Spring/Summer 2020 /Pandem-ocracy/

Wig Awards 2020

From top: Aimee Bahng, Tom Le, Jane Liu, Jorge Moreno, Gilda Ochoa and Alexandra Papoutsaki

From top: Aimee Bahng, Tom Le, Jane Liu, Jorge Moreno, Gilda Ochoa and Alexandra Papoutsaki

Six professors have been selected to receive the 2020 Wig Distinguished Professor Award for excellence in teaching. The award is the highest honor bestowed on Pomona College faculty, recognizing exceptional teaching, concern for students and service to the College and community. Here’s a list of this year’s recipients, along with anonymously written nomination comments from their students:

Aimee Bahng
Assistant Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies

“Professor Bahng is one of the most intellectually generous people I have ever met. Her courses are fascinating, excellent discussions that I feel have contributed to my growth as a person. She masters the difficult dance of encouraging rigorous intellectual work while recognizing the strangeness of academia as an elite space (particularly in the context of Gender and Women’s Studies).”

Tom Le
Assistant Professor of Politics

“I met Professor Le my sophomore year in an upper division international relations class. At first, I was intimidated by his candor and overwhelming expertise on the subject of East Asian politics. However, in the span of a few weeks, I realized how lucky I was to have the chance to take one of his classes. Professor Le has always pushed me to be better, work harder and care more. His leadership style is inspiring, and Pomona is lucky to have him as faculty. Thank you, Professor Le, for always encouraging me to be a better scholar, student and friend.”

Jane Liu
Associate Professor of Chemistry

“It’s amazing how a professor can make such a big difference in your academic experience, even if you only see them once a week for lab. Professor Liu is not only extremely knowledgeable and a talented scientist, but she is also one of the kindest human beings I have ever met.”

Jorge Moreno
Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy

“Professor Moreno has completely reimagined the possibilities of the STEM classroom. His teaching style and commitment to students—particularly students that have been historically excluded from STEM spaces—makes him one of the most beloved professors at Pomona. In his short time at the College, Professor Moreno has made an impactful impression on students from all disciplines. He is truly an advocate for his students.”

Gilda Ochoa
Professor of Chicana/o Latina/o Studies

“Gilda Ochoa is the most deserving faculty member for this award because she is always available for students regardless of their major or background. Gilda Ochoa is the person to ask you how you are feeling rather than how you are doing. She will listen to you and make you feel heard and cared for. Her research advances social justice by centering underrepresented voices.”

Alexandra Papoutsaki
Assistant Professor of Computer Science

“I was not the best computer science student and was never going to end up going very far in it, but Professor Papoutsaki still worked hard to make sure I understood things. Some people who are as evidently smart as she is in a given field aren’t able to make things accessible to those who don’t share their knowledge, but she can. I think it shows not just her talent for teaching, but what a genuinely great person she is.”