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Faculty Experts

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, Liberal Arts Colleges, College Access, Financial Aid

G. Gabrielle Starr, a highly regarded scholar of English literature whose work reaches into neuroscience and the arts, takes office as the 10th president of Pomona College in July 2017. Recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship and author of two books, Starr offers a compelling voice for working across academic disciplines to spark intellectual discovery. Her research looks closely at the brain, through the use of fMRI, to help get to the heart of how people respond to paintings, music and other forms of art.

National Issues

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

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.

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

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 has written for The Washington 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.

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

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 PostVox, the LA Times and NPR affiliate KCRW-Los Angeles. She can be found on twitter @sarasadhwani.

Foreign Affairs

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

Veteran diplomat and assistant 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.

Radical Social Movements, Revolution, Terrorism and Political Violence

Colin Beck, associate professor of sociology, is the author of Radicals, Revolutionaries, and Terrorists (2015), 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. The American Sociological Association has given him awards for outstanding articles. 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

Miguel Tinker Salas, professor of Latin American history and Chicano/a and Latino/a studies, is one of the foremost authorities on Venezuelan political and social issues. His expertise includes: contemporary Latin America; society and politics in Venezuela and Mexico; oil, culture and politics in Venezuela; the drug war in Mexico; Mexican border society; Chicanos/as and Latinos/as in the United States; and Latin American immigration. His books include: Venezuela: What Everyone Needs to Know; The Enduring Legacy: Oil, Culture and Citizenship in Venezuela; Venezuela, Hugo Chavez and the Decline of an Exceptional Democracy, Mexico 2006-2012: neoliberalism, movimientos sociales y política electoral and In the Shadow of the Eagles, Sonora and the Transformation of Sonora during the Porfiriato. Available for interviews in Spanish and English.

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

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.

California and the Southwest

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

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.

Social Movements and Water Usage, Southern California’s Santa Ana River and Homelessness, Latin America, Politics of Water, Food and Agriculture

Associate Professor of Politics Heather Williams’expertise lies in the intersection of politics and access to supplies of freshwater and food. An expert in Latin America, Williams has examined the links between environmental change, political activism and urban migration in the areas of Peru and Bolivia around Lake Titicaca, as well as economic transitions and political disruption in Mexico. Her publications include the book Social Movements and Economic Transition: Markets and Distributive Protest in Mexico and the forthcoming book River Underground: The Secret Life of the Santa Ana.

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

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 currently at work 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,” culminates 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.


Remittances, Transnational Families, Southeast Asian Americans, Vietnamese Diaspora, Marriage Markets

Hung Cam Thai, associate professor of sociology and Asian American studies, is an expert on the Vietnamese diaspora, remittances, children of immigrants, marriage markets and transnationalism. His most recent book, Insufficient Funds: Money in Low Wage Transnational Families, examines the culture of money among Vietnamese low-wage workers. It explores why, despite having precarious lives in the United States, these workers send money to their families back home. It explains the complex social obligations involved, and how so much of spending beyond their means is a response to their blocked mobility in the United States. He is also the author of For Better or For Worse: Vietnamese International Marriages in the New Global Economy. He spends part of every year in Vietnam.

East Asia, Japanese Security Policy, Militarism Norms, War Memory and Reconciliation,

U.S.-Japan Alliance, Nuclear Weapons

An expert in security issues in East Asia, Assistant 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.

Economics and Mathematics

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

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.

Women in Mathematics, Women and STEM, Mathematical Modeling

Among Professor of Mathematics Ami Radunskaya’s areas of expertise are mathematical modeling of tumor growth and treatment, dynamical systems and analysis of non-linear models of power systems. As President of the Association for Women in Mathematics, one of her goals is to build community between all types of mathematicians by supporting a unified network of members, and by paying attention to the needs of all members.

Literature and Rock & Roll

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

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 AtlanticLos 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.