Pitzer Alumni Community

Past Alumni Award Honorees

2014 - Brianne Davila '04
Young Alumni Achievement Award Honoree

Brianne Davila '04 is an assistant professor of sociology and American ethnic studies at Willamette University whose deep-seated commitment to social justice has shaped an exceptional academic career.

Only three years after earning her PhD in sociology and feminist studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, Davila has established herself as an expert in the sociology of education, social inequality, the Latina/o experience, and racial, gender and class issues.

Davila said Pitzer greatly influenced her career and life path. Her experiences at Pitzer, both inside and outside the classroom, encouraged her to pursue academic research for the purpose of social change.

“I am thrilled to receive Pitzer’s Young Alumni Achievement Award,” Davila said. “I am grateful to my mentors who encouraged me to pursue graduate school and research opportunities: Pitzer professors Ann Stromberg, Dipa Basu, Maria Soldatenko, and especially Jose Calderon, whose courses in Chicana/o studies and sociology were the first formal settings where I was able to learn about my own communities—a truly life-changing experience.”Davila said Pitzer greatly influenced her career and life path. Her experiences at Pitzer, both inside and outside the classroom, encouraged her to pursue academic research for the purpose of social change.Only three years after earning her PhD in sociology and feminist studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, Davila has established herself as an expert in the sociology of education, social inequality, the Latina/o experience, and racial, gender and class issues.

The recipient of more than 20 awards, fellowships and grants, her work has been recognized by the National Center for Institutional Diversity, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Sociological Association. This fall, Davila will return to Southern California when she takes a tenure-track position in the Department of Psychology and Sociology at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.


2014 - Jeffrey Gottlieb '75
Distinguished Alumni Award Honoree

An investigative journalist with more than three decades experience, Jeffrey Gottlieb '75 won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for a series of stories in the Los Angeles Times that uncovered rampant corruption in the City of Bell. Written with fellow Times reporter Ruben Vives, Gottlieb’s exposé led to the felony convictions of former city officials, statewide reforms and federal investigations.

Gottlieb’s sleuthing and storytelling skills have shaped his distinguished career in journalism. Twenty years before winning the Pulitzer, his work triggered federal reforms and garnered national recognition when he was a reporter with the San Jose Mercury News, where his investigation into Stanford University’s use of federal research funds led to Congressional hearings, changes in federal regulations and the resignation of Stanford’s president. Gottlieb’s coverage of Stanford earned a George Polk Award, one of journalism’s most prestigious accolades, which Gottlieb also won for the Bell series.

Gottlieb said Pitzer cultivated his sense of social responsibility and encouraged him to question conventional thinking, traits that ultimately led him to investigative journalism.

“Winning this award from Pitzer, where I spent some of my formative years, is an incredible honor,” Gottlieb said. “Much of my view of the world was shaped at Pitzer, and the award is recognition that I’ve lived up to the goals of the College.”

A sociology major, Gottlieb’s most influential teachers were his adviser and Professor Emeritus of Sociology Rudi Volti and former professor of English Ellin Ringler, who taught a course on major American writers that “opened my eyes to literature,” he said. Gottlieb also played point guard on the College’s fledgling basketball team, shortly after Pitzer and Pomona College joined forces to create the current-day Sagehens. He later earned his master’s from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Before joining the Los Angeles Times in 1997, Gottlieb wrote for a number of papers in California, including the Riverside Press-Enterprise and the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. At the Los Angeles Times, he worked both as an editor and a reporter, covering beats ranging from medicine to higher education.

Gottlieb’s freelance articles have been published in a wide array of magazines and journals, including The Nation, Mother Jones and Sports Business Journal. He has appeared on numerous TV and radio shows, including the PBS NewsHour, CBS Evening News and the Madeleine Brand Show.

2013- Kimberly Bautista '07
Inaugural Young Alumni Achievement Award Honoree

Kimberly Bautista '07 is an award-winning filmmaker who created an international domestic violence prevention campaign that evolved out of her 2012 documentary, Justice for my Sister.

Justice for my Sister. chronicles a Guatemalan woman's quest for justice after her sister is murdered. In conjunction with the film, Bautista holds violence prevention and leadership development workshops throughout Guatemala and the US. Locally, Bautista has co-hosted events with organizations such as the Los Angeles Police Department and East Los Angeles Women's Center. In 2011, she launched Texting Peace, a text message-based domestic violence prevention helpline in Guatemala that provides advice and advocacy to those seeking support.

Bautista recently won the 2012 HBO/ National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) Documentary Filmmaker Award for Latino filmmakers. In 2010, NALIP selected her for their Latino Producers Academy fellowship and a yearlong Latino Artists Mentorship.

"The wonderful thing about media is that it takes something that's based on academic research and makes it accessible to more people," Bautista said. "For me, film has been a way to democratize knowledge."

At Pitzer, Bautista co-founded Speak Out For Them, a campaign to raise awareness about women murdered in Juarez, Mexico, and a video pen-pal web program between young women in Quito, Ecuador and young Chicana women in Pomona, CA.

A media studies and Spanish major at Pitzer, Bautista received the Kallick Community Service Award and Center for California Cultural and Social Issues Award. She graduated from the Social Documentation Master's program at University of California, Santa Cruz, where she won the Princess Grace Award for distinction in the fields of theater, dance and film and a Hispanic Scholarship Fund Creative Arts Grant.

2013- Sandra D. Mitchell '73
Distinguished Alumni Award Honoree

Sandra D. Mitchell '73 is an influential scholar whose work has fundamentally changed the field of philosophy of science. Mitchell explores how contemporary science explains complexities in nature, such as the role genes play in psychiatric disorders and the interrelated phenomena contributing to global climate change.

Mitchell said she was delighted to be selected for Pitzer's Distinguished Alumni Award.

"Before Pitzer, I hadn't thought about becoming a professor—I didn't know that a life of learning was something I could do," Mitchell said. "This award means that the seeds of the academic achievements that were sown in my years as an undergraduate continue to be valued and recognized by the institution that was instrumental in putting me on that path."

Mitchell is a professor and chair of the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh. She has published several books, including Biological Complexity and Integrative Pluralism and Unsimple Truths: Science, Complexity and Policy. Her scholarly articles have appeared in both science and philosophy journals. Mitchell has been a fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin and the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne. She is a member of the University of Pennsylvania's Provost's Advisory Committee on Women's Concerns and the only non-scientist on the Annual Meeting Scientific Program Committee of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Mitchell majored in philosophy at Pitzer. She earned her master's in philosophy, logic and the scientific method at the London School of Economics and a PhD in history and philosophy of science at the University of Pittsburgh.

2012- Daniel Berman '84
Distinguished Alumni Award Honoree

Daniel Berman ’84 graduated from Pitzer College with a degree in political studies. His fondest memories of Pitzer include a sociology course called “Adventures in Desocialization,” which encouraged students to toss aside convention and dare to live in a manner that would defy the status quo. The class drew on the discourse of landmark thinkers who stimulated societal change, a course of action that compelled Daniel and now characterizes his career.

Another pivotal point for Daniel was the semester he spent abroad in Nepal while at Pitzer. For him, this cultural immersion was a chance to understand the realities of life in a place that had a dramatically different level of wealth and economic development. It was one of the life-changing experiences that encouraged him to pursue a professional path that would address inequalities in access to healthcare. But it took a while for Daniel to find his place at Doctors Without Borders, for which he currently serves as the deputy director of the Access to Essential Medicines Campaign.

Preceding this position, Daniel completed a master’s degree in marketing and international business at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, where he was honored with the dean’s fellowship for academic excellence. He then began working in pharmaceutical marketing and communications in New York. He was working on AIDS products at a time when the disease was transformed from a death sentence to a treatable chronic disease.

Daniel then moved back to California to serve as the news director at the joint academic medical centers of Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco. But he became bothered by the fact that the vast majority of people with AIDS were living in places where the treatments were not available, mostly due to their high costs.

This was the impetus to go in a different professional direction. In 1999, he helped Doctors Without Borders launch the Access to Essential Medicines Campaign. One of their first priorities was to support the generic production of AIDS cocktails to enable treatment in developing counties in Africa, Asia and South America. Daniel was part of an international coalition of activists that fought for generic production and international financing of AIDS treatment. Today, his work is focused on increasing access to new vaccines and pushing for the development of vaccines that are practical to use in developing countries.

During a period of leave from Doctors Without Borders, he worked as a consultant to the World Health Organization’s regional office in Cairo. The project explored the unique collaboration between the medical community, government and AIDS activists that led to a scale-up of AIDS treatment in Morocco.

Daniel currently lives with his partner between Geneva and Paris.

2011 - Deborah Deutsch Smith '68
Distinguished Alumni Award Honoree

Deborah Deutsch Smith ’68 graduated from Pitzer College with a Bachelor of Arts in 1968. She went on to receive her M.Ed. from the University of Missouri – Columbia and her Ed.D. from the University of Washington, where she received the College of Education Distinguished Alumni Award. Deb is professor of Special Education at the School of Educational Studies at Claremont Graduate University and Director of IRIS-West, a federally funded national center that provides on-line interactive modules and other training materials for the education of students with disabilities (www.iriscenter.com). She is also the principal investigator of a national evaluation effort, Special Education Faculty Needs Assessment (SEFNA) and the co-principal investigator of the IRIS Center for Training Enhancements. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) funds both projects. SEFNA is seeking to determine whether the nation has sufficient special education faculty to produce an adequate supply of new highly qualified special education teachers. The IRIS Center is charged with providing the nation with interactive modules and other training materials that focus on the education of students with disabilities. These resources are designed for use by education faculty in college courses and by professional development providers seeking to upgrade the knowledge and skills of practicing education professionals. These materials are available at no cost through the Center’s Web site: http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu or www.iriscenter.com. IRIS-West, housed at CGU, serves as the national outreach component of The IRIS Center, providing technical assistance and training to faculty and professional development providers through a systematic scaling-up effort.

Dr. Smith has directed many federal, state, and local projects and has received over $30 million in funding to support those efforts. For 12 years, she directed the highly successful Alliance Project, a national technical assistance effort funded by OSEP to help faculty working at special education and related services personnel preparation programs housed at minority colleges and universities. The main purpose of that effort was to help these faculty members obtain external funding to support college students preparing to work with students with disabilities in school settings. She also served as the principal investigator of the Study of the Supply and Demand of Special Education Faculty, which is cited in the Congressional Record, in federal legislation, and in appropriations language. The study found that the nation was experiencing chronic shortage of special education doctoral graduates seeking careers in higher education. Findings also indicated that this imbalance in the supply and demand of new faculty was a major factor contributing to the special education teacher shortage nationally.

Dr. Smith has authored over eleven major textbooks, including a best selling introduction to special education text, Introduction to Special Education: Making a Difference, which is in its 7th edition, and is available in Spanish, Polish, and Mandarin Chinese and is being translated into Hebrew. She has written over 31 chapters and book supplements, 50 refereed articles, and many instructional materials for children.

Deborah is the quintessential Pitzer alumna, a member of the inaugural class of the College. A true pioneer for people with disabilities and a stalwart supporter of Pitzer College, she represents all that is good about her alma mater. Deb is known through the Pitzer community for her vivacious spirit and fun loving personality. Since 1985, Deb has served on the Board of Trustees, and was recognized as an Emerita Trustee in 2003.

2010 - Bridget Baker '82
Distinguished Alumni Award Honoree

Bridget Baker

Bridget Baker ’82 was named NBC Universal’s first president of TV networks distribution in 2006. She oversees the North American distribution of NBC Universal’s content across the cable, satellite and telecommunications industry.

A cable industry pioneer and founder of CNBC, Baker is credited with developing NBC Universal’s cable assets from inception, helping to transform the company from a dominant broadcaster of the 1980s to a 21st century multimedia powerhouse. Baker is responsible for the distribution strategy and execution of a content portfolio that includes the industry’s top-rated networks, the network-owned NBC and Telemundo stations, Olympic content on cable and broadband and video-on-demand, pay-per-view and set top box content.

In addition to her operating role, Baker is a member of the company’s Leadership Council, comprised of fewer than 1% of the top senior executives, and serves as a director on the Boards of the NBCU Foundation, the Cable Center at the University of Denver, the CTAM Educational Foundation at Harvard Business School, CablePAC, and Pitzer College. Regularly selected as one of Cable Fax Magazine’s “Top 100 Cable Executives,” Cable World’s “Most Powerful Women in Cable” and Hollywood Reporter’s “Power 100 Women in Entertainment,” Baker was twice honored by parent company General Electric Co. for her leadership and development of its global Women’s Network. In 2009, Baker was inducted into the CableFAX Sales Hall of Fame and in 2008, Baker was the only woman inducted into the Cable TV Pioneers.

At Pitzer, Baker majored in political studies and later attended George Washington University and Exeter College, Oxford for postgraduate study in politics and business. Her first position after college was as an aide to US Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK).

Baker credits Pitzer for helping her achieve success, and Pitzer’s emphasis on social responsibility for guiding her as a business leader. She has long championed diversity as a business advantage, and she leads one of the best and most diverse teams in the industry. As a director on several boards, Baker has supported groups whose mission is to create bold, self-empowered women through advocacy and leadership training. She initiated annual volunteer efforts for her own division, and in 2008, her team volunteered in New Orleans rebuilding two AIDS hospice centers ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.

Baker's years at Pitzer exposed her to academics and campus life that were transformative for a college freshman from a small Alaska town. Baker believes that Pitzer inspired her to challenge the status quo and search for meaning and authenticity in ideas and systems.  Having integrity and confidence in herself and expecting the same of others were qualities that her parents inspired, and which were strengthened at Pitzer.  Baker states, “I am proud to be a part of the Pitzer College community, and I am honored to be selected for this prestigious award.

2009 - Nancy Judd '90
Distinguished Alumni Award Honoree

Nancy Judd ’90 created Recycle Runway to help change how the world thinks about the environment through innovative educational programs and couture fashions made from discarded presidential campaign lawn signs among a variety of other things.

These elegant garments created from recycled materials are exhibited in high-traffic airports to grab travelers’ attention and inspire personal action around the country.

Recycle Runway partners with businesses, non-profits, governmental agencies, foundations and individuals who actively support environmental conservation. In January, Judd’s work was featured in Washington DC at the Green Inaugural Ball, where it received international press including a front page article in the Wall Street Journal.

Judd has also received commissions to create numerous recycled garments and accessories from Toyota®, Coca-Cola®, Target®, Novelis Recycling, the Glass Packaging Institute and Starbucks®. More more information, visit Recycle Runway.

2008 - Thomas Brock '83
Distinguished Alumni Award Honoree

Thomas Brock

From the moment he stepped foot on Pitzer College’s campus, Thomas Brock ’83 felt a strong connection to the people and the place. He recognized that his own commitment to social responsibility and intercultural understanding aligned perfectly with the College’s values and through his subsequent endeavors has devoted himself to affecting positive change in communities across the country.

Brock’s concerns with poverty and other social issues began in high school and continued to grow at Pitzer when he entered as a first-year student in 1979. Interested in studying social problems at a macro level, he decided to major in anthropology and was drawn to courses across the disciplines that examined the experiences of people who were disenfranchised because of race, ethnicity or income.

Brock fondly remembers taking courses with Professor of Anthropology Sheryl Miller, Professor Emerita of Anthropology Susan Seymour, Professor of Sociology Peter Nardi and Professor Emerita of English Agnes Moreland Jackson. Their personalized attention and encouragement to think “outside the box” helped direct his academic and professional path. Particularly fascinated with addressing contemporary issues, Brock gradually discovered through Pitzer’s interdisciplinary environment that socio-cultural and urban anthropology was his niche. For his senior thesis he examined how anthropologists study poverty in the United States, and argued that the field had an obligation not only to report on social and economic problems, but to try to fix them as well.

After graduating from Pitzer in 1983, he earned a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University in New York and earned a PhD in social welfare from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1992.

Currently, Brock is director of the young adults and postsecondary education policy area at MDRC (Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation), an organization dedicated to learning what works to improve the well-being of low-income people. He leads a group of projects designed to increase academic achievement and persistence among low-income community college students.

Prior to joining MDRC, Brock served as an evaluation officer at the Wallace-Reader’s Digest Funds, where he designed and managed multi-site evaluations of after-school programs for youth, community arts initiatives and audience development programs for nonprofit theaters.

Brock currently serves as a member-at-large on Pitzer’s Alumni Association Board of Directors. Appreciating how Pitzer opened numerous doors to him as a student, Brock welcomes every chance to offer similar opportunities to current Pitzer students whether it be by returning to the College to give occasional lectures on public policy and applied anthropology, or apprising the Office of Career Services of job openings within his organization.

Since the early ’90s, Brock has volunteered for several AIDS-related causes first as part of a “buddy” program for people with AIDS in New York, and subsequently as a participant in long-distance bicycling events to raise money for AIDS advocacy and services. Most recently, he participated in the San Francisco to Los Angeles AIDS LifeCycle 7-day 545-mile ride in June 2007.

2007 - Harriett Crosby '68
Distinguished Alumni Award Honoree

Activist, adventurer, Jungian analyst and teacher, Harriett Crosby ’68 has devoted her life to social, environmental and political justice. Her extraordinary journey has taken her from the hallways of our nation’s Capitol to the top of the world’s highest mountains.

After graduating from Pitzer, Harriett earned her master’s degree in psychology from Temple University in 1977, followed by studies at the C. J. Jung Institute in Zurich.

An avid traveler and mountaineer, she has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Rainier to name a few. During a series of trips to Ecuador, she started a wildlife rescue center. She has traveled several times to India, including a trip at the behest of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to research Tibetan folk tales. For six summers she trained with a Lakota medicine man on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

Since 1980, Harriett has owned and managed Fox Haven Farms, an ecological learning center in Jefferson, Maryland. In 1983 she co-founded ISAR, the Institute for Soviet-American Relations, a nonprofit organization providing support for nongovernmental environmental activists in the former Soviet Union.

She serves on many boards and is a familiar face in political circles in Washington DC, where she works with Quakers to prevent the escalation of war in the Middle East.

2006 - Jenniphr Goodman '84
Distinguished Alumni Award Honoree

Jenniphr Goodman

Filmmaker Jenniphr Goodman, a 1984 graduate of Pitzer, embodies the College’s commitment to producing engaged, socially responsible citizens of the world. Jenniphr was named the sixth recipient of the Annual Beverle Houston Memorial Prize, was a featured speaker at the Atherton Dinner and has served as a member of the Pitzer College Board of Friends for the Arboretum.

Jenniphr received her B.A. in creative writing and film making in 1984. After graduation, she returned to her hometown in Cleveland, Ohio to teach art to preschool children. While carefully avoiding the GREs, Jenniphr was ecstatic to discover a college that didn’t require them – New York University. She spent the next eight years earning her M.F.A. from NYU’s Film School and finally graduated with honors in directing

Following film school, Jenniphr moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico with Eric Pope (now her husband) so that he could earn his teaching credentials. They moved in with Eric’s friend, Duncan, and spent many hours debating politics, the O.J. Simpson trial and the world in general. Jenniphr soon discovered that Duncan was a unique character, who became her inspiration for and co-writer of the film, “The Tao of Steve,” along with her sister, Greer Goodman. The film finally premiered with critical acclaim at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival and became one of the most successful independent films that year.

Jenniphr currently resides in Santa Fe with her husband, Eric and two daughters, Emerson and Sydney. She continues to write and has been working on another film script with her sister, Greer.

2005 - Hunter Lovins '72
Distinguished Alumni Award Honoree

Hunter Lovins

In 2005, the College celebrated the determined energy of an alumna who has committed herself to global sustainability issues and their human dimensions. Hunter Lovins, a 1972 graduate of Pitzer, embodies the College’s commitment to environmentally conscious practices and their integration into the education of our students.

At the cutting edge of sustainability thinking for the past 30 years, she is the President of the for-profit Natural Capitalism Inc. Lovins earned her law degree at Loyola University School of Law and has managed international nonprofits, created several corporations and works around the world as a consultant. She is currently an adviser to the Ministry of Energy, Government of Afghanistan, and is consulting to aid agencies on the tsunami reconstruction.

2004 - Debra Yang '81
Inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award Honoree

Former United States Attorney for Los Angeles, Debra Yang '81 has brought honor and distinction to Pitzer College as the first Asian American woman U.S. Attorney. Dedicated to civic service as well as professional growth, Debra has also remained connected to Pitzer as a loyal alumna through campus visits and speaking engagements. We are thrilled that Debra was the 2004 and inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award recipient.