Gael Sylvia Pullen ’78, 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award Honoree

Gael Sylvia Pullen '78
Gael Sylvia Pullen ’78

Gael Sylvia Pullen ’78 graduated from Pitzer College with a degree in sociology. She is an entrepreneur, author, speaker and philanthropist. She is the founder of Sylvia Global Media, a global broadcasting digital platform and the founder of Girls Fly! which was acknowledged by former First Lady Michelle Obama this past December as part of the Presidential Proclamation for International Day of the Girl. Pullen recently retired as an award-winning McDonald’s franchisee. Through their McDonald’s franchises, she and her husband, along with Key Bank, started the homeownership and credit management programs that were implemented throughout the urban areas of Westside Cleveland. Pullen and her husband also launched the McDonald’s Feeds Hungry Minds and Hungry Bodies community service program in Cleveland, OH. Creating partnerships has been the hallmark of her belief, including international relationship building across the US-Mexico border regions from California to Texas during the height of the border crisis in the mid-2000s. “Gael is the epitome of what Pitzer alumnae can be,” said Brian Christiansen ’93, Pitzer Alumni Board chair. “Working across the private and public sectors, Gael demonstrates that the largest impacts come from cross-industry, cross-functional, inclusive approaches to problem solving. While the rest of the world appears to be dividing and categorizing, Gael looks to include others to build sustainable solutions and progress towards realizing her vision.”

More information Gael Sylvia Pullen ’78

2023 Distinguished Alumni Award: Sekou Andrews ’94 
Inducted in 2023

Pitzer’s Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes a graduate who boldly puts the spirit of a Pitzer education into action and demonstrates a commitment to making meaningful changes in their community. 

Sekou Andrews wears a gray jacket over a black T-shirt and faded jeans with various words and patterns written in blue and black ink. He stands and holds a colorful frame with his alumni award certificate. Andrews has shoulder-length dark brown hair and a beard with dark brown and gray hair.
Sekou Andrews ’94

Andrews is a Grammy-nominated poet, a two-time poetry slam national champ, a powerful performer, and an inspirational storyteller who has performed for President Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Quincy Jones, along with many others.

A schoolteacher turned actor, musician, two-time national poetry slam champion, entrepreneur, and award-winning poetic voice, Andrews can be found keynoting at a leadership conference, helping a Fortune 500 company with brand messaging, or even performing for Barack Obama in Oprah’s backyard. Andrews is the creator of Poetic Voice, a new, cutting-edge speaking category that seamlessly fuses inspirational speaking with spoken word poetry to make messages more moving and memorable. His dynamic blend of strategic storytelling, business insight, spoken word, theater, and comedy turns events into experiences and transforms audiences of informed receivers into enrolled responders.

Andrews does more than inspire us with his story; he inspires us with our story. His work has garnered prestigious awards in advertising, theater, business, poetry, and music, including a Grammy nomination for “Best Spoken Word Album.” Andrews’ vanguard career is driven by his mission to not only inspire the world but teach

Steven C. González ’85: 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award
Inducted in 2022
Steven C. González ’85

Pitzer’s Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes a graduate who boldly puts the spirit of a Pitzer education into action and demonstrates a commitment to making meaningful changes in their community.

Chief Justice Steven C. González is the Washington Supreme Court’s 58th Chief Justice. Before joining the Supreme Court, Chief Justice González served as a trial judge on the King County Superior Court and practiced both criminal and civil law. He was an assistant US attorney, a domestic violence prosecutor for the City of Seattle, and in private practice at a Seattle law firm. While working in private practice, González regularly provided pro bono representation. The chief justice has received numerous awards, including the Golden Scarf from the Seattle Sounders FC; the 2022 Spirit of Excellence Award from the American Bar Association’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession; and the 2021 CZ Smith Trailblazer Award from the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington.

Chief Justice González is passionate about providing open access to the justice system. He was appointed by the Supreme Court to the Washington State Access to Justice Board and served as chair for the Interpreter Commission to enhance language access across Washington state. González also mentors students and serves as a board member for the Washington Leadership Institute, whose mission is to recruit, train, and develop traditionally underrepresented attorneys for future leadership positions in the Washington State Bar Association and legal community.

Chief Justice González earned his BA with honors in East Asian Studies from Pitzer College and his JD from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, where he was the technical editor of the La Raza Law Journal. During his sophomore year at Pitzer, González studied at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan, and during the spring semester of his senior year, he studied at Nanjing University in China. Before law school, he did graduate work in economics at Hokkaido University. He received Honorary Doctor of Laws Degrees from Gonzaga University School of Law in 2011 and the University of Puget Sound in 2015.

Chief Justice González speaks Japanese, Spanish, and some Mandarin Chinese. He lives in Olympia with his wife, Michelle, and their two sons.

Susan Feniger ’76: 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award Honoree
Inducted in 2021

Pitzer’s Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes a graduate who boldly puts the spirit of a Pitzer education into action and demonstrates a commitment to making meaningful changes in their community.

Susan Feniger '76, Distinguished Alumni Award Honoree
Susan Feniger ’76, 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award Honoree. Photo by Josh Kaplan.

Susan Feniger, a chef and entrepreneur, is best known for founding the successful Border Grill restaurant with her business partner, Mary Sue Milliken. In 1985, the year they opened Border Grill, they won a James Beard Award. Since then, the two women have expanded their food empire to include a network of restaurants stretching from Downtown LA to Las Vegas, as well as catering services and food trucks. Most recently, they opened Socalo, a California canteen and Mexican pub in Santa Monica.

Feniger and Milliken have co-authored numerous cookbooks, including City Cuisine and Mesa Mexicana, and starred on The Food Network series “Too Hot Tamales” and “Tamales World Tour.” In 2018, Feniger and Milliken became the first women (and first duo) to win the Julia Child Award.

Feniger gives back to her community by working closely with Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, Share Our Strength, and the Human Rights Campaign. A co-founder of Chefs Collaborative, she also serves on the boards of the Scleroderma Research Foundation, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, and the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. Feniger graduated from Pitzer with a degree in economics.

Romarilyn Ralston ’14: 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award Honoree
Inducted in 2020

Pitzer’s Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes a graduate who boldly puts the spirit of a Pitzer education into action and demonstrates a commitment to making meaningful changes in their community.

Romarilyn Ralston
Romarilyn Ralston ’14: 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award Honoree

Romarilyn Ralston ’14 is the program director of Project Rebound at California State University, Fullerton, a program that provides individualized support to assist formerly incarcerated students in pursuing higher education. Ralston, who was incarcerated at the age of 24 and served 23 years in prison, went on to receive her bachelor’s degree in gender and feminist studies as a New Resources student from Pitzer College and her master’s degree in liberal arts from Washington University in St. Louis. She has been awarded a 2014–15 Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs, the Mary McLeod Bethune 2016 Leadership Award and the 2018 Civil Rights and Advocacy Award by the Orange County Chapter of the National Coalition of 200 Black Women. She was a 2017 Leadership Fellow with the JustLeadershipUSA Leading with Conviction program, a 2018 Fellow of the Women’s Policy Institute.

Angela Sanbrano ’75: 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award Honoree
Inducted in 2019

Pitzer’s Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes a graduate who boldly puts the spirit of a Pitzer education into action and demonstrates a commitment to making meaningful changes in their community.

Angela Sanbrano ’75: 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award Honoree
Angela Sanbrano ’75, 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award Honoree

Angela Sanbrano is an acclaimed activist and community organizer who has led some of the nation’s most prominent immigrant- and refugee-rights groups, including the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) and the Central American Resource Center-LA (CARECEN). Sanbrano now serves as co-executive director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network.

Born in Juarez, Mexico, and raised in El Paso, TX, Sanbrano majored in psychology at Pitzer. She began community organizing in the ’70s, advocating bilingual education and housing rights in Los Angeles. In 1983, Sanbrano earned a law degree at the Peoples College of Law in LA, where she met Salvadoran refugees fleeing their country’s civil war. Two years later, she became executive director of CISPES, a national grassroots organization that supports social and economic justice in El Salvador and opposes US intervention in the Central American country. She served as an official witness of the signing of the Chapultepec Peace Accords in Mexico City, which ended the 12-year civil war in El Salvador in 1992.

Sanbrano took the helm of CARECEN, the largest Central American immigrant rights organization in the US, in the mid-1990s, leading the organization as its executive director until 2007. During that time, she helped organize the massive 2006 immigrant rights march in LA that drew more than one million people to the streets, according to organizers’ estimates.

In addition to her work with CISPES and CARECEN, Sanbrano was president of the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities, now called Alianza Americas, when it won a 2010 MacArthur “Genius” Award for Creative & Effective Institutions. Last fall, Sanbrano witnessed the canonization of the late Archbishop Oscar Romero at the Vatican in Rome, where she spoke to Pope Francis about the plight of Salvadorans and children who are facing deportation from the US.

She is also the co-chair of the Latino and Latina Roundtable of the Pomona and San Gabriel Valley and chair of CARECEN’s Board of Directors. Now president emeritus of Alianza Americas, Sanbrano has also sat on the boards of many other organizations, including the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, National Council of La Raza, now called UNIDOSUS, and the National Immigration Forum.

Reflecting on her many accomplishments, Sanbrano calls her Pitzer education “a turning point in my life.”

“As a first-generation immigrant and the first member of my family to go to college, it was important to find a supportive educational environment,” Sanbrano said. “I found that and more at Pitzer. The educational environment, interdisciplinary academic program, community engagement approach and a culturally diverse student body broadened my understanding of my own identity and deepened my commitment to building a more just and humane world with racial and economic equity.”

Michele Siqueiros ’95, 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award Honoree
Inducted in 2018

Michele Siqueiros '95
Michele Siqueiros ’95

Michele Siqueiros ’95 is president for the Campaign for College Opportunity, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization that aims to increase the number of students attending two- and four-year colleges in California through higher education policy advocacy and reform, coalition-building and research. In 2010, when she was the nonprofit’s executive director, she led a historic policy reform effort that makes it easier for students to transfer from any California community college to the California State University system. She also led support for the passage of the Student Success Act of 2012.

Reflecting on her college experience and exposure to Pitzer’s core values, Siqueiros said: “Pitzer College took me in at 18 years young and opened my eyes to a new world. I don’t say this lightly. Until I arrived at Pitzer—as the first in my family to go to college, as a young Latina, having grown up in a very low income household—I had not been exposed to the type of critical thinking that the Pitzer education gave me: the ability to think critically about our history, our politics, appreciate my culture and the contributions of immigrants, women and people of color. Pitzer not only allowed me to learn and understand the world around me, it empowered me to realize that I could help make the world a better place.”

More information about Michele Siqueiros ’95

Amy Rosen ’76, 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award Honoree
Inducted in 2016

Amy Rosen
Amy Rosen

Amy Rosen is a nationally recognized expert in comprehensive urban school-system reform strategies. She has worked to close the achievement gap by providing all young people with high-quality educational opportunities.

For the past 15 years, Rosen has applied her entrepreneurial vision, management skills and experience to urban school districts and education organizations. She is currently a partner at the Public Private Strategy Group and a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capabilities of Young People; she was previously a lead education advisor to former Newark, NJ, Mayor Cory Booker, who is now a U.S. senator. She has served as president and CEO of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, the oldest, largest non-profit entrepreneurship education organization in the world. She also served as an advisor to former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s team, designing and implementing the restructuring of New York City’s Department of Education. She previously served as COO for New Visions, a large non-profit committed to systemic reform of New York Public Schools.

In addition to her experience in education, Rosen has spent 20 years in the field of transportation, where she led transportation and transit agencies while advocating for national investment in transportation infrastructure and serving two terms as a presidential appointee to the Amtrak Board of Directors.

Rhonda Foster ’82 and Ruett Foster ’81, 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award Co-Honorees
Inducted in 2016

Rhonda Foster '82 and Ruett Foster '81Rhonda and Ruett Foster have devoted their lives to violence prevention. In 1997, their 7-year-old son, Evan, was killed by errant bullets when he was sitting in their car at a park in Inglewood, California. In the aftermath of the gang-related shooting, the Fosters appealed to the perpetrators to choose peace over violence and to the community to choose love over retaliation. For more than 17 years, the Fosters have continued this mission, working with juvenile offenders and community members to save young lives. After Evan’s death, the Fosters created a foundation in his name and began reaching out to incarcerated youth in detention centers and juvenile facilities throughout California. The Fosters speak around the country about addressing the root causes of violence and work with faith and civic groups as well as police departments to bolster gang prevention and youth development programs. At Pitzer, recipients of the Marilyn Chapin Massey Endowed Scholarship are referred to as “Evan Foster Scholars” in honor of the Fosters’ late son.

Ruett Foster is the senior pastor of the Community Bible Church of Culver City, which partners with local police to provide empowerment programs for first-time youth offenders. Rhonda Foster works with the nonprofit Community Build, Inc. as a case manager in gang prevention for the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development program. She is also on the board of Women Against Gun Violence.

“They have lived their lives, day in and day out, exemplifying paramount Pitzer values—building community, offering service and being a force for change,” said Pitzer Professor Emerita of Sociology Ann Stromberg, who, along with Professor of Anthropology Sheryl Miller, nominated the Fosters for the DAA award.

“I am tremendously honored to have been recognized by my Pitzer College family in this manner and to have been nominated by two of my former professors who made an indelible mark of love upon my heart,” Rhonda Foster said. Ruett Foster described his time at Pitzer as a pivotal life experience. “I firmly believe that the multiplicity of diverse human experiences I encountered at Pitzer, coupled with a stellar education, were the agents that helped to form me into the person I am today,” he said. “I am deeply humbled and honored to be recognized by Pitzer College for my work in violence prevention and restorative justice.”

The Fosters’ work has been honored by many organizations. KCET and Union Bank named them 2011 Local Heroes and they received the inaugural Changing Lives Award from the inmates of the Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility in 2007. The Central City Association of Los Angeles dubbed them 2003 Treasures of Los Angeles and they received the 2001 Humanitarian Award from the Fred C. Nelles Youth Correctional Facility. They were chosen as Inspirational Torch Bearers for the 2002 Winter Olympics. Rhonda Foster majored in psychology and Ruett Foster majored in dance at Pitzer College.

“There can be no greater models of social responsibility than these two outstanding Pitzer graduates,” Professor Miller said. “They make the world a better place.”

Jeffrey Gottlieb ’75, 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award Honoree
Inducted in 2014

Jeffrey Gottlieb '75
Jeffrey Gottlieb ’75

An investigative journalist with more than three decades experience, Jeffrey Gottlieb ’75 won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for a series of stories in the Los Angeles Times that uncovered rampant corruption in the City of Bell. Written with fellow Times reporter Ruben Vives, Gottlieb’s exposé led to the felony convictions of former city officials, statewide reforms and federal investigations.

Gottlieb’s sleuthing and storytelling skills have shaped his distinguished career in journalism. Twenty years before winning the Pulitzer, his work triggered federal reforms and garnered national recognition when he was a reporter with the San Jose Mercury News, where his investigation into Stanford University’s use of federal research funds led to Congressional hearings, changes in federal regulations and the resignation of Stanford’s president. Gottlieb’s coverage of Stanford earned a George Polk Award, one of journalism’s most prestigious accolades, which Gottlieb also won for the Bell series.

Gottlieb said Pitzer cultivated his sense of social responsibility and encouraged him to question conventional thinking, traits that ultimately led him to investigative journalism.

“Winning this award from Pitzer, where I spent some of my formative years, is an incredible honor,” Gottlieb said. “Much of my view of the world was shaped at Pitzer, and the award is recognition that I’ve lived up to the goals of the College.”

A sociology major, Gottlieb’s most influential teachers were his adviser and Professor Emeritus of Sociology Rudi Volti and former professor of English Ellin Ringler, who taught a course on major American writers that “opened my eyes to literature,” he said. Gottlieb also played point guard on the College’s fledgling basketball team, shortly after Pitzer and Pomona College joined forces to create the current-day Sagehens. He later earned his master’s from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Before joining the Los Angeles Times in 1997, Gottlieb wrote for a number of papers in California, including the Riverside Press-Enterprise and the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. At the Los Angeles Times, he worked both as an editor and a reporter, covering beats ranging from medicine to higher education.

Gottlieb’s freelance articles have been published in a wide array of magazines and journals, including The Nation, Mother Jones and Sports Business Journal. He has appeared on numerous TV and radio shows, including the PBS NewsHour, CBS Evening News and the Madeleine Brand Show.

Sandra D. Mitchell ’73, 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award Honoree
Inducted in 2013

Sandra D. Mitchell '73Sandra D. Mitchell ’73 is an influential scholar whose work has fundamentally changed the field of philosophy of science. Mitchell explores how contemporary science explains complexities in nature, such as the role genes play in psychiatric disorders and the interrelated phenomena contributing to global climate change.

Mitchell said she was delighted to be selected for Pitzer’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

“Before Pitzer, I hadn’t thought about becoming a professor—I didn’t know that a life of learning was something I could do,” Mitchell said. “This award means that the seeds of the academic achievements that were sown in my years as an undergraduate continue to be valued and recognized by the institution that was instrumental in putting me on that path.”

Mitchell is a professor and chair of the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh. She has published several books, including Biological Complexity and Integrative Pluralism and Unsimple Truths: Science, Complexity and Policy. Her scholarly articles have appeared in both science and philosophy journals. Mitchell has been a fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin and the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne. She is a member of the University of Pennsylvania’s Provost’s Advisory Committee on Women’s Concerns and the only non-scientist on the Annual Meeting Scientific Program Committee of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Mitchell majored in philosophy at Pitzer. She earned her master’s in philosophy, logic and the scientific method at the London School of Economics and a PhD in history and philosophy of science at the University of Pittsburgh.

Daniel Berman ’84, 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award Honoree
Inducted in 2012

Daniel Berman '84Daniel Berman ’84 graduated from Pitzer College with a degree in political studies. His fondest memories of Pitzer include a sociology course called “Adventures in Desocialization,” which encouraged students to toss aside convention and dare to live in a manner that would defy the status quo. The class drew on the discourse of landmark thinkers who stimulated societal change, a course of action that compelled Daniel and now characterizes his career.

Another pivotal point for Daniel was the semester he spent abroad in Nepal while at Pitzer. For him, this cultural immersion was a chance to understand the realities of life in a place that had a dramatically different level of wealth and economic development. It was one of the life-changing experiences that encouraged him to pursue a professional path that would address inequalities in access to healthcare. But it took a while for Daniel to find his place at Doctors Without Borders, for which he currently serves as the deputy director of the Access to Essential Medicines Campaign.

Preceding this position, Daniel completed a master’s degree in marketing and international business at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, where he was honored with the dean’s fellowship for academic excellence. He then began working in pharmaceutical marketing and communications in New York. He was working on AIDS products at a time when the disease was transformed from a death sentence to a treatable chronic disease.

Daniel then moved back to California to serve as the news director at the joint academic medical centers of Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco. But he became bothered by the fact that the vast majority of people with AIDS were living in places where the treatments were not available, mostly due to their high costs.

This was the impetus to go in a different professional direction. In 1999, he helped Doctors Without Borders launch the Access to Essential Medicines Campaign. One of their first priorities was to support the generic production of AIDS cocktails to enable treatment in developing counties in Africa, Asia and South America. Daniel was part of an international coalition of activists that fought for generic production and international financing of AIDS treatment. Today, his work is focused on increasing access to new vaccines and pushing for the development of vaccines that are practical to use in developing countries.

During a period of leave from Doctors Without Borders, he worked as a consultant to the World Health Organization’s regional office in Cairo. The project explored the unique collaboration between the medical community, government and AIDS activists that led to a scale-up of AIDS treatment in Morocco.

Daniel currently lives with his partner between Geneva and Paris.

Bridget Baker ’82, 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award Honoree
Inducted in 2010

Bridget Baker '82Bridget Baker ’82 was named NBC Universal’s first president of TV networks distribution in 2006. She oversees the North American distribution of NBC Universal’s content across the cable, satellite and telecommunications industry.

A cable industry pioneer and founder of CNBC, Baker is credited with developing NBC Universal’s cable assets from inception, helping to transform the company from a dominant broadcaster of the 1980s to a 21st century multimedia powerhouse. Baker is responsible for the distribution strategy and execution of a content portfolio that includes the industry’s top-rated networks, the network-owned NBC and Telemundo stations, Olympic content on cable and broadband and video-on-demand, pay-per-view and set top box content.

In addition to her operating role, Baker is a member of the company’s Leadership Council, comprised of fewer than 1% of the top senior executives, and serves as a director on the Boards of the NBCU Foundation, the Cable Center at the University of Denver, the CTAM Educational Foundation at Harvard Business School, CablePAC, and Pitzer College. Regularly selected as one of Cable Fax Magazine’s “Top 100 Cable Executives,” Cable World’s “Most Powerful Women in Cable” and Hollywood Reporter’s “Power 100 Women in Entertainment,” Baker was twice honored by parent company General Electric Co. for her leadership and development of its global Women’s Network. In 2009, Baker was inducted into the CableFAX Sales Hall of Fame and in 2008, Baker was the only woman inducted into the Cable TV Pioneers.

At Pitzer, Baker majored in political studies and later attended George Washington University and Exeter College, Oxford for postgraduate study in politics and business. Her first position after college was as an aide to US Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK).

Baker credits Pitzer for helping her achieve success, and Pitzer’s emphasis on social responsibility for guiding her as a business leader. She has long championed diversity as a business advantage, and she leads one of the best and most diverse teams in the industry. As a director on several boards, Baker has supported groups whose mission is to create bold, self-empowered women through advocacy and leadership training. She initiated annual volunteer efforts for her own division, and in 2008, her team volunteered in New Orleans rebuilding two AIDS hospice centers ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.

Baker’s years at Pitzer exposed her to academics and campus life that were transformative for a college freshman from a small Alaska town. Baker believes that Pitzer inspired her to challenge the status quo and search for meaning and authenticity in ideas and systems.  Having integrity and confidence in herself and expecting the same of others were qualities that her parents inspired, and which were strengthened at Pitzer.  Baker states, “I am proud to be a part of the Pitzer College community, and I am honored to be selected for this prestigious award.

Nancy Judd ’90, 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award Honoree
Inducted in 2009

Nancy Judd '90Nancy Judd ’90 created Recycle Runway to help change how the world thinks about the environment through innovative educational programs and couture fashions made from discarded presidential campaign lawn signs among a variety of other things.

These elegant garments created from recycled materials are exhibited in high-traffic airports to grab travelers’ attention and inspire personal action around the country.

Recycle Runway partners with businesses, non-profits, governmental agencies, foundations and individuals who actively support environmental conservation. In January, Judd’s work was featured in Washington DC at the Green Inaugural Ball, where it received international press including a front page article in the Wall Street Journal.

Judd has also received commissions to create numerous recycled garments and accessories from Toyota®, Coca-Cola®, Target®, Novelis Recycling, the Glass Packaging Institute and Starbucks®. More more information, visit Recycle Runway.

Thomas Brock ’83, 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award Honoree
Inducted in 2008

Thomas Brock '83From the moment he stepped foot on Pitzer College’s campus, Thomas Brock ’83 felt a strong connection to the people and the place. He recognized that his own commitment to social responsibility and intercultural understanding aligned perfectly with the College’s values and through his subsequent endeavors has devoted himself to affecting positive change in communities across the country.

Brock’s concerns with poverty and other social issues began in high school and continued to grow at Pitzer when he entered as a first-year student in 1979. Interested in studying social problems at a macro level, he decided to major in anthropology and was drawn to courses across the disciplines that examined the experiences of people who were disenfranchised because of race, ethnicity or income.

Brock fondly remembers taking courses with Professor of Anthropology Sheryl Miller, Professor Emerita of Anthropology Susan Seymour, Professor of Sociology Peter Nardi and Professor Emerita of English Agnes Moreland Jackson. Their personalized attention and encouragement to think “outside the box” helped direct his academic and professional path. Particularly fascinated with addressing contemporary issues, Brock gradually discovered through Pitzer’s interdisciplinary environment that socio-cultural and urban anthropology was his niche. For his senior thesis he examined how anthropologists study poverty in the United States, and argued that the field had an obligation not only to report on social and economic problems, but to try to fix them as well.

After graduating from Pitzer in 1983, he earned a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University in New York and earned a PhD in social welfare from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1992.

Currently, Brock is director of the young adults and postsecondary education policy area at MDRC (Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation), an organization dedicated to learning what works to improve the well-being of low-income people. He leads a group of projects designed to increase academic achievement and persistence among low-income community college students.

Prior to joining MDRC, Brock served as an evaluation officer at the Wallace-Reader’s Digest Funds, where he designed and managed multi-site evaluations of after-school programs for youth, community arts initiatives and audience development programs for nonprofit theaters.

Brock currently serves as a member-at-large on Pitzer’s Alumni Association Board of Directors. Appreciating how Pitzer opened numerous doors to him as a student, Brock welcomes every chance to offer similar opportunities to current Pitzer students whether it be by returning to the College to give occasional lectures on public policy and applied anthropology, or apprising the Office of Career Services of job openings within his organization.

Since the early ’90s, Brock has volunteered for several AIDS-related causes first as part of a “buddy” program for people with AIDS in New York, and subsequently as a participant in long-distance bicycling events to raise money for AIDS advocacy and services. Most recently, he participated in the San Francisco to Los Angeles AIDS LifeCycle 7-day 545-mile ride in June 2007.

Harriett Crosby ’68, 2007 Distinguished Alumni Award Honoree
Inducted in 2007
Harriett Crosby '68

Activist, adventurer, Jungian analyst and teacher, Harriett Crosby ’68 has devoted her life to social, environmental and political justice. Her extraordinary journey has taken her from the hallways of our nation’s Capitol to the top of the world’s highest mountains.

After graduating from Pitzer, Harriett earned her master’s degree in psychology from Temple University in 1977, followed by studies at the C. J. Jung Institute in Zurich.

An avid traveler and mountaineer, she has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Rainier to name a few. During a series of trips to Ecuador, she started a wildlife rescue center. She has traveled several times to India, including a trip at the behest of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to research Tibetan folk tales. For six summers she trained with a Lakota medicine man on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

Since 1980, Harriett has owned and managed Fox Haven Farms, an ecological learning center in Jefferson, Maryland. In 1983 she co-founded ISAR, the Institute for Soviet-American Relations, a nonprofit organization providing support for nongovernmental environmental activists in the former Soviet Union.

She serves on many boards and is a familiar face in political circles in Washington DC, where she works with Quakers to prevent the escalation of war in the Middle East.

Jenniphr Goodman ’84, 2006 Distinguished Alumni Award Honoree
Inducted in 2006

Jenniphr Goodman '84Filmmaker Jenniphr Goodman, a 1984 graduate of Pitzer, embodies the College’s commitment to producing engaged, socially responsible citizens of the world. Jenniphr was named the sixth recipient of the Annual Beverle Houston Memorial Prize, was a featured speaker at the Atherton Dinner and has served as a member of the Pitzer College Board of Friends for the Arboretum.

Jenniphr received her B.A. in creative writing and film making in 1984. After graduation, she returned to her hometown in Cleveland, Ohio to teach art to preschool children. While carefully avoiding the GREs, Jenniphr was ecstatic to discover a college that didn’t require them – New York University. She spent the next eight years earning her M.F.A. from NYU’s Film School and finally graduated with honors in directing

Following film school, Jenniphr moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico with Eric Pope (now her husband) so that he could earn his teaching credentials. They moved in with Eric’s friend, Duncan, and spent many hours debating politics, the O.J. Simpson trial and the world in general. Jenniphr soon discovered that Duncan was a unique character, who became her inspiration for and co-writer of the film, “The Tao of Steve,” along with her sister, Greer Goodman. The film finally premiered with critical acclaim at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival and became one of the most successful independent films that year.

Jenniphr currently resides in Santa Fe with her husband, Eric and two daughters, Emerson and Sydney. She continues to write and has been working on another film script with her sister, Greer.

Hunter Lovins ’72, 2005 Distinguished Alumni Award Honoree
Inducted in 2005

Hunter Lovins '72In 2005, the College celebrated the determined energy of an alumna who has committed herself to global sustainability issues and their human dimensions. Hunter Lovins, a 1972 graduate of Pitzer, embodies the College’s commitment to environmentally conscious practices and their integration into the education of our students.

At the cutting edge of sustainability thinking for the past 30 years, she is the President of the for-profit Natural Capitalism Inc. Lovins earned her law degree at Loyola University School of Law and has managed international nonprofits, created several corporations and works around the world as a consultant. She is currently an adviser to the Ministry of Energy, Government of Afghanistan, and is consulting to aid agencies on the tsunami reconstruction.

Debra Yang ’81, 2004 Inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award Honoree
Inducted in 2004

Former United States Attorney for Los Angeles, Debra Yang ’81 has brought honor and distinction to Pitzer College as the first Asian American woman U.S. Attorney. Dedicated to civic service as well as professional growth, Debra has also remained connected to Pitzer as a loyal alumna through campus visits and speaking engagements. We are thrilled that Debra was the 2004 and inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award recipient.