February 2017

Spring semester is in full bloom at Oxy with a packed calendar and rainy days preparing for sunshine. Find the latest news, hires and events on campus here.


In Case You Missed It

Occidental Tops for Quality, Economic Mobility

New rankings from the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times count Oxy as one of the country's top liberal arts colleges as measured by the quality of education and the economic monility it delivers to its students.


Food Justice Programs Receive $1.5 Million in Grants

Three recent grants totaling $1.5 million will make it possible for UEPI to expand regional food justice projects that over the last two decades have led to healthier food choices in public schools and created new markets for local small farmers.


Rev. Dr. William Barber II Urgers Resilience and Resolution

Placing the 2016 election in the broader context of American history, North Carolina NAACP leader and activist Rev. Dr. William Barber urged an overflow crowd at Thorne Hall to be clear-sighted, resilient and resolute as they look to the future. Watch his speech in full and share it via Oxy’s YouTube page.

President's Letter to Alumni & Parents – Winter 2017

In a recent letter sent to Oxy alumni and parents, President Jonathan Veitch remarked on the day-to-day achievements seen at Oxy in light of the challenges and divisive issues that traditionally confront higher-education institutions.



Oxy Is Top Fulbright Producer — Again

For the 11th consecutive year, Occidental College is one of the country's top producers of student Fulbright Awards, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education's annual Fulbright rankings.


Farewell, Obama '83

On his last day in office, Barack Obama ‘83 was featured on Oxy’s Instagram account with a flashback to his time here. Eric Moore ‘83’s photo of Obama at Gilman Fountain paired with current-day Oxy reached a record 1,100+ likes on Instagram!


3rd LA Presents 'City on the Verge' Series

A wide-ranging conversation with L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and timely debates on the city’s slow-growth movement and the fate of scarce open space highlight this spring’s Occidental 3rd LA series, "City on the Verge."




Hires & Departures


Claudia Biezonsky, Hameetman Career Center, Assistant Director, Internships & Professional Development
Janis Breidenbach, Urban & Environmental Program, Part-Time NTT Assistant Professor
Stephany Bustos, Career Center, Career Services Coordinator
Qianqian Chen, Mathematics Part-Time NTT Instructor
Zinzi Clemmons, English, Part-Time NTT Assistant Professor
Perry Daniel, Theater, Part-Time NTT Assistant Professor
Douglas Duquette, Chemistry, Part-Time NTT Assistant Professor
Tiffany Feng, Resource Management, Operations Coordinator
Katiuska Hayes, Theater, Part-Time NTT Assistant Professor
Jen Hofer, Art and Art History, Part-Time NTT Assistant Professor
Kathy Lopez, Alumni and Parent Engagement, AVP, Engagement Assistant
Khin-Onma Lwin, Career Center, Sr. Associate Director, Career Education & Campus Partnerships
Stephanie McKean, Chemistry, Part-Time NTT Assistant Professor
Natalie Muren, Chemistry, Part-Time NTT Assistant Professor
Julia Nukaya, Financial Aid Office, Receptionist
Allegra Padilla, History, Coordinator of Community Programs
Bridget Perez, Book Store, Bookstore Course Material Coordinator
Cory Reider, Campus Card System, Card Services/ POS Coordinator
Jennifer Rogla, Diplomacy & World Affairs, Adjunct Professor
Cassia Roth, Religious Studies, Part-Time NTT Assistant Professor
Maria Sevilla-Pappas, Library Services, Resource Acquisition Specialist
Elenita Vargas, Business Office, Accounting Coordinator


Kalin Agrawal, Center for Digital Liberal Arts, Data & Info Specialist- Social Sciences
Ernesto Casillas, Annual Fund, Associate Director of the Oxy Annual Fund
Jacqueline Espinoza, Career Center, Career Counselor
Valerie Savior, Career Center, Director of Career Development Center
Cesar Castro, Music, Part-Time NTT Instructor
Lisa Holder, CORE, Part-Time NTT Assistant Professor
Jordan Brown, Title IX, Administrative Coordinator
Claire Cancilla, Donor Research, Research & Prospect Mangement Specialist
Cristobal Garcia, Neighborhood Partnership Program, Academic Advisor
Alicia Guzman, Library Services, Resource Acquisition Specialist
Yolanda Perez, Book Store, Textbooks & Softgoods Buyer



WWI and the Modern Woman

The Second Line of Defense: American Women and World War I is the latest book to be written by Lynn Dumenil, Robert Glass Cleland professor of History Emerita. In it, Dumenil explores how the modern idea of the American woman was shaped by women’s roles, roadblocks and opportunities during WWI.

Putting It Into Black Perspective

Professor of history Sharla Fett has a new article featured in Black Perspectives, an online publication from the African American Intellectual History Society. Jett’s piece, "James Pennington’s Fight for African Slave Trade Refugees," can be read here and is based on her latest book, Recaptured Africans: Surviving Slave Ships, Detention, and Dislocation in the Final Years of the Slave Trade.

The Story Goes On

Denise Frost P’19 may be the senior director in the office of institutional advancement, but she’s also a literary fiction writer whose story "Osage Wedding" will be published in the Smoky Blue Literary and Arts magazine this March. This is her third published story and comes after a 23-year hiatus (much of which was spent raising her Oxy sophomore son).

Arts Meet Science

Sculpture and photography professor Mary Beth Heffernan is headed to Harvard University this month for a symposium on Global Health and Social Medicine. She will be presenting the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Portrait Project, one of 10 projects selected to be developed as a teaching "case study" by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard.

Live from New York(er)

Professor of modern art history Amy Lyford’s book Isamu Noguchi's Modernism was noted in the January 31 issue of The New Yorker in an article entitled "The Japanese-American Artist Who Went to the Camps to Help." Lyford’s book on the artist Noguchi focuses on his time spent at a Japanese internment camp and the modern sculptures he created while incarcerated. Her book previously won the 2015 Charles C. Eldredge prize.

Laying Down the Law of Language and Literature

Leila Neti, associate professor and chair of the English department, has been elected to the Modern Language Association (MLA) Delegate Assembly. She also recently had her article "‘The Love Laws’: Section 377 and the Politics of Queerness in Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things, published in the journal Law and Literature.

Making an Impact on the Arts

Oxy Arts community coordinator Allegra Padilla is honored to be a grants panelist this month for the L.A. County Arts Commission for the operational grant program in the category of dance. In March, Padilla will serve as grants panelist for the CA Arts Council for the Local Impact awards. This participation provides Padilla opportunities to represent Oxy at important regional levels in arts funding that will impact some great organizations in L.A. County and across the state.

On Mind and Body

Psychology professor Anne Schell recently had a chapter published in the Handbook of Psychophysiology, the most prominent publication in the field of psychophysiology. The article focuses on the electrodermal response system.


Getting to Know You: Allegra Padilla, coordinator of community programs, Oxy Arts, Center for Community Based Learning, Institute for the Study of Los Angeles

I hail from: Los Angeles

I graduated from: Hollywood High Performing Arts Magnet, Pasadena City College and UC Santa Cruz

I've been involved with Oxy for: About one month!

A typical day on the job looks like: Meetings with amazing people to strategize, share ideas and leveraging key resources to make things happen.

The favorite part of my job is: The people I get to connect with.

My favorite thing to do in Los Angeles is: Attending cultural festivals that reflect the diversity of our city.

A recent accomplishment I'm proud of is: Serving as a grants panelist with the L.A. County Arts Commission.

Cooler or Marketplace?: Neither; I love street food (elotes, tacos, huaraches, paletas, etc).

If I could invite any famous person — living or dead — to a dinner party it would be: My great-grandmother, she is famous to me!

My nickname is: Aye-P

Something people don't know about me is: It wouldn't be something people don't know about me if I shared...

A good book I've read lately is: Whatever It Takes by Paul Tough, about the work of Geoffrey Canada and development of the Harlem Children's Zone.

Pencil It In

Tuesday, February 21: Oxy Arts Speaker Series: Clement Hanami

Thursday, February 23: ASC/Marketing & Communications Coffee Break

Friday, February 24: Apollo Night

Saturday, February 25: Camille Dungy Keynote at Robinson Jeffers Annual Conference

Wednesday, March 1: 3rd LA - The Politics of Housing

For a listing of more events visit oxy.edu/calendar.