The School of Social Sciences is happy to welcome four new professors to its fall faculty lineup. With research interests in game theory, political behavior, social inequality and computational modeling, their scholarly contributions will further expand the diversity and interdisciplinary research strengths for which the School of Social Sciences is known. 

Learn more about the school’s new faculty below and come welcome them in person at the annual Social Sciences Welcome Reception on Monday, September 26 from 3:30-5:00 p.m. in Social & Behavioral Sciences Gateway, Room 1517.

Jean-Paul Carvalho
Assistant Professor, Economics
Ph.D., University of Oxford

Jean-Paul Carvalho is an economic theorist who works on the economics of culture and Identity, a new field that analyzes phenomena such as cultural assimilation from an economic perspective. His recent research includes a theoretical analysis of veiling by Muslim women, which attempts to explain the rise over recent decades in the use of head-coverings by this group. The analysis views veiling as a means by which Muslim women can signal religiosity to other members of their increasingly religious communities, and as a self-control mechanism in a world with growing temptations toward irreligious behavior. His findings indicate that head-cover bans in schools and universities may be counterproductive, reducing the cultural assimilation of Muslim women.

Nathan Collins
Assistant Professor, Political Science and Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences
Ph.D., Stanford University

Political scientist Nathan Collins studies adaptive models of political behavior.  His most recent research looks at how social networks and broadcasting—news reports, advertising, and so on—interact to affect the spread of policy ideas, social movements, and adoption of new products. His past research has focused on the long-term dynamics of voter turnout and the structure of voter preferences and their cognitive underpinnings. His papers have appeared in The Journal of Politics and Quarterly Journal of Political Science, among others. In addition to his research, Collins has worked as a science journalist for ScienceNOW, New Scientist and Scientific American Mind.

Kristin Turney
Assistant Professor, Sociology
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Sociologist Kristin Turney investigates intragenerational and intergenerational social inequalities in health and well-being. Her current research is focused on linkages between maternal depression and child well-being, collateral consequences of mass imprisonment for family life, heterogeneous associations between romantic relationships and mental health in early adulthood, and how health inequalities reproduce disadvantage in early childhood. Her research has appeared in the Journal of Marriage and Family, Social Science Research and Sociological Quarterly, among others. She has spent the past two years at the University of Michigan as a Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society scholar.

Joachim Vandekerckhove
Assistant Professor, Cognitive Sciences
Ph.D., University of Leuven Belgium

Joachim Vandekerckhove is a mathematical psychologist who incorporates computational methods into quantitative and formal approaches to psychology. He is known widely for his abilities in building and evaluating models of cognitive processes. His research has appeared in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Journal of Mathematical Psychology and Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, among others.   He has spent the past year as a postdoctoral fellow of the Flanders Research Foundation.


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