• According to several studies, depression and anxiety among college students has drastically increased in the last eight years. As faculty and staff, we can take small steps that could make a big difference to support our students. Emmons Wellness Center has launched an online conversation simulation, "At-Risk for Faculty & Staff," to strengthen our ability to notice signs of emotional distress, provide various techniques to discuss concerns, and refer students to appropriate campus resources, when necessary. This training, which typically takes about 45 minutes, can be completed on any computer and started or resumed at your convenience. Please join Emmons' efforts to raise awareness about available resources while doing all that we can to ensure the psychological well-being of our students. To access the training, go to and sign in with your Oxy login. 

• After two years online, the Hameetman Career Center is excited to announce that the Career Fair will be returning to an in-person format. The Fair will be on Thursday, February 23—and with the return to in-person, your help is needed! Over 40 employers and hundreds of students will be at the event, so the HCC will need help with setup, directing guests, assisting students and cleanup. If you are willing to help out for a two-hour shift, please email PJ Lutz, assistant director of employer engagement & recruiting.


As a resource for better health, free mental wellness apps are available to employees enrolled in an Oxy Kaiser or Blue Shield of CA medical plan:

Kaiser members have free access to the CALM medication app. Download the app at or login to to find a link that will take you to the Calm/myStrength site.
Blue Shield of CA members have access to Ginger (provides on-demand mental health support day or night) and Headspace (helps reduce stress, increase resilience and get a better night's rest). Additional mindfulness meditation apps available for BSC members include: Smiling Mind, Insight Timer, Yoga for Beginners, and Stop, Breathe, Think. Find these apps by logging in to the BSC Wellvolution website.

If you need support with navigating life's stressors, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to you at no cost. Administered by Ability Assist by Hartford, the EAP offers employees confidential, personal support for a wide range of issues, from everyday stressors to serious concerns,

As a reminder, the COVID-19 Paid Supplemental Sick Leave (C19 PSSL) expired on Dec. 31 and is not currently scheduled to be offered in calendar year 2023. We will notify the campus if there are any future changes related to C19 PSSL.

Thank you to everyone who attended HR's Holiday Open House (a.k.a. Ugly Sweater event) on December 12. View photos of everyone's festive attire here. 


Here is the latest list of arrivals and departures from November 22 to January 23.

Gerardo Aguilar, Campus Safety officer
Mario Arguello, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Oscar Cortez, Campus Safety officer
Vanessa Gonzalez, director of Intercultural Community Center
Kulwinder Kaur, Campus Dining, cook
Kayla Norwood, Campus Safety officer
Cammie Rodriguez, associate director of human resources
Martha Secundino, Neighborhood Partnership Program, academic advisor
Kebu Stewart, assistant coach, men's basketball

Eileen Guzman, financial aid administrative assistant
Jesus Maldonado, director of Upward Bound
Elizabeth Mendez, Emmons, staff therapist
Desiree Ramirez, Psychology, department services coordinator
Jane Sia, business office, accounts payable manager
Brittney Vargas, facilities, cleaning services



Professor and Students Attend Major Astronomy Conference in Seattle
Assistant Professor of Physics Sabrina Stierwalt was invited to give a plenary speech at the American Astronomical Society conference while her students presented their original research.

Kenturah Davis: Dark Illumination
For the culmination of her residency at OXY ARTS, and in her first solo institutional exhibition in Los Angeles, Kenturah Davis '02 presents a body of work that illuminates the significance of shadows in our sensory experience. The opening reception takes place on Thursday, February 9.

Occidental Glee Club Toured Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi January 15-19
The Occidental College Glee Club toured Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi January 15-19, and brought its wide-ranging repertoire of a capella choral music to New Orleans, Mobile, Jackson, and Baton Rouge.

Occidental Receives Grant for National Collaboration To Promote Inclusive Excellence in STEM
Occidental College has been selected to be a part of a nationwide, 15-institution cohort that will explore new ways to promote inclusive excellence in STEM higher education.

New Gift To Fund Campus-Wide Student Health Promotion Program
A generous gift from the Choi Family, combined with gifts from other donors, will fund a new campus-wide health promotion program to address the growing need for mental health and wellness education for Occidental students.


From Amy Holmes-Tagchungdarpa, associate professor of religious studies: I would like to shout out Patty Micciche and Linh Vo for their amazing work organizing the ongoing Islam search. The Department of Religious Studies and the search committee are thankful for their patience, flexibility, and all-around brilliance throughout the process!

From Dana Kotcherlakota-Benton, development coordinator, strategic initiatives: Shoutout to OSI Associate Director Rachel Park (associate director, strategic initiatives) who will be directing a production of True West by Sam Shepard at the Center for the Arts in Kayenta, UT. 

From Carmel Levitan, professor of cognitive science: Thank you to Shuna McMichael, Oxy's inaugural director of sponsored research. Shuna worked with me and a colleague on a grant submission and her support and expertise were extremely useful to ensuring a smooth, on-time submission. Thank you also to Barbara Gillett Valiente for her long-term advocacy for this new position and for successfully recruiting Shuna to join Oxy.



E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics Peter Dreier will receive this year's Marv Gross Award from the Pasadena Jewish Temple and Center. The Temple's Social Justice Committee created the award to honor its former chairman, Rabbi Marv Gross, who passed away in 2019. Each year the winner receives $500 to go to the charity of their choice. In addition, the winner’s name is inscribed on a plaque attached to a beautiful stone sculpture created by temple member Brian Mark. 

In a new article in Journal of Child Language, Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology Susan Geffen and co-authors find that there are cues in the first two words of sentences that can distinguish statements and wh- questions in naturalistic infant-directed speech. Results found sentence-types differ more when the second word was a determiner or pronoun (e.g. the, he) not a noun or verb (e.g. girl, run).

Project management techniques are important for the successful completion of large projects. In a new paper for the Journal of Cost Analysis & Parametrics, NTT Associate Professor of Economics Daryl Ono analyzes how microeconomic tools can be implemented to improve the probability of success of a project. Statistical analysis was conducted to illustrate the effectiveness of this methodology.

Black communities have been targeted for sales for some of the most toxic beauty products. As consumers are tired of hazards, the clean beauty industry is ramping up, but potentially leaving Black communities behind. Associate Professor of Urban & Environmental Policy Bhavna Shamasunder provided a quote on the subject for the Los Angeles Times on November 22, 2022.

Miao "Kat" Wang, director of pre-health advising, will be presenting at the 20th Annual Innovation in Medical Education Conference hosted at the USC Keck School of Medicine. Her poster, HOPP! Forward Momentum in Pre-Medical Education (with Early Introduction to How Doctors Think), will showcase the interactive online course for pre-medical students developed in collaboration with Dr. Mia Mattioli from Huntington Hospital. Occidental is the only undergraduate institution presenting at the conference. The Huntington-Oxy Pre-medical Program (HOPP) has enrolled 64 students, 23 (35.9%) self-reported as underrepresented in medicine. As of December 2022, 8 students (12.5%) have matriculated or have been accepted to medical schools.

In a new article published in the Journal of Chemical Education, Resident Senior Instructor of Chemistry Anne Yu, Assistant Professor Raul Navarro and co-authors, including Junko Anderson '21, describe the development of a discussion-centered assignment based on the documentary "Picture a Scientist", an exercise that engaged introductory organic chemistry students in conversations about racism and gender discrimination in STEM. 

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


Contact the Office of Marketing & Communications
AGC Administrative Center

First Floor

Jim Tranquada
Director of Communications and Community Relations
Office: (323) 259-2990