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New faculty: 2006

Sonja Cukic, a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics, grew up in Belgrade.

She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Belgrade, Serbia and studied topological combinatorics at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich, Switzerland.
She will be teaching Calculus I at Binghamton.
Cukic, 27, enjoys volleyball.


Zhitao Li, assistant professor of Chemistry, grew up in Linyi, China.

He holds an undergraduate degree in chemistry from Fudan University in Shanghai, a master’s in organic chemistry from Peking University in Beijing and a doctorate in organic chemistry from Duke University.
Li, who focuses on natural product synthesis and biological study, was previously a research fellow at the National Cancer Institute. He has had 11 publications in peer-reviewed journals and a book chapter.
Li will teach Carbohydrate Chemistry this semester at Binghamton.
Li, 31, is married with one son. He enjoys tennis, music, movies and hobby planes and warships.


Diane Miller Sommerville, visiting associate professor of history, focuses on Southern history, gender and sexuality, the Civil War and race.

Sommerville, who grew up in western Pennsylvania,
At Binghamton, Sommerville will teach Foundations of America, a senior seminar in U.S. social history on racial violence in slavery and freedom, a course on the Civil War and a class titled Race and Sex.
She received the Phi Alpha Theta Best First Book Prize in 2005 for Rape and Race in the 19th Century South (UNC Press) and the A. Elizabeth Taylor Prize for best article on Southern women in 1995 for “The Rape Myth Reconsidered” (Journal of Southern History).
Sommerville looks forward to enjoying local parks and trails in the fall. She and her husband, Don, have a daughter in college, a son at Vestal Middle School and two wheaten terriers.


Annelie Eberhardt, a lecturer in German, Russian and East Asian Languages, grew up in Jena, Germany.

She holds undergraduate and master’s degrees in German as a foreign language from Friedrich-Schiller-University there.
Eberhardt, 26, who previously taught in Lille, France, will be teaching German 101 and 305.
She hopes to learn to play bass.


Yi Lu, an assistant professor in the Department of Public Administration, received her MPA from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a doctorate in public administration from the University of Georgia.

Her research interests include public budgeting and finance.
Li, who previously taught at the University of Georgia and Augusta State University, will be teaching Public Budgeting and Finance and Policy Analysis at Binghamton.


Howard Wang, an associate professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department, is the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award,

a prize in support of the early career-development activities of teacher-scholars who effectively integrate research and education within the context of their organizations.
Wang, who grew up in Zhoushan, China, holds an undergraduate degree in physics from Peking University. He earned a master’s degree in physics from the University of Houston and received his doctorate in materials science and engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.
Wang, whose research interests include the synthesis, processing and applications of nanomaterials and soft materials, previously worked as a guest researcher at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and as an assistant professor at Michigan Technological University. At Binghamton, he’ll teach Introduction to Polymer Engineering, Soft Materials and Bioapplications of Nanotechnology.
Wang, 35, enjoys playing with his 4-year-old son.


Jean L. Root Green, head of Special Collections, Preservation and University Archives at the University Libraries, grew up in Whitney Point.

She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the State University College at Cortland, a master’s in history from Cortland and a master of library science from the University at Albany. Green, a member of the History Honor Society, previously was assistant library director and college archivist at The College of Saint Rose in Albany.
She is married and enjoys watching as well as playing ice hockey.


Alex Rickard, visiting assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, grew up in Plymouth, England.

He holds an undergraduate degree in microbiology and immunology from the University of Birmingham, a master’s degree in applied genetics, also from Birmingham, and a doctorate in biofilm microbiology from the University of Manchester.
Rickard’s research interests include inter- and intra-species communication between bacteria and its role in the development of multi-species biofilms. He will teach Microbiology and Molecular Biology.
Rickard received a National Institutes of Health Research Fellowship and twice won the Society for Applied Microbiology President’s Award.
He enjoys fishing, participating in sports, running and “trying to make my thick English accent more understandable to Americans.”


Wei Xiao, an assistant professor of economics, grew up in Qingdao, China.

He holds an undergraduate degree in international economics from Shandong University and a graduate degree in economics from the University of Pittsburgh.
Xiao, who was previously an assistant professor at the University of New Orleans, counts macroeconomics and monetary policy among his research interests. At Binghamton, he’ll teach International Monetary Economics and Advanced Macroeconomics.
Xiao, 35, is married with two daughters. He likes to watch and play soccer, play guitar and enjoys Beijing opera, movies and books.


Lisa L. Hrehor, program chair for Health and Physical Education, grew up in Binghamton and received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the State University College at Cortland.

Hrehor previously taught at Broome Community College, Chenango Valley Middle School, Whitney Point Middle School and in the Gilbertsville-Mount Upton School District. Her interests include fitness, wellness and the physical inactivity epidemic among children.
She has appeared in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers and Who’s Who Among Professional Business Women and is president of the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance – Central South Zone.
Hrehor, 35, enjoys exercise, running, guitar, wine making and home-improvement projects.


Juliet Shields, an assistant professor in the English Department, grew up in Dundee, Scotland.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature and philosophy from the University of California, Irvine, and a doctorate in 18th- and 19th-century British literature from the University of Pennsylvania.
Shields, who previously taught at Ohio State University, will teach British Literature II and The British Novel at Binghamton. Her research interests include 18th- and 19th-century British literature; nationalism and literature; the rise of the novel and Scottish literature.
She has received a fellowship at the Clark Center for Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Studies for summer 2007.
Shields, 30, enjoys yoga and running. She and her husband, Matthew Merlino, have three cats, Milo, Hamish and Alasdair, and two rabbits, Barnaby Rudge and Little Dorrit.


Kristina Lambright, assistant professor in the Master of Public Administration Program, received her doctorate in public administration this year from Syracuse University.

She also holds an MPA from Syracuse and an undergraduate degree in government from Dartmouth College.
Her research interests include organization theory, privatization and contracting, social welfare delivery system and public policy implementation. She will be teaching a course called the Logic of Inquiry.
Lambright, who grew up in Syracuse, enjoys hiking, cooking and cross-country skiing. She and her husband, Nat, have two sons.


Stephen Zahorian, professor and chair of electrical and computer engineering, focuses on automatic speech recognition and aides for the disabled.

He earned master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from Syracuse University and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester.
Zahorian, who will be teaching Signal Processing and Circuit Theory at Binghamton, taught at Old Dominion University in Virginia for more than 25 years. He has received several National Science Foundation grants and has been published in Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers journals as well as the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.
Zahorian, who is from Elmira, enjoys jogging, motorcycling, carpentry and gardening. He and his wife, Joan, have three children.

To view previously published new faculty members from 2006, Click Here.

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Last Updated: 10/14/08