Academic Spotlight
Faculty Research, Performance and Exhibitions

Trustees Honor Four Retiring Faculty Members

Story posted May 12, 2008

Four Bowdoin faculty members were elected to emeritus status during the May 8-10, 2008, meeting of the Bowdoin College Board of Trustees. C. Michael Jones was elected Research Professor in Economics Emeritus; Kidder Smith was elected Professor of History and Asian Studies, Emeritus; William L. Steinhart was elected Linnean Professor of Biology, Emeritus; and David Page was elected Charles Weston Pickard Chair of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Emeritus.

C. Michael Jones

Michael Jones

Michael Jones, Research Professor in Economics, is retiring from academic life after a 21-year career spanning all levels of service to the College.

He attended Williams College as an undergraduate and received his Ph.D. in economics from Yale. Before joining the Bowdoin faculty in 1987, he taught economics at Wesleyan University and Yale. In addition to teaching, Jones has worked and done research at the Federal Reserve in Washington, the Institute for International Economic Studies in Stockholm, and at the International Monetary Fund.

An expert on international finance and trade, he has written on topics such as international policy coordination, speculative bubbles in currency markets, and the creation of preferential trading agreements.

Jones is known as a rigorous and dynamic teacher who inspired many students to further their studies or careers in the fields of economics and finance.

In 2004, he left his teaching position to join the Development staff as a Capital Gifts Officer, where he was instrumental in articulating to alumni and donors the academic needs of the college.

David Page

David Page

David Page, Bowdoin's Charles Weston Pickard Chair of Chemistry and Biochemistry, joined the faculty with Bowdoin in his blood: His great-great grandfather, Kingman Fogg Page, was a member of Bowdoin's class of 1853.

Page earned his B.S. in chemistry from Brown University and his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Purdue University. He taught at Bates College for two years before joining Bowdoin's faculty in 1974, as one of the original hires for the biochemistry program.

A leading contributor to the field of marine environmental pollution studies, Page developed a novel method of gas chromatography that has been used by environmentalists and industry experts to fingerprint petroleum samples from over 75 mystery oil spills. He has published more than 110 professional publications, most dealing with the effects of petroleum and other pollutants on marine environments, and served as a testimonial expert in a variety of oil spill-related cases. His long-term study on the effect of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill on shoreline biological communities is one of over 12 oil spill studies he has conducted worldwide.

Page has inspired scores of students to pursue careers in chemistry and biochemistry, teaching courses from Chemistry 101 to upper-level biochemistry. He has made a particular contribution in mentoring students whose high school backgrounds may not have prepared them for college-level chemistry, offering what a colleague described as "a fatherly, let's-get-working attitude" that often led students to pursue upper-level honors research.

Page also has been a visiting scientist at the Skidaway Institute for Oceanography, Savannah, Ga., and the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth, England.

Kidder Smith

Kidder Smith

Professor of History and Asian Studies Kidder Smith was among the founding faculty members of Bowdoin's Asian Studies program when he joined the College in 1981. Over the subsequent 25 years, he helped build an Asian Studies program with 15 faculty members that is among the most distinguished in liberal-arts colleges today.

His research interests lie in early China, the time of Confucius, Sun Tzu and the First Emperor's unification of empire, roughly 500 to 200 B.C. He has written on the I Ching, the Art of War, and issues in the practice of Buddhism.

Smith is that rare breed of teacher-scholar who is not only possessed of an inquiring mind, but also of a questing soul. He is a seeker, who asks his students not only to master analytical skills but also to enter the mental worlds of their subjects of study. His courses, which include Seeker's Lives, Chinese Thought in the Time of Confucius, and Modern China, are highly popular among students, who often cite them as "life changing."

Smith earned his B.A. in Oriental Studies at Princeton, and his Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Berkeley.

His service to the College includes chairing the Asian Studies program, work on the Committee on Teaching and the Oversight Committee on Multicultural Affairs.

Following his retirement from Bowdoin, Smith plans to go to Ann Arbor, Mich., to work with Traktung Rinpoche, a teacher of Tibetan Buddhism.

William L. Steinhart


Bowdoin's Linnean Professor of Biology, William L. Steinhart is a molecular biologist with a distinguished teaching and research career in the fields of human genetics, virology, and molecular biology.

He earned his A.B. in chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania, his Ph.D. in biochemistry from The Johns Hopkins University. Prior to joining the Bowdoin faculty in 1975, Steinhart held research positions at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine.

Steinhart has been highly active in promoting undergraduates science at Bowdoin and nationally. He was co-founder of the biology section of the Council on Undergraduate Research and helped launched research in genomics and virology at Bowdoin.

Steinhart frequently includes undergraduates in his research and has inspired countless Bowdoin students to go into the field of genetics. In addition to his research and teaching on human molecular genetics, Steinhart has done extensive research on the molecular genetics of plant development, virus reproduction mechanisms, and plant genetic engineering. Most recently, that research has focused on changing patterns of gene expression in orchids.

He has received support for his work from the National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and National Science Foundation, among others.

Following his retirement, Steinhart and his wife Sydnae, Bowdoin's music librarian, plan to move to a home they recently built near Kingston, R.I., which includes a greenhouse for their extensive collection of orchids and tropical plants.

« Back | Campus News | Academic Spotlight | | Subscribe to Bowdoin News by Email