintained a presence as an active musician in the South Bay and the Los Angeles metropolitan area, performing on electric and acoustic bass.
Marlen Rosas joins the History Department as an assistant professor. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and is at work on a book project that employs critical archive studies, oral history, and intellectual history approaches to the study of Indigenous mobilization in 20th-century Ecuador, arguably the most organized Indigenous movement in the history of the Americas. Rosas, who first came to Haverford as a visiting professor, has taught such courses as “History of the Andes,” and “Land and the Left in the Americas.” In the fall semester she will teach “Indigenous Women: Gender, Ethnicity and Feminism in Latin America,” and “Knowledge, Power, and the Production of History in Latin America.”
Leah Seebald joins the Chemistry Department as an assistant professor. Seebald received her Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the State University of New York at Albany in 2017. Before coming to Haverford, she was a postdoctoral associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on the development of new chemical tools, known as probes, to enable the detection and characterization of biological macromolecules (bio-molecules). Seebald is also a first-generation college student who brings a wealth of personal and professional experiences to the Haverford Chemistry Department.
Gina Velasco joins the faculty as an associate professor and director of gender and sexuality studies. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Gender and Sexuality Studies Program at Bryn Mawr College. She has been a visiting scholar at the Beatrice Bain Research Group at the University of California at Berkeley and the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at New York University. Before coming to Haverford, Velasco taught at Gettysburg College, Bryn Mawr College, the University of California at Santa Cruz, Keene State College, and Portland State University. Her research and teaching examine how gender and queer sexuality inform notions of nation, diaspora, and transnational belonging in a contemporary context of globalization. Her book, Queering the Global Filipina Body: Contested Nationalisms in the Filipina/o Diaspora was published in the Asian American Experience series of the University of Illinois Press in 2020.