Campus & Community

The College of Arts and Letters Welcomes Four New Faculty Members

The College's hires bring new experitise to the science, technology and society, music and technology, and freshmen experience programs

Photo of the Morton Kidde Peirce Comples

Advancing its growth as insitution that values culture, technology and reason, the College of Arts and Letters hired four new faculty members for the fall 2019 semester. With expertise ranging from the human microbiome to electronic music recording to poetry, these new faculty additions will help the College offer a world-class education that places technology at its core.  

Dr. Amber Benezra joins the Colege as tenure stream assistant professor in science and technology studies. She is a sociocultural anthropologist researching how the human microbiome intersects with biomedical ethics, public health infrastructures, scientific knowledge, and care. Her forthcoming book from University of Minnesota Press is the first ethnography of the microbiome and draws together the insights of feminist science studies and the collaborative capacities of anthropology. Prior to joining Stevens, Dr. Benezra was formerly the director of the science and technology studies undergraduate program and industry assistant professor of STS at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering.

Dr. Mario Diaz de Leon joins us as tenure stream assistant professor in music and technology. Dr. Diaz de Leon is a composer, performer, record producer, and educator, whose creative work encompasses modern classical music, experimental electronic music, extreme metal, and improvised music. His compositions have been documented on several recordings, often produced in collaboration with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). Recent live performances of his music include events at Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles), Donaufestival (Austria), CTM Festival (Berlin), Chicago Symphony Center, Hakuju Hall (Tokyo), Venice Biennale, Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), Musica Nova Helsinki (Finland), National Gallery of Art (DC), Ojai (California), Roulette (Brooklyn), and commissions from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, ICE, Talea, TAK Ensemble, and Chamber Music America.

Dr. Michelle Burke joins the College as a lecturer in the freshmen experience program. Her poetry collection, Animal Purpose, which challenges essentialist ideas about gender and humanity's relationship with nature, won the Hollis Summers poetry prize and was published by Swallow / Ohio University Press in 2016. She completed her Ph.D. in English at the University of Cincinnatti. Prior to coming to Stevens, Dr. Burke was an assistant professor of humanities at Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

Dr. Talia Shalev joins as a lecturer in the freshmen experience program. She completed her Ph.D. in English from the CUNY Graduate Center, where she has been an enhanced chancellor's fellow as well as a dissertation fellow of the committee on globalization and social change. Her research involves reading across history, political science, and the law. She has been an adjunct lecturer in English and American Studies at Brooklyn College and a writing associate at the Cooper Union Center for Writing.