Introducing New Faculty in the College of Science and Liberal Arts

I am pleased to introduce to you this year’s new faculty hires in the College of Science and Liberal Arts. This year’s hires represent a diverse group of scholars from a range of disciplines that, taken together, serve to honor and uphold our university’s commitment to liberal arts education.

With an applicant pool totaling nearly seven hundred individuals, the college’s seven new hires represent truly the best and the brightest in their respective fields, and I hope you’ll join me in welcoming them and helping them to feel at home at NJIT.

- Kevin D. Belfield, Dean of the College of Science and Liberal Arts

Philip Barden, Department of Biological Sciences

Dr. Barden has a Ph.D. in comparative biology from the Richard Gilder Graduate School at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. His research involves social insect evolution and the utility of comparative genomics, biological imaging, and paleontology in reconstructing evolutionary history. He joins NJIT having just completed a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship at Rutgers—Newark.

Rosanna Dent, Department of History

Dr. Dent holds a Ph.D. in the history and sociology of science with a focus on modern Latin America from the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently writing a book about the history of twentieth-century scientific research on an Indigenous group in Brazil. In 2017, Dr. Dent was named a Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow; she will spend the year conducting research at McGill University in Montreal before joining NJIT next fall.

Christina Frederick, Department of Mathematical Sciences

Dr. Frederick has a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin. Her research lies in the area of inverse problems for partial differential equations, specifically in the development of new techniques for determining coefficients in the equations from solution data by finding ways to exploit underlying multiscale structures. Dr. Frederick comes to NJIT from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she has been a National Science Foundation Interdisciplinary Mathematics Preparation and Career Training (IMPACT) Fellow in the School of Mathematics since 2015.

Beth Nowadnick, Department of Physics

Dr. Nowadnick holds a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University. Her research lies at the intersection of condensed matter physics and materials science; she uses a combination of quantum mechanical simulations and theoretical models to elucidate and predict the properties of complex materials, ranging from ferroelectrics to superconductors. Since 2014 Dr. Nowadnick has been a postdoctoral research associate in the School of Applied and Engineering Physics at Cornell University.

Anand Oza, Department of Mathematical Sciences

Dr. Oza has a Ph.D. in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. He is a theorist interested in fluid mechanics and nonlinear dynamics, specifically with applications in soft matter physics and biology. His research utilizes a combination of analytical techniques and numerical simulations, typically in collaboration with experimentalists. He was most recently a postdoctoral fellow at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University.

Rebekah Rutkoff, Department of Humanities

Dr. Rutkoff holds a Ph.D. in English with a certificate in film studies from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her research explores the crossroads of cinema studies, theories of magic, and ancient and contemporary discourses about dreaming and cure. She has served as a Princeton Arts Fellow at the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University, and as an Onassis Foundation Fellow at the Benaki Museum and the University of Athens in Greece.

Kristen Severi, Department of Biological Sciences

Dr. Severi comes to NJIT from Paris, where she has been a postdoctoral fellow at the Brain and Spinal Cord Institute (Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Epinière) since 2012. She has a Ph.D. in biology from Northeastern University in Boston. Her research focuses on the neural circuits that underlie motor behavior in the zebrafish model, specifically on the interactions between the brain and spinal cord.