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Pomona College Promotes 11 Outstanding Professors

Pomona College, one of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges, has promoted eight faculty members to the rank of full professor. In addition, three faculty members were granted tenure and elevated to associate professor. The appointments were effective July 1, 2005.

As a group, Pomona’s faculty is known for their commitment to great teaching, accessibility to students and their ongoing involvement in research, writing and creative expression. Pomona students and faculty frequently meet outside the classroom, in laboratories where they may be working on joint research projects, at the campus café or in the dining halls for lunch and in informal department meetings.

Lisa Beckett, Suzanne Chavez-Silverman, Thomas Flaherty, Richard Hazlett, J. Kirkland Reynolds, Adolfo Rumbos, Pamela Smith and Miguel Tinker Salas were promoted to the rank of full professor. Alfred Kwok, Valorie Thomas and Gary Wilder were elevated to associate professor.

Lisa Beckett, the physical education coordinator and senior woman administrator at Pomona, has been promoted to professor of physical education. A member of the faculty since 1987, she coached the combined Pomona-Pitzer women’s tennis team until 1998. She teaches tennis, table tennis, racquets and in the faculty/staff fitness program. In addition, Beckett serves on the NCAA West Regional Advisory Committee, the ITA Awards Committee, and the ITA Ranking Committee. She earned her M.S. Washington State University and B.A. from Sonoma State University, where she was named Female Athlete of the Year in 1979. She also holds professional teaching certificates from the U.S. Professional Tennis Association.

Suzanne G. Chávez Silverman joined the faculty in 1989 and was promoted to professor of romance languages and literatures. She teaches courses in Spanish, Introduction to Literary Analysis, Survey of Spanish American Literature, Gender and Genre in Contemporary Latin American Literature and Culture, Women as Sign and Subject in Contemporary Latina/o and Latin American Literature, Tropicalization: Transcultural Representations of Latinidad, and El deseo de la palabra: Poetry or Death. She is the author of the bilingual literary memoir, Killer Crónicas: Bilingual Memories (University of Wisconsin Press), released in late 2004 to much acclaim. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis, M.A. from Harvard University and B.A. from the University of California, Irvine.

Thomas E. Flaherty, a member of the faculty since 1989, was promoted to professor of music. The director of Pomona’s Electronic Studio, he teaches Music Theory, Composition and Electronic Music Studio. A highly regarded composer, his music has been published by Margun Music, Inc. and American Composers Editions and has been performed throughout Europe and North America. He has recorded on the Klavier, Bridge, SEAMUS, Capstone, and Advance labels. He earned his D.M.A. the University of Southern California, M.M. from S.U.N.Y. Stony Brook and B.A. from Brandeis University.

Richard W. Hazlett, the Stephen M. Pauley M.D. '62 Professor of Environmental Studies and coordinator of the Environmental Analysis Program, was elevated to professor of geology. He joined the faculty in 1987 and is a two-time winner of the College’s Wig Distinguished Professorship Award for Excellence in Teaching. He currently teaches Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology, Introduction to Environmental Studies, Strategic Natural Resources, and Land Use and Abuse. His most recent books include Joshua Tree National Park Geology (With D.D. Trent, 2002) and Roadside Geology of Hawaii, (With D. Hyndman, 1996). Hazlett received his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, M.A. from Dartmouth College and B.A. from Occidental College.

Alfred Kwok has been promoted to associate professor of physics and astronomy and granted tenure. A member of the faculty since 2000, he teaches General Physics, Atomic and Nuclear Physics, Advanced Quantum Mechanics and Advanced Physics Lab. His research focuses on biophotonics, microresonators/whispering gallery modes and laser spectroscopy nonlinear optics. His articles have appeared in a number of professional journals. Kwok earned his Ph.D. from Yale University and B.A. from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

J. Kirkland Reynolds, a member of the faculty since 1989, has been elevated to professor of physical education. As coach of the women’s track and field/cross country team since coming to Pomona, he has twice been selected as the NCAA III West Region Track and Field Coach of the Year and as SCIAC Coach of the Year seven times in cross country and track and field. He is also a correspondent for Track and Field News magazine. Reynolds also teaches activity classes in jogging/running, weight training, wallyball, ultimate Frisbee and wellness education. He received his M.S. from Claremont Graduate University and B.S. from Lewis & Clark College.

Adolfo J. Rumbos, a member of the college since 1991, has been promoted to professor of mathematics. He teaches Numbers, Equations, and Formal Reasoning; Introduction to Analysis; Differential Equations and Modeling; Topics in Applied Analysis; and a senior research seminar. His exceptional teaching has been recognized with the College’s Wig Distinguished Professorship Award for Excellence in Teaching, an Outstanding Faculty of Color Award and recognition as an Irvine Distinguished Faculty Fellow. In his research, he focuses on the field of nonlinear analysis and its applications to boundary value problems for differential equations, most recently in the field of archeology. Rumbos earned his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and both a B.S. and B.A. from Humboldt State University.

Pamela H. Smith, the Edwin F. and Margaret Hahn Professor in the Social Sciences, has been elevated to professor of history. The former chair of the Science, Technology and Society (STS) Program has been a member of the faculty since 1990. She teaches The Making of Modern Europe; Power and Authority: Culture and the Noble Court; Public Women, Private Lives; Alchemists, Magicians, Scientists; and a seminar in the STS Program. In her research, Smith focuses on the history of the scientific revolution. She is the author of The Body of the Artisan: Art and Experience in the Scientific Revolution (2004) and The Business of Alchemy: Science and Culture in the Holy Roman Empire (1994). Smith received her Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University and B.A. from the University of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia.

Valorie D. Thomas, a member of the faculty since 1998, was granted tenure and promoted to associate professor English and Black Studies. She teaches Introduction to African American Literature: In the African-Atlantic Tradition, Film and Literature of the African Diaspora, Toni Morrison, Contemporary Native American Literature, Introduction to Literary Interpretation, Topics in 20th-Century African American Literature, and Introduction to Screenwriting: Framing the Margins. A recipient of Pomona’s Irvine Distinguished Faculty Mentor Award, Thomas is the writer, co-producer and co-director of the film Homeland, which was recognized by the National Black Filmmakers' Programming Consortium as 1989’s Best Short Feature. Thomas earned her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D., from University of California, Berkeley; and M.F.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Miguel Tinker Salas, the Arango Professor in Latin American History, has been promoted to professor of History and Chicano Studies. A member of the faculty since 1993, he teaches Latin America Before Independence (Colonial Latin America), Latin America Since Independence, Social and Economic History of South America, Identity and Culture in Latin America, The Mexico-United States Border, and Social Movements in Mexico. The author of Under the Shadow of the Eagles, The Border and the Transformation of Sonora During the Porfiriato (1997), Tinker Salas has focused much of his recent research on Venezuela, its politics, the country’s oil culture and the relationship between the U.S. and Venezuela. He earned his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California, San Diego.

Gary M. Wilder, a member of the faculty since 1998, has been granted tenure and elevated to associate professor of history. He teaches Modern Europe: Since 1789, European Social Thought, Race and Racism in Modern Europe, Europe from the Periphery: Imperial Projects and Colonial Societies, Postcolonial France, and Topics in Modern Europe. He is currently completing a book entitled The French Imperial Nation-State: Negritude, Colonial Humanism, and Interwar Political Rationality. Wilder received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and B.A. from Cornell University.

Pomona College, founded in 1887, is one of the nation's premier liberal arts college. Its hallmarks include small classes, close relationships between students and faculty, and a range of opportunities for student research.