Three new endowed courses in the College of Arts and Sciences
Melissa Lee: Assistant Professor, Dean of the Klein Family
Melissa M. Lee has joined Penn Arts and Science as the Klein Family Presidential Assistant Professor of Political Science. An expert in conflict studies and an expert in international and domestic politics of state-building and development, Dr. Lee was an Assistant Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. her book, Crippled Leviathan: How a Foreign Subversion Weakes a Nation, We examine how the subversion of a foreign country by an adversary creates geographic space beyond national control and limits a government’s ability to provide public services. Dr. Lee has received several honors and recognition for her achievements, including her Fellowship with the Perry Worldhouse Lightning Scholar. She received her doctorate in political science from Stanford University in 2015.
Scott M. Klein established the Klein Family Presidential Professorship in 2021. He is a member of Penn’s Southern California Regional Advisory Board. Mr. Klein is one of the founders and Co-Chairman and Co-CEO of Beach Point Capital Management LP. In addition to his professorship, he founded the Klein Family Social Justice Grants Program at Penn Arts and Sciences and supports undergraduate financial aid at Penn. Mr. Klein graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1988 with degrees from the Wharton and College of Arts and Sciences.
Joshua Teplitsky: Associate Professor Joseph Meyerhoff, Modern Jewish History
Joshua Teplitzky joins Penn Arts and Sciences as Joseph Meyerhoff Associate Professor of Modern Jewish History. Formerly Associate Professor of History at Stony Brook University, Dr. Toeplitzky is a leading expert on Jewish culture and life in early modern Central Europe.he is the author of The Prince of Press: How a Collector Built the Most Enduring and Remarkable Jewish Library in History, won several awards. Dr. Toeplitzky has been a Fellow of the Hanadiff/Beracha Foundation Program at the University of Oxford, the University of Virginia’s Rare Book School, Harvard University, Tel Aviv University, and Yad in Jerusalem. In addition, he was twice a Fellow of Penn’s Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Jewish Studies. His research has been supported by numerous grants, Encyclopedia of Jewish Literature and Culture Online, As co-director of the Digital Humanities Project Footprints: Jewish Writings Through Time and Placeand the editorial board of german jewish culture monograph series. He is currently working on his second book titled Quarantine in the Prague Ghetto: Jews, Christians, and the Plague in Early Modern Europe.
The late Herbert D. Katz (W’51) and Eleanor M. Katz were longtime supporters of Penn Arts and Sciences and Jewish Studies. This chair was donated in 1989 through the Joseph Meyerhof Memorial Trust. This chair supports a prominent scholar of modern Jewish history. Mr. Katz has chaired the Advisory Board of the Center for Advanced Jewish Studies and the Penn Arts and Sciences Advisory Board. In 2008, the Katz family donated the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Jewish Studies in his memory.
Erik Wibbels: President Penn Compact Professor
Erik Wibbels has joined Penn Arts and Sciences as the Penn Presidential Compact Professor of Political Science. A scholar of political geography, political accountability, and political economy, Dr. Wibbels was previously the Robert O. Keohane Professor of Political Science and co-founder of DevLab @ Duke at Duke University. . He is the author of several books and his articles have been published in major journals. His research has been supported by numerous grants, including the US Institute for Peace, USAID, the World Bank, and the National Science Foundation. He joined Penn as the founder of DevLab@Penn and is a member of Penn’s development research initiatives. In these roles, Dr. Wibbels works with governments, international donors and civil society organizations to improve the rigor of development programs and engages in policy-relevant research around the world.
The President Penn Compact Professorship was conceived by Armie Gutmann, President Emeritus of the University of Pennsylvania as a partnership with Penn Arts and Sciences to promote faculty excellence and diversity. Funding for this initiative will be provided through the Penn Compact.