Winter 2021 Dickinson Magazine

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Taking the Leap: Alumni Share Career-Change Inspiration, Advice 2020-21 Midyear Giving Impact Report 10 Questions With New Advancement VP Carlo Robustelli

Photo by Joe O’Neill.

Photo by Joe O’Neill.

HERE & THERE our view 2


your view 3


kudos 4



bragging rights 7

DISTINCTIVELY DICKINSON 10 Questions With Carlo Robustelli New vice president for advancement discusses his background, priorities and optimistic view of what lies ahead for Dickinson.


before you go 48


Taking the Leap Six alumni, spanning nearly five class decades, share their career-reinvention stories and best advice.


2020-21 Midyear Giving Impact Report Discover the ways your gifts have made a difference for Dickinson, particularly during this unprecedented time, and how you can still lend your support.

PAST & PRESENT our Dickinson 28

| obituaries 46

President Margee Ensign Vice President of Marketing & Communications Connie McNamara Editor Lauren Davidson Designer Amanda DeLorenzo Contributing Writers MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson Matt Getty Kandace Kohr Tony Moore Magazine Advisory Board Alexander Becket ’08 Catherine McDonald Davenport ’87 Jim Gerencser ’93 Gregory Lockard ’03 David O’Connell Megan Shelley Dapp ’05 Adrienne Su Alisa Valudes Whyte ’93

© Dickinson College 2021. Dickinson Magazine (USPS Permit No. 19568, ISSN 2719134) is published four times a year, in January, April, July and October, by Dickinson College, P.O. Box 1773, Carlisle, Cumberland County, PA 17013-1773. Periodicals postage paid at Carlisle, PA, and additional mailing office.

D I C K I N S O N M A G A Z I N E  Winter 2021 | Volume 98 | Number 3

Address changes may be sent to Dickinson Magazine, Dickinson College, P.O. Box 1773, Carlisle, PA 17013-2896.

The Stern Center for Global Education. Photo by Joe O’Neill.

ON THE COVER | | 717-245-1289 Printed by Progress Printing Plus in Lynchburg, Va. SUSTAINABLY PRODUCED

Printed using wind energy and soy-based inks on Finch paper. All Finch papers are produced in Glens Falls, N.Y., using 66% on-site sustainable energy sources: emission-free hydroelectricity from the Hudson River and biomass co-generation from wood waste. Finch sustains natural American forests, supports independently certified fiber sourcing and reduces fossil fuel emissions.

Head to the web for more. View a related video.


Joe O’Neill


A Time for Resilience MARGEE ENSIGN


• President

ike all of you, we here at the college have been navigating through uncharted territory this year. COVID-19 has changed our lives, and it has certainly impacted the institution. Through it all, I have tried to remain focused on what we have—not on what has been lost. One of the things that I am most grateful for is the unwavering support of this community. This year we have been compelled to reimagine how we deliver education, how we can work to support our students and how we can stay connected. While there have been some bumps along the way, our faculty and staff worked with great energy and creativity to provide our rigorous, personalized education in a remote environment. This fall, members of our Department of Theatre & Dance and College Choir collaborated on a virtual concert that highlighted faculty, student and alumni talent. A science professor set up what looked like a television studio to broadcast experiments. Various professors shipped everything from sewing machines to art supplies and lab equipment to students so that they could complete work from anywhere. It has been expensive. We have, obviously, taken a significant financial loss with students not living on



campus. In addition, we have had to invest money in new technology, so that faculty and students would have the best online experience possible. Looking ahead, we have also committed millions of dollars to ensure twice-a-week testing for the spring semester and are investing in safety measures such as plexiglass, PPE and labor-intensive enhanced cleaning protocols. Fortunately, as a result of many years of conscientious stewardship, Dickinson entered into this challenging year in a strong financial position, with good reserves and strong endowment performance. Most important, we have a passionate community that has stepped up to help with emergency funding and other forms of giving. You will see the impact of those gifts in these pages. I am convinced that we are in a period of transformation in the way we live, learn and work—a period when resilience, courage, purpose and innovation will, and must, fuel our future. Those characteristics are precisely what a Dickinson education cultivates in its students, and they are the qualities I have observed in all of you. We must, all of us, learn the often painful lessons of these challenging months and must find ways to implement what we have learned. While we remain committed to providing a residential liberal-arts experience, we have also discovered the value of technology in delivering that education, and we will carry forward those lessons as we transition back to face-to-face learning. As a college focused on global learning, we have not abandoned our commitment to international education, but we have reimagined it at a time when travel has had to be suspended. Our new Globally Integrated Semester (read more on Page 9) is an innovative and exciting way that we are leveraging our global presence—one that we plan to continue and expand even after the pandemic. Perhaps most notably, the Revolutionary Challenge was incredibly successful: Faculty, staff, students, alumni and parents developed bold ideas and provided feedback every step of the way. Our community came together and put their superb Dickinson educations to work to think about what’s next for this groundbreaking college. That model of productive engagement will serve as an example of what is possible for other colleges and universities, and it is one that we will continue ourselves. Because of all of you—because of your support and your gifts—we have been able to continue to innovate, to move forward and to thrive at a time when many other colleges and universities have faltered. Thank you for keeping us Dickinson strong.



] Behind Door No. 3 Brain Teaser submitted by Michael Carlson ’91:

You are alone in the Boyd Lee Spahr Library late one night, studying for one of Professor Pohlman’s mind-bending final exams. Suddenly the ghost of Benjamin Rush appears before you, and though bewildered, you agree to follow him down a hidden corridor, where you are standing before three doors, numbered 1, 2 and 3. He tells you that behind two of the doors are mere lumps of coal, while behind one of them is Ben Franklin’s fortune in gold (long story). Being strapped for cash (who isn’t?), you choose door No. 2, hoping for the fortune.

A Walk Down Memory Lane Thank you for making Nov. 10, 2020, a very special, delightful and memorable day! In the centerfold of the fall 2020 Dickinson Magazine, which I received that afternoon, was a gorgeous photo of dear Old East. Happy, exciting memories remain of living there on the second floor, second section, in my junior and senior years from autumn 1946 to graduation, June 1948. Special thanks to Joe O’Neill for capturing a full view of now East College at sunrise. East College does not radiate the joys many of us found when it was Old East, but I’m sure that there are still some of us remaining who were thrilled by this photograph. When I turned to the next page, wow! Unbelievable! Pictured there is the building and its windows from where I next viewed life. For five years after graduation from Dickinson, I enjoyed working as the biochemist for Wilbur Suchard Chocolate Co. in my hometown of Lititz, Pa. Recently the former Wilbur Chocolate Co. building was sold and converted to a first-class hotel and apartments complex. On the following page was Mary Jeanne de Groot ’48’s report about our classmates’

present activities. She included mine. Just four hours before the mail brought my Dickinson Magazine, my Wall of Remembrance committee saw our first book in print. It beautifully represents 18 years of research and writing about 302 Lititz residents who influenced history. One of the persons who is noted in the book was Paul W. McCloud, the landscaper for Dickinson and other colleges. Paul’s son, Philip, two others and I chose those who have been honored. My childhood friend and member of the class of 1946, also listed in the book and on the Wall of Remembrance in Lititz Springs Park, is Ruth C. Bender Todd. Ruth was the first female vice president of Lancaster General Hospital, Lancaster, Pa.

Rush suddenly thrusts open door No. 1, revealing a lump of coal. He then tells you that you may keep your pick or trade it for what’s behind door No. 3. What do you decide to do, and more importantly, why? Turn to Page 44 for the answer! And don’t miss a new puzzler from Associate Professor of Mathematics Jeffrey Forrester on Page 6, with another chance to win a Dickinson Bookstore gift card! If anyone is interested in submitting a brain teaser, crossword puzzle, word search or any interactive element for potential publication, please email editor Lauren Davidson at

A bittersweet note was also in the Dickinson Magazine. Ruth Cardell Kaufman ’43’s obituary saddened me. She was a beloved second cousin of my husband, Edward C. Crowl Jr. ’49. Thank you for continuing to keep Dickinson College alive and true in history for future generations! GLADYS FRY CROWL ’48


We want to hear from you! Send letters via email to or mail to: Dickinson Magazine, P.O. Box 1773, Carlisle, PA 17013. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.


Politics and COVID-19 dominated the headlines this fall, and several Dickinson faculty members were go-to sources for election- and pandemic-related stories. (Kudos as of Dec. 2.)

Featured Faculty Professor of Asian Law

Lecturer in Psychology

by CreditDonkey for

the deciding state in

& Society Neil Diamant

Michele Ford was quoted

its series on engagement

this year’s presidential

co-authored The Politics

in The Sentinel article “A


election. On WWL First

of Veteran Benefits in

COVID Winter: Pandemic

the Twentieth Century,

Likely to Aggravate

published by Cornell

Mental Health Issues

University Press.

During the Holidays.”

Fight was quoted in The

Professor of Earth

Assistant Professor of

“Kamala Harris Follows

Sciences Ben Edwards and

Political Science Kathryn

Kaw Nation’s Charles

Will Kochtitzky ’16 were

Heard conducted a live

Curtis As the Second

featured by Columbia

TV interview on ABC27

Person of Color to Become

University’s State of

discussing Justice Ruth

Vice President.”

the Planet/GlacierHub

Bader Ginsburg’s passing

for their recently

and legacy.

Visiting Professor of

Professor of Psychology

Studies Jeff McCausland

Marie Helweg-Larsen’s

continues to have several

research on optimism

op-eds related to President

bias continues to

Trump published by NBC

make national and

News THINK. One, “Trump’s

international news.

‘Losers’ And ‘Suckers’

She was interviewed by

Troops Scandal Is One

Marketplace for its story

Final Call to Action for

“Here’s Why Some Are

America,” was picked up

Too Optimistic About the

by Apple News and RealClear

Pandemic.” The interview

Politics and was referenced

aired on more than 50

in The Week. McCausland

NPR member stations

also was a guest on WITF’s

nationwide. She also

Smart Talk discussing his

discussed the exhaustive

new book, Battle Tested:

nature of COVID-19 and

Gettysburg Leadership

assessing personal risk

Lessons for 21st Century

America, October 2020).

of contracting it for a


Professor of American

Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Studies and Women’s,

Helweg-Larsen also was

Gender & Sexuality

interviewed by BBC Radio

Studies Amy Farrell,

Scotland about the Danish

whose book Fat Shame

concept pyt; discussed

was recently released in

what makes nations like

Italian, was interviewed

Denmark happy for CNN.

by Grazia, one of the

com’s story on the opening

most popular Italian

of the Happiness Museum;

magazines. An article

and discussed the Danish

about her book also

concept of hygge for an

was published in Sette,

article in Natural Health

a national weekly

magazine. Helweg-Larsen


was also one of several

published research on glaciovolcanism, “Global Mapping of Future Glaciovolcanism,” in Global and Planetary Change (Volume 195, December 2020). Edwards also co-authored “A 3 m.y. Record of Volcanism and Glaciation in Northern British Columbia, Canada” with Gwen Dunnington ’10 and Robert Jansen ’11, which was published in Untangling the Quaternary Period—A Legacy of Stephen C. Porter (Geological Society of

story published in the

industry experts tapped


Instructor of American Studies Darren Lone Philadelphia Inquirer story

International Security

Associate Professor of Political Science Sarah Niebler provided expert analysis and commentary in the weeks leading up to the election and after the election. She was interviewed on multiple occasions by WWL First News New Orleans, FOX43 and ABC27 for both live and prerecorded interviews. On FOX43, Niebler discussed how Pennsylvania could be

News New Orleans she discussed the first presidential debate. Niebler also was a live guest on ABC27 news on Sept. 28 analyzing the first presidential debate and again on Oct. 23 discussing the final debate. She was interviewed by CBS21 discussing an uptick in mail-in voting, and her op-ed, “Slow Election Results Don’t Mean Fraudulent Results. Here’s Why,” was published in the Penn Capital-Star. Associate Professor of Political Science David O’Connell, who teaches a course on politics and pop culture, was quoted by The Hollywood Reporter for a story on the future of the celebrity candidate. The story also was published in Billboard. O’Connell was interviewed by Newsweek for a story on President Trump’s chances of winning Pennsylvania, and he was among a group of experts tapped by the outlet WalletHub to break down the significance of Election Day this year and throughout history. O’Connell was a fourtime guest on FOX43 news discussing the debates and Pennsylvania’s odds of losing a congressional seat. In a Sept. 28 interview with CBS21, he discussed Pennsylvania’s

HERE & THERE / kudos critical role in the election.

KUER NPR Radio Utah

is a collection of poems

outlets this fall. Dickinson

on “8 Ways Climate Change

O’Connell also discussed

discussing the Lincoln-

that elevate and honor

was highlighted in the

Is Already Impacting You.”

congressional actions

Douglas debate and was

domestic spaces, especially

Inside Higher Ed story

before the November

a featured guest for an

the kitchen.

“Admissions Without

elections for a story

hourlong program on “The

published on the websites

Dirty Days of America’s

of more than 100 Sinclair


Wlodarski’s book George

Associate Professor of

Composer (University of

Philosophy Crispin Sartwell

Rochester Press, 2019)

joined Joyce Carol Oates,

was awarded the annual

Lawrence Douglas and

Book Prize from the Jewish

A.E. Stallings among other

Music Studies Group of the

notables who published

American Musicological Society.

Broadcasting Group affiliates. On election night and the morning after, O’Connell was a live guest on FOX43 news. He was a two-time guest on WITF’s Smart Talk during election week breaking down the latest developments. O’Connell also was the subject of The Sentinel’s feature “5 Questions With.” He discussed his published research on Congress and Instagram. Associate Professor of History Emily Pawley’s oped “Pennsylvania Water Is Not What It Used To Be” was published by PennLive. Professor of History Matthew Pinsker’s op-ed “When Lincoln Faced Rigged Elections” was published in the New York Daily News. Additionally, in the wake of the first presidential debate, Pinsker was a guest on

brief essays on election results in the Times Literary Supplement. Professor Emeritus of Classical Languages Robert D. Sider published Erasmus on the New Testament (University

Professor of Music Amy Rochberg, American

Administrator Accolades Associate Provost and Executive Director of the Center for Global Study & Engagement Samantha Brandauer ’95 discussed

of Toronto Press, 2020).

the importance of partner

Associate Professor

decision-making in NAFSA’s

of Dance Sarah Skaggs

International Educator

explained how Dickinson’s

magazine’s “One Pandemic,

dance program was

Many Perspectives.”

taking advantage of

She also was quoted in


Education Dive’s story, “How

technology to connect

Liberal Arts Colleges Are

students to experts in a

Making International

piece in Teen Life magazine.

Students Feel Welcome.”

programs and staff in

Professor of Creative

Vice President for

Writing Adrienne Su’s latest

Enrollment Management

book, Peach State, which

Catherine McDonald

was published by the

Davenport ’87 was in

University of Pittsburgh Press,

several major news

Tests,” and President Margee Ensign and Davenport were quoted extensively. Davenport also was interviewed by The Wall Street Journal for its story on how applicants are evaluated when test scores aren’t considered. Davenport was one of nine enrollment experts who provided advice for students applying to college during the pandemic in a story published in The New York Times. Davenport was quoted in the Forbes column “Fact-Checking

Associate Vice President of Sustainability & Facilities Planning Ken Shultes ’89 and College Farm Special Projects Manager Matt Steiman were featured guests on WITF’s Smart Talk discussing the College Farm’s innovative new foodwaste diversion initiative that recently received funding from the EPA. The Philadelphia Inquirer also reported on the food-waste diversion project, which was awarded a $300,000 EPA grant. Shultes and Steiman were quoted in the story “Pa. College Plans to Power

College Admission.”

Two Farms from Cafeteria

Director of West Coast

Brewery Scraps.” News

Recruitment Phil Moreno

about the grant also was

was a live guest on the

published in several other

KMAX program Good Day

outlets, including PA

Sacramento, sharing tips

Environment Digest.

and advice for students applying to college during

Waste, Cow Manure and

Provost and Dean of the

the pandemic.

College Neil Weissman was

Director of the Center for

Prepared Professors to

Sustainability Education

Teach During a Pandemic”

Neil Leary was a featured

by the Society for Human

expert for Mashable’s report

Resource Management.

quoted in “How Managers

President Ensign in the News President Margee Ensign’s latest op-ed, “Why Losing International Students Is A Big Blow To Higher Education,” was published in The Hechinger Report. Ensign wrote, “America, the world leader in higher education, stands at the precipice of losing the economic, intellectual and cultural contributions international students bring to our society and its college and university communities. This trend is also a harbinger of this country’s loss of soft power around the world.” Ensign discussed Dickinson’s spring semester decision with University Business. A new public health initiative launched by the Carlisle Community Action Network (CAN)—a group founded by Ensign—was covered by every news outlet in Central Pennsylvania: WITF, ABC27, WGAL, CBS21, FOX43, The Sentinel and PennLive. Ensign also discussed the economic impact COVID-19 has had on Cumberland County colleges and universities with The Sentinel. 5

HERE & THERE / brain teaser

On the (Virtual) Road BY JEFFREY FORRESTER

While travel this year has been challenging, Dean of Admissions Catherine McDonald Davenport ’87 has her team working hard to bring in the next class of exceptional students at Dickinson. Can you answer these questions about their domestic virtual travels? 1. Members of our team hosted virtual events in three cities each. Can you determine the missing city? NORA STRAUSS ’20, Admissions Counselor • Allentown • Detroit • Gainesville CAROLINE SMIEGAL ’18, Admissions Counselor • Dallas • Gary • Jamestown RYLAN GOOD, Admissions Associate Director • Houston • Kalamazoo • Norfolk PHILLIP MORENO, Director of West Coast Recruitment • Portland • Seattle • Vallejo SHARON KLEINDIENST, Admissions Counselor • Binghamton

2. U  se logic to discover the relationship between the starting and ending city of each team member to help find the missing destination. NORA STRAUSS ’20 Chicago — Knoxville CAROLINE SMIEGAL ’18 Albany — Milwaukee RYLAN GOOD Boston — Quincy PHILLIP MORENO Miami — Vancouver SHARON KLEINDIENST Denver — WHAT’S THE MISSING CITY? Possible Answers: a. Philadelphia b. Austin c. Boise d. Indianapolis

• WHAT’S THE MISSING CITY? • Hartford Possible Answers: a. Dover b. Erie c. Memphis d. Richmond

Submit your answers to by March 20. All readers who submit both correct answers will be entered into a drawing, and five names will be randomly selected to receive a Dickinson Bookstore gift card! The solution and prizewinners will be printed in the spring issue of Dickinson Magazine.

Associate Professor of Mathematics Jeffrey Forrester focuses on mathematical biology but loves to take time out for logic puzzles, statistical oddities and other brain teasers. He also provides puzzles for Dickinson’s monthly podcast, The Good. (Note: This is purely a hypothetical exercise and not reflective of admissions actual travel. However, admissions staff members are connecting with prospective students around the world all the time, so if you have a student who might be interested in Dickinson, find your regional counselor at


HERE & THERE / bragging rights

Carlisle has been named among the

Top 20 Safest College Towns in America

News of Note


• Dickinson was referenced in a Wall Street Journal story about college admissions during the pandemic. • D  ickinson was referenced in the Inside Higher Ed story, “What It Takes to Get into College If You Have Learning Differences.”


NO. 2 OVERALL TOP PERFORMER IN THE SUSTAINABLE CAMPUS INDEX from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education

Giving Back While Apart The remote fall semester didn’t stop Dickinson students, faculty and staff from giving back to the Carlisle community. In October, ROTC cadets in the Blue Mountain Battalion raised more than $3,000, which they used to purchase personal protective equipment—masks, gloves and sanitation supplies. The battalion—made up of cadets from Dickinson, Gettysburg College, Millersville University, Messiah University and Penn State Harrisburg—marched this valuable PPE four miles to local nonprofit Community CARES for drop-off. ABC27 broadcast the march live, and a photo gallery was published in The Sentinel.

In November, as the season of giving got into full swing, Raven’s Claw, Dickinson’s oldest men’s honor society, collected more than $3,000 for Project SHARE, which was used to buy turkeys for Thanksgiving dinners for those in need. “It’s inspiring to all of us here at Project SHARE and to the community to witness how this generation of Dickinson students can rise to the challenges of our times and still remember those who are in greater need,” said Project SHARE CEO Bob Weed ’80. Also in November, President Margee Ensign and members of the Carlisle Community Action Network (CAN)

launched a new public-health campaign to encourage safe shopping and learning. CAN members distributed more than 4,000 masks to 120 local businesses, along with informational posters, and each business pledged to encourage mask-wearing among employees and customers. CAN’s colorful “Shop Safely, Learn Safely” banners, on display along Hanover and High streets, reinforce the message. “My hope is that other communities may follow this example and work together for the common good,” said Ensign.



happenings Snippets of stories from around campus

Creating Remotely, Together: Dickinson Presents Interarts Digital Concert Dickinson’s Department of Theatre & Dance collaborated with guest choreographers and the College Choir to present The Quilt, a livestreamed dance concert celebrating student, alumni and faculty accomplishments in dance, theatre, music, art, puppetry and creative writing. Part of a series of livestreamed arts events presented by Dickinson during the fall semester, the two-act concert was livestreamed Friday, Nov. 20, and blended short, prerecorded performances, live commentary and interactive elements.


Friends of Red Devil Basketball Unites Alums and Current Players A new group aims to build connections across generations of basketball players and mentor current student-athletes. After putting out a call last year, Friends of Red Devil Basketball now boasts more than 400 alums representing both the men’s and women’s programs and spanning seven decades. So far, the group has had Zoom meetings, a virtual happy hour and meetings with coaches and current players as well as their parents. And a November 10 career panel of alumni featured alums presenting their stories and advice to current players. Going forward, Friends of Red Devil Basketball will host alumni functions at games, Homecoming, Alumni Weekend and other events. The group also is initiating a mentorship and networking program that will engage basketball players during their first year and act as a launchpad for internships and full-time jobs after graduation. Dickinsonians who want more information or to get involved with the group can email Mark Copeland ’91 at

Spotlight on Small Businesses Shopping small is a powerful way we all can support our communities and the small-business owners who anchor them, particularly as the COVID-19 pandemic presents formidable challenges to business owners and their families. In December, Dickinson launched a directory of Dickinsonian-owned small businesses. Dickinson’s Office of Alumni Relations envisions the new directory as a way to “support our fellow Dickinsonians—and celebrate Dickinson makers, leaders and entrepreneurs,” says Liz

New Globally Integrated Semester Program Launches

Glynn Toth ’06, director of alumni relations.

A new spring 2021 program will combine global education, rigorous classes and values-based education in a novel way. The Globally Integrated Semester was created at Dickinson in response to the suspension of regular spring 2021 studyabroad programs. Students will take a course that connects to a Dickinson study-abroad program and will also participate in a semesterlong workshop that places what they’re learning in the context of the Dickinson values of social justice, sustainability and civic education. After the close of the spring semester, COVID-19 conditions permitting, students will travel to a Dickinson studyabroad site that’s related to their course for a three-week abroad experience.

• Health, Wellness & Self-Care;

You can browse the directory by category: • Food & Beverage; • Home Goods, Art & Crafts; • Coaching, Education & Professional Development; • Environment, Farming & Sustainability; • Information Technology & Security; • Nonprofits & Charitable Services; • Professional Services (Marketing, Legal Assistance, Real Estate, Insurance, etc.); • and Travel, Leisure & Entertainment. Dickinsonians who would like to list their small businesses in the directory can complete the SmallBusiness Directory Form located on the page, or email New submissions will be added on a rolling basis.


Questions With New vice president for advancement discusses his background, priorities and optimistic view of what lies ahead for Dickinson By Matt Getty

1. What brought you to Dickinson? Dickinson is a national leader in global education, sustainability and civic engagement that also takes seriously its duty to be a leader in the local Carlisle community. I care deeply about all of those things. Study abroad changed my life, sustainability is a long-standing passion of mine, and government and community service—especially at the local level—has been part of my life since I was a college student. At Dickinson, I have the opportunity to work for an institution that shares my values, enthusiasm for innovation and passion for the liberal arts.

2. With undergraduate degrees

in philosophy and political science, you’ve likely seen the value of the liberal arts in your own career. Do you think that gives you a better understanding of Dickinson’s mission and value?

Yes, definitely. My liberal-arts education gave me frameworks for better understanding human

DI CK INSON M AGAZINE Winter 2021 1 0

experience, a vocabulary for bridging divides and making connections, a deeper appreciation for the complexity of most problems and a critical lens for thinking about my values and priorities. I’m a first-generation college student who was raised by immigrants and spent many, many hours in the family bakeries and pizzerias. It doesn’t get more practical and grounded in reality than that! When I went to college and discovered philosophy and politics, I actually never saw it as a departure from the life I knew. What I learned in college and what I learned behind the cash register were often similar lessons. I love that Dickinson proudly describes the liberal-arts education it provides as “useful.” I couldn’t agree more. A liberal-arts education helps you understand your past and deepens and enriches all of your future experiences.

3. How do you think Dickinson

can best remind its alumni of the value of their liberal-arts degrees in their careers and lives?

The great news is that most of our alumni don’t need reminding! Data we’ve collected shows that many of them see very clearly the value of their

liberal-arts degrees. However, I think we need to buoy each other in this moment of public skepticism and share our stories about how we came to the liberal arts and what our education has meant to us. Many of the problems you consider in a philosophy classroom are abstract and even fantastical, but, as many philosophy professors say, doing philosophy is like swinging with two bats. So-called “real world” problems seem much easier to solve after a rigorous and broad liberal-arts education like the one Dickinson provides.

4. How do you think your

fundraising and leadership experience at WGLT Public Radio at Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan University can help you successfully lead Dickinson’s College Advancement team?

Fundraising for public radio is one of the purest forms of institutional advancement because it’s based almost entirely on the intangible. You must persuade listeners and philanthropists of the value

Joe O’Neill

Carlo Robustelli

HERE & THERE / 10 questions of things they can’t see or touch. You must overcome the perception that Wait Wait ... Don’t Tell Me is a luxury in comparison to seemingly more urgent needs. Higher education affords generous people the opportunity to invest in both the seemingly more urgent and those things that make life worth living. At Dickinson, we are training future scientists who will find ways to heal the planet and make it sustainable; teachers who will inspire the next generation of leaders; artists and musicians who will move us, agitate us and make us laugh; humanists who will give us the resources to understand our experience; and entrepreneurs who will solve problems and keep our economy going.

5. What do you see as the biggest

priorities for the Division of College Advancement right now?

I believe Dickinson is at an important moment in time and in its history. Higher education faces unprecedented existential threats, and we can’t afford to wait and see what the future holds. The good news is that Dickinson is well positioned for continued success even in this hostile climate. The purpose of the Division of College Advancement is to advance. We exist to move Dickinson forward and to support the many ways Dickinson impacts our local, national and global communities. To be successful, we must attract the most meritorious and intellectually curious students regardless of their ability to pay. Thus, college advancement’s highest priority is increasing funding for scholarships. Providing a useful education in the liberal arts, a Dickinson education, has never been more valuable or important.

6. With the pandemic making

social gatherings impossible, what do you think is the best way to keep Dickinson alumni engaged with the college? First, I think it was brilliant to offer alumni seats in online courses. I’ve heard from alums, faculty and current students about this experiment, and it seems to have been an unqualified success. Our online classrooms are creating a virtual piazza where college students learn from retirees, midcareer folks make connections with senior executives, senior executives find out what young people really care about and our faculty find cross-generational support networks based on interests.

Second, Dickinson is a community. That means we support each other. Right now, small businesses are really hurting, and many of our alums are entrepreneurs. In response, we created a small business directory of all Dickinson alumnirun businesses (read more on Page 9). Finally, in April 2020 we launched the Emergency Response Fund to provide an opportunity to support the most vulnerable members of our community during this unprecedented time. Though we cannot be together physically, contributing to this fund is a way to show one another that our bonds remain strong.

7. How can Dickinson inspire donors to support its mission during this pandemic, when many people are struggling financially and there are so many other worthy causes? Giving to Dickinson is a broad and deeply impactful investment. People have very urgent needs, but they also need all of those things that make life worth living to inspire them through these difficult days and beyond. Institutions of higher education are perhaps the only places in the world where we’re thinking about how to make sure every person has access to clean water, how to increase voter registration, how to lift the spirit through musical innovation, how to challenge the status quo through ideas and how to beautify our spaces through visual art. You’re giving through Dickinson as much as you’re giving to Dickinson. It’s not really a choice between us and other worthy causes. By supporting Dickinson, you are supporting those other worthy causes.

8. When you look toward

the future, what are the biggest challenges?

I hope our future big challenges are much smaller than the ones we face right now! It is truly an unprecedented time in higher education. The rising cost of college, systemic inequality, divestment, charges of elitism and mounting skepticism about the value proposition were more than enough to handle. The addition of a global pandemic whose full impact we won’t be able to assess for some time has placed all institutions of higher education under tremendous stress. I’m an optimist, and I believe that every challenge contains a seed of opportunity.

9. What are the opportunities

that you see arising from those challenges?

Dickinson has everything on our campus and in our alumni community needed to rise to meet this moment. The timing of the Revolutionary Challenge, President Ensign’s co-innovative model of engagement, was excellent. Over the last two years our campus engaged in a high-level idea competition that involved over 5,000 Dickinsonians and resulted in four exciting proposals we hope to implement, so we will emerge from this pandemic with these initiatives to unite behind and work toward. Dickinson has concrete, exciting, relevant, impactful things to look forward to. We aren’t hunkering down and trying to survive—we are positioning ourselves to thrive. Advancement, or the strategies associated with it, is not something we do to alumni or other donors, but with them, and that’s what the Revolutionary Challenge has proven. It shows that we can create conditions that cause alumni to want to give of their time and talent of their own volition, and when we do that in rewarding ways, treasure follows. That’s why President Ensign’s notion of co-innovation is so important. The more we involve key constituents in imagining the college’s future and in shaping initiatives that will further leverage its strengths, the more Dickinson will contribute to community and society. The more of that we do, the more opportunities we attract.

10. What has surprised you most

about the Dickinson community in your time at the college so far? This is an honest, transparent, genuine community. What you see is what you get, so I haven’t been surprised by much, and I think that’s probably a good thing. There is one small thing—I did not appreciate the power of the mermaid initially. A student told me the story of the original mermaid and explained how Benjamin Latrobe’s reaction to the mermaid typified the Dickinson spirit that exists to this day. I have since met members of the Mermaid Society and drink coffee out of a mermaid mug with pride.





Taking the Leap Alumni share career-change inspiration and advice

It takes imagination to make a big career leap and strategy and versatility to land on solid ground. That’s the very stuff Dickinsonians are made of. So in an era when more people are switching careers than ever—and, in some cases, doing so several times—we asked alumni to show us how it’s done and offer their career-reinvention stories and advice. —MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson DI CK INSON M AGAZINE Winter 2021 1 2


Lynn Waldo Smiledge ’75: Keep Learning

Early in her career, Smiledge pivoted within her industry. Then, at age 50, she crafted an entirely different career. Education: Art history and biology major. B.S., medical arts, University of Toronto.

Kyle Carter ’99: Embrace the Fear

Careers I, II: Created animated films and educational programs for pharmaceutical reps. Transitioned to medical marketing, communications, public relations and advertising. Worked on rollout of a cancer drug and on one of the first UVA sunscreens on the market.

Carter had a great job with excellent benefits and a house in the city. Then she was offered an exciting position at a small family startup in Central Pa. Was she willing to take the risk?

Inspiration I: “I needed to keep learning.”

Education: Psychology major, Spanish minor.

Inspiration II: After renovating her historic home,

Career I: Nonprofit work for a variety of Baltimore organizations, then director of development at the National Aquarium.

volunteered for several historic-preservation and local-history societies. Careers III, IV: Earned a historic-preservation certificate from Boston Architectural College. Served an internship. After 10 years at an architectural firm, founded Boston House Histories, researching and telling the stories of historic properties. Also researches buildings considered for the National Registry. Biggest challenge: “Employers sometimes have a narrow vision of what they’re looking for. I think my liberal-arts background helped. It allowed me to move with some comfort in different directions.” Advice: “There’s some serendipity involved, but you also need to get yourself out there. What do you have to lose?”

Impetus: A 10-day culinary tour of Italy, led by friends who owned Caputo Brothers Creamery, a two-person operation. Offered a job combining two of her passions—travel and food. Career II: As executive director, manages the creamery’s culinary tours and events. Has worked in all aspects of the fast-growing business and pre- COVID led 10 tours to Italy annually. Planning a future Dickinson alumni trip to Italy; has helped bring her company’s cheese to the Dickinson College Farm. Biggest challenge: “It was completely terrifying. I am not usually a risktaker, so there was a lot of soul-searching.”

Be strategic and brave. 13

DISTINCTIVELY DICKINSON / taking the leap Alan Bronstein ’66: Life Is Unpredictable—Adapt and Repeat

A tip from a fellow alum launched Bronstein’s career in international marketing. A recession and a serious accident spurred two more major pivots. His adaptability and people skills guided him safely through uncertain times—and ultimately toward rekindling a long-lost dream. Education: Chemistry major. MBA, international business, Temple University. M.S., chemistry, Arcadia University. Career I: Was a grad student and substitute teacher when fellow Mermaid Player Robert Warren ’68 alerted him to a dream opportunity in international marketing. Oversaw operations across South America and traveled the world. Career II: During recession, proactively changed gears, opening a video store. A year after a serious accident, he retired. Career III: Realized retirement wasn’t for him and, drawing on his personal network, became a teacher. After working at another school, taught chemistry at his old high school—a childhood career goal. Retired (for good this time!) after 24 years. Highlights: Sponsored the school’s drama society. Earned two teaching awards. Remains in touch with former students. Biggest challenge: “I was one of those substitute teachers who was all over the classroom and threw some theatrics into the mix. Now I was in a wheelchair. I had to learn to modify what I was doing.”

“Networking is important! And so is working for passion and enjoyment. I was lucky, because I was able to have two dream jobs.” DI CK INSON M AGAZINE Winter 2021 1 4

Michael Eber ’91: Play to Your Values, Strengths

“Play to your strengths. Make sure that the work you do is in tune with your values.”

A search for meaning and challenge led Eber to the developing world. A call to return home sparked a new chapter.

Education: Psychology major, education/ economics minor. MBA and MPA, Willamette University. Career I: Marketing and economics researcher. Careers II, III: As grad student, served as business advisor in Zimbabwe through Emerging Markets Development Advisors Program. During leave of absence from postgraduation job at Deloitte, returned to Africa to direct program installing cellphone towers in Uganda and supporting cellphone-card startup ventures for impoverished rural women. Left U.S. job to continue microfinance and technology work in developing world. Impetus: “I need to find meaning and passion in my work. I move toward change when a project is complete or if I no longer feel excited about what I do.” Careers IV, V: D.C.-based international consultant. Then moved home to Colorado, working first in real estate and economic development and now at a consulting firm helping organizations develop values-driven strategic plans.

Amy Shelley Impellizzeri ’92: Appreciate the Journey

Impellizzeri was living her dream. Then she witnessed a tragedy that spurred her to reevaluate.

Education: English and philosophy major; took a creative writing class. J.D., George Washington University. Career I: Partner-track lawyer at a major NYC firm. Impetus: Reexamined life goals after witnessing the Nov. 11, 2001, fatal crash of American Airlines Flight 587 across the street from her home (all on board the plane and two neighbors perished; at her intersection, hers was the only corner house undamaged). Realized her job was no longer a good fit. Career II: Explored career options during sabbatical year. Volunteered, did pro bono work; joined executive team at a startup. Rediscovered creative writing. Secured first book contract before launching full-time writing career. Highlights: 2015 book, Lawyer Interrupted, contracted by the American Book Association. 2017 novel, The Truth About Thea, selected as inaugural Francis Ford Coppola Winery Books & Bottles Pick. Foreword Reviews Book of the Year, National Indie Excellence Award, Ms. JD’s Road Less Traveled Award. Advice: “I’m careful to appreciate the successes and struggles and, frankly, the journey itself.”



Jill Graby Shuck ’93: Openness, Patience, Faith

When an opportunity in Kenya came knocking, Shuck recognized a chance to put years of varied experiences to work toward the greater good. Education: German and sociology major, teaching certificate. M.A., teaching, University of Virginia. Careers I, II, III: Teacher, then mom and executive assistant at her church. After her baked goods generated rave reviews at church events, founded The Country Cookie, a home-baking business.

Career IV: Developed the baking program at Missions of Hope International’s Kariobangi Technical Training Institute. Impetus: Took a missions trip to Kenya, visited a nonprofit providing training and resources for Kenyans to launch handicraft businesses. They needed help launching a baker-training program. Highlights: Wrote the nonprofit bakingprogram proposal. Fundraised. Developed Nairobi-palate-friendly recipes using available ingredients. Travels to Kenya (COVID permitting) several times annually to teach new recipes and discuss progress and goals. Proceeds from her booming cookie business support the program.

Pivoting in the COVID-19 Era If you’ve already identified a career-change goal, now’s the time to make a plan. And if you’re ready to make a move, this could be a prime time to act, says Annie Kondas, Dickinson’s director of career development. “It depends on your target industry,” she says, “but in general, if you’re changing careers during an uncertain time like a pandemic or a major shift in the economy, employers may be more willing to consider nontraditional interviewees and more likely to understand why you’re making a change.”

DI CK INSON M AGAZINE Winter 2021 1 6

Here are Kondas’ career-pivot tips for the COVID era and beyond:

2. Monitor the job market

1. Do the research

Major shifts across the workforce have eliminated some jobs and created entirely new fields. Keep up to date by talking with people in your network, reading business news and subscribing to professional publications and memberships. Try to learn how specific organizations are performing now. Keep in mind that some industries are hard hit by COVID-19 and that others, including law and online sales, are flourishing. Many professionals are dramatically changing the way they do their work.

If you don’t have a specific direction mapped out, try to narrow your options to two target industries and/or locations and begin researching. A career advisor and Dickinson’s career resources can help. If you’ve identified a goal, find contacts in that field through your personal network, Dickinson’s LinkedIn alumni network, a LinkedIn search or AlumniFire. Ask what skills you need to break in, whether you can pivot to a midlevel position and who makes hiring decisions. Scan job descriptions to learn what skills are in demand and which skills are negotiable.

3. Make a plan Break it down into actionable steps and develop a timeline. Be specific about how you’ll accomplish your goals.

“You may need to take a series of pivots toward your dream job—such as an internship or accepting an entrylevel or volunteer position in your desired field or workplace,” says Kondas.

4. Build skills You can’t control the economy or the pandemic, but you can brush up on jobsearch and interview skills, update your resume and optimize your online presence, like with an online portfolio though GitHub or Wix. Grad school and volunteering can help you shore up your knowledge and experience. And there are more online opportunities than ever right now. For instance, Dickinson offers audited classes and workshops. If you’d like to try other extension courses and online certificate programs identify field-specific options.

“Write down your goals. Look for ways to combine the things you love. Be both open and patient. Have faith that what you’re doing now can prepare you to do something down the road that you can’t even imagine yet.”

Remember to grow and authentically nurture your network. Referrals, niche sites, professional associations and college employer-recruitment systems are more likely to lead to a job interview than applying cold through LinkedIn or Indeed.

“It might not be tomorrow or a month from now. But you will get there if you create a plan and move forward.” —Annie Kondas

6. Eyes on the prize To combat stress, set specific goals—such as two informational interviews each week—and follow through. Remember that you are in excellent company; many Dickinsonians before you have pivoted successfully, and you can too. —MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson

Mask up, Dickinsonians! The College Bookstore offers branded face coverings in three styles, so you can represent Dickinson while you protect yourself and those around you. Online orders placed between Feb. 19 and March 19 will automatically receive a 20% discount.

League Face Covering (three styles) $7.99 17

Photo by Joe O’Neill.

5. Network, network, network


Revolutionary Challenge Finalists Endorsed The President’s Panel on Innovation (PPI) and the Board of Trustees have endorsed the broad concept of each of the four Revolutionary Challenge finalists’ proposals. Two finalists, the Data Science Initiative and the Food, Agriculture & Resource Management (FARM) Lab, were fully endorsed, and the college will begin seeking funding for both. Two others, FutureLab and Developing Leaders for 21st-Century Revolutionary Challenges, were endorsed pending further refinement, following which the college will work to identify external fundraising support for these as well. “Eighteen months ago, we launched the Revolutionary Challenge, providing a unique opportunity for our community to develop bold and innovative ideas,” said President Margee Ensign and PPI Chair Jennifer Ward Reynolds ’77 in a joint statement to the college community. “Now, as we conclude this process and announce next steps, we want to pause and say thank you for making this an unparalleled success.” When the challenge was unveiled last year, Dickinson called on alumni, parents, faculty, staff and students to submit their most ambitious ideas for harnessing the college’s useful liberal-arts education for the common good. Jim Langley, an external partner assisting with this initiative who has more than 30 years of experience in higher education, called this the most innovative approach to engaging a community in planning for the future that he had seen in three decades. “This co-innovation process sparked the creativity of our community and succeeded beyond our wildest dreams,” wrote Ensign and Reynolds in a joint email. “Because of you, Dickinson will remain a leader in higher education and will be uniquely positioned for the future.”

DI CK INSON M AGAZINE Winter 2021 1 8

We remain

DICKINSON STRONG BECAUSE OF YOU. It’s no secret that as Dickinson has responded to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it has been a challenging year. But thanks to the support of Dickinsonians around the world, we’ve responded to those challenges from a position of strength. As we reach the midpoint of the academic year, learn more about the ways your gifts have made and continue to make a difference for Dickinson.

$10,876,280 Overall giving to Dickinson $2,296,886

54.4% TO GOAL

Dollars raised for the Dickinson Fund: 39.6% TO GOAL




scholarship gifts and commitments to date

dollars raised for McAndrews Fund for Athletics

dollars raised for the Emergency Response Fund

Data reflects gifts and commitments from July 1 through Dec. 31, 2020.


2020-21 midyear giving impact report



Thank You!

“Thank you for helping me to pursue a Dickinson education. Dickinson has continued to offer me not only a challenging and rewarding academic curriculum, but a supportive and uplifting community.” —Freya Whittaker ’21

We are so moved by the outpouring of support we received from our Dickinson community. Thank you to those who joined us in celebrating Giving Tuesday on December 1, 2020, with $187,000 in gifts to scholarships, the Emergency Response Fund and the Dickinson Fund! You broke our initial goal of $50,000—thank you!

In total, the college expects to spend an additional $2.5 million to safely bring students back for the spring semester. Your gifts this spring will help Dickinson continue to provide its distinctive liberal-arts education while accommodating health and safety needs during the pandemic.

One gift of $50

will provide one COVID-19 test for the spring 2021 semester.

10 gifts of $2,500

will support a scholarship to help students pursue a Dickinson  education.

Two gifts of $200 

will help students perform labs in biology genetics classes.

45 gifts of $25 

will help to provide a student with the technology and online access needed for remote learning.



2020-21 midyear giving impact report


DISTINCTIVELY DICKINSON / 2020-21 midyear giving impact report

Associate Professor of Biology Tiffany Frey found new approaches to providing the type of hands-on analysis and exploration of genetics typically offered in the lab. “We felt that safety concerns about using human biological samples in our experiments outranked the fun. We changed course slightly and invited our students working remotely to test on dogs! Students swabbed the mouths of their dogs and returned the samples to us. The students are analyzing the results and will write a scientific paper about their findings.”

Professor of Biology Chuck Zwemer (A)

built a set in one of Dickinson’s labs with cameras and monitors for students to participate in live lab activities during the fall semester.

Dickinson students worked with Assistant Professor of Music James Martin (B) to created an online program offering music education to fourth, fifth and sixth graders in Carlisle.

For Professor of Theatre Sherry Harper-McCombs’ (C) Introduction to Stage Technology course, students followed lessons via video, once they received sewing machines McCombs had sent so they could learn to sew theatre costumes at home.

You have helped support vital health and wellness initiatives for students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Gifts to health and wellness initiatives will continue to support these initiatives: The Dickinson Wellness Center expanded its counseling, health and nutrition services for students through phone calls and additional telehealth appointments. Staff psychologist and counselor Rebecca Shoemaker launched a virtual book club for students to connect with fellow readers during the pandemic. A




The challenges aren’t over yet.

As we welcome students back in staggered cohorts this spring, we’ll need your help even more.

Your gifts to Dickinson will help: • provide additional testing • provide personal protective equipment • s upport additional scholarships and financial aid



Make your gift today!


DISTINCTIVELY DICKINSON / 2020-21 midyear giving impact report

Want to direct your gift to have the most impact right now? THE DICKINSON FUND: The Dickinson Fund provides critical support for the “area of greatest need,” including financial aid, academic research, wellness initiatives, athletics, sustainability efforts and nearly all aspects of student life.

SCHOLARSHIPS AND FINANCIAL AID: The financial impact of the pandemic means that Dickinson families’ need for scholarships and financial aid has increased greatly. During this time, the college is dedicating even more funding to help students stay enrolled at the college. Your gift supporting scholarships and financial aid will help ensure that this vital education remains available to all worthy students, regardless of their financial status.

THE EMERGENCY RESPONSE FUND: This is the best way to give for those who want to ensure that the college can provide for our students, faculty and staff during the pandemic. The fund will provide vital resources for increased needs for financial aid, testing, PPE and other expenses related to Dickinson’s response to COVID-19.




Consider designating it for:



spaces we lcve Snow and shadows on the academic quad after a December snowstorm. Photo by Tony Moore.

DI CK INSON M AGAZINE Winter 2021 2 4





SAFE AT HOME Geoff Arnold ’10 and Brett Hollander ’07 live the dream in the Orioles’ broadcast booth By Tony Moore

Listen to Hollander and Arnold share tales of their journey from calling Red Devils games on WDCV to the big leagues in the October 2020 episode of Dickinson’s The Good podcast:

DI CK INSON M AGAZINE Winter 2021 2 6

Imagine two students back in the aughts calling Red Devils athletics events together—from volleyball and lacrosse to football, basketball and baseball. Then imagine them graduating and finding careers in the broadcast industry and then, somehow—likely against all sensible chances—landing jobs in the same broadcast booth at the Major League Baseball level. That’s exactly what happened to Geoff Arnold ’10 and Brett Hollander ’07, now the radio broadcasters for the Baltimore Orioles. “The odds of this happening for one of us to get to this level are slim,” says Hollander, who, alongside Arnold, wrapped up his first season in the Orioles’ booth in the fall, appearing on both MASN and the Orioles Radio Network. “For both of us to get there [the odds] are extraordinarily slim, and for both of us to get here at the same time, for the same team, interacting on the same broadcast—I mean, there’s just no way to calculate how small of odds and percentages we’re talking about.” Before joining the Orioles broadcast, Hollander hosted The Brett Hollander Show on WBAL Radio and was named Maryland Sportscaster of the Year in 2015. Arnold had spent eight seasons calling minor league baseball and broadcasting college football, basketball, baseball and Olympic sports on an array of platforms.

Geoff Arnold ’10 (left) and Brett Hollander ’07.

Photo by Kevin Reid.


For Hollander, the path was always clear. “I’ve known since I was 8 years old what I wanted to do,” he says of broadcasting, “and I have audio cassette tapes and Dictaphone tapes in my house of me, broadcasting games with the TV sound down in my parents’ bedroom.” But for Arnold, the path to MLB wasn’t as obvious, and he wandered onto it at Dickinson during his first year on campus. “I decided to go to check out WDCV [Dickinson’s radio station], and they let me on the air for the first time during halftime of a Dickinson football game,” he says, noting that he wasn’t quite a natural. “Brett was like the WDCV sports broadcasting superstar, and I just listened to him. And so my goal [was] to be somewhere around as good as him by the time I was a senior. And it sort of became a lifelong passion.” Anyone involved with sports on any level wouldn’t have wanted that passion to finally pay off in the form of a career in 2020. But in the realm of MLB, the pandemic-induced

situation was about as bad as it gets, as the season was cut short from the usual 162 games to just 60. Yet for Arnold and Hollander, 2020 was one for the books, mixed emotions and all. “It’s one of those things that you want to remember forever, but also forget completely,” says Hollander. “There’s no other way to describe it.” When the 2021 season gets underway in the spring, the pair will be side by side again, hopefully propelled by fans once again filling baseball stadiums. But they know that whatever else comes along, they’re living the dream, doing what they love. “It’s extraordinarily hard, but in the end, we’re working in the toy department of life and talking about something that’s just naturally really fun, interesting and entertaining,” says Hollander, a lifelong Baltimore resident. “I told myself that if I ever got a chance to get paid to watch Orioles baseball, then I really would’ve made it in my life. And I have found a way to do that.”


our Dickinson PAST & PRESENT OUR DICKINSON Read on for alumni adventures and accomplishments, connections and career updates, fond memories and musings. Where has your Dickinson education taken you? Submit at


P E R T H , AU S T R A L I A




 Explore a number of ways to learn, play, connect and help—all with other Dickinsonians from the comfort of your home! From coloring books and cooking lessons to the Alumni Book Club and virtual Trout Gallery exhibits, there’s something for everyone.

 Check the status of upcoming alumni events, including webinars and virtual programs.

 Follow the college’s main accounts for the latest news, photos and community stories.

 Submit a class note.

DI CK INSON M AGAZINE Winter 2021 2 8

 Connect with your graduating class through designated Facebook groups (when available) and with organizations and academic programs that have active pages.

 Make a donation.

Discover more at: College Calendar

 Share your photos, news and stories using #dsonphotos and #dsonproud.


Carlisle Happenings


Carl Socolow ’77

Virtually Yours ALBERT MASLAND ’79

Alumni Council President


n Feb. 19, the Alumni Council had its third virtual meeting since the pandemic began. That makes me the virtual president, and I’m OK with that. Our digital age and these COVID times can leave us all feeling that virtual and remote are distant seconds to in person. I won’t argue that nothing is lost, but I will suggest that much is still gained. With apologies to my mentor, Dr. Phillip Lockhart (who labored to teach me Greek 25 years after I graduated), and the classics scholars he nurtured, here is my brief etymology of “virtual.” Medieval Latin spawned virtualis, the root of which is virtus or virtue. My old Webster’s tells me that virtus indicated “excellence.” The internet (which is always right) tells us that in the 15th century, virtualis came to mean “being something in essence or effect though not actually.” Therefore, let me suggest that, at its best, virtual is the essence of excellence. Let me share some excellence. Thanks to the support staff from the Office of Advancement, the Office of Marketing & Communications and the Center for Advising, Internships & Lifelong Career Development, among others, the Alumni Council has been doing great work, as have many other alumni who stepped up this past year. But I am even more excited about the excellence demonstrated by our future alumni. If you missed the @dickinsonalumni Instagram videos by Jake De Wulf ’16, you missed more than a Turkish breakfast and a shopping trip on the Aegean Sea—you missed an incredibly talented young alum in action. I urge you to start following @dickinsonalumni today so you don’t miss any alumni or student takeovers. But my heart belongs to the Dickinson Mock Trial team, coached by my colleague Judge Edward Guido ’72, with my assistance in the drama department. These scholars not only hosted one of the first Zoom tournaments of the year but have shown that physical separation does not diminish excellence. (Read more at I expect to be with them at nationals this spring. So what is the essence of excellence? As President Margee Ensign said, the Revolutionary Challenge “worked because our students and alumni have received the best education in the world—a Dickinson education that teaches them to see connections, cross boundaries and look for creative solutions.” Stay revolutionary … stay excellent!


What new skill/behavior/ practice have you learned due to the COVID-19 pandemic? “I received my Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate during the remote fall semester. The course was 150 hours plus 20 hours of practical experience through the International TEFL Academy. I took the course as I was unable to study in Bologna for the full year and I hope to see Italy either through Dickinson or by teaching English there!” —Sadie Fowler ’22 (international studies and educational studies with a minor in Italian) As for new skills/behaviors since the start of the pandemic last March, I: • learned how to Zoom proficiently (who hasn’t?!) • watched several complete operas via the internet • learned how to oil our cuckoo clock via the internet, then did so • saw our neighborhood horned owl in our juniper tree while watching comet Neowise • became a Denver Nuggets fan during the playoffs • learned how to install a bathroom ceiling fan/heater and replace a toilet wax seal via the internet, then did so • sold an upright piano on Craigslist • began selling beautiful mineral specimens on the internet with my son —Bruce Geller ’77, P’12 “In the summer, I started preserving wildflowers in resin. I have had a lifelong love of flowers and my background in science (environmental studies major) gave me some of the skills I needed for mastering the very exact process. You can check out my work on Instagram @posy.floral or at” —Dani Shae Thompson ’12

What book, published in the last decade, would you recommend as a mustread and why? This week I tore through Rebekah Taussig’s Sitting Pretty (published 2020). In it, Taussig weaves together a tapestry about accessibility and representation and ableism by sharing the details that make up her life as a woman who navigates the world by way of wheelchair, and in doing so, she demonstrates that this world is built for some bodies and not for others. She pushes back on the notion that such a category as “ablebodied” really exists, and, instead, argues that we’re all and always traversing between points of strength, dependence, health, pain, illness and resilience. It’s just that some of us can pass for a little bit longer (to the detriment of a world that could make space for all types of bodies and benefit from their unique contributions). While she’s writing specifically from her experience as a disabled woman, the parallels for other marginalized identities seemed impeccably clear. The world is a series of accommodations, unequally distributed. Representation matters— it’s our blueprint for feeling welcome and our assurance that our future is possible. Hierarchies are dangerous. Listening is critical. I’m just scratching the surface of the terribly important, relevant ideas that this book so beautifully, clearly and compellingly conveys. —Caly McCarthy ’17

My wife, Judy, highly recommends the following books published in the last 10 years that she’s read recently: • Becoming by Michelle Obama • Educated by Tara Westover My son, Ben, really liked: • The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris —Bruce Geller ’77, P’12 Avery Leslie O’Neill ’80 recommends Gaku’s

Question: How Can Everyday People Create Peace? written by her college roommate Betsy Johnston ’80. She invited Betsy to a Zoom book club discussion and highly encourages her fellow Dickinsonians to read this book, encourage friends and family to read it and talk about how we can each create peace every day. (Read more on Page 38.)

Check out this issue’s Your Turn prompt on Page 34. We’d love to hear from you! 45

PAST & PRESENT / obituaries 1943 Robert Aronson died Nov. 23. He earned a

1956 Carlyn Burgard Snelbaker died Aug. 30.

B.A. in history and was a member of Zeta Beta Tau, Debate Society, The Dickinsonian, Omicron Delta Kappa, Union Philosophical Society, Pi Delta Epsilon and the softball and tennis teams. He also earned a J.D. and LL.B. from the University of Pittsburgh. An attorney, he retired as owner of ComTrac, a company unique in the field of computerized transportation management. Later, as a mentor, he listened and guided young people who appeared before him as a mediator for the Palm Beach County court system. Survivors include children Janie, Robert, Lynne, Laurie, Cristine and Andrew and granddaughter Erin Gotsdiner Goldstein ’05.

She earned a B.A. and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, French Club and The Dickinsonian. She was a former history teacher at Northern High School in Dillsburg, Pa. She was preceded in death by husband Richard Snelbaker ’55. Survivors include daughters Beth and Alisa.

1943 Anne Goodyear McKellar died July 18. She

1957 Elizabeth Reichle Shaffert died Sept. 7. She earned a B.A. in psychology and was a member of Chi Omega and Wheel & Chain. She also earned an M.S. in education from Castleton State College. She retired as remedial reading teacher from Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union in Brandon, Vt. She was preceded in death by brother Frank Reichle ’54. Survivors include husband Charles Shaffert ’58 and three sons.

earned a B.A. and was a member of Pi Beta Phi. She was preceded in death by sisters Elizabeth Goodyear Clarke ’36 and Caroline Goodyear Adams ’38. Survivors include daughter Laurie.

1953 Thomas Young died Aug. 15. He earned a B.A. in history and was a member of Phi Kappa Sigma, Microcosm, Raven’s Claw and the basketball team. After serving in the Army, he returned to Dickinson to work in the alumni relations department. He later earned an MBA from Pepperdine University. He retired from human resources at GTE in Raleigh, N.C., in 1989. He later became a volunteer consultant through Executive Services Corps, aiding countless organizations. Survivors include wife Patricia Bradley Young ’53 and four daughters.

1955 John “Jack” Rhein died Oct. 13. He earned a B.A. in political science and was a member of Phi Delta Theta, ROTC, Follies, band and the swim team. He retired as lieutenant colonel from the U.S. Army. He later retired as court administrator from the Berks County Courthouse. Survivors include wife Shirley, son John and daughter Judith Rhein Johnson ’86. 1956 Richard Hatfield died Oct. 30. He was a veteran of the Korean War. He retired as owner of Hatfield & Shaner in Pottstown, Pa. Survivors include wife Jean and children Sheri and Galen. 1956 Elizabeth “Betty Anne” Lusby Kolodny died Oct. 19. She earned a B.A. in social science and was a member of Phi Mu, The Dickinsonian and Microcosm. A former teacher, she retired as real estate tax assessor for the state of Maryland. Survivors include sons Michael, Mark and Craig and companion Rodger.

1957 Richard Biscontini died Sept. 8. He earned a B.A. in political science and was a member of Theta Chi. He also earned a J.D. from Dickinson School of Law. He retired as attorney and president of Biscontini Distribution Center in Kingston, Pa. Survivors include daughter Gianna and son Adrian Biscontini ’06.

1959 Sarah “Sally” Rogers Bright died Nov. 8. As the wife of a United Church of Christ minister, she worked alongside her husband, participating in a wide range of church ministries. She retired from Manheim National Bank in Manheim, Pa. Survivors include children Audrey and Dan.

1960 Lawrence Green died Oct. 9. He earned a B.S. in chemistry and was a member of Beta Theta Pi, Follies, The Dickinsonian and the basketball and tennis teams. He also earned an M.D. from Thomas Jefferson Medical School. He retired from Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Upland, Pa., where he had been charged with developing its division of neurology. He founded Crozer’s School of Clinical Neurophysiology for the training of EEG technicians and continued serving as its medical director after retirement. Survivors include wife Ann, son Jonathan and brother Harvey Green ’65. 1960 Dorothy Henwood died Sept. 26. She earned a B.A. in English. She also earned an M.S. in education from Siena College. She retired as English teacher from Oneida Middle School in Schenectady, N.Y. She was preceded in death by father Ray Henwood ’26. Survivors include sisters Jean and Carolyn.

1960 Blair Shick died Aug. 26. He earned a B.A. in political science and was a member of Phi Kappa Sigma, ROTC and The Dickinsonian. He also earned an LL.B. from the University

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of Pennsylvania Law School. He held several positions in the field of law, including attorney at Miami Legal Services and assistant director of the National Consumer Law Center of Boston College Law School. He retired as an attorney from Shick & Fierman in Newton Centre, Mass. Survivors include wife Sondra Long Schick ’60 and three children.

1961 Wayne Claeren died Sept. 4. He earned a B.A. in history and was a member of Kappa Sigma, Pershing Rifles, ROTC, Mermaid Players, Follies, Belles Lettres Society and Alpha Psi Omega. He also earned an M.A. in history and a Ph.D. in dramatic arts from the University of Pittsburgh. He retired as professor of drama from Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Ala. Survivors include two daughters.

1962 Martha “Penny” Farr Davis died Sept. 10. She earned a B.A. in sociology and was a member of Chi Omega and Follies. She was a former receptionist at Fordham and Quinn Orthodontics in Scranton, Pa. She was preceded in death by father John Farr ’32 . Survivors include husband James Davis ’61 and two children.

1964 J. Douglas Arnold died Aug. 28. He earned a B.A. in English and was a member of Sigma Chi, The Dickinsonian, Student Senate, ROTC and the basketball team. He also attended Temple University for a master’s in communications. He was president of Arnold Advertising Corp. in Reading, Pa. Survivors include wife Jean and three children.

1965 Gilbert Henyon died Sept. 15. He earned a B.S. in mathematics and was a member of Physics Club, band, Pershing Rifles, ROTC and Delta Phi Alpha. He also earned an M.S. in statistics from Rutgers University. He retired as statistician from Johnson & Johnson in New Brunswick, N.J. Survivors include wife Cynthia and two children. 1968 John Ames died March 15. He earned a degree from Penn State. Working as a social worker most of his career, he helped establish the Fairweather Lodges, providing housing for people with mental illnesses. He retired as policy specialist from the Commonwealth of PA Department of Human Services. Survivors include wife Bobbie and two sons. 1968 Gail Shortlidge Arnold died April 26. She earned a B.A. in French and Spanish and was a member of Phi Mu, Follies, Chamber Choir, Pi Delta Phi, Collegium Musicum, College Choir and Sigma Delta Pi. A former manager

in government compliance for CGI Consulting Group Inc. in Malvern, Pa., she worked for Willis North America. She was preceded in death by parents Herschel Shortlidge ’34 and Elaine Brown Shortlidge ’34. Survivors include daughter Bethany Arnold Mandes ’91 .

1969 Paul Stasz died Nov. 2. He earned a B.A. in history and was a member of The Dickinsonian, Microcosm and swim team. After a career in risk management at Syracuse University, then Borden Corp. and International Paper Co., he retired from Icahn Enterprises Inc. Survivors include three children. 1973 Andrew “Andy” Levering died Sept. 28. He earned a B.A. in history and political science and was a member of Phi Kappa Sigma, Raven’s Claw and Student Senate. He retired as manufacturer’s representative from Package Materials Corp. in Haddonfield, N.J. Survivors include sons Jeff and Scott.

1976 Annamarie Cammarata died Oct. 4. She earned a B.A. in French. Formerly working in the Little Silver School District in Little Silver, N.J., she worked for the New York State Department of Health. Survivors include daughter Sara.

1977 Mark Davis died Oct. 30. He earned a B.A. in economics and was a member of Phi Kappa Sigma. He was the owner of Carlson Fence Co. Inc. in Hialeah, Fla. Survivors include wife Penny and sons Kyle and Eric. 1978 Mary “Beth” Atwater Rankin died Sept. 30. She earned a B.A. in fine arts. She also earned a master’s in fine arts from the University of North Carolina Greensboro, becoming a Visiting Artist of North Carolina. She was a special education teacher in Asheboro and Randolph County, N.C., most recently teaching at Uwharrie Charter Academy. Survivors include husband Bill and two children.

1979 Frederick Schmid died Oct. 12. He earned a B.A. in political science and was a member of the golf team. He worked for Irex Corp. in Lancaster, Pa. Survivors include wife Jeanine Buford and son Will. 1980 Gary Sheaffer died Nov. 9. He earned a B.A. in philosophy, was a Charles Nisbet Scholar and was a member of Belles Lettres Society and Debate Society. He retired as deputy director for Canadian affairs from the Senior Foreign Service with a rank of counselor. Survivors include wife Michelle and mother Adelle.

1980 Beth Gottlieb Trevvett died Oct. 14. She earned a B.A. in psychology and was a member of The Dickinsonian, WDCV-FM, Follies and Mermaid Players. She also earned an M.A. in administration from Bowling Green State University. A two-time cancer survivor, she served on the board of directors of the New York state and Ontario County chapters of the American Cancer Society. She was a former assistant director of career services at Monroe Community College in Rochester, N.Y. Survivors include husband Edward and two children.

1982 Anne Nicholas died Oct. 28. She was a member of the swim team. She earned a B.A. in English from Whittier College, an M.A. in journalism and public affairs from American University and an M.A. in international commerce and policy from George Mason University. A former producer and host at C-SPAN in Washington, D.C., she was the director of media and member communications at the International Society of Stem Cell Research. Survivors include husband Charles and mother Elinor.

1985 John Davison died Nov. 17. He earned a B.S. in biology and was a member of the swim team. He also earned an M.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. He practiced family medicine at the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville, Va. Survivors include wife Alison Harkless Davison ’85 and daughters Emily and Abigail.

1986 M. Elizabeth “Liz” Avila died Aug. 29. She earned a B.A. in international studies. She was a senior manager at Noblis in Falls Church, Va. Survivors include son Daniil, parents Hector and Wanda and stepmother Nancy. 1988 Deborah “Deb” Silverberg died Oct. 4, 2019. She earned a B.A. in political science and was a member of The Dickinsonian, College Democrats and WDCV-FM. She also earned a master’s from American University. She was a communications manager for AARP in Washington, D.C. Survivors include mother Nicola, father Herbert and brother David Silverberg ’91 .

Faculty & Friends of the College Nancy Barley, senior administrative assistant in accounts payable, died Sept. 12. On June 29, she celebrated her 50th anniversary of working at Dickinson, a monumental achievement. Survivors include son Stephen and three sisters. Fay Barrick , retired housekeeper in facilities management, died Sept. 23. Joining the college in 1985, she retired after 30 years of service. Survivors include husband Harold and five children. Gladys Cashman , former secretary of the Department of History, died Nov. 5. Joining the college in 1966, she retired after 29 years of service. She returned in 1996, supporting various academic departments until 2003. She was a member of the Seniors of Old Bellaire and member and past officer of the former Mary Dickinson Club. Survivors include sons William and Thomas. Yates Forbis , associate professor emeritus in library services, died Oct. 20. Joining the college in 1965, he retired after 21 years. During his tenure, he oversaw the construction of Boyd Lee Spahr Library, consulting with architects and designers. He administered the “book walk,” where members of the Dickinson community moved the entire library collection from Bosler Hall to the new library. He also oversaw the installation of word processors, searchable databases and computer applications. Survivors include wife Ida and children John and Elizabeth Forbis Mazurek ’83. Margaret Ann “Peggy” Davenport Garrett , former dean and assistant professor of English, died Oct. 29. During her tenure, she created and directed the continuing education department and established the Nisbet Scholars. She played an important role in securing project and endowment grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and with her encouragement and assistance, the college created the First-Year Seminar program. Survivors include husband Professor Emeritus of History Clarke Garrett and daughters Amy, Susan and Margaret. James Shughart , former member of Dickinson’s grounds crew, died Sept. 20. Joining Dickinson in 1977, he retired in 2007 after 30 years. Survivors include wife Linda Boyles Shughart, a former member of Dickinson’s cleaning staff.



A Call to Action BY ANDREW WILLIAMS ’08


n the days and weeks following the heart-wrenching murder of George Floyd, the exploration of race and identity I engaged in as a Dickinson student reverberated particularly loudly. By June, I was compelled to tell my story. The words capturing my thoughts, emotions and hopes spilled out. My fingers took on a life of their own and produced the piece “Facing My Own Blackness,” published in CYTIES, a men’s lifestyle magazine for which I freelance. (Read the article at My tracing of the experiences that awakened me to the dangers of being a Black man in America was cathartic. It was also one of the most consequential things I’d ever written.

about the “other,” racial hierarchy and the perpetuation of structural racism—prepared me to face an increasingly complex and unpredictable world. Even more, as a young Black male, it equipped me with the tools to articulate the unique lens through which I view (and walk through) that world. What sets American studies apart from other majors is the rich patchwork of courses I could access. I vividly remember the ones that I still reflect on today, including Representations of Blackness; Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality in Reality TV; Black Feminist Thoughts; and

American Capitalism. This all culminated in me writing a senior thesis titled The Myth of the Black Quarterback. Over two semesters, I explored the legacy of racial integration in sports and how Black and white quarterbacks are portrayed in commercials.

Months later, after summoning the courage to share my reflections on LinkedIn, I was invited onto a podcast to discuss the process that went into developing my article (listen at Plunging into that creative space was the result of the many lessons I learned at Dickinson, including how we were implored to engage the world. For me that translated to cultivating a love of lifelong learning and choosing to be an active participant in overcoming the challenges we continue to face as a society, none of which is more important to me than the pursuit of racial justice and the realization of a future where the humanity and diverse lived experiences of Black people are fully valued.

Since my time at Dickinson, I’ve worked for a grassroots racial justice organization, raised funds to support the eradication of global hunger and supported partnerships targeting the building of playgrounds for kids in underserved communities. I’m now a communications professional at an organization focused on reinventing education, where the diverse interests of young people and equity are at the center.

I dedicated the better part of my academic journey in college to studying the intersecting topics of race, class, gender and sexuality. And while I agonized over the decision to forgo an English major, I ultimately chose American studies—a decision I would make a thousand times again. Nearly three years of intensely investigating the nature of “Americanism”—learning

I’ve also been inspired this year to dive into photography and examine the nuances of visual storytelling. Blending that skill with my writing unleashes so many opportunities to craft more impactful and vivid stories about the Black experience. This is part of my commitment to continually living out Dickinson’s call to action to engage the world.

Without my Dickinson experience, I question if my CYTIES article would have ever come to fruition.

Andrew Williams ’08 is a writer and communications manager at Education Reimagined, in Washington, D.C., and is a freelancer for CYTIES. Born in St. Petersburg, Fla., and coming to Dickinson after attending St. Andrew’s School in Delaware, Williams is also a proud former member of Dickinson’s Alumni Council, in addition to being a lover of travel, an amateur photographer and mixologist and a now (sadly) retired marathoner. Learn more about Williams at

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Day of Giving


Tuesday, April 6 SAVE THE DATE Last year, more than 3,100 Dickinsonians came together to support everything that happens at the college with more than $1.3 million in a single day. This year, let’s see if we can outdo that effort and prove, once again, that great things happen when Dickinsonians come together.

Join us on Tuesday, April 6, for our most ambitious Day of Giving yet! #dsongives #dsonproud

P. O . B O X 1 7 7 3 C A R L I S L E , P A 1 7 0 1 3 - 2 8 9 6 W W W. D I C K I N S O N . E D U / M A G A Z I N E




I have come to the conclusion that if you trust and dedicate yourself to the college, its boundless resources will shape you into a better person and your four years will be filled with immeasurable achievements. G E OR G E L A DN E R ’ 2 1 ,

political science major, student-athlete and ROTC scholarship awardee. Read more in his Student Snapshot at

I think broadcasting is a kinesthetic exercise at the very end of the day. And you’re only going to get better at it if you do it. G E OF F A R NOL D ’ 1 0 ,

Baltimore Orioles broadcaster, on how his time calling Red Devils games for WDCV helped his career. Read more on Page 26.

We aren’t hunkering down and trying to survive—we are positioning ourselves to thrive. C A R L O R OB U S T E L L I ,

Dickinson’s new vice president for advancement. Read more on Pages 10-11.

Together, we can support our fellow Dickinsonians—and celebrate Dickinson makers, leaders and entrepreneurs. Because together, we are Dickinson strong. L I Z G LY N N T O T H ’ 0 6 ,

director of alumni relations, on the launch of the new Small Business Directory. Read more on Page 9 and explore the resource online at

INSIDE: 10 Questions With New Advancement VP Carlo Robustelli | Revolutionary Challenge Finalists Endorsed | Taking the Leap: Alumni Share Career-Change Inspiration, Advice | 2020-21 Midyear Giving Impact Report