Campus News

Four Bowdoin Professors Named to Chaired Professorships

Story posted July 15, 1999

BRUNSWICK, Maine -- Bowdoin president Robert H. Edwards recently announced that four professors have been named to chaired professorships.

Ronald L. Christensen was named the James Stacey Coles Professor of Natural Sciences; Barbara Held was named the Barry N. Wish Professor of Psychology and Social Studies; Mary Hunter was named the A. LeRoy Greason Professor of Music; and Allen B. Tucker Jr. was named the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Natural Sciences.

Christensen is a professor of chemistry with research interests in the conversion of light into chemical energy in processes such as vision and photosynthesis. He joined the Bowdoin faculty in 1976 and twice has served as chair of the chemistry department. He earned his bachelor's degree at Oberlin College where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He received his master's and doctorate in physical chemistry at Harvard University and then did post-doctoral research at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. He has served as visiting professor at Imperial College and at the Royal Institution of Great Britain in London; the Institute for Molecular Science in Okazaki, Japan; and the University of Melbourne, Australia. Among many grants he has earned are those from the National Science Foundation, the American Chemical Society, the Research Corporation and NATO.

Tucker is a professor of computer science. He joined the Bowdoin faculty in 1988, as chair of the newly-formed computer science department. He earned his bachelor's degree from Wesleyan University and both his master's and doctorate at Northwestern University. He co-authored the 1986 liberal arts model curriculum in computer science, co-chaired the development of the ACM/IEEE 1991 computer science curriculum standard and edited a landmark 2,600-page computer science and engineering handbook (CRC Press, 1997). He was a leader of a National Science Foundation-funded effort to redesign the way undergraduate computer science is taught in the U.S. For his various contributions to computer science curriculum, he was honored by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) with its Outstanding Contribution Award in 1991 and was elected an ACM fellow in 1994. He has also authored several books and articles in the areas of programming languages and the computer processing of natural languages.

Held joined the Bowdoin faculty 1979. She earned her bachelor's degree at Douglass College of Rutgers University, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and earned her doctorate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to teaching, she has operated a private clinical practice through which she provided therapy, psychological evaluations and training of mental health professionals. Held specializes in the theory and philosophy of psychotherapy. She is the author of "Back to Reality: A Critique of Postmodern Theory in Psychotherapy" (W.W. Norton 1995) and "Stop Smiling, Start Kvetching: A Five-Step Guide to Creative Complaining" a humorous self-help book published this year, as well as many scholarly articles and chapters about psychology.

Hunter came to Bowdoin in 1997. She earned her bachelor's degree at the University of Sussex, and a her doctorate at Cornell University. Her scholarly interests are late eighteenth-century opera, music and gender, and music in film. Hunter is the author of "The Culture of Opera Buffa in Mozart's Vienna: A Poetics of Entertainment" (Princeton 1999) and co-editor of "Opera Buffa in Mozart's Vienna," (Cambridge, 1997), a book of essays. She is the editor of "Cambridge Opera Journal" and has published essays on eighteenth-century music in various journals and books of collected essays. In addition to her scholarly work, Hunter occasionally plays violin with the Maine Music Society, and she has served on the board of the Maine Humanities Council. Hunter has been awarded research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Humanities Center, and the American Philosophical Society.

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