Spotlights

Sammy Basa ’25: Working Toward Conserving Sibuyan Island’s Coral Reefs 

A portrait photo of Sammy Basa standing on a field of green grass with rolling green hills in the background. Basa has short dark hair and wears a gray polo shirt.Sammy Basa ’25 traced his love for the ocean to a boat ride under a star canopy to Sibuyan Island. Basa recalled how the brisk wind cooled his face and how he and his mother dipped their feet into water that glowed with bioluminescence. “The bright flashes of blue and green were like stars in the sea, and we watched in wonder as they faded into the darkness,” said Basa. “While those flashes appeared as pure magic to my younger self, they signified something profound—a deep-seated bond between my family, our land, and the marvels of the natural world.”
March 26, 2024
Press Releases | Spotlights

For Pratya Poosala ’24, Storytelling and Radical Listening Can Improve Healthcare 

Pratya Poosala holds up her children’s book titled Rajulko Rukh. The book cover is a digital illustration of a brown monkey sitting on a tree by a street. Poosala has dark wavy hair pulled back and wears a blue top and white pants.Does storytelling belong in labs and medical offices? Pratya Poosala ’24 would argue yes. Poosala enjoyed her STEM classes as a behavioral neuroscience major, but she still had a passion for the humanities. Her solution was adding a self-designed major in narrative medicine. “The way that science is taught sometimes tends to be detached from the humanities. As someone interested in a healthcare career, I think it’s important we not only learn how to be good scientists and researchers but also good people—people who work with communities.”
March 20, 2024
Spotlights

Hayley Blain-Weinstein ’91 Makes Game Show Dreams Come True 

Hayley Blain-Weinstein ’91 wears a headset and takes a selfie in front of the studio audience at The Price is Right.From Love Connection to Extreme Makeover to My Feet Are Killing Me, Hayley Blain-Weinstein ’91 has met many kinds of people in her reality television casting career. Who would live on a remote island or race around the world for a cash prize? Who has a rare illness in need of treatment? Who would look for love in front of millions of viewers? Blain-Weinstein’s job has been to find people who fit those bills. 
February 20, 2024
Spotlights

Beihua Guo ’21 Unearths L.A. Aqueduct’s Dark History Through Photography

Black and white photo of Beihua Guo standing beside a camera on a tripod on a lakeside with mountains in the background.Photographer and Pitzer alum Beihua Guo ’21 has received $5,000 as a finalist for The Aftermath Project’s 1492/1619 American Aftermaths grant. Guo’s project, “Water Is Thicker Than Blood,” illustrates the ignored and forgotten history of the Los Angeles Aqueduct and the California water wars. According to its website, The Aftermath Project is a nonprofit that supports photographers “to [Read More...]
February 16, 2024
Press Releases | Spotlights

Pitzer Marks 25 Years of Social Responsibility in Action

Jessica J. Chairez '13, Jack Contreras '22, Tricia Morgan '08, and Crystal Rodriguez '23 wear all black and stand side by side on a balcony overlooking Pitzer's campus.For Pitzer students, social responsibility isn’t just an idea found inside a book—it lives in community gardens, warehouses, classrooms, on street corners, and beyond. Pitzer’s Community Engagement Center (CEC) has helped make this work possible since its establishment in 1999.  “We’re supporting the innovation, ideas, passions, and justice issues arising in our community partners by [Read More...]
January 19, 2024
Press Releases | Spotlights

Arts Council Fellow Micah Huang ’13 to Continue His Sonic Exploration of Injustice at Los Angeles Festival 

Micah Huang has long black hair in a braid and wraps red tulle fabric around his shoulders while looking intensely at the camera. Huang is wearing a black shirt and jeans and stands against a dark gray background.Micah Huang’s ’13 work as a composer, musician, and sound artist exposes social injustices as well as explores music’s ability to heal and transform.  As a Fulbright fellow, Huang visited Hungary to work alongside the marginalized Roma people to amplify and help preserve their musical traditions. Two of his recent pieces, Blood on Gold Mountain, [Read More...]
December 13, 2023
Press Releases | Spotlights

Incarceration to Reintegration: Kenneth Butler ’22 Helps Pilot Program in Uganda 

Kenneth Butler stands in front of a class while reading from a paper in his hand. Butler wears a black polo shirt with the yellow logo for PEP-Uganda on the upper left corner. To his right is a black banner for the Reintegration Academy with the statement “Education is liberation, a commitment to commitment, change agents making change, forgiveness & healing, restorative justice, inspire empower.”When Kenneth Butler ’22 was released in 2021 after 15 years of incarceration, he was on his way to a bachelor’s degree from Pitzer College. However, he didn’t yet know how to rebuild his place in the community and start his career.  Butler turned to the Reintegration Academy, an eight-week program that teaches formerly incarcerated individuals about life skills, career development, and vocational education. Now, Butler is helping expand the academy in Uganda as part of his Fulbright.
November 8, 2023
Press Releases | Spotlights

After Two NSF Fellowships, Teo Cooper ’24 Seeks to Balance People and Nature 

Teo Cooper takes a selfie in a laboratory. Cooper wears a white lab coat and has short curly dark hair. Behind Cooper are tables and shelves with tubes, bottles, and equipment.Pitzer senior Teo Cooper ’24 has completed not just one but two fellowships funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). In summer 2022, they worked in a UC Berkeley biogeochemical lab and studied soil carbon sequestration. This summer, they joined The Leadership Alliance and Harvard University’s Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. In this spotlight, Cooper also recalls the racial justice series that brought them to Pitzer and looks ahead to studying abroad in Southern Africa. 
September 11, 2023
Press Releases | Spotlights

Crystal Rodriguez ’23: Artist, Community Advocate, and New Resources Student

Claremont, Calif. (July 28, 2023)—Meet Crystal Rodriguez ’23, a New Resources student who graduated as a studio art major and is the new Hecker Community Fellow at Pitzer’s Community Engagement Center (CEC). The CEC utilizes institutional power, partner collaboration, faculty expertise, and student action to advance social justice on campus and in the surrounding community.
July 28, 2023