2021 Distinguished Associate Professor Awards

On occasion, department chairs, unit heads and deans identify and wish to recognize fast-rising associate professors who are notable for remarkable achievements in research and teaching at an early stage of their career.  Providing a term-limited honorific title is one way to accomplish this goal. 


The Provost Office is pleased to announce the 2021 Distinguished Associate Professors:

Jeffrey Huang
Department of Biology

Jeffrey Huang is Associate Professor in the Department of Biology. He received his Ph.D. from Mount Sinai School of Medicine. His research tackles Multiple Sclerosis, a debilitating neurodegenerative disorder in which neuronal myelin is eroded, with a focus on therapeutic approaches to remyelination.

His findings have been published in high impact journals in neuroscience such as Brain and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He has been honored by an early career award by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. His research is funded by multiple sources, the National Institutes of Health and foundation awards.

He teaches courses in neurobiology and cell biology and mentors graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in neuroscience. He serves as the Deputy Director for the Center of Cell Reprogramming at GUMC.

Anna Johnson
Department of Psychology

Anna Johnson is Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology. She has a Ph.D. from Columbia University in Developmental Psychology. Her research combines theory and measures of developmental psychology with advanced quantitative methods to examine how public policies about early child care (e.g., child care subsidy programs, food assistance programs) impact low-income children’s early developmental outcomes.

Her work is published in top ranked journals in developmental science such as Child Development and Developmental Psychology and is funded by multiple grants, from the National Institutes of Health, Heising-Simons Foundation, and the Spencer Foundation. She has been honored with three early career awards from leading professional societies in developmental psychology.

She teaches courses in developmental psychology, directs the Psychology Honors program, and mentors graduate students in the Human Developmental and Public Policy track. She serves as a Research Fellow at Child Trends, the nation’s leading organization focused on child and family well-being.

Sarah Johnson
Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service

Sarah Johnson is Associate Professor in the Science, Technology and International Affairs (STIA) Program at the School of Foreign Service and in the Department of Biology. She received her Ph.D. in Planetary Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is a former Goldwater, Truman, and Rhodes Scholar, who has served as White House Fellow in the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Her research focuses of the search for extraterrestrial life, using molecular biology and analytical chemistry approaches that integrate geoscience, astrobiology, and planetary science.

She has worked on NASA’s Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity Rovers. Her research is published in high impact journals such as Nature Geoscience and Astrobiology and her book, The Sirens of Mars: Searching for Life on Another World, was a New York Times Editor’s Choice and selected as one of the New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2020. Her research is funded by multiple grants from NASA and the National Science Foundation.

She teaches courses on astrobiology and planetary science in the STIA program has been honored for her mentorship with the 2019 SFS Excellence in Mentorship Award. She is on the Executive Committee of the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group and co-leader of the Network for Life Detection, a NASA Astrobiology Research Coordination Network.

Nathan Miller
McDonough School of Business, Strategy, Economics, and Policy Area

Nathan Miller is the Saleh Romeih Associate Professor in the Strategy, Economics, and Policy Area at the McDonough School of Business. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley. He has served as an economist at the U.S. Department of Justice and works in the areas of industrial organization and antitrust economics, with a focus on collusion and the competitive effects of mergers.

His research has been published in top ranked journal in economics such as American Economic Review and Econometrica, and he is the recipient of a National Science Foundation grant on firms’ pricing in differentiated product markets.

He teaches courses on Microeconomics and Industrial organization. He serves on the Editorial board of the Review of Industrial Organization and he organizes DC Industrial Organization Day, Day—a conference that highlights theoretical and empirical topics in industrial organization economics for faculty and PhD students at local DC universities.

Marden Nichols
Department of Classics

Marden Nichols is Associate Professor in the Department of Classics. She received her Ph.D. in Classics from Trinity College, University of Cambridge, where she was a Marshall Scholar. Her research focuses on how debates about the significance of art and architecture shaped ancient Roman cultural and intellectual history, with particular focus on the architectural author Vitruvius.

She has authored an influential monograph Author and Audience in Vitruvius’ De architectura (Cambridge) and has another one forthcoming, The Imagination of Rome’s Foundation Myths (Routledge). She has served as Assistant Curator of Ancient Art at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, and held fellowships at the British School at Rome, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art, and the Clark Art Institute & Williams College.

She teaches courses in Roman Art and Archeology and is involved in mentoring Georgetown’s candidates for prestigious fellowships such as the Marshall. She appears on the television documentary, Roman Empire, on Netflix.