On Campus November 2023


This month saw the close of a tremendous season for men’s soccer at Oxy. Congratulations to Head Coach Rod Lafaurie (SCIAC Coaching Staff of the Year winner) and the Oxy men’s soccer team after their first-ever SCIAC championship and historic run in the NCAA Division III national playoffs. The Tigers’ season ended November 18 with a 1-0 loss to Amherst in two overtimes. A toot of the vuvuzela to these amazing student-athletes and coaches.



Fall Productions Light up the Keck Theater Stage 
This fall, Occidental’s Department of Theater and Performance Studies presented two mainstage plays. Enjoy photos from each production.

From the Occidental: Occidental's First Micro Forest Will Have Macro Impact
Student volunteers are creating a micro forest on campus which will foster biodiversity, increase carbon sequestration and save water.

Inaugural Olive Harvest Builds Community and Climate Awareness
Occidental students, staff and faculty came together to harvest a bumper crop of olives from the Olive Grove on the north side of campus.

International Student Arrives at Occidental as Inaugural SHE-CAN Scholar
First-year student Villathina Ly of Cambodia builds on an impressive academic and community service resume as well as a passion for international relations.



2023 Flexible Spending Account Deadline Reminder: You will have until March 15, 2024, to spend remaining 2023 Flexible Spending Account funds and until April 30, 2024, to submit a claim to request a refund for a 2023 remaining balance (for eligible out-of-pocket expenses incurred during the period 1/1/23 through 3/15/24), per IRS guidelines. Items purchased on the online FSA store are eligible for reimbursement under the Medical Spending Account. If you have questions, please contact the PrimePay customer participant line at (855) 892-6272 for assistance.

Here is the latest list of arrivals and departures from October 24 to November 28:

Amanda Cornejo, Athletics, Assistant Softball Coach
Reylit De Castro, Business Office, Accounts Payable Specialist
Steven Eulenberg, SLICE, Assistant Director of Student Involvement and Concert Production
Morgan Flynn, Registrar, Associate Registrar-Curriculum
Leslie Ramirez, Business Office, Payroll Specialist
Robert Ramirez, Facilities, Plumber
David Strauss, Business Office, Accounts Payable Manager
Rachael Warecki, Marketing and Communications, Director of Communications

Kevin Brown, Institutional Advancement, Associate Director of Alumni & Parent Engagement
Eli Chartkoff, Library, Academic Technology Librarian
Christopher Gonzalez, Institutional Advancement, Prospect Research Analyst
Robin Maxile, Intercultural Community Center, Associate Director for Racial Equity
Arielle Valdez, Residential Life, Residential Director



From Alannah Isherwood, department services coordinator for American studies: This is a big shout-out for Albert Tovar, Master Calendar coordinator. Albert is a fantastic colleague who is always so helpful when we are organizing events for Swan Hall faculty. The Master Calendar job must be one of the most demanding jobs on campus and yet Albert is always on top of it. Thank you Albert!!

From Alison Linder, sustainability coordinator: I want to acknowledge the efforts of Isa Merel (assistant sustainability coordinator), Lola Trafecanty (grounds manager) and the Facilities and Sustainability teams for their work in organizing the Occidental College Inaugural Olive Harvest in early November. They led this event to showcase the importance of our drought resilient olive trees and how they can be part of the local food system. Over 80 volunteers from the campus and surrounding neighborhood participated in the harvest.  

From Broderick Fox, James Irvine Professor of Media Arts and Culture: A big shout-out and thanks to Performing Arts Facilities Associate Production Manager Marie Mawji and the student production team in Thorne for going above and beyond in making the opening night of the FilAm Creative Film Festival such a success for Oxy and our community partners.

From Jessie Fontana-Maisel, assistant dean of admission, coordinator of campus experiences; and Courtney Stricklin Burgan, senior associate dean of admission, director of volunteer relations and campus visit experiences: Huge shout-out and thank you to Master Calendar, Campus Dining, Facilities, and our staff, faculty, and student partners for helping us with Explore Occidental on November 10. This was one of the largest events we've hosted recently, and we couldn't do it without everyone's devotion, patience, and enthusiasm! We are particularly grateful to Facilities and Campus Dining who turned on a dime to help relocate the luncheon and who literally had all hands on deck to ensure a successful event. We look forward to seeing many of the prospective Tigers we hosted on our campus as Oxy students next fall. Thank you for all of your hard work and collaboration!

From Julie Tanaka, director of special collections and College archives: Thank you to Erin Sulla and Alanna Quan for helping to host Special Collections and College Archives' table at the 18th Annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar held at the Doheny Memorial Library at USC on Saturday, October 28. We spent all day at the Bazaar, spreading the word about the rare and unique collections that help define Oxy.

From Vivian Garay Santiago, assistant vice president for student affairs & associate dean of students: Shout-out to the Office of Religious & Spiritual Life team, who have been supporting our students tirelessly through a heartbreaking and extraordinarily complex series of events. They have done so with humility, grace, and love and we are lucky to have them serving our campus.



In a new article, Professor of Mathematics Ron Buckmire and co-authors describe the various ways people in the mathematics community define the term “mathematician.” We characterize these definitions into three different categories based on function (e.g. you publish papers with theorems), identity (e.g. someone else says you're a mathematician) qualification (you have a degree in mathematics) and discuss various implications for equity and inclusion.

In a new paper, Assistant Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy Seva Rodnyansky and co-authors uncover trends in plexes: two-to-four-unit buildings that form the core of naturally affordable rental housing in the United States. This product type has declined over the last few decades, but places that build other larger multifamily buildings, and those that have less restrictive zoning, also build plexes.

In a new article in the Journal of Social & Clinical Psychology, Assistant Professor of Psychology Nicholas Alt and co-authors examine racial bias in the mental representation of Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). They show that racial stereotypes about Black Americans affect our mental prototypes of children diagnosed with ODD and discuss implications for bias in mental health diagnoses.

This editorial by Associate Professor of Urban & Environmental Policy & Public Health Bhavna Shamasunderand co-authors considers new data on groundwater impacts from oil drilling as an additional vulnerability for communities of color living near active oil drilling. They consider these new data in the longer trajectory of historic racist policies, such as redlining and ongoing structural racism, for communities of color in L.A. County, with attention to prioritizing closure and clean-up.

Assistant Professor of Asian Studies Min Joo Lee was interviewed by Elle Magazine (France) about her work on Korean TV dramas and the real-life romantic relationships they inspire in their viewers from around the world.

Is plastic always inherently problematic? In the Himalayan state of Sikkim, many plastic products are banned, but plastic continues to circulate. Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Asian Studies Amy Holmes-Tagchungdarpa traced how Sikkimese Buddhist communities engage with plastic as part of their spiritual lives and aspirations in a new article.



This Friday, December 1 between 12-2 p.m., head to the JSC Quad for a Craft Fair featuring wares from students and staff.

On Saturday, December 2, celebrate the life of Barbara G. Valiente, Oxy’s associate vice president of finance and controller, who passed away November 15. The celebration of life will take place in Cannon Plaza between 2-5 p.m. Please join us to commemorate our dear friend and colleague.

The jazz ensemble presents their fall concert in Booth Courtyard on Saturday, December 2, at 4 p.m. The concert will also be broadcast on Youtube.

Join the Occidental Glee Club for their winter concert in Herrick Chapel this Sunday, December 3 at 4 p.m. Can't attend in person? Tune in to the livestream on Youtube.

Contact the Office of Marketing & Communications
AGC Administrative Center

First Floor

Rod Leveque
Vice President for Marketing & Communications