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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.

October 2014

Alan Barr, professor of Chinese, had his translation of Yu Hua's short story collection Boy in the Twilight, first published in hardback by Pantheon, released in paperback by Anchor Books.

Colin Beck, assistant professor of sociology, was interviewed by the Oxford University Press blog about why ISIS is now getting attention as a terrorist group. His 2013 publication with Emily Miner ‘12 in Social Forces, "Who Gets Designated a Terrorist and Why?," was also featured in blog.

Gayle Blankenburg, lecturer of music, performed five concerts in Northern California during the week of fall break, including concerts at UC Davis (2), San Francisco State University, the Harris Center for the Performing Arts, and at Apollo Arts Center. She also gave a chamber music master class for piano students at San Francisco State University.

Ralph Bolton, professor of anthropology, published a new edited volume, Parentesco, Matrimonio y Familia en Puno (Kinship, Marriage and Family in Puno) (Lima: Editorial Horizonte), which is the first in a planned series of 10 volumes of classic Altiplano ethnography. The Peruvian Guild of Professional Anthropologists (Colegio Profesional de Anthrópologos del Perú) honored the publication with an event at the Museo Nacional de la Cultural Peruana in Lima.

Rhoda Borcherding, recently retired director of Study Abroad, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from IES Abroad. She was selected for her dedication to the field, which led Pomona to offer more than 50 study abroad programs. She has made more than 100 site visits around the world, and played a leading role in the IES Abroad Academic Council and the Institutional Membership Committee. She was a founding member and associate editor of Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad.

Deborah Burke, W.M Keck Distinguished Service Professor in linguistics and cognitive science, published three papers in 2014, all co-authored with undergraduates or Pomona alumni. “The face says it all: CEOs, gender, and predicting corporate success" appeared in The Leadership Quarterly with Julianna Pillemer ‘09 and Elizabeth Graham as first and second author. The second, "Age-related differences in the neural bases of phonological and semantic processes," was published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience with co-authors Michele T. Diaz, Michah Johnson ’10, and David Madden. The third, "Stroke experiences in weblogs: A feasibility study of sex differences" appeared online in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. The first author was Sukjin Koh '12, currently a medical student, with A. Gordon, C. Weinberg, S. Sood, and S. Morley as co-authors.

Paul Cahill, associate professor of Spanish, presented a paper, "'¿Oís la llamada?’: Everyday Evil and Millennial Memory in Félix Grande's La cabellera de la Shoá," at the Mid-America Conference on Hispanic Literature held at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, on October 9-11.

Laurie Cameron, professor of dance, performed "The Black Sea", a new choreographic work in progress, at Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival, September 27-28, with music by Thomas Flaherty, professor of music, and
design elements by Sherry Linnell, professor of theatre. Other performers included Michael Szanyi, Thomas Tsai, and YT Wong, all of whom studied in the Pomona Dance Program. They also performed the work at the opening of the new Pomona College Studio Art Hall on October 11.

Naira de Gracia, farm manager, received Sustainable Claremont's Farm Educators of the Year award. The Farm was also featured in the “Growing Farms” podcast for 30 minutes in an episode about how to start a farm at your college.

Virginie A. Duzer, associate professor of romance languages and literatures, is the editor of the September special issue of the journal Romantisme (n° 165, 2014/3) called “Savoirs de jeunes filles,” dedicated to the knowledge of French young women in the late 19th century, and wrote “Le fruit défendu,” pp. 3-12. She organized and chaired the session “Familiarizing the ‘jeune filles’” at the 112th Annual Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association (PAMLA) Conference at the Riverside Convention Center in California. She also presented an introduction and a conclusion to that session with a paper on "L'herbier des jeunes filles en fleur.”

Peter Flueckiger, associate professor of Japanese, published the book chapter “Human Nature and the Way in the Philosophy of Dazai Shundai” in The Dao Companion to Japanese Confucian Philosophy, ed. by Chun-Chieh Huang and John A. Tucker (Dordrecht: Springer, 2014), pp. 215-232.

Robert Gaines, associate professor of geology, published the article "Burgess Shale-type preservation and its distribution in space and time" in the volume “Reading and writing of the fossil record” of the Paleontological Society Special Papers 20, pp. 123-146.  He also published “Taphonomy and depositional setting of the Burgess Shale Tulip Beds, Mount Stephen, British Columbia" in Palaios 29 pp. 309-324. He presented a keynote lecture, titled "The early Phanerozoic 'Taphonomic window': Burgess Shale-type preservation, seawater chemistry, and the Cambrian explosion," at the Fourth International Paleontological Convention in Mendoza, Argentina.

In the summer of 2014, Gaines and colleagues from the Royal Ontario Museum spent 10 weeks excavating a new fossil site in the Burgess Shale of British Columbia, discovered during their 2012 field season. Numerous new species and several additional fossil sites were discovered during the intensive field campaign, which was featured on the CBC Evening News, CNN, and in the Calgary Herald in August. During their time in the field, the team was joined in their camp by journalists from NHK (Japanese Public Television), Geo Magazine (Europe's 'National Geographic'), The Globe and Mail (Canada) and New Scientist, which are planning features on the team's new discoveries for late 2014 and early 2015.

Stephan Garcia, associate professor of mathematics, published “Ramanujan sums as supercharacters” with Christopher Fowler ’12 and Gizem Karaali, associate professor of mathematics, in the Ramanujan Journal 35:2, pp. 205-241. He also gave a lecture on "Supercharacters on abelian groups" at the Claremont Colleges Algebra, Number Theory, and Combinatorics Seminar on October 14.

Terri Geis, curator of academic programs at the Pomona College Museum of Art, gave a presentation with Senior Art Curator Rebecca McGrew about the research and development of the exhibition and publication “Prometheus 1930/2017" at the Getty Research Institute as part of an internationally attended symposium and workshop on the Pacific Standard Time Los Angeles/Latin America Initiative.

Malkiat Johal, professor of chemistry, presented the invited talk “Using Quartz Crystal Resonators and Optical Waveguides to Study Lipid Membranes at the Solid Aqueous Interface” at CSU San Bernardino on October 30. 

Kristine Kaiser, visiting professor of biology, gave a talk on "Herps in the city: Habitat change and behavior, ecology, and physiology" at Cal Poly Pomona. She also spoke on "Impacts of anthropogenic change and urbanization on herpetofauna" to the biology department at CSU Northridge.

Nina Karnovsky, associate professor of biology, co-authored the note “Supplementary diet components of little auk chicks in two contrasting regions on the West Spitsbergen coast” in Polar Biology.

Arash Khazeni, assistant professor of history, spoke on and did a book signing for his monograph Sky Blue Stone (University of California Press, 2014) at Stanford University, sponsored by the Iranian Studies Program, on October 14.

Jade Star Lackey, associate professor and chair of geology, presented the talk  "Integrated oxygen isotope perspectives on continental arc magmatism”" with Jonathan Miller at the 46th National Meeting of the Geological Society of America in Vancouver, October 18-22.  He also presented two other posters: "The significance of contemporaneous olivine basalts and basanites to Columbia River Basalt Group genesis – evidence for lithospheric delamination?” (with Luke Ferguson ’12) and “Late Neogene geology of the Last Chance Range: implications for paleohydrology of the Death Valley area, eastern California.”

Thomas Leabhart, professor of theatre, moved the department’s Mime Journal online, providing back issues and new content published in open access by the Claremont Colleges Library.

Genevieve Lee, professor of music, performed five different programs of solo and chamber music at the Garth Newel Music Center in Virginia, October 11-19.  She gave a piano master class and performed in a concert as a member of the Garth Newel Piano Quartet at the Appomattox Regional Governor’s School for the Arts and Technology in Petersburg, Virginia, on October 20. On Woman at the New Piano, a new CD from pianist Nadia Shpachenko, she collaborates on two premiere recordings of pieces by Professor of Music Tom Flaherty and composer Adam Schoenberg. And Lee produced Frederic Rziewski: Piano Music, an American Classics CD from Naxos by pianist Robert Satterlee.

Pardis Mahdavi, associate professor of anthropology, gave an invited lecture titled "Intimate Labors, Intimate Mobilities" at the National University of Singapore department of sociology. She also gave a talk on "Gendered Migrations Across Asia" at the Asian Women Parliamentarian Caucus in Singapore, and assisted in re-writing legislature on female migrant laborers in ASEAN countries.

Richard McKirahan, professor of classics and philosophy, published The Milesians: Thales (Berlin/Boston: Gruyter Publishing), with original texts collected and edited by Georg Woehrle and English translation and additional material by McKirahan. This is the most complete collection of materials on Thales that has ever been published and the English translations make them available to a wide public. He also presented a paper, “Our Knowledge of the Objects of Mathematics - A Problem for Aristotle,” as president of the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy to representatives of similar societies from other regions of the world.  

Wallace Meyer, director of the Bernard Field Station, co-authored “Native arboreal land snails in the Mt. Kaala Natural Area Reserve, Oahu, Hawaii, have similar plant preferences: implications for conservation” in the Journal of Molluscan Studies 80:4, pp. 469-472.

Char Miller, W.M. Keck professor of environmental analysis, published "Streetscape Environmentalism: Flood Control, Social Justice, and Political Power in San Antonio, 1921-1975," in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly, CXIV: 4, pp. 159-77. He also delivered two talks: "Teaching 'America's Best Idea': Lessons from a Century (and More) of National Parks," at the Western Historical Association’s annual meeting, and “Gifford Pinchot: A Life in Leadership” at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Nivia Montengro, professor of Spanish and Latin American studies, gave a reading of her poetry from Mi musica en otra parte and a forthcoming volume at the Literature Institute of Universidad Veracruzana, in Xalapa, Mexico. The reading was part of the VI Autumn and Poetry International Conference sponsored by the University, October 15-18.

Thomas Moore, professor of physics, wrote the chapter “Six Ideas That Shaped Physics: Rethinking Introductory Physics” in the e-book Integrating Cognitive Science With Innovative Teaching in STEM Disciplines (Washington University Libraries). This is a proceedings volume for a 2012 conference of the same name, and the chapter is an extension of the talk that Moore gave at the conference.  

Cameron Munter, professor of practice of politics and international relations, delivered a talk as a member of the Atlantic Council in Washington D.C. on U.S.-Pakistan relations, discussing the economic options for both countries. He also delivered the Collin Miller Lecture at the Slavic Studies Department at the University of California, titled “Three Decades on the Frontlines of Diplomacy,” and spoke on diplomacy and the challenge of counterterrorism to Johns Hopkins University/School of Advanced International Studies alumni.

Zhiru Ng, professor of religious studies, spoke on “Form Whom the Bell Tolls: Bells, Hells, Venerating Dizang in China” as the Tung Lin Kok Yuen Canada Foundation Distinguished Speaker at the Robert H. N. Ho Foundation Program in Buddhism and Contemporary Society at the University of British Columbia on October 20. The lecture was part of series in conjunction with the opening of the Vancouver Art Gallery exhibition “Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors.”

Dan O’Leary, Carnegie professor of chemistry, served as a discussion leader at a UC Berkeley Science and Leadership Management (SLAM) workshop on “Being a Professor at an Undergraduate Institution” on October 20.

Mary Paster, associate professor and chair of linguistics and cognitive science, published the article “Allomorphy” in the Oxford Handbook of Derivational Morphology, pp. 219-234.

Adam Pearson, assistant professor of psychology, published two co-authored papers: “Anxiety perseverance in intergroup interaction: When incidental explanations backfire” in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 107:5, pp. 825-843, and “Racial attitudes and visual cues in political judgments: Support for Obama during the 2008 Presidential Election” in Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology 20:4, pp. 583-590.

Andy Lee Roth, lecturer in sociology, co-edited Censored 2015: Inspiring We the People (Seven Stories Press). Since 1976, Project Censored, the nation's oldest news-monitoring group, has produced this annual digest of news stories that were censored or missed by mainstream media.

Adolfo Rumbos, professor of mathematics, published “Multiple solutions to asymmetric semilinear elliptic problems via Morse theory” in The Electronic Journal of Differential Equations 207, pp. 1-29.

Monique Saigal-Escudero, professor of French emerita, gave a scholarly talk, "Stories of Survival during WWII by a Former Hidden Child" at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Montclair, California. She also gave a talk, “A Former Hidden Child Tells Her Story,” to seventh and eight graders at Ruth O’Harris Middle School in Bloomington, California.

John Seery, professor of politics, served as editor of the book, George Kateb: Dignity, Morality, Individuality in Routledge's “Innovators in Political Theory series.” Seery also wrote the introduction to the book and conducted an interview with George Kateb, which appears as the final chapter in the book.

Hung Cam Thai, associate professor of sociology and Asian American studies and director of the Pacific Basin Institute, delivered a special invited lecture at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, titled, "The Culture of Money in Low-Wage Transnational Families." He also just published a chapter titled "Special Money in the Vietnamese Diaspora" in Transpacific Studies: Framing an Emerging Field, edited by Janet Hoskins (University of Hawai’I Press).

Margaret Waller, professor of French, presented a paper, "Off With Their Cassocks! The Abbe, the Terror and Post-Revolutionary Masculinity," at the annual 19th-Century French Studies Association meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on October 16.