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Pomona College Appoints Janice Hudgings Vice President for Academic Affairs

Janice Hudgings

Pomona College has selected Janice Hudgings, currently associate dean of faculty and professor of physics at Mount Holyoke College, to be its new vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college.

Hudgings will serve as Pomona’s chief academic officer, with responsibility for coordinating and supporting academic programs, teaching and research. As a member of the college’s executive staff, she will play a leading role in shaping and sustaining the intellectual life of the college. She will begin her new position on July 1, 2013.

In making the announcement, Pomona College President David Oxtoby noted that, “Janice is a gifted administrator, teacher and scholar who brings with her both a deep commitment to the liberal arts model of higher education and an innovative spirit that will make her a wonderful fit in this community of daring minds.”

Hudgings joined the faculty at Mount Holyoke College, in South Hadley, Mass., in 1999 as the Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Physics, rising to the rank of associate professor in 2005 and full professor in 2010. She twice served as chair of the Physics Department and, in 2011, became director of the college’s Science Center and associate dean of faculty for science. In the latter role, her duties included approving tenure track faculty candidates in math and sciences, developing operating budgets, allocating teaching and support staff, and working closely with departments to assist with curricular needs.

Promoted to associate dean of faculty in 2012, Hudgings is responsible for working with humanities, arts, sciences and math departments in curricular and personnel development, including faculty and staff hires, annual operating budgets, restricted funds and facilities. She also serves on key college committees and leads strategic initiatives on advancing the use of technology to enhance liberal arts education, restructuring faculty composition and workload, and institutionalizing best practices for faculty diversity.

A highly successful researcher, Hudgings focuses on optics and semiconductor devices, including solar cells, energy efficient lighting, and lasers.  She has published more than 30 articles in scholarly journals, many of which are coauthored with students. In 2002, she received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award of $375,000, for her work on vertical cavity surface emitting lasers, an award that NSF describes as its most prestigious honor in support of junior faculty who “exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.”  In 2004, she received the Optical Society of America’s Esther Hoffman Beller Medal “for innovative teaching methods and involving undergraduate physics and engineering students in original state-of-the-art, publishable research in optics and solid state physics.”

Over her career, Hudgings has received 15 research and education grants for a total of $3.2 million. Her research has led to three U.S. patents and, in 2007, she co-founded the company Alenas Imaging, Inc. with her research partner to commercialize thermal imaging technology developed in her lab. Hudgings earned a B.A. in mathematics and a B.S. in engineering, with distinction, from Swarthmore College. As a Rhodes Scholar, she studied “maths and philosophy” at Oxford University before receiving an M.Sc. in mathematics. She earned a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.

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