Greg Zlotnick ’86
The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) presented its sixth annual Emissary Award to Greg Zlotnick ’86, a longtime water leader whose involvement with the association spans more than a decade.
ACWA President Paul Kelley, says, “Greg Zlotnick is in a class by himself when it comes to sustained involvement and dedication over the years. We owe a debt of gratitude to Greg for his years of leadership and his unwavering support for ACWA and its statewide interests.”
Zlotnick recalls that his involvement in the issues surrounding water management in California was somewhat catalyzed by his CSS honors thesis, “Rivers of Controversy: California Water Politics, A Primer.” He hit upon the topic with important political and social ramifications partially so he could do research at home in California during the long semester break. Initially, his campus mentors questioned the importance of the subject, although ironically the next few years found New England states engaged in their own water controversies involving the Connecticut River.
Zlotnick served over 10 years as an elected member of the Board of the Santa Clara Valley Water District, Silicon Valley’s water management agency. He is a graduate of the University of California, Hastings College of Law, and a member of the California bar, chairs ACWA’s Groundwater Committee and will begin his 13th year on the ACWA Board of Directors in 2012. His long record of participation and leadership in ACWA also includes chairing the Water Management and Federal Affairs committese, and developing and implementing solutions to critical water management issues at the local, regional, statewide, and federal levels.
Most recently, Zlotnick led an effort by ACWA to produce a first-of-its kind policy document on groundwater management in California. Developed by a statewide task force over 18 months, “Sustainability from the Ground Up: Groundwater Management in California” provides an in-depth look at current groundwater management in California and recommendations to improve it throughout the state.
Nell Schaffer ’06 was selected to be a 2011-12 Capital Fellow in the Judicial Administration Fellowship. The Capital Fellows program is administered through the Center for California Studies at California State University Sacramento, and consists of four individual programs, one of which is the Judicial Administration Fellowship Program, with 10 Fellows, and which is co-sponsored by the Judicial Council of California.
Schaffer, an African American studies major at Wesleyan, received her law degree from UC Berkeley Law, Boalt Hall, in May of 2011.
As a law student, Schaffer worked in a legal clinic providing assistance to low-income self-represented litigants, served as a legal extern in the Prison Litigation Project at the Office of the Circuit Executive for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, participated in the Interfaith Restorative Justice Roundtable at San Quentin State Prison, and co-coordinated an alternative-to-suspension peer court at Berkeley High School.
As a Capital Fellow, she is placed in the Office of Governmental Affairs for the Administrative Office of the Courts, Judicial Council of California.
Director Jan Eliasberg discusses a scene from the "Greed" episode of N.C.I.S.-Los Angeles with actors (left to right) Sherman Augustus, Chris O'Donnell, and Todd Smith (aka LLCoolJ), which will air on Nov. 8 at 9 p.m. on CBS.
Jan Eliasberg ’74 of Aquinnah Films directs the episode of N.C.I.S.-Los Angeles that airs on Nov. 8 on CBS at 9 p.m. The episode, entitled “Greed,” marks the second time Eliasberg has been tapped to put her directorial perspective on the dramatic action series featuring a Naval Criminal Investigative squad working in conjunction with local Southern California law enforcement.
Eliasberg, a theater major at Wesleyan who earned her graduate degree in directing at the Yale School of Drama and studied in London, says that she enjoyed directing plays by Bertolt Brecht and Shakespeare for “the large-scale themes, examining where the tears are in the fabric of our society, who is fighting on the front lines, who is impacted by it, and why.
“Yes, there is violence,” she says, “In the culminating scenes of Hamlet, or Macbeth, or any Greek tragedy, because the stakes are so high. That was the component of theater that really interested me.”
She finds those same aspects in some of today’s most popular television series and savors the directorial challenge.
“Action is thematic story-telling at its richest, in a funny way. It’s not just the ‘flash and bash’ — the action — ultimately it’s about what is at stake and why. What story and character threads have woven together to culminate in that action scene, and how the power is going to shift from that moment on.”
“The secret to writing is knowing interesting people,” playwright Willy Holtzman ’74 told the Portland (Maine) Press Herald. His play, The Morini Strad, opened the 2011-12 season for the Portland Stage, receiving rave reviews. It is slated to open in New York City in March.
The “interesting person” he is refering to is his friend since Wesleyan days, Brian Skarstad ’73, now an artist who crafts high-end violins.
“Brian called me one day with this story,” Holtzman continues. Skarstad had received a request from an aging violinist, Erica Morini, asking him to help sell her Stradivarius. He found her to be unpleasant and demanding—and almost turned down the offer. He decided to accepted, though, and the play explores the themes of friendship, as well as the sacrifices one makes for art and for family, which engage the two characters over the course of the project.
Calling it a “perfect show,” critic Michael J. Tobin for the Portland Daily Sun, wrote: “The script by playwright Willy Holtzman is layered with sharp dialogue, surprising wit and thought provoking inspiration. He writes like a life coach who teaches us lessons about understanding and (dis)trust, reminding us of all the roads not taken and sacrifices made.”
Joy Anderson ’89
Joy Anderson ’89, the founder and president of Criterion Ventures, was selected for Fast Company’s 2011 list of “100 Most Creative People in Business.”
Criterion Ventures is a hybrid for-profit/non-profit firm consisting of Criterion Ventures and Criterion Institute. It identifies large-scale social and environmental problems and designs and implements collaborative ventures and projects that generate solutions to the problems.
A political science major at Wesleyan, Anderson was an teacher and administrator in Brooklyn, with professional leadership roles at the national level. She completed her her Ph.D. in American History from New York University in 2001. Since founding Criterion Ventures in 2002, she has led the firm to built a network of relationships; launch a series of companies; and accumulate significant knowledge around the intersection of business and social change. In 2006, with Tim Freundlich ’90 and Kevin Jones, she founded Good Capital, an asset management firm “seeking to move capital to good,” she explains.
Currently, Criterion’s work is focused on large field building initiatives that look at how to change the way markets function to bring about social and environmental change. Their major initiatives include “Women Effect Investments” — focused on directing investment dollars to benefit women and girls around the world, and “Church as an Economic Being,” which is looking at how the Christian church, in all of its expressions, is both an actor and implicated in the economy.
For more information, please see http://www.criterionventures.com/.
Paul Mason ’77
Award-winning TV news producer and documentarian Paul Mason ’77 was appointed president and CEO of Link TV, the U.S.-based global-affairs independent broadcaster. Mason, a 28-year veteran of ABC News, says his plan for Link TV includes digital news platforms in combination with independent global journalism.
In a video interview, Mason explains: “In some ways global news is covered like a sporting event, as opposed to actual lives that are lived…And I also ask: Since the earthquake in Japan, how often has an American news audience actually seen follow-up coverage about what has happened in Japan, and about of how lives are being lived…and about what people are doing to mitigate that disaster. Since the Arab Spring, how much have we seen about the nascent democracy in Egypt and hiccups that are coming along the way. The truth is, we actually don’t see that much of it. When something goes wrong, that coverage will pick up. That’s not good enough in our world. That’s not good enough information to help us make decisions in our own lives..Because the world has gotten smaller, news, information, little ripples that may happen far, far away—they have impact on our world.
“LinkTV provides a platform for voices around the world to actually explain their world in their own voice. In mainstream media, those voices are filtered.”
See this link for a video interview with him.
Art by Melissa Stern ’80
Life During Wartime, an exhibition by New York-based artist Melissa Stern ’80, opens Friday, Sept. 16, with a reception at the Barbara Archer Gallery in Atlanta, Ga.
A collection of new work by Stern, Life During Wartime explores 1940s America as seen from a contemporary vantage point, using collage materials from that era, as well original drawings. The exhibition continues through Oct. 29.
In an article for NY Arts, Stern wrote: “Images of the 1940s have long played a subtle but important role in my artwork. My father was a World War II veteran, along with most of the other fathers I knew, and the era infused my life as a child of the 1950s and 1960s.” She notes that the “optimism and the anxiety seem light years away, yet strangely familiar.”
See her website for further information about her work, including a video of her studio with works in progress.
Rebecca Sender ’85
Rebecca Sender ’85 was appointed deputy director for finance and administration for The Yale Center for British Art. She comes to the Center from the Princeton University Art Museum, where she served as associate director for the last decade; she was also its acting director from January 2008 to June 2010.
At Yale, she will manage the operating budget for the Center for British Art, as well as oversee the institution’s security, facilities and operations, human resources, Information Technology and the Museum Shop. She also will manage the institution’s emergency plan and will work with the center’s partner institution, the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art in London.
Prior to her time at Princeton, Sender worked for several prominent arts organizations, including the American Federation of Arts, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Carnegie Institute and Carnegie Library, and the Brooklyn Museum.
Director of the Yale Center for British Art, Amy Meyers, praised Sender as “a stellar professional on all fronts,” and adds, “She will be a magnificent addition to the Center and to the extended Yale community.”
A theater major at Wesleyan, Sender earned her M.B.A from the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh in 1992. She earned her M.A. in art history and archaeology from Columbia University in 1999.
Paul Bennett '75
Paul Bennett ’75 was appointed vice president and treasurer of Chevron Corporation in May 2011.
He joined Chevron in 1980 as a financial analyst in the comptroller’s department. Over the course of his career, Bennett earned positions of increasing responsibility in the finance department. Previously, he served as vice president of finance, downstream and chemicals, from 2009 to 2011
A cum laude graduate of Wesleyan, he majored in history. He earned his master’s degree in finance at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1980.
Jerry M. Melillo ’65
Jerry M. Melillo ’65, Distinguished Scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), was named chair of a joint public-private sector committee that will produce the next National Climate Assessment report for the United States.
Gary Yohe, Huffington Foundation Professor of Economics and environmental studies, is also a vice-chair of the National Climate Assessment.
The National Climate Assessment analyzes the latest science and information about the current and projected effects of climate variability and change across the United States. The committee is an advisory body to the U.S. Global Change Research Program.
His appointment to lead the National Climate Assessment committee was announced by Jane Lubchenco, undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and administrator of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The committee includes individuals from academia, the private sector, local and state government, and the nonprofit sector from 22 states.
Mellio brings a wealth of experience to the position: He is co-author of the landmark report to Congress, “Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States,” issued by the USGCRP. He was also a lead author on both the 1990 and 1995 Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and he served in President Clinton’s Office of Science and Technology Policy from 1996 to 1997.
He has been on the scientific staff at MBL since 1976, and is also a professor of biology at Brown University. At Wesleyan, he majored in biology and then earned his MAT in 1968. Followed by his doctorate from Yale. he His research focuses on the impacts of human activities on the biogeochemistry of terrestrial ecosystems, and modeling analysis of the feedbacks and impacts of climate change.