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HIGH MOUNTAIN INSTITUTE where nature & minds meet

FALL 2012

It’s the Culture page 3

Full Circle:

Giving Back to Leadville page 6

Writing about Place:

The Backcountry page 16


HMI nurtures personal growth through interaction with nature and participation in a strong community.

inside this

issue ON THE COVER: Semester XXIX, 1st Expedition, Sawatch Range Above: Auri East (Semester XXIX apprentice, XVII alumna), 2nd Expedition, Mt. Elbert

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3 It’s The Culture 5 Save the Date 6 Full Circle: Giving Back to Leadville 8 Laughter and Learning 10 Mentoring and Apprenticing 12 A Spanish Speaker’s Paradise? 14 The Phenology of Place: Leadville Through the Seasons

16 Writing about Place: The Backcountry 18 Greetings HMI Alumni and Friends 19 Alumni Summit Challenge 17 Alumni News 24 Ryer’s Recipe

It’s the Culture By Christopher & Molly Barnes, Co-Heads of School


ne part of any Head of School job is to nurture the mission. The HMI mission, the goal of the school, is to be the place “Where Nature and Minds Meet” so that our students can grow intellectually, physically and personally. While the official mission statement includes more specific details, that tagline and the concept of the 3-legged stool guide many of our daily choices. What do we mean by the 3-legged stool? We mean that HMI focuses on just three key elements of the semester experience: academics, wilderness, and community. All of HMI’s systems and activities are designed to give our students many varied opportunities to grow through our academic, wilderness, and residential life programs. Despite a lot of desire and effort, we have struggled to identify ways to measure the efficacy of an HMI semester experience. We continue to look for ways that we can evaluate the degree to which our students grow intellectually, physically, and personally. While we are awash in qualitative and anecdotal data, which is profoundly inspiring, we do not yet have a statistically validated quantitative metric to use. Such is the plight of experiential education. Each semester concludes with our graduation ceremony during which each student reads his or her Full Circle, a retrospective piece of writing that essentially addresses some of the most valuable lessons learned or essential moments of the semester. As a collection

of presentations, Full Circle is a powerful afternoon of affirmation. The students, soon to be alumni, affirm their growth and their relationships and prepare to take those home with them while the faculty can see the direct results of the effort and energy they put into the semester. While each Full Circle is unique and most are very personal, some students are particularly elegant in their assertions about the nature of the semester experience at HMI. From these, we get glimmers of the actual impact of the experience and the depth of the impression made by the mission on a given student. As Heads of School, we worry every single day about the degree to which we are reaching our students. Last spring, Toni Jonas Silver addressed many elements of the HMI mission in her Full Circle, without being directly asked to do so; she simply talked about her experience here. Woven through the community, wilderness, and even the academic curricula are the ideas of intentionality and mindfulness. On intentionality, Toni notes:

Mission Statement HMI nurtures personal growth through interaction with nature and participation in a strong community. We promote intellectual, physical, and personal development through insistence on academic excellence, our philosophy of mentoring and apprenticing, and rigorous experiential learning. We seek to promote independent thinking and to develop skills of learning and habits of mind that both enhance self-reliance and transfer beyond the boundaries of HMI.

“People at HMI think about how they’re living and make intentional changes if they’re not happy. They do what they do because they love it, and this brings passion to their lives. Here we think about how our actions affect others and how we can be our best selves. We take advantage of every moment, find value in difficult tasks, and find meaning in just having fun.” …continued on page 4


People at HMI think about how they’re living and make intentional changes if they’re not happy. They do what they do because they love it, and this brings passion to their lives. Here we think about how our actions affect others and how we can be our best selves. We take advantage of every moment, find value in difficult tasks, and find meaning in just having fun.

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…continued from page 3 We often wonder if our obsession with the three legs of the HMI stool is worthwhile… “This culture values balance. We work hard physically, mentally, and emotionally. It addresses all aspects of life. And all the things play into each other. When I feel stronger, I feel smarter and happier. When I have better relationships, I do better in school and run faster.” At HMI, we value highly our culture and the impact that collective efforts toward a common good can have. The sum (experience) is greater than the parts (the individuals who make it happen). Again Toni’s insights on the matter:

“It’s the culture…It’s where the culture places its priorities. And it’s this culture that everyone falls into that has such an important effect on the experience. This culture says running and doing chores are just as important as classes, as is getting enough sleep.” HMI is blessed with a cadre of hard working, inspiring, and thoughtful faculty and staff. While no one of us (Co-Heads of School included!) is the vital keystone, collectively we strive to uphold a certain style and tenor of teaching. “…it’s also the teachers. They love teaching and they want us to succeed. They don’t want to waste a semester of classes, the want us to learn something. And they’re role models; they give us someone to look up to. They’ve all done and are doing cool things and they lead by example. They care about all of us and want us to have the best experience we can.” So we are left with powerful anecdotal data that what we do has merit. We must continue to work toward developing substantive quantitative metrics; metrics that help us do an even better job. In the meantime, Toni’s words will have to suffice. We are grateful that Toni let us quote her Full Circle, and conclude with her thoughts on leaving HMI (which are wholly shared and particularly relevant to us, in our final year at HMI):

save the


HMI 15-Year Reunion & Founders’ Farewell On June 7-9, 2013 HMI will celebrate its 15-year reunion in Leadville. We invite all of our alumni, alumni families, and friends to join us for this special event to celebrate 15 years and to honor the great work of our founders, Christopher and Molly Barnes, as well as wish them well on their next adventure. The weekend will include optional short trips and day hikes to reconnect with the beautiful surrounding scenery; a bonfire to welcome everyone to Leadville and back to campus; opportunities to share stories and meet fellow alumni and friends; a barbeque and music on Saturday night; and plenty of special edition HMI memorabilia to take home with you. Put it on your calendar now and we will send official invitations and details soon! More information and registration will be available on the HMI website.

“I’m not excited to leave, but I’m ready to take what I’ve learned here and use it to change the way I approach life at home.”

Pictured on page 4: Semester XXIX students kick up their heels during their semester square dance


Full Circle:

Giving back to Leadville By Eliza O’Neil, Residential Life Faculty & Carrie Mallozzi, Apprentice Program Coordinator


MI has long believed in the value of strong and positive community involvement. For many HMI students that community extends beyond the HMI campus as they develop a particular fondness for the greater Leadville community. Semester students get to know Leadville through dog walking at the local shelter, pawing through clothes at Community Threads, meeting locals at the coffee shop, or tutoring

Leadville youth during activity period. Interestingly, we find that photos of Leadville and Mount Elbert posted on Facebook evoke some of the most sentimental responses from our alumni. Some alumni are lucky enough to return to Leadville more often than others, and occasionally an alumnus returns for something other than a backpacking trip, a quick tour to see how campus has changed, or a sentimental stroll down Harrison Avenue. Earlier this fall, Carrie Mallozzi, Apprentice Program Coordinator, ran into an HMI alumna, while working on her own personal project within the Leadville community. Carrie is a member of the Lake County Recreation Advisory Board and Chair of The Huck Finn Park Project. Originally constructed in the 1960’s, the Huck Finn Park was once a community gathering spot for activities including fishing, tennis matches and family picnics. In 2002, Lake County was offered a donation of some indoor skatepark elements from Copper Mountain. The Leadville community has valued these donated park elements over the years and made great use of them. Unfortunately, the park elements

were not designed to last in an outdoor environment and have deteriorated over the years. Finally, in the summer of 2010, the skatepark facilities were deemed unsafe and were removed. The Huck Finn Park Project includes a 21,000 square foot poured concrete skatepark, two repaired tennis courts, and a new ice rink facility. The park will include creative features that incorporate Leadville’s unique mining history and spectacular landscape as a means to communicate responsible environmental stewardship in mining locations. In the past three years, Carrie has helped to raise over $350,000 to fund the park project, and recently found herself working closely with HMI alumna, Jess Stonberg, when the committee began working with the University of Colorado’s Landscape Architecture program to further develop this grand vision. At the first collaborative meeting Carrie met Jess, RMS IV alumna, and University of Colorado graduate student. Both are excited about this partnership, and we took a few minutes to hear from Jess about how it feels to be back in Leadville, in a new context:

“I am able to give back and pay respect through the lens of environmental stewardship and empowering communities in concrete ways. I see my experiences at HMI in my everyday life in that way.” 6 | HMI Fall 2012

EO: What is your involvement in the Huck Finn Park Project? JS: I’m in my third year in my dual master’s degree in Landscape Architecture and Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Colorado at Denver and this semester I signed up for a studio that involved designing this park for the town of Leadville, which is of course like another home for me!

EO: Why do you think this park project is important for a town like Leadville? JS: These communities have experienced “booms and busts” and it shows in the infrastructure a lack of long term design and investment. Every community deserves a space that they can call their own and share in a collective manner for civic pride, recreation and relaxation.

EO: Tell us a little bit about your role in the project. JS: I’m in a small studio of about twelve students and the way we’ve decided to approach the project is

to design four different options or interpretations of the design as a whole across the site. Eventually, we’ll be meeting with community members and finding out what the more popular and exciting parts of the four projects are and together we will meld them into one overall master plan for the site. So I’m a part of a design team, which is pretty typical in the field as well as a lot of fun.

EO: You were a student in RMS IV. How did your experience as a student at HMI influence your path? JS: At the time, it was a honing of my passions and ideas of community and education that I am grateful I have now been able to translate into my profession. In being able to design engaging and memorable spaces as well as sustainable urban scale systems, I truly feel that I am honoring my time at HMI and the values that it gave me. I am able to give back and pay respect through the lens of environmental stewardship and

empowering communities in concrete ways. I see my experiences at HMI in my everyday life in that way.

EO: How are you staying connected to HMI? JS: Well, having gone to Colorado College for my undergrad and living in Colorado for a handful of years gives one the luxury of stopping by the campus quite often. Molly and I remain good friends and get to grab dinner every now and then in Denver or up in Leadville, which is great. I am on the Alumni Council and was up on campus for a meeting last April, and then I have this project that brings me to Leadville a couple times a month for a site visit, presentation, and a quick fly fishing trip!

Pictured on page 6: Jess Stonberg, RMS IV alumna & University of Colorado graduate student


Laughter & Learning By Matt Turnbull, History Faculty


n the introduction to his book, Dave Barry Is not Taking This Sitting Down, the eponymous humor columnist explains to his readers that the best part of his job is that he could, ‘report to work in a squirrel costume, and [his] employers would not question it. They might even be impressed by it, and remark upon it positively in our annual Job Performance Review. (“Shows good initiative. Came to work in a squirrel costume.”)’ By the end of the second page, the reader learns that, in addition to the freedom to don man-sized rodent garb, Barry keeps a variety of odd items in his office, including, but not limited to a six-foot-tall plasticfoam model of Bob the bear, a mutant corn-flake wad, a rubber chicken clad in underpants, and two cans of ten-

year old “Potted Meat Food Product.” The most wonderful element of this collection, Barry reports, is that no one finds it odd because, “These are all work-related items. I obtained every one of them in the course of doing my job as a professional humor columnist. They are the Tools of My Trade!” Reading this out loud to my Dad this summer got me thinking about the

One of my favorite tools, ironically, is another of Barry’s books: Dave Barry Slept Here: A Sort of History of the United States. This small volume of comedic American history serves as a companion to the much weightier, less humorous textbook. Mr. Barry simplifies our studies with the convenience of one date, October 8, upon which every historical event

I sometimes wondered if I were entertaining more than educating; if class were so fun, were any of us actually learning anything? tools of my trade, since I too have a desk cluttered with arcane items: an American flag dress, imitation snakeskin pants, a yellow plaid suit jacket, gray wigs, various colonial hats, Buns of Steel 3 and Fitness for Grannies VHS videos, a Sorry board game, a silver candelabra, and two plastic hatchets. I am no humor columnist, but I keep these things around because at some point I’ll need to sport the snakeskin pants to teach telemark skiing, ask a student to wear the suit jacket for a historical press conference, or bathe a nonhistory-student dinner in candlelight. The buckled hat serves me well as a Puritan questioning New England Indians, honest Abe proclaiming that the Union must stand, or simply as a place to stash miniature candy bars. These too are all work related items, tools that enhance my job with a splash of color and a touch of humor.

occurred (history shouldn’t be about memorizing a bunch of dates anyway, right?). Although Barry embellishes, or invents historical truths, his mimicry of a classic high school textbook is spot on and his playful interpretations are intelligent and nuanced. Reading the book to my AP students eases us into class each day and reinforces the material. In order to react, students have to think about why each revision of the historical record is funny. If I, with Barry’s help, can get students laughing about seventeenth century colonial history, or the class conflict of the Gilded Age, then I figure we are doing something right. I used to feel slightly disappointed when student course evaluations were filled with comments about class being “fun” or that I was a “funny” teacher. Students remembered the Dave Barry book more than the

carefully culled primary sources I assigned, or the probing test questions I created. I yearned for comments that said things like, “it was really challenging, but worth it,” or “he was strict and demanding, but I learned a lot.” I sometimes wondered if I were entertaining more than educating; if class were so fun, were any of us actually learning anything? It turns out that we were, as laughing and learning go hand in hand. Studies have found that well-planned humor—humor that is related to course content—helps students retain information and relax during exams, improving performance. A few wellplaced and witty anecdotes can also enhance student enjoyment of the class and interest in the material. Enthusiasm for being in class leads to interest in the intellectual content encountered there, which ultimately produces stronger outcomes. Scientific studies utilize higher test scores as data that prove this. More importantly for HMI, the benefits of humor coincide with our effort to teach students how to

think, not what to think. For many, the “fun” might be the difference between suffering through American history and actually enjoying the experience. When a student tells me she hated history at home, but looks forward to it here, I take heart in the possibility that she will bring that interest home with her and into future coursework. I have succeeded if her experience at HMI leads her to find satisfaction in interpreting the past and demonstrate more enthusiastic participation in her classes. Although I would love for students to remember the details of my favorite historical proclamations, reform movements, and social struggles (and score well on the exam), I ultimately aim to foster habits of mind that will help them engage more deeply in their future history classes. I hope students can articulate themes and analyze why historical moments are significant, even if they have to look up the details again. Laughing at Dave Barry for a few minutes each day is fun. If fondly remembering that one of the primary

duties of congress is to get subsidized haircuts, or that the Hawly-Smoot Tariff caused the dustbowl fosters a richer reading of real historians in a freshmen seminar, deeper research on socially relevant topics for a senior thesis, or increased interest in the opinion page of the New York Times then all the better. It is comforting to know that humor can play a positive role in education. How else are we to overcome the disturbing ignorance of America’s teens? Barry emphasizes the importance of thinking differently because: We constantly see surveys that reveal this ignorance, especially among our high school students, 78% of whom, in a recent nationwide multiple-choice test, identified Abraham Lincoln as “a kind of lobster.” That’s right: more than three quarters of our nation’s youth could not correctly identify the man who invented the telephone. A sad commentary on the system, but at least we can laugh about it!


Mentoring and Apprenticing By Ben Dougherty, Assistant Head of School

“Because the very nature of what we do is to push ourselves and each other to take risks, to step outside our comfort zones and seek opportunities for growth, there is ample opportunity for everyone at HMI to be mentored or to mentor others.”

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“We promote intellectual, physical and personal development through insistence on academic excellence, our philosophy of mentoring and apprenticing, and rigorous experiential learning.” After a short time at HMI, it occurred to me that there is no mention of “teaching” in the HMI mission statement. Knowing the intention with which HMI approaches all decisions, I spent some time pondering this choice to fully understand it. While our Mission makes no mention of teaching, it does mention “learning” and words like “nurture”, “insistence”, “mentoring”, “apprenticing”, and “promote”. This subtle omission describes our philosophy of helping students learn “how to think, not what to think”. More important than what is taught, we must remain focused on what is learned. What is the value of mentoring? We believe to mentor is to allow others a real opportunity to fail, thereby also allowing them to completely own their successes. We also believe that mentoring requires support and trust so that a mentee is willing to take appropriate risks. A mentee must trust that the mentor has his or her best interest in mind so that when he is being pushed, he feels that his hard work has purpose even if it is difficult

to see in the moment. Co-Head of School, Molly Barnes, has said that there is a difference between the limits of one’s experience and the limits of one’s ability and while we can clearly define the limits of our experience, we are not always able to judge for ourselves the limits of our ability. A true mentor recognizes the difference and provides the right amount of support and pressure to help you overcome what you think is the limit of your ability. This is when real learning happens. At every level of the school, mentorship is embedded in the structure and practice of our day to day work. Something that I greatly appreciate about this community is that in any given moment, anyone can prove to be my most valuable mentor. Last spring a student came to visit me in my office. As we began talking, I asked for her thoughts and advice on what the Semester XXVIII students needed and how I could help them. She thought for a minute and then articulately gave me valuable feedback that in my attempts to inspire greatness, I had maybe put some students on edge or made them feel self conscious about their efforts. She went on to explain her perspective of what would be helpful and even coached me on how I might change my approach to more effectively reach all of the students. I recognized

in that moment, what a valuable mentor I had before me. That same day, like many others, I sought input and guidance from Molly regarding a different issue. Her approach was to ask me questions and force me to consider other perspectives. She may have had an answer that she thought was correct, but rather than dictate a response, she encouraged me to think things through and then make my own decision. Because the very nature of what we do is to push ourselves and each other to take responsible risks, to step outside our comfort zones and seek opportunities for growth, there is ample opportunity for everyone at HMI to be mentored or to mentor others.

Alumni can attest to the intention of the progression. Every aspect of the HMI experience is first demonstrated for them; then they receive specific coaching before being given the opportunity to test things under the watchful eye of faculty and apprentices; and finally they are given the chance to take ownership and lead in their own style and with their own vision. All along the way, meaningful relationships are forged based on recognizing the unique potential in every individual and by giving honest, clear communication and feedback. The very first night of the first expedition, a faculty member joins each tarp group and cooks their meal for them. They then spend the night

with the tarp group to demonstrate every aspect of backcountry camping and to set nervous minds at ease. Soon the groups cook on their own and set up their own tarps, but with faculty oversight and suggestions. By the end of their HMI journey, students are planning their own meals, choosing their own campsites and helping each other navigate. In most parts of society, true mentorships and apprenticeships may be relics of times past, but I believe the concept can and should be revived. It is an HMI staple that transfers far beyond the boundaries of our small campus in the mountains and can be part of any great learning opportunity. This year I am pursuing my M.S.Ed from the University of Pennsylvania and through that program I have been paired with a University Mentor with whom I communicate weekly as I reflect on my experiences at HMI and connect educational theory from the program to my learning here. A large part of my program involves an internship at HMI that forces me to step outside of my daily routines and into other realms of school leadership. Molly serves as my Onsite Mentor for this portion of my program and while she has been a mentor of mine since the day I arrived at HMI, this pushes us into even more defined and purposeful roles. We meet weekly to review my progress and to plan for opportunities for further exploration and growth. I hope to surround myself with people that I value as mentors throughout my life. Ideally everyone who passes through the doors of HMI, or makes their way slowly up the saddle of Homestake Peak on one of our expeditions, walks away with a lifelong passion for learning, seeks mentors along the way, and finds opportunities to pay it forward by mentoring others in return.


A Spanish Speaker’s Paradise? By Amy Woychowski, Spanish Faculty

hether it is the students who attend HMI for just four months; teachers that reside here throughout the year; or individuals who now call Leadville home, we


have all moved and migrated, either temporarily or permanently, to be part of the customs and community that make up Leadville, Colorado. I arrived in July of 2011, excited to become HMI’s Spanish Teacher, but curious to see just how this tiny city would cater

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to my hopes of educating through place. With a population of only 8,000 people, an elevation of over 10,000 feet, and snow that arrives on our doorsteps in September, it does not initially seem like an ideal locale for HMI’s Spanish language courses to experience authentic learning.

true. Leadville’s Hispanic population has grown to represent nearly 50% of the total community. Fortunately, I remembered that my predecessor, Becca Katz, had left me contact information for Mayela Guerrero, the Latino Services Coordinator at Full Circle of Lake County, a local non-profit.

When I first arrived in town, I learned of a Spanish flea market. I imagined my future students scavenging around this flea market, looking for Hispanic foods while learning new vocabulary and mingling with native speakers. I soon learned that the “Spanish flea market” had nothing to do with Spanish and everything to do with handmade draperies, old coins, and other antiques. One of Leadville’s novelties

I reached out to Mayela and within days, our first gathering was planned. My Spanish class took a field trip to meet with the Latino Women’s Empowerment group; a group of local women who meet regularly to connect with and support one another. My students spent the better part of an hour sharing lunch and chatting (in Spanish) with these wonderful women, learning about their family histories,

is a wealth of second hand and antique shops, the Spanish Flea being among them.

migration stories, and lives in general. This relationship has grown steadily in recent years, and my Spanish classes have been privileged to meet regularly with this welcoming group of women.

As I worked to develop my Spanish curriculum, I quickly came to understand that this little town of just a few thousand people has a ratio of native Spanish to English speakers similar to… Los Angeles? Yes, it is

The Woman’s Group is not the only one in Leadville who has generously spent time with HMI’s Spanish students.

the HMI


Federico, the owner of Manuelitas (a local Mexican restaurant, which is an HMI faculty favorite) has regularly shared his own immigration experience with our students. Moreover, he teaches an authentic Mexican cooking class, which again allows the HMI students to practice the language and experience a bit of the culture. My classes are enriched by the kindness of many Leadville residents, the opportunity to practice their speaking skills, and the chance to learn firsthand about Hispanic cultures.

the students were able to engage in a dialogue that has certainly inspired them to learn more and think critically about the issues surrounding immigration. I frequently receive feedback from students about how wonderful it is to hear people’s life stories; how incredible it feels when they realize their listening comprehension skills have grown dramatically; and the relief they sense when they finally get to a point where they can ask questions and make comments on

On average, 40% of HMI students receive financial aid which makes their participation in an HMI Semester, Summer Term, or High Peaks Adventure possible. Each and every year, the HMI Fund provides dollars to help make an HMI experience available to every student who is excited about and deserving of a unique and transformational educational experience. Every contribution, small or large,


With a population of only 8,000 people, an elevation of over 10,000 feet, and snow that arrives on our doorsteps in September, it does not initially seem like an ideal locale for our Spanish language courses to experience authentic learning.

My approach to teaching Spanish may, at first, seem unusual to some of my students. While the cultural component of the class has a heavy focus on immigration—laws, history, cultural impacts—we are able to remain true to the HMI core value of focusing on place-based and experiential learning. My students learn by speaking, in Spanish, with individuals who have actually immigrated. Earlier this fall, a couple from El Salvador, who is currently seeking asylum in the United States, came to class to tell their story. Rather than simply reading about a similar experience in a text book,


makes a difference in providing financial aid and in supporting the talented faculty that make our programs run. Thank you all for your generosity and your faith in the mission and vision of HMI.

the spot, rather than having to pause and think in order to prepare a response. The unique and authentic discussions we have with groups and individuals in Leadville who are willing to share their lives continually allows for enriching, educational, and inspirational opportunities for HMI students. Ultimately, all the participants benefit from the cultural exchange as we learn much from each other. Pictured on page 12: Semester XXVII students enjoy a Mexican cooking class from Federico, at his restaurant, Manuelita’s


The Phenology of Place: Leadville Through the Seasons By Rob Backlund, Science Faculty

The hallway between Who’s Hall and the Classroom is lined with photos of every HMI Semester group. A walk down this hallway is photographic evidence of the semesters that have come and gone. If one looks past the smiling faces of students, apprentices, and faculty with a keen eye, the photos also reveal evidence of seasonal change. At the end of the semester, the students who arrived to Leadville in the “heat” of August are standing on snow covered surfaces, while those who walked onto the HMI campus in the “dead” of winter, celebrate the close of their semester with green grass and bursting leaves.


Either in the Natural Science class, on expedition, or shoveling or sweeping the walkways, one cannot hide from seasonal change and must acclimate to it with a touch of grit.

All life in Leadville inevitably experiences numerous changes associated with the shifting of the seasons. Some will leave for a season, some becomes dormant, and some remains active and resists the environmental variations. A year-round inhabitant of Leadville or a four-month visitor will tell you that the seasonal environmental changes are a part of everyday life, and the semester photos are confirmation of this. The study of phenology is part of our Natural Science course which strives to investigate, observe, and experience

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the seasonal variations that define this change; however, the impact of this study is much greater simply by virtue of participating in the HMI experience. In his book, For Everything There is a Season: The Sequence of Events in the Grand Teton-Yellowstone Area, Frank C. Craighead Jr. describes phenology as “the study of natural phenomena that recur periodically, such as bird migration and nesting… ripening of fruit, coloring of leaves, and the relation of these to climate and changing seasons…” (xiii). Phenological study investigates the sequence of natural events on an annual basis in combination with the


timing of these events, as dictated by the daily fluctuating weather conditions (xiv). A student at HMI will directly and indirectly explore phenology in class, on expeditions, while playing knock-out, and while chopping wood outside the cabins. The change in color of the landscape from green to white and back to green again is only one part of the phenological puzzle. Students who arrive in August are greeted with thirteen hours of daylight, and watch that number dwindle to just nine when they depart in late December.

One might shiver with average low temperatures well below freezing upon arrival in January, and then bask in the heat of late May as temperatures climb into the sixties. A month of zero snowfall is quickly replaced with a snowy blanket two-feet deep covering the trails around campus. Elk once seen at thirteen-thousand feet on the first expedition wander the valley floor as summer moves to autumn and autumn transitions into winter. Once dormant insects in rivers and ponds quickly become pests and the victims of fast swatting student hands (Jones and Cushman 157-244). In a world in which the human species is a part of seasonal change, one rarely experiences these alterations at full face value. Wood stoves,

insulated roofs and walls, electric lights, puffy synthetic jackets, and the produce section at the local supermarket mask the phenology of one’s time and place. However, life at HMI removes this mask on a regular basis. In the Natural Science class, on expeditions, or shoveling or sweeping the walkways, one cannot hide from seasonal change and must acclimate to it with a touch of grit. Is there any benefit to noticing, experiencing, and understanding natural phenological change? As Craighead states “the phenological approach…tends to put one in empathy with the natural environment and reveal the interrelationship of living things with one another” (xiv). HMI is the place where nature and minds meet, so students both study and experience the changes of the seasons firsthand.

They develop an intellectual and a personal understanding of the phenology of Leadville, and the environment beyond. The physical evidence of this connection is apparent in the semester photos, and the personal evidence is conveyed through stories of cold hands, invading mosquitoes, and wilderness expeditions. So is there any benefit to studying phenology? Absolutley! Craighead, Frank C., Jr. For Everything There is a Season: The Sequence of Events in the Grand Teton-Yellowstone Area. Helena, Montana: Falcon Press, 1994. Print. Jones, Stephen R. and Ruth Carol Cushman. Colorado Nature Almanac: A Month-By Month Guide to Wildlife & Wild Places. Boulder, Colorado: Pruett Publishing Company, 1998. Print.


Writing about Place As part of the Summer Term’s interdisciplinary course, Developing a Sense of Place: Social and Environmental Science in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, students wrote essays about meaningful places in their lives. Below is one student’s essay.

The Backcoun try By Will F lemer

My home will be far away; somewhere I can live simply, among mountains and rivers; somewhere wild. I will get up early in the morning, while the air is still cold and wet, trees glistening in the slanted red light. I will walk down to the water and wade among the rocks, then cook myself breakfast and sit at my window while the sun comes up. I am young in years and have yet to find that place, though I have some ideas of where to look. I’ll start in Vermont, where I’ve spent many summers at camp and winters at my grandmother’s farm in the mountains near Middlebury. Birch trees cover the hillside across the dirt road from the house, and sheep graze under the watchful eyes of llamas in the pasture behind it. The floors creak, the AGA is always hot, and the wind whistles around the corner of the dining room. From there I’ll head out to Colorado, where I’ve already established a deep connection to the landscape. I’ll head out to Leadville, Aspen, the Maroon Bells, Rifle, Glenwood Springs, and anywhere else I can get to. Here the conifers reign supreme, but the aspen is what I long for; green groves bigger than the pastures in the Arkansas River valley, hillsides without a pine or spruce in sight. Alpine lakes shimmer and mountain brooks gurgle; elk graze in a meadow across from the stream while I’m collecting water for a backcountry breakfast. After that I’d make my way to Oregon, but for a different reason. Here I’d search for a home closer to the quirky city of Portland, but with easy access to the hills beyond. When I visited five years ago I fell immediately in love with its small, compact, tree-lined streets, trolleys, red brick sidewalks, farmers markets and Japanese garden. Perhaps a balanced existence between the front and backcountry could satisfy my desire for both the solitude and serenity of fishing an alpine lake and the fullness I feel walking down a cozy street with record stores and coffee shops.

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Here the conifers reign supreme, but the aspen is what I long for; green groves bigger than the pastures in the Arkansas River valley‌


Greetings HMI Alumni By Cameron Deamer-Phillips, Alumni Associate

& Friends!


am excited to return to HMI after being a student here in RMS XVI, as HMI’s Alumni Associate, a new position for the school. After 15 years of the HMI Semester, the Summer Term and the Leading Edge, HMI’s alumni population has grown into a vast, diverse group that covers all corners of the country. It is the ongoing success of these individuals, people like you, that make HMI proud and that serve as a constant reminder to the faculty and staff here, of the important work that they do. Moreover it is your experiences on campus—your smiles, your victories and your pranks—that give the current students something to aspire to. Therefore, I am excited to connect with each one of you as we work to build a vibrant alumni network for HMI. Strengthening this network is not just about keeping you updated about campus happenings or visa versa; it will also help to maintain your influence within the HMI community and provide our alumni with helpful resources as you find your path beyond Leadville. No matter your hometown, college or new career, we want to make sure HMI is a place where you are happy to return, and one that you want to share with others; conversely, we want to expose you to the extensive experiences of other HMI alumni (their home towns, colleges, and careers) to help you shape

18 | HMI Fall 2012

your own. Moving forward, it will be my job to facilitate these exchanges and keep Leadville on your mind, so please be on the look-out for events in your area, new web resources, and correspondences from me and the newly formed Alumni Council.

I am excited to connect with each one of you as we work to build a vibrant alumni network for HMI. In moving from New York to Walla Walla, WA for college, and then on to Seattle for work, I have already benefited enormously from the influence of HMI alumni. I am extremely excited to call Leadville home once again, and help other HMI alumni make similar connections among one another and network to find their paths. I look forward to meeting many of you, in the coming years, and especially in Leadville on June 7-9 for the 15-Year Anniversary Celebration and Founders' Farewell!

alumni summit


Alumni, Have You Made Your Gift this Year? We are thrilled by the response we received to the start of the Alumni Summit Challenge, a special opportunity for our alumni to give back to HMI and participate annually in the HMI Fund. Join your Semester or summer class in competition for the highest percent participation and make your gift today! Last year Semester XXV impressed us with a record 25% participation, and overall our alumni participation reached 14%. We hope even more alumni will join us this year as you are increasingly making a difference in our fundraising efforts. You can make your annual contribution online at

Thank you to the following Alumni who made a gift to HMI in the 2012 Fiscal Year. Samuel Slate Allen Charlotte Elizabeth Webb Ambrozek Clare Kelsey Ashburn Hannah Elizabeth Baranes Jeannie Betts Bartlett Elizabeth Benedict Andrew Bernstein Mary Anne Donovan Bodnar Rosalind Lafrentz Brokaw Paper Buck Heather Lawton Cabot Tate Castro Anna Frances Ekstrom Chase Leah Chubb-Silverman Sydney Alison Chun Kevin Chun Katherine Cummin Clark Merrill Ann Clerkin Jamie Muir Cohen Joanna Cowen Carla Crocker David Hamlin Cutler-Kreutz Cameron Deamer-Phillips Rebecca Flint D’Elia Hanna Hayes Dethlefs Marcus Christopher Duda

Julia Jones Engelsted Daniel Eppstein E. Thomas Erdmann Olivia Marie Fantini Emily Jennifer Faxon Richard Charles Fields Samuel Justin Friedman Benjamin Gardner Emily Gasperetti Alanna Gino Eliza Reiss Green Michael Gregory Nora Heins Angela Herring Julia Goggin Hurley Daniel Icaza-Milson Alexander Joseph Kahnweiler Charlotte Kaye Annamariah Benedict Knox Paul Colin Landsberg Daniel Learner Dexter Henry Locke Carolyn Loeb Carissa Look Aedhan Loomis Eva Maria Luderowski

Van MacDonald Claire Fisher Maggiotto Natalie Jeanne Margolin Lise Martin Thomas Ray McGaughey Henry McKenna Genevieve Oriana Lynch Meller Daly Rogers Montgomery Noah Munro Nina Kilvert Murray Claire Rosemary O’Brien Colleen Cameron Orr Louise Owens Matthew Palevsky Sylvia Parol Eliza Parsons Louise Peppe Adrian Pforzheimer Alexander Potter William Stone Potter Katharine Reynolds Julia Rose Riback Lars Robinson Laura Franklin Rozier Clara Rubin-Crump Caroline Sessions

John Shubert Hallie Elizabeth Skripak Gordon Rebecca Smith Ellen McGough Smith Catherine Smith Reed Meyer Snyderman Zoë Rose Solomon Andrew David Spina Edward Starns Pamela Quek Steger Zoe Stoenner Jessica Stonberg Clark Estabrook Sulloway Grant Sunderland Seton Louise Stabler Talty Samuel Timberg Jules Valenti Brett Walling Paul-Harvey Philip Weiner Rachel Rose Whaley Samantha Wilson Terrence Rios Word Kyle Zaffin Isabel Hannah Zeitz-Moskin Charlotte Katherine Zelle



news FALL 2012

RMS 1 Christina Davis is in Africa and recently got certified as a nature guide. She has been working at various lodges since, and is currently based in Namibia with Wilderness Safaris, an “awesome, socially conscientious company with great community involvement”. She has scheduled her next year’s US visit to be able to make it to the HMI reunion/ celebration! Jessica “J-Cat” (Parker) Sorensen lives in Whitefish, MT, where she and her husband are raising two little boys, Avery, 4, and Darien, 1. Over the past year or so, she’s gotten back into pottery at her local art studio, and is teaming up with another potter who makes ceramic growlers… yum! In general, it was hard to miss the fact that 2012 has apparently been the Year of Marriage for RMS 1; fully 33% of us got either engaged or married this year! This includes Angela Herring, who lives in Boston with her now-fiancé, Rob, and their adorable dog, Ledley. Angie is pleased to report that she has found her calling, and is a full-time science writer at Northeastern University, translating what goes on in those petri dishes and test tubes for the rest of us! Also engaged, Emily “EJ” Albert lives in Austin, TX, where she has become a therapist. She, too, is planning a return to Leadville in 2012, but writes that she’s ditching Facebook, so connect with her over email or in person in June. Charlotte Blau had, by the looks of it, an outstanding wedding on the coast of Scotland, with some traditional elements– bagpipes, full-blown kilts and sporrans on the gents (no, I didn’t ask what they wore underneath!) – and some not so traditional – bride and groom departed on mountain bikes, and were embodied atop the cake on a tandem bicycle mini-statue. Char and hubby Gordon live in Wellington, NZ. Leah Chubb joined the party and got married this summer to her partner of several years, with whom she has an adorable two year-old son, Teddy. They still live in Portland, where Leah started law school, and she, too, hopes to make it

20 | HMI Fall 2012

to Leadville in June. Matt Walker was also on the wedding list, with a fall wedding on Lake Champlain. And finally, I, Alexa “Bo” Holleran, was also married over Labor Day, in a wonderful and very outdoorsy weekend-long celebration in Killington, VT. I was pleased to discover thereafter that I now share an anniversary weekend with Molly and Christopher Barnes – an auspicious start, to be sure! Afterwards, my partner (wife? jury’s still out on that word usage…) Brenda and I headed off to a fun-filled honeymoon in the Canadian Rockies, hiking, paddling, and camping. I look forward to reliving those days briefly with as many of you can make it in June; if you haven’t yet received Eli (Lis) Robinson’s email about the event, get in touch. It’s inspiring, as is a line I received from one of you in this news-reporting process: “I wish I were a circus clown, so I could take 57 hats off to Molly and Christopher, honestly still my most admired role models.” Let’s celebrate them in style, O First Class, as they move on to further adventures. See you in June. — Alexa Holleran

RMS 3 Phoebe Chadwick-Rivinus married Adam Homoki in July and her sister, Lilli (RMS V) was her maid of honor. She works as a nurse practitioner in Peabody, MA. She and her husband just bought a house in East Boston, and their next adventure is getting a dog! Dave Barahona completed his MBA from Northwestern University and moved with his wife to Dallas, TX to begin working at PepsiCo. He really enjoys his work and eating all the tacos and BBQ that Texas has to offer. As for me (Sam Wilson), I had the pleasure recently of meeting with RMS II Apprentice alumnus Willard Morgan, who is on the board of Trustees at St. Mark’s, where I continue to teach English, act as a dorm parent, and coach cross country and lacrosse. Willard and I had a great time reminiscing about the good old days at HMI, back before

solar powered lights were in the cabins let alone washer and dryers on campus! — Sam Wilson

RMS 5 After a dark, dismal year of no alumni news updates, I’m happy to present to you… RMS V! Rose Osborn is an 8th grade special education teacher at a Quaker school in NYC. She finished her master’s degree in middle school general and special education at Bank Street College of Education and spent the summer at a cabin in East Middlebury, VT where she did lots of cooking, reading about cooking, learning to use the pottery wheel, solo hiking and forced dipping in cold swimming holes. On her hikes she encountered an owl and a moose, perceived both encounters as aggressive, and could be seen fleeing the trail. “RMS may have taught me to leave no trace,” she writes, “but apparently not to have no fear.” Katie Reynolds is on to her second year of living in Boston and is working toward her MSW at Smith School for Social Work. This year she has an internship in home-based family therapy. Reynolds and Maggie Mink enjoy hot drinks on a regular basis in the kitchen they share as roommates. They encourage you to drop by if you’re in the Boston area. Maggie adds: “still an architect of houses. Our office moved from Cambridge to Boston this year. I like seeing the harbor every day. I’m very happy to report that I have two HMI alum roommates: Julia Stifler and our own Katie Reynolds. Reynolds and I had an awesome bike adventure from Boston to Salem to see Callie McDowell’s very own bike shop. It was unbelievably cool.” Catherine Smith lives in Lyons, CO and works in the retail marketing sector of the outdoor industry. Her partner, Mandy, is pregnant, and they are very much looking forward to being parents in January. Ashley Albright Green works in international online marketing, and lives in an oceanfront log cabin in Sooke, BC – about 40 minutes outside Victoria. She

adds, “Still married, still surfing my face off, still figuring out how to retire before age 30, still rambling in the hills, still think its funny that Canadians have money called loonies and toonies, still reminisce about the canyons and RMS V.” I saw Natalie Nunez this summer. She has an insanely cute little girl, Zia, just bought a new house in Leadville, works at Climax Mine, and is exploring the valleys around Leadville. Angela Evans lives in Mammoth Lakes, CA . She is in-between jobs and enjoying the great outdoors before the snow starts again. This year she traveled to Mexico, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand. After eight years of living abroad, Yasmine Kolhi Fordham lives in Brooklyn and works for a foundation called Tides doing operations for their consulting division. She was recently appointed as one of the founding members of HMI’s Alumni Council (“yes it’s been a huge pain trying to find all of you buggers!” she writes) and is excited for the reunion in June 2013. She will be in Denver the week before the alumni event so if anyone wants to play outside ahead of time let her know! And, lastly, Rob Irwin works at On Deck Capital, a financial technology company as Associate General Counsel. The company makes loans to Main Street small businesses. He lives in NYC, plays lots of ice hockey, and travels every chance he gets. His last trip was to Japan and he hopes the next one is to Ottawa because he’s always wanted to skate on the canals there. Rob mentioned that Katie Kirsch is working on a master’s degree at the Colorado School of Mines with a focus is on Hydrologic Science and Engineering. Rob also says that Nick Kislinger “is bouncing around the world doing incredible things, although he seems to be somewhat based in NY. Nicky co-founded Hub Los Angeles, a professional member community that drives innovation through collaboration.” Sam Huntington sends word that he works “at an electronic waste recycling warehouse in Gowanus, Brooklyn living off kale and Battery Acid trying to achieve stasis.” Amy Mahnken, (that’s me) moved to New Orleans a year ago and lives in a house built in the 1800s. Typically, you can find her eating beignets in the French Quarter or enjoying the giant oaks in City Park. She has begun taking classes towards a Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology. For all of you RMS Vers out there who aren’t included in this write-up – send your update to me and next year I will make your alumni news

sparkle (Sing! Dance! Shine!) on the page. — Amy Mahnken

RMS 7 Scott Yee was just married! He works as a program associate for the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance in Chicago, where they coordinate and manage energy efficiency programs and policy in 13 Midwestern states. Lynn Gatti celebrated Scott’s wedding and was married herself this October in Sonoma, CA! She graduated from UC Davis School of Law and is looking forward to a well-earned honeymoon to Maui! Erik Levy finished law school and is now studying for the bar exam, doing more studying for the bar exam, actually taking the bar exam, and finally waiting to hear if he passed the bar exam. Erik will absolutely be at the 15-year reunion. Jamie Van Pelt celebrated her one year anniversary with her husband, Mike. They love living in DC and get out to Rock Creek Park as much as possible for trail runs with their dog. She plans to hike in Shenandoah National Park and go to Boston to help her sister plan her wedding. Last year I ran into Aimee Wessel in Texas at Austin City Limits where we bullied ourselves to the front for an amazing Arcade Fire show! Aimee is a researcher at UT-Austin where she works in a lab studying the way bacteria communicate and interact with each other in the context of infections. In addition she is nearly done with her doctorate and plans to defend in May. Jacque Hastings lives in the Cayman Islands where she was in the Crossfit Latin American Regional Competition in Cali, Columbia. She also travelled to London and Paris for a fashion course over the summer. She’s considering getting into the fashion industry on the business side, and maybe moving to NY next year! Fellow expat Amanda Dooley invited all of us to come visit her in Switzerland for some alpine skiing! She’s been there for over a year and is working as a nanny, studying German, and trying to decide what to do next. Paper Buck (formerly Sara) was back at HMI recently for his first time since RMS VII, “it really reconnected me to that time of myself and how alive I felt in the life HMI built for us. It was great to see Molly and the fam! What a rad bunch!” Now back in Berkeley, he is a printmaker, a teacher, and an activist. Also, Paper has transitioned to male and now uses male pronouns. Carrie Sessions has

resurfaced after another fantastic year working for NOLS in Patagonia, India, and Alaska. She has given up full time NOLS work to start a Master’s in Public Administration at the University of Washington and plans to focus on International Water Conservation Policy. Rebecca D’Elia is the HMI Semester Dean of Students! In her free time she enjoys the Leadville fall foliage on hikes with her dog, Meisha. Meeya Sakura just received a job promotion and moved to Augusta, GA this summer with her son Jayden, his 2 brothers, Dad, and of course their dog Jade. Jayden is in kindergarten already! Jen Raines has done some extensive travelling with her boyfriend , including 3 months in the Balkans. Jen lives in Boulder, CO and works at a luxury Asian tour operator (Asia Traspacific Journeys) while she is in school studying holistic nutrition. Amy Cerise recently graduated from Johnson & Wales University and is a certified chef! Currently a line cook with Hilton she’s up for a promotion in November to kitchen supervisor and is in a management training program. Amy recently moved to San Diego with her partner Joan and they plan to take a cruise to South America in January. She is also excitedly awaiting the arrival of her first niece or nephew during Thanksgiving! Marian Pierce works in alternative education with high school students in Paonia, CO and gardens at the High Desert School for Sustainable Studies. This summer she met HMI alumna Libby Fones and hung with old pal, Eliot Estrin. She’s still horsing around in the back country as much as possible. Matt Bachler recently moved to St. Paul, MN after finishing his Master’s in City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to moving west, he and his girlfriend completed a 90 mile section of the Appalachian Trail in Vermont during peak fall foliage. Carrissa Look is in her final year of graduate school at Georgetown. She’s getting a master’s in international affairs and plans to stay in the DC-NY-Boston region after graduating to pursue a career in international human rights advocacy. She spent the summer traveling in Cambodia and then living in Ghana working for a microfinance bank. She got the chance to spend a week with Meg Roberts in Atlanta in March. She also spent the weekend with Whitney Leonard at HMI last April for the first meeting of the HMI Alumni Council. In addition the joining the HMI Alumni Council, Whitney has “sadly” moved away from her mountain haven of Bozeman, MT, where she got to hang out with Sam James


every now and then. On the bright side, she started law school at Yale and is excited about being closer to all the HMI folks on the East Coast. As for me, Sam Timberg, I had an exciting summer that included a 12 day road trip across the USA with stops ranging from Chicago to Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone (most beautiful place I’ve ever been), to Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, and San Francisco. I still live in NYC and am contemplating a career change from the wine industry into the sustainable/ green/conservation realm. I can’t wait until the 15th Reunion next summer – it is going to be wonderful to send off Molly and Christopher in style and to see so many of you guys for the first time in years! — Sam Timberg

RMS 9 One decade out of HMI, time finds the RMS 9ers no worse for wear. Best to start this year with news of the betrothed. Zack Redlitz and Harrison Buck both got engaged to lucky ladies this past year. Zack still lives in Portland, ME, where he does an analyst training program for a major bank. He may take his CFA Level 1 exam in June, but just renewed his lease and has no plans of leaving Portland. Harrison is gettin’ hitched next September on Cape Cod. Living in Boston, Harrison owns and operates the production company Buck Photography and Fine Art, which finds him in the middle of editing his most recent documentary about the Denver ski company Icelantic. Liza Cohen, also in Boston, works for an urban transportation planning firm which focuses on biking, walking, transit and parking. All summer her office had dress up days that involved competing with other offices to see which could bring out the best goths and hippies. Liza recently met Sophie Newbury for biking in Boulder and Andrew Gaynor for drinks in Boston. Andrew splits time between Boston and Portland and works in the American satellite office of a small London-based financial services group that researches environmental, social and governance areas. Still living in the foothills of the Rockies, Sophie spends her weekdays working as a geologist and her weekends hiking, biking, and skiing. She’s planning a hut trip in British Columbia this spring. Bern Kenneally just bought a house in Golden, CO last March. She’s in her third year of grad school

22 | HMI Fall 2012

at the Colorado School of Mines for her PhD in Mechanical Engineering. She spends her time writing numeric models for the school’s supercomputers, and likes letting her two huskies out to play in their new yard. She also makes it back to Leadville, where she now owns a share in a Gold Mining Claim. Carolyn Loeb returned from Chile in July, where she was studying Spanish, traveling, and teaching English. She lived in Los Lagos at the northern end of Patagonia with a host family in a small but beautiful town. Carolyn now works out of Pinkham Notch for the Appalachian Mountain Club, and will set out on a road trip to the southwest and California when that job ends in November. Lindsay Gillenwater lives in Albuquerque and works contract archaeology jobs. Recently she’s done graffiti mitigation on El Morro National Monument and occasionally delves back into the Chaco Canyon Collection at UNM. When not doing archaeology, Lindsay waits tables, bartends, and models as other people’s moms for advertisements. She also freelance writes for the local arts and entertainment paper in exchange for press tickets to concerts. After bringing the USNS Red Cloud through a dry dock period last winter, Sam Garfield helped load her up in Charleston with US Army equipment and ammunition and headed to Saipan, South Korea, and Japan. Sam got bumped up to second mate, turning his trip into a 7-month job. This past summer, he went to weddings, sailed his boat to Bermuda and ran the family oyster farm in Cuttyhunk. Before beginning grad school in structural geology at Montana State University this fall, Travis Corthouts was part of a Mount Everest expedition sponsored by National Geographic and Montana State. He did geological research and used GPS equipment to measure the summit elevation. The research was a success, but the GPS wasn’t perfect, “so I’m working on getting funding to go back and do the perfect measurement once and for all (no one has ever really gotten it).” Look for an article in National Geographic on his expedition this fall. As for me (Charlie Eichacker), I’m putting to good use all the reporting and writing skills acquired over ten years of alumni updates. Studying journalism in New York, I’ll be covering everything Northern Manhattan, writing about it for a hyper-local, student-run news website while also taking classes on foreign reporting, digital skills and law and ethics (i.e. learning how not to get sued). RMS IXers will be meeting for our ten-year reunion

at some undetermined point this year, when as many of us are in this hemisphere as possible. — Charlie Eichacker

RMS 11 Nat Herz finished a master’s degree at Columbia Journalism School, worked for Newsday, a tabloid newspaper on Long Island, and now works as a reporter for the New York World, a journalism start-up, in Manhattan. And he trains for cross-country skiing in Central Park. People should come visit! Alison Kelman just started a new job in Washington DC as the community manager for the Patagonia store. She’s in charge of their social media, store events, and organizing their local environmental grant program. Her little sister Emily (the third Kelman sister) is at HMI now, and she’s trying to get out for a visit. Alison also wrote in with some news of other RMS XI alums. Meredith Diers just got back from 2.5 years of the Peace Corps in Albania, and she’s started journalism school in Austin. Emily Matthewson is doing a post bac pre med program at Bryn Mawr College in PA. Sam Pucci just moved back to NYC and has a sweet job as an engineer for Next Big Sound. — RMS XI is looking for a new class coordinator to oversee the alumni column. If you are interested in helping, please contact Laura Dougherty at

RMS 13 Samson Finkelstein still works as a professional circus artist! He lives in Germany and works on the Norwegian Epic cruise ship in the Mediterranean. He’s traveled through Spain, France, Italy and will return to the US (Minneapolis to be specific) in November before going to US military bases in South Korea. He loves traveling and the joy that being a circus artist brings! Melissa Baumann graduated in May from UNC Wilmington with a degree in biology and just applied to medical school. She is running her first half-marathon in November and hopefully heading west for ski season. Also, she is considering the Air Force and eight more years of school! Kassie Garfield finished her doctorate in physical therapy. She’s back at Cuttyhunk doing what she does best, working on the farm and shucking some “little devil” oysters, and also thinking about joining the Air Force.

She saw Frances Chase in Boston this summer as well as Ben Wilkofsky who has returned to the New York area. Phil Thurner is back in Boulder, CO and has been going between there and Boston. He works for a small TV production company putting together shows for National Geographic and Discovery Channel. Also hanging in the Boston area is Ezra Velasquez. He just finished his Master’s in Interactive Telecommunications from NYU and is now a software engineer in Boston. He started running the 5K competitively and is officially the fastest in the company! In the New York area we’re going strong with Taylor Verderame, Erica Coren, Eva Luderowski, Ben Wilkofsky and more. Taylor Verderame works at Seventeen Magazine as the Executive Assistant to the VP and Publisher! Erica Coren is the Talent Coordinator at Conde Nast and sees Taylor and Elizabeth Sinclaire often. Elizabeth is training for her second marathon, still works at the public defenders office in South Bronx, and is considering a switch to some sort of medicine. She also joined the HMI Alumni Council for an amazing reunion up in the mountains. Recently she had a reunion with a few people in NYC including Jo Yecies. Eva Luderowski was working in a neurobiology lab at the Rockefeller University. And Ben was rocking multiple jobs in his hometown. Hopefully we’ll see you all at the reunion this summer in Leadville for the 15th birthday and the send-off for the Barnes family! — Elizabeth Sinclaire

RMS 15 In the past seven years RMS XV has spread across the globe, and, in Peter Kernan’s particular case, returned to Leadville where he now works as HMI’s math faculty. Nearby, Keller Morrison is ski bumming in Dillon, CO and applying to grad school. Paul “Bob” Stapell has started a business called TrekPak with a few friends in Denver, CO. He keeps busy coaching CrossFit and studying for a Personal Trainer certification. Hannah Orcutt is hanging out with Lindsay Guerin right now (Lindsay what are you doing?), as she teaches ecology and geology at the Teton Science School in Jackson, WY. At a greater distance from Leadville, Agnes Beckmann has moved to Austria to work as an au pair. Agnes has blooming plans to

make the move semi-permanent and remain in Austria for school. Richard Freund teaches English in various international locations. He spent last year in Morocco and continues on to Riga, Latvia this fall. He encourages anyone in the Baltic or Russia to look him up. Both Liz Ceperley and Clara Rubin-crump have already begun grad school. Liz studies geology at SUNY Buffalo. She wanders into the backcountry often for fieldwork, and has come across Paul’s name painted on a bridge in Buffalo in honor of his victories in crew. Clara is working towards a Master’s in Marine Studies at the University of Rhode Island and plans to switch over to the PhD program for Marine Affairs. In her free time she ballroom dances, practices target shooting, and trains for a triathlon. Andrew Berkey continues his undergrad degree at Hartwick, after changing his major from Geology to Art. He’s psyched about glass blowing and says he’ll share photos soon! Isaac Katz is continuing school at Oberlin College and looks forward to graduating in the spring. Ali LePage lives in Dayton, OH and is working toward her Paralegal certificate. She and boyfriend Steve will relocate soon as he hears about his new base assignment. Kait Arias lives in Newnan, GA, bartends, and would love visitors! After graduating in May, O’Mara Taylor returned to the Boston area, where she is waitressing and concocting elaborate plans for next year. Julia Van Den Bergh is at home in New Jersey, where she works at EMS, takes classes toward project management in scientific communications, and climbs in the Gunks. Lacey Huber lives in DC working as an after-school program art teacher and literacy tutor. She is most interested in textile design, however, and has her sights on finding work as an artist. Charlotte Friedman, Ray McGaughey, Kristin DeLuca and, for the moment, Patricia Ecchevarias, all live in New York. Charlotte Friedman is a big-wig interning at the United Nations and working at the Social Science Research Council for the Gender, Security and HIV/AIDS program. Kristin works for an Italian men’s suit company, and Ray leads city tours by foot and by bike. Patricia is working at Ted conferences for the next few months and suggests a mini HMI NYC reunion. Mark Hammes has and will continue to travel from coast to coast for seasonal work. He assisted a radical beekeeper near Mt. Shasta, CA over the

summer and will continue working there this summer. In the meantime he’s motorcycling from Denver back to Maryland, where he’ll stay for the winter. Neil Ritterpusch works and lives in Berkeley CA, and tentatively looks forward to a June Reunion. Sam Barber and Ben Edmunds, former HMI faculty, brew beer together in Portland, Oregon and hang out sometimes with James McKenna, who makes sausage and works as a line cook. They encourage everyone to attend HMI’s reunion this June. I, Lucia Cowles, am interning at Graywolf Press, a non-profit literary press in Minneapolis, tutoring physics (somehow), and mulling over what is next. It’s been great to have everyone make such an effort to get back in touch this fall. I hope many of us can gather in June, and look forward to bumping into you guys further down the road. As always, the HMI kids of RMS XV are some of the most interesting I know, and I’m honored to read and hear your stories. — Lucia Cowles

RMS 17 It is hard to believe that it has been six years since the 35 of us walked the campus of HMI, ate together in Who’s Hall and stayed up late having dance parties in the cabins. It feels like yesterday we all looked up to find that Dave had summited Who’s Hall, or found Zack and Chris putting the vortex in Molly’s office. While it seems like not much time has passed, we have all accomplished a lot in the last six years. This is where RMS XVII is right now: There are two of us who will be back at HMI as Spanish Apprentices. Jack Fields will be back in Leadville in the spring semester and right now he is learning the craft of furniture building from his family in Auburn, CA. Auri East is currently back at HMI for Semester XXIX. She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish Literature and a minor in Arabic Language. After graduation she went back to Colorado and worked as a raft guide on the Animas River in Durango before heading to HMI. Liz Giraud graduated Carleton with a major in Psychology. In August, after spending the summer working at a schizophrenia research lab in Massachusetts, she moved to Ecuador where she now teaches English to 1st-6th graders and spends her free time exploring volcanoes, beaches and cloud forests. Erica WinelandThomson is studying in Auckland, NZ and


Ryer’s Recipe Banana Cake with Chocolate Chips 1/2

cup butter

1 1/3 cup sugar 1 cup mashed ripe banana (2–3) 2 cups flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2

cup sour cream or plain yogurt

1 teaspoon baking soda 1 cup chocolate chips 1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9" x 13" pan. Cream together butter and sugar. Add banana and eggs. Sift flour with baking powder. Mix sour cream with baking soda. Alternate adding flour mixture and sour cream mixture to butter mixture until all are mixed well. Add chocolate chips. Spread in pan and sprinkle top with cinnamon sugar. Cook for 35 – 40 minutes until top is golden brown.

24 | HMI Fall 2012

backpacking whenever she gets the chance! She will graduate from Colorado College in May. Henry Stanislaw lives in Scotland and will soon graduate with a Scottish Master’s in International Relations and Geography. While writing his dissertation, he still finds time to DJ once a week, and for the second year in a row will arrange the music for the St Andrews Fashion Show in front of an audience of 1,400. Noah Strouse is finishing his last year at The New School in New York City, and spent his summer in Thailand and Cambodia hiking and working with an NGO. He will graduate with a double major in Education Studies and Politics and plans to backpack through South America for a year after graduation before attending to law school. Leah Heal volunteers as an EMT and is finishing her last year at Lynchburg College. After graduation she will attend graduate school. P.G. Heffernan is studying at University of Pittsburgh. He coincidentally ran into Anna Ramsey in Florence last spring. Susanna McMillan graduated from Colorado College, but is staying to fulfill prerequisites for Naturopathic Medical School. Although her schedule is filled with chemistry, biology and lab reports, she loves every second of it. Eliza Paterson is also in Colorado, finishing up her last semester at the University of Colorado. She will graduate with a major in Environmental Studies, specializing in Sustainable Development, and a minor in Geography. This past summer she interned at a rooftop farm in Queens, NY. While living in the city, she was able to see Gordon Matthewson’s band play several times. Amie Salter lives in Malibu, and is finishing up her degree in Psychology. While going to school she has had the rewarding experience working as a Doula. Molly Dougherty is earning her Master’s degree in Teaching, specifically for Secondary English, Special Education and teaching English as a Second Language at St. Mary’s. Next summer she will teach at a middle school in Arizona! As for me (Allison Guzy), I’m finishing my last year at the University of Miami. I will graduate with a double major in French Language and Literature and History, and afterwards will head to New York City to work in finance. Anna Ramsey graduated from Gettysburg College with a degree in Globalization Studies and minors in Latin American Studies and Spanish. She studied in Seville, Spain this spring, and hopes to return to Spain or go to Latin America to teach

English for a year. She is currently doing a PR internship in Washington DC. The lovely Kit Sheridan graduated from Bates with a degree in Art History and Painting, and a minor in German. Last year she spent six months in Germany and this summer had an artist residency in Maine. In August she moved to Brooklyn to work as an Art Production Assistant on the HBO show “Girls.” The second season wrapped, and she now works in the art department of a John Turturro film. She hopes to return to the third season of “Girls.” Zach Gulla graduated from Colorado College and spent the summer in Minneapolis. He also went on a family heritage trip through Dublin, France, and Italy. He now lives in Santa Monica, CA where he does freelance production work on commercials and is looking to get into television and feature films. Over the summer, Gordon Matthewson toured with his band and now lives in Machias, ME at an artist collective. The activist group raises awareness about political and environmental issues using art as a medium. Claire Maggiotto and Emily Cohen live together in Boston having graduated from Colgate and University of Vermont respectively. Claire spent the summer studying for the MCATs and plans to take time off before going to graduate school to get job experience and learn Spanish. Izzy de Lapérouse graduated from St. Mary’s and spent her summer clamming in Nova Scotia, but is back on the west coast and hopes to move to Los Angeles. — Allison Guzy

RMS 19 Helen Rowe is currently in her final year at conservatory for violin and looking forward to graduate schools, and running long distance. John Marino spent all summer making his famous popovers again in Acadia, ME. After working on a rural community farm in Colorado this summer, Ben Lawrence is back at Colorado College, taking classes and interning for the Obama re-election campaign! Tucker Pforzheimer continues to pursue Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard. He has made a recent foray into online dating and can be found on OkCupid and JDate. Chelsea Dieck spent the summer doing research in biochemistry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and is in the process of applying to graduate

schools for a PhD in Biomedical Sciences. She is currently a senior at Bucknell. Keith Snyder will graduate in March from the University of Denver with a degree in finance. He hopes to find work and live in Denver. Lily Fender is at University of Washington, where she studies Law, Societies and Justice, and History. She spent the past summer studying policing in Amsterdam and is also volunteering for Domestic Violence Unit at the Seattle Police Department as a member of their Victim Support Team. Liz Fucillo graduated from college! She is still living in Burlington, VT working at the hospital, getting ready to apply to Physicians Assistant School. Coby Unger is studying industrial design at Philadelphia University. Over the summer he worked for BigBelly Solar Trash Compactors and Prakti Design Labs, designing for the waste removal, and high efficiency cookstove industries respectively. He has also been continuing work on his wooden eyewear brand called Arborglass ( Libby Chamberlin is back at Hamilton after spending the summer woofing in France (where she had a chance run in with a Frenchman in an HMI shirt who had made the Barnes’ new boat.) She is an Anthropology and Foreign Languages double major and headed to Beijing soon. She also works for the Outing Club, is captain of the women’s ultimate team, and is on the canoe racing team. Samantha McBride is in her last year at Eckerd College, currently designing the lights for the fall musical, Legally Blonde. She hopes to start a glass blowing training program in the spring, and then she’ll get ready for her sister’s wedding in June. David McGaughey is finishing up at Whitman College this year and dedicating most of his time toward developing the business he plans on launching, a company handcrafting and bottling local, organic, raw kombucha. Hannah McQuilkin is in her last year at UVM, keeping busy with classes, an afterschool outdoor program she’s starting up, teaching art classes, and gallivanting around Vermont enjoying the fall foliage! Charlotte Ambrozek is at Cornell, livin’ it up for senior year. She led a backpacking trip in the Greens in August, which was beautiful. She and Kelley Hall are planning an epic post-graduation travel adventure! Max Hollman had an internship in Vermont over the summer, and will graduate in the spring. He is currently working on his thesis, which focuses on the

relationship between Islam and human rights. He is hoping to make it to Leadville after graduation for a visit! Carrie Cecil spent the summer at an archaeological dig in the deserts of Jordan. She still plays volleyball at Whitman and is focusing on her thesis work. Rachel Scott has been studying sports broadcasting and absolutely loves it. She recently finished up an internship at CBS, where she interviewd the Kings during the Stanley Cup finals, the Memphis Grizzlies during the play-offs, and the Anaheim Ducks. Cameron Yu is finishing up his degree in Civil Engineering at Tufts and starting the job hunt. He is also building lots of mini structures using 2x4 planks with a bunch of freshman. Reed Snyderman is studying hard at Colorado College. He is unable to ski this winter because he tore his ACL, but is excited to go to Costa Rica for this winter to study Spanish and surf. He also looks forward to spending Thanksgiving with family in Leadville! Kelley Hall spent the summer as an intern for the Southern California Earthquake Center modeling earthquakes for South Lake Tahoe. Back at Whitman, she is finishing up her last semester as an RA and is also captaining the women’s Ultimate Frisbee team. Emily Faxon spent a glorious summer at HMI as a summer intern! At Colorado College she is working on her thesis, teaching yoga, and trying to honor LNT #1 (plan ahead and prepare) while embracing her motto #yolo. Joseph Patterson is at Colorado College studying History with a double minor of Anthropology and Art. He is also Co-chair of the Honor Council and an admissions tour guide. — Joey Paterson

RMS 21 Ian Tullis spent the summer in London where he interned at a recycling company, did a 4-week Shakespeare intensive at RADA, and saw nearly thirty plays. He left Portland and is continuing his study in theatre at the three-month drama conservatory at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA. Olivia Fantini declared a Women and Gender Studies major last spring. She is on a WGST study abroad program hopping from the Netherlands, to Germany, to the Czech Republic, to Poland! Andrew McCue is double majoring in French and Religion. He’s in Paris with Middlebury College, and is about to begin classes at the Catholic Institute of


Paris. Sam Davidson is still pre med and taking the MCATs this spring. Carter McFarland lives in Montana and is a Sociology-Criminology major with a minor in communication and computer science. He currently works for the DEA and is also a firefighter. Will Thacker is living the dream in the beautiful mountains of Tennesse studying pre law, and minoring in logistics. Rebecca Smith is an environmental policy major at CC. She is pre-law and hoping to go abroad to Thailand in the fall! Her sister and her partner are expecting their first child in January; Rebecca looks forward to being an aunt! Merrill Ann Clerkin lives in Shanghai finishing up requirements for her Asian Studies minor. Maura O’Brien is at Princeton working on a studio art major and environmental studies minor. Last year she got to lead camping trips with Mr. Peter Engh. Mo Yang taught entrepreneurship to local high school students in South Africa this past summer and then volunteered at a wildlife sanctuary in Namibia. She is at Babson College concentrating in Global Business Management and Environmental Sustainability. She’ll be graduating a year early in May, 2013. Becca Doll spent her summer in the White Mountains working for the AMC at Carter Notch Hut. But alas, back to the old grind as an Econ and Environmental Studies double major. She is meeting lots of HMI alums at St. Lawrence! TJ Callahan spent the summer working at a company that makes high-end audio equipment in Baltimore. He also went canoeing with his sister in the Boundary Waters. He is majoring in computer science with minors in psychology and music. He is the musical director of an a Capella group and the PR director of the campus radio station, WRPI. Geoff Long has been at the MTL at McGill University. Daniel Prior made it through a second year at Middlebury, spent a couple weeks as a cabin counselor at The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, and got to be a groomsman at his sister’s wedding. He spent this past fall on the south island of New Zealand, where he got his fill of backpacking and skydiving. Leeds Lily Mallickrodt-Reese spent this past summer working in New York as a hostess at a restaurant and volunteering at a letterpress printing company. Right now she is studying abroad in Denmark studying Media and Journalism which is what she also does back at CC. This past summer Emily Fox Blau worked at ABC News for Good

26 | HMI Fall 2012

Will Flemer & Tammy Gu, Summer Term 2012, Delaware Water Gap Morning America’s booking department. She is studying with IES Abroad in Freiburg, Germany on an environmental studies and sustainability program. She finds herself always beginning sentences with “so during my Junior Fall in Colorado...” Ben Breckenridge ran a landscaping business this summer and still lives with Becca Doll in the outing club at St. Lawrence. Fletcher Ben Coleman spent last year exploring Boulder, the state of Colorado and epically roadtripped for 15 days to the Pacific Northwest and back. This fall he is learning how to skateboard and how to meditate. Jeannie Bartlett spent the summer working as a whitewater raft guide and now is in her second year at Middlebury. This year she lives in a co-op house where everyone cooks and eats local food all year! Brendan Buckland is taking classes in Santiago and working with an NGO called the Valpo Surf Project. He teaches photography, English, and surf lessons. He lives 15 minutes away from Peter Engh who is also spending his fall in Santiago. Their first night out, they spent the evening mostly hugging each other in disbelief and befriending street dogs. Last year Sylvia Parol continued her work at the YWCA with her high school leadership program and joined a women’s networking and leadership program called “30 Under 30”. This year, she switched her major to Management and wants to include Digital Media/Art. She has been getting really involved with her sorority, Alpha Xi Delta and just went to URI to help their chapter with recruitment. Walker Nordin is in his sophomore year at Colby. He had a long summer working at Forrester market research and is happy to be back at school. He is majoring in economics with a concentration in financial markets. Daniel Lerner spent his summer working at a camp in the Boundary Waters where he was canoeing and kayaking. He is at Northwestern

working towards a double major in Psychology and Theatre with a design focus. He recently moved into his first apartment. — Ian Tullis

RMS 23 Alex Ford is at Bucknell University. He spent part of the summer in Nantucket and part surfing in Costa Rica. He is pursuing a double major in International Relations and Spanish, even though he failed out of that at HMI. Alycia Martens is in her second year at Berkeley. This summer she lived in LA and worked for Nickelodeon. She plans to major in either Business or Economics. She recently joined the Cal Triathlon Team and hopes to go camping in Yosemite with her friends soon! Graham Landy is glad to be back at Yale where he is on the sailing team, and was named a College Sailing All-American in June. He worked at American Yacht Club in Rye, NY last summer teaching kids how to sail. Ben Capelin just started his journey through freshman year at Colorado College. After a gap year filled with travel, adventure, love, death, heartbreak, euphoria, new sights, and more countries than you could fit in an egg carton, he is busy trying to reorient his compass. At the moment, he has no clue what to major in, but is swinging like a barn door between shoving his way into Hollywood, and becoming a neuroscientist. Samuel Horstmann is at Lehigh University. This summer he worked as a camp counselor as well on his start up, Fancy Fire Pit. Benjamin Schwartz is at Lehigh University in the school of Business and Economics. He plans to major in Finance and minor in Entrepreneurship. This summer he had a Finance and Analysis internship in Boston at an online retailer called He is

at school and is fraternity brothers with Robbie Hugin and Sam Horstmann, two RMS XXIII alums. Merrin Meltzer spent another summer working at Brant Lake Camp. She is taking this year off from the University of Delaware and will travel to volunteer in India and Nepal. Her family just moved from Denver, CO and look to settle in Saratoga Springs, NY. Seldy Gray had an amazing summer interning at Good Morning America and is now at the University of Michigan. There she’s majoring in Film & Television and minoring in European Economic Development. Seldy hopes to play tennis for the Wolverines and help run the student TV network. Lawrence Chan is at Wheaton College and spent his summer interning at a startup called Wistia. He is majoring in psychology and plans on minoring in statistics and music theory and composition. He still plays tennis for the Lyons and is a freshmen mentor. Megan Morrow spent the summer working at a bakery and catering. She is studying Global Environmental Change & Sustainability at Johns Hopkins and hopes to join the JHU Gospel Choir and Outdoors Club this year. Alex ‘Cious’ Feroe is at Whitman College considering an Environmental Studies Major with a focus on geology. He hopes to get a geology internship with Environ over the next summer. Julian Heckbert is back at the Rochester Institute of Technology for another exciting year of mechanical engineering. He spent the summer building robots and apprenticing as a blacksmith. This year he will be working with the RIT Innovation Center on several projects yet to be determined. Later this year, he hopes to intern at a local laser physics lab. Lizzy Eversbusch is back at CU Boulder after a gap year abroad. She is majoring in Environmental Studies, works in an organic garden in North Boulder, is a part of the Presidential Leadership Class, and the CU Fly Fishing Club. This summer Lizzy worked at a summer camp in the Appalachians in North Georgia. She’s bubbling over with joy to be back in the Rockies. Abby Barnstone is at Pitzer college. She will likely major in psychology and minor in media studies. This past summer she worked as a dockhand at Charles River Canoe and Kayak. This fall she is hosting her radio show, The Barnyard, at the Claremont College’s station KSPC. She is excited to start her job as assistant promotions director for the station. Elio Icaza is studying Industrial Design at RISD. He spent the summer working for a designer in Tel Aviv,

and helped with several projects while exploring the country. In October he exhibited photographs at the Salon D’Automne in Tel Aviv, alongside other young artists. He misses Traut and wants to visit Lexington again sometime. Nick Flynn is at Bates and will soon declare his Environmental Economics major and Spanish minor. He’s excited for a cold winter and some good skiing at Sugarloaf and Sunday River. After a fantastic summer in Leadville babysitting for Jack and Porter, leading High Peaks Adventure and the Lake County Backpacking Trip, and getting to see HMI from a new perspective, Nick Gannon is at Dartmouth College. He is a double major in Neuroscience and Middle Eastern Studies, and a Music minor. This fall he will rush a fraternity, continue singing in various groups, and apply for Spring internships. Cassie Ali is at the University of Denver. She spent the summer working at a nature camp in Massachusetts. She is still undecided about her major; however, she is very involved with her sorority and plans to play club lacrosse this spring. This fall she will travel to Italy with the art history department. Andrew Lavrennikov is at Emory University and is pursuing a BBA for either business of the film industry or business of environmental science. Over the summer, he spent a month living and working at an orphanage in Cusco, Peru. He documented the life of the children through filming, and is currently in the process of editing the documentary. Robbie Hugin is at Lehigh University majoring in Industrial Engineering with an Entrepreneurship minor. He looks forward to his winter and spring track seasons where he will compete in the 110 meter hurdles and 400 meter hurdles. Rachel Whaley is at the University of Chicago. She spent the summer interning at Twin Cities Public Television as well as working at a local fabric store teaching sewing classes. This year she is excited to be an orientation leader, as well as the production manager for one of the fall student theater productions. Alex Trautman is at Carleton College and spent his summer doing research and exploring Iceland. This fall, he is working on campus at the climbing wall and playing lots of ultimate Frisbee. He hopes to be a physics major and is subsequently spending plenty of time in the physics labs. Robbie Galloway is a mechanical engineering student at the University of Vermont. He spent his summer turning wrenches at his local bike shop, and is

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The High Mountain Institute (HMI) is an academic and wilderness semester school for high school juniors, accredited by the Association of Colorado Independent Schools. We offer a 4-month long HMI Semester each fall and spring, a 6-week Summer Term, and an Apprentice Program in traditional and outdoor education for recent college graduates. We also offer a 2-week summer program for 7th & 8th graders, the High Peaks Adventure. Finally, HMI offers wilderness medicine courses, avalanche awareness training, and provides custom programs for select schools and programs.


excited to race with the UVM mountain biking team again this fall. Looking ahead to this summer, Robbie hopes to trek across Southeast Asia with a few of his close friends from home. Chris Chang is at the University of Denver studying environmental science. This past summer he worked as a painter, and led several outdoor trips for his high school. Sachi Twine spent an amazing summer in Costa Rica studying sustainable development and tropical ecology, bungee jumping, and enjoying the rain. At Yale she plans to double major in Environmental Studies and History, and looks forward to writing for the Yale Globalist and helping develop Yale’s chapter of Seneca International, a global women’s advocacy group. Eliza Green is at Carleton College where she plays frisbee, works as a Chemistry TA, and plans to major in Chemistry or Spanish. This summer she went on a 30-day backpacking trip and got WFR certified with NOLS (Audrey Kruse, former HMI science teacher, was one of her instructors!). She also climbed Mt. Elbert with her dad and got a chance to visit Leadville. Lane Peterson is at Bates College and is reminded of HMI whenever she sees Sugar Flynn or a Melanzana around campus (there are five new HMI freshmen). She’s majoring in Rhetoric (persuasive language with a concentration in Television and Film Studies) and German language. Life is really good right now, but she still misses Ryer’s bread with nanners and c-chips. Arianna Vierczhalek is at the University of Denver studying engineering. She spent the summer hostessing and working as a conductor on the Leadville train. She climbed Mt. Belford and Oxford this fall and hopes that everyone is finding just a bit of time to enjoy

RMS XXV students reunite for a winter attempt of Mt. Washington

28 | HMI Fall 2012

the sunshine. Nicolette Kril is at the University of Pittsburgh. She is an Anthropology, History, and Political Science triple major in addition to working towards certificates in Western European Studies and Global Studies. She is extremely excited to be pledging her sorority, Delta Phi Epsilon, as well as planning her study abroad program. After an incredible gap year of cycling across America, working in Borneo at an orangutan conservation center, working for a ceramic potter in L.A., and solo hiking the entire John Muir Trail, Jackson Foster has settled down at the Rhode Island School of Design. He was excited to meet an HMI science apprentice who was hiking the PCT, thanks to her Melanzana (those things are everywhere!). Lilly Holman is at Wesleyan University studying film and spent her summer taking film classes. She is very excited to be Vice President of her coed literary society, Alpha Delta Phi. — Alex Trautman

RMS 25 Ally Roach worked at Barnes and Noble this summer. She is studying prepharmacy at UCONN and is involved in a prepharmacy fraternity called Alpha Zeta Omega. In her free time, she tutors at a local middle school in Hartford, CT. This summer Ryan Campbell wrote and recorded his first EP under the moniker Our Waking Love. He’s currently studying at Yale University and just joined the Yale University Spizzwinks, an acapella group. This summer Kat Geppert was a camp counselor at Wavus, an all girls outdoors tripping camp in Maine. She’s currently a student at CC and hiked Mt. Harvard and the Sand Dunes with her classmates. (They even made a stop in Leadville!) Kat is currently shooting photos for the school newspaper, and she’s on an intramural volleyball and soccer team. Pablo Uribe attends Deep Springs College, doing some learning, some ranch work, and mostly feeling lucky at how well HMI taught him about living deliberately in a small community. Pete James worked on a ranch in Montana all summer and now he’s at Middlebury in VT! CJ Richardson worked at Kieve, an all boys tripping camp in Maine, over the summer. He is now at Sewanee where he is going to play lacrosse. Laura Hansen now attends CU Boulder, and is a double major in sociology and physiology. Like Kat, Toni Hall worked

at Wavus over the summer. She attends UVM and is a part of a club that helps prevent hunger. Alex Potter spent a month this summer in England rowing and now he’s taking the fall off before heading to Middlebury in February. Elizabeth Benedict was a counselor at Camp Aloha in Fairlee VT this summer. She’s taking the fall off and is working in NYC - and can’t wait to join Kat, Jamie, and Lee at Colorado College in January! Talia Zisman spent her summer working on an organic veggie farm and is now at Bates College. She is pursuing indoor track and the Nordic skiing team. Lauren Cooper worked at a video rental store this summer and is now happily settled at Reed College where she has taken an in interest in rock climbing. Hallie Skripak-Gordon had a two month internship in Jordan this summer. She is now working at a cafe and on Talia’s organic veggie farm. Hallie cannot wait to join Louise at Hamilton in January! Haley (Woody) Woodberry volunteered at elephant sanctuaries/orphanages/a monastery in Thailand over the summer and now is spending her gap year at the Uppingham School in Rutland, UK studying English and history of art. She is also participating in the school musical. Genevieve Miller also worked at an organic veggie farm this summer! She is now working in DC and getting ready for her AT thru-hike. Robby Kuster was a counselor at a summer camp in New Hampshire. Now he’s at Davidson College, playing Ultimate Frisbee, and is the drummer in the Jazz Band. Emy Takinami worked at the Brookline Senior Center this summer and hiked Mount Washington. She is currently a student at UVM. Melissa Grip this summer was a sailing instructor at the Nantucket Community Sailing. She now attends Bucknell University and is taking an Italian class with Lauren Makee (RMS XXVI). Glenys Hunt worked in a packing and shipping warehouse and walked dogs this summer. Now she studies at Grinnell College in Iowa [prairie is nothing compared to the mountains] studying anthropology. — Kat Geppert

Semester 27 Andrew Allison-Godfrey took a geology class at Colorado College this summer with Kuba Chandler. Andrew also frequently sees Jake Bazillian, and had Kelsey Hoekstra and Gavin

Arnold visit him before school ended. Gavin Arnold has been working out and playing ice hockey at his school in Massachusetts. Jake Bazilian was in Spain for a month and writes, “it was as much a growth experience as HMI was because rather than meeting people quickly and becoming a community, I learned how to meet people and extend my friendship to basically anyone I saw.” At school, he’s class president and runs an organic vegetable garden. This summer Bryan Bohaty went to Alaska for a week with his grandma and his cousin. At school he is managing varsity soccer and making highlight videos. If you search “Berkshire School Soccer” on YouTube you can find them! Benjamin Buckles spent the summer working as a grill cook on Cape Cod, and is now president of the senior class at Hotchkiss! He’s taking AP environmental science, and wowing the class with his extensive knowledge of the Colorado Rockies’ ecosystem. He is in the middle of his college search and basically just living life to the fullest! India Bushnell has been very focused on art, taking both Advanced Studio Art and Photography classes at school, as well as doing a Pre-College architecture program at the Rhode Island School of Design. She has been surfing, preparing her college applications, and hanging out with Leslie Dinkin and Gil Young. Isabella Caliandro rowed crew on a club team this spring, and is now running cross country. Over the summer she ran a pottery studio and lead adventure trips on bikes for ten year olds, where she spent a lot of time outside teaching about rocks. She’s seen a few HMI peeps such as Katie Eaton, Dylan Kingsbury, Colleen Orr, Olivia Chartier, and Kuba Chandler! Kuba is playing soccer for his school this year. This summer he went to CC for a block with Andrew AllisonGodfrey. Leslie Dinkin also spent this summer at Colorado College studying geology (along with Andrew Obernesser), where she hiked and explored Colorado. She also went to Israel to celebrate her brother’s bar mitzvah and then worked at a camp, where she played with 3 year olds all day. Katie Eaton traveled to Kentucky and saw Colleen Orr this summer! She writes that “senior year started and Olivia Chartier and I decided to bring a little CO to Ohio and started the Outing club!” She’s still doing yoga and is the manager of the cross country team. Arielle Gordon-Rowe

Talia Zisman, Mariah Foley, Nina Murray, Julia Riback & Sam Fox (RMS XXV & XXVI alumnae) on Fancy Pass, Holy Cross Wilderness is in school in Boston and is hoping she “will be able to take an awesome gap year that will involve hiking/ adventures.” This summer she went hiking in the Wind River Range in Wyoming. Danny Icaza travelled to Tanzania this summer and worked at a public hospital for four weeks and then backpacked around Tanzania’s coast. He got to see Lukey Walden for a day in London and Gideon Lovell-Smith in New York. Natasha Hampton did an internship this summer at her town’s newspaper, and stayed with Olivia Chartier in Cleveland for a week (and saw Katie Eaton too!) This is her first year as a boarding student at Dana because her family moved back to England, and so far she has loved it! She is looking at colleges in both England and America. Kelsey Hoekstra is busy with senior year, and is running cross country. She got a job as a tutor at a SAT prep place and this summer went to camp with Lydia MacDougall from 28, Nancy Conolly from 22, and Virginia Hill from 24. Andrew Meyer is a senior at Poughkeepsie Day School, where he is playing soccer. He is hoping that a reunion is planned soon, and misses HMI a ton. Colleen Orr visited him in October. Annie Moses still goes to Lake County High School in Leadville. She was recently in the Boom Days parade, saw Mumford & Sons in Aspen, and raced a donkey in the streets of Leadville (or something like that). Celeste Murtha is on the field hockey team this fall, but is currently not playing because of a stress fracture. This summer, she worked as a camp counselor, played lacrosse, and went on college road trips. Celeste also spent a week in Nantucket and Arielle Gordon-Rowe came to visit her! Claire O’Brien is going to be in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at her school, and is singing the National Anthem

for their homecoming game. This summer, she went on an awesome month-long canoe trip. Colleen Orr is captain of the cross country team and loves it! This summer, she took a road trip up east with Forest and went to lacrosse camp in New Hampshire. Along the way she saw Katie Eaton and Olivia Chartier in Cleveland, and continued on to Maine to see Isabella Caliandro for Fourth of July. She also went to an open house at CC and saw Isabella (again!) for an entire weekend. She can’t wait for the reunion in June! Kinori Rosnow’s summer “was basically pure lacrosse.” He played in many tournaments with the Seattle Starz and attended camps (some on the east coast!). He is Spirit Captain for his grade, Captain of the lacrosse team and leads the Alpha Team, a hardcore workout group. This fall he is playing lacrosse and getting into Jiu Jitsu. Lukey Walden moved to London, and attends the American School in London, where he has yet to go a full week without getting hit by a car. He recently saw Jake Bazillian in Barcelona and Danny Icaza in London. — Colleen Orr

Apprentices Ashely Allen (XXII) lives in Denver and teaches fourth grade at Graland Country Day School. This fall she visited MC McGovern (XXII apprentice and current HMI math faculty) in Leadville and cheered on a HMI crew at the Boulder Marathon. Lance Witzig (XXVIII) lives in St. George, UT, and works as a field instructor with Second Nature Entrada. They provide therapy in a wilderness setting for young people struggling with various issues. Ben Sachs-Hamilton (XXIII) graduated from a master’s program in teaching this summer at Brandeis, and has just started teaching in Newton, MA. It’s his first time teaching US history since his time at HMI, and he finds himself thinking about that time often! Myla Marks and Wesley Allen (XIV) moved back to the Bay Area this summer after Myla finished her grad work in nonprofit administration in Oregon. Myla now manages the Trainer Team at Playworks, a national nonprofit based in Oakland that teaches safe, healthy and inclusive play and physical activity. Wes is back in school pursuing a Master’s in Curriculum Development and Instruction and K-6 credential while teaching 3rd grade in the Mission in San Francisco. Lola Rodden (XVII) has been busy


Sierra & brother Ethan Stirling, born July 29, 2012, to Andy & Christina Reiff (Director of Summer Term & Adjunct Programs) working as a surgical tech and medical interpreter at the Feminist Women’s Health Center in Atlanta, GA. She spent the summer leading pre-med students on a service trip to Nicaragua where participants were paired with public clinics around Granada. In August, she started an accelerated nursing program at Georgia State U., and is neck-deep in pathology and pharmacology text, but loving it! All her free time is spent either camping or on her bike. Dan Lane (XXVII) spent the winter substitute teaching middle school in New Hampshire and since May has been working as the Lead Caretaker on Camel’s Hump in Vermont for the Green Mountain Club. Kate Renner’s (X) big news is that she and her husband welcomed Raya Sage Mirkin on July 30th! MC McGovern (XXII) teaches math at HMI. This summer she worked at Colorado Rocky Mountain School and she is excited about 2 of her fellow apprentices getting married this year – Ashton Fink and Ashley Allen! Steve Alexander (X) and his wife Marianne still live in (and love!) Ottawa. “Not enough time in the mountains so the Gatineau hills have to suffice!” he writes. Graduate school is keeping Steve busy these days as he gears up for 4-5 months of field work in Jamaica this winter/ spring. Laura Thomas (XIX) sent a message from her phone while on White Pass, WA to say that she has been through hiking the Pacific Crest Trail since April. She started at the Mexican Border and eventually will end up in Canada. Karen Prazar’s (XIII) biggest news is that she and Cecilia are engaged! They hope to move back east from Seattle after

30 | HMI Fall 2012

Mia Grace, born May 21, 2012, daughter of Ben (Assistant Head of School) & Laura Dougherty (Director of Admissions & Advancement)

Karen graduates from her nursing program in June. Karen spent the summer working as a Nurse Technician at Seattle Children’s Hospital, and it was her first summer in EIGHT YEARS without an HMI backpacking trip of some sort (“which was definitely strange and sad” she writes). Lindsey Isaacson (XXII) teaches high school Government and History in Prescott, AZ and spends her free time climbing. Amie Fleming (XXVIII) spontaneously moved to Oakland, California at the invitation of some friends with an open room in their house. She works at the Greenbelt Alliance, a non-profit that does land conservation and urban planning, ensuring that the “right development happens in the right places”. She’s excited to explore the Golden State, although city life is a big change of pace from Leadville. Elissa Brown (XXVI) spent the summer leading a language and service trip to Costa Rica and a backpacking trip on the AT with Overland Summers. Her group’s claim to fame was all puking within a mile radius of Mt. Washington’s summit. This year, she’s returning for her second year of teaching middle school science and Spanish at an expeditionary learning public charter school in Boone, NC. Sara Russell (XXVII and ST 2012 faculty) teaches high school science at the Watershed School in Boulder, CO! Elliot Schottland (XVII) is now a second year medical student at Stony Brook University in Long Island. After a summer working at Deer Hill Expeditions, Kay Sherwood (XXVII) travelled to California with David Clark Barol (XXVII) to work for the Chadwick School. She leads trips for their outdoor

education program in the Sierras and Joshua Tree National Park. In her free time she has been exploring the coast of California, and is currently traveling around the Pacific Northwest. Hannah Belsky (XXVI) just drove across country with her kayak paddle and tele skis. She is a Resident in Social Enterprise through New Sector Alliance in San Francisco, and works at the Women’s Community Clinic. She enjoys sailing on the Bay in her free time, and looks forward to ski season in Tahoe. Matt Bohne (XXVIII) spent the summer leading a backpacking and service course for Deer Hill and visiting family and friends back in New England. He currently works as a wilderness instructor for the Eagle Rock School. Nate Meltzer (XXIII) is still pursuing his Master’s in AE from Prescott College, and recently completed the Data Collection portion of his research. He’s looking into how people relate to the natural world through their individual expressions of “biophilia” and aims to complete the degree in May. He lives in Asheville, NC and leads trips for NOLS during the summer. Eliot Estrin (XVIII) lives in Los Angeles and works at a private practice training center for psychotherapy. Also, he teaches vipassana meditation at an inpatient psychiatric facility. Katie Clark (XXI) is in medical school at the University of Vermont. She will graduate in May and plans to start her residency in pediatrics after that. A highlight from this year was a month-long elective in Wilderness Emergency Medicine in Utah, where she had the opportunity to winter camp (the first time since HMI) and backpack again in the Canyonlands. Eve Gasarch (XVII) is still

working towards a PhD in Ecology at University of Colorado, Boulder. Her focus is on alpine plant communities and biogeochemistry,

Faculty Kirk Phelps and his wife, Shannon, are proud to announce the birth of their daughter, Joelle Rachel Phelps, on September 11, 2012. Ben Edmunds is still the brewmaster at Breakside Brewery in Portland, OR, and Sam Barber (RMS XV) continues to work there as their Senior Brewer. They’re in the middle of a major expansion that will allow them (eventually) to distribute their beer throughout the country. They went to Colorado in October, where they visited their friends at Bonfire Brewing in Eagle, who have agreed to let them brew a special batch of beer for the HMI 15th Anniversary. Paul Dreyer is working WMI contracts in northern India and will be traveling in India and Nepal for a bit. He also worked a NOLS course with Audrey Kruse and Maureen Fox (it was “HMI takes over NOLS”). In the past year he has traveled in Indonesia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Thailand, Bhutan, India, Nepal, the Sierras, the Absarokas, and the Rockies. However, he’s still based in Boulder, CO and he will be starting

full time work there with Avid4 Adventure this fall! Audrey Kruse started graduate school at Northern Arizona University where she is studying Environmental Science and Policy. Her research focuses on exotic vegetation along the San Juan River in Utah. She’s enjoying Flagstaff and hiking up in the golden aspens this fall! Katie Reynolds is back in Boston after her first summer of classes at Smith School for Social Work. This year she’s enjoying working in home-based family therapy for her internship. In two more years, she’ll have an MSW! Johanna Mickle moved back to Canada from Leadville this spring. She has been living on their property in the BC Kootenays in a cabin off the grid with her 2 year old son, Wiley. Her husband Jon will soon join them and they look forward to living in their yurt and skiing some powder this winter. Reid Armstrong lives in Granby, CO and works for the U.S. Forest Service as a public affairs specialist. She’s a mama-withaltitude to two kids Sawyer, 6, and Arden, 5, and is teaching them the ropes, from camping and hiking to skiing and loving winter. Reid said she most definitely plans to attend the 15th Anniversary and farewell to Christopher and Molly and hopes to see other folks from forever ago. Cooper Mallozzi lives in

Leadville with his wife Carrie (the Apprentice Coordinator at HMI) and daughter, Hattie. He is the Outdoor Education and Outdoor Studies Program Manager at Colorado Mountain College and serves on the Leadville City Council. Harwood Ferguson led two Leading Edge courses for HMI a few years back. Recently he’s moved to Springfield, MO, where he works for his family’s business in beer wholesale. His role focuses specifically on craft and specialty brands. Ivan Barry and Rebekah Callard both work at Cate School in Carpinteria, CA. Ivan just returned from a week-long hiking expedition where he led a group of juniors through the Golden Trout Wilderness in Sequoia National Park. Their oldest son Kiy just started Kindergarden, and 3 year old Aydin is rockin’ it at day care! Since having a fantastic Summer Term at HMI, Dave Clark-Barol has been working various outdoor education jobs in California and exploring the West with fellow HMI 27 apprentice Kay Sherwood. He is currently enjoying the recreational and cultural offerings of the Pacific Northwest and trying to figure out winter plans.

Order Fudge

and Support HMI!

A Perfect Gift for the Holidays The Mill Fudge Factory is owned and operated by Rocky Mountain Semester IV alumnus Noah Munro (and his family) in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. We have once again partnered with Noah and The Mill Fudge Factory to help raise money for HMI in an easy and delicious way! The Mill Fudge Factory describes their fudge as “Artisan Fudge - Handcrafted with the Finest Natural Ingredients.” Their recipe originates from Noah’s Scottish grandfather with natural ingredients such as real maple syrup, Cabot butter, Belgian dark chocolate, natural peanut butter, and pure honey. Without the use of corn syrup or any artificial ingredients, their fudge is not as sticky sweet as most fudge and is uniquely satisfying. They also have a new sugar-free chocolate fudge made with natural ingredients that makes a great gift for diabetics. Free shipping options are available. Visit to learn more and place your order.

The Mill Fudge Factory will donate 25% of your purchase to HMI!


HIGH MOUNTAIN INSTITUTE Post Office Box 970 Leadville, CO 80461 TEL 719-486-8200


HMI Program Calendar Register by calling 719-486-8200 x107 or by visiting Wilderness First Responder Recert

Wilderness First Responder

January 5 -7, 2013 $285 / $345 (with lodging)

May 28 – June 6, 2013 $695 / $895 (with lodging)

AIARE Avalanche Level 1

High Peaks Adventure

January 5 -7, 2013 $325; $385 (with lodging)

June 29 – July 13, 2013 $3,275 tuition (financial aid available)

AIARE Avalanche Level 2

Lake County Backpacking Trip

January 5 -8, 2013 $435 / $515 (with lodging)

Wilderness First Aid & CPR April 8– April 10 $280

July 22 – 28, 2013 Call for details

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HMI Fall 2012 Newsletter