November 2017

As the campus prepares for the end of fall semester, look back on the most recent news and accomplishments from Oxy colleagues.


Weekly Wins Top Journalism Honor

The Occidental Weekly once again has been awarded one of the country’s top awards for college journalism in the Associated Collegiate Press’ annual competition.

$1.38-Million NSF Grant Will Fund Math Research

Occidental has been awarded a $1.38-million grant from the National Science Foundation to stimulate undergraduate research in mathematics and statistics on campuses across the country.

Fall 2017 Occidental Magazine is Out Now

The latest magazine features articles on faculty/student research on climate change, profiles of new students in the Class of 2021, a spotlight on new deans Rob Flot and Wendy Sternberg and much more campus news. Bookmark the ISSUU link and add it to your reading list.

Occidental Students Give Thanks

Ahead of Thanksgiving, Oxy students spent time reflecting on what they are thankful for in a new video made by Admission interns Neah Bois '19, Cleo Juster '20 and Jade Thurnham '20.

Professor Examines Cost of Online Privacy

Giving up personal user data online does not greatly improve the quality of internet search results, a recent study co-authored by associate professor of economics Lesley Chiou has found.

Black Studies Proposal Submitted for Review

A much-anticipated proposal for a Black Studies curriculum at Occidental has been submitted for a formal review process expected to lead to faculty approval of a Black studies major as early as spring 2018.




Johnny Lam, programmer/analyst, Information Technology Services
Jennie Marie Petrini, director of advancement operations, Institutional Assessment
Robert A. Martinez, cleaning services specialist, residence halls
Ricardo Miramontes, Facilities Management


Last week, associate professor of American studies Courtney R. Baker spoke at the UC Irvine Center for Biotechnology & Global Health Policy Colloquium on the topic of "Women and Hate: Lynchings, Hate Groups and Emmett Till." Baker’s invitation drew on her expertise as a scholar of violence in black activism and her book focusing on the Emmett Till case, Humane Insight: Looking at Images of African American Suffering and Death.

The second edition of media arts & culture professor Broderick Fox’s Documentary Media: History, Theory, Practice has just been released by Routledge Press. In her recent review of the book, Patricia Aufderheide, founder of the Center for Media and Social Impact at American University, writes: "With graceful and accessible prose, deep expertise and vivid examples, Broderick Fox has leaped across the divide between film studies and film production courses. Step by step through the production process, Fox exposes the deeper questions that face anyone trying to say something meaningful about something that really happened."

Two new books from associate professor of politics Caroline Heldman are now available. Women, Power, and Politics: The Fight for Gender Equality in the United States offers a timely and engaging analysis of classic and contemporary gender-related issues, focusing on the role of women as active participants in government and the public policies that affect women in their daily lives. Protest Politics in the Marketplace examines how social media has revolutionized the use and effectiveness of consumer activism. Heldman finds that consumer activism is a democratizing force that improves political participation, self-governance and the accountability of corporations and the government. Rebecca Cooper ’13 provided invaluable editing for this book.

Associate professor of religious studies Amy Holmes-Tagchungdarpa received part of a group grant funding research on the topic of "Mapping Religious Diversity in Modern Sichuan" received from the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange. This three-year project aims at discussing dynamics and paradigms of religious diversity in Sichuan in the 17th through 20th centuries. Holmes-Tagchungdarpa has also published a translation of meditation instructions written by 19th-century Tibetan teacher Token Shakya Shri in Holly Gayley and Josh Schapiro's edited collection, A Gathering of Brilliant Moons: Practice Advice From the Rime Masters of Tibet.

Walter Richmond, professor of comparative studies in literature and culture, took his knowledge of Russian language, literature art and culture to Malmö University in Sweden this month as part of the university’s Russia and Caucasus Regional Research Conference. The second annual conference focused on nationalism and identity in the post-Soviet space and beyond.

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



James M. Maley, Ph.D., Collections Manager, Moore Lab of Zoology

I hail from: Rochester, New York

I graduated from: University of Alaska Fairbanks (B.S., M.S.) and Louisiana State University (Ph.D.)

I've been involved with Oxy for: 4 years

A typical day on the job looks like: Meeting with and mentoring students that are working on research projects in the Moore Lab, giving a tour of the collection, conducting genetic lab work, analyzing genomic DNA, preparing scientific specimens and photographing wildlife I encounter on campus.

The favorite part of my job is: Working with exceptional undergraduates to help them learn how to conduct scientific research.

My favorite thing to do in Los Angeles is: Taking my dog Fred on walks in interesting neighborhoods and parks.

A recent accomplishment I'm proud of is: I was recently interviewed for a podcast called Ologies with Alie Ward all about ornithology and have received some really warm and positive feedback.

Cooler or Marketplace?: Marketplace

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

My nickname is: Pardirallus, it’s one of my favorite genera of birds.

Something people don't know about me is: When I was in college I worked as a commercial fisherman for two summers. I fished for sockeye salmon in a very remote area near Kodiak Island, where I encountered grizzly bears, sharks, orcas and powerful storms.

A good book I've read lately is: Fluke by Christopher Moore


  • Thurs., Nov. 30: Senior Studio Comps Exhibition Opening Reception
  • Fri., Dec. 1: Handmade Oxy
  • Wed., Dec. 6: ISLA Fall 2017 Disney + SoCal Series: Ink & Paint – The Women of Walt Disney’s Animation
  • Fri. Dec. 8: Holiday Party
  • Now through Fri., Jan. 12: Exhibit: Skin and Bones and More

For more events on campus, visit



Quincy Jefferson, Oxy tiger to Carola Donnerhak, Strategic Initiatives (Institutional Advancement)

Quincy, a timid, 2-year-old rescue from the Pasadena Humane Society, occasionally checks into the Office of Strategic Initiatives (OSI). There he loves the attention (and belly rubs) from everyone who comes through AGC Suite 126. As a dedicated volunteer, he assists the OSI team in sniffing out grant opportunities, meeting with faculty and working on pawjects. As an avid lover of the outdoors, he can't wait for the new pool to be done. If it is fresh water, it will be a great place to get a drink and lounge in the sun! Off campus, this little guy enjoys taking it easy and jumping around like a kangaroo before embarking on walks. Those walks are just such exciting adventures!

Photo credit: The Long Leash