Cynthia Rockwell

Bissell ’05 Creates Art as Collaborative Healing

Evan Bissell '05 created this portrait of a prisoner, which was on exhibit at SOMArts Cultural Center.

The eight portraits are larger-than-life, eight feet tall, of heroic proportions. Four of the subjects wear the baggy, bright orange garb of prisoners—which they are. The other four subjects are teens who have an incarcerated parent. In each painting, background icons—a hand grabbing the ankle, a daughter at the ocean, a zoo, family photographs from the past, a mask falling into a breaking mirror—depict the stories of these lives affected by the correctional system.

The oil and acrylic portraits were produced in what San Francisco artist and teacher Evan Bissell ’05 calls a “collaborative dialogue. They were on exhibit at SOMArts Cultural Center Main Gallery through Sept. 19, as part of his work, What Cannot Be Taken Away: Families and Prisons Project.

Along with the portraits, the exhibit included a labyrinth for a meditative experience in personal reflection on the nature of healing and forgiveness, a 36 foot timeline looking at the relationship of incarceration, labor and education in the U.S., and extensive documentation of the project process.

The exhibit and the portraits, says Bissell, evolved from his experience as a teacher and meditations on healing and community. 

Baker ’84 Awarded NEH Grant

Cynthia Baker '84

Cynthia Baker ’84, associate professor of religious studies at Bates College, received $50,400 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to support her research into one of history’s most fraught identity terms: Jew.

The NEH grant will allow Baker to research and write a book set for publication in the “Key Words in Jewish Studies,” series published by Rutgers University Press. Baker notes that no studies exist that analyze the use and the historical development—from ancient times through the postmodern era—of ‘Jew’ as a term.

Baker’s year-long research will involve experts and archives in the U.S., Europe, and Israel.  She will also examine ancient inscriptions and conduct art-historical analyses of images of Jews, including:  medieval European churches, manuscripts, modern cartoons, propaganda, and current pop art.  “The current worldwide political and social developments make this research more compelling than ever,” notes Baker.

By Amanda Sweeney ’11

Barg ’84 to Head Goldman Sachs’ Asian Equity Markets

Steven Barg ’84 has been named co-head of Asian Equity Capital Markets for Goldman Sachs based in Hong Kong. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, he was head of Asian Global Capital Markets for UBS Investment Bank. He had previously been a managing director with Credit Suisse. An American studies and English double major at Wesleyan,  Barg spent a year in Hong Kong as a Henry Luce Scholar prior to earning his MBA from Stanford University.

Sabatino ’80 is VP, General Counsel at United Airlines

Thomas J. Sabatino Jr.’80 is senior vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary of UAL Corporation and United Airlines, its principal subsidiary company, based at the company’s world headquarters in Chicago. He also is a member of United’s executive council.

Prior to joining United this year, he was executive vice president and general counsel of Schering-Plough Corporation, where he oversaw a number of functions, including the law department, public affairs, security and administrative services.

Previously, he served as senior vice president and general counsel for Baxter International, Inc. in Deerfield, Ill. A government major at Wesleyan, he earned his bachelor’s degree cum laude. He is also a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Jacobs ’85 and Haubenstock ’84 on Renewable Energy

Michael Jacobs ’85

Two Wesleyan graduates, Michael Jacobs ’85 and Arthur Haubenstock ’84, joined five other experts in the field of renewable energy in Washington, D.C., on April 26, on a Capitol Hill panel. The seven offered a presentation to Congressional staff on advances needed to integrate renewable resources—including wind and solar energy—into the electric grid. The panel was organized by the EESI (Environmental and Energy Study Institute) and WIRES (the Working Group for Investment in Reliable and Economic Electric Systems). Jacobs, a senior engineer with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) focuses on wind power, and Haubenstock is chief counsel and director of regulatory affairs with BrightSource Energy, a large-scale solar energy company.

Arthur Haubenstock ’84

“One of the greatest challenges in developing an alternative power source is developing a transmission structure,” says Haubenstock. “Unlike fuels in other sources, renewable energy tends to be intermittent, yet we need

Candace Nelson ’96 judges Cupcake Wars

(Photo of Candace Brown Nelson ’96 by Lisa Maizlish Connolly ’90)

Candace Nelson ’96, co-founder of Sprinkles, the first cupcake-only bakery, is one of three judges – and one of two permanent judges, along with Florian Bellanger, chef and co-owner of online macaroon company MadMac – of Cupcake Wars. The show, a new baking competition on the Food Network, airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EST, and features four of the country’s top cupcake bakers facing off in three elimination challenges.

Leah Douglas, summer intern at Serious Eats, posts a blog on Cupcake Wars, which begins:

“Have you ever looked at a small, beautiful cupcake and thought, ‘The preparation of this cupcake was not nearly combative enough for me!!’ Well, then Food Network has the show for you….. The reality show allows professional bakers to battle it out for a

Maguire ’83: Raising Awareness about Civility

Patrick Maguire '83

Patrick Maguire ’83, a writer and blogger—and a 30-year veteran of the service industry—was highlighted in the Dec. 9 Boston Globe Magazine in an interview about the message behind his site, www.servernotservant.com.

For Globe staffer Jenn Abelson, Maguire outlines the message behind his Boston-based blog, which also serves as a platform to launch his book-in-progress and is gaining some wider media attention. His goal is to increase civility in our day-to-day dealings with each other, in general, and with those who work in service industries, in particular, where people are often treated with little respect. The customer, he says, is not always right, and sometimes deserves to be “fired.”

However, he does not abnegate responsibility for those in the service industry to set a pleasant tone, and he praises the businesses that exhibit great service and hospitality. “Hospitality and service are a mindset and a culture,” he notes.

Maguire says the core message of his book and blog consists of three items:

  • That the customer has almost as much to do with the success of every customer service interaction as the service worker.
  • That the customer, especially the abusive customer, is often dead wrong.
  • That all of us are responsible for serving each other with mutual respect and civility.

To view a pdf of the featured page, see http://www.servernotservant.com/media/.

Sasha Foppiano Martin ’02 is Cooking Her Way Around the World

Sasha Foppiano Martin ’02

By Nina Terebessy ’11

Last week, she enjoyed a Bahrainian feast. This week, she is savoring traditional recipes from Bangladesh. For Sasha Foppiano Martin ’02, however, these culinary travels do not involve passports or airplanes. She is enjoying these meals from the comfort of her own kitchen in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she lives with her husband and 10-month-old daughter. Every Tuesday, Martin chooses a new country, researching its culture, traditions and cuisine. She assembles a list of recipes, and photographs the preparation of each meal for her blog titled “Global Table.” It is her goal to cook 195 meals from 195 countries…in 195 weeks.

Martin majored in French studies and English as an undergraduate at Wesleyan, and her thesis titled “The History of Artisan Bread Baking in France” combined her fascination with international studies and the culinary arts. She attended the Culinary Institute of America for a year following graduation, fine-tuning her skills in the kitchen. Martin is just beginning the quest to cook her way around the world, with 182 countries left.

To follow her journey, visit http://www.globaltableadventure.com.

Additionally, the May 2010 issue of Tulsa People features Martin ’02 and her quest, under the headline “Dining Around the World Without Leaving Tulsa.”

Winn ’92 Running Marathons to Support Leukemia Research

Matthew Winn '92 is running his third marathon with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training program.

In an “Executive Profile,” the Atlanta Business Chronicle (April 23–29, 2010) highlighted the efforts of Matthew Winn ’92, managing director, Cushman & Wakefield of Georgia, Inc., who is running his third marathon with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program. Winn will be running to honor his 5-year-old nephew, Nicholas, the son of Amanda Winn Lee ’94, on June 6. That same day will be the five-year anniversary of Nicholas’s remission from acute myelogenous leukemia.

Winn, himself the father of two children, wears a purple “Team in Training” bracelet, indicating his commitment to this group of athletes who are raising money—and awareness—for cancer research. In the Chronicle article, Winn shares the story of his nephew’s battle.

Nicholas was six months old when first diagnosed with AML. Winn recalls learning that there was a 50 percent chance that the baby could die in that first 24 hours after diagnosis, and remembers a particularly close call again five months later after a round of chemotherapy.

The family rallied around its youngest member. Between Winn, his parents, and, of course, Amanda and her husband, Nicholas was never alone during the entire six months of his hospitalization.

Although the disease carries a high rate of relapse in the first few years of the illness, five years marks the cure date. The family, including Nicholas, will be in San Diego to cheer on Winn. The family was already close and has now grown closer, says Matt, who admires his younger sister.

“Her strength through this was incredible,” he told Douglas Sams, staff writer at the Chronicle.

Winn is blogging about his training at http://tinyurl.com/tnt4nicholas.

Laszlo ’78 and Family Receive National Environmental Stewardship Award

Jeff Laszlo '78 and his niece, Caitlyn, enjoy the restored wetlands area on their family land.

This month, Jeff Laszlo ’78 and his family will accept the Environmental Law Institute’s prestigious National Wetlands Award for Landowner Stewardship in a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The National Wetlands Awards are presented annually to individuals who have excelled in wetlands protection, restoration and education.

The Trust for Public Land calls the O’Dell Creek Headwaters and Wetlands Restoration Project “an ambitious multi-year effort to restore and enhance one of the most significant and important wetlands complexes in Montana.”

Laszlo’s family had settled on the land in the 1930s, when his great-grandfather began a 14,000-acre cattle ranch. O’Dell Creek, an important tributary to the Madison River, wound through it. In the 1950s, it became popular to drain wetlands, with the hope of providing farmers and ranchers increased acreage for agricultural production. On the Granger Ranch, Laszlo’s family ranch, agricultural production improved modestly but the loss of wetland habitats dealt a severe blow to the region’s wildlife.

Recognizing the need to preserve the land and wildlife of the region, in 2003, the Laszlo family partnered with PPL Montana, the hydroelectric company, to begin the ongoing multiyear effort to restore the drained O’Dell Creek Headwaters. Conservation easements with The Trust for Public Land and The Montana Land reliance were crafted to forever protect this important area. Soon many government agencies and other conservation organizations joined this effort to carry it forward through the years.

In describing the process, the Trust for Public Land site makes clear their view: “As far as good land stewards go, the Laszlo Family is truly in a league of its own.”

The project, a multiyear effort, restores the drained O’Dell Creek Headwaters.

For further information on the restoration process, which is occurring in several stages, see Fly Fisherman magazine (Jan/Feb 2010), which contains the article “Protect, Rebuild, Restore: O’Dell Creek” by Rocci Aguirre and Nat Gillespie. Additionally, the article can be accessed from Trust for Public Land site.

Gallagher’s ’91 MusicianCorps featured on NBC Nightly News

Chris “Kiff” Gallagher ’91

MusicianCorps, the brainchild of CEO and founder Chris “Kiff” Gallagher ’91, was the subject of a March 8 segment on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. National correspondent John Yang ’81 reported, interviewing Gallagher and a number of the MusicianCorps Fellows and students and showing footage of their music classes.

Modeled after such programs as Americorps and City Year, Gallagher’s nonprofit Music National Service launched MusicianCorps to offer a job and paycheck to musicians eager to make a difference in a community by sharing their passion for music in an under-resourced teaching environment.

The students benefitting from MusicianCorps — dubbed “a domestic musical Peace Corps,”— are in five cities this year, San Francisco, Oakland, Chicago, New Orleans and Seattle, with 20 Fellows serving full-time in high-need venues such as public schools, youth centers, children’s and veteran’s hospitals.

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.