New faculty and coaches join CMC

Meet the newest members of our community

With the beginning of each academic year, we announce the faculty members and coaches joining the Claremont McKenna College community. Here are brief introductions to each. Welcome to all!

New assistant professors


Jordan Branch, assistant professor of government

Jordan Branch is joining the government department as an assistant professor of government. His research focuses on two issues at the core of international relations: the origins, features, and consequences of the territorial system of sovereign states and the role of technology and technological change in international politics. In his work, he employs a combination of historical analysis, close qualitative study of contemporary issues, theoretical and conceptual development, and methodological critique.


Gabbrielle Johnson, assistant professor of philosophy

Gabbrielle Johnson is joining the philosophy department as an assistant professor of philosophy. Johnson works in philosophy of psychology, philosophy of cognitive science, philosophy of science, and philosophy of technology. She specializes in computational models in vision and social cognition, and her projects in these areas explore the nature and structure of social bias. Currently, her research extends theories of bias beyond individual agents to biases that manifest in machine learning algorithms and larger structural systems of injustice, and investigates the role of human values in scientific explanations involving burgeoning technology.


New associate professor


Nishant Dass, Charles M. Stone Associate Professor of Finance

Nishant Dass is joining the Robert Day School of Economics and Finance as the Charles M. Stone Associate Professor of Finance. He is an empiricist by training and his field of research is corporate finance. He started his research career with a focus on two broad fields within corporate finance – financial intermediation and corporate governance. Dass’ interest in financial intermediaries was motivated by the important role that these entities play in capital allocation in the economy. His research in this field has highlighted both the effect that financial intermediaries have on firms as well as the internal functioning of these intermediaries, which include commercial banks, mutual funds, and venture capital firms. Dass’ interest in research on corporate governance is primarily driven by the fundamental role that chief executive officers (CEOs) and boards of directors play within the firm. A special focus of his research has been the advisory role of directors and the effect of CEO’s incentive contracts. Over time, his research in financial intermediation and corporate governance intersected to highlight the role of innovative firms, thus sparking a new line of research on innovation over the last few years. Dass continues to research the many unique aspects of innovative firms and their special role in the economy.


New chair of military science


Daniel Hayden, chair and professor of military science

Daniel Hayden is joining the military science department as chair and professor of military science. Lt. Col. Hayden is a U.S. Army Engineer officer who has served in a variety of command and staff positions from platoon leader to battalion executive officer. He completed five combat deployments throughout his career having served twice in Iraq and three times in Afghanistan with duties ranging from facilities engineer to battalion operations officer. Originally from Fall River, Mass., Hayden received his commission through the ROTC program at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst with a degree in political science. He holds a Master of Science degree in geology and geophysics from the University of Missouri at Rolla and a Master of Military Art and Science in Military History degree from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. His awards and decorations include three Bronze Star Medals, four Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, the Combat Action Badge, and the Sapper Tab.


New coaches


Ryan Fahey, head men’s soccer coach and assistant professor of physical education

Ryan Fahey is joining the CMS department of physical education as head men’s soccer coach and assistant professor of physical education. Ryan is a 2010 CMC graduate. Since graduating, he has been an assistant coach for CMS, Dartmouth College, and the University of Notre Dame. In Fahey’s decade of coaching, his teams have won seven conference championships and made nine NCAA tournaments with the 2018 Notre Dame team making a run to the Elite Eight.


Marina Muncan, head cross country coach and assistant professor of physical education

Marina Muncan is joining the CMS department of physical education as head cross country coach and assistant professor of physical education. Coach Muncan competed in the 1,500 meters at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games and was a finalist at the 2012 European Championship. She has coached the women’s distance runners at Division I Rutgers University for the last five years and has eight years of NCAA coaching experience, including three at the Division III level. She coached two Rutgers Scarlet Knights to USTFCCCA All-Region honors in cross country for the first time in program history, and qualified the program's first distance athlete to the NCAA Track and Field Championships in over 10 years. Several of her student-athletes set new school records, while all five of her teams earned USTFCCCA All-Academic Team honors for their performance in the classroom.


Chanel Murchison, head women’s basketball coach and assistant professor of physical education

Chanel Murchison is joining the CMS department of physical education as head women’s basketball coach and assistant professor of physical education. Coach Murchison comes to CMC from the Division I school William & Mary, where she was assistant basketball coach for two years after spending four years on the coaching staff at Division III John Carroll University. At William & Mary, Murchison coached the team to 16 wins in her first season and five All-Colonial Athletic Association awards, including a first-time All-CAA selection from Bianca Boggs, the first such honor for the program in a decade. At John Carroll, she helped the Blue Streaks to their first two NCAA Tournament appearances in program history.


New full-time visiting faculty


Jung-Eun Choi, visiting assistant professor of Korean

Jung-Eun Choi is joining the modern languages and literatures department as a visiting assistant professor of Korean. Her research interests are in second language acquisition and Korean linguistics. Specifically, she has studied morphological, syntactic, and pragmatic properties of Korean. Her current work examines how semantico-pragmatic properties of Korean case, topic, or focus particle cause difficulty in the second language acquisition.


Cory Davia, visiting assistant professor of philosophy

Cory Davia is joining the philosophy department as a visiting assistant professor. He specializes in ethics, metaethics, and philosophy of action. His research addresses questions about the role of reflection in practical agency, the nature ofreasons for action, and the relationship between morality and rationality. Davia also works on the scholarship of teaching and learning, where his research focuses on how to help students learn from discussion.


Caitlyn B. Gumaer, assistant visiting professor of psychology and interim director of the Claremont Autism Center

Caitlyn B. Gumaer is joining the psychological science department as an assistant visiting professor of psychology and the interim director of the Claremont Autism Center. Her primary interests meet at the intersection of research and clinicaltreatment; she is interested in positive, strength-based approaches in treating children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and working with their families to promote sustained, positive developmental outcomes. Gumaer’s researchinterests include naturalistic teaching strategies, language and communication development, and the inclusion of family members (i.e., parents, grandparents, siblings) in the treatment of children and adolescents with ASD. Having worked at theClaremont Autism Center for the past 10 years, as both an undergrad (Pitzer ’13) and graduate student (CGU ’20), she is looking forward to being a member of the CMC community.


Emma Kalb, visiting assistant professor of history

Emma Kalb is joining the history department in the spring as a visiting assistant professor of history. Her research interests center on themes of slavery, service, gender, and sexuality in early modern South Asian history. Her current projectfocuses on eunuch slavery during the Mughal period (1526-1857), arguing for its critical importance for our understanding of elite life in early modern South Asia and the Islamicate world. The project explores how eunuchs were central both to thesocial life of elite households, particularly as mediators of interaction and access, as well as occasionally high-ranking imperial servitors whose lives speak to the complex incorporation of castrated slaves into the ranks of the Mughal elite.


Yunied Puig de Dios, visiting assistant professor of mathematics

Yunied Puig de Dios is joining the mathematical sciences department as a visiting assistant professor of mathematics. His research interests include functional analysis and operator theory, or more precisely, the dynamics of linear operators(hypercyclicity). Linear dynamics is a young and rapidly evolving branch of functional analysis with much in common with operator theory, mainly concerned with the behavior of iterates of linear operators acting on separable infinite-dimensionaltopological vector spaces. Puig de Dios’ research has explored the interplay of linear dynamics with other areas of mathematics like geometry of Banach spaces, combinatorics (additive number theory), ergodic theory, and non-standard analysis.


New part-time visiting faculty


Stephanie Muravchik, visiting assistant professor of government

Stephanie Muravchik is joining the government department as a visiting assistant professor. She is the co-author, with professor Jon A. Shields, of Trump’s Democrats, which will be published in September 2020 by the Brookings Institution Press.It is a political ethnography of three blue strongholds that flipped Republican in the 2016 election. Her research explores the intersections of politics with class, family, and religion. Her first book was American Protestantism in an Age of Psychology (Cambridge, 2011). She has taught at Claremont Graduate University and the California State University at San Bernardino.