CMC students win QuestBridge Spirit Day Award

Believe it or not, the beloved CMC planner just became a media star, featured in a CMC-student-produced video that won the national QuestBridge Spirit Day Award.

The annual contest challenges students from colleges and universities across the nation—such as USC, Penn, and Northwestern—to show what the QuestBridge scholarship program has meant to them via a photo or video.

Headshot of CMC Student Kiubon Kokko ’21 on campus

Studying overseas not only transformed Kiubon Kokko ’21, it won him a grand prize.

Kokko, a senior majoring in media studies, spent the fall 2019 semester in Nantes, France, studying with the IES Abroad program and living with a host family.

“I chose to study in Nantes, because you can always visit somewhere popular, like Paris, later in life,” he said. “Someplace like Nantes is unique and presents a true once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Profs. Sharda Umanath, Catherine L. Reed, Alison Harris, and Stacey N. Doan have been awarded highly competitive grants.

From investigating the resiliency of young adults to turning back the clock on memory for older populations, four professors in CMC’s Psychological Sciences department are looking at how we mentally manage our world. And their outstanding work has been rewarded with five large, highly competitive, external grants—virtually unprecedented for professors at small liberal arts colleges, especially in a single year—to fund research and further teaching at CMC.  

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.

Wendy Lower

Several CMC faculty members earned distinctions in recent months. Here are some of their notable accomplishments:

CMC fulbright winners

Whether it’s starting a therapeutic photography program at a group home in Pomona or teaching and conducting research in diverse locations around the world, CMC students are ready to make a difference near and far.

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.

Mo Batal

Some of Mohamad Batal’s favorite memories at CMC involve Beckett Hall patio barbecues, watching Champions League matches on the Appleby balcony, and spending “deliriously late nights” in the Salvatori Center. But he gets the biggest jolt of CMC excitement while thinking about his senior thesis, the basis of which earned him a first-place award for Best Presentation at the inaugural Undergraduate Scholars Conference in Israel Studies at UCLA earlier this summer.

CMC finished the 2017-18 academic year with several students and alumni earning prestigious grants and scholarships to learn and teach abroad.

The largest group, eight CMCers, will spend the year studying, teaching English, or conducting research as part of the renowned Fulbright U.S. Student Program. The longstanding initiative, part of a flagship government exchange designed to promote global understanding, offers a one-year fellowship to grantees. Fulbright operates in more than 140 countries.

Lily Geismer

Associate Professor of History Lily Geismer has been named an Andrew Carnegie Fellow for 2018 by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Geismer will receive up to $200,000 to support sabbatical research for her book project "Doing Good: Public Policy and the Market from the War on Poverty to the Clinton Foundation."