The Colgate Scene
July 2007

Faculty retirees honored

Two members of the faculty were recognized at commencement for achieving emeritus status upon their retirements.

Vicky McMillan [Photo courtesy Rob Arnold]

Victoria E. McMillan, associate professor of scientific writing emerita, received her PhD in biology from Syracuse University in 1983. She taught for 27 years at Colgate, beginning in 1979 as visiting instructor in the biology department and ending last year with her retirement as associate professor in the Department of Writing and Rhetoric and research associate in biology. During the length of her professional career, McMillan contributed many presentations at conferences in both writing and biology, and published scientific papers on dragonfly reproductive behavior, articles on the teaching of scientific writing, and a major textbook on writing in biology. She taught a range of courses in the first-year seminar and Office of Undergraduate Studies programs and in writing, biology, and women's studies.

Since 1988 when she served as acting director of the interdisciplinary writing program, McMillan has sat on numerous boards and committees, including extended service on the University Disciplinary Board, the Women's Studies Advisory Committee, and the University Judicial Board. Her work in the writing and rhetoric department (formerly interdisciplinary writing) included serving first as a founding member and later as chair.

"Vicky has been an evolutionary niche builder. She's like a rare species that adapts to a particular environment and then dominates it," said Margaret Darby, writing and rhetoric department chair. "She created a unique position at Colgate, one that only she could fill successfully, given her unusual talents in science, in writing science, and in teaching students, ably partnered by Debbie Huerta, to write science. Her niche shaped the writing department for more than a decade, so much so that when she announced her retirement we had to re-create the whole departmental curriculum and move it in a different direction because we knew we could never replace her."

Hugh Pinchin [Photo by Timothy D. Sofranko]

A native of England with a PhD from Yale, Hugh McAlester Pinchin, professor of economics emeritus, joined the economics department in 1965. He met his wife, Jane (today the Thomas A. Bartlett Chair and professor of English), at Colgate, and they were married at Chapel House.

Pinchin taught courses in international economics, including Economic History, The Economics of Imperialism, Monetary Economics, and the general education course Values and Institutions. His research has involved Canadian and U.S. trade negotiations and the impact of trade restrictions on patterns of interregional and international trade. During leaves from Colgate, he worked at the Economic Council of Canada and the Canadian government's department for regional policy.

"Hugh's contributions to the department and the university have been immeasurable, and it is virtually impossible to list all of them," said Takao Kato, economics department chair. "Let me mention only a few here: He was a key architect of our enormously popular and successful study group in London. As president of the local AAUP — the faculty professional association, as chair of his department, as chair of a tier of the general education program, as chair of the Research Council, and as chair of the Promotion and Tenure Committee, Hugh has played a pivotal role in improving the quality of our lives at Colgate — especially establishing the current faculty salary formula and making Colgate competitive with our peer institutions in terms of compensation."

Pinchin directed the London Economics Study Group nine times. Of his years serving on committees, he said: "I've lost battles, but take pride in three successes — the acceptance of the faculty salary formula, the current format of the student evaluation of teaching form, and the 40th anniversary of the Colgate Rugby Football Club." Pinchin was the club's first faculty adviser and coach.

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