Academic Diversity Fellows 2013-2015

SophiaDomokos

Sophia Domokos is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Cosmology and Particle Physics in the Physics Department. Her research explores aspects of "holographic duality," a powerful conjecture which postulates a link between some near-intractable physical systems and higher-dimensional theories which are simpler to solve. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, where she studied applications of holographic duality to components of atomic nuclei, and predicted a new phase of matter at the center of neutron stars. She pursued postdoctoral work at the Weizmann Institute of Science, where she used holographic duality to build intuitive physical models for junctions between superconductors. At NYU, Sophia is working with Professor Gregory Gabadadze and Dr. Mark Wyman to understand the holographic duality interpretation of models in which the force carrier of gravity has mass.

MelissaFuster

Melissa Fuster is an assistant professor and faculty fellow of food studies in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. Her research focuses on the cultural, social and political aspects of food choice and consumption, with an emphasis on underserved populations, food security and food preferences, in the United States and Latin America. She completed her doctoral degree in Food Policy and Applied Nutrition at the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. Her doctoral thesis, “Healthy Eating in Vulnerable Salvadoran Communities”, focused on underscoring the importance of diet quality as part of the food security experience, contrasting lay perceptions with expert knowledge. Her current work analyzes expert discourse concerning nutrition and culinary knowledge in the Spanish Caribbean, contextualized in ongoing changes in urban food systems in the region, particularly in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Havana, Cuba. She is also engaged in an ethnographic study on the importance of food and national cuisine as part of the immigrant experience in New York City.

sam

Sam Díaz-Muñoz is a Faculty Fellow at the Center for Genomics and Systems Biology and Department of Biology at NYU. He studies interactions among viruses, in particular how sex, social interactions, and ecology shape viral evolution. Díaz-Muñoz uses viruses collected from natural environments together with experimental evolution in the lab to study the social lives of viruses. Díaz-Muñoz received a University of California Berkeley Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship to study the population dynamics of bacteria and phage on leaf surfaces. As an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Biology at the University of California San Diego, he studied how social interactions among phages affect genetic exchange in both wild and lab-evolved strains. Díaz-Muñoz received his BS in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez and his doctoral work at UC Berkeley focused on cooperative male parental care tamarin monkeys in Panamá.

linda

Linda Rodriguez is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Art History. Her research interests include black visual artists of the 17th-19th centuries in the Atlantic world, the visual economy of the Haitian Revolution, the relationship between artistic and social identity, late colonialism and cultural politics in Cuba, and the architectural history of Havana. She received her Ph.D. in History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University in 2012. She is currently working on a book project, tentatively titled Vicente Escobar and José Antonio Aponte: Redefining Art and History in Colonial Cuba, which examines the work of the free black artists Vicente Escobar and José Antonio Aponte in relationship to the contemporaneous cultural politics of artistic production.

kim

Kimberly Souffront is an Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow in the College of Nursing at New York University. She completed her Bachelors of Science in Nursing at Northeastern University, her Masters of Science in Nursing and Family Nurse Practitioner Degree at Pace University, and her PhD in Nursing Science and Knowledge Development at NYU College of Nursing. Her research interests include how to better manage patients who have asymptomatic hypertension during their emergency department visit. She was awarded a National Research Services Award (NRSA) from the NIH/NHLBI (F31HL105996) for her dissertation titled “Barriers to Referral for Elevated Blood Pressure in the Emergency Department” in 2008-2010. At NYU she is disseminating her research findings from her dissertation through scholarly presentations and manuscripts, and is working on an R01 study (1R01HL118189-0) that aims to determine if participation in Learning in a Virtual Environment (LIVE) is associated with better health outcomes in patients who have Type 2 Diabetes. Dr. Souffront was recently rewarded by Mt. Sinai Hospital-Emergency Department to be a K-12 Scholar, a three-year grant funded by NIH/NHLBI to continue her research studying asymptomatic hypertension in the emergency department.

nat

Natasha Wilson is a Postdoctoral Fellow at NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service. Her research has a primary focus on parental involvement in the special education accommodations process, disproportionate representation, and education policy. At Wagner, she teaches Poverty, Inequality, and Policy, and Law for the Education Policymaker.

Her current research examines how federal legislation mandating parental involvement during the special education accommodations process is fulfilled nationally. Her other current research examines under- and over-representation of minority students in special education.

Dr. Wilson was selected to participate as a faculty fellow in NYU's Postdoctoral and Transition Program for Academic Diversity [PTP-AD] for the years 2013-2015. Previously, she represented children and families as an attorney at Legal Aid of Cleveland and Legal Aid of Milwaukee. She is also a previous recipient of funded fellowship grants from the U.S. Department of Education and the American Bar Association.

Dr. Wilson holds a J.D. degree from University of Wisconsin School of Law, and a Ph.D. in Special Education from Penn State University.