Claudia Chittim ’00
The Art of Living in L.A.

By Donna Parker

Claudia Chittim ’00 is standing on a mountaintop in Brentwood, Calif., gazing at the Pacific Ocean near her office at the J. Paul Getty Trust.

Not a bad view for this research assistant in Getty’s Office of Institutional Research. Claudia provides quantitative and qualitative analysis on how Getty’s technological programs affect the community.  This very unique career was germinated while she was at Trinity and further nurtured when she earned her MBA from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom.  Following that, Claudia catalogued entertainment memorabilia for the second largest auction house in Europe.

“While I was attending Trinity, I wanted to go into archaeology, but I was really more interested in the trading of art.  The ultimate goal of museums is to educate the public in cultural history and the understanding of certain objects.  I’d like to help everyone to understand all that art has to offer,” says Claudia.

Part of what she’s done for the Getty organization is assist in the introduction of PDA devices for art gallery visitors which feature both audio and visual information about each artist and their individual works of art.  Claudia is building upon her knowledge of research by studying design and 3-D animation at a graphic design and film school in L.A.

“The future is in the digital initiative.  There is great demand for people who can evaluate the content of what institutions such as universities are posting online and how the effectiveness of that information can be measured.” 

It’s not all work, though.  This single grad who will soon move into her very first home enjoys attending cultural events – even a few movie premieres (it is Hollywood!) and frequents actor Dennis Hopper’s art gallery.  She also was elected chapter president for the alumni association of Southern California this past May, already organizing the first alumni meeting.

“My close friends from Trinity are so valuable and this is a way to expand that network,” says Claudia, who continues, “The teachers and wonderful education that I received was so inspirational.  It really structured and provided a framework of cultural understanding and empathy – especially as an anthropology student hearing about the missions of sociology and anthropology professors Dr. John Donahue and Dr. Richard Reed living in the field and working with underprivileged communities.”

“In many ways, Trinity instilled a sense of belonging.  Everyone was so nice and friendly.  Trinity was a sheltering experience.  I wish the real world could be more like it!”


Claudia Chittim