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Fall 2013

The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of


Emerson faculty and alumni weigh in on the trends that are changing reading, writing, and publishing forever

A Letter from the President

This issue of Expression engages an issue near to my heart: the nature of reading, writing, and publishing in the 21st century. Much has been written about this subject over the last several years, as digital publishing has become increasingly common, and reading on screens large and small has come to seem normal. I am a scholar of literature and have spent considerable time thinking about literary history and tradition. Lest you think that such contemplation might also have made me nostalgic for the great days of print, I should point out that we have seen changes like this before. Gutenberg’s printing press was not the first movable type technology, but it substantially improved it, and made possible the so-called “printing revolution” (in Elizabeth Eisenstein’s words) that so profoundly shaped the world we still inhabit. Improved print technologies led to increased book production, the rise of newspapers, the development of lending libraries, and along with all of these developments, the circulation of ideas. Some of history’s best-known authors made good use of print’s radical potential to articulate powerful social critiques: think of Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal, which suggested—anonymously and satirically—that the Irish eat their young as a way of staving off the poverty they suffered. I am not the first person to have thought about the digital revolution in relation to the print revolution, and I won’t be the last. Thinking historically helps me put our current cultural shift in perspective, and reminds me that many of us have been alternately enchanted and unnerved by shifts in our technologies for reading and writing. In this issue of Expression, Rhea Becker’s interviews with a number of our faculty and alumni provide a wonderfully nuanced picture of what it means to be in the midst of the shift from print to digital publishing, and to see that, at this moment, it’s less “either/or” and more “both/and.” I, for one, appreciate this complexity and am grateful to be living in a moment when print and digital technologies coexist, offering an unusually rich set of options for the development of literary culture. In closing, let me ask: Are you reading this issue of Expression in print, online, or via your tablet, and what difference does it make? Whatever your response, I hope you enjoy the magazine, and I look forward to being in touch with you throughout the year. Lee Pelton, President

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Fall 2013

The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of








Class Notes



Students capture the world with cameras in hand

Newly arrived Chief Academic Officer Michaele Whelan describes her plans



Emerson College Los Angeles invites your participation

Meet Andrea Martin ’69, two-time Tony Award-winning actor who starred in Broadway’s Pippin



Emersonians weigh in on publishing trends

TV executive Doug Herzog ’81 and TV producer Vin Di Bona ’66 lead LA campaign

Good eye







The Future Has Your Name on It!


Literature 3.0

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Expression is published three times a year for alumni and friends of Emerson College by the Office of Communications and Marketing (Andy Tiedemann, vice president) in conjunction with the Office of Development and Alumni Relations (Jeffrey Schoenherr, vice president, and Barbara Rutberg ’68, associate vice president, director).

Editor Rhea Becker

Contributing Writer Dan O’Brien Copy Editor Nancy Howell Production Coordinator Liliana Ballesteros

Cover photo Charles Dunham

community news ‘Patti and I want Emerson to have the wherewithal to make permanent President Pelton’s expressed commitment that the students and graduates of Emerson will always represent our nation’s diversity.’

Hinderys make $2 million financial-aid gift Leo Hindery Jr., a member of the Cable Industry Hall of Fame and current managing partner of InterMedia Partners, and his wife, Patti Wheeler Hindery, former executive vice president of SPEED channel, have made a $2 million gift to provide financial aid to socioeconomically disadvantaged students attending Emerson College. Many of the students supported by this endowment will be the first in their families to attend college. “It’s critical for the good of the nation that the media industry attracts the best students and practitioners, and that they reflect every aspect of our nation’s diversity,” Leo Hindery said. “In our careers, Patti and I have seen no school or institution which appreciates both this imperative and the media industry’s ethical responsibilities more than Emerson College.” Approximately $1.75 million of the gift to Emerson will establish the Hindery Family Endowed Scholarship Fund to support need–based financial aid; $200,000 will assist qualifying students with out-of-pocket expenses for co-curricular activities such as film projects, travel for conferences, and research initiatives; and $10,000 a year for the next five years will support the Emerson College Annual Fund, one of the College’s most important fundraising priorities. “I’m extremely grateful for this very generous donation that the Hinderys have made to the College,” said Emerson College President Lee Pelton. “Leo Hindery has a long and honorable track record of using his influence to promote equality, social justice, and economic development. The Hinderys’ scholarship fund will help Emerson build an even more representative student body, which will greatly benefit every student, our overall campus community, and the arts and communication industries to which our students aspire.” “Patti and I want Emerson to have the wherewithal to make permanent President Pelton’s expressed commitment that the students and graduates of Emerson will

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Leo Hindery Jr.

Patti Wheeler Hindery

always represent our nation’s diversity,” said Hindery. Leo Hindery founded InterMedia Partners in 1988, which grew to become the nation’s ninth largest multiple cable system operator. In February 1997, he was elected president and CEO of Tele-Communications, Inc. (TCI) and Liberty Media, at the time the world’s largest combined cable television system operator and programming entity. In March 1999, TCI merged into AT&T and he became president and CEO of AT&T Broadband until he resigned in November 1999. In December 1999, he was elected chairman and CEO of GlobalCenter Inc., a major Internet services company, which in January 2001 merged into Exodus Communications, Inc. From 2001 until October 2004, he was the founding chairman and CEO of The YES Network, the regional television home of the New York Yankees. In early 2005, he reconstituted InterMedia Partners. Formerly chairman of the National Cable Television Association (NCTA) and of C-SPAN, Hindery has been recognized as one of the cable industry’s “25 Most Influential Executives over the Past 25 Years” and one of the “30 Individuals with the Most Significant Impact on Cable’s Early History.” A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, he is a director of Common Cause New York, the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University, the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council, and the Paley Center for Media and Teach for America. He is also a member of the Board of Visitors of the Columbia School of Journalism. The author of It Takes a CEO: It’s Time to Lead With Integrity (Free Press, 2005)

Leo Hindery Jr.

and The Biggest Game of All (Free Press, 2003), Hindery has an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and received an undergraduate degree from Seattle University. He has been named a Founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and, in 2003, he received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Emerson College. Patti Wheeler Hindery was named executive vice president of programming and production at SPEED channel in November 2010. Having started her career at the age of 22 as a producer/director of live NASCAR races, she has produced every major racing series for every broadcast and cable network that has ever covered motor sports. Before founding her own company, Wheeler Television Inc., she served as director of motorsports and executive producer for TNN and earlier was president of World Sports Enterprises. She was named one of NASCAR’s “Top 25 Most Powerful People.”

Emerson marks best fundraising year yet Emerson College has concluded its best year of fundraising, announcing it received a record-breaking $6.34 million in total gifts and pledges during fiscal year 2013. That amount represents a 33 percent increase over fiscal 2012 and a 21 percent increase from the College’s previous best fundraising year, which was fiscal 2000 when Emerson raised $5.2 million. “I’m very proud of the work we’re doing to secure support for our critical needs,” said Jeff Schoenherr, vice president for development and alumni relations. “Record support from our alumni and friends demonstrates a continued confidence in

College addresses issue of sexual assault A town hall forum to discuss sexual assault on October 21 ended with students pledging with Emerson President Lee Pelton to promote a positive atmosphere of acceptance, peace, and understanding as the College continues to examine ways it can improve responses to sexual assault allegations. “Show me an organization that says it does not need to improve and I will show you an organization that will never improve,” Pelton said during the forum, held at the Cutler Majestic Theatre. “Light, not darkness, will always show us the way.” “Sexual assault occurs too often on American college campuses,” Pelton said, “and, as a result, it has done immeasurable harm to students here and elsewhere, while eroding our capacity to function as a learning community devoted to academic excellence.” Pelton spoke of several initiatives that Emerson is taking to address the issue of sexual assault, including authorizing an external review to see if the College’s policies and procedures are in compliance with Title IX and related laws. The independent reviewers will work with Sylvia Spears, vice president for diversity and inclusion; and Lori Beth Way, senior advisor to Academic Affairs; who has extensive experience in Title IX initiatives. “Sexual assault happens everywhere,” said Way, who was the project director of a three–year U.S. Department of Justice grant to reduce and respond to sexual assault, stalking, and intimate partner violence, in a consortium of two colleges. “Society, including the criminal justice system, has

the work we are all doing for the College. Our goal is to build on the increasing commitment and generosity from our donors.” The Annual Fund, which is a critical piece of unrestricted support for the College, ended the year with more than $750,000. Emerson also received a $2 million gift (see story on facing page) from Leo Hindery Jr., managing partner for InterMedia Partners and founder of the YES Network, and his wife, Patti Wheeler Hindery, former executive VP of the SPEED channel.

not adequately addressed the problem. With the help of concerned students, colleges and universities are taking the lead in reducing and responding to sexual assault. With your help, we will do so here at Emerson College.” Emerson’s newly instituted Creating a Culture of Consent program will provide valuable information related to the prevention of sexual assault as well as options and resources for survivors. Additionally, Emerson will hire a campus sexual assault advocate who will provide advocacy and support for students who have experienced sexual assault as well as oversee the College’s programs to respond to and prevent sexual assault. Pelton also announced the creation of the Sexual Assault Survivor Advocate (SASA) program to provide more effective response, support, and guidance for students who report a sexual assault. Pelton said that, despite new educational and awareness programs at Emerson, more sexual assaults are being reported because “we have begun the process of creating a safer environment for students to report allegations of sexual assault, incidents that we know from credible data are grossly underreported.” “Despite the effectiveness of our efforts in this area, I have pledged to do more. And we will,” Pelton said. Elise Harrison, director of Counseling and Psychological Services, explained the range of campus options available to survivors of sexual assault, and stressed the need for friends of survivors to be understanding and supportive. During a question and answer period, Christina Marín, assistant professor of Performing Arts, asked the panel of administrators if faculty, staff, and students would be represented in the search committee for the sexual assault advocate. Spears answered that the search committee has not yet been formed, but those groups would be represented during the search for candidates. The position has been posted online. “All of us,” Spears said, “intend for that search to be a process in which all members of the community can participate and feel confident in being part of the selection process.” Carole Simpson, senior leader-inresidence of the Journalism Department,

expressed concern that, traditionally, institutions have not thoroughly educated men on issues of sexual assault. “Why is it that the focus is always on the woman?” Simpson asked. “Watch the way you dress. Don’t be out late with somebody. All the attention is on what women do. There is nothing about what men should not do.” Pelton responded: “We’ve made a pledge to do exactly what you’re talking about,” he said, “and not engage in any kind of victim blaming, and ‘this is a woman’s issue.’” “There’s another movement in this country, and it’s a men’s movement,” Spears said. “There are more and more men gathering together as allies to women on their campuses to talk about what is masculinity…I would challenge the men on our campus—faculty, staff, and students—to think about what is Emerson’s version of that men’s movement.” Several respondents pointed out that men are also subject to sexual assaults, and that sexual assaults can occur involving individuals who are the same sex, transgendered, or of the opposite sex. Others questioned how allegations are taken to outside authorities; how the internal process works; what the role of the Title IX coordinator is; how to handle situations in which both the alleged assailant and the survivor are your friends; the perceived need for additional counselors; and the desire for additional forums and faculty involvement to raise the visibility of what services are already available at Emerson. Pelton concluded the meeting by asking students, faculty, and staff to join him in completing the statement: “Emerson stands.” Pelton said, “Complete the statement in a way that works for you. Emerson stands for supporting the survivors of sexual assault. Emerson stands for avoiding blaming the victim. Emerson stands for doing more and being better in responding to allegations of sexual assault.” Pelton then displayed a purple wristband bearing the words “Emerson Stands.” “These bands are available to you,” he said. “I plan on wearing one. You do not have to. But if you choose to, then you will be showing your solidarity with the community on our pledge to address this issue.”

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Former Emerson College president Chapin dies

Emersonians mark a milestone

TV producers and Emerson alumni Kevin Bright ’76 (left; Friends) and Norman Lear ’44 (All in the Family) met up to celebrate Lear’s birthday last summer in Los Angeles. Bright is the founding director of Emerson College Los Angeles, which opens in January.

Media Ethics online magazine released The latest issue of the Emerson-produced Media Ethics online magazine has been released, featuring essays about the media’s coverage of Wikileaks source Bradley Manning, and the use of social media in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, among other topics. The publishers of Media Ethics are Professor Thomas Cooper of Visual and Media Arts and Professor Emmanuel Paraschos of the Journalism Department. In the essay “Changing the Focus of Reporting from Smart Phones to Emo-Journalism,” Emerson Trustee Gary Grossman ’70, an author, Emmy Awardwinning television documentarian, and former print and TV journalist, wrote that social media’s influence over news coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings—rife with errors—is an example of things to come.

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Richard Chapin, president of Emerson College from 1967 to 1975, died at his home in Georgetown, Maine, on Thursday, July 11. He was 89 years old. Chapin was the seventh president of the College, and was previously the dean for educational planning at Harvard Business School. A Boston native, he attended Milton Academy and Harvard College. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1946. Among Chapin’s survivors are his wife of 57 years, Maryan; their four children, Aldus Higgins Chapin II, Margery Chapin Carr ’88, Marya Chapin Lundgren, and Richard Dickinson Chapin; and eight grandchildren. As president of Emerson, Chapin was commended for leading the College through a socially turbulent time both on campus and around the world, as he was able to promote the College’s academic advancement and continue the expansion of the campus and its finances. He resigned his position after serving his agreed-upon seven-year term in the belief that an institution should allow itself to change its leadership to keep up with its changing needs. Among his accomplishments, Chapin approved the creation of the Faculty Assembly in 1969 as a way to give faculty more voice and democratic governance of the College. He also helped enhance the College’s curriculum by reorganizing departments and revising the general requirements for an undergraduate degree. Chapin served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and piloted a supply ship in the South Pacific, according to an obituary. In 1949, he received an MBA from Harvard Business School and remained there as an assistant dean until 1967 before joining Emerson. After leaving Emerson, which awarded him an LLD honorary degree in 1972, Chapin became a private business consultant.

Elma Lewis Center director named Kelly Bates, Esq., has been named founding executive director of the College’s Elma Lewis Center for Civic Engagement, Learning, and Research. “Our nation looks to its colleges and universities to help solve society’s most pressing problems,” said Emerson President Lee Pelton. “The Elma Lewis Center, under Kelly’s direction, will provide the strategic guidance, intellectual compass, and financial resources needed to support the civic engagement activities of Emerson’s students, faculty, and staff,” he said. Since 2007, Bates (pictured) had been the executive director of Access Strategies Fund, the nonprofit/nonpartisan charitable foundation that seeks to empower underserved communities to access democracy in Massachusetts through grant funding.

For more than two decades, Bates has managed community-based organizations in Boston that were focused on empowering communities, especially those that included youth, young adults, low-income families, women, and people of color. At Emerson, Bates will work with faculty, students, and staff and with partners beyond campus to help shape the College’s civic engagement initiatives that will be housed within the Elma Lewis Center. The Center is named for the late Elma Lewis ’43, a nationally recognized arts educator who was among the first people to be awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. Lewis was a mentor to young Boston performers.

Emerson contingent takes part in AIDS Walk Los Angeles

19 faculty take part in Inclusive Excellence fellowship Students, staff, and alumni represented Emerson College Los Angeles in the 29th annual AIDS Walk Los Angeles in October. In the foreground, from left are Sophia Solomon ’12, Nicole Abascal ’12, Jane Kang ’12, Pat Lambert ’11, and Jamie Pekunece ’12. Emerson walkers raised more than $2,000. Founding Director of Emerson College Los Angeles Kevin Bright ’76 said he is seeking ways to keep Emerson involved in the community.

Cara Ostrow

Chinese journalism students visit Emerson Thirty journalism students from China got a glimpse at the freedoms of the American press during a stay at Emerson last summer. It was the third summer in which students from Communication University of China, of Beijing, have spent a week at Emerson learning the ins and outs of American-style reporting, which is quite different from the reporting that is permitted in their Communist homeland, where citizens rely on news from the government that is highly censored. Xiong Feng, who dreams of becoming a broadcaster, has one year left until graduation. “For further study, I may choose America,” Feng said. Dean of Graduate Studies Richard Zauft, who has overseen the CUC student visits, said many of the students are taken aback by the independence American journalists enjoy. Zauft said Emerson has an agreement with CUC to share academic endeavors and is aiming to increase that collaboration.

Zhao Chencheng (left) and Dong Yang were among a group of journalism students from Communication University of China who visited Emerson College last summer.

Sustainability coordinator to support green efforts on campus Emerson has strengthened its commitment to sustainability by hiring its first campus sustainability coordinator. Eric Van Vlandren ’90 was selected for the position by the Facilities Management Department this past summer. Van Vlandren, who has spent much of his career in the nonprofit sector, said his primary focus for the upcoming semester is energy reduction. He recently established a new campus program, EcoReps, which invites student employees to administer sustainability awareness and education for their peers. Six students will be assigned to the four residence halls, and another two will work with undergraduate and graduate students who live off campus. Van Vlandren researched best practices of EcoRep programs by speaking with a number of sustainability coordinators at local colleges and universities. In Emerson’s model, EcoReps are paid through WorkStudy or Emerson Employment. EcoReps will encourage students to reduce the use of electricity, heating, and cooling in their residence halls or offcampus apartments. They will also attend weekly meetings, keep a journal of their experiences, and will visit wind turbines in the coastal town of Hull.

Nineteen faculty members from a variety of departments participated in the Inclusive Excellence Faculty Fellows program last spring to develop methods to address issues of diversity that often arise in educational settings. Led by Sylvia Spears, vice president for diversity and inclusion, and Lori Beth Way, senior advisor to Academic Affairs, the program examined ways to include instructional practices and other strategies that will enhance students’ intercultural competence.

Keeling, former head of Athletics, dies

Former Emerson College Athletics Director Rudy Keeling died July 6 after a battle with cancer. He lived in Londonderry, New Hampshire, and was 66 years old. Keeling served as athletics director at Emerson from 2002 to 2007. Prior to that, he served as head coach at Northeastern University from 1996 to 2001 and at the University of Maine, Orono, from 1988 to 1996. Keeling was born on March 17, 1947, in New York City. He grew up in Harlem and attended Bishop Dubois High School in New York. Keeling played basketball at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and Quincy College in Illinois, which he later transferred to. He and his wife, Jane, raised three children, Kara, Tina, and Cory.

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a l k

Michaele Whelan Before arriving at Emerson last summer, Whelan was vice provost for academic affairs at Brandeis University for more than a decade, and before that, she was associate dean of academic planning and innovation in Arts, Sciences and Engineering at Tufts University. Whelan is also a scholar of literature, having earned her PhD in English and American literature from Harvard University, authored two books, and taught for more than two decades. She says fostering Emerson’s entrepreneurial spirit while continuing to enhance its “creative dynamism” and sense of community are among her many goals.

As the College’s new chief academic officer, Michaele Whelan brings to Emerson a wealth of administrative experience as well as a passion for English literature

What attracted you to Emerson College? And what experience do you bring that intertwines with Emerson’s mission? A senior colleague of mine at Brandeis returned from President Pelton’s inauguration [at Emerson in 2012] and told me that the event was inspirational, his vision was compelling, and the energy to achieve even more was palpable. I already knew that Emerson was gaining a reputation in higher education as a place that was on the move—in part, ArtsEmerson and Ploughshares were outwardly conveying the intellectual excitement and creative dynamism of the community. So I did a little research and discovered that Emerson is a mission-driven, student-centered institution, named for a visionary leader, and with an entrepreneurial history where challenges became opportunities for academic innovation, new degree programs and partnerships, and access to new student populations. I realized immediately that Emerson’s mission and culture really resonated with my values and experience.

And when I visited, I was impressed by the faculty, by their openness to new ideas, their dedication to their students, their investment in scholarship, and most of all by their warmth and enthusiasm. Are you looking forward to teaching a writing/literature course on top of your duties as CAO? What is it about teaching that you enjoy? I’m not planning to teach this first year. Just getting to know the people and culture will be my priority. At some point, I would like to

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teach a seminar in literature, probably in 20th–century American literature, maybe with a focus on dominant narrators and gendered reading experiences. Teaching is the best way to get a sense of the students, their capacity, and potential. It’s also an immensely liberating experience, because it’s all about ideas—exploring, dissecting, creating together as a class—and removed from the immediacies and pressures of administration. What’s your favorite piece of literature, and why? That’s an impossible question. I have favorites every week! I can tell you what I’m reading now: a collection of poetry, Life on Mars, by Tracy K. Smith; a memoir, The Turquoise Ledge, by Leslie Marmon Silko; and I just finished an impressive collection of short stories by Argentinian filmmaker Edgardo Cozarinsky, The Bride from Odessa. One work that I found to be astonishing both in its use of language and the richness of its ideas is The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz. What is your vision for Emerson? What are your main goals? I want to enhance what attracted me to Emerson: its feeling of community and vibrancy; its commitment to an engaged and experiential teaching and learning environment; its strong programs in which both faculty and students create and disseminate new knowledge and best practices; its emphasis on being a creative

laboratory for artistic works; and its practice of serving the community in entrepreneurial and distinctive ways, exemplified by the Engagement Game Lab and student project Boston Strong. In terms of goals, I want to increase academic excellence, enhance the liberal arts, improve support for faculty, and create an academic infrastructure that augments the undergraduate and graduate educational experience. How do you plan to enhance Emerson’s position as a liberal arts school? In a time where the value of the arts and liberal arts are often questioned, I was impressed by Emerson’s commitment to strengthening its unique combination of the two and increasing their synthesis.

As a faculty community, we need to talk about critical thinking and excellence in writing and speaking and how these are fostered in all our classes. We also need to think together about new faculty positions and to identify opportunities for interdisciplinarity and cluster hiring around

specific areas that strengthen existing fields of practice while charting new academic areas. Overall, if we can identify learning outcomes for the College, we’ll be able to map those to our majors and minors and then to courses—with the overarching goal of increasing our academic rigor. How important is service learning for students? I can’t think of a better way for students to learn to contribute to the creation of a just society. The Elma Lewis Center for Civic Engagement, Learning, and Research will be such an asset for Emerson and the Boston community. I’m looking forward to collaborating with the new director.

A faculty member just told me that courses addressing ethics constitute 10 percent of the curriculum at Emerson and that speaks volumes about the values of our culture. E

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Good eye Students capture the world with cameras in hand

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The photographs on these pages were first published in Developed Images 2013, a publication that features fine-art photography by Emerson students. The project is advised by Visual and Media Arts Professor Lauren Shaw.

Beatrix Dayton ’16

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Michael Iemma ’14

Jamie Emmerman ’15

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Rob Fraebel ’15

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Nina Corcoran ’14

Laura Brincat ’15

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THE FUTURE HAS YOUR NAME ON IT! The Future Has Your Name on It! is the campaign for Emerson College Los Angeles. It will be the College’s first dedicated multi-year effort to secure $20 million or more in private support from individual donors, foundations, and corporations. Reaching this lofty goal will require the most ambitious fundraising effort in our history — one that will touch and transform every aspect of the College. We call upon the thousands of alumni, faculty, staff, community members, parents, and friends who share our vision and are eager to help Emerson College fulfill its potential.

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We are committed to maintaining the highest standards of excellence across the College and strengthening all of our programs and enterprises so they can fulfill their potential. We also recognize the value of making strategic investments in which Emerson is uniquely positioned to make significant advances and contributions to Los Angeles, Boston, and the global community.

As a donor, you may designate your contribution for a specific Campaign goal, or you may make your gift without restrictions. Gifts may be in cash, pledges payable over five years, securities, real estate, and select types of tangible property. You may discover that you can make a substantial gift through planned giving, or that you may increase the value of your gift by requesting matching funds from your employer. You may make a gift to name a space within the building, fund a major project, or honor someone special. To learn more, contact Campaign Director Patrick Smith at


Emerson College is currently implementing its newest strategic vision. By linking it with the academic vision, we have ensured that gifts generated by the Campaign move the College forward with purpose and support the most up-to-date priorities.

Designed by Opus Design







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Emersonians weigh in on the trends that could change reading, writing, and publishing forever


y now, you’ve heard the news about Gutenberg. He’s growing increasingly restless. New ways to produce and consume books are changing the entire way we read, learn, and even relax. With the rise of Kindles and other electronic reading devices, the growth of self-published books, and the disappearance of independent and other brick-and-mortar bookstores, the world of literature is in flux.

and Publishing and several alumni authors proffer their opinions on a wide variety of lit trends, including the shrinking number of bookstores; electronic tablets v. paper; and the continuing popularity of three genres: young adult fiction, memoir, and literary journalism.

In the following pages, selected faculty from Emerson’s Department of Writing, Literature 17 Expression Fall 2013

The Panel


Lisa Diercks Is an associate professor and graduate program director for Publishing and Writing. She has taught book design and production, magazine design and production, and design software courses at Emerson since 1996. She is a publishing industry veteran who began her career in Houghton Mifflin’s Trade Division.


David Emblidge Has more than two decades of experience as a book editor and publisher. Associate Professor Emblidge has edited Beneath the Metropolis: The Secret Lives of Cities; My Day: The Best of Eleanor Roosevelt’s Acclaimed Newspaper Columns, 1936–1962; and many other books.


Jack Gantos ’76, MA ’84 Writes for readers of all ages. His books include Hole in My Life, a memoir; Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, a National Book Award finalist; and Joey Pigza Loses Control, a Newbery Honor book. He won the Newbery Award for Dead End in Norvelt. His latest book is From Norvelt to Nowhere. He taught in Emerson’s graduate writing program.


Flora González Is a professor whose teaching interests include Latin American fiction and nonfiction, the literatures of the Caribbean, and feminist writing.

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Steve Himmer Is the author of the novel The Bee-Loud Glade (2011) and the e-book novella The Second Most Dangerous Job in America (2012), both published by Atticus Books. Lecturer Himmer also edits the web journal Necessary Fiction.



Megan Marshall Is the author of Margaret Fuller: A New American Life. Associate Professor Marshall’s biography The Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism (Houghton Mifflin, 2005; Mariner Books, 2006) was a Pulitzer Prize finalist.

John Rodzvilla Has worked on a variety of editorial, production, and subsidiary rights endeavors in publishing. He acquired and developed nonfiction titles for Da Capo Press, Perseus Publishing, and Basic Books. Senior electronic publisherin-residence Rodzvilla also lectures and writes within the library community on the role of new technology in scholarship and information services.


Douglas Whynott Has published four books of narrative nonfiction. Associate Professor Whynott received a Fulbright Fellowship to support teaching nonfiction writing in the U.S. Studies Center at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá, Colombia.


Wendy Wunder, MFA ’99 Wrote the young adult novel The Probability of Miracles (Razorbill, 2011). Her second young adult novel, The Museum of Intangible Things, is due from Razorbill in April 2014.


Steve Yarbrough Is the author of nine books. His most recent novel is The Realm of Last Chances (Alfred A. Knopf, 2013). Professor Yarbrough’s 2006 novel The End of California (Knopf) was a finalist for the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for fiction.

Eric Antoniou

Jabari Asim Is the author of 11 books in a wide variety of genres. His books include What Obama Means...For Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Future (William Morrow, 2009). Associate Professor Asim is also editor-in-chief of The Crisis, the NAACP’s flagship journal.

Anne Lower


Paper or plastic?


Printing press inventor Johannes Gutenberg would be thrilled to know that many Emersonians are happy to continue taking their literature in paper form, thank you.

Jack Gantos: For almost all of my writing career, I’ve written my books in libraries, where I’m surrounded by books and have access to all the book resources I need, including brilliant librarians. So I lean strongly toward owning, borrowing, and reading books made of paper. I own a Kindle and when I go on international speaking tours I bring it along. Usually it’s loaded with the classics. Of course, I always bring a few paper books because some choice books are not available in electronic format.

WW Wendy Wunder: I have a Kindle Fire but I’m still in mourning for paper books.


Megan Marshall: I have not yet read a book in electronic form, although many of my readers find my work this way. In 2005, when my book The Peabody Sisters was published and I gave readings in bookstores, lines of interested readers would form to buy the book and get it autographed. Today, audiences are just as interested, but many fewer buy books, and others just hang around sheepishly to chat with me. I was worried for a while that I was losing readers, but then I realized they had actually already read the book on their Kindles! That makes for great discussions at readings now.


Steve Yarbrough: I’m not happy about [reading on tablets], but I suspect they get some people reading who otherwise might not. One of my daughters said the Kindle was her lifeline while she was out of the country for several years. She was in Krakow and there was an English language bookstore, but that was it. To me, the book is a physical thing that I love, and I can’t see myself ever going the way of electronics.


Steve Himmer: I read both. But for fiction, I still prefer print. There’s something about getting gripped by a novel or story and being able to physically grapple with the object of it. Maybe it’s nostalgic, but I love having books I’ve read around me and knowing if I return to them, it’s the same copy I read before with all of that aura. I’ve come to really like my e-reader for research, though, when I need to highlight and make notes and return to those passages easily. I also read lots of manuscripts on an e-reader—much better than carrying around stacks of unbound pages.


Lisa Diercks: I read newspapers online or on any electronic device; art books and design books on paper. On my iPad, I can make the type bigger, smaller, change the background color, and read in the middle of the night and not wake anyone up. The things that have happened in publishing since I began! I went from pasting paper using wax on a board all the way to e-books. How many different programs I’ve learned, how much software. The end result—having words in a collected form—has not changed. Just the way you make it and consume it has changed.


Jabari Asim: I’ve purchased some e-books for reading on trains. Still, more often than not I find myself lugging thick paper volumes with me. I’ll adjust if I have to, but I’m very fond of the old model.


Flora González: I only read books made of paper.


John Rodzvilla: I use both. I now read books and magazines in the most accessible method possible. I know there are studies that show reading on a screen may inhibit recall of the information, but I have not found my recall to be less. I do believe print is the only way to truly own a book, but also recognize the convenience of digital works for pleasure reading and material I do not need to keep.


David Emblidge: I have never read a book electronically. I don’t own or want an e-reader. The iPad is tempting for research and entertainment reasons, but not for reading. The paper book is a technology that works just fine for me. I’m not in a rush; if anything, I want to slow down my reading, to plunge more deeply into the books I read in a “time apart from time” kind of way. I don’t want to carry a library in my pocket; one book at a time is all I need. I love the sensual aspects of book reading (tactile, visual, even olfactory). No e-reader I know of can compete with any of that. The flip side is that if I were a young person in an underdeveloped part of the world where I had little money for luxuries like books, where I had no access to bookstores or libraries, but where I could recharge an e-reader battery and get on the Internet...well, then, for me, in those circumstances, any e-reader would be a miracle come true. A rising degree of literacy benefits all people in any society.

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Stalking the elusive…book

Will finding your next great read be a completely online endeavor? What’s the future of bookstores and libraries?


Megan Marshall: We will never not have libraries and bookstores. But one thing that is fading is the paperback book. That’s where the e-book has made the greatest inroads. I have just signed on to write a short biography of the eminent American poet Elizabeth Bishop for a series called Icons, edited by James Atlas. The series will be published primarily as e-books by Amazon and distributed in hardcover and paperback by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It was an honor to be asked to be one of the first dozen authors in this new series. I look forward to fashioning a book that will have its primary life in electronic form, and perhaps to playing with structure. I feel terrible for the bookstores, but they are adapting in wonderful ways, sometimes selling e-books themselves or printing out-of-copyright books cheaply on demand.


Lisa Diercks: I hope brick-and-mortar stores and libraries remain. I would be very sad to see great independent bookstores go. Businesses like Amazon are killing the independent bookstore, but I also appreciate electronic options. The more ways there are to get books and ideas the better. In remote places, having more channels increases access. My hope is that all survive.


Jabari Asim: Midlist authors like me depend on independent stores because they have informed staffers who hand-sell our books by becoming familiar with their customers’ interests. Without them, the future looks dim for anyone who doesn’t write—or read—blockbusters.


Flora González: I hope we’ll continue to buy and sell books. Even with the advent of TV, we continued to go to the movies. The book industry has already begun to adjust by publishing in multiple venues. Perhaps books as objects will disappear, but I don’t think in my lifetime.


Steve Himmer: Sure, bookstores and libraries will adapt and the best of them will remain because they’re good at knowing their community and customers. The ones that frankly haven’t been very good at that will probably go. We’re lucky here in the Boston area to have bookstores and libraries that are both supportive of, and responsive to, where writers and readers are coming from.

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John Rodzvilla: Bookstores and libraries have been going online and adapting to the new marketplace. If you look at a store like the Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, [Massachusetts], which allows customers to buy online and opt for home delivery, you will see a new type of bookstore designed around the reader, rather than around the publisher. Public libraries will become more important as we move online. Very little of the 20th century has been digitized. Libraries are an important part of preserving the web. It’s believed that nothing disappears from the web, but that’s not true. Anywhere from 60 to 85 percent of the content posted online is lost or corrupted within a year. Libraries will be the only places with the expertise and storage space to preserve our digital heritage. David Emblidge: The history and future of the bookstore has been a research interest of mine for a long time. I am now editor of The International Journal of the Book, and we are constantly looking for writers with insights about bookstores and libraries. The loss of thousands of independent bookstores in the United States during the last 20 years has been tragic. Some were badly managed or inadequately financed, yes, but many of them were cultural hubs in their cities and neighborhoods, bringing people together, face to face, to meet authors and to have dialogue with informed, literate booksellers. The online book shopping experience is nothing like this. While Amazon gets high marks for having built an elegant warehousing and shipping business, the bookselling part of its website is more often silly or deceptive than helpful. We now have an entire generation of young consumers who have never had an experience of shopping in a well–run indie bookstore. These young people think that shopping online at the likes of Amazon or Barnes & Noble is the best there is. They’re wrong. I would urge students, while they are in Boston, to patronize the great bookstores we still have in our midst. These businesses contribute substantially to the cultural vibrancy and health of the city.

Young at heart

Your name in print

Lots of people harbor dreams of publishing a book. Now, all they have to do is type up a manuscript, find an online book-publishing company, and voilà! What do Emerson experts make of this trend?


Megan Marshall: Self-publishing has always been here. But, of course, it’s easier to do now, and the more the merrier. I do think serious writers need to be careful not to let a bloggish or email-ish style creep into their published work; the chatty, self-indulgent tone and flabby sentences of many blogs or emails are everywhere, too, and need to be fought against, even as writers must work to form an intimate connection with readers.

Young adult literature is booming. What’s all the excitement about?


Steve Yarbrough: I can remember when both my daughters were very much a part of the Harry Potter craze. I never read any of the books myself, but it gets kids really excited about reading. I hope the trend continues. It made my own daughters into lifelong readers: One is working as a literary agent and one just got an MA in English.


Jack Gantos: These days, we find that good readers graze on books in all age groups and across all genres. I’m a great fan and champion of young adult/adult classics such as The Catcher in the Rye, The Car Thief, Stop Time—just as I’m a great champion of brilliant young adult books like those written by John Greene, M.T. Anderson, Chris Lynch, MA ’91, and many others. About 15 years ago, the American Library Association started to recognize young adult literature by establishing the Printz Award for the best young adult book of the year.

WW Wendy Wunder: The young adult bucket is huge and contains every kind of literature that the adult bucket does. So, as a category, the only way to define it is: “Books young adults like to read.” But when you’re getting closer to adulthood, I think it’s important to branch out and read adult books, too. That’s, in part, how you learn what it is to be an adult. LD

Lisa Diercks: I worry about people not wanting to read. Anything that targets the group that falls off the reading cliff and encourages the love of reading is a good thing.


Flora González: J.K. Rowling did a great thing connecting kids back to the written page.


Steve Himmer: So many authors are moving back and forth between writing for adults and for young adults that it hardly seems to matter.


Jack Gantos: I publish in the traditional way that books have been printed: on paper. When I sold my first book, as an Emerson undergrad in 1974, there was no other route besides photocopies or vanity presses. I don’t pay much attention to self-publishing. Primarily, I work on writing my books, and leave the task of publishing the book to the professionals at Farrar, Straus and Giroux.



Wendy Wunder: From an author’s point of view, it can be frustrating working with the “gatekeepers” of brick-and-mortar publishing. You sometimes feel like you have no control over your fate. It takes a lot of yoga and meditation to hand yourself over to the process and not feel frustrated or disappointed. Self-publishing would give you more of a sense of control, I imagine. But it’s not possible yet for an individual to have the marketing reach that a publishing house has. You can put your book up there, but no one except your Facebook friends will know about it. I think selfpublishing does both lower barriers to new talent and open floodgates. Not many people get babysitters to go to readings at bookstores anymore. And bookstores are closing left and right. Social media is good, but it’s not enough. There needs to be some kind of symbiotic evolution between bricks and mortar and self-publishing.

Lisa Diercks: As a graphic designer, I have worked with authors who are self-publishing. Some are good and deserve the chance to get their books in print or in e-form. And others are not quite up to snuff. I think it depends on the commitment of the author to pay for, and rely on, the advice of professionals: people to proofread, edit, and design. As a teacher, however, I think self-publishing is fabulous. I have used some of these services and recommend them to students so they can design and produce books or magazines as their final portfolio

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angry about self-publishing or those who read it, I can’t help wondering how likely those people were to buy $25 or $30 hardcovers in the first place. It’s hardly the catastrophe of “lost sales” it’s lamented as. And yes, quality-wise there’s a vast range among self-published books, but anyone who claims “traditional” publishers have some claim to constant quality hasn’t been paying attention.

project for my class. It’s a great thing to show to prospective employers, and it’s cheaper than photocopying. Better to make a $10 mistake in class than a $10,000 mistake at a job.


Steve Yarbrough: There have been a few titles that have had real merit, but I think that most of them couldn’t pass muster. Anyone can publish a book now. They’re not going to have distribution. If it makes them feel good about themselves, fine. I’m an amateur guitarist, but having a CD will not make me any better.


Jabari Asim: While self-publishing doesn’t have the stigma that was once attached to it, I suggest that writers exhaust all available traditional channels before going that route. When a publisher acquires a book, readers can reasonably assume that some degree of vetting has taken place. Exceptions exist, of course, but most of the self-published books I’ve examined, which now number in the hundreds, rarely exhibit evidence of careful scrutiny—and savvy readers will quickly detect that.


Flora González: With the difficulties in the publishing industry right now, self-publishing allows for starting writers to be read. Even before the current self-publishing options on the web, there were presses that published bad writing.


Steve Himmer: So much of what’s self-published seems to take the form of sharing within particular communities rather than a focus on prizes and tenure and the external approval of reviewers. It’s closer to folk traditions and the swapping of stories directly between tellers and listeners—or, in this case, readers and writers. Fifty Shades of Grey began as fan fiction, after all, written for a self-selecting community of enthusiasts. And there’s a significant audience of readers who make their choices of what to read based not on authors or publishers or awards but almost wholly on cost; there are forums on Amazon full of people saying so, that they’re looking for inexpensive e-books to fill their Kindles, no matter who wrote or published them. Or they want books of a particular niche unlikely to come from big publishing houses. When writers get

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John Rodzvilla: Self-publishing has always been an important part of publishing. From Virginia Woolf and Elements of Style to Walt Whitman and The Joy of Cooking, some of the most important cultural works of the last two centuries were originally self-published. Sure, there was a lot of horrible chaff as well, but even those titles find their market of a few readers. The question of literary value is a difficult one to assess for publishers. Moby Dick went out of print soon after it was published. Fifty Shades of Grey sold more copies than almost all of the other top sellers of the year combined, and that was after it was self-published and then reprinted by Random House. If anything, this new method of publishing gives readers the opportunity to connect with literature, something that is always a positive for authors, publishers, and teachers. We are returning to a time when authors need to write, promote, market, and pitch themselves like any other startup.


David Emblidge: There has always been selfpublishing of some sort. Some of the most important books in American literature were essentially selfpublished or at least were heavily subsidized by their authors when the publishers did not see their work as a good financial bet. Examples abound: Thoreau’s Walden, Whitman’s Leaves of Grass (in many editions), Twain’s Huckleberry Finn. Nowadays, the digital revolution makes it easy for anyone to be a “published” author. We’re going through a paradigm shift in which the big questions are: Do we want a literary culture curated for us by experts (in this case, editors and publishers), or do we want an open marketplace where anyone can publish and the market forces will determine what rises to the top, either in sales or in critical acclaim, and the publishers be damned? One thing is clear: Historically, publishers have made some very bad calls by rejecting books that eventually became hugely popular (the J.K. Rowling/Harry Potter phenomenon) or terribly

Thanks for the memoirs


important (nearly all of William Faulkner’s work was out of print in the United States at the moment he won the Nobel Prize in Literature). Go figure. The self-publishing phenomenon, by the way, is not just the result of the digital revolution. There are simply more people writing and wanting to be published than ever before, but the publishing mechanisms we have available cannot possibly handle all the available material. Publishing by publishers has always been about cultural triage. Only some work will survive the cut. Doug Whynott: I had a graduate student who won an award for best master’s thesis. She did a shotgun mailing to agents and was rejected by all of them. So she self-published her book fairly quickly. She was determined to have this book published. The reason she came to Emerson was to write a book about her father, who died of early onset Alzheimer’s. She had a very good, moving book, but it was published too soon. I felt it was premature. Self-publishing is fine if your goal is to have your book in printed form. But sometimes it takes many years to get a book published. You have to be persistent. It’s the most necessary trait for writers.

Full immersion Literary journalism is enjoying its heyday

Beekeeping, maple syrup production, tuna fishing, boatbuilding. The natural world draws in Associate Professor Douglas Whynott. He selects a single topic and immerses himself in it to produce booklength works. The genre is known as literary journalism, documentary journalism, or new journalism. But Whynott favors the term “narrative nonfiction” for “books that tell true stories with literary methods.” Although the book publishing industry has been under stress, Whynott believes this genre will

Everyone’s publishing memoirs these days, and readers are lapping them up. Thoughts?


David Emblidge: Memoirs multiply in the night while we sleep. For every one we have today, there are two more tomorrow. Why? Well, maybe it’s the narcissism at the heart of American culture. Maybe it’s the notion that to work out your family problems you need to wash your dirty laundry in public. Maybe it’s the prurient interest some readers have when they can spy on the crazy behavior of a confessional memoirist. That said, I’m writing one myself! It seems to be a way of making some sense about where I’ve come from, what I love and don’t love about my family, my hometown, and so forth. No harm in that.


Steve Yarbrough: I get very enthused about a memoir like Tobias Wolff’s This Boy’s Life. I think, however, a lot of the recent attention has been focused on the “healing” memoir—how I overcame this or that addiction. In many instances, a lot of the books don’t have literary merit. The James Frey memoir was originally submitted to a lot of publishers as a novel and it was turned down. People are trying to work on novels and then when you put the label “true” on them, somehow it makes it more appealing to a lot people. It doesn’t do it for me.


Flora González: I guess Americans like to see themselves reflected back in what they read. And memoir allows for a great diversity of experience to be shared by like and unlike minds. E

continue to thrive. “Many of these books are close to being novels,” he said, “and they are doing their best to get everything factually accurate.” Whynott has four entries in the genre, and his next book explores “a year in the maple syrup industry. I spent three years following a man who produces one-fourth of all the syrup in New Hampshire and is one of the biggest traders in the world. The book also has a climate change theme.” The Sugar Season will be published in March 2014 by Da Capo Press.

For his Emerson graduate–level course called Writing the Nonfiction Book, Whynott assigns powerhouse works of narrative nonfiction, including The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot; Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer; Mountains beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder; New Jack: Guarding Sing Sing by Ted Conover; and Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble and Coming of Age in the Bronx by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc. “The author spent 10 years in the Bronx following a group of women who were living some tough lives,” said Whynott.

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Social ills in Mexico are focus of Kotz Cornejo work Cristina Kotz Cornejo, associate professor of Visual and Media Arts, is creating a film about the complex world of a Mexican sex worker. The feature film humanizes the woman, who lives in present-day Mexico City—a region plagued with poverty, corruption, and violence from drug cartels. “The story is so complex. It’s not black and white,” said Kotz Cornejo, whose film, called Hermanas De Fe, is a fictional story loosely based on real women she met in Mexico while conducting research. Kotz Cornejo has received a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship that provides her with funds to continue production. As a filmmaker who was raised in both Argentina and the United States, Kotz Cornejo says she is often attracted to Latin American stories. “I’m always drawn to telling stories of women and giving voice to women,” she said. “When I was reading stories about Mexico in the news, I came across many articles on prostitution. In Mexico City, it’s become legalized and there are so many prostitutes… and they’re looked down upon.” Kotz Cornejo hopes that, once completed, Hermanas De Fe will promote dialogue about the social implications of the sex trade.

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Film about tsunami screened in Japan Distinguished Director-in-Residence Theodore “Regge” Life’s documentary about the first confirmed American fatality in the 2011 Japanese tsunami was featured at the Japan Cuts film festival, hosted by the Japan Society of New York. The documentary, Live Your Dream, is about 24-year-old Taylor Anderson of Virginia, who worked as a teaching assistant in Japan and survived the initial earthquake, only to be killed by the tsunami as she rode her bicycle back to her apartment to call her parents in the United States. Japan Cuts presents films that are “the roughest, sharpest, and smoothest of today’s cutting-edge Japanese film scene,” according to its website. Life, of the Department of Visual and Media Arts, hosted a question-and-answer session at the screening of his 90-minute documentary, which had post-production help from Will Rogan, MFA ’13, and Michelle Tsaitas ’12.

Fiction, nonfiction published by WLP faculty Writing, Literature and Publishing Professor Steve Yarbrough’s new novel, The Realm of Last Chances, has been released by Knopf. The book has been described as “a captivating departure from the Deep South setting of his previous fiction,” which features “a richly nuanced portrait of a marriage being reinvented in a small town in the Northeast. When Kristin Stevens loses her administrative job in California’s university system, she and her husband, Cal, relocate to Massachusetts. Kristin takes a position at a smaller, less prestigious college outside Boston and promptly becomes entangled in its delicate, overheated politics. Cal, whose musical talent is nothing more than a consuming avocation, spends his days alone, fixing up their new home. And as they settle into their early fifties, the two seem to exist in separate spheres entirely.” Assistant Professor Kim McLarin’s first book of nonfiction, Divorce Dog: Men, Motherhood, and Midlife, has been praised by People magazine as “fiercely acerbic” and “compelling.” McLarin examines what it means to be not-so-young, neurotically gifted, and definitely black while searching for love and meaning in contemporary America. McLarin examines the pain of divorce, the embarrassment of midlife dating, and the maddening possibility of love.

Marín named outstanding faculty member Christina Marín, assistant professor of Performing Arts, received the 2012–13 Graduate Student Association Outstanding Faculty Member Award last spring. “You were ultimately selected for your dedication and commitment to your students and the Emerson community,” the GSA Executive Council wrote in a letter to Marín, adding that she was nominated by multiple students. “You have made a significant impact on your students.” “I am truly honored to receive this award because it came directly from the students,” Marín said. “I have found that students are the heart of Emerson and I am grateful to have the experience of working with such talented individuals.” Marín said she became close with many graduate students after she developed several new graduatelevel courses in Theatre Education. Glenn edits new work on topic of laughter Communication Studies Professor Phillip Glenn, interim dean of the School of Communication, has been studying the science of laughter for three decades. He recently co-authored and edited Studies of Laughter in Interaction (Bloomsbury Academic, 2013), which examines the human expression that is commonly overlooked in academic research. “This volume presents a collection of original studies revealing the highly ordered, complex, and important phenomenon of laughter in everyday interactions,” reads a description of the scholarly book.

Two Emersonians recognized for “inclusive excellence”

Tamera Marko

David Dower

The College’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion honored two Emersonians with Inclusive Excellence Awards for the 2012–13 academic year. The honorees were selected based on their commitment to social justice and the demonstration of creativity, innovation, and extraordinary accomplishment in effecting positive social change. Tamera Marko, lecturer in the Department of Writing, Literature and Publishing, was honored for her extraordinary work instructing the Maintenance Worker Conversational English/ Spanish course. Marko, who is also assistant director of the First-Year Writing Program, brings together Emerson maintenance workers and students in the spirit of community, mutual respect, and personal empowerment. The group collaboratively produced written material for a presentation at the fifth annual First-Year Writing Showcase and will publish a book online. David Dower, director of artistic programs at ArtsEmerson, was honored for his creativity and leadership in developing authentic ways to engage Boston’s communities of color in the performing arts through the ArtsEmerson Ambassadors Project. Moving beyond traditional approaches to enhancing audience participation in the theater among communities of color, the Ambassadors Project develops opportunities for the exploration of barriers, as well as the discovery of new access points for communities of color through an innovative form of participatory action research.

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Meet Andrea Martin ’69, a two-time Tony Award-winning actor, comedian, and writer, who has been drawing great reviews for decades

Don Dixon

Recently starring in the Broadway hit Pippin, Andrea Martin has won two Tony Awards, two Drama Desk awards, and has been nominated for multiple Emmy Awards for her comedy writing. She is also well known for her performances in the films My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Andrea Martin’s star is rising even higher, thanks to her recent Tony Award-winning performance (right) in Broadway’s production of Pippin.

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What were your earliest experiences in acting? I played the Fairy Godmother in a production of Cinderella at the Children’s Theatre of Maine in Portland. I was 11 years old and playing character parts. What attracted you to the field? I’ve always acted. It just came naturally. I started in children’s theater. My first performance with a professional company was at the Kennebunkport Playhouse production of South Pacific when I was 13. I subsequently acted in summer stock every summer until I graduated from high school. Your Tony Award–winning role in Pippin seemed like a lot of fun. Was it? And now that the show has been re-imagined with a circus theme, you were performing acrobatics. Was that scary? I loved appearing in Pippin. I loved the part. It was challenging and exciting and, yes, a bit scary, if I let it be. I had to completely surrender to my partner on the trapeze. There were two choices while I was on that trapeze: panic or trust. I chose trust.

The cast members were all singular artists and it was a wondrous opportunity being on stage with these talented performers every night. I love them, and we’re a family. Talk about your experience landing your first theater job after college. When I graduated from Emerson in 1969, I drove to New York. Within my first two weeks there, I auditioned for the national touring company of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. I got the part—and my Actors’ Equity card—the first audition out. Emerson prepared me well. Which are your favorite roles? I try to find something positive in every role I play, or the parts are not worth playing. Having said that, Aunt Eller in Oklahoma was one of my favorites because it was the first time on Broadway that I played a non-comedic part. Yes, I got to have some witty banter with Laurey and with Curly and the prairie folk of Oklahoma, but for the most part, Aunt Eller was the grounding force in the musical: stern, maternal, loving, strong, and authentic. I loved that part. Do you have a favorite genre to work in: TV, theater, film? I love theater. I love the camaraderie, the schedule of live performances, and the opportunity to grow with the character and interact with a new audience every night. Performing live every night keeps me in great shape vocally, spiritually, and physically. Eight performances a week requires stamina. I love the challenge of being—and staying in—top form. Please describe some memorable Emerson people and experiences that prepared you for your career. I remember Al Corona, who has since passed away. He was instrumental in preparing me for a career in musical comedy. He was so encouraging and a great

cheerleader. He loved the students he taught. He influenced many people who went on to have successful careers in show business. And I am indebted to Dr. Kenneth Crannell, who taught speech and public speaking at Emerson. He has since retired. He left an indelible mark on me. I think of him every time I give a speech if my elocution is lacking. I think I project and articulate as well as I do because of him. Every time I’m in a show, I hear from him. He writes me lovely letters and I’m always touched that he remembers. Do you keep in touch with Emerson classmates and other Emersonians? Yes, I’m close friends with Scott Wittman, who is a successful lyricist for Broadway shows. He co-wrote the music for Hairspray and Smash and Catch Me If You Can. Over the years, I’ve been in touch with Henry Winkler and worked with Denis Leary in a film called Wag the Dog.

I’m forever running into a new crop of students from Emerson. I’m working with a young girl now who is part of an entertainment firm that books my onewoman show, Andrea Martin: Final Days! Everything Must GO!! The students are everywhere and they are always professional, ambitious, confident, and well prepared. You’re from Portland, Maine. Does New England still play a big part in your life? Yes! I vacation every summer with my sister and brother in Maine. We find exotic places to visit that we missed out on seeing while growing up in Portland. It’s been an education! Since leaving Emerson, I’ve performed with the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston and the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge. They have both been rewarding experiences, and they allowed me to go back to my roots and reminisce about those adventurous and formative years at Emerson. E

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alumni news A message from Pat Peyton Martell ’84, president of the Alumni Association

Dear Fellow Emersonians, How familiar are you with EC4Life? Officially, EC4Life is a student organization whose mission is to facilitate continuous interaction and sharing between alumni and current students. Unofficially, it’s a philosophy—Emerson College for Life—that the Alumni Board has embraced in all of the work we do—something very evident in our priorities for the year: Engagement: Engagement is all about getting involved with Emerson. Last year, we launched a webinar series on topics you said would be interesting. Your response was so positive, we’re bringing you even more webinars this year. We’ve also expanded our social media presence. You continue to act as mentors, serve as emissaries, and continue to help us identify student internships. Those are just a few of the ways to stay involved with Emerson. How would you like to engage? Regional Chapters/Shared Interest Groups: We heard you when you said that you want to connect with alumni who have similar interests or live in your region. In addition to our regional chapters and the GOLD Councils, we’ve launched EBONI and Athletics alumni groups. Financials: We have two financial goals: funding Alumni Association Scholarships and increasing alumni giving: 1. Scholarships are essential to Emerson’s admission and diversity recruitment goals. The Alumni Association currently awards six $4,000 scholarships. With your help, we can increase the amount and number of awards. The Alumni Association Auction is our largest scholarship fundraiser. Visit between November 6 and December 6 and bid! 2. Did you know that our national ranking is impacted by the percentage of alumni who make donations to Emerson? That ranking influences the students and faculty we attract and the funding we receive from corporations and foundations. Last year, 7.4% of us gave to Emerson, well below the 35.75% average for schools similar to Emerson. Although we love Emerson, somehow, our passion is not reflected in the numbers. Emerson will soon launch a Participation campaign. Any amount counts! As my tenure as president of the Association begins, I am fortunate to be working with an incredible Alumni Board and Executive Committee: Travis Small ’97, Vice President; Carla Lewis Long ’86, Secretary; Chet Brewster ’86, Treasurer; and David G. Breen ’78, Immediate Past President. We are looking forward to bringing the EC4Life philosophy to all of you. Pat Peyton Martell ’84 + 1 610-405-7780 (mobile)

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The Emerson College Alumni Association knows how much our alumni like to reconnect with old friends and find new contacts. But we don’t want to publish a new alumni directory without your updated information.

@ For more information about the project, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 617-824-8535 or

Carrie Kerpen ’98 John Porio ’88 Paul Santinelli ’91

The Alumni Association’s Board of Directors elected four new members, each for a three-year term, at its June 2013 annual meeting, held during Alumni Weekend. The new members are: Carolyn Jasinski, MA ’06, Carrie Kerpen ’98, John Porio ’88, and Paul Santinelli ’91. The new members bring a commitment to advancing the Association in its mission to connect alumni, students, and friends in lifelong support of Emerson and each other.  The Association represents more than 32,000 alumni, and the Alumni Association Board of Directors is the governing body that manages the affairs of the Association. The directors are professional and community leaders from across the country. Their backgrounds and interests are diverse. They meet three times each year on campus to make decisions regarding alumni programs, engagement strategies, events, and philanthropic endeavors. They also engage with students, faculty, and administration during their meetings and serve as ambassadors of the College throughout the year. The board consists of members of the executive board, board of directors, regional chapter presidents, and the chairs of special interest groups such as EBONI. President of the Alumni Association Pat Peyton Martell ’84 serves as president of the Alumni Board.

Carolyn Jasinski, MA ’06

Four elected to Alumni Board Carolyn Jasinski, MA ’06, is director of leadership relations at Northeastern University. Partnering with senior leadership from around the University and with development colleagues, she develops programming and communication to nurture volunteer resources for the University. Prior to joining Northeastern in 2011, Jasinski was director of parent leadership giving at Emerson College. In her spare time, Jasinski mentors for the South Boston T.E.A.M. (Together Engaging Adolescents through Mentoring) program. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Worcester State University and a master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communication from Emerson. Carrie Kerpen ’98 is co-founder and CEO of Likeable Media, which she grew from a husband-and-wife consulting firm into an award-winning, global social media and word-of-mouth marketing agency. She led her team in generating more than $15 million in revenue, landing the agency on the Inc. 500 List in 2011 and 2012. Kerpen lives in New York with husband Dave Kerpen, a New York Times bestselling author, and daughters Kate and Charlotte.

John Porio ’88, vice president, affiliate sales, Disney and ESPN Media Networks, is responsible for all negotiations and corporate/field relationships with traditional and new multichannel video providers such as Comcast, Charter Communications, Cox Communications, and Intel. He is responsible for negotiating distribution of all linear networks (e.g., ESPN, Disney Channel, ABC Family, ABC) and digital products. He began his career in 1989 in ad sales at WNTR Radio in Washington, D.C. Porio received his bachelor of science degree from Emerson College in 1988. He lives with his wife and three children in Westport, Connecticut. Paul Santinelli ’91 has been a general partner at North Bridge, a venture capital firm, since 2005. He specializes in Internet infrastructure and is based in California. Previously, he was director of Red Hat Network and was responsible for product definition, strategy, engineering, product marketing, and lifecycle management for the company’s flagship software services. Prior to Red Hat, Santinelli was founder and CEO of NOCpulse, a Silicon Valley software startup focused on delivering the next-generation enterprise systems management platform.

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Four win awards at Alumni Weekend

LA GOLD alumni gather for bonfire LA alumni and their friends had a beach fiesta on Dockweiler Beach in El Segundo last summer. Decked out with plenty of purple and gold to mark the Emerson event, alumni dined, beached, surfed, and tanned. The night culminated in a bonfire and, of course, s’mores.

West Coast GOLD alumni enjoy wine event in Malibu Samantha Shada ’08 (back row, left), Billie Larson Shipley ’07, Scott Shipley ’08, Gary Fayman ’11; (front row, left) Lili Kaytmaz ’11 and Katy Boungard ’10 attended an LA GOLD Council summer wine event at the Rosenthal Wine Tasting Room in Malibu. Young alumni enjoyed an afternoon of picnicking, reconnecting with fellow alumni, and wine tasting.

Freelancers reveal their secrets Panelists Ryan Gibeau ’05, filmmaker; Michael Marantz ’07, filmmaker; Nell Alk, journalist; Brett Ruiz, graphic designer; and Ilana Backer, theater director; gathered last spring to discuss everything freelance—from deciding to become a freelancer to sustaining the lifestyle as a profession. Special thanks go to Chuck Willis ’79, who hosted the event at The Cutting Room in New York City.

Alumni serenade incoming class with a rendition of the alma mater When President Pelton officially welcomed the incoming freshman class before the start of the fall 2013 semester, alumni entertained the class by singing the alma mater. New students joined in—making this a special moment for all Emersonians. After the performance, alumni brunched and reminisced about their first weeks at Emerson.

Nominations are solicited each year by the Alumni Association Board of Directors for its Distinguished Alumni and Young Alumni Achievement Awards. The nominations are submitted by the Emerson community, including faculty, senior administration, and alumni. The award recipients are recognized during Alumni Weekend for their exemplary professional achievements in their fields, or through personal projects and volunteer efforts, and represent Emerson with the highest distinction. The four 2013 award winners are: Distinguished Alumni Awards Joel Stillerman ’84: Since 2008, Stillerman has been senior vice president of original programming, production, and digital content at cable network AMC. While his predecessor developed Mad Men and Breaking Bad, Stillerman oversaw their evolution into prestige hits, while developing a new hit, The Walking Dead. Before joining AMC, he had founded, in 2003, independent film and television production company Yolo Films, where he produced content for HBO, MTV, and VH1. He was previously the top content executive at Walden Media, where he spearheaded the company’s effort to build a brand around young adult

EBONI alumni leaders named

New leadership has taken the helm of the Los Angeles Chapter of the EBONI Alumni Association. Stephen Farrier ’75, president, is an Emmy Award-winning director of photography based in Los Angeles who has worked in television production for more than 30 years. He launched his career in Boston as

Stay GOLD GOLD Council welcomes new graduates New graduates are automatically part of the GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) ranks.

Visit to learn more about GOLD and how to get involved.

Stephen Farrier ’75

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Nanci Isaacs ’79

Aaron Snipe ’94

Joel Stillerman ’84

literature, supervising the acquisition and development of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe; and Holes. In 1995, he co-founded Sparky Pictures with Ted Demme. Early in his career he was vice president of production and executive producer at MTV Networks, where his credits included MTV Unplugged and MTV’s Video Music Awards. Susan Wornick ’71: A reporter with WCVBTV (Channel 5) since 1981, Wornick has been the news anchor of Channel 5’s midday newscast since 1989, and a member of the Team 5 investigative unit since 2006. She was an anchor and reporter at WHDH Radio in Boston from 1979 to 1981. She has received many awards for reporting excellence, including recognition in 2010 by the National Headliner Awards program for her work on a report that exposed problems with rusting Toyotas, which helped lead

Susan Wornick ’71

Seth Grahame-Smith ’98

to a national recall of the vehicle. She has also won three regional Emmy Awards. In June 2012, she received an Embracing the Legacy Award, which celebrates the legacy of Robert F. Kennedy by honoring community members who work to improve the lives of children and families. The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences presented her with the Silver Circle Award in 2005 for 25 years of service to WCVB and the community. Aaron Snipe ’94: A career member of the U.S. Department of State Foreign Service, Snipe serves as spokesperson for the Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. In this capacity he speaks extensively about U.S. policy on Iran, Iraq, Syria, and the Middle East peace process. He served two foreign service tours in Iraq. He has worked as a watch officer in the Department’s Executive Secretariat Operations Center,

where he routinely briefed the Secretary of State and other senior officials. He was also a consular/political-economic officer at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Young Alumni Achievement Award Seth Grahame-Smith ’98: Grahame-Smith is a best-selling author and film and television writer/producer. His first novel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, debuted at #3 on the New York Times bestseller list. Since its release in 2009, the book has sold more than 1 million copies and has been translated into 20 languages. His book Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter was adapted into a feature film. Grahame-Smith wrote the screenplay for Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows. He was also the co-creator/executive producer of MTV comedy series The Hard Times of RJ Berger, and produced the CBS online series Clark and Michael.

My a news film cameraman for WBZ-TV. He has worked on such shows as Dateline NBC, The Dog Whisperer, House Hunters International, A&E Biography, 48 hours, 60 Minutes 2, and America’s Most Wanted, which he has also directed. His approach to cinematography has garnered him numerous awards, including the Gold Plaque for Special Achievement in Cinematography at the Chicago International Film Festival. Nanci Isaacs ’79, vice president, brings many skills and talents to her new role with the EBONI Alumni Association. She has worked over the years in broadcast advertising, sports marketing, and development for several nonprofit organizations. She is national marketing director for Grace Ormonde Wedding Style magazine. Born and raised in Boston, she has called Los Angeles home for the past 20 years, where she lives with husband Kelvin and their two daughters.

Alumni Weekend Save the Date May 30–June 1, 2014

Celebrating all classes ending in 4s and 9s. All are welcome! Milestone Reunions

Join us for these and other events

65th WERS 45th EBONI 45th Musical Theatre Society 35th Sigma Pi Theta

Harbor Boat Cruise Alumni and Faculty Seminars Faculty Brunch Reunion Showcase & Celebration at the Paramount Center And more!

Get the latest details and start planning your trip:

Call for more information 617-824-8535

31 Expression Fall 2013

Alumni Weekend brings hundreds back to campus

From left are Mari Watson ’13, Laura Franzini ’13, Brian Annis ’13, and Charles DeRupe ’13, who posed in the photo booth during the MacWade Challenge Alumni

Weekend Boat Cruise. Graduating seniors were invited to the Alumni Weekend Boat Cruise as guests of the Alumni Association.

Members of the Class of ’53 celebrate 60 years strong. From left: Millie Radlauer, Susan Fleming, Charlotte Horton Grantham ’54, and Anne S. Goetze. Seated from left are Phillip Joyce, Fred Dixon, and Fred Strassmann.

From left: The Class of ’63 celebrates its 50th reunion with Beverly Bertsch, John Bertsch, Al Valeda, and Donald Mariano.

32 Expression Fall 2013

More than 600 alumni and friends returned to campus to celebrate Alumni Weekend in June. Members of classes ranging from 1940 to 2013 were in attendance. Alumni honorees were given awards during the President’s Welcome Champagne Reception. Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards were bestowed upon Susan Wornick ’71, WCVB-TV (Channel 5) news anchor; Joel

Stillerman ’84, vice president of original programming, production and digital content at cable network AMC; and Aaron Snipe ’94, spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State Foreign Services Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. Seth Grahame-Smith ’98, best-selling author and film and television writer/producer, received the Young Alumni Achievement Award. Other weekend activities included a sunset

From left: David G. Breen ’78, From left: Alumni Alumni Achievement Award Achievement Award winner Susan Wornick ’71, winners Joel Stillerman and President Lee Pelton. ’84, Seth Grahame-Smith ’98, and Aaron Snipe ’94.

Charles Rosen ’68 (left) and Jeff Greenhawt ’68 (center), chair of the Board of Trustees, present President Pelton with a check representing the total raised by all classes celebrating reunions during Alumni Weekend.

Boston Harbor cruise, workshops by faculty and staff, a lunch for EBONI alumni and current students, and the 5th Annual WERS Hall of Fame induction ceremony. This year’s inductees were Gary Berkowitz ’73, president and CEO, Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting; Carolyn Kruse ’84, on-air personality, WKLB-FM; and Phillip David March ’84, program director, B96.5 and Magic 101.3.

Paul Beck ’69 with wife Barbara, daughter Molly Beck Ferguson ’94, and granddaughter Charlotte celebrating Paul’s 31 years of service and retirement during the FacultyAlumni Brunch.

Former Orientation Leaders gather with Interim Athletic Director Stan Nance. From left: Sara Brookshire-Cummings ’05, Nicole Witkov ’03, Stan Nance, Susie Gershbein Kaiserman ’88, Sharon Duffy, and Jenna McPadden ’13.

From left: John Rigrod ’66, David G. Breen ’78, Stephen Smoller ’67, Ralph Maffongelli ’68, Bruce Barbieri ’69, and Robert Friend ’79 at Greek reception.

Len Slosberg ’63

In conjunction with the 10th anniversary luncheon for the Class of 2003, Julia Owens ’03 (left), shown here with Sarah Donovan ’03, was recognized for her gift to the College. Surrounded by friends and fellow Emersonians a plaque in Julia’s name was dedicated in the Multipurpose Room in the Max Mutchnick Campus Center.

Alumni, family, and colleagues of retired Communication Sciences and Disorders professor David Luterman gathered to honor him with the dedication of the David Luterman Seminar Room on the 9th floor of 216 Tremont Street.

An excerpt from the speech he delivered at Commencement in May 2000, when he was named faculty emeritus, was cited: “The trick in life is to find your talent and then find a place that pays you for it. Fortunately for me, I found my talent, and Emerson has been a marvelous place for me to express it.” Among those in attendance were alumni who had been students in Luterman’s very first class, in 1963 (from left): Adele Lerman Janow, Melody Shapiro, Flo Levins Frey, John (Jack) Hill, Maddy Belitz Shapiro, and Leonard Slosberg. He thanked his former students for letting him “practice on them.”

Class of 1978 attendees included (back, from left): Lisey Baker Hughes, Betty Sugarman, Glen Gardner, Susan Strassberg, Irv Grabstein, Sue Sussman, and David G. Breen; (front) Cheryl Spinaci, Adair Brown Rowland, Sherry Weiner Nadworthy, Debbie Barry Tarulli, Lisey Pearl Oliver, and Doug “Doc” Savage.

Robert Friend ‘79, Susan Banks ‘76, and Nanci Isaacs ‘79 meet up at the Alumni Weekend Party.

Alumni Weekend goes global Participants in Emerson’s erstwhile European Institute for International Communication (EIIC), which was based in the Netherlands, celebrated a 20th reunion in Maastricht last June.

First row, from left: Felicitas Wittgenstein-Lippe, Joel Menard, Jebadiah Utecht, Meredith Bradt, and Ana Sala; (second row) Tracy Brown Hamilton, Bill Hermanns, Susan Lombardi-Verticelli, Merce Jakupi, Donna Lee Ubertalli, Susan Wiestma, Gaston Verjans; (third row) Katharine Linke, Wally Hamonde, Miha Megusar, and Petra de Boer. From left: Maastricht reunioners included Meredith Bradt, Mercedes Rose Jakupi, Nathalie van Dorp Bosscha, Susan Stephens Wietsma, and Donna Lee Ubertalli.

The EBONI Alumni Association (pictured) met with students during Alumni Weekend to embark on ambitious goals for the year ahead that include a mentor program and a professional panel series that will take place in Los Angeles.

John Rigrod ’66 celebrated Emerson’s wrestling program during the Athletics Alumni Reception. He was also recognized for his years of service to the College during the Rho Delta Omega 65th Anniversary Celebration.

From the Class of ’58 are (seated) Bonnie Glovin and Alexandra (Rusty) Hart Wildey; (standing) Sheila Savitsky, Meredith O’Gorman Shapiro, and George Wildey.

Joey Toppan ’03 (second from left) welcomes Charles DeRupe ’13 (left), Brian Annis ’13, Jessica Jones ’13, and Lexi Fluge ’13 to the alumni community.

Sherry Greenwald ’73 takes a walk down memory lane.

Betsy Morgan ’03 performed at the Alumni Weekend Showcase and Celebration. Morgan played Fantine in the 25th anniversary and national tour of Les Misérables.

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a l u m n i

Hit Liberace film penned by LaGravenese ’80

Broadcast journalist Beaudet ’92 wins pair of New England Emmys Mike Beaudet ’92, a part-time faculty member in the Department of Journalism and an investigative reporter for Fox 25 News (WFXT-TV), won two New England Emmy Awards. Beaudet, along with a team of producers, photographers, and an editor, won in the categories of Investigative Report and Politics/Government Specialty Report. Beaudet’s “Fox Undercover” segments regularly expose government waste and abuse. He has won numerous awards for his reporting.

Alumni win Tony Awards Several Emerson alumni won 2013 Tony Awards for their theatrical work. Andrea Martin ’69 won for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Pippin. James L. Simon ’88 is an associate producer of Pippin, which also won for Best Revival of a Musical and several other categories. Jason E. Grossman ’02 (above, with producing partner M. Kilburg Reedy) was a co-producer of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, which won Best Play and received six nominations.

Young adult author makes debut Maurene Goo, MA ’07, has published a young adult novel, Since You Asked (Scholastic Press), which has debuted to positive reviews. From the Atlantic Wire: “Goo’s savvy, totally fun debut is the blog-worthy tale of 15-year-old KoreanAmerican Holly Kim, copy editor for her high school newspaper….” Publishers Weekly writes: “A drily funny account of a teenager who feels like an outsider in her high school, family, and society in general ...Goo capably demonstrates the pressures and expectations Holly is under, and that a sense of humor is valuable for dealing with both.”

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The HBO film Behind the Candelabra, about the life of legendary entertainer Liberace written by Richard LaGravenese ’80, won multiple Emmy Awards this year. The film, which aired in the spring, focuses not only on the excessively flamboyant personality and lifestyle of the world-famous Liberace (played by Michael Douglas), but his romantic relationship with his much younger chauffeur Scott Thorson (Matt Damon). Directed

Intercultural anthology wins prize Tara Masih, MA ’86, won the Silver Award (in social sciences) from ForeWord Reviews for editing The Chalk Circle: Intercultural Prizewinning Essays. ForeWord wrote in its citation: “America has long been revered as a melting pot or a salad bowl, a nearly fabled place where almost everyone has come from somewhere else....The voices of the essays in The Chalk Circle tell of the tensions and beauties that come about as a result of intersecting, intertwined, and diverging cultures. The book gathers a variety of stark, honest, and well-rendered first person narratives. Each is unique, but readers will find commonality in their questions and quests.” Ray Bolger is topic of winning thesis Holly Van Leuven ’13 wrote her Bachelor of Fine Arts thesis on song-and-dance man Ray Bolger, which was recognized with Emerson’s 2013 Senior Creative Writing Award for High Distinction in Nonfiction. She spent most of her final year at Emerson in various archives, beginning with Emerson’s own and spending several months in the UCLA Special Collections Library. Titled I’ll Miss You Most of All: Searching for Ray Bolger and American Entertainment History, her manuscript is entering a second phase. Van Leuven plans to do further research, and is seeking personal remembrances from Emerson alumni who worked with or knew Ray Bolger. Then she is aiming to publish the work.

by Steven Soderbergh, the film is LaGravenese’s adaptation of Thorson’s tell-all book of the same name, which examines his relationship with Liberace. “What’s very important about this story…is that I believe [Liberace] loved Scott and Scott loved him,” LaGravenese said in an interview with WordAndFilm. com. “This wasn’t just another lover he had in a string of lovers. This was, for him, a very important…relationship.”

Emersonians win Emmy Awards for writing, music editing, acting Emersonians won Emmy Awards at the 65th annual ceremony in Los Angeles. Opus Moreschi ’00 (pictured above) and Eric Drysdale ’93, head writer and writer, respectively, for The Colbert Report, and their writing team won in the category of Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series. David Klotz ’94, music editor of American Horror Story, won for Outstanding Sound Editing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special. Meanwhile, Behind the Candelabra (see story above), the HBO movie about Liberace written by Richard LaGravenese ’80, won in several categories, including Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie; Outstanding Miniseries or Movie; Outstanding Art Direction; and Outstanding Casting. LaGravenese himself was nominated for Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special. Bobby Cannavale, P ’17, an Emerson parent, won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his role in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire.

Milliken wins short-story award Kate Milliken ’99 won the John Simmons Award for Short Fiction for her collection of short stories, If I’d Known You Were Coming, which will be released this fall by the University of Iowa Press. The award presentation read, in part: “In If I’d Known You Were Coming, Milliken shows us what can happen when the uninvited guest of our darkest desires comes to call. Whether surrounded by the white noise of a Hollywood celebration or enduring a stark winter in Maine, these characters yearn to heal old wounds with new hurts.” Judging the entries was author Julie Orringer, who said, “Milliken’s stories burn straight to the darkest places in our hearts, speaking aloud the thoughts we hardly dare to call our own. In twelve flawless pieces, Milliken expertly illuminates the aftermath of abandonment.”

Heffron publishes novel about a volatile Vietnam war veteran When Brian Heffron ’78 was a student at Emerson, he began to write a book. Decades later he pulled out the pages, finished the work, and published the novel, Colorado Mandala (Little House Books). The work has been receiving praise from readers. The novel examines post-traumatic stress disorder in the heady, hippie backdrop of Pike’s Peak, Colorado, in the tumultuous 1970s. The story focuses on a volatile former Green Beret, “whose tour in Vietnam has left unbridgeable chasms in his psyche and secrets that can never find light.” At Emerson, Heffron studied with Russell Banks and Tim O’Brien, who “deeply inspired” him. Before publishing his book, Heffron worked as a writer, director, and producer at PBS/KLCS-TV station in Los Angeles. He won 12 Telly Awards, two Emmys, two VideoGrapher Awards, and a Davis Award.

Atlee ’50, Broadway publicist, donates his papers Howard Atlee ’50 was a Broadway press agent before the age of email and text messaging— at a time when press releases were composed on typewriters and physically delivered to each of New York’s daily newspapers. “We had seven newspapers back then,” in the New York City of the 1960s, he said. Atlee, who received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Emerson in 2000, recently decided to give back to his alma mater by donating a host of historical memorabilia from Broadway that he has collected over six decades. Atlee presented the College with a handwritten letter from Alec Baldwin; photos of performers Maurice Hines, Marlene Dietrich, Mae West, Buster Keaton, and John Gielgud; about 1,000 original production materials from Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? that include images, correspondences, and press releases; photos from the Negro Ensemble Company from 1968 to 1969, including S. Epatha Merkerson and Samuel L. Jackson (pictured above); and the first draft of Act I of Samm-Art Williams’s Bojangles. Atlee said one of his biggest accomplishments as a press agent was leading the Times to write an article in 1966 about the Negro Ensemble, a thenlittle-known theater group of black performers during the civil rights era, which led to it receiving $1.25 million from the Ford Foundation.

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class notes 1959 55th Reunion Rochelle “Shelley” Kaplan has displayed her oil paintings in juried art shows in Florida and Connecticut. She is also the new writing partner of Steve Edelman, an Emmy recipient, noted writer, and lecturer.

1968 Iris Groman Burnett is producer and co-author of The Gefilte Fish Chronicles: The Musical. This year the musical was invited to perform at the White House to celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month. Performers included Dayna Grayber, Ben Martin, Sara Dobrinich ’08, and Jordan Kai Burnett ’08. Lexie Pregosin ’06 did the casting. The cast was later invited to a special reception for Vice President Joe Biden.


45th Reunion

Randy Ketive was honored as a Person of the Year by the Fort Lee Regional Chamber of Commerce at its 45th Annual Dinner & Dance on November 16.

1971 Jeffrey Chafitz writes: “The morning after Washington State passed its marriage equality bill earlier this year, two dear friends (together over twenty

years!) began planning their long-awaited and finally possible wedding. I was honored when they asked me to secure the necessary certification to perform the ceremony….Thanks to those long-ago Emerson Public Speaking classes, I successfully added another line to my résumé!”

1972 Sandra Goroff’s first book of photography, Solitary Soul, will be published by Lorimer Press in November. Sandra can be reached at Susan Hill is having a ball in her newest career, selling real estate in beautiful Punta Gorda, Florida: “Thirty years traveling the world in the trade show industry and now working in a place with the best boating and fishing in the world.” Edward Schreiber has been named executive director of the Zerka T. Moreno Foundation, which offers worldwide training on the work of JL Moreno, MD, and Zerka T. Moreno’s pioneering method of psychodrama and sociatry as a path for healing society. The Foundation is forging a link to the original teachings of Charles Wesley Emerson.

Cornelia Spelman ’68 has released her new children’s book, When I Feel Worried, the eighth book in “The Way I Feel” series, published by Albert Whitman & Company. The Cleveland Children’s Museum opened an exhibit in September based on Cornelia’s series, to help children and their families learn about emotions and emotional management.

36 Expression Fall 2013

Peggy Bowe, Ed Schreiber, Len Kornblau, and Alan Alpert gathered this past summer in Northampton, Massachusetts, for a minireunion of the Class of 1972.

1973 Bruce Starin is proud to announce that his company, Formation Television Consultants, created three international production bibles this past year, one for Sterling Television, Northern Ireland, for its series 6 Degrees, another for Rive Gauche TV’s game show The Perfect Combination, and another for NHK Japan’s game show Brainflash! FTC also produced the pilot and sizzle reels for the NHK show.

1975 John Famulary invites Emersonians to check out his new book, A Poet’s Guide to Outdoor Exercise, and blog at Brenda Greenberg is executive vice president of scripted programs for Frantic Films in Canada. David Iseman is a real estate broker on beautiful Cape Cod. He’s at David@SoldOnCapeCod. com.

1977 Michele Haracz Ciment’s first grandson, Anthony Xavier Cabrera, was born July 2 in Hartford, Connecticut. Anthony joins big sister Calli Michele, 3. In addition, Michele is also very proud of son Connor, 20, who is a junior majoring in engineering at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. Michele is employed by Catholic Charities of Greater Hartford, and Companions and Homemakers.

1978 Brian Anthony and Bill Walker co-authored the novel Abe Lincoln, Public Enemy No. 1, scheduled for publication this fall. It is an alternate history with supernatural elements inspired by a short film they collaborated on while at Emerson.

1979 35th Reunion Denise Peck released her fifth book, The Wireworker’s Companion (Interweave Press), a comprehensive reference book for jewelry makers who use wire as their primary medium. Next year Denise’s sixth jewelry making book, Wire + Metal, 35 Easy Metal Jewelry Projects, will be available. Denise has been editor-in-chief of Step by Step Wire Jewelry magazine since its inception in 2005. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband, Paul Chase ’81.

Howie Weiner said of his book Unclogged, “Great reviews are rolling in!”

1983 Nancy Matchton Owens has co-written a play, How Safe Are Your Secrets?, which she is now bringing to professional theater.

Tobie Stein was recognized as a “Top Woman in Business” at Schnep Communications’ Second Annual Top Women in Business Networking & Awards event.

Nancy Goode Talalas released a children’s e-book, My Private Places, which is available for free at She is also producing a YouTube video Spread the Word—Knowledge Is Power, in which children of all backgrounds speak the words of the book.


1984 30th Reunion

Tom Carr is living in Virginia, where he has been the recording engineer/sound designer at the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts since it opened in 2010. Tom is engineering 160 multi-track recordings per year, sound designing for shows ranging from Spring Awakening to Mozart’s Magic Flute, as well as mixing FOH for selected guest artists. Tom sends his regards to all who were at WERS from 1975 to 1980.

David Horgan and inner-city kids from The Epiphany Tour plan to raise millions of dollars to bring media programs to innercity kids nationwide. The kids are on a mission to meet 100 inspirational people. Their first stop was Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari on the set of Lucky Guy in New York. Read more: ec1880. us/53d2y

1982 Trish (Pat) Lindberg, PhD, professor of elementary education and childhood studies at Plymouth State University, won a New England Regional Emmy for co-producing (with Karla Gordon Russell) TIGER Takes On Bullying, a television production on her awardwinning educational theater company TIGER, which tours New England schools and recently performed at the IDEA World Congress in Paris.

Jim Nussbaum completed his master’s in media and professional communications at Fairleigh Dickinson University one year early and magna cum laude. His thesis project, on Jews in the sport of American boxing, IMPACT—Jewish Boxers in America, has been entered into various Jewish film festivals across the country.

in memoriam 1933 1946 1947 1948 1950 1950 1951 1952 1953 1958 1968 1969 1980 1982 1983 1995 2007

Sylvia (Kupinsky) Levitov Katherine (Squires) Prather Herbert C. Homes Mary Hodgson Curtin Rev. Mary Jean (Birmingham) Metzger Jane M. (Keith) Philbrick Edgar J. Helms Dawn (Mitchell) Kent John L. Meunier Joseph P. Famolare Ruthann (Weinberg) Pasker Stephen L. Martin Gregory Brian Moore Michael Nicholson Melissa A. Jamidar Diane Koskinas, MA Daniel Bolton Jean Stapleton, H ’78, honorary alumna Richard Chapin, past president John H. Ahlin, former faculty H. Rudy Keeling, former athletics director Sema Ullian, former staff



Sarah Grealy Barasch was promoted to senior vice president of research for Nickelodeon.

Christopher Tetro, founder and president of Tetro Performance and 20-year fitness industry veteran, was selected as the recipient of the 2013 Faculty Senate Excellence in Teaching Award for Affiliate faculty at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Camilla Ross was awarded Woman of The Year by the Women’s Network of Southeastern Connecticut. She was also a featured speaker at the Women’s Rising Conference in October.

1987 Martha (Thomas) Menchinger, MA ’87, recently spent five weeks in China. She was one of 12 teachers chosen to teach American culture to students in a Total Immersion Methodology Program.

George Falkowski ’87 attended the Boston Red Sox Fantasy Camp in Fort Myers last January. His team won the camp championship and received championship rings at a pre-game ceremony at Fenway Park in June. He also received a New York Emmy nomination for his work with News 12 New Jersey but writes, “Nothing will top the Red Sox experience of 2013!”

1989 25th Reunion Russell J. Gannon played the role of Church Deacon in The Minister’s Wife, which was filmed this past summer in the Boston area.

Stephan Henry and his wife, Sundance, welcomed their son into the world on October 6, 2012. Joplin Drake Henry is, in the unbiased words of his proud father, “the cutest child in the history of ever!” Stephan is a drama, English, and creative writing teacher at Battle Ground High School in Battle Ground, Washington. Mike Isenberg won two Michigan Emmy Awards in his role as coordinating producer at Fox Sports Detroit. This brings his total to 10 Emmys. He is also working on his second book.

1991 Anaïs Langley donated a kidney to Melissa Greenwald ’92 at Boston’s Beth Israel/Deaconess Medical Center. Anaïs and Melissa first met in 1988 when they were roommates at Emerson’s 100 Beacon Street dorm. They became close friends and have remained so for 25 years. So far, the surgery has been a success. They would like to thank fellow Emersonians Anthony Rufo ’91, Ruth Peterson Anzalone ’92, and Bethany Hinton ’91 for their love and support.

Sylvie Peron, MA ’83, is editor of Altitudes Europe magazine (since 2004), and senior editor of Invictus, an invitation-only magazine. Sylvie has worked in publishing for the past few decades: “I’m extremely thankful to

Emerson and, prior to that, Milton Academy and Aix en Provence University for the outstanding education I was able to receive, which has made my life such an exciting challenge! Thank you, Emerson, for giving me the opportunity to realize my dream to write stories that entertain and hopefully educate a worldwide readership.”



David Tan was named executive director of the Hawaii Tropical Garden in Onomea.

Alethea Copelas opened Compass Nutrition, a holistic health coaching practice, in January 2013. She works with women to show them how to nurture and reconnect with their body through food so they can release unwanted weight, have more energy, and increase their confidence.

Kim Verock Todd, executive director of Dress for Success Boston, was featured in an ad for Moroccanoil in Boston Common magazine.

1994 20th Reunion Rowland Hoyt returned to journalism as a producer at KTHV-11 in Little Rock, Arkansas, after three seasons working in media and hosting and producing a nightly horse-racing program. Rowland will continue to provide research and stats for NBC Sports for events like the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup. Sonja Mortensen Morrell and husband Mark welcomed their second child, Ryan Andrew, on January 31. Sonja celebrated her 17th anniversary at FM99 and 106.9 The Fox in Norfolk, Virginia. She’s held many different positions over the years and is now marketing director for both stations and on the air at The Fox.

1995 Anna Sang Park was interviewed about Wallabout, the film she is producing with her husband, director Eric McGinty. The film title refers to the industrial district between DUMBO and Williamsburg in New York.

James Pierson joined Schneider Electric’s Global Marketing Data Governance team as a senior data governance analyst. Jenniphur Ryan relocated to Portland, Oregon, from Los Angeles. She works in Legal & Business Affairs at LAIKA, the animation film studio behind Coraline, ParaNorman, and the upcoming BoxTrolls.

1998 Carrie Jacobson gave birth to her second child, Emmet S. Voegele, in Los Angeles. Gregory W. Smith, president and founder, announces the opening of Smith Marketing & Consultancy (SMC). For three years, he has researched and developed marketing initiatives and campaigns for specialized industries throughout the United States. During this time, SMC has evolved into a fully functioning marketing, communications, investment, and public relations firm. Aaron Wahle was promoted to vice president, International Digital Marketing, at Sony Pictures. Aaron lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Sam, and one-year-old Adelaide.

37 Expression Fall 2013

Christopher Hennessy, MFA ‘00, and Anthony Gregory, MSSp ‘02, were married after 13 years together, on Oct. 5, 2013, at Boston University’s Marsh Chapel. The two met while at Emerson. Eric Schramm, MFA ‘00, and Matt Barber, MA ’02, were honor attendants, and Rhea Becker ‘80, Ildefonso Arellano, MSSp ‘03, and adjunct professor Leslie Brokaw were guests. Anthony is a speechlanguage pathologist in public schools. Christopher is an adjunct professor at Emerson and a PhD candidate at UMass Amherst.

What was your department called?

Kate Milliken’s debut collection of short stories, If I’d Known You Were Coming, won the 2013 John Simmons Short Fiction Award, judged by Julie Orringer. The University of Iowa Press will publish the book.

Communication Sciences and Disorders


Communication Disorders Speech Pathology and Audiology Speech and Hearing Therapy

1972–1996 1957–1972 1951–1957

Communication Studies


Speech and Communication Studies Speech

1971–1982 1938–1970

Marketing Communication Mass Communication


Performing Arts



Drama 1933–1955 Dramatic Art 1969–1980 Theater Education 1969–1980 Theater Arts 1955–1969 1980–1986 Visual and Media Arts


Humanities Fine Arts


Writing, Literature and Publishing


Creative Writing and Literature English

1983–1984 1933–1983

Joseph Carr, MA ’90, was promoted to associate vice president for marketing and communications at Providence College.

2000 Amy Lessard Beveridge is news director for WMTW-TV, a Hearst station. Jessica Moore graduated from the University of Baltimore with an MFA in integrated design. Her thesis project is BestWorstDate, a community-based storytelling website about dating: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sarah Pascarella, MA ’02, is the new Boston Local Guide for Her regularly updated site ( features news articles and blogs on the city’s attractions, restaurants, cultural events, and more.

Over the years, a number of Emerson’s academic departments have changed names. To help you find your field, please consult the directory below.

38 Expression Fall 2013

1999 15th Reunion

Kenchy Ragsdale has been named VP of development for Latin World Entertainment, where he will head its recently established TV department on the heels of its success with Killer Women, starring Tricia Helfer and set to air on ABC in January 2014. Founded in 1998 by Luis Balaguer and Modern Family actress Sofía Vergara, LatinWE is the premier Latin talent management and entertainment-marketing firm in the United States.

Sonny Regelman has been promoted to AVP of content and instructional design at Q2A Bill Smith in Austin, Texas, a full-service print and digital content developer for educational publishers. Stephanie Storey has been hired as a coordinating producer for The Arsenio Hall Show, which premiered this fall.

2001 Taylor Jenkins Reid has signed a two-book deal with Simon & Schuster. Her debut novel, Forever, Interrupted, was released this year. Terra Cusack Shewmaker was appointed assistant dean of students and director of parent & family relations at Montana State University.

2002 Jonathan Pezza is director of a new film, String Theory, an unconventional “acoustic” musical that follows three singersongwriters in Los Angeles whose lives collide in a 24-hour period. Other Emersonians on the film include John Matysiak ’03, cinematographer, and Amy Blaisdell Coombs ’07, coproducer.

2003 Darshana Dave is the manager of corporate relations and art services at India Foundation for the Arts in Bangalore. She relocated to India after working as a therapist at Lexington Center for Recovery in Poughkeepsie, New York. Back in India after a decade, Darshana is rediscovering India’s arts and culture. Pete McPartland Jr. won a Daytime Emmy as executive producer for Trisha’s Southern Kitchen on The Food Network (Outstanding Culinary Program).

Garrett Bess ’88, president of Two River Pictures, proudly announces a new television project, Belly Up!, with host Chef Eddie Russell, on the Cooking Channel. In addition, Good Food America on Veria Living was picked up for an additional season. A new host, Danny Boome, takes viewers on a search for the tastiest and healthiest eats in America. In 2012, Two River Pictures was nominated for the

Best Food Travel Series at the Taste Awards for Good Food America with Nathan Lyon as well as a 2011 James Beard Foundation Award nomination in the category of Broadcast Media (Television Special/ Documentary) for the one-hour special The Four Coursemen on the Cooking Channel.

Angela Easterling ’98 and her partner, Brandon Turner, welcomed their son, Harrison Hammett Turner, in 2013, in Greenville, South Carolina. Angela is an independent singer-songwriter who has released four albums. She continued to tour and perform right up to her baby’s birth and plans to

Jess Scone, longtime vegan food writer and blogger, co-directed the sold-out Vida Vegan Con II at the Portland Art Museum. Jared Stearns launched the first and only comprehensive website on the life and career of noted adult film icon Marilyn Chambers. He is working on a biography about her to be published in 2014. Susannah Winfield is the programs and communications manager for global social media training and activation at Dell.

2004 10th Reunion Jenny Byrd is producer of Pack Up the Moon with Brimmer St. Theatre Co., founded by a group of Emerson alumni. Pack Up the Moon premiered last summer in Los Angeles and featured Emilia Richeson ’05, David Jette ’05, and Ben Fuller ’04 and was directed by Amy K. Harmon ’05. Tyler Jenich ’05 was assistant director and Joseph L. Roberts ’05 was production manager.

Sarah Matthews ’02 and Gabrielle Leone were married July 20 at the Great Island Common in New Castle, New Hampshire. After the couple honeymooned in the Mexican Riviera, they returned home to Portsmouth, where Sarah works as a project manager for TomTom and Gabrielle works as a personal chef.

get back on the road and work on some new music later this year. Baby Harrison is being raised as a Red Sox fan.

Jillian Preger DeFrehn has wrapped production on Vampire Academy in London to be released on Valentine’s Day 2014. Working with her father and producer, Michael Preger, Jillian was a co-producer on the film. Her husband, producer Dennis DeFrehn ’02, is in preproduction on the adaptation of Stephen King’s 10 O’Clock People with writer/director Tom Holland. The two have been married for six years and have two daughters, Charlotte, 4, and Olivia, 1. Rockiss and Jeanine Estrada welcomed their third son, Collin, to the family in January 2013, by big brothers Julian, 4, and Adrian, 2. The family recently moved to Ringwood, New Jersey. Rockiss provides bilingual support to clients as a longtime employee of State Farm Insurance. Jeanine is senior director of business development and marketing for a New York City-based contract research organization that provides early development clinical research services to industry.

Rosa Jurjevics ’06 threw caution to the wind this past year and launched Big Creature Media, a motion graphics and video production company, in a corner of her Brooklyn apartment. So far, she has worked with Scholastic (of Harry Potter fame) and several small startups in the New York area, and is happy to report that business ownership Lana Scott is the media support specialist for MITx in MIT’s new Office of Digital Learning. Working with edX, a nonprofit created by Harvard and MIT, which aims to bring the best of higher education to students around the world, she works in the MITx department producing video for MOOCs (massive open online courses) and interactive online classes.

2005 Mike Daley launched a new web project, The Daley Screening. He’ll be watching a movie he’s never seen before every day for one year and writing about each film. You can follow his progress and make suggestions at Cristina Kumka was hired by public access television station PEGTV in Rutland, Vermont, to produce and host her own news show, County News 802. Previously, she was a print reporter for the Rutland Herald.

is worth all the IRS paperwork. Here, Rosa is pictured with spokescreature Olaf.

2006 Bryan Bossard writes, “Celebrating two years at Disney/ ABC Comm. Resources Division. Three other Emersonians in same division. The four of us represent over 10 years of service to the company. Emerson Mafia in action!” Sara McDermott Jain has short films being distributed via the web channel

2007 Joe Cappuccilli has been hired as an integrated marketing manager at Complex Media in New York City. Maurene Goo’s debut young adult novel, Since You Asked…, has been published by Scholastic. Publishers Weekly calls it “A drily funny account of a teenager who feels like an outsider in her high school, family, and society in general...Goo capably demonstrates the pressures and expectations Holly is under, and that a sense of humor is valuable for dealing with both.” Rafael “RJ” Santos was nominated for a Leo Award (Best Visual Effects in a Dramatic Series) for the Syfy TV series Alphas. The Leo Awards are the awards program for the British Columbia film and television industry.

Montreal. While in Montreal, Terwilliger will research and write a historical novel, Yet Wilderness Grew in My Heart, set in New York and Quebec during the French and Indian War (1756–63). He will work with McGill University’s Institute for the Study of Canada and the KOR Language and Cultural Center in the Mohawk nation’s reserve south of Montreal.

2008 Julian Higgins’ Student Academy Award-winning film, Thief, is available to watch at Elevision (, a highly curated hub for visionary and acclaimed short films from the creators of Vimeo and Whlophin. Natalie Kearns returned to her home country of Canada this fall after 22 years in the U.S. to start a job as the head of props for the Grand Theatre in London, Ontario. She’ll be leaving her position as props artisan at Trinity Repertory in Providence. Ontario-area alumni can get in touch with Natalie at Natalie. Matthew Porter was promoted to cover the University of Miami Hurricanes for The Palm Beach Post. This comes after three years as a high school sports beat writer and a year as a web producer for the Post. Matthew is engaged to be married to Kimberly Fulscher and they have a mutt named Charlie.

Cam Terwilliger, MFA ’07, received a Fulbright Scholarship in Creative Writing to go to

39 Expression Fall 2013

2009 5th Reunion Jason Blanchard and Amanda Cameron, Philadelphia-area alumni, were coincidentally selected to speak at an Ignitestyle series hosted by the Philadelphia EdTech Group in December 2012. Jason’s presentation was entitled “Git Commit Instructional Design,” while Amanda discussed “The Role of Apprenticeship and Bridging the Digital Divide.” Kirstin Chen, MFA ’09, has written her debut novel, Soy Sauce for Beginners (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). The book will be out in January. Chloe Jankowitz started an ice cream brand, Scoopsies, and plans to open a store in Somerville. Scoopsies is making 100 flavors in a year and blogging about it: Alexa Lash became marketing coordinator at SEO Brand, where she has been dubbed the “proposal queen.” She also proofread and converted to eBook The Secret Mind of Men: A Spanish Summer, by self-published author Travis Hammond.

2010 Shannon Kelley Felton is deputy head of politics, press, and public affairs at the British ConsulateGeneral, New England.

Elizabeth Furest was the featured contributing writer for Hour magazine, a luxury Detroit magazine covering regional events, restaurants, and the arts. Niki Gerber is a reporter at WLNE-TV in Providence. Kristen Parsons, MA ’10, of Quincy, Massachusetts, received State Street’s 2012 Chairman’s Award for Exceptional Volunteerism for her work with Cradles to Crayons and Strong Women, Strong Girls. She was also named one of the South Shore’s emerging leaders at the 2011 40 Under 40 Awards presented by Stars, a nonprofit providing comprehensive early education and youth programs. Parsons has worked in corporate communications at State Street since 2006.

2011 Cathleen DaCosta Bombard is manager of global communications at Reem Acra (fashion design), based in New York City. Brett Connolly, MA ’11, is part of the morning news team at WFXT-TV Fox 25 in Boston. Jonathan Cortizo was signed to serve as key camera loader on season five of CBS’s The Good Wife. He is also directing a short film, Pearl Street. Joey Derrico is a video editor at Activision|Blizzard, a video game publisher in Santa Monica, California. After working at Prologue Films as a VFX editor on a number of

Alex Hough ’11 married her high school sweetheart and fellow Emersonian Sean Ashworth ’14 on May 18, 2013, in Long Beach Island, New Jersey. Zac Wolf ‘11

40 Expression Fall 2013

studio films, Joey was recruited by Activision|Blizzard to apply his skill-set to the video game industry and its related media assets. Megan Gregg, MA ’11, is a news producer at New England Cable News in Boston. Will Kowall, aka F. Virtue, released a music video for his song “Anita Bryant.” The song is about being a closeted MC in a straight rap culture. Watch it at Leisha Majtan decided to pursue a master’s degree in broadcast journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism after graduating from Emerson. A month after graduation, she was hired as a news assistant at NY1 News. She reports, shoots, writes, and edits multiple stories a day, covering everything from breaking news to the Tony Awards, and spent four days in the field reporting Hurricane Sandy.

2012 April Baker is a reporter at WPDE-TV in Florence, South Carolina. Sara DeViney launched a children’s web series “Iris and I” ( In each episode, Sara and Iris investigate a common childhood fear. The show also features Lauren Chapman ’13 (Iris). Robert Lemire married Leeann Olkovikas on May 25 on the Saint Anselm College campus in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Britt Braudo ’09 married Andy Dresser on June 29. Dylan Joffe ‘10 was maid of honor and Haley Hunt

2013 Justine Borst is a news producer at WCTI-TV in New Bern, North Carolina. Ross Lippman is the weekend sports anchor at Fox 44 in Burlington, Vermont.

‘10, Dara Continenza ‘10, and Katie Greer ‘10 were bridesmaids. Jacob Wolk ‘10 and Steve Klise ‘10 were groomsmen. More than 25 Emersonians were in attendance at the wedding in Kennebunk, Maine. Britt and Andy live in the Boston area and Britt is a producer at Forrester Research in Cambridge.

Abby Peel is the morning news anchor and co-host at WNTK-AM in New London, New Hampshire. Mike Saccone is a news writer at WHDH-TV in Boston. Trevor Savage is a news producer at WMTW-TV in Portland, Maine.

Mary Cate Mannion is an anchorreporter at KFYR-TV in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Rachel Smith, MA ’13, is a news producer at WCAX-TV in Burlington, Vermont.

Elaine McMillion, MFA ’13, was named one of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film by Filmmaker magazine.

Rosa Valentin is a news producer at WMUR-TV in Manchester, New Hampshire. Lily Zhao is a sportscaster at WLUK-TV in Michigan.

Submitting Class Notes

Expression magazine at Emerson College welcomes alumni news: promotions, career changes, marriages, births, volunteer work, and other news. Class Notes are printed on a space-available basis. For publication purposes, photos must be high resolution (300 dpi is ideal). In general, a larger file is better than a smaller file. How to submit class notes and photos Email: Online: U.S. Mail: Class Notes, Emerson College, Office of Alumni Relations, 120 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116-4624

G i f t s t h a t m a t t e r


hen Emerson unveils its major new facility in Los Angeles in early 2014, a new era for the College will begin. For the first time in its history, Emerson will have a permanent home in the city. Emerson College Los Angeles will be a vibrant, state-of-the-art living and learning laboratory for generations of Emerson students. The 119,000-square-foot sustainable building, destined to become a landmark within the iconic Los Angeles cityscape, will serve thousands of area students, alumni, and parents. To make this breakthrough center a reality, the College has launched The Future Has Your Name on It!, a $20 million fundraising campaign that serves as the largest in Emerson’s history.

Building the Future

Two alumni have stepped up to spearhead the effort: Campaign Chair Vin Di Bona ’66 (near left), a TV producer who created America’s Funniest Home Videos; and Doug Herzog ’81 (far left), president of Viacom Entertainment Group (Comedy Central, TV Land). Both are members of the LA Partners, a volunteer circle of committed Emerson donors. TV producer Kevin Bright ’76 (Friends) serves as senior executive director and founding director of Emerson Los Angeles, and legendary producer Norman Lear ’44 is an honorary campaign chair. Di Bona, a proud alumnus who credits the College with helping him develop “the core” of his creativity, says the new facility “is something we’ve always dreamed about.” He is eager to serve as chair to help start the ball rolling. “President Lee Pelton passionately spoke to me about his vision for the College’s future growth in Los Angeles, and I quickly agreed to make the first gift,” he said. “We’ve had a tremendous amount of interest, and now it’s my job to spark even more.” Di Bona is inviting his fellow alumni and all Emerson parents and friends to get in on the ground floor of this effort by supporting the revolutionary new building with a gift of $10,000 or more.

Ed Menezes

Herzog got involved because he is “excited by the prospect of Emerson really establishing itself in Los Angeles. This puts a spectacular face on it, and I want to be a part of Emerson’s growth here in Los Angeles.” He believes “the College has done a tremendous job for many years in Boston. With a first-class facility in Los Angeles, we will be able to take the Emerson mission to the next level.” To learn more about how you can support Emerson Los Angeles through a named gift, contact Campaign Director Patrick Smith at

120 Boylston Street Boston, MA 02116-4624

Her body of work When it comes to getting noticed for her artistic ability, Jody Steel ’14 already has a leg up. That’s because the Film Production major’s artwork—all executed on her bare legs—has gone viral and is getting national media attention. Steel has received numerous freelance job offers, usually to do illustrations for marketing projects from companies around the world. See more of her work at

Nonprofit Organization U.S. Postage Paid Burlington, VT 05401 Permit Number 4