The Communications Office Photo by Marc Campos

A retired criminal defense lawyer, a doctoral student in environmental and beauty justice, and a grandmother of 26 are among this year’s recipients of the Alumni Seal Award. The awards will be presented by the Occidental College Alumni Board of Governors during Alumni Reunion Weekend in June.

Since 1965, the Alumni Association has paid tribute to inspiring alumni who represent the values and spirit at the core of the Occidental experience. Alumni Seal Awards are given annually in the categories of service to the community, professional achievement, service to the College, young alumni achievement, emeriti faculty, and alumna/us of the year.

This year’s awardees are:

Alumna of the Year: Dr. Judy White ’77

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Judy White is a retired superintendent of schools for Riverside County, the first woman and first person of color to hold that role. Prior to that she was the first Black person selected as the Moreno Valley Superintendent of Schools. She was also the first Black person to obtain a doctorate from Azusa Pacific University. Judy has received more than 147 awards during her 42 years as a public educator, serving as a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, local superintendent, and state superintendent. She has received awards such as Superintendent of the Year, Living Legend, and Citizen of the Year. Judy has provided seminars and keynotes, served on panels, and mentored hundreds of educational professionals. A sociology major at Occidental, her innovative legacy includes programs such as City of Readers, Parent Ambassadors, Adopt a School, Excellence on Purpose, and many more. She also raised $10 million during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide technology devices for students in Riverside County.

Erica J. Murray ’01 Young Alumna of the Year:  Marissa Chan ’17 

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Marissa Chan is a Ph.D. candidate in population health sciences within the Department of Environmental Health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her research interests and work experience center on environmental and beauty justice, specifically focusing on the intersection of place-based environmental hazards and product-based exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in personal care products. Through her work, she aims to highlight the presence of EDCs in personal care products to a variety of stakeholders, support community voices and knowledge in environmental and beauty justice efforts, and work towards developing community-driven interventions and solutions. Her current research explores differences in access to safer hair products in the greater Boston area. Prior to entering the doctoral program, she received an M.S. from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and majored in urban and environmental policy with a minor in public health at Occidental.

Professional Achievement: Dr. Kim Foulds ’02

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Kim Foulds is vice president for content research and evaluation at Sesame Workshop, the media and education nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street. She oversees research and evaluation on Sesame Workshop’s co-productions and community engagement interventions around the world. Embedding research activities throughout the lifecycle of Sesame’s projects and working with research institutions to evaluate efficacy, Kim uses learning science to translate data and provide guidance to maximize the impact of Sesame’s global programming. In addition to her work on Sesame Street and other domestic programming, over the last six years, Kim has led in developing and managing the research agenda for Sesame’s initiatives to support children affected by the Syrian refugee crisis in the Middle East and the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh. Funded by twin $100 million grants from the MacArthur and LEGO Foundations, the research agendas supporting these initiatives include the first evaluation of an accelerated remote preschool program and the first study of the effects of educational media on children’s emotional development. Kim holds a Ph.D. in education and a M.A. in African studies from UCLA and a bachelor’s in diplomacy and world affairs from Occidental.

Service to the College: Andrew Rubin ’71

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A retired criminal defense lawyer, Andrew Rubin is also a passionate mental health advocate. He has served on the boards of agencies including Mental Health Advocacy Services; Mental Health Association of San Bernardino; Mental Health America, California Chapter; and Mental Health America, National. In 1999, he joined the board of directors for Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services to fulfill his interest in contributing to an organization that provides direct mental health services to people in communities that lack affordable access to care. He has held several leadership roles, including board chair from 2004 to 2006. He is honorary chair of the board committee for the Alive Together community walk, which raises awareness and funds for Didi Hirsch’s Suicide Prevention Center. As an active alumnus, Andrew has served on the Occidental Board of Governors and the Tiger Club Board of Directors in addition to serving as a reunion committee member, Day for Oxy advocate, and—for nearly 50 years—class secretary. Andrew earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Occidental in 1971 and a J.D. from Stanford University in 1974.

Service to the Community: Paula Noble Fellingham ’71

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Paula Noble Fellingham, author of eight books and many courses and magazine articles, received her doctorate in human relations after majoring in music at Occidental. She is a leader in the global women’s movement as founder/CEO of WIN WIN Women, a multimedia network and international community of women that combines media platforms such as television, radio, social media, a website, an app, live events, and an online university to help 3.9 billion women achieve excellence in every area of their lives. She also leads the Women’s Global Alliance and the Women of the Middle East Network, and founded the nonprofit organization Global Prosperity and Peace Initiative. Through this work, Paula has co-presented more than 400 live events for women in 152 nations. She has also received awards from three U.S. presidents: George W. Bush, Barack Obama ’83, and Donald Trump. Paula owns and 10 other websites that empower women and families. She has been married for 52 years to Gilbert Fellingham, a university professor. They have eight grown children and 26 grandchildren.

Service to the Community: Dennis “Denny” Zane ’69

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At Occidental, Denny Zane was a student anti-war organizer and a protégé of Professor of Philosophy William Neblett. In the early 1980s, Denny served three terms on the Santa Monica City Council, including a term as mayor. He formulated a number of successful affordable housing policies for Santa Monica as well as the strategy to create the Third Street Promenade. After serving as the executive director of the Coalition for Clean Air in the early 1990s, in 2007 Denny founded Move LA to convene environmental, labor, and business leaders to champion sales tax ballot measures to fund transit expansion in Los Angeles County. Measure R (2008) and Measure M (2016) both prevailed and together will generate $120 billion over 40 years. Another measure, approved in 2017, helps raise $500 million per year to fund services for homeless persons. In 2019, Denny convened social justice advocates and labor leaders in L.A. to formulate Measure ULA, which voters approved in 2022, to raise hundreds of millions of dollars each year to prevent homelessness and build affordable housing.

Honorary Alumni Seal Award for Emeriti Faculty: Linda Lyke

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Professor of Art and Art History Emerita Linda Lyke, a Los Angeles artist who taught at Occidental from 1976 to 2022, is known for her printmaking, multicolored abstract monotypes, and mixed media work. She has had 19 solo shows and her prints have been juried into 90 national print and drawing exhibitions. She is represented in many private and public collections, including the Ian Potter Museum in Melbourne, Australia; Belfast Print Workshop in Ireland; Texas Tech University; Security Pacific in California; the James Jones Collection in Pomona; the Brand Library in Glendale; and the De Cordova Museum in Massachusetts. Linda’s work explores two distinct artistic directions: one that investigates the intuitive process of abstraction, and the other that references a cultural history that reflects on a specific place over time. She received a MacArthur Fellowship to research megafauna in Kenya and is a past president of the Los Angeles Printmaking Society. She received her bachelor’s and an MFA at Kent State University.