Duke Awards Tenure to Faculty in a Wide Range of Fields

October 3, 2022

Recently Tenured Faculty
From top left: Alberto Bartesaghi, Xiuyuan Cheng, Ryan Emanuel, Christine Folch, Nicholas Heaton and Gregor Jarosch; from middle left: Xu Jiang, Douglas Jones, Annette Joseph-Gabriel, Courtney Lewis, Adam Mestyan and Sudeepa Roy; from bottom left: Steven Sexton, Rebecca Steorts, Manolis Veveakis, Yehua We, Dong Yan and Anru Zhang

Here we recognize and celebrate associate professors who have recently been awarded tenure through the campus tenure review process (which includes School of Medicine basic science but not clinical science faculty).

Earning tenure after a rigorous review process by peers inside and outside Duke is a testament to the caliber of each individual faculty member and the impact of their research, teaching and mentoring, as well as their reputation in their disciplines. It is also an invitation to be a partner in shaping the future of Duke and its core mission, playing a role in advancing its excellence and broader impact.


Information provided by the Office of Institutional Research includes recently tenured faculty at the associate professor rank with appointment dates of November 2021 to September 2022, plus those hired at the rank of associate professor with tenure since last year's list.

Alberto Bartesaghi, Associate Professor of Computer Science

Alberto Bartesaghi is associate professor of computer science in the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences and biochemistry in the School of Medicine. He has a secondary appointment in the department of electrical and computer engineering in the Pratt School of Engineering. His research interests include image analysis, computer vision, machine learning, and cryo-electron microscopy to elucidate the molecular structure of proteins. His research is largely funded by the National Institutes of Health along with the National Science Foundation and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Bartesaghi joined the Duke faculty in 2018. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities where he earned his Ph.D. in 2005.
Tenure Date: July 1, 2022

Xiuyuan Cheng, Associate Professor of Mathematics

Xiuyuan Cheng is associate professor of mathematics in the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences. She develops theoretical and computational techniques to solve problems in high-dimensional statistics, signal processing and machine learning. Cheng is a Sloan Fellow and her research is funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Prior to joining Duke faculty in 2017, Cheng was Gibbs Assistant Professor at Yale University. She earned her Ph.D. from Princeton University.
Tenure Date: August 1, 2022

Ryan Emanuel, Associate Professor of Hydrology

Ryan Emanuel is associate professor of hydrology in the division of Environmental Sciences and Policy at the Nicholas School of the Environment. He studies ecohydrology, biogeosciences, environmental justice and Indigenous rights. Emanuel leads a group of researchers who study environmental processes in North Carolina and beyond. His group also partners with Native American tribes and other communities to understand environmental change through the lenses of environmental justice and Indigenous rights. This work involves research, education, and relationship-building. His goal is to amplify voices of Indigenous and other marginalized communities who shoulder disproportionate environmental burdens. Emanuel earned his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.
Tenure Date: January 1, 2022

Christine Folch, Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology

Christine Folch is the Bacca Foundation associate professor of cultural anthropology in the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences with a secondary appointment in the department of environmental sciences and policy at the Nicholas School of the Environment. Her work focuses on water and energy politics during the Anthropocene (current geological age). Her larger research agenda is on environmental ethics and how human communities engage the natural world in Latin America. Folch’s first book “Hydropolitics: The Itaipu Dam, Sovereignty, and the Engineering of Modern South America” is an in-depth look at the people and institutions connected with the Itaipu Dam, the world’s biggest producer of renewable energy. She is currently drafting a cultural history of yerba mate, the stimulating beverage popular in southern South America and its lesser-known but equally delightful caffeinated Ilex/holly-genus cousins guayusa (Amazonia) and yaupon (southern North America). Folch is a recipient of the Global Service Award, a Fulbright Scholar Award, and an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship. She earned her Ph.D. from City University of New York.
Tenure Date: July 1, 2022

Nicholas Heaton, Associate Professor of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology

Nicholas Heaton is an associate professor of molecular genetics and microbiology in the School of Medicine. He is also member of the Duke Cancer Institute and Duke Human Vaccine Institute. His research focuses on molecular virology, the host response to viral infection, and the development of new antiviral therapies. Heaton’s research is funded by both governmental agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and DARPA as well as private foundations such as the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. His work has been published in journals such as Science, Nature Microbiology and Cell. Heaton earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.
Tenure Date: May 1, 2022

Gregor Jarosch, Associate Professor of Economics

Gregor Jarosch is associate professor of economics in the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences. He studies macroeconomics, labor economics and search theory. He is published in Review of Economic Studies, Econometrica and the Journal of Economic Theory. Before joining Duke faculty in 2022, Jarosch was an assistant professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.
Tenure Date: July 1, 2022

Xu Jiang, Associate Professor of Business Administration

Xu Jiang is an associate professor of business administration in the Fuqua School of Business. He joined Fuqua faculty after serving as an assistant professor of accounting at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. Jiang’s research applies theory to practical issues in financial reporting, disclosure and auditing. His current work includes the design of optimal accounting standards with a particular focus on bias and discretion, economic consequences of accounting standards with a particular focus on measurement and auditing issues, and tax incidence. His work has been published in the Journal of Accounting and Economics, Journal of Accounting Research, Management Science and The Accounting Review. He teaches financial accounting and is the recipient of the 2016 Master of Management Studies Excellence in Teaching Award. Jiang earned his B.S. from the University of Science and Technology of China and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.
Tenure Date: July 1, 2021

Douglas Jones, Associate Professor of Theater Studies

Douglas Jones is associate professor of theater studies in the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences with secondary appointments in English and African & African American Studies. His research interests include (African) American literatures of the 18th and 19th centuries, performance studies, cultural histories of slavery in British North America and the U.S., and political theory. He is the author of “The Captive Stage: Performance and the Proslavery Imagination of the Antebellum North,” and is currently writing a book called “Pragmatics of Democracy: A Political Theory of African American Literature before Emancipation.” Jones sits on the editorial boards of American Literature and Modern Drama. Recent essays appear in American Literature, American Literary History and Theatre Journal. Additionally, his work has been featured in the Times Literary Supplement, New York Times, PBS and elsewhere. He joined Duke faculty in 2022 and is a 2022-23 Thomas Langford Lectureship awardee. Jones earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University.
Tenure Date: January 1, 2022

Annette Joseph-Gabriel, Associate Professor of Romance Studies

Annette Joseph-Gabriel is an associate professor of romance studies at Duke University. She holds a B.A. (cum laude) in comparative literature from Williams College and a Ph.D. in French with a graduate certificate in African American and diaspora studies from Vanderbilt University. Her research has been supported by awards from several organizations and institutions including the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, the Women’s Caucus for the Modern Languages, the American Philosophical Society and the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture. She is a recipient of the University of Michigan’s Class of 1923 Memorial Teaching Award for outstanding teaching of undergraduates and the University of Arizona’s Margaret M. Briehl and Dennis T. Ray Five Star Faculty Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching in the Honors College. She is the author of "Reimagining Liberation: How Black Women Transformed Citizenship in the French Empire", which was awarded the Modern Language Association Prize for a First Book and Honorable Mention for the Eugen Weber Award for best book in modern French history.
Tenure Date: January 1, 2022

Courtney Lewis, Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology

Courtney Lewis is associate professor of anthropology in the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences. She is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation, and has established herself as a rising star in Native American studies as well as a dynamic program builder. Her research explores the themes of American Indian sovereignty, economic justice, and the ethnography of Native Nation capitalism, focusing on small businesses in the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian’s Qualla Boundary in the North Carolina mountains. By contrast to the feathers-and-beads mythologies of Native peoples as stuck in a buffalo-hunting time-warp and, conversely, racist tropes about them as lazy dependents of the government, Lewis shows how Cherokee business owners struggle with factors general to capitalist America and specific to Indian experiences to make their way forward.  She brings her economics background to the task, combining a careful eye for cultural processes with an attentiveness to markets and capital. Her prize-winning book, “Sovereign Entrepreneurs: Cherokee Small-Business owners and the Making of Economic Sovereignty” is driven by a powerful sense of moral as well as scholarly engagement with issues of social justice and Native sovereignty insofar as developing tribal businesses is a key aspect of 21st century American Indian life. The book is regarded as one of the most original anthropology books about Native America today. Lewis’ developing research addresses American Indian food sovereignty.  She earned her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Tenure Date: July 1, 2022

Adam Mestyan, Associate Professor of History

Adam Mestyan is associate professor of history in the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences. He researches and teaches the history of empire and subordinated states in the Arabic-speaking world. His current research interests include fiscal sovereignty, agricultural history, and Islamic law in the 19th and 20th centuries. His books include “Modern Arab Kingship — Remaking the Ottoman Political Order in the Interwar Middle East”, “Primordial History, Print Capitalism, and Egyptology in Nineteenth-Century Cairo” and “Arab Patriotism — The Ideology and Culture of Power in Late Ottoman Egypt.” He is the PI of the collaborative Islamic digital humanities project, Digital Cairo — Studying Urban Transformation through a TEI XML Database, 1828-1914, supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and L’Institut français d’archéologie orientale du Caire (Ifao). He is published in the Journal of Global History, Comparative Studies in Society and History, the International Journal of Middle East Studies, the Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Urban History, and many other academic journals. Mestyan earned his M.A.s and Ph.D.s from both Central European University and Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, he taught at Oxford University, and he was a Junior Fellow at the Society of Fellows, Harvard University.
Tenure Date: July 1, 2022

Sudeepa Roy, Associate Professor of Computer Science

Sudeepa Roy is associate professor of computer science in the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences. She works broadly in data management, with a focus on foundational aspects of big data analysis, including causality and explanations, data provenance, uncertain data, data repair, query optimization and database theory. Her research objective is to help users with heterogeneous backgrounds and interests leverage the maximum benefit from the available data. Roy is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where she earned her Ph.D. in computer and information science. Prior to joining Duke faculty in 2015, she was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Washington in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. She is a recipient of an NSF CAREER Award, the Very Large Databases (VLDB) Early Career Research Contributions Award, and a Google Ph.D. fellowship in structured data.
Tenure Date: July 1, 2022

Steven Sexton, Associate Professor of Public Policy

Sexton holds a Ph.D. in agricultural and resource economics from University of California at Berkeley and is associate professor of public policy and economics at Duke University. His research focuses on agricultural economics and food policy, energy and environmental economics, and industrial organization. Relying on econometric methods and applying economic theory, Sexton has studied air pollution control policy, household electricity consumption, solar technology adoption, environmental impacts of local foods and genetically engineered crops, grain markets and biofuels, and climate change damage estimation and adaptation. His research is published in leading economics and agricultural and environmental economics journals, including Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Economic Perspectives, and Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Journal of the Association of Environmental Economists, and Marketing Science. His research has been featured by U.S. and international media outlets, including the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio, Der Spiegel, Australian, Freakonomics.com, Elle Australia and Men’s Health. A past contributor to the Freakonomics blog, he is a former Executive Fellow in the Office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Tenure Date: July 1, 2022

Rebecca Steorts, Associate Professor of Statistical Science

Rebecca Steorts is associate professor statistical science in the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences. She is affiliated faculty in the departments of computer science and biostatics and bioinformatics, the Rhodes Information Initiative at Duke, and the Social Science Research Institute. Steorts was named to MIT Technology Review's 35 Innovators Under 35 for 2015 as a humanitarian in the field of software. Her work was profiled in the MIT Technology Review and she was recognized with an invited talk at EmTech in 2015. In addition, she is a recipient of the Sloan Award, NSF CAREER award, collaborative NSF award, collaborative grant with the Laboratory of Analytic Sciences at NC State University, Metaknowledge Network Templeton Foundation Grant, University of Florida Graduate Alumni Fellowship Award, U.S. Census Bureau Dissertation Fellowship Award, and UF Innovation Through Institutional Integration Program and NSF for development of an introductory Bayesian course for undergraduates. Her research interests are in large scale clustering, record linkage (entity resolution or de-duplication), privacy, network analysis, and machine learning for computational social science applications. Steorts received her Ph.D. in 2012 from the Department of Statistics at the University of Florida, where she was a U.S. Census Dissertation Fellow and was a recipient for Honorable Mention (second place) for the 2012 Leonard J. Savage Thesis Award in Applied Methodology.
Tenure Date: July 1, 2022

Manolis Veveakis, Associate Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Manolis Veveakis is an associate professor of civil & environmental engineering in the Pratt School of Engineering. He earned a Ph.D. in 2010 from the Department of Mechanics of the National Technical University of Athens, Greece. Before joining Duke University, he was a Senior Lecturer at UNSW's School of Petroleum Engineering since 2014 and a Research Scientist in CSIRO's Division of Earth Sciences and Resource Engineering before that. Veveakis holds a diploma (BSc+MEng) in applied mathematics and physics (MEng in Materials Engineering), an M.Sc. in applied mechanics and a Ph.D. in geomechanics from National Technical University of Athens in Greece.
Tenure Date: January 1, 2022

Yehua Wei, Associate Professor of Business Administration

Yehua Wei is an associate professor of business administration in Decision Sciences at Fuqua School of Business. Wei received his Ph.D. in operations research from MIT in 2013. He taught decision models, spreadsheet modeling, and probability & statistics across different graduate programs. His research interest lies in the broad area of decisions under uncertainty. Specifically, he studies problems in flexibility design, dynamic resource allocation, vehicle routing, queueing networks, strategic routing, and e-commerce fulfillment. His research has been recognized by several awards, including the George Nicholson Paper Competition, Daniel H. Wagner Prize for Excellence in Operations Research Practice, MSOM Service Management SIG Best Paper Prize, and MSOM Practice-Based Research Competition. 
Tenure Date: July 1, 2022

Dong Yan, Associate Professor of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology

Dong Yan is associate professor of molecular genetics & microbiology with a secondary appointment in the department of neurobiology in the School of Medicine. He is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying brain development and aging. His research is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Yan’s research appears in a number of scholarly publications including Neuron, Developmental Cell, PLOS Biology and eLife. He earned his Ph.D. from the Institute of Neuroscience, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Tenure Date: March 1, 2022

Anru Zhang, Eugene Anson Stead, Jr. M.D. Associate Professor of Biostatistics & Bioinformatics

Anru Zhang is Eugene Anson Stead, Jr. M.D. Associate Professor of Biostatics & Bioinformatics in the School of Medicine with additional appointments in the departments of computer science, mathematics and statistical science in the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences. He is the recipient of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics Tweedie Award (awarded to a single young statistician/probabilist per year), ASA Gottfried E. Noether Junior Award, Bernoulli Society New Researcher Award, ICSA Outstanding Young Researcher Award and National Science Foundation CAREER Award. His research covers tensor learning, high-dimensional statistical inference, non-convex optimization, applications in electronic health records, microbiome studies and computational imaging. Zhang earned his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2015.
Tenure Date: November 1, 2021

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By Maggie Elliott