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2023 Annual Report

2021 Annual Report

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Rise Report 2020-21

Rise Report 2018-19

2022 Annual Report

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Rise Report 2021-22

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2019 Annual Report

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Rise Report 2022-23

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2020 Annual Report

2018 Annual Report


Caltech Y Videos


The Caltech Y Centennial Video


Convocation 2020:

The Rise Program

Program videos

Some of our virtual program talks have been recorded so that people who missed the event can still watch. Enjoy!

World Fest 2021


Singapore Street Food

World Fest Webinar | Tuesday, April 20th

Peer through the curtains of hanging poultry or behind columns of bamboo steamers, and you’ll see the diverse faces of the cooks and their calluses-harden hands steadfastly preparing affordable meals to feed millions each day, as we explore Singapore's ubiquitous hawker centers - recently inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.  Follow our guide, award-winning journalist Rachel Ng  (Singapore Street Food) and learn how these formerly itinerant food vendors became such a vital part of the growth of a country after it parted ways with its colonial rulers in the 1960s.


Welcome to Kazakhstan

World Fest Webinar | Friday, April 23rd 

Graduate student, Altyn Rymbek, takes us on a journey to her home country of Kazakhstan. Explore the unique culture and topography of the world’s largest landlocked country and don’t miss this opportunity to get to know the real Kazakhstan from an insider’s point of view.

**World Fest, a celebration of the cultural diversity at Caltech, is coordinated by Caltech International Student Programs and the Caltech Y.  Views expressed are solely those of the speaker(s).**

Student Activism Speaker Series

Thurgood marshall & Ketanji Brown Brown Jackson:

Two Historic Appointments and Why It Matters

friday, May 6th | 1 Hour | Zoom Webinar


Join us for a discussion with Professor Rebecca Brown from the USC Gould School of Law, and learn about two historic figures on the Supreme Court — Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first African American SCOTUS Justice, and the newly confirmed Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. In this talk, Professor Brown will share her own experience clerking for Justice Marshall, compare Marshall and Jackson in terms of their unique impacts and the relative political climates during their nomination processes, and discuss the importance of diversity on the bench.


Professor Rebecca Latham Brown is a nationally recognized constitutional law theorist who joined USC Gould School of Law in August 2008. Brown’s scholarship focuses on judicial review and its relationship to individual liberty under the U.S. Constitution. She was named The Rader Family Trustee Chair in Law in 2015.


Brown received her BA from St. John’s College (Annapolis, MD) and her JD, magna cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center, where she was an editor of the Georgetown Law Journal. She clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and U.S. Court of Appeals Chief Judge Spottswood W. Robinson III. Brown also worked in the Office of Legal Counsel in the U.S. Department of Justice and practiced with Onek, Klein & Farr in Washington, D.C. From 1988 to 2008, she was a professor at Vanderbilt University Law School, where she held the Allen Chair in Law from 2003 until her departure.

Mobilization and Integrationg of latino Political Power in America: A conversation with Dr. Stephen Nuno-Perez
Thursday, March 4th | 1 Hour | Zoom Webinar

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Dr. Stephen Nuño-Perez, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Politics and International Affairs at Northern Arizona University and Director of Communications and Senior Analyst at Latino Decisions explores the relationship between Latinos and the American political system, including new challenges and opportunities emerging for Latinos as they grow in size and strength.  Latinos are forming coalitions in the South and Midwest, and are increasingly at the decision-making table in the Southwest and the Northeast, requiring a focus on new frameworks for how we understand the role of Latinos in our political system.

Finding Your Voice: Using Science to Engage Local Government & Communities
Thursday, March 4th | 1 Hour | Zoom Webinar

Engineers & Scientists Acting Locally.PN

Scientists have access to information and methods that much of the general public does not, and with it comes the ability to help improve our world. In this workshop,  made possible with Graduate Student Council Event Funding, you’ll hear from Engineers & Scientists Acting Locally ( about the benefits of scientists engaging with their local governments and communities as well as specific ways to get involved.

vaccine responses, past and present: a conversation with Dr. David oshinksy | zoom webinar | thursday, februray 11th | 12:00 - 1:00 PM


Dr. David Oshinsky is a Professor of Medicine and the Director of the Division of Medical Humanities at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine who focuses on 20th century US political and cultural history. As a member of NYU’s Vaccine Ethics Project, he researches and develops strategies to counter the growth of vaccine hesitancy in the United States. Dr. Oshinsky is also a distinguished writer who won the Pulitzer Prize for History with his book Polio: An American Story.


zoom webinar | Friday, january 26th | 12:00 - 1:00 PM 


Dan Lane is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the director of the UCSB Digital Political Inequality Lab where he researches how individuals and groups use social media and other communication technology in order to improve political engagement and reduce political inequality. Dr. Lane is also the founder of Good Eye Video, a digital storytelling company that works with non-profits. Dr. Lane received his B.S. from Syracuse University and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.  n Lane is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the director of the UCSB Digital Political Inequality Lab where he researches how individuals and groups use social media and other communication technology in order to improve political engagement and reduce political inequality. Dr. Lane is also the founder of Good Eye Video, a digital storytelling company that works with non-profits. Dr. Lane received his B.S. from Syracuse University and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.  

Race, Place, and COVID-19 Disparities:  Structural Drivers of the Pandemic
A Conversation with Dr. Irene Headen | 1 Hour | Thursday, November 19th | Zoom Webinar

Dr. Irene Headen, Assistant Professor of Black Health in the Department of Community Health and Prevention at the Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health, explored how the long-standing structural inequality that persists across the many contexts in which communities of color live, work, and play created the perfect storm for a disproportionate impact of COVID-19 in these communities seen today, and how finding ways to address these structural drivers of inequities will remain key to effective pandemic response going forward.

A Ten Step Guide for Scientists Engaging in Policy – a conversation with Alexandra Phillips | Monday, October 26th | Zoom Webinar

While scientific research plays a critical role in informing legislative decisions and guiding effective policy, significant communication gaps persist between scientists and policymakers and traditional academic Careers rarely provide formal training to the inner workings of government, public policy, or communicating scientific findings to broad audiences. Alex Phillips, 2019-20 American Geophysical Union - Voices for Science Fellow and co-author of the A Guide for Engaging in Policy in the United States shares ten practical steps for participating in science policy in the United States

Uncivil Wars: Presidential and Vice Presidential Debates – a conversation with Thomas Hollihan | Monday, October 12th | Zoom Webinar

Dr. Thomas Hollihan, faculty fellow in the USC Center for Public Diplomacy and the USC  Center for Communication Leadership, frequent consultant to political candidates,  elected officials, and the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency, and author of several books including: Uncivil Wars: Political Campaigns in a Media Age, delves into the presidential and vice presidential debates and some of the complex issues surrounding modern political campaigns and the development of campaign strategy.

Is AI Taking Us to Utopia or Dystopia: A conversation with Darrell West 
Thursday, October 1st | 12:00 - 1:00 PM PST | Zoom Webinar

Dr. Darrell West, Brookings Vice President and Director of Governance Studies, Tech Tank Co-Editor-in-Chief, and co-author of Turning Point: Policymaking in the Era of Artificial Intelligence discussed the opportunities and risks posed by artificial intelligence and how policy decisions will determine whether the technology leads to utopia or dystopia. Drawing on major AI uses he detailed how the technology works and outlined a policy blueprint for gaining AI's benefits.

Voting During the Pandemic: The Benefits and Challenges of Voting in the Time of COVID–19  |  Zoom Webinar  |  Thursday, August 13th | 12:00 - 1:30 PM 
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Dr. Barry Burden. Professor of electoral politics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Director of the Elections Research Center, and author of “The Measure of American Elections,” “Personal Roots of Representation,” and “Why Americans Split Their Tickets: Campaigns, Competition, and Divided Government” shared ways states have responded to the unprecedented demand for vote by mail and the challenges for both officials and voters that will make the 2020 election unique and potentially problematic.

The Black Experience in La: a conversation with prof. Darnell hunt 

zoom webinar Moderated by Caltech Professor Danielle Wiggins 

Friday, July 24th | 12:00 - 1:00 PM 

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Dr. Darnell Hunt: Professor of Sociology and African-American Studies and Dean of Social Sciences at UCLA. Lead author of the Hollywood Diversity Report. Author of “Screening the Los Angeles ‘Riots’: Race, Seeing, and Resistance” and Editor of “Black Los Angeles: American Dreams and Racial Realities.”

Dr. Danielle Wiggins, Caltech Assistant History Professor, specializes in African-American political history and urban political economy. Her dissertation examined the central paradox in the post-Jim Crow African-American experience: advancement of black elected officials to positions of power and concurrent economic inequality in black communities.

**The presentation of speakers should not be considered an endorsement of the speaker’s views by the California Institute of Technology, The Caltech Y or The Caltech Y Student Activism Speaker Series Committee. Views expressed are solely those of the speaker.**

DC Science Policy Symposium 

Science in a political world: a conversation with david baltimore and france cordova
tuesday, DECEMBEr 15th | Via Zoom webinar

Although the politicization of science has garnered global attention recently as we combat COVID-19, it is not a new phenomenon, or one that will fade anytime soon.  The interplay of science and politics has been, and will be, with us for years.  Join us for a conversation on politics, science, and policy with two experts who have navigated the intersection of these worlds for much of their careers.


David Baltimore, president emeritus and the Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Biology at Caltech, senior science advisor for the Science Philanthropy Alliance, National Academy of Sciences’ chair of the International Summit on Human Gene Editing, and former president and chair of the American Association of the Advancement of Science is an accomplished researcher, educator, administrator, and public advocate for science and engineering who is considered one of the world’s most influential biologists. Awarded the Nobel Prize in 1975 in Physiology or Medicine, Dr. Baltimore has profoundly influenced national science policy. 

The Honorable France A. Córdova, senior science advisor for the Science Philanthropy Alliance, President Emerita at Purdue University, Chancellor Emerita at UC Riverside, former director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and former chief scientist at NASA - where she received the Distinguished Service Medal, has been a leader in science, engineering and education for more than three decades in both higher education and government, including service in five presidential administrations, at several universities, and with three federal agencies.

Become a friend of the Caltech Y to be invited to future Friend's events.** Views expressed are solely those of the speaker(s).**


Finding the Right Words: A Memoir about Alzheimer’s, Literature, & Neurology| tuesday, june 22nd, 2021 | Via Zoom


Join us as Prof. Cindy Weinstein and Dr. Bruce Miller discuss writing a memoir that combines literature and neurology in order to tell the story of Cindy’s father’s early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. The book guides readers through the emotions and grief that many families experience, while giving them knowledge about dementia that they need to care for their loved ones.


Prof. Cindy Weinstein is the Eli and Edythe Broad Professor of American Literature at the California Institute of Technology. In addition to writing Finding the Right Words: A Story of Literature, Grief, and the Brain (forthcoming Johns Hopkins University Press, September 2021) with Dr. Bruce Miller, she has written three monographs and edited four volumes on American literature. She teaches courses in women’s fiction, Black literature, Herman Melville, and Edgar Allan Poe. She is currently Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer.


Dr. Bruce Miller holds the A.W. and Mary Margaret Clausen Distinguished Professorship in Neurology at UC San Francisco where he directs the Memory and Aging Center. As a behavioral neurologist whose work emphasizes brain-behavior relationships, he has reported on the emergence of artistic ability, personality, cognition, and emotion with the onset of neurodegenerative disease. He is the principal investigator of the NIH-sponsored Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and program project on frontotemporal dementia. Additionally, he helps lead the Tau Consortium, the Bluefield Project to Cure Frontotemporal Dementia, and the Global Brain Health Institute. He was awarded the Potamkin Award from the American Academy of Neurology and elected to the National Academy of Medicine.

tiny electrodes that overhear neural conversations
| monday, May 17th 2021 | Via Zoom

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The complexity of the mammalian nervous system has inspired many tools for deciphering neural activities down to the cellular scale. Metal electrodes have been in use since Galvani experimented with electricity in frog legs over 200 years ago. We revisit the humble electrode and its evolution into a powerful enabling tool to gain access to vast quantities of neural information. Prof. Ellis


Meng explores what happens when electrodes, integrated circuits, and polymers are blended together to drive the next revolution in our understanding of the nervous system and inform new therapies. She also discusses a new model to democratize access to this technology through the new Polymer Implantable Electrode (PIE) Foundry which serves as a resource for the neuroscience and neuroengineering communities.

Professor Ellis Meng works in the Department of Biomedical, Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Biomedical Microsystems Laboratory at the University of Southern California.

Remote Learning: Lessons Learned and Opportunities for the Future
| Thursday, October 20th, 2020 | Via Zoom

Online Tutorial

Educational institutions around the world shifted quickly to online classes in response to COVID-19. Caltech and other schools reimagined learning as they adopted new digital tools and tailored their curricula. Please join us as our featured speakers discuss lessons learned from the previous spring term, share student and faculty experiences with remote learning, and consider possibilities and opportunities for the future.


Featured Speakers: 



  • Prof. Katie Bouman, Assistant Professor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences, Electrical Engineering, and Astronomy and Rosenberg Scholar

  • Arushi Gupta, Chair of the Academic Research Committee (ARC) 

  • Dr. Jenn Weaver, Associate Director for University Teaching, and Center for​ Teaching, Learning and Outreach

  • Leslie Maxfield, Director of Academic Media Technologies and Communications 


Moderator, Dr. Nathan Dalleska, Director of the Resnick Water and Environment Laboratory and Caltech Y Board Member.

Adventure 101 

Adventure 101 – camping basics | Friday, April 9th | Via Zoom


Have you heard about others’ camping trips but never taken the plunge? Have you gone on a camping trip with others but aren’t sure about planning your own? Are you interested in getting out into nature, but unsure of how to get started? If so, now is a great time to learn more! Join us at the (virtual) Caltech Y where our Y-Outdoors student trip leaders go over equipment, food, policies, and best practices to organize your own adventure, and which places are out there to discover.

Adventure 101 – Backpacking 101 | Tuesday, February 23rd | Via Zoom


Student trip leaders from the Caltech Y-Outdoors team, talk us through some of the differences between camping or hiking and backpacking, and how to get started - covering equipment, food and supplies, essential knowledge, and best practices – as well as recommendations for venues to explore in the greater LA area. They even shared some of their favorite moments on the trail.

Adventure 101 – Great Hikes In LA | Friday, November 6th | Via Zoom


Members of the Y-Outdoors team demonstrate a few basic bike maintenance items you can do yourself to save time and money, including: important nuts and bolts to check before a ride, how to check your tires and change one if needed, when and how to lubricate your chain, and how to adjust your brakes and shifters. 

Adventure 101 – Kayaking | Friday, October 23rd | Via Zoom


Southern California has a lot of great places for on water adventures and kayaking is a great way to access the marine wilderness! From rivers to open ocean, Y-Outdoors student trip leaders share some of their recommendations for great places to explore, where to get equipment, and what wildlife to look out for!

Adventure 101 – Basic Bike Maintenance | Wednesday, October 7th | Via Zoom


Members of the Y-Outdoors team demonstrate a few basic bike maintenance items you can do yourself to save time and money, including: important nuts and bolts to check before a ride, how to check your tires and change one if needed, when and how to lubricate your chain, and how to adjust your brakes and shifters. 

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