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Study Abroad at Pitzer!

Hello everyone! My name is AJ and I’m a senior here at Pitzer. During the fall of my junior year, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Ecuador on one of Pitzer’s direct-run study abroad programs! My semester was incredible, and I’m here to give you a little insight into what studying abroad at Pitzer is all about. 

Pitzer has an impressive study abroad program. Over 50% of the student body enrolls in a direct or exchange study abroad program once in their four years. To give you a point of reference, the national average for college students studying abroad is 2% (WOAH!). Pitzer offers a range of programs, domestic and international, as well as counseling and guidance through the Office of Study Abroad and International Programs in order to find the program that best suits you. With 8 Pitzer programs (programs founded and directed by Pitzer staff and mindful of Pitzer’s core values) in Costa Rica, Vietnam, Brazil, Nepal, Ecuador, Botswana, and Italy, plus 50+ direct enroll and exchange programs, Pitzer really makes the world your oyster.

Last fall, I had the pleasure of studying abroad in Ecuador. The 5 months I spent in Quito and around the rest of the country were life-changing! From the day I arrived to the day I left, I felt incredibly supported by Pitzer staff who ensured that my stay was smooth and comfortable. There are bumps in every journey, but that being said, my abroad experience was incredibly positive.

What I enjoyed most about my stay in Ecuador was the fact that I was able to develop a routine there. What sets apart studying abroad from simply travelling to a country is that you are given the chance to create your own life in the country of stay. Everyday I would wake up at 8am and have a nice breakfast at my home stay. From there, I would take a leisurely 15 minute walk to the bus terminal, Rio Coca, and catch my 30-minute bus ride to school.

The school I attended, Universidad de San Francisco Quito (USFQ), is located in the valley of Quito called Cumbaya. The bus ride to school was windy but soothing, and it cost me a total of 25 cents. I could always expect to see the same vendors hop on the bus during my ride. One guy stood out in particular: he sold dried lima beans along with a catchy “habas, habas, habitas, habas, ricas habas” tune.  On Mondays and Fridays I had class at 10am, a course titled “The Political Economy of Inequality”. My professor was a pretty well-known economist in Ecuador; he was incredibly passionate about economic inequality in Ecuador as well as the repercussions on social and political dynamics in the country. My other class was a three-hour long painting class on Wednesday nights. I had never painted before, and this class actually proved to be more difficult than my economics course! Still, the diversity of classes I was able to take was awesome. USFQ is a private university and has a strong focus on providing a version of a liberal arts education. The connection between students and professors is strong, which reminded me a lot of my experience at Pitzer.

 

On top of the classes I took at USFQ, I attended a Pitzer seminar on Tuesday afternoons where we discussed topics regarding Ecuadorian culture. This included everything from politics, to economics, environmental issues, gender, and poverty. Although led by the program leaders, Sebastian and Viviana (amazing angels!!!), the seminar also included a number of guest speakers. This class particularly helped guide our independent research projects, a final report culminating research on an area of interest that we presented at the end of the semester. My project focused on the current economic downturn in Ecuador as a cause of a crash in the price of petroleum and excessive government spending over the past decade. My academics really allowed me to understand the social and political background of the country I was living in, and my classes gave me awareness of customs that are essential to understanding the Ecuadorian population.

 

 

My program also had a huge emphasis on cultural immersion. While the curriculum, host families, and community service requirements (6 hours a week at a non-profit ~ really cool options available!) set up by Pitzer help you engage with the language and culture, the level of immersion that you commit yourself to in your free time is really up to you! Being at the university allowed me to make lots of Ecuadorian friends, and throughout the semester, I was able to meet their families, share experiences, and travel with several of them. It’s crazy how close you can get to people in the span of just one semester. I still talk to my Ecuadorian friends daily, and they were one of the reasons why leaving Ecuador was so hard.

 

Overall, the program provided me with a well-rounded experience that helped me learn a lot about myself in a worldly context. I would 100% recommend going abroad during your time at Pitzer!


Posted by AJ Leon ’18

LA Local Travel: DONE!

What do food, Los Angeles, community engagement, and Pitzer have in common?

Keep reading and find out…

 

75849_611447627024_13309413_35342392_649201_n2So I have been on the road for the past two and a half months recruiting students from all parts of the Southeast, Northwest, and of course beautiful Southern California. This week I wrapped up my local Los Angeles high school visits. I enjoy having the opportunity to visit so many different high schools and meet so many interested and talented students from L.A. Aside from the recruiting, I always go out of my way to make a stop at Homegirl Café for breakfast or lunch while I am in the Los Angeles area.

76729_611445950384_13309413_35342357_3489385_n (1)At this point you may be asking, “So what does this Homegirl Café have to do with Pitzer?” Well, I am glad that you are so curious! Homegirl Café is a division of Homeboy Industries, which was established over two decades ago by Father Gregory Boyle in Los Angeles. It began as a jobs program in 1988, offering alternatives to gang violence in one of the toughest neighborhoods in the city, the program soon grew beyond the parish.

Mission Statement:

“Jobs not Jails: Homeboy Industries assists at-risk and formerly gang-involved youth to become positive and contributing members of society through job placement, training and education.”
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For more information about Homeboy Industries, please visit their website and learn more about some of the many opportunities in which you can help:
At Pitzer College, we have the Community Engagement Center (formerly the Center for California Cultural and Social Issues or CCCSI). Since its founding in 1963,Pitzer College has been committed to teaching students to be responsible citizens of communities both local and global by applying the study of liberal arts to concrete actions that benefit others. CEC works in the community creating partnerships, not to dispense “expert” solutions to pre-defined needs, but to identify and engage resources — both human and material — within the community. Under leadership and the guidance of the Steering Committee, the Center supports innovative community-based projects by offering research awards and fellowships. In turn, the Center’s community partners present faculty and students with extraordinary opportunities to engage in applied problem-solving activities.
Community Based Education connects students and faculty with local organizations to create community-based research, service learning and experiential education opportunities that enhance the social, environmental, cultural and economic health of our communities. CEC serves a liaison between the academic institution and community partners, provides internship opportunities, and assistance with funding and programming, as well as providing logistical support to students, faculty, staff, and community partners.
If you would like to learn more about CEC please visit the website:

Posted by Tim Campos, Admission Counselor

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Warhol, Banksy, and the Street Art of Seattle

Since I have been on the road traveling the U.S. and meeting tons of interesting and talented students, I always seem to be hit with the same question, “I want to take art courses at Pitzer, but not necessarily major in art.” Is this possible? YES! As aPitzer student, students are encouraged to take a variety of courses and get a feel for what they like and disregard the courses they may not enjoy as much. Pitzer is a great place for any students looking for a school with a strong appreciation for the arts or even just a creative outlet. As an alumnus and speaking from my own personal experience, art was a way for me to express my creative side whether on a canvas, through the lens of a camera, or in a printmaking studio.

73726_608786729484_13309413_35277303_777652_n 73506_608785297354_13309413_35277240_4271256_n 73213_608785237474_13309413_35277238_1618110_n 69483_608786759424_13309413_35277304_6892508_n 69455_608785307334_13309413_35277241_7453733_nWhile I was in Seattle this month, I had the chance to check out Capitol Hill, the downtown area, and of course the famous Pike street public market place. Because of my busy travel schedule, I rarely have the opportunity to venture around and take in all of the art worthy sites. But on this trip, I made sure to document some of the local urban/street art. If you are reading this and have had an interview with me, then you know that my office is a reflection of my love for pop art and street art (i.e. Warhol and Banksy). The Seattle area was covered in street art and other artistic forms of expression. Art was just put up on many of the walls and objects throughout the city… kind of like Pitzer’s open art policy. Have you heard of our open art policy? What?!?! NO you have not?!?! Well… allow me to take the time and do so now.

69391_608784868214_13309413_35277230_7208779_n 69342_608784992964_13309413_35277232_4726381_n 67738_608786714514_13309413_35277302_6069269_n 66295_608785087774_13309413_35277235_2127126_n 33467_608785062824_13309413_35277234_1099662_nHere at Pitzer, we value student artistic expression and encourage a creative outlet on campus through the forms of murals and much more. Whether it be on a wall or pillar throughout campus. Students, staff, and faculty vote on the coming and going of art on campus. Below is a direct quote from the Campus Aesthetics Committee:

“The Campus Aesthetics Committee is looking for outdoor mural/art proposals. If you have an idea for a piece of art you would like to create, fill out the outdoor art proposal form, attach a drawing of your concept, and submit it to the Aesthetics Committee. The Committee meets regularly during the academic year and you will be invited to present your proposal at one of the meetings.”

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Avery-Pitzer Past, Present and Future, restored.

This mural, on the outside of Avery Hall since it was painted in 1996, is now part of the interior of the renovated Benson Auditorium in the Marilyn and Eugene Stein Atrium. It was expanded and restored by Paul Botello, the original artist, at the beginning of 2010.

If you would like additional information on the open art policy or the art major guidelines, please refer to the following links:
https://www.pitzer.edu/governance/committees/aesthetics/index.as


Posted by Tim Campos, Admission Counselor

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Cecil goes to WHITE CASTLE & much more

Sooo… in another adventure of “Cecil vs. Food” this time around I took Cecil with me to share the experience of White Castle. Now many of you may be wondering why I seem so excited about this hamburger spot… well for starters, we don’t have such a place on the West Coast. Now I am usually not a fan of red meat and try to stay away from it as much as possible (unless it’s Taco Tuesday @The McConnell Dining Hall here at Pitzer), but come on… it’s WHITE CASTLE! I had to experience this while I was in Nashville on my South East leg of the travel season.

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After sharing my amazing snack with Cecil, we then had the chance to stroll through Hillsboro Village near Vanderbilt University. This was quite an adventure to hang out and check out all the eclectic shops, not to mention a stop by Ben & Jerry’s as well (Cecil insisted).

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cecil_B&JThis entire adventure was a way to pass time while waiting for my visit to the University School of Nashville. Thanks to current Pitzer student Michael Landsman, I was greeted by a full-house of interested and eager prospective students (thanks Michael).

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Cecil with students from USN!

Posted by Tim Campos, Admission Counselor

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“Cheaper that a wing and a leg.”

Santiago Ybarra, Associate Director of Admission, is in Massachusetts this weekend and Cecil was out and about for the adventure. Here is what Santiago had to say about his time in Massachusetts:
“It turned out to be a beautiful weekend in Massachusetts, but on a rainy Friday night Cecil learned that parking costs a wing and a leg. Seriously, it’s cheaper to register your car for the full year at Pitzer than it is to park in Boston (especially near Fenway when the Sox are playing). With this in mind Cecil decided to pretend it was summer and spent some time at the Cape.” -Santiago
Cecil in Mass


Posted by Tim Campos, Admission Counselor

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The Music City, Part 1

The KING of Rock & Roll is going on tour with Cecil the Sagehen…Ok, so although we would all love it if Elvis would grace our lands again (haha sorry for the cheesy pun), the fact is he left a long lasting legacy in the music city of Memphis, Tennessee. This past week I hit the road again continuing the travel season, but this time my traveling adventures took Cecil and I to the rhythmical music cities of Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee.

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I was especially excited about my trip to Tennessee. Way back when I was a senior at Pitzer (class of 2010), I wrote my Chicano/Latino Studies senior thesis on rockabilly music and culture. My thesis was titled: “From Past to Present: The Evolution of Latino/a Rockabilly Culture.” It was great to visit such a place as Memphis, where Elvis himself hails from, not to mention one of the original godfathers of rockabilly music!

Hey by the way… did you know that for the past three years, Pitzer College has been home of the Rockabilly Music Festival?!?! Students from the Latina/o Student Union and Pitzer College Professor of Politcal Studies & Chicano Studeis, Adrian Pantoja, have created an ever growing much anticipated tradition on campus. Every year, the festival draws over a thousand people from the Claremont Colleges and local communities in the Inland Empire, while featuring dozens of custom cars, a handful of student selected rockabilly bands, and vendors galore. The Rockabilly Festival happens every spring and this coming year students can expect to relive the music, art, and custom cars on Saturday, March 26th, 2011.


Posted by Tim Campos, Admission Counselor

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Who said FALL was supposed to be this HOT?!

So while the rest of us here on the counseling staff are dealing with tripple digit temperatures (113)… others are out on the East Coast enjoying the color changing leaves and rainy conditions that are typical of fall weather. Santiago just left for his traveling season this past weekend and took Cecil along for the adventure. Allow me to take the time to introduce Santiago. Santiago Ybarra is our new Asscociate Director of Admission and joined the Pitzer Office of Admission just a few months ago (actually a month after I joined the team).

Here is a message from Santiago:

” Cecil says hi from rainy New England. It was a very California 86 degrees when I landed in Hartford at 5:45pm, but two days later it started raining. The “desert chicken” known as Cecil wanted to stick his head in the ground but I managed to convince him to take a picture outside of Charlemont, MA. He’s been to 5 schools and two states, and tomorrow he’ll be hitting 4 more schools and 2 more states. He thinks the leaves are turning Pitzer Orange just for him!” – Santiago


Posted by Tim Campos, Admission Counselor

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And here we…GO! Travel Season is upon us ALL!

Greetings friends of the Pitzer College Office of Admission! My name is Tim Campos and aside from being an alumnus… I am what some might call “the rookie”admission counselor. I have been working full time in the office these last few summer months and just recently hit the road to begin FALL TRAVEL…YAY! It has been quite some time since anyone has posted on the blog. Well let me first start off by saying that our previous admission counselor, Adam Rosenzweig, has left our office to purse greater adventures (we wish him the best of luck!).

But WOW! Time sure has passed. I think I have lost sense of what day it is and what time zone I am in at the moment. The travel season is off to a great start (minus my run in with food poisoning!). The admissions profession provides those of us on the road not only the opportunity to meet so many talented and excited prospective Pitzer students like yourselves, but the lifestyle also allows for us to embark on many unique travels all around the U.S. With that said I have made it a point to have my own “Man vs. Food” adventures while on the road and take Cecil along with me to some of the must-eat dining experiences. When I found out I would head Southeast to Atlanta, Georgia… I knew for a fact that I would be making a stop at The Varsity! This place serves over 200,000 hotdogs everyday and has been around for decades. I was excited for this and had to limit myself to only TWO chili cheese slaw dogs! Of course Cecil had to pick up a snazzy hat from the Varsity.

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61719_603856320064_13309413_35149975_6108005_nWhile in Atlanta I had the chance to meet up with another college admission counselor. It’s great to meet up with friends while on the road and explore the city together. We had a chance to take a tour at the World of Coke-a-Cola there in Downtown Atlanta. Can you believe that they have over 60 Coke-a-Cola products from around the world!!! Ok so I will admit that I did have my fair share of tasting of these products, which by the way… I enjoyed the various carbonated beverages from Latin America the most.

61609_604447530274_13309413_35165259_7464037_n 59857_604446143054_13309413_35165234_6970435_nSo that about wraps things up folks. Be sure to continue following my blog. Check back this week as I will be posting about my musical adventures in the Graceland… that’s right, Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee! And as always, be on the lookout for “Where in the World is Cecil the Sagehen”. AND of course… my next “Cecil vs. Food” posting

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Cecil hanging out with students from The Galloway School in Atlanta, GA.

Posted by Tim Campos, Admission Counselor

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January Interviews

I hope everyone had a relaxing and meaningful Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend! The rest of the admission staff and I spent the weekend scattered across the country holding the last interviews of the year. We had counselors and/or Admission Fellows in San Francisco, Emeryville, Seattle, Washington D.C., and Chicago. (We’ll be wrapping up in Portland this coming weekend). All added up, we did approximately 300 interviews in one weekend! Thanks as well to all of our prospective students who took time and energy to schedule an interview with us on the road. We love meeting you and hearing your stories!

We worked and traveled over a long weekend which, for most people is a holiday, because we really value the opportunity to interview as many of our applicants as we can.

Returning to the office today, we saw the parking lots and dining halls full of students who returned from winter break while we were away. The campus has energy and life again, despite the rain. Yes! Rain! Do not adjust your screen, you’re reading correctly. It’s been pouring, by our standards, for a couple of days now. Rain in the desert is often bewildering, and many of us are joking about the “awful weather.” The truth is, however, that the rain is also a critical part of the ecosystem that we inhabit and so it’s nice to see the plants and animals soaking up the much anticipated water.

While I was in Chicago for interviews I got to check in with some Pitzer College alumni!

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From left: Caitlin Pierce ’09 is a first-year corps member of Teach For America in Saint Louis, MO; Yael Berenson ’08 lives in Chicago and works for Youth Outreach Services; Ben White ’08 also lives in Chicago and works at Easter Seals Therapeutic Day School; I am me; and Kevin Garvey ’08 just moved to Chicago after teaching English in South Korea for a year and a half.

What a great opportunity for some Pitzer propaganda! But really, it was fantastic to see the good work that Pitzer alumni are doing in the world. Keep it up!

For the next month or so, the admission staff will be reading the applications that you have all put so much time and energy into. It is a labor of love. Though it may seem strange, I encourage you to take this time to relax as much as you can. Not so much that you start failing classes, but enough so that you can enjoy the second half of your senior year. The process is now truly out of your hands. Read fun books, ride a bike, stay up late with your friends, write songs, eat meals with your family.

…and let us know if you have any questions!


Posted by Adam Rosenzweig, Admission Counselor

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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!

Salmon Street Portland ORCecil inside the mall of america


Posted by Adam Rosenzweig, Admission Counselor

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Beyond Buzzwords, Part 2

Hi, readers! For those of you who have been following along for a while, welcome back! If this is your first time reading Admission Unpeeled, welcome! We created this blog over a year ago to provide behind-the-scenes insights into the Pitzer College Office of Admission, and to discuss the admission process in general. Last week we began a four-part series designed to demystify and move beyond the “buzzwords” that we use to define Pitzer’s values. We started with Social Responsibility. This week we’ll be talking about Intercultural Understanding. But first, as usual, some numbers from my travels this week:

  • The Roo (my 1999 Subaru Outback) had the week off, since I spent the whole week in Chicago with a rental car (a Hyundai Elantra named “Ellie”). Ellie gets better mileage than the Roo, so the approximate number of gallons of unleaded fuel consumed: 22.
  • Number of BLT sandwiches I ate: 3.
  • Slices of “Chicago-style” pizza I ate: 0.
  • Days in a row that “Balloon Boy” beat out Health Care as the leading news story: 3.

The importance we place on Intercultural Understanding stems from a strong belief that our world, and the ways that we hope to make it better, require us to see things from perspectives that might not come naturally to us. Few people reading this blog will honestly disagree that this is a good thing. But what does it mean specifically? Are we talking about diversity?What kinds of diversity? What kinds of cultures are we referring to, and how does this idea play out in our admission process as well as at Pitzer on a daily basis?

For prospective students, this means two things: one, we’re looking for students who contribute in some way to the diversity of our community; and two, that students value the diversity around them. We want an intellectually diverse student body in which you can find friends interested in Neuroscience, Environmentalism, Literature, Art, etc. We want an ethnically diverse student body in which your relationships with your peers become genuine learning opportunities every day. We want a geographically diverse student body from which you can know a good place to get a home cooked meal anywhere in the world. We want a racially diverse student body that reflects the world we live in. Diversity comes in many forms and part of your job in the application is to explain how you contribute to, and value, our diverse community.

Significantly, we want this same diversity from the faculty who guide our education. Pitzer already has one of the most diverse faculties of any liberal arts college in the country, and the administration has made it clear that continuing to diversify our faculty is a real institutional priority.

Aside from who you (the prospective student) already are, we want to see that you crave a diverse environment. Maybe you grew up in the middle of Manhattan with a cacophony of languages and cultures all around you. Or maybe you’re from a small town where almost everyone around you knows your first, middle, and last name. Either way, we want to bring students to Pitzer who can articulate what they’re excited to contribute to the community, as well as their desire to learn from others in it.

The journey only begins once students arrive at Pitzer on move-in day! All of our academic programs require students to incorporate some cultural study that takes them outside of their own community. The major you select or create will need to include at least one course on a non-Western or non-American subject.

Moving beyond the classroom, more than 70% of Pitzer students study abroad before they graduate! Our students go abroad more than those from almost any other school for a number of reasons. First, we actively look for prospective students who are excited to take this opportunity. Second, we think of studying abroad as an integral part of a progressive liberal arts education, not an optional luxury. As a result, all of our Financial Aid packages apply to studying abroad. If students are admitted to Pitzer, then they can study abroad through Pitzer. Finally, our students are encouraged to study abroad by their faculty and peers because we know the value of a community that is enriched by other cultures. When at least three out of four people around a table have spent a significant chunk of time in a foreign country, it changes the kinds of conversations one can have. It will also change what you and your peers do after you leave Pitzer.

Since 2002, Pitzer has been awarded more Fulbright Fellowships than any other school in America per capita. After graduation you can find Pitzer alumni scattered across the globe, literally. Many choose to return to countries in which they studied, others join organizations that allow them to serve a totally new community, and still others simply seem to throw a dart at a map and take off to explore themselves and their world. As a community, we believe that the world would be a better place if more people shared this attitude!

I hope that this gives you a better idea of what we mean when we talk about Intercultural Understanding. If you have any questions or comments we would love to hear from you. Before you go though, take a minute to check out where Cecil the Sagehen has been this week! While everyone in the office is running around the country meeting students this season, we snap shots of Cecil in various locations. If you can figure out where Cecil has been in these pictures, then we’ll send you a prize. Honest! We’ve already had two winners: congratulations to Katie Kecso of West Des Moines, Iowa and Benjamin Levine of Providence, Rhode Island. Keep up the good work!

I went out one night in Chicago and Cecil was unable to join me (past Cecil’s bedtime). I was able to capture some video from the night before a security guard asked me not to film inside the club (sheesh!). If you can figure out who’s singing on stage, then you’ll not only get a prize from Pitzer, but a special nod of approval from me. And we all know how satisfying a nod of approval can be. Until next week, my friends!

Carter Presidential Library Atlanta GASanta Oxnard CA


Posted by Adam Rosenzweig, Admission Counselor

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Beyond Buzzwords, Part 1

Hello readers! I’m writing to you from Wallingford, Connecticut. I’m sitting at a place called Half Moon Coffee and Grille Café. This place serves up a perfect combination of hearty, Italian-inspired meals alongside genuine Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee; and if you know me at all, you know how happy I am!

Now that we are fully engulfed in the crisp autumn air of October, many more of you are beginning to get your first real looks at college applications. You’re reading brochures, navigating websites, talking to counselors, and imagining yourself in different schools around the country. Throughout your literal and figurative journey, you will “try different colleges on for size,” see how you look in their colors, listen to how the names of different schools sound in your voice, and increasingly notice places where the fit is too loose, too tight, or just right. You will hear and read about how schools define themselves, and you will wait to feel a resonation between their values and yours. I call the values by which schools define themselves, for this reason, buzzwords.

Pitzer’s buzzwords include Social Responsibility, Student Autonomy, Intercultural Understanding, and Intercultural Learning. They are alternatively known as our core values.

Over the next weeks I will write about each one of these values, providing real life examples, to help us get beyond buzzwords. Our goal is to clear the air of static and really get down to the way that these values play out in our day-to-day lives at Pitzer. Hopefully, you’ll find something that resonates with you!

But first, some quick numbers from this week’s travels:
•Miles on The Roo (see last week’s post if you’re not familiar with The Roo): 960.
•Approximate number of gallons of unleaded fuel consumed by The Roo: 48.
•Approximate number of gallons of coffee (good…and bad) consumed by me: 2.5.
•Number of live deer observed from the road: 2.
•Number of deceased deer observed from the road: 5.

But I digress…

This week I want to talk about Social Responsibility. When students ask me to talk about the “typical” Pitzer student, this is often the first thing I think of. Our definition of Social Responsibility is intentionally broad (think of it as inclusive rather than ambiguous). Quite simply, Social Responsibility at Pitzer is the shared agreement that knowledge has ethical implications. The opportunity to live and learn at Pitzer imbues us with a responsibility to help a larger community, and empowers us to do so.

Everyone at Pitzer has a fire burning inside them about something in the world. It may be environmental justice, education, national politics, international development, human rights, gender equality, sexual liberation, medicine… Not everyone is passionate about the same thing, but everyone is passionate about something. Learning about the issues that are meaningful to other students is an important part of the intellectual diversity that we love at Pitzer.

In the admission process we are looking for students who have already demonstrated their commitment to something outside of themselves: a community service placement, an independent project, responsibility within one’s own family, activism and leadership in a community organization, the list goes on indefinitely; our understanding of social responsibility is as diverse as our student body.

As a Pitzer student, one is expected to continue learning and working on behalf of a larger community. The Center for California Cultural and Social Issues (CCCSI) is one of the best places in Claremont to get connected to a local organization that is doing valuable community work. Funding, transportation, and guidance is always available for students to pursue a totally unique social engagement project. All Pitzer study abroad programs include a community service component. Pitzer students are required to complete at least one semester’s worth of a community commitment, which can be fulfilled by any of the opportunities listed above, or by working in one of several positions on campus to strengthen and support our immediate community.

It is no surprise that most Pitzer graduates go on to jobs, activities and careers after college that reflect the value of Social Responsibility. Many alumni can be found teaching, working, and volunteering around the country and abroad with an organization they discovered during their time at Pitzer. Others are working for socially oriented law firms, NGOs, or private companies. The ways that Pitzer students choose to make the world a better place, again, are as diverse as the students themselves.

So as you think about Pitzer, and think about yourself, we hope you find your values matching ours. We’re excited for you to teach us about social responsibility in your life! While you strut your stuff in front of the metaphorical mirror, enrobed in Pitzer orange, take a moment to see if you can spot where Cecil has been this week. You may notice a certain theme between this week’s pictures and this article! Email me at [email protected] if you think you know where Cecil is in the pictures below, or if you have any questions about social responsibility, or any other part of the application. Thanks for reading, see you soon!

Stowe centerNat'l Underground Freedom Center


Posted by Adam Rosenzweig, Admission Counselor

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