The 2005 Wigs
Six win 2005 Wig Awards for Excellence in
Six faculty members were praised for their
commitment, their grasp of subject matter and their ability to stimulate
students in and outside the classroom when recognized with the 2005 Wig
Distinguished Professor Awards for Excellence in Teaching. Professors
Edward “EJ” Crane III, Paul E. Hurley, Zayn R. Kassam, Michael K.
Kuehlwein, Patrick H. Mulcahy ’66 and Paul K. Saint-Amour were this
year’s award recipients.
Established by Mr. and Mrs. R.J. Wig in 1955, junior and senior classes
elect exceptional faculty members which are then confirmed by a
committee of trustees, faculty and students. The awards were announced
at Pomona’s 112th Commencement held on May 15, 2005.
Crane, an assistant professor of chemistry, joined the faculty in 2002
and teaches Biochemistry and Advanced Biochemistry. “Professor Crane has
a talent for capturing and presenting the most interesting aspects of
the subject matter he teaches,” wrote a student. “He has a fun and
relaxed teaching style, while at the same time encouraging a high level
of performance from his students.” He holds a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins
University and a B.S. from St. Cloud State University. His research
focuses on the biochemistry of organisms that live in hydrothermal vent
environments, both at the ocean floor and deep underground. He is
particularly interested in how these organisms survive in environments
that are both incredibly hot and highly toxic.
This is the third Wig Award for Hurley, professor of philosophy, who
teaches Ethics; Meta-Ethics, Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Law,
and Freedom, Markets and Well-Being. “Professor Hurley hides his biases
more effectively than any human being I’ve ever met,” said a student.
“He can argue six sides to most issues and yet still have his opinions
remain completely mysterious.” A member of the faculty since 1988,
Hurley researches issues of consequentialism, moral ethics and issues of
trust, happiness, forgiveness, democracy and lying. He earned his B.A.
from the University of Notre Dame and his Ph.D. from the University of
Winners of the 2005 Wig Awards are, from left to
right: Zayn Kassam, Michael Kuehlwein, Paul Saint Amour, E.J. Crane, Patrick
Mulcahy and Paul Hurley.
Kassam, associate professor of religious studies and chair of the
Religious Studies Department, joined the faculty in 1995. She teaches
The Religion of Islam, Islamic Thought, Engendering and Experience:
Women in the Islamic Tradition, The Divine Body and Interpreting
Religious Worlds. This is her second Wig Award. “Professor Kassam is an
amazing teacher with an ability to synthesize a broad spectrum of
material into a coherent and fascinating take on a subject,” said a
student. “Class discussions (spill) out of the classroom, into the
dining and residence halls, and even onto forums in cyberspace.” She
received her B.A, M.A. and Ph.D. from McGill University. In her
research, Kassam focuses on Islamic ethics, gender issues, philosophy
Kuehlwein, the George E. and Nancy O. Moss Professor of Economics,
joined the faculty in 1987. A three-time Wig Award recipient, he teaches
Principles of Macroeconomics, Macroeconomic Theory and a senior seminar.
“No one makes material come alive like Professor Kuehlwein,” said a
student. “I have never seen a man so excited to run up to a blackboard
to draw a supply and demand diagram. His excitement about economics is
contagious.” He holds a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology and a B.A. from Swarthmore College. His research interests
range from consumer spending and savings to the effects of budget
deficits on interest rates in Thailand and the effect of railroads on
wheat prices in 19th-century India.
Mulcahy, a professor of physical education, is also the Pomona-Pitzer
men’s track and cross-country coach. Since his arrival in 1969, he has
coached 38 athletes to 67 NCAA All-American performances. He teaches
activity classes in badminton, weight training and golf, plus a
sociology class entitled Mind, Culture and Sport. “Pat’s influence
extends beyond the athletic field and into so many other important
aspects of his athletes’ lives,” wrote a student. Mulcahy is one of the
foremost field events coaches in the country and has served as an
assistant coach for both men and women on national teams that toured the
Philippines and Taiwan, giving clinics to coaches of both countries.
Named the men’s West Region Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2004, he
earned his B.A. from Pomona College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the
University of California, Los Angeles.
Two-time Wig Award recipient Paul Saint-Amour, an associate professor of
English, joined the faculty in 1997. He teaches Modern British
Literature, British Novel II, Literature of the Victorian Period,
Subcontinent Literatures in English, Henry James and his Contemporaries,
James Joyce and Late Joyce and his Legacies. A student said, “He
embodies everything we should cherish as an intellectual community:
brilliance, eloquence, humility and most importantly, compassion.” He
earned his B.A. from Yale University and his Ph.D. from Stanford
University. Saint-Amour’s book, The Copywrights: Intellectual
Property and the Literary Imagination (2003) was recently recognized
with the Modern Language Association’s Best First Book Award.