Hometown: Santa Barbara, CA
Academic Interests: Interdisciplinary Movement Studies and Holistic Healing
Hobbies/Activities @ Pitzer: Grove House kitchen staff, Grove House Committee, Pitzer Outdoor Adventures, dance and movement studies courses

Casey Venturelli ’16

Graduation Year: 2016

Major(s): Interdisciplinary Movement Studies and Holistic Healing

Hobbies/Activities @ Pitzer: Grove House kitchen staff, Grove House Committee, Pitzer Outdoor Adventures, dance and movement studies courses

Why did you choose to attend Pitzer?

I recognized that I did not need to go far from home to have an incredible and challenging experience. I saw this college as a space where I could grow as an individual through both my academics and social life, and where I could take initiative in my academic trajectory through the flexible curriculum and option to design your own major.

What is your favorite spot on campus and why?

The Grove House! This community center has always felt like a home to me. Both the space and the community of people who exist within it have been a consistent support network for me throughout my time here at Pitzer.

Describe a meaningful interaction you had with a Pitzer faculty member.

Last semester I ran into a professor with whom I’d taken a course from previously. I wasn’t sure that he would remember my name, but he greeted me warmly and went on to bring up my midterm project from the course I had taken with him, and how he still remembered the message I was attempting to express through the work. It meant so much to me that I was not only remembered by my professor, but that the student-faculty relationships formed at Pitzer transcend the typical hierarchical approach found at many educational institutions.

How would you describe the social scene at Pitzer?

The idea of Pitzer’s social scene really varies, depending on who you are speaking to. I think that is significant in and of itself. As a first-year student, you live within a residence hall complex with the entire first-year class. There is a general friendliness to the Pitzer student body that characterizes many social gatherings. There are opportunities both at Pitzer and across the Claremont Colleges to attend school-sanctioned events, which range from speakers and small events to large-scale dance parties. It is really about finding what type of event feels best for you, and then seeking out spaces that fit that description.

How would you describe the classroom environment at Pitzer?

Having taken mostly social science courses, I have had many discussion-based classes of about 15 students and a professor discussing readings, concepts, and relevant personal experiences. Through these classes, I have seen growth in my own communication skills and my academic research and writing.

The movement studies courses that make up the core of my academic work are conducted quite differently. They require a different experiential approach, and usually take place in a dance studio. They involve a combination of academic lecture and discussion, plus movement-based exploration. These classes vary in size, but always maintain a safe, supportive community

How have you benefitted from the Claremont Consortium?

I would not have had the opportunity to pursue my major without the Consortium. The theoretical base for my major is sociology, and all of these courses have taken place through Pitzer, either on campus or through the Pitzer in Ontario program. Both Scripps and Pomona have allowed me to explore movement studies as a discipline, and have transformed my overall academic experience. I have met students from each of the Claremont Colleges through these experiences, along with professors who have supported me within this field of study.

How would you define Pitzer?

I see Pitzer as a space of exploration where I have been able to grow not only from the opportunities afforded by the College, but through the relationships I have formed with my fellow students. There is a type of creativity that I see within Pitzer’s student body. It isn’t necessarily artistic creativity (although that is not lacking on our campus), but a different way of thinking and of expressing oneself.

What is your favorite Pitzer memory thus far?

I have many wonderful memories from trips I have gone on through Pitzer Outdoor Adventures (a club that funds outdoor trips) and the Orientation Adventure trips I have gone on both as a first-year and as a leader. I also have an endless supply of beautiful memories at the Grove House, either from its social events or in the quiet moments that exist in between.

How can first-year students enjoy a smooth transition to Pitzer?

There are many types of support for first-year students. From your first day of college, you are exposed to various communities through Orientation Adventures, mentor groups, Resident Assistants, affinity groups, first-year seminars and academic advisors. These communities form the first layer of your support network at Pitzer. As you grow more comfortable in this environment, this sense of support will start coming from friendships, academic support resources, on-campus jobs and supervisors, professors and more.