Peter Durwood ’86 and Grover.
Singer and composer Peter Durwood ’86, who crafts music and sound design for Sesame Workshop digital products, recently created the sound for a Sesame video that has become popular on YouTube.
In it, Grover, the furry blue monster, riffs on the Old Spice web-ads.
“I was an art major at Wes, but an unofficial music minor, particularly enjoying Mark Slobin’s Worlds of Music course, several semesters of African Drumming with Abraham Adzinyah, and Bill Lowe’s remarkable History of African-American Music,” says Durwood.
His album, Peter Durwood, will soon be available on iTunes.
Seth Halpern ’09
Most people don’t become CFO of a national organization just one year out of Wesleyan—as a first job, no less—but Seth Halpern ’09 did just that.
A government major, he moved to Washington D.C. after graduation to look for employment, but the job market was difficult and a month later he was still unemployed. One morning at a local cafe he got to chatting with someone who said he worked at a software start-up, NationalField. Halpern admits that he’s always been “tech savvy” and the two hit it off. From there, he was introduced to the NationalField founders and he accepted a volunteer position with the team. A short time later, the CEO gave Halpern one of the top positions in the organization, formally naming him chief financial officer for NationalField,
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Thomas Cowhey ’94
Thomas Cowhey ’94 was appointed vice president of Aetna Investor Relations, responsible for maintaining the company’s relationship with the investor and analyst communities.
Cowhey, who joined Aetna in 2007, has most recently served the company as managing director of new business development. Prior to his affiliation with Aetna, he was a principal with Legacy Partners Group, an independent investment banking firm, and also had been a vice president at Credit Suisse First Boston. At Wesleyan, he majored in economics. He holds an MBA, with a concentration in health sector management, from Duke.
Aetna Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Joseph M. Zubretsky noted in a press release that “This new assignment makes very good use of Tom’s diverse experience, his strong knowledge of the health care industry and his familiarity with Aetna’s strategic and financial plans.”
Elise Bean ’78
Elise Bean ’78 was selected as one of this year’s most influential women lawyers in Washington, by the National Law Journal. Chosen as one of only 33—based upon reporting over the past year and nominations from the D.C. legal community— Bean is the Democratic staff director and chief counsel of the U.S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. The National Law Journal credits Bean and her fellow honorees, which include the two Supreme Court justices, with setting the legal agenda in the nation’s capital.
Bean leads a team of Capitol Hill investigators, who have explored commodities trading, money laundering, offshore tax evasion, and foreign corruption. “People don’t like to get calls from us,” Bean admitted in an article for the National Law Journal, “but we view ourselves as people who try to do a thorough, careful job.” These meticulous investigators can spend a year or more on a project—and the subcommittee can issue subpoenas if a company is deemed uncooperative.
Bean has worked for the subcommittee’s chairman, Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), since 1985 and has served as the Democratic staff director since 2003. A Phi Beta Kappa government major at Wesleyan, she earned her J.D. from the University of Michigan.
Judge Anthony Scirica ’62
Judge Anthony J. Scirica ’62, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, was one of two justices presented with the 28th Annual Edward J. Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Awards on Sept. 13 in Washington, D.C.
The Devitt award, administered by the American Judicature Society, is given annually to honor judges “whose careers have been exemplary, measured by their significant contribution to the administration of justice, the advancement of the rule of law, and the improvement of our society as a whole.”
William D. Johnston, president of the society, noted in the press release that, “The award is considered the highest award that can be bestowed upon a member of the federal judic
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Joseph Fins '82
Dr. Joseph J. Fins ’82, chief of the Division of Medical Ethics at Weill Cornell Medical College, has been elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies. IOM membership is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine.
Announced Oct. 11, at the IOM’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., Fins is among 65 new members and four foreign associates elected this year. “Each of these new members stands out as a professional whose research, knowledge, and skills have significantly advanced health and medicine and who has served as a model for others,” said IOM President Harvey V. Fineberg in a Cornell press release.
“I am grateful for this honor and for the opportunity to be joining an organization that has done so much for America’s health.
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Diana Farrell ’87
Diana Farrell ’87, deputy assistant to the President on economic policy and deputy director of the National Economic Council, was the subject of a Fortune magazine interview. Writer Tory Newmyer was exploring the impending departure of Farrell’s boss, Larry Summers, director of the National Economic Council, at midterm elections.
When asked what Farrell thinks Summers’ legacy will be, she told Newmyer: “I think his legacy and the President’s legacy are going to be extraordinary. Consider the first 18 months of this administration, when Larry was really a key architect of a lot of the economic policy, it was an unprecedented time in the number of things we were faced with. It’s
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Dan Charness ’10
Dan Charness ’10 won first place in the folk/acoustic category of the Indie International Songwriting Contest for his song, “Summertime Delight,” which he also arranged produced, recorded and mixed.
A cellist since the age of four, he Charness was a Phi Beta Kappa history major at Wesleyan and has recently moved to New York City to pursue a career in music. Two weeks after arriving, he landed his first gig in the City—at Caffé Vivaldi on Nov. 7, in Greenwich Village.
While Charness spent his earlier years immersed in classical music, he used his four years at Wesleyan to develop further breadth in his musical interests—including a thesis on the Beatles and Baby-Boomers, with Professor of History Ron Schatz and Professor of Music Eric Charry as his advisers; an internship at a recording studio; and three years in The Spirits, Wesleyan’s traditional all-male a cappella group.
“I joined the Wesleyan Spirits as a sophomore,”
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David Resnick ’81, P’13
David Resnick ’81, P’13 was appointed chairman of Global Financing Advisory for The Rothschild Group, in the company’s new management structure in North America.
He will help further integrate and develop Rothschild’s successful debt, restructuring, and equity advisory businesses around the world, all of which have grown substantially in recent years.
Resnick was also involved in the US government’s restructuring of the auto industry last winter. Then co-head of investment banking, Resnick was advising parts maker Delphi in its bankruptcy. Advising the government on the restructuring of GM and Chrysler has been beneficial to Rothschild. Last year it was ranked 24th in mergers and acquisition advisers in the United States. This year it has risen to the 9th spot, according to preliminary Thomson Reuters data.
Jonathan Schwartz '87
Jonathan Schwartz ’87, former CEO of Sun Microsystems, recently announced a new venture in the area of health technology called Picture of Health.
In a recent blog, Schwartz writes: “We’re not saying much beyond ‘we’re focusing on the intersection of innovation and public health,’ but we are starting to build out a dev and design team. So if you care about health and technology, we’d love to hear from you here.
“Why are we focusing on health? It’s ultimately a personal choice for both of us. For me, perhaps the most satisfying part of my last job was seeing Sun’s technology used in ways and by people that changed the world. Whether that was inventing a new business, creating a new market or creating national infrastructure, I had infinite faith in my team and our technology, so it was easy to sell what we offered.”
Schwartz holds degrees in mathematics and economics from Wesleyan.
Matthew Glaser '87
Matthew Glaser ’87 has been promoted to a newly created position, chief of investment strategies and executive managing director, at Turner Investment Partners, an employee-owned investment-management firm.
In this new position, Glaser will be the senior manager responsible for overseeing the firm’s diverse investment strategies. He will monitor portfolio risks and characters and help develop new investment strategies and business opportunities.
He will also assist the distribution team with presentations to prospective clients. With this appointment, Glaser has become an executive managing director and a member of the executive management group. Before joining Turner, Glaser worked for Susquehanna International Group and served as managing director at JPMorgan Chase. A history major at Wesleyan, he holds an MBA from Columbia University.
The cable debut of 9500 Liberty will be Sunday, Sept. 26th, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT) on MTV2, mtvU (MTV’s 24-hour college network), and Tr3s: MTV, Música y Más (formerly MTV Tr3s) as part of Hispanic Heritage Month.
The critically acclaimed documentary, 9500 Liberty, is directed by Annabel Park and Eric Byler ’94 and chronicles the social, political, and economic impact of The Immigration Resolution, a law closely resembling Arizona’s SB 1070 that was briefly implemented in a Virginia county in 2008.
“The decisions our elected representatives make on immigration reform now will impact our audience for generations,” said Stephen Friedman ’91, executive vice president and general manager of MTV Networks. “As the national debate rages, MTV is committed to engaging America’s youth as informed and active participants—and sharing this powerful film is a great way to start that process.”
For further information on screenings, click here.