August 2019 On Campus


A new year, a new direction: This academic year marks the ninth year of “On Campus.” Curated and distributed by the Office of Marketing & Communications, our goal has always been to use this newsletter to help create a more connected Oxy community.  This year, we plan to step up our game and deliver more substantive updates about happenings at the College. Senior staff members will be invited to use On Campus as a vehicle to provide more regular updates. This month, Vince Cuseo, Oxy’s vice president of enrollment and dean of admission shares some comments regarding incoming first-year and transfer students.  

WELCOMING THE CLASS OF 2023
Vince Cuseo, VP of Enrollment & Dean of Admission

In our annual rite of passage, we welcomed 564 first-year and 32 transfer students to campus amid the distinctive energy and fanfare that distinguishes Oxy. Thanks, O-Team and everyone involved in planning Orientation!
 
This new class was selected from the largest number of applications in our history and with stellar academic credentials. The rich ethnic, geographic and socio-economic mix of the Class of 2023 represents Oxy’s trademark commitment to access and diversity. We embrace them as the newest members of the Oxy community and wish them well.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Oxy Faculty Honored at 2019 Convocation
Four Occidental professors were honored for exceptional teaching, scholarship and service August 27 as the Class of 2023 was formally welcomed to the community at the 125th annual Convocation ceremony.

Rountree to Chair Occidental College Board of Trustees
Stephen Rountree ’71, a first-generation college student who became a nationally known arts administrator, is the new chair of the Board of Trustees.

Oxy Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Summer Undergraduate Research
More than 100 students spent 10 weeks on campus this summer, participating in funded, full-time research alongside faculty mentors through the annual Summer Research Program.

Three Occidental Alumni Win NSF Graduate Research Fellowships
Three alumni have been awarded prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research fellowships, awarded annually to candidates in the sciences and social sciences who are pursuing a master’s degree or Ph.D.

Oxy Faculty Win Two Area Emmys
Faculty members Adam Schoenberg and Christopher Hawthorne have won Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards for their work on the 2018 television documentary That Far Corner: Frank Lloyd Wright in Los Angeles.

NEW HIRES

Juaquin Aguilar, Facilities, painter/carpenter
Samantha Aguilar, Dean of Students office, academic advisor
Lorena Almaguer, Neighborhood Partnership Program, assistant parent coordinator
Jennyfer Amaya Medrano, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Michael Amoruso, Religious Studies, assistant professor
Sky Anderson, Media Arts & Culture, full-time non-tenure track assistant professor
Daniel Andrade, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Alec Arellano, Politics, full-time non-tenure track assistant professor
Sindy Ayala, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Madeline Baer, Diplomacy and World Affairs, associate professor
Alanna Bailey, SLICE, department coordinator
Alfredo Benitez, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Belen Benitez, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Katherine Bercovitz, Psychology, part-time non-tenure track assistant professor
Stephanie Beresewicz, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Mariska Bolyanatz Brown, Spanish and French Studies, assistant professor
Maria Brambila, Facilities, cleaning services
Irma Breakfield, Emmons, therapist
Steven Brown, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Lina Calderon-Morin, SLICE, assistant director for student and community engagement
Roxanna Carriedo, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Elizabeth Carter, Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture, part-time non-tenure track assistant professor
Carol Castro, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Cindy Castro, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Hali Chimil Rios, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Angelica Contreras, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Maria Cortez, Neighborhood Partnership Program, assistant parent coordinator
Diana Cruz, SLICE, program coordinator
Paul David, Computer Science, part-time non-tenure track assistant professor
William Davis, Art & Art History, part-time non-tenure track assistant professor
Abraham Desantiago Loera, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Jessica Dirkes, Urban & Environmental Policy, full-time non-tenure track assistant professor
Zenus Dismukes, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Devon Dobbs, ResEd, residential director
Erika Dominguez, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Caroline Farrell, Urban & Environmental Policy, part-time non-tenure track assistant professor
Martin Fernandez, Campus Dining, executive chef
Andrew Frane, Psychology, part-time non-tenure track assistant professor
Fernando Franquez Aguirre, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Esmeralda Galicia, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Gema Garcia Cortez, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Xochitl Gomez Pena, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Rodrigo Gonzales Hernandez, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Eric Gray, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Antonio Guereca, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Jorgen Harris, Economics, assistant professor
Paul Herbes, Athletics, assistant football coach - offensive coordinator
Molly Jacobs, Sociology, full-time non-tenure track assistant professor
Chris Kim, Music, full-time non-tenure track assistant professor
Maria Lemus Ramirez, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Kim Lundy, Campus Safety, assistant director
Jacqueline Marquez, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Kimberly Martinez, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Kevonna McKissick, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Omar Mejorado, Emmons Health Center, administrative assistant
Rosangela Melendez, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Ashley Mendoza, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Bryant Montoya, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Kevin Mulroy, Academic Commons, College librarian
Andrea Naffis-Sahely, English, part-time non-tenure track assistant professor
Jeron Norsworthy, Business Office, accounting coordinator
Richard Ochoa, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Juan Pedroza, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Sheyla Perez, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Yamilet Ramirez, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Benjamin Ratskoff, Religious Studies, part-time non-tenure track assistant professor
Kyle Redford, Music department, production manager
Kathryn Renton, Religious Studies, part-time non-tenure track assistant professor
Seva Rodnyansky, Urban & Environmental Policy, assistant professor
Juan Rosales, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Shizu Saldamando, Art & Art History, part-time non-tenure track assistant professor
Michael Sardo, Politics, full-time non-tenure track assistant professor
Roy Shioda, Hameetman Career Center, data and technology analyst
Genesis Sic, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Brenda Solorio, Hameetman Career Center, assistant director of employer engagement and recruitment
Julia Sushytska, Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture, part-time non-tenure track assistant professor
William Troche, ResEd, residential director
Shaneice Warfield, SLICE, assistant director of student involvement
Lauren Wong, ResEd, residential director
Carmen Vargas, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Sandra Vargas, Facilities, cleaning services
Lisseth Velasquez, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Lutfiye Yalcinalp, Computer Science, full-time non-tenure track assistant professor
Patricia Yossen, Art & Art History, part-time non-tenure track assistant professor
John Zalewski, Theater, part-time non-tenure track assistant professor
Meimei Zhang, Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture, assistant professor

 

KUDOS

An NPR podcast episode of “Planet Money” featured Economics Professor Bevin Ashenmiller sharing expertise on the economics of recycling. You can listen to the episode here.

In the opening chapter of The Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Human Rights, Diplomacy and World Affairs Professor Anthony Chase presents a theoretical and conceptual framework for analyzing and understanding the OIC and human rights. This is part of the first project to critically examine the OIC through an academic lens.

History Associate Professor Alexander Day’s “Peasant” chapter of Afterlives of Chinese Communism traces the emergence and development of the historical and political category “peasant” in China over the last 100 years.

For the second time in three years, a script by Professor of Media Arts & Culture Broderick Fox has been awarded top honors in the University Film & Video Association's Juried Scriptwriting Competition. Picture Man, the feature screenplay submitted by Fox, was named Best of Conference in the feature narrative/hour TV pilot category.

Beatrice Gonzales, department coordinator for theater, has artwork featured in two local art shows as part of the Bite Art Collective, a collaborative composed of a shifting group of artists who work in an “exquisite corpse” or round robin method. You can next see Gonzales’ artwork at Roswell Space in Atwater on September 8.

The Sci Fi London Film Festival included the world premiere of After We Leave, written and directed by Media Arts & Culture Assistant Professor Aleem Hossain. The film tells the story of a man who has a once-in-a-lifetime chance to emigrate off Earth, if he can find his estranged wife and convince her to come with him. Watch an interview with Hossain here.

A new solo exhibition by Art and Art History Professor Linda Lyke, Field Notes: When Taxonomy Becomes Iconography, appeared at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center in Fullerton this summer. The show of monotyped and silkscreened prints, collages and solar etchings vividly captures the spontaneous and immediate sense of discovery that stems from the close and careful observation of nature.

John W. McMenamin Endowed Professor in Biology Professor Gretchen North and several Oxy students and alumni co-authored two articles based in part on research done at La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica. Both demonstrate how new methods of measurement and analysis can be used to help predict plant responses to a challenging and changing environment. The students and alumni were actively involved in data collection, data analysis, writing and editing the manuscripts.

Associate Vice President of Facilities Tom Polansky was presented with the Association of Physical Plant Administrators’ 2019 Pacesetter Award for his significant contributions to the organization,

In a new article on party politics, Assistant Professor of Politics Jennifer Piscopo finds that gender stereotypes that associate women with greater honesty lead political parties to nominate more women as voters lose trust in the parties and perceive that politicians are becoming more corrupt.

In a newly published paper, “When Allah Meets Ganesha: Developing Supernatural Concepts in a Religiously Diverse Society,” Associate Professor of Psychology Andrew Shtulman and co-authors explore how children exposed to both human-like and abstract representations of the supernatural conceptualize the relevant beings. They found that children's conceptions of Islamic beings become more abstract with time, particularly for Muslim children, but conceptions of Hindu beings remain anthropomorphic, even for Hindu children.

Special Collections Librarian Dale Steiber was the recipient of the California Historical Records Advisory Board’s 2019 Archival Award of Excellence in recognition of her work with the Northeast Los Angeles community to preserve and make accessible its rich heritage. The Board cited Dale’s leadership in preserving and digitizing NELA community newspapers and the acquisition of the Henk Friezer photography archive.

Associate Dean of Students and Director of SLICE Ella Turenne has been nominated to be inducted into the 1804 List this fall. The 1804 List, named in honor of Haiti’s year of independence, recognizes 25 Haitian-American changemakers who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and success in their profession and proven themselves to be forces for change in their communities who, through their deeds and accomplishments, have helped to create a better understanding of Haiti and the Haitian community.

For more information on faculty scholarship and accomplishments, visit the Center for Research & Scholarship.

 

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

Dana Brandsey ‘02, associate director of alumni and parent engagement, institutional advancement

I hail from: My hometown is Calabasas
I graduated from: Occidental College!
I've been involved with Oxy for: 20 years! I matriculated in Fall of 1999, graduated in 2002, worked for Oxy from 2005-2015, served as a volunteer from 2016-2018,  then returned in January 2019.
A typical day on the job looks like: Meeting with alumni, working with various alumni organizations/groups, organizing events, partnering with terrific colleagues on how best to engage the Oxy alumni community, and so much more.
The favorite part of my job is: Working with people who love Oxy as much as I do.
My favorite thing to do in Los Angeles is: Bike ride at the beach!  
A recent accomplishment I'm proud of is: Professionally, it's coordinating Alumni Reunion Weekend 2019, where we had over 850 alumni and guests on campus in June. Personally, it's getting back into reading. With two small kids, it's hard to find time (and mental energy) to read for fun.
Cooler or Marketplace?: Marketplace -- always.
If I could invite any famous person — living or dead — to a dinner party it would be: John F. Kennedy.
Something people don't know about me is: I held the Oxy record for the 200 butterfly for several years and that I'd love to volunteer one day to be a balloon holder at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
A good book I've read lately is: Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter.

PENCIL IT IN

August 30: Celebration of the Life of Prof. George Schmiedeshoff
 
September 2: Offices closed
 
September 4: Planning for College: An Admission & Financial Aid Workshop for Oxy Employees
 
September 5: Involvement Fair
 
September 20: Talking Books with L.A.-based band Bitter Party at Oxy Arts