Clark Magazine, fall 2019

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fall 2019

In the early light of an April morning, the Clark women’s crew team powers its way across the frigid waters of Lake Quinsigamond.




Setting David Letterman’s throat ablaze, settling pet custody disputes, and other workplace tales from Clarkies in uncommon professions

With satellite technology, Clark students work to protect the planet’s creatures

Where the elephants roam

cool jobs



Fifty years ago, a Clark ceremony linked its newest building to the moon landing

The Seattle Gummy Company moves Connie Wan, M.A. ’99, Ph.D. ’00, from chemistry to commerce

Library. Launch. Legacy.

c ov e r i l lu st r at i o n by b a r ry fa l ls


chew on this

department s Red Square Bill Koelsch recalls his youth, and his truth

Alumni News Mita Carriman ’01 and her excellent adventure

08 In the Media

Pre sident ’s Me s sage

Seized by lunar fever, the press came calling


Dear alumni, families, and friends,

For basketball coach Tyler Simms, Clark “feels like home”

Clarkives A brotherhood endures across the generations

64 What we must have is militant decency throughout the world.

I first came to Clark University in 1987 as a faculty member in the Graduate School of Geography. The features of Clark that drew me to the institution then remain at the core of our mission and purpose today. Clark is built on the model of faculty as teacher-scholars, and offered me the opportunity to pursue the goal of world-class scholarship in tandem with a deep commitment to teaching and mentorship of undergraduate and graduate students. Then and now, Clark celebrates both parts of our identity, that of research and teaching. We are a research university that is the size of a liberal arts college, and this affords transformative educational opportunities for students as well as a deeply fulfilling career path for faculty. I am incredibly proud of the gifted and talented professors who have committed their careers to Clark and to our students. We have an extraordinary faculty who are exceptional teachers and mentors, and who excel in their scholarship and creative work. My office bookshelves are full with the product of path-breaking scholarship, and each year I get to congratulate faculty on new grants, honors, and awards. While the teacher-scholar model for faculty has remained a constant at Clark, the work of faculty has also changed in very significant ways. We see important shifts in the demographic profile of our enrolling students, and, more broadly, in their goals and aspirations. Clark is diverse by race, gender identity, citizenship, family background, and income status. These differences have important consequences for the work faculty are called upon to do, whether that is mentoring an undergraduate student who is the first in their family to go to college, or teaching students who are passionate about connecting their education to the world. Scholarship and creative work are transforming rapidly as well, including through a greater emphasis on interdisciplinary pursuits, shifts in funding for research, and changes in the world of publishing. More broadly, as with all working professionals, work-life balance is a constant challenge. Last year, Clark University appointed Professor Esther Jones as the inaugural dean of the faculty at Clark University. With support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Dean Jones is leading the Culture of Faculty Thriving Initiative — professional development opportunities that support our faculty in achieving even greater success as teacher-scholars in our evolving higher education context. We are excited to see this work succeed. Sincerely,

David P. Angel Fall 2019



Abdur Rahman Muhammad ’20 Favorite Coding Language: Scheme

Faustina Owusu ’21 Favorite Coding Language: Java

Alan Ruan ’21 Favorite Coding Language: C#

Daria Manea ’21 Favorite Coding Language: Java

Akhmad Kurbanov ’21 Favorite Coding Language: Java

Naomi Geffken ’21 Favorite Coding Language: Julia

Samuel Rubel ’20 Favorite Coding Language: C

Evan Hoffman ’21 Favorite Coding Language: Solidity

The WHACK Pack One competition. Thirty-six hours. Three-hundred college students. It was called WHACK, a “hackathon” that pits teams of student coders against

The second team included Muhammad, a computer science major, and Naomi

one another to devise technology-based solutions to complex problems

Geffken ’21, a double major in political science and economics, along with two

within a compressed timeframe. Fueled by the prospect of innovating apps

students from Boston University and Northeastern University. They created an

that serve the common good, eight Clark University students won spots to

Android app called E-Mission, which provides a cost analysis of electric cars. The

compete in WHACK at Wellesley College, with several students netting top

app appeals to users’ environmental consciousness as well as to their penny-

prizes. The competition drew participants from throughout the Northeast.

pinching habits by calculating how much they might save in dollars and carbon

Six of the students were participating in their first hackathon, but the compe-

emissions if they use electric transport. The E-Mission team won prizes for

tition was nothing new for Abdur Rahman Muhammad ’20 and Evan Hoffman ’21.

MassCEC Best Clean Transportation Hack and for Best Use of Google Cloud

Muhammad already had won a top prize at HackMIT; Hoffman had secured a


Microsoft-sponsored prize at HackHarvard.

Clark — Daria Manea, Alan Ruan, and Faustina Owusu — and a student from

on some of the world’s toughest issues, from climate change to mental health.

Wellesley College. They created Mood, an app that allows users with mental

The event included workshops, speakers from the technology industry, and

health issues to share their experiences anonymously with each other.

recruiters from various companies.

“This app is meant to help decrease suicide rates by allowing people to find an

Sophomore computer science majors Hoffman, Akhmadjon Kurbanov, and

outlet if they cannot find it anywhere else,” says Owusu, who is minoring in math-

Sam Rubel collaborated to produce EcoPath, which provides commuters with

ematics. “My role was to design the app to make it inviting and simple so users

the most carbon-neutral paths to their destinations. In addition to its environ-

do not feel overwhelmed when using it.”

mental focus, the app incentivizes people to “go green” by promoting their good deeds via social media.

The WHACK competitors were among a series of teams and individuals from Clark making inroads at hackathons in the Northeast and beyond. Among them

“People really care about how they look online. With our app, when you take

was Geva Segal ’21, who competed in Microsoft’s prestigious Imagine Cup at the

any route, you gain points,” says Hoffman, who also is majoring in global environ-

company’s headquarters in Redmond, Wash. Segal, co-founder and co-presi-

mental studies. “The cleaner your route, the more points you accumulate. You

dent, with Muhammad, of the student organization Clark Center for Technology,

can compare your own scores with those of your friends, and share them across

Innovation, and Entrepreneurship, plans to create a co-working space on the

all social media platforms.” The judges recognized EcoPath team members for

second floor of the former Clark bookstore on Main Street.

their exemplary creation of location-based software, awarding them a prize for Best Use of’s application programming interface.


The third team comprised three sophomores, all computer science majors at

At Wellesley, the eight students spanned three teams to produce apps focused

“I’ve learned how important it is to work in an environment that supports collaboration,” he says. “I want to provide this vibe at Clark.”


Since the fall of 2017, ClarkCONNECT has linked students with alumni for mentorship, career preparation, networking, and jobs.

Alumni participation is key! Hundreds of alumni rose to the ClarkCONNECT Internship Challenge last spring, mentoring students and sharing internship, research, and employment opportunities at their organizations.

Over 4 ,700 registered users

connections made

 G E T I N V O LV E D

Over 300 Internship Challenge opportunities shared


 • •

Join the platform Mentor a Clarkie

 • •

Share an opportunity Hire a student



editor’s letter Editor Jim Keogh Assistant Editor Melissa Lynch ’95, MSPC ’15 Design Kaajal Asher Editorial Staff Angela Bazydlo Anne Gibson, Ph.D. ’95 Steven King Meredith Woodward King Creative Services Manager Lori Fearebay Vice President for University Advancement Jeffrey H. Gillooly Executive Director of Alumni and Friends Engagement Kevin Wesley Contributing Writer Rian Watt ’14


Clarkie s keep it c o ol he cover story title, “Cool Jobs,” was meant only as a placeholder until something more clever could be dropped in. The magazine staff figured the very concept of “cool” relies so much on perspective and is such generational thing that no one can reasonably define it. But once we’d lived for a while with the stories of five Clarkies who work in uncommon professions, we abandoned any pretense of objectivity and made the unilateral decision that, yes, what these folks do for a living possesses an unassailable cool quotient. The title stays. In fact, many people and topics in this issue carry a measure of cool. Connie Wan, M.A. ’99, Ph.D. ’00, merged her expertise in chemistry, law, and entrepreneurship to create the Seattle Gummy Company, whose chewable products are coming to a store near you. Mita Carriman ’01 beat the odds to secure venture capital backing for her website that connects solo travelers for shared adventures. Clark students used remote-sensing technology to help lessen the threats against elephants and bison, from Tanzania to Montana. Clark’s role in the origins of spaceflight during this 50th anniversary year of the moon landing made the University a media darling (see page 8) and provided the fulcrum for our story about the Spring 1969 opening of the Goddard Library. The notion that the Father of Modern Rocketry, Robert Goddard, was both a Clark alum and a Clark physics professor whose daring experiments defied conventional wisdom, alchemized science fiction into actual science, and triggered an international fever for space exploration is — well, you know the only adjective that can truly describe it. At times, my own job can be pretty cool. One of those times was an April morning in 2011 when I found myself on the phone with astronaut Buzz Aldrin, talking about his father Edwin Aldrin Sr., Clark University Class of 1915 (who happened to be a student of Robert Goddard). Oh, we discussed a few other things as well — for instance, what it was like to walk on the moon. Just Buzz and I having a chat, no big deal. Okay, it was a very big deal. So was interviewing New York Times food writer Mark Bittman ’71 about the sorry state of the American diet; CBS executive Wendi Trilling ’86 about shepherding some of the network’s most popular sitcoms onto the air; and Dr. Richard Pietras ’69 about developing life-saving treatments for lung and breast cancer. As I think this through, I’m more convinced that “cool” is an exceptionally apt term for many Clark people and what they do. We’ll almost certainly be using it again. Without apology.


Contributing Photographers Andri Tambunan Rose Wine ’20 Contributing Illustrators Ann Cutting Barry Falls Federico Gastaldi Marco Melgrati 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.


Ed Robertson, lead singer of Barenaked Ladies, checks out the Clark magazine (Winter 2019) cover story about his agent, Larry Webman ’92.

Clark magazine is excellent

I got the Winter 2019 issue of Clark magazine in the mail yesterday, glanced at the cover, paged through it, and pretty soon I was immersed. This is an excellent issue. You should be proud. The rock theme drew me in, and I was surprised to see the great story on Steven DePaul. There were so many people in the issue that I knew or know — DePaul, Jimmy Collins, Al Southwick, George Billias, Gerry Grob (one of my favorite professors, he made me see history differently), Howie Sachar, Gale Nigrosh, Seymour Hayden. But there were also many other interesting people, generations younger, that it was fun to read about. This is exactly what such a magazine should be doing, focusing on people and putting together well-written stories with great layout and editing. Congratulations on making Clark magazine the best it’s ever been. And thanks for making our lives a little brighter in these dark times. Walter Crockett ’69

Missing a friend

Dr. Walter K. Gordon ’50, who died in November 2017, was a close friend and classmate. At Rutgers University he was a professor of English, dean of the College of

Arts and Science, and university provost. The Walter K. Gordon Theater on the Camden campus was built to honor him. There was a wonderful memorial and celebration of his life at Rutgers. In attendance were the president, deans, alumni, and many of his former students, friends, and family. One lovely Clark story I would like to share happened when we both took a classical music course with Professor H. Earle Johnson. We were studying Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring.” Walter told the professor that he really didn’t understand it. Professor Johnson looked at Walter and said, “You will begin to understand it when you fall in love.” In the intervening years, Walter did fall in love, not only in his personal life but with classical music. I miss this unique, gifted classmate and friend. Dr. George Rubin ’49

Billias memories endure

I was disappointed to see your story on George Billias, because although I knew he was in his nineties, it was the first I had heard of his passing. Even so, Professor Billias lives on in my mind, as he has for decades. When I was his student, he was working on his biography of Elbridge Gerry, who was the fifth vice president of the United States, serving under

James Madison. While Gerry may seem obscure at first, he is far more current to all of us even than Madison himself. That’s because of his being, as Wikipedia puts it, “the namesake of gerrymandering.” Over the years as I have heard the various controversies about gerrymandering, whereby voting districts are selectively arranged to advantage one party and disadvantage the other, I think of Professor Billias — his manner as he strode through his presentations, his rigorous standards, his sincerity, and his authenticity. One of the happy aftereffects of my college education is that it leaves such memories and lessons, which endure for so long, often with the only organizing theme being that they happened at Clark. Professor Billias has been, and will remain, one of the most enduring of these. Doug Bonnell ’74

Fabulous 50

I wasn’t sure I was going to attend my 50th reunion. In the end it was most worthwhile. I hemmed and hawed for months. I have not maintained close relationships with any members of my class. Although I attended a few of our reunions, I hadn’t been back for 10 years. I wasn’t sure there would be anything that would make it worthwhile for me. But the more I got involved in the reunion committee, the more I got out of it. A dialogue with current students gave us a look into the future. I raised an issue that the adviser-advisee relationship had not been given enough care in my undergraduate education, and I was wondering if there were similar feelings among present-day Clark students. A discussion with five students led by our classmate Rodney Labreque was wonderful, and it was broader than that one issue, which might lead to some future work together. There were celebrations, too. In the words of a classmate, “I loved reunion and the realization that I went to school with such incredibly nice people who grew up to be even nicer adults.” Robert Echter ’69

Fall 2019


in the media


Seized by lunar fever, the media came calling

s the 50th anniversary of the moon landing approached on July 20, the media looked to the heavens for inspiring stories — and then they looked to Clark. The connection of Clark University’s most famous physics professor, rocket pioneer Dr. Robert Goddard, to the space program proved irresistible to news outlets from Boston, who visited the archives for sit-downs with archivist Fordyce Williams. She was ready for them with a commemorative display of Goddard’s notebooks, his gyroscope, a nose cone from one of his early rockets, a letter to Goddard from “War of the Worlds” author H.G. Wells, and even the metal frame from which he launched the world’s first liquid-fueled rocket in 1926. On her broadcast, Boston25 meteorologist


Vicki Graf (shown above interviewing Williams) asked Williams to read from the scientist’s diary, in which he described the sight of his maiden launch. “The day was clear and comfortably quiet,” Williams read aloud. “It looked almost magical as it rose, without any appreciably greater noise or flame, as if it said, ‘I’ve been here long enough. I think I will be going somewhere else if you don’t mind.’ ” The projectile traveled 41 feet into the air, reached a speed of 60 mph, and remained aloft for two seconds. The flight’s duration may have been brief, but the significance endures. “It was the Kitty Hawk of rocketry,” Williams said. The Boston Globe was fascinated by the tale of the Goddard autobiography astronaut Buzz

Aldrin brought to the moon despite the admonition of NASA officials. A Globe story recounted that Goddard, who died in 1945, never saw the credit card-sized book (about three inches tall and two inches wide) issued in 1966 by Worcester publisher Achille St. Onge, who specialized in miniature books. St. Onge had urged Aldrin to leave the book on the moon for posterity. Instead, Aldrin returned with it and presented the space-traveling autobiography to Goddard’s widow, Esther, who turned it over to Clark’s archives. It can be viewed there today, alongside an Apollo 11 mission patch and a miniature American flag that also made the journey.

red square Inside

Across the Clark-iverse | Back to the Grind | Wooing Conan | Groovy garments make a return

We believed what we were told by scientific experts, and therefore accepted that we were deeply flawed. The long-run effect on gay men of my generation was and is immeasurable.

William Koelsch, M.A. ’59

Photo by Steven King

Fall 2019


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Across the Clark-iverse

WHAT BEGAN AS A PHOTO SHOOT for Boston magazine’s

special issue profiling the city’s power brokers turned into a Clark mini-reunion this spring. Jay Ash ’83, the newly named CEO of the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership, was photographed for a piece detailing his role as a conduit between some of Boston’s most influential CEOs and the wider community, where he advocates for public policy that promotes jobs and economic growth. The photo accompanying the story was taken by Diana Levine ’07, a Massachusetts native who has photographed some of the biggest celebrities in the worlds of entertainment, politics, and fashion. Levine had been hired to shoot the magazine’s entire power roster, which brought her and Ash into the same studio. “It was a thrill to photograph so many of my local heroes,” Levine posted on Facebook, adding, “I didn’t realize until later that this was a Clarkie reunion!”

CLARK MAKES A SPLASH: On July 10, the Cape Cod town of Wellfleet announced that Gull Pond would be closed to swimmers. While no “Jaws”-level warning, it did raise concerns among locals about the cyanobacterial bloom that Clark biology professor Nathan Ahlgren and his students discovered while conducting research in the pond. Such blooms can be harmful to the health of humans and animals.




Back to the Grind he Grind (once the Pub), Clark’s iconic music and social space, has a new look to go along with its great sounds. On March 14, the Undergraduate Student Council, partnering with Clark offices and departments, debuted the Freudian Sip, a pub that operates inside the Grind every Thursday and Friday. Opening night featured a ribboncutting ceremony and a roster of student performers. The line to get in reached Red Square, and the place quickly hit its 250-person capacity. The space is outfitted with a new sound system and furnishings, gaming equipment, refurbished bar and pool table, and a student-created mural featuring a sunburst whose brightly painted rays suggest a splashier take on Clark’s Fiat Lux seal. Tim St. John, then assistant dean of students, worked with Student Council members and campus partners to develop policies and procedures, and Allie Schilling, director of campus life, collaborated with students and Facilities Management to bring their ideas for furnishings and décor to fruition. “This project exemplifies Clark,” St. John said. “Students advocated for something important to them, partnered with us, provided the financial means, and answered the call to execute the vision.”

New York Times readers doing the March 8 Daily Mini crossword were presented with this clue for 8 across: "University in Worcester, Mass." You can see the answer above. 11

red square You never know whom you’ll run into on the Clark campus. Geography Professor Karen Frey this summer reunited with her 9th grade social studies teacher — and Clark alum — Barry Miller ’71 of Syracuse when he accompanied his granddaughter Wynnie on a tour of campus. Asked what kind of student Prof. Frey was in high school, Barry’s response was no surprise: “She was an A+ student.”

Wooing Conan

Looking around the world and our own country right now, it’s hard to imagine a moment when the habits of mind and heart that you’ve been developing at Clark have been more needed or essential. – Jeffrey Lurie ’73, owner of the Philadelphia Eagles, in his 2019 Clark Commencement Address


If you haven’t heard, Worcester is booming. Lots of commercial development, new restaurants, and the impending relocation of the Red Sox Triple A franchise are all part of a good story for New England’s second-largest city. So it stung a bit when comedian Conan O’Brien went on the “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and dissed the city. O’Brien was telling Colbert that his ancestors immigrated to Boston before settling in Worcester, when someone in the audience erupted with a “Woo!” “Don’t woo Worcester,” O'Brien said with a chuckle. “No one woos Worcester. It’s unwooable.” City officials took good-natured umbrage at O’Brien’s remarks and put together a video inviting him to tour Worcester. The invitation was never accepted, and in Conan’s mind Worcester likely remains unwooable. But we know better.

Bill Koelsch recalls his youth, and his truth


By Anne Gibson, Ph.D. ’95 n 1955, William Koelsch, M.A. ’59, Ph.D.,

a young lieutenant in the U.S. Army Transportation Corps, found himself stationed in New York City’s Brooklyn Army Terminal, then a vast military supply base. One day, he overheard a fellow officer mention the magazine ONE, a publication for the gay community. Koelsch, a self-described “country boy,” found a news kiosk and purchased a copy. “That and a couple other magazines,” he recalled, “were the first positive writings by and for gay men that I’d ever seen.” It would be, he said, “the beginning of my search for a positive gay life.” Koelsch, professor emeritus in Clark University’s

“We were men of the fifties — the silent generation,” Koelsch said. “We believed what we

contributing essays until 1987 under the pseudonym A. Nolder Gay. Koelsch came out at the age of 40, and met the

Graduate School of Geography and author of

were told by scientific experts, and therefore

“Clark University, 1887-1987: A Narrative History,”

accepted that we were deeply flawed.

man who has been his life partner for more than 40

returned to campus April 8 to deliver a talk, “The

The long-run effect on gay men of my generation was and is immeasurable.”


Revenant Returns: A Tale of Gay Liberation.” It accompanied “Queering Clark,” an exhibit

After leaving the military and returning to the

“I was,” he said, “finally able to put my demons aside, and live fully and proudly as an out gay man.” In 1975, Koelsch began teaching a course at Clark

organized by Professor Robert Deam Tobin, Henry

world of academia in the late 1950s, Koelsch

J. Leir Chair in Language, Literature, and Culture,

moved to Boston in 1962 to conduct research for

on the gay liberation movement. In 1982, when the

and his students. The display was held in

his doctoral dissertation in American history. In

HIV/AIDS crisis was dawning, he incorporated

coordination with the Worcester Historical

1967, he accepted a position as assistant professor

information on that scourge into the syllabus of his

Museum exhibition “LGBTQ+ Worcester — For the

of history and geography at Clark University. Two

course Health and Disease in the American Habitat

Record,” and with similar exhibitions at Holy Cross

years later, the Stonewall Rebellion, prompted in

and spoke about HIV/AIDS to church groups.

and WPI.

part by a police raid on a gay bar in New York City,

In a moving presentation, Koelsch recounted his

helped launch the gay liberation movement.

A cure remains elusive, Koelsch noted, but the movement goes on. Even today, 50 years after

It would take another decade before Koelsch

Stonewall, he said, the rates of suicide, attempted

culture of shifting attitudes. He came of age in the

decided to become an activist in the movement.

suicide, and homelessness are exceptionally high

late 1940s and early 50s — a time, he said, when

All the while he continued to teach at Clark (he

for LBGTQ teens.

the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic

retired in 1998), even as he struggled to come to

and Statistical Manual classified homosexuality as

terms with his sexual orientation.

life as a soldier, academic, and activist within a

a “sociopathic personality disturbance,” and the

While on sabbatical in Boston, he discovered the

Nonetheless, he cited reasons for cautious optimism. The man who remembers when revealing his sexuality would have meant a

Library of Congress placed literature about

Gay Community News (GCN), the first weekly

dishonorable military discharge and ostracism

homosexuality under the categories of criminality

publication for gays in the United States. The

noted with satisfaction that same-sex couples can

and medical abnormality. Information for the

stories he read of attacks on gay men spurred this

now marry, and an openly gay soldier can serve in

layperson was scarce, and in college, Koelsch felt

normally reticent and intensely private person into

the U.S. military. “I never expected to see either of

sure he was the only gay man in the student body.

action. Koelsch volunteered to write for the GCN,

those things in my lifetime,” he marveled.

Fall 2019


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Groovy garments Ah, 1969. Woodstock. Student protests. The moon landing. And bell-bottoms. So many bell-bottoms. A group of friends from the Class of 1969 paid homage to the clothing styles of their undergraduate days by hosting a show of vintage fashions during their 50th Reunion celebration in May. The wardrobe was provided by Cheryl Ioannidis ’69, who raided her attic to uncover a stash of clothes she’d worn as a Clark student (and which still fit). She and classmates Helen Sachs Chaset and Susan Starr (shown, l. and r.) organized the show at Razzo Hall, featuring local models garbed in everything from a Janis Joplin concert T-shirt to a jumper designed specifically for Clark physical education classes. The women also staged an exhibit of art, album covers, and posters that recalled the vital, churning days of 1969, when a peace symbol embroidered on a fringed purse was more than just a fashion statement.

Something’s in the air Can you imagine doing this as your final? Students in Clark’s Environmental Monitoring and Emerging Technologies course were challenged to fly mini drones through a series of rings inside a Lasry Center for Bioscience conference room. The piloting exercise organized by Professor Rich King provided training for a course in which students operate GPS-assisted drones to conduct monitoring research in the Harvard Forest.



Time to applaud Cinema 320

he news in March that Cinema 320 would stop showing movies at Clark University after 36 years hit in a couple of ways. Sadness, first. It was like learning the perfect couple had split after a long marriage. But the emotions were more complicated, because there’s no such thing as perfection in any relationship. Proprietor Steve Sandberg had been open about the challenges of running the film series: accessibility issues, an aging and dwindling audience, and the ongoing struggles to craft a schedule with movies that fill the soul, even if they didn’t fill his pockets. The New England weather itself was no friend — bad winters played havoc on business. In the end, the divorce was, sort of, welcome. Cinema 320 landed at Clark in 1982, when a hardy band of cineastes who screened classic movies at the Paris Cinema was evicted and forced to relocate. Sandberg took over the operation, soldiering on in the projection booth above Jefferson 320 to bring great films to Worcester and to Clark. He favored foreign films, offbeat pictures, and documentaries. It’s safe to say no movie with more bombs than brains ever snaked its way through his projector — Sandberg courageously trafficked in the obscure and took as an article of faith that people do not fear subtitles. As of this writing, Sandberg was exploring the option of showing movies at radio station WCUW, a de facto extension of the Clark campus.

Seven pizzas. One student. An empty classroom. The temptation was strong, but Jake Ah Heng ’19 was stronger, powering through his textbook while waiting for the Mathematics and Computer Science Department’s yearend party to begin. Perhaps the chalkboard should bear a single scrawled word: Discipline.

Fall 2019



By Anne Gibson, Ph.D. ’95 Illustration by Federico Gastaldi

library. launch. legacy. 50 years ago, Clark dedicated its newest building to the alumnus who put a man on the moon

Fall 2019



he ribbon stretched across the entrance to the formidable-looking structure and fluttered in the light breeze of a pleasant spring morning. This massive concrete, brick, and glass building, squatting atop the highest point on Clark University’s campus, resembled an ungainly alien space ship. In fact, some students would later dub it “the mothership.” A collection of prominent individuals stood in line, scissors in hand. Among them, a trustee, an architect, a U.S. senator, an aerospace engineer, a major general. And an astronaut. The date was May 19, 1969. Two months later, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin Jr., encased in a spacesuit, would lumber across the lunar surface alongside Neil Armstrong as the first humans to set foot on the moon. But this day, Aldrin wore a jacket and tie to herald the opening of the library that honored the memory of the man who dreamed of making space travel possible: the late Robert Hutchings Goddard, A.M. 1910, Ph.D. 1911, a Clark alumnus and physics professor. More than 3,000 spectators observed the proceedings from beneath green- and white-striped tents. Among the distinguished guests were Wernher von Braun, director of NASA’s George C. Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., and Dr. Charles G. Abbot, the 97-year-old secretary emeritus of the Smithsonian Institution and Goddard’s former mentor. Music by the Worcester Brass Band lent a festive air to the occasion. 18

The launch of this library was a big deal. In 1965, Congress had designated Clark University as the site for the National Memorial to Dr. Goddard, dubbed the Father of the Space Age. “It was not,” Clark President Howard Jefferson would later write, “by any means a local affair.” The dedication ceremony was captured on radio and television, and in print, including filmed reports on the “Today” show and Walter Cronkite’s CBS broadcast, a front page story in The New York Times, and stories and images in other major newspapers. Reporters from Newsweek and Oggi magazine, Italy’s equivalent of Life, were also present. A convocation had been held earlier, with the participants proceeding from Atwood Hall to the greensward in front of the library. Honorary doctorates already had been conferred on three members of the ribbon-cutting team: U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy; J. Leland Atwood, aerospace engineer and president of North American Rockwell Corporation; and Aldrin, whose father, 1915 Clark alumnus Edwin Aldrin Sr., was in attendance. The 37-year-old Kennedy delivered the dedication address, fittingly, since his brother, President John F. Kennedy, had in 1961 committed the United States to landing a man on the moon, the culmination of Goddard’s pioneering research. In that same decade, as NASA worked feverishly to launch the Apollo 11 moonshot, Clark had undertaken its own mission to complete its library. Like the Apollo journey, the endeavor required extensive collaboration, technical and professional expertise — and money. On May 19, 1969, the Clark countdown ended.

The group wielded their scissors, made their snips, and the ribbon fell away.

■■■■ By the mid-1950s, Clark University was in trouble. President Jefferson, who had arrived on campus in 1946, later wrote of his fear that the university might be forced to close. Enrollment levels oscillated, first surging with the influx of GIs returning from World War II, then nosediving during the Korean War. By 1954, Clark had run up a significant deficit. Beginning in 1958, the Clark University Development Council initiated a 30-month master plan to address the university’s future. The study led to the creation of The Clark Program, whose 10-year mission was to raise $21.8 million for the construction of additional residential space and a new library. The existing neo-Gothic-style library, built in 1904 and 1909, consisted of what are now the Jefferson Academic Center and Geography Building. In addition to lacking adequate study space, it was deemed too small to accommodate much-needed expansion of the book collection. A modern academic library was considered critical to Clark University’s academic success. Responsibility for the library rested with the Board of Trustees’ Library Subcommittee, whose membership included faculty members; Esther Goddard, widow of Robert Goddard; university librarian Tilton M. Barron; and superintendent of buildings and grounds Robert E. Goodney. Trustee Alice C. Higgins chaired the group. David L. Murphy, executive assistant to the president, was charged with raising $5.4 million for the library’s design and construction. In September 1963, the subcommittee unanimously selected architect John M. Johansen of New Canaan, Conn., to design the library. The short list of distinguished architects vying for the honor had included I. M. Pei, who went on to design Boston’s John Hancock Tower, and The Architects Collaborative, led by Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius, which had already been selected to design what would become the Fuller Quadrangle at Clark. That Johansen had designed only one library worked to his benefit — the subcommittee was open to a fresh and original approach.

Johansen’s “brutalist” design proved polarizing. It was described as everything from “an exciting visual experience” to “the superstructure of an ocean liner — going down.” The architect himself likened it to “the rear of a Xerox copier” and an assemblage of parts similar to “barnacles attaching themselves to a rock.” In a good way. According to Kristina Wilson, professor of art history at Clark, brutalism was a reaction to what architects like Johansen viewed as the sterility of steel-and-glass skyscrapers favored by big corporations. “All of these gleaming skyscrapers were unwelcoming to the messiness of human life,” she says. “Brutalism was an attempt to return to authenticity. The messiness of concrete and the authenticity of bricks were the materials that interested these architects.” Johansen, who worked closely with Tilton Barron, described the design process in a 1966 issue of Architectural Forum. “I did not willfully ‘design’ this library,” he wrote. “Rather, I presided and guided the building as it developed, letting it exercise its growing confidence and will and assert its purpose.” The resulting 134,000-square-foot library would have the capacity to house 600,000 volumes (twice the number of the collection at the time), 915 spaces for individual and group study, and rooms designated for music collection and listening, art resources, and microtext reading. The building’s location on a low rise behind Jonas Clark Hall helped establish the library as a campus hub. It was elevated one story above grade level so as not to obstruct pedestrian pathways connecting various parts of campus, a decision that unintentionally created a wind-tunnel effect for those walking beneath the structure. Much was made of the fact that the library was located only about 300 feet from Goddard’s laboratory. The rocket pioneer’s memory was preserved in a suite that housed the Goddard Exhibition Room, which told the story of his life, and the Goddard Collection — materials given to Clark by Esther Goddard, including her husband’s correspondence, diaries, and journals; patent applications and awards; and photographs and films of Goddard at work. The booklet accompanying the 1969 dedication ceremony described the library’s design as one intended “to invoke a feeling of intellectual strength and a firm sense of mission, perhaps Dr. Goddard’s most outstanding personal characteristics.” Fall 2019


(Clockwise from above) A student examines the contents of the newly stocked bookshelves in the Goddard Library. The dignitaries cutting the ribbon at the library dedication ceremony were (from left) J. Leland Atwood, architect John Johansen, Student Council president Michael Feldman ’ ̓69, astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin Jr., Sen. Edward Kennedy, and Esther Goddard. Media from all over the world descended on Clark's campus to record the historic event. The new library rises on campus. John Johansen describes the brutalist design for Clark’s newest structure.


■■■■ Several events marking the library’s progress kept it in the public spotlight. Site preparation began in December 1965 with the demolition of three historic homes on the Clark campus, two of which dated from the 19th century: the red-brick Borger House, where Clark’s first president, G. Stanley Hall, resided until his retirement in 1920, and the President’s Home, described as a classic example of “Carpenter Gothic.” Approximately 100 trees and shrubs were removed from the area and replanted or stored for future use. Groundbreaking took place on Alumni Day, June 4, 1966. Those in attendance included the president of the National Space Club in Washington, D.C., the director of NASA’s Electronics Research Center, and the director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology. Five months later, on Oct. 12, shortly after the university had announced record student enrollment, a convocation was held to commemorate Robert Goddard. U.S. Vice President Hubert Humphrey, chairman of the National Aeronautics and Space Council, delivered an address and dedicated a 300-pound stainless steel and aluminum time capsule. Measuring 10 feet, four inches in length and built to survive 500 years underground, the capsule is a replica of a 1940 Goddard rocket. The capsule contains about 90 items and documents relating to Robert Goddard, the Space Age, contemporary life, and Clark University’s history. They include 243 of Goddard’s patents, dubbed by Von Braun as “the blueprints of the Space Age”; a retrorocket from the first Apollo mission; the will of Clark’s founder, Jonas G. Clark; and an assortment of objects that includes a miniskirt, a Beatles record, a Batman comic book, and a packet of filter-tip cigarettes. A month before Goddard Library’s dedication, The Report from Clark University announced that “Clark’s literary heart has been successfully transplanted into a new ultra-modern body.” Meticulous planning by Barron and his team was credited with the efficiency of the move. Within a space of two weeks, 300,000 books and periodicals were moved 100 yards from the shelves of the old library to those of the new. The report characterized the process as an “intricate, complicated maneuver” that “had to be made in such a way that the free flow of books — essential to the university’s academic life — was not seriously curtailed.” On the same page of the report, it was announced that applications for the incoming 1969-1970 freshman class had reached an all-time high. From its postwar doldrums, now with a magnificent library and two new residence complexes (Fuller and Dana), Clark had repositioned itself as a modern university. Meanwhile, in a few months, the manned Apollo lunar landing would confirm the U.S. as the leader of the Space Age.

■■■■ Goddard Library’s design earned accolades from a host of organizations like the U.S. Office of Education, the American Institute of Architects and Educational Facilities Laboratories, and College and University Business magazine. A panel of Central Massachusetts architects selected it as one of their favorite buildings. The Sept. 21, 1970, edition of Time magazine featured the library in an article about campus architecture. “Without a doubt,” says Kristina Wilson, “this was a moment when Clark’s architecture was at the cutting edge of campus architecture nationwide.” Just as Goddard kept tweaking his rockets, the library that bears his name has required adjustments over the years, notably to repair the HVAC system. In 2008, the Boston-based architectural firm Perry Dean Rogers Partners completed a major renovation, which included enclosing the open area beneath the building and transforming it into the Academic Commons, an 11,000-square-foot space featuring a café and spaces for study and quiet socializing. In her essay, “The Rear End of a Xerox: The Evolution of the Robert Hutchings Goddard Library,” Madeleine Rozanski ’12 wrote, “By giving the community an inviting space to gather, the AC fulfills the original goal for Goddard Library to be the centerpiece of the expanding campus.” University librarian Gwen Arthur described the Academic Commons as “the ideal place for students and faculty to build our community of 21st-century scholars.”

■■■■ On March 13, an audience gathered in Tilton Hall to celebrate the 50th anniversaries of the Goddard Library and the first moonwalk. There was no ribbon this time, but there was cake and a champagne toast. Featured speaker Laurie Leshin, the president of WPI and a former NASA scientist, detailed the many missions that sprang from the research Goddard began on the Clark campus, then carried with him into the deserts of New Mexico, where he launched rockets that sometimes soared and sometimes failed. His experiments led not only to the lunar landing, but to space stations and Mars probes. They also fired the imaginations of countless science fiction writers and filmmakers, who created worlds where the fantastical now seemed possible. The brutalist beauty on the Clark campus has proved the perfect namesake for Robert Hutchings Goddard — a monument to his original thinking and limitless intellectual thrust. Given the profound accomplishments of the Clark alumni who have studied within its walls, the legacy of the Goddard Library will never be just a local affair. Fall 2019



What makes a job cool? Is it fun, rewarding, unusual, or a combination of all three? C Gotta be all three. C While there aren’t enough truly cool jobs to go around, our alumni seem to have landed more than their fair allotment. So does that mean Clarkies are inherently cooler than everyone else? Read on, and decide for yourself. 24


love all you read is


oretta Chekani ’71 has held a wide range of jobs since she graduated from Clark: administrative assistant for the University’s Visual and Performing Arts Department, scriptwriter, sales clerk, meter maid. Romance novelist is the one that stuck. “Before I started reading romances, I was prejudiced against them,” Chekani says. “In English departments across the country, romance is looked down upon. It has to do with the fact that they are written almost exclusively by women, for women.” She realized what she had been missing. “I felt so bad because I had made fun of my younger sister, who read romances all the time, and I’d called them rubbish.” The romance novel canon is no different from any other, Chekani says. The majority of the work is fine, with writing that’s exceptional on one end and poor quality on the other. As genres go, however, romance takes a particular critical beating. “People have this very strange concept of who romance writers are,” she says. “But most romance writers are feminists. In romance, the woman is the hero of her own story. She triumphs in the end.” In Victorian fiction — including the works of Charles Dickens, whom Chekani cites as a favorite author — women tend to be, well, doomed. “A lot of women in Dickens don’t fare so well,” she says. “If a woman has sex, she will die before the end of the book. I read so many books where I wanted to rewrite the ending; then I realized I could.” Chekani, who writes under the name Loretta Chase, published her first novel, “Isabella,” in 1987. At the time, she was writing scripts for a video production company in Worcester, which helped teach her to construct dialogue and to write succinctly. While “Isabella” took a few years to write, it took only two months to be accepted by Walker and Company, the first publisher Chekani sent it to. Avon, a division of HarperCollins Publishers, subsequently bid for the paperback rights. “Isabella” is a traditional Regency book, a subgenre featuring shorter novels (about 250 pages) in which “the bedroom door is kept closed,” Chekani explains. After publishing six of these, she accepted an offer from an Avon editor who wanted her to write a historical romance — a longer book with the bedroom door wide open.

She jumped at the opportunity and has since published 17 historical romances in five different series. “I’ll stick with a set of characters for three to five books, then move on.” Chekani’s books are all set in England's Regency era, around 1795 to 1837. The self-described “history nerd” works to make them as historically accurate as possible while acknowledging the books inhabit their own alternate reality. Her research has taken her into London museums and libraries, where she examines art, maps, and artifacts from the 1700s. Chekani’s own collection includes a magazine from 1833 that tells her exactly what several hundred women wore to the Queen’s drawing room and who attended the Duchess of Cumberland’s dinner party. “I use that stuff,” she says. “It gives me a foundation.” Chekani is currently at work on novel number 23. She plots her books using spreadsheets created by her husband, and fellow Clark alumnus, Walter Henritze ’74. “There are so many variables when you’re writing — whether the characters are likable, or you’re setting a scene from the correct point of view. You really never know. “All I know is love must triumph.”

Fall 2019


father, son ... and robot


hen you become a parent, says Jonathan Messinger ’00, you begin choosing your entertainment sources based on your child. You sit through multiple viewings of the same videos, listen to the same songs, read the same books. Over and over. A fan of podcasts, Messinger searched for good shows he could listen to with his young son, Griffin. Despite the burgeoning market — as of this writing, Apple Podcasts boasts close to 800,000 podcasts and 30 million episodes — he saw a hole and decided to fill it. “The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian,” a serial podcast for ages 5 to 10, tells the story of 8-year-old Finn, who explores new planets with his friends. In their travels, they help the occasional alien and solve mysteries that threaten to destroy their home base, the Famous Marlowe 280 Interplanetary Exploratory Space Station. Each season — there have been six so far — follows its own story arc and features a primary villain. The Chicago-based Messinger tells the stories with the help of his co-host, BeeBop, a robot who earned his name through an audience vote. BeeBop’s diet consists entirely of art, so his very existence depends on listeners sending in their artistic creations. They also submit jokes, as well as ideas for pranks BeePop can


play on his co-host. Messinger also has an exacting editor: 9-year-old Griffin. “While I was writing the first season, I would read the stories to Griffin,” who was then 6. “If he drifted away and started to play with his Legos, I knew I was boring him and needed to make it more interesting or exciting. He was already editing it.” Griffin provides his father with valuable feedback. “If I can’t figure out what an alien should be doing, or how the characters should handle a predicament, I’ll ask him what he thinks,” Messinger says. “He’s really good at coming up with ways to get kids out of sticky situations.” He also joins his father (and BeeBop) on the air to discuss that day’s story. Each 15- to 20-minute episode has three segments: an opening with BeeBop, featuring comedy, pranks, and listener submissions; the next installment of that season’s story arc; and a segment with Griffin, where he asks questions. Messinger takes this opportunity to talk to his audience “in a way that isn’t too blatantly educational.” “Kids run this,” he says of his podcast. “I want to empower them to feel like they’re on the same level as the authors and musicians they love, and to know they can create awesome stuff as well.” At the start of each episode, he shares messages sent by listeners from all over the world. Griffin also receives fan mail, and is very popular when the pair performs at libraries and literary events in Chicago. And he’s not the youngest member of the family to appear on the podcast: his brother, Emerson, 3, shows up in the form of sound effects. “Emerson is the intern on the show,” Messinger says. “Finn Caspian” isn’t Messinger’s only podcast. He’s an executive producer at Gen-Z Media and co-founder of its Gen-Z Kids division, which produces “Finn Caspian.” Messinger also writes “Pants on Fire,” a media literacy game show where kids have to determine which of two guests is lying about their expertise in a certain subject. “In this era,” he says, “kids need to learn who’s lying and who’s not.”


do you know the

mustard man?


ot every attorney gets to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. And of those who have, it’s a safe bet only one has done it with a jar of mustard in his pocket. Barry Levenson ’70 was an assistant attorney general for the state of Wisconsin in 1987. On the way to court, he saw on a room service tray a small unopened jar of mustard. He had just begun collecting different types of the condiment, so he picked it up and put it in his pocket. “I argued that case — an important Fourth Amendment case, Griffin v. Wis. — with that jar of mustard in my left pants pocket. And I won the case,” he remembers. The Supreme Court Mustard holds a special place in the National Mustard Museum, which Levenson founded in 1992 (originally as the Mount Horeb Mustard Museum). It moved to its current location in Middleton, Wis., in 2009. “We’ve got the world’s largest collection of mustards — almost 6,200 different kinds — and hundreds of antique mustard pots and tins,” Levenson says. “There’s also an exhibit about mustard in medicine.” Levenson was once interviewed by Oprah Winfrey, and almost appeared in a David Letterman segment on unusual collections. Letterman, over Levenson’s warnings, ate a spoonful of a fiery horseradish mustard and fell to the floor, writhing in agony. Levenson’s segment was cut from the show. Why mustard? It all began on Oct. 28, 1986, hours after the Boston Red Sox lost the World Series to the New York Mets. A Worcester native and lifelong Boston sports fan, Levenson was looking for something to take his mind off baseball and ended up wandering the aisles of a local supermarket. He stopped in front of the mustards. “If you collect us, they will come,” he heard (well, he claims he heard). And they do. Thirty thousand visitors a

year make their way to his museum for exhibits like the Great Wall of Mustard and a new display from Saskatchewan, Canada, the world’s largest exporter of mustard seed. Visitors can take the Curator’s Interactive Food Quiz, consult with confidential condiment counselors about which mustard is best for them, and purchase official memorabilia from Levenson’s mustard “university,” Poupon U. The museum welcomes 6,000 visitors on the first Saturday of August for the annual National Mustard Day festival, which Levenson has organized since 1991. This year’s theme was “Carpe Dijon” — “ loosely translated as ‘Squeeze the Day,’ ” he quips. “Every year, it gets bigger. We have all sorts of mustard games — ring toss, spinning wheel, fishing for mustard, mustard bowling — live music, and lots of mustard for the hot dogs and bratwurst,” he says. But don’t expect to see ketchup or mayo. “I’m very much against the lesser condiments.” The museum hosts the Worldwide Mustard Competition each spring, with about 300 international submissions, including entries from Romania and Sweden. This year’s

favorite was the Moutarde du Meaux, a French mustard whose recipe is unchanged since 1632. “It’s a favorite of chefs and foodies,” Levenson says. When he’s not curating mustard, Levenson teaches future lawyers about food law. He even wrote a book on food-related legalities, “Habeas Codfish” (University of Wisconsin Press, 2001), in which he examines issues like the McDonald’s scalding-coffee case, the cattle ranchers who sued Oprah Winfrey, and how the Mr. Peanut logo shaped trademark laws for the entire food industry. Levenson has written two other books and two plays, including “No One Goes to Hell for the Food,” which was staged in Madison, Wisconsin, in 2018. “It’s based on a true incident,” he says. “A convicted killer was executed by the state of Oklahoma in 1995. And his last words were, ‘I didn’t get my Spaghetti-Os.’ ” Levenson insists his greatest joy is interacting with people who are surprised to find visiting a mustard museum is actually a lot of fun. Sometimes those visitors are Clarkies, which is the coolest part of a very cool job. Fall 2019



clock the

hile studying abroad in Italy, Lili von Baeyer ’07 had a dream. A double-major in studio art and art history, she pictured a type of mechanical sculpture that she’d fashioned: kinetic art with parts that worked together to create something both attractive and useful. Something like … a clock. “One Google search told me I did not, in fact, invent anything,” she laughs. “But the idea fascinated me nonetheless.” That fascination continued back in Worcester. After graduation, von Baeyer entered an original mechanical sculpture into an exhibition at Clark’s Traina Center for the Arts. She used a clock movement (the mechanism that makes a timepiece run) she found at a flea market. “I didn’t know how to take it apart or do anything with it, so I contacted a local clockmaker,” she says. While the sculpture wasn’t accepted for the show, she was hooked, and completed a yearlong apprenticeship with the clockmaker. She spent time in Paris, then enrolled in the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors School of Horology in Columbia, Pa. Graduating in 2009, she was ready to parlay her passion for clocks into a career. Early on, von Baeyer tackled some massive projects. She restored Milton Hershey’s 1878 28


Apostolic Clock, which features hand-carved figures representing different life stages (Father Time among them) and others that tell a Biblical story. In 2012, von Baeyer successfully rebuilt the Detroit Historical Museum’s 1904 Meier Clock, featuring 12 different time zone movements, after a vandal destroyed it. From 2015 to 2019, von Baeyer oversaw the maintenance of 280 clocks in the Philadelphia State Capitol Complex. And she currently is the sole contractor taking care of the clocks on the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol. “I go there every two or three months to do maintenance. Clocks at the Capitol need to work perfectly,” she says. One clock in particular must stay in peak condition. The Ohio Clock, which has stood in the main Senate hallway since 1859, serves as a meeting place for senators, their staff, and the media. In 2013, the clock became a metaphor for government gridlock when a shutdown forced the furlough of workers charged with winding it. Major news outlets picked up on the symbolism. “Since then, it’s been a priority to keep the Ohio Clock functioning consistently and reliably,” von Baeyer says. Von Baeyer works on the Senate clocks

during recesses or on Fridays, when senators are generally in their home districts. Wherever she goes, she is accompanied by staff from the Senate Curator’s office. Her work is a mix of government contracts, institutional jobs, and private clients. She might restore an old cuckoo clock, but not a new one — they’re made to be replaced, not repaired — and she has no love for the “400-day clock,” which is designed to run for a full year on one wind (“too high-maintenance”). As she moves forward in her career, von Baeyer is working with a machinist to learn more about creating specialized parts for whatever she’s repairing at the moment. It’s a benefit of the job: Not only does she get to work on historic clocks, she also collaborates with, and learns from, other artists and experts. “Horology is a perfect blend of art, science, and history,” she says. You’d expect someone devoted to the accurate accounting of time to have an impressive clock collection of her own. Not von Baeyer. She doesn’t have a single clock in her house, nor does she wear a watch. “I truly love working on clocks,” she says, “but I’ll never understand why people want to be constantly reminded of the time.”


a dog’s



ike most lawyers, Jeremy Cohen ’92 is happy to meet new clients, learn their stories, and determine how he can help them. Unlike most lawyers, Cohen’s clients don’t object to being scratched behind the ears. His firm, Boston Dog Lawyers, represents pets and pet owners in dog bite and nuisance cases, veterinary malpractice, and pet custody. He may be an animal’s last line of defense at dangerousness hearings, where a complaint against an aggressive dog could end in euthanasia. “Dog hearings are very emotional,” Cohen says. “The loudest voices in the room win. That’s how I got started. It was so politicized that I felt there had to be some parameters.” His first case, in 2008, involved a dog named Jesse, whose owner was the father of Cohen’s stepchildren. Jesse had bitten a woman who was walking her dog. Cohen saved Jesse from being put down. “I try to make sure the dog owner gets due process,” he explains. “At the end of the day, it could be that they do have a dangerous dog and there are no other options but to euthanize, but I want to see everybody get to that decision the right way.” In most dangerous-dog situations, he notes, the problem is owner error, or owner “casualness.” An owner might dismiss an animal control officer’s warnings about excessive barking or a dog who wanders off-leash. When something as serious as a bite occurs, those attempts to fix earlier issues are used as evidence against the dog. To date, Cohen has appeared on behalf of dog owners at around 110 hearings. He hasn’t won them all, but estimates only about five cases were lost unfairly. He acknowledges not all dogs can be saved. “Some dogs have run out of chances,” he says. “I just try to be reasonable about it.” Cohen works with dog trainers and behaviorists to educate the public and decision-makers, and examines the history of the dog and victim to determine what led to an attack. He recalls a case involving an 8-year-old boy who threw rocks at a dog daily, and when the boy encountered the dog on a walk with its owner, the animal lunged. Cohen argued the dog was simply reacting to a threat, and she was spared. “When I end up being the person in the room who knows the most about dog behavior, that’s not a good way for the town to

make decisions,” he says. “But towns don’t have the resources to do a thorough investigation.” Aggressive-dog cases actually make up the smallest part of his practice. Pet custody cases comprise about half of his caseload, and those involve all kinds of pets: cats, dogs, and even horses. “It doesn't always involve divorces,” he explains. “It can be twenty- or thirty-somethings who decide to live together, get a pet, and split up. We try to negotiate, but if we can’t, we go to trial.” Cohen always tries to broker an agreement before a case reaches court. “Judges don’t appreciate these cases coming before them, so you have to show you’ve taken great steps to settle them,” he says. “Unfortunately, people can get angry, stubborn, and greedy.” Cohen, whose brother Adam graduated from Clark in 1988, owns a golden retriever named Maisey. His childhood dog, Poppy, had to be sent away for a circumstance he’s come to understand all too well. “She bit my brother.”

Fall 2019


h w c en o

s thı

Seattle Gummy Company founder Connie Wan, M.A. ’99, Ph.D. ’00, has made the leap from chemistry to commerce By Rian Watt ’14


• Illustration by Anne Cutting

Fall 2019



or the first time since I met her 45 minutes ago in the center of a world of her own creation — the brightly lit fourthfloor offices of the Seattle Gummy Company in the city’s historic Pioneer Square — Connie Wan, M.A. ’99, Ph.D. ’00, has paused before giving an answer. I’ve spent the previous three-quarters of an hour marveling at her dynamism — the unstoppable combination of curiosity and follow-through that’s taken her from medicine, to chemistry, to law school, to romance novels, to venture capital, and to three coasts on two continents. Her career to date has been a series of astonishing leaps into terrains previously unknown, and I’ve now asked her what will constitute success for the Seattle Gummy Company. Wan is sure of her answer, just not sure if she wants to share it with me. Finally, after a short silence, she says: “I have a number in my mind.”


Wan arrived in Worcester in the back seat of a friend’s car in the fall of 1995, ready to pursue a doctorate in organic chemistry under the direction of Professor Karen Erickson. She already had a medical degree from Peking University, but had come to view doctors as highly skilled practitioners of techniques and approaches first developed in chemistry labs. She wanted to be where the action was, which meant building the tools doctors used to do their work. So she came to Clark. For a young woman who’d grown up in Shanghai and attended university in Beijing, Worcester in the mid-1990s was a far cry from the America she’d imagined from movies and TV. “I came expecting something like New York, or Tokyo,” she says. “Then I got to Worcester and was like, ‘What the heck?’ But within a month I’d fallen in love.” At Clark, Wan found a mentor in Erickson and a group of colleagues and labmates who gave her all the practical advice and guidance she could hope for. One lab partner, Lynn Francisco, would sit down with Wan and help her with her pronunciation. “My English was terrible back then,” says Wan, recalling how Francisco helped refine her pronunciations, sound by sound. “I loved that so much.” Wan was impressed by the degree to which her organic chemistry labmates entered the program with backgrounds that skewed nontraditional, and aspired to careers beyond the lab. One fellow Ph.D. candidate had been a lawyer; another, a pharmacist. “That really opened my eyes as someone brand new to the United States,” Wan says. “The feeling that, ‘Whoa, you can change!’ ” Still, Wan’s first job after earning her doctorate was quite traditional: a position performing basic chemical synthesis for Merck in Boston. She’d turned down a research position at the University of Washington School of Medicine, where she would run her own experiments in oncology, to stay on the East Coast, but she realized within weeks of that choice she’d made a mistake. She quit after three months, learned the university job was still available, accepted it, and moved west in June 2000. 32

By this point, Wan had been in the United States for almost five years and knew she wanted to stay. She also had no interest in tethering her legal residency to a particular employer. While working at the medical school, she applied for a Green Card under U.S. rules for persons with “extraordinary capability” — in her case, organic chemistry. She submitted her application and made peace with the possibility she wouldn’t be approved any time soon — or ever. Remarkably, approval arrived within 30 days. Eager as always to explore something new, on the day she received her Green Card, Wan walked across campus to the University of Washington School of Law and put in her application. A legislative fellowship she’d done with Maria Cantwell, U.S. senator from Washington, had sparked an interest in the intersection between the law and biomedical research. In her second year of law school, Wan secured a position as a patent law clerk with a midsize Seattle law firm. Three years later, while continuing to work as a full-time clerk, she’d earned her law degree. Over the next decade, Wan worked as a patent attorney for the Seattle firm, then as an intellectual property officer for two different Northwest investment capital firms focused on biomedical technology. During these years, as she raised her son — who now attends UCLA — she became deeply familiar with the process by which lab-trained scientists turn good ideas into businesses, and how those businesses thrived or failed. It was a busy time of life. Wan was sleeping less than four hours a night, and she began writing serialized romance novels during the wee hours of the morning to wind down after long days. Two are still available on Amazon, though one of these — a roman à clef called “Hot & Sour Soup” — earned a one-star rating from a reader furious to discover it contains not a single recipe for the titular dish. It was during this period that Wan came across a Washington company called Pacific Natural Products, which made vitamins in gummy form — then a novel idea in a market in which gummies were mostly associated with candy, and vitamins mostly with capsules. As a young mother and trained medical professional, Wan immediately understood the potential benefits of gummies as a vehicle for vitamins: precise dosages, no goopy syrup for a screaming child to spill, and quick absorption into the bloodstream through the tissues of the mouth. She thought this vehicle also might be useful for delivering traditional medicines like aspirin, antihistamine, penicillin, or ibuprofen to children, and could benefit older individuals who may experience difficulty swallowing. She tried unsuccessfully to buy the company, then tried to put the idea out of her mind. But like a chewed gummy, it stuck. When Wan was ready to strike out on her own, she was astonished to learn that nobody had yet managed to bring a gummy medicine product to the market. It had seemed so obvious to her that someone must have done it. Upon investigation, she found three main challenges that needed to be overcome, each difficult in isolation and potentially overwhelming in combination.

Like a chewed gummy, the idea stuck. First, most medicines are extremely bitter and bad-tasting. Finding a way to transform their chemistry so they can fit inside a gummy, remain stable, and also taste good was daunting. Second, making the medicine palate-pleasing — critical for sales! — would typically require an awful lot of sugar, and any product that routinely drives up glucose levels becomes instantly questionable, regardless of the health benefits. Lastly, because gummies as a vehicle for medicine were not something that had come to market in the U.S., each new product needed FDA approval, which takes time and legal expertise. Creating a company that makes medicines out of gummies needed someone with a background in organic chemistry, in intellectual property law, and in venture capital. It needed, in short, Connie Wan. In early 2017, Wan founded the Seattle Gummy Company. Why the name? “I’ve seen probably a thousand pitches over the course of my career,” Wan says, “and probably 80 percent of the time I couldn’t remember the name of the company even an hour later. I swore that if I ever started my own company I’d give it the most boring name I could think of, so nobody would ever forget.”

•••• The Seattle Gummy Company seems to have achieved many of its early goals. The company has developed a gummy structure it believes can serve as a vehicle for almost any type of medicine. Within the structure is a type of sugar, which the company has confirmed, via glucose sensors implanted in volunteers, does not substantially raise users’ blood sugar levels. FDA approval for medicinal uses has taken longer than originally expected, but the company has stayed vital by developing a line of popular items. Energon Qube provides controlled-release carbs to help fuel workouts; Seattle Beauty delivers multivitamins to enhance skin, hair, and nails; and Functional Fruit is a new vitamin made entirely from USDA-certified organic fruit. The company’s newest offering, chocolate-flavored gummies called Mocca Shots, are advertised as the most concentrated caffeine products on the market. Mocca Shots are sold in ski, running, and bike shops, Pacific Northwest-based convenience and grocery stores, and on university campuses. As of this writing, they’d received approval to be sold at CVS and Vitamin Shoppe outlets. Wan is impressive in person: warm, smart, and perceptive. That does not mean she is always taken seriously. “Being a Chinese woman in this world is sometimes about proving a

point,” she says. “I’ve worked so many places, and in so many board meetings I’m the only woman, I’m the only minority. And usually in the first five minutes I get written off. A few years ago, I was in a meeting with my business partner, Tim, and he was getting the attention. I had to say, ‘Hey, stop talking to him. He’s just the pretty face; I’m the muscle.’ ”

•••• There is a term for startups that have reached $1 billion in total valuation: unicorns. About 350 such companies existed at the beginning of 2019; only a handful are led by women of color. Connie Wan is intent on ensuring that number will rise, and soon. “Right now,” she says, “If there’s anybody well-positioned to make a case about what women can do in this field, I think I’m the one to do it. I have good financial backing and an amazing team. I have a number in my mind, and once I hit that number, I will move on. “I want us to be a unicorn.” Fall 2019


e 34

wh re th el phants roam


B y M e r e d i t h W o o d wa r d K i n g


With satellite technology, Clark students work to protect the planet’s creatures — starting with the mightiest

i l l u s t r at i o n By M a rc o m e l g r at i

Fall 2019


For the African elephant, the numbers are bleak.


n estimated 26 million elephants roamed Africa in 1800. By the turn of the century, Western trophy hunters, fueled by an ivory frenzy and buttressed by colonialism, began training their rifles on the mighty animals. By 1979, the continent’s elephant population had dwindled to 1.3 million. Organized crime, smuggling rings, and corrupt governments have aided a significant wave of poaching over the past decade. In 2011, law enforcement officials seized an estimated 38.8 tons of illegal ivory — the equivalent of tusks from 4,000 elephants. Today, only 400,000 to 500,000 African elephants remain. The depressing statistics inspire researchers in the Graduate School of Geography to do battle on behalf of the world's largest land mammal. Geography professors John Rogan and Florencia Sangermano, M.A. ’08, Ph.D. ’09, have long empowered student researchers to use high-resolution imagery and other remote-sensing technologies to help protect wildlife, ranging from elephants in Africa to bison in Montana to sea life in Patagonia. Two years ago, the Wildlife Conservation Society approached the professors with a question: Could remote satellite images be used to count elephants? “When we went to the WCS and talked to the elephant research group, we said, ‘This is very experimental. We’re not sure we can get anything out of this satellite data,’ ” Rogan recalls. “In desperation, they said, ‘Just try whatever you can.’ That speaks to the dire situation of African elephants.”


Why count elephants? By tracking herds, conservationists can figure out how to manage and protect the animals. Besides poachers, Africa’s elephants are threatened by the continent’s rapidly growing human population, which is encroaching on corridors that allow wildlife to move freely. Elephants that wander outside of protective corridors or national parks can destroy crops, interfere with livestock, and intimidate villagers, making them targets for retaliation. From 2014 to 2016, the Great Elephant Census — the first panAfrica elephant census in 40 years — used 81 planes to spot 352,271 elephants across 287,000 miles and 18 countries in Africa. But aircraft have drawbacks. Low-flying drones, helicopters, and planes scatter wildlife, make governments wary, and encounter poachers. In 2016, poachers in Tanzania shot down a helicopter that swooped down to check out an elephant carcass, killing the pilot. Counting elephants via satellite would be inconspicuous, and, therefore, ideal, the WCS suggested. However, it would be no easy task. A camera positioned some 400 miles — the equivalent of 7,000 football fields — above earth is more than a bird’s-eye view. “It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack,” Rogan says. Students turned to the tools of GIS and data science to classify objects and recognize patterns. “A lot of this work has come out of the medical field for brain scans that identify an anomaly,” Rogan explains. “The elephant is

an anomaly that you want to pick out of millions and millions of potential non-anomalies.” It took two years and four student researchers to determine that satellite imaging was a viable method for tracking elephants. This spring, Lei Song, a doctoral student in Rogan’s Advanced Remote Sensing class, combined high-resolution satellite images of Katavi National Park in western Tanzania and Niassa National Reserve in northern Mozambique with algorithms and statistical models to further refine the process. Still, Song faced a conundrum: discerning whether the dark objects spotted by satellite images were vegetation, patches of soil, or elephants. To figure it out, she input data provided by the Wildlife Conservation Society, along with the satellite images, into Clark Labs’ TerraSet GIS software. She applied a process called segmentation, where similar pixels are grouped together to better define an image. Using R and Python programming languages, Song created an algorithm that compared the proportions of the dark objects with those of real elephants. To determine the height of the object, the algorithm took into account its width, the sun’s elevation, the length of the shadow cast, and latitudinal and longitudinal data. The 3D characteristics created by this meshing of technology, she notes, are particularly useful in picking out elephants — even from 400 miles away in the sky.

W h y d o e s t h e e l e p h a n t n o t c ro s s t h e roa d ? Tanzania had a specific elephant problem. It wasn’t just that the animals’ population had declined 60 percent between the years 2009 and 2014, to around 43,000, but how they move from place to place was also affecting their numbers. In 2013, students in Rogan and Sangermano’s Wildlife Conservation GIS Research Seminar examined the potential impacts on elephants of an initiative to expand wheat agriculture north of Tanzania’s Tarangire Park. As creatures of habit, elephants migrated along fixed corridors, some of which were now occupied by wheat farms. Trampling the wheat angered the farmers, who resorted to violence to repel the animals. Gathering GPS data collected from radio collars affixed to the animals, Clark students conducted research that aided the Wildlife Conservation Society’s collaboration with park officials and local villagers to identify corridors where elephants could travel without disturbing the fields. The students’ work “helped the government rethink where they were putting in a new road, because the planned road went straight through the corridor for the elephants,” says David Wilkie, director of conservation measures for the WCS. The agreed-upon goal was to find ways to preserve both wheat and elephants.

David Wilkie of the Wildlife Conservation Society speaks to Clark students.

At the time, the students did not know whether their research would make a difference. It can take months or even years for such research to result in policy changes. “I had hoped our research would have an impact,” says Christina Geller ’13, M.S./GIS ’14, who took the seminar as an undergraduate and now works as an ecosystem partnerships manager at DigitalGlobe. “When Dave Wilkie introduced the elephant data to us, he said the WCS wanted to know where elephants were leaving protected parks like Tarangire, and if something — differences in vegetation or lack of water — was driving that behavior,” she recalls. “We focused much of our attention on identifying areas where croplands and road networks already intersected with the movements of the elephants, and it is wonderful to hear our project helped mitigate further human-wildlife conflict.”

Keeping the food chain linked Rogan and Sangermano have taught the conservation seminar every spring since 2012. Their students operate as Clark GIS Consulting, providing the Wildlife Conservation Society with research to support its biodiversity projects across the globe, from the grasslands and forests of Asia, Africa, and the Americas to marine habitats in the Arctic.

Fall 2019


“Over the last [seven] years, we at the Wildlife Conservation Society have come to this class and posed questions that we don’t have an answer to,” Wilkie told students on one of his many visits to Clark. “And every year, you’ve done an amazing job, developing conservation solutions that our programs have taken back to the field and used.” Throughout the semester, students provide monthly progress reports to Wilkie and GIS specialist Danielle LaBruna. Each May, they relay their findings to a roomful of Wildlife Conservation Society professionals at the organization’s Bronx Zoo headquarters. Field conservationists from across the world join the conversation via Webex. Last year’s class helped the WCS with conservation issues in the Arctic’s Northwest Passage and Patagonia’s continental shelf in the southwest Atlantic Ocean. The Patagonia team focused on illegal fishing of the Argentine shortfin squid in one of the largest fisheries in the world, near Argentina and the Falkland Islands. Fed by currents from warm

Clark’s conservation solutions are used in the field. South American and cold Antarctic waters, this nutrient-rich area in the vast continental shelf produces huge phytoplankton blooms, the basis of the ocean’s food chain, and sustains large populations of elephant seals, Magellanic penguins, albatrosses, whales, and other species. Wilkie directed students to develop a model to help the Argentine government predict and monitor illegal squid fishing in its exclusive economic zone — the area within 200 miles of the country’s coast — and in marine protected areas. He also asked the students to map shipping patterns across the continental shelf to determine which ships might be illegally fishing. The Argentine government “is open to moving the shipping lanes for conservation reasons if we can provide this information,” Wilkie noted. “The Clark University results can definitely help frame the conversation around patrolling for illegal fishing,” LaBruna said. “The students’ work is of interest to our field staff, and provides a


platform for further engaging with the Argentine government on how to approach patrolling of existing and future marine protected areas.” Less than a year after the students’ presentation, Argentina had created two more marine protected areas, totaling more than 32,000 square miles.

Home on the range This spring, Clark students turned their attention to identifying land that might support free-ranging bison. They examined a number of factors like parcel size, elevation, and proximity to water sources while also researching precipitation and vegetation conditions. The students determined land ownership (government, tribal, or private), and considered which owners might be more amenable to hosting free-range bison. The WCS already is working closely with the Blackfeet Nation to expand bison herds in Montana. Like the iconic African elephant, North American bison — significant and symbolic in Native American culture — at one point faced extinction. Due to the Westward Expansion and unregulated hunting, the bison population plummeted from an estimated 30 million to only 325 buffalo at the end of the 19th century. But for now, the bison’s future seems more stable than that of the African elephant. Since founding the American Bison Society in 1905, the Wildlife Conservation Society has been involved in efforts to save North America’s largest land animal. About 500,000 bison roam the American Plains, although most of them are bred by private ranchers for meat. Only 20,000 live on conservation lands; of those, 15,000 are free-ranging. The Clark students’ research identified nearly 21,000 square miles of potentially suitable, year-round habitat for free-ranging bison, which could expand to 48,000 square miles in the summer. That’s more than a third of Montana. In central Montana, the students identified large parcels around the American Prairie Reserve where highly suitable rangelands could be linked together via private, tribal, and federal partnerships. “This is fantastic. I hope you realize how much work you’ve put into this,” Wilkie told the students this spring. “This is a great template for looking at places outside of Montana. Our bison coordinator is hoping to do bison expansion further out, in the Southwest and Rocky Mountain West.” Clark students continue to apply GIS technology in service to vital wildlife preservation efforts across the globe. Their data may be gathered from high in the sky, but the impact is felt wherever humans and animals co-mingle — in the sea and on the ground, especially where the elephants walk.




Historians know that the past holds lessons for the present, but it can be hard to convince students those connections are relevant. WILLEM KLOOSTER, holder of the Robert H. and Virginia N. Scotland Endowed Chair in History and International Relations, hooks undergrads with his popular course Pirates and Smugglers in the Atlantic World, and he doesn’t let go. As a scholar, Klooster has earned accolades from his peers for books like “The Dutch Moment: War, Trade, and Settlement in the Seventeenth-Century Atlantic World,” winner of the 2018 Hendricks Award. Your gift toward endowed professorships helps ensure Clark students will be challenged, engaged — and hooked. As they study the past, you’re preparing them for the future.

CA M PA I G N CL AR K Now is our time.


Fall 2019


Colin-Flug Wing is a research haven pon entering the Colin-Flug Graduate Study Wing, the latest addition to the complex of buildings that are home to the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, visitors immediately notice the abundant light and tranquil setting. An airy, comfortably furnished lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows invites nature into the space. The sleek single-story structure, with offices for doctoral students engaged in research on genocide and mass atrocities, provides a calm setting for serious scholarship that can take an emotional toll on researchers. Completed in spring 2019, construction of the wing coincides with the 20th anniversary of doctoral education at the Strassler Center. The center’s doctoral students have moved from the cramped third floor of the Victorian-era Cohen-Lasry House to offices that enable challenging studies and deep conversations. A book annex houses more than 10,000 volumes, relieving the severe shortage of shelving in the center’s Rose Library. Having established an international reputation as a leading institute for training historians who study the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide, the Strassler Center is poised for growth. Thomas Kühne, director of the center and professor of history, views the wing’s completion as the first of two steps needed to ensure that the Holocaust and genocide studies program remains on the leading edge. “Now we have to take the next step: enlarge our faculty to include expertise on genocide as manifested in Asia, Africa, and North America and further deepen our insights into the history of the Holocaust and its consequences,” he says. Mary Jane Rein, executive director of the Strassler Center, says the new wing, as well as the programmatic growth it anticipates, would not have been possible without a lead gift from Clark University trustee Rebecca Colin ’89, Ph.D., and her family. The wing honors her parents, Barbara Flug Colin and Frederick Colin, as well as their families. Colin believes passionately in the Center’s mission to expand understanding of the Holocaust and other genocides. “The importance and magnitude of the Strassler Center’s objectives have never been more compelling than now,” she says. “This flagship program at Clark University has the capacity to shape a tremendously important field of scholarship, affect international policy, and influence how genocide is addressed and understood. The new wing ensures that the center has the potential to grow its program.” President David Angel calls the Colin-Flug Graduate Study Wing “an important and most welcome investment in graduate education at Clark University. Preparing the next generation of Ph.D. graduates is essential to ensuring the lessons of history inform our understanding of and call to action in response to genocidal violence.” The similarity in appearance between the wing and the 21-year-old Rose Library, down to their gray cladding, large expanses of glass, and clean lines, speaks to the vision of Julian Bonder, who designed both structures. Concrete slabs frame a garden space and connect the wing visually to Goddard Library, a modern architectural landmark with massive concrete buttresses. Stephen Corman, a member of the Strassler Center Leadership Council, funded the garden planted with a grove of trees in memory of his wife Betsy Corman. One of the five student offices, also dedicated to her memory, looks out on this garden space. The Strassler Center recently celebrated the opening of the Colin-Flug Graduate Study Wing and two decades of doctoral education with a keynote address by Professor Debórah Dwork, founding director of the Strassler Center and senior research scholar, and a symposium featuring Strassler Center doctoral alumni.

Fall 2019


Change their lives so they can change our world.

Each year, gifts to the Clark Fund help change the lives of Clark University students. Whether you choose to contribute to financial aid or faculty research, athletics or internships, alumni support is critical to providing an academic experience that allows our students to change our world after their time on campus. The Clark Fund goal for this year is $3 million — all of which will directly impact the students and faculty at


Now is our time.

Clark today. Help us reach our goal by contributing online at: or using the envelope provided in this issue of Clark magazine. Your gifts to the Clark Fund through May 31, 2020, count toward Campaign Clark, which has now surpassed the original goal of $125 million, making it the most successful fundraising initiative in University history!


alumni news Inside

A message from Hope | Remembering Paul Ropp | Clarkie weddings! Lots of them

I’m fired up to take Adventurely as far as we can go. We’re here to win.

– Mita Carriman ’01

Fall 2019


alumni news

Council welcomes alumni experiences, insights A year ago, the Alumni Council launched the Alumni Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. Since then, we have reached out to alumni of diverse backgrounds to gain a clearer understanding of their Clark experience. The Task Force is focused on providing better programming, volunteer opportunities, and communication for all alumni, with a focus on underrepresented groups of people. In its first phase, our work focuses on two groups — alumni of color and LGBTQ+ alumni. To gain clearer perspectives and learn from alumni, the Task Force sponsored a listening tour we dubbed Fireside Chats in five cities (Worcester, Boston, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.) and two virtual sessions to allow for wide alumni participation. The listening events included dinner and refreshments that gave participants the chance to get to know each other better in an informal and relaxed environment. Following dinner, facilitators led guided discussions in which alumni were asked about their experiences as Clark students and as graduates. The responses were powerful. We learned about the important roles faculty and staff played in their lives, the identity-based challenges they faced, and the lifelong impact of their Clark education. They also expressed their interest in giving back, especially in helping current and future Clark students thrive while on campus and after. In total, 101 alumni participated in at least one Fireside Chat, either in person or virtually. Many of those alumni are part of the Task Force itself, which has nearly 70 members representing multiple decades, degrees, majors, interests, and locations. Later this year, the Task Force will present its observations and recommendations. However, we’re not waiting for the final report to be written. Our staff partners in the Alumni and Friends Engagement Office are already developing new events to better connect us to each other and to our alma mater. Please stay tuned for more details on meetups, networking, and other events in the coming months. With that said, I have to graciously thank our four terrific Task Force chairs whose steadfast leadership has been a vital part of our work: Sasha Abby VanDerzee ’00, Ishara Casellas Connors ’06, Richard Caswell ’89, and Genna Farley Fleming ’09, MBA ’10. Thank you to all who participated and are helping your Alumni Council make Clark a better, more inclusive, and welcoming community for alumni and students. Fiat lux, Dr. Hope K. Aryeetey ’98

President, Clark Alumni Council


what have you been up to?

Did you get a promotion? Get married? Write a book? Meet up with fellow Clarkies for a mini-reunion? We want to hear all about it, and your classmates do, too. Send your class note to: or Want to send a photo? Please be sure it’s as high resolution as possible (preferably 300 dpi) and send it as an attachment to your email. Or, if you prefer snail mail: Melissa Lynch, Assistant Editor Clark University Marketing and Communications 950 Main St. Worcester, MA 01610

class notes


GERALD ZARR traveled back to Clark from his home in Bethesda, Md., to attend his 60th reunion in May. At Clark, Jerry was a class president, as was his older brother, Mel ’58. Jerry’s daughter, Jocelyn ’90, is a volunteer on the Washington D.C. Leadership Council. At the Clark reunion, Jerry was happy to see his friend ANN LEE MINGHI ’59, who traveled from South Carolina.

’58 1958

IDRIAN N. RESNICK has published a new novel, “BLIP,” a cop story set in 1998 New York City and based on the hate-crime killing of a black man in Howard Beach in 1986. Following a brutal assault on a black law student, African Americans bring their rage and revenge to white neighborhoods for the first time. “BLIP” is available in paperback and as an e-book at all major booksellers. STEVE SIEGEL (pictured above) was nominated for a Runner of the Year Age Group Award (men ages 80-84) this year by the New York Road Runners. In his 41 years of long-distance running, Steve has completed 538 road races, including 30 full marathons and 117 half marathons.


ETHEL SUGARMAN moved back to Massachusetts in November 2018 after 52 years of living in New York City and now resides in the town of Hingham. She’d love to hear from her Clark friends. Please email her at


KEITH FRASER, Ph.D. ’64, now lives at the Carlingwood Retirement Community in Kitchissippi Ward, near Ottawa, Canada. Keith earned his doctorate from Clark after serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II. He later worked for the Canadian government as a hydrographic surveyor, visiting the Western Arctic six times. He became a leader in geographical names and served as president of the Canadian Association of Geographers and manager of the Royal Geographical Society. Keith, who is 97 years old, and his late wife, Joyce, had two children, Miriam and Graham.

’63 RICHARD SILVER and his wife recently took a trip to Egypt. He writes, “Midway through the trip I discovered one of our companions was also a Clarkie: GAYNELL (MCAULIFFE) FUCHS [’56, M.A. ’63]. Not only were we both Clark alumni but we graduated on the same May day in 1963. Gay also had met her husband at Clark while he was a Ph.D. student in the Geography Department.” Richard and Gaynell are shown at the Temple of Karnak, near Luxor, on Oct. 29, 2018.

Fall 2019


class notes


SAM KAPLAN and Professor Emeritus ROBERT ROSS ran into each other on a bike and barge trip from Mantova to Venice, Italy.


HARLAN SHERWIN is semi-retired and is in his sixth year of substitute teaching at the Galvin Middle School in Canton, Mass. He also has published a book, “Confessions of a Sports Nut,” a memoir of his life as a sports fan. It is available as an e-book on Since the mid-1980s, Harlan has performed stand-up comedy periodically at various Boston-area clubs.


In January, Linda Savitsky was named Connecticut’s deputy treasurer. Savitsky, a former longtime Clark trustee, most recently was principal of LRS Consulting Services, which advises local and regional governments within Connecticut and Massachusetts. She previously was director of municipal finance services for the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management and served as president of the Government Finance Officers Association of the U.S. and Canada.


STEVEN P. LORTON was re-elected as president of the Association of Applied Animal Andrology, an international organization that stimulates and facilitates the generation and exchange of information relating to the field. The association is planning its next biennial conference for 2020 in Bologna, Italy. Steven and his colleague, Dr. Peter Chenoweth, are in the process of publishing their second text, “Manual of Animal Andrology,” which is expected to be published mid-2021.



Members of the Class of 1976 got together for a mini reunion in New York City on May 8, 2019. Back row, from left: Jeffrey Marin, Carey Friedman, Laura Marin; seated: Gary Morse, Mary Ellen Nusbaum (a Clarkie by marriage), Howard Nusbaum, and Melissa Tuttman.


IRA MILLER has published his sixth work of fiction, “Immaculate Conception,” under the name I.J. Miller. The story is about two women who decide to have a baby together to give him the life they never had, but who end up on the run from the biological father. The audio version of his last novel, “Wuthering Nights,” was nominated for an Audie Award in 2014. For more information, visit “Immaculate Conception” is available on


ERIC BORNSTEIN has had an eventful career as a professional artist. His company, Behind the Mask Studio and Theatre, recently designed the Reggae Gold Award statues for the prestigious annual event in Jamaica. In 2017, he received a Fulbright award for a two-month residency to build 10 giant masks of Jamaica’s political heroes and cultural icons. Eric won a 2016 IRNE (Independent Reviewers of New England) Award for Best Puppetry Design for “Shockheaded Peter,” produced by Company One Theatre — another Clarkie-led Boston arts organization. Eric also has created designs for video games produced by Bethesda Softworks including “Dishonored,” “Skyrim,” “Elder Scrolls,” and “The Evil Within,” as well as for Epic Games’ “Fortnite.” Behind the Mask (behindthemask. org) was featured on WGBH-TV’s show, “Pinkalicious & Peterriffic,” in May 2019.


ALISON COHEN is director of communications for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Previously, she directed media relations for Education Development Center, a global nonprofit with health and education programs across the U.S. and in 20 countries, and managed public affairs for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration New England region, working on successful passage of bicycle helmet legislation in Massachusetts and Vermont. At the Massachusetts Hospital Association, she worked on state health care reform. Alison earned a master’s in broadcast journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University. A longtime resident of Boston, she lives in Jamaica Plain with her family and dog, Bailey.


ERIC VOS has been reappointed to a second four-year term as federal public defender for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, District of Puerto Rico. Prior to his appointment in 2014, he served as an attorney advisor at the Defender Services Office, Legal Policy and Training Division, at the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. Beginning in 1996, Eric spent 10 years as a trial attorney with the Federal Defender for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He also spent three years as an assistant federal public defender in the District of Maine.

’00 Scott LAZEV ’90 recently joined RELX Group as vice president for global procurement. Scott’s hobby is traveling to concerts, sports events, and celebrity autograph signing sessions, and he’s amassed hundreds of autographs and signed collectibles in recent years. Here he’s pictured with Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Famer Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac.


CARMEN GRINKIS is a partner at AAFCPAs Wealth Management, specializing in comprehensive financial planning solutions. She is a licensed investment adviser and a certified financial planner; previously, she founded her own financial planning firm, Income Protection Partners. Prior to her financial planning career, she spent 15 years as a practicing psychologist. Carmen is a member of the Financial Planning Association, the Newport, R.I., Chamber of Commerce, and the Executive Women’s Golf Association. She also serves on the Tiverton Land Trust Board of Directors, and is an active supporter of South Coast Artists, Inc. Carmen earned master’s and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from Duquesne University. She lives in Tiverton, R.I., with her wife, who is an artist. JEFFREY LAMBERT is the development services director for the city of Oxnard, Calif., overseeing the divisions of building and engineering, planning, and code enforcement. Previously, he spent 10 years as the community development director for the city of Ventura. He is credited with having a leadership role in that city’s partnership with Community Memorial Hospital for its new in-patient facility and parking structure; homeless shelter policy; downtown development; and recovery and rebuilding efforts following the Thomas Fire.


JOSEPH D. BERNARD is a lead attorney in the Massachusetts litigation of Commonwealth v.

Atlanta alumnae Jennifer ’92 and Rebecca ’91 Stapel-Wax hosted a reception and screening this spring featuring Michael Ross ’93 and the documentary, “Etched in Glass.” The film depicts his father, Stephan Ross, who survived the Holocaust, and his ensuing and inspirational life of kindness, compassion, and education. Pictured are Linda Hilsenrad, Jon Pierce ’76, Ben Pinkasovic ’07, Karen Minvielle P ’22, Ying Zhen, M.A. ’09, Ph.D. ’12, Michael Ross ’93, Jennifer Stapel-Wax ’92, Jonathan Burton ’92, Rebecca Stapel-Wax ’91, Louise Shaw ’73, Ron Einhorn ’94, Barbara Lewis, Ph.D. ’80, and Larry Lewis, Ph.D. (professor emeritus, Graduate School of Geography).

Ananias, which challenges the reliability of the Draeger 9510 breathalyzer. His work contributed to decisions restricting the use of breathalyzer test evidence, as well as to a call for sanctions for the Office of Alcohol Testing based on serious discovery violations. He has been named Lawyer of the Year three times by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

the Office of Labor Relations for 17 years. Previously, she was director of contract administration for the Doctors Council, where she served both as the union’s negotiator and chief of staff.


STANLEY PIERRE-LOUIS has been named the president and CEO of the Entertainment Software Boutaud and Bass Association, the industry body representing the $43.4 billion U.S. video game industry. Stanley, who joined the ESA as its general counsel in May 2015, served as acting president and CEO from October 2018 to May 2019. He earned his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School. Stanley has served on several boards, including the Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts and Lincoln Center Education, the educational arm of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

CHRISTINE JUDYCKI-CREPEAULT, MBA ’89, received the Annette Rafferty Award for her work with Abby’s House, the largest provider of supportive housing specifically designed to meet the needs of women and children in Worcester. The former chief financial officer of Adcare Inc., Christine provided leadership and insight in her roles as board treasurer and chair of the Finance Committee. She also was instrumental in helping Abby’s House achieve its gold GuideStar rating, placing the organization among the top-tier charities for its commitment to transparency.


RENEE CAMPION is the commissioner of the New York City Office of Labor Relations. Appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, she is the first woman to lead the office and is responsible for negotiating labor agreements with 150 bargaining units that represent more than 360,000 city workers. Renee has served in


Monica Jonas, senior vice president of strategic services at WorkFusion, earned a spot on The SaaS Report’s Top Women Leaders in SaaS of 2018. Her team helps enterprises meet digital-transformation objectives with the company’s pioneering intelligent automation products. Among her accomplishments, she led the company’s successful effort to implement the objectives and key results framework, which has been used by Google, LinkedIn, Uber, and other leading technology companies.

Fall 2019


class notes

JUSTIN L. BAILEY ’00 wed Renee Wills on May 7, 2019. Their ceremony was held at the Judge D’Army Bailey Courthouse in downtown Memphis, Tenn., named in honor of Justin’s late father, a member of the Clark Class of 1965. The couple enjoyed honeymoon travel to Southern Italy. Justin is a senior attorney with FedEx Freight, Inc., based in Memphis, and Renee is a senior accountant at Pfizer.



RICHARD BLUM is director of ethics and compliance for Signet Jewelers, the largest specialty jewelry retailer in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., with approximately $6.3 billion in annual sales. Signet comprises more than 3,800 stores primarily under the name brands of Jared, the Galleria of Jewelry; Kay Jewelers; Zales; H. Samuel; Ernest Jones; Peoples; and Piercing Pagoda. Richard earned a J.D. from the Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center. He is married with two young children and lives in Dallas, Texas. Chris Solea Juliani, CEO and founder of Boston Chair Massage, writes that the Boston Business Journal has ranked her company 12th on the list of the largest LBGTQ-owned businesses in Massachusetts. A licensed and certified massage therapist, Chris works with companies to develop wellness programs and events and oversees a team of massage therapists.


JOHN GRAVES, MBA ’97, is president of Symmons Industries, Inc., which he joined in 2007 as chief financial officer. Prior to this, he was vice president of sales for Haemonetics Corporation, a global company engaged in the design, manufacturing, and worldwide marketing of automated blood-processing systems. Outside of Symmons, John serves as a member of the


’11 GENNA FARLEY FLEMING ’09, MBA ’10, married Matthew Fleming on Nov. 3, 2018, in Westport, Conn. Clarkies in attendance included: back row, left to right: Nora Goodspeed ’06, Shawn Goodspeed ’06, MBA ’13, Nick Putnam ’08, Garrett Abrahamson ’07, MBA ’08, Carolyn Matthews ’10, M.A. ’11, Tim Mulvehill ’07, Matthew Vangeli ’08, and Matthew Cleary ’08; front, left to right: Matthew and Genna, Samantha Fonseca-Moreira ’09, MPA ’10, and Jennifer Nelson ’09. Rabbi Tom Weiner, P ’22 (not shown), officiated at the wedding. KYLE KLAPP married Megan (Curran) Klapp on July 27, 2018, in Warwick, R.I., and was happy to have the photographer snap a Clark alumni photo. Left to right: Nick Figliola ’13, MBA ’14, Dean Adam Keyes, Jeremy Urquhart ’10, Coach Jeff Cohen ’02, Chris Johnson ’12, Gabrielle Kent ’15, Nick Tobin ’12, Sam Johnson ’14, Lydia Biloskirka-Conley ’12, Eric Tillotson ’13, Matthew Cavicchi ’13, and Kyle.


JEREMY HASTINGS is chief operating officer of Alegeus, the market leader in consumer-directed health care solutions. Previously, he was chief operating officer for the Northeast region of Beacon Health Options and a senior manager at Bain & Company. Jeremy is a member of the national board of directors of Reach Out and Read, dedicated to getting books into the hands of children and their families through their early pediatric visits. He earned an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University.


CAITY CHILDS ’13 and JAMES WILSON ’12 were married in Lodi, Calif., on Oct. 27, 2018. Clarkies in attendance included, left to right: Nikki Meuse ’13, Devin McAndrew-Greiner ’12, Allie Hampel ’13, Becka Paradis ’13, Jeff Van Steenbergen ’11, MBA ’12, the happy couple, Helin Akcam ’13, Brittany Murphy ’13, Kristen Cullity ’13, and Julie Mitchell ’13.

’13 board of directors for the Nemasket Group, a charitable organization that supports developmentally disabled adults, and is a youth mentor with Brockton High School. CARL MANCUSO, MBA ’97, has joined Teledyne Marine as director of product line management for Teledyne Benthos, which consists of acoustic modems, positioning products, flotation, releases, pinger locators, and deep tow systems. Previously, he served as vice president of sales and marketing for Falmouth Scientific Inc. Carl also worked in various capacities at Boston Dynamics, American Research Institute, Philips Electronics, and Hazeltine Corp. He has strong local industry ties, and serves on the board of directors of the Marine & Oceanographic Technology Network in Falmouth, Mass.

RACHEL EATON and DAN HALL, both members of the Class of 2013, were married on July 8, 2018, at the Worcester Art Museum. Clarkies celebrating with them included, back row, left to right: Zach Goodstein ’15, Angela Della Porta ’13, Katie Pinard ’14, Adelle Trout ’13, and Will Trout ’13; front row: Jeff Medoff ’13, Joel Simonson ’15, Dan and Rachel, Elizabeth Harwood ’14, and Josh Burger ’15.

DONALD TARALLO is a graphic designer who works on projects in identity, publication, and web design. He earned a master of fine arts in graphic design at Rhode Island School of Design. As a research assistant on RISDC’s Universal Web Design Project, he helped develop web accessibility guidelines for graphic designers. Donald has worked on the development of the visual identities for Sotheby’s, Icograda, and the Hong Kong Design Institute. Since 2016, he has shifted some of his practice into typeface design; he received a Marion and John Whiting Foundation Fellowship for typographical research in Rome. Several of his typefaces have been released, including a collaboration with his son. Learn more at


Annkissam, a Boston-based software company co-founded by Mollie (Gropeter) Murphy, was named The Boston Globe’s #1 Top Place to Work in Massachusetts in 2018 in the 50-99 employees category. The company also scored a spot on the Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America and was cited in the Boston Business Journal’s 2019 list of the fastest-growing private companies in Massachusetts.


MICHAEL CLOUTIER, MPA ’04, is police chief at Fitchburg State University. In March 2019, he was interviewed by CNN after his poem, “If You Could See,” was published at; it begins, “If you could see what I have seen, maybe you’d understand, it takes a special kind of person, who opts to make a stand.” Michael told CNN, “My hope is that people might see things through a different lens, and perhaps it helps breach a little bit of that gap with our police and community relations.” He is using the poem as a teaching aid for students enrolled in Fitchburg State’s police program.


MARGARET BRUCE recently published “Marjanah’s DNAdventure,” a chapter book for grades two to five, about girls interested in the STEAM subjects of science, technology, engineering, art, and math. The book is available at Margaret is a literacy coach with the City School District of Albany, N.Y. Previously, she was a teacher, recruitment coordinator, and dean of curriculum and instruction for Uncommon Schools in New York, N.Y. She earned a master’s in media, culture, and communication from New York University, and a master’s in elementary education from Hunter College.

Fall 2019


class notes


HA TA, MBA ’10, is assistant professor of engineering and management at Clarkson University. Her research focuses on service design, technology management, omni-channel retail, and behavioral and relational issues. She has published articles in top journals in the field, including Journal of Operations Management, Journal of Supply Chain Management, and Journal of Business Logistics. She earned a doctorate in supply chain management from the University of Arkansas.


MIRANDA BETHUNE ’14 and JEFF STANMYER ’14, M.S. ’15, were married on May 19, 2018, in Harvard, Mass. In attendance were 28 other Clark alumni! Miranda and Jeff currently live in Belmont, Mass., with their 2-year-old dog, Noodle, and their puppy, Clifton, named after Clifton Street near the Clark campus.


MICHAEL JOHNSON is associate teaching professor of mathematical sciences at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. His research interests include industrial organization, game theory, and graph theory and probability. Michael has taught calculus, statistics, and probability at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and has made use of advances in technology, including course-capturing systems, to aid in student learning. He is co-principal investigator on a project aimed at advancing students’ competency in pre-calculus skills.



How many Clarkies can you fit into a wedding photo? JENNY SIX ’14 and RIAN WATT ’14 were married on July 28, 2018, in Boston. In attendance were Jean Dao ’12, MAT ’13, Davika Parris ’13, Alex Vickers ’14, Mike Tierney ’14, Joel Helander ’15, former Clark deans Don Honeman and Michelle Bata, President David Angel, Asniya Iqbal ’14, Aksheya Sridhar ’14, Jackie Lyon ’14, Miranda Valerio ’11, Brigid Palcic ’11, Rachel Sorenson ’13, Joe Kennelly ’12, Dale Watt ’17, Sharon Bort ’14, Clark Jackson ’14, Allegra Marra ’14, Sarah Philbrick ’15, Siobhan Kelley ’12, M.A. ’13, Jeremy Levine ’15, Alexandra Tennant ’13, James Herrmann ’14, Meaghan Connors ’14, Casey Epstein ’14, Joey Barrett ’14, Zora Haque ’14, Dylan Sansone ’14, John Preston ’14, and Nik Komrosky ’15.


CHRISTINE GOLDEN is operations assistant for The Flyin Ryan Hawks Foundation, a nonprofit organization inspired by the life of Ryan Hawks, an extreme skier who died during a competition in 2011. Christine is the founder of Golden Consulting LLC, specializing in project management, and has a background in marketing, bookkeeping, and project management.


FLO LUCCI, MPA ’00, received a 2018 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award to lecture at Tyumen State University as part of a project to advance U.S. business knowledge in Russia. She taught two graduate-level courses, Intercultural Communication and Marketing from a U.S. Perspective, and shared Information about the community college education model. Flo is professor of business administration at Quinsigamond Community College.

COURTNEY LITTLE received the Award of Excellence from the New Jersey Theatre Alliance on Oct. 22, 2018, in honor of her work as a producing associate with Premiere Stages at Kean University. She previously has worked as producer, general manager, and casting director for a number of theatrical companies, including Richards/Climan, Inc., where she assisted on many Broadway productions; Olympus Theatricals; and several Off-Broadway productions.


JEFFERSON SPHAR, Ph.D. ’16, is an assistant teaching professor in the Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. His research focuses on the politics and practice of contemporary economic governance, with a focus on how uneven development is continually produced and reproduced. He has investigated these issues through long-term field research in Brazil.


RISHYA NARAYANAN has been named a 2019 Rappaport Public Policy Fellow by the The Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston at the Harvard Kennedy School. Rappaport Fellows participate in a 10-week summer internship at municipal and state agencies throughout Greater Boston while attending a weekly seminar series with leading practitioners and scholars. Rishya is currently a graduate student at Northeastern University in Boston.

in memoriam

Joan M. Dolan ’60, M.A.Ed. ’74 Joan Eileen (McMenemy) Dolan, a lifelong friend of Clark and passionate proponent of education, passed away on Jan. 21, 2019. One of 11 children, Joan was raised in Worcester. She fulfilled her desire to become an educator by receiving both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Clark University, and completed doctoral work at Clark and Harvard University. She enjoyed a successful 17-year career as an accomplished teacher and reading specialist in the Worcester Public Schools, where she was highly regarded by her colleagues and revered by her students. Joan was a true ambassador for Clark University. She and her husband, Tom Dolan ’62, M.A.Ed. ’63, then senior vice president, traveled the world together promoting Clark and raising funds to advance the University’s academic and cultural mission. In 2003, the University named its new field house in honor of Tom and Joan and their more than four decades of service to Clark. “Ah, that was named for Joan,” Tom told Clark magazine in 2012. “Whenever we traveled to alumni events on behalf of Clark, it was Joan everyone loved to see.” In addition to Tom, her husband of 62 years, she leaves her sons, Thomas Dolan Jr. ’79 and his wife, Cheryl, and Brian Dolan ’87 and his wife, Elizabeth; five grandchildren; a brother; and many nieces and nephews.

John J. Brink John J. Brink, professor emeritus of biology, died on April 18, 2019, in North Port, Fla., after a short illness. He was born in India in 1934 while his father was serving as a physician in the British Army, and moved to South Africa with his mother when WWII broke out. He received his undergraduate education in South Africa and earned his Ph.D. in medical biochemistry from the University of Vermont School of Medicine. Brink continued with postdoctoral research at the Stanford Research Institute in California and two years at the Mental Health Research Institute of the University of Michigan, where he studied the chemical processes in the brain that underlie the formation of memories. Brink then started his 31-year career as a professor of biochemistry at Clark, working with both graduate and undergraduate students. His research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. While at Clark, he spent four years as a research associate at Harvard Medical School and School of Public Health. Following his retirement, he continued teaching classes to adult students in subjects ranging from brain chemistry to the relationship between science and religion. Brink is survived by his wife, Virginia; sons, Douglas and Kenneth; and son-in-law, John Christian.

Fall 2019


in memoriam

Richard Francis Auclair ’69

Matt Greenberg ’73

Richard F. Auclair, M.D., passed away peacefully at home in Florida on March 13, 2019, after a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Auclair practiced obstetrics and gynecology in Boca Raton, Fla., for almost three decades. He served in numerous leadership roles at area hospitals, including as chairman of the OB/GYN Department at Bethesda Memorial Hospital and chief of surgery at Boca Raton Community Hospital (now Boca Raton Regional Hospital). He was most fulfilled by his early in-vitro fertilization research at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He helped numerous couples conceive by using this new technology, and in 1985 he delivered the first IVF baby in Florida. Dr. Auclair’s reputation for quality and compassionate care earned him a Lifetime Achievement Award and Community Outreach Hero Award from the Palm Beach County Medical Society in 2012. He is survived by Rosemary, his wife of 46 years; their daughters, Tara and Brooke; and his grandchildren, Jacob and Maya.

In 1969, I was told Clark friendships could last a lifetime. That’s exactly what started for two 18-year-old freshmen way back then. So, with a little bit of pain and a whole lot of pride, let’s begin with the last mile: Matt Greenberg ’73 died on Feb. 19, 2019. Illness, which Matt fought for four decades, was usually kept at arm’s length, until roughly four years ago. Clarkies from our era may recall Matt from the student strike in May 1970 to protest Nixon’s invasion of Cambodia and the shooting at Kent State. Why was Matt, as a “lowly” freshman, selected to lead the student body through those tense nightly meetings in Atwood Hall? Matt claimed it was because he was the only one who knew Robert’s Rules of Order. We all knew better. As government majors, Matt and I shared many classes, although he always sat away from me to avoid my billowing cigarette. Long after graduation, he would imitate Professor Morris Cohen while I would respond with my best Professor Knud Rasmussen. Matt was more clever than funny, more insightful than just smart, more caring than sympathetic; he was unwavering but not headstrong, strong-willed but not overpowering, and always ethical on matters big and small. Matt and Sue Gottlieb ’74 were spotted at our fifth-year reunion, where they agreed to get married. They lived in NYC, Sue a pediatrician and Matt a lawyer. He worked as a prosecutor on many investigations, including the infamous Howard Beach case. They had a daughter, Ali. Over the years, we discussed polls, politics, and the law, often over restaurant food. But nothing mattered more than his Yankees. While the Yankees’ “Core Four” collected all the rings, our “Core Four” — Matt, my wife Nancy ’73, our friend Barbara, and myself — attended nearly 100 Yankee games. Our last trek to the Bronx with Matt was Memorial Day 2018, Matt in a wheelchair, attended to by one of his kind caregivers. Late in the game, Matt seemed pensive. I asked, “Is everything OK?” “Yes,” Matt responded. “I’m loving every minute of it!” I know how much Matt wanted to go the distance, the full nine innings. But for Matt, the game was called early on account of darkness. He didn’t leave the field without putting up a good fight. He completed seven full innings. The game counted. Matt was winning. Matt was always on the right side, giving it his all. Submitted by Lee M. Miringoff ’73, founder and director of the Marist Poll. Read his full appreciation of Matt Greenberg at

Ximena Bunster Professor and author Ximena Bunster died on April 2, 2019, in her home city of Santiago, Chile. During her time teaching sociology and anthropology at Clark, Bunster helped launch the Women’s Studies (now Women’s and Gender Studies) Program, becoming its initial director. Bunster received her Ph.D. in anthropology from Columbia University, and was one of famed anthropologist Margaret Mead’s last doctoral students. Before coming to Clark, she was a professor of anthropology in Chile, specializing in research on the women who led Chile’s indigenous people, the Mapuche. In the early 1970s, Bunster became President Salvador Allende’s adviser on Mapuche affairs. After the Pinochet-led military coup d’etat toppled the elected Allende government in 1973, she assisted with the escape of others who were targeted by the junta. Bunster’s experience with and pursuit of the recognition of sexual harassment in the workplace (a concept only then being developed in U.S. labor law) prompted Clark to create one of the country’s first campus sexual harassment offices. After Clark, Bunster returned to Chile to play an important role in the women’s movement, which was crucial to the ouster of the military junta and to the return of democracy to Chile. She later became a professor of anthropology at the Universidad de Chile. 52

Tamirat Mulu Demessie, M.A./IDSC ’05 Tamirat Mulu Demessie, M.A./IDSC ’05, was among the passengers killed in the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on March 10, 2019. A child-protection specialist, Demessie worked for Save the Children, focusing on programs for children affected by violence and helping reunite children with their families during emergencies. “He often sacrificed time with his own family and children to live out his passion for protection work,” friend and former colleague Lara Martin told The New York Times. “He challenged and empowered everyone that worked with him to do more for children, holding perpetrators accountable.” He leaves his wife, Mahalet Seifu, M.A./IDSC ’06, and their children.

Pas sing s

Russell G. Sandberg ’42 Flint, Mich., 2/12/2019

Loren N. Gould ’53, M.A. ’59 Hardwick, Mass., 2/2/2019

Margaret E. (Lawford) Baldwin ’61 Greenwich, N.Y., 3/5/2019

Barbara L. Young, M.A. ’74 Franklin, Mass., 2/15/2019

Earl G. Jackson, M.A. ’43 Hendersonville, N.C., 12/1/2018

Robert E. Lawton ’54 Cocoa Beach, Fla., 12/13/2018

Noel S. Engel ’61 Ojai, Calif., 1/10/2019

Mitchell N. Harvey ’74 Key Largo, Fla., 11/24/2018

M. Catherine Butler ’46 Worcester, Mass., 5/29/2019

Celia L. Schulhoff ’54 Stoneham, Mass., 2/1/2019

Paul R. Beaudet, M.A. ’61, Ph.D. ’68 New York, N.Y., 12/9/2018

William A. DiLuca ’74 Whitinsville, Mass., 11/7/2018

Howard A. Gullbrand ’48 Portsmouth, N.H., 12/14/2018

Donald J. Aharonian ’54, M.A. ’63 Newton, Mass., 2/23/2019

Gerald D. Porter ’62 Worcester, Mass., 10/19/2018

Gerald I. Kheboian ’74, GP ’11 Worcester, Mass., 11/30/2018

Nello A. Allegrezza ’48 East Falmouth, Mass., 12/8/2018

John W. Mahar ’55 South Dennis, Mass., 1/10/2019

Charles E. Rounds ’63 Byfield, Mass., 3/2/2019

DaviLyn Morse ’76 Bloomfield, Conn., 2/10/2019

Seymour Weinstein ’48 Boca Raton, Fla., 2/15/2019

Miasnig Hagopian, M.A. ’55, Ph.D. ’65 Worcester, Mass., 10/20/2018

David J. Picard ’65 Manchaug, Mass., 1/30/2019

C. Barbara Barrons ’77 Worcester, Mass., 2/15/2019

Virginia W. (Dand) Skinger ’48 Dover, N.H., 5/13/2019

Patricia (Burns) Mahoney ’55 Wilmington, N.C., 3/16/2019

Jeffrey A. Edinburg ’65 Marblehead, Mass., 1/31/2019

Edward W. Quinn ’49 Haddam, Conn., 3/25/2019

Sanok P. (Paik) Kim ’56 St. Louis, Mo., 10/11/2018

Theodore E. Kalinowski ’65 Northborough, Mass., 12/9/2018

Jane K. (Tangherlini) Kjems ’78, MBA ’82, Cert. ’93, M.A. ’95 Auburn, Mass., 1/24/2019

George W. Justice ’50 Parkville, Md., 11/10/2018

Lorice (Samara) Senno ’56 Cumberland, R.I., 10/21/2018

Carol E. (Rochette) Wright ’65 Worcester, Mass., 3/23/2019

Harry Kachadorian ’50 Natick, Mass., 11/10/2018

Marilyn M. (Morin) Sherry ’56 Cape Elizabeth, Maine, 4/17/2019

Bryan Thompson, M.A. ’65, Ph.D. ’71 Grosse Pointe, Mich., 10/20/2018

George Laska ’50 Worcester, Mass., 11/5/2018

Arthur J. Remillard ’56, L.H.D. ’08 11/28/2018

Walter R. Barys ’67 Auburn, Mass., 12/8/2018

William F. Russell ’50 Essex, Mass., 12/9/2018

Edward F. Mosher ’57 Norwell, Mass., 10/16/2018

Jesse R. Dowd Jr. ’68 Worcester, Mass., 11/30/2018

Michael F. Debitetto ’51 Venice, Fla., 1/24/2019

Bernard A. Klem ’57 Trumbull, Conn., 12/27/2018

Walton F. Stockwell ’68 Gilford, N.H., 12/21/2018

Leon E. Whitney ’51 The Villages, Fla., 11/1/2018

Addison S. Brown ’58 Portland, Maine, 12/10/2018

John E. Lindberg ’68 Holden, Mass., 2/16/2019

John M. Collins, M.A. ’51 Alexandria, Va., 11/22/2018

Laurence C. Smith, M.A. ’58, Ph.D. ’63 Evergreen, Colo., 1/25/2019

Richard F. Auclair ’69 Boca Raton, Fla., 3/13/2019

Mary L. Caruso, M.A. ’51 Sea Isle City, N.J., 12/9/2018

John F. Walsh, M.A. ’59, Ph.D. ’62 Jenkintown, Pa., 10/21/2018

Howard T. Blane, M.A. ’51, Ph.D. ’57 Buffalo, N.Y., 4/7/2019

Frederick E. Klutey ’59 Greenville, N.C., 11/30/2018

Barbara H. (Holstrom) Van Schermbeek ’70 Holden, Mass., 12/22/2018

Beverly F. (Fox) Baldwin ’51 Glastonbury, Conn., 12/21/2018

Lawrence R. Goldman ’59 West Hartford, Conn., 4/13/2019

Sara J. (Johnston) Hohne ’51 West Boylston, Mass., 2/26/2019

Stephan L. Werner ’60 Washington, D.C., 1/11/2019

Victor J. Verdolino ’51 Westborough, Mass., 5/8/2019

Judith J. (Jenkins) Young ’60 Schenectady, N.Y., 1/18/2019

John B. Miner, M.A. ’52 Eugene, Ore., 5/8/2019

Peter Bedrosian ’60 Stroudsburg, Pa., 11/21/2018

Gerard J. Richard ’52 Westborough, Mass., 1/30/2019

Charles R. Bryant ’60 Hamden, Conn., 12/23/2018

Alice U. Nordstrom ’52 Worcester, Mass., 10/4/2018

Joan E. (McMenemy) Dolan ’60, M.A.Ed. ’74, P ’79, P ’87 Worcester, Mass., 1/21/2019

G. Bradford Davis ’52 Huntersville, N.C., 11/26/2018 Francis P. Cipriani ’52 Clinton, Mass., 2/10/2019 James F. Riordan ’53 Worcester, Mass., 3/15/2019

George E. Stannard, M.A. ’60 Paxton, Mass., 11/15/2018 David D. Brodeur, M.A. ’60, Ph.D. ’63 Beverly, Mass., 1/21/2019 Herman Wouk, Litt.D. ’60 Palm Springs, Calif., 5/17/2019

Robert H. Boulanger ’80 Northborough, Mass., 5/13/2019 Pamela D. Sherer, MBA ’80 Providence, R.I., 4/7/2019 Susan J. Fingerhut-Cohen ’81 Lakehills, Texas, 2/19/2019 Daniel B. Markson ’81 San Antonio, Texas, 5/4/2019 Sandra E. Dixon ’82 Brooklyn, N.Y., 1/25/2019 Marcelle D. Brown ’85 Bath, Maine, 12/27/2018 Donna R. Johnston ’85 Worcester, Mass., 12/31/2018 Elna E. Soule ’86 Weymouth, Mass., 5/13/2019 Cathy A. Whittaker, MBA ’86 Ipswich, Mass., 5/12/2019

Neil A. McPhail ’70 Allenspark, Colo., 2/16/2019

Miguel Cañizares ’89 Carlisle, Mass., 3/25/2019

Charlotte (Crandall) Shumway ’70 Worcester, Mass., 4/27/2019

Marc A. Friedenthal ’89 Lake Worth, Fla., 4/14/2019

Paul K. Burbine, MBA ’70 Wakefield, Mass., 3/1/2019 James E. Smith, MBA ‘71 Cary, N.C., 1/21/2019 Daniel O. Gross ’72 Athol, Mass., 10/30/2018 Elisabeth M. (Allen) Kelly ’72 North Grafton, Mass., 4/18/2019 Joan Rasch ’73 Somerville, Mass., 1/19/2019 Matthew S. Greenberg ’73 New York, N.Y., 2/19/2019 Kenneth E. Wetherbee ’73 Thompson, Conn., 3/28/2019 Brian M. Marcotte, M.A. ’73 Scarborough, Maine, 2/7/2019

Simon H. Dixon, M.A. ’90 Bozeman, Mont., 3/5/2019 Nancy M. Nuzzolilo, MBA ’91 Worcester, Mass., 4/27/2019 Tracey P. (Gamer) Fanning ’92 West Hartford, Mass., 10/26/2018 George A. Riley, M.A. ’98, Ph.D. ’02 Worcester, Mass., 4/3/2019 Kathleen A. Noponen ’99 Worcester, Mass., 2/15/2019 Louise B. Reneau ’99, MSPC ’03 Northbridge, Mass., 10/4/2018 Gerald F. Coppola ’05 Worcester, Mass., 3/10/2019 Tamirat Mulu Demessie, M.A. ’05 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 3/10/2019

Fall 2019


in memoriam

A teacher of history; a man of peace


aul S. Ropp, longtime professor of history, died on April 14, 2019, at his home in Worcester, after a battle with metastatic melanoma. He was 75. He taught Asian studies at Clark for 26 years before he retired in 2010 and became a research professor. A native of Normal, Ill., Ropp grew up on a dairy farm. He earned his bachelor’s from Bluffton College and his master’s and doctorate in East Asian and Chinese history from the University of Michigan. His graduate studies included Japanese and Chinese languages and he was fluent in Chinese until the end. He taught at the State College of Arkansas, McGill University, and for 10 years at the University of Memphis prior to joining the Clark faculty. He also gave destination lectures on cruise ships throughout Southeast Asia, Taiwan, China, and Japan. As a founding board member of the Center for Nonviolent Solutions, Ropp educated young people in nonviolent responses to conflict, and wrote frequent opinion pieces in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, voicing his outrage against misguided politics and foreign policy, and insisting that knowledge of the past must inform present actions.


In 2009, Ropp facilitated his daughter Amy’s reconnection with her birth family in Hualien, Taiwan. The story of Paul and his wife Marjorie’s search for the Wu family, and the subsequent reunion, was told in the winter 2011 issue of Clark magazine. “I’ve started to believe there is a God, and in my heart [God] is in the far-distant Paul and Marj in America,” said Zhen-yi Wu, Amy’s birth father. “That good couple who, even having two of their own children, exerted themselves to raise and nurture Amy. They are the benefactors of my whole life.” Ropp authored three books on Chinese history and culture, and numerous articles. In his retirement, he transcribed his mother’s diary describing her life as a farm wife and nurse and had finished a manuscript, “Prairie Poet, Rural Radical,” about his grandfather, Edwin Oliver Ropp. He leaves his wife of 53 years, Marjorie (Liechty) Ropp; two sons, Andrew and his wife, Rachel, and Benjamin and his wife, Jordan Dooms; a daughter, Amy, and her husband, Todd Bezrutczyk; three grandchildren; and two brothers.

Preaching the economics of giving

DONNA ZERWITZ ’71 spent nearly her entire career at the National Bureau of Economic Research, turning dense theory into comprehensible prose for those who are neither economists nor academics. “I translated economics into English,” she laughs. Donna is good at getting to the core of things, and that includes Clark University. Inside the classroom, she was challenged intellectually, beginning with her first economics class taught by Professor Roger Van Tassel. Beyond it, the campus pulsed with student protests for civil rights and against the Vietnam War, while Hendrix, Joplin, and James Brown performed raucous concerts in Atwood Hall. “Clark changed my life,” she says. “It was an incredible experience.” A first-generation student whose parents could not afford to send her to college, Donna received significant financial aid from Clark. She never forgot how that assistance helped propel her toward a successful career.

Years ago, Donna set up a deferred charitable gift annuity as a way to give to Clark while also earning tax-free income. Recently, she added to her gift by making Clark the beneficiary of her retirement accounts. Her gift will eventually create an endowed scholarship for African-American women at Clark and an endowed fund, which will bring arts events and programming to campus. For Donna, making Clark her beneficiary was a logical choice. “I have no heirs, so Clark is my grandchild,” she says. “It’s my underlying belief that if somebody helped you get an education and you’re in a position to do the same for someone else, you do it.” To learn about ways you can leave a legacy for Clark with a gift during your lifetime or from your estate, contact Mary Richardson, director of planned giving, at 508-793-7593 or

CAMPAIGN CLARK Now is our time. Fall 2019


alumni news

Mita’s excellent adventure

M By Jim Keogh

ita Carriman ’01 just wanted see Philadelphia.

She was on a work trip in the city in 2014 and had stayed for a couple of extra days to do the tourist thing — visit museums, eat in nice restaurants, take a historic tour or two. But she preferred not to do it alone and began reaching out to friends in the area to gauge their availability. Carriman spent hours trying to coordinate meetups through phone calls and social media channels, and when she couldn’t make the schedules mesh she took the lastresort step of using the dating site Tinder to find a companion for some nonromantic Philly fun. She had one reply, which is unprintable here. “By this point, it’s close to 7 p.m. I get take-out to eat in my hotel room, and I’m bummed. I remember thinking that I wanted to do so much in Philadelphia, and the only reason I didn’t do it was because I couldn’t align my schedule with other people’s schedules in the city. That’s how I got the idea for Adventurely.” Adventurely ( is a subscription-based website designed to connect solo travelers and digital nomads — people who use technology to work remotely — with companions for travel adventures. The site allows subscribers to sync their schedules and interests with those of other like-minded people, facilitating the sort of tourist-attraction meetups that had eluded Carriman during her Philadelphia trip. Shaping, funding, and launching the site, however, has been Mita Carriman’s most vivid journey. The Bronx native was working as a New York-based entertainment and trademark lawyer when she began approaching backers to bring Adventurely to the marketplace. For two years, beginning in August 2015, she pitched potential investors, backed by statistics showing a demand for the product and enthusiasm from users already using an early version of Adventurely. There were no takers, though one venture capitalist offered to invest


Mita Carriman ’01 on the job in Bali.

if she could raise tens of thousands of dollars in seed money from a “family round” of investment.

“It’s an extremely daunting task to fundraise as a first-time founder and as a black woman,” Carriman says. “I come from a

middle-class family, but I didn’t have a grandfather who could give me a $50,000 check to validate my business that way. Generational wealth is a real challenge to diverse founders, and needs to be acknowledged if investors are serious about onboarding founders to their portfolios who don’t fit the typical profile.” During her fundraising years, Carriman lost both her parents to cancer. Emotionally exhausted and desperate to recharge, she stepped away from her startup dream and embarked on an extended sojourn. “I was dealing with the grief of my family loss and also my business loss,” she recalls. “I figured, okay, this idea did not work out, so what am I going to do with the next 20 years of my life?” Carriman spent the next year and a half traveling to eight countries — each locale reminding her that the connectivity problems for solo travelers had not been conquered. Others she met on the road expressed similar frustrations. The experience reignited her passion for Adventurely. In October 2018, looking to reboot her site, Carriman pitched Backstage Capital, a company committed to funding fresh ideas

from entrepreneurs who customarily are ignored within investment circles, notably women, minorities, and members of the LGBTQ community. According to demographic studies of startup founders compiled by Project Diane, businesses led by CEOs who are women of color got less than 1 percent of all venture capital funding every year. Backstage saw a product with potential and brought Carriman on board to bring it to market. “It means the world to me that Backstage believes in me,” she says. “I’m fired up to take this as far as we can go — we’re here to win.” Carriman has relaunched Adventurely with three destinations to start — Mexico City, the Yucatan region of Mexico, and Bali — with plans to scale to Medellin, Madrid, Barcelona, and Lisbon by the end of 2019. The site features a curated list of the top 15 to 20 attractions in each location. For instance, if you want to visit the Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City, you can go on Adventurely and enter the dates you’re free to attend. The site will match you with other travelers available on those dates and allow you to review their social media profiles (and they yours) before setting plans. Carriman expects to expand the site’s offerings to 50 destinations worldwide by 2020, adding a dash of community for solo travelers visiting all kinds of exotic places. Including Philly.

clark currents Inside

The call of the Hall | A brotherhood endures | Power to the people | Faculty books

courting excellence Coach Tyler Simms is ready to lead the men’s basketball program

Fall 2019


sports Simms and some of his players taught skills to area youths at the Clark Summer Basketball Camp.

For men’s basketball coach Tyler Simms, Clark ‘feels like home’

w By jim keogh

hen Tyler Simms emerged from his interview for the Clark University men’s basketball coaching position, his first call was to his mom. He recounted for her the things that excited him about the job, most obviously the opportunity to lead a program after years spent as an assistant coach. But there was something more. Simms liked what he heard about the Clark ethos, which


emphasizes academic rigor and community involvement. He learned about Clark’s hands-on learning approach and its partnerships with the University Park Campus School and the Boys and Girls Club. For the former education studies major who played his basketball at a Division III liberal arts college in Hartford, Conn., there was something familiar about the environment and expectations at Clark, something that fit. “This feels like home,” Simms told his mother. “It feels like the perfect job for me.” Clark agreed. Simms was hired in April to take the coaching reins from Paul Phillips, who retired after 21 seasons as head of the men’s program. Clark marks a return to DIII for the Bourne, Mass., native, who captained the Trinity College team and made two NCAA Tournament appearances during his playing days. He arrives at Clark with 10 years of college coaching and recruiting

experience, including stints at Mercyhurst University, Siena College, Trinity, and, most recently, Brown University, a Division I program where he served as assistant coach. “If you haven’t been around it or coached it, you may not know how good Division III basketball is,” he says. “It takes a lot of talent, time, and effort to compete and win at this level. I very much see myself as a DIII guy: I love the competitiveness, the spirit, and the camaraderie. My goal is to create an atmosphere where our student-athletes not only care about winning basketball games, but also about their teammates and about the experience they’re having at Clark.” Simms says his father, a college football coach, and his mother, a public school teacher, endowed him with “a passion for teaching and leading others. They really shaped and inspired me.” Much of his childhood was spent in gyms and on fields, particularly on the sidelines at

Stonehill College football games, where his dad served as offensive coordinator. The energy, the strategy — the life — imprinted itself so deeply it left little doubt about Simms’ ultimate career path. “Once I finished my college playing career, I was already transitioning into coaching,” he recalls with a smile. He’s a student of the game, drawing on the teachings of the legendary UCLA coach John Wooden and Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens for inspiration. “Brad Stevens’ career, his demeanor, how hard his teams play at both ends of the floor are all things I’m learning from him.” Simms cites the past successes of Clark basketball, including multiple NCAA appearances and conference championships. He inherits a team with raw talent but not a lot of size, one that struggled to a 5-20 record last year. To compensate, Clark will prioritize aggressive defense. “We have to put ourselves in the best position possible to win, and we’ll do it by blending our physical abilities with an approach that works to our advantage,” he says. Playing defense with passion, toughness, and togetherness will be the identity of Clark basketball.” Simms expects his returning players to become rallying points on this young team. He says captains Brendan Kittredge ’20 (“a very tough guard and a good shooter”), Tyler Davern ’21 (“a skilled forward who can be one of the better players in the league”), and Biko Gayman ’21 (“a quick point guard and vocal leader on and off the court”) are critical to shaping the squad. He’s also eyeing more prominent roles for Antonio Lapeyrolerie ’22, a 6-foot-4 forward from Plano, Texas, and Joel Areaga ’22, a 6-foot-2 guard from Wycote, Pa. “People want to cheer for teams who give a great effort, who are passionate, and who symbolize who we are as a university,” he says. “But if you want a program people will follow, you’ve got to win.” Simms won’t truly know what he’s got until Oct. 15, when practice officially begins. He’s itching to get his team onto the court. “It’s great to be a part of a program with tremendous support and a history of success,” he says. “The good thing is history has a way of repeating itself, and that’s what we aim to do here at Clark.”

clark inducts four into the hall of fame

Four former Clark athletes were inducted into the Clark University Hall of Fame at a May 16 ceremony in Tilton Hall. The 15th Hall of Fame class, pictured left to right, is Bruce Bolcer ’81, David McNamara ’04, Devon C. (Vachula) Elliott ’00, and E Garcia ’12. Bolcer, a four-year member of the men’s basketball team, finished his career with 1,354 points and was a major part of the successful seasons of 1978 to 1981. In this time, the Cougars accumulated an 82–22 overall record and a 64–9 record against New England Division III opponents. From Bolcer’s sophomore year through his senior year, the team ranked No. 1 in DIII in New England. As a junior, Bolcer was named Regional Tournament MVP. Leading his team as a tri-captain, he was a key contributor to the 1980–81 Cougars, who posted a 20–0 regular season record. McNamara, an Academic All-American, was a basketball and baseball standout for Clark. His 1,827 points place him second on the Clark men’s all-time scoring list. As a junior, he finished third in the country in three-point shooting percentage (47.4). He was named the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Men’s Basketball Rookie of the Year for 2000–01 and earned NEWMAC First Team All-Conference recognition all four years. McNamara helped lead Clark to back-to-back Elite Eight NCAA Tournament appearances in 2001 and 2002. In baseball, McNamara was a NEWMAC All-Conference First Team selection as a senior and graduated with the single-season RBI record at Clark (31). As a senior, he finished second in the NEWMAC in hitting (.387) and ended his career with more than 100 hits. He served as a captain in both basketball and baseball during his senior year. Elliott, who played four years on the field hockey team, was a first team All-American selection her senior year. She collected three NEWMAC All-Conference honors (1997–1999) and was named the NEWMAC Rookie of the Year in 1996. She was named to the All-Region First Team as a junior and senior, and to the All-Region Second Team as a sophomore. Elliott finished her career among Clark’s leaders in assists with 25, and tacked on 34 goals for 93 total points. A six-time All-American diver who won three NEWMAC Diver of the Year awards, Garcia holds all the diving records at Clark and is a five-time NEWMAC champion. For outstanding career performances, Garcia was awarded the Clark University Alice Higgins Award and M. Hazel Hughes Award as a senior in 2012. Garcia also was named a College Swimming Coaches Association of America Scholar-Athlete in 2012.

Fall 2019



A selection of recent publications by our faculty:

Governing Extractive Industries: Politics, Histories, Ideas ANTHONY BEBBINGTON AND DENISE Bebbington (Geography); WITH ABDUL-GAFARU ABDULAI, MARJA HINFELAAR, AND CYNTHIA SANBORN

The authors address the political relationships that underlie patterns of mineral and hydrocarbon extraction in Latin America and Africa, from the late 19th century to the present.

A Crisis of Civility?: Political Discourse and Its Discontents EDITED BY ROBERT Boatright (Political Science); WITH TIMOTHY J. SHAFFER, SARAH SOBIERAJ, AND DANNAGAL GOLDTHWAITE YOUNG

The editors present a robust discussion of what civility is, why it matters, what factors might contribute to it, and what its consequences are for democratic life.

Cities under Austerity: Restructuring the US Metropolis EDITED BY MARK DAVIDSON (Geography); WITH KEVIN WARD

The book details the ways in which austerity policies are transforming U.S. cities.

The Jag Centennial Casting GINO DIIORIO (Visual and Performing Arts)

DiIorio’s recent critically acclaimed plays have been published by theatrical powerhouse Samuel French.

LGBTQ Divorce and Relationship Dissolution: Psychological and Legal Perspectives and Implications for Practice EDITED BY ABBIE GOLDBERG (Psychology); WITH ADAM ROMERO

This groundbreaking work examines and offers guidance on the unique challenges faced by same-sex couples ending relationships.

Courting Gender Justice: Russia, Turkey, and the European Court of Human Rights VALERIE SPERLING (Political Science); WITH MELIKE SAYOGLU, DOCTORAL CANDIDATE, AND LISA McINTOSH

The authors examine the obstacles to bringing gender discrimination cases to, and through, domestic and international courts, and shed light on the factors that make rare legal victories possible.

Insurgent Women: Female Combatants in Civil Wars ORA SZEKELY (Political Science); WITH JESSICA TRISKO DARDEN AND ALEXIS HENSHAW

Using case studies of the civil wars in Ukraine and Colombia and Kurdish conflicts in the Middle East, this book examines why women take up arms, the roles they play, and what happens to them when the fighting ends.


clarkwork Klooster holds the Scotland Chair Professor Willem Klooster was named the Robert H. and Virginia N. Scotland Endowed

Nadia Ward to lead Mosakowski Institute

Chair in History and International Relations. Klooster is an internationally known scholar specializing in the history of the Atlantic World during the 17th and 18th centuries. In the last six years, he has published five books (four monographs and one co-edited collection), including “The Dutch Moment: War, Trade, and Settlement in

Nadia Ward, M.Ed, Ph.D., has joined Clark University

Dr. Ward has dedicated her career to addressing

the Seventeenth-Century Atlantic World” (Cornell

as the new director of the Mosakowski Institute for

educational disparities in urban schools and

University Press, 2016) and “Realm Between Empires:

Public Enterprise.

communities and pursuing solutions to improve

The Second Dutch Atlantic, 1680-1815,” co-authored

academic, social-emotional, and behavioral health

with Gert Oostindie (Cornell University Press, 2018).

Dr. Ward comes to Clark from the Yale University School of Medicine, where she was an associate

outcomes. Her collaboration with community and

professor in the Department of Psychiatry and deputy governmental partners has manifested itself in a

“The Dutch Moment” earned the Hendricks Award, which recognizes the best “book or book-length

director of the Yale Doctoral Internship Training

range of successful initiatives, including a multiyear

manuscript relating to any aspect of New Netherland

Program in Clinical and Community Psychology.

reform initiative that serves 3,000 low-income and

and the Dutch colonial experience in North America

She also served as director of Urban Education and

minority students in Connecticut. She also secured

up to 1776 and its legacy.”

Prevention Research and senior evaluation

funding from the U.S. Department of Education to

consultant with YaleEVAL in the school’s Consultation create and launch Maximizing Adolescent Academic

McCarthy named Laskoff Professor

Center. Her expertise coalesces with the redefined

eXcellence (MAAX), a program that increases school

mission of the Mosakowski Institute to address the

engagement and supports the development of

issue of behavioral health in adolescents and young

students’ social-emotional skills. MAAX is now used in

Professor James McCarthy has been named the Leo L.

adults, particularly young men.

four states.

and Joan Kraft Laskoff Professor in Economics, Technology and the Environment. He will hold the

Huang appointed dean of the college

professorship for four years. McCarthy is a widely published scholar and the Nature-Society editor of the Annals of the American

Clark University has named Betsy Huang associate provost and dean

Association of Geographers. He has published more

of the college. Huang has been at Clark for 16 years, starting as an

than 50 articles or chapters in peer-refereed journals

assistant professor of English. She was tenured and promoted to

or books. He has co-edited two volumes, “The

associate professor in 2010, and holds the Andrea B. and Peter D.

Routledge Handbook of Political Ecology” (2015) and

Klein Distinguished Professorship. She served as Clark’s first chief

“Neoliberal Environments: False Promises and

officer of diversity and inclusion from 2013 to 2016, implementing

Unnatural Consequences”

many initiatives to cultivate an inclusive campus community, and as

(Routledge, 2007), and

director of the Center for Gender, Race, and Area Studies.

edited a third, “Environmental

A widely published author, Huang currently is co-editing “Asian

Governance in a Populist/

American Literature in Transition, Volume IV: 1995-Present.”

Authoritarian Era”

Teachers, researchers, and now retirees

(forthcoming from Taylor and Francis).

This spring, Clark University said farewell to four longtime professors who retired after contributing 167 years

His research focuses on environmental

of combined service to the institution. In the Graduate School of Geography, Dick Peet joined the faculty in

governance, with a current emphasis on how to

1967 and Sam Ratick (also a faculty member in the International Development, Community, and

make transitions to predominantly renewable energy

Environment Department) arrived at Clark in 1987. The Psychology Department welcomed Rachel Falmagne

sources as just, democratic, and sustainable as

in 1973 and Marianne Wiser in 1982. In addition to teaching generations of students inside their classrooms,

possible. His professorship will include conducting

the professors conducted essential research in a range of areas, from climate change to the ways in which

comparative research on renewable energy policies

children learn.

and financing.

Fall 2019




A brotherhood endures The bottle is filled with good scotch whisky. Glenlivet, single malt. Aged 21 years. The stuff can warm your belly, clear your sinuses, and maybe even fill your heart — but it has never been tasted. One day, years from now, the bottle that rests in the Clark University Archives will be opened by the last surviving member of the Kappa Phi fraternity. He will pour a glass, raise it, and toast all his brothers who have gone before him. The Kappa Phi “tontine” was initiated in 1994 by the late Melvin C. Van de Workeen ’47 in observance of the 90th anniversary of the fraternity’s founding. “Kappa Phi was the most inclusive of the Clark fraternities — we had brothers from all walks of life,” says Larry Hershoff ’71. “Brotherhood there meant great parties, great music, great food, and the chance to learn about politics, economics, and the risks of living in an old house.” When it was dissolved in the early 1970s, Kappa Phi was the oldest of the Clark fraternities and one of the last vestiges of a once-thriving Greek system that peaked with eight frats in 1925. A story appearing in The Scarlet recounted that a handful of hardy fraternities weathered the Depression and Prohibition, and persevered through wars, both military and cultural, before succumbing to antiestablishment attitudes and the


administration’s general lack of enthusiasm for Greek life. Kappa Phi held no national affiliation — it was Clark born and bred, a unique circumstance for the time. Its legacy of service to the University is reflected in the fraternity’s scholarship fund, which has grown to more than $500,000 thanks to the brothers’ continuing donations and Clark’s thoughtful stewardship. Hershoff notes that sum includes the initial $17,000 earned from the sale of the frat house at 17 Claremont St. to the University. A video housed in the archives, “Kappa Phi: 90 Years of the Dragon,” includes interviews with Kappa Phi brothers across the generations and concludes with footage

from the fraternity’s May 20, 1994, celebration at Clark. In the video, the men, a number of them now deceased, recall the stories and relationships that helped shape their lives. “Ideals were very important,” Thomas Anton ’56 said. “Excellence in intellect, excellence in the arts, excellence in athletics. It was a social experience that taught all of us what it meant to be part of a brotherhood, but a brotherhood that was part of a larger community called a university.” Hershoff estimates there may be fewer than 200 surviving Kappa Phi brothers. One hopes many more years pass before the Glenlivet is tasted by the last of them. – Jim Keogh

campus heroes

Mark Leahy brings power to the people


By Anne Gibson, Ph.D. ’95 idden beneath Clark University’s lawns, gardens, and walkways, a network of pipes and electrical cables snakes its way to the main campus buildings, ensuring hot showers and cooled air, steam, and electricity, day and night. The source of that energy is a point of pride in the University’s legacy of sustainable practices, as is the man who helps keep the lights on and those showers hot. Much of Clark is powered by the cogeneration plant housed in Jonas Clark Hall and managed by Mark Leahy, central utility plant chief engineer, and his team. Nearly 40 years ago, Clark began construction on one of the first grid-connected cogeneration plants in the country, replacing a system of multiple boilers that were scattered throughout different campus buildings and which operated independently. Since its completion in 1982, the plant’s massive engine has converted natural gas into whatever form of energy — such as steam for heat or electricity for lighting — is required at a given location. Waste heat produced when generating electricity is captured and reused, while surplus electricity can be sold to the grid. (Electricity from the grid is also available as needed during periods of high usage.) Leahy, who has been with Clark since 1996, “is widely recognized as a leader in the cogeneration industry,” says Dan Roderick, director of facilities management. He adds that Leahy successfully managed the installation of a replacement cogeneration engine in 2013 to supply more electricity, steam, and hot water through existing distribution lines.

At a recent workshop sponsored by the energy provider Eversource, Leahy was the featured speaker and shared his extensive knowledge of cogeneration technology with facilities leaders from area universities and businesses, as well as representatives from National Grid. Leahy explained that an increasing number of institutions in the Worcester area, including hospitals and other colleges, are interested in converting to the cogeneration model, also known as combined heat and power, or CHP. And for good reason. He estimates that since its installation, Clark’s cogeneration plant has saved the University approximately $15 million — from $300,000 to $600,000 annually. “Utilities are actually willing to help with the financing, and offer rebates,” Leahy says. “That’s what this workshop was about. Eversource wanted everyone to know there are lots of [CHP] incentives. And they wanted to let all these other colleges and universities and hospitals know that Clark is probably the best model out there.” Those wanting a peek at the new cogeneration engine can view it through the large windows on the corner of Jonas Clark

Hall, facing Goddard Library. Leahy also conducts tours of the plant for faculty who want to introduce their students to this form of energy generation and for plant managers who are considering converting their facilities to the CHP model. But you don’t have to be part of a physics or engineering class to learn about cogeneration. Jenny Isler, Clark’s director of sustainability, leads an annual tour of the plant for staff and students. “The continual improvements to the operation of Clark’s CHP plant, under Mark’s careful guidance, have made a significant contribution to the goals of the University’s Climate Action Plan,” Isler says. The plan aims to achieve climate neutrality (net zero greenhouse gas emissions) by the year 2030. “Combined heat and power is an energyefficiency powerhouse, and energy efficiency is the best way for institutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” The cogeneration plant was cited as a factor in the university’s inclusion in The Princeton Review’s 2018 Guide to 399 Green Colleges. Mark Leahy and his team would have it no other way.

Fall 2019


final say

Where peace would guide the pages


n the spring of 1969, The 5th Dimension released “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In.” The song would become an anthem for many disillusioned with the Vietnam War and what they saw as the undue influence of the militaryindustrial complex in American life. They longed for “the Age of Aquarius,” when “peace would guide the planets and love would steer the stars.” Considering the tenor of the time, it was not surprising these sentiments would spill over into the May 19, 1969, dedication of Clark’s library to scientist Robert Goddard, the “Father of Modern Rocketry.” While Goddard had envisioned rockets as tools for space exploration, others developed and deployed them as weapons of war. Three days before the library’s dedication, The Scarlet front page featured an “Affirmation Statement,” which noted that the library “expresses the highest aspirations of our institution, but it is linked through its development and its financing with a sector of the military-industrial complex that is deeply invested in war.” The statement invited members of the Clark community to attend a small ceremony on the day of the


library’s dedication, and to bring a book “affirming the values of life, of peace, of the social responsibility of the scholar and scientist, of the university in service of man,” for donation to the new library. Book jackets featuring a peace symbol imposed on a photograph of the library would be available for those who wished to use them. Joshua Miller ’70, now a professor in the School of Social Work at Smith College, was one of those who signed the Affirmation Statement. An anti-war and civil rights activist, Miller was then president-elect of the Student Council. “There had been a lot of demonstrations on campus,” Miller recalls. “It was a tumultuous, turbulent time.” He describes how he had become involved in the affirmation event. “I was approached by the faculty, and it felt to me at the time like they were trying to chill us out. But they never explicitly said that, and they did a good job of meeting us halfway. We planned to have this Affirmation Ceremony — which was really a controlled protest — where we would walk away from the main ceremony and I would deliver a speech.” On the morning of the library dedication, the Affirmation Ceremony took place — peacefully — at one side of the library, after Senator Edward Kennedy had delivered the official dedicatory speech. Once Miller had finished his speech, he looked down from the platform where he was standing to see Kennedy facing him. The senator’s office had been notified of the alternative ceremony in advance. “He had marched with us,” Miller recalls with some amazement. “I came down from the podium. The reporters who followed [Kennedy] kept interrupting him. He got very angry with them, saying, ‘Please, I’m trying to talk to this young man.’ Then he turned back to me, and said he had three volumes of JFK’s ‘Profiles in Courage’ that he wanted to donate to the library. And he gave them to me. And that was it.” Perhaps the Affirmation Ceremony was an example of what Edward Kennedy, quoting Robert Goddard, had said in his dedication speech: “What we must have is militant decency throughout the world.”


“I want to thank you for believing in all of us here at Clark.” Since high school, ANH-VY LE ’20 has wanted to be a doctor. An internship as a medical scribe and research on Alzheimer’s disease conducted in the lab of Clark chemist Charles Jakobsche confirmed for her that medicine is her calling. The Mildred M. and Wentworth C. Maynard ’48 Endowed Scholarship Fund is providing Anh-Vy a path toward her dream of becoming a physician. Your gift helps fund scholarships for deserving students like Anh-Vy who otherwise might not have the resources to attend Clark University. Access to a Clark education remains one of our greatest priorities, because limited means should never mean a limited future.

CA M PA I G N CL AR K Now is our time.


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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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