On Campus - November 13, 2020


I’m excited to announce that Occidental, together with DePauw, Oberlin, Macalester, Pomona and Skidmore, have launched the Liberal Arts College Racial Equity Leadership Alliance (LACRELA), a national coalition to address racial inequities on our campuses. A total of 51 schools have signed on as inaugural members, and recruitment of additional members is continuing. The Alliance will be partnering with Dr. Shaun Harper and USC’s Race and Equity Center to offer members a number of tools to support their racial equity work. We hope this effort will not only help us make a difference on our own campuses, but in the country as a whole. You can read the full details here.


Technology Reimbursement
As mentioned in the October all-staff meeting, the College will be providing a reimbursement to regular staff and faculty for use of Internet and cell phone service when required to work at home. Because every situation is different, we have tried to apply the reimbursement as consistently as possible while accounting for general differences, including whether a job is required to be conducted remotely (or if on-campus work is required) and/or the general hours expectation of the job (i.e., full-time v. part-time). We are working on the implementation of this initiative and hope that it will be in the first paycheck in December. Detailed information about this policy will be posted on the HR website by December 1 before the reimbursements go into effect.

Reminder: Please schedule your vacation related to furlough
On June 25,, Oxy announced the FY 2020-2021 furlough program that requires all of us to take a certain amount of time off this academic year corresponding to our salary level, with the option of using accrued vacation during this time off.  As we are nearing the half-way point of this academic year, I would like to share this friendly reminder to please plan your time off accordingly.  Of course, many people have already taken their necessary vacation for the year (or unpaid furlough, if that is what they opted to do instead).  However, if you have not yet already made these plans with your supervisor, please do so as soon as you can.

Cranberry sauce recipe
For years, I was a devout proponent of the jellied cranberry sauce from a can. There was something about that sound that the congealed mass made when exiting the can that just sounded like Thanksgiving to me. Then I discovered how easy it is to make cranberry sauce and have never turned back. 

1 1/2 - 12 ounce bags of fresh cranberries
1 orange (medium to large, navel orange preferred)
1/2 cup agave nectar* 
1/4 to 1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
optional: cinnamon stick

*you could generally find agave in the baking section in stores like Sprouts or Bristol Farms, but could also substitute a 3/4 to 1 cup of sugar or stevia or splenda. I like the taste and health benefits of agave.

1. Combine and heat the water, cornstarch and agave in a medium saucepan on low to medium heat. If you are adding the (optional) cinnamon, you can throw that in now too.
2. The orange:
     2a. If you can, zest the orange peel. If you don't have a zester, don't worry about it.
     2b. After zesting (or not), peel the orange, discard the skin, separate each orange section and cut each into half pieces (to make them half as long).
3. Mix the cranberries and orange pieces in with the water/starch/agave mixture and continue cooking for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  
4. Over this period of time, you'll see the mixture start to thicken and the skin of the cranberries to wrinkle and "pop." Don't worry, this is a good thing. Keep going until it starts to look more like a sauce and less like a bunch of cranberries in water.
5. After this is done, set it aside to cool, then place it in a container to store in the fridge for about 3 hours (to congeal and further settle).  If you added a cinnamon stick, it is probably best to take it out before it goes in the fridge.

That's it! Fast, easy and fairly healthy (unless you are using all that sugar). You can also change out the fruit and add blueberries or strawberries to make a different tasting compote.


The Oxy Employee Relief Fund was established by members of the College community to support colleagues at Occidental who are experiencing unanticipated or emergency financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fund still needs your support to be able to make grants to everyone who has applied. Find out how to give or apply.



Campaign Semester Takes on Many Forms as Oxy Students Get Out the Vote
This fall, Oxy students were busy getting out the vote as part of Campaign Semester, the only undergraduate program in the country that offers a full semester’s credit for a fully immersive experience into the American political process.

Representation at Oxy
Representation and visibility are integral steps in the pursuit of equity. There are a broad range of stories at Oxy, filled with rich lived experiences that illuminate diversity among our staff community. The Intercultural Community Center would like to share some of these stories with you.


From Richard Mora, Associate Professor of Sociology: 
“Kathy Izumi (Department Services Coordinator) and Alannah Isherwood (Department Services): Thank you for helping faculty in Swan Hall get their work done.

Patty Micciche (Assistant to the Dean for Faculty and Curricular Affairs):
"Thank you so much for diligently managing the California Immigration Semester honorariums on top of your many duties.”

From Amos Himmelstein, Chief Operating Officer:
“Shout out to Marcus Rodriguez, Sandra McLean, Celia Ruiz and everyone else who contributed to turning Lower Herrick into a voting center and for providing so many voting resources to the Oxy community and beyond!”

From Rob Flot, Dean of Students:
“I'd like to send a shout out to Assistant Dean of Students and Director of SLICE, Marcus Rodriguez and the team he worked with to plan for a number of programs and services related to the election. The Student Affairs "Ad Hoc Voting Committee" did a wonderful job in planning and managing a host of pre- and post- election education and supports for our students, including the opportunity to vote right here on campus!

In addition to Marcus, I'd like to thank the other staff members who served on the planning committee:

Jenny Heerderks - Emmons Counseling
Luci Masredjian - Disability Services/Dean of the College Office
Isaiah Thomas - Residential Education and Housing Services
Cori Vallembois - Athletics
Susan Young - Office of Religious and Spiritual Life

I'd also like to give a shout out to the following students who were also members of the planning committee: Aadhiya Jeharajah '23, Ariel Lashinsky '24, Jason Park '23, Carissa Torres '23, Kendal Walker '22.

Thank you all!”

From Mai Thai, Assistant Professor of Sociology:
"I'd like to give a shout-out to Kathy Izumi, Department Services Coordinator, for her diligence in helping me navigate the Oxy paperwork landscape and in orienting me to how things work during my first year here!"

From Kristi Upson-Saia, Professor of Religious Studies: 
"On behalf of many faculty, I’d like to give a huge shout-out to Meg Henkin in the Registrar’s office for her help with Course Counts and registration issues. She always replies promptly, fixes the problem, and does so with good cheer. Thank you, Meg!"

From Celia Ruiz, Assistant Director of Operations, Facilities Management:
"On behalf of the Facilities department, I would like to recognize my staff for an outstanding job in working with painting projects of residence halls (Erdman, Haines, Newcomb) and Rental Houses.  The following staff showed their resilience and commitment to Oxy by accomplishing these large scale painting projects and saving the College thousands of dollars by keeping this work in house and not outsourcing to contractors. Thank you to Ricky Miramontes, Juaquin Aguilar, Victor Montes, Hansy Garcia, Cesar Durazo, Joe Jordan, Sammy Hernandez, Stef Gullicksen, and Larry Mendoza!"


History and Black Studies Professor Erica Ball's sweeping and groundbreaking edited volume, As if She Were Free: A Collective Biography of Women and Emancipation in the Americas, brings together the biographies of 24 women of African descent to reveal how enslaved and recently freed women sought, imagined, and found freedom from the sixteenth through the twentieth centuries.

Academic Technology Specialist in the Center for Digital Liberal Arts Darren Hall earned the Open Education Network Certificate in OER Librarianship. The certificate develops effective open education leaders who want to be stewards and advocates for open educational resources. The online course, which began in February and ended in September, included a series of mentor-led, cohort-based modules on various aspects of open education programming and culminated in a final project in which Hall developed an action plan to further promote OER at Oxy under the banner of Open Oxy.

A new essay, "'Doubly Resounded': Narcissus and Echo in Petrarch, Donne, and Wroth," by Assistant Professor of English Ross Lerner offers a new perspective on the influence of Francesco Petrarch’s Augustinian meditations on verse's capacity to scatter or collect a poet on two Renaissance English poems: John Donne’s “Valediction: Of My Name in the Window” and the first sonnet that appears in Mary Wroth’s The Countesse of Montgomery’s Urania. It does so by tracing the curious reworkings of Ovid's Narcissus and Echo myth in all three poets, ultimately outlining the vision of anti-Petrarchan, queer, feminist mutuality that emerges in Wroth's thinking about Echo and echo.

In a newly published article, "Bridging Biology and Ethnohistory: A Case for Collaboration," Associate Professor of Biology John McCormack and co-authors, including Moore Lab of Zoology Collections Manager James Maley, show how bird specimens in biological collections like the Moore Lab can help solve historical riddles involving indigenous uses of bird feathers.

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


Julie Kimiko Santos, Associate Director, International Programs Office

I hail from: Torrance
My current neighborhood is: Altadena
I've been involved with Oxy for: Almost 10 years
My workplace currently looks like: A dachshund runs things! 
My new favorite office snack is: Buffalo Wing Pretzel Crisps and Red Vines
A recent accomplishment I'm proud of is: Having a healthy beautiful baby boy during a pandemic. 
A TV show you should watch is: Kobra Kai, Ted Lasso, and The Mandalorian are very fun breaks from reality.