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The 2017 Wigs

The 2017 Wigs

Each spring, juniors and seniors honor a group of outstanding professors, recognizing their excellence in teaching with the Wig Distinguished Professor Award. Here is the list of the recipients for 2017 (left to right in the photo above), each with a quote from a student.

Philip Choi, associate professor of physics and astronomy, teaches such courses as Techniques in Observational Astrophysics, and Stellar Structure and Evolution. This is his first Wig.

“Professor Choi is one of the most helpful and contemplative professors I’ve met. He’s not only is a gifted instructor and mentor, but he truly cares about his students and their successes.”

Tzu-Yi Chen, professor and chair of computer science, teaches such courses as Intro to Computer Science, Computer Systems, and Algorithms. This is her first Wig.

“Pillar of the CS department. Always open to talk and support students despite doing so much already.”

Vin de Silva, associate professor of mathematics, teaches such courses as Topics in Topology and Geometry, and Combinatorial Mathematics. This is his second Wig.

“Professor de Silva is simply brilliant. His lectures are very insightful. I also got to have him in my ID1, ‘I Disagree,’ and his arguments and lessons were often extraordinary.”

Donna Di Grazia, David J. Baldwin Professor of Music and choral conductor, teaches courses like Engaging Music and conducts the Choir and Glee Club. This is her second Wig.

“Professor Di Grazia consistently goes above and beyond with her students. She offers her full self to her teaching, to her committee work and to her performances.”

Michael K.  Kuehlwein, George E. and Nancy O. Moss Professor of Economics, teaches such courses as Principles: Macroeconomics, and Advanced Macroeconomic Analysis. This is Kuehlwein’s sixth Wig.

“Professor Kuehlwein is one of the best professors and mentors I have ever had in both my life and my time at Pomona. … Overall, it is because of his classes and the times we’ve talked together that I chose to pursue a career in economics.”

Pardis Mahdavi, former associate professor and chair of anthropology; dean of women; director of the Pacific Basin Institute; and coordinator of gender and women’s studies. Mahdavi left Pomona last summer to become the senior associate dean at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies. This is her second Wig.

“Pardis sparks my desire to learn, to improve myself, and to fight so others can have equal opportunities in this world. She’s unmatched in talent and in her ability to inspire courage in all her students.”

John Alldredge Clithero ’05, assistant professor of economics, teaches courses including Behavioral Economics and Experimental Economics. This is his first Wig.

“Concise lecturer follows up with students a lot after they have finished taking his course. One of the most knowledgeable professors at Pomona College by far!”

David R. Kauchak, assistant professor of computer science, teaches courses that include Natural Language Processing, and Computation and Cognition. This is his first Wig.

“From his matter-of-fact, clear lectures to his fair and balanced tests and assignments, Professor Kauchak is an excellent communicator, whether in a lecture-based class or in a seminar course.”