New Faculty Bring Expertise, Passion for Teaching

Eleven new faculty members bring their professional and academic expertise to the faculty for the 2022-23 academic year with a passion for teaching across a variety of academic departments. In addition, four existing faculty members have transitioned from guest positions to tenure track positions.

These 15 faculty members have received numerous teaching awards, contributed to the development of innovative technologies and received excellent research grants. Some bring global perspectives to their classes after earning degrees from institutions around the world.

Rick Stamper, PhD, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs also notes that this new faculty, with six female professors on the list, helps diversify the faculty. He also noted that two Rose Hulman graduate students have returned to campus for teaching positions.

“We are excited to bring new educators to our faculty who bring technical expertise and academic achievements in so many areas that will be beneficial to their academic departments and the wider campus community. But most importantly, they all share a passion for teaching and a commitment to helping our students learn new areas of science, technology, engineering and math to achieve their career goals,” Stamper said. “I am confident that these new professors will take their place alongside our esteemed and respected faculty – one of the endearing attributes of our nationally recognized institution.”

The new colleagues are in alphabetical order:

Rachel Atherton, PhD, Assistant Professor of English Studies in the Department of Humanities, Social Sciences and Arts, taught technical, multimedia and business writing, and freshman composition at Purdue University. She earned a doctorate and a master’s degree in English with a specialization in rhetoric and composition from Purdue, after receiving bachelor’s degrees in English and German from Southern Illinois University.

Oluwafolake Ayano, PhD, guest lecturer in computer science and software development, has experience in big data analytics. She is a highly skilled computer scientist, versed in all aspects of the software development life cycle, database management, data analysis and information technology. Ayano holds a PhD in Computer and Information Technology from Purdue University and holds Masters and Bachelors degrees in Computer Science from the University of Ibadan and Polytechnic Ibadan in Nigeria.

Markus Baker, PhD, Assistant Professor of Physics and Optical Engineering, brings a wealth of teaching experience to the classroom, having held teaching and research positions at St. Francis Xavier University and the University of Western Ontario, both in California. He received awards for teaching undergraduate courses. Baker’s doctorate, master’s, and bachelor’s degrees in physics came from UWO.

Tyler Billingsley, PhD, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, was a visiting professor at St. Olaf College (Minnesota) and a visiting scientist at Corteva Agriscience in Indianapolis. His research areas include specialization in elliptical surfaces and code-based cryptography. He received his doctorate and bachelor’s degrees in mathematics from Purdue University.

Lydia Eldredge, PhD, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, remains at the Rose-Hulman Department of Mathematics after serving on campus as a visiting professor for the past two years. Her research interests include topics such as the Mahler measure, heights of algebraic numbers, computer algebra, and differential forms on hyperbolic spaces. Eldredge earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in mathematics from Florida State University.

Daniel Hashemi, PhD, Assistant Professor of Physics and Optics, was an Associate Professor at Kettering University (Michigan) and Research Scientist at the Toyota Research Institute of North America. He was also a research associate at the Air Force Research Laboratory and at the University of Michigan. He received his PhD from the International Max Planck Research School for Science and Technology of Nanostructures in conjunction with the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg in Halle, Germany.

Ben Jelen, PhD, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Software Engineering, visiting professor at Rose-Hulman taught courses in Data Structures and Algorithms, Software Requirements Engineering, and Health Technology Design. His research interests include human-computer interaction, user-centered and participatory design, manufacturer technology, and healthcare systems. He received his doctorate in health informatics from Indiana University, where he also received a master’s degree in computer science.

Gloria Liou, guest lecturer for computer science and software engineering, comes after his work as a product manager at Google. She led a team of 30+ engineers on Google’s hotel and travel search experience and created the first fully machine learning based personalized ranking system within Google. Liou earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science with a specialization in cognitive science from Pomona College, California.

Elizabeth Melton, PhD, assistant professor of physics and optical engineering and director of the Oakley Observatory, was an associate professor of laboratory courses in astronomy and elementary astronomy at Pennsylvania State University. She was a former award-winning student doing asteroid photometry research while earning a bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics with a minor in astronomy from Rose-Hulman.

Austin Nash, PhD, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, was an assistant professor at Kettering University (Michigan) where students nominated him for an award for outstanding teaching. His teaching interests include dynamic systems analysis, control systems, dynamic modeling, thermodynamics, computer programming, and materials mechanics. Nash earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from Rose-Hulman before earning his doctorate from Purdue.

McCabe Olsen, PhD, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, was a visiting professor at Rose-Hulman after teaching at Ohio State. He was also a fellow of the East Asia and Pacific Summer Institute at Osaka University in Japan. Olsen’s research activities included topics such as algebraic and geometric combinatorics, combinatorial commutative algebra and discrete geometry. He received his PhD and master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Kentucky.

Tanvir Pavel, PhD, Assistant Professor of Economics in the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Arts, was also a visiting professor on campus. Previously, he taught and lectured at Florida International University, St. Thomas University (Florida), Oklahoma State University, Eastern Illinois University and the University of Bangladesh. Pavel specializes in environmental and resource economics, with a focus on climate change adaptation strategies and natural hazard risk mitigation measures. He received his PhD from the FIU.

Monay Shoushan, PhD, Guest Lecturer in Electrical and Computer Engineering, presented at national conferences on research developing camera-based smartphone frameworks for remotely monitoring a person’s heart rate, heart rate variability, and blood pressure. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Alexandria University in Egypt, he received his doctorate and master’s degree from Texas Tech University.

Samir Talegaon, PhD, Visiting Lecturer in Electrical and Computer Engineering, helped develop software programs for Android device security during his postdoctoral research at Rutgers University (New Jersey). He received his PhD and master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He received his bachelor’s degree from Kolhapur Institute of Technology in India.

Kelsey Walters, PhD, Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics, taught a variety of calculus and algebra courses at Aurora University (Illinois) and Purdue, where she received an award for excellence in teaching. After receiving her bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College, Illinois, she received her doctorate in mathematics from Purdue University.

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