First cohort of International Faculty Fellows chosen

Andrea Bachner
Victoria Beard
Saurabh Mehta
Daniel Selva

Infectious diseases, maternal and child health in Africa; community-based planning and poverty in Southeast Asia; theories of cultural differences in China; and the development of remote sensing satellites are at the heart of research being done by Cornell’s first cohort of International Faculty Fellows with the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies.

Andrea Bachner, comparative literature (Arts and Sciences); Victoria Beard, city and regional planning (Architecture, Art and Planning); Saurabh Mehta, nutritional sciences (Human Ecology); and Daniel Selva, mechanical and aerospace engineering (Engineering), will start three-year terms as International Faculty Fellows this summer. As such, they will be expected to contribute to the intellectual life of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies by hosting workshops in their fields, interacting with various international programs housed within the center and working across disciplines to foster cross-college connections.

Nominated by the deans of their respective colleges/schools and chosen by a faculty committee chaired by Vice Provost for International Affairs and Einaudi Center Director Fredrik Logevall, fellows are selected on the basis of their internationally focused research and teaching and scholarly achievements.

“This new initiative is a centerpiece of our new Call to Action: Advancing Cornell’s International Dimension,” says Logevall. “It is meant to foster new collaborations among the colleges and the Einaudi Center, to enhance the connectivity of internationalization across campus, and to assist Cornell’s colleges and schools with recruitment and retention of superb faculty whose research and teaching have an international focus.”

Bachner, assistant professor, explores comparative intersections among Sinophone, Latin American and European cultural productions in dialogue with theories of interculturality, sexuality and mediality. She is the author of “Beyond Sinology: Chinese Writing and the Scripts of Cultures” (forthcoming from Columbia University Press) and co-editor of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Modern Chinese Literatures.

Beard, associate professor, focuses on international urbanization and planning, particularly the intersection of collective action, social movements, transnational processes and planning. One research project examines community-based planning and poverty alleviation in Indonesia, Thailand and Cambodia, and another examines transnational community-based planning in southern California and Oaxaca. She is a core faculty member in the Cornell’s Southeast Asia Program, and a faculty fellow in the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future and in the Center for Community Engaged Learning + Research.

Mehta, assistant professor, is a physician with a doctorate in epidemiology and nutrition. He has conducted postdoctoral research in nutritional epidemiology at Harvard and worked more than 10 years in resource-limited settings in the areas of infectious diseases, particularly HIV and tuberculosis, epidemiology and nutrition. He also studies a neglected tropical diseases, and maternal and child health. Specifically, he looks at the role of micronutrients in modulation of the immune response, perinatal health, and applying novel diagnostics and analytic methodologies to advance clinical care in resource-limited settings in India, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.

Selva, assistant professor, who holds advanced-level degrees from world-class institutions in Spain, France and Boston and has professional experience in French Guiana, says that he has made international diversity a guiding principle in his personal and professional life.
 His research focuses on developing a CubeSat (a very small satellite) for remote sensing of agriculture with Spanish and Russian partners; it will have an educational component that will foster collaboration between Cornell students and Spanish and Russian students.