The UW–Madison School of Education is bringing in another large, talented, and diverse cohort of new faculty members to campus for the start of the upcoming fall semester.
To welcome these newest members of our community — and to reconnect with colleagues and celebrate the start of the upcoming 2022-23 academic year — the School is hosting its annual Welcome Back Bash event for faculty and staff on Thursday, Sept. 1. The event will be held outside on the North Plaza of the Education Building from 12:30 to 2 p.m. (if it rains, we’ll move things inside to the Morgridge Commons). The event includes a tailgate-style lunch — complete with Babcock ice cream.
Those attending will hear brief remarks from Dean Diana Hess, with department chairs introducing their newest faculty members. This fall, there are 14 new faculty hires joining us for the start of the fall semester, which includes Dyani White Hawk — an assistant professor with the Art Department who was hired last year but largely spent the 2021-22 academic year away from campus utilizing an Anna Julia Cooper Fellowship.
Seven of our departments are welcoming at least one new faculty member this fall. Following are the incoming faculty members, in alphabetical order:
Aly Amidei, assistant professor, Department of Theatre and Drama
Amidei joins the Department of Theatre and Drama after serving as a faculty member teaching costume design at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, since 2015. Amidei’s research and costume design focuses on the role of the designer as dramaturg in bringing the page to the stage. Her emphasis is on designing new works and re-envisioning classics through the concept of “world building.” Amidei has over 20 years of experience working in Chicago and regional theater as a costume designer and playwright. She holds a bachelor’s degree in theatre from Knox College, and an MFA in costume design from Carnegie Mellon University.
Julie Chen, professor, Art Department
The founder of Flying Fish Press, Chen is an internationally known book artist and book art educator whose work explores the possibilities of what a book can be. She comes to the Art Department from Mills College, where she was the director of the Book Art program and held the Lovelace Family Chair. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., the Kohler Art Library at UW–Madison, and the Center for Book Arts in New York City. Chen holds a bachelor’s degree in studio art from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in book art from Mills College.
Ain A. Grooms, assistant professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis
Grooms studies educational equity, with a particular focus on Black students and other students of color in K-12 contexts. She uses the intersection of race and place to examine the impact of educational policy on student achievement and related outcomes. Her current research focuses on whether and how schools, districts, and states design and sustain equity-focused policies and practices. Grooms comes to UW–Madison after spending the past six years as an assistant professor at the University of Iowa, where she also was a faculty research fellow with the University of Iowa’s Public Policy Center.
Kyesha Isadore, assistant professor, Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education
Isadore comes to UW–Madison after earning a PhD in counselor education and supervision from Penn State University. Her primary work centers on how intersectionality impacts mental health, with special attention to disability, race/ism, and gender. She also holds a master’s in counselor education from Penn State and a bachelor’s in psychology from Louisiana State University. Isadore, who also is a national certified counselor and a certified rehabilitation counselor, will spend 2022-23 on an Anna Julia Cooper Postdoctoral Fellowship, which provides an academic year free from teaching so she can set up her research.
Shinye Kim, assistant professor, Department of Counseling Psychology
Kim joins the Department of Counseling Psychology after serving as an assistant professor of counseling psychology at Texas Tech University. Her recent scholarship focuses on culturally informed pain diagnosis and treatment, including assessments of barriers to effective treatment and development of digital health technologies for underserved populations and individuals whose first language is not English. She hopes to use her work to eliminate pain health care disparities in the U.S. and beyond. Kim earned her PhD in counseling psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and her master’s degree in prevention science and practice at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Taekyeom Lee, assistant professor, Art Department
Lee is an educator, maker, and designer who comes to UW–Madison from Iowa State University, where he was an assistant professor of graphic design. He has also been on the faculty at Illinois State University, Appalachian State University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Lee’s research explores unconventional materials and digital methods to create 3D type, graphics, and even designed objects. He exhibits his work and offers workshops and lectures across the country and abroad. Lee holds a bachelor’s degree from Keimyuag University in South Korea, and an MFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Taylor Odle, assistant professor, Department of Educational Policy Studies
Odle’s work leverages quantitative methods and data science techniques to study issues in the economics of education, with a specific focus on college access and success. This work includes field experiments with national partners like the Common App and College Advising Corps, and quasi-experimental evaluations of existing policies to study “what works.” He previously led fiscal policy and research activities for the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and completed fellowships with MDRC, National Student Clearinghouse, College Board, and the U.S. Senate. Odle also is a faculty affiliate with the Interdisciplinary Training Program in Education Sciences. He holds a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania.
Sang Qin, assistant professor, Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education
Qin is a recent graduate of Illinois Institute of Technology, where she earned her PhD in rehabilitation counseling education. Her dissertation explored the negative consequences of “self-stigma” for those suffering from mental illness, including undermining of recovery and increased clinical symptoms. She also completed recent research on challenges to teaching assessment in the field of rehabilitation counseling and developed and implemented a therapeutic group to help students with disabilities learn how to better advocate for themselves. She earned her master’s degree in rehabilitation and mental health counseling from Illinois Institute of Technology.
L. J. Randolph Jr., assistant professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Randolph joins UW–Madison from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, where he served as coordinator of the World Language Teacher Education program. A former high school Spanish and ESL teacher, Randolph is an advocate for equitable, accessible, and transformative language education. His research and teaching focus on various critical issues in language education, including teaching Spanish to heritage and native speakers, incorporating justice-oriented and anti-colonial pedagogies, and centering Blackness and Indigenousness. He received his EdD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Christopher Saldaña, assistant professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis
Saldaña joins our School after earning a PhD in educational foundations, policy, and practice from the University of Colorado — Boulder. He was awarded an American Educational Research Association Minority Dissertation Fellowship in Education Research for 2021-22, and his research interests lie at the intersection of education policy, economics, and law. Saldaña also holds a bachelor’s in economics from the University of California, San Diego, and a master’s in economics from California State University, Fullerton. He’ll spend 2022-23 on an Anna Julia Cooper Postdoctoral Fellowship, which provides an academic year free from teaching so he can set up his research.
Michael Velliquette, assistant professor, Art Department
Velliquette is a Madison-based artist who makes intricately constructed, paper-based sculpture. Using humble, everyday material, his work opens a view into imagined worlds. A working artist for over 20 years, Velliquette has participated in over 150 exhibitions in museums and galleries across the U.S., Europe, and Asia, and his work is held in several permanent collections, including UW–Madison’s Chazen Museum of Art, the Art Museum of South Texas, the Racine Art Museum, and more. In 2021 he was an artist resident at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. He holds an MA and an MFA from UW–Madison, and a BFA from Florida State University.
Christina A. West, assistant professor, Art Department
West is a sculptor and installation artist who comes to UW–Madison from Georgia State University, where she has been on the faculty since 2009. This is not her first time teaching at UW–Madison, however — she was a visiting lecturer in ceramics here from 2007-09. West’s work, which has been featured extensively in exhibitions across the country, is rooted in the human figure as a way to understand and connect with others. Her site-sensitive, immersive installations engage viewers both as voyeur and subject. West holds a BFA from Siena Heights University, and an MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University.
Dyani White Hawk, assistant professor, Art Department
White Hawk, who earned her MFA at UW–Madison, returns to the Art Department this year as an assistant professor. White Hawk spent 2021-22 on an Anna Julia Cooper Postdoctoral Fellowship, which provides an academic year free from teaching to set up her research. A woman of Sičangu Lakota and European American ancestry, her painting and sculptural works reflect cross-cultural experiences from her own life through a combination of influences from modern abstract painting and abstract Lakota art forms. She has received many honors and fellowships and has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. She has also participated in residencies in Australia, Russia, and Germany. Recently White Hawk’s work was selected for the Whitney Museum of American Art’s 2022 biennial exhibition, “Quiet As It’s Kept.”
Jing Yu, assistant professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis
Yu joins UW-Madison after receiving a PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Gervitz Graduate School of Education. Yu’s research centers on international higher education. Her dissertation examined Chinese international students’ decision-making and perceptions of race, racism, and social movements. She also holds a master’s in education from UC Santa Barbara, and a master’s in teaching and learning from Ohio State University. Yu will spend 2022-23 on an Anna Julia Cooper Postdoctoral Fellowship, which provides an academic year free from teaching so she can set up her research. Her most recent study is published in the journal Race Ethnicity and Education.