Oxy's annual Homecoming & Family Weekend is next month and we're looking forward to welcoming families and alumni to campus to join us for all the festivities and events. The weekend (October 21-22) will kick off Friday morning with a community coffee break for all staff and faculty. Friday will be full of events including book discussions, an Oxy Arts open house, and a conversation with this year's Obama Scholars Speaker Kristina Kvien '87 P'20 who served as acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine from 2020 to May 2022. 

On Saturday catch one more performance of this year's Occidental Children's Theater production before  hearing President Elam share his collaborative vision for the future of Oxy. Then join Oswald's Homecoming Celebration, Spirit Parade and Rally on the Quad, followed by the Glee Club's Homecoming Concert! Take a look at the full schedule of events and don't forget to register soon.



HR is delighted to announce the return of an in-person Halloween Boo Bash on Monday, October 31. The staff event will take place outdoors on the patio surrounding the AGC from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and will feature a musical performance by the children of Oxy's Child Development Center, costume contests, a department pumpkin carving contest, and Halloween-themed refreshments. More information to come--Oxy staff are encouraged to join the always fierce competition this year


New hires:
Michelle Ambriz, academic advisor, Neighborhood Partnership Program
Pablo Banuelos, ground maintenance, Facilities
Eric Delgado, cleaning services, Facilities
Alejandra Leon, academic advisor, Neighborhood Partnership Program
Isabel Martinez, academic advisor, Neighborhood Partnership Program
Sarah Parramore, director of teaching, learning and research, Library
Stephen Perkins, head coach of men's and women's tennis, Athletics
Brittney Vargas, cleaning services, Facilities

Noah Medina, research technician, Moore Lab of Zoology
David Ortega, academic advisor, Neighborhood Partnership Program
Jesse Rodgers, assistant baseball coach, athletics
Javier Rodriguez, helpdesk support specialist, ITS
Thomas Sanchez, cook, Campus Dining
Roy Shioda, data and technology analyst, Hameetman Career Center




Oxy Faculty Honored for Teaching, Scholarship and Research
Five Occidental College professors were honored for exceptional teaching, scholarship and service Sept. 13 in the College’s annual faculty awards ceremony.

John Stauffer Charitable Trust Endows John Stauffer Chair of Chemistry
A $2.5 million grant from the John Stauffer Charitable Trust of Pasadena will endow the new John Stauffer Chair of Chemistry to recognize exceptional professors who are acknowledged leaders in teaching, research and scholarship.

MAC Cinematheque Series Returns In-Person This Fall
The longstanding annual tradition is being reactivated with a full series of in-person events for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

InternLA Program Sends Oxy Students into Los Angeles
InternLA, Oxy’s annual paid internship program, allows talented Oxy students to gain real-world work experience over the summer with Los Angeles-based nonprofit organizations.

Michael Gonzales ’96 Named U.S. Ambassador to Zambia
A career Foreign Service officer, Gonzales was nominated by President Joe Biden. He most recently served as deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of African Affairs.




Isaiah Thomas, Monique Hankerson, and all of REHS wish to extend a sincere THANK YOU to Raquel Sanchez, cleaning services supervisor, and the entire cleaning services team for making the impossible POSSIBLE, and successfully preparing all of our student rooms for move in. This is a SIGNIFICANT undertaking, and we greatly appreciate all of your support.

From Maureen E. Royer, associate vice president of development, Institutional Advancement: Kudos to Ricky Vazquez (assistant director of the Annual Fund) for planning and hosting a GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) event in DC on September 8. Fifteen young alumni attended and are now actively re-engaged with the College, thanks to his good work!

From Lola Trafecanty, grounds manager: I would like to send a shout out to the Groundskeepers (Miguel Aguilar, Luis Ortiz, Michael Reyes, Elio Castaneda, Francisco Zamora and Pablo Banuelos) who worked through extreme heat, without complaints, with hard efforts, and kept the campus maintained as best as they possibly could while working with a limited team. They manage trash, recycling, dumpster pick ups, irrigation, landscape maintenance and daily work order requests on various needs throughout the campus. 

From Michael Gasper, associate professor of history:
Alannah Isherwood (faculty services assistant, Swan Hall): She is the definition of efficiency and universally kind! Double her salary! Oh, and her dog Gracie just passed her therapy dog test!
Desiree Ramirez (department services coordinator, Swan Hall): A whirlwind of activity who is always two moves ahead of us. Double her salary too!
Curtis Lush (media services manager): Came through in the clutch as he always does. Is there anyone on campus cooler than him? Let's double his salary too!

From Martha Matsouka, associate professor, UEP, executive director, UEPI, and interim faculty director, CCBL: I'd like to send a shout-out to the amazing Candice Kim (project director), Molly Greenberg (project coordinator), Wendy Gutschow (campaign manager), and Kelly Martin (special projects manager) at UEPI's Moving Forward Network for managing to keep the work going amidst staff transitions and always lifting up our community partners — this great article was published this week by the Sierra Club! 

From Rob Flot, vice president for student affairs and dean of students: I extend a huge shout out, and job well done, to Marcus Rodriguez for his leadership, dedication, and commitment in providing our new first-year and transfer students with a great Orientation experience. While I'm very grateful and appreciative to numerous people and departments across the College for their efforts in helping to pull off a great Orientation, Marcus' leadership was masterful, and he fostered a sense of collaboration, energy, inclusivity, and purpose for all involved. This was Oxy's first fully in-person Orientation since August 2019, and Marcus' leadership helped us to provide a wonderful experience for our new students.

From Courtney Stricklin Burgan '03, senior associate dean of admission and director of volunteer relations and campus visit experiences : Rhemi Abrams-Fuller, Jessica Johnston, Duanduan Hsieh, Katherine Torrey '17 and Phoebe Patinkin '22 all deserve a huge shout out! They are the newest admission officers at Oxy and they have hit the ground running–literally travelling for the College and meeting with prospective students and families across the United States and abroad. They represent an incredible range of experiences in higher education and have been very generous in sharing their expertise while also working incredibly hard to learn about what makes the Oxy community so unique. Our team is already better because they are here!


In a new article published in PLOS Biology, Professor of Biology Beth Braker and co-authors argue that understanding tropical biology is important for solving complex problems such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and zoonotic pandemics, and that integrating tropical research into biology education is urgently needed to tackle these issues.

In a new article in BMC Psychology, Assistant Professor of Psychology Patricia Cabral found that higher psychological distress during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic was related with cigarette smoking, e-cigarette use, and cannabis vaping among young adults, particularly when people have high intentions to use e-cigarettes.

Cabral also published an article in Frontiers in Psychology, in which she and co-authors find that pre-adolescent dating behaviors among Latino teens predicted early sex initiation in mid-adolescence through attitudes regarding sex. The study shows that first-generation Latinas are particularly vulnerable to the influence of early dating behaviors.

In Postcoloniality and Forced Migration: Mobility, Control, Agency, History Professor Sharla M. Fett and her co-editors have brought together historians, political scientists, sociologists, anthropologists and criminologists to explore how the forces of colonialism and racism shape the experiences of forced migrants in both past and present. The volume offers new insights to refugee and forced migration studies through case studies from five continents.

In a new chapter for Slave Trade Refugees and Imperial Agendas: The Resettlement of 'Liberated Africans' into British West Indian Regiments and Liberian Militias, 1808-60, Fett and co-author examine the military enlistment of African men 'liberated' from illegal slave ships in 19th century Liberia and the British Caribbean. Despite the humanitarian rhetoric used to frame their policies, governments mostly treated African recaptives as an exploitable resource used to serve colonial ends.

Assistant Professor of Politics Isaac Hale and his co-investigator have been awarded an APSA Centennial Center Research Grant for their upcoming research on the 2022 U.S. midterm elections. They will examine whether candidates' choices to emphasize certain issues over others affects how voters behave.

Charlie Leizear was featured on the Sirius XM Radio show "The Process," a live monthly call-in show centered on the college admission process. Charlie was invited to be the inaugural guest speaker for the College Spotlight segment, where he shared insights on Occidental and the college admission process to a national audience.

Jocelyn Pedersen, Book Arts Program coordinator, has been accepted to participate in "Making Your Mark," a 5-day intensive workshop (September 19-23) at the American Academy of Bookbinding in Telluride, Colo. Jocelyn will have the opportunity to learn from the master calligrapher and artist Suzanne Moore. She will explore ways of interpreting verbal content and rendering that content into imagery using a variety of tools and media. Jocelyn plans to bring what she learns back to Oxy and to give a presentation and offer a hands-on workshop in the Academic Commons for anyone interested. More details to come.

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



Wednesday, September 28: Better Together: Black Alumni Organization’s Academic Year Kick-off for Black alumni, students, faculty and administrators

Friday, October 21: MAC Cinematheque: The Climb Screening + Q&A with director Michael Covino '09

Saturday, October 22: Oxy Arts Curatorial Walkthrough with Kris Kuramitsu

Contact the Office of Marketing & Communications
AGC Administrative Center

First Floor

Rod Leveque
Vice President for Marketing & Communications