Claremont, Calif. (June 13, 2023)—Pitzer College’s Community Engagement Center has recognized nine students with the spring 2023 Kallick Community Service Award. Funded by Pitzer alum Deborah Kallick ’78, the $500 award goes to each student who has completed 100 or more community engagement hours during the academic year.
Award recipients have strived for social change, whether by leading writing workshops, combining athletics and mental wellness, launching community composting, or producing reentry resources for formerly incarcerated and homeless people.
Neha Basu ’24: Mapping Street Vending Regulations and Citations in the Inland Empire (IE)
Basu was a research fellow at the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice (IC4IJ) through CASA Pitzer. She did legal research about SB 946 and 972 and their implementation while organizing and mapping vendors’ citation records. She also assisted with interviews with IE street vendors. Her project counters narratives that paint street vendors as criminals and shines light on the legal and economic violence vendors face. Basu’s internal citation map will aid organizers in understanding the citation and enforcement landscape, and her public-facing map will familiarize others with street vending and unjust citation practices.
Jesus Ceja ’24: Weekly Writing Workshop (3W)
Ceja served as a coordinator for the Weekly Writing Workshop, or 3W for short. The mission of 3W is to help elementary and middle school students develop and grow their creativity and confidence in writing through individualized support, community, and carefully crafted lesson plans. 3W partners with the nonprofit organization Uncommon Good. Through Uncommon Good, Ceja provided tutoring to low-income Latinx students in the broader Claremont, Upland, Ontario, Montclair, and Pomona communities.
Marissa Markey ’25: Promoting Mental Health in Youth
Mindfulness and Mental Wellness for Young Athletes
In summer 2022, Markey led a project titled “Mindfulness and Mental Wellness for Young Athletes.” While working as a coach at a summer tennis camp, she also facilitated mindfulness sessions for children. She reached more than 50 young athletes with this program and is eager to continue exploring how sports can teach children to improve their mental well-being.
Research Assistant at the Global Mental Health Lab
During this school year, Markey volunteered as a research assistant at the Global Mental Health Lab, where she focused on a project that explored an online intervention to improve college students’ daily well-being. As a research assistant, she recruited participants, reviewed past literature, and assisted in writing the literature review for this study.
Pomona Unified School District Peer Counseling
Markey met with elementary school children who had been caught using drugs. Through counseling Markey taught children about the harmful effects of substance use while also addressing their underlying emotions and challenges. Markey also developed an outline for conducting these counseling sessions, which future volunteers and interns can utilize.
Zhané Moledina ’25: Path2SEED Employment Readiness Program
In spring 2023, Moledina collaborated with Starting Over Inc., a non-profit in Riverside that assists formerly incarcerated and homeless people in achieving independence and self-sufficiency. Moledina worked with her supervisors on the first rendition of an employment readiness program called Path2SEED. Her primary responsibility was creating a reentry resource guide for Riverside County. To do so, she employed community-based participatory research methods learned through CASA Pitzer, including surveys and focus groups with Path2SEED participants, to ensure the guide is applicable to the reentry experience in Riverside County.
Isabella Pollalis ’23: Community Service With Foothill Family Shelter
Pollalis volunteered in the pantry at Foothill Family Shelter in Upland and helped with hygiene kits, food bags, and clothing orders. She also volunteered as a blood donor ambassador for the Red Cross by checking in blood donors and answering their questions. Lastly, she was a tutor to an elementary school student who is a part of Tutors for a Cause.
Stryder Rodenberg ’25: Huerta del Valle Community Gardens
Through CASA Pitzer, Rodenberg worked with Huerta del Valle Community Gardens to launch a small-scale community composting program as part of the Ontario TCC Grant. His tasks involved event planning, canvassing, and mulching and planting. He used a community-based participatory action framework to conduct research on how to plan, organize, and hold events, using the composting program as a guide.
Olivia Rosenberg-Chávez ’23: Organizing for Justice
Rosenberg-Chávez spent countless hours organizing in and around The Claremont Colleges through the Transformative and Restorative Justice Collective, the 5C Prison Abolition Collective, and as a Robert Redford Conservancy Fellow. While interning for the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice through CASA Pitzer, Rosenberg-Chávez helped form the Adelanto Water Justice Coalition. As an organizer with the Care First Campaign, she helped build the campaign to implement radical care in classroom spaces and at the 5Cs. Rosenberg-Chávez hopes to use this award to further the campaign, traveling to the National Women’s Studies Association to discuss and share radical pedagogies of care.
Yusi Wang ’24: Supporting Youth, Families, and College Students
Wang volunteered as an advocate intern for Haven’s Future, which supports youth and families throughout the Children and Family Services system. Wang completed in-depth interviews with previous social workers and families to assess their needs and provide emotional support. She gathered qualitative data on the effects of high caseloads for social workers in San Bernardino County CFS to bring to the state government.
Global Mental Health Lab
As a research assistant for the Global Mental Health Lab, Wang worked on a 3-year project with Professor Marcus Rodriguez and researchers in China examining the efficacy of online dialectical behavior therapy-based intervention and peer support in improving college students’ mental health.
Will Warrick ’23: Self Help Legal Access Support
During the spring and extending into summer 2023, Warrick has volunteered at the Self-Help Legal Access Center at the Pomona Courthouse through Neighborhood Legal Services of L.A. County. Warrick has interacted with many Pomona community members, especially those from lower-income households, to help them with legal action as necessary. His work has focused on helping litigants with filing restraining orders and responses to eviction notices in addition to giving steps for other legal proceedings.
Read the full bios of the spring 2023 Kallick Awardees.