Professor Thomas Poon Selected as Executive Vice President and Provost at Loyola Marymount University

Thomas Poon Thomas Poon

Claremont, Calif. (March 9, 2017)—Professor of Chemistry Thomas Poon has been appointed executive vice president and provost of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He takes office on June 1, 2017.

Poon has taught chemistry at the W.M. Keck Science Department of Claremont McKenna, Scripps and Pitzer colleges since 2000. During his tenure, he was appointed to several senior administrative positions at Pitzer College, most recently as the interim president, acting president and senior associate dean of faculty.

Poon supported, led and developed a broad range of academic and social justice initiatives in his 17 years at the Claremont Colleges. Highlights include his extensive engagement with Pitzer’s Office of Study Abroad, including the establishment of an exchange program in Bhutan, the development of hybrid programs in Vietnam and Brazil, the funding and planning for a new dormitory at the Firestone Center in Costa Rica, providing increased opportunities for science students to study abroad, and the reopening of a program in Nepal, eight months after two devastating earthquakes. He also expanded mentorship resources for first-year students and provided opportunities for incarcerated men to earn college course credits through a partnership with the California Rehabilitation Center.

Poon has coauthored two chemistry texts. His current text, Introduction to Organic Chemistry, is in its sixth edition and has been translated into Italian, Japanese and Chinese. His use of multimedia technology in the teaching of chemistry has been featured in several venues including Science, the scientific research journal with the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed science journal. He has published 25 peer-reviewed articles on photochemistry, reactive oxygen species, natural products chemistry, and chemistry pedagogy. Many of these publications have included undergraduate coauthors. The Atlanta Journal Constitution and other media outlets including NPR featured his research on the American sweetgum tree, which contains a critical compound used to make Tamiflu®, a drug that curtails and prevents influenza infections. He has also authored or coauthored successful grants totaling over 1.5 million dollars.

As LMU’s provost, Poon will report to the president and provide leadership and support for advancing the distinctive nature, culture and heritage of LMU as a Catholic university. He will also sustain and extend the university’s commitment to diversity and prepare students to live and work in a global society.

Thomas Poon earned his PhD in organic chemistry from University of California, Los Angeles and his BSc in chemistry from Fairfield University.

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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