Film, Television, and Literary Storytellers from Hollywood Joined Pacifica Graduate Institute Alumni Association January 17-19th for Coming Home to Pacifica 2020

Top photo (Left to right): Core Pacifica Faculty Dr. Fanny Brewster; Cultural Mythologist Dr. Stephanie Zajchowski; PGIAA Board Member and MFT Breana Johnson; PGIAA Executive Board President Dr. Harry Grammer; Director of Alumni Relations Dianne Travis-Teague; and PGIAA Board Vice President Dr. Olivia Happel during Coming Home to Pacifica 2020.

Bottom photo (Left to right)Authors Edward M. Smink, Ph.D., Melinda Fouts, Ph.D., and Jaffra Vernon Frank, Ph.D. during the Authors Spotlight panel at Coming Home to Pacifica 2020.


Mythologists; Psychologists; experts in virtual reality, public relations, and television; book authors; and major film studio writers shared their experience of personal, cultural, and mythic storytelling during Coming Home to Pacifica 2020. Attendees from all over the U.S. celebrated their powerful journeys with well-known writers and scholars.

During the 3-day event over 125 people came together at the Pacifica Graduate Institute Lambert Road campus (with dozens more joining in on the live-stream) to hear stories about healing, teaching, and communicating. Coming Home to Pacifica 2020 celebrated diversity, humanity, and intercultural respect.

On Friday, January 17th John Bucher, a lead writer for Marvel’s cinematic universe, hosted “A Creative Seminar and Lab for Mythic Storytellers of Every Medium.” Mr. Bucher focused on encouraging and demonstrating how authors can develop an emotionally resonant story, complete with characters to support it.

The seminar was followed by “Telling a Better Story,” a writer’s panel moderated by Pacifica alumnus Craig Titley, a film and television writer/producer of numerous films including the live-action Scooby-Doo, Cheaper by the Dozen, and Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief. 

Panelists who joined Mr. Titley included film and television writers involved in a variety of storytelling genres: Steven Melching of Star Wars franchise fame, Jeffrey Bell of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Mark Swift and Damian Shannon from the horror genre including Friday the 13th and Freddy vs. Jason.

Later, attendees joined special guest speaker Alexandre O. Phillippe, writer and producer, and enjoyed a screening and discussion of his film, Memory: The Origins of Alien.

On Saturday, January 18 PGIAA’s new Board President Dr. Harry Grammer gave the welcome address.  The Stories We Tell: Cultivating Community at the Fates and Graces Mythologium panel followed, presented by Dr. Joanna Gardner, Dr. Rachel Lugn, and Dr. Stephanie Zajchowski.

In the afternoon, Kelly Carlin-McCall, an internationally recognized coach and world-renowned speaker presented “How to Build a Highly Profitable Business While Building a Better World.”

Pacifica’s annual heartwarming Alumni Authors Spotlight took place on Saturday evening and included a wine-and-cheese reception, book-signing, and meet-and-greet with Pacifica authors who have recently published books.

On SundayJanuary 19 the reunion weekend honored the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with the theme “Remembering the Past, Celebrating the Future.”  This annual gathering also celebrated local scholars and community activists as they engaged in discussions centered on “The Beloved Community: A Society Based on Justice, Equal Opportunity, and love Of One’s Fellow Human Being.” The session was moderated by five-time Daytime Emmy nominee, Executive Producer, and Showrunner for Entertainment Studios, Patricia Wilson.

Pacifica Graduate Institute Alumni Association incorporated on April 17, 2013 as a California 501(c) Nonprofit Corporation for the purpose of developing an operational and charitable membership association supporting both the alumni of Pacifica Graduate Institute and the wider community in pursuit of developing their intellectual, spiritual, altruistic, and professional capabilities. Further information is available at the association’s website,

Established in 1976 and treasuring over 4700 graduates, Pacifica Graduate Institute is an accredited graduate school offering master’s and doctoral degree programs framed in the traditions of depth psychology. For more information visit

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