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Summer 2014


Brief & Newsworthy

Human Rights Leadership: Wendy Lower is a National Book Award-nominated author, a government advisor and Holocaust scholar, the John K. Roth Professor of History and George R. Roberts Fellow, and, as of July 1, the new director of the Center for Human Rights Leadership. Lower says she looks forward to merging her teaching experience and scholarship with her newest role at the College as Center director. In the coming academic year, look for several campus programs under her guidance, including the Center’s launch of an exhibit on the Great War as well as a Friday Night Film Series and documentary film prize for students. Lower succeeds P. Edward Haley, who oversaw the Center’s dynamic growth and evolution since 2008. Read more

Have Fulbright, will travel: Eight CMCers have received prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Program grants, making Claremont McKenna among the nation’s very top producers of Fulbright recipients in this category. In fact, CMC has been a top producer for eight of the last 10 years. Read more

Major grants for math: Assistant Professor of Mathematics Deanna Needell received a highly competitive $413,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for her research in compressive signal processing, a “booming” math subfield impacting digital imaging among other applications. The National Security Agency (NSA) has awarded Associate Professor of Mathematics Lenny Fukshansky with a $40,000 grant to fund his research on “Analytic techniques and algebraic constructions in geometric lattice theory.” Read more

Chodosh leads conference in India: President Hiram Chodosh helped organize a major conference on higher education in India. The two-day event in Sonipat, India, sponsored by Claremont McKenna in cooperation with Jindal School of Liberal Arts and Humanities, focused on higher ed opportunities for Indian high school students and global excellence and international education in India. “Institutions of higher learning in India and the U.S. bear a profound responsibility to meet the educational imperatives of the day,” Chodosh said. Read more

The warmth of home: Now in the second phase of a three-year, three-phase project, Mid-Quad dormitory renovations continue to make considerable progress as a new school year approaches. The $42-million renovation of Phillips, Beckett, Berger, Marks, and Benson Halls will soon boast new student lounges and music practice rooms. “We want students to think of their room and residence hall as their home,” says Eric Vos, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Residential Life. 
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The world comes to CMC: See recent videos of faculty and students from Claremont McKenna’s Modern Languages and Literature and International Relations departments in discussions about their experiences and how these programs have enhanced their understanding of their disciplines.

A cable TV pioneer: The Cable TV Pioneers, a distinct honor awarded to a select few in the cable television industry, inducted 18 new members at its April banquet in Los Angeles, among them Joel Susel ’79, the Senior Vice President of the Broadband Marketing Division at Eagle:XM. Susel joined Eagle:XM in 1991 as vice president of marketing. His leadership has helped Eagle:XM grow into one of the national leaders in the cable industry. 
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From the Ath: The spring season at the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum is in the books, and videos of select spring speakers are available for viewing, including former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, tennis great Billie Jean King, Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen of Google, and Claremont McKenna’s own President Hiram Chodosh, and Professors Wendy Lower and John Roth. See videos

New Ath Fellows were chosen for the upcoming school year. Shannon Miller ’16 hails from Berkeley, Calif., and is majoring in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. Dante Toppo ’15 is from Ashland, Ore., and is majoring in International Relations. “I think Dante and I will be able to create an intellectual, entertaining, and educational atmosphere at the Ath next year, and that’s really what made me want to do it,” Miller said. Read more

Passing On

Professor of Literature Langdon Elsbree, who continued teaching part-time at the College beyond his official 34 years on the faculty, died June 21 at the age of 84. In 1960, after earning his doctorate at what was formerly known as Claremont Graduate School, he began teaching English at Claremont Men’s College. In those early years, Elsbree was among the newest hires brought in to build the College’s faculty in the humanities. In his history of Claremont McKenna College, Kevin Starr referred to Elsbree and this “new generation of history and humanities scholars” as being “destined to bring national distinction to CMC.” Former CMC President Jack Stark ’57 GP ’11 recalls: “Professor Elsbree was a very respected member of the literature department, and kept in touch with many of his students, who greatly benefited from his classes on D.H. Lawrence and English and American literature.” Elsbree is survived by his wife, Aimee; daughter Anita and her husband, Paul Sylvan; a brother Sky, and a sister Mary, and their families; and grandson Eli Emigh. Read more

Rose Fellow G. David Huntoon ’65 died July 7 after a long battle with melanoma. As a fellow at the Rose Institute of State and Local Government since 1998, his many projects included supervising the Kosmont-Rose Institute Cost of Doing Business Survey and serving as the Rose Institute’s marketing and outreach coordinator. He also directed the development, marketing, and execution of the Rose Academy for Civic Engagement. He was a former trustee and past president and board member for the CMC Alumni Association. He established two important teaching awards at CMC, synonymous with exceptional scholarship. The Glenn R. Huntoon Teaching Award was named for Huntoon’s father in 1974, and is given annually to an outstanding teacher by a secret vote of the student body. The G. David Huntoon Senior Teaching Award followed in 1984, and is given to full professors, as nominated by juniors and seniors. Some of the earliest recipients are familiar names: Harold Rood, Ricardo Quinones, Nick Warner, and Marc Massoud. Huntoon is survived by sons Glenn and Greg Huntoon, and Schon Garrison, and daughter Emily Huntoon. Read more

Former Trustee Andrea L. Rich, 71, who died after a long battle with myeloid leukemia, was a significant contributor to the leadership of Claremont McKenna. The longtime UCLA administrator and professor served on CMC's Board from 2006-11. Through her professional relationships with President Emerita Pamela B. Gann and Trustee Christopher Walker ’69, who served on the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Board during Rich’s tenure as museum president and CEO, Rich provided important guidance as a member of several board committees, including serving as vice chair of the academic affairs committee and the research institutes’ subcommittee. Recalls Gann: “Dr. Rich brought her higher education experience, her good judgment, and her sharp wit to bear on CMC and its Board of Trustees. The breadth of her impact included advancing the understanding of liberal arts, the role of research institutes, and the importance of shared governance between the Board and the faculty. She was very active in applying her practical experiences to the development of the CMC Campus Master Plan, and its policy on art acquisition and gifts.” Read more

In the Conversation: News and Views From Claremont McKenna’s Thought Leaders

(Note: The views expressed by CMC faculty, students and alumni do not necessarily represent the position of Claremont McKenna College.)

With the stroke of a pen, the Executive Branch reigns supreme: Ilan Wurman ’09 who is clerk to Judge Jerry E. Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, wrote this opinion for the July 21 The Weekly Standard on executive power in the Federal government. Read the article

Just how bad is it in Congress? Trustee and former representative David Dreier ’75 wrote a guest op-ed for the July 20 Los Angeles Times titled “A former congressman asks: Can we make Congress move?” Read the article

Jewish millennials and the future of Israel-Palestine: Anna Joseph ’13 wrote about how her generation of Jewish Americans holds differing views from her parents’ generation on the question of U.S. policy toward Israel and the Middle East conflict. The opinion appeared in The Huffington Post on July 15. Read the article

Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: AICE Visiting Professor of Government Ilai Z. Saltzman published a blog post July 17 for The Jerusalem Post on the conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Read the article

Change afoot in Ukraine: Associate Professor of Government Christopher Nadon published a July 10 guest piece in The Weekly Standard blog on his recent visit to Ukraine, where he once taught. In the article, he discusses the current climate in Ukraine relative to the conflict with Russia and changes seen here since the mid-’90s, when he was a professor at Kiev-Mohyla University. Read more

Why do solutions for sexual assaults focus on the victims? On June 22, The Sacramento Bee published an opinion by CMCer Charlotte Bailey ’16 on the topic of sexual assaults. Links to her thoughtful article have since popped up on Twitter, adding to the dialogue on an important issue faced by countless schools and institutions across the country. Read more

Defining sexual consent: CMC’s Dean of Students Mary Spellman was part of a June 13 segment on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” about how schools define sexual consent as they grapple with sexual assault. Read/listen

Ralph Rossum on Clarence Thomas: The Salvatori Professor of Political Philosophy and American Constitutionalism was on the radio recently talking about his new book Understanding Clarence Thomas: The Jurisprudence of Constitutional Restoration. The interview follows a series of talks and essays by Rossum this spring, including his rebuttal to Jeffrey Toobin’s critical piece on Thomas for The New Yorker. 
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The Godfather and the GOP: Apparently Professor Jack Pitney made Politico Magazine editors an offer they couldn’t refuse. Read this entertaining comparison between one of the most iconic films in cinema history and the Republican Party’s leadership. Read more

Audrey Bilger reviews new bio on astronaut Sally Ride: Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space has just been published by Simon & Schuster, a biography of an American hero who was also “America’s sweetheart,” says Claremont McKenna Professor of Literature Audrey Bilger. Bilger reviewed the 400-page book by broadcast journalist Lynn Sherr for the San Francisco Chronicle. Read more

Alumni in the News

Reaching his biggest goal: Of all the moments in Augie Nieto’s ’80 P’08 life, few will be as momentous and memorable as July 5, 2014, when Nieto walked his 25-year-old daughter Lindsay, down the aisle. That’s because Nieto, who has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease) wasn’t expected to be alive this long. NBC’s The Today Show and the Orange County Register covered the event. Read more

"Miracle on a shoestring": Kounkuey Design Initiative was co-founded by Chelina Odbert ’99 to build badly needed public spaces for impoverished areas around the globe. See the June 15 New York Times article “Out of Desert Dust, a Miracle on a Shoestring”— about one such effort for an underprivileged community in the Coachella Valley. Read more

Clean water for all: Ethos Water co-founder Peter Thum ’90, who began selling bottled water as a means to fund clean-water projects in developing nations around the world, is profiled in the article “Ethos Water’s Peter Thum: How Did I Get Here?” in Bloomberg Businessweek. Read more