Potash Hill

Alumni News

Curiosity’s Itch 

For 26 years, David Holzapfel ’72 has employed the same model of experiential learning he engaged in at Marlboro College for fifth and sixth-graders at Marlboro Elementary School. In November, David was recognized by the Vermont Humanities Council with the 2014 Victor R. Swenson Humanities Educator Award.

David finds the same essential issues of problem solving in the classroom and in the studio. "In that sense, I don't really make too sharp a distinction between the two practices." Photo by Michelle HolzapfelA sign at the front of David Holzapfel’s classroom quotes educator John Holt: “The true test of intelligence is not what we know how to do, but how we behave when we don’t know what to do.” David says it’s been there since he started teaching at Marlboro Elementary School in 1989, and in many ways it defines his unabashedly hands-on, inquiry-based approach to education.

“Curiosity’s itch is satisfied through focused learning, through real experience,” says David, who compares his classroom investigations to his Plan of Concentration in Italian literature, poetry, and translation. “My own experiences of conducting independent research at Marlboro College serve as a model for the immersive education I engage in with students.”

David didn’t always know he would be a teacher. He devoted 16 years after college to woodworking, establishing a studio called Applewoods with his wife Michelle Chasse Holzapfel ’73, and creating other-worldly furniture from hardwood slabs and burls. He began teaching in 1979 as an artist-in-residence, first with the Horizons Program, followed by the Vermont Council on the Arts. Over the years he enjoyed woodworking, mask making, and totem pole carving with students.

“Those varied experiences enabled me to recognize how much I enjoyed ‘doing stuff’ with kids,” he says. “‘Doing stuff’ with kids has continued to be my favorite aspect of teaching.” Since he began teaching, his time in the studio has been limited; he works primarily on commissions at this point. “But whether in the studio or in the classroom with kids, the same essential issues of problem solving are at the forefront.”

Although David finds countless opportunities for “doing stuff” with kids in the classroom, it’s his forays into hands-on field research that he finds most satisfying. During his time at Marlboro Elementary School, he’s developed three extensive field research experiences with kids. He leads weeklong adventures to New York City and Cape Cod on alternate years, and natural history studies at Hogback Mountain Conservation Area every fall. In each case, students conduct individual research projects, such as interviewing traders at the New York Stock Exchange, learning the history of lighthouses from local experts, and collecting data on Vermont’s changing forest ecosystems.

“In addition to deep, active learning, field research instills in students a sense of place,” says David. “Meaningful interactions with a location and work within a community engender in all of us a sense of belonging, of connection.” It also takes an extraordinary amount of time, and planning, and support, and trust, things often discouraged by ever-growing pressures toward more superficial “coverage” and preparation for standardized tests. David credits former principals Bruce Cole ’59 and Connie Barton with establishing a tone at Marlboro School that continues to this day: teachers are encouraged to teach what they’re excited about.

“The temporal aspects of learning seem rarely considered by policy makers, and yet we all know that those topics to which we dedicate time are the topics we truly know; this is immersive learning. Field research is hard work for educators in the current climate. But I believe that for students and teachers alike, nothing builds a positive sense of purpose and confidence better than the accomplishment of a difficult task done well.”

David and Michelle presented a show titled “True to Form” at Drury Gallery from January 20 through February 13. For more about their work go to: holzapfelwoodworking.com


Class Notes

Class notes are listed by year and include both graduates and nongraduates; the latter are listed under the class with which they are associated. 

“Joan and I just completed a fascinating 18-day tour in Spain, Portugal, and Madeira,” writes CHARLES STAPLES. “Saw much of historical and scenic interest. Still maintaining good health and strength at 85.”

R. BOYD THOMPSON moved to Belfast, Maine, in November. “New address is Crosby Manor Condo Living. Very exciting.”

REGINALD RODMAN published a new book with Xlibris titled Nicodemus: The Life and the Legend (ISBN 9781499045659), about the biblical character who meets with Jesus and experiences a spiritual awakening.

The campus store was excited to host the first (known) mini-craft festival featuring the work of Marlboro alumni. Over the fall semester, they offered for sale the jewelry of alumni Diane Echlin ’81 and Jennifer West ’87, pottery by Willson Gaul ’10, and soaps handcrafted by Hanako Shimonaka ’08. “My new novel, We Will What We Will, is available on Kindle, and will be available on Amazon,” writes JONATHAN POTTER. He is now an adjunct faculty at University of Maine, Rockland, and will be directing Goldoni’s Servant of Two Masters at this year’s Midcoast Actor’s Studio.

“Finishing 34 years as land conservation manager at Trustees of Reservations in Massachusetts,” says WESLEY WARD. “Consulting with Solid Ground Consulting, based in Portland, Oregon, with a national practice.”

“If anyone still remembers the DAVID DORMAN who left Marlboro in 1976 but only received a degree in 1979, and has lived in obscurity ever since, you may be interested in this septuagenarian’s update,” writes David. “Last year I took five and a half weeks out of my retirement project— a story for another time—to walk the Camino from St. Jean Pied-de-Port to Finistera across Northern Spain. This year I took a year out of my now almost moribund retirement project to work at Kwara State University in Malete, Nigeria. I will be returning to Chicago in February, from where I hope to resurrect my retirement project. Be well.”

“I am in the process of planning to walk from New England to Koinonia Farm in Americus, Georgia,” writes SHEILA GARRETT. “Hope to start in August 2015 and arrive in time for the School of the Americas Watch gathering at Forth Benning in November. If you might be along the route, starting in Connecticut, and would be willing to offer a bed or couch, please let me know. This is a trip I’ve been dreaming of doing for several years, especially since 2011, when I travelled there by bus and train. I will be walking on secondary roads, not the AT, and visiting with Quakers, Buddhists, and others along the way.

“Loving the rhythm of the ravens,” writes DEBORAH TUTTLE MARTINEZ. “Saw a western jay and a yellow finch at Griffith Observatory the other day.”

Michelle Holzapfel ’73 gave a talk in Whittemore Theater in February, titled “Nature, Nurture, Culture, Chance,” exploring her inspiration for fantastic wooden sculptures hewn from local hardwood burl. “My big news is that in February 2015, I turn 65 years old,” writes GAIL HENRY. “Hello Medicare and pension. At Marlboro I don’t think any of us thought 65 was attainable, or desirable, but it looks a lot better now. I’m still in touch with many of my friends from the college and grateful for every one of them. Amazingly, I don’t think I’m having a party for my birthday, even though it’s a Saturday. I’d like to be in the South Pacific but doubt that will happen.”

DANIEL HUDKINS writes, “This summer, I checked one more item off the bucket list as I rode a 1983 Yamaha Vision from Maine to California, going north of Lake Superior and the Lake of the Woods. North coast of Lake Superior was spectacular. Some camping, some motels, some staying with friends, including a couple of days with JOHN WOODLAND and his wife in Superior, Montana. I have now been in all 50 states and all 10 Canadian provinces. I just returned from a week in Songdo, South Korea, visiting my younger daughter, who is teaching at an American international school there. If anyone needs a post-partum doula, my older daughter, Katherin, has launched a business called Seedlings for those in the greater Boston area. Life in San Jose continues fine, and we would love to see anyone who’s passing through.”

CHRIS NOTH may be the only alumnus whose name has been used as a clue on Says You!, the public radio game show of bluff and bluster, words and whimsy. In a question about the names of TV shows, in which they listed actors from minor to major until someone guessed the show, Chris was the name that gave away the show The Good Wife.

NAT SIMKINS writes, “Participated in the Crane Estate Show and Sale exhibit at the Crane Castle in Ipswich, Massachusetts, and recently sold a painting via the internet: NatSimkins.com. Still working full time as an application support analyst for Universal Wilde. My wife of 34 years continues to run the Natick Community Organic Farm. Life is going well, and I have connected with some Marlboro alumni on Facebook—feel free to look me up. The lessons I learned at Marlboro about critical thinking, expository writing, Western philosophy, literature, and art have served me well and allowed me to adapt to a changing world. Nothing like a good liberal arts education to prepare for the future. Thanks, Marlboro.”

Documenting history: Jack Rossiter-Munley ’12
“I first learned about Federal Judge Damon J. Keith when I was at Marlboro during a tutorial with Kate Ratcliff on politics and music in the United States,” says Jack Rossiter-Munley. Little did he know then that fellow alumnus Jesse Nesser ’13 would approach him to help produce a film about the legendary judge, now 92 years old and serving on the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The upcoming film, Walk With Me, relates the legacy of the civil rights movement as told through the life of Judge Keith and his landmark decisions on issues ranging from school discrimination to the right to privacy.

“Judge Keith has spoken at length during our filming about his views, not only on the history he witnessed and shaped but also on more current events, always with a sense of positivity,” says Jack. “The knowledge that during his more than 60-year fight for equality, a fight that is far from over, Judge Keith never became cynical or disheartened, never let his hope desert him, has been deeply affecting. I hope to emulate his kindness and integrity as best I can in my own life, and I am passionately committed to bringing his story to a wider audience.”

Jack couldn’t do that alone, and for him one of the most rewarding parts of filmmaking has been collaborating with committed, creative individuals, many of them from Marlboro. In addition to fellow producer and director Jesse Nesser, help has come from co-producer Patrick Lane FS13, music producer Rebecca Gildea ’12, and music professor Matan Rubinstein, who created the score. “Marlboro challenges students to conduct complex, independent, intellectual work, not unlike the process of making a historical documentary,” says Jack. “The passion required to complete such work is undoubtedly present in all the Marlboro alumni working on this project.” Learn more at thedkdoc.com and facebook.com/thedkdoc.

“Yo ho, y’all,” writes LORI KIRSTEIN. “I’ve returned home from 13 years in the Bay Area, to my native Cincinnati. Currently in a little process called redefining my life at the tender age of whatever-the-heck-age-I-am-now. I’m a SAG-AFTRA actor, a professional singer/ songwriter, and a designer of furniture art. Doing freelance work as an associate producer at Possible, a digital marketing firm in Cincinnati, and working on getting myself hired. Had a partner for 12 years, who passed on in 2013. Was rescued from being the total wandering Jew by a friend I’ve known since we were 6, so we’re doing Three’s Company with two guys and a girl. If you’re in Cincinatti, look me up. Hit me up on Facebook too, and you can find me also at Whimsical Art—Lori Kirstein Designs. Love to all.”

“Still painting, dancing, and I’ve started playing the flute again,” says TRICIA LOWREY Lippert. “Paid my house off this summer. Life is good.”

BRAD OLDENBURG’S documentary Aulis Sallinen: Music, Man & Nature was aired on PBS in northeast Pennsylvania in December. “The documentary has been aired in many other countries, but this will be the first time in America,” writes Brad. “As to my cello fingers flying up and down the fingerboard, well, they are rusty. But I am looking forward to playing with a local college-community orchestra in the spring semester—Dvorak’s New World Symphony. My skills in carpentry and construction are keeping me solvent. Best regards to Marlboro. Hope to travel there this summer for the Marlboro Music Festival.”

“After many years, I am now counting the months (10) until (god willing) I received my MJEd and my ordination as a cantor,” writes KATE JUDD MJEd. “I continue to have the honor to serve as spiritual leader of the Brattleboro area Jewish community. I see ELYSSE LINK FS81 regularly, and we reminisce about Marlboro.

Samuel Dowe-Sandes ’96 got to visit with former Arabic language fellow Abdelhadi Izem in Marrakech, Morocco, last November. “We had fun trading stories about winter in Marlboro and cross country skiing with Randy,” says Samuel.REGINA GRABROVAC is Washington County food system coordinator for Healthy Acadia and Washington County: One Community. “Keeps me well engaged,” she writes.

“My most interesting recent news is actually still ahead of me,” writes KATHRYN MALENEY. “This fall I applied and just two weeks ago I learned that I’ve been accepted to the Living School for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The program commences in September 2015. Like Marlboro it’s a small program, but unlike Marlboro it’s under the auspices of a Franciscan monastery founded by Richard Rohr. The program works mostly through distance learning, and where it will lead I’m uncertain. But perhaps two years from now I’ll have some real news for you.”

ANDERS NEWCOMER is busy teaching English at Greater New Bedford Vocational Technical High School, and busy with his family, reports mother Grace Gibson Newcomer. “KIRSTEN NEWCOMER ’82 is doing well in a software firm—and is a trustee of Marlboro,” she adds.

JENNIFER WEST moved to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. You can visit her newly opened Etsy shop, Off the Grid Designs, with “wild adornments for carbon-based life-forms."

“I currently work as the database manager, meaning I run the online catalog, at the Peninsula Library System in San Mateo, California,” writes JOHN BOGGS. “I live in Oakland with my wife, an elementary teacher, and our dog, a Cavalier mix. Off work, I’m learning to build wooden boats at the Arques School in Sausalito.”

“Vermont is a great laboratory,” said SARA COFFEY in a profile in the Autumn 2014 issue of Vermont Life magazine, which described the founding and development of her Guilford-based Vermont Performance Lab. “Living and working in a small community is a great strength and asset for this kind of work. I can have access to people, and there is also a great willingness to collaborate, share expertise, be curious, and welcome artists.”

Harley, a walker hound and the best friend of Carl Askegreen ’99, was featured in the film project of seniors Reily Mumpton and Jenny Smyth, titled The Dog of Montargis. The film recounts the strange trial for the murder of Aubrey de Montdidier, in 14th-century France, where the only witness was Aubrey’s faithful hound, Bruin.“We need to be smarter about our approach to crime. We need to be looking at public health and acknowledge that drug addiction is a public health problem that shows up in criminal behaviors,” says SCOTT WILLIAMS. A lawyer in Barre, Vermont, Scot was elected state’s attorney for Washington County in November, unseating seven-year veteran Tom Kelly.

“I have worked for the Bridges to Health program for nearly five years now, and I honestly believe it to be one of the most positive social service programs out there,” writes STEFANIE CRENSHAW. “It is being piloted only in New York State at this time, but it will hopefully branch out to other states soon.” Stephanie was recognized as Employee of the Year by Astor Services for Children and Families and the New York State Coalition for Children’s Mental Health. “Marlboro will always be a second home to me. The magic of those four years will never be forgotten, and I know there are so many of us out there who feel the same way.”

“Lots of transition,” writes JODI CLARK. “Jenny Karstad ’97 and I bought our first home in West Brattleboro over the summer. We have a spare room and love visitors (hint, hint). I am both thrilled and sad to have come to more transitions in my time with Marlboro. Firstly, I have joined a very elite club of double alumni: I completed my second master’s degree at the graduate school, with a Capstone Project on learning collaboratives, and can now put MSM after my name. I am also immensely grateful and humbled by my three and a half years working in student life again, but it is that same passion for community engagement that has called me out beyond Potash Hill.” Jodi is a project manager for Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies, and training as a leadership guide with the Generative Council at the Center for Nature and Leadership.

“I started my new career in solar on December 1, at RGS Energy in western Massachusetts,” writes BRAD CAMODY. “Woot!”

“Hello from Hollywood,” writes ERIN PETERS. “I just started as assistant editor on TNT’s The Last Ship (that’s picture editing, not writing). After all my liberal arts education, I make a living editing explosions and shoot-outs and it’s fun. Cheers, cheers!”

SAMONIA MEREDITH BYFORD writes, “My husband Dennis and I welcomed our children into the world two months early. Meredith and Andrew are home and doing well.”

“After five and a half years in Paris, including two years in the master’s program of arts de la scène at Université de Paris and a year at École Internationale de Theatre Jacques Lecoq, I moved back to L.A. to remember why I can’t stand L.A.,” writes AARON KAHN. He is now in Hong Kong, teaching there and working with the more than 200 teachers of Pure Yoga in the region. He is still planning to make more theater and sing more sacred harp (he sang at conventions in both the U.K. and Poland this fall). “If you are in Hong Kong, please say ‘Hello.’ I always feel nostalgic for Vermont and Marlboro. Travel is great. So are roots.”

“I am a cheese maker,” writes JENNIFER DOWNEY. “Of course, an artist as well. I own and operate a 20-acre farm, Grade A dairy, and cheese room in Brookneal, south central Virginia, where I milk dairy goats and Jersey cows and create a glorious market garden each season. My children have all grown up, as they do, so it’s just me on the farm. I hope to be producing aged raw milk cheeses in 2015.”

Cutting-Edge Manufacturing: Joshua McAloon ’14
Although Josh McAloon’s Plan was in photography and cultural history, he also had an interest in all things technical. It’s therefore no coincidence that he landed a job in the exciting world of “laser sintering” for the biomedical and aerospace manufacturing industries, working at Oxford Performance Materials (OPM), in New Britain, Connecticut.

“Laser sintering refers to the way in which these machines perform the ‘additive manufacturing process,’ building a part layer by layer from a three-dimensional blueprint,” says Josh. “Individual layers of powdered polymer are laid down, one atop the other, while two overhead lasers score patterns into the powdered layers, melting and fusing (sintering) the material to itself.”

While laser sintering is not something you come across every day on Potash Hill, Josh found that many skills he gained at Marlboro have helped him considerably in his position.

“Critical thinking is important, as additive manufacturing is a relatively young industry, and as such there are unexpected and unproven situations that tend to arise,” says Josh. “To navigate these situations, employees not only need to be able to work together, but need to be able to keep focused on new strategies for success.”

Josh is excited to be working in OPM’s biomedical facility, where they manufacture cranial and facial parts to precise, patient-specific parameters. “Most of the patients who benefit from these medical implants are trauma victims and cancer patients who have lost portions of their skull or had them removed surgically,” says Josh. “There is something different about knowing that when a part leaves the building it’s actually going to become part of somebody.”

ALLYSON FAUVER writes, “I’m currently serving on the board of directors for Camp Pemigewassett, a summer camp for boys in New Hampshire. Pemi is looking for a head chef for summer 2015, and I instantly thought of Marlboro’s approach to food and kitchen as an example we would be interested in seeing there.”

“I welcome my second son this year: Desmond Coello,” writes CARRIE STERR COELLO. “My son Armando Coello is 2. I am teaching natural childbirth classes. My husband Ben Coello and I are enjoying the Seattle area.”

In October, TIM COLLINS performed “The Script,” his one-man show about sexual assault prevention, rape culture, and masculinity, for army, navy, and air force personnel at the Presidio Military Base in Monterey, California.

Marcus DeSieno ’10 caught the world’s attention with “Parasites,” a photo project depicting parasitic animals, such as this deer tick, which appeared in National Geographic, Smithsonian, Wired, and Hyperallergic last year. Marcus will be receiving his MFA in studio art from the University of South Florida in Tampa this spring, and will have a solo exhibition this summer at the Vermont Center for Photography, in Brattleboro: goo.gl/ JS40Mf.ESTHER WAKEFIELD is teaching English in South Korea, report her parents. “This is her fourth and final year, and she plans on going to graduate school in occupational therapy when she returns in August 2015.”

HEATHER BRYCE received a Vermont Arts Council grant to support the creation of “Breathing Under Water,” an interdisciplinary, site-specific work that will be created in collaboration with community members from Montpelier and Middlesex, Vermont. JIM LOWE ’73 called it a “beautiful and abstract exercise in movement,” in a Rutland Herald review of a Bryce Dance Company performance last September.

“I’m in Santa Fe, New Mexico, getting my master’s degree in Eastern classics at St. John’s College,” writes MICHELLE WRUCK. “Chinese, Japanese, and Indian philosophy, history, language, literature, and poetry. Good stuff.”

“I’m currently working at the University of Vermont, for academic support programs, coordinating peer tutoring in academic skills,” writes MINNA ROUSSI. “I moved back to Vermont just last year, and have been out of the Marlboro loop. Thanks for sending along the article that Kate participated in. I’m in the alumni facebook group and love hearing news.”

LAURA BAETSCHER is a graduate student at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health. She has conducted her field research for her MPH degree in the rural western highlands of Guatemala, where health services are thinly spread. “It was exciting to reduce maternal and infant deaths in rural areas through community engagement,” says Laura, who worked with an organization called Nutri-salud.

“I’ve arrived at something of a career after many years, working on mobile health (mHealth) projects at Dimagi,” writes MATT LEVASSEUR. “We make apps for frontline health workers to use as job aids and for data collection. We’ve been working on a project in Haiti with Pathfinder International (big NGO) that’s been amazing."

TALIA JACKSON is working as a therapist at a community mental health agency.

As of this past January, SARAH HOROWITZ has been working as a curatorial assistant at the Picker Art Gallery and Longyear Museum of Anthropology at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. She is conducting provenance research on objects in the collections, contributing to gallery publications, as well as curating an exhibition featuring the work of contemporary multimedia artist, Jaye Rhee, scheduled to open in the Fall of 2015. 

KENTON CARD is working with the Planning and Conservation League, an environmental advocacy/lobbying organization in Sacramento, California. “Please let career services know that we’re always interested in bright interns,” writes Kenton. “As I’m very new there, I can’t say they’ll be paid—which has its own problems, no doubt. But, I can certainly introduce any bright students to the executive director and get them involved in some real environmental or housing advocacy in the capital of California.”

See if you can find Taylor Burrows ’13 and Sean Piles ’13 traveling at 120 miles per hour on the Big Dipper in Santa Cruz, California, while visiting faculty member Lynette Rummel.DEVIN WILLMOTT is in the graduate program for mathematics at the University of Kentucky. He continues to collaborate with mathematics professor Matt Ollis, in work that stems from the research in combinatorics they initiated while he was a student. Their fourth co-authored paper, titled “Constructions for terraces and R-sequencings, including a proof that Bailey’s Conjecture holds for abelian groups,” was published this year in the Journal of Combinatorial Designs (Vol. 23, pp. 1-17).

SARI BROWN writes, “Since graduating from Marlboro I entered Candler School of Theology at Emory University, as a Woodruff Scholar, and I completed my Master of Divinity this December. I focused on Christian ethics, conflict transformation, and ecological theology. I am now living in Bogotá, Colombia, and engaged to a social worker and pastor from here. I hope to work to build spiritual community around sustainable development and to work with issues of peace, healing, and resistance in the midst of the ongoing civil war.” 

ERIC JOYCE, JON NOTWICK, and NICK ROUKE had a group show of their photography at Grumpy’s Café, in Chelsea, New York. “Since attending Marlboro College, where we studied photography together, we have moved in different directions, both in our artwork and our lives,” they say. Nick is in Pelham, New York, while Eric and Jon live and work in Brattleboro, Vermont. “When putting this show together we wanted to look at how our independently meandering paths can come together.”

“I saw a lot of really, really smart people on my college campus who were otherwise disengaged from what was happening overseas,” said BRANDON WILLITTS in a PBS story last November. “It wasn’t because they weren’t interested. It was because we just didn’t know how to meet them halfway on some of this stuff.” Brandon was interviewed as part of a story about Words After War, a literary nonprofit he founded to bring civilians and veterans together for writing workshops.

“Hio Ridge Dance spent summer 2014 devising a new dance piece about our home base of Denmark, Maine.” writes COOKIE HARRIST. “Placeholders.” which they toured around the northeast in the fall, is an hour-long duet performed by Cookie and collaborator Delaney McDonough, featuring projections of short films made with local kids in local scenery. “And check out ‘Placeholders’ (the movie). We combined three smaller video sections of the piece into one film. We couldn’t resist celebrating these wonderful kids that we aren’t allowed to kidnap and take on the road."

GRACE LEATHRUM is working as a special events coordinator at The Mount, Edith Wharton’s Home in Lenox, Massachusetts. “I stay busy coordinating 15 weddings a year, and planning other events like our recent Halloween Masquerade and an upcoming Farm to Table Dinner. Being a longtime Edith Wharton fan I feel at home here, and it’s a really fascinating and rewarding process working with a couple from their first visit to the venue to their walk down the aisle. Looking to get married in 2016? Check out my blog or email me at gleathrum@edithwharton.org.

ANNE SAUNDERS is now in Benin, West Africa, serving in the Peace Corps, reports her grandmother Rosemary Myers.

Kara Hamilton ’14, Eliza Rudegeair ’14, and Robyn Manning-Samuels ’14 all added their fresh, cheerful, postgraduate enthusiasm to the staff force this year. They are helping out tremendously as assistant to the president, admissions counselor, and development data operations assistant, respectively.MADDIE HOLM and DIRK STAMM report that on September 26 they got married at city hall in Portland.

“Hey Marlboro, are you worried about finding work when you graduate?” writes CAITLYN CHARLES. “Did you know that any American under the age of 31 who does not have tuberculosis can be granted a one-year work and holiday visa to work and travel in Australia? I have been in Oz for almost a year now, and it turns out that there are heaps of work here, and their minimum wage is about $17/hour. I definitely recommend the working holiday to new alumni who are not sure what they want to do after graduation. I still think of Marlboro often and tell stories of my time there.”

“The two most recent features I have worked on as art director have begun their festival circuits,” writes JOSHUA “PETEY” PETERSEN. “The Mend, by director John Magary and starring Josh Lucas, premiered at South by Southwest in the narrative competition in 2014, and was most recently being screened at MoMA for the exhibit “Best Film Not Playing in a Theater Near You.” Advantageous, by director Jennifer Phang and starring Jacqueline Kim and Jennifer Ehle, premieres at the end of January 2015 in this year’s Sundance Film Festival.”

ELISABETH JOFFE writes, “I work in the membership department at Solar Energy Industries Association (alright, relevant to my environmental studies degree), a lobbying group in D.C. I also do photography on the side for individuals, couples, and families in the Baltimore and D.C. area.”

Graduate and Professional Studies

JULIE FAHNESTOCK MBA ’14 has been making regular blog entries on justmeans.com, a leading site for sustainability news, including a recent one on MBA alumnus John Tedesco and Green Mountain Power (GMP) (see profile in this issue). “This is an earth-shattering, groundbreaking accomplishment for both GMP and for the B Corp movement,” Julie writes. “It means that a utility company is creating power while generating positive impact, a capability not typically associated with traditional fossil-fuel utilities. That’s because GMP is far from traditional."

Three alumni were recognized as “Rising Stars” by Vermont Business Magazine in September: HILLARY BOONE MSM-MDO ’14, who is now the program director for Benchmarks for a Better Vermont; RICHARD BERKFIELD, Certificate in Nonprofit Management ’11, who works at Food Connects in Putney; and ELA CHAPIN, Certificate in Nonprofit Management ’12, who is on the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board in Montpelier. “For these young professionals it’s not just about business,” says Vermont Business Magazine publisher John Boutin. “It’s about them making a difference in their communities.”

Former Faculty and Staff
“I think the system is rotten to the core. We have to change it,” says retired sociology professor JERRY LEVY, who ran for state senate on the Liberty Union Party ticket in November. Jerry believes the state senate race is usually between “pragmatists,” and does not place himself in that category—and he is not an advocate for compromise and “incremental progress.” Jerry also celebrated 10 years of performing Marx in Soho, and premiered his original play The Third Coming: Marx Returns in November.

SHERRY BROMLEY, registrar from 1963 to 1993, says “I am comfortably settled in Putney, but miss my old Marlboro haunts of 37 years.” 


Book Shelf

“You are afraid of the water—have been ever since you were eight and got knocked unconscious in the breakers, hitting your head on the bottom and waking up below with a vision of the world being ripped apart and scattered by the currents you viewed it through. Salt in your nose and your lungs. Your father fished you out and said the whole thing only lasted a moment, but you’ve always remembered it being so much longer—a dark stretch of time that did not need to fit into other time because it could seep around the edges or sink into the pores.” — Emily Kiernan, Great Divide

Great Divide (Unsolicited Press, ISBN 978- 0615993164), a novel by Emily Kiernan ’09, follows a young woman fleeing from years of abuse in her Oregon seacoast home to an uncertain freedom with her boyfriend in the landlocked new world of the Kansas plains. The book is about memory, the power of the past to shape and subsume the present, and the pressing, terrible need to escape the drowning force of history.



The Hawley Book of the Dead (Ballantine Books, ISBN 978-0345545022), a debut novel by Chrysler Szarlan ’83, was named a National Public Radio Best Book of 2014. In this suspenseful tale of magic and mysterious pasts, tragedy forces a worldfamous magician to flee Las Vegas with her three daughters to the only place she’s ever felt safe: the forest of Hawley Five Corners, in Massachusetts. Once there, she discovers the ancient book that may hold the key to her family’s shimmering history...and ultimately, to her own future.






Empty Hands, Open Arms: The Race to Save Bonobos in the Congo and Make Conservation Go Viral (Milkweed Editions, ISBN 978-1571313409) is the latest book from Deni Béchard ’97 (Potash Hill, Winter 2013). Based on Deni’s extensive travels in the Congo and Rwanda, this book explores the Bonobo Conservation Initiative’s (BCI) efforts to save the last living bonobos, which along with chimpanzees are our closest relatives. Working closely with Congolese communities, and addressing the underlying problems of poverty and unemployment in this war-torn region, BCI’s successes offer a powerful, truly postcolonial model of conservation.






The Shirtmaking Workbook: Pattern, Design, and Construction Resources for Shirtmaking (Creative Publishing International, ISBN 978-1589238268) is the latest how-to compilation by David Coffin ’70. The sequel to Shirtmaking: Developing Skills for Fine Sewing (Taunton Press, 1998), this authoritative guide offers discriminating shirtmakers an amazing collection of custom detail patterns and ideas for men’s and women’s shirt styles. Whether you want a couture creation or a workshop coverall, this book provides the resources to help make your custom shirtmaking easier and more masterful.