Arab American Business
Since 9/11, Arabs and Arab Americans have been constantly in the news, yet little is really known by mainstream America about the history of this community in the United States. While many books continue to scapegoat and marginalize the community, there also have been new attempts to quantify and analyze Arab Americans, efforts that seek to paint a multi-dimensional and nuanced picture of a highly complex group of Americans.
Recently, Arab American author (and Pitzer College Center for Writing Director) Gregory Orfalea was interviewed and discussed his new book, The Arab Americans: A History. Orfalea explained his reasons for writing the book today and commented on the positive and negative trends he has noticed with regards to the Arab American community’s political empowerment efforts.
“East Palo Alto youth transcends violent world”
Inside the Bay Area
February 27, 2006
He grew up in a city once dubbed the murder capital of the country, where the school dropout rate is somewhere between 50 and 70 percent, and it’s hard not to run into the dealer on the corner selling rock. Statistically speaking, Bennie Mackey II probably had the greatest chance of succumbing to a life of gangs and crime. And yet, Mackey, a month shy of his 25th birthday, is set to graduate in May from law school at Santa Clara University.
In 1999, as a senior at Palo Alto High School, Mackey received a scholarship from Students Rising Above, created by KRON 4 anchor Wendy Tokuda to provide resources for students who’ve beaten the odds. Since then he has gone nowhere but up, graduating with his bachelor’s degree in Political Studies in 2003 from Pitzer College in Claremont. He took full advantage at Pitzer, living in the dorms, making many friends and spending a summer in Costa Rica and a semester in Venezuela. “I loved Pitzer!” Mackey said with a laugh. “College is fun, let everyone know. Get to college!”
“More Freshmen Help Others, Survey Finds”
Los Angeles Times
January 26, 2006
Pitzer College freshman Adam Forbes spent his fall break in Mississippi as a volunteer helping to salvage homes flooded in the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
Forbes, who coordinated the effort at his Claremont school was joined by 10 other Pitzer students, half of them also freshmen. The task involved hard labor, but finding volunteers willing to work in the muck was easier than I expected,” he said.
That spirit, perhaps inspired by Katrina and other natural disasters in recent years, appears to reflect a broader pattern among freshmen this year at four-year colleges and universities around the country, UCLA researchers say.
“Changing their focus”
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
January 26, 2006
When Edward Pickett researched colleges to attend, he was clueless about a major, but he knew that a small school in a suburban setting would be ideal.
After sorting through endless college catalogs, one characteristic lured him to Pitzer College: the low number of general education requirements.
So instead of being forced to take the math, English, history, science and other introductory college classes familiar to new students, Pickett was given the freedom at Pitzer to take other classes more in line with his major of media studies and art.
Across the country, a movement to change the face of undergraduate education requirements is sparking debate about the evolution of a college education.
“Grinnell & bear it”
The Boston Herald
January 8, 2006
When Todd Grinnell first moved to Los Angeles, the West Newbury native, who stars as Jason on “Four Kings” (Thursday at 8:30 p.m. on WHDH Ch. 7), worked with NBC stars Zach Braff (“Scrubs”) and Luke Bell (“Surface”).
Alas, he was managing a restaurant where Braff was a waiter and Bell was a cocktail waiter. Grinnell had decided to leave his job as a legislative aide for state Sen. Steven Tollman after earning his SAG card via a Stop & Shop commercial.
Even though he graduated from Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif., he’s still adjusting to West Coast life.
“As much as I love Boston, I’ve really grown to love L.A. in a different way. The thing is, since the Red Sox won the World Series, people who aren’t New Englanders are wearing Red Sox hats, so it’s very deceiving. I used to just immediately hug someone with a Red Sox hat.”
“Other Great Gardens”
Pitzer College, in Claremont: The 10-acre John R. Rodman Arboretum’s 16 different gardens demonstrate that drought-tolerant and native landscaping can be both environmentally responsible and beautiful.
“Budding friendships fill out the family tree”
December 20, 2005
The Mars/Venus differences between men and women couldn’t be more apparent than in same-sex friendships.In the past, men were more expressive, says Peter Nardi, a sociology professor at Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif., who edited the 1992 book Men’s Friendships. But the appearance of Freud and discussion of homosexuality in the late 19th century caused men to distance themselves publicly from other men.
“The twilight of atheism”
Science and Theology News
December 6, 2005
Silver anniversaries tend to evoke teary sentimentality: a built-in opportunity to marvel at how quickly time flies. But when the Council for Secular Humanism gathered in late October near Buffalo, N.Y., to celebrate its 25th year, there wasn’t a moist eye in the house. The celebrants couldn’t accord it. They were too focused on giving their movement a makeover—ironically, one that distances itself from atheism.
Influential scientists have argued that more than a century of discoveries in disciplines from biology to astronomy render belief in God obsolete. Moreover, evidence is emerging that shows a solid link between high rates of atheism and societal health. High levels of atheism are strongly correlated with low rates of homicide, poverty, infant mortality and illiteracy, according to Pitzer College sociologist Phil Zuckerman, writing in the forthcoming Cambridge Companion to Atheism. Zuckerman also indicates that high levels of atheism are correlated with high levels of educational attainment, per capita income and gender equality.