Marian Miner Cook

A distinctive
feature of social and
cultural life at CMC

October, 2019

Tuesday, October 01, 2019 - Evening Program
Finally, the Poets: Art(ists) as the Pulse of Collective Healing and Justice
Terisa Siagatonu

What if our health depended on us telling our stories? What if we not only felt better when we expressed our truth artistically, but we actually healed through it. Through dynamic performance and artistic testimony, award-winning poet, speaker, teaching artist, and activist Terisa Siagatonu helps re-imagine a world where artists not only beautify our lives with creative vision, but where they articulate and guide the world in ways that cannot be accomplished through any other profession, field, or discipline.

Terisa Siagatonu is an award-winning poet, teaching artist, mental health educator, and community leader born and rooted in the Bay Area. She has performed and spoken at the Obama White House and at the UN Conference on Climate Change in Paris, France. She was awarded Champion of Change Award in 2012 by President Obama for her activism as a spoken word poet/organizer in her Pacific Islander community.

With numerous viral poetry videos garnering over millions of views collectively, Siagatonu's writing blends the personal, cultural, and political in a way that calls for healing, courage, justice, and truth. A Kundiman Fellow, her work has been published in Poetry Magazine and has been featured on Button Poetry, CNN, NBCNews, NPR, Huffington Post, Everyday Feminism, The Guardian, BuzzFeed and Upworthy. 

Since getting involved in poetry slam in 2010, she has been a member of several award-winning slam teams, including the 2017 inaugural Root Slam Team, helping her team to place 5th in the nation at the National Poetry Slam competition in Denver, CO. When she's not competing, she is coaching college poetry slam teams and mentoring young writers in writing workshops throughout the country. She is one of the co-founders and organizers of The Root Slam, a free bi-weekly poetry venue based in Oakland, CA, voted the 2017 and 2018's Best Open Mic venue in the Bay Area. 

Siagatonu holds a B.A. degree in community studies and a minor in education from the University of California-Santa Cruz and a M.A. in marriage/family therapy from the University of Southern California. She strives to use her background as a mental health clinician and poet to bridge the gaps in the quest for collective healing and liberation. 

Ms. Siagatonu’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Berger Institute at CMC.

Friday, October 04, 2019 - Lunch Program
"Working Abroad" vs "Working in Africa": Countering Narratives of Employment as Aid
Jasmine Shirey '18

Jasmine Shirey ’18, who studied literature and neuroscience at CMC, began her work with the Forum for African Women Educationalists - Zimbabwe Chapter (FAWEZI) as an intern in the summer of 2016. Upon graduation in 2018, she was awarded the Napier Fellowship award, the Davis Project for Peace award, and the Mgrublian Center’s Elbaz Family Post-Graduate Fellowship in Human Rights to continue her work with FAWEZI. In her talk, Shirey will explore the various ways narratives in the United States about working in Africa advance conceptions of western excellence and post-colonial generosity, and how her own experiences complicate these narratives. 

Jasmine Shirey ’18, who studied literature and neuroscience at CMC, began her work with the Forum for African Women Educationalists - Zimbabwe Chapter (FAWEZI) as an intern in the summer of 2016. Upon graduation in 2018, she was awarded the Napier Fellowship award, the Davis Project for Peace award, and the Mgrublian Center’s Elbaz Family Post-Graduate Fellowship in Human Rights to continue her work with FAWEZI. In her talk, Shirey will explore the various ways narratives in the United States about working in Africa advance conceptions of western excellence and post-colonial generosity, and how her own experiences complicate these narratives. 

Shirey is the first recipient of the Elbaz Post-Graduate Fellowship in Human Rights, a program open to all CMC graduating seniors.

Ms. Shirey’s Athenaeum presentation is sponsored by the Mgrublian Center for Human Rights at Claremont McKenna College.

Monday, October 07, 2019 - Evening Program
Medicare for All: Is It the Best Pathway to Universal Coverage?
Gerald F. Kominski

Health care is a leading issue in the 2020 presidential campaign. From a single-payer financing system— Medicare for All—to other sweeping changes, including public options, Medicare and Medicaid buy-ins, and expansion of Obamacare, the Democratic field offers both distinct and over-lapping proposals. Gerald Kominski, professor of health policy and management at UCLA, discusses the differences in these proposals, major barriers to meaningful reform of health care financing, and the prospects for achieving universal coverage in the U.S.

Gerald F. Kominski, Ph.D., is a professor of health policy and management, and senior fellow and former director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. He is also professor of public policy in the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.

Kominski’s current research focuses primarily on evaluating the effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Throughout his career, he has focused more generally on evaluating the cost and policy impacts of health care reforms, with a special emphasis on public insurance programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, and Workers’ Compensation.

Kominski joined the UCLA faculty in 1989, after spending over three years at the Congressional agency responsible for monitoring Medicare hospital payment policies, now known as the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC).

He received his Ph.D. in public policy analysis from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School in 1985, and his A.B. in chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1978. He is editor and co-author of the best-selling textbook, Changing the U.S. Health Care System: Key Issues in Health Services Policy and Management, which was published in its 4th edition in 2014.

View Video: YouTube with Gerald Kominski

Tuesday, October 08, 2019 - Evening Program
Beyond Borders: Immigration, Trauma, and the American Dream
Reyna Grande

Reyna Grande, bestselling Mexican author of the critically-acclaimed memoirs The Distance Between Us and A Dream Called Home, will speak about her experiences before, during, and after crossing the US-Mexico border as an undocumented immigrant. She will discuss the many borders—real and metaphorical—that immigrants have to cross, and the price that families like hers have to pay for the American Dream.

Reyna Grande is the bestselling author of the memoirs The Distance Between Us and A Dream Called Home. Her other works include the novels Across a Hundred Mountains and Dancing with Butterflies. She is the recipient of the Luis Leal Award for Distinction in Chicano/Latino Literature, an American Book Award, and the El Premio Aztlan Literary Award, among others. She was also a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award. She holds a B.A. and M.F.A. in creative writing and teaches at writing conferences such as the Macondo Writer's Conference, the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference, and VONA. Born in Mexico, Reyna walked across the US-Mexico border at nine years old to be reunited with her father. She writes about immigration, trauma, family separation, and displacement.

Ms. Grande’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Claremont Colleges’ Chicano Latino Student Affairs and CMC’s Center for Writing and Public Discourse.

View Video: YouTube with Reyna Grande

Wednesday, October 09, 2019
Governing Across the Aisle
Susana Martinez

During her time in office as governor of New Mexico, Susana Martinez's legislative chambers were controlled by the other party, except for a two-year period of one chamber. However, every bill she has ever signed into law has been bipartisan. With a focus on the priorities aimed to make her state a better place to live, work, and raise a family—like growing the economy, strengthening the schools, and prioritizing public safety—she believes that working in a bipartisan manner is the key to enacting good policy.

This event is for CMC students, faculty, and staff only.

In 2010, Susana Martinez was elected governor of the state of New Mexico. She became New Mexico’s first female governor and the first Hispanic female governor in the history of the United States. Prior to being elected governor, Martinez was a prosecutor for 25 years along the nation’s southern border and served as Doña Ana County’s elected district attorney for over half that time. As governor, she prioritized keeping New Mexico’s communities safe, ensuring all students receive a high-quality education, and diversifying and growing the state’s economy.

Martinez’s two terms were marked by many successes including eliminating a $450 million inherited budget deficit and leaving the state with a $2 billion surplus; job growth at a 12-year high; improving the state’s high school graduation rate by 10 percentage points – to an all-time high of 74 percent; and implementing a number of public safety initiatives.

Martinez won re-election to her second term in 2014 by the largest margin of any Republican gubernatorial candidate in modern history, earning substantial support from Democratic and Independent voters in rural and urban areas alike. She served alongside a Democratically-controlled Legislature throughout her time in office, with the exception of a two-year period of Republican control of one chamber. She has been named as Time Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential People in the World (2013) and served as a Chairman and long-time executive committee member of the Republican Governors Association (RGA). 

Born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley, Martinez has lived in Las Cruces, New Mexico since the 1980s. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at El Paso and later earned her law degree from the University of Oklahoma School of Law, where she was recently inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame.

Martinez currently serves as a board member for the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) and as an advisory board member for the Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows program of the Hunt Institute.  A proud Blue Star Mother, Martinez is also an advisory board member for the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation. 

Governor Martinez is a William F. Podlich Distinguished Fellow at CMC this fall.

This event is for CMC students, faculty, and staff only.

Thursday, October 10, 2019 - Evening Program
The Era of Megafires
Paul Hessburg

For over 30 years, Paul Hessburg, research ecologist with Pacific Northwest Research Station, U.S. Forest Service, has worked to understand why highly destructive megafires throughout the Western United States have been on an alarming rise. While ecology and forest management play a crucial role, he believes that megafires are fundamentally a human problem and necessitate a social solution. In a concerted effort to save celebrated lands from catastrophic destruction, this multi-media presentation blends science and storytelling to propose and coordinate effective outreach, response, and policy.

Paul Hessburg, Ph.D., is a research ecologist with Pacific Northwest Research Station, U.S. Forest Service. He has studied historical and modern era forests of the Inland West for the last 32 years and has published extensively in leading national and international journals. His work documents large changes in forest conditions and how these changes, along with climate change, have set the stage for large and severe wildfires.

Hessburg was the recipient of the USFS 2017 R&D Deputy Chief's Distinguished Science Award for his significant contribution to fire and landscape ecology. His most recent book, Making Transparent Environmental Management Decisions, offers compelling new insights into using modern-day decision support systems to plan for forest restoration.

Food for Thought: Podcast with Paul Hessburg

Friday, October 11, 2019 - Lunch Program
Gender and Genocide
Adam Jones

Adam Jones, professor of political science at the University of British Columbia in Kelowna, B.C. and author of Gendercide and Genocide, will explore the shaping role of gender in the perpetration and prevention of genocide and will cover related topics including gender-selective mass killing (gendercide), sexual violence, genocidal masculinities and femininities, and gendered propaganda.

Adam Jones, professor of political science at the University of British Columbia in Kelowna, B.C. and executive director of Gendercide Watch, is best known for his work in the field of comparative genocide studies. He is the author or editor of numerous books on genocide and crimes against humanity including Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction; The Scourge of Genocide: Essays and Reflection; Genocide, War Crimes and the West; and Gendercide and Genocide. He has also published two books on the media and political transition.His writings on gender and international politics have appeared in the Journal of Genocide Research, Review of International Studies, Ethnic & Racial Studies, Caribbean Studies, and other publications.

Throughout his career, Jones has developed a distinctive approach to the study of gender and international relations. In 1999, he co-founded the Web-based NGO Gendercide Watch with Carla Bergman and Nart Villeneuve, aimed at "confront[ing] gender-selective atrocities against men and women worldwide." His essays on gender, violence, and international politics are compiled in Gender Inclusive: Essays on Violence, Men, and Feminist International Relations (Routledge, 2009). Jones was a postdoctoral fellow (2005-07) in the Genocide Studies Program at Yale University and earned his Ph.D. in political science from the University of British Columbia. 

Professor Jones' talk is co-sponsored by the Mgrublian Center for Human Rights at Claremont McKenna College.


View Video: YouTube with Adam Jones

Monday, October 14, 2019 - Evening Program
Disability & Innovation: The Universal Benefits of Inclusive Design
Haben Girma

People with disabilities represent the largest minority group, numbering one billion worldwide. Reaching a group of this scale creates value for everyone. Organizations that prioritize accessibility benefit by gaining access to a much larger user base, improving the experience for both disabled and non-disabled users, and facilitating further innovation. Haben Girma, an accessibility and inclusion advocate, will discuss the importance and impact of teaching and designing with accessibility in mind.

The first Deafblind person to graduate from Harvard Law School, Haben Girma advocates for equal opportunities for people with disabilities. President Obama named her a White House Champion of Change. She received the Helen Keller Achievement Award, and a spot on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. Girma believes disability is an opportunity for innovation and travels the world teaching the benefits of choosing inclusion. In August, she published her first book, Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law. She has since been featured on the Today Show. Her work has also been featured in the Financial Times, BBC, Washington Post, NPR, and more. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019 - Evening Program
Strong Economy/Weak Outlook: The Paradox of Today’s Economy
John Taylor, in conversation with Manfred Keil

In July, the U.S. economy set a new post World War II record for the longest expansion. Yet, despite the large number of jobs created and the very low unemployment rates, there are many troubling indicators: economic growth has been low by historical standards, the housing market—even after ten years of expansion—lags behind historical norms during expansions, as do wages and prices at this stage of the business cycle. Moreover, looming large is the threat of job losses to AI. Stanford University’s professor of economics John Taylor, an academic with extensive policy experience in business cycle analysis and monetary, fiscal, and international policy, will add his perspective and insights to the current economic conditions.

John B. Taylor is the Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics at Stanford University and the George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Economics at the Hoover Institution. He is director of the Stanford Introductory Economics Center. He formerly served as director of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, where he is now a senior fellow.

Taylor’s academic fields of expertise are macroeconomics, monetary economics, and international economics. He is known for his research on the foundations of modern monetary theory and policy, which has been applied by central banks and financial market analysts around the world. He has an active interest in public policy and has served in multiple advising capacities at both the state and federal levels.

For four years from 2001 to 2005, Taylor served as under-secretary of Treasury for international affairs where he was responsible for currency markets, trade in financial services, foreign investment, international debt and development, and oversight of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. He was also responsible for coordinating financial policy with the G-7 countries, was chair of the OECD working party on international macroeconomics and was a member of the Board of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

His book "Global Financial Warriors: The Untold Story of International Finance in the Post-9/11 World" chronicles his years as head of the international division at Treasury. His book "Getting Off Track: How Government Actions and Interventions Caused, Prolonged, and Worsened the Financial Crisis" was one of the first on the financial crisis, and he has since followed up with two books on preventing future crises, co-editing "The Road ahead for the Fed" and "Ending Government Bailouts As We Know Them." His book "First Principles: Five Keys to Restoring Americas’ Prosperity," was the winner of the 2012 Hayek Prize.

In 2010, Taylor received the Bradley Prize from the Bradley Foundation and the Adam Smith Award from the National Association for Business Economics for his work as a researcher, public servant, and teacher. Taylor was awarded the Alexander Hamilton Award for his overall leadership at the U.S. Treasury, the Treasury Distinguished Service Award for designing and implementing the currency reforms in Iraq, and the Medal of the Republic of Uruguay for his work in resolving the 2002 financial crisis. He was awarded the George P. Shultz Distinguished Public Service Award at Stanford, the Hoagland Prize for excellence in undergraduate teaching and the Rhodes Prize for his high teaching ratings in Stanford’s introductory economics course. He also received a Guggenheim Fellowship for his research, and he is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Econometric Society; he formerly served as vice president of the American Economic Association.

Previously, Taylor held positions of professor of economics at Princeton University and Columbia University. Taylor received a B.A. in economics summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1968 and a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University in 1973.

In conversation with Professor Taylor will be CMC's Manfred Keil who received his M. Sc. and Ph.D. from the London School of Economics. After appointments in Montreal and Boston, Keil joined Claremont McKenna College in 1995. He is currently the associate director of the Lowe Institute of Political Economy and the chief economist for the Inland Empire Economic Partnership. He specializes in economic forecasting for geographical areas. He teaches statistics, econometrics, and macroeconomics at CMC.

View Video: YouTube with John Taylor, Manfred Keil

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 - Evening Program
Save the Oceans, Feed the World
Kathryn Matthews

Covering 71% of the globe and home to most of the life on our planet, the oceans regulate our environment, support the livelihood of millions, and – if properly managed – can provide a healthy seafood meal to a billion people, every day, forever. However, scientists report that our catch of fish is in steady decline, driven by over-exploitation and destructive practices. Kathryn Matthews, chief scientist for Oceana, will discuss her work running strategic, directed campaigns to create political will, allocate resources, pass laws, and otherwise enable the restoration of the world’s oceans.


Kathryn Matthews, Ph.D., is the chief scientist for Oceana, the largest international advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans. She is responsible for ensuring that Oceana’s advocacy is informed by the best and most current scientific understanding, as well as tracking emerging issues, advising on strategic direction, and supporting the nearly 50 staff scientists across the organization.

Her varied work environments have included Arctic ice caps, Capitol Hill, international treaty negotiations, and the waters of the eastern tropical Pacific.  After 10 years in research, she returned to Washington DC, her hometown, to work as a legislative fellow in the U.S. Congress and then for the Office of Marine Conservation in the U.S. State Department.  Katie continued her science-based policy work with the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation and then with The Pew Charitable Trusts, where she ran a marine conservation and sustainable fisheries grantmaking program. She also serves on the Society for Conservation Biology’s Board of Governors, heading its Marine Section’s board of directors as president (2017-2019).

Matthews has an M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in Earth and Environmental Science.

(Source: Oceana)

View Video: YouTube with Kathryn Matthews


Food for Thought: Podcast with Kathryn Matthews


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