Parents Newsletter, Spring 2014
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Table of Contents
- Message from the Dean of Students
- A Letter from the Parents Council
- New Initiatives in Student Organization Development
- Summer and the Career Development Office
- Class of 2018 Book Announced
- 10 Things to Kickstart Your Career Development
- 47 Pieces of Advice From Seniors – “I wish I had known…” [Part I]
- 47 Pieces of Advice From Seniors – “I wish I had known…” [Part II]
- Pomona Updates
Reflections on the
by Miriam Feldblum
Vice President and Dean of Students
The semester is coming to a close, and students are very busy studying for exams, writing papers, and finishing up presentations. This past weekend was room-draw for rising sophomores, juniors and seniors. At Pomona we combine high-tech—electronic residential hall room maps, and online systems—with high-touch as students are brought together for the actual selection, and can talk with the Campus Life deans, staff, and student staff about their questions and concerns.
This is also the time that students have just signed up for fall 2014 classes or (for a good number of our rising juniors) confirmed their fall study abroad plans. And, many students are looking ahead to the summer and their summer plans. This year, we are very excited to see the growth in the number of summer internships the College is able to fund, almost doubling from 47 to over 80 internships, including both domestic and international opportunities. This growth was due in large part to you: parents, alumni, and others who generously funded summer internships. Competition for funding is continuing to grow rapidly as well, with approximately 160 students applying for funding this year for the unpaid or very low-paid summer internships that have been identified. You can read more about the Career Development Office’s work in this letter. You will also want to check out Chris Waugh’s article on the work that his group is doing with students to support their experiential learning through their clubs and organizations as well as the new 4/7 leadership series. This focus is going to be a great addition for our students.
Back on campus, this is also the time when stress over schoolwork, room-draw, relationships, and other matters can deepen. We have launched several initiatives on campus this year to strengthen our focus on mental health issues and, recently, there have been a number of campus conversations around mental health. Over this past year, Dean Jan Collins-Eaglin, my Associate Dean for Student Support and Learning, led training for several hundred students, faculty, and staff on how to identify, support and refer students in distress. In February, the College participated in the nationally recognized Healthy Minds survey, to which approximately 900 students responded and which will inform our work going forward. This year, we also launched the campus mental health working group, comprised of students, faculty and staff. Its goal is to review current mental health resources, make recommendations for programs, and find new ways to effectively de-stigmatize mental health issues on campus. Supporting students who are experiencing mental health issues is a top priority for us.
Finally, I want to say a word about the Claremont Colleges Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP). After careful review of our options and plan components, we are excited that our SHIP plan has qualified as a “platinum” tier insurance plan, with our move to 100% coinsurance in the Cigna network, and a 90% coinsurance out of network (up from 90% coinsurance in the Cigna network/70% coinsurance out of network). The costs for the student health insurance plan will increase only slightly for 2014-15, from $1,779 for the annual premium to $1,794 for the annual premium. More information will be sent to your student and you by email and mail in the coming weeks. Please be on the lookout for this information!
I would like to encourage you to contact me if you have any thoughts or concerns you would like to share, or questions I may be able to answer.
by Carolyn & Jack Long
Another year has flown by and your student will soon be headed home for the summer… or maybe not! Dozens of Pomona students will remain on campus for Summer Undergraduate Research Programs (SURP’s) assisting professors with research projects. Many more have lined up Pomona-funded summer internships and still others have found exciting summer jobs on their own or with help from the Career Development office. We will say goodbye and congratulations to the Class of 2014 who graduate on May 18, and welcome the Class of 2018 on August 24.
In each of those cases, these students are taking their education to the next level. They will continue to learn and they will follow the charge engraved on the Pomona gates:
They Only are Loyal
to This College
Bear their Added Riches
in Trust for Mankind
The richness of their education is due to many factors: attracting the best students through need-blind admissions, upgrading campus facilities and infrastructure, retaining world-class faculty, and providing meaningful co-curricular and summer experiences. Excellence is made possible by generous support of the Annual Campaign which raised $4,011,663 to date, including $571,637 donated this year from Pomona parents.
So, on behalf of all the students, thank you and have a wonderful summer.
by Chris Waugh
Associate Dean of Students and
Director of the Smith Campus Center
This year, Pomona College students participated in over 200 student organizations across the Consortium, from the nationally ranked Mock Trial to the 5C radio station, KSPC, and the award-winning Claremont Colleges Ballroom Dance Company. Beyond having fun and networking with peers and advisors, these co-curricular experiences provide opportunities for continued learning and personal and professional development outside the classroom. But how do you improve on an already thriving co-curricular experience? Student Government leaders tackled that question this year as they challenged group leaders to think more critically about the goals of their respective organizations and about the learning outcomes they offer to students who join. The result of these conversations was the inauguration of a spring semester student organization review.
For the review, student organization leaders were instructed to appraise their activity from the past year, exploring how they did or didn’t meet planned goals and what they’ve learned from their experiences. Additionally, student leaders were asked to include goals for next year as well as to indicate the learning outcomes connected to the work of their organizations. These learning outcomes will be made available to new students this summer via Collegiate Link, as new students consider ways they might get connected when they arrive on campus this fall.
This first run at student organization reviews provided exciting results. Some goals include:
- The Student Life newspaper plans an extensive overhaul of their website next year.
- The outdoor club, On The Loose (OTL), plans to pursue more partnership and collaboration opportunities with other student organizations and the Outdoor Education Center.
- The Screenwriting Guild plans to continue their successful “Spring Break Screenwriting Challenge” next year.
- A number of organizations headquartered on individual campuses of the Consortium intend to transition into 5C clubs this fall.
Many organizations easily shared their goals and learning outcomes, while other groups struggled. Student Government will host workshops this fall to help student organizations in planning measurable goals for their work each year as well as in thinking intentionally about learning outcomes for their organizations.
Another resource for developing student leadership at Pomona, the 4/7 Leadership Program, wraps up its first year this May, and we celebrate with 25 participants who completed the first certificate, “Individual Leadership,” which focuses on self-exploration, finding congruence, and developing baseline leadership competencies. Next year, the second certificate, “Group Leadership,” will be added to the program and will focus on collaborative leadership, finding common purpose, and leading conflict with civility. For more information on the 4/7 Leadership Program, check out this link and/or email me.
Summer and the Career
by Mary Raymond
Associate Dean and Director of Career Development
Summer is almost upon us and as we welcome the season, many parents hope this unstructured time will be as productive and purposeful as the academic year was for their college student. Certainly many of us can recall a time when summer did not come with a set of guidelines to be met for how to succeed in life. Internships, research, and seasonal employment have always been available yet there was a time when they did not seem to matter as much or have such high stakes.
What is important about the summer is how one uses the time and the story it tells in relation to a student’s personal aspirations. What may appear to some as “just a summer waitressing job with a pay check,” others might recognize as an opportunity to fine-tune their ability to work under pressure and deal with difficult people. Some students choose to remain on campus by obtaining a summer position which will greatly advance preparations necessary for fall. Many students are eager to return home, picking up the summer jobs from previous years and reconnecting with hometown friends. Yet others may seek an adventure, thinking this summer may be the only one they have left that doesn’t have to show a career trajectory on their resume. Some students are so caught up in campus life they are relieved to have the spring semester behind them and look forward to the fall semester, but failed to attend to that time in between the two semesters.
Let me offer reassurance here that it is not too late to pursue options that can make for a rewarding summer. The Career Development Office remains open throughout the summer, which may be ideal for students who may finally have time to catch up. We encourage students to reach out to us on campus and for those off campus, Skype appointments are available also.
Summer ought to offer rest and relaxation for all of us, but we each define our needs and goals differently. We hope all of our students have the summer that will be most relevant to their needs and will add value to their chosen path.
Incoming members of
the Class of 2018 will read Americanah,
a novel by Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, prior to
arriving at Pomona in August. The novel explores themes of immigration,
studying in a foreign country, race, and nationalism in Nigeria.
Ms. Adichie will visit Pomona and deliver a talk on October 1, 2014.
- Learn to use ClaremontConnect and sign up for industry listservs (this is the #1 way to get information about what's going on around campus!)
- Get on CareerBeam for personal development, resume tips, practice interview sessions, employer information, and way more!
- Start investigating summer internship/research opportunities (SURP, Summer Internship Funding Awards)
- Build a professional resume -‐ there's no better time to start than now!
- Start your LinkedIn profile (you can get a professional head shot done at the CDO!)
- Identify skills that you need to improve (writing, photography, computer etc.) and do something about it! (Visit Pomona's writing center, quantitative skills center, and many other resources on campus!)
- Start talking to alumni! Consider the Shadow a Sagehen program (look out for the info sessions in November!)
- Explore fellowship opportunities through CDO
- Start exploring companies and organizations around you! Where do your parents work? Extended family? Friends? Are they doing anything interesting?
- Attend at least one employer event on any of the 5C campuses (these events feature internship opportunities and company info relevant to sophomores!) Information of events can be found on ClaremontConnect!
“I wish that someone had told me the importance of reaching out
to upper classmen who are pursuing my area of interest for advice. They are the
best resource for post-‐grad opportunities.”
-‐ Dustin Godevais, Economics, from Austin, TX
“If there is anything in the world you want to do, you can find
resources here to help you do it (or get started) you just have to find them
and have initiative. Do what you want. Just make it happen.”
-‐ Naira de Gracia, Biology, from Cairo, Egypt
“It's important to think far ahead about the world after
college. I decided on a physics major as soon as I enrolled at Pomona, but
never considered what I would be doing once I graduated. During my junior and
senior years, I realized I wanted to do something other than physics after
graduation, even though I loved the subject very much. In other words, don't
wait until the last minute to decide the rest of your life. Think about that
decision now and continue pushing toward that goal you have set for
-‐ Charles Owens, Physics, from Bakersfield, CA
“One of the most important things you can do as an academically
college student is to find beauty and joy in all of the non-‐academic intangibles in
life that ultimately fulfill you. Looking back, I realize that the most
meaningful moments I had in college did not come from my letter grades, job and
internship acceptances, or the approval of my professors, but rather from
heartfelt conversations with friends, late-‐night food runs with suite-‐mates, pick-‐up basketball with the
bros, and biannual trips to Catalina Island with some of the best people on
-‐ Howard Chang, Molecular Biology, from Cerritos, CA
“I wish that I had started taking advantage of all the funding
Pomona offers earlier in my time here. Whether its internships, research
travel, or wine and chocolate clubs, Pomona is generous with funding and
realizing that can make for some awesome experiences on and off campus.”
-‐ Charlotte Fisken, International Relations, from Seattle, WA
“I wish I had taken more classes in the history department -‐ they're awesome!”
-‐ Derek Ha, International Relations, from Arcadia, CA
“I wish I had known that happiness is a choice. And that there's
nothing I need to do, be, or prove to know that I am valuable and worthy of
love exactly as I am and for my whole being, not just a part of me.”
-‐ Aaron Bendix-‐Balgley, Dance, from Asheville, NC
"There is no way you can meticulously plan out your college
career or your life beyond college, because (ideally) you are constantly
discovering new interesting things and new sides of yourself. That said, it is
still worthwhile to talk to alumni, step out of your comfort zone and explore
new possibilities. It is just quite possible that after all the efforts of
trying to determine your passion, you still don’t have an exact vision of how
you want to lead your life by the time you graduate."
-‐ Ruiwen Huang, PPE, from Shenzhen, China
“Establish a genuine connection with folks older and wiser than
yourself.” "A smart man makes a mistake, learns from it, and never makes
that mistake again. But a wise man finds a smart man and learns from him how to
avoid the mistake altogether." ~Roy H. Williams
-‐ Darrell Jones III (DJ3), Politics, from Arlington Heights, IL
“1. THERE IS NO REASON TO BUY BOOKS (at least, not for many
students). This semester I have not bought a single one; I just order them all
from Link+ ~ two weeks early. Works like a charm. In a pinch, you can use the
class email list on sakai to ask to borrow a reading (you can even offer to pay
a fee since that person probably bought their book). Other options: share books
with friends! Also half.com is good (for buying and selling). 2. The Motley is
amazing. Those vegan bagels with vegan cream cheese, yummmm. And the soy
mochas... 3. The dining halls have a suggestion box online; you can email them
comments. It's nice to email appreciative things, but they also listen to you
SO MUCH. They are really amazing and truly care about students.”
“Start early. Does not matter what it is: get an idea of what
you need to do, get a plan, and get started.”
-‐ Adam Belzberg, Economics and Computer Science, from Baltimore, MD
“1. Get off campus, especially to play in the outdoors! Pomona
really does make this easy for you, from OTL adventures to 47 Things trips.
There's a surprising amount of really good hiking nearby (Icehouse Canyon is
only 20 minutes from campus) and within a reasonable driving distance for
longer breaks (6 1/2 hours to Zion, anyone?). 2. If you have an idea, there's
probably funding to make it happen. Check out the Dean of Students office for
funding, ASPC if you want to found a new club, the Public Events fund if it's
an event, the Draper Center for community outreach, or any of the million clubs
out there. Chances are that someone else will think your idea is cool too, and
Pomona has the financial resources to help you make it happen. It never hurts
-‐ Jen Schmidt, Environmental Analysis and German, from Seattle, WA
“As busy as classes may seem, you have more free time in college
than at most times in your life. Find what you love (sports, movies, art,
people, social movements) and develop skills around it (computer programming,
writing, data analysis, graphic design). It will enhance your free time and
make you a better job candidate when you're graduating.”
-‐ Ryan Miller, Environmental Analysis and Economics, from Denver, CO
“Be flexible, be calm. Everything will work out. Don't try to do
or be everything. And people watch especially at the dining halls and on
Marston Quad. Take in that Claremont scenery!”
-‐ Katia Jimenez, Environmental Analysis, from Philadelphia, PA
“I wish I could do more. I wish I could spend more time with
people, do more for my communities, dance more out of my comfort zone, speak
more without hesitation, listen more to different voices, and eat more Frary
-‐ Sonya Zhu, Psychology, from Coralville, IA
“There's something to be said about being the most knowledgeable,
in depth and breadth, person you can. Grades, test scores, awards, and
attendance in organizations pale in contrast to the experiences and skills
gathered through attaining such goals.”
-‐ Roger Sheu, Chemistry and Mathematics, from San Marino, CA
“I wish I had watched less TV and instead spent that time
exploring off campus, whether with OTL or volunteering with the Draper Center
or just with friends. There's a lot to learn on campus, no denying that, but
don't forget about the real world while you're here either!”
-‐ Kara Freedman, International Relations, from New York, NY
“Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zones: the greatest
personal growth comes from being challenged and engaging with your unknowns.”
-‐ Giselle Fierro-‐Marrufo, Media Studies, from Chicago, IL
you're going to major in a science, do research over the summer on campus
through SURP or a professor's grant. Also don't miss deadlines for SURP and
things like it.”
-‐ Robert McElwaine, Physics, from Naples, FL
“Definitely try lots
of new things, but maintain balance in life by remembering ‘quality over
quantity.’ Take friendships, for example: it's wonderful to meet all kinds of
people in Claremont, but at the same time, don't be afraid to reach out and
forge stronger connections with the individuals who make you happiest.”
-‐ Rachel Davidson, English, from West Vancouver, Canada
“Take a CS class before you graduate.”
-‐ Siyao Xie, Computer Science, from Beijing, China
“Apply to everything you are able to apply for (so long as
you're mildly interested in it!). Whether that's PCIP funding, a position on
PEC, study abroad, or just asking your professor if they need a research
assistant, you never know what will end up being your favorite thing about
college. And definitely don't get discouraged if you don't get everything you
apply for-‐-‐keep trying!”
-‐ Elizabeth Yaffe, Media Studies and Anthropology, from Philadelphia, PA
“Don't wait! Figure out what you want to do the summer after
your junior year. Think about what you want to do when you graduate and work
back from that. If you don't know yet what that is, think about something that
will help you learn and give you valuable skills you can apply later. Lastly,
figure out what you'll need to do in the fall semester -‐-‐ as I said before, don't
-‐ Gabrielle Badie, Mathematics and Computer Science, from La Cañada, CA
“Don't be afraid to push yourself and get outside of your
comfort zone. Something you try today could end up becoming your passion tomorrow.”
-‐ Albert Chang, Music, from Fresno, CA
"Pursue classes for the knowledge rather the grade. Live
life fully, you only have one. Life can be tough sometimes but just keep
pushing, just keep swimming."
-‐ Jasper Werby, Global Health and Science, from Berkeley, CA
“Study somewhere outside your room, like the library -‐ because it is easier to
concentrate, at least I think. Also, to take yoga with Jennifer -‐ it is an amazing class.
And to go on lots of OTL trips!”
-‐Daria Drozdova, Mathematics, from Prague, Czech Republic
“Actively pursue and embrace awkward or weird situations. You'll
be surprised with how much fun you sometimes end up having, especially when you
find a group of people who's totally willing to be weird with you. And if it
doesn't work out, well, at least you'll have another funny story to tell!”
-‐ Lily Zhuang, Molecular Biology, from San Diego, CA
“Get off campus as much as possible, to get out of the Claremont
Bubble and stay in touch with reality, especially the incredible resources L.A.
has to offer! Do your best to develop relationships with alums, it will pay off
greatly in the future.”
-‐ Danielle Van de Sande, International Relations, from Los Angeles, CA
“Take advantage of the greater Los Angeles area. There are so many
things happening every week!”
-‐ Shiwei Zhang, Mathematics and Economics, from Jinan, China
“The Hub has better chicken tenders and free condiments.”
-‐ Bianca Shiu, Neuroscience, from Arlington, Texas
“Remember that professors are here to help. Reach out to them
when you need assistance and don't hesitate to display vulnerability; it will
empower you in the long run.”
-‐ Adam Cox, Public Policy Analysis, from Paris, France
“1) I wish I had taken classes in the arts earlier, especially
dance and creative writing. 2) I wish I had known about Scripps bread earlier.
It's SO good.”
-‐ Sharon Jan, Economics, from Azusa, CA
“Never underestimate how important it is to listen and learn
from other people’s stories and experiences. In your four years at Pomona and
for the many years after, remember to listen ☺”
-‐ Anna Twum, Economics, from Ghana
“Take more interesting classes in different subjects!”
-‐ Jessica Lin, Neuroscience, from Irvine, CA
“One of the few things that I wish I'd known as a sophomore was
that one's major is not definitive of what we learn or will learn at the
college. Much the knowledge and experience I've collected while at Pomona has
been collateral-‐-‐ from leading organizations
to programming events. As such, I strongly encourage students to try new
things, to seek out opportunities, and ultimately, to pursue one's passion to
the best of one's ability.”
-‐ Eric Martínez, Environmental Analysis, from Dallas, TX
“Pick professors that you are genuinely interested in and talk
with them about something you are genuinely interested in. Don't miss the
opportunity to enrich your life, as well as theirs.”
-‐ Tim Kung, Molecular Biology, from San Diego, CA
"I wish I had known your career is not set in stone and you
can always change your mind about what to do in life -‐don't be afraid to explore
interests! I wish I had known 'hookup' means different things to different
people... you should always communicate."
-‐ Angeles Contreras, Environmental Analysis, from Mountain View, CA
“Everyone knows what to do or say when they are right about
something. To be successful, you have to learn how to be equally comfortable
with being embarrassingly and completely wrong.”
-‐ Emma Marshall, Psychology, from Arlington, VA
“Find one or two mentors on campus with whom you can have
regular deep and enlightening conversations. Get to know the staff members who
help make the ‘Pomona bubble’ so comfortable.”
-‐ Ruiyi “Vera” Zhu, History, from Wenzhou, China
“Make it a priority to explore and experience as much of
Southern California as possible before you graduate.”
-‐ Alec Terrana, Religious Studies, from Boston, MA
“Don't be afraid to drop/change classes. You only have 32 spaces
(give or take some PE/music classes) and it's worth finding what you care
about. The whole saying about ‘you don't need to decide what you're majoring in
yet?’ is true, but do your research on majors. Educate yourself on what the
requirements are so you're not dreading things. Spend as much time as you can
-‐ Frances Kyl, Politics, from Tucson, AZ
“Take advantage of PCIP.”
-‐ Jeremy Marks, Public Policy Analysis/Psychology, from San Francisco, CA
“Stretch yourself. And take an accounting class. Also, advice is
only useful if it appeals to you.”
-‐ Nicholas Eng, Economics, from Singapore
"Take care of yourself as best you can."
-‐ Emma Fullem, Environmental Analysis, from Albany, NY
"If you have a good idea, someone else probably thinks it’s
a good idea, too. Don't be afraid to get involved: you have the power to change
campus culture for the better!"
-‐ Will Hunt, Linguistics, from Salt Lake City, UT
“Eat lunch with your professors, chat with them after class, and
go to office hours!”
-‐ Garrick Monaghan, History, from Granite Bay, CA
“Talk to your adviser or another professor about doing a SURP
the summer before your senior year -‐ it will give you a head start on your thesis, which, aside from
securing your post-‐graduate
plans, is the most stressful part of senior year.”
-‐ Melissa Fedornak, History, from Benicia, CA
Call for Volunteers
The Office of Parent Relations is looking for parent volunteers to support a variety of activities both on-campus and off-campus. Are you interested in welcoming new parents to the Pomona community? If so, please fill out our volunteer information form and let us know how you’d like to help.
Health and Wellness Resources for Students
We want to take this opportunity to remind families about our student health resources for students, especially during times when Student Health Services are closed. The information is also distributed to all students in the residence halls:
Call the On-Call RA at x18001. If a trip to urgent care is necessary, RA’s can make arrangements with Yellow Cab Taxi Service to transport students at the College’s expense.
Call Campus Safety (x72000) and ask to speak with the On-Call Medical Provider. There is a Doctor or Nurse Practitioner from Student Health Services on-call “after hours” (anytime SHS is not open) to offer advice or give referrals to any student needing medical assistance. You can also look up their website for community resources that are near by.
Call Campus Safety (x72000) and ask to speak with the On-Call Psychologist. There is a therapist from Monsour Counseling Center on-call “after hours” (anytime Monsour is not open) to offer advice or evaluate any student needing assistance with psychological concerns.
Call Campus Safety (x72000) and ask to speak to the On-Call Dean. There is a dean on-call 24-hours-a-day who is able to assist students in need. In addition, the On-Call Dean can connect the student to the Dean of Students office for academic support and to other resources, such as arranging for golf cart transportation to/from class.
We want all students to feel confident that there are resources and networks of support available to them—even when Student Health Services or Monsour Counseling Center are closed. Students are also encouraged to contact the Office of Campus Life with any questions or concerns about residential life matters (x72239).
Pomona College Magazine Online
If you find yourself wanting reading material, but don’t happen to have any magazines or books with you, you can now go online to read the latest issues of the Pomona College Magazine.
If you’re looking for a gift for a special occasion, check out the Coop Store for some great ideas. You’ll find a wide selection of merchandise here. Order online or call the Coop directly at 909.607.2264.
Save the Date!
Family Weekend, February 13 - 15, 2015 For more information visit our website.
Spring semester ends
May 18, 2014:
May 19, 2014:
Residence halls close at noon
August 24, 2014:
New students arrive
August 30, 2014:
Residence halls open for returning students
September 2, 2014:
October 20 -21, 2014: