Renowned climate researcher Jessica Oster appointed as New Stambaugh House faculty head

Stambaugh House
Jessica Oster (Vanderbilt University)

Professor Jessica Oster has been named as a faculty head of Stambaugh House, joining six other faculty members who will start in fall 2024. Oster is an associate professor of earth and environmental sciences and director of graduate studies. She was named a Chancellor Faculty Fellow in 2022 and has received a prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER grant.

Oster brings her extensive expertise in climate research and teaching to her role in residential colleges. Spanning California, Tennessee, Wyoming, India and the ABC Islands in the Caribbean, Oster’s research aims to increase our understanding of Earth’s past climate by unlocking valuable climate information from geologic and environmental archives. She couples the use of geochemical tools with sophisticated global climate models to develop and interpret records of climate change. Oster involves diverse teams of scholars, including undergraduates, in her research, which includes drilling samples from stalagmites found in Tennessee and collecting and analyzing cave drip water samples in Curaçao.

“Having a remarkable scholar like Professor Oster as one of our faculty leaders in the residential colleges reflects the kind of immersive learning environment that we create on our campus. I am so pleased to know that the students will have the opportunity to interact with her as part of our community” said Melissa Gresalfi, dean of residential colleges and residential education.  “The residential college system provides an invaluable opportunity for our faculty and students to connect on a deeper level, fostering a true sense of community and belonging. Jessica’s impressive research and leadership experience will be a wonderful addition to Stambaugh House.”

Oster will take over from Rosevelt Noble, who has served as faculty head of Stambaugh House since 2017. Noble is leaving Vanderbilt to take an associate vice president position at Indiana University. At Vanderbilt, Noble served as senior lecturer for sociology, former director of the Bishop Joseph Black Cultural Center, and most recently, associate dean of students for equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging.

Gresalfi said Noble “has been an invaluable member of the Vanderbilt community, providing strategic leadership on critical matters of equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging. He has been committed to fostering a welcoming and supportive environment for all. While we are sad to see him depart, we are grateful for his many contributions and wish him all the best in his new role at Indiana University.”

A full list of Vanderbilt’s residential faculty is on the Residential Colleges website. Faculty interested in learning more about faculty head positions and the application process are encouraged to contact Gresalfi. Faculty interested in a faculty head position should complete an application, which includes uploading:

  1. A letter of interest, including any relevant qualifications, experience or expertise
  2. A current CV

Residential Colleges maintains a list of interested faculty on an ongoing basis. Faculty will be contacted and interviewed as new opportunities emerge; thus, there is no set deadline for applications. Letters of interest will remain active and on file for five years.