College of Science Welcomes New Faculty Members | College of Science
September 4, 2018

College of Science Welcomes New Faculty Members

The College of Science is excited to welcome eight new faculty members to the roster this fall across each of our four major departments (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and Biological Sciences) and even Teach North Texas! We've been sharing a little bit about each of these fantastic new additions to our team via our Facebook page and Twitter, and we hope you'll follow along as we tackle new challenges and opportunities together in the 2018-19 academic year and beyond!

Dr. Mauricio Antunes is joining the Department of Biological Sciences as an Assistant Professor and as a member of the BioDiscovery Institute. Dr. Antunes brings expertise in the design of synthetic cellular and biochemical processes in plants. He is most recently a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Colorado State University and is Principal Investigator on a grant from DARPA entitled "Engineering synthetic production of durable polymers in plants". He will bring this project to the BioDiscovery Institute at UNT as he establishes a laboratory research program in the Science Research Building. Mauricio hails from Brazil where he obtained his undergraduate and master's degrees. In 2003, he earned a Ph.D. in Plant Molecular Biology at Purdue, and also a degree in Applied Management Principles (mini-MBA). He has held post-doctoral research positions in the area of crop-based products at both Purdue University and Colorado State University. At UNT Dr. Mauricio will contribute to undergraduate teaching in genetics and molecular cell biology, and will engage in graduate training in biochemistry and molecular biology.

Dr. Nam Trang (pictured in story photo) is joining the Department of Mathematics as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Trang brings expertise in mathematical logic, set theory, and inner model theory, and he has a research interest in mathematical finance and data science. Dr. Trang received his undergraduate and Master's degrees in mathematics both from UC Irvine. He received his Ph.D. in mathematics from UC Berkeley in 2013. He was a postdoc at Carnegie Mellon University from 2013 to 2015 and at UC Irvine from 2015 to 2018. Dr. Trang is the PI of an NSF grant "Descriptive inner model theory, large cardinals, and combinatorics", which he was awarded in 2016. In 2007 he also obtained an MS in Information and Computer Science from UC Irvine, and he has been using his expertise and skills in data science to conduct research in mathematical finance and to make contributions to the Virtual Math Museum.

Dr. Ruth Chabay is joining the Departments of Physics and Chemistry as a Professor. Previously, Dr. Chabay was a Professor of Physics at North Carolina State University. Dr. Chabay has a distinguished record of research and teaching excellence, including being a Fellow of the American Physical Society. The citation for her nomination as a Fellow of the APS acknowledges her "contributions to the development of computer-based learning and tutorial systems, visualizations, and curricula that have modernized and improved how students learn physics." Dr. Chabay has also received recognition as a Fellow of the American Association of Physics Teachers; the David Halliday and Robert Resnick Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Physics Teaching (American Association of Physics Teachers); the Gertrude Cox Award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching and Learning with Technology (NC State University); Outstanding Professor Award (National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Carnegie Mellon University); and the Julius Ashkin Teaching Award (Carnegie Mellon University). Dr. Chabay is co-author of the innovative Physics textbook "Matter and Interactions" that incorporates computational techniques to motivate, illustrate, and modernize traditional introductory Physics courses. Dr. Chabay is expected to play a significant role in the supporting the Physics department's commitment to undergraduate education, providing Physics majors with the experiences and skills needed to be competitive in their careers. She will hold a joint position in Physics (80%) and Chemistry (20%).

The Department of Physics will also welcome Dr. Bruce Sherwood as a Research Professor. Dr. Sherwood is Professor Emeritus of Physics from NC State University. Dr. Sherwood received his undergraduate degree from Purdue in Engineering Science in 1960 and spent a year studying physics at the University of Padova, Italy, on a Fulbright. He received his PhD in 1967 from the University of Chicago working in the Telegdi group on experimental muon physics. He lectured in the "Feynman" course at Caltech and was in the Users' Group headed by Tollestrup, doing particle experiments at Berkeley and SLAC. He taught at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he helped develop the PLATO computer-based education system, especially its system software, and created a PLATO-based introductory mechanics course. He worked on multilingual text-to-speech research and taught a linguistics course, and was an adjunct professor of linguistics as well as professor of physics. He later served as a professor of physics and senior scientist in the Center for Innovation in Learning. He most recently was a research professor and distinguished educator in residence at North Carolina State University. He is co-author of the ground-breaking introductory calculus-based physics textbook "Matter & Interactions," which incorporates 20th -century physics throughout and emphasizes the reductionist nature of physics. He is known for innovative uses of computers in physics education, including creation of the cT programming language and participation in the development of the 3D programming environment Vpython, an open-source project for which he is the gatekeeper. His seminal writings on work and energy in classical mechanics are frequently cited.

Dr. Jessica L. Moore is joining the Department of Biological Sciences as a Lecturer. As part of her duties, Dr. Moore will assist in the undergraduate advising program and make important contributions to the instruction of Introductory Biology, Cell Biology, and Genetics. Prior to joining UNT, Dr. Moore taught at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg Florida, Western Carolina University, and the University of South Florida. She earned her BA in Biology from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1983 and her PhD in Biology at the University of Texas, Austin, in 1994.

Dr. Ana Paula Ferrari Hoeinghaus is also joining the Department of Biological Sciences as a Lecturer. As part of her duties, Dr. Hoeinghaus will assist in the undergraduate advising program and make important contributions to the instruction of Environmental Science, Animal Biodiversity, Ecology, and Community Ecology. Dr. Hoeinghaus has served as an adjunct faculty member in our Department of Biological Sciences since 2016. She earned her BS in Fisheries Engineering in 2004 from Western Parana State University located in Toledo, Brazil, her MS in Ecology of Continental Aquatic Environments in 2006 from the University of Maringa located in Maringa, Brazil, and her PhD in 2015 from UNT.

Dr. Kristina "Charlie" Williams is joining the Department of Chemistry as a Lecturer. As part of the interdisciplinary Forensic Science program at UNT, Dr. Williams will play important role in teaching and advising undergraduate students, as well as coordinating internships with industrial partners. Prior to joining UNT, Dr. Williams worked as a Laboratory Manager and Principal Clinical Scientist at AIT Laboratories in Denton, where she gained extensive experience in forensic analysis. She received her B.S. in Chemistry in 2010 from Tennessee Technological University and her Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry in 2016 from UNT.

La Keisha Leonard is a Master Teacher with the Teach North Texas program beginning this fall. Prior to joining TNT, Ms. Leonard was teaching Algebra I and Pre-AP Algebra II at METSA located at RL Turner High School in Carrollton-Farmer's Branch ISD. During her time at METSA, she was also the Learning Management System and Google Administrator for the campus and wrote Algebra I curriculum for the summer of 2016 for Carrollton-Farmer's Branch ISD. La Keisha is a TNT graduate with a BS in Mathematics and a Master's degree in Education from UT at Arlington.

Connie Kilday (pictured in story photo) is a Master Teacher in the Teach North Texas program beginning this fall. Prior to joining TNT, she was an Instructional Coordinator of Mathematics Grades 6-8 for Irving ISD and a Texas Regional Project Manager for ExploreLearning - Cambium Learning. All together Connie has 42 years of education experience, 27 of which was in the classroom. She started as a junior high school math teacher in Arlington ISD and continued to teach as a high school math teacher in Irving ISD. Connie earned her BA from University of Dallas, and her Masters in Secondary Education from UNT with additional hours from East Texas State University.

Please join us in welcoming all of our new faculty to the College of Science!