Posted: November 11, 2009
Five new tenure-track faculty are on campus this fall: two in economics, one in mathematics, one in environmental studies, and one in English.
Assistant Professor of Economics
Sarah Adelman received her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland and works in the area of health and nutrition in developing countries. She spent time in Uganda researching her thesis, and also worked in Malawi and Liberia. This fall she is teaching health economics, with a focus on developing countries, and introduction to statistics. She describes herself as an applied microeconomist, which means that she works with data rather than theory. She lives with her dog, Tuesday, on College Street, directly across from Skinner, where she teaches and has her office. “I have the shortest commute of anyone on campus,” she said.
Assistant Professor of Economics
Katherine Schmeiser received her Ph.D. from University of Minnesota. She specializes in new trade theory, which looks at international trade and industrial organizations from the level of individual firms rather than in the aggregate. This semester she is teaching microeconomics theory and a seminar in international trade. She grew up in Montana and received her undergraduate degree at Montana State University. This is her first time living in New England. She lives in South Hadley with her husband, Steven Schmeiser, a visiting assistant professor of economics, and their puppy Helo, a Bernese Mountain Dog.
Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Dylan Shepardson grew up in California and attended Amherst College, where he majored in physics. He pursued physics at Berkeley before switching his focus to mathematics. He earned a Ph.D. from Georgia Institute of Technology and specializes in optimization, which he explained as “making things more efficient.” He enjoys the “beauty of optimization theory” and also its applicability to a wide range of interdisciplinary problems, from neurobiology to politics and voting theory. He is teaching calculus this fall and hopes eventually to teach an optimization class. “Students really like it because the can use what they learn in the traditional math curriculum and apply it to other fields,” he said.
Leslie and Sarah Miller Director of the Center for the Environment; Associate Professor of Environmental Studies
Timothy Farnham grew up on and around the Mount Holyoke campus, where his father, Anthony Farnham, taught in the English department. He attended Williams College, earned an M.A. in natural resources at the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. at the Yale School of Forestry. Most recently, he spent six years at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas teaching and directing the undergraduate environmental studies program. Farnham enjoyed living in Las Vegas, but he’s happy to be back in New England. “I love being back in the New England environment. I spent all my free time as a kid around Upper Lake.” He lives in Amherst with his wife, Ellen Alvord, coordinator at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, and two daughters, Annabelle, age 9, and Julia, age 7.
Assistant Professor of English
Katherine Singer joined the English department this fall as an assistant professor. Her field is British Romanticism, with a particular interest in late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century women's writing. After graduating from Columbia University, she spent two years in Boston working as a freelance writer. She returned to graduate school at the University of Maryland, where she earned a combined M.F.A./Ph.D. “I was taking a lot of poetry and literature courses ,and I decided to pursue literature more seriously,” she explained. She lives in South Hadley with her husband, Damien Ober, a writer and filmmaker. While she misses the urban life of Washington, D.C., she is excited about the cultural richness of the Pioneer Valley. “It’s a more organic art community than D.C.”