Faculty and Community Members

Faculty in Residence

North Campus Faculty-in-Residence play a fundamental role in the North Campus living-learning community, helping to create a shared experience and supportive environment that fosters academic and intellectual learning, personal development, holistic well-being, and a sense of belonging and connectedness. While Faculty-in-Residence are pivotal to each of these dimensions, Faculty-in-Residence play a leadership role in the dimension of learning.

Chris B. Schaffer

Faculty In Residence

Chris B. Schaffer is an Associate Professor in the Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering and the Associate Dean of Faculty at Cornell University. Chris grew up in Jacksonville, FL and was an undergraduate at the University of Florida, where he studied physics. He received his PhD from Harvard University, also in physics, where he worked with Eric Mazur. He was then a post-doc in David Kleinfeld’s neuroscience laboratory at the University of California, San Diego. He now runs a lab at Cornell that develops advanced optical techniques that enable quantitative imaging and targeted manipulation of individual cells in the central nervous system of rodents with the goal of constructing a microscopic-scale understanding of normal and disease-state physiological processes in the brain.
Chris is also active in developing novel educational strategies to teach science as a dynamic process for discovery that are used in outreach settings in middle and high-school science classes as well as in college-level courses. Chris also has a strong interest in science policy and spent a year in Washington, DC as a science policy fellow in the office of Senator Edward Markey. He continues to be active in policy, including through a science policy course he teaches. Chris is an accomplished surfer, having ridden waves all over the world and surfed some “big wave” spots, including greater than 20 ft. waves at Todos Santos, Mexico.


A Fellow’s primary responsibility is to provide students in their residential community with opportunities to explore and cultivate the students’ academic, intellectual, and cultural interests. To accomplish this, Fellows work closely with the Faculty-in-Residence, if the community has one; the Residence Hall Director (RHD);  the Resident Advisors and potentially other Fellows.

Nozomi Nishimura

Faculty Fellow

Nozomi Nishimura grew up in Tucson, Arizona. She majored in Physics at Harvard College where she worked with Prof. Eric Mazur on femtosecond laser ablation. In graduate school she became interested in neuroscience and worked with Prof. David Kleinfeld at University of California at San Diego. Although still in the Physics Department, her research focused on studying blood flow in the brain of rodents and developing laser-based models of small stroke. She came to Biomedical Engineering at Cornell in 2006 to do a postdoc with Prof. Chris Schaffer. At Cornell, current research expands the use of in vivo imaging techniques to studies of Alzheimer’s disease and other pathologies in both brain and other organs. She drives a Jeep off-road when she can get away with it. She is always looking for people to help chase after her crazy dog, Cala, preferably through the woods on a nice trail.

Dr. August

Faculty Fellow

Dr. August assumed his position as Professor and Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in July 2010. His previous position was as Distinguished Professor of Immunology in the Department of Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences, and Director of the Center for Molecular Immunology & Infectious Disease, at The Pennsylvania State University at University Park, where he started as an Assistant Professor in 1999. He received a B.S. degree in Medical Technology from the California State University at Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. degree in Immunology from the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences. He was a Postdoctoral fellow at The Rockefeller University with the late Hidesaburo Hanafusa. See him talk about his research and Cornell experience on the Cornell Portraits of Extraordinary People: "Targeting asthma in animals and humans".

Felix Thoemmes

Faculty Fellow

Before Felix Thoemmes arrived at Cornell University in the Department of Human Development in the College of Human Ecology he was an Assistant Professor in the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University. He also spent two years as a Visiting Professor at the University of Jena, Germany, in the Psychology Department, and the University of Tuebingen, Germany, in the Center for Educational Science and Psychology.

Dexter Kozen

Faculty Fellow

Dexter Kozen is the Joseph Newton Pew, Jr. Professor in Engineering at Cornell University. He received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College in mathematics in 1974 and his Ph.D. from Cornell in computer science in 1977. After working as a member of the research staff at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center for several years, he returned to Ithaca to join the Cornell faculty in computer science in 1985. He is a recipient of the John G. Kemeny Prize in Computing and an IBM Outstanding Innovation Award, and is a former Guggenheim fellow and a fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery and American Association for the Advancement of Science. Kozen's research interests span a variety of topics on the boundary of computer science and mathematics: design and analysis of algorithms, computation complexity theory, complexity of decision problems in logic and algebra, and logics and semantics of programming languages. He is the author of over 150 research articles and four books

Mark Rishniw

Faculty Fellow

Mark graduated from the University Of Melbourne Faculty Of Veterinary Science in 1987. He practiced for 4 years and then completed 2 residency programs (Internal Medicine at Washington State University and Cardiology at University of California, Davis). Along the way he obtained a MS (physiology). After a year as a Registrar at University of Melbourne in 1996, he moved to Cornell as a Lecturer in Cardiology for 3 years. In 2000, he started a PhD (physiology and developmental biology), which he finished in 2009 (yes, he enjoyed the ride while it lasted!). Midway through the PhD, he joined the Simpson Lab as a part-time postdoctoral associate (interesting that he could be both a PhD student and a post-doc!). He has remained a small part of the Simpson Lab since that time. He spends most of his day drinking coffee and surfing the web. Mark is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in both Internal Medicine and Cardiology. Mark's interests are clinical research, cardiology and occasionally gastro-intestinal diseases. His main function in the lab is to divert the Laboratory Director (Simpson) sufficiently to allow the rest of the staff to get stuff done. He is an amateur gene-jockey, and assists in data analysis and manuscript preparation, as well as offering opinions on topics outside of his sphere of expertise. When not in the office, he spends his time designing bicycle jerseys

Alex M. Susskin

Faculty Fellow

Alex M. Susskind is an associate professor at the School of Hotel Administration and a member of the Graduate Field of Communication at Cornell University. He earned his PhD in communication from Michigan State University with cognates in organizational communication and organizational behavior where he also earned his MBA with a concentration in personnel and human relations. Susskind's research is based primarily in organizational communication and organizational behavior. He is currently researching: (a) the influence of customer-service provider interaction as it relates to organizational effectiveness and efficiency from the perspective of guests, employees and managers; and (b) the influence of communication relationships upon individuals’ work-related attitudes and perceptions surrounding organizational events and processes such as teamwork and downsizing

Dr. John Parker

Faculty Fellow

Dr. Parker joined the faculty at Cornell in May 2003. His laboratory primarily studies the cellular pathobiology of mammalian reovirus infections. The Reoviridae include viruses with genomes comprising 10-12 segments of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) enclosed within double or triple-shelled particles, and they include significant human and animal pathogens such as rotaviruses and bluetongue virus. The mammalian orthoreoviruses are used as models to study the molecular genetics of viral replication and pathogenesis, and are particularly tractable agents for the study of viral pathobiology in vitro. In addition, reoviruses are showing considerable promise as viral oncotherapeutic agents.

Michael Stillman

Faculty Fellow

My name is Michael Stillman and my main areas of interest are computational algebra and algebraic geometry, commutative algebra, and algebraic geometry. My original interest in computational methods was their application to problems in algebraic geometry. Since then, my work has proceeded in several related directions. I have studied the complexity of the algorithms (mainly Gröbner bases). I have been developing algorithms for computing in commutative algebra and algebraic geometry (e.g. computing with line bundles, computing Hilbert functions, free resolutions, sheaf cohomology, computing with Hilbert schemes). In the last few years, Peeva and I have been interested in Hilbert schemes: classical ones, toric Hilbert schemes, and parameter spaces over the exterior algebra. A major part of my research has been the development, with Dan Grayson at University of Illinois at Urbana, of Macaulay 2, a computer algebra system for research in commutative algebra and algebraic geometry. This system has a large following worldwide, a book written about it, and has been in active development for almost ten years. Recently, I have become interested in the application of computational algebraic geometry to problems in statistics and molecular biology. The joint paper with Garcia and Sturmfels studies ideals and projective varieties which arise naturally when studying Bayesian networks on discrete random variables.

Marcus Brooks


Marcus comes to us from New York City where he earned both his Bachelor’s degree and MBA from Columbia University. He uniquely combines his formal business skill sets in leadership, organizational development, entrepreneurship, strategy, and finance with his deep passion for human development through the great outdoors and experiential learning. Marcus has led workshops on the topics of women entrepreneurs, negotiation strategies, and creativity and innovation. He is an accomplished wilderness guide having lead international trips to destinations as far away as Africa's Kilimanjaro and the Peruvian Andes. In addition, Marcus is the former general manager of Brooklyn Boulders, a world-class indoor climbing gym facility in NYC. During this tenure there he became a founding member of the Brothers of Climbing crew an organization tackling diversity in the rock climbing community. Marcus holds an AMGA-CWI and EMT certification.

Eric Rosario



Dr. Neil Lewis


Dr. Neil A. Lewis, Jr. is an Assistant Professor of Communication and Social Behavior with graduate field appointments in Communication and Psychology. He is also a Faculty Affiliate of the Cornell Center for the Study of Inequality. Trained as a social psychologist, Dr. Lewis uses a variety of methods to study how the interplay between people's identities and social contexts influence motivation and goal pursuit processes. His goal in this program of research is to understand processes underlying social disparities (e.g., education and health disparities) in order to better develop policies to address them. Fun Fact: He was a senior Donlon RA

Michael C. Perehinec Jr



Areas Of Practice:

Landlord-Tenant, Civil Litigation and Appeals, Personal Injury, Trusts and Estates, Business and Commercial Law, Real Estate, Criminal Defense,

Traffic Violations, Contracts, Employment Law, School Superintendent Hearings, Bankruptcy.

Honors & Awards:

During his time at Saint Vincent, Michael received the Palumbo and Andreoli Grant which enabled him to travel to Italy to research his senior year thesis which focused on ancient Roman architecture.

While in law school, Michael was a member of the Jerome Prince Moot Court Evidence Team as well as being selected as the Chief Justice of the Moot Court program. Michael graduated with distinction from Ohio Northern in 2011.

Past Employment Position:

Prior to joining the firm, Michael worked as a summer intern with the West Virginia Public Defender’s Office in Nicholas County, WV. Additionally, Michael spent a year with the Chemung County Neighborhood Legal Services office as an Americorp Access to Justice volunteer where he provided representation in unemployment hearings and eviction proceedings.