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Pomona College Adds Nine New Faculty

This year, Pomona welcomes nine new faculty members, including two staff members whose positions have been converted to coterminous faculty appointments and one professor who moved from a visiting professor positions to a tenure-track position.

Tenure-Track Positions

Pey-Yi Chu, assistant professor of history, received her B.A. at Stanford University and M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University. Her areas of expertise include modern European history, the Russian Empire and Soviet Union, environmental history and the history of the earth sciences. This semester, she is teaching Modern Europe Since 1789 and the critical inquiry seminar Cold Places, which examines cold places in various realms of cultural imagination, from art to science to politics. She was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard, the Social Science Research Council Eurasia Dissertation Support Fellowship, and the Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Development Research Award.

Joseph Jeon has been promoted from visiting professor to associate professor of English. Specializing in Asian American literature and media, Jeon has taught Modern American Fiction, Asian American Literature, Asian/American Forms and The “American” Century at Pomona. He earned his B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests include racial forms, forgetting, post-IMF Korean film, and postracial fictions. His expertise includes Asian American literature and visual culture, 20th-century American literature and American Modernism. His recently published book, Racial Things, Racial Forms: Objecthood in Avant-Garde Asian American Poetry (University of Iowa Press, 2012), focuses on several underexamined Asian-American poets. Forthcoming publications include a contribution to the Cambridge History of American Poetry and an article in Cinema Journal. Prior to Pomona, he taught at the University of California, San Diego.

Jane Liu, assistant professor in chemistry, earned her B.A. in biochemistry from Swathmore College and her Ph.D. in chemistry from Harvard University. She is teaching Biochemistry and laboratory this semester, and Chemical Biology and Organic Chemistry II Lab in the spring. Previously, she was assistant professor of chemistry at Drew University. Her research interests include Vibrio cholerae (a causative agent of cholera disease), small RNAs as regulators of gene expression, and engineering biosensors. She received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) AREA Award, a renewable research grant, from 2010-2013; and a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award, a five-year research grant, beginning this year. Recently, she published "The Vibrio cholerae mannitol transporter is regulated post-transcriptionally by the MtlS small RNA" in the Journal of Bacteriology. Her five co-authors on the manuscript were undergraduate researchers at Drew University.

Sara Olson, assistant professor of biology, is currently teaching Advanced Cell Biology and Laboratory this semester and will teach Introductory Cell Chemistry and Cell Biology and Laboratory in the spring. She earned her B.A. in biology from Lawrence University and her Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from the University of California, San Diego. She was named a National Academies Educational Fellow in the Life Sciences in 2011 and was awarded a NIH training grant to support postdoctoral research and pedagogical training while at UCSD. Her lab studies how a newly fertilized embryo creates an impenetrable barrier around itself for protection during embryonic development, using the model nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans to investigate assembly of its trilaminar eggshell and permeability barrier. The goal is to identify and study the various genes and proteins involved in eggshell assembly, with a long-term goal of determining which of these molecules could be potential targets for the development of therapeutics to prevent parasitic nematode infection, which affects more than 30 percent of the world's population. Olson has been published in the Journal of Cell Biology, PLoS One and Nature.

Shlomi Sher, assistant professor of psychology, earned his B.A. from Harvard University and M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University. This academic year, he is teaching Research Design and Methodology, Consciousness and Cognition, Cognitive Psychology and the introductory course Psychology Approaches to the Study of People. His research interests include judgment and decision-making, attention and visual perception, and consciousness studies. Prior to Pomona, he held positions as assistant project scientist, lecturer and postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, San Diego, and assistant instructor at Princeton University. He has been the co-principal investigator on two NSF grants: “Options as Information” (2011-2014) and “Conscious Thought and Rational Norms” (2008-2011). Sher has published papers in Cognition, Trends in Cognitive Sciences and Philosophical Psychology, and chapters or entries in the books The Probablistic Mind: Prospects for Bayesian Cognitive Science (Oxford University Press), the Encyclopedia of Consciousness (Academic Press), the Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Language Sciences (Cambridge University Press), and the Handbook of Social Neuroscience (Oxford University Press).

Michelle Zemel, instructor in economics, earned her B.A. in mathematics at Northwestern University, her M.A. in statistics at Tel Aviv University and M.Phil. and Ph.D. (expected 2012) in finance at the Stern School of Business, New York University. During the 2012-13 academic year, she is teaching Corporate Finance, Economic Statistics and Risk Management in Financial Institutions. Her research interests include banking, risk management, financial institutions and information in markets. She specifically aims to extract information impounded in capital markets to inform the study of financial institutions and their role in the economy.

Co-Terminous Positions

Pam Bromley, who joined the College in 2008 as assistant director of College Writing, is now an assistant professor of politics and international relations as well. She is currently teaching Writing: Theories, Processes and Pedagogies. She earned her B.A. at Williams College, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in politics with a concentration in international relations from Princeton University. Prior to coming to Pomona, she taught at Scripps, Pitzer and Williams. She received a NSF graduate research fellowship in 2000, and an International Writing Centers Association research grant in 2011. Her publications include the upcoming co-authored article “How Important Is the Local, Really?: Cross-Institutional Quantitative Assessment of Typical Writing Center Exit Surveys” in The Writing Center Journal and “Do Writing Fellows Make a Difference in Students’ Writing?,” co-authored with College Writing Director Dara Regaignon, in The WAC Journal 22. Her article “Bridging the Qualitative / Quantitative Divide in Research and Practice,” in Praxis: A Writing Center Journal (co-authored with Kara Northway and Eliana Schonberg), was nominated for the best article of 2010 by the International Writers Center Association.

Wallace M. Meyer III is the new director of the Robert J. Bernard Field Station and assistant professor of biology. Meyer, who was previously a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Insect Science at the University of Arizona and associate professor at the College of the Redwoods, earned his B.A. at the University of California at Santa Cruz, his M.A. in biology from Humboldt State University, and his Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Hawaii, where he studied the impact of invasive introduced land snails on the native Hawaiian ecosystem. He is currently teaching Introductory Ecological and Evolutionary Biology with Laboratory. Moore’s main research interest is understanding how and why the species composition of local biotas are changing, and how such changes directly and indirectly affect ecosystem-level processes and properties. He expects his work at the Bernard Field Station Work will be focused on the preservation and restoration of coastal sage scrub ecosystems. He has published articles in Soil Biology and Biochemistry, the Journal of Tropical EcologyBiotropicaPacific Science and the International Journal of Pest Management.

Assistant Professor of Biology and Senior Laboratory Coordinator Jon Moore focuses his research and expertise on transcriptional regulation, molecular evolution, immunology and bioinformatics. He was a visiting professor at Pomona in 2003-04 and has been the senior laboratory coordinator since 2009. He is currently teaching Introductory Genetics and Introductory Cell Chemistry & Cell Biology. Moore earned his B.S. in biology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and his Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of California, Los Angeles. From 2004-2009, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology, investigating the origins of the adaptive immune system. He has been awarded several grants, including a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellowship, and has published papers in the National Review of Immunology, Journal of Immunology, Molecular Biology and Evolution, Nucleic Acids Research and Theoretical Population Biology