CASL faculty receive promotion and tenure

May 17, 2019

The Board of Regents, at their meeting on May 16, approved promotions and tenure for the following CASL faculty members.

"One of my greatest privileges is to be able to advocate on behalf of CASL's outstanding faculty and to support their promotion and tenure cases.  Every year I am both humbled and inspired by the work of my faculty colleagues.  This year is no exception.  Please join me in congratulating our peers on their successful promotion and tenure cases!  Well done!"

Martin J. Hershock, Dean

(Click on each name to read a summary of the promotion recommendation.)

Will Clarkson, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, Department of Natural Sciences, promoted to associate professor of physics and astronomy, with tenure. 

Dr. Clarkson has achieved an impressive record in research and scholarship as an observational astrophysicist specializing in the study of the distribution and motion of stellar populations in the Milky Way galaxy using both ground- and space-based data. In the realm of professional service, he has provided manuscript reviews for The Astrophysical Journal, Astronomy & Astrophysics, and the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, and served on grants review panels for both NASA and the NSF.

Professor Clarkson has taught the full range of courses offered in the astronomy curriculum. His development of “data investigations,” a set of in-class, small-group activities for introductory astronomy courses utilizing Hubble Space Telescope data (and funded through a grant from NASA), stands as a unique and highly successful example of Clarkson’s commitment to bringing modern astronomical data analysis techniques into the classroom.


Yiwei Deng, associate professor of chemistry, with tenure, Department of Natural Sciences, promoted to professor of chemistry, with tenure. 

Professor Deng is an environmental chemist and her research is interdisciplinary, focusing on two major areas: The development of analytical methods for environmental, forensic, pharmaceutical and food applications; the study of reactions, transformation and fate of pollutants in aquatic and atmospheric environments at a fundamental level.

Dr. Deng was the chair of the chemistry discipline and has prepared and submitted reports to the American Society for Chemistry to ensure that the Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry fulfills the American Chemical Society’s strict requirements to be a certified degree. She has been invited as a speaker in scientific meetings and seminars and has served as session chair in several international conferences. In the local community, she has served to support the Chemistry Olympiad for high school students and frequently officiated Chinese language contests.


Yulia Georgieva-Hristova, assistant professor of mathematics, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, promoted to associate professor of mathematics, with tenure. 

Dr. Georgieva-Hristova's research interests lie in the general area of numerical analysis and differential equations with emphasis on inverse problems, particularly those related to imaging techniques. She has taught 21 lower-division courses, six upper-division courses, and three independent study courses since joining the faculty in fall 2012. Professor Georgieva-Hristova teaches with enthusiasm, passion, knowledge, ability, and engages students.

Dr. Georgieva-Hristova has served on the Department Executive Committee, the Turfe Distinguished Lecture Series Committee, Department LEOs I & II Review Committee, and has organized or co-organized several professional
meetings or conferences including the Society for Applied and Industrial Mathematics Great Lakes Section Spring Meeting in 2016.


Hyejin Kim, assistant professor of mathematics, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, promoted to associate professor of mathematics, with tenure. 

Dr. Kim's research interests include probability theory, asymptotic problems for stochastic differential equations and partial differential equations. Technology plays an integral part in her teaching in the form of computer software, online homework (WeBWork) and course management systems (Canvas). In 2018, she was awarded the UM-Dearborn Distinguished Teaching Award. 

Professor Kim's service contributions at the department level are significant, and she has done some cutting-edge research work with undergraduate students. At the university level, Professor Kim currently serves on the Faculty Senate First Year Experience Committee. 


Xiaohua Li, assistant professor of chemistry, Department of Natural Sciences, promoted to associate professor of chemistry, with tenure.

Professor Li is a dedicated educator of organic chemistry. Her research interests focus on the development and application of new methods for synthesis of organic molecules, specifically, carbohydrates. Dr. Li has accepted the challenging and labor-intensive task of developing methods by which specific natural occurring carbohydrates can be synthesized in the laboratory and used therapeutically for cancer study and treatment.

Professor Li provides important contributions to the Department of Natural Sciences by serving on committees and leading activities to enhance the cultural collegiality on the campus. She has been a member of the Colloquium Committee, the Department’s annual Poster Session Committee, and two organic chemistry faculty search committees, as well as performance review committees for LEO lecturers.


Michael MacDonald, assistant professor of composition and rhetoric, Department of Language, Culture, and Communication, promoted to associate professor of composition and rhetoric, with tenure.

Professor MacDonald has become a leader among a vibrant community of rhetoric scholars studying transnationalism and its impact on literacy instruction in both higher education and community-based contexts. He contributes significantly to disciplinary and interdisciplinary conversations about the intersections of literacy and refugee studies, literacy “sponsorship,” and basic writing and multilingual pedagogies. He is a reflective and effective educator who draws on current theory in his field of study to inform his classroom practice.

Dr. MacDonald's extensive service includes his coordination of composition placement exam readings, collaboration with the HUB for Teaching and Learning Resources on several faculty development programs focused on supporting multilingual learners, and contributions to the professional development of Writing Center tutors.


Anna Muller, assistant professor of history, Department of Social Sciences, promoted to associate professor of history, with tenure.

Dr. Muller's research on female political prisoners in Communist Poland documents how the women were able to retain their dignity and humanity in the face of government oppression. This work culminated in the 2018 book, If the Walls Could Speak: Inside a Women's Prison in Communist Poland.  Her research was found to be pathbreaking in its approach, eloquent in its presentation, and substantial in its impact on the field. Professor Muller teaches courses in Polish and East-Central European history, and courses in the Honors Program, as well as the Inside Out Prison Exchange program. She also created a Poland Study Abroad program. 

Dr. Muller aides the campus’s development of global learning strategies, bringing scholars and exhibits to campus. She has assisted institutional operations by serving on curriculum committee, performing program assessments, and actively serving on program faculty bodies for multiple academic programs. 


Vadym Pyrozhenko, assistant professor of public administration, Department of Social Sciences, promoted to associate professor of public administration, with tenure. 

Professor Pyrozhenko seeks to build theoretical frameworks for examining and understanding the role of social knowledge in public administration to help both scholars and practitioners understand and overcome barriers that limit the use of citizen’s knowledge in government operations. He is a vital member of the public administration faculty, and has taught courses in leadership and human resources, as well as the capstone assessment seminar. 

Professor Pyrozhenko is one of two tenure track faculty dedicated to the MPA program and provides service on all levels to the ensure the program’s survival and growth. He also stays engaged with the local chapter of the American Political Science Association.

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