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Winter 2014

The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of


New center adds dynamism to social change efforts and research

A Letter from the President

Among Emerson College’s leading priorities is to serve the community in Boston and beyond. The College has benefited from its location in Boston from the time of its founding, which affords us the opportunity to partner with the city and its residents every day. The Elma Lewis Center for Civic Engagement, Learning, and Research, which opened its doors in September 2013, has been established to help us bring this commitment to life in full measure. Named for the remarkable Elma Lewis ’43, whose dedication to providing arts education for young African Americans in her Roxbury community was the basis of a career of the highest excellence, the Elma Lewis Center at Emerson seeks to honor and perpetuate her legacy. Expression editor Rhea Becker’s interview with the Center’s founding executive director, Kelly Bates, shines a bright light on the ways that we are realizing that aim. The Elma Lewis Center empowers the many young people who take part in its programs, and lifts up the campus as a whole as it facilitates our full citizenship, particularly in Boston and in Los Angeles, the home of our newest living and learning center. Most important, the Center does not work in isolation. In fulfilling its civic mission, the Center helps us realize our aims of being academically excellent: a first-rate education develops students’ understanding of civic life and their capacity for engaging effectively in it. It also helps shape our global engagements: the citizens of Boston come from around the world, and from Emerson we reach out locally, but also nationally and internationally. And it speaks to our efforts to be innovative in all we do, not least through its location in one of the most energetic and energizing spaces on campus. The Elma Lewis Center is located on the 10th floor of the Walker Building, part of the larger Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and just down the hall from the Office of Internationalization and Global Engagement. These linked enterprises are intentionally located in proximity to each other. That way, they can benefit from those synergies that seem to emerge best when people who work together also have the chance to run into each other as they walk down the hall, chat during a break, or dash into each other’s offices to try out their latest great idea. The next time you find yourself on campus, stop by and visit the 10th floor of Walker. You will find students, staff, and faculty working side by side, focused on the task of the moment, but with an eye to the future and the College’s larger goals. It is in microcosm what the campus is as a whole: a community whose members learn and create together. It is Emerson at its very best and I could not be more proud. Lee Pelton, President

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Winter 2014

The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of







Treasures from the College Archives

Associate Professor Kristin J. Lieb examines the marketing and branding of female pop stars




Emerson College Los Angeles opens to first class of students

Meet Flora Charner ’04, a freelance multimedia journalist based in Brazil




New center adds dynamism to social change efforts and research

Giving opportunities for Emerson College Los Angeles


Inside Emerson’s Attic





A Dream Realized



For the Common Good

Class Notes

Gifts That Matter

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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).

Editor Rhea Becker

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

community news It’s the Ron Burgundy School of Communication—For One Day

Michelle Kwong ’15

The pillar of journalism himself—Ron Burgundy—choked back tears at the Semel Theater on December 4, as President Lee Pelton officially renamed the School of Communication to the Ron Burgundy School of Communication—for one day. “I said I would not get emotional. I’m literally a glass case of emotion,” said

Burgundy, in seeming disbelief about the recognition of his work as a journalist. “Of all colleges to give me this esteemed award, to have me be recognized by the Electoral College, it’s extraordinary.” “I thought you guys only met once every four years,” he added. Burgundy accepted a plaque of recognition during a press conference packed with journalists and Emerson students. The award was presented to him by Pelton, Phillip Glenn, interim dean of the School of Communication, and Journalism student Muna Moushien ’14. Pelton reminded Burgundy (actor Will Ferrell) that the renaming of the school would be for one day only “and not a minute longer.” Ferrell, whose publicist is alumnus Matt Labov ’90, was using his Burgundy character to promote the release of the movie Anchorman 2.

The event put Emerson College before a worldwide audience as never before, generating massive Boston media—as expected. But due to wire service coverage by Associated Press and Reuters, news reports were published as far away as Guam, Australia, Singapore, India, Lebanon, and South Africa. More than 500 news outlets published stories, including the online media giants

Michelle Kwong ’15

Michelle Kwong ’15

Laugh Riot

Ron Burgundy (actor Will Ferrell), second from left, with President Lee Pelton, Journalism student Muna Moushien ’14, and Phillip Glenn, interim dean of the School of Communication, at the dedication of the Ron Burgundy School of Communication—for one day.

Actor Will Ferrell met with members of the Emerson community at a reception after the dedication.

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Larry David, actor, comedian, and mastermind behind the hit TV shows Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm, brought his wit to Emerson’s filled-to-capacity Semel

Theater during the fall term for “A Conversation with Larry David.” Michael Kay, Emmy Award–winning television announcer for the New York Yankees, moderated the talk. David is the proud parent of an Emerson sophomore.

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine Visits Campus Entertainer Will Ferrell came to campus for a mock press conference to dedicate Emerson’s School of Communication as the Ron Burgundy School of Communication—for one day. The stunt was staged during a publicity campaign for Ferrell’s latest film Anchorman 2. Ferrell’s publicist is Matt Labov ’90.

Michelle Kwong ’15

The Department of Writing, Literature and Publishing hosted prolific poet Philip Levine during the fall semester. “Philip Levine, by virtue of having won two National Book Awards, the Pulitzer Prize, and the Wallace Stevens Award, is arguably our most important living poet,” said Emerson Professor Steve Yarbrough. “As Poet Laureate of the United States, he did much to communicate his passion for the art of poetry. He is, quite simply, a national treasure.” During his time on the Emerson campus, Levine held a reading and a question-and-answer session regarding his work. Levine, who is known for his poems about working-class Detroit, has published more than 20 collections of poetry and is widely known for his Pulitzer Prize–winning collection The Simple Truth and his other poetry collections Ashes: Poems New and Old and What Work Is.  Publishers Weekly wrote of Levine’s work: “[He] writes gritty, fiercely unpretentious free verse about American manliness, physical labor, simple pleasures and profound grief, often set in working-class Detroit (where Levine grew up) or in central California (where he now resides).” The WLP Reading Series affords students access to national and international authors.

IMDB, with a potential audience of 349 million; Yahoo! News, 208 million; and The Huffington Post, 94 million. Other media included the Telegraph (UK), USA Today, Buzzfeed, ABC News, Zimbio, the Baltimore Sun, and the Miami Herald.

Leo J. Hindery Jr.

Brian Carty

Michael MacWade ’84

Three Join College’s Board of Trustees The Emerson Board of Trustees voted to approve three new members to the board: Leo J. Hindery Jr., Brian Carty, and Michael MacWade, MA ’85. Leo J. Hindery Jr. Hindery serves as president and chief executive officer of TCI Pacific Communications, Inc.; president and chairman at HL Capital; and managing partner and founder of InterMedia Advisors, LLP. He was a venture partner at Allegis Capital. He was also founding chairman and has served as chief executive officer of Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network (YES Network). Earlier in his career, Hindery was president and chief executive officer of AT&T’s Broadband and Internet Services and Comcast Cable Holdings, LLC. In 1998, Hindery was named an International Cable Executive of the Year. He received the Foundation Award of the International Radio and Television Society,

the Executive Achievement Award of the National Association of Minorities in Cable, and the Joel A. Berger Award for his leadership in AIDS awareness initiatives, among many other recognitions. Brian Carty Carty is chief marketing officer at Steward Health Care System, a nationally recognized preeminent authority on marketing for service companies. He has served as president of three advertising agencies, including Hill Holliday in Boston. There, he and his team doubled the size of the company in 18 months and acquired new clients, including Verizon Wireless, Fidelity Investments, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. Carty became CEO of Wheelhouse Corporation, a marketing service company,

after leaving Hill Holliday. Under Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, Carty was CEO of MIFA, the state’s investment bank, where he issued more than $1 billion in health care bonds for Massachusetts hospitals. Michael MacWade, MA ’85 MacWade is a managing director at Putnam Investments, responsible for relationship management across the defined contribution (401k) business, with special emphasis on supporting Fortune 1000 clients. MacWade joined Fidelity in 1987 and most recently acted as senior vice president of administrative services within Institutional Wealth Services, in which he managed teams responsible for all implementation, program management, sales administration, and technology.

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White House Is a Classroom for Two Students Two Emerson students worked at the White House last semester after landing internship and volunteer positions through Emerson’s Washington, D.C., Program overseen by the Communication Studies Department. Shannon Hennessey ’15 (far right), a volunteer, and Xakota Espinoza ’14 (right), an intern, both worked in the Office of Presidential Correspondence, which handles letters, emails, gifts, and other correspondence from the public to President Obama. Landing an internship near the president of the United States was especially rewarding for Espinoza, whose politically engaged mother died less than three years ago. “Growing up, my parents introduced me to politics at a relatively young age,” said Espinoza, a Political Communication major. “Elections [and political issues] were things both my parents were extremely passionate about. I don’t think my dad has

ever been happier than the day I received my acceptance. I’m still in awe over how lucky I have been to have this opportunity.” Hennessey said her favorite part about volunteering with the Office of Presidential Correspondence is “hearing the stories people have to tell. And knowing that if people feel like they are being heard, I’ve done my job,” she said. Espinoza said she signed up for the White House Internship Program as soon as she was accepted to Emerson’s D.C. Program. “I never expected to hear back from the [White House],” she said. “I knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I just could not pass up.” Espinoza’s main job is working on the Comment Line. She also assists with and sometimes attends events featuring White

House staff members as guest speakers. “Every time I go hear a White House staffer speak or get to attend an event, it’s anything but a typical experience,” she said. Hennessey is not certain if she will pursue a career in politics, but Espinoza is. “Going into politics has always been my plan,” Espinoza said. “I formerly interned for Secretary of State John Kerry when he was a Massachusetts senator, and I also worked as a communications director for a state representative campaign in Boston. Everything I’ve done has been in pursuit of a career in politics once I finish college. There’s no better place to do that than D.C.”

students and alumni whom Karl taught and mentored, and his partner organizations, will feel his loss in so many ways.” An outpouring of condolences were quickly posted to a Facebook page started by students. “Karl was a valued colleague, great friend, and an untiring advocate for his students and programs,” said Donald Hurwitz, interim chair and associate professor in the Marketing Communication Department. “He loved music, had a twinkle in his eye all the time, and he loved his sons,” said Cathy Waters, associate chair and senior executive-in-residence. “He was a great dad.” Baehr brought a wealth of business and entrepreneurial experience to Emerson when he became a faculty member in 2004, and is credited with developing the College’s Business Studies and Entrepreneurial Studies minors in Marketing Communication.

Baehr also oversaw the highly successful Emerson Experience in Entrepreneurship (E3) program in which students develop business ventures—more than 30 percent of which were launched, despite a national average of about 4 percent success for such programs. “He was very active in practicing entrepreneurship himself,” Hurwitz said. “He had multiple generations of students in a very short window of time representing various stages of business success.” Waters said Baehr took “a fatherly pride” in his students. A week before his death, Baehr took a group to an etiquette event, showing them how to act when having dinner with business executives. “He knew the nuts and bolts were so important,” Waters said. “Anyone who’s worked with Karl really feels connected to him. His passing is going to be hard on a lot of people.”

Community Mourns Death of Business Studies Faculty Baehr

Karl Baehr, senior executive-in-residence in the Marketing Communication Department, unexpectedly died in November 2013. He was 54 years old. In a letter to the community, Emerson President Lee Pelton called Baehr a “marvelous colleague and mentor.” “He will be greatly missed,” Pelton wrote. “Our community here, especially

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Laverne Cox, transgender actor in the Netflix hit series Orange Is the New Black, spoke to a full house at the Bright Family Screening Room during the fall semester as part of Emerson’s first Transgender Awareness Week, titled “The Authentic Me.” “You’re the leaders of the future. You’re the potential policymakers and employers,” Cox told student journalists before the event. “That’s what gets me excited about talking to students.” Cox, who met with several transgender students in a reception before her lecture, cited high homicide statistics for the LGBT community as one reason she speaks to colleges across the nation about transgender issues. “I was kicked on the street once…when someone realized I was trans,” she said. “Not fun. Dealing with it is hard. Especially as a kid growing up, being harassed and bullied, and not really having a strong sense of myself.”

Kelsey Davis ‘14

Trans Week Hosts Orange Cast Member Laverne Cox

Cox is grateful for her high-profile role on Orange Is the New Black, which she called “groundbreaking on so many different levels.” “When we actually have a real trans person [on screen],” she said, “there’s a whole population of trans folks out there who can begin to see themselves and can begin to imagine the possibilities. [Sophia] is really a multi-dimensional character who the audience can empathize with.”

Cox said acting was a form of healing for her. Her well-known acting coach (and Emerson alumna) Susan Batson ’64 served as a strong support in Cox’s life. In addition to Orange Is the New Black, Cox has appeared on Law & Order and also became the first African American transgender person to star in and produce her own television series, TRANSform Me.

Basketball Players Serve as Big Brothers to Area Children Baehr had more than 25 years of experience in new venture creation, according to his online biography. He was once recognized as a Top Professor of Entrepreneurship by Fortune magazine for his work at Emerson. In 2006, Baehr cofounded InterTerraNMG, a new business development firm active in media, publishing, entertainment, medical technology marketing, and investment banking. He earned a PhD in communication from Regent University and an MA in the diffusion of innovations from the University of New Mexico, where he studied with renowned scholar Everett M. Rogers. Baehr’s BA was in radio, television, and film from Stephen F. Austin State University.

Five members of the Emerson Men’s Basketball team are mentoring students at the Josiah Quincy School in Boston in conjunction with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay. The partnership allows children to bond with College athletes and serves as an opportunity to learn life skills. A spokesperson from Big Brothers Big Sisters said they are excited for Emerson athletes to pass on skills such as teamwork, commitment, and leadership, which are essential both on and off the basketball court. Team captain Jon Goldberg ’14 said working with the youngsters “will only help our team grow. As a captain, this is what I strive for—to help others become better leaders and the best they can be.” “We are thrilled about the new partnership,” said Catherine Riede, support coordinator for the Josiah Quincy School, which is located in Chinatown and has a large percentage of children from low-

Jon Goldberg ’14 of the Emerson Men’s Basketball team with Evan Tan, a student at the Josiah Quincy School in Chinatown.

income, non-native-English-speaking families. “It really builds the students’ self-esteem to have an adult role model who volunteers to spend time with them one on one.” Basketball Head Coach Jim O’Brien said he hoped the team’s attitude, which embraces “hard work, selflessness, teamwork, and caring for others…will get passed on to these children.”

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a l k

Kristin J. Lieb Her 2013 book, Gender, Branding, and the Modern Music Industry: The Social Construction of Female Popular Music Stars (Routledge), details the way in which female stars’ singing talent is often trumped by the hypersexualization that is demanded of them. As Lieb writes, “Unfortunately, for a female pop star, her core asset is really her body.” Lieb has also written for the music industry’s leading trade publication, Billboard, and Rolling Stone.

As a former music industry executive, Kristin J. Lieb, associate professor of Marketing Communication, is an expert on the branding of female pop stars

You say in your book that singing talent is not enough to make a woman into a pop star. What qualities must a female possess to “make it”? Female popular music stars learn quickly, from many directions—handlers, fans, and society, to name a few—that their bodies and sexuality are their core assets. These artists learn to prioritize sexual attractiveness over talent because they are rewarded for doing so repeatedly. They compete in a crowded field to secure movie deals, magazine covers, and fashion lines to support their core brand, so they are routinely trying to outdo each other in this regard.

These stars have to be able to extend their brands across entertainment industry platforms, and, at this point, their bodies and sex appeal, more than their music, help them do that. As an example, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Beyoncé, Fergie, and Avril Lavigne have all appeared on the cover of Maxim, and it’s not for their voices or musicianship—that’s not what that magazine is about. Those who don’t have the camera-ready “attractiveness,” which increasingly means a highly sexualized, porn-leaning look, aren’t signed [to recording contracts] as readily because they aren’t slam-dunk hits from a brand extension or merchandising perspective. So while musical talent helps secure record label deals in the first place, it’s just part of the assessment process for female artists.

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How was MTV a game changer? MTV linked the artist’s image to his or her music in a concrete way. Before MTV, people often didn’t see an artist before they heard his or her music, so the music was evaluated on its own terms. But after MTV, as soon as an artist debuted, the audience knew what he or she looked like. So the music and image were consumed simultaneously. For women such as Madonna and Tina Turner, MTV was a great way of launching or sustaining an epic career. For women who weren’t as attractive and overtly sexual, MTV proved the music industry had limited possibilities. Take Bonnie Tyler. She had a hit song, “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” yet in the video, there are objects flying past her face, obscuring what she looks like in varied and sometimes hilarious ways. Other female artists didn’t even appear in their own videos. Most fans don’t understand how pop stars are constructed and marketed. Could you describe the differences between the marketing of a male and of a female singing star? Young men and women are brought to market in nearly opposite ways. Young men are generally instructed to keep quiet and be mysterious, while young women are coached to over-share via social media, through every magazine under the sun, and in various television opportunities, which, unsurprisingly, leads to overexposure and audience fatigue. Young men are constructed to be sort of sexless, too, as their target market, mostly girls, would be threatened by highly masculine representations; the fascination with the bad boy comes later. In contrast, young women are mainly

feminist perspective. While sex-first representations should be an option, they should not be an imperative.

constructed to appeal as aspirational figures to young girls and aspirational girlfriends to young boys.

for other, younger artists. Assuming, of course, that they write their own songs in the first place, which many of them don’t.

If artists come to market as adults, the major difference is that men have more representational types available to them. They can play virtually any role or choose any persona, whereas women are strongly encouraged to debut as “good girls” and transition quickly into “temptresses.”

Could you explain the impact Madonna had on female pop stars? Madonna wrote the playbook for so much of what’s going on today. Simply put, she changed what people thought female performers could and should be. She’s also the first artist to “lap” my lifecycle model, which explains the phases that the most prominent pop stars must transition into and out of as they negotiate the top tier of the industry. So now Madonna is a “legend,” somewhere in the midst of her second career “life,” at least in terms of my lifecycle.

Why do women in the field have shorter careers? Women in the field have shorter careers because they suffer from overexposure and burnout. If you’re everywhere, all the time, as they’re designed to be, this is bound to happen. Lady Gaga is suffering the effects of that now. And Miley Cyrus is well on her way. Then, as female pop stars age beyond their peak, they lose their potential for expanding their brands into magazines, TV, film, and fashion lines, as age and beauty are drivers of success in those areas. So the game for them, at present, is to make as much money as possible until they’re no longer deemed relevant; at which point, some of them move to the background and begin writing songs

She taught young women that owning your sexuality could be empowering, which was critically important at that time. But the interpretation of Madonna’s sexual empowerment message has changed over the decades, as different artists have adapted it for their respective times. As I look at today’s artists, it strikes me that they might think the only way to be powerful is through their sexuality, which is a nightmare from a

Madonna communicated so much more than sexual empowerment: she built and ran her own label, successfully extended her brand into other entertainment realms, such as publishing and film, before that was common practice, and even launched careers for others. And by cycling through so many versions of her public “self,” Madonna showed other stars how many representational options were legitimately open to them, and how brand extensions could help enhance their already powerful and differentiated brands. Sadly, what was extracted as essential strategy, and persists to this day, is pretty much the most heteronormative, hyper-sexualized dimension of what Madonna did, not her cultural richness or complexity. What is your opinion of TV talent contest shows, such as The Voice? The talent shows are interesting—to a limited extent. I’ve watched all of them at various times, but The Voice is the only one I have followed, with intent, for more than one season. These shows serve as a platform for the celebrity judges and contestants alike, so while the judges refine their brands, the contestants attempt to establish resonant brands themselves, using the star/coach association or relationship as support. I prefer The Voice to the others because it’s somewhat kinder and more nuanced. It also strikes me as more inclusive, in terms of coaches/contestants, and the narratives that circulate around them. E

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Inside Em O h ,

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t h e

t h i n g s

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merson’s Attic i n

t h e

C o l l e g e


hen you’ve been around for more than 130 years, you can’t help but collect a lot of stuff, and Emerson College is no exception.

A r c h i v e s Photos by Tony Rinaldo

Some of that stuff is selected, cataloged, and added to the College Archives by director Christina Zamon. This repository of material culture consists of books, documents, posters, microfilm, drawings, digital assets, and much more, which are stored in climate-controlled rooms in the Walker Building. Every week, Zamon fields calls and emails from people who have something “Emersonian” to offer to the Archives. Some of the unusual items that have made the cut are LPs, a red–carpet evening gown, board games, T-shirts, and photos of celebrities. In the following pages, Expression features just a few of the special items in the collection.

Mae West (above) in a publicity photo from the collection of theater publicist Howard Atlee ’50. Atlee donated a collection of largely Broadway memorabilia to the Archives. The stone face (opposite page) was discovered during an excavation where the Paramount Center now stands.

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Emerson College insignia adorn a paddle from the 1965 Junior Prom, a 1967 letter jacket donated by alumnus Ed Moriarty, and a beanie and pennant from the 1950s.

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When the College’s first gymnasium was built in 2006, the first Women’s Volleyball game on September 12 was commemorated with a game ball signed by the team members and presented to then-President Jackie Liebergott.

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When a budding actor named Henry Winkler ’67 entered Emerson College, he seized every opportunity he could to hone his skills. Here is a script he highlighted, a program from the musical Carnival in which he played a roustabout, a People magazine cover that heralded his eventual Happy Days fame, and a photo from a college production of Donner.

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A renowned orator and the College’s longestserving president, Henry Southwick was an important figure in the College’s early history. In 1889, Southwick led the teaching of dramatics. In 1900, he, wife Jessie Southwick, and William H. Kenney purchased the College from Charles W. Emerson. Here, a Southwick family album.

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Actress Sylvia Lewis, who danced in Singin’ in the Rain, donated a stunning gown, designed by Ceil Chapman, which she wore in a 1960s Chevrolet commercial, to the Emmys, and in a Broadway show. (The photo of Lewis at far left is from a production of Vintage 60.) Lewis began her career at the age of 12, and made numerous TV and film appearances, including in Singin’ in the Rain, Red Garters, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Beverly HIllbillies, Gunsmoke, The Ray Bolger Show, and The Danny Kaye Show. The donation of the dress and other materials came about when Holly Van Leuven ’12 contacted Lewis seeking her memories of working with Ray Bolger (best known for his portrayal of the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz) for a biography she was writing about him.

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This vintage Philco Predicta is used in exhibits on campus that examine mass media. This television was manufactured between 1958 and 1960, using a then-modern swivelpicture-tube concept.

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Em Lo e s Co rso A lle n ng g to St Op ele e ud e s en ns ts

tepping into the main lobby of Emerson College Los Angeles for the first time, Lauren Grinberg-Funes ’14 declared, “I’ve already changed my Facebook status to say I’m never moving back East.” Traveling from Charleston, South Carolina, with her mother, Kathleen Grinberg-Funes, Lauren admitted she had never before been to the West Coast, but is thrilled that “the Class of 2014 is christening Emerson Los Angeles.”

On January 12, Lauren was among nearly 130 students who began taking up residence in the stunning new Emerson Los Angeles building on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of historic Hollywood. The College founded its Los Angeles program 27 years ago, but this semester marks the first time the program has been housed in its own facility. Several other colleges operate programs for students in Los Angeles, but Emerson is the only institution with its own building. In future semesters, more than 200 students will live, study, and work at the center.

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o dt me erri o c el yK s. ice is w s b f 14 ngele tor o t serv ’ ’14 r Or Los A direc den ure h n c u e t A n rr s hS Ga erso nus, L and ica eets Em cMa hips t M w) gr ELA. n or a s M ern ist llo at ect Dir ir Ass nd ye r ’14 int t g n n the k ide rple a Canto ndi , too and s u e o R e pu les nts ,F (in eyenn ’76 nge ude ght Los A of st l. Ch i r tos riva in B son Kev Emer d pho on ar i f p o o lar u Po milies fa

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Emerson President Lee Pelton said, “The opening of Emerson Los Angeles to its first cohort of students marks an extraordinary new era for the College. The Emerson community can feel proud of its achievement as we look to a future of expanded opportunity for our students, alumni, and friends in the Los Angeles area.” The eagerly anticipated day was years in the making, and had its roots in Emerson President Emerita Jackie Liebergott’s administration. Tim Taylor ’14 started his journey to Emerson Los Angeles in New Hampshire. It took him almost nine days to arrive in LA, to be among the first to experience life in the iconic new center.



Students from departments across the College are living, working, and studying at Emerson Los Angeles. Among those beginning their semester at Emerson Los Angeles are:

Kelsey Davis ’14

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“Welcome to Emerson Los Angeles,” said Kerri McManus, director of internships and student services, as she, the Residence Life staff, resident assistants (RAs), and eight student helpers greeted the students moving in from near and far, including Taylor, who drove 3,000 miles, and Ramon Calderon ’14 and his family members, who traveled just a few minutes to the center. The wellorganized process went smoothly, with an RA waiting with the familiar Emerson laundry cart to escort each new arrival to his or her room. Purple and gold balloons were prominent on Sunset Boulevard. Kevin Bright ’76, Founding Director of ELA, personally greeted students and their families as they arrived. He captured the moment by taking photos of each arriving student along with family members, many of them beaming at the prospect of being among the first to experience the state-of-theart-facility. His high-tech camera printed instant photos and captured digital images that were posted to Facebook. “This beautiful building will bring Emerson students and




Orrin Whalen ’14, a Theatre Design/ Technology major, was born in Leicester, England, but grew up near Los Angeles. While living there, he saw evidence of the “Emerson Mafia,” a term used to describe Emerson alumni working in the communication and arts industries. “I was helping out on a film set two or three years ago,” Whalen said. “I think eight people working on the film were from Emerson.” He said attending Emerson Los Angeles “is a nice transition into a field.”

West Coast alumni together for generations to come,” said Bright. Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Jeff Schoenherr said, “I’ve heard from numerous alumni and parents who are excited about the opening of our home in Los Angeles. This represents a new chapter in the history of the College, and it’s a terrific addition to the worldwide Emerson community.” Also on hand to greet students and their families and ensure all went well were LA Program Director Jim Lane, West Coast Development Director Patrick Smith, Student and Alumni Engagement Director Amy Grill, Emerson Chief of Police Robert Smith, and Associate Vice President for Facilities and Campus Services Jay Phillips. Parents and students were treated to tours of the new building. After a flight from Hartford, Connecticut, Kevin Roland ’14 arrived with a backpack and three hefty suitcases. Still, his enthusiasm



Kathleen Montero ’14, a Journalism major from New York City, learned about a BBC internship in Los Angeles through a post in the Emerson Los Angeles Spring 2014 Facebook group. Within a week she applied, interviewed, and was called back about the position. “It happened so quickly,” she said. “I’m just so thrilled to have the opportunity to do what I want, and for a huge company.”

Kelsey Davis ’14

was obvious: “I’m excited about exploring Los Angeles and Hollywood. I can’t wait to see everything!” The Acting major will intern with Stein Entertainment Group. Cheyenne Cantor ’14, a Marketing Communication major, grew up in nearby Malibu. Surveying her room for the first time, Cantor said she was excited to start the program because she grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles, “so I’ve never experienced living in the city.” Cantor will intern at AEG, a major sports and entertainment presenter. New arrivals quickly flocked to one of the LA facility’s exciting, new features: the Emerson Kitchen, a restaurant on the ground floor. The menu is more than 40 percent vegetarian and the made-to-order options are extensive, using the latest kitchen technology. The facility features indoor and outdoor tables, and a smartphone app so patrons can place orders in advance. The Future Has Your Name on It! campaign is the College’s first multi-year effort to secure $20 million or more in private support from individual donors, foundations, and corporations, which will

fuel Emerson Los Angeles. There has been, to date, a robust response from alumni, parents, and friends to the campaign—the largest in Emerson’s history—with many still-available opportunities for funding and naming key spaces within the building. Built by the award-winning Los Angeles-based architect Thom Mayne and his Morphosis team, the 10-story structure is packed with amenities and cutting-edge equipment. Among them are the Di Bona Family Distance Learning Center, the Herzog Family Classroom, the Al Jaffe Enrollment Services Office, the Bright Family Screening Room West, the Whitney Clay Diller Director of Internships Office, the Dan Cohen and Lisa Black Residence Suite, wired classrooms, an open-air screening and live-performance space, dressing rooms, computer labs, mixing suites, an outdoor terrace with gas barbecue grills and a fire pit, and much more. The building has been built to LEED Gold standards.

Michelle Kwong ’15

Stefani Robinson ’14, of Roswell, Georgia, will pursue an internship in TV writing. She interned last summer in Comedy Central’s writing department, where she reviewed scripts and sat in writers’ meetings for The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. “I’ve learned a lot” at Emerson, said the Writing for Television and Film major, “but I don’t think anything beats actually being in LA to understand how this industry works and how to break in.”

Kelsey Davis ’14

More than 4,300 students have participated in the LA program since its inception. Emerson Los Angeles will significantly expand the College’s current program of academic offerings and professional internships at television and film studios, music companies, media outlets, marketing agencies, and related enterprises. E


utu he F

To t

An invitation–only gala event was held March 8 to mark the official opening of Emerson College Los Angeles. Open houses for alumni and parents took place the week of March 10. Visit ela for details. Look for extensive photo coverage and full details on Emerson College Los Angeles in the next issue of Expression.

Billy Finn ’14, an Acting major, said that Emerson Los Angeles has been on his radar screen since day one. “LA is one of the things I need to do before I graduate,” he said. “It’s always been part of my overall goal. It worked out and I’m very happy about that.” Finn, of Remsenburg, New York, hopes to get experience in casting for animated television shows, working with voiceover artists. “I’ve always connected very well with younger-audience films,” Finn said. “My movie library on my computer is just chock full.”

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FOR THE COMMON New center adds dynamism to social change efforts and research

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t’s not easy for an Emerson student to find a space in the College’s annual Alternative Spring Break program. The initiative, offered by the College’s Office of Service Learning and Community Action, has grown from one annual trip to four. Still, the 50 slots available each year are in high demand. On past trips, students have contributed to social justice efforts such as environmental restoration following the BP oil spill in Niceville, Florida; poverty relief in Biloxi, Mississippi, and New York City; and aiding immigrant communities at the El Paso, Texas/Juarez, Mexico, border.

The program is oversubscribed, and Kelly Bates couldn’t be happier. Bates is the founding executive director of the College’s new Elma Lewis Center for Civic Engagement, Learning, and Research, which is charged with enhancing the culture of civicmindedness and civic action at Emerson. “Emerson’s civic engagement initiative is based on the belief that not only is there an educational value to civic engagement but also that the institution has a responsibility to serve the public good and our local community,” said Sylvia Spears, vice president for diversity and inclusion. With a JD from Boston University Law School, Bates came to Emerson in fall 2013, having spent the past two decades working in community-based organizations focused on empowering Boston’s youth, working families, people of color, and other populations.

Vision for the Center The Center was established last year in alignment with President Lee Pelton’s vision, and is named for Elma Lewis ’43, the MacArthur Grant–winning alumna who founded an array of arts organizations that served inner-city youth in Boston (see page 23). When President Pelton announced plans for the Center, he asserted that Emerson possessed special strengths in communication and the arts that could be employed in civic action projects and social change. “Our nation looks to colleges and universities to help solve society’s most pressing problems,” he said during his 2012 inaugural address. “Just as we ask our students to share their talents and resources with those who have not had the good fortune to participate in the bounty of life, so, too, must Emerson College. Just as we ask students to live a life of no regrets and where they see wrong, to right; where they see hurt, to soothe; and where they see a broken heart, to mend it, so, too, must Emerson College.”

Under Bates’s leadership, the Center aims to: provide a platform for civil discourse about issues of social consequence, bring Emerson’s distinct expertise in the arts and communication to bear in serving the public good, and contribute to the dissemination of knowledge regarding the ways in which creative expression might serve the common good through civic engagement. The programs of the Office of Service Learning and Community Action, directed by Suzanne Hinton, are just some of the many programs that come under the Center’s auspices.

Bates aims to create opportunities for students “to be the kind of people who are willing to have discourse about issues of public concern, and to contribute to those conversations in very creative ways.” Bates is building programs that ensure that the Center provides guidance and a forum in which students can picture themselves as “part of a system of people and entities that are always trying to contribute to the common good, that they have a responsibility beyond themselves to be civically aware, socially conscious, and to be community leaders in whatever form that takes.” Kelly Bates

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Above: Shaela Peacock ‘14 and Domenica Perrone ‘14 repair furniture at the Salvation Army in El Paso, Texas. Above, right: Natalie Morgan ‘14 and Elizabeth Venere ‘14 collect lawn debris in Mississippi. Facing page, top: Naomi Petrovsky ‘15 paints a wall in El Paso. Facing page: Emily Engelhardt ‘15 and Christian Bergren-Aragon ‘15 work in the yard outside a women’s shelter in Mississippi.

Cold-Weather Activist

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Ideally, students will leave Emerson accustomed to incorporating civic action into their everyday lives, said Bates. “I hope we can inspire students to be part of something bigger than themselves. For instance, spending time at their community health center, helping with an event, protesting a bad policy, or helping a neighbor who has a disability to carry out some of their daily tasks. Or they’re on the T and they see someone treated wrongly and they decide to help make the conditions safer.” In short, Bates hopes students will begin to view themselves as part of the civic fabric. For those who have never dipped their toe into the doing of good works, Bates said she and her staff are prepared to “help students find what they feel passion about. For some people, a parent may have been sick, and they experienced the personal challenges they or their family had gone through and they would like to see that made different. Or they find an issue or social concern they feel passionately about and start from there.” Students may also ask themselves, “What is it that I love to do? What is my core way of contributing, and what is it I care about, and match those things up,” added Bates. “If they’re an actor and their mother struggled with a disability her entire life, would they want to work with children who have parents in the same situation, write a play or script about what it’s like to have that experience, or, if they are a TV/film student, create a public service announcement?” Once a student has an idea, the Center’s staff connects him or her with a community and some infrastructure. “It could be a student group, a faculty member, or an agency,” said Bates.

At 9:00 pm on a frigid December night, Ashley Tarbet ’09 ventured out to Boston Common with several Emerson students and two caseworkers from the New England Center for Homeless Veterans to take part in the city’s Annual Homeless Census. Tarbet was just one of 350 volunteers who roamed the city that night to provide blankets and food as needed and to tally the people they encountered. It was bitter cold and late at night, but Tarbet couldn’t have felt more content. A passion for public service is something Tarbet honed at Emerson. An administrative associate for the Elma Lewis Center for Civic Engagement, Learning, and Research and the Office of Government and Community

Faculty Take Leadership Roles Even before the new Center was established, civic action was woven throughout the curriculum. A project directed by Performing Arts Professor Melia Bensussen in 2011, for instance, involved students creating a theatrical presentation based on J. Anthony Lukas’s book Common Ground, which examines bussing in 1960s Boston. Several film classes feature a social change theme. Numerous courses focus on environmental themes. And professors from all disciplines integrate service learning components into their courses. Faculty have the power to “impart in their classes conversations around civic issues, current events, diversity and inclusion, democracy, and politics, so that our students get a sense that not only are

Relations, Tarbet made her first foray into civic action during high school, when she worked with a Kiwanis-sponsored organization. When she arrived at Emerson, she attended a work-study employment fair, where she happily discovered that she “could be paid for doing community service.” Over her four years at Emerson, she logged 1,200-plus hours serving with Jumpstart, an organization that trains college students to work with underserved children in early-childhood programs. “It’s a lot of work as a student, but it’s worth every minute because the kids we work with are amazing,” she said. Tarbet entered Emerson to study new media, but quickly added a second major—Political Communication: Leadership, Politics, and Social Advocacy—so that she could transform her passion into a future profession.

they learning about all these things, but that they are also connected to something larger than themselves,” said Bates. One of the tasks of the Office of Service Learning and Community Action is to “work with faculty who want to craft their courses to integrate service learning.” Hinton helps faculty design courses that partner with nonprofits, schools, or advocacy efforts in order to send students into local communities to work. Journalist-in-Residence Cindy Rodriguez wanted to find a way to get back to her roots and to give her students the experience of helping. “We connected her with Zumix, an arts program that works with youth in East Boston. They are forming a relationship so that she and some of her students can work with them on a [ journalism-based project]. We advised her and helped connect her to the right organization.” The Center also convenes roundtables for faculty to discuss “What is working well in a course, what is not working? What impact are you making? We troubleshoot. How would you do this differently in the future?” Among the myriad tasks the Center plans to tackle is expanding the College’s relationship with the Boston Arts Academy, a public school that educates youth in the arts. Spring Break The students accepted into the Alternative Spring Break program this spring chose from among four opportunities: environmental conservation in Joshua Tree National Park, California; working on issues of poverty and shrinking cities in Detroit,

For Alternative Spring Break 2008, she joined other Emerson students on a trip to Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina, where they helped residents rebuild their devastated neighborhoods. “This and Jumpstart were the most transformative experiences,” she said. “I learned about the impact I could have on a community.” Upon graduating from Emerson, she worked for four years at Cradles to Crayons, an organization that serves low-income children experiencing homelessness. Then she learned of an open position at the Elma Lewis Center, applied, and was hired— thrilled to return to her alma mater to continue the work she loves.

Michigan; working with low-income youth on an American Indian reservation in Eagle Butte, South Dakota; and working with youth experiencing homelessness in Boston. “Every year there is a plethora of students who want to take part,” said Bates. “It’s very, very powerful learning.” The program is ready for a name change, said Bates. The program is so popular that it’s simply “not ‘alternative’ anymore.” And that’s the way Bates likes it. E

Who Was Elma Lewis ’43? Born in Boston to parents who had emigrated from the West Indies, Elma Lewis ’43 worked her way through Emerson by acting in local theater productions. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1943, followed a year later with a master’s in education from Boston University. In 1950, Lewis (1921–2004) opened the Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts in Roxbury to promote arts and communication education for Boston’s African American youth. In 1966, she founded Playhouse in the Park in Boston’s Franklin Park, which offered free summer performances. In 1968, Lewis founded the National Center for Afro-American Artists. Lewis was one of the first women to receive a MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant,” in 1981, and was awarded the Presidential Medal for the Arts by President Ronald Reagan in 1983. She was the recipient of more than 400 awards and 28 honorary degrees. Her former students continue in her footsteps all over the United States, many of them working in the performing arts in the city of Boston.

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Hollingworth’s 50 Years at College Celebrated

Casson Wins Award for Innovative Course Christine Casson, senior writer-inresidence in the Writing, Literature and Publishing Department, was chosen to receive this year’s ProArts Consortium Classroom Connect Award and a $3,000 grant for innovative course development. Together with Peter Madden from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA), Casson is teaching Text Isles: The Art of Making Books and Poems this spring. The course will combine poetry and bookmaking in a workshop setting where students will collaborate to complete an original bound book by the end of the semester to be displayed in an exhibition. “There’s a tradition of poets working with bookmakers,” Casson said. “I would like to see these collaborations go beyond the class. What I’m hoping is that it creates a situation in which this can be an ongoing practice.” Along with Emerson, the ProArts Consortium consists of Berklee College of Music, Boston Architectural College, the Boston Conservatory, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Faculty from all six institutions in the Consortium can apply for the annual award.

Lipschultz Retires from CSD after 30-plus Years Shelley Lipschultz has bid goodbye to Emerson after working in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department for more than 30 years, most recently as clinical instructor and undergraduate coordinator. A faculty member since 1982, Lipschultz retired January 3 and is moving part-time to England with her husband, who is leaving his position as a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has worked for 33 years, for a new position at the University of York. Lipschultz said, “A lot of us have been together for a very long time, and we’re much more than workmates. We’re really good friends and care deeply about each other.” “I may look for work opportunities in my field, but I may reinvent myself in a totally new way that I haven’t figured out yet,” she said. Lipschultz, who lives in Brookline, said her career began more than three decades ago after she was approached about a position by Emerson President Emerita Jackie Liebergott, who was a faculty member in CSD at the time. Lipschultz spent much of her Emerson career working out of the former CSD location on Beacon Street.

24 Expression Winter 2014

Yoshikawa Essay by in BestSelected American Best American Essays Essays Associate Professor Mako Yoshikawa, of the Writing, Literature and Publishing Department, has written an essay, “My Father’s Women,” which was published in Best American Essays 2013 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). The collection features a selection of the year’s outstanding essays “that show an awareness of craft and forcefulness of thought,” according to a statement on Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s website. Hundreds of essays are gathered annually from a wide assortment of national and regional publications. “My Father’s Women” first appeared in The Missouri Review.

Montillo on Diane Rehm Show Roseanne Montillo, an adjunct faculty member who teaches English courses in the College’s Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies, recently appeared on National Public Radio’s Diane Rehm Show to talk about Frankenstein, and how the 1818 horror novel has inspired legions of writers and filmmakers.

Numerous Emerson faculty members were recognized during the fall semester for significant years of service to the College. The most notable recognition went to Ted Hollingworth, associate professor in the Communication Studies Department, who has been a faculty member for 50 years, starting in 1963. The ceremony was held at the Bobbi Brown and Steven Plofker Gym.

CSD trains students to become speech pathologists, among other professions related to speech disorders, and provides assistance to children with autism or born with hearing impairments, as well as adults who have had strokes or traumatic brain injuries, among other types of clients. Lipschultz named several current and former CSD faculty members as longtime friends and thanked them for their support, including Liebergott, Betsy Micucci, David Luterman, Dorothy Aram, Charlie Klim, Dan Kempler, Wyatt Oswald, and Peg Lahey. “I’ve learned so much from them and others,” she said.

West Named Stearns Faculty Award Winner Richard West, professor in the Communication Studies Department, has been named recipient of the 2013 Norman and Irma Mann Stearns Distinguished Faculty Award. West said he plans to put funds from the award toward his research project, which examines the relationships between U.S. public school systems and same-sex parents. “For the first time in the field of communication, we’re having a candid discussion about what is often referred to as a marginalized family type,” said West. “Still, this family configuration is fast becoming mainstream.” West will conduct research interviews in Massachusetts, the first state to legalize same-sex marriage; Maine, one of the first three states where voters legalized same-sex marriage; Wisconsin, which has a limited same-sex domestic partnership law; and Illinois, where same-sex marriage was legalized late last year. As part of his research, West will interview principals and superintendents of various school districts as well as same-sex parents to determine the levels of social support in the schools. The Mann Stearns Distinguished Faculty Award is presented annually to a full-time faculty member at Emerson in recognition of outstanding scholarly or creative achievement with a stipend of $3,000. Thanks to a generous endowment from Irma Mann Stearns ’67, a former Emerson Board Chair and Trustee Emerita, and her late husband, Dr. Norman Stearns, the recipient may use funds to enhance an ongoing project or develop a new scholarly or creative endeavor. Travel is strongly encouraged.

Anderson Gets Coger Award in Performance Studies John Dennis Anderson, associate professor and interim chair of the Communication Studies Department, has been named a winner of the 2013 Leslie Coger Award for Distinguished Performance by the National Communication Association’s (NCA) Performance Studies Division. A performance study scholar, Anderson regularly performs oneperson shows around the country as authors Henry James, William Faulkner, Washington Irving, Lynn Riggs, and Robert Frost. Anderson won the Coger Award with D. Soyini Madison, a performance studies professor at Northwestern University.

Marshall’s Book on Margaret Fuller Named to Numerous Top Ten Lists Margaret Fuller: A New American Life, a book by Megan Marshall, associate professor in the Writing, Literature and Publishing Department, was named in the New York Times as one of the Top Ten Books of 2013. It was also named to lists by Booklist and the Boston Globe. Marshall is also the author of The Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism (Houghton Mifflin, 2005; Mariner Books, 2006), which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in biography and memoir.

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Meet Flora Charner ’04, a journalist whose work spans several continents By Dan O’Brien

“This truly all started at Emerson,” said Charner, who works as a freelance journalist—producing both news videos and print articles—in Brazil for the Associated Press (AP), Al Jazeera, and several news magazines and websites. “You have to do everything. Emerson gave me the tools to go beyond just one medium.” Charner is doing hard-hitting reporting in Brazil as it undergoes rapid changes to prepare to host the World Cup this June and the Summer Olympics in 2016. “Brazil is a country that ended up adopting me, and I adopted it,” Charner said. “I don’t know what drew me to Brazil, but I have this natural affinity. I grew up listening to Brazilian music.”

Diarlei Rodrigues

Even in this age of digital and social media, many journalists continue to fall into one of two categories: print or broadcast. That’s not so for Flora Charner ’04, who is a multimedia journalist in every sense.

26 Expression Winter 2014

Charner began working for the AP as an editorial assistant upon graduating Emerson at age 21, covering the Democratic National Convention in Boston in 2004. From 2005 to 2007, she worked as the Latin America producer for the AP in Washington, D.C. And from 2007 to 2012, she was senior producer in Rio de Janeiro for the AP Television Network’s Brazil bureau. In 2012, Charner stepped down from her full-time position at the AP to obtain a master of arts degree in politics from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, which she received in 2013. Charner felt compelled to quickly return to Brazil as the nation fell under a microscope with reports of government corruption, shoddy workmanship on stadiums and other facilities, and displacement of poverty-stricken residents to accommodate development projects for the two international events. “The stories I’m most interested in doing have to do with human rights,” Charner said. “In Rio de Janeiro, it’s a city where the clashes between the rich and the poor are very dramatic. It’s been launched into a first-world environment, and that’s very visible. There are shanty houses next to the richest houses around.” Her master’s thesis, “Shot in the Favela: How Television and Film Influence the Image of Poverty in Brazil”—which is now an ebook for sale on— “got to delve into some of the most ignored and forgotten communities in Rio de Janeiro,” she said. Charner reported extensively on the 2009 crash of Air France Flight 447, which killed all 228 people on board after departing from Rio de Janeiro—the wreckage of which was not discovered for several weeks. “I really got to know the relatives of the victims,” Charner said. “There was one man in particular, Nelson Marinho [whose son died in the crash]. I interviewed him about 20 times.”

Charner covered Marinho’s son’s broadcast, and online media, and allowed funeral when his remains were found students greater access to cover events as about two years after the accident. credentialed journalists. A native of Venezuela, Charner was “I was in Iowa when Howard Dean born to American parents: a Puerto Rican made that infamous speech,” she said. mother and a father from New York with “We were student journalists but we went Russian and Polish ethnicity. She spoke at it as professionals. We were taken English at home and Spanish at school as seriously and it was really gratifying.” a child, and became fluent in Portuguese The excitement for Charner has not as an adult. slowed. She carries three cell phones in She immersed herself in all things Brazil as she produces reports for AP; Al journalism at Emerson—regardless of the Jazeera; Americas Quarterly, a magazine medium—writing for the Berkeley Beacon focusing on Latin America; and student newspaper and producing Narratively, a news outlet voted one of broadcast reports for WERS-FM, WEBN-TV, the “50 Best Websites of 2013” by Time and Emerson Independent Video (EIV). magazine. She is also building a following She was one of the founding by posting content on her personal students of WEBN’s Political Pulse public website, affairs show in 2004, when the station won AP awards for best newscast and best news station categories. She was also on the WERS team that year when the station won an award as the best radio news station. Charner, as a student, was also a founding member of the New England Press Consortium, which brought together student journalists from print,

Charner says becoming a freelance journalist last year has given her more freedom to pursue issues that matter to her. “These are stories that speak to me,” she said of her current reporting in Brazil. “I grew up with a mixed-race and mixedcultural background, and I grew up being aware of the reality that other people suffer around me. In Caracas, New York, D.C., or Boston, you can have relationships with people you can choose to ignore or delve into. I decided to delve into that.” She says Brazil has a “strong culture of corruption and impunity,” and wonders if societal change will begin “now that the world is watching.” “Some will be fair criticism, and some won’t,” Charner said. “Now we’ve got [journalists] arriving in Brazil for the first time, and they will see things and jump to conclusions. I hope that’s one thing I can help with.” E

Felipe Dana

Far left: Charner interviewed the late actor Paul Walker at the 2011 premiere of Fast Five in Rio de Janeiro. Left: In a bulletproof vest, Charner reported on a police/military action at a favela (shanty town) in 2010 that was controlled by drug gangs in Vila Cruzeiro, Rio de Janeiro.

Renzo Gostoli

Above: In Rio de Janeiro, Charner filmed a 2011 report on water pollution.

27 Expression Winter 2014

alumni news A Message from Patricia Peyton Martell ’84, President of the Alumni Association

Dear Fellow Emersonians, Happy 2014! The first half of the academic year has been busy for alumni! Our eighth annual Alumni Auction was a tremendous success, raising more than $40,000, every penny of which is allocated to scholarships. Many thanks to Events Committee Chair Cat Cates and her team for their tireless work on the auction—and to all who donated or bid on auction items. Your generosity enables us to provide funds essential to keeping talented students at Emerson. Alumni Board members met these wonderful scholarship recipients at our fall meeting and heard firsthand what a difference those funds make. Results like this year’s will enable us to increase the number and amount of alumni scholarships. During the fall meeting, the Board also visited the fascinating Engagement Game Lab (or Gaming Lab), Emerson’s applied research initiative. Since 2010, Associate Professor of Visual and Media Arts Eric Gordon, supported by a few graduate students and alumni staff, has been the driving force behind the Gaming Lab. Its goal is to develop a variety of games that engage people in a meaningful way online through media that focus on civic engagement, city planning, collaborative storytelling, and more. Visit to learn more about the wonderful work that this team is doing. Alumni activity across the country has been high. This year, we have had 10 EC4Life programs, including panel presentations, networking events, Lion Trivia Night for Orientation, and EmersonNext programs for graduate students. We’ve also held ongoing alumni webinars (some led by alums) and 12 events hosted in L.A., Colorado, Boston, New York City, and D.C. for GOLD and non-GOLD alumni chapters. Keep an eye out for more events throughout the spring, including the opening of Emerson College Los Angeles (ELA), and please take part in our alumni donor Participation Campaign! EC4Life, Patricia Peyton Martell ’84

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Honey Waldman ’46, Theater Legend and Emerson Supporter

Walter John Behringer Jr. ’63 Walter John Behringer Jr. ’63 died November 5, 2013, in Newburyport, Massachusetts, at the age of 72. Behringer rose to fame in the early 1960s as a guitarist and singer for the folk trio The Ramblers Three. The group hit a high note with the release of its album, Make Way for the Ramblers Three, and its national television debut on The Merv Griffin Show. Behringer would find his true passion as a dedicated educator. A graduate of Emerson and Montclair State University, he taught English, speech, and drama in high schools in Hillside and Westfield, New Jersey, for many years, developing lifelong connections to his students. He eventually moved to Newburyport, where he remained active with the town’s school board. He was an avid birdwatcher, as well as a diehard Boston Red Sox fan who would travel to Florida to watch the team’s spring training. His commitment to Emerson College would lead to his long involvement with the College’s Alumni Association.

John Lincoln Meunier ’53 John Lincoln Meunier always believed that his years at Emerson “were the years which shaped his life and philosophy,” according to his wife, Mariclare. Meunier died August 23, 2013. Born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and raised in Newport and Providence, Meunier later enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving in Special Services in Japan. After service, he enrolled at Emerson as a speech major; he played baseball and helped found the College’s Alpha Pi Theta fraternity. Over the years, Meunier was active with the College’s Alumni Association, his Class, and the fraternity. Later, Meunier enjoyed a long career in radio as an announcer at stations in Arizona and later Harrisburg and Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, where he made his home with his family. In addition, he owned a record shop. A talented poet, painter, and writer, Meunier considered his greatest happiness his family; he was a devoted husband, father of three daughters, grandfather of seven, great-grandfather of one, brother, and uncle.

Alumna, theater legend, and longtime Emerson supporter Honey Waldman ’46 died December 8, 2013, in New York City. She was 87. A one-time stage manager, Waldman was renowned for her collaborations with producer husband, Bruce Becker, which led to the creation of two hallmark theaters: the Tappan Zee Playhouse in Nyack, New York, and the Bouwerie Lane Theater in Manhattan. Both theaters became New York institutions, where some of the world’s greatest playwrights, directors, and actors staged their works. At Emerson, Waldman majored in English, with a minor in speech and drama. She appeared in a number of student theatrical productions and was active in the Hillel organization. After graduation, she performed on stage and in films. In 2007, Waldman and her sister, Gladys Waldman Brownstein, made a major gift to fund the Waldman Chair in Theater Arts in the College’s Department of Performing Arts. Created to honor the sisters’ parents, Harry Waldman and Dora Winiker, the chair is filled annually by “a distinguished and broadly recognized figure in theater arts.” Past Waldman Chairs have included Academy Award–winning actor F. Murray Abraham; renowned theater, opera, and festival director Peter Sellars; internationally acclaimed musical theater and opera composer Adam Guettel; actor Marian Seldes, recipient of a Tony Award for lifetime achievement; and award-winning choreographer and director Maurice Hines. The 2013 chair was prolific, awardwinning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks.

Emerson Athletics



Athletics has always been an integral part of the Emerson experience. As the College’s star continues to rise in the NCAA Division III and as a new member of NEWMAC, the Alumni Association is looking to connect past student-athletes to today’s programming and events. To learn how you can get involved, please contact Rachel Pearson at rachel_

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Boston Participating in the EC4Life service day were (from left to right, front row): Jamie Bougie ’14, Brittany Rochford ’14, Diane Bowen ’78; (back row): Tatiana MotevalliOliner ’14, Shantal Furey ’10, Stephanie Morrison ’07, Jana Winfield ’15, and Lacey Russell ’14.

“Alumni Come Home” Welcomes Former Student-Athletes Students and alumni kicked off the fall sports season with a full day of athletics-themed events last semester. In addition to attending men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball games, alumni took the field in an alumni baseball game and a men’s and women’s soccer game. Athletes past and present closed out the day with a reception at Jerry Remy’s restaurant near Fenway Park.

emersonNEXT and EC4Life Partner for “NEXTshops” EC4Life joined forces with emersonNEXT, the professional development program for graduate students, to present two events for students. Terri Trespicio, MFA ’02, vice president of talent and business development for 2 Market Media (pictured, back row, second from left) hosted “You, Only Bigger,” a workshop on

building and broadcasting your personal media brand, and Molly McGuigan, MA ’12, TeamWorks! manager at Keuka College, presented a professional development workshop on “Creat-

Alumni, Students Give Back During EC4Life Impact Day Emerson’s commitment to the community was in full force when several alumni and current students got together to volunteer for a day in the offices of the Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts.

ing the Ultimate Team.” These NEXTshops bring together graduate students and alumni for a unique, all-Emerson experience—stay tuned for more events to come.

President’s Society Family and Film Bring Together Leading Supporters This fall, members of the President’s Society— those alumni, parents, and friends who make annual leadership gifts to the College of $1,000 or more—attended a special reception during Family Weekend and then an intimate meet-and-greet with Will Ferrell, star of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.

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At Family Weekend, Amanda Weisman ’17 with parents Lori and Andrew

Nancy and Douglas Himes with son Austin ’17 during Family Weekend

Will Ferrell and Alumni Board member Kelly Westerhouse ’90 Actor Will Ferrell with Alumni Board President Patricia Peyton Martell ’84 (left) and Alumni Board member Camilla Ross ’85

New York

Rob Ford

The 2013 BFA Acting and BFA Musical Theatre class participated in a showcase in New York City.

From left: Briana Regine Carlson-Goodman ’06; Scott LaFeber, Emerson associate professor and head of Musical Theatre; Stephen Terrell, Emerson senior artistin-residence, Performing Arts; Sheryl Kaller ’82; and Bonnie Comley, MA ’94

Lions Learn How to Network Naturally The New York Alumni Chapter recently enjoyed a special evening designed to take the work out of networking. Ken Mattsson, alumni career advisor from the

From left: Linda Corradina ’81, Ken Fallin ’74, Bill Miller ’74, Jack Hyman ’71, Paul Marte ’83, Andre Archimbaud ’94, and Gloria Ferrer ’74

Alumni Turn Out for Next Generation of Emerson Performers The 2013 BFA Acting and BFA Musical Theatre class took center stage this fall at the annual Emerson College BFA Showcase. Held at the Laurie Beechman Theatre in New York City and organized by Department of

College’s Career Services office, facilitated professional icebreakers and encouraged participants to share their “needs and leads.” Close to 75 alumni attended the event, hosted at PS 450, to further their careers, connect, and just have

Performing Arts Managing Director David Colfer, the revue was produced by Department of Performing Arts Chair Melia Bensussen and attended by industry insiders, including Tony Award winners Bonnie Comley, MA ’94, Jason E. Grossman ’02, and Paul Kreppel ’69.

fun. Said New York Chapter Co-president Linda Corradina ’81: “It was a high-energy event, and we hope everyone was able to walk away with pride in the choice they made to  attend Emerson College.”

Leading Illustrator “Draws” an Alumni Crowd An evening with Emerson alumnus Ken Fallin ’74, illustrator and caricaturist, was hosted by the New York Alumni Chapter at the New World Stage in New York City. Fallin’s work can be seen in the pages of The Wall Street Journal, Playbill, and on the Huffington Post. The evening reception and gallery exhibition showcased Fallin’s work and a talk that highlighted both his work and the journey that got him to where he is today.

From left: Kevin Ryan Young ’85, Denise Bourcier ’84, Holly Weinstock ’84, and Scott Weinstock ’84

NYC GOLD Talks “the Other Side of Entertainment”

In October, New York alumni heard from successful Emersonians about the work that goes on behind the curtains of theater and film. Jason E. Grossman ’02 moderated a panel discussion of influential leaders in entertainment, including film producer Andrew van den Houten ’02 and Tom O’Connor ’03, director of marketing and audience development for the Roundabout Theatre Company. The panel focused on how these young professionals jumpstarted their careers and went from being fans to industry leaders.

31 Expression Winter 2014

Washington, D.C.

P.A.I.R. mentor Peter Loge ’87 (left) with his mentee, Paul Lyons ’14

Comm Students, Past and Present, Connect The National Communication Association’s Annual Convention week provided a perfect backdrop for a special gathering hosted by the D.C. Chapter and the

D.C. Chapter President Jacquie Gales Webb ’77 with alumni, faculty, and students

EC@DC Fosters Capitol Connections The D.C. Chapter partnered with Emerson’s Washington, D.C., Program for the second annual EC@DC: A Capitol Experience. Ambassador Suzan Johnson Cook ’76 kicked off the reception by sharing an overview of her impressive career and encouraged the students to “keep an open mind about their pursuits.” Professor Richard West

followed with updates on the Washington Program and invited the students and alumni present to introduce themselves with the goal of developing an exchange and mentor program that he has dubbed P.A.I.R. (Partnering Alums and Interns Responsibly). Washington-based alumni interested in participating in P.A.I.R. may contact richard_ to be matched with a student.

Emerson College School of Communication. Here, area Comm alumni and current students connected with others working in the field while celebrating the work of the College’s awardwinning faculty. Chapter President Jacquie Gales Webb ’77 is looking forward to hosting programs

throughout the Greater Washington, D.C., area, including Virginia and Maryland. If you would like to get involved, please contact her at EmersonDCAlumni@gmail. com or join the Facebook group at groups/EmersonDC.

Denver Alumni in Colorado Root for the Home Team(s) Alumni in the Denver area gathered to watch a Colorado Rockies vs. Boston Red Sox game at Coors Field. Prior to the game, the Emersonians visited the rooftop at the Tavern Downtown for some pre-game, high-altitude socializing.

Denver alumni and Alumni Association President Patricia Peyton Martell ’84 (back row, far right) gather before the game.

32 Expression Winter 2014

Los Angeles Seated, from left: Jae Williams ’08, Carla Lewis-Long ’86, Jacquie Gales Webb ’77; standing, from left: Bri Ana Jennings ’15, Stephen Farrier ’75, Pam Cross ’75, Ashley Bailey ’14, and Donovan Birch Jr. ’16.

From left: Leslie Davis ’80, Nanci Isaacs ’79, Suzanne de Passe, Kevin Bright ’76, Stephen Farrier ’75, Paul J. Morra ’95, Traci Blackwell ’93, Charles F. Johnson, and Tanya Hart

EBONI Alumni Connect on West and East Coasts The Los Angeles EBONI Alumni Association hosted an industry discussion panel at Swift River Productions in Los Angeles. The A-list panel, moderated by television and radio personality Tanya Hart, included entrepreneur and entertainment industry mogul Suzanne de Passe; NCIS producer Charles Floyd Johnson; CW Network Vice President of Current Programming Traci Blackwell ’93; and director and producer Paul J. Morra ’95. Each guest reflected on his or her rise to the top and offered tips and words of wisdom during a Q&A session and mingling. Later, Kevin Bright ’76, founding

Good Works Area Alumni Speak Up Against Bullying Students from the College’s CPLA (Communication, Politics, and Law Association) invited D.C. alumni to participate in the

director of Emerson Los Angeles (ELA), shared his vision for ELA. In Boston, the EBONI alumni and student organizations joined the Office of Career Services and the Office of Development and Alumni Relations for the launch of the EBONI Mentor Program. Pam Cross ’75, news anchor for WCVB-TV Boston, moderated a professional panel, with film director Jae Williams ’08, cable executive Carla Lewis-Long ’86, and public radio executive Jacquie Gales Webb ’77.

Networking Emerson College/Bird Street Civic Engagement Project gala, supporting collaboration between these organizations designed to raise awareness of bullying through spoken word and PSAs. The students showcased their work during the event, which included a discussion on how to create a dialogue on the issues of violence in our communities.

Bicoastal Meet-Up Held for Emerson’s TechLions Emersonians working in the social media, web design, digital media, and tech industries gathered in Los Angeles and Boston for a special same-night event to network and share best practices. TechLions was started as a Facebook group by Trish Fontanilla ’06 and Billie Larson Shipley ’07. Join the group at groups/TechLions.

TechLion co-founder Trish Fontanilla ’06 (left) and Boston Alumni Chapter President Margie Sullivan ’81

From left: Jasmine Taylor ’17, Alumni Board member Susan Banks ’76, Donovan Birch Jr. ’16, Laura Onyeneho, MA ’15, and Taylor Jett ’17

33 Expression Winter 2014

a l u m n i

Poet Rasmussen Named a National Book Award Finalist Matt Rasmussen, MFA ’04, was named a finalist for the National Book Award for his debut collection, Black Aperture (2013, Louisiana State University Press), which already won the 2012 Walt Whitman Award. Black Aperture is a moving collection of poetry Rasmussen composed while coming to terms with his brother’s suicide, refusing to focus on the expected pathos, and blurring the edge between grief and humor. The award is administered by the National Book Foundation.

Zarowny Hosts Hispanic Lifestyle TV Show in Midwest Natalie Zarowny ’12 is the new host of Hola America, a weekly English-language news and lifestyle program tailored to the Hispanic community in the Quad Cities area of Illinois and Iowa on WQPT-TV, a PBS affiliate. Hola America had been broadcast in Spanish on KGCW-TV for the last four and a half years. Now, Zarowny hosts the first English-language version of the program on WQPT. “People are really excited about it because there’s a significant number of people in the Hispanic community here.”

Winkler ’67 Named Literacy Hero in UK Actor and children’s book author Henry Winkler ’67 was named one of the United Kingdom’s top 10 Literacy Heroes by a panel of celebrity judges. The Heroes were celebrated at a VIP reception hosted by its patron, the Duchess of Cornwall. All 10 are “individuals who either made a significant impact on the reading skills of others or overcome problems to succeed themselves.” Winkler has overcome dyslexia and written numerous children’s books. He has also helped raised awareness of learning disabilities in children that can impair literacy skills at an early age. He has written several books about a schoolboy, Hank Zipzer, who has learning difficulties. Winkler is best known for his role as “Fonzie” in the TV hit Happy Days.

Lurie Drives Red Sox Players in Parade Paul Lurie ’04 (above, far left) received the job assignment of a lifetime in November—driving one of the Boston Duck Tour vehicles that ferried the 2013 World Series Champions, the Boston Red Sox, along a parade route—to the excitement of millions. “It was surreal,” said Lurie, who lives in Dedham, Massachusetts, with his wife, Lindy, and their baby. Lurie’s given more Duck Tours than he can count, but the Red Sox parade topped them all. “I’m a big Sox fan,” he said. “I’m so happy I ended up driving in the parade.”

34 Expression Winter 2014

Iced-Tea Entrepreneur Named a Top Young Innovator Evy Chen ’11 was named one of the top 25 innovators under the age of 25 by Chen won the 2010 Emerson Experience in Entrepreneurship (E3) Exposition and was featured in the Boston Globe in 2013 for her business venture to bring iced tea to China. 

Oscar-Nominated Film Producer Green ’81 Describes Her Career Film producer Sarah Green ’81 spoke to a large Emerson audience last semester at the Bright Family Screening Room. Sponsored by the Department of Visual and Media Arts’ Bright Lights series, the event was part of a series that brings screenings, discussions, and presentations from industry professionals to Emerson. Green was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture in 2012 for Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life. Her recent project with director Jeff Nichols, Mud, starred Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon and was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards. Green was introduced by Assistant Professor Miranda Banks, who led the

Poet Publishes New Collection, The Dailiness

Miranda Banks, assistant professor in Visual and Media Arts, with film producer Sarah Green ’81.

conversation during which Green answered questions and shared stories from her producing career. “I don’t know how I got here exactly, but I can tell you it had a lot to do with passion,” said Green. Green’s films include Karyn Kusama’s Girlfight, David Mamet’s State and Main, and Julie Taymor’s Frida. Green is in post-production on Malick’s two upcoming films.

A new poetry collection by Lauren Camp, MA ’90, The Dailiness, has just been published by Edwin E. Smith Publishing. A Communication Studies graduate, Camp also designs and facilitates creative writing workshops for older adults who have had full careers in the professions but need direction and support to pursue creative work. Let Me Live in Your Tolerance By Lauren Camp Do not say salaam aleikum in my taxi. Say Hello. Say Drive me to 42nd and 2nd. As we move slowly up the Avenue, do not ask my faith, and do not ask me if I fast. What I put in my body nourishes me; what I leave out also feeds my soul. Do not get out your knife. My skin knows its angles already.

Girl Scouts Honors Kaigler ’85 as “Leading Woman” Denise Kaigler ’85, senior vice president of corporate affairs and communications at Boston Scientific, was recently honored by the Girls Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts during the 22nd annual Leading Women Awards Breakfast at the Sheraton Hotel in Boston. Kaigler actively supports nonprofit organizations and fundraising activities that help the underserved, especially youth. She previously served as co-chair of the Board of Overseers at Emerson. The Leading Women Awards brings hundreds of women and members of the Greater Boston business community together to celebrate leadership, honor the awardees, and support the Girl Scout mission. Kaigler has more than 20 years of experience in corporate communications, global public relations, marketing, and corporate branding. She previously led the corporate affairs group at Nintendo of America, and before that, spent 17 years at Reebok International, where she became chief communications officer. Kaigler graduated from Emerson with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

State Department’s Snipe ’94 Wins Murrow Award Aaron Snipe ’94 has been named the recipient of the 2013 Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Public Diplomacy from the U.S. Department of State, for his work as public affairs advisor for the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. This prestigious award is presented to a department employee who best exemplifies the standards of dedication, integrity, courage, sensitivity, and excellence in the field of diplomacy set by Edward R. Murrow, who was director of the United States Information Agency (USIA) from 1961 to 1964. The award consists of a certificate signed by Secretary of State John Kerry. The award’s selection committee was impressed with Snipe’s “extraordinary innovation and creativity” in promoting the policy goals of the United States government across the Middle East and North Africa, a statement read. As a spokesperson for his bureau, Snipe engaged the domestic and international press to explain U.S. policy in the Middle East, particularly on Iran, Iraq, Syria, and the Middle East Peace Process. Snipe, who speaks Arabic, held a previous role in Ethiopia.

Say Here’s your money, sir then please remove your soft body from my cab.

35 Expression Winter 2014

class notes 1951 Stuart Tower’s newest book, Branko, is a historical novel spanning the years 1881–1948 and was published by Lighthouse Press. The book is available online.

1953 Norma Jo Abramson Apt continues to study World War II and Holocaust history and lectures at various book clubs on the resistance to Nazi occupation.

1959 55th Reunion Elizabeth (Kidney) Craig played a lead role with the Arts in Motion theater group at the Eastern Slope Inn in North Conway, New Hampshire. She retired from teaching English, speech, and drama 10 years ago.

1960 Daly Hirsch Enstrom and her husband, Ronald, recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Daly is a speechlanguage pathologist with her own private practice, and Ronald teaches physics at a local university in New Jersey. They have five healthy and happy grandchildren and Daly sends “best wishes for 2014 to my classmates.”

1961 Mel Simons wrote his tenth book, The Old-Time Radio Trivia Book II, with a forward by Bob Hastings, radio’s “Archie Andrews.”

1968 Steve Bluestein has published his second book, 49 1/2 Shades of Blue-stein, available online.

1969 45th Reunion Rev. John F. Underwood retired November 1 after 22 years at Community Presbyterian Church in Deer Park, New York, and after 40 years of ministry. He currently serves as president of the Presbyterian Writers Guild and had a hymn published in the newest Presbyterian hymnal, “Glory to God.”

1972 Betsy Polatin wrote The Actor’s Secret. To learn more, visit Peter Reinhard joined CSI Management Services in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as a general manager last year and will be celebrating his 40-year milestone in property management this year. He writes: “Gee, time flies by when you are having a good time!” Marcie Mitler ’75 is producing and performing in Across the Ages Dance Project, a yearly intergenerational show featuring a mixed ensemble of dancers and both established and new choreographers. The show will be performed at Green Street Studios in Cambridge, Massachusetts, May 2–4.

36 Expression Winter 2014

1973 Deeny Kaplan Lorber penned the book celebrating Miami’s Joe’s Stone Crab restaurant, Waiting at Joe’s—“the story about the waiters and not the anticipated two- to three-hour wait. It’s a history of the city as seen through the eyes of the ‘lifers’ at Joe’s.” To learn more, visit David Reno, MA ’95, hosted and moderated a candidates’ forum for the Boston mayoral election at the Gallery at the Piano Factory last year.

Stuart Tower ‘51 is the author of Branko (Lighthouse Press), a historical novel that tells the story of 6-year-old Branko Horvitch, who witnessed the brutal massacre that takes his family, and goes on to survive a childhood in a Tsarist orphanage. The book follows him through the 20th-century, including brushes with iconic figures. in touch with his Alpha Pi Theta brothers and enjoys spending time with his three kids and new grandchild.



Steve Farrell married Raquel Silva in Brownsville, Texas, last fall in a civil ceremony. He is a regular substitute teacher with the Harlingen School District in Texas, and Raquel is a special education teacher at Porter High School in Brownsville.

Kenneth Eckstein retired as a senior captain with Delta Airlines after 34 years. Oddly enough, Kenneth’s class photo in the Emerson yearbook was posed in a Delta airplane cockpit in 1972.

Richard Griggs has a rooftop installation, Animalia: Sculpture by Richard Griggs, on display at the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, Connecticut.


1979 35th Reunion

David Pultz joined the new startup company, Kinetta Archival, in New York City. The company transfers a wide variety of motion picture film formats to high-definition digital files. David will serve as senior colorist, bringing with him a skill developed over the past 35 years.

Nanci Isaacs is working as a realtor at the John Aaroe Group in West Hollywood, California.

1974 40th Reunion

1977 Jimmy Del Ponte has spent the past 23 years on Boston radio and the last five years as Somerville’s Youth Arts coordinator. In addition, he directs and produces musical and theater programs for the kids and seniors of the city. He also co-creates, produces, and acts in public service announcements that have won first prizes from The Alliance For Community Media; started year six of his cable show, Seriously Somerville; and wrote an article for The Somerville News, “Life in the Ville.” Jimmy stays

1981 Alan Roth was named a winner of a prestigious 2013 Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his screenplay, Jersey City. Roy Walvick works at Allscripts in Burlington, Massachusetts, as a business analyst, designing integrated appointment scheduling solutions for domestic and international healthcare clients.

1982 Julia Torres Barden (Hinden) had her new book, Newyorican Girl, featured on NBC Latino. Cheryl Evans, one of the “Guerrilla Grads” in Mass Communication, was

elected chair of the faculty at Bloomfield College for a three-year term ending in 2016. She is beginning her 15th year at Bloomfield College and is a full professor in the Division of Teacher Education. She is the first African American to hold the position.

1983 David Goldstein is launching ComedySportz, improvisational comedy played as a sport in many cities nationwide, including Boston, and in the U.K., by members of the World Comedy League. David celebrated 25 years as producer of Mystery Cafe Dinner Theater in 2013. Nancy Matchton Owens has co-written a play, How safe are your secrets? She performed it with her co-writer, Mary McCall, at Axis Theatre Dublin last year.

1984 30th Reunion 1985 Caren Block, MA, is vice president of human resources for Daktari Diagnostics in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Warren Bobrow’s first book, Apothecary Cocktails, Restoratives from Yesterday and Today, has been published by Fair Winds Press. For more info, visit

in memoriam 1933 1943 1950 1953 1958 1958 1959 1961 1961 1962 1963 1963 1969 1973 2000

Selma (Jacobs) Hershman Aura (Kern) Kruger Priscilla (Maynard) Sedgwick Susan (Knap) Manes Jean (Mandros) Loiacono Judith (Garvey) St. James Ruell W. Butterfield Donald M. Marsh Patricia McCall Smith Robert Brauer Walter Behringer Susan (Aversa) Wein Donald Hyde Alan Arthur Hemberger Nicole (Webster) O’Meara Faculty: Karl Baehr Former Faculty: Miles Coiner Alumnus parent: Michael Palmer, P ’13

Camilla Ross was named “Woman of The Year” by the Women’s Network of Southeastern Connecticut. She was a featured speaker at the Women’s Rising Conference in October 2013.

1987 Peter Loge accepted the position of vice president for external relations at the U.S. Institute of Peace, an organization created by Congress in 1984 as an independent, federally funded national security institution devoted to the nonviolent prevention and mitigation of deadly conflict abroad. Previously, Loge spent nearly seven years running his own

successful political consulting firm. He was named an associate fellow of Timothy Dwight College at Yale University.

1988 Annie Peters was named vice president of sales for New England Cable News.

1989 25th Reunion Liz O’Donnell has written her first book, Mogul, Mom & Maid: The Balancing Act of the Modern Woman. The book was listed by Publishers Weekly as one of the “Top 10 Business Titles” for fall 2013. The book is based on interviews with more than 100 working

Owen Eagan, MA ’97 (left), and Richard Eagan ’95 backstage at Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Richard joined Late Night as a writer as the show transitioned into The Tonight Show featuring Jimmy Fallon. He formerly served as head writer for

mothers about how they manage career and family and it serves as a cautionary tale for businesses that need to harness the skills of this talent base.

1990 Stephan Mohammed produced the highly successful Dodge ad campaign with actor and comedian Will Ferrell portraying fictional anchorman Ron Burgundy. Joel Schwartzberg is the senior director of executive communications for the ASPCA in New York City. He oversees editorial and strategic communications.

Last Call with Carson Daly and as a writer for Lopez Tonight. Owen is an adjunct professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Emerson. He also serves as a senior consultant for The Saint Consulting Group, an international management consulting firm that advises mostly Fortune 500 companies. In addition, Owen’s book, So What? Measuring and Assessing Strategic Communications in Land Use Politics, is available online.

While working as backstage managers at the Colorado Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony

in November, Elana Jacobs ’91 (right) and Colorado Alumni Chapter Copresident Ron Bostwick ’81 (center) met Tim Goodman, guitarist in Chris Daniels & The Kings, who were being inducted. Less than three minutes after meeting, they learned Tim went to Emerson in the early ’70s!


1994 20th Reunion

Debi Austin is expanding her makeup, hair, and wardrobe styling work by incorporating vintage clothing into her business. She has established VINTART, an online retail venue selling vintage clothing, shoes, and accessories dating from the early 1900s to the present. She writes: “Vintage clothing is art, and it stood the test of time for a reason.”

Brett Duggan wrote, directed, and performed in a rock musical comedy, The Untold Story of Indie Rock. The show has been offered a premium spot at Second City in Hollywood on Saturdays at 9:00 pm through April 2014.

Josh Fisher is the executive producer of 52 episodes of the animated television series Tenkai Knights on Cartoon Network.

Chris Parcellin is the producer and director of the BFN Films documentary about the Boston punk scene in the 1970s, Boys From Nowhere: The Story of Boston’s Garage Punk Uprising. The documentary includes many interviews, including one with Denis Leary ’79 as well as interviews and music from the Modern Lovers, Willie “Loco” Alexander, DMZ, Nervous Eaters, the Real Kids, the Neighborhoods, producer/musician Andy Paley, producer Bruce Dickinson, and others.

Michael Hanley ’96 and his wife, Emily, welcomed their first child, a boy, Cameron Flynn, on November 22. The couple resides in the suburbs outside Los Angeles. Mike is senior editor at 7ate9 Entertainment in Hollywood.

37 Expression Winter 2014

Evelyn Holmer ’99 was appointed to the Associate Board for the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, a nonprofit organization responsible for attracting, creating, and/ or managing sporting events and activities in Greater Cleveland. Evelyn is an attorney at Ulmer & Berne LLP. Aaron Snipe has been named the recipient of the 2013 Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Public Diplomacy from the U.S. Department of State for his work as public affairs advisor for the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. Tina Spangler organized the Big Eddy Film Festival in Narrowsburg, New York, which had its second annual event in September 2013. She was also featured on the

Huffington Post for the “retro renovations” she completed on her home. Read more at Cecilia Tan, MA, writes that she “is putting that writing degree to good use.” In the wake of 50 Shades of Grey, Cecilia penned Slow Surrender. The book was published by Hachette Book Group.

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

Kathleen Troost-Cramer earned an MA in biblical studies from Providence College in 2001 and is developing a dissertation prospectus toward a doctor of theology degree at Boston University School of Theology. Her first book, True Tales of Life & Death at Fort Adams, was published by The History Press in June 2013. She currently teaches religious studies at St. George’s School and is working on her next book, a general history of Fort Adams in Newport, Rhode Island. Kathleen married in 2004 and lives in Rhode Island with her husband and twin daughters.


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


Michelle Monti is the digital media specialist at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. She handles all things related to video across the university, including social media promotion, MOOCs, iTunesU, and more.

Drama 1933–1955 Dramatic Art 1969–1980 Theater Education 1969–1980 Theater Arts 1955–1969 1980–1986 1997–present

Humanities Fine Arts


Writing, Literature and Publishing


Creative Writing and Literature English

1983–1984 1933–1983

38 Expression Winter 2014

Seth Romatelli is the cocreator and co-host, along with Jonathan Larroquette, of the comedy podcast, Uhh Yeah Dude, available on iTunes.

2000 Rebecca Dornin is the senior software engineer with Harvard University IT in the College and Athletics Practice. Previously, she spent 13 years as a web designer and software engineer at Harvard Business School. Jim Mulvihill is director of media & industry relations at the National Thoroughbred Racing Association in New York City.

2001 Scott Gurian has been hired by and WNYC/NY and NJ Public Radio to spend the next year reporting on the Hurricane


Visual and Media Arts

Dan Sheehan, MA ’01, spent much of 2013 touring with his band, The Dan Sheehan Conspiracy, playing festivals in Ireland and the U.K. and supporting acts such as Courtney Love and the Meat Puppets, in support of the band’s second album, Are You Conspirienced?, which has been played on radio throughout the world. For more info, visit

Amanda Nichols ’99 was awarded the Harvard Medical School and Harvard Dental School Dean’s Community Service Award for her work with the National MS Society. The award included a $1,000 donation to the MS Society.

Sandy recovery along the Jersey Shore. His reporting also occasionally airs on NPR.

2002 Christopher Hennessy, MFA, released his new book, Our Deep Gossip: Conversations with Gay Writers on Poetry and Desire. Visit to learn more.

2003 Jason Fell was promoted from technology editor to managing editor of, the website for Entrepreneur magazine. In other news, he proposed to Melanie, “the most wonderful woman,” at Fenway Park two days after the Red Sox won the World Series. She said yes!

2004 10th Reunion 2005 Matt Morgan and Ian Sobel are TV staff writers on From Dusk till Dawn. The series will be airing on Robert Rodriguez’s new network, El Rey, this year. They also sold their pilot Harvest to A&E, with Warner Horizon and Jerry Bruckheimer Television producing. Anne Nemer was promoted to field producer of HGTV’s House Hunters Renovation from Pie Town Productions.

2006 Luis Dechtiar was the chief editor of the documentary, Frontiers of Learning, featuring grassroots community activities in the Baha’i community in Canada, Colombia, the Congo, and India. He also edited a documentary, The Youngtown Boys, for ESPN’s 30 for 30 series, directed by the Zimbalist brothers.

Christy LeMire ’04 relocated from the Los Angeles area to Newburyport, Massachusetts, in June 2013 with her husband. She is growing her business, Waterside Wellness, as a holistic nutrition coach and yoga teacher and is dedicated to educating individuals to nurture and nourish themselves naturally.

Jennifer May ’06 and John Gardiner ’07 married on October 19 at The Ebell of Los Angeles. They met at a Kappa/Tau meeting in 2005 and started dating a few months later. Attending were Frederick Shannon ’07; Jason Perlman ’07; Paul Brindley ’07; Charlie Coutrakon ’07; Andrea Swain ’06; Kal-El

2008 Melissa Bank married Ryan Poliseno. The two met at Kasteel Well while at Emerson.

2009 5th Reunion Jamie Kerry, MA, and Michael Trudeau, MA, welcomed their first baby, Robin Elliott, in September 2013. Jamie and Michael have been working together as the publishing services group Belle Étoile Studios since 2009. Jamie is a book designer and Michael is an editor. They live in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Bogdonave ’07; Hartley Sawyer ’07; Kara Hasset ’06; Dave Child ’07; Katherine Shearon ’09; Dunja Simuovic ’07; Krista Gundersen ’04; Rebecca Blackelari ’06; Rachel Reuben ’12; Bing Putney ’07 (groomsman); Jaclyn Lerner ’06 (bridesmaid); Shannon Keaveney ’06; Chris Serwacki; Jaqcui Emerson ’06; Raaj Shah ’06; Eric Cornell ’05 (bride’s best man); Tom Knight ’07; Ashley Rigazio; Zoe Reiniger ’06, Stacey LeBlanc ’06; and Jake LeBlanc ’06.

Kyle MacDonald is the assistant director of graduate admissions at the Boston University School of Management. Andrea Martucci, MA ’12, was named vice president of marketing at AdSpace Communications, a directresponse advertising agency servicing publishers. She was named to Folio: Magazine’s 2013 “15 Under 30” list for her work at her previous position as managing editor of Emerson College’s Ploughshares literary magazine. In the fall 2013 semester, she also started teaching a class she developed called Magazine Marketing as an adjunct professor in Emerson’s MA Publishing and Writing program. Ashley Tarbet began working at Emerson College in fall 2013 as the administrative associate for the Elma Lewis Center for Civic Engagement, Learning, and Research, and

Laura Leigh Semon ’07 (left) and Samantha Goettlich ’07 were married on September 7. They both took Samantha’s middle name Abby as their new surname. They met at Emerson as members of the sorority Alpha Epsilon Phi. Laura Leigh is a recent graduate of the

New School with an MFA in creative nonfiction and Samantha owns her own production company, Penny Lane Pictures. They live in New York City.

for the Government and Community Relations office. She is excited to be back on campus and to be working to help Emerson students uplift communities by bringing strength in communication and the arts to bear in supporting social change. She returns to Emerson after working in the nonprofit field for four years.

2012 Leeza Yeretzian, MA, is the associate producer for America Tonight, Al Jazeera America’s flagship show in Washington, D.C.

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

39 Expression Winter 2014

40 Expression Winter 2014 Emerson students on Alternative Spring Break 2013 gathered at the bottom of a mountain of fossilized oysters in Pass Christian, Mississippi, so they could collect the mollusks in metal mesh bags. The bags were later deposited into a nearby bay to help restore a storm-damaged reef.

The World Is Their Oyster

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

Making ELA Shine Even Brighter


merson College Los Angeles (ELA) may now be open, but the College’s plans for its new home on the West Coast are just beginning.

The success of the center and the continued acceleration and expansion of the programs offered to Emerson students is largely contingent upon philanthropic support from the College’s alumni, parents, and friends. The Future Has Your Name on It! is Emerson College’s $20 million, multiyear campaign in support of ELA. Donors to the campaign can have an impact in two ways. With a gift of $10,000 or more, donors receive a naming opportunity within the center, and their support goes directly toward Emerson’s endowment, allowing the College to advance ELA initiatives and programming over several

years. In contrast with many of its peer institutions, Emerson’s overall endowment is relatively low. Funds raised through this campaign add to that endowment, enabling the College to accelerate its plans for future growth not just in LA, but also in Boston and around the globe. The second way that donors can have an impact is by providing support for ELA in the current fiscal year. These gifts are designated to ELA for immediate use, allowing the College to address pressing needs for the academic year, which run the gamut from student financial aid and faculty support to equipment purchases and more. To learn how you can ensure ELA’s continuing success, please contact Campaign Director Patrick Smith at

120 Boylston Street Boston, MA 02116-4624

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

From the Treasure Chest The College Archives contains all manner of Emersonian objects, including this Happy Days board game based on the hit TV show of the same name, starring Henry Winkler ’67. For more treasures from the Archives, see the story and photos inside this issue.

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