Stony Brook University is welcoming a new cohort of early career faculty, hired through the IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access) Fellows initiative. The IDEA Fellows program is aimed at catalyzing the university’s commitment to inclusive, solutions-driven research at the intersection of key disciplines.
These eight new faculty are joining Stony Brook as full-time lecturers in one of five themes that represent established and emerging strengths at the university. The IDEA Fellows program also serves as a pathway to promote these early career faculty to tenure-track positions at Stony Brook. At the completion of their two-year position, fellows with an upward trajectory of scholarly achievement and a demonstrated contribution to inclusion, diversity and equity will be invited to join the tenure-track faculty through an internal promotion process.
The IDEA Fellows program first began at Stony Brook in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). In this latest cohort, the program was expanded to include hires across several more colleges and schools: CAS, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, College of Business, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, and School of Communication and Journalism.
“We have recruited a phenomenal cohort of researchers and scholars who bring unique and bold perspectives that will strengthen and expand innovation across many key themes at Stony Brook. I am excited for them to join us here. I am also grateful to the deans for their incredible commitment to this initiative, as well as the dozens of search committee members. This was a truly collaborative effort that has yielded tremendous results,” said Provost and Executive Vice President Carl Lejuez.
Each theme was led by a cross-disciplinary search committee of faculty and staff. Each committee played a pivotal role in refining the focus of each theme, selecting exceptional finalists, and exemplifying the high-caliber research and scholarship community at Stony Brook that IDEA Fellows would have the opportunity to join. Several departments and their chairs were also instrumental in helping fellows see their pathway to success as prospective hires, including the development of mentoring and support plans.
More information about the themes and search committee members is available on the Provost’s Office website.
Profiles of the fellows, organized by theme, are featured below.
Black, Latinx and Indigenous Diaspora Studies
Jazmen Moore (Department of Africana Studies, College of Arts and Sciences)
Moore’s research focuses on Black girls’ refusals, consent-based learning and chosen learning spaces. Her most recent study draws from the discipline of Black studies, Black and Indigenous theories of consent and refusal, arts-based research design, and literacy studies within education. As a community-engaged artist, educator and scholar, Moore’s experiences as a Black woman from the Midwest and an educator raised on Anishinaabe homelands in Lansing, Michigan, have deepened her commitment to cultivating justice-based learning experiences in schools and out-of-school contexts. She completed her PhD in the Culturally Sustaining Education program at the University of Washington.
Sebastián López Vergara (Department of Hispanic Languages and Literature, College of Arts and Sciences)
López Vergara’s research focuses on Indigenous representations across media and their relationships to histories of dispossession in modern Latin America with a particular focus on Chile. He completed his PhD at University of Washington, Seattle, where he taught cultural studies, critical ethnic studies, and Latin American studies courses, as well as Spanish language and contemporary Latin American history with University Beyond Bars, an organization offering post-secondary education to the incarcerated in Washington State’s prisons. Prior to Washington state, he lived in Chile, where he also grew up, and earned a BA in English literature and linguistics at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.
Sustainable Climate Justice and Solutions
Guleed Ali (Department of Geosciences, College of Arts and Sciences)
As anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions change the climate of earth, there is uncertainty on how these changes will impact the hydroclimate. Ali studies how water availability changed during past intervals of global warming, focusing on hydroclimatic records of the western United States. This work aims to show how regional wetness fluctuated during the last Ice Age and reveal new connections between this water-stressed region and Earth’s energy balance. Ali earned a BS in geology from the University of Arizona, and a PhD in geochemistry from Columbia University. Following Columbia, he was a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Maine.
Luis Medina (Division of Marine Sciences, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences)
Medina’s research focuses on understanding oceanic distributions of microplastics and black carbon and on determining their contribution to natural organic particle pools. After CO2 and CH4, microplastics and black carbon may be among the most important drivers of climate warming due to their light-absorbing properties, which can contribute to heat-trapping and snow melting. From Venezuela, Medina completed his master’s degree in oceanography at the Oriente University (Venezuela) and graduated from the Center for Excellence in Observational Oceanography at the Bermuda Institute of Science. He obtained his PhD in marine and atmospheric sciences from Stony Brook.
Health Disparities and Critical Health
Mary E. Andrews (School of Communication and Journalism; Alda Center for Communicating Science)
Andrews studies health communication through an intersectionality lens. Cognizant of how society creates conditions that make individuals with marginalized identities more vulnerable to poorer health, Andrews’ work promotes health equity with message effects research. She investigates how intersecting social identities (e.g., race and sexual orientation) and experiences (e.g., discrimination), and exposure to media combine to influence health and well-being. Her work has been applied across several domains, including tobacco, COVID-19 and HIV. Andrews completed her bachelor’s degree in cognitive neuroscience at Hampshire College and earned a PhD from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.
Ethical AI, Information Systems, and Data Science and Literacy Applied to Complex Structures and Networks
Alisa Yurovsky (Department of Biomedical Informatics, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences)
Yurovsky’s research focuses on the development of new algorithms and computational methods that aid in the advances of precision medicine, with the potential to address existing disparities in health data. She is also interested in algorithms for synthetic gene design and analysis methods for small size differential expression studies, with goals for advancing vaccine design and promoting diverse and inclusive research. Yurovsky received her undergraduate degree in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University, completed her research-focused master’s at EPFL, and received a PhD in computer science from Stony Brook University, where she was a recipient of an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. For her post-doctoral work, Yurovsky was a recipient of the NSF/CRA Computing Innovation Fellowship for research on precise compartment deconvolution and weight estimation of mixed tissue samples.
Matthew Salzano (School of Communication and Journalism; Program in Writing and Rhetoric, College of Arts and Sciences)
Salzano is a scholar of rhetoric and digital culture with a particular emphasis on how digital technology, including artificial intelligence, impacts and interacts with social justice and participatory practices of deliberation, argumentation, and protest. Throughout his research and teaching, he questions: what does it mean to participate ethically in civic life in a digital age? His courses explore the history, theory, and criticism of media and rhetoric from a critical perspective, and students can often expect to experiment with digital humanities projects like making Twitter bots or building digital archives. Salzano holds a PhD and MA in communication from the University of Maryland and a BA in communication and women’s and gender studies from Pacific Lutheran University.
Raymond Blackwell (Department of Physics and Astronomy, College of Arts and Sciences)
Blackwell is an experimental condensed matter physicist who uses scanned probe microscopy to study exotic phenomena in various materials systems. In particular he is interested in superconductivity and the emerging field of twistronics, where different components are stacked on top of each other with a small twist angle. Furthermore, he is constantly contemplating ways to enhance the capabilities of scanned probe microscopes via additional functionality. Blackwell was born and raised in the rural town of McLeansville, North Carolina, just outside of Greensboro. He first developed a passion for mathematics and science after attending summer programs at North Carolina A&T State University, a historically Black college and university in Greensboro. He completed his undergraduate degree from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and his PhD in physical chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, before matriculating to Brookhaven National Lab for his postdoc.