Pitzer in Ontario Staff
Academic Director, Pitzer in Ontario Program
Assistant Professor, Environmental Analysis
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.
Executive Director, Inland Congregations United for Change
Adjunct Professor, Ontario Program
Tom Dolan has worked in community organizing efforts in Latin America and the US for more than 30 years and has been teaching in the Ontario Program since 2008. A professor of community organizing at Pitzer College, Tom has a PhD in Education from Claremont Graduate University and San Diego State University. Tom and his wife Cecilia live in San Bernardino with their four children. During his tenure as an organizer in the Inland Empire, Tom has led efforts to build youth civic engagement, provide opportunities for positive youth development, support job development, improve high school graduation rates, stop predatory towing in the city of San Bernardino, expand health care coverage for families and to engage civic leaders in efforts to address the air pollution caused by the BNSF railway.
Holden K132 / Ontario House
Arthur graduated from Pitzer College in 2014 with a B.A. in Neuroscience though his interests extend far beyond the lab. In fact, Arthur has spent most of his time since high-school organizing youth and peer-to-peer educating with the New York 2 New Orleans Coalition and YCCA. Arthur also worked in several New York City community gardens and extensively with an urban farm, Growing Power Regional Training center, and community revitalization project in New Orleans called Our School at Blair Grocery where he was trained in small-scale urban food production and community resource development, as well as alternative educational strategies. Arthur studied neuronal plasticity, epigenetics, and critical periods in development with the idea that he may find out how to change the way people think through neurobiology. He still believed that “nothing will change until you change the way people think,” but has since returned to the fields of community-based development of alternatives to the unsustainable food system and community organizing as his strategy of choice for making change. Working for Pitzer in Ontario, Arthur now hopes to solidify connections between PIO and community partners, work very closely with the growing Huerta del Valle project, inspire students to develop life-long connections to movements for community sustainability, justice, and health, and work to build a regional food equity movement in the Inland Empire. In his free time, Arthur likes cooking, eating, building things, and learning to dance Salsa.
Urban Fellow--Ontario Wheelhouse Coordinator
Holden K132/Ontario House