On Campus - June 27, 2022


Summer programs are underway on campus, some returning to in-person for the first time in two years and some for the first time ever. Twenty-five students are currently interning at nonprofit organizations around the city as part of the Hameetman Career Center's InternLA program. The group convenes on campus every Friday for professional development training with HCC staff. Many students from the Undergraduate Research Center's Summer Research Program (SRP) are also on campus, researching in the Library and working in the labs. Look for details on the upcoming SRP conference in August. 

A cohort of first-year students will soon arrive on campus for the Multicultural Summer Institute (MSI); classes begin on July 5. Over four weeks, these first-year students will take a four-unit course while getting to know Oxy with the help of faculty and residential student advisors. This year's MSI curriculum is aligned with the Humanities for Just Communities (HJC) annual theme: "Health, Illness and Dignity." Students have another opportunity to begin the HJC program through a new virtual (and free) summer course on health justice.



The Office of Finance and Planning is proud to announce Human Resource leaders Jacie Fiegelman, Karen Salce, Linda Escobar, and Mary Maher have been invited to present an educational session at the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) Annual Conference in San Diego October 22-24. Their presentation entitled, "HR Re-Imagined: Yes, We're Still Out There" focuses on how limited resources, leadership changes and the lack of strategic visioning can leave HR professionals and the campus customers they serve feeling both anxious and discouraged in day-to-day HR operations. Attendees will hear about how our HR team is working to improve service delivery, implement contemporary best practices, drive technological solutions and influence cultural change. Congratulations to our Oxy HR team!  [As a higher education professional association, CUPA-HR's membership is made up of more than 33,000 HR professionals and other higher ed leaders at nearly 2,000 member organizations.]
Thank you to everyone who attended last month’s Employee Recognition Lunch and Ceremony! A special thanks to longtime Oxy freelance photographer Don Milci who photographed the event. View the photos here. 

New hires:
Jose Escario, Campus Safety officer
Daisy Pillar, work center supervisor, Facilities
Israel Colon, Operations supervisor, Facilities
Robert Negrete, Sales Recon and Customer Service, Bookstore
Erik Russell, Assistant VP of Hospitality, Campus Dining
Gretchen Saalbach, executive assistant, Office of the President

Christopher Arguedas, Director of the Intercultural Community Center
Tirzah Blanche, Project SAFE Manager
Megan Henkin, Associate Registrar, Registrar's office
Keane Tarrosa, Sr. Assistant Dean of Admission
Karloz Barrios, Boiler C/General Mechanic, Utilities & Energy Management
Brandon Wagoner, Electrician, Utilities & Energy Management
Angelica Contreras, Academic Advisor, Neighborhood Partnership Program
Michael Orta, technical support specialist, ITS
Sherman York, media services coordinator, Audio Visual
Roberto Chavez, Tiger Cooler supervisor
Anthony Prieto, Campus Safety officer




Three Win NSF Graduate Research Fellowships
A graduating Occidental senior and two alumni have been awarded prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research fellowships, awarded annually to candidates in the sciences and social sciences who are pursuing a master’s degree or Ph.D.

Occidental Magazine Spring 2022 Issue
Catch up on the latest Occidental magazine which features profiles of Oxy's newest retiring faculty members, alumni highlights and more. 

“Oxy Talks” Faculty Video Series
As scholars and thought leaders, faculty define the academic experience at Occidental. In this video series, faculty members share their research in an accessible, conversational way. Subject matter ranges from high-tech space telescopes to urban migration patterns and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.




From Candace Mixon, Visiting Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and summer faculty mentor for the Obama Scholars Program: I would like to give a shout out to Stephanie Espinosa, who during the academic year serves as the administrative assistant for the Hameetman Career Center, but is serving this summer as the administrative assistant for the Obama Scholars Summer Program. Summer programming is brand new for the Obama Scholars Program at Occidental, and Stephanie has stepped up to the challenge of helping me run a new program, balancing logistics for incoming guests with everyday accounting with ease and top-notch professionalism! Thank you so much!

From Dana Brandsey '02, director of alumni and parent engagement: Shout-out to Leanne Sappington for her incredible work on running the logistics for Alumni Reunion Weekend, our first in-person reunion weekend in two years. She handled all of the many logistics with grace, calmness, and humor. AND, to IA and all our campus partners who presented, participated, pitched in, and worked together to make Alumni Reunion Weekend a terrific success. Our alumni had a fabulous and memorable time on campus because of their work. It takes a village and we did it!

From Michael Gasper, associate professor of history: Mike Redfern (MAC user support specialist, ITS) is Mr. Helpful and should get a big raise!!!

From Kelsey Belli, Brigette Young, Loralee Ocasio and Kevin Brown, Institutional Advancement: The Alumni and Parent Engagement Team would like to give a special shout-out to Dana Brandsey ‘02 for her outstanding leadership in planning the 2022 Alumni Reunion Weekend. Throughout Alumni Reunion Weekend, Dana was a diligent leader, and she led our team to achieve the first in-person reunion since the pandemic. Her work to revive Alumni Reunion Weekend from its pandemic hiatus was outstanding. She went above and beyond to make this reunion safe and fun for all returning alumni. Dana tirelessly met with the different reunion committees to give a special flair to each of the 10 class dinners. At the same time as launching this significant event, she also helped her team (three of whom had never done a reunion at Oxy before) by patiently guiding them to successfully carry out their responsibilities. Dana helped create an event unique to the returning alumni, figured out ways to make the reunion as safe as possible during a pandemic, helped plan unique details with each reunion committee, and simultaneously helped her team make the event run as smoothly as possible. Throughout all of her hard work, her positive attitude and smile motivated us to do our best to create this fantastic event for all of the reunion alumni. The weekend was a big success, and we were so happy that the alumni had a great time celebrating their memories at Oxy. We could not have done this without Dana’s leadership, and we want to give her a special KUDOS for all her strength and dedication to the College and our alumni. 

From Julie Tanaka, Director of Special Collections and College Archives: A special thanks to Helena de Lemos, instruction and research librarian, and Jocelyn Pedersen, coordinator of the Book Arts and Historical Bibliography Program, for all of their work preparing for and hosting four wonderful sessions for attendees at Alumni Reunion this past weekend. Helena installed an exhibit of historical photographs from the College Archives and introduced guests to artifacts from our rare and unique collections. Jocelyn put the full power of the press on display during her two letterpress printing workshops during which participants experienced setting type, printing on a Vandercook press, and making their own letterpress printed book that they got to take home with them. And, together, they exhibited Belonging at Oxy, the 40-yard long artist book created by 115 Oxy alumni, students, parents, staff, and faculty. Come see this if you haven't seen it! Thank you, Helena and Jocelyn.

From Darren Hall, director of scholarly information resources, Library: Congratulations to reference and instruction librarian Daryl Barker ’17 on receiving your MLIS degree from UCLA!

Carol S. Milki P’08 P’09, senior coordinator, data management: I would like to send a BIG thank you to my wonderful colleagues Marian Ko and Ileana Valencia in Advancement Services for their unwavering commitment to assisting with Day For Oxy behind-the-scenes work. They are team players that always step up to the plate with enthusiasm and dedication!   

From Devon Sakamoto, assistant dean of students for Emmons Wellness Center: Shout-out to Jenny Heetderks for managing Emmons counseling service coverage over the summer, and for her diligence identifying new, robust, mental health resources to provide for our students in the fall! And another shout-out to the Emmons medical team (Claudia Ramos, Evelyn Chan, and Ana Casillas) for their smooth transition to managing on-campus COVID operations, testing, and contact tracing this summer! They're doing a fantastic job helping to keep campus safe and healthy.



A new paper by Assistant Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy J. Mijin Cha titled "Winning on Climate: Case Studies of Cities Centering Economic Inclusion" discusses principles that can guide the development of equitable climate policy, then presents case studies of cities across the country that have integrated equity into climate action. Examples from Boston, Portland, Denver, D.C., Minneapolis, and Oakland demonstrate how cities can begin to make equity a fundamental part of any climate policy. Oxy students Jack Conroy '22 and Aria Devlin '21 contributed to the research for this paper.

Diplomacy and World Affairs Professor Laura Hebert’s book, Gender and Human Rights in a Global, Mobile Era, delves into feminist debates surrounding human rights through engaging feminist perspectives on the multifaceted issue of human trafficking. As the book explores how a gender analysis illuminates the structures and norms enabling trafficking, it simultaneously exposes divisions in feminist politics that have impeded the building of solidarities across differences aimed at the realization of the human rights of all.

Associate Professor of Economics Andrew Jalil was interviewed by Marketplace (a producer of economic and business news for NPR) about the Federal Reserve's recent interest rate hikes and the likelihood of recession. 

Manager of Digital Production in the Media Arts and Culture Department Diana Keeler has been accepted as an Adobe Education Leader for the 2022-23 school year. Adobe Education Leaders are innovative thought leaders in education who effectively use Adobe tools to promote excellence in students’ development of creative problem solving and critical thinking skills. The Adobe Education Exchange includes one million member educators from around the world. Among this extended community, only 400 member educators hailing from 15 countries have achieved Adobe Education Leader recognition.

Assistant Professor of Chemistry Raul Navarro and Oxy undergraduate co-authors Tim McClure '22, Connor Saludares '21, Cheyenne Orozco '20, and Gisela Martinez '23 developed a new chemical tool to access phthalides, a family of biologically active organic compounds that possess a range of therapeutic properties. Their findings can be found in a new paper for ACS Publications.

Navarro was recently named one of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) Magazine's LGBTQ+ Trailblazers of the Year. In his interview with the magazine, he discusses developing his identity as a queer scientist. 

Professor of History Lisa Sousa contributed an article titled "Reexamining Malinche's Betrayal" to the catalog of Denver Art Museum's exhibition "Traitor, Survivor, Icon: The Legacy of La Malinche." Based on her analysis of sixteenth-century Nahuatl texts and pictorials, she shows how Nahua historians remembered Malinche as a translator, co-leader of the conquest, and evangelizer, but not a traitor.

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