May 2018

Another school year has come to a close. Look back on the most recent news and accomplishments across campus and enjoy the summer!



Occidental Honors Women in Leadership at Commencement

Four women representing more than half a century of leadership in the fields of tech, politics, international education and conflict resolution addressed the Class of 2018 at Oxy’s 136th Commencement ceremony May 20.

Occidental to Offer New Black Studies Major in 2018

A new major and minor in Black studies (BLST) will be offered beginning in fall 2018. Associate professor of American studies Courtney Baker will chair the new program, which she co-crafted with American studies professor Erica Ball.

9 Students, Alumni Awarded Fulbrights

Nine students and alumni have been awarded prestigious Fulbright scholarships to teach and study abroad in nine countries on four continents during the 2018-19 academic year.

Oxy Finishes NCAAs With Four All-Americans

The Occidental men's and women's track and field teams finished their strong showing at the NCAA Division III National Championship meet with a combined four All-American awards.







Adam Greenfield, Major Gift Officer, Institutional Advancement
Jennifer Locke, Director of National and International Fellowships, National Awards and Fellowships
Michael Orta, Technical Support Specialist, ITS
Maureen Royer, Associate Vice President of Individual Giving, Institutional Advancement


In the latest issue of WSQ: Women Studies Quarterly, an article by professor of Black studies Erica Ball explores Southern black women’s engagement with beauty culture, fashion and style politics at the turn of the 20th century. It argues that in addition to serving as part of a larger project of black middle-class self-fashioning, these efforts were powerful assertions of black women’s humanity, individuality and determination to thrive as black women in the context of Jim Crow.

Lan Chu, associate professor of diplomacy and world affairs, has been appointed to the Executive Council of the Western Political Science Association (WPSA) for a three-year term. The WPSA is an association of more than 1,250 political scientists, and its purpose is to promote the study and teaching of government and politics, to foster research and to facilitate the discussion of public affairs.

Associate professors Mary Christianakis (critical theory and social justice) and Richard Mora (sociology) co-authored a chapter, "College Men, Hypermasculinity, and Sexual Violence," in the newly released edited volume, Unmasking Masculinities: Men and Society. The chapter examines how on college campuses hypermasculinity can result in social landscapes wherein "rape myths" are reified, the experiences of rape survivors are negated, young men do not intervene to stop sexual assaults, and sexual violence is not perceived as deviant by some young men.

The Huntington Library acquired professor of art and art history Mary Beth Heffernan's photograph Bound Volume (2017) for its permanent collection. The hand-coated platinum-palladium photogram is a contact print of The Huntington's volume of Anatomy, Epitomized and Illustrated (1737), an anatomy book bound in human skin. Heffernan is the inaugural recipient of the PAC.LA Contemporary Artist Grant. Read more about her residency designed to foster art works made in response to archival research, in this PHOTOCULTURE interview. Ephemera from Heffernan’s 2015 PPE Portrait Project humanizing healthcare workers in the Liberian Ebola epidemic are also on display in an exhibition at the Royal College of Nursing in London, where she will be lecturing on the project this August.

Ross Lerner, assistant professor of English, offers a new theory of the origins of religious fanaticism and a new way to interpret the fundamental role that religious fanaticism played in shaping the most important and complex English long poem of the 16th century in a new chapter in the book Literature, Belief and Knowledge in Early Modern England: Knowing Faith. The book is the first in a series of edited books and monographs based on a five-year research project at the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities.

Two reports co-authored by associate professor of urban and environmental policy Martha Matsuoka examine the process and impact of gentrification and displacement in California and the role of philanthropy in advancing healthy and equitable community development nationwide. The work has led to the establishment of the $14-million Amplify Fund to support community-based organizing and power-building strategies that address gentrification and advance equitable development.

Assistant professor of politics Jennifer Piscopo’s paper, "All Male Panels: Representation and Democratic Legitimacy" (co-authored with Amanda Clayton of Vanderbilt University and Diana O'Brien of Texas A&M University) received the Sophonisba Breckinridge Award for the Best Paper on Gender and Politics presented at the Annual Conference of the Midwest Political Science Association. As the awards committee noted, "The authors of this well-written, theoretically rich, and empirically impressive paper take up an important issue — women's numerical representation — and examine it in a new light, asking whether women's presence affects citizens’ impressions of the legitimacy of government processes and decisions."

This past January, professor of history Marla Stone co-edited a special issue of the Journal of Contemporary History that looks at anti-communism transnationally and compares and contrasts the movements against communism across the globe. Also this year, Stone contributed an essay for the Arti in Italia, 1918-1943 exhibition catalog, produced by the Prada Foundation in Milan. Stone’s essay, "Ways of Seeing: The Cult of Display in Fascist Italy," engages the cultural politics of Italy during the Fascist period and was part of a collection of essays that investigated interwar culture in all its forms, from the fine arts to film to architecture.

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



Regina Booth, department services coordinator, chemistry

I hail from: Boston, MA (Go Celtics!)

I graduated from: Northeastern University (Go Huskies!)

I've been involved with Oxy for: Two months (Go Tigers!) However, 28 years ago, I rented a little house on Corliss St. and Campus Rd. and I walked through the campus all the time. It's like coming home again!

A typical day on the job looks like: Attending to the chemistry professors' and students' needs, keeping the chemistry building running smoothly, purchasing chemicals and processing invoices, as well as walking through the beautiful Oxy campus at lunchtime!

The favorite part of my job is: Talking to faculty and staff and learning more about the history of Oxy.

My favorite thing to do in Los Angeles is: Exploring new neighborhoods.

A recent accomplishment I'm proud of is: Getting my new job at Oxy!

Cooler or Marketplace?: Seriously, I like both!

If I could invite any famous person—living or dead—to a dinner party it would be: Patti Smith (my heroine!). Patti is an American singer-songwriter, poet and visual artist who became an influential component of the New York City punk rock movement with her 1975 debut album "Horses." She also has a great sense of humor and is a proud mother of two children, Jackson and Jesse.

My nickname is: I have too many to list (LOL).

Something people don't know about me is: I was a radio DJ in college and still have all my original vinyl records!

A good book I've read lately is: Harley and Me: Embracing Risk On The Road to a More Authentic Life by Bernadette Murphy


  • Thursday, May 31: Occidental College Women’s Club quilt display
  • Friday, June 22–Sunday, June 24: Alumni Reunion Weekend
  • Thursday, July 5–Saturday, August 18: Occidental Children’s Theater presents Doctor Scooby-Doolittle

For more events on campus, visit


Rocky, companion to Marc Campos, college photographer, Marketing and Communications

Rocky is about 6 years old and is a Havanese. He is a rambunctious little guy and loves his toys, especially his butterfly squeak toy, which he carries around in his mouth like a precious treasure. He can keep up with you on a run and he loves taking walks around the neighborhood and crunching on ice cubes. Rocky is always aware if you are sad and will comfort you with kisses. He likes to look out the window, watching for his family to return, like a lighthouse keeper.