August 2020 

Nicholas Ball, assistant professor of chemistry, was interviewed for the podcast “My Fave Queer Chemist,” featuring a conversation with graduate students. The topics included navigating academia as a black queer scientist, motivation behind becoming an educator, dedication to inclusive learning environments, and efforts academic institutions can consider to support LGBTQ+ faculty and staff.

Graydon Beeks, emeritus director of music programming & facilities and professor of music, published his article “‘Thy Hand, Dalinda’: Characterization, Contrast and Maturity in Ariodante” in the Händel-Jahrbuch, Jahrgang 66, 2020, pages 287-294.

Eleanor Birrell, assistant professor of computer science, co-authored a paper, “Poli-see: An Interactive Tool for Visualizing Privacy Policies,” with Wentao Guo ’19 and Jay Rodolitz ’21 that was accepted to the Workshop on Privacy in Electronic Society 2020.

Ralph Bolton ’61, emeritus professor of anthropology, gave a virtual lecture Aug. 20 in the Anthropological Thursdays series sponsored by the Professional School of Anthropology at the National University of the Altiplano in Puno, Peru. The translated title of the lecture was “Cultural Changes: Who Decides? Applied Anthropology in the Contemporary World.” The conference was titled “Applied Anthropology in the Framework of the Reactivation of the Economy” (post-pandemic).

Arlen F. Chase, visiting professor of anthropology, authored three publications that appeared in August 2020: two articles in the journal Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology and one chapter in the edited book The Real Business of Ancient Maya Economies (University Press of Florida). PDFs of the articles may be found at

Malte Dold, assistant professor of economics, published an article, “James Buchanan on the Nature of Choice: Ontology, Artifactual Man and the Constitutional Moment in Political Economy,” in the Cambridge Journal of Economics on Aug. 27. The article is co-authored with Paul Lewis (King's College London).

The work of Virginie A. Duzer, associate professor and chair of Romance languages and literatures, on Stéphane Mallarmé's gardens was quoted in in the French publication Libération in an Aug. 16 article about gardens in Valvins, southeast of Paris. The publication cited Duzer’s work “Le jardin Mallarmé: «les fleurs d'abord»” or “The Mallarmé Garden: ‘Flowers First.’”

Anne Dwyer, associate professor of German and Russian and associate dean of the collegeand Julie Dale, assistant director of the Oldenborg Center, co-authored a book chapter, “The Language House as Global Programming: Pomona College's Oldenborg Center,” in Language Learning in Foreign Language Houses, edited by Jennifer Bown, Wendy Baker Smemoe and Dan P. Dewey (International Association for Language Learning Technology,2020).

Roberto Garza-López, professor of chemistry, attended the 2020 Virtual Conference in Computational Chemistry sponsored by the National Strategic Computing Initiative/National Science Foundation, where he presented a course syllabus for practical computational chemistry. He also discussed the paper he first-coauthored titled “Copper(II) Inhibition of the SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease,” which was accepted in ChemRxiv. The coauthors are John J. Kozak (DePaul University) and Harry B. Gray (Caltech).

Melissa Givens, assistant professor of music, served as one of the jurors for the inaugural World Bach Competition of the Boulder Bach Festival. There were over 300 entrants in professional, university, community and high school divisions.

A paper by Michael Greenberg, assistant professor of computer science, was conditionally accepted to the 2020 online conference of OOPSLA, or Object-Oriented Programming Systems, Languages and Applications, which is part of the SIGPLAN Splash conference. The paper is titled “Formulog: Datalog for SMT-based Static Analysis.” SIGPLAN is the Special Interest Group on Programming Languages of the Association for Computer Machinery.

Esther Hernández-Medina, visiting assistant professor of sociology, presented the paper “Take Your Rosaries Out of Our Ovaries: The Feminist Movement and the Fight for the Right to Choose in the Dominican Republic” at the virtual Summer Meeting of the Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS) on Aug. 7. She presented on the same topic the following day at the 2020 Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association online.

In addition, Hernández-Medina was a presenter at the first of a series of virtual panels on Ay Ombe Theater’s graphic novel “Carmen,” on Aug. 20, organized in conjunction with Tertulia Feminista Magaly Pineda and Centro de la Imagen in the Dominican Republic. The panel, “Mujer. Carmen. Mujer” analyzed the graphic novel from a feminist perspective. Hernández-Medina’s presentation examined the current situation of Dominican women in connection with three themes present in “Carmen.” Those include the need to cultivate joy and self-care among women, the crucial importance of women’s autonomy, and the possibility of being a black Caribbean “flâneuse” or female explorer of the city. 

Finally, on Aug. 26, Hernández-Medina moderated the monthly virtual meeting of Tertulia Feminista Magaly Pineda, the feminist group she co-founded along with lawyer Yildalina Tatem Brache. Tertulia members analyzed the nature and implications of racism and anti-Haitianism in the Dominican Republic based on the interventions of guest presenters or tertuliantes Micely Díaz Espaillat, who shared her study on the subject; Ana María Belique, who talked about her experiences as an activist defending the rights of Dominicans of Haitian descent; and April Mayes ’94, associate professor and chair of the Pomona History Department, who talked about the connections between racism in the U.S. and racism and anti-Haitianism in the Dominican Republic.

Evan Kindley, visiting assistant professor of English, published a review of Michael Gorra's The Saddest Words: William Faulkner's Civil War in the September 2020 issue of The New Republic.

Tom Le, assistant professor of politics, co-published an article with David Yu ’21 in The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage, a forum for political scientists. The Aug. 13 article addressed the failed reconciliation between South Korea and Japan on the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.

Genevieve Lee, Everett S. Olive Professor of Music, contributed a performance of François Couperin's “Ordre No. 25 in C” on harpsichord to the Virtual Summer Festival 2020 of Garth Newel Music Center in Virginia. Lee’s introduction to her performance, recorded at Pomona in February, begins at the 6:17 mark of the YouTube link.

Marc Los Huertos, associate professor of environmental analysis, led a panel discussion titled “Firewise  Fact & Fiction” for the Building Conference and Expo held by the Los Angeles chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. Experts addressed tactics such as “home-hardening” and landscaping choices to protect residences in fire hazard zones.

Los Huertos also published a new book, Ecology and Management of Inland Waters (Elsevier, 2020),  which offers a California perspective with global applications for the ecology of inland waters such as streams, lakes and wetlands.

Joyce Lu, associate professor of theatre and dance/Intercollegiate Department of Asian American Studies (IDAAS), performed with Pangaea Playback Theatre under the direction of Hannah K. Fox on Aug. 8 at the International Tele'Drama Psychodrama Conference: Bringing the Future into the Present.

Lu also published the article “Moving Tradition: Alleluia Panis and Kularts” in the anthology California Dreaming: Movement and Place in the Asian American Imaginary, edited by Christine Bacareza Balance and Lucy Mae San Pablo Burns (University of Hawai'i Press).

Susan McWilliams Barndt, professor and chair of politics, appeared on KNBC’s “Today in LA” on Aug. 12 to discuss Joe Biden's pick of Kamala Harris as his vice-presidential candidate. McWilliams made another appearance Aug. 28 to discuss the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

In addition, McWilliams Barndt co-led a nationwide webinar (via Zoom) on “How to Publish a Professional Journal Article.” The webinar was part of the Jack Miller Center Publishing Webinar Series. McWilliams Barndt is the co-editor of the peer-reviewed journal American Political Thought.

Sara Masland, assistant professor of psychological science, was co-author on a recent publication, “Longitudinal Course of Borderline Personality Disorder: What Every Clinician Needs to Know,” in the journal Current Treatment Options in Psychiatry. Co-authors were collaborators at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School, including Masland's former student Evan Iliakis ’18.

Miriam Merrill, chair of physical education and director of athletics, served as a panelist for Women Leaders in College Sports on Aug. 21. The group hosts a regular live chat, and the session was about supporting student athlete mental health. 

Wallace Meyer, director of Bernard Field Station and associate professor of biology, and Nina Karnovsky, professor of biology, have been awarded a National Science Foundation grant from the program Research Coordination Networks in Undergraduate Biology Education. Their project is titled “Developing a Faculty Network for Expanding Undergraduate Research in a Biodiversity Hotspot: the Research Experiences in Southern California for Undergraduate Ecologists Network (RESCUE-net).”

Sara Olson, associate professor of biology, and Brian Wysolmerski ’14 co-authored a paper with collaborators from the National Institutes of Health and National Taiwan University titled “Loss of the Seipin Gene Perturbs Eggshell Formation in C. elegans.” The paper was published in Development on Aug. 20.

Giovanni Ortega, assistant professor of theatre and dance, developed and directed Belonging, a film with poetry and music, for Poetry Festival Singapore. The film is a tale about women whose interconnectedness surpasses their separation from the diaspora of their own identity, and follows characters from Bangalore, London, Singapore and California as they navigate a world where they question their own belonging. The international production team included students and alumni from Pomona and other Claremont Colleges: Hersheeta Kaur Suri ’21 (writer/performer), Shringi Diva Vikram SC ’20 (writer/performer), Siddhant Jain ’23 (cameraperson), Youssef El Mosalami ’24 (production coordinator) and Patrick Nan PI ’20 (editor).

In addition, Ortega's Criers for Hire: The Iyakan Blues, was presented as part of Bindlestiff Studio’s Kwento Times staged readings series on Aug. 22. Directed by Joe Cascasan, Criers for Hire is a story of immigrant Filipinas crying (and laughing) their way to surviving America. 

Ortega also directed an online reading of This Is A River by Isabelle Rogers ’20 and Professor of Theatre James P. Taylor. The environmental play is based on the stories and lived experiences of the indigenous Kayan, Kenyah, and Penan people, who are part of a larger community known as the Orang Ulu (“upriver people”) living in the rainforest of Sarawak State, Malaysian Borneo. The program featured Southeast Asian actors living in Malaysia, Australia, Los Angeles, Chicago, London and Singapore, and included dramaturg GiGi Buddie ’22 as well as Mark Diaz ’22. The performance was produced by Theatre Without Borders in collaboration with The Very Little Theatre in Oregon.

In addition, a film Ortega directed, A Hero for Our Time by Cleavon Smith, was presented by the website Our Digital Stories. The film tells the story of two queer men of color supporting each other as one prepares to speak during a Black Lives Matter event.

Finally, as a director and co-creator, Ortega participated in the third residency for the DNAWORKS adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Sharer. Considered an early queer text, the 1909 novella has been adapted into a mixed-media performance work that integrates dance/text/music/projections and will be performed in an open-concept space with audiences co-creating the environment and the narrative. 

Adam Pearson, associate professor of psychological science, co-edited a special issue on climate change and public policy—the first special issue of an academic journal focused on behavioral science contributions to climate change policy. “Behavioural Climate Policy,” published in the journal Behavioural Public Policy, brings together a collection of new articles exploring how behavioral science can inform climate policy and decision making, while highlighting unique challenges and opportunities that climate change poses for behavioral science. It includes commentary by Carnegie Mellon University’s Baruch Fischhoff describing the history of the intersection of behavioral and climate science, and its potential.

Pearson also wrote the introduction to the special issue on climate change for the journal Behavioural Public Policy.

William J. Peterson, emeritus professor of music, has recorded a compact disc of performances on the organ in Little Bridges, Recital at Bridges Hall, that is reviewed in the September 2020 issue of The Diapason, pages 22-23.

Linda Reinen, professor of geology, and Karen Kortz ’98, a professor at the Community College of Rhode Island, published an online teaching resource for introductory-level geoscience courses. “Geologic Issues: Community Impacts and Science Communication” is a place- and problem-based capstone assignment developed from science education research on student learning and interest, and factors that attract underserved minoritized students to science disciplines. This assignment can be done in person or online.

Sara Sadhwani, assistant professor of politics, wrote an article in The Washington Post about the likelihood of Kamala Harris attracting Indian American voters. The Aug. 15 piece was based on Sadhwani’s previously published research.

Monique Saigal-Escudero, emerita professor of French, was interviewed in Spanish for a book project by the Argentine writer Angela Pradelli. Saigal-Escudero discussed “My Hidden Childhood in WWII Occupied France,” her experiences as a Jewish girl rescued by a Catholic woman after the child’s grandmother put her on a train to escape the Nazis.

Anthony Shay, professor of dance and cultural studies, gave a lecture titled “The History of Staged Dance in the Persianate World” on Aug. 9 via Zoom for the Pomegranate Tree Dance organization for Persian Art.

Gary Smith, Fletcher Jones Professor of Economics, published multiple articles in Mind Matters. Among them were “Beware of Geeks Bearing Formulas—It’s often Pseudoscience” on Aug. 3, “Female Hurricanes: How a Mass of Hot Air Became a Zombie Study” on Aug. 11, “In Science, We Can’t Just Settle for Data Clusters” on Aug. 18, “Don’t Blame AI for the British A-Level Test Scandal” on Aug. 20 and “The Stock Market Keeps Rising Despite COVID. Is it Nuts?” on Aug. 28.

In addition, Smith published an article titled “Phantom Patterns: The Big Data Delusion” in IAI News, a publication of the Institute of Art and Ideas, on Aug. 24. The article is based on his forthcoming book The Phantom Pattern Problemco-authored with Jay Cordes ’93.

Patricia Smiley, professor of psychological science, is second author on a paper accepted for publication in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. Written with co-authors Reout Arbel (University of Haifa) and Jessica Borelli (University of California, Irvine), the paper is titled “Charting the Physiological Time Course of Help Seeking in Late Childhood: Patterns of Individual Difference.”

Kyla Wazana Tompkins, associate professor of gender and women’s studies, gave a virtual talk from a portion of her current book project at Queen Mary's University, London, through the performance studies and theatre series entitled Possession and Automation.