New Faculty Spotlight

Jessica Salo

saloOriginally from West Burlington, a small town in upstate New York, Jessica Salo comes to the University of Northern Colorado with an extensive background in geography. She received her bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Geneseo in Geography and soon after found she wanted to live near mountains. This desire led her to Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina to pursue a master’s degree in Geography, where she focused on physical geography and global imaging systems (GIS).

Salo always wanted to teach, but before pursuing a career in academia, she wanted to gain field experience so she could give her students a valuable insight of the real world. After receiving her master’s degree, Salo began work for an engineering firm in North Carolina, working on water resources and flood plain mapping for FEMA. This work then led her to northern Wyoming where she again worked for an engineering firm, this time using her GIS knowledge to support oil and gas operations.

Returning to academia, Salo then began her pursuit of a doctoral degree in Ecology from Colorado State University. Her dissertation explores a new methods map for Rocky Mountain vegetation along rivers and maps, also known as riparian vegetation. The goal of her dissertation is to help land managers, the U.S. Forest Service, and conservation groups to understand where these resources are located. Riparian vegetation is vital to the ecosystem, as 80% of animals will use this vegetation at some point in their life cycle. Salo is also researching the impact humans have on riparian vegetation, as plains and mountain valley bottoms are the most human-modified areas.  Salo is expected to complete her dissertation and receive her doctoral degree in the spring of 2014. In the future, Salo hopes to work with students to expand her riparian mapping nationwide.

As a side project, Salo is working with a professor at CSU, as well as other national groups, to create a method to measure natural gas leaks in urban areas. By using a specialized vehicle from CSU, the team is analyzing data from a methane sensor that also takes GPS points and wind speed. Methane is one of the main components of natural gas, as well as a potent greenhouse gas. Entitled “Street Level Methane Mapping,” Salo and the team hope this data will help local utilities increase efficiency and reduce greenhouse gases emissions.

In the spring semester of 2014, Salo is teaching World Geography, Introduction to GIS and GPS, and Geospatial Programming.

Salo lives in Fort Collins with her long term partner, Kevin, and their two Alaskan malamutes, Isis and Cash. Salo enjoys running, soccer, yoga, and bicycling in her spare time.


Sarah Romano, Ph. D.

romanoDr. Sarah Romano grew up in the Bay Area of California, east of San Francisco. For her B.A., she attended the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, majoring in Spanish and International Affairs, with a minor in Latin American Studies. After receiving her bachelor’s degree, Dr. Romano moved cross country to Washington D.C. to begin an internship with the Cuba Project at the Center for International Policy. While in Washington D.C., she also worked for the Institute of Cultural Affairs as a program associate, providing trainings on participatory facilitation methods and leading workshops focused on building partnerships between youth and adults at multiple nongovernmental organizations in and around D.C.

Dr. Romano then travelled to Nicaragua for three months to research an anti-water privatization social movement. Her look at the social movement against the commercialization of water centered upon events in the capital of Nicaragua, Managua. It was this trip that set her on the track to her current research which focuses on how environmental politics intersect with democratic processes and decision-making; in particular, she examines how people organize to influence water-related policy and decision-making in rural and urban areas of Latin America and the global South.

Before moving back to California to pursue her graduate work, Dr. Romano moved to Denver, Colorado to work with OMNI Research and Training as a research assistant. Dr. Romano left Denver to begin her graduate degree at the University of California Santa Cruz in 2006.Shereceived her Ph.D. in Politics with a degree minor in Latin American and Latino Studies. While at UCSC, Dr. Romano engaged in an interdisciplinary program of study and focused her research on water politics in Nicaragua, which culminated in her dissertation, "From Resource Management to Political Activism: Civil Society Participation in Nicaragua's Rural Water Governance. "One key finding of her dissertation was that alliances between rural water managers at the community level and urban-based non-governmental organizations - both domestic and international - were crucial to rural water managers' participation in national level politics and policy debates. Dr. Romano also taught a few undergraduate courses at UC Santa Cruz: Problems in Latin American Politics; Organizing Across the Americas; and Democracy, Citizenship, and Human Rights in Latin America.

In 2012, Dr. Romano published her findings from her 2004-05 research in the Bulletin of Latin American Research in an article entitled "From Protest to Proposal: The Contentious Politics of the Nicaraguan Anti-Water Privatization Social Movement."
Dr. Romano's next endeavor is to disseminate her research findings in Spanish to people and organizations working in the water sector in Nicaragua.

In the fall of 2013, Professor Romano is teaching Latin American Politics and Global Issues, and in the spring, she will teach Globalization and Global Issues.

In her free time, Dr. Romano enjoys rock climbing and bouldering around Colorado. She lives in Greeley with her German Shepard, Chavala (""Little girl" in Nicaraguan slang), who she brought back with her from Nicaragua in 2005.


Harmony Newman, Ph. D.

harmony newmanRaised in a suburb outside of New Orleans, Dr. Harmony Newman, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies, comes to UNC with an extensive academic background in sex and gender, health and illness, and social movements.

Dr. Newman received her undergraduate degree in Sociology from Centenary College of Louisiana, a small private school located in Shreveport. Shortly thereafter, she attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, where she completed both a master’s and a doctoral degree in Sociology.  During her time at Vanderbilt, she and her husband opened a small business: a juice and smoothie bar called “Fresh Blends.” A couple years and a business chain later, Dr. Newman and her husband sold their business and returned to their native New Orleans. While teaching as an adjunct at both Tulane University and the University of New Orleans, she and her husband decided to start a family.

After her son was born, Dr. Newman and her husband moved to Lancaster, PA, where she taught as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Franklin & Marshall College. Moving to Pennsylvania gave her and her family the opportunity to learn about Amish culture firsthand. “Costco had horse and buggy parking!” she said, alluding to the culture shock of living in Amish country. Living in Pennsylvania also gave her a chance to travel and tour much of the Northeast with her family.

Professor Newman’s research revolves around motherhood, health, and activism. Her dissertation studied the strategies activists use to persuade women to breastfeed as opposed to formula feed, and how this differs cross-culturally between the United States and Canada. Her article detailing the concept of “embodiment by proxy” has recently been accepted into the academic journal Sociology of Health and Illness and will be published in June 2014.  Dr. Newman’s most recent focus of research has been the social construction of postpartum depression and how it is addressed in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

In the fall of 2013, Dr. Newman is teaching Sociology of Gender and Women in Contemporary Society. For the spring semester of 2014, Newman will be teaching Topics in Sociology—Qualitative Methods, Women in Contemporary Society, and Women, Race, and Class.

Professor Newman lives in Greeley with her husband, David, a math teacher at University Middle School, and her son, Liam, who is 3 years old.



New Faculty

Harmony Newman, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies

Jessica Salo, CR Lecturer of Geography

Sarah Cornish, Assistant Professor of English

Sarah Romano, Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs


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