Chapman Magazine- Spring 2021

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LIFTING Design in progress OUR VOICES “Freedom of Speech,” a recent addition to the Hilbert Museum, honors a Norman Rockwell illustration while updating it to evoke social justice themes.


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Executive Vice President of University Advancement


Vice President of Strategic Marketing and Communications


Assistant Vice President of Communications


Assistant Vice President of Creative Services



Dennis Arp

Dawn Bonker

DESIGN Ivy Montoya Viado


Director of Visual Content


Assistant Director of Content Strategy


Michelle Anguka, Stace Dumoski, Bethanie Le (MS ‘19)


Editorial Office: One University Drive, Orange, CA 92866-9911 Main: ( 714) 997- 6607 Delivery issues/change of address: email

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The mission of Chapman University is to provide personalized education of distinction that leads to inquiring, ethical and productive lives as global citizens.

2 UP FRONT 2 Message From the President: There’s progress to report as our community advances work to create a world in which equity and opportunity are universal. 3 Chairman Emeritus Wylie Aitken is honored for his service and Parker Kennedy steps into a new role, leading Chapman’s Board of Trustees.


12 F E AT U R E S 12 Researchers team up to add antibiotic options, combatting the global threat of drugresistant bacteria. 26 Chapman food scientists use molecular tools to peel back the layers of deceptive labeling.


30 Swenson Family Hall of Engineering adds to a legacy of innovation and ensures opportunities for success.

4 Key participants explain why this moment matters as they contribute to the process of institutional change.

36 A big investment in tech and training helps Chapman craft a COVID-response plan so students can thrive.


10 Artist Natalia Ventura ’21 builds a community bound by struggles and a commitment to social justice. 16 Simon PA Scholars provide front-line care where it’s needed most – in underserved communities. 22 New Dodge College faculty member Leah Aldridge takes up the challenge of transforming an industry. 24 A Wilkinson College course bridges five decades of activism, seeking to root out institutional racism. 32 Speaking for the underrepresented, speech language pathologist Kiera Johnson Jenkins (MS ’20) reshapes her field.


D E PA R T M E N T S 43 Five Questions: Professor Sophie H. Janicke-Bowles offers tips on maintaining a balanced media diet. 4 4 How’d You Get That Job? A transfer accounting student finds career satisfaction thanks to mentoring. 54 In Memoriam: Patricia (Patty) Schmid is remembered as “a source of incomparable light.”


ALUMNI NEWS 48 Distinguished Alumni Award winners offer reminiscences, gratitude and advice to Chapman students. 56 Class Notes

Loraine Ignao '24 and her First-Year Foundations classmates found a special way to thank Professor Jim Brown at the end of the fall semester. A TikTok post featuring their gesture of gratitude has been viewed more than 29 million times.

‘YOU’RE GONNA MAKE ME CRY’ It’s the last day of the fall 2020 semester, and Professor Jim Brown thinks his students have left him hanging. “I don’t see anyone with their camera on,” Brown says to his First - Year Foundations students on Zoom. “Is this the new cool thing to do – not leave your camera on?” If you’re among the more than 29 million who’ve seen the video on TikTok, you know what happens next. All at once, the Chapman University students flip their cameras on, and they’re holding up signs with personalized messages, thanking Brown for the profound effect he has had on their lives. Who knew such a small clip could warm so many hearts? “Aw you guys, you're gonna make me cry," Brown says as he realizes what’s happening. "I'm reading each one." Almost immediately after it was posted, the video went viral on social media, and comments left on the post continue to tug at heartstrings. “Aw, this is so beautiful, teachers are so precious,” one comment says. Another adds: “Love this. Teachers who put their heart and soul into their teaching deserve the world.” Students in Brown’s class “Lies You Learned in School” couldn’t agree more. “We all have a special place for him – he’s easily my favorite teacher,” says Lauren Herrle ’24, who posted the video. “He just comes to class with such good energy, and he is always singing and humming and talking to us throughout the class, checking in and asking how our day was, making sure that everyone’s all right.” For his part, Brown has become one of the world’s most reluctant celebrities. National and international media requests rolled in, and he turned down almost all of them. A professor of peace studies and teaching who has enriched the lives of countless students during his more than two decades at Chapman, Brown never signed up for multimedia stardom. “What I did this semester was just what I do every semester. I selected what I thought would be relevant curriculum and tried to present it in an interesting and engaging way,” says Brown, Ph.D. “I tend to check in with students to see how they’re feeling, and I think this was more important in this semester of isolation. Also, as always, I had high expectations for my students and tried to treat them in a kind and respectful way.” Needless to say, his students felt the love, and returned it in a special way. “So whether we meet in person, as in a regular non-COVID semester, or online, we go through this crucible together and, well, it can be pretty emotional,” Brown said shortly after the semester ended. “And part of that spilled out on Wednesday during our final class session.” Several months later, the cup of gratitude continues to runneth over. SPRING 2021




As we at Chapman continue to meet the many challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is gratifying to see that we continue to make significant progress in a variety of areas. Indeed, even as we take extra care to safeguard our community, we are finding many ways to maintain and even accelerate our university’s forward momentum. In this issue of Chapman Magazine, we examine the progress and possibilities as we recommit to creating a world in which equity and opportunity are universal. To help achieve this vision, we have taken a number of significant steps. These include: • Adding $1.5 million to our budget over the next three years to hire new faculty members of color. • Launching a national search to fill the new senior leadership role of vice president and chief diversity officer. These actions, and our commitment in the last several years, have led to progress we can track and measure concretely. For instance, Latinx students are now at or near the top among Chapman student groups in measures of graduation and retention. Not only the percentage of Latinx students has been steadily increasing, but their retention and graduation have literally jumped over the last several years. Many people are doing vital work to address issues of diversity, equity and inclusion, including Vice Provost Lawrence “LB” Brown, whom I have asked to serve as presidential advisor on faculty diversification, and Vice President Brian Powell, whom I asked to serve as presidential advisor on staff diversification. Starting on Page 4, you’ll find a conversation in which Brown is joined by Professor Lia Halloran, equal opportunity and diversity officer Albert Roberson and Student Government Association President Philip Goodrich ’22. All are important contributors to the process by which we will continue to make progress.



We invite all who care about Chapman to join in shaping our future. In that spirit, Leah Aldridge, who recently joined the faculty of our Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, shares her perspective on helping to enhance a culture of inclusion as a newcomer to the Chapman community. An example of progress is the support provided by generous donors. A $9 million gift from the Simon Family Foundation is opening doors of opportunity to physician assistant students from underserved communities and with limited resources. On Page 16, you can read more about the Simon Scholar Physician Assistant Program, which will support 10 full scholarships during each of the next five years. As we work to build a better future for our students, the support of our community inspires us. On Page 30, you’ll learn more about a $5 million gift by the Swenson Family Foundation that has named the Swenson Family Hall of Engineering in our Keck Center for Science and Engineering. This gift will have a profound impact on the lives of current students as it will for generations to come. Speaking of profound impact, I hope you’ve had a chance to see the display of gratitude by First-Year Foundations students for our beloved Professor Jim Brown, captured in a video that has been shared widely on social media and beyond. A story is on Page 1 of this issue. The moment encapsulates the ways in which challenging times can bring out the best in caring people of shared purpose and good will. Every day, I see expressions of this generous spirit throughout the Chapman Family. Thank you for joining in this journey as we seek to expand our community and realize the full measure of Chapman’s promise. With gratitude,

Daniele C. Struppa President, Chapman University

HONORS IN THE NEXT ISSUE OF CHAPMAN MAGAZINE Look for special coverage as Chapman University celebrates its 160th anniversary.

ON CAMPUS COMMENCEMENT: To learn more about ceremonies in July and August 2021 for the graduating classes of 2020 and 2021, visit academic-resources/graduation.


CHAPMAN CELEBRATES: Feb. 18-19, 2022.


WYLIE AITKEN HONORED FOR HIS SERVICE; PARKER KENNEDY NAMED BOARD CHAIRMAN After a highly productive term as chairman, Wylie Aitken has stepped down from his leadership role with the Chapman Board of Trustees. To honor Aitken, Chapman issued a proclamation that reads, in part, “We wish to recognize and applaud his esteemed service, his commitment to personalized education and the realities he has brought to fruition at our university.” The new board chairman is longtime trustee Parker Kennedy, who was confirmed by a vote of Chapman board members during their meeting in December. Recognized as one of the nation’s most prominent trial lawyers, Aitken has served on the Board of Trustees since 2004 and as chairman since 2017. He has fostered an era of innovation, overseeing as chairman the construction of Keck Center for Science and Engineering, the most ambitious building project in Chapman’s history, as well as the launch of the Dale E. and Sarah Ann Fowler School of Engineering.

Above photo: Wylie Aitken


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As the Chapman community has faced great Bottom photo: Parker Kennedy challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, Aitken’s incisive leadership has driven a multifaceted university response. Included are comprehensive technology upgrades to enhance remote learning, and support for Chapman students and families most acutely affected by the economic impact of the crisis. The proclamation presented to Aitken by Chapman President Daniele C. Struppa notes that “Wylie’s peerless character is reflected through his legacy at Chapman, which includes the formation of a stronger scientific community, the Bette and Wylie Aitken Family Protection Clinic, the Center for Lawyering and Advocacy Skills and the Bette and Wylie Aitken Arts Plaza.” As Kennedy takes on the role of board chairman, Aitken joins The Honorable George L. Argyros ’59, Doy B. Henley and Donald E. Sodaro as Board of Trustees emeritus chairs. Kennedy is a native of Orange who from 2003 to 2010 served as chairman and CEO of The First American Corporation, a Fortune 500 company with primary divisions in insurance and data and with revenue exceeding $6 billion. Kennedy has also served as chairman of First Advantage Corporation. In 2003, he was recognized as one of America’s top chief executives by Forbes magazine. In addition to his current service as Chapman Board of Trustees chairman, Kennedy is a member of the board of the Automobile Club of Southern California and is a former board member of Viant Technology. He also serves on the boards of directors of various charitable organizations, including the Fletcher Jones Foundation. He is a past chairman of the board of the Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce, the Bowers Museum and the Orange County Council of the Boy Scouts of America. SPRING 2021


Photos by Justin Swindle

WhyThis Moment

Matters Key participants provide a window into the hard work of creating institutional change, addressing important issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. Throughout the Chapman University community, people are talking. They’re speaking from experience, listening to each other’s ideas and building consensus on ways that Chapman can do better on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. We wanted to learn more about why this university-wide dialogue matters and where it might lead. Four community members who are deeply involved in the process – an administrator, professor, staff member and student – invited us to listen in as they joined in a Zoom call.

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Here are excerpts from the conversation involving key participants in creating institutional change at Chapman. Albert Roberson, equal opportunity and diversity officer: The work we do within the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion space matters because it scribes our efforts of ensuring that Chapman creates a culture and institutional infrastructure that will advance DEI for years to come. We constantly aim to compile an inventory of currently managed programs in our Diversity Strategy, university policies and trainings to evaluate, focusing on unlocking the possibility of consistent change and recalibrating these items as necessary. Chapman is on the world stage and can improve the faculty, staff and student experience through our efforts.

Lia Halloran, professor of art: I’ve been passionate about issues of diversity and equity since I was very young. I’ve co-chaired the LGBTQ advisory group for the Chapman Diversity Project, and that was a transformational experience because it collected stories of people who have been at the margins and who have not felt included. When I joined Chapman 10 years ago, I shared in that pain of not seeing myself reflected around the campus, of having that feeling of otherness. I’m grateful for the chance to get involved. I want to, as my friend Janna Levin likes to say, “build the world I want to live in.” I love the Chapman community, and would like to see us build an inclusive environment for everyone. Lawrence “LB” Brown, vice provost and presidential advisor on faculty diversification: I got involved very early on with the Diversity Project because I want to make the environment better. I’ve been here for seven years, and when I talk with people who have been here for 25, they say that the campus environment is so much better than it was back then. I want to have that same experience, where people say that the culture, the climate, the inclusivity are so much better than they were, but I want it to happen so much faster than 25 years.

Philip Goodrich ’22, Student Government Association president: SGA got involved because this is a student issue – a Chapman issue. Based on surveys, on conversations with the Black Student Union and on personal experiences shared within SGA, there are many areas where change is needed. By having the student voice represented, it adds another level to the whole effort.

Roberson: I'm excited about this moment in Chapman's history because of our institution's efforts to ensure that DEI is woven into Chapman's mission, vision and strategic objectives. Our university is creating spaces where people can be authentic and psychologically safe to contribute to our future. We’re working with faculty, staff and students to guarantee that all are represented in these critical conversations and plans. Our commitment will become more apparent as we begin to roll out programming, policies, training and other initiatives to build on the university's Diversity Strategy.



Brown: I think it’s good that as we look ahead, we recognize the work that has come before and is ongoing. The contributions of the Diversity Project that (Vice Provost) Joe Slowensky started (in 2014) follows on previous work by Lia and some other faculty. Strides like faculty diversification, where previously we have heard things like, “(Diversity candidates) are too hard to find, it’s too hard to get them. There are all these barriers.” Well, the president has said, “Let’s take the barriers out.” So now we have one person in charge of identifying and recruiting – basically, we’ll do the finding for you. That’s been pretty successful, and we’re expecting more successes. I’m confident we’ll not only have these great new faculty members, but we won’t be losing them because they aren’t feeling included. And with those who might be afraid of change, we can have conversations about how we’re not losing something, we’re gaining something by these initiatives. The whole community benefits when diverse perspectives and experiences are valued.

Halloran: I can speak to what we’ve gained from our summer initiative. Initially, it was (professors) Stephanie Takaragawa, Claudine Jaenichen and myself just listening to the BSU students and figuring out what is being done and what can we do as faculty to support them, and soon we realized that it’s really about campus climate and cultural change. We looped in staff and had a core group of 25 faculty and staff members who met every Wednesday over the summer. Using peer institutions to help determine best practices, we developed this road map of accountability, which is such an important part of how we measure our progress as we seek to create this change I appreciated hearing LB’s perspective and Albert’s thoughts and those of others about what diversity, equity and inclusion efforts could mean here at Chapman.

Goodrich: Over the summer and this past semester, I’ve seen a lot accomplished. But if there’s one word to describe these overall efforts, it’s complexity. Whether it’s looking at free speech on campus or diversifying the curriculum, these are complex issues. They highlight the need for getting groups together to make a detailed plan and not just make surface-level changes. One front where we’re already seeing progress is on Student Life and Greek Life training. Student Affairs has expressed that they want this to come from the students, and that’s a promising opportunity. For the first time, these trainings were used during Orientation Week. I don’t think it was to the extent that people were hoping for, but it’s a start. Halloran: As we work to increase the number of students from underrepresented communities, it’s important that they see themselves represented in all aspects of campus life. Do they see that presence in the professor’s class they visit? Is it in the art they see on campus? Is it in the stories that are shared? As we celebrate all identities, we'd like to create an environment that is a magnet for students, and change the perception of who is welcome and included here.

Brown: That goes for faculty and staff, too. With our Black Staff and Faculty Forum, which is based on the LGBTQ and the Latinx Forums, it really says that we’re trying to create these spaces where people can thrive. When candidates hear about these forums, they say it shows that Chapman is doing something important to create a better environment for minority staff, faculty and students.

Roberson: The university does an amazing job of recruiting; however, we can always do better. Our DEI focus should add infrastructure that supports underrepresented populations, individuals with disabilities, the LGBTQIA+ community and other groups within our recruitment. Our DEI efforts are a multi-year project that includes scholarship programs, a diversity series, training opportunities and more DEI-based storytelling. We can also increase mentorship and leadership opportunities, as with the Simon STEM Scholars and Simon PA Scholars programs (Page 22). Goodrich: I hear from students that being able to work and study with peers who share an identity is a pressing desire. And I’d say that before we think about diversifying the entire community, we have to look at how we get the underrepresented to Chapman in the first place. We need to get more Black students to Chapman – that’s the reality. That has to happen before we can have these rich and multifaceted conversations.

Roberson: One thing that doesn’t get enough attention within our DEI strategy is equity. We place absolute focus on diversity and inclusion and forget that we must also acknowledge that equity needs to be represented to move toward a more diverse and inclusive community. An authentic workforce is unlocked when we accurately set the context for our DEI efforts and do so with consistency and authenticity. Brown: One of the most controversial conversations we have is the Black Lives Matter conversation, because it’s so often misunderstood. At the core of it is the value of each one of our communities on campus. It’s a challenging conversation because it can be so politically divisive, but it’s really about taking a moment to listen to each other and understand exactly where someone else is coming from.

Throughout the Chapman University community, people are talking.

Roberson: The aim is to encourage a community of diversity champions to recognize the need to move forward. The focus is on ensuring that everyone is learning and unlearning together. Our DEI efforts have to create a space that embraces difference and finds value in holding conversations about change. Goodrich: As we make decisions in this process, we need to keep in mind that those decisions have an impact on the lives of real people. Sometimes we get so set on the process that we forget the people.

Brown: We’ve seen that play out in the past, haven’t we? I remember vividly that famous image of an all-male group in Congress working on issues of women’s reproductive rights. “Are you kidding me? You’re working on these issues, and you don’t have room for a woman on your committee?” Those are the kinds of situations we can fall into when we rush to create solutions. We need to include in the decision-making those who will be affected the most. Halloran: The truth is, we’d like everyone in the Chapman community to be involved in creating more inclusive environments. I’d say that wherever you are, figure out the right way for you to get involved. If you’re on campus as a student, you can be an ally to our Black Student Union. You can be an ally to the LGBTQIA community and other underrepresented groups. If you’re a parent or alumni, you can donate to help fund diversity initiatives, such as bringing to campus more diverse speakers. I’d suggest that we all find the thing we’re passionate about and get involved. Then it’s genuine and honest, and there’s longevity there. Because we’re all going to want to be involved for years to come.

Halloran: I’d add that when we’re talking about diversity, equity and inclusion, it usually starts with best intentions but the followthrough to tangible change is difficult, or often falls short. We don’t talk enough about the underlying pain that brings us to those intentions. It’s uncomfortable, but we need to go to the root of that pain. Just having a simple acknowledgement, “I understand that there was an inequity” can be transformative, and start a healing process to help us move forward. Yet, I think there’s a rush to say, we’re going to have action points, without actually understanding the reasons change is so deeply needed.






On March 4, 1861, as the late-winter sun glistened off the unfinished U.S. Capitol Building behind him, Abraham Lincoln stepped to the podium to give the inaugural address that launched his presidency. At that moment, more than 2,700 miles away, the roots of what would become Chapman University were being planted in the fertile soil of Woodland, California. The timing was intentional. The founders of Hesperian College, as the new institution was known, planned the opening of their bold experiment to coincide with Lincoln’s speech. Such was their connection to the promise of his presidency. Like Lincoln, the leaders of the group -- forerunner to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) -- sought to summon “the better angels of our nature.” Hesperian College welcomed women as well as men and students of all races – a radical concept for that day. Over the years, that founding spirit has long endured -- for 160 years, in fact -- through several institutional name changes and other transformational initiatives. It was a concept that traveled, including in 1919, when a prominent orange grower and trusted Disciples leader, Charles C. Chapman, challenged Disciples members to match his gift of $400,000 toward establishing a presence in Los Angeles. That challenge was met, and land was purchased on Vermont Avenue, where the college soon grew. In 1934, to honor C.C. Chapman’s legacy, the school was renamed Chapman College. Many more challenges have been faced in the decades that have followed -- among them Chapman’s 1954 move from Los Angeles to a new campus in Orange. But even as Chapman College became Chapman University, the founders’ commitment to inclusion and a civil discourse that bridges divides not only survived but expanded. And it has been embraced by each new generation of Chapman Family members.



CONNECTING TO A NATIONAL ‘AWAKENING’ Now we are engaged in a great national moment of reckoning — a time to proclaim that equity and opportunity should be universal, that all lives deserve justice, and that Black Lives Matter. The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor prompted deep reflection and sent millions of activists into the streets last spring and summer, despite a global pandemic. At Chapman, Black Student Union members and many others in the Chapman Family have led calls for action, and the university has entered a time of serious self-examination as it moves from talking to taking next steps toward fulfilling that founding promise. President Daniele C. Struppa named Vice Provost Lawrence “LB” Brown to serve as Presidential Advisor on Faculty Diversification, and Provost Glenn Pfeiffer also announced that a vacated position of director of diversity and inclusion will be elevated to the level of vice president. That search is underway. “I actually view this as an awakening,” justice advocate Jimmie C. Gardner said during a Chapman virtual town hall in June called “Turning Anguish to Purpose: The Path Forward.” Gardner, who spent 27 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, is now a student in Chapman’s School of Communication, having earned a Presidential Scholarship. “Everything happens for a reason,” he added during the town hall. “I believe we’re moving in the right direction.”

TANGIBLE STEPS TO ‘CHANGE STRUCTURAL BARRIERS’ On the pages that follow, we at Chapman Magazine seek to take the pulse of that movement to address issues of diversity, equity and inclusion at Chapman. We highlight the work and bring in the voices of advocates from our shared community – students, faculty members, alumni and others – who care deeply about these issues and the future of Chapman. All involved acknowledge that the change they pursue won’t be easily accomplished. It will take institution-wide contributions to “help change structural barriers and inequities in our society and at our university,” Struppa said. The imperfect journey of Chapman University, begun during a time of historic division in our nation, nonetheless remains grounded in a Lincolnesque vision of achieving a more perfect university. In this, the year of Chapman's 160th anniversary, that vision points toward a thriving future the university seeks to build with all of its communities. “It’s not a matter of focusing on cancel culture,” said Albert Roberson, Chapman equal opportunity and diversity officer, “but ensuring that our community has a thoughtful conversation on how we can get better.”







This community has been my home throughout college, and I know we will always be bound by our struggles, our dedication to social justice and, most importantly, our friendship. I was born and raised in the border city of Chula Vista, where every other person and restaurant is Mexican, and every other word switches from Spanish to English. I came to Chapman University to pursue a degree in peace studies, and in my first semester I went from speaking Spanish every day to maybe once a week, usually short exchanges with Chapman custodial and facilities staff members. One day, I was walking back to my residence hall from class, and as I said buenas tardes during such an exchange, I became very aware of my privilege. I realized that I was in college because even though my mom is a Mexican, born and raised in Tijuana, and my dad is a Cuban immigrant, they are racially white. That greatly increased their social capital. I decided that I would use my white privilege and college education to empower my Latinx community so that our skin color wouldn’t have to separate us. I became heavily involved in campus cultural clubs and political initiatives. I found people who experienced the same side effects of a predominantly white institution, and with whom I could just be myself – unfiltered and unapologetic. This community has been my home throughout college, and I know we will always be bound by our struggles, our dedication to social justice and, most importantly, our friendship. The spaces where we exist, though, are sparse. Most of the time, there is a chilling silence surrounding our identities that

Natalia Ventura's mix of art and activism includes her "Chap-tivism" project, a digital timeline featuring stories of social justice and injustice. A link to the project is at

rings in our ears when we walk through campus. This silence is the result of an institution that has not always actively included people of all backgrounds. It causes many minoritized students to experience isolation, anxiety, depression, discrimination and sometimes hate. I’ve learned to actively care for myself to cope with the side effects of predominantly white institutions. One way I do this is through art. Making art has helped me find freedom in the place where my identities and passions intersect. It has pushed me to be more authentically myself in whiteor male-dominated spaces. It has fed my capacity for activism. I’m humbled to have reached a place of self-worth, purpose and authenticity through my art and activism. The communities that helped me get there were hard to find, and sometimes I had to build them from scratch. But I am here, nonetheless, and I will not let my presence go unnoticed. My Chapman experience is not the one they advertise on banners and pamphlets. In Moulton Hall, I learned I was an artist-activist. In the Cross-Cultural Center, I found my voice, my community and the purpose of my college career. My Chapman experience was latenight club meetings, collaborating with friends about how we could mobilize to make change at Chapman. It was walking out at the Piazza to protest gun violence and Brett Kavanaugh. It was demanding better conditions for Black students, who make up just 2% of our overall

student population. It was hearing Angela Davis and Dolores Huerta speak on stage at Memorial Hall. It was organizing a coalition of activists over Zoom in the middle of a pandemic to stop white supremacists from teaching at our school. This was my Chapman experience. And even after I graduate, the people I organized with will be my Chapman community. Every last student who walks onto campus as a first-year should be able to look back on graduation day and feel pride. If they don’t, then we need to make changes to ensure that they do. The time of performative diversity, equity and inclusion is over. We need every last Chapman student, alumnus, professor, staff member, administrator, trustee and parent to join us. Let’s build a Chapman community where every last student can be themselves in every space, all the time, and reach their full potential. Natalia Ventura ’21 is a peace studies major who helped create her own minor in aesthetic activism. She is the lead assistant in the Chapman Cross-Cultural Center and co-chair of the Advisory Group on the Status of People of Color for the Chapman Diversity Project. An interview with Ventura is at








Each year, about 2.8 million Americans get bacterial infections that resist treatment by the antibiotics designed to knock them out. About 35,000 of those patients die – globally the mortality figure is 700,000. Projections are that by 2050, 10 million people will die every year due to antimicrobial resistance, making this one of the world’s biggest threats to health, food security and development. Research scientists at Chapman have seen the daunting numbers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and they are motivated to pursue breakthroughs in the labs of the university’s Keck Center for Science and Engineering and the Rinker Health Science Campus in Irvine.

Michael Ibba, a microbiologist and the new dean of Schmid College of Science and Technology, is studying molecular mechanisms, including how bacteria react when an antibiotic is sent to destroy them.



“COLLABORATION IS Keykavous Parang CRITICAL.” – Pharm.D., Ph.D.

EXPLORING HOW CELLS ADAPT TO UNIQUE STRESSES Joining the overall Chapman team working to combat antibiotic resistance is Michael Ibba, Ph.D., a microbiologist and the new dean of Chapman University’s Schmid College of Science and Technology. Ibba arrived at Chapman this summer from Ohio State University, where he chaired the Department of Microbiology and led a research lab that is moving to Chapman. He and his team will continue work Ibba started two decades ago, exploring molecular mechanisms and how cells adapt to different stresses. Included in those stresses is the challenge faced by bacteria when confronted with an antibiotic sent to destroy them. “Like any other evolutionary process, if you put a challenge in front of cells, it’s adapt or die,” says Ibba, who was associate director of the Infectious Diseases Institute and co-director of the National Institutes of Health’s Cellular, Molecular, and Biochemical Sciences Training Program at Ohio State. “That’s why when you look at a prescription, it says to make sure you take the full course of the antibiotic. You’ve got to get rid of all the bacteria cells, some of which might have already started to develop resistance.” Funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and Army Research Office, Ibba’s research has yielded many insights, including nuances in the behavior of different populations of bacteria. “Some cells see antibiotics and go to sleep – basically they wait for better times to come,” he says. “This response is known as persistence. If new antibiotics just kill cells that are rapidly growing, the persistent cells will re-emerge.”



Left: “With a combination of antibiotics, the bacteria have less chance to retain resistance," Professor Parang says. Right: School of Pharmacy researcher Keykavous Parang, left, consults with colleague Rakesh Tiwari in their lab on Chapman's Rinker Health Science Campus.

As he settles into his new role as dean of Schmid College, Ibba is also eager to get his lab up and running in Chapman’s 2-year-old Keck Center for Science and Engineering, a 140,000-square- foot facility he calls “stunning.” In addition, he’s excited to explore opportunities for collaboration with colleagues in the School of Pharmacy. “I see great potential for partnerships,” Ibba says. At the Chapman University School of Pharmacy, Keykavous Parang, Pharm.D., Ph.D., works alongside his colleague, Rakesh Tiwari, Ph.D., in the lab they share at the Chapman University School of Pharmacy. The team also includes Jason Yamaki, Pharm.D., Ph.D., who works with patients fighting bacterial infections. Collaboration is critical, Parang says. “I’m a medicinal chemist who can synthesize a lot of active antibacterial agents, but I benefit greatly from having an infectious disease expert to evaluate further the active compounds developed at my laboratory in the preclinical and clinical setting,” he says. Team science helps promising research projects escape what Parang calls “the valley of death.” “You can make a lot of active compounds, but if circumstances aren’t there for strong partnership, you won’t be able to make an impact with them,” he says, noting that the chain extends to include pharmaceutical industry funding and marketing support. “There’s a link between the team approach and successful opportunities for impact.”

DEVELOPING A NEW CLASS OF ANTIMICROBIALS For School of Pharmacy research partners Parang and Tiwari, potential is turning to progress as they investigate a new class of antimicrobial agents. This burgeoning area of research is based on peptides, short strings of amino acids with an ability to destroy microbes. They have developed a large library of cyclic antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) that have shown promising activity against several multidrug-resistant bacteria as stand-alone or in combination with other antibiotics. Several lead compounds are being evaluated in animal models for both efficacy and toxicity. AMPs show promise in countering antibacterial resistance because of their broad-spectrum activities as well as their resilience and stability. They also offer reduced toxicity to host cells. In other words, there’s hope they can be programmed to kill the bad cells and keep the good. The latest studies from the labs of Parang and Tiwari feature their work on new compounds that include synthesized peptides. The options they prioritize are active against both Grampositive- and Gram-negative-resistant bacterial pathogens and bacterial biofilm production, Tiwari says. The peptides leak the membrane of bacteria. “If the peptide can disintegrate the membrane, the bacteria will die,” Tiwari says. “Resistance to these unique peptides takes lots of layers of adaptation, and that can take multiple years, as opposed to regular antibiotics.” Working with Yamaki and assisted by students with lab training, the researchers modify and

optimize new compounds. However, the goals of the project go beyond day-to-day steps to develop an effective new drug, Tiwari says. “We may end up getting a drug, based on funding and other factors, but my end goals include providing cutting-edge training to students so they develop the scientific aptitude to tackle these kinds of problems,” Tiwari says. USING PEPTIDES IN COMBINATION WITH EXISTING ANTIBIOTICS Students will continue to play important roles as the researchers take the next steps with their peptide platform. “We’ll be looking at synergistic activity with other antibiotics and antivirals,” Parang says. “With a combination of antibiotics, the bacteria have less chance to retain resistance; we can target different events in the life cycle of the bacteria. If they have resistance to one compound, they may still be sensitive to another.” By early 2021, the Chapman researchers hope to have filed an Investigative New Drug application with the Food and Drug Administration for human trials. “One interesting aspect is that while we have been targeting bacteria, some of the peptides are active against coronavirus because of their antiviral properties,” Parang says. “That’s another avenue we are pursuing.” These days, research labs like the ones on Chapman’s Rinker Health Science Campus are more important than ever. Because of the high costs of shepherding new antibiotics from lab to

Left: Pharmacy researcher Rakesh Tiwari, Ph.D., is among the Chapman scientists developing antibiotic alternatives to combat the global health problem of bacterial resistance. Right: David Akinwale, Ph.D. graduate student in the lab of professors Keykavous Parang and Rakesh Tiwari, is aiding research that may yield new antibiotic options. market and low profit margins as patients were treated quickly, some pharmaceutical companies abandoned developing new antibacterial agents in the 1980s, Parang says. But that’s changing, he adds. “Large and small pharmaceutical companies are coming back to the effort because of the scale of the problem,” he says. “They know there will be a huge market priority in the coming years.”

are pursuing further support as they prepare for the possibility of navigating multiple phases of trials. All roads lead them back to the benefits of collaboration. “More resources and more expertise,” Parang says. “Partnerships bring the armaments that advance the science and move projects forward.”

Research by Parang and Tiwari has received funding from AJK Pharmaceuticals, but the pair


Germs like bacteria develop the ability to defeat drugs designed to kill them. Imprudent use of antibiotics, such as overprescribing or use for the treatment of viral diseases, accelerates the emergence of multidrugresistant bacteria. As a result, infections like pneumonia, tuberculosis, urinary tract infections and salmonellosis are becoming harder to treat.


Chapman University researchers are part of a global effort to better understand the science of antimicrobial drug resistance and to develop antibacterial agents that address the threat.




“It will help give a little girl with big dreams and little guidance or finances an opportunity to become successful and leave her mark on the world.”

Vanessa Mendoza




A $9 million gift from the Simon Family Foundation provides primary care to underserved communities, “changing lives for good.” At first glance, the ceramic Snoopy figurine atop Vanessa Mendoza’s desk at home may seem like just a bit of whimsy. But the special memento from a departed friend means much more to the Chapman University alumna and graduate student. The endearing beagle of Peanuts fame was a gift to Mendoza from an elderly man she visited regularly as a hospice volunteer. She keeps it close as a reminder of what it means to make a difference in people’s lives, something she looks forward to doing with her own life as she enters Chapman University’s Physician Assistant program. “One of the things he told me that last time I spoke with him was that if he could do anything before he passed away, he would dress up in a Snoopy outfit and visit CHOC Children’s hospital. Here he was in his 90s and the last thing he wanted to do was give back,” says Mendoza ’19 (MS ’23). “That really says something about him, and that’s the kind of person I want to be as well.” Thanks to a $9 million gift from the Simon Family Foundation, Mendoza and other PA students are well on their way to achieving their dreams. The Chapman biology major experienced childhood homelessness, helped raise her younger siblings and still managed to graduate magna cum laude. Now she is one of the inaugural recipients of a Simon Scholar PA Program Scholarship. Each year for the next five years, the foundation’s $9 million gift will support full scholarships for 10 students from underserved communities with limited resources. The donation will have a far-reaching

Left: Simon PA Scholar Vanessa Mendoza ‘19 (MS ‘23) says she’s grateful for the program, which “will allow me to give back to my community.”

impact, says Sheryl Bourgeois, Ph.D., Chapman executive vice president and chief advancement officer. While the Simon Family Foundation gift helps meet the growing demand for more front-line health care providers, it also opens doors of opportunity to talented and academically successful students who might otherwise struggle to realize career dreams because of family hardships and financial adversity.

CHANGING THE TRAJECTORY, MEETING IMMEDIATE NEEDS “The impact of the commitment made by Ron and Sandi Simon to provide full-ride scholarships for these physician assistants will be tremendously long-lasting,” Bourgeois said. ”Not only have they changed the trajectory for these individuals who have come from underserved populations and might never have been able to afford this education without taking on debt, but they have inspired them to pay forward the altruism shown; most plan to stay in Orange County and serve those in need. This is what philanthropy is really about: changing lives for good.” Those outcomes are at the heart of Ron Simon’s passion for this program, and dovetail with the aims of the Simon Scholars Foundation. Through this and other scholarship programs, the foundation has helped more than 1,100 Southern California students excel in high school and enter college with the support they need for continued success, including at Chapman University.

This newest initiative to support students seeking physician assistant degrees grew as Simon learned of the need for more frontline medical professionals. Through research and conversations with physicians at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, he discovered how PAs are playing a significant role in the delivery of health care. A tour of Chapman’s PA program facilities and teaching labs at Rinker Health Science Campus in Irvine impressed him beyond measure. “That put me over the edge to make the commitment,” he said. “We’re excited to provide these opportunities for students so they won’t be burdened by debt and they get a chance to serve local communities where the care is needed most.” Dr. Michael Brant-Zawadzki, the Ron and Sandi Simon Executive Medical Director at Hoag’s Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute, says physician assistants are vital in health care today as care needs grow. Moreover, the Simon PAs will help correct health care inequities. “We’ve all heard about disparities of care in underserved communities. Having physician assistants that come from these communities will help address that disparity, given their passion for care in the communities they come from. The outreach and assistance they provide will be a great asset,” BrantZawadzki said. Indeed, the goal of guiding students from underserved communities into careers

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as physician assistants persuaded 31-year physician assistant Gerald Glavaz to join Chapman as its associate dean of the Simon Scholar PA Program Fund. Previously, Glavaz was chair of the Physician Assistant Sciences program at Loma Linda University. “The effect will be profound. Our Simon PA Scholars have committed to going to work where they are needed. They will have a positive impact on improving access to care in these underserved areas, and that care will come from culturally competent providers,” Glavaz said.

BRINGING CARE TO RURAL AND MINORITY COMMUNITIES The program also aligns with a chief goal of Chapman’s Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences, which houses the PA program, said its founding dean, Janeen Hill.

important role in addressing health care disparities in Orange County by educating a health care workforce committed to working in the county's underserved minority and rural communities,” said Hill, Ph.D. That’s long been Mendoza’s goal, too. All

“We’re excited to provide these opportunities for students so they won’t be burdened by debt and they get a chance to serve local communities where the care is needed most.”

along her educational path, beginning in high school when she started a club that held bake sales to help pay for women’s mammograms, she has been determined to work in underserved populations. With her can-do spirit, she was determined to make it happen, regardless of the cost. The Simon Scholarship allows a bit of ease in a young life that has already been so challenging. “This program will allow me to give back to my community, upon completion,” Mendoza said. “It will help give a little girl with big dreams and little guidance or finances an opportunity to become successful and leave her mark on the world.”

– Ron Simon

“Through the generosity of Ron and Sandi Simon, our PA program is now playing an

Simon Family Impact Spans Disciplines T

he Simon Family Foundation supports the development of future leaders from Chapman in many fields and disciplines.

Most recently, a $5 million gift names the 28,000-square-foot Ron and Sandi Simon Center for Dance, slated for a May 2022 opening. The historic Villa Park Packinghouse buildings on Cypress Street will house the new teaching space, adapted by historic-preservation architects for the new use. Among its features will be a dedicated area for providing physical therapy to dance students. Launched in 2015 as a partnership between the university and Orange High School, the Simon STEM Scholars program serves talented students from underserved communities who plan to major in a STEM discipline – science, technology, engineering or math. Students receive unique mentorship to prepare them for admission to Chapman, as well as a full scholarship. The support begins in students’ high school years with leadership development, training in life skills and advising to help them prepare for college.



HERE TO LEND A HAND. We need something that only you can give — your time!

Our volunteers are essential in helping us provide the Chapman Experience for every Chapman Family member. We have an array of fun, high-impact volunteer opportunities for every kind of volunteer in almost every department on campus:

• Mentors

• Committees and task forces

• Event support

• Speakers

• Panelists

• Career assistance

Our new Volunteer Portal makes it easier than ever to get involved. Whether you live close to campus or across the globe, we have in-person and virtual opportunities for you. To learn more, go to



‘I DIDN’T KNOW THAT …‘ Considering the painful history of race and social justice, there is no end of ways for students to finish such a sentence of discovery. BY DAWN BONKER Nurturing conversations that fill in voids and challenge us as Americans was the driving goal behind “Engaging the World: Leading the Conversation on the Significance of Race.” The semester-long initiative in Chapman’s Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences included a virtual film series, guest speakers, memorial observances, an art exhibition, panel discussions and more. Wilkinson’s First-Year Foundations courses focused on the theme as well. We thought one way to hear how it went was to let students start the conversation by offering some of their takeaways from “Engaging the World.” With what they know now, more conversations are sure to follow.

“I didn't know that Shirley Chisholm was not only the first Black woman elected to Congress but also the first Black woman candidate for a major party's nomination for president of the United States.” –TATIANA HAYNES

From “Anti-Racism, A Continuous Journey From the Civil Rights Movement to Black Lives Matter and Beyond,” taught by Presidential Fellow in Peace Studies “Prexy” (Rozell W.) Nesbitt, Ph.D.

"I didn’t know that the racial wealth gap between a typical white family is nearly 10 times greater than that of an African American one. This goes to show that the deep-rooted racism in this country continues to hinder the opportunity for African Americans to be equally treated and grow in society." – RILEY DAY "I didn't know that there is no middle ground between being racist and anti-racist. The middle ground is a place of privilege, and it doesn't exist. I tried staying in this middle ground, and I have realized I can't just stand by and not be racist myself while at the same time I let others get away with unacceptable behavior.” – KATE BROWN

From “Yellow Power to Yellow Peril,” taught by Stephanie Takaragawa, Ph.D., associate dean of academic affairs “I didn't know that the Hollywood Hays Code, intended to set moral standards in Hollywood, also made yellow face prevalent on screen because it was unacceptable to positively portray interracial relationships, subjugating talented Asian actors to secondary roles.” – BERNADINE CORTINA

From “Black Feminisms” taught by Angelica Allen, Ph.D. assistant professor, co-director of the Africana Studies minor program

“I didn't know that the first example of yellow face and whitewashing in Hollywood was over 100 years ago in the silent film ‘Madame Butterfly’ (1915), and I'm shocked that films like ‘The Last Airbender’ (2010) carried this trend all the way into the 21st century.” – MICHAEL PEPITO



From the “Engaging the World” event, “To Remember and Reflect: In Memory of Kristallnacht 1938,” co-hosted with Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education

From "Intelligence, Race, Music, and Sports,” taught by Keith Howard, Ph.D., associate professor, associate dean for graduate education and academic affairs. "I didn't know how differently sports media outlets portrayed and publicized the criminal cases of NFL players Michael Vick and Ben Roethlisberger; Vick's was given significantly more attention and his behavior was thematically attached to a subculture of black violence, while Roethlisberger (white) did not face the same scrutiny.” – RACHEL BERNS

"I didn’t know that the only reason 10-year-old Thomas Buergenthal survived the atrocities of the Auschwitz death camp was because of the generosity of fellow captive, Odd Nansen, a Norwegian architect and son of famed explorer Fridtjof Nansen.”

– SYD BREWSTER From a film festival screening and discussion of “In a Beat,” a short drama portraying the challenges of a Black boy with autism.

“I didn't know that individuals who are both neurodiverse and Black experience distinct obstacles because of societal prejudice against their intersectional identities.” − LAUREN BRAMLETT

From “Hostile Terrain 94,” a pop-up art project of toe tags placed on a map, showing the locations where remains of migrants have been found near the U.S. southern border. Students hand-wrote the toe tags.

“I didn’t know how many migrants die in these deadly border-crossing zones. From watching documentaries and TV shows, I assumed the only deadly part of the natural border was the Rio Grande River. I falsely assumed that once a migrant was across the border, their journey was essentially complete.” – MICHAEL PEPITO

“I didn’t know that there was an entire genre of British music called Grime that is rooted in the specific experience of people from the African diaspora that combines their spirituality, race and music.”

− MARISA QUEZADA From “Grime: a Journey Into the Roots of a Black British Music Form,” a guest lecture by scholar Monique Charles, Ph.D.



THE CHILDREN ARE ALL RIGHT Before joining the Chapman faculty, a professor of color does her homework. In the end, she opts to influence the culture and help change an industry. BY LEAH ALDRIDGE

Recently a colleague extended a traditional Masai greeting to me that gave me great pause before responding: “Kasserian Ingera?” or “And how are the children?” Deceptively simple, this greeting is, yes, an interrogative to the individual, but culturally, can be understood as a pulse check on the surrounding community or larger society. To inquire as to the wellbeing of the young, vulnerable and impressionable really translates on some level to “How are you holding up as a community, a culture, a species?” I resisted a rote response: I wondered if I could confidently reply “All the children are well.” Rewind to mid-2019, where a crisis unfolds at Dodge College of Film and Media Arts over the poster display of “Birth of a Nation,” a white supremacist treatise from 1915 held in high regard by film schools and some cinephiles around the world ostensibly because of its cinematic innovation. Narratively depicting the Reconstruction era, the film uses the melodramatic mode to denigrate Black Americans as it advances Lost Cause ideology, casts white southerners as victims of northern aggression, and celebrates the rise of the Ku Klux Klan. Dodge students’ protest of the school’s uncritical presentation via promotional posters was met with resistance. The path to resolution included faculty review, in an effort to avoid unilateral action, but that lengthened the process. The eventual crisis made the local papers, throwing not only Dodge but the entire Chapman Family into discussions regarding the school’s need for diversification of its faculty, curricular content, staff and student body.

BEFORE CONTEMPLATING A MOVE, A CONSIDERATION OF HISTORY Shortly after the resolution of said controversy, I was contacted by Dodge Film Studies faculty to possibly teach Black cinema classes for Chapman. Real talk: I had to give Chapman the side-eye. Orange County’s reputation as unfriendly to people of color “behind the Orange Curtain,” and the timing of the request gave me pause yet again.



I knew, based on research, that the City of Orange and, by extension, Orange County practiced its fair share of white supremacist racism. Practices included restrictive housing covenants, sundown towns (where people of color were expected to leave by sundown), and conventional racial segregation and discrimination commensurate with the rest of the United States. When coupling Dodge’s “Birth of a Nation” poster crisis, questions regarding Chapman’s historical lack of diversity, and that of the surrounding community, with a two-hour round-trip commute from Los Angeles, I did not see a serious relationship forming between Chapman and myself. But I did wonder: And how are the children? As 2020 unfolded, the pandemic necessitated a complete reordering of personal and societal priorities, further fraying our national social fabric.

HARSH REALITIES PROMPT A PERSPECTIVE OF RESISTANCE To be clear, 2020 was a pretty extraordinary year, the specifics of which are too numerous to enumerate here. But as the nation grappled then (and continues to do so) and attempts to reconcile perennial white supremacy with the nation’s democratic ideals, the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd (on the heels of Elijah McClain, Atatiana Jefferson, and countless other victims of fatal force at the hands of law enforcement) on top of growing pandemic, proved to be too much for those of us who understand these occurrences are not isolated incidents. They are the unfortunate outcomes of state-sanctioned excessive use of force against a Black polity always already presumed to be criminal just by walking down the street or simply being. As Donald Trump fomented white ethnonationalism as his chief re-election strategy, how could thousands of multiethnic protestors not pour into the streets around the globe, professing what should be without question – that Black Lives Matter? So, when

Dodge College Dean Stephen Galloway circled back to me from the previous year’s conversation, this time to join Chapman as a full-time faculty member, in my mind I had to ask, “How will this particular community reconcile its past with the present moment as a strategy toward a better future for all?”

A CRITICAL ANALYSIS INFORMED BY PERSONAL HISTORY I resisted more of the side-eye and engaged in a mutual vetting process between the school and myself. I’m not sure how many people know this, but it is not uncommon for Black people to think “How much racism will there be?” when considering employment anywhere. It’s just a part of growing up in the United States. As such, I cannot divorce my Black womanhood, which began on the south side of Chicago, came of age during Los Angeles’ crack cocaine epidemic, and forged feminist bones by working with sexual assault and domestic violence organizers, from the way I navigate the world. In my previous travails, I had a history of building things – programs, organizations, curricula, products, relationships; if you needed something created, people knew they could count on me. Did Dodge have stuff they wanted built? Would I be allowed to participate, be heard and respected? The dean and other key administrators helped me come to see this as an opportunity to positively contribute to the changing culture at Dodge. As the industry realizes the economic viability of generating filmic and televisual content that actually reflects global populations, so too do our film schools. I would be in position to influence how students change entertainment industry culture, which has broad influence across the U.S. and transnationally. I needed to understand that my hire would not be an act of tokenism but instead be part of a concerted effort and commitment to creating access and opportunity for diverse students for whom representation is an important aspect of their academic experience.

“I needed to understand that my hire would not be an act of tokenism but instead be part of a concerted effort and commitment to creating access and opportunity for diverse students for whom representation is an important aspect of their academic experience.” – Leah Aldridge


I look forward to my own real-world experience with Orange County, one that affirms a sense of belonging. So far, all signs have been encouraging.

Fall 2020 was my inaugural semester as an assistant professor at Dodge College. New positions in new environments always generate new opportunities as well as a set of managed expectations. Like 2020 newborns, my arrival would be steeped in a COVID-cautious world which in this instance meant little to no in-person contact or access to the campus.


I did give myself permission to imagine what possibilities this new venture would bring, even as I confronted typical anxieties stemming from new employment. I wondered: How will I get a sense of the school’s culture, energy and vibe? What are the school’s traditions, and will my values align with theirs?

First and foremost, my colleagues have been exceedingly welcoming and helpful with my transition to Chapman. On campus, I found that students in my “Global Cinematic Blackness” class were beyond appreciative for their semester-long tour of Black cinema produced around the world. In a brief but important discussion, graduate MFA students in my “Television Analysis” class were able to have frank discussions about how to write “race” on the page; and my fantastically creative undergraduate scriptwriting students gave me much grace as they schooled me on how to use Canvas.

Kasserian Ingera? Having completed my first semester working with both undergraduate and graduate students, I have been impressed by Chapman students’ critical consciousness regarding social issues as well as their creative talent and eagerness to learn not only the creative aspects of the industry but also how to be a morally and ethically good professional in the business. They are aware and ready to contribute to creative conversations that render us as multifaceted and complex as we are. In the Chapman Family, the children are indeed well.





t was the late ’60s, and 10 college students wanted to challenge the racist norms they saw all around them. At the heart of their activism was a powerful declaration – one they were moved to place squarely on the jacket of their book.

“America Is a Racist Society!” Now, one of the authors of that book is working with a Chapman University professor and some reflective students to update the racial-justice narrative for a new generation. The result is an Honors course called “Race Matters: Institutional Racism in the US,” taught by Professor Carmichael Peters and featuring the mentorship of university Trustee Andrew Horowitz. In 1968, Horowitz was a senior at Stanford University as the realities of racism drove millions across the nation to advocate for change. In May 2020, as the killing of George Floyd stirred new imperatives for action, Horowitz was transported back to his activist college days. “You know, when we were their age, we wrote off anyone over 30 as irrelevant,” says Andrew Horowitz, who co-wrote the 1969 book "Institutional Racism" with college classmates. “The students in this (Chapman) class had a very different perspective.”

Racism Revisited BY DENNIS ARP

It was his daughter-in-law who suggested it was time to revisit and republish “Institutional Racism in America,” the book Horowitz and nine classmates had written more than 50 years before. “I thought about who I could call to help me figure out how to do this, and I decided the best person was Daniele Struppa,” recalls Horowitz, who built a career as a telecom entrepreneur and angel investor before joining the Chapman Board of Trustees.

‘OLD GUARD’ ENLISTS GEN Z TO RECONSIDER PATHS FORWARD After Horowitz shared his book with the Chapman president, “Daniele called me the next day and said, ‘This is amazing. I want us to redo what you did,’” Horowitz said. Struppa connected Horowitz with Peters, Ph.D., associate professor of religious studies and director of the University Honors Program, who crafted a fall seminar course. In the class, students read challenging source material and joined in multifaceted conversations toward the goal of “updating the book with new ways of addressing the problem of institutional racism from the perspective of Gen Z,” Horowitz said. At the center of the class were engrossing weekend discussions involving not just students and instructors but many of the 1969 book’s original authors – a group that includes three physicians, two retired teachers, two ministers and a lawyer.

A Chapman seminar course bridges five decades of activism, creating a multigenerational effort to root out institutional racism.



“Every Saturday for four hours, we gathered virtually, and this community was created around this tragic murder,” Peters said. “There was this sense of urgency to address an uncomfortable subject, and we had these wonderful students to join us. The reading was heavy. The people were consistent. And by the end, we had this wonderful community.” The experience of considering all the ways that racism is embedded in institutions, and then developing strategies for rooting it out, was both exhilarating and draining, Peters said.

CHAPMAN NOW ‘I WAS EXHAUSTED, BUT I WOULDN’T CHANGE A THING’ “It was the most difficult semester I have had in my teaching career,” added Peters, who has decades of classroom experience. “I was exhausted, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I looked forward to each Saturday. It’s the most relevant course I’ve taught in a long, long time. I looked forward not just to covering the material but to sitting down with these folks – the Old Guard and Gen Z, as Andy calls them – for open, honest conversation.” Horowitz also found the experience greatly rewarding, especially as he encountered the students’ engagement and generosity. “You know, when we were their age, we wrote off anyone over 30 as irrelevant,” said Andrew Horowitz, who cowrote the 1969 book "Institutional Racism" with college classmates. “The students in this (Chapman) class had a very different perspective.” Peters recalls a cross-generational discussion late in the fall semester on the subject of intersectionality – where issues of race overlap with those of gender, class and other justice considerations.

The class "Race Matters: Institutional Racism in the US” was "the most relevant course I've taught in a long, long time," says Professor Carmichael Peters.

“One young student argued that the understanding of intersectionality needs to be pushed further,” Peters said. “She said it has to include all generations, including seniors. For me, it was a moving moment of inclusion, as the youth took the lead.” There were also challenges – times when perspectives clashed. As the group discussed campus busts of historical figures with histories some students find troubling, Horowitz felt like his heart was with the activists as he also understood the perspective of Chapman administrators. But in those moments of consideration, commitments to respectful discourse never wavered. In the end, students from a range of majors and backgrounds joined with the “Old Guard” in a search for new paths forward. The journey continues during the spring semester, as a second iteration of the class picks up the work of updating the book. “The focus is going to be on solutions – ways the group can share its perspective and make it real in the world,” Horowitz said. “That’s what I’m looking forward to.”

READING LIST Among the works read and discussed in the course “Race Matters: Institutional Racism in the US”: • “White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide,”

• “Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism,”

“There was this sense of urgency to address an uncomfortable subject, and we had these wonderful students to join us.“

Carol Anderson (Bloomsbury, 2016)

Derrick Bell (Basic Books, 1992)

• “The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America,”

Richard Rothstein (Liveright Publishing, 2017)

Carmichael Peters SPRING 2021


“It’s rewarding to expose where cheating is going on in the (food) industry and to share that with consumers as well as regulatory agencies.” Rosalee Hellberg, who leads Chapman’s Food Protection Lab

Professor Rosalee Hellberg, left, heads the Chapman Food Protection Lab and is the lead editor of the book “Food Fraud: A Global Threat With Public Health and Economic Consequences.”

FILLET OF FRAUD A Chapman food science professor and her students use molecular tools to peel back the layers of deceptive labeling. BY DENNIS ARP


n a hook or in a net, red snapper isn’t difficult to distinguish from rockfish or tilapia. But once the fish are filleted, they become hard to tell apart, making it easy for the unscrupulous to slip imposters past the typical guards of consumer protection. Just how easy? Well, a recent study by Professor Rosalee Hellberg and the Food Protection Lab at Chapman University found that 92% of retail samples labeled as red snapper were in fact a different species. Molecular testing identified them as mahi mahi, rockfish, tilapia or other snapper species. Definitely not what shoppers were paying extra to get. “There are a lot of issues and a lot of consequences of food fraud,” says Hellberg, Ph.D., associate professor of food science in Chapman’s Schmid College of Science and Technology. Hellberg’s research, which focuses on rapid methods for detection of food fraud and food contaminants, has greatly benefited from the university’s Faculty Opportunity Fund.

Faculty Opportunity Fund Supports Emerging Research Launched in 2017, the fund supports Chapman research and creative activity as the researchers also pursue external funding. Over its three-year existence, the Faculty Opportunity Fund has seeded dozens of projects with awards of up to $15,000. For Hellberg and the Food Protection Lab, the funding helped support research that included advances in multimode hyperspectral imaging and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology to reveal undeclared species in food products. In addition to testing seafood, the lab applies its molecular techniques to root out unlabeled ingredients in pet foods, game meats and dietary supplements.




“The goal is to provide our faculty with opportunities to catalyze new and innovative areas of exploration.” Thomas Piechota, VICE PRESIDENT FOR RESEARCH

Student researcher Gabby McBride works on lab samples in Keck Center for Science and Engineering. DNA research by food science graduate student Charles Quinto revealed that some game meats labeled as bear were in fact beaver. “Mislabeling like this seems economically motivated because there’s a substantial opportunity for profit,” Quinto says. “That really opened my eyes.” Hellberg says that working with students like Quinto provides rewards for her as well as the fledgling researchers. “I enjoy seeing how they gain confidence and grow to take ownership of a project,” Hellberg says. “A lot my students end up being lead or co-authors on scientific publications.” Aided by student researchers, the Food Protection Lab has helped bring to light the layers of food fraud. The Grocery Manufacturers Association estimates that consumer product fraud costs U.S. manufacturers as much as $15 billion a year. “Fraud has been found to happen at all levels of the supply chain,” says Hellberg, who previously worked for the federal Food and Drug Administration. “As you move farther down the chain, you’ll find a higher percentage of fraud.”

Collaboration Helps Expose Dishonest Dealers Sometimes the mislabeling is inadvertent, but often it’s the work of dishonest dealers substituting cheaper species for financial gain, Hellberg says. She and her lab team, which includes graduate and undergraduate students, often collaborate with scientists at enforcement agencies and publish their findings in peer-reviewed journals. “It’s rewarding to expose where cheating is going on in the industry and to share that with consumers as well as regulatory agencies,” says Hellberg, who in 2017 received the Emerging Leaders Network Award from the Institute of Food Technologists. She also has earned Chapman’s Wang-Fradkin Assistant Professorship Award, the university’s highest honor for research, and she is the lead editor of the book “Food Fraud: A Global Threat With Public Health and Economic Consequences.”

Students such as A.J. Silva and Rachel Isaacs help move Food Protection Lab projects forward. Those health threats include food allergies triggered by unlabeled ingredients, as well as exposure to foodborne pathogens and toxins. In addition, sometimes food fraud research identifies threatened or endangered species in consumer products, Hellberg says. Red snapper is a particular target for fraud because it is highly valued and in limited supply because of overfishing, she says. “We’ve been able to show widespread mislabeling of red snapper and further develop techniques to improve fraud detection,” Hellberg notes. The research has earned funding from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration for a project involving multimode hyperspectral imaging for food quality and safety. The lab’s promising results with a benchtop imager support its goal of developing a handheld imager for rapid screening of fish species. “We learn more with every new study we do,” Hellberg says.





Building on the venue’s success, the College of Performing Arts dean explores new opportunities for students and the community. Stepping in to help lead the Musco Center for the Arts in its planning is Giulio Ongaro, dean of the College of Performing Arts (CoPA). Ongaro says he looks forward to building on the center’s success, while also developing new opportunities in the post-COVID-19 days to come. “Musco Center for the Arts is a wonderful resource for the College of Performing Arts, for Chapman and for our community. When the center was designed, faculty and students were placed at the center of the activities, creating a laboratory where our students could perform in a state-of-the-art venue. We want to emphasize this, while also leveraging Musco Center to connect with the community – and especially with the rich cultures that our community offers,” said Ongaro, Ph.D. Such ambitions will play out largely as performance venues around the world work to bring audiences back, but Ongaro is convinced that people are eager to trade sweatpants-at-home streaming habits for the real electricity of live entertainment. “I have faith in the power of a live performance because there is nothing like that shared experience, that moment of wonder when everything clicks on stage and you are on the edge of your seat as an audience member,” he says. “I believe that will bring audiences back.” Now, united under the same leadership, Musco and CoPA are well positioned to deliver that excitement together, collaboratively creating unique student opportunities and profound audience experiences. Last year saw the introduction of Musco Center’s Leap of Art Initiative, along with a series of companion master classes, artist residencies and other special programs that connected audiences to the academic experience and provided students enriched opportunities to work with renowned visiting artists. A key focus going forward will be an expansion of those types of collaborations, Ongaro says. “Musco executive director Richard Bryant and I, as well as our staffs, have already been thinking about the ways in which we can further enhance the student experience in Musco,” he says. “The center has



William Hall, above, is retiring as founding dean of Musco Center for the Arts. Dean Giulio Ongaro, top, is taking on the additional role of Musco Center leadership.


Over five decades, Chapman’s longest serving dean taught generations of students and built a tradition of excellence in the performing arts. His choir sang to popes, his teaching shaped the musical careers of hundreds of Chapman University alumni, and his leadership helped make the Marybelle and Sebastian P. Musco Center for the Arts a hub for the arts in Southern California. Now in his 58th year as professor of music at Chapman University, William Hall is retiring as dean and artistic director of Musco Center for the Arts. He is the longest-serving dean in Chapman’s history. “As founding dean of CoPA, then founding dean of Musco Center, Bill has had an immeasurable impact on Chapman. We are greatly indebted to him for his many years of service," said Chapman President Daniele Struppa. Hall’s dedication to Chapman leaves a foundational legacy that will long serve the College of Performing Arts (CoPA) and Musco Center, said CoPA Dean Giulio Ongaro, who now heads up the leadership at Musco Center. “The tradition of excellence Bill set at CoPA and Musco Center is valuable beyond measure,” Ongaro said. “I benefit greatly from his experience and wisdom.”


Since his arrival at Chapman in 1963, Hall has become an icon of music pedagogy and a champion of vocal performance in Southern California. The William Hall Chorale and Orange County Master Chorale, which he directed for many years, performed for presidents, popes and kings. He has guest conducted many symphony orchestras, including the San Francisco Symphony, Vienna Symphony and London BBC Symphony. The William Hall Chorale was under contract to Columbia Artists Management for more than 30 years and sang throughout the U.S. and abroad. As an educator and mentor, Hall has influenced the lives of thousands of students through his teaching, clinics and choral festivals. A retirement celebration will be planned as COVID restrictions ease.

been presenting many performances that are tied to what we teach, and our students have benefited from master classes and residencies done by those artists, so we know the model works.” Musco Center and CoPA have also both emphasized bringing new voices and underrepresented artists to their stages. Harnessed together, those efforts will have even greater reach, Ongaro predicts.

Similarly, CoPA created and hosted the Conscious Speaker Series, featuring guest artists from the Black Lives Matter and Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) communities. This spring the Department of Theatre presented an ensemble of student-written scenes inspired by personal experience and related to the movements. Ongaro promises more is to come.

“In different and complementary ways, we have been engaging in building this aspect of our work. It is not a coincidence, for example, that the @Musco series is providing many online events that deal with those themes from a variety of angles,” he says.

“We have many ideas to be a real bridge between Chapman and the community: Some projects have started now, others will have to wait until we can be in person,” he says. “But there is no question that this is a discussion we will continue for the foreseeable future.”

At Musco, programming inspired by the social justice movement following the spring 2020 protests included meet-the-artist conversations about the state of artists of color in dance as well as virtual concerts by the popular Bolero group Tres Souls.

Ongaro’s new role comes as William Hall, founding dean and artistic director at Marybelle and Sebastian P. Musco Center for the Arts, retires from an illustrious 58-year career at Chapman..



Jim Swenson's love of science and technology sparked a career and led him to found Details Inc.


The Swenson Family Hall of Engineering honors the generosity of Jim Swenson and ensures opportunities for student success. Halfway through Jim Swenson’s senior year, his college dream was in jeopardy. It was 1958, and he had run out of money for tuition. Luckily, Bob Banks at First National Bank of Wisconsin was there to provide assistance. The two met at Banks’ office, and Swenson left with a $900 personal loan, plus a simple entreaty – someday repay the favor to help someone else. “Make a promise. Deliver on a promise. That’s what was reinforced to me,” Swenson says in the biography “Opening Doors: Jim Swenson’s Life of Grit, Gratitude and Giving,” written by his son-in-law, author Christopher Lentz. “Mr. Banks planted the seed for what would become the Swenson Family Foundation and



our Swenson Scholars scholarship program. He taught me how important it is for one hand to reach forward and one hand to reach back in an unbroken chain.” Now that chain of generosity will extend deep into the future, touching the lives of countless Chapman University students, thanks to a $5 million gift by the Swenson Family Foundation. The gift, announced Thursday, Sept. 24, names the Swenson Family Hall of Engineering in Chapman’s Keck Center for Science and Engineering.

NEW STATE-OF-THE-ART ENGINEERING HALL WILL OPEN IN FALL 2021 When the gift opens the doors to the engineering hall – planned for fall 2021 – Chapman will fully realize the largest and most ambitious project in its history. The 140,000-square-foot building first opened in fall 2018, with the science wing inaugurating the opportunity for students to learn and grow in the state-of-the-art facility. As the Swenson Family Hall of Engineering continues its buildout in preparation for the 2021 opening, students in the 2-year-old Dale E. and Sarah Ann Fowler School of Engineering excitedly await the chance to transfer their

energies to the newest home for study, research and innovation at Chapman. “This generous gift will inspire generations of Chapman engineers and innovators,” said Chapman President Daniele C. Struppa, expressing the university’s gratitude to the Swenson Family. “I can’t think of a better name to grace the engineering wing than that of the Swenson Family,” added Andrew Lyon, Ph.D., founding dean of Fowler School of Engineering. “In Fowler Engineering, we bring a strong commitment to values to everything we do. The same was true for Jim Swenson – the kindness, generosity and ambition that he displayed throughout his life represent exactly the values we want our students to embody.” The impact of the gift is magnified because it comes during a challenging period in Chapman’s history, said Sheryl Bourgeois, Ph.D., executive vice president of university advancement. “Given the uncertainty of our times, this gift could not be more meaningful,” Bourgeois said. “Not only does it demonstrate the Swenson family’s confidence in Chapman University, it ensures that our science and engineering students have the best possible opportunities for success. We could not be more grateful to Susan Swenson, Cheryl and Christopher Lentz, Allison Lentz and the entire family for making Chapman a place to help tell Jim’s story. No doubt, his life will be the inspiration to many aspiring engineers.” Bourgeois added her thanks to Vice President Delite Travis “for working closely with the Swenson and Lentz families to carefully steward their interests and bring this amazing commitment to fruition.”

LEGACY OF PIONEERING ADVANCES IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY CONTINUES Jim Swenson passed away in 2018, but his legacy lives on in the myriad lives made better by the philanthropy of the Swenson Family Foundation, as well as the jobs created and the innovations pioneered by Details Inc., the company Swenson built from the ground up. The foundation’s philanthropic support is evident at universities in Minnesota, Wisconsin and California, at CHOC Children’s Hospital, the Segerstrom Center for the Arts and the Ocean Institute in Orange County, as well as through the Swenson Family’s support for many other projects directly affecting the lives of those in need. The $5 million gift naming the Swenson Family Hall of Engineering at Chapman is particularly

meaningful given that Jim Swenson pioneered advances and transformed a vision into entrepreneurial success. He built Details Inc. into the fastest quick-turnaround engineering prototype circuit board shop in the nation.


Some of the original circuit boards built by the company for clients such as Apple, IBM and Motorola will be on display in the hall that now bears his family’s name.

HELPING ENGINEERING STUDENTS REALIZE THEIR DREAMS What would Jim think about the Swenson Family Foundation’s support for Chapman, allowing engineering students and others to realize their own dreams? “I’m sure he would enjoy talking with all the students, especially if the subject was chemistry or engineering,” said Susan Swenson, who met Jim at Central High School in Superior, Wisconsin, and the two went on to build a 59year marriage. Jim graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth with a degree in chemistry. “Jim loved to talk with students,” Susan said. “He loved every day that he worked, and he loved everyone that he met. Everyone became a friend. I’m sorry he isn’t here to share in this moment.” Cheryl Lentz, daughter of Susan and Jim Swenson and a member of the Swenson Family Foundation board, added that “because of his love for science and engineering, my dad would really appreciate the impact that this building will have on every single student who goes through it. They will learn something and be helped in ways big and small.” The Swenson Family’s connection to Chapman is enhanced by the experiences of Allison Lentz ’13, daughter of Cheryl and Christopher. Allison earned a degree in communication studies and is associate director, donor experience at CHOC Children’s Foundation. Lentz also serves on the Chapman Alumni Association Board of Directors. “I feel so much Panther Pride – I don’t think I’ve ever felt more than I do now,” said Lentz, who lives just a few blocks from the campus in Orange. “To have my family involved in this way, to be so intimately involved through the Alumni Association, and to be an Orange resident – all of these components together provide great feelings.” Lentz said that the timing of the Swenson Family Foundation gift, as the university and many of its students experience economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, makes the support particularly heartening for her and her family.

Susan and Jim Swenson met in high school and built a 59-year marriage. Jim Swenson passed away in 2018, but his legacy lives on in the philanthropy of the Swenson Family Foundation and in the innovations of Details Inc., the company he built from the ground up.

SUPPORTING THE NEXT GENERATION OF PROBLEM SOLVERS Lentz says that her upbringing in such a philanthropic family has given her an appreciation for the many ways that support directly impacts lives. She has also seen how a spirit of giving can spread throughout a community. She hopes the Swenson Family Foundation’s gift will inspire others to support the engineering and science programs at Chapman, as well as other important programs and initiatives at the university. As Chapman leaders continue to plan for the reopening of Chapman’s campuses and the resumption of in-classroom learning, the CU Safely Back plan will require expensive adaptations such as smaller class sizes and fewer students sharing rooms in residence halls. In consideration of the need and the opportunity to make a profound difference, Lentz knows that her grandfather would be pleased. “Talking about it as a family, we can see him smiling from above,” she said. “Having been with him on campus, I know how much he enjoyed it. I go back to my feelings of being a proud granddaughter, and the special connection I feel through my grandfather’s story. Our whole family is pleased to support future engineers who will be solving problems. It’s gratifying to help open doors that otherwise might not be available.”

“There’s obviously some larger plan involved that the timing worked out the way that it did,” she said. SPRING 2021


IT’S A DIFFERENCE, NOT A DISORDER Speaking for the underrepresented, speech language pathologist Kiera Johnson Jenkins (MS ’20) adds insight that’s shaping the future of her field. BY DAWN BONKER

As a Black speech language pathologist, Kiera Johnson Jenkins is used to getting questions about African American English (AAE). But she considers such queries a good sign. Jenkins is a new speech language pathologist in the Los Angeles Unified School District, excited to enter a field where people of color are sorely underrepresented. She chose the career, in part, to advocate for children who are sometimes misdiagnosed with speech disorders because they follow AAE dialectical pronunciation rules – for example, pronouncing the “th” on word endings as “f.” “It’s a difference, not a disorder,” explains Jenkins (MS ’20). And as is typical with new graduates from Chapman’s Communication Sciences and Disorders program, she’s close with her classmates, the people with whom she worked and studied through demanding coursework and clinical rotations. They grew especially tight in the days following the death of George Floyd, as they struggled together to understand the impact Floyd’s brutal killing had on Jenkins, then one of the few Black students in the program. Now, they stay in touch, offer support and share professional advice. So when they have one of those questions about dialect, Jenkins is happy to provide insights. “I know that they’re all about diversity and being progressive in the field, and that’s important to me as a Black within the field — to know that people are working for equity and equality,” Jenkins says. That’s just one way Jenkins is striving to make positive change in an area of education where children of color are often either underserved, or disserved because of cultural unawareness. The passion for her career sprang from her experience teaching at a preschool attached to a public elementary school in her Compton, California, neighborhood. There, the Spelman College alumna who graduated with a degree in sociology saw a two-pronged problem. Services were often either inadequate or misapplied. “I really wanted to help kids who looked like me or came from the same environment as me,” she says. She returned to school to earn a bachelor’s degree in communication disorders from Utah State, and for her graduate work she chose the Communication Sciences and Disorders program at Chapman’s Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences. Crean College’s nationally recognized track record for preparing its students for state exams and post-graduate success impressed her. But she was especially smitten by the program’s cohort model, which places students together for the duration of their studies — in ef fect creating a community whose members are invested in each other’s success.



“We’re like a family and we got each other through it. When we were feeling down, there was always someone who could pick us up and encourage us, which was important because it’s not an easy program,” she says. “They’re awesome. We still lean on each other.” That cohesiveness proved to be a surprising strength in the days following the killing of Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who died after a police officer pinned him to the ground outside a Minneapolis convenience store. The event devastated Jenkins, who was disappointed that no one around her spoke of it or the protests that swept across the nation. Frustrated and hurt, she emailed the department chair with her concerns. That step produced a moment of awakening, says Mary Kennedy, professor and chair of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. After a conversation with Jenkins, Kennedy, Ph.D., organized an online meeting of the entire cohort. “It was a really good experience for all the other students to hear how Kiera felt. And they were able to show empathy and compassion toward her,” Kennedy says. Then they broke into groups to discuss times when they had felt marginalized or scared, and to imagine that feeling magnified through the experience of lifelong racism. From there, the students also formed a book group to expand their understanding of white privilege. “There was a lot of emotion that night,” Kennedy says. “It was just eyeopening for them.” It also deepened the program’s curriculum, which includes a course in multicultural awareness. The course was recently moved from the second-year lineup to students’ first year, to bring that experience to the forefront earlier in their training, Kennedy says. “Until you really know someone who’s outside your community, you don’t necessarily have the ability to put yourself in their shoes. That’s especially important for those of us who are in any kind of caring profession,” she says. These days Jenkins is busy with the day-to-day work of a speech pathologist in one of the nation’s largest school districts. She serves three different schools, as well as an early-education center. Some of her most challenging students bring her the greatest joy, such as when she works with a nonverbal child with autism, helping them master enough sign language to convey their needs. “That makes my heart sing,” she says. She and her cohort share those stories, too. Because they know well the value of listening, learning and speaking from the heart.

“I really wanted to help kids who looked like me or came from the same environment as me.” Kiera Johnson Jenkins (MS ’20) speech language pathologist

• 92% of speech language pathologists identify as white. • Of the nonwhite 8%, only 4% are Black. Fewer than 1% identify as Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander. Source: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association





Support for students and families facing financial hardship during the coronavirus crisis helps Chapman achieve one of its best giving years yet. In the early days of COVID-19 restrictions, Chapman University student Tina Tsyshevska wasn’t sure how she was going to make her rent. Tsyshevska’s full-time paid internship was whittled to a few hours a week. She couldn’t afford a flight home to Alaska. Her mother’s work hours were reduced, too. But the Ukrainian immigrant knew one thing for certain. Rice is filling. “I’ve had tough times before,” she says. “I got a big bag of rice, some bread and peanut butter that comes two jars in a pack. I was like, OK, let’s see where this takes me.” Fortunately, assistance arrived from the CU Safely Back Fund, a resource which has met some of the most pressing needs of Chapman students and families whose finances have been upended by the coronavirus pandemic. “Without that additional aid I don’t know where I would be,” said Tsyshevska ’20, a December graduate. That's just one example of the impact that open-hearted giving has made at Chapman University, despite the months-long coronavirus crisis. Some $26 million in major endowments and gifts, along with a rise in first-time donors who supported a variety of calls for support, helped the university mark it’s best giving year yet. Such generosity represents a vote of confidence in Chapman’s vibrant future and a commitment to transformation through giving, says Sheryl Bourgeois, Ph.D., Chapman executive vice president and chief advancement officer. “To see our community of donors come together during this time to help support our students and the university has been an inspiration and a reminder that together we can rise to any challenge,” Bourgeois says.



MAJOR GIFTS INCLUDED: • $11 million from Ron and Sandi Simon for the Sandi Simon Center for Dance and to endow the Simon STEM Scholars at Orange High School. • $10 million from an anonymous donor for Improvements at Hilbert Museum of California Art and donation of artworks. • A $5 million naming gift from the Swenson Family Foundation for the Swenson Family Hall of Engineering. • $4 million from Doy Henley for the Doy Henley Endowed Chair in American Presidential Studies and the Doy Henley Endowed Director in STEM-MBA Studies. • $2 million from James H. and Esther M. Cavanaugh for the James H. Cavanaugh Endowed Chair in Presidential Studies. • $1.5 Million: Anonymous bequest to establish endowments for experiential learning and merit scholarships for students in Argyros School of Business and Economics, plus an endowment for Leatherby Libraries • $1 Million: Potamkin Family for CU Safely Back Fund to help address urgent needs

More than 400 students received urgently needed support through the fund, allowing them to offset hardships created by the pandemic and continue working toward graduation day. Even as the campus closed, student workers who depend on their jobs to help cover tuition continued to be paid. Simultaneously, fundraising to support programs, schools and colleges flourished. From the first days of the pandemic until early this year, the university has raised more than $50 million, despite logistical challenges imposed by lockdowns and quarantine. Even the spirit of the scholarship fundraiser Chapman Celebrates sparked to life. The university canceled the Broadway-style revue and gala dinner that are hallmarks of the annual November event, but nonetheless a Chapman Celebrates outreach effort raised more than $1.5 million from 80 dedicated supporters. Since the pandemic began, Chapman has seen an increase in first-time gifts to the university. Behind all the donations, whatever their size, is a shared commitment to Chapman that is beyond measure, Bourgeois said. “We are grateful for all our generous donors, campus community, alumni, families and friends who’ve made such a difference in the lives of so many,” she said.

• $1 Million: Lorrilyn Fetherolf Trust to establish Fetherolf Broadcast Journalism Endowment at Dodge College of Film and Media Arts

For Tsyshevska and hundreds of her fellow students, the generosity will not be soon forgotten.

In addition, the Potamkin Family shifted a $1 million gift to the CU Safely Back Fund to help address urgent needs.

To learn more about how to give to the CU Safely Back Fund, visit

“The Chapman experience they tell you about?” Tsyshevska said. “I am the living outcome of that personalized experience.”



His father’s story lives on, thanks to a Rodgers Center artifact and Mitchell Raff’s commitment to remembrance. The item in the display case caught Mitchell Raff ’s attention the moment he saw it. The wallet, aged and battered, with Hebrew writing on it, had clearly been made from a Torah. One of the many ways Nazis desecrated the sacred objects they stole from Jews was to turn them into utilitarian things. Though there was no identifying information with the wallet, Raff recognized it immediately. “This was my father’s,” he said. Raff was touring Chapman University’s Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education, accompanied by Marcia Rosenberg, a longtime supporter of the Rodgers Center who was eager to share the experience with Raff. Both are children of Holocaust survivors — they call themselves “2Gs,” for second generation — who never suffered the horrors of Nazi concentration camps directly but have lived with the aftermath all the same. “When you've lived as a second generation, there's a kinship that no one else understands,” says Rosenberg. Both Raff and Rosenberg knew that their trip to the Rodgers Center would be meaningful, but neither of them expected the trip to be so personally relevant.

A SURVIVOR’S STORY “My father was a survivor,” says Raff, in the kind of careful, matter-of-fact tone some people use when telling emotion-laden stories. “He was in Bergen-Belsen. I think he was also in Dachau, but I know for sure Bergen-Belsen.”

Raff ’s father was born Moshe Rafalowicz but took the name Mac Raff when he came to the U.S. after World War II. In 1945, after the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in northern Germany, he and several other survivors went to the home of someone they knew in town, seeking information about missing friends or relatives. Mitch Raff knows the story well from his father’s telling. Inside, near the front door, there was a small table, for placing keys and such. On it was a wallet. “When the man, the owner of the house, left to go to another room to get something or to do something, he sees the wallet,” Raff says of his father. “He recognizes what it is, and my father steals it, basically. And this is how my father, verbatim, told me the story and I'm telling it to you. He says to me that, ‘after we left the house, we walked away.’ He said, ‘I really regret not going back there and killing them. I regret that.’”

THE OBLIGATION OF HISTORY In the 1990s, Raff ’s father gave him the wallet, along with the weighty story of how he came to possess it. But only a few years later he asked for it back, and when Raff ’s father passed away, Raff never thought to find out what happened to the wallet. Seeing it in the display case was something of a shock. After a little detective work, Raff traced the story of the wallet’s journey. His father’s sister, who once lived on the same block as the Holocaust Museum in Los Angeles, had donated the wallet to the museum, which later loaned it to the Rodgers Center. Once that mystery was solved, Raff was content. He appreciates that the Rodgers Center and Chapman are keeping “the festering, ugly part of history alive, and educating not only their students but also high school students about the Holocaust.”

A wallet that belonged to Holocaust survivor Mac Raff, top photo, was identified by his son, Mitchell Raff, during a visit to Chapman's Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education, where the wallet was on display. The connection has provided an opportunity for Michell Raff to tell his father's story and extend his legacy through a gift to the Rodgers Center. Though Raff has no previous connection to Chapman, he has arranged a legacy gift to the Rodgers Center. “My father was a man who was broken from the time he came out of the war,” says Raff. “For him to be able to have this artifact displayed at Chapman with his name on it, ‘donated by Moshe Rafalowicz’ ... it is really nice because he was a survivor, and he would have been an unspoken survivor. Nobody would have ever known of him. Now his name gets to live on after his passing.”




A chemistry student performs lab work as chemistry professor Christopher Kim, Ph.D., provides mentorship and supervision through a mounted phone, tripod and body camera.

A $1.9 million investment in technology and training helps Chapman craft COVID-response strategies so students can thrive. Still, it’s often the small-but-mighty workarounds that carry the day. It’s no secret that the last two semesters have been tough at college and university campuses across the nation, Chapman University included. And it’s not quite over yet, even though each day sees more and more people vaccinated against COVID-19. But as we look forward to better days, it’s worth reflecting on the ones just past and the Chapman community’s response to this crisis. Resourcefulness, creativity, generosity and kindness abounded, helping everyone accomplish the great tasks of teaching, serving and learning. “The COVID-19 crisis will continue to evolve, but I am optimistic that the positive experiences of the fall semester will serve us well as we plan for a spring semester of excellence and distinction,” 36


said Chapman Provost Glenn Pfeiffer. Rallying that effort throughout 2020 took many hands, patience and investment in technology and facilities, along with expanded financial support for 400 families economically impacted by the pandemic. Throughout, donors, alumni and friends were inspired to give, making it all possible. Here we share some of those moments, from the techy to the teary-eyed.

A BUSY SUMMER Throughout summer, Chapman planned for a fall semester that would allow students to choose, as much as possible, in-person, hybrid or fully

remote instruction. Technology was key across the board. From equipment purchase to faculty training, Chapman invested $1.9 million in the effort, said Helen Norris vice president and chief information officer.. “Virtually every classroom on both campuses has technology that allowed the class to be broadcast via Zoom to students participating from anywhere in the world and allowed active participation by students in the room and students online simultaneously,” Norris said. “It allowed for faculty to share content from their computers or from a whiteboard in the classroom.”

CHAPMAN NOW Chapman’s athletes kept training individually in case games and other competitions resumed. And the university honored on social media its many past achievements, such as national titles in men’s soccer, softball and the 2019 Men’s Baseball Division III World Series winners.


A dance class meets on the stage at Musco Center for the Arts with reduced in-person capacity during the time when some online instruction was allowed on campus in 2020. Students who opted for remote attendance appear on the overhead screen.

THRIVING WITH VIRTUAL AND IN-PERSON CLASSES Because of the nature of the work, the university crafted additional strategies for some courses that especially benefited from in-person instruction. For example, at Chapman’s Keck Center for Science and Engineering, small groups of chemistry students enjoyed a mix of in-person lab work and remote instruction, with a little extra help from cell phone tripods. This hybrid model allowed students to be in the lab, under the live-but-remote supervision of their professor, Christopher Kim, Ph.D., professor of chemistry and the principal investigator who leads the KEG Lab, an environmental geochemistry project at Chapman.

STAYING ON TRACK AT RINKER CAMPUS Strict COVID-19 protocols – right down to which was the approved door for building entry and exit – helped students in Chapman’s graduate programs at Rinker Health Science Campus stay on track for graduation and the board certification exams that follow. “Once our third trimester began, we were allowed to come on campus, with proper screenings and strict protocols in place, to participate in handson labs. We have been able to keep up with the scheduled material as well as receive the handson experience required of us before going into our clinical year,” said physician assistant student Emily Blair (MMS ’21). Like their colleagues in the physician assistant program, students in Chapman University School of Pharmacy were also able to stay on track in their pharmacy degree program thanks to small groups and adherence to protocols.

Instruction on the use of diabetic equipment such as insulin pens or administration of the opioid antidote Naloxone can only be done inperson.

Students and faculty members found unique ways to connect, even though distanced, and one bunch excelled at the art in December, as classes wound down. A surprise thank you video created by students in Professor Jim Brown’s “Lies You Learned in School” course on the last week of classes provoked a dewy-eyed response from Brown – “Aww, you guys!” – that evolved into a TikTok video that captured 29 million views. A link to the video is available at magazine.

MILD WEATHER HELPED With temperate breezes and adherence to health and safety protocols, students who opted to stay in residence halls or in nearby housing were able to work and study outdoors with modifications. Dance students in the College of Performing Arts kept dancing – but in small groups spread across campus, including on outdoor basketball and tennis courts across from the Partridge Dance Center Other students enjoyed outdoor shade structures installed around campus and yoga classes on the Bert C. Williams Mall, until November, when Orange County entered a higher-risk mode and ordered tighter restrictions.

BACK HOME, BUT NOT ALONE Remote instruction was the norm for many, though, and the university delivered what students needed. Digital tools, software, laptops, portable microbiology lab kits and cloudbased workstations for animation and visual effects students were just a few of the ways the university equipped students. Engineering students received a variety of equipment, from circuit components and multimeters to microcontroller lab kits and 3D printers, all of which were planned as part of the outfitting of classes in the new school. But COVID-19 restrictions prompted staff to launch a fast-and-furious shipping operation to get them into students’ hands – wherever they might be.

Chapman University Pharm.D. student administers a seasonal flu shot at one of several drive-through immunization clinics hosted by Chapman during the pandemic. For his part, Brown said he was just doing what he always does, albeit in extraordinary times. “So whether we meet in person, as in a regular non-COVID semester, or online, we go through this crucible together and, well, it can be pretty emotional,” he said. As a brighter spring emerges, that’s a Chapman lesson to remember for all times, good and bad.





By integrating diverse voices and embedding in local communities, Attallah College scholars develop coursework that prepares graduates to promote equity and inclusion. For years, Michelle Samura has sought to expand learning opportunities to include those who typically get overlooked. So during this time when issues of racial and social equity are at the forefront, she sees great value in reconsidering curriculum to ensure that classes, coursework and other content are as inclusive as possible. “All around us, there are reminders that diversity, equity and inclusion are not enhancements – they are essential to the health of our society,” says Samura, Ph.D., associate dean of undergraduate education and external affairs in Attallah College of Educational Studies at Chapman



University. “Knowledge can be found both in classrooms and in our communities. It’s especially important to highlight voices and experiences that historically have been overlooked in our curriculum.” In recent years, Chapman expanded course offerings to include the launch of minors such as Africana Studies, Latinx and Latin American Studies, and Disability Studies, developed by scholars in Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Minors in Ethnic Studies and Asian American Studies are on the way or in the works. These additions and others are part of a re-envisioning of curriculum that

can help to “position Chapman for a more diverse student population,” as outlined in “A Roadmap for Best Practices,” prepared last summer by a campus collaborative working on diversity, equity and inclusion.

INFUSING CURRICULUM WITH DIVERSE PERSPECTIVES Such steps are important, say Samura and Attallah College Interim Dean Roxanne Greitz Miller. In Attallah, leaders work to develop not only their own program curricula but also to prepare the next generation of educators to do likewise at the K-12 level. The


“It’s not about checking boxes but about creating experiences to engage with perspectives and experiences that are different from one’s own.” – Michelle Samura For his "Schools and Society" class, Associate Professor Quaylan Allen is building coursework on the lived experiences of youngsters and families served by Higher Ground Youth and Family Services. ultimate goal is to “infuse DEI throughout our curricular experience, so it’s not just set aside or just showing up in one or two classes,” Samura says. Attallah College is achieving that goal in multiple ways. “There’s a consideration of diversity among scholars in solving problems,” says Miller, Ed.D., who is also vice provost of graduate education at Chapman. “Then there’s a consideration of diversity in all stages of course design, extending beyond race, ethnicity and gender to also include factors such as linguistic traditions, socioeconomic status, ability and disability, and geographic representation. It’s important to include a host of perspectives that are academic, intellectual and social.” In all of these scholarly considerations, there should be room for learning how to engage with difference, Samura notes. A give-and-take that includes diverse and even conflicting perspectives is more likely to yield an immersive curriculum that is also creative and absorbing. “It’s not about checking boxes but about creating experiences to engage with perspectives and experiences that are different from one’s own,” says Samura, an associate professor in Attallah’s Integrated Educational Studies program. “From conflict, there are possibilities for growth. That, for me, is such a big piece – moving beyond simplistic labels of good and bad. Curriculum is about trying to understand the gray areas – about creating room for the in-betweenness, the wrestling. It’s about learning to be different together.”

BUILDING COURSEWORK THAT REFLECTS LIVED EXPERIENCES To ensure that diverse perspectives get considered, Attallah works closely with Chapman’s local communities. A course such as “Schools and Society,” regularly taught by Associate Professor Quaylan Allen, Ph.D., builds coursework on the lived experiences of community members – in this case, the youngsters and families served by Higher Ground Youth and Family Services in Anaheim. “Students share stories about how they had one perception or stereotype about a particular group, but then when they had a chance to spend an entire semester or longer with students and their families, that changes,” Samura says. “They say things like, ‘They remind me of my own family.’ It humanizes the experience, and that otherness starts to break down.” Curricular components such as readings and lectures remain essential tools for understanding, Miller adds. They, too, need to be viewed through a DEI lens. “We’re always guided by outcomes,” she says. “We’re examining every facet of curriculum to find out how it can be more diverse, based on all of the concepts, approaches and participants.”

By including diverse and even conflicting perspectives, educators are more likely to develop an immersive curriculum, say Roxanne Greitz Miller, top photo, and Michelle Samura of Chapman's Attallah College of Educational Studies.

The commitment needs to be ongoing and extend across all schools and disciplines, Miller and Samura add. “To be effective, it should be an integrative effort,” Samura says.




Chapman Continues Its Rise Among Top Film Schools C

hapman University continues its climb into the rarefied reaches of national film school rankings. In the most recent listing of The Wrap’s Top 50 Film Schools, Chapman’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts earned a No. 4 placement – it’s highest ranking ever. That achievement in October 2020 came on the heels of Dodge rising to No. 6 in The Hollywood Reporter’s prestigious rankings. “Reaching No. 4 in The Wrap’s listings is a terrific testament to Chapman and Dodge’s uniquely collaborative environment,” said Stephen Galloway, dean of Dodge College. “It’s especially notable because, for the first time, we’ve been ranked higher than some of the ‘legacy’ film schools that have had decades to build their alumni and reputation.” In praising Chapman, The Wrap cited the influence of Galloway, who earlier this year was named the second dean in Dodge’s history, as well as the addition of 16 new faculty members of color, including 11 women.

Brianna Brown, a writer on the TV series "Superstore" and an MFA graduate of Dodge College, joined the Dodge faculty in fall 2020. The Chapman film school was recognized for the quality of its diverse faculty by The Wrap and The Hollywood Reporter, which elevated Dodge to No. 4 and No. 6, respectively, in their rankings of the nation's best film schools. The entertainment industry publication also lauded Dodge for master classes featuring Hollywood insiders such as Judd Apatow (“The 40-Year-Old Virgin”), Nina Jacobson (“Crazy Rich Asians”), William Friedkin (“The Exorcist”) and Ruth E. Carter (“Black Panther”).

from underserved communities,” as well as a new Careers Office led by “longtime faculty star” Jill Condon and former Creative Artists Agency (CAA) agent Joe Rosenberg. Galloway says the office “will be the best of any film school in the world.”

“A Pipeline for Brilliant Youngsters”

“There’s never been a better time for a film grad to get outta Dodge -- and into Hollywood,” The Wrap said in wrapping up its evaluation of the Chapman film school.

Additionally, the Chapman film school was praised for its new Mentorship Program “to create a pipeline for brilliant youngsters

Fowler Engineering Dean Andrew Lyon Named to National Academy of Inventors


n artificial platelet technology designed to help the body heal from traumatic injury is just one of the innovations that has earned Fowler School of Engineering Dean Andrew Lyon membership in the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). Lyon, an internationally recognized chemist, is among 63 of the world’s best emerging academic inventors in the 2021 class of NAI Senior Members.

Two of the companies Andrew Lyon has co-founded are based on technology developed in part by his research group.




Physician Assistant Program Earns National Accreditation C hapman University’s Physician Assistant program has received a prestigious national accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA).

ARC-PA awarded the Master of Medical Sciences (MMS) PA Studies Program a 10year accreditation, the longest term available in the U.S. The distinction is a significant milestone for Chapman, which graduated its first class of PA students in 2018.

Excellence in Health Care Education “Meeting the requirements of the ARC-PA standards validates all of the ongoing hard work, commitment, and excellence of the university and college administration, faculty, and staff. It also establishes a firm footing for Chapman’s PA program, showing that our education processes and procedures are externally validated and sound,” said Michael Burney, a family medicine PA and director of Chapman’s PA Program, which is housed in Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences. The accreditation followed an extensive six-year process of self-studies conducted

by faculty and staff and multiple site visits by the ARC-PA accreditors. Janeen Hill, dean of Crean College, credited the entire PA team for the accreditation success. “All of this dedication and hard work is reflected in a 10-year accreditation. The PA program has and will continue to provide the region with extraordinary healthcare providers,” said Hill, Ph.D.

Ready to Train Future Physician Assistants Since graduating its first cohort, the program has steadily expanded, preparing classes of practice-ready health care professionals who can enter the medical field after two years of training, quickly meeting an urgent need for midlevel health professionals. Physician assistants often serve in primary care but also work in specialties such as cardiology and dermatology. They work in hospitals, medical centers and private practices.

The Crean College PA program is buoyed by support from a $9 million gift from the Simon Foundations, which provides 10 full-tuition scholarships each year to underserved students. The new status of national accreditation is a validation that serves all the program’s students and alumni, said Burney, Ed.D. “It gives reassurance to our alumni, students and potential students that we are committed to ensuring a strong PA education now and for years to come,” he said. Those conversations continue.

Known for his research on the fundamental physics of colloidal hydrogels, Lyon performs research that has yielded five biomaterials patents for clinical medicine. Sanguina Inc., one of the companies Lyon co-founded, is developing low-cost diagnostics for anemia, which afflicts more than one-fourth of the world’s population. Chapman Vice President for Research Thomas Piechota says that Lyon’s NAI selection reflects the growth of entrepreneurial activity at Chapman. “We are thrilled that he is in a group with faculty from major universities such as MIT, Johns Hopkins, Dartmouth and USC,” Piechota adds.

Over the years, Andrew Lyon's research lab has included many student researchers, including high school students such as Vivian Yip, left, and Maddie Tumbarello.





The coronavirus pandemic has been unlike anything the U.S. has seen before, but this next phase will swoosh in with a bit of déjà vu, say Chapman University economists. Think post World War II and the end of constrained wartime consumer spending. Thanks to a similar cause-and-effect pattern, the post-COVID U.S. economy will expand by a vigorous 5.7% in 2021, Chapman economic forecasters say.

PENT-UP CONSUMER SPENDING IS ‘DRY POWDER’ What many consumers held tight in their piggy banks throughout the lockdowns – along with gains in home values, stock portfolios and CARES Act relief – is akin to “dry powder,” awaiting the spark of better days, said economist and President Emeritus Jim Doti during Chapman’s annual Economic Forecast Report, delivered virtually late last year. “That pent-up demand is building, (and) that will fuel a sharp turnaround in real GDP growth,” said Doti, Ph.D., who leads the research presented every December by the A. Gary Anderson Center in Chapman’s Argyros School of Business and Economics. Orange County, though, has work to do if it wants to fully capitalize on boom times. In this year’s report, Doti introduced the Chapman-UCI Innovation Indicator, a gauge that measures growth in the innovation industries, which bring high-paying professional jobs to the regions where they locate. Based on the Chapman-UCI Innovation Indicator, Orange County landed at No. 14 out of 22 U.S. innovation hubs. The tepid showing on the innovation chart gelled before COVID-19 and reflected a trend already underway, he added. “While California was growing at 1.3% to 1.4%, Orange County was just about zero growth,” he said. “That warrants more economic scrutiny.”

INNOVATION INDICATOR BACKED BY RESEARCH Scholars from Chapman and UC Irvine partnered with the CEO Alliance of Orange County to develop the new metric that takes a quarterly snapshot of how Orange County compares with other tech hubs across the nation. Going forward, the indicator will help the county focus on building the region into a nationally competitive innovation powerhouse, which Doti said “can lift all boats in our county.”

Presenting the Anderson Center’s annual Economic Forecast in a university studio, President Emeritus Jim Doti says the economy will grow by 5.7% in 2021.

LIVES SAVED BY COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS Compared with many other states, California saw its economy take a harder hit from COVID-19 because its tourism and entertainment industries were especially vulnerable to stay-at-home restrictions, the forecasters said. California’s tougher restrictions saved 6,600 lives but cost 500,000 jobs. The COVID-19 benefit-cost research has already been published in Social Science Research Network. The center’s researchers plan to make similar analyses of coronavirus restrictions in other states as well.

NO. 1 IN ECONOMIC FORECASTING The Chapman report continued its role as a leader in economic forecasting, shaped by the highly accurate econometric model developed by Doti and fellow Chapman researchers. Anderson Center’s annual Economic Forecast is recognized as one of the oldest and most respected in the nation. The June Forecast Update scored similar accuracy success. It was one of the most optimistic in June, calling for a V-shaped recovery from the COVID-19 recession. That prediction was validated by the sharp increase in thirdquarter real GDP, Doti said. Missed the Forecast or Want to Learn More? Visit for complimentary online viewing of the presentation or to purchase the complete Economic & Business Review report, which includes comprehensive national, state and regional data.







Riding the Uplift of Positive Media BY DAWN BONKER It’s the little things that count, right? Would you believe that extends to social media? It’s true, says a Chapman University professor and psychologist who studies positive media psychology. That torrent of YouTube music videos, goofy memes, lip-syncing TikToks and emoji-laden updates flooding your smartphone can inspire contentment and even foster awe, gratitude and compassion. That is, when the content is uplifting. Which seems logical enough. But Sophie H. Janicke-Bowles’ research goes beyond confirming intuitions to measure positive media’s impact on multiple facets of the human experience, from happiness to

camaraderie. For example, humorous YouTube videos watched at work – Shh! Don’t tell! – markedly boosted viewers’ energy levels and their connection to co-workers. Janicke-Bowles, Ph.D., is a member of a research team that includes researchers from Florida State and Penn State universities and which was awarded a $2 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation to explore these topics. Their research is shared in the new textbook “Introduction to Positive Media Psychology” (Routledge, December 2020), co-authored by Arthur A. Raney, Mary Beth Oliver and Katherine R. Dale.

How did you become a scholar of positive media psychology?

as well as misinformation can quickly lead to overwhelming feelings that we all need to learn to manage better.”

“In my dissertation, I looked at the opposite  –  the antihero and morally complex characters in media. I watched a lot of negative content to see if it could be used for stimulus material in research projects, and it impacted my personal life. I became more anxious and had trouble falling asleep. So, I decided I can’t do that for my career. Positive media psychology still operates from the intersection of media studies and psychology, but it uses those theories to examine how media impact us positively.”


What movies or television shows did people perceive as inspiring?

“We found that the most inspiring ones were kind of old-school films, like “Forrest Gump” and “The Shawshank Redemption.” The TV shows were “American Idol” and “The Voice,” which is interesting because music, we have found, is the No. 1 inspiring medium – 92% of Americans said they have been inspired by music before.”


Then how can people balance their media diet?

“It’s important to spend time on the news to know what’s going on so you can make informed decisions for yourself and your family. But the question is, do I need to check it five times a day or would it be enough to check it once? When would it serve me best to check it? When we check social media as the last thing we do at night and see a bleak picture of troubling news, it’s difficult to sleep well.”

When social media content is uplifting, it can inspire happiness and camaraderie, even boost energy levels, says Chapman Professor Sophie H. Janicke-Bowles.


Has positive social media helped us weather the pandemic?

“Yes and no. On the one hand, on social media, people can come together and create memes and images that are focused on bringing out compassion and showing love and connection to others. Some small things of positivity, like sharing new hobbies, things they’ve created and the new recipes they've never tried before, help people feel like they are in this together and that there's some hope. On the other hand, the constant influx of information


You’ve documented how positive media can foster moments of well-being. Might that have applications for mental health therapy? “Absolutely. There is music and art therapy that give us a good idea about the power of media to transform us. While research has not explored yet how the experience of inspiration from media we use in our everyday lives impacts mental health, theoretically experiencing more awe, elevation and compassion has the potential to increase mental health. I hope to see future research that examines how patients use media in their everyday lives.”





THAT JOB? Transfer Student Finds Business World Success Thanks to Advice and Mentoring BY DAWN BONKER

As a transfer student, Argelia Diaz Orozco wasn’t sure how quickly she’d be able to step into the momentum and life of Chapman University and her program of choice – the Bachelor of Science in Accounting. She needn’t have worried. An orientation program for transfer students answered her questions. In addition, the career office staff reached out, and professors in the small-class settings were available for mentoring and advice. Soon she was busy working at an internship and thriving in demanding classes. Oh, yes, and meeting former President George W. Bush. She was one of the few students selected to meet with Bush during his visit to celebrate 20 years since the naming of the George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics.



Accounting student Argelia Diaz Orozco '20, left, was selected to meet former President George W. Bush during his 2019 visit to campus.

“That was mind-blowing. I never thought I was going to meet a former president,” says Orozco ‘20, now a tax staff accountant at Ernst and Young, one of the Big Four accounting firms.

AFFINITY FOR NUMBERS STARTS IN SECOND GRADE But excelling at everything she puts her numbersminded head to has been a pattern for Orozco reaching back to second grade. She didn’t know what an accountant was, but she sure did like playing with numbers. A sharp teacher nurtured that aptitude. “She guided me toward that, touching that part of me that likes logic and the rules and applying those rules to processes,” she says. Years later, she discovered accounting as a profession when she took career assessment tests and the results steered her there.

classes and individualized attention. Scholarships for transfer students helped seal the deal. “Chapman is very involved with the transfer students,” said Orozco, who juggled classwork with the responsibilities of a new baby. “They made it really smooth.” Challenging coursework instilled confidence. Accounting Information Systems taught by Professor Bruce Dehning, Ph.D., resonates still. “Every day I think about Professor Dehning’s class,” she said. “He gave us a really big project that was very difficult, but it gave us insight into the real world.” Orozco also honed her skills in mock interviews arranged by the business school’s career office, including one with Ernst and Young that led to an internship. Not long after, she was offered the job she holds today.

Orozco chuckles at the memory.

And that business about accountants being stuffy old people? Let’s just say that doesn’t factor into her balance sheet.

“I had a preconceived notion that accountants were old boring people who just wanted to be confined to a cubicle,” she says.

“We’re not firefighters or doctors,” she said. “But at the end of the day we’re still helping out, and it feels good to be part of that.”

She took more tests. The results again suggested accounting. So she gave it a try. She was hooked. She loved the critical thinking and being part of a team that helps businesses thrive.

TRANSFER-STUDENT SCHOLARSHIPS EASE TRANSITION She credits her transfer to Chapman for solidifying her success. After earning an associate of arts degree and an associate of science degree at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California, she chose Chapman’s Argyros School for its small

She didn't know what an accountant was, but she sure did like playing with numbers. A sharp teacher nurtured that aptitude.


We want to thank our industry partners who provide career and internship opportunities for our students and alumni. Together we create successful futures. To see the full list of our 2021 Top Employers and learn more about how you can partner with Chapman University, visit

04 27 21


JOIN US ON GIVING DAY, APRIL 27 It’s been over a year since our students first left campus and began remote instruction. Assisting our Chapman Family members through the pandemic still remains our top priority. Giving Day is an opportunity to come together in support of our students with financial aid, remote technology, housing assistance and many other necessities. On April 27th you can engage with campus leaders, hear inspiring student stories, and join us as we rise to solve the challenges we face. Visit to learn more.




‘FREEDOM OF SPEECH’ JOINS HILBERT COLLECTION $10 Million Gift Will Increase Museum’s Educational Impact

Inspired by two iconic American figures – Franklin Roosevelt and Norman Rockwell – artist Danny Galieote has created a contemporary work of art that underscores many of the themes that surround our current political climate. Galieote’s 2020 painting “Freedom of Speech” is new to the Permanent Collection Gallery at Chapman University’s Hilbert Museum of California Art.

A transformational gift of $10 million by an anonymous donor will extend the educational reach of Chapman’s Hilbert Museum of California Art, providing even more access to its critically acclaimed collection. By facilitating improvements to the museum’s space, the gift will allow more students and community members to learn from and enjoy the collection’s oil and watercolor paintings by top California artists, its works by renowned American illustrators, and its outstanding movie/ animation art collection –including significant works of Disney production art.

Galieote's work is a salute to the original piece “Freedom of Speech,” part of Rockwell’s series based on President Roosevelt’s famous “Four Freedoms” speech of 1941. Galieote both pays tribute to the famed Rockwell painting and updates the image, incorporating modern social concerns and underscoring the timeless truths of human nature. In his speech, Roosevelt outlined his vision for a postwar world founded on freedoms of speech and worship, as well as freedoms from want and fear.

Artist Danny Galieote's 2020 painting "Freedom of Speech" (opposite page) pays tribute to this Norman Rockwell illustration while also updating the image to connect with current themes.

Inspired, Rockwell then illustrated each of the freedoms from the perspective of his own everyday hometown experiences: a man speaking his own views at a town meeting; the peaceful faces of people of various faiths as they worship; a grandma serving a bounteous Thanksgiving feast to her family; parents tucking their sleepy children into bed in a cozy house. The Rockwell paintings were published in the Saturday Evening Post and went on a national tour, raising $132 million for war bonds. They have been issued as posters, U.S. postage stamps and prints and have become instantly recognizable images. “I like to think of these paintings as being timeless in the sense that they relate to our needs as humans since the beginning of time,” explains Galieote. “FDR made his famous speech about the Four Freedoms in one of the most intense times during World War II, and Rockwell painted them when people wanted and needed such encouragement.” Galieote has sought to create “recognizable compositions that relate to this core set of meanings behind Rockwell’s iconic imagery of people that can exist then and now,” he says. A native of Burbank who worked 12 years at the Disney Studios, Galieote has had his paintings exhibited in galleries across the U.S., as well as in numerous prestigious international collections. The addition of his work to the Hilbert Museum Permanent Collection Gallery highlights the evolving and expanding composition of the art in the collection. To learn more about the Hilbert, visit



The museum’s expansion from its current 7,500 square feet of exhibition space to nearly 23,000 square feet will include the addition of a research library and state-of-the-art lecture/screening room. Plus, a new café/bookshop will open onto a spectacular courtyard designed for large outdoor events. New plans include the addition of an iconic late-1960s Millard Sheets mosaic on the museum’s façade, 40 feet wide and composed of thousands of pieces of brightly colored Murano glass. A team of restoration experts will painstakingly piece together the mosaic – rescued from the exterior of a Home Savings bank building in Santa Monica that faces demolition – in a jigsaw-puzzle-like process that will take several months to complete. In 2019, the last full year it was open before the pandemic, the Hilbert Museum welcomed nearly 2,000 Chapman and K-12 students. It regularly hosts dozens of special events for both the Chapman community and the greater Southern California area. In addition to providing research and learning opportunities, the Hilbert Museum is a popular draw for visitors from throughout the region, as well as out-of-state tourists. It attracted more than 30,000 patrons in 2019 and is rated as a top Southern California visitor attraction on Yelp and TripAdvisor.

“I like to think of these paintings as being timeless in the sense that they relate to our needs as humans since the beginning of time.” – Danny Galieote




A WORLD OF EXPERIENCES The 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award honorees offer reminiscences, gratitude and advice to Chapman students. Each year, Chapman honors alumni who are doing exceptional work as leaders in business, organizations and communities. This year more than ever, the Distinguished Alumni Award honorees reflect the university’s mission of encouraging the education of global citizens. We asked the 2020 honorees about their experiences at Chapman and what advice they have for current students. Here are a few selected responses.

You can read their complete answers, along with the honorees’ full profiles, on the Chapman Alumni website,, and at




WHO WAS THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSON FOR YOU AT CHAPMAN? WHY? OZZIE MARTINEZ, ’00, BS IN PSYCHOLOGY: I had always intended to work in health care and had planned to go to medical school after graduation — but that all changed thanks to my experience with Dr. Steven Schandler (professor emeritus of psychology). My perspective around public health shifted to thinking about how I could make a positive impact by working at the systems level to address barriers to care and the needs of the underserved. JOSE A. (JOE) HERNANDEZ JR., (EMBA ’09): Dr. Esmael Adibi (the late professor of economics) challenged me in every way, at every class, but was also very supportive and helpful in making me understand the subject matter. It ended up being my favorite class. We became good friends.

KALENA BOVELL ’09, BM IN MUSIC EDUCATION: Mark Laycock (former director of orchestras and instrumental music) was the first person I had connected with upon my acceptance and was a great mentor and educator. He had a wealth of knowledge on working with students and was always willing to share that knowledge with others.

RYAN D. CHAVEZ (JD ’09): Individuals like Professors Henry Noyes, Celestine McConville and Susanna Ripken (all professors in Fowler School of Law) made my student experience a really positive one. Professor Tom Campbell (Doy and Dee Henley Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence) was instrumental in getting me my first in-house role, which later helped springboard my career. I also met my wife at Chapman, so she may ultimately take the prize on this one. IF YOU COULD RELIVE ONE MOMENT FROM YOUR TIME AT CHAPMAN, WHAT WOULD IT BE? IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY? JOANNA ROSHOLM, ’06, BA IN COMMUNICATION STUDIES: There are so many moments from Chapman Radio I would love to relive — when the Cold War Kids performed, when we opened the new studio in Henley (Hall), when we launched the Roller Disco fundraiser, when we convinced the dean to allow credit for a Chapman Radio workshop!

DONNA F. ATTALLAH ’61, BA IN EDUCATION: Every Sunday, all of the students got dressed up (girls wore dresses and the boys wore dress pants, shirt, tie and sportcoats). All of the students would meet in the dining hall for Sunday evening dinner and fellowship. It brought us together like a real family.

LEAH THOMAS ’17, BS IN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND POLICY: It seems silly … the undie run. I wish I could go back and do that again with my friends and just have fun. Going back in time would allow me to be incognito and I would be able to just enjoy the moment of such great times without anyone watching me or judging me.

DAVID CROSS ’96, BS IN COMPUTER INFORMATION SYSTEMS: I still relish the instructors in my elective classes that were so passionate about their areas of study and absolute subject-matter experts. I only wish I had more time -- and funds -- to have the opportunity to take more courses and learn from them further.

WHAT WERE THE MOST CHALLENGING SOCIAL ISSUES IN OUR COUNTRY/WORLD THAT YOU FACED AS A COLLEGE STUDENT? HAVE YOUR OPINIONS ON THESE ISSUES CHANGED OR STAYED THE SAME? THOMAS: As a student, I read a lot of anonymous postings on a social media site called Yik -Yak (now defunct), which appeared to be posted by fellow students that were shockingly racist. I realized that if there was going to be a change in any student’s attitude, I would need to be part of the change to bring this to the forefront and have conversations about these kinds of insidious thoughts.

CROSS: I was serving in the United States Navy on active duty while attending classes. Even with tuition assistance as a military benefit, the classes were not affordable on my limited income. I had to take student loans to complete my degree. I learned to appreciate the challenges that many in the country and world have in achieving their desired education level. DR. MARY NGO (PHARM.D. ’19): As a young Asian American woman, the most challenging social issue I see is discrimination. I got involved in the Asian Pacific Student Association and University Program Board to learn more about the social justice efforts Chapman has initiated and learn about the different social and financial backgrounds of my peers. Over time, even

through grad school, I have learned to strongly stand up for my upbringing and identity.

BOVELL: When I started at Chapman in 2004, I was one of three Black student musicians in the school of music. By the time I had graduated in 2009, I was the only Black student. Throughout my Chapman tenure, I had gotten used to being the only “spot” in a class, however, looking back, this is something that shouldn’t have been normal. It’s important for musicians of color to see role models who look like them, so that they can see possibilities. MICHAEL LATT, ’14, BA IN PUBLIC RELATIONS/ ADVERTISING AND MEDIA, CULTURE AND SOCIETY: When I was studying at Chapman, I began working on Ryan Coogler’s first film “Fruitvale Station,” which opened my eyes to how prevalent and insidious white supremacy is in our country. The focus of my work has expanded to include issues like criminal justice reform, gender equality, electoral politics, immigration and more.

KATHERINE PEREZ ’06, BA IN PSYCHOLOGY AND SPANISH: When I started at Chapman, the Bush Administration was deciding whether to invade Iraq. That was a really big moment for all of us. Our generation had not experienced war, and we were now at that age where our friends could potentially be drafted. Further, there was a big debate whether the war was justified. I wish I had been one of the students who went on a hunger strike in pitched tents in the middle of campus who vehemently opposed the war.


ROSHOLM: I wish I knew how valuable internships are, and that I had done more of them. You rarely get the opportunity to explore different careers and give them a test drive once you’re out of school.

NGO: Honestly, I wish I got to experience more of the food joints in the Orange Plaza Circle. I think during my last year in grad school, at least 3-4 new restaurants opened and the area around Orange Circle got even more popular!

PEREZ: I always encourage students who are graduating to consider taking time to work or to travel or to experience other things before they commit themselves to graduate school. Especially if it's a Ph.D. or a law program. They take a level of maturity, strength and determination to know what you want in life. HOW DID CHAPMAN PREPARE YOU FOR YOUR CAREER AND THE REAL WORLD? HOW DID YOUR EXPERIENCE PREPARE YOU FOR THE REAL WORLD? HERNANDEZ: I became that much stronger and better at my job than I had been before. Which was also financially rewarding. CHAVEZ: My entire working life has been spent trying to become a person who was well versed in multiple disciplines — sales, finance, operations and finally the law. Chapman helped me have that final piece. CROSS: Chapman had a breadth of classes that expanded my knowledge and experience beyond my major. It was this breadth of learning that prepared me for many cultures, conversations and interactions many times over. ATTALLAH: I spent four years at Chapman learning how to become a teacher. After I graduated, I was blessed to have a 40-year career teaching children in kindergarten and first grades, which brought me great joy and personal satisfaction.

LATT: I wish I would've known that I had much more space to be patient with myself and make mistakes and that the failures and struggles in life are simply opportunities to grow and learn. MARTINEZ: As the first in my family to go to college, I didn’t understand the power of an alumni network. People are incredibly generous with their time — willing to meet for an informational interview, or to share their own educational and career journeys.




HOLLYWOOD PRIME-TIME PARTNERSHIP For writers Graham Towers ’08 (MA/MFA ’12) and Ben Deeb ’09, a “Black-ish” breakthrough elevates their collaborative journey. By Dennis Arp It all started with short films starring cartoon animals. While their film school peers in a “Visual Storytelling” course were crafting sensitive tales full of dream sequences and dark storylines, Graham Towers ’08 (MA/MFA ’12) and Ben Deeb ’09 were amusing each other with their comedic stories. One of their films was about a sentient banana and his gorilla friend. “Graham and I were just goofier,” Deeb recalls. “Our sensibilities kind of lined up.” At Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, a writing friendship was forged. Then, as that bond grew to become a professional partnership, Towers and Deeb widened their perspective thanks to classes in Chapman’s Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. During the 2020-2021 TV season, Towers and Deeb co-wrote a high-profile election episode of the hit ABC TV series “Black-ish,” where the pair have since become full-time writers. For both, it’s a dream writing job. Neither took a direct path to success, and they continue to draw on a pool of resilience fed in part by their Chapman classes in film, the humanities and even environmental science. To a great extent, their story is also about “just sticking with it,” says Deeb, who started as a film major but ended up graduating with degrees in philosophy and political science.

Learning From Fellow Chapman TV Writers Both Deeb and Towers lean on Chapman peers who also have made it in television. “We have a lot of Chapman friends who are now successful writers, and the thing they all seem to have in common is that they worked really hard as assistants, and they just didn’t give up,” Deeb says. “It helps to not be smart enough to have a plan B,” says Towers, who graduated with a screenwriting degree from Dodge College before also earning a dual MA/ MFA in English and creative writing. It also helps to have loads of talent and to dedicate yourself to your craft. That dedication is evident in the recent episode of “Black-ish” Towers and Deeb created together – an episode one reviewer critiqued as “near-perfect.”

Top photo: Ben Deeb '09, left, and Graham Towers '08 (MA, MFA '12) display the script for the animated episode of "Black-ish" they co-wrote. To a great extent, the writing partners' success story is about “just sticking with it,” Deeb says.

Towers had been a writers’ assistant on “Black-ish” since Season 3, when he met series creator Kenya Barris on a different project, for which Towers was script coordinator. During his four years in the writers’ room of “Black-ish,” Towers has co-written three episodes, including the Season 6 finale, which he wrote with Deeb. “That episode was directed by Matthew Cherry just weeks before he won an Oscar (for the animated short film ‘Hair Love’),” Towers says. “Then a similar situation happened this year — they were working on an animated election special, and they said we could write it, which was very flattering that they trusted us.”




Humanities Classes Widened Their Perspectives

“I was the kind of kid who would go to office hours and chat about all the things

There was a time when Deeb thought his professional life might be as a college professor, or perhaps as an aide to a member of Congress (he interned for a Nebraska senator during college). Although he journeyed from Omaha to become a film major at Chapman, he found that he also wanted the fruits of a broad liberal arts education. In addition to his double major in philosophy and political science, Deeb earned minors in environmental science and university honors. “I want to explore as many things as I can,” he says. Towers, a native of Newport Beach, also found his way to classes in Wilkinson College after earning his screenwriting degree from Dodge College and then moving to Los Angeles, where he has worked on a half-dozen TV shows. He returned to Chapman for graduate study “mostly because I knew I wasn’t a good enough writer yet,” Towers says. “I had a lot of great professors in the MA/MFA program, but Paul Buchanan was my favorite. He taught some great

that interested me,” he says. “But I also had a lot of seminar classes. And sitting in a room, throwing around ideas, sometimes with people you don’t agree with, is kind of what we want to do in a TV writers’ room. You’re benefiting from a diversity of experience and coming up with interesting ideas.” Now, while they also collaborate on feature scripts and other projects, Towers and Deeb are in the room where it happens for TV writers. Two white guys working for a show called “Black-ish.” “One of the great things about ‘Black-ish’ is how everyone feels free to talk, which is where you find out where people’s preconceptions are about society at large,” Towers says. “Everyone at ‘Black-ish’ is a curious person.” As they pursue universality in their writing, Deeb and Towers are also searching for the original. “When we write a new pilot, we definitely say, ‘How can we present something that people haven’t seen before — stories that need to be told?’” Deeb says.

creative writing workshops, and he’s still a good friend.”

“I’m so lucky,” Towers adds, “to be in a position where so much of my job con

Wide-Ranging Experiences Lead to Rich Story Ideas

continue to learn from everyone else in the room.”

sists of having interesting conversations with people with different experiences. I

While Towers was workshopping his writings and offering feedback to peers, Deeb was joining in environmental research as well as in philosophical discussions.

The animated election issue of "Black-ish" written by Towers and Deeb was described as "near-perfect" by one reviewer.

One of the great things about ‘Black-ish’ is how everyone feels free to talk, which is where you find out where people’s preconceptions are about society at large. GRAHAM TOWERS ’08 (MA/MFA ’12)





ROOTS OF CHANGE When Elle Lorraine’s Chapman University friend, writer-director Justin Simien ‘05, asked her to audition for his new film, the invitation came with a challenge. “You’re going to have to bring it,” she recalls him saying, “because a lot of people want this role.” Intimidating? “Extremely,” Lorraine ‘07 says with a smile, remembering her first experience with “Bad Hair,” Simien’s satirical genre-bending thriller about how a woman’s new weave takes on a life of its own. Lorraine seized the moment. Despite the other impressive names she saw on the call sheet, she told herself to “take a beat, bring the best that you have, and remember that you have a unique point of view.” She landed the lead role and now is earning accolades such as “impressive newcomer” and “scary good performance.” After years of “twists and turns, hills and dips” as a working actor in Los Angeles, Lorraine is seeing doors open. Or, rather, she’s pushing them ajar. “The first few years were really hard,” says Lorraine, a Houston native who arrived at Chapman as La’cresha Johnson, graduating in 2007 with a degree in theatre from Chapman’s College of Performing Arts. Elle Lorraine is her stage name. “Many times I questioned if I was living in a fantasy the world couldn’t quite grasp,” she adds.

Even before her success in “Bad Hair,” which is available on Hulu, Lorraine started getting noticed, thanks in large measure to her decision to produce her own projects alongside professional partner and friend Dime Davis. Lorraine, Simien and Davis all moved from Houston to Chapman in the same general time frame, and all are now thriving in the entertainment industry. Lorraine produced and starred in two Web series -- “20 Something” and “Nik+Bob” -- as well as the film “Sugar,” which Davis wrote and directed. Davis recently became the first Black woman to earn an Emmy nomination as a director, for her work on “A Black Lady Sketch Show.” “It’s been a long and treacherous journey, and I’m still fighting to be seen, to get into the rooms so I can prove that I have the ability to bring these characters to life,” says Lorraine, who also worked with Simien as an actor in his Netflix series “Dear White People.” “Now I’m reading projects, having meetings, looking for the next piece over which I will salivate. Dime and I are working on selling a couple of shows. It’s been a hard year, but an amazing one, too.” As she guides the upward trajectory of her own career, Lorraine also is part of a community she sees driving “a huge shift in the paradigm” in Hollywood. “More change still has to happen, from the bottom up, for film to be authentic to the America we live in,” she says. “But the stories we portray, that come from my friend group, look like a rainbow. We need to see more of that in film and TV. Not to fill a quota, but because these artists are amazing.” “Bad Hair” helps advance such an inspiring vision. The film’s layered message counters “the idea that our pursuit of happiness has to be qualified or shrunken by someone else’s vision,” Lorraine says. “Sometimes we need to yell and scream to be seen, but that can’t be taken away. ‘Bad Hair’ is such an incredible genre piece that works in so many ways. It takes a bold artist to do such a thing. Places like Chapman cultivate those kinds of artists.”

Emma McIntyre/BAFTA LA/Contour by Getty Images

"More change still has to happen, from the bottom up, for film to be authentic to the America we live in.” ELLE LORRAINE ’07





and Viola Davis, but it was a joy to sink his teeth into dialogue written by Wilson.

For actor Dusan Brown ‘24, the recently released Netflix film “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” was both a breakthrough opportunity and a bittersweet experience.

“The work is so meaningful,” he says. “I’m dumbfounded that I got to be part of it.”

Playing Sylvester in the adaptation of August Wilson’s revered stage play, Brown is at home in an acclaimed cast, giving a performance described as pitch perfect by critics. But the film also stirs feelings of heartbreaking loss, as it marks the final performance of lead actor Chadwick Boseman. The “Black Panther” star died in August of colon cancer.


“The work is so meaningful, I’m dumbfounded that I got to be part of it.” DUSAN BROWN ’24, ON HIS ROLE IN THE FILM ADAPTATION OF "MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM," BY AUGUST WILSON.

Brown, a first-year film production student in Chapman’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, acted alongside Boseman in a pair of films, including the Jackie Robinson biopic “42.” He and Boseman became friends. “He just had an unexplainable energy,” Brown said. “We would talk on set, and he would tell me to take my time, to enjoy every experience, and to be proud of myself. This was a special project, and for me it was doubly meaningful.” Brown says it was terrifying at first to have scenes with actors such as Boseman


It says a lot about the creative vision of writerdirector Justin Simien ’05 that Disney and Lucasfilm have trusted him with their latest “Star Wars” franchise. Simien will create the Disney+ series “Lando,” chronicling the exploits of the galactic smuggler Lando Calrissian. The Lando role was inaugurated by Billy Dee Williams in “The Empire Strikes Back” (1980) and played most recently by Donald Glover in “Solo: A Star Wars Story” (2018). It’s still unclear when “Lando” will launch or if Glover will take on the title role in the Disney+ series. The new show from the studio responsible for the highly successful series “The Mandalorian”

At the same time, Brown, a native of Chicago, has been prepping for such moments since he was 7 and landed his first role, in the film “Desertion,” about Howard Hughes. He has since gone on to do lots of series TV work (“Big Bang Theory,” “Community,” “The Lion Guard,” others), as well as selected work in films. At Chapman, his academic emphasis is directing, but he has especially enjoyed his screenwriting courses, in which his professors and student colleagues are “helping me to dive deeper into characters and be more collaborative,” he says. “Seeing how my ideas bounce off other people is really awesome.” Mixing acting with school has always been a search for balance, Brown adds. His ultimate goal is to achieve that balance professionally, mixing writing, directing and acting to tell the best stories he can. “The industry needs new stories,” he says.

was announced in December during a Disney investor call. Simien wrote and directed the film “Dear White People” (2014), which he later adapted into a successful Netflix series, as well as the Hulu original film “Bad Hair” (2020). Disney provided a sneak peak of his vision for “Lando” with a jazz-infused sizzle reel of clips from the “Star Wars” canon. A post to Simien’s Instagram page notes his excitement about the project. It includes a “shout out to the real ones who let me know I had a home planet out there somewhere when I was growing up.”




Patricia (Patty) Schmid and her husband, Dick, joined in the celebration when Schmid Gate was dedicated in 2005.



atricia (Patty) Schmid, a longtime champion and cherished friend of Chapman University, passed away Jan. 5, eight days shy of her 85th birthday. Though we are all facing difficult schedules and challenges during this time, I hope you will consider taking a moment to remember and honor this dear member of our community,” Chapman President Daniele C. Struppa said in a message of remembrance shared with the Chapman Family. “Joyful, warm and caring are only a few words that come to mind when I think of Patty, and I know many in the Chapman Family share those sentiments,” Struppa added. “She was a source of incomparable light. To everyone who met her, who encountered her positive attitude, she brightened their day.” Alongside her husband, Dick, Patty Schmid was a catalyst for immeasurable change at Chapman. Their generosity has touched countless aspects of life at Chapman, including Town & Gown and Chapman Celebrates, the annual gala and revue that is an important source of support for student scholarships at the university. During the celebration in 2011, Chapman’s 150th year, members of the extended Schmid Family were recognized as Corporate Citizens of the Year. Perhaps most notably, the Schmid Family’s impact is felt at Chapman through the academic programs of Schmid College of



Science and Technology. In addition, many who step onto the Chapman campus do so through Schmid Gate, which serves as the university’s formal entrance and invites the wider community into the Chapman experience. “Let all who enter join the search for knowledge” and “Let all who depart use their knowledge in the pursuit of truth” are inscribed on the gate. “Thanks to gifts from the Schmid Family, these sentences have served to welcome and inspire thousands of students and alumni, and I find that they reflect Patty’s thoughtful spirit beautifully,” Struppa said. “While the gate was dedicated in 2005 in honor of Walter and Margaret Schmid, I hope that all who pass it think of Patty and all members of the Schmid Family, their kindness and belief in education.” In addition to husband Dick Schmid, Patty Schmid is survived by daughter Lisa (Schmid), Lisa’s husband Larry Beltramo, their son Steven Beltramo, and daughter Nicole (Beltramo) Frischknecht and her husband Jeremy Frischknecht; and daughter Karen (Schmid) Hankinson, who has two sons, Trent and Ian Hankinson. “Patty’s passion toward life and years as a teacher and philanthropist inspired so many,” Struppa added. “I am truly happy that she will always be remembered on our campus.”


Ron and Sandi Simon for Sandi Simon Center for Dance, Simon Physician Assistant Scholarships and endowment of the Simon STEM Scholars at Orange High School Anonymous gift for expansion of Hilbert Museum of California Art

Anonymous bequest to endow teaching fellowships in Attallah College of Educational Studies


Swenson Family Foundation for Swenson Family Hall of Engineering

$4 M

Doy B. Henley for Doy B. Henley Endowed Chair in American Presidential Studies to be held by inaugural chairholder Dr. Lori Cox Han, a presidential studies scholar and author. Also funds Doy B. Henley Endowed Director in STEM-MBA Studies

$2.4 M $2 M $1.5M

Clifford R. Stark Residual Trust gift to establish annual need-based Stark Scholarship James H. and Esther M. Cavanaugh for James H. Cavanaugh Endowed Chair in Presidential Studies, to be held by Dr. Luke Nichter, an American historian and author Anonymous bequest to establish an endowment for experiential learning, a merit scholarship and a Leatherby Libraries endowment at Argyros School of Business and Economics


Potamkin Family for CU Safely Back Fund to help address urgent needs


Lorrilyn Fetherolf Trust to establish Fetherolf Broadcast Journalism Endowment at Dodge College of Film and Media Arts

At Chapman University, we are grateful for all our champions -- people who are so confident in our future that they helped us achieve one of the most successful fundraising years in our history. Like us, they are committed to helping the next generation of leaders make change in the world. With their support, we are stronger than ever.

THANK YOU. To learn more about charitable giving at Chapman, visit SPRING 2021




Don Hurzeler ’70 has released his fifth

book,“What’s Left of Don,” (Kua Bay Publishing LLC), an adventure travel memoir that debuted at No. 1 on Amazon in two categories in July 2020. 3

Clifford Moore ’58 passed away Dec. 13, 2020, after a long battle with cancer.

1960s Charles Arnold (MA ’64) celebrated his 100th

birthday on Jan. 8, 2021. 1

Yvonne Werttemberger ’69 recently

published “Sarah, Blake and Salt: An Adventure in the Desert” (Sunacumen Press), a middle-grade adventure novel about two siblings thrown into a race against evil criminals. The book is available in paperback on Amazon. 2


Myron Feinstein (MBA ’84) has retired from consulting and teaching graduate courses at North Carolina State University. He and his wife have created a blog that explores their adventures rock climbing and scuba diving: adventureimages.

Karyn Planett ’70 has published “How To

Capture Your Travel Stories in Words & Pictures,” available on Amazon. It’s a travel book about becoming a better storyteller through the use of compelling photographs and captivating descriptions. Planett has lectured at Chapman and has sailed twice with Semester At Sea, lecturing on travel writing and photography. 4


Carolyn Baker ’75 has published “An

Unintentional Accomplice: A Personal Perspective on White Responsibility” (2Leaf Press). The book is a personal narrative that details Baker’s experiences in segregated Southern California in the 1960s. It’s available online and in stores. 5 Philip Wickliff ’75 has retired from his position as an Idaho State approver for GI Bill programs. He and his wife split their time between Boise, Idaho, and Palm Desert, California. 6

celebrated 50 years of marriage on June 11. They met in Cheverton Hall and were married in the Chapman Chapel (now Chapel of Orange). They are retired from teaching careers and have one son, Jared, and five grandchildren.


3 6

4 5



Alan DePuy ’94 passed away on Jan. 14, 2020, after a brief illness. His degree was in organ performance and piano accompaniment, and he played the organ at a host of churches, including the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove. The loss is felt by those whose lives he touched through his friendship and musical talent. Michelle Pulfrey ’98 was named producer for the 9 a.m. hour of “Good Day LA,” on KTTV in Los Angeles. She has created a new platform for viewer engagement on topical news stories.

John Alexander ’70 and Lyn Alexander




2000s Lori E. Johnson ’02 (MBA ’11) was named the

first communications and digital strategy manager at Prime Healthcare Services, a private healthcare company in Ontario, California. Diana Todaro (Vorscheck) ’03 has published “If Grandma Lived Next Door” and “The Ghost House,” children’s books written with her grandchildren, Gianna Vorscheck and John Vorscheck III. The book is available on Amazon. 7 Layce Johnson ’07 was awarded the Council of State Archivists Ancestry Leadership Award on Aug. 13, 2020, for her contributions to the conservation of the Idaho State Constitution. Johnson also served as the project manager for the documentary “Idaho’s Constitution Revealed.” 8 Jamie Martin ’08, the lead editor on “RuPaul’s

Drag Race,” was awarded her second Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Picture Editing for a Structured Reality or Competition Program on Sept. 14, 2020.


Annamarie Sucher ’09 and Paul Jones ’11 were married along with many other couples in a temporary outdoor set-up at the Honda Center in Anaheim on April 17, 2020. Their story received news coverage from Fox 11 and the Los Angeles Times. 9

Michelle (Lanthier) Nahmias ’14 and Brendan Nahmias ’12 were married in Pacific Palisades, California, on Feb. 22, 2020, alongside Chapman alumni Derek Dolechek '12, Dan Duran '13, Carly Juarez '14 and Samantha Morgenstern (JD '14) 11

Jeff Kuhns ’13 was accepted into Class XI of


Leadership Florida’s Connect Program, which focuses on inspiring and educating Florida’s top leaders ages 25 to 39.

Jessica Hooper Anthony ’10 married Mike

Anthony at the Russian River in June 2019, alongside her Phi Sigma Sigma sorority sister, Michelle Medeiros Chang '09, and other Chapman alumni. 10 Derek Witte ’12 and Amanda Nieto ’12

were married at Belmond Villa San Michele in Florence, Italy, on Oct. 10, 2016, in front of 30 of their closest family and friends, including Ashely Nieto ’15.

Brendan Le ’14 was named an honors attorney at the U.S. Postal Service in Long Beach after earning his JD from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, in 2019. Rose Fruci ’14 and Tyler Anthony ’14 were

married in San Jose on Nov. 7, 2020, alongside their officiant, Tansu Philip ’16, and maid of honor, Lauren Fruci ’17. Rose and Tyler met while walking through the parking lot where Keck Center is now. Their favorite spot on campus is Gentle Spring Fountain, and their favorite Chapman experience is the travel course to the Galapagos during Interterm 2014. 12








CLASS NOTES Marie Cheng ’15 was selected as a participant

in the eight-week Producers Guild of America Power of Diversity Master Workshop in 2020 with her animated television comedy “Everybody Screams at Me.” 13 Daniel Emmet (Shipley) ’15 co-wrote

and released a new single with rapper FADED BreeZie called “The People” on Oct. 30, 2020. Among his many other accomplishments, Emmet had his first single, a cover of Il Divo’s “Passerà,” debut at No. 2 on the iTunes classical chart, and he headlined his own show, “All That I Am,” for an exclusive run at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Samantha Sullivan ('15), daughter of

Eric Wong (MFA ’16) co-wrote and directed a true crime/comedy podcast called “The Hunt?” with many other Chapman graduates. The podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher. Kerri Polizzi (JD ’17) got engaged to Scott

Kramer at Downtown Disney on July 25, 2020. 15

Joshua Sarsfield ’17 (MA ’20) and Danielle Pomeroy ’18 (MA ’19) were married at St. Norbert Church in Orange on Nov. 14, 2020. Attending were Remy Bessolo '17, Katie Gilmour '17, Adlai Nissen '17, Matt Mead '20, Danielle Potop '17 and Charlie Werman '17. 16

Chapman trustee Stan Sullivan, welcomed her first child, Maclane Robert Sullivan, with her husband, Brandon. Maclane was born on Nov. 30 in Billings, Montana.

Robert J. Schumaker, Jr. ’17 (writing as Robert Julius) published his debut poetry chapbook, “Death Salon,” (Seven Kitchens Press) in August 2020.

Morgan Holcomb ’16 was named a marketing

Sofia Seikaly ’17 was awarded an Emmy in the category Newscast - Weekend - Larger Markets, for the Pacific Southwest Region in June 2020.

strategist at The Arts & Learning Conservatory, an award-winning nonprofit that provides students with arts education in Costa Mesa.


Holeka Inaba ’16 was elected to the Hawaii

County Council, District 8, in the 2020 election. 14 Jillian Strong ’16 earned her Master of Arts

in Higher Education, Student Affairs, from the University of Redlands in 2020.

15 13

’16   J U L I A W A L T O N ( M F A ‘ 1 6 ) Since receiving her MFA in creative writing, Julia Walton has found success as a writer of young adult fiction. Walton’s first novel, “Words on Bathroom Walls,” was published by Penguin Random House in 2017 and received critical acclaim, eventually leading to a film adaptation. “Words on Bathroom Walls” follows a high school student who is diagnosed with schizophrenia halfway through his senior year and attempts to keep it a secret from the girl he loves. The film adaptation was released in August, starring Charlie Plummer and Taylor Russell. Although Walton had almost finished the first draft of her novel when she started the MFA program at Chapman, she thanks her classmates and professors such as Richard Bausch for helping her develop the confidence she needed to succeed as a writer. She also credits workshops for teaching her how to listen and evaluate her own work. Her second novel for Penguin Random House, “Just Our Luck,” is a romance about overcoming anxiety. It was released Dec. 29.



CLASS NOTES Scott Prusko ’18 was named account executive at Westbound Communications, a public relations and advertising firm in Orange. Elissa Title ’18 wrote, designed and published a

photography book of her travels called “Next Stop Everywhere” (Blurb) on May 17, 2020. 17

2020s Chloe de Vries ’20 was named marketing and

public relations manager for the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, a collegiate summer baseball team in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.

’97    J A C O B 16


’05   J U S T I N L U T S K Y A graduate of Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, Justin Lutsky ‘05 is a jack of all trades. Not only is he an award-winning director, editor, producer and owner of his own production company, Epic Image Entertainment, but he is also an experienced photographer, certified scuba instructor and safety diver. Lutsky’s background in content creation and love of scuba diving led him to create a unique photography business that focuses on underwater imagery. Several of his photos have been featured in magazines such as Ventana Monthly, Exquisite International and IGNITE. During his time at Chapman, Lutsky fostered his passion for storytelling through his coursework, on-set experiences and mentorships with acclaimed directors Rob Cohen, William Friedkin and Carl Franklin. Upon graduating with a degree in film production, Lutsky was selected by Steven Spielberg to join the cast of the reality TV show “On the Lot,” which aired on FOX in 2007. In 2009, Lutsky premiered the short film “The Action Hero’s Guide to Saving Lives,” starring Patrick Warburton, at Paramount Studios.


Jacob Vogel ’09, who as a Chapman University student founded the Pride of Chapman Pep Band, has now landed one of the most prominent positions in his profession – director of the USC Trojan Marching Band. Vogel started as a teaching assistant and arranger for the USC band while he was a graduate student at the university’s Thornton School of Music in 2011. Five years later, he took on the role of associate director. He took over as band director on Jan. 1, 2021. In 2006, Vogel was asked to put a band together for Chapman’s Homecoming Weekend. The performance was so well received that he ended up officially creating the Pride of Chapman Pep Band, which has become a spirited presence at athletic events and other occasions on campus. After graduating from Chapman with his Bachelor of Music in music education and French horn performance, Vogel became an adjunct faculty member at Chapman. As he completed his doctorate in music education at USC, he also assisted the Orange County School of the Arts as a conductor for its orchestra program.

Justin Lutsky's unique photography business focuses on underwater imagery.

Since then, Lutsky has created an array of films, commercials, music videos and other branded content, his work screening at more than 100 festivals around the world. He also recently launched a Web series called “Armed Response” on Break Media’s YouTube channel HardCoded.

In addition to playing at football games, the 300-member USC Trojan Marching Band has strong connections to the entertainment industry, having performed at the Grammys and Coachella as well as with high-profile groups such as Fleetwood Mac and Radiohead.



One University Drive Orange, California 92866






increase in research expenditures this year.

Universities in the nation for research activity


Top 50 Film Schools in the U.S., The Wrap


National Medal of Science Winner Yakir Aharonov

Ranking in Bloomberg Businessweek Best Undergraduate Business School



Rhodes Scholar Vidal Arroyo ’19, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology



Nobel Laureate in Economics, Vernon L. Smith


Phi Beta Kappa honor society members inducted in first two classes of Chapman’s new chapter

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