Pitzer Spotlights

2005-2006 Spotlight Archives

Students Share their Experiences at Pitzer College's Second International Symposium

First place winner Raumene Rahatzad '06 with his poster on Arab ideals of beauty.

“Studying abroad is a great way for people to connect what is going on abroad to what is going on locally,” explained Raumene Rahatzad ’06 the first place winner of the 2005 International Symposium at Pitzer College. Monetary awards were presented to three students for their brilliant research posters at the symposium.

Rahatzad studied the Arab ideal of beauty in Amman, Jordan and how westernization has affected traditional notions of Arab beauty as expressed in classic literature and poetry.

“I was interested in the whole issue of the changing Arab beauty ideal from courses here at Pitzer on women’s studies and ethnic studies,” Rahatzad said. “I found that there is a strong desire for a lighter complexion, particularly in the younger generations. Even if women would not admit it, they expressed their desire through the use of skin lightening creams, light colored contacts and hair dye.”

As an international Intercultural Studies (IIS) major with a focus on the Middle East, Rahatzad would like to work abroad, most likely in the Occupied West Bank after commencement in May.

Rahatzad plans to take a number of other presenters from the symposium out to dinner with some of his prize money.

Rebecca Takahashi
Second place winner Rebecca Takahashi '06

Second place winner Rebecca Takahashi’s (’06) experience assisting abandoned, abused and disadvantaged children was quite a growing experience.

“I had never really worked with children or studied psychology or sociology, which is what I really focused on when observing the children. The experience really taught me to work outside of my comfort zone,” Takahashi explained. “Pitzer is constantly encouraging you to question and push to that next level and that is exactly what I experienced in Costa Rica.”

Third place winner Kathleen Brooks ’06 studied immigration stories in Berlin.

Kathleen Brooks
Third place winner Kathleen Brookes '06

“I wanted to do something very interactive,” Brooks explained. “In America, we are always learning about how our families came to be here and Berlin is becoming a new “New York because of the opened borders created by the European Union. Interviewing people about how they came to be in Berlin seemed like a good way to interface with more people.”

--Catherine Okereke