May 2020

Nicholas Ball, assistant professor of chemistry, published an article titled, "SuFEx Activation with Ca(NTf2)2: A Unified Strategy to Access Sulfamides, Sulfamates, and Sulfonamides from S(VI) Fluorides" in Organic Letters. This work was a collaboration with Christopher am Ende and his coworkers at Pfizer. Five Pomona students and alumni were co-authors on the paper including: Sabrina Carneiro '21, Junha Gu '21, Samuel Khasnavis '21, Sabrina Kwan '20 and Cristian Woroch '19.

Mietek Boduszynski, assistant professor of politics and international relations, published an op-ed titled “Trump is Stirring Chaos in Kosovo at the Worst Possible Time” in Foreign Policy analyzing the Trump administration's misguided efforts to help bring down a government in Kosovo in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Franny Brogan, visiting assistant professor of linguistics and cognitive science, published a book chapter titled "Demystifying Salvadoran [sθ]: Evidence for /s/ Lenition" in Hispanic Linguistics: Current Issues and New Directions on May 15.

Kevin Dettmar, W.M. Keck Professor of English and director of the Humanities Studio, wrote a short entry for the article titled "Quarantine Culture Recommendation" about Neil Young's 1975 album “On the Beach” for The New Yorker on April 6.

He also published a short piece for The New Yorker titled "What Bob Dylan Is Doing in 'Murder Most Foul,'" on March 28.

Malte Dold, assistant professor of economics, published a review with his student Elias van Emmerick ’21 on the book Public Entrepreneurship, Citizenship, and Self‑Governance by Dragos Aligica in the Journal Public Choice. They argue that the book’s core premise of “seeing like a citizen” is a much-needed mantra in times when authoritarianism and populism threaten the core pillars of our pluralist societies.

Jennifer Friedlander, chair and the Edgar E. and Elizabeth S. Pankey Professor of Media Studies, published an article titled "Repeating the Square: From Satisfaction to Jouissance" in Crisis & Critique, volume 7, issue 2.

Stephan Garcia, W.M. Keck Distinguished Service Professor and professor of mathematics, published a chapter titled "Lateral Movement in Undergraduate Research: Case Studies in Number Theory" in A Project-Based Guide to Undergraduate Research in Mathematics Starting and Sustaining Accessible Undergraduate Research, pages 203-234 on May 16. The book is part of the SERIES: Foundations for Undergraduate Research in Mathematics.

On May 18, Garcia published another book chapter titled "Upper-Level Mathematics and Statistics Courses Shared across Campuses" in the volume Teaching and Learning Mathematics Online.

Roberto Garza-López, professor of chemistry co-authored a paper with professor John J. Kozak from DePaul University and Harry Gray from the Beckman Institute at Caltech, titled “Funneled Angle Landscapes for Helical Proteins” in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, volume 11 in the May issue. They studied four helical iron proteins (cytochrome c-b562, cytochrome c′, sperm whale myoglobin, human cytoglobin) and constructed funneled angle landscapes for comparison with the topography of their corresponding folding energy landscapes. This "folding funnel" landscape allows the protein to fold to the native state through any of a large number of pathways and intermediates, rather than being restricted to a single mechanism).

Heidi Haddad, associate professor of politics, presented the paper, "Foreign Agents or International Benefactors? The Role of Western Donors in Strategic Litigation Efforts by Russian Human Rights NGOs," at the 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association on May 29.

Esther Hernández-Medina, visiting assistant professor of sociology, was part of the team behind the graphic novel Carmen, a version of the famous novel and opera of the same name published in April. Carmen is the most recent project by international theater group Ay Ombe Theater directed by performer and writer Josefina Báez. Carmen reinterprets the story of the heroine in Prosper Mérimée’s novel and Georges Bizet’s opera by locating it in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic. The graphic novel is part of the multidisciplinary artistic project “Levente Visual” based on Báez’s novel “Levente No. Yolayorkdominicanyork.” The team of the project includes Báez who created the concept, directed the project, and wrote the texts; Pilar Espinal as the performer who plays Carmen; award-winning visual artists Carmen Inés Bencosme and Kutty Reyes; and Hernández-Medina who wrote the epilogue of this unique work of art, rooted in daily life.

She presented the paper “Un pie aquí y otro allá: reflexiones de una académica y activista feminista dominicana” [“With One Foot Here and the Other One There: Reflections of a Dominican Feminist Academic and Activist”] at the virtual annual congress of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) on May 14. Her paper was part of the panel on auto-ethnography and narratives in the social sciences organized by Paulo D. Ravecca for LASA’s section on Culture, Power and Politics.

Hernández-Medina also co-moderated the last monthly meeting of Tertulia Feminista Magaly Pineda celebrating its fourth anniversary on May 28. La Tertulia, as it is known in the Dominican Republic, is a feminist informal debate space she co-founded along with lawyer Yildalina Tatem Brache in 2016. The tertulia is named after Magaly Pineda, the most important contemporary feminist leader in the Dominican Republic and one of the most renown in the region who died in 2016. The guest facilitator or “tertuliante” in this last (virtual) session was award-winning actress and theater director Isabel Spencer who talked about the importance of eroticism and creativity as sources of power for women based on Audre Lorde’s work.

Gizem Karaali, professor of mathematics, together with Samuel Yih '18, published an article titled "The Magic of the Number Three: Three Explanatory Proofs in Abstract Algebra" in PRIMUS (Problems, Resources, and Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies), volume 30, issue 7, pages 762-776.

Tom Le, assistant professor of politics, published an article with Michelle Tunger ’20 about the difficulties with investing in North Korea titled “Making the North Korean Economic Project Work” on the Global North Korea website on April 20.

Joyce Lu, associate professor of theatre and dance, conducted two Playback Theatre performances on Zoom with LAPlayback Theatre Company on May 30.

Susan McWilliams Barndt, chair and professor of politics, published an article titled "Socialism as Conflicted Contrarianism," a response to Nathan Pinkoski, for the journal Law and Liberty on May 20.

On May 27, McWilliams Barndt spoke about James Baldwin's essay "The Discovery of What It Means to be an American" for a Literary Arts Delve Readers Seminar that was presented online. McWilliams Barndt is the editor of A Political Companion to James Baldwin.

Wallace Meyer, director of the Bernard Field Station and associate professor of biology, published a manuscript with a Scripps student titled "Plant-Soil Feedback Effects on Germination and Growth of Native and Non-Native Species Common across Southern California" in the journal Diversity on May 30.

Giovanni Ortega, assistant professor of theatre and dance, continued to produce Theatre Without Borders' “Kanto Cuentos/Corner Stories,” a collection of short original films as part of The International Imagination Collective in direct response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Episodes 6-10 include: "To My Children" by Elisabeth Gunawan, Patrick Nan PI '20 and Ortega (London), "Apprentice" by Shebana Coelho (New Mexico), "Field Guide to Life" by Yuko Ishii (Japan), "Black and Alone" by King-Edqux Robinson '15 (Texas) and "Frequency" by Andrew Truong (California).

Ortega presented the short films "Coyotes that Swing at Night" and "Travel is Prohibited," and directed Karen Huie's piece entitled "Just.Like.You." which were part of the concept of "Coughing While Asian" presented by FilAm Arts.

Ortega directed Amanda Andrei’s “Lena Passes By” which was part of the USC New Works Festival presented by the Pasadena Playhouse on May 15. Ben Hogoboom '19 as was one of the professional actors to perform in the virtual production.

In addition, Ortega directed “Burrito Man,” a short film as part of The Bench Project, an evening of seven short digital stories set within the digital world.

Lastly, Ortega directed “Scrimmage” which was discussed in a livestream panel by East West Players with Patrick Nan PI ’20, Rosie Narasaki SC ’23 and Tray Hammond ’22.

Alexandra Papoutsaki, assistant professor of computer science, was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) supplement of $16,000 for research on gaze sharing to support remote collaboration on May 27.

Hans Rindisbacher, professor of German, published the article titled “What the Soldiers Say: Swiss Army Jargon and Its Links to Civilian Life” in What’s New in the New Europe? Redefining Culture, Politics, Identity, pages 149-161.

Prageeta Sharma, Henry G. Lee ’37 Professor of English, was interviewed by Montana Public Radio about her collection of poetry, Grief Sequence, on May 28.

Gary Smith, Fletcher Jones Professor of Economics, published the article “Data Mining Fool’s Gold” in the Journal of Information Technology on May 6. He published the article titled “The Paradox of Big Data” in Springer Nature: Applied Sciences, volume 2 on May 11.

Smith published the following articles on the MindMatters website: “Data Mining: A Plague, Not a Cure” on May 11; “Vitamin D and COVID-19: Is it Data or Noise?” on May 14; “What, Exactly, Do Economists Do?” on May 19 and lastly, “The Birds Aren’t Real” on May 30.

David Tanenbaum, associate dean of the college and professor of physics and astronomy, co-published a study titled “An Interlaboratory Study on the Stability of All‐Printable Hole Transport Material–Free Perovskite Solar Cells” in the journal Energy Technology on April 29.

Megan Zirnstein, assistant professor of linguistics and cognitive science, published a chapter in The Cognitive Neurosciences, the sixth edition of a classic reference in the developing field of cognitive neuroscience. The chapter, entitled “Towards a Socially Responsible, Transparent, and Reproducible Cognitive Neuroscience,” was written by fellows of the 2018 Kavli Summer Institute in Cognitive Neuroscience.

Zirnstein also had research featured on “The Loh Down on Science,” the NPR/KPCC syndicated daily radio science minute, on May 29. The episode, Reading Rules, highlights a counter-intuitive finding from work that was previously published in Cognition, titled “Cognitive Control Ability Mediates Prediction Costs in Monolinguals and Bilinguals.” By examining the brain responses evoked during reading, Zirnstein and her collaborators discovered that fluency in the first language predicted bilinguals’ ability to more easily comprehend unexpected words in the second language.