Community Engagement Center Staff
Bernard Core and Avery 105
1050 N. Mills Ave.
Claremont, CA 91711
Tessa Hicks Peterson
Assistant Vice President of Community Engagement
Assistant Professor, Urban Studies
Tessa Hicks Peterson is the Assistant Vice President of Community Engagement at Pitzer College and as such acts as the faculty director of the Community Engagement Center as well as an Assistant Professor of Urban Studies. Before arriving to Pitzer five years ago, Tessa worked with communities throughout Southern California on human relations and civil rights issues as Associate Director at the Anti-Defamation League and, prior to that, as the Youth Programs Director at the National Conference for Community and Justice. She has a Masters and PhD in Cultural Studies from Claremont Graduate University and a BA in Psychology, Sociology and Spanish from UC Santa Cruz. She has traveled widely, lived in Brazil and Spain, and has led seminars and trainings nationally and internationally on issues ranging from hate crimes and race relations to empowerment through movement and art. Her scholarship includes the study of social movements, intercultural relations, indigenous studies, border studies, poverty, and community-based pedagogy involving participatory-action research and civic engagement. She currently teaches courses in Social Change and Community-based Research within the Pitzer in Ontario program. Aside from dancing, yoga and hiking, Tessa finds her ultimate peace and joy with her new love, Isaiah James, born in spring of 2011. Tessa and her husband, John, along with baby Isaiah and their old Lab, Chaney, reside in the canyon of Sierra Madre.
Tricia Morgan, B.A.
Tricia Morgan first joined Pitzer College as a New Resources Student in Spring 2006. After graduating in Spring 2008 with a BA in Sociology (and a minor in History), she joined the staff of CEC as the Office Manager. Tricia is responsible for all CEC budgets and finances, payroll, grant reporting, student intern assistance, all orientations and training for new CEC staff and general office supervision. In addition to her role at CEC, Tricia has also served on college governance committees as a Staff Council Representative (SCR) and as the staff representative on the Academic Planning Committee (APC). During her time at Pitzer, Tricia has made many contributions to CEC and Pitzer including but not but limited to: revision of community engagement evaluation tools; playing a key role in developing the first ever Staff Strategic Plan and participating in college governance to include staff needs in the fiscal Tactical Plan of the college; improving CEC office functions including creation of office handbooks and other best practices; playing a key role in the creation of CEC’s first Bi-Annual Report; successfully attaining a place for Pitzer College on the Presidential Community Service Honor Roll; and obtaining the coveted Carnegie Community Engagement Classification on behalf of the College. Tricia is currently enrolled in the doctoral program at Claremont Graduate University’s School of Education for Higher Education Administration. Her research interests include access and equity in higher education, mentoring, professional development, and mindful community engagement. Outside of work and school Tricia is a mother of two who enjoys gardening and loves to laugh.
A Claremont native, Jana Heyman transferred to Pitzer College from Citrus Community College in Fall of 2009. At the age of 7 years old, she walked across Pitzer’s commencement stage to receive a diploma with her Dad, a graduating New Resources student. She grew up stealing oranges from Pitzer and bike riding through the Claremont Colleges. While attending Citrus, Jana became involved with drug prevention and rehabilitation. For the past four years, Jana has been facilitating and participating in providing information to high school and continuation school students. After coming to Pitzer, Jana continued working with at risk youth as well as joined Jumpstart. During her first year at Pitzer, Jana took a class with Laura Harris at Prototypes. The following year, Jana worked as an intern at Prototypes. Jana graduated with Honors in English and World Literature in Spring 2012. When she is not busy engaging with the community or reading, she is an amazing big sister and a fabulous little sister. She loves singing in the car, playing rummy with her family, and her designated anime nights.
Jana is excited to be the 2012-2013 Urban Fellow for Prototypes.
Melanie graduated from Pitzer with the class of 2012 with a degree in Sociology and Environmental Studies. While a student, she became well acquainted with the Community Engagement Center due to her interests and hobbies. This may have never been if not for her freshman year roommate, who got her interested in working with Tutors for a Cause, one of the site’s affiliated partners. Melanie is excited to be at Pitzer for another year. As staff members assisted her while she was at Pitzer, she is eager to come full circle and support students who are interested in social action and engagement.
Melanie will be working with the Pomona Economic Opportunity Center.
Susy graduated with honors from Pitzer College in 2012 with a B.A. in Critical Community Studies, a self-designed major focusing on urban studies and community engagement, and a minor in Spanish. She volunteered for four years at Camp AP during her time at Pitzer creating her own spoken word poetry empowerment curriculum. Susy sits on the Junior Board of Directors at Street Poets Inc, a violence prevention non-profit in Los Angeles and participates in their weekly Seeking Peace workshops. She is also training to become a volunteer teacher for InsideOUT Writers, a poetry organization working in the juvenile halls in Los Angeles. Susy has been writing and performing since high school, you can find at her home venues A Mic and Dim Lights in Pomona, CA and Da Poetry Lounge, in LA. Born in Richmond, VA, raised in Seattle, Washington, and currently living in Echo Park, CA, Susy loves to explore cities! While living in Los Angeles, she plans to receive her yoga teacher training certificate and apply to graduate schools for either public policy or non-profit management.
Susy is the Urban Fellow for Camp Afflerbaugh Paige at the Community Engagement Center.
Jumpstart Site Manager
Atherton Hall 415-417
Debbie graduated from Pitzer College in 2007 with a double major in Sociology and International Intercultural Studies. She joined the Community Engagement Center in 2008 as the Changemakers Urban Fellow, administering a three-year grant promoting social justice on campus and in the local community. She facilitated CEC's Pitzer in Ontario Program for a year and half, and in 2009, Debbie managed the CEC partnership with the Camps Afflerbaugh-Paige probation camp. She taught and facilitated the teaching experience of Pitzer students within the probation facility, worked to build a library at the facility and expanded the Borrowed Voices program.
Debbie now serves as the LA County Jumpstart Site Manager for the Claremont Colleges, serving low-income preschool children through a progressive curriculum focused on literacy and sustained school success. She manages, trains and coaches forty college students in a year-long intensive community-based teaching program and directs supplemental programming to engage families and communities in advocating for early education. As site manager, she is able to pursue her interest in teaching as social justice and capacity-building through community partnership.
Born in Portland, Oregon, Debbie loves of the Pacific Northwest. In her free time she enjoys running and hiking, biking around Claremont, cooking ambitious vegetarian meals, creating craft projects, and feeding her fish, Chocolate. She hopes to pursue work in the non-profit sector, combining her interests in juvenile justice, youth empowerment and public health issues.
Native American Program Coordinator
My name is Scott Edward Orellaña Ingles Scoggins and I am proud to be of Pipil Nahuat, Pocoman Maya, and Scottish ancestry. I am a Native of Los Angeles and was born into a family that was deeply invested in various political and social movements in El Salvador and the United States. This background instilled in me an internal drive, desire, and sense of duty to work towards social justice for all. I implement multicultural education programs that challenge, inspire, support, and motivate young people to pursue higher education. At the same time, I strive to educate non-Native communities on traditional cultures and protocol, as well. My current work at the Claremont Colleges connects Native American youth to higher education opportunities that will enable them to take on leadership roles within their tribal communities. My personal motto, “Tradition for Life - Education For Our Future” cuts to the core of my belief in a dual focus on traditional learning and academic preparation for success in both local and global networks. My comprehensive programs are designed to support students and community members on intellectual, physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels. I am the Native American Program Coordinator for the California Campus Compact-funded Social Innovations Projects.