The Pedant • March 2014


• Editor's Note

• The Cost of Health: Students and the Affordable Care Act

• Can You Dig It?

• Find Your Center (hint: it's on campus)

• Empty Seats at Top Leads to Worry at Bottom

• Accreditation Visitation: WASC Returns to CGU

• La Flâneuse: the Claremont Wanderer

• Student Achievements


Editor's Note

If we may briefly toot our own horn, the Pedant staff is pleased to announce that we have once again won a gold medal in the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) district VII Awards of Excellence for in-house print periodical.

While a CASE award is a nice feather in our cap, we don’t do this for the glory (and what glory it is!): We at the Pedant strive to always be relevant and engaging to YOU, the student body, by covering breaking campus news, features that relate to your life as a student, and events and other tidbits that keep you engaged in the campus community and beyond.

With that in mind, we are still looking to improve. If you have an idea for a story, a question about some element of graduate or academic life you want us to address, a suggestion for something we could be doing better, or even just gripes or accolades, we want to know. Send your comments to It wouldn’t truly be student a newsletter without your input.

As we enter the home stretch of the semester, take a moment to pat yourself on the back, breathe a little, and enjoy the eighty-degree weather (this was the year of “the winter that wasn’t”). Each milestone passed deserves recognition; but then we must turn our gaze back towards the horizon and plow forward again.


Rachel Tie
the Pedant

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The Cost of Health: Students and the Affordable Care Act

HealthcareAs students who live off of low incomes—and often, high loans—healthcare coverage can break the proverbial bank and all too often, fall by the wayside. The Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (the complete name of the 2013 legislation often referred to as “Obamacare”) aims primarily to make affordable healthcare available to all. Whether you agree with the legislation or not, it is now in full effect and the Pedant is here to let you know if and how you can take advantage of it.

Right off the bat, there are a few things CGU students need to know about the Affordable Care Act (ACA):

- “Obamacare” and the ACA are the same thing.

- You must be a legal California resident (but not necessarily a U.S. citizen) to enroll.

- Rates are based on a combination of household size, age, income, zip code, and the health plan you select.

- If you have the insurance offered by CGU, you do not need to change your healthcare coverage; at least until Congress reappraises the ACA legislation in 2015, when some plans may no longer be valid under the new law (though unlikely for CGU insurance).

- If you are a California resident who chooses to partake in the government health benefit exchange, you will go through the California-specific coverage vehicle, Covered California (CoveredCA), accessible through

The primary changes that the ACA enacts include guaranteed coverage, no annual limits, no denial of coverage based on preexisting conditions (including being female—yes, that’s a thing), rates not based on health status, notable increases in coverage for mental health and substance abuse disorders, an increase in preventative medicine, and affordable coverage for individuals (where “affordable” means less than 9.5% of adjusted gross income).

“The ACA provides great options for graduate students previously not available,” said master of public health student David Diaz Avelar, who is also something of an ACA guru. “You may be eligible for tax credits that lower your premiums, and you may choose comprehensive coverage tailored to your financial and medical needs. You may even be eligible for Medi-Cal, which offers the same comprehensive package offered in the Covered California marketplace but at drastically reduced—or no—cost.

We all know that health insurance is an absolute necessity. Even if you’re in good health, consider the cost of an accident: Without insurance, the average cost of a broken arm is $16,500; with decent insurance, the average cost is $4,800; with a CoveredCA plan, the maximum out-of-pocket cost for an individual on any single medical issue ranges from $2,200 to about $6,000 based on their plan (for more on plans, keep reading).

“The marketplace offers four tiers of coverage: platinum, gold, silver, and bronze. These options are based on the percentage of full actuarial value [amount of health-related expenses which the plan covers for a typical enrollee] of benefits the plan is designed to provide,” said Diaz. “For the platinum plan it’s 90%; gold, 80%; silver, 70%; and bronze 60%. The higher the actuarial value, the higher the [monthly payments] but the lower the out-of-pocket cost when the bill comes.”

We wanted to find out if the ACA was a good choice for CGU students so we embarked on an experiment to find out the cost/coverage benefits of CGU insurance versus the CoveredCA marketplace plans as well as Medi-Cal (a health insurance program for low-income people that was recently expanded under the ACA), and we found a student who would anonymously apply for healthcare coverage to compare them side-by-side.

Our student: Age 30, full-time student, part-time job with annual income of about $6,000/year (without student loans), unmarried. (Incidentally, this student represents the average demographic of a CGU student with a work/study job.)

This student currently has the PPO health plan offered by CGU.

HealthcareAnnual cost is $2,994
Office visit co-pay: $10
Out-of-pocket max: $5,000/year

Includes 90% (after $10 co-pay) of many services and treatments (to see a full list, see, but also covers certain things lesser insurance plans don’t, including gender reassignment surgery, alcoholism and substance abuse detoxification, STI testing, and 100% of pregnancy cost. And like most insurance policies, it does not cover abortion; treatment for weight control; hearing aids; circumcision (call the mohel!); injury sustained as a result of suicide attempt; and oddly, numerous maladies of the foot. Overall, it’s an expensive but average PPO with a few perks (like substance abuse treatment, STI testing, and low out-of-pocket costs). The plan is similar in cost and coverage to the platinum plan offered by CoveredCA, however, it may now be less expensive to get a similar plan through CoveredCA since it takes an individual or family’s income into account when determining cost of coverage.

Our student applied for both CoveredCA and Medi-Cal. Because her income is so low  (about 90% of the poverty level, where “poverty” is an income less than $15,856) she was denied coverage by the former because of her status as, and I quote, an “indigent adult” (ouch!) made her automatically qualify for Medi-Cal (this is federal law). This means that she will receive the same coverage offered through CoveredCA HMOs at little to no cost. The primary difference in coverage is that Medi-Cal is “managed care”: Providers have to be “in network,” which means that she cannot necessarily choose her own doctor and will need referrals to see specialists. While she legally had the option to appeal the decision, since she is in good health, is not expecting a baby, and likes the idea of not taking out student loans to pay for health insurance, our student decided to enroll.

“Medi-Cal offers the same package items and services as those found on the CoveredCA marketplace,” said Diaz. “Although some may feel that there is a stigma attached towards having Medi-Cal insurance, I would argue that the peace of mind having insurance at all far outweighs the stigma.”

Regardless of which path you choose, the ACA offers options for graduate students and families that make obtaining insurance more affordable than ever before. And after all the time and money we have spent investing in our minds, why wouldn’t we lavish the same care on our physical bodies?



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Can you dig it?

Israel DigIf you’re looking for a creative way to get out of the California heat this summer . . . this trip probably isn’t for you. But if you can take the heat and want to earn four credits (and knock out that transdisciplinary course requirement) then consider the Tel Akko summer archeological program in Akko, Israel from June 29–July
26, 2014.

The cost of the program is $3,500 and includes meals for 28 days, lodgings at the Israeli Nautical Academy, laundry service, and program-related tours and admissions. Not included is airfare to Israel, tuition (should you choose to take the course for credit) and the requisite trip insurance. While the cost may seem steep, it also includes tours around the country, a banquet, and the can’t-put-a-price on experience of having a month-long expertly guided trip to one of the most diverse and enchanting locales on earth. Also: hummus at every meal.

The excavation will take place in Old Akko, an Ottoman Empire port city that sits atop even older Crusader ruins. Participants will spend upwards of five hours per day excavating the tel—a mound under which sits the ruins of previous settlements that used to inhabit the same spot. And in a country like Israel, with a fraught thousands-year-old history, the tels throughout the country are rich with history, artifacts, and every so often, a vital link in the country’s narrative.

Two four-credit courses are offered through CGU: Religion 432, “Archaeological Field Methods” and Transdisciplinary Studies 402/Religion 460, “Akko: Public Archaeology, Conservation, and Heritage.” A deposit for the trip is due in April, with the full payment due May 1. For more information e-mail For a video of the program, check out

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Find Your Center (hint: it’s on campus)

Student Success Center Grand OpeningThe much-anticipated Student Success Center (SSC) has finally opened its doors.

The SSC is the new umbrella title that includes Career Management, Disability Services, Preparing Future Faculty (PFF), Student Life & Diversity, the Writing Center, the new Digital Learning Lab, and a brand-new student space located at 131 E. Tenth Street. (For those of us who have been stomping around CGU for a while, this house used to be the Humanities Resource Center.)

In addition to unifying student services, the SSC has refocused its mission on student centeredness. We know, it’s an old buzzword, but this is actually pretty cool.

Besides offering a redesigned interior that can accommodate an afternoon nap or hardcore study session, the SSC also provides coffee, tea, snacks—ranging from healthy things like nuts to less-healthy things like Doritos and chocolate—and a refrigerator and microwave for students to use. While presently the house is only open to students during regular office hours (9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday–Friday), we are hoping that the hours will be extended in the near future.

For Shamini Dias, director of the PFF program, encouraging a sense of community doesn’t end with providing student services. She brings an artistic touch with the “Hands for Success” project, which aims to visually articulate community through art at the SSC student space. At last month’s open house, students painted their hands and put their prints on a canvas. With the goal of 1,000 hands, it represents both individuality and community.

“The hand is a simple metaphor for effort, hard work, perseverance, collaboration, reaching out, and connecting that is part of anyone’s success,” said Dias. “I also like the idea that in the final artwork of hundreds—hopefully a thousand—hands, you won’t see individual prints. Like success, that colorful, final product is made up of countless individuals.”

But perhaps the most exciting thing about the SSC is its creation of a Digital Learning Lab in collaboration with the Office of Information Technology (OIT) in the basement of Harper Hall. It will provide supportive services in software as complicated as Qualtrix and as simple as Microsoft Word.  

“We found there was really a gap in our services. Students would come to the Writing Center for this kind of help, and we weren’t trained for it,” said Dias. “We’re hoping the lab will help the student population with technology tools so they can move a little faster, a little more confidently, a little more efficiently.”

Student Success CenterAs the Digital Learning Lab continues to develop, its programs will have on-site tutors to offer one-on-one sessions by walk-in or appointment, workshops, and online tutorials that can be accessed off campus. (Read: learn Excel in your bathrobe.)

Along with help on finding your way around Prezi and paginating a dissertation (those pesky roman numerals at the beginning), a room for collaborative learning that requires technology is conveniently located just down the hall.

“The SSC team is happy to be able to provide a space where students can come and take advantage of all of these workshops,” said Lisa Flores Griffith, associate dean of student services. “We are also happy to be able to provide all students with a space to study and gather.”

The Hands for Success project will continue throughout the semester, so stop by to see the space, lend a hand(print) to some community art, or have a snack or a cup o’ joe. Who can say no to free coffee?

For more information about the SSC, visit


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Empty seats at top leads to worry at bottom

CGU Board RoomLast November the CGU student body learned that Fred Siegel would no longer serve as dean of students and vice provost of student services and enrollment. Filling the position would be Patricia Easton, former philosophy professor and associate provost for academic planning.

The change in leadership came as a shock to many students, who voiced their concern at a November town hall meeting.

Along with Fred Siegel, Financial Aid Director Susie Guilbault, Human Resources Director Susan Geyer, and Steve Garcia, senior vice president of finance and administration all left CGU during the fall semester.

“I really feel like something is wrong [here],” one student said at the town hall, “and I’m getting really worried about my degree.”

Another student shared that she felt like these separate events were indicative of a larger issue. “There has to be a common thread [between all these people leaving],” she said.

But Provost Jacob Adams assured attendees that everyone left for different reasons—from retirement to new jobs—and that there is no single concern to worry about.

“Your stability at CGU is mostly your relationship with your faculty members and they’re not leaving,” Adams said.

When President Freund joined CGU in 2010 and instituted realignment and an increased focus on student-centeredness the university seemed as though it were in an upward swing. But the developments over the last several months (including lingering uncertainty about where realignment stands and what it accomplished, as well as recent under-enrollment of new students) have made some wonder if the university’s upward momentum has stagnated. 


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Accreditation Visitation: WASC Returns to CG

It seems like we’ve been talking about the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) for years; that’s because we have. After several visits over the past few years, the university accreditation body will be returning to CGU this March in the next step of CGU’s six-year accreditation process.

A peer-review team of six WASC representatives will be on campus March 25-27 to get feedback from students, faculty, and staff in order to hear about the CGU experience. If this sounds a bit like a horse and pony show, it is, but it’s also really important: Accreditation not only provides assurance to the public at large that CGU meets the standards of a quality education, it is essential to the value of your degree. See? Important.

Last year WASC’s visit concluded with a formal list of commendations and recommendations that CGU has since been working tirelessly on addressing, such as increasing student-centeredness and revamping transdisciplinary studies. Now, they want to continue to evaluate the effectiveness of our educational programs, examine our institutional practices, and make sure we are truly at the caliber of a research-extensive graduate institution. And this is where you come in.

For WASC to truly get a sense of how well CGU is doing, they need to hear the students’ perspectives. Some questions visiting representatives might ask include:

In what ways do the faculty and staff at CGU foster a research-oriented culture of inquiry; How well prepared do you feel to enter the next phase of your career; How does CGU foster a climate of diversity; How does your advisor help keep you on track; and other questions geared at judging the effectiveness of CGU’s stated mission and goals. Just be professional and honest, and if you have a real issue (whereas “real” does not include that “B” you got in stats), contact CGU resources like your department chair or the ombudsman.

You can participate by attending the WASC open forum for students on March 26 from 4:30-5:15 in Albrecht Auditorium or by sending an e-mail with your thoughts directly to the WASC team at  There will also be a special session on March 25 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. also in Albrecht for students who received a dissertation award, work in a research lab or as a T.A., or are the leader of a club. The WASC team will present their findings at an open forum on March 27 at 11:30 a.m. in Albrecht Auditorium, and will let CGU know the length of our re-accreditation (which is usually between 6-10 years) and indicate further recommendations in July.

For more information on WASC, including past reports, visit the “OIE” community page in your campus portal (


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La Flâneuse

La Flaneuse campingby Sharone Williams — writer, editor, loafer, PhD candidate in English
Flâneuse, French: 1) a city wanderer; 2) one who strolls about aimlessly; 3) a shopper with no intent to buy; an intellectual parasite.

As part of the Pedant’s mission to enhance student life, La Flâneuse features goings-on about town outside of the moated ivory tower that is CGU. This month: The Great Cheeseburger Challenge.

As each semester kicks into high gear, you probably find yourself spending more and more time trudging a weary path between the library, your desk, and your bed, with scarcely the energy to lift your eyes from your work. You might spare a thought now and then for the local woodland fauna or the nighttime sky, but unless you’re one of our famed botanists, your life as an academic probably involves a substantial commitment to the great indoors.

Now, maybe this is your ideal. Maybe you’re cultivating a fluorescent glow, or your family has an ancient blood feud with bluebirds.* Or maybe you have fond memories of nature, but you’ve spent so much time with your face in a statistics manual lately that the outdoors seems like a howling wilderness and you can’t tell a bottle of bug spray from a cylinder of propane. If you’re either of the first two things, I can’t help you, except to wish you good luck. However. If you’d like to revive those distant memories of the wind in the trees but don’t feel like you know where to start, well, let’s chat.

You may have noticed that in Southern California, winter is largely optional this year. Do you know what that means? Of course you don’t.  If you did, you’d already be halfway up Highway 39. Let me just lay it out: You live within an hour of some fantastic campgrounds in the Angeles National Forest, and now’s the perfect time to head for the hills. The weather’s gorgeous, but it’s off-season, which means you can have your pick of campsites. No crowds with their tents backed up to yours, no noisy neighbors clomping around all night, just you, the trees, and a hundred billion stars.
The two main campsites nearby are the Manker campsite on Mt. Baldy and the Crystal Lake Recreation Area in the mountains above Azusa. Manker is closed until May, but Crystal Lake is open. It’s a bit of a drive, about an hour up Highway 39 to Crystal Lake Road, but it’s worth it to feel like you’re a million miles from anywhere.  More good news: the campsites are cheap—$12 a night—and they’re first come, first served. You’ll have no trouble getting a spot, especially on a Sunday or a weeknight. In fact, the odds are pretty good that you’ll literally have the campground to yourself.

“This is awesome,” I hear you saying, “but I haven’t been camping since 1993.” Fret not, dear readers, your fearless flâneuse has blazed the trail up to Crystal Lake, so to speak, and is ready to report back. Here’s what you should think about beforehand:

1. Weather. Unless you’re a worm, living outside when it’s raining is unpleasant. High winds also make camping challenging. Plan wisely.
2. Food. You’ll be cooking and eating outside. That might mean a camping stove, foil-wrapped salmon on a charcoal grill, hot dogs over the campfire, or just a LOT of cereal. There is a little shop where you can get nachos and other snack bar-type foods (as well as various supplies if you forget something). It’s run by a voluble Cypriot named Adam who’ll tell you about his excellent brownies (confirmed); he’ll also point you to an autographed photo and tell you about how the cast of The Hunger Games ate his chili every single day. But don’t count on having all your meals with Adam, because he closes shop at 5 p.m. sharp and then vanishes down the mountain, and sometimes he’s gone for a couple days.
3. Isolation. You’re going to a place with no wifi, no electricity, and probably no cell reception. Also notable: There’s no running water in the winter. There are enclosed bathrooms, but they’re basically porta-potties. You’ll be unwashed and out of touch, kids.

This might sound like a lot to think about, but that’s the thing about camping: it takes planning to leave the civilized world behind, even for one night. That’s tied to the other thing about camping, which is that it requires some financial outlay. At minimum, you’ll need a tent, a tarp,  a sleeping bag, and a flashlight; you might also want a hatchet (look at you, getting all official), a lantern, or a camp stove. But there’s good news! You don’t have to bankrupt yourself at REI. You can get these things much more cheaply at a thrift store or a military surplus store like M&I Surplus on Garey in Pomona. Plus, once you have the gear, you’re set for years. If you don’t know whether you like camping and don’t want to drop $100-$200 to find out, find a friend who’ll let you borrow stuff or tag along. Other things you’ll want: Firewood (assuming fires are allowed! Be a good junior ranger and check first.)** Beach/camp chairs. Water for drinking and washing up. Toilet paper. Food that can be eaten cold, just in case (canned foods win big). Plates, silverware, cups, and the like. Stuff to do once the sun goes down. Closed-toe walking shoes. Your toothbrush (that’s just good manners).

So much for the preliminaries. Ready to go? Make sure you give yourself enough daylight to get up Highway 39 and set up camp. You don’t want to be putting up a tent in the dark with things like hatchets and tent poles in the mix. (Ask me how I know.) Once you arrive, picking your campsite is as easy as finding an empty spot you like. That’s it, easy peasy! Adam and the ranger station are on the right side of the road, and the campsites are on the left.

The next step is setting up. When you’re scouting a tent spot, look for a level area that’s reasonably free from rocks. Probably try not to be downwind of the bathrooms. Put the tarp down first to help keep out moisture, and weigh it down with stones. Then it’s tent time! Since each tent is different, I’ll leave you to it—just don’t forget to stake that bad boy to the ground (here’s where the flat side of your hatchet or a hammer comes in handy).

Now that you’re set up, head over to the ranger’s station and pay up. Winter station hours are restricted, so you’ll probably pay at the outside drop box. Put your cash or check ($12/night) in one of the provided envelopes and fill it out. Tear off your receipt to post at the campsite and put your envelope in the slot! The campground runs on the honor system, so, you know, be honorable.

Did all that physical labor whet your appetite? That’s good, because it’s time to think about dinner. Maybe now’s a good time to talk about fires. Sometimes, even when you check the website and everything seems clear, you’ll be surprised to find there’s a red flag warning in effect anyway and you’re not allowed to have fires of any kind. No fire in the provided ring, no charcoal grill, no nothing.*** This is when you should bust out the foods that can be eaten cold. (Hey, beans, looking tasty!) If you forgot back-up foods, do not under any circumstances decide to light a fire anyway. No, look, I know you think you can control it, but you can’t. Just ask the three guys who are in jail for accidentally starting the Colby fire last month. Instead, go back to Adam’s store and order as many Frito pies and coffees as you can handle before the store closes. Adam will tell you about his brownies and chili again and point to The Hunger Games picture with pride, and you’ll happily listen to anything he says because WARM FOOD AND INDOORS. Come closing time, take one last Frito pie to go.

If you didn’t forget to pack back-up food, or if you get to have a fire, congratulations! It’s dinner time. Wrap some foil around your salmon, or skewer your hot dogs with untwisted hangers, and cook some things over an open flame (bonus points if you heat your baked beans in the can they came in). Food you’ve cooked in the great outdoors is actually more delicious than other food. That’s science.

And now for the evening entertainment. What did you bring? Did you bring playing cards, or a guitar, or ghost stories? Did you bring your journal and your favorite pens? Are you a knitter or a woodcarver or a deep-conversation-haver? These are all good campfire activities, as well as pretty much anything that isn’t too fiddly. Don’t let the thought of going wireless wig you out. Once the initial panic has subsided, you’ll discover that unplugged can be a marvelous way to be, especially just for a day or two. (But maybe pack some whiskey just in case.)

Here’s another thing you might not know: in mountain-y places, it gets cold at night!  The weather forecast might not look much different from home, but 45 degrees is a lot colder when there’s no inside to go to. If you didn’t bring layers and at least 25 pairs of socks, you’re going to be bummed.

You’ll also be amazed how early you get sleepy when you don’t have electricity, so go to sleep when you feel like it, but make sure your fire’s completely extinguished first. Sleeping on the ground builds character, but if you already feel pretty morally sound, you can use an air mattress or about 150 blankets for padding. I won’t tell.

Sometime after it goes down the sun will rise again, and you’ll wake up because the sun is more powerful than nylon tents. Suggested daytime activities: Hiking. Having sad thoughts about drought levels at Crystal Lake. Hiking back. Huffing and puffing. Dramatically reenacting the Russian army choir singing “Get Lucky.” Napping in the sunshine. Eating more Frito pies because they’re just tasty. Reading. Repeat as necessary.

When it comes time to leave, do everything you did to set up, but in reverse! And please, by the great horned owl, throw away your trash. Pack everything up, and drive home down the mountain, and say a little thank you to the running water in your bathroom. While you’re at it, take a shower! You’ve earned it, you rugged adventurer, you.

* What is it with you and the bluebirds? Have you tried arbitration?
** Campsite and fire information: the U.S. Forest Service website ( and the local ranger station: (626) 335-1251.
*** Under these conditions, camping stoves are usually allowed because they don’t give off sparks. Do you have a camping stove? Neither do I.

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Student Achievements

Jeff Fajans
PhD, Positive Organizational Psychology
Fajans recently started a consulting gig with the Santa Monica start-up company, bLife, where he has been applying his expertise and knowledge regarding positive psychology, program evaluation, and program design. Fajans is utilizing what he has learned at CGU to help with the product development of an upcoming mobile application geared towards increasing “mind fitness” and well-being.  

Karen Beth Strovas
PhD, English
Strovas is the co-editor and project co-manager of the recently published All Things Dickinson: An Encyclopedia of Emily Dickinson’s World (ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Press). Additionally, she recently published “‘Oh, my God! am I going to be ill?’: Narratives of Sleep and the Sickbed in Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White” in the CEA Critic. Forthcoming from Scarecrow Press is a co-written chapter (with Scott Strovas, PhD, Music, CGU, 2012) in Upstairs and Downstairs: The British Historical Costume Drama on TV titled, “‘What are we going to do with Uncle Arthur?’: Music in the British Serialized Period Drama.”

Alonzo Campos
PhD, Teaching, Language, and Culture
Campos was selected as a 2014 Graduate Student Fellow of the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE). AHHEE Latino/a Graduate Fellows Program provides Hispanic doctoral students interested in entering the professorial ranks the opportunity to attend AAHHE’s national conference. At the conference, graduate student fellows are introduced to Hispanic professors and administrators from across the nation.

Irvin D. Harrison
PhD, Higher Education
Harrison was recognized as the 2013 Native American Professional of the Year by the University of California American Indian Counselors & Recruiters Association (UC AICRA). UC AICRA honors an individual for their dedication and effort given to the field of higher education and for making meaningful contributions to their institutional goals and diversity initiatives. Harrison was honored during the 2013 Native American Professional Development Conference at UC Riverside.

David Olali
PhD, Comparative Scriptures
In August, Olali gave a lecture entitled “Scriptures: Unscripted Anxiety, Amnesia, and the Complex Duplications of Black Identity in the United States” at the University of Georgia’s African Studies Institute. Additionally, in November he delivered the paper “Scriptural Signifiers: Recontesting Scriptures” (jointly authored with Dr. Charles E. Thomas) during the 2nd Annual International Conference on Africa and Its Diaspora. Olali also convened the 1st Annual International Conference of the T’Ofori-Atta Institute for the Study of the Religious Heritage of the African World (RHAW) themed “A Biography of Darkness on the ITC Campus.”

Laura L.S. Bauer
PhD, English
Bauer is the co-editor and project co-manager of the recently published All Things Dickinson: An Encyclopedia of Emily Dickinson’s World (ABC CLIO/Greenwood Press). Bauer was recently made the film studies editor for Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal as well as vice president for the new CGU chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, International English Honor Society.

April Moreno
PhD, Community and Global Health
Moreno presented at the 2014 American Public Health Association annual meeting in Boston. Her poster presentation was titled “Immigration Trends in Southern California and Health: A Case for Increased Cultural Competence Towards Improving Outcomes.” In addition, she presented a roundtable discussion, “Clinical Collaborative Challenges in Behavioral Health in the Era of the Affordable Care Act.”

Wm. Andrew Schwartz
PhD, Philosophy of Religion and Theology
Last fall, Schwartz was appointed managing director of the Center for Process Studies (CPS). CPS is a faculty-research center of the Claremont School of Theology in association with Claremont Graduate University, and is the world leader in process thought based on the work of philosophers Alfred North Whitehead and Charles Hartshorne. Schwartz is responsible for memberships/subscriptions, office management, budgeting and accounting, as well as fundraising and development for the Center. Additionally, he serves as the managing editor of the Process Studies journal (a peer-reviewed academic journal), and editor of Process Perspectives newsmagazine.

Randy Aung
Masters of Science, Human Resources Design
This past December, Aung was a contestant on the CBS game show Let’s Make a Deal. He was chosen out of an audience of 200 people. To see his performance, and how he fared, check out

Daniel Lanza
Interfield PhD, English and Cultural Studies
Lanza’s short story “Hilmar” has been published in the digital literary magazine Connu as recommended reading from Pomona Professor
Jonathan Lethem. The magazine, and the story, are free to download for iPhone through the Apple app store, or can be accessed online through the Connu website,

Tatiana Basáñez
PhD,  Applied Social Psychology
Along with co-authors Michael Warren, William Crano, and Jennifer Unger, Basáñez recently published an article, “Perceptions of intragroup rejection and coping strategies: Malleable factors affecting Hispanic adolescents’ emotional and academic outcomes” in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.

Leslie Young
PhD, Teaching, Learning, and Culture
Young recently presented her paper “Coming Out from the Shadows: A History of Gay and Lesbian Educators in the United States” at the California Council on Teacher Education fall 2013 Conference in San Diego.

Seth Clark
MA, History of Christianity and Religions of North America
Clark presented a paper at the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in Baltimore in the Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism section. The paper is entitled “Eat Or Be Eaten: Viewing Gospel of Thomas Logion 7 in the Context of Transformation and Asceticism.” The paper sheds light on the motifs present in the Gospel of Thomas and other texts in Codex 2 of the Nag Hammadi library that led fourth-century Egyptian monks to preserve the texts.

Congratulations 2013-2014 Hillcrest Transdisciplinary Award Winners!
Defiance, Challenging Norms, Rules, and Expectations. Graduate Student Conference, April 5, 2014         
Jacqueline Swaidan, History
Ned Weidner, Cultural Studies
Graham McNeill, History
Brittany Merson, Behavioral and Organizational Sciences
Kerri Dean, History
Francois Laruelle and the Question of Non-Disciplinarity. A reading, research, and writing group
Raymond Perrier, Philosophy of Religion and Theology
Jonathan Dickstein, English
Andrew Bridges, Philosophy/Philosophy of Religion and Theology
Sean Capener, Cultural Studies
Health Promotion: How Can Education, Psychology , and Technology Inform Decision-Making in the Health Domain? A research and reading group.   
Fiona Grant, Behavioral and Organizational Sciences
Nagla Alnosayan, Information Systems and Technology
Burcu Demiralp, Educational Studies
Women in Leadership Association. Materials, speaker events, and community outreach   
Zeyu Xie, Financial Engineering
Theresa Condito, Arts Management
Tiffany Turner, Business Administration/Public Health
Mariana del Carmen Somma, Business Administration
Sydney Bertram, Applied Women’s Studies
The Geography of Homeless. A GIS Research Project      
Hafsa Aasi, Information Systems and Technology
Sara Kapadia, Educational Studies
Rena Salayeva, Political Science
Steve O’Sullivan, Executive Business Administration
Piotr Zagorowski, Business Administration
The Science of Building a Team to Build a Transdisciplinary Community
Krystal Miguel, Educational Studies
Joshua Penman, Behavioral and Organizational Sciences
John Shideler, Political Science
Victoria Taylor, Evaluation
Understanding Social Well-Being in a Pluralistic Context: A reading group        
Kyu-Been Chun, Political Science
Heejin Kimberly Kim, Behavioral and Organizational Sciences
Ju Hee Koh, Philosophy of Religion and Theology
Joungchul Lee, Theology
Kyungah Lee, English
SangWon Lee, Political Science


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