IGLAS Fellows

The IGLAS Fellows is an initiative that was started in the fall of 2016 to get students involved in the implementation of the new educational objectives that will be effective with the 2016-17 incoming class. Fellows are assigned to a Freshman Year Seminar (FYS) course and will work in collaboration with the faculty member to be a resource to first-year students focused on Pitzer’s intercultural understanding and social responsibility goals on campus. Selected fellows will receive a monetary stipend and will be required to enroll in a weekly IGLAS Seminar for credit taught by Professor Roberta Espinoza, Interim Associate Dean of Global and Local Programs, during fall semester.


Current IGLAS Fellows (2017-2018 )

Melissa Banales Mejia ’18, Environmental Analysis/Political Studies
Melissa is a First-Generation Latina from Riverside, California. She is majoring in Environmental Analysis and Political Studies with a minor in Spanish. She loves working with her local community on issues regarding policy and environmental justice. She’s served as the Secretary of Pitzer’s Legal Society, President of Pitzer Latinx Student Union, and a Fellow of the Robert Redford Conservancy. In her free time, she loves to sing and dance with her friends.

Shaafi Farooqi ’19, Organizational Studies
Shaafi is from Chino, California. She is majoring in Organizational Studies with a minor in Sociology and looks forward to a career focused on social justice and advocacy addressing institutional inequities. During the 2017-2018 school year, she will be a Writing Center Fellow and New Student Mentor in addition to working with IGLAS. Shaafi has taken a wide variety of classes in Claremont, from creative writing and jazz dance to environmental anthropology and believes her love of learning will benefit her as she works with First Year Seminar faculty and students. Outside of class, she enjoys watching movies, trying new foods, making collages, and spending time with friends and family.

Brandon Hsiu ’18, Economics/Accounting
Brandon was born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Chino Hills, California. He identifies as Chinese-Taiwanese American and is an Economics-Accounting major. He founded the Students in Business club and works at the Center for Asian Pacific American Students (CAPAS). He enjoys hanging out with friends, watching movies, and going to the gym. In the future, Brandon hopes to integrate social justice into his career as a business professional.

Alegria Martinez ’18, Media Studies
Alegria is from Pomona, California. She enjoys being able to use her diverse experiences and knowledge to contribute to Pitzer’s on-campus community as well as her at-home community. She is majoring in media studies with a concentration on critical theory and a sub-focus in film. She has a passion for investigating and creating media that benefits underrepresented groups. She also enjoys interacting and engaging with the public through art expression, written news, video production, and other media projects that center around sharing stories. At Pitzer she serves on council for the Latinx Student Union, on Pitzer College’s Student Senate, and is a member of ResLife.

Dana Nothnagel ’19, Political Studies
Dana was born and raised in Illinois. As a political studies major, she is particularly interested in understanding voter engagement and policymaking in the U.S. Dana has spent much of her college career working to understand settler culture in North America, particularly aiming to recognize ways that the Pitzer community can decolonize campus space. She serves on Student Senate as part of the Aesthetics Committee and helps manage the Pitzer garden.

Carlos G. Perrett ’18, Political Studies/Spanish
Carlos is a first-generation Latino undergraduate from Houston, Texas pursuing a combined major in Political Studies and Spanish. On campus he works as the Senior Operations Assistant in the Office of Admission and as a Campus Recruiter for Teach For America at the Claremont Colleges. He loves traveling and hopes to pursue a career in political and government campaign strategy consulting in Latin America.

Aleo Pugh ’19, Africana Studies
Aleo is a Black nonbinary trans student from Seattle, Washington. They are majoring in Africana Studies, but working to gain skills in Journalism through courses and internships. With this major they hope to emphasize the importance of subjectivity and marginality in the way the “truths” of Journalism are constructed and how they in turn represent communities. At Pitzer, they are a Resident Assistant and enjoy playing music and fostering community with other queer folks of color.

Sophia Rizzolo, ’19, International-Intercultural Studies
Sophia is majoring in International and Intercultural Studies and minoring in History. On campus, she is involved in A Cleaner Tomorrow and works with the Pitzer Outdoor Adventures club to make it more inclusive. Sophia also works as a Writing Center Fellow at the Pitzer Writing Center. During her free time, she enjoys reading, listening to music, and spending time outdoors.

Jessica Saint-Fleur ’18, Human Biology
Jessica is a Haitian-American student from Miami, Florida. She attended Miami Northwestern Senior High where she mastered four instruments including the flute and bassoon. She identifies as a black/queer/first-generation woman. She is majoring in Human Biology with a minor in Sociology. Her passions include Health and Medicine, Africana studies, Psychology, and Sociology. She enjoys hanging out in the Black Student Union, singing, dancing, and creating projects with her friends.

Hunter Sidel ’19, History
Hunter is from Seattle, Washington and is a History major with a thematic emphasis in gender and sexuality. He is passionate about LGBT+ history, and hopes to become either a professor or a public interest lawyer one day. At Pitzer, he serves on Student Senate and enjoys working with students as a Writing Fellow. When not involved with these things, he is probably hanging out with friends or rehearsing for a play.

Kia Vue ’19 English World Literature/Organizational Studies
Kia was born and raised in a Hmong household in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her family always emphasized education which is why she is interested in English Literature and Organizational Studies. After Pitzer, Kia wants to teach and hopes to open her own school one day. She participates in CLASP which encourages volunteers to help tutor students from the Claremont area. She is also part of the CARE program which enables her to be a teacher’s assistant at local Claremont elementary schools. She finds that working with young students has fueled her passion to become a teacher.


2016-2017 IGLAS Fellows

Laila Alvarez ’18, Human Biology/Political Studies
Laila is a first-generation Latina from Miami, Florida. Her passion for science and human rights led her to major in Human Biology and Political Studies. She hopes to one day become a lawyer. She is a First-Gen mentor and vice president of the Latino Student Union. In her free time, Laila enjoys attending protests and going on hikes.

Deronisha Arceneaux ’19, Molecular Biology
Deronisha is a first-generation college student from Houston, Texas who graduated Valedictorian from Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy. She is a MECHANISM scholar and plans to major in Molecular Biology so that she can work in the biotechnology field after graduation. She has interned at the University of Houston as a research assistant and has completed internships at Schlumberger, Lazarus Energy, the Houston Airports Systems, BridgeYear, and the VirtuoGroup Corporation. She currently works in the Pitzer College Admission’s office as the Visit Coordinator. Deronisha is a strong supporter of interdisciplinary learning and strives to incorporate her wide range of skills into every task.

Nat Bentley ’18, Sociology/Spanish
Nat was born in Hoa Binh, Vietnam and grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. At Pitzer, he enjoys working at the Grove House, participating in clubs such as A Cleaner Tomorrow (ACT) and Mixed Identity Exchange (MIX), and working with young children in the communities that surround Claremont. In his free time, he likes to run, be outdoors, hang out with friends, watch and play sports, and skate around the 5C campuses.

Therese Boter ’19, Economics/Sociology
Therese grew up on the small island of Oahu and always wanted to go outside her comfort zone to learn new things. She hopes to major in Economics and do a minor in Sociology because she is interested in learning how to look at social issues through an economics perspective. She participates in the Asian Pacific American Coalition and the First-Gen program. She wants to take an active approach to furthering her learning which is why she is excited to be an IGLAS Fellow and part of an initiative that is going to create more opportunities for growth.

Daisy Brambila ’18, Neuroscience/Dance
Daisy is a first-generation Latina college student from Oakland, California. She is passionate about Neuroscience and Dance and is currently on the pre-med track. She works as a chemistry teaching assistant at the Keck Science Center and this past summer she went to Costa Rica to learn about their health care system. She is involved in Pangea, a 5C hip-hop club, and the Latino Student Union. In her downtime, she likes to go on hikes, try new food, and spend time at the beach. She can’t wait to meet the incoming first-year students!

Prince Chabveka ’19, Economics/Accounting
Prince is African, from Zimbabwe and a first-generation college student who speaks 4 languages. He is majoring in Economics and Accounting because he loves numbers and learning about new business- related ideas. He is currently a tour guide for the Pitzer Admissions Office and also involved with the Green Bike program. In his spare time he does spoken word, practices gumboot dancing, plays club soccer, and does theatrical performances. He also enjoys hanging out with friends over a cold smoothie!

Maite Cortes Garcia 17, Human Biology
Maite grew up in Fortuna, California and has always had a strong desire to help others. As a Human Biology major, she has become a passionate advocate for taking an interdisciplinary approach to addressing racial and socio-economic disparities in the health care system. At Pitzer she contributes to the community thru her involvement with the Student Senate, the First-Gen Program, and the Summer Science Immersion Program. In her free time, Maite loves to run, read autobiographies, listen to podcasts, and write inspirational quotes on sticky notes.

Reynaldo Culannay ’17, Asian American Studies/Media Studies
Rey Rey grew up in Richmond, California which not only taught him how to survive the world that he was living in, but also lead him to question his experience, identity, and the challenges he endured. Being labeled as a gay Filipino American caused him to live in fear, doubt and uncertainty because of society’s treatment of LGBTQIA people. Various life changing moments led him to realize his power and creativity and the importance of continuing to learn more about identity politics and how to share this knowledge. His interest in art, whether through zine-making, photography, or videography, allowed him to integrate media as a platform to further disseminate knowledge. The influence of art and activism led him to be more active within the community as a volunteer at the Center for Asian Pacific American Students.

Nick Flores ’17, Sociology
Nick is from Hemet, California and identifies as a first-generation Latino scholar. He will be the first male in his family to graduate from college. He chose to major in Sociology because he loves working with people and wants to help others understand the effects of racism, prejudice and social injustice. Next year, he will be serving as a New Resource Mentor, Judicial Council member, PACT (Pitzer Activities) committee member, and Vice President of the Student Advisory Board.

Jennifer Kaku ’18, Asian American Studies/Anthropology
Jennifer is a proud Japanese-American from Arlington, Virginia. She is heavily involved with the Center for Asian Pacific American Students (CAPAS) and the Asian Pacific American Coalition (APAC) because of her passion for Asian American Pacific Islander advocacy. She hopes to incorporate her knowledge of racial ideology and mentorship into this fellowship. In her free time she enjoys watching Netflix, reading, eating, and weightlifting.

Kevin Kandamby ’19, Mathematics/Chicano/a-Latino/a Studies
Kevin is from Whittier, California and identifies as Mexican/Sri Lankan. He chose to major in Mathematics and Chicano/Latino Studies because he plans to teach in higher education to empower and support low-income minorities seeking higher education.

Danielle New ’19, Human Biology
Danielle is a Human Biology major from Pasadena, California. She is very dedicated to issues of diversity and inclusion, which is one factor that motivated her to choose a major with a focus on Cross-Cultural Health and Healing. While at Pitzer, she has participated in a Global Local Mentorship Program (GLMP) trip, worked as a teacher’s aid for first grade students and served as a lab assistant. She loves the outdoors, making music, reading, and exploring different fields of knowledge.

Nimiye Ogoun ’19, International/Political Studies
Nimiye is from Atlanta, Georgia and identifies as Nigerian American. She is majoring in International and Political Studies because she enjoys learning about the world through a global lens. Nimiye is involved in Pitzer’s black student union as well as the finance and accounting club. In her free time she enjoys blogging about her culture and the different experiences she and others have gone through.

Carlos G. Perrett ’18, Political Studies/Spanish
Carlos was born and raised in Houston, Texas to immigrant parents and identifies as a queer Latino. Carlos is pursuing a combined major in Political Studies and Spanish. As the Chairman for the Vacancy Committee for the Harris County Republican Party, Carlos is passionate about increasing the young Latino electorate and political mobilization. He is the co-founder of the Student Civic Engagement Alliance (SCEA), a Houston-based high-school-oriented organization that aims to increase young political participation in underserved communities. Most recently, he has developed a strong interest in Central American politics and has gotten involved with several political parties in Central American countries such as Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, and El Salvador. He is involved with the Latino Student Union, ENCUENTROS, the Office of Admissions, and Teach for America. Carlos aspires to pursue a law degree after completing his undergraduate studies.

Aleo Pugh ’19, Feminist, Gender & Sexuality Studies
Amina was born and grew up in Los Angeles, California, before moving to Seattle, Washington. They enjoy working at the Grove House, hanging out at the Black Student Union (BSU), and creating community with queer folks of color. In their free time, they like to play music (violin & guitar), participate in social justice/advocacy work, and take lots of time for self-care.

Sophia Rizzolo, ’19, History/International-Intercultural Studies
Sophia is from Denver, Colorado. She chose to double major in History and International/Intercultural Studies because she has always had an interest in challenging how the world interacts with and discusses Africa in a historical and modern setting. She hopes to continue some of those conversations on campus. Sophia is involved with A Cleaner Tomorrow, POA, P.A.S. Hall Council and the Writing Center. She is always finding new ways to get involved to support growth and change at Pitzer. She spends a lot of my free time outdoors, reading, and traveling.

Riki Robinson ’18, Asian American Studies/Sociology
Riki is a transracial transnational adoptee from China who was raised in Los Angeles, California. At Pitzer she has embraced her Asian American queer woman identity by studying Asian American Studies and Sociology, working at the Center for Asian Pacific American Students (CAPAS), and being part of the Mixed Identity Exchange (MIX). Riki likes to merge activism with art by sharing counter-narratives through zines. She likes tiny houses and carrot jokes.

Jessica Saint-Fleur ’18, Human Biology/Sociology
Jessica is a Haitian-American student from Miami, Florida. She attended Miami Northwestern Senior High where she mastered four instruments including the flute and bassoon. She is majoring in Human Biology with a minor in Sociology. Her passions include Health and Medicine, Africana studies, Psychology, and Sociology. She is currently the president of Pitzer’s Black Student Union, the captain of the 5C Hip-Hop Team: Reverb, and is excited to begin her journey as an IGLAS Fellow.

Shinara Sunderlal ’17, Environmental Analysis/Policy
Shinara is originally from India and is passionate about the environment and promoting a sustainable future. She believes in the strength of education in fostering environmental stewardship in our youth, which led her to be one of the founding members of A Cleaner Tomorrow (an environmental education club) on campus and working with organizations such as Greenpeace and WWF. She is also a Fellow in the Office of Admissions and co-director of Pitzer Activities (PAct). She loves singing Indian classical music in her free time and speaks 4 languages!

Kia Vue ’19 English Literature/Organizational Studies
Kia was born and raised in a Hmong household in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her family always emphasized education which is why she is interested in English Literature and Organizational Studies. After Pitzer, Kia wants to teach and hopes to open her own school one day. She participates in CLASP which encourages volunteers to help tutor students from the Claremont area. She is also part of the CARE program which enables her to be a teacher’s assistant at local Claremont elementary schools. She finds that working with young students has fueled her passion to become a teacher.

Claire Wengrod ’19, Political Studies/Spanish
Claire is from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She chose to major in Political Studies because she is passionate about figuring out why the flaws in government exist and what she can do to address those flaws to make the US government stronger. She is the Communications Chair of Claremont Hillel and a member of the Pomona College Choir. She is also a senator on the Campus Life Committee for Pitzer College Student Senate and a member of various other Pitzer Clubs like POA and WE Hall Council. When not busy with school, Claire loves to spend time with friends and family, go on hikes, or watch programs on Netflix. She has been speaking Spanish since she was six years old and hopes to use her language skills in a political arena in the future.

Page last updated on May 22, 2017