Pitzer Spotlights

2007-2008 Spotlight Archives

Harrison Weinfeld '09: Just the Beginning

Harrison Weinfeld '09

Harrison Weinfeld enters his senior year with a true success story, which—he claims—isn't entirely unique at Pitzer College.

As a full-time production assistant for Powderhouse Productions in Boston, Massachusetts, Harrison Weinfeld '09 spent his summer filming puppies. Working on a new Animal Planet television show, Dogs 101, Weinfeld cruised the East Coast capturing everything canine—from newborn puppies to close-ups on the teeth of voraciously barking Rottweilers.

“The cutest puppies I came across were Rhodesian Ridgebacks in Western Massachusetts,” Weinfeld said. “There were thirty of them, all swarming me and licking the camera.”

Having spent the summer in a job whose description coincided exactly with his self-designed major—Media Arts for Science— Weinfeld's accomplishment perfectly illustrates Pitzer's student-minded educational philosophy.

“There are so many opportunities at Pitzer that everyone finds a passion and follows it because that's what they love,” he said.

Weinfeld studied abroad in Costa Rica during the second semester of his sophomore year—an experience, he said, that “has permanently shaped [his] values and outlook on life.”

“Costa Rica was, hands down, the happiest time of my life,” he said. “My host family showed me a level of togetherness I had never seen before. Now, back home in Massachusetts, if I get a call from a friend to go out, I'm much more apt to say ‘no, thanks, tonight I'm going to sit on the couch and yak with my dad.’”

The combination of his Environmental Studies courses through the Pitzer in Costa Rica program and this summer's work experience solidified Weinfeld's choice to pursue a career in filming naturalist documentaries.

“It's such a thrill to see something I've shot air and know that I'm conveying my point of view to whomever is watching it; I get to determine their experience,” he said.

As part of his environmental endeavors, Weinfeld was recently published in the 2007-2008 Global Climate Change and Natural Resources journal for his work in a class at Keck Joint Science Center.

Besides committing himself to academics, Weinfeld also has also expanded his passion for locally grown and healthfully prepared cuisine—this year earning the position of co-head chef of Pitzer's student-run Shakedown Café.

“One of the most important aspects of The Shakedown is that the menu is constantly changing,” Weinfeld said. “My co-head, Galen Lieberworth, and I—along with the rest of our dedicated staff—design menu choices to accommodate changing availability in produce. Because we strive to use only local, seasonal and organic foods, we are always balancing what our customers want to eat with the most sustainable options.”

For Weinfeld, the Shakedown is a microcosm for the positive relationship between Pitzer's student body and its administration.

“One of the greatest things about Pitzer is that a student can have an idea or passion, approach the administration with the dream of seeing this idea come to fruition, and the school always seems to do its best to give us the resources we need to thrive,” Weinfeld said. “The Shakedown Café is a perfect example of this, and after almost two years of operation, this entirely student-run restaurant has already become a staple of Pitzer's campus and the Claremont community.”

—Liz Hedrick '09