Clark magazine, summer 2018

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summer 2018

a f t e r

m a r i a

Clark students and alumni from Puerto Rico were left reeling after a hurricane devastated their island. As they rebuild, they struggle with the question, ‘Is this our new normal?’

Sometimes you need to venture into the darkness to find the light. Nathan Ahlgren, assistant professor of biology and a marine microbial ecologist, oversees students like doctoral candidate Emily Dart (l.) and Linnea Menin ’19 as they test the water quality in key Massachusetts waterways, including Walden Pond. The goal is to determine the level of impact that human-produced nutrient outputs — often from swimmers or septic systems — are having on these precious resources. This summer, Ahlgren is leading a student team to study the kettle ponds on Cape Cod.




Clark students and alumni from Puerto Rico were left reeling when a hurricane devastated their island. As they rebuild, they struggle with the question, ‘Is this our new normal?’

For comic Charles Gould ’07, making ’em laugh is serious business

After Maria

Stand-up guy


Wellness warrior Dr. Stephanie Bailey ’72 promotes public health with a simple mantra: Listen to the people



The pea pod sprouts again An iconic image gets revived for the next generation of Clarkies

department s Red Square First a Clarkie, and now a Super Bowl champion

Alumni News Karen Gedney ’79 recounts her career as a prison doctor


Advancing Clark

Pre sident ’s Me s sage

A family, a gift, and a decades-long love for Clark


Dear alumni, families, and friends,

Clark volleyball success is spiking

Campus Heroes For computer crises, Terrance McCormack is the IT guy

62 Clark’s Transcontinental Field Trip was just your typical 52-day, 8,000-mile geography class.

In the month of April, our campus is busy with prospective undergraduate students who are making final decisions on which college or university they will attend. For these visiting students, this is both an exciting and anxious time. After a college search process that began in the sophomore or junior year of high school, and typically with offers of admission from multiple colleges now in hand, students and their families have reached a moment of truth. Our approach at Clark University is to encourage admitted students to focus on what is distinctive about the Clark experience, both inside and outside of the classroom. We foreground our talented students and faculty as the best ambassadors of Clark during the visit process. I run a session for parents in which I speak to the power of liberal education, and why advances in learning science, cognition, and other developmental sciences make this an extraordinary moment to be attending college. Put simply, over the past two decades we have learned an enormous amount about how to improve student learning and ensure that college fully prepares students for success in career, life, and citizenship. Some of the findings from cognitive science relate to the variety of learning styles among college students. Other research speaks to broader aspects of the college experience, such as the importance of mentorship, learning that takes place outside of the classroom, and the changing pathways that link college to career. At our open houses, I advise families to ask questions about whether the colleges they are considering have adopted these proven, researchbased learning practices. Is the college organized with intentionality so all students benefit from mentorship, experiential learning opportunities, best-practice approaches to learning-from-difference, and classroom strategies to build leadership, creativity, empathy, and resilience? I am confident that Clark University is taking up this challenge to systematically and comprehensively apply proven high-impact practices to the undergraduate experience. From our nationally recognized LEEP Center, to innovative curricula such as our Problems of Practice courses, and our newly launched ClarkCONNECT career-mentoring program, we are advancing liberal education for our students and the country. Sincerely,

David P. Angel

Summer 2018



A doctor in training, from the lab to the street

ucyna Kogut ’18 was late to have this photo taken — with good

reason. A man had driven his car off the road in Boylston, Mass., and as an EMT on duty in the town, she was needed at the scene. Fortunately, the driver required no medical attention, and the

ambulance was soon back at the station. Other nights have supplied more drama. Kogut has responded to strokes, overdoses, accidents with injuries, and threats of suicide. Her work saves lives. It’s also part of the Middleboro, Mass., native’s

ongoing experience at Clark. Here, students take what they learn in the classroom and apply that knowledge in places where they can have an impact. Just this past year Clark students have helped stage a major photo exhibition in the Worcester Art Museum, taught people from struggling neighborhoods how to launch their own businesses, and sequenced the human genome. A biology/pre-med major, Kogut is no stranger to genome exploration. She’s been working in the lab of John Gibbons, assistant professor of biology, conducting research that focuses on the structure, function, and evolution of genomes. “The idea is: Let’s sequence your genome and come up with personalized treatment plans designed around your cancer and your DNA,” she says. “As far as medicine goes, that’s pretty remarkable.” Kogut’s evolutionary subject is a microbe called Aspergillus flavus, the

wild, toxic ancestor of the domesticated Aspergillus oryzae. The domesticated strain is commonly known as koji, a mold used to produce soy sauce, sake, miso, and other Asian foods. The wild strain can lead to cancer and other diseases in humans and can contaminate crops with powerful toxins. “Roughly 99.5 percent of the Aspergillus flavus genome is shared with the one that is completely fine and has been domesticated — Aspergillus oryzae,” Kogut explains. “What I’m doing is trying to replicate that domestication process that occurred thousands of years ago. “This is a great model for how viruses and other bacteria replicate and evolve so rapidly,” she says. “We want to better understand the mechanisms within fungi. We’re looking at mutations that knock out those toxic properties. Through the means of selection, I’m trying to knock out production of the toxin that is cancer-causing.” Kogut’s focus on health has taken many different forms at Clark. She’s an EMT on the student-run Rapid Response Team, and has worked as a personal trainer. She spent a year interning for the Worcester Division of Public Health, advising public school students on how to avoid alcohol and substance abuse and other risky behaviors. Kogut is earning her master’s in biology at Clark, then it’s on to medical school, and a career as a family physician. She’s already seeking practical ways to improve the delivery of care through her internship at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where she is studying ways to increase transportation options to and from medical facilities for lowincome patients. “We need to bridge that gap,” she says. As Lucyna can attest, more rides to the doctor’s office means fewer rides in an ambulance.


We are Clark. Why does our university produce leaders in medicine and business, arts and the sciences, and entrepreneurs who transform inspiration into reality? Because Clark taught us to think boldly. Why is our community compelled to push for intrepid solutions to the world’s most complex problems? Because Clark always accepts the challenge. Why do we regard the status quo and insist, “We can do better”? Because the Clark mission never stops.

CAMPAIGN CLARK Now is our time.

Clark University has embarked on our most ambitious giving campaign ever, to raise $125 million that ensures our standing as a university whose impact begins in our classrooms and labs, then reaches around the globe. A successful Campaign Clark allows our students to make their marks in a world that demands their talents and needs their values. Let’s do this together.

M A K E Y O U R G I F T T O D AY. F O R I N F O R M AT I O N O N WAY S T O G I V E , V I S I T : Summer 2018


editor’s letter Executive Editor Paula David Editor Jim Keogh Assistant Editor Melissa Lynch ’95, MSPC ’15 Designer Kaajal s. Asher Editorial Staff Angela Bazydlo Ron Bower Anne Gibson, Ph.D. ’95 Meredith Woodward King Steven King Lauren Neilan Creative Services Manager Lori Fearebay Vice President for University Advancement Jeffrey H. Gillooly

Te ars and laughter , and very intere sting pe ople

Executive Director of Alumni and Friends Engagement Kevin Wesley Contributing writer

When Hurricane Maria pummeled Puerto Rico last year, people in the States were desperate to contact friends and family on the island. Imagine the helplessness of knowing your loved ones are being bullied, yet you’re unable even to console them. As our cover story depicts, the Clark community was not spared Maria’s anger. Students and faculty of Puerto Rican heritage lost communications with their families for days, weeks, even months. Alumni living on the island sheltered from the storm, and now are part of the rebuilding process. They are vocal about the resilience of the Puerto Rican people, the U.S. response to the disaster, and what the future holds for their home. You can read their story beginning on page 30. On a far lighter note, if you attended Clark from the mid-’80s on you likely remember the poster of a pea pod filled with multi-colored peas and bearing the tag line, “Clark University: Categorizing people isn’t something you can do here.” Although the pea pod hasn’t been used in any official capacity in years, it never stopped resonating among its alumni fan base. Good news: The pea pod is back. Reimagined and rebranded, it now graces Clark’s admissions materials, delivering the message to the next generation of students that our community of individuals is shaped by a multitude of perspectives, attitudes, and talents. Inside, we give you the story of how the pea pod has come to sprout again. The Clark pod clearly produces very compelling peas. Case in point: A few years ago, a magazine editor at another college told me she was envious. When I asked why, she said, “Because your alumni are so interesting.” The Clark graduates we profile in this issue certainly live up to that well-earned reputation. They include physicians Stephanie Bailey ’73 and Karen Gedney ’79, who have fought for the health of communities as concentrated as the population of a Nevada prison (Gedney) and as sprawling as the entire country (Bailey). There’s also stand-up comic Charles Gould ’07, who leaves them laughing from New York to Los Angeles in his pursuit of stardom. Finally, you’ll want to acquaint yourself with the late Brooks siblings, who left their beloved Clark University a gift as surprising as it was generous. The longest-lived was the inimitable Rose Brooks ’53, so charismatic that she’s been described as “the matriarch of people she’s never met.” Interesting? Of course they are. They’re Clarkies.


Rian Watt ’14 Contributing illustrators Carlo Giambarresi Luba Roshchyna Printed by Flagship Press, Inc. Address correspondence to: or mail to: Jim Keogh Clark University Marketing and Communications Office 950 Main St. Worcester, MA 01610 Letters to the editor are more than welcome — they’re celebrated.

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Visit, the online community for Clark alumni, family, and friends.


Is Clark truly diverse?

I read with chagrin your article by Rian Watt ’14 titled “Reclaiming Dana” in which you describe in glowing praise the genesis of how “Clark’s diversity and inclusion efforts have found a home.” The article describes a November 2015 student protest during a Midnight Mayhem Clark basketball game, which stood in “solidarity with protesters … at the University of Missouri.” This protest was the catalyst for holding a race forum during which President Angel listened to “all that these students have been going through” related to “institutional inequities.” We get a peek inside the heart and mind of the Clark protesters as they felt “othered and made to feel un-American” when fans in the stands chanted “USA” during their protest. This reflects a misattribution and rather self-absorbed view. The fans’ counterprotest seemed simply to be a rejection of the nationwide protests’ attempt to cast Americans and the police as racist, which was mirrored on the basketball court. The protesters couldn’t accept that the fans have a different point of view, so they delegitimized them with no evidence except their feelings. Clark has historically valued real diversity, based on individuality and a pluralism of views, not tribalism. The revisionism of rebranding diversity as “student identity groups” sadly mirrors the trend in the wider society, endorsed by the elite, to view diversity as ethnically based and as morally relativistic. Michael Friend ’85

Encouraged by inclusion efforts

The Winter 2018 article “Reclaiming Dana” has been one of the most refreshing articles for me about Clark University. It was encouraging to hear that Clark has resurrected a multicultural center. Prior to graduating, the Mary McLeod Bethune Multicultural Center (aka the Cultural Center on Woodland Street) on Clark’s campus was the only place I felt a sense of community. When I heard that the Center was going to be torn down (as well as other incidences on campus), I lost that feeling of camaraderie until now ... 32 years later. I look forward to reading about the milestones Clark University has

winter 2018

reached as they continue to address the issues of inclusion. Perhaps I’ll see an article on the history of the Bethune Multicultural Center in a future edition. Darling Richards ’85

Remembering Prof. Van Tassel

Your winter edition featured a story in which Gary Labovich ’81 says how Professor Roger Van Tassel influenced his decision to study economics. I, too, was a student in his international economics course. Roger was emblematic of everything we think about good teachers and Clark. He lit up my mind and encouraged me to “stay the course,” which I did, earning my Ph.D. in 1966. I served at the Treasury Department/ International Affairs for 28 years and was the recipient of a Presidential Meritorious Service Award in l991. To this day, I can see and hear Roger in my mind — a smile on his face as he challenged and stretched your brain, and made relevant all those graphs and equations that lay behind current international economic affairs. Stephen Canner, Ph.D. ’66

Kansas correction

Probably no one else will notice this glitch, but the late Dr. Walter Crockett (Winter 2018 issue) did not return to Kansas State after teaching at Clark, but wen t to the University of Kansas in Lawrence and taught until his retirement. He was in the Psychology Department as a social psychologist while I was there getting my doctorate in clinical psychology. Kansas had an amazing social psych faculty, with some of the top researchers, and he was one of them, in addition to just being a gentleman and a good person. Lorraine Mangione, Ph.D.

An alumnae legacy

“Perhaps to some short extent, we may have influenced Clark, left some mark of our being here. It is not too much to hope that it will retain something of us, to whom it gave so much.” Written by Eleanor Barriere ’44 her senior year,

Seventy-five yearS ago, the firSt women undergraduateS arrived at Clark. the univerSity would never be the Same.

her words echoed within me as we celebrated 75 years of Clark women undergraduates this past academic year. October’s celebration was a tribute not only to Eleanor’s era, but to all generations of Clark women. Planned by alumnae for alumni, featuring alumnae, it was an event three years in the making. A special thank-you to the planning committee: co-chair Jodi Reiskind ’83, Patricia Brissette ’68, Susan Starr ’69, Marie L’Heureux ’77, Emily Zoback ’08, MPA ’09, and Genna Farley ’09, MBA ’10. Thanks to our creative students, Hannah Kogut ’17, Kay Le ’17, and Toni Armstrong ’19, and Clark archivist Fordyce Williams. Deep gratitude as well to the inspiring alumnae and faculty who comprised our panels, the Clark Bars, Counterpoints, and all who attended. Finally, a heartfelt thank-you to Irma Frey Stevens ’47, who stole the show with her grace, wisdom, and humor. It was a special day. Elyse Darefsky ’79

Steve Dune stood above

Of the hundreds, if not thousands, of Clark alumni whom I have personally known over the past 50 years, a few were truly outstanding, but none more outstanding than Steve Dune ’53. Steve passed away on Feb. 27. Steve was caring, considerate, competitive, compassionate, challenging, communityminded, and always reflective. In short, he embodied all the best characteristics of a Clark education. His love of Clark was endless and serves as a model for all graduates to emulate. He will be greatly missed by all of us who were lucky enough to know him. May he rest in peace. Fiat Lux. Tom Dolan ’62, M.A.Ed. ’65

Summer 2018


in the media

Clark faculty in the news:

Clark’s summit pundit

University Business “Mentorships demystify college to career transitions”; President

The diplomatic tango between the United States and North Korea reached sublime proportions in late May, as Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un engaged in will-they-or-won’tthey jockeying over whether nuclear disarmament talks would take place. (They eventually did on June 12.) As summit speculation escalated, major media outlets came calling on Clark’s Srinivasan Sitaraman, associate professor of political science and a Korea expert, who offered commentary to the likes of CNN, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and the Los Angeles Times about the fragile state of affairs between the two world powers. The dickering over whether a summit would take place served as constant fodder for the news cycle, with Sitaraman consulted time and again for his expertise. The Los Angeles Times reported on a surprise May 26 meeting between the North and South Korean leaders, who talked about reviving the summit, which, at that point, had been called off by President Trump. “Srinivasan Sitaraman, an associate professor of political science at Clark University in Massachusetts, saw the sudden


meeting between the two Korean leaders as a sign that South Korea was pursuing its own interests independently of the U.S.,” the Times wrote. “He noted that to [South Korean President Moon Jae-in], peace between the two Koreas ‘is very important to his political legacy and regional stability.’” A report that North Korea had blown up its Punggye-ri nuclear test site elicited skepticism from Sitaraman, who assured CNN the display did not mean Kim was giving up his nuclear arsenal. As negotiations dragged on, the media returned to Sitaraman for his analysis on the evolving situation. When the summit looked to be off the table, he told The Wall Street Journal the unthinkable may occur: North Korea could become an object of international sympathy. “It’s a tough situation that the U.S. is in,” he told the WSJ. “Those who don’t know anything about this are going to say, ‘Look, they blew up the test site, why torture them more?’” Over the course of a week, Sitaraman’s comments were circulated in TV, print, and online media outlets from coast to coast and overseas.

David Angel Christian Science Monitor “An old beast re-awoken, anti-semitism stalks Europe, U.S. once more”; Thomas Kuehne (History) The Wall Street Journal “Why workers are striking less than ever”; Gary Chaison (Graduate School of Management) U.S. News & World Report “How to manage money and marriage the right way”; James Córdova (Psychology) WYPR (NPR Baltimore) “Economists pop rhetorical bubble surrounding environmental deregulation”; Wayne Gray (Economics) The New York Times “Some LGBT parents reject the names ‘Mommy’ and ‘Daddy’”; Abbie Goldberg (Psychology)

red square Inside

A Vox is raised | Drone love | ‘Black Panther’ roars | LearnLux lights it up

It’s a dreamlike feeling that I have every day, and I never want to give it up.

Jeffrey Lurie ’73, owner of the Philadelphia Eagles, on his team’s Super Bowl win

Photo by Steven King

Summer 2018


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Tracking ‘Black Panther’s’ roar

Olivia Schwartz ’19 raises her Vox

“ I got out of my seat and started jumping around!” That’s atypical behavior for the third floor of Goddard Library – inadvisable, really – but Olivia Schwartz ’19 couldn’t help herself. She was studying in the library in February when she learned she’d been nominated for the Independent Music Awards in the Love Song category. The singer-songwriter submitted “Moon to my Sun” in November under her stage name, Olivia Frances. Nearly two months after receiving word of her nomination, she walked out of New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts with the Vox Pop (Voice of the People) Award in hand. A songwriter since the age of 12, Schwartz was a Cincinnati high school student when she discovered a blog written by Ariel Hyatt ’93. “I somehow stumbled onto her blog five or six years ago, and I’ve been receiving her newsletter ever since,” she says. Hyatt has handled PR for the music industry since graduating from Clark, doing concert promotion work in New York and Colorado before launching her own boutique firm, Cyber PR. Her company specializes in helping musicians brand and position themselves in the digital sphere. This April, she was invited to give a workshop to developing artists at the Independent Music Awards. Olivia Schwartz was in attendance. “She’s a firecracker,” Hyatt says of Schwartz. Hyatt encourages musicians to continuously network and collaborate. “Those are the artists who make it.”



Clark Jackson ’14 (top) and Professor Ousmane Power-Greene offer their observations during the discussion.

uperheroes, black culture, and the

wonders of Wakanda were all part of a lively

discussion of the Marvel Studios film “Black Panther,” hosted in April by Clark’s Africana Studies Concentration and the Center for Gender, Race, and Area Studies. The film chronicles the origins and adventures of T’Challa, prince of the mythical African nation of Wakanda, who moonlights as the superhero Black Panther to battle injustice and take down the forces of villainy. Panelists and audience members lauded the movie’s

depiction of strong, complex black characters, recognizing it as both a celebration of black culture seen through the superhero prism, and as a box office blockbuster. Asha Best, assistant professor of geography, noted the significance in Wakanda’s secret African location. “The idea of black life hiding in plain sight is our present,” she said, “and a beautiful metaphor for our current situation.”

Clark Musical Theatre took a trip under the sea for its production of “The Little Mermaid,” which sold out Atwood Hall. Lyndsey Hawkes ’19 delighted the crowd with her performance as the witchy Ursula, who torments Ariel before meeting her watery demise. The production earned Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival awards for costumes and lighting.

If the shoe business fits … Most people look to the horizon when they’re chasing a dream. Trevor Tarnowski ’20 and Hector Miron ’18 looked down at their feet … and everybody else’s. The Clark students this year launched Shunu (pronounced “shoe new”), a campus shoe-cleaning service that removed pesky scuff marks, bleached out grass stains, and made those filthy Converse high tops nearly as pristine as the day they were removed from the box. A story in The Buzz, which tracks student startups, reported that Tarnowski and Miron turned a $30 investment into $1,500 in four months by restoring everything from sneakers to high heels. According to the article, the two experimented with cleaning solutions until they found the perfect blend that dissolved the dirt without damaging the shoe. They expanded their services to include basic shoe repair, recoloring, and adding custom designs to footwear. In the end, they learned that just about any business can work if you give it your heart and sole (apologies).

Summer 2018


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Rachael Shea (l.), head of public services at Goddard Library, and archivist Fordyce Williams put the “spree” in Spree Day 2018 when they tried their hand — and a whole bunch of other limbs — at the inflatable obstacle course. Remember when librarians were shy, retiring types?

first colleagues, and now citizens

If these environments didn’t know what to do with people who didn’t fit a standard mold, why weren’t we reshaping these environments to take advantage of people’s strengths? – Matt Goldman ’83, MBA ’84, co-founder of Blue Man Group and Blue School, from his TED Talk on creating schools that better engage all children


On Feb. 14., Taner Akçam (r.) joined Thomas Kuehne, his colleague at the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, as a new citizen of the United States. The professors say they were motivated to seek citizenship because they wanted to have a voice in the U.S. political process, particularly the ability to vote in the country where they’ve lived under green card status for many years. A native of Turkey, Akçam is a renowned researcher and activist around the subject of Turkish culpability for the Armenian genocide of the early 20th century. His research takes him overseas, often to the Middle East, and obtaining citizenship removes the stress and uncertainty of reentering the United States, he says. Kuehne, a native of Germany and co-director of the Strassler Center, became a U.S. citizen last year and says he welcomes the “rights and duties” of citizenship. He’s even vacationing in true American fashion. Last year it was a trip to the Grand Canyon. This summer, he’s off to the Rockies.


Jeffrey Lurie ’73 brings Philly its first Super Bowl


by Jim Keogh he Philadelphia Eagles led the New

England Patriots 41-33 with nine seconds remaining in Super Bowl LII when Patriots quarterback Tom Brady dropped back, scurried away from defensive end Brandon Graham, and heaved a Hail Mary pass toward the end zone. If he could somehow connect for the touchdown, the Patriots would then attempt a two-point conversion to send the game into overtime. From his box at U.S. Bank Stadium in

Minneapolis, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie ’73 watched the ball rise, hover, then descend toward a waiting scrum of players from both teams. “I’m thinking, ‘If the ball drops, we’re Super Bowl champions.’ It just seemed suspended in space forever,” Lurie recalls. The ball was batted into the turf as time ran out, and Philadelphia had laid claim to its first Super Bowl trophy in franchise history. Amid a blizzard of green and white confetti, Lurie was finally able to appreciate the magnitude of the accomplishment. “Delivering a Super Bowl to the city of Philadelphia was the culmination of my dream,” he says. “It was a magical moment.” Lurie, who has owned the Eagles since 1994,

you’re heartbroken, but we also had the best

purchasing a tough-luck team that played in a

record in football at that time, so we had to try to

dismal facility. Since then, he’s built a new stadium,

make the most of it.”

reinvigorated football operations, seen the Eagles’

Football fans know the rest of the story. Backup quarterback Nick Foles led the team to the NFC

value skyrocket, and put a charge in a fan base whose zealotry for their team may be unmatched. “You wake up every day and part of you still can’t

became convinced his team could contend for the

championship, then picked apart the Patriots in a

top prize as he watched them go toe-to-toe with a

performance that earned him the Super Bowl

believe it,” he says. “Then you think for a few

tough division rival, the Los Angeles Rams, during a

MVP award.

seconds and say, ‘Yes, we are the Super Bowl

late-season game. With superstar quarterback

Many Clarkies watched the game with divided

Carson Wentz helming the offense, anything

loyalties: pulling for the Pats to win, yet oddly

seemed possible.

comfortable with having a former Clark psychology

champions.’ It’s a dreamlike feeling that I have every day, and I never want to give it up.” Lurie ran into Tom Brady a couple of weeks after

major hoist the Lombardi Trophy on behalf of the

the Super Bowl, and the Patriots legend, who has

not, we are fully capable of winning the Super Bowl

Eagles. There are no stats on this, but Lurie is

won five titles, told Lurie the first one is the

with this tremendous young quarterback,’” he

undoubtedly the only NFL team owner who has

sweetest. The Eagles owner intends to find out for

recalls. “And within 15 minutes of having that

eaten at the Miss Worcester Diner.


“I said to myself, ‘Whether we win this game or

thought, Carson tears his ACL and is out for the season. When you have a player like that go down,

During his early days of ownership, sports and business pundits insisted Lurie had blundered by

“I’m fired up,” he says. “I want to win multiple ones.”

Summer 2018


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You can't beat perfection earnLux, the personal finance startup co-founded by

Rebecca Liebman ’15 when she was a senior at Clark, won Sound Ventures’ PerfectPitch startup competition at the 2018 SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, this March. Liebman made her winning pitch to a team of judges that included ac-

tors Ashton Kutcher (with microphone) ​and Matthew McConaughey (left), and Salesforce CEO and chairman Marc Benioff (right). Liebman is the CEO of Boston-based LearnLux, which teaches millenni-

als personal finance skills through online learning tools. It then connects them to the resources they need to take action. “The financial services industry is hugely outdated and not relevant to society as it stands today,” said Liebman, in an interview with VentureBeat. “Most people think they’re bad at making financial decisions, when in reality financial services aren’t made for an evolving society.” Two years ago, Forbes named Liebman to its annual “30 Under 30” list. Oh, and ignore the figure on the oversized check in the photo. Liebman actually came away from the competition with $400,000 in investments.

Hungry for attention Clark University exteriors were filmed as part of an opening montage for the Travel Channel’s “Man v. Food,” which paid a visit to Worcester this spring. The MvF website promised that host Casey Webb “slurps down some radical ramen, indulges in peanut butter cup French toast, and takes on a rack of deep-fried ribs with the heat of a million Scoville units.” In short, all the essential food groups. The show aired June 9.


AndrÉs Gvirtz has a flight plan for his Big Idea


ome people want to place their big idea into the pipeline. AndrÉs Gvirtz ’18 prefers that his soars over it. Gvirtz was the winner of the $5,000 first-place prize in the 2018 Ureka Big Idea Challenge for his company, CompactCopters, through which he hopes to develop a drone that will revolutionize the pipeline-inspection industry. The Ureka competition is sponsored by the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Program to encourage Clark students to build a business model for their original ideas. Gvirtz, along with partners Henricus Basien and Samuel Liu, is designing a drone with longer flight time that can be deployed along vast stretches of oil pipeline. In his research, Gvirtz learned that helicopters are rented and equipped with special scan technology to detect hotspots where erosion is forming. With CompactCopters, he hopes his team can increase the frequency of inspections and save the industry millions of dollars. “Pipelines aren’t inspected enough,” he explains. A psychology major who will continue his studies at the University of Cambridge this fall, Gvirtz is optimistic that CompactCopters will fill a critical need. “We hope for the best,” he says, “but either way it was worth it.”


ho says squirrels are the only wildlife at Clark? We may be

an urban university, but we’ve been attracting a wide range of animal visitors to campus, some who like it so much they’ve decided to settle here. Photographer Steve King’s camera recently captured this hawk poised for takeoff outside the Shaich Family Alumni and Student Engagement Center, and a mother raccoon (baby not visible here), who has made a home inside a tree on the campus green.

Summer 2018


w 16

By A n n e G i b s o n, P h . D. ’9 5

r wa rior wellness

i l l u s t r at i o n b y l u ba L . R o s h c h y n a

Dr. Stephanie Bailey ’72 crusades for effective public health with a simple mantra: Listen to the people

Summer 2018


tephanie Coursey Bailey ’72, M.D., insists she’s an introvert. It’s an odd admission for someone whose professional trajectory has required her to make bold decisions to improve health outcomes for the underserved and overwhelmed. But as you speak with Dr. Bailey, it’s clear that her introversion is not about a reluctance to be heard as an individual, but rather a preference to defer to the voice of the community. Indeed, she’s shaped her career by listening to that collective voice and, placing herself on the front line of health challenges on the local, regional, and national levels. She’s been a lifetime champion of good health for all, ever aware that public health professionals and organizations are positioned to tackle health-related problems that are beyond the control of any one person. ••••• As a fledgling physician in 1981, Bailey had expected to work one-on-one with patients in underserved communities. But the terms imposed by her National Health Service Corps medical school scholarship required her to be assigned to a community health clinic and later take a job at the Department of Health for Nashville/Davidson County. When Bailey confided some regret over that turn of events to her new supervisor, she received a reply that changed her life. 18

“My director reminded me that in my new position what I did affected the lives of approximately 635,000 people,” she recalls. “That response clicked for me. That was when I caught the public health bug.” She would go on to complement her M.D. with a master’s degree in health service administration. With her professional focus clarified, Bailey set out to take the lead in public health practice. “As a public health practitioner, the community is my patient,” she explains. “I’m looking for those common denominators that are making people sick or preventing them from living a normal life span: the environmental and social determinants that contribute to disease.” Bailey eventually assumed the role of director of health for Nashville, a position she held for 11 years. Her directive was unequivocal. “I would tell my staff, ‘If we’re not on the cutting edge, we’re taking up too much space,’” she says. “Being anticipatory, and trying to do the next best thing for the community, always propelled me to create an environment where innovation thrives.”

As chief administrative officer of the Nashville Board of Health, where she oversaw an annual budget of more than $40 million as well as 579 employees, she initiated and shepherded a wide range of health-promoting programs, established divisions of epidemiology and research and evaluation, and created Health Nashville 2000+ to engage the community in strategic health planning. Under Bailey’s watch, syphilis was virtually eliminated in Nashville after the city had ranked No. 1 in the nation for incidence of the disease. Her eradication efforts were recognized by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control as a national model. She spearheaded Bridges to Care (now Project Access Nashville), which linked approximately 26,000 uninsured residents to health care through a public/ private consortium of hospitals, clinics, and other health care providers. Recognizing that youth input is important to a community’s prosperity, she appointed the first Youth Advisory Board in the city. “Communities,” she says, “should own their own health instead of being dictated to from the top down.”

Dr. Stephanie Bailey addresses a Clark audience during a 2010 symposium.

••••• Bailey’s belief in the power of community springs from a childhood spent in a segregated neighborhood in Denton, a small town bordered by the Choptank River on Maryland’s eastern shore, where her father operated a combination restaurant and beer garden. She recalls impromptu gatherings on front porches, Sunday afternoon baseball games, and going crabbing with her father. Children were expected to mind their manners and respect adults. She came away with a deep appreciation for her neighborhood of close-knit families. “It was a small town that espoused values of community connectedness,” she says. “We were pretty much selfcontained, with our own store, taxicab, and gas pumps. I walked to our

segregated school. And we were reared to aspire to be optimistic and hopeful. We did pretty well.” Bailey first learned about Clark University from a high school guidance counselor who knew another Clark student from Maryland’s eastern shore, Mareasa Isaacs ’70. Once on campus, Bailey had no thought about becoming a doctor, although she complemented her psychology major with lots of courses in the sciences. Two of those courses — organic chemistry with Edward Trachtenberg, and anatomy with Rudolph Nunnemacher — pointed her in the direction of a medical career. “I remember Dr. Trachtenberg pulled me aside after class and said, ‘Stephanie, you should go to medical school.’ It had never entered my mind,” Bailey says. “If it

weren’t for him seeing that potential and planting that seed, I never would have even applied.” She also recalls taking a couple of the creatures she examined in Nunnemacher’s class home to show her parents. “I enjoyed the class to the point where, when I traveled by bus down to Maryland, I actually wrapped up the shark and cat that I had dissected to show my parents. Dr. Nunnemacher gave me that kind of excitement for appreciating the body and the organs. Little did I know that would bode well in medical school.” Bailey enjoys many good memories of her college years, both at Clark and at Nashville’s Meharry Medical College, the country’s second-oldest historically black medical school, where she earned an M.D. Summer 2018


Public health offerings go global The days she received her diplomas were extra-special, and not just because of the degrees conferred. “I was the first person in my family to graduate from college,” she says. “My family from Philadelphia, New York, and Maryland chartered a bus and came up for my graduation from Clark. They chartered two buses to come to my graduation from medical school. That was joyous.” ••••• After working for 25 years to make Nashville a healthier city, Bailey served as chief of public health practice at the Centers for Disease Control from 2006 to 2011, a position charged with strengthening the U.S. public health system, building and supporting public health infrastructure, and improving overall public health system performance. Once again, she was working in the vanguard of community health, except now her community was the entire country. After her tenure with the CDC, she moved into academia as interim dean of public service and urban affairs, later dean of the College of Health Sciences, at Tennessee State University. Today she serves as senior associate dean of public health practice at Meharry. At 67, she is as passionate about public health as she was in her early Nashville days. Bailey insists that community efforts cannot solve everything, and is quick to note that adopting a healthy lifestyle is essential. “The diseases that are killing us now are chronic diseases, of which seven out of the top 10 are preventable,” she says. “If we do more prevention we will have less burden of disease. That’s the health promotion part of public health. That’s education. But prevention isn’t relegated to the doctor to fix. It’s about our choices, our habits, and our cultural norms.” 20

Beginning in fall 2015, Clark students could declare a new undergraduate concentration in public health, offered under the direction of David Thurlow, professor of chemistry, who at the time oversaw Clark’s pre-health advising program. The concentration recognizes the expanding role of public health in a globalized society. Since its introduction, enrollment in the public health concentration has risen to 27 students — approximately two-thirds of whom are biology, or biochemistry and molecular biology majors — making it by far the most popular concentration that Clark offers. Keegan Daugherty ’19 (pictured) eagerly embraced the public health track from its inception. During her first semester at Clark she took Healthy Cities, a First-Year Intensive taught by Professor Marianne Sarkis. As part of the course, Daugherty interned with the Worcester Department of Health and Human Services, conducting research that prompted the city to adopt a needle-exchange program. Later, Daugherty worked through the department to help local faith-based groups set up a pilot program to ensure that overflow shelters for the homeless were available during the winter months. A summer 2017 internship with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s Washington, D.C. office saw her conducting background literature research and attending briefings and hearings on a variety of health issues. In her time at the CDC, Daugherty was mentored by Miranda Katsoyannis ’78, a CDC senior program analyst and co-chair of the ClarkCONNECT Health community. Daugherty is hoping to complete a master’s degree in management to gain project management skills she can apply to a career in the health care industry. “The policy analyses that I conducted have led me to realize my love of health policy, an area of public health which I had not previously considered as a career path,” she says. Beginning with the 2018-19 academic year, the public health concentration will be renamed Health, Science, and Society to better describe a revised curriculum designed to encompass a broader range of health-related topics. Students will have more flexibility in tailoring their course selection, and will be required to take at least one course in each of four core areas: biomedical science, social determinants of health, statistics-based data analysis, and ethical considerations. At the graduate level, in the 2017 fall semester 16 students matriculated in a new program leading to the master of health science degree in community and global health. Created with the help of a $500,000 grant from the Leir Charitable Foundations, the degree is offered through the Department of International Development, Community, and Environment. Students choosing a community health concentration focus on healthy nutrition and active living, community mental health, law enforcement partnerships to reduce community violence, and other factors that impede people’s ability to live healthy lives in the United States. Those selecting a global health concentration consider issues in developing countries, such as access to basic services like water and sanitation; maternal mortality, and the spread of infectious diseases, such as Zika virus.

Bailey points out that while access to care is vital, about 50 percent of health problems are attributable to lifestyle behavior. She’s the first to admit that making healthy choices is difficult. “Take me,” she says. “I certainly know better, but if I eat one Oreo, I’ve eaten the whole row before I stop. My genetics tells me I’m going to have hypertension and heart disease. The only things in my control are diet and exercise. They’re very hard things to do. “Why is prevention so hard?” she asks. “It’s because the culture and experiences we grew up with lead to beliefs, which lead to actions, which lead to results. We as a society always focus on the actions — to change the law to do something now. But that does not change the underlying behavior that will create a culture where health is the default. That takes a lot more effort.” Most recently, Bailey’s interest in promoting prevention has spurred her to become a certified life coach. She’s keen to understand what gives a person the motivation to stick with healthy choices, and has concluded that two of the secrets are positive “self-talk,” and “being still.” “The key is learning how to turn the talk we all have with ourselves into affirming conversations,” she says. “Then you’re more empowered to do better. Because we know better, and we have an obligation to do better. “I don’t think people in this society stay still long enough to really assess why they make the decisions they do. What are your core values; what are they based on? I’m not sure people are that aware of themselves anymore because of the busyness of our lives.” Bailey has discovered the importance of getting a patient to an “aha” moment by listening to their story. At some point, most people will come up with the moment that inspires them to change.

“When they do that,” Bailey says, “it means much more than me telling them something. Then, I can take them to the next step. This part of coaching is what I call the art of medicine. It’s a lot more work than just prescribing a pill. Doctors have about 15 minutes for each appointment, and everyone comes in with two or three issues. The system does not incentivize quality as much as it does volume.”

spouses and four grandchildren. She is working with Bamboo Doors Studios to create a documentary about her Denton childhood, integrating extensive footage shot by her father. The film, “Through My Father’s Eye” (an allusion to the fact that her father had only one functioning eye), is scheduled to premiere at four locations this year: Nashville (April), Denton (July), Atlanta and Houston (both in August).

I don’t think people in this society stay still long enough to really assess why they make the decisions they do. As a physician, public health professional, and life coach, Bailey says the key to good health requires individual responsibility working in tandem with community-based action. Her goal is always to “lift people up so they can soar.” ••••• Since 1981, Bailey and her husband, W. T. Bailey Jr., have lived on a farm in West Nashville, where they’ve raised three children — as well as walking horses and pigs (she notes one very productive sow had a litter of 21 piglets in the dead of winter that had to be brought indoors and bottle-fed). There’s plenty of room for family gatherings, which now include

“My father had an old Bell and Howell 8mm movie camera, which he used to capture how we lived, played, and worked,” she says. “The film is about the community values that came out of our living together, and trying to transport those values to the present so we can reclaim, recapture, and preserve communities.” There’s little doubt the film will be a wonderful piece of cinema. Bailey’s best friend and fellow Clarkie, Mary Williams ’72, knows firsthand what her friend is capable of. “Stephanie didn’t get to where she is without being very determined,” says Williams. “She’s a bigger-than-life person. If she puts her mind to something, there’s nothing that’s going to stop her.” Summer 2018



stan u

For comic Charles Gould ’07, making ’em laugh is serious business

By Rian Watt ’14

Photo graphy by Kevin S canlon

The plan is to meet after work, have a few drinks, and leave the bar just in time for me to catch my 10 o’clock red-eye out of LAX. It almost worked out that way, too. He picked the place — a newish bar in Culver City, just a short drive from the airport — and I arrive a few minutes early, luggage in hand. It’s one of those soft L.A. nights that makes the city feel a little bit like magic, an hour after a rain shower and with the warm air off the ocean lifting

guy the mist in quick bright eddies past the

streetlights. I sit down on a bench outside the bar, store my luggage carefully out of

the way, and wait for Charles Gould ’07 to arrive.



ot for long. He misses me on his way in, blocked from my view by a row of dark, wet cedars strung with white lights, and enters the bar alone, head swiveling left and right to take in tables already packed with hordes of well-dressed young people impossibly smug in their delight in paying $20 for a burger. I tap him on the shoulder, and after an enthusiastic hello, he delivers an immediate, and frankly unassailable, judgment of the restaurant he’d chosen: “Wow, dude. This place sucks.” And so, at his insistence, we leave in search of a place that, at the very least, sucks less.

••••• If you only knew Gould through his stand-up act — maybe his performance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” last August, or his appearances on Comedy Central, or even his acting work on “The Big Sick,” “Law and Order,” and “Search Party” — you’d be hard-pressed to figure that the man has any confidence at all. “Charles is the guy,” says his former Clark Theatre Arts Professor Gino DiIorio ’83, “who goes to the bar, hits on everybody, and everyone turns him down. He’s always going to be the butt end of the joke.” His act, in fact, plays less as a series of jokes (setup, punchline, setup, punchline …) than as a one-way conversation with your funniest friend during which he describes a day that somehow went horribly wrong. Gould’s web series, “Charles, by the Way,” which he co-writes with his friend Dan Hurwitz, is built on that simple premise. “What we’re always trying to do is think of a common, everyday situation, and then think about the worst-case scenario we can imagine happening in that situation,” he says. One sketch, “The Doctor Who Girl,” sees Gould meet a woman at a coffee shop, connect with her over their shared love of the “Doctor Who” series, and then painfully realize she is already planning her “Doctor Who”-themed dream wedding … with another man. As she describes the details of the ceremony, the camera cuts quickly between their faces — each time the camera returns to Gould, he is more offscreen, until he vanishes entirely. The girl returns to her coffee without missing a beat. Gould’s words don’t necessarily make you laugh until your sides hurt — in fact, they occasionally make you cringe, in squirmy recognition of your own days-gone-horriblywrong. The ideas worm inside your brain, becoming part of 24

the way you experience and re-experience some tiny part of the world. “My goal with doing stand-up comedy is that people will hear the joke once, they’ll hold on to it, and then they’ll remember it months later,” he says. “I want people to bring the joke back up, and tell their friends about it even if in the moment they didn’t laugh out loud when you told it.”

••••• Charles Gould came to Clark to compete on the tennis team, and without a sense that comedy was in his future. But when given the opportunity to perform, he immediately stood out. “He’s one of the funniest kids I’ve ever known,” DiIorio says. “If you gave him a tragedy, he made it into a comedy. I mean, he just had this wonderful wit, and he would drive you crazy with it.” After graduating in 2007, Gould moved to New York and spent his first few years immersed in the stand-up scene. Watch any of his early sets, and you see a character quite different from the quiet, halting, self-deprecating persona he now brings on stage. “At the beginning,” he says, “I used to think it was important to put on an outfit that wasn’t me, but was funnier than me.” That meant rapid-fire jokes, a lot of arm-waving, and a frenetic energy that seems almost impossible to imagine present-day Gould replicating. “I would almost go as far as to say that, these days, my act and my personal life are the same. When I talk to someone backstage after a show, they say, ‘Oh, this is exactly who I thought you would be.’ They didn’t used to say that.” Sitting across from me in a bar full of people louder, flashier, and quite possibly more willing to do anything to get ahead, Gould doesn’t seem entirely convinced he’s hit his stride. “I still worry about it a lot,” he says. “I worry about how necessary my voice is in the world today. Sometimes it feels completely unnecessary — that you’re not going to bring anything new to the table as a Jewish comedian in New York. But you have to stick to the toolbox you have. I think the way to truly find your voice is to do what you personally find funny, and find a way to make it funny to other people, as opposed to changing what you find funny just to make other people laugh.” All of which sounds exactly right, in principle. Though when asked about the worst time he’s ever bombed — a standard coming-of-age-story for young comics — the story changes slightly. “You can go through doing comedy and never bomb really bad,” he says, “because you kind of adjust yourself to the crowd.

“After I did the Montreal Comedy Festival and Kimmel, I was given the opportunity to perform an hour of stand-up. My agent said, ‘Look, you can do an hour, and we can start you off in really small rooms in Alabama and Georgia.’ I said no, and I really regret that now. I was too scared. I didn’t want to get pushed into the pool, and I think that was a mistake.”


One moment Gould can be brazen (on possibly entering politics: “I have no experience in politics, so I just need to get as famous as Al Franken — without the groping — and I’ll be fine”), the next he’s diffident and shy. That’s what pushes his comedy forward. “Most of my comedy comes from my insecurity,” he says. “But it only works with some crowds. If the crowd is really young, hip, and good-looking, then I’m going to bomb. There’s a type of person who can watch a person spilling out their insecurities onstage and relate to it. Then there’s the kind of person who’ll just feel bad for you.” A pause for effect. “Hot people usually fall into the second category.” One of Gould’s web sketches — “Chelsea (ft. Hot Christian Guy)” — depicts Gould in a coffee shop wooing the woman at the next table with clever words while the chiseled blond man seated on her other side does nothing but smolder and wins her affections anyway. It’s hard not to interpret the sketch as a metaphor for Gould’s perspective on his life and work — an uncertainty about exactly where he stands, balanced with a basic decency and modesty that hold him together. It’s nervy, it’s winning, and, when you get used to the idea that it’s not an act, it’s very hard not to like. “You know, he’s just a typical Clarkie,” DiIorio says. “Clark students are not the kind of students who say to you, ‘How do I get an A in this class? How do I fill in the boxes?’ You show them the boxes, and they go, ‘Yeah, well, I’ve got a few other boxes.’ He’s very typical of that. He’s got a lot of boxes.”

••••• Gould has decamped to his native Los Angeles for the time being. He was a bit weary of the New York scene, but he also needed to go where the work is. “After I did Kimmel, I was out here for a week, and I did a couple meetings, and went on a few auditions,” he says. “And then I did the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival, which gets you to meet tons and tons of industry people, and 80 percent of those people were based in L.A.”

Most of my comedy comes from my ınsecurıty. Gould is now writing for actor Will Smith’s production company (he can’t divulge what he’s working on). He’s also developing a digital series for Comedy Central about working with a therapist, pitching a TV show about a Mark Zuckerberg-like guy who runs for president, and is looking to get back into acting. For the most part, 2018 has been a year of change. Has that change been a good thing? Gould can’t say yet. While it took him all of five seconds to decide that the bar he’d chosen for our conversation sucked, and another two to head down the street in search of something better, the big life choices understandably have kept him more preoccupied. He’s not a star yet, but he’s closer than he’s ever been — close enough, anyway, to feel the immensity of what might lie ahead. After spending the last decade climbing the ladder, he’s peering into the deep waters of the pool below. Nobody’s pushing him now. It’s his leap to make. Summer 2018



t p s a


The Clark pea pod poster has been refreshed for a new crop of students. Alumni hold an enduring affection for the original.

the pea pod sprouts agaÄąn An iconic image gets revived for the next generation of Clarkies

By Jim Keogh

Summer 2018


n a hot August day 34 years ago, designer Keith Carville and photographer Chuck Kidd drove to a vegetable farm in Hubbardston, Mass., painted some peas, and snapped a picture. The resulting poster of vibrantly colored peas nestled inside a pod, paired with the tagline, “Clark University: Categorizing people isn’t something you can do here” resonated with students and alumni, who appreciated the message that Clark is a community of individuals — all are different, and all are welcome. The pea pod poster quickly began appearing in dorm rooms across campus, and found its way onto the office walls of high school guidance counselors. The meaning behind the multi-colored peas struck such a deep chord that the poster remains displayed on some of those same walls, many years after the pea pod was decommissioned. “The poster may be old and tattered, but the guidance counselors don’t want to replace it,” says Terry Malone ’01, MSPC ’09, director of admissions at Clark. “They understand the importance of the message, and their students do, too.” Here’s another message to make many Clarkies happy: The pea pod is back. The memorable image has been refreshed and reintroduced as the centerpiece for the University’s admissions materials with the fresh tagline, “You Belong.” High-schoolers attending college fairs are seeing the pea pod at Clark stations, and prospective students

The pea pod poster shows up in this photo taken in the mid-1980s at Falmouth High School, Maine.


have already received a series of informational postcards featuring current Clark students posing with the new poster. As word has gotten out, Clark alumni, particularly those from the ’80s and ’90s, have welcomed back the pea pod like an old friend. “It’s still one of my favorite things about Clark,” says Tad Overbaugh ’93. “After dealing with all the cliques in high school, this was really refreshing. It set the groundwork of respect for all the different kinds of people you might come across here.” For Cate Whitfield ’92, the pea pod’s return reinforces Clark as a place “free from judgment.” “That’s so important, especially for young adults on their own for the first time.” In an essay published by Clark some years ago, Hank Fradella ’90 captured why the pea pod endures. “I was hard to categorize in high school, as I didn’t really fit the mold of being a ‘jock,’ or a ‘prep,’ or drama/music ‘geek’ — even though I was a little of all of them,” Fradella wrote. “The pea pod poster was not propaganda. It was truth. Nearly everyone I knew at Clark ‘fit in’ because there weren’t any predefined molds to which we had to adhere.”

••••• If proof is needed that the Clark universe hums to its own special rhythm, consider this: The man who designed the original pea pod poster in 1984 is the same person responsible for introducing the reimagined version.

unpeeling the pea pod

• In the first printing of the pea pod Carville was working at Clark in 1984 when Annette Kahn, director of communications, asked him to design a poster with multi-colored peas inside a pod — an image already existing as a watercolor illustration. “Chuck Kidd knew a guy with a farm in Hubbardston, so we went in search of the perfect pea pod,” Carville recalls. The duo engineered “perfection” by positioning the curly stem of one pea pod atop the body of another. Carville left two green peas in the pod, removed the rest, and fashioned seven new peas out of putty. He spray-painted the peas different colors, then gingerly placed them inside the pod. Once the peas were in place, he misted the pod with water and laid it on a sheet of sandy-colored paper. Kidd took his photos, and a Clark symbol was born. Carville worked at Clark about six months before leaving for other opportunities, but this would not be his last encounter with the pea pod. Far from it. In 2010, Carville was considering returning to Clark as creative director when he mentioned to Paula David, vice president for marketing and communications, that he’d designed the pea pod poster. She was stunned. “This is kismet,” she said, noting the image’s iconic stature in the Clark community. “You’ve got to come here. It’s meant to be.” Carville joined the Clark MarCom team and crafted materials reflecting the University motto, “Challenge Convention. Change Our World.” But nostalgia for the pea pod never waned; Carville continued fielding requests for

poster, designer Keith Carville’s

smudged fingerprint, in red paint, is visible on the yellow pea. Since it was too costly to remove the print in those pre-Photoshop days, it stayed in the picture. The fingerprint was removed in later versions. (Carville is pictured above.)

• For Homecoming Weekend 2003, student Erin Martin ’05 organized a

panel in which participants reflected on what the pea pod meant to them.

• One of Clark’s popular improv

teams is The Peapod Squad, founded in 1997.

• The pea pod poster has inspired

many a high school student to check out Clark. The featured alumnus on the cover of the Spring 2011 magazine, military psychologist Clifford Trott ’87, recalled spotting the poster in the guidance counselor’s office of his Nantucket, Mass., high school. He investigated the University, learned Sigmund Freud had lectured here, and that capped the deal. A Clarkie was born.

• Both the original (without the

fingerprint) and updated versions of the pea pod poster can be purchased in the Clark Campus Store.

the poster from both the Admissions and Advancement offices. The decision to revive the pea pod acknowledged that a representation of Clark so convincingly entwined in the DNA of past generations could be just as compelling for a new crop of Clarkies. To launch the pea pod-themed campaign, current students were photographed with the revised poster, bearing witness to the University’s “You Belong” spirit. “When I came here, I met people with different backgrounds and different perspectives. That’s something I didn’t have in high school,” says Juliana Lugg ’21, of Andover, Mass. “To me, the pea pod says you can be who you are, while, at the same time, you can learn from other people — all under the umbrella of Clark.” Several years ago, Carville was sifting through old photos when he found a black and white picture of his wife’s friends, snapped in the mid-’80s, as they clowned around in the teachers’ lounge at Falmouth High School in Maine. Something caught his eye in the background. There on the bulletin board behind them was the familiar pea pod poster he’d created three decades earlier. At the time, he didn’t know he’d one day be reinventing the distinctively inclusive plant. How could he? Few things have the staying power of the Clark pea pod. As Carville has discovered, “People who love it, love it forever.” Summer 2018



a I a



Clark students and alumni from Puerto Rico were left reeling after a hurricane devastated their island. As they rebuild, they struggle with the question, ‘Is this our new normal?’ by Melissa Lynch ’95, MSPC ’15 illustration by carlo Giambarresi

Summer 2018



For María Acosta Cruz, hurricanes were a part of growing up in Puerto Rico.

storm would hit the island, power would go out for a day or two, and then life would return to normal. But on September 20, 2017, as she watched a hurricane that bore her name batter her island in a way no other had done, she realized that, for Puerto Rico, “normal” would never again feel the same. Hurricane Maria made landfall just two weeks after Hurricane Irma decimated the U.S. Virgin Islands and pounded Puerto Rico with rain and wind that knocked out power to one million homes. Maria finished the job. The National Weather Service had issued a dire warning that it could be a “dangerous major hurricane,” but for an island used to storms, what did that mean? “It was a game changer,” says Edgardo Rivera ’86. “Life here is completely different.” Rivera, an attorney, considers his family “very lucky,” because they are part of the 5 percent of Puerto Ricans who never lost power (their apartment building in Guaynabo, a suburb of San Juan, has a generator and a water cistern). But his father was without power and water for two months. Rivera’s daughter Gabriela Rivera-Negron ’09, also an attorney, says the day after the storm, she left her apartment building to join her parents and found roads filled with debris and downed lines. “It was hard even to get around,” she recalls. Back at Clark, Acosta Cruz, professor of Spanish in the Language, Literature, and Culture Department, had no way of knowing whether her elderly parents were all right. “When the grid went down, the cell phone towers went down as well,” she says. “It took a week to get texts. Voice came a bit later — and land lines were dead for more than six months.” She heard from her father about a week after the storm; he called while she was in a class, and her students encouraged her to violate her own “no calls during class” policy.


She wasn’t the only one desperate to communicate with loved ones. Amanda Quiñones ’20, from Ponce, had to wait two weeks before she found out if her parents were OK. “Don’t get me started on how that felt,” she says. “I would be crying in the middle of class.” Ana Mercado ’19, who lives in a suburb of San Juan, dealt with the disaster by “shutting it out,” even after she talked to her parents two days after the hurricane hit. She stopped following social media because, she says, “I didn’t want to watch my island being destroyed.” ••• Puerto Rico has been a territory of the United States since 1898, when it was acquired as a condition of the Treaty of Paris that ended the Spanish-American War. For the preceding 400 years, the island had been a Spanish colony. In 1917, Puerto Ricans were granted U.S. citizenship. This status gives citizens some fundamental rights, including a U.S. passport, but not others — Puerto Ricans cannot vote for president and vice president, and do not have representation in the U.S. Congress. The island became an “organized unincorporated territory” of the U.S., a commonwealth, with the ratification of its constitution in 1952. Despite rapid industrialization in the 1950s and ’60s, which transformed its economy from an agricultural to manufacturing base, mismanagement and poor planning have resulted in a seemingly insurmountable debt crisis. The U.S. government in 2016 appointed an oversight board with control over the budget, resulting in curtailed public services, reduced worker benefits, increased taxes, and an unhappy population. “We were dealing with a financial storm before the real tropical storm,” Edgardo Rivera says.

••• In the days after the hurricane, Amanda Quiñones needed to do something. She found a purpose in Students With Puerto Rico, a Facebook group connecting Puerto Rican students attending colleges across the United States. “It was our way of dealing with the questions and bringing peace to ourselves,” she says. Students would post if they heard from their families or friends in a certain area, and others who hadn’t heard would get an idea of what might be happening with their own families. Students With Puerto Rico created a GoFundMe account to raise money for Unidos por Puerto Rico, a public-private initiative begun by First Lady Beatriz Isabel Roselló. Each participating school needed a representative, and Quiñones stepped up for Clark. More than $50,000 was raised to buy essentials like generators, solar panels, and water. Acosta Cruz helped her parents from afar, sending necessities like solar-powered flashlights and lamps, even though it took three weeks for the U.S. Postal Service to restart deliveries on the island. She also sent solar-powered chargers for their devices, radios, and fans to combat the extreme heat — temperatures in September run in the 90s, barely cooler at night, with uncomfortable humidity. The town of Cabo Rojo, where she grew up and her parents still live, didn’t see help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for at least two weeks after the storm hit, Acosta Cruz says. “And that’s a coastal town, which is easy to get to. The main roads were cleared in a week.” It fell to the cash-strapped municipal authorities, and the communities themselves, to do what they could. “The first responses we saw were private citizens getting together to gather supplies and move debris,” Rivera-Negron says. “We didn’t know what was happening across the island.” When power went down, so did communications, including internet and cell service. She adds, “For a month after the hurricane, the brunt of the help we got was from communities in the States, from nonprofits and fundraisers. Those private initiatives were crucial, and well before we started seeing help from the federal government.” Quiñones says that FEMA arrived at her house in January, while she was home for winter break more than three months after the storm. Mercado’s parents — who were without power for 113 days — were frustrated that the agency responded far more rapidly to Hurricane

Harvey in Texas and Irma in Florida. “Texas got tons of attention, and I do not begrudge them that one bit,” Acosta Cruz says. “But don't forget about Puerto Rico. Neglected and forgotten — that’s been the policy of this administration.” “It was a very hard situation for the whole island,” Edgardo Rivera says. Gasoline was almost impossible to come by, and the supermarket shelves were bare. Banks and ATMs weren’t able to dispense cash. And the courts, by which Rivera makes his living, were “paralyzed” for more than 60 days. “I had to shut down my office and lay off my employees” while the courts weren’t operating, he says. “We’re still trying to regain normalcy.

Clark’s Puerto Rico connection Why travel more than 1,600 miles from home to attend Clark University? For Edgardo Rivera ’86 and his daughter Gabriela Rivera-Negron ’09, it was love at first sight with the campus. “I visited with my father, and I immediately fell in love,” Edgardo Rivera says. He was looking for a strong program in psychology, and liked that Clark was in an urban area, but not in a city as big as Boston. Gabriela was familiar with Clark because of her father; seeing it firsthand sealed the deal. “I didn’t understand Clark until I visited,” she says. “I felt at home. It was different from the other universities I’d visited.” According to the Alumni and Friends Engagement office, 81 Clark alumni currently live in Puerto Rico, although that figure is probably higher because not all alumni update their information. Eight undergraduate students from Puerto Rico currently attend Clark. Edgardo Rivera believes Clark’s proximity to vibrant Puerto Rican communities in Boston and Worcester is a big selling point for students from the island. “With Boston, you’re close enough to get there, but not too close. It’s attractive to many.” “People at Clark are open and understanding,” Gabriela Rivera-Negron says. “It has a lot of diversity, which many colleges I saw didn’t have. Coming from Puerto Rico, where you see all types of people, you want to go somewhere similar.” Amanda Quiñones ’20 and Ana Mercado ’19 also felt at home on the Clark campus. “I loved it. It was a good feeling. I researched more about the school, and I liked what Clark stood for. I felt Clark was a very different environment for me,” Quiñones says. Mercado, a member of the Clark volleyball team, gave a verbal commitment to Clark during her junior year. “I came to Clark over the summer to visit, and just had a gut feeling. I was comfortable, then I came for an athletics overnight visit. That was it.”

Summer 2018


“ I didn't want to watch my island being destroyed.”

Ana Mercado '19 (l.) and Amanda Quiñones '20 drape themselves in the Puerto Rican flag, a traditional display of love and respect for their home.

“Everything changed with Maria,” Rivera continues. “We still have traffic lights without power, and many towns in the countryside are struggling with inconsistent electricity and water. Many people are now unemployed. The future doesn’t look very good, to be honest.” ••• In May, the official death toll from Hurricane Maria was 112. “Maybe that’s the direct deaths from the storm — drowning, struck by flying debris,” Acosta Cruz says. “It doesn’t count the effects of no electricity, like dialysis patients who died, the elderly and infirm who needed care and didn’t get it, deaths from the heat, or people who couldn’t get medication.” A Harvard study released May 29 estimates that more than 4,600 deaths can be linked to the hurricane and its aftermath. The official figure also doesn’t quantify the suffering and the hunger, she says. Many citizens couldn’t get food, 34

particularly in the center of the island. FEMA provided “snack boxes” that included granola bars, chips, cookies, and canned sausages, but nothing with nutritional value, she notes. When it came to getting needed humanitarian supplies to the island, Puerto Rico faced a huge problem at its ports. The Jones Act of 1920 states that only American-owned, -built, and -crewed ships can carry goods and passengers from one U.S. port to another. Foreign-flagged ships near Puerto Rico that came from the U.S. and happened to be carrying U.S. supplies that might have helped the island weren’t allowed to dock there. The Jones Act was ultimately waived for 10 days — “a measly amount” that still kept much essential aid from reaching the island, Acosta Cruz says. Even if more ships were able to dock, it might not have mattered. “The ports were all blocked,” Mercado says. Cargo sent to help the people wasn’t getting distributed. Workers weren’t able to get to work to offload the goods, the roads were a mess, and some goods were diverted to stores, or to government officials. “Puerto Rico is very corrupt,” she says. ••• More than six months after the storm, official reports stated only about 7 percent of Puerto Rican homes were without power. “My estimate is more like 20 percent,” Rivera says. Many people may technically have electricity, but the quality is questionable. Power may be coming into the house, but the wattage isn’t high enough to run a refrigerator. And blackouts still happen pretty frequently.

The power grid in Puerto Rico, Acosta Cruz says, is “old, decrepit, and useless.” A year prior to the hurricane, the entire island lost power due to mechanical failure. Despite the catastrophic damage from the storms, FEMA isn’t allowed to fund upgrades to the system (the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act authorizes government agencies only to restore utility service to its predisaster condition). When the Army Corps of Engineers finished its mission on the island May 18, almost 20,000 homes were still without power, according to Puerto Rico’s (nonvoting) representative in the U.S. Congress, Jenniffer GonzálezColón. The ongoing rebuilding of Puerto Rico’s unreliable electrical grid, including restoring fallen power lines, will now be handled by the near-bankrupt Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority. “This time, everything that was wrong with the island and its political situation — its colonial relationship to the U.S. — everything went wrong,” Acosta Cruz says. “We’re only 35 miles by 100 miles in area,” Edgardo

Rivera says. “We’re not talking about a big territory here. But it is surprising and shocking how long it has taken — and keeps taking — for help to get in, and for them to do things right.” ••• Rivera had an extra reason for wanting things done quickly. As chairman of the board of Hospital del Niño (Children’s Hospital of Puerto Rico) in San Juan, he knew that the children in the facility, many of whom are dependent on ventilators, needed the electricity. FEMA denied a request for priority help. “While we’re called Children’s Hospital, we technically are not a hospital because we don’t do any surgery. It’s an extended care facility,” he explains. Enter Tesla. Just a month after the storm, the company announced that Hospital del Niño would be the first of many power projects it would take on in Puerto Rico, and Professor María Acosta Cruz recalls many storms from her childhood on Puerto Rico. Hurricane Maria was different.

Summer 2018


arrived on site to install a microgrid comprising solar panels and Powerpack batteries. “Now the institution gets about 60 percent of its power from solar, and 40 percent from the power grid. The objective is to increase the solar supply to 90 percent,” Rivera says. Even better, Tesla is covering the costs of installation. In January, the hospital hosted a visit from a congressional delegation including Rep. James McGovern, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Sen. Ed Markey, all of Massachusetts. “That was very important, because we were having trouble with the power company — they had to approve the system, including the fact that we were going to use solar power. There’s a lot of red tape and it usually takes more than a year.” Warren and Markey made calls that sped up the process, and approval for the combined system was granted quickly.

“ It is surprising and shocking how long it has taken for help to get in.” ••• In her 2014 book “Dream Nation,” María Acosta Cruz examined the complicated politics, culture, and history of Puerto Rico, including its tangled relationship with the U.S. When asked about the island’s way forward, she sighs. “I really don’t know. There are all kinds of community organizations that are doing good work and that are trying to set up agriculture to make the island more self-sufficient, but these are small pockets, not large social movements. “The one unexpected bit of news I heard is that the governor, who actually is pro-statehood, wants to organize Puerto Ricans in the states to make them significant voting blocs to influence Congress. Finally, someone has a good idea — motivate and organize Puerto Rican voters in places like Florida and Pennsylvania, and make Congress pay attention. Puerto Rico has no influence on Congress whatsoever, which is why the voters in the U.S. need to help.”


Amanda Quiñones took this photo while she was home on winter break, more than three months after the hurricane. The statue is of Agüeybaná II, who died while leading the Tíano people in rebellion against the Spaniards in 1511. Quiñones notes the tear in the Puerto Rican flag hanging on the downed tree. “Our tree has fallen and our flag has a tear, but we are still standing and protecting our island,” she says.

“We’re facing a very difficult situation,” Edgardo Rivera says. “It’s our responsibility. Aside from the beaches, and the good times, and the vacations, there are American citizens who live here, who struggle here, who deserve to be treated on the same level. We don’t want any special treatment. We just want to be treated equally.” Quiñones and Mercado are unsettled about the future of their island. “I’m a realist,” say Mercado, who plans to attend law school in the United States. “My parents want to retire in the U.S. They don’t want to stress about more natural disasters, or about Puerto Rico disappearing.” She is back at home this summer, interning with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Puerto Rico, and doesn’t rule out one day working within the Puerto Rican government to help her island. Quiñones is spending the summer working at the House of Representatives office in Ponce. She’s also planning a law career, perhaps in Puerto Rico. “I’ve always said that I want to go back to stay when I have something to give to the island,” she says. In the meantime, the Clark students and their families watch the skies. Hurricane season started on June 1.


ClarkCONNECT IN ACTION Clark University’s legacy in the social sciences dates back to its founding, when renowned psychologist G. Stanley Hall was named Clark’s first president. That same tradition was given a contemporary voice, when ClarkCONNECT hosted a panel and networking reception to give students a clear idea of where a Clark psychology can take them. Kenneth Chase ’92, Ph.D., Melinda Hillock ’81, LICSW, MSW, Jennifer Stapel-Wax ’92, Psy.D., Caitlin Straubel ’10, LMHC, and Robert Weinstein ’81, Ph.D., described their journeys from the Clark classroom to careers as clinicians, researchers, academics, and entrepreneurs.

G E T I N V O LV E D Dr. Jennifer Stapel-Wax lauded the implementation of ClarkCONNECT, saying she would be happy to take a phone call or respond to an email from a Clark student, and would be willing to connect students to others in the field.


W H AT I S C l a r k C O N N E C T ? ClarkCONNECT links students with alumni and others in the broader community — virtually and in person — for career exploration, preparation, and opportunities. YO U C A N H E L P

Alumni participation is the key. • Hire a student intern • Mentor a Clark student LEARN MORE J O I N T H E P L AT F O R M

Follow ClarkCONNECT. Students will be sharing their internship, research, and volunteer experiences supported through the ClarkCONNECT network.

Now is our time. Summer 2018


Endowments That Change History Taner Akรงam, author, teacher, and holder of the Kaloosdian Mugar Chair in Armenian Genocide Studies, has endured death threats and risked exile to expose the culpability of Turkey in the 1915 genocide of 1.5 million Armenians. He continues to conduct vital research that peels away at a century of falsehoods. Akรงam exemplifies intellectual honesty, political courage, and the moral obligation to pursue answers in the darkest of places, values ingrained in the Clark University mission.

Endowed professorships help ensure Clark scholars will always rise to confront the unimaginable, seek justice for the most vulnerable, and speak the truth when so many would deny it.

CAMPAIGN CLARK Now is our time. 38


alumni news Inside

Poetry in the pane / Wired to tech / Make your ‘everyday plan’ / Sweats for Vets

You don’t want a person coming out of prison who is meaner than when they went in. – Dr. Karen Gedney ’79

Summer 2018


alumni news

Make Clark your ‘everyday plan’ Clark recently concluded a year celebrating the incredible contributions women have made in shaping the university over the past 75 years. The occasion has given me the opportunity to reflect on the powerful influence Clark women have had on my own advancement, from my student days to my career and volunteer service. As president of your Alumni Council, it has been an honor to learn from and collaborate with many extraordinary female leaders. As a student, I was deeply influenced by Dr. Sharon Krefetz, who was the dean of the college and associate provost, and Catherine MaddoxWiley, who was dean of students. Each inspired and challenged me to think critically about how to build communities, and to encourage the vigorous exchange of divergent views in a respectful manner that strengthens our commitment to the greater good. Seeing these women in leadership positions at Clark encouraged me to pursue opportunities to lead. Over the last several years, I’ve had the pleasure of moderating the Women’s Leadership Lecture series in New York. Each event has showcased brilliant Clark alumnae, including Monica Rich Kosann ’81, who created her own eponymous line of jewelry; Brigitte King ’91, who turned her love of French culture into an incredible career at L’Oreal; and Jennifer Ottinger ’94, who brings the competitive spirit she honed as a Clark athlete to her leadership at the investment firm BlackRock. Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Peggy Kennedy ’63, former editor of House Beautiful and Victoria magazines. Peggy regaled us with tales of her career, from cajoling English lords to exploring Russian country homes. She encouraged each of us not only to find fulfillment in our careers, but to make sure to have a


“someday plan.” Hers was to become an artist. She now paints every day in her vast, sundrenched studio in Harlem. While I ponder my own “someday plan,” I ask you to join me in making Clark part of your “everyday plan.” Whether it’s attending an alumni baseball game this summer, volunteering to mentor a recent graduate through ClarkCONNECT, or coming back to campus to talk about your career experience, maintaining a thriving community depends on your engagement and continued commitment to Clark. The Alumni Council is a resource built by and for you. Over the last two years, working with the strong support of President Angel, the Board of Trustees, and the University Advancement office, we’ve reimagined alumni engagement and how to forge stronger partnerships across stakeholders — students, faculty, administration, staff, and alumni. During Reunion Weekend a few weeks ago, I passed the baton to Dr. Hope Aryeetey ’98, who will serve as the Council’s president for the next two years. Hope is a public health consultant who majored in biology at Clark and holds a Ph.D. in public health from Walden University. She has been my tireless partner these past two years. Joining Hope as a Council leader will be another talented Clark woman, president-elect Mary Owens ’86. Mary was a geography major at Clark and is a communications executive for CVS Health. I’m very excited for the Council and indeed the entire Alumni Association, knowing they will benefit from such solid leadership and advocacy. Please join them as we all work to propel Clark forward and continue to Challenge Convention and Change our World! Fiat Lux.

Ingrid Busson-Hall ’96

President, Clark University Alumni Council

Alumni Council Mission Statement

The Clark University Alumni Council connects or reconnects Clarkies with the University. We promote activities and share news that will deepen their affinity with a community that launched passions, careers, and relationships. Through our interactions, we also drive positive and lasting change that redefines what it means to be a Clarkie, and excites and inspires graduates to participate, to give, and to be champions of the Clark experience.

class notes

NANCY BARRETT ’79, MBA ’80, recently held a book-signing party for Karen Gedney ’79, who has published “30 Years Behind Bars: Trials of a Prison Doctor” (see page 52). (From left) Karen, Nancy, and Barbara Aiken ’79. “All three of us went to Clark and froze to death in a flat with no insulation in the 1970s,” Karen writes. “We all still keep in contact.” The party was held at Nancy’s house in Lake Tahoe.

’74 1957

BILL GIBBONS was recently honored by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) with the Distinguished Service Award “for unique and invaluable service to the thousands of Boys and Girls attending MIAA member schools across the Commonwealth.” Bill was the MIAA Central Massachusetts and state high school tennis director for 54 years, and held the longest tenure of any MIAA director. Clark was saddened to hear of Bill’s passing on June 5.


NEAL MEYERSON (above) recently exhibited a number of his photographs in Annandale, Virginia. The thematic grouping of 12 colorful pictures, “Enduring Images,” included outdoor scenes, shot both locally and afar.


LUCILLE M. JEROME, ACSW, LICSW, was one of four women honored with the Because of Her Award at Lowell Women’s Week 2018 in February. The annual award recognizes extraordinary leadership, generosity,

compassion, activism, and commitment to the Greater Lowell, Mass., community. Lucille received the award for her work creating and hosting “For the Young at Heart,” a monthly cable television program that is now in its 11th year. The prize noted, “Because of Her, elders can stay informed and connected with issues and services that can improve their lives.” Lucille received a master of social work in 1978 and a master’s in sociology in 1995, both from Boston University.


SHARON FELDMAN has published “The Magic of Tiny Business (You Don’t Have to Go Big to Make a Great Living),” about building a socially conscious, profitable, right-sized business. In 1989, she founded Eco-Bags Products Inc. ( at the front end of the reusable bag movement. She writes, “Back then, it was hard to find other ‘social’ entrepreneurs, so we paddled along, slowly and solo, until our idea tipped.” At a recent Social Venture Network conference, she ran into DREW LEHMAN ’75 — but they didn’t realize they were fellow Clarkies until, while kayaking on the Hudson River together, “Drew said something that connected me to a memory and we both said, ‘Dick Peet — the geography of American poverty,’ at the same time.’” They discovered they shared fond

memories of Peet, professor of geography at Clark, as well as a passion and purpose for their work. As Drew notes, “We took different paths to the same river.” Drew is an environmental scientist and educator who has spent most of his career in sustainable infrastructure (recycling, composting, waste disposal, wastewater facilities planning, and environmental compliance and permitting at operating facilities). He has taught courses like The Environment as a Profession at the New School for Social Research in New York City, Fairleigh Dickinson University, at professional conferences, and at annual meetings of the American Association of Geographers. His company, Environment and Education (, runs experiential learning programs to help introduce members of underserved communities to career pathways in water, power, sewer, trash, and transportation.


LORI STANLICK has been selected as one of New York’s 100 most outstanding corporate citizens by City & State NY. She is director of social services at Jonathan Rose Companies, a green real estate policy, urban planning, development, project management, and investment firm. A licensed social worker, Lori has been charged with implementing the company’s Communities of Opportunity Program. This multiyear project has been designed to gather concrete evidence that comprehensive housing-based approaches result in substantially improved outcomes for residents.

Summer 2018


class notes


DAN BROOK received the Faculty Award for Recognition of Excellence for Service Learning at San Jose State University, where he teaches sociology and leads Hands on Thailand, a service-learning, study-abroad, transformative three-week adventure in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Dan has authored many articles and publishes e-books at DOMINIC GOLDING, M.A. ’86, Ph.D. ’88, has been promoted to teaching professor in the Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He joined the faculty in 2006 after serving in research capacities at the EcoTarium and the Marsh Institute at Clark University, where he conducted work on the social aspects of environmental risks, with a focus on the topics of risk communication, public trust, and vulnerability. Over the years he has advised more than 100 undergraduate interactive qualifying projects in Worcester, Mass., and Worcester, England, as well as in Nantucket, Mass., London, Australia, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, and Switzerland. He has been director of WPI’s Nantucket Project Center since 2009 and director of the London Project Center since 2015 (he was co-adviser from 2009 to 2014). He has authored or co-authored six books and 18 book chapters.


GREG KOSNOSKI and his band, PDT, contributed an original song — “This Looks Like a Good Place for a

Murder” — to the soundtrack of the film “Rave Party Massacre,” released on DVD and video-on-demand in April. Greg graduated from the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at the University of Memphis in 1995, and currently works for MAPFRE Insurance Company in Webster, Mass.


HEATHER RUSSELL FINE has joined Marshall Dennehey’s Philadelphia office as a shareholder in the firm’s Casualty Department. An experienced trial lawyer, Heather was previously a partner at Griesing Law LLC and at Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, both in Philadelphia. She is a member of the American Bar Association and the Defense Research Institute.

MATTHEW LEVINE organized a mini-reunion for friends from the class of 1991 in Denver, Colo., where they enjoyed the mile-high city and took in a show at Red Rocks. Pictured are Matthew Levine, Mark Glovin, John Harwick, Adam Heller, Peter Michalek, Dave Middleton, Ken Shiffman, Peter Turchin, Dan Weiss, and Scott Zaret.

A group of Clark friends gathered to ring in 2018. From left (back row): Nathaniel Clements ’98, Alana Blatt Clements ’96, Josh Tolub ’95, Tabitha May-Tolub ’95, Lori Cramer Cotton ’95, MBA ’96, Bryan Cotton, Chris Miller ’95, Laraine Miller ’95, Scott Bachand ’95, and Kelliann Bachand.


JESSIE FRAZER FARNHAM recently purchased Frazer Insurance Agency in Windsor, Conn., from her father, Larry Frazer, who retired on Feb. 28. Farnham, who holds an MBA from Norwich University, has worked at the six-employee firm for the past 13 years, most recently as president. “It’s an exceptional opportunity to purchase a business my father started from scratch 45 years ago,” Jessie says. LAALEEN SUKHERA ’99, MSPC ’00, is working on her next novel and screenplay, and recently appeared in “I Hate Jane Austen,” a Sky Arts documentary presented by Giles Coren. Laaleen is the founder of the Jane Austen Society of Pakistan, and serves as the editor of and a contributor to “Austenistan,” an anthology inspired by Austen and set in contemporary Pakistan. She recently was profiled in The Times (U.K.), Vanity Fair Italia, and 1843 magazine, and was interviewed by the British Council, the BBC, and NPR.




DAWN WILSON ’00, M.A.Ed. ’01, has been named head of the lower school of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Ridgeland, Miss. After earning her master’s degree at Clark, she completed the coursework for a doctorate in school administration from the University of South Florida. She has teaching and administrative experience in public and independent schools, and most recently spent eight years as the principal of the Snowy Range Academy, a K-8 charter school in Wyoming.

On April 8, Clarkies from the class of 1991 gathered in Washington, D.C. to run the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-mile (or 5K) run. Prior to the race, the friends gathered for a homemade carb load. Pictured are Atilla Kocsis, James Liell, Lucy Mograss Jordan, Todd Rosenzweig, Kristen Foote, and Jonathan Lovins.


DARIUS SHIRZADI ’94, co-founder and executive director of Project GOAL — which teaches education and character development through soccer in urban areas of Rhode Island — recently joined fellow Clarkies at the 7th annual Adidas GOAL Cup Fundraiser in Barrington, R.I. Project GOAL is one of only 11 organizations in North America supported and recognized by FIFA, which runs the World Cup and soccer globally. Standing, from left: Julie Schechter ’91, Steve Schechter ’92, Darius, Mark Manganello ’95, Jen Hamre Turmel ’95, Rensl Dillon ’94, and Shawn Kerachsky ’95; kneeling, Michael Queenan ’94. AARON DAVID GRANLUND ’97 married Tracey Monell Moulton on September 9, 2017, in Keene, N.Y. Among the family and friends attending were Clarkies Jamey Poirier ’97, Sherri (Ruben) Poirier ’96, Ravi Singh ‘01, Jonathan Keaveny ’97, Tom Behrendt ’97, Nathan Till ’99, and (not shown) Shirley Granlund ’01. Aaron and Tracey reside in the Santa Barbara, Calif., area.

’94 2002

STEPHEN ALDRICH recently received the Dreiser Award from Indiana State University, where he is associate professor of geography. The Dreiser Award recognizes full-time Indiana State faculty who have made outstanding contributions to their disciplines. Stephen has been an Indiana State faculty member since 2009, and has served as interim chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Systems since 2017. He has contributed to numerous peer-reviewed journal publications, book chapters, and book reviews. In 2017, he was elected secretary of Indiana State’s Graduate Council and served as chair and vice-chair the two previous years.

Boutaud and Bass

Morris reunion

LARRY OSSEI-MENSAH (top of facing page) is a Ghanaian-American curator and cultural critic who uses contemporary art and culture to redefine how we see ourselves and the world around us. He recently co-curated an exhibit at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art featuring the works of artist Allison Janae Hamilton. Larry also has organized


Chapman wedding Summer 2018


class notes


award from the National Research Council to develop a curriculum for WPI’s Nuclear Science and Engineering program and an award from the National Science Foundation’s S-STEM program to engage low-income, academically talented, underrepresented students in local community colleges in research on renewable energy materials and provide them with scholarships to transfer to WPI to complete bachelor’s degrees. OLTA XHAÇKA ’05, MPA ’06, minister of defence for the Republic of Albania, recently met with U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis at the Pentagon. She has been an elected member of Albania’s parliament since 2009. At the Pentagon, she proposed a United States/ Albania-run military base in Albania, or an Adriatic Sea naval base under the NATO umbrella, and celebrated the European Commission’s decision to open negotiations for Albania’s accession to the European Union.


’05 exhibitions and collaborations with artists at commercial and nonprofit spaces around the globe. He co-founded ARTNOIR, a global collective of culturalists who design multimodal experiences aimed to engage this generation’s dynamic and diverse creative class. In 2017 he was critic-in-residence at the Omi International Art Center in Ghent, N.Y., and serves as a mentor in the New Museum’s incubator program “New Inc.” You can follow Larry at @ youngglobal on both Instagram and Twitter.

ADAM LIEBOWITZ received the J. William Weaver Paper of the Year award from the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists, for the article he co-authored, “Expanded Selective Bacterial Enumeration with the TEMPO Most Probable Number Technique for AATCC Test Method 100,” which was published in the 2017 AATCC Journal of Research. Adam earned a certificate in biotechnology manufacturing and a master’s in bioinformatics from Brandeis University. He works at Salem State University as an applications systems analyst/administrator.

CLAUDE KAITARE (above) has been selected to join the Warren Fellowship for Future Teachers in Houston, Texas. He graduated from the graduate certificate program at the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Salem State University in January 2018. A survivor of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide against the Tutsis, Claude studied history at Clark, where he began to seek understanding of genocides.


GEORGE CHARLES ALLEN ’08, chairman and CEO of AeroVenture Flight Training & Aerospace Education Center in Mansfield, Mass., recently received the Dr. Wendell G. Mohling Outstanding Aerospace Educator Award from the National Science Teachers Association, given in recognition of leadership excellence and outstanding achievement in the field of aerospace education at the secondary and collegiate levels. He assists educators with developing curriculum, educational pathways, and partnerships for students to pursue careers in the aerospace industry. (Pictured from left) George Charles Allen, Carol Mohling of the Wendell G. Mohling Foundation, and Dr. David T. Crowther, NSTA President.

AKSHEYA SRIDHAR ’14 and DYLAN SANSONE ’14, MPA ’15, were married in Chennai, India on January 3, 2018. Clarkies in attendance included Leah McConnell ’14, Matt Manley ’13, M.S. ’14, Sebastian Sansone ’17, Sanjiv Fernando ’15, M.S. ’16, Michino Hisabayashi ’15, M.S. ’16, Allegra Marra ’14, M.A. ’15, Kate Gummoe ’14, MAT ’15, Jackie Lyon ’14, M.A. ’16, Zora Haque ’14, Nina Ponzeto, and the happy couple.


IZABELA STROE, Ph.D. ’05, has been promoted to associate teaching professor of physics at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. With research interests in experimental biological physics and condensed matter physics, she has conducted studies on protein dynamics and hydration and early detection of Alzheimer’s disease, among other areas. Her work on early Alzheimer’s earned her the 2012 Kalenian Award, the university’s top prize recognizing commercialization potential for inventions. She earned an




YING ZHEN, M.A. ’09, Ph.D ’12, was awarded tenure and promotion to associate professor of business and economics at Wesleyan College after almost six years of teaching there. She is currently the program director of economics and will become the department chair this fall. She also is a recent member of the Music Industry Research Association and is collaborating on a national survey on the well-being of musicians. Ying recently participated in panels on career development at the Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession/Midwest Economics Association meeting in Evanston, Illinois.


VATCHE MELKONIAN has graduated from Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine and has been accepted into a five-year surgical residency program at St. Louis University. “The goal is to complete residency and then spend two years in a fellowship to become a trauma surgeon,” he writes.


SHALYN HOPLEY will be pursuing a master’s in higher education and student affairs at the University of Connecticut, and will serve as a graduate assistant to The Graduate School there. Shalyn writes, “I’m thrilled to continue to learn how to best serve students, and to return to academic pursuits, after four years of working in residence life and housing professionally since graduating from Clark.”


SUJA CHACKO, MBA ’16, recently was named Worcester’s chief diversity officer. Previously she served in the city’s Office of Human Resources, where she worked on diversity initiatives, led employee training, and served as the liaison to the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee. She oversees the development of an Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity and Inclusion Plan to make sure the city is in line with state, federal, and local hiring standards. MIGUEL L. REYES, Ph.D. ’16, has been offered a tenure-track position at Clayton State University in Morrow, Georgia. He has held a postdoctoral position at Emory University since his graduation from Clark. JESSICA THELEN, M.A. ’16, was a featured alumni speaker at Westfield State University’s English Department Spring Gathering in April. Jessica is currently teaching at Westfield State, where she earned her bachelor’s in 2014. She spoke about her path as an English major and gave advice to current English majors and minors.

mark vital has g ot veterans c overed During his first year as a teacher at the Advanced Math and Science Academy in Marlborough, Mass., Mark Vital ’83 volunteered at a Christmas Eve breakfast for homeless veterans. “We had a lot of fun,” he says. “I spoke with an older man, probably a Vietnam vet, who was wearing a Washington Redskins sweatshirt. I warned him to be careful, because he was in Patriots nation.”

The vet quietly told Vital the sweatshirt was the only shirt he owned. At

that moment, Sweats4Vets was born.

Vital founded the organization with a simple goal: to

provide sports-related sweatshirts to homeless veterans each Christmas. Since 2011, he has done just that.

Homelessness is a very complicated issue for vets, Vital says. Many suffer

from mental illness and substance abuse — particularly younger vets — and could be fighting PTSD, bipolar disorders, and depression; they may have trouble with regimented rules at a shelter. “They have to eat when they’re told, turn off the lights at a certain time, go to specific counselors,” Vital says.

Less than 50 percent of them last 30 days in a shelter, he says.

Instead, they choose to be homeless on their own, with no rules. Many turn to self-medicating. “Heroin dealers know they have a captive audience,” he adds.

“I don’t care if you’re an

addict, what war you fought in, or if you have a mental illness,” Vital says. “I want to get you a warm Patriots hoodie for Christmas.”

In 2017, the Sweats4Vets campaign delivered 1,137

sweatshirts — surpassing Vital’s goal of 1,100 — and supported 54 facilities for homeless vets across New England. The sweatshirts are individually wrapped by Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, youth sports teams, and other groups. The vets also receive gloves or a scarf. One-third of the donations are monetary; the rest are actual donated sweatshirts. Vital says that in December, his garage becomes Santa’s workshop. “I’m the sweatshirt king of the world,” he laughs.

Vital now spends Christmas at the New England Center for Vets in

Boston. “Some of these guys are like kids — they’re so excited opening their Christmas presents,” he says.

Vital is a veteran himself. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant

the day after he graduated from Clark and served in the Army Corps of Engineers from 1983 to 1987.

While at Clark, he was the University’s only ROTC student. He majored in

psychology, but fondly remembers his Women in the Military class taught by Cynthia Enloe, professor of political science. “I was the only man in the class,” he says.

After four years in

the Corps of Engineers, Vital returned to Worcester to coach track at Clark. He now coaches at AMSA and teaches English and psychology. He’s also getting his Christmas list together. You can never start too early. For more information, visit

Summer 2018


class notes

he find s p oetry in the pane When you look at a window, you’ll likely notice one of two things: what-

imperfections,” he says. “Older glass has metal particles in it and is less

ever is on the other side of the glass, or your own reflection in it.

processed. It has grains and a shimmy to it; light dazzles in it more than

Douglas Zook, M.A. ’83, Ph.D. ’89, sees something else. He sees art.

in modern glass.”

dane objects with a measure of softness and intrigue, he says. “Some-

has photographed the images shimmering in the windowpanes of Bos-

thing as simple as pipes on the side of a building or a couple of tree

ton, Kraków, Poland, and Prague, Czech Republic. He’s exhibited his pho-

branches can have a fabulous expression,” he says. “Nature has an as-

tos in Europe and Boston, and has compiled them in a special edition

toundingly beautiful and mysterious hidden realm immersed in silica di-

large-format book, “Earth Gazes Back.”

oxide — glass — and sunlight. The magic of many window panes is nearly

Zook discovered his unique

passion in 2010 while serving as a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar at

in the category of a new photographic art.”

Jagiellonian University in Kraków, where for six months he taught global

earned undergraduate degrees in communications and biology at BU,

ecology and assisted colleagues with a project to restore contaminated

and worked as a community organizer in Boston before pursuing gradu-

soil left by the mining of heavy metals. In his spare time, he roamed the

ate-level biology studies at Clark under the mentorship of the late Pro-

city and found himself fascinated by the reflections in the windows of the

fessor Vernon Ahmadjian, a lichen symbiosis expert. “Funny thing is, as a

centuries-old buildings.

“There was this amazing mix of architecture,

kid I attended Woodland Street School [which now houses Clark’s Grad-

sky, trees — and their reflections in the glass had a beautiful quality about

uate School of Management] and I’d think, ‘Maybe I’ll go to Clark some-

them,” he recalls. So he began photographing.


The reflections in the panes endow otherwise mun-

Zook, a Boston University global ecology professor for three decades,

After a few months


Zook grew up in Worcester,

During his 30-year BU career, Zook led efforts to educate stu-

Zook met with a group of local artists in a café and fanned out his photos

dents who were interested in careers teaching biology. In 2010 he

on a table. “They looked at them and said, ‘You’ve got to show these,’” he

launched, and still directs, the Global Ecology Education Initiative, which

recalls. Among his exhibitions was “Hidden Kraków Revealed,” a showing

takes him to public schools for presentations that promote an “earth-

of 31 photographs at the university’s Auditorium Maximum.


centered ethic” rather than ahuman-centric approach to our lives and the

he’s photographed all manner of windows, including the sleek glass

planet. Today he teaches at the University of Massachusetts–Boston, and

sheets of modern buildings, he prefers the unrefined glass in older struc-

continues to illuminate the grace in our glass.


at; contact him at

“Those windows tend to be more interesting because of the

His work can be viewed

in memoriam

Robert W. Kates Robert W. Kates, 89, a pioneering geographer and sustainability scientist, died in Trenton, Maine, on April 21, 2018. He was a longtime professor of geography at Clark University, director of the Alan Shawn Feinstein World Hunger Program at Brown University, senior research associate at Harvard University, and, most recently, Presidential Professor of Sustainability Science at the University of Maine. He earned a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Chicago, where his analytical brilliance was recognized early (he was admitted to the program despite never having earned a bachelor’s degree). In 1975, Kates was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences in honor of his groundbreaking work in a variety of geography-related fields, and he was a recipient of one of the first MacArthur Foundation Fellowships in 1981. He was particularly proud to be a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. His research took him worldwide, from studying reconstruction efforts following the Alaska earthquake in 1964 to helping create what is now the Institute of Resource Assessment in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He later did work on population studies, hunger reduction, natural resource management, and climate change, and made foundational contributions to the emerging field of sustainability science. Confronted with the daunting scope of the problems he studied, Kates fused academic rigor with a commitment to find achievable goals that could, in his words, “in some small way help change the world.” He was predeceased by his wife, Eleanor, in 2016. He leaves his children, Jonathan Kates, Katherine Kates and her husband, Dennis Chinoy, and Barbara Kates and her husband, Sol Goldman; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Kenneth Hughes Kenneth Hughes, a professor of German and Russian at Clark from 1973 to 2005, passed away on Feb. 1 after a battle with cancer. He was a distinguished scholar and exemplary teacher who inspired his colleagues and students. To honor his memory, donations may be made to the ACLU or the Southern Poverty Law Center. In a social media post, Professor Stephen DiRado wrote of his Clark colleague: “Ken, wherever you are now, I just want to say your stories were inspiring and indelible, the meals you cooked for us all were cherished, the wines you poured in each of our glasses made us feel genuinely very, very special. You will be missed.”

Summer 2018


in memoriam

Paul Burke Jr. Longtime Clark professor Paul Frederic Burke Jr., of Brewster, Mass., passed away on April 10, 2018, following a long illness. He taught courses on art and archaeology, ancient history, early Christianity, and the Latin and classical Greek languages for 38 years. He founded an interdepartmental program and major in ancient civilization and regularly taught courses for the Leir Luxembourg program. He also led summer programs in southern Italy for the Vergilian Society and served as that group’s president. He received his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from Stanford University. Burke’s obituary noted that he enjoyed travel but especially loved returning to Cape Cod, where his family visited or lived in Brewster since the 1940s. He is survived by his wife, Barbara; daughter, Sarah Burke Cahalan; grandchildren, Alice, Paul, and Catherine Barbara; his sister, Judith; and niece, Suzanne. “Professor Burke was a wonderful teacher whom I had the great fortune to meet in the first semester of my freshman year,” said Max Bernheimer ’82. “His influence and inspiration would have a huge effect on my life and career, and for that I am eternally grateful. Dis Manibis Sacrum, Paul Burke.”

Alexander R. Cordy When Alexander R. Cordy was on the job, Clark’s students, faculty, and staff could always rely on one sure thing: They would be warm. As chief power plant engineer for 37 years, until his retirement in 2009, Cordy kept the boilers and cogeneration plant cranking. Jack Foley, vice president of government and community affairs, told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, “He was a first-class professional engineer and, more importantly, one of the nicest individuals you would ever want to know.” He leaves his wife of 58 years, Catherine (Haley) Cordy; his son, Roy A. Cordy and his partner, Jim Dobbie, of Kansas City; his two daughters, Laurie C. DiBara and her companion Mike Takorian, and Marylynn Pratt and her husband, David Pratt; his brother, Michael Cordy; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.


Hervey Ross ’50, LHD ’07

Hervey Ross ’50, LHD ’07, was a successful business executive, an Army veteran, and a man who recognized the value of the spoken word to inform, persuade, and win the day. Ross, who passed away on Jan. 26, 2018, also was a generous benefactor of Clark University, most visibly as sponsor, since 2005, of the Hervey Ross Oratorical Contest. The annual competition gives students an opportunity to stand before an audience and describe the joys and challenges of conducting research projects in a variety of study areas. Students in the Oratorical Contest have chronicled for their audiences what it was like to enter a corporate

environment for the first time, make a documentary film along the dusty roads of the American West, wade into the digital thicket of distributed computer systems at Amazon, and bring pioneering education methods to a Kenyan village. Whenever possible, Ross made the trip from his home in Atlanta to attend the contest, often introducing the event by stressing the importance of communicating with purpose in every avenue of life. “Life is just expressing yourself, and here at Clark, you’re going to learn how,” he said. According to a story published by Worcester Academy, his high school alma mater, Ross joined a national traveling magazine subscription crew in 1948 to raise money for his Clark tuition. He went on to own one of the nation’s largest specialty insurance agencies. Hervey Ross sold his company and retired in 2002. His wife, Wanda Lee Ross, died in 2011.

Steve C. Dune ’53, P ’88 Steve C. Dune ’53, P ’88, a Clark University trustee for more than 20 years, died on Feb. 27, 2018. He was a Phi Beta Kappa Scholar at Clark, and later graduated from the New York University School of Law. He joined the New York law firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft in 1957 and became a partner in l965. There, he represented domestic and foreign corporations, banks, and other clients in commercial and financing transactions. Dune, a native of Albania, served as general counsel to the AlbanianAmerican Enterprise Fund. During his tenure on the Board of Trustees, Dune served as chair of the Presidential Search Committee (1983-84), vice chair of the board (1980-84), and chair of the board and the executive committee (1984-86). In 1997, he was elected an honorary trustee. In 2003, the Clark University Alumni Association presented him with its Distinguished Service Award. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Irene M. (Boudreau) Dune; a daughter, Michelle Dune Gesky; a son, Christopher Dune ’99; a sister, Olga Vangel; three grandsons; and three granddaughters. Two of his nephews are also Clark alumni: Donald Vangel ’74 and Michael Elliott ’12.

Pas s ing s

Stanley H. Gutridge ’45 Worcester, Mass., 12/21/2017

Herman A. Makler ’57 New York, N.Y., 12/3/2017

Willard H. Wheeler ’71 Northborough, Mass., 1/22/2018

Edmond B. Deckel ’46 Hudson, Ohio, 2/5/2018

Philip L. Philip ’57 Falmouth, Mass., 11/12/2017

Janet Louise Moffitt ’72 Salt Lake City, Utah, 6/8/2018

James P. Singer ’47 Cary, N.C., 11/12/2017

Joyce M. Kent ’58 Millbury, Mass., 12/18/2017

Sanford Schulman ’72 Auburn, Mass., 11/10/2017

Harold Eckman ’48 Natick, Mass., 2/22/2018

Rachel W. Schanberg ’58 Durham, N.C., 1/5/2018

Jacob Nanigian ’48 Worcester, Mass., 10/18/2017

Anton G. Hardy, M.A. ’59, Ph.D. ’62 Albany, N.Y., 1/12/2018

Anne E. Naples ’48 Greenville, S.C., 10/19/2017

Frederick R. Hart ’59 Wiscasset, Maine, 2/11/2018

RICHARD (DICK) ARONOFF ’49 Tuscon, Ariz., 3/27/2018

Benedetto (Ben) Del Duca ’62 Burlington, Mass., 10/3/2017

Joyce T. Collins Townsend ’49 Brewster, Mass., 1/24/2018

Peter Fort ’62 Clifton Park, N.Y., 6/1/2017

Walter K. Gordon ’50 Cherry Hill, N.J., 12/27/2017 John D. Hilton ’50 Worcester, Mass., 2/21/2018 Phyllis S. Manko Sadick ’50 Great Neck, N.Y., 11/28/2017 Benedict O. Olson ’50 Dover, Mass., 11/22/2017 Hervey S. Ross ’50, L.H.D. ’07 Atlanta, Ga., 1/26/2018 Richard G. Spaunburgh ’50 Aiken, S.C., 1/15/2018 Orton C. Butler, M.A. ’51 Holden, Mass., 2/20/2018 Beverly P. Putnam ’51 North Andover, Mass., 10/25/2017 Samuel W. Braverman ’52 Geneva, N.Y., 10/6/2017 Rose Dagirmanjian ’52 Louisville, Ky., 10/1/2017 William F. Bruso ’54 Auburn, Mass., 2/22/2018 William J. Demers ’55 Enfield, Conn., 11/14/2017 William M. Gibbons Sr. ’57 Worcester, Mass., 6/5/2018

Arthur H. Martin ’62 Jacksonville, Fla., 10/19/2017 James W. Birch ’63 Worcester, Mass., 11/4/2017 Mirrless R. Underwood ’63 Cape Cod, Mass., 2/2/2018 Ward J. Cromer, M.A. ’64, Ph.D. ’68 Boston, Mass., 11/17/2017 Joseph E. McEvoy ’64 North Brookfield, Mass., 1/16/2018 Richard C. Wiles, Ph.D. ’65 Poughkeepsie, N.Y., 10/25/2017 James P. Barbato, M.A.Ed. ’66 Sterling, Mass., 12/30/2017 Robert W. Thompson, M.A. ’67, P ’95 Paxton, Mass., 2/1/2018

Peter F. Toscano ’72 Worcester, Mass., 1/21/2018 Katherine M. Stannard, D.Ed. ’76 Paxton, Mass., 2/2/2018 Diane L. Hersey ’77 Sterling, Mass., 10/27/2017 Herman H. Dumas ’78 West Yarmouth, Mass., 10/20/2017 Martin M. Gertel ’79 Warrenton, Va., 12/5/2017 Richard F. Herzog ’80 Naples, Fla., 12/26/2017 Laura G. McNaughton ’81 Worcester, Mass., 11/2/2017 Ophelia Mascarenhas, M.A. ’84, Ph.D. ’86 Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 11/11/2017 Andrew C. Hansen ’85 Belmont, Mass., 12/3/2017 Mary H. Melville, M.A. ’85 Buxton, Maine, 10/20/2017 Robert W. FRISCHMAN ’86 Livingston, N.J., 3/7/2018 Lee G. Montagna ’90 Rye Brook, N.Y., 1/9/2018

Richard C. Valinski ’67 Durham, N.H.., 12/2/2017

Joseph C. Guardiano, M.A. ’91, Ph.D. ’92 Fort Myers, Fla., 12/22/2017

Robert A. Kirsch ’68 Neptune, Tenn., 1/19/2018

James Rose ’92 Charlotte, N.C., 11/23/2017

Judith M. Ballotte ’69, M.A. ’75 Falmouth, Mass., 1/15/2018

Maxwell Harway, L.H.D. ’96 Naples, Fla., 12/2/2017

Robert B. Person ’70 Worcester, Mass., 11/19/2017

David P. Frankel ’12 Brookline, Mass., 1/12/2018

Summer 2018


in memoriam

A family, a gift, and a decades-long love for Clark


lossom Brooks liked nothing more than a good adventure.

After graduating from Clark in 1953, she studied in Berlin as tensions within the city were escalating. Daily, she passed through “Checkpoint Charlie,” the most-trafficked crossing point between West and East Berlin. One day, as she was walking to the West after a violin lesson, a Stasi security officer confiscated her camera, ripped out the film, and crushed the camera beneath his boot. Undeterred, Blossom continued her Berlin studies, went on to enjoy a long career teaching German and French at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania, and traveled the world — right up until her death last year at age 86. If adventure was a strand of Blossom Brooks’ DNA, so was Clark University. Her mother, Rose Brooks, worked for many years in Clark Admissions. Blossom’s sister, Harriet Brooks Dietz ’48, M.A. ’50, and brother, Marvin Brooks ’52, were Clark alums. Her other sister, Elaine, did not attend Clark, but Elaine’s husband, Alan Elbein ’54, did. The Brooks family was so devoted to Clark that Rose, Harriet, Marvin, and Blossom stipulated that their individual estates be put in a joint trust for Clark University. When Blossom died on March 9, 2017, Clark became the sole beneficiary of the trust — a $4.5 million gift. Elaine’s son, Richard Elbein, recalls a tightly knit band of siblings who were ardent musicians, playing in local symphonies (including at Clark). They inherited their work ethic from their parents, Rose and Michael, European immigrants who owned a dairy and bottling plant in Worcester and who insisted their children receive a college education. “For them, education was everything,” Elbein says. “They felt it was the transformative force in their immigrant experience that allowed them to arrive in this country with nothing and have four successful children.” Elbein was raised in Texas but spent summers in Worcester, where he came to know his extended family. Harriet, who taught and later worked as an assistant high school principal in Hollywood, Florida, was “very particular.” “Everything had its place. You were expected to dress appropriately, speak appropriately, and act properly. That was very much a Brooks family thing,” he says. Harriet married twice but never had children (neither Marvin nor Blossom married). She died of ovarian cancer in 1995 at the age of 66. In a newspaper story following her death, Harriet was remembered as a “tough but fair” administrator with a reputation for “apprehending wandering students — even if she had to run them down — during hallway patrol.”


“She was everywhere,” a former student recalled. “She was always known for her big sneakers. She was a tough cookie.” Marvin Brooks was a private person, fastidious, “very much the engineer,” Elbein says. He worked for the coal division in the U.S. Department of Energy. While negotiating with coal producers in West Virginia, he stepped onto the second-floor walkway of his motel, slipped on ice, and tumbled down a flight of stairs. The impact severed his spine, leaving him a quadriplegic for the remaining 10 years of his life. He spent his last decade in a skilled nursing facility in Pennsylvania, where Blossom became a regular visitor. “She drove 45 minutes after work every day to take care of him,” Elbein says. Marvin died in 2012. Blossom was her mother’s daughter through and through. “Blossom and Rose both had a big sense of humor,” Elbein says. “They were true characters. Blossom was a very funny woman.” Blossom spent 28 years at East Stroudsburg University, and prior to that she worked as a translator. When Marvin died, Elbein moved her to Houston, where she lived in the same facility as her sister Elaine. Every year, Blossom insisted on taking an international trip, even as she struggled with health issues that impaired her short-term memory and mobility. In 2016, Elbein accompanied his 84-year-old aunt on a pilgrimage to the Taj Mahal. “She loved being around people and hearing their stories,” Elbein recalls. “We would visit temples, and when she’d get tired she would sit and rest. Before you knew it she would be surrounded by people — high-school-age students, people her own age. She’d be advising the kids how to apply for college in America; a teacher to the very end. It was like she was the matriarch of people she’d never met.” Elbein marvels at the strength and longevity of his family’s Clark connection, which dates back to Rose’s employment in Admissions (he estimates her time there began before 1920). Rose, who died in 1991, saved everything, he says, including a cache of letters from students complaining about their roommates’ religious and political affiliations. “Rose kept letters written between Clark and anybody,” he laughs. “There’s an entire archive of them.” Clark was not notified in advance about the Brooks family bequest, Elbein says. It came as a surprise. But that’s simply how his aunts, uncle, and grandmother went about their business — with little fanfare and significant impact. An adventure on their own terms. – Jim Keogh

(Clockwise from bottom left) Blossom Brooks ’53 on her trip to the Taj Mahal. Blossom boards a ship for the journey to Germany. Alan Elbein ’54 with Eleanor (Brooks) Elbein having fun at Clark. Members of the extended Brooks family on the Clark green. Blossom, Marvin Brooks ’52, and Harriet Brooks Dietz ’48, M.A. ’50, were always ready for an impromptu performance. Blossom Brooks takes the wheel.

Summer 2018


alumni news

E Dr. Karen Gedney ’79 stands outside the decommissioned Nevada State Prison.


photo by Lauren Casto

When the Patients are Prisoners Dr. Karen Gedney’s memoir recounts her career behind bars


By Jim Keogh

very retired physician has stories to tell about memorable patients, elusive diagnoses, and difficult decisions. But the stories of Dr. Karen Gedney ’79 ascend to a higher level. These are sagas. They unfold inside the Nevada state prison system, where Gedney spent nearly three decades as a physician, treating inmates before retiring in 2016. She survived being taken hostage by a convicted murderer. She battled administrators, and devised strategies and treatments that stressed compassionate rehabilitation over punishment. In the late 1980s, just as she was beginning her career, she encountered an enigmatic disease called HIV/ AIDS that was invading the prison population. Gedney recalls her experiences in a newly published memoir, “Thirty Years Behind Bars: Trials of a Prison Doctor.” “I was always slightly, bizarrely naïve,” Gedney says with a laugh during a phone conversation from her Nevada home. “What saved me was I had no preconceived notion of what this would be like. It was an adventure of a lifetime, but also a wonder I didn’t get killed.” A native of Saugerties, N.Y., Gedney played volleyball and majored in biology/pre-med at Clark. She easily recites the names of the

science professors who educated her, like Ed Trachtenberg, whose organic chemistry class “gave me nightmares,” and Rudi Nunnemacher, who introduced her to the wonders of comparative anatomy. She earned her medical degree from the University of Cincinnati Medical School and completed her residency in internal medicine at the University of Nevada on a National Health Corps scholarship, which required her to perform four years of service in an underserved area. Her placement at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center came as a surprise to her. In her book, she recalls telling her husband, Clifton, that she was headed to a medium-security prison to tend to 1,600 male inmates. His response: “So, when are you going to tell your mother?” Arriving in 1987, Gedney learned that the medical director who’d hired her was dying of cancer. She found herself thrust into a role with an intimidating amount of responsibility. “I’d just turned 30, I was not told how I was supposed to function, and I was being asked to make state-level decisions,” she recalls. “I grew up fast in that environment.” The relationship between Gedney and the prison’s security personnel often turned antagonistic. They insisted she was too soft on inmates because she advocated for better medical and psychological care. “Some in the prison considered me a threat, but I stood my ground,” she says. “I’d tell them, ‘If certain things need to happen medically, then you need to help me make them happen.’” At one point, Gedney was asked to mix a lethal cocktail of medicine to be administered at an execution. She refused. Tensions ran high when prisoners began testing positive for HIV. There were no medications at the time, and AZT was just starting to come on the market. “One day, the prison director said, ‘I’ve got to go to a meeting in Vegas, and they’ll be asking me about HIV and AIDS. You’re coming with me.’ They were putting pressure on me to come up with policies for the entire state of Nevada, and I’d just come out of my residency.” Gedney clashed with the director, who mandated that HIV-positive inmates couldn’t work in the kitchen or the infirmary, and that they be subject to more restrictive security measures than other inmates. For instance, they were not allowed to work outside the

prison walls, a common privilege for minimumsecurity inmates. “I’d tell him there’s no medical reason not to allow these men to work in culinary,” she says. “He’d say to me, ‘We can’t have them spitting or bleeding into the food. There’d be a riot.’” She formed the first HIV support group in prison, and trained corrections officers in the facts about the virus to counteract misinformation and allay their fears. Gedney immersed herself in the study of HIV and spoke frequently to groups to educate them about the drugs introduced to combat it. Over the course of her career, Gedney saw plenty of success stories — inmates who started literacy groups or who went on to lead consequential lives after prison. But there were always dangers. In her book, Gedney recounts in gripping detail a 1989 incident in which an inmate known as “Moth” barricaded himself and Gedney inside her infirmary office, assaulted her, then held off police for 10 hours before a SWAT team stormed the room and shot him to death. The saga was covered by national media, and as it unfolded, Gedney’s sister called their father to warn him not to let their mother watch the news. “At this point, it’s just a story,” she says. “I lived it. I healed. Someone may victimize or hurt you, but you can make the decision not to further victimize or hurt yourself.” Gedney interacted with thousands of inmates during her 30 years in the penal system, always intent on divining the root causes of their behavior, which often were linked to drug use, poverty, and family dysfunction. She taught life skills courses, and ran a substance abuse education group for inmates with her own money, long after the initial funding ran out. Her efforts earned her a Heroes for Humanity Award in Nevada, and recognition as “One of the Best in the Business” by the American Correctional Association. She wrote her book, she says, not only to give readers an inside look at prison operations, but to heighten awareness around the things that can be done to more effectively reintroduce former inmates to life beyond bars. “These are people who have potential,” she says. “You don’t want a person coming out of prison who is meaner than when they went in. You want someone who is an asset.”

Summer 2018


alumni news

Lauren Goode stays wired to the tech world


By Melissa Lynch ’95, MSPC ’15

ast fall, while reviewing the third incarnation of the Apple Watch, writer Lauren Goode ’03 found a bug. “A smartwatch with LTE will, in theory, let you go for a run, buy a coffee, splash in the ocean, or simply step away from the phone and still be connected,” she wrote for The Verge. “In theory. In reality, my Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE failed at the LTE part.” Because of the issues she had with the watch, Apple issued a statement warning early customers that the smartwatch would have these Wifi-to-LTE handoff problems right out of the box. Two weeks after her review was published, Apple released a software update that fixed the connectivity issues she had identified. Goode, who spent three years as a senior technology editor at The Verge (a subsidiary of Vox Media), is now a senior writer for WIRED, the print and online magazine focusing on how emerging technologies affect culture, the economy, and politics. She also co-hosts “The Gadget Lab,” WIRED’s flagship podcast. Previously, she was managing editor of reviews and consumer tech coverage for Recode and a video producer and reporter for The Wall Street Journal. Goode honed her craft working for powerful tech journalists Walt Mossberg, credited with pioneering the consumer-focused technology review, and Kara Swisher, often called Silicon Valley’s most influential reporter. “They took me under their wing,” Goode says. She obviously was a good student. On June 2, her Verge video series, “Next Level,” won a Northern California Area Emmy Award for technology reporting. While she was at the WSJ, Goode started covering tech conferences and interviewing industry players. “I realized this area was fascinating. At that time, this era of tech was still nascent; it was the relatively early days of Twitter, early days of companies like Uber, which have turned out to be transformative. There also was interesting stuff going on in hardware; the iPhone had just come out in 2007,


Lauren Goode ’03 films the Emmy-winning episode of The Verge video series “Next Level,” examining Airbus’ conceptual modular aircraft cabins (aka “pods”).

and the next mobile revolution was starting to happen.” At Clark, Goode took her first foray into video editing through a class on Final Cut Pro, software that “revolutionized the way editors worked,” she says. She calls this revolution “the democratization of technology” — making it more accessible. “If you wanted to be a filmmaker a decade ago, you had to have the money for really fancy equipment,” she says. “Now you can actually make a film on your smartphone. All of that has enabled amazing things.” Goode acknowledges a potential downside to the past decade of technology growth and free services. “The industry is just starting to enter this kind of self-correction phase, and people are looking closely at what our use of all these tools means — what our use of Twitter means, what the president’s use of Twitter means.” Goode spoke with Clark magazine while the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica data scandal was dominating headlines. Pundits wondered if Facebook would eventually go the way of another giant service, America Online. “It’s always possible someone could come along and

dethrone Facebook,” she says, but points out that the company has been “uncannily good” about either acquiring companies that are moving into its territory, or parroting features from companies that appear to be. “In terms of who owns our attention spans when we go to open an app on our phones or laptops, or when we’re kind of bored, I think Facebook still owns that,” she says. Goode came to Clark to play basketball. She played for her first two years, then switched to volleyball, which she enjoyed. “I got a really good feel from Clark’s campus,” she says. “It struck me as a very diverse place. I had gone to parochial school my whole life, with the same group of people, and felt like I hadn’t been exposed to much outside of that world. I wanted something different, and I was very intrigued with the promise of what a liberal arts education could do.” Goode says she’s still in touch with all of her Clark roommates and friends. “We’re scattered all over, but we see each other sometimes,” she says. In other words, they stay connected, which is easy to do — thanks to technology.

Photo by Vjeran Pavic/The Verge

(Main photo) The opening-night audience awaits the debut of “Eyeline.” (Left, from top) Professor Soren Sorensen adjusts the lighting. Cast member Bridgitte Sullivan ’19 and crew prepare a shot.

Clark rolls out the red carpet for ‘Eyeline’ Murder. Betrayal. A man tied up in a basement. A

woman crashing through a window. Menacing hallways and shadowy corners hiding ugly secrets. Just a typical night at the movies for Clark University. That’s also a bare description of “Eyeline,” a neo-noir thriller written, directed, produced, and acted by Clark students who took Genre Production Workshop with screen studies lecturer Soren Sorensen. An audience of students, faculty, and staff packed Razzo Hall for the May 1 premiere, which included a red carpet gracing the lobby. Over the course of three months, 17 of Sorensen’s students gave cinematic life to rising senior Colleen Durkin’s screenplay about three friends unlocking a series of cryptic messages to solve the mystery of a disappearing corpse. Taylore Lombardi ’18, Dylan Tovey ’20, and Bridgitte Sullivan ’19 play the trio of pals hunting for answers. Max Marcotte ’20 is the unfortunate soul who gets in their way and becomes their hostage. Little, of course, is what it seems. The film drew chuckles of recognition for its Clark settings — from the streets of Worcester to the Goddard Library stacks — and the Clark-related quips. At one

point, Sullivan demands Marcotte tell her his name: “You know, like at orientation. The final confrontation (no spoilers here) and closing shot brought loud applause from the audience. A blooper reel shown after the 35-minute feature earned big laughs. Following the screening, Sorensen asked the student filmmakers to assemble on stage, where they answered questions about the joys and struggles of the production process, and their specific roles in bringing “Eyeline” to the screen. The cast and crew related how they secured props, found locations, lit scenes to keep within the moody traditions of the great noir films, and, in the case of Ben Levingston ’18, composed an elegant music score. The actors were coached by, among others, Lauren Adams, one of the stars of the Netflix series “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” Director Sarah Kaplan ’18 said she was excited to work on a film with two female leads — a rarity in the neo-noir genre — and with a strong mix of people on the crew. At a time in the movie industry when women continue to be underrepresented behind the camera, she said, “I felt my voice was clearly heard throughout.” “Eyeline” can be viewed on YouTube at

Summer 2018


A Bequest that Speaks Volumes

Hervey Ross ’50, L.H.D. ’07, enjoyed many things during his long, accomplished life: the theater and symphony; his prize-winning show dogs; and the opportunity to build a successful insurance company. Hervey also treasured his alma mater, Clark University, and he held a profound respect and affection for the spoken word. Through his philanthropy, he made those two passions work in concert by sponsoring the Hervey Ross Oratorical Contest at Clark and at the University Park Campus School, which allowed students to stand before an audience and experience the joys and challenges of public speaking. Hervey often attended in person, always ready to deliver incisive coaching and supportive praise. “Life is just expressing yourself, and here at Clark, you’re going to learn how,” he told the students.

Prior to his death in January, Hervey had arranged a bequest that permanently endows the Hervey S. Ross Oratorical Contest. He also established the Hervey S. Ross and Wanda L. Ross Endowed Scholarship, which honors the memory of his late wife. The scholarship will help deserving students fund their Clark education. An accomplished speaker in his own right, Hervey’s inimitable voice will continue to echo throughout Clark University in the form of his wonderful gifts. And as his generous legacy will forever attest, when Hervey had the last word, it always came with an impact.

To learn more about leaving your own legacy at Clark by making a gift from your estate, contact Mary Richardson, director of planned giving, at 508-7937593 or

CAMPAIGN CLARK Now is our time. 56

clark currents Inside

Lifetime achievements honored | Net gains | Is Worcester the new Boston? | The IT guy

Road trÄąp!

52 days, open highway, and a busload of Clarkies

Summer 2018



Clark volleyball success is spiking The Clark University women’s volleyball team has evolved into a competitive powerhouse in New England. In just four seasons the Cougars have appeared in four New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) tournaments, competed in two conference championships, and in two NCAA Regional tournament games, winning one. Eleven-year head coach Mickey Cahoon has molded the team into one of Clark Athletics’ most successful programs.


“Having a front-row seat to the growth of the volleyball program has truly been one of the great joys of my life,” Cahoon says. “It was possible through the dedication, hard work, and talent of the people who make up and support our team.” He cited assistant coaches Terry Malone ’01, MSPC ’09, and Nichole Lopez, who “have served as great role models for our young women in this program.” “Ultimately,” he says, “we have been successful and won a lot of matches because we have had some special players.” The class of 2017 was a significant one for Clark volleyball, with players Courtney Pharr, Mia Cattaneo, Savannah Sanford, Hannah Fox, and Tori Whitney leaving a huge footprint on the program. Every great team has a great player. For the 2018 Clark team it was senior captain, Marina

Ramos. “She was a transcendent player for Clark volleyball,” Cahoon says. “For the past four years, in every match we played, I believed we had the best all-around player on the court, thanks to Marina.” Ramos was awarded the M. Hazel Hughes Award at the Clark Athletics 2018 Night of Honors this spring. The annual award is presented to a senior female athlete who has made a significant contribution to the intercollegiate athletic program and whose dedication and performance has enriched the tradition of Clark athletics. Ramos was instrumental in elevating the volleyball team to one of the top 10 in New England from 2015 to 2017. Her career started out strong when she was named the NEWMAC Women’s Volleyball Rookie of the Year, and earned inclusion on the All-Conference Second Team, and the New England Women’s

Remembering Patrick with a gift (Opposite page) Rayme Quiban ’19 sets up a shot. (Below) The team celebrates a point. Marina Ramos ’18 doing what she does best: scoring.

On Nov. 28, Jon Winer ’03, M.Ed. ’04, donated his left kidney without knowing who the recipient would be. And that’s the point. Winer is what’s known as an “altruistic” kidney donor — someone who gives a kidney with no intended recipient. It’s a practice that’s increasingly valued within the transplant community, since living donors make for more successful matches than deceased donors. Winer was inspired by the memory of his former Clark basketball teammate and close friend Patrick Oroszko ’03, who died of esophageal cancer in 2016 at the age of 35, six months after his diagnosis. He left behind his wife Courtney ’03 and their children Allison and Ryan. Oroszko’s death at such a young age left Winer pondering the fragility of good health. He had a young son of his own, whom he named after Patrick, and another child on the way. The memory of his friend’s circumstance drove his decision-making. “When I was deciding whether to donate, I thought about Patrick, and his two young kids,”

at Yale New Haven Hospital, and Winer’s

the blessing of health — it could happen to any

recovery was relatively quick. After the first day,

of us. Since I was in a position where I had my

the only pain medication he needed was

health, I thought I could help somebody who

Tylenol. He returned to work part time the next

wasn’t so fortunate. There was no reason not to.”

week, then resumed his full-time schedule the

Oroszko and Winer met as first-year students in Bullock Hall and became fast pals. After

week after. Winer was part of a donor exchange program

graduation, they shared an apartment for two

called a “swap,” which resulted in four people

years as Winer pursed his master’s degree while

receiving kidneys. In a Hartford Courant profile

working as an assistant basketball coach at

of Winer, the swap is described in these terms:

Becker College. He left Worcester to coach at

Volleyball Association (NEWVA) All-Rookie Team. In succeeding years, Ramos continued to shine on the court, garnering regional and national recognition. She earned multiple spots on the NEWMAC All-Conference First Team and on the American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American Honorable Mention Team, and three times was named to the NEWVA All-New England Team, among other honors. Good things have been happening for the Clark volleyball team, and with Cahoon at the helm and an influx of talented players, they should continue to be a force on the court. – Lauren Neilan

Doctors performed the two-hour procedure

Winer says. “You can wake up one day and lose

“[A] donor doesn’t have to be a match for a

Lehigh University, but he and Pat stayed in

specific person. Say you wanted to donate a


kidney to your brother or sister but you weren’t

“I only played two years at Clark, but the

a match, and someone like Winer was; you

friends I made on the team are my friends

could donate your kidney to someone else you

today, and Pat was a great example of the

matched up with and someone like Winer

camaraderie we had,” Winer says. “We were

would donate his kidney to your sister or

really good friends until the day he died.”


Before he could donate, Winer, who is athletic director for the Capitol Region Education Council magnet schools in Hartford, Conn., underwent a battery of physical and psychological tests and was approved for

Winer reports no complications from his medical adventure. “I feel great,” he says. “I haven’t had to make any changes to my diet or regimen. “If you’re healthy enough to do the procedure,

surgery by a donor advocacy board. He received

it should have little to no effect on the rest of

special encouragement from Dan Drew, the

your life.”

mayor of Middletown, Conn., who had recently donated a kidney to a constituent.

For more information about organ donation, visit

- Jim Keogh

Summer 2018



A selection of books by our faculty, and one extolling Clark’s commitment to the liberal arts:

The Big Push: Exposing and Challenging the Persistence of Patriarchy CYNTHIA ENLOE, Political Science

Through contemporary cases and reports, Enloe explores how patriarchal ideas and relationships continue to be modernized to this day.

Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education and Societal Contexts: International and Interdisciplinary Approaches EDITED BY SUNHEE KIM GERTZ, BETSY HUANG, ENGLISH; WITH LAUREN CYR, DOCTORAL CANDIDATE IN HISTORY

The editors take an international, interdisciplinary, and multi-professional approach to diversity and inclusion at colleges and universities, suggesting strategies from multiple perspectives.


Traumatic Tales: British Nationhood and National Trauma in NineteenthCentury Literature

Killing Orders: Talat Pasha’s Telegrams and the Armenian Genocide


Professor Akçam reveals smoking-gun proof of the Ottomans’ culpability in the systematic extermination of 1.5 million Armenians beginning in 1915.

This book explores intersections of nationalism and trauma in Romantic and Victorian literature, from the emergence of British nationalism through the height of the British Empire.

Realm between Empires: The Second Dutch Atlantic, 1680-1815 WIM KLOOSTER, HISTORY; WITH GERT OOSTINDIE

The authors examine a distinct and significant era, in which Dutch military power declined and Dutch colonies began to chart a more autonomous path.


You Can Do Anything: The Surprising Power of a “Useless” Liberal Arts Education GEORGE ANDERS

Featuring observations from the author’s day-long visit to the Clark campus, the book uses real-life examples to disprove the liberal arts stereotype. For a list of recent faculty works, visit


Serving on climate change panel Two climate experts from Clark University’s Department of International Development, Community, and Environment (IDCE) will serve as lead authors for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s Sixth Assessment Report, the next major report on climate change.

Clark professors earn lifetime honors

IDCE Director and Professor Edward Carr and Associate Professor Elisabeth Gilmore are among the 721 experts who will contribute to the report, which

Clark University professors Richard (Dick) Peet and

Sarah Michaels, professor of education, earned

will be released in 2021. Both Carr and Gilmore will be

Sarah Michaels were honored this past year for long,

the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American

lead authors of chapters for IPCC Working Group II,

distinguished careers in their fields.

Educational Research Association (AERA), the largest

which focuses on the impacts of, and adaptation and

national interdisciplinary research association

vulnerability to, climate change.

Richard (Dick) Peet, professor of

dedicated to the science of education and learning. This prestigious award is presented to a

geography, received a Lifetime Achievement Award

“It is rare and exciting for a department of our size to have more than one faculty member as a lead

from the American Association of Geographers

researcher in recognition of “distinguished

author of an IPCC Assessment Report,” Carr said. “It

(AAG) at its annual meeting in April. The

contributions to social contexts in education

speaks to the strength IDCE and Clark have in the

AAG honored Peet “for his extraordinary career as a

research.” Michaels received the award at the 2018

area of climate change adaptation, and the ways in

scholar, teacher, mentor, editor, and activist.”

AERA annual meeting.

which this expertise is woven deeply into our

Michaels is an internationally renowned discourse

Peet has served as a faculty member in Clark’s Graduate School of Geography for more than half a

analyst and sociolinguist who has spent her career

century. He has been deeply involved in Clark’s

studying the ways in which language, culture, and

International Studies Stream Program, and served

knowledge intersect in urban classrooms. She was

twice as the acting director. He has held the Leo L.

part of a group of scholars from the United States,

’36 and Joan Kraft Laskoff Endowed Chair in

Britain, and Australia who developed a theoretical

Economics, Technology, and Environment since 2011.

framework of “multiliteracies.” Michaels co-authored an award-winning book,

Peet is a founding member of the radical geography movement, and served as co-founder and

“Ready, Set, Science!: Putting Research to Work in

editor of two journals, Antipode and Human

the K-8 Science Classroom,” for the National

Geography, the former which the AAG has labeled

Research Council.



She is the founding director of Clark’s Hiatt Center

“one of the most innovative and cutting-edge

for Urban Education.

frontiers of geography.”

research and teaching.”

Esther Jones appointed dean of the faculty

Named Woodrow Wilson Fellow The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation named Nicole

Esther Jones, associate professor of English, was named Clark’s first associate provost

Overstreet, assistant

and dean of the faculty.

professor of psychology, a

Jones will be responsible for supporting faculty mentoring, development, and leadership

2018 Nancy Weiss Malkiel

opportunities across all ranks for the liberal arts and sciences departments and programs at

Scholar. The award comes

the University in the areas of research, teaching, and service. A member of the Clark faculty since 2009, Jones held the E. Franklin Frazier Chair of African American Literature, Theory, and Culture. She lectures on American and African Diaspora literature and culture, and served as the inaugural director of Africana Studies at Clark. Her current book, “Medicine and Ethics in Black Women’s Speculative Fiction,” examines the constructions of black pathology and bioethics in science fiction by contemporary black women writers. Professor Jones earned her bachelor’s degree from Fisk University, and her master’s and doctoral degrees from Ohio State University.

in recognition of Professor Overstreet’s impressive scholarship, service, and teaching early in her tenure process, and in support of her further progress toward tenure. The Malkiel Scholars selection committee noted Overstreet’s record of accomplishments and her commitment to building a more inclusive academic community.

Summer 2018



Y Just your typical 52-day field trip Generations of college students equate the term “road trip” with the raucous events depicted in the 1978 frat comedy “Animal House.” Half a century earlier, Clark University staged its own road trip, and about the only thing it had in common with the movie version was a road. Oh, there was plenty of that — 8,000 miles worth. In the summer of 1928, Clark students, as well as young men and women from other colleges, piled into a motor coach and set out from campus on the first Transcontinental Field Trip, traveling to the Pacific Coast and back. The intent was serious enough — students earned six geography credits for keeping detailed field notes and successfully completing assignments.


Yet an advertisement seeking participants also noted: “The trip is offered for its educational value, but this point of view makes it all the more interesting as a pleasure or recreational trip.” So which aspect did students emphasize when selling the idea to their parents? The 1928 trip was such a roaring success that students unanimously petitioned Clark to repeat it the following year. On July 23, 1929, under the leadership of Professor Bert Hudgins, head of the Department of Geography and Geology at the College of the City of Detroit, a packed motor coach left the Clark campus for the second annual 52-day trek. (A newspaper item from the time duly recorded that “Mrs. Hudgins will chaperone the party.”)

A story in the Christian Science Monitor recounted an ambitious itinerary. The travelers explored major cities, from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco, and enjoyed extended stays in Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon. Local naturalists instructed the students about deserts, grasslands, geysers, hot springs, natural resources, geological formations, and the impact of climate on agricultural efforts. In California, the students visited Catalina Island (courtesy of the L.A. Chamber of Commerce) and ascended Mt. Tamalpas via “the crookedest railroad in the world.” Each student’s total expense for nearly two months on the road was $600, or $8,650 in today’s dollars. And the six course credits they earned? Undoubtedly priceless.

campus heroes

For computer crises, Terrance McCormack is the IT guy


ou’d think a college campus would be relatively relaxed the week following Commencement. But for Terrance McCormack and his team at Information Technology Services, things are buzzing like an overworked laptop. “We’re going through quarterly reviews, covering for an absence of student staff, and planning the schedules for our summer employees,” McCormack says during a late May interview. He’s been at Clark long enough to know the rhythms of the place, especially the fact that the University never truly goes into sleep mode. McCormack’s path to Worcester was an unconventional one. “I had no real plan,” he says. “I needed a car in the worst way, so I joined the Air Force.” He bought a red 2003 Acura G20, then spent his next 11 years in Florida and Delaware working in administrative support for the Air Force’s health care team. “For the first two months I was like, ‘This is great. I have no major responsibilities,’” says McCormack. “Then it became, ‘This is awful. I have no major responsibilities.’” With his work in the health care field he thought a logical next step would be a job as a physician’s assistant, “but the chemistry and science courses weren’t for me.” He began taking political science courses with plans to join his wife as a teacher, but with a growing family, he opted instead to launch a career in technology. He started to train himself on computer systems — a from-the-ground-up challenge. “My only interaction with IT was fixing a printer that constantly broke.”

McCormack came to Clark in the fall of 2015. Today, he estimates that he helps activate devices for 95 percent of all new Clark employees, making him the University’s de facto Welcome Wagon representative. He’s also had to repair coffee-logged laptops, rescue wireless networks, and occasionally relate the unfortunate news that data can’t be recovered. Of course, there are other far less dramatic tasks, like describing how email works or explaining the On-Off function. “Last week I was talking with a student who did everything — and I mean everything — right, but the desktop wasn’t turning on,” McCormack recalls with a grin. “I run across campus, get there, and see that it isn’t plugged in. Honestly, that one’s on me. I should have asked them to check it first.” It’s simply not his nature to get frustrated at such things. “Usually everyone ends up getting a big laugh. It’s one of those ‘I can’t believe that happened!’ moments.” McCormack manages a team of nearly 30 student employees. “It’s a great experience working with students. I get to come here every day and watch them plan out their

future,” he says. “Their parents obviously did a great job.” As the father of three, McCormack acknowledges the influence parents have on their children, and he appreciates the work-life balance Clark affords him. “When I’m with my kids, I’m with my kids,” he says. Rarely does he find himself being pulled away from Terrance, 12, Tamyra, 10, and Elijah, 8. The only uncomfortable technology-related conversation McCormack has with his children is when he questions his son’s passion for watching online video game competitions. “I don’t understand why you’d watch someone play video games when you can just play them yourself,” he says. “I guess this is my ‘get off my lawn’ moment.” It’s just something he’ll have to learn, like many of us have to learn about phishing attacks and privacy breaches — potential disasters from which McCormack has rescued dozens of Clarkies. So what do you do when you’re sent a link that sort of looks legitimate, but you’re not sure? “Hover over the link rather than clicking on it,” he advises. “It will save you a lot of pain.” – Ron Bower

Summer 2018


Worcester is the new Boston. (You heard that right.)


story in Boston magazine’s April issue featured this cheeky headline: “Boston’s next great neighborhood has luxury condos, great restaurants, and affordable rents. So, what’s the catch? Well, it’s Worcester.” A complimentary piece about the “Worcester Renaissance” included the perspectives of Clark alumnae Sarah Shampnois ’98 and Cara Berg Powers ’05 on the city’s affordable living and a booming culinary and arts scene. Nora Caplan-Bricker’s article reads like a laundry list of impressive multimillion dollar investments in the city, from Boston-based MG2 Group’s $42 million purchase of eight properties around the Common (aka “The Grid District”) comprising 500 apartments and retail and restaurant space, to the sale of the old Worcester Courthouse, which will be converted to apartments and marketed to artists, and the $11 million makeover slated for Main Street this summer, complete with bike lanes, ornate lamp posts, and brick-banded crosswalks. She cites the 2016 acquisition of the Worcester Railers pro hockey team, and JetBlue’s expanded service from Worcester Airport as key indicators Worcester is “a city on the move.” As of this writing, the city was wooing the Pawtucket Red Sox, Boston’s Triple-A affiliate, to relocate from Rhode Island to Worcester’s revived Canal District.


Shampnois, who, along with a group of fellow Clarkies, started Company One Theatre in Boston’s South End in 1998, noted how sky-high Boston rents make Worcester more attractive for young professionals looking to buy their own place. “It reminds me a lot of what [Jamaica Plain] and Dorchester were like 15 or 20 years ago,” said Shampnois. “It’s at a point now where it’s the kind of city and the kind of neighborhood that I like living in.” Berg Powers, executive director of the Transformative Culture Project, an arts-related nonprofit in Boston, was lured back to Worcester by affordable housing prices. She and her husband make the trek to Boston by car most days along with their daughter, who attends preschool in the city. Sure, there are challenges. In June, Business Insider declared Worcester among the top places in the United States whose name is mispronounced (Clarkies already suspected as much). But alumni who haven’t visited here in a while may be surprised by Caplan-Bricker’s assessment that Worcester “has the feel of a theme park version of a fresh, modern city — where officials and developers are waiting to see how many people will show up.” “Worcester” and “theme park” appearing in the same sentence? Now anything’s possible.

“School is where I’m most comfortable, but also where I’m pushed out of my comfort zone.” Scholarships That Change Lives Mikey Ippolito ’21 has learned inside many classrooms. And if all goes according to plan, he’ll one day be teaching in one. The history-Spanish double major, from Portsmouth, N.H., is preparing for a career as a high school teacher, likely in an urban setting. Paying for college, he says, is a “big endeavor” for him and his family, but one that’s made possible by the strong financial aid package he’s received from Clark.

Your gift helps fund scholarships for deserving students like Mikey who otherwise might not have access to a Clark education. This remains one of our greatest priorities, because limited means should never mean a limited future.

CAMPAIGN CLARK Now is our time.


Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Worcester, MA Permit No.1886

University Advancement 950 Main Street Worcester MA 01610-1477


Clark’s iconic pea pod poster — both the original and updated versions — is now available at the Campus Store located in the Shaich Family Alumni and Student Engagement Center. For all your Clark apparel and merchandise, visit the store Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m., or go online at

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