Students attending a lecture at The HiveAndy Reischling, center, a junior, at “The Essay as Resistance” at Pomona College. Jenna Schoenefeld for The New York Times

Why ‘The Hive’ Should Be Your Next Favorite Spot On Campus

“I am not a failure,” is what I would have told you six months ago. Today, I will proudly announce to you that I am a failure. But before you jump to any conclusions about my statement, let me explain myself.

It was my brother’s birthday and he begged me to attend the Hive’s “Introduction to Design Thinking” event. “What the heck is that?” I remember thinking to myself. As I entered the Hive for the first time, I became enthralled by the neon sticky notes and vibrant posters that encased the building. The classrooms, too, fascinated me. There were wheels attached to all the brightly colored tables and stools, sketches covering the walls, and most impressively, an abundance of Sharpie markers. At the event, I was introduced to human-centered design and fell in love with its innovative processes. That night, I wished my brother a happy birthday and thanked him.

Three months later, I am enrolled in the Hive’s human-centered design course. Through a series of workshops and design projects, I have learned to utilize innovation, collaboration, and experimental learning to tackle complex problems. Additionally, I have learned to celebrate failure as it is an essential part of the design process. Most importantly, through my experiences with The Hive, I have learned that every problem is solvable. Upon my many returns to the Hive, I have grown to see the value of each sticky note and ultimately each person behind its short, anonymous messages. Through my experiences at the Hive, I have discovered that design thinking creates more than just collaboration, but a community.  

‘The Hive’ is…

A place and a set of mindsets for students from all five of the Claremont Colleges to come to learn to be more creative, learn to gain confidence in their creativity that they already have, learn to sharpen those creative skills, and to learn how to collaborate. Students ultimately learn how to be creative in team environments as working in groups helps us learn that often the best ideas come from teams.

 Rick and Susan Sontag Center for Collaborative Creativity (The Hive)

“The Hive attracts students that have an appetite to sharpen their creative skills and make and try things.” –Fred Leichter, Director of the Hive

Students from all five colleges and different majors come to experiment, build, and meet new people. At the Hive, you’ll find button makers, rolls of colored paper, paint, glue, wood, pipe cleaners, cardboard, scissors, and much more!

What is Human-Centered Design?

Image result for human centered design
Human-Centered Design Process, Courtesy of Stanford Center on Longevity

The backbone of the Hive is Human-centered design (design thinking).  Human-centered design is a creative approach to problem-solving with an emphasis on empathy.  It begins with finding the unmet needs of the users you are designing for and ends with a solution for that individual.  This process includes generating tons of (extreme) ideas, rapid prototyping, testing and sharing your innovative solutions!

What Can You Do at The Hive

Rick and Susan Sontag Center for Collaborative Creativity (The Hive), 2018-2019 Skillshares and Workshops

“It is a place to experiment and play and where failure is just fine”–Fred Leichter,  Director of the Hive


The Hive offers Skillshares for students, faculty, and staff.  Skillshares are mini-workshops for more complicated and dangerous activities, such as woodworking and screenprinting.  Students often come to prototype, bring their ideas to life, or just to experiment.


The Hive also offers non-credited Workshops that are oriented around personal skills.  Workshops are evening events are lead by guest speakers and/or Hive Staff. Some of this year’s most popular workshops include:

  • 36 Questions to Make Friends With Anyone
  • Empathetic Listening
  • Introduction to Product Management
  • Design Your Personal Brand
  • Creating New Habits
  • Halloween Costume Making Workshop
  • 3 Steps to Improving Your Future
  • Powerpoint Karaoke: Improve Your Presenter Skills

For Credit Classes

Courtesy of The Hive

The Hive offers a one-credit course for students who want a deeper understanding of design thinking. Introduction to Human-Centered Design (ENGR180HMC) is offered during the spring and fall and uses human-centered design as its underlying methodology. The course will include fundamental readings in design thinking, interactive design methods and processes, and hands-on projects. Students will learn how user research, synthesis, idea generation, and prototyping can be integrated into different phases of the design process. Although the course does not require technical knowledge, it is incredibly valuable for engineers and students studying psychology, English, economics, or philosophy, biology…the list goes on!

“It’s about tackling big ambiguous problems” — Fred Leichter,  Director of the Hive

Hive Director, Fred Leichter is always on the look for challenges where designers are needed both on and off campus. This spring 2019 semester, Fred’s students helped contribute to the redesigning of Pomona’s Center for Modern Languages and International Relations, Oldenborg.  Hive students have also tackled natural disaster response and recovery challenges as well as enhancing the organ donation experience, Claremont Consortium Library, and Hickson Center for Sustainability.


Courtesy of The Hive, Sparkathon Fall 2018

The Hive also hosts Claremont’s biennial Sparkathon Competition! Sparkathon is an impact-driven design thinking competition that challenges students to work collaboratively to solve some of the world’s most pressing societal challenges.  Sparkathon brings in students from all over California to embark on this seven-hour challenge. Winners of this challenge receive mentorship, resources, and generous funding, to implement their solutions in the real world!


Rick and Susan Center for Collaborative Creativity (The Hive)
130 E 7th St, Claremont, CA 91711

Click here to learn more about the events, opportunities, and resources offered at the Hive!


Posted by Kelly Chang ’22 on April 30, 2019

Kelly Chang ’22, Product Design and Communications

Winter Break: The Side of Pitzer Admissions You’ve Never Seen!

  When the Pitzer College Office of Admission staff isn’t reading applications or giving tours of the beautiful Pitzer campus, they are doing some pretty adventurous (some may say crazy) things. And their winter break plans are no different. To prove this point, I asked several Pitzer Admission staff and junior staff members what they most looked forward to during their winter break. I think you’ll be just as shocked as I am about how bold and daring some of their break plans are.


Carolina Rodriguez, Interim Operations Manager Assistant

“I am looking forward to catching up on sleep and not having to set an alarm!!! I also hope to spend winter break with family and loved ones, hopefully going ice skating and going on new adventures!”

My Take-Away: Let’s be real. When Carolina says that she is “going on new adventures” during the break, I instantly envisioned her partaking in Indiana Jones-like adventures. She’ll most likely be running from giant boulders, leaping over pits of venomous snakes, and digging up lost historical treasures in unknown corners of the Earth. Carolina doesn’t take her winter break plans lightly…


Dwayne Okpaise, Admission Counselor

“I am most excited for sleeping in and having free time. I hope to take myself to some LA museums I haven’t seen, or revisit old favorite. Maybe I’ll even get around to making some art!”

My Take-Away: Dwayne is going to have a CRAZY winter break. I mean, have you ever seen the movie Night at the Museum? I picture Dwayne’s break being something like the plot from this movie.

Kaku, Jennifer

Jennifer Kaku ‘18

“I am super excited to see my brother. Not only is it super fun when we hang out, but we love to eat together. Who doesn’t love good food and good company?”

My Take-Away: While on face Jennifer’s winter break plans seem fairly docile, she failed to mention in her quote where she and her brother were planning to hang out together. Knowing Jennifer’s adventurous side, I’m going to make an educated guess that they’ll most likely be hanging out in the darkest depths of the Amazon Rainforest, where survival is dependent on keeping your wits sharpened at all times. And when she says that that they are planning to eat together, it’s a solid assumption that their diet would mainly be restricted to spit-roasted spiders, non-poisonous herbs, and whatever small creatures cross their path on the rainforest floor.


Jamila Everett, Interim Vice President of Admission & Financial Aid

“I am looking forward to spending more time with my husband, family, and reconnecting with friends after a wonderful travel and reading season. I’m staying local for the holidays. On my agenda – a few brunches, shopping with my brothers, a holiday jazz concert, beach day trips, and of course, Disneyland!”

My Take-Away: Seriously y’all, Jamila is visiting Disneyland during the school break. She might be the bravest person on this list…


Adriana Ceron ‘18

“I’m excited about going back home to downtown LA and bike riding around the city with my best friend– there is always something new to discover!”

My Take-Away: I gotta applaud Adriana for making safe, sensible plans for her winter break. While Carolina leaps over pits of venomous snakes and Anjuli cuddles with a 400 pound Siberian tiger, Adriana proves to us all that there is absolutely nothing wrong with having relaxing, easy-going plans for the break.


Kaelyn Bister, Operations Manager Assistant

“I’m most excited about going home to Minnesota to catch up with family and friends.  One fun thing we like to do during the holidays is to go see the ice castle sculptures in the Twin Cities, and then warm up at home with treats like hot chocolate, lefse, Krumkake, and my mom’s poppyseed coffee cake”.

My Take-Away: The one thing I’m left wondering after reading Kaelyn’s quote is: What is her motivation for visiting the ice castles? Is she visiting for a diplomatic purposes (ex: to sign a trade agreement with the ruler of the ice castle kingdom)? Or is her family planning to conquer the castles in an epic medieval-style siege? Whatever the case, I know it will result in an awesome story that she can tell the rest of us when she returns to the office in early January.


Patrick King ‘17

“I can’t wait to not leave my couch for a month… I am excited to bake all the cookies I can eat. Which to be clear is a lot. Like think of a number and double it. I am also excited to go home and sit inside and watch the rain as I cry to myself sleep listening to Adele’s 25 on repeat…”

My Take-Away: Do I really need to explain how bold and adventurous Patrick’s winter break plans are? I think he adequately sums it up.


Lesley Malinoski, Secretary

“Hi! I plan to bring a little sunshine to the Pacific Northwest for the Winter Holidays. Can’t wait to see the delight and excitement on Christmas morning watching my grandchildren open their presents from Santa.  Sure hope he arrives before the kids discover his cup of hot chocolate!”

My Take-Away: Whoa! Slow down, Lesley! Your plans are a bit too adventurous for me.

Madrid, Gabriel

Gabe Madrid ‘17

“This winter break, I’ll be applying for internships and job opportunities in the area of law. I look forward to hopefully landing an awesome opportunity to gain hands-on experience, which, I hope, may clarify whether or not I want to pursue a legal career.”

My Take-Away: Is Gabe planning on being the next Keanu Reeves from The Devil’s Advocate? Or the next Reese Witherspoon from Legally Blonde? Either way, the legal field definitely has its fair share of seedy situations. Gabe may very well see things this winter break that can’t be unseen…

Posted by JR Ramsey, Admission Counselor



Winter Break Research Project: A Brief Analysis of Race and Gender in Popular Drama Television Shows

After a long semester of traversing multiple classes and activities while having the time of my life, I looked forward to heading back to the Bay Area for the last winter break of my undergraduate career.  Living with my family, hanging out with friends, eating at Sol Food, and driving across the Golden Gate Bridge to San Francisco were all on my list of things to do, but I focused on one activity throughout my entire break: research.  I spent easily 3-4 hours every day doing research on the emerging “angry white man” character in three critically acclaimed drama television shows: How to Get Away with Murder, Scandal, and Grey’s Anatomy.

Before you read any further, this analysis is definitely not my justification for the hours spent every day during my break watching Netflix.  Also, there will be some spoilers, but I won’t say anything that will make you want to hunt me down.  Shonda Rhimes, the mastermind behind these three shows, has historically gone against the grains of modern television by including female protagonists, tackling issues of race in the shows, and even using color-blind casting techniques.

While many of her characters in these shows exhibit certain trends, cursory and generalizing statements about Shonda’s protagonists attenuate how multifaceted each character really is.  For example, certain individuals would say that Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) from How to Get Away with Murder, Miranda Bailey and Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) from Scandal parallel each other as strong black female protagonists.  Yet it is simply unfair to encapsulate the life experiences of Annalise, Miranda, and Olivia without understanding how uniquely different their lives are.

Similarly, the same thing occurred with the white male individuals on these shows: I began to generalize them very quickly.  I saw Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) from Grey’s Anatomy, Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) from Scandal, and Sam Keating (Tom Verica) from How to Get Away with Murder as the white male counterparts to the female protagonists in these shows.  Specifically, I developed a dislike for them because they all seemed to really mess with the female characters in one way or another.  These three men enforce a certain power they have over female characters in the show (I mean, Fitz is the President of the United States… you can’t get much more powerful than that…) and I found that incredibly irksome.  What I realized though, in my hours of reflection upon collecting all the data from my research, was that I began pigeonholing these characters as “angry, power-hungry males” in my head, which also is unfair to do.

Race and gender are topics incredibly difficult to tackle and even harder to fully comprehend.  Are they even able to be fully comprehended?  At Pitzer, I have taken many opportunities to learn about race and gender, whether in my classes or through my social interactions with fellow Pitzer students, which have provided a stronger sense of Intercultural Understanding.  A takeaway from this “research” experience is that even through the years of reading relevant literature and learning advanced theories on race and gender, Pitzer has helped me develop a keen sense of awareness that, to this day, I am trying to apply in my everyday life.  Also, Netflix is great and I highly encourage people to conduct “research” on it as often as they can.



  • My thoughts racing through my brain after I watch an episode before Netflix plays the next episode
  • Image source:

Posted by Charlie Yates ’15, Double Major in Science, Technology, & Society and Psychology



A Pitzer Poem

Peaceful in the morning at Pitzer

Quiet with the squirrels

Studying in the cool sun

It is my favorite time

Squirrel 2


Posted by Anna Pleskunas ’15, Philosophy and Art

Anna Pleskunas Tour Guide

Spring is in the air…

Danny Irving (class of ’08, Admission Counselor) and Jackie Legazcue (class of 2010) couldn’t be more excited about the beauty that spring brings to campus. I guess it’s just a purple kind of day!

Posted by Adam Rosenzweig, Admission Counselor


Pitzer In The News!

I wanted to share some of the attention that Pitzer College has been receiving in the news recently.

The Los Angeles Times ran an article this weekend exploring some of the sustainability initiatives around campus. At Pitzer we really strive to live our values. The most gratifying aspect of our culture of sustainability is that it grows right out of our students. Many of the projects discussed in this article and many more that may be seen around campus are direct results of student effort. In an era when everything “green” is hotter than a mid-1990s Macarena, it’s nice to be able to say that our attitude toward our environment is truly organic and home-grown!

Last week, Pitzer was featured in an article discussing another hot topic in higher education: gender-neutral housing. This article addresses some of the questions that have been raised as more colleges embrace this progressive attitude toward students’ abilities to choose who they live with.

Last but certainly not least, Laura Skandera Trombley, President of Pitzer College, published her most recent scholarly study of Mark Twain this month. Mark Twain’s Other Woman: The Hidden Story of his Final Years is now available on Amazon and in bookstores. As an internationally renowned Mark Twain scholar President Trombley balances her roles as both adminstrative leader and scholar with grace and candor. I was lucky enough in my first year at Pitzer to take a course on Victorian America which President Trombley “team-taught” with Stuart McConnell from the History and American Studies field groups. For those of you interested in President Trombley’s work I encourage you to explore her personal website.

Posted by Adam Rosenzweig, Admission Counselor


Some Holiday Wackiness

For college and high school students alike, final exams are imminent. No matter where you are in the country, your weather was awful this week. Most importantly, the January 1 Regular Decision application deadline is rapidly approaching! Feels like we need a break, doesn’t it?!

We had some early fun here in the office in preparation for the coming holidays. Below are pictures from our Student-Staff holiday party!


Above, members of the counseling staff raffle off iTunes gift certificates for lucky student-workers!


Our wacky student-workers! Looks deceptively fun!

IMG_9405Arnaldo Rodriguez, Vice President for Admission and Financial Aid, tests out a beautiful piece of “Pitzer flavored” furniture (handmade by Admission Fellow Tim Campos ’10!). Below, Cecil cozies up to a bready reindeer head! Yum!

IMG00004-20091210-1503 IMG00007-20091210-1505

So breathe deeply. Eat the eyebrows off a bready reindeer head, and relax as we head into winter craziness. Season’s best from the Pitzer College Office of Admission!

Posted by Adam Rosenzweig, Admission Counselor




If anyone called our office last week, you probably heard that most of the staff was out of the office between Wed and Fri. This was because we were attending the annual WACAC conference. On top of putting on an amazing conference that gave me a great opportunity for professional development, WACAC is an important organization for you to know about. WACAC is an ACAC, Association of College Admission Counseling, and there are a number of different ACACs for each area of the country.

There is WACAC-the Western Association of College Admission Counseling.
There is NACAC-the National Association of College Admission Counseling.
There is RMACAC-the Rocky Mountain Association of College Admission Counseling.
There is OACAC-the Overseas Association of College Admission Counseling.
And so on.

These organizations are a collection of College Admission Counselors, High School College Counselors and Independent Counselors all working together to find the best way to serve you, the students. WACAC represents the states of California and Nevada and works on advocating for student’s rights, making sure colleges adhere to The Statement of Principles of Good Practice and conducts research.

This year the conference was at Chapman University and it was an amazing experience for me. I hate to admit it, but this was actually the first time I had visited Chapman’s campus and I must say they have a beautiful campus. I also must thank the entire Chapman Admission Staff, you did an excellent job setting up the conference and all the social events. Since this was my first WACAC, they set the bar pretty high for all the conferences I will attend in the future.

This year’s conference was great, it gave me a chance to meet some new people in the industry, catch up with my colleagues and attend some amazing sessions. My favorite sessions were “Seniors Save the Day”, “Moving Images in the College Admission Process” and “Ready Set Launch! Help Students Get Their Scholarship Search off the Ground”.

Now I hate to be biased, but the “Seniors Save the Day” session was one of my favorites because it was presented by Adam Sapp, Claremont McKenna College’s Associate Dean of Admission and our very own Jasmin Escobar, Pitzer College’s Associate Director of Admission. This session talked about how seniors work to help the Admission Offices at their respective schools. Here at Pitzer we have what we call the Admission Fellow Program. The Admission Fellows help us by conducting interviews, presenting information sessions, recalculating GPAs and staffing college fairs. These Admission Fellows really do “save the day” for our office, and I am not just saying this because I used to be one. This year the Admission Fellows conducted 489 interviews and during the fall, while the counselors were on the road visiting your high schools, the Admission Fellows and Alumni Interviewers conducted 80% of our interviews.

Now I know a number of parents out there are hesitant when they hear their son or daughter will be interviewing with a student. I want to take this time to reassure all of you parents that interviewing with an Admission Fellows carries the same weight as interviewing with an Admission Counselor. The Admission Fellows actually go through a rigorous 40 hour week of training and are more than qualified to conduct these interviews. In fact students tend to enjoy their interviews with our Admission Fellows more than they enjoy interviewing with one of the counselors. (With the exception of my interviews of course)

The next session that I really enjoyed was “Moving Images in the College Admission Process” and it was also amazing. This session was presented by David May, Chapman’s Assistant Director of Admission and one of his student workers, Sasha de Mello. This session was amazing for me since I am in the process of creating a virtual campus tour for Pitzer and we have never done something like this before. It was great to see how another college approached this project and how they use other online resources such as blogs. You can find David’s College Admission blog at After David and Sasha’s session I am even more excited to get started on our virtual tour and hope I can impress David with our finished product.

The last of my favorite sessions was “Ready Set Launch! Help Students Get Their Scholarship Search off the Ground”. This session was presented by Lynette Matthews, the Director of College Connection and Rhondalynne McClintock, the Director of Scholarship Club. Rhonadalynne’s daughter Talia, who will be starting her career at Pitzer in the fall, also contributed to the presentation. This session was a little bit different from the others I attended, since I don’t get to contribute as much in student’s scholarship search. However, this session was surprisingly relevant for me. Private School education is not cheap and even with our policy to guarantee to meet 100% of a student’s demonstrated need, sometimes families still need a little more help paying for school. There is a ton of money out there to help students pay for college, but it is up to you to find it (and the you I am referring to is the students, not you parents). In the past I have directed families to the 2 scholarship search engines that I knew of, the College Board’s Scholarship Search Engine, and FastWeb In reality there are a ton of other websites that are great for starting a scholarship search (see below for a longer list).

The key to starting your scholarship search, is to make a list of your attributes, this is also called a personal inventory and think outside of the box when making this list. There are scholarships out there for things as random as people with one blue eye one brown eye. Look at things like your parents employer, your parents previous employers, if anyone in your family has served in the military, what you are interested in studying, if you do community service etc. At this point start looking through the scholarship searches to see what you can find. Some of the other great search engines I learned about in this session were,, and of course Rondalynne and Talia’s website Talia and Rondalynne are located in Rancho Cucamonga, so if you are a student from the Inland Empire I highly recommend checking them out. Remember it is never too early to start looking for money for college and the process doesn’t stop after you start your first year of college.

There was one other big issue that we discussed frequently during the WACAC conference, the Cal Grant. For those of you who don’t know, the Cal Grant is free money for students who are California natives, who are attending a College in California who, demonstrate financial need and meet certain GPA requirements. The Cal Grant award can be up to $9,700 a year and is sometimes the extra money a student needs to be able to attend a college or university. Unfortunately, with our current economic crisis, the Governor is proposing to cut the Cal Grant. This cut would affect over 200,000 students, but there is something you can do to help. Write a letter to your local California Legislator and ask them to vote against cutting the Cal Grant. You can also write directly to Governor Schwarzenegger and tell him how you feel. This takes only a few minutes and can really make a difference. You can also log onto the NACAC website and fill out a short form that will send the email for you,
Please, every email or letter makes a difference.


As you can see, I learned a lot while I was at WACAC and came away rejuvenated and ready for next years travel season. Now on to some blog business, as you have seen there has been a little less posting on the blog over the summer, and since I will be out of town it will continue to be a little lighter in terms of posting. Later this week I am heading down to San Diego to help conduct mock interviews at my Alma Mater Francis Parker, and then I am heading out on vacation, so expect some posts about that. Don’t despair the light posting, keep tuning in and be ready for the fall because there will be some exciting new changes to the blog.

Posted by Danny Irving, Admission Counselor

Danny Leaps for joy

I have lost my voice, but not my mind

As the title implies, I have lost a bit of my voice today after conducting close to 30 interviews last weekend. This was the last chance to interview for regular decision. We conducted interviews in; Seattle, Portland, Santa Clara, Emeryville and Chicago, totaling 181 interviews. Go us! Most of my interviews were pretty good and it was a pleasure to meet all of you, but as I said, it is going to be tea for me for the next few days.

After conducting my 30 interviews, I realized that one questions kept coming up. Why did you choose Pitzer? So I figured I should tell my college search story. It is a perfect example of how a college visit can make or break a school, but might not always be a perfect representation of the school.

The first time I visited Pitzer I actually disliked the school because of the visit. In one day I visited Pomona, Claremont McKenna and Pitzer all in one day, in that order, doing tours and interviews at all three. Now that 5 years has past I can honestly admit that I was cranky by the time I got to Pitzer.

Once April 1 rolled around, I found out that I was accepted to my first choice school, which will remain nameless, and I was absolutely ecstatic. I went back and visited, for a second time, and completely changed my mind. The funny thing was that my first visit was what made me fall in love with the school and my second visit showed me that the school had everything I wanted, but wasn’t the right personality fit.

Since I then had no idea where I wanted to go, I started my search over again and came back to Pitzer for another visit. This time I saw everything I missed in my first visit. My second visit was on a gorgeous sunny day during the spring. It was right before finals, but students were still around campus and it felt like I had stepped onto the cover of a college guidebook.

I can still remember the exact moment I changed my mind about Pitzer. I was sitting on the mounds, the grassy area in the middle of campus, with three Pitzer students. One girl was outside tanning with a textbook almost as big as her head and two guys playing Frisbee. I jokingly turned to the girl and asked her why she had so much more work than the two guys. Before the girl could answer, one of the guys stopped and said, “No, I am in the middle of working on my thesis, but I just had to come outside and play 15 minutes of Frisbee.” Needless to say 15 minutes turned into half an hour, but then he went back inside, presumably to work on his thesis. After seeing this balance of work life and social life I stopped and looked around and realized that, without exception, every single person I could see was smiling. I figured if all these people can find a balance between work life and social life here and be this happy right before finals maybe I could be happy here too.

Once I got home, I started thinking about my visit and realized that I had floated between a number of different social groups and all of them were open. They all wanted to know my name, although some still called me prospie for convenience sake, don’t worry it is a term of endearment, they all wanted to know why I was interested in Pitzer and they all wanted to tell me about the school. No one was cliquey and everyone had positive things to say.

I was still nervous when I sent in my enrollment response card, this is the card you fill out saying what school you will attend, but from the moment I set foot on campus I knew I had made the right choice. I loved my college experience, obviously since I chose to remain at Pitzer after I graduated, and didn’t consider transferring once.

I hope my story is interesting. I know it sounds like something out of college book, but it really does happen from time to time. The message I want you to gain from this story, besides how awesome Pitzer is, is that sometimes you step onto a college campus and get that feeling that this place is home, but then you can still change your mind and other times you visit a school and since your timing is off you don’t get that feeling. Some people never get that feeling, but that doesn’t mean that the college you choose isn’t just as good a fit for you. So when you visit a college campus or are thinking back on your previous visits keep an objective frame of mind and know that there is more than one school that you would be happy at.

Now on to the winners of the Where in the World is Cecil the Sagehen. Drum roll please.

The winners are
Laura R
J Rice


If you guys could all email me your addresses, do not post them on the blog, I can get your prizes in the mail.

Posted by Danny Irving, Admission Counselor

Danny Leaps for joy

Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful!

Time for random trivia about Danny! [I am still hijacking this blog and I am not sure that the following is really trivia. This is more of a random fact about Danny- JV] I am a big fan of Skiing and Snowboarding and there is finally snow on Mt Baldy. Baldy is the closest mountain to Pitzer’s campus, about a 20 minute drive to the peak. It is the pretty mountain you can see in the background on many Pitzer pictures. Don’t believe me? Check that road piece you got from us at a school visit or college fair.
Check it out. This picture, although low quality and taken under poor lighting conditions, was snapped from the walkway of our new residence halls.


Where else can you have 80 degree weather most of the year and still step outside and see snow for a few months? (P.S. Fri Morning it is still brisk, but the sun is out)

You can tell some students got excited about the snow because this is a sight you don’t usually see on campus.


Now if you replaced the sleds with surfboards, it is nothing new. See this is one of the many reasons that SO Cal is the best place to live. (haha take that NOR Cal)[Wow, a throwdown! –JV]
Well snow aside, let’s get back to the admission office.
Regular decision files are already piling up. We even started to read some of the complete ones. Notice the stacks and how mine is the biggest.
Go AZ, UT, NV, MI, FL, TX, Long Beach, San Fernando Valley and Inland Empire students! Way to get your files in early. [The stack two over to the left is my pile. Do we need to talk about my students here? PA, MD, DC, VA, GA, TN, OR, and Santa Barbara I am a bit disappointed. I appreciate that you are trying to keep my work load low near the holidays, but still, I need you to represent. I want the top 5 out of California states to be mine this coming year. Help me out! If I do, Danny will take me to lunch. –JV]
Besides the daunting piles of mail coming in everyday, life has been moving at a slightly slower pace. Early decision letters are in the mail, so they should be arriving soon. (And no, that does not mean you should call us to ask if you got in. I know it is exciting, but you will find out soon enough) In fact, I have a little surprise for you. We got done a little ahead of schedule, so the letters were mailed out on Wed. SURPRISE!
We have also finished conducting interviews and there are very few tours coming in, so the office is quiet and we are mainly putting your applications together and reading files. It is a little lonely because most student workers have time off to study for finals.
I just have to say. I LOVE OUR STUDENT WORKERS!! [Me too! –JV]
I though you would enjoy finding out about a new competition going on in my office. Apparently my digs have become the hot new place to study for finals and some of our student workers have been competing for its use. This is great because I came in after a long weekend of reading to find this amazing note, which cheered me up to no end.
Jenna's Note
Here is a picture of Jenna for reference. [Jenna is also one of the Overnight Coordinators. Ask her sometime about her work at a cult. She’ll have some great stories for you. –JV]
Jenna Picture
Then the next day I came in and found this note. (and cookies)
Emma's Note
In case you haven’t met Emma, she is one of our Admission Fellows and you can find her picture online. [I should have a pithy comment about Emma here, but I can’t think of one. –JV]
The next morning, Ben was feeling slightly jealous and wrote me this.
ben's note
Everyone say hi to Ben. [Nice picture Ben. Ben is one of the Overnight Coordinators that I supervise. –JV]
To top it all off this morning, Thrusday, I came across 2 notes!
Ben's note 2
[Ben gets a bonus point for a “Dark Knight” reference. –JV]
And finally,
Emma's note 2
So I officially declare Emma the winner of the annual random notes in Danny’s office competition.

[Student workers, we need to talk too. What is wrong with my office? It is colorful. It has an iPod dock. There is a cool poster from a Ryan Adams concert last year here in Claremont. I’ve got a lovely view of the parking lot. Don’t forget who hired you. –JV]

While we are on the topic of competition, let’s play another game of Where in the World is Cecil the Sagehen. Where is Cecil this week? (be very specific. Very Very specific).

Cecil and Mural
There may be one last post before I am off for the Holidays, so if you don’t hear from me before then. Have a happy holiday season.

Posted by Danny Irving, Admission Counselor
Danny Leaps for joy


The winner of the Haiku Contest is……Justin Voss.

This means he gets to publish his back up haiku. (and will forever lord this victory over me) [That’s right Daniel! My superior haiku truly encapsulated the essence of Pitzer through the experience of the Grove House. I would like to thank all the little people that made this victory happen. Namely, myself for creating such a wonderful haiku.- JV]
(As one of Justin’s many rewards for winning the contest, I am letting him hijack my blog all week and add whatever creative comments he wants. Note creative comments, not constructive *sigh*)

Blue bird of the night
Show me all your sagehen might
Best run out of sight.

Justin won with 2 votes, followed by a tie for second place between Jasmin and Angel, who both got 1 vote, and in last place me, with 0 votes. [Wait, only 2 people voted for me? Well, a win is a win. – JV]

The order of the haikus was:

Haiku #1: Jasmin
Haiku #2: Danny
Haiku #3: Justin
Haiku #4: Angel

This means that Jacey guessed the order correctly. Very very impressive Jacey, I guess you know us too well.
I also liked the haiku you posted to the blog [me too, we may have to steal this for something- JV].

An education
of art, dance, music, and thought
breeds the culture sought
-by Jacey

What I am confused about, is how everyone single person guessed which haiku was mine, and yet no one voted for it. What’s up guys?????? [Danny, did you read yours? –JV]

All bitterness aside, we are holding our committee for Early Decision this week. Committee is a very misleading title. It sounds so soft and friendly, but after discussing files for 5 hours the title takes on a whole new sinister meaning. On the plus side we get to come to work in casual dress. YAY!

Take a look at us putting together the acceptance packets:

Filing 1 Filing 3 Justin Filing 2 D and A[How come I have to do all the hard work?- JV]

So remember boys and girls, when you get those letters in the mail, it was the Admission Counselors who shed blood, sweat and tears (and suffered many paper cuts) to get you that nice acceptance packet. The letters will be in the mail by this Friday, December 19th, so don’t start checking those mailboxes quite yet.
Since we are rapidly running out of time for Where in the World is Cecil the Sagehen, I decided to go with the trickier to two photos. So where is Cecil today? [Let the record show that most of these pictures have been mine. If only Ansel Adams took pictures of Sagehens across the country, imagine how famous he could be- JV]
Where is Cecil
Stay tuned for more posts later this week.

Posted by Danny Irving, Admission Counselor

Danny Leaps for joy