Tag Archive for alumni

Arnold ’91 Writes Companion to Turner Classic Movies “Essentials” Series

Author and film historian Jeremy Arnold has written the companion book to Turner Classic Movies Essential series with The Essentials: 52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter (Running Press, 2016).

Author and film historian Jeremy Arnold has written the companion book to Turner Classic Movies Essential series with The Essentials: 52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter (Running Press, 2016).

Jeremy Arnold ’91, author, film historian and longtime contributor to Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is the author of The Essentials: 52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter, recently published in collaboration with Running Press and Turner Classic Movies.

A graduate of the Film Studies Department at Wesleyan, Arnold credits Professor Jeanine Basinger as instrumental in his work, both researching and writing the book. “I took five courses with Professor Basinger and she was the best teacher I ever had. She remains a close friend to this day,” he said.

The book serves as a companion to TCM’s weekly on-air “Essentials” series, hosted by Robert Osborne and others, which showcases the most influential and impactful movies ever made. Arnold made an appearance at the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood to introduce two screenings, and on Sunday, May 15, at 8 and 10 p.m. EDT, Arnold also will be appearing on TCM, to discuss the book and introduce a James Cagney double feature of White Heat (1949) and Footlight Parade (1933).

7 Inducted into 2016 Class of Wesleyan Baseball Wall of Fame

The Class of 2016 Wesleyan Baseball Hall of Fame, flanked by Baseball Coach Mark Woodworth ’98 on the right and Athletic Director Mike Whalen ’83 on left: Phil Rockwell ’65, MALS ’73 P’11; Jesse Carpenter ’96; Tom Young ’59, MALS ’73; Steve Donovan ’83, Todd Mogren ’83, Christian Frattasio ’00, Kevin Rose ’78.

The Class of 2016 Wesleyan Baseball Hall of Fame, left to right, and flanked by Baseball Coach Mark Woodworth ’94 on the far left and Athletic Director Mike Whalen ’83 on the far right: Phil Rockwell ’65, MALS ’73 P’11; Jesse Carpenter ’96; Tom Young ’59, MALS ’73; Steve Donovan ’83, Todd Mogren ’83, Christian Frattasio ’00, Kevin Rose ’78.

On May 5, the Daniel Family Common was the site for the 2016 induction into the Baseball Wall of Fame.

Seven alumni, ranging in class years from 1959 to 2000 were there with family and friends to reminisce about their outstanding Wesleyan baseball careers, as well as celebrate the program for what it is accomplishing currently. Both Ken Janik ’85, who played baseball for Wesleyan, and Wesleyan Baseball Coach Mark Woodworth ’94 offered introductory remarks.

Athletic Director Michael Whalen ’83 noted the significance of these awards. “The Wesleyan baseball program has a tradition of excellence dating back to the 1950’s. The Wall-Of-Fame celebration not only brings together players from different eras in honor of outstanding baseball achievement, it connects current student-athletes with those who wore the Red and Black before them.”

The seven inductees of the 2016 Wall of Fame Class were:

Tom Young ’59, captain and catcher for the ’59 team that went 24-4-1 in his junior and senior years and wont two Little Three titles. He was a longtime baseball coach at the Berkshire School, where the field is named after him;

Phil Rockwell ’65, P’11, left-handed pitcher and co-captain for the Cards and part of the two Little Three champion teams, including a 14-2 squad in 1964. As a junior and senior, He dominated against Williams and Amherst and also beat Yale. He was the 1965 McNaughten Award winner and played for the Cape Cod League;

Kevin Rose ’78, P’19, who, as a senior, was named First-Team All New England as a senior. The 1979 MacNaughten Award winner, he played in the Cape Cod League as well as professionally baseball with the Newark Bears;

Steve Donovan ’83 graduated as Wesleyan’s all-time hit leader. A centerfielder, he helped lead his squad to two Little Three titles, three ECAC tournament appearances, and had a 24-6 record in his senior year;

Todd Mogren ’83, a pitcher, was named First-Team All-New England as a senior and still holds two Wesleyan records—for appearances in a season (20) and career innings (289.1). The 1983 MacNaughten Award winner, he won two Little Three titles and pitched the Cardinals to victory over Yale in both his junior and senior years.

Jesse Carpenter ’96, who has the highest single-season battling average in Wesleyan history, at .446, was named First-Team All-New England in 1995. A third baseman, his career batting average of .379 is the third all-time in school history. His three hits and home runs in the New England NCAA championship game catapulted the Cardinals to the 1994 World Series. His teams won four Little Three titles. He was the 1996 MacNaughten Award Winner.

Christian Frattasio ’00, a four-year starter for the Cardinals, was a left-handed hitting infielder who graduated fourth all-time in career hits with 146. He was named First Team All-NESCAC as a senior and led his squad to a Little Three title. He currently serves as president of the Friends of Wesleyan Baseball.

At the end of the evening, Woodworth observed: “What a great night! To discover what Wesleyan Baseball means to people, all you had to do was be in the room and feel the energy of 150 people connecting the past, present and future. For alums, family, friends, current players, parents and coaches, it was a celebration and affirmation of everyone who has been impacted by the Wesleyan Baseball program.”

Also applauding the seven were baseball team faculty sponsor Professor of Government Guilio Gallaroti, and James van B. Dresser ’62, trustee  and board chair emeritus, for whom Dresser Diamond was named and dedicated in 2010. Members of the 2016 Wesleyan Baseball team were also there to applaud the Cardinal heroes from previous eras.

The Wall of Fame was begun in 2014. The 14 previous inductees included Pete Kostacopoulos, who coached the cardinals from 1974 through 2001, and Norm Daniels, who coached from 1941 through 1973. Rob Sansone ’79, an alumnus of Wesleyan Baseball, sponsored the 2016 Wall of Fame dinner.

Click here for information on the 2014 and 2015 awards.

Chanoff ’94 Speaks at UN Foundation Symposium on Global Refugee Crisis

Sasha Chanoff ’94, left, founder and executive director of RefugePoint, spoke with UN Foundation consultant Ruma Bose in a livestream discussion on the international refugee crisis for the UN Foundation

Sasha Chanoff ’94, left, founder and executive director of RefugePoint, spoke with UN Foundation consultant Ruma Bose in a livestream discussion on the international refugee crisis.

On April 29, Sasha Chanoff ’94, founder and executive director of RefugePoint, joined other experts in refugee affairs, and leaders from the private sector in a symposium by the UN Foundation. Chanoff participated in two panel discussions led by Raj Kumar, the founding president and editor-in-chief of Devex, the media platform for the global development community.

In “Changing the Paradigm: New Solutions for The Global Refugee Crisis,” Chanoff’s discussion with Ruma Bose, who leads Tent.org, he shared his excitement for “venture philanthropy”—a private-sector role in funding pilot projects—thus stimulating the growth of start-up organizations and alternative solutions.

“Venture Philanthropy…can be a key to addressing this global humanitarian crises that we’re facing,” Chanoff said. “We’ve seen a rise in this….

“This is a space where smaller organizations, or people with really good ideas, can come in. They’re not going to receive government funding, they’re not going to receive UN funding initially. But if they can show that they have an idea that works. that can expand, that can impact many more people—then that funding can follow. There’s a real role for venture philanthropy to come in and stimulate new ideas.”

Chanoff also joined J.J. Messner, executive director of the Fund for Peace; and Shelly Pittermann head of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees Office in Washington, D.C., for a discussion on the dimensions of the current crisis.

RefugePoint, Chanoff’s own organization, which he founded in 2005, was one such organization that started small and thrived with help from venture philanthropists. Founded to identify and protect refugees who were not served by other humanitarian organizations—particularly women, children, and urban refugees—RefugePoint now deploys protection officers throughout Africa and have worked in more than 20 different locations across Africa, with people fleeing persecution in the Congo, Somalia, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi and other war-torn areas.

Miranda ’02 Named One of TIME’s “100 Most Influential People” in the World

linintimePulitzer Prize winner Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02, Hon. ’15, creator of Broadway’s Hamilton, was recently named one of TIME‘s “100 Most Influential People in the World” for 2016 in the Pioneers category.

In TIME, writer, producer and director J.J. Abrams writes, “So much has been said about Hamilton, I assume you know this already: the musical’s embracing of history and rhythm, race and rhyme, melody and passion is an actual stunning event. Tickets are impossible to get for good reason: even in this age of ubiquitous hyperbole, it can safely be said that Hamilton is one of the best things—not just theatrical events—you’ll ever see.”

“Knowing the man, experiencing his exuberance and dazzle up close, is as delightful as the show itself. His wit would be intimidating if not for his natural and infectious charm. Somehow he is as generous, collaborative and lovable as he is innovative and brilliant.”

In other news, Miranda was influential in keeping Hamilton on the $10 bill. The movement to keep Hamilton on the $10 bill gathered strength after the Broadway musical named after the founding father became a smash hit. Miranda directly lobbied Treasury Secretary Jack Lew last month on Hamilton’s behalf.

In addition, Miranda and the Hamilton crew paid tribute to Prince after a recent Hamilton performance; he was interviewed by Maria Santana ’97 for CNN – Espanol; he spoke on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver about the debt crisis in Puerto Rico; and he was featured in the April 22 edition of The Washington Post in an article titled, “Imagine being Lin-Manuel Miranda Right Now.”

Aetna Taps Sabatino ’80 and Loveman ’82 as High-Level Hires

Thomas Sabatino Jr. ’80 joins Aetna as executive vice president and general counsel.

Thomas Sabatino Jr. ’80 joins Aetna as executive vice president and general counsel.

Aetna has tapped two Wesleyan alumni for recent high-level hires. Thomas Sabatino Jr. ’80 is joining the insurance giant as executive vice president and general counsel. Sabatino worked most recently at Hertz Global Holdings as its chief lawyer, and previously in pharmaceuticals and medical products.

He joins Gary Loveman ’82, who in September became Aetna’s corporate executive vice president and president of Healthagen, the company’s consumer business. Loveman, a former management professor at Harvard Business School, had been chairman and CEO of Caesars Entertainment Corp.

Gary Loveman ’82 is Aetna’s corporate executive vice president and president of Healthagen, the company’s consumer business.

Gary Loveman ’82 is Aetna’s corporate executive vice president and president of Healthagen, the company’s consumer business.

Dan Haar ’81, business editor of the Hartford Courant, wrote that both Hertz and Caesar’s are known for tracking and managing their top customers. Loveman created a data-based customer loyalty program as well as an incentive-based health and wellness program for the company’s 70,000 employees and their families.

At two of the three big Hartford insurance companies, Wesleyan alumni hold the general counsel position – David Robinson ’87 has the post at The Hartford. Also, Tom Cowhey ’94 is head of investor relations at Aetna, and Gabriella Nawi ’90 has the same position at Travelers.

Quigley ’08 is Knight Cities Challenge Winner

Caitlin Quigley ’08 received a Knight Cities Fellowship for her project, "20 Book Clubs, 20 Cooperative Businesses."

Caitlin Quigley ’08 won a Knight Cities Challenge for her project in Philadelphia: “20 Book Clubs, 20 Cooperative Businesses.”

 

(By Margaret Curtis ’16)

Philadelphia-based Caitlin Quigley ’08 was selected as a winner of the Knight Cities Challenge for her project “20 Book Clubs, 20 Cooperative Businesses.” The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation awarded 37 winners out of a pool of more than 4,500 applicants with a share of $5 million to support one of the 26 communities in which the foundation invests.

Quigley and her organization, the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance (PACA), were awarded $146,000 to implement her project, which will support neighborhood businesses. Quigley’s project will form 20 community-based book clubs of six to 12 people who will choose readings, films, and field trips that pertain to cooperatives. In six months, each book club will identify a business need in their neighborhood—such as a lack of grocery stores, credit unions, childcare centers, hardware stores, or artist studios—and form a business cooperative to meet that need.

PACA is a cooperative and a 501(c)3 nonprofit that aims to support the local economy by promoting local cooperatives.

The mission of the Knight Cities Challenge is to support initiatives that aid growing communities through what the Knight Foundation calls the “three drivers of city success:” attracting and keeping talented people, expanding economic opportunities, and creating a culture of civic engagement.

“This project will bring together residents to learn and work collaboratively in order to build long-lasting community-owned businesses,” Quigley said.

At Wesleyan, she double majored in Spanish and film studies.

 

Apple Music’s Saint John ’99 Recalls Formative Wes Moments in WesFest Keynote

Alumni Keynote Speaker, Bozoma Saint John '99, head of global consumer marketing for Apple Music and iTunes, delivered the WesFest keynote address on April 15.

Alumni Keynote Speaker, Bozoma Saint John ’99, head of global consumer marketing for Apple Music and iTunes, delivered the WesFest keynote address on April 15.

Bozoma “Boz” Saint John ’99, head of global consumer marketing for Apple Music and iTunes, wowed attendees at WesFest—admitted students and their parents— as keynote speaker.
The eldest daughter of Wesleyan ethnomusicology graduate Dr. Appianda Arthur PhD ’77, Saint John spoke on Wesleyan’s powerful influence on her life today.

Her father, recalling his formative years at Wesleyan and the lively intellectual community, had encouraged her to attend Wesleyan. Although her desire to rebel figured in early in the decision process, she ultimately chose Wesleyan. “My father was so excited when I decided Wesleyan was the school for me, but he stopped short of saying, ‘I told you so,’” she recalled.

What she’d found on campus was an intellectual home—a place of lively discourse and diverse fields of study. “Coming to Wesleyan I found a deeper level of connection to students who had varied interests in things, in a way I hadn’t felt before with classmates …. It felt like coming to a big camp with people who looked at the world the way I did—a little left of center.”

While initially prepared to find herself on the pre-med track (“I was good at science and math”), she discovered that her interest in pop culture offered an avenue for intellectual exploration, and she recalled a particularly formative opportunity.

It was during her undergraduate years that one of her favorite musicians, the rapper Tupac Shakur, was murdered. “I thought—’There’s something to be learned here.’ I took that thought and found there was an elective being taught at USC about rap and its influence on culture. I approached my American Studies professor, who seemed knowledgeable. ‘I would love to be able to have a class on the lyrics of Tuback Shakur,’ I told him.

“He looked at me and said, ‘It sounds interesting. I don’t have the time to teach this, but I’d sponsor you, if you wanted to teach this course.’”

She recalled dismissing his idea as one she wasn’t qualified to consider: “Who me? I can’t do that; I’m just a fan.”

“Of course you can,” he responded.

Saint John spent the next month transcribing every lyric Shakur had written and recalls the laborious process with her tape player: listening, jotting down what she heard, rewinding, pressing play and listening again—for as many times as it took until she was sure she had them correct and complete.
She returned to her amazed professor with the sheaf of transcribed songs, and he helped her develop a course that she taught. “We had 30 students for this noncredit course—a course just to learn something. The next semester, we had 30 people in the class and a 60-person wait list, and the semester after that, he took it on himself,” she recalls.

“To me, that is the truest testament to what education is like at Wesleyan is: An idea that might have been dismissed as trite—I mean it doesn’t affect anything—was taken very seriously here. It was validated. I can tell you, that has had a profound effect on what I do today, how I look at the world today, how I look at my ideas and the validity I give them was born here. I was validated here, both for my cognitive thinking skills as well for the application that I envisioned. I could see the concept as a tangible real thing to have discourse around.

“That turned the corner for me. The passion I felt for that particular experience changed my mind about what I wanted to do with my career. I had the opportunity to explore so much of what I considered the pop culture education, that it set me up for what I’m doing now.”

‘Sapien’ Highlights Behar ’77 for Anthropological, Poetic Collaborations with Cuba

Ruth Behar ’77, a Cuban-born anthropologist, is co-creator of Bridges to/from Cuba, a blog for stories related to the Cuban Diaspora. (photo by Gabriel Frye Behar)

Ruth Behar ’77, a Cuban-born anthropologist, is co-creator of “Bridges to/from Cuba,” a blog for stories related to Cuba and the Cuban Diaspora. (Photo by Gabriel Frye Behar)

An article in the journal Sapiens highlights the current work of anthropologist Ruth Behar in “Lifting the Emotional Embargo With Cuba.” Working with poet Richard Blanco, the two are “cultivating reunion and reconciliation among people and cultures that have been estranged for decades,” said author Barry Yeoman.

Cuba is part of both the poet’s and the anthropologist’s identities. While Blanco grew up hearing about Cuba from his ex-pat community in Miami, Behar was born in Havana, Cuba. Her parents were of Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jewish descent who moved the family to New York City after the Cuban revolution. As a child in New York she gravitated to poetry, which she admits, “offered a refuge…a way to be myself.”

While attending Wesleyan, Behar took a class taught by anthropologist Johannes Fabian that provided a wider lens through which to view other cultures. After graduating from Wesleyan with a College of Letters major, Behar pursued this new passion by enrolling in a PhD program in cultural anthropology at Princeton University.

Throughout her career as a cultural anthropologist Behar has attempted to meld these two interests and her cultural heritage. During the 1990s, she returned to her birth country where she published a bi-lingual poetry collection while studying poet-anthropologists such as Edward Sapir and Ruth Benedict.

When President Obama announced the renewal of Cuban and American diplomatic relations in late 2014, Behar felt compelled to explore this deeply personal and historical division. She began to collaborate with Blanco on a new project that would reconcile poetry and ethnography, and Cuban and American identity. The two named the project “Bridges to/from Cuba.” It consists of a bilingual blog that serves as a unified space for the various stories of Cubans and those of Cuba’s diaspora.

Writing about one of the duo’s visits to Cuba, Yeoman observed Behar’s comfort in this role of cultural bridge-builder. “She was spending the afternoon with two good friends who live in countries that have historically been at odds—countries that form the halves of her own identity—and the relationship between their governments was starting to relax,” he wrote.

Behar currently teaches at the University of Michigan and has received honors that include the MacArthur “Genius” Grant, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Fulbright Senior Fellowship.

Chicago Cubs Executive VP, GM Jed Hoyer ’96 Discusses His Wesleyan Experience

Jed Hoyer at Wesleyan, 1995.

Jed Hoyer at Wesleyan, 1995.

(By Mike O’Brien, Director of Athletic Communication)

On April 18, Chicago Cubs Executive Vice President and General Manager Jed Hoyer ’96 spoke to the news site MLB Trade Rumors about his career and his time at Wesleyan. When asked what led him to choose Wesleyan, Hoyer responded:

“The over-arching goal of my college search was to combine three factors – great academics, the ability to continue playing baseball, and a campus environment that would broaden my limited horizons. I looked at a lot of different schools and the best combination of those factors was Wesleyan. In hindsight, I was less intense and strategic about that decision than I would have been later in life. I simply had a great feel for the school, loved my interactions with the baseball coach (Pete Kostacopoulos), and could picture myself on campus. I had a wonderful four years at Wesleyan and will always be thankful that my instincts were right.”

Hoyer was also asked to comment about how his major in history influenced his future career: “I loved being a history major. I loved the professors I had. I really enjoyed the reading material. Even today, if I get a chance to sit down and read a book, I’m going to grab a biography or something about a historical period. But I will say if I knew I’d be where I’m sitting right now, I certainly would have angled myself more towards economics or something more quantitative. I do think that’s important when you start your life after college to know that every move you make doesn’t have to be planned so specifically. I was kind of referencing that before in regards to coaching. I coached baseball because I loved being out there, and I wanted to stay involved with the game. It gave me an awesome perspective on the game that I never had. I worked for a couple consulting firms later on, and that really helped me learn how to build business models and advanced my quantitative skills. I think every job I’ve had has provided me with different skills or knowledge that I can use every day in baseball.”

Hoyer also reflected on his favorite professor, Richard Slotkin, Olin Professor of English, emeritus, on lessons learned at Wesleyan that he still uses daily, on his playing days at Wesleyan, and more: “The most vivid memory of the classroom at Wesleyan – and I think back on this quite a bit – there was a professor named Richard Slotkin, and he taught American Literature. His classes were incredibly hard to get into because he was such an amazing lecturer. I remember sitting in his lectures and thinking … I hope someday I can be as good at my job and as passionate about my job and as knowledgeable about the field of study as this guy is. Candidly, I think I’m still trying to get there. I think it’s great when you see anyone in any walk of life that so dominates their field – and you can tell that it brings them so much joy to share it.”

Read the full story here.

Miranda ’02 Wins Pulitzer Prize for Hamilton

(Photo by Joan Marcus/The Public Theater)

Hamilton star/writer Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02, Hon. ’15, center, won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The honor was announced April 18 during the Pulitzer Prizes’ 100th award ceremony. (Photo by Joan Marcus/The Public Theater)

Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02 has won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Drama for his hit musical, Hamilton, directed by Thomas Kail ’99. According to Playbill, Hamilton “joins an exclusive club of just eight other musicals that have won the prestigious award since it was founded nearly a century ago.” The awards were announced April 18.

The Pulitzer is awarded to “a distinguished play by an American author, preferably original in its source and dealing with American life.” It includes a $10,000 cash prize.

Recent Graduates Celebrate Worldwide during the 2016 GOLD Challenge

On April 7, more than 600 Wesleyan alumni from the classes of 2006-2015 attended a GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) party to spend time with friends and raise funds for Wesleyan.

Parties were held in Beijing, Boston, Brooklyn, Chicago, Denver, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, New Haven, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Shanghai, Singapore, and Washington D.C.

This year’s GOLD Challenge response exceeded last year’s, with more than 500 young alumni making a gift to Wesleyan!

View GOLD party images below and online in this Wesleyan Flickr album or on this Facebook gallery.

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Kaiser Permanente’s McCulloch ’76 Named a Top-10 Exec

Andy McCulloch ’76, president of Kaiser Permanente, was named a top-10 executive by Portland Business Journal.

Andy McCulloch ’76, president of Kaiser Permanente, was named a top-10 executive by Portland Business Journal.

The Portland Business Journal named Kaiser Permanente President Andy McCulloch ’76 one of the top 10 executives of 2016. This award honors area executives whose business strategies have successfully expanded their companies over the last year.

During the past year with Kaiser Permanente, McCulloch boosted membership by 3 percent while maintaining a member retention rate of 97 percent. In just their two hospitals, Kaiser Permanente physicians logged 3 million doctor visits and 420,000 dental appointments while earning $3.4 billion in yearly revenue.

McCulloch began his presidency in 2006 and directs Kaiser Permanente in Oregon and Washington State. During this time, the company has been ranked as one of the highest performing healthcare systems in the region. For five consecutive years Medicare has given the Northwest Region’s Medicare Advantage plan a five star rating while the National Commission for Quality Assurance recently rated the Northwest’s Medicare and commercial plan as the highest in the region.

After earning a BA in government from Wesleyan, McCulloch receive a master’s degree in health administration degree from the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health. Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, he held executive positions at the University of North Carolina Health Care System, the University of Washington Health Sciences Center, Peace Health and Mercy Health.