At the HSS holiday gathering on December 6, Tracy Dennison, Edie and Lew Wasserman Professor of Social Science History and Ronald and Maxine Linde Leadership Chair of the Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences, announced the recipients of the 2022 Brass Division Awards (BDA). The BDA faculty committee considered teaching reviews and online nominations in selecting this year's recipients. The honorees for outstanding contributions in teaching and service are:
Lecturer in Poetry
Jenny Factor has been a lecturer in poetry and a valued Caltech colleague since 2018. One student from her poetry course enthused, "I came out of this class with poems of quality that I never thought I would write." To engage students and other members of the community during the pandemic, Factor co-organized a monthly online poetry lunch. Another student noted that Factor "made me love poetry again and motivated me to make poetry a part of my life even after En 85 [ended]."
Professor of Economics
In his Matching Markets course (Ec 117), Luciano Pomatto focuses on market design and exposes students to a variety of critical matching problems and their corresponding game theoretic analysis. Students report sincere appreciation of Pomatto's efforts in this and other courses: "Great lectures, class content, and class materials provided. It was nice to have time to think about the different allocation problems we learn about;" "Very knowledgeable and kind. He put a lot of effort into making sure we knew what was going on in the course content;" "Amongst all the classes that I had during the first year, Luciano's class … has got to be the best."
Professor of English
Across her career at Caltech, Jennifer Jahner has prioritized the needs of others—whether her colleagues at the Institute, her students, or those in her larger field, as a dedicated fellow-committee member, teacher, advisor, and editor. Never has Jahner's commitment to service been more in evidence than in the era of the pandemic when she helped keep things running, including through her participation in the faculty board, transfer admissions, multiple seminar series, and the HSS writing committee, while also championing new initiatives through her leadership on the HSS DEI committee, her stewardship of the committee on TQFR reform, her oversight of the new humanities club, and her valuable mentorship of junior faculty and postdocs.
Division Events Coordinator and Administrative Assistant
Cecilia Lu offers the division the definition of "service with a smile," with her promptness, attention to detail, and patience. She shows dedication, imagination, and kindness on a daily basis, as well as a commitment to seeing things through—from handling the complications of Dabney reservations, juggling the priorities of the humanities teaching schedule, or the execution of large-scale events. Cecilia has been a valued member of the HSS team since 2017.
We salute all Brass Division Award recipients and thank them for their contributions to HSS and Caltech. A list of past recipients can be found on the Teaching and Mentoring Awards page, and the division welcomes nominations throughout the year using this form.