Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: [email protected]
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., Feb. 27, 2001 — Williams College has announced the promotion of four assistant professors to the rank of associate professor with tenure, effective July 1, 2002. The professors are Sarah R. Bolton, in the physics department; Amy D. Podmore, art; Wendy E. Raymond, biology; and Craig S. Wilder, history.
Bolton’s research focuses on nonlinear dynamics of ultrafast laser systems. Working with students, she has built a titanium sapphire laser that can produce pulses of light as short as 20 femtoseconds–, a femtosecond having the relationship to a second that a second has to 10 million years. Using these pulses of light, Bolton studies both the materials in the lasers and other materials that might one day be used in computers and communications.
This research has been recognized recently with two major grants, one from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and one from the Research Corporation. The NSF awarded Bolton $74,389 for her project on “Nonlinear Dynamics in Ultrafast Lasers.” The other grant was a Cottrell College Science Award, which provides summer stipends for students and faculty to promote undergraduate research. Bolton received $36,530 from them to study nonlinear dynamics of the titanium sapphire lasers.
At Williams since 1995, Bolton has taught a range of courses in the physics department, including introductory courses aimed at both majors and non-majors, “Waves and Optics,” an introduction to quantum physics, and an introduction to materials science. She has received a number of teaching awards and was a Department of Education fellow from 1991 to 1994.
Her research has been published in several journals, including Physical Review B, the American Journal of Physics, and the Journal of the Optical Society of America.
Bolton received her B.S. in physics and biophysics from Brown University in 1988 and her Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1995.
Podmore is primarily a sculptor who describes her work as “animating bizarre and perplexing facets of our own human condition to call attention to struggles in our lives.” Her work has been described as both amusing and disturbing with its focus on the loss of childhood innocence and on the struggles of everyday life. Though primarily a sculptor, Podmore also uses “paper as a medium” in some of her work, creating drawings not only with traditional media, but also using such other materials as hair and tape.
Podmore’s sculptures and drawings have been featured in a number of shows, including a recent exhibition at the Rose Museum and a show called “Whorl” at the Williams College Museum of Art. Pieces in the show included “Trophy” in which plaster casts of the lower half of a dog are dressed in tights and mounted like hunting trophies. Her work has also been included in exhibitions at ArtSpace in New Haven, White Box Gallery in Philadelphia, The Allston Skirt Gallery in Boston, and the North Bennington Independent Artist’s Space (No. B.I.A.S.), where she has also curated a show.
A member of the Williams faculty since 1993, Podmore teaches a number of classes in the Art Studio department including “Sculpture – Metal and Plaster Plus”, “Sculpture – Cardboard and Wood Plus”, and a tutorial called “Addressing Identity – The Nontraditional Figure.” Before coming to Williams, Podmore was a visiting lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, and served as the dean of students at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.
Podmore received her B.S. from State University of New York, Buffalo, in 1981 and her M.F.A. from the University of California, Davis in 1987. She has also studied at the Universita Bell’Arte in Italy and at Skowhegan.
Her research focuses on cell-cycle regulation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, baker’s yeast, the best medium for studying how the cell-cycle is regulated. After discovering a strain of mutant yeast cells in a winter study class she led, she began conducting research that focuses on identifying suppressers of two genes important in cell-cycle regulation.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded Raymond a $113,000 grant in support of her research. She and the students working in her lab will study the role of a particular gene necessary for completion of telophase, the last phase of cell division (mitosis), using both genetic and molecular approaches.
Raymond has done research in molecular biology as an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow from 1990 to 1994 in the department of genetics at the University of Washington. Her work has been published in a number of scientific journals, including Molecular and General Genetics and the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
She has been at Williams since 1994. She earned her A.B. in chemistry from Cornell University and her Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from Harvard University in 1990.
The focus of Wilder’s research is on urban history, specifically with relation to race and religion. Most recently, as a Ford Fellow at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library, Wilder has been studying African associations in the history of New York City.
He is the author of “A Covenant with Color: Race & Social Power in Brooklyn, 1636 to the Present” and “In the Company of Black Men: African Voluntary Associations and African-American Culture in New York City, 1644-1945.” He has also written numerous articles, and served as an advisor to a number of museums including the Brooklyn Historical Society and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum.
Wilder’s academic interests also include urban environmental issues and building the African-American studies program, which he chairs, both intellectually and culturally.
At Williams since 1995, he teaches courses in urban and African-American history, including “The Ghetto from Venice to Harlem,” “Metropolis: The History of New York City,” and “‘The God of History: Slavery and Race in Christian Thought.”
Wilder earned his B.A. from Fordham University in 1987 and his Ph.D. in history from Columbia University in 1994. Before coming to Williams, Wilder taught urban studies at Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus.