April 2015 - Caltech Y

April 2015
Volume 9, Issue 6
In this Issue
Caltech Student Utkarsh Mital (left) and Tim Boyd, Caltech Alum
Photo by Hillary Bhaskaran
Learning to Lead in Uncertain Times
By Athena Castro
Executive Director
What does it mean to embrace uncertainty and demonstrate
leadership through turbulent times? Beginning at 9 a.m. on
Saturday, March 28, 15 students and community members found
out. In the Leadership Lab: The Uncertainty Principle, a workshop
led by Y board members and Caltech alum Tim Boyd, participants
were able to learn about and practice leadership skills through a
customized role-play simulation.
In small groups, team members were given the task of creating
strategic initiatives for a hypothetical company that were then
presented to the board of directors. In a narrow time frame and
limited information, group members were presented with
unexpected challenges that required quick thinking, flexibility, and
By the end of the workshop, participants deepened their
Learning to Lead in Uncertain Times
Caltech Y Welcomes Two New Staff
Students Hit the Beach on Alternative
Spring Break
New ExComm Cabinet Members Ready
for Action
Get Ready to Tee Up!
Did You Know?
Save the Date for Friends Dinner with Rob
Manning, Chief Engineer of Mars Science
Food + Movies + Stress Relief =
An Evening with Terry Rosen & Friends
Students Making a Difference
Fine Wine, Cuisine, & Conversation at the
Athenaeum Wine Cellar Dinner
A Day of Service & Fun on Catalina Island
The Caltech Y enriches student life
and challenges students to grow into
responsible citizens of the world
understanding of fundamental leadership skills while
learning to reframe challenges as opportunities. Tim
also emphasized the importance of having the right
perspective when approaching uncertainty and
managing stress. The day ended with a reminder of
the importance of maintaining a balanced life and
participants were treated to a hot-dog lunch while
Volume 9, Issue 6
April 2015
supporting the Caltech baseball team in a double-header
Special thanks to Tim Boyd, who volunteered his time to, not
only facilitate the workshop, but also created this distinctive
workshop experience for Caltech students. Tim is an
engineer at Northrup Grumman and leadership consultant
with The Bottom Three, a group of consultants focused on
changing the way the world views leadership by
leveraging experiential hands-on training to transform the
world, one leader at a time. Tim was also joined by
leadership experts, Marian Fu, from Northrup Grumman,
and Nathan Czubaj, with Dale Carnegie Training. Caltech
students benefitted greatly from the combined expertise of
Tim and his special guests. Thank you to Tim, Marian,
and Nathan for a truly unique experience!
Caltech Y Welcomes Two New Staff Members
By Athena Castro
Executive Director
It is with great pleasure that we welcome two new staff
members to the Caltech Y, Camila Fernandez and Portia
Camila joined the Caltech Y full time as the Administrative
Assistant and Office Manager on March 1. However, Camila
is a familiar face at the Y and has been volunteering in the
office since August 2014. She jumped into her new role with
great enthusiasm, filling in for Amy Choi, who will be
leaving the Caltech Y to move back to South Korea in midApril. A native of Chile, Camila moved to the United States
with her husband, Cristian, who is a graduate student at
Camila Fernandez
“Hello Friends and
Families of the Caltech
Y! I am thrilled to be part
of this incredible
organization and positively
contribute to its greater
vision. I have been
involved in the Caltech
community since my
arrival to the US in 2011,
by being an active member of the International Spouses
Club, where I was one of the leaders of the reading group for
some time. Pasadena, and Caltech are special to me in many
ways, and I'm really glad that I can help this wonderful
community through the Caltech Y.”
Caltech. She has a background in nutrition and enjoys the
outdoors. This makes her a perfect fit for the Caltech
Y! She is certified in wilderness first aid through the
National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). In addition
to English and Spanish, Camila also speaks a little
French. You can come by and say hello to Camila in three
different languages!
Portia is the newest Y staff member, having joined the Y on
April 1 as the new Director of Marketing and Development,
Portia Harris
“I am thrilled to be a part of the
dedicated staff of the Caltech Y
and for the opportunity to
continue to support student life
at Caltech in this capacity.
Providing direct support to
students on campus for more
than seven years has deepened
my appreciation for leadership
and service opportunities that
bring balance to students' lives
in this rigorous academic
environment while broadening their understanding of the
world around them. I look forward to engaging with
different segments of the campus community, and with
external constituents, in a collective effort to strengthening
the financial base of the Y so the next generation of
students will gain the Caltech Y advantage.”
Volume 9, Issue 6
April 2015
filling the void left by Christopher Kealey who moved to the
San Marino Schools Foundation in January. Portia is also a
familiar face to many people on campus, having served for
many years as the Associate Director for the Caltech Center
for Diversity. In her past role, she developed and
implemented programs that supported underrepresented
student populations on campus, such as students of color,
women, and LGBTQ students. Most recently, Portia
participated in the Leadership Pasadena program. Her
many affiliations are clear evidence of her passion for and
commitment to students
Students Hit the Beach on
Alternative Spring Break
By Gloria Ha, Freshman
ASB Malibu Student Leader
With Finals Week behind them, seven members of the Caltech
community ventured out to Malibu Outdoor Science School on
a Caltech Y Alternative Spring Break trips.
On a bright Thursday morning, each volunteer joined a
different group of middle school students led by a
naturalist. Some groups went hiking in the Riparian Valley,
and learned about decomposers and the energy pyramid. Others
went straight to the beach to explore the tide pools, and learn
about the ecology of marine life. Caltech Junior Anthony Chen,
who went on one of the hikes, enjoyed “seeing so many
intelligent kids in one place.”
Caltech Y student volunteers dispose of old sandbags
in the road next to the Malibu Outdoor Science
School. (left to right) Gloria Ha, Jerry Feng, Anthony
Chen, Katharyn Garcia, Stephanie Hong
In the evening, the volunteers watched the young students
perform skits based on what they had learned over the
week, from natural decomposers to marine creatures.
Friday morning, the volunteers spent several hours
removing plastic sandbags from the road adjacent to the
school. Sophomore Stephanie Hong said, “Removing
sandbags that otherwise would have degraded and
polluted the ocean, endangering marine life, was a
rewarding experience.”
Caltech Y student members display the results of their
labors cleaning around the Malibu Outdoor Science
School. (left to right) Jerry Feng, Katharyn Garcia,
Gloria Ha, Evgeny Mosgunov, Anthony Chen, Stephanie
From hikes to skits to manual labor, the volunteers gained
important insights from their observation and participation
in the science school. Said Stephanie of her experience;
“Volunteering at the Malibu outdoor science school has
shown me how important conserving the environment is
for future generations.”
Volume 9, Issue 6
April 2015
New ExComm Cabinet Members Ready for Action
By Amy Hyun Sim Choi
Office Manager
The month of March signaled the beginning of spring, but
also the installation of a new Executive Committee
(ExComm) cabinet for the Caltech Y. As we thank Wen
Min Chen, Peter Hung, Phoebe Ann, and Max Wang for
their hard work for the Y over the last year, we also
welcome our new cabinet members. We extend our
gratitude to Peter Hung for returning to act as our new
ExComm president.
President: Peter Hung B.S. in Physics
(Grad Student, Applied Physics)
Peter’s past contributions to
the Y prepared him to step
into his new position. He
says his motivation to
continue his efforts grew
out of his passion for
educational outreach. He
says he wants to be
involved in “… whatever
will allow me to continue to
promote science education
and to improve
society.” The Y is proud to provide an environment where
Peter can work towards his goals and make a world of
Vice President: Christine Chou ‘16
Serving on ExComm
since her freshman year,
Christine always brings
fresh and creative ideas
to the table. She aims to
encourage students to
participate in Y activities
through her positivity
and energy. She recently
designed an "ask me
whY" logo for ExComm
shirts, which she hopes
will be an "accessible
and engaging" way to
Secretary: Tyler Okamoto ’17
(Mechanical Engineering)
Besides the normal tasks
expected from the cabinet
secretary, Tyler could also
be on his way to becoming
ExComm’s own version of
MacGyver. Tyler’s skills is
not limited to mechanical
engineering, but also
includes photography and
coaching Science Olympiad
competitions. Most recently,
he has added a new skill,
bike repair, to his tool chest. In fact, he will be leading a life
skill series with the Caltech Bike Lab on April 18. We are
excited at the prospect of seeing the contributions Tyler’s
many skills will bring to the cabinet.
Treasurer: Matt Cedeno ‘16
(Computer Science)
Every year after summer
break, Matt looks
different with an
experimental hair-do and
olive-tanned skin.
Summer is the time for
him to go out and
explore different worlds.
He continues to explore
throughout the year and
he does it through the Y.
He especially enjoys
combining service projects with outdoor activities such as
the Alternative Spring Break Trip to Catalina. This was
his second year to lead Catalina trip. Now, he has a new
world to explore – the budget – and we are sure he will
tackle it with the same enthusiasm he brings to all his
create interest with students
Volume 9, Issue 6
April 2015
Get Ready. It’s Almost Time to Tee Up!
“It is almost impossible to remember how tragic a
place this world is when one is playing golf.”
~Robert Lynd
By Camila Fernandez
Office Manager
We are heading back to Annandale! On October 12, the
Caltech Y will host its Eighth Annual Golf Tournament and
Auction at the Annandale Golf Club. This event will bring
together Friends, alumni, students, faculty, and staff to help
support the programs at the Caltech Y. With the
participation of community members and business leaders,
this event helps raise funds for an organization that has
served the Pasadena and Caltech communities for 99 years.
Come join the Y on the golf course and/or for the dinner
and auction following. There will be great prizes for the
golfers and amazing auction items for everyone to bid on
throughout the evening.
The Caltech Y teaches students how to make a difference in
our community, and to grow into responsible citizens of the
world. Students plan and coordinate programs such as
Make-A-Difference Day and the Rise tutoring program,
where they tutor local high school students in math and
science. Come find out what we are doing to make
Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley a better community
since 1916.
For more information about the Caltech Y Golf Tournament
and Auction, please call (626) 395-6163.
Did You Know?
Save the Date for Friends Dinner
with Rob Manning, Chief
Engineer of Mars Science
Save the date on Tuesday, May 12, for the Caltech Y
Friends Dinner with Rob Manning. Rob has been
involved in the technical design of nearly every U.S.
Mars mission for the past 20 years. Rob will share
stories from his recently published a book “Mars Rover
Curiosity: An Insider Account From Curiosity’s Chief
Engineer”. Watch for invitations to arrive soon.
In the 1960s, the Caltech Y initiated programs on
racial issues such as a 1968 conference titled “The
Ghetto and the City,” which addressed civil rights and
racism in the United States. As part of the program,
African American activists lived on campus for a week
and, in turn, Caltech students spent weekends with
African American families in northwest Pasadena.
Volume 9, Issue 6
April 2015
Food + Movies + Stress Relief = Decompression
By Kristie Yu, ’17,
Executive Committee Member
Over the course of time, Decompression evolved into an
easygoing tradition that gives students a chance to take a short
break from the stresses of preparing for finals week. The
Caltech Y hosted Decompression at Winnett on March 14.
Student volunteers lit the barbecue, prepared fresh fruits and
vegetables, and laid out snacks. It didn’t take long for a line of
students to fill the balcony area of Winnett for hot dogs and
burgers. Many stayed to enjoy a showing of “The Lego
Movie”. Refreshed by an evening of food, fun, and
camaraderie, the students could face their educational challenge
with lighter hearts and fresh determination.
Caltech Student Aileen Cheng cuts fruit for
Kayane Dingilian (left) and Bianca Lepe (right) make
sure students don’t get thirsty during Decompression
Students enjoy a Decompression barbecue.
Volume 9, Issue 6
April 2015
An Evening with Dr. Terry Rosen and Friends
By Portia Harris
Director of Marketing & Development
The main lounge of the Athenaeum buzzed with chatter from
students, Board members, and their guests during the
reception for the Winter Friends Dinner held on Tuesday,
March 10. The annual event provides an opportunity for
guests to get acquainted with students involved with the Y
and to hear from a prominent speaker.
ExComm member and graduating senior Karsyn Bailey
opened the program by speaking about how her involvement
with the Y has enriched her overall experience at Caltech.
Karsyn introduced Simon Gee, Instructor at Hathaway
Sycamores, and Sherwood Richers, a graduate student
tutor/volunteer at Hathaway Sycamores. Simon and
Sherwood told the assembly how the Y’s partnership with
Hathaway Sycamores is meeting a critical need in the
community for support and encouragement of
underprivileged but motivated high school students through
their after-school tutoring/enrichment program.
Connor Rosen introduced his father and the evening’s
featured speaker, Dr. Terry Rosen to the 100 attendees.
Connor is a graduating senior involved with the Y and serves
as the chair of the Interhouse Committee and the Associated
Students of Caltech. His introduction included personal
vignettes about Dr. Rosen as a dedicated father and as a
competitive athlete.
Dr. Rosen offered his perspectives on the evolution of the
biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries during his
successful 30-year career. He spoke passionately about the
innovation, research, and collaboration that drive the success
of these industries. At different points during his address, Dr.
Rosen directed his remarks to the students in attendance as a
nod of encouragement about the promise and opportunities
that lay ahead in the future, not only with respect to
biotechnology but also with respect to their roles as future
leaders in their respective fields.
The Athenaeum’s main lounge was the setting for the Winter
Friends Dinner. Back Roe, left to right: Peter Hung, Tim
Boyd, Terry Rosen, Connor Rosen. Front row, left to
right: Tyler Okamoto, Iram Bilal, Athena Castro, Susan
Murakami, Kirk Dawson
Other speakers of the evening included Caltech Y Executive
Director Athena Castro, Y Board Member Susan Murakami,
and Y Board Chair and event emcee Kirk Dawson.
Dr. Terry Rosen is co-founder and CEO of Flexus
Biosciences, a biotechnology company focused on the creation
of immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer. Previously,
he served as Vice-President, Therapeutic Discovery (TD), and
as the South San Francisco Site Head at Amgen, having joined
Amgen with the acquisition of Tularik in 2004. He and his
leadership team were responsible for the creation of TD
organization, a group of more than 550 staff responsible for all
of Amgen’s large and small molecule drug discovery
efforts. Prior to joining Amgen, Dr. Rosen held several
executive positions at Tularik. He also held scientific and
management positions at Pfizer and Abbott Laboratories. He
has a B.S. degree in Chemistry from the University of
Michigan and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from University
of California, Berkeley.
“Caltech is a very adventurous place. Part of the culture is that we tolerate people doing things that seem
impossible, and also synthesizing and borrowing ideas across very kooky and unusual boundaries.”
~Colin Camerer
Volume 9, Issue 6
April 2015
Students Making a Difference
By Max Wang
Executive Committee Member
As a part of Make-a-Difference Day in March, seven Caltech
students put on their hard hats and work gloves and joined
Habitat for Humanity’s San Gabriel Valley branch on a new
construction project. Their efforts will help three low-income
families move into three new homes in Glendale.
The students helped clean the site by moving and organizing
wood. They also carried the scaffolding used to build one of
the three units onto a truck for transportation back to the
store. Finally, in anticipation of rain, they covered a house
with a protective tarp. With their work finished at noon, they
returned to the Caltech Y, tired but looking forward to their
next build in Pasadena.
In another part of town, a group of students went to work for
(left to right) Natalie Shih, Katherine Lee, Linda Chio,
Webster Guan, Kevin Kim, and Jihoon Lee exchanged
their books for wood and ladders to help Habitat for
Humanity build three news homes for low-income
the Boys and Girls Club of Pasadena. One crew worked on
painting a crosswalk. Others worked on the landscaping.
Many thanks to these enterprising scholars for helping their
Volume 9, Issue 6
April 2015
Fine Wine, Cuisine, and Conversation at the Athenaeum Wine Cellar Dinner
By Athena Castro
Executive Director
On Monday, March 30, I had the privilege of attending a very
special event at the Athenaeum. At the 2014 Golf
Tournament and Auction Dinner last October, Caltech alum
Richard Gruner (BS’75) won the Athenaeum Wine Cellar
Dinner that was part of the live auction. The special guest
and host at this dinner was Dr. Ed Stone, Caltech’s David
Morrisroe Professor of Physics and former director of the Jet
Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
I joined Richard and his wife, Marie Beall, and their guests,
many of whom are also Caltech alums, Ted & Susan Michon,
Ray Feeney, Lee Fisher and Susan Murakami, along with Dr.
Ed Stone and Jaime Rankin, a graduate student in physics.
The evening began with a reception at the Athenaeum West
Room before we all headed to the wine cellar for a very
special dinner. The menu was outstanding, with an
introduction to each course and the wine. The menu included
such delights as pesce crudo, pasta shards with truffle oil, and
venison carpaccio with wine salt. The main course was
grilled filet of prime beef, followed by California cheeses,
The lucky participants gather for a commemorative group
photo. (left to right, back row) Ted Michon, Marie Beall,
Richard Gruner, Susan Michon, Lee Fisher, (left to right,
front row) Jaime Rankin, Ray Feeney, Ed Stone, Susan
Photo by Athena Castro
and red wine poached pear with ginger ice cream for
Conversation was lively as guests recounted their days at
Caltech. Several of the guests had taken their Physics 1
course from Dr. Stone himself! I also heard first-hand from
the main instigators about the McDonald’s prank detailed in
Legends of Caltech, some of the special effects involved in
the various Interhouse parties during the 70s, and the
atmosphere on campus during the days of the Vietnam War
and the draft.
It was indeed a very special evening with wonderful food
and excellent company. Many thanks to the Athenaeum for
an exceptional evening, Dr. Ed Stone for giving his time to
benefit the Caltech Y, and of course, to Richard Gruner and
Marie Beall for supporting the Caltech Y. All of the
proceeds from the golf tournament and auction, which
included the wine cellar dinner, allow the Caltech Y to
continue to coordinate programs that enrich student life.
Volume 9, Issue 6
April 2015
A Day of Service and Fun on Catalina Island
Caltech students volunteered at the USC Wrigley Marine
Science Center on Catalina Island. During their time there,
they helped clean the facility and also had the opportunity to
take advantage of the location to go snorkeling, hiking, and
Volume 9, Issue 6
April 2015
The Caltech Y
The Caltech Y is an independent 501c3 organization formally affiliated with the California Institute of Technology.
The Y mission is to enrich student life and challenge students to grow into responsible citizens of the world.
Contact Information
Postal Address:
MC: C1-128
Pasadena, CA 91125
Phone: (626) 395-6283
Fax: (626) 395-8890
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://www.caltechy.org
505 S. Wilson Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91125
Note: Also visit the Caltech Y Facebook page by clicking the link “Follow us on Facebook” on the Y website.
Caltech Y Staff
Athena Castro – Executive Director
Greg Fletcher – Student Activities & Community Service Director
Portia Harris – Director of Development & Marketing
Liz Jackman – Student Programs Coordinator
Camila Fernandez – Office Manager & Administrative
Caltech Y Board of Directors
Executive Committee
Kirk Dawson – Chair
Dan Erickson – Vice Chair
Peter Mason – Treasurer
Serina Diniega - Secretary
Peter Hung – Student ExComm President
Members (*indicates Student Executive Committee)
Phoebe Ann*
Patty Aposhian
Karsyn Bailey*
Iram Bilal
Karen Blake
Tim Boyd
Don Brown
Joe Carroll
Athena R. Castro
Matt Cedeno*
Aileen Cheng*
Christine Chou*
Nelson Chou*
Donald Collins
Judy Collins
Marjory Dawson
Serina Diniega
Frank D. Dryden
Xiaomi Du*
Dan Erickson
Lee Fisher
Steven Frautschi
Kent Frewing
Judy Frewing
Cozette Hart
Rolf Hastrup
Gunilla Hastrup
Jenny He*
Pamela Hemann
Peter Hung
Nancy Lan
Tony Leonard
Alice Liu
David Liu
Thomas Mannion
Peter Mason
Doreen Mason
Susan Murakami
Tyler Okamoto*
Aleena Patel*
Carolyn Patterson
Toni Perpall
Arlana Silver
Paula Stamp
Nick Trane
Charles L. Vorsanger
Max Wang*
Nicolas Wey-Gomez
Daniel Yoder
Kristie Yu*
Editorial Staff
Victoria Erickson – Editor
Thalia Garibay – Newsletter Coordinator
Published monthly Oct-Jun (except Jan). Distributed via email (primary) or hardcopy (upon request).
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