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Carleton Awards Tenure to Five Faculty Members

February 29, 2012

Five members of the Carleton College faculty have been awarded tenure by the Board of Trustees, as announced by Beverly Nagel, Dean of the College. Effective September 1, 2012, these five faculty members will become associate professors in their academic department.

Palmar Álvarez-Blanco, assistant professor of Spanish, earned her Licentiate in Spanish philology from the University of Valladolid in Spain, before moving to the US, where she received her MA in Spanish literature from Villanova University and her PhD from the University of Colorado-Boulder, in 2006; she joined the Carleton faculty later the same year. Álvarez-Blanco teaches at all levels of the curriculum, from introductory language classes to upper-level courses on contemporary Spanish film and literature. In her research, Álvarez-Blanco is a pioneer, charting the rich and complex territory of contemporary Spanish fiction. She has co-edited a collection of essays featuring contributions from both creative writers and scholars, co-edited a special issue of the journal Letras Hispanas on New Trends in Contemporary Peninsular Spanish Narrative, and published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and essay collections. She is currently at work on a book manuscript entitled Paradigms of (In)stability: Nostalgic and Counter-nostalgic Narrative in the Twenty-First Century.

Devashree Gupta, assistant professor of political science, earned her AB in government with honors at Georgetown University in 1996, and her MA in international relations from the University of Chicago in 2000. She received her PhD in government from Cornell University in 2008, with specialization in comparative politics and international relations. Gupta joined the Carleton faculty in 2006. In her courses, she creates rigorous and often fun opportunities for her students to master the sophisticated quantitative, qualitative, and comparative methodologies that yield the most productive insights in political science. Positioned at the crossroads of comparative politics and sociology, Gupta’s research focuses on developing a more nuanced and empirically grounded understanding of the social and political dynamics shaping nationalist movements, especially those in Northern Ireland, South Africa, and the Middle East.

Pavel S. Kapinos, assistant professor of economics, graduated summa cum laude from Hanover College in 1999, and then moved to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he earned his MA in finance and his PhD in economics. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at Wesleyan University, Kapinos joined the Carleton faculty in 2005. The central focus of his teaching is macroeconomics, with particular attention to the intermediate macroeconomic theory course required for economics majors. Kapinos's scholarly interests are centered on two issues in monetary policy: how to best set monetary policy in dynamic settings; and how to explain the so-called "price puzzle," that, counter to most standard models, higher interest rates seem to be associated with increases in inflation rather than decreases. His papers have appeared in top journals and he has also been published in well-regarded economics education journals on pedagogical tools for macroeconomics developed in part with Carleton students. Kapinos has been described as "a rare bird" at a liberal arts institution, someone who makes important contributions in answering the big questions of macroeconomics.

Meera Sehgal, assistant professor of women’s and gender studies and sociology, received a BA in 1986 and an MA in 1988 in sociology from the University of Poona in India. Sehgal later attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she received the MS in 1993 and PhD in 2004 in sociology. She taught for two years at the University of Cincinnati’s Center for Women’s Studies before coming to Carleton in 2005. Sehgal’s appointment and teaching responsibilities are split between the Women’s and Gender Studies Program and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Sehgal’s scholarship concerns the intersection between feminism, social movements, and South Asian studies. In her publications, she has sought to make sense of how Indian women become zealous participants in violent right wing Hindu Nationalist groups. More recently, Sehgal’s work has turned toward an ethnographic study of SANGAT, the 30-year-old South Asian women’s network committed to transnational peace in response to nationalist and religious fundamentalist movements.

Sarah J. Titus, assistant professor of geology, earned her BA in geology and environmental studies at Oberlin College, and her MS and PhD in geology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She joined the Carleton faculty in 2006. Titus teaches courses such as Structural Geology, Tectonics, and Geophysics. Not one to rest on her laurels, Titus sets yearly goals that have helped her master the craft of teaching and become widely recognized as a rigorous and highly effective teacher. The passion Titus brings to her teaching is also reflected in her current research on the development of student visualization skills. This is a particularly important topic in a field where mastery of spatial visualization is essential for student success. This research is paired with scholarship on the San Andreas Fault in California and other transform faults in Cyprus and Iceland. Titus has been particularly successful in producing numerous publications and her work appears in prominent venues including the Journal of Structural Geology, Geology, and Lithosphere.

For more information, contact the Carleton College Dean of the College Office at (507) 222-4303.