Meet Barnard Faculty Tenured in 2022

Six Barnard professors joined Columbia's tenured faculty in 2022. Tenure is a distinction that recognizes scholarly excellence, demonstrated capacity for imaginative, original work, and great promise for continued contributions at the leading edge of the disciplines.

Professor Casey, a neuroscientist, was among the first to use noninvasive functional magnetic resonance imaging to understand the typically developing human brain, accelerating the emerging field of developmental cognitive neuroscience. She is one of the most cited scientists in developmental cognitive neuroscience with over 225 publications and 63,500 citations. Her scientific discoveries have been published in top tier journals including Nature Medicine, Nature Neuroscience, Neuron, PNAS and Science and have been highlighted by National Geographic, The New York Times, NPR, and PBS. She has received numerous honors including the American Psychological Association Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, the Association for Psychological Science Lifetime Achievement Mentor Award, and the Cognitive Neuroscience Society George A. Miller Prize. She is also an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Professor Casey has served on numerous scientific advisory boards and panels including the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Board of Scientific Counselors, the NIMH Advisory Council, the Lifespan Human Connectome Project External Advisory Panel (chair), the National Research Council Board of Children, Youth and Families and the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences committees on The Science of Adolescent Risk Taking and Assessing Juvenile Justice Reform. Her most cherished honors have been those acknowledging her mentoring of <women> scientists throughout her academic career.

Professor Casey earned her BA and MA in psychology at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina and her PhD in experimental psychology with specialization in behavioral neuroscience from the University of South Carolina.  She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the NIMH. Professor Casey joined the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in 1994 before accepting a faculty position in the departments of psychiatry and neuroscience at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City in 1999. In 2002, she was appointed Director of the Sackler Institute there. In 2016, she moved to Yale University as a Professor of Psychology and Director of the Fundamentals in the Adolescent Brain (FAB) Lab before joining Barnard College in 2022 in the Department of Neuroscience and Behavior as the inaugural Christina L. Williams Professor of Neuroscience.

Professor Crowther is a chemist whose research program is focused on measuring and understanding the fundamental vibrational, electronic, and structural properties of nanoscale materials, with a particular focus on the threshold between molecular and bulk size domains. His research group uses spectroscopic measurements, complemented by computational chemistry calculations, to study semiconductor nanocrystals and carbon-based materials. In two highlights, the Crowther group has identified the size transition from a molecular to a crystalline vibrational structure in nanocrystals of precise size and determined how solvation impacts electron transfer processes involving the two-dimensional carbon material graphene. Professor Crowther has also focused on bringing the tools, skills, and conceptual approach of original research to the classroom and instructional laboratory through the incorporation of new experiments and computational software. He has coordinated the Department of Chemistry’s summer research program, and he is a reviewer for a variety of journals and funding agencies.

Professor Crowther earned his BA in Chemistry from Washington University in St. Louis in 2002 and his PhD in Chemistry under the supervision of Professor F. Fleming Crim at the University of Wisconsin in 2008. He then completed a Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellowship at the Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology at the National Research Council, followed by postdoctoral research with Professor Louis Brus at Columbia University. Professor Crowther joined Barnard College in 2012.

Professor Lahiri is a bilingual writer, translator, and literary critic. In English, she has authored two short-story collections (Interpreter of Maladies, 1999 and Unaccustomed Earth, 2008), two novels (The Namesake, 2003 and The Lowland, 2013) and a volume of essays, Translating Myself and Others (2022). In Italian, she has written two works of nonfiction, including a meditation on linguistic identity (In altre parole, translated into English as In Other Words, 2015), the novel Dove mi trovo (2018, self-translated as Whereabouts in 2021), a volume of poetry entitled Il quaderno di Nerina (Nerina’s notebook, 2021) and a collection of stories, Racconti romani (Roman stories, forthcoming in September 2022). She has translated three novels by the Italian writer Domenico Starnone. She is a board member of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, is a permanent juror for the Strega Prize in Italy, and is part of the editorial committee of the Italian literary journal Nuovi Argomenti. She was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2012, and was on the jury of the Venice Film Festival in 2014.

Professor Lahiri holds a BA in English from Barnard College. She earned her graduate degrees at Boston University: an MA in English Literature, an MA in Creative Writing, an MA in Comparative Studies in Literature and the Arts, and a PhD in Renaissance Studies. She has received honorary degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, Williams College, and the University of Rhode Island, and in Italy, from the University for Siena per Stranieri and the University of Bologna.

Karen Lewis is a philosopher whose research is on discourse dynamics – how the conversational context changes and information flows through a discourse – and context-dependence – how the meaning of words is affected by the context. Her work draws from philosophy of language and linguistics, and she has worked on specific linguistic constructions such as pronouns, counterfactual conditionals, and gradable adjectives in addition to foundational questions about the relationship between context and meaning. She has recently started to analyze communication on social media, where she is looking at issues of meaning and context, noting the distinction between how communication takes place on these platforms and how it occurs in normal conversation. She is part of a newly-formed international, interdisciplinary team that is working to develop a new version of the Golden Record, a message to be launched into space for a potential extra-terrestrial audience. Professor Lewis has a strong publication record, with eight single-authored works that are published in selective venues including two in the journal Noûs, a top-five journal in philosophy. Professor Lewis has taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and won the Gladys Brooks Junior Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award in 2019. She is the co-founder and co-organizer of an annual conference for linguists and philosophers of language called PhLiP (Philosophical Linguistics and Linguistical Philosophy).

Professor Lewis obtained her BA in Philosophy from Queen’s University in 2003 and completed her PhD in Philosophy at Rutgers University in 2011. Prior to joining Barnard College in 2012, she was an Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California.

Professor Miller studies American elections, parties, and political behavior. His research is focused on three broad topics: how changes in rules governing elections affect equity and outcomes as well as elite political behavior (candidates, legislators, and local party chairs), and mass political behavior—particularly how exposure to information changes perception and voting behavior. His recent work is particularly focused on election law and administration; this research seeks to uncover processes that reduce public confidence in elected officials or that otherwise make elections, government, and/or representation work less well. This scholarship has been cited as empirical evidence in arguments before the United States Supreme Court, as well as in committee testimony before the United States Senate and a number of state and municipal legislatures.

Professor Miller obtained his BA in Political Science and Business from Concordia College in 2001. He received his MA in Political Science from Minnesota State University in 2005 and earned his PhD in Government from Cornell University in 2010. Professor Miller started his career as Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois in 2010 and joined Barnard College in 2014.

Professor Walker specializes in the history of slavery and gender in Latin America and its legacies in the modern era. She is the author of Exquisite Slaves: Race, Clothing, and Status in Colonial Lima, which was published by Cambridge University Press in 2017 won the 2018 Harriet Tubman Prize from the Schomburg Center for Research on Black Culture. She is currently at work on two new research projects, one focused on race and visual culture in Latin America, and the other on the history of slavery and piracy in the Southern Pacific. Her teaching covers these diverse thematic areas as well, and she will be offering courses on topics such as Afro-Latin American Art, Afro-Andean History and Culture, and Gender and Slavery Latin America. In addition to her scholarly pursuits, Professor Walker is the co-founder of The Wandering Scholar, a 501c3 nonprofit focused on making international travel accessible to high school students from underrepresented backgrounds. This work has, in turn, shaped her writing and creative projects: she has written about race, culture, and travel for SlateThe Guardian, The Root, and Columbia Global Reports; is writing a trade book on the history of African Americans abroad for Crown; and co-hosts a podcast, Why We Wander, which covers all things travel.

Professor Walker obtained her BA in History and Spanish from the University of Pennsylvania in 2000 and earned her PhD in History from the University of Michigan in 2007. Professor Walker started her career as an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania before joining the University of Toronto, where she was promoted to Associate Professor in 2020.