nimbus A PUBLICATION OF NEW COLLEGE OF FLORIDA
UP TO THE CHALLENGE
President Patricia Okker Takes the Reins at New College
MASTERS OF DATA
New College Launches Cutting-Edge Graduate Program
#89 FALL 2021
Editorial Staff Abby Weingarten Senior Editor Kathleen McCoy Director of Alumni Relations Su Byron Communications Specialist
Publisher Office of Communications and Marketing New College of Florida 5800 Bay Shore Road Sarasota, FL 34243-2109 941.487.4153 firstname.lastname@example.org
NCAA Board of Directors Executive Committee Dan Stults, Chair, ’77-’81 Leslie Reinherz, Chair Elect, ’70-’74 Robert (Bob) Freedman, Governance Chair, ’83-’87
UP TO THE CHALLENGE
President Patricia Okker Takes the Reins at New College
MASTERS OF DATA
New College Launches Cutting-Edge Graduate Program
Antonia Ginsberg-Klemmt Manuel Lopez Maxeme Tuchman Lentini Endowed Scholarship
ALSO INSIDE THIS ISSUE Letter from the President On Campus In the Community Foundation Focus Class Notes
1 5 13 25 27
Kati Baruja ’96-’00 Wesley Beggs ’10-’14 Chad Bickerton ’05-’09 Benjamin Brown ’05-’09 Doug Christy ’96-’00 John Connelly ’76-’80 Eric Gottshall ’79-’84 Chelsea Hall ’02-’06 Maia Hinkle ’05-’07 Miles Iton ‘14-’18 Oliver Peckham ’08-’12 Rachel Scherer ’07-’11 Benjamin Stork ‘03-’09 Bob Watts ’73-’77 Glenn Whitehouse ’86-’90
New College Leadership Patricia Okker, Ph.D. President Suzanne Sherman, Ph.D. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs MaryAnne Young Vice President of Advancement Ann Comer-Woods Director of Communications and Marketing For a listing of the Board of Trustees, visit ncf.edu/leadership-and-governance
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Letter from the President:
A New Chapter Begins Dear Friends,
I am so honored to serve as president of New College of Florida and to be part of this vibrant community of thinkers and changemakers. There is an incredible energy here, and every day since I started in July I’ve witnessed the work—and the vision—of our students, faculty and staff. New College also has one of the most supportive networks of alumni, donors and friends, who believe deeply in the mission of this institution. You truly inspire me. I am excited to lead New College and look forward to strengthening the College’s reputation as a top public liberal arts college. For more than 60 years, New College has prepared intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement, and our graduates have gone on to transform the world. We will continue to grow—in size and status—as we share that message far and wide. Of course, I have come to New College at a challenging time in the history of the institution—and everywhere else, for that matter. Pressures on higher education, the continuing global pandemic, deepening political divides-all of these and more necessitate change. And New College is changing. We are increasing support for students in and out of the classroom, strengthening our ties to our community, and working harder than ever to ensure that our campus is an inclusive workplace and learning environment. One of the most exciting changes, launched well before I arrived at New College, is our innovative approach to integrating our liberal arts curriculum with career education. It amazes me to see how New College students are assigned their own individual career coaches, how our first-year seminars combine academics with career exploration, how our alumni are serving as professional mentors, and how we are focusing so intently on making sure our students engage in meaningful internships. Still, amidst all this change, we also hold firm to our foundation, our commitment to a liberal arts and honors education that cultivates such independently-minded global citizens—people who break ground in their fields and develop solutions to the most pressing problems of our time. Thank you for welcoming me into this community. I can’t wait to get to know all of you as we celebrate and share the brilliance of New College together. Warmly, Patricia Okker, Ph.D. President, New College of Florida
ON CAMPUS NEW COLLEGE SCORES AT CFA ETHICS INVITATIONAL “This award represents our students’ superior knowledge in business ethics, which usually isn’t emphasized in formal business school programs.” New College 2021 alumna Agnes Bartha was the team leader, joined by 2021 alum Connor Rupp, thesis student Jacob Adkins and second-year Justin Barbour. They went up against students at four other Florida schools: Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), the University of Florida (UF), the University of Miami (UM) and the University of South Florida (USF). Student teams from each institution were given an ethics case to analyze and then asked to make recommendations in 8-to-10-minute video presentations. The judges based their decisions on the quality of the team’s understanding of the ethical issues involved, as well as the quality of their analyses, their recommendations and their presentations.
New College Associate Professor of Economics Sherry Yu, Ph.D.
Showcasing their aptitude for evaluating complex ethics cases—all related to the business, finance and investment arenas—four New College students scored high in a prestigious Florida competition last spring. Their team won “Best Analysis” (akin to second place) at the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Society Tampa Bay 2021 Ethics Invitational on April 8—a virtual event designed to increase students’ awareness of the ethical dilemmas they may face as investment management professionals. “We are very excited and super proud to have participated in this event,” said New College Associate Professor of Economics Sherry Yu, Ph.D., who served as the team’s faculty adviser. “I was able to recruit a group of enthusiastic students, with a variety of backgrounds and expertise, to compete.”
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“The participants from UF, USF, FGCU and UM are all business school students, with a mixed combination of both undergraduate and graduate students. As a first-time contestant, New College was placed at a disadvantage to begin with—with no business program, no designated CFA ethics courses and no graduate students,” said Yu, adding that New College was also invited to the 2020 competition but the event was canceled due to the pandemic. “The four team members from New College were able to meet quickly and analyze the competition case in great detail, and they prepared the required video presentation within 10 days.” Each of the students won a $100 gift card for their “Best Analysis” award, and New College received a trophy to display their hard work. “As students from a liberal arts program, this award also represents our students’ superior knowledge in business ethics, which usually isn’t emphasized in formal business school programs,” Yu said. “Despite the disadvantages, our students did not shy away from the time constraint and peer pressure. I’m super proud of their accomplishment and aim to compete every year.”
ON CAMPUS REFRESHED CURRICULUM ROLLS OUT IN FALL 2021 A new path to learning awaited undergraduate students at New College this fall—a robust, customized educational experience that centers on real-world skill building. Chart Your Course (CYC) is the College’s revamped curriculum for the liberal arts. This signature program is designed to serve as a foundation for students’ first years— inspiring them with intellectually challenging courses while preparing them for the job market. “CYC courses give students clear opportunities to practice and reflect on their skill development across a range of subject areas,” said Liz Leininger, Ph.D., an associate professor of neurobiology. “As a result, students will know that they have the tools to pursue any number of paths at New College and beyond.” With CYC, students have the opportunity to make their college course requirements work for them. They can create their own learning plan alongside a faculty adviser, developing a roadmap that is tailored to their interests and passions. For example, they might want to take a sociology class that will also teach them teamwork, or a chemistry class that will help them sharpen their writing skills. There are 10 course requirements in total. Students will choose a course from each of the three divisions at New College (Natural Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities), one writing or writing-enhanced course, one diverse perspectives course, one mathematics or statistics course, one course in civic literacy, and three electives. No matter what students choose to study, they will come away with a broadly-based liberal arts and sciences education, and a variety of interdisciplinary skills. Students will then reflect on these skills and learn how they can be applied to a variety of careers. “CYC focuses in on New College’s mission of supporting each student as they make their own decisions about the intellectual path that is right for them,” said Carrie Benes, Ph.D., a professor of medieval and Renaissance history. “Instead of a one-size-fits-all list of ‘gen ed’ requirements, CYC gives students a map and a compass to chart their own path. The map is the breadth requirements that widen their perspective on the world, and the compass is the skills they develop that will help them get where they want to go.”
instructors and peer leaders) help students get their feet wet in their new home, and every first-year student can choose one SET SAIL course to fulfill a CYC requirement. Some of the first-year seminars this fall include “Mathematical Thinking: Patterns, Puzzles and Exploration,” “Exploring Science,” “Role-Playing Politics and Religion in the Renaissance,” “Introductory Psychology: Motivated Minds Learning In and Out of School,” “Music and Creative Practice,” and “Writing About Writing.” The ultimate goal of CYC and SET SAIL is to provide a holistic, well-rounded experience for students as they work toward their academic and future ambitions. “The enduring value of a New College education is not just the subject-matter expertise our students develop, but also their honing of lifelong transferable academic skills and habits of mind,” Leininger said. “These sorts of skills include, but are not limited to, skills like communicating clearly and persuasively, thinking critically, solving complex problems, making decisions ethically, and demonstrating intercultural competence and global awareness.”
SET SAIL first-year seminars are an integral part of this process. These semester-long classes (taught by a team of
MARINE RESEARCH AND SAILING DOCK OPENS ON CAPLES WATERFRONT and a rigid inflatable rescue vessel. It also provides boat slips for the College’s sailing team and waterfront recreation program, along with two boat lifts for individuals with mobility issues. The six-foot-wide, L-shaped construction extends 294 feet west from the shore of the Caples campus and then 144 feet to the southwest. The dock site is about 50 feet south of The Ringling museum sea wall, and it was selected for its environmental compatibility and proximity to deep water.
Sen. Bill Galvano, BOT Chair Mary Ruiz, NCSA President Sofia Lombardi, Rep. Fiona McFarland, Associate Professor Jayne Gardiner, student speaker Cecilia Hampton, Rep. James Buchanan and NCF President Pat Okker participate in the ribbon-cutting ceremony on October 26.
Constructed over the summer, the dock provides greater access to Sarasota Bay for the campus community, bolsters New College’s traditionally strong and popular programs in marine biology and environmental studies, and enhances its summer marine biology education programs for underprivileged students from Sarasota and Manatee counties. New College professors and students are currently studying the effects of red tide; monitoring the health of sharks, dolphins, manatees and other marine life; and conducting research to improve the sustainability of mangroves and various native plants. This dock serves the marine biology program’s 32-foot pontoon research boat, Limbatus; a smaller research skiff;
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New College worked closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Southwest Florida Water Management District to ensure full compliance with the stringent permitting requirements governing Sarasota Bay. “The bay is one of Sarasota’s greatest natural assets,” said Jayne Gardiner, Ph.D., the director of the Pritzker Marine Biology Research Center and an associate professor of biology at New College. “With a dock that expands access to the bay, we can conduct more environmental and marine science research into this natural ecosystem, which benefits both our students and the bay itself.” The dock was also constructed with environmentally-friendly materials: Surestep PVC open deck grating, designed for maximum sunlight penetration to underwater aquatic life; and high-density polyethylene piling wraps, which protect the water from any chemicals in the treated wood pilings. New College’s location on Sarasota Bay has inspired a strong tradition of research and learning in marine biology and environmental studies. The data that student and faculty researchers have collected and analyzed over the years has positively impacted the local community and the world.
among the nation’s top public liberal arts colleges
among all national liberal arts colleges
Most Innovative Schools
New College Ranks #5 in U.S. News & World Report
NCF Again Recognized as a ‘College of Distinction’
In the U.S. News & World Report’s “2022 Best Colleges” rankings released on September 13, New College of Florida moved up to the #5 ranking (from #6 last year) among the nation’s top public liberal arts colleges, while rising two spots to #82 among all national liberal arts colleges.
New College has been named a “College of Distinction” for 2021-2022, with recognition in two main areas: Career Development and Equity & Inclusion (accolades the College also received last academic year).
New College also received specialty rankings, such as #23 for “Most Innovative Schools” and #67 for “Social Mobility.”
Since 2000, Colleges of Distinction (a respected guide for college-bound students) has supported student-centered schools that are often overlooked by traditional rankings.
Since 1983, U.S. News & World Report has been providing education rankings while helping parents and students find their ideal schools.
New College was chosen in the area of Career Development because it equips students with the self-reflection and networking skills needed for their lifelong career journey.
The Princeton Review Names NCF One of ‘The Best 387 Colleges’
In the area of Equity & Inclusion, New College was viewed as providing exceptional support to its students campus-wide.
New College has been recognized as one of The Best 387 Colleges in 2022 by The Princeton Review—an annual guide that only features about 14 percent of America’s four-year colleges. The Today Show even mentioned New College’s accolade in September. Since 1992, the guide has showcased the schools that The Princeton Review recommends to college applicants and their parents as the nation’s best for undergraduate academics. In this edition, the editors did not tally their annual ranking lists of “Top 20 Colleges” in 62 categories, due to many remote students not being surveyed about their on-campus experiences.
UP TO THE CHALLENGE PRESIDENT PATRICIA OKKER TAKES THE REINS AT NEW COLLEGE By Abby Weingarten ’00
NEW COLLEGE OF FLORIDA
Up to the Challenge COVER STORY
Harnessing potential can be pivotal. Game-changing. Life-changing. Patricia Okker, Ph.D. knows this firsthand. She didn’t always envision herself as an intellectual, didn’t imagine herself ascending to the high-level role of a college president. But it was as an undergraduate at a liberal arts college where she ultimately found herself— where a professor exposed what she was truly capable of and emboldened her to test her own limits. “Repeatedly, in my life, when people have seen things in me that I didn’t see—those have been really transformative moments,” Okker said. And, in a full-circle kind of way, Okker is now ushering New College into a new era of transformation. She sees so much here—incredible, untapped potential—and she is ready to help unleash it. On July 1, Okker officially succeeded former president Donal O’Shea, Ph.D., to become the first female leader in the history of New College.
FROM MIZZOU TO NEW For Okker, who served as dean of the College of Arts and Science at the University of Missouri from 2017 to 2021, leading New College is her first experience as a college president. She relocated to Sarasota this summer with her husband, retired archaeologist Richard Edging, Ph.D.; her 89-year-old mother, Ethel; and the family Golden Retriever, Blu. A competitive athlete, Okker is currently training for her ninth Boston Marathon, and she has also set world records in powerlifting. Okker holds three degrees in English language and literature: a bachelor’s degree with honors from Allegheny College, a master’s degree with distinction from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Her teaching and research interests include
19th-century American literature, American women writers, American periodicals, career preparation in the liberal arts, and writing and wellness. The New College of Florida Board of Trustees selected Okker as president from a pool of 138 applicants in April, after a six-month-long search process. During Okker’s time on the New College campus, she made a powerful impression on the faculty, staff and students. “It was clear from the start that Dr. Okker cared about New College, and saw and appreciated its unique mission,” said Sofia Lombardi, the president of the New College Student Alliance, who served on the New College Presidential Search Committee. “Upon her arrival to campus, she immediately engaged with students without prompting. She made her commitment to the liberal arts and to
“I’m so excited to be part of this incredible community and to help New College grow and thrive,” Okker said after her appointment. “I’m optimistic about what is next for New College, and I look forward to leading such an inspiring institution to an even greater future in the world of higher education.”
President Okker greets New College alumni cheering for her at the Boston Marathon.
President Okker visits the Pritzker Marine Biology Research Center at New College with Assistant Professor of Coastal and Marine Science Gerardo Toro-Farmer, Ph.D. and Rep. Fiona McFarland.
New College known. This, in tandem with her exceptional academic and professional credentials (and the student-facing approach she took at the University of Missouri), made her the clear choice for New College.” Okker joined the University of Missouri as an assistant professor of English in 1990 and was promoted to full professor in 2004 (a year after winning the William T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence). From 2005 to 2011, she chaired the English Department, overseeing 70 fulltime faculty and a $5.5 million annual budget. Okker then moved to the Provost’s Office, where she developed
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a new model for academic program reviews of 280 degree programs and led the University’s successful 10-year accreditation team. As dean of the College of Arts and Science, she oversaw 450 full-time faculty, 135 staff and 6,500 students across 26 departments and schools with an annual operating budget of $120 million. She raised the College’s graduation and retention rates by implementing a data-driven strategic plan for student success, and she increased the diversity of the faculty. Cooper Drury, Ph.D., who is now the interim dean of the College of Arts and Science, worked directly with Okker as
her senior associate dean for five years. The two collaborated on all academic hiring and personnel, the budget, training, mentoring, fundraising and managing department chairs. “Pat is simply the best person for whom I’ve worked. She places a great degree of trust and authority in her people, so that they can accomplish the work of the College,” Drury said. “She moves fast and expects others to keep up with her, but she empowers them to do so. Working with Pat brings your abilities to a new level.” Okker’s efforts in the College of Arts and Science will be felt for years to come, Drury added.
Up to the Challenge COVER STORY
Please join us on Wed. Feb. 23 for the Inauguration of President Patricia Okker.
Inauguration Week will kick off Sat. Feb. 19 with an academic showcase, mini-classes and Reclaiming Wellness symposium, and conclude Sat. Feb. 26 with a day of community service.
“Pat made tremendous gains for the College,” Drury said. “She brought transparency to everything we did, she empowered and challenged department chairs to do better, and she developed leaders throughout the College. None of that was true before.” Drury already misses the one-on-one work meetings he had with Okker. “We had daily check-in meetings, which often started with updates on our training (she’s a runner; I’m a cyclist),” Drury said. “I miss the quick back-andforth and dive into the day’s work.” One of Drury’s favorite stories about Okker involves receiving a text message from her just after she arrived at New College. “She was telling me that she was about to go into a hurricane meeting,” Drury said. “I asked what she meant, and she replied, ‘A real hurricane—not a metaphorical one, like a problem that’s as bad as a hurricane. A real one.’” That storm was Hurricane Elsa. The news of its impending arrival greeted Okker during her very first day on campus—offering a bit of Missouri-toFlorida culture shock. That would be
Okker’s introduction to New College—a place not without its own storms—but she knew that going in, and she came prepared.
THE MAKING OF A LEADER The roots of Okker’s intense work ethic run deep. Her grandmother, Hannah, immigrated from Sweden and arrived at Ellis Island, New York, at the age of 18. Not knowing any English, she worked as a maid and a cook her entire life, and built her family in America. “All the images I have of my grandmother (I called her ‘Nana’) were of her working hard. And I often think about the differences between the opportunities that I’ve had and those that she had. She was just a young immigrant making her way in this new country, and she worked hard,” Okker said. “She didn’t have opportunities to do things differently, but my mom did. So, my mom was able to go to nursing school, went to a hospital and became an RN. And then, just one generation later, I’m a college president?! I will always be grateful for the opportunities that I had because of education.”
Okker is one of five children, born and raised in New Jersey. Neither of her parents earned bachelor’s degrees, but they instilled in their children “the values and pleasures of education and hard work,” Okker said. Okker’s own hard work began with her first job in high school, as a nursing home aide in her hometown of Wayne, New Jersey. She then went on to Allegheny College, where she started as a science major (because she was better at math and science, she said, even though she loved English and reading novels). “I would describe myself in college, early on, as an underachiever,” Okker said. “I was certainly an underachiever in high school, perfectly satisfied with a good, solid B+.” But that would soon change—with a firm nudge from an influential mentor. Lloyd Michaels, Ph.D.—an English professor teaching an American literature survey class at Allegheny College—offered some constructive criticism on one of Okker’s papers. He was the first one to recognize that Okker had learned the “formula” for writing a “good” paper, but he wasn’t interested in minimal or mediocre effort.
COVER STORY Up to the Challenge
Okker was taken aback by his criticism, in the best possible way. And that was all it took to take her from a somewhat complacent to an ultra-serious mindset. “That’s my thing about challenge. That was such a transformative moment for me. From there on out, I got very serious,” Okker said. “I’m still grateful for that.” Okker needed the challenge to thrive. Now it drives her.
A NEW ERA FOR NEW COLLEGE Okker came to New College in the middle of multiple challenges—chiefly, a major growth issue, with enrollment continually decreasing while under pressure from the legislature to increase.
“As a nationally ranked public liberal arts college,” Okker said, “New College is well-poised to be a leader in demonstrating the power of a liberal arts education that is fully engaged with the communities it serves.” “Right now, it’s all hands on deck, and the focus is on enrollment. It is the job of every single person at this institution, and a good number of people beyond this institution, to advocate for this college, to promote this college, and to help recruit and retain students,” Okker
said. “So, if people are thinking that the new president is on her own, that the knight in shining armor is here, no, that is not my job. I was initially attracted to this job because I saw things being put in place about growing enrollment that would make that transformation possible. And there is such a desire here to make those changes. So far, everyone I’ve met has been very enthusiastic.’” There are numerous other priorities— like improving diversity, equity and inclusion; expanding community outreach and fundraising; and enhancing the visibility and national reputation of New College. She appreciates the willingness of the campus community to work toward those changes alongside her.
Students Grace Keenan and Sofia Lombardi join President Okker during a campus visit from Rep. Shevrin Jones.
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President Okker greets prospective students and their parents during a fall open house.
“Dr. Pat Okker is a skilled academic leader with a proven track record of supporting student, staff and faculty success in the arts and sciences,” said New College of Florida Board of Trustees Chair Mary Ruiz. “We know she will lead us with great purpose and a holistic approach to fulfilling the New College mission and philosophy of education.” O’Shea, who led New College for nine years before retiring, has echoed Ruiz’s enthusiasm. “I have faith that New College will positively evolve and flourish under President Okker’s leadership,” O’Shea said. Okker has noted that, during her time at the University of Missouri, many of her campus-wide initiatives (from developing a career readiness program to increasing the first-year retention rate) were focused on student success. It is an approach she is carrying into her leadership at New College. “I am truly excited about the future of New College, and I am even more
excited about the State University System’s commitment to integrating academic and workforce development. It truly is exciting, and work that I’ve been doing for many years,” Okker said. “I look forward to working collaboratively with employers and education leaders around the state to ensure that New College continues to provide a personalized, rigorous education that prepares students—as New College says—to lead lives of great achievement.” Okker is committed to ensuring that New College fulfills its goals of recruiting students and increasing the value of their degrees; strengthening existing, and developing new, partnerships throughout the community and state; and establishing New College as a national leader that integrates a rigorous liberal arts education with a robust career readiness program.
Okker looks forward to exposing the potential she sees in New College—and sharing it with the community, the state, and the world. “Lots of institutions brag about being unique, but there are very few that are as unique as New College. New College is public, it’s affordable (and some of these liberal arts colleges, where you do not get a better education than you do here, cost $75,000 a year),” Okker said. “For the cost of attending New College, it’s truly amazing the opportunities we provide. There is such enormous strength here.”
“As a nationally ranked public liberal arts college,” Okker said, “New College is well-poised to be a leader in demonstrating the power of a liberal arts education that is fully engaged with the communities it serves.”
IN THE COMMUNITY
CAMPUS HOSTS VACCINE CLINIC FOR THE COMMUNITY With the goal of increasing vaccine accessibility community-wide, New College of Florida hosted its first on-campus walkup clinic last spring for all of Sarasota-Manatee. The free event marked the beginning of a health partnership designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by ensuring that the public was quickly and efficiently vaccinated.
and the Sarasota County Health Department administered the vaccine doses. All students, faculty, staff and alumni from New College and the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM)—as well as everyone ages 18 and older in the greater Sarasota-Manatee area—were welcome to attend the clinic without appointments or insurance.
“We really just want the vaccines to be distributed as widely as we can,” said Anne Fisher, Ph.D., the program director for New College’s Counseling and Wellness Center (CWC), who was instrumental in facilitating the event. “It was an easy thing to allow everyone in the community to attend.”
“I got my second dose at the vaccine clinic in Sudakoff. It happened to fall in the right timeframe for me and was convenient,” said Katherine Brion, Ph.D., assistant professor of art history at New College. “There was no wait to get vaccinated, and the people staffing it loved seeing more people arrive (not just from New College). Very thankful.”
The clinic was held at New College’s Harry Sudakoff Conference Center,
Clinic attendees were also given the option to receive free HIV and
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Hepatitis C testing at no cost, along with information about PrEP (a one-pill-a-day regimen that prevents the spread of HIV). “We are a small college, but we are connected to our community and have close relationships with our partners. Our community collaborations are frequent and usual for us,” Fisher said. “For example, we have partnered with Hedges for HIV testing, and the Health Department worked with us closely on our tobacco-free campus initiative (in collaboration with Tobacco Free Florida). We always love partnering with our community.”
STUDENT-FOUNDED ROWING TEAM MAKES HISTORY ON THE SUNCOAST
The first multi-school collegiate rowing crew has emerged on the Suncoast, thanks largely to the vision of New College thesis student Antonia “Toni” Ginsberg-Klemmt.
has hosted numerous national and international championships and regattas since 2017). There are opportunities to compete against other rowing crews at the site, too.
New Crew SRQ—a team that Ginsberg-Klemmt founded in September 2019, which includes students from other area colleges—became an official club last spring. This is a partnership between New College and the Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates Inc. (SANCA)—the nonprofit organization that operates and manages Nathan Benderson Park for Sarasota County.
“New Crew SRQ is a great new rowing community growing in Sarasota,” Herrera-Mishler said. “We are proud to partner with New College to host this inclusive rowing program at our best-in-class facility. Rowing is not just about competition. A program like this one opens doors for lifetime fitness, a powerful sense of connection, and personal discipline that can serve these students well for the rest of their lives.”
An event formalizing the partnership was held on March 9 on the grass field south of the Benderson Family Finish Tower (Regatta Island). Ginsberg-Klemmt (the team’s coach), New College Provost Suzanne Sherman, Ph.D.; and SANCA President/CEO Tomás Herrera-Mishler were in attendance. The crew’s oar blade was also unveiled.
The rowing club is a “leadership laboratory,” said New Crew SRQ Faculty Adviser Amy Reid, Ph.D. (a New College professor of French and gender studies).
“The goal of New Crew SRQ is to create an inclusive rowing culture and a sense of unity among New College students,” Ginsberg-Klemmt said. “New Crew is a flexible rowing program designed to accommodate both scullers and sweep rowers, people who want to compete in regional regattas, as well as people who want to row recreationally. This partnership with SANCA gives our team access to high-quality rowing and coaching equipment that has been used by world-class athletes.” The New Crew SRQ team provides New College students, staff and alumni of all skill levels the chance to learn and train at the multi-use sports venue (which
“The New Crew SRQ initiative really reflects what is best about a New College education, where creative, talented and motivated students are encouraged to explore, grow and thrive—to be leaders inside the classroom and in the community,” Reid said. “We are exceptionally fortunate to have the support of SANCA (which has made Sarasota a premier world destination for rowing) and the New College Foundation. Thank you to them for believing in our students.” The team is primarily for New College affiliates, but it is open to allowing students within the Cross College Alliance (CCA) to participate, including those from the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM), State College of Florida (SCF) and Ringling College of Art and Design (RCAD).
A FAMILY AFFAIR
The Judith Kaye Lentini Endowed Scholarship Gives Back By Su Byron Establishing the Judith Kaye Lentini Endowed Scholarship hardly sounds like a love story. But that’s exactly what it is. Or more accurately—it’s two love stories. The first follows the story beats of a Hollywood rom-com. The second is about a family’s passionate support for educational opportunities for underserved communities. It was love at first sight—at least for John Lentini. He had just arrived in Sarasota to begin his first year at New College in 1969. Judy Kaye was there to greet him at the airport. A second-year New College student, she was part of the welcoming committee sent to greet new arrivals. While wrangling with luggage, John Lentini and Judy Kaye struck up a conversation. As John Lentini recalled, “I was studying ‘natural science with a pinch of social science and a pinch of humanities.’ Judy was mostly studying humanities, so we didn’t run into each other a lot in classes. I do remember she used to visit me and my roommate, Steven Linsner, and usually ended up cleaning our dorm. I guess we weren’t very neat.” After graduating in 1973, John Lentini accepted a position at the Atlanta-based Georgia Crime Laboratory. Judy Kaye continued her studies in graduate school and earned a master’s degree in cell biology from the University of Connecticut. Things got serious when they were driving from Atlanta to attend a New College reunion in 1976. “Judy basically proposed in the car,” John Lentini laughed. “I had asked her to marry me several times over the years. She told me that she’d been telling people that I was her fiancé and maybe it was time to finally tie the knot. I took her up on it.” Destiny was finally fulfilled. They were married and blessed with a son and daughter. Carrying on their families’ shared tradition, they named them “Julia” and “Jerald.” In the years that followed, John Lentini became a renowned forensic fire investigator. He is one of a handful of people in the nation to have been certified to conduct both fire scene investigations and fire debris analysis. Judy Kaye Lentini became deeply involved with public education and fought to enable access to education for underprivileged students in Marietta, Georgia, where the family lived.
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Judith and John Lentini
The two also passed on the values they’d learned at New College to their children—like a love of learning and independent thought and an awareness of social injustice. Julia Lentini studied comparative religion at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, and is now an attorney for CVS Health. Jerald Lentini attended New College, studied political science, and graduated in 2007 before earning his juris doctor degree from Georgetown Law. Judy Kaye Lentini passed away in 2010 at the age of 58 from lung cancer. The family grieved deeply and, in time, sought ways to keep her legacy alive. She had always supported education, and an endowment in her name would do the same. The family also agreed that New College had always been close to her heart— and would be an ideal beneficiary. The Lentinis’ plans to establish a solid legacy became a reality in late 2020 with the “Judith Kaye Lentini Endowed Scholarship.” The scholarship empowers underrepresented minority students in their pursuit of higher education at New College. “When we were kids, our mother always sent in extra fieldtrip money for the kids who otherwise might not be able to attend to ensure they got the same experiential learning opportunities the rest of the students did,” Julia Lentini said. “Education was her passion project and ensuring that students had equal access to the same education was her fervent hope. An educational scholarship helps continue her legacy.”
A MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR Dear Fellow Alumni, When you think about New College, who stands out in your mind as the person who embodies or exemplifies the New College ethos? Several come to mind. Sharon Matola was at New College when I was there. Sharon was a scientist, lion tamer, exotic dancer, circus member, and founder of the Belize Zoo. As a student at New College, Sharon and a group of natural science students prepared posters for a presentation at a scientific meeting on the east coast of Florida. The group, except for Sharon, drove together across the state. Sharon, ever the iconoclast, rode her bicycle across the state to participate. A flat tire prevented Sharon from attending the poster session, but the nat sci car picked her up on the way home. People speculated that she did not have enough money to repair her flat tire. Sharon was quintessentially New College. Like Sharon, New College alumni lead extraordinary lives. You are extraordinary. More than you may realize, your story can have a tremendous impact on New College and on the future students attending New College. Tell your New College story. Why did you choose New College? How has New College impacted your life and the lives of others? Tell your New College story to help New College thrive: • Give others a starting place to ask about New College, with a bumper sticker or T-shirt. • Join the mentorship network to help others make their next moves. • Recommend a high school student for admission. • Host an alumni event. • Post about your experiences on social media, on LinkedIn, in your professional organizations and at social gatherings. • Attend a New College event (in person or virtually). Connect with the New College Alumni Association on social media and share your New College story. Instagram: @ncfalum Facebook: @NewCollegeAlumniAssociation LinkedIn: New College Alumni Association Twitter: @NCF_Alumni If you would like us to share your story, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ALUMNI FOCUS The New College Foundation Board of Directors manages an endowment and a collection of funds that are invested for growth. The Foundation raises money for scholarships, professorships, research, travel and capital improvements that are not funded through other sources. While many nonalumni community members are members and officers, the Foundation Board includes many alumni: Raymonda Burgman, Ph.D., Treasurer, ’91 Sharon Ramey, Secretary, ’65 Charles H. Hamilton ’64 Mary Ruiz ’73 Glenn P. Hendrix ’76 Dan Stults ’77 Susan Burns ’76 Charlene Lenger ’78 Robert Turffs ’74 Charles F. Raeburn ’64 The New College Alumni Association Board of Directors engages alumni and represents their perspectives back to New College. The Board works with the Foundation to sponsor local events and reunions, participates in New College’s mentoring network, supports fundraising for the New College Fund, and reminds constituents about the best features and benefits of a New College education. Dan Stults, Chair, ’77-’81 Leslie Reinherz, Chair Elect, ’70-’74 Robert (Bob) Freedman, Governance Chair, ’83-’87 Kati Baruja ’96-’00 Wesley Beggs ’10-’14 Chad Bickerton ’05-’09 Benjamin Brown ’05-’09 Doug Christy ’96-’00 John Connelly ’76-’80 Eric Gottshall ’79-’84 Chelsea Hall ’02-’06 Maia Hinkle ’05-’07 Miles Iton ‘14-’18 Oliver Peckham ’08-’12 Rachel Scherer ’07-’11 Benjamin Stork ‘03-’09 Bob Watts ’73-’77 Glenn Whitehouse ’86-’90
—Dan Stults ’77, chair of the New College Alumni Association
JOIN THE NEW COLLEGE MENTORSHIP NETWORK AND ALUMNI DIRECTORY! Connect with classmates and serve as a mentor for current students. Visit ncf.wisr.io/signup to get started.
MASTERS OF DATA NEW COLLEGE LAUNCHES CUTTING-EDGE GRADUATE PROGRAM By Abby Weingarten ’00
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In the digital age, during a period of economic uncertainty and a global pandemic, the need for data scientists has never been greater. And just when the world wants them most (data science was among LinkedIn’s top 15 in-demand jobs for 2021), these emerging innovators are getting their start at New College of Florida. This fall, the College’s Master of Science in Applied Data Science program officially launched. The Board of Governors for the State University System of Florida approved the program back in March, nearly seven years after New College’s first graduate program was implemented. Students have already enrolled from across the globe, pursuing data science as a lucrative pathway to begin solving the planet’s biggest problems— from creating cancer treatments to improving transportation. “This is indeed exciting,” said Burcin Bozkaya, Ph.D., a New College professor of data science and the director of the Applied Data Science program. “The program has an increased focus on the ‘applied’ nature of data science. And one of the major points regarding the new program is a tighter collaboration and integration with the industry, as well as with the local community.” The new two-year program, which consists of 36 credit hours spanning four semesters, blends interdisciplinary theory and practical skill application through courses such as “Exploratory Data Analysis,” “Applied Machine Learning” and “Data Visualization.” Students gain experience applying both R and Python to develop solutions for corporate partners, all while cultivating the industry knowledge and technical skills to thrive after college. During the final semester, all students complete a paid, full-time practicum— either with one of New College’s
Burcin Bozkaya, Ph.D., a New College professor of data science and the director of the Applied Data Science program
partner companies or with another organization of their choice.
leads recruitment efforts for the program. Growth is her top priority.
NEW OPTIONS, MORE OPPORTUNITIES
“I’m excited for what this program means for prospective students,” said Washington, who collaborates with Data Science Program Coordinator Nikita Bagley. “Now, master’s candidates gain even more hands-on experience through workshops and an additional internship component.”
Last spring, an advisory board— comprised of local, regional, and national executives and professionals— was created to further strengthen existing partnerships between New College and the data science industry. A summer internship program, in addition to the usual spring practicum, was also added, along with industrial workshops, a seminar series, and project-based courses. The current program allows undergraduates at New College in any area of concentration to combine their primary major with a secondary focus in applied data science, and to earn both a data science bachelor of arts (B.A.) and master of science (M.S.) degree. “This 3+2 pathway allows any New College undergraduate in any area of concentration to complete their undergraduate and Applied Data Science Master of Science program in five years, instead of the usual six,” Bozkaya said. Tiffany Washington, New College’s director of graduate enrollment and undergraduate strategic initiatives,
WORLDWIDE APPEAL Marina Sanchez, an international student from Spain who arrived at New College this fall, is one of the first attendees to experience the program’s new features. She graduated from the Polytechnic University of Madrid in 2017 with a degree in telecommunication engineering and worked as a software engineer in the railway industry (developing security systems for trains). “During those four years working in the railway sector, I became aware of the amount of useful data that is generated daily (and hardly ever stored or analyzed), which could be used to improve these security systems,” Sanchez said. “This is how my interest in data science started emerging and I decided to continue my studies in the field.”
FEATURE Masters of Data
“I’m sure that this master’s degree will give me the opportunity to deeply discover this science and its transversal applications, and will help me to choose the path I want to follow in my professional career—one that really suits my concerns and values.” said Marina Sanchez, an international student from Spain who arrived at New College this fall. New College’s graduate program intrigued her, she said, because of its combination of theoretical and practical content, as well as its small class sizes and one-on-one attention from faculty. “I think that these small classes will give me the opportunity to know my colleagues and professors deeply, which I find essential for feeling like I’m part of a team where I can contribute and learn from others—feeling confident, supported and committed,” Sanchez said. Sanchez looks forward to working with real datasets, meeting experts in the sector and completing a practicum— all of which will provide her with a “solid basis of knowledge and skills” to develop her professional career, she said. “I’m sure that this master’s degree will give me the opportunity to deeply discover this science and its transversal applications, and will help me to choose the path I want to follow in my professional career—one that really suits my concerns and values,” Sanchez said. “Now that I have arrived at New College and have met my new colleagues, professors and staff, I am so excited to begin this challenging
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adventure with them. I have felt so welcome from the beginning, and I’m sure they will give me all the support and help I may need during this trip far from home.” Sanchez is one of three international students in the Fall 2021 cohort. Onethird of the cohort is female, and onequarter is from abroad (representing countries such as Turkey and Brazil). New College Professor of Mathematics Pat McDonald, Ph.D. initially designed the data science program alongside Associate Professor of Computer Science David Gillman, Ph.D. Bozkaya took the helm in August 2019. There are currently eight faculty members—all from various disciplines, including statistics, computer science, mathematics, political science and bioinformatics.
PRODUCING TOP TALENT The post-graduate success rate in the master’s program speaks for itself. “We are proud to say that our last cohort from the class of 2021 all secured full-time jobs in data science within one month of graduation,” Washington said. “Also, the median starting salary is $95,000 for data scientists.” Behind this success is the integration of corporate partners, such as Novetta and the Allen Institute for Brain Science, with the academic program. These partnerships provide master’s program graduates with a competitive edge as they progress into the healthcare, environmental, public service, city planning and tech automation sectors. “Our program is designed to prepare students to land their dream jobs as data scientists. It prepares students to use their experiences to chart their own career paths,” Washington said. “We are proud to see graduates successfully penetrating the sectors they desire to bring solutions to. This is why prospective students choose our program.”
BRIGHT INITIATIVES New College data science students and faculty researchers are regularly in the spotlight. In May 2020, for example, they partnered with Riff Analytics (a Boston, Massachusetts-based tech company, born from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab) to research ways to improve virtual communication in online platforms. This
Masters of Data FEATURE
“We are proud to say that our last cohort from the class of 2021 all secured full-time jobs in data science within one month of graduation. Also, the median starting salary is $95,000 for data scientists,” said Tiffany Washington, New College’s director of graduate enrollment and undergraduate strategic initiatives. was earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic, when teleconferences and other forms of remote exchanges were rapidly becoming the new norms. “Riff is a small company that analyzes group and team communications, and they try to find signals that they think are relevant for predicting group performance,” Bozkaya said. “For teams to be productive or reach their deliverables, they have to communicate effectively. This company is taking it to the digital communication world.” In essence, Riff Analytics (a 2017-founded startup run by CEO Beth Porter) uses vocal data to model human interactions in video meetings and text chats, showing how individuals and teams interact when they collaborate. Riff Metrics then give insights on engagement, dominance, influence, interruption and flow. Over time, people become more aware of their impact on others in team settings, and they use Riff feedback to change their behaviors and become more effective contributors. Porter was thrilled to find a team at New College to help enhance Riff’s model. “New College is like this little hidden gem in the university system. It’s not a brand name like MIT or Harvard, but it’s full of such high-quality, incredibly
intelligent people. Finding that pocket of excellence is just wonderful,” said Porter, who met Bozkaya while the two were both fellows in the MIT Media Lab. “At Riff, we engage in our own research, and we want to talk to (and work with) people who we think can add value to our grants.” Riff has its own proprietary video and text-based chat platforms (teaching and learning programs), and the company is hoping to become a leading fixture in the industry. Porter has been involved in the study and practice of remote team management for two decades and, when the pandemic came into the picture, her research became more relevant than ever. She knew Bozkaya would be a stellar collaborator, and he enlisted two of
his students for the research: Andrew Reilly and Austin Anderson, who have since graduated. “We wanted a smart, thoughtful group of people to work with so that we would have a good, robust, researchbacked, sound set of principles going into our product design,” Porter said. “Andrew had a background in sociology/psychology and Austin had a background in voice analysis, which is exactly what we do. Those people are really hard to find.” New College researchers helped develop new approaches for understanding the dynamics of human behavior in group conversations—such as online classrooms—for Riff to use in its products.
FEATURE Masters of Data
“Hopefully, it will have an impact,” Bozkaya said. “If this is becoming more the norm, I think there have to be studies developed like this one.” The New College Foundation was proud to provide grant funding for this initiative.
“I’m excited to see our data science program give our students opportunities in real-life projects which are at the forefront of the field,” said Mary Anne Young, the executive director of the Foundation. “The Riff Analytics gift makes possible the involvement of New College students in the cutting-edge telecommunication sphere. The Foundation is delighted to be involved in making such opportunities available.”
GLOBAL CITIZENS As the Applied Data Science program grows, the enrollment team is keeping
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its eyes on representation and recruiting diverse talent. Because of strategic initiatives aimed at bringing in global students, the 2020 and 2021 cohorts were more inclusive than they had ever been. “It’s quite refreshing to see our students be so different and work together so well,” Washington said. “Seeing students of different genders, backgrounds and areas of study come together and find similarities is such a breath of fresh air.” Diversifying the student body is a priority for New College as a whole. To this end, Washington has already started developing strategic advertising campaigns and coordinated personalized campus visits. She has found ways to reach students and alumni of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), Latinos in tech organizations, female technology groups and international students.
“We’re making sure our students are not only prepared to tackle what they need to learn in data science, but that they’re gaining the skills to work cohesively with a team of people who don’t necessarily look or think like them,” Washington said. “What we really value in our program is preparing students for the sector they wish to go into when they graduate.”
Manuel Lopez PROFILE
AT THE CROSSROADS OF MIND AND MYTH
By Su Byron
an “Introduction to World Religions” course at a large state college. With a few exceptions, my students took the course because it was a requirement. At New College, the students all want to be in my classroom. They don’t have to take my classes. For them, it’s entirely a matter of choice. As a result, they’re just so much more passionate. That’s something I deeply enjoy about the New College experience. As a teacher, what are some of your key lessons?
Manuel Lopez, Ph.D. is a scholar of Buddhism with a focus on the traditions of Tibet and other Himalayan regions. He teaches courses on Tibetan Buddhism, Buddhist contemplative systems, Hinduism and Asian religions as an associate professor of religion at New College. Lopez’s path to this knowledge began during his undergraduate studies at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain. It continued with his post-graduate and doctoral studies at the University of Virginia, where Jeffrey Hopkins (the acclaimed Tibetan Buddhist scholar and translator of many of the Dalai Lama’s Sanskrit writings) was one of his professors. As a result of this intense study, Lopez mastered a demanding specialty, but he never let it become a limitation. He is also interested in the role that religion has played in human culture throughout history, as well as in contemporary popular culture. He loves taking his New College students to the crossroads where mind and myth come together. After that, he lets them find their own path. What is your favorite thing about being a New College faculty member? I’d say it’s the freedom on the part of the faculty to teach whatever they want, and the freedom on the part of the students to take charge of their education and choose their own educational path. That’s one thing that initially attracted me to New College. I had previously taught
I try to open my students to very different worlds. As human beings, we all share many commonalities. I teach my students that our differences are just as important. American culture is so dominant. It’s easy to forget that other cultures don’t always think as we do. What originally drew you to the study of Tibetan Buddhism? I grew up in a very traditional Catholic household. My childhood faith didn’t have all the answers for me. Buddhism had answers to questions I never thought to ask. On a very basic level, it had very different concepts—or really, deconstructions—of self, reality and consciousness. I found that to be so fascinating and continued to pursue it. What do you hope your students will take away from your classes? Some students have gone on to further religious studies, but that’s not really my goal. When I looked back at my own college notebooks and papers, I noticed something interesting. I’d study one thing, then jump to something else. Medieval history led to this, led to that, and I was ultimately drawn to Asia, China, Tibet and my current field of study. I followed my curiosity and ultimately found my own path. I wish the same thing for my New College students. After taking one of my classes, I want my students to add my lessons to their intellectual backpacks. I hope it will nurture something important within them, and remain with them on their journeys through life.
PROFILE Antonia “Toni” Ginsberg-Klemmt
By Abby Weingarten ’00
Antonia “Toni” Ginsberg-Klemmt Earns Coveted 2021 Award College. GismoPower stands for “Garage/ Interior Storable Modular Photovoltaic on Wheels and Evcharger Rack.”
Antonia “Toni” Ginsberg-Klemmt is well-known for making waves. Whether the New College thesis student is captaining rowers on the waterfront or studying physics on campus, she has earned a reputation for being an unstoppable force. And in May, her brilliance was recognized nationally. Ginsberg-Klemmt was chosen out of thousands of applicants countrywide as one of this year’s OZY Genius Award recipients. The $10,000 annual honor is awarded to 10 college students pursuing “projects or ideas that have a positive impact on society.” Her patent-pending invention is called GismoPower—a mobile solar carport with an integrated electric vehicle charger that she designed for the New College campus. “This award has me believing in myself and my capacity to make a change for good in the world,” GinsbergKlemmt said. And Ginsberg-Klemmt is in good company. For example, National Youth Poet Laureate and 2021 inauguration poet Amanda Gorman was an OZY Genius Award winner in 2017. Ginsberg-Klemmt, who is pursuing physics and environmental studies at New College, was among 25 student finalists this year. Ginsberg-Klemmt’s invention was part of an Independent Study Project (ISP) during the January Interterm at New
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“I thought of this idea when I would go to charge my car at Heiser [science building on campus] and kept noticing how insanely hot it was to get in my car after it had been sitting outside in the sun for hours. I also noticed that there are no EV charging stations on the residential side of campus,” said Ginsberg-Klemmt, who grew up in Sarasota. “When my dad and I started brainstorming about creating a carport with solar panels, we realized that there would be several issues with it, including permitting for stationary structures, as well as what to do with the system in case of a hurricane. That’s when the idea of putting wheels on the system made the whole concept a game changer, because it turned the entire system into an appliance instead of a stationary structure.” Ginsberg-Klemmt hopes the new national recognition of GismoPower will help amplify her vision of global solar energy usage (and bring attention to New College’s renewable energy efforts). Innovating is a skill that Ginsberg-Klemmt has honed at New College. The state’s designated honors college is a learning environment that continually empowers her to set and reach lofty goals. New College also set the stage for another one of Ginsberg-Klemmt’s history-making feats. In March, she took New Crew SRQ—a rowing team she had founded on campus in September 2019—into the community, helping make it the first multi-school collegiate rowing team on the Florida Suncoast. “At New College, creativity and output is valued more than regurgitating academia. Students here are encouraged not just to dream big but to implement those dreams into reality,” she said. “From the day you come on campus, the message you get from this college is: Your ideas are valuable. Your contribution to your own learning process and society as a whole is valuable and worthy of attention and respect—whether you are a dancer or a scientist, a poet or a mathematician (or, in my case, a mermaid, a rower and a mad inventor).”
Maxeme Tuchman ’00 PROFILE
By Abby Weingarten ’00
Caribu CEO Maxeme Tuchman Creates Florida Jobs On March 14, 2020—the day after the United States declared a state of emergency due to COVID-19 and many Florida workers were put in employment limbo— Caribu Co-Founder and CEO Maxeme Tuchman ’00 was creating in-state jobs. Her Miami-based company “10x’d overnight,” the New College alumna said, and she had no idea she would end up having to triple her team over the next four months to meet the demand. Half of her employees now live in Florida. And, since Apple named Caribu a “Best of 2020” app (one of multiple recent accolades for the family-centric videocalling platform), Tuchman has been further boosting Miami’s place on the map as a global tech hub. “Tim Cook [CEO of Apple] tweeted about us creating jobs during a pandemic,” Tuchman said. “Most people were letting people go and we were on a hiring spree, so we were very fortunate.” Making this happen took resourcefulness. But Tuchman was born with the entrepreneurial drive. She was the first in her family to attend college, and she worked toward a bachelor’s degree in political science and international studies at New College. Today, her Caribu app—often described as “FaceTime meets Kindle,” which helps kids have virtual playdates with family members when they can’t be physically together—is a massive hit. So how did Tuchman have the foresight to help create such a valuable tool and catapult it to success? She owes some of her critical-thinking skills to New College. “The thing that New College teaches you is to really advocate for yourself, to think about your college career with a holistic approach, and to take risks,” Tuchman said. “I wouldn’t have had that agency elsewhere. I wouldn’t have taken as much ownership of my education elsewhere.” Since graduating from New College in 2004, Tuchman has worked in nearly every level of education—as a public school teacher, a consultant at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, an executive director of Teach For America, and a manager of education projects under former Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg and Chancellor of D.C. Public Schools Michelle Rhee.
Tuchman holds a master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and a second master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School. As a businessperson, Tuchman has been a winner or finalist in more than 30 pitch competitions, is the 59th Latina in the United States to raise more than $1 million in venture funding, and is the first Latinx founder (male or female) to raise $1 million in equity crowdfunding. She was even named one of Inc. Magazine’s “Top 100 Female Founders” in 2019. Caribu made Fast Company’s list of “World-Changing Ideas” in 2019, was one of TIME magazine’s “Best Inventions 2019,” was singled out as one of the “Top 10 EdTech Companies” in Forbes in 2018, and became one of the most innovative startups in the world by winning the 1776 Global Challenge Cup in 2018. “I’m so proud of what we’ve built from nothing. And I’m so grateful that what we’ve built is changing lives,” Tuchman said. “I’m thankful that I’m able to use my talents and skills and my resources to make other people’s lives better. That’s literally all I want to do.”
RECORD-BREAKING Fundraising Foundation Generates $9.1 Million for New College By Su Byron
The New College Foundation recently marked its most successful year of fundraising in the organization’s history—with $9.1 million in gifts and commitments for New College of Florida. An outpouring of support during the 2020-2021 fiscal year reflected New College’s stature as one of the nation’s leading liberal arts public colleges. “New College’s generous donors made this record-breaking year a reality—and we’re deeply grateful to all of them,” said MaryAnne Young, the executive director of the Foundation. “Our ardent supporters in the local community really made a huge impact for our students. They recognize New College’s importance in this community and beyond. Their unstinting response makes it possible for us to grow, serve more students, and create productive and inspired environments for learning.” This record-breaking level of support exemplifies an ongoing trend of significant philanthropic contributions to New College throughout the past five years. According to Young, fundraising has become a critical financial
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component at institutions of higher education across the nation. And, although New College is a public institution that receives generous funding from the state of Florida, a major portion of the funds this past year came from individual donors and foundations in the Sarasota-Manatee community. “Raising funds for student scholarships and student success remains a top priority at the New College Foundation. Our scholarship program closes the gap, and it makes our commitment to excellence possible,” Young said. “The gifts we receive today pave the way for our students’ future life and career success.” The Foundation also received significant contributions from alumni, faculty, parents and area foundations. “We’re especially grateful to the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation,” Young said. “They continue to unflinchingly support our scholarship and internship programs—especially those created for underserved students here in Sarasota and Manatee.”
Young noted that considerable funds were raised during the “O’Shea Formula” in May. This virtual event celebrated the accomplishments of New College’s outgoing president, Donal O’Shea, prior to his retirement in June. The Foundation established the Donal B. O’Shea Scholarship Endowment in honor of O’Shea’s legacy. The organization also launched a campaign to raise funds to refurbish the three student residence halls designed by the renowned architect I.M. Pei. What is the secret to this fundraising track record? “We’re so fortunate to have a hardworking, hands-on board of directors,” Young said. “They’re laserfocused on supporting New College’s students—and they’re determined to set them on the path to achievement, both academically and long after they graduate. Our board members passionately believe in New College’s mission and want to see it thrive far into the future.”
FOUNDATION FOCUS All initiatives are coordinated by the College’s Center for Career Engagement and Opportunity (CEO), which empowers students to achieve post-graduation success through a variety of initiatives, including personalized career coaching. The CEO also connects students with jobs, internships, graduate schools, and global scholarships and fellowships.
New College Foundation Raises $500,000 During the “O’Shea Formula” The New College community honored former president Donal O’Shea’s accomplishments and unwavering dedication to the College during “The O’Shea Formula,” a virtual event, hosted by the New College Foundation, on May 6. O’Shea, who retired in June, was feted by dozens of faculty, students, trustees, staff and friends. “This celebration of a beloved president showcased our deep appreciation for Dr. O’Shea’s outstanding leadership, his encouragement and support of collaborative initiatives, and his unwavering spirit of optimism,” said MaryAnne Young, the executive director of the Foundation. “He leaves New College in a strong position and with a legacy of authenticity and goodwill—one we will carry on through the years to come.” New College’s Internship Initiatives Receive Major Boost with Three Grants Grants from the Isermann Family Foundation ($25,000), the Cowles Charitable Trust ($1,500) and the Bishop Parker Foundation ($12,500) will support three valuable, high-impact student internship opportunities. New College’s Guaranteed Internship program enables under-resourced students to take advantage of internship opportunities that may otherwise be out of reach. New College’s Internship Travel Grant Fund encourages students to pursue competitive internships regionally and nationally by helping to ease the cost of engaging in such experiences. And the Bishop donation will fund valuable internship opportunities with selected nonprofit organizations in Manatee County.
Barancik Foundation Funds Writing Workshops for High School Seniors A $73,727 grant from Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation provided the funds for New College to launch an innovative, online college essay writing workshop for high school seniors. The funds will also provide free workshops to “train the trainers,” including high school teachers, librarians, and mentors. The workshops were developed by Jennifer Wells, Ph.D., New College’s writing director, and are offered on the Moodle platform (an online, open source platform). Community Foundation Grant Supports Mental Health Initiatives A $20,500 Equity and Access Grant through the James Franklin Warnell & Dorothy J. Warnell Fund and the McCauley-Brown Fund of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County will support mental health access for LGBTQ+ and other minority students by offering after-hours care through New College’s Counseling and Wellness Center.
Class Notes 1960s
Carol Davis ’64 I am now retired, having worked as an intelligence analyst for the federal government (Department of Defense) for about 35 years. At the end of my career, I obtained a position in the National Security Agency’s Center for Cryptologic History. While there, I researched and wrote a classified study on an early Cold War intelligence effort, which successfully targeted key Soviet industries and weapons developments. The study, entitled Candle in the Dark, received an award and was deemed important enough to partially declassify. This version of the study is available to the public, either in hard copy or online, and can be accessed here: nsa.gov/ about/cryptologic-heritage/historicalfigures-publications/publications/ coldwar. My husband and I retired to western North Carolina a few years ago and are happily living in the Blue Ridge foothills. We’re weathering the pandemic. I remain a lifelong reader and student. My interest in all things Russian—a love affair that began in earnest during my college years—is undiminished.
David Allen ’65 Since 2001, I have written the following published books: Getting Things Done: The Art of StressFree Productivity, Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Work and Life, Making It All Work: Winning at the Game of Work and the Business of Life, Getting Things Done for Teens, and The Getting Things Done Workbook. I have now created and support a network of certified trainers and coaches, who are teaching and implementing the methodology described in Getting Things Done (or known globally as GTD) in 90 countries. My wife, Kathryn, and I (and our two King Charles Spaniels) live in Amsterdam.
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Richard Ogburn ’65 My wife and I recently moved into a two-bedroom, single-family home in Plantation, Florida, very close to the townhouse where we lived for the previous 31 years. Our son, Guma, and his family live nearby. We have all been fully vaccinated except for our grandson, Ben, who is too young (we are hopeful that vaccinations of young children will be authorized soon). I am mostly retired, but continue to work as a consultant for the South Florida Regional Planning Council, where I was employed for 25 years until I retired in 2014. I am currently working on a project with the Miami-Dade County Transportation Planning Organization, analyzing transit and traffic data for 2019 and 2020 in an attempt to identify trends resulting from the pandemic that might affect medium- and long-term impacts on transit and traffic demand in the county. My wife and I usually spend part of each year in Brazil, where we enjoy visiting with her family and our friends. However, since returning from Brazil in March 2020, we have not been able to go back due to the ongoing status of the pandemic response in that country. Robert Marshman ’68 I retired 2½ years ago from a rewarding career as the clinical director for the University of California, San Diego, Counseling and Psychological Services. I stay busy doing some professional writing and supervising the Postdoctoral Psychology Residents (of course, via Zoom). I also try to stay active by biking and hiking at Torrey Pines State Park near my home. I have two young adult children (a man and a woman) and am helping them negotiate through the pandemic. One is in college at UC Santa Cruz and one graduated two years ago from UC Riverside. And I am lucky enough to have been married to my wonderful partner/wife/spouse, Wendy, for 28 years. I was sorry to read in the last Nimbus that Diane Inge ’67 passed away. She was in my immediate social group when I was at New College. It’s a reminder, at my age, to try to enjoy every moment that I have left. I would like to hear from anyone who wishes to contact me from my days at New College. I will give my publicly listed landline: 858-481-9650.
A. Vernon Woodworth ’70 Programming for Health and Wellbeing in Architecture, a collection of essays on new approaches to human and ecological health, will be published by Routledge in November 2021. This grew out of a course that I teach at the Boston Architectural College. I co-edited and wrote several chapters. I expect it to sell more units than Jono’s Cabbage Palm opus.
Robert Brunger ’71 (Robbie) has never argued a case before the Supreme Court, nor was he ever appointed an ambassador to some faraway land. He has not been awarded any prestigious fellowships, and he never got around to writing the great American novel (despite all that brave talk in the Palm Court ever so long ago). He never pushed back the frontiers of scientific knowledge or envisioned new cutting-edge paradigms about human understanding either, and not a single one of his poems has ever been published in a small-but-influential literary journal. In fact, he hasn’t really done anything at all to merit mention in the illustrious Nimbus, other than to note that he is alive and well and living in Tallahassee exactly half a century after his matriculation at New College. You can readily identify him—he’s the one driving the Prius with the really cool license plate!
Robert Stillman ’71 Christian Identity, Piety, and Politics in Early Modern England was published by the University of Notre Dame Press on July 15, 2021. Here is more information about the book: undpress. nd.edu/9780268200411/christianidentity-piety-and-politics-in-earlymodern-england. If you would like to consider the book for possible review, I am happy to ship a print review copy to your remote workstation. I would also be happy to email a digital review copy to your reviewer’s attention. Glen Merzer ’74 My new book launched on August 20. It’s called Food is Climate: A Response to Al Gore, Bill Gates, Paul Hawken, and the Conventional Narrative on Climate Change. The book makes the case that we have been misled on the leading cause of climate change. I am a member of the class of 1974. My new website, glenmerzer.com, was designed by Sara Graham, class of 1994.
Susan Rutherford ’88 I’ve been doing stormwater management and green infrastructure work with the City of Atlanta for a couple of decades now. I was delighted to be reacquainted with Vic Engel (’85? ’86?) when I recognized his name on a recent Zoom call with the U.S. Geological Survey! Vic is the director of the USGS South Atlantic Water Science Center. We first met when I volunteered to be his field research assistant for his thesis project. I followed him waist-deep into the swamps of Myakka State Park, doing habitat inventories. We thought it was great that we both ended up working on water all these years later.
Bill Eidtson ’92 was recently promoted to assistant professor of medical education at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, where he has been director of learning support and accessibility services since 2016. Kati Baruja ’96 Kati; her wife, Esther; and son, Tekove; have been a foreign service family for about four years now. They’ve recently arrived at their newest posting in Tel Aviv, Israel, and would love to know if there are any other alumni in the area (anywhere in neighboring countries whatsoever).
Shelly Wyatt ’84 was recently promoted to associate instructional designer. She also recently coauthored a journal article on the use of personalized adapting learning to prepare students for their internships [Redmon, M., Wyatt, S., & Still, C. (June 2021)] entitled Using Personalized Adaptive Learning to Promote IndustrySpecific Language Skills in Support of Spanish Internship Students in the Global Business Languages Journal (doi.org/10.4079/gbl.v21.6).
Kristin Wainwright ’00 Kristin Masel Wainwright graduated in May 2021 with her Ph.D. from Duke University and began as a multiple sclerosis clinical scientist at VeraSci in Durham, North Carolina. Aaron Philips ’05 I recently graduated cum laude from a master’s of law program, specializing in sustainable development, at the University of Milan (Università degli studi di Milano), with the maximum possible final score of 110/110. I also participated in two international moot court competitions: the Frankfurt Investment Arbitration Moot Court in 2019, and the Pax Moot Court in Antwerp and Brussels in 2020. My graduate thesis considered efforts to prohibit ecocide in national and international legal contexts. Jessica Matthews ’09 Since graduating from NCF in 2013, I attended the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, where I graduated with my M.D. and completed the Health Law pathways of emphasis. After that, I moved to Denver for my intern year in internal medicine. Following that, I moved to Memphis, where I graduated in 2021 and became a board-eligible internal medicine physician. I’m currently completing a one-year fellowship program in addiction medicine, where I mainly treat opioid and alcohol abuse disorder with medication-assisted therapies.
2010s Sara Cassidy ’98 Gene Cassidy (CO ‘98) and I have been married for 12 years. We earned Ph.D.s from the University of Michigan (go Blue!) in 2015 and 2013, respectively. In true NCF fashion, we also earned master’s degrees from Mizzou and UVA at some point in-between. We have two kids, 10 and four years old. We’ve lived in Connecticut for the past six years and will probably stay here a while. If you are in New England, we have a spare bedroom and we’d love to see you!
Grant Brewer ’17 My occupation is my class note! After graduating this past May, I have already secured a local full-time job in my dream field— development (otherwise known as fundraising). All Faiths Food Bank is an amazing organization that has given so much to our community, and my heart is full knowing that I get to give back in my career. I also work with two other New College alumni, Carolina Shin ’16 and Sebastian Plank ’20.
In Memoriam Sharon Matola ’78 Before Sharon Matola was dubbed “the Jane Goodall of jaguars” and internationally known for her conservation work at the scrappy-yet-serious zoo she founded in Belize, she had joined a Mexican circus, donning a feather headdress as an exotic dancer and doubling as a lion tamer. Before that, she was a biology student with a predilection for fungi. And before that, she was a jungle-trained member of the Air Force. She began life in Baltimore, Maryland, where she lovingly tended her pet worms and liberated live frogs from her school’s biology lab because she could not bear to see them dissected. She was “more to the animal side of the world than the human side,” her brother, Stephen Matola, said in an interview. Ms. Matola seemed to find her purpose in Belize—the tiny Central American country where she landed four decades ago and where she died on March 21 at age 66. In 1983, on a shoestring and a whim, Ms. Matola gathered a minor menagerie of native animals and founded the Belize Zoo—an institution that helped awaken national pride in the country’s ecological treasures and has been celebrated around the world as a model of creative conservation.
NEW COLLEGE OF FLORIDA
Dennis F. Saver, M.D. ’69 Indian River County suffered a great loss with the death of Dr. Saver on July 21. He was 68. Raised in Denver, Colorado, Dr. Saver was a consummate outdoorsman—first as an Eagle Scout and then as a lifelong hiker, camper and backpacker. A fitness enthusiast, Dr. Saver earned a fourth-degree black belt in jiu-jitsu and karate, volunteered as a tai chi instructor for two decades, and was regularly spotted jogging around his neighborhood. Dr. Saver graduated from New College and attended Medical College of Pennsylvania, where he nurtured a lifelong interest in medical ethics. Dr. Saver would go on to chair the Ethics Committee at the Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital for 20 years and serve as the regional medical director for bioethics at the Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital. John Moore We were saddened to learn that retired classics professor John Moore passed away at his home in North Carolina in June. Our condolences go out to his wife and New College alum, Olga Ronay, and their entire family.
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REUNION 2022 MARCH 11-12 Welcome home. Join us March 11-12, 2022 to celebrate with friends, faculty and staff! Like us on the New College Alumni Association Facebook page for the most current reunion updates. Registration information coming soon! ncf.edu/reunion
Reunion 2022 Co-Chairs Leslie Reinherz ‘70 Ben Stork ‘03