Junior faculty receive Poorvu prize for excellence in teaching
Yale College Dean Marvin Chun will host a dinner on Dec. 11 to honor the recipients of the annual Poorvu Family Fund for Academic Innovation, created to recognize excellence in teaching. This year's recipients are Laura Barraclough, Dylan Gee, and Madhu Venkadesan.
Barraclough is the Sarai K. Ribicoff Associate Professor of American Studies. She is a scholar of urban America, with a regional focus on Los Angeles and the U.S. West.
Her research examines how colonialism, racism, sexism, and class inequality are produced and challenged in western cities, especially through the cultural politics of land use. As a second focus, Barraclough seeks to make the insights of radical geography and ethnic studies accessible and useful to public audiences. Her courses include “Race, Class, Gender, and American Cities,” “Social Theory of the City,” and “Critical Human Geography.”
Gee is an assistant professor of psychology. She studies how the development of neural circuits is critical to identifying and treating mental health disorders.
Her lab bridges clinical, developmental, and neuroscience approaches to delineate the biological state of the developing brain to more effectively treat mental illness. A central focus of her work is the nature and development of emotional behavior and related connections between limbic and prefrontal regions in children and adolescents with anxiety and stress-related disorders. She teaches “Statistics in Psychological Science,” “Affective Bases of Behavior,” and “Teaching in Psychology.”
Venkadesan is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science. He studies the biomechanics and control of animal movement and develops mechanisms inspired by those studies.
His lab uses human subject experiments, control theory, dynamics, and robotics to understand how evolution affects the way humans and animals walk, run, throw, grasp, and control their bodies, and in biologically inspired machines built in the lab. He combines a wide range of fields including mechanical engineering, biomedical sciences and engineering, evolutionary biology, anthropology, and applied mathematics. He teaches courses in neuromuscular biomechanics and mechatronics.