November 2019 On Campus


As communicated in the November 13 email to campus, Occidental's presidential search has been narrowed to five "exceptional and accomplished" individuals by the 21-member, multi-constituent Presidential Search Committee. The five semi-finalists will undergo a second round of interviews in December before two or three finalists are submitted to trustees. All communications and resources related to the presidential search can be found here.

Search Committee staff/admin reps and the ASC co-chairs are offering employees an additional opportunity to submit feedback about issues they would like to see explored with the candidates. Here's how:

1) Submit your comments via the ASC comment form by 3 p.m. Tuesday, November 26.
2) Attend an open session on Tuesday, November 26 between 1–1:45 p.m. in the Varelas Lab in Johnson Hall.

For details on the search process and committee membership, go to


Wall Street Journal Highlights Integrity of Oxy Admission
A front-page story in the Nov. 7 Wall Street Journal about the integrity of Occidental’s admission process details the College’s refusal to participate in a scheme that is now at the center of the national college admissions scandal.

New Video Celebrates Undergraduate Research Center
Celebrating the URC’s 20th anniversary this summer, this video features professors, staff and students talking about how the program supports a love of learning by allowing participants to refine their higher-order thinking skills as they create new knowledge as part of a community of scholars.


Tirzah Blanche, program coordinator and prevention education specialist, Project SAFE
Candice Kim, project director, Urban & Environmental Policy
Alexandra Mullin, executive assistant and staff support group leader, Institutional Advancement
Lacey Waggener, orchestra assistant, Music



This past month, Cleaning Services Manager Mario Bonilla and Assistant Director of Operations for Facilities Management Celia Ruiz completed after-hours classes with the Turner School of Construction Management. The program enhances managerial, technical and administrative skills, as well as developing strategic business relationships throughout the industry.

Professor of Philosophy and Cognitive Science and Assistant Dean of Social Sciences Carolyn Brighouse, Assistant Dean of Students & Director of Student Success Vivian Garay Santiago, Registrar Jim Herr, Director of Academic Advising Edmond Johnson, and Disability Services Coordinator Luci Masredjian gave a team presentation at the Annual Meeting of NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising. Their presentation, titled "Using Cross-Divisional Collaboration to Remove Obstacles to Student Success," highlighted recent initiatives to foster and facilitate collaboration between Oxy’s Academic Affairs and Students Affairs offices.

It is known through the work of Duke and Ghate that there are only finitely many pairs of full level, degree one eigenforms f and g whose product fg is also an eigenform. In a newly published paper, "Eigenform product identities for degree two Siegel modular forms," in Journal of Number Theory, math Professor Jim Brown and co-authors prove a partial generalization of this theorem for degree two Siegel modular forms. Namely, they show that there is only one pair of eigenforms F and G such that FG is a non-cuspidal eigenform.

Last summer, Associate Professor of Diplomacy & World Affairs Sophal Ear passed the inaugural exam for the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Certification. The rigorous process included completing the Director Professionalism course over a year ago which led to Ear becoming one of 137 NACD Governance Fellows.

Associate Professor of Politics Jennifer Piscopo has published a new paper, "Neither Penalized Nor Prized: Feminist Legislators, Women's Representation, or Career Paths in Argentina," that challenges the conventional wisdom that political parties will punish women legislators who are known feminists. Piscopo and her co-author compare the career paths of women and men elected over a 10-year period in Argentina, finding no differences in the career opportunities of legislators who represent feminist policy areas, compared to legislators who do not.

Piscopo also co-authored an op-ed in the Washington Post on November 6 examining protests throughout Latin America and how they can benefit women in leadership.

In October, Associate Professor of Kinesiology Marci Raney ’01 assumed the position of president-elect of the Southwest Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine (SWACSM). Raney will have an opportunity to highlight the importance of community-engaged scholarly work in an underrepresented sub-discipline of kinesiology, physical activity and public health. She will also have an opportunity to work with colleagues to find new and exciting ways to engage and support student research in both basic and applied areas of exercise science.

Psychology Professor Andrew Shtulman has received the Cognitive Development Society's Book Award for Scienceblind: Why Our Intuitive Theories About the World Are So Often Wrong.

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




Nora Killian, Research and Prospect Management Specialist, Institutional Advancement

I hail from: Berkeley, CA
I graduated from: Oxy! Class of 2018
I've been involved with Oxy for: Since I moved into Braun Hall as a first-year in 2014 and I have been in my current position since November 2018.
A typical day on the job looks like: Receiving and responding to a few research requests and maybe writing an event briefing.
The favorite part of my job is: Finding new techniques to analyze Oxy's alumni network.
My favorite thing to do in Los Angeles is: Finding and trying new food across the city.
A recent accomplishment I'm proud of is:  Winning eight games with The Leftovers during this year’s Oxy Summer Softball League.
Cooler or Marketplace?: Marketplace! Homestyle for life!
If I could invite any famous person — living or dead — to a dinner party it would be: Kehlani
My nickname is: Nono
Something people don't know about me is: I make pottery in my spare time.
A good book I've read lately is: There There by Tommy Orange



  • Holiday Cardmaking Workshop with Oxy's own Karen Salce & Gisselle Cornejo | Wednesday, December 4, 5:30 - 7:30pm | Johnson Hall 103/Varelas Lab | Materials fee: $10 (cash only) Space is limited! Register here. Slots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Winter Bake-off | Tuesday, December 10, 3-4pm | AGC Rotunda | Email to sign-up
  • December Coffee Break | Friday, December 13, 10am | Rose Hills Patio | Sponsored by the Office of Marketing & Communications


Monday, December 2: 3rd L.A. | L.A. House and Home: New Paths in Housing Policy and Residential Architecture
Sunday, December 8: Glee Club & Symphony Orchestra Combined Winter Concert

Friday, December 13: End of semester; Annual Employee Holiday Party at Union Station

Monday, December 23–Wednesday, January 1: Holiday winter break