The Fall 2015 Diversity Program

The fall 2015 Diversity Program was a blast! 51 amazing, funny and talented high school seniors from across the Nation joined us for an incredible, packed 2 day visit here on campus last month! From picking them up from the airport on Thursday morning to dropping them off in the early morning on Saturday we squeezed the whole Pitzer experience into the two days.

After they got in we ate some pizza, played a few ice breakers and really got to know each other. Then students got to go bond with the sponsor groups which was one of Adriana’s, another Diversity Sponsor, favorite part:

“It was great hanging out with my sponsor group on the Mounds. They all asked great questions about Pitzer, our core values, social justice, transitioning to college, and many other questions relating to higher education. We later joined Enrique’s sponsor group and hung out on the hammocks while students played music, joked around and made new friends!”

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Then students sat in on a First Gen and Students of Color panel, which was Mayra’s favorite part.

“One of my favorite moments from the entire program was seeing the interactions between the First-Gen and Students of Color panelists and the diversity participants. I could see that the honesty from the panelists in speaking about both their struggles and triumphs at Pitzer thus far, gave them a clearer sense of what college can be like and how they too will be able to overcome obstacles once they begin their own journey.”Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 11.15.18 AM

The day didn’t end there. We did a 5 Colleges scavenger hunt (which Adriana’s group won), had dinner with admissions counselors and met and spent time with different affinity groups. Then we finished off the night with milk and cookies in the Grove House with Pitzer students who attended the Diversity Program when they were seniors.Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 11.16.08 AM

We didn’t slow down the next day either. Participants joined other prospective students  and participated in Preview Pitzer Day. Then we all headed to Santa Monica to grab dinner, catch the sunset, walk on the beach, and hang out at the Pier. Then we headed back to Pitzer for some delicious cupcakes and some bitter-sweet goodbyes.

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Watch the video below for more memories and a better glimpse of the Pitzer Diversity Program:

Love,

Patrick, Mayra, Kepa, Adriana, and Enrique

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Labors of Love: Behind the Scenes of the Spring 2015 Diversity Program

What is the cost of the Diversity Program? There’s no amount in American dollars (that I can disclose here at least) that can cover the true cost of Pitzer College’s biannual Diversity Program. We, the program’s coordinators, interns and support staff, pay for the program in time and sleep more than any monetary metric can measure, but it’s worth every last Z and waking moment spent. No matter how many we’ve experienced, the night before every program – Christmas Eve if you will – butterflies still fill our stomachs. I experienced the same sensation as a participant four years prior, but I never thought the feeling would last.

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Planning commences early – almost immediately following the close of the previous program. Tasks are divided up between Diversity Interns old and new, outgoing and incoming. Sometimes we take turns swapping tasks; matching students with classes, host recruitment, off-campus activity coordination, affinity group planning, snack-buying, snack-eating, etc. Most times we focus on a few of our favorite things. For example, the class-matching torch was passed down to me, and I will hand off the flame once I graduate (hopefully). When Christmas morning finally arrives, I can’t help but shower newly arrived prospective or admitted participants with inquiries about their classes all the while not caring what their perplexed, and maybe a bit terrified, expressions reveal: these expressions might say “Why are you so excited?” or hint “She needs to chill out on the free coffee.” The latter is probably true, and the former is because we all feel like Santa Claus on Diversity Program weekend, or at the very least Oprah back in the early 2000s when she hosted her annual “Favorite Things” episodes: “You get a class!” It is truly magical when a bunch of aggregated data on Excel sheets comes to life as a fully-functioning program, but like Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or any annual occasion where gift-giving stakes are high, there are inevitable fails.

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Due to a lack of knowledge of industrial landscapes, I had no idea what a smokestack was, so when I was given a task to set up camp on Huntington Beach, my failure to properly identify these mythical “smokestacks” resulted in 40 participants and coordinators walking more than a mile against the wind to find my bonfire. Most recently, an unprecedented change in In N’ Out’s credit card protocol resulted in fries and burgers served up “fresh” at two different locations. The Diversity Program is well-practiced, but always full of surprises. The Program staff has learned to expect the unexpected, and each straggler for the 5 am Saturday morning trip back to the airport, premature exit off the freeway, or temporarily missing participant (we always get them back), only makes our relationships with each other and the program as a whole, stronger.

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Kepa Barrett Diversity InternKepa Barrett ‘17, a fellow Diversity Intern eloquently describes the loving spirit of Program coordination efforts:

“The Diversity Team puts countless hours of work into making the program successful for our students. We do it in the name of love!”

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_5100Mattie Ross ‘12, Assistant Director of Admission and Head Coordinator of the Diversity Program, had this to say about our labors of love behind-the-scenes:

“There is nothing more rewarding to me than ensuring equity and access in Pitzer’s admission process…There is a lot of planning that goes into the whole event, but it’s all worth it once students are on campus. I loved watching who chose to enroll and become a future Sagehen! Chirp!”

 

11202957_492879530861825_1520463751832842233_nNatalie ‘17, one of the newest additions to the Diversity Program team, is appreciative of the unique opportunity to meet future peers through the Program’s work:

This was my first time being involved with the Diversity Program and I had a really great time working with the other interns, as well as the Admission Staff…It was really amazing to have the opportunity to meet my potential future classmates. Everyone brought their own element to the program.

 

Sure we get paid, but money is ephemeral. We do it for the participants who we see a bit of ourselves in, to work toward an increase in the number of multi-everything, not just multi-ethnic, individuals with unique perspectives within our community, and of course, for the love of each other – our ever-expanding Diversity Program family.

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Posted by Kara Powell ’15, Media Studies and Organizational Studies

Kara Powell Diversity Intern

A Look Back at the Fall Diversity Program

On October 23rd we welcomed 52 amazing prospective students onto Pitzer’s Campus for the Fall 2014 Diversity program! We had students come from all over the country to experience not only the SoCal weather but also the feel for what it is like to be a Pitzer student. For many of these students, this was their first opportunity to learn about a liberal arts education and the resources it has to offer.

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Prospective students embracing Pitzer’s Free Wall!

On their first day, we offered students an organic lunch experience in the outdoor classroom where they mingled and ate yummy Z Pizza! After lunch, they had the chance to attend a Pitzer class; from Women in the Third World to Critical Environmental Analysis. Soon it was time for the most anticipated and most competitive activity of the program….the 5-C Scavenger Hunt! The winning team received awesome Pitzer water bottles which were perfect after doing all the running! Students raved about how much fun they had during the scavenger hunt – even though it was exhausting they had the chance to experience snippets of all the 5C’s and the benefits of the consortium.

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Organic lunch experience in the outdoor classroom!

Later that evening, students had the chance to attend a variety of the cultural resource centers available at Pitzer. Students visited Latino Student Union, Black Student Union, Queer Resource Center, Multi Ethnic and Racial Group Exchange, and the Center for Asian Pacific American Students. Students were greeted and hosted by members of each of these centers and they had a chance to ask and discuss any questions or concerns. It was a very successful component of the program because students were able to interact with a variety of Pitzer students. And what better way to learn about the college than from Pitzer students themselves?

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Prospective students learning about the resources at the Center for Asian Pacific American Students!

On their last day in sunny Claremont, we (the Diversity Program) took the prospective students on a starry LA adventure to the Griffith Observatory located on the beautiful hills of Hollywood! The students were in awe overlooking the city lights of Los Angeles from the top of the Observatory. We watched an amazing star show that depicted all the great enigmas of our universe, which was almost too much to handle, but yet incredible to see.

We had so much fun planning the program but it was even more fulfilling to meet so many incredible students and see how much they enjoyed their time at Pitzer.  Many of these students lack the resources to visit schools like Pitzer so I am happy that we made this possible for such a great deserving group. After experiencing Pitzer, various students were convinced that they had to apply to Pitzer. Now its time to wait and see how many students apply and eventually join the Sagehens!

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Posted by Mayra Sandoval ’16, Sociology and Economics

Mayra Sandoval Diversity Intern

Turn, Turn, Turn

As the seasons change, so do our jobs. With Fall rapidly giving way to Winter the admission staffs at colleges across the country are returning home from the road, unpacking their roll-aboard suitcases, and settling back into their offices on campus. Those of you who have been following along know that I have been living in Boston for about a year, since I graduated from Pitzer. Well, California, I’m back!

The month of November brings several important events to Pitzer College. Last week we brought more than 40 students from across the nation who come from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds to the Claremont Colleges to gain greater knowledge of Pitzer the Claremont Consortium as part of our Fall Diversity Program. Pitzer Diversity Interns Alyshia Silva, Jose Barriga, and Maricela Ledezma worked with Graduate Admission Fellow Fernando Calderon and Assistant Director of Admission Constance Perez to plan travel logistics, meals, residence hall hosts, a five-college scavenger hunt, and capped the program with attendance at SCAMFest (the Southern California A Capella Music Festival, hosted by the Claremont Colleges).

Alyshia Silva ’12 reflected on the program after saying goodbye to our prospective students: “As tiresome as it most undoubtedly was, I cannot express the great pleasure it was to see all 43 students bond and fall into the place that I call home.Whether seeing them take their facebook photos together and asking for each other’s numbers, nothing can beat the pure satisfaction at seeing their faces when it came time to say goodbye to Pitzer and each other. Afterwards, via email, facebook, and phone calls, Constance received plenty of gushing from the Diversity Participants who swear to see us in little less than 8 months…”

The program coincided with the first of two Pitzer Preview Days this semester. Pitzer Preview Days are an opportunity for studentsto visit us and hear more about our community from students, staff, and faculty as well as to see the campus for yourself. Our last Preview Day of the semester is this coming Friday, November 16. If you would like to attend our next Preview Day, please call the Office of Admission at (909) 621-8129.

So what’s up next, you might be wondering? This week we’ll be reading and deliberating on our Spring Transfer applications. As soon as that’s done, our Early Decision applications will be ready to read, followed by all of our Regular Decision candidates; and so the Winter reading cycle goes.

In a few days I’ll be back with the next installment of Beyond Buzzwords (stay tuned to see which one we’ll be tackling). Leave me a comment or send me an email if there’s a topic that you’d like me to write about as well. I don’t do it for my health…it’s all for you!

Congratulations to Emily Kleeman of Chicago for identifying the great Buddy Guy as the singer in the video from last week’s blog post. This is the last installment of Where in the World is Cecil the Sagehen (for a while, at least). As usual, if you can figure out where Cecil has traveled from the pictures below, we’ll send you a prize. Email me at [email protected] with your answers.

Enjoy the turning of the seasons!

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Posted by Adam Rosenzweig, Admission Counselor

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May 1

So last Friday was May 1. You know what that means, it was decision day!!!!

For all of you high school seniors, this marks our joint trip through the admissions process (remember this is my first time seeing it all the way through from the other side of the desk). Once you get that card in the mail, which hopefully you have already done, take a moment take a big breath and give yourselves a pat on the back. You deserve it!

Even though my first cycle is coming to a close it has still been a busy time of the year for me. We just had our two Admitted Student Days, which went very smoothly. Here are some pictures

Peter Nardi our acting President giving the welcoming speech.

PeterAnd here are all the students with their parents.

students at openingTake a look at Sol leading an awesome tour:

Sol's tourAnd we can’t forget two of our blog winners showed up. Jacey came to say hello and offered to give me capoeira lessons next year (don’t forget Jacey, I may take you up on that offer) and Jon Rice also came. He even had the foresight to bring his Cecil with him.

Jon and Cecil 1Aren’t they are great team!

The next week’s Admitted Student Day also coincided with our Spring Diversity Program. This means I spent the whole week running around making sure everything was ready, but the lack of sleep was worth it and we had an AMAZING time!

On Friday we went to the beach and it was a blast. Check out the pictures from our trip.

Here is my van on the way to the beach. It is a little blurry, but still the best van group EVER (P.S. Don’t worry I didn’t take the picture while driving, Tim took it).

VAnHere we are at the beach:

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We also hired 2 new interns for the program, Bryce Coefield and Maricela Ledezma. I don’t have a picture of Maricela with me, but here is a picture of Bryce

BryceAfter the Diversity Program there was no rest for Danny. On Tuesday I hopped onto a plane to New Jersey for Spring College fairs. They were a lot of fun! I haven’t been to NJ before so it was a brand new experience for me. Although I must admit I was less than thrilled with driving in NJ, I don’t like roundabouts.

Overall the fairs were fun. I say overall because my GPS decided to take me the longest roundabout method possible to get me from school to school. I would have to say one of the high points of my fair trips was getting to see Watu Poe one of our admitted students when I visited the Peddie School. I even was able to coerce him into taking a picture with Cecil.

WatuAfter NJ I finally got some downtime and went to visit some friends in New York. This was great because I have only been to NY on one other occasion, and I was sick 2 out of 3 days. This time was much better. I refrained from doing any touristy activity and instead spent time with my friends in Central Park and went to the Tribeca Film festival. Overall I had a great time, but am ready to stay in my own time zone for a while.

Well it is time to get back to reading transfer files, but I wish you all luck with the last few weeks of school before summer.


Posted by Danny Irving, Admission Counselor

Danny Leaps for joy

I’m Back (and Preview Pitzer Days!)

Hello again! So I know I haven’t posted in a while, life has been super hectic, but I have a long post to make up for it. The last time you heard from me I was off to Miami and it great. Unfortunately the weather didn’t seem to follow me from California and it was a bit rainy and humid, but Cecil and I didn’t let that spoil our adventures.

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Bienvenidos a Miami Cecil

I went to a number of college fairs while in Miami and Cecil got front row seats for all of them.

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Really what has been keeping me busy was Preview Pitzer Days. These events both went extremely well and I just want to say thank you to everyone that worked hard to put these events together. Every prospective student I talked enjoyed the events thoroughly.

The first Preview Pitzer Day coincided with our fall Diversity Program, which was also a smashing hit if I do say so myself.

The arrival time was a little bit crazy, as you can see.

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Say hello to some of the students from the program.
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And we can’t forget out fabulous overnight hosts.

Unfortunately, these are all the pictures I have from the program at the moment, but if anyone from the program has pictures please email them to me.

We did have one snag in the program though. On Friday night we went out to Universal City Walk, outside of Universal Studios. It seemed like everyone was having a great time, the three interns, Constance and I went out for dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp, I watched some break dancing, and went shopping, when I got a phone call from one of the students about curfew. Now excuse my ignorant San Diegan background because in SD our curfew basically means as a minor you can’t be loitering or hanging out at the beach after a certain time. Apparently in LA it means that after 10:00pm you can’t be out at all. So as I ran out of City Walk trying to find all of the prospective students I figured out that at City Walk 5 Curfew Squad officers walk shoulder to shoulder and kick out anyone under 18 who wasn’t with a guardian. Fortunately there weren’t any issues with the Curfew Squad and it turned out our bus had shown up early so everything worked out, but I nearly had a heart attack when I got that phone call.

The November 7th Preview Pitzer Day was also a smashing hit. For those of you who don’t know, Preview Pitzer Days are special days for students to come check out campus.

Here are some highlights of the day…

Faculty Panel
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Students watching the faculty panel

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Parents questioning the students
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Prospective students questioning the student panel.
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Brunch
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Lunch with the parents, faculty, and staff.

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And Cecil even got some refreshments.

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If you didn’t have a chance to check out the Preview Pitzer Days we also do two days during the spring for admitted students, so you still have a second chance!
In terms of my life I am down to my last two days of school visits, Whooohoooo, one in the Inland Empire and the other in Long Beach. Even though it makes me sad that I won’t be visiting your high schools for another year, we still have a number of saved up pictures so we can keep playing…
Where in the World is Cecil the Sagehen?
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Where is Cecil this time?

Posted by Danny Irving, Admission Counselor

Danny Leaps for joy