Provost’s Distinguished Faculty Fellows
Recognizing the educational benefits of a diverse intellectual community, Georgetown aims to attract assistant professor level faculty from a wide range of backgrounds and to foster their success as independent scholars and educators on the tenure track. Announced in November 2020, the Provost’s Distinguished Faculty Fellows Program is one pathway by which Georgetown aims to attract and retain tenure-line faculty who support the diversity, equity, and inclusion goals of the university and contribute to their academic units through their scholarship, teaching, and service including mentoring.
Selected candidates must demonstrate a commitment to academic excellence and diversity, equity, and inclusion in their teaching/mentoring, research, and/or service. This commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion can be demonstrated in many ways, including those whose scholarship/teaching focuses on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and/or those who have demonstrated a commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion through their service activities.
Fellows will have completed their terminal degree (e.g., Ph.D., JD, EdD.) at the time of their appointment and are hired on the tenure track at the assistant professor rank. They will have no teaching and service responsibilities in their first year and will devote their full time effort to building their research program.
The Provost’s office is proud to announce the inaugural cohort of Provost’s Distinguished Faculty Fellows for the 2022-2023 academic year:
Sarah Adel Bargal
Computer Science, Georgetown College of Arts and Sciences
Sarah Adel Bargal is an incoming Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Provost’s Distinguished Faculty Fellow. Previously, she was a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science of Boston University, Co-director of AI4ALL at Boston University, and a member of the Image and Video Computing (IVC) Group. In 2019, she received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Boston University. Her degrees in Computer Science include a Bachelor’s degree from Kuwait University, a Master’s degree from American University, Cairo, and a Ph.D. from Boston University.
Dr. Bargal’s research interests include machine learning, computer vision, and explainable artificial intelligence, with a focus on making artificial intelligence systems explainable and accountable to humans and society. She is a recipient of the IBM Ph.D. Fellowship, Hariri Graduate Fellowship, and an Outstanding Teaching Fellow Award, among other recognitions.
Sarah is currently serving as a guest editor for a special issue of the Frontiers in Computer Science Journal. Sarah’s research interests are in machine learning, computer vision, and explainable artificial intelligence, with a current focus on making artificial intelligence systems explainable and accountable to humans and society.
Spanish and Portuguese, Georgetown College of Arts and Sciences
Nicolás Campisi is an incoming Assistant Professor and Provost’s Distinguished Faculty Fellow in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. He works at the intersection of contemporary Latin American literature, visual arts, and the environmental humanities, and is currently preparing a book manuscript entitled The Return of the Contemporary: The Latin American Novel in the End Times. He received a BA in Art History and Hispanic Studies from Washington College, and an MA and Ph.D. in Hispanic Studies from Brown University. Before coming to Georgetown, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Tulane University. Nicolás is originally from Argentina. In his free time, he likes to play tennis, watch soccer, visit art museums, and learn about the life of birds. His awards include the 2021 Joukowsky Outstanding Dissertation Award given by Brown University, the best dissertation in the Humanities, the 2021 best Dissertation Prize from the Center of Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Brown University, and the 2019 Lyle Olsen Graduate Essay Prize awarded by the Sport Literature Association.
School of Foreign Service
Melinda Gonzalez, a socio-cultural anthropologist, is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice at Rutgers University. Following a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Barnard College, Columbia University, and a Master’s degree in Anthropology from Rutgers’s University, she received a Ph.D. in Geography and Anthropology from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge.
Dr. Gonzalez works on racial, class, and gender disparities in the impact of environmental disasters. She uses decolonial and indigenous research methods to study new media technologies in environmental justice studies. Dr. Gonzalez is the 2021 Mary Fran Myers Gender and Disaster Award winner, which honors research on gender issues in disaster and emergency management. She is also a performance/spoken word poet who has performed internationally.
Peggy Kyoungwon Lee
English, Georgetown College of Arts and Sciences
Peggy Kyoungwon Lee is a scholar in contemporary American literature, performance, and media. She is currently a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at Berkeley in the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies. Her research has been previously supported by pre- and post-doctoral fellowships from the University of Pennsylvania, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Mellon Foundation.
Dr. Lee’s current book project examines the politics, performance, and protest of composure for women of color during the rise of multicultural institutionalization in the US. Following her B.A. in Women’s Studies from UC Santa Barbara and M.A. in Performance Studies from New York University, Dr. Lee earned her Ph.D. in American Culture from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Dr. Lee will join as Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies in the Department of English at Georgetown University.
Johann Le Guelte
French and Francophone Studies, Georgetown College of Arts and Sciences
Johann Le Guelte, a cultural studies scholar, is an assistant professor of Francophone Studies in the Department of French and Francophone studies. He received his Master’s degree and Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University in French and Francophone Studies following a Master’s degree in French Language and Literature from Ohio University. From 2019 to 2022, he was an assistant professor of French and Francophone studies and directed the French and Francophone studies program at Xavier University (Cincinnati).
Dr. Le Guelte’s research focuses on visual culture, colonial history and propaganda, and critical race studies. His academic interests range from diaspora and migration studies, French and Francophone literatures, art history, media studies, and postcolonial history. His book in progress, Uncovering the Colonial Lens: Creation and Subversion of the French Visual Empire, examines the production and reception of colonial photographic propaganda to determine how state-sponsored photographs became official colonial information in the minds of many French citizens. His work explores the nuanced ways in which photography has been used both as a device for colonial propaganda in interwar France and a powerful mode of resistance for colonized peoples who used the camera to reclaim their subjugated identities. He is the recipient of the 2019 Alumni Association Dissertation Award from the Penn State Alumni Association and two awards for teaching excellence from Penn State.
In his free time, he enjoys reading, craft beer, horror films, spending time with family and cats, and unsuccessfully trying to start a collection of good wine bottles.
Psychology, Georgetown College of Arts and Sciences
Kristia Wantchekon is an incoming Assistant Professor of Psychology and a Provost’s Distinguished Fellow at Georgetown University. Broadly, her research seeks to integrate the literatures on context-embedded adolescent development, identity processes, and academic adjustment to understand the factors that inform ethno-racially minoritized adolescents’ positive development in and out of schools. She was awarded the 2017 Frances Degen Horowitz Millennium Scholar award from the Society for Research in Child Development. Kristia earned her B.A. from Yale University and received her Ed.M. in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University in Spring 2017. She received her Ph.D. in Human Development, Learning, and Teaching in Spring 2021 from Harvard University as well.
African American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies, Georgetown College of Arts and Sciences
Melanie White holds a Ph.D. in Africana Studies from Brown University, an M.A. in African and African Diaspora Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania.
Her research and teaching interests include hemispheric Black feminist politics, Black diasporic women’s art, and the histories, politics, and visual cultures of Black Latin America and the Caribbean. Her first book project traces a history of sexual and gender-based colonial violence against Black and Afro-Indigenous women and girls from what is today the Nicaraguan and Honduran Mosquitia. Linking this genealogy of racialized, gendered, and territorial dispossession with the centuries-long struggle for autonomy on the Mosquito Coast, White juxtaposes the history of intimate colonial violence in the region with the “counter-colonial intimacies” of Afro-Mosquitian women past and present.
Specifically, she explores the historical record and contemporary artistic production to highlight Afro-Mosquitian women’s embodied and creative practices of colonial refusal and intimate autonomy. Her research has been supported by the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the American Council for Learned Societies, and the Institute for Citizens and Scholars. Her work is published or forthcoming in Caribbean Quarterly, Latin American Music Review, The E3W Review of Books, and the edited volumes Critical Social Science Research on Black Women in the Americas and Black Feminisms Beyond Borders: Cultivating Knowledge, Solidarity, and Liberation. White has served as an instructor in the Departments of English and Africana Studies at Smith College, where she taught courses on Black diasporic women writers.