The Board of Trustees conferred tenure on eight faculty members during its last meeting on Friday, Feb. 25. These promotions will take effect on Friday, July 1, 2022.

The eight newly tenured faculty are Assistant Professor of Art History Claire Grace; Assistant Professor of Mathematics Han Li; Assistant Professor of Anthropology Joseph Weiss; Assistant Professor of English, Creative Writing Danielle Vogel; Assistant Professor of History Ying Jia Tan; Assistant Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing John Murillo; Assistant Professor of Spanish Paula Park; and Assistant Professor of Letters Jesse Torgerson.

Before working at the University in 2018, Weiss was a museum curator in Canada and taught in Chicago and Haida Gwaii.

“I’m very grateful to have found a home here at Wesleyan,” Weiss wrote in an email to The Argus. “I am lucky to have wonderful colleagues and friends, a supportive administration, and, most importantly, brilliant and engaged students who are a joy to teach and to work with.”

Weiss stressed the importance of pushing his students to think, learn, and listen.

“I do my best to teach dynamic, critically engaged classes that help students think carefully about the world(s) in which they live,” Weiss wrote. “I think it’s fundamentally important to be unsettled. There is no one ‘correct’ way to think, no pure and perfect political commitment, no way to escape our ongoing responsibilities



for the fundamentally violent social and political configurations that have shaped and continue to shape our realities.” 

Torgerson, who has been at the University since 2014, echoes Weiss’ sentiments, emphasizing that he has always loved working with students.

“I love discovery, and I love getting to be around when people come to understand something they didn’t before,” Torgerson wrote in an email to The Argus. “I wanted to teach in some setting for as long as I’ve known it was a thing I could do. ‘Being a professor’ remains surreal: I am highly self-conscious about how little I know.”

Tan expressed that he has found an incredible community during his eight years at the University.

“I am blessed to have supportive colleagues, who have offered much-needed advice along the way, as I experimented with different methods in research and teaching,” Tan wrote in an email to The Argus. “Their collegiality gave me the courage to experiment, make mistakes, and adapt to the changing demands of the student population.”  

Park has been teaching at the University since 2015 and explained that she has always wanted to pursue a career in education. 

“I didn’t necessarily envision myself as a professor, but I always knew I wanted to work in education,” Park wrote in an email to The Argus. “I hope my contribution is to help foster dialogues between Latin American, US Latinx, and Asian diasporic studies and communities on campus.”

Li, who has also been at Wesleyan since 2015, described how much he enjoys teaching at the University.

“I am deeply grateful to the opportunities that the Wesleyan community has kindly offered me,” Li wrote in an email to The Argus. “It has been a wonderful experience working here!”

Torgerson stated that, while surviving in academia takes a mental and emotional toll on professors, the work makes the experience meaningful.

“Tenure is a chance to celebrate the incredible support of family and friends and true colleagues who made it possible to get this far, to survive the random lottery and pressure cooker that is higher education,” Torgerson wrote. “But it is you students who make learning joyful and new, again and again. Stay curious, and never stop asking why.”


Rachel Wachman can be reached at