Welcome New Faculty 2014-2015

Martha Donovan



_Instructor in English_


**What are you most excited about for the upcoming school year?**

I am excited to be in the company of all these talented, generous, enthusiastic students, faculty and staff. I mentioned to one of my colleagues in the English Department that [Andover] strikes me as having a culture of gratitude, and he told me how his students thank him (and other teachers) at the end of class each day. 

**Why English?**

The daughter of two writers, I was fortunate to have grown up in a house filled with books and typewriters. My parents sat at opposite ends of the dining room table, the sound of their typing a kind of music: sometimes sweet, sometimes jarring. I learned early the allure of language.

**What’s a fun fact about you? **

I’ve sailed (briefly) in not one, but two replica Viking longships. 

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James Herman 



_Instructor in Mathematics_


**Why did you choose Andover?**

I’m an alum and have always been a big fan of Andover. I started getting more involved a couple of years ago as one of the Boys Crew coaches.

**Do you have any interesting things about yourself you’d like to tell us about?**

Random factoid: English is my second language — I actually learned C++ first! Just kidding, I learned to speak Norwegian as a young child before English.

**Most respected mathematician?**

A favorite of mine is Brian Kernighan, one of the developers of the C language, [who said,] “Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it.” In other words, keep it simple.

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Andrew Housiaux



_Instructor in Philosophy and Religious Studies_


**What drew you to philosophy and religious studies?**

I find the questions of philosophy and religious studies to be incredibly compelling, and I feel fortunate to be able to discuss them with thoughtful students and peers.

**What did you do over the summer?**

I got married!

**Who is your favorite philosopher? Why?**

I admire Socrates a great deal. I also think that Confucius’s emphasis on cultivating benevolence in our daily, moment-to-moment lives has a lot to teach us, both at [Andover] and more broadly.

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Reem Hussein

_Instructor in Biology_


**Why biology?**

I majored in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry in college and ended up having an amazing mentor. After I had the opportunity to publish some of my research work as an undergraduate, I became more interested and found myself spending entirely too much time in labs! 

**What is your favorite part about teaching biology?**

The curious students. I like to challenge students and don’t mind being challenged by them. 

**What is a little-known fact about yourself?**

I have a diary that I have kept since I was thirteen. I am from Sudan, spent 18 years of my life in the Middle East and did some advanced secondary studies in Malaysia before coming to the United States for college.

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Catherine Kemp



_Instructor in Biology_


**What made you want to study and teach biology?**

Truth: When I went to college, I said, “I don’t know what I want to do but definitely not math or science.” But my freshman summer, I worked in an airplane tire factory as a receptionist, and I swore that I’d find a career that involved neither sitting at a desk nor wearing pantyhose. The course descriptions for ecology were all about chasing frogs around in ponds… and it just went from there.

**What is your favorite thing to teach in biology?**

I’m easily excitable about anything, really. I like teaching whatever you’re interested in!

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Adrian Khactu



_Instructor in English_


**What is the last book you read?**

I’m finishing Louise Erdrich’s “The Round House” right now, and I have Roxane Gay’s “An Untamed State” and Porochista Khakpour’s “The Last Illusion” on my bedside table. I also have a book called “Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things” by Lenore Look that my nephew gave me to read. We’re in a third-grade book club together. 

**What are your other campus roles?**

I’m a [Complementary House Counselor] in Draper Cottage; I’m the faculty advisor for [Southeast Asian] Club; I’ll be coaching Intramural Ultimate Frisbee in the spring and I’m the [Community and Multicultural Development (CAMD)] Program Faculty Fellow, so definitely stop by my office in CAMD and say “hi” if you’re ever around!

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Karin Knudson




_Instructor in Mathematics_


**What drew you to teaching at Andover?**

I love teaching math, and I can’t imagine a more exciting place to do that than at Andover. I am inspired by the energy, passion and creativity of the students and my fellow faculty members. 

**When did you become interested in math, and why do you like it?**

I love how elegant math problems can be and the satisfaction of working through a challenging one. More recently, I’ve learned to appreciate how useful math can be in different areas. Right now, I’m working on a project in computational neuroscience, and it is so exciting to be using math to understand parts of how the brain works!

**What is your favorite area in math to teach? **

Calculus is probably my favorite area of math to teach because students get to dig so deeply into understanding functions in new ways. 

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Brendan Mackinson



_Instructor in Chemistry_


**When did you become interested in chemistry, and why do you like it?**

I became interested in chemistry in my tenth-grade chemistry class — I had a great teacher! Chemistry provides scientists with powerful tools to explore complex, multidisciplinary problems, and, in that way, it can be a key that unlocks doors into lots of interesting places.

**What is your favorite topic in chemistry to teach? Why?**

Le Chatelier’s Principle. Le Chatelier’s Principle helps us understand how many natural systems respond to change and why these responses are sometimes beautiful, sometimes scary and oftentimes counterintuitive.

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Marisela Ramos



_Instructor in History and Social Science_


**What drew you to teach at Andover?**

Having attended Northfield Mount Hermon School, I was familiar with Andover’s reputation as a place that attracts smart and curious students. When I learned that there was an opening in the History Department, I knew I had to apply! My goal in teaching has always been to influence how people think rather than what they think.

**When did you become interested in history?**

When I was in high school, I tried to get out of taking U.S. History. History had never appealed to me. There was very little that I could connect with because of the rigid way it is usually taught. Things changed for me in college when I was able to take a variety of classes on topics like women’s history and blacks in Latin America.

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Jeremy Rosenholtz



_Instructor in English_


**What drew you to teaching at Andover?**

I was drawn to the diversity of the student body, the school’s reputation for excellence, the beautiful campus and the fact that the food in the [Paresky] Commons is better than what I can actually cook by myself. 

**What is your favorite word? Why?**

Because I’m a “Simpsons” fan, my favorite word is “Doh!”

**What courses will you be teaching? And what else will you be doing on campus this year?**

I am teaching two sections of English 200 and a Senior elective — Comedy and Satire. Because I am an adjunct instructor, I won’t be leading any major activities on campus, but I am interested in meeting any students who want to challenge me to a game of chess. I am also willing to teach anyone interested in learning how to juggle.