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Purchase College

State University of New York 735 Anderson Hill Road Purchase, NY 10577-1400 Address Service Requested

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Non-Profit Org. Permit No. 15 White Plains, NY

Purchase College Alumni Association

Board of Directors 2012 Fadi Areifij ’99

Purchase College maga zine | think wide open 

Fall / WINTER 2012

Paula Cancro ’79 Jaime Claus ’12 Kevin Collymore ’10 Audrey Cozzarin ’79, President Emerita Michael Fonseca ’08 Alison Kaplan ’86 Emily O’Leary ’06, Treasurer Mark Patnode ’78, Secretary Jeffrey S.Putman ’96, President Lydia Rivera ’05 Gorman John Ruggiero ’76, Vice President Thomas J. Schwarz President, Purchase College Morgan Selkirk ’05 Simone Varadian ’05


EX OFFICIO: Jeannine Starr, CFRE Associate Vice President of Institutional Advancement Carla Weiland-Zaleznak Director of Annual Giving


Address Updates


If this address is not current, kindly forward correct address information to us at or (914) 251-6054. Thank you.


TAKING ACTION MAKES A DIFFERENCE Purchase College and Social Change GUESS WHO’S COMING TO CLASS TODAY Special Guests Add Unique Value and Perspective SCHOOL OF THE ARTS GALA 2012

Table of Contents Pursuits / Faculty News & Notes


Change for Good at Purchase College


Guess Who’s Coming to Class Today


News Briefs


Rising Sophomores, Rising Stars


Alumni in Action


School of the Arts Gala 2012


Shirley Durst: A Legacy Lives On


Please visit the college’s website ( or contact the Alumni Association by email ( Purchase magazine is published biannually by the Office of Communications & Creative Services, in collaboration with the Office of Institutional Advancement at Purchase College. Purchase College, State University of New York 735 Anderson Hill Road Purchase, NY 10577-1400 Phone: (914) 251-6046 Fax: (914) 251-6047 Email: Editor: Sandy Dylak, director, Communications & Creative Services Managing Editor: Kristi McKee, editorial services manager, Communications & Creative Services Editorial Coordinator: Nancy Diaz Design: Scott W. Santoro,

[ this moment ]

in Time

By Thomas J. Schwarz

Dear Friends: I look forward to presidential election years. As Americans, we are fortunate that every four years brings a time of reflection, a time to assess our growth and direction as a nation, and a time to meet the next generation of leaders. As a college, we commit to ongoing self-assessment to ensure sustainability. We owe it to our constituents to grade our progress through honest and careful evaluation, both to identify successes and to acknowledge areas that need improvement. With this in mind, we carefully examine and modify our academic programs and student activities to meet the demands of the 21st-century student. An example: Two new BA programs welcome their first students this fall— Latin American studies and playwriting and screenwriting. We relied on our collaborative culture as we developed these interdisciplinary programs. Read how that same spirit of collaboration feeds the ethos of social change at Purchase on page 8. While some debate the necessity of political conventions, they do showcase the best and brightest in politics. In this issue, we present a group of our own rising stars: those students identified by faculty as “ones to watch.” While our attention might put some pressure on these passionately focused sophomores, all have remained poised and humble under the weight of praise, and represent five enrollment success stories. Our ability to attract students who thrive on the unique energy at Purchase—who persist and excel—is an essential component of institutional sustainability. Elections also provide opportunities for people to connect, to envision a future through the words and experience of others. In “Guess Who’s Coming to Class Today,” on page 14, faculty routinely use their own professional connections to bring outside voices into the classroom, allowing students to meet professionals in their fields and glimpse possible career paths ahead. The rehabilitation of our buildings and outdoor plazas continues, as we deliver smarter and more-spacious classrooms, ADA-compliant and energy-efficient buildings, and outdoor spaces designed for people to comfortably gather, linger, and exchange ideas. With more than ten concurrent projects under way, we gratefully acknowledge the patience and cooperation of the entire Purchase community and beg your pardon for our appearance as these projects proceed. Visit to follow the latest construction news. Whatever the outcome this November, it is imperative that our leaders once again begin leading on the issue of reinvesting in higher education. A successful democracy requires an educated population. Without action, our nation risks failure. Once again, I welcome you to visit the campus to see all that has changed and to experience all that hasn’t. Visit our website for a comprehensive list of events open to the public.

Cover Photograph: Kelly Campbell Inside Photography: Kelly Campbell, Kristi McKee, David Grimaldi, Roberto Deoliveira, Jared Pereira, Sandy Dylak

Thomas J. Schwarz President

PURSUITS/Faculty news & notes SCHOOL OF THE ARTS Neil Alexander, Dance, completed his third work for the conservatory’s exchange program with the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore, composing music for faculty member Larry Clark. Alexander recently released his first solo piano CD, Darn That Dream: Solo Piano Volume 1. He is embarking on an international performance and lecture tour of his solo piano transcription of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. The tour is part of a 100th anniversary celebration of the premiere, called “100 Years of Spring: Le Sacre du Printemps.”

Graham Ashton

Graham Ashton, Music, composed and directed the music for the ANZAC Day service at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., in April. The service commemorated the Gallipoli Campaign of 1915 and was attended by ambassadors from Australia and New Zaland; U.S., Australian, and New Zealand military leaders; and a representative from the White House. Ashton also has a new CD, In Recital at Tulle Cathedral, released by Signum Classics. It features Ashton on trumpet and Michael Matthes on organ.

Nancy Bowen, Chris Kaczmarek, and Eric Wildrick (below, L to R), Art+Design, exhibited in Sculpture: On and Off the Wall at ArtsWestchester in White Plains, N.Y., this spring. Bowen was awarded one of the Fellowships for Creative and Performing Artists by the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Mass., and also received a Brown Foundation Fellowship from the Dora Maar House in Provence, France.

Bradley Brookshire, Music, served as harpsichordist and assistant conductor for the New York City Opera’s new production of Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte, directed by Christopher Alden, this past March. Lenora Champagne, Theatre and Performance, and Lizzie Olesker each performed a solo—Memory’s Storehouse and Infinite Miniature—at the

New Dean Announced for the School of the Arts President Thomas J. Schwarz announced in September the appointment of Ravi Rajan as the new dean of the School of the Arts at Purchase College. Most recently, Rajan served as the inaugural director of the School of Art+Design, concurrently holding the position of the associate dean of the School of the Arts, as well.

Ravi Rajan

“This is a point of tremendous opportunity for the School of the Arts at Purchase," says Rajan. "Bolstered by our long history of outstanding arts conservatories, Purchase is poised to be a leader in the evolution of arts education and creation today— through disciplined training that at once respects deep traditions and leaves room for growth and experimentation by students through relationships in and among the disciplines at the college." Rajan is president of the Asian American Arts Alliance in New York City. He is on the board of directors of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, and a member of the International Council of Fine Art Deans. He is also a founding board member of the Association of Asian American Yale Alumni. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts in 2010. "By helping create a strong infrastructure in the School of the Arts that will support the day-to-day delivery of our outstanding programs, the faculty, staff, and directors of the arts programs can be free to innovate in ways never before possible," according to Rajan. "The future is full of potential, and it is my goal to help the arts convert some of that potential into reality.” Rajan is married to Lucy Tucker Yates, a soprano and opera vocal and diction coach. Together they have a two-year-old son and another son due in January.

New Ohio Theatre in May. Champagne received a Fulbright Award for travel to Japan for the 2012–13 academic year.

Lenora Champagne

Todd Coolman, Music, took the Purchase Jazz Orchestra on the road this spring, performing in internationally renowned jazz venues: the Blue Note in Greenwich Village, with guest soloist Jon Faddis; the Falcon in Marlboro, N.Y.; and Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Lincoln Center, with guest soloist John Fedchock.

John Fedchock and Todd Coolman

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PURSUITS/Faculty news & notes

PURSUITS/Faculty news & notes

Peter Denenberg, Music, was interviewed for the article “Choosing a Recording School” in the March 2012 issue of Electronic Musician.

PBS’s Art21 series, producing a telethon fundraiser with performances, music, and audience participation that took place on May 6.

Donna Dennis, Art+Design, is now a member of the National Academy of Art. Her 1976 work Tourist Cabin (Pensacola) will be included in the academy’s collection and shown in an exhibition of works recently donated by the new members of the academy. Earlier this year, Dennis opened her studio for two groups, the Directors’ Circle of the National Academy and ArtTable. The latter is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing women’s leadership in the field of visual arts and promoting the achievements of outstanding women in that field. On view were diorama boxes, gouaches, and Coney Night Maze, a large mixedmedia installation with sound that will be seen at the Neuberger Museum in 2013. Dennis is serving as a judge this year for the student sculpture competition at the International Sculpture Center. Rachel Dickstein, Theatre and Performance, produced and directed Septimus and Clarissa, an adaptation of Donna Dennis, Coney Night Maze, 1996–2009, Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. mixed media with sound, 12' 6" x 27' x 19' 4", Dalloway created by Ellen courtesy of the artist ©Donna Dennis McLaughlin and Dickstein’s company, Ripe Time. The production received two Drama League Award nominations: one for Distinguished Production of a Play, and the other for Distinguished Performance (by McLaughlin, who played Mrs. Dalloway). The production also received a 2012 Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Score. Dickstein is continuing her residency at the Jewish Community Center, where she is directing and developing her newest work, The World Is Round, adapted from a children’s book by Gertrude Stein. Leigh Dillon '79, Theatre Arts (former faculty member), continues to coach actor Archie Panjabi through the third season of The Good Wife (CBS-TV), for which Panjabi won an Emmy Award in 2010, was nominated for an Emmy in 2011, and just won an NAACP Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. Dillon recently coached actor Marco Zunino in the role of Billy Flynn for the Broadway revival of Chicago. She also coached Julianne Moore when she played Sarah Palin in Game Change (HBO), helping her win a 2012 Emmy Award.

Leigh Dillon

Stella Ebner, Art+Design, was awarded a yearlong Keyholder Residency at the Lower East Side Printshop in New York City. Ebner was also included in the national juried exhibition Boundless: New Works in Contemporary Printmaking at the Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven, Conn., which ran from May 18 to June 22.

Suzanne Farrin P U R C HA S E | 2

Suzanne Farrin, director of the Conservatory of Music, had the world premiere of her composition Serenade on August 12 at the Mostly Mozart festival, sponsored by Lincoln Center. Commissioned by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE),

Serenade is a setting of a love poem by Michelangelo. The concert, performed by ICE and Metropolitan Opera countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, took place at the Park Avenue Armory. Joseph Ferry, Music, has released two new albums, Joey Ray—The Live E.P. (produced by Ferry, who also played electric bass; mastered by Peter Denenberg) and Various Artists including Augustus Pablo—The Dub Album. Ferry also released a new book, Connected, on May 1.

Joseph Ferry

Hal Galper, Music, performed in March at the Purchase College Recital Hall with his trio. The trio’s current CD, Trip the Light Fantastic (Origin Records), has been in the top 200 on the JazzWeek airplay charts since its release in November 2011. Galper’s CD received a favorable review in the May 2012 issue of Downbeat Magazine (“the high level of integration and communication it displays is rare and quite thrilling to experience, both on record and in person”). Michael G. Garber, Music, Theatre, and Film History, co-presented at the annual conference of the Westchester branch of the New York State Intergenerational Network, held in March at Manhattanville College. The conference, “Intergenerational Music Outreach Programs,” included guest appearances by Purchase College students and alumni involved with the White Plains music outreach program. Kate Gilmore, Art+Design, gave lectures in March at the Brooklyn Museum and at the National Academy Museum with artist Joan Jonas and curator/moderator Marshall Price. She had a solo exhibition, Single Channel 3: Time and Circumstance—Kate Gilmore, Standing Here, at the Des Moines Art Center in Iowa, from April 27 through June 29. Gilmore’s work was included in the group exhibition Pretty Ugly: Deviant Materialism at the Mills Gallery of the Boston Center for the Arts from May 18 through June 24, and in a solo exhibition, Rock, Hard, Place, at the David Castillo Gallery from April 14 to May 31. Her work also appeared in Every Exit Is an Entrance: 30 Years of Exit Art, the final group exhibition at Exit Art in New York City, from March 23 to May 19. David Grill, Theatre Design/Stage Technology, was nominated for an Emmy Award. His work as lighting director for the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show starring Madonna was acknowledged in the category of Outstanding Lighting Design/ Lighting Direction for a Variety Special when the nominations Super Bowl XLVI halftime show were announced on July 19. Held last February in Indianapolis, the midgame extravaganza drew an estimated 114 million viewers—more than the game itself, according to the Nielsen Company—making it the most-watched halftime show ever. It was the eighth time Grill had served as lighting director for the halftime show. Karen Guancione, Art+Design, had a solo exhibition, A Portable, Constant Obsession: The Book Art of Karen Guancione, at the Rutgers University Library from March 1 through August 31. Her work was also on exhibit in Libriste from March 8 through April 24 at the 15th-century Biblioteca Classense in Ravenna, Italy. Guancione’s ongoing installation Bolsas de Mandado was included in the exhibition In Stitches at the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences this past summer. Maria Guralnik, Arts Management, presented “Teaching Arts Advocacy: Purpose and Practice” at the 2012 Association of Arts Administration Educators’ conference held in Claremont, Calif., on May 31 and June 1. Tommy Hartung, Art+Design, teamed up with several other artists and

Ryan Homsey, Music, was commissioned to compose an a cappella work for the New Haven Oratorio Society’s spring concert, “MeditationCelebration.” The new work, Grace, was performed on May 19 in New Haven, Conn. In addition, Homsey’s song cycle Russian Poems, for baritone and piano, was included in the production Some Call Refuge, staged by R. B. Schlather, on April 15 at Vaudeville Park in Brooklyn. The evening featured contemporary song cycles by Homsey, Michael Ippolito, and Eric Lemmon, sung by Kelvin Chan, Joélle Harvey, and Kate Maroney, members of the New York City Sharon Horvath, Lovelife (Nebula Study), Opera, the Philip Glass Ensemble, 2011, pigment, ink, and polymer on paper and the Gotham Chamber Opera. mounted on canvas, 20 x 24 inches

Sharon Horvath, Art+Design, exhibited work in Little Languages/Coded Pictures, curated by Theresa Hackett and Michelle Weinberg, at the Lesley Heller Workspace in New York City from March 14 to April 15. Stuart Isacoff, Music and Dance, performed at Bargemusic on April 13 and was a featured author at the Newburyport Literary Festival in Massachusetts on April 27. Isacoff engaged in a post-performance discussion with piano great András Schiff on the art of J. S. Bach at Lincoln Center’s Kaplan Penthouse in May, and in July, he presented two lecture-recitals at the Stuart Isacoff Golandsky Institute’s 2012 Summer Symposium at Princeton University and the 2012 Portland International Piano Festival at Portland State University, Ore. Isacoff was also a featured presenter at the Savannah Music Festival in early April and a featured speaker at the Music Teachers’ National Association annual conference in March in New York City. Julian Kreimer, Art+Design, wrote the cover article in the April issue of Art in America on the late Chilean multimedia artist Juan Downey, whose retrospective was on display at the Bronx Museum of Arts this summer. Kreimer also had an article in Draw It with Your Eyes Closed: The Art of the Art Assignment, published by Paper Monument. This book, which was featured in a review by Dwight Garner in the New York Times as well as on the Brian Lehrer Show on WYNC radio, made it to the upper-right corner in New York magazine’s “Approval Matrix: Week of March 5, 2012.” Kreimer also was featured in the article “Painters’ Table: Top 10 Best Posts, March 2012” in the Huffington Post in April. Ralph Lalama, Music, recently released his latest CD, The Lalama Brothers: Erie Avenue. Recorded with David Lalama of Hofstra University, it is the brothers’ first collaborative release. A CD on the Smalls Live label, Ralph Lalama and Bop Juice: Live at Smalls, is a recording of a set at the famous jazz club in the West Village. The trio consists of Lalama on tenor, Joel Forbes ’80 on bass, and Clifford Barbaro on drums.

Robin Lynch, Art+Design, is included in the new book Women in Graphic Design: 1890–2012 (Berlin: Jovis Verlag). Jim McElwaine, Music, received his second President’s Leadership Award “in recognition of extraordinary leadership” from the statewide University Faculty Senate (UFS) in April, along with another Certificate of Appreciation Robin Lynch “for strong commitment to university-wide governance and loyal and dedicated service.” Having served the UFS for 15 years (including four years as the UFS vice president/secretary and 12 years as a member of the UFS executive committee), McElwaine will step down after this academic year. Alan Michelson, Art+Design, was included in a number of spring and summer exhibitions: the 2011 Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship exhibition at the George Gustave Heye Center, National Museum of the American Indian, in New York City; All Our Relations, in the 18th Biennale of Sydney; Changing Hands: Art without Reservation 3–Contemporary Native Art from the Northeast and Southeast, at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York; the Milani Gallery in Brisbane, Australia; Home on Native Land at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, Bell Lightbox Theatre, Toronto, Canada; and the 2012 Creative Change Retreat at the Sundance/Redford Conference Center in Utah. Michelson’s work was also featured in Francis K. Pohl’s Framing America: A Social Alan Michelson, Prophetstown series, installation view History of American Art, of the 18th Biennale of Sydney (2012) at the Art Gallery third ed. (Thames & of New South Wales Hudson, 2012). Liz Phillips, Art+Design, had a solo exhibition this summer of her most recent work, Biyuu, an interactive 3-D performance, sound, and video installation featuring Butoh dancer Mariko Endo Reynolds, at Roulette in Brooklyn, N.Y. Lenka Pichlíková, Theatre and Performance, presented her original play Kids Kanga-Rules in March at the Bulls Head Hollow Head Start Children’s Center in Bridgeport, Conn. This ABCD Library Special Events Program serves a young audience, 90 percent of whose members live below the poverty line. The program, which Pichlíková created for children in pre-K through third grade to promote good manners, an awareness of bullying, Lenka Pinchlíková and positive social skills, uses interactive, creative, and fun methods to appeal to her young audiences. Pichlíková received a Purchase College Affiliates Grant for Commedia dell’ Purchase, performed by her students at Campus Center South in May. She has also had her research on Czech modernism at the Frick Art Reference Library published by the New York Art Resources Consortium. Christopher Robbins, Art+Design, participated in a number of talks and presentations this past spring, including a conversation with Mary Flanagan at Parsons, the New School for Design, as part of “TransTalks: Practice Makes Practice,” a series for MFA students in Parsons’ interdisciplinary design program; a conversation with Aaron Krach at the Museum P U R C HA S E | 3

PURSUITS/Faculty news & notes

PURSUITS/Faculty news & notes

of Art and Design, “A Trade School/Our Goods Workshop on Guerrilla Public Art”; and a presentation at Pratt Institute’s West 18th Studio, “Public Project Series on Collaborative Social Practice.” Robbins also led a community action workshop at the Bronx Guerrilla public art workshop Residential Facility (a resiWorkshop dential placement center of the Office of Children and Family Services). In this workshop, students in his Arts for Social Change course worked with young people (ages 13 to 18) in the juvenile justice system through the Artistic Noise program to come up with community action plans together.

Jan Robert Factor, Biology, has contributed the section on internal morphology to a 105-page chapter, “The Marine Clawed Lobsters,” published in the Treatise on Zoology (Leiden: Brill). This is a continuation in English of the venerable French series Traité de Zoologie.

Susan G. Letcher, Environmental Studies, was invited to present a lecture, “Phylogenetic Community Structure during Succession: Evidence from Three Neotropical Forests,” on April 18 at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, N.Y.

Richard N. Gioioso, Sociology, has published a book review essay, “Latino Immigrants and Community in the United States: Challenges and Opportunities,” in the current issue of Political Geography. He presented a paper, “Trusting in Little Havana: Identity, Trust, and Assimilation,” at the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers in New York City this past February.

Martin Lewinter, Mathematics, was the keynote speaker at Westchester Community College’s Spring Math Event on March 21.

Peter Saleh, Dance, performed at Molloy College on Long Island and at the Players Theatre in New York City this past spring with Britton Matthews, his duo partner from Exit 9 Percussion Groups. The 60-minute program, Exit 9: Detour, featured music for marimba, vibraphone, and percussion, arranged and composed by Saleh, Steve Reich, Paul Lansky, Sergio Assad, and Chick Corea.

Kevin Wynn, Dance, was invited to teach modern dance technique classes and to choreograph a new work at the Fourth Beijing Invitational of Dance Schools at the Beijing Dance Academy in June.

SCHOOL OF LIBERAL ARTS & SCIENCES Shemeem Abbas, Political Science, was the keynote speaker at Centennial College’s conference “Engaging Hearts and Minds: An Agenda for Global Citizenship,” held in April in Toronto, Canada. Her keynote presentation was “Muslim Women Speak: Paradigms from Outside the Western World.” The conference was organized by the college’s Institute for Global Citizenship and Equity. Ahmed Afzal, Anthropology, published two entries in the peer-reviewed Encyclopedia of Immigrant Health (New York: Springer Science and Business Media, 2012): “Veiling” and “Ethnocentrism.” Karen L. Baird, Political Science, presented “Occupy University: Education for Political Empowerment” at the Left Forum 2012 conference at Pace University in March.

Peter Saleh

Jordan Schildcrout, Theatre and Performance, presented his paper “Bubble and Boom: Sex, Death, and the Apocalypse” at the Resoundingly Queer conference at Cornell University this spring. His book Albee in Performance was reviewed in Modern Drama in its Spring 2012 issue. Nelly van Bommel, Dance, choreographed a full-length ballet of the classic story “Hansel and Gretel” for Ballet Austin. Her new work was performed by Ballet Austin II at the end of February. Pinguli, Pinguli (2011), which she choreographed, was performed in April at the Baryshnikov Arts Center by her company, Nelly van Bommel/NØA Dance. Carol Walker, Dance, was invited to Singapore by the Ministry of Education as part of an international panel to adjudicate the International Dance Festival in April. She also met with several alumni and the new incoming students from the NAFA Dance Program in Singapore, with whom Purchase College has a degree-completion agreement. Walker was invited to be an honored judge at the Fourth Beijing Invitational of Dance Schools, hosted by the Beijing Dance Academy in Beijing, China, from June 12 to 23. Sarah Walker, Art+Design, was featured in the group exhibition Five by Five at the DC Moore Gallery in New York City, curated by painter Barbara Takenaga, from May 3 through June 8. She also had her fourth solo exhibition of paintings and drawings, at the Gregory Lind Gallery in San Francisco, from

Sarah Walker, Spiderpool 9, 2011, acrylic on Fabriano paper, 22 x 23 in.

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February 2 through March 17. That show, EYEFINGER, was reviewed by the San Francisco Chronicle, Visual Art Source, and in February.

Eugene Callahan, Economics, had an article, “Liberty versus Libertarianism,” published in the journal Politics, Philosophy, and Economics. Stephen A. Cooke, Chemistry, gave an invited physical chemistry seminar, “Towards the Structural Characterization of Fluorinated Polymers Using Advanced Methods in Rotational Spectroscopy,” at Emory University in Atlanta in April. He was one of the authors, along with W. C. Bailey and R. A. Powoski, of an article, “Calculated and Experimental Rotational Spectra of 3,3,3-Trifluoro- and 2,2,3,3-Tetrafluoropropionyl Chloride,” published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Molecular Spectroscopy in 2012. Another peer-reviewed article, “Are the CF3- Groups in 2,2-Bis(trifluoromethyl)oxirane Eclipsed or Staggered? Insights from Rotational Spectroscopy and Quantum Chemical Calculations,” which Cooke wrote with A. J. Minei, was published in Chemical Physics Letters in 2012. Meagan Curtis, Psychology, did a radio interview in May for the show I Wonder… on WRCT Pittsburgh, 88.3 FM. Listen to the podcast of the interview from episode 5: “What Makes a Sad Song Sad?” Lee Ehrman, Biology, published a number of works in 2012, including an Meagan Curtis afterword to “Influential Germ-Line Sneak…” by W. Miller and D. Schneider, in Host Manipulation by Parasites, edited by D. Hughes, J. Brodeur, and F. Thomas (New York: Oxford University Press); “Frequency Dependent Selection as Expressed in Rare Male Mating Advantage” in Encyclopedia of Genetics, edited by S. Brenner, J. Miller, and D. Hartl (London: Academic); and (with D. Schneider, W. Daeuble, M. Kubiak, T. Chao, and W. J. Miller), “Impacts of Endosymbiotic Wolbachia on Chemical Communication in Drosophilia paulistorum,” an abstract for the 13th Congress of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology, in Tubingen, Germany.

Morris B. Kaplan, Philosophy, was awarded a visiting fellowship in June to the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, University of London, where he continued research on his book-length study, A Queer Orientalism: Reframing the Beijing “Memoirs” of Sir Edmund Trelawny Backhouse (1898– 1908). He has lectured on this work at the University of Chicago, McGill University, the University of Sussex, and Kings College, London. A paperback edition of Kaplan’s 2005 book, Sodom on the Thames: Sex, Love, and Scandal in Wilde Times, was published by Cornell University Press in January 2012. The publisher plans to release an e-book version soon. Lisa Keller, History, was awarded the Herbert H. Lehman Prize for Distinguished Scholarship (2009) for her book The Triumph of Order: Democracy and Public Space in New York and London. The award was presented by the New York Academy of History this past April at the Century Association in New York. Keller has also been named a member of the advisory board of the Historic Corridor Task Force, created by Governor Andrew Cuomo in March. Mary Kosut, Media, Society, and the Arts, is the editor of the new Encyclopedia of Gender in Media, published by Sage Press in May. George P. Kraemer, Environmental Studies and Biology, published a book chapter, “The Effects of Temperature and Nitrogen on Growth, Pigment Production, and Nitrogen Uptake by Four Species of Porphyra (Bangiales, Rhodophyta) Native to the New England Coast,” with his longtime collaborators J. K. Kim, C. D. Neefus, I. K. Chung, and C. Yarish in Algal Technology and Environment, edited by D. Sahoo and B. D. Kaushik (New Delhi: I. K. International, 2012).

Jane Kromm

Jane Kromm, Art History, was the keynote speaker at the Art History Senior Symposium at Denison University in April. Nine students presented abstracts of their senior-year projects in art history; Kromm provided critiques and advice and presented her current research, “Ornament and Mayhem.”

Kathleen A. McCormick, Literature and Pedagogy, had her personal essay “I Always Thought I Was on Good Terms with the Virgin Mary Even Though I Didn’t Get Pregnant in High School” selected for performance by the Petaluma Readers Theatre in June. Jeanine Meyer, Mathematics/Computer Science and New Media, published two papers: “PHP, JavaScript, and the Google Maps API,” PHP Solutions Magazine, in March 2012, and “Making a Collage with Video, Images, and Drawings,” for JavaScript professionals, in April. Jason A. Pine, Media, Society, and the Arts, was a guest on the Radio Italia program on WBAR (Barnard College Radio) in April, and presented the paper “The Demiurge of the Methamphetamine Economy” at a conference, “Objects of Affection: Towards a Materiology of Emotions,” at Princeton University in May. Lorraine Plourde, Anthropology and Media, Society, and the Arts, was an invited panelist at the Japan Re-Mediations symposium at the University of Chicago in May, where she presented a paper, “Technology, Sound, Sensation: Disorienting Noise and Electricity in Tokyo.” Paul Siegel, Psychology, was awarded a $15,000 research grant from the Society for Neuropsychoanalysis, which awards one such grant each year, and an $8,000 research grant from the International Psychoanalytic Association. These grants will support his fMRI study of dynamic relationships between brain and behavior in unconscious processing of phobic stimuli. Siegel has been awarded a total of $39,000 in extramural funding this year to support the fMRI study, which he is conducting at the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI) of Columbia University in collaboration with Dr. Bradley Peterson, director of MRI research and of child and adolescent psychiatry at NYSPI. Rachel M. Simon, a current Purchase Writers Center fellow and lecturer in gender studies and liberal studies, presented a paper on feminism in the classroom, participated in a reading by new Jewish women poets, and read work that she recently published in Rachel M. Simon Storyscape Literary Journal at the 2012 Association of Writing Programs in Chicago, held in March. At the Split This Rock Poetry Festival in Washington, D.C., also in March, Simon participated in a panel that she organized on the impact of poet Tim Seibles’ “Open Letter,” from his book Buffalo Head Solos. Michelle Stewart, Cinema Studies, and chair of the School of Film and Media Studies, is happy to report that the school has been awarded $7,000 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for student internships in the film industry. The money, which represents an increase over last year’s funding, goes directly to students, subsidizing their travel from Purchase to New York City and other locations. Ryan W. Taylor, Environmental Studies, published “Creative Approaches to Environmental Education: Two Perspectives on Teaching Environmental Art Education” with co-author Hilary Inwood in the International Electronic Journal of Environment Education in January 2012.  P U R C HA S E | 5

PURSUITS/Faculty news & notes SUNY Honors Faculty and Staff

New Director of the Performing Arts Center

State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher announced 289 SUNY faculty and staff members as recipients of the 2011–12 Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence. Fern Becker, assistant to the chair in the School of Natural and Social Sciences, received honors in the Excellence in Professional Service category. Further acknowledged were both Conservatory of Music Professor Joe Ferry and Associate Professor of Psychology Nancy Zook in the Excellence in Teaching Category, while Jaime Caiado, plant utilities engineer in facilities management, earned recognition in the Excellence in Classified Service. “These awards underscore SUNY’s appreciation of faculty and staff who serve our campuses and students with absolute excellence,” according to Chancellor Zimpher. “Each of this year’s 289 honorees have demonstrated extraordinary dedication and service and are highly deserving of this distinction.” The Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence are presented to Purchase College faculty and staff by President Thomas J. Schwarz during the college’s annual Convocation ceremony.

PURSUITS/Faculty news & notes

Harry McFadden

Harry McFadden has been appointed director of the Performing Arts Center (PAC) of Purchase College. A seasoned professional, McFadden has more than 26 years of experience in the commercial and nonprofit performing arts, including 10 seasons with the off-Broadway New York Theatre Workshop. He first joined the PAC staff in October 2009 as general manager and has served as managing director since January 2012.

McFadden will be responsible for the operation of the PAC and for its annual series programming. “After three seasons as general manager of the Performing Arts Center of Purchase College, I am delighted to have been named the center’s director. I thank the president and provost for this appointment and am thrilled at the prospect of working with them as we continue to make the center both an artistic resource for this institution of higher learning as well as a destination for high-quality entertainment for audiences in this culturally vibrant community.”


Left, from top: Jaime Caiado, Fern Becker, and Professor Joe Ferry. Right: Associate Professor Nancy Zook accepts a Chancellor’s Award from President Thomas J. Schwarz.

Paul Thayer, New Media, a digital media developer in the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Center, gave a talk, “Molding Code: Computer Programming and Code as Contemporary Artistic Media,” to students and faculty in the art department at Minot State University in North Dakota on April 30. Jennifer Uleman, Philosophy, delivered a talk, “Occupy Reality: Hegel, Harry Frankfurt, and Ontology at Zuccotti Park,” at a panel organized by the New York Society for Women in Philosophy at the CUNY Grad Center and the philosophy department at Nassau Community College in March. Uleman also delivered comments, “The Evil of Evil, or, What Doesn’t Kill You Doesn’t Kill You, But That’s About It,” at the American Philosophical Association Pacific Division meeting in Seattle in April. The comments were on a paper by Jill Graper Hernandez, “This Present Suffering: An Early Feminist Revision of Leibnizian Theodicy.” Gary Waller, Literature and Cultural Studies, gave three lectures on Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale and classical tragedies at the Memorial University of Newfoundland (Grenfell Campus) in March. Waller’s book The Virgin Mary in Late Medieval and Early Modern English Literature and Popular Culture was nominated for the John Ben Snow Foundation Prize. (Continued on page 7) P U R C HA S E | 6

Imagine a mobile app that allows students to turn gestures into musical compositions. With grant money in place, it may soon be a reality. Professor of Music Jim McElwaine, Keith Landa, director of the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Center (TLTC), and Paul Thayer, an instructional designer in the TLTC and a lecturer in new media, received funding to develop an app for smart phones and tablets that will allow students to “draw” graphical representations of the melodies they are trying to compose, edit and manipulate them, and output them for collaboration and assessment. Landa explains how students sometimes experience barriers and constraints imposed by traditional notation systems. “We hope that this gesture-based composition app will be a more natural way for students to represent their melodies and will allow more creative expression on the part of our students,” he adds. The State University of New York recently announced the recipients of the 2012 Innovative Instruction Technology Grants. This new, peer-reviewed SUNY program provides support for pedagogical and technological innovations that have the potential to be replicated throughout the SUNY system and benefit students and faculty worldwide. “Gestural Melody: New Learning Tools for Musical Composition” was one of 48 chosen from 117 SUNY submissions, receiving a Tier One Award for projects up to $10,000. Initial research begins this fall.

This prize is awarded annually by the North American Conference on British Studies for the best book by a North American scholar in any field of British studies dealing with the period from the Middle Ages through the 18th century. Sarah Warren, Art History, presented her paper, “The Politics of ‘the Spiritual in Art’ in Russia,” for a session celebrating the centenary of Kandinsky’s Concerning the Spiritual in Art at the College Art Association Annual Conference in Los Angeles in February. Warren also gave a paper, “Excavating the Icon Pompeii: The Politics of the 1913 Exhibition of Ancient Russian Art,” at a conference, “Byzantium/Modernism: Art, Cultural Heritage, and the Avant-Gardes,” at Yale University in April. Louise Yelin, chair of the School of Humanities, recently published two essays: “Plural Selves: The Dispersion of the Autobiographical Subject in the Essays of Caryl Phillips,” in Caryl Phillips: Writing in the Key of Life, edited by Bénédicte Ledent and Daria Tunca (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi Press, 2012), and “Black Subjects, British Subjects: Identity and Self-Fashioning, 1967–2009” in Black Arts in Britain: Literary, Visual, Performative, edited by Annalisa Oboe and Francesco Giommi (Rome: Aracne Press, 2012).

PURCHASE STAFF Robin Aleman, director of budget and administration for academic affairs, performed at Symphony Space’s Thalia Café in New York City on April 19–21, accompanied by alumnus David Epstein. Eleanor Phillips Brackbill, former curator of educaRobin Aleman tion (school and family programs) at the Neuberger Museum of Art, is the author of An Uncommon Cape: Researching the Histories and Mysteries of a Property (New York: SUNY Press, 2012), published under the Excelsior Editions imprint. The book considers three mysteries that precipitated an investigation into an otherwise ordinary suburban property, revealing a past inextricably woven into four centuries of American history. It also offers readers insights and guidelines on how to find the stories behind their own homes. Susanne Markgren, digital services librarian, published an article, “A Librarian’s Guide to Relocating to NYC,” on the METRO (Metropolitan New York Library Council) website. Ernie Palmieri, vice president for student affairs and associate provost for integrative learning, gave two lectures on best practices for transgender student-athlete participation in college athletics at the North East LGBT Conference at Sage College in Troy, N.Y., in March.

New Director of the Neuberger Museum of Art Paola Morsiani took over as the seventh director of the Neuberger Museum of Art on July 2. 2012. “I am enormously pleased to begin working with the dedicated board and staff of the Neuberger Museum of Art and my distinguished colleagues at Purchase College. I feel energized by the many important projects already in progress at the museum, from the renovated facilities to the upcoming ambitious exhibitions that will feature international contemporary artists. We view exhibitions as collegial efforts, and our collection as a vehicle for discussion and exploration,” says Morsiani.  “The museum is a vital presence on the college campus. Owing to the impetus and support of its founders and Purchase College, the Neuberger has distinguished itself by engaging students and audiences in the discovery of new art and ideas. Drawing from the college’s nurturing environment and our proximity to artists and supporters in Westchester and New York, we give artists of the future a model for how the ideas they express can positively impact society and life,” she adds. A native of Venice, Italy, Morsiani received her laurea in art history and history of art criticism from the University of Padua in Italy, and an MA in arts administration from New York University. During her tenure at the Cleveland Museum of Art, she curated exhibitions, commissioned outdoor sculptures, and made significant collection acquisitions. Before joining the Cleveland Museum in 2008, she was senior curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. “Paola Morsiani’s fine record of accomplishment will serve her well as she builds on a distinguished tradition of leadership at the Neuberger Museum,” says President Schwarz. “Her commitment to contemporary art and her scholarship, professionalism, and energy will advance the museum’s reputation as a cultural and intellectual magnet for modern and contemporary art, and will enhance its regional and national audiences.”

Helaine Posner, deputy director for curatorial affairs and chief curator at the Neuberger Museum of Art, was recognized this spring by the U.S. section of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA-USA) for her curatorial work on Ursula von Rydingsvard: Sculpture 1991–2009 at the Sculpture Center, Long Island City, N.Y., in 2011 in the category “Best Show in a Non-Profit Gallery or Space.” Additionally, Posner and cocurator Nancy Princenthal were honored in the category “Best Thematic Show Nationally” for The Deconstructive Impulse: Women Artists Reconfigure the Signs of Power, 1973–1991, which was exhibited at the Neuberger Museum of Art from January to April 2011 and then traveled to the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University and the Contemporary Art Museum in Houston, Texas. The AICA-USA awards were presented at the Asia Society in New York City on April 2. Marie Sciangula of the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Center gave a demonstration, “Using Zotero to Support Scholarly Research,” at EduTech Day 2012: “Teaching, Learning, and Sharing in the Cloud,” a SUNY-wide conference held at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City on March 16.

Paola Morsiani

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CHANGE Described as nontraditional at the time, the program stressed independent study and an interdisciplinary approach to academics, and only grades of pass, fail, or honors were awarded. “We want to be as innovative and experimental as is consistent with the highest quality of education. This means freedom for the student in the arts as well as the sciences and the humanities to pursue special interests. It means a rare combination of flexibility and discipline,” Dr. Kaplan explained in 1972.


“[The students] were excited about politics and ideas…. Through learning they were going to find a way to change the world,” recalls Judith Friedlander, former professor of anthropology and former acting dean of social science at Purchase, also here in 1971. Thomas Altfather Good

GOOD @ Society is in a constant state of flux; its rules, attitudes, values, norms, and behaviors evolve perpetually. This change is unpredictable, and it does not always move in directions that lead to progress. But sometimes change is imposed by those who insist that their actions can have a positive impact. As Martin Luther King Jr. said in 1966, “No social advance rolls in on the wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts and persistent work of dedicated individuals.”

Mention the name David Graeber and most people respond with a quizzical look. Add that he coined the phrase “We are the 99 percent” and eyebrows rise with recognition and respect. Considered P U R C HA S E | 8

David Graeber ’82 (L) with Occupy Wall Street activist.

period when social activism was almost second nature. The Purchase community—from the newest faculty members to the first generation of Purchase alumni—suggests myriad reasons why, but many agree that something remarkable happens at Purchase. Some feel that the proximity to New York City affects the culture; others argue that it’s the size of the student body, or how the community is clustered in a modernist brick enclave. While all of these may be contributing factors, the common thread maintaining the fabric of Purchase seems to be the environment created when the performing and visual arts mix with the liberal arts and sciences—and the people (faculty and students) who thrive in such an atmosphere. Does the culture attract the socially conscious or is it engendered once they arrive? The answer is unequivocal: both.

By Kristi McKee

Change can develop from social service, enterprise, activism, or direct community engagement. Whatever form it takes, it begins with a notion, a wish, or an acknowledgment of injustice in the system. The culture that has evolved at Purchase College pulses with the possibility of change. Since the school’s inception, those who believe they can make a difference have come here to gather the tools and insight to do so, and those who never before considered playing a role in the process might find a spark ignited.

present tense

A c au l d r o n O F CHANGE

by many in the field of anthropology to be one of the most brilliant minds of his generation, Graeber ’82 (anthropology) is known both for his work on value theory—the process by which societies assign value—and for his anarchism. He’s one of several “antileaders” who were involved in the early stages of Occupy Wall Street. The leaderless, horizontal structure of the movement, where decisions are made only after consensus of the general assembly, is largely due to the organizational efforts of Graeber and his colleagues. And he studied at Purchase. Conceived in the late 1960s, Purchase College (known then as SUNY Purchase) welcomed its first students in the early 1970s, a

The first class arrived at Purchase in 1971, composed of 150 junior transfer students from more than 30 colleges. The faculty members that year numbered fewer than 20, with an average age of barely 31. Classes and offices were clustered in the administration building. “Indeed, in the first years President Abbott Kaplan [the first president of Purchase] provided lunch to both students and faculty and we ate together in the lobby of the administration building, which helped to create a social community,” recalls Peter Schwab, professor of political science, who was among the first faculty hired. Both physical proximity and closeness in age helped socially and politically align students with faculty. “Back then, and for quite a few years thereafter, the student body was a cauldron of student activism,” adds Schwab, attributing their social consciousness to previous experiences at other colleges or in their lives before Purchase. “They came as activists, in many cases, which was one of the things that attracted them to Purchase in the first place.”

Chrys Ingraham, professor of sociology, agrees without hesitation that there’s something special about the Purchase community. Hired five years ago to rebuild the sociology program, she put social action at its core, requiring students to study abroad, participate in community action, or do internships. Beyond her academic department, she senses a feeling of inclusion here in the context of culture. “Students are open Chrys Ingraham to creative expression whether they’re in the arts program or not.” It seems to her that the mere presence of the arts attracts the kind of daring, creative, and open-minded students who advocate for change regardless of their course of study. Two years ago, a group of students from the Sociology Club formed an accessibility committee, struck by the needs of two fellow students in wheelchairs. They demanded that soap dispensers be lowered in the restrooms and, much to Ingraham’s surprise, they even arranged for weekly meetings with facilities management staff to tackle accessibility issues on an ongoing basis. The committee also worked with the staff members overseeing graduation to ensure that students who use wheelchairs would not be marginalized during the procession. Matthew Immergut, assistant professor of sociology, also encourages social action in order to emphasize to the students that change is not easy. Students experience for themselves the difficulties of navigating a bureaucracy and the importance of identifying decision-makers. He tempers this harsh reality by imparting hope: “While a single individual may not change the world, groups of people certainly can.” He believes it’s not enough to instill an individual sense of agency; he stresses the need for students to use their passion to mobilize others if change is their goal. As recent sociology alumna Emily Bishop ’12 observes, “Purchase is a place where students are fed up with apathy, and thankfully we have professors raising our consciousness and encouraging us to P U R C HA S E | 9

do something with all the passion we have. There is no lack of passion at Purchase!”

Matthew Immergut

You’re always bouncing ideas and socializing and working with teams. —Nicholas Bruckman ’06

Ingraham stresses that faculty support is essential to student initiative. “My philosophy is ‘Don’t tell us what you are going to do; just do it. Don’t break the law and we’ve got your back.’”

On an overcast day last March, the Purchase chapters of New York Students Rising (NYSR) and New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), with support from the Sociology Club, held a “Funeral for Higher Education” to protest SUNY tuition hikes. NYSR is a statewide network of students and campus organizations dedicated to defending public higher education and empowering students in New York State; NYPIRG is a statewide, nonpartisan political organization. The Purchase chapters of both organizations, as well as the Sociology Club, are quite active.


Christopher Robbins

Christopher Robbins, a faculty member on the sculpture board of study, School of Art+Design, since 2010, uses public art and community action to forge connections among people, creating what he calls “sculptural interventions in the daily lives of strangers.” Having lived throughout the world, including in Japan, Fiji, Serbia, and two years with the Peace Corps in Benin, West Africa, he has witnessed the difficulty inherent in cross-cultural assimilation. He teaches the Arts for Social Change

course at Purchase, and hopes his work will inspire a dialogue that exposes the folly of making assumptions about others and humanizes people along the way. His projects offer a healthy dose of social critique infused with fearlessness and humor. Sitting under the elephant tree on a scorching day in June, he talked about his process. “Usually it’s recognizing I’m part of some system that feels screwed up in some way. And then I try to think about my role in that system, and what other people’s roles are, and how we can twist them a bit. It’s usually not ‘How do I solve this big crisis?’ It’s more of ‘Here’s a system that’s flawed or that I know I’m entrenched in, and what are some ways I can poke at what’s happening?’” The Arts for Social Change course offers Purchase students the chance to explore public art as a tool to promote community engagement and cross-cultural interaction. The course takes place in Port Chester, where students research local community issues, work with residents, and implement physical solutions through art. They distill their ideas into a series of steps, any of which would provide satisfactory results. Robbins acknowledges that some in the art world might criticize him for instrumentalizing art, or turning art into a tool. He confides, “I don’t care if I’m instrumentalizing art; if I can actually do something in the world, and that’s a bad thing, fine, I’m a bad artist.”

Students “Occupy Purchase”

COLLA B ORAT I V E SPIRI T The Arts for Social Change, the new media major at Purchase, and the like could not exist were it not for the spirit of collaboration flourishing among faculty and students. Suzanne Kessler, dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, acknowledges that interdisciplinary studies may be a national trend, but the lines at Purchase are truly blurred. Through many programs’ open curricula, P U R C HA S E | 10

P U R C HA S E | 11

I AM AN AC TIVE GLOBAL CITIZEN Emily Bishop ’12 (sociology and Latin American studies) arrived at Purchase College with her major undeclared. A native of Syracuse, N.Y., she had never traveled outside the United States, and had no interest in social change; “I was somewhat of a blank slate when I arrived,” she says. Bishop traces the genesis of her journey to the first sociology course she ever took. Taught by Veronica Perera, assistant professor of sociology, Social Movements focused primarily on Latin America. “This intrigued me because I wasn’t at all interested or educated about social change in high school or from my family, and all of a sudden I was learning about water rights, activism throughout the world, and globalization.” During her sophomore year, Bishop was first exposed to service learning through a two-week “voluntourism” trip to Ecuador. She returned the following summer to participate in a water development project, which evolved further into her senior project. This past June, she traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to continue studying at the Institute for Economic and Social Development. She then finished the summer trekking through Chile translating for two Brooklyn College students who were filming a documentary about student movements in Chile, Canada, and the U.S. All three also attended the National Student Power Convergence in Columbus, Ohio, last August, where student activists hoped “to ignite a broader movement for justice and equality.”

Emily Bishop

The work of Purchase alumni such as David Graeber is an inspiration to the next generation of activists at Purchase. Bishop says enthusiastically, “I’ve used [Graeber’s] books to frame my thinking on Occupy Wall Street. It’s an honor to share an alma mater with someone so accomplished and humble who has come from the social sciences at Purchase.”

students can grab tools and ideas from different areas, and this emphasis is reflected in faculty hiring; she notes that “it’s no longer enough to be the best in your discipline. There has to be potential of working across disciplines.” Ingraham also feels that faculty collaboration is crucial; “You don’t have a successful program with faculty lined up in boxes,” she says. That spirit dates from the beginning, attests Friedlander, who co-taught a course on anthropology and film with John Cohen, professor emeritus of photography. They showed segments of one of the earliest examples of reality television, An American Family, which aired in 1973 and documented the disintegration of the Loud family. Collaboration is a hallmark of the Purchase experience, according to Nicholas Bruckman ’06. (See the box on page 13.) “You’re always bouncing ideas and socializing and working with teams.” He knew that film was his medium of choice, but he was drawn to the versatility of the new media program because it allowed him to collaborate across majors. The result is evident in La Americana, which he co-produced with Jesse Thomas ’07, a political science major, and co-directed with visual arts major John Mattiuzzi ’05.

CO n c e r n f o r t h e e n v i r o n m e n t Further proof of the social consciousness abounding at Purchase is the awareness of environmental issues. Partly in response to student demand, in 2004 the environmental science program was changed into an environmental studies program. This reconceptualized interdisciplinary program focuses on the interaction among P U R C HA S E | 12

the sociopolitical, economic, and ecological systems where the natural world and human society overlap, and now attracts not only students interested in science, but also those interested in policy issues—the activists. Environmental sustainability is an integral part of the school’s strategic plan. Immergut points to multiple efforts, such as the green fee, a mandatory student fee that supports only sustainability efforts; the Free/New Pods, a program to keep students’ unwanted items out of landfills by storing them in pods at the end of the school year that reopen for redistribution the following semester; and a large-scale composting initiative currently in the works. Looking at existing programs, Chartwell’s and the Office of Sustainability hope to lessen the waste stream by composting the nearly 2,000 pounds of food scraps generated by the dining halls every week. Furthermore, the college often appears on top-ten lists of the most vegetarian-friendly campuses, and in 2012, for the third year running, the Princeton Review included Purchase in its Guide to 322 Green Colleges.

DE F INING SUCCESS By the fall of drops of water, by degrees, a pot is filled. —Hitopadesha, a collection of Sanskrit fables Those devoted to social change learn quickly to find satisfaction in small successes. Robbins warns students to make sure that “it’s not a drop in a bucket in the corner of your room, all by itself, where you and your friends look at the drop.” Bruckman reflects, “I understand that what I do is only a little tiny drop in the bucket, but by recognizing smaller victories, smaller achievements, it really revives my spirit. It’s important to try not to shut off because it’s too big. Being engaged with what’s happening in the world is an emotional roller coaster, but shutting off is a little bit of a copout.” Bishop adds, “I have faith that the social movements of today

are changing the way we choose to interact with the whole as individuals. It’s not about ‘me,’ it’s about ‘us.’” Real, sweeping change is not quick, nor can social revolution be attributed to a single event, speech, act of volunteerism, or work of art. It does begin, however, when a single person believes that his or her drop in the proverbial bucket is the first of many, and inspires others in the process. It begins when the optimism and positive energy of one person rouse the same in another; groups form groundswells that might lead to the birth of an outright movement. Immergut reminds students, “Society is not this giant, unmoving thing, but something created by people, so it can be changed by people.” Those who dedicate themselves to the possibility of social change never lose sight of this idea; the power of individuals working collectively toward a goal is undeniable. Purchase continues to equip open-minded, creative, and passionate people with the skill set to act—and then revels in the results.

OPENING MINDS Since early in his grade-school years, video has fascinated Nicholas Bruckman ’06 (new media major and political science minor), but it wasn’t until his senior year at Bronx Science High School that the tragic events of September 11 Nicholas Bruckman inspired him to pursue advocacy filmmaking, which eventually led to his receiving Sundance Film Festival awards. Born and raised in Manhattan with family roots in India and Eastern Europe, Bruckman says, “I think of America as a promised land to escape from poverty or war and I don’t want it to lose that character.” With an impulse to travel, he enrolled at Purchase in the fall of 2002 and spent his entire freshman year in a study-abroad program in Spain. Struck by the media coverage there following 9/11, he notes, “It really opened my eyes to how important it is to have independent film and media in the U.S. and how badly mainstream media let down the American public.” He founded People’s Television in 2008 (, a production company that makes corporate and nonprofit marketing films and learning content that fund his documentary and narrative film ventures. The first documentary film Bruckman directed and produced, La Americana, began as his senior project amid the heated immigration debates of 2006. The result was a poignant feature-length documentary, which tells the story of a Bolivian woman who entered the U.S. illegally to find work that would earn her enough money to care for the daughter she left behind—a daughter who is paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair after having been struck by a bus. La Americana premiered at the Latino Film Festival in New York, winning “Best Documentary,” and it has subsequently received many other accolades. For Bruckman, the most rewarding part of the experience was not the awards but the dialogue that ensued. He used the film as a springboard for

advocacy work, screening it for audiences across the country, in both immigrant and conservative communities. Acknowledging the difficulty of effecting policy change, he explains, “I didn’t make the film to reach politicians. I made the film to reach audiences who had little or no exposure to immigrants.” He hoped individuals affected by the film would “vote in a different way, or treat the immigrants in their community a little bit better.” People’s Television’s second feature-length film, Valley of Saints—with Bruckman as producer—premiered last January at Sundance in the “World Cinema–Dramatic” category, winning the Audience Award and the Alfred B. Sloan Film Prize, as well as a nomination for the Grand Jury Prize. This narrative film uses drama to introduce viewers to Kashmir, the region of India near the Pakistan border known to most as a place of hostility born of deep religious division. Tired of seeing Kashmir depicted only in media images of terrorist bombings and civil unrest, Bruckman and director/screenwriter Musa Syeed sought to make a funny, uplifting coming-of-age story using the environment as a metaphor for conflict. “It’s a very hopeful film to introduce people to this place and to counter the sort of stereotypes of violence . . . a portrait of daily life, which is another way to make an impact instead of just making a downer of a movie about torture or human rights abuses.” Through both narrative and documentary films, Bruckman plans to continue using the medium to open minds. “I think that’s the power of film, to find people or situations that are microcosms of bigger political issues, so even though you can only help one person, you can explain how that one person’s situation is part of a larger political system that we’re all a part of and that we can all change.”

P U R C HA S E | 13

Guess Who’s Coming To Class Today


Special Guests Add Unique Value to Purchase Programs

Many Purchase faculty members have their feet planted firmly in two worlds. There’s the academic world of scholarship and teaching. Then there’s the professional world that involves them in performance, theatrical production, social issues of the day, or industry.

By David McKay Wilson


hose worlds come together in Purchase classrooms, as faculty members invite colleagues from the professional world to campus to share their experiences and inspire students by telling their stories. At other times, faculty members take students to visit the professionals where they work. These interactions take place across campus and throughout the metropolitan region, with students learning from professionals in such fields as dance, music, new media, journalism, performance art, and theatre design and technology. This spring, Peter Denenberg, the Conservatory of Music’s head of studio production, brought to campus renowned guitar maker Paul Reed Smith, founder of PRS Guitars. Smith discussed modern electronics and microphone technologies in a highly technical session about sound and amplification. Then he spent two hours talking about his career at a standing-room-only event with students from throughout the conservatory. “Everyone at one time in his or her life figures out what path to go down, and there are so many paths to choose from,” says Denenberg, who also heads the Conservatory of Music’s studio production program. “Exposing students to interesting, successful people who have started in the same place, and ended up somewhere else that’s really good, can be quite valuable.”

P U R C HA S E | 14

Renowned guitar maker Paul Reed Smith, founder of PRS Guitars, with Purchase studio production students.

For those in the arts, learning from accomplished practitioners can be essential in fields where, to earn a living, artists’ creativity must be focused both on their form of artistic expression and on how that expression might find value in the marketplace.

Kyle Abraham and Jeremy Neal perform excerpts of a recent, work Pavement.

Photo by: Ian Douglas at Danspace Project

“There are fewer and fewer institutions that hire musicians, so you have to build your career,” says Suzanne Farrin, associate professor and director of the Conservatory of Music. “You might build your own ensemble or become a sought-after instrumentalist or composer. You have to put it out into the world that you are a unique and well-skilled person.” Meeting working artists can trigger ideas and provide encouragement to students. “The things you learn in class can seem so distant from actual life,” says Christopher Robbins, assistant professor of art and design. “It’s easy to lose faith in ideas that are bigger than you are. But then you meet someone who is making it work, and that can be inspiring. It might spark something in you, and maybe that person will even hire you.”

Da nce r s r e t ur n to sh a r e Many of those who come to share their experience were Purchase students themselves back in the day. That’s especially true at the Conservatory of Dance, where alumni return to perform, choreograph, and help produce the annual holiday classic Nutcracker ballet each December. Associate Professor Wallie Wolfgruber, director of the Conservatory of Dance, says involvement by alumni can provide professional contacts for students as they consider life after Purchase. Doug Varone ’77, who leads Doug Varone and Dancers, did a three-week workshop in June and has three Purchase dancers in his company. Kyle Abraham ’00, whose company Abraham.In. Motion (A.I.M.) performed in the fall of 2011 at the Performing

Arts Center, became acquainted with Purchase dancers at a master class he taught. He’s also developing a piece that will be performed by the Purchase Dance Company. While at Purchase, Abraham recalls, he headed up the student-run Movement Coalition, which recruited top dancers for master classes that provided inspiration to the undergraduates. Now he is returning the favor. “It’s great exposure for the students,” says Abraham. “And it introduces me to Purchase dancers.” Several Purchase alumni have gone on to dance in his company, including Chalvar Montero ’77, Rena Butler ’11, and Hsiao-Jou Tang ’08. Addison Reese ’11, who danced with A.I.M. this summer at the Bates Dance Festival in Lewiston, Maine, worked as the children’s coordinator for the Nutcracker production in 2011. She will return this fall to work on the show, which will bring her to campus to share with Purchase dance students her experiences since graduation. P U R C HA S E | 15

“I wouldn’t be here today without the people who came ahead of me,” says Reese, originally from Larchmont, who has patched together work as a dance instructor and personal trainer to supplement her work as a modern dancer. “Now I’m able to help students with insights into how to get work immediately after graduation.”

Film students at Purchase had the opportunity to meet several directors in 2011–12 through a lecture program sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Among those on campus were Barbara Hammer, Su Friedrich, Robert Downey Sr., Carolee Schneeman, and Jeff Lieberman, who has made a name for himself in cult and genre films. This year’s roster will include directors of color and those who work behind the scenes in the film industry, says Michelle Stewart, chair, School of Film and Media Studies. Photo by: Antimodular Research

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, “Blow-Up, Shadow Box 4,” 2007

“These lectures are an opportunity to expose our students to the variety of ways in which technology and art come together in exciting and thought-provoking forms,” says Singer. “We want to jumpstart our students’ own creative thinking, and there’s nothing like hearing firsthand how and why the artists do what they do.”

New media and film connections In the rapidly evolving field of new media, linking up with current practitioners provides insight into how artists are finding innovative ways to use technology to express themselves.

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, “33 Questions per Minute, Relational Architecture 5,” 2003. “Recorders,” Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2011

These interactions take place the metropolitan region, with students learning from professionals in such fields as dance, music, new media, journalism, performance art, and theatre design and technology.

Lasersaur workshop

P U R C HA S E | 16

Learning theatre design from the pros Hearing the history of one’s craft from someone who has lived through it can provide context for what’s to come next. Dan Hanessian ’90, associate professor of theatre design/technology, brought Broadway production technical supervisor Artie Siccardi to campus one evening in late April to talk about his decades of work backstage, in a program, “Backstage Legends and Masters: A Conversation with Artie Siccardi.” Siccardi’s appearance was part of Hanessian’s Broadway Technical Theatre History project, in which he and others are documenting the development of the technical side of theatre over the past half-century. (See story on page 18.) Making contacts in the theatre industry can give a boost to a career. Hanessian has developed an email list of more than 600 alumni in the business who keep Purchase in mind when they have jobs to fill. Those alumni are also a learning resource for Purchase students. Hanessian’s students typically get to meet several alumni at the scenery fabrication shop blackwalnut, in Rockland County, which has built sets for ABC, NBC, ESPN, and The Daily Show. Several of Hanessian’s former students work there—Nick Franzoso 05, Rob Spink ’08, Roger Coleman ’08, Joe DiMartino ’12, and Lee Martindell ’05. When they go to Valley Cottage to visit, students bring examples of their work, and the Purchase alumni take time to review the projects and provide critiques. Coleman visited blackwalnut while an undergraduate and then interned there one summer. Now he’s a project manager, and he just completed fabricating sets at the Summer Olympics in London for Canadian television.


across campus and throughout

Photo by: Antimodular Research

Their company, Lasersaur, has developed a method to make laser cutters, using technology that’s available through the open-source movement. Laser cutters are used by artists for stencils and for

Director Robert Downey Sr. with Purchase film students.

etchings on wood, or to create components for computers. At Purchase, these artists will hold a workshop that will lead to the construction of a laser cutter for the new-media program.

Addison Reese with Nutcracker dancers

Brooke Singer, associate professor of new media, says the lecture series she helps produce in collaboration with the Neuberger Museum of Art has brought talent from around the world to campus. In 2011, animator Marina Vurkow, conceptual artist Jill Magid, and electronic artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer came to the Neuberger to discuss their work. In October, artists Addie Wagenknecht and Stegan Hechenberger will arrive at Purchase to share their experiences in producing installations that engage science, art, and design.

“We’ve made sure to include underrepresented industry folks— women, independent directors, cult directors—to give students a sense of the full range of possibilities within the industry,” says Stewart. “We want to give them a chance to talk to professionals who perhaps followed nonconventional routes to ‘making it’ within the industry, or on the outskirts of the industry.”

“It’s important to connect with working professionals in your field,” says Coleman. “It helps you figure out what you want to do. And knowing people in the industry is key.”

Purchase theatre design/technology alumni at design shop blackwalnut (L to R): Joe DiMartino, Roger Coleman, Lee Martindell (back), Rob Spink, and Nick Franzoso.

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Writers learning from writers In journalism, learning from the pros can provide important insights as aspiring writers venture out after graduation onto the shifting sands of the 21st-century news business. Andrew Solomon, assistant professor of journalism, says those contemplating lives as freelance writers learned how best to get through to assignment editors when Isaac Guzman, a former features editor and pop music critic at the New York Post, discussed the art of the query letter. Such an email provides a quick synopsis of the writer’s story idea and offers information that will lead the editor to believe that the writer can deliver the article that he or she has dreamed up. Guzman’s advice? Have a concise subject line to catch the editor’s attention, get to the point quickly, and describe how you’ll obtain access to the event or the interview.

“He also told the writers to provide links to stories they’ve written, and to make sure the links still work,” says Solomon, the former national news editor of Backstage and an editor at the Washington Post and Newsday. “He suggested they might want to make PDFs of their online stories because content can come down and not be accessible.” Solomon also brought New York Times reporter Alan Schwarz to class in the spring of 2012 to share his investigation of head injuries in the National Football League, and the subsequent lawsuit filed by hundreds of former players who had suffered concussions. “He was such a good shoe-leather reporter who was able to use statistical analysis to get out in front of the story,” says Solomon. “We as professors at times grossly underestimate how flattering it can be for someone to be asked to share his or her experience. It’s a great untapped resource.”

Backstage Legends and Masters: A Conversation with Artie Siccardi Dan Hanessian with Artie Siccardi In April, 200 students, alumni, faculty, and staff packed the Black Box Theatre of the Performing Arts Center for “A Conversation with Artie Siccardi.” The event, arranged and produced by Dan Hanessian ’90, associate professor of theatre design/technology, brought Broadway production technical supervisor Artie Siccardi to campus to talk about his decades of work backstage. Siccardi’s appearance was part of Hanessian’s Broadway Technical Theatre History project, in which he and others are documenting the development of the technical side of theatre over the past half-century. The project celebrates the increasingly complex built environments that create the worlds inhabited by characters in musicals and dramas. Siccardi has worked on more than 200 Broadway shows, including the hit musicals Cats, Billy Elliot: The Musical, The Color Purple, La Cage aux Folles, Gypsy, Mamma Mia!, Jesus Christ Superstar, and A Chorus Line. In 2012, he received a Tony honor for Excellence in the Theatre on the day before this year’s Tony Awards. Hanessian chronicled Siccardi’s storied career, which included working on 81 shows in the 1980s, including 10 shows in 1980. “You worked on 63 percent of Broadway shows that year,” he reminded Siccardi that evening.

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Siccardi told the students that he began his career as a carpenter on Broadway in the 1950s, on the show Jamaica. Over the years, he took on many new titles—production supervisor, technical supervisor, and production manager. As production supervisor, Siccardi was charged with making sure the scenery and costumes were built and fashioned in line with the creative team’s vision. He selected the scene shops to build the scenery, then worked with the show to make sure that his team kept the production in good working order. The musical Cats was a harbinger. “Cats started it all,” Siccardi recalled. “And then it kept getting bigger and bigger.” At Purchase, Siccardi provided students with his knowledge about the way Broadway used to be, with fixed lighting, and stagehands pulling lines and pushing scenery around. They used wood to build scenery, long before metal became the construction material of choice. “We used wood,” said Siccardi. “You all laugh. But little by little, wood became too expensive.” Back in the day, shops could build the scenery for a musical for $400,000. Today, it can cost a producer up to $1.5 million, Siccardi said. Today’s stagecraft includes digital projections systems, automated lines, and lighting that moves about. “I’ve tried to grow with the changes,” he said. “You have to grow with it. I sure wouldn’t want to be starting out now.”

NewsBriefs Purchase College on The today Show Purchase College was featured on The Today Show on Wednesday, April 11. Shot on campus in March, the segment was part of a series NBC-TV produced about the cost of attending college and student debt. Visit http://today.msnbc.msn. com/id/26184891/vp/47015250#47015250 to view the segment.

ROADWAY DESIGNATED IN MEMORY OF FORMER PURCHASE STUDENT In July, Governor Cuomo signed into law legislation renaming a section of Route 120 in honor of a former Purchase student who died in Iraq in 2005. The section of Route 120/Purchase Street from Lake Street to Anderson Hill Road is now the “Specialist Anthony N. Kalladeen Memorial Highway.” Kalladeen, a former Marine, was in the last month of his second tour of duty with the Army National Guard’s First Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment, out of New York City. On August 7, 2005, his Humvee was ambushed when two improvised explosive devices were detonated; he was pronounced dead the next day. He was 26. Kalladeen had planned to return to Purchase to continue his studies upon tour completion. “There is no way to adequately thank and honor Specialist Anthony N. Kalladeen … for tremendous courage and sacrifice protecting our nation,” said Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck), the sponsor of the bill. “What we can do is offer this tribute for [his] service to our country and ensure that [his] memory is kept alive.”

ALUMNI SCULPTURE on Display in Manhattan On June 19, more than 75 people joined sculptor Malcolm MacDougall ’11 (sculpture) in New York City’s Union Square Park for the opening reception celebrating the installation of his work Microscopic Landscape. The massive steel sculpture once graced the entrance to Purchase College, following its selection as the recipient of the 2010 President’s Award for Student Public Art. The exhibition in New York is co-sponsored by the Union Square Partnership and the City of New York Parks & Recreation Department’s Art in the Park program and will be on view through January 2013. Microscopic Landscape in New York City’s Union Square Park

A $100 MILLION BONANZA FOR SUNY? In a time of ever-tightening state budgets, a group of SUNY purchasing executives put their heads together to implement a sharedservices strategy that could save the state college system up to $100 million. “The potential savings are enormous among our 64 institutions, which make up the largest state college system in the nation,” says Nikolaus D. Lentner, director of Purchasing and Accounts Payable at Purchase College, which hosted a conference for purchasing executives from two dozen SUNY campuses on January 18 and 19, 2012. “What’s more, the savings can be redirected by each individual institution to fulfill its academic mission of hiring more faculty and developing needed courses.” Saving $100 million in administrative costs and shifting those funds to bolster academic and instructional programs were key goals announced by SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher in her 2012 State of the University address in Albany on January 9, just a week before the shared-services conference. The 70 participants at the two-day conference, “Shared Services in SUNY Procurement,” left with a “great sense of achievement,” says Lentner. They identified hundreds of potential shared services that could improve efficiencies, including having multicampus elevator maintenance contracts, centralizing print shop operations, and combining electronic travel reimbursements operations on one campus. “An economic downturn inspires out-of-the-box thinking, some risk taking, and maybe even a leap of faith,” says Judy Nolan, chief financial officer and vice president of operations at Purchase. “SUNY’s collaboration on shared services is a perfect example of challenging the familiar and perhaps more costly in exchange for an unfamiliar but cost-efficient result.”

Natural AND Social Sciences Student RESEARCH Symposium On May 5, 45 of Purchase’s top-performing seniors in the sciences presented their final projects, showcasing some of the most innovative scientific research taking place at the undergraduate level in America today, at the 31st annual Natural and Social Sciences Student Research Symposium. The event featured research Chair of Natural Sciences Ronnie Halperin with Keith Obergfell ’12 in fields as diverse as biochemistry, biology, environmental studies, mathematics/ computer science, psychology, economics, anthropology, sociology, political science, Latin American studies, and gender studies. “At Purchase, the sciences and arts departments communicate in ways that lead to creative breakthroughs in both areas of study,” says Ronnie Halperin, associate professor of psychology and chair of the School of Natural and Social Sciences. “The annual symposium is a celebration of excellence in the sciences, and a way for Purchase to share some of our most exciting research with the community.” P U R C HA S E | 19



Sponsors of the symposium include the Joseph and Sophia Abeles Foundation;
Edith Fehr; Lucille Werlinich; Catherine Ziegler; John Ambroseo PhD ’83 (chemistry) and Jeanette Ambroseo; Con Edison; Doral Arrowwood; Ronen Marmur ’90 MD (psychology); Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society; Entergy; the School of Natural and Social Sciences Alumni; and the Friends of Natural and Social Sciences.

Student Film honored at Gotham Film Festival

Clean and Green Day The seventh annual Purchase College Clean and Green Day was held in May. Sponsored by the Campus Beautification Committee, the day of “cleaning and greening” brought together staff and students who worked alongside one another to improve the campus for everyone. Members of the Green Team—a group of student environmental activists on campus— joined the effort.

A Portrait of Diana White, a short documentary by Victoria deMartin, a junior in the film program, won the “Express Documentary” award at the Gotham Film Festival. The film weaves interviews with White and footage of her dancing with the New York City Ballet to reveal the ballerina’s lifelong passion for dance as well as her experience working with renowned choreographer George Balanchine. The second annual Gotham Film Festival, sponsored by Gotham City Networking Inc., was held at the Friars Club in Manhattan on June 13.

Gordon Parks Foundation Honors Purchase Students Rebecca Iasillo, a senior in the School of Art+Design’s photography program, received the Nikon Gordon Parks Photography Scholarship, awarded by the Gordon Parks Foundation to honor a photography student whose work reflects the passion, vision, and humanity of Gordon Parks. Jared Ray, a sophomore in the film program, received the HBO Gordon Parks Film Scholarship.

nominated for his work on Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, and Kenneth Posner ’87, nominated for his work on Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities.

Gordon Parks

The awards were bestowed on June 5, when the Museum of Modern Art in New York hosted the Gordon Parks Centennial Gala, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of the renowned photographer, filmmaker, musician, and writer. A seminal figure in 20th-century photography, Parks died in 2006. The Purchase College Library is home to the Gordon Parks Archives. The collection of 4,000 prints and 20,000 negatives has been preserved and catalogued for public study.

Accolades for Award-Winning Alums The odds were in Purchase College’s favor on June 10 when the 2012 Tony Awards were announced. Three of the four nominees in the “Best Lighting of a Play” category hailed from the Conservatory of Theatre Art’s theatre design/technology program. Jeff Croiter ’93 rose to the top for his work on Peter and the Starcatcher, a play by Rick Elice that answers the century-old question “How did Peter Pan become the Boy Who Would Not Grow Up?” Croiter has his own lighting design company located in New York City and has been the lighting designer for numerous Broadway and off-Broadway productions in recent years. Two other Purchase alumni were also nominated for 2012 Tony Awards: Brian MacDevitt ’80, P U R C HA S E | 2 0

President Thomas J. Schwarz pitches in on Clean and Green Day.

Fabrice Kenwood ’87, theatre design/technology, received a Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Award in the category of “Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction/Set Decoration/Scenic Design in a Drama Series” for work on the daytime drama The Bold and the Beautiful, for which he is the art director. Beasts of the Southern Wild, a film whose score was written by Dan Romer ’04, a graduate of the Conservatory of Music’s studio production program, added to its credits the Caméra d’Or award at Cannes, the prize for best first film. Fox Searchlight acquired the film and released it in select theaters nationally on June 27.

Congratulations, Class of 2012 On May 18, 812 of Purchase College’s 1,140 graduating seniors walked across the stage at the Westchester County Center in White Plains to receive their bachelor’s and master’s degrees. That number represents the highest percentage of seniors who’ve walked in a graduation ceremony to date. The graduates hailed from 31 states and 12 countries. Retiring faculty members Marjorie Miller and Len Stokes served as faculty marshals, and Professor of Dance Carol Walker carried the mace. Honorary degrees were bestowed on Elizabeth J. McCormack, an educator, philanthropist, and former Manhattanville College president; and Aaron Sorkin, acclaimed screenwriter, playwright, and former Scarsdale resident. Andy Archer, German Fermin, and Erin Sullivan all received the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence. President Thomas J. Schwarz and Jeffrey Putman, the president of the Alumni Association, presented two 1983 graduates, John Ambroseo and Ivan Menchell, with the President’s Award for Distinguished Alumni.

MAKING LISTS Purchase College is one of the country’s Top Ten Public Schools among national liberal arts colleges, according to US News & World Report’s ranking of Best Colleges for 2013. Purchase earned places on both their Best National Liberal Arts Colleges and High School Counselor Rankings lists as well. The Princeton Review also cites Purchase College as one of the country’s leading institutions for undergraduate education in the 2013 edition of its annual college guide, The Best 377 Colleges. Only about 15 percent of America’s 2,500 four-year colleges and three colleges outside the U.S.A. are profiled in the book, which is the Princeton Review’s flagship college guide. In a separate ranking process, the Princeton Review, in collaboration with the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council, recently released the annual edition of its guidebook saluting the nation’s most environmentally responsible “green colleges.” For the third year running, Purchase College was selected for inclusion. In addition to the Princeton Review, The Sierra Club ranked Purchase one of the greenest campuses in the nation, and Newsweek, partnered with College Prowler, ranked Purchase College number 13 on the list of the most liberal colleges in the country.

ENDOWMENTS ESTABLISHED IN HONOR OF SHIRLEY DURST The late Shirley Durst, a dedicated advocate and devoted supporter of Purchase College for more than 25 years, has been honored by her children—Peter, Leslie, and Stephen Durst—through a $2.5 million donation to the college to establish four new endowment funds in her memory. Shortly before her death at 92 in 2011, Mrs. Durst had advised Purchase College’s president, Thomas J. Schwarz, that she supported the notion of establishing endowed funds to sustain her history of annual giving. “Shirley was an extraordinary advocate, friend, and trustee, and we are extremely grateful for this generous donation,” President Schwarz says. “These endowment gifts from her children will ensure that the philanthropic investment she made in the college during her lifetime will live on in perpetuity. More than 400 students have already benefited from the Dursts’ generosity, and with these new endowments, hundreds, if not thousands, more will receive support.” (See page 33: "A Legacy Lives On.")

Students Compete in National Poetry Slam (Left to right) Purchase College students Aliya Birdoff, David Gerges, Samuel McCausland, Francine Hendrickson, Sahir Wilson, and Judith Angeles recently participated in the College Union Poetry Slam Invitational, which took place at the University of La Verne in La Verne, California. Purchase’s poetry slam club, GRIOT (Gifted Rhythmic Intellectuals Organizing Together), founded by Sahir Wilson, was one of the 48 slam groups at the 2012 competition.

RECENT ART+DESIGN GRAD’S PAINTINGS SELECTED FOR GOVERNOR’S OFFICE Two paintings by Heather Swenson ’12 have been selected for exhibition in the Washington, D.C., office of Governor Andrew Cuomo. “I’m pretty excited that [the paintings] got selected because those particular pieces are quite important to me. They were probably the first two paintings that really clicked while I was making them, and since I started painting late in college, there was a lot of value in that for me,” Swenson says. A native of Irondequoit, just north of Rochester, N.Y., Swenson received the President’s Award for Achievement in the School of Art+Design during last May’s commencement celebration. She earned a GPA of 4.09 and a degree in interdisciplinary visual arts, with concentrations in printmaking and painting/drawing. “All of my works relate to one another, and I’ve Slipping Out, 2011 Oil on canvas, 24 x 18 in. enjoyed working between the disciplines,” Courtesy of the artist says Swenson. “The printmaking and painting faculty at Purchase have been very encouraging and a huge influence on my work. I really appreciate their insight and critiques.”

Kyle Abraham ’00 Wins Jacob’s Pillow Award Citing his creativity, charisma, and insight, Jacob’s Pillow Dance announced that acclaimed contemporary dancer and choreographer Kyle Abraham ’00 has won the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award. Honoring outstanding, visionary dance artists, the award carries a prize of $25,000. Abraham is the artistic director of Abraham. In.Motion, and has earned many accolades and awards for his Kyle Abraham at reception following his dancing and choreography Performing Arts Center performance. recently, including a 2010 New York Dance and Performance Award (the “Bessie Award”) for Outstanding Performance in Dance for his work in The Radio Show, a Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant, and inclusion in Dance magazine’s “25 to Watch” list, among others. Abraham says, “Jacob’s Pillow is the ultimate resource for imagination, inspiration, and artistry. Receiving this award is something that goes far beyond what I could have ever imagined for myself at this stage of my career.” Abraham accepted the award at the Jacob’s Pillow 80th Anniversary Gala on June 16, 2012. In February, Abraham returned to Purchase for the first time to perform his 2009 work The Radio Show. Following the performance, Conservatory of Dance faculty, friends, alumni, and students gathered for a reception.

Take Note The Neuberger Museum of Art is on hiatus until the winter/spring 2013 season as it undergoes a renovation and upgrade of its heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system. P U R C HA S E | 21



Dance Program, Conservatory of Dance, School of the Arts When the Conservatory of Dance’s director, Wallie Wolfgruber, polled faculty members to identify a rising star, one name appeared on every list submitted: Raven Barkley. After just 45 minutes we spent with her in Starbucks, it’s evident why; she’s upbeat, pleasant, and most important, grateful. Barkley grew up in the Co-Op City section of the Bronx. As a child, she took community dance classes, but never ballet. Her interest waned and she stopped. At the urging of her mother, also a dancer, she attended Ballet Tech Middle School, New York City’s public school for dance, which kindled her now-burning passion for ballet. As she entered Manhattan’s LaGuardia High School, she also started classes at the Dance Theatre of Harlem. While there, she was one of four students chosen to appear in Marilyn Nelson’s children’s book Beautiful Ballerina. She graced the cover and danced onstage at its release party as actor Lynn Whitfield recited the book’s poem. “I try to remain humble, because it could have been anyone else and I’m just really fortunate,” she notes. When the curtains opened on last year’s production of The Nutcracker, Raven Barkley was the only freshman to take the stage, in the role of Sugar Plum. Professor of Dance Bettijane Sills writes, “She excels in ballet and modern dance and has a wonderful, professional work ethic. She is extremely smart and articulate and has a sweetness about her that is very appealing. There are very many talented kids in the conservatory but Raven is special.”

Always on the lookout for new ways to illustrate the essence of Purchase—those fundamental qualities that render the college unique—PURCHASE magazine decided to embark upon the task of predicting the future. Identifying “rising stars” may be fraught with subjectivity and uncertainty, but we tried it anyway. We posed the question to the faculty, “Who are the students who show great promise following the completion of their freshman year?” Submissions rolled in, cutting across disciplines. From subsequent interviews, a picture emerged. The students nominated all have something in common: an intense and focused passion for what they do.

Barkley’s dream job is to dance as principal or soloist in a company, but she’s considering a subsequent career in physical therapy. She can also see herself teaching; “The teachers I’ve had have given me so much knowledge that I want to keep their legacy going,” she says. CH A R L E S COR NE L L

Jazz Studies Program, Conservatory of Music, School of the Arts Charles Cornell comes from a musical family; his grandmother was his first piano teacher. He owes her a debt of gratitude for a gift that would eventually lead him to study at Purchase. During a PBS fundraiser, his grandmother was outbid on two piano lessons donated by renowned jazz pianist Lee Shaw. His grandmother called Shaw directly and presented her grandson with two lessons as a Christmas gift. At the end of the second lesson, Cornell assumed the instruction was over for good, but according to him, “[Shaw] opened her planning calendar and asked ‘So when do you want to come back?’” He studied with her for five more years and it was she who recommended the Conservatory of Music here. Cornell hails from Hartford, N.Y., a small town near the Vermont border, and had to travel an hour or more to play with musicians at his level who were playing the same music. At Purchase, he explained, “I got better at an exponential rate because of the setting, being around people; listening and playing 24/7 really jumpstarts progress. There’s really no better place to be.” Professor Pete Malinverni, head of jazz studies, praises the musician: “Charles Cornell possesses the rare combination of gift, initiative, and humility that, I am confident, will stand him in good stead in the life of a jazz musician. (I specify ‘jazz’ musician because, in keeping with the African tradition carried over to this art form, suc-

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cess in jazz requires earnest and humble apprenticeship to older masters.) Charles came to us with talent and an engaging personality but with little past experience dealing with older, seasoned players. And the two former traits make one WANT to help him, greasing the skids of the latter. Further, I have, time and again, watched Charles see the big picture and cut to the chase with a well-pointed question in class that gets to the heart of the matter. And one last thing—he’s not afraid to fail. Charles Cornell is always the first guy up and ready to play when volunteers are requested in class, realizing, quite correctly, that today’s mistakes lead inexorably to tomorrow’s knowing.”

Gender Studies and Sociology, School of Natural and Social Sciences, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences Yolandri Vargas is soft-spoken and unassuming as she sits in the Neuberger Museum of Art’s gallery. Amid the renowned abstract expressionist paintings, she talks about her own preferred method of creative expression: spoken-word poetry. Passion for the medium is her driving force. A native of Washington Heights, N.Y., Vargas was a freshman at New Design High School on Manhattan’s Lower East Side the first day she heard spoken word. Poet Oveous Maximus performed and she was instantly transfixed. She “spits” the opening lines of his poem ”Dulce de Leche”: “Two hundred and seventy days, where bones lift and organs shift to make room in the womb.…” It opened a door to a place where she could share with an audience her stories while demonstrating the emotions attached. Until then she had had a mild interest in poetry, but spoken word consumed her.

Cornell plans to continue his studies in graduate school.


Film Program, School of Film and Media Studies, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences Growing up in Montgomery, N.J., Dara Israel was never able to see herself doing anything but making films, an ambition that proved unpopular in a high school that did not place an emphasis on the arts. After Israel submitted an essay describing her career aspiration, a teacher wrote back, “That’s nice, but what’s your backup plan?”

Intently focused on performing, Vargas participated in workshops and open-mic sessions all over the city, then courageously competed and advanced to the semifinals in the Knicks Poetry Slam. She joined Girls Write Now (GWN), a creative writing program for atrisk girls, with whom she visited the White House in May 2011. GWN was one of seven organizations selected nationally to participate in a celebration of American poetry and prose at the invitation of Michelle Obama.

Israel recalls writing scripts as early as age 6 or 7. Before she ever had a camcorder, she wrote scripts and played the role of director as her friends acted out the parts. She took her first film-production class at 13; once she got her first camcorder at 15, she began to flourish as an artist. She attended two five-week summer programs at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where she honed her skills and built a portfolio. Revealing shades of doubt about her ability, she says her heart sank when she learned that the film program here admits only 20 students per year. She further explains the shock she felt once she had been accepted: “I wondered why they chose me. I thought it was a fluke.” Now she welcomes critique, positive or negative. “I’m almost insulted if I don’t receive criticism. There’s always something to improve. It helps you grow as an artist; it makes you so much better.” Her freshman year built her confidence; she can see the possibilities. “I feel like it’s something I could actually do.” Larry O’Neill, a lecturer in the film program, agrees. “One thing that sticks out for me is that Dara is a creative risk-taker. She’s smart and driven, but what sets her apart is a willingness to stick her neck out, rather than going for the idea that she’s sure she can pull off. This is something you really love to see in a freshman. Her willingness to push herself creatively, coupled with her work ethic and talent, definitely makes her one of the students to watch.” Inspired by the uncompromising and unique styles of Quentin Tarantino and Todd Solondz, Israel hopes to become an independent filmmaker on the festival circuit. With her talent, drive, and passion, a “backup plan” seems unnecessary. MICH A E L S T ECK

Literature (major) and Creative Writing (minor), School of Humanities, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences According to Michael Steck, he always knew he wanted to be a literature major. His mother, an English teacher and reading specialist, surrounded him with books at home in Bristol, Conn. He developed a passion for reading and writing and chose to study P U R C HA S E | 2 4

here following a Literature Society meeting he attended with a friend who was a sophomore at the time. Steck felt it was “tremendously fitting” and his first year proved he was right. He joined the Literature Society, where he contributed to its publication, The Leaf Unturned, and appealed to the Purchase Student Government Association on its behalf for additional funding for the readings it presents on campus. With those funds now in place, he hopes to expand the program from once a month to every two weeks as he serves as the society’s secretary this year. Steck has found the academic experience here perfectly challenging and the teaching assistants incredibly helpful in improving his writing. This year, he will help others as a peer mentor and teaching assistant for a freshman learning community with Professor of Literature and Pedagogy Kathleen McCormick, who predicts, “He is going to become a real leader on campus.” Steck also appreciates the “incredible exposure to the arts” available here. He’s in a band and loves how there are always performances to see. He adds, “Day to day you encounter people who are working on photo projects or visual arts or you walk by the dance building or the music building and catch performances by students in the composition program.”

“‘It will always be a man’s world, under a woman’s supervision,’” Vargas says, again quoting “Dulce de Leche.” She cites the poem’s antimisogynist theme as her inspiration to pursue gender studies. Patricia Rind, a lecturer in psychology, recalls, “I did not realize that Yoli was a first-semester freshman when I had her for Introduction to Gender and Sexuality. I remember being impressed with her in terms of her dedication to understanding both the material and how to do the assignments.” Vargas continued to pursue spoken-word performance opportunities while balancing the demands of her first year of college. She traveled to Berlin last spring with the Hip Hop Re:Education Project, a community-based arts organization that uses hip-hop culture to motivate young people to achieve. Once again, the experience was transformative, sparking a new passion: travel. Vargas spent this past summer in Mundo Libre, Peru, volunteering to help disadvantaged young people through the Experiential Learning Abroad Program. When she returns in the fall, she plans to declare her second major: sociology. Editors’ note: We fully acknowledge that our process was unscientific, and the limitations of space prevent us from including many more who might qualify.

Jared Russell, lecturer in philosophy, writes, “Michael’s written work is rigorous, insightful, and immensely creative—so much so that I was actually surprised to realize that he was a freshman.” Eventually Steck would like to have his own poems and short stories published. Drawn to Latin American literature, he’s particularly inspired by the work of Roberto Bolano and hopes to focus on both in pursuit of a PhD. “There isn’t very much literary criticism available on either subject, and I’d like to change that.” P U R C HA S E | 2 5

Dear Alumni and Friends: Dear Alumni and Friends: It’s that time of year when lists begin to appear ranking colleges from academics to aesthetics to everything in between. As you’ve read, Purchase has been named greenest, coolest, with the best college theatre, and most recently, one of the top ten public schools in the country among national liberal arts colleges. While we take the business of ranking schools with a grain of salt, we’re happy others might discover what we already know: Purchase College is like no other. I recently met an alumna who described an interesting insight. From her perspective, new students know in the first month whether they love Purchase. If not, they transfer. A post on Facebook supports her theory: “You will either love it and it will consume your soul, or you will hate it more than anything and transfer as soon as you can. There is no in-between.” So who decides to stay? Those who thrive on the unique energy here are an eclectic blend of creative, focused, expressive, and accepting people. The culture we’ve created, now and in years past, helps place Purchase in a category by itself. We all picked Purchase because we felt a connection—that it had something remarkable to offer. In turn, our success as students, then as alumni, lifts the college’s reputation, further adding to its allure. To riff on the president’s political convention speech…YOU did that. That’s right, we did that and we should be proud. Show your pride by coming back to campus. Check out the new season at the PAC, reminisce and reconnect at alumni events, or check out bands at Culture Shock. Most importantly, stay informed! Friend us, follow us, call us, or just check out our website once in a while. Don’t forget to send us your latest news so we can share it in future issues: / (914) 251-6054. Finally, if you’ve been moved by anything said here, visit Your support is critical.


in Action




Marc Blatte (philosophy) had his novel, Humpty Dumpty Was Pushed, published in hardcover by Schaffner Press in 2009 and in paperback in 2011. As the Philadelphia Inquirer reported: “Blatte is utterly fearless." When it was first released, the novel was optioned for a film by Raymond de Felitta called City Island. More recently, the producer of NBC’s Law and Order began working on turning the book into a TV series. As far as Blatte’s musical career goes, he was a Grammy nominee in the category of Best R&B Song, a Country Music Award winner, and a Peer Music Publishing Lifetime Achievement Award winner; he has also earned multiple Clio Awards for his work. Blatte resides on a remote beach in Nicaragua.

Carolyn Newby Berger, LCSW (literature), counsels individuals and couples trying to create families through fertility treatment and adoption. She works at New York Fertility Services in Manhattan. She also has a practice in Larchmont, N.Y. Her own experience informs much of what she does, as her first son came into the family thanks to reproductive techCarolyn Newby nology, and her second son Berger joined the family through adoption. One of Berger’s specialties is family building in the LGBT community.

Peter Kurz (political science), the former catcher of the Purchase Burnouts softball team, is now secretary general of the Israel Association of Baseball and will lead Team Israel in the upcoming World Baseball Qualifiers this September in Jupiter, Fla.

Hugh P. McDonald, PhD (philosophy), has recently had two books published. One is Creative Actualization: A Meliorist Theory of Values. The other is Speculative Evaluations: Essays on a Pluralistic Universe. Both are published in the Value Inquiry Book Series of Rodopi Publishers. McDonald is a professor at the New York City College of Technology and chair of the department of social sciences.

1974 Grace Zuckman Goldstein (literature) is currently employed as the chief operating officer of the Carcinoid Cancer Foundation (www.carcinoid. org). Goldstein also serves as chair of the Worldwide NET Cancer Awareness Day Alliance, an international organization dedicated to raising global awareness of neuroendocrine cancers. She earned a professional certificate in social media from SUNY Purchase and is a blogger (, as well as the person responsible for maintaining her foundation’s Facebook page, Twitter account, and YouTube channel. “It was great to take classes at Purchase once again!” she notes. Goldstein worked at SUNY Purchase for ten years and was the director of public information and alumni affairs for six years during the 1980s.

1975 Paul Lehrman (music) was the keynote speaker for the annual banquet at Analog Devices’ General Technical Conference, an invitation-only event that brings together 2,000 engineers from around the globe who work for one of the world’s largest electronics companies. Lehrman spoke about his work reviving George Antheil’s revolutionary 1924 composition Ballet mécanique, and about the cutting edge of music technology that is being explored by the music engineering program at Tufts University, which he directs. Lehrman has also been named principal investigator of a grant to Tufts from piano manufacturer Steinway & Sons to fund undergraduate research in music engineering. 

1976 Jeffrey S. Putman, Ed.D. ’96 President, Purchase College Alumni Association, Inc.

Jeffrey S. Putman ’96 was elected president of the Purchase College Alumni Association in December 2007. He is currently assistant dean for student affairs at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY.

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Catherine Rutgers: Scanned Not in Vain, © 2012 by Catherine Rutgers (left) The Origins of Time, © 2012 by Catherine Rutgers (middle) Twisted Awake, © 2012 by Catherine Rutgers (right)

Jonathon Lipton (music) has been a member of the horn section of the London Symphony Orchestra since 1987. He is also a professor of horn at the Guildhall School of Music, and notes that he is color-blind.

Jonathon Lipton Catherine Rutgers (culture and society) has four original images featured in Infinite Instances: Studies and Images of Time, part of the ArcheTime project exploring concepts in art and science ( She’s painting a storefront mural for Uncover Church Avenue in Brooklyn. And the project to digitize her illustrated thesis on Dada, Surrealism, and Robert Rauschenberg is nearly complete—translating a notebook packed with collages, drawings, and paintings layered with manual typewriter text and handwritten notes into bits, bytes, and light for the screen. You can check it out at—and see Street Smart, January 6, 2012, for more on the mural.

Laura Levine (visual arts) had a solo show, Along the Perimeter, at the Gallery at the Wauregan in Laura Levine Norwich, Conn., in July. She also participated in a plein air competition/exhibit in conjunction with OpSail 2012. She painted outside, and showed these and other paintings at the Gallery at Firehouse Square in New London, Conn. Her recent work can be viewed at www. She is always happy to hear from Purchase friends, and can be reached via email at Jeffrey Nesich (political science) received a master’s degree in public policy from SUNY Stony Brook. He served as deputy director of administration at the state Division of Parole and was appointed chief financial officer for parole by Governor Spitzer in 2007. Last year, Governor Cuomo appointed Nesich the first director of internal audit at the state’s Corrections Department. Nesich has also been active at the local level, serving as a deputy mayor, a member of the local school board, and a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals. In 2008, the American Society for Public Administration presented him with a major award for local government, and in 2010, he was asked to chair the transition committee for the city of Troy’s new mayor-elect. He was married for 25 years and has two children; one is a combat medic, age 23, and the other is a student, age 20. (Barbara) Wyatt (Baker) Townley (dance) continues to write books and teach yoga. She has just published The Afterlives of Trees, her fifth book (third of poetry)—nine years in the making. The Afterlives of Trees was introduced by Garrison Keillor on NPR, completed with a Master Fellowship from the Kansas Arts Commission, and selected as a Kansas Notable Book, and will be featured by U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser in his syndicated “American Life in Poetry” column (October 8).Townley’s work has been published in journals ranging from The Paris Review to Newsweek. Visit her new website at www.

Geoff Loftus (literature) has just published his thriller novel, Double Blind, through Saugatuck Books. It is also available as an ebook available for the Kindle and the Nook. Double Blind is the story of two beautiful women with two deadly secrets. Loftus notes that if this book were a movie, it would have an “R” rating; “There’s graphic sex and violence, and plentiful profanity. Exactly what you’d expect from a book about blind dating and the Mafia.” Details on Double Blind and other works by Loftus can be found at Joel E. Rubin (music) is director of music performance in the McIntire Department of Music at the University of Virginia, where he was recently promoted to associate professor. He is an internationally acclaimed clarinetist, and his most recent CD, Azoy Tsu Tsveyt (Tzadik), with pianistcomposer Uri Caine, was chosen by as one of 10 favorites in the category “Improv & Avant-Garde” for 2011. As an ethnomusicologist, Rubin is currently working on a book manuscript on New York klezmer music in the 1920s and carrying out a research project on contemporary Yiddish music in Germany. He divides his time between Charlottesville, Va., and the Swiss village of Bünzen.

1979 Frances Eichholz-Heller (literature) has been accepted into the Zelda Foster NYU Fellowship for Social Work Leadership in Palliative and Endof-Life Care. She is currently working as the senior social worker on the palliative-care consult team at New York Presbyterian and Columbia University Medical Center. Besides performing her clinical duties at the hospital, she is spearheading a project to create a referral base/network of clinicians in the Dominican Republic to help reunite Dominicans with their loved ones at the end of life.

1980 Paula Walzer (economics) worked in development and administration for nonprofit organizations for a number of years before deciding that she wanted to take her commitment to social justice and her interest in working with families in a new professional direction. Walzer, who was the director of corporate and foundation relations at Purchase from 2005 to 2007, is currently a full-time student in the accelerated program at Hunter College’s Silberman School of Social Work, and loves it.

1981 Pedro de Alcantara (music) released Songs and

Soundscapes, a CD of his improvisations and compositions. The CD follows hard on the heels of de Alcantara’s latest book, Integrated Practice: Coordination, Rhythm, and Sound, published by Oxford University Press in the summer of 2011. Allyson Johnson (music performance) just completed editing the first season of NBC’s TV series Smash. She recently edited Mira Nair’s film Amelia and the AMC series Rubicon. Last summer she worked on the Dancer films, which were inspired by Jules Feiffer’s Dancer series and exhibited at the WFC Winter Garden.

1982 Dina Artzt (psychology) is a senior vice president–investments at UBS Financial Services in Palo Alto, Calif. Over the past 25 years she has Dina Artzt helped her clients manage their investments throughout good times and bad and attributes much of her success to the enjoyment she feels in helping others. Artzt joined UBS (formerly Kidder Peabody, then PaineWebber) in 1986 soon after completing a master’s degree in organizational psychology at Columbia University. She was recently recognized as one of the Top Wealth Advisors in the Bay Area by the San Francisco Business Times (NAPCAP Winner’s Circle) for both 2012 and 2011. She was also recognized as being one of the best in her industry by Worth magazine in 2008 (one of the worst years in market history). Artzt is loyal to the Purchase community and makes sure to give back each and every year, as she feels lucky to have received scholarships and financial aid while at Purchase. She is married and the mother of two teenagers. L. Synn Stern, RN, MPH (literature), is currently working as a recovery room nurse at Bronx Women’s Medical Pavilion and as the health services coordinator at the Washington Heights CORNER Project, one of New York City’s most idealistic syringe-exchange programs.

1983 Jon Berger (music) was a substitute player on drums and percussion for the Broadway productions The Addams Family and Newsies, and was part of the first two national tours for the show Jersey Boys. Berger also performed with the Washington Ballet–Bodrum Ballet Festival in Turkey, and recorded a concerto for percussion with the New York Philharmonic’s Arnie Lang. Berger works for children’s outreach programs and teaches classes on sound effects for urban stages in the New York City public libraries. His debut CD with the River Road Quartet was produced by Bruce Ditmas, and is available at Berger can be reached at Peter Jacobs (visual arts) has been living in Montclair, N.J., for 23 years with his wife,

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in Action 1984

Peter Jacobs Elizabeth, whom he met at Purchase. Together they have two children: Zoe, 16, and Ian, 23. Jacobs has been a working artist for more than 30 years. His business, Fine Arts Imaging, has provided photography, design, printing, and Web services for the tri-state area’s museums, galleries, and artists for more than 28 years. His most recent series, The Collage Journal, began in 2005, uses images and text from the day’s local newspaper. The Collage Journal’s 2,555-plus collages reside in more than 212 Strathmore books, and can be viewed at His website,, contains the complete first seven years. He was also a featured artist on the PBS program State of the Arts, a TV special, which can be viewed online at Art site: Business: Blog: Stephen Markowitz (psychology) created the company Party Hats Entertainment, which is based in California and travels across the U.S., creating personalized hats for events such as the Super Bowl and the Kentucky Derby. He recently visited the East Coast for Purchase College’s Culture Shock and brought with him the generous gift of materials for students to decorate their own hats. His tent featured designs ranging from elaborate costume-style hats to tiaras, and offered elements such as jewels, feathers, beads, fabrics, flowers, and toys with which to express individual style. Markowitz, who served on the PCSG in the 1980s and was responsible for Culture Shock during his tenure, remarked that while the college had changed, the students had not; he even joined them in a few rounds of Frisbee, a talent he mastered and has retained. Karol Martesko-Fenster (aka Karol Skowronski) (history) had three feature films (all released) at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival; the documentary features were The Bengali Detective, Sing Your Song, and the 2012 Academy Award nominee Hell and Back Again. In 2012 he returned with a film program in partnership with General Electric, He recently co-founded an immersive video technology company,, and is the president of S2BN Films ( He enjoys spending time with his wife, Julia, and his kids, Avalon (10) and Kallen (6). He’d love to hear from fellow grads and can be found on Facebook and LinkedIn. P U R C HA S E | 2 8

David Stefan Bathory (psychology) has presented his independent research on applied trauma theory at three international conferences since 2011: Honolulu, Prague, and Bucharest. Applied trauma theory blends concepts from neuropsychology and developmental, social/cultural, and psychological trauma studies into a format where they can be used to assist large numbers of people who have been exposed to life-threatening events. Applications of applied trauma theory include architecture, functional design, sustainable energy, and tourism. Bathory has three articles in press (in Belgrade, Serbia; in the United Kingdom; and in the International Journal of Applied Economics), and has already published one article from the University of Hawaii International Humanities Conference. John Fasano (political science) is a Hollywood writer/producer/director, and this past year had his screenplays produced for the films Sniper: Reloaded (Sony), Hannah’s Law (Hallmark Movie Channel), and Nancy Grace’s Eleventh Victim for Lifetime. He is currently working on the latest sequel to Sniper and the miniseries Winnetou and Shatterhand. Sarah Fashena, PhD (biology), earned her doctoral degree from Yale University and continued to pursue her research interests as a postdoctoral fellow at Caltech. During a research assistant position at the Fox Chase Cancer Center, she became interested in intellectual property. Fashena is now a registered patent agent and has worked in law firms specializing in intellectual property for more than a decade. She drafts and prosecutes patent applications in the fields of biology, chemistry, and biotechnology. Fashena is married and has a son, and lives in Westchester County.Her e-mail address is: Elizabeth Raver (psychology) is an instructor at Norwalk Community College, teaching general psychology, child psychology, and the psychology of women. She is in her third year of a doctoral program in general psychology at Capella University and expects to begin her dissertation during the spring of 2013. Raver gave a presentation in March 2012 at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics in Philadelphia regarding the research problems and flaws in some of the claims attributed to gender differences in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Daniel Valverde (film) has been steadily employed as an editor in feature films and television since moving east and returning to his New York roots in 2005. He completed editing his first feature, Swedish Auto, in 2006. The indie film was an official selection and opening-night selection in more than twenty film festivals, and won the audience award at the Athens International Film Festival. Since then, Valverde has worked as an editor for three seasons on the

u award-winning series Damages, and is currently employed on two series: Blue Bloods and Royal Pains. He lives in Queens with his wife, son, and two cats.


be working with a visionary and MacArthur fellow, Jeanne Gang, who is the founder and principal of Studio Gang Architects, as well as with Joshua Dachs of New York’s Fischer Dachs Associates. Construction will begin on the new space in the spring of 2013.

Jim Benz (visual arts) is director of upper schools in a small, independent school in New Jersey where the arts are a central theme of the school. He is one of the few school administrators in the country with an arts background, and was recently proud when he found that Purchase was high on the list of his oldest son’s college choices.

Stephen Duncombe (sociology) earned a master’s degree in philosophy in 1993 and a PhD with distinction in sociology in 1996. He is currently employed as an associate professor at the Gallatin School of New York University and a coorganizer and instructor at the School for Creative Activism. He has also edited and published a number of books and articles.

Tracy Hoffman (visual arts) had a photograph, I Thought It Was Rebecca (sepia-toned gelatin silver), included this past June in the exhibition Small Works at the Flash Forward Festival in Boston, which featured fifty 8x10-inch photographic prints curated by Jon Feinstein and Amani Olu. The images, presented uniformly in 8x10-inch frames, encouraged a delicacy not often taken with images viewed at large scale or online, and a return to appreciating the photographic print as a distinct object.

Lauren Gregg Szekely (music performance) now lives outside Baltimore, Md., with her husband, Russell, and their four daughters. Szekely has performed in two professional bands for the past 12 years, and reports that she is getting close to 50 and loving life! See for more details.

1986 Laura Von Rosk (visual arts) spent three months in Antarctica during the fall of 2011 with biologist Dr. Samuel Bowser Laura Von Rosk and his scientific research team as their field research assistant and art/science liaison. The focus of Dr. Bowser’s work is the singlecelled organisms known as Foraminifera. The team conducted studies from a remote field camp at Explorers Cove, situated at the base of the Taylor Valley in the Dry Valleys, west of McMurdo Station in Antarctica. Dr. Bowser and Von Rosk plan to collaborate on art and science projects resulting from this research season.

1987 Theodore Flaum (biology) received a Fellowship Award from the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians at the 49th Annual Convention and Scientific Seminar in Kissimmee, Fla., on March 17, 2012. Dr. Flaum is currently a full-time assistant professor at the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, where he teaches osteopathic manipulative medicine.

1988 Susan Clement-Toberer (acting) has been the producing artistic director of the Blue Barn Theatre in Omaha, Neb., since 2002. Founded in 1989 by fellow Purchase graduates, this offBroadway-style theatre continues to bring professionally produced progressive theatre to the Midwest. In the organization’s 23rd season, Clement-Toberer has positioned the Blue Barn Theatre to build its own home and is honored to

Lisa Yannucci (language and culture) is the publisher of Mama Lisa’s World (, a premier Internet destination for children’s songs from around the globe and for discussions of international culture. This website receives more than half a million visitors each month. It covers the songs of 135-plus countries in 138 languages and features a major collection of Mother Goose rhymes. Yannucci also publishes Mama Lisa’s Books, an imprint devoted to global traditions and music. She lives on Long Island with her husband, two children, and their dog, Mango.

1989 Ilse Schreiber-Noll, MFA (visual arts), made woodcuts and limited-edition books for many years before returning to painting and making unique artist’s books. She creates densely painted surfaces with the addition of collage elements: wire, wood, photos, and books that give a strong sense of physical presence. Her work depicts the terrors of war and the threat of ecological disaster; it is exemplified by her most recent series: Oil Spill Book I, II, and III. The heavily encrusted surfaces of her books contain residues of nature, such as sand, ashes, and plants. Schreiber-Noll taught The Art of the Book as an assistant to Antonio Frasconi at Purchase and continued teaching the class after his retirement, until 2009.

1990 Meg Wolfe (dance) recently visited Chicago to perform two events with her favorite dance partner, Taisha Paggett. Wolfe’s first appearance in April was for the Chicago Fringe Artist Networking Night, hosted by Red Tape Theatre. The second was at Poonie’s Cabaret at Link Hall, which was curated by Jyldo (Jyl Fehrenkamp). Jacqueline Zubeck (literature) earned a PhD at Rutgers University (1998) and is now an assistant professor in the English department at the

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College of Mount Saint Vincent, in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, N.Y.

1991 Todd Baker (acting) received his master’s degree in broadcast journalism from Columbia University in May 2012. He is the producer of the daily televised version of The Howard Stern Show.

1992 Camille Seaman (photography) studied at Purchase with Jan Groover, and has since taken master’s workshops with Steve McCurry, Sebastião Salgado, and Paul Fusco. Her work has been published in National Geographic, Italian Geo, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Newsweek, Outside, Zeit Wissen, Men’s Journal, Camera Arts, Issues, PDN, and American Photo, among others. She frequently leads photographic and self-publishing workshops. Her photographs have received many awards, including a National Geographic Award in 2006 and a Critical Mass Top Monograph Award in 2007. In 2008 she was honored with a one-person exhibition, The Last Iceberg, at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. Seaman lives in Emeryville, Calif. Camille Seaman

1993 Jennifer Goldman Carden (visual arts), a chef, author, and food stylist, along with her husband, photographer Matthew Carden, just opened Super Fresh Food Art Gallery in northern California. All the art displayed at their gallery is food related, and they hope to promote artists who explore food through art, whether it involves fast-food culture, sustainability, or just plain old “playing with your food.” They welcome websites as submissions, and can be reached at; www.; or www.

1996 Katie Saifuku La Varre (dance) and Jon La Varre welcomed their son Matteo James La Varre into the world on May 8, 2012. Jodi Lomask (dance) is now the artistic director at Capacitor. Details on performances and exhibitions can be found at Stephanie Silber Zimet (literature) remains saddened by the death of Poppa Neutrino, subject of the 2007 documentary Random Lunacy. Along with her partner and co-founder of Home Team Productions, Vic Zimet, she produced a short film based on Neutrino’s traditional jazz funeral in New Orleans last year. This film, Song of the Gods, may be viewed on the website www. She and her partner are excitedly anticipating the completion of their

ten-year production journey with their documentary Composing Croatia, featuring composer/ rocker Nenad Bach. Zimet has recently completed her second novel, The Dark Side of Time, and is currently seeking representation for the work. See

1997 Lloyd D. Mitchell (visual arts) continues to work in the counLloyd D. Mitchell seling field, working in residence at an allmale rehabilitation center, where he provides services to clients ages 16 to 21. He aims to treat the whole person: mind, body, and spirit. In his approach, he introduces clients to an array of resources such as visits to monasteries, yoga, meditation, guided meditation, chakra healing, vipassana, acupuncture (five-point protocol), art therapy, music, fitness, cooking, and other basic life skills.

1998 Lilly Echevarria (liberal studies) is the owner of a specialty bakery, LillyPops, based in Beaufort, S.C. You can find more information (and scrumptious photos!) at!/ LillyPopsPage.

2000 Sabrina Schram (liberal arts) is the program manager for a nonprofit organization that provides independent housing in the community to people with psychiatric disabilities. She has been happily married for the past three and a half years, and lives with her husband and cat in Clarksburg, Md.

2002 Kevin Doyle (drama studies) is a writer-director from Brooklyn, and the artistic director of Sponsored By Nobody. He was awarded a 2012 Cultural Exchange Award from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters and the Andrew F. Mellon Foundation to support the development of his company’s next work, THE ARTS, in addition to playwriting fellowships at the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts (Wyo.), the Wooda Arts Farm in Cornwall, England, and the Fundación Valparaiso in Mojácar, Spain. During the autumn of 2012, he will be in residence at Subtopia in Sweden, collaborating with French director Delphine Dhilly on a documentary film on the lives of Iraqi refugees residing in the Stockholm suburb Södertälje. David Ledoux (acting) earned his MFA in directing from Rutgers University. He is currently directing and teaching in the education departments of the McCarter Theatre and the George Street Playhouse. He also teaches at Wagner College and directed the school’s production of Spring Awakening. He has recorded a number of audio books throughout the years, most notably Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom. P U R C HA S E | 2 9


in Action

Eric Maltz (music) runs his own music house, writes music for commercials, video games, and films, and plays in several bands in New York City. He is currently working on three major musical projects, and is finishing up a record with his band Peculiar Gentlemen, which features fellow Purchase alumnus Steve Williams ’02 (music). He is also working with alumna Maya Solovey ’10 (studio composition) on her new record, which is being produced by Grammy Award winner Bob Brockman. His website is Melanie Martini (design) has worked in various production roles, both in the art department and set decorating, on films for Twentieth Century Fox’s Blue Sky Studios, alongside fellow alumnus Chris Wedge ’81 (film). After a few years of living in San Francisco, Martini is back in New York, employed as a stylist for London designer Andrew Martin, and does set decorating on various projects. She also produces a line of handmade cards. She and her partner, Lauren, live in Astoria with their corgi mutt. Martini’s website is Ryan Penago (journalism) is a leader in digital and social media, both within the comic book industry and beyond. As executive editorial director for Marvel’s Digital Media group, he works with the greatest superheroes in any universe to deliver news, information, and entertainment. Through Twitter alone, he oversees a network of about 2MM fans with @Agent_M, @Marvel, @Avengers, @Iron_Man, and more. More about Penagos can be found at http:// Beth Ryne (drama studies and women’s studies) earned her MA in Middle Eastern history from Tel Aviv University in 2011. She will begin pursuing a PhD in the same subject at the Graduate Center at CUNY in the autumn of 2012.

2003 Matt Garrison (music), a native New Yorker, saxophonist, and composer, has been on the New York City jazz scene since 1997. After taking an interest in music at an early age, he eventually found his way to jazz and improvisation. He cultivated the necessary tools to become a professional musician at the Purchase College Conservatory of Music and has since shared the stage with jazz luminaries such as Adam Nussbaum, Andy Laverne, Todd Coolman, Ray Vega, Jon Cowherd, and the late Dennis Irwin. Garrison’s debut album Familiar Places garnered

Matt Garrison P U R C HA S E | 3 0

critical acclaim and peaked at number 13 on the CMJ Jazz Radio Chart. Blood Songs, Garrison’s sophomore record, was released in May 2012 and has already received glowing reviews. Check out his website,, for more information. Eddie Rivera (literature) graduated with a concentration in medieval studies and a minor in Spanish language and culture. He is now married, has two children, and is currently employed as deputy director of grants and budget analysis in the Bureau of Planning and Management at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. Ivan J. Torres (Educational Opportunity Program) is pursuing his master’s degree in clinical social work at NYU’s Silver Graduate School of Social Work, and just completed his first year of courses. He will begin an internship this coming fall at the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, a preventive program that provides group and individual therapy for the parents of at-risk youth in South Brooklyn. The program also helps families keep their children from entering the foster-care system by implementing preventive measures designed to help the family unit function more fluidly as a whole. He is scheduled to graduate in 2014.

2004 Courtney D. Jones (dance) joined Hope Stone Dance Company in Houston, Texas, after performing for four seasons with Jennifer Muller/ The Works in New York and touring the U.S. with Broadway’s first national tour of Wicked. She was recently named one of Dance magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2012. This fall she will join the staff at the University of Houston as an adjunct faculty member in modern dance, and will be the guest choreographer for Rice University’s Rice Dance Theatre. She will join the cast of Houston Grand Opera’s Show Boat in 2013. Karen Zraick (language and culture) is a multimedia journalist and home-page editor at the New York Daily News. Her work has appeared in numerous outlets, including the New York Times, the Associated Press, Clarin (Argentina), and the Daily Star (Lebanon). She holds a master’s degree in new media from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where she won a Webby Award for a video about Burmese refugees in New York City. She lives in Brooklyn.

2005 Matthew Oberstein (music, performer’s certificate ’06) has been appointed music director and conductor of the Philharmonic of Southern New Jersey, following a two-year search that included more than 70 applicants from across the United States and Europe. Previously, Oberstein was awarded the Ansbacher Fellowship for Young Conductors,

and as a result was in residence with the Vienna Philharmonic at the Salzburg Festival.

(English as a second language) classroom teacher at PS/MS 95 in the Bronx, N.Y.



Chinedu Kingsley Nwabuobi (biology) completed the fourth year of his medical degree at Albert Einstein College of Medicine earlier this year (June 2012) and will now begin his residency in obstetrics and gynecology (his first choice) at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Ian Cofino (graphic design) expanded his senior project into a full-length feature film, I Got Next, which premiered at number one on Hulu.

2007 Salina Sanchez (literature) graduated from New York University this May with a master of arts degree.

2008 Saida Balume (anthropology) graduated from Pace Law School this year and is currently studying to take the New York State bar exam. Johnson Chong (acting) is currently the director of programming at a premier yoga/Pilates healing center called Studio Anya in the Chelsea/Flatiron district. He is helping create a new online yoga/Pilates class platform called, which will include videos, blogs, and more as part of a national campaign to spread mind and body awareness. In addition to programming for Studio Anya, he teaches Anya’s intuitive alignment method on a one-on-one basis to corporate groups, actors, singers, and dancers, and in workshop settings and worldwide retreats, most recently in the Dominican Republic. This fall he will be the guest movement artist at SUNY Geneseo, working with actors through movement. Emmanuel Cruz (cinema studies) is a producer at CA1CA2 Cornelia Adams, a boutique commercial photography agency based in New York City. He is also employed as a freelance photographer/videographer for L magazine, a free magazine in NYC featuring investigative articles, arts and culture commentary, and event listings. Teddy Nicholas (drama studies), along with his writing partner, Leah Nanako Winkler, co-wrote and directed an original play for the 2012 Ice Factory Festival at the New Ohio Theatre in the West Village in New York City. The play was Flying Snakes in 3D!!! and was an Everywhere Theatre Group production. More information on performances can be found at Arissa Zervas (art history) took appraisal courses at NYU before and after her graduation from Purchase, and worked for various art galleries in New York City. She later decided to return to school for her teaching certification, and earned a master’s degree in professional studies in TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages) at Manhattanville College. She is currently working as a sixth-grade ESL

Jessica Mavaro (literature) now works as the manager of records and data at the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum. Jessica Ann Mola (journalism and philosophy) started working after graduation as an editor for a website in New Rochelle, N.Y. where she’d interned during her final year at Purchase. In less than a year, she was promoted to managing editor. In early 2010, she applied for an editorial job with the New York Times, and is now a content manager with, a New York Times company. She was recently engaged and will be getting married on April 27, 2013. Lauren Raia (literature) obtained her MFA in creative writing and literature from Stony Brook University. Currently, she is an international baccalaureate English teacher at EF International Academy in Tarrytown, N.Y. She is also the director of housing and the volleyball coach for the academy. Narolin Reyes (liberal studies) graduated with a master of arts degree in speech-language pathology and audiology from Lehman College. She is also a scholarship recipient from the New York Board of Education for speech-language pathology. She graduated with honors, with a grade point average of 3.9.

2010 Tom DePaola (literature and philosophy) has been working full time as an employee of the Research Foundation of CUNY at Bronx Community Tom DePaola College. He is an administrator whose duties include providing ongoing academic advice, designing and running an internship program, event/activity coordinating, writing for the monthly newsletter, and spearheading new department initiatives aimed at boosting graduation rates. Lately he’s been devoting a lot of time to introducing learning communities to the social sciences department at the Research Foundation. He thanks Kathy McCormick, a professor of literature at Purchase, for opening his eyes to the educational power of these groups and seeking him out for her learning community his freshman year. Robin Levine (media, society, and the arts) spent a year on Capitol Hill working for Congress before returning to New York to serve as press spokesperson for the New York City Council and Speaker Christine C. Quinn. Noel O’Donnell (biology) has been working for a podiatrist since August 2011. As a result of her

experience in this profession and her passion for running, O’Donnell applied to medical school in the field of podiatry. She will be attending the New York College of Podiatric Medicine, which is the top program in the country, and has been awarded a Merit Scholarship. Her training will involve four years of medical school and three years of residency in foot and ankle surgery. Camilo Rayo (arts management) and Ilan Moskowitz ’11 (journalism) have grabbed a musical foothold in San Francisco with their controversial rock-n-roll band Die! When they are not breeding dogs at the Fog City Pet Center or creating fruit displays at the Edible Arrangements Express, the two maintain a rowdy musical show and multimedia experience. The band’s debut album, Du Willst Action, can be streamed live or downloaded at www.diesongs. The band’s debut music video, featuring men in chicken costumes spitting raw eggs at each other, can be seen at And, of course, Die! welcomes new friends at www. Sasha Van Hoven (literature) and Jessica Schulte (creative writing) run a two-year-old online literary journal called The Golden Triangle. They publish fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and essays by original, underpublished voices. You can download the app for free from the Apple Store, or read the latest issue and submission guidelines online at

2011 Samantha Adams (studio composition) completed her first year of graduate school at Syracuse University, maintaining a 3.9 grade point average, and looks forward to finishing her degree in May. Adams works for the university as the graduate assistant in the Advocacy Center, where she facilitates educational programming about sexual and relationship violence, as well as chairing the planning committee for the annual Take Back the Night event. Adams lives in Syracuse with her boyfriend. Hylenne Goris (liberal studies with a focus in psychology) will be attending Queens College, pursuing a master’s degree in counseling. She is currently working with high school students, helping them through the college application process and integrating study skills into their high school routines. Michelle Jun (arts management) has been working as a public relations administrator for Linden Alschuler and Kaplan, located in Rockefeller Center, since December 2011. She credits much of her success to the support of her Educational Opportunity Program staff.  Anjanette Merric (economics) is employed at James Stanley Design, Inc., an interior design firm based in New York City. She is pursuing a master’s degree in marketing with a certificate in entertainment management at Iona College.

On May 26, 2012, Addison Reese, BFA (dance), and Philip Sanford, BA (liberal studies), were married in the bride’s hometown of Raleigh, N.C. They honeymooned in the Dominican Republic. Addison Reese and Reese has been featured Philip Sanford in the New York Times and was one of the Purchase College dancers selected to perform in Doug Varone’s Rise. She was awarded the Conservatory of Dance’s Director’s Award, and now dances for the New York–based company Abraham.In.Motion. Sanford, from Afton, N.Y., also came to Purchase in the autumn of 2007, and received his degree in liberal studies. He played on the men’s NCAA baseball team during the 2008–2012 seasons, and was co-captain of the 2012 team. During an entrepreneurship class his senior year, Sanford helped develop Purchase Park 2 Fly, which is the school’s airport parking business serving the Westchester County Airport. He is obtaining his master’s degree in business and now works as the marketing coordinator for the Purchase College Association, Inc., the college’s auxiliary services provider. The couple resides in Larchmont, N.Y. Scott Watson (arts management) used his degree in an arts-related position with Bloomingdale’s after graduation. Within a year, he began a new career with Steve Madden and Elizabeth and James Co., working in the production and accounting department within the company’s corporate offices in New York City. He says that all the skills he developed at SUNY Purchase as an arts management major led him to his career in fashion and business.

2012 Marcin Bielen (philosophy) will be pursuing a master’s degree in school counseling at Long Island University in Westchester this coming fall. Merrick Nelson (political science) finished his thesis last semester under the supervision of Peter Schwab, with Dr. Shemeem Abbas, a professor of political science at Purchase, as the second reader. The thesis, “The Nation, Nationalism, Technology, and the Egyptian Revolt of 2011,” will be published in Peace magazine, although it will be shortened to magazine length and will appear under a more provocative title in order to emphasize the revolt rather than the theme of nationalism. Merrick has also decided to pursue political science in graduate school and has applied to the Graduate Faculty of the New School and the Graduate Center of CUNY. Skye Torres (arts management) is the new assistant to the president of Def Jam, Joie Manda. P U R C HA S E | 31

yo u a r e c o r d i a l ly i n v i t e d t o t h e s c h o o l o f t h e a r t s

ala Purchase College Foundation Trustees Ronni R. Bolger and Dian A. Petrillo have taken the theme of “creative intensity” to heart as co-chairs of the 2012 School of the Arts Gala. The gala will take place on Monday, November 19, 2012 at Gotham Hall in New York City. Celebrating the Nelson A. Rockefeller Awards, Purchase College will honor those who have achieved extraordinary professional success and who are also concerned citizens contributing to their community and to the worlds of performing and visual arts.

Jo Baer

Bill T. Jones

Joanna Gleason

Emily and Eugene Grant

HONORING JO BA ER | A R T + D E S I G N B i l l T. J o n e s | D A N C E M a n o h l a Dar g i s | FI L M & NEW ME D I A Gabr i e l a M o n tero | M U S I C J oa n n a G l ea s o n | T HE A T R E A R T S E mily a nd Eugene Gra n t | P HI L A N T H R O P Y

The School of the Arts at Purchase College recognizes the importance of passion and focus, while encouraging interdisciplinary collaboration among students and faculty in the arts and liberal arts. Funds raised through this extraordinary evening benefit the School of the Arts Endowment, which provides much-needed scholarship and production support. Trustees Ronni R. Bolger and Dian A. Petrillo express a common sentiment when asked why they are involved: “We are intensely passionate about our support of Purchase College because we have seen first-hand the transformational difference it can make in shaping the next generation of artistic and cultural leaders and concerned citizens.” If you would like to join us for this quintessential New York City evening as the School of the Arts celebrates its artistic heritage, while honoring the leaders whose artistry and commitment are shaping the course of contemporary culture, please contact Jessica Luna from The JFM Group at (914) 235-1490, x14 or e-mail: Visit for more information.




—Robert Henri, American urban realist painter and teacher

Gabriela Montero

Joining an impressive roster of former Rockefeller Award recipients, including: Ming Cho Lee, Jessye Norman, Helen Frankenthaler, Merce Cunningham, Paquito D’Rivera, Lynn Nottage, Kiki Smith, and Paul Taylor, this year’s honorees are: Jo Baer (Art+Design); Bill T. Jones (Dance); Manohla Dargis ’84 (Film & New Media); Gabriela Montero (Music); Joanna Gleason (Theatre Arts); and Emily and Eugene Grant (Philanthropy).

whate ver you do, do it intensely


SHIRLEY DURST: A Legacy Lives On The late Shirley Durst has been honored by her children—Peter, Leslie, and Stephen Durst—through a $2.5 million donation to Purchase College. According to Peter Durst the gift will commemorate his mother’s love for the arts and education, and for Purchase College students. “Though living in the ‘burbs’ for 65 years, [Mom] always thought of herself as a city girl and loved those things about it,” he explained. “So to find and be involved with such an educationally, artistically, and culturally significant institution in her own backyard was a great thing for her.”

“The scholarships I’ve received over the past three years have enabled me to put as much focus as possible on my studies and I believe my writing and editorial skills have been strengthened as a result.” Brian Otano ’11

The Dursts’ generosity has already supported three generations and hundreds of Purchase College students, and with these new endowments, hundreds, if not thousands, more will receive support.” Here are “It would be impossible for me to adequately a few excerpts from students for whom the Dursts’ generosity has meant so much. articulate just how precious your gift is.... Your gift is not only one that I appreciate for “Although we have never met, you have changed my life

this year, but one that I will appreciate

radically. Mrs. Durst, your kind donation enabled me to meet

throughout my life.”

the tuition costs and have this excellent experience at the

Michael J. Clark ’12

Purchase School of Art+Design....I was raised by a single mother and was not sure that I could afford a college

“I am more than excited to be

education. With your help, however, I now have amazing

a part of this wonderful jazz

opportunties for progress and growth.” Inessa Fendrikova ’14

institution with the help of

“Often we encounter people whose generosity and kindness has a lasting impact on our lives, and you are one of those people in my life....

“The past three years at Purchase College have been the most creatively enriching times of my life and career as a filmmaker. I have been able to explore all aspects of my art form and creativity without boundaries, with help from amazing faculty and classmates, allowing for a

Thank you for investing in my life and helping me achieve my dream of pursuing a college education.” Francisco Donoso ’11

your support...Thank you for your continued support for the arts and for your realization of the importance of art education.” Colleen B. Clark ’12

“Being an international student it is impossible for me to apply for any federal financial aid and very often it is difficult to take a student loan as the interest for such loans for people like me who have no family in the USA is extremely high. Therefore I am very grateful for your support....” Joanna Wrzaszczyk ’13

successful and unique learning experience.” Elliot Lobell ’11

“My time at Purchase College has allowed me to grow in many ways, and has left an indelible mark on who I am and what I want to do with my life. I have you, in part, to thank for that.” Kristofer Wellman ’11

P U R C HA S E | 3 3

Alumni Magazine 2012  

Rising sophomores, rising stars.

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