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Parents Newsletter, Fall 2013

Message from the Dean of Students

Dear Parents, Families and Guardians,

We are in the first weeks of the fall semester and classes and campus events are already in full swing. Since the start of school, over 150 students participated in a poster conference showcasing their summer research and internship experiences, student leaders led TAAP workshop (our interactive alcohol intervention and education workshops) with student athletes while gearing up for workshops with the first year class, and student staff in the Draper Center for Community Partnerships are preparing for an exciting range of community engagement opportunities. This fall also marks the launch of three exciting programs: the Quantitative Skills Center is hosting study sessions and individual appointments with QSC Fellows, my new Associate Dean, Dr. Jan Collins-Eaglin, will be offering study strategies/time management workshops and the Learning Fellows program, and the Smith Campus Center has launched the 4-7 leadership series. You can read more about the various initiatives in this newsletter.

Coupled with all the exciting opportunities on and off campus, we always like to remind students to sleep, eat, and take care of themselves as they immerse themselves in new classes, projects, and opportunities. As always, there are a number of health and wellness resources for our students on campus (and we listed some of our resources as a reminder in this newsletter along with information about emergency preparedness on campus).

Finally, even as students are settling into their classes, they may continue to have questions. For first and second year students, we encourage students to reach out to their faculty advisors with any questions they may have, even as we encourage pre-major faculty advisors to check in with their students. First and second year students are usually encouraged to continue exploring areas of possible interest and fulfilling the general education requirements (including the foreign language requirement). For juniors and seniors, we encourage students to talk to their major advisors.

Closer to home, I am having fun hosting dinners with sponsor groups and faculty, and tweeting photos from each of the dinners! Check out this iPhone photo from my first sponsor dinner taken by Prof. Lisa Auerbach, art and photography professor

Warmest wishes,

Dean Miriam Feldblum
miriam.feldblum@pomona.edu
Follow me on Twitter: @DeanFeldblum

A Letter from the Parents Council

Hello Fellow Parents!

Another school year has begun and our children are busy with a diverse set of activities: labs and projects; dancing and music; research and writing; movies and debates; classes and homework; parties and road trips... All while learning to navigate living arrangements, relationships and self-care without our hovering participation.

They are going through a great transition, just as parents are also going through a transition. Thankfully, Pomona College has an excellent Office of Parent Relations to help parents engage and support the Pomona community and thus, remotely, support our children. All parents of current students are considered members of the Parents Association and the Parents Council is the volunteer leadership of the Parents Association. The Parents Council is organized into four areas to coordinate volunteer assistance across a wide range of activities to benefit the college and our students.

  • Parents Fund (make parent fund calls and thank you calls)
  • Events (plan and host parent activities for Parent Orientation, Family Weekend, Commencement and Athletics)
  • Admissions (host or co-host welcome parties, make welcome calls to incoming parents, attend or host admitted student receptions, attend college fairs)
  • Career Development (provide career advice to, share professional expertise with, and secure internships for current students)

Pomona parents continue to advance the school with their efforts including:

  • Donating $643,000 in 2013 to the Parent’s Fund, up more than 22% over 2012
  • Hosting 11 welcome parties this past summer for students throughout the country
  • Calling or emailing incoming all freshman and transfer parents during the summer
  • Meeting and connecting with new parents at Parent Orientation

Perhaps one of the most exciting things we do is help plan campus events for Family Weekend on February 14-16, 2014, including a reception hosted by the Parents Council on Saturday. You’ll see more information and the entire schedule for that weekend here. Please consider coming—we promise you will be more excited about your child’s college experience than ever before.

Sincerely,
Carolyn & Jack Long P’13 '15

Meet the New Dean: Dr. Jan Collins-Eaglin

As the Associate Dean of Students for Student Support and Learning, Dr. Jan Collins-Eaglin provides general academic advising and support for first and second year students. She also coordinates tutoring and academic support for students, faculty advising workshops, training for on-call staff, and serves as the College's Disability Coordinator. In the interview transcribed below, Dean Collins-Eaglin speaks about her background and visions for academic support and disability services at Pomona.

What experiences do you bring to your position in the Dean of Students Office?
I come to Pomona with an extensive background in student affairs. Most recently, I was the Director of the Counseling Center at Michigan State University (MSU). Prior to MSU, I was the Director of the Counseling Center, Disability Office, and Academic Support Center at Wayne State University. As a psychologist, I have focused on developing programs that promote psychological wellness and support academic success. My work in education research includes studies in college depression, student retention, curriculum redesign, and faculty development. I also grew up in Southern California, so this position organically draws together all of my experiences and talents.

What is your philosophy about disability services and academic support?
Becoming a sophisticated learner uses many parts of the brain, and one of the first steps in that process is seeking help. When students begin college, they are faced with an array of new and complicated challenges. My job is to help students understand that asking for help is not admitting weakness or rejecting an ‘I can do it’ mentality, but rather a mode of self-regulation. Research shows that students who receive A’s and B’s use learning and resource centers far more often than C-students.

Are there any new programs that will help?
We are currently in the planning phase for a new learning fellows program. The initiative will train student fellows about the concept of self-regulated learning, so that these students can serve as mentors and support for their peers. I am also interested in the topic of wellness and the mind. At highly selective schools like Pomona, students often experience anxiety and need a way to relieve that stress. I would like to create a program that uses mindfulness as a powerful technique to heal spiritually and promote holistic health.

Pomona is implementing a self-advocacy model for disability services. Can you explain the change and the idea behind this shift?
In the new self-advocacy system, students will have a choice about informing their professors about a disability. Although the student will be the one approaching the professor, my job is to provide support, coaching, and mentoring throughout the process. The idea behind this model is that, by learning to articulate personal challenges, students will leave college empowered and able to advocate for themselves.

What role should the parent play in the academic support process?
I believe that the parent’s job is to be a coach for their student, rather than a rescuer. Sometimes the best thing to do is listen and be supportive.

For more information, click here to see Dean Collins-Eaglin’s Prezi presentation on academic support services at Pomona.

4-7 Leadership Program

Research has shown that students who get involved in campus life and learning outside the classroom report significantly higher levels of impact and satisfaction with their college experience. Pomona College students take advantage of numerous opportunities to extend learning outside the classroom in activities ranging from community engagement through the Draper Center, hosting a program at the student-staffed radio station KSPC, being a residence hall Sponsor, or getting connected with an internship through the Career Development Office. Additionally, students may join any number of Pomona and 5C student organizations, ranging from student government to social activism to ballroom dance. But whatever their choices, students are learning valuable skills and gaining key leadership experience.

To assist students in planning for success and in navigating their co-curricular choices, the 4-7 Leadership Program will launch this Fall. The program provides a theoretical framework that will assist students to think more critically about their co-curricular involvement and, in the process, will help them maximize the impact of their learning outside the classroom. The 4-7 Leadership Program is based on the “Social Change Model of Leadership Development” (Bonous-Hammarth, et al., 1994), which approaches leadership as a purposeful, collaborative, values-based process that results in positive social change. The model was built upon the following assumptions:

  • Leadership is socially responsible; it impacts change on behalf of others
  • Leadership is collaborative
  • Leadership is a process, not a position or a title
  • Leadership is inclusive and accessible to all people
  • Leadership is values-based
  • Community engagement is a powerful vehicle for leadership

In addition, the Social Change Model includes the “7 C’s” of leadership, which move from personal development areas such as “Consciousness of Self,”“Congruence,” and “Competence,” to more group-related leadership development skills like “Collaboration,” “Common Purpose,” and “Conflict With Civility.” Finally, the program builds upon these foundational “C’s” to help students apply their skills in the final “C,” “Citizenship,” where students leverage leadership strengths toward achieving their goals beyond their time at Pomona College, be it through a community engagement program, internship, or campus organization. Students can learn more information by attending an information session for the program in the Smith Campus Center, Room 208, on 9/26 at 5pm. We’re excited to roll out the 4-7 Leadership Program this year and look forward to providing updates on how students are getting connected.

Fall 2013 TAAP 2: Teaching Alcohol Abuse Prevention

As some of you may recall, my colleague in the Smith Campus Center, Ellie Ash-Bala, developed a highly successful alcohol education/bystander intervention training program, TAAP: Teaching Alcohol Abuse Prevention, that met with significant student support at Pomona College last fall. The program, co-facilitated by staff and students, is designed to connect with first-year students several weeks into their campus tenure, after they’ve had an opportunity to experience “college life” both inside and outside of the classroom.

For those who are new to TAAP, the interactive program uses iclickers, an audience response system, and small group dialogue to measure and discuss attitudes and behaviors surrounding alcohol use and bystander behavior when involved in dangerous drinking situations. Other alcohol training programs seem to focus on how to help others after they’ve over-consumed, but I think what’s most unique and impactful about the TAAP conversation is an emphasis on engaging peers to step-in to help their friends before drinking behavior becomes problematic.

In literally every situation of alcohol poisoning that I’ve encountered in 20+ years, the victim of dangerous drinking has always consumed alcohol in the company of caring friends. Why, then, do these bystanders not redirect the dangerous drinking behavior? TAAP asks students to think about “What does it mean to be a member of the Pomona community?” "Is it enough to simply take up a desk space or does ‘community’ imply a responsibility to act?" TAAP asks students to consider it their responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of others. As we know, alcohol poisoning is far from the only danger of binge drinking: sexual assault, drunk driving, injury, alcoholism, etc.

Due to the success of the inaugural year in 2012, this year TAAP was presented to six returning varsity athletic teams, in addition to first-year students. Sessions for athletic teams took place during Orientation week in August, while first-year students were on their Orientation Adventure trips. The sessions with older student leaders were highly interactive and tackled the topics of dangerous drinking and bystander engagement through the lens of the student athlete. The conversations centered on balance of academics, athletic commitments, and social life, as well as role-modeling for new students. We found significant value in holding separate sessions for returning students and first-year students, who are approaching the topic from a different perspective and level of experience.

As you may know, the TAAP program is one of many forms of support Pomona College provides to students around the topic of substance use and making choices that support their overall goals. First-year students also complete “Alcohol.edu” the summer before they arrive on campus and during new student orientation they participate in numerous educational sessions on alcohol and other substances. There are also ongoing educational opportunities and support from the Health Education Outreach office and student organizations such as The Advocates. Taken together, this support network gives students timely and recurring reminders about maintaining their health and making informed choices about alcohol and other substances.

Chris Waugh
Associate Dean of Students and Director of the Smith Campus Center

Claremont Connect

The Career Development Office is pleased to announce that on August 1, our web-based recruiting and career information system, Route 47, was renamed ClaremontConnect. Previously, each of the Claremont Colleges had a unique name for their career portal (Route47, PitzerLink, MuddLink, The Gateway, CMConnect). In an effort to simplify communication and emphasize our unity, all of The Claremont Colleges' systems will be called ClaremontConnect.

This change did not affect the site's URL, students' username/password, or any system functionality. It's purely rebranding the site to give students clearer access to opportunities at all of the 7Cs. This upgrade will also aid recruiters in providing more opportunities for students. All students have an account on ClaremontConnect that enables them to:

  • Search for on-campus jobs, internships, part-time opportunities (including tutoring jobs in Claremont), and volunteer opportunities
  • Manage applications and interview schedules with employers participating in on-campus recruiting
  • Make an appointment with our office
  • See ALL the career-related events at all 5 Colleges, including workshops, employer visits and career fairs

We always welcome internship and employment listings should you have opportunities to share. Do keep in mind, parents also have access to ClaremontConnect by logging in with username: 9096218144, and password: pomonacdo.

Pomona Students Believe in the Power of Being Engaged in the Local Community

Highlights from the Draper Center for Community Partnerships: 2012 - 2013

  1. Community Engagement

    Food Recovery Network (FRN)

    • 6,400 meals delivered to local shelters

    English as a Second Language (ESL)

    • Students spent 352 hours providing English tutoring to Pomona College staff

    Alternabreak

    • 39 students working during spring break in one of three cities: San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego
    • 20 partner organizations
    • 1,031 service hours completed Rooftop Garden Mentoring Program
    • 180 service hours completed by Pomona College

    Rooftop Garden Environmentors

    • 270 service hours completed by Rooftop Garden youth participants.

    Sagehens, Engage!

    • 175 service hours completed by Sagehens, Engage! volunteers.
    • 49 Pomona College student volunteers
    • 9 community events hosted by one of 5 community-based organizations.

    Coronado Garden Project

    • The garden plot at a local alternative high school tripled in size last academic year!

    National Leadership in Community Engagement

    • The Draper Center hosted a national conference on Community Engagement. Seventy-five faculty and staff from over 30 campuses attended.

    Zipcar: Transportation for Community Engagement Work

    • The Draper Center supported $8,000 in Zipcar costs for students engaged in community work
  2. Education Programs

    Pomona College Academy for Youth Success (PAYS): the College’s flagship outreach program works with 90 local high school students in a year round program. For the summer component, youth join us on campus in a rigorous academic program.

    • Nine PAYS 2012 graduates were admitted to Pomona College. This is the highest number of admits since the program’s inception.
    • PAYS has supported over 300 students’ admission to some of the nation’s most selective colleges
    • PAYS celebrated its 11th year in 2013
    • 15 Pomona faculty and 17 Pomona students worked with PAYS this summer

    Pomona Partners: a non-academic mentoring program at a local middle/high school (started 17 years ago by a Pomona student!)

    • 990 hours spent by Pomona Partner volunteers with Fremont Academy students.
    • 3 field trips for Fremont Academy students.

    K-12 Campus Programs: An introduction to Pomona College for local middle and high school students.

    • Hosted over 2,000 youth throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties and the Inland Empire
    • Partnered with AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination) to offer youth leadership and college going workshops to 700 9th graders
    • Offered leadership and college going awareness workshops to approximately 900 youth during the College’s 125th Anniversary Founder’s Day
    • Provided both middle and high school age youth with campus tours and college awareness workshops throughout the academic year

Emergency Preparedness

Pomona College is prepared to respond to emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In the case of a major emergency, the Executive Staff and the Emergency Response Team will direct the College’s action. Specially trained response and support teams will be activated, including community care, medical, and search and rescue teams. The College’s highest priority in an emergency is the safety and well-being of the community’s students, faculty and staff. To this end, Pomona College has developed a comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, which includes regular trainings for a range of emergencies, and regular emergency and evacuation drills. During the first week of school, all residence halls participated in evacuation drills. In October, Pomona College will participate in the Great California Shakeout Drill, a statewide effort to drill and prepare for earthquakes. We have also held drills for various other types of emergencies (e.g. building fires, bomb threats, etc.)

In the event of an emergency situation, alerts will be relayed to the Pomona College community as quickly as possible through Connect-5, one of three systems in place to notify the community. We also utilize a campus public alert system which is a series of phones strategically placed around our campus. We would also use the College’s emergency websites. Real-time updates and directions will be provided through Connect-5 and the emergency websites.

As a parent, you may wish to receive emergency alerts from the College. This would mean you would receive information about a real event as well as our drills. If you are interested, your student can add your contact information (cell phone and email) into the system via the student portal. If you have any questions about this process, feel free to contact Associate Dean of Students and Dean of Campus Life, Ricardo Townes at 909-607-2239 or at ric.townes@pomona.edu

Quantitative Skills Center

In 2012, Pomona College was awarded a $250,000 grant by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations to establish a new learning center focusing on supporting quantitative skills for students in courses featuring a quantitative component. The drive to create the Quantitative Skills Center (QSC) grew out of faculty discussions about quantitative literacy and the need to offer academic support for students needing some additional preparation and review in order to be successful at Pomona. Dr. Travis Brown, whose academic background is in Biology and STEM student support, was hired in January as the first QSC Director.

The QSC will offer small group and individual study sessions for most of the introductory science courses including, but not limited to: Bio 40, Chem 1A, CompSci 51, and Math 29/30/31. The study sessions can be reserved via a new online scheduler, and they will be facilitated by QSC Fellows. The Fellows are upperclass students who have demonstrated a mastery of the subject material and an interest in helping their fellow Sagehens. Beginning the week of September 16, students will be able to follow the link to reserve a study session, and clicking on the “Meet with a QSC Fellow” link. For more information, please contact Dr. Brown directly at travis.brown@pomona.edu

Pomona Updates

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? Answering questions from prospective parents? Do you speak a language other than English? If so, please fill out our volunteer information form and let us know how you’d like to help.

Convocation Speeches

President Oxtoby, Seeley W. Mudd Professor of Physics, Dr. Janice Hudgings, and Darrell Jones III, president of the Associated Students of Pomona College, welcomed the Class of 2017 at our campus Convocation on September 3. If you'd like to read the remarks, please click here.

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.

Sagehen Shopping

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 14 - 16, 2014 For more information visit our website.

Important Dates

November 28 - 29, 2013:
Thanksgiving Break
December 11, 2013:
Last day of class
December 16, 2013:
Final exams begin
December 21, 2013:
Residence Halls close at noon
January 19, 2014:
Residence Halls reopen
January 21, 2014:
Classes begin

Parents