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Faculty Awards: Outstanding Performance or Innovation in Online Teaching

Julia Chifman
CAS, Mathematics and Statistics

Dr. Julia Chifman joined American University in 2016 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. Prior to this appointment she was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Mathematical Biosciences Institute at The Ohio State University, and a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Cancer Biology at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Dr. Chifman’s research is in computational biology with specific applications to phylogenetics (the study of evolutionary relationships among organisms) and systems biology (modeling of complex biological systems). Her focus is on improving existing computational methods and providing new ones that have a potential to become regular and preferred tools in the scientific community. She supervises undergraduate research projects on a regular basis, including projects with local high school students. Her students have received funding from the AU Summer & Artists Undergraduate Research Grant, the AU STEM Student Summer Research Program supported jointly by the NASA District of Columbia Space Grant Consortium and the CAS Mathias Research Fellowship, and the AU Student Summer Research funded by the Blair Jones Mathematics Endowment. Dr. Chifman enjoys engaging her students in discussions about the intersections of mathematics, statistics, and computation, as well as their roles in applied sciences.

Joseph Torigian

Joseph Torigian is an assistant professor at the School of International Service at American University in Washington. Previously, he was a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, a Postdoctoral Fellow at Princeton-Harvard’s China and the World Program, a Postdoctoral (and Predoctoral) Fellow at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC), a Predoctoral Fellow at George Washington University’s Institute for Security and Conflict Studies, an IREX scholar affiliated with the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, and a Fulbright Scholar at Fudan University in Shanghai. His first book Prestige, Manipulation, and Coercion: Elite Power Struggles in the Soviet Union and China after Stalin and Mao was published with Yale University Press, and his second book, a biography of Xi Jinping’s father, will be released with Stanford University Press.

Britta Joy Peterson
CAS, Performing Arts 

Britta Joy Peterson is an award winning choreographer, collaborator and educator. BJP’s research practice churns at the intersection of body, question, theory, relation and design. Current projects engage questions surrounding the climate crisis, holding space and the ethics of attunement. BJP is an Artist in Residence at Dance Place. Recently, her work  has been seen at the Sibu International Dance Festival—Sarawak, Malaysia, Performance Mix 33—New York City, NY, Arts and Society Conference—Paris, France, European Society for Literature, Science and the Arts—Basel, Switzerland, Dance Place—Washington, DC, Triskelion Arts—Brooklyn, NY,  Sonics Immersive Media Lab—London, UK, and the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts—Washington, DC. BJP is an active educator, both in university and professional settings. Active research in curricular design for the dynamic arts environment continuously yields new class, workshops, and programs such as American University’s new Dance Program curriculum, launched in 2017, for which she was the co-recipient of the 2017 Anne S. Ferren Curriculum Design Award. BJP was also a recipient of the 2020 AU College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Mentorship award. She holds her BA in Dance and Communications, magna cum laude, from Gustavus Adolphus College and her MFA in Dance, summa cum laude, from Arizona State University.