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New Faces on Campus: UD Welcomes More Than a Dozen New Faculty Members, Announces New Academic Leadership

IRVING, TX (Sept. 2, 2022) – The University of Dallas welcomes more than a dozen new faculty members this 2022-23 academic year. Their knowledge and insights will further enrich student learning in many disciplines, including art, biology, chemistry, computer science, economics, English, mathematics, philosophy, physics, and Spanish. 

“I want to welcome UD’s newest faculty, who will inspire and shape the next generation of outstanding leaders for our society,” said President Jonathan J. Sanford, Ph.D. The new faculty are:

  • Said Bakkar, Ph.D., affiliate assistant professor of physics, who formerly served as a research fellow at UD last year, received his doctorate in materials science and engineering from the University of North Texas.

  • Saadia Bhimidine, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology, joined the department’s faculty in 2022 and received her doctorate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 

  • Amy Borja, Ph.D., affiliate assistant professor of Spanish, completed her doctorate at the University of Texas in Austin. She formerly served as an affiliate assistant professor at UD. 

  • Erick Chastain, Ph.D., assistant professor of computer science, received his doctoral degree from Rutgers University. He previously held a postdoctoral research associate position at the University of Wisconsin.

  • Fr. Stephen Gregg, O.Cist., affiliate assistant professor of English, is completing his doctorate in literature this fall at UD, and previously served at Cistercian Preparatory School as well as being an adjunct instructor at UD.

  • Kevin Kambo, assistant professor of philosophy, received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the Catholic University of America and formerly served as assistant professor of philosophy at Hope College. 

  • Nick McAfee, Ph.D. ’22, is a postdoctoral teaching fellow in philosophy who received his doctorate at UD, and also works in UD’s Politics Department. 

  • Prajay Patel, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry, completed his doctorate  at Michigan State University, and served as a postdoctoral appointee at the Argonne National Laboratory. 

  • Laura Post, affiliate assistant professor of art, received her MFA in printmaking from Rhode Island School of Design, and worked at the University of Texas in Arlington.

  • Diego Rojas, Ph.D., affiliate assistant professor of mathematics, received his doctoral degree from Iowa State University, where he also served as an instructor at the university.  

  • Leta Sundet, Ph.D. ’22, who formerly served as director of UD’s Writing Lab, is a postdoctoral teaching fellow of English.  

  • James Zeller, Ph.D. ’22, writing lab director, previously served as adjunct instructor.

  • Mark Zeske, affiliate instructor and journalism director, received his master’s in journalism from the University of North Texas. He previously served as an English teacher in Irving ISD and as a sportswriter from The Dallas Morning News.

“It is my pleasure to work alongside such diligent and notable faculty as they foster the academic excellence for which the University of Dallas is known across the nation,” said Provost Matthias Vorwerk, Ph.D., who started at UD earlier this summer. “I look forward to welcoming and working with our UD faculty as they return to the classroom.” 

Additionally, several key faculty members were appointed to new administrative leadership roles including: Matthew Walz, Ph.D., associate dean of Constantin College; Susan Rhame, Ph.D., interim dean of the Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business; and Ron Rombs, Ph.D., associate dean and associate director of UD’s Rome Program.

 
 
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Latest News
Sep 19, 2022

The University of Dallas recently earned high marks of excellence from leading publications – including moving up to the #2 spot for “Best Value” among U.S. News & World Report’s "Best Colleges" in the West, as well as The Princeton Review’s Best 388 Colleges and “America’s Top Colleges” by Forbes.

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The University of Dallas welcomes more than a dozen new faculty members this 2022-23 academic year. Their knowledge and insights will further enrich student learning in many disciplines, including art, biology, chemistry, computer science, economics, English, mathematics, philosophy, physics, and Spanish.

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The University of Dallas welcomed the 421 members of Class of 2026 to campus last week, the second largest incoming class in its 66-year history. About 49% come from outside of Texas, representing 38 states and 270 cities, and international students from as far away as Vietnam.

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