Transitions Summer 2017

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50 Years of Innovation Transitions Spring 2014


From the Archives …

Photos courtesy of the Prescott College Archives

Fall of 2016 marked the 50th anniversary of Prescott College opening its doors. We’ve been taking time to look back, and reflect on the winding journey that has led us to where we stand today. Transitions has played an important role in keeping our friends and alumni connected to campus. Enjoy the selection of historic covers!

From Last Issue: We didn’t hear from anyone about this image! If you know the who,

what or when about these animated performers, let us know at

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Cover photo: 50th Anniversary mural by the Spring 2017 Public Art: Mural Painting class

Transitions Magazine Prescott College 220 Grove Ave. Prescott, AZ 86301

TransitionS Publisher and Editor Ashley Hust Designer Miriam Glade Contributing Writers Michael Belef • Scott Bennett • Sue Bray • Paul Burkhardt June Burnside Tackett • Susan DeFreitas • Liz Faller Elizabeth Fawley • John Flicker • Ashley Hust • Maria Johnson • Leslie Laird • Nelson Lee • David Mazurkiewicz Robert Miller • Jorge Miros • Amanda Pekar • Mark Riegner • Micah Riegner • Elisabeth Ruffner • Kayla Sargent • Peter Sherman, • Marie Smith • Wyatt Smith Astrea Strawn • David White • Gratia Winship • Lisa Zander Staff Photographers Shayna Beasley • Miriam Glade • Ashley Hust Photo Contributors • • Michael Belef Joshua Biggs • Sue Bray • Jane Burnside Tackett • Colleges of Distinction • Congregational Church of Prescott Fiske Guide to Colleges • Megan Gladbach • Neha Khurana The Kino Bay Center for Cultural and Ecological Studies Robert Miller • Amanda Pekar • The Prescott College Archives • Kristine Preziosi • The Princeton Review • Kurt Refsneider • Mark Riegner • Brenda Smith • Roy Smith • U.S. News and World Report Washington Monthly • Gratia Winship • Lisa Zander Director for Advancement Communication Ashley Hust (928) 350-4506 •

Contents 8 12 14 15 16 17 18 22 24 26 27

Alumni Bike Cuba with Former Faculty Charles Franklin Parker’s Rose Window Prescott College Ratings and Rankings Rock Climbing Board of Trustees Student Wins EPA Fellowship Prescott College Innovations in Higher Ed 50th Anniversary Celebration Kino Fellows: Where Are They Now? Leslie Laird Reflects On Path to PC Ronald C. Nairn Memorial Scholarship How Alumni Can Connect

Departments 3 College News 28 Class Notes 34 Faculty & Staff Notes 36 In Memoriam 37 The Last Word

For Class Notes and address changes, contact Marie Smith • Send correspondence, reprint requests, and submissions to: Ashley Hust Prescott College 220 Grove Ave., Prescott, AZ 86301 (928) 350-4506 • Transitions, a publication for the Prescott College community, is published once a year by the Office of Institutional Advancement for alumni, parents, friends, students, faculty, and staff of the College. Its purpose is to keep readers informed with news about Prescott College faculty, staff, students, and fellow alumni. Transitions is available online at ©2017 Prescott College Prescott College reserves the right to reprint materials from Transitions in other publications and online at its discretion. Prescott College is committed to equal opportunity for its employees and applicants for employment, without discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, sex or sexual orientation, age, disability, marital or parental status, status with respect to public assistance, or veteran’s status. This policy applies to the administration of its employment policies or any other programs generally accorded or made available to employees.

Contact Admissions at (877) 350-2100 • For the Liberal Arts, the Environment, and Social Justice

WWW.PRESCOTT.EDU Photo by Willis Peterson Scholarship winner Neha Khurana ’19

John Flicker introducing Charter Class member Nancy Piña-Gray at the 50th Anniversary Time Capsule ceremony, April 4, 2017

President’s Corner


his is the 50th Anniversary issue of Transitions. For those of you who were unable to attend the four days of festivities we hosted on campus in October, we hope we can give you a taste of celebration in these pages. I was heartened to see so many alumni return this past fall, to hear their stories, and to see leaders from the local community come out to support us. It’s the people that make this place so special, and people involved with Prescott College – over the past 50 years and today – are passionate about PC, and passionate about the mission and philosophy of education that serves as a foundation for everything we do. I’m convinced more than ever that what we have here is something out of the ordinary: the best of an intimate small liberal arts college campus community, plus the flexibility to meet people “where they are” physically or spiritually in life through our hybrid distance programs that provide the same mission-based, high-quality, self-directed, experiential education. While we have a proud history of innovation, it’s no secret that Prescott College has also had its challenges. But we never gave up. We always came back. We are the comeback college. Instead of being torn apart by difficult times and hard decisions, our faculty, staff, and trustees came together. As we begin our second half-century, I can say with great confidence that we have gotten our house in order and we are here to stay. We have balanced our budgets and are adding cash to the reserves. Our fall enrollment for resident undergraduate students was up for the first time in five years, and projections for next fall are even higher. Thanks to a generous gift from longtime College friend Richard Bakal, we are investing more in recruitment and retention for our resident undergraduate program than we’ve been able to do in recent years. Last, but not least, we are launching a highly affordable, highly accessible online-only Master of Arts program in Social Justice and Community Organizing, where we already have student interest and accreditation approval. This new program is a pilot, but I hope it will prove to be the first of many similar programs that will see us well out of lean times. We are benefiting today from the hard work of so many people over the last 50 years. Thank you. And thank you for the privilege of stewarding this amazing institution. As we draw inspiration from our founding and history this year, I – we all – can look forward with hope and excitement to the next 50 years.


John Flicker


Transitions Issue 2017

College News Farewell to GPAC The Granite Performing Arts Center (GPAC) building was sold last year by its former owner, and the new owner did not decide to continue leasing the space to Prescott College. Departing faculty members Delisa Myles and Liz Faller hosted a weekend-long farewell for the space April 29 through May 1, 2016, which doubled as a retirement celebration for the two. In a letter, Liz shared, “I write this with a great sense of gratitude for the twenty-three years I served the College. I am the woman I am today because of my students, alumni, and colleagues, Granite Performing Arts Center, my collaboration with Delisa Myles and Charissa Menefee, our community, and the College’s cauldron of transformation. I am excited to devote myself to my spiritual and artistic life and practice, teaching, family and friends, travel, and related service. In my two months in India, I experienced a heart-centered, global learning community, a loving world that I can trust, as well as how much I have to offer. I am ready to ‘graduate.’” The College is using the Summit Building, Sam Hill Warehouse, Crossroads Center, and other smaller spaces for performances while we seek a new space dedicated to interdisciplinary performances.

Natural History Institute’s Herbarium Online Some of the most common inquiries at the Natural History Institute (NHI) Herbarium are people asking about a particular species of plant. Now, thanks to the hard work of many staff and students, anyone, anywhere, can search inside the herbarium cabinets by going online to the SEINet data portal at SEINet is like Google for herbarium specimens in the Southwest. The site has many features, including plant profiles, images, species lists, and an interactive map that shows where plant specimens were originally found. There is still more to be done, though, and volunteers are needed. Right now all of the specimens have their names and the date they were collected entered into SEINet; however, additional information on many of the specimens, like where the plants were found and in what habitats, still needs to be transcribed. For more information on contributing specimens, accessing the herbarium online or in person, please e-mail

Arizona Opportunity Scholarship When it was first introduced, the Arizona Opportunity Scholarship was a $3,000 award for Arizona students who enrolled in the On-campus Undergraduate program. It has been updated to guarantee that when combined with merit aid and other aid from the school, tuition at Prescott College matches the full tuition cost of Arizona’s three state universities. It is available to all Arizona high school graduates (from public, private, charter, and online schools) and Arizona home-schooled students. It is also available to transfer students whose permanent residence is in Arizona. There is no separate application needed as the scholarship will automatically be added to the student’s financial aid package upon acceptance and enrollment.

New Leadership at Prescott College, Tucson With former Director of Prescott College, Tucson, Anita Fernández, taking a voluntary leave of absence this past fall, Director of Arizona Serve Ben Olsen stepped in to manage the College’s location in Southern Arizona at 530 S. Main Ave., Suite A. Arizona Serve (VISTA/AmeriCorps) is a statewide organization housed within Prescott College. In addition to overseeing admissions and advising staff in the Tucson area, Ben has been developing paid internship opportunities for Prescott College juniors and seniors in the On-campus Undergraduate program. Roughly 20 positions will be available to students starting in the Fall of 2017. Anita Fernández will again take the helm of Prescott College, Tucson, in the coming academic year.

Frantz Fanon Multicultural Center Student groups and faculty came together to create the Frantz Fanon Multicultural Center on the campus of Prescott College. Conceptualized as a place for student organizing and activism, the space (currently located in the Upper Rosewood building) is used for club meetings and community events. A community-centered mural (see left) was created through a collaborative process, representing diverse groups and perspectives.

Transitions Issue 2017


College News


Accepted Student Days Whether students have made the decision to enroll or are still considering their options, starting in July 2016, they can now experience a slice of what Prescott College has to offer! All accepted students (and their parents) are invited to spend a day immersed in the Prescott College experience. Attend a sample class, talk with a faculty adviser about your academic goals, meet current students, explore extracurricular offerings, and have a one-on-one with a financial aid counselor. Visiting students and their families can also spend the night before and/or the night after the event in the Village residence halls. All confirmed students will receive a welcome gift from the Office of Residence Life and may qualify for a visit grant of $250. More details and registration for upcoming dates can be found at

Outdoor Nation Competition The organization Outdoor Nation annually hosts a six-week competition for the most outdoorsy university, and last year Prescott College competed and placed second NATIONALLY! Incorporated as part of On-campus Undergraduate student Samantha Marsh’s ’16 Senior Project, Prescott College hosted or co-hosted several outdoor activities during the six-week period, September 4 through October 15, and distributed prizes from sponsors such as: The North Face, Osprey, REI, Backpacker’s Pantry, Chaco, and many more. Students, faculty, staff, and alumni downloaded an app to document their outdoor actions and logged a whopping 7,463 outdoor activities! Then student Kieran Clute ’16 created special artwork for t-shirts given away as prizes for the Outdoor Nation competition. These shirts were so popular that the College arranged to purchase Kieran’s artwork and is now selling items in the General Store emblazoned with the creative take on the school’s historic icon.

September 26 Declared Prescott College Day in City President John Flicker was on hand in early September when the Prescott City Council proclaimed September 26 Prescott College Day in honor of the school’s 50th Anniversary. The date coincides with the day Prescott College opened its doors to the first group of enterprising and adventurous students. Coinciding with the day, a celebratory billboard on Grove Avenue went up just down the street from campus, featuring an “all College” photo from 20 years ago as well as happy new students from the resident undergrad program taken at the beginning of Fall term. The Board of Trustees sponsored a full wrap on the Daily Courier with information about the history of Prescott College, highlights of alumni contributions to the local community, and general information about available degrees and scholarships. Also in celebration, the Crossroads Café offered a 15 percent discount on the entire menu and students coordinated a costume fun run around the center of town.

Live Streaming Special Events The Prescott College Media Resource Center is now live streaming all graduations and other special events with links available on the College website during broadcast. Additional events have been streamed including Baccalaureate, keynote speakers at various colloquia, and some of the 50th Anniversary events in October. All live-streamed videos can be accessed after the fact at prescottcollege. Consider supporting our ability to deliver this real-time content by making a donation to the Media Resource Center. Call the Advancement Office at (928) 350-4505 or mail checks to Advancement Office, 220 Grove Ave., Prescott, AZ 86301, and write “Media Center” in the memo.

PC Sources 100% Electricity from Renewable Energy The College announced in October 2016 that it now sources 100 percent of its annual electrical usage from renewable (green) sources. The choice to source 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources builds on previous climate action, as Prescott College was one of the first signatories to the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment – the higher education protocol for reducing institutional and global greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, the College’s LEED™ Platinum housing for new students demonstrates leadership regionally. This action is supported by students’ sustainability fee. PC is now one of approximately 144 colleges and universities around the nation that are EPA Green Partners and one of only 40 such institutions nationwide that source 100 percent or more of their electricity from renewable energy.


Transitions Issue 2017

Bookstore is Now General Store What was once called the Bookstore (and sometimes Service Center) is now the General Store. Textbooks and other books are no longer available for purchase on campus. Textbooks are being managed through a virtual bookstore online, but the rest of the services remain the same. General Store staff still produce large-volume print jobs, as well as handling, receiving, and sending out mail. The biggest change is that there is a wider variety of Prescott College promotional items – including a ton of wearables – now available for purchase. If you’re in the area, stop by and give us a “look-see.” Stay tuned for online purchasing, slated to be up and running later this year.

Prescott College Making Headlines The College has been getting a lot of good press lately. Some high profile local, regional, and national stories within the past year include: Daily Courier op-ed by Ron Barnes,; Phoenix magazine’s August issue “Innovation in Education” section, innovation-in-education.html; and Elevation Outdoors magazine’s ranking of best college outdoor programs, Other publications to feature PC include Backpacker magazine, High Country News, and Orion magazine. Like and check out our Facebook feed at for the latest and greatest news coverage.

Early Childhood Education Grant Renewed Prescott College has received a $60,000 grant from the George B. Storer Foundation to continue work creating a Center for Place- and Nature-Based Early Childhood Education. The Center trains preschool instructors with an emphasis on working with children outdoors in nature. The Center also provides training to pre-service and current early childhood educators in place- and nature-based pedagogy and will provide ongoing support to such educators. The scope of training includes an annual weeklong Summer Institute open to all early childhood practitioners for continuing education credit. The Center has also hired a current Ph.D. student to produce scholarship that can be used to further knowledge about effective early childhood education. The College’s Early Childhood Education core curriculum has been redesigned over the past year to be entirely place- and nature-based. If you or someone you know may be interested in attending the Summer Institute, contact Lenka Studnika ’09, M.A. ’12, Ph.D. ’17 at

Café Ranks as Some of the Best Campus Food Prescott College’s Crossroads Café and Wednesday Community Lunch tradition were featured in Food Management magazine. To read the article, go to Based on national surveys, has also ranked Crossroads Café in the top three for “dining hall food” in Arizona. Read more at lifestyle/the-best-colleges-in-each-state-based-on-dining-hall-food/#.

Birding in Kino Bay In December, Environmental Studies faculty member Mark Riegner and his son Micah ’16 co-led a one-week birding/natural history trip for Prescott Audubon members to Kino Bay, Sonora, Mexico, on the Gulf of California. The group had accommodations in the town of Kino Viejo but visited the Prescott College Kino Bay Center frequently, and also had various trips on one of the College’s larger boats. Besides seeing an impressive 144 species of birds – including Black-vented Shearwater, Roseate Spoonbill, Clapper Rail, and Mangrove Warbler – the group saw pods of bottlenose and common dolphins, encountered dozens of California sea lions, and learned about desert plants and the invertebrate inhabitants of tide pools and mudflats.

Transitions Issue 2017


College News


Matching Challenge to Benefit Undergrad Recruitment Prescott College has received a generous $150,000 grant/matching challenge from Richard Bakal, a longtime friend of the College. There’s only one catch – we need to match his gift dollar for dollar over the next two years. In a cover letter announcing the gift, the board of Mr. Bakal’s foundation, the Fiddler’s Company, emphasized: “Our foundation is a relatively small one, and a contribution of this size, for us, is a large one. This grant is an indication of the high regard in which we hold Prescott College and the seriousness with which we view its current situation.” The Bakal gift, and the matching funds needed to secure that gift – a total of $300,000 – will be used to fund increased efforts during the first two years. In subsequent years, we will continue this increased funding for marketing and recruitment by reinvesting part of the net tuition revenue generated by new students. Send your checks to Prescott College, Advancement Office, 220 Grove Ave., Prescott AZ 86301, and mark your check “Fiddler’s Match” in the memo.

Prescott College Publishes 5-Year Study of Wading Birds in Bahía Kino, Sonora, Mexico The study, published in the May 2015 issue of Waterbirds, examines the occurrence and nesting phenology of wading bird species from 2009 to 2013. Researchers surveyed two active colonies, one in a mangrove estuary and another on a nearshore desert island. Researchers also sampled potential prey of wading birds in the estuary, with special focus on brachyuran crabs, which constitute the main prey items of the Yellow-crowned Night-Heron. According to the Sonoran Joint Venture for Binational Bird Conservation, the study may prove critical to future efforts to conserve birds and their habitats in this unique and vital area.

Alligator Juniper Student Prize Winners Thanks to the generosity of current Board of Trustees Chair Jim Walsh and his wife, Judith, the James and Judith Walsh undergraduate student prizes in fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry have recognized student artists at Prescott College for 2017. First place winners in each genre will appear in this year’s Alligator Juniper, published in spring. All those who placed, including honorable mentions, will have their names cited in the magazine. Anyone wishing to order copies can do so online at Creative Nonfiction: 1st Place, “Antidote” by Elizabeth Tobey ’16; 2nd Place, “Dance Lessons” by Amanda Pekar ’17; 3rd Place, “What Happens on the Road” by Maria Walker ’17; and Honorable Mentions, “Echoes” by Kestrel Fleischner ’16 and “The Worlds We Build Around Ourselves” by Amanda Pekar. Fiction: 1st Place, “Samhain” by Amanda Pekar; 2nd Place, “Covers” by Gelisa Senteno ’17; and 3rd Place, “Bloody Feet” by Thomas Hulen ’16. Poetry: 1st Place, “Mono no aware” by Amanda Pekar; 2nd Place, “Parochial” by Claire Reardon ’17; 3rd Place, “Here Now” by Brian Leibold ’16; and Honorable Mention, “A One-Sided Conversation with the Cosmos in My Mother’s Garden” by Lindsey Townsend ’16.

Willis Peterson Photographic Award Winner Neha Khurana ’19 is the 2016 winner of the Willis Peterson Photographic Award – a $1,000 scholarship awarded to a student who “shows promise and insight into seeing the beauty of nature and environmental issues through the medium of photography.” Neha is a resident undergraduate student studying in the Adventure Education program who transferred from another small liberal arts college back east in order to “pursue a more engaging education.”

Bike Team Scores Sponsorship The Prescott College Cycling Team secured a small sponsorship from the In-N-Out Burger organization. In exchange for $1,000 used to secure event registrations and much-needed equipment, as well as 50 meal coupons for members traveling to competitions, the Cycling Team received and will use 10 folding chairs with the restaurant chain’s logo and hang a “sponsored by” banner at every 2016–2017 season event. Additional sponsors of the team this year include Maxxis Tires and Slime Sealant.


Transitions Issue 2017

Articles Forthcoming: Results of NSF Grant to Natural History Institute

I N T E G R A T I N G A R T, S C I E N C E , A N D H U M A N I T I E S

The Natural History Institute at Prescott College received a $40,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to host workshops that addressed the rapid national decline in opportunities for students to have field experiences while training for work as biological researchers. The two-phase workshop, titled “Proactive Strategies for Essential Training for the Next Generation of Biological Researchers,” convened a select group of participants for an intensive three-and-a-half-day gathering in Prescott dedicated to delineating the specific obstacles that have discouraged institutions from supporting field studies, and outlining strategies to overcome these obstacles, while clarifying best practices. Three publications have resulted from this project. “Teaching Biology in the Field: Importance, Challenges, and Solutions” will appear in an upcoming issue of the highly respected professional journal BioScience. Among the 13 coauthors are Tom Fleischner, NHI Director (lead author), Steve Pace, Emeritus Faculty, and Lisa Zander ’12 (NHI Program Coordinator). A summary and review article on this project will also appear in the British journal Scientia. Finally, the Natural History Institute published an online reference guidebook Saying Yes to Environmental Field Studies: A Guide to Proactive, Successful Administration and Operations, which is available online at: Steve Pace (lead) and Tom Fleischner were among the four authors.

Advancement Office Implements New Software The Advancement Office at Prescott College has implemented a new, industry-standard donor management system that should improve the front-end experience in making gifts online, create efficiencies for staff, and eventually allow for new ways to raise money, including crowd funding campaigns and social media integration. Please let us know what you think of the new online giving experience and be aware that there may be changes in communication preference management that result in your receiving messages that you haven’t gotten in a while. We encourage anyone who begins getting emails they do not want from Advancement to contact staff directly to make adjustments instead of using the unsubscribe link, which may result in never hearing from PC about anything again! Email Advancement at or call (928) 350-4505. If you have online giving forms bookmarked, please update them before June 30, 2017, when automatic redirection to the new pages will expire.

Affordable Online M.A. in Social Justice and Community Organizing Prescott College is passionate about preparing leaders committed to building a more just, equitable, and sustainable society. For the past two years Prescott College has offered a Master of Arts degree in Social Justice and Human Rights for on-campus students. This highly successful program is focused on preparing leaders and organizers for work in all types of nonprofit organizations and agencies. As our values continue to be challenged as never before, new leaders are needed to address these issues. To make social justice learning more accessible and affordable, the College has translated the resident master’s degree program into an online Master of Arts degree in Social Justice and Community Organizing. The new online M.A. is 100 percent online, does not require Graduate Record Examination, is 36 credits, and tuition rings in at $9,900 – currently the most affordable master’s degree in social justice on the market. Potential career outcomes include: community organizer, union organizer, campaign research associate, community outreach and education coordinator, etc. If you or someone you know is interested in a program like this, visit to learn more.

ONLINE RANKINGS Our limited residency degree programs are often categorized (and ranked) along with strictly online schools. Nonetheless, we find ourselves being recognized as a top educator in distance learning: • Top 50 Best Online Colleges for 2016–2017 by • Best Arts Schools, Best Mental Health Counseling Programs, Best Early Childhood Education Programs, Best Elementary Education Programs, Best Special Education Programs, Best English and Humanities Programs, Best History Programs, and Best Online Master’s in Counseling Psychology, all by • Top 23 Online Master’s Degrees in School Counseling and Top 19 Master’s Degrees in Clinical Mental Health Counseling by • Top 30 Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Early Childhood Education by

Transitions Issue 2017


Closing the Circle

George Yen’70 and Robert Miller ’72 bike across Cuba with former faculty member Roy Smith By Robert Miller

La Habana At 3 a.m., Miami International was all but deserted. Roy and Brenda Smith were already there. George Yen, the fifth biker of our group, was flying straight from Taiwan, he’d meet us in Havana. A few years back, George had hosted Tina and me when we biked the perimeter of Taiwan. He was due to turn 70 while in Cuba. This trip was a celebration.


Transitions Issue 2017

Roy Smith, Brenda Smith, Bob Miller, Tina Cobos, and George Yen in Baracoa, Miller Collection


n 2016 I led a group of five friends, including my wife, on a bicycle journey across Cuba along the Carretera Central, or central highway. The Carretera Central was built in the 1930s, stitching the island together from end to end. My grandfather, a heavy projects contractor, was one of its builders. He was also a contractor on the capitol building in Havana and the Carcel Modelo, or federal prison, on the Isle of Pines (now the Isla de Juventud), where both Fidel Castro and my cousins Armandito and Cachorro all spent time—one for fighting Batista, the other two for fighting Fidel. We were a diverse group: my Taiwanese college roommate, George Yen, recently retired as president of Toastmaster’s International but still running his industrial pipe fittings factory and import/export businesses in Taipei; Roy Smith, a Lancashire mountaineer and adventurer, with the first ascent of Alpamayo in the Andes under his belt and many years running adventure education programs for American colleges; Roy’s wife, Brenda Smith, a retired schoolteacher and trekking leader; and Tina Cobos, my lover—a biker, climber, kayaker, river guide, and real estate agent. The trip was nearly ten years in the making. Something inside nagged me to go, to return to the land where I’d grown up. Until 2015, the only legal way for a U.S. resident to travel to Cuba was to submit an application for travel, in an approved category, to the U.S. Treasury Department and wait for permission to be granted or denied. In December of 2014, President Obama announced that fitting a category would be on the honor system, no prior approval necessary. I was all over that. Cuba is a hot country. The weather is biker friendly only between November and March. That meant that with all the necessary preparations my earliest possible date for travel was the winter of 2015/2016. My next challenge was documenting the category we had chosen for our visas: Education. We wrote letters to two colleges and a university requesting official—but not monetary (that would have been a deal-killer)— sponsorship for our project. We proposed to run an exploratory reconnaissance to determine the feasibility of running bike-based adventure education courses focusing on the history, anthropology, and natural science of Cuba. We met with their staffers. We updated and submitted résumés. We promised not to embarrass them. One week before departure we received sponsorship letters from Yavapai College, Bloomsburg University, and Prescott College.

When the Cuban coast and countryside came into view my heart skipped a beat. It had been 56 years since I’d left. On the steps’ platform I took a deep breath of the Cuban air and gathered my bearings. When I reached the tarmac I didn’t exactly kiss the Cuban ground, though my tears did. Tondy, our B&B host—and very distant relative—and his brother had come to pick us up at the airport. He’d brought two vehicles, one legal, and the other one a nondescript old Studebaker that was not authorized to transport tourists. It had a Toyota steering wheel; had to be pushed to start; and the doors had to be held closed while driving. The Studebaker was his brother’s, and it was parked two blocks away so as to avoid detection by the airport police. The drive into central Havana was a feast of sights and smells: old cars with retrofitted diesel engines and diesel trucks and buses, the black smoke pouring out of their exhausts; horse-drawn carts and bikes everywhere; but all the traffic light. Impatient to test my rusty Cuban Spanish, I engaged my driver. I asked him if he thought the reforms and rapprochement with the U.S. would last. “We can’t go back,” he said, “Fidel educated us and now we’re onto him.” George was due in the next day when we were scheduled to take the overnight bus at midnight to Baracoa on Cuba’s far eastern end to begin our cross-island ride. In the meantime, we did some exploring. I was leading the group, concentrating on traffic, street names, and turns when suddenly, totally unexpectedly, there on the left, I saw the Cine Acapulco where I’d gone to the movies as a kid. I was taken totally by surprise. I skidded to a stop and nearly fell over trying to place a foot on the curb. It hadn’t changed at all. I had a surreal sense of displaced reality… I knew we were close to home now. We headed up the hill, past the Viazul bus depot to look for my home. I was determined to find it on my own. We hit several dead ends, but eventually we found it. A uniformed guard at the gate

asked what we wanted. I told him I’d grown up in the house he was guarding. He told me the house was now an advanced training school for mid-level bureaucrats. He couldn’t let me in, but he offered to take only me all the way around it, inside the block fence. I could look in the windows and take pictures, but I couldn’t take a photo of him—he’d get in trouble.

George Yen in the Sierra Maestra, by Robert Miller

temperature on my bike thermometer hit 100 degrees Fahrenheit. We got to the Campismo Yacabo Abajo at 5 p.m., absolutely knackered and cramping. The next day we were on to Guantánamo! Riding rolling hills along the shore. The 75-km day, with temperatures again hitting 100 degrees, nearly killed us, until a torrential rain thankfully soaked us. Later on at a small village, what looked like an ice cream vendor was yelling, “Guarapo, guarapo frío!” I stopped the group and bought everyone an ice cold, freshly-pressed sugar cane juice for $1 CUP each (4 cents). Entering Guantánamo we passed a large military base with an obstacle training course that extended for miles next to the road. It was probably Castro’s response to the U.S. naval base in Guantánamo Bay. That night we ate at our first state restaurant, the Año 1870. We were the only clients. There was only one waitress. She said to ignore the menu; they only had pan-sautéed chicken cutlets and rice. The food was passable and the service nearly so. There was no tipping; only an added service charge. To the paladares (private restaurants) in Havana, there was no comparison. We decided to take a rest day the following morning. The mountains, heat, and distance had taken their toll. Our next ride would be a big day to Santiago de Cuba: 90 km with hills. We started early. George finally showed up, and we took a little more Santiago de Cuba, nicknamed time to explore Havana. He insisted on riding through “The City of Heroes,” has been the Havana’s Chinatown. Chinese immigrants first settled birthplace of many independence in Cuba at about the same time they went to the U.S. revolts, including Fidel Castro’s 1953 to help build the railroads. Some California Chinese insurrection. It is Cuba’s second largest even later moved to Cuba after accumulating fortunes, city. Finding our B&B was a challenge. fleeing increasing persecution in the U.S. At one time, The proprietor, a Spanish literature Havana’s Barrio Chino was the largest in Latin America. Tina Cobos handing out toothbrushes, and grammar professor at the But the vast majority of Chinese left Cuba immediately by Robert Miller university, had subbed out the lodging following the Revolution, wealth accumulation not to another operator, to which she being a revolutionary virtue. led us, who in turn had subbed out feeding us to yet another. El Oriente Our new hostess asked if we The sixteen-hour, overnight bus ride was better than wanted dinner. Indeed we did, a most airplane rides. We arrived in Baracoa at 6 a.m. nighttime meal at a B&B being dingy with sleepless disorientation and stiffness. A preferable to a state restaurant or a blazing orange sun rising out of the Caribbean next distant paladar—and dependably to El Yunque, Baracoa’s iconic table-top peak, greeted delicious. In this case our hostess us. The air was hot and muggy, the dense vegetation served us fried chicken, salad, malanga extending encroaching tendrils into the town. Baracoa Sugar cane harvest, by Robert Miller fritters, and plantain chips. Proud of is Cuba’s oldest and most remote town. Located on the her presentation, she hovered over us north coast of the eastern tip of Cuba, it is separated from the rest for the entire meal, noting with satisfaction every “hmmm,” gulp, of the island by the eastern branch of the Sierra Maestra range. and swallow. A Cuban sport biker, Alexei, out for a training ride to the The Santiago to Bayamo run is 124 km with a very hilly first summit and back, accompanied us when we set out the next half, but afterward slipping through a break in the middle of the morning. As we began the interminable climb, the heat and Sierra Maestra mountains. The ride turned out to be easy but, humidity wrung us out. Alexei pulled over at a bohio, a traditional again, hot. Cuban thatched hut dwelling, and yelled a greeting to its At Santa Rita, the last town before Bayamo, we stopped at a café inhabitants. He asked them to pull down some coconuts for us. for refreshments. George and I made a beeline to a coconut vendor. Each held about a liter of refreshing, delicious coconut water, The others sat under the shady veranda and drank shandies. One which dribbled down our chins and shirts as we held the coconuts café client, a dark-toned black man, engaged us, asking where we up to our mouths and craned our necks back to drink. were from. When we said we came from the U.S., he responded that After an invigorating downhill run on the south side of the when he immigrates he’ll head for Germany. The U.S. was sierra, the vegetation changed from lush tropical forest to arid too racist. foothills, with spindly cacti dominating the limestone bluffs. The air On the way out of town, a very thin old man, in front of a ra-

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tion food store, begged us for something to eat. He said he was hungry. He looked it. Tina made him a sandwich.

Eduardo resignedly told us he makes $1 CUC per day, but added that Cubans had everything they needed, except money. Approaching Sancti Spíritus we got our first view of the Escambray Mountains, Cuba’s other range, where so many other, unsung revolutions, against both Batista and Castro, had simmered. At Sancti Spíritus we bid goodbye to the Carretera Central, deviating south to Trinidad, Cienfuegos, and the Bay of Pigs.

La Cadera The following day we left at 8 a.m. for Guáimaro, a small town only 45 km away on the Las Tunas–Camagüey provincial border, one of the few boundaries that the Revolutionary government kept nearly intact when it reconfigured Cuba’s provinces. The border roughly separates Cuba’s big eastern “foot” from its midriff “torso,” and La Pata even more roughly divides the mountainous region of the far east We encountered rolling hills as we neared the Sierra del Escambray. from the great central plains. Camagüey Province is cattle country. Thankfully, the weather wasn’t too hot and the 75 km ride down to Gray—and white—Zebus the coast was a pleasure. are the dominant breed. Eight kilometers before Cowboys are common. Trinidad, we entered the Valle Rolling savannas predomide Los Ingenios, one of the most nate with vast fields of beautiful landscapes in all of sugarcane interspersed. Cuba. The valley was the center Roy and I had both of colonial-era sugar production, caught some sort of which created the wealth that built debilitating respiratory flu Trinidad. The industry was totally destroyed during the wars of that made cardiovascular independence, and afterward exertion hell, so we were moved north and east into glad for the rest a short Matanzas Province. Dozens day afforded us. Just before of 19th-century sugar mills, going to bed our host announced big news: U.S. President Barack Obama was due to visit Cuba on March 21, 2016. Moncada Army Barraks, To Cubans, Obama’s by Robert Miller visit was an honor ranking right up there with the Pope’s visit. El mulato, as he’s informally referred to in the Cuban fashion of conferring nicknames on everyone, and his historic visit, brought the promise of hope and change to the island more concretely than any pronouncement ever made by the Castros. American flags were everywhere—on cars, taxis, horse- and pedal-drawn taxis, even clothing—even before the visit was announced. The ride to Camagüey city was a long, hard eight-hour slog, made Tina, Bob, and George riding out of Trinidad, by Brenda Smith worse by the day’s weather report: a “cold front” that delivered neither warehouses, slave quarters, manor houses, and a fully functioning cool temperatures nor rain—only a steam train remain. Trinidad was the end of the road for Roy and Brenda. The headwind that turned the gentle uphill Las Tunas pork butcher, by Roy Smith route into a struggle. It didn’t help that neither Roy nor I had following day we bid goodbye, took final pictures, and headed out to Cienfuegos, 83 km away. For lunch we stopped at a roadside shed our flus. I still tried to have a little fun. In passing soldiers, policemen open-air café offering fresh squeezed orange juice. The bartender, and god-knows-what uniformed functionaries, I’d yell, “We’re not looking at the size of my bike’s sprockets, asked how many speeds enemies anymore!” I managed to get a few smiles and even some it had. “Twenty-seven,” I answered, adding, “Its low gear is so low, playful responses. One FAR (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias) it can coast uphill.” soldier returned a greeting; a policeman engaged in wordplay. He liked that. We got to talking. He commented, “Obama Unbelievable! Things were changing and there was hope. meeting with Raúl wasn’t Nixon meeting with Mao. Still, everyone Our next destination was Sancti Spíritus, 76 km away. We were is really happy. Only North Korea left, but it’s a tough nut.” We left Cienfuegos for Playa Girón—landing beach and off at 7:30 a.m.Very cool morning. We stopped for lunch under a few shade trees. Up came Eduardo, a weathered, 67-year-old headquarters of Brigade 2506 back in April of 1961 during the Bay of Pigs invasion. The 94 km was flat all the way. At Horquitas, site of campesino, garbed in traditional khaki topped with a straw hat. He said he’d worked the fields all his life and now was a cane field the Brigade’s deepest incursion, irrigated fields lined both sides of the road. It is one of the richest agricultural areas on the island with “guard,” spending his days guarding the cane. I asked him what a lush and varied selection of crops. dangers the cane field faced. He just shrugged his shoulders.


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Once we entered Matanzas Province, the surroundings became wild, shady, and beautiful along a narrow paved byway. We were entering the Zapata swamps. Playa Girón is a quiet, small, relatively new town of a few hundred people laid out along a single road. The buildings are located on about one-third-of-an-acre or larger lots, suburban-style. At the time of the invasion it was even smaller, inhabited by campesinos who scratched out a living making charcoal and fishing. For George, Girón was the end of his ride. A delay at the start had pushed him too close to his departure date. He would take a taxi to Havana the next day. The following morning we bid farewell and rode toward the Brigade 2506 landing site. Along this stretch of coast, only two locations have sandy beaches suitable for amphibious landings: Playa Girón and the inside of Bahía de Cochinos itself, especially Playa Larga at its head, where the two invasion landings took place. In between, the coast is rocky, razor-sharp dead coral with a three- to four-foot vertical rise from the water. The ride up to Matanzas city on Cuba’s north coast was long but not too hot. The city is spread around an 11-kilometer-deep bay, one of Cuba’s most important seaports. After that only 98 kilometers remained to Havana, a distance easily tackled in one day. However, I wanted to visit some old family haunts along the way, so we broke the ride up into two days. Havana. We’d made it! My bike odometer read 1,185.55 kilometers. Tondy and his wife, Tania, welcomed us back with hugs, kisses, and cold beer. On our last night they treated us to a homemade Cuban nouvelle cuisine meal: oregano-spiced black beans, pork and chicken kabobs trimmed with grenadine-marinated

pineapple, yucca con mojo, malanga fritters with a honey-garlic dip, salad, white wine, and flan. Back in Miami and apprehensive about U.S. Customs, I had our Department of the Treasury paperwork indicating our permitted category, our required daily journals, our education proposal and résumés, and our expenditure receipts in hand to present when asked what our business in Cuba had been. “Where are you coming from?” “Cuba.” “How was it?” “Good and bad,” Tina responded. The Customs officer smiled, said “Welcome home,” and waved us through. Adapted from Robert Miller’s forthcoming book, Closing the Circle: A Memoir of Cuba, Exile, the Bay of Pigs, and a Trans-island Bike Journey, available June 2017 through Cognitio Books at

Oriente Cuban Familia, by Robert Miller

Brenda Smith riding into Baire, by Roy Smith

Transitions Issue 2017


The Light of Freedom

Rose Window in the sanctuary at the Congregational Church of Prescott

Founding President Charles Franklin Parker’s unusual Rose Window


ducation has been a priority for the people of Prescott, Ariz., for a very long time. One of Prescott’s first public buildings was a log cabin school house, a replica of which is located on the grounds of Sharlot Hall Museum. As leader of the Congregational Church of Prescott, Dr. Charles Franklin Parker envisioned a college for this place in the great tradition of Congregationalist schools including Harvard (1636),Yale (1701), Dartmouth (1769), and Amherst (1863). In the 1950s Dr. Parker began to promote his dream of a “Harvard of the West,” which would be named Prescott College. The College wouldn’t open its doors for more than a decade, but in the meantime, the good reverend made sure to leave traces of his respect for knowledge in the church that still stands at 216 East Gurley Street. Most notable of these traces is the Rose Window that illuminates the sanctuary. Given as a memorial to Mr. and Mrs. L.E. Helsa by Captain and Mrs. Samuel Gill (the Helsas’ daughter and son-in-law), the window depicts what Dr. Parker called “The Light of Freedom.” The reverend was adamant the window should make a statement about truth and knowledge; that “free minds lead to more light … [and] from those who understand the need of liberties come documents giving light and freedoms.” He ended up going through at least three detailed versions of the plan before settling on the window pictured to the right.


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Dr. Parker believed that eventually the freedoms outlined in the United Nations Charter would become real, and when they did, peace would abide.

John Robinson, pastor of those who left Holland to come to America on the Mayflower, spoke the words that encircle the window: “Remember God hath more light and truth to break forth from his holy word.�

From the open Bible radiates the word of God into the lives of free people and documents of freedom

John Wycliffe, a 14th century English reformer, first translated the Bible from Latin to English

Martin Luther declared his strong leadership of the Protestant Reformation

The U.S. Constitution symbolized by the Liberty Bell

The United Nations Charter states freedoms encompassing all By the invention of the printing press, John Gutenberg freed the Bible for all to read

The Magna Carta of 1215 was the first charter of freedom in the English world

By the donation of his own personal library, John Harvard assisted in the creation of Harvard University

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Prescott College Receives High Marks National media, ratings, and rankings list Prescott College among top schools The Princeton Review Best 381 Colleges and Green List Prescott College is one of the country’s best institutions for undergraduate education, according to the Princeton Review. The well-known education services company features the school in the 2017 edition of its annual college guide. In addition to the Best 381 list, Prescott College has ranked among the Best Western Regional Colleges and was named among the 361 Green Colleges by Princeton Review in their 2016 Guide to Green Colleges.

U.S. News and World Report – Best in West Prescott College is featured in the 2017 U.S. News and World Report guide to the best colleges as one of the top Liberal Arts Colleges in the West

student loan report

Least Private Debt We just made it onto a list of the top 250 private colleges that give students the least amount of private debt compiled by Schools were evaluated based on two factors: Percentage of students with private debt and average private debt per borrower.

Washington Monthly College Guide 2016 The leading alternative rankings from Washington Monthly consider social mobility, research, and service to the community. Prescott College made their “Best Bang for the Buck” list as well as the top 100 Master of Arts schools in the country.

Best Value Schools: Top in AZ and Green Prescott College has been ranked among the nine best value colleges and universities in Arizona and a best value green college by Best Value For these rankings, the National Center for Education Statistics’ College Navigator database and the PayScale College Return on Investment (ROI) Report were used to determine schools that are the best value for the price. The following factors were considered: Graduation Rate; Net Price; Acceptance Rate; and 20-Year Net ROI. Additionally, for the green ranking STARS rating, number of “green” majors, sustainability research, environmental volunteer opportunities, outdoor recreation activities, and campus environmental policies were considered.

Fiske Guide to Colleges: Best and Most Interesting Compiled by former New York Times education editor Edward B. Fiske, the selective Fiske Guide to Colleges included Prescott College in its updated 2017 guide to the 300+ “best and most interesting” schools in the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain. The Best Schools, a website devoted to finding the best education for a student’s needs, ranked Prescott College as one of the top 100 colleges in the nation. The ranking presents the best four-year liberal arts college and the best full-fledged university in each of the 50 states. In Arizona, the University of Arizona in Tucson also ranked among the top 100 colleges.

Colleges of Distinction Since 1999, the highly exclusive Colleges of Distinction website and guidebook have recognized and honored schools throughout the U.S. for excellence in undergraduate-focused higher education. Schools must demonstrate results across the Four Distinctions—Engaged Students, Great Teaching, Vibrant Community, and Successful Outcomes. The annual process to select the nation’s Colleges of Distinction also includes a review of each institution’s freshman experience, as well as its general education program, strategic plan, and alumni success and satisfaction measures. “Colleges of Distinction is more than an annual ranking of colleges and universities. We only include colleges that offer every student a holistic and valuable experience,” says Tyson Schritter, executive editor for Colleges of Distinction.


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Trustees Scale Walls for PC Members of the Board of Trustees participate in hands-on field trip during last meeting


fter the success of a Board river trip on the Diamond Creek run in the Grand Canyon last summer, it seemed natural to try to engage more members of the group in a local field outing. President John Flicker asked Adventure Education Department Chair and Risk Manager Julie Munro ’85 to come up with an activity representative of a Prescott College resident student experience so the Trustees could have fun, bond as a group as they did during the river trip, and – most importantly – get a better understanding of what experiential education can look like, including all the safety considerations necessary for many outdoor/field courses. “Being a member of the Board of Trustees at Prescott College needs to have an added-value factor,” says John Flicker. “We do things differently here. Trustee Mary Orton Members of the Board need to understand that in as real a way as we can provide to them. It can’t be just sitting around talking anymore.” Following an open session Friday morning, February 24, participating members of the Board along with several others, including John Flicker, Provost Paul Burkhardt, CFO Andrea Jaeckel, Equipment Warehouse Manager Tyler Gatton ’13, Director of Field Operations Dave Wilson ’11, Director of Student Affairs Kristine Preziosi ’97 (KP), faculty members Erin Lotz and Julie Munro, along with senior student Arthur Herlitzka ’17, set out for the Oasis Wall in the Granite Dells. Board Secretary and current faculty member Walt Anderson gave the group an orientation to the natural history of the area as well as an overview of the significance of the Dells to the City of Prescott before a ten-minute hike along a soft, rocky trail to the site.

“The Oasis Wall is an ideal top rope setting with a variety of challenge levels,” Julie says, explaining why she and KP chose the location. “We made the whole experience ‘challenge by choice’ – let’s see if I can get off the ground – let’s see if I can get to the top. Some people chose to stay on the ground and cheered.” There were many highlights and individual successes, but one moment that got everyone’s attention was watching Trustee Mary Orton participate. “At first she was afraid,” Julie says, “but she was adamant she wanted to try, and with everyone’s encouragement, she got up. By the end you could see she felt empowered – you couldn’t stop her from getting to the top!” “Until you do it yourself, it’s hard to really understand what goes into experiential education outings like this,” Flicker says. “And we made sure that we explained all the ins and outs of planning that went into this – logistics, risk management, etc. It was really the highlight of the Board meeting and I know they will remember it for the rest of their lives.” Everyone ended the afternoon with a smile on their faces, full of energy, and with a renewed appreciation for each other and the institution they were all present to support. Julie and the other employees got something else out of it, too. “After the river trip and now this, I feel like I know these people. It has created an entirely different level of trust in them as a Board.” Julie and KP are now looking forward to planning the next Board outing.

Walt Anderson and Jim Walsh

Trustee Lee Caldwell ’73 The group prepares (right) The Oasis Wall, Prescott Granite Dells (larger right)

Transitions Issue 2017


Studying People and Water in the Southwest Current undergrad Megan Gladbach wins prestigious EPA fellowship By Amanda Pekar ’17


n the two years since she transferred to Prescott College, Megan Gladbach ’17 has risen to be one of the top students in the school. She is a student member of the Prescott College Board of Trustees, serves on the Student Union Council, is active in the Garden Club, and will be graduating with a B.S. in Environmental Studies and Sustainability with an emphasis in Agroecology at the end of this summer. Perhaps most impressive, however, is that the majority of Gladbach’s final two years of college tuition has been paid by a generous fellowship sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowship is only open to bachelor’s candidates in the environmental sciences during their sophomore year. Those selected may receive up to $50,000 in tuition and expense funds from an EPA grant over their junior and senior years. In return, each student completes an internship with the EPA, conducts a personal research project, and attends an annual scientific or technical conference. The program is designed to foster rising scientists in the field of environmental science by providing financial support, work experience, and networking opportunities. The fellowship is awarded only to roughly 35 students in any given year. Gladbach heard about the fellowship through her mentor, Kristy Howell, while attending Johnson County Community College (JCCC) in Overland Park, Kansas, before transferring to Prescott College. The two had worked on a community research project together in the past. When Gladbach heard the news that she had won the fellowship, she was stunned and thrilled. “I think I cried,” she admits. “My tuition was essentially paid.” Over the course of the last two years, she has been working on her research project, which studies the relationship between humans and water usage. When Gladbach initially applied for the fellowship, she was primarily interested in the fields of sustainability and permaculture, programs she studied while at JCCC. “They were big, wide ideas that could address a wide array of environmental issues … but I was inspired to focus my studies on water issues since coming to the Southwest.” She proposed a study examining the relationship of people and water in the Southwest. Her research, conducted through a series of surveys and in-depth interviews of Prescott College students, looked at how personal backgrounds and the infrastructure people were accustomed to—what they had grown up with or lived with previously—influenced their opinions about the conservation of water and water treatment. Gladbach sees her research as being a small part of a much larger picture. “I focused my studies mainly on Prescott College,” she says. “But it could potentially expand to the City of Prescott, the State of Arizona, the Southwest … even the whole world.” After analyzing her findings, Gladbach will make recommendations to the College on more effective methods to encourage people to conserve water and protect water quality. Because Gladbach’s project involved human subjects in the form of her surveys and interviews, receiving the GRO


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Fellowship assisted her in accomplishing the study. Permission to conduct Human Subjects Research is difficult to get; working with the EPA and the GRO Fellowship helped her navigate the many regulations that surround the practice. The GRO Fellowship offers multiple options for internship across the country. Gladbach’s three-month-long internship was in the Office of Technical Management Services at the EPA’s Region 8, headquartered in Denver, Colo. Another GRO Fellowship winner was also stationed there; she and Gladbach remain good friends. While working as an intern in Region 8, Gladbach was assigned to work on two projects. First she worked to develop a new online interactive employee training procedure that would protect the quality of the EPA’s field work in keeping with the EPA’s Quality Assurance Field Activities Procedure (QAFAP). The QAFAP is designed to protect and standardize the quality of EPA employees’ field work for accuracy and consistency, as the data they collect may be used within the legal system or in other situations where such exacting standards are necessary. Gladbach’s other job was to research the best ways to acquire, document, and manage the vast number of digital images that EPA employees collect in the field. At the end of the summer, Gladbach wrote a paper summarizing her findings and presented her research and conclusions to the EPA’s Field Implementation Team. “Though I may not work in a position like that in my future,” Gladbach says, “I definitely gained important skills which will translate over to many other areas of work within both the public and private sector. Overall, it was a really valuable experience, and everyone that I worked with was super awesome.” Upon completing her internship, and with the money from her expense fund, Gladbach traveled to Freising, Germany, to attend the Society for Ecological Restoration Europe Conference during the final weeks of August 2016. The Society for Ecological Restoration originated in America but now has chapters all over the world. She says she chose to attend this international conference because she was interested in foreign perspectives on restoration. “Europe,” Gladbach says, “just has different problems they’re facing when it comes to the environment, and their different problems require different solutions. I think we have a lot to learn from them, to exchange.” The conference also provided Gladbach with the opportunity to meet scientists working all over Europe. “I made a lot of valuable contacts there,” she says. “The point of going to a conference like this is to network with people, exchange ideas. It was a wonderful time.” As she approaches graduation from Prescott College and the end of her fellowship, Gladbach views her experience with the GRO Fellowship and the EPA as the first step towards her future career goals. “I think it’s really shown me what I want to do,” she says. “It’s given me the skills I need … it’s made me a lot more mature. I’ve grown in a lot of ways.” Upon completion of the fellowship, Gladbach will submit a summary of her work to the GRO Fellowship’s database, where her experiences will be used to improve the program for future students.

50 Years of Innovation through Transformative Education Prescott College celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Since its founding, the College has pioneered innovations that many other schools have adopted over time. We were recently named one of the top ten most innovative small schools in the country, outranking the likes of Colgate, Amherst, Haverford, Scripps and others. Some of the innovations that continue to be signature components of a Prescott education include:

Interdisciplinary Curriculum

Solutions to global social and economic problems require collaborative work bringing together approaches from different disciplines. Rather than traditional academic departments that fracture and contain knowledge in silos, faculty members work together as one body supporting six interdisciplinary areas of study: Adventure Education, Arts & Humanities, Global Studies, Education, Environmental Studies & Sustainability, and Human Development & Counseling.

Field- and Community-based Experiential Education

Prescott College was the first school to deeply integrate the outdoor education and experiential learning approaches developed by Kurt Hahn and Outward Bound into higher education. More than just learning by doing, effective experiential education is an intentional process of group and individual goal setting, plan development, experience, and reflection that builds and integrates skills, knowledge, ethics, and character. Prescott is the only college to be accredited by the Association for Experiential Education as a whole college: all degrees, all deliveries, and all degree levels.

Self-directed, Competency-based Education

Each Prescott College student is responsible for his or her own education. Guided by this principle, we allow students to co-create their individualized programs of study with their faculty. This approach to experiential learning requires students to set learning objectives; to plan learning activities; to reflect on their experiences; and to document, demonstrate, and evaluate their learning. To graduate, students must demonstrate competence not only for prescribed general education and departmental learning outcomes for their interdisciplinary degree area, but also for the individualized outcomes they have set for themselves.

Wilderness Orientation

New students in the Resident Undergraduate Program participate in a month-long Wilderness Orientation that builds community and introduces them to experiential education at Prescott College. This introduction is critical to success throughout the self-directed, interdisciplinary, experiential degree program; it also develops practical camping, small group process, and leadership skills that prepare students for other field- and community-based learning activities throughout their four years.

Limited-Residency Delivery of Professional and Liberal Arts Learning

In 1978, Prescott College translated its experiential approach to liberal arts learning into one of the first hybrid distance education programs in the nation. In this “limited-residency” model students learn through individualized, one-to-one work with mentors in their home communities. Students also travel to Prescott for on-campus orientations and colloquia. Most learning is conducted at a distance from Prescott College, but in close relationship with mentors and faculty advisors.

The Emergent Model

cation Edu ve

Over the last several years, Prescott College’s faculty has completed a Comprehensive Program Review. WeTrandeveloped a plan for the future sfor ma i of our curriculum that is firmly rooted in our history, values, and traditions, but that adapts to better equip our tdiverse learners to address the challenges of the new century. The Emergent Model centers on an interdisciplinary set of required Core Curriculum courses that supports each student’s academic and career success. All students must demonstrate their competence through a new e-portfolio system that allows them to showcase their learning and accomplishments to future employers and graduate schools.



















To read a more in-depth explanation of the Prescott College Innovations visit the 50th Anniversary web page at VAT IO T







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rescott College celebrated its 50th Anniversary with four days of activities on campus October 27–30, 2016. Alumnus Michael Belef ’99 wasn’t able to attend everything, but he tried. The following is his account of the events (see full schedule in sidebar on page 21).

Getting There

I’m jumpy. My wife, Denise, is still recovering from her awful collarbone injury. We cancelled our planned first visit to the Ancient Bristlecone Forest. Many projects remain half-done at the office. Sleep has been evasive for months. I’m with Mom when she passes away and other family have had major setbacks. I try to get a few hours’ sleep. Instead, I get up and hit the road, eager to attend the Prescott College 50th Anniversary celebration. I deliver our blue absentee ballots to the post office and begin driving south. I enjoy a couple days visiting family in San Diego County. I snorkel among brilliant orange garibaldi fish on Swami’s Reef and walk the sandstone beaches and cliffs with Mark and Theresa. We reflect on our plentiful challenges. We enjoy a few laughs. The next


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Faculty Panel on Social Justice (both)

Alumni-Faculty Mixer

A 50th Anniversary

day, I stop for a few hours in Blythe, where younger brother Danny has moved to help manage a friend’s business. I get a tour of the tow yard and the shop. The mechanics help air up my tires to see if I can get better gas mileage on the desert highways. I arrive. Its 8 p.m. I’ve parked behind the old Department of Economic Security building, now the Prescott College General Store. I’m tired and elated. I step out of my truck into the crisp October air. A few students are chatting up on the steep Chapel stairway. The Crossroads Center is stunning. It’s amusing and wonderful to find familiar compost bins behind the Library, bigger and better than the piles that I recall from the ’90s. Many familiar buildings remain, but the old gravel alley through the middle of it all is replaced with beautiful paving stones, sculptures, native plants, and an inviting outdoor classroom. There’s a great online tour of campus here: For the 50th celebration, alumni were invited to stay in vacant Village “dorm” rooms next to the first-year students. Students Zoe ’18 and Adam ’18 help me get settled in to my accommodations there. We pass through the sturdy gate and under the grape















vines dangling from the central pavilion. I am stunned by the thoughtful, practical LEED™ design, resplendent landscaping, and thoughtful security features. My Village suite is modern and cozy. I meet many alumni over five days: an entomologist, a massage therapist, a spinal surgeon, a holistic health specialist, artists, outdoor leaders, attorneys, educators, writers, river guides; all sharing tales of their Prescott College experiences. I didn’t get to talk with all the alumni, but everyone I did talk to said Prescott College was key to finding their way in the world.

October 27

By day, the golden and rust Crossroads Center buildings are embraced by the bright yellow, orange, and reds of the restored Butte Creek foliage. There’s positive energy brewing in the swanky multi-level Crossroads Café. I’m practically skipping from excitement. I spy faculty member Sheila Sanderson on her way to a poetry or writing class and run to greet her. I create my own PC tours by poking my head into most of the buildings. Head of IT Eric Warthan gives me a brief tour that

Tom Barry ’92 grills for BBQ

President Flicker at Friday BBQ

Elisabeth Ruffner and Anna Parker ’80

Re-creating the ‘AllCollege’ photo, Campus Commons, October 28, 2017

includes a new multimedia presentation center and the computer server room that supports Prescott College. And a cool surprise: a scalable compute, storage, and virtualization system from my company, Nutanix. This is leading edge technology. The I.T. staff also provide great wireless, A/V, and other support. The Natural History Institute is a beautiful mural-painted building with room for community events and collections. I stroll over to the Chapel building and the adjoining offices. The front hall … so many positive experiences I’ve had here. So many gatherings, talks with faculty and students, and worries eased during office hours. There’s a Yoga class starting upstairs. Pause, close your eyes, and breathe. What great Chapel memories and experiences do you recall? Thursday night is an alumni-faculty mixer. Lots of energy, lots of drinks, and Layne Longfellow honors Joel Barnes ’81,’88, who has been named to the Order of the Javelina by the Alumni Association. That’s an impressive list of honorees! We also recognize a number of people who have been named faculty emeritus.

Transitions Issue 2017


October 28

Eight in the morning. Lisa Zander ’12, Program Coordinator of the Natural History Institute, leads 10 alumni, students, and friends on a Monarch netting and tagging project. Our observations and data will be entered into an international database. Lisa and others had tagged 50 monarchs the previous week; so, we only have three monarch tags left, but plenty of enthusiasm to learn safe and sane Monarch netting techniques from Ken Kingsley ’72. Parking near the much-improved City of Prescott recycling facilities, we hike along Watson Creek. I net the first butterfly while Lisa gently applies the ID sticker to the wing and Zoe releases the butterfly. Current students Adam, Zoe, and Julie M.A. ’19 stay behind when we’re done to wander in the restored Watson Woods, perfecting their new Monarch netting skills and eager to contribute future tagging efforts for the international Monarch studies and conservation efforts. If you return to Prescott, visit the ongoing restorations at Watson Woods. Try to arrange a guided tour. More info at: In 1997 and ’98, I enjoyed six months study in Mexico. Spanish in Guaymas, Sea Kayaking and Marine Landscapes on the Baja peninsula and Marine Biology at Kino Bay. I’m totally stoked to meet many of the current 15 Kino Bay staff members at their presentation later Saturday morning. The vision for Kino Bay growth has been unfolding since the 1970s. I definitely plan to support further development at Kino Bay. Check out what’s going on there at Both Friday and Saturday we are treated to a presentation about the early PC “campuses.” Talk of the classes held in the St. Michael Hotel basement and photos of what is now Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University stoke a lot of memories among early alumni. The amphitheater overlooking Butte Creek is a perfect setting for Doug Hulmes’s ’74 John Muir Chautaqua. His passionate Scottish brogue and his knowledge and command of John Muir’s language and experience creates powerful reflection for all of us. John Muir’s message really resonates for me. I grew up in the Redwoods,Yosemite, and other places John Muir protected. Clearly we have as much work to do now as John Muir did back in the day. Friday night is the big party. Positive, forward-looking remarks by President John Flicker. I’m encouraged by the local community interaction at Prescott College; it seems strong these days with locals and friends attending most of the 50th Anniversary events.

October 29

Joel Barnes, Butte Creek Tour

Art Gallery at Sam Hill

Doug Hulmes John Muir Chautauqua

Kino Bay “Bycatch” Photo Op


Transitions Issue 2017

On Saturday, the College Board of Trustees announces that PC enrollment is the highest in five years and the books are balanced. While the school seems more inclusive and diverse than ever, the Board states a desire to increase diversity in the College, including on the Board itself. They express a desire for more alumni involvement.You should reach out to the alumni who are serving on the Board (I already did): Lee Caldwell ’73 and Anne Dorman ’74 Joel Barnes and student Nick Balik ’16 lead alumni around Butte creek. We learn how gravel and asphalt was transformed into a vibrant creek teeming with Monarchs, native plants, bugs, lizards, and even tiger salamanders. What a great affirmation for all the people who’ve invested study, work, and love in this watershed! Nick showed us how students built, then rebuilt a library drainage that threatened to undermine the library foundation. Joel explains that there is more community interest in restoring other parts of Butte Creek, which also helps heal the Verde River, all the way to the Colorado River. It’s an ongoing lesson in perseverance, politics, tact, restoration, planning, failure analysis, and a lot about learning from nature. It’s a dazzling vibrant creek that has become the heart of this wonderful place called Prescott College. There is a video that describes the restoration efforts at Butte Creek from 1997 to 2014 at I connect with Lisa Floyd-Hannah, Sam Henrie, Ed Boyer, Carl Tomoff, and other current and past faculty. I regret my visits are so brief. Perhaps we alumni can create a 50-plus reunion for 2017 or 2018? During the previous five years of declining enrollment, there have been painful cuts to keep the school going. I’m pleasantly surprised that many of those laid-off staff and faculty greet us during the celebrations. As a survivor of never-ending Silicon Valley layoffs, I know the disillusionment. That kind of loss is more profoundly felt in the small, supportive places like Prescott College. I miss the film, The College That Wouldn’t Die. Instead I have lunch with laid-off faculty. We miss these people, and we need to restore lost programs as soon as possible. I can say that the enthusiasm and entrepreneurial drive to make life better in every discipline is still vibrant here, and the current students, and remaining staff and faculty perform amazing work. At the Sam Hill Warehouse, current student Aurora Berger ’17 “and the Jets” host an alumni art show that includes 2D and 3D art from many media. The selected works are beautifully arranged and the event is superbly managed by Aurora and remaining Arts & Letters faculty

member Ellen Greenblum. I get invited to dinner from there. Nice! But suddenly I’m profoundly overwhelmed by all the socializing. Anxiety grips me. What is this? I don’t want to explain myself. I go sit among easels and props in the back room. Before I leave, I reflect by the memorial plaque for dear art instructor Roseanne Cartledge. I’m told people wore bracelets for Roseanne and sealed them behind this memorial brick. Roseanne led the only art class I took at PC, and it was most excellent.

October 30

Heading Home

I drive west. I stop in Blythe and kayak the Colorado River, where Danny and some dude on the dock grow weary of my exhortations: “I don’t think them gigantic Asian carp are native species.” I drive up highway 395. I’m completely alone with the gnarled Ancient Bristlecones at 11,000 feet. The oldest living organisms on earth, some are 5,500 years old. I am compelled to feel the smooth twisted trunks. To gaze east over the wind-torn landscapes and wonder, “What can these trees sense, or know, which I cannot imagine?” I camp overnight and enjoy the stars. It’s cold. The road could close any day. I drive down the barren White Mountains and head north along 395. I spend a day near Mammoth Mountain and visit Hot Creek: it’s another in-progress restoration. The cattle-grazed banks are restored and the trout are leaping at flies all along the creek. Invasive New Zealand snails are the newest challenge to resolve here. I pick up a lot of trash in the parking lot because common sense, well, it’s not so common.

November 5

Ancient Bristlecone

Doug Hulmes gives a presentation about Sacred Trees, attended by alumni and Prescott residents alike. Doug tells surprising and powerful stories about the ancient and enduring respect for trees in Norway and Sweden and ties he’s found to sacred trees in Arizona. We load into vans and visit the oldest Alligator Juniper tree in Arizona. The tree is a massive natural wonder that Doug has studied for years. The Granite Mountain Hotshot firefighters saved this particular tree from fire when most of the surrounding trees were burned. Sadly, all but one firefighter perished fighting the subsequent Yarnell fire in 2013. The massive Alligator Juniper and the new memorial below its gnarled branches are even more widely revered because of this. The experience is both inspiring and solemn, a combination of indoor learning and outdoor experience and reflection – the perfect send-off for our continuing journeys. And so, we part.

I get lucky: CalTrans re-opens the snow-kissed and fault-twisted Sonora pass. I pass the Columns of the Giants, towering hexagonal basalt columns. Glacial remnants still cool the air beneath the talus fields. I reflect on all the folks who’ve labored for education, preservation, and restoration, the people sharing the healing and the arts. I always feel a bit unsettled winding down from mountain retreats towards familiar city lights, thinking about all these connections. Nearly every endeavor I hold dear has Prescott College alumni contributing to it.Yet, I bite my lip considering the unpleasant ordeals at hand. It’s disheartening that we have to fight at all for such obvious rights and for unspoiled places. So many people have helped us get this far under more difficult conditions. Maybe it is a sacred responsibility and privilege to make a difference. As I approach my home, I resolve to direct more energy and support through all the people of Prescott College.

h s i W ere W u o Y ere! H

Alumni-Faculty Mixer

If you weren’t able to make it to the 50th events on campus, you can watch videos of the highlighted items below online at

50th Celebration Itinerary Thursday, October 27, 2016 Campus Tour Faculty Panel: Social Justice in the Field Alumni-Faculty Mixer Friday, October 28, 2016 Monarch Tagging Hike Downtown Prescott Walking Tour Kino Bay Celebrates 25 Re-creating the All-College Photo History of Prescott College followed by Campus Tour John Muir Chautauqua by Doug Hulmes 50th Anniversary Celebration BBQ – Remarks by John Flicker Saturday, October 29, 2016 Open Session of Prescott College Board of Trustees Meeting Downtown Prescott Walking Tour Butte Creek Restoration Council Creek Tour History of Prescott College Screening: The College That Wouldn’t Die Alumni Art Exhibit Reception – Watch the exhibit come together through time-lapse at Sunday, October 30, 2016 Presentation on Sacred Trees and Hike to Ancient Alligator Juniper Downtown Prescott Walking Tour Hear from folks about their 50th anniversary celebration experience – what they enjoyed about being here and connecting with the community – at

Transitions Issue 2017


Where Are They Now? Profiles from the Prescott College Kino Bay Center for Cultural and Ecological Studies Walking into the Prescott College Kino Bay Center on any given day, you might find the inhabitants sunning on the Library steps while studying Mexican fishery laws, painting a mural, playing a game of volleyball on the beach, or loading gear into the Albatross panga for a three-day camping trip in the Midriff Islands.The Center creates a unique learning environment by bringing together students, researchers, fellows, and community members from Mexico and beyond to learn from each other and the surrounding desert and coastal ecosystems.The classes and programs embrace the Prescott College ethos of experiential learning, offering the opportunity, to everyone who passes through, to play an active role in co-creating solutions to complex conservation challenges. The eight students, researchers, and fellows profiled below share their experiences at the Kino Bay Center and how those experiences have shaped their paths in the following years.Working and studying in diverse fields, these “alumni” of the Kino Bay Center are an inspiring demonstration of the different ways it is possible to make an impact in conservation. “During my time at the Kino Bay Center I wore many different hats: student, Senior Project, research fellow, field station catch-all, and of course TA, to list a few. I learned and experienced more things than I have space to list here, it was such a diverse, rich, and important period in my life. It affected me profoundly – the deep immersion in a place – and the connection I forged to the sea, islands, and amazing natural resources was something that has entirely influenced where I am today. I haven’t strayed that far, just a little ways north and into the Pacific, working on the Channel Islands for the National Park Service as a wildlife biologist focused on Seabirds and habitat restoration. Oddly enough I am still a student at Prescott College 20 years later [in the master’s degree program]. My time in Kino and the relationships that I forged there entirely influenced that as well.” David Mazurkiewicz ’97 “During my first year at Prescott College I attended the Marine Biology semester and fell in love with the gulf, the Sonoran Desert, and the Kino community. I continued my exploration of marine topics in Kino Bay throughout my time at Prescott and focused my Senior Project on designing an interpretive trail at Estero Santa Cruz (Laguna la Cruz), an estuary near the field station. After graduation I completed an 11-month AmeriCorps position as an environmental educator at the South Slough Estuarine Research Reserve. I am currently continuing my exploration of marine issues in a Marine Resource Management (M.S.) program at Oregon State University.” Astrea Strawn ’15 “Not a day goes by where a memory from my time at the field station doesn’t pop into my mind. Kino will always be my favorite place in the world. I miss the long nights of sorting through bycatch and being covered in fish slime on a shrimp trawler. I miss the kindness and beauty of the community of Bahía Kino. My years at the field station will always be with me and I smile at the thought of being there whenever I get the next opportunity. I can’t thank Prescott College and the Kino Bay Center enough for the doors that have been opened to me. I am currently in a master’s degree program at Humboldt State University in Northern California, where I am working on a management plan for Humboldt Bay Oyster Fishery.” Wyatt Smith ’11

“Kino Bay has been my home away from home. I have been going there with my dad’s classes since I was a baby and even took my first steps in Jorge’s restaurant. As a student at Prescott College I took the Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology classes, and spent my final semester as an intern with the bird monitoring program. I currently guide birding tours in Brazil, and recently led my first Kino tour. I am working on my master’s degree in tropical ornithology, painting birds, and training to work for Field Guides, an international birding company. I am grateful for the opportunities and rich experiences that Kino has provided me.” Micah Riegner ’16


Transitions Issue 2017

The Kino Bay Center for Cultural and Ecological Studies

“The semester I spent studying Marine Conservation at the Kino Bay Center was the highlight of my undergraduate experience. During the semester I contributed to several ongoing research projects, including a Blue-Footed Booby bird count on a small island and a species survey in a marine estuary. I spent the night on a shrimp trawler documenting the bycatch of numerous species of fish. I met with local fisherman, representatives of NGOs, and government officials to better understand the varied interests in the local fisheries. It was a wonderful immersive learning experience. I am currently a graduate student at Boston University’s College of Engineering.” Nelson Lee ’10 “For six consecutive winters (2006–2011) I spent one to four months based out of the Prescott College Kino Bay Center, while conducting geologic research for my M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. During this time I studied the plate tectonic processes that led to the opening of the Gulf of California rift while creating geologic maps of the Bahía de Kino and Isla Tiburón region. I look back fondly at geology and ecology adventures I shared with several Prescott students and fellows and the evening geology lectures I presented each winter. I’ll never forget learning about the important research that Prescott students conducted related to bycatch documentation on local fishing boats. My exposure to the real-world impacts of unsustainable fishing practices stays with me to this day. I now am a Research Geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, conducting research on prehistoric earthquakes (paleoseismology) and plate tectonics across the Pacific Northwest region.” Scott Bennett “In my second year as an Environmental Education Fellow I worked a lot to revamp the ecology clubs. We led countless events and worked to make the field trips more exciting for the kids in the community. In Kino I met people committed to their community and environment, which motivated me to follow their footsteps and continue working for the protection of priority habitats in Northwest Mexico. I am currently studying in a master’s degree program in Coastal Oceanography at the Autonomous University of Baja California with the research topic ‘Geodiversity of San Quintín Bay, Baja California, Mexico,’ where I continue implementing many of the skills I learned as a fellow of the Environmental Education Program.” Jorge Miros “I was fortunate enough to spend years of my life at the Kino Bay Center, first as a Prescott College student, then as a Research and Conservation Fellow, an instructor, and now occasionally as a visiting researcher and member of the Center’s Advisory Council. Through the Kino Bay Center I learned how to understand the complexities of conservation issues from a multitude of perspectives, and how to work within a team of people with varied backgrounds to address those issues. Currently, I work as an artist living in Tucson. My work focuses on environmental themes and the human connection to the natural world, particularly the Gulf of California and Sonoran Desert region. The major project I am working on is a collaborative art/science project inspired by the Center’s ongoing shrimp trawler bycatch study.” Maria Johnson ’13

Transitions Issue 2017


A Gathering of Lights By Leslie Laird


walked from my house on Lincoln Avenue over to Prescott College to apply for the position of Assistant to the Dean of the College. I originally came from Oregon and had worked at the Orme School here in Arizona for five years as the assistant to Mr. Orme. The daily 84-mile round trip to work was wearing on me. The night before applying for the job, I had one of my significant dreams. In it, I was walking toward ancient Babylon. On the road were many people lying or sitting down, exhausted. A few were still walking and would bend over to touch those sitting or lying prone. Upon being touched, the exhausted immediately stood up and continued their journey. That dream amazed and impressed me so much, I became even more determined to check out Prescott College and excited to have an opportunity to explore what the dream meant. At this point I should explain that I have had meaningful dreams and have seen auras (created by the energy emitted from individuals) since I was a teenager. I was definitely being called to my next “assignment.” The next morning, as I approached the main building on campus, there were four faculty members and a group of students gathered at the door. Their combined golden aura was large, and immediately impressed me. My inner voice clearly and distinctly told me that this was “a gathering of kindred spirits.” The energy coming from this small group was overwhelming! As I interviewed and was offered the job, they told me what the salary would be. I laughed and said, “I make five times that much out at Orme.” Their reply was, “I’m sorry, but that is all we can pay.” I slept on it. The next day I returned to the College and stated, “I don’t care whether you pay me at all. I belong here.” Thus, my journey began. In all of life you encounter both good and not-so-good situations, individuals, and energy, but a few specific experiences from my early days at Prescott College stick out, and colored the rest of my time there. Not long after I started, students and faculty began filtering into my office to welcome me to the College, and wonderful, significant friendships transpired. Their energy fueled my inner fire. A few months later, I attended my first Prescott College graduation dance. As I approached the auditorium door and attempted to look inside at the dancers, the entry and entire room appeared foggy with a thick, beautiful golden aura. I again knew this was a very special and significant community. My first office was across from the south stairwell in the 220 Grove building. Groups of students and faculty from upstairs would stop halfway down the stairs, lean over, and


Transitions Issue 2017

talk with me in my office below. On occasion, I noticed that when they did so, they moved as if they had bumped into something. I’d look up and ask if they had felt something physical in their way—the answer was always yes! I soon figured out why. An entity sometimes appeared halfway down the stairs, peering into my office. I only ever saw it out of the corner of my eye. If I tried to look at it directly, it would disappear. Like the flesh and blood people at Prescott College, the entity had good energy. I wasn’t bothered by it in the least. In fact, I rearranged where my desk sat so I could keep an eye out for it at the right angle. Many things, including a conversation with a couple of Sisters of Mercy I had the privilege of meeting who knew the building, convince me that the entity was likely a nun who had passed away while living and working at the original hospital. Like energy attracts like energy, and it seems to me that Prescott College has always attracted those students looking for a complete Mind-Body-Spirit learning experience. It was the students, in large part, who kept me showing up at work for 27 years. I truly enjoyed my daily breaks and took them in the parking lot because of the gathering of students who nearly always joined me. My breaks were always very special. From the day I interviewed for my first position, I knew without a doubt that this place was a gathering of kindred spirits—a gathering of lights in this world. It still is. Leslie began her Prescott College experience in 1985, starting out as the Dean’s Assistant. She remained on staff until 2013, serving in several different roles, including work in the Registrar’s Office typing and filing all student and faculty narrative evaluations.This was, by far, her favorite position. “I knew what the students had learned, and their sensitivity to the world beyond corporeal sights and sounds. I have always felt a strong spiritual draw to the College.” She has remained connected to many people on campus and continues weekly visits. “My fondest memories are of the students and unique community members that I had the privilege of working with while there, and I jumped at the chance to share some of my more ethereal experiences at the College for the 50th Anniversary issue of Transitions.”

Photo by Joshua Biggs, April 2017

Transitions Issue 2017


Ronald C. Nairn

Memorial Scholarship Fund

“We are taking our past concepts of learning and giving them a new focus by which we can come close to the objective of that ancient Chinese aphorism: ‘To have roots but to soar like an eagle.’” – Ron Nairn History The Prescott College concept was conceived by a symposium of one hundred educators sponsored by the Ford Foundation in 1963, with the goal of developing a private four-year liberal arts college “unfettered by any tradition that would limit its opportunity to relate itself dynamically to the emerging 21st century.” The small town of Prescott, Ariz., was looking for a college, and local minister Dr. Charles Franklin Parker garnered support for the school through massive fundraising efforts, resulting in $1,000,000 in pledges from local residents and businesses. In 1965, the college hired its first academic president, Dr. Ronald Nairn. And the following year Prescott College opened its doors to its charter class.

Ronald C. Nairn Nairn was born in Drumcullion, Northern Ireland, and emigrated with his young parents to New Zealand at the age of two. There the family established a small dairy farm. By 1942 World War II had broken out, and, tired of early morning milkings, Ron Nairn enlisted in the Air Force at the age of 17. From 1942 to 1944, he flew 187 missions over the South Pacific and was shot down twice, earning the Air Force Cross and the Distinguished Flying Medal. He remained in the Air Force for some time, reaching the rank of Lieutenant Colonel by the time he was 32. After 20 years in the Air Force, he elected to retire from his military career and won a fellowship to begin graduate studies at Yale University, graduating with a Ph.D. in International Relations and a master’s degree in Southeast Asian Studies. He joined the faculty at U.C. Santa Barbara and was also a consultant for the RAND Corporation.

Honoring the Past This year marks the 50th anniversary of Prescott College, so Ron Nairn’s daughters, Belinda and Sue, worked with the College to generate a scholarship fund in their father’s memory. The fund will provide scholarship assistance for Prescott College students, with Yavapai County residents being given first priority. A small portion of the fund will also be used to create a memorial display about the College’s early years. Their hope is not only to recognize their father for his efforts in building the college, but to remember the students, faculty, and staff who had the courage to attend and work at a brand new school, which was totally cutting edge and ahead of its time. To donate to the Ronald C. Nairn Memorial Scholarship Fund, send checks with “Nairn” in the memo to the Advancement Office, Prescott College, 220 Grove Avenue, Prescott, AZ 86301, or call us at (928) 350-4505.

Confluence of Purpose With Nairn’s arrival, Prescott’s dream of building a college became a reality. When it opened in 1966, there were 43 buildings on the 240-acre campus. Traditional college academic departments did not exist. All students took a rich curriculum in four integrated areas: anthropology, language and literature, civilizations, and systems. There were no traditional team sports; instead the College adopted techniques developed by Outward Bound, taking students kayaking down the Colorado River, diving in the Gulf of California, rappelling down the red rocks found in Prescott. Incoming freshmen spent their first three weeks of orientation rafting, climbing mountains, and kayaking, including a solo wilderness experience where they were left alone for 24 hours.


Transitions Issue 2017

First graduating class with Nairn, 1970

“Ron Nairn took a long-haired sixteen-year-old under his wings and taught him to soar like an eagle. And I am not alone. It was his unflagging faith in each of us–combined with his visionary leadership–that provided the foundation for Prescott College.”

–Jeff Salz ’75

How Alumni Connect with Prescott College One of the big takeaways from the 50th Anniversary celebrations in October was that alumni don’t really know how to plug in to the College or are not aware of the many opportunities that already exist. We’re working on improving the way we interact and communicate with one of our most important audiences, but wanted to remind everyone of the following … If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Alumni Office at or (928) 350-4502.

To Stay Involved with Prescott College Join Online Communities

Facebook –!/groups/9765820903/ LinkedIn – Group956327?trk=myg_ugrp_ovr

Visit the Alumni Webpage

The Alumni Website – – has all the info that you will need as an alumnus: an online update page for your most current info, upcoming events, links to transcript pages, class notes updating you on your classmates, news, featured alumni, and more.

Join a Volunteer Network!

Make Sure We Have Updated Info

Alumni Volunteer Networks include ASK (Alumni Sharing Knowledge) Career Network and the Alumni Recruiter’s Network We can’t stay in touch with you unless we have your current info – mailing address, e-mail, and phone number. Update your info and contact preferences online at or by calling the Alumni Office.

Attend an Event!

We’ve been doing fewer regional events, but want to do a better job at letting you know what amazing things are happening on campus. Check for events in Ecos, the Alumni E-newsletter, on PC social networks or on the College’s online calendar.

Host an Event!

Regional events are more personal when we have a host! We also want to encourage alumni to get together on their own. If you’d like to host a regional event, please contact the Alumni Office.

Spread the Word

Perhaps one of the best ways that you can stay involved is by spreading the word about Prescott College. This is one of the biggest ways that students hear about the College and PC folks make connections out there in the world. Keep talking about PC!


Join the Alumni Association Board


Want a more direct line to what’s happening at Prescott College, and some influence on how alumni interact with the school now and in the future? Step up and join the PC Alumni Association (PCAA) Board when nomination and elections come around.

Donate/Fundraise for Prescott College

Alumni did it while you were a student – now is the time to continue the tradition. PLUS, when you give to the Annual Fund – it means you become a voting member of the PC Corporation! In addition to the Annual Fund, you can make your tax-deductible donation to the PC Endowment or special scholarships.

If none of this looks like something you’re interested in, but you still want to connect, want to let the College know how you’re feeling, or have constructive ideas for how to connect the institution with alumni, you can REACH OUT to:

The Alumni Office or (928) 350-4502 Alumni members of the Prescott College Board of Trustees: Lee Caldwell ’73; and Anne Dorman ’74

Your PCAA Board: Brad Swain ’83 Kenneth Kingsley ’72 Lawrence Tham ’71 Layne Longfellow Marie Smith Michelle Lanzoni ’01 Nathan Houchin ’01 Thomas Barry ’92;; *President;;;;;

Transitions Issue 2017


Class Notes

Class Notes

Please send Class Note submissions to

1960s Anna Johnson-Chase ’68 Anna writes, “As a ’66’er [Charter Class], I’m sorry to miss the reunion. It was great to be part of the beginning and watch it grow. I have too many commitments to work and family in October and will miss you all!”

Kirk Gray ’69 In 1993 and 2004 the Rand Corporation published Kirk’s article, “Tavernbased Leisure and Play in a Midwestern Working Class Community.” According to Rand, this is the most requested article they ever published. Kirk writes, “The article is an anthropological/folklorist documentation of the importance of tavern games to societal well-being and integration.”

Prescott College added a colorful, new piece to my life in the 70s. It has been a wild, wonderful journey through life since that time. I have come to believe that “I don’t know anything for sure, but I suspect a lot.” I want to remain teachable, curious, vibrant, alive, and healthy mentally and physically for as long as I live. My work is hypnosis and NLP, which I love, especially as I am able to help others and be of service. While I love living on the West Coast, I love traveling anywhere and everywhere. I have a lot more of the world to see and I continue that adventure when I can.”

Tom Robinson ’73 Tom took a fabulous three-week Grand Canyon raft trip with Angela Garner ’72, Dave Meeks ’73, Steve Huemmer ’73, Bruce Sargent ’73, Lauren Sargent ’08, and Will Stillwell, among others.

Daniel Kowalski ’74 Daniel moved back home to Colorado in June 2015. He is living in Pinewood Springs, near Estes Park, and telecommuting to can follow his Twitter feed @dkbib.

Matuschka ’74

Karin just retired after 29 years of teaching high school English and Spanish in Japan, Spain, Denmark, and New Mexico. Karin and her husband, Joe, moved to the rural/suburban Rio Grande Valley, where Karin enjoys writing poetry, walking along irrigation ditches, and watching birds.You can reach Karin at

The New York Historical Society Museum will be featuring Matuschka’s work in an upcoming show February–April 2017. She is currently working on her archives and preparing new and old work for a variety of venues, including a book, movie, and major retrospective to be held in 2018. For more information visit the following links: for news visit, or; speaking engagements at www.; new work at www.matuschkaphotography.tumblr. com/ovulationcopulation; and a book designed in Prescott with Walt Anderson at

Bob Page ’70

Gratia Winship ’74

Charter Class member Bob Page contacted the College about the upcoming anniversary celebration and writes, “We had four great years at the original campus and many fond memories of developing the College with so many great friends and faculty. My best to all, especially those Charter Class members who stuck out the full four years.”

Wesley Clarke ’75

1970s Karin Bradberry ’70

Gerry (Goan) Lukaska ’72 Gerry writes, “While I am sorry to miss the 50th celebration in Prescott, I promise to drink a toast of gratitude to Prescott College, professors, and friends while hiking around Mont Blanc. After spending all of my professional career in French immersion as a teacher and principal (Edison Tathum was a great influence), retirement has been wonderful and included hiking in Switzerland, Italy, Spain, and France. No backpacking, just great day hikes and staying in fabulous small hotels and inns. Cheers to all with wishes for good health, happiness, and continued enjoyment of the outdoors!”

Christopher Norment ’72 Christopher writes, “My 24th year at the College at Brockport; still teaching environmental science/ecology classes, doing some research, and trying to write creative nonfiction in my spare time.”

Linda Rosenthal ’72 Linda retired a few years ago and moved to Australia to be closer to her grandchildren. She also has one grandchild in Croatia and one in Portland, Ore. Linda spends her time hiking and silversmithing. She recently finished 3,500 peaks in the Catskill Mountains in New York.

Reed Atherton ’73 Reed recently visited some Arizona alumni and writes, “July 4, 2016, wasn’t my first rodeo. It was my second at Prescott separated by 44 years. Thanks to Judy Clapp ’74 and David Shapiro ’73 for the hospitality. Then on to see Maggie McQuaid ’75 at Montezuma Well for a fine tour and excellent birding.”

Paul Hessinger ’73 Paul reaches out from San Francisco and writes, “Hello to all. I enjoy encountering all of you whenever and wherever I have and will over the years. I am always fascinated to hear where life has taken YOU.


Transitions Issue 2017

Gratia writes that she is retired and still making trouble. She is always happy to hear from the old Prescott College gang.

Wesley writes, “I have been working for over 40 years as an archaeologist in the American Midwest, and also during the past 15 years in Southeast Asia (Thailand and Cambodia).”

Genevieve Davis ’75 Genevieve writes, “Life continues to be beautiful in Santa Fe! I continue to work in my private practice providing counseling to individuals and couples. I discovered my biological half siblings after decades of searching for them. I want to design a research project that addresses identity challenges that adoptees may experience. Anyone adopted? Anyone interested in helping me design a study for publication?” If you would like to assist Genevieve, please contact her at

Gerald Reed ’75 Gerald completed his service as a Peace Corps response volunteer on December 15, 2016. He served as an organizational development advisor to the president of a five-year-old public university in Queretaro, Mexico.

Carol Maureen (McCormick) DeHart ’77, ’15 Carol is working as a fire lookout this summer with the U.S. Forest Service in Northern Arizona on the Kaibab National Forest and would love to hear from classmates and Prescott alumni.You can email her at

Mary T.Yelenick ’79 Mary is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and is a litigation partner in the firm of Chadbourne & Parke LLP (New York City), where she has practiced law since 1981. Mary has long been active in peace and social justice organizations, including having served two terms as Board Chair of NETWORK, a National Catholic Social Justice Lobby (the “Nuns on the Bus” organization). Presently, Mary is a member of the NGO delegation to the United Nations of Pax Christi International (the Catholic global peace movement, based in Brussels). She is also a member of the national Pax Christi Anti-Racism Team. Mary has enjoyed keeping up over the years either in person, or via Facebook, with wonderful pals from Prescott College, including Betsy Elia Klipera, Rob O’Neil, Karen Reichhardt ’74, Sally Sullivan, Ginny DeFede ’75, and Lee Stuart ’75.

1980s Jerome writes, “Still living in Boulder, Colo.; loving life and living fully!” You can contact him at

1990s John Donohie ’91 John has made a career change to massage therapy. He is currently running a licensed private practice out of his home. He focuses on specific issues and specializes in deep tissue work, trigger point therapy, stretching, and joint mobilization.

Jody Karr ’91 Jody writes to say, “I recently accepted a position with the Texas Conservation Corps and returned to Austin, Texas. I’m grateful to be closer to family and to support the good work TXCC is doing throughout Texas and the southeast region.”

Tomas Zuccareno ’93 Tomas is one of six documentary filmmakers who have been awarded a Redford Center award for Environmental Filmmaking. Tomas directed the film How We Grow, with Haley Thompson. The film is about ambitious young farmers, ranchers, and chefs building community around locally grown food in the Roaring Fork Valley of Western Colorado.

Victoria “Alex” (Bowden) Apella ’94 Alex attended Prescott College in the early 90s. At that time, she went to Argentina on an independent study; 22 years later she has published The János Book. Alex writes, “My mentor for the independent study was Dana Oswald, and she was an amazing guide. I went to Argentina to speak with my great-uncle, and essentially did an ethnographic study on my own family. When I completed all my commitments to my independent study, it was very evident that there was still much more work to be done down here. It was Dana who exclaimed, ‘You’re not going to come back up here now, are you?’ Meaning, stay in Argentina and keep working on this! That bit of advice shaped my path, and culminated in The János Book.” The book was first published in Spanish in Argentina in 2012, titled Entonces el libro.You can find the book on or read for free at

Kerry Estey Keith ’94 and Kevin Keith ’95 Kevin and Kerry performed with the band Generation on AZTV Morning Scramble.

Thomas Liddle ’95 Thomas is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. He has just started a four-year assignment with the Protestant Church of Timor-Leste under the auspices of Global Ministries. Thomas and his wife, Monica, have two children, Hannah, 12, and Simon, 6.

Charles “Monty” Roessel M.A. ’95 Charles was recently selected by the Diné College Board of Regents as the new president of Diné College.

Susan (Cummins) Clark ’96 Susan recently wrote a professional book titled Art Therapy: Mindfulness, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and the Creative Process, released in September 2016, by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Ann Gassaway ’96 Ann writes, “It lifts my spirit to remember my learning experience at Prescott College and home on Sunup in the Hassayampa Club area. I moved to Prescott just to go to Prescott College. I learned about the College while attending USIU in San Diego. As I would learn later, Prescott College would be a perfect fit, both the College and living among the Ponderosa Pines. Since leaving all that nourished my soul at a time in life when I was open to receive such richness, I have gone on and achieved even more: education, knowledge, and love of the Earth above and below where I call home. I am now finishing a career as a crisis therapist on the mental health unit at an acute care hospital in the high desert of California and preparing to return to the ocean and mountains of my childhood home in the Ventura/Ojai, Calif., area. I will continue to reap wonderful rewards

Sandra Haggard M.A. ’96 Sandra taught English at a university in southern Taiwan for 10 years and has recently moved back to the United States.

James Pittman ’97 James has moved to the Peruvian Amazon for an extended time to learn from indigenous people and their cultural traditions, spirituality, as well as use of diverse plant medicines for healing physical, psychological, and spiritual ailments. He is also consulting with Chaikuni Institute, an educational NGO focusing on the union of ancient indigenous traditions with contemporary Permaculture design to teach and apply regenerative community-based development practices in Amazonian communities.You can email him at if you want to learn more or visit!

Anna Schrenk ’97 Anna recently received a national award in conjunction with the Verde Watershed Restoration Coalition from the Reduce Risks from Invasive Species Coalition and the Congressional Invasive Species Caucus during the 2016 Congressional Reception and Awards Program in Washington, D.C., on June 15. For more information, please go to /3774vrwcfightsinvasiveplants.html.

Eliot Treichel ’97 Eliot’s young adult novel, A Series of Small Maneuvers, has been named a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. The book also received the Reading the West Award from the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association.

Sean Nordquist ’98 In summer 2016, Sean studied what it takes to save species in the wild and engage with local partners in developing and testing site-specific methods of community engagement to sustain ecological and social health in Hawaii. Sean, vice president at the Ocean Media Institute, lives in St. Petersburg, Fla. He took the summer graduate course in pursuit of his master’s degree from Miami University’s Global Field Program.

Eric “Alok” Remza ’98 Eric spent about a month in Ouray, Colo., instructing and guiding ice climbing. He is doing this work through International Mountain Guides and Irwin Guides. If you are interested or would like to learn more, please contact Eric at

Matthew Verson ’99 Matthew is currently living with his wife, ten-month-old son, and parents in Western Massachusetts. He is doing some agricultural and environmental consulting, along with some legal work and studying for the bar. The day Matthew wrote this Class Note, he was doing many homesteading activities including weeding, taking a bike ride, and fixing the nest box in his chicken tractor.

2000s Susan DeFreitas ’00 Susan shares her story in a video at Learn about Susan, some of the places and people that have been important to her, and why you might want to help her launch her first book! Susan’s debut novel, Hot Season, published in

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Class Notes

Jerome Stone ’80

from my work as I drink in the ocean and mountains that fed and nourished my young soul and the future that came later exploring the value of education.”

Class Notes

November. Susan writes, “There’s so much in this book that anyone who went to Prescott College will get a kick out of.” Consider liking her author page at Also see Last Word on page 37.

Jaime Zaplatosch ’00 Jaime currently serves as the vice president of community engagement and education for Openlands in Chicago, Ill. Openlands is one of the oldest metropolitan conservation organizations in the nation. Jaime is pleased to be able to share Openlands’ report, “Green Schoolyards: A Growing Movement Supporting Health, Education and Connection with Nature.” This document, which makes a strong case for the significant and diverse benefits of green schoolyards, is informed by a rich dialogue that has been taking place at the national and local levels about how to help children, families, schools, communities, and our environment thrive.You can read the report at

Jon Barfield ’01 After earning his Ph.D. in psychology at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in 2010, Jon spent four years working in partnership with Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) and UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center in a series of mindfulness and compassion related projects. In 2011, he started writing for a Korean journal of Buddhism and culture and has so far published 14 articles and given numerous lectures and workshops at universities and Zen temples in Korea on ecopsychology and Buddhist psychology. Currently, Jon lives in Ridgway, Colo., with his wife, Teresa, and their three-year-old daughter, Mila. He has a private practice as a psychotherapist, owns a small arborist business, and plays in “Niceness,” a positively grounded roots reggae band. Check out their new album at www. Jon can be reached at

Rachel Yoder ’01 Rachel’s debut short story collection Infinite Things All At Once will be published by Curbside Splendor Publishing this summer.

Emily McClintick ’02 and Nadia Olena Chornodolsky ’04 Nadia and Emily had a reunion in Berlin and wrote “Prescott College” in the sand at the Brandenburger Tor. Nadia writes, “We reminisced joyfully and were definitely feeling the spirit of Prescott College. In our little adventures in Berlin, we really saw how our experience at the College empowered us to journey and how it has influenced our daily life. It was beyond rejuvenating.”

Natalie (Canfield) Garrett ’03 Natalie is launching a new business in collaboration with Study Abroad. Along with her business partner, Brook Roberts, Natalie has written a goalsetting, action-planning, reflective journal to enhance learning about studying abroad called The Study Abroad Journal. The first edition comes out this fall.

Amanda Giracca ’03 Amanda’s article, “Into the Field: Why Science Education Needs to Leave the Classroom,” was recently featured in Orion Magazine. The article focuses on the importance of field experience in science education, and is largely based off the work of Prescott College faculty member Tom Fleischner. Tom recently led a Natural History Institute workshop focused on preserving a method of teaching that inspires students not just to be knowledgeable scientists, but to be good citizens of this world. Amanda’s article includes quotes from the field biologists and educators who participated in Tom’s workshop in addition to her


Transitions Issue 2017

own experiential education at Prescott College, like canoeing down glacial rivers in Alaska with Tom and chasing wolves in New Mexico with another Prescott College faculty member, Bob Ellis.

Miriam Glade ’03 Miriam and her two children, Jonas and Johanna, will be moving to Kassel, Germany, summer of 2017. After six years of working as the PC In-house Graphic Designer, she will be focusing on restarting her career in the social work field and will enjoy connecting with family and friends abroad.

Maggie Kane ’03 Maggie writes, “I received my teaching credential in 2003 from your distance program and I have been teaching public school ever since. I now live in Colorado and have some exciting field work coming up in a few weeks. I am about to embark on polar field work with NASA over Antarctica as part of Operation IceBridge. We will be studying the extent and thickness of the ice, specifically looking at ice shelves, such as the Getz Ice Shelf, to see how the warming ocean water below is affecting the ice. Our campaign is part of a long range study, keeping tabs on ice at both poles. We will be studying for about a month, during which time we will all be based in Punta Arenas, Chile. My role as a science teacher is to communicate back to schools, communities, and people who are interested.”

Sara Campbell ’04 Sara was ordained to the United Church of Christ on May 7, 2016. She is now serving at St. Stephens-Bethlehem United Church of Christ in Amherst, NY.

John Groom ’04 and Jessica Lichtig-Groom ’06 Jessica and John are launching a company that designs and sells children-specific mountain bikes that grow with kids. The company is called Flow Bikes.

Lawrence Schuessler ’05 Lawrence writes, “Loving working for Outward Bound and living the wilderness lifestyle all over the West and overseas.”

Justin Plaskov ’06 Justin graduated with a double major in secondary education and political ecology from Prescott College. Upon graduation, he spent a brief time teaching social studies topics and traveling the world as a volunteer and bilingual guide for service project trips. Justin graduated from Colorado Law School in 2012 and became a published author. Since then, he has been practicing in the field of plaintiff ’s employment law, with a heavy emphasis on civil rights cases. In 2015, one of his cases received a nearly $15 million jury verdict on behalf of plaintiffs claiming race/national origin discrimination and retaliation. The verdict was the largest employment law verdict in the history of Colorado. Although Justin is a young attorney, he was heavily involved in the case and examined about 1/3 of the witnesses at trial, including cross-examining key defense witnesses.

Sarah Silver M.A. ’06 Sarah has accepted a position as Associate Faculty in the Education Department at Prescott College. Sarah previously served as a mentor and taught as an adjunct faculty member.

Renee Brechter Burns ’07 and Zach Burns ’07, M.A. ’13 Renee and Zach have started an organization based out of Duluth, Minn., running adventure-based programs and training. Their company, Encompass Learning, is delivering a unique program with a national nonprofit organization that provides wilderness experiences to young adult cancer survivors. They will deliver a weeklong canoe trip in the boundary waters this summer, incorporating mindfulness and healing though nature. Encompass Learning is also partnering with another Prescott College alumna in the Duluth area, Shawna Weaver Ph.D. ’15, on a project promoting the sustainability of Lake Superior by creating a documentary while running unsupported the length of the 310-mile superior hiking trail.

Melissa Doran Cole ’07 Melissa recently completed training for Yoga for the Special Child and is ready to offer it to the Tucson community. She will be offering private and group adaptive yoga classes for children with special needs. If you are interested, please check out her Facebook page at

Edie Dillon M.A. ’07

Dorisa Jones ’07 Dorisa is living in Florida and working as a licensed massage therapist and holistic health practitioner. She is also a full-time English teacher. She took teacher training in Europe.

Michael Smith ’07 Michael was recently promoted to the position of Verde Valley/Sedona interim executive director for Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Abram Fleishman ’08 Abram coauthored a paper with Environmental Studies and Sustainability faculty member Dr. Mark Riegner and Emily Clark, a past Research Fellow in Kino, published in the journal Waterbirds. The paper, “Diversity, Abundance and Nesting Phenology of the Wading Birds of Bahia Kino, Sonora, Mexico,” included ecological research that goes back to 1989, when Dr. Tom Fleischner and Mark began surveying birds in the Kino Bay bioregion, as well as more recent breeding surveys conducted by the Prescott College Waterbird Monitoring Program, supported by Kino Center Director Lorayne Meltzer. The paper was selected as “Editor’s Choice,” and was also highlighted on Discovery Channel News.

Beth Frattali ’08 In summer 2016, Beth studied the forces of evolutionary, geologic, and social change and contributed to sustainable solutions for an archipelago in the Galápagos. Beth, a director of sustainability at the Lab School of Washington, D.C., lives in Arlington,Va., and took the graduate course as part of Miami University’s Earth Expeditions program.

Laurel Inman ’08 Laurel runs Prescott College’s Coaching Program, which is now part of the Institute for Integrative Coach Training, LLC. Discounted rates available for PC students, alumni, and employees. Email

Jen Jackson ’08 Jen currently runs the mentorship program at Sponsors, an organization in Eugene, Ore., that helps the formerly incarcerated relearn life beyond prison. An article about the program appeared in Outside Magazine.

Lara Ruggles ’08 Lara has recently been playing concerts in San Jose, Pismo Beach, and Paso Robles, Calif. This original song is from her Cynics & Saints CD:

Kado Stewart ’08 Kado writes, “I am excited to announce that Camp OUTdoors, a signature program of one-n-ten, is going to be featured in the groundbreaking National Geographic documentary Gender Revolution, hosted by Katie Couric. The National Geographic team spent two days with the maroon cabin at camp this year, learning about our programs and providing a platform for our young people and volunteers to share their stories and perspectives with the world. I am continually impressed with the courage and resilience of our young people and I am honored that the National Geographic team came to take part in the collective magic of camp. I would like to express a special thank you to the Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation for their support and sponsorship of Camp OUTdoors. Check out the Dec. 27 National Geographic issue and watch for us on the twohour documentary, which aired on February 6, 2017. For more information on Gender Revolution, go to”

Sam Leslie ’09 Sam graduated with a Master of Science degree in conservation and rural development from the University of Kent in Canterbury, England. His research focused on novel statistical analysis techniques of human– tiger conflict incident rates in the Bangladesh Sundarbans. He received the Durrell Institute of Ecology and Conservation’s 2016 Maurice Swingland Prize for his work. He writes, “Golakali Village and other parts of Satkhira district suffer from the highest known rate of attacks on humans by tigers.”

Robbie Smith ’09 Robbie recently joined Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and Museum as their new director of education.

Lenka V. Studnicka ’09, M.A. ’12, Ph.D. ’17 Lenka published A Sense of Place in the Czech Republic, Austria, and Croatia and became director of a small charter school in Prescott, La Tierra Community School. She is also currently organizing the Prescott College Summer Institute for Place- and Nature-Based Early Childhood Education.

2010s Batya Ellinoy ’10 Thanks to a generous grant to support Dance at Prescott College, Batya joined the College as an associate faculty member in Integrated Arts/Dance. Batya’s work has been featured in several Prescott College performances and videos. She comes highly recommended by our two recently retired dance faculty, Liz Faller M.A. ’99 and Delisa Myles. Batya will carry on in the spirit of Liz and Delisa and will also be engaged in integrating dance into other academic disciplines.

Mary A. Jackson M.A. ’10, Ph.D. Program ’17 Mary presented Materiality in the Khumbu: Reconfiguring the Adventure Tourism Industry’s Perception of Place at the Himalayan Studies Conference IV of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies at the University of Texas, Austin, Feb. 26–28, 2016.

Patricia C. Bischof ’11 Patricia recently donated three of her art pieces to the Ronald McDonald House charitable organization. She writes, “As a mixed media artist, color, texture, and various shapes, and the mere challenges of finding product for my art is exciting and fun. What the average person sees as scrap or junk, I see as a form of beauty! I like the creative process of making art around all found objects. My imagination runs wild, and I enjoy the artistic challenges that come across my artistic life. I felt compelled to donate some of my artwork to a place where I felt children would enjoy seeing some art. It was important to donate my art to a place that embraces children with health challenges, and that would bring smiles and laughter to their faces. The place that holds the type of integrity and caring for children is Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona. I know that I have found the perfect home for my art.” Patricia resides in Tucson, Ariz., and Manhattan, N.Y. For more information, please visit her website at

Tina Evans Ph.D. ’11 Dr. Evans guest edited the November 2015 issue of the Journal of Sustainability Education, focused on hope and agency in sustainability education. Dr. Marna Hauk Ph.D. ’14 served as assistant guest editor for the issue. Dr. Evans also gave a presentation titled Finding Heart: Generating and Maintaining Hope and Agency through Sustainability Education at the 2016 conference of the Association for the Advancement of

Transitions Issue 2017


Class Notes

Edie was honored to have her sculpture Over Coat included in the Southwestern Invitational Exhibit, a statewide art event “designed to document, exhibit, and celebrate Arizona’s most exciting contemporary artists.” One hundred Arizona artists were selected to participate in the kickoff exhibition in Yuma. A smaller, specially juried, portion is now traveling to five prestigious galleries throughout Arizona, including Prescott College’s Sam Hill Gallery. Edie also created new work for a two-person exhibit at the Yavapai College Art Gallery.

Class Notes

Class Notes Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) in Baltimore, Md., Oct. 2016. In addition, Dr. Evans was awarded the AASHE published research award for her article of the same title published in the Journal of Sustainability Education in November 2015.

Jessica Kellogg ’11 Jessica wrote to tell us of the birth of her daughter, Lliana Athena Kellogg, born August 1, 2016. Lliana is the granddaughter of former faculty member Paul Smith Ph.D. ’12 and Jacqlyn Davoll ’00. Congratulations, Jessica!

Lisa Barry M.A. ’12 After many years of painting, writing, and revising, Lisa has published a children’s book, Creepy How? Icky Who?, about our perceptions of the natural world. Lisa writes, “I’m proud of the book and hope it will encourage children to question preconceptions.”You can find the book on

Laurah Hagen M.A. ’12 “I received the last issue of Transitions in the big stack of mail that collected on the dining room table while I was co-leading a study abroad program, Sustainable Scotland, with another Prescott College graduate. Dr. Rosemary Logan Ph.D. ’13 received her doctorate from Prescott College, and we both ended up at NAU. We both won Outstanding Teacher awards from our college this year, Rosemary for Full-Time Faculty of the Year and myself for Part-Time Faculty of the Year. Given our similar teaching style and philosophy, our paths crossed to collaborate on NAU’s first-ever study abroad program for incoming freshmen. We spent three-anda-half weeks traveling around the country visiting permaculture sites and discussing social and environmental sustainability.

Brooke Bischoff ’13 Brooke recently passed the bar! She writes, “Just over five years ago I was on the Prescott College border course with Zoe Hammer and Zora Tucker ’14. We went to observe Operation Streamline and I saw 40 people get deported en masse. I decided at that moment to become an immigration attorney. So many people told me it was a terrible idea, and I almost left law school after my first semester. Thankfully I didn’t. I stayed and fell more and more in love with working to keep people from being deported and ensuring immigrants’ rights in the U.S. and on the border. Today, I found out I passed the bar exam, and next week I represent my first detained client in court.”

Chloe Anderson Erickson ’14 Chloe was in a serious car accident last fall and has created a GoFundMe account to help with medical bills and lost wages. If you would like to help, please go to

Katie Fohrman M.S. ’14 and Lura Smedstad M.S. ’14 Alumni Katie and Lura presented at the 47th annual conference of the American Art Therapy Association in Baltimore, Md., in July 2016. Both graduated in 2014 with an M.S. in Counseling with a Concentration in Expressive Art Therapy. Katie will present about her work with adults with developmental challenges utilizing art therapy as an enhancement to communication and personal expression when verbal methods are less effective or not indicated. Her presentation, titled Creative Communication in Art Therapy for Adults Who Have Developmental Disabilities, will highlight her research into creative therapeutic approaches for clients who are nonverbal, have limited abilities to communicate their needs, or have difficulty with comprehension and processing emotions. Lura, along with Katherine Waters, participant in EATSI 2012, will present Art in Worship: Relationships between art therapy and Christianity highlighting their research and work integrating spirituality into art therapy. Faculty member Camille Smith writes,


Transitions Issue 2017

“Hats off to both of you for your ongoing professional development and continued learning since graduating from Prescott College.”

Marna Hauk Ph.D. ’14 Dr. Hauk has been busy presenting at several symposiums and conferences throughout the year. Recently, she co-led the Fourteenth North American Association of Environmental Education Research Symposium pre-conference trip with David Greenwood, Reflecting on Research in Place at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum: A Field Session. Dr. Hauk also led a peer-reviewed NAAEE Research Symposium panel titled Vibrant Intersectionalities: Gender, Culture, Power, Queer: Emergent Gender Research in Environmental Education, as well as a related full-conference interactive symposium, Quilting Vibrant Intersectional Feminisms: From Theory to Practice. For this work, Dr. Hauk presented a research paper along with other Prescott College papers, by current doctoral student Mandisa Wood ’18 and alumna Clare Hintz ’15, with the panel and symposia both moderated by Prescott College faculty member Dr. Denise Mitten. In addition, Dr. Hauk presented at the full NAAEE conference, including co-leading a peer-reviewed session with current Prescott sustainability education doctoral students Michelle Fisher ’18 and Mandisa Wood titled Bioculturally Responsive Education Bringing Sustainability STEM to Life: A Collective Storyboarding Roundtable. Also at the conference, Dr. Hauk, who is one of 26 international Community Climate Change Fellows of NAAEE and the EPA, presented with other CCC fellows on original research; their presentation was Community Climate Change Fellowship: Mitigation Strategies to Prevent Climate Burnout. Also, at the NAAEE Conference in Madison, Wis., Oct. 2016, Dr. Hauk completed initial launch for an e-book she coedited with Elizabeth Pickett, Community Climate Change Education: A Mosaic of Approaches (, published by Cornell University, EE Capacity, and NAAEE with support from the EPA. Dr. Hauk was invited with Ms. Pickett to develop and lead a special workshop titled Surfacing Unheard Voices: Catalyzing Collaborative Writing for Change Education, at NAAEE, Oct. 2016.

Nicky Phear Ph.D. ’14 Nicky recently won a 2016 Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) Award for her leadership and achievement in education. The award is for mid-career women and recognizes women in eight categories. It is a collaborative effort between the Department of Energy, Stanford, and MIT. Nicky writes, “I am so thankful I was given the opportunities at Prescott College to pursue the research and community work that I did. It’s interesting that the theme of women’s leadership in climate change keeps emerging!”

Chiara D’Amore Ph.D. ’15 The Patapsco Valley Heritage Area recently awarded a grant to Chiara’s project, Columbia Families in Nature. Chiara’s program emphasizes playtime in nature and includes hands-on environmental education and conservation activities in the Patapsco Valley in Maryland. Chiara writes, “Since graduating from the Ph.D. program in 2015 I have started a nonprofit called the Community Ecology Institute, which works to enhance community health and well-being by fostering diverse connections between people and the natural world. The family nature club, Columbia Families in Nature, that I started as part of my research is starting its fourth year, and I continue to publish my research.”

Jeremy Solin Ph.D. ’15 Jeremy facilitated a half-day workshop titled Systems Thinking in Environmental Education at the 2016 NAAEE conference. The workshop included 25 educators from across the world who came together to learn about the ThinkWater systems thinking framework and how it applies to their work. He presented a “Brightspot” about integrating systems thinking into adult and community water education through ThinkWater. Jeremy was part of a team presenting the process and resources of the NAAEE and Kettering Foundation Environmental Issues Forum guide on water issues.

Janet Ady Ph.D. ’16 Janet led a session with colleague Derrick Baldwin titled Help BLM Use EE to Cultivate Shared Public Lands Stewardship to heighten awareness of the opportunities for environmental education partnerships with the Bureau of Land Management in communities nationwide. She also co-led a session at the 2016 North American Association of Environmental Education (NAAEE) conference on NAAEE’s EEPro Conservation and Behavior Change professional development blog with Laurel Howard of the Student Conservation Association. Janet, along with faculty member Dr. Denise Mitten, Master of Arts Program mentor

Kelly Cartwright Ph.D. ’16 Kelly presented a workshop titled Applying Connection to Nature Indicators during the 2016 National American Association of Environmental Education (NAAEE) Research Symposium and a poster titled “The Human Dimension of Conservation Gardening” at the 45th Annual NAAEE Conference, Oct. 2016.

Christine Brice M.A. Program ’17 and Samantha Smith M.A. Program ’16

teaching tool for visual, spatial, and kinesthetic/tactile learners.”You can find this very cool sculpture near the Willow Street trailhead of the Greenways Trail that winds through campus along Butte Creek. This project was supported by the Butte Creek Restoration Council and the Prescott College Student Union.

Shellie Zias-Roe Ph.D. Program ’17 Shellie attended the American Planning Association’s National Conference in Phoenix, Ariz., on April 25, 2016, as an invited panelist on the Unconference on K–12 Planning Education session. The discussion was convened to share the imaginings of teaching the next generations of visionaries who may plan and shape our future environments.

Christine and Samantha each chaired a session of the Symposium for Experiential Education Research (SEER) at the Association of Experiential Education Conference in Minneapolis Minn., Oct. 2016. Samantha also presented Creating Engaging Environmental and Experiential Education Activities for Middle School Math and Science Classes.

Mary “Megan” Gladbach On-campus Undergraduate Program’17 Current resident undergraduate student Mary Gladbach was awarded a Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowship by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The fellowship contributes a maximum of $50,000 for up to two years and a summer internship at an EPA office or laboratory. Read more on page 16.

Daniel S. Helman Ph.D. Program ’17 Doctoral student Daniel Helman made an oral presentation, Using TPR in the Precalculus Class: Math Instruction Inspired by Second-language Learning, at the Joint Mathematics Meetings (JMM) in Atlanta, Ga., Jan. 4–8, 2017. At the same conference, Daniel participated in a poetry program and read a poem, “Fifth Grade,” about teaching calculus in primary grades. A preprint of a chapter for the forthcoming Elsevier book Habitability of the Universe Before Earth was featured in an MIT Technology Review: Best of Physics weekly blog. The title of Daniel’s work is “Galactic Distribution of Chirality Sources.” The blog and chapter can be found at Daniel presented a poster, “Ethical Considerations: Humans, Machines and the Future of Work,” at the De Lange Conference X, hosted by Rice University, Houston, Tex., Dec. 5–6, 2016. He has published a book review of British Columbia’s Inland Rainforest: Ecology, Conservation, and Management in the Electronic Green Journal. Daniel also presented three additional papers: “Preserving Arctic and Antarctic Ice: Ideas about Artificial Processes,” as well as a plenary speech on the triple bottom line of sustainability, at the Fifth Annual International Conference on Sustainability (SUSCON V) at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Shillong, which is in Meghalaya, India, near Assam; “Recycled Glass Innovation: Ground Glass as a Pigment and Filler Material” at the First International Conference on Emerging Trends in Engineering, Technology, and Science at Kings College of Engineering in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India, where he also was guest co-chair of a session on emerging trends in mechanical and civil engineering; and “Using Closed Sets to Model Cognitive Behavior” at the Australasian Conference on Artificial Life and Computational Intelligence in Canberra, Australia. Daniel’s play Hypatia’s Math was performed as part of the Flagstaff Festival of Science in September 2016. The play was produced by the Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy.

Peter Nerothin M.A. Program ’17 Peter presented a poster titled “Can Flow Theory Help Advance a General Theory of Restoration?” at the 44th Association for Experiential Education International Conference in Minneapolis, Minn., Oct. 2016. Peter also received an academic scholarship from the Mind and Life Institute to attend the 2016 International Symposium on Contemplative Studies in San Diego, Calif.

Preston Scott Vandivier On-campus Undergraduate Program ’17 If you’re on campus, be sure to check out the watershed sculpture by student Preston Scott Vandivier. It’s a true-to-scale replica of the Upper Granite Creek Watershed in metal. Of his work, Preston says, “Creating this model allowed me to combine my interest in metalworking and welding with watershed studies to create a compelling

Scott Ramsey Ph.D. Program ’18 Scott Ramsey writes, “I am excited to announce the opening of the Alaska Outdoor Science School (AOSS) in Haines, Ala. I established AOSS, an outdoor experiential environmental education school that celebrates the wisdom of nature’s classroom. One of the first course offerings is to Virginia Wesleyan College students, and the course is an environmental science course called Alaska Seminar: Ecological and Cultural Sustainability. The course was selected to represent the Study Away Program by the college, which is offering scholarships to attend this wondrous opportunity to ‘live the textbook.’ Read more at I am also pleased to let you know that I am finishing up my second year in a doctoral program from Prescott College in Sustainability Education. This past summer, I gathered the initial data for my dissertation during a multi-day wilderness river trip on the Tatshenshini, which was also attended by Virginia Wesleyan professor Dr. Larry Hultgren. It was a pleasure to connect with Larry, who was instrumental in my path in the field of environmental science. He and Dr. Wolfgang took me to the Keystone Science School, a January-term offering that changed my life.”

Tammy McLeod Ph.D. Program ’19 Tammy was recently elected to the Arizona Community Foundation’s Board of Directors. Tammy is the Vice President of Energy Resource Management for APS. She is responsible for APS’s energy marketing and trading operations as well as the company’s energy resource planning and procurement, and the construction, operations, and maintenance of utility-owned solar.

Brennan Lagasse Ph.D. Program ’20 Doctoral student Brennan Lagasse recently had an article, “Arctic Waters Have Been Rescued from Drilling, But What About the Land?” published in Yes! magazine. Brennan also presented a workshop titled Academia Is a Training Ground: Applying the Six Pillars of Holistic Sustainability to Build Within and Move Beyond the Campus, along with six of their undergraduate students at the 2016 AASHE Conference.

Transitions Issue 2017


Class Notes

Jillisa Overholt, Ph.D., alumna Chiara D’Amore Ph.D. ’15, and Francis Haynes Master of Arts Program ’16, had an article accepted by the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine titled “Hiking: A Low-Cost, Accessible Intervention to Promote Health Benefits.”

Faculty & Staff Notes

Faculty & Staff Notes Mariana Altricther, Ph.D. Dr. Mariana Altrichter’s conservation work in the Gran Chaco was recently highlighted by the international environmental news outlet MONGABAY. Since 2016, she has published five scientific papers and has co-authored seven chapters in books that deal with conservation and global perspectives. Her contributions encompass species conservation, including jaguars and peccaries, and the inadequacy of our current development approach.

Walt Anderson, M.S. Environmental Studies professor Walt Anderson has a review of a new conservation biology book coming out in the journal Ecology in April 2017. He is doing wildlife paintings for interpretive panels at the new Discovery Gardens at the Highlands Center for Natural History and has been commissioned to write a chapter on ecotourism and wildlife for a planned book on international wildlife management. [Above] is a photo of part of his most recent Tanzania safari group. Pictured: Tim Tyler ’18, Michael Aresty ’16, and Phoebe Modica ’17, Walt, former PC Registrar Mary Trevor M.A. ’95, and Augustine Mwangotya M.A. ’01.

Joel Barnes ’81, ’88, Ph.D. Faculty Emeritus Dr. Joel Barnes was recently named to the Prescott College Alumni Association’s Order of the Javelina. Joel has taught as a professor in environmental studies and adventure education at Prescott College for nearly 20 years. He’s been active with Prescott Creeks and Preservation Association, and was responsible for the information kiosks that educate the public about the creeks of Prescott. He created the Butte Creek Restoration Council, which has engaged students, faculty, and staff in the restoration of the riparian corridor along Butte Creek, which is now a focal point of the Prescott College campus and an example for the town of how our creeks can be restored to a healthy riparian ecosystem. Congratulations Joel!

Stacey L. Carrillo, Ph.D. Faculty member Stacey Carrillo and associate faculty member Janys M. Murphy, Ph.D., presented at the American Counseling Association Conference in San Francisco, Calif., on March 18, 2017. The lecture was titled: Self-Care and Counselor Identity: Recognizing the Inherent Relationship.

Joshua Cubista ’08, M.Sc. Adjunct instructor in permaculture Joshua Cubista, who is the author of Prototyping Our Future, co-founded the Borderlands Restoration Leadership Institute (2017), a project-based learning laboratory cultivating a restoration economy in the U.S–Mexico borderlands: .

Liz Faller M.A. ’99 Liz writes, “Granite Preforming Arts Center’s lease was concluded in May 2016. Delisa Myles and I feel fortunate to have had such an amazing space for 18-plus years. We want to thank Prescott College for your support, and our students for filling GPAC with creative vitality, talent, and inspiration.”

Anita Fernández, Ph.D. Dr. Anita Fernández contributed a chapter to the newly released text ‘White’Washing American Education:The New Culture Wars in Ethnic Studies, published by Praeger Publishing. Dr. Fernández also delivered the third annual Summer Institute for the Xican@ Institute for Teaching & Organizing (XITO). She has been to Napa, Calif., and Washington state offering culturally sustaining and de-colonial professional development for educators. Several students in Dr. Fernández’s Radical Praxis as Pedagogy class submitted proposals and were accepted to


Transitions Issue 2017

present at the 44th annual conference of the National Association for Ethnic Studies in March.

Tom Fleischner, Ph.D. Tom Fleischner, Environmental Studies faculty member and Director of the Natural History Institute, contributed an essay, “The Grace of Wildness,” to the anthology Red Rock Testimony, a limited edition chapbook, edited by Stephen Trimble, and presented to members of Congress last summer, as literary advocacy for the creation of the Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah. A trade book edition, titled Red Rock Stories, is forthcoming this year from Torrey House Press. Bears Ears National Monument was proclaimed by President Obama on December 28, 2016.

Tyler Gatton ’13 Tyler has accepted the position of warehouse manager at Prescott College. As a student, Tyler worked in the warehouse. He comes to PC from Boys to Men, where he was the program director.

Ron J. Hennings M.Ed. On October 23 and 24, faculty member Ron J. Hennings represented the College’s principal certification M.Ed. degree program at the annual Arizona School Administrators Fall Conference at the Prescott Resort. Over 300 Arizona school district superintendents and principals participated.

Doug Hulmes ’74, M.S. A Swedish forestry journal published an article on the research faculty member Doug Hulmes has been doing on Sacred Trees of Norway and Sweden. Last spring, Doug shifted the Environmental Education Methods class and Prescott Creeks and Watershed Program from Miller Valley Elementary School, which sadly closed last year, to Granite Mountain, where he will continue to work with 115 fifth graders. This past summer Doug was invited to participate in a “Wandering Symposium” on mythology and folklore of the Aurlandsdalen Valley in Norway. Doug was one of 10 participants invited to this event and was the only American. He has also been invited to write the foreword of a book that has been written on the 1,200-year-old farm that is now part of the agricultural school, where they have created a K–9 curriculum for the local schools.

Megan Letchworth, M.Ed. Director of Student Housing and Student Success Megan Letchworth was selected to attend the Senior Housing Officer Institute and presented IRL: Introverts in Residence Life at the Association for Inter Mountain Housing Officers (AIMHO) in Oct. 2016. Megan also served as the state representative for Arizona for the 2016 year for AIMHO.

David Lovejoy ‘73 Faculty Emeritus David Lovejoy sent in this photo of himself and other “paleo-faculty” at last year’s spring graduation ceremony. Pictured: Doug Hulmes, David Lovejoy, Carl Tomoff, and Sam Henrie.

Peter Sherman, Ph.D.

In 2017 adjunct faculty member Lynn McMahan marked 40-plus years since she started teaching. She spent 28 years in K–20 education (five years as a consultant, 10 in higher education, 11 in K–8 school administration, and five years as a classroom teacher) plus 13 years in between running businesses. Lynne has semi-retired as a full-time professor to work fully as an education consultant, an adjunct professor, and a Tribes Trainer.

Peter is Prescott College’s new sustainability coordinator and chair of the Master’s Program in Environmental Studies. He published two works: for the journal Ecology, Peter reviewed a textbook by Professor Stephen Jenkins titled Tools for Critical Thinking in Biology by Oxford University Press; additionally, with his wife, Dr. Mariana Altrichter, and several other rainforest specialists, he coauthored a chapter in Costa Rican Ecosystems, titled “The Southern Pacific Lowland Evergreen Moist Forest of the Osa Region.”

Denise Mitten, Ph.D. Dr. Denise Mitten, faculty member, published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, “Hiking: A Low-Cost, Accessible Intervention to Promote Health Benefits.” She published two chapters, “Adventure Education” in Urban Environmental Education Review and “Connections, Compassion, and Co-healing: The Ecology of Relationship in Reimagining Sustainability” in Precarious Times. In 2016 she gave 13 invited presentations and keynote addresses. Dr. Mitten spent three weeks in Hungary as a visiting scholar and two weeks in Hong Kong completing an accreditation review and meeting with co-researchers.

Dana Oswald ’71, Ph.D.

Faculty & Staff Notes

Lynne McMahan, Ed.D.

Gary Stogsdill ’86, M.A. Gary published the essay “A Critique of Perennialism” on the Integral World website:

David Wilson ’11 David is now field operations manager at Prescott College. He moved back to Prescott from Portland, Ore., where he worked as the logistics person for Outward Bound.

Faculty Emeritus Dana Oswald writes, “Retirement from teaching has not resulted in sitting by the pond and drinking wine as I anticipated. The small video business I thought would take a year to get off the ground is keeping me very busy. It seems that seeds I planted over the past few years with friends and colleagues are maturing into events and projects that tell important stories, which is the focus of my video work. I have not had time to create a website, business cards, or update my LinkedIn account, but do tell a story. The LLC is up and running!”

Kristine Preziosi ’97 Kristine is now Assistant to the Dean for Student Affairs at Prescott College. Her new role will be cross-College and will include responsibility to oversee ADA compliance.

Kurt Refsnider, Ph.D.

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Sheila Sanderson has published her second collection of poetry, Slipshod. Her other poetry publications include “Inside a Walled City of Transylvania” in Arts & Letters; “The Language of the Old People Goes with Them” in Cloudbank; “She Said Never Trifle with a Crossroads” in Hubbub; “My Love Is to Me as Water in the Desert” in North American Review; and “Tumbleweeds Invade the Plazas” and “At Chaco Canyon Thinking of Stone” in Southern Poetry Review. She also published an essay, “The Bacon-Only Diet” in The Southeast Review.

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Sheila Sanderson, M.F.A.

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Dr. Mark Riegner, Environmental Studies faculty member, attended the 40th anniversary celebration conference of the Waterbird Society in New Bern, North Carolina. The international conference included a first-of-its-kind Symposium on Heron Biology and Conservation. Mark gave a talk at the Symposium, titled Morphological tradeoffs and recursive plumage patterns as indicators of integrated evolutionary dynamics in the Ardeidae (note: Ardeidae = heron family). His talk focused on his research on form and color pattern in this group of wading birds, much of it based on statistical analyses of skull and skeletal measurements from museum collections, subsequently linked to development and natural history. Mark is currently writing up this study and plans to submit a manuscript to a science journal. In addition, Mark had a lengthy review of the book Bird Families of the World published in the Quarterly Review of Biology, and he gave a public talk, sponsored by the Prescott Audubon Society, at the Prescott Public Library, titled Tropical Rainforests: From the Lowlands to the Clouds.




Mark Riegner, Ph.D.


Dr. Refsnider was on leave for the fall, during which he coauthored two papers on recent glacial and climate histories of southern Colorado and Baffin Island, co-founded Bikepacking Roots, a nonprofit organization supporting the bikepacking community, and traveled abroad. He returned in the spring to teach earth science courses and coach the Prescott College Cycling team.




Transitions Issue 2017


Jamie Michael Berggren ’01 Jamie died on April 30, 2016, from a fall in Anchorage, Alaska. Jamie studied Wilderness-based Environmental Education at Prescott College, including classes and independent studies in the Sierras, Big Sur, the Sea of Cortez, and the Grand Canyon.

Francis Kee Burnside ’01 Excerpted from a submission by June Burnside Tackett ’02 Francis Kee Burnside “walked on” April 23, 2013. He bravely fought the onset and progression of myelodysplastic syndrome, a disease similar to leukemia. Francis was Dine´ and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation. Francis started his higher education as a student at UC Berkeley in the turbulent late 60s and early 70s where he was at the forefront of many protests, including the takeover of Alcatraz Island, in which activists claimed the location as “Indian country!” Francis received his degree in Counseling Psychology from Prescott College. Francis worked with students at Ohio State in Bowling for 15 years, and also taught as a Visiting Scholar at Robert Morris College in Moon Township, Penn.

Matthew Lee Cochran ’13 Matthew died in a work-related accident on July 25, 2016. An active member of AA, Matt just celebrated his 13th year of sobriety, bringing to his community wit, wisdom, and steady support for others in recovery.

Christine (Teleisha) Loftin Longtime human resources staff member Christine Loftin passed away this winter from a long-term illness. She had gotten married in recent years and left the College in mid-2016 to spend more time with her family. A “Gentle Day” memorial was held in her remembrance at the Prescott College Crossroads Center, hosted by her husband Randy.

Juli D. Lydum M.A. ’97 Juli died on Saturday, April 16, 2016. She had been struggling with cancer for about three years. Juli received her master’s degree in Textile Arts and Photography from Prescott College. Juli’s daughter, Mary, writes, “She truly enjoyed her time at Prescott College and studying the creative process. Her graduate thesis was titled ‘A Study of Discovery and Development of Creative Forces and Energies in Midlife: A Personal Journey.’ She had a big show of her photography at graduation. She was an incredible photographer.”


Transitions Issue 2017

Chris Pilaro ’96 Christopher Anthony Pilaro died February 16, 2017, at his home in Hailey, Idaho. He was 44. Chris was born in Paris, France, and lived in several places, including Hong Kong, Arizona, Colorado, and California, before settling in Idaho. Chris was an expert alpine skier, snowboarder, surfer, telemark skier, climber, and skateboarder, working for some time as an Outward Bound instructor. Chris was also an explorer of the human condition, and believed in challenging the system. He worked on several award-winning documentary films. Most recently, he produced and directed The Greater Good (Current TV 2011), an investigation of one of the most contentious public health issues in America – vaccine safety. Chris is survived by his sons, Logan and Zeppelin, his former wife, Phoebe, and his rescue dog, Shonipup; by his mother, Linda Pilaro, and father, Tony Pilaro; and by his brother, Andrew, and sister-in-law, Fairley, and four nephews.

Lake Puett Davis ’75 Excerpted from a submission by Gratia Winship ’74 Lake Puett Davis passed away at her home near Spokane, Wash., on September 10, 2016. Perhaps that twinkle in her eyes now jazzes heaven, though we’d rather it were yet here. Lake was and is a brilliant delight, and I cannot imagine the depth and breadth of loss shared by her husband Rod and all the family. I hope she lives in them as she lives in me, laughing, and loving company. I am so glad that she tracked me down in 2008 after 20-plus years of lost contact. Never hesitate to extend that effort to reconnect: There is laughter and love yet to be shared.

Joshua Tourjee ’10 Veteran river guide Joshua “Frenchy” Tourjee was helping lead an OARS trip when he went missing in September 2016 near Pancho’s Kitchen. Rangers at Grand Canyon National Park located his body near mile 139 on the Colorado River one week later. A touching obituary for Josh was published in Boatman’s Quarterly, stating, “Josh absolutely loved every day being a river guide and a patrolman. He strived very diligently to become his very best at both professions. His passing has affected so many of us – family, friends, guides, and clients. We who knew him closely are devastated. But so are those who knew him just sparsely or only just heard us talk about him. He had that kind of impact, on a daily basis.” Photo by Willis Peterson Scholarship winner Neha Khurana ’19

In Memoriam

In Memoriam

Prescott College: A Literary Legacy By Susan DeFreitas ’00


y debut novel, Hot Season, is set at a fictionalized version of Prescott College, and explores themes related to the environment, sustainability, and the fight for the natural world. As such, it follows in the footsteps of many other books published by PC alumni and faculty members over the years, and in November 2016, as part of the Southwest book tour for Hot Season, I had the pleasure of presenting a talk on the literary legacy of Prescott College at the Chapel on campus. The event was attended by alumni, students, and faculty/former faculty alike—many of whom expressed surprise that they either hadn’t heard of many of these books or hadn’t known of their PC connection. Here are a few of my favorites. The Secret Knowledge of Water Craig Childs M.A. ’99 The Secret Knowledge of Water is a true story of desert adventuring related in high literary style, equal parts field diary, poetry, and science. Childs studied with Walt Anderson, which was where, Walt informed me, Craig learned the correct use of commas and semicolons. That skill—along with his self-designed master’s degree in desert studies—have obviously served him well, as he is the author of more than a dozen critically acclaimed books, including his most recent, Apocalyptic Planet, which won the Orion Book Award and the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award. Coming Home to Eat Gary Paul Nabhan ’74 A professed member of the Order of Ecumenical Franciscans, Nabhan has been involved in interfaith dialogues on food justice and caring for creation for the last 25 years, bringing together farmers, ranchers, urban food activists, and indigenous communities in conserving food-producing landscapes. He has also authored or coauthored no fewer than 18 books, and is surely one of the most influential authors Prescott College has produced. Coming Home to Eat, released in 2001, was an important book for noted food author Michael Pollan, who called it “The first manifesto of the local food movement, and…one of the best—eloquent, bracing, and full of vital information.” A Series of Small Maneuvers Eliot Treichel ’97 Treichel’s short story collection, Close Is Fine, was published in 2012 to wide acclaim and went on to win the Wisconsin Library Association Literary Award. His novel, A Series of Small Maneuvers, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and is a current finalist for the Oregon Book Award. In the novel, 15-year-old Emma is on a canoe trip with her father, a river guide, when the unthinkable happens and he dies. In order to get back to civilization—and later, to reconcile her father’s complicated legacy—Emma will have to use everything he taught her (and many things he didn’t).

Stilwater: Finding Wild Mercy in the Outback Rafael de Grenade ’00 Kirkus called de Grenade’s 2014 memoir “a rhapsodic meditation on country life” and “a vivid, sweeping chronicle of the Australian Outback.” Stilwater is all of these things, but these descriptions, to my mind, don’t fully capture the intensity of de Grenade’s experience as a young woman, alone in a foreign country— at the far edge of civilization, in one of the most extreme landscapes on Earth—engaged in the demanding and often brutal business of cattle wrangling. De Grenade’s observations on the landscape and the relationships that shape it offer an eloquent testament to the value of a PC education.

The Last Word

The Last Word

Love Letter to the Milky Way: Poems Drew Dellinger ’97 Deemed “the poet laureate of the global justice democracy movement” by Rev. Osagyefo Sekou, Drew Dellinger is an internationally known speaker, writer, activist, and teacher. Dellinger is a passionate proponent of the scientific/religious synthesis articulated by Father Thomas Berry and cosmologist Brian Swimme, and Love Letter to the Milky Way—a finalist for the ForeWord’s Best Book of 2011—is the case in point: a rousing call for justice, cosmic in scope, in conversation with Martin Luther King Jr.’s statement that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” You’ll find the (never quite) complete list of books by Prescott College alumni and faculty at susandefreitas. com/PClegacy. Susan is the author of the novel Hot Season, hailed by The Portland Mercury as “activist lit done right.” Her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have appeared in The Utne Reader, The Nervous Breakdown, Story Magazine, Southwestern American Literature, and Weber—The Contemporary West, along with more than twenty other journals and anthologies. She lives in Portland, Ore., where she serves as a collaborative editor with Indigo Editing & Publications.

Transitions Issue 2017



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1966 SOCIETY Page 16 of The Charter Catalog of Prescott College, September 1966

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