Starr elected to Academy of Arts and Sciences

by Steven Felschundneff | steven@claremont-courier.com

Pomona College President G. Gabrielle Starr has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, according to a news release from the college. Ms. Starr joins two former Pomona College presidents previously elected to the 240-year-old academy.

Ms. Starr is one of 276 inductees announced on Thursday by the Cambridge Massachusetts based academy. Other new members include singer Joan C. Baez, former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., author Ann Patchett, and former Pomona College professor, poet Claudia Rankine.

The academy is led by Pomona College President Emeritus David Oxtoby who was inducted into the academy in 2012 and was named its president in 2018. He served as president of Pomona College from 2003 until 2017. David Alexander, who served as president of Pomona from 1969 to 1991, was inducted into the academy in 2006.

“The members of the class of 2020 have excelled in laboratories and lecture halls, they have amazed on concert stages and in surgical suites, and they have led in board rooms and courtrooms,” Mr. Oxtoby said in a statement announcing the inductees. “With today’s election announcement, these new members are united by a place in history and by an opportunity to shape the future through the Academy’s work to advance the public good.”

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is an independent research center that is “committed to multidisciplinary, nonpartisan research that engages experts in various fields and professions.” The research carried out includes six areas of work: arts and humanities; democracy and justice; energy and environment; science and technology; education, and global affairs. Academy members are elected on the basis of their leadership in academics, the arts, business, or public affairs.

“To join the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as part of this impressive 2020 class of new members is an honor that renders me profoundly grateful. The Academy is a venerable institution whose members are some of the individuals I most admire. It is truly a great gift to join the ranks,” Ms. Starr said to Pomona College’s office of communications.

Ms. Starr is a scholar of English literature whose work reaches into neuroscience and the arts. Her research looks closely at the brain, through the use of fMRI, to help get to the heart of how people respond to paintings, music and other forms of art.

To read more about Ms. Starr’s background, read an archived story from the COURIER here.

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