New Faculty 2018-19
Assistant Professor, Economics | Ph.D., UC Berkeley
Youssef Benzarti is an Assistant Professor of Economics at UC Santa Barbara. He received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley and works at the intersection of Public Finance and Behavioral Economics. His work quantifies the hassle costs of taxation, and studies the incidence of payroll taxes and Value Added Taxes.
Assistant Professor, Communication | Ph.D., Cornell University
Amy Gonzales is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication. Her work examines the effects of social interaction via communication technologies on individual identity, social support, and well-being. She is also interested in the consequences of disrupted access to communication technology. She is especially interested in these phenomena for people from disadvantaged communities (e.g., racial/ethnic minorities, low-income populations, LGBTQ individuals, etc.). Her work aims to advance theoretical understanding and real-world solutions that may help mitigate the long-term consequences of new digital infrastructures that may otherwise exacerbate social inequalities.
Assistant Professor, Political Science | Ph.D., UC Los Angeles
Paasha Mahdavi is an Assistant Professor of Political Science. His research explores statistical methodology to study energy and environmental politics. Recent work includes the politics of extractive resource nationalization; the effects of carbon dividends on civic engagement; the network dynamics of political elites; and the political economy of fossil fuel subsidy reform. His articles have been published in journals such as Energy Policy, Nature Energy, Political Science Research & Methods, and World Politics. He earned his B.A in Economics from Columbia University, M.A. in International Policy from Stanford University, and M.S. in Statistics and Ph.D. in Political Science from UCLA.
Assistant Professor, Sociology | Ph.D., Cornell University
Cate Taylor is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Her main research and teaching areas are gender, work and occupations, social psychology, health, and methods. Before joining the faculty at UCSB, Professor Taylor earned her PhD in Sociology at Cornell University, was a Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar at Columbia University, and was a faculty member at Indiana University. Her work has been published in leading sociological and interdisciplinary journals including American Journal of Sociology, Social Science & Medicine, and Gender & Society. She also delivers training and talks to help organizations increase their diversity in hiring and retention.
Assistant Professor, Economics | Ph.D., UC Berkeley
Alisa Tazhitdinova is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Economics. He primary interests are in economics of taxation and labor economics. Professor Tazhitdinova’s research combines economic theory and large administrative datasets to understand how tax systems affect individuals’ and firms’ behaviors, in order to help design more effective public policies. Professor Tazhitdinova’s research has been supported by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), and has been published in Journal of Public Economics. She received her Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley in 2016.
Professor, Black Studies | Ph.D., UC Santa Barbara
Sharon Tettegahis the Director at the Center for Black Studies Research andProfessor in the Department of Black Studies. . Dr. Tettegah's research centers on the intersection of Social Science, STEM learning, Emotions, Equity and Social justice. She was also a former Program Director at the National Science Foundation where she managed five programs in the Directorates of Education and Human Resources, Computer and Information Science and Engineering and including a NSF cross-cutting program on Science, Engineering, Education for Sustainability (SEES). Dr. Tettegah is the Series Editor for Emotions and Technology: Communication of feeling, for, with and through digital media. She is also co-editor on 7 of the 8 volumes on Emotions, Technology.The volumes include Digital Games; Behaviors; Design and Learning; Design; Health; Learning; Social Media and Mobile Technology.
Assistant Professor, Sociology | Ph.D., Northwestern University
Hannah Wohl is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology. Her research interests include art, culture, markets, valuation, gender, and sociological theory. She studies aesthetic judgment in various social settings, particularly creative industries. Her current book project is an ethnography of the New York City contemporary art world, which examines how artists produce and circulate distinctive creative visions. Hannah received her PhD in sociology from Northwestern University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in sociology at Columbia University.
New Faculty 2017-18
Assistant Professor, Anthropology | Ph.D., Wayne State University School of Medicine
Amy M. Boddy is a human biologist and evolutionary theorist in the Department of Anthropology. Her work uses applications from evolution and ecology to understand human health and disease. She uses a combination of genomics, computational biology and evolutionary theory to understand life history trade-offs between survival and reproduction across different levels of biological organization. One component of her research program examines how environmental cues, such as high extrinsic mortality, may guide resource allocations to cancer defenses and reproduction. Current cancer research topics include comparative oncology, intragenomic conflict, cellular life history trade-offs, and early life adversity and cancer outcomes later in life. In addition to her cancer research, she studies maternal/fetal conflict theory and the consequences of fetal microchimeric cells in maternal health and disease.
Assistant Professor, Sociology | Ph.D., University of Virginia
Tristan Bridges is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology. He is a scholar of gender and sexualities whose work focuses on the construction of masculine identities, especially hybrid masculinities, and analyzes the relationship between gender, sexuality, power, and inequality.
Associate Professor, Economics | Ph.D., Stanford University
Ignacio Esponda is an Associate Professor and the Walther J. Mead Chair in Economics. He is a microeconomic theorist who focuses on psychological and cognitive processes in economic behavior (game theory and experimental economics).
Professor, Economics | Ph.D., UC Berkeley
Erik Eyster is an Profoessor in the Department of Economics. He is an economic theorist who specializes in studying how possibly incorrect beliefs shape strategic interaction in a wide variety of arenas. His work has been published in journals such as Econometrica, the American Economic Review, the Quarterly Journal of Economics and the Review of Economic Studies.
Young Ji Kim
Assistant Professor, Communication | Ph.D., University of Southern California
Young Ji Kim is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication. She is an organizational communication scholar with research interests in group collaboration, collective intelligence, social and organizational implications of technologies, with particular emphasis on online credibility, computer-supported cooperative work, and crowdsourcing.
Assistant Professor, Political Science | Ph.D., Princeton University
Julia Morse is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science.Her research focuses on international relations, with particular attention to global governance and international organizations.Professor Morse's book manuscript examines global banking networks as tools of power and coercion, highlighting how international organizations have used such networks to incentivize policy change and drive widespread improvements in compliance.Her work has been published inInternational Studies QuarterlyandReview of International Organizations.Prior to graduate school, Professor Morse worked at the State Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Assistant Professor, Anthropology | Ph.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Elana Resnick is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a cultural anthropologist whose research integrates political anthropology, political economy, and urban ecology to understand social and racial inequality; her current research focuses on Roma trash collectors in Bulgaria.
Professor, Communication | Ph.D., University of Arizona
Joseph B. Walther is the Director of the UCSB Center for Information Technology and Society, the Mark and Susan Bertelsen Presidential Chair in Technology and Society, and a Distinguished Professor of Communication. A behavioral scientist and theorist, his work concentrates on how people use the Internet to shape social interaction and how mediated communication affects human relationships. Applications of his work in personal relationships, online groups, education settings, and inter-ethnic conflict have had a significant influence across a number of fields. Prior to UCSB, he’s held faculty positions in Singapore, at Michigan State, Cornell, Northwestern, and several European universities.
Kevin A. Whitehead
Assistant Professor, Sociology | Ph.D., UC Santa Barbara
Kevin A. Whitehead is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology. His primary research areas involve the use of ethnomethodological and conversation analytic approaches to examine race and other categorical forms of social organization and inequality, focusing onways in which racial and other social categories are used, reproduced and resisted in talk-in-interaction. He is also engaged in collaborative projects examining, among other topics, interactional features of conflicts and violence, encounters between police officers and members of the public, and basic structures and practices of talk-in-interaction in ordinary conversational and institutional settings.