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
Press Releases | Spotlights

Cornella Ver Halen ’83: Teaching ESL With a Novella and a Rolling Chair

Cornella Ver Halen sits across a wood desk from a student and has an open spiral notebook in front of her as she explains something. Ver Halen has short white hair and wears glasses and a black jacket vest over a blue long-sleeved shirt.Claremont, Calif. (April 26, 2023)—As a teacher, Pitzer alumna Cornella Ver Halen ’83 did not stand by a whiteboard and lecture to students snoozing at their desks. Instead, she rolled. Her chair's little wheels squeaked as she maneuvered to sit beside each student and guide them through whatever they were working on in their workbooks. This was Ver Halen’s teaching style for over 50 years. Until her retirement in December 2022, she was an English as a Second Language (ESL) and sewing teacher at Tri-Community Adult Education/Pioneer Center in Covina. “By working one on one, I let them progress at their own speed,” said Ver Halen. “I said if I couldn’t make grammar interesting, I would quit. I think I succeeded.”
April 26, 2023
Press Releases | Spotlights

Susan Warren ’78 Inspires Children’s Love for Learning on Pitzer’s Campus 

Susan Warren holds her toddler grandson on her hip with one arm and holds a pale yellow reptile in her other hand. Warren and her grandson wear red Project think shirts with the logo of a line drawing of The Thinker sculpture.Claremont, Calif. (April 24, 2023)—As Pitzer alumna Susan Warren ’78 stands on the campus she knew as a first-generation college student, she laughs joyfully at the sea of red T-shirts and children squealing and romping around the grassy mounds. Such a scene has played out many times since Warren founded Project Think 40 years ago. From the STEAM academic enrichment nonprofit Project Think to Pitzer’s Community Engagement Center, Warren has helped found local, innovative education programming.
April 24, 2023
Press Releases | Spotlights

Diego Borgsdorf Fuenzalida ’24 and Jaspa Ureña ’24 Awarded Curatorial Apprenticeships for First-Generation and Students of Color

Jaspa Ureña stands behind a leafy green plant and has an orange, red, and yellow crocheted circle and a pair of round black glasses over their face. Ureña has curly light brown hair and wears a white sweater. Diego Borgsdorf Fuenzalida has short wavy dark brown hair and wears a white collared shirt with a purple tie.Claremont, Calif. (April 18, 2023)—Pitzer College students Diego Borgsdorf Fuenzalida ’24 and Jaspa Ureña ’23 have received an award from the Pitzer College Art Galleries to complete in-depth curatorial apprenticeships. Available to first-generation and students of color, the Benjamin Godsill ’00 and Anna Burns Student Apprenticeship Award provides the chance to work with two of Los Angeles’ most dynamic non-profit arts organizations: Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) in Hollywood and Fulcrum Arts in Pasadena.
April 18, 2023

17 Gaypril Events at the Claremont Colleges

Queer Resource Center of the Claremont Colleges logo of three overlapping purple, black, and white circles. Queer is in the purple circle. Resource center is in the black circle. Of the Claremont Colleges is in the white circle.Claremont, Calif. (April 6, 2023)—Every year, the Queer Resource Center (QRC) and Claremont Colleges celebrate a month of LGBTQQIAA Pride in April, often celebrated in June around the world. Pride Month is an opportunity for LGBTQ+ individuals to enjoy visibility and support while celebrating their identities and promoting awareness about issues surrounding the diverse intersections of queer identity. From movie nights to writing workshops to queer prom, you can find a variety of celebrations and activities for Gaypril 2023.
April 6, 2023
Press Releases | Spotlights

Grace Greene ’20 Blends Brain Science, Social Impact, and Tech  

Grace Greene wears an orange collared shirt, a silver nose ring, and hoop earrings and has long dark hair in braids.Claremont, Calif. (March 21, 2023)—Is social media our society’s downfall—or a tool for change? Pitzer College alumna Grace Greene ’20 believes in the latter. As a research associate at the social innovation lab and impact investor Hopelab, Greene combines behavioral science and technology powered by and for youth. Discover how Greene wields her cognitive science major, study abroad experience in four countries, and commitment to social justice to make the digital narrative more inclusive. 
March 21, 2023

Human Rights Activist and Nobel Peace Prize Recipient Nadia Murad to Speak at Pitzer College’s 2023 Commencement Ceremony

Nadia MuradNadia Murad, an internationally acclaimed human rights activist and co-recipient of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, will deliver the commencement address to Pitzer College’s Class of 2023 at this spring’s Commencement ceremony on May 13, 2023. “We are deeply honored to have Nadia Murad joining us for this exciting high point of Pitzer’s academic year,” said Jill Klein, interim president of Pitzer College. “She is an inspiring and critically important global advocate against war and violence, and we are thrilled to have her participate in our celebration and share her powerful story with our graduates as they prepare to leave college and enter the world.”
March 2, 2023