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SASN Welcomes New Faculty for Fall 2023 (Pt.4)

New faculty (Pt.4)

Each semester the School of Arts and Sciences Newark welcomes new faculty to our family from across the liberal arts disciplines. This year’s group is diverse, spanning the social sciences, humanities, arts and physical sciences. Below, in the final portion of our series, we profile some of the professors making their SASN debut during the fall semester.


Anthony Ureña | Sociology & Anthropology





Anthony Ureña joins the Sociology & Anthropology department as Assistant Professor. He previously served as a Presidential Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Princeton University. Ureña earned his Ph.D. in Sociology from Columbia University, where he was a Paul F. Lazarsfeld Fellow. He holds a B.A. in both Sociology and Human Biology from Brown University. He hails from Brooklyn and is the proud son of parents from the Dominican Republic.



Ureña’s substantive areas of research interest encompass the intersections of race & ethnicity, gender & sexuality, and risk. He is particularly interested in the qualitative analysis of health inequality and illness perception. His recent work focuses on queer men of color’s navigation of the contemporary HIV/AIDS epidemic, and what this in turn can tell us about how relationships inform individual efforts to reduce disease risk.
Ureña's research has been generously supported by fellowships, scholarships, and grants from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Social Science Research Council, The Hispanic Scholarship Fund, and The Institute for Citizens & Scholars (formerly The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation). He has continuously complemented his scholarship with a deep commitment to teaching in the social sciences, as well as mentorship through his service to the Columbia GSAS-Leadership Alliance Summer Research Program, SSRC-Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program, and the Institute for Recruitment of Teachers.

This fall at RU-N, Ureña will be teaching two courses: “Social Determinants of Health” and “Sociology of Risk.”

”Joining RU-N constitutes a unique opportunity to make good on the promises of impactful research and pedagogy that uplifts as much as it illuminates,” said Ureña. “I’m looking forward to engaging with the rich tapestry of students, faculty and Newark community members whose diversity of perspectives will surely inspire my scholarship.”




Erica Salinas Thomas | Political Science



Erica Salinas Thomas joins the Political Science department as Assistant Professor. She is also an affiliate faculty of RU-N's Global Urban Studies (GUS) program. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. from Cornell University and her undergraduate degree from the University of California, San Diego. Prior to working at RU-N, she was an Early Career Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin.



Salinas Thomas studies American politics, with a focus on the political consequences of concentrated policing and surveillance. Her work explores the impact of policing on Latinx individuals and families, as well as how individuals and organizations challenge unfair policing practices. She has taught introductory courses for the Political Science Program at San Diego Mesa College and upper-division courses for the Sociology Department at UT Austin. This academic year at RU-N, she will teach classes on Latinx politics and policing.



“I am thrilled to join a diverse public university that is committed to serving its students and the broader community. I look forward to learning with Rutgers students and participating in amazing collaborations happening in Newark and surrounding areas.”