Campus News Briefs

Pathway Forward: Pitzer’s Return to Campus

The Pitzer community has worked tirelessly for the last year and a half to make students’ return to campus this fall as safe as possible. President Melvin L. Oliver, his leadership team, the Office of Student Affairs, Facilities, the COVID-19 Task Force, the Dean of Faculty’s Office, student leaders, and too many staff and faculty to name here have reimagined campus life and re-written campus protocols in response to the pandemic.

In July, Pitzer launched Pathway Forward as a resource for information and communications about Pitzer’s return-to-campus plans. With community messages, FAQs, campus policies, and more, the website is a window into the way Pitzer plans to stay mindful of the future and each other. 

Student Garden Revitalization Project

Pitzer College’s Student Garden has deep roots, dating back to 1994 when the late Professor John Rodman led the charge to convert the 12,000-square-foot Mead Hall parking lot into a garden with fruit trees, vegetables, and of course, a coop for Pitzer’s chickens-in-residence. More recently, some of the garden had become fallow, and the absence of students since March 2020 had not been kind to the space. Fast forward to today. The Student Garden is springing back to life, along with the rest of the campus, thanks to students, staff, faculty, offices across campus, and the support of the Student Garden Fund. A fundraising campaign for the Student Garden Revitalization Project launched on August 20. Visit the project’s page for more information about the garden and the campaign.

Sadie Barnette Exhibition Opens at Pitzer and Pomona

Pitzer College Art Galleries and the Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College teamed up to stage the most ambitious exhibition to date of the California artist Sadie Barnette. Sadie Barnette: Legacy & Legend brings together drawings, installations, and photographs that explore intimate family narratives within global discourses on race and power. In Legacy & Legend, the Los Angeles Times says Barnette “transforms and reclaims” her family’s history to create “an act of preservation, restoration.” Curated by Pitzer College Art Galleries Director Ciara Ennis and Benton Senior Curator Rebecca McGrew, the two-venue exhibition opened on Pitzer and Pomona’s campuses on July 22 and will be on view through the end of fall semester.

Pitzer Pilots Test-Blind Admission Policy

Nearly two decades after becoming the first college on the West Coast to adopt an SAT-optional admission policy, Pitzer College switched to a test-blind admission policy for at least three years, beginning with the admission cycle for fall 2022. Pitzer’s College Council approved a three-year pilot phase for the policy in May.

Sandra Vasquez named VP for Student Affairs

Sandra “Sandy” Vasquez, a powerful advocate for a holistic approach to student development in higher education, was named Pitzer’s vice president for student affairs in July. She stepped into this role after serving as interim vice president for student affairs since February. Read more about the numerous programs she initiated or helped grow since she joined Pitzer’s Office of Student Affairs (OSA) as the assistant vice president and dean of students in 2017.

New VP for College Advancement and Communications

Kimberly Shiner joined the Pitzer community as the new vice president for college advancement and communications on August 1. In this role, she oversees the Office of Advancement and Communications, which includes Alumni & Family Engagement. Shiner brings more than 20 years of leadership experience as a successful fundraiser, team builder, and communications professional to Pitzer. Most recently, she served as the associate vice president for university advancement in the Office of Philanthropic Giving at California State University, San Bernardino.

New Executive Director for Engagement & Giving

Brandon Kyle was named executive director of alumni & family engagement and annual giving in August. An expert in constituent engagement and organizational change leadership, Kyle now oversees the recently merged offices of Alumni & Family Engagement and Annual Giving, which will focus on institutional and community-wide engagement and campus and consortium partnerships. Kyle previously served as Pitzer’s director of alumni and family engagement. Prior to this role, he led programs at several higher education institutions, including Pomona College and the March of Dimes Foundation. His journey with Pitzer started more than six years ago when he served as Pitzer’s assistant director of parent relations. Kyle earned his Ed.D. from USC, his MPA from Cal State University, Northridge, and his BA from San Diego State University. 

Introducing Pitzer’s New Student Senate Leader

Kaila Teague ’22 has been elected Pitzer’s Student Senate president. In this role, Teague serves as Pitzer students’ official representative and spokesperson and helps guide the Senate’s priorities, initiatives, and objectives. During the 2021–22 academic year, she will oversee Pitzer Student Senate operations of the Executive Branch and Senate as a whole. Teague previously served as junior class president and is an admission fellow. She designed her own major—Foreign Language Education—to study Italian and Spanish, respective cultural contexts, and globalized education systems.

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