UNCW College of Arts and Sciences to Welcome Visiting Faculty Fall 2021

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

The UNCW College of Arts and Sciences will welcome two visiting faculty as part of the college’s Visiting Artist and Scholar Program in fall 2021. Kaia Shivers, clinical assistant professor of liberal studies at New York University, will join the UNCW Department of Anthropology, and Benjamin Naman, associate professor and deputy director in the Department of Marine Pharmacy at Ningbo University in China, will join the UNCW Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, for semester-long residencies.

Shivers is a media scholar and ethnographer. Her work explores how members of the Black/African diaspora use media for agency and representation. Shivers is also a media practitioner who serves as editor-in-chief of Ark Republic news site. She recently launched the Black Farmers Index, the largest, free, public directory of Black farmers in the United States.

“Ethnographic filmmaking and visual anthropology are long-standing areas of research and methodology in anthropology,” said Bill Alexander, chair of the Department of Anthropology. “Critical approaches to media and popular culture inform a good deal of our discipline’s interest in issues of representation and power. We are excited Dr. Shivers will bring her cutting-edge scholarship in these areas to our program.”

Naman is a natural product chemist. His research focuses on natural products chemical biology, encompassing industrial development of new flavors and fragrances, and pharmaceutical drug discovery from marine biodiversity, traditional medicines and dietary supplements. While at UNCW, Naman will survey a variety of cyanobacteria from collections all over the world for the generation of new drug lead molecules and chemical scaffolds for synthetic medicinal chemistry optimization. He will also be sharing and learning a variety of advanced analytical techniques that will be used to purify and characterize these therapeutic prospects at the molecular level.

“Dr. Naman is a noted chemist with a long list of scientific accomplishments and work that covers a wide spectrum of natural products research that operates at the intersection of chemistry and molecular/marine biology,” said Paulo Almeida, chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “Dr. Naman's visit will be a great opportunity to build further connections and strengthen synergistic interactions with UNCW faculty and students.”

Established in 2019, the CAS Visiting Artist and Scholar Program brings visiting faculty members from different disciplines to UNCW to enhance interdisciplinary collaboration and applied learning.
--G. Guthrie