The Hive has some pretty interesting and creative student staff and we want you to get to know some of them better, through our Faces of the Hive series. In this informal, partly spontaneous interview, Elijah Jabbar-Bey, one of the newest members of the Hive staff, sits down with co-worker Akotowaa Ofori, and reveals some fascinating facts about his personality.


What is the meaning of your name?

Elijah: My first name means “faithful to God.” My last name “warrior and protector.”

I looked it up: Jabbar literally translates to “Almighty” and Bey to “leader.”


What do you think is the most creative/coolest thing about you?

Elijah: That’s a tough question.

Really? Okay, if you met someone right now and really wanted to impress them, what would you say about yourself?

Elijah: There is a difference between what you think would impress people and what you actually believe is cool about you.

Okay, that’s true. But if you met me for the first time, what would you say about yourself that could impress me?

Elijah: I aspire to be a museum curator for African art or an artist myself.

Cool! Is it true though?

Elijah: Yup.

There, see, you found a balance between what you think is cool and what you think I’d think is cool! What kind of artist are you?

Elijah: I’m a visual artist. I draw a lot. I have less experience painting. I’m also interested in fashion. I’ll just have ideas for designs for shirts and hats and stuff, and I get help from people who actually make them real. It’s cool to wear or use something that you created or designed.

Very true! How often do you draw?

Elijah: Not as much as I’d like to, but in class a lot. [Laughs] Which is not good.

Did you create a lot as a kid?

Elijah: Yeah. I used to draw a lot more as a kid, but that was pretty much the extent of my creating.

So what got you into making hats and shirts and things like that?

Elijah: I think that was a result of my interest in fashion and caring more about how I look and what I wear, the brands I like and the images they use. And I wanted to create things that I wanted to wear. It’s getting harder and harder for me to go to a store and find things I actually like.

Do you think that’s because you think what you see isn’t cool, or because your taste keeps changing?

Elijah: I think it’s partly because my taste keeps changing but also because it doesn’t feel right. Like when you go and get a suit tailored, it feels like it’s for you. But when you go to a store, it’s like mass production, it was created for millions of people, not necessarily for you. It’s for the general consumer.

What kind of designs do you put on your hats and your shirts?

Elijah: Well I’ve only made one hat so far, and it’s a logo of a brand I want to create called “Moons,” and it’s about space. And my mother’s last name was Moone, and so it’s kind of an ode to her. In general, other ideas I have are just cool images, cool color schemes, things I’d want to wear, stuff that looks good together, and just different landscapes.

Do you like the idea of space a lot?

Elijah: There are people who are more into it than me. I’m not a hardcore Star Wars fan or anything. I just like the idea of exploring different planets and the unknown—the idea of discovering new and different things than what we know here. Also, I think to be honest, one of my favorite artists and musical influences, Kid Cudi’s first project was “Man on the Moon,” and it had a big influence on me growing up.


What brought you to the Hive?

Elijah: Wanting to explore my interest in the arts more. I enjoyed this space a lot as a visitor and I feel like I have good ideas and could add to the environment to make it an even better place.

What did you do on those times you visited?

Elijah: One time I came to make a model for an idea for a clock I had. I bought a clock, took the face off, replaced the numbers with letters, and it ended up spelling out “The Time Is Now.” The original idea came from my ID1 course, which was on DIY philosophy. My professor brought buttons and I drew a clock that spelled out “F*** the time.” But I realized that was kind of negative, so I made it “The Time Is Now” instead.

Super cool! Can we see it?

Elijah: Sure.


If you had a million dollars right now, what would you do with it?

Elijah: I would be smart with it because a million is really not that much. It’s nice, but it can blow away real fast. I would talk to somebody who knows stocks real well and invest it. Buy a car. Pay off the rest of my tuition so my parents don’t even have to worry about it for the rest of the semesters—and I’m going abroad next year …

What kind of car?

Elijah: Probably a real nice sports car. Or an old classic. Like an old ‘70s Mustang convertible. Or this make called Thunderbird, which is really cool.

How come you’re going abroad?

Elijah: Because of my major. I declared Africana Studies …

That’s great—you finally did it! Why did you decide to be an Africana major?

Elijah: I feel like everything in my life was guiding me towards that. I think it naturally happened when I just let myself gravitate toward what really made me happy. And I guess it’s just about learning more about my experiences in this world and my family and the larger black community and our experiences in this world. And if I like studying it, why not do it anyway—because it’s a part of my identity and it’s not going away any time soon.


Why did you come all the way to Pomona?

Elijah: I think I always saw myself in California because of the different things I’m interested in, and wanting to be surrounded by nature. I came here, visited, and just fell in love with it. It was my top choice right away.


Why do you like to create?

Elijah: Because it’s tangible. Like you can say, “Look, I produced this thing from my brain or my hands” or whatever you’re using. Like with skateboarding, it’s your legs.

Is skateboarding creating though?

Elijah: Yeah. Every movement of your body is creation.

Oh, actually that makes a lot of sense, when you think about dancing, for example. That’s creativity.

Elijah: Exactly.


Lastly, what is creativity to you?

Elijah: It’s what you make of what you’ve got.

That’s a great answer.


Elijah’s working hours are Tuesday and Wednesday from 7-9pm, so pass through if you’d like to make something, have a conversation, chill, or just say hi!


Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Hive welcomes Jayson Mayden, former Nike Design Director at Jordan Brand and Designer-in-Residence at Accel Ventures. Jason Mayden brings a unique perspective to the Claremont Colleges as he became the first design intern at Jordan Brand and worked at Nike for 13 years. He created strategic apparel platforms for Chris Paul, Derek Jeter, Carmelo Anthony and, of course, Michael Jordan.

As a “designer, lecturer, artist, collector of curious and wonderfully crafted goods, sports junkie, book worm, equality in education advocate, 1990’s hip hop enthusiast, and social innovator”, Jason Mayden will share his journey in product design, user experience, life and embracing the power of being you.

Check out Jason Mayden in the two videos below:


TEDx Talk

From street violence to Stanford Business School to designing Nike Shoes: Jason Mayden

The Hive is pleased to announce that we have awarded 12 grants to teams of faculty and staff from the Claremont Colleges to infuse creative collaboration and active learning into their Spring 2017 courses. Their proposals are varied, yet collectively they experiment with experiential learning, cross-disciplinary and cross-campus approaches, collaboration among students, non-traditional disciplinary inquiry, and learning experiences not possible in the previous course design. In Spring 2017, students supported by the Hive grants will:

  • Perform Latin American dance as a starting point of inquiry into Latin American cultures and histories
    • Arianna Alfaro (Pitzer; Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures) for SPAN 022: Intensive Introductory Spanish
  • Experiment and collaborate to find equations that describe given shapes and then print 3-D models using the equations
    • David Bachman (Pitzer; Mathematics) for MATH 145B: Geometric Modeling
  • Develop mutually beneficial intergenerational connections through collaborative learning between elders and undergraduates
    • Susan Castagnetto (Pomona; Philosophy) for PHIL 046: Feminism & Science
  • Design and build an interactive art installation for the library that makes digital library resources tangible
    • Sarah Gilbert (Pitzer; Art), Alexandra Chappell (Librarian; Honnold/Mudd), and Madelynn Dickerson (Librarian; Honnold/Mudd) for ART 176: Materiality, Craft and Labor
  • Participate in health and healing workshops with community members, visit community organizations, and teach a community-based educational program at Huerta del Valle, the Pitzer co-founded urban farm
    • Susan Phillips (Pitzer in Ontario; Environmental Analysis), Tessa Hicks Peterson (Pitzer; Urban Studies and Community Engagement Center), and Lourdes Arguelles (CGU Emeritus; Educational Studies and Pitzer in Ontario) for ONT 101: Critical Community Studies and ONT 105: Research Methods for Community Change
  • Prototype design solutions to water conservation issues in Southern California based on their analysis of geospatial and other data
    • Lance Neckar (Pitzer; Environmental Analysis), Tanja Srebotnjak (Harvey Mudd; Hixon Center for Sustainable Design), and Hal VanRyswyk (Harvey Mudd; Chemistry) for EA 134: Sustainable Place Studio and EA 34: Environmental Art/Public Art
  • Sail a traditional “tall ship” to understand how the 19th-century sailors’ work songs they have studied in class fit the ship-board work and to test variables of how the work-singing may have operated historically
    • Gibb Schreffler (Pomona; Music) for MUS 074: American Maritime Musical Worlds
  • Visit solid and water waste facilities; create sensorial, multi-media maps to document different types of waste and garbage in Claremont; design, develop, and test a scratch and sniff monitoring tool for tracking waste odors; and run workshops on sensorial mapping
    • Christy Spackman (Harvey Mudd; Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Arts) and Marianne de Laet (Harvey Mudd; Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Arts) for HSA 10: Critical Inquiry, the Wonderful World of Trash and STS 179F: Wastescapes
  • Record, project, visualize, and model spatial data from the field using Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) and analyze their findings with the foundations of spatial statistics
    • Tanja Srebotnjak (Harvey Mudd; Hixon Center for Sustainable Design) and Warren Roberts (GIS Support Specialist; Honnold/Mudd) for MATH 161: Environmental/Spatial Statistics
  • Learn from the knowledge of indigenous cultural practitioners, including making a traditional Tongan cloth called tapa, preparing traditional foods, and learning traditional dances
    • Kehaulani Vaughn (Pomona; Intercollegiate Department of Asian American Studies) for ASAM 111: Pacific Islanders and Education
  • Participate as co-learners in popular education workshops at a summit at the Highlander Center, a catalyst for grassroots organizing in Appalachia and the South
    • Kathy Yep (Pitzer; Intercollegiate Department of Asian American Studies) for ASAM84: Nonviolent Social Change
  • Create original graphic novels based around sociologically relevant themes, issues, movements, and conflicts, exploring how graphic novels can function to inform us about issues of social significance
    • Phil Zuckerman (Pitzer; Sociology) and Jessica McCoy (Pitzer; Art) for SOC/ART 92: The Social World, Graphically

We are excited to hear the reflections of grant recipients and their students as these experiments proceed! Watch this space for their stories throughout the semester.

Dear Colleagues,

The Rick and Susan Sontag Center for Collaborative Creativity (the Hive) is continuing its program of awarding small grants to experiment with infusing creative collaboration and active learning into courses at the 5Cs. We will be awarding grants for Spring ‘17 course elements of up to $1000 to support activities by individual faculty members and up to $3000 for interdisciplinary or intercollegiate teams. We will also support courses through non-monetary means such as space, staff time, and design expertise. The proposals will be evaluated by the following criteria:

(1) The proposal features an experiential component –
A past example is a Chican@/Latin@ Studies course on fandango in which students learned and performed the dances, deepening their understanding of individual and communal creative expression.

(2) The proposal includes students and/or faculty from multiple campuses or disciplines –
A past example is a pop-up workshop co-taught by a physics professor at Pomona and a visiting artist which was attended by students in art courses at HMC and Pomona.

(3) The proposal involves substantial collaborative activity among the students –
A past example is an art history course in which students worked together to research Native American ceramic artworks, harvest local clay, and invent a ceramic tradition of their own.

(4) The activities that stem from the proposal promote non-traditional approaches to disciplinary inquiry –
A past example is a philosophy course that utilized a hands-on, collaborative thought experiment to challenge students to wrestle with the ambiguity of scientific inquiry.

(5) The proposal allows for learning experiences that are not possible in the current course design.

If you have questions about the principles that drive our criteria, or would like to discuss ways to increase collaborative creativity in your course, please contact us (your college’s steering committee members are listed here: We enthusiastically support proposals that seem risky and ideas that are developing. In our view, great learning experiences come from a process of experimentation, learning from successes and failures, and continuous improvement. We encourage you to pose questions, follow hunches, and engage in self-reflection throughout the grant experience. If you would like help developing your proposal, feel free to contact us for assistance.

Elements Supported
These grants are intended to be used for course components for which current funding mechanisms do not exist. Funding is intended to support specific activities (e.g., class tours or trips), outside facilitators for active-learning workshops (e.g., guest dance instructors), supplies (e.g., film, printing paper, pipe cleaners), and/or faculty attendance at a workshop or other specialized education (if the education specifically relates to the course changes being implemented). Staff time and expertise can support these course elements in a variety of ways, including but not limited to help designing course activities, acquiring materials, teaching class sections or relevant workshops, and aiding research on the impacts of the course experiment. We encourage faculty to discuss with us other needs that may fall outside these categories.

To apply for a course grant, please complete the attached application form and return it to by Friday, December 2, 2016.

Fred Leichter

Rick and Susan Sontag Center for Collaborative Creativity
130 E. Seventh Street
Claremont, CA

Course Grants Call for Proposals and Application Form

Ever wanted to get involved with the Hive? Here’s your opportunity!


We are currently hiring a student staff to take on a variety of roles, from Community Builder/Stoker of the Flame to Graphic Designer/Maker of Visuals to Web Developer/Coverer of Web Assets. Please find a word doc with the application, as well as more job description details, here. These applications are due by September 9th and can either be emailed to or brought in to the Hive at 130 E. 7th Street in Seeley G. Mudd. Please shoot us an email if you have any questions, concerns, or comments. We look forward to working with you!



By Fred Leichter


“Eyeballs are cool. You should go build one,” declared a Harvey Mudd summer researcher’s post-it note during a Hive workshop on creating a better research poster. That was my introduction to the Hive as I arrived to assume the role of Founding Director of the Rick and Susan Sontag Center for Collaborative Creativity at The Claremont Colleges (the Hive).

IMG_7081The workshop was led by Gail Gallaher, Dominique Chua, Sophie Zagerman, and Olivia Cornfield – all summer interns at the Hive. What a great entry. Sixteen summer researchers led by Hive staff trying ideas out on each other and prototyping their research posters before they felt that they were ready. One lesson of the workshop: Know your audience. Could “Collagen/gelatin can be electrospun to create somewhat uniform mats that have the potential to be used on man-made cornea transplant” create a better narrative? Well, it all depends on who the intended audience is and whether one intends to have the poster tell the whole story or act as a backdrop. Students worked together to actively try out different messages, narratives, and layouts. The big takeaway: Try it, test it, change it. Don’t wait to print your first draft until the last minute.

Students at the Hive workshop on Research Poster Making create poster prototypes.

Students at the Hive workshop on Research Poster Making create poster prototypes.

I am thrilled to have finally arrived at the Hive. I have been fortunate to spend the last 25 years leading design, design thinking, and innovation at Fidelity Investments in Boston. I’ve also taught at the Stanford part time over the last 10 years. All of that has hopefully prepared me to take the reins at the Hive. Our goal is to create a place that further connects the five undergraduate schools and to provide a home for collaboration between students of all five colleges. We’ll be building a program for liberal arts undergraduates that complements their education, whatever their field of study, whether it be sciences, arts, or the humanities.

There are big things underway over the summer and leading into the fall:

  • Renovation and expansion: Construction in the Hive space in Seeley G. Mudd is in full swing. The energy, excitement, and buzz that the space will generate is already palpable. Right now, there are wires, wet paint, and a rough floor. We have taken out walls and ceilings, opening the space up. The rafters and balconies are evident, and the architectural inspiration of Seeley G. Mudd has re-emerged. The studio spaces will provide places for teams to work together and places to make things easily with rough supplies, foam core, fabric, sticky notes, miscellaneous contraptions, and furniture. We are also working on a gallery area for display of student work and a place to hang out and focus in the “Vault.” Christie Zeeb, a new post-bac from HMC, is cataloging the space and helping us to define the activities supported in each area. Dominique Chua (from Scripps) is working to make our entryways more immediately accessible and engaging for anyone from the 5Cs and our visitors. Come by anytime for a tour. We will also offer a space workshop in which participants will help design the inside of the Hive “honeycomb.”


Soaring ceiling and ample vertical space at the Hive

Soaring ceiling and ample vertical space at the Hive.

New studio space

New studio space.

  • Staffing: We are actively recruiting to fill three open positions: A senior associate director, an assistant director for communications and design, and a second post-bac. Jobs have been posted in the community, and applicants are eager to come in to be considered. We will also be hiring part-time student staff in the fall.
  • National attention: While we will use the Stanford and other programs as general reference points, the Hive will focus on fostering the creative potential of undergraduate students and creating opportunities for students of each of the 5Cs to work together on challenging, ambiguous, real-world issues. We’ll also focus on the creative methods that help enhance a Liberal Arts and Humanities curriculum. We are starting to gain national visibility in this effort. Before I left Fidelity, I had the chance to meet with Borjana Mikic, Professor of Engineering from Smith College. She had attended the AALAC conference on “Design Thinking in the Liberal Arts” hosted at the Hive last year. Borjana raved to me about the program, in particular, the agency and initiative shown by our students. We’ll also be learning from and interacting with programs at Boise State, Northwestern, Middlebury, Swarthmore, Arizona State, and MassArt, to name a few.
  • Beyond the Hive: While the Hive building will house our buzz, we will be visible across all five campuses. A “Hive Trail” that will run through the 5Cs is in the works. Activities for orientation and into September are taking shape. One of the highlights we are planning will be a sound tour of the five campuses that Hive staff will offer in September.
  • Programming: We will be offering mini workshops often taught by students (please propose one that you would like to lead), workshops, one- to three-day pop up activities, and full term for credit classes.
  • Course grants: We’ve approved grants to support a number of incredible courses. Hive grants can be used to experiment with infusing creative collaboration and active learning into classes at the 5Cs. Support can aid in materials, transportation, or use of the Hive facilities. Here is a list of courses that we will be supporting this fall:
  • ARHI 138B Art Field Group/Native American Collections Research
  • French 102 Eat, Drink, Shop; French 106 Creative Writing
  • EA135 Environmental Analysis/NatureWorks: Aesthetics and Praxis in the Anthropocene
  • CORE III: Mobilizing Art; CORE III: Creating and Recreating Genji
  • ONT 105 Urban Studies; ONT 101 Environmental Analysis; ONT 78 Educational Studies
  • THEA001G Introduction to Acting: Acting for Social Change/Theatre and Dance/Intercollegiate Asian American Studies
  • ART 109 Painting as Experiment
  • Soc 76 Indigenous Decolonization and Anti-racist Movements: Commonalities, Differences, and Intersections
  • HIST/PHIL 172 Fundamentalism and Rationalism in Comparative Context: Medieval Islam and Enlightenment Europe
  • ASAM115 Methodologies/Intercollegiate Department of Asian American Studies

Course grants will again be offered for the spring semester for classes, pop ups, and mini workshops that meet those goals.

I have landed at the Hive, and it is great to be here. I look forward to being part of the vibrant 5C culture, following our Hive core principles. We will make the Hive a truly 5C experience, open to everyone – offering spaces to collaborate; play and reflect; nurture connections between students, faculty, staff, and community members; present ambitious challenges; cultivate generative mindsets; and infuse some doing into all learning.

The Hive will also exist outside of the building in different places about campus. Please come visit and find your spot. My message is simple: Engage actively and collaborate to build a network of creative connections at The Claremont Colleges.


By Patrick Little and Dwight Whitaker

More than anything, the Hive is the creation of many, many people working toward a common vision of increasing the creative capacity of the students and faculty at the 5Cs. While we want to thank all of the people who made the Hive possible, it is impossible to thank each of them. In this, our last post as interim co-directors, we want to call out a few individuals who exemplify the generosity of spirit and willingness to work that characterizes all of you.

We start with Rick and Susan Sontag, whose extraordinary generosity makes the Hive possible in its present and emerging form. Our appreciation of them, however, is not based so much on a signature on a check or even a name on the door as on the inspiration they provided from the earliest stages. Rick and Susan are alums from Harvey Mudd and Pomona Colleges, and they challenged us to find ways to unite students from all the 5Cs in a genuinely creative environment. Their recollections of student experience profoundly influenced our own approach.

The students are, of course, the central characters in what the Hive is and is becoming. Starting from their enthusiastic engagement in the 5C Student Advisory Committee in 2014-15 and continuing into essentially every activity during our first “live” year, students have shaped the Hive. It was students who taught us that they longed for new experiences that would introduce them to knowledge outside their major and to people outside their traditional orbits. Literally hundreds of students designed, led and participated in the various workshops. Students serve on the Steering Committee that advises us on policy, hiring, and even faculty grants. Student staff members create the welcoming environment that characterizes the Hive. Although we face limits of time and space, we want to call out several students who have most profoundly affected this place. Estela Sanchez not only engaged and found a home here; she literally named it the Hive. Gail Gallaher took the reins for our programming, guiding peers to put active into our activities. Nicki Maslan worked tirelessly at supporting other students’ experimentation and demonstrated our process by designing and conducting several workshops. We cannot name all of the students who help make the Hive what it is, but we invite you to explore our web pages to see a little of what they do and ask you to stop in and meet them.

Faculty also profoundly shaped the Hive. From the outset a small group of faculty expressed their deep hopes and aspirations. They were insistent that the Hive should be a collaborative space that prepares students and faculty to work on great, messy problems. Deb Mashek, who participated in founding the Hive from the earliest times, described a vision of “a really great party with all the people you want to meet and be with, full of energy and life.” What started as a series of conversations over lunches led us to a vision of a place that welcomed each of us and encouraged us to share our passions. Other faculty inspired us with proposals to make their courses more active, collaborative, and creative. Again, there are too many faculty to mention each by name, but several must be called out. Fernando Lozano was relentless in his support for the Hive, offering visions that would tie us to academic rigor. Lance Neckar, Brian Keeley, Raquel Vega-Duran, Ronnie Brosterman, and Dave Bachman all faithfully participated in the early planning and transitioned into the prototype that was our first year. There is a list of Friends of the Hive that includes many others who to whom we are grateful, and even that list comes up short.


Tom Maiorana and Vida Mia García of Red Cover Studios guided our design process over the past 2 years, and cannot be thanked enough. Never allowing us to be captured by “paralysis by analysis,” they relentlessly moved the process along, surprising us with their insightful summaries from the previous meeting and inviting us to continue to progress. Once we were up and running, they hired and trained the student staff, ran workshops, counseled us, and provided presence in the building. It is hard to imagine the Hive without them.

Linda Shimoda has supported us almost from the start. Linda brings an artist’s eye, curatorial experience, and administrative rigor that was hugely important to getting things off the ground, welcoming and displaying student work, tracking faculty grants disbursed across five colleges, and providing a steady, warm and humorous presence. In many ways we moved from a concept to a center when she joined us from Alexander Hall.

Alexander Hall is, of course, the starting point for the vision that became the Hive. Pomona President David Oxtoby realized the need and opportunity for a creativity center, encouraged faculty, staff and students to articulate what that might look like, and provided exceptionally generous support. Part of his support included the tireless efforts of other people from his team, including Pam Besnard and Mary Lou Ferry. No one, however, gave us greater help than Teresa Shaw. Teresa liaised with David, but did much more – she insisted on high standards, found resources whenever we needed them, took part in leadership meetings for the full two years of the startup, and was obviously deeply committed to our success.

Finally, on a personal note, we want to thank our spouses. They listened to our grousing, celebrated our successes, and made us remember what collaboration really means. Thanks, Tracy and Judy.

– Pat and Dwight (with genuine thanks to Sophie Zagerman for patiently helping us post the long goodbye)


By Patrick Little and Dwight Whitaker

Through programming, we design experiences that are in line with our core principles and make us better at collaborative creativity. All of the activities we sponsor at the Hive are active and engage students through working together to learn by doing. Programming is also part of our process of testing ideas through rapid prototyping.

As we mentioned in our post on process, we created an activity matrix of experiences that last from as little as an hour to longer than a semester and allow people to engage in a way that is suitable for them. While this matrix initially came from a participant desire for different levels of involvement, the chart can also be thought of as describing the level of risk for leading a new activity.


A non-comprehensive list of events offered at the Hive.

At the bottom of the chart, the stakes are low with mini-workshops that let participants try out new concepts, new skills, or even new problems. Student-led mini-workshops such as 3D modeling and printing by William Lamb, talking with strangers by Estela Sanchez and Michelle Sun, and creating a business in an hour by Quinntin Ruiz let students share their excitement and gain experience in guiding others. These workshops also provided an opportunity for faculty and staff to get involved. We hosted workshops by Terri Geis, curator of academic programs at the Pomona College Museum of Art, about slow looking and psychologist Deb Mashek from Harvey Mudd College about forming relationships. Finally, the mini-workshops provided a forum for experimentation and play with events such as making Halloween costumes or Valentines. As well as being fun, mini-workshops increase our exposure to a broader audience and build a community of people who are making things.


Students working at a Design Thinking workshop in the Harvey Mudd E4 Studio.

For a deeper experience than a mini-workshop, we also offered workshops and pop-up courses that lasted between two hours and a few days. The most frequently offered of these was a workshop that takes the user through the Design Thinking process in only two hours. The Design Thinking workshops were incorporated into the syllabi of several courses, including the introductory engineering design class at Harvey Mudd and the Senior Project course in Environmental Analysis at Pomona. Workshops were initially led by Tom and Vida Mia, with student staff support. This acted as training for staff who eventually led their own workshops, such as Gail Gallaher and Nicki Maslan’s winter workshop on designing your life. As an example of a longer pop-up course, student teams spent several Fridays working with Honnold Library on a project to reimagine the GIS labs.


Students working with Tom on Human Centered Design projects.

Finally, at the level that requires the greatest investment from both the instructors and students, Human Centered Design (or ENGR 190AB) was a full-credit course team-taught by Pat, Tom and Vida Mia in the Spring. This course taught students to listen deeply to others and design responses to the needs they heard. Starting with a simple on-campus project, the students learned to unpack user interviews and translate their insights into prototypes. The course culminated in a design project in collaboration with the City of Hope to reimagine wellness among women over the age of 60.

We also strived to make connections to the community in other ways. The Hive provided a meeting space for a diverse set of student groups. We were proud to host regular meetings of The TEA, a 5C art collective of artists of color, and THRIVE, a student group dedicated to improving student mental health. Other student groups used the Hive for assistance at crucial moments, such as when the Quest Scholars prototyped their permanent space and when IDEAS jump-started an advocacy campaign in support of undocumented students. The Hive also supported faculty in their coursework, providing meeting space for classes, in-class modules on design thinking concepts, and course grants to add creative elements to existing courses. Over the past year, about 50 courses at all five colleges were supported by the Hive.

Programming provides a structure to help build a community of creative people who will nurture each other and go on to effect change. To do this, we need to offer opportunities for people to interact and share ideas as well as develop useful skills and generative mindsets. We evaluate the success of our programming by the impact it has on the college community. We will talk more about the centrality of people at the Hive in tomorrow’s final post.

Pat and Dwight