March 2017

We’re three-quarters of the way through another school year, but there’s no slowing down just yet. Here’s what the campus has been up to in the last month—and what to pencil in for the coming weeks.


science scholars2017–18 Occidental Science Scholars Named

Four students collaborating with faculty in the fields of biochemistry, chemistry, biology, physics and cognitive science have been named 2017-18 Science Scholars and presented with research grants funded by the Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris and Fletcher Jones foundations.

sciac basketballMen’s and Women’s Basketball Players Honored at SCIAC

Four players on the Occidental men's and women’s basketball teams took home All-SCIAC honors at the end-of-the-year coaches meeting in early March.

No Bull: A Q&A With Jonathan Veitch

Midway through his eighth year in office, President Veitch reflects on the accomplishments and controversies that have shaped his time at Oxy in a candid interview in the most recent issue of Occidental magazine.

That’s a Wrap on Dance Pro 2017

More than 200 students performed 16 dances at this year’s Dance Production, ranging in styles from Irish and Bhangra/Bollywood to hula ‘auana, tap and multiple varieties of hip hop. Take a look at a few of the groups on Occidental’s Instagram.



Susy Barraza, Alumni and Parent Engagement assistant director
Myriam Cifuentes, CDLA specialist for language education
Raquel Galarza, UEPI health education manager
Cristobal Garcia, Neighborhood Partnership Program academic adviser
Julia Marquez, Hameetman Career Center operations manager
Laura Palomares, UEPI Food Program project manager
Hilary Polak, Environmental Health and Safety manager
Evan Salce, Postal Operations Center supervisor
Jarin Somboonsup, Institutional Advancement project coordinator
Haregewyn Tena, Facilities Management program/cost analyst
Linneen Warren, Annual Fund assistant director
Norman Williams, Hameetman Career Center assistant director for on-campus recruiting


Ryan Brubacher, Library Services senior instructor/research specialist, arts & humanities
Sharon Burke, executive assistant to the vice president of finance/general counsel
Leora Freedman, general counsel    
Jose Gaspar, Neighborhood Partnership Program academic adviser
Caleb Lund, gift/estate-planning assistant director
Daniel Medrano, Utilities & Energy Management HVAC helper
Aaron Nevels, Campus Safety officer
Lorrie Oravec, Library Services third shift supervisor
Angela Soley, Annual Fund assistant director
David Vossler, ITS business process analyst/programmer


Assistant professor in Arabic and French studies Hanan Essayed and Brown Family Professor in Literature Warren Montag have published a new volume, Balibar and the Citizen Subject. The collection explores Balibar’s rethinking of the connections between subjection and subjectivity by tracing the genealogies of these concepts in their discursive history. The volume has a particular concern with restoring Arabic and Islamic thought to the conversation on the citizen subject.

MiltonAssistant professor of English Ross Lerner has recently published an article entitled "Weak Milton." In this article, Lerner theorizes weakness as both technique and theme within poet John Milton’s work, showing the importance of Milton’s interest in insurmountable incapacity to understanding his radical poetics and politics and his modes of self-representation.

Associate professor of sociology John Chung-En Liu has published a new article titled "Who Speaks for Climate Change in China? Evidence From Weibo" in the journal Climatic Change. The article reports his findings after analyzing "discussion about climate change on China’s premiere microblogging website, Weibo, over a two-month period surrounding the Paris Climate Summit."

Tom Polansky, Oxy’s director of facilities, has joined the Board of APPA (Association of Physical Plant Administrators) as the Small Colleges Representative. APPA is the national association for higher education facilities management professionals.

Associate director of the International Programs Office Julie Kimiko Santos and associate dean and Title IX coordinator Ruth Jones will present on Title IX at the annual NAFSA conference this May. Out of 600 presentation submissions, their presentation, titled "Title IX, VAWA, Clery: Compliance and Support Through Collaboration" was one of only 200 selected.

Professor of English Jean Wyatt’s latest book,Love and Narrative Form in Toni Morrison’s Later Novels, has just been published. Wyatt explores the interaction among ideas of love, narrative, innovation and reader response in Morrison’s seven later novels. Oxy graduate Mirin Fader '13 worked with Wyatt on the preparation of the book.

For more information on faculty scholarship and accomplishments, see the Center for Research & Scholarship website here


Jason Barquero, senior associate director, Employer & Alumni Engagement Strategies

I hail from: Downey, California

I graduated from: CSUF, bachelor of arts, speech communication. CSULB, M.A. in sports management

I've been involved with Oxy for: Three months

A typical day on the job looks like: Like most of us, my "day-to-day" varies and is very dynamic. My days are spent hosting and meeting many of our great employer partners, coaching students on job-search strategies, talking to our impressive alumni and, of course, working with my team towards building a career center of excellence.

The favorite part of my job is: My co-workers. I work with an impressive, intelligent and hilarious group of people.

My favorite thing to do in Los Angeles is: Attending Dodger games. I'm kind of a fan. OK, I'm a HUGE fan.

A recent accomplishment I'm proud of is: Being a father to my two young beautiful daughters.

Cooler or Marketplace?: Cooler because they have Coke Zero.

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

My nickname is: "Jay" or "JB." Sometimes "Boatman" — that's my last name translated from Spanish.

Something people don't know about me is: I work for Los Angeles Lakers, Inc. as the public address announcer for their D-League team, the L.A. D-fenders.

A good book I've read lately is: Not exactly a novel, but a quick good book I've read lately is Rules of the Red Rubber Ball, by Kevin Carroll.


Wednesday, March 22: 3rd LA with Eric Garrett and Christopher Hawthorne in Conversation

Thursday, March 23: "Po-lice" Opening Reception

Wednesday, March 29: 3rd LA Youth Movement With Mayors Aja Brown and Robert Garcia

Sunday, April 9: Occidental Glee Club Pops Concert

Thursday, April 20: Handmade Oxy

Thursday, April 20: ASC Book Club Reading: My Grandfather’s Son


Lennox, companion to Laura L. McNaughton, associate director of Residential Education

Lennox was adopted at the age of 1 from the Northeast Animal Shelter in August  2013 and has had the pleasure of calling Oxy home for almost three years.

When Lennox is not sunning himself on any soft surface, you can find him roaming the residence halls, ignoring human affection (it's not you, it's him) and searching out food scraps.