Williams College Awards Four Faculty Members with Nelson Bushnell ’20 Prize

Media contact: Gregory Shook, director of media relations; tele: 413-597-3401; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., July 1, 2019—Four faculty members at Williams College have been recognized for excellence in teaching and writing. Matt Carter (biology), Edan Dekel (classics), Nimu Njoya (political science), and Michelyne Pinard (athletics) are the recipients of the Nelson Bushnell ’20 Prize, an award given annually to the faculty since 1995.

Carter was noted for his exceptional teaching and mentorship both inside and outside the classroom, Dekel for his contributions to invigorate his department’s curriculum with creative new offerings, Njoya for her high quality of instruction at all levels of the curriculum and in multiple course formats, and Pinard for her leadership in coaching the women’s soccer team and for supporting their academic success.

Matt Carter

Carter, an associate professor in biology, studies the neurobiology of food intake and sleep. He teaches courses on Physiology and Neural Systems and Circuits, and he has served on various committees, including the Faculty Steering Committee, the Science Executive Committee, and the Committee on Undergraduate Life, among others. In 2018, he was awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct research with his undergraduate students that may yield insights into how the brain suppresses appetite after overeating, or during illnesses like cancer or clinical depression. Before joining the faculty at Williams in 2013, Carter received a B.A. in biology from Whitman College and a Ph.D. from Stanford University.

Edan Dekel

Dekel is a professor in the classics department and the program in Jewish studies. His areas of expertise include Greek and Roman poetry, Biblical studies, ancient Judaism, Jewish folklore, and medieval literature. He teaches courses on Genesis: The Family Saga, The Jewish Art of Interpretation, Vergil’s Aeneid, and Horace’s Odes. Fluent in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Hebrew, he is also adept in ancient and medieval languages such as Greek, Latin, Sanskrit, Old Norse, and Old Irish. Author of the book Virgil’s Homeric Lens (Routledge, 2011), his scholarship has appeared in the Jewish Quarterly Review, The Virgil Encyclopedia, and the Encyclopedia of Political Theory, among others. He received his B.A. from Brown University and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Nimu Njoya

Njoya, an assistant professor of political science, focuses on critical theory, continental political thought, aesthetics and cultural politics, feminist theory, global women’s movements, human rights, democratic ideals, critical race theory, and theories of justice and law. She teaches courses on Introduction to Political Theory, Ancient Political Thought, and Theorizing Global Justice. Her writing has been published in the journals Philosophy & Social Criticism and New Political Science. She was visiting scholar at the University of Amsterdam’s Amsterdam Research Centre for Gender and Sexuality, a Lehman fellow at the Oakley Center for the Humanities and Social Sciences, and a member of the U.N. Democracy Fund’s Advisory Board. She received her B.A. from Macalester College, her M.A. from the University of Amsterdam, and her Ph.D. from Rutgers University.

Michelyne Pinard

Pinard is an assistant professor of physical education and head women’s soccer coach. Under her leadership, the women’s soccer team has won the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) National Championship four times in the past five years, as well as participated in many other championship series. She was named New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Regional Coach of the Year four times, NSCAA National Coach of the Year twice, and was awarded the NSCAA Team Academic Award 15 times. A dedicated member of the community, she has served on numerous committees, including as chair of the Committee on Student Life. She received her B.A. from Dartmouth College and her M.S. from the University of Pennsylvania.


Founded in 1793, Williams College is the second-oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college’s 2,000 students are taught by a faculty noted for the quality of their teaching and research, and the achievement of academic goals includes active participation of students with faculty in their research. Students’ educational experience is enriched by the residential campus environment in Williamstown, Mass., which provides a host of opportunities for interaction with one another and with faculty beyond the classroom. Admission decisions on U.S. applicants are made regardless of a student’s financial ability, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet the demonstrated needs of all who are admitted.