Faculty: Creating New Knowledge

Reed College faculty are independent thinkers and well-known scholars dedicated, first, to teaching.

  • Faculty at commencement
  • Meg Scharle meeting with a student
  • Enriquesta Canseco-Gonzales in class
  • Mariela Daby in class
  • Students with a faculty member in a science lab

One hundred percent of Reed’s courses are taught by professors, rather than by teaching assistants, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 9:1. Most of our faculty live in one of the neighborhoods surrounding the college—don’t be surprised to see your professors at the coffee shop on Woodstock Avenue or the Farmers Market on Wednesdays—which is a great benefit to our campus environment.

Reed’s teaching philosophy, characterized by close interaction between students and faculty, creates a unique intellectual environment of rigorous academic collaboration.

Explore faculty profiles and read more below about the distinguished work of our professors.

Faculty Spotlights

A photo of LaShandra Sullivan

Fields of Resistance
Anthropology professor LaShandra Sullivan investigates land rights movements, with a specific focus on the ongoing conflict between indigenous communities and business and political interests in Brazil’s Mato Grosso do Sul.

A photo of Elizabeth Drumm

Drawing Attention to a Major Modernist Poet
Spanish and humanities professor Elizabeth Drumm won a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities for her work translating the writing of modernist author Ramón del Valle-Inclán.

Derek Applewhite explaining his lab.

Fruit Flies and the Human Face
Biology professor Derek Applewhite received $400,000 from the NIH to investigate a gene linked to cleft palate. His research studies the gene SPECCL1, mutations of which are thought to play a role in a number cranial-facial disorders.

A photo of Gerri in a red scarf.

Art Professor Participates in Biennial Exhibition
Art professor Gerri Ondrizek was invited by the European Cultural Centre to show her work in a biennial exhibition. She said yes—provided her former students could participate as well.

A photo of Kelly on Reed's Blue Bridge.

The Catalyst in the Chemistry Department
Chemistry professor Kelly Chacón recently won a prestigious $650,000 CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation—a grant that recognizes early-career scientists with a special talent for research and education.


Professor of Economics Shapes US Tax Policy
Economics professor Kimberly Clausing was sworn in as a deputy assistant secretary in the US Treasury, where she will lead the Office of Tax Analysis for the Biden-Harris administration.

A photo of Mark Burford.

A “Magisterial” Study of a Gospel Icon
Music professor Mark Burford has won a triplet of prestigious awards for his recent book about the iconic gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, who achieved international fame for her powerful voice and leadership in the civil-rights movement.

Prof. Ksander and Marisa Kanai ’15 work on shadow theatre performance of Gilgamesh for Theatre 396, Puppetry and Performing Objects.

Theatre Professor Designs Punk Opera
Brooklyn-based experimental group Object Collection recently made an opera based on the live archive of the punk band Fugazi. To produce this offbeat project, they sought out Reed’s own mastermind scenographer, theatre professor Peter Ksander.