student advice collage

They’ll forever be bonded in 2020—one class exiting CMC, one class entering—and both experiencing the loss of their senior years to COVID-19. With our newest students from the Class of 2024 starting their second week of virtual classes, our latest graduates from the Class of 2020 offered their best advice about embracing and enjoying all that CMC has to offer.


Until the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Stags basketball alumni and other CMCers ventured behind the San Quentin prison gates twice a month, squaring up against the San Quentin Warriors, a league that brings inmates and civilians together via an in-prison community outreach program. 

The games are gritty, played on the prison’s outdoor asphalt courts, buffeted by strong winds off the San Francisco Bay.

How do we, as Americans, work together to create political and social change in a highly polarized climate? Perhaps it can start with a good faith conversation about what unites us.

The U.S. political environment is increasingly polarized. Studies by the Pew Research Center have found 85 percent of U.S. adults believe the tone and nature of political debate has become more negative in the past five years, and Americans are deeply divided on issues such as immigration, climate change, and the composition of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Jesse Chang '08

Two months ago, Jesse Chang ’08 didn’t know a thing about protective masks. A tech entrepreneur spearheading Stanley X, the innovation division of Stanley Black & Decker, Chang was on the lookout for promising startups in digital manufacturing.

But when he learned that his brother, a resident working in a California ICU unit, was spraying down his N95 masks with Lysol to reuse them, Chang’s antennae went up.

CMC alumni delivering food

#CMConnected is a regular web series where we’ll catch up with students, faculty, staff, and alumni about how the CMC community is connecting in new ways during this period of physical distancing due to COVID-19.

Melia Wong ’19 and Romi Ferder ’20

Like everyone in higher education this spring, Brian Davidson ’08 has been doing his share of adjusting and re-adjusting with advisees. The good news: CMC has, once again, produced an impressive roll call of selective domestic and overseas fellowship and scholarship winners, including five Fulbrights. The challenges: Some programs have gone virtual, postponed travel, or been cancelled completely given ongoing restrictions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

About a decade ago, Chelina Odbert ’99 received a surprise letter from a friend and fellow CMC classmate. The letter contained an admission: when both were students together, he had been skeptical of her motivation to care so much about helping others.

“He said that in the past, it was not something he could appreciate—almost like an apology for doubting my sincerity, ” Odbert said. “Then he wrote, ‘I know that was only due to my own cynicism and shortcomings.’ It was an incredibly heartfelt, touching sentiment.”

Drew Oetting '12 and business partner Jake Medwell

Pandemic heroes typically wear masks and latex gloves.

Tech venture capitalist Drew Oetting ’12 doesn’t need to wear protective gear for work. But he’s a pandemic hero all the same—procuring masks, by the millions, for others, and charging nothing for his services.

Timothy Wright

CMC was a natural fit for Timothy Wright ’77, who was both a student government leader and football standout at Compton High School. Wright also planned to use CMC to continue a passion for service inspired by the community involvement of his parents.