Prof. Mir Bowring [chemistry] uses molecular models of chiral cobalt complexes to illustrate the origins of the field of coordination chemistry.
Prof. Mir Bowring [chemistry] uses molecular models of chiral cobalt complexes to illustrate the origins of the field of coordination chemistry.

Newly Tenured Faculty Bring Ideas and Innovation to Reed

Get to know ten professors making exceptional contributions to the college’s mission.

By Anna Johnson | September 28, 2022

The board of trustees recently awarded tenure status to ten remarkable professors.

Hearty congratulations are in order for Betsey Behr Brada [anthropology, 2015–], Kelly N. Chacón [chemistry, 2015–], Victoria Fortuna [dance, 2015–], Tom Landvatter [Greek, Latin, and ancient Mediterranean studies & humanities, 2015–], Mónica López Lerma [Spanish & humanities, 2015–], and LaShandra Sullivan [anthropology, 2016–], who reached this milestone in fall 2021; and Mir Bowring [chemistry, 2016–], Sam Fey [biology, 2017–], Radhika Natarajan [history & humanities, 2014–], and Michelle Wang [art history & humanities, 2015–], who joined the ranks in fall 2022.

These professors hold an impressive array of accolades, awards, and grants and epitomize the college’s dedication to rigorous scholarly pursuit, critical thinking, and creativity. 

To achieve tenure a professor must demonstrate excellence in all aspects of teaching and be an active scholar in their academic discipline. Outside the classroom they must also contribute to campus life and community through department and committee service.

“I am delighted for the college and for these ten faculty members,” shared Prof. Kathy Oleson, the dean of the faculty. “They are true teacher-scholars—they are not only contributing in impressive ways to their academic fields but also, and more importantly, they are fantastic teachers who are transforming Reed students’ lives. They are dedicated to ensuring that all students are thriving in our intellectually-challenging environment. With this new class of tenured faculty, Reed is in good hands.”

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Prof. Betsey Behr Brada

Betsey Behr Brada is a cultural anthropologist specializing in health and medicine in southern Africa. Her upcoming book, Learning to Save the World: Global Health Pedagogies and Fantasies of Transformation in Botswana, relies on fieldwork gathered during Botswana’s HIV/AIDS epidemic. The years of ethnographic data informing this manuscript also resulted in an American Ethnologist article that won her the 2013 Clark Taylor Paper Prize. She earned her PhD in 2011 from the University of Chicago.

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Prof. Kelly Chacón

Kelly Chacón was recently recognized by the American Chemical Society as a trailblazer among LGBTQ+ chemists. They are a current Henry Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Award nominee, were awarded the Ed Stiefel Early Investigator Award, and received the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious award for pretenure faculty. These and other awards have been a huge boon for their metal ­ion research. Chacón has leveraged their success as a teacher and researcher to make space for students of all identities to thrive in chemistry. 

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Prof. Victoria Fortuna

Victoria Fortuna launched the innovative Community Dance at Reed project in 2015. Her recent book, Moving Otherwise: Dance, Violence, and Memory in Buenos Aires, won the de la Torre Bueno First Book Award from the Dance Studies Association, and she recently coedited a special section of Theatre History Studies titled “Commingled Histories: Theatre & Dance.” Fortuna has received grants and awards from Fulbright, the Society of Dance History Scholars, and the Latin American Studies Association, among others. Her PhD in performance studies is from Northwestern University.

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Prof. Tom Landvatter

Tom Landvatter’s research focuses on the archaeology of death, burial, and imperialism, and has been supported by the National Science Foundation and a Fulbright award. He has excavated ancient history at archaeological dig sites around the world. He is currently codirector of the Pyla-Kousopetria Archaeological Project’s (PKAP) excavations at the site of Vigla, Cyprus, a rare Hellenistic fortification. The project’s archaeological field school has proved to be fertile ground for intrepid Reedies since 2018. He holds a PhD in classical art and archaeology from the University of Michigan.

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Prof. Mónica López Lerma

With degrees in film, literature, and law, Mónica López Lerma designs and teaches a variety of interdisciplinary courses at Reed in Spanish and the humanities. She is the author of the 2021 book Sensing Justice through Contemporary Spanish Cinema: Aesthetics, Politics, Law. In addition, she was the editor-in-chief of No-Foundations: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Law from 2012-2017 and currently sits on its editorial board. Her PhD is in Comparative Literature from the University of Michigan, but her two law degrees have allowed her to teach at law schools in Finland, Canada, and Kyrgyzstan. 

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Prof. LaShandra Sullivan

LaShandra Sullivan is an anthropologist who came to Reed in 2016 and has made an impact on campus by serving on several Reed committees, cultivating discussion through the Comparative Race and Ethnicity Studies (CRES) Colloquium, hosting high-caliber guest lecturers, and excelling in engagement with students. She conducts ethnographic fieldwork on the ground in Rio de Janeiro and in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. The latter informed both her dissertation and a forthcoming book, Unsettling Agribusiness: Indigenous Land Struggle in Center-West Brazil. Her PhD in anthropology is from the University of Chicago.

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Prof. Mir Bowring

Mir Bowring is an organometallic chemist whose research program, funded most recently by a grant from the American Chemical Society, reveals the invisible mechanisms of chemical reactions with applications in producing greener fuels like hydrogen. 

Bowring has recently published papers with Reed undergraduate coauthors on air-free glassware and on large isotope effects in organometallic chemistry, and their inorganic chemistry class participates in their research on reclaiming palladium from road dust. Bowring earned a BS in chemistry from Yale University before working as a high school chemistry teacher. They went on to earn a PhD from UC Berkeley and completed postdoctoral training at the University of Washington and Yale University.

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Prof. Sam Fey

Sam Fey is an ecologist who studies how populations and communities respond to, and are shaped by, environmental variation. Most of his research involves aquatic organisms, including fish, crustacean zooplankton, and phytoplankton. His research is supported by the National Science Foundation and has incorporated efforts of  Reed College students who work in both lab and field settings. He earned an Ecology and Evolutionary Biology PhD from Dartmouth College before working as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University. Since 2017, Sam has published 17 peer-reviewed articles involving 8 different Reed student co-authors. 

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Prof. Radhika Natarajan

Prof. Radhika Natarajan is a historian of modern imperial Britain whose article “Performing Multiculturalism: The Commonwealth Arts Festival of 1965” was published by the Journal of British Studies. Her monograph Empire and the Origins of Multiculturalism examines engagements between social workers and migrants to Britain from the decolonizing empire and will be published by Oxford University Press. In addition, she is coauthoring an introduction to imperialism with John Munro for Columbia University Press, as well as writing a children’s history of the British Empire. 

She obtained her PhD from UC Berkeley. Her scholarship and pedagogy incorporate the experiences of colonial subjects in order to both expand the range of actors and activity in the imperial past and to show how contemporary inequalities have been structured by colonialism. 

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Prof. Michelle Wang

Michelle Wang holds a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and came to Reed as an assistant professor of art history and humanities in 2015. At Reed she broadens students’ understanding of the art and archaeology of tenth-century BCE to third-century CE China, with an emphasis on early notational systems. Prof. Wang’s research interests include artisanal practice, history of technology, excavated texts, and mortuary culture. Her current book project reflects her interest in material culture and explores the multifaceted nature of early Chinese maps. 

Tags: Academics, Institutional, Professors