Faculty Awards and Honors

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Dr. Elizabeth Hodes


Annual Faculty Lecturer 1988-1989

ELIZABETH HODES has always been equally attracted by science and humanities. Her father was a professor of physics and electrical engineering, and introduced her as a child to the delights of science. She played hide and seek in the concrete baffles surrounding cyclotrons, peered at small pond flagellae under the microscope, helped launch cosmic ray research balloons, and stomped grapes to make wine in lab carboys. Her mother was an outstanding English teacher, who made the literature of every period come alive and encouraged her interest in theatre, art and history.

She was born in Brooklyn, New York, but grew up primarily in the Midwest. As a high school student, she won awards both in English and in mathematics. She earned a B.S. from Stanford University, where she studied physics and mathematics, and went on to UCLA, where she received an M.A. in mathematics. In 1968, she joined the Peace Corps and was sent to Nigeria, West Africa. Her assignment to teach mathematics there was her first teaching "job." She joined the faculty of Santa Barbara City College in 1971, and began her career as a mathematics instructor. In her 17 years at SBCC, she has taught a full range of mathematics courses.

In 1979, her interest in the humanities resurfaced. She returned to school, completing an M.A. and then a Ph.D. in history at UCSB, specializing in the history of science. Her research interest is the social relations of science, and she has coauthored two articles in this area. Her studies led her to develop several lower division courses on science and society. In 1983, she received a Chancellor's Grant to offer a course in "Ethical Dilemmas and the Scientist" at SBCC. From 1982 to 1986, she served on the Caltech local advisory board associated with the PBS telecourse, The Mechanical Universe. She maintains an interest in finding ways to develop in students an awareness of science as an important part of Western culture.

HER SERVICE to the college has not been limited to instruction, though. She has served terms as Chair of the Mathematics Department and as Chair for the Mathematics/Computer Science Division. She just completed a term as one of three faculty representatives on the College Planning Council and also served as Vice President of the Division Chair Council. She has additionally served on the Representative Council of the Academic Senate, the Executive Board of the Instructors' Association, and many other college committees.

She likes to relax by jogging, swimming, or reading, and she enjoys folk dancing, theatre and travel.


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