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Six faculty earn tenure, promotions for academic contributions to Bryant community
Jan 31, 2023, by Casey Nilsson

In January, the Bryant University Board of Trustees approved the award of indefinite tenure to five faculty members within the university’s College of Arts and Sciences and one faculty member within the College of Business. The academics were also promoted to the rank of associate professor.

"Bryant’s newly tenured faculty members have proven their dedication to academic excellence and innovative scholarly work,” says Bryant University President Ross Gittell, Ph.D. “Their contributions are the backbone of our vibrant learning community, and we thank them for representing the best of Bryant here on campus and across the globe.”

Spanning History and Social Sciences, Mathematics, Modern Languages, Finance, and Economics, the six faculty members all balance robust teaching schedules with research and publications.

“This promotion is well-deserved recognition for the fine work they have done in the classroom, in research, and in service to the university,” says Provost and Chief Academic Officer Rupendra Paliwal, Ph.D. “I commend them on reaching this milestone in their academic careers. Their contributions to the Bryant community and the example they provide for our students is truly appreciated."

More about the faculty:

Katayoun AlidadiKatayoun Alidadi, Ph.D., teaches in the Department of History and Social Sciences and specializes in comparative law, human rights and the intersections of law and religion. Prior to entering academia, she was a practicing attorney, first with an international law firm in Brussels and later practicing public interest and small business law in Los Angeles with Public Counsel Law Center. She is the author of Religion, Equality and Employment in Europe: The Case for Reasonable Accommodation (Hart, 2017). She is also co-editor of four scholarly volumes, including Redesigning Justice for Plural Societies: Case Studies of Minority Accommodation from Around the World (Routledge, 2022).


Alicia T. LamereAlicia T. Lamere, Ph.D., teaches in the Department of Mathematics. Her teaching interests include probability theory, multivariate statistical methods, data mining applications, and working with big data. Recent research includes papers on the effects of the COVID-19 lockdown on urban air quality; a study of voter behavior models through the lens of identity in the 2016 presidential election; and sampling methods on machine learning models for predicting long-term length of stay in Rhode Island hospitals. Other research interests include biostatistics, non-Gaussian methods, construction of gene co-expression networks, and mathematical pedagogy.


Gao NiuGao Niu, Ph.D., teaches in the Department of Mathematics. The coordinator for the actuarial math program, Niu has years of experience in academic actuarial research and consulting practice. Recent publications include an efficiency analysis of insurance companies through data envelopment analysis during the COVID-19 pandemic; an overview of big data-intensive storage for cloud and fog computing; and a study of constraining conifer physiological parameters in leaf gas-exchange models for ancient co2 reconstruction.


Cedric Joseph OlivaCedric Joseph Oliva, Ph.D., teaches in the Department of Modern Languages. Before joining Bryant, he taught French and Italian at St. Lawrence University, where he served as the Director of the Less Commonly Taught Languages Program. While his primary area of specialization remains Pedagogy, SLA, Romance Linguistics and Intercomprehension, he has taught advanced courses on topics as varied as Language for Professionals, Mapping the Francophonie Contemporaine, Francophone Female Figures, and the History of French and Italian Gastronomies. His research has resulted in a series of publications, including two supplemental e-textbooks and eight articles on teaching strategies, including an ADFL Bulletin article titled: “The Future Is Multilingual: French, Italian, and Portuguese for Spanish Speakers” and a coauthored chapter on Linguistic Creativity, an Oxford University Press publication.


Xiaofei PanXiaofei Pan, Ph.D., teaches in the Department of Economics and serves as a faculty fellow at Bryant’s Center of Health and Behavioral Sciences. She also serves as the program coordinator for the Applied Economics major. Pan’s teaching interests are behavioral economics, experimental economics, and game theory. Her research interests include behavioral and experimental economics, public economics, and labor economics, and her work has been recently published in the Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, the Journal of Behavioral Finance, and Applied Economics.


Cathy ZhengCathy Zheng, Ph.D., teaches in the Finance Department of Bryant University. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst charter holder. Her teaching interests include international financial management, global corporate valuation, global finance, and comparative corporate governance. Zheng’s research focuses on financial practices in a global context, incorporating corporate social responsibility, debt contracting, creditor rights, and social values. Her work has been published in academic journals such as Journal of International Business Studies and Journal of Banking and Finance. She is a referee for business journals including Journal of Banking and Finance, Journal of Corporate Finance, Journal of Business Ethics, Asia-Pacific Journal of Financial Studies, and Journal of Applied Accounting Research.

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