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Past Junior Fellows


Caitano da Silva daSilva

PhD Penn State University

Assistant Professor of Physics
New Mexico Tech

My research is dedicated to understand how lightning and electricity in our planet work, and what are their impacts in the Earth system. To do that, I use well established tools in physics, such as electrodynamics and plasma physics. In a typical Summer day you may find me on a mountain-top facility performing lightning experiments, while in the Fall and Spring you'll find me on New Mexico Tech's campus teaching (something like freshman electromagnetism) or working with students to develop software to analyze and simulate geophysical phenomena.

It was during my 2.5 years as Dartmouth Society of Fellows postdoc that I became the teacher-scholar that I am today. This is a unique program that provided me with: (1) teaching experience at a top school in the country, (2) academic freedom to undertake research projects I deemed important and exciting, (3) peer support from other postdocs in the job market, and (4) challenging interdisciplinary intellectual engagement.


Vanessa Freije freige_photo

PhD Duke University

Dissertation: "Journalists, Scandal, and the Unraveling of One-Party Rule in Mexico, 1960-1988"

Vanessa Freije is an Assistant Professor in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle where she teaches courses on censorship, Mexican history, and Intra-American relations. During her tenure with the Dartmouth Society of Fellows, she began the process of transforming her dissertation into a book manuscript. Entitled "Scandalous Democracy: Journalists and Citizenship in Mexico, 1962-1988," her book project explores political scandals and shifting ideas about democracy in late-twentieth century Mexico. She found the other junior fellows were an incredible resource and support system during this process.


Bess KoffmanBess Koffman

PhD University of Maine

Assistant Professor of Geology
Colby College

I am teaching two courses this year: Paleoceanography and Earth's Climate: Past, Present, and Future. I am also continuing to work on several ice and climate-related research projects started while I was at Dartmouth, including investigations in Antarctica and the North Pacific.

As a Society of Fellows postdoc I gained valuable experience and confidence as a scholar and a teacher. The integrated experience of independent teaching and research, and the cross-discipinary conversations facilitated by the Society, set me up well for my current position at a liberal arts college. Moreover, my time at Dartmouth led to new collaborations that have been enjoyable and productive, and which have laid the groundwork for my research program over the next several years.


Yvonne KwanYvonne Kwan

PhD University of California at Santa Cruz

Assistant Professor of Asian American Studies and Sociology
Department of Sociology and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences
College of Social Sciences
San Jose State University

This year, I am teaching Asian American history and Asian American communities. I am also working closely with my department to revamp and reconceptualize the Asian American Studies Program at SJSU. Currently, my main project is the book manuscript: Afterlives of Diaspora: Cambodian American Trauma and Memory. The Dartmouth Society of Fellows Program has been critical to my career now that I am on the tenure track because it gave me numerous opportunities for interdisciplinary intellectual engagement, research opportunities, and specialized time to conduct research, develop my teaching, and write. I cannot say enough about how much my cohort and the one after that have become not only key academic interlocutors but also lifelong friends.


Last Updated: 1/18/18