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Welcome Caltech Y New Board Members, and New Board Leadership

The Caltech Y is honored to introduce our new Board members and welcome them to the Y family. Joining the Board of Directors are Emily Abbott, Victoria Arriola, Susan Clayton, Molly McKenzie-Swarts, Sandhya Ravichandran, Chris Smith, Scott Virgil and Silva Virgil. We also welcome back Kirk Dawson and Nancy Lan, who have returned to serve on the Board.

Emily Abbott: Emily worked at Caltech (‘04 to ’13) in Corporate Relations before joining UC Riverside as the Director of Corporate & Strategic Partnerships. Prior to entering academia, she worked in the nonprofit sector on issues related to social justice, international sustainable development, and participatory democracy. Currently taking a sabbatical, Emily is a member of the Board of Fast Forward, the venture philanthropy arm of the National MS Society.

Victoria Arriola: Victoria is a mixed-media Visual Artist, Designer, Creative/Art Director, and Adjunct Professor of Design/Art/VisCom at USC. She studied fine art in Denmark, earning a bachelor in Fine Art and a Masters in Advertising Design. She has worked for Caltech and JPL, is an arts educator and advocate, curator, board member, artist in residence administrator for nonprofit arts organizations, galleries and education foundations and is an ongoing volunteer at Inner City Arts in DTLA. An explorer of the world, she spends much of her creative time in Denmark and Iceland.

Susan Clayton: Susan is a licensed property and casualty broker and Vice President at Lockton Insurance Brokers, LLC in Los Angeles where she manages the commercial insurance placements for her middle market business clients. Preceding her career in insurance, Susan attended the University of Southern California where she received a B.S. degree in Business Administration and was a member of USC’s Marshall Women’s Leadership Board. A stay-at-home mom for a number of years, Susan was active in the local schools, PTA and community groups.

Sandhya Ravichandran: Sandhya is a lifelong volunteer. She has served as a PTA President, has served on the Board of The American Red Cross, Arcadia Chapter, as well as the Executive Director of Arcadia Child Health Council. She is also a past President of the Caltech Women’s Club.

Molly McKenzie-Swarts: Molly retired from Hilton Hotels where she served as EVP, Global Head of Human Resources, Diversity and Administration until the company moved its headquarters from Beverly Hills to Virginia. After retiring, she was a Human Resources Consultant for Hathaway Sycamores.

Chris Smith: Chris began working at Caltech in 1981 in the Division of Humanities and Social Science, where she took care of their graduate program. In 1986 she moved to the Div. of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. She holds an MA in English Literature from Cal State Fullerton and an MS in Human Resources Design from Claremont Graduate University. She retired in 2012 and currently volunteers at the Pasadena Humane Society and the Huntington Library.

Kirk Dawson: Kirk (BS ‘61 and MS ’62) is a Caltech alum, majored in Electrical Engineering and was a member of Ruddock House. He worked at JPL for 39 years and retired in 2001. He has been an active volunteer in "YMCA of the Foothills" Board for 20 years - served as Board Chair and Interim CEO on two occasions. He was a past Board member and the Executive Committee of the San Gabriel Valley United Way. He is a Board member and past Chair of Caltech’s SURF Program (Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship).

Nancy Lan: Nancy was a senior research fellow in biology at Caltech; later she co-founded a pharmaceutical company with her colleagues at USC. Currently, she is a docent at USC Pacific Asia Museum and enjoys other volunteering work. She is a Caltech honorary alum.

We are also pleased to announce that we recently elected a new slate of officers. Leading the board is newly elected chair, Peter Hung, who is the Communications Lead at The Aerospace Corporation. Peter is joined by a slate of officers including:

  • Vice Chair – Fred Clayton

  • Treasurer – Don Collins

  • Secretary – Judy Collins

Read more about our Board Members on our website -


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