February 20, 2020

Rebecca Overmyer-VelazquezAssociate Professor of Sociology Rebecca Overmyer-Velázquez and her family will take residence of Hartley House beginning in fall 2020.

Overmyer-Velázquez plans to bring programming to Hartley House that supports students and faculty to pursue integrative and applied learning and teaching in social justice. She has already begun conversations about collaboration between Hartley House, the Center for Career and Professional Development, and the Center for Engagement with Communities. They have discussed student-focused programing that supports student-professional and student-employer networks as well as faculty development programing. She imagines Hartley House to be a space for piloting ideas for integrative and applied learning that can be included in a new curriculum.

As a faculty-in-residence, Overmyer-Velázquez will be in a position to share with students her professional connections with social justice non-profit organizations; local, state, and federal government representatives; and regulatory agencies in the greater Los Angeles region. She has worked over the last 13 years as a community organizer and president of a grassroots environmental justice non-profit organization. 

“I am excited with the programs and partnerships envisioned by Becky and am pleased that she has agreed to serve Whittier’s students in this important way,” said President Linda Oubré. “Hartley House—the Hartley Hub for Integrative and Applied Learning in Social Justice—will be the place to establish and sustain professional relationships for social justice between the College and the greater Los Angeles region.”

Hartley House is part of the College’s Faculty-in-Residence Program, which combines education and social programming in an intimate and informal setting and is modeled after similar programs at Oxford and Cambridge universities. Located in the heart of campus, the faculty houses are each awarded to a faculty-in-residence, whose multi-year assignment is to plan and host a variety of experiences exploring a designated theme. Overmyer-Velázquez will succeed Professor of Theatre and Communication Arts Gil Gonzalez.