On Campus August 2023

Welcome back to a new academic year! To celebrate, join the Office of the President for Convocation 2023 this Monday, August 28, beginning at 9:30 a.m. with a Coffee Break in Rose Hills Patio (in front of the Bookstore). Staff and faculty will cheer on our newest students as they enter Thorne Hall for Convocation (joined by the Taiko ensemble—back by popular demand). Continue the celebration after Convocation with a community lunch on the Academic Quad, catered by Campus Dining. Find full event details here.



Move-In Day 2023
On the heels of Tropical Storm Hilary, Occidental College extended a sunny and dry welcome to members of the Class of 2027 and their families as they arrived on campus.

Adam Kinzinger to Speak at Occidental College September 7 as Distinguished Kemp Lecturer
Adam Kinzinger, a former congressman and member of the Select Committee that investigated the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, is Occidental’s 2023 Jack Kemp ’57 Distinguished Lecturer.

Professor Goffredi and Students Embark on Oceanic Research Expedition
Professor of Biology Shana Goffredi and two Occidental students joined a two-week expedition on the Atlantis research vessel, which utilizes the deep-sea submersible ALVIN.

Summer Leadership Program Prepares Students in Pursuit of the Public Good
Through a series of leadership training and social events, a new cohort of Obama Scholars at Occidental develops skills and cohesion that will propel them through the College’s Obama Scholars Program.



Mark your calendars:

  • Monday, September 28: TIAA 403(b) Retirement Plan Group Information Sessions. Information sessions regarding Oxy's retirement plan will be held at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. More details to follow.
  • Thursday, October 5: Employee Wellness Fair from 10 a.m. to noon in the Academic Quad. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet with Oxy's benefit vendors to learn more about the College's health and retirement benefits, visit the Kaiser mobile for a biometric screening and more.

Human Resources and Student Employment is excited to announce the implementation of the electronic Student Position Request Form (eSPRF) and automated workflow process. All supervisors who employ student workers in their department will be required to complete the eSPRF prior to the ePAF. Further training will be provided during the Student Employment Information Session. Please register for the session you plan to attend here.

Here is the latest list of arrivals and departures from July 22-August 18.

Alejandro Aguirre, Emmons Counseling Services, Director of Counseling Services
Marc Andrade, Tiger Cooler, Service Supervisor    
Richard Barbera, Facilities Management, Associate Director of Facilities
Jonisha Garcia, Urban & Environmental Program, Research Coordinator    
Tiffany Hall, SLICE, Leadership Coach and Administrator for ASOC    
Pierre Herrera, Campus Dining, Cook    
Thomas Jansen, Athletics, Assistant Swimming & Diving Coach
Marina Libel, Office of the Dean of the College, Mellon Grants Administrator
Julia Mackin-McLaughlin, Vantuna Research Group, Research Associate    
Audrey Navarro, Writing Center, Department Services Coordinator    
Karen Oajaca, Campus Dining, Cook
Jessica Peria, Vantuna Research Group, Research Assistant    
Elizabeth Mena-Moreno, Tiger Cooler, Cashier    
Jianmin Wang, ITS, Programmer/Analyst

Mariam Ashchyan, Disability Services, Case Manager    
Kelliner Croushore, Athletics, Head Women’s Softball Coach    
April Hovav, Urban & Environmental Policy Institute, Post-doctoral Scholar
Katelyn Legacy-Roulston, Library, Archivist
Isabel Martinez, Neighborhood Partnership Program, Academic Advisor    
Patricia Micciche, Office of the Dean of the College, Director of Academic Support Services



From Isaiah J. Thomas, assistant dean of students and director of residential education, housing services and student conduct: Kudos to Keana Staton-Woods, Asya Cook, and the entire Residential Education team on a fantastic job on welcoming back our 52 resident advisers to campus to prepare them for guiding our returning Oxy students and the Class of 2027!

From Courtney Stricklin Burgan ’03, senior associate dean of admission and director of volunteer relations and campus visit experiences: The Office of Admission is thrilled to welcome back Jordan Brown ’13 and Chloe Lahhman ’23. Jordan has joined us as the associate dean of admission and will be returning to his role as coordinator of athletic recruitment. Chloe will be taking on the role of an admission counselor after serving as a tour guide during her recent experience as an Oxy student. We are a stronger Admission team with these two excellent alumni in the ranks!

From Edmond Johnson, director of academic advising and coordinator of the Core Program: I'd like to give shout-outs to Benjie Castro, Staahl Almeida, Xiaoling Hong, David Dellinger, Theresa Corral, and Gerry Craft ’94 in ITS for all the work they've done this summer to maintain and improve our various advising systems (including Degree Works and the Advisee List/Grades & Academic Records modules). What they do behind the scenes has a huge impact on all of the students and advisers who use those systems! 

From Julie Santos, associate director of international programs; Robin Craggs, executive director of international programs; and Christy Altamirano, operations manager of  international programs: Big shout-out to Marisa Mofford in the International Programs Office for all her hard work on planning and executing an amazing International Student Orientation for 20 new members of the Class of 2027. Her passion, dedication and fortitude made it all possible.

From Julie Tanaka, director of special collections and College archives: With deepest appreciation for many jobs well done to Jocelyn Pedersen, the Library’s coordinator of the Book Arts and Print Cultures Program. Jocelyn led a monumental effort to plan, help design, and coordinate the move of the letterpress print shop from Weingart into its new home in the Library. When classes begin on August 29, they'll be in this remarkable space: The Lowercase—the studio for letterpress printing. Stay tuned for its formal and festive opening!
Special Collections and College Archives also welcomes Alanna Quan ’16 as the new archivist. Alanna earned her master's in library and information science with dual concentrations in archives and Informatics from UCLA. We are excited to have Alanna as the newest member of our team.

From Rob Flot, vice president for student affairs and dean of students: I'd like to give a shout-out to the staff in Residence Life and Housing Services (REHS) and the staff in the Student Life Involvement and Community Engagement (SLICE) for their roles in planning and delivering a very successful and joyful move-in day for our new students and their parents and families. Having a successful move-in is no easy task under the best of circumstances; to deliver such a great day while considering the potential impact of a tropical storm on the process was nothing short of amazing. Well done!

From Olivia Sabins, athletics department service coordinator: A big shout-out to Jessica Ochoa in Human Resources  from the Athletics Department. Jessica is always positive and ready to assist with whatever comes her way. Thank you, Jessica, for everything you do for the Oxy community!

From Mary Christianakis, professor of language, literacy and culture: A special shout-out to the Multicultural Summer Institute directors, ICC MSI staff, the RAs, and TAs listed below. You all were so amazing to work with and made the 2023 MSI experience the best ever! The faculty appreciate you all so much! 

  • Alexandra Puerto, Vanessa Gonzalez-Wright, Alison Escobar, Tessa Calado, Claire Dao, Mikaeala Dela Cruz, Ethan Fong, Gieselle Gatewood, Robin Maxile, Siana Park-Pearson, Sueli Zalazar, and Katrina Weti.

From Mary Christianakis, professor of language, literacy and culture: A special shout-out to Sylvia Chico, who was amazing and went beyond the call of duty to make sure that the Immigration Rights and Social Justice interns were well taken care of and that the program ran efficiently all the way to the end. Sylvia is such a star.

From Carmen Levitan, professor of cognitive science: Thank you to Alannah Isherwood, Pedro Gonzalez, and Virginia Lora for being the behind-the-scenes magic to make new faculty orientation work! We had a large group of new faculty and you all did a lot to help them feel warmly welcomed!



Associate Professor of Economics Bevin Ashenmiller was interviewed by the Guardian about her research on recycling for cash.

Asya Cook, Assistant Director of REHS, shared her expertise of both Marvel comics and higher ed at a Comic-Con conference for educators and librarians. The event was co-hosted by the San Diego Public Library this past July. The panel Cook participated in focused on how to work with students and colleagues post-pandemic, drawing parallels from comic book heroes. 

A major 21st-century mining boom is happening in rivers across the global tropics. A new paper published in Nature by Assistant Professor of Geology Evan Dethier and co-authors documents the mostly unreported rise of mining in 49 countries, in more than 400 districts along 173 rivers.

A group of Moving Forward Network members, including UEPI's MFN Campaign Manager Molly Greenberg, have published an article in the journal Social Sciences. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is an approach to address urban health and inequity, but it hasn’t always led to community-led, action-oriented results. This article explores the gaps between theory and practice through the lens of MFN members who have been deeply involved in CBPR framework.

Assistant Professor of Politics Isaac Hale was interviewed for Spectrum News about new legal struggles for former President Donald Trump. Hale also wrote a new article in the Canadian Journal of Political Science, in which he finds that racial attitudes affect vote choice in national Canadian elections. Hale showed that voters with more negative views of racial minorities were less likely to support the New Democratic Party once Jagmeet Singh became its first non-white leader.

Assistant Professor of Chemistry Raul Navarro has been awarded a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to study the development of new palladium catalysts that enable the synthesis of chemical motifs that have potential medicinal applications, including compounds known as isoindolinones, fluorenes, and cyclopropanes. The three-year grant will provide undergraduate research fellowships for students.

In a new article in Philosophical Psychology, Associate Professor of Cognitive Science Sasha Sherman and her colleague Derek Anderson argue that art contributes meaningfully to scientific knowledge. They present a range of cases that illustrate a variety of epistemic functions of art relevant to scientific practice, and respond to influential objections that purport to show that art has no epistemic value.

In a new article in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, Professor of Psychology Andrew Shtulman and his collaborators find that children's acceptance of unexpected events is predicted by cognitive reflection: children who succeed on brainteasers like "What do cows drink?" exhibit superior reasoning about possibility and permissibility.

Piano instructor Junko Ueno Garrett developed the first piano camp for adult students in Japan this summer. Piano Adore was supported by the Kawai Piano Co. and took place in the Tsumagoi Resort in Shizuoka-prefecture. Each day, Garrett offered private lessons for each participant and one master class for the full camp (examples here). A second camp is being planned for next summer.

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


Supporting the ethos of collective care, the Intercultural Community Center and the Office of Equity & Justice invites faculty, staff, alumni and students to celebrate the dynamic cultures among Occidental's campus community. 
Please RSVP by September 4.

  • Friday, September 1, 5:30 p.m.: Welcome Black - MLK Lounge & Patio (Pauley Hall) (RSVP by August 27)
  • Friday, September 8, 5 p.m.: Tea Time with APIDA - ICC 
  • Friday, September 15, 6 p.m.: Fiesta Latine - Cannon Plaza
  • Friday, September 22, 12 p.m.: Lavender Love Brunch - Sycamore Glen
  • Friday, September 29, 5 p.m.: First-ten Carnival - ICC 
Contact the Office of Marketing & Communications
AGC Administrative Center

First Floor

Rod Leveque
Vice President for Marketing & Communications