Three African American Scholars Who Are Taking on New Assignments

Tyra Good was named the first faculty director of the Center for Equity in Urban Education at Elms College in Chicopee, Massachusetts. Most recently, she was an assistant professor of practice in education at Chatham University in Pittsburgh.

Dr. Good received her bachelor’s degree in business management from Howard University in Washington, D.C. She earned a master’s degree in teaching from Chatham University and a doctorate in educational leadership and evaluation from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.

Tamara Butler was appointed executive director of the College of Charleston’s Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture. She had served on the faculty of the English department and the African American and African studies program at Michigan State Univerity.

A graduate of Xavier University in New Orleans, Dr. Butler holds a master’s degree in African American and African studies and a doctorate in multicultural and equity studies in education from Ohio State University.

David Van Valen, an assistant professor of biology and biological engineering at the California Institute of Technology, has been named a Rita Allen Foundation Scholar. The award is given to early-career biomedical scientists whose research “holds exceptional promise for revealing new pathways to advance human health.” Research in the Van Valen lab focuses on developing machine-learning methods for studying single cells and understanding interactions between viruses and their hosts.

Dr. Van Valen joined the faculty at Caltech in 2018. He is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Van Valen earned a Ph.D. at Caltech and a medical doctorate at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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