New professors join McDaniel faculty

September 12, 2019

Two new assistant professors and one visiting professor promoted to assistant professor have joined McDaniel’s faculty in BiologyEngineering (Physics) and Economics this fall.

Allison Kerwin joins McDaniel College as assistant professor of Biology. Her research interests include host-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions in marine symbioses, environmental microbiology and ecology, environmental interactions and impacts on microbial communities and microbial physiology. Kerwin’s microbiome research investigating symbiotic microbes that drive biological processes is the next frontier of microbiology. She plans to engage her students in authentic research experiences and offers self-mentorship training to allow students to direct their own careers. 

Kerwin earned a B.A. in Biology from Smith College and an M.S. in Biology from Northeastern University’s Three Seas Professional Master’s Program. She also received her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of Connecticut in August 2017. Her field of study is microbiology, and her dissertation is “Stability, development, and function of a symbiotic bacterial community associated with the reproductive system of the Hawaiian bobtail squid, Euprymna scolopes.”

Mehrshad Mehboudi joins McDaniel as assistant professor of Engineering. He brings five years of experience as a visiting instructor and teacher assistant as well as five years of industry work in industrial boiler and furnace manufacturing companies. His major achievement involved predicting structural phase transition in monochalcogenides monolayers and their properties.

Mehboudi earned a B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Tehran and Iran University of Science and Technology. His engineering background extends with more than five years of firsthand work experience in mechanical engineering. He completed his M.S. in micro-electronics photonics from the University of Arkansas. In 2019, Mehboudi completed his Ph.D. in micro-electronics photonics from the Institute for Nanoscience and Engineering, University of Arkansas, where he did his dissertation on theoretical and numerical modeling of two-dimensional materials. Two-dimensional materials are a class of material with a thickness of one to a few atoms. He contributed to seven peer-reviewed articles in high impact journals such as PNAS, NANO Letters, ACS Central Science and Physical Review Letters.

Amy Ramnarine has been promoted from visiting assistant professor to assistant professor of Economics. Her primary research interests include economic development and applied macroeconomics. Ramnarine’s past personal experiences as an undergraduate Mathematics tutor and graduate teaching assistant have contributed greatly to her desire and passion for teaching. Ramnarine’s approach to teaching is to observe and reflect on her students and adapt her teaching style to their needs. She has taught development economics, intermediate microeconomics, principles of economics, introduction to statistics and economic issues and policy.

Prior to joining McDaniel, she served as an assistant professor and staff advisor at Occidental College in Los Angeles, Calif. Ramnarine earned her B.S. in Mathematics from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and an M.A. in Economics from Florida International University. She received her Ph.D. in Economics from Florida International University, where she did a dissertation entitled “Essays in Women’s Issues and Economic Development.” Her doctoral dissertation is a series of essays exploring the relationship between child marriage (marriage before the age of 18) and the health outcomes of children produced from those unions. Her research has found that the predominant effect of child marriage on children’s health outcomes is concentrated through increases in severe stunting. With her research, her goal is to contribute effective analyses that will help in the formulation of policy geared at enhancing the lives of women and the next generation.

McDaniel's new assistant professors are Allison Kerwin (Biology), Amy Ramnarine (Economics) and Mehrshad Mehboudi (Engineering).