Wendy Davee Award for Service Recipient: Isaiah Jackson, MA 1998 Depth Psychology with Emphasis in Somatic Studies
Isaiah Jackson is a scholar, writer, activist, teacher, and embodied healer. Their work stems from a deeply personal quest to assist in the healing of generation upon generation of personal and cultural trauma. As a queer, trans-masculine, mixed-race individual, Isaiah’s identity has been shaped and contoured by various intersecting systems of privilege and oppression. This experience has served as a continuous source of embodied research into the roots of violence and oppression and illuminated pathways towards healing and resilience. After having survived their own traumatic childhood, Isaiah felt deeply compelled to contribute to a more just and hospitable world by creating a palpable change in the lives of others, and for this reason, began working with youth, with the hope that by raising new generations of humans more socially and emotionally literate, they could help to slow down, shed light on, and heal the vicious cycles of pain that continue to plague human existence.
Wendy Davee Award for Service Recipient: Melvin Allen, Ph. D. 2016 Depth Psychology
Melvin Allen received his doctorate in depth psychology in 2016 at the age of 70 and has two masters, one in depth psychology and another in spiritual psychology. Melvin was born in the inner city of Chicago in 1947. In 1955 at the age of eight he and his family attended the funeral of Emmett Till, a young African American boy who was murdered by a group of racists in Mississippi. At the funeral his mother told him, “Don’t let race stop you from doing anything you want to do!”
Chancellor’s Award for Excellence: Ida Covi MA 2017 Engaged Humanities & Creative Life Emphasis in Depth Psychology
Ida M. Covi holds an MA in Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life with an Emphasis in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute; a BA in psychology from St. Michael’s College; and two specialization certifications, the first in Eco-Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute and the second in Leading From The Emerging Future from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Ms. Covi is currently working to transform the thinking of future-oriented people as the CEO and co-founder of iRewild (iRewild.org) located in Washington, DC. iRewild is a global institute for thought leaders, an intellectual team of non-political change-makers creating new approaches and breakthrough ideas in order to foster a flourishing planet for all its inhabitants. iRewild seeks to create eco-citizens and a more reciprocal relationship between the human psyche, society, and our natural world. Ms. Covi states, “No one person or business can restore our world’s fragile environment, but we can restore bits and pieces of the environment that are within our reach. Collaborative think tanks are the heart of success, sustainability, and innovation.”
Chancellor’s Community Award for Service: Juana Ochoa, MA 2018 Depth Psychology with Emphasis in Community Liberation & Eco Psychology & Dissertation Student
“I arrive here, a Xicana woman Sangre Dividida, as both the colonized and colonizer (Tarahumara and Spaniard), the victim and victimizer. I carry the story of divide; I carry the lineage of rape: of land, body, and spirit, arranged for me before the birth of my mother and her mother. I carry with me simultaneous temporality and potentiality, the past while becoming. My journey is not rational. It is not linear but is also not unique.”
Juana Ochoa was raised in the Pico-Gardens housing project in Los Angeles, east of the Los Angeles River, a marginalized, drug infested, gang protected community, fighting persistent poverty. A first-generation Mexican American, Ms. Ochoa lived her life within the partitions of what was safe and secure. She started working right after high school, and began her educational career at the age of 26, excited to learn more about thoughts and actions, family dynamics, and her community.
Chancellor’s Pathfinder Award: Charles Caldwell, MA 2005 Mythological Studies with Emphasis in Depth Psychology
Charles Caldwell earned a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a Master of Arts in Mythological Studies with an Emphasis in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. As a naturally curious person, Charles enjoys acquiring new knowledge, improving systems, and creating innovative solutions to prickly problems. As such, he has worked his whole adult life for community service organizations.
Charles has served as Director of Strategic Advancement at Hospice of Santa Barbara, Inc. since 2015, where he specializes in fundraising and advancement, foundation giving, special events, and donor outreach. He is moved by HSB’s relationship-centric approach to walking with people through the difficult journey of grief and illness. Before coming to HSB, Charles spent seven years with Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara as the director of advancement and ten years with United Way of Santa Barbara County as the director of special projects. In addition, Charles volunteers at Foodbank and several other local nonprofits in a hands-on capacity.
Walter Odajnyk Scholarship: Heather Taylor Mythological Studies, Current Student
Heather Taylor is in her second year of the Mythology Program at Pacifica Graduate Institute. After earning her Masters in Producing Film and Video, Heather created her production company, Archetypal Images, LLC. She directed, wrote, and produced the award-winning documentary, Breaking Through The Clouds: The First Women’s National Air Derby (BreakingThroughTheClouds.com). Heather’s attraction to myth is especially strong regarding finding one’s voice and stepping into the individual and collective stories that promote healing. Myths involving nature and animals continually capture her imagination. Heather is grateful to Pacifica and the Pacifica Alumni for supporting, inspiring, and guiding her on this journey.
Walter Odajnyk Scholarship: Colleen Salomon MA 2017 Mythological Studies with Emphasis in Depth Psychology & Dissertation Student
While studying art history at Purdue University and viewing artworks only on slides and in books, Colleen Salomon decided she had better see the real thing. So she continued her education at the Sorbonne in Paris and the University of Hamburg, Germany. A decade of living in Europe offered abundant examples of the importance of myth to culture. In addition, she had the privilege of hearing many stories of the trauma of the twentieth century told by the people who had lived through the events, and she witnessed the healing that emerged through the telling of the stories. In this way, she learned about the fundamental necessity of myth to the individual. Colleen was drawn to Pacifica in order to study mythology with a particular emphasis on the role of myth in the healing of trauma. Her dissertation focuses on the ancient knowledge of trauma contained within the old stories still told in Germany.
Pacifica Graduate Institute announces the formation of a scholarship fund set up by current and former students to honor the memory of Dr. V. Walter Odajnyk, a beloved faculty member from 2002 until his death in 2013. His students adored Dr. Odajnyk’s bedrock integrity, keen intelligence, and depth of feeling, as well as his passion for politics, Zen meditation, Egyptian mythology, and fairytales. His capacities as an analyst, teacher, and writer were felt in his presence and willingness to adapt his teachings to suit the needs of his students, moment by moment.
Like many wise elders, Dr. Odajnyk’s genius was forged in tragedy. He experienced firsthand the horrors of war-torn Czechoslovakia as a child before emigrating to the United States. According to Thomas Elsner, one of Dr. Odajnyk’s colleagues, this early confrontation with the human shadow gifted him with “a soul presence that had to do with a profound Zen-mind relationship to emptiness and the sacred void.”
Dr. Odajnyk’s legacy lives on in his students. “In dreams,” writes Dr. Keith Himebaugh, “he continues to guide me, encouraging me to keep going and not give up. I will never forget this generous man, his honesty, his zeal for teaching and dedication to his students. May this scholarship continue to help others as he has helped me, a contribution to a worthy cause at the perfect moment.”
Prior to coming to Pacifica, Dr. Odajnyk was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Columbia University. In addition to many articles and workshops, Dr. Odajnyk authored several books, including: Marxism and Existentialism, Jung and Politics: The Political and Social Ideas of C. G. Jung (with a foreword by Marie-Louise von Franz), Gathering the Light: A Jungian View of Meditation (with a foreword by Thomas Moore), and his last book, Archetype and Character: Power, Eros, Spirit, and Matter Personality Types. Dr. Odajnyk was a diplomate of the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich, a member of the C. G. Jung Study Center of Southern California, and licensed as a Research Psychoanalyst by the Medical Board of California.
“It is with profound gratitude that we establish a scholarship in memory of Dr. Odajnyk,” said Cynthia Caldwell, one of the students involved in initiating the fund. “This scholarship will ensure that his gift of guiding students into contact with wisdom through myth is felt, remembered, and continued long into the future.”
Donations to the scholarship fund may be made via paypal (button below), or by check made payable to Pacifica Graduate Institute Alumni Association. Scholarships will be awarded to future students enrolled in Pacifica’s Mythological Studies Program. Your donation is tax-deductible and deeply appreciated.