Alumni and Testimonies

Pitzer in Ontario Alumni


“I have to say that this class (and the entire Ontario Program) is a great example of the unique and creative integration of knowledge that Pitzer has to offer. The combination of field trips and the different viewpoints offered by readings, guest speakers and films, expand the otherwise flat horizons of standard textbook instruction. Having the opportunity to tie in the literature with actual examples is as invaluable as being given the opportunity to intern.” –Vashti ‘10

“I found the readings to be valuable because we learned about different ways to approach social activism. Each of these ways of approaching activism influenced the outcomes of the work being done… Also, of huge value to me over the course of this semester has been having the weekly meeting of the Ontario classes as an outlet for frustration or questions concerning the internship experience itself. Hearing about other students’ experiences and opinions functioned as valuable support for this intensive internship experience. Inside of the classroom and out, we all evolved over the course of the semester in learning more about the realm of social justice and activism by having discussions. This program also led me to always maintain a questioning approach to examining certain actions or movements, to evaluate their value and effectiveness, so that in the future the ways that social change are brought about can be fine-tuned and made increasingly more efficient.” –Maris ‘10

“Through the readings and panels which I felt offered insight into empowerment and community action research, I was able see the practice of empowerment as more of an equal exchange of resources, knowledge in which all parties are learning from each other. “ –Dallas ‘09

“The literature allowed me to relate to others who have undergone similar journeys and reading their words and how they integrated their experiences greatly helped me do the same: how to understand foreign reality from a privileged viewpoint and what tools to use for understanding, interacting, translating, and enriching the situation and oneself in the process. Yet it was only with my fellow students and professor that the issues became tangible and I saw that I was not alone in grappling with my internship. Hearing our voices in a collective environment nurtured and fueled my passion for social justice. It was no particular reading, lecture, or film, but rather the ambiance that we created every time we sat together and talked that accomplished this. And it is for this I am extremely thankful.” –Dane ‘08

“Many of our readings this semester have provided examples of a humanistic approach to marginalized populations and insight into building relationships in unfamiliar and/or problematic circumstances... As I communicate this experience to other students and friends I am never short of recommendations for this course, the experience, the readings, and the core philosophy.” – Jerry ‘10

“The Pitzer in Ontario program instilled in me the skills that are crucial to participating in community engagement initiatives and doing social justice work in addition to offering me the pieces necessary to construct my own perspective on the potential implications and benefits of community-based research and service-learning. The coursework found within the Ontario program initiated a reflection process that pushed me to make the conscience decision to create an academic pathway that I know has the potential to truly make a difference in the world.” –Meredith ‘10