Meet Kepa Barrett, Class of 2017.
Hometown: Mililani, HI
Major/Minor: Environmental Analysis/Economics
Extracurricular Activities: Robert Redford Conservancy Fellow, Indigenous Peer Mentoring Program, Hui Laule’a Hawai’i Club, Saturday Tongan Education Program, Asian American Resource Center – Indigenous Pacific Islander Committee
Favorite Pitzer Class: Environmental Justice
Favorite Pitzer Professor: Professor Brinda Sarathy – She taught my Environmental Justice class and her incredible way of engaging her students in lively, critical discussions catalyzed a fundamental shift in my academic approach to current environmental issues.
Fun Fact: Hawaiian is my first language!
Favorite Food: Freshly pounded poi (taro)
Favorite Singer/Song: “Perm” by Bruno Mars
Favorite Movie/TV Show: Moana/New Girl
Why did you choose to attend Pitzer?
After attending the Pitzer College Diversity Program during Preview Pitzer weekend my senior year, I knew Pitzer was my top choice. The interdisciplinary approach genuinely intrigued me and I loved that Environmental Sustainability is one of Pitzer’s Core Values. I also chose Pitzer because of the fantastic study abroad opportunities!
What is your favorite spot on campus?
My favorite spot on campus is the McConnell Dining Hall. Not only is it my favorite dining hall at the 5Cs, it is also the gathering place for Pitzer students to socialize, reconnect, and share good food. I also love the staff and cooks!
What’s your favorite thing to do for fun on campus?
I love working out at the Gold Student Health and Wellness Center, and if it’s sunny outside, a jump in the pool is the perfect cool down.
What is your favorite Pitzer memory thus far?
My favorite memory at Pitzer was the 50th Anniversary Celebration. For Pitzer’s 50th birthday, students, alumni, staff, and the community gathered on the beautifully decorated Mounds in celebration of our college. It was powerful to be a part of that celebration, especially the Earth, Wind & Fire performance!
What is one thing you would change about Pitzer?
I would advocate for the creation of a Native Studies program. This field group would center indigenous epistemology in academic and cultural research. I would hire native and native Pacific Islander faculty.
What’s something that all prospective students should know about Pitzer?
Pitzer will expand your academic, cultural, and personal horizons further than you can ever imagine. Allow yourself to be open to this expansion. You will be grateful you did!
How can first-year students enjoy a smooth transition to Pitzer?
Be open to change. Listen carefully before you speak. Understand that you may be wrong. Accept that you are enough.
More questions for Kepa? Email him here!