Welcome: new Tar Heels beginning roles at Carolina

With every fall semester, the University welcomes new faculty members and others to jobs across campus. Here’s an introduction to just a few of the newest Tar Heels.

bell tower above trees

With every fall semester, the University welcomes new faculty members and others to jobs across campus. Some are veteran professors, while others are fresh from earning a terminal academic degree in their field, switching to a new job or in their first position in academia. Here’s an introduction to just a few of the newest Tar Heels.

New faculty by the numbers

88 new faculty hires

  • 1 distinguished professor
  • 6 professors/clinical professors
  • 1 professor of the practice
  • 65 assistant professors and clinical/research/teaching assistant professors
  • 7 associate professors and clinical/research associate professors
  • 8 instructors and clinical instructors

Dr. BroaddusDr. Russell Broaddus

School of Medicine

Professor and chair, pathology & laboratory medicine department, and member of Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center faculty

He comes from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where he was professor of pathology and member of the graduate faculty at the University of Texas at Houston Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and director of the division of pathology and laboratory medicine cancer biomarker pathology fellowship program. Broaddus earned an undergraduate degree at the University of Texas at El Paso, then medical and doctoral degrees from the University of Texas at Houston Medical School and University of Texas at Houston Health Science Center Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.


Craig CameronCraig Cameron

School of Medicine

Jeffrey Houpt Distinguished Investigator and chair, microbiology and immunology department

He joins Carolina from Pennsylvania State University, where he held the Eberly Chair in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Cameron’s laboratory develops strategies to treat and prevent viral infections and mitochondrial dysfunction. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Howard University and a doctoral degree in biochemistry from Case Western Reserve University. Cameron spent more than 22 years at Penn State, joining the faculty after his postdoctoral training.



Gwen GardenDr. Gwenn Garden

School of Medicine

Professor and chair, neurology department

She comes to Carolina from the University of Washington, where she was vice chair of the neurology department, associate director of the Center on Human Development and Disabilitydirector of the center’s Clinical Translational Core. Garden’s research focuses on neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration and dementia. Her research aims to make clear the cellular interactions that occur between immune and neural cells in ischemia, trauma, seizures and neurodegenerative diseases.

Garden completed her undergraduate education at Northwestern University and received her doctor of medicine degree and a doctoral degree in physiology and biophysics from the University of Washington.

Gwen GhentAndra Ghent

Kenan-Flagler Business School

Associate professor of finance

She joins Kenan-Flagler from the business school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was a professor in the real estate and urban and economics department and academic director of its real estate center.

Ghent’s research interests are real estate finance, financial intermediation and fixed income markets. She teaches courses in real estate finance, real estate capital markets and investment strategies in property markets. She earned a doctoral degree in economics from the University of California, San Diego, a master’s degree in economics from the University of Toronto and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of British Columbia.

Dorothy Espelage, professor of educationDorothy Espelage

School of Education

William C. Friday Distinguished Professor of Education

One of the nation’s leading academic experts on school safety and student well-being issues, she comes to Chapel Hill from the University of Florida, where she was professor of psychology.

Espelage has written nearly 200 peer-reviewed scholarly articles and edited six books and 73 chapters on bullying, sexual and gender-based harassment, dating violence and gang violence. She served as an associate editor of the Journal of Counseling Psychology and is one of the most-cited scholars worldwide in her areas of research.

Espelage’s awards attesting to her impact and leadership include the American Psychological Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Prevention Science and the 2016 APA Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Public Policy. She was elected to the National Academy of Education in 2018, the highest honor for researchers in the educational sciences.

Brian HsuBrian Hsu

Linguistics, College of Arts & Sciences

Assistant professor

He extends his work at Carolina after completing a two-year postdoctoral appointment. Hsu’s research seeks to identify the mental operations underlying human language abilities by examining variation in language grammars.

His research interests are in the areas of syntax (sentence structure) and phonology (sound patterns), and how the two of those areas interact (how restrictions on sound sequences can affect word order). Hsu teaches courses in syntax and will develop a new course for spring semester on constructed languages (often invented for TV shows and movies and sometimes called conlangs).


Noah KittnerNoah Kittner

Assistant professor, Gillings School of Global Public Health, environmental sciences and engineering, and assistant professor, city and regional planning department.

He returns to Carolina, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in environmental science, from Switzerland, where he worked as senior researcher in the Group for Sustainability and Technology at ETH Zürich.

He holds a doctoral degree in energy and reso

urces from the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied in the Energy and Resources Group. His work focuses on energy systems engineering, science and policy. His research with the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Lab appears in leading journals ranging from Nature Energy to Environmental Science and Technology and Ecological Economics. Previously, he was a Fulbright Fellow at the Joint Graduate School of Energy and Environment in Bangkok and worked extensively on a Thai solar PV roadmap project at Chulalongkorn University.



Most hires by school

37 School of Medicine

26 College of Arts & Sciences

11 School of Education

6 Kenan-Flagler Business School

NguyenJuliane Nguyen

Eshelman School of Pharmacy

Associate professor

She comes to Carolina from the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Her laboratory develops novel protein-, RNA- and lipid-based biochemical and delivery platforms for treating myocardial infarction and cancer. As principal investigator and co-investigator, she has received more than $5 million in funding. Nguyen is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Young Innovator Award in Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering (2019), the NYSTAR Faculty Award (2019) and the NSF CAREER Award (2018). She earned a doctor of pharmacy degree and a doctorate from Philipps-Universität Marburg in Germany. She completed a postdoctoral appointment at the University of California, San Francisco.


Caela O'ConnollCaela O’Connell

Anthropology, College of Arts & Sciences

Assistant professor

She is an environmental anthropologist who researches and teaches on the intersections of agricultural communities, environmental health and climate change while focusing on disasters, water, agricultural disease, economics, decision-making and policy. O’Connell was on faculty at the University of Tennessee for three years before returning to Carolina, where she earned a doctoral degree in environmental anthropology. Her bachelor of arts degree came from Wittenberg University.

She has worked with farming communities in the Caribbean, Latin America and the United States since 2003. Her research includes studying water-quality trading and conservation in the rural U.S. and documenting interdependent crises involving agriculture disease, climate change and natural hazards in the Caribbean and Gulf Coast with hurricanes Tomas in 2010 and Harvey and Maria in 2017.


Candice PowellCandice Powell

Carolina Covenant


She will direct the Carolina Covenant, the University’s program supporting undergraduates with significant financial need to graduate debt-free and to thrive at Carolina through mentoring, access to high impact academic and pre-professional opportunities, as well as other academic and personal support services.

Powell served for the past eight years in the University’s office of Undergraduate Retention in steadily progressive positions of leadership, most recently serving as associate director for undergraduate retention. Her work across her time at Carolina has focused on enhancing the college experience of first-generation, low-income, minority and transfer students.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from Carolina, a master’s degree in education from NC State and is a doctoral candidate at Carolina’s School of Education.


Adam SalzbergAaron Salzberg

Gillings School of Global Public Health

Professor, environmental sciences and engineering, and director, The Water Institute

An international leader in global water policy, peace and security, Salzberg joins Carolina after working as the U.S. Department of State’s first special coordinator of water and chief of the water division within the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. He led the development of U.S. foreign policy on drinking water and sanitation, water resources management and transboundary water issues to advance sustainable economic growth, peace and security.

He earned a doctoral degree in genetic toxicology and a master of science degree from MIT and a master of science degree from the University of Maryland.



BaernholdtMarianne Baernholdt

School of Nursing

Associate dean for global initiatives

Before joining Carolina Nursing, she was the Nursing Alumni Endowed Professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing. During her time at VCU, Baernholdt was the founding director of the Langston Center for Quality, Safety and Innovation, which provides the health community with education, activities and resources that foster collaborative, patient-centered, cost-effective health care.

Her research focuses on the definition of quality of care and factors affecting quality of care in global rural areas across health care.

She is responsible for developing and implementing the school’s global initiatives, which include global health research and scholarly endeavors, developing a strategic plan for global initiatives and representing the school in key global health and related professional organizations.