Fall 2009 CA Magazine
The fall 2009 issue of CA Magazine.
fall 2009 Meet Rick Hardy Concord Academy's New Head of School Cliff Goes to War Musings on a CA Roommate in Iraq Report of Giving 2008�09 See page 21 Sarah Thornton '09 Drawing 1, Spring 2009 CONCORD ACADEM Y M ISS IO N Concord Academy engages its students in a community animated by a love of learning, enriched by a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives, and guided by a covenant of common trust. Students and teachers work together as a community of learners dedicated to intellectual rigor and creative endeavor. In a caring and challenging atmosphere, students discover and develop talents as scholars, artists, and athletes and are encouraged to find their voices. The school is committed to embracing and broadening the diversity of backgrounds, perspectives, and talents of its people. This diversity fosters respect for others and genuine exchange of ideas. Common trust challenges students to balance individual freedom with responsibility and service to a larger community. Such learning prepares students for lives as committed citizens. fall 2009 Editor Gail Friedman Managing Editor Tara Bradley Design Irene Chu '76 Editorial Board Tara Bradley Director of Communications Gail Friedman Associate Director of Communications Pam Safford Associate Head for Communications, Enrollment, and Planning F E A T U R E S Carol Shoudt Major Gifts Officer Lucille Stott Campaign Writer, English Teacher 16 Meet Rick Hardy Concord Academy's New Head of School by Gail Friedman page 16 Students' welcome notes for the new head of school Meg Wilson Director of Advancement Elizabeth "Billie" Julier Wyeth '76 Director of Alumnae/i Programs 21 The Intangible Lightness of Being Kristin Jones '75 by Gail Friedman Proofreader Deborah Gray Editorial Intern 27 Cliff Goes to War Musings on a CA Roommate in Iraq by Andrew Wolf '06 D E P A R T M E N T S 2 3 10 Message from the Head of School Campus News Alumnae/i Profiles Brown Johnson '70 Andrea Morgan Donaghy '63 John Laurence '92 Bess Rattray '84 Daphne Kim '10 Photography Interns Libby Chamberlin '09 Scarlett Kim '11 Lisa Kong '10 Alison Merrill '09 Write us 29 Commencement 2009 36 Reunion Weekend 2009 Joan Shaw Herman Award: Nancy Read Coville '49 by Gail Friedman Concord Academy magazine is printed on recycled paper with soy-based ink. Concord Academy Magazine 166 Main Street Concord, Massachusetts 01742 (978) 402-2200 firstname.lastname@example.org www.concordacademy.org � 2009 Concord Academy Committed to being a school enriched by a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives, Concord Academy does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, creed, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin in its hiring, admissions, educational and financial policies, or other school-administered programs. The school's facilities are wheelchair-accessible. 51 Report of Giving 2008�09 15 by Nancy Shohet West '84 Admissions Alumnae/i Association Update Arts Q&A: John Blacklow '83 Athletics 2009 Spring Highlights Profile: Jon Waldron Winter Magazine Going Green The winter issue of Concord Academy magazine will be published online only. Check it out in January at concordacademy.org/magazine. The reasoning behind this decision was both global and local: we will save paper and energy, as well as CA funds. Concord Academy magazine currently is posted online, but with the winter issue we launch a new electronic design, better suited to the Web. You'll find the articles you're used to, as well as photo galleries and the opportunity to comment on stories. You will receive an email in January to remind you to look for the issue online. (Please give us your current email address, if you haven't already!) We will continue to print two magazines yearly, in fall and spring-- so you can count on receiving the spring issue of Concord Academy magazine in your mailbox in early June. 35 44 48 by Tara Bradley 80 In Memoriam Cover photo: Head of School Rick Hardy by Tom Kates W W W . C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G F A L L 2 0 0 9 message fr om the head of s c hool First Impressions T he first week of classes at CA was a whirlwind, but the motion stopped abruptly at 8:25 a.m. on September 2, when I stood at the lectern in the Elizabeth B. Hall Chapel. The Chapel was brimming with faculty and students; even the balcony's pews were tightly packed. Yet there was no hustle or din; instead, there was an aura I had never experienced before. I wondered, How could the students who rollicked outside just moments before be part of this silence? As the music I had chosen, Bach's Suite No. 1 in G for Solo Cello, rose to the wooden rafters, I thought to myself, "This is a great moment." And it was. The Chapel's power of silence and the way music penetrates its atmosphere had humbled and captivated me, providing one of many first, and lasting, impressions of CA. I began work here in July, but I knew the school really wouldn't come to life until the students arrived--and they did not disappoint. In fact, nothing has made as compelling an impression on me as the young people I've met. Their intelligence has been readily apparent, but so has their consideration. The day before my chapel talk, several student leaders asked me, "Can we occupy your friend bench tomorrow?" They didn't want me to deliver a chapel with that spot for supporters empty. They even made signs for me, just as they make for their peers. And two students asked if they could start the traditional "hug line" that precedes each chapel talk. Needless to say, I felt well-supported. I was struck by CA students' work ethic and intellect as well. When I told the students in my feature-writing class that I planned to treat them as writers, they seemed to revel in that idea. When I asked them to dig into an assignment that I thought would take a half-hour, they spent a good hour plumbing it deeply, writing and rewriting to a standard I did not expect, especially during the first week of classes. I quickly realized I would need to be careful with my class, lest they work too hard, propelled by an inner drive to achieve and perfect. These students, I realized on the very first day, were fine role models. The faculty and staff impressed me with similar characteristics--drive, intelligence, and a genuine friendliness. Standing before faculty meeting, I felt privileged to be among these teachers and staff members; they listened intently, spoke their minds respectfully, yet maintained a low-key, easy manner. I especially appreciated their playfulness, and how they punctuated the meeting with witty cracks. This wit that is so valued at CA surfaced at my installation ceremony, too, through the amusing, intelligent, and original remarks delivered by Board of Trustees President John Moriarty P'02, '05, '07, Student Head of School Daysha Edewi '10, and Assistant Dean of Community and Equity Jen Cardillo. (My brother-in-law Marty Gagne professed to feeling a bit daunted, knowing he would have to follow such an impressive lineup, but he rose to the occasion and matched their standard.) I knew that Concord Academy had produced numerous noteworthy writers over the years, but those speeches underlined just how much CA values words. Written or spoken, words are prized here. As a longtime English teacher, that makes me feel very much at home. My wife Del and I consider ourselves very lucky to have landed at CA. Beyond the campus, we've enjoyed the town of Concord, from its farm-fresh vegetables to its scenic countryside. We canoed weekly throughout the summer, and within ten minutes of paddling from CA experienced exceptional calm, interrupted only by occasional birds or wildlife. That kind of quiet is rare--and most welcome. The only quiet I've found more peaceful, and more powerful, is in the Chapel. Standing in its stillness before my first chapel talk, I felt overwhelmed with my good fortune, grateful for the opportunity to help nurture a school so rare and special. Thanks to all of you, for your gracious welcome-- and for taking such good care of Concord Academy over the years. Rick Hardy Head of School 2 Tom Kates C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E FA L L 2 0 0 8 Photos by Sarah Hugenberger '94 S CLOrk, CA's laptop orchestra; right, laptop musicians setting up speakers before their performance at TechExpo Technical Symphony ix students at CA's TechExpo shared a new take on instrumental music last spring, when they played four pieces composed especially for their laptops. Andrew Monks '11 got the idea when he was aimlessly meandering the Internet over winter vacation. He noticed news about laptop orchestras at Princeton and Stanford and, enthused, sent an email to Computer Studies Department Head Ben Stumpf '88. Stumpf suggested an independent study, and Monks found himself on a musical mission: to discover what kind of music would be true to a computer. "In the past, computer music had been about press, play, and bob your head, or about making computers sound like other instruments," he said. "My thought was, how would a computer work as an instrument in its own right?" Monks, with help from his fellow laptoppers, used a program called Chuck, which lets users control sound, to compose three of the four pieces S 3 W W W . C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G F A L L 2 0 0 9 the orchestra prepared for TechExpo. One was modeled on nature sounds, with one person simulating a cattle stampede and others mimicking the sounds of a rooster, a wolf, and the wind (whooshed by a finger dragged across a touchpad). The fourth work -- a symphony of keyboard clicks called "CliX," by Ge Wang -- was written for PLOrk, the laptop orchestra at Princeton. (Hear CA's version at concordacademy.org/clork.) CA's laptop orchestra, known as CLOrk, featured Michael Ciociola '12, Russell Cohen '09, Andrew Dempsey '11, Alex Fichera '11, Mason Glidden '10, and Billy Wood '11, and was conducted by Monks. It was just one highlight of CA's sixth annual TechExpo, which showcased student work from computer studies and mathematics courses, clubs, and independent studies. On display were a synthesizer that could turn computer files into sound, a 3D model of flags of the world, a toolbox even Concord Academy students have received a grant from public television station WGBH to produce a documentary called Cold Water, focusing on the environmental factors affecting New England's fishing industry. The group, advised by computer studies teacher and documentarian Ben Stumpf '88, was among nine finalists in a competition that challenged students to demonstrate the impact of climate change on their communities. Filmmakers Harvey Burrell '09, Tripp Clemens '09, Andrew Dempsey '11, Nate Lamkin '12, Stephanie Malek '09, J.J. Radochia '11, and Alistair Wilson '11 submitted a short trailer (see it at concordacademy.org/coldwater), and, based on that, received a $2,000 grant to turn their pitch into a three- to five-minute documentary. The group has donated leftover grant money to support CA Docs, a new documentary club. Students submitted a rough cut of their film in June (see it at lab.wgbh.org). The final version may be televised. WGBH grant recipients for number theorists written in the Ruby programming language, an application to synchronize notes between an iPhone and a computer, and a Web site design with an Ultimate Frisbee theme. Students shared work from the introductory Creative Computing class, computer-simulated geometry projects, and highspeed movies filmed by DEMONS, CA's invention club. "It's great to see creative uses of technology coming from different areas of the school," said Stumpf. Gail Friedman CAMPUS NEWS Cold Water Photos by Sarah Hugenberger '94 Hall Fellow Dr. Spencer Wells at his April assembly Intrepid Explorer Hall Fellow: Dr. Spencer Wells N ational Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Spencer Wells, the 2008� 09 Hall Fellow, took Concord Academy on a journey through some of the most remote regions of the world, explaining the Genographic Project that he directs and the secrets of human migration patterns that the project has discovered. "People are so different," said Dr. Wells, a population geneticist. "But how different are we really?" Despite obvious physical variations, humans, when compared genetically, are virtually identical to one another, he said. In fact, all humans alive today share a common ancestor who lived as recently as 2,000 generations ago. "We're all 99.9 percent identical, and we're all effectively members of an extended African family," Dr. Wells said. Family trees trace lineage through genealogy, but typically go back a few generations at most. Genetic analysis can trace a family back thousands of years. National Geographic and IBM's Genographic Project have collected DNA from hundreds of thousands of people around the world, including average Americans and indigenous residents of villages that are far removed from modern society. By studying patterns of genetic variation, the project is unraveling a story of interconnectivity among all humans. It is also attempting to slow or halt what Dr. Wells' called our current "period of cultural mass extinction" by funding various programs in indigenous regions around the world through the Genographic Legacy Fund. Dr. Wells' lecture -- which he presented for CA parents, alumnae/i, and the public the night before the Hall Fellow assembly -- demonstrated the migration patterns which took humans from Africa to every corner of the earth. Describing the vast, inhospitable Sahara Desert, he posed the question of how people in southern Africa could cross that sandy expanse and reach the Middle East and beyond. The answer: the earth underwent substantial climactic change, as it does every 20,000 to 22,000 years because of the nature of the earth's rotation. Extremes of the rotation brought extreme Six Senior Projects hey danced and canoed. They mixed photographs with science. They explored the Boston neighborhood of Roxbury and shattered its stereotypes. And they took on the post-Katrina redevelopment quagmire. Six students presented their senior projects, designed to be interdisciplinary, in May. 4 T The 2009 projects were: � The History of Morris Dancing by Libby Chamberlin '09 � An Analysis of Redevelopment in Post-Katrina New Orleans by Amara Frumkin '09 � The Meaning and Power of Political and Social Theatre by Daniel Lander '09 � Exploring the History and Chemistry of Cyanotypes by Cathy Nam '09 � History and Culture of Roxbury through Media and Personal Photos by Emma Quinn '09 � Canoeing and Camping in Maine and at Concord Academy by Ella Walker '09 Photos by Tara Bradley C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E FA L L 2 0 0 9 CAMPUS NEWS Dr. Wells speaking to a class after his assembly weather and pushed African monsoons northward. "The Sahara used to be grassland," he said, explaining that it was not only passable but habitable. Dr. Wells predicts that natural climactic changes, which he said humans are exacerbating, will be the main determinant of migration patterns in coming years, just as they were thousands of years ago. A case in point, he said, was Hurricane Katrina, which displaced about a million people, many of whom will not return. The presentation explained the convergence of science and history in the Genographic Project, and the ambitious, broad spectrum of people it has reached. Last year alone, Dr. Wells traveled to twentyeight countries. After his presentation, the scientist visited with biology and advanced biology classes. When a student asked what was most important about his work, Dr. Wells replied, "the social message that we're all extended cousins." Race, he warned, has sociological and environmental components. "The DNA shows that we're all the same, but if you've grown up African American, you know what it's like to be discriminated against," he said. "Changing social norms is much more difficult." Dr. Wells' visit was made possible through Concord Academy's Hall Fellowship, which honors former Headmistress Elizabeth B. Hall (1949�63) by inviting distinguished lecturers to campus every year. Strange Coincidence One of the hundreds of thousands of people who donated DNA to the Genographic Project is Elizabeth "Ding" Hall Richardson '55, daughter of former Headmistress Elizabeth B. Hall, for whom the Hall Fellowship is named. Though Richardson did not know the Hall Fellow choice ahead of time, she welcomed the coincidence. One Person's Trash . . . L ast winter, Concord Academy donated a used van to The Food Project, which runs a farm in nearby Lincoln, Massachusetts. The Food Project nourishes low-income and homebound families and promotes local and sustainable agriculture. Said Director of Operations Don Kingman: "We thought it would be a good idea to help a group that helps others." En Fran�ais Up, Up, and Away "I was nervous at first because their school is so different from ours," she said, "but they made friends here. I'm really glad it went well." "I loved having them around," said host Caroline Howe '10, echoing the sentiments of many CA students. What did the French students like best? Opinions varied, from morning chapel talks to music history class to the ice cream in the dining hall. But their trip back home didn't make the list. -- Daphne Kim '10 N Rubber-band pilot Ray Harlan with students 5 W W W . C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G F A L L 2 0 0 9 ine French students visited CA in March, part of the annual exchange with Le Coll�ge C�venol in Le Chambon-Sur-Lignon, France. Students stayed with host families, immersing in the new culture. They attended classes -- from The Bible to Advanced Chemistry -- and worked on improving their English. They also visited Boston, Harvard Square, and historic Concord, and spent time with CA students who were eager to learn about their visitors. Izzy Walsh '10, who traveled to France on the exchange over spring vacation, was pleased that the friends she made in France enjoyed their stay at CA. T hey were not your runof-the-mill pilots. In April, the inventing and inventive club known as DEMONS and its advisor, science teacher John Pickle, welcomed Richard Ivers, Ray Harlan, and Michael John to CA's gym, where the three men wowed onlookers by keeping aloft rubber band-powered planes that weigh less than a penny. The planes -- made of reinforced balsa wood, thin Mylar, tiny pieces of metal, and high-grade rubber bands -- flew for a few minutes, though Harlan has held records for keeping similar planes airborne for more than an hour. John Pickle The Capa Project hen CA brought professor, poet, and activist Kip Fulbeck to campus on Martin Luther King Jr. Day last year, the campus multicultural group known as MOSAIC was paying close attention. Fulbeck introduced the school to his Hapa Project: portraits of people and their answers to the question, "What are you?" It inspired MOSAIC members to create the Capa Project -- Hapa with a CA. Dozens of students participated, and for weeks afterward their photos and comments lined the vestibule outside the dining hall. Beneath faces a few words were scrawled. A Global Model "What are you?" I am . . . "light-skinned from Spanish Harlem" "a paradox: Catholicism and liberalism don't mix well." "a writer, lover, fighter" "a square peg when everything's a round hole" "different things to different people" "proud to be an American . . . and whatever else may run through these veins" "undefinable" Answers were deep, silly, whimsical, and revealing. The Capa Project may not have defined the undefinable, but it provided a glimpse into the diversity of identities and feelings at CA. W C oncord Academy held its fifth Model United Nations conference (CAMUN) in April, led by Secretary General Jenna Troop '09. About seventy delegates from nine schools attended, grappling with topics including turmoil in the Northwest province of Pakistan, North Korea's nuclear threat, indigenous peoples' land rights, and human organ trafficking. Opening ceremonies included a keynote address by Jean-Claude Berthelot, a former UN employee for the peacekeeping mission in Haiti. 6 Photos by Tripp Clemens '09 Photos by Ben Stumpf '88 CAMPUS NEWS C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E FA L L 2 0 0 9 Easy for You to Say K sonnet, Einstein quotes, and an anonymous quote. Her final and winning topic: the Lewis and Clark expedition. Katie explained that the key was not how much she knew about the explorers, but how she found a moral or theme and drew pertinent parallels. Katie said she spoke a bit about Lewis and Clark, then related them to John Adams, George Washington, and even Erin Brockovich -- all people who "went outside their comfort zones to make a difference." Katie qualified for the state tournament by reaching the finals in earlier regional tournaments. Sarah Hugenberger '94 atie Koppel '10 placed second last spring in the Massachusetts Forensic League's state tournament, in the impromptu speaking category. Competitors were given a prompt and had six minutes to prepare and deliver a speech on the topic. In early rounds of the tournament, Katie's prompts included a Shakespearean Sarah Hugenberger '94 Realities of the Barrio D Who Knew? C History Honors oncord Academy recently learned that it's connected to one of the world's most beloved Christmas carols. Katherine K. Davis, who wrote "Little Drummer Boy," also known as "Carol of the Drum," taught music at CA from 1922 to 1923. The fact popped up on a Google alert -- something that wasn't on Davis' mind when she was pa rum pum pum pumming. T 7 W W W . C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G F A L L 2 0 0 9 he strength of a ninthgrade history paper took Erinn Geyer '12 to National History Day in Washington, DC, in June. She qualified by having the winning entry in the Massachusetts History Day state competition. Erinn's paper, "Dr. Horace Allen, American Protestant Medical Missionary: Leader of Change in Late NineteenthCentury Korea," competed in the senior division, 9th�12th grades. Student topics were required to relate to this year's National History Day theme, "The Individual in History: Actions and Legacies." Erinn studied Dr. Allen's legacy in her CA history course, Eye of the Tiger: The History of Korea, taught by Peter Sun. avidson Lecturer Donna Tabor, of the nonprofit Building New Hope, took Concord Academy on a virtual tour of Nicaragua's barrios during an April assembly, sharing her efforts to bring education and a better life to the poorest children in that Central American country. Tabor, above, showed slides of Nicaragua's inequities -- an opulent home and another made of tin and scraps. She described contaminated water, glue-sniffing teens who line up daily for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, ganginfested neighborhoods, and smart kids who must work instead of attending school. In most schools, Tabor said, teachers have no degrees, no books, and no bathroom for the fifty-plus students in each class. More than 200,000 children throughout the country have no access to education at all -- some are shut out by distance, others simply because they lack the shoes required for admittance. Tabor also shared the hope in the barrio: La Quinta Los Chavalos, a Building New Hope school educating ninetyeight children, and Escuelita Yo Puedo, serving forty. She showed pictures of dogs saved through the Casa Lupita animal clinic, and of others spayed and neutered there. Building New Hope's library, Biblioteca Puedo Leer, was a revolution, she said, in an area where reading is not taken for granted. Tabor's visit to CA was made possible through the Davidson Lectureship, which brings distinguished speakers to campus. It was established in 1966 by Mr. and Mrs. R.W. Davidson in honor of their two daughters, Anne E. Davidson Kidder '62 and Jane S. Davidson '64. Concord Academy Mathematics Department Head George Larivee met Tabor when he was first looking for volunteer opportunities in Nicaragua. Larivee introduced Tabor at the assembly, saying he hopes to inspire others to service as Tabor has inspired him. For several summers, Larivee has been on a singlehanded mission to open libraries in rural Nicaragua. For the first time, this past summer, he took along five Concord Academy students -- Nora Berson '09, J.J. Radochia '11, Katie Koppel '10, Dan Weiner '11, and Jen Lamy '09 -- as well as a faculty chaperone, French teacher Tonhu Hoang. Larivee's group saw firsthand the kinds of barrios Tabor described. The CA group opened two rural libraries, bringing books to children and adults in communities where the joy of reading often remains out of reach. Gail Friedman Exploring Poverty in the Nation's Capital C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E FA L L 2 0 0 9 Concord Academy has sponsored several service trips to Mississippi and New Orleans, and this past June added a trip to Washington, DC. Forty-three students and seven teachers went, including Olivia Pimm '10 and Claire Wright '11, who share thoughts on the week. 8 Katie Surrey-Bergman `10 CAMPUS NEWS Starbucks or Street Sense by Claire Wright '11 e have all been there. You're walking down the street in, let's say, Boston. Juggling a coffee in one hand while holding several shopping bags in the other. You are thinking about the errands you need to complete while trying to figure out who you forgot to call. Then suddenly, someone approaches asking for money. In less than ten seconds, you have to decide whether or not to give money, and if yes, how much? What makes you feel the need to give--guilt, necessity, compassion? Most of us deal with these questions almost every day, but in Washington we were on the other side. To be the person everyone tries not to look at, tries to avoid. We were the W people asking for money--and it was hard. Street Sense is a newspaper where the homeless can "give and earn their two cents." As part of our volunteer work, we had the chance to sell the papers and, under the supervision of a mentor (a homeless vendor), we headed to a Chinatown corner to start selling. With ten papers in hand, a neon yellow vest, and several statistics, we began our work. I had never been so scared--we had to walk up to people and ask for their money. While mentally freaking out, I approached several men dressed in nice business suits and carrying briefcases. As I anxiously recited the statistics, silently pleading for them to buy the paper, they held their hands up and walked the other way. OK, I can deal with this, I thought, and I stepped into the center of the block and began again. For two hours I approached people, using the opening line, "Did you know that there are 3.5 million homeless in America and over 30,000 in DC? Do you have time to show you care?" Some people immediately pulled out their wallets and gave, smiling and saying how much they appreciated our work. One man walked right through, pushing me out of the way with his hand. Some laughed, and some didn't even meet my eye. Others stopped to talk. There were moments when I was shocked at how horrible people could be, and how bad people were at lying. It wasn't that people didn't feel compelled to give that bothered me, but rather that people could look me in the eye while holding wads of cash and tell me they didn't have money on them. Another eye-opener was the Starbucks cups. Now, I have to admit that I like my nonfat half-shot caramel macchiato, and I usually don't think twice about handing over $3.95 to pay for it. But standing on the street corner, I realized that giving up that drink one day a week could give someone a meal, a shower, another step toward a second chance. I'm not saying that people should give money every time they are asked. That can be careless. And sometimes it isn't even the money that matters. After being laughed at, ignored, and glared at, even a smile felt like a step forward. Money was great; I felt an overwhelming excitement when people pulled out their wallets. But next time I walk down the street and someone asks me to give money, I know that I will smile, say "hi," and maybe think twice about my nonfat half-shot caramel macchiato. Where the Heart Is by Olivia Pimm '10 9 W W W . C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G F A L L 2 0 0 9 e awoke Monday morning ready to receive our work assignments. The three leaders of the Youth Services Opportunities Project (YSOP) asked us to complete the following statement: "The last time I saw a homeless person, I felt . . ." Among our responses were "helpless," "guilty," and "uncomfortable." Following the exercise, our group leader explained that guilt is ultimately useless in the fight to end homelessness. Later that day, a speaker from the National Coalition for the Homeless spoke of stereotypes: Contrary to our na�ve assumptions, not all homeless persons are lazy, jobless, or addicts. In fact, the speaker himself was homeless at the time, due to an accident. It would have never crossed our minds that this man was homeless, W based on his well-groomed appearance and his ability to relate to the audience. To conclude his moving speech, he asked us to acknowledge the next homeless person we encounter and offer them a simple and sincere "hello." He claimed that any attention he received from people passing by helped him endure the next hour or so on the streets. Taking the speaker's words to heart, students kindly greeted each homeless person on the streets of Georgetown on their way to dinner later that night. Indeed, that Monday had prepared us for an exciting and humbling week of service in the capital. Students and staff worked for a number of different organizations, including Martha's Table, which provides food, clothing, and daycare; a local charter school; Street Sense, a newspaper written and published by the city's homeless and formerly homeless; and the Capital Area Food Bank. Work consisted primarily of babysitting for low-income families, sorting and packaging clothing and food, painting, or yard work. CA students and staff agreed that a service dinner was the highlight of the trip. On Wednesday night, following our day's work, students carefully prepared a meal for nearly fifty homeless or hungry members of the DC community. Later, we sat and ate alongside our guests, exchanging jokes and stories. To our surprise, conversation flowed naturally, despite our separate lifestyles. The guests openly offered students advice--to listen to our parents, stay in school, and set goals for ourselves. Students listened attentively, admiring the guests' wisdom. At the event, I met a young boy named Gabriel, the son of a guest. Like any toddler, Gabriel enjoyed chatting and coloring. I realized that, despite his family's difficult situation, Gabriel maintains his childhood innocence. And I suppose that is how it should be. As the dinner came to a close, each of the guests expressed appreciation for the volunteers' time and attention. We too were thankful for the opportunity to share a meal with these unique individuals and their families. To conclude the week, the group revisited the prompt from the first day: "The last time I saw a homeless person I felt . . ." Our responses revealed our changed attitudes. Together, we shed our initial discomfort and apprehension. In reality, CA students and the homeless community share similar interests, political beliefs, and sometimes even childhood upbringings. My peers and I returned to our homes with an entirely new outlook: like CA community members and their families, homeless people worldwide are human beings who ultimately require care, compassion, and, at times, a helping hand. ALUM NAE I PRO FILES BYNANCYSHOHETWEST'84 Courtesy of Nickelodeon Brown Johnson Class of 1970 Clued into Kids "We were ready for parents to call us saying, `We're in America; why do you have characters speaking Spanish?' " T H I S I S S U E � Brown Johnson Class of 1970 � Andrea Morgan Donaghy Class of 1963 � John Laurence Class of 1992 � Bess Rattray Class of 1984 f you spend time around young children, you can probably sing along with the catchy theme songs from Dora the Explorer and Blue's Clues, TV shows known for their vivid hues and dynamic characters. But you may also have realized, as most parents have, that these colorful animated programs do more than entertain: they stimulate kids' thought processes by urging them to answer questions and giving them the time to think. You can give credit for that to Brown Johnson '70. The president of animation for Nickelodeon and MTVN Kids and Family Group and a force behind much of Nickelodeon's preschool-oriented programming, Johnson is known in the industry for implementing "the pause." That planned moment of silence, after a character asks a thought-provoking question, allows young viewers to pause and formulate their own answers. Though PBS's Sesame Street is usually acknowledged for bringing education to children's television, Johnson envisioned a way to take learning further: by simply inviting children to listen, think, and supply answers. The kids seem to appreciate the interactivity. Johnson conceived and developed many of Nickelodeon's most popular shows for preschoolers, starting with Dora the Explorer and Blue's Clues, then branching out to newer hits such as Go, Diego, Go!, The Wonder Pets!, The Backyardigans, and Yo Gabba Gabba! "It's really all about I C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y M A G A Z I N E FA L L 2 0 0 9 10 `hola!' and generally seeing the idea of being from another culture as interesting and cool and special." Johnson said her role as parent to her daughter Louisa had "almost everything to do with" her creative vision. "I was always interested in media," she said. "But when Louisa was very young and I saw the way her brain was developing and how the synapses were being created, questions about brain development and how kids make connections really inspired me." In the twenty-one years since Johnson began at Nickelodeon, her daughter has grown up, and so has children's media. "One of the biggest changes I've seen is just how much great educational TV is now available for kids," she said. "And the use of computers is a big change as well. Parents now speak of computers as an educational tool for their children." What has not changed much is what's required to create quality children's television. "Certainly, classic delivery systems of TV have been transformed radically in the past few years, but the basics of the creative process haven't changed," Johnson said. "There continues to be a lot of demand for great stories, wonderful characters, and learning opportunities for kids." Brown Johnson '70, above; Blue the dog from Blue's Clues, below; Dora the Explorer, left 11 W W W . C O N C O R D A C A D E M Y. O R G F A L L 2 0 0 9 using television in a brand new way to educate and include kids in the learning process," Johnson said. Dora the Explorer is a world away from the Disney princess. Sturdily built and attired in shorts and a T-shirt, Dora is a bilingual Latina heroine who romps through the world with a host of animal friends, her vocabulary sprinkled with Spanish phrases that viewers are encouraged to repeat. Johnson got the idea for Dora in the late nineties, during a Children Now diversity conference that focused on the underrepresentation of minority characters across all forms of media. Several speakers there pointed out that there were no nonwhite children in lead roles on any series for preschoolers. Johnson began to imagine a child who would not only have darker skin than most TV characters, but who would also make bilingualism and multiculturalism seem like something to celebrate. When soccer-playing Dora first appeared, calling her parents "Mami" and "Papi" and shouting "Vamanos!" to her friends, Johnson braced for the backlash. "We were ready for parents to call us saying, `We're in America; why do you have characters speaking Spanish?'" she said. "Instead, we immediately heard from parents who thought it was great that their kids were using expressions like Spa Digital Andrea Morgan Donaghy Class of 1963 Horse Power Andrea and Bunny I n her earlier career as a therapeutic riding instructor, Andrea Morgan Donaghy '63 witnessed the transformations that often resulted when people with injuries or disabilities interacted with horses. Now she's in a different business--one that helps the horses undergo the changes. Ten years ago, Donaghy and her husband Karl began producing a nutritional mix to help horses with joint pain, gastrointestinal problems, and other ailments. She had been caring for