CMC Parent News
Fall 2019
In this issue:
What If? How to Help Your Student From Afar
Summer Experience Series: How Six Students Spent Their Vacation
   • What’s in a Name? Forecasting at Xbox by Victoria Flores '20
   • An International Adventure in London by Reilly Scott '22
   • Washington, D.C. - There and Back Again by Harrison Hosking '21
   • A CMCers Ventures Through Madrid by Avnika (Avi) Gupta '22
   • Montana, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Innovative Biotechnology by Katrina Frei-Herrmann
   • Dancing and Career Paths in Boston by Adrienne Kafka '21

Traveling Through Ontario Airport? Here's What You Need to Know
How to CMC: Tips from a Seasoned Parent
How to Support CMCers with Interships and Career Services

What If?Learn about important resources on campus

What If? How to Help Your Student From Afar

by Tracey Breazeale P'23 P'23

Was it really a month ago that we moved our students into their dorm rooms and said goodbye? Since then, they have bonded with their roommates, had fun with their FYGS and fellow FYGLETS on their WOA experiences, been thoroughly oriented to CMC, selected classes, written their first college papers, and settled into the rhythms of college life. Wow — they have been busy!

Meanwhile, for many of us, life at home seems quieter. We find ourselves wondering how we can help our students if they become overwhelmed in balancing the demands of academics, extracurricular activities, new friends, and sleep. As they relish in their independence, it is not unusual for college students to have difficulty adjusting to their new environment. Some will experience bouts of homesickness, social anxiety, and challenges with their course work.

The good news is CMC is well equipped to help our kids navigate the ups-and-downs of this exciting chapter. We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of campus resources to make it easier to navigate and get you started.

What if my student is struggling academically?
The student’s professor is the best place to start. CMC faculty may recommend individual tutoring or group workshops. The specific type of assistance is generally established by the department, but faculty are accessible and want to help the students succeed. Office hours are specific times when a professor is available to connect with students and are a great way for students to ask for help!

In addition, there is an abundance of expertise and help available in the Dean of Students Office (DOS). Here your student will find robust academic success services including meeting with one of the Academic Success staff members, or peer academic coaches called Success Consultants. In addition, there is targeted support for students with disabilities and your student can request a Peer Tutor on-line.

What if my student is having trouble writing college level papers?
The Center for Writing and Public Discourse is staffed with highly trained student consultants who will review papers at any stage of the writing process and can assist with argumentation, clarity of prose, and quality of composition. The center also provides international students with language support coordinators who can help provide the necessary tools to increase the effectiveness of their English communication.

What if my student is not feeling well?
Student Health Services (SHS) is a good place to start. A team of trained doctors, nurse practitioners, and medical support staff provides full service care, such as general medical visits, sports physicals, X-Ray and lab services, women’s health, family planning, and flu clinics. This is an appointment-based clinic.

What if my student needs emotional or psychological support?
The consortium works together to provide physical and mental health services to students at all of the colleges. The Claremont Colleges (TCC) Student Services are designed to support the physical, emotional, and psychological well-being of students at Colleges.

On CMC’s campus, there are many resources designed to support students emotional well-being. If your student is struggling with personal issues, mental health concerns, general wellness issues, upsetting events, or simply having difficulty adjusting to college; they can schedule an appointment to meet with Jess Neilson, Assistant Dean for Mental Health and Case Management. Jess meets with students individually and provides referrals to mental health providers on and off campus. Referral to mental health services.

Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services is comprised of a team of trained psychologists, psychiatrists, and therapists who offer support for a range of psychological issues in a confidential and safe environment. Some of the services provided are counseling sessions, medication management, group sessions, and workshops.

What if my student needs help making healthier lifestyle choices?
The Health Education Outreach program is dedicated to empowering students to make intentional healthy lifestyle choices. Services include outreach programs and workshops on a variety of health topics, free in-office services such as HIV testing, condom and earplug distribution, nutrition and eating disorder services, and access to a massage chairs and a relaxation room.

What if my student needs spiritual support or guidance?
The Chaplains of The Claremont Colleges is a good place to start. The chaplains provide worship services and religious observances, student support groups, counseling, and opportunities for community service. All religious faiths are supported and respected.

What if my student needs academic or physical accommodations?
Disability Support Services are coordinated by the Dean of Students office along with other college departments assisting in the provision of accommodations for students. The primary contact at CMC is Kari Rood, Assistant Dean of Students for Disabilities Services and Academic Success.

What if I’m not sure where to send my student for help?
Please encourage you student to drop-in at the Dean of Students Office in Heggblade Center if it’s not clear where to go for help. DOS oversees most aspects of a student’s life outside of class, including residential life, new student programs such as orientation and WOA, student activities, the conduct process, and coordination of the College’s response to crises situations involving students. Any staff member in the DOS office can help students figure out who to call or what resources they may need.

All of these services and more can be found on TCC Services and the Claremont McKenna College (CMC) website.

The hope is that our kids will flourish at CMC! While there may be some bumps along the road, we can be confident that they will be supported on campus. Although it seems counterintuitive, guiding your students to these resources helps them to develop their own sense of independence. 

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Summer Experiences Series: How Six Students Spent Their Vacation

Read how these CMCers took their education to the next level!

Victoria Flores '20

Summer Experience: What’s in a Name? Forecasting at Xbox
By Victoria Flores '20

This summer I worked at Microsoft in Seattle as a Business Planning intern at Xbox. My internship was a part of Microsoft’s Accelerated Connections and Experiences program (ACE), where students spend 12-weeks in a business unit and then join a 2-year rotational program if they are asked to come back for a full-time job post-graduation.

My experience at Xbox was incredibly rewarding as I had a chance to work on two of my passions: business and technology. It was also exciting to work specifically in the gaming industry and learn more about the disruption and innovation currently happening. As a Business Planning intern, one of my main projects was to improve and optimize an internal-forecasting model for game title performance. It was great to take on so much responsibility as an intern, as this forecasting model is used to predict $6B of Microsoft’s P&L. I applied my liberal arts education and my data skills as an economics major at CMC towards my projects at Xbox.

My second project focused on improving the Xbox console game store to increase engagement and sales. For this project, I conducted a competitive analysis on other game stores and highlighted the best practices in the industry. One of my recommendations for the game store will roll out in November for 50M consoles. It is really exciting to see that my work will have a long-lasting effect within the company!

After graduation, I will be going back to Seattle as a Product Marketing Manager at Xbox and I can’t wait to explore more of the Pacific Northwest and Microsoft!

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Reilly Scott

Summer Experience: An International Adventure in London
By Reilly Scott '22

This summer I studied abroad at the London School of Economics. It was an incredible experience where I learned inside and outside the classroom.

It was a grueling program - five and a half hours of class a day, five days a week. Fortunately, the classes were fascinating. In International Political Economy, we discussed Foreign Direct Investment, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, global climate change action, and more, all of which are directly relevant in our world today. In Wealth and Poverty of Nations, we learned how the current world order is explained by history. Throughout my time at LSE, I had American, Canadian, and Czech professors, as well as British and Italian teacher’s assistants. I found the international faculty added to the experience.

Outside the classroom, I learned how to navigate the Tube, London’s underground transit system, to always, always, always carry an umbrella, and to look both ways (several times) before crossing the street. I learned British people say “takeaway” instead of to-go, and that, in general, British food is objectively terrible. However, the vast array of cultural food options more than made up for that. I spent many nights in Chinatown!

London is a magical place, especially in the summer. The city bristles with life and action, despite its gloomy weather. Walking down the street, I frequently passed buildings that were more than a thousand years old, followed by a modern architectural feat, something unthinkable in Kansas City. Some highlights include marveling at the inside of St. Paul’s Cathedral, touring Buckingham Palace (unfortunately no prince sightings), and going for afternoon tea.

Despite my wonderful summer, however, I am still very excited to return to CMC this fall!

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Harrison Hosking

Summer Experience: Washington, D.C. – There and Back Again
By Harrison Hosking '21

This summer I was fortunate enough to intern at Berger Hirschberg Strategies as a Political Consultant. I was based in Washington, D.C., a city and coast that I had never experienced before. My summer began in the mountains of Salt Lake City, Utah, where I spent a week with a friend. I travelled to D.C in late May, where I was ready to move into my accommodations and start my internship.

Interning at Berger Hirschberg was an awesome experience. During my three months there I was able to partake in numerous political action committees (PACs) and fundraising events for our various clients whilst also conducting strategic database management, research, and outreach. Golfing with Senator Jeanne Shaheen, running a meet and greet for 2020 Democratic candidate Jay Inslee, and touring the Honeywell Technology Headquarters with Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon were some of the numerous highlights!

Washington D.C proved to be a great city to spend the summer. Jazz in the Gardens on Friday nights and running around the city and its monuments with friends were activities I found myself doing frequently. I also attended the 2019 Congressional Baseball Game and the annual Citi Open Tennis tournament, both of which were real spectacles. Another highlight was when my family visited me and we spent the weekend at the beautiful Tilghman Island in Maryland. There is a strong CMC community in D.C. as many students intern in the city so it was rare to go a handful of days without seeing and hanging out with fellow CMCers.

The end of my internship rolled around more quickly than I expected, and I found myself preparing for the 30-hour trip back to my home country of New Zealand. After the numerous plane fights, I was home and ready for a break after a very engaging and enjoyable summer.

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Avnika Gupta

Summer Experience: A CMCer Ventures Through Madrid
By Avnika (Avi) Gupta '22

This past summer I traveled directly from CMC to Madrid after finals for an eight-week internship at Endeavor Spain as an Entrepreneur Selection and Growth Intern.

Initially, I was quite nervous, as it was my first time working and living in a new country completely on my own. I was very aware of the fact that everything could go incredibly wrong or, by sheer dumb luck, right. Upon arriving, my first tasks included battling jet lag, familiarizing myself with my new surroundings, especially identifying nearby grocery stores, and improving my Spanish by speaking to locals.

After introductions between each member of the Endeavor team and myself, my manager and I outlined three main projects I would work on over the next two months. The first was to research the performance management system “Objectives and Key Results” (OKR) in order to introduce and implement the system amongst the Endeavor Spain team. My deliverable was an extensive and engaging presentation compiling weeks of research that motivated and educated the Spain team about the benefits of OKRs. To follow up, I conducted multiple OKR workshops throughout the week so the team could construct effective OKRs for the upcoming quarter.

My second project was to research and evaluate new Spanish entrepreneurs and their companies to add them to the Endeavor pipeline. When the companies reached the fifth stage of evaluation by an International Selection Panel, they officially began the process of becoming an Endeavour Entrepreneur. My third project was to establish an Endeavor entrepreneurial network of mentors, entrepreneurs, and investment partners in Barcelona that would allow Endeavor to attract and serve entrepreneurs based in Barcelona.

Over the summer, I attended numerous conferences, learned how to conduct myself in a professional manner while speaking Spanish, and talked to over twenty successful entrepreneurs in a variety of fields. I was very lucky to work with a team of people who made me feel so welcome in a country in which I arrived without any friends or connections. I was heartbroken to leave them. I feel the personal and professional connections I created in Spain are truly invaluable and I am very grateful to Endeavor for selecting me as their summer intern.

I rounded off the summer by returning two weeks early to CMC for First Year Guide (FYG) training so I could lead my new FYG-lets in their Welcome Orientation Adventure (WOA). My co-FYGS and I took our group of twenty-two students on a cabin camping trip where we engaged in a multitude of activities such as hiking, sleeping outside amongst the stars, and multiple rounds of capture the flag! Once back on campus, I supported my FYG-lets through their orientation and class registration and look forward to supporting them in their academic, professional and personal endeavours for the next three years!

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Summer Experience: Montana, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Innovative Biotechnology
By Katrina Frei-Herrmann '22

Bozeman, Montana and sub-Saharan Africa food security. Before my internship, I had no clue how these two would connect. Yet somehow, my summer in Bozeman, Montana working for The Toothpick Project provided so much insight on how I want to shape my future.

To understand more about how I ended up in Montana, it is important I tell you more about myself first. I have always been interested in nonprofits and their work. Through the Wagener Family Scholar Community, I had the opportunity to have an internship that dealt with international issues. I applied to internships all across the world, but somehow the one in Bozeman, Montana called my name the loudest. The Toothpick Project is a social enterprise company that created a low-cost, innovative biotechnology that improves crop yields for smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.

The connection between Bozeman and sub-Saharan Africa is through a brilliant plant pathologist by the name of Dr. David Sands. He is a Pomona College graduate and is currently a professor at Montana State University. In the late 1990s, he realized he could use virulence enhancement on host specific fungi to kill a plant without harming other plants. This technology was applied on Striga, a weed that negatively affects 300 million Africans. Currently, there are five full time staff in Kenya and sixteen scientists from twelve African countries researching the technology further.

I found this internship through the Kravis Lab for Social Impact. One day, I saw a job posting and was immediately intrigued by the description of “international development intern”. A week after I applied for the internship, I had an in-person interview with my boss, Claire Baker, an alumna of Scripps College. I loved hearing the excitement come from Claire’s voice while describing the project. From there, I moved to Bozeman and lived in an apartment for nine weeks.

My biggest takeaway from this summer is that I want to help people achieve their dreams one day. Sure, that is a very generic statement, but hear me out. Before I started this internship, I had no clue that plant pathology existed. I did not know what Striga was. I did not even know Bozeman was even a real town. Yet, I met so many passionate people, especially scientists, all working on these game-changing technologies that can really help the world one day. In my discussions with these passionate people, I realized there was often disconnect between the technology in the lab and the application into the field. Toothpick Project started out as an idea in a lab and now is in the process of becoming an official 501(c)(3) organization in the United States. It takes a lot of manpower to create a whole organization around an idea, yet ideas need to be implemented more often. I had the opportunity to help people get their technology into the world. Whether that involves being a consultant, a nonprofit coordinator, a policymaker, an investor, honestly, I do not know right now. I just know there is a lot of lost potential in the world because there is a disconnect between the sciences and the real world. I want to help build that bridge.

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Adrienne Kafka

Summer Experience: Dancing and Career Paths in Boston
By Adrienne Kafka '21

This summer, with the help of CMC’s Sponsored Internships and Experiences program (SIE), I interned at Urbanity Dance, a nonprofit organization in Boston that aims to engage and inspire individuals and communities through dance and movement. As a psychology and dance major, I wanted to find a summer internship that would allow me to explore a career path that intersects psychology and the arts. Urbanity Dance was the perfect opportunity!

While I interned within the community and education department at Urbanity, I also had the opportunity to learn about the different elements that go into making a nonprofit successful. My internship focused on building partnerships with community organizations alongside the development team. I worked to increase accessibility of educational programming by translating documents, establishing a partnership with a low-cost dancewear program for students on need-based aid, and assisted with curriculum writing, research, and financial-aid budgeting. I also taught dance classes and assisted with workshops in the community for kids between the ages of three and thirteen.

At Urbanity, I had time to reflect on what I am truly passionate about and explore it as a career path. While I am still exploring which route I would like to take after college, I was able to gain experience in many facets at Urbanity this summer. I learned what I like doing and what I would prefer not to do. I would highly recommend that all students apply for SIE funding, especially if they are still in the exploratory stage of solidifying academic and career goals. That is what college is meant for! I had a blast this summer, but I can’t wait to get back to campus in January after I participate in the Dance Jerusalem program in Israel this fall.

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Traveling Through Ontario Airport? Here's What You Need to Know


A Quick Update on Rideshare Transportation

This month, Uber suspended its services from Ontario International Airport. Not to worry, there are still plenty of transportation options to help you and your student get to where you need to go.

Lyft, another rideshare service, still services the area around the airport and the Colleges. Hailing a cab might be an old school move, but it's still just as effective. Reserve a cab by calling (714) 999-9999 or online at

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Tips for parents

How to CMC: Tips from a Seasoned Parent

By Linda Singh P'20

As a mom of a CMC senior, I’ve collected tips and suggestions regarding where to go and what to do over the years both from personal experience and others. In no particular order, I am sharing them with you all. Feel free to visit the Claremont McKenna College Parents and Family Facebook Group and add to the running list! My first tip,when you feel ghosted by your student while they are in college – text a picture of your family dog. They will respond every time!

Great Eats and Sweets in Claremont: Take your student or relax at one of these locations while you wait for a break in their schedule!

Claremont Village Favorites
Gus’s BBQ – Great Cornbread and Sangria
Bardot (American) – A great place to treat your student and their friends. Remember to try the Truffle Fries! 
The Meat Cellar – In the mood for a steak? Try this place!
Viva Madrid – Feast on delicious tapas and paella. Olé!
The Back Abbey – Keep is simple and delicious with burgers and a good brew
Dr. Grubbs – A healthier option in The Village
Bua Thai – Try their delicious Pad Thai
Some Crust – A Claremont institution for pastries and delivers birthdays cakes to the Colleges.
Claremont Farmers & Artisans Market – Held on Sundays, this is a great place to pick up local produce and healthy treats.
21 Choices – Grab some frozen yogurt after dinner here!
I Like Pie - Who doesn’t like pie?

Explore a Little More:
The Spot – A quick fix for sandwiches and smoothies
Mariscos Jalisco – Truly a hidden gem!
Claremont Craft Ales – Try local craft beer, like the Pomona Queen
Juanitas – One can never have too much Mexican food. 
Sanamluang Café – Classic Thai food in a modern setting.
The Donut Man – Who doesn’t want a Strawberry Stuffed Donut?
Whole Foods 365 – Only a mile from campus! This famous and healthy grocery store will have many delicious options, even for those with dietary restrictions.

On-Campus Destinations:
Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum – Encourage your students to attend Ath Talks. They can have delicious lunches and dinners while listening to quality lectures. You can join as well! 
Ath Tea – Every Monday through Friday from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m., the Athenaeum provides tea and treats for the campus community. A great place for an impromptu conversation with a professor!
Care Center – Does your student need a caffeine fix? Tell them to head over to the Care Center in Heggblade for free coffee!

Be One with Nature: Explore the natural beauty around Claremont.
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens – Located right behind Harvey Mudd, a true hidden gem featuring the largest botanic garden dedicated to California native plants
Claremont Hills Wilderness Park – Only three miles from campus and located at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains, this five-mile hike offers views of Downtown LA and the Inland Empire (smog permitting). A true Claremont insider knows it as “The Loop.”
Mt. Baldy Resort – Snow in SoCal? That’s right, during the winter months you can go sledding in the local mountains. After your morning fix of snow, head to the beach for dinner. How much more SoCal can you get?
Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology – Into Jurassic Park? Head over to this local museum in Claremont and pretend you are in the movie. Who would have thought? 

On the Move: Staying in Shape and Getting Around Town
Roberts Pavilion – This state of the art facility has free workout classes and is open to students at convenient hours. 
The CMC Bike Shop – Located in the basement of Wohlford Hall in North Quad. They rent bikes, locks and helmets for no charge for two days at a time! Best way to get around – by bike, for sure. 
Zip Cars - If your student has a driver’s license, they can drive zip cars! Sign up on their website.

When You Have too Much Stuff: Helpful Storage Solutions
Storage Valet - There is no on-campus storage space over the summer, but there are lots of storage facilities and storage pods. Storage Valet is quick and convenient as they drop off and pick up items. They are available via phone at 1 (877)798-2538.
ReRoom – A fantastic program implemented by a CMC student which breaks the cycle of campus based waste by collecting items, like lamps, shelves, rugs, that are left behind at the end of the school year. These items are up for sale and are available to first-year and returning students.
FB 7C For Sale/For Free – this Facebook group is a great place to sell or buy stuff. Join the group.

Etc., etc.
Hendricks Pharmacy – This local pharmacy is located in The Village and delivers!
Your Voice, Your Vote: Encourage your student to vote if they are eligible!
Handshake: Let your student know about this great site. All campus jobs applications can be found on CMC’s Handshake website.

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How to Support CMCers with Internships and Career Advice

Calling all parents!

CMC is looking for jobs, internships, and networking from our parent community. The time commitment is minimal and the benefits are enormous for our students, and potentially your business!

How can you help?

  1. Post a Job or Internship for a CMC Student or Alumnus – funding may be available for government, non-profit and international positions. Post your job here or email Anne Sinek P’22 at for more information. Please go to the CMC Career Services - Job and Internship Form and complete the form as soon as possible to make sure your positions post in time for the majority of CMC students to see them. Students are already looking for summer jobs! Here is a PDF format so you can quickly send this information along to your HR department.
  2. Share your Professional Knowledge through the CMC Expert-in-Residence Program – on call, at your convenience. Sign up here or email Donna Novitsky P’20 at for more information.
  3. Host a CMC student or group through the CMC Job Shadow Program at your business – half or whole day visits during January break and summer. Sign up here or email Marc Chiang P’21 at for more information by October 31, 2019.
  4. Conduct a mock interview on FaceTime/Skype with a CMC student needing feedback and/or advice before they meet with a potential employer. Sign up here for more information or email Anne Sinek P’22 at
  5. Participate in the Parent/Student Career Discovery Hour during Family Weekend on February 16, 2020. Please fill out this form or email Donna Novitsky P’20 at if you are interested in participating in this fun networking event.
  6. Join the Parent Network Board Career Development Leadership Team! We are looking for people to shadow us this year and take the reins for the 2020-2021 academic year. Email Donna Novitsky P'20 at or Anne Sinek P'22 at if you’re interested.

For more information about any of these opportunities, visit the Career Services for Families page.

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Parent Network Board Meetings

The Parent Network Board meets quarterly to discuss board business and to hear from College leadership. Read the minutes from the August 14, 2019 meeting here.