Pitzer Spotlights

2003-2004 Spotlight Archives

Lakshmi Eassey '07, Reflects Pitzer's Core Commitment

Lakshmi EasseyLakshmi Eassey knows what it takes to bring people together. "The first step is to empathize and understand where others are coming from," said Eassey, a first-year Pitzer student. "Only after empathy can you even begin to talk." 

Eassey's insight into the processes of communication and negotiation is the product of her desire to make a difference in the world. Her keen perspective promises to serve her well as she builds her own major in international political communications, which pulls together political studies, linguistics and media and international studies.  

"My favorite class so far at Pitzer is Introduction to International and Intercultural Studies with Professor Joe Parker," she said. "The topics we have discussed have given me a new perspective on the subject. We studied aversive racism - not outward, but institutionalized and built-in forms of racism - and explored cultural appropriation, capitalism, imperialism and globalization. I had never seen the world so critically. For some people it can have a negative effect, seeing hate and negativity and not knowing what to do. Seeing this only opened my eyes and made me want to do something." 

Eassey has amassed an impressive list of experiences at Pitzer that will aid her goal of joining the Foreign Service or serving as a foreign correspondent for a news magazine or independent news organization.  

She attended the Harvard National Model United Nations conference as a member of the Pitzer-Pomona Model U.N. team and serves as a Student Senate representative on the Pitzer External Studies committee. In addition, she is a member of the Multiracial Organization Redefining Ethnicity (MORE, a Claremont Colleges club for mixed race and transracially adopted people); actively works with VOX, a five-colleges Planned Parenthood group; plays pick-up basketball games; and works at the Coop fountain at Pomona College. 

Eassey's international perspective was sharpened in December 2003, when she attended the People to People peace camp in Cairo, Egypt. Eassey applied for the camp at the end of her senior year of high school in Palo Alto and received word she had been accepted just prior to starting her first year at Pitzer. People to People is a non-partisan organization founded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The organization's core value is to create peace through understanding.

"The peace camps emphasized listening skills," Eassey said. "They stressed the importance of making sure the other person knows that you are listening through body language and other nonverbal cues. Peace camp continues to be a learning process. Each time I talk about it my reflections make me learn again. At peace camp, the teachers always said that you don't learn from experiences, you learn through reflecting on those experiences."

Combining academic endeavors and real-world experiences, Eassey serves as a positive reflection on Pitzer and its commitment to intercultural understanding.