February 2018

2018 is kicking off with amazing speakers on campus to educate and entertain. Read on for upcoming events, colleague achievements and more.


Occidental, Los Angeles to Partner on Sustainable Development

Occidental will partner with the city of Los Angeles in an ambitious effort to accelerate and measure the city’s pursuit of sustainable, inclusive and equitable growth as part of a unique global initiative backed by 193 countries.

#MeToo Movement's Tarana Burke to Speak Feb. 26

Founder of the #MeToo movement and social activist Tarana Burke will speak at Occidental on Monday, February 26.

Occidental to Host Elementary Science Olympiad

Oxy will host the Los Angeles County Elementary Science Olympiad on Saturday, February 24.

Men's Basketball Clinches No. 2 Conference Playoff Seed

The Occidental men's basketball team clinched the No. 2 seed in this weekend’s SCIAC postseason tournament when it cruised past Redlands 89-69 at Rush Gym on Tuesday, capping Oxy's best season in nearly a decade.

Emergency Preparedness Information

This week, director of campus safety Rick Tanksley sent important information for the Oxy community to review regarding potential active shooter situations. Take a moment to review guidelines and online training videos on the Campus Safety website.




Jennifer Broomfield, Title IX coordinator
Damion Donaldson, assistant director for career education and innovation, Hameetman Career Center
Maria Mancera-Yamanaka, executive assistant, Office of the Dean of the College
Laura Paisley, associate director of marketing and communications
Elisa Ruiz, administrative assistant, geology department
Zoe Scholz, research assistant, Vantuna Research Group


Nine Campus Dining employees achieved ServSafe Food Protection Manager Level Certification this month. ServSafe training is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-Conference for Food Protection (CFP). These nine employees bring the total number of manager-level food production-certified Campus Dining employees to 45. Congratulations to Luis Barrios, Lidia Esparza, Noemi Iniguez, Ofelia Martinez, Maria Reyes, Justo Rodriguez, Abel Rojas, Marco Sanchez and Robert Torres.

Psychology professor Nancy Dess has co-edited Gender, Sex, and Sexualities, which offers both students and scholars the tools they need to consider and approach such questions as: how do children come to embrace (or repudiate) gendered activities and identities; how do people experience intimacy, desire, and sexual arousal; and what strategies can psychologists use to de-center their own points of view and effectively contribute to a decolonial psychology?

In a new chapter for her book Sacred Economies of Kalimpong: The Eastern Himalayas in the Global Production and Circulation of Buddhist Material Culture, associate professor of religious studies Amy Holmes-Tagchungda explores questions of value and identity in the creation and consumption of religious objects through a case study of the religious economy of the eastern Himalayan trade center of Kalimpong. This area was positioned between empires and nations, and remains a culturally and religiously diverse hill town. This chapter considers the importance of identity and location in the creation of sacred objects.

Assistant professor of art and associate professor of art history Kelema Lee Moses has been awarded a grant from the Global Architectural History Teaching Collaborative for her project, "Oceania's Pathways: Voyaging and Vernacular Architecture." Funding from the grant will support the development of a two-lecture series ("Mapping the Pacific" and "Dwelling in the Pacific") that will be shared with architectural historians for a cross-disciplinary exchange of ideas and teaching materials. Moses will also be spending this summer as a visiting scholar at the University of Hawaii's East-West Center, where she will work on her book manuscript, Island Modernism/Island Urbanism: Encountering Honolulu, Hawai‘i.

John Liu, assistant professor of sociology, has published an article, "Pacifying uncooperative carbon: examining the materiality of the carbon market" in Economy and Society. In this paper, Liu looks into the crucial role of carbon accounting in the construction of carbon markets. His findings indicate that, even for one of the most "cooperative" carbons—the empirical case of coal-fired power plants—measurement uncertainties are significant and pose challenges for the marketization of carbon emissions.

Clair Morrissey, associate professor of philosophy, and co-author Rebecca L. Walker explore the ethical issues raised by the potential use of general population preventive genomic sequencing in public health in a new article for The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. They argue for the need to adopt a "social justice" approach to understanding and extending the traditional ethical framing of such practices, with special attention to two putative individual rights: the "right not to know" and the child's "right to an open future."

Coordinator of Community Programs for Oxy Arts, the Center for Community Based Learning and the Institute for the Study of Los Angeles Allegra Padilla has been named to the Mentee Cohort of Women of Color in the Arts Leadership Through Mentorship Initiative for 2018. The purpose of the initiative is to cultivate long-term professional investment and self-sustainability for women of color in the performing arts field. Read more about Padilla’s work with Oxy Arts in a recent VoyageLA interview.

Assistant professor of politics Jennifer Piscopo recently had an op-ed published in the New York Times examining the "female leadership void" in Latin America. Piscopo suggests that while Latin American voters are kicking incumbents out, women are falling harder than men, taking hits for corruption scandals and economic downturns that don't tarnish men. Piscopo has also guest-edited the winter 2017 issue of Social Politics, entitled "The Left and Gender Equality: Achievements, Setbacks, and Variation After Latin America's Pink Tide." She co-authored the article's introduction, which argues that, contrary to expectations, left governments do not voluntarily move forward with gender-equality initiatives; rather, they only make progress when pressured by feminist activists.

Chris Reyes, assistant director of facilities, recently earned his Certified Educational Facilities Professional (CEFP) credential. Sponsored by APPA: Leadership in Educational Facilities (formerly known as the Association of Physical Plant Administrators), the CEFP credential validates the unique knowledge and competency required of an accomplished professional in the educational facilities field. CEFP training covers all aspects of the educational facilities industry, from planning, design and construction to daily maintenance and operation, and is the only certification that demonstrates professional qualifications in the field. "It was tough, but well worth it," Reyes says. "There was nothing easy about this program. It really challenged me to think."

Associate professor of physics Janet Scheel and co-author Joerg Schumacher have published the article "Predicting transition ranges to fully turbulent viscous boundary layers in low Prandtl number convection flows" in Physical Review Fluids. Characteristic properties of turbulent Rayleigh-Benard convection in the bulk and the boundary layers for a wide range of Rayleigh and Prandtl numbers are summarized, with a specific emphasis on the low Prandtl numbers that describe liquid metal convection.

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



Brian Chambers, user experience specialist, Academic Commons

I hail from: Burbank

I graduated from: San Jose State University (MLIS)

I've been involved with Oxy for: eight months

A typical day on the job looks like: Observing user behavior, conversing with students and colleagues, contemplating ideas, taking notes and mapping processes, data analysis and moving furniture and other things around the Academic Commons.

The favorite part of my job is: Working in an intellectually stimulating environment with some really great people.

My favorite thing to do in Los Angeles is: Eat! The food scene, from home kitchens to street food to fine dining, is remarkable.

A recent accomplishment I'm proud of is: Kicking off the new Talking Books series with author Sasha Polakow-Suranksy.

Cooler or Marketplace?: Cooler

If I could invite any famous person—living or dead—to a dinner party it would be: Tom Waits

My nickname is: Sadly, no nickname.

Something people don't know about me is: I'm a big Golden Girls fan.

A good book I've read lately is: Borne by Jeff Vandermeer. Weird, post-apocalyptic science fiction that has a little bit of something for everyone.


For more events on campus, visit oxy.edu/calendar.