Claremont, Calif. (March 19, 2013) — Pitzer College names Sandra D. Mitchell ’73 the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award honoree and Kimberly Bautista ’07 as the inaugural Young Alumni Achievement Award recipient. Mitchell and Bautista will be honored on Saturday, May 4 at 7 p.m. at a special dinner during Alumni Reunion Weekend at Pitzer College.
Sandra 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.
Established in 2004, Pitzer College’s Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor the College bestows upon a graduate. It recognizes alumni whose achievements reflect Pitzer’s core values. The recipient is selected by a committee made up of alumni, faculty, staff, students, the current Alumni Reunion Chair and the previous year’s honoree.
Kimberly Bautista ’07 is an award-winning filmmaker who created an international domestic violence prevention campaign that evolved out of her 2012 documentary, Justice for my Sister.
Justice for my Sister chronicles a Guatemalan woman’s quest for justice after her sister is murdered. In conjunction with the film, Bautista holds violence prevention and leadership development workshops throughout Guatemala and the US. Locally, Bautista has co-hosted events with organizations such as the Los Angeles Police Department and East Los Angeles Women’s Center. In 2011, she launched Texting Peace, a text message-based domestic violence prevention helpline in Guatemala that provides advice and advocacy to those seeking support.
Bautista recently won the 2012 HBO/ National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) Documentary Filmmaker Award for Latino filmmakers. In 2010, NALIP selected her for their Latino Producers Academy fellowship and a yearlong Latino Artists Mentorship.
“The wonderful thing about media is that it takes something that’s based on academic research and makes it accessible to more people,” Bautista said.”For me, film has been a way to democratize knowledge.”
At Pitzer, Bautista co-founded Speak Out For Them, a campaign to raise awareness about women murdered in Juarez, Mexico, and a video pen-pal web program between young women in Quito, Ecuador and young Chicana women in Pomona, CA.
A media studies and Spanish major at Pitzer, Bautista received the Kallick Community Service Award and Center for California Cultural and Social Issues Award. She graduated from the Social Documentation Master’s program at University of California, Santa Cruz, where she won the Princess Grace Award for distinction in the fields of theater, dance and film and a Hispanic Scholarship Fund Creative Arts Grant.
The Alumni Association introduced the Young Alumni Achievement Award this year to recognize alumni under the age of 35 who graduated in the past decade and have established careers that exemplify a Pitzer education in action.