Pitzer College Selects Donald McFarlane and Norma Rodriguez for Endowed Professorships

Claremont, Calif. (May 08, 2019)—Pitzer College names Donald McFarlane the Kenneth S. Pitzer Professor and Norma Rodriguez the Flora Sanborn Pitzer Professor. The selections were made by College’s appointment, promotion and tenure committee (APT) following a nomination process by their faculty peers. 

Professor of Environmental Science Don McFalane
Kenneth S. Pitzer Professor Donald McFarlane

The Kenneth S. Pitzer Professorship recognizes academic excellence in the areas of mathematics and the natural sciences. For this honor, the APT Committee selected Professor of Biology and Environmental Science Donald McFarlane. McFarlane is a leading scholar in his fields of bio-geomorphology and bio-microclimate studies of caves. He is co-author of nearly one-hundred publications and has been extremely successful in securing funding for his research–particularly from the National Geographic Society–as well as for research opportunities involving students and colleagues. McFarlane is a lauded teacher and mentor within the Keck Science Department where he shares his research interests in biology, tropical ecology, and evolution with his students. His influence on students’ educational experience is not limited to Claremont. McFarlane was one of the first biologists to conduct fieldwork with students in Costa Rica, and later, in 2003, he became the pioneer faculty member to develop the Firestone Center for Restoration Ecology, the heart of Pitzer College’s study abroad program in Costa Rica. He holds a BSc from the University of Liverpool, a MSc from Queens University of Belfast, and PhD from the University of Southern California.

Norma Rodriguez
Flora Sanborn Pitzer Professor Norma Rodriguez

The Flora Sanborn Pitzer Professorship recognizes substantial distinction in the fields of mathematics and applied mathematics in the social or behavioral sciences. APT selected Professor of Psychology Norma Rodriguez for this award, given her preeminence as a psychometrician whose scholarship and teaching foreground the use of quantitative methods. Rodriguez’s influential research has focused on mental health among Latinx and immigrant communities. To understand the role of culturally relevant stressors she developed innovative psychometric instruments, including the Multidimensional Acculturation Scale and the Multidimensional Acculturative Stress Inventory Scale. Rodriguez has an impressive publication record that includes numerous papers co-authored with students who have benefited from her exemplary mentorship and, as one nomination letter states, her “passion for statistical methods and research design.” Rodriquez has been awarded numerous research grants and fellowships including several from the Ford Foundation. She most recently held Pitzer’s Peter and Gloria Gold Professorship from 2013 to 2018. She holds her BA and PhD from the University of Texas at Austin.

The Kenneth S. Pitzer Professorship was last held by Professor Emeritus of Physics Stephen Naftilan while the Flora Sanborn Pitzer Endowed Professorship was last awarded to Professor Emeritus of Mathematics Jim Hoste.

About Pitzer College

Pitzer College is a nationally top-ranked undergraduate liberal arts and sciences institution. A member of The Claremont Colleges, Pitzer offers a distinctive approach to a liberal arts education by linking intellectual inquiry with interdisciplinary studies, cultural immersion, social responsibility and community involvement. For more information, please visit www.pitzer.edu.

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