Cynthia Rockwell

Documentary by Junger ’84 to be Broadcast by National Geographic

National Geographic Entertainment has picked up the rights to Restrepo, the documentary by journalists Sebastian Junger ’84 and Tim Hetherington that follows a platoon of American soldiers in Afghanistan. The film won the Sundance Film Festival grand jury documentary prize and is set for release on June 2. The National Geographic channel, which has worldwide TV rights, will broadcast the film next fall.

The film was named after a 15-man outpost in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley, considered one of the most dangerous postings in the U.S military.

“From May 2007 to July 2008, Hetherington and Junger dug in with a platoon of men from Battle Company, the Second Platoon of the 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, based at Restrepo,” notes a National Geographic press release. “Named in honor of the platoon’s medic, PFC Juan ‘Doc’ Restrepo, who was killed in action, ‘Outpost Restrepo’ had no running water, no Internet, no phone communication, often no electricity or heat, and it was attacked as many as five or six times a day.”

Says Lisa Truitt, president of National Geographic Cinema Ventures says, “Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger have made a film unlike any other about men in harm’s way. We see their courage. We experience their frustrations. We share their bonding. We hear the music they listen to, and we see the snapshots of their kids that they pass around. It is something that audiences have never before experienced. As they fight the Taliban, these 15 men win our hearts and minds in a way no fictional film can.”

To read the release from National Geographic click here.
To see Junger and Hetherington in a YouTube interview on Restrepo, click here.

Zucker ’83 is a Top Massachusetts Lawyer for 2009

Ellen J. Zucker '83

Ellen J. Zucker ’83, a partner at the Boston-based firm of Burns & Levinson LLP, was honored as one of the 10 “Top Lawyers of the Year” by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, the statewide lawyers’ newspaper.

David Yas, publisher and editor-in-chief of the publication, pronounced Zucker a “fabulous litigator,” noting in particular two of her recent successes at the trial court and appellate levels. He touted Zucker’s representation of Malvina Monteiro, a former employee of the City of Cambridge, who claimed that she had faced retaliation after filing a complaint of race discrimination. The jury agreed and awarded Monteiro more than $4.5 million in damages.

In another case, Zucker helped establish a new standard for determining whether employers can compel employees to arbitrate workplace discrimination claims. Before Massachusetts’ highest court, Zucker successfully argued that her client, Dr. Carol Warfield, the former chair of anesthesiology at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, could not be forced to arbitrate (instead of litigate in court) her claims of gender discrimination and retaliation against the hospital and others.

Zucker practices in the areas of employment law, business litigation, and white collar criminal defense.  Zucker is an active voice in politics in Massachusetts.  A College of Letters graduate, Zucker earned her master’s degree at the London School of Economics and Political Science and her J.D. from Boston College Law School. Prior to becoming an attorney, she taught high school English and philosophy.

For more information see:

Hong ’04 Named “Young Global Leader”

Alfred Hong '04

Alfred Hong '04 (Photo by JoongAng Ilbo Co, 2010)

Jeongdo (Alfred) Hong ’04 was selected as one of this year’s Young Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum (WEF), a Geneva-based nonprofit that brings together business and political leaders, intellectuals and journalists to discuss the most pressing international issues, including health and the environment.

This year the forum selected 197 Young Global Leaders (YGLs) from 72 countries for their professional accomplishments, commitment to society and potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world. Hong, of South Korea, is head of strategy for the JoongAngIlbo, one of the country’s three big newspapers.

The 2010 Young Global Leaders will participate in task forces addressing specific challenges and become part of the broader Forum of Young Global Leaders community, now comprising 660 individuals. The YGLs convene at an annual summit, as well as at Forum events and meetings throughout the year.

Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chairman of the WEF says that the group represents “the voice for the future and the hopes of the next generation” offering “new energy to solve intractable challenges.”

Hoggard Performing with Bill Cosby at Hollywood Bowl

Jay Hoggard '76, adjunct associate professor of music, will perform with emcee Bill Cosby P'87 and Hon '87 June 13.

Jay Hoggard '76, adjunct associate professor of music, will perform with emcee Bill Cosby P'87 and Hon '87 June 13. (Photo by Sandy Algieri, Perceptions Photography)

Vibraphonist, composer and Adjunct Associate Professor of Music Jay Hoggard ’76,will perform in the 32nd annual Playboy Jazz Fest, held at the Hollywood Bowl on June 13.

Performing as a member of the latest version of emcee Bill Cosby’s “Cos of Good Music” band, Hoggard will be playing with NduguChancellor, Dwayne Bruno, Ingrid Jensen, Mark Gross and D.D. Jackson.

The invitation to join the band wasn’t really a surprise for Hoggard. He has worked with Cosby before, including on the soundtrack to the Cosby TV show. “When Dr. Cosby calls, I drop everything and I’m there,” says Hoggard.

Currently taking the Wesleyan Jazz Orchestra on its annual tour of Middletown schools, Hoggard is looking forward to the Crowell concerts on April 30, for the jazz orchestra and the student ensembles, and then on May 1, the jazz orchestra will open for the feature guest artist, saxophonist/bass clarinetist Benny Maupin and his trio.

The tour of the schools serves as rehearsals for the Wesleyan musicians. Hoggard’s students offer the youngsters much of the same music they will play for the adult audiences at the end of April.

“The young ones appreciate that they are being offered music even if it is a bit over their heads. If it’s energetic and peppy, they like it,” he says.

Locally, Hoggard will also serve as music director for a dance theater production at Charter Oak Cultural Center May 29 and 30th, featuring the SankofaKuumba Cultural Arts Consortium.

For an interview with Bill Cosby P’87 and Hon ’87 on last year’s jazz concert visit:

Chef Leviton ’88 Nominated for ‘Academy Award of Cooking’

Michael Leviton '88 was nominated for James Beard Best Chef Northeast. (Photo by Bill Burkhart)

Michael Leviton '88 was nominated for James Beard Best Chef Northeast. (Photo by Bill Burkhart)

Chef and business owner Michael Leviton ’88 of Lumiere Restaurant, in Newton, Mass., was nominated for James Beard Best Chef Northeast, which includes the New England states and New York region.

The awards will be presented on May 3, in New York City’s Avery Fisher Hall, with previous award winners Alton Brown, Lidia Bastianich and Wolfgang Puck hosting. Nominations for the Beard awards, considered the Academy Awards of cooking, is open to the public. Culinary professionals and food journalists then use secret ballots to determine the winners.

Leviton is not the product of any culinary school. Instead, he has trained in Paris, France as well as San Francisco, Calif. and has focused on making his French bistro fare organic, local and sustainable. In his 11 years at Lumiere, he has won awards from Food and Wine and Bon Appetit magazine.

“I don’t cook for awards,” Leviton told the Boston Globe. “I just try and make sure that people enjoy our food, because that is what will make them come back.”

More information is online in these articles:

Boston Herald

Boston Globe

Richter ’66 Named to N.J. Hall of Fame

Irvin Richter ’66

Irvin Richter ’66

Irvin Richter ’66, chairman and chief executive officer of Hill International (NYSE:HIL), was named to the New Jersey Business Hall of Fame.  He was one of only four laureates this year.

This is a lifetime achievement award for individuals who have made a significant contribution to the quality of life and the business climate in New Jersey, and who will also serve as “role models for the next generation of New Jersey’s business leaders,” according to Dave Weaving, chair of the induction event, scheduled for April.

Richter founded Hill in 1976 and the company is now considered one of the premier construction consulting firms in the world, with 2,500 employees in 85 offices worldwide. Engineering News-Record magazine recently ranked Hill as the eighth largest construction management firm in the United States. Projects include the Channel Tunnel (where he served on the Oversight Committee), Al Fateh University in Libya, Palm Island in Dubai, Renovation of the Path Station at the World Trade Center, EPCOT, the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, the Comcast Center in Philadelphia, LA Metro, Washington Metro, and Bahrain Airport, among thousands in which Hill has been involved.

Richter is a member of the World Presidents’ Organization (WPO) and the Construction Industry Round Table. He is or has been members of the boards of Rutgers University, Temple University Hospital, Construction Management Association of America (where he was elected a fellow), Energy Power & Storage, incNETWORKS, among others, and is the author of numerous publications. He is a member of the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Bars and is licensed to practice law up through the US Supreme Court. He has been honored as a Distinguished Alumnus by both Wesleyan University and Rutgers University School of Law at Camden, where he earned his J.D. He serves as secretary for Wesleyan’s Class of 1966.

Heaney ’09 Awarded Fellowship to Study Law Ethics

(By Anne Calder ’11)

Allison Heaney ’03

Allison Heaney ’09

Allison Heaney ’09 has been awarded a Fellowship at Auschwitz for the study Professional Ethics. A law student at Duke University, she will spend two weeks this summer traveling to New York, Poland and Germany.

The Fellowship enables students in law, medical, seminary, journalism and business to address contemporary and future ethical issues by looking to the past. In the context of Nazi Germany and Auschwitz, Heaney will analyze the responsibilities lawyers have to their clients and to society.

Heaney was a psychology major at Wesleyan, and is now pursuing a master’s degree in psychology while simultaneously getting her law degree. She also took a number of history courses on World War II and Nazi Germany, so is well versed in all contributing aspects of the fellowship. She expects she will offer a fresh perspective to the group.

After working as a research assistant to a counter-terrorism and international criminal law expert at Duke, Heaney is growing more and more interested in international law. “I’m beginning to see a lot of connections between how the world handled Nazi Germany and how we’re going to handle Al Qaeda now,” she says.

Talbot ’70, Davis ’70 Create PBS Music/Politics Series Pilot

Sound TracksThe pilot for Sound Tracks: Music Without Borders, aired nationally on PBS in late January. Described as a magazine show “about the intersection of music with life, politics and culture around the world,” it is a collaboration between two alumni of the class of ’70—executive producer Stephen Talbot and executive producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting David Davis.

The first episode includes a vignette on Russian pop: “A Man Like Putin” is a catchy tune that became a generation’s anthem. Another section takes the listener to Africa, where Nigerian music legend Fela Kuti’s youngest son, Seun, has kept his father’s legacy alive by leading the band, a task he took on at age 14.

Additionally, Sound Tracks will introduce viewers to Mariza, considered the new queen of fado, Portugal’s traditional music. The story of a new symphonic work for Kazakhstan, composed by Erran Baron Cohen (brother of the creator of Borat) at the request of the country’s virtuoso violinist Marat Bisengaliev, rounds out the program.

Says executive producer Stephen Talbot ’70, former series editor of the award-winning PBS program, Frontline/World, “Americans love eating the food of different cultures. We want to give people that same exposure to the world’s incredible music with great stories that transcend cultural barriers.”

Emmy Award-winning Public Radio International newsman Marco Werman hosts the show.


Zeitlin ’03 Earns Accolades for King Pajama’s Something Sweet

Kaitlin Zeitlin '03

Nina Zeitlin '03

Something Sweet, Nina Zeitlin’s ’03 family/kids’ album, was named in the Top 10 on NPR’s “2009 Best Music for Kids and Their Families.” In a story for WXPN’sKids Corner in Philadelphia, host Kathy O’Connell noted that she’d remember 2009 as “the gold standard in kids’ music,” and included Zeitlin’s musical ensemble, King Pajama, as one of the groups “whose kid-centric themes (love of the library, train rides, ice cream) provide a clue to their intended audience, since the songs themselves work for everyone.”

Zeitlin, a sociology major at Wesleyan, sang, recorded and produced the collection, which also won a 2009 Parents’ Choice Award, and was included in Time Out New York Kids as a “Top 10 Best Children’s CD of 2009.”

kingpajamacoverTo read O’Connell’s picks for NPR, as well as to listen to a track from Something Sweet, go to:

King Pajama’s web site also offers samples of their musical fare, including “Guacamole Time” and “Heavy Coat.”

Ravenal ’81 President of Art Museum Association

John Ravenal '81

John Ravenal '81

John Ravenal ’81 is now president of his professional organization: the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC).

The Sydney and France Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Ravenal has become the fourth president of AAMC since the organization was founded in 2001.

Ravenal joined the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) in 1998, and his exhibitions have included Vanitas: Meditations on Life and Death in Contemporary Art; Outer & Inner Space, a history of video art; and Artificial Light, displayed at VCUarts Anderson Gallery and the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami.

In addition, he has recently completed a book on modern and contemporary art at VMFA and is planning a complete redesign of all modern and contemporary galleries, as well as the addition of a sculpture garden, to open this May.

An art history major at Wesleyan, Ravenal earned his M.A. and M.Phil in art history from Columbia University. Prior to his affiliation with the VMFA, Ravenal worked at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where he was associate curator of 20th-century art.

“Our profession is now more important than ever as we maintain the artistic vision of the museums we serve and engage ever broadening audiences,” he says in an AAMC press release.

To learn more about the Association of Art Museum Curators, see

Fins ’82 Elected President of Bioethics Society

Joe Fins '82

Joe Fins '82

Dr. Joseph J. Fins ’82 has been elected president of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities. His election to this two-year term, which begins in 2011, recognizes his major contributions to bioethics, as well as his broad expertise in the field.

Fins is chief of the Division of Medical Ethics and a faculty member at Weill Cornell Medical College. He is also director of medical ethics at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and chairs its ethics committee.

“I am honored to have been elected, and I look forward to encouraging the contributions of my esteemed colleagues in bioethics and the medical humanities as we work together to improve patient care, enrich medical education and inform health policy,” he says.

Fins is an authority on ethical and policy issues in brain injury and disorders of consciousness, palliative care, research ethics in neurology and psychiatry, medical education and methods of ethics case consultation. He is a co-author of the 2007 Nature paper describing the first use of deep brain stimulation in the minimally conscious state. His most recent book is A Palliative Ethic of Care: Clinical Wisdom at Life’s End (Jones and Bartlett, 2006).

A College of Letters major at Wesleyan, he received his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College, now known as Weill Cornell Medical College, in 1986. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Fins served on the Wesleyan Board of Trustees and chairs the Wesleyan Alumni Association.

Ballon ’01 Serves as California Legislature Advisor

Beginning this month, Daniel R. Ballon ’01 will serve as a California legislature advisor,  one of 10 fellows taking part in a first-of-its kind statewide program designed to provide legislators with access to experts in science and technology to help them evaluate the proposals before them.

Ballon, a Phi Beta Kappa Wesleyan graduate with a double major in molecular biology and biochemistry and Russian language and literature, earned his Ph.D in molecular and cell biology from the University of California, Berkeley. He was previously a senior policy fellow in technology studies at the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy in San Francisco. As a fellow, he will work the Assembly Minority Leader/Republican Caucus and serve a one-year term.

The program is administered through the California Council on Science and Technology in conjunction with universities and several foundations and operates at no cost to the taxpayers.

More information is in a recent edition of The Mercury-News and the Pacific Research Institute web site.