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scientist, the students and a very small fly

Fall 2012



2012-2013 Exhibition Schedule FALL 2012 Double Exposed Photographs by Courtney Bent September 10-October 20, 2012

Children in Bac Ha, Vietnam Silver Gelatin Print, 2000 © Courtney Bent

Hidden Treasures 3 Works by Phillips Exeter Academy's Faculty & Staff November 5-December 15, 2012 Reception: Friday, November 9, 6:30-8pm Birds on Prospect Hill Acrylic, Collage with Graphite on Panel, 2012 Stacey Durand

WINTER 2013 Reemtsen/Townsend Works by California Artists Kelly Reemtsen and Robert Townsend January 16-March 2, 2013 Reception: Friday, January 25, 6:30-8pm Gallery Talk: Saturday, January 26, 10am

Sweetheart Archival Pigment Print, 2011 Robert Townsend

SPRING 2013 Private Collection Selected Works

Divisive Oil on Panel, 2011 Kelly Reemtsen

March 25-May 4, 2013 Reception: Friday, March 29, 6:30-8pm

Annual Senior Art Show May 24-June 8, 2013 Reception: Friday, May 24, 6:30-8pm

Lamont Gallery • Frederick R. Mayer ’45 Art Center Phillips Exeter Academy • 11 Tan Lane, Exeter, NH 03833 • 603-777-3461 Gallery Hours (school year): Monday 1-5 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (closed Sunday and school holidays) Free and open to the public. Call for accessibility information.

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Principal Thomas E.Hassan ’56,’66,’70,’06(Hon.);P’11 Director of Communications Julie Quinn Editor Karen Ingraham Staff Writers Mike Catano, Alice Gray, Nicole Pellaton, Famebridge Witherspoon

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Exonians practice experimental science in one alum’s research laboratory By Katie Towler

Class Notes Editor Janice M. Reiter Editorial Assistant Susan Goraczkowski Creative Director/Design David Nelson, Nelson Design

24 | A LION IN THE FIELD Students benefit from new summer fellowship program By Karen Ingraham

Contributing Editor Edouard L. Desrochers ’45, ’62 (Hon.) Communications Advisory Committee Daniel G. Brown ’82, Robert C. Burtman ’74, Dorinda Elliott ’76, Alison Freeland ’72, Keith Johnson ’52, Yvonne M. Lopez ’93 TRUSTEES President G. Thompson Hutton ’73 Vice President Eunice Johnson Panetta ’84 Wole C. Coaxum ’88, Flobelle Burden Davis ’87, Marc C. de La Bruyère ’77, Walter C. Donovan ’81, John A. Downer ’75, Mark A. Edwards ’78, Jonathan W. Galassi ’67, Thomas E. Hassan ’56, ’66, ’70, ’06 (Hon.); P’11, Jennifer P. Holleran ’86, David R. Horn ’85, Alan R. Jones ’72, William K. Rawson ’71, Dr. Nina D. Russell ’82, Robert S. Silberman ’76, J. Douglas Smith ’83, Della Spring ’79, Morgan C. Sze ’83, and Remy White Trafelet ’88 The Exeter Bulletin (ISSN No. 0195-0207) is published four times each year: fall, winter, spring, and summer, by Phillips Exeter Academy, 20 Main Street, Exeter NH 03833-2460, 603-772-4311. Periodicals postage paid at Exeter, NH, and at additional mailing offices. Printed in the USA by Cummings Printing. The Exeter Bulletin is printed on recycled paper and sent free of charge to alumni/ae, parents, grandparents, friends, and educational institutions by Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH. Communications may be addressed to the editor; email Copyright 2012 by the Trustees of Phillips Exeter Academy. ISSN-0195-0207 Postmasters: Send address changes to: Phillips Exeter Academy, Records Office, 20 Main Street, Exeter, NH 03833-2460.


Departments 4 Around the Table: Opening of school, a Harkness table moves, Exonians teach in China, and more. 10 Table Talk with Jen Holleran ’86, PEA trustee and executive director of Startup: Education 15 Exoniana: Science lab projects of the past 16 Exonians in Review: The News from Spain: Seven Variations on a Love Story by Joan Wickersham ’74. Reviewed by David Weber 30 Sports: Sweet Pursuits: U.S. Olympian Nick LaCava ’05 talks rowing and chocolate by Craig Morgan ’84. Plus, two alumnae bring home Olympic medals.


32 Connections: News and Notes from the Alumni/ae Community 34 Profiles: Hugh Evans ’43, Kathy (Fox) Franklin ’86 and Will Bennett ’03 50 2011-12 Report of Giving 104 Finis Origine Pendet: Reflections on the Table By Tal Birdsey

Visit Exeter on the web at Email us at



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The Exeter Bulletin


October Surprise Students walk up to the Academy Building for assembly as snow melts from a nor’easter that hit right before Halloween in 2011. —Photo by Cheryl Senter


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The View from Here

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Around theTable

What’s new and notable at the Academy

The Noblest Character N U RT U R I N G T H E S E E D S O F G O O D N E S S A N D C I V I L I T Y By Principal Thomas E. Hassan ’56, ’66, ’70, ’06 (Hon.); P’11

Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from Principal Hassan’s Opening of School Address, delivered on September 7, 2012. In his speech, the principal spoke about founder John Phillips’ charge to link knowledge with goodness, and what Hassan believes goodness means to Exonians today.



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campus—its classrooms, dormitories and playing fields—and even the places we travel to as Exonians during breaks and over the summer are where the seeds of goodness and civility can be nurtured. In recent months, I have been intrigued by the writings of Pier M. Forni, an award-winning professor at Johns Hopkins University, where he has taught for the past 20 years. In a recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, the writer describes Professor Forni’s moment of truth: “Pier Forni’s epiphany about civility came in the mid-1990s while he was delivering a lecture on The Divine Comedy. Gazing across the faces of his students at Johns Hopkins University, Mr. Forni realized that, far more than wanting them to know about Dante, he wanted them to be kind human beings. They might know every detail of the nine circles of Hell, but if they mistreated an elderly woman on a bus, he told his students, he would be a failure as a teacher.” Thus, in 1997 Dr. For ni co-founded the Johns Hopkins Civility Project, which is dedicated to assessing the significance of civility, manners and politeness in contemporary society. Dr. Forni now directs The Civility Initiative at Johns Hopkins, and he makes a strong point by saying he thinks it’s essential “to know about civility, not as a philosophical abstraction, but as a code of decency to be applied in everyday life.”


believe goodness is inextricably linked to civility. And as I outlined the Goodness priority for today’s Exeter, it was civility that I had in mind. In fact, civility has long been seen as an important component to the character development of Exonians. In a 1911 issue of The Exeter Bulletin, H.D. Foster, class of 1881, remembers that the evening prior to the college entrance examinations, Principal Benjamin Abbot called the college-bound Exonians to take tea with him. Foster recalled that “after taking a very light supper” (Apparently this student had expected a more elaborate meal at the principal’s house…I’ll remember that.) the departing students were given this final advice: “Be particularly careful to treat all men with civility and politeness.” I don’t know about the late 1800s, but it seems to me that Principal Tom Hassan spoke those twin qualities—goodness about the need for civility in and civility—are in rather short our lives. supply today. For example, reality television programs often encourage rude and even cruel behavior on behalf of their performers to increase ratings. In fact in a recent study done by the Girl Scouts of America, 70 percent of girls participating believed that reality shows “make people think that it is OK to treat others badly,” and 80 percent of all girls in the study believe that reality TV shows “often pit girls against each other to make the shows more exciting.” How can we fight this trend? Good habits start at home. This

Faculty Wire In June, Alison Hobbie P’13, P’15, the Alfred Hayes ’25 and Jean M. Hayes Instructor in Science, was a member of a team of six teaching professionals from New Hampshire, California and Hawaii who volunteered with Teachers Across Borders South Africa 2012. The team traveled to Mpumalanga province, in the Republic of South Africa, where they held two, four-day professional development workshops. Hobbie led Matter and Materials, a curriculum-specific chemistry workshop covering principles of kinetic molecular theory, atomic structure and the periodic table, and chemical reactions.The sessions were attended by an average of 50 middle school instructors with aims to review basic concepts in the disciplines and present simple activities that could be carried out in rural schools using recycled and inexpensive items. In Swaziland, Hobbie also visited schools and led math workshops for ninth-graders preparing for national exams. She describes the volunteer excursion as “. . . exhilarating, exhausting, rewarding, fantastic. . . . I would definitely do it again, or recommend it to anyone wishing to do such work.”

Rev. Robert Thompson Receives Peace Award


He goes on to say, “Civility means a great deal more than just being nice to one another. It is complex and encompasses learning how to connect successfully and live well with others, developing thoughtfulness, and fostering effective self-expression and communication. Civility includes courtesy, politeness, mutual respect, fairness, [and] good manners….” However, Professor Forni isn’t advocating a blind acceptance of the philosophies, ideas or perceived truths of others. He emphasizes that respecting others’ opinions doesn’t mean being untrue to your own. He points out that many people mistakenly believe that civility implies agreement. “Actually, it’s pretty uncivil to be dishonest,” he says. “Academics, in fact, are obliged to speak up when their views differ.” Many of the attributes of civility described by Professor Forni are essential to be successful here at the Academy around our Harkness tables. We are exposed daily to models of civil discourse. We are fortunate to live and learn at a school that places the highest value on informed discussion and respects an individual for a well-informed and well-stated point of view. As one alum has said, an agreeable “me too” is not an acceptable or respected response in a discussion. Nor is the overly aggressive attitude of a so-called Harkness warrior. Around a Harkness table or in a meeting at Exeter, people can disagree and discuss, confront and resolve matters in a constructive manner while remaining respectful of each other. Criticism is important, but it’s the delivery of it, without a dismissive or condescending tone, that is key. So as we begin this school year, the 232nd year in the life of this Academy, I am asking all of us today, and going forward, to consciously and vigorously apply our Watch the OpenHarkness model of civility and ing Assembly at goodness to our lives at Exeter and beyond. And I ask that you, bulletinextras. your peers and instructors talk openly about what these traits mean in your lives and in the interactions you have throughout this year and the years ahead. In the end, each one of us will have to find our own set of actions, our own path to goodness and civility. And as we do, we will heed John Phillips’ notion to “form the noblest character, and lay the surest foundation of usefulness to mankind.”


Alison Hobbie Volunteers in South Africa

In his 14 years as the Phelps Minister of Phillips Church and School Minister, the Rev. Robert H.Thompson ’72; ’71, ’89, ’95 (Hon.) says one of his guiding principles has been to “serve as [an] agent of cohesion” within the New Hampshire Seacoast communities—a charge that has not come without its challenges. In presenting Thompson with its 2012 award at an August ceremony, the Sarah Farmer Peace Award committee recognized him for his work “over the past 25 years in bringing diverse faith traditions together in loving acceptance of each other’s spiritual principles.” Phillips Church has begun to realize what Thompson calls “the fruits of its labors.” Today, it serves as a more diverse, ecumenical house of worship, offering Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu and Jewish services. The church also recently acquired a beautifully refurbished Torah and commissioned an ark for the safekeeping of the Torah and other sacred items.As part of its mission,Thompson says, Phillips Church continuously seeks out opportunities to fulfill its responsibility to “celebrate and deepen the religious life of our community.” Thompson is the eighth recipient of the Sarah Farmer Peace Award, which is presented annually by the Bahá’í Community of the Greater Seacoast Region. Committee members honored both the award’s namesake, Sarah Jane Farmer, a New Hampshire peace heroine born in 1847, and the contributions of Thompson, who, they found, “takes effective local action to promote peace and understanding among members of the human family.”

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Trustees Welcome New Members



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t their fall meeting the Trustees welcomed four new members: Mark A. Edwards ’78; P’12, P’14, Della Spring ’79; P’06, P’09, P’11, Morgan C. Sze ’83, and Wole C. Coaxum ’88. Edwards entered Exeter as a lower and lived in Webster Hall. He was elected senior class president and his activities included dorm proctor, Photography Club, Student Council, and Astronomy Society. He received his B.A. in government from Harvard University and went on to become founder and managing partner of Edwards & Company, Inc., a marketing and communications company serving educational institutions and nonprofit organizations. Currently, Edwards is executive director of Opportunity Nation, a national, bipartisan campaign focused on closing the opportunity gap in America. Edwards is a two-term trustee of The Winsor School, where he has served on the Committee on Trustees and on the Executive Committee. He has been a director of Horizons for Homeless Children for the past 18 years and board chair for five years. He is also on the national board of directors for Summer Search, a national leadership development program that helps low-income young people graduate high school, go to college, build successful careers, and give back to society. He also serves on the board of Health Leads, a nonprofit that mobilizes college volunteers to connect patients and their families with the basic resources they need to be healthy. Edwards has held several volunteer leadership positions within the Exeter alumni/ae community including major gift chair for his 30th reunion, program chair for his 10th, committee member for his 20th and 25th, admissions representative, class agent, a director of the General Alumni/ae Association (GAA), and member of the Regional Association and the Advisory Committee on Diversity. Spring came to the Academy as a lower and lived in Hoyt Hall. She served as managing editor of The Exonian, performed regularly in Fisher Theater, and was a member of the girls crew team. She earned her B.A. in dramatic literature and theater arts at Brown University. Spring worked at Saks Fifth Avenue in the buying offices, where she designed private-label sportswear and managed the business and advertising for her departments. After moving to Boston in 1997, she took up extensive volunteer work in the Lexington Public Schools, including serving as president of the Parent Teacher Association. She was an active volunteer at the Fessenden School in the classroom, with the Parent Association, and in leadership positions within the Development Office and as an active coach and tutor. Spring also served as a member of the Corporation at Beacon Academy in Boston, a nonprofit, 14-month, rigorous school program for inner-city students who aspire to attend competitive secondary schools. Spring has maintained a close relationship with Exeter over the past 20 years, beginning with co-chairing her 15th reunion. She went on to chair her 20th, 25th and 30th reunions. She was class vice president from 2004-09 and has been president of her class since 2009. In 2008, Spring was named a director of the GAA and is chair of the Reunion Task Force. In July 2012, she joined the executive committee as vice president of the GAA. She has worked on campus as an interviewer for the Admissions Office since 2009. Sze entered PEA as a prep and lived in Merrill Hall. He served as co-editor of the PEAN and as a photo editor for The Exonian. He also participated in the Washington Intern Program. He earned a B.A. in English and economics from Cornell University and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. In between university and business school, Sze studied Japanese and worked for Merrill Lynch in New York and Tokyo. After receiving his M.B.A., he joined Goldman

Around the Table

Sachs in New York City, where he helped develop the firm’s business in earthquake and hurricane bonds. He moved to London in 1998 and to Hong Kong in 2006, where he served as global head of Goldman Sachs’ Principal Strategies Group. In 2011, he left Goldman Sachs and started Azentus Capital Management Ltd., an Asia research-driven investment fund based in Hong Kong. Sze is a member of the Hong Kong Leadership Council for the Global Fund for Children and has supported various other children’s charities, including Room to Read and Mother’s Choice. Recently, Sze established the Emile J. “Chip” Dion Jr. Exeter Mandarin Language Studies Fund in honor of Chip Dion, the late instructor emeritus in Modern Languages and former chair of that department. The fund supports Exeter’s Mandarin language program. Sze is also a member of the Academy’s Investment Committee. Coaxum came to the Academy as a lower and was a resident of Peabody Hall. He served as president of the AfroLatino Exonian Society and as a dorm proctor. He was also a member of the boys varsity crew and junior varsity basketball teams, as well as the Fencing Club. He received his B.A. in history from Williams College and his M.B.A. in finance from New York University. As head of sales and segment for Chase’s business banking operation in New York City, Coaxum oversees the bank’s sales strategy for small business lending. Prior to this, he served as a managing director in JPMorgan’s Treasury & Securities Services business. Earlier in his career, Coaxum was the chief operating officer of Willis North America, Inc. and president of the company’s Canadian operations. He has also worked with Citigroup and with Travelers Life & Annuity. Coaxum is an active volunteer with Williams College and has served in a variety of leadership positions. He serves on the board of the Phoenix House of New York, a nonprofit providing services and support for substance and alcohol abuse treatment. His commitment to the Academy includes service as an admissions representative since 1998. Coaxum has also been class president, class agent, major gifts chair and a director of the General Alumni/ae Association. He has chaired the President’s Award Committee and has been a member of the Annual Giving Advisory Committee, the Fundraising Advisory Committee, Friends of the Academy Library, and the 1781 Committee. Coaxum received the President’s Award from PEA’s General Alumni/ae Association in 1998.


Exonians Take Gold in Mathematics

Left to right: PEA Math Instructor Zuming Feng, Ravi Jagadeesan ’14, Zhuo Qun Song ’15 and David Yang ’13.

Ravi Jagadeesan ’14, of Naperville, IL, and David Yang ’13, of Exeter, NH, brought home individual gold medals this summer after competing in the 53rd International Mathematical Olympiad, held in Mar del Plata, Argentina. Jagadeesan and Yang were on the six-person U.S. team, led by PEA Math Instructor Zuming Feng P’14, which placed third overall among the 100 countries that competed. Fellow Exonian Zhuo Qun “Alex” Song ’15, of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, represented his home country on Math Team Canada and also earned gold. His team finished with a fifthplace ranking.

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Harkness Tables Move to Public Schools


eventh-grade teacher Rebecca Sharrow

Expanding the Harkness Community PEA instructors continue their work in public and charter schools Rebecca Sharrow and the Raymond, NH, school district are part of a growing network of public and charter schools where PEA instructors provide summer workshops to teachers and students on Harkness and how it can be adapted within their classrooms. This summer, English and math faculty members worked with schools in Raymond, Newmarket and Epping, NH, as well as charter schools in Chicago. “These sessions underscore the intentionality of Harkness—the skills that teachers and students need in order to be productive,” English Instructor Jane Cadwell says. “It allows instructors to see that [Harkness] is not really a ‘method’ but rather a philosophy.” Newmarket High School English teacher Sara Cross sees the Harkness method as a natural fit in an English classroom, but she recognizes there are challenges: “There are many ways in which this method can—and does—overlap with my current practices. Student-driven discussion is an essential part of the English classroom, and it was great to observe new ways to encourage this type of learning environment. However, it does


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present challenges . . . relying heavily on student accountability, and I have some concerns about students who may not prepare adequately for class. Ideally, everyone contributes.” PEA Dean of Academic Affairs and Math Instructor Karen Geary P’16 agrees that Harkness looks different in a public school setting. “The students are not as sure of themselves,” she says. “I think they like the idea of student-centered learning but don’t take to it naturally, in some cases. I am still the authority as the math teacher, and they have a hard time seeing it differently. In such a short time though, I’m still impressed by how far they have been able to come, in thinking and working with each other.” This summer marked the third year Exeter faculty members have engaged in the Summer School’s outreach program for public and charter school teachers and students. “To be out in our own community is meaningful,” Geary says. “It is a way to share what we do with our neighbors, to break down, perhaps, some of the invisible barriers that exist.”


Men move a Harkness table from Phillips Hall into Rebecca Sharrow’s middle school language arts classroom in Raymond, NH.

got a surprise addition to her classroom in July, one that she says fulfills the dream she’s had since becoming a teacher of having a table. Sharrow works at the Iber Holmes Gove Middle School (IHGMS), in Raymond, NH, and her classroom received one of two Harkness tables from Phillips Hall. As preparations began for interior renovations to Phillips Hall last spring, Principal Tom Hassan considered Exeter’s three-year partnership with IHGMS and Raymond High School (RHS) through its Harkness teacher-training workshops and outreach summer school program for students. With the furniture headed for storage, Hassan contacted Director of Summer School Ethan Shapiro and Raymond School District Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jean R. Richards to ask whether the schools were interested in the tables. Dr. Richards was elated; so too was Sharrow when she learned she would be one of the recipients. Sharrow participated in her first Harkness

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training in 2010, attending meetings with Exeter instructors and observing Summer Seventh-grade teacher Rebecca Sharrow School classes on campus and during student enrichment programs at IHGMS. She says had always wanted a table in her classroom the traditional arrangement of students sitting in rows does not work well for language to aid discussions, particularly after she arts learning. She believes students should be comfortable. “Students should not look at participated in PEA’s Harkness teachereach other’s backs but should work at a table where they can see and hear each other training workshops. and have room to write,” she says. Using Harkness methods for literature study and discussion, Sharrow’s students read at least two novels and tackle a unit on short stories. During discussions, students are assigned roles such as topic and discussion “police,” and everyone has an “Working with the PEA equal opportunity to speak. “[This] concept is great for creatteachers...has given me a ing students who take charge and are responsible for their own learning,” she says. “I think the [Harkness] style is transferrable great model for what to a public school setting with some tweaking.” Harkness should look like.” One major adjustment is Sharrow’s average class size of 20 students—about eight more than at Exeter. Before getting the Harkness table, Sharrow arranged her students’ desks in a horseshoe or circle, to encourage better discussions. This year, the Harkness table is used for literature study and discussion. “After discussions, every other seat around the table is vacated and those students then Watch a short physically transition to another station, the desks, to begin working on their writing video of the Harkassignments,” she explains. ness table’s move Though it’s still a work in progress, Sharrow is confident of the outcomes of from Exeter to Raymond at employing the Harkness table. “Working with the PEA teachers . . . has given me a great model for what Harkness should look like,” she says. “I have taken their strategies bulletinextras. and tried to mold them to fit a public school setting.While I don’t believe I have a perfect situation yet, I do feel that Harkness is creating a positive workshop-type environment that is fostering a classroom of students who enjoy reading.” FALL 2012

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Non Sibi in the Far East E X O N I A N S T R AV E L T O C H I N A F O R N E W S U M M E R S E RV I C E P RO G R A M

Learning to Improvise

Crowded classrooms and a strict curriculum proved challenging, but Exonians found innovative ways to bring Harkness to the students.


n July, five Exonians traveled to China to experience how to be teachers in a classroom setting much different than their own. As part of Exeter Social Service Organization’s summer service learning trip program, the Exonians spent two weeks in Chengde, Hebei Province, nearly five hours to the northeast of Beijing by train. Working with Tsinghua University’s Educational Poverty Alleviation Project, and chaperoned by Math

Keeping the Conversation Going

Exonians Michael Rothstein ’14, Joana Andoh ’13, Rachel Armstrong ’13, Shaquille Brown ’14 and Victor Wang ’14 during their service trip in China. 12

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“At first, I felt like I didn’t make that much of a contribution to the students’ lives, but they were so appreciative that they gave me small gifts on my last day. After getting a ton of handwritten notes from every student, I realized that though my time in Chengde was short, it was an unforgettable and invaluable experience for everyone involved. I wanted to extend my connection with the students beyond my short visit. So, while in Chengde, I created a QQ account, which is a [social media]/emailing


“Exonians are pr ivileged enough to have adequate facilities and teachers. In an overpopulated class, traditional Harkness is not always a viable option, but improvisation is. With a group of 40-plus kids in a classroom, it was like I was in public school again. Implementing Harkness was challenging since the students’ English was very limited and they had never been used to sharing their opinions openly. But when I gave presentations on major landmarks or holidays, opening the floor to questions really helped to foster a Harkness-like environment. Students were able to show their own knowledge while fulfilling their curiosity. The games I used also created a group-based setting for problemsolving. I usually put a sentence scramble or picture on the blackboard and my Tsinghua [University] partner would translate the directions for them. Desks were grouped into two, so students were able to collaborate and discuss their approach with one another. I tried to get students to just volunteer on the spot, but they always politely raised their hands. I couldn’t blame them; like me before I came to Exeter, they had been doing that all their lives.” —Joana Andoh ’13


Instructor Catherine Holden P’02, the Exonians quickly discovered the challenges and rewards of teaching English to middle school students in this developing city of more than 3 million people.

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website. On my last day of teaching, I wrote my QQ number on the chalkboard so that my students could contact me and practice their English with me after I left. All of the students were tremendously excited.To this day, I have 40-plus friends on QQ and have had conversations with over 10 students.” —Rachel Armstrong ’13 Becoming a Global Change-maker

“The Harkness method influenced my teaching style as I tried to get my students to discuss topics. I wanted them to pepper the lessons with their own experiences and their own interpretations, instead of just reading the same boring dialogues from their textbooks, word for word! It was challenging trying to get them out of their shells and to get them to speak up. They weren’t accustomed to being asked

questions that weren’t in their book...and that would require them to think and draw on their own experiences to answer. This trip to China has influenced the way I will continue to contribute to the global community. As a global Watch a short video of the stuchange-maker, I believe that education and the dents in China, Internet are two of the greatest equalizers of the filmed by Rachel 21st century. When used to foster intercultural Armstrong ’13, at dialogue, [they] can be a catalyst for more cient responses to the greatest social ills. I have bulletinextras. created a QQ account, and I’ve been in contact with some of my students via email. It is my hope that my conversations with them will not only improve their English skills but also expose them to the world outside China—introducing them to other cultures, as we transcend cultural barriers for a better world!” —Shaquille Brown ’14

New Film about Harkness Debuts Art Department Chair and Clowes Instructor in Art Steve Lewis recently directed and produced a short film entitled The Importance of Being Harkness. In describing the making of the film, Lewis says, “I wanted to create a visually rich portrait of what Exeter is like. I also wanted to show how significant the Harkness system is to the success of learning.To gather information I interviewed students, teachers, administrators and trustees. I was immediately struck by how positive and expressive every single person was when speaking about the Academy. The importance of teaching and learning via the Harkness table was also immediately evident, so I emphasized that quality throughout the film’s timeline. My hope is that the audience will glean a fair understanding of what Exeter is like visually, and what its cultural values are.” To view the film, go to

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Campus Life at a Glance First Days of School (A) New students arrived early for International Student Orientation (ISO) and fun. Back row, left to right: Gene Chang ’13, ISO leader; Arslan Berbic ’15; Edward Shang ’15; and Nghia T. “Max” Le ’15, ISO leader. Bottom row: Serena Sun ’13, ISO leader, and Sun Young “Sarah” Jang ’14. (B) Dean of Residential Life A.J. Cosgrove (left) chats with students waiting to check in. (C) Wentworth Hall proctors and seniors Mark Serbent, Christopher Keating and Aaron Reuben with fellow senior Christian Ayscue on move-in day. (D) Jae-Sung Lee ’13 talks with Principal Tom Hassan during the principal’s annual ice cream social for students. (E) A football player pauses between drills as the boys cross-country team runs by during fall tryouts. (F) Aaron Suduiko ’13 and Nickolas Balboni ’13 promote their club during PEA’s annual Club Night, a two-hour fair when students have the opportunity to learn about and join different clubs.







232nd year 1,071 students 340 new students 46 states 35 foreign countries





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Exoniana The archival photographs depict PEA science lab projects of the past. Can you identify any of the people or tell us something about the experiments being done? Care to share any memories about your own science lab work while at Exeter? Email us at Or, send your responses to Exoniana, c/o The Exeter Bulletin, Phillips Exeter Academy, Communications Office, 20 Main Street, Exeter, NH 03833-2460. Entries may be edited for length and clarity.


D O YO U R E M E M B E R ?

Answers to the Summer 2012 issue:


No one rang in with an answer to last issue’s clue. The phone booth, found in Bancroft Hall, is a relic from the time before phones were installed in dorm rooms, which occurred in 1996. Now, even individual landlines seem antiquated in our wireless world.



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Exonians in Review

A Multiplicity of Longing T H E N E W S F RO M S PA I N : S E V E N VA R I AT I O N S O N A L OV E S T O RY , B Y J OA N W I C K E R S H A M ’ 7 4 ; P ’ 1 2 A review by David Weber


ow something is said is part of its meaning, so the


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can speak directly of “the hard thing I meant to write about.” Then she does, but the hard thing—unfulfilled longing—is of a piece with hard but subtle things in the other stories; it is not some long-concealed abuse or violence. It is her achievement of the resolution she has been searching for that gives The News from Spain the coherence, complexity and weight of a novel. Sexual love gets its innings in all these stories, but eventually it is trumped by something else, something the narrator discovers through the good work of remembering and then imagining from the inside the stories she has been exposed to, including her own. This being a review, I won’t try to name it here (and it’s not always the same thing) but will only say that we are given a deeply satisfying discovery and affirmation. Of course on first reading one is caught up in the individual stories, just as the implied narrator is. These stories belong to men as well as women, gay and straight single persons as well as spouses. The narrator embraces these protean characters without sentimentality but with a compassion that she also seeks for herself. We all carry the burdens of mortality, desire, and shame or guilt. She is our proxy. In the final story (there have been adumbrations earlier) Wickersham considers the ambiguous invitations of fiction itself. “Some of this is fiction, and some isn’t,” it begins. One could take that to be an authorial claim, but I prefer to see it as stemming instead from the narrator’s hard-won authority. The author’s job has been to discover the sources and the nature of that authority. Since the narrator eventually becomes a wisdom figure, the author, like the reader, remains merely an aspirant, “noticing small increments of progress, knowing not to expect too much.” It is a book to read more than once, celebrating small increments of progress each time. David R.Weber ’71, ’74 (Hon.); P’92 is the 1981 Independence Foundation Professor and instructor emeritus in English.


reader of Joan Wickersham’s remarkable new novel, The News from Spain, is happily compelled to engage not just with its characters but with its original and startling form. The novel unfolds in seven stories, each of them entitled as the book is.This device risks being perverse, since neither Spain nor the topical news has much to do with the book’s explicit concerns. (The phrase does occur in each story, and not just in each title.) But part of its fine epigraph from Roberto Calasso is this: “In each of these stories all the others are reflected.” The book itself is a patient reflection, a meditation, on love and on the nature and value of fiction. It is a sort of anthology of love stories, most of them centered on at least one woman of a certain age, a certain education, a certain level of Joan Wickersham ’74, economic security. But there is no author of The Suicide repetitiousness or even sameness. Index, returns to fiction There are marriages, affairs, friend- with her latest work. ships and relationships that defy conventional labels, as in the haunting fourth story, where one of several loves is the one between a married woman whose legs are paralyzed and one of her caregivers. Most of the stories include more than one character’s point of view. No two marriages or affairs are much like each other. Mostly these wildly varied experiences are rendered in the third person.The third story though is in the second person, perhaps implying the presence of a narrator who is also a character, one thinking about her own younger self, inside the novel; and the final story, alone, is in the first person. This last narrator’s voice as she directly explores and assesses her own experience has many qualities in common with the second- and third-person voices we have heard earlier: all are precise, thoughtful, unsentimental but compassionate, earthy and yet not indecorous, even delicate. Eventually we come to see that the anthology itself is the painstaking compilation of the character behind this sustained narrator’s voice, someone who is trying to understand and come to terms with her own experience. At first she does this empathetically, analogically. She reaches the final story before she

Alumni/ae are urged to advise the Exonians in Review editor of their own publications, recordings, films, etc., in any field, and those of classmates. Whenever possible, authors and composers are encouraged to send one copy of their books and original copies of articles to Edouard Desrochers ’45, ’62 (Hon.), the editor of Exonians in Review, Phillips Exeter Academy, 20 Main Street, Exeter, NH 03833. ALUMNI/AE

1947—Philip McFarland. Mark Twain and the Colonel: Samuel L. Clemens,Theodore Roosevelt, and the Arrival of a New Century. (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2012)

1967—Lawrence Guy Straus and Manuel R. González Morales, editors. El Mirón Cave, Cantabrian Spain:The Site and Its Holocene Archaeological Record. (University of New Mexico Press, 2012) 1973—Nathaniel Foote and others. Higher Ambition: How Great Leaders Create Economic and Social Value. (Harvard Business Review Press, 2011) 1974—Joan Wickersham. The News from Spain: 7 Variations on a Love Story. (Knopf, 2012)

1948—K. William O’Connor. At War in America: Book 1. (CreateSpace, 2012) —At War in America: Book 2. (CreateSpace, 2012) 1956—Phil Harvey. Show Time. (Lost Coast Press, 2012) 1958—Carlson R. Chambliss. A Concise Catalog of U.S. Military Payment Certificates. (Speckles Press, 2012) 1960—Allen B. Clark. Valor in Vietnam: Chronicles of Honor, Courage and Sacrifice: 1963–1977. (Casemate, 2012) 1965—David M. Darst. Voyager 3: Fifty-Four Phases of Feeling. (Seapoint Books, 2012)

1975—Walter B. Stahr. Seward: Lincoln’s Indispensable Man. (Simon & Schuster, 2012)

1996—Jasmine Dreame Wagner. Listening for Earthquakes [Poems]. (Caketrain, 2012) 2003—Tyler C. Goodspeed. Rethinking the Keynesian Revolution: Keynes, Hayek and the Wicksell Connection. (Oxford University Press, 2012) 2005—Shani Boianjiu. The People of Forever Are Not Afraid: A Novel. (Hogarth, 2012) BRIEFLY NOTED 1967—Lawrence Guy Straus and Ted Goebel, coeditors. “Humans and Younger Dryas: Dead End, Short Detour, or Open Road to the Holocene?” IN Quaternary International. (v. 242, no. 2, October 2011) 1968—York E. Miller and others. “Oral Iloprost Improves Endobronchial Dysplasia in Former Smokers.” IN Cancer Prevention Research/AACR Publications. (v. 4, no. 6, June 2011)

1978—Katherine Gleason. Alexander McQueen: Evolution. (Race Point Publishing, 2012) 1989—Ashley Prentice Norton. The Chocolate Money. (Mariner Books, 2012) 1990—John Palfrey and Urs Gasser. Interop:The Promise and Perils of Highly Interconnected Systems. (Basic Books, 2012) 1996—Vincent Pallaver, translator. Pioneers of Bacteriology: Dictionary of the Great Scientists, by François Renaud and Jean Freney. (ESKA Publishing, 2012)

1972—Juliet P. Kostritsky. “The Promise Principle and Contract Interpretation.” IN Suffolk University Law Review. (v. 45, no. 3, June 2012) 1981—Claudia Putnam [former Bennett Fellow]. “Black Bird.” [poem] IN Green Hills Literary Lantern. (v. 23, Truman State University, 2012) —“Hangfire.” [story] IN Confrontation. (no. 111, spring 2012) 1988—William Corrin and others. “Preparing High School Students for College: An Exploratory Study of College Readiness Partnership Programs in Texas.” [executive summary] IN

MDRC/National Center for Postsecondary Research. (May 2012) 1996—Jasmine Dreame Wagner. “The Qualifying Lap” from “Television Sonnets.” [poem] IN Indiana Review. (v. 34, no. 1, summer 2012) —“Television Sonnets.” [excerpt] IN Crush. (no. 4, Poor Claudia, 2012) —and others [editors]. “V.I. Lenin Palace of Culture and Sport.” [poem] IN Aufgabe. (no. 11, Litmus Press, July 2012) 2005—Shani Boianjiu. “Means of Suppressing Demonstrations.” [fiction] IN The New Yorker. (June 2012) 2006—Luca L. Barone. “Urban Design: We are Falling Behind: Montreal Seems to be Lacking Ambition When it Comes to Architectural Statements.” [story] IN The Montreal Gazette. (June 2012) FACULTY/FORMER FACULTY Dan Morrissey. Teaching Clarity, Purpose and Motivation: A Secondary School Adviser’s Handbook. (Avocus, 2012) Mark P. Ott and Mark Cirino, editors. Ernest Hemingway and the Geography of Memory. (Kent State University Press, 2010) —“A Shared Language of American Modernism: Hemingway and the Black Renaissance.” [Chapter 1, pg. 27] IN Hemingway and the Black Renaissance, edited by Gary Edward Holcomb and Charles Scruggs. (Ohio State University Press, 2012) FALL 2012

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hen Emma Herold ’13 arrived at Stanford this past summer Dr. Seung Kim ’81 (seated) in his to work in a research laboratory, the senior scientist who Stanford lab with colleague Dr. served as her mentor told her, “For the first month, you’ll Lutz Kockel and (from left to feel like you’re drinking from a fire hose.” This turned out to right) Exonians Emma Herold ’13, be an apt metaphor, Herold says, for an experience with a Jack Russ ’13 and Anika Ayyar ’14. steep learning curve. Each day she encountered something new, from mastering basic lab techniques to understanding the genetics behind the experiments she conducted. But Herold wouldn’t trade her long days in the lab for a summer of scooping ice cream or lifeguarding. Herold began most mornings on one of her primary tasks, breeding fruit flies. This involved a session of “flipping” her flies by placing live fruit flies into tiny vials and tracking any eggs laid. The painstaking work requires a disciplined attention to detail and careful record keeping—skills Herold enjoyed perfecting. The knowledge that her contributions might eventually play a part in the discovery of treatments for diabetes and pancreatic cancer made every piece of the process vitally important. “The sheer amount of information I took in was amazing,” Herold says about the internship. “I learned so much. Now I know what lab scientists do. I have a real-world understanding of different types of work and how people live their lives.” Herold’s firsthand experience in lab research was made possible through the generosity and vision of Dr. Seung Kim ’81, who brought three Exeter students to work in his lab this past summer. A member of the Stanford faculty in the Department of Developmental Biology and Medicine (Oncology Division), and an investigator for the


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lab and the Science Department.The fruit flies Herold helped breed will be shipped to Exeter this spring for further study in Biology 374, a new course that will give students a direct role in the work of Kim’s lab and experience in genetics research. Interest among students eligible to apply for the 12 spaces in two sections of Biology 374 has been high. Science Instructor Townley Chisholm P’10, P’11, P’14, who will teach one section of Biology 374, says of the new undertaking, “The course has the potential to be a tour-de-force demonstration of the power of modern genetics research in a high school setting, and the collaboration with Kim’s lab gives our students the chance to talk directly with people who know this field from A to Z. My Advanced Biology students absolutely loved talking by teleconference and video link with Dr. Kim and his colleague Dr. Lutz Kockel this past May because the Stanford researchers were incredibly knowledgeable, as well as being tremendously encouraging, warm and funny in handling our questions.” In recent decades, Exeter has seen a high percentage

w o “N

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Jack Russ ’13 says he learned “the value of failure” in his experimentation with mammalian cells.


of students enroll in advanced courses in science, math and technology, with many pursuing careers in these fields. Nationally, however, the United States is facing a decline in workers trained for STEM (science, technology, eng ineer ing and math) careers. In the 1970s, about 40 percent of the world’s scientists and engineers resided in the U.S.; today that number stands at about 15 percent. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that while only 5 percent of U.S. workers are employed in fields related to science and engineering, they are responsible for more than 50 percent of our sustained economic expansion.The need to encourage young people to go into STEM fields is clear. President Barack Obama has introduced the Educate to Innovate effort to support the goal of increasing both interest in STEM fields and mastery of these subjects. It is no secret that American students rank far below their peers in developed countries in science and math literacy. A 2006 study placed Americans 21st out of 30 developed countries in science literacy and 25th out of 30 in math literacy. The Educate to Innovate program is enlisting leading companies, foundations, nonprofits, and science and engineering societies to partner with the government in promoting science and math education. Exeter’s approach to teaching science and math, firmly rooted in the Harkness tradition, places the

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Kim is conducting research on how pancreatic islet cells develop, function, regenerate and change in disease. Kim’s lab has demonstrated that drosophila, or fruit flies, have endocrine cells that work in a similar fashion to human islet cells, producing insulin as human cells do. Prior to Kim’s discoveries, scientists were uncertain whether fruit flies had the equivalent of a pancreas. Now he is using strains of drosophila to uncover the molecular and cellular instructions for making islet cells. His investigations could play a significant role in advancing the disciplines of stem cell and regenerative biology, and lead to a means of replicating and inserting healthy islet cells in patients with diabetes whose cells no longer produce insulin. In helping scientists understand the function of the pancreas better, his research could also provide insights into pancreatic cancer. The summer internships Kim arranged this year were just the beginning of exciting new opportunities for Exeter students. At Kim’s suggestion, the Academy is embarking on a unique collaboration between his

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engagement and initiative of students at the center. Classes focused on discussion and experimentation put the tools of discovery in students’ hands. But the collaboration with Kim’s lab takes Harkness learning to a new level by giving students a part to play in his research.This is exactly the sort of education President Obama’s initiative is designed to encourage. “Science is not about teaching already-known facts but discovering new ones,” Kim says. “We would love it if students came away from this experience interested in pursuing science, but the goal is not necessarily to train people to be scientists. My hope is to expose students to what science is about, and that is discovery.” Anika Ayyar ’14, one of the students who interned in Kim’s lab, will serve as a teaching assistant for Biology 374 along with Herold. They are now experts in the technical aspects of breeding fruit flies and conducting experiments on them, and in the science behind Kim’s research. The prospect of sharing their knowledge with fellow students and seeing the experiments through to the next stage is empowering. “I have always been interested in the complexity of cells and how they work and control everything in the body,” Ayyar says. “It’s surprising how much you can manipulate the fruit flies and how much can be learned. A lot of what we are discovering can be applied to humans.” Ayyar can take special pride in her role in the new course because without her initiative, it would not have happened. While enrolled in a summer science program at Stanford in 2011,Ayyar learned that Kim was on campus and stopped by to introduce herself to a fellow Exonian. Ayyar was so impressed with Kim and the tour he gave her of his lab that she returned to campus and suggested Exeter invite him to speak in assembly. His assembly talk in February 2012 and a special session with the Biology Club generated a lot of discussion among students and faculty about the role of the scientist in the world. One outcome of these conversations, a suggestion made by Kim and eagerly embraced by Principal Tom Hassan and the Science Department, was the proposal for a collaborative research project. Kim returned to Stanford and asked his research team to come up with a protocol students could execute in an 11-week course. When the complexity of pulling this off became clear, he proposed bringing Exeter students to Stanford for training in the summer so they could, in turn, train their peers back on campus.

w people live t o h d heir an Last spring, k r live Chisholm’s Advanced Biology course wo f conducted some preliminary experiments s.” o s with drosophila sent through the mail from Kim’s e yp lab. This test run was a success, proving that the flies could travel cross-country, with the help of the U.S. Postal Service, in vials that provide access to oxygen and food. This spring, Kim’s lab will ship the strains of drosophila that Herold and Ayyar helped to create with Kim’s colleague, Dr. Sangbin Park, during their internships. “Drosophila have about 15,000 genes,” Kim explains. “Humans have 30,000. Flies turn out to be extraordinarily good organisms for the study of gene and cell function. If you destroy just 12 cells in the fly brain, you get a diabetic fly.” In the strains of drosophila bred by Herold and Ayyar over the summer, modified genes have been inserted into the flies along with a regulator that allows the researcher to turn gene expression on or off in a

Anika Ayyar ’14 provided the initial spark behind PEA’s collaboration with Dr. Seung Kim ’81 and his lab.

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PEA Science Instructor Townley Chisholm (below) visited Dr. Kim’s lab in August to prepare for a new class he will teach.

particular cell or type of cell.The regulator binds to the modified gene and glows green under the microscope so researchers can see how the modified genes manifest in succeeding generations of flies. Students in Biology 374 will conduct a series of experiments that involve breeding the flies and charting the path and functioning of the modified genes. The result, it is hoped, will be a new research-ready strain of drosophila that can be used by scientists working on research in a wide range of areas. “The students will learn to do fly husbandry,” Kim says. “In the second part of the course, they will use molecular genetics to see where in the genome the regulator shows up. If each team of students is able to identify several new insertions next to genes that mark cells, that would be a wonderful outcome. We don’t know that this will be the outcome, though. We want the students to have an experience of open-ended investigation.” Science instructors at Exeter and Kim have made a long-term commitment to this project. Exeter students will have the opportunity to intern in the Stanford lab again next summer and to serve as teaching assistants for the next round of the course. Over time, Kim hopes that a named collection of fly strains will result from the collaboration and that the outcome of the experiments can be published. He sees Exeter students and faculty playing a role in any eventual publication and in possible presentations at conferences. If the project is successful, it could impact research on a variety of diseases and genetic conditions. Kim hopes to extend this sort of partnership to public schools in his area in the future, as well.

Trained as an oncologist, Kim was motivated to leave

his practice and go into research by the suffering he saw among his patients. “I was struck by how horrible pancreatic cancer is among diseases and how little we know about it. I saw my patients dying from pancreatic cancer and diabetes. I decided to pursue this open area of research as a chance to make a contribution, taking a molecular and cellular biology approach to studying insulin cells.” In addition to his research, Kim directs the M.D./ Ph.D. program at Stanford and is a recipient of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Award for Excellence in Preclinical Teaching. He completed an undergraduate degree in biochemistry at Harvard, and his Ph.D. in biochemistry and M.D. at Stanford. His background as both a doctor and researcher gives him a broad perspective unique in the research world. It was only by chance that he began working with fruit flies, when another scientist suggested it during a job interview. Kim discovered what he calls a “marvelous system” for research and a 100-year history of investigation using drosophila. “It took some elbow grease to figure out how to measure glucose levels in a fruit fly, but it is possible,” he comments. “This is the wonderful thing about science. You can adapt and relearn in a relatively short period of time.” Jack Russ ’13, the third student who interned in the Stanford lab over the summer, says that it was an eyeopening experience. “I imagined science the way I had seen it in the movies, with bubbling cauldrons and high-tech machinery,” he says. “The reality is more everyday.You have rows of shelves lining the lab and things are on a smaller scale, working with small equipment. A lot of little discoveries may add up to something big.” Russ worked on mammalian cells in a different area of Kim’s research, unrelated to the preparation for the collaboration with Exeter, but like Herold and Ayyar, he gained valuable insight into what a career as a research scientist demands. Among other things, it requires a high tolerance for failure, Russ says. “I have learned the value of failure. I spent all day working on a single experiment. I worked

patience, commu , y t i l i b nica apta d tio a s e n, a h c a e nd t e c ev en i ok c S e “



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hard and did everything I was supposed to do, but the results did not add up at all. I said to Dr. Kim, ‘I failed at this experiment.’ He said, ‘Yes, that’s great. You failed.’ He made me understand that failure can be just as important as success.” Russ enjoys solving problems and definitely wants to go into science—possibly engineering, perhaps biomedical engineering or mechanical engineering. Herold, who says she has always been a “science girl” and comes from a “geek family,” sees herself as following a career path in science of some sort.Ayyar would like to become a neurosurgeon or neuroscientist. All three students feel they now have a much greater appreciation for the importance of research and the persistence it demands. “I’ve learned to be a lot more meticulous in my work in the lab and handling of the flies and equipment,” Ayyar says. “If one egg gets in the wrong vial, you have to throw everything away and start over.” Among the surprise discoveries made by the students over the summer was how much fun working in a lab can be. Russ comments, “The lab is a people place. People are constantly collaborating and conferring with each other. I was always asking questions.”

ge of emo one-on-onedentswithworked a sen-

ior scientist in the lab and did extensive background reading. Ayyar and Herold were impressed, like Russ, by the collaborative nature of research in a laboratory setting and by the enthusiasm every member of the team brought to the work. Science Instructor Anne Rankin ’92 will teach the other section of Biology 374 this spring. She notes that while research courses are becoming common in high schools, what Exeter is offering gives students access to high-level research and to the scientists conducting it: “I am excited about our version because it is providing tools which will be used by researchers in this field, and it fits into a much larger research context. Our students will read papers relevant to the work they are doing and have the chance to discuss them with Dr. Kim and others in his lab.” Rankin and Chisholm traveled to California in May to spend time in Kim’s lab and learn more about his research. Chisholm returned in August to nail down the final details for the course. Both say that this opportunity has fired them up about what is possible in the classroom. “I am a dinosaur,” Chisholm says. “I gradu-

sional development I can imagine. I certainly will not be doing the same old boring drosophila crosses with my Advanced Biology classes anymore.” Rankin agrees, commenting that having the chance to be the student rather than the teacher was wonderful. “I loved experiencing the open-endedness of science again, as that is something that can be hard to hold on to in a high school classroom.” This is just the sort of experience Kim sought to promote when he proposed the joint research project, for faculty and students alike. “We also want to expose students to the habits of scientific thinking,” he says. “Science teaches adaptability, patience, communication, and evokes a range of emotions people don’t associate with science—anxiety about failure but also the addictive moments of real joy when you understand something about nature you did not before.” Those moments of real joy have kept Kim in the lab and sustained the hope that his discoveries may contribute to a greater understanding, even a cure, for the diseases he witnessed firsthand as a doctor. Exeter students and teachers are poised to make a significant contribution to those discoveries.

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a ra n

n’t associate with o d ple ated from college in 1979 and have scie o e p A l l never used genetic techniques of this kind. nce s n ... three stu- Working with Dr. Kim has been the best profesti o

This spring, Emma Herold ’13 will serve as a lab assistant for PEA’s new biology research course.

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in A Lion the Exonians benefit from new summer fellowship program


(Top) Max Heald ’13 (background) and Zachery Ray Jorgensen ’14 (foreground) talk with former Filipino street children. (Bottom) Exonians begin filming their documentary in Manila. 24

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t was August 12, and John “Max” Heald ’13 was standing on a street in Manila talking with a young boy named Gavin. A nearby four-story shopping mall, with high-end merchandise inside, was backdrop to the cracked sidewalks that were often shrouded by tarps at night—makeshift homes for Gavin and Filipino street children like him. It was a long way from Exeter’s storied brick dormitories, and from Heald’s hometown of Bedford, NH.Yet Heald recognized something familiar in Gavin: a child’s cur iosity, the urge to play, and an unabashedly happy smile…despite a life on the streets. It was the smiling countenances of so many children like Gavin that brought real meaning and added motive to the project that Heald and Zachery Ray Jorgensen ’14 had co-created: to produce a documentary that educates people about child abuse and homelessness in the Philippines and spurs action to help eradicate the problem. The documentary and five other student research projects were the first summer fellowships awarded through a new program launched by the Student Council. Originally the brainchild of Woo-Hyun “Wayne” Byun ’11 during his tenure as Student Council president, the fellowship program provides Exonians with the opportunity to gain greater recognition for research they pursue off campus. Angelica Clayton ’13, who currently oversees the program, says many students engage in scientific or intellectual studies every summer, and “it’s important for the school to recognize that they are not just working here…they are working year-round.” Clayton adds that the fellowships are vehicles for “educating the whole student body on different issues that are present in the world,” and for expanding the concept of cultural diversity by sharing with the Academy community, through formal presentations, the documentaries, blogs or papers that culminate the fellows’ research. For Heald, Ray Jorgensen and the other fel-

Field By Karen Ingraham

lows, their research proved to be personally eye-opening and provided avenues for discovery and analysis that are possible only through hands-on fieldwork.

First Steps During his stay in the Philippines, Heald also met Rodel, a young boy who had been homeless but is now living at the Stairway Foundation, a nonprofit child care organization in Puerto Galera. The foundation provides residency and schooling for the most at-risk street children, as well as training and workshops to advocate for children’s rights. Ray Jorgensen’s parents established the nonprofit in 1990, and Ray Jorgensen grew up making friends with former street children and developing a deep empathy for their plight. “It has been my dream since I finished my freshman year…to be able to bring students from

en my “It has be ring ob dream ... t Exeter m o r f s t studen world.” y m e e s o t Exonian filmmakers (front) Shannon Hou ’14, Ellie MacQueen ’14, Zachery Ray Jorgensen ’14, Max Heald ’13, and (back) Spencer Goodwin ’14, Dylan Farrell ’14 and Josh Desmond ’15 in the Philippines.

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Exeter to see my world, where I come from, and hopefully let them bring back what they see to their homes and spread the word about Stairway and what we do,” Ray Jorgensen wrote in a blog post, “It’s happening right now.” The fellowship was, in effect, a year in the making. The idea sprung from a Facebook messaging session between Heald, founder of Exeter TV, and Ray Jorgensen in the summer of 2011. Heald learned about Stairway and about the rampant problem of child abuse and homelessness in Ray Jorgensen’s country. Together, the boys decided to make a documentary and recruited five Exonians to be on the production crew: Josh Desmond ’15, Robert “Dylan” Farrell ’14, Spencer Goodwin ’14, Shannon Hou ’14 and Eleanor “Ellie” MacQueen ’14. The team spent much of the 2011-12 school year on logistics and fundraising. The fellowship program does not currently have a funding source, therefore the summer fellows were required to finance their own research efforts. Clayton says, “We’re hoping to get some sort of funding d n this year so that we can expand the program,” adding that the fellowship selection commita d n arou d e k had to deny half of the applications due to an inability to provide funding for any of the o o l I “ ing tee m m i r student research projects. b e l p . r Heald and his crew used, a global fundraising platform, to offset some of e saw a peo t h laug d n a their costs. Through the posting of a video asking for donations, they raised more than e f i l with .” $4,000—enough t i r i p for the camera and audio equipment they needed. s n i Wealthy Once on the ground in the Philippines, the seven-person crew filmed in Manila before traveling to the Stairway Foundation. There, MacQueen blogged about a resident, 13-year-old Derik, who described how his mother had disappeared as he walked right behind her playing with his Rubik’s Cube. He looked down briefly, MacQueen retells, and when Derik looked up, his mother was gone. MacQueen writes: “I consider all the three-second increments in the entirety of my life. I think of the ones spent with my mother, recounting all the hours and all the days I have remained in her fourJerilyn Wu ’13 (midfoot radius, orbiting the center of my universe. …He was six at the time. He was left alone at the heart dle) with students of a 7.2-million people Manila with only a colored square toy. His small axis must have been knocked from the Ban Huay wildly out of rotation. He was alone.” School in Buriram Sala province, Thailand.


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Cultural Immersion Roughly 1,500 miles to the west of the Stairway Foundation, student fellow Jerilyn Wu ’13 was splitting her summer between internships at UNICEF Malaysia, in Kuala Lumpur (her hometown), and the nonprofit Population and Community Development Association, in Bangkok, Thailand. At UNICEF, Wu worked as the youth and social media volunteer, creating documentation that profiled social media users in Malaysia so, Wu says, “UNICEF could better utilize social media to engage, inform and mobilize the public. “One of the most important lessons I’ve gained from my Harkness-oriented education is that voices matter,” she adds. “It was this notion that drove, and continues to drive, my commitment to creating platforms that allow people to make their stories known.” A longtime advocate and volunteer within the field of social development, Wu—who is currently an Exeter Social Service Organization (ESSO) board member—had applied for her internships before learning about the fellowship program. She says she “later decided to pursue the fellowship as a means

of sharing important takeaways from the experience. …I wanted to gain an understanding about the development sector from two different vantage points—one from the country office of a large intergovernmental organization and another from a locally operated NGO.” It was during her fieldwork in Thailand assisting with village assessment reports and other projects that Wu, like Heald, found her beliefs influenced and challenged by those around her. “During my six weeks at the Population and Community Development Association, I had met the most incredible individuals in the poorest parts of the region,” she says. “Yet I felt communities of warmth and camaraderie like I had never experienced in any affluent city. I looked around and saw a people brimming with life and laughter. Wealthy in spirit. “When I would travel to these areas with groups of more-affluent individuals, however, all I could hear was talk about what communities were lacking. ‘What stands in the way of development is the people,’ I’d hear as I listened to complaints of complacency and the difficulty of changing ‘primitive’ mindsets. …The lines began to blur as I questioned what it meant to be here for the ‘betterment of society’—a tough realization for a girl who (Top) Rohan Pavuhad invested so much of her young luri ’14 stands outcareer in the social cause.” side a kirana shop in Summer fellow Rohan Pavuluri India. (Bottom) ’14 was seeking answers to his own Pavuluri with former questions about economic developAndhra Pradesh ment in another Asian country, Chief Minister ChanIndia. He wanted to know why there dra Babu Naidu. was such civic and governmental opposition to Walmart and other foreign direct investment (FDI) in multibrand retail establishments within India. Pavuluri, who heads PEA’s Democratic and Exeter Political Union clubs, became intrigued with this political tension while taking Modern India, a new “After ta king Moder course taught by History Department Chair Meg Foley and spawned by a trip to n In gave India that she and History Instructor Leah Merrill ’93 took a year ago. Although me a both of Pavuluri’s parents grew up in India before emigrating to the U.S., he says greate r u nderstandin he often thought of the country in terms of it being where his grandparents g o f w h y India was lived and where he went for vacation. the “I never thought of the history of India,” Pavuluri says. “After taking Mod- way it w a s .” ern India…it gave me a greater understanding of why India was the way it was.” He started questioning why it was so politically contentious—and at the time illegal—for foreign companies like Walmart to establish retail stores on the subcontinent, particularly because Pavuluri was in favor of such development. On the blog he created to encapsulate his research and findings (, Pavuluri writes, “To put my support FALL 2012

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succinctly, I believed that the advantages of long-term growth for the economy outweighed any shortterm discomfort.” Like a true Exonian, however, Pavuluri wanted to understand the opposition, to listen to the arguments so that his own was better informed, and perhaps even altered. So he became a journalist upon arriving in India, writing afterward on his blog, “All of my interviews were done in Hyderabad and Vijayawada, the first and third largest cities in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh respectively. For my project, I was able to meet everyone from kirana shop owners (the Indian term for the unorganized retailers who make up 98 percent of Indian retail) to a Communist Party leader to former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and current Telugu Desam Party leader Chandra Babu Naidu.” Pavuluri’s final post on his blog is a formal policy paper “explaining the flaws in the arguments of India’s opposition to Walmart and why allowing FDI in multibrand retail would further s the country on its path to development.” But, he says, “I did have a few adjustments in a h e experienc my opinion” after he concluded the research.

“This view o t t o n e taught m tion that I New Perspectives a When Que “Cherry” Zhang ’13 was growing up in Changsha, the capital city of the inform y r t n China’s Hunan province, Hunan embroidery—the delicate craft of hand stitching u o c each n i e colored silk thread—seemed commonplace as artwork. Zhang says, “I was much v i e c re uth.” with r t e t more curious about artworks from other countries. As a result, I never cared enough u l o s as the ab to look closely at any embroidery to understand the artistic and cultural value of this Chinese folk art.” Cherry Zhang ’13 (in yellow) interned alongside students at the Hunan Embroidery Research Institute.


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That changed for her when she decided to pursue a summer fellowship to better understand the intricate nature of the craftsmanship and how it has survived for more than 2,000 years. Zhang conducted her research through an internship at a workhouse in the Hunan Embroidery Research Institute, as well as with a visit to the city where Hunan embroidery originated and interviews with local embroiderers. To better appreciate the skill required for the embroidery, Zhang tried her hand at making Exeter’s red lion. She says, “Even though the embroidery teacher taught me the easiest type of needlework and told me to ‘just fill up the picture with a red thread,’ I often either broke the thin thread…or created ugly white spaces between the red lines because I did not have the patience.” The real challenge for Zhang, however, was to parse through the information she found in her attempt to understand how the Chinese Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and ’70s had impacted Hunan embroidery. Zhang explains that because all research sources are subject to censorship in China, “When I searched for information online, the English websites and Chinese websites had a very different perception and presentation of the Cultural Revolution.” She relied, instead, on firsthand stories from elder embroiderers to gauge the revolution’s impact. “This experience has taught me not to view the information that I receive in each country as the absolute truth,” Zhang concludes. “Always viewing an issue from the perspectives of people with different backgrounds is essential to my career at Exeter—it allows me to arrive at a more sophisticated conclusion to the problem.” Alan Guo ’14 encountered a different challenge during his summer fellowship. He had to adjust his

research goals when a sediment core he was intent on analyzing was missing the top layer that Guo hoped would yield data on how climate has changed over the past 1,500 years. Guo spent his summer working at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, MA, with senior scientist Dr. Lloyd Keigwin. Guo’s research project focused on paleoclimatology—the study of “climate change on the time scale of centuries to thousands of years,” he explains. The PEA upper analyzed sediment cores, or “long tubes of mud,” collected from the ocean floor. Each morning, he would hop on his bicycle at home and ride down to the institution, where he would wash core samples to find and collect the small shells of dead, single-cell organisms called forams. He would then put them into a mass spectrometer for radiocarbon dating and take a delta-O-18 measurement to determine the water’s salinity and temperature at the time the core sediment was formed. Aside from further fueling his interest in science—Guo is taking PEA’s environmental science sequence as a result of his Woods Hole experience—“I think it’s instilled a sense of responsibility in me,” Guo says of the internship. “Every day I was working, I was on my own doing my own work. “It’s very different from Exeter… . Having experience in the real world helped me explore my opportunities for the future, and that’s something valuable. Being able to connect with other adults who aren’t your teachers and are professionals is pretty interesting.”

Alan Guo ’14 spent his summer at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Agents of Change For Guo and the other student fellows, their summer experiences were only part of the fellowships. Now back on campus, the students will share what they have learned with Exeter students and faculty. Clayton says that at least two of the fellowships will be selected for presentation during a winter assembly, and all of the research projects will be presented in the Forum during that term. For some of the fellows, the goals and potential audience reach “I think are even broader. Of her work in Malaysia and Thailand, Wu says, “I learned about the importance of sense o f listening, of learning from failure, and of questioning motive. I learned about the power of inspired individuals, about the ways in which personal perspective shapes one’s in me.” understanding of the world and its people. …the experience also helped me realize that one need not traverse the globe to ‘do good.’ Social service can and should start in communities around you… . These are lessons I will share with members of the ESSO Board, the ESSO global team and the larger Exeter community.” Heald and Ray Jorgensen are already busy planning a premiere for their documentary, as well as booking dates to screen the film at high schools, colleges and film festivals. “I hope audiences will see the overwhelming presence of child homelessness and sexual abuse in the Philippines, however disturbing it may be,” Heald says. “If watching our documentary sparks a dialogue about how to solve some of these issues, then we’ve done our job.We all need to realize complacency, as a course of action, is the same as acceptance.”

it’s instilled a responsibilit y

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Sweet Pursuits U. S . O LY M P I A N N I C K L AC AVA ’ 0 5 TA L K S ROW I N G A N D C H O C O L AT E By Craig Morgan ’84


ick LaCava ’05 was a gangly

eighth-grade rower when a defining personality trait


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emerged. He was competing in the Charles River All Star Has-Beens Sprints, but the indoor competition wasn’t going well. “Not only was he last, but by the time he finished, everyone else was already off the [rowing machines] and talking with their family and friends,” LaCava’s father, John P’05, says with a chuckle. “To his credit, Nick didn’t quit.” Intelligence and a capacity for shrewd analysis have accompanied LaCava since childhood. They helped him earn a spot on the U.S. Lightweight Four boat in this summer’s London Olympics by honing his technique and his mental approach. They helped him co-found a successful mail-order company ( at the height of the recession in 2009. But LaCava’s story is not one of innate ability so much as it is an ode to devotion, hard work and persistence. “At Exeter, I wasn’t a standout because it’s a heavyweight program and I’ve been a lightweight my whole life,” he says. “I wasn’t even a standout my first year at Columbia [University], but I kept at it and I just got better and better by my junior and senior years. I think I just grew into my body a little more.” LaCava’s athletic indoctrination came courtesy of his mother, Zizi P’05, a master rower at the Saugatuck Rowing Club in Westport, CT, near his hometown of Weston.The duo even won their fair share of mother-son races, fueling LaCava’s rowing career. “But I wouldn’t say it was instant love,” he says. “People always ask me, ‘Have you been training for the Olympics your entire life?’ It wasn’t like that. I just really liked being out on the water. I grew to love the sport.” That love was tested when he arrived at Exeter, joined the crew team and endured early morning, November workouts. “I always thought the work conditions there made it more badass in 35-degree weather,” LaCava says, laughing. “But I loved the workout and it kept me in shape.” “Shape” was a relative term for LaCava in his Academy years. “I was really awkward,” he says. “I think I was 6-foot-1 and 130 pounds. When you look at pictures of me, it was pretty funny.” Funny and confounding, given his affinity for candy. LaCava was a frequent patron of The Chocolatier in downtown Exeter

where he enjoyed sampling the store’s Nick LaCava ’05 renowned gummy candies. When he (middle) and his graduated from Columbia in 2009, the teammates during job market had turned sour, so LaCava the Olympic heats. and fellow Columbia graduates Fabian Kaempfer and Eric Heinbockel started Chocomize, an online, personalized chocolate bar company. Chocomize encourages customers to build their own chocolate bars—LaCava’s favorite includes pretzels and M&M’s—with more than 300 million possible combinations. The company grossed $500,000 its first year and recently relocated to a larger space in Queens, NY. “Making chocolate bars is not rocket science but there is a science to it,” LaCava says. “You have to have special machines to keep the chocolate the right temperature, so there was a lot of trial and error in our early days.” LaCava also relied on the help of friends and family to launch the business. Anthony Fahden, one of four LaCava teammates in London, was one of those lucky few. “Yep, they put the white culinary cap on me and had me all outfitted,” Fahden recalls with a groan. “We’d wake up and practice rowing for a few hours then it was off to the factory where we’d be on our feet for six hours doing this mind-numbing work. “I have no idea how Nick stuck with it.” LaCava still owns a portion of Chocomize but his primary focus for the past couple of years has been training for the Olympic Games. Each Olympic year, 13 boats qualify for the

Craig Morgan ’84 is a freelance writer who serves as a columnist for, an editor for, a contributing writer


Two Exonians Win Medals at the Olympics

PEA alumna Andréanne Morin ’00 added a silver medal to her extensive crew achievements when Canada’s women’s eight boat finished 1.47 seconds behind the U.S. first-place finisher during the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Morin (front row, second from the right) also represented Canada in two other Olympiads: Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008. She is a native of Montreal, Quebec, and during her 12-year athletic career on the national team has continued her academic studies. In 2006, she graduated from Princeton University with a bachelor’s degree in political economy. Since the London Olympics, she has resumed work on her law degree at the Université de Montréal.


games with 11 of those spots earned at the World Championships. Unfortunately for LaCava and his teammates, they came in 12th at the World Championships, leaving them one last shot at a qualifier in Lucerne, Switzerland, in May. “They called it the ‘regatta of death,’” LaCava says. Compounding the team’s challenge was the loss of one of its better rowers, who decided to join another rower on a lightweight two boat. “We knew Nick was either going to achieve something monumental in Lucerne or his three-year career could be coming to an end,” his father says. “So my wife and I decided we had to be there.” The U.S. four boat won that race to earn a spot on the sport’s ultimate stage. While LaCava and his teammates didn’t take part in the games’ Opening Ceremonies—the Olympic rowing venue was in Eton—they did enjoy many of the perks that wearing an Olympic credential entailed, whether it was access to events, parties or receiving unexpected handouts. “An American handed me a 20-pound note for no other reason than I was an Olympian,” Fahden says. Aside from a few notable events such as the Head of the Charles Regatta, rowing is not a significant spectator sport in the United States. In Britain, the polar opposite is true. The 2012 Olympic venue had 25,000 to 30,000 spectators, announcers and Jumbotrons for every race.The most memorable moment for LaCava’s father came on one of those huge screens. “I had to pinch myself when they announced all the teams and I saw my son filling up a Jumbotron with an American flag,” John says. “It’s not something you ever imagine and it’s certainly something you never forget.” The team’s goal was to make the A Final (top six). They didn’t achieve that, finishing second in the B Final to France, but LaCava took home a host of lasting snapshots, from the remarkable variance in Olympic body types to the spectacle of the Closing Ceremonies. “It was just cool to be a part of something that big,” he says. “Not many people get that opportunity.” LaCava hasn’t decided if he would like another Olympic shot in 2016. He’s taking some time off from rowing and just began work as a field organizer in New Hampshire for the campaign to re-elect President Barack Obama. “This three-week break is the longest I’ve taken from rowing in 12 years,” he says. “It felt like I needed to take a longer break to gauge how much I really miss the sport. “We’ll see what comes next.”

Fellow alumna Georgia Gould ’98 joined Morin in winning an Olympic medal. She took bronze in the women’s mountain bike cross-country race. Prior to her Olympic success, Gould was a four-time national cross-country champion, finishing on the national championship podium every year since 2006 and appearing often as a top rider on the World Cup circuit.The gold medal went to France’s Julie Bresset with a time of 1:30.52, a minute ahead of Sabine Spitz of Germany, who won silver. Gould, who lives in Colorado, trailed Spitz by only 6 seconds. Gould described her feelings on her Olympic finish in her blog: “I was there within sight of the finish. I was going to win a bronze medal! I couldn’t believe it. I felt like I won the race. It was surreal. I knew it was possible, but to have everything come together that day was amazing.” Gould is pictured on the Olympic course during her bronze-winning race.

to several magazines and a marketing writer for select clients. FALL 2012

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H U G H E VA N S ’ 4 3

Keeper of the Legend



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he 10th Mountain Division is legendary in the annals of American military history.The unit is best known as the experimental military group that, during World War II, pioneered skiing and survival techniques in Colorado’s mountains.Then, in the final days of the war, the division conducted a surprise assault on the virtually impregnable Riva Ridge, a Nazi stronghold in Italy, clearing the way for U.S. forces to break into the Po Valley and forcing the Germans into Italy’s Alps where they surrendered on May 2, 1945. As a veteran of the 10th Division, Hugh Evans ’43 is one of the keepers of the unit’s heritage. In an interview in 2001, Evans said that he planned to ski until he was 80 years old. Now having reached and exceeded that mark, he intends to ski until he is 90. A lot of his skiing is done in the Colorado wilderness between the 29 huts linked by some 300 miles of trails managed by the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association. He says of his backcountry treks, “This is how skiing should be.” War came to Evans at Exeter. He remembers, “On Sunday, December 7, 1941, we were just emerging from a meeting of the Christian Society when we heard about the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Before that I was what you might call a moderate pacifist, but at that point I realized the war was just.” Evans was inducted into the Army in 1943, right after he graduated, and sent to Camp Hale in Colorado for training. Evans was no stranger to mountains. He had studied with English Instructor Robert H. “Bob” Bates ’29, the adviser to Exeter’s Mountaineering Club and a world-renowned mountain climber. In fact, Bates designed much of the equipment Evans and his comrades used during their training and on the battlefield. “We needed three letters of recommendation to qualify for the 10th and Bob Bates wrote one of my three,” Evans says. “We were friends until the day he died.” Evans did more than his part to contribute to what would become the heroic reputation of the 10th Division. On February 19, 1945, the night after the capture of Riva Ridge, Evans and units of the 85th and 87th Mountain Infantry Regiments were under intense artillery, mortar and machine-gun fire and surrounded by minefields. During this battle Evans became enraged by a friend’s death. “I saw red,” he remembers. As a result, he took on an entire field of Germans and single-handedly captured two machine-gun nests and 15 German soldiers. For this act of gallantry, he was awarded the Silver Star. Two geographic areas are particularly revered by the 10th Division vets and their descendants: the Italian hill villages located on the Po Valley side of the Apennines, where they drove out the Germans, and the 10th Mountain Division Memorial on Tennessee Pass in the Rockies where the 1,000 10th Division members killed during World War II are honored. “Since 1979 we have been returning to the hill villages every three years,” Evans says. “When we go back now our children and our children’s children are taken into the schools by the children of our friends in these villages.” His career after the war was in mining. Many former 10th Division soldiers became figures in the then fledgling American ski industry. Some became ski instructors or members of the National Ski Patrol while others went on to open ski resorts including Aspen and Vail. But these men never forgot their training at Camp Hale where they learned to maneuver, survive and fight in the snow and freezing weather.These veterans blazed the trails and built the huts that would become the 10th Mountain Division Hut System. Evans is one of the last 10th Division vets to still pack into these beautiful and peaceful huts. —Julie Quinn



K AT H Y ( F OX ) F R A N K L I N ’ 8 6

Finding the Right Narrative


ou never know what is going to unfold if you pursue what you’re excited about and find fascinating,” says Kathy (Fox) Franklin ’86. This approach helped Franklin land her current role as president of Franchise Development for Lightstorm Entertainment, the production company run by filmmakers James Cameron and Jon Landau. Lightstorm is the company behind Avatar, the No. 1 box-office film of all time, and its two upcoming sequels. Franklin’s role is to spearhead brand development across multiple mediums and expand the Avatar community. “It’s exciting to be able to combine a globally successful film with an important message—the idea that we are all connected and share responsibility for each other and the world we live in,” she says. Franklin has always been interested in good narrative—understanding why stories unfold a particular way. The power of her own story and the choices that have shaped her career are not lost on her. She has not made career decisions so much as she’s pursued her interests. Franklin attended Princeton hoping to join the Foreign Service, but the coursework didn’t speak to her. She chose instead to major in English and women’s studies. After graduating, Franklin began working in the financial industry, but that too failed to spark her imagination. So she earned a master’s degree from Teachers College, Columbia University and taught English in New York and Philadelphia. In the mid-1990s, Franklin and her husband moved to Los Angeles. Themed customer experiences like Rainforest Cafe and Planet Hollywood were emerging, and Franklin became curious about storytelling through place creation. “When the big shift in the design world of bringing narrative into the environment began, this was an exciting and powerful idea to me, and I wanted to explore it further,” she explains. Franklin enrolled in UCLA’s certificate program in environmental design and created an internship where she learned to create themed environments. Franklin then embarked upon what she calls “the holy grail when you’re in the themed entertainment space”—the Disney empire. She wanted to develop theme parks as a Disney Imagineer, but her “in” with Disney came differently. Disney was forming a corporate philanthropy program and needed someone with expertise in education, creative and design skills, and a level of comfort in a corporate environment. “Suddenly these things that I had done, which to my parents seemed like perhaps a fairly random series of choices, had completely prepared me to be the right person for that role,” she says. At Disney, she loved her initial work supporting teachers. “It was exciting for me as someone who had been a classroom teacher to suddenly get to do things that reached so many classrooms and so many schools,” Franklin says. She was ultimately named vice president of Disney Worldwide Outreach, where she oversaw global marketing, communications and branding for corporate philanthropy. After eight years of giving away Disney’s money, Franklin wanted to learn more about the businesses that generated those funds. Her corporate experience had equipped her to lead franchise management at Disney Consumer Products for Disney Princess and Disney Fairies and later the Cars and Toy Story franchises. During that time, she learned a saying from the people at Pixar: “Every day, you should teach something and learn something.” Franklin adds, “Some days are more teaching days. Some are more learning days. Some days are neither. But if you approach each day with this idea in mind, most days are pretty productive.” For Franklin, Lightstorm is an avenue for her to be both teacher and student. “When you get an opportunity both to contribute your skill set and to learn something, that’s the ultimate gift,” she says. Franklin is currently working on the development of an Avatar-themed land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, as well as Avatar games and apps and extensive social media outreach. Since Franklin joined Lightstorm a year ago, the Avatar community on Facebook has grown by 35 percent to more than 33 million “likes.” It’s a community eager for the narrative Franklin has to share. —Taline Manassian ’92


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Clothing with a Cause


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hen a few friends set out to save the world, the result was SOMB—a trendy fashion company named after the phrase “shirt off my back.” For co-founder William H. G. “Will” Bennett ’03, SOMB is more than just a clever acronym; it’s an expression of purpose espoused in the company’s products: “When I pitched the idea of SOMB to four of my best friends, we all realized we were tired of our routines and wanted to do something more meaningful . . . to feel like we were making a difference in the world.” Intrigued by the idea of socially responsible brands and passionate about helping underprivileged children, Bennett co-authored the business plan for SOMB—which was submitted by another co-founder in a Wharton School competition. The winning plan’s award provided most of the company’s startup capital, and SOMB launched in 2010. Targeting a younger, hip audience, the Los Angelesbased company touts a “California-inspired, beachmeets-street-style vibe.” After its first collection sold out three times over, SOMB was able to donate uniforms to students in nearly 50 schools in Zimbabwe and Kenya. With the release of its second collection, the company now supports the United Nations’ global initiative for children to have the right to play. By donating a portion of its profits to the nonprofit children’s charity Right To Play, SOMB endorses fun, physical lessons promoting gender equality and racial and religious acceptance. Other games teach children about the risks of AIDS, malaria and other life-threatening diseases—necessary tools for edu-

cation and healthy habits. “All of the founders played team sports . . . .We recognize the skill set we developed playing sports served us well in our lives,” Bennett says. Each founder, including fellow Exonian Christopher R. Norqual ’00, has an equal voice and brings a unique talent to the venture. “All of us were very fortunate growing up,” Bennett explains. “We wanted to do something for the kids [who] don’t have the same kind of opportunities. We were all motivated by each other, but we believed in our mission to help others. It [has become] rewarding in ways we had never experienced— the beauty of these countries, the amazing spirit and energy of the children.” As the company’s co-CEO, Bennett says SOMB’s goals are unusual. “Our goals are not based on how much money we raise, but rather the fact that we are making a difference with each shirt.We are really lucky to have received so much support from the celebrity community.” Eva Longoria, Snoop Dogg, Britney Spears, Floyd Mayweather, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Adrian Grenier, among others, have donned SOMB gear. He describes Exeter as a family affair—with his father, William L. ’67; uncles, James “Jeff” ’71 and Robert E. ’78; and sister, Corey F. Bennett Lewis ’98, as Exonians—but Bennett says he wasn’t the most collegial student. “I was not a nice person at Exeter,” he admits. “I was too competitive and self-absorbed.” At Wesleyan University, however, Bennett changed. “I lost a number of people I love, including my father and my mother, which has been extremely challenging,” he says. “But I try to live every day in honor of my parents who, like Exeter, preached non sibi. Exeter is an amazing place, but I didn’t fully realize the lesson of non sibi until after I graduated and left the Exeter community.” His greatest joy now comes in helping others: “To actually see the difference your work makes in someone else’s life is an amazing experience.Visiting Africa, distributing uniforms and interacting with the kids is truly the best part of my job. I feel lucky to have the background, education and opportunities that I’ve had growing up . . . but through SOMB, I have a better understanding of how important it is to give back.” Currently enrolled at Harvard Business School, Bennett hopes to launch a second socially responsible brand this year. —Famebridge Witherspoon

Finis (continued from page 104) text and find ourselves . . . off base? Confused? Dislocated? In a state of “comfortable anxiety.” [W.B.] Yeats says: “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” If we follow this injunction, we may ignite something unexpectedly messy or hot as we confront the particular powers and mysteries of ourselves confronting the powers and mysteries of a particular text or an idea. Trying to get to conversations that smolder—MLK called it “creative tension.” It seems nothing happens without it. We ask our students to do this every day, looking for what is important and trying to make it stand up and be seen. No wonder it is hard for them. No wonder it requires such attuned listening. No wonder both they and we often stumble along the way. Improvisation at the Table

The occupation of a jazz musician requires the player to be an improviser working within tradition, structure and standards— able to launch off on flights of freedom and expression. Hero or not, [jazz musician] Django [Reinhardt] could improvise a song from his heart that moved the hearts of others. In our classes, we are always improvising, and the students are improvising; and occasionally, we attain something like improvisational heroism when we let ourselves let our students go. [One teacher,] Scott, is comfortable saying he isn’t sure what something means and is thinking his whole reading might have been wrong.This admission is liberating, as it opens the space for ideas to come in—he is not standing behind the fortress of his [knowledge], rather he is demonstrating a certain nobility and self-deprecation in admitting he is still learning. It makes the Human (capital H) live in the room, and it takes the discussion onto a humanly authentic path. When Todd mentions his personal experience, he breaks through a wall—not violent or disruptive—but the conversation shifts when he says, “Can I just say, this morning I listened to ‘Nuages.’ ” And he then speaks of the song from his own aesthetic experience of it in real time, how it made him feel, what he felt in Django’s song. This seems liberating and true, an unplanned improvisation—Todd riffing

and adding a layer, taking us a step closer to the substance of the text. Conflict and Tension

We are at the table, talking and listening to our students learning how to think and be people. There are stumbles and tentative groping forth. Then there are those disharmonious, dissonant flash points which present us with sudden passionate intensity— feeling colliding with ideas colliding with people, and that is a very definite somewhere we have arrived. We know that conflict happens here and in our classrooms.The conflict may be over interpretation, style, fact or content. It may also be personal, between two people. It may come from outside the classroom— residue in us or our students from feelings or experiences that happened far from the table. We are working with children who are growing and changing, as are we. The fact is there is a lot going on, above or under the surface of the text. If our classes are content-driven, if we have to “get through the material,” then we will be pressed for time. So will we have time for problems that are emotional or interpersonal in nature? On the other hand, if we view the text as simply a steppingstone to make something bigger happen, then we are only too glad when something unpredictable evolves or explodes. In [one] case study, [the student,] Sheri, was angry, resentful that her culture and history were not better known.Those passions are relevant, even necessary, to a vibrant classroom. She may not only be asking that her peers see something about her ethnic origin and history, but demanding that her peers, teachers and school know her. To ignore that is to let a fire burn and not move toward tending it. If we don’t address the “Sheri” in our [class]rooms, make space for her words, then we may be turning our backs on the very essence and inarticulate beauty of what she brings, who she is, and who she is becoming. If it does not get dealt with, then we will have marginalized her, possibly because her contribution did not come in a clean and sanitized package. Yet behind the “it” of her package is her—her life, family history, interpersonal relationships, being a minority, the search for the expression of an identity. So can we go after all that material even as we keep an eye on content? One participant said: “It

would take weeks to repair this class after Sheri’s outburst.” Yet one might even say “thank you” to Sheri: Her dissonance is a lever, maybe even the skeleton’s key, a way in to going deeper, for herself and those around her. But do we have time? Will we give it time? I hope, deeply, we will not shy away from conflict and tension, or allow our classrooms to avoid or suppress it, but enter into it lovingly, openly, with excitement and hope for the possibilities. If we can do this, we will be on the road to an exalted somewhere. The Work of Teaching

The poems on the first day, among other things, asked us to think about what work is. Most of our work here has been to think about our occupation and the work of teaching. Is it to send [students] down deep as lone divers as long as possible, or do the diving ourselves, or to all go down together, a little at a time? Is it to fill a pail, or is it to light a fire? Is it to stand in the center, and/or make the table a place where it is safe for all to move to the center? Is it to keep it clean, or let it get messy? Perhaps the work we do is to simply create a space for something good, creative and difficult to happen, to knowingly accept that we don’t know what will happen, because then the class, the learning, the journey, the creation, the discoveries become theirs, something they made and found, imperfect to be sure, but their construction all the same. If we think about the work of small children in a sandbox, we see them constructing, poking, pouring, tunneling, forming, wrecking, smoothing out, building up and starting again.This is their work, and no one needs to interfere, dictate or direct it (unless perhaps sand is flying into eyes or territory is being invaded). [Children] play freely and by their own lights—any creation or discovery will be theirs, any magic will have come from their hands and how they have occupied themselves. So perhaps [that’s how] it should be as children become young adolescents and adults. Harkness presents them and us with a way to continue to do the sandbox thing with their ideas, thoughts and concerns. And if we see it like this, maybe it becomes easier to simply build a box, pour in sand, make it safe, and then, with a few shovels for digging and pails for holding, let them go. FALL 2012

The Exeter Bulletin


Finis Origine Pendet

Reflections on the Table By Tal Birdsey


tephen Dunn’s poem, “Homage To The Divers,” reads:

A love poem at the bottom of the sea, in a treasure ship, reachable, yes, we must believe reachable. In an air-tight container somewhere in the captain’s quarters, somewhere off Hatteras, written by . . . And a key in a skeleton’s hand and the whole world up above diving for it, some with all the equipment, some holding their breath. Observing you all at the [Harkness] table was like watching the master divers who believe in somewhere and a treasure that is always reachable. It was to see from the inside the best of students going with full heart and faith down into a difficult thing and continually emerge having done that difficult thing: bringing up meaning where otherwise there would be none or little; mapping obscure landscapes of questions and texts; [and] opening up (to) a community of minds. Beginnings

In the Forum we saw the film story of the Harkness table.Voices told us the Harkness table is a place where important transformations occur. I left asking, what transformations? What good things have happened, or can happen there? And how does it happen? I was also thinking: We, and our students, should be asking these questions when first entering school. What transforma104

The Exeter Bulletin

FALL 2012

tions—to heart or mind—will take place here? What good will occur here? How will time spent here make great things come about? Or, even, can I make great things come about? Who will I be here, in this room, at this table? But, it’s the first day, and we don’t know the texts, or our classmates, or the work we will do, or how it will end. Wondering if we can “do” “it”—not sure how others are going to “do” “it.” Not sure even if we know what “do” and “it” are. So we are making up a story as we go along. Only the bare structure is known, so, as they say in jazz, we have to be ready to play the changes. First Table

Not what, but who? Our groups here at Exeter, like our own classes, are a mixed pot. Strange ingredients with unknown origins. Minds comfortable and flexible in infinite ways. Uncomfortable and limited as well. We are reminded: “Be a student. Try not to be a teacher, or [be] thinking about how to do this in your room.” This admonition is good for us here because, truly, how can we teach our students if we do not know them? We must know where the student is and what he or she is becoming, in order to help them in the process of that becoming. Like students, then, we are excited: We don’t know; we are unsure. We want to do “well.” We also want to know if these poems or words have relevance to our lives, if they will “help” us. We ask locating questions, digging, heaving the words and images around, slicing for the good turf, highlighting images or facts, even exhibiting what we don’t know. . . . Which is hard, which our students must do every day: be in the state of unknowing, doubt, and, we hope, open curiosity. So there is a beautiful, crucial, instructive opportunity—a permission and an urging we give them—when we live in and model this state of being a teacher and a student at the same time. In our first class we approach a (continued on page 103)


Editor’s Note:The Exeter Humanities Institute (EHI) is a five-day working conference primarily for secondary school English and history teachers. It is designed to explore Harkness pedagogy and ways it can be practiced in participants’ schools. Each summer, EHI has a participant observer who serves as a “human journal,” attending a multitude of classes, workshop sessions and social gatherings throughout the week in order to share his reflections and opinions at the end of the conference. This year, Tal Birdsey, co-founder of The North Branch School and author of A Room for Learning: The Making of a School in Vermont, was the observer. His remarks follow.

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The Exeter Bulletin, fall 2012  

The Exeter Bulletin is the quarterly alumni/ae magazine of Phillips Exeter Academy.