Meet the Class of 2010
Seven academically strong and talented first-year students have far-ranging interests from acrobatics to snowboarding to improv comedy. Their accomplishments are already vast and they believe Pitzer offers them limitless possibilities to achieve more.
Sam Greene | Montclair, CA
According to high school science teacher John Lawrence, “Sam is truly remarkable.” What is “truly” amazing is in addition to being a standout in science, Sam is also a talented young writer. He was named the first Anne Bay Scholar for The Dickens Project Essay Contest for his essay titled “Pointing Ever Upwards: Dickens’ Novels as a Guide to Good Living.”
“I am incredibly happy to be attending Pitzer,” he says. “Here, I got to shake the hands of the faculty on my first day. I am convinced that I will get a better education at Pitzer as compared with a larger school.”
Sam is enjoying his classes in sociology, language and gender, Victorian America and a first-year seminar course. At this stage in his college career, he has an interest in the study of sign language, which he articulates is not as mined out as many other areas of scholarship.
Sam enjoyed participating in the week-long Dickens Project conference in the summer as its youngest attendee. He relates that conference convener, John Jordon, said that people who like Dickens are generally good people. If other Dickens enthusiasts are similar to Sam, there is truth here. His former high school professor, Michael Callahan comments, “Sam possesses that rare combination of attributes that combine a brilliant and alive intellect with a compassionate heart.”
Gina Conway | San Leandro, CA
While some students may spend their high school years just focusing on high school, Gina Conway made her best efforts to branch out and make a difference elsewhere.
At the end of her sophomore year, one of her activities involved a trip to Cuenavaca, Mexico, with her mother, where she stayed with a Spanish speaking family and attended an intensive language school. “The trip opened my eyes to a different way of living and exposed me to the severe poverty in Mexico. Seeing the reality of the situation reinforced my desire to help the poor,” she says.
That same year Gina also went to Costa Rica with her biology class to work hands-on with endangered leatherback turtles as well as in the rainforest working on reforestation.
Beginning three years ago, Gina made a difference by offering kitten foster care. She took care of up to four kittens in her house until they reached two pounds. When they did, she put them up for adoption.
Gina also took rigorous AP courses in high school, wrote as a teen columnist for the Daily Review in San Leandro, and won the city’s volunteer service award.
Gina loves college life at Pitzer. She plays intramural tennis, and is a part of the Pitzer Animal Welfare Society, On the Loose and Pitzer Outdoor Adventures. She explains, “I love how there are so many trips, activities and events going on here. I never feel like I don’t have something to do and I love how there are four other colleges nearby.”
—Jaime Swarthout ’09
Alex Friedlander Moore | Florence, MA
“I started gymnastics at three and moved on to dance and acrobatics by ten. When I was twelve I made it into the circus,” Alex Friedlander Moore modestly explains. Since she was twelve, she has spent her summers traveling and performing throughout New England with Circus Smirkus, the international youth circus.
Alex knew that she wanted to attend the College after an overnight visit to campus. She was drawn to Pitzer’s size and openness as well as the opportunity to create her own major. “I am interested in self-exploration and the community aspect of the College, which is why I volunteer with the Jumpstart program,” she says.
“I requested a deferral from Pitzer from the Fall of 2005 to the Fall of 2006, so I could participate in an adult circus, The Midnight Circus, which is theatrical-based. A highlight of my experience was the Halloween show at the Daley Plaza in Chicago,” Alex continues.
The founders of the Midnight Circus, Jeff Jenkins and Julie Greenberg, describe Alex as “Second to none—a natural performer willing to take the physical and emotional risks of a seasoned pro. Backstage, Alex is equally as valuable. She acts as a leader amongst her peers and serves as a mentor to younger troupe members. Alex is a humble and kind team player whose generosity and commitment is an anchor and inspiration.”
Alex is one of several Trustee-Community Scholars for the 2006-07 academic year.
Solamon Estin | Ashland, OR
Solamon Estin not only made a stunning impression in high school academics; he also sought to broaden his scope of knowledge on an international level.
In high school, Solamon received outstanding student awards in numerous subject areas including Global Studies and chemistry. He took part in sports, receiving a varsity letter in snowboarding his senior year. In addition, Solamon made efforts to help incoming students succeed as a mentor for his school’s Fresh Start program, a two-day retreat for all incoming freshmen. “Overall, Fresh Start was a chance for students and myself to engage in completely honest communication that furthered our understanding of the human condition,” he recalls.
Solamon also chose to extend his academic experience internationally by studying in Brazil for a summer. He feels connected to the country through his mother who he describes as “Afro-Brazilian.” He explains, “I wanted to study abroad in Brazil because I wanted to reconnect with that portion of my heritage and resolidify my abilities in Portuguese.”
Of Pitzer, Solamon enthusiastically says, “I was attracted to the small student population and class sizes, as well as the school’s emphasis on the social sciences and its attention to diversity and internationalism. Here, I see I have the best of all worlds, both social and academic, and limitless resources.” Solamon is already taking advantage of one of Pitzer’s many opportunities by participating in the Model United Nations program.
—Jaime Swarthout ’09
Rebecca Acosta | Moorpark, CA
Rebecca Acosta prides herself on always choosing what Robert Frost coined the road less traveled. A first-generation American, Becky’s parents emigrated to the U.S., her mother from Mexico and her father from Cuba. “My parents made the best of their situation and have already gotten me very far in life and so I am definitely not going to take that for granted,” she says. “I keep pushing to do the most I can for them and the community.”
In high school, Becky distinguished herself academically through rigorous course selection and a tireless work ethic whether it was in Latin or AP courses in English and physics. She was actively involved in the multicultural club and served as a student alumni liaison. Becky also reached out to her community by volunteering for Project One Voice and Children’s Hospital.
One of Becky proudest accomplishments is playing on her high school’s volleyball team and serving as co-captain during her senior year. Her high school coaches recognized her as a solid team leader and praised her ability to rally team support and morale. She now shares these exceptional qualities with her teammates on the Pitzer-Pomona volleyball team.
Becky looks forward to doing archery and possibly joining the 5C scuba diving club. She notes that she chose Pitzer because of its emphasis on diversity. “I think the College will widen my cultural and intellectual horizons and will add meaning and depth to my educational experience. Pitzer really cares about the individual and individual expression,” she says.
Ariana Friedman | San Francisco, CA
A “Jane of all trades,” Ariana Friedman displays expertise and talent across the board.
In high school, Ariana challenged herself by partaking in her school’s rigorous AP program. Ariana was also able to make time to participate in the performing arts. She performed in her school’s drama program. Her senior year, she played her biggest part as Glinda in the Wizard of Oz. She was also active in Chamber Choir, and traveled throughout Southern California with her choral group.
In addition, Ariana participated in school clubs. She was the secretary of the Writers’ Paradise Club, for which students gathered once a week to read each others’ writing. She was also an active member, and later the president, of her school’s Gay-Straight Alliance.
Her multitude of activities in high school didn’t stop Ariana from taking on challenges outside of school as well. “I have worked at the Peninsula Jewish Community Center for years. I first volunteered as a counselor-in-training, and then became a full-time counselor.” She continues, “One of the things I enjoy most about being a counselor is forming close bonds with the individual kids in my group.”
Ariana loves Pitzer. “There is always something interesting to get involved in or some activity to run to,” she says. Currently, she is involved in the Queer Resource Center. She has also been accepted into the Five College improv troupe, Without a Box.
—Jaime Swarthout ’09
Sean Cashwell | Albuquerque, NM
Sean Cashwell is outstanding both on the court and off.
By his senior year in high school, Sean averaged twenty points per game, and was named the Group A-AAA player of the year. Not only did it provide him with an athletic outlet, he explains, “It helped me learn leadership as well as teamwork. It opened up opportunities for me both socially and for college.”
His passion didn’t end there, though. Sean made sure that he branched out into other social and academic arenas as well. As a student, he took challenging classes, and became a member of both the National Honor Society and the French National Honor Society.
Outside of school, Sean volunteered at the Albuquerque Rescue Mission’s soup kitchen. He also worked with a nonprofit organization called Lap Dog Rescue, which rescues beaten and abandoned dogs, and finds them homes.
Sean now plays on the Pitzer-Pomona basketball team, and is doing well. “I was recruited to come here and play and I have enjoyed playing with other members of the team.” He continues, “I hope to become the best basketball player I can possibly be after my four years here, and I am pondering the idea of possibly playing basketball overseas one day.”
Sean hopes to major in either math or science, but he explains, “My options are wide open.”
—Jaime Swarthout ’09