2016-2017 Emerging Leaders Program Participant Bios

College of Computing

Rebecca “Beki” Grinter is a Professor of Interactive Computing in the College of Computing & (by courtesy) the Scheller College of Business at the Georgia Institute of Technology.  Her research focuses on improving the experience of computing by understanding the human experience in the building and using of technologies. Her work contributes to the fields of human-computer interaction, ubiquitous computing, and computer supported cooperative work. She has also worked in the areas of robotics, networking, security, and software engineering. She has published over 80 scholarly articles, served as Papers Chair (2006) & Best Papers Chair (2010) for the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), the premier conference for human-computer interaction. In 2013 she was elected to the CHI Academy. In 2010 she was recognized as a Distinguished Alumna of the University of California, Irvine.

Before joining the faculty at Georgia Tech, she was a Member of Research Staff in the Computer Science Laboratory of Xerox PARC and a Member of Technical Staff in the Software Production Research Department of Bell Laboratories. She was also a visiting scholar at Rank Xerox EuroPARC. She holds a Ph.D.  and M.S. in Information and Computer Science both from the University of California, Irvine, and a B.Sc. (Hons) in Computer Science from the University of Leeds.


 

Eric Vigoda is a Professor of Computer Science at Georgia Tech. Eric is the director of the Algorithms and Randomness Center (ARC), and is a former associate chair for the School of Computer Science. He received his PhD from UC Berkeley in 1999, started as an Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago in 2002, and joined Georgia Tech in 2004.  His main research interests are the study of randomized algorithms.His research work was given a 2006 Fulkerson Prize, awarded for outstanding papers in the area of discrete mathematics.

 


College of Design

Jason Freeman is a Professor of Music at Georgia Tech. His artistic practice and scholarly research focus on using technology to engage diverse audiences in collaborative, experimental, and accessible musical experiences. He also develops educational interventions in K-12, university, and MOOC environments that broaden and increase engagement in STEM disciplines through authentic integrations of music and computing. His music has been performed at Carnegie Hall, exhibited at ACM SIGGRAPH, published by Universal Edition, broadcast on public radio’s Performance Today, and commissioned through support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Freeman’s wide-ranging work has attracted support from sources such as the National Science Foundation, Google, and the Aaron Copland Fund for Music. He has published his research in leading conferences and journals such as Computer Music Journal, Organised Sound, NIME, and ACM SIGCSE. Freeman received his B.A. in music from Yale University and his M.A. and D.M.A. in composition from Columbia University.​


College of Engineering

Stephen M. Ruffin is a Professor in the School of Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Tech, Director of NASA’s Georgia Space Grant Consortium, and Head of the Aerothermodynamics Research and Technology Laboratory.  He is a specialist in high temperature gas dynamics, compressible flow aerodynamics, and airframe propulsion integration. His Aerothermodynamics Research and Technology Laboratory applies computational fluid dynamics (CFD) techniques to applications as diverse as hypersonic planetary entry vehicles and flow physics, rotorcraft airframe interaction flows, transonic and supersonic missiles and unsteady store separation problems. 

As Director of NASA’s Georgia Space Grant Consortium (GSGC), he supports student research and design team activities, internships, scholarships, fellowships, K-12 student hands-on activities and camps, K-12 teacher training programs and public outreach activities at museums, science centers and in the community. Through roughly 40 annual projects conducted by the GSGC, 30,000 Georgia residents and over 4,400 educators are trained annually. Dr. Ruffin is also national chair of the Council of NASA Space Grant Directors.  In this role, he helps coordinate the research and outreach activities of the over 1,000 affiliate organizations in every state in the nation and helps set the direction for national science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) outreach efforts. Dr. Ruffin is the founder and Director of Georgia Tech’s University Center of Exemplary Mentoring (GT-UCEM) which promotes STEM excellence and diversity throughout the College of Engineering at Georgia Tech.  This program, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, includes recruitment and academic enrichment activities and provides fellowship and professional development funding to Ph.D. students from under-represented populations.


Christopher W. Jones joined Georgia Tech in 2000 as an Assistant Professor, was promoted further in 2005 and 2008, and today is a Love Family Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and the Associate Vice President for Research at Georgia Tech.  Dr. Jones leads a research group that works in the broad areas of materials, catalysis and adsorption. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles, numerous patents and has licensed intellectual property to industry.

Dr. Jones has been recognized with a number of awards for his research and teaching, including by GT, the American Chemical Society, the North American Catalysis Society, and the American Society of Engineering Education.Dr. Jones is the founding Editor-in-Chief of the journal, ACS Catalysis, which was recognized with the 2012 Prose Award as the Best New Journal in Science, Technology or Medicine, by the American Association of Publishers.  Three years after its launch, it became the highest impact journal in the field of 15+ titles. Since 2013, he has served as the Associate Vice-President for Research, where he is responsible for leading and managing interdisciplinary research activities across the six colleges, the Georgia Tech Research Institute, and the Enterprise Innovation Institute.

 


Krista S. Walton is Professor and Marvin R. McClatchey and Ruth McClatchey Cline Faculty Fellow in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. She received her B.S.E. in chemical engineering from the University of Alabama-Huntsville in 2000. She obtained her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Vanderbilt University under the direction of Prof. M. Douglas LeVan in 2005. Prof. Walton completed an ACS PRF Postdoctoral Fellowship at Northwestern University in 2006 under the direction of Prof. Randall Snurr. Her research program at Georgia Tech focuses on the design, synthesis, and characterization of functional porous materials for use in adsorption applications including CO2 capture and air purification. She has published 70 peer-reviewed articles and presented dozens of plenary lectures and invited seminars. Prof. Walton currently serves as an Associate Editor for the ACS Journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, and is the Director and Lead PI of Georgia Tech’s DOE Energy Frontier Research Center, UNCAGE-ME. Prof. Walton’s accomplishments have been recognized by many prestigious awards including the Rising Star Award from the American Chemical Society Women Chemists Committee (2015), the inaugural International Adsorption Society Award for Excellence in Publications by a Young Member of the Society (2013), and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (2008). 

 


 

Joseph M. Le Doux is an Associate Professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University. His early research efforts focused on how to use viruses to transfer genes to cells for the purpose of human gene therapy. More recently, he has shifted his research to the learning sciences, focusing on understanding how the generation of engineering diagrams is used to support problem-solving, both by novice and expert engineers.​

 

 


Susan E. Burns, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE is the Georgia Power Distinguished Professor and Associate Chair for Undergraduate Programs in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Burns earned a Bachelor Degree in Civil Engineering B.C.E. (1990), M.S. Civil Engineering (geotechnical) (1996), M.S. Environmental Engineering (1996), and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering (1997), all from Georgia Tech.

Dr. Burns' research focuses on applications in geoenvironmental engineering, with particular emphasis on the productive reuse of waste materials including dredged sediments, fly ash, and biomass fly ash, treatment of highway stormwater runoff using engineered materials, erosion control of soils on highway rights-of-way, interfacial behavior of organic- and inorganic-coated soils, the transport and behavior of microbubbles in otherwise saturated porous media, and the hydraulic conductivity and consolidation properties of fine-grained soils using seismic piezocone penetration testing (SPCPT). Support for her research has come from a range of federal, state, and industrial sources, including a National Science Foundation Career Award.

Dr. Burns has served as the president of the United States Universities Council on Geotechnical Education and Research (USUCGER), she is a past member of the National Research Council's (NRC) Standing Committee on Geological and Geotechnical Engineering, and a past member of the NRC's Committee on Assessment of the Performance of Engineered Waste Containment Barriers. She was elected Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2013. 


Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts

 

Anne Pollock is an Associate Professor in the School of Literature, Communication, and Culture and the Coordinator of the Graduate Certificate in Science, Technology and Society. Her research and teaching focus on the social and cultural contexts of science, technology, and medicine, especially with regard to race, gender, and citizenship. Together with collaborators in Biomedical Engineering and Applied Physiology, and with the support of GT-FIRE, she coordinates the Working Group on Race and Racism in Contemporary Biomedicine. She has been an outspoken advocate for greater LGBTQIA visibility and inclusion on campus, as well as for support of women, first generation college students, and members of underrepresented minorities. She is active in her Midtown neighborhood, and currently serves on the board of Charis Circle, the nonprofit programming arm of Charis Books, Atlanta’s independent feminist bookstore.

 

 


Adam N. Stulberg is Neal Family Chair Professor; Co-Director of the Center for International Strategy, Technology, and Policy (CISTP); and Associate Chair/Research in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs.  He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on international security; global nuclear security and (non)proliferation; energy and international security; Eurasian politics and security affairs; as well as inter-disciplinary courses on science, technology, and international security policy.  His current research focuses on illicit nuclear trafficking networks, new approaches to strategic stability and denuclearization of military arsenals, internationalization of the nuclear fuel cycle, diffusion of tacit nuclear knowledge, Russia’s strategy for cross-domain coercion, and the geopolitics of energy.

Dr. Stulberg earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as holds an M.A. in International Affairs from Columbia University, and a B.A. in History from the University of Michigan.  He served as a Political Consultant at RAND from 1987-1997, and as a Senior Research Associate at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), Monterey Institute of International Studies (1997-1998).  He has worked closely with former Senator Sam Nunn drafting policy recommendations and background studies on future directions for the U.S. Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, Euro-Atlantic strategic confidence building, regional and energy security regimes in Central Asia and the South Caucasus, and political and strategic engagement of Russia.  Dr. Stulberg was a post-doctoral fellow at CNS (2000-2001); policy scholar at the EastWest Institute; and a consultant to the Carnegie Corporation of New York (2000-2010) and Office of Net Assessment, Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense (2000-present).  In addition, he currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Technical Group, American Nuclear Society (2012-14), as well as Faculty Advisory Board of the Strategic Energy Institute (Georgia Tech).  As of August 2016, Dr. Stulberg will serve as Associate Director of the Strategic Energy Institute. He also has served as chair of the Bank of America-Sam Nunn Policy Forum since 2008.

 Dr. Stulberg has either authored or edited four books— including Well-Oiled Diplomacy: Strategic Manipulation and Russia’s Energy Statecraft and [co-edited with Matthew Fuhrmann] The Nuclear Renaissance and International Security (Stanford University Press, 2013). He also has published widely in leading international academic and policy journals, such as Foreign Affairs, Security Studies, Review of International Political Economy, Orbis, Problems of Post-Communism, and the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, among others.  Dr. Stulberg’s current book projects examine a) global energy security dilemmas (across the oil, natural gas, and commercial nuclear sectors) from an international bargaining perspective; b) drivers and strategic consequences of international nuclear cooperation; c) structure, cross-domain relationships, and strategic implications of cross-national nuclear scientific networks and epistemic communities; and d) counter-network strategies to illicit and state-based threats.  To date, Dr. Stulberg has served as PI or co-PI on multiple institutional grants/research projects supported by the Department of Defense, Carnegie Corporation of New York, MacArthur Foundation, Nuclear Threat Initiative, and Korea Foundation, as well as received support for individual research from numerous public and private sponsors.   


 

Roberta M. Berry is Director of the Georgia Tech Honors Program and Associate Professor in the School of Public Policy. She holds a joint appointment as Professor of Science and Technology Law at the Georgia State University College of Law.  Dr. Berry earned a B.A. (history) from Swarthmore College, a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin, and a Ph.D. (philosophy of science) from the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Berry’s publications include two books, The Ethics of Genetic Engineering (Routledge 2007) and A Health Law Reader: An Interdisciplinary Approach (co-edited, Carolina Academic Press 1999), and numerous articles addressing ethical, legal, and policy issues in bioscience, biotechnology, and health care. She was Principal Investigator for a 2009-2012 grant project (National Science Foundation) focused on interdisciplinary, inter-institutional, problem-based learning (PBL) to prepare future professionals in science, engineering, law, medicine, and the liberal arts to resolve challenging policy problems in bioscience and biotechnology. Her recognitions include the Howard Ector Outstanding Teaching Award (2005), the Ivan Allen Jr. Faculty Legacy Award (2004), and the Outstanding Faculty Member Award (Georgia Tech Student Government Association, 2001).

 


College of Sciences

Deirdre Shoemaker received her B.S. in Astronomy and Astrophysics with honors and Physics form Penn State in 1994 and her PhD in Physics from the University of Texas at Austin in 1999.  She was a postdoctoral fellow at Penn State and Cornell University before joining the faculty at Penn State in 2004. She moved to the School of Physics at Georgia Tech in 2008 as one of the founding members of the Center for Relativistic Astrophysics for which she is the current Director.  She is also an adjunct Professor of the School of Computational Science and Engineering.

Her work focuses on numerical relativity and its interface with gravitational wave astronomy.   She joined the LIGO Scientific Collaboration in 2014 and was part of the first detection of gravitational waves from a binary black hole merger.  She has won the NSF Career award and is a fellow of the American Physical Society. She has served as the Chair of the APS Division of Gravitational Physics.


 

Jenny Singleton is a Professor and Associate Chairperson of the School of Psychology. She joined the Georgia Tech faculty five years ago after having spent 27 years at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, earning her doctorate in Developmental Psychology and serving as a faculty member. She has engaged in academic leadership throughout her faculty career as well as research leadership in her role on the Executive Leadership Team of the NSF-funded Science of Learning Center on Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2) for over 10 years. Her current research uses both quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate how children exposed to a signed language from birth develop advanced eye-gaze control and other neuro-behavioral changes. At Georgia Tech, Dr. Singleton has served on a number of advisory boards including Disabilities & Access, LGBTQIA Center, College of Sciences Diversity Council, and the Institute Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.

 

 


Josef Dufek studies physical processes in planetary interiors, volcanic eruption dynamics, and multiphase flows that shape the landscape.  The Dufek lab is primarily focused on the application of fluid dynamics to understand mass and energy transfer in geological processes, with particular emphasis on volcanic systems. One of the Dufek lab’s research goals is to delineate how multiphase interactions contribute to the structure and composition of planetary interiors, and the role of such interactions in determining the dynamics and deposit architecture of volcanic flows using computational, experimental and field studies.

Josef Dufek received a B.S. in Geophysical Sciences from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Earth and Space Science from the University of Washington. He was a Miller Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, and joined the faculty in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Science at Georgia Tech in 2008. He is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union, and is currently a Professor and Associate Chair in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Science at Georgia Tech.


Scheller College of Business

Han Zhang is an associate professor of Information Technology Management (ITM) at the Scheller College of Business, Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). He received his Ph.D. in Information Systems from the University of Texas at Austin. He currently serves as the Faculty Director of the Executive MBA Program. He was the ITM Area Coordinator from 2007 to 2012 and he held the Helen and John Taylor Rhett, Jr. Term Professorship from 2008 to 2012. His research focuses on economics of information technology, online trust and reputation, online word-of-mouth, and the evolution of electronic markets. His research work on the institutional setup to help small businesses grow in the digital economy has been used as the basis for testimony before the Congressional House Committee on Small Business. He has published in Information Systems Research, MIS Quarterly, Journal of Management Information Systems, Journal of the Association for Information Systems, Information & Management, Decision Support Systems and other academic journals. Dr. Zhang was one of the founding members to initiate the China Summer Workshop on Information Management in 2007.

He was the Program Co-Chair of the Sixth Workshop on e-Business in 2007 and the Program Co-Chair of the 14th Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems in 2010. He is a senior editor for Journal of Information Systems and E-Business Management and Electronic Commerce Research & Applications. He also serves on the editorial boards of Information & Management, Information Technology and Management, Journal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce, and Pacific Asia Journal of the Association for Information Systems. Dr. Zhang was a 2009 Hesburgh Award Teaching Fellow at Georgia Tech.  He received the 2009 Georgia Tech Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award and the 2010 Brady Family Award for Faculty Teaching Excellence at Scheller College of Business, Georgia Tech. ​


Nishant Dass grew up in New Delhi, India. After graduating from the Regional Engineering College in Jaipur (India), he attended graduate school, first at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and then at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Although he enjoyed the Midwestern lifestyle and culture (and those lovely fall colors!), he could not resist the opportunity to move to Europe to pursue his PhD degree at one of the world’s premier business schools – INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France. Upon completing his PhD in 2007, he moved back to the United States, starting his academic career at Georgia Tech. He is now a tenured professor of finance at the Scheller College of Business, Georgia Tech. He calls Atlanta his home now and loves the city for its Southern charm and cosmopolitan culture. His teaching interests are in corporate finance, international finance, and entrepreneurship. His research interests lie in empirical corporate finance, with a special focus on financial intermediation, corporate governance, innovation, and supply chains. His papers have been presented in various academic conferences, such as the AFA, WFA, EFA, FIRS, FMA, NY Fed, and the World Bank. He has published papers in the Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Financial Economics, and Review of Finance. His work has also been cited in The New York Times. In his spare time, he enjoys architecture, designing furniture, landscape and portrait photography, painting water colors, cooking for his family and friends, traveling to different countries, listening to ambient music, and reading non-fiction.