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Professors Catalin Mitescu and Sheila Pinkel to Retire

Professor Catalin Mitescu
Professor Sheila Pinkel

At the end of the school year, two beloved members of the Pomona College community will enter their well-deserved retirement. Please join us in saying goodbye to these faculty members.

Catalin D. Mitescu, Seeley W. Mudd Professor of Physics

Catalin Mitescu started at Pomona College in September 1965, as an instructor in physics.  He was promoted to assistant professor in May 1966; associate professor in 1970; and professor in 1977. He was named to the endowed Seeley W. Mudd chair in Physics is 1991.

Professor Mitescu is retiring this year upon completing his 47th year at Pomona College. His first one‑year sabbatical leave in 1971-72 marked the beginning of a close collaboration with a particularly distinguished group of French scientists, which has continued through half-year sabbaticals in 1976, 1979, 1983, 1986, 1990, 1995 and 2001, and shorter, more frequent visits since that time. He has carried out research in many areas of the physics of condensed matter–superconductivity, liquid crystals, percolation theory, flow through porous media, the properties of fractal networks, and hydrodynamic instabilities. He is a co-author of the English-language edition of a senior/graduate-level textbook Physical Hydrodynamics (Oxford University Press, 2001), which is currently undergoing major revision.

Among other activities, Professor Mitescu has served, since 1991, as the parliamentarian of the Pomona College faculty. He is a member of the ordained clergy of the Eastern Orthodox Church. He was ordained to the diaconate in 1980 and to the priesthood in 1987, and has served as pastor of Saint Anne Orthodox Church, a small Pomona parish, since 1993.

Sheila Pinkel, Professor of Art

Pinkel joined Pomona College in 1986 and initially taught courses in all levels of photography as well as the history of photography. In the early 1990s, she expanded these courses and photo facilities to include digital media. In the mid-1990s, she developed the first web-based digital archive of photographic images at Pomona and continued to contribute to this database until her retirement.

From 1996 to 1999, she chaired the Media Studies program. She also served on the Faculty Personnel Committee, the Curriculum Committee, The Women’s Commission, The Asian Student Committee, CCTV Committee and the 5-C Communications Committee. She team taught with faculty in Women’s Studies and her courses were cross-listed with Women’s Studies, Environmental Analysis and Media Studies. She also did the projection visuals for the production Mother Courage which was mounted in Seaver Theater at Pomona in 2003.

She has been an international editor of Leonardo, the publication dedicated to the intersections of art, science and technology, since 1983 and her articles and artworks have appeared numerous times in this publication. She initiated and oversaw LABS (Leonardo Abstract Services), which is housed on a Pomona server and is managed by ITS. LABS is a compilation of abstracts of recent MA, MFA or PhD theses dedicated to these intersections.

Her artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is included in the archives of major institutions. She is the recipient of two NEA artist grants, the Hammer Award from the Center for the Study of Political Graphics, an NEH grant, Freeman Foundation Grant, Mellon Grant, three Sloan Foundation grants and numerous research grants from Pomona College. She also has received two public art commissions from the Cultural Affairs Department of the City of Los Angeles.