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News & Events for the Smith College Community
Research & Inquiry August 22, 2018

Smith Welcomes New Faculty Members

Statue in the botanic garden

Four new tenure-track faculty members will teach at Smith in subject areas ranging from data science to East Asian languages and literature.

Four other faculty members hired last year begin work on campus this fall: Albert Y. Kim (statistical and data sciences), Jina Kim (English language and literature and study of women and gender), Katie Kinnaird (Claire Boothe Luce Assistant Professor in Computer Science and Statistical and Data Science) and Sara Newland (government).

The newest Smith faculty members are listed below by their respective disciplines.


Alexandra Strom, assistant professor, earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and an undergraduate degree from Harvard University. Strom’s research interests include organometallic chemistry, catalysis and synthetic chemistry. The Strom group focuses on the development of new catalytic organometallic reactions through the study and application of mechanistic insights using the tools of physical organic and synthetic chemistry. These research interests are applied to the development of carbon-carbon bond-forming processes and new modes of activation of organic molecules.

Computer Science

Jamie Macbeth, assistant professor, holds a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a master’s degree in physics from Stanford University. His research focuses on building and studying intelligent computing systems that demonstrate a human-like capability for in-depth understanding and production of natural language. Macbeth is especially keen on building systems that decompose the meaning of language. He uses crowdsourcing and machine learning techniques to build these systems to scale, but also crafts systems by hand.

East Asian Languages and Literatures

Irhe Sohn, assistant professor, earned a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor and a master’s degree from Korea National University of Arts. Sohn specializes in modern Korea, with specific interests in the history of film and media. His research and teaching center on the problem of marginality in Korean film history, such as minority audiences, vulgar genre and filmmaking practices largely categorized as failure. He is currently working on a book project investigating the development of Korean cinema during the height of Japanese imperialism. Other research projects include South Korean popular films in the 1970s, the history of special-effect films, and East Asian film and media theories.


Timothy Recuber, assistant professorreceived his Ph.D. in sociology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He was most recently a visiting assistant professor of communication at Hamilton College, and also taught in Princeton’s writing program. His research and teaching focus on mass media and digital culture. Recuber is the author of Consuming Catastrophe: Mass Culture in America’s Decade of Disaster (2016, Temple University Press) and numerous articles.