8 new professors join New College faculty this fall

August 12, 2022

Arizona State University New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciencesbased on ASU’s West Campus, is home to more than 170 faculty members renowned in their fields for their innovative research.

This semester, New College welcomes eight new professors who will teach and conduct research in the college’s three schools – the School of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studiesthe School of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences.

“We are delighted to welcome this talented group of scholars to New College,” said Todd Sandrin, Dean of New College and Vice Provost of West Campus. “All of these renowned scholars have extraordinary records of excellence in research and education that will enable them to transform the lives of our students both in and beyond the classroom. I look forward to seeing the many ways I know they will contribute to the growth taking place here at New College and the positive impact our campus has on the West Valley and beyond.

Meet the faculty members who will be joining New College this fall:

School of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies

Jessica Wicks-Allen, Assistant Professor

Wicks-Allen specializes in 19th-century African-American history, with a particular interest in black women, slavery, emancipation, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. In her research, she strives to bring black women from the margins to the center of historical narrative, to tell the story of emancipation from their perspective, and to reconstruct the gendered world in which they lived and worked.

She is working on a book project that investigates how mothering, motherhood and the ability to have children shaped the transition of black women from slavery to freedom in the American South.

His work has been supported by the American Philosophical Society and the Society of Civil War Historians. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona, her master’s degree from Howard University, and her doctorate from the University of Maryland.

School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences

Anthony Barley, Assistant Professor

Barley’s research focuses on unraveling the evolutionary mechanisms that generate and maintain genetic and phenotypic diversity in natural populations and over time. It integrates data from collection-based genomics, field and natural history studies, and statistical approaches from the fields of population genomics and phylogenomics to answer fundamental questions about the origin and maintenance of the biodiversity.

He has worked, studied and conducted research at a number of universities and organizations including University of Kansas, University of Hawaii, University of California Davis, California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the US Forest Service. As a postdoctoral student at the University of Hawaii from 2014 to 2021, he received a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation to study the fitting of evolutionary models to genetic datasets.

Her work to study hybridization and the evolution of unisexual reproduction in North American whiptail lizards has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation. He earned his BS in Biological Sciences from California State University Sacramento and his PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Kansas.

School of Social and Behavioral Sciences

John Coffey, Associate Professor

Coffey’s research focuses on how positive and negative emotions and relationships from infancy through adulthood relate to happiness, fulfillment, resilience, mental health, and physical health. Its goal is to enable all individuals, regardless of origin, to overcome adversity and thrive throughout their lives.

His research has been covered by various media and has been published in journals such as Current Psychology, Emotion, Positive Psychology, Journal of Child and Family Studies, Journal of Happiness Studies, and Attachment and Human Development. He has partnered with schools and organizations to create online and in-person interventions to promote the well-being of children, parents and adults. He is also an adjunct assistant professor at the Yale Child Study Center. He has held positions at California State University, Fullerton, University of California, Riverside, and Sewanee: University of the South.

He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Creighton University and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan, as well as a master’s and doctorate in positive developmental psychology from Claremont Graduate University.

Max Guyll, Associate Professor

Guyll’s research aims to understand the psychological processes that guide decision-making during a criminal investigation with the aim of suggesting policing strategies that both convict the guilty and protect the innocent. Her work on police interrogations shows how false confessions can result from normative responses to coercive interrogation tactics.

He develops a research program focused on the evaluation of forensic techniques and works in collaboration with forensic examiners to maximize procedural validity and thus strengthen forensic testimony.

His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Justice and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. He received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University and his MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Utah as well as an MS and PhD in Clinical Psychology from Rutgers University.

Rufan Luo, Assistant Professor

Luo’s research focuses on language and cognitive development, parent-child language interactions, home and classroom learning environments, and sociocultural and ecological influences on early childhood development.

She works with young children, families and teachers from diverse cultural, linguistic and socio-economic backgrounds. She also conducts applied work developing community-based early language interventions and language assessment tools.

Prior to joining ASU, she was an assistant professor at Rutgers University in Camden. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as Child Development, Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Reading Research Quarterly, Infancy, Early Education and Development, and Frontiers in Psychology. His research has been supported by the William Penn Foundation and the Bezos Family Foundation.

She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Peking University, her master’s degree in developmental psychology from Peking University, and her doctorate in applied psychology from New York University.

Stephanie Madon, teacher

Madon’s research aims to advance understanding of the ways in which social influence processes and psychological biases alter people’s judgments and behaviors. She is particularly interested in how expectations influence the decisions of forensic pathologists and other actors in the criminal justice system, as well as the psychological vulnerabilities that put innocent suspects at risk of false confessions during interrogation in custody.

She has given over 100 lectures, workshops and invited presentations and published over 60 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. His work has won him numerous research, teaching and mentoring awards. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the American Psychological Foundation, and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. She holds membership in major psychological associations, including the American Psychological Association, American Psychology-Law Society, Association for Psychological Science, Society of Experimental Social Psychology, and Society for Personality and Social Psychology.

She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Douglass Residential College and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the University of Utah, as well as a master’s and doctorate in social psychology from Rutgers University.

Katherine Nelson-Coffey, Associate Professor

Nelson-Coffey’s research links developmental, social, and positive psychology to study how and why close relationships are linked to happiness and well-being. She studies how specific relationship-enhancing behaviors, such as gratitude and kindness, lead to increased happiness. Additionally, she explores how and why becoming a parent is linked to changes in well-being.

Prior to joining ASU, she was an assistant and associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Southern University and Arnold Gesell Visiting Scholar in Parent and Child Development and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Yale University Child Study Center. In 2021, she was named a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science for her research. His research has been published in Psychological Bulletin, Psychological Science, Emotion, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Psychoneuroendocrinology and other journals, and featured in numerous media including The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Shape Magazine, Pacific Standard and more. Again.

She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Mary Washington and her doctorate in social and personality psychology from the University of California, Riverside.

Karey O’Hara, Assistant Professor

O’Hara’s research lies at the intersection of family law, prevention science, and children’s mental health. She conducts research on risk and protective factors that influence how young people and families cope after stressful events involving contact with family, the juvenile or criminal justice systems, such as parental divorce and parental incarceration.

She completed a clinical fellowship at State University of New York Upstate Medical University and a National Institutes of Health-funded T32 postdoctoral fellowship at ASU’s REACH Institute. She has been published in scientific journals such as Clinical Psychological Science, Journal of Family Psychology and Child Development. Her work is currently funded by a National Institute of Mental Health Career Development Fellowship.

She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Arizona, her master’s degree in forensic psychology from the University of North Dakota, and her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Arizona.

Emilie Balli

Multimedia Specialist, New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

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