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My Swat Story: Professor Tomoko Sakomura

Tomoko Sakomura

Tomoko Sakomura
Professor of Art History,
Assistant Vice President and Dean of Academic Success

She’s Passionate About Asian Art and Design

“As associate dean for academic affairs, I collaborate with other deans, faculty, and staff to support students. It means a lot to me to be a sounding board for students. As a professor, I teach courses on the history of art and design of Asia. My work explores relationships between text and image in Japanese art and design. As an undergraduate student, I initially became very interested in contemporary design and then went back in history. My primary focus is on the 16th century, but I really enjoy thinking critically about ways the past informs the present. 

She Loves Teaching—and Learning From—Students

“It’s energizing to collaborate and problem-solve. There is excitement to be part of this academic community. I truly appreciate being in my current role for the opportunities I have to work closely with students, staff, and faculty. I’ve come to realize that I really like learning from others, whatever it may be. Being at Swarthmore is a continual learning experience. I really enjoy working with students to create mind maps together. Writing and drawing things out visually and spatially brings clarity and structure to whatever issue is at hand.” 

She’s in Awe of the College’s Cherry Blossoms

“What I love best about campus are the cherry trees along the path from Cedar Lane to the Swarthmore Friends Meeting House. In Japan, cherry blossom viewing is a national pastime, and every year, I am astounded by the variety and beauty of Swarthmore’s cherry blossoms along this path.”