New Faculty Bring Diversity of Expertise and Experience

Nine new tenure-track faculty join the College for the 2023-24 academic year.


Nine new tenure-track faculty have joined the Kenyon community and will begin teaching in Gambier this fall.

The new faculty members represent a broad academic spectrum as well as a diversity of expertise and experiences.

Acting Provost Sheryl Hemkin, whose office oversees the College’s academic division, said she is thrilled about the excellence represented by the newcomers.

“We’re excited to welcome these talented teacher-scholars to our faculty,” she said. “Our students will greatly benefit from their clear commitment to teaching and dedication to their scholarly and artistic work. I look forward to getting to know each person and having them as members of our community.”

Aashna Aggarwal

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Aashna Aggarwal grew up in Mumbai, India and spent two years in boarding school in Singapore before coming to the United States for undergraduate and graduate studies. Having attended a liberal arts college herself, she can’t wait to be on the other side of the classroom.

Aggarwal’s research focuses primarily on understanding how racialization impacts identity development and well-being for international students of color in the U.S. In addition, she conducts research related to creating nuanced understandings of South Asian and South Asian American identity. Aggarwal deeply believes in the scientist practitioner model of practicing psychology, and thus her final research focus is program evaluation (e.g. effectiveness of courses in meeting stated objectives), particularly as it relates to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Her areas of expertise include international students, critical race theory and program evaluation.

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling Psychology from Purdue University (2023) 
  • Master of Science in Education from Purdue University (2018)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Theatre from Middlebury College (2016)

Holden Diethorn

Assistant Professor of Economics

Holden Diethorn joins Kenyon after working as a postdoctoral researcher at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). He is a labor economist specializing in the study of high-skilled labor markets where workers serve as primary inputs to research, innovation and entrepreneurship. 

His current work includes estimating the impact of high-skilled immigration policy on the U.S. economy and analyzing the value of STEM knowledge and training for both workers and firms. His areas of expertise include labor, science and innovation and immigration.

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Economics from the University at Albany, State University of New York (2020)
  • Master of Arts in Economics from the University at Albany, State University of New York (2016)
  • Bachelor of Science in Economics and Political Science from Saint Vincent College (2013)

Emily Ibrahim

Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Emily Ibrahim’s research focuses on how creative forms of communication shape the experiences of people living in diverse Islamic migrant settlements called “zongos” in Ghana, West Africa. Ibrahim also is cofounder of the nonprofit organization called the "Zongo Story Project" in which she works with students in Ghana to write, illustrate and tell stories that are meaningful to them. In 2016, their book “Gizo-Gizo: A Tale from the Zongo Lagoon” won the African Studies Association’s Africana Book Award for best children’s book.

Prior to joining Kenyon, Williamson taught anthropology at Brandeis University and landscape architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design. Her areas of expertise include linguistics and semiotics, storytelling and material worlds.

Doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology from Boston University (2022)

  • Master of Science in Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2014) 
  • Master of Architecture from the University of Virginia (2009)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Education from Colby College (2004)

Christopher Levesque

Assistant Professor of Law and Society and Sociology

Chris Levesque's research focuses on migration, demography and the far-reaching consequences of U.S. immigration law. Specifically, he looks at the legal process in newer immigrant destinations. He uses mixed methods to study the intersection between the criminal and immigration law — also referred to as “crimmigration” — examining the impacts of social stratification, detention, and legal access in the U.S. immigration court system. He is also interested in internal migration patterns in the metro and non-metro Midwest.

Prior to joining Kenyon, Levesque was an affiliate with the University of Minnesota Law School’s Binger Center for New Americans and a predoctoral trainee in population studies at the Minnesota Population Center. He has also consulted and worked with organizations such as the Advocates for Human Rights and Migration Policy Institute. His areas of expertise include immigration, law and society and demography. 

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology from the University of Minnesota: Twin Cities (2023)
  • Master of Arts in Sociology from the University of Minnesota: Twin Cities (2020)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Government and German Area Studies from Cornell University (2013)

Zachary McGee

Assistant Professor of Political Science

Zachary McGee teaches courses on American politics, particularly on the topics of Congress, political parties, and public policy. His research centers on questions of power among elites and utilizes a variety of methodological approaches, including quantitative statistical modeling, archival work and interviews with elites.

McGee’s classes are informed by interdisciplinary research and experiential learning opportunities, like visits to local government meetings and simulations of election betting markets. His courses insist that students consider more than one explanation for our present political ills. Originally from the Appalachian region of Maryland, he enjoys the contrast between his home in bustling Columbus and Kenyon’s serene campus in Gambier, which reminds him of his childhood hometown’s close-knit community.

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Government from the University of Texas at Austin (2021)
  • Master of Arts in Government from the University of Texas at Austin (2017)
  • Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Towson University (2015)

Jessica Pruett

Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies

Jessica Pruett’s research focuses on the relationship between lesbian feminist history and contemporary popular culture in the U.S., illuminating lesbian feminism’s significance for the queer and feminist political movements of today. She is currently at work on her first book project, “Sisters Unite: Popular Culture and the Lesbian Feminist Future.” Her scholarly writing has appeared in the journal Transformative Works and Cultures and the edited collection “a tumblr book: platform and cultures.”

Prior to Kenyon, she was a visiting assistant professor of gender studies at Lawrence University. Her areas of expertise include queer history, intersectional feminist theory and popular culture. 

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Culture and Theory from the University of California, Irvine (2021)
  • Master of Arts in Culture and Theory from the University of California, Irvine (2016)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Women and Gender Studies and English (Creative Writing) from Arizona State University (2014)

Alyssa Quinn

Assistant Professor of English

Alyssa Quinn (she/they) is the author of the novel “Habilis” (Dzanc Books, 2022) and the prose chapbook “Dante's Cartography” (The Cupboard Pamphlet, 2019). They are currently at work on a novel about the Great Salt Lake. 

Their areas of expertise include fiction writing, experimental literature and eco-literature.

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Utah (2023)
  • Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Western Washington University (2018)
  • Bachelor of Arts in English and Creative Writing from Utah State University (2016)

Kamesh Regmi

Assistant Professor of Biology

Kamesh Regmi is a plant biologist with interests in cell biology, physiology, pathology and evolution of plants. He uses liverworts, mosses, lycopods and angiosperms as model organisms to explore the world of plants from the molecular to the organismal level.

Before coming to Kenyon, Regmi trained as a postdoctoral scholar at Iowa State University and Indiana University Bloomington. His areas of expertise include sugar transport, plant diseases and genetic engineering.

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Life Sciences from Arizona State University (2016)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences from Reed College (2008)

Lauren Schmitt

Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies

Lauren Schmitt’s research focuses on managed ecosystems, including agroecosystems, restored forests and cities. She is especially interested in the ecology of sustainable food systems and has worked in temperate and tropical agricultural systems, including small-scale blueberry farms, barley breeding programs and coffee agroforests. Her work combines community and ecosystem ecology to look at how climate change and management decisions shape ecosystem dynamics.

Prior to Kenyon, Schmitt was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Maryland, where she worked with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center to study how forest restoration projects develop and can maximize ecosystem function. Her areas of expertise include sustainable agriculture, plant-insect interactions, and community and ecosystem ecology.

  • Doctor of Philosophy from the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan (2020)
  • Master of Science in Applied Environmental Science at University College Dublin (2015)
  • Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science & Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame (2014)