• Otis College alumni in the New York/Tri-State area are invited to a reception welcoming visiting Otis College fashion students at Global Brands Group headquarters in the Empire State Building. Join fellow alumni to celebrate the culmination of the Fashion Design Department's annual trip to Manhattan. This special event - open to all alumni from both undergraduate and graduate departments - is a great chance to reconnect with friends, welcome new Fashion Design alumni from the Class of 2017, and meet Otis College leaders including Fashion Design Interim Chair Jill Higashi-Zeleznik.

  • In conjunction with the current exhibition Patterns Bigger Than Any of Us: Jesse Fleming / Pat O'Neill in Ben Maltz Gallery, May 7 - August 12, 2017.

    In Conversation: Jesse Fleming and Pat O'Neill, moderated by LA-based idependent curator and historian Ciara Moloney


    Jesse Fleming (b. 1977) is part of an emerging group of artists and technologists that examine the convergence of media art and mindfulness. Recent solo exhibitions were held at Five Car Garage; 356 Mission; and Night Gallery, all in Los Angeles, CA; and the University of Texas in Austin, TX.

    Pat O’Neill’s (b. 1939) artistic and filmmaking career spans over 50 years, and he is highly-regarded for his experiments with film and optical printing. Recent solo exhibitions were held at Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley, CA; Monitor in Rome, Italy; VeneKlasen/Werner in Berlin, Germany; Quinta do Quetzal in Vidigueira, Portugal; Mitchell-Innes & Nash in New York, NY; and Cherry and Martin in Los Angeles, CA.

    Ciara Moloney is an independent curator, editor, and writer based in Los Angeles. She was formerly Curator of Exhibitions and Projects at Modern Art Oxford where she curated exhibitions by Barbara Kruger, Josh Kline, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Christian Boltanski and Kiki Kogelnik.

  • Amelia Gray is the author of the short story collections AM/PM, Museum of the Weird, and Gutshot, as well as the novels Threats and, most recently, Isadora, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Her fiction and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Tin House, and VICE. She is winner of the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, of FC2's Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize, and a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. 

  • Luis J. Rodriguez was Los Angeles Poet Laureate from 2014-2016. The twenty-fifth edition of his first book, Poems Across the Pavement, won a 2015 Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement. He has written fourteen other books of poetry, children’s literature, fiction, and nonfiction, including the best-selling memoir Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A. Rodriguez is also founding editor of Tia Chucha Press and co-founder of Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore in the San Fernando Valley. In 2016 Tia Chucha Press produced the largest anthology of L.A.-area poets, Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes & Shifts of Los Angeles. Rodriguez’s last memoir It Calls You Back: An Odyssey Through Love, Addiction, Revolutions, and Healing was a finalist for the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award. His latest poetry collection Borrowed Bones appeared in 2016 from Curbstone Books/Northwestern University Press.

  • Raised in Philadelphia, with roots in South Africa and Trinidad, Zinzi Clemmons’ writing has appeared in Zoetrope: All-Story, Transition, The Paris Review Daily, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships and support from the MacDowell Colony, Bread Loaf, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and the Kimbilio Center for African American Fiction. She is co-founder and former Publisher of Apogee Journal, and a Contributing Editor to LitHub. She teaches literature and creative writing at the Colburn Conservatory and Occidental College. Her debut novel, What We Lose, as well as a second title, are forthcoming from Viking.

  • Louise Sandhaus is a graphic designer and graphic design educator. She was previously Director of the Graphic Design Program at CalArts where she currently is faculty. Her recent book on California graphic design, Earthquakes, Mudslides, Fires and Riots: California and Graphic Design 1936-1986, co-published by Metropolis Books and Thames & Hudson, has received laudatory reviews from The New York Times, The Guardian, Eye, and Creative Review. The book received the Palm d’Argent for best art book at FILAF (International Festival of Art Books and Films on Art).

  • Photo Credit: Jesse Pniak


    F. Douglas Brown received the 2013 Cave Canem Poetry Prize (selected by Tracy K. Smith) for Zero to Three, published by the University of Georgia. He also co-authored the chapbook Begotten with Geffrey Davis as part of Upper Rubber Boot Book's Floodgate Poetry Series. Both a past Cave Canem and Kundiman Fellow, his poems have appeared in the Academy of American Poets, The Virginia Quarterly, Bat City Review, The Chicago Quarterly Review, The Southern Humanities Review, The Sugar House Review, Cura Magazine, and Muzzle Magazine. He is co-founder and curator of un::fade::able - The Requiem for Sandra Bland, a quarterly reading series examining restorative justice through poetry as a means to address racism. Brown currently teaches English at Loyola High School in Los Angeles.


Preferred Pronoun Policy

Policy on Preferred Gender Pronouns

Effective August 1, 2016

Otis College of Art and Design is committed to fostering an inclusive campus that values self-expression and respect for the variety of communities it serves. The College recognizes that each of our students, faculty and staff may choose either a binary (him/her) or non-binary gender pronoun.  Therefore, the Otis College community is committed to respecting chosen preferred gender pronouns (PGPs).  As a community, we understand that changes to traditions and habits take time and practice.  We strive to patiently work together to respect and use preferred gender pronouns at Otis College.

In addition, some students, faculty and staff may choose to use a preferred first name (see Preferred First Name Policy).



This guide serves as an educational resource for the entire community so that we can continue to be an inclusive and sensitive campus.

What is a preferred gender pronoun (PGP)?

A preferred gender pronoun, or PGP, is simply the pronoun or set of pronouns that an individual would like others to use when talking to or about them. We all have preferred gender pronouns that we feel best represent us.

What are some currently used English pronouns?


She, her, hers and he, him, his are common gender pronouns in English. These particular pronouns are binary. Some of us feel comfortable with the binary pronouns assigned to us at birth.  Others of us identify with a gender that is different than the one assigned at birth and may choose a different pronoun accordingly.  Binary pronouns may not accurately represent the gender identity of some individuals, including  gender nonconforming individuals.

Many individuals use the following non-binary pronouns instead:


They, them, theirs.

(yes, “they” can be used in the singular).

Harley has volunteered to be a driver for the field trip because they have an SUV.


Ze/Xe, Zir/Xir.       

Harley forgot zir drawing pad.  Ze needs to borrow some paper.


Just my name please! 

Some people prefer not to use pronouns at all.

Harley wants to gain job experience, so Harley wishes to find an internship while studying at Otis.


Never, ever refer to a person as “it” or “he-she” (unless they specifically ask you to.)

“It” and “he-she” can be perceived as offensive slurs.


How can I let others know what my preferred pronoun is?


Here are two suggestions:


1. When you meet someone for the first time, introduce yourself and include your pronoun.  “Hi, I’m Andrea, and I use they/theirs.”  Or, “Nice to meet you.  I’m Dave, and I use him/his.”




2.  Include your preferred pronouns in your email signature.

Pat Johnson


CommArts/Graphic Design Junior


How do you know which pronouns a person prefers?


Correctly using a person’s preferred gender pronoun is an important way to show respect for their gender identity and to acknowledge all genders. Try asking: “What pronouns do you use?” or “Can you remind me what pronouns you use?”  The person you are speaking with will feel respected.


For faculty:  How can I use this information in how I address my students at Otis?

Here’s a suggestion:


On the first day of class, share your own preferred name and gender pronouns:

“Hi, everyone.  My preferred first name is Lenny, and my last name is Huckleberry.  My preferred gender pronouns are he-him.”


During initial introductions or first taking of attendance, ask students to share:


  1. Their preferred first name
  2. Their last name
  3. Their preferred gender pronouns


And of course, document this on your roster, and address your students as they indicated.


What if I make a mistake?  What if I use “her” instead of the person’s preferred “they”, for example.  It can be hard to remember!


Mistakes are going to happen!  Apologize, and rephrase what you were saying or asking.  The person you are speaking with or about will appreciate it.


Did you know that not all languages pose the same pronoun difficulty for genderqueer people?  For example:


In 2014, the gender-neutral pronoun “hen” was added to the Swedish dictionary - for use when the gender of a person is not known or when it is not desirable to specify them as either a "she" or "he".

Turkey does not have a system of grammatical gender and thus does not have any gender-specific pronouns.

In Japan, pronouns, while not explicitly carrying gender, can strongly imply gender based on understood levels of politeness and social formality. While 'boku' and 'ore' are traditionally known to be masculine pronouns and 'atashi' is characterized as feminine, 'boku' is considered to be less masculine to its 'ore' counterpart and often denotes a softer form of masculinity. It is often used by women who find the pronoun 'atashi' as  too feminine.


The Korean pronoun geu (그) is somewhat gender-neutral. While the gender-specific pronoun geunyeo (그녀) is often the preferred pronoun when referring to feminine nouns, geu can refer to masculine, feminine, and neuter nouns.

The Cantonese third-person-singular pronoun is keui5 (佢), and may refer to people of any gender.

The May Fourth Movement to modernize Chinese culture resulted in the gendering of the written Chinese language in order to to make it similar to gendered European languages. In spoken standard Mandarin, when the antecedent of the spoken pronoun (他) is unclear, native speakers will assume it is a male person. However, the pronoun can also mean "other" or "third person".  There is a recent trend on the Internet to write "TA" in Latin script, derived from the pinyin Romanization of Chinese, as a gender-neutral pronoun.                                                                           


(Information in the preceding section sourced from Wikipedia)

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