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Hima Vatti to Lead Caltech's Equity Office

To: The Campus Community
From: Joseph E. Shepherd, Vice President for Student Affairs, and Julia McCallin, Associate Vice President for Human Resources
Date: July 15, 2019
Re: Hima Vatti to Lead Caltech's Equity Office

We are pleased to announce that, effective today, Hima Vatti has taken on a new role as the assistant vice president for equity and equity investigations, and Title IX coordinator.

Hima takes on this role following the departure of April Castañeda, who has left the Institute to become the director of human resources at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. April was charged with expanding the office's scope and staff to focus on all forms of unlawful harassment, sexual misconduct, and discrimination.

As the assistant vice president for equity, equity investigations, and Title IX coordinator, Hima will lead the Equity Office team, which includes the administrator, lead investigator, and deputy Title IX coordinator for students. Other deputy Title IX coordinators on campus and at JPL will coordinate with the office. Together, this team is responsible for promoting fair and impartial treatment and processes that support a community of inclusion, learning, professionalism, safety, care, and respect.

Hima has been an associate general counsel at Caltech since 2009, and has a history of working collaboratively across the Institute and of being a thoughtful and inclusive colleague. As an associate general counsel, Hima counseled numerous campus and JPL teams and organizations to resolve equity, academic, and student issues, improve the fairness of policies and processes, and facilitate international scientific collaborations.

Before joining Caltech, Hima held several educational and public service positions, including at Cornell University and the U.S. Department of Justice, and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo, West Africa. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and a law degree from Harvard Law School.


New Director, Career Development Center

To the Campus Community:

I’m excited to announce that Claire Ralph has been appointed as the new Director of the Career Development Center.

Claire has been at Caltech since the summer of 2016 working for the Department of Computing and Mathematical Sciences in the Division of Engineering and Applied Science as its founding Director of the CMS/EE Outreach and Partnerships Program, as well as a lecturer teaching a variety of CMS classes along with being a faculty advisor to the Women in CMS program. During her time, Claire has built from the ground up a highly respected program that has transformed how CMS/EE provides opportunities for startups and companies to meaningfully engage with students, connect with research, and support educational and outreach efforts. In fact, many of her programs have also helped address the specific and diverse needs of historically underrepresented STEM students (minority, female and low-income students) in their own career path, mentorship, and research.

Before coming to Caltech, Claire was the Founder and Director of Code for Princeton in Princeton, NJ, as well as a Computer Science Research Institute Fellow at Sandia National Labs in Albuquerque, NM. Originally from New Mexico, Claire earned B.S. degrees in Pure Mathematics and Chemistry, along with a minor in Biology, from the University of New Mexico. She later received an M.S. in Theoretical Chemistry from Cornell University.

In her new role, Claire will be responsible for providing innovative and strategic vision, leadership, and direction for the Career Development Center. In collaboration with deans, faculty, students, alumni, and a variety of other internal and external stakeholders, she will seek to build new opportunities and strengthen current collaborations that will provide all students and postdocs with the guidance, mentorship, and resources needed to launch their professional endeavors. Claire will also retain her lecturer status so that she may continue to connect with students in the classroom.

Please join me in welcoming Claire to her new role starting July 15th!


Jarrid J. Whitney

Assistant Vice President for Students Affairs, Enrollment and Career Services


Human Resources launches updated website

Human resources has launched a new website to reflect the Institute’s updated template. Key factors in the redesign of the website include, simple navigation, easy user interface, and clear mapping to resources. Human resources developed a small team of staff to build the updated site to make it friendly to both an internal and external audience. Content such as Institute policies, personnel memoranda, and other vital Institute information managed by human resources will continue to be hosted on the Caltech website template.

Please note, if you have saved bookmarks, you may need to update these links as they may have broken with the update.


Summer Softball League - Registration 2019

Batter up! Come and show off your inner softball star. The Summer Softball League season begins June 4th and ends August 18th.

All levels of players are welcome. Sportsmanship is required. Teams and individuals may sign up.

Individual Registration Fee

Free for Students & Gym Members

Non-Gym Members $50, allows players game access only

Team Fee

  • Fee: $25 entry fee per team
  • 7 weeks of regular play, 3 weeks of playoffs
  • Game are 1 hour (5:15pm & 6:30pm)
  • League nights:
    • Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (teams will be assigned to a league based on team's requested night on a first-come-first-serve basis)
    • Monday and Friday will be added if the first 3 days fill up
  • Maximum of 8 teams per league night
  • Minimum of 7 players per team (the majority of players must be Caltech affiliated)
  • Sportsmanship REQUIRED. This is a Rec League.


For more information and registration help, please contact Heather at


New Group Fitness Class!

Can't make it to a mid-day or afternoon class? Check out our new evening class that has been added on Monday nights at 8:30pm. HIIT, High Intensity Interval Training combines cardio training, plyometric drills and weights for a full body workout. This interval based class is great for all with modifications for any fitness level.


New Faculty in Residence Appointed

We are excited to announce the appointment of two new Faculty in Residence (FIR), effective April 1, 2019.

Konstantin Batygin, Assistant Professor of Planetary Science and Van Nuys Page Scholar, and his family will join the FIR team in Avery House.

Laura Doval, Assistant Professor of Economics, and her husband will join the FIR team in Bechtel Residence.

Please join us in congratulating Profs. Batygin and Doval in their new role and in welcoming their families to Caltech.

Joseph E. Shepherd, Vice President for Student Affairs
Antonio Rangel, Head Faculty in Residence


The Access to Higher Education for Every Student Act

To: The Campus Community
From: Julia McCallin, Associate Vice President for Human Resources
Date: November 26, 2018
Re: The Access to Higher Education for Every Student Act

This note is to share important information with the Caltech community about California's Access to Higher Education for Every Student Act. The Act seeks to ensure that California institutions of higher education foster campus communities that are safe, welcoming for all, and provide access to services and support for all students, faculty, and staff, regardless of their immigration status. This legislation imposes a number of requirements on Caltech, including advising faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars, and students of their rights and obligations under the law. It also requires that starting in 2018, institutions of higher education provide members of their community with important information about their rights under state and federal immigration laws and how to respond to a federal immigration action or order.

Caltech is committed to protecting all members of our community. Caltech Security has no responsibility for immigration enforcement and will not inquire about immigration status in the normal course of its duties or participate in immigration enforcement activities unless legally required to do so.

Caltech keeps student and personnel records private and will not share such information with immigration officials unless legally required to do so. Any Caltech office that receives a request for information from an immigration enforcement agency should route that request to Caltech's Office of General Counsel.

Caltech has designated the Director of International Offices, Ilana Smith, to serve as a resource to Caltech community members who have concerns about their immigration status. She is available to provide assistance to DACA recipients and other faculty, students, postdoctoral scholars, and staff who may be subject to a federal immigration order or inquiry. The International Offices maintains a list of attorneys who are qualified to provide legal immigration representation to members of the Caltech community who have concerns regarding their immigration status. Caltech also offers counseling and support through the Caltech Student Counseling Services, the Staff and Faculty Consultation Center and the Caltech Center for Diversity.

Below is additional information that all Caltech faculty, students, postdoctoral scholars, and staff should be aware of:

Do not release or disclose personal information concerning faculty, students, postdoctoral scholars, or staff. If you receive a request for such information contact the Office of the General Counsel.

Immediately notify the Office of the General Counsel upon becoming aware that an immigration officer will or has entered campus. If you are contacted by an immigration officer executing a federal immigration order refer them to the Office of the General Counsel to verify the legality of the warrant, court order, or subpoena.

Do not accept any documents on behalf of Caltech. Refer any entity executing a federal immigration order to the Office of the General Counsel for validation of the warrant, court order, or subpoena. 

Find additional information regarding your rights under state and federal immigration laws on the International Offices website.


Adopt an Angel

Caltech Human Resources is once again sponsoring the annual Adopt an Angel Program, which provides holiday gifts for children of poverty-level families in the San Gabriel Valley area. The Angel Program is affiliated with the Foothill Unity Center, a nonprofit organization that provides critical support in the form of food, clothing, motel vouchers, referrals, and advocacy for people in crisis who reside in the San Gabriel Valley area.

Starting November 2, 2018, the Human Resources Office, at 399 S. Holliston, will have the paper angels available for pick-up.  The angel bears the name of a child, along with their special wish list, age, clothing size, and interests. Unwrapped gifts with the paper angel attached are to be delivered to the Human Resources office no later than Friday, November 30.   The Foothill Unity Center distributes the gifts to the families on December 15, 2018.
For more information, contact Diane Williams at or 626-395-8055.


Caltech Family Night Dinner & Movie

Family Night Dinner and Movie is the official kick-off event for the United Way campaign and is open to all Caltech community and their families. This year's event will begin at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, October 19.

Dinner will be served from 4:30p.m. to 5:45p.m. on Beckman Mall. Enjoy free food, face painting, and music before the movie. Be sure to stop by the TIAA tables to create a pencil packet that will be donated to the Pasadena Unified School District's Office of Families in Transition. No tickets are required for the dinner.

A family movie - Coco - will be screened at 6 p.m. in Beckman Auditorium. Tickets are required for admission to the movie.


Hiring Undergraduate Work-Study Students

The Financial Aid Office and the Career Development Center are working together to expand the Federal Work-Study program. The goal is to provide students with more job opportunities and the Caltech Community with additional student staff at very low cost.

Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a program of financial assistance for eligible students that is jointly-funded by federal and departmental contributions. It allows students to work to earn a portion of their college expenses.  The Department of Education allocates funds to Caltech to pay 75% of the wages of work-study students so hiring offices only pay the remaining 25% of the wages. Some students have been awarded Caltech Work-Study, in these cases the cost sharing breakdown is 60%-40% Institute and departmental contributions.

If you are interested in hiring a work-study student, create an account and start posting your jobs now!

Instructions on how to post a job are available in the Supervisor Guide. Once you have hired a work-study student, please consult the Supervisor Guide for general guidelines on working with work-study students. Should you have any questions regarding the work-study program, please do not hesitate to contact the Financial Aid Office at x6280.

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