#87 FALL 2020
A publication of New College of Florida
AGENTS OF CHANGE Activist Alumni Make Their Mark on the World
Lessons in Resilience
How New College Adapted to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Editorial Staff Abby Weingarten Editor/Writer Kim McDonald Associate Director Creative Services Manager 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
Agents of Change
Activist Alumni Make Their Mark on the World
NCAA Board of Directors Executive Committee Chair – Steve Jacobson ’71 Chair-Elect – Dan Stults ’77 Governance Chair – Chad Bickerton ’05 Immediate Past Chair – Cindy Hill ’89
Giulia Heyward ’14 Tate Twinam ’06 Ginelle Swan ’18 Diego Villada
16 Lessons in Resilience How New College Adapted to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Also inside this issue: On Campus > 1 Op Ed > 5 In the Community > 13 Foundation Focus > 25 Class Notes > 26
Wesley Beggs ’10 Robert Bilott ’83 Hazel Bradford ’75 Benjamin Brown ’05 Doug Christy ’96 John Connelly ’76 Robert Freedman ’83 Eric Gottshall ’79 Chelsea Hall ’02 Miles Iton ’14 Oliver Peckham ’08 Gera Peoples ’94 Leslie Reinherz ’70 Benjamin Stork ’03 New College Leadership Donal O’Shea, 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
Celebrating 60 Years This year marks the 60th anniversary of New College’s founding in 1960. Here’s to the decades and memories ahead as we continue to grow stronger as a campus community.
Sherman Named Provost; New Staff Join Academic Affairs uzanne Sherman Ph.D., was appointed provost and vice president of academic affairs on October 2. She is an associate professor of chemistry who joined the New College faculty in 1989, following a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University. Sherman served as associate provost from 2018 to 2020, and as chair of the faculty from 2013 to 2016. She replaces Barbara Feldman, Ph.D., who served as New College’s provost for the past three years. Sherman holds a bachelor of science degree from the State University of New York at Albany and her Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs Julie Morris retired in June after spending the past 50 years at New College as a student, an instructor and an administrator. After graduating from New College in 1974, she worked as an environmental consultant and adjunct instructor, and co-coordinated the New College Environmental Studies Program from 1981 to 2002. From 2003 to 2020, Morris worked in the Provost’s Office, first as assistant to the provost and then as the assistant vice president of academic affairs. Kimberly Grainger, J.D., M.P.H., who succeeded Morris as the assistant vice president for academic administration, came to New College in August from North Carolina Central University, where she served as an associate dean of pipeline
and non-juris doctor programs, an associate dean of accreditation, and a professor of law. Emily Heffernan, Ph.D., associate professor of biology and environmental studies, was named interim dean of studies. A New College alumna, Heffernan brings to the position a wealth of thoughtful teaching and advising experience, and administrative experience both at New College and the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Two new part-time positions were created recently in the Provost’s Office with the appointments of Frank Alcock, Ph.D., as director of academic initiatives and special projects; and Maneesha Lal, Ph.D., as associate director of faculty development. Alcock is an associate professor of political science who has taught at New College since 2003. Lal holds a dual role with the New College Foundation as the associate director of corporate and private foundation relations.
Two Novo Collegians Receive Fulbright Awards wo New College thesis students were awarded Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Awards this year. In January, Jacob Wentz will be traveling to Belgium, and Grace Hamilton will go to Taiwan. There were also five semifinalists in 2020: Sydney Clingo, Mairead Howley, Robyn McCartan, Emma Todd and Kaeli Williams. Sponsored by the United States Department of State, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program inspires scholars to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide. The program awards about 2,000 grants annually in all fields of study, and operates in more than 140 countries. Approximately $25,000 in support is offered per award, which covers travel, health insurance and a stipend (based on the cost of living in the host country). Since 1968, a total of 85 New College students have received Fulbright scholarships (this includes Hamilton and Wentz). The top years for Fulbright recipients at New College were 2009 (with eight students), 2010 (with seven) and 2011 (with eight). Hamilton pursued an East Asian studies/Chinese area of concentration and her thesis was entitled Female Community Power in the Development of the Chinese Boys’ Love Genre. She will be teaching elementary and middle school
students in Taiwan, and further pursuing her study of Mandarin. “I’ve studied Mandarin for the past four years at New College, and now I get to travel to Taiwan and use my skills to share my culture and learn more about theirs,” said Hamilton, whose adviser was Jing Zhang, Ph.D., associate professor of Chinese language and culture. “Fulbright’s goal of mutual understanding is very important to me as an individual.” Wentz pursued an international and area studies/economics area of concentration, and his adviser was Amy Reid, Ph.D., professor of French language and literature. Wentz’s thesis was entitled Urbanization and the Spread of HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Case Study of Lagos, Nigeria, and Johannesburg, South Africa. The Fulbright position in Belgium will help Wentz develop his skills in facilitating international connection through language. “I dream of developing a career in international development, foreign service or global journalism. As the nerve center for the European Union, NATO and transatlantic diplomacy, Belgium will offer me the opportunity to be immersed in a diverse international community central to my goals,” Wentz said. “As a first-generation, low-income student, I am so excited to have an opportunity to see more of the world and chase my dreams.”
New College Ranks High in Multiple Renowned Guides ew College was named a standout institution in The Princeton Review’s The Best 386 Colleges guide for 2021 (for the 29th year in a row). Since 1992—the inaugural publication year of the guide— New College has been showcased among the nation’s most esteemed colleges for undergraduate academics. The Princeton Review highlights schools that its editors recommend to college applicants and their parents, and only about 14 percent of America’s 2,800 four-year colleges are featured in the book. The Washington Monthly’s 2020 College Guide and Rankings also listed New College as #2 (up from #3 last year) among public liberal arts colleges. New College was also
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ranked #32 overall among “four-year liberal arts colleges,” up from #53 last year. Known as “the socially conscious alternative to the U.S. News & World Report,” The Washington Monthly ranks colleges on how well they serve the country—by recruiting and graduating non-wealthy students, encouraging student activism, and producing research and technologies that create high-paying jobs related to issues like climate change. And in the U.S. News & World Report “2021 Best Colleges” rankings, New College retained its #6 ranking among the nation’s top public liberal arts colleges while rising 18 spots to #84 among all national liberal arts colleges.
Damon Wade Named VP for Enrollment Management romoting a college he believes in and watching it grow is incredibly rewarding work for Damon Wade, Ph.D., who became New College’s vice president for enrollment management in the fall. Wade relocated from his previous post as associate dean for student services and enrollment management at the University of Virginia (UVA) School of Continuing and Professional Studies, where he had worked since 2017. “I’m a firm believer in the liberal arts model, and I know my experience will help New College grow,” said Wade. “It’s important to the state that New College increases its presence and enrollment, and there are lots of opportunities to really sell New College as a destination.”
Selling an institution is something Wade has already done masterfully. During his three years at UVA, he oversaw a 124 percent increase in student enrollment. Before that, as vice president for institutional effectiveness and enrollment management at Grambling State University, Wade increased the freshman-to-sophomore retention rate from 68 percent to 75 percent (and more than doubled the size of the freshman class).
Two Boren Scholars Make History This Year at New College or the first time in the 21st century, New College students have been awarded coveted Boren Scholarships. It has been more than two decades since any Novo Collegians have earned this prestigious designation (and it has only happened twice before—once in 1995 and a second time in 1998). Thesis student Isabella Cibelli DuTerroil and second-year Alana Swartz are this year’s recipients. They will receive funding to study a critical language—Turkish and Japanese, respectively—and work for at least one year in the public service field, in government positions critical to United States national security. A total of 784 undergraduate students applied for the Boren Scholarship this year. Swartz and DuTerroil will begin their work by March 2021, depending on travel restrictions due to the pandemic. Swartz is currently studying marine biology and East Asian studies, working alongside adviser Jing Zhang, Ph.D., associate professor of Chinese language and culture. Swartz applied to the Boren program to study abroad in Japan for a year, hoping to gain an understanding of Japanese environmental policies and approaches to scientific research. She aspires to work for the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs while specializing in United States-Japan
oceanic policies and protection projects. “What excites me most about being chosen for this scholarship is the opportunity that I now have to study abroad in Japan and then later pursue a career that is incredibly meaningful to me. I have always loved Japanese language and culture, and I look forward to my study abroad experience with much anticipation,” Swartz said. “I have been incredibly lucky to attend a school as wonderful as New College. I have had amazing professors who have helped nourish my desire to learn and encouraged my own academic interests.” DuTerroil is pursuing a general studies area of concentration and her adviser is Uzi Baram, Ph.D., professor of anthropology. Her thesis is entitled Globalized Wedding Traditions of Contemporary Istanbul’s Urban Elite. She hopes the Boren Scholarship will help her not only become proficient in the Turkish language but also prepare her for a potential career with the United States Department of State. “I am so excited to spend four months in Azerbaijan, becoming immersed in the culture and the language,” DuTerroil said. “My passion for learning about other cultures is just as strong as my passion for traveling, so going to Azerbaijan will mean a new intellectual adventure, a step forward in my career aspirations, and a means of satisfying my wanderlust.”
What’s Happening ORIENTATION 2020
In August, New College welcomed students to the fall 2020 semester “social distancing-style” (staying six feet apart and wearing masks). The year started off with a hybrid learning model—with some students taking in-person classes, and others choosing a remote setup or a mix of both options. Novo Collegians adapted to a whole new way of living and learning.
The sixth cohort of students for New College’s data science graduate program arrived this fall. They came from all over the world. This marks the largest cohort yet in the history of the program. To learn more, visit ncf.edu/graduate-program.
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LATINX HERITAGE MONTH
Evolving to fit the era, New College’s annual Latinx Heritage Month was not an in-person celebration in the fall. Virtual art exhibits, streaming concerts, dances and group discussions instead took center stage as the community navigated social-distancing norms.
Towards a More Inclusive New College BY NEW CO LLEGE PRESID E N T D O N AL O’SH E A
In a world rattled by a pandemic and protest, we have a choice: To stay silent and muddle on, or to join the conversation and change. At New College, we choose the latter. Because the measure of a society is how it treats its most vulnerable. Events this year—from the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, to the mass deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic—have lit up the deep injustices in this country. We mourn the Black lives cut short—whether it be from police brutality directed towards Brown and Black persons, or from unequal educational and healthcare access for Blacks and other marginalized groups. None of us can live full lives knowing that some of us are being oppressed. We must humbly look inward and commit to being part of positive societal change. At New College, we condemn systemic racism and we are taking action to become an antiracist institution. We stand with our Black staff, students, faculty and alumni, while reflecting on the many ways we have fallen short. We are working together to create a better, more culturally and socially inclusive community. As we move forward, we will add classes to our curriculum that deal with bias, power structures and histories of marginalized people. We will work to have faculty and staff members that are as diverse as the students we hope to attract. We will work to prepare students for a world in which they may encounter bias and other impediments to advancement. There is so much more to be done. But our administration—from my cabinet to the New College Board of Trustees—is dedicated to engaging in this important work. We know that New College, like this country, was founded on an idea: that all persons are created equal. In 1959, the Board of Home Missions (BHM) of the Congregational and Christian Churches (later renamed the United Church of Christ) provided the initial funding to establish a four-year liberal arts college in Sarasota that would become New College. The church stipulated that the “college shall be open to all students qualified for its academic program. Race, creed, national origin, or cultural status shall not be considered as a basis for denial of admission.” We will continue to remain true to these values. We believe in the power of knowledge and ideas to change our world: in the natural and mathematical sciences to extend our reach and to fight disease; in the social sciences to examine and better our institutions; and in the humanities and arts to help us understand one another and the human condition. We also believe in speaking out. The events of 2020 have exposed the results of a long legacy of racism and the cracks in our society. To borrow the words of Bob Dylan’s Canadian counterpart, the late Leonard Cohen, we can make sure that those cracks let the light get in. We look forward to forging brighter days together.
2018 commencement speakers Giulia Heyward, Miles Iton, and Leen Al-Fatafta.
Agents of Change Activist Alumni Make Their Mark on the World BY A B BY W E I N G A RT E N ’0 0
Maya Lilly’s one-woman show about climate change, Still Time, was—in many aspects— ahead of its time 17 years ago. So was its creator. A visionary artist and activist who transferred to New College from The Juilliard School, Lilly ’98 performed her theatrical thesis in the College Hall Music Room in 2003. The piece was a profound call to action on the environmental crisis—which, alongside racial and social justice in America—has become the foundation of Lilly’s work as a producer, director and actress in TV, film and theater. 6
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In 2020—as global warming led to unparalleled natural disasters, and the COVID-19 pandemic and civil rights protests erupted simultaneously—everything Lilly had been working toward seemed to come full circle. The interconnected causes she had devoted nearly two decades to amplifying became the focal points of the cultural conversation. “From the time I learned about climate change, I wasn’t like a lot of people who wouldn’t do anything about it; for whatever reason, my spirit is not like that. My spirit is like, ‘This is the reason I’m here—to do something,’” said Lilly, who earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and theater at New College, and the Morris K. Udall Undergraduate Scholarship for turning theater into activism. “For me, it felt almost prescient that this issue was going to hit a crisis point in my lifetime. It felt like I had the onus of responsibility to make people act on it.” Lilly has spent her life inspiring people to act. She worked for 12 years in California as a film, TV and digital media
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producer, specializing in activist documentary-style storytelling. She is currently a producer for The YEARS Project—an Emmy award-winning, multimedia effort that boasts the largest digital following for topics related to the climate crisis (with a reach of 395 million and 1 billion content views). Recently, Lilly produced Amazon’s first theatrically-distributed documentary and Sundance 2018 opening documentary, Generation Wealth, with director Lauren Greenfield (The Queen of Versailles and the Always Like a Girl commercial); as well as RESIST (Pulse Films/VICE) and Finding Justice (BET/Seven Bucks Productions). The latter two series both examined how communities of color are fighting systemic injustices. While Lilly was producing conscious media for various outlets, she was compiling her own creative pieces. In 2005, Lilly (who has familial roots in Jamaica, Pakistan, Cuba, China, Ireland and Germany) wrote an original one-woman show called Mixed—a play based on interviews with people who identified as mixed-race. Lilly portrayed all of the nine characters and toured with the award-winning show for more than a decade. The most recent Mixed performance was in 2019. Then 2020 came, the pandemic began impacting America, and Lilly—who had already been working with The YEARS Project—saw an opportunity to discuss her take on it (something she had touched on in Still Time at New College). “When the pandemic hit, we released
a video that I wrote for The YEARS Project about deforestation being the root cause of this pandemic. When you deforest an area, it clears land that was never clear, so it allows more sunlight to hit the floor of that land. That heats up the land and it creates the perfect breeding ground for mosquitos (who already had an intrinsic, symbiotic relationship with the animals in that
Maya Lilly ’98
forest),” Lilly said. “So then you have people living closer to those cleared areas, and that can transfer those diseases more readily because the mosquitos have the perfect habitat to breed. So, literally, deforestation is the root cause of this pandemic. People are saying it’s the wet market but, under the wet market and the meat system is this deforesting of these huge swaths of land
“When we arrived for our first days at New College, many of us came still engrossed in our own worlds, reaching outwards in search of so much: freedom, opportunity, enlightenment, and someone who understands your pursuit of ecstatic wonder.”—Iton, 2018 commencement speech
Miles Iton ’14 wearing Xobei, a multiplatform creative design brand from alum Cheikhou Kane ’14.
that we need as a carbon sync for the planet.” Lilly has been trying to get the public to wake up to this irrefutable link for what feels like forever. The same is true about human rights and racial issues. “You can’t talk about the climate crisis without talking about race. And I intrinsically knew that years ago because people of color were facing the biggest burdens of pollution (neighborhoods were specifically being targeted as sacrifice zones by the fossil fuel industry),” Lilly said. “I knew people of color were being totally sidelined.” So Lilly worked with Robert Greenwall’s company, Brave New Films, to shine a light on the rights of undocumented immigrants, indigenous people and communities of color. She traveled to Florida to talk about “Stand Your Ground” laws, the killing of Trayvon Martin and the work of The Dream Defenders. She went to Minneapolis to talk about police brutality and the murders of unarmed Black men, and interviewed the families of Jamar Clark and Philando Castile. “I felt like we’d never get the climate crisis straight if we didn’t get race
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straight in this country, because all of it was built on an extraction of economic inequality,” Lilly said. “All of this is built on how people are disposable.” In hopes of continuing to open eyes and minds to these realities, Lilly has been working on a side project for the past six years about potentially turning The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk (an environmental cult classic book) into a TV program. The concept, Lilly said, has never been more relevant. “Starhawk offers a vision of dystopia and what happens when society breaks down because of the lack of regard for the environment,” Lilly said. “It was also set during a pandemic. But it offers a vision of hope amid the darkness.” That aligns with Lilly’s own vision and always has. It was the message behind Still Time. It has been her message her whole life. It is her. “Every day, I’m steeped in nine hours of the latest climate science. I’m fully aware, every day, of how seas are rising, how fast the arctic is melting and how much deforestation is happening,” Lilly said. “So I have to take space for myself and be in nature, because nature is the king gangster, the queen of all things.
Being in nature is the salve that reminds me of why this fight is so important. This is the fight of our lives.”
“The Audacity to Dream of a Different World”
New College alumni like Lilly are no strangers to campaigning for what is just, whether that is racial equality or environmental responsibility, or both (or much more). This commitment to activism was especially well-articulated at the New College commencement ceremony in May 2018, when three young graduates delivered an address that called the campus—and the country—to action. Leen Al-Fatafta, Giulia Heyward and Miles Iton spoke in solidarity about being “agents of change” during their years as undergraduates—ride-sharing to human rights protests in the Sarasota streets, advocating for their underrepresented peers, and building social communities for students of color. “Activism is not easy and—more often than not—activism is thankless. But we, class of 2018, did it anyway,” the speakers told the crowd. “It’s about
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For Bree Nieves and Kailah Santos ’14, New College was an oasis of creative self-discovery— where Black and Brown students came together in a cohort that valued activism and art. The alumnae, who graduated in 2018, hope to return to campus soon to shoot parts of the film, Comet: A Slice of Life Short Film, set in Panhandle Florida. It is a story of multiculturalism and identity, and New College plays an integral role in the film’s journey. “There aren’t many young women of color who are filmmakers working together right now, and it’s pretty rare to get a story written like the one we’ve written,” said Nieves, the film’s Filipina and Afro-Latinx writer/director (Santos, the writer/ producer, is Puerto Rican). “As a child from a mixed-race family, I have worked to critically think about my experiences as a multicultural, secondgeneration woman of color within the American culture.” Nieves’ story is told in the film through the lens of Felí, a 17-year-old mixed-race Catholic girl who is navigating life in the predominantly white Bible belt of North Florida. The character of Leo, portrayed by Miles Iton ’14, plays a New College student who encourages Felí to pursue a liberal arts education (and Felí finds herself in the process). Bree Nieves (top) and Kailah Santos ’14 “We would love to shoot at New College because it’s really the catalyst for these characters’ motivations in the film,” Nieves said. “It’s almost like we would be creating a universe where the characters could grow into who they are (and we could show these iconic spaces that are seared into our memories, like the bike ride over the bay or Caples campus).” Nieves and Santos filmed scenes on location in the Florida panhandle throughout the summer. Shooting at New College—when they reach that stage in the filming process—will allow them to delve further into the tale of Felí so she can grow into her character as a college-aged woman (and it will help Nieves and Santos grow Comet from a short to a feature film or an episodic TV series). Three friends from the 2018 graduating class at New College are also involved in the project: Iton, Paul Loriston and Giulia Heyward. “It’s pretty much only people of color who are on crew and on camera,” Nieves said. “These are all friends we met at New College, and we ended up tribal in a sense.” Nieves, who is from Destin, graduated from New College with a bachelor’s degree in religion and philosophy (with concentrations in sociology and performative arts). She is currently earning a master’s degree in film and TV directing from the MetFilm School in London, England. Comet will be her first short film directing debut, and it will be shown at MetFilm for her diploma as a master’s-level director. A nod to New College is written right into the Comet film statement. “Academic institutions function as a space for people to find themselves personally and professionally. New College has been that space,” Nieves wrote. “New College was a saving grace for our humanistic and freedom-seeking sensibilities. It is the epitome of the power a liberal institution gives young people to explore several subjects at once without our intellectual worth being defined by numbers.”
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refusing to surrender to a broken social order that continues to keep us from our dignified humanity. So really, it’s about faith. It’s about believing that the ills of this world are not without end, because a different world is not only possible, it’s already in the making.” Those words have echoed through the New College extended community ever since, and they reached a crescendo in 2020. The killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor further
exposed the ongoing systemic racism and oppression in America, while Black and Brown populations suffered disproportionately from the effects of the pandemic. It was everything the students had rallied against, as the “broken social order” they described revealed itself more clearly than ever. And, as it all unfolded, New College alumni—in every corner of America— audaciously rose. Al-Fatafta, Iton and Heyward had never stopped being vocal; all three of
In the fall of 2019, a vision for a more inclusive campus culture at New College began to crystallize. The idea was to create an environment that would be more welcoming of all genders, races and identities—and to make New College a place that could successfully recruit (and retain) a more diverse, representative family. It was a community-wide initiative, spearheaded by Bill Woodson, Ph.D. (New College’s dean of outreach and engagement, and chief diversity and inclusion officer); and leveraged by Loretta Shields, assistant vice president of human resources. New training platforms were created. Townhalls were held. And dialogue was encouraged. “We wanted to create a space where people could ask questions, where we could have small group discussions around perceptions and values and experiences,” said Woodson, who had reviewed 2016-2017 campus climate surveys that showed New College’s areas of much-needed improvement. “It’s been kind of missing from the New College ethos, this idea that we are all New College (that we’re all part of this community). We’re trying to capture that magic and bottle it.” Shields also believed the high levels of turnover within the faculty and staff at New College needed to be addressed. Too many employees were indicating that the campus “was more of a callout climate” rather than a fully tolerant workplace, she said. “We decided to try and bring people together, and really talk about giving people a voice and having an opportunity to be heard,” Shields said. “Inclusion means accepting everyone at face value for who they are, for whatever it is they believe
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them have engaged in their own forms of activism since they graduated. Iton, a Fulbright scholar who studied in Taiwan, created and directed a film called Sincerely, The Black Kids in 2018 that chronicled the challenges young Black leaders face in academia. He is now developing a social enterprise through the Walton Institute that gives communities of color better access to the legal cannabis industry; and he will be relaunching his hip-hop-based English teaching startup, Lo-Fi
in, and giving them a voice. That can be achieved by training and engaging in open dialogue.” To this end, Woodson began chairing the Committee on Campus Climate and Culture (4C), and (along with President Donal O’Shea) co-hosted townhall meetings in October and November 2019 for faculty, staff and students. The community engaged in locating consultants to assist in leading the charge. New College selected Uneeda O. Brewer, principal of Accelerate Coaching & Consulting in Lakewood Ranch; and Ben Garcia, Ph.D., owner of Global Leadership Resources in Miami, to facilitate the first “Inclusive Campus Climate Training” program in January 2020. These in-person, day-and-a-half-long training sessions changed shape in the spring during the remote learning period. Going virtual in early May, Woodson and Shields reintroduced the training series in webinar form (as three, 90-minute interactive workshops on Zoom for groups of 24 people). “Each training session gives faculty and staff the tools to be able to better maneuver when they’re in a situation that’s uncomfortable,” Shields said. “It’s a matter of understanding that we all have these unconscious biases but it’s all about how you deal with them. We were trying to get to the root cause of this callout mentality and figure out how to mitigate it to create change.” More change is underway, as the newly-created Office of Outreach and Inclusive Excellence also rolls out numerous programs to make the campus a stronger place to live, work and study. “Outreach and community engagement must be leveraged as a multiplier of the value we create for Florida and the world,” Woodson said. “And a diverse, equitable and inclusive learning community is essential, because our existence as a public institution is only justified if the value we create is accessible to all.”
Alumni Paul Loriston ’14 (upper left), Snousha Glaude ’12 (upper right), Ariel Powell ’15 (lower left) and Daje Austrie ’15 (lower right) are transforming the world through their respective work in law, writing, public policy and education.
Language Learning, in Taiwan next year. Heyward is a graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an award-winning journalist, who has already written articles for The New York Times, HuffPost, The Atlantic and The New Republic—chronicling unemployment, police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement in America. She is a fully-funded Roy H. Park Fellow and a Tom Wicker Award recipient. Al-Fatafta is an Arab Studies graduate student at Georgetown University and organizer with Occupation Free DC—an abolitionist collective with an internationalist orientation “that aims to end D.C. Metropolitan Police Department participation in U.S.-Israeli ‘counterterrorism’ police exchanges,” Al-Fatafta said. The organization also works in collaboration with Black Lives Matter D.C. to divest from deadly systems of the police state and global militarism. The three Novo Collegians continue to practice what they advocated for at New College two years ago: “Use your voice, power, intellect, and body, if it comes to it, with intention to
undermine the oppressive chokehold most of us know too well. Allow yourselves the audacity to dream of a different world, but don’t stop there, because we need you to build it.”
Dreaming, Building and Fighting
When protests were gaining steam in the streets of North Philadelphia in June following Floyd’s death—and as the economy plunged downward and the pandemic raged—alum Paul Loriston ’14 watched from his campus at Temple University. A law student and longtime activist, Loriston had co-founded the Black Student Union and served as the first Black co-president of the New College Student Alliance with Iton before graduating from New College in 2018. Bearing witness to the movement outside his college doors in the summer of 2020, Loriston naturally joined the conversation. “There is a massive, I want to say, awakening right now,” Loriston said. “I’m trying to see if I can use some of the momentum from these protests in
Philly…to have conversations about what systemic racism really is.” At the same time, Ariel Powell ’15 was in Miami, working toward a dissertation at Florida International University about Florida’s flawed educational system. Powell was busy unearthing aspects of public policies that were disadvantaging Black students (a continuation of her New College thesis topic). “As a career, I really want to produce policy and make changes to the current system, and my research feeds into everything that’s happening in the world right now,” Powell said. “If there’s inequality in the education system, it affects everything else; it’s all interconnected. I want to put forth policy recommendations that change how certain people are treated in our society, because there’s a lot that needs to be done.” Snousha Glaude ’12 was in Orlando, writing about similar issues. She published her first book in December, entitled Sometimes It Rains: Poems on Liberation and Rebirth—a collection about identity, self-discovery and cultural dialogue.
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American Greatness By Donovan Brown ’13 To be Black in America is to live with the uncertainty of death. It is an inviolable truth that is known to every Black child before they are born. You may die before your birth. You may die within your house. You may die outside your house. You may die drinking water. You may die from the food you eat. You may die walking, jogging, or running. You may die playing. You may die at worship. You may die at work, because of work, due to work. You may die in a cage. You may die voiceless, unseen and alone. And your death, my death, and the death of those whom come before and after us will be another ritualistic killing placed at the altar of
American Greatness. This uncertainty of death is as real to a Black Person in America as the very air that gives us life to continue on. And it is that, continuing that makes us so despised, so hated but We persist, we create art and song and story. Our culture is one of life and joy, an indomitable spirit that will never succumb. So we are hated more because those who wish to make us chattel and have failed incessantly can do nothing more than look upon us with awe. What rage you must feel as the only thing you cannot tame, beguile, or destroy, is the very thing that continues to influence your very actions. As your children fawn to become the very thing you wish to rid the world of. How your culture becomes less reminiscent of what you so painstakingly killed and deceived for, how your God shrinks with every passing generation. I would pity you but I may die doing so.
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“In today’s world, race, gender, status and ability are increasingly hot topics that fuel a #CancelCulture movement and polarization,” Glaude said. “Many would like to engage meaningfully with neighbors, relatives and colleagues. Instead, they navigate shallowly to avoid being offensive. This collection of poetry documents the emotional rollercoaster that arises when we ask, ‘Who am I?’” Dajé Austrie ’15 was in Sarasota, being confronted daily with his own identity and the challenges that come with being a young Black man in the south. When Austrie read the news in February that Arbery was murdered while jogging through a Georgia neighborhood, the story hit him hard. He saw himself, and his friends, in Arbery, and feared for his safety. But it wasn’t the first time. “Seeing a lot of people that look exactly like you get killed in cold blood kind of hurts,” said Austrie, who graduated from New College in May and is now teaching tenth-grade science at Southeast High School. “I’m 23 and so are my closest friends, and we all run, so I felt particularly hurt by what happened to Ahmaud Arbery. I used to have more of an emotional response to these things but I guess I’ve kind of become jaded now, almost by necessity.” Austrie has been an anti-racism and pro-science advocate his entire adult life, and he feels deeply called to be an educator and role model now. So does Donovan Brown ’13, who served in the Peace Corps on the coast of Sierra Leone in West Africa last year before returning to Jacksonville. The community organizer recently wrote a poem called American Greatness, which encapsulates his feelings about being a Black man in the United States—and the long fight that lies ahead.
IN THE COMMUNITY
Collaborations Expand New College’s Visibility, Both Locally and Nationally A Local Dolphin Research Collaboration Launches THE CHICAGO
Zoological Society’s Sarasota Dolphin Research Program (SDRP)—which conducts the world’s longest-running study of a wild dolphin population—formally partnered with New College in late June to expand its research and education initiatives. Based at Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, the SDRP has been studying Sarasota Bay’s dolphins since 1970 (and New College scientists have studied the animals and ecology of the bay since 1960). Together, both organizations can now enhance their conservation efforts, undergraduate and graduate student learning opportunities, and ongoing projects on dolphin communication and bioacoustics. “We are very excited about expanding our network of collaborating institutions to include New College—to make more effective use of our unique opportunities to learn about, and benefit, the dolphins and ecology of Sarasota Bay,” said Randall Wells, Ph.D., the director of the SDRP, which has provided training opportunities for more than 430 undergraduate interns and 80 graduate students. “New College is a natural match for complementing our program’s academic and research activities.” The SDRP and New College will continue to develop the Passive Acoustic Listening Station (PALS) network—an area collective of biologists, engineers, educators and citizens who explore the underwater acoustic environment of Sarasota Bay. PALS researchers use their networks to better understand the ecological dynamics of the bay and the behavior of its animals, such as sound-producing fish, dolphins and manatees. And the researchers have documented the state of the bay before, during, and after a pronounced period of red tide. Multiple New College faculty members are PALS researchers, including Athena Rycyk, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology and marine science; and Jayne Gardiner, Ph.D., associate professor of biology. Also, Austin Anderson (a recent New College data science graduate student) used dolphin whistle data from the PALS network for his thesis research, and he continues to be involved in the project. “Throughout my professional career, I’ve benefited from the data that the SDRP provides about wild dolphins. And since I’ve been at New College, my students and I have enjoyed many productive interactions with the scientists who’ve come
from all over the world to study our bay’s dolphins,” said Heidi Harley, Ph.D., a professor of psychology, a dolphin behavior and cognition expert, and the co-director of New College’s Environmental Studies Program. “It’s wonderful to have a more formal relationship between our organizations as the SDRP celebrates their 50th year and New College works to grow our capacity.”
Novo Network Mentorship Program Begins PURSUING A SUCCESSFUL POST-GRADUATION CAREER should not be a solo effort, and New College is making sure students have a well-supported head start. This fall, the Center for Career Engagement and Opportunity (CEO) launched the Novo Network Mentorship Program—a yearlong pilot program designed for second-year students. The experience matches students one-on-one with alumni and community mentors who will help them progress as professionals and individuals. It is combined with a rigorous, credit-bearing academic course called “Designing Your Life: Career Exploration and Professional Development for the College Student.” “This is an exciting career development opportunity that takes advantage of New College’s small size by providing individualized and personalized experiences,” said CEO Assistant Director Ciara Suarez, who created Novo Network and is teaching the accompanying course with CEO Director Dwayne Peterson. “Students will be personally matched with a mentor based on the information they share in their application related to their career goals, professional interests and personal identity,” Peterson said.”
IN THE COMMUNITY
New College Foundation, the New College Alumni Association and the College’s community partners will play an instrumental role in helping the CEO recruit high-quality mentors who are dedicated to students’ success. The goal is to have 20 students and 20 mentors. “There are so many alums and members of the community who want to engage with students,” Suarez said. “It’s a great way for them to give back in a way that could definitely change a student’s life (and it’s a minimal time commitment).” The pairs will meet once a month or more until April (though the coursework will only be required for the fall semester), and at least two of these mentoring meetings will be held in real time (face-to-face, or via phone or Zoom calls). Mentors will receive monthly emails with information about topics being covered so that they can continue the conversation with their mentees outside of the classroom. “Students will participate in the course during the fall semester to prepare for these meaningful conversations and professional relationships with their mentors,” Suarez said. “In this course, students will have the opportunity to engage in exploration activities to gain insights in three key areas: self, academic pathways and careers.” According to Peterson, Novo Network is a continuation of New College’s strategic plan to integrate career planning into academics. “It builds upon our first-year initiative, so students in the first year have an opportunity to meet a career coach, take a career assessment, and explore the many career options available to them. The second-year initiative takes their career exploration to the next level with this mentorship component,” Peterson said. “The earlier you start with career planning, the more successful you’ll be.” In preparation for creating and launching Novo Network, Suarez connected with individuals from 12 different colleges, and researched multiple programs and models via college career center websites. She spent six months doing intensive research into the dynamics of the available programs, inquiring about what was working and what could be improved. None of the programs Suarez explored were specifically designed for second-year students. And none of them offered an academic, for-credit course in combination with in-depth mentorship. Her program is uniquely designed for New College, and it is a tremendous opportunity for students who want to increase their job marketability early. “This program gives New College an advantage because, according to my research, no other colleges are offering a mentorship experience like this one,” Suarez said. “This could really set New College students apart.”
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Alumni Reunite to Visit Spoil Islands ON A CLEAR MORNING IN MID-FEBRUARY (the weekend of the 2020 New College reunion), six alums gathered near Anna Maria Sound for a day of canoeing. Jono Miller, Julie Morris, Paul Carlson, Earle Barnhart, Edward Connor and Anya Woestwin (formerly Shery Litwin) planned to revisit—for the first time in nearly a half-century— two spoil islands they had studied in an environmental biology class as undergraduates. “Originally, the bays on the west coast of Florida were very shallow. There was tremendous interest in facilitating deeper draft navigation through them, and that led to the Intracoastal Waterways being dredged,” Miller said. “Dredging the channels through the bays had the single-most negative environmental impact on the bays; it changed the flow in the bays and the dredging created this material called ‘spoil’ that had to be put somewhere. And that created these pancakes of land.” The manmade islands—byproducts of the dredging— became the subject of the students’ research in a class with the late biology professor John B. Morrill, Ph.D. The project began in 1970, during the Vietnam War and the year of the first Earth Day—long before New College even had an official Environmental Studies Program. Morrill tasked the students with developing a grant proposal to submit to a scientific agency for their final class evaluation. A total of 10 students (including the six at the reunion, as well as Toby White, Barbara Beaman, Rosalie Winard and Kathy Wallens) teamed up to craft a proposal for the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) new Student-Originated Studies (SOS) grant program. “This student initiative was distinctive because it involved some advanced students who were preparing to do thesis work—and other students, such as Julie and myself, who had just entered New College that fall,” Miller said. “We brainstormed potential research projects, created a decision-making matrix, drafted a proposal and sent it off.” The students learned that in an effort to promote boating and commerce throughout Florida, numerous channels had been dredged through the state’s shallow inshore to provide depth for vessels to travel. While today, the dredged spoil is typically transported to upland storage sites, it was the practice then to simply deposit it in piles along the edges of the channels. When the piles became large enough, they would break the water’s surface and become spoil islands, giving way to plant growth and other ecological developments. The students had been introduced to spoil islands on several of Morrill’s ambitious weekend field trips.
IN THE COMMUNITY
The islands fascinated the students, and the news of their project appeared in Volume 8, Number 20 of The Cauldron (a New College publication at the time) on May 3, 1971. The story mistakenly claimed that the students were “attempting to create a successful spoil island.” In reality, the study documented the succession of plant and animal communities on 13 spoil islands between Tampa Bay and Pine Island Sound. Based on these results, the team developed recommendations for the conservation and recreational management of spoil islands. Those who attended the reunion—including three biologists with Ph.D.s—agreed that Morrill’s class had a significant effect on their interests. Carlson and Beaman both based their theses on the SOS research. Carlson continues to be a leading researcher of seagrasses (those that were not inadvertently smothered by the creation of spoil islands). Beaman has retired after a botanical career studying white oak regeneration at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Connor is a professor of biology at San Francisco State University, where his research focuses on ecology and evolutionary biology. Other alumni also continued working in related environmental fields (Miller and Morris even co-coordinated the New College Environmental Studies Program at New College). Barnhart and Woestwin were each involved in permaculture on different coasts, and Barnhart continues to do research and advocacy at the cohousing community on the site of the former New Alchemy Institute. Winard became a wildlife photographer known for her portraits of wading birds and pelicans. When the group gathered in February, they headed out to the islands they had long ago named as students: Marina (which turned out to be a wild, barren spot) and M-16 (a scenic island with several campers). As they docked, they observed the changes, admired the plants and reminisced about the work they had done there. “We were meticulously measuring and describing life,” Woestwin recalled. “I was doing the mapping. I made these
maps that ended up being a picture with different colors for the different species, and I stacked them so you could see how much vegetation there was vertically.” Morris added, “Jono and I would take the soil cores back to New College and sift them into coarse, medium and fine material to see if plants might be growing in particular kinds of soil.” The research started in the fall of 1971. Carlson was the team manager—a thesis-student and the project overseer. The teammates recalled using equipment like a PDP-11 (a minicomputer, the size of a refrigerator, that inputted data and punched paper tape). Plane-table mapping involved a tripod with a square piece of plywood, paper, a ruler and a couple of nails. “We got the massive salary of $80 a week to do this work,” Connor said with a laugh. “We all pitched in for the vegetation mapping—the plane-table mapping—and I was involved in the animal surveys.” Since the students were not technically enrolled in the College at the time, they would sleep on friends’ floors, couches and hammocks when they were not out documenting the patterns of plants, animals and soils on the islands. They noted that some of the islands they had visited at the time were absolutely barren. Invasive plants would at first appear at the edges, washed in by the waves. Barren islands were gradually populated by plants and animals from other existing ecosystems. Seeds washed up on the shores, often from plants that grew on nearby beaches. Insect species floated in on the sea surface or arrived on floating driftwood. Flying insects landed on the island, and spiders glided in on wind-blown webs. Ferns, mosses, lichens, fungi and algae migrated via tiny spores moved by air currents. Birds carried seeds and deposited them on the islands in their wastes. Eventually, trees grew large and the islands began to contain areas of woodland. The group tracked the changes and soon paddled back to the mainland. It was the first time they had seen the islands— and, for some of them, each other—in nearly a half century.
Lessons in Resilience How New College Adapted to the COVID-19 Pandemic BY A B BY W E I N G A RT E N ’0 0
Masked students participate in the Ecology Laboratory of Emily Heffernan, Ph.D., associate professor of biology and environmental studies. Some students are working in-class this semester while others are learning fully remotely or in a hybrid format.
COLLEGE LIFE WAS UPENDED BY THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC,
impelling the New College community to reimagine everything—from how professors teach and innovate to how students learn and interact. And, during a period of seemingly endless question marks, the campus found a way to create inspiring answers, solutions and momentum. Faculty, staff and students adapted, regrouped and set their sights on a boundless future—even when they didn’t quite know how that would look. Students used their intellectual curiosity, self-reliance and resolve in the midst of chaos to make them better people (and to make the world better). Unprecedented dilemmas were turned into growth opportunities that would ultimately shape the College’s future and showcase its unique ability to thrive under pressure.
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Becoming Inventive Problem Solvers
No other college in the State University System (SUS) of Florida underwent the kind of transformation New College did during the shaky spring of 2020. After the campus was evacuated in mid-March, New College moved from 100 percent in-person classes to 100 percent virtual classes in the span of a couple of weeks. The College went from an almost entirely residential campus to a totally remote setup. Former Director of Educational Technology Services Angie Fairweather crafted an advanced plan to make remote teaching an exciting, stimulating reality. Classes like art, marine biology and biochemistry—topics that might not necessarily translate well to a digital format—were reinvented.
LESSONS IN RESILIENCE / FEATURE
• Kim Anderson, associate professor of art, worked with Cal Murgu (New College’s former research, instruction and digital humanities librarian) to create a fully virtual thesis art exhibition for her students called The Embodied Mind. It was initially planned to have an in-person finale in the Isermann Gallery but was moved to an online format (and it was so high-tech that it was even viewable with virtual reality gear). • Athena Rycyk, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology and marine science, introduced her students to March Mammal Madness (an annual online tournament of simulated combat competition among mammals, which educated participants about interspecies interactions). The experience was completely online at a time when oceanic group research was not feasible. • Associate Professor of Biochemistry Katherine Walstrom, Ph.D., could not involve her students in onsite lab work, so she inspired them to conduct remote research on COVID-19 for their year-end grant proposals. She hosted virtual class discussions as students devised new field experiments and planned to test hypotheses. • Burçin Bozkaya, Ph.D., professor of data science and the director of the data science graduate program, brought his students to the very center of the virtual communications movement mid-pandemic. He partnered with Riff Analytics (a Boston-based tech company), and involved his students in researching ways to fundamentally improve telecommunication. The students’ findings could be instrumental in determining how people interact in a more socially-distanced world. The courses embodied the New College philosophy of keeping class sizes small and intimate, whether they were held in a classroom or on a screen. No Zoom meeting with 200 students from a massive lecture hall class could ever make the impact those customized gatherings made. And not only did the professors provide compelling content for the students to learn, but they also engaged with them holistically, making sure they were progressing both intellectually and emotionally during the spring. The close connection between faculty and students, in many cases, grew even stronger during the shared experience of 2020. The Counseling & Wellness Center (CWC) also ensured that students were taken care of in all aspects—mind, body and soul. Licensed psychologists Anne Fisher, Ph.D. (the CWC’s program director), and Duane G. Khan, Ph.D. (the
assistant program director), moved all of their counseling sessions to a video chat platform called the Therapy Assistance Online (TAO) program. Additionally, the Student Success Center staff held virtual workshops and group chats, and offered personalized coaching via phone and Google hangouts.
Staying Committed to Student Success
As the economy and the job market shifted to an uncomfortable degree, New College remained fully committed to students’ success (pre- and post-graduation). Novo Collegians received the royal treatment when it came to career resources, propelling them to prosperous futures by the time they left. Multiple career-centric opportunities were made virtually accessible: • The Center for Career Engagement and Opportunity (CEO) worked to reinvent networking events (at a time when shaking hands and making introductions at large gatherings was forbidden). The CEO had planned to host a Reverse Career on March 26 in Sudakoff Conference Center, and to invite employers to visit student booths for recruiting. When COVID-19 hit, CEO Director Dwayne Peterson and his staff turned what would have been an in-person extravaganza into an all-virtual experience. It was a massive success that drew interest from 76 employers, and the New College students who participated were bombarded with job opportunities.
FEATURE / LESSONS IN RESILIENCE
• When global travel became a non-option for many students, New College staff encouraged them to pursue virtual study abroad programs and internships. Florence Zamsky, Ph.D., the assistant director of off-campus study/study abroad programs; and Duane Smith, Ph.D., assistant director of prestigious fellowships for the CEO; generated interest in these programs. Third-year student Ky Miller, for example, began working remotely on an ethnographic research project about Costa Rica, waiting until she was able to physically travel there. • Three new certificate programs became available to New College students, giving them a leg up in career marketability: Bloomberg Market Concepts (which offers students a visual introduction to financial markets and the core functionality of the Bloomberg terminal), Geographic Information Systems (equipping students with the tools to analyze geolocated data, explore datasets and design maps), and Innovative Digital Media (teaching students to creatively solve problems with technology and adapt quickly to the changing nature of real-world situations that involve technological mediation). New College has also secured an official university affiliation with the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute (a professional association for investment management professionals that certifies and prepares students for the financial analysis field). Life slowed down and to-do lists were put on hold due to the pandemic, but New College faculty and staff showed
students that working toward a fulfilling future was not a back-burner item. Students learned that, to successfully progress as candidates in an ever-shifting world, staying competitive and marketable was paramount.
Reopening the Campus
In late June, New College presented its plan to reopen campus to the Florida Board of Governors (BOG) for the SUS, and it included offering both in-person and remote learning options for the fall of 2020. It was proposed that, in mid-August, the campus would look entirely different, with strict safety measures—from social distancing and face covering to deep cleaning and comprehensive testing—in order to mitigate health risks. Fisher conducted intensive research to help prepare the new guidelines. “We’re a community at New College, and if we care about each other and do the best we can in terms of prevention, I think we can do a really good job,” Fisher said. Using personal protective equipment (PPE), practicing social distancing, participating in random testing, and implementing a shorter academic calendar are all elements of the plan. Students received “welcome kits” with washable cloth face coverings, disposable face masks and hand sanitizer at move-in. Every student, staff and faculty member was tested prior to returning to campus, and drive-through testing clinics were set up outside of Sainer Pavilion. This enabled New College to establish a baseline against which to measure and trace future infections. Because New College lacks a medical or public health school for in-house advice, Student Health Services on the adjacent University of South Florida (USF) Sarasota-Manatee campus provides all medical services to students. USF also developed a daily symptom checker app for both USF and New College students. The number of students living on campus (and thus, the density of residential halls) is also reduced. Cloth face coverings and social distancing are required in all indoor and outdoor spaces on campus (except when an individual is alone inside a bedroom or office with the door closed). “If students have trouble with testing or resources or anything at all,
LESSONS IN RESILIENCE / FEATURE
we’re small enough that we can answer individual questions, and that’s a positive thing,” Fisher said. “I think we’re doing a number of things to mitigate our risk in ways our surrounding community is not. I hope we’ll be able to provide leadership to the community to show we’re being very responsible.”
Launching Hybrid Learning
New College continues to provide steady leadership during an unnerving area. It became clear in the late spring, summer and early fall of 2020 that the College doesn’t shy away from a challenge. Professors took the summer to regroup and returned in August with a fresh approach to hybrid (remote and in-person) instruction, even for academic experiences that were previously hands-on by nature—like science labs. For example, in the Ecology Laboratory of Emily Heffernan, Ph.D., associate professor of biology and environmental studies, two Novo Collegians began conducting their insect-based class experiments entirely at home. To accommodate the off-campus learners, Heffernan packed and mailed boxes of supplies to them—measuring tools, vegetable seeds, plastic petri dishes and insect cultures in sealed vials. “This lab is a great example of our students continuing their hands-on New College education in a remote setting,” said Heffernan, adding that 10 or more of her lab students were meeting in combinations of Zoom groups and in-person masked sessions. “The remote students can conduct several experiments along with the rest of the class.” The student experiments involve testing resource partitioning in ants, allelopathy in local plants, and using living insects to validate the Lotka-Volterra competition model. Each student is contributing replicates to a larger class data set. Bella Shuler, a second-year marine biology transfer student, is one of Heffernan’s 100 percent remote participants. “I’m enjoying being able to collaborate with other students even though I’m currently remote,” Shuler said. “And I’m excited for the upcoming experiments we have including insects.” Because of the ongoing outreach from her professors, Shuler said that learning from home this fall has been even more fulfilling than she expected. “The transition to being a remote student at New College wasn’t easy at first, but this semester has been really great because the professors are so accommodating,” Shuler said. “In addition to Dr. Heffernan sending me supplies for our lab, another one of my professors is also sending me supplies, so it’s been really nice to have supportive professors at New College.”
For Heffernan, the semester has presented multiple challenges as an instructor, but her training as a tropical ecologist and entomologist has helped, she said. “In the field, we learn to solve problems creatively, and I am certainly drawing on that background,” Heffernan said. To encourage her student scientists to cultivate similar skills, Heffernan is devoting much of the fall to bolstering their professional development. Collaborating with the Center for Career Engagement and Opportunity (CEO), Heffernan is ensuring that all of her students end the semester having applied for a job, created a curriculum vitae and undergone a mock job interview. “My students are also engaged in reviewing and analyzing citizen science data for other national ecological projects, and making connections with other ecologists and field station projects,” Heffernan said. “Students run experiments that test classical ecological theory and evaluate the patterns we see in nature.” Her students are learning to prepare and present their work for scientific conferences, and to write professional-style manuscripts—all in addition to working in the Ecology Lab. And though the remote and in-person students may not be physically together this fall, they are cooperatively contributing to several final class projects—a skill that will likely serve them in their future scientific careers. “My remote students are working along with their own materials, and together we generate a lot of data that we share as a class and students analyze,” Heffernan said. “I have been so impressed by the way our students (remote and on campus) have been supporting each other and collaborating.” This support—for and from the students, and among the campus community as a whole—has enabled New College to navigate a year marked by unparalleled challenges. Collectively, the College learned how to move forward no matter what, and to be ready for anything.
A Message from the Chair Dear Fellow Alums, Several of you have asked, “What can we do to try to make New College better, to help it live up to its values, to help the current students—both in their education and in their future endeavors?” We can vote. We can vote in public elections at the local, state and federal level. Changing the people representing us in government will help to change the situations we deal with on a daily basis. For those who want to participate more with the College, there are many new engagement opportunities being rolled out as I’m writing this. These will, among other things, make it easier to match interested alums with interested students for mentoring or other direct interactions. Finally, you can donate. You can donate to the Student Research and Travel Grants Fund, which will go directly to students (so you don’t have to worry about your money going to the Foundation or the administration if you’re angry, frustrated or horrified by something they’ve done). You can also donate to the General Fund, if you don’t think the administration is all that bad. As it turns out, the entire Foundation, administration, faculty, staff and student body are made entirely of humans. They are all flawed but their intentions are all good, as near as I can determine. We all know that the world would be better if it were run by dogs, but we haven’t figured out how to do that yet, so we’ll have to settle for humans. Someday, we’ll even be able to hug them again. That will be nice. For now, wash your hands, wear your masks, keep your distance and please be careful out there. We don’t want to lose any of you. —Steve Jacobson ’71, chair of the New College Alumni Association (NCAA) Board of Directors
PROUD NOVOS, LET’S GIVE BACK. From move-in day to commencement, you’ve experienced the transformative magic of New College. Now it’s time to pass the torch to current and future students as they begin to make their mark on the world. Be part of a community of alumni and community members who make monthly donations to The New College Fund at donate.ncf.edu and know you’ve inspired a whole new generation of Novos just like you.
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Alumni Virtual Chapter Events These virtual events replaced in-person alumni chapter gatherings during the pandemic. We sure miss meeting with our alumni, and we can’t wait until we can have face-to-face get-togethers again! Town Hall with Anne Fisher, Director of the Counseling and Wellness Center: “NCF in the Time of COVID” on August 25 Town Hall with Bill Woodson, Dean of Outreach and Chief Diversity Officer: “The Challenge of Creating a More Inclusive Campus” on July 31 Alumni Virtual Coffee (Seattle, Washington) on April 23 Town Hall series with President Donal O’Shea (college updates and question-and-answer sessions, open to all alumni throughout the United States): East Coast Townhall on May 21: 72 RSVPs Florida Townhall on May 28: 36 RSVPs West Coast Townhall on June 4: 59 RSVPs Mid-USA Townhall on June 11: 18 RSVPs
GIULIA HEYWARD ’14 / PROFILE
Alumna Makes Global Impact as Journalist Giulia Heyward Introduces Her Byline to the World BY AB BY WEINGA RTE N ‘0 0
GIULIA HEYWARD FOUND HER JOURNALISTIC VOICE AT NEW COLLEGE. She has
been amplifying it ever since. The young graduate student, who earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts in 2018, has already written articles for The New York Times, HuffPost and The New Republic—pieces about issues like political reform and civil rights. “Due to my upbringing and my status as a Black queer woman, I’ve always gravitated toward writing stories about people who have been historically underrepresented,” said Heyward, the former editor-in-chief of New College’s student newspaper, The Catalyst. “A lot of the stories I’ve written lately have either been about the pandemic or the protests. There’s not a huge difference between what I wrote then and what I’m writing now; it’s just on a much larger scale.” Heyward’s passion for journalism first emerged under the mentorship of anthropology professor Maria Vesperi, Ph.D., who sponsored The Catalyst tutorial as well as Heyward’s thesis, Black Lives Matter! The Representation of Black Activism in the Press. As a writer, editor and photographer for the campus paper, Heyward would cover local protests with New College students and Black History Month (BHM) events on campus. Today, as an editorial intern for The Washington Monthly (and a graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Heyward is chronicling unemployment, police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement. “I think we’re in such a momentous period of time right now where not only are we seeing impactful discussions about issues that have been going on for a while, but we’re also having a larger discussion in the media about what representation looks like and the way newsrooms have been
predominantly white institutions for so long,” said Heyward, who is half Black and half Italian. “I grew up in a multiracial household, so I’ve always understood the way race exists in this country. Stories about people like that have always intrigued me.” The topic of representation in the media is as significant to Heyward today as it was when she was an undergraduate at New College. She was active in the BHM planning committee and, during her third year, her friends Miles Iton and Paul Loriston co-founded the Black Student Union (BSU). Heyward made connections there that have outlasted her college years. “I’m inspired every day by the people I went to school with. Had it not been for the people I had around me in the Black and queer community there, as well as professors Zabriskie and Vesperi, I don’t know if I would have been able to graduate,” Heyward said. “I had so many people around me doing really cool, important work to make the school a better place.” “I’m inspired every day by And Heyward is the people I went to school grateful for the with. Had it not been for the guidance she people I had around me received from in the Black and queer Vesperi during community there, as well her time on The Catalyst as professors Zabriskie and that now Vesperi, I don’t know if I would informs her have been able to graduate.” work ethic as a writer. “Maria Vesperi very much inspired me to be a go-getter and someone who wasn’t afraid to put my nose against the grindstone and write stories,” Heyward said. “I genuinely would not be where I am if it weren’t for her.” Heyward plans to complete a master’s degree in journalism next year, and her graduate thesis is a collection of stories about LGBTQ-inclusive legislation in North Carolina. Ultimately, she hopes to work full-time for a legacy news outlet. “I’d love to have the opportunity to run a newsroom at some point, especially if it means being the first Black person or the first Black woman or the first Black openly queer person to run the place,” Heyward said.
PROFILE / DIEGO VILLADA
Performance is Reborn, Remotely Professor Diego Villada Reimagines the Theatrical Experience BY ABBY WE INGA RTE N ‘0 0
TAKE AWAY THE STAGE, the set, the props and the audience, and what is left of theatrical performance? New College students and faculty have learned the answer to this question during the era of social distancing, and it has been more inspiring than they expected. Young thespians and aspiring cultural workers have filmed monologues, experimented with gestural improvisations, choreographed routines and built art installations. They have pushed the limits of their creativity without relying on external elements, and have found that it has made them work harder, emote deeper, and ultimately emerge as better actors. “In an essential way, we’re storytellers,” said Diego Villada, Ph.D., the director of New College’s Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies (TDPS) program, who has crafted an innovative virtual curriculum for his students. “And, if you’re a real theater person, you can tell stories even with extreme limitations.” When the campus population was initially evacuated due to the pandemic in the spring, New College’s fourth show of the season (Milk, Milk, Lemonade) was cut short. Left without a stage, students performed from their bedrooms, recording pieces on their phones and posting clips online for Villada to view. “Students were experimenting with gesture, dance, monologues, mime, art installations and lip-syncing,” Villada said about the participation in his “Movement for the Actor” class. “They even did duets, working with technology and
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having fun using TikTok or iMovie to move together in the same piece.” As the students persevered, the weight of current events regularly brought a spectrum of emotions to the surface. But they were able to use those feelings to enhance their theatrical work. Then, in the fall, Villada taught a “Pandemic and the Arts” lecture as part of a three-month-long remote course at New College entitled “COVID-19: An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Pandemic.” The lecture delved more into the arts management aspect of performance, and challenged students to think about how theaters, dance studios and cultural centers would survive the COVID-19 crisis. Villada wanted his students to learn about inventiveness and resilience in the face of turmoil, and to consider how to apply those lessons to their own lives. Along with the COVID-19 lecture, Villada is teaching “Acting I” and “Introduction to Performance Studies” in a hybrid format this fall. There will be no onstage performances in the Black Box Theater on campus; instead, TDPS mainstages will include a guest theater company presenting a social justice piece over Zoom and a radio play (similar to a podcast) presented by New College student-artists and directed by Theater Professor Andrei Malaev-Babel. Villada is continually drawing from his own extensive arts background when brainstorming for his students. He holds a bachelor of science degree from the University of Evansville, a master of fine arts degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. His academic research centers on Latin American performance, and he is an accomplished stage director and fight choreographer. For example, the off-Broadway production of Layon Gray’s Black Angels Over Tuskegee features Villada’s choreography. Villada has learned that there are multiple mediums for entertaining crowds even when circumstances are challenging; it just takes a tremendous amount of research and reimagining to get the job done. And, for students like third-year Kyla Hunter, being in Villada’s classes during an otherwise tumultuous year have been healing. “I could throw myself into the work, using the chaos surrounding me as inspiration,” Hunter said. “It was cathartic, in a way, to use art as an outlet during this time.”
GINELLE SWAN ’18 / PROFILE
A Peaceful Student Protestor Speaks Out Student Ginelle Swan Advocates for Human Rights BY AB BY WEINGA RTE N ‘0 0
NEW COLLEGE THIRD-YEAR Ginelle Swan attended a Black Lives Matter protest in Broward County last summer, marching from the streets of downtown to the local police station. Tear gas was released into the crowd (though Swan left early enough to avoid exposure) and police barricaded peaceful protesters in parking lots. A lifelong activist and the co-president of New College’s Black Student Union (BSU), Swan said the experience was “unbelievable and scary” for her and her friends. But that fear didn’t stop Swan from planning future protests. If anything, it has motivated her to fight harder. “I want to remind everyone that this is not the time to slow down,” Swan said. “This is the time to push for more action.” And Swan is pushing for more action at New College, too. Shortly after the murder of George Floyd sparked global unrest in late May, Swan sent a statement to the entire campus community on behalf of the BSU and the New College Student Alliance (which “We believe that New College was then run by can be an example of what president Steven a safe and healthy campus Keshishian). looks like, so we are urging “To the students the administration to take engaging in the risks that come with direct action implementing ideas that may against the over seem radical but are grounded policing of Black in equity and freedom.” and Brown bodies and state-sanctioned racism, we support and encourage you to continue fighting for freedom for all,” Swan and Keshishian wrote. “The country can be taken from those that wish to preserve the current state of affairs. We can be the generation that topples the system and lays the foundation for a better future, including the ones within New College.” The two then presented a call to action, stating that “there is much work to do” at New College, regarding the challenges Black people face on a predominantly white campus. “We are here to rebuild the community into one where all voices will be heard, and all concerns will be addressed and resolved with urgency,” the young leaders wrote. “We believe that New College can be an example of what a safe and
healthy campus looks like, so we are urging the administration to take the risks that come with implementing ideas that may seem radical but are grounded in equity and freedom.” Swan knew it was a bold move to authentically voice her concerns to her elders. “I’m still kind of nervous that someone is going to think my views are too radical,” Swan said. “But I’m open to having these discussions because they do need to be had.” Swan is currently studying computer science and international studies, and plans to graduate in 2022 (she chose New College because it offered her an opportunity to focus on multiple languages). She also wants to be a youth mentor, and is currently strategizing ways to teach coding to Black students during the summers at Deerfield Beach High School (her alma mater). When Swan was a high school student, she was heavily involved in political protests. “When the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School happened, we walked for 15 miles from my high school to that high school,” Swan said. “We stood out there and people gave speeches, and it was a really heartfelt moment.” More heartfelt moments are occurring right now, as Swan is participating in a civil rights movement that she feels is absolutely pivotal. “This is something that has to be done. We have to push for what we want and what we believe in—for more equality,” Swan said. “Now is the time to push as hard as we possibly can. I don’t ever want to look back and regret that I didn’t do enough for my people when I was younger.”
PROFILE / TATE TWINAM ’06
Young Donor and Alum Gives Back Tate Twinam Invests in the Future of New College BY ABBY WE INGA RTE N ‘0 0
TATE TWINAM’S EXPERIENCE AS A NEW COLLEGE STUDENT FROM 2006 TO 2010 Shaped him as a scholar and educator—so
much so that he has made a commitment to giving regularly to his undergraduate alma mater. He knows that his donations to the College will help the next generation of Novo Collegians thrive. “I think my experience at New College had an enormous impact on me,” said Twinam, who earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and mathematics, and went on to earn both a master’s and doctorate degree in economics from the University of Pittsburgh. “I benefited greatly from the small classes and very personal mentoring at New College.” Twinam is currently an assistant professor in the Economics Department at the College of William & Mary (W&M) in Williamsburg, Virginia. His research focuses on urban and regional economics, economic history and econometric methodology. He was a recipient of the W&M Summer Research Award, the Regional Science Association International Best Dissertation Award and the North American Regional Science Council Graduate Student Paper Award. Twinam was also a Lincoln Institute of Land Policy Scholar and an Andrew Mellon Predoctoral “This is really what motivates Fellow. me to give back—so many He has people there went above and published beyond for me, and I would multiple papers in renowned like to see future generations journals, of students enjoy the same including Land experience I did.” Use and the Geography of Neighborhood Crime, and Zoning and the Economic Geography of Cities, in the Journal of Urban Economics. He is also in the process of writing about minority representation in local government, land use regulation and individual welfare, and public transit access and utilization across United States cities. And it was the New College faculty that helped Twinam pursue his academic interests. Professors Catherine Elliott, Pat McDonald, Eirini Poimenidou, Tarron Khemraj and David Mullins were “extraordinarily generous with their time,” he said. “I learned a lot from them,” Twinam said. “I’ve tried to bring
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that experience to my students— spending lots of extra time outside of class hosting office hours, discussion sessions, and just generally trying to cultivate an environment where students feel comfortable engaging with me and each other.” Elliott was an especially important influence on Twinam, advising him as he completed a thesis entitled Informational Efficiency of Decision Markets with Risk-Averse Insiders and Uncertain Manipulation. “Dr. Elliott always tried to push us to our limits but was also endlessly supportive, kind and funny. She inspired me to became an economist,” Twinam said. “In an amusing twist of fate, I now occupy the same position she did at William & Mary before she joined the faculty at New College—teaching the same class I took with her my first semester.” Having had the benefit of learning and teaching at a number of institutions, Twinam continues to appreciate how New College is “doing something genuinely different and special,” he said. The tutorial option at New College allowed Twinam to expand his studies in a way that would be difficult to replicate elsewhere. He also felt that the narrative evaluation system was far more effective pedagogically, as it encouraged students to focus on what they set out to master and the relationships they hoped to build. “This is really what motivates me to give back—so many people there went above and beyond for me, and I would like to see future generations of students enjoy the same experience I did,” Twinam said. “I also know that funding for things like student research and travel is always limited, and that getting those opportunities can make a big difference. So I’m always happy to support that in any way I can.”
Pei for the future!
Since 1965, New College students have shared a unique rite of passage—living in the Pei Residence Halls designed by the world-renowned architect, I.M. Pei. These graceful, modernist buildings represent a compelling chapter in Sarasota’s architectural history. After 55 years, these buildings are showing their age and require major refurbishment to bring them back to their former glory. We recently launched a fundraising campaign, Pei for the Future, headed up by Monica Van Buskirk. “We invite alumni to join us in preserving this extraordinary architectural legacy,” said Van Buskirk. “I.M. Pei looked beyond the needs of the present. He built for the future. The humanist legacy of his work is timeless. It’s now up to us to pass it on.” For more information, visit ncf.edu/peiforthefuture or call Monica Van Buskirk at 941-487-4800.
New Topics Celebrates New College’s 60th Anniversary with Alumni Speakers To mark New College’s 60th anniversary, this year’s “New Topics” series features noteworthy alumni whose New College experiences prepared them for lives of note and careers of exceptional impact. The series runs through March and is presented on the Zoom platform. Tickets are $10 and all proceeds go to fund student scholarships. Visit ncf.edu/new-topics. Upcoming lectures include: November 12: “Challenge and Response: Facing Hard Choices in a Time of Economic Crisis” with William Dudley (’71-’74), a senior research scholar at Princeton University’s Griswold Center for Economic Policy Studies, who served as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York from 2009 to 2018. January 27: “Inclusion at any Cost? When New College was ‘Home’ to a White Nationalist” with R. Derek Black (’10-’13), Allison Gornik (’10-’14), and James Birmingham (’06-’10). Moderated by Bill Woodson, Ph.D., dean of outreach and engagement, and chief diversity and inclusion officer at New College. February 18: “Reflections on a Congressional Career: Lessons for Today’s Politics” with Lincoln Diaz-Balart (’72-’76), a Cuban-American attorney, consultant and human rights advocate. March 18: “Cybersecurity and Civil Liberties” with Jennifer Granick (’86-’90), the American Civil Liberties Union’s surveillance and cybersecurity counsel. Pictured (left) William Dudley, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Jennifer Granick (right) Derek Black, Allison Gornik, James Birmingham
any alums passing through LA. I am a stone’s throw from LAX.
Susan Burns ’71, the editor-in-chief of Sarasota Magazine, is proud of the 29 awards the magazine won at the 2020 Florida Magazine Association’s annual Charlie Awards.
Douglas G. Stinson ’71 recently published his third book, A Natural History of Western New York—a collection of essays on the geology and ecology of the region, and their impact on the development of the greater Rochester, New York area. Copies can be purchased through his website at douglasgstinson.com. Currently living in Fremont, California, with his wife, Joy T. Barnitz ‘70, Stinson is also the founder of bayareaphotoscene.com—a comprehensive listing of photographyrelated events in the San Francisco Bay area.
Hannah Onstad ’84 received an Effie Lee Morris literary award from the Women’s National Book Association (San Francisco chapter) in the nonfiction category for her essay entitled And Now for the Beloved Trees. The essay is a personal reflection on the rising number of dead trees in California— now estimated at 150 million— attributable to recent forest fires, drought and insect infestations.
Tom Mayers ’71 I have recently retired from mangrove trimming and environmental consulting, which I did for 40 years in the Sarasota Bay area. I now do boat and house building, repair and construction. I have two daughters: Ellis Greene, 28, who graduated from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts; and Coral Sheridan, 12, who attends Rowlett Middle Academy. I still live out at the north end of Longboat Key, at my family home at Land’s End. I recently self-published my New College thesis in an effort to make information about the mangroves of Sarasota Bay accessible to everyone. Jack Massa ’71 has been an author, on and off, for 40 years. He now lives in Sarasota and relentlessly writes science fiction and fantasy. You can find his work on Amazon and Audible, or check out his website at triskelionbooks.com. Jeffrey Sugar ’71 I’m alive and well, and hunkered down in Los Angeles. I teach child psychiatry at the University of Southern California (USC), mostly virtually these days. I cut back at USC recently to devote more time to writing and making art. I have been making aluminum figurative and abstract mobiles for about three years; I have about 10 of them hanging all over my home. If I don’t start selling them soon, my wife, cats and dog may all revolt. To pay the bills, I also do expert witness legal work. I hope to record my song, “The Ghost of John McCain” before the election. It would be great to hear from
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Stu Levitan ’72 has been reelected vice president of the board of directors of Back Porch Radio Broadcasting, Inc. (doing business as the listenersponsored community radio WORT 89.9 FM) in Madison, Wisconsin, where he also hosts a weekly author-interview program, Madison BookBeat. Stu will also again be teaching (this time online) a course for the University of WisconsinMadison’s Division of Continuing Studies this fall on urban renewal and civil rights, adapted from his book, Madison in the Sixties (Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2018). Brendan O’Connor ’77 was elected in April to the Association of Distinguished Alumni for The Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at The University of Texas at Austin.
Lynn Currier Stanley ’86 was recently appointed National Association of Social Workers Interim Executive Director, Vermont Chapter. This new role comes in addition to being executive director of the New Hampshire chapter and interim executive director of the Maine chapter. Between national health and racial/ social justice pandemics, social workers have been on the front lines of historymaking work. Grant Balfour ’86 has mostly survived the implosion of the cruise (and cruise writing) industry and is currently seeking alternative careers that do not involve selling blood plasma. His children are thriving, as are his wife, tortoise, bulldog, bees and six cats (one
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currently recovering from demodectic mange) in unincorporated Palm Beach County. Larry Vernaglia ’87 reports that he hasn’t worn socks or a tie since St. Patrick’s Day.
1990s Sara Graham ’91 I started EngageTaste (engagetaste.com) in 2013 to respond to a burgeoning culture of entrepreneurs and makers opening restaurants, shops and small businesses in a culture that is beginning to—once again—value the independent business owner. My company has grown each year; however, last year saw a significant jump in business and I hired my first four employees (part-time) in 2019. As both a designer and a writer, I create not just a visual experience but also a unique narrative for my clients, setting them apart by telling the story that is distinctly theirs. I relish the opportunity to discover passion and vision, and eagerly dive into each project—ready to create some fresh, new work of art together. Irene Hillman ’95 I am thrilled to have begun my journey as a doctoral student! I am earning a Ph.D. in Learning and Leadership from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. I am only a few months in, but I am really enjoying it and feel it will hugely benefit my practice in higher ed student support. I thank New College for nurturing my love of learning. The foundation of critical inquiry built in our rigorous academic programs has been key in my life! I hope to write an update in five years as Dr. Hillman.
Lori (Zurkuhlen) Joslyn ’97 lives in Atlanta, Georgia with five cats and a brilliant, one-eyed husband named Chris. She graduated from The Creative Circus in 2010 and has been doing graphic design primarily for nonprofits ever since. She is a foster parent, a NICU baby buddy at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and a big fan of feeding the birds, failing as a gardener and being in the river. If you’re ever in Atlanta, drop her a line at email@example.com because she loves to cook good food for everyone (with love) in exchange for your amazing stories.
2010s Naeem Chowdhury ’15 joined the National Language Service Corps to volunteer Mandarin language skills earned while at New College.
2000s Naomi Campa ’02 and Molly Campa (née Thompson) ’02 are happy to announce that they grew their family by one baby Amos. Molly is also looking forward to finishing residency in June. Currently in Ohio, they will be moving to Austin where, starting this fall, Naomi will be a professor of classics at the University of Texas, and Molly will be practicing dermatology. Ben Brown ’05 is entering his fourth year as an associate attorney at Gina DeCrescenzo, P.C., an education law firm based in Westchester County, New York. The firm represents students (including students with disabilities) in prekindergarten through higher education in education-related legal matters. Prior to joining the firm, Ben was a staff attorney at a nonprofit legal aid organization, representing clients in a wide range of civil legal matters including employment, landlord/tenant and public benefits.
Ben Stork ’03 has been part of the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade since 2017 (battalion surgeon from 2017 to 2019, and now brigade surgeon). He has been deployed in support of Hurricane Maria relief efforts in Puerto Rico, to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and (currently) to Europe in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve (Russian deterrence).
Professor Emerita Cris Hassold, who taught at New College for 50 years before retiring in 2016, passed away peacefully on July 15 in Sarasota at age 89. Her former students, who had become her family, saw to her care and comfort for months. While she was rehabilitating at Heartland Health Care & Rehabilitation Center (after suffering from a stroke in April), scores of New College alumni— from Hassold’s art history, gender studies and humanities classes throughout the years —sent her flower arrangements, sympathy cards and mystery novels. Forty contributors raised $1,195 in a GoFundMe initiative called “Weekly Flowers for Cris,” at a time when pandemic-related restrictions would not allow for in-person visitations. “These arrangements have been giving her joy and serve as a reminder that there are many of us out here who love her and are thinking of her,” wrote alumnus Ryan Francis White ’02, who organized the effort. Hassold, who did not have children, became a maternal figure for alumni like White. Steve Prenner ’85 would visit Hassold at the rehabilitation center, standing outside her window and talking to her on the phone. In mid-July, White shared the news of Hassold’s passing with the campus community. “Cris arrived at Hospice this morning,
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received a nice bath and laid down for a nap, and peacefully passed away,” White said. “The nurse at Hospice said that, quite often, patients arrive and get to their comfortable room and feel relaxed and decide it’s time to let go.” Hassold wished to be cremated and have her ashes scattered in the Gulf of Mexico. In January 2016, her students (Jessen Kelly ’93 and Nicole Archer ’94) organized a full-day symposium for her retirement on the New College campus, which was attended by more than 50 alumni, faculty and friends. Hassold felt that the symposium was a sufficient memorial. Alumni also wrote Hassold’s obituary and organized a Zoom meeting to share their memories and condolences. Hassold held a Ph.D. from Florida State University, began working at New College in 1965, and was the Florida editor of ART PAPERS magazine. She taught numerous courses/surveys at New College, such as NineteenthCentury Painting and Major Artists of the Baroque, Film Noir and Masculinity, and Women Artists Through the Ages. To learn more about her work at New College, visit page 21 of the Spring 2016 issue of Nimbus (for an article entitled The Art of Teaching: Cris Hassold Prepares to End a Long Career at New College). “Cris Hassold was both a strong scholar and a wonderful teacher. I’ve never met anybody quite like her,” said New College President Donal O’Shea. “I was never lucky enough to have her as a teacher but she must have been an absolutely gifted mentor.” She was. And no one knows more about that than her students. Alum Stephen (Steve) Elkanah Barney, age 50, of Frederick, Maryland, passed away on May 15 from
complications of pancreatic cancer. He was born Jan. 31, 1970 in Stoneham, Massachusetts and grew up in Scarsdale, New York, and Arlington, Virginia. He attended James Madison University, and received a bachelor’s degree in social ecology from New College in 1993. He earned a master’s degree in community and regional planning from the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture in 1998. Barney worked in various planning roles in Portland, Oregon; Austin, Texas; Jefferson County, West Virginia; Frederick, Maryland; and Loudoun County, Virginia. In his role with Loudoun County, Barney received a prestigious 2019 Platinum E.M.P.A.C.T. award for his project management of the Bolen Park Stadium Comprehensive Plan Amendment (CPAM) and Zoning Map Amendment (ZMAP) applications. Barney was also recognized for his work on the Ashburn Metro Station/Regency ZMAP applications. Barney was an avid cyclist, a talented actor and a playwright, and his plays were characterized by humorous and memorable characters. He was a frequent contributor to the FronteraFest theater festival, where he won “Best of the Fest” awards (in 2005, for Wade, a one-man play about a lovable loser; and in 2006, for Puppet Government, a musical satire that featured a cast of small kitchen appliance puppets). Barney is survived by his wife, Sally Alt; parents, Gerald (Jerry) and Carol Barney, of Arlington; brother William (Bill), sister-in-law Andrea, niece Natalie, and nephew Thomas, of Bedford, Massachusetts; sister Kristen (Kris) of Arlington, and her partner, Anthony Hyatt, of Bethesda, Maryland; father and mother-in-law, Lowell and Dottie Alt, of Mesquite, Nevada; and brother and sister-in-law, Greg Alt and Kristin King, nephew Oliver, and niece Megan, of Seattle, Washington. Barney now lies in the South Branch Valley Memorial Gardens in Petersburg, West Virginia.
THE NEW COLLEGE FUND
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