The Flame Magazine - Summer 2019

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As our scholars tackle the world’s health challenges, the university’s leadership sees a chance to create a bold new model of health and wellbeing research for the 21st century.


A Social Warrior’s Passing: John Maguire, CGU President From 1981-1998

Interested in Health Research? Check Out Our A-to-Z Guide

Celebrating the 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

Summer 2019

The Magazine of Claremont Graduate University

Claremont Graduate University PRESIDENT


Patricia Easton

Carry the Flame Forward There are many ways you can join us in building the future of Claremont Graduate University





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Stan Lim Kurt Miller

William Vasta Tom Zasadzinski


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As we approach 100 years of excellence in graduate education, make a gift that will provide inspiration and encouragement, create positive change, and … carry the flame forward. | | 909-621-8027


Mary Romo | The Flame is published by Claremont Graduate University’s Office of Marketing & Communications. Send address changes to: Office of Alumni Engagement Claremont Graduate University 150 E. 10th Street, Claremont, CA 91711 Claremont Graduate University, founded in 1925, focuses exclusively on graduate-level study. It is a member of The Claremont Colleges, a consortium of seven independent educational institutions. © 2019 Claremont Graduate University


Contents Departments 2 President’s Message 3 News 8 In Memoriam

Saying goodbye to social warrior and president emeritus John Maguire.

34 Office of Alumni

Engagement Exciting changes during the 2018-2019 academic year.

36 Alumni Achievements

Features 18 Cover Story

News, updates, and more.

40 Community Bookshelf

New and recent book publications from our faculty, students, and alumni.

44 End Paper

Wise words from the Michael J. Johnston Boardroom.


CGU’s leadership sees an exciting chance to create a bold new model of health and wellbeing research.

12 New Realities, New Identities 2019’s Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry Award winners provide challenging, brilliant explorations of being.

14 Raising Up Society or Holding


It Down?

Drucker Day considered the social impact of Facebook, healthcare, and Hollywood.

16 Every Voter Matters

Associate Provost Andrew Vosko describes how our transdisciplinary approach helped voters in the fall 2018 midterm elections.

24 Not Over, Just Different

Alumnus Walt Johnson took his EMBA and MPH training to the World Health Organization when his brain surgery career suddenly ended.

26 Faculty Health Research

Peruse our A–Z Guide of Selected Highlights.

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First Word President’s Message

CGU’S FIRST COUPLE: First Lady Kristi Staab (left) and President Len Jessup (center) greet Trustee Wen Chang and spouse Mei Lien Chang during Jessup’s fall installation ceremony as CGU president.

In my career I’ve had the privilege and opportunity to work with some great teams at some great universities. Examples: Washington State University, the University of Arizona, and the University of Nevada at Las Vegas— each of them fantastic. They are also big schools, and whenever you want to implement a campus-wide change or program, it can be very difficult. I have come to realize that enacting new initiatives in an educational institution is often like trying to turn around a battleship: In both cases there is no such thing as a successful sharp turn. That isn’t the case at CGU. Because we’re small, we are far more nimble than our larger peers. We don’t cut corners—there are still plenty of quality controls in place, of course— but everything moves more quickly. That is why this university is such an ideal place for transdisciplinary thinking and action. Our faculty are working across disciplines and silos to solve complex problems and create social impact. I’ve never seen the level of transdisciplinary collaboration that I’ve seen at CGU. Learning without limits, barriers, or borders.

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As this issue of the magazine illustrates, CGU’s transdisciplinary flame burns bright in the areas of health and wellness. Our cover story looks at the ways that organizations are changing how they solve health challenges—and how there’s an exciting opportunity for CGU to become one of the leaders of this incredible change. What does that change involve? One key component is in the behavioral side of health and wellness. Many of our faculty are looking at new ways to address the behavioral triggers behind cancer, diabetes, and many other health problems in order to improve people’s attitudes and maybe … just maybe … improve their outcomes, too. The research being conducted by our outstanding faculty today is one more example of how CGU continues to carry the flame forward. This is an incredible time for CGU. I hope you enjoy this issue.

Len Jessup President Claremont Graduate University

Changing Behaviors, Saving Lives “ There’s an exciting opportunity for CGU to become one of the leaders of this incredible change.”



BRAVO, MAESTRO! BOYER RECEIVES ELLIS ISLAND MEDAL OF HONOR IN RECOGNITION OF HIS 2002 ORCHESTRAL WORK ELLIS ISLAND: The Dream of America, Professor of Music Peter Boyer (pictured above, center) has been selected as one of the recipients of the 34th Ellis Island Medals of Honor. The annual medal is given to a selection of 100 Americans whose accomplishments in their field and inspired service to the nation are worthy of commendation. The Helen Smith Chair in Music, Boyer was joined by his fellow recipients—including Executive Director of the U.N. World Food

Programme David Beasley, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, and former Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt—for this year’s award ceremony held in May on Ellis Island located in Upper New York Bay. Ellis Island: The Dream of America has been performed by Orange County’s Pacific Symphony and was broadcast on PBS as part of its Great Performances series, an honor given to very few pieces of contemporary music. “I’ve long been aware of the many distinguished Americans who have received this special recognition, and it’s touching to join this group,” said Boyer, who conducted extensive research in 2001 and 2002 on the immigrant experience at Ellis Island through the Ellis Island Oral History Project. The result was his composition Ellis Island: The Dream of America. “I never could have imagined then that I would one day return to this historic location for this extraordinary honor,” said Boyer. l

92ND ANNUAL COMMENCEMENT WE WERE JOINED BY SOME of the leading figures in human rights leadership and scholarship at CGU’s May 18 commencement ceremony. Honorary doctorates were conferred upon acclaimed South African activist and first African lesbian to address gay and lesbian rights before a United Nations conference, Bev Palesa Ditsie, who was also the key speaker; Betsy Levy Paluck, a MacArthur Fellow who has tested strategies of

conflict and violence resolution on the ground in Rwanda; and Laughlin McDonald, a key player in major voting rights cases as the longtime director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project. On the eve of commencement, Jessup and First Lady Kristi Staab opened their home for a special Commencement Forum featuring this year’s honorary degree recipients along with a champagne toast to this year’s graduates. l

From left: Honorary degree recipient Laughlin McDonald, President Len Jessup, recipient Bev Palesa Ditsie, Board Chair Tim Kirley, and recipient Betsy Levy Paluck.

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A Change for the “PC” in the Paul Gray PC Museum

WIRED FOR TALK: INTRODUCING CGU’S STUDIO B3 THE UNIVERSITY’S OFFICE OF Marketing & Communications recently unveiled Studio B3, a fully-functioning video and recording studio. Drop by and see for yourself: the studio’s right next to the CGU mailroom. Studio B3 has launched several new video series, including “My Favorite Drucker Quote,”

“Working with your Advisor,” and “In Studio/Live.” The studio is also the home to several new podcasts that bring CGU research and expertise to a worldwide audience. For the new “Poets at Work” series, Tufts Poetry coordinator Genevieve Kaplan (pictured above with Interim

Tufts Director Don Share on the screen) takes listeners on a behind-the-scenes journey into the world of contemporary poetry and publishing. For “Scripture Unearthed,” doctoral candidate Genie Deez looks at modern religious studies and scriptural analysis. Another new series, “About Being Alive,” taps into the university’s positive psychology program. Subscribe now: Look for our video series at youtube. Once you’ve subscribed, don’t forget to smash that “like” button and click the notification bell icon so you’ll never miss any of our videos. And be sure to check out all of our podcast series at podcasts. l

G.O.A.T. If cornhole’s not your thing (see “Crunching the Numbers,” page 7), how about some goat yoga? As part of Graduate Student Appreciation Week, students had the option to experience a popular practice that combines the healing power of yoga with animal therapy! The Office of the Dean of Students welcomed Hot Yoga Claremont to campus. They brought several two-legged instructors as well as two four-legged ones. What’s the point of the animals? The idea is that having the animals participate in your yoga session distracts you from your practice and, at the same time, can provide a calming effect. It’s a wildly popular practice today. And what did most of the students think? It wasn’t baa-aa-aa-ad. l

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The late Paul Gray, an information science pioneer, collected many specimens of personal computers over the years, which are on display in the university’s Academic Computing Building (ACB). When the museum was originally founded in 2002, personal computers were always synonymous with personal computing. Yet today, with the same capabilities of these devices available at the palm of our hands and the use of our thumbs, the terms no longer equate as well. The name change, from the Paul Gray Personal Computer Museum to the Paul Gray Personal Computing Museum signifies a broadening of its scope, something CISAT Director Lorne Olfman says is a special tribute to his former colleague: “Paul was deeply committed to modern technology and the future … He believed that computing could change the world by extending the power of the human mind. Paul also loved education, and the museum provides the opportunity to extend that education for posterity. Understanding the roots of personal computing deepens an appreciation of just how quickly that aspect of human existence has evolved.” l

Paul Gray


Not All It’s Cracked Up To Be Cracks in a wall can be an eyesore, but in the frame of a car or airplane, they can be something else: downright dangerous. Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMS) students Zhengming Song (right) and Yadong Ruan (left), pictured with IMS Professor Allon Percus, translated their work with colleagues on the nature of fractures in material and their breaking points into a prize-winning poster honored by the Southern California Applied Mathematics Symposium (SOCAMS). Held at Caltech in April, and gathering together researchers from universities throughout the region, the SOCAMS honored Song and Ruan’s work with the Best Poster Award from a pool of some 30 candidates (other contenders included UCLA, Caltech, and USC). Song and Ruan’s poster is based on their work with Percus and other colleagues for a 2017-2018 math clinic project sponsored by Los Alamos National Laboratory. The clinic resulted in the publication of the article “Learning to fail: Predicting fracture evolution in brittle material models using recurrent graph convolutional neural networks.” l

WELCOME ABOARD WEN CHANG is the founder and CEO of Duck House, Inc., a major distributor of consumer products for sports enthusiasts; Trade Union International, Inc., a leading manufacturer and distributor of automotive accessories; and the development company High Gate Development. A former mayor of Diamond Bar (and the city’s first Chinese American to ever hold the position), Chang and his wife Mei Lien (who has served as vice president of all three companies since their inception) are proud to have founded their companies on Peter Drucker’s key principles of management. TOM HSIEH (EMBA, ’04) is the founder and CEO of SplinterRock, Inc., a technology

CGU’s newest trustees bring diverse experiences to their new stewardship roles, ranging from the music industry and philanthropy to tech innovation, entrepreneurship, and more.

brokerage and consulting firm that provides comprehensive technology solutions. Hsieh is a Drucker alumnus who brings to the board more than two decades of leadership experience in the Fortune 100, in start-ups, and with aerospace companies. Hsieh is also especially active as a community leader involved with non-profits in the San Gabriel and Pomona valleys. JEANNE HOLM (MS, ’01) is the Deputy CIO, Assistant General Manager, and Senior Technology Advisor to the Mayor for the City of Los Angeles. A leader in open data, education, community-building, and civic innovation, Holm is an alumna of and doctoral candidate in CGU’s Information Systems & Technology program. She was

an evangelist for the Obama White House’s open government data initiative where she led collaboration and built communities with the public, educators, developers, and governments. GARY STIFFELMAN has represented some of the most prominent artists in the music industry: Lady Gaga, Prince, Aerosmith, Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Eminem, and Toni Braxton, to name a few. A graduate of the UCLA School of Law, Stiffelman has also served as counsel to independent record labels including Death Row, Interscope, Rhino, and Octone. Stiffelman is currently a member and past program chair of the UCLA Entertainment Law Symposium

Executive Committee and a longstanding member of the Music and Entertainment Committee for the City of Hope. He is a founding director of The Private Bank of California and serves on the Board of Councilors of the USC Thornton School of Music, among others. Other additional members joining the board in the past two years are DERON MARQUEZ (PhD, ’16), a nationally recognized speaker and former chairman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians; and LARRY TAYLOR (PhD, ’93), a nationally-recognized authority on corporate governance issues and founder and chairman of The Creighton Group, an international corporate governance advisory firm. l

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Michael Imerman

FAIR AND BALANCED THIS SPRING THE UNIVERSITY CELEBRATED THE FOUNDING OF the Maldonado Institute for International Security & Global Leadership, established by alumnus and former trustee Ernie Maldonado (pictured) and his family. Maldonado said he hopes that the research of the institute, which will be led by Director Yi Feng, will provide an unbiased, apolitical alternative to the name-calling and biased reporting that skews so much of the information one receives today. “I think we all need to take a step back and look at the world from different points of view. It’s important to do that,” said Maldonado during a special on-campus inauguration celebration of the institute. l

CGU in Conversation This spring the university launched “CGU in Conversation,” a series of intimate and relaxed conversations between President Len Jessup and distinguished leaders from various businesses and industries. Kicking off the series was a talk with Teresa Briggs, Deloitte west region market leader and managing partner of the San Francisco office. Briggs also served on Deloitte’s U.S. Board of Directors. Jessup also welcomed powerhouse consumer-products icon Bob Eckert, chairman and CEO of Mattel from 2000 to 2011 and CEO of Kraft Foods from 1997 to 2000. A fresh slate of speakers is planned for the 2019-2020 academic year. More details will be coming soon. l

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“ Gender equity isn’t just local or in your community; it’s a global issue. That is something that all of my students understand, and that I’ve experienced myself during my own travels.” Applied Women’s Studies Director Linda Perkins on the recordbreaking number of women elected to Congress in the fall of 2018. For more of Perkins’ interview, visit l

Henry Schellhorn

Step Aside, USC For the fifth year in a row, the Drucker School’s Master’s in Financial Engineering (FE) has climbed in the annual rankings of the TFE Times and moved ahead of USC. In the TFE Times 2019 report, Drucker’s program moved up two spots from last year to No. 12. Just behind the Drucker program is USC at No. 13, and just ahead is Cornell University at No. 11. “We were really thrilled by the news,” said Assistant Professor of Finance Michael Imerman, who co-directs the FE program with Associate Professor of Mathematics Henry Schellhorn. “I think our program’s continuing success reflects the fact that we are highly selective and small, and that enables us to develop initiatives that cater to student needs and market demands in ways that larger programs can’t do.” l

as a Senior Fellow. In addition to his regular appearances on CNN to offer his take on world events, Patel has served in key roles with some of the world’s most innovative companies such as Wet Seal Retail Inc. (Arden B and Wet Seal), Jamba Juice, BJ’s Restaurants, Inc., and Panda Restaurant Group Inc. (Panda Express). During his tenure as vice president of global development for frozen-yogurt brand Pinkberry, he helped turn the company into a global leader with stores in 23 countries. A few months after Patel’s arrival, Donna Finley also joined the school as a Drucker Senior Fellow. Finley holds a PhD from the University of Calgary in Interdisciplinary Studies (Knowledge Transfer); an MBA from IMD, University of Lausanne (Switzerland); as well as a BEd and BA from Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario, Canada). Finley serves the forprofit, public, and non-profit sectors through her management consulting practice, Finley & Associates, and family businesses through a new venture, Family Office by Finley. l

Ryan Patel

New Arrivals: Mr. Patel and Ms. Finley Early in the year global executive and CNN contributor Ryan Patel joined the Drucker School

Donna Finley

» Welcoming A New SES Dean and Teacher Ed Director DeLacy Ganley (PhD, Education, ’03) has been appointed the dean of the School of Educational Studies. Ganley, who held the role as interim dean since the start of the last academic year, received a unanimous recommendation from the SES faculty, according to an announcement by Executive Vice President and Provost Patricia Easton. The former director of the Department of Teacher Education, Ganley secured more than $17 million in grants as well as personally authoring over $8 million of those funds. In addition, Easton announced that Eddie Partida, the long-time STEM Coordinator for the Teacher Education program as well as its interim director, is Teacher Ed’s new director. Partida is recognized for his leadership and the attention he brings to the program and the success of our students.

… And a New Dean for the School of Arts & Humanities Provost Easton has also announced acclaimed critic, scholar, and John D. and Lillian Maguire Distinguished Professor in Humanities Lori Anne Ferrell as new dean of the School of Arts & Humanities. Ferrell succeeds departing dean and Mormon scholar Patrick Mason, who is headed to a new post at the Utah State University. Ferrell takes over as SAH prepares for expanded programming in the Applied and Public Humanities and an upcoming decennial review of the Arts. The author of several books including The Bible and the People, Ferrell directs the university’s Early Modern Studies program and the Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry Awards. “She brings a distinguished scholarly career in the humanities and a wealth of national and international experience to this role,” Easton said in the announcement.


Number of views of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s 2004 TED talk, “Flow, the secret to happiness.”

5,151,110 +++++ 72 8 (and counting)

International participants in this year’s Getty Leadership Institute’s Executive Education program.

Number of alumni receiving awards for their achievements and service to CGU (for more, see page 34).


594 Degrees awarded this academic year

33 Length in feet of an official cornhole court for adult players according to the American Cornhole Association (Yes, there really is such a thing).

North-south length in feet of the Matthew and Roberta Jenkins Courtyard outside the Drucker School, which is perfect for a good game of cornhole (as Prof. Kat Pick and alumna Taylor Thomas demonstrate!).

… And a New Howard Hunter Chair Mason’s replacement as Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies is Professor Matthew Bowman, a nationally-renowned scholar of American religion and culture and a leader in the field of Mormon Studies. Bowman’s The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith is widely recognized as the best single-volume history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For the past several years he has been an associate professor of history at Henderson State University. “Professor Bowman comes to CGU having already established a sterling reputation in multiple academic subfields,” Mason said of his successor. “He is perfectly suited to take on the intellectual and programmatic leadership associated with the Hunter Chair.” l

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In Memoriam

Maguire at a 2016 CGU Board of Trustees dinner.

John Maguire—CGU President, Social Activist, MLK’s Roommate JOHN MAGUIRE, WHO WAS CGU’s longest-serving president (1981 – 1998), passed away last October after suffering a stroke. He was 86. CGU President Len Jessup praised Maguire’s untiring service to the university, noting that “his impact and legacy extend far beyond his presidential term.”

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That legacy is especially distinguished by Maguire’s lifelong dedication to social justice and activism. Born in August 1932, an Alabamian with an Ivy League education and a gift for storytelling, Maguire forged his social conscience in the crucible of the American civil rights movement.

One of the original Freedom Riders (his harrowing experience was published in a 1961 issue of Life magazine), Maguire met and roomed with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. at a spiritual conference in Pennsylvania when Maguire was 19. That meeting marked one of several major shifts in Maguire’s thinking and resulted in a 17-year-long friendship between the two men. “Up until I was 16 years old and a senior in high school, I did the same thing my friends did” which included harassing and insulting the town’s African American community, he told an interviewer in 2014.

But he recalled how his experience rooming with King, joining the Freedom Rides and sit-ins, and studying philosophy at Washington and Lee University took that behavior and mindset “right out of you. You literally had no place to stand.” Maguire’s many achievements at CGU include his co-founding of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, a university-based literary award that is the world’s largest monetary prize for a single collection of poetry; as well as successful campaigns bringing more than $94 million in resources to the university. He established the


struggles of the Sudanese, she co-founded Homes for Sudan, an organization committed to building homes and providing shelter for millions of the country’s citizens.

Maguire with Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963.

John D. and Lillian Maguire Distinguished Professor in the Humanities Chair at CGU. Following his presidential tenure, Maguire stayed connected to CGU through his service as a Senior Fellow in the university’s Division of Politics & Economics and as director of the Institute for Democratic Renewal. He also organized and led groundbreaking initiatives on race and democracy in his effort to combat institutionalized racism and remedy race-based disparities in areas such as education, healthcare delivery, economic development, and criminal justice. “He believed that our promise as a nation would only be realized by breaking down these barriers and focusing on social justice for all,” President Jessup said. “We will do our

best to continue his work and carry his flame forward.” MARIE LYNNE BESANÇON PhD, World Politics, ’01 A champion of Sudanese displaced by war and conflict, Marie Lynne Besançon passed away last November as a result of injuries received in a motor vehicle accident in Indiana, according to an obituary notice. She was 66. Most recently a research fellow at the University of Khartoum, Besançon held many distinguished academic posts—including as a post-doctoral fellow with Harvard’s Kennedy School and as a visiting scholar with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars—but it was a trip to Sudan in 2005 that changed her life. Witnessing the daily

JESSICA OROZCO MS, Botany, ’16 Jessica Orozco, who served as a range scientist with the Natural Resources Department at the Hualapai Tribe in Peach Springs, Arizona, died last October as a result of a gunshot wound, according to several news reports. She was 31. A woman of Navajo descent, Orozco grew up in Sacramento and attended San Francisco State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in plant biology before attending CGU. The American Society of Plant Taxonomists website includes a tribute to Orozco for her “passionate commitment to preserve Native American botanical knowledge.” Orozco is survived by her uncle, Shawn Gaskins; sister, Kelly Rose Clayton; and nephew, James Kitchens. Various news reports said that an investigation into the tragic shooting was ongoing. MARILEE K. SCAFF MA, History, ’63; PhD, Education, ’68 An educator, activist, and former missionary, Marilee K. Scaff passed away in March after an eventful life both in Claremont and abroad. She was 103. Born in San Marcos, Texas, she pursued a varied academic career, achieving numerous degrees including a master’s

in theology, ethics & culture from the University of Chicago as well as her CGU degrees in History and Education. Her life included much world traveling connected with the work of her husband, Alvin, a sociologist who taught at Pomona College for many years. Scaff’s activism included her early work to found Dansalan College in the Philippines, an assignment at the request of the Congregational church where she and her husband had been working on the south side of Chicago; and her involvement in a multitude of organizations including the League of Women Voters, the Claremont Unified School District Board, Sustainable Claremont, and the United Nations Association, among many others. Her seemingly boundless energy led Scaff to establish the nursery school at Claremont United Church of Christ, to chair many studies (including the original hillsides study and conference that led to the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park), and to lead the movement to save the Thompson Creek Spreading Grounds. She was also actively involved with Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens and sat on the garden’s Board of Overseers as well as becoming its honorary chair. In her final three decades, Scaff lived at Pilgrim Place and helped fund the building of Pilgrim Place’s greenhouse and built some of the raised gardens which are still used today. l

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The Big Picture

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Flowing On The end of the 2018-19 academic year marked Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s transition to an emeritus role 20 years after his arrival at CGU. Ask anyone on campus—or off—and they’ll tell you that Mike C (as most people call him) not only put CGU on the map in positive psychology, he put positive psychology on the map, too. The son of a Hungarian diplomat, Csikszentmihalyi is a highly-regarded scholar and speaker (his 2004 TED Talk is still a hit today) who first recognized and named the psychological experience of “flow.” He wrote about it in his landmark study Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience as well as in other books. And why did he pick CGU as his home base? “The reason I came here to start the first positive psychology program in the country was that I felt Southern California represented a lifestyle and vision of human life that was a positive and energetic one,” he explained. “The school and my colleagues were very receptive and very helpful in complementing what we had to offer.” Mike, we thank you.

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2019 AWARD RECIPIENTS: (from left) Diana Khoi Nguyen and Dawn Lundy Martin holding crystal reproductions of the cover of their winning books.

New Realities, New Identities 2019’s Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry Award winners challenge reader expectations with their brilliant explorations of being


oes poetry still matter in the 21st century?

That question never seems to go away. Each year media outlets large and small debate the question of poetry’s place (and relevance) in a world in which digital platforms habitually chop and strip down language to its basic elements. And each year the Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry Awards respond with a resounding (and unequivocal) answer: Yes, poetry still does matter. In April—as the country observed national poetry month—the CGU community gathered to celebrate this year’s winners, Dawn Lundy Martin and Diana Khoi Nguyen, at two events held on consecutive nights at the home of President Len Jessup and First Lady Kristi Staab and at the Huntington Library and Gardens in San Marino, respectively. And what was the takeaway? That the written word is still in very good hands. “It was a special love for poetry, and a realization that serious and gifted writers need help in order to keep going, that prompted the establishment of these awards,”

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Provost Patricia Easton told the audience at the reception and poetry reading held on the second night at the Huntington. The awards were established to honor the work of a mid-career poet with $100,000 and an emerging poet’s early work with $10,000. This year’s winners were notified of their selection during a special “call the winner” dinner and reception held in February at Jessup’s home. A professor at the University of Pittsburgh, Martin was selected for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for her book Good Stock Strange Blood, which

Dawn Lundy Martin

Black stars fill up black sky—

Interim Tufts Director Don Share described as a formidable, powerful collection that the judges honored for its “uncompromising poetics of resistance and exactitude.” Martin is the 27th poet to receive the award, whose past winners include B.H. Fairchild, Angie Estes, Henri Cole, Thomas Lux, Linda Gregerson, Ross Gay, Patricia Smith, and this year’s finalist judging chair Timothy Donnelly (who received the award in 2012 for The Cloud Corporation). A multimedia artist and doctoral candidate at the University of Denver, Nguyen won the Kate Tufts Discovery Award for Ghost Of, a book that grew from the suicide of her brother and the power that his painful absence has exerted on her family. This year’s judging committee— Cathy Park Hong, Khadijah Queen, Luis J. Rodriguez, Sandy Solomon, and Donnelly—chose the two winners from five finalists in each category. The finalists were winnowed down from a pool of several hundred nominations submitted during the year by individuals and publishers. Donnelly had high praise for all of this year’s finalists, saying that the committee “loved all of our finalists in very different ways because they’re all very different books.” He added that Good Stock Strange Blood and Ghost Of are books that will challenge the expectations of readers. “They are probably different from what many people are used to or expect from poetry,” he said. “Martin and Nguyen capture a whole new layer of being in their work that, to many, will still be unfamiliar.” l

AT THE HUNTINGTON: (from left) Interim Director Don Share, Finalist Judging Chair Timothy Donnelly, Nguyen, Provost Patricia Easton, Director Lori Anne Ferrell, and Martin.

POETRY ENTHUSIASTS can follow the university’s new podcast series, Poets at Work. The first installments include a discussion with the editors of Foothill Poetry, English doctoral students Emily Schuck and Brock Rustin, and a talk with Don Share.

a dark stairwell up two flights to shag rug. I will lie here for a long while. I will be unspectacular and limp. When the opal stone appears, I’ll lean into it. But terror is a runaway train. Is deer head left on side of road, those gentle deer eyes staring softly at nothing. If the stone works at all, it’s easy to catapult my body up the gymnasium rope knot by knot—a willowy thing, until relief under billowing fragrance of the parachute, all our little forms cross-legged in wonder. When I stand now at the edge of the earth, night close and tight around me, no difference between what was undreamed and what happened. For example, my stranger ever-beckoning, black eyed and grinning, or is it me who dislodges packed dirt from the hole the earth made?

Diana Khoi Nguyen

As from the Corpse, No Door Pale girl, fat carcass; boy uncut, unhooved. The combination of girl and boy in flowering desert. Girl and boy in flood, brackish water. For the sake of children. Her brain like cauliflower, cheesecake in dark rooms; girl and boy: conscience between two mothers. The upper half of body, the lower depth of honey, rough beast, dark brass—burnt tokens from home, remnants, chrysanthemums in a gale. Their olio of limbs. Here then, new habitat: his forehead in early sunlight where cold scarlet and opaline mind, her cilia her sinew, mole underfoot. Here then, her false-thorned earrings and sycamore skins, wind white with petals wild from a week alone. Alone, undone—like a father and a feather whose forecast: breath, oil, fossil. Pharmakon: a cure as well as a poison. In open grave, her hands deep in the pockets of. The voice of a crane.


THE POWER OF IMAGINATION: Keynote Bettina Sherick (MBA, ’98) shares that the most powerful people in the world are storytellers.

Raising Up Society or Holding It Down? This year’s Drucker Day considered the impact of Facebook, healthcare, and Hollywood By Tom Johnson


o organizations fix society’s problems—or make them worse?

More than 400 registered guests, including alumni and prospective students, gathered in April for Drucker Day, which focused on this question and was themed “A Spotlight on Organizations—and Their Leaders—That Contribute to a Functioning Society.” Held in the Little Bridges Hall of Music, the event was emceed by Associate Provost Andrew Vosko and kicked off with a greeting from Drucker Dean Jenny Darroch followed by keynote speaker Bettina Sherick (MBA, ’98), former senior

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“ I credit everything that happened to me after attending this institution to my Drucker MBA.” Bettina Sherick

vice president of consumer insights and innovation for 20th Century Fox. Sherick’s keynote message was clear and straightforward: The most powerful people in the world are storytellers. In her address, she paid tribute to the imaginative power of blockbuster films such as Star Wars in 1977, and to their ability to uplift society and engage in serious discussions of race, as illustrated by 2018’s Black Panther. For Sherick, who is the founder of the nonprofit organization Hollywood in Pixels Inc., movies such as Star Wars and Black Panther can transform society because the storyteller, as Steve Jobs famously said, is the one who sets “the vision, values, and agenda of an entire generation that is to come.” Sherick also reminded the audience that storytelling is an essential part of what makes us human. According to Sapiens author Yuval Noah Harari, she said, the key difference between humans and all other species rests in the ability to “use imagination and language to create new worlds, alternatives, and possibilities.”

HEALTHCARE TODAY: (from left) Ryan Patel, Beth Zachary, Walt Johnson, and Richard Yochum.


n his session about the harmful impact of digital platforms such as Facebook and Google, venture capitalist and investor Roger McNamee shared a personal account of how in 2016, as an early mentor to Mark Zuckerberg and an investor in Facebook, he became alarmed by the serious damage the company was doing to society—a dilemma discussed in McNamee’s new book, Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe. “When I shared my fears with Mark and Sheryl Sandberg [Facebook’s COO] that the company’s algorithms and business model were being used nefariously, they were dismissive,” he said. “They viewed it as a public relations problem, not a business problem.” According to McNamee, the Facebook team saw their product as a “platform, not a media company,” and therefore they felt that it was protected from “anything anybody does.” McNamee said he did a “180-degree reversal” from being one of Facebook’s biggest cheerleaders to an outspoken critic. “It’s not a right vs. left issue,” he said of Facebook’s allowing thousands of Russia-backed advertisements on the site prior to the 2016 presidential election. “It’s right vs. wrong.”


n a panel about the current state of world healthcare and how it contributes to a functioning society, Beth Zachary (MA, Executive Management, ’92) said that in her 40 years as a healthcare management executive she has developed a strongly-held belief that what is most important in healthcare happens in the local community. “It’s a very controversial belief today,” she explained, “as we see huge consolidations of hospitals and medical groups.”

“ It’s not a right vs. left issue, it’s right vs. wrong.” Roger McNamee

“We took the community out of the name in our hospital, but not the community out of the hospital,” added Richard Yochum, President and CEO of Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center. “I think some of us have lost our understanding of who our customer is.” Walt Johnson (EMBA, ’10; MPH, ’12), head of the World Health Organization’s Emergency and Essential Surgical Care program, addressed the issue from a global perspective. For him, the idea of a “customer base” usually refers to villagers in low-resource settings with hospitals that are often a 100-kilometer walk away. He agreed that knowing your customers and following up with meaningful actions at the local level are crucial steps in the care process. “You can put the best hospitals in the middle of nowhere but unless you’re integrated with the community, no one will go to them,” he said. In addition to the slate of speakers, a Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Jean Lipman-Blumen, Thornton F. Bradshaw Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Organizational Behavior Emerita at the Drucker School. Lipman-Blumen served as a special advisor in the White House during the Carter administration and published seven books, including one nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. In her keynote remarks, Sherick said she found her voice and confidence as a student at the Drucker School. “I credit everything that happened to me after attending this institution to my Drucker MBA,” she said. It was a sentiment underscored by many attending this year’s event. l Johnson is a professional freelance writer who has written for numerous publications, including People magazine and

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How last fall’s midterm elections offered a chance to see CGU’s transdisciplinary philosophy in action don’t think I’ve ever heard that term before.” When I’m traveling, I have a pretty standard banter that I use on airplanes. After learning about my neighbor’s line of work, I try to explain mine, and usually there’s a pregnant pause. Sometimes a blank stare. I’m the director of the university’s Transdisciplinary Studies Program, and “transdisciplinary” is one of those terms that hasn’t entered the lexicon of in-flight conversations. The term first appears in academic literature in 1970 and was coined by Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget. There is a lot to explain to my neighbor—who probably didn’t realize what was involved in my forthcoming explanation—and my flights are often filled with animated hand gestures and anecdotes that illustrate examples of transcended disciplines, transformed worldviews, and transgressed limits when individuals from very different backgrounds get together to make positive changes in the world. One of these anecdotes refers to a project that took place at CGU last fall as the nation was watching. You may have read or saw coverage in a variety of media outlets, from the New York Times and the Washington Post to CNN and MSNBC. Two of our faculty—Jean Schroedel, a professor of political science, and Brian Hilton, a professor of information systems and technology—collaborated with Four Directions, a Native American voting rights organization, to ensure that Native American voters in North

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Dakota were permitted access to vote in the 2018 midterm fall elections. A month before the elections, on October 9, the U.S. Supreme Court made a decision not to intervene in a new North Dakota law requiring voters to present proof of their residential street addresses at polling centers. This law prevented thousands of Native American voters from casting their ballots because many live on reservations lacking street addresses. The high court’s decision not to become involved prompted a phone call from Four Directions to Schroedel, who has worked with the organization and has provided expert witness testimony in Native American voting rights cases over many years. (Four Directions is led by Bret Healy and O.J. Semans. Both Semans and his wife Barb received

Photo credit: Courtesy Jimmy Emerson, DVM/Creative Commons

honorary degrees from CGU in 2017 for their work in leading nonpartisan Native voter engagement, empowerment, protection, and rights—which are the four directions of the organization’s title—across the United States). What do we mean when we say that research is transdisciplinary? One of its aspects, which distinguishes it from interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary research, is that often non-academic actors are included on the research team. The scholarship at CGU around Native American voting rights is a powerful example of transdisciplinarity in action. The collaboration between CGU and Four Directions not only involved traditional academic knowledge, such as that in political science or policy, but also “target knowledge” (knowledge used to understand societal goals) and “transformation knowledge” (knowledge to bridge academic to target knowledge). After Schroedel’s phone call with Four Directions, she contacted Hilton, an expert in geographic information systems, to expand the transdisciplinary team and tackle the voting obstacle posed by North Dakota law. The clock was ticking, and Hilton spent hours using maps and satellite technology to divide North Dakota’s large expanses of reservations into precincts, and to pinpoint and create addresses for residences within the reservations. With everyone working against the clock, Four Directions then used these street addresses to provide updated tribal ID cards for those living on reservations, permitting them to vote. The collaboration was successful and impactful. The Native American voter turnout in the North Dakota midterm election was unprecedented. Four Directions was there to escort voters with tribal IDs at the polling station, ensuring that Native voters would be able to cast their ballots. While there was some early resistance at the polls, the addresses were eventually accepted and voters were able to cast their ballots across the state. Many

CREATING QUADRANTS: The following three graphics illustrate the steps that Hilton took to divide Standing Rock Reservation into several quadrants using specific identifiers.

THE POWER OF COLLABORATION: CGU’s Jean Schroedel, professor of political science and field chair of American politics; and GIS specialist Brian Hilton, clinical associate professor.

non-profit organizations, tribal leadership, and our own community at CGU were on deck to respond if and when there was a call for assistance. And after the voting ended, in an ironic twist suitable for a Hollywood screenplay, the sponsor of the North Dakota voter ID law lost his seat in the state legislature to Ruth Buffalo, the first female Native American Democrat to be elected to that office. The collaboration with Four Directions has flourished on our campus with new course offerings, new opportunities for students to engage in research at the intersection of politics and activism, and a raised consciousness around our community for doing research that matters. I consider myself lucky to be at an institution, possibly the world’s only institution, where transdisciplinarity is a core value—it’s in our DNA. Through the efforts of our students, faculty, and alumni, we see examples of this transcendent, transformative, and sometimes transgressive work across our community all the time, reminding me of the potential in academic space to be both impactful and socially responsible. And as long as we continue to promote this transdisciplinary culture, we will continue to lead the way as an institution that brings people together to collaborate and make positive change in the world. l Andrew Vosko directs the Transdisciplinary Studies Program and serves as Associate Provost at Claremont Graduate University.

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As scholars across campus tackle the complicated health challenges facing the world, the university’s leadership sees a chance to create a bold new model of health and well-being research.

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omething was wrong. To fight illness Samir Chatterjee hadn’t and disease, says heard from a close friend at another the WHO, the institution in nearly a world needs more month. That may not seem like cross-cutting a very long time, but the “multi-sectoral pair talked constantly synergies”— like about working on projects together. His one finds at CGU.

friend’s sudden silence worried him. “He wasn’t answering any of my texts or voicemails, and it was really troubling,” recalled Chatterjee, who is the university’s Fletcher Jones Chair of Technology Design & Management in the Center for Information Systems & Technology (CISAT). “It wasn’t like him at all.” The uneasy silence was broken— finally—when his friend’s wife called with sobering news: Her husband’s congestive heart failure had taken a sudden turn for the worse and he had been rushed to the hospital. Chatterjee was stunned. He had no idea his friend had been struggling. “Here was a guy full of energy, full of plans,” he said. “How did it change so fast? Why didn’t he see it coming?” Chatterjee’s friend survived, but the experience—and these questions—soon inspired him to design the MyHeart system, which includes an app and remote monitoring technology. The MyHeart app helps patients by collecting diagnostic data and other feedback on a daily basis. That information goes to a dashboard monitored by hospital caregivers. At the first sign of trouble, they can check in with the patient and decide if something simple will work—adjusting a medication, for example—or if more drastic intervention is needed.

“So much about healthcare today is really about helping people manage their behavior and their conditions,” said Chatterjee, “and technology can do that.” Chatterjee’s insight reflects a much larger change taking place across the health and wellness landscape. Health and wellness have long been dominated by the physician, surgeon, and the pharmaceutical industry. Not anymore. Today, as more organizations recognize the impact of the behavioral side of disease—the psychological wiring, habits, and lifestyle choices that influence disease management and one’s quality of life—the old physician-centric model is being forced to make room for experts outside of the medical field (like Chatterjee) with innovative solutions. In a 2018 World Health Organization (WHO) report on the dramatic rise of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs), the organization called for a shift from only symptom management and treatment to the inclusion of more prevention strategies. What is needed, the report says, are more cross-cutting collaborations and “multi-sectoral synergies” to “beat NCDs and promote mental health and well-being.” At Claremont Graduate University, the WHO’s “multi-sectoral synergies” go by another name: transdisciplinarity—an approach to learning that recognizes that a single discipline or profession alone cannot solve the world’s complex challenges. For CGU President Len Jessup, such calls for collaboration to fight illness and promote well-being signal an important opportunity for the university. He and Patricia Easton, the university’s executive vice president

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and provost, are now exploring ways to leverage the university’s foundational transdisciplinary approach to position CGU at the forefront of a whole new paradigm of health and wellness research. That exploration includes a new initiative that could bring together many of the university’s researchers and health organization partners studying illness and chronic disease to create a revolutionary new center devoted to health and wellness innovation and scalable solutions. “This is an opportunity to produce a real, lasting impact on people’s lives,” Jessup said. “Today’s health challenges require the kind of thinking that breaks down traditional silos and departments, which is hard for larger, slower-moving institutions to do. But CGU is small and nimble. Our philosophy of research and training was made to handle these kinds of challenges.” Chatterjee puts it another way. “You really don’t need to be a physician or a surgeon to work on health problems now,” said Chatterjee, who has gone on to design apps targeting other chronic conditions such as diabetes and COPD. “If you are a technologist or have innovative ideas and can partner with someone from another discipline, there is a lot that you can do.”

Many Projects, Many Fronts

Today the university’s scholars across 22 disciplines are conducting a broad range of health and wellness-related behavioral studies and research. This encompasses research through partnerships with some 300 organizations—including the City of Hope, Kaiser Permanente, Arrowhead Regional

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For a selection of health-related research taking place at CGU, see the A-Z Guide on page 26.

Medical Center, National Institutes for Health (NIH), and Accenture, among others—that are working directly with diverse faculty and schools. Why is this behavioral work so important? According to a recently completed, large international twin study, genetic factors are not the major cause of NCDs worldwide. In fact, the study shows that behavioral and environmental risk factors are the major causes—and these can be effectively addressed by interventions like the ones now being developed across campus. Leading the charge is the university’s School of Community & Global Health (SCGH), whose faculty have a long history of addressing health through a transdisciplinary lens. Many of SCGH’s faculty are among a small cadre of national and international leaders of large transdisciplinary research centers funded by the NIH. Currently SCGH faculty are pursuing an ambitious agenda of research and outreach that touches on just about everything one can think of when it comes to wellness and health management: diabetes prevention, healthy aging, screenings for HIV and other infections in underserved populations, surviving cancer, relapse prevention, smoking cessation, as well as preventing and overcoming the major habits that lead to chronic disease. SCGH is an obvious hub of health-related activity; another is the Division of Behavioral & Organizational Science (DBOS). Here the faculty take on tangled health issues—from depression to drug abuse—with new strategies and methodologies, while others are pushing the envelope of evaluation and positive psychology with new approaches to personal satisfaction, relationships, and the sense of purpose and meaning that affects our lives.

HELPING COMMUNITIES IN NEED: Diabetes screenings in Riverside, California.

‘A NEW KIND OF HUB’: SCGH’s Alan Stacy sees CGU as a ‘nucleus’ for tackling health research.

But SCGH and DBOS aren’t the only places. In the Division of Politics & Economics (DPE), which is known for its experts in public policy, international politics, and the intricacies of the global economy, health-related research work is now under way, too. DPE faculty are studying factors that influence animal consumption versus a plant-based diet, the impact of hormones on employee interactions, the ominous uptick in U.S. mortality rates fueled by “diseases of despair,” and what is happening to the U.S. healthcare system as the remaining Baby Boomers retire (a situation the Wall Street Journal predicts will result in a whopping 20% of the nation’s GDP committed to healthcare alone). Much of this work has received major grant support. Elsewhere on campus, research at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences is providing crucial support to heart surgeons and their patients with a life-threatening defect; technologists like Chatterjee and his CISAT colleagues are introducing new forms of health self-management into people’s lives; and Drucker School professors are addressing the loneliness of aging Americans as well as bringing the power of Zen mindfulness to stressed-out corporate executives. For Alan Stacy, who serves as the interim dean of SCGH, this level of activity across disciplines

and fields is the key to the future of health and wellness research. He couldn’t agree more with President Jessup’s sense that an opportunity is presenting itself to CGU. “I’ve spent my entire career in the health research field,” said Stacy, who is a professor of public health with a focus on the triggers and behavior of at-risk adolescents and young adults, “and I can tell you that the best results occur when you bring together professionals from multiple fields. I really see our campus as a new kind of hub—a nucleus—for tackling problems and testing the solutions in close collaboration with our many partners in healthcare and the community.”

One Team, Under One Roof

Jessup and the university’s leadership want to translate that vision of a research hub into an actual physical location on campus. They want to bring these scholars together—along with a rotating roster of visiting researchers, doctoral students, and outside partners— to conduct their work in a single space specifically designed to create powerful synergies and collaborations among researchers and research teams. The university is exploring several possible locations for the future home of this space, which will be a center devoted to producing research and innovations in health and general well-being. The center will also serve as the headquarters for SCGH as well as numerous outreach efforts aimed at responding to the chronic illnesses of marginalized populations in surrounding communities, especially in the Inland Empire. Among the potential locations for the center is the soon-to-beavailable Huntley Bookstore, which was established in 1969 to serve as the central bookstore for all of the member schools of The Claremont Colleges. Located at the southeastern corner of the CGU campus, the bookstore property could be an ideal location at the heart of the colleges; another is the open lot north of the Drucker School where university graduate housing once stood. Regardless of its future home, such a center will become a model for what is possible when experts in many disciplines band together— a message that is becoming increasingly common among major

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A NEW MODEL OF COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH: The Huntley Bookstore reimagined as the university’s center for health and well-being innovations.

organizations and media outlets around the world. “Only collaboration,” a World Economic Forum article recently argues, “can solve the world’s most pressing problems. Big societal issues are rarely—if ever—resolved by a single sector.” Similarly, Forbes explains that collaborative “expert communities” are the key to any organization’s survival because they lead to “improved insights, driving better outcomes.” For Easton, the growing recognition

that collaboration across disciplines can solve major problems isn’t a surprise. “What our approach recognizes is that you need to foster collaborative knowledge to create better solutions. We teach our students to go out and create new kinds of solutions to society’s problems, whether they’re health-related or in some other area,” she explained. “The rest of the world is catching up to this, and that’s a good thing, because we’re all in this together.” l

Johnson with Beth Zachary (MA, Executive Management, ’92) at Drucker Day: “I thought, what the hell. I’ve always been interested in international health. Perhaps I can do something useful there.”

Not Over, Just Different By Tom Johnson

When his career as a brain surgeon ended unexpectedly, Walt Johnson found a new calling as the head of a premiere World Health Organization program.

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Dr. Walter Johnson (EMBA ’10; MPH ’12) says that the most important thing for doctors to remember is this: Keep on learning. “You can’t rest on your laurels and just coast,” he said. “One hundred years ago, if you had a medical degree, you were probably the most educated guy on the block. But now that’s not true, and I think every medical student should consider getting an MBA or an MPH or some other type of advanced degree.” It was Johnson’s own insatiable curiosity—his commitment to learning and adapting—that led to his being named head of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Emergency and Essential Surgical Care Program in 2015 after having worked with the organization since 2012. But the path that led him to the WHO was unexpected—someone else might even consider it tragic. Johnson’s entire professional life—from his Loma Linda Medical School days to his time as a surgeon and professor there—had been focused on academic neurosurgery, operating on patients, and teaching residents. In 2009, everything changed. Johnson began dropping instruments and developed numbness in his right hand—the result of a

combination of a pinched nerve in the neck and carpal tunnel syndrome. When multiple surgeries failed to correct the problem, he found himself at a professional crossroads. As serious as it was, Johnson applies a little dry humor to describe what happened next. “There are a lot of things in medicine that you can do with numbness in your hand,” he deadpanned, “but brain surgery isn’t one of them.” At the time, Johnson was finishing an EMBA at the Drucker School. He said the university’s School of Community & Global Health (SCGH) caught his attention. “I really was up one of those proverbial blind alleys where you have no idea what to do next,” he recalled. “I thought, what the hell. I’ve always been interested in international health. Perhaps I can do something useful there.” While pursuing a Master of Public Health degree at SCGH, Johnson heard a lecture about surgery and global health by Dr. Bruce Steffes, a surgeon who had spent years working in Africa. That lecture, Johnson said, changed his life. “I experienced an epiphany,” he says. “I knew everything about academic surgery

and how to run a department, and public health was clearly the next step in putting my skill set together with something that I could carry forward.” Johnson met Dr. Meena Cherian, then head of the WHO’s Emergency and Essential Surgical Care program (and Johnson’s predecessor), and Cherian invited him to Geneva as “a

prohibitive,” he says. “It’s not transplants, heart surgery, or brain surgery here. It’s just basic stuff that the largest number of people in a population needs—the most common diagnoses.” Johnson says that his Drucker EMBA has helped him in his WHO role because it profoundly changed his way of thinking.

“ There are a lot of things in medicine that you can do with numbness in your hand, but brain surgery isn’t one of them.” sort of intern” to learn how the organization dealt with public health on a global scale. “When Meena retired,” Johnson said, “the WHO called me up and said, ‘We’ve had a lot of interns who’ve been through here, but we don’t have any old guys that know about the program and could run it. Are you interested?’ ” According to Johnson, one of the biggest challenges that he’s faced at the WHO is the mistaken notion (even within the organization) that surgery is prohibitively expensive and not as pressing as other issues. “If you look at simple surgeries or essential ones like C-sections and hernia repairs or a broken bone that can be set, the costs aren’t

While surgeons are taught to be “lone wolves,” he explained, the EMBA taught him about management and team dynamics and has complemented his SCGH training in his WHO role. Because the United Nations—“in its wisdom,” Johnson said—insists on mandatory retirement at 65, he has about three more years before he has to leave. Future plans may include teaching some classes at CGU, but whatever the future foretells, Johnson doesn’t seem overly concerned. Adaptation has become second nature to him, and he’s determined to continue following his own advice and keep on learning. l

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Faculty Health Research An A-Z Guide of Selected Highlights Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Memory Could lifestyle factors like diet and exercise prevent people from developing cognitive impairment and dementia later in life? SCGH’s Nicole Gatto is working with researchers from Loma Linda University to study this question in the Adventist Health Study-2, a large cohort of Seventh-Day Adventists in the U.S. and Canada, about half of whom consume vegetarian diets. The team is administering neuropsychological tests to look at whether dietary patterns in previous decades have an effect on current cognitive function. “Foods in our diets are things that we encounter multiple times a day for years and can be changed,” she says, explaining that dietary recommendations are a potential cost-effective approach to disease prevention.

KEY CISAT: Center for Information Systems & Technology DBOS: Division of Behavioral & Organizational Sciences DPE: Division of Politics & Economics DSM: Drucker School of Management IMS: Institute of Mathematical Sciences SAH: School of Arts & Humanities SCGH: School of Community & Global Health SES: School of Educational Studies

Cancer—Prevention and Survivorship Most illnesses, SCGH’s Jessica Clague DeHart will tell you, are intertwined. “When you study cancer, you’re really also studying obesity, aging, and other related factors,” she explains. With ten years at the City of Hope as a trained molecular epidemiologist, DeHart today is partnering with them to look at transdisciplinary interventions that address the complex knot of factors behind some cancer diagnoses. Her research also addresses quality of life and the collateral damage that follows successful treatment for many cancer survivors. The hardest question they often face is “Treatment is done, they told me the cancer is gone … now what?” DeHart is involved in several programs to help survivors and their caregivers develop better health behaviors and self-care after treatments end “to help them not just survive, but thrive,” she said.

Care for the Caregivers When our loved ones develop chronic illnesses, a family member often elects to take care of them. That isn’t easy. Caregiving is a demanding, 24-7 situation, but who will make sure that these caregivers are coping with the stress and responsibility? With DBOS’s Saeideh Heshmati, SCGH’s Jessica Clague DeHart, and DBOS student Lawrence Chan, Professor Stewart Donaldson is developing a new program of research to study the well-being of caregivers as well as healthcare providers who are assisting patients with cancer and other chronic diseases.

Animal Advocacy and Plant-Based Diets

Diabetes—Prevention and Management

Would people eat less meat if they really understood the living conditions and treatment of animals on factory farms? With support from the Open Philanthropy Project, DPE’s Joshua Tasoff is testing how grassroots-level communications about animal advocacy and the benefits of plant-based diets influence consumer’s meat consumption. The second project in a long research agenda, Tasoff’s work couldn’t be more timely as plant-based options continue to grow in restaurants and supermarkets.

Jay Orr and Andy Johnson, both SCGH faculty members, will tell you that even though diet and physical activity changes are critical to the well-being of diabetics, many don’t pay attention to these protocols until they’ve developed problems. Their research and training efforts are helping health programs and county agencies in

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the region to learn about and implement evidence-based interventions and train students in these practices. SCGH’s Bin Xie also culturally tailors interventions to diverse underserved populations and is testing new interventions derived from compelling existing research.

Depression As the director of the Depression & Persuasion Research Lab and co-director of the Institute for Health Psychology & Prevention Science, DBOS’s Jason Siegel has served as the principal investigator for more than $2.6 million in grant funding since 2014. Siegel is now conducting research on persuasive strategies and methodologies to increase help-seeking among people with depression and to reduce the stigma often associated with it. A recent publication (with student Tara Muschetto as lead author) indicates that informing people about the often temporary nature of depression influences their willingness to support depressed loved ones. Siegel also recently completed work with Hospital Corporation of America, with students Brendon Ellis and Anne Brafford, to examine burnout and depression among doctors.

‘Diseases of Despair’ The life expectancies of workingclass Americans are falling. Why? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention point to the rise of “diseases of despair”—drug abuse, alcoholism, and suicide—as socioeconomic opportunities have declined for many. To bridge the gap between how politics and policy might influence public health and halt this ominous trend, DPE’s Javier Rodriguez is collaborating with University of Michigan colleagues on a major 5-year study of its underlying causes. The study will produce results to reframe policy discussions and address this unsettling drop in mortality rates. He and his team also recently co-authored “Weathering, Drugs, and Whack-aMole: Fundamental and Proximate


“ The life expectancies of working-class Americans are falling. Why? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention point to the rise of ‘diseases of despair.’”

Causes of Widening Educational Inequity in U.S. Life Expectancy by Sex and Race, 1990-2015” in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

Drug Addiction—Prevention Strategies DBOS’s William Crano wants to eradicate drug addiction the way a gardener eradicates weeds: at the root. For Crano, a social psychologist seeking better prevention strategies to address the behavioral triggers of addiction, too much drugabuse funding skips past prevention efforts and goes straight to the rehab stage. Crano is helping health professionals in the U.S. and abroad to create better prevention strategies to catch non-drug users, especially adolescents, before they start. “Kids are taking huge chances with drugs and don’t have any idea what they’re doing,” said Crano, who involves parents in the persuasion process. He serves as advisor to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Vienna: Commission on Narcotic Drugs; and as an advisor to the U.S. State Department, Colombo Plan: Training and Certifying Drug Prevention Professionals in Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

Food—Security, Consumption, Sustainability SAH’s JoAnna Poblete addresses health and well-being in terms of how federal policy affects indigenous communities, particularly in food security, consumption, environmental justice, and sustainability. An associate professor of history, she is the author of a forthcoming book on the impact of global tuna consumption on U.S. federal and international fishing regulations, as well as native fishing subsistence and sustainability in the unincorporated territory of American Samoa. She is also focused on the environmental and communal impact (including health outcomes) of one of the world’s largest oil refineries on people in the unincorporated territory of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Her goal is to provide foundational historical information for more effective, equitable, future policy-making in this area.

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Habits That Lead to Disease Teams of SCGH researchers investigate the root causes of the health habits and behaviors that lead to most major chronic diseases. Behaviors and problems that have been (or are being) studied include smoking, alcohol, and drug abuse (Paula Palmer, Bin Xie, Alan Stacy), diet and obesity (Kim Reynolds and Bin Xie), and physical activity (Jessica Clague Dehart).

Healthcare Policy Is the U.S. headed for a healthcare apocalypse? DPE’s Deborah Freund is keeping a close watch as principal investigator on several grants and projects. Freund’s research includes projects on the Affordable Care Act, state health policy, Medicaid and Medicaid managed care, and the health outcomes for knee replacements (the highest-volume surgery that the Medicare program pays for). A former CGU president, Freund is one of the earliest scholars of the Medicaid program and has authored legislation for the Australian government that resulted in their plan for controlling pharmaceutical costs and which drugs to cover on their national formulary. Freund’s past and present board involvement includes Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cedars-Sinai and San Antonio Regional hospitals, and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. She draws on her network to bring healthcare’s major players to campus for events such as the recent “Obamacare, Trumpcare, and the Inland Empire: What Could Happen Next?” featuring Inland Empire Health Plan CEO Dr. Brad Gilbert, Parktree Community Health Center CEO Ellen Silver, and Arrowhead Regional Medical Center Medical Director Dr. Richard Pitts.

Healthy Aging SCGH’s Paula Palmer, Nicole Gatto, and Alan Stacy are exploring ways to help older people stay healthy and live independently for as long as possible. That includes new methods to enhance compensatory safety habits and skills

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“ In our hyperdigitized age, we can’t take important behavioral cues, especially about our relationships, for granted.” Saeideh Heshmati

among those with beginning phases of memory decline to prevent falls and other injuries. These new methods could be combined with user-friendly home technology developed by CISAT’s Samir Chatterjee to enhance safety and protect frail bones. A relatively new area of healthy aging research focuses on resilience, an important predictor of successful aging. With funding from the Fletcher Jones Foundation, Palmer is studying differences between low- and high-resilient Pacific Islander older adults by “departing from a ‘deficit’ model common in aging research,” she explains. “Instead, we are focusing on an individual’s assets and strengths to better understand what determines resilience and inform future research in this area.”

Healthy Tech The day after CISAT’s Samir Chatterjee learned about his friend’s heart problems (see main story), he received a call from the chief cardiac nurse of Loma Linda University Health’s heart clinic. With a steady flow of these patients returning to the hospital shortly after being discharged, she asked Chatterjee to help her devise a way to remotely monitor their symptoms and help them manage their conditions. The MyHeart app was born out of this request as well as Chatterjee’s experience with his friend. Since then, he and his doctoral student lab members have gone on to create eight apps. His current project involves an NIH-funded study of a group of American men with Type 2 diabetes and their use of the MAn Up (Men Are United) app to track their condition.

Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, and Other Screenings Easily accessed populations are not receiving enough help, and scalable interventions need to be developed and tested in places where there are many high-risk individuals. SCGH develops and tests scalable interventions for use in community program sites with individuals at risk for hepatitis, HIV, and other infections. One example is an intervention delivered over electronic devices (laptops, tablets, or cell phones) developed by SCGH’s Alan Stacy that can substantially increase screenings and cut the likelihood that infections will spread.

Independent Living To cope with loneliness and isolation among the elderly, DSM’s Hovig Tchalian is testing out Microsoft Kinect technology with the elderly residents of Mt. San Antonio Gardens in Claremont. The technology has a gesture-sensing feature (it was originally created for Xbox game consoles) that enables a resident to view and manage family photos and videos on their TV monitors with simple sweeps and gestures of the hand. What Tchalian and his students discovered is that such technologies create a deeper sense of connectedness while promoting independence and selfempowerment in test participants.

Love Medicine Most people agree that love is important; but, when considering love, is everyone picturing the same thing? DBOS’s Saeideh Heshmati brings together cognitive psychometric modeling, wearable monitors, and other tools to consider answers to that question. The results of a recent study conducted by Heshmati and colleagues tested nearly 500 American adults on their understanding and definition of love. Each participant was given 60 different everyday life scenarios to judge and was asked whether they would judge those as indicators of love or not. Small gestures matter—whether it’s a child snuggling up to her parent or a dog greeting its master, such small moments significantly influence our daily understanding of well-being and self-worth. What does she hope to accomplish with this research? The rules of communication have been radically affected by social media, and in our hyper-digitized age, she says, “we can’t take important behavioral cues, especially about our relationships, for granted.”

Mathematics of Heart Failure More than 40 years ago, the Fontan procedure was first used to help infants who, due to a birth defect, were born with only a single functional ventricle of the heart. The procedure compensates for the lack of a second ventricle chamber but also puts tremendous pressure on the sole functioning one, which often causes heart failure that won’t be detected in time. IMS’s Marina Chugunova is collaborating with Toronto General Hospital as well as colleagues at the University of Toronto and the Ukraine Academy of Science to mathematically model blood pressure distribution after the surgical procedure. Their efforts will provide doctors with data on blood pressure to detect the onset of heart failure in time for a life-saving intervention. The project is ongoing and includes a current study of some 350 patients. Chugunova and her collaborators recently published their

OBAMACARE AND TRUMPCARE IN THE INLAND EMPIRE: (from left) Brad Gilbert, Ellen Silver, and Richard Pitts at a recent event organized by CGU Professor Deborah Freund.

first article about this research—“Use of Mathematical Modeling to Study Pressure Regimes in Normal and Fontan Blood Flow Circulations”—in Mathematics-in-Industry Case Studies.

Mindfulness and Managing Oneself DSM’s Jeremy Hunter helps executives in the practice of applying the principles of mindfulness for today’s distracted and frenetic business environments. His courses “The Executive Mind” and the “Practice of Self-Management” help leaders take more effective action in the face of accelerated change while also taking better care of themselves. Recently, his interest in fusing the managing of an executive’s inner environment with their outer organizational environment has resulted in the creation of a new course co-taught with DSM’s Vijay Sathe for MBA students—“Finding Clarity.” Furthermore, he has a multi-year commitment to developing Japanese social innovators who must manage themselves while also addressing pressing social challenges.

Neurodegenerative Disorders— Elderly Populations The U.S. population is aging, and it is anticipated that the number of older adults who develop Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease will increase in the coming decades. SCGH’s Nicole Gatto conducts epidemiologic research on major cohorts of people studied over time and in case-control studies to

understand the factors that increase the risk of neurodegenerative disorders or to protect people from developing them.

Obesity This condition is a widespread international problem impacting onset and management of many disease threats. Yet few prevention programs have been developed and select subgroups (e.g., ethnic minorities) are at substantially elevated risk for obesity. SCGH’s Kim Reynolds conducts studies on the causes of the problem, develops prevention interventions for obesity, and has led a large federally-funded project that tests interventions tailored to minority adolescents. SCGH’s Bin Xie also works intensively on the obesity epidemic.

Organ Donation Many people believe in the virtues of donating their organs, but why don’t more sign up? As the principal investigator for a grant from the Human Resources and Services Administration, DBOS’s Jason Siegel is leading a team (including colleague Eusebio Alvaro, grad students, and project partners in New Mexico) to answer that question. They are testing out a persuasive campaign in the Motor Vehicle Departments of New Mexico with a combination of videos, posters, and other visual advertisements drawing on Professor William Crano’s Vested Interest Theory as well as Siegel’s prior experiences with media and social psychological theorizing.

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When this latest research concludes, Siegel hopes to have a better idea about what kinds of messaging works best to encourage people to tap into selfless behaviors and boost donor registration rates. “I love this kind of work,” he says, “because it can save lives in a way that no one really thinks about.”

Peak Performance and Sports Professor Stewart Donaldson is conducting several studies on health and well-being in his Positive Organizational Psychology Lab and Positive Sports & Peak Performance Psychology Lab. Also involved are the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation and former world champion pro surfer Shaun Tomson, who is an actor, former CEO, author of positive psychology-related books, and now a facilitator in developing research for the positive sports lab. Several studies are also being designed to focus on a deeper understanding of health and well-being as they relate to peak athletic and team performance.

Planning—Preparing and Conducting Interventions If they are to be successful on a large scale, solutions to health problems require extensive planning. As co-editor, SCGH’s Darleen Peterson is producing the new edition of a classic textbook in the field, Health Program Planning. This book provides extensive guidance relevant to all health interventions conducted by SCGH, its community partners, and other institutions. It is invaluable to students and researchers alike who need to understand the big picture of how to plan and conduct large-scale health interventions.

Purpose and Meaning Go into any bookstore, and you’ll see plenty of books about finding one’s purpose in life. But most of these are based on one person’s musings, which may not be particularly helpful. What can science tell us about purpose? What can empirical studies tell us about the benefits of leading a life of purpose? DBOS’s

30 | Claremont Graduate University

“ The latest science on well-being and human flourishing not only helps enhance personal wellbeing but also improves the lives of disadvantaged populations.”

Kendall Cotton Bronk is addressing these questions with her Adolescent Moral Development Lab. Bronk is exploring how various factors affect how young people see themselves and their futures. Recent work includes her creation of the Our Purpose Toolkit for teens and other interventions to improve teen outlooks described in “An integrative intervention for cultivating gratitude among adolescents and young adults” in the Journal of Positive Psychology. Bronk also serves as principal investigator for “Family Purpose in the 21st Century: Understanding and Fostering Family Purpose for Ultra High Net Worth Families.”

Quality of Life Twenty years ago, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Jeanne Nakamura founded the Quality of Life Research Center (QLRC) for a simple reason: So much research identifies what’s wrong with the world, but what about the things that are right? The founding of the QLRC paved the way for Csikszentmihalyi and Nakamura to start the university’s graduate programs in Positive Psychology. The Center has conducted research on its own and in collaboration with other institutions on the nature of “good work” in professional life, studies on social innovation, volunteering, well-being in the second half of life, and much more. As Csikszentmihalyi moved to emeritus status with DBOS at the end of the 2018-19 academic year while still keeping his involvement in the QLRC, Nakamura will become the de facto director of the Center and carry forward its legacy of preeminence in the field of positive psychology.

School of Community & Global Health Along with a slate of cutting-edge master’s and doctoral degrees blending theory with practice—including a hands-on practicum that puts public health doctoral students alongside practitioners earlier than in similar programs outside of CGU—the SCGH faculty are champions of what Interim Dean Alan Stacy calls “translational science.” The term refers to an approach that takes untapped pivotal research findings and develops them in innovative new ways. (Note: Some—but not all—of this faculty’s work is highlighted in this index.) Working with partner organizations including Kaiser Permanente, City of Hope, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, and the National Institutes for Health, among many others, SCGH is conducting a wide array of outreach and studies to create the next wave of prevention strategies.

Smoking Cessation and Drug Abuse Interventions Smoking is still a major cause of heart disease and cancer in the U.S. and around the world. SCGH’s Paula Palmer develops and tests smoking cessation programs for underserved minority groups such as Pacific Islanders and some Asian groups that have not received tailored, evidence-based programs.

Recently, Palmer led a federally-funded project to test these interventions, in close collaboration with community groups. SCGH’s Javad Fadardi and Alan Stacy develop and test mobile applications to help prevent relapse in people who are in programs for smoking cessation and alcohol and drug abuse. They recently submitted a grant proposal to use these procedures to focus on the opioid epidemic, in collaboration with CISAT’s Samir Chatterjee, DPE’s Gregory DeAngelo, and more than a dozen community drug abuse programs in the Los Angeles region.

Stress and Children’s Health Stress is an inevitable part of modern life that affects everyone. Family life, peers, and social networks can be major sources of stress especially for children and adolescents. SCGH’s Bin Xie studies the effects of high levels of stress in childhood and adolescence on cardiovascular health and obesity. He conducts longitudinal data analysis to increase our understanding of the complex mechanisms of chronic stress exposure and its dynamic influence on these major health issues.

Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Suicide rates have increased at alarming rates in some communities and among adolescents. SCGH’s Jay Orr, in collaboration with Riverside County’s Community Translational Research Institute, is vigorously promoting the implementation of suicide prevention and mental health resources in local schools.

Sun Safety There are only a few widespread sun safety programs even though skin cancers are highly prevalent worldwide and intervention is needed, particularly in youth who need to learn good sun safety habits. SCGH’s Kim Reynolds develops and tests school- and family-based interventions on a large scale in many schools and school districts in Califor-

COMMITTING TO A POSITIVE WAVE: World champion surfer Shaun Tomson is developing research for the Positive Sports Lab.

nia and Colorado. He has conducted several federally-funded studies to test the best ways to achieve school district policy change “to deal with this urgent risk factor and reduce cancer risk.”

Teacher Well-Being “If I don’t take care of myself, how can I expect to take care of my students?” That’s the question that inspired Teacher Education adjunct professor and SES doctoral student Andre ChenFeng to create a workshop for Teacher Ed students preparing to enter the classroom. According to national estimates, some 25 to 30 percent of teachers will leave the profession in the first five years because of stress and burnout. ChenFeng has drawn on his experiences studying with DSM’s Jeremy Hunter and DBOS’s Jeffrey Yip to create the workshop, which he unveiled this semester for 50 students and 15 faculty members. A former LAUSD math teacher in Koreatown, ChenFeng knows how overwhelming a teacher’s first years can be. Not only does his workshop offer practical daily tips—the need for a good evening routine or staying hydrated throughout the day—but also the importance of creating rituals to develop one’s sense of self-compassion and finding a still-point in the midst of a hectic day.

Well-Being and Social Justice The latest science on well-being and human flourishing not only helps enhance personal well-being but also improves the lives of disadvantaged populations experiencing a range of so-

cial injustice. Supported by a generous gift from trustee Mashi Rahmani, and in collaboration with professors Saeideh Heshmati and Robert Klitgaard, DBOS’s Stewart Donaldson is creating a new program of research to study how positive work and community environments that foster the well-being of all members may lower the prevalence of discrimination, harassment, and a range of other social, organizational, and community injustices.

Zak—Oxytocin Studies Why is this University of Pennsylvania-trained economist taking blood samples? Because DPE’s Paul Zak is a pioneer in neuroeconomics, that’s why. Neuroeconomics is a field that examines organizational and economic behaviors through the lens of brain processes and biological functions. With the university’s support, Zak established the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies and has logged countless research hours resulting in some 13,000 scholarly citations. Today he is working with his doctoral students on projects about neural diversity and how people interact with robots. A 10-year research program on the neuroscience of high-performance organizations is now winding down and has resulted in his book, Trust Factor: The Science of Creating High-Performance Companies. Zak’s lab is developing new projects to understand how people flourish and cope with the rapid pace of information flows, distributed work teams, and daily stress. l

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The Big Picture

32 | Claremont Graduate University

Joining the Ranks CGU’s 23,000-strong alumni community grew even larger on May 18 at the 92nd Annual Commencement. With inspiring words from commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient Bev Ditsie and alumnus Mustafa Mirza (MA, Government, ’79; MBA, ’80), who delivered the charge to the graduates, the newest members of the university’s alumni community were ready, as President Len Jessup told them, to “carry the flame forward” for CGU. Among this year’s grads were newly minted Religion PhD Melisa Berry (below) and Arts Management student Jeremiah Ojo (left), who flexed his MA muscles. Multa lumina lux una!

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From the O≈ce of Alumni Engagement

Time to Get Fired Up


en Jessup, who is completing his first year this summer as our president, really appreciates CGU’s symbol—the flame—and motto, Multa lumina lux una. He says that these are important reminders of our mission and who we are. He’s right. No one helps our flame shine more brightly than our alumni community, and I want to thank everyone who volunteered their time and talents to make the 2018-2019 academic year unforgettable. It’s my pleasure to share some exciting updates with you as the summer begins.

this year’s recipients, we’ve grown our annual alumni awards to include one awardee from each of our schools. In past years, we have given out a single award to an individual for excellence in his or her profession as well as a single award to an individual for their service to the university. (This year’s service award recipient was Mustafa Mirza.) Why did we decide to expand the list of award recipients? The answer is simple: Because there are so many CGU alumni doing amazing things worth honoring! I invite you to visit to read more about this year’s recipients and their many accomplishments.

Awards Night

Nominate Someone

In May, right before the end of the semester and our 92nd annual commencement ceremony, we honored our alumni with a special Distinguished Alumni Awards dinner held at the Jonathan Club in downtown Los Angeles. As you can see from the photo of

Do you know a CGU alumnus or alumna who should be nominated for a distinguished alumni award or for the service award? We welcome your nominations. Please visit and click on the “nomination form” button.

34 | Claremont Graduate University

Leadership Transition I would like to thank Mustafa Mirza for his service to CGU as the force behind the formation of the Founding Alumni Board. Do you know that CGU has never had a board like this (representing all of CGU’s schools) during its nearly 100 years of existence? That has changed thanks to Mustafa and his fellow board members. It is my pleasure to congratulate him on behalf of our community for receiving this year’s Distinguished Alumni Service Award. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this honor. I would also like to thank the members of the Founding Alumni Board for blazing the trail—there’s that flame symbolism again! This board provides our 23,000-strong alumni community with a voice on campus. Next, I would like to welcome Michael Spicer as the new president of the alumni association, starting in July. Mustafa and Michael (seen in the photo with several of the members of the founding board) have been working


SERVING CGU: (from left) Some members of the founding alumni board include Michael Spicer (incoming president), Steve Kim, Whitney Martinez, CGU President Len Jessup, Mariél Frechette, Chelsea Boxwell, Mustafa Mirza (outgoing president), and Sarah Smith Orr. MEMBERS NOT PICTURED: Jennifer Bergstrom, Sydney Bertram, Bree Hemingway, Dwight Holmes, Maria Morales, Chris Munshaw, Kern Oduro, Steve Siegel, Gloria WillinghamTouré, and Tomo Yagisawa.

closely together on a transition plan, and everyone is excited about the next phase of the alumni association. Michael’s enthusiasm and dedication to CGU are as strong as Mustafa’s, and that means our board is in very good hands. If you are interested in joining the alumni association board or volunteering with the alumni association, please feel free to email me at rachel.jimenez@

Exciting New Initiatives Thanks to the alumni association, we have created an array of exciting new initiatives to bring extra value to our alumni community. For example, our alumni association is developing regional chapters in cities including Claremont, Pasadena, New York, San Diego, and Tokyo. Additionally, we are working on creating convenient ways to support the lifelong learning of our alumni with a podcast series, a traveling faculty lecture series, opportunities to communicate directly with CGU Presi-

dent Len Jessup, and much more. Finally, I’d like to thank all of you for updating your information as part of the comprehensive alumni data verification project. The project to create an alumni directory is in its final stages and should be ready by the fall.

ALUMNI AWARD RECIPIENTS: (back row, from left) Shawn Luo (PhD, Mathematics, ’95), Jonathan Reed (PhD, Religion, ’94), Bree Hemingway (MPH, ’11), Charles Morrissey (PhD, Executive Management, ’97), Frances Gipson (PhD, Education, ’12); (front row, from left): Barbara Usher (PhD, Information Science, ’10), service award recipient Mustafa Mirza (MA, Government, ’79; MBA, ’80), and Deborah Castleman (MA, Politics and Policy, ’90).

Get Involved There’s never been a better time to get involved with the alumni community. Please reach out to me directly at to join a committee, share ideas, nominate a distinguished alum, or provide feedback so that we can build an even more incredible future for Claremont Graduate University. I look forward to working with you.

“ Thanks to the alumni association, we have created an array of exciting new alumni initiatives to bring extra value to our alumni community.”

Sincerely, Rachel Jimenez Associate Director of Alumni Engagement

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Alumni Alumni Achievements


William Dunn (PhD, International Relations) recently reported on his latest work, including favorable critical responses to his book Public Policy Analysis: An Integrated Approach (6th edition). A University of Pittsburgh professor, he has received “Excellence in Mentoring” awards from the university’s chancellor and provost. Dunn was also made a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.


Chris Anderson’s (MFA) exhibition at Grace College explored the issues of diminishing green spaces and the future of the family farm at the edge of expanding urban and suburban developments.


Sandy Lerner (MA, Government), Cisco Systems cofounder, talked to NPR for the podcast series How I Built This with Guy Raz. Lerner has launched beauty products company Urban Decay Cosmetics.


David Dreier (MA, Government), former Congressman and Tribune Broadcasting’s new board chair explains, “Journalism is under attack across the globe, and we have an unwavering commitment to delivering a first-rate news product.”


Karen Kitchel (MFA) focused on images of endangered species of grasses and other plants native to the Rocky Mountains for her new exhibition, Grasslands, at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art.


William Brayton (MFA), Hampshire College art professor, participated in Metheny + Brayton, an exhibition at Trinity College.


Robert J. Bunker (PhD, Political Science) pointed out in a recent PolitiFact fact-check why laws that increase penalties for people who’ve been previously deported or jailed won’t deter MS-13 gang members.

36 | Claremont Graduate University


Bradford Smith (PhD, Education) was appointed Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Belhaven University in Jackson, MS. Smith’s appointment was reported in the Jackson Free Press.


Richard Gate’s (MFA) art— deeply influenced by jazz, rock n’ roll, the alternative subcultures of the 1960s, and the desert rock landscape of the west—is an exploration of the metaphysical and alchemical. Utah’s Granary Arts presented an exhibit of his work earlier this year.


Richard Leib (MA, Politics & Policy) was named by California Governor Brown to the 26-member UC Board of Regents, according to the Times of San Diego.

prise Therapeutics Ltd. a developer of therapies for patients with respiratory disease. A company announcement stated that Munshi’s commercial pharma experience will strengthen the company’s leadership team as it transitions to a clinical stage development company.


Rev. Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mante (PhD, Religion) has been appointed to serve as the moderator, or chairperson, of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana’s general assembly.


Wayne Bethanis (PhD, Music), recording artist and streaming-music show host, was nominated for Single of the Year in the One World Music Awards for his song “I Am (A Musical Meditation).”










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Robert W. Nafie (PhD, Education), after many decades of service, stepped down earlier this year as headmaster of the Clairbourn School, according to a report in the Arcadia Weekly. Woody Hunt (MA, Executive Management) serves as a member of the Texas Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors. He is senior chairman of Hunt Companies as well as the founding chairman and board member of the Borderplex Alliance in El Paso, among other organizations. Synthia Molina (MBA) delivered the keynote address—entitled “CGU, Convergence, and the Quest for Conscience, Creativity, and Contribution”—at the new student orientation opening ceremony last fall on campus.

Sean McPhetridge (MA, Education) has been selected to be the superintendent for the Cabrillo Unified School District governing board. Amit Munshi (MBA) has been appointed as non-executive chairman of the board of directors of biopharmaceutical company Enter-

Julie (Kessler) Ponzi (MA, American Politics & Political Philosophy) presented “Manufacturing Scandal to Cover Up Scandal” as part of a politics forum held this fall at St. Vincent College. Ponzi is a senior editor for the website American Greatness. Gary Pritchard (MA, Music), Cerritos College Dean of Fine Arts & Mass Communications, recently announced his candidacy for the Aliso Viejo City Council in South Orange County, Calif. He currently serves on the Capistrano Unified School District Board. Forrest Bell (MA, Education) will carry forward Bell Investment Advisors’ “dedication to excellence, teamwork, client service, ethics, and above all, earning the trust of our clients” in his new role as company president. Jennifer Switkes (PhD, Mathematics), California State Polytechnic University-Pomona math professor, is the recipient of the Haimo Award for Distinguished Teaching. William Brown (MA, Psychology; PhD, Organizational Psychology), Texas A&M University Government & Public


Service Professor, presented on how nonprofit leaders can improve governance and leadership in their organization at the Angelina College Nonprofit Leadership Conference in Texas.


Susan Borrego (PhD, Education), University of Michigan-Flint Chancellor, will step down this summer at the end of her five-year term. Students, faculty, and staff have praised the work she has done to increase student success, re-engage the Flint community, enhance academic performance, and navigate the Flint water crisis.


Josh Godinez (MA, Teacher Education) from Corona-Norco Unified School District and a former Fontana Unified School District school counselor has been named the California School Counselor of the Year.


Richard Amesbury (PhD, Religion) has joined Arizona State University as the new director of the university’s School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies. Amesbury is a philosopher and scholar of religion and has served in many leadership roles prior to arriving at ASU. While at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, he was director of the Institute for Social Ethics and the Ethics Center.


William Lee Matzner (MA, Economics; PhD, Economics), who also holds an MD from Baylor College of Medicine, recently published an overview article on the issue of viral infections. The paper can be read at


Jonathan Wai (MA, Psychology) recently joined the College of Education and Health Professions at the University of Arkansas, according to a recent university announcement. Wai previously worked as a visiting researcher in the Department of Psychology at Case Western Reserve University for five years and as a

research scientist in the Talent Identification Program at Duke University for seven years.


Tiffany Berry (PhD, Psychology), a CGU Research Associate Professor, is working with Project Grad Los Angeles. Berry evaluated the federal program that provides free tutoring, college counseling, and financial-aid advice at low-income schools and determined it was successful in helping San Fernando Valley students become “college ready” by graduation.


Loretta Adrian (PhD, Education), who is Coastline Community College President, has been named to the board of the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship.


Brian McGowan (MA, Politics and Economics) was named CEO of Greater Seattle Partners, a public-private partnership to advance economic growth in the Puget Sound region.


Julie Vitale (PhD, Education) was named Superintendent of the Oceanside Unified School District earlier this year. The Times of San Diego reported on Vitale’s move from serving as superintendent of Romoland School District in Riverside County to the Oceanside post.


Sabrina Daneshvar (MA, Psychology; PhD, Psychology) was honored as one of 2018’s “Women Who Impact San Diego” by San Diego Metropolitan magazine for her work in helping families that have been affected by autism.


Richard Sudek (EMBA; MA, Psychology; PhD, Mangement), Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Director of UCI Applied Innovation at the Cove, recently visited with CGU President Len Jessup to discuss his efforts linking university discoveries with business and industry.


Pamela Gabbay (MA, Psychology), a childhood bereavement consultant and co-founder of The Satori Group, delivered the keynote this spring at the Supporting Bereaved Families Impacted By Suicide or Overdose-Related Death Conference in Maine.


Julianne Hoefer (PhD, Education) has been named Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services in the Ocean View School District.


Daniel Walden (PhD, Education) has been chosen as Victor Valley College’s next superintendent/ president. Previously he was at Los Angeles City College.


Michael Anton (MA, Politics & Policy), a former White House National Security Council spokesperson, talked to Fox News about his take on the “anonymous” controversy troubling the Trump Administration.


Yoshie Sakai’s (MFA) new exhibition explores the everyday anxieties, fears, and joys of living through the lens of a “dysfunctional Japanese American soap opera.”


Pandwe Gibson (PhD, Education), EcoTech Visions President, is currently running a boot camp aimed to teach computer programming and digital marketing to help minority communities launch successful careers and projects.


Barbara Usher (MSIST, ’87; PhD, IS, ’10) led a panel featuring fellow alumni Tawni Nazario-Cranz (EMBA, ’11) and Hayley Craddock (EMBA, ’18) as they shared lessons learned and insights gained through their specific HR roles in the Silicon Valley. The panel was moderated by Drucker Professor Katharina Pick as part of a student trip to Northern California earlier this year.

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Alumni Alumni Achievements


Alice Y. Hom (PhD, History) marks the 20th anniversary of Q&A: Queer in Asian America, a ground-breaking anthology she co-edited that brought together academics, activists, and cultural workers, and that paved the way for Queer Asian American Studies.


Michael Harnar (MA, Psychology; PhD, Psychology) is part of a $4.97 million National Science Foundation grant. The Western Michigan University Assistant Professor of Evaluation will serve as a co-principal investigator for work that supports evaluation training and education.


Joe Lloyd (MFA) co-founded an exhibition space in Marysville, California, dedicated to the exploration of contemporary art through exhibitions, events, and educational programming.


Dallas Harris (MA, Politics & Policy) is a freshman Nevada state senator and administrative attorney. Harris joins the nation’s first female-majority state legislature.


Blown referee calls are the worst. A new social media platform developed by Arsine Khayoyan (PhD, Economics & Public Policy, ’12) and David Dickey (PhD, Politics & Policy, ’18) now allows you to vote and comment on referee calls in real time.


Monica Almond (PhD, Education) is now the senior associate for policy development and government relations at Alliance for Excellent Education (All4ED), a Washington DC-based national policy and advocacy organization.


Krista Collins (PhD, Psychology) has been named the recipient of the 2018 Marcia Guttentag Promising New Evaluator Award by the American Evaluation Association. Collins is the director of evaluation & insights for Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

38 | Claremont Graduate University


Kathleen O’Toole (PhD, Politics and Policy) has been appointed Hillsdale College’s new assistant provost of K-12 education and will also oversee Hillsdale Academy and the Barney Charter School Initiative.


Sumaia Al-Kohlani (MA, Politics & Policy; PhD, Political Science) has been named one of the “40 for 40” award recipients by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM). APPAM created the “40 for 40” awards to honor “outstanding early career research professionals.”


John M. LaVelle (PhD, Psychology) recently published the book 2018 Directory of Evaluator Education Programs in the United States. He serves as assistant professor of organizational leadership, policy, and development at the University of Minnesota.


Claudia Bermudez (PhD, Education) along with doctoral student and SES leadership team member Rachel Camacho will have their chapter “Women of Color in Academia: Self-Preservation in the Face of White Fragility and Hegemonic Masculinity" in the forthcoming book Violence Against Women in the 21st Century: Transnational Perspectives of Empowerment and Subjugation from Oxford University Press.


Richard Newton (PhD, Critical Comparative Scripture), University of Alabama Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, said in a news story on the school’s website that Alex Haley’s Roots can be a model of “how to look at and talk about the very notion of a scripture.”


Alex Hindman (PhD, Politics & Policy) has joined the faculty of College of the Holy Cross this academic year as a tenure-track assistant professor of political science.


Gudiel Crosthwaite (PhD, Education) has been named superintendent of Lynwood Unified School District.


Jennifer Fang (PhD, Education) has been named the Interim Superintendent of Rosemead Unified School District.


Neil Pagal Patel (MBA), when asked which part of his Drucker School experience best prepared him for his new position as information technology project manager at Prime Healthcare, pointed to an “environment that promotes self-motivation” and “opportunities that help you develop yourself as a seasoned leader.”


Mohammad Alsuliman’s (MIST; PhD, IST) “rich academic record” and distinguished experience in strategic corporate transformation and project management will serve him well in his new role as the CEO for Najm Insurance Services.


Ruben Valenzuela (PhD, Musicology) has been named choral director of the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus.


Mario Navarro (PhD, Psychology) and co-author CGU Professor of Psychology Jason Siegel published a study in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology explaining the lack of safeguards that allow individuals to lie about their qualifications and thus putting data integrity at risk on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, a crowdsourcing online marketplace that helps businesses that hire freelancers to perform small tasks that computers can’t do.


Manuel Diaz (MA, Education; PhD, Education) is Pomona College’s Assistant Dean of Students and Director of the Queer Resource Center of the Claremont Colleges.



Drew Phelps (MA, Politics and Policy) has announced his plans to run for California’s Assembly District 26 against two-time incumbent Devon Mathis.


Hisam Sabouni’s (MA, Economics; PhD, Economics) paper “The Rhythm of the Markets” has been picked up by media and central bank analysts around the world. The study interpreted how popular songs in the Billboard Top 100 corresponded to the rise or fall of the Nasdaq, Dow Jones, and S&P 500 indexes.

ASK HIM ALMOST ANYTHING: President Len Jessup fielded some great alumni questions during his first “Ask Me Almost Anything” event on the CGU alumni page on Facebook! Thanks to the many of you who joined the conversation and asked him about CGU’s online efforts, value proposition, vision for the future ... and hey, where the heck did he get those red sneakers? If you are an alum and want to read the thread from that event, head over to CGU’s alumni page on Facebook and join the group! Keep carrying the flame!


Penny Schwinn (PhD, Education), Texas Education Agency Chief Deputy Commissioner of Academics, will lead Tennessee’s Department of Education.


Pilar Tompkins Rivas (MA, Cultural Studies), who is currently a Cultural Studies doctoral student, serves as the director of the Vincent Price Art Museum at East L.A. College. A recent exhibition was featured in the Los Angeles Times.


Alma Keshavarz (MA, Politics & Policy; PhD, Politics & Policy), in her Small Wars Journal review of the 2016 Nathan Jones publication, Mexico’s Illicit Drug Networks and the State Reaction, describes “an excellent book that addresses how drug networks are targeted through the prism of the state.”


Sarah Mason (PhD, Psychology) is the new director of the University of Mississippi’s Center for Research Evaluation. l Update us on your academic and professional achievements by visiting

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Community Bookshelf New and Recent Releases

When Angels Sing: The Story of Rock Legend Carlos Santana (Atheneum Books for Young Readers) Author Michael Mahin (PhD, English, ’08), who has collected the New York Times Best Illustrated Book Award, NPR’s Best Book of the Year honor, as well as other distinctions, celebrates a music icon’s powerful influence with a fusion of rock and roll and Latin American jazz in the children’s picture book, When Angels Sing: The Story of Rock Legend Carlos Santana. Joined by award-winning illustrator Jose Ramirez, Mahin introduces young readers to Santana’s lifelong search for the music that, for him, “made angels real.” Zen on the Trail: Hiking as Pilgrimage (Wisdom Publications / Simon & Shuster) Can hiking serve as a kind of spiritual pilgrimage? Christopher Ives (MA, Religion, ’84; PhD, Religion, ’88) evokes the writings of Gary Snyder, Bill Bryson, and others as he explores the broad question of how to be outside in a meditative way. By asking us to move from the idea of “doing” to just “being,” Ives wants us to think more about how we hike rather than worrying about our destination. In the process, he explains in this exhilarating book, we will see more clearly our connections to the natural world. West (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) The sequel to Edith Pattou’s (MA, English, ’79) critically acclaimed high-fantasy novel East, West follows Rose’s perilous journey to find her true love Charles. After a sudden storm destroys Charles’s ship and he is presumed dead, Rose senses that a sinister plot is afoot behind this (apparently) natural disaster. An acclaimed author of young adult fiction, Pattou traces her brave hero-

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ine’s efforts to protect her loved ones against hidden forces that threaten the entire world. At Vitoria: A City’s Medieval Promise between Christians and Sephardic Jews (Archway Publishing) With the Spanish Inquisition looming, a Jewish family in Medieval Spain faces a harrowing choice between conversion to Catholicism or death. Marcia Riman Selz’s (PhD, Executive Management, ’97) At Vitoria creates a compelling narrative that merges the past and present, showing readers how the forced conversions of that city’s Jewish community produce fateful consequences in the lives of its descendants nearly five centuries later. The New Testament: A Translation for Latter-day Saints (Deseret Book) Thomas A. Wayment (MA, Religion, ’98; PhD, Religion, ’00) gives readers a current translation of the New Testament text into modern English and

with references to the beliefs of the Latter-day Saints. According to the publisher, this translation is not only more accessible to more readers than the King James Version, but it also includes scholarly notes that comprise the most complete list of cross-references to New Testament passages in The Book of Mormon as well as in Doctrine and Covenants that has ever been assembled. Blood and Concrete: 21st Century Conflict in Urban Centers and Megacities (Small Wars Journal) Blood and Concrete compiles more than a decade of writings on urban conflict and warfare. Co-editors Robert J. Bunker (MA, Government, ’87; PhD, Political Science, ’93), Dave Dilegge, Alma Keshavarz (MA, Politics & Policy, ’16; PhD, Political Philosophy, ’18), and John P. Sullivan hope to create a foundation for understanding urban operations and sustaining research on urban warfare. Contributor essays cover a range of topics related to urban operations and

combat, and each forms a pillar in the mission of Small Wars Journal to address the impact of small wars—in contrast to major theater operations— on populations all over the world. Hollywood Heroines: The Most Influential Women in Film History (ABC-CLIO/Greenwood) Who are the most successful women in Hollywood? For English doctoral student Laura L. S. Bauer, who edited Hollywood Heroines, “the notion of success can be a tricky issue to navigate.” Tricky as it may be, Bauer has deftly explored that issue across the decades—and across occupations—in assembling detailed entries on actresses, casting directors, cinematographers, directors, production designers, and many more. She also includes interviews—with Jodie Foster and Sherry Lansing, among several others—to enrich our understanding of the women who have played impactful roles in the industry.

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Alumni Bookshelf

One Faith, Two Authorities: Tensions Between Female Religious and Male Clergy in the American Catholic Church (Temple University Press) Do women have any authority in the Catholic Church? Jeanine E. Kraybill (MA, Politics & Policy, ’06; PhD, Political Science, ’15) explores the tensions between male clergy and female religious and how “female religious navigate institutional constraints in the face of scrutiny and within a Church that does not have a consistent culture of promoting female leadership.” An important factor in that navigation has been the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), which represents some 80 percent of the 57,000 nuns in the U.S. As Kraybill shows, the LCWR has struggled with church hierarchy in recent years because its inclusive social justice position clashes with official dogma. What might happen next? In considering the future, Kraybill examines the impact of Catholic elites, the Vatican’s pressure on the LCWR,

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and much more in this insightful, measured, and—for Catholics—deeply unsettling look at what is happening in their church. Leadership with Impact: Preparing Health and Human Service Practitioners in the Age of Innovation and Diversity (Oxford University Press) Clinical associate professor at USC and SES doctoral student Eugenia Weiss with co-author Juan Carlos Araque present an exciting, fresh look at tackling complex problems with an approach founded on innovation and diversity. Leadership with Impact presents innovative leaders with the opportunity to explore complex social issues and build solutions using the latest evidence, technology, and creative practices. The authors present this information via the IDDEA (Innovation, Design, Diversity, Execution, and Assessment) Leadership Framework for promoting organizational and societal change.

Talking Beauty: A Conversation Between Joseph Raffael and David Pagel about Art, Love, Death, and Creativity (Zero+ Publishing) Art, love, death, creativity, fatherhood, marriage—these topics (and others) form the basis of the conversations between artist Joseph Raffael and CGU Professor of Art Theory & History and Los Angeles Times art critic David Pagel captured in Talking Beauty. The book, edited by Amanda Erlanson, gives us a wide-ranging back-and-forth in which Raffael discusses his lifelong devotion to the art of painting and his romantic belief in art as an avenue of self-discovery—which complements Pagel’s view of art as a matter of oneon-one, face-to-face experiences that are available to everyone and not solely to the specialists. l Send your literary achievements and updates to


Illustration courtesy Nemomain/Wikimedia Commons

ONE-LINERS Other New and Recent Books Robin Gordon’s (PhD, Education, ’89) Fieldnotes from a Depth Psychological Exploration of Evil is essential reading for any scholar or student of Jungian and post-Jungian studies, sociology, criminology, and philosophy. Elena Harman’s (MA, Psychology, ’14; PhD, Psychology, ’16) The Great Nonprofit Evaluation Reboot: A New Approach Every Staff Member Can Understand sets the act of evaluation as the focal point of learning, avoids jargon, and brims with practical strategies to measure one’s efforts. Jaqueline Hidalgo (PhD, Religion, ’10) serves as a coeditor of Latinxs, the Bible, and Migration, which offers an examination into the conjunction between migration and biblical texts, primarily with a focus on Latinx histories. Chris Barker (MA Politics and Policy ’06; PhD, Political Science, ’10), in Educating Liberty: Democracy and Aristocracy in J.S. Mill’s Political Thought, offers readers a comprehensive study of John Stuart Mill’s political theory and his view that an educated citizenry can balance—and mitigate—the sometimes extremist, divisive politics of those in power. l

Trippin’ with Michel


HEN FAMED FRENCH PHILOSOPHER MICHEL Foucault visited Death Valley in 1975 to expand his consciousness with a carefully organized LSD experience, Simeon Wade was there. Wade, who taught history at CGU in the 1970s, records his reminiscences in Foucault in California: [A True Story— Wherein the Great French Philosopher Drops Acid in the Valley of Death], a book recently reviewed by English Professor Eric Bulson—along with several other books by and about Foucault—in a May issue of the Times Literary Supplement. Bulson describes how Wade, deeply immersed in Foucault, created a program with curriculum based in his work and invited him to Claremont in the 1970s. The Foucault whom we meet in Wade’s book is a “remarkably affable, if at times shy, human being, self-effacing, generous, witty, and engaging,” Bulson writes. When Foucault dresses in a white turtleneck with mirrored sunglasses to visit Death Valley, Wade writes that he looked “like the child of Kojak and Elton John.” Bulson’s review is a helpful guide to students of Foucault—whose History of Sexuality was significantly influenced by that SoCal visit—as well as to CGU-centric readers interested in hearing about Foucault’s trips (the non-psychedelic ones, too) along Route 66 and up to Mt. Baldy. l

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End Paper Words to Live By In Harper Hall, in the Michael J. Johnston Boardroom, where we expect the business of the university to be decided, there’s a slightly unexpected sight. Carved into the fireplace’s wood mantle of the room’s north wall is the declaration, “Life is Our Dictionary,” with an elegant Roman-style “v” replacing the “u” in “our.” It’s a little surprising to find these words—which come from Ralph Waldo Emerson— in a room in which so much business gets done. Wouldn’t something more businesslike by Andrew Carnegie or Henry Ford be more appropriate? It might—but back in the 1930s, right after the building was erected, Harper Hall served as the university library … and such words make perfect sense for a library, don’t they?

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