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Current Faculty Accomplishments

About Accomplishments

Faculty Accomplishments is a monthly list of lectures, books, publications, conference activities, honors, grants, performances, exhibitions and other news, provided by the faculty of Pomona College. To submit an accomplishment, fill out our form.

August 2014

Allan Barr, professor of Chinese, gave a talk in Chinese on “Cultural Difference and Reader Reception” at the 3rd International Conference on Literary Translation held in Beijing from August 18-19. Barr published a translation of Kong Yalei’s story “If I Fall Asleep on the Plane That’s Going to Crash” in Pathlight: New Chinese Writing (Summer 2014), pp. 4-19, as well as a translation of Yu Hua’s “The First Day” in the magazine Nautlius 16.

Colin Beck, assistant professor of sociology, gave a talk on “The Comparative-Historical Sociology of World Society Theory” at the Future of World Society mini-conference at Stanford University on August 15. Beck also presented a paper, “The Comparative Method in Practice: Analytical Case Networks in the Study of Revolution,” at the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting in San Francisco on August 18.

Mietek Boduszynski, assistant professor of politics and international relations, was awarded a $10,000 grant from the Hollings Center for International Dialogue for a scholarly exchange with Libya to be implemented at Pomona in Spring 2015. Boduszynski also published “Qatar and Libya: Diminishing Returns” in the monthly monitoring report of Gulf State Analytics.

Susana Chávez-Silverman, professor of Spanish and Latin American studies, recently published a series of crónicas, her trademark bilingual creative fiction works, in several literary and academic journals. “Heart Hold On Crónica” and “Nina/Nahla Chrismy Crónica” were published in Zona de Carga/Loading Zone 6, while the works “Rock Water Ladder Dream Crónica,” “Teensy Ex Africa Crónica” and “Astral Logic Crónica” were published in PORTAL: Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies 11:1. An interview with Chávez-Silverman was included in the book Things We Do Not Talk About: Exploring Latino/a Literature Through Essays and Interviews (San Diego State University Press), pp. 155-57, written by Daniel A. Olivas.

Stephan Ramon Garcia, associate professor of mathematics, gave a talk on “Quotient sets” at the session on “Open and accessible problems in real complex analysis” at MathFest, the annual meeting of the Mathematical Association of America, in Portland, Oregon, on August 8. Garcia also gave a talk at the same conference on “Four steps to undergraduate research success” in the session on “Undergraduate Research in Mathematics: How, When, Why?” He recently published an invited review article titled “Mathematical and physical aspects of complex symmetric operators,” in Journal of Physics: A Mathematical and Theoretical Volume 47:35, which was co-authored with Emil Prodan and Mihai Putinar.

Terri Geis, curator of academic programs at the Pomona College Museum of Art, was selected to participate in the weeklong workshop of the Teaching Institute in Museum Education (TIME) held  August 3-8 at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Eric Grosfils, Minnie B. Cairns Memorial professor of geology, delivered a colloquium on “Elastic Models of Magma Reservoir Mechanics: A Key Tool for Investigating Planetary Volcanism” at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston on May 30. Grosfils also published a co-authored paper titled “The protracted development of focused magmatic intrusion during continental rifting” in the journal Tectonics.

Jennifer Friedlander, Edgar E. and Elizabeth S. Pankey professor and associate professor of media studies, published the article “Imperfecting the Illusion: Belief and the Aesthetic Destruction of Reality” in Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture 35:3.

Kristine Kaiser, visiting assistant professor of biology, co-authored a presentation on “Corticosterone as a mediator of reproductive suppression in Litoria caruela (White’s treefrog)” with Cassandra Owen ’14 and Taylor Beckwith-Ferguson ’14 at the Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, which was held at the University of Kansas from July 30 to August 3. Kaiser also co-authored a presentation on “Anthropogenic noise increases relative testicular testosterone levels in Litoria caruela (White’s treefrog)” with Neha Savant ’14 at the same conference.

Gizem Karaali, associate professor of mathematics, was a panelist at a presentation on “Open Access Publishing in Mathematics: Who? What? Where? Why? And How?” held during Math Fest, the annual meeting of the Mathematical Association of America, in Portland, Oregon on August 9. She also gave the talk “Quantization and Superization” at the International Conference for Mathematicians in Seoul on August 15. She recently published an article, “The Genius as a Characterization of the Creative Spirit in Mathematics and the Arts,” in the Proceedings of Bridges 2014: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (2014), pp. 413-16.

Karl Lang, visiting instructor in geology, gave a lecture at the Caltech Tectonics Observatory in Pasadena on “The persistence of rapid exhumation in the eastern Himalayan syntaxis” on August 8. Lang also gave a conference presentation titled “Quaternary erosion of the Tsangpo Gorge by Megafloods, eastern Himalaya” at the American Quaternary Association (AMQUA) conference in Seattle on August 7.

Thomas Leabhart, professor of theatre, taught mime workshops at the Pantoteatro theatre company in Madrid from June 2-6; at La Montade in Aurillac, France, from June 23 to July 4; and at the Association Hippocampe in Paris from July 7-25.

Genevieve Lee, Everett S. Olive professor of Music, spent the past winter performing as a member of the Garth Newel Piano Quartet in concerts at Washington and Lee College, the Music on the Corner series in Roanoke, Virginia, and the Modlin Center for the Arts at the University of Richmond. She also worked with music students from the Appomattox Regional Governor’s School for the Arts in Virginia.

Lee spent May 2014 in residence at the Garth Newel Chamber Music Center in Hot Springs, Virginia, performing three chamber music programs and Beethoven’s last three piano sonatas. She went on tour with the Garth Newel Piano Quartet, giving four programs in music schools in Dubrovnik and Split, Croatia, along with working with high school and conservatory music students. The quartet also played the opening concert of the Logan Chamber Music series at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, New York, in June.

She helped plan the 2014 Garth Newel Summer Festival in Virginia, where she played a wide variety of solo and chamber music on 13 different programs during a 10-week period; worked with guest artists; and gave the premiere of a new solo piece by Kurt Rohde on original fables by Paul Mann. In addition, Lee coached graduate music students in the Garth Newel Music Center’s Young Artist Fellowship program.

Jane Liu, assistant professor of chemistry, was awarded a three-year $400,000 Academic Research Enhancement Award Grant from the National Institutes of Health for her project “Small RNAs and Vibrio cholerae adaptation to different carbon sources.” The grant will support numerous undergraduate research assistants, and will continue efforts in the Liu lab to study how genes are regulated in the pathogen responsible for the cholera disease.

Pardis Mahdavi, associate professor of anthropology, gave an invited keynote lecture titled "Love, Labor and the Law: Regulating Migrant Women's Sexualities in the Gulf" at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg on August 8. She also published a piece in Howlround, an online journal for the theater, titled "Beyond Victims and Villains: From Ethnography to the Stage.”

Karin Mak, assistant director of the Asian American Resource Center, published a collection of oral histories of women workers poisoned by cadmium in China, "Until Our Last Breath: Stories of Poisoned Workers in China," in Listening on the Edge: Oral History in the Aftermath of Crisis (Oxford University Press), ed. Mark Cave and Stephen M. Sloan, pp. 166-182.

Wallace Meyer, assistant professor of biology and director of the Bernard Field Station presented the co-authored talk “Conservation importance of native coastal sage scrub and non-native grassland habitat patches in urban/suburban Los Angeles County, California” at the 99th annual Ecological Society of America Meeting on August 12. The co-authors were Weston Staubus ’14, Dakota Spear ’15, Madison Dipman ’15 and Megan Wheeler HMC ’13. Cameron Munter, professor of practice in international relations, participated in a Track II Dialogue with Iranian Experts on August 1.

Bryan Penprase, Frank P. Brackett professor of astronomy, was awarded $9 million by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to build a next-generation system for the Palomar Observatory known as the "Zwicky Transient Facility" (ZTF) alongside four co-investigators from Caltech. The ZTF will be the premiere discovery machine for time-varying sources in astrophysics for the next five years, bringing together Brackett Observatory, the entire set of telescopes at Palomar Observatory, and a next-generation set of cameras and high-speed data analysis pipeline. Penprase will run the undergraduate program for the project, which includes an undergraduate Astronomy Institute at Caltech and Pomona College and a summer undergraduate astronomy research conference.

Lynn Rapaport, Henry Snyder professor of sociology, was an invited speaker at a panel on "Mission: Undergraduate Sociology Programs Equip Students with Employable Skills and the Information Necessary to Use Them Successfully on the Job Market," at the 21st annual American Sociological Association Department Chairs Conference in San Francisco on August 1. She was also the organizer and chair of "The Aftermath of Violence:  The Lingering Memory of Genocide, War, and Terror" at the XVIII International World Congress of Sociology in Yokohama, Japan, on July 1.

Hans J. Rindisbacher, professor of German, was both the organizer and chair of a workshop titled "Towards a European Imaginary in Literature and Film, 1930s to the Present," and the presenter of a paper titled "Of Arms and Men: Swiss, American, and German Attitudes Toward Their Military" at the 2014 biannual ISSEI Conference, "Images of Europa: Present, Past, and Future," in Porto, Portugal, on August 7

Joti Rockwell, associate professor of music, won the David Kraehenbuehl Prize from the Journal of Music Theory for his article "Banjo Transformations and Bluegrass Rhythm" on August 1.  The prize is awarded every two years to the best article published by a scholar who is untenured at the time of submission.  He also played mandolin with pianist Genevieve Lee on a program of classical and folk music at the Garth Newel Music Center in Hot Springs, Virginia, on July 5.

Andy Lee Roth, lecturer in sociology, was awarded the Pillar Human Rights Award for International Persons of Conscience in the area of new media for his work as the associate director of Project Censored, a nonprofit media watchdog organization, at the Whistleblower Summit for Civil and Human Rights in Washington D.C., July 28-31.

Friederike von Schwerin-High, associate professor of German, delivered a talk titled "Die Darstellung Europas bei Thomas Mann" at the German Summer School of New Mexico in the Taos Ski Valley on July 10 as part of a lecture series "Europa, Traum und Wirklichkeit" (Europe: Dream and Reality). She also spoke on the topic of Thomas Mann and Europe at the 2014 ISSEI Conference, "Images of Europa: Present, Past, and Future," in Porto, Portugal, on August 7.

John Seery, George Erving Thompson professor of politics, had a paperback edition of his edited collection, A Political Companion to Walt Whitman, published by the University Press of Kentucky.

Shahriar Shahriari, William Polk Russell professor of mathematics, published a joint paper with Ameera Chowdhury and Ghassan Sarkis on “The Manickam-Miklos-Singhi conjectures for sets and vector spaces” in the Journal of Combinatorial Theory A, 128, pp 84-103.

Blerta Shtylla, assistant professor of mathematics, co-authored an article, "Stochastic Modelling of Chromosomal Segregation: Errors Can Introduce Correction," in the Bulletin of Mathematical Biology 76:7, pp 1590-1606. She also presented at the 2014 summer meeting of the Canadian Mathematical Society in Winnipeg, giving a talk on "Mathematical models of force generation at the cellular nanoscale: interplay of protein flexibility and diffusion.”

James Taylor, professor of theater, wrote the article "The Shadow Puppets of Elsinore: Edward Gordon Craig and the Cranach Press Hamlet," in the summer 2014 edition of Theatre Design and Technology, published by the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT).