THE MAGAZINE OF CLAREMONT GRADAUATE UNIVERSITY
Up, Up, and Away! What’s the best way to handle commuter traffic? Tom Hsieh’s (EMBA, ’04) new venture offers a way to FLOAT above it
’Tis the Season: Putting Our Spin on Being ‘[Stuck] Home for the Holidays’
Seeds of Hope: Kara Unger (SES, ’08) Sees Promising Harvest at Gable Farms
Rising to the Challenge: New GSC President Frederick Johnson
Painting For Justice: Jonah Jackson (MFA, ’20) Helps Memorialize George Floyd in Houston Mural
The Magazine of Claremont Graduate University cgu.edu
Carry the Flame Forward There are many ways you can join us in building the future of Claremont Graduate University
Claremont Graduate University PRESIDENT
Len Jessup EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND PROVOST
Patricia Easton VICE PRESIDENT OF FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION / TREASURER
Leslie Negritto VICE PRESIDENT FOR ACADEMIC INNOVATION, STUDENT SUCCESS & STRATEGIC INITIATIVES
Diane Chase VICE PRESIDENT, DEVELOPMENT & EXTERNAL RELATIONS
Kristen Andersen-Daley VICE PRESIDENT, MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS
Cynthia Baker DIRECTOR, ALUMNI ENGAGEMENT & ANNUAL GIVING
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Nick Owchar MANAGING EDITOR
Gerard Babb ART DIRECTOR / DESIGNER
Gina Pirtle PHOTOGRAPHERS
Kurt Miller, William Vasta, Tom Zasadzinski CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
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Mary Romo | firstname.lastname@example.org The Flame is published by Claremont Graduate University’s Office of Marketing & Communications. email@example.com Send address changes or personal updates to: Office of Alumni Engagement Claremont Graduate University 150 E. 10th Street, Claremont, CA 91711 firstname.lastname@example.org 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. © 2020 Claremont Graduate University
In This Issue
Cover Story The worst time to start up a commuter flight business is during a global pandemic. When quarantine threatened FLOAT, alumnus Tom Hsieh and his partners didn’t give up. They pivoted and found an opportunity where they didn’t expect one.
Keeping Students Connected Graduate Student Council President Frederick Johnson draws on his many experiences— as an IT professional, actor, family man, child in a biracial family— to reach out and help other students in these divisive times.
Calling for Justice When George Floyd died at the hands of Minneapolis police in May, alumnus Jonah Jackson joined the protests with his paintbrush and helped create a Houston mural in Floyd’s memory.
(Stuck) Home for the Holidays The Flame offers an illustrated guide to getting through the challenges of this year’s holiday season.
Planting Seeds of Hope Alumna Kara Unger and her husband Erik are creating a 7-acre farm to give adults with cognitive disabilities a chance to work and feel useful.
Investing in Youth SES faculty member and alumna Torie Weiston-Serdan co-authored this commentary piece in the Riverside Press-Enterprise on why Inland Empire youth of color need more support.
2 President’s Message 4 In the News 28 Bookshelf
Season’s readings: New books on innovation, student success, poetry, politics, and more.
36 Alumni Engagement
CGU’s alumni community is finding ways to get around roadblocks created by the global pandemic.
38 Class Notes 43 In Memoriam
Saying goodbye (and thank you) to Joseph Maciariello, Peggy Phelps, Jonathan Jaffee, Anselm Min, and more.
48 End Paper
Who made it? When? The Flame takes a closer look at a mysterious work of art located in the backyard of the president’s home. Cover illustration for The Flame by Peter and Maria Hoey.
THE FLAME Fall 2020
First Word | President’s Message
The Power of the Pivot
I’m very proud of our faculty, staff, and students for rising to the unprecedented challenges we’ve faced this year.
2 | Claremont Graduate University
hen historians measure any span of time, they often give it a label based on that period’s most significant event. Many things happened, for instance, in the year 1999, but it will be forever known as the year of the Y2K scare—the global panic that computers wouldn’t handle the date change from 1999 to 2000 and would wipe out the world’s financial records. Just a year later, the 9/11 terror attacks would define 2001. I talked about this tendency to label periods of history with our new students during my remarks at this fall’s virtual New Student Orientation. I asked them what historians will say about 2020. What will they call it? It might seem obvious. Some could remember 2020 as: ■ The Year of the Coronavirus ■ The Year of Protests Against Systemic Racism ■ The Year of the Most Divisive Election in U.S. History As I look at CGU in 2020, I want to offer a different label for what stands out to me. 2020 is the year we learned about the importance of adaptation—of the necessity of learning to pivot. I’m very proud of our faculty, staff, and students for rising to the unprecedented challenges we’ve faced this year. There are a few things to highlight here briefly: Enrollment numbers: I’m thrilled to say that CGU has welcomed more than 400 new students into our vibrant academic community for our summer and fall semesters. Our enrollment numbers have held relatively steady at a time when many other universities are experiencing drops of 10% to 15%, and for some, even more. Online Flex: This past March, we pivoted quickly to Zoom as a way to safely continue our courses virtually. Over the summer, our faculty and staff took that to an even higher level by porting nearly all our courses over to Canvas (our online learning management
system), supplemented by Zoom for synchronous interaction. We’re also staying flexible by allowing people to safely access our great studios, research equipment, physical archives, and other assets on campus when needed. Fundraising: Our enrollment numbers aren’t the only ones that are very good despite the challenges. We’ve had a great deal of fundraising success this year, especially with a significant gift from a regional partner focusing on integrated health and well-being for vulnerable populations. That gift will be transformative in CGU’s future. I’m eager to tell you more about it; look for more information on that transformational gift coming soon in other communications as well as in the next issue of The Flame. Alumni: Our extended CGU community knows what it means to pivot. We have one of the best alumni communities in higher education. In this issue of the magazine, you’ll find many examples of people who have learned to adjust and adapt to new challenges—like Drucker alumnus Tom Hsieh, whose commuter flight venture FLOAT opened right before the quarantine began. He and his partners didn’t give up; they pivoted. They responded to an unexpected need for help caused by COVID-19. The Flame magazine, like CGU itself, is rich in inspiring stories of people in our community who have faced hurdles this year but haven’t been stopped by them. These are our CGU heroes, and they continue making a difference in people’s lives despite adversity. I hope you enjoy this issue, and I hope it inspires you to embrace, pivot, and make a difference, too. Keep carrying the flame,
Len Jessup President Claremont Graduate University
A QUIET CAMPUS: COVID-19 didn’t stop a new semester from starting this fall at CGU, but it did change the way we conduct instruction. Read about CGU’s “online flex” response in this issue.
THOMAS HOFELLER’S LEGACY As I read the spring 2020 edition of The Flame, I marveled at the celebration of “Maker of Maps” Thomas B. Hofeller (MA, Government, ’75; PhD Government, ’80) for its skillful avoidance of the word “Gerrymander.” From the text alone, no reader could have guessed that Hofeller’s consuming passion was partisan redistricting to subvert the representative government guaranteed by the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. Gerrymandered maps do this by ensuring that a particular party’s popular vote wins more than its proportional share of the seats in Congress or the state legislature. It is wrong when done in North Carolina to favor Republicans, and equally wrong when done in Maryland to favor Democrats. James Allison (MA, Education, Psychology, ’60) Professor Emeritus, Psychology, Indiana University LOOK HOMEWARD, ALUMNA I spent close to 20 years working at Claremont and received my degree from the Drucker School of Management. When my husband and I were transferred to Los Angeles (my husband was an engineer), I didn’t think I would make it. All of the people at Claremont welcomed me and my husband. And I learned so much from all the faculty. My mind was expanded in
ways I never thought possible. I miss you all. Living back on the East Coast, I appreciate all your updates. As I read some recent updates on Facebook, I wanted to wish that Professors Min and Maciariello rest in peace. They made a great contribution to society. Marilyn Galdieri (MA, Management, ’02) From Facebook SOAK IT UP I loved my time in Education at CGU— by far the best learning experience of my life! I went slowly, so I could really soak it all up. To CGU’s incoming new students: Good luck and enjoy it! Janet Kierstead (PhD, Education, ’84) From LinkedIn A BRUISING LESSON Regarding the Center for Writing & Rhetoric video: I recall the first five pages of writing I submitted to Prof. Leonard Levy that first semester in the fall of 1975. Those pages came back bruised and bloodied. Over the years, he turned me into an excellent writer with a lifelong passion for good prose. I am ever thankful. My ability to write aided me as an academic, a corporate leader, and as a lawyer. Nicholas Aharon Boggioni (EMBA, ’83) From LinkedIn
IN PRAISE OF HYBRID LEARNING Thank you, Len Jessup, during these unprecedented days for the opportunities and offers you provide for the students and the stakeholders in CGU at large. Regarding your LinkedIn commentary piece, “In the Current Global Disruption, Universities Can Provide a Voice of Reason—And Calm”: I think online education culture is way different than traditional learning. I see ambiguities among faculty and students, who are not sure how to align themselves from conventional to online education. For applying best business practices, consistent change-management is imperative. Training and aligning all stakeholders with online learning and new policies creates a hybrid institutional culture. That helps all stakeholders to pursue the same common goal, and having a common goal should benefit all stakeholders. COVID-19 is a perfect storm and an opportunity for universities to add new technologies and values. Technology such as AI and AR are the best friendly tools to create a cutting-edge revolutionary educational system to perfectly suit the fourth industrial revolution. During COVID-19, perhaps some people see problems and impediments. I see many opportunities not only in the education industry but also in many areas of global business. Alp Toygar (MS, IT and Cybersecurity, ’17) From LinkedIn SEND US YOUR COMMENTS: The Flame invites your feedback. Send your correspondence to email@example.com for consideration. We reserve the right to edit for space and to conform with CGU publication guidelines. THE FLAME Fall 2020
In the News
by the Numbers
New students joining CGU this summer and fall.
Average lost time in traffic for Los Angeles commuters, which inspired the creation of FLOAT. See page 20
Face masks produced by SCGH alunae Bree Hemingway, Kimberly Morones, and others in collaboration with Drucker alumnae and Umakers Makerspace founder Rob Perhamus to support Claremontarea hospitals. See page 37
Percentage of alumni in this issue’s Class Notes section who have earned two or more degrees from CGU. (Coincidence? We think not!) See page 38
Percentage of MSFE graduates fully employed within three months of graduation.
GOING VIRTUAL THIS FALL THE CGU COMMUNITY WELCOMED SOME 400 NEW STUDENTS WITH
a series of virtual events for this season’s New Student Orientation (NSO) program. Held in late August and spread over several days, this year’s NSO became a main university virtual event. NSO featured a keynote address by award-winning alumnus Daniel Solórzano (Education, MA, ’84; PhD, ’86), live streams, prerecorded speakers, and individual zoom sessions for students with their schools and programs (such as the virtual meeting held by Interim Drucker School Dean Katharina Pick, pictured right). This season’s crop of new students enrolled in master’s and doctoral programs during the summer and fall. President Len Jessup thanked this year’s entering students for choosing CGU for their graduate journeys and for persevering in their pursuit of knowledge despite considerable challenges resulting from quarantine and COVID-19. According to the registrar’s office, the university’s overall enrollment this fall is solid, with only a low single-digit percentage decline compared with plunges between 10 and 15% experienced by many other schools across the nation. l 4 | Claremont Graduate University
Drucker School of Management Interim Dean Katharina Pick (fourth row, third from left) welcomes a new cohort in a virtual New Student Orientation celebration.
TURNING UP THE FLAME Marketing & Communications celebrates CGU with ‘Ignite’ campaign TO HIGHLIGHT CGU’S MANY ACHIEVEMENTS, THE OFFICE OF
‘A BENEFACTOR IN THE BEST SENSE OF THE WORD’ Gift from the late Peggy Phelps honors Art Department, Roland Reiss THIS FALL, THE OFFICE OF DEVELOPMENT ANNOUNCED A SIG-
nificant gift to the Art Department from longtime supporter and trustee emerita Peggy Phelps, who passed in May. (See In Memoriam, page 44.). Phelps’s estate bequeathed $350,000 to the Roland Reiss Endowed Chair in Art, supporting a senior faculty member in the university’s Art Department. David Pagel currently holds the chair. “Peggy took great pleasure in the arts. She truly was a benefactor in the best sense of the word,” Pagel said. “She didn’t do things to draw attention to herself; she just wanted those things to go on, and this gift makes perfect sense. She really believed in art that speaks to everyone; if she could help to make that happen, she was going to do it.” First established in 2010 with a $2 million endowment, the Reiss Chair was previously held by the late Michael Brewster and by David Amico. Phelps’s gift reinforces that original commitment to the chair. For Associate Vice President of Development Tony Todarello, the Phelps bequest demonstrates the powerful impact that estate gifts—such as property, stocks, or retirement funds—can have on a university’s future. “Peggy Phelps supported CGU throughout her lifetime, but many alumni aren’t able to do that,” he said. “They aren’t in a financial position to make cash gifts, but they do have the capacity to contribute through their estates. Her decision to make this bequest shows how you can strengthen programs that you believe in so that they help many future generations of students.” l
Marketing & Communications has launched the “Ignite” campaign featuring alumni, faculty, and student stories that demonstrate CGU’s impact on scholarship, leadership, and social change. Linked with the university’s 100-year-old symbol— the flame—the “Ignite” campaign commenced in September with print and digital advertising in the Los Angeles Times, Claremont Courier, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more. The campaign’s inaugural installment features School of Educational Studies alumna Robyn Iraheta and her inspiring story of overcoming personal adversity and changing students’ lives in San Bernardino County. Upcoming profiles highlight Division of Politics & Economics Professor Greg DeAngelo and Center for Information Systems & Technology doctoral student Whitney Kotlewski. For nearly 100 years, CGU has been the place where students ignite their passions, enthusiasm, curiosity, and much more. CGU will expand its coverage to additional media outlets, university publications, and other digital and physical display ad opportunities in the months ahead. View more about our new campaign at info.cgu.edu/ignite. l
“CGU has been the place where students ignite their passions, enthusiasm, curiosity, and much more.”
Do you want to support CGU’s future with an estate gift? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. THE FLAME Fall 2020
In the News
CGU STUDENT HONORS AND AWARD HIGHLIGHTS Annually a large
number of CGU students are the recipients of prestigious and financially significant scholarships and related awards. Here’s a brief selection of students singled out in noteworthy ways. THE FORCE IS WITH HIM Doctoral student Hunter Johnson is the recipient of a social policy research fellowship from The Horowitz Foundation, established in 1998 to provide support to scholars in completing their dissertations. The program is highly competitive, with fewer than 3% of applicants receiving awards each year. A PhD candidate in economics with an interest in law and economics, Johnson was selected for his proposal, “Does the Presence of Female and Minority Police Reduce the Use of Force?” His recent research examines how differences in law enforcement composition affect outcomes related to crime rates, arrests, and the use of force. As public debate this year has focused on law enforcement reform, the foundation found Johnson’s research to be more than timely.
A FIRST FOR MATH
Raven Johnson is the recipient of this year’s CGU Black Scholars Award. This is the first time the award, which recognizes a black graduate student’s scholarly achievements, has been given to a math student. This news thrills Institute of Mathematical Sciences Director Allon Percus. “Raven is one of our top master’s students,” Percus told The Flame. “Needless to say, we are very proud of her for receiving this eminently well-deserved award!” Johnson is working on a master’s degree in computational and applied mathematics (with plans to continue with a doctorate.) She hopes to focus on fluid dynamics and numerical/applied methods for linear algebra. The award, Johnson explained, is an encouraging sign that she’s headed in the right direction. “It was really validating to be recognized for my passions in math and bettering the Black community.”
ONE STEP CLOSER
Religion doctoral student Brishette Mendoza is the recipient of the Margo L. Goldsmith Fellowship. The award honors Goldsmith’s trail-blazing support in founding a Women’s Studies in Religion program at CGU. The fellowship provides significant financial support and recognizes School of Arts & Humanities students for academic 6 | Claremont Graduate University
achievement and the promise of excellence at CGU and beyond. “Thanks to this school and the original catalyzing research generosity of Goldsmith,” Mendoza wrote in her acceptance letter, “I am one step closer to reaching my academic, professional, and service goals.”
STUDENT-CUMSUPERINTENDENT Urban Leadership doctoral student Frances Baez was recently named interim superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Local District Central. The district is the second-largest in the United States, with more than 600,000 students. Baez is a proud product of the LAUSD system and has served as a local administrator in the district for many years. As president of the Association of California School Administrators Region 16, she has promoted women in leadership roles and has mentored many principals. Baez also serves as a fellow in the National Institute for Latino School Leaders (NILSL) of UnidosUS. For Urban Leadership Director Frances Gipson, who once held that role in the LAUSD, she applauds Baez’s selection. “LAUSD is a diverse, extensive community, and this is an important changemaker role,” Gipson said. “Frances’ preparation and knowledge of the district is on a level of detail that every superintendent aspires to. Developing as a scholar-leader in the UL program ensures she will amplify the success of the educators, families, and communities she serves.”
EDUCATION AND DEMOCRACY Doctoral student Ani Apyan has been awarded scholarships from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s Armenian Studies Scholarship Program and the Armenian General Benevolent Union’s U.S. Graduate Scholarship Program. Totaling about $33,000, the awards will support her research, which takes place at the intersection of public policy analysis and higher education access and equity issues. An inter-field doctoral student with the Schools of Educational Studies and Social Science, Policy, & Evaluation, Apyan said she is especially eager to continue research that looks at higher education in Armenia and observes it “in the framework of achieving and sustaining democracy in the country.” l
In the News | Faculty
Guzmán and Fragoza (far right) with SEMAP members in El Monte.
hen a local newspaper quizzed candidates running for the El Monte City Council this fall, the paper gave them a questionnaire. Along with the usual questions— on law enforcement, on budgets and finance, on their professional experiences—it asked something more unexpected. Had they read East of East: The Making of Greater El Monte? The book—which was published earlier this year by lead editor and new CGU faculty member Romeo Guzmán and his colleagues—takes aim at important questions of race, culture, identity, and forgotten history in El Monte, a city located just 20 miles west of Claremont. With wife Carribean Fragoza—who co-edited the book along with two other editors and serves as coordinator of the Kingsley and Kate Tufts Poetry Awards— Guzmán also runs the South El Monte Arts Posse (SEMAP), a collective of artists, writers, educators, urban planners, and others. The collective explores ways to engage with the El Monte community in organic ways to tell its history. This
emphasis on community interaction is central to public history, which Guzmán previously explored as a professor at California State University, Fresno. At CGU, his students will develop the kinds of skill sets essential to this approach and learn how to make individuals or communities, like El Monte’s, become active participants in telling their own histories. East of East belongs to a broader effort by Guzmán, Fragoza, and SEMAP that includes developing curriculum for the El Monte Unified School District, a 2021 exhibit, a bike tour of forgotten city landmarks, a lost mural project, and more. SEMAP also asked artists to reimagine El Monte’s city logo in light of its overlooked history—and city officials are interested in seeing the results once they’re finished. Guzmán said he’s grateful to his co-editors and the 30 contributors to East of East for creating a book that blends high scholarship with enough accessibility to interest general readers (like those city council candidates). “It’s just really cool when you realize your book can matter this way,” he said, “when you realize a book can have the potential to help a city rethink itself.” l
THE FLAME Fall 2020
In the News | Faculty
TEACHING GLOBAL LEADERSHIP IN REAL-TIME BEFORE HE WAS A CONTRIBUTOR TO GLOBAL MEDIA
outlets and a senior fellow at the Drucker School, Ryan Patel was a key player at some of the world’s most wellknown companies. He’s been influential at Wet Seal Retail (Arden B and Wet Seal); Jamba Juice; BJ’s Restaurants; Panda Restaurant Group (Panda Express); and Pinkberry, which he helped expand into 23 countries. This fall, he led a new transdisciplinary course at CGU, “Global Leadership,” exploring what global leadership means and how it is practiced in today’s business
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world and beyond. Patel drew on his regular engagement with business media about breaking international business news and immersed his students in real-world scenarios taking place in real-time. “I really wanted this experience to be different for my students,” he said. “This course focuses on individuals learning to work in teams and how to build brands for themselves. I assigned them group projects that allowed them to address some of the situational problems that I’ve encountered in my career.” l
UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT New faces at the helms of three schools PERCUS, PICK, & ORR: IT MIGHT SOUND LIKE
a law firm, but it refers to the new leadership of the university’s Institute of Mathematical Studies (IMS), Drucker School of Management (DSM), and School of Community & Global Health (SCGH). Provost Patricia Easton announced the appointments this summer of Allon Percus as IMS director, Katharina Pick as DSM interim dean, and Jay Orr as SCGH dean. “We’re fortunate to have these accomplished individuals step into these roles,” Easton said. They each bring a wealth of expertise to these roles, Easton explained.
“Accomplished” is the operative word in Easton’s statement. Pick, who fills the spot vacated by Jenny Darroch this summer, arrived at CGU in 2008 and researches leadership and high-performing teams. Percus is an applied mathematician who joined CGU in 2009 and fills a position he’s held before. And Jay Orr, a longtime public servant and Riverside County’s former chief executive, joined CGU in 2017 and steps into this position for the first time. (He’s filling the role held by Alan Stacy as the school’s interim dean). Keep carrying the flame! l
KEEPING RESEARCH DOLLARS FLOWING
EUSEBIO ALVARO WAS NAMED THE NEW
associate provost for research in the university’s Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and Grants. That office focuses on developing ways to stimulate and support externally funded research.
It handles the kinds of pre-award activities (grant writing workshops, proposals) and post-award activities (grant accounting, report preparation) vital to any university’s scholarly life. Alvaro, who is a full research professor in the School of Social Science, Policy, & Evaluation, is no stranger to the world of research support. Alvaro’s own work centers on the study of social influence processes, health promotion, disease prevention, and medicine with a focus on mass media messages targeting adolescents. In 2014, he received a two-year, $700,000 grant to research methods for increasing organ donor registration rates among teenagers. l
Faculty: In Brief DO YOU NEED A COLLEGE DEGREE TO BE HAPPY? Division of Behavioral & Organizational Sciences Professor Kendall Cotton Bronk thinks so. She shared her views on a recent CNBC video about how a college degree is connected to a sense of purpose in life (something many young people have been struggling with since the pandemic began). “With more education, people are more likely to be able to do the things that give their lives purpose,” she told CNBC. ANOTHER TERM FOR PERKINS: School of Educational Studies (SES) Professor Linda Perkins has been re-elected for a second threeyear term on the board of the International Center for Research on Women, Washington, DC. Perkins was also elected as co-chair of the Board of the International Center for Research on Women’s Africa Division—Nairobi, Kenya. “BEST OF” LISTS: Personal finance website WalletHub recently featured commentary from two SES professors, David Drew and Mary Poplin, for their regular “best of” series of studies. Drew weighed in on 2020’s “Most & Least Educated Cities in America,” while Poplin was featured in a piece about the nation’s best community colleges. What did they think? You’ll have to visit WalletHub to find out! l
THE FLAME Fall 2020
10 | Claremont Graduate University
ot long ago, Frederick Johnson kept a secret from his family. When he moved to Southern California, he took a break from corporate America and became an actor. He spent a few years working in Sacramento, San Francisco, and in Hollywood, picking up roles as an extra and bit player on movies and popular television series, including “Grey’s Anatomy.” He eventually joined the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) in 2009. He was exploring an unfamiliar world, so he didn’t tell anyone about it—not until a family member was watching the television suspense series “Bones” and spotted Johnson in one of the scenes. His secret was over. “My friends and family were really surprised that I would even do that kind of thing,” Johnson said, chuckling. “I didn’t ever expect to do it, either, but it was a time in my life when I was having fun and wanted to try something different. I wanted to be open to new things. That’s how you learn.” That same attitude has been true for Johnson at CGU. Today, as a doctoral student in the university’s Center for Information Systems & Technology (CISAT), Johnson has taken on another unexpected role—not acting this time—but as president of the Graduate Student Council (GSC) for the 2020-2021 academic year. With an already busy life as a successful IT consultant and father of young children, the obvious question has to be, “Do you even have time to be GSC president?” “I’ll find the time,” he said, “because this is something I really want to do. Some of my CISAT professors and colleagues kept suggesting that I put my name in for consideration. What really interested me was that they said it would give me a chance to work on some of the new innovative ideas that President Jessup is interested in. I love that stuff. That’s what I’ve spent much of my career working on.”
Of Quarantines and Protests GSC Pres Keeps Student Body Connected
LIKE ‘SITTING IN THE UN’ Johnson enrolled at CGU in 2018 with 20-plus years of management experience as a senior manager and IT professional with expertise in the manufacturing sector. Johnson grew up in a gritty manufacturing town in southeastern Wisconsin. Manufacturing’s in his blood, he said. He went from throwing rocks at coal trains running along Lake Michigan as a kid to taking on big, lucrative IT management positions with various Fortune 50 companies before settling in Southern California. THE FLAME Fall 2020
Along with being an IT consultant, actor, father, husband, and doctoral student, Johnson has taken on an additional role as GSC president.
After Boston University, Johnson could have gone anywhere to continue his graduate studies, but he was interested in CGU’s program for two reasons: location and flexibility. He said he was attracted to Southern California because his mother and other close family friends had relocated here and because the region is perfect for someone with his background. “Southern California is amazing,” he said. “It’s a gold mine for manufacturing IT professionals.” He also chose CGU because the school champions working professionals. He liked the idea of being able to keep his consulting work, which allows him to support his family—wife Felicia and two young daughters—while pursuing his degree. Only a few programs allowed for that kind of flexibility, he said, but none of them had the vibe and reputation that CGU has. Still, it wasn’t a total slam dunk for Johnson. “I wasn’t sold on the program, not at first; I’ll admit that,” he said, “but my attitude changed when I walked into the classroom.” The course he was taking was 501A: Intro to Research Methods with Professors Lorne Olfman, who is CISAT director, and Wallace Chipidza, newly arrived from Baylor University in Texas. While Olfman kept the class on course with a steady hand, Chipidza introduced ideas and cutting-edge innovations that Johnson loved. The other factor that impressed him was the diversity of his classmates. He wasn’t expecting so much, he said. “I’m telling you it couldn’t have been a more widely diverse group of students,” he said. “I loved it. It felt like I was sitting in the UN.” Diversity mattered to Johnson because he said too many students lack a global perspective that is critical to job performance. “I wanted a program that values the differences in people, that values the international experience of culture, race, gender, and sexuality. I wanted a place where people are free to be who they are and bring their whole self to their education,” he said. SMALL-TOWN LESSONS Growing up in southeastern Wisconsin, Johnson didn’t have access to a global perspective—and he made plenty of mistakes early in his professional career because of that. “I started working for multinational organizations and, in the beginning, found myself struggling hard,” he said. “I had a hard time understanding other people. I didn’t even know what “kosher” or “halal” meant, or how women were treated in different cultures, and I made a bunch of mistakes because of things like that.” 12 | Claremont Graduate University
These experiences affected how he understood an education. “I think I realized that if I kept going with my education, I wanted to be somewhere that appreciates diversity and the international experience,” he said. “I needed to keep exercising that muscle.” That doesn’t mean that Johnson spent his childhood in a bubble. When he was 8, Johnson’s mother married Duane Houf, a white man whose family owned a Holstein dairy in Wausau, Wisconsin. Johnson and his younger brother spent summers at their stepfamily’s home—hunting, fishing, riding ATVs, playing with local kids, and enjoying the kinds of experiences that make for a great childhood. As ideal as it sounds, Johnson said he was still aware of subtle differences determined by the color of his skin. Sometimes he couldn’t put that awareness into words. It was just a feeling. He described how it felt when his step-grandmother took his hand and entered a store with him. While in the store, he realized something was different: “I was probably the only Black kid within 70 or 80 miles,” he said. “People weren’t used to someone like me.” At home, he and his siblings noticed differences, too. Every family fights—and extended ones are no exception. Johnson said there were good times and bad times, and his stepfather’s family wasn’t immune to negative racial attitudes. Sometimes Johnson and his siblings bore the brunt of it. Fighting back is the obvious response, he said, but it never solves anything. “You just keep the cycle of the oppressors and the oppressed going,” he said. “You have to deflect and cut through it. That’s what happened in our family. My stepfather’s family had to want to understand us, and we had to want to understand them. It took time, but it happened. It took empathy. Empathy is the bridge to understanding. Period.” As he looks at the world today, Johnson says that this is especially true of the protests and turmoil across the nation and the world in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police. The pandemic—and the quarantine—hit the pause button on the world economy. When it did, he said, it caused more people to stop and take notice of the kinds of societal injustice and brutality that have always been out there, but that most people were just too busy to notice. “To see a Black man killed by a police officer kneeling on his neck … more people see now that there is a problem and that it
“We had to use empathy in my family to find our way. Society is going to have to do it, too. That’s how you break the cycle.”
Johnson doesn’t want students, especially international ones, to feel lost and alone during the global crisis.
“The GSC constitution needs to be upgraded and updated for our time.”
has to change. And it’s going to be really painful and difficult,” he said. “We went through it in my family, and we had to use empathy to find our way. Society is going to have to do it, too. That’s how you break the cycle. That’s the only way.” PRESIDENTIAL GOALS: QUARANTINE, PROTESTS, AND BEYOND The quarantine, and how it introduced remote learning—how it’s disrupted the way business is conducted for so many people— hasn’t been disruptive for Johnson. He’s been working remotely for eight years, he said. Among the many issues on his presidential to-do list, the pandemic and the protests have prompted Johnson and his GSC colleagues to carefully examine the GSC constitution and get permission from the university’s administration to update it in several ways. Not only does Johnson say the constitution has dated language about attendance, voting, and various policies that are no longer relevant now that much of the world is working remotely, he also says that his fellow officers are looking closely to make sure the constitution doesn’t condone systemic racism and that it affirms the university’s mission of embracing diversity.
“We’re working hard on this,” he said. “It needs to be upgraded and updated for our time, given that things are virtual, given that there’s a diversity issue involved.” Johnson is also concerned about supporting students who are feeling isolated and facing difficult decisions because of quarantine—especially international students who may be confused by changing travel and visa situations. “I don’t want students to make decisions based on guesses,” he said. Instead, he and the GSC are planning more outreach in the weeks and months ahead to help these students get help from the Office of the Dean of Students. “We need to boost the connections between our students and the university, and there are plenty of platforms and vehicles to help us do that,” he said. “It’s not enough to just look at the student community at large, either; I want to think about all those subsets that might be facing different challenges.” While many look to the future with concerns for the uncertainty, Johnson is optimistic. He sees opportunities for growth and understanding. “I want my colleagues and fellow students to realize and accept that our world has changed; things are not going back to the way they used to be,” he said. “Change is always going to be there.” That said, Johnson doesn’t want CGU students to feel that they are lost and on their own in these changes. “They’ve got us to help them,” he said. “My whole career has been spent on working out solutions and coordinating teams all over the world. I want to use what I’ve learned so that our GSC can help students better deal with what’s happening now.” His advice to them? Be active in their communications. “Reach out to the administration and tell them your situation and exactly what you need,” he said. “If you don’t know who to contact, contact the GSC, and we’ll help you work that out. Let your GSC know what’s going on. I can tell you that your GSC is not going to just sit there and let students feel lost. That’s not going to happen—at least, not on my watch.” l THE FLAME Fall 2020
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Using His Paintbrush Calling for Justice For MFA grad Jonah Jackson, honoring George Floyd wasnâ€™t just necessary. It was personal, too. by Liesl Bradner
THE FLAME Fall 2020
onah Jackson (MFA, ’20) was wrapping up his MFA when he heard about George Floyd’s death at the hands of police on May 25 in Minneapolis. It was more than tragic news for Jackson. It was personal. Although Floyd died in Minnesota, he was born in North Carolina and grew up in Houston. Jackson grew up in Houston and attended Yates High School, the same school that Floyd attended. Both have roots in the community of Houston’s historic Third Ward, which is well known for its social activism. This summer, after returning home to Houston from Claremont, Jackson visited Floyd’s 29-year-old nephew, Brandon Williams, to express his condolences. The pair had a good talk. Besides the obvious things that are often said after a loved one’s death, they also talked about sports, which Floyd loved. “We talked for a bit about LeBron James,” Jackson recalled, “as Floyd was a big fan of his.” A Need to Do More Paying his respects to Floyd’s nephew wasn’t enough. Floyd’s death deeply affected Jackson. He wanted to do more. In June, he heard about an artist who had been commissioned to paint the entire side of a building in honor of George Floyd. It would be a challenging task to do on her own, so she put a call out on social media for artists in the Houston area to paint the Third Ward Mural. Jackson answered the call. “I sent her a message because it was important to get involved,” he said. “When I told her that I knew Floyd’s family, she said, ‘Well then, you should definitely be on the main wall.’ ” The mural is on the exterior wall of a laundromat that was undergoing renovation at the time. Jackson was one of four artists to collaborate on the mural. He joined Texas’s Zack Murray and two other artists who wish to remain anonymous. At the time, the Black Lives Matter movement and worldwide protests were in full force. Jackson wanted to pay homage to Floyd and remind the people that he was from that neighborhood. This was his first experience painting a mural in the open-air, and Houston was scorching hot that day. “It was a challenge because it affects the paint. It doesn’t spread too well in the heat,” Jackson explained.
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Symbolic Meanings Painting his section of the mural took an entire day, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Everyone was assigned a section of the wall to paint, and Jackson used his creative skills to salute his Houston neighborhood through a variety of unique ideas. The expanse of the mural illustrates a large-scale version of Floyd’s face surrounded by roses, peace signs, and shadows of activists marching together in the Black Lives Matter movement. Floyd holds up—and this is Jackson’s part of the mural—one of his hands with three fingers next to three different colored sets of dominoes. “It’s how we throw up the Third Ward hand sign,” said Jackson. “Dominoes are something I’ve been using in an anthropomorphic way in my artwork. Three fingers make a ‘w,’ while a stack of dominoes to their right spells out a-r-d, as in the word ‘ward.’ Together the two images refer to the ‘Third Ward.’” Jackson’s symbolism doesn’t stop there. The colors of the dominoes matter, too. “Painting dominoes in red, black and green was a symbol of the colors of the Pan-African flag,” he explained, “which reminds the black community that they can lean on each other for support.”
“Three fingers make a ‘w,’ while a stack of dominoes to their right spells out a-r-d, as in the word ‘ward.’ Together the two images refer to the ‘Third Ward.’”
Left: “The Hood Messenger,” oil on wood, 2019. Right: “Nothing is something,’ oil on wood, 2020.
“It feels great to see people embracing the mural because the neighborhood needed something like this. It needed something uplifting.”
The public’s positive response to the mural has been overwhelming—and gratifying to Jackson. “It feels great to see people embracing the mural because the neighborhood needed something like this,” he said. “It needed something uplifting.” Uplifted at CGU Jackson discovered his passion for the visual arts as an undergraduate at the University of Texas, San Antonio. “I was hooked on painting after taking a class for nonart majors,” he recalled. “I had to switch my major from business to visual arts, taking every art class in order to earn a bachelor’s in art.” A few years later, Jackson decided to get his MFA and applied to CGU, which he felt would put him right in the middle of the L.A. art scene. “It was a big leap coming to CGU,” he said. “They really lifted me up, giving me professional advice,” he said. “The help of different artists made me into a better artist with my craft.” Jackson explains that art professors David Amico, Julian Hoeber, and Carmine Iannaccone each had a significant influence on him.
Jackson works with mixed media, assemblages, and other forms. One of his personal favorite pieces is “The Hood Messenger,” which is kept in his Claremont studio. His work reveals the exclusion of the Black experience in American history through various designs, paintings, sculptures, and a multitude of objects. Recently Jackson exhibited two murals at the Station Museum of Contemporary Art in Houston. Through assemblage, he’s expanded into creating sculptural work, responding to the Black experience within his community and work in Los Angeles. As he thinks about this work in terms of all that’s happened this year, Jackson wonders what the legacy of George Floyd’s death will be. “Someone can lose a life at any time. It’s how we change our mindsets after that happens that matters,” he said. “It has calmed down now, but should it calm down?” l
Bradner is a Los Angeles-based journalist, writer, editor, and author (with Phil Stern) of Snapdragon: The World War II Exploits of Darby’s Ranger and Combat Photographer Phil Stern.
THE FLAME Fall 2020
illustration for The Flame by Lalalimola
18 | Claremont Graduate University
Itâ€™s 2020, and one thing is sure: There really is no place like home. From Winter Solstice to Kwanzaa, each of us will be putting a unique spin on our celebrations. l
THE FLAME Fall 2020
On a Wing and a Prayer: FLOAT Offers Traffic Relief Starting a business in a global pandemic isn’t ideal—but Tom Hsieh and his partners found a way to pivot and help those who really need it.
by Tom Johnson
ersistence pays off. It has for Tom Hsieh (EMBA, ’04), a co-founder of FLOAT Shuttle, a brand-new commuter service for Southern California motorists who want to avoid traffic by flying over it on the company’s fleet of Cessna Caravans. The company name is an acronym for “Fly Over All Traffic,” which every commuter probably thinks of as they’re sitting in gridlock. Wouldn’t it be nice to fly over all of this? It doesn’t matter which Southern California freeway you’re on—at some point, they all feel like a parking lot. The region’s traffic problems are so bad that it’s a regular entry on the infamous Global Traffic Scorecard, an in-depth annual study of traffic congestion conducted by Washington-based car services company Inrix. On the scorecard, Los Angeles ranks at No. 5 (128 hours) for lost time in traffic—ahead of it is New York City, Chicago, Washington DC, and Boston, which tops the list with 164 hours—and as having one of the worst congested stretches of any freeway in the nation. (If you happen to be a driver of L.A.’s I-10 from I-405 to I-110, our condolences.) So, the solution Hsieh and his partners Arnel Guiang and Rob McKinney proposed couldn’t make more sense … and couldn’t have been more poorly timed. PERSISTENCE AND PIVOTING FLOAT launched scheduled regular flights in early March right when the COVID19 quarantine started in California and nationwide. Business commuting came to a halt for many industries as companies transitioned to work-from-home situations. FLOAT looked like it would sink until Hsieh and his partners redirected their
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PHOTOGRAPH Ravn Alaska
THE FLAME Fall 2020
efforts. They looked north to Alaska, where commuter plane services are among the most efficient and necessary ways to get travelers around the state. While the SoCal venture was put on hold, the company bought Ravn Alaska there, an air shuttle service responding to commuter needs that have been essential even during quarantine. “One thing I’ll say about entrepreneurship, there is a lot of persistence that is needed,” Hsieh said about the acquisition. The process involved some challenges. “Even in acquiring the airline through the bankruptcy courts, we failed eight or ten different times,” he said. “It wasn’t until one hour before they were going to liquidate the airline that we struck a deal with the lenders to finalize an agreement for the purchase—otherwise, the airline would have gone away! We just didn’t give up.” Hsieh says that his FLOAT team is studying when the timing will be right to come back to L.A. with a much larger and more robust infrastructure. “With Ravn as a backbone, we will deploy much more effectively, safely, and efficiently, potentially with the capacity to look at multiple metro situations faster than we would have otherwise,” he said.
“My co-founder Arnel told me he had a business meeting later that day in Santa Monica that would be a two-and-a-halfhour drive there and a three-hour drive back,” Hsieh said. “He wondered out loud why there wasn’t a business that used small airports to fly people to and from work in Southern California. There are, like, 40 airports that size in the region. In a way, it was an obvious solution that we hadn’t considered before.” Guiang’s dilemma got them started on finding an answer. After making some preliminary calculations about what would be involved, they both agreed the idea had “legs”—or wings, actually. After incorporating in September 2019, Hsieh and his partners pulled in their first round of angel investment the next month. They started in earnest last November charging commuters a monthly subscription of $1,250 to fly from Pomona to Santa Monica. They began their first scheduled flights—between Brackett Field and Hawthorne Municipal Airport, and between Camarillo Airport and Hawthorne Municipal Airport—in March right as the quarantine started. “We picked the perfect time to start an airline,” Hsieh laughed. “We launched March 2, and by March 15, we had to hit the pause button in California. We generated about $30,000 in revenue that first week and that was it.” But rather than sit back and lick their wounds, their response was to do something about it. They decided to look for any
Peter Drucker’s ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’ inspires Hsieh’s entrepreneurial and non-profit efforts.
AN OBVIOUS SOLUTION The idea for FLOAT first came up over an early breakfast at McKinley’s Grille in the Sheraton Hotel at Fairplex Pomona, which just happens to be across the street from Brackett Field Airport.
FLOAT & TDNY: ENLISTING STUDENT RESEARCHERS Viewing a business venture like FLOAT through multiple lenses was so important to Tom Hsieh that he sought policy help at CGU. He met with Heather Campbell, public policy field chair and a professor in the Department of Politics & Government, and others who were well-versed in social policy issues. “Tom is a businessman and entrepreneur, and he clearly cares about the more traditional business side of FLOAT and how to make that successful,” Campbell said. “But you don’t have to talk to him very long to know that he is also very interested in corporate social responsibility and making FLOAT not only profitable but a force for good.” To help Hsieh view FLOAT from all angles, Campbell arranged for students she taught in Transdisciplinary Studies courses to work in teams and collaborate on researching and writing three different white papers that addressed some of Hsieh’s concerns. “They did a whole series of very cool studies and analyses,” Hsieh says. “They helped us to see our FLOAT venture through the lens of social and economic equity as well as looking at its
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environmental impact and sustainability.” Even though her students didn’t have the breadth of business knowledge that Hsieh had, Campbell said they were able to show him various social effects that FLOAT could influence. “As a PhD student in English and Cultural Studies, I felt like this project was completely out of my wheelhouse,” said student researcher Megan Elledge. “However, it was interesting to learn something new about cities and how businesses can make a positive impact on local communities.” The paper that Elledge and her colleagues wrote—“FLOATing Above Environmental Injustice: Consider Environmental Justice When Choosing Shuttle Routes”—found that, in its chosen air routes, FLOAT could foster a cleaner environment, especially for more impoverished communities that suffer the most significant adverse environmental and health impacts from being located near freeways choked with traffic. “Basically, we found a way for FLOAT to make a positive, environmental impact in the community,” she said. l
opportunities where they could keep the business going and have a positive impact on people’s lives. That pointed them towards one obvious place: Alaska. DOING GOOD, DRUCKER-STYLE Hsieh and his partners soon focused on Ravn Alaska, a local commuter airline that was struggling. It declared bankruptcy, leaving many communities stranded and putting 1,300 people out of work. In Alaska, commuter flights aren’t a luxury – they are a necessity. Hsieh says that the people on the Aleutians, deep in the countryside, and elsewhere around the state, rely on flight deliveries of food, fuel, and other necessities. “We wanted to take what we built with FLOAT and do some good with it in the context of the pandemic. We realized we could serve a real need and do what we’re designed to do, which is fly airplanes,” Hsieh explained. FLOAT subsequently bought six of Ravn Alaska’s Dash-8 planes and continues today in Alaska what COVID-19 has postponed in California. Hsieh’s desire to “do some good” stems from his study with the late Peter Drucker, who emphasized that businesses must serve to uplift society. That and his religious faith, charitable gift-giving (with wife, Bree), and community involvement in several non-profit organizations in Pomona and the surrounding region are essential to who he is. Hsieh joined CGU’s Board of Trustees last year and cites his time at the Drucker School as instrumental to his growth as an entrepreneur. (Another CGU connection at FLOAT is Guiang, who is an advisor in the university’s mentorship program.) “Drucker taught me the function of society and also about the social responsibility of entrepreneurship and management,” he said. “So, that’s been really significant as an influence in my life. I’m a follower of Drucker—I’m one of his acolytes.” Hsieh cites a famous Drucker quote as a big inspiration. “Drucker said, ‘Culture eats strategy for breakfast,’ and that has been key for me,” he continued. “Especially with my work in the city of Pomona. Many people look at organizations and only see structures, but so much of it is cultural. If we can get people to shift perspective and have hope for change, that’s huge. It generates more sustainable change than just a shift in policy or law. It creates a sense of momentum, empowerment, and positivity.” Positivity truly matters to Hsieh. As he looks at the company’s ability to continue in challenging economic times, he takes it one step further and gives credit to a power that “floats” even higher than his planes. “We’ve truly been blessed,” he said. “I’m grateful that in a season in which airlines are failing and going bankrupt left and right, we’ve been favored with a path forward.” l Johnson is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in numerous publications, including People magazine and TVLand.com.
WHILE FLOAT AVOIDS TRAFFIC, A PROFESSOR SEEKS TO MONETIZE IT Institute of Mathematical Sciences Professor Henry Schellhorn’s lane-pricing research is making good time. The concept, first described in the spring issue of The Flame, is one in which a driver who wants to get to his or her destination faster can purchase the right to change lanes in front of another slower driver. Schellhorn has patented an algorithm that determines the negotiated transaction price between two drivers. Traffic volume and the number of vehicles entering and exiting a given stretch of freeway inform that price. The long-term goal is to place an app in autonomous vehicles, which could be mass-produced within a decade, and eliminate the possibility of human error. In the meantime, Schellhorn and his student researchers are working on a version that safely allows driver-to-driver transactions. The technical features of the app have already been developed, according to Boshen Feng, a researcher and master’s student in the Center for Information Systems & Technology, who is working with Schellhorn. Next comes the pricing algorithm, which will be implemented step by careful step. Feng is also going to polish the user interface to make the app attractive and easy to use. After that, it’s time to hit the road and see what this baby can do. With their vehicles driving side by side on the freeway, Schellhorn will tap the app, requesting to enter Feng’s lane. The algorithm will determine the price, and Feng will respond with a single touch that provides the ID of his car and lets Schellhorn know that he can safely make the move and pay for the service. It will be a proof-of-concept test—the lane-sharing equivalent of inventor John Hetrick’s pioneering work on airbags 70 years ago. Next, Schellhorn wants to use multiple vehicles to replicate the intricacies of rush-hour traffic. He acknowledges that, for the system to work on this scale, he’ll need a partnership with Google Maps or Waze. (He also needs to bake in a program for money transfers, but first things first.) “Ultimately, this will require a partnership with an auto manufacturer or data provider like Google Maps,” he said. “If only I could develop an algorithm for this kind of transaction.” — Tim Lynch THE FLAME Fall 2020
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PHOTO ILLUSTRATION G.S. Pirtle
A Promising Harvest Kara Unger Cultivates Green Acres SES alumna plants seeds of hope for developmentally disabled adults on a 7-acre farm
by Tom Johnson
ometimes a single action can foretell the future. For Kara Unger (Teacher Education, ’08), a “light bulb moment” happened when she and her husband Erik noticed their 19-year-old son Joshuah planting seeds in the garden bed of their yard. Joshuah had been diagnosed with severe autism at the age of 3 and is primarily non-verbal. “He can use one- and two-word utterances to communicate his wants and needs,” Unger says, “but he’s always been in classes through the district for severely disabled kiddos. Josh had just recently taken up this interest in planting seeds and watching them grow, of course, with lots of assistance. It was something that he was just really into. And the idea just grew from there.”
THE FLAME Fall 2020
hat idea was to create the nonprofit Gable Farms, a “concept in progress” for the Unger family as they establish themselves as part of the community of Riverside, California. Located in the city’s historic greenbelt area, the seven-acre farm will serve as a working day-program for adults, like Joshuah, with cognitive disabilities such as cerebral palsy and Down syndrome and who usually struggle to find positions in the job market. Opportunities on the farm will allow the adults to explore a variety of passions, including gardening, animal care, wood-working, and cooking. A PLACE OF SAFETY AND FULFILLMENT Unger says that the couple’s vision for Gable Farms is to offer career paths, a place where these adults can develop job skills in areas of their interest and choice as they learn to create and sell the products that they’ve farmed and made. “As a parent, you want everything for your child, and if it’s anything less than everything, it’s not enough,” she says. “Even though I didn’t specifically think with direction about what my kid would be doing, it’s always been there. Ever since his diagnosis, there’s been this lingering ‘what happens when I’m gone’ kind of dread.” Not only did Unger want to create a safe environment for her son, but she also wanted him to experience fulfillment and satisfaction, as well. The farm, she explains, is “really the result of a desperate mom looking for safety for her kiddo and knowing that there’s potential for him to create something with his hands and be happy in a field of interest where he otherwise wouldn’t have that; a safe place where he won’t get fired and where he can be social with those at his level and surrounded by support for the rest of his life. That’s it.” Unger understands that, in doing right by her son, she might also help others. Community members are reaching out to her. “We have a sign at the edge of the property making people aware of what we’re planning,” she says. “I can’t tell you how many emails or calls we’ve gotten.
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It’s always this mom that says, ‘I have this son, he’s really sweet, you’d really love him, but he has this issue’ or ‘my daughter has cerebral palsy.’ To hear that desperation reflected in those voices and to know that at some point we will do something great for them, it’s humbling.” WANTED: A GREENHOUSE… WELL, AND A BARN As things currently stand, Gable Farms is, in Unger’s words, a baby operation. “We’re just getting started and are working on a grant to get a hoop greenhouse [a structure over bare ground without elaborate heating and cooling systems with a plastic canopy],” she says. “The next step after that would be to have a well dug because right now the water is connected to our personal account with the city, so that can get pricey when you’re trying to farm acreage. Eventually, after that, a barn would be fantastic.”
“As a parent, you want everything for your child, and if it’s anything less than everything, it’s not enough.” Kara Unger
BACK AT THE RANCH: Kara (right) stands with her husband Erik under the trees at Gable Farms.
“I think within this farming idea, we have lots of little niches that will work for lots of different people,” Kara Unger
PHOTOGRAPH Riverside Press-Enterprise
“We want to provide options for people who want to be outside and in nature and planting. Some would rather be harvesting. Some of our more structured friends would rather be in the garage doing packaging, things that are done stepby-step, methodical, and consistent every day.”
Besides the Unger’s house, there is a Eucalyptus grove of 1½ acres on the east side of the property; the rest of the acreage is tillable. To that end, in mid-February, Kara says they plowed their first 100by-50 ft. plot. “We aren’t farmers, so it’s catch as catch can,” she says. “It will take some seasons to see what plantings work best with the soil, what good soil is, what does grow. Right now, we’re testing corn and turnips, lettuce and carrots, and sweet peas. So far, everything seems to be growing, but I don’t know if that’s luck because of the rain we’ve had this spring or that we’ve got some kind of soil formula figured out. It’s a work in progress.” Unger says that Gable Farms is hoping to employ young adults fresh out of transition programs that would not otherwise find employment. The Ungers decided on the name Gable Farms— not Unger Farms—for two clear reasons. The first is simply that the farmhouse has gables and they
wanted the name to refer to these architectural features. The other reason is more inspiring: When people see the name Gable, the Ungers want them to also see the word “able”—which is a reminder that everything is possible for the people who work there. “I think within this farming idea, we have lots of little niches that will work for lots of different people,” she says. “We want to provide options for people who want to be outside and in nature and planting. Some would rather be harvesting. Some of our more structured friends would rather be in the garage doing packaging, things that are done stepby-step, methodical, and consistent every day.” The goal is to eventually have a farm stand where the adults can sell the fruits of their labors. “That’s where our Down syndrome friends—our more social friends—will sell the produce and interact with the community,” Unger says. “I like the idea of how the farm will lend itself to different things.” Joshuah’s mom says that he’s been serving as their “test guinea pig” as he’s been learning the ropes of farm life. “I would stop short of saying we’re getting him to work eight-hour days,” she says, “but there are these moments when he’s interacting with nature and the soil, and you can see such a sense of satisfaction on his face—and that’s everything.” Kermit the Frog once sang “It’s not easy being green”—for the Unger family, that’s certainly been true as they turn parched acreage into a fertile crescent. But Unger and her husband say it’s worth the effort, especially since their farm offers hope and direction to people often overlooked by society. At Gable Farms, the first seed has been planted with the harvest soon to come. l Johnson is a professional freelance writer who has written for numerous publications, including People magazine and TVLand.com. THE FLAME Fall 2020
Bookshelf | New & Recent Releases
Exploring and Expanding Our Universe This season’s publications investigate a wide range of subjects, from contemporary poetry to an Arabic classic, from student success to the power of innovation. by Jeremy Byrum
Diversity’s Promise for Higher Education: Making It Work (Johns Hopkins University Press) After the first two editions of this book offered groundbreaking insights into the issue of fostering diversity in higher education, the third edition expands on that conversation in new and exciting ways. CGU Professor Emerita of Education 28 | Claremont Graduate University
and Psychology Daryl G. Smith brings a wealth of experience from her 40year career, focusing on the problem at hand. She proposes a set of clear and realistic practices to aid colleges and universities in their goal to situate diversity in an imperative role. The third edition—aimed at administrators, faculty, researchers, and students—takes a
transdisciplinary approach to diversity, drawing on updated sources in various fields. Based on data about faculty diversity collected over 20 years, the book includes new information about topics such as gender identity, student success, the role of chief diversity officers, and faculty hiring. The journal Teachers College Record hails the book as “a valuable resource in offering a multifaceted approach for colleges and universities to follow in seeking to make diversity efforts constitute a core part of institutional functioning.” High-Achieving Latino Students: Successful Pathways Toward College and Beyond (Information Age Publishing) Searching for a work that focuses on the successes of Latinx students? Look no further than Professor of Education Susan J. Paik’s new book, which addresses the longstanding need for such a work in educational research. Paik and her co-editors Stacy M. Kula, Verónica V. González, and Jeremiah J. González have taken ex-
“Perhaps this erasure of Native people’s existence is a way to ‘whitewash’ the past and allow the rest of the country to enjoy Thanksgiving meals without thinking about promises made and broken by earlier generations of American leaders.” Jean Schroedel
Every Citizen Should Be Heard A question of Native American voter suppression
Even though pundits devote enormous amounts of attention to changing demographics, pontificating about whether the fabric binding the nation together will hold as the population becomes increasingly diverse,” writes Jean Schroedel in the opening pages of Voting in Indian Country: The View from the Trenches (University of Pennsylvania Press), “these discussions rarely mention the descendants of the original inhabitants of the North American continent.” As various political commentators ratchet up the rhetoric on voter suppression this season, Schroedel’s new book takes aim at how genuinely suppressive efforts have been used against Native American voters for much of their history. One of the most effective attempts, she shows, involves distance: Many are forced to drive 100 miles (or more) round trip to cast their votes, while the rest of us take for granted the polling place down the street. Often tribes have had to turn to the courts to fight for the same access that other Americans have. A professor emerita of political science, Schroedel draws on a multitude of sources—including first-person accounts, oral histories, historical documents, legal cases, and her personal experiences in Indian Country—to create her impassioned study of the troubling factors behind what she calls our nation’s “collective amnesia” when it comes to the democratic rights of its Native citizens. “Perhaps this erasure of Native people’s existence,” she writes unapologetically, “is a way to ‘whitewash’ the past and allow the rest of the country to enjoy Thanksgiving meals without thinking about promises made and broken by earlier generations of American leaders.” — Nick Owchar
THE FLAME Fall 2020
Bookshelf | New & Recent Releases
isting research that typically operates with a deficit lens and have added a strength-based approach to analyzing and supporting Latinx student achievement. Practitioners offer insights and research-based recommendations for students at various levels on methods that support high achievement. Loui Olivas, president of the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, says the book is “a must-read book for leaders in institutions of both K-12 and higher education who want better to understand success factors of Latino students in the U.S.” Keep It Real With PBL, Elementary and Keep It Real with PBL, Secondary (Corwin) Contributing to the series of SAGE Publishing’s Corwin Teaching Essentials, Jennifer R. Pieratt (PhD, Education, ’11) authored two new books covering issues and strategies at two educational levels. Her workbooks offer tangible solutions for schoolteachers to implement project-based learning (PBL) in their classrooms—suggesting 30 | Claremont Graduate University
methods that include hands-on learning activities, connections to real-world issues, and engagement in essential skills such as collaboration and oral communication. Both editions are designed as interactive pieces that feature tips to support the PBL process for elementary and secondary school teachers, planning forms to guide their lessons, and exercises to reflect their PBL project plans. For Pieratt, the workbooks are a product of more than a decade of PBL experience, culminating in the 2016 founding of her company CraftED, which is recognized as a trailblazer in the recent wave of mainstream PBL implementation through professional development and coaching, networking, and publications for practitioners. Math Recess: Playful Learning in an Age of Disruption (Impress) Who says learning math can’t be fun? Definitely not Christopher Brownell (PhD, Education, ’15) and his co-author Sunil Singh. In a time of mass technological reliance in which computers can solve
any problem typically found in the K-12 math curriculum, this book seeks to restructure the thinking process behind teaching math. With the theme of recess applied to math education for young children, this book opens up a treasure chest of imaginative mathematical ideas and puzzles written for both school participants (parents, administrators, teachers, etc.) and casual readers alike. The goal? To become the first book dedicated to math education that offers the joys found in a kindergarten mindset for all K-12 math learning, simultaneously hoping to paint math as one of the most enjoyable subjects in the classroom. Transformative Practices for Minority Student Success: Accomplishments of Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (Stylus Publishing) Associate Professor of Education Dina C. Maramba and her co-editor Timothy P. Fong recently published their new book, which is a timely and necessary look at a signifi-
BORDERLESS my body is pulled by the heavens infinite space without nationality borderless sky of darkness, living and dead light moon recognizes every mother on earth her cycle, her blood her ability to reproduce stars the border patrol doesn’t care. it has orders from the incandescent white house to separate children from their constellations
Spanning Borders Merging the cosmic and timeless with the timely
n her newest collection of poetry, Even The Milky Way Is Undocumented (Unsolicited Press), Associate Professor in Arts Management Amy Shimshon-Santo brings her belief that arts and culture are powerful tools for transformation to her exploration of the experiences of those loved, lost, and, most of all, showing courage under trying circumstances. Acclaimed poet and novelist Gayle Brandeis says each poem bridges the past and future in a collection that is “a beautiful and stirring achievement.” Shimshon-Santo merges the cosmic and timeless with timely issues confronting our country, as in the poem “borderless” (see above), and its evocation of the plight of some immigrants today. Immersed in the transdisciplinary link between the arts, education, and urbanism, Shimshon-Santo conveys these thoughts in a collection that is the latest in a line of creative works that range from poetry to creative nonfiction. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2017 for her creative nonfiction and a Best of the Net for her poetry in 2018. She was recognized on the National Honor Roll for Service Learning. The book serves as a reminder that we belong to the earth, and not the inverse. — Jeremy Byrum
THE FLAME Fall 2020
Bookshelf | New & Recent Releases
cant group in education today. Between 2000 and 2015, the population of Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) grew by nearly 72%, the fastest growth rate among any major ethnic and racial group in the United States. This book is the first to focus wholly on Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Institutions and their students. Each contributor stresses the importance of disaggregating the population, including more than 40 ethnic groups that carry unique individual histories, religions, languages, educational levels, and socioeconomic statuses. The volume provides ways to develop these students’ skills, such as writing, leadership, and cross-cultural communication. The book also corrects common misconceptions about these populations to serve as a resource and guide to institutions that admit AAPI and other underrepresented populations. Balancing the Tides: Marine Practices in American Sāmoa (University of Hawai’i Press) How have Western-in32 | Claremont Graduate University
fluenced policies, economics, and knowledge-building imposed by the U.S. federal government affected the daily lives of American Sāmoans? In her new book, Associate Professor of History JoAnna Poblete explores this question by highlighting the influences of marine practices in the unincorporated territory of American Sāmoa. In analyzing the U.S. fishing industry, global seafood consumption, and concerns on the ecological and native levels, Poblete explains how practices in the postWWII U.S. federal fishing programs encouraged American Sāmoan labor. These fishing programs, in turn, led to the region’s catching nearly one-third of all U.S.-consumed tuna up until 2009. Poblete’s work connects the colonial relationship between the U.S. and American Sāmoa to world consumption patterns, the fishing industry at large, and local to large-scale international environmental studies. Open Access publication of the book was made possible by the Sustainable History Monograph Pilot initiative, sponsored by the
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The entire work can be found at oapen.org. Innovation Central: Why University-Centric Makerspaces Empower Students to Change the World (e-book, forthcoming) Emi Makino (MBA, ’10; PhD, Management, ’13) wrote her new book in a state of inspiration. Throughout the U.S. and Japan, students are accomplishing extraordinary things through the use of campus makerspaces, a gathering of minds that Makino says, “literally change the world.” Students are revolutionizing the way research and development are conducted through new digital manufacturing technologies, ultimately affecting social change and curriculum programming. Set to release in December, the book speaks to educators, entrepreneurs, and makers who wish to gain insight on some of the most successful makerspaces—such as the Hongo Tech Garage at the University of Tokyo—and the students who thrive in them. The book ends with a section that details how to
design innovative programs that successfully utilize makerspaces to benefit students, and, ultimately, the university. Positive Psychological Science: Improving Everyday Life, Well-Being, Work, Education, and Societies Across the Globe (Routledge) Professors Stewart I. Donaldson and Jeanne Nakamura, along with positive psychology trailblazer Professor Emeritus Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, deliver their expertise with numerous co-collaborators in this second edition of their book, which brings together recent empirical findings from peer-reviewed and theory-driven psychological science researchers. Three new chapters discuss relationships and love, the feeling of purpose, and the stimulation of education practice. Acting as a bridge between the positive psychology movement and its function in the real world, the collection seeks to inspire its readers to find every opportunity to better the human condition in their schools, professions, and lives. It serves
as an invaluable resource for all social scientists, psychologists, researchers, program designers, educators, students, and casual readers. It also features contributions from other familiar faces at CGU, including professors Kendall Cotton Bronk and Saida Heshmati as well as doctoral candidate Scott I. Donaldson. Bedouin and ‘Abbāsid Cultural Identities: The Arabic Majnūn Laylā Story (Routledge) The historical work Majnūn Laylā is a classical romance belonging to the Arabic ʿUdhrī literary subgenre—a poem about desire. For Professor of Religion and Malas Chair of Islamic Studies Ruqayya Y. Khan, it is the subject of her latest book, which belongs to the Routledge series Culture and Civilization in the Middle East. Khan’s study addresses the 10th-century version of Majnūn Laylā—a story that has been written and adapted in various literary traditions—as performed for the urbanite-imperial audiences in the ‘Abbāsid Empire following the
Greco-Arabian intellectual revolution. Khan notes the process of primitivizing Majnūn through themes of gender and sexuality, ultimately arguing that the story displays a Greco-Arabian and Greco-Persian subculture pervading in the ‘Abbāsid-controlled Baghdad. As a result, these influences shaped how the romance was received among audiences, compiled among storytellers, and performed among viewers. Seeking to correct common, prevailing viewpoints expressed in Western scholarly writings on Greco-Arabic history, this book is an essential read in Islamic studies, Arabic and comparative literature, and Middle East and gender studies. l Send your literary achievements and updates to email@example.com
THE FLAME Fall 2020
Culture & Commentary
Investing in Youth of Color Is Critical to the Inland Empire’s Future
“Policies and initiatives work best when adults can learn to share space and wisdom with young people.”
by Torie Weiston-Serdan, Corey Jackson, and Karthick Ramakrishnan
t is no exaggeration to say that we are in a pivotal moment in the history of race relations in America. George Floyd’s outrageous, painful, and agonizing murder at the hands of Minneapolis police set off a wave of national unrest that we have not seen in 50 years. Black America has long known that systemic racism—from early childhood experiences to educational opportunities, to housing and workplace discrimination, to medical discrimination and excessive policing—has cut short the lifespans and ruined the lives of millions. Over the last few years, this recognition has gained greater traction in the rest of America, due in part to the ubiquity of cell phone videos capturing and broadcasting everyday acts of racial bigotry and violence. But let us not forget the important role that Black youth have played in social movement leadership. Thanks to their cross-racial organizing, young marchers today who identify as Latinx, Native American, White, Asian American, or Pacific Islander are acutely aware of the pervasiveness of anti-Black racism and its effects on their own lives. The leadership of Black youth may seem like a recent phenomenon. However, a deeper look at civil rights history reveals that Black youth have
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consistently been at the forefront. In 1963, when the Black civil rights movement began losing momentum, the Children’s Crusade was born. On May 2 of that year, over 1,000 school-aged youth left school to march in downtown Birmingham. Reminiscent of that time, we all watch today with keen interest as Black youth take to our streets to protest, disrupt, and force us to collectively re-imagine our current systems and frameworks, from criminal justice and education to housing and employment. Since 2007, the Youth Mentoring Action Network (YMAN) has been working to support this tenacity among Black youth. Teaching them about the legacy that they continue, YMAN provides them with platforms and opportunities to utilize their voices, promote their healing and self-care, and allow older adults to be the best co-conspirators in that journey. Indeed, our experience working with youth-serving organizations all over the country and the world has taught us a valuable lesson. Policies and initiatives work best when adults can learn to share space and wisdom with young people. Young people hold us all accountable in powerful ways, pushing us to be better than we would be on our own and making initiatives and policy much more successful than we typically imagine. The same could be said about Sigma Beta Xi. SBX started as a high school club at Rialto High School in 1998. Instead of disappearing with the graduation
Torie WeistonSerdan directs the master’s program in CommunityEngaged Education & Social Change in the School of Educational Studies at CGU. She is also the co-founder and executive director of the Youth Mentoring Action Network.
“The greatest returns on investment come from building up youth leadership and inviting them to codesign policy solutions.”
of its founders, the organization transformed into a stand-alone nonprofit. Youth energy helped fuel the organization to become a leading nonprofit in the region, providing research-based mentoring and development services for the most marginalized youth. It has also been a vehicle for leadership development; many of the youth involved in SBX are leaders in the organization as well as in the community more generally. We also know that one or two organizations cannot do it alone, given the challenges Black youth face in our region, and the need for multiple opportunities for leadership and development. To that end, we have worked and continue to work collectively with powerful organizations like the BLU Education Foundation, Tru Evolution, Youth Action Project, Young Visionaries, and others who are dedicated to ensuring that Black youth voices matter. Given all of this prior work, our region now has the opportunity to build a stronger future by investing in Black youth and other youth of color. Our collective experience in the nonprofit sector, public policy, and philanthropy tell us that the greatest returns on investment come from building up youth leadership and inviting them to co-design policy solutions.
We have also learned through research and experience that, by centering the voices of youth, especially those that are most marginalized, we are creating equitable outcomes for everyone. Adults can help facilitate this process, but the quicker we can get to having young people lead, the better off we will be in creating enduring solutions. Getting there will require strategic and coordinated investments in building a strong youth-serving ecosystem in the Inland Empire. In the coming months, we resolve to work more closely with each other, and in deep collaboration with our community partners, to bring about meaningful systems change in areas ranging from education and housing, to criminal justice and workforce development. This is the kind of transformation our youth are calling for. Let’s help them build a future we can all be proud of. l Corey Jackson is CEO of Sigma Beta Xi: SBX Youth and Family Services. Karthick Ramakrishnan is a professor and director of the Center for Social Innovation at UC Riverside. This article is reprinted courtesy of the Riverside Press-Enterprise.
SES Clinical Assistant Professor Torie Weiston-Serdan (back row, third from left) with members of the Youth Mentoring Action Network.
THE FLAME Fall 2020
Sitting Still Is Not an Option CGU Heroes Living the Pandemic Life
Director of Alumni Engagement & Annual Giving Rachel Jimenez welcomes CGU’s new students he CGU family welcomed more than 400 new students in the 2020 summer and fall terms. It’s clear that these new students were drawn to CGU because they deeply identify with our mission of social impact, one that has defined us since 1925. How do I know that? Consider this comment: “As a newly admitted student, I have never felt so welcomed to a program. I promise to do my best to live up to and apply in the real world what CGU stands for and lead change.” That’s what one incoming student said recently after receiving a call from an alumnus as part of our annual outreach to the newest members of our community. Kindness can have a significant impact on people’s lives, especially now as our world grapples with problems that we’ve never faced before and that we can’t solve using Google. Our CGU community is embracing that now. Our community shines during challenging times, and I’d like to share some examples on the following page.
I could tell you many more stories of our alumni during this global crisis; instead, I invite you to read “CGU Heroes” at cgu.edu/news/cgu-heroes. In addition to assisting the communities in which they live and work, our alumni are helping the CGU community by welcoming incoming students, mentoring others, and offering philanthropic support. I am genuinely touched by our alumni’s generosity. At times like these, I turn to the profound wisdom shared by our world’s great leaders. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. struck a chord: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” The world is full of challenges and controversies. May you continue to carry the flame and be the light our world needs during these challenging times. Multa Lumina Lux Una! l Questions? Contact: Rachel Jimenez 909-607-9226 Rachel.Jimenez@cgu.edu
DID YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS ALUMNI BENEFIT? As a part of CGU’s commitment to flourishing and lifelong learning, alumni will be eligible to register for up to four units at no cost. This benefit allows our alumni to hone a skill, develop a new one, or simply expand their thinking. While not every school or program will participate in this inaugural effort, alumni from all disciplines are eligible.
For registration information, call David Altman, Associate Director of Admissions, at 909-607-1706 David Estudiante, Assistant Director of Student Engagement, at 909-607-3506.
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Sampling of Available Classes ■ Ethics, Human Rights, and Diversity ■ Drucker Philosophy ■ Designing & Evaluating Positive Psychology ■ Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship ■ Advanced Research Methods For more information about the full range of alumni opportunities, visit cgu.edu/alumni/benefits.
From left, Kimberly Morones and Bree Hemingway.
CURATING FROM A DISTANCE
STAYING CONNECTED WITH STUDENTS
What happens to museums during a quarantine? Art exhibits can still inspire and help people, which is why MFA alumnus Seann Brackin (MFA, ’07) started curating a project earlier this year that came to be known as “Art Made in Quarantine.” Based in Spain, Brackin received 115 submissions from all over the world and created an online international art show. The goal was “to facilitate unity and healing as we mourn the lives that are being lost, process the change, and move on to the new world waiting for us,” he writes in the exhibit foreword. l
SES alumna Crystal Williams (MA, Teacher Education, ’14), a special education teacher and the 2020 Teacher Education Alumni of the Year award winner, persisted in challenging times by setting up regular calls with her students’ parents to assess and meet their needs. “Direct, personal contact matters,” she said. She’s also incorporated techniques typically used in the world of meditation into her virtual classroom. l
SCGH alumnae Bree Hemmingway and Kimberly Morones (both MA, Community & Global Health, ’11), along with a few other grads, teamed with Drucker alumnus Rob Perhamus (EMBA, ’03) to create personal protective equipment (PPEs) for healthcare professionals in our local hospitals. Perhamus’s company, UMakers, provided the equipment to create the PPEs. Umakers is a Claremont-area makerspace that Perhamus established as a “starter for startups.” l
IDENTIFYING RURAL HOTSPOTS SES and CISAT alumna Sue Feldman (MA, Education, ’07; PhD, Education, ’11) and her team at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have taken surveillance technology and applied it to the spread of coronavirus. The result? They’ve created an online symptom tracker. “It’s important to look at surveillance and spread—two sides of the same coin,” she told us this spring. l
THE FLAME Fall 2020
Class Notes | Alumni Achievements
News and Notes From Our CGU Community
Dean Bowles (MA, History; PhD, Public Administration and Education) stepped down from his position on the Monona Grove School Board in Monona, Wisconsin. He is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and a three-time Fulbright Scholar.
Edward Erler (MA, PhD, Government) was invited by Michigan’s Hillsdale College to deliver the lecture “Property and the Pursuit of Happiness,” which has been posted on the college’s YouTube channel for viewing. Erler is professor emeritus of political science at California State University, San Bernardino.
Judy Minnich Stout (MA, Modern European Languages) recently completed BVS Brethren Volunteer Service in Jos, Nigeria, where she served as a tutor/teacher for 19 months. Her work involved preparing potential Bethany Seminary students to take the TOEFL test, leading to their becoming full-time instructors at Hillcrest School, founded in 1942 for missionary children.
Richard Reeb (PhD, Government), a retired Barstow Community College instructor and journalist with Victorville’s Daily Press and Desert Dispatch, was the guest speaker at a meeting of the High Desert Branch of the California Writers Club. An associate fellow with the Claremont Institute, Reeb discussed the challenges of objectivity in journalism.
Terry McGann (PhD, Political Philosophy and Government) and CGU President Emerita Deborah Freund co-authored a major study on the Affordable Care Act and its impact on insurance coverage, “Ten Years of the Affordable Care Act: Major Gains and Ongoing Disparities.” The study was prepared in collaboration with the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.
Lewis Desoto (MFA) is confirmed as a participating artist in the upcoming K Art inaugural exhibition, which opens in December. K Art, which is
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located in Buffalo, NY, is a Native-owned art gallery and will solely showcase the artwork of national-level Native contemporary artists.
Bryan Taylor (MA, PhD, Economics) wrote a piece for Global Trade Magazine titled “The Bear is Back: A Global Pandemic,” which looks at how the U.S. stock market is falling into a bear market in response to and alignment with the current pandemic.
Robert J. Bunker (MA, Government; PhD, Political Science) co-authored an article for Small Wars Journal titled “Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 24: COVID19, Gangs and Lockdown in Cape Town.” The article discusses how gangs throughout South Africa are joining together to provide food, soap, and essential goods to the community to help with the crisis surrounding COVID-19.
Cherlyn Converse (PhD, Mathematics) has been honored by California State University, Fullerton with its Outstanding Lecturer Award for her many achievements, including “redesigning the liberal arts mathematics sequence” for the university.
Wesley Colvin (EMBA) has joined CR Environmental LLC as their Chief Operations Officer. A veteran healthcare technology executive, he has more than 30 years of experience in senior executive level positions and will help with efforts to sanitize and decontaminate businesses in Valencia, CA.
Matt Reed (MA, PhD, History) is a senior executive at the Aga Khan Development Network, where they are working to improve the living conditions among those marginalized in Central and South Asia, Eastern Africa, Syria, and Egypt. The struggles that these populations face have been compounded by COVID-19, and Reed understands that people must work together internationally and globally to provide
relief for the virus and its effects. His story was featured in CGU Heroes in May.
Ted Gover (MA, PhD, Politics & Policy) and Deron Marquez (MA, PhD, Politics & Policy) co-authored a commentary this summer in The Hill on the impact of the global pandemic for Native American communities, “COVID-19 Has Ravaged Indian Country and Financial Relief Is Crucial.”
John Woell (MA, Philosophy; PhD, Religion) is the new Senior Vice President and Academic Dean at Iowa’s Simpson College. He will be responsible for educational services such as curriculum, faculty, and Simpson’s Dunn Library.
Tonia Causey-Bush (PhD, Education) was appointed Chief Academic Officer for the Banning School Board. She will oversee special education and educational services. Causey-Bush is published and has extensive experience serving as a director of evaluation, assessment, and accountability.
Ambereen Dadabhoy (MA, PhD, English), who is a visiting assistant professor at Harvey Mudd College, took part last summer in the Folger Shakespeare Library “Critical Race Conversations” series. Dadabhoy’s event (which is on Folger’s YouTube Channel) was “Cultivating an Anti-Racist Pedagogy.”
Irene Matz (PhD, Education) has received the Faculty Leadership in Collegial Governance Award for her passionate work and leadership at California State University, Fullerton. She was recently elected as a State Academic Senator for the CSU (2019-2022), and she has held leadership roles across CSUF and the community.
Tomomasa Yagisawa (MBA) is a senior manager of the health science department at Kirin Holdings: a beverage, food, and pharmaceuticals company. Yagisawa and his team have been working on a food ingredient called
LC-Plasma that has shown benefits in boosting the immune system. Through donations, the team has managed to get LC-Plasma to China and Japan and hopes it reaches the U.S. in the future. Yagisawa was featured in CGU Heroes in April.
Michael Chukes (MFA) was recently highlighted in an exhibition at Atlanta’s ZuCot Gallery, the largest African-American owned fine art gallery in the Southeast. Chukes is a mixed media, painting, and sculpture artist. He combines music and art by sculpting what he hears in rhythms.
Danielle Blaylock (MA, PhD, Psychology) and her colleagues at Northern Ireland's Queen's University were honored with a Queen's Anniversary Prize presented during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. They received accolades for their research on "Shared Education" as it relates to segregated schools in conflict and post-conflict societies.
Torie Weiston-Serdan (MA, Teacher Education; PhD, Education) hosted an online symposium with SES Dean DeLacy Ganley in the wake of George Floyd’s death in May, “Reimagining Community & Solidarity – Critiquing the George Floyd Tragedy and Identifying Actions for the Future We Want.” Weiston-Serdan is clinical assistant professor and director of the School of Educational Studies’ MA in Community Engaged Education & Social Change.
Sue Feldman (MA, PhD, Education and Information Systems & Technology) was recently promoted to a primary faculty member at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is working with a team there to identify potential COVID-19 hot spots in the rural Deep South. They created a website, a text-message system, and an 800 number, inviting residents to report their health daily by answering a survey. The survey maps responses by ZIP Code and takes into account economic and social factors that affect a resident’s health.
Monica Williams (MBA), VP of digital products and operations for NBCUniversal, served as a guest speaker last spring for the Drucker Breakfast Club. She described her professional journey with moderator Kristine Kawamura, founder and CEO of Yoomi Consulting Group, and an adjunct clinical professor at the Drucker School.
Arlette Poland (PhD, Religion) has created the podcast series Moments of Kindness in This Pandemic Storm during COVID-19 to support listeners and make them aware of the power of care and connection through service to themselves and others.
Can Manage Continuity and Change,” a Drucker School Global Family Business in-depth education session. Starman is VP of sales and marketing at Regent Apparel.
Andrea Breiling (MFA) is mentioned in The Nation article, “What Truths Can You Divine From Instagram Paintings?” The author writes about the experience of viewing paintings without being able to see it in person, and how this sense of mystery can contribute to the “truth” of the painting. Breiling is featured as an artist that the author has been following, and he describes her work as “wonderfully exhilarating.”
’10|’15-’12|’17 ’14 Ben Rosenberg (MA, PhD, Psychology) and Bret Levine (MA, PhD, Psychology) recently started Head Games, a new podcast series that examines sports happenings from a psychological perspective. The podcast accompanies their regular blog, which appears on Psychology Today.
John Erickson (MA, Religion; MA, Applied Women’s Studies; PhD, Religion) ran for a seat this fall on the West Hollywood City Council. (This issue of The Flame magazine goes to press just before the election results are available.) He is currently the Director of Public Affairs at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles and has served as a City Council intern as well as a deputy to former Councilmember Abbe Land.
Deborah Kahn (MBA) with Andrew Segal opened The Whisper House in 2015. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they remain supportive and dedicated to their staff. When restaurants first started to close, Kahn and Segal packaged the entire inventory for the restaurant and shared it to their community. Every two weeks, they provide their employees with the opportunity to pick up food for their families.
Kelly Starman (MBA) joined Drucker School Interim Dean Katharina Pick for “How Family Businesses
Sid De La Cruz (MA, Music Composition) is currently For Your Consideration (FYC) for an Emmy for “Outstanding Music Composition for a Limited Series, Movie, or Special (Original Dramatic Score)” for the music in the film Hell on the Border. The score also won Best Soundtrack at the International Action Film Festival 2020.
Andrew Thomson (MA, PhD, Psychology) was named head coach of men’s tennis at Vermont’s Middlebury College. He is a 2010 graduate of Middlebury, was a four-time NCAA Doubles All-American, and returned as the assistant coach in 2017.
Crystal Williams (MA, Teacher Education) is a special education teacher in Riverside County who has been finding ways to keep connected with her students and their parents during the pandemic with regular calls and incorporating techniques of mindfulness and yoga techniques in her classroom.
Elizabeth Zavala-Acevez (PhD, Education) is now the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at California State University, Fullerton. She will be involved in the areas of college access and career pathways. She was the first in her family to graduate from college at CSUF, and she will now assist students in getting into college, graduating, and finding a career. THE FLAME Fall 2020
Class Notes | Alumni Achievements
A Long Time Coming—And Worth the Wait Jared K. Chapman’s (MA, Psychology, ’12) first novel 2HV0RHVN0T opens with a moment of horror familiar to most people: oversleeping and running late for work.
With the speed and clarity that can only result from frantic desperation,” Chapman writes, “the young man leaps from his bed and salvages some clothes from a huddled black and white heap on the floor.” Who hasn’t done that before? Grabbed yesterday’s clothes because there’s no time to waste? The similarity to what most readers have experienced will end right there. This story is different. Published this fall and planned as the first installment in his “To Have and Have Not” universe, Chapman’s novel offers us a dystopian vision of a possible future. It describes a world in which society is sharply divided into the Mighty, who have everything (including superpowers), and the rest, the ordinary Citizens. Mario, the frantic young man who rushes to work in the opening pages, belongs to the latter and lives in a work camp outside of Fellowship City. Being late to work is bad enough for Mario in this futuristic scenario, but when his boss is found murdered and Mario becomes the prime suspect, it gets much worse. Authordom is a busy gig on its own. Still, Chapman wears other hats as well—as husband, father of three, and co-founder of the School of Whiskey & Other Spirits (a unique school for instruction on distilled alcoholic beverages that he started with Kim Peeples, the owner of vomFASS Claremont). It’s been an eight-year journey for the book’s creation, which undoubtedly draws some of its inspiration from Chapman’s current doctoral research on the social psychology of extreme groups. “This has been a long time coming,” he writes on his website. The book, he explains, was first conceived as a graphic novel with artist Derek Smith. “But our lives became too hectic to work on the book as a graphic novel. Instead, I used those bones as an outline” to build a new novel, which offers readers an escape from our world’s current challenges to consider another world with a very different set of challenges. l
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hapman’s novel offers C us a dystopian vision of a possible future—a world in which society is sharply divided into the Mighty, who have everything (including superpowers), and the rest, the ordinary Citizens.
Renae Barnard (MFA) described the online Mine and Yours art exhibition to the PR Newswire. Bernard, who curated and participated in the exhibit which closed in August, reveals the challenges of creating and curating a space online for art-viewing during a global pandemic and speaks beautifully of the artists’ works included in the exhibition. The recorded artist talks will be available online for viewing.
Angel B. Pérez (PhD, Education) is the new chief executive of the National Association for College Admission Counseling. He is looking to reimagine changes to aid low-income and first-generation students in the college admissions process through COVID-19 and beyond.
Dana Linnell Wanzer (MA, PhD, Psychology), an assistant professor of psychology in evaluation at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, received the American Evaluation Research Association’s Division H “Research, Evaluation, and Assessment in School’s” Outstanding Dissertation Award for her dissertation “Improving Evidence Use: The Importance of Relationship Quality in Research-Practice Partnerships.”
Maya Guice (MBA), Athena Chiera (EMBA) joined Interim Dean Katharina Pick and faculty member Bernie Jaworski as panelists in the new Drucker School online series "The Human Side of Management.” They discussed how management addresses social justice and equity in the workplace.
Savannah Eccles Johnston (MA, PhD, Political Science) is the 2020-2021 American Political Science Association (APSA) Congressional Fellow. Her research focuses on ideology and American political thought. Her work on Native American voting rights has been published in Politics, Groups, and Identities.
Abdullah Alismail (MA, Education) is a respiratory therapist at Loma Linda University. Among his duties there is to keep a running inventory of respirators for patients in need. Alismail trains future respiratory therapists and is also the director of clinical education. He is currently a PhD student in the School of Educational Studies.
Adrienne DeVine (MFA) is an abstract artist and has several wire works hanging in the windows of Flux Art Space in Long Beach. Her mixed-media installation titled Wire, Raffia, and Shadows was on view through October. Her work is influenced by DeVine’s interest in the Dogon, a tribe in the Mali Desert of West Africa. DeVine is interested in African spirituality outside of the influence of Western Christianity.
Morgan Merovitch (MA, Organizational Behavior; MBA) and her mother Sandra Crittenden were profiled in a recent issue of the Houston Chronicle as the only mother-daughter team on the Houston Chronicle’s wine-tasting panel. They hold WSET III and II certification, respectively, and offered their wine recommendations for Mother’s Day. WSET stands for the Wine Spirit and Education Trust. The WSET is globally recognized as the international standard in wine and spirit education.
April Moreno (PhD, Health Promotion Sciences/Information Systems & Technology) founded the Autoimmune Community Institute, a nonprofit research, advocacy, and support organization to help those with autoimmune conditions. Moreno is also the organization’s executive director.
Helina Hoyt (PhD, Education) and Sean Hauze (PhD, Education) earned a Best Graduate Student Paper Award by the American Educational Research Association (AERA) for their paper “Equitable Nursing Education Simulation through Holographic Video: Measuring Student Knowledge, Skill, and Motivation to Learn.”
Nick Jensen (PhD, Botany), a lead conservation scientist at the California Native Plant Society, delivered a society Zoom talk in the fall on “Statewide Conservation” as part of the society’s Conservation Talk & Opportunities series.
at the IPPA World Congress of Positive Psychology in Melbourne, Australia. Warren is now an assistant professor on track for early tenure in the business school at Western Washington University.
Heather Dyer (EMBA) was promoted at the beginning of the year from staff biologist to general manager of the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District. She is the first female and one of two non-engineers to lead the agency. She created an emergency COVID protocol to ensure that water continued to flow to 800,000 San Bernardino residents 24 hours a day during the pandemic and beyond. By making sure that her staff is safe and valued, it allows her to extend that care into the San Bernardino community. Dyer was featured in CGU Heroes in April.
Sasa Arsic (MS, Information Systems & Technology) was named as one of the 2020 Esri Development Center Students of the Year. A Fulbright scholar from Switzerland, Arsic’s research includes the mapping of an ancient irrigation system of human-sized aqueducts in the Middle-east (particularly Afghanistan) known as “qanats.” Arsic notes that accurate maps of active and inactive qanats are essential to support sustainable development, in addition to management of water sources in desert areas.
William Camargo (MFA), an Anaheim artist, began documenting his home life during the COVID19 pandemic through his photography. Due to the shift to online learning, Camargo’s MFA thesis was unable to be shown through the usual exhibit. Instead, he has featured his parents, who are essential workers. He creates art with what he has on hand. l
Update us on your academic and professional achievements by visiting cgu.edu/alumniupdate
Meg Warren (PhD, Psychology), has been selected for the very competitive Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology Dissertation Award on the heels of a similar recognition THE FLAME Fall 2020
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Students cycling down Dartmouth Avenue in the early 1970s with Harper East and McManus Hall behind them. Stauffer Hall will be built about one decade later.
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Joseph Maciariello at Drucker Day 2017.
Joseph Maciariello Remembering Peter Drucker’s ‘Legitimate Successor’ As she stood at the lectern on Drucker Day 2017 and introduced Joseph Maciariello as the recipient of the Drucker Lifetime Achievement Award, Jean Lipman Blumen wanted the audience to clearly understand the role he’d played to Peter Drucker for many years. To do that, she used an example not from the world of management, but English literature. Maciariello’s work reminded her of James Boswell’s tireless service to Samuel Johnson. The result was Boswell’s Life of Johnson, which many consider one of the greatest examples of literary biography. “That is the model we see replicated in Joe’s selfless devotion to Peter Drucker and Peter’s astounding life’s work,” Lipman Blumen said. An accomplished scholar and inspiring teacher whom many regard as Drucker’s legitimate successor, Maciariello passed away July 1 at his home in Claremont. He was 78. For more than 40 years, Maciariello belonged to the university community, serving first in a joint appointment as Horton Professor of Economics at Claremont
McKenna College and at what was then Claremont Graduate School. More recently, he served as the Drucker Institute’s academic and research director and the Marie Rankin Clarke Professor of Social Science and Management Emeritus and a Senior Fellow at the Drucker School. “Joe really embodied the idea of approaching management as a liberal art,” said Professor Katharina Pick, the Drucker School’s interim dean. “Over the years, I got to know Joe as a funny, kind, gentle human being, a generous and supportive colleague, and a true Drucker scholar. This is a huge loss for our community.” DISCOVERING DRUCKER Born in 1941 in Troy, New York, Maciariello attended Rhode Island’s Bryant College and Union College in Schenectady, New York, before earning his doctorate at NYU in 1973 under dissertation advisor William Baumol, who was twice considered for the Nobel Prize in Economics. Maciariello first discovered Drucker’s writings while working as a financial analyst and controller for Hamilton
Standard, an aircraft parts supplier in the Apollo space program. The space program project created many managerial culture challenges, and Maciariello couldn’t find a company manual to help him address these issues. He searched his local libraries in Connecticut for an answer and came across Drucker’s The Practice of Management. Later, when he and Drucker were colleagues, Maciariello told him about his discovery and how he’d applied that book to the problems he experienced at Hamilton Standard. “Peter said to me, ‘you had no alternative,’ and it wasn’t an ego statement,” Maciariello recalled in an interview. “He was right. There were no alternative books out there. He wasn’t bragging—he was stating a fact.” CLAREMONT YEARS For 26 years, Maciariello and Drucker were close colleagues. He told interviewers that he recognized Drucker as that rarity, a genuine Renaissance person. They worked closely together on several projects until Drucker died in 2005. Three years later, Maciariello published a revised version of Drucker’s 1973 classic Management—to which he added his deep knowledge of systems to meet the needs of executives in the 21st century. Maciariello would expand Drucker’s legacy in several books, including Drucker’s Lost Art of Management: Peter Drucker’s Timeless Vision for Building Effective Organizations, The Daily Drucker, and A Year With Drucker: 52 Weeks of Coaching for Leadership Effectiveness. In recent years, Maciariello had worked with the Shao Foundation as well as the California Institute of Advanced Management, which established the Joseph A. Maciariello Institute of Management as a Liberal Art. In 2017 he received an honorary doctorate from HHL Leipzig, Germany’s oldest business school (founded in 1898), hailing him as Drucker’s “legitimate successor.” For many in the Drucker community, Maciariello will be remembered not only THE FLAME Fall 2020
for his scholarly stewardship but also for his humanity. That includes Professor Jeremy Hunter, whose friendship with Maciariello deepened after Hunter learned he needed a kidney transplant. He received much consolation and support from Maciariello, who happened to be the UCLA record holder
for the longest-living kidney transplant. “His intimate counsel about his experience illuminated an otherwise dark path for me,” he said. “Words are not enough to express the gifts that I, or any of us, received from Joe. He was a great man who set aside his own work to preserve the legacy of another great man. Joe, in
Phelps (right) talks with actor Robert Redford (left) in 1995 at John Maguire’s home.
Peggy Phelps Emerita Trustee, SAH Supporter, Spirited Patron In late May, the CGU community mourned the passing of Margaret Taylor Phelps—known to all as Peggy—a spirited and generous patron, philanthropist, and former university trustee, who died at Mt. San Antonio Gardens in Claremont. She was 93. In his tribute to Phelps in the pages of the Pasadena Star-News, Larry Wilson—a longtime member of the Kingsley and Kate Tufts Poetry Awards advisory board at CGU—praised his fellow Tufts board member and enduring friend for 44 | Claremont Graduate University
her varied roles and tireless efforts to support the arts. Phelps served numerous cultural institutions, Wilson wrote, including the Pasadena Art Museum, MOCA, Pasadena Art Alliance, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena Symphony, and ArtCenter, and gave her name to one of the two primary art galleries at CGU. She also helped raise millions of dollars for HIV research, supporting organizations such as the AIDS Service Center in Pasadena.
his humility and wisdom, truly lived from a spiritual center.” Maciariello is survived by his wife Judy; two sons, Patrick Anthony (Aleeza) of Laguna Hills, and Joseph Charles (Lauren) of Mill Valley; a brother, Lawrence; five grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. l
Phelps lived in Pasadena for more than 50 years; she moved there in 1959 with her three small children and industrialist husband Mason Phelps. During those years, she established herself as an extraordinary leader in the cultural community. After her husband’s passing, Phelps married chemist Nelson Leonard; the couple was married for 14 years until his death in 2006. Phelps subsequently moved to Mt. San Antonio Gardens in Claremont. Despite the many claims on her time as a cultural leader, Phelps joined CGU’s Board of Trustees in 1982 and served for 16 years. She was a friend of the late John Maguire, who was CGU president for 17 years. Phelps successfully deployed her no-nonsense attitude and sense of humor to build philanthropic support for a variety of causes at the university. Her parting gift to the university was $350,000 in support of the Roland Reiss Endowed Chair of Art. (For more on that gift, see page 5). Phelps also was deeply committed to the success of the Kingsley and Kate Tufts Poetry Awards, said Lori Anne Ferrell, School of Arts & Humanities dean and director of the awards. For many years, the two worked together to plan and promote the awards, which provide one of the largest annual monetary prizes in poetry. Ferrell said Phelps urged her to think “strategically about poetry and the poetry world.” Phelps is survived by her two children, Mason Phelps Jr. and Evans Phelps; her four grandchildren, Miles Michelson, Erin Thiem, Megan Michelson, and Larissa Roelofs; her great-grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, and her sister, Marion “Taddy” Dann. l
Jaffee (left) pictured with former dean Jenny Darroch in 2018.
Jonathan Jaffee A Gifted Professor, Colleague, and ‘Jewel’ Jonathan Jaffee, a gifted lawyer who taught business litigation for many years at the Drucker School of Management, passed away in April after battling multiple myeloma. A former member of the faculties of the University of Southern California (Marshall School of Business) and Carnegie
Mellon (Tepper School of Business), as well as being an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University (Graziadio School of Business), Jaffee introduced many Drucker students to the intricacies of business litigation. He was also an active member of the California Bar Association, who practiced law
in Los Angeles and Baltimore, Maryland. On the Drucker School’s social media, Jaffee was fondly remembered by many of his students and former colleagues as a deeply caring and thoughtful educator. One post said, “I’m saddened by the loss, notably to his family and the Drucker community, and my condolences to family and friends. Jonathan was so incredibly down to earth. He had the spirit and insight of someone who had seen some things and had decided not to be brought down by them, but rather dedicated his life to understanding and helping others ‘get it.’ ” Another honored him for being “incredibly generous and devoted to his students.” In an announcement sent in early spring to the Drucker community, former dean Jenny Darroch said that Jaffee’s exwife Amanda and their two children welcomed donations to any charity of their choosing as an expression of sympathy in Jaffee’s honor. “To borrow a word used by one of my colleagues,” Darroch’s message said, “Jonathan was a jewel. A kind and positive individual who always brought out the best in everyone he met.” l
Patrick Cadigan (MA, Management, ’78; PhD, Management, ’80), a private real estate investor in Orange County and former tech company CEO who credited his Jesuit education for his work ethic and success, passed away in April. He was 85. Born in Stoneham, Massachusetts, the proud son of Irish immigrants, Cadigan’s ethos and business sense formed around several defining educational influences. One of those was Peter Drucker, who was
in his first decade at the university when Cadigan was a CGU graduate student. Along with his studies at Boston College, Harvard, and Boston University, Cadigan took two degrees at CGU as he built one of the most successful private real estate investment businesses in Southern California. Drucker himself, Cadigan proudly noted, had served as a member of Cadigan’s dissertation committee.
PHOTOGRAPH Boston College
Patrick F. Cadigan Former Drucker Student, Successful Real Estate Investor Patrick Cadigan
Cadigan is survived by his sisters, Angela and Eileen; three children, Ann, David, and Maria; two grandchildren, Kaitlynn and Patrick; and three great-grandchildren, Angela, Aericka, and Aeriana. He is predeceased by his wife, Barbara Ann. l THE FLAME Fall 2020
PHOTOGRAPH Claremont Courier
MICHAEL D. GREGORY | MA, Education, ’79 A longtime educator at Valencia Elementary School in Upland, Michael Gregory died of a stroke in August. He was 72. Born in Phoenix, Gregory earned his bachelor’s degree in 1971 in sociology from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, before receiving his master’s degree and teaching credential at CGU. His family and friends described Gregory as a wide-ranging traveler and accomplished skydiver. His love of the outdoors inspired his efforts to use the “classroom beyond four walls” teaching strategy with his students. He enjoyed 15 years of service as a volunteer and docent with the California Botanic Garden. He is survived by his wife, Susan Sirney Gregory; younger brother and sister Paul and Nancy; niece Jane Gregory; nephew Jason Roberts; great-niece Opal Gregory Vandeloo; great-nephew Cyrus Roberts; sister-in-law Margo Bendheim Gregory, and the Sirney family. ANSELM MIN | Religion Department The Catholic thinker Thomas Aquinas may have died some 750 years ago. Still, for Anselm Min, a longtime member of CGU's Religion Department, Aquinas 46 | Claremont Graduate University
had much to teach Min’s students in our hyper-self-conscious age of social media. “It was refreshing to read a thinker who reflects and argues rather than shouts and claims,” he wrote in his critically acclaimed 2005 study, Paths to the Triune God, “one who withdraws himself so as to let the matter speak for itself rather than intrude his own subjectivity at every available turn.” A scholar renowned for his success in making historically distant theologies relevant to the present, Min passed away in August at his Upland home. For nearly 30
years, he had served as a member of the university’s Religion Department. Min had only just retired from CGU earlier this summer. School of Arts & Humanities Dean Lori Anne Ferrell circulated a message to the SAH faculty about Min's passing, praising "his remarkable gifts of intellect and spirit." On Instagram and Twitter, former colleagues and students expressed sorrow over his death and paid tribute to Min's warmth and scholarship. CGU religion doctoral student Josiah Solis on Twitter described Min as "one of the most important professors I have ever studied with." Min held not one but two doctorates— one in religion from Vanderbilt University and one in philosophy from Fordham University—and helped maintain CGU's high reputation in academic circles. He was the product of a Jesuit education and a member of the Catholic Theological Society of America. At CGU, Min received many awards, including ones from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Fletcher Jones Research Grant. He enjoyed a five-year tenure as the John D. and Lillian Maguire Distinguished Professor of Religion. Min is survived by his wife, Soonja, daughter Sophia, and son Paul. ARTHUR ARVIN PALMER | PhD, Government, ’70 A teacher, a leader in higher education, and a fierce advocate for students in rural Arizona, Arthur Palmer died at his Taylor, Arizona home in August. He was 80. Born in 1940, Palmer belonged to a family with deep historical roots in northeastern Arizona’s soil. After serving 31 months as a Church of Latter-Day Saints missionary, he studied political science at Arizona State University and CGU. His 1971 selection as a fellow in the American Council on Education Academic Administration Internship Program and the harsh educational realities facing children in Northeastern Arizona inspired him to devote his career to educational leadership and access.
by his brother Steve (Kathi) Palmer, sister Sybil (Steve) Corry, sister Phyllis (Mike) Peterson, and 16 grandchildren.
He served in various educational roles in Southern California and back home in rural Arizona, including deanships at Whittier College and Northland Pioneer College, and as Navajo County School superintendent. A self-described cowboy and scholar, Palmer wrote several books about his experiences and outlooks, including Northland Pioneer College: The First 25 Years, Elijah Was A Valiant Man, Buddhist Politics: Japan’s Clean Government Party, and a memoir. Palmer is survived by his wife, Jean; daughter Lani (Brian) Reidhead; daughter Jeanette (Tommy) Hancock; and son Bryce (Anne) Palmer. He is also survived
DAVID F. SIEMENS JR. | PhD, Philosophy, ’76 An educator and writer who served in various professional educational roles, David Siemens died in July in Mesa, Arizona. He was 94. Born in Van Nuys, Siemens was raised primarily in Ecuador, where his parents served as missionaries. He would earn degrees from Ft. Wayne Bible Institute, Defiance College, Indiana State Teachers College, and CGU (then Claremont Graduate School). Over his long career, Siemens was a pastor, high school teacher, Bible Institute teacher (in Spanish), writer-producer of films and filmstrips, junior college professor, and adjunct professor in a theological seminary. As a faculty member at Los Angeles Pierce College for 19 years, he was a department chair and served on the faculty senate and accreditation committees. Siemens was a Fellow of the American Scientific Affiliation and a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Association for Symbolic Logic, Evangelical Philosophical Society, Philosophy of Science Association, and
Society of Christian Philosophers. In 2010 he received Defiance College’s Alumni Citation for Academic Excellence Award. His publications include the books Exploring Christianity and Naturalism: Its Impact on Science, Religion, and Literature, as well as more than two dozen articles in refereed journals. He is survived by two children, David F. III (Lesley) and Laurel (John) Siemens Moore, three grandchildren and two step-grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandson, and his sister, Marilyn (Oscar) Lindquist. He is preceded in death his wife of 66 years, Esther, and one granddaughter. l THE FLAME Fall 2020
Mystery in the Garden PHOTOGRAPH William Vasta
The backyard of the President’s House at 709 Harvard Avenue is where the CGU community meets for many of its most important occasions. The gardens and patio on the lower level of the yard’s western section are ideal spots for Town & Gown, Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry Awards ceremonies and readings, commencement forums, and many other events. Off to one side, located in a brick grotto on the home’s main building, there’s this unexpected piece of beauty: a ceramic figure of the Madonna and Child. The bas relief itself—as well as the deep blues in the mosaic, its ceramic tiles, and positioning of the child, who
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reaches out to touch some lilies (as any baby would) while the mother dutifully holds on—evokes the terracotta creations of various 15th-century masters such as Luca Della Robbia, whose Virgin With Child offers the identical image but in reverse. It’s a bit of a mystery who made this. An inspired former art student? Faculty member? The house’s original owner, Miss Ela Sugg? Here at The Flame offices, we’d welcome your help. Any information that sheds light on this lovely mystery would be appreciated—although it’s unnecessary for enjoying its beauty. — Nick Owchar
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The 100-year-old firm Clifford Swan Investment Counselors works with people affected by this law— and CGU is proud to partner with them in creating effective investment strategies for older investors. Several strategies can create optimal tax relief as well as lifetime income for our CGU alumni who want to leave a lasting legacy for future students at CGU. Learn how you can leave a legacy with CGU and contact our Planned Giving Office for more information. For more information about estate planning with CGU, go to myplannedgift.cgu.edu
Questions? Talk to Tony! CGU Associate VP of Development Tony Todarello is ready to answer your questions. Reach out to him today! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 909-607-9230
ROBYN IRAHETA MA, Teacher Education, â€™12
The World Needs More Robyns Overcoming many daunting challenges as a child in the Inland Empire, Robyn Iraheta (MA, Teacher Education,â€™12) went on to receive a crucial CGU fellowship and has become a successful and passionate middle school teacher with a powerful mission: Giving back to the children and communities that need help the most. Ignite your passion: Explore CGU. To read more about Robyn and other CGU success stories, go to cgu.edu/ignite
The Flame is the magazine of Claremont Graduate University.