Decision points: Piercarlo Valdesolo started the Moral Emotions and Trust Lab at CMC so psychology undergraduates could conduct research and publish papers with professors, a hallmark of CMC. The back-and-forth with lab students has helped Valdesolo strengthen his own ideas about emotions and maximize its purpose academically. Students often have a direct, personal interest in the work. “I teach the stuff every student can relate to,” said Valdesolo. “Everyone knows that emotions affect their lives, so I can easily get my hooks into them.
The spark: Hilary Appel was an undergraduate when the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union dissolved. “It was the most exciting story of the time,” Appel said. “For someone interested in international politics, it was the most interesting part of the world to study.” Looking back, it is hard not to be disappointed that democracy didn’t take hold in Russia. “There was so much optimism at the time about the political transformations of those countries.”
Three Claremont McKenna College faculty members have been selected to serve as fellows in the inaugural Claremont Faculty Leadership Program (CFLP). Heather Ferguson, Associate Professor of Ottoman and Middle Eastern History, Gastón Espinosa, Arthur V. Stoughton Professor of Religious Studies, and Ellen K. Rentz, Associate Professor of Literature, will collaborate with colleagues from the seven Claremont Colleges on initiatives related to institutional health, campus crisis management, and the promotion of equity, diversity, and inclusion among all students.
Each academic year brings its own unique energy and excitement thanks to the introduction of new faculty members to Claremont McKenna College. This year’s roll call of 11 junior faculty, two associate professors, and seven full-time visiting professors offers a wide range of expertise across 12 disciplines. Here’s a brief introduction to the new faces you’ll see on campus.
Minxin Pei, the Tom and Margot Pritzker ’72 Professor of Government and George R. Roberts Fellow, has been named the inaugural Library of Congress Chair in U.S.-China Relations.
Pei will begin an eight-month residency at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress beginning in January, 2019. As the first U.S.-China chair, Pei will foster policy-relevant research, programming, and bipartisan legislative discussion on U.S. relations with China, with a focus on public policy challenges likely to face legislators in the future.
Associate Professor of History Albert Park has received two prestigious fellowships to support a year in Japan and Korea researching how rural environmental movements influence contemporary agriculture infrastructure policies.
Park received a Fulbright Fellowship to support his work in east Asia and an Abe Fellowship for his research in Japan.
The Fulbright Fellowship facilitates relations between the United States and citizens of other countries. Park will be asked to give public talks, mentor students, and engage with the local community in addition to his research.
Peter Uvin, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty, has announced faculty reappointments and promotions.
“I am so proud of all the great faculty who are showcased here—they are amazingly accomplished teachers and researchers,” Dean Uvin said. “Congratulations to all the people reappointed, tenured, and/or promoted. And thanks to our entire community for their support.”
Dengler-Dykema Distinguished Professor of Government Charles R. Kesler is one of three recipients of the 2018 Bradley Prizes for individuals who work to “restore, strengthen, and protect the principles and institutions of American exceptionalism.”
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation will bestow the awards, which carry a $250,000 stipend, at the 15th annual Bradley Prizes ceremony on May 15 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.
Visiting professor Mary Gaitskill is one of eight writers to receive the Arts and Letters Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
The awards were established in 1941 to encourage creative work in the arts. This year’s awards of $10,000 will be presented in May.
Among the previous winners have been Langston Hughes, Hannah Arendt, and Flannery O’Connor. Gaitskill said she was “touched to appear on the same list as Flannery O'Connor and Hannah Arendt, especially, as I have both of those luminaries on my syllabus this semester.”
Claremont McKenna College will showcase faculty scholarship from the past calendar year at the second-annual Faculty Publications and Grants celebration on Feb. 16. CMC professors authored or co-authored more than 200 works, and most will be displayed inside McKenna Auditorium. Many faculty members will also be on site to discuss their research.