Pomona College Professors Lynne Miyake (IDAAS core faculty) and Zayn Kassam (IDAAS affiliated faculty) have received the 2015 Wig Distinguished Professor Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award is the highest honor bestowed on Pomona faculty, recognizing exceptional teaching, concern for students and service to the College and community.
The recipients are elected by the junior and senior classes and then confirmed by a committee of trustees, faculty and students.
Lynne Miyake, professor of Japanese, teaches elementary, intermediate and advanced Japanese; Graphically Speaking: Japanese Manga and its Buds; Japanese/Japanese American Women Writers; and Japanese and Japanese American Autobiography.
Student comment: “Encyclopedic knowledge of her favorite subjects (e.g. manga and anime), willingness to approach it from a variety of angles and take student feedback into account on that front. Miyake sensei constantly brings an incredible energy to all of the classes she teaches. I appreciate how she constantly pushes you to do better and continue learning despite the Japanese language’s difficulty curve.”
Zayn Kassam, the John Knox McLean Professor of Religious Studies, teaches Engendering and Experience: Women in Islamic Traditions; Islamic Thought; Sufism; The Divine Body: Religion and the Environment; and The Religion of Islam. This is her third Wig Award, previously received in 1998 and 2005.
Student comment: “Prof. Kassam is eloquent, caring, and brilliant. She can turn a small moment into a resonating statement about tolerance. By teaching us how to investigate Islam by learning its history and spiritual legacy, she flipped the culturally deterministic script that dominates popular discussion of the religion in a highly necessary way.”
Congratulations Professor Miyake and Professor Kassam!