Grow With Us

New College has hired 15 tenure-track faculty for the 2018-19 academic year.

2018-19 Faculty Hires

New College of Florida is entering a phase of unprecedented growth. The first year of our plan has called for hiring at least 15 tenure-track faculty members in a variety of fields, disciplinary and interdisciplinary. We’ve accomplished that, with the recent addition of these outstanding educators in Fall 2018:

Meet our new faculty


Diego Villada
Assistant Professor of Theater and Performance Studies:
Diego Villada is a theatre artist and scholar. His production work centers on movement for the stage and his academic research focuses on Latin American Performance — specifically performances of culture and tourism in Colombia and Brazil. Professor Villada studies how performance affects the construction, maintenance, and shifting of identities as related to staged “authenticity” in the Americas.

Ph.D., Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Pittsburgh
M.F.A., Theatre Pedagogy, Virginia Commonwealth University
B.S., Theatre Performance and Psychology, University of Evansville

Mark Dancigers
Assistant Professor of Digital Media and Music
Mark Dancigers has composed music for documentary films, ballet and contemporary dance, chamber musicians, orchestras, and laptops. He performs regularly as an electric guitarist for NOW Ensemble, and has previously held faculty positions at Yale, New College of Florida, and the University of Redlands. His interests include the intersections of sound and data, theories of digital media and multimedia, and improvisational musical practices.

Ph.D., Music, Princeton University
M.M., Yale School of Music
B.A., Composition, Yale, University

Hugo Viera-Vargas
Assistant Professor of Caribbean/Latin American Studies and Music
Hugo Viera-Vargas’ research focuses on the intersection of race and musical expressions in Puerto Rico. He previously served as an associate research professor for the Department of Humanities, Universidad Metropolitana San Juan, Puerto Rico. His research and teaching interests include Afro-Caribbean musical expressions, Latin American and Caribbean History, Historical Thinking and Cultural Politics. He is also active as a percussionist.

Ph.D., History, Indiana University.
M.A., Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington
B.A., Social Sciences, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras

Ryan Buyssens
Assistant Professor of Art
A recipient of the North Carolina Arts Fellowship for 2012-13, Ryan Buyssens exhibits his work internationally. As an artist, inventor and maker of kinetic esoterica, he expresses his ideas through countless media. Professor Buyssens creates devices with the use of computer design, 3-D printing, CNC machining, laser-cutting and good old-fashioned patience. His work becomes a comment on logic and progress. He comes to New College from the University of Central Florida, where he was assistant professor of sculpture and applied design.

M.F.A., Sculpture, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
B.F.A., Saginaw Valley State University, Saginaw, Michigan

Human And Artificial Intelligence

Tania Roy
Assistant Professor of Human Centered Computing
Tania Roy earned her Ph.D. in the Human Centered Computing Division of the School of Computing at Clemson University. Her research interests are in human centered computing, healthcare applications and well-being. She has also worked on research projects related to designing educational technologies, running studies with virtual reality simulations and affect transfer. Her dissertation research explored the feasibility of using technology to detect digital dating abuse by using text messages as test corpus.

Ph.D., Human Center Computing, Clemson University
M.S., Computer Science, Clemson University
Bachelor of Technology, Computer Science & Engineering, West Bengal University of Technology, India.

Kathleen V. Casto
Human Neuroscience: Assistant Professor of Psychology
Kathleen Casto is from the Social Psychoneuroendcrinology Lab in Eugene, Ore., as a postdoctoral fellow with the National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council in collaboration with the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center to study the social neuroendocrinology of competitive and cooperative behavior and social status within and between groups and how these factors relate to group performance.

Ph.D., Psychology, Neuroscience and Animal Behavior, Emory University
M.A., Psychological Science, James Madison University
B.A., Psychology and Chemistry, University of North Caroline, Wilmington


Mark Paul
Environmental Economics: Assistant Professor of Economics
Mark Paul is a political economist working in the areas of inequality, environmental economics, and applied microeconomics. His research is focused on understanding the causes and consequences of inequality and assessing and designing remedies to address it. Professor Paul is also involved in economic policy in the United States and is currently a Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, The Atlantic, Vox, The American Prospect, The Nation, The Hill, and Jacobin, among other publications. Prior to coming to New College he was a Postdoctoral Associate at the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University.

Ph.D., Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Nicolas Delon
Environmental Ethics: Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Environmental Studies
Nicholas Delon works primarily in ethics, with a focus on animal and environmental ethics. His research interests also include moral psychology, experimental philosophy, social, political, and legal philosophy, Nietzsche, and Wittgenstein.

Ph.D., Philosophy, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
M.A., History of European Legal Thought, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
M.A., Philosophy, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
B.A., Philosophy, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

Gerardo Toro-Farmer
Assistant Professor of Coastal and Marine Sciences
Gerardo Toro-Farmer is an oceanographer interested in the application of geographic information system (GIS) techniques, remote sensing and in-situ optical tools to understand how marine, near-shore and coastal environments are changing due to natural and human processes and perturbations. His main research activities focus on benthic and pelagic productivity, diversity, spatial distribution and habitat connectivity. In his research he uses optical properties, from in-situ instrumentation and satellites, as fundamental tools to understand environmentally mediated biological processes at different spatial and temporal scales. Specifically, he examines how changes in the oceanic light environment (marine bio-optics) affect spatial-temporal variability of productivity, abundance and diversity in coral reefs and other coastal ecosystems.

Ph.D., Ocean Sciences from the University of Southern California
B.A., Biology, University of Valle Univalve


Nicholas L. Clarkson
Assistant Professor of Gender Studies
Nicholas Clarkson’s research and teaching interests involve a variety of topics at the intersection of trans, feminist, and queer theory. His first research project looked into the effects of post-9/11 surveillance and security procedures on trans people to understand why we were seeing both “progress” of trans inclusion in the U.S. at the level of identity documentation policy and employment discrimination law while, at the same time, airport security practices and security memos represented gender variance as a threat to the nation. His current project looks into the relationship between trans and non-trans gay masculinities to find possibilities for constructing more feminist masculinities. Prior to coming to New College, Professor Clarkson was a Postdoctoral Associate in Transgender Studies at Duke University.  He also previously taught at Indiana University, Butler University, and Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Ph.D., Gender Studies, with a minor in Cultural Studies, Indiana University

Jessica Young
Global English: Assistant Professor of English
Jessica Young’s research interests include World Anglophone Literature, South Asian Literature, Postcolonial Studies, Critical Theory, Cultural Memory and Trauma Studies, Human Rights and Processes of Reconciliation, Genocide, Globalization, Digital Archives, September 11.

Ph.D., English Literature, University of Illinois
M.A., English Literature, San Francisco State University.
B.A., Reed College

Nassima Neggaz
Assistant Professor of Religion and Islamic Studies
Nassima Neggaz was the Jameel Lecturer in Islamic Studies at Cardiff University. Her research interests include Islamic Historiography, Sects and Identity Formation, Medieval Baghdad, Urban Landscape, Islamic Political Thought, Islamic Movements (medieval and modern), and Islamic Law.

Ph.D., Arabic and Islamic Studies, Georgetown University
M.A., Arab Studies (Politics), Georgetown University

Ilaria Giglioli
Migration: Assistant Professor of Geography and International Studies
Ilaria Giglioli is a human geographer and a scholar of migration, borders, and racialization, with a regional focus in the Mediterranean region (Southern Europe, Middle East and North Africa). More specifically, her research analyzes migration between North Africa and Europe, and the material and discursive production of the Mediterranean sea as the Southern Border of Europe. Her current book project, entitled Unmaking the Mediterranean border. Mediterraneanism, Colonial Mobilities and Postcolonial Migration, studies colonial and postcolonial migration between Italy and Tunisia, focusing on the creation and contestation of racialized boundaries between Italians and Tunisians, and how this translates into debates about the Mediterranean as a ‘civilizational divide’ between Europe and North Africa.

Ph.D. Geography, University of California, Berkeley
M.A., Geography, University of Toronto
B.A., Geography, University of Oxford

Amanda Fidalgo
International Political Economy: Assistant Professor of Political Science
Amanda Fidalgo’s research focuses on democratization, state politics, Latin American politics, and comparative political economy. She is currently working on a project that explores the extent to which democracy varies at the state (subnational) level and how that variation affects national democratic legitimacy and stability. As part of her research, she has conducted field work in Brazil.

Ph.D., Political Science, Penn State University
Political Science, Florida State University
B.A., International Affairs, Florida State University

Natural Sciences

Rebecca Black
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Rebecca Black has a background in polymerization catalysis and synthetic organometallic chemistry. Her current research interests lie in developing new organic ligands and transition metal catalysts for acceptorless dehydrogenation, a clean organic synthetic method that generates hydrogen gas as its only byproduct. Other research interests include developing assessable methods for students to build their chemical literacy– from science news articles to peer-reviewed science journals. Her teaching interests include Organic chemistry, transition metal catalysis, polymer science, NMR spectroscopy and structure elucidation, the history of science, and chemistry in art.

Ph.D., Inorganic Chemistry, University of Chicago
Chemistry, The University of Chicago
B.A., Chemistry and English, Augustana College

Erika Diaz-Almeyda
Assistant Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies
Erika Diaz-Almeyda was the FIRST Postdoctoral Fellow at Emory University. Her fields of expertise include gene expression, genomics, climate change biology and microbial symbiosis.

Ph.D., Qualitative Systems Biology, Pennsylvania State University
M.S., Marine Science and Limnology, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
B.S., Biology, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

Lin Jiang
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Professor Jiang aimed at an interdisciplinary area that linked environmental chemistry and bioorganic chemistry. She regularly offers classes in organic chemistry I&II, environmental chemistry, advanced organic synthesis, and structure elucidation. She is interested in the practical applications of various natural products in environmental and human health areas. Her current research is focused on the photodegradation of organic contaminants in wastewater by natural pigments, sensitized nanomaterials, and the synergistic interactions between natural bioactive compounds in food-related products.

Ph.D., Chemistry, Miami University
B.S., Environmental Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, China

Bernhard Klingenberg
Bernhard Klingenberg

Professor of Statistics

Professor Klingenberg’s academic and research interests include Statistical Modeling, Categorical Data Analysis and Biostatistics. Fall 2018 course offerings include Statistical Inference for Data Scientists and Introduction to Categorical Data Analysis.

Ph.D., University of Florida
M.A., Graz University of Technology
B.A., Graz University of Technology

Athena RycykAthena Rycyk
Assistant professor of Biology & Marine Science

Dr. Rycyk specializes in sirenian biology, including manatee-boat interactions, sensory capabilities, and vocal communication. Florida manatees are threatened in part by mortality from boat collisions and her research has identified acoustic, behavioral, and environmental factors that influence manatee behavior around boats. She also has interest in acoustic ecology of Sarasota Bay, including temporal and spatial patterns in sound production by bottlenose dolphins, manatees, and soniferous fish.

Ph.D., Florida State University
M.S., Florida State University
B.A., New College of Florida