Williams Announces Tenure for Seven Faculty Members

Media contact: Gregory Shook, director of media relations; tele: 413-597-3401; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., January 6, 2020—The Board of Trustees of Williams College voted to promote seven faculty to the position of associate professor with tenure. Promotions will take effect July 1, 2020, for Michelle Apotsos, art; Corinna Campbell, music; Charlie Doret, physics; Susan Godlonton, economics; Leo Goldmakher, mathematics; Pamela Harris, mathematics; and Greg Phelan, economics.

Michelle Apotsos, art

Apotsos’s scholarship focuses on Islamic architecture in Africa, and she teaches widely on African art history and art-making. She has lectured and written extensively on the subject and has published in various journals, including African Arts and the International Journal of Islamic Architecture. Her first book, titled Architecture, Islam, and Identity in West Africa: Lessons from Larabanga (Routledge Press, 2016), examines the material, cultural, and religious history of a central African mosque. She has received numerous grants and awards, including a Graham Foundation Research and Development Grant, the Mellon Foundation’s Global Architectural History Teaching Collaborative Grant, and an American Association of University Women postdoctoral fellowship.

Apotsos earned her M.F.A. from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, and her Ph.D. from Stanford University. Before coming to Williams in 2015, she was a research associate at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art.

Corinna Campbell, music

An ethnomusicologist, Campbell’s research focuses on maroon communities in Suriname. One of her recent essays received the Joann Kealiinohomoku Award from the Society for Ethnomusicology. With an interest in musical traditions of Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America, her teaching explores the intersections of music and dance, and of music with other disciplines. Prior to joining the faculty at Williams, she taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston College, and Harvard University, where she earned her Ph.D.

Campbell is the past president of the Northeast Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology and also the director and founder of the Society for Ethnomusicology’s Fieldwork Mentoring Program. Her research has been funded by a number of institutions, among them the Fulbright Program, Harvard University’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Charlie Doret, physics

Doret is an experimental physicist and a Class of 2002 graduate of Williams. With a Ph.D. from Harvard University, he is primarily interested in the physics of simple atomic and molecular systems, their use in pursuing research challenges in other areas of physics, and their technological applications. His research lab, which is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation and the Research Corporation for Science Advancement’s Contrell Scholar Award, combines the tools of atomic physics with ideas from quantum information processing to study quantum phenomena from throughout the natural world.

Recognized as a leader in cutting edge research, Doret is one of the few faculty members in the world who has managed to trap ions as part of a liberal arts college research program. He has written about and given talks on the topic at numerous colleges and universities.

Susan Godlonton, economics

An accomplished microeconomist, Godlonton’s area of interests include public health and economic development concerns in Africa. Her work explores how preventative health measures may reduce rates of HIV transmission and interventions that are effective in promoting transition to work and increasing agricultural productivity. Studying the effectiveness of economic methodologies and using her own fieldwork to assess and improve survey methodologies, she has conducted research in Malawi, Burkina Faso, Rwanda, and Senegal, involving many students. Her active research program has resulted in many highly-placed publications and been supported by extensive external funding. She teaches courses not only in economics but also for the Center for Development Economics and the Public Health Program at Williams.

Godlonton earned her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Before joining the faculty at Williams, she previously worked at the International Food Policy Research Institute in the Markets, Trade and Institutions Division.

Leo Goldmakher, mathematics

Goldmakher is regarded as one of the top scholars in number theory, a branch of pure mathematics devoted to the study of integers and integer-valued functions. With a strong interest in the creativity of math, much of his research has focused on analytic number theory, and, in particular, on character sums, which are at the core of many classical questions in number theory. He has published widely in journals such as the American Mathematical Monthly, the Journal of Number Theory, and the Journal of the European Mathematical Society.

Goldmahker joined the faculty at Williams in 2014. His current courses include Discrete Math, and he has recently taught courses in number theory, calculus, and linear algebra. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Prior to coming to Williams, he taught at the University of Toronto.

Pamela Harris, mathematics

Harris’s prolific publication showcases her research in algebra and combinatorics. Her research has been supported through awards from the National Science Foundation and the Center for Undergraduate Research in Mathematics. She is the recipient of the 2019 Henry L. Alder award from the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and the 2019 Early Career Mentor Award by the Council on Undergraduate Research. An outstanding mentor, especially for first-gen students and students of color, she received a grant from the MAA’s Tensor-SUMMA Program to support her work through her website Lathisms.org, which features research and mentoring contributions of Latinxs and Hispanics in the mathematical sciences.

Harris co-organizes research symposia and professional development sessions for the national conference of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science, was an MAA Project NExT (New Experiences in Teaching) Fellow, and is an editor of the e-Mentoring Network blog of the American Mathematical Society. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Before joining the faculty at Williams in 2016, she was a Davies Research Fellow at the United States Military Academy.

Greg Phelan, economics

Phelan’s research areas include macroeconomics, financial theory, economic theory, and international finance. His research studies how characteristics of financial markets affect the broader economy, with a key focus on the appropriate responses of monetary policy and prudential regulation. He has published widely in top journals, such as the Journal of Finance and the Journal of Financial Economics, including a number of works co-authored with his students.

With a Ph.D. in economics from Yale University, he is the recipient of numerous fellowships and grants. Since joining the faculty at Williams in 2014, he has taught courses in macroeconomics, asset pricing, and finance theory. In addition to teaching, he has served on various committees, including the Retirement Plan Governance Committee and the College and Community Advisory Committee.


Founded in 1793, Williams College is the second-oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college’s 2,000 students are taught by a faculty noted for the quality of their teaching and research, and the achievement of academic goals includes active participation of students with faculty in their research. Students’ educational experience is enriched by the residential campus environment in Williamstown, Mass., which provides a host of opportunities for interaction with one another and with faculty beyond the classroom. Admission decisions on U.S. applicants are made regardless of a student’s financial ability, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet the demonstrated needs of all who are admitted.






Published January 6, 2020