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Meet the Faculty

Learn More About our Faculty

To learn more about all our faculty members, search by name or department in our Faculty Profiles database.

Like their students, Pomona faculty are diverse in background and scholarly interests. They frequently experiment with new approaches and materials, tailoring instruction to the changing world beyond their classrooms or laboratories. Here is a small sample of their varied research interests, projects, publications and accomplishments.

Mark Allen, Assistant Professor of Art, is the founder and director of the Machine Project, a non-profit installation and performance space that provides educational resources to artists working with technology. In November 2008, he led 35 artists in "A Machine Project’s Field Guide to the Los Angeles Museum of Art," a day-long event that included performances, installations and workshops at LACMA. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Bobby Bradford, Lecturer in Music and Director of the Jazz Ensemble, was a sideman with the Ornette Coleman Quartet and has been described as “one of the best trumpeters to emerge from the avant-garde” by critic Scott Yanow.

Deborah Burke, Professor of Psychology, is one of the nation’s leading researchers in the field of memory and aging--particularly in understanding the mental process behind “tip of the tongue” experiences and other word-finding problems.

Susana Chávez-Silverman, Professor of Romance Languages, is the author of Killer Crónicas: Bilingual Memories, a groundbreaking book that has been called "...a refreshing turning point in Latino literature, maybe even the truly bilingual literary voice that Gloria Anzaldúa called for." (Los Angeles Times)

Vin de Silva, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, was a recipient of a Scientific American 2007 SciAm 50 Award (with collaborator Robert Ghrist), an annual recognition of 50 science, research and industry teams and individuals with important advances in science. He was cited for the development of new algorithms using mathematical homology to analyze whether a network of randomly distributed sensors has gaps or overlaps in coverage -- adding flexibility to wireless sensor network technology.

Pierre Englebert, Professor of Politics, researches the reasons behind the territorial and institutional instability of African States. He is the author of the award-winning book State Legitimacy and Development in Africa (2000) and Africa: Unity, Sovereignty and Sorrow (2009) and was recently awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to do research at the Centre d’Etudes d’Afrique Noire, in Bordeaux, France, starting in June 2010.

Dru Gladney, Professor of Anthropology, specializes in the peoples, cultures and politics along the ancient and modern Silk Road. The author or editor of numerous volumes and chapters on Asia, he has been quoted worldwide in the media over the last two years about ethnic minority people in China and the relationship between these groups and the Chinese government.

Richard Hazlett, Stephen M. Pauled M.D. ‘62 Professor of Environmental Studies, Professor of Geology and Coordinator of the Environmental Analysis Program, is a co-author of The American West at Risk: Science, Myths and Politics of Land Abuse and Recovery (2008) which was selected as one of’s 100 Best Books in Outdoors & Nature. His recent research on volcanoes has taken him to th Aleutian Islands, Mongolia, Klamath River Gorge on the California-Oregon border, Southern Nevada and northwestern Iceland.

Thomas Leabhart, Resident Artist and Professor of Theatre, conducts summer workshops on mime at the Seahorse Project in Paris. An internationally acclaimed teacher, author and performer, Leabhart is the author of the authoritative Modern and Post-Modern Mime and editor of the national Mime Journal.

Pardis Mahdavi, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, focuses her work on gender and sexuality in Muslim world, including sexual politics, sex work and trafficking. She is the author of Passionate Uprisings: The Intersection of Sexuality and Politics in Post-Revolutionary Iran (2008) and is currently researching sex work and trafficking in Dubai. She has been named a Woodrow Wilson Center for International Policy Fellow and an Asia Society Asia21 Fellow for 2009-2010.

Char Miller, Director of Environmental Analysis and W.M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis, served as a Distinguished lecturer for the Organization od American Historians from 2007-2010. The author of numerous books and articles, he is the editor of Water in the 21st-Century West (2009) and River Basins in the American West (2009) and author of Conservation in American Culture (2007) and the award-winning Gifford Pinchot and the Making of modern Environmentalism (2001).

Cynthia Selassie, Professor of Chemistry, is one of the pioneers of a technique that was born at Pomona College and is pushing back the frontiers of modern drug design. The brainchild of Selassie’s mentor, Pomona College Professor Emeritus Corwin Hansch, the statistical technique known as QSAR permits chemists to use computers to predict the biological activity of new molecules, even if they have never been synthesized.

David Tanenbaum, Associate Professor of Physics, and junior physics major Ian Frank were part of a research team that was the first to create a micro-mechanical device with a thickness of a single atom. Their work was described in the January 26, 2007, issue of Science Magazine.

Heather Williams, Associate Professor of Politics, recently received a Mellon Foundation New Directions Fellowship to begin a research project examining the links between environmental change, political activism and urban migration in the areas of Peru and Bolivia around Lake Titicaca, becoming the fourth Pomona professor to receive this coveted research award in recent years.


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