On Campus March 23, 2023


From art and art history and Black studies to music, politics, and psychology, Oxy welcomed eight new voices to the classroom this last fall semester. Get to know our new tenure-track faculty in the winter 2023 Occidental magazine—available exclusively online.

Additional stories include profiles of Everything Everywhere All At Once visual effects supervisor Zak Stoltz '10 and L.A. City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez '96, a recap of Campaign Semester 2022 and Reba Buhr '10's memoir of her mental wellness journey. Read more here.



Emerita Professor Lynn Mehl Honored by SCIAC
The Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honored Occidental’s Lynn Mehl with the Distinguished Service Award for 2022 at a March 16 ceremony.

Eight Students Selected for 2023-24 Barack Obama Scholars Program
Occidental has announced its 2023-24 cohort of Barack Obama Scholars, the prestigious leadership training program that seeks to empower exceptional students committed to the public good.

Prize-winning Author Isabel Wilkerson to Speak at 2023 Commencement
Isabel Wilkerson, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Humanities Medal, will be the featured speaker at theCollege's 141st Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 21.

Showcase Spotlights Student-Community Partnerships
For their capstone project, nearly 100 students enrolled across six Humanities for Just Communities (HJC) fall courses paired up with community partners to develop projects advancing health justice initiatives across Oxy’s campus and Los Angeles.



Nominations for HR's 2022-2023 Distinguished Service Awards are now open. Awards will be presented at Oxy's Staff Recognition Program on Thursday, May 25. You can find details about the three award categories in your inbox. Nominations are due by Friday, April 21.

On April 13 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. HR will be hosting a Mind and Body Wellness Fair, with a focus on mental wellness resources. The event will be held at the North Patio of theAGC Administration Building.

For easy access to mental wellness resources available through the College's Employee Assistance Plan and medical carriers, check out the newly created Wellness Resources section on the HR webpage.

Here is the latest list of arrivals and departures from February 18 to March 20:

Tyler Carter, Emmons Wellness Center, staff therapist
Rafael Pardo, Campus Dining, cook

Sarah Hall, physics department services coordinator
Lori Fiacco, director of conference services and campus filming



From retiring Secretary of the College Marsha Schnirring: The biggest, loudest shout-out possible to each and every member of the Oxy community -- present, past, and even to come -- for filling my 17 years here with the real joy that comes from working side-by-side with people with unquenchable energy endeavoring to make our community the best it can be, in every way. Thank you so very much! 

From Max Foreman, director of the Choi Family Music Production Center and assistant professor of music production: David Kasunic has worked tirelessly in his role as department chair for many years, and any one of those years would be deserving of a shoutout. But in the last few months alone he has secured a number of key fundraising deals from different donors, managed personnel changes within the department, taken on more advisees than anybody else I know, all with a bare minimum course release. He is carrying our department and almost makes it look easy. (Just kidding—it is a gargantuan task and everybody knows it.) Shout out to David!

From Jan Breidenbach, adjunct professor of urban & environmental policy: Shout-out to Sylvia Chico. She knows everything, is capable of almost anything, and is smart and kind.

From PJ Lutz '96,aAssistant director, employer engagement & recruiting, HCC: I want to give a huge Hameetman Career Center shout out / THANK YOU to the 21 volunteers who staffed our 2023 Career Fair. We literally could not put on this event without our colleagues--we are so grateful for your partnership and support!

From Alexandra Puerto, associate professor of history: The Humanities for Just Communities Co-Coordinators (Alex Puerto and Kristi Upson-Saia) extend a heartfelt thank you to our colleagues whose contributions helped make the first HJC Spring Showcase a huge success. Big shout outs to Brian Chambers and the Library Leadership Team, Clair Morrissey and Karla Hernandez of the Undergraduate Research Center, Elly Taylor from Oxy Design Services, Allie Gordon, Laura Paisley, and Marc Campos from the Office of Marketing and Communication, Daisy Pillar, Lope Bautista and Jose Hernandez in facilities, Erik Russell, Saraith Murillo and Uriel Gomez Martinez in Campus Dining, Claudia Conde in Campus Safety, James Anderson from the Office of Risk Management, and Rithika Mukerjee-Mora, our stellar Mellon Grants administrator.

From Katrina Weti, interim program coordinator, Intercultural Community Center: Shoutout to Aly "Get it Done" Escobar, who since she arrived at the ICC has been a rockstar. Aly came in and helped us put in place so many systems that have helped us so much this academic year. She is key in making everything at the ICC run and we are so grateful for her, especially for her work on the stoles for cultural graduations!

From Jim Tranquada, interim head, Office of Marketing and Communications: Huge kudos to OMC's Laura Paisley and ITS' Attalie Dexter for their successful launch of the Drupal 9 oxy.edu website! Updating the site took months of careful planning, tedious and endless link-by-link quality assurance checks, and a keen awareness of the overall user experience. Because this project is the definition of behind-the-scenes work that gets little attention–particularly because there were so few bugs after the new site launched this month–their skillful work is worth recognizing.



Billington Visiting Professor of History Thomas J. Balcerski takes a look at the remarkable life and service of former president Jimmy Carter in a new op-ed for CT News Junkie

Jennifer Piscopo discusses the constitutional crisis in Chile in a recent podcast episode of Democracy Paradox. Listen here.

Institutional Advancement's Caryn Rothschild C'71 (senior director of major gifts) and Patrice Cablayan (senior associate director of gift planning/stewardship) have been named two of Blackbaud's Fundraiser Performance Management prime officers. Blackbaud is a leading software provider for the social good community and prime officer awards celebrate gift officers who generate a high number of key activities that drive major gifts. Caryn has also recently completed her certificate in fundraising management from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. 

In an article published in a special issue of Eighteenth-Century Studies on Indigeneity, History Professor Lisa Sousa examines the sociocultural dimensions of labor in indigenous communities in colonial Mexico. She uses Nahuatl-language documents to shed light on the importance of shared labor obligations in the formation of gender identity, as well as community relations, solidarity, and membership.

Assistant Professor of Physics Sabrina Stierwalt appeared in an episode of PBS Nova to describe the work her group is doing with the James Webb Space Telescope. Watch the episode here.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which locked our bodies and minds in our homes, makes us wonder: what did people in the past do when they were confined to the home? In her new article in Artibus Asiae, Assistant Professor of Art History Yurika Wakamatsu investigates how a landscape painting from 19th-century Japan invites the viewer to attune to the sights and sounds of a distant, even unfamiliar, locale.

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



  • Thursday, April 6: MAC Cinematheque presents…Oxy Creates! Media by MAC Faculty and Oxy Alums. On April 6, Zak Stoltz ’10 returns to discuss his role as leader of the visual effects team on this year’s Oscar winning film, Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • Thursday, April 20: Save the date for Day For Oxy on April 20. Support the Tigers of today. Strengthen the College of tomorrow. Our goal is 1,987 donors – one for every student. Learn more at givingday.oxy.edu.