News and Events

CLAS Welcomes New Faculty

This article was originally printed in the December 2005 issue of CLASnotes.

Badredine Arfi

Badredine ArfiBadredine Arfi is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science. He holds two PhDs from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the first in theoretical condensed matter physics, 1988, and the second in political science, 1996. He comes to UF from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, where he served as an assistant professor from 2003–2005.

Arfi’s area of research is international politics and security, ethnic conflict and human rights, US foreign policy and national security, and Middle Eastern, North African and Islamic politics. This year, he published a book, International Change and the Stability of Multiethnic States: Crises of Governance in Yugoslavia and Lebanon.

He is teaching an undergraduate honors class, International Relations, and a graduate course, Formal Theory in Political Science/Game Theory.

Amy Bard

Amy BardAmy Bard, an assistant professor, is jointly appointed in the Department of African and Asian Languages and Literatures and the Asian Studies Program. She received a PhD in Middle East and Asian languages and cultures from Columbia University in 2002, specializing in Indic languages and literatures. She served as a senior research fellow at the American Institute of Indian Studies in 2004–2005 and was the Mellon Lecturer in Humanities at Columbia in 2002–2004.

Bard works on literature and language use in both Hindi and Urdu, paying particular attention to expressive traditions among women and to literary forms that gained prominence in the 19th or early 20th centuries and still have vibrant, often religious-based, performance contexts today. She is currently working on a book about the piety and poetic performance among South Asian Shi’i Muslim women.

She is teaching Intermediate Hindi and Advanced Hindi. Bard also plans to develop courses centered on medieval North Indian devotional literature and Urdu ghazal poetry.

Hansjoerg Dilger

Hansjoerg Dilger Hansjoerg Dilger is an assistant professor jointly appointed in the Center for African Studies and Department of Anthropology. He received his PhD in anthropology from the Free University of Berlin in 2004, where he served as a lecturer and research associate at the Institute for Social Anthropology.
Dilger specializes in the anthropology of HIV/AIDS in Africa and is a former consultant for the German Society for Technical Cooperation on the German Ministry for Development and Economic Cooperation’s initiative “Mainstreaming HIV/AIDS in Developing Countries.” His PhD dissertation on AIDS in Africa was published as a book in German.

He is teaching HIV/AIDS and Social Relations: The Politics of Illness and Healing in Contemporary Africa.Hansjoerg Dilger is an assistant professor jointly appointed in the Center for African Studies and Department of Anthropology. He received his PhD in anthropology from the Free University of Berlin in 2004, where he served as a lecturer and research associate at the Institute for Social Anthropology.

Dilger specializes in the anthropology of HIV/AIDS in Africa and is a former consultant for the German Society for Technical Cooperation on the German Ministry for Development and Economic Cooperation’s initiative “Mainstreaming HIV/AIDS in Developing Countries.” His PhD dissertation on AIDS in Africa was published as a book in German.

He is teaching HIV/AIDS and Social Relations: The Politics of Illness and Healing in Contemporary Africa.

Hani Doss

Hani DossHani Doss is a professor in the Department of Statistics. He received his PhD in statistics from Stanford University in 1982 and comes to UF from The Ohio State University where he taught for 11 years, after serving 12 years as a faculty member at Florida State University.

Doss’ area of expertise is biostatistics and meta-analysis, particularly the Markov chain Monte Carlo and Bayesian methods. One of his recent projects involved allergic condition biomarkers and glioma risk and was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

He is a fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and associate editor of Statistica Sinica. Doss is teaching an honors section of Introduction to Statistics I.

Hana Filip

Hana FilipHana Filip is an assistant professor jointly appointed in the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies and the Center for European Studies with an affiliation in the Program in Linguistics. She received her PhD in linguistics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1993 and has held positions at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Rochester, Northwestern University and Stanford University.

Filip’s main area of specialization is semantics, but she also is interested in pragmatics, syntax-semantics interface, typology, morphology, psycholinguistics and computational linguistics. Combining formal linguistics with literary and socio-cultural analysis, her current interdisciplinary research also focuses on the modern Czech language, literature and culture. Her publications include the 1999 book Aspect, Eventuality Types, and Nominal Reference.

She is teaching Czech Cultural and Political History from 1948 to Present and Advanced Czech: Contemporary Language, Culture, History.

Michael Jury

Michael JuryMichael Jury is an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics. He received a PhD in mathematics from Washington University in 2002, specializing in operator theory and operator algebras. Prior to joining UF’s faculty, he spent three years on a National Science Foundation VIGRE postdoctoral fellowship at Purdue University.

Jury’s research concerns operators and operator algebras that are related to complex function theory. He is currently applying the techniques of non-commutative geometry to the study of operator algebras arising from complex dynamical systems. He is teaching two sections of Calculus.

Christine Overdevest

Christine OverdevestChristine Overdevest is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology. She received her PhD in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2005. Her specialization is environmental and natural resources sociology and economic sociology, and she has worked for the USDA Forest Service’s Outdoor Recreation and Wilderness Assessment unit.

Overdevest’s research evaluates institutions of environmental governance that improve the democratic accountability and participatory nature and quality of environmental management. She is currently evaluating forest certification and participatory standard setting in the US, Sweden and Finland. In 2001, she published a book titled Footprints on the Land: An Assessment of Demographic Trends and the Future of Natural Lands in the United States.

She is teaching Social Institutions and Environment and Social Institutions and Economy.

Won-ho Park

Won-ho ParkWon-ho Park, an assistant professor, has a joint appointment in the Department of Political Science and the Asian Studies Program. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Seoul National University and his PhD from the University of Michigan.

Park’s research interests include quantitative methods involving ecological inference techniques on aggregate electoral data, electoral dynamics in new democracies with a special focus upon South Korea and East Asia, and how voting technology affects voting behavior.

He was a Fulbright Scholar and a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar from South Korea, as well as an American National Election Studies Fellow. In 2003, he won the Harold Gosnell Prize for the best political methodology paper of the year.

Park is teaching two graduate courses—Linear Models and Maximum Likelihood Theory—and two undergraduate courses—Politics of East Asian Countries and Politics of South and North Korea.

Tarek Saab

Tarek SaabTarek Saab is an assistant professor in the Department of Physics. He received his PhD in physics from Stanford University in 2002 and has spent the past three years on a fellowship at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center developing x-ray detectors with high-energy sensitivity to be used in upcoming x-ray telescopes.

Saab’s research interests focus on cosmology and particle astrophysics. Using cryogenic detectors, he is designing and constructing experiments that will allow for the observation of subatomic particles, or Dark Matter, which have yet to be observed in a laboratory. The same technology used for detecting these particles will be modified and developed for use as high sensitivity x-ray detectors, searching for evidence of Dark Matter in intergalactic and inter-cluster gas.

He is teaching an honors section of Physics I.

Brian Silliman

Brian SillimanBrian Silliman is an assistant professor in the Department of Zoology. He received his PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology from Brown University in 2004 and held a postdoctoral fellowship at The Nature Conservancy before arriving at UF.

A marine ecologist, Silliman studies the community and ecosystem ecology of salt marshes and temperate and tropical rocky shores. The majority of his work has been with plant and animal communities on temperate shorelines of the Western Atlantic. He currently has a book in press with the University of California Press titled Human Modification of North American Salt Marshes.

Next year, he will be teaching Marine Ecology, and later, Community Ecology and Conservation.

Robin Wright

Robin WrightRobin Wright is an associate professor in the Department of Religion. He earned a PhD from Stanford University in 1981 and served as a professor at the State University of Campinas in Brazil from 1985–2005. He also was a librarian at the Tozzer Anthropology Library at Harvard University from 1983–1985.

Wright’s area of research is the relationships of myth, ritual and history among native peoples of the Americas; prophetic movements among native peoples; comparative mythology and cosmology of native peoples; and relations of religion, nature and culture. He has published eight books, including In Darkness and Secrecy: The Anthropology of Assault Sorcery and Witchcraft in Amazonia, and Cosmos, Self, and History in Baniwa Religion: For Those Unborn.

He plans to teach Indigenous Religions, Myth and Ritual, Religions of the Americas, and Religions of Latin America.

Hana Filip photo courtesy Hana Filip
Brian Silliman photo courtesy Brian Silliman
All other photos by Jane Dominguez

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