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.”

Tom Leppert ’77

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.

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.

Timothy W. Wright III

Timothy W. Wright III ’77 will receive the Distinguished Public Service Award at Claremont McKenna College’s 72nd commencement ceremony, to be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, May 18.

A lawyer and former government official, Wright served in the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush.

Wright grew up in Compton, where he was student body president at Compton High School. At CMC, he was an activist student leader and standout football player. Wright completed his law degree at UCLA.

Dr. Tanya working with an infant

Two weeks after giving birth to her second child, Dr. Tanya Remer Altmann ’94 was heading to New York to appear on Today for the first time. The California-based pediatrician was boarding the plane (breast pump in bag) when a producer called to say they changed the topic for her segment—to a study being released the next morning that she didn’t know much about. “I thought about saying no, but I knew it was my big chance,” said Altmann. As soon as the plane landed, she began researching—and continued well into the night.