Experts Guide

Pomona College, one of the nation’s liberal arts colleges, is the founding member of The Claremont Colleges in Southern California. Pomona College is known for its range of quality academic programs, interdisciplinary studies, opportunities for student research, close relationships between faculty and students.

To reach our faculty experts, contact Patricia Vest at or (909) 908-3551. You can also view a complete list of Pomona College faculty.

Higher Education

Trends in Higher Education, Affirmative Action, Liberal Arts Colleges, College Access, Financial Aid

President G. Gabrielle Starr

Pomona College President G. Gabrielle Starr is a national voice on access to college for students of all backgrounds and on the future of higher education. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education and The Washington Post, among other publications.

She is working to strengthen the student pipeline from community colleges to four-year private institutions, and to ensure students from the full range of family incomes enroll in college and thrive.

Starr served on the California Higher Education Recovery with Equity Taskforce, charged with envisioning a new approach for post-secondary education preparation and workforce readiness as the state recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

A highly regarded scholar of English literature whose work reaches into neuroscience and the arts, Starr took office as the 10th president of Pomona College in July 2017.

Admission Trends, Financial Aid and Affordability

College Admissions, international Students, Liberal Arts, Admissions, Holistic Review, Rural Students, LGBTQ Students, Military Veterans

Adam Sapp

Adam Sapp is assistant vice president and director of admissions at Pomona College. Prior to Pomona, he held positions of leadership in the admission offices of Princeton University and Claremont McKenna College. A member of the National Association of College Admissions Counseling and the International Association of College Admissions Counseling, he is a first-generation college student and graduate of a rural public high school in the Midwest. Sapp has been quoted in the New York Times, Inside Higher Education, Forbes, and U.S. News and World Report, among others. He currently serves as chair of the board of the The Coalition for College, a 150-member organization committed to challenging inequities, fostering inclusivity and empowering students in the college process.

Resilience and Persistence, Behavioral Intervention, Crisis Intervention, Mental Health and Wellness in College Students, Intersection of Mental Health and Academics, Self-care Strategies to Facilitate Student Success, Creating Growth Mindsets

Tacy Arwari

Tracy Arwari is assistant vice president of student affairs and dean of students for academic and personal success at Pomona College, She has led teams at the nexus of academic and student affairs that understand the symbiotic relationship between the two. She has developed and chaired behavioral intervention teams and care teams, focusing on contextual and reasonable support for students. Arwari has taught workshops on self-care, having a successful failure, building resilience, and appropriate boundaries , and she has collaborated with faculty to ensure that they have the resources they need as well.

National Issues

Voting, Voting Rights, Elections, Gerrymandering, Immigration Issues, Asian Americans, California Politics.

Sara Sadhwani

Sara Sadhwani is an assistant professor of politics specializing in Asian American and Latino voting behavior, elections, interest groups and representation. Her research has been published in the peer reviewed journals Political Behavior, PS: Political Science and Politics, California Journal of Politics and Policy, and the Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics and her analysis of elections has been featured in the Washington Post, Vox, the Los Angeles Times and NPR affiliate KCRW-Los Angeles. She can be found on Twitter @sarasadhwani.

U.S. Supreme Court, Conservative and Progressive Legal Movements, Federalism, Supreme Court Politics

Amanda Hollis-Brusky

Associate Professor of Politics Amanda Hollis-Brusky is the author of Ideas with Consequences: The Federalist Society and the Conservative Counterrevolution, an award-winning account and analysis of the conservative legal and intellectual reform movement of 40,000 judges, lawyers, scholars and students whose members include four Supreme Court Justices, dozens of federal judges and every Republican attorney general since its creation in 1982.

Hollis-Brusky is an editor for The Washington Post's Monkey Cage bloc. She has also written for The Post on topics including the Court and reproductive rights and why originalism will live on in the post-Scalia era and for the Los Angeles Times on the legacy of the Supreme Court's controversial ruling in Citizens United.

American Politics, Political History, Political Thought, Higher Education

Susan McWilliams

Susan McWilliams Barndt is a professor of politics at Pomona College. She teaches political theory. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the American Political Science Association and serves on the Academic Advisory Council of the Jack Miller Center for Teaching America's Founding Principles and History.

McWilliams is the author of The American Road Trip and American Political Thought (Lexington, 2018) and Traveling Back: Toward a Global Political Theory (Oxford, 2014). She is also the editor of A Political Companion to James Baldwin (Kentucky, 2017) and a co-editor of several books, including The Best Kind of College: An Insiders’ Guide to America's Small Liberal Arts Colleges (co-edited with John Seery, SUNY, 2015) and A New History of American Political Thought (co-edited with Nicholas Buccola and Roosevelt Montás, Princeton, forthcoming). Her writing has been published widely, including in The American ConservativeBoston ReviewBustThe City, Front Porch RepublicIron and Air, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The NationPerspectives on Political SciencePolitical Science QuarterlyThe Review of PoliticsSouthern California Quarterly and The Star-Ledger. McWilliams is the co-editor (with Jeremy Bailey, University of Oklahoma) of the American Political Thought book series at the University Press of Kansas and a past editor of the peer-reviewed journal American Political Thought.

Educational Inequality, Culture Race and Racism in Education, African American Culture, Oppositional Culture, Acting White, the EFA movement (Education for All)

Eric Hurley

Professor of Psychological Science and Africana Studies Eric A. Hurley pursues the question of whether peoples’ culture-based orientations can be relied upon to predict their attitudes and behavior. His work also examines how culture interacts with race/ethnicity to influence African Americans’ educational experiences. More recently, he has expanded the scope of his inquiry to include other Diaspora groups in the U.S. and globally.

Hurley has been interviewed by KPCC’s Airtalk, Inside Higher Education and The Atlantic related to Pomona College’s policy, which he co-wrote, adding diversity and inclusion to the criteria for tenure and promotion at the College.

Foreign Affairs

U.S. Foreign Policy, International Diplomacy, Middle East, Russia, Militias and Security

Mietek P Boduszynski

Veteran diplomat and associate professor of politics, Mietek Boduszynski, can comment on the intricacies of international diplomacy, specifically when it comes to U.S. foreign policy. He served with the U.S. Department of State and completed service in Iraq, where he was a political counselor to the U.S. Consulate General in Basrah.

Prior to his appointment in Iraq, he was stationed in Libya at the time of the Benghazi attacks, and has served stints at U.S. embassies in Albania, Kosovo, Japan and Egypt as well. He has written op-eds in the Los Angeles Times, the Journal of Democracy and The Conversation and has been quoted in Voice of America on Russia’s hacking of the Democratic Party during the 2016 election cycle.

East Asia, Japanese Security Policy, Militarism Norms, War Memory and Reconciliation, U.S.-Japan Alliance, Nuclear Weapons

Tom Le

An expert in security issues in East Asia, Associate Professor of Politics Tom Le examines military and regionalism in East Asia. Among his areas of expertise are Japanese security policy, Japan-South Korea-US relations, war memory and reconciliation, and militarism cultures. His current work includes examinations of Japan’s proactive peace and the impact of technology and population demographics on security policy. Le has been interviewed by the Los Angeles Times and his previous op-eds have been published by The Washington Post, The Hill and The Diplomat. Le is the author of Japan's Aging Peace: Pacifism and Militarism in the Twenty-First Century (2021).

Radical Social Movements, Revolution, Terrorism and Political Violence

Colin Beck

Colin Beck, associate professor of sociology, is the author of Radicals, Revolutionaries, and Terrorists, which examines how the designation of “terrorist” is made, calling into question the justifications for the ongoing “War on Terror” and explores eight questions about radicalism, including its origins, dynamics and outcomes. His academic articles have received several awards from the American Sociological Association. Beck has been quoted by the Associated Press and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Latin American Issues

Mexico, Venezuela Politics, Latin American Politics, Latin American Immigration

Latinos and Education, Inequalities in Education, Chicanos in Contemporary Society, Latino Immigration, Mexican American and Mexican Immigrant Relationships

Gilda Ochoa

Gilda Ochoa, professor of sociology and Chicana/o and Latina/o studies, is an expert on Latinos in education; inequalities in schools; community partnerships; and race/ethnic relationships between Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants. Her most recent book, Academic Profiling: Latinos, Asian Americans, and the Achievement Gap, was named among “35 Books All Educators of Black and Latino Students Must Read,” by Huffington Post columnist Quassan Castro. She is also the author of Learning from Latino Teachers and Becoming Neighbors in a Mexican American Community: Power, Conflict, and Solidarity.

Asian History and Culture

Japan During World War II, Kamikaze, Japanese Food in the U.S., Japanese Food in Japan, New Culinary Hyperlocalism Along the Pacific Rim

Samuel Yamashita

Samuel Yamashita is the Henry E. Sheffield Professor of History at Pomona College. He is a well-known historian of World War II Japan. He published Leaves from an Autumn of Emergencies: Selections from the Wartime Diaries of Ordinary Japanese and Daily Life in Wartime Japan, 1940-1945. He also is a leading food historian. His book Hawai’i Regional Cuisine: The Food Movement That Changed the Way Hawai’i Eats was published in 2019, and he has written about Japanese culinary influence in “The ‘Japanese Turn’ in Fine Dining in the United States, 1980-2020” (Gastronomica, summer 2020). He is completing an anthology of writings by kaiseki chefs, a study of the new culinary hyperlocalism that appeared along the Pacific Rim, and a history of Japanese food from prehistory to the present.

California and the Southwest

History of Latinos in California and Southwest, Social Movements, Oral History, Race in Modern U.S., Latino Veterans

Tomas Sandoval

Tomás Summers Sandoval, associate professor of history, and Chicana/o and Latina/o studies, teaches classes on Latinos in the U.S., social movements and community history. He is the author of Latinos at the Golden Gate: Creating Community and Identity in San Francisco, the first historical study of Latinos in San Francisco.

He is working on a book investigating the Vietnam War and Latino communities. Summers Sandoval, in partnership with The dA Center for the Arts in downtown Pomona, was awarded a $10,000 Cal Humanities grant for a project based on oral histories with local Latino military veterans and their families. The project, “Veteranos: Local Stories of Latinos in the Military,” culminated in a month-long public history exhibit in Spring 2017. Summers Sandoval’s work on Latinos and the Vietnam War has been featured in the Los Angeles Times and in the PBS documentary On Two Fronts: Latinos & Vietnam.

Environmental Issues

Conservation Science, Natural Climate Solutions, Tropical Ecology, Wildlife Conservation

Charlotte Chang

Charlotte Chang is assistant professor of biology and environmental analysis at Pomona College. Her work focuses on solutions-oriented research for conservation using methods from the ecological, computational and social sciences. Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals including Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Conservation Biology, BioScience, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Ecological Applications and Biological Conservation. It has been featured in the Guardian, the New York Times, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, India Today and Le Monde.

Sustainability, Wildfire Policy, Public Lands, U.S. Forest Service, Water Politics, Environmental Policy, Illegal Marijuana Production and the Environment

Char Miller

Professor of Environmental Analysis Char Miller is an expert on policies related to fighting wild land fires and budgeting for those efforts; U.S. environmental history, politics and policies; water politics in California and the Southwest; urban planning and federal public lands policy. He has written op-eds on wildfires, climate change and drought for The Guardian and Los Angeles Daily News, in The Washington Post on the Bundy family’s seizure of land, on trees and forests in the Los Angeles Times, The Sacramento Bee and in The Conversation.

His books include Where’s the Smoke? The Environmental Science, Public Policy and Politics of Marijuana, Not So Golden State: Sustainability vs. the California Dream (2016), America’s Great National Forests, Wildernesses, and Grasslands (2016), On the Edge: Water, Immigration, and Politics in the Southwest and Public Lands, Public Debates: A Century of Controversy. Miller is the author of the book, West Side Rising: How San Antonio's 1921 Flood Devastated a City and Sparked a Latino Environmental Justice Movement.

Economics and Mathematics

Economics, Financial Markets, Myths in Statistical Analysis, Sports Data, Chance/Luck, Stock Market, Value Investing

Prof. Gary Smith

Professor of Economics Gary Smith is an expert on the stock market and value investing, and statistical and financial research focusing on debunking dubious uses of data in industries such as business, sports, health, politics, education, among others. His research has been featured in Forbes, The Week, WIRED, Bloomberg Radio Network, CNBC, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Motley Fool and elsewhere. His recent books include The Money Machine: The Surprisingly Simple Power of Value Investing, What the Luck? The Role of Chance in Our Everyday Lives and Standard Deviations: Flawed Assumptions, Tortured Data, and Other Ways to Lie with Statistics.

Telecommunications, Industrial Organization, Econometrics

Kyle Wilson

Kyle Wilson, assistant professor of economics, is an expert on what it means for cities to provide internet service, and where and when telecommunications firms improve availability and quality of internet service. His research empirically investigates how firms make strategic decisions, with a focus on market entry, product quality, and antitrust issues. He was consulted by California state senator Benjamin Allen after the passage of the 2021 California broadband bill.

Popular Culture

Literature and Rock & Roll, Modern British Literature, Music, Popular Culture, James Joyce

Kevin Dettmar

A literary, music and cultural critic, Professor of English Kevin Dettmar is an expert in modern British literature and rock & roll. As one of the co-editors of the book series 33 1/3, Dettmar reviews influential music albums. 

A James Joyce scholar, he splits his research and teaching between British and Irish modernism and contemporary popular music and has written for publications such as The Atlantic, Los Angeles Times, Chronicle of Higher Education and Los Angeles Review of Books. Dettmar is the author of the books The Cambridge Companion to Bob Dylan and Gang of Four’s Entertainment! and is the editor of a number of anthologies of British literature.

Contemporary Television, Streaming Media, Videogames and Digital Cultures, Psychoanalysis and Continental Philosophy

Ryan Engley

Ryan Engley is an assistant professor of media studies at Pomona College. His work has appeared or will soon appear in New Review of Film and Television, Comparative Literature and Culture, Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society and Continental Thought & Theory. Along with Todd McGowan, Engley has co-hosted the podcast “Why Theory,” which has brought continental philosophy and psychoanalytic theory together to examine contemporary phenomena since 2017. His current book manuscript is tentatively titled Seriality: The Existential Form of Modern Life. Engley has published on topics such as twist endings, serial narrative, bottle episodes, broadcast television and liveness, podcasting and desire, binge media and social media.