Tenure and Promotion Awarded to Faculty Members, Also Named Haynesville Project Fellows

Announcements3 min. read

Four faculty members join senior faculty and are awarded $100,000 grant

By Laura MeaderPhotography by Caitlin Penna
January 28, 2022

President David A. Greene, in consultation with the Committee on Promotion and Tenure and Provost and Dean of Faculty Margaret McFadden, and with the approval of the Board of Trustees, has recently promoted and awarded tenure to four faculty members. These talented scholars and teachers will also become the second cohort of Haynesville Project Fellows.

Those receiving tenure and a promotion from assistant professor to associate professor are Marta Ameri, art; Britt Halvorson, anthropology; Ying Li, computer science; and James Siodla, economics.

As Haynesville Project Fellows, each will be awarded a $100,000 grant over a two-year period through an innovative pilot project developed by Tom and Cathy Tinsley P’10. In addition to helping attract and retain exceptional scholars and teachers, the project’s goal is to provide the necessary resources to foster creative and high-impact research projects and excellence in teaching through dependable financial commitments. Funds may be used entirely for research purposes, or up to 40 percent of the funds may be used for personal expenditures.

“I am so grateful for the contributions of each of these extraordinary faculty members,” said Provost and Dean of Faculty Margaret McFadden. “They are all excellent teachers and advisors, accomplished and influential scholars, and dedicated and generous members of the Colby community. I am delighted that they have joined the senior faculty.”

Marta Ameri

Marta Ameri, art

Art historian Marta Ameri works at the intersection of visual studies and archaeology. She is an interdisciplinary scholar who studies carved or engraved miniature seals from South and Central Asia and the Persian Gulf region from the third millennium BCE. She has published important work cataloging seals excavated in archaeological digs in South Asia, and she’s analyzed and interpreted the stylistic and functional significance of seals and seal impressions in these prehistoric cultures. Her publications include a co-edited volume, Seals and Sealing in the Ancient World: Case Studies from the Ancient Near East, Egypt, the Aegean, and South Asia, and many articles in leading journals and peer-reviewed essay collections. Ameri earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in art history and archaeology at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University and her B.A. in classical and Near Eastern archaeology at Bryn Mawr College.

Britt Halvorson, anthropology

An anthropologist of religion, Britt Halvorson examines the cultural history and practice of medical humanitarianism within religious communities, and the ethics and politics of aid relationships between Christian communities in the U.S. and Sub-Saharan Africa. She has also published field-leading essays about global waste economies, medical risk, medical commerce, healing and African Christianities, and African Christian migration to the U.S. in top-tier journals and influential essay collections. Halvorson’s highly regarded first book, Conversionary Sites: Transforming Medical Aid and Global Christianity from Madagascar to Minnesota was published in 2018. Her second book, Imagining the Heartland: White Supremacy and the American Midwest, explores how and why the Midwest has played an important role in defining whiteness in the American imagination, and will be published in May. Her next project, a life history of a Malagasy Christian cleric and anti-colonial activist, is well underway. Halvorson received an M.A. and a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Michigan and a B.A. in anthropology and English literature from Albion College. 

Ying Li

Ying Li, computer science

Ying Li is a scholar of computer networks focused on finding solutions to the challenges of creating low-cost, easily deployable wireless networks in contexts where wired networks are unavailable or have failed. This novel and important work has tremendous real-world applicability. For example, intermittent networks can be created to support search and rescue operations in disaster areas or to provide wireless service in rural or remote areas. Her most recent scholarship explores the use of drones to support intermittent networks. Li’s research has been published in high-quality, peer-reviewed online conference venues, a necessity in the field of computer science that changes so quickly. Her publications often include student co-authors, a highly unusual practice in her field. Li completed her Ph.D. at the University of New Hampshire, and she earned her B.E. and M.E. at the Hubei University of Technology in Wuhan, China.

Jim Siodla

James Siodla, economics

James Siodla’s research lies in the fields of economic history and urban economics, specifically the economic history of United States cities. His work focuses particularly on how cities in the early-20th century responded to various shocks like natural disasters or economic downturns. He’s authored a number of highly-regarded papers on the impact of the 1906 San Francisco fire and others exploring how cities responded to the Great Depression. His extensive archival research and the unique datasets that he meticulously constructs from that work allow him to ask and answer new and exciting questions. The quality and impact of his work is evidenced by his winning of the prestigious Larry Neal Prize for the best article in economic history in Explorations in Economic History, a top field journal. Siodla completed his Ph.D. in economics at the University of California at Irvine and his B.A. in economics at the California State University at Chico.

Sign up to read the latest each week.