Faculty join Kravis Department of Integrated Sciences
Seven outstanding scientists and educators have joined Claremont McKenna College’s new Kravis Department of Integrated Sciences (KDIS) expanding the College’s capacity to plan, develop, and lead the new curricula for KDIS.
“We are very fortunate to have recruited a group of extraordinarily talented and energetic scientists who are excited to develop the foundations of our new program,” said KDIS Founding Chair, Prof. Ran Libeskind-Hadas. “They will help us develop our new curricula, hire and mentor our next cohorts of faculty, and begin teaching and mentoring our students.”
In addition, Libeskind-Hadas continues to collaborate on the final design elements of the Robert Day Sciences Center (RDSC), which is currently under construction. Once complete, the RDSC will provide exceptional teaching and research laboratories for the sciences as well as teaching, learning, and innovation spaces for the entire college.
The following faculty have recently joined the CMC Kravis Department of Integrated Sciences:
Jason Keller studies the flow of carbon and nutrients through ecosystems and how ecosystems respond to global change. His current research project is on the controls of anaerobic decomposition and greenhouse gas dynamics in a variety of wetlands. Prof. Keller joins CMC from Chapman University, where he served as Vice Provost for Graduate Education.
David Nembhard, KDIS Director of Applied Science Programs
David Nembhard studies behavioral operations, augmented learning and training systems, and human analytics. At CMC, he will be responsible for planning and developing the Workshop (a KDIS analog to a makerspace), contributing to the 3+2 BA/BS program, and co-teaching or guest lecturing in KDIS courses, labs, and workshops. Prof. Nembhard joins CMC from the University of Iowa, where he taught industrial and systems engineering and business analytics.
Paul Nerenberg studies problems in computational chemistry using physics-based simulation methods. His current research project is to design force fields that provide the most accurate molecular dynamics simulations possible, particularly for molecules of interest in biology and medicine. Prof. Nerenberg joins CMC from California State University-Los Angeles, where he taught physics and biology.
Lars Schmitz studies the visual system of vertebrate radiations with an integrative and interdisciplinary approach. His current research project is on the effects of aquatic-terrestrial transitions on the evolution of visual systems. Prof. Schmitz joins KDIS from the W.M. Keck Science Center.
Emily Wiley, KDIS Director of Program Development
Emily Wiley, who recently contributed to the design and teaching of the inaugural KDIS course, “Codes of Life,” with Prof. Libeskind-Hadas, is the KDIS Director of Program Development. She will contribute to faculty recruitment, foundational science courses, undergraduate research opportunities, mentoring programs for new KDIS faculty, and the advising program for KDIS students. Wiley, who studies the epigenetics and gene regulation underlying cell differentiation, was recently selected as a Fulbright US Scholar for AY 23-24.
Branwen Williams studies geochemical and schlerochronological techniques to generate environmental reconstructions from marine proxy archives. Her current research project is on the processes that drive high-latitude change through generation and interpretation of seawater reconstructions from the skeletons of coralline algae. Williams is the George Roberts Professor of Environmental Biology at CMC and will also be serving as the new Director of the Roberts Environmental Center.
Shibu Yooseph studies computational biology and bioinformatics. His current research addresses the design and development of efficient algorithms for large-scale biological data analysis. Prof. Yooseph joins CMC from the University of Central Florida, where he was a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Central Florida and the Cluster Lead for the Genomics and Bioinformatics Faculty Research Cluster.