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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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Purchase College Alumni Association

Board of Directors 2013 Matt Alfano ’10

Purchase College maga zine | think wide open 


Fadi Areifij ’99 Paula Cancro ’79 Jaime Claus ’12 Kevin Collymore ’10 Vice President Audrey Cozzarin ’79 President Emerita Michael Fonseca ’08 Alison Kaplan ’86 Treasurer Emily O’Leary ’06

PLAYING FOR SUCCESS: Musicians from Purchase Think Wide Open

Mark Patnode ’78 Secretary Jeffrey S. Putman ’96 President Lydia Rivera ’05 Gorman John Ruggiero ’76 Thomas J. Schwarz President, Purchase College Jeannine Starr, CFRE Vice President of Institutional Advancement EX OFFICIO: Bella Guthrie Ashton ’11 Coordinator of Advancement and Alumni Relations

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


BALA: The Uniquely Purchase Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts Degree BREAKING NEWS Purchase Trains Journalists for the 21st Century THE NEUBERGER MUSEUM OF ART A Grand Reopening



BALA: the Uniquely purchase Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts degree


playing for Success


news Briefs


Breaking news: purchase trains Journalists for the 21st Century 18 Alumni in Action


Company 4


neuberger Museum of Art Spring/Summer 2013


the performing Arts Center


on the Cover: Composer and musician dan deacon ‘02, ‘04 (MM) is known for knocking down the barriers between performer and audience. (See “playing for Success” on page 9.) photo: Shawn Brackbill 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, Cover Photograph: Kelly Campbell Inside Photography: Kelly Campbell, Kristi McKee, David Grimaldi, Roberto Deoliveira, Jared Periera, Sandy Dylak, Anthony Quintano/ NBC News, Heather Carson 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) 251-6054 Fax: (914) 251-6047 email:



By thomas J. Schwarz

Dear Friends: It is a pleasure to introduce this issue of PURCHASE. We have always had a reputation for being “ahead of the game”—as a college and as a community of artists and scholars. While higher education institutions are places where traditions are important, Purchase College has embraced “change” as a tradition. The stories and news in this issue reflect progress, talent, innovation, and entrepreneurial thinking—a strong framework constantly supporting the intellectual and artistic endeavors of our students, faculty, alumni, and friends. To Think Wide Open means thinking ahead. I was struck by the article on the journalism program, which anticipated the major upheavals in the industry over the last decade and repositioned itself in order to offer what future journalists will need to succeed. Rather than despair over the demise of print media, the journalism department challenged itself to create a curriculum to deal with the future—much of which still remains uncertain. The faculty was invigorated by this challenge. As a result, the journalism program is poised to adapt and modify to meet the changing needs of the industry. The same agility and adeptness are evident in a brand-new world of Purchase musicians—students, alumni, and faculty—who have learned to think differently and look ahead as the digital age rises. And our unique and eclectic BALA (bachelor of arts in liberal arts) program: Where else but Purchase could a student invent his own major in anatomy and sculpture, thinking ahead to the day he would be a huge success in the special-effects industry? This attitude of “embracing change” reverberates not only through our schools, but also at the Neuberger Museum of Art and the Performing Arts Center. After a 10-month-long renovation, the Neuberger reopened in April with a spectacular exhibit, Pre-Columbian Remix. The broadening of the range of offerings at the Performing Arts Center has led to an increase in ticket sales. Changes do bring positive results. This edition of PURCHASE magazine once again confirms that Purchase College is a unique place offering a very special educational experience to its students as well as the community. Please enjoy. Yours very truly,

Thomas J. Schwarz President

PURSUITS/Faculty news & notes School of the Arts Bill Abdale, Art+Design, was named a 2012 Summer Printshop Artist in Residence at the Gowanus Studio Space in Brooklyn. Abdale also curated two exhibitions at Heliopolis, a collaborative nonprofit project space in Greenpoint, Brooklyn: Steven Rose and Joanna Seitz and Eric Lee Bowman: Chemical Portraits. He played guitar on the self-titled EP by Brooklyn’s Acid Problem, now available from 16OH Records. Nancy Bowen, Art+Design, participated in a summer residency sponsored by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and was part of the Brown Foundation Fellows Program at the Dora Maar House in France. Bowen’s work was included in the winter exhibition To Be a Lady: Forty-Five Women in the Arts at 1285 Avenue of the Americas Art Gallery, curated by Jason Andrew of Norte Maar for Collaborative Projects in the Arts. Bradley Brookshire, Music, performed as the harpsichordist with the countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo and New York City Ballet principal dancer Jared Angle at the Salon/Sanctuary Concerts. The performance took place at the Players in late September, and was reviewed in the New York Times on October 1, 2012. Brookshire returns to the Metropolitan Opera as assistant conductor and harpsichordist for the 2012–13 season. He performed in a production of Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito in November 2012 and Handel’s Giulio Cesare in April 2013. Lenora Champagne, Theatre and Performance, is a playwright, performance artist, and director who often collaborates with sculptors, composers, and media artists. This fall, she is teaching three classes in Japan as a core Fulbright scholar. In one graduate and two undergraduate courses at Tokyo’s Tsuda College and Shirayuri University, her students will consider identity politics as a theme in several American plays of the 20th century and analyze plays by American feminist playwrights (Naomi Iizuka, Phyllis Nagy, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Naomi Wallace) who have adapted Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter for the stage. Larry Clark, Dance, traveled in November to Hong Kong, where he adjudicated the Asian Youth Dance Festival for the second consecutive year. Clark presented the awards to the participating companies, chaired a panel of the judges discussing the choreographers, and taught a master class.

Donna Dennis

Donna Dennis, Art+Design, received the Sixth Annual Artists’ Legacy Foundation Award. The award provides an unrestricted $25,000 to one artist each year for ongoing creative pursuits. Dennis will premiere her much-anticipated Coney Night Maze at the Neuberger Museum of Art in June 2013. Among Dennis’ other achievements: the Fall/Winter 2012 issue of Woman’s Art Journal contains a retrospective view, written by Jan Riley, of more than four decades of sculptural installations by Dennis; and an early sculpture by Dennis, Subway with Lighted Interior, 1974, became part of the collection of the Brooklyn Museum.

Artist and Professor Antonio Frasconi, 1919–2013 The Purchase College community was profoundly saddened to learn of the passing of artist, mentor, friend, and professor emeritus Antonio Frasconi on January 8, 2013, at the age of 93. Frasconi began teaching printmaking at Purchase in 1973. In 1983 he earned the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and further achieved the rank of Distinguished Teaching Professor of Art+Design in 1986, an honor bestowed by SUNY that recognizes and rewards its finest and most accomplished faculty for “consistently superb teaching.” Born in 1919 in Argentina to Italian parents, Frasconi grew up in Montevideo, Uruguay. He began his career as a political cartoonist there, then moved to the United States at age 26. Much of his work maintained a social conscience and political edge as he rose to become the most prominent woodcut illustrator of his generation. His numerous honors and awards included a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Institute of Art and Letters Award, a Library of Congress Children’s Literature Award, a Rockefeller Foundation residency, and the Lee Krasner Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. A simple Internet search reveals the depth of reverence and gratitude generations of Purchase alumni hold for Frasconi in the vast number of resumes and bios claiming proudly that he was their teacher. “Starting teaching was probably the best thing that ever happened to me in my life,” Frasconi stated in a 1994 interview.

Adams, MA; Ode to Street Hassle, a group show at the Bronx Art Space; Still Figuring It Out at Recession Art CULTUREfix in New York; and the Dieu Donné Benefit Exhibition at the Dieu Donné Exhibition Space. The musical composition Uscirmi di braccia (2010) by Suzanne Julia Elsas Farrin, Music (Conservatory director), was performed on October 22 at AlpenKlassic in Germany. Farrin also released her first solo CD, Corpo di Terra, on New Focus Recordings. The debut of this fulllength recording was celebrated with a concert at the Italian Academy at Columbia University in November, featuring live performances of works from the recording by Nuiko Wadden, Cal Wiersma, and Julia Lichten.

Subway with Lighted Interior Stella Ebner, Art+Design, was honored with a 2012 Kala Fellowship. The award is based on an international competition that annually grants each of nine artists a cash award, unlimited access to Kala Art Institute facilities for up to six months, and a culminating show in the Kala Gallery in Berkeley, CA. Julia Elsas, Art+Design, participated in several group shows over the summer of 2012: The Phylogeny Projects at the Branch Gallery in North

John Fedchock

John Fedchock, Music, wrote the feature article “The Perfect Escape” in the October issue of Down Beat magazine. As guest soloist, he recorded with the Fred Hess Big Band on Speak. Fedchock was also a producer on the South Florida Jazz Orchestra’s Trumpet Summit, and he appeared in the film documentary on Woody Herman, Blue Flame, which premiered on October 10. PURCHASE | 1

PURSUITS/Faculty news & notes Joseph Ferry, Music, produced an EP for Jump Up Records in Chicago, featuring Uzimon, the Dons, Victor Rice, and Channel Tubes. Ferry is producing singer Jennie Brooks for Shanachie Records, and has begun work on his fifth solo ska CD, featuring Purchase master’s degree student Dana Mancuso and dance faculty drummer Dave Lewitt. Ferry toured in September as the bassist with singer Joey Ray ’12.

Katherine Gilmore

The work of Katherine Gilmore, Art+Design, was featured in multiple exhibitions this winter, including Under the Table at Fort Worth Contemporary Arts in Texas; Projecting Identity at the Anderson Gallery at Drake University in Des Moines; and Dark Flow Lurking with the ArtBasel/Miami Fair at the David Castillo Gallery in Miami.

Karen Guancione, Art+Design, exhibited in Pátzcuaro, Michoacán, Mexico, as part of Fiestas Patrias, the Mexican Independence Day celebrations. Guancione’s work was also included in two group exhibitions: the Montclair State University Art and Design Faculty Exhibition 2012, curated by Dan Bischoff in December; and The Artists of IAVANET, at the Italian Cultural Foundation at Casa Belvedere, Staten Island. Tommy Hartung ‘04, Art+Design, was featured on the September 2012 cover of Border Crossings; the issue also contained an article discussing his work. Barbara Hauptman, Arts Management, conducted a workshop, “The Stage Directors’ Perspective,” for first-year arts management graduate students at the Yale School of Drama in November. Kazuko Hirabayasshi, Dance, is a part-time faculty member for composition at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre School. She led a summer intensive workshop for the Martha Graham School in teaching composition and technique, and a summer workshop for Centro National de Danza Contemporanea in Queretaro, Mexico. The Abandoned Valley, a work for solo violin composed by Ryan Homsey, Music, was premiered by violinist Adrianna Mateo last summer in Carlo Montenotte, Italy, with subsequent performances in Fontainebleau, France, and Cortland, NY. The piece had its New York City premiere in September at the grand opening of the art gallery Bliss on Bliss Studio. Homsey also composed the music for The Orpheus Variations, a multimedia play produced by the Deconstructive Theatre Project at Magic Futurebox in Brooklyn in October. Cassandra Hooper MFA ‘91, Art+Design, curated the exhibition La Pisciotta Vita, featuring work created by her study-abroad students, at the Purchase College Library. The exhibition was on view in October and November. Sharon Horvath, Art+Design, was honored with a solo exhibition at the Drawing Room Gallery in East Hampton, NY, which was on view through November and December. Stuart Isacoff, Music, presented a lecture, “A Natural History of the Piano,” in September at the New York Public Library. Last fall, Isacoff also served as a jury member at the American Pianists Association piano competition in Indianapolis; wrote and narrated a radio program on the piano for the BBC; and appeared on two other BBC programs, Music Matters and Piano Keys. Robert Kozma, Art+Design, had an exhibit, Robert Kozma—Palladium/ Platinum Prints, at the gallery of the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences’ PURCHASE | 2

department of media, communications, and visual arts at Pace University in October. Julian Kreimer, Art+Design, was awarded an artist’s residency for May 2013 at the Yaddo Colony, in Saratoga Springs, NY. Kreimer and Elizabeth Livensperger, Art+Design, both participated in an October panel discussion, “Date, Time, Place,” at the Rhode Island School of Design on contemporary painting. Amanda Lechner, Art+Design, curated a show, In Search Of …, with former faculty member Christopher Ulivo. Matthew Bollinger, Art+Design, was among the artists included in the show, which toured collegiate galleries last fall. Deaf Jam, a film directed and produced by Judy Lieff, Dance, was honored as the best documentary feature by the Greenpoint Film Festival and opened the festival in September. The film follows a deaf Israeli immigrant teen involved in the spoken-word slam scene who eventually collaborates with a hearing Palestinian slam poet. Last fall, Deaf Jam was featured in the first deaf film festival in Ecuador, Festival Cinesordo, held in the cities of Quito, Guayaquil, and Cuenca. In October, Deaf Jam was featured at the One World Film Festival in Ottawa, Canada. Richie Morales, Music, performed with six-time Grammy-nominated jazz–jazz fusion guitarist Mike Stern at the 55 Bar in New York City in September. He also performed with Stern’s trio at the Jazz Kitchen in Indianapolis and the Jazz Café in Detroit. Rachel Owens, Art+Design, had several Richie Morales pieces in Next Wave Art, part of the BAM Next Wave Festival, in Brooklyn over the winter. Lenka Pichlíková, Theatre Arts, played the role of a mother in the short film Kiddie Riders, directed by Alina Landry. She is also performed her one-woman show, Katie Luther, in October at St. John Lutheran Church in Stamford, CT. Ted Piltzecker, Music, had four of his compositions for percussion ensemble published by Bachovich Music: Dancing Past Eleven, Junctures, Buffalo Dance, and Great Idea! Who Pays? In January he was a guest performer and composer at the Festival of Vibraphone and Marimba in conjunction with the Instituto Cultural Peruano Norteamericaono in Lima, Peru. Piltzecker also was recently promoted to the rank of first pilot in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. Pamela Prather, Theatre Arts, served as vocal and dialect coach for the Tony Award–winning Alley Theatre’s production of Death of a Salesman in Houston. Christopher Robbins, Art+Design, and Brooke Singer, New Media, were chosen as recipients of the Dee and Robert Topol Faculty Development Award for Pamela Prather the summer of 2012. Robbins is the co-founder of Ghana ThinkTank, which exhibited at the 13th International Venice Architecture Biennale as part of the official U.S. presentation, “Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good,” organized by the Institute for Urban Design. In 2012, Robbins traveled to Marrakesh, Morocco, for the U.S. State Department’s smARTPower project, an initiative that uses public art for diplomacy. The Santa Fe Opera will present the American premiere of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, an opera by Huang Ruo, Music, in its 2014 festival season. The opera, which commemorates the centennial of China’s 1911 revolution, was commissioned by Opera Hong Kong and given its world premiere there in October 2011.

pursuiTs/FaculTY news & noTes Bettijane Sills, Dance, participated on a panel, “Balanchine, Broadway, and Beyond,” presented in October by Dancers Over 40 at St. Luke’s Theatre in New York. The panel was made up of ballet luminaries from the Balanchine era. Moderators included Candice Agree, a radio host at WQXR; Robert Greskovic, a dance critic for the Wall Street Journal; and Nancy Goldner, a dance critic and author. Rosanna Seravalli, Dance, staged Etudes, choreographed by Harold Lander, in collaboration with other faculty at the American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive program in New York in the late summer of 2012. Peter Sprague, Theatre and Performance, played the role of Teach in a production of David Mamet’s American Buffalo in June to sold-out houses in the American Legion Hall Theatre in Hastings on Hudson; the play was directed by Liz Liebeskind Sipes and produced by Twelve Miles North. Leonard Stokes, Art+Design, participated in a group show, Paper Band, at the Jason McCoy Gallery in New York in 2012. Jeffrey taylor, Arts Management, delivered a lecture, “Artwork Forensics in the Service of Law Enforcement in Eastern Europe,” at the Interpol Conference on Art Forgery at the Interpol headquarters in Lyon, France, in October. Stephanie tooman, Dance, accepted an invitation to be a board member of the 360° Dance Company, founded in 2006 by Martin Lofsnes, former principal dancer of the Martha Graham Dance Company. Tooman serves as artistic director for Los Talleres in Mexico City, where she is regularly invited to teach. Nelly van Bommel, Dance, served as director of choreography at the Regional Dance America’s National Choreography Intensive from July 23 through August 2, 2012, at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts and Festival Dance Center, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, in Winston-Salem. Jo ann Walters, Art+Design, received the Doris and Carl Kempner Distinguished Professor Senior Faculty Nelly van Bommel Research Award for 2012–14. Chosen competitively by the Professional Standards Awards Committee with winners selected by the provost, the recipient’s award includes reimbursement for expenses up to $5,000 over a two-year period. eric Wildrick, Art+Design, installed a new sculpture, Give/Take (2012), in the Performing Arts Center upper lobby; the found-objects work was on view through the fall 2012 semester. Wallie Wolfgruber, Dance (Conservatory director), directed the Purchase Dance Company at the International Festival of Dance Academies in Taipei, Taiwan, this past July. Seventeen dancers performed works by renowned choreographers Lar Lubovitch and Stephen Petronio, and also performed a student piece, choreographed by Nathalia Trogdon ’12. Wolfgruber returned to Taiwan in October to attend the 2012 Global Forum for the Presidents of Universities of the Arts and represented Purchase College at this event.

University’s Ameen Art Gallery, Thibodaux, LA; the University of Colorado; the University of Wyoming’s Visual Arts Gallery, Laramie; Old Dominion University’s Baron and Ellin Gordon Galleries; and Boston University’s department of visual arts this past year. The portfolio and subsequent exhibition were organized by Brian Kelley, professor of printmaking at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and represent100 printmakers whose work is being exhibited across the country.

School of Liberal Arts and Sciences Shemeem Burney abbas, Political Science, was honored at the Institute of International Education’s 10th Anniversary Gala celebration as an alumna of the Scholar’s Rescue Fund in September. Among the distinguished guests who received copies of her book, The Female Voice in Sufi Ritual: Devotional Practices of Pakistan and India, were the royal family of Jordan and Purchase College’s president, Thomas J. Schwarz. Zehra F. Kabasakal arat, Political Science, completed a chapter on women in the recently published Handbook of Modern Turkey (Routledge, 2012); the foreword to Nationalism and Human Rights: In Theory and Practice in the Middle East, Central Europe, and the Asia-Pacific (Palgrave, 2012); and “The United States, Justice, and Human Rights: Revisiting David Forsythe’s Work,” in the Journal of Human Rights in 2012. Arat also served as a consultant for a docudrama, The Sultan’s Women/Hidden World of the Harem. Virginia Breen, Journalism, was named a Fellow at the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University. As part of her fellowship award, Breen received a travel grant to report and teach a journalism workshop during the summer of 2014 to a group of teens orphaned by the AIDS crisis in Nairobi, Kenya. Iris Cahn, Film and Media Studies, co-edited the film Fragments of Peter Kubelka, directed by Martina Kudlacek, which had its U.S. premiere at the 2012 New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center in October as part of the festival’s “Views from the Avant-Garde” slate. eugene Callahan, Economics, published the book Oakeshott on Rome and America in July with Imprint Academic.

Wallie Wolfgruber

Jennifer Wroblewski, Art+Design, organized, curated, and participated in a group show, Righteous Perpetrators, at A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn in August. Artists generated audience participation–based work in the gallery during the exhibition. Murray Zimiles, Art+Design, has had work from the East portfolio of East/ West: A Survey of Contemporary Printmaking exhibited at Nicholls State

Jonathan Callahan, College Writing, is the winner of the Starcherone Prize for Innovative Fiction competition, which comes with a $1,500 award. The Consummation of Dirk, a collection of Callahan’s short stories, will be published in Starcherone Books’ 2012–13 season. Stephen Cooke, Chemistry, received $115,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to perform a 21-month study, “Experimentally Characterizing the Electronic Structures of f-Electron Systems Using Advanced High-Resolution Fourier Transform Microwave Spectroscopies.” In addition, in 2012, Cooke co-authored four articles in peerpURChASe | 3

PURSUITS/Faculty news & notes reviewed journals, including the Journal of Molecular Structure, the Journal of Physical Chemistry A, the Journal of Molecular Spectroscopy, and the Journal of Molecular Structure. Geoffrey Field, History, was awarded the 2012 Morris D. Forkosch Prize by the American Historical Association for his book Blood, Sweat, and Toil: Remaking the British Working Class, 1939–45. The prize is awarded for the best book in the fields of British and British imperial and Commonwealth history since 1485. William H. Flank, Mathematics/Computer Science, presented a paper, “How Does a Catalyst Evolve? Literal and Figurative Perspectives,” in the Fellows Symposium at the American Chemical Society’s national meeting in Philadelphia in August. Ronnie Halperin, chair of Natural and Social Sciences, Suzanne Kessler, dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Dana Braunschweiger ’08 (psychology), published “Rehabilitation through the Arts: Impact on Participants’ Engagement in Educational Programs” in the Journal of Correctional Education in 2012. Lisa Keller, History, was invited by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to participate in the “Paths through History” conference in August. She was appointed to the governor’s task force earlier in the year. Keller’s essay “The Grass Is Always Greener: A Brief History of Public Spaces and Protest in New York Peter Saleh City and London” appears in the book Beyond Zuccotti Park: Freedom of Assembly and the Occupation of Public Space (2012). George P. Kraemer, Environmental Studies and Biology, published “The Asian Shore Crab Invades Long Island Sound” in the Long Island Sound Study Update Newsletter (Summer 2012); he also pubGeorge P. Kraemer lished, with J. Kim and C. Yarish, “Metabolic Plasticity of Nitrogen Assimilation by Porphyra umbilicalis” in the Journal of the Ocean University of China in 2012. Kraemer was named one of “Westchester County’s Top Eight Leaders” in 2013 by Westchester Magazine for his ongoing effort to reduce pollutants in Long Island Sound. Steven Lambert, New Media, was a speaker and workshop leader at the “Creative Time Summit” at NYU’s Skirball Center in October. The summit is the only conference of its kind, devoted to exploring the intersection of artmaking and social justice. Lambert also exhibited and participated in a panel at the Conflux Festival at New York University in October. Steven Lambert His one-person exhibition It’s Time to Fight and It’s Time to Stop Fighting was shown at the Charlie James Gallery in Los Angeles from September 15 to October 20. Susan G. Letcher, Environmental Studies, has an article co-written with S. R. Yorke, S. A. Schnitzer, J. Mascaro, and W. P. Carson, “Increasing Liana Abundance and Basal Area in a Tropical Forest: The Contribution of LongDistance Clonal Colonization,” in a forthcoming issue of Biotropica. Letcher is a participant in PURCHASE | 4

BIOTREE-NET, an international network of researchers sharing data on tropical tree abundance and distribution. Marty Lewinter, Mathematics, co-wrote a research article, “Resonance Structure Counts in Contorted and Flat Hexabenzocoronenes,” with Sasan Karimi, Anthony Delgado ’10, and current Purchase student Michael Kupfert. The paper was accepted for publication in the Journal of Mathematical Chemistry. “Research with our students is an important and valuable part of a Purchase education,” says Lewinter. Zero in the System, a feature film by Tim McCann ’87, Film, debuted at the PollyGrind Film Festival in Las Vegas in November. The film was produced by Larry O’Neil, Film. Cast primarily with nonactors and ex-convicts from Spring Valley, NY, Zero in the System features extensive use of improvisation. PollyGrind is an underground film festival that considers any and all independently produced and undistributed movies that are slightly off-kilter. Kathleen McCormick, Literature and Pedagogy, read from her story “Aunt Alice in Wonderland and the Last Two McCormicks” at the Italian American Studies Association in December at Hofstra University. Jeanine Meyer, Mathematics/ Computer Science and New Media, published the following articles in 2012 in “Where Am I: Now and Then— Geolocation, Google Maps API, and localStorage” in July; “Dynamic Scalar Vector Graphics— Using JavaScript to Change SVG Elements” in August; and “Transitions from Image to Image— Animation, Internal Buffering, and Calculation of Pixel Coordinates” in September. Richard Nassisi, associate dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Andrew Salomon, Journalism, were the recipients of the 2012 Student Engagement Award from Student Services, presented at Convocation on September 12, 2012. The award is presented to one faculty member and one staff member who demonstrate commitment, initiative, dedication, and efforts that are above and beyond the normal obligation in helping with the college’s student-retention and engagement goals. Carmen Oquendo-Villar, Cinema Studies, a Fulbright scholar on leave 2012–13, is one of the winning filmmakers of a screenplay competition in Puerto Rico sponsored by the Corporación de Cine de Puerto Rico for her documentary short Fraud Squad TV. Oquendo-Villar’s La aguja (The Needle) film (co-directed by Jose Correa Vigier) premiered to sold-out audiences at several different venues: in Puerto Rico at the International Film Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Festival (a.k.a. the Puerto Rico Queer Film Festival), and at DocNYC (a documentary film festival in New York) as part of Trans Awareness Week at the Independent Film Center. Verónica Perera, Sociology, presented the paper “Neither Commodity nor Human Right: Water as a Political Intervention from Below” at the International Sociological Association Conference in Buenos Aires in August.

PURSUITS/Faculty news & notes Jason Pine, Anthropology and Media, Society, and the Arts, published a book, The Art of Making Do in Naples, with the University of Minnesota Press. The book is an ethnography of neomelodica music and its entanglements with the camorra, the organized-crime networks of the Campania region of southern Italy. Lorraine Plourde, Media, Society, and the Arts, presented a paper, “Technology, Sound, Sensation: Disorienting Noise and Electricity in Tokyo,” at the American Anthropological Association’s annual meeting in San Francisco in November. The paper was part of a panel called “Crossing the Wires: Network, Sense, and the Horizons of Connectivity in East Asia.” Edward Pomerantz, Dramatic Writing (Screenwriting), attended the Fourth International Conference on American Drama and Theater at the University of Seville in May, where he presented a paper, “Great Comedies of the American Theater: Time to Take Them Seriously.”

Edward Pomerantz Paul Siegel, Psychology, was awarded a $20,000 research grant from the American Psychoanalytic Association to support his functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study of dynamic relationships between brain and behavior in unconscious processing of phobic stimuli. Siegel has been awarded a total of $45,000 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.

Andrew Salomon, Journalism, is the publisher and faculty advisor of the new Purchase College student long-form journalism publication The Beat—a print magazine devoted to music and the arts in and around the Purchase College community. Robin Lynch, Art+Design, is the magazine’s creative director/faculty advisor. Gary Waller, Literature and Cultural Studies and Theatre and Performance, was a visiting lecturer at the Kahn Humanities Institute at Smith College in October 2012, where he gave two addresses: “The Patriarchal Mythology of Motherhood” and “The Staging of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure.”

Former news anchor and journalism professor MaryAlice Williams appeared on NBC’s “Weekend Today” 25th Anniversary edition.

Mary Alice Williams, Journalism, appeared on NBC’s Weekend Today show in September for the 25th anniversary of Weekend Today, which she coanchored with Garrick Utley. She also participated as a speaker at the New York Women in Communications’ annual “Student Communications Career Conference,” held at New York University’s Kimmel Center in November. Soyoung Yoon, Cinema Studies, is the recipient of the Purchase College Student Affairs’ Guiding Light Award for 2012. The award is presented annually to a faculty or staff member who exemplifies the selfless spirit of Jill Richmond, former director of career development.

SCHOOL OF LIBERAL ARTS & CONTINUING EDUCATION Andrew Bernstein, Philosophy, participated in a debate with Dinesh D’Souza on the topic of “Is Christianity Good or Bad for Mankind?” in February in Austin, TX.

Jack Breslin

Jack Breslin, Media Studies and Communications, was Andrew Bernstein named the 2012 receipient of the Hugh J. McCabe Award for Social Justice at Iona College for his service to the college over the past twelve years, particularly taking students on three immersion trips to Africa.

Edmund Cionek, Music History, had his new theatre work, Frankentata, read last November at the Liederkranz Foundation under the direction of Maestro Gerald Steichen. Also in November Cionek received a performance of his orchestral piece, American Remix, with the Western Piedmont Symphony, John Gordon Ross conducting. Cionek continues to be a member of the College Music Society National Advisory Board in Music Composition. Judith Dupré, Writing and Humanities, and author, presented a lecture, “Opening Your Eyes to This Place,” at Fairfield University, April 10, in conjunction with the University’s Cities Initiative, a two-year, multidisciplinary investigation of urban issues. Melissa Febos, Writing and Literature, was interviewed by Guernica magazine on her dominatrix memoir, teaching sexuality in literature, and what it takes to make a great sex scene. She also completed a Valentine’s Day writeup for Poets & Writers Magazine’s column “Writers’ Recommend.” Michael G. Garber, Theatre and Film History, is Melissa Febos author of a series of music education articles being published in winter/spring 2013 by Music Alive!, designed for fifth through tenth-grade music students. A series of three articles follows the tradition of American songwriters from 1913 to 2013. For Jazz Appreciation Month, the magazine will feature Garber’s article on scat singing. Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Art History, the director of the New York Arts Exchange (an arts education service), was invited by her former student Ivan Savvine ’06 to guest curate an exhibition at 287 Spring Gallery and Performance Space, where Savvine is the head curator. George Keteku, Religious Studies and African History, had a book published in 2012 by Lambert Academic Publishing, The Winner-Takes-All or A Proportional System? The Logic of Electoral System Preference in Sub-Saharan Africa’s Democracies. Selected chapters of the book were presented at the African Studies Association meeting in Philadelphia and at a conference in Baltimore of the Association of Scholars of Middle East and Africa in 2012. R. David Seabrook, Business and Economics, is now working with the Harvard Business School and Harvard Business Press on their Core Curriculum project. Seabrook’s focus is on business strategy. The Core Curriculum project produces core readings for a worldwide audience of business school students. Roger Tsai, Mathematics, has received a surge of interest around the world, according to recent Google scholar data, for his work on 3D geometric/robotics vision, computational vision, and data analytics. The number of scholarly documents or Web links that reference Tsai’s work had reached 10,509 as of February 18, 2013. PURCHASE | 5

T r a i l b l a z e r s w e lco m e

When one major isn’t enough THINK WIDE OPEN


In many ways, Purchase College has always been on the cutting edge of experimental learning. In a 1974 article analyzing its early evolution, scholar Henry Weil describes the premise behind the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences: “The basic philosophy is to allow, if not encourage, interdisciplinary majors … permitting the student as much latitude in evolving his own education as he proves able to handle.”1

The uniquely Purchase Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts degree

Schlesinger, who’s been teaching at Purchase since 1975, agrees. “Purchase has always said ‘OK’ to people who want to move around in the margins of things. It has always had a kind of ethos of people doing stuff that interests them, taking risks, moving outside the standard ways of doing stuff. And the BALA is another one of the pathways for students like that.”

By Kristi McKee

Christina Blankenship ’13 has been dancing her entire life. She was known to all as “Christina the dancer” since she was a child; dancing was her identity, and Purchase her dream school. But during a threeweek dance intensive at the Movement Invention Project the summer before her sophomore year, Blankenship’s life changed forever. She tore multiple soft-tissue connections in her ankle—an injury that required surgery. What many would consider devastating proved to be a stroke of luck for the Minnesota native. “Honestly, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I wouldn’t have made the switch to BALA if it hadn’t happened,” she says.

Mark Viniello ’92 knew from the time he was 4 what he wanted to do: create monsters for the movies. He made creatures from anything he could get his hands on. Describing a childhood spent in his basement and garage sticking things to his face, he recalls attempting to recreate classic Universal Studios’ monster makeup designs, “from putting a small brown paper bag over my head to do Frankenstein to gluing cotton and fur to my face to be the Wolfman.” He repeatedly watched monster movies such as Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, The Man of a Thousand Faces, and Q. “I must have watched the transformation scene in An American Werewolf in London over 100 times trying to figure out how (with makeup) you could change someone’s face like that.”

In preparation for that work, he spent the fall semester of his senior year in Baja, CA, at the National Outdoor Leadership School—85 days with no shelter, learning survival and leadership skills while studying ecology. “I never would have gone anywhere except for Purchase, looking back. They could understand that this was right for me, that it wasn’t a goof-off thing. I learned so much and it reaffirmed a lot of who I am.”

Photo: Heather Carson


Stephen Jumper ’09 describes himself as both creative and analytical, with two equal but divergent passions, science and filmmaking. He decided to attend a small college in Maryland and studied only science, but soon found himself gravitating to the passion he was ignoring. The Putnam Valley, NY, resident transferred to Purchase and into the BALA program as a sophomore, coupling video production with environmental science. His ultimate goal of making films for National Geographic and other outlets became a reality after graduation. Stephen Jumper ‘09 handcrafts surfboards for the company he founded.

She discovered that by enrolling in the BALA program, she could broaden her studies without abandoning years of dance training. She hasn’t looked back.

Blankenship fused dance with journalism and added a minor in arts management. She amassed Lee Schlesinger, associate professor of literature, has been the enough credits by junior year to major’s faculty advisor for 10 years. “I love the word ‘articulate,’ graduate, but stayed on because it means two great things. One, it means to put into lan“because I just couldn’t take guage, and the other is to sort of line things up. So if a student says, enough classes; it’s been per‘I have interests here and interests here,’ that’s fine, many of us do, fect. I feel like I could customize but a major has to take those two interests and articulate them—to Lee Schlesinger my world here.” She also curmake them work in relation to each other,” he explains. rently serves as president of the As a freshman, Blankenship suppressed a yearning to expand her Purchase Student Government studies beyond dance, admitting she lacked the strength then to Association (2012–13), reflecting what she describes as a love of alter the only course she had ever known. “I would have just kept governance. Someday, Blankenship says, she would like to going. I wouldn’t have asked questions,” she says. Faced with combine all these interests and serve as the chair of the returning to Purchase “with crutches and a class load that I wasn’t National Endowment for the Arts or the president of able to take,” she found herself free to explore other options. Lincoln Center.

Viniello now works at MASTERSFX in Los Angeles, a specialeffects company serving the television and movie industries. He’s supervising the effects on season six of HBO’s True Blood and his credits include spending a month in New Zealand on the Lord of the Rings films, creating dinosaurs for Jurassic Park 3, and even playing creatures he made in the movie Alien and the television show Xena, Warrior Princess. “I have the greatest job in the world,” he insists. “A bad day in the office for me is if the elf ears don’t turn out.”

f u s i n g pas s io n s

c h a r t i n g a co u r s e

Christina Blankenship ‘13

According to the course catalogue, the Liberal Arts Individualized Program of Study (known informally as BALA, which stands for “bachelor of arts in liberal arts”) is meant for students who wish to pursue an individualized, interdisciplinary program of study that cannot be accommodated within another major at Purchase College. BALA candidates must work with two faculty sponsors representing their study disciplines to articulate their ideas and create a curriculum.

The Hopewell Junction, NY, native describes the day he discovered the BALA program during his sophomore year as “probably the happiest day of my college career.” He blended biology and the visual arts, specifically anatomy and sculpture. “It afforded me the information that is critical in the first steps of creating a character or prosthetic makeup—sculpture techniques and anatomy study,” he says.

Mark Viniello ‘92 always wanted to create monsters, so he blended biology and visual arts academic programs. His “special effects” are now making the A-lists in Hollywood.

Jumper’s path has taken some turns since he left Purchase. Though he felt it was a fascinating life opportunity, Jumper admits that the grueling nature of expedition film production was not for him. “I started getting worn down by not being in control of the travel, of being at the mercy of the phone call. I love New York; I have family here and a strong connection here. And I’m not as much a vagabond as I kind of wish I was,” he explains. Not one to be idle, in the down time between video jobs he formed his own company, Jumper Surfboards, consuming himself with research before meticulously handcrafting boards specifically for the waves of New York. While this remains a side business, he’s back at Purchase to take prerequisite classes for medical school. PURCHASE | 7

t h e h a r d e r w ay o u t Meryl Cates ’08 was the first ever to combine dance and journalism in the BALA program. She found the journalism class she took sophomore year to be exciting and challenging, prompting a detour from her original academic route. “Creating the curriculum for my BALA was one of the most empowering moments of my college career,” she explains. While the major does allow freedom and flexibility, it’s not an easy one. “Discipline and motivafor tion were key because the nager a m s n nicatio k. u m course load of a BALA is very m r Yo is co f New s ‘08 City o l Cate rigorous,” she says. Schlesinger agrees: y e r h e t M of useum “The BALA is not a slightly easier way to get a the M Purchase degree. It’s the harder way to get a Purchase degree.” Cates, who hails from Mahopac, NY, describes her career as varied, but “always rooted in the arts and journalism.” She’s had articles published in dance magazines and blogs, covered theatre online for Interview magazine, and in 2010 received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in dance criticism. She’s now the communications manager for the Museum of the City of New York in Manhattan. “The discipline and, ultimately, the confidence that the major required me to develop helped me to prepare for my winding career path.”

Paris Whittingham ‘09, is a relationship photographer and independent creative producer.

That same year, Whittingham collaborated with Archan Nair, an illustrator from New Delhi, India, whom he met via Behance, an online platform that connects creative professionals to each other and to those seeking to hire them. The Joy Ballad, one of the images from the resulting series The Dream Collaborative, received a “shout-out” from Kanye West on his blog. Behance founder and CEO Scott Belsky, also struck by the work, cited the collaboration as a success story in Making Ideas Happen, the book he wrote about overcoming the obstacles between vision and reality. The mention on Kanye’s blog and the subsequent press coverage boosted the careers of both Whittingham and Nair. “This program [BALA] is built for passionate self-starters—students who are willing to design their own curriculum, create actionable goals, and work independently toward the result,” Whittingham says.

t r e n di n g

a s m a l l b u t s e r io u s g ro u p

The notion of individualized majors is hardly new; the option first emerged in the 1960s and ’70s. Will Shortz, crossword editor for the New York Times, earned a bachelor’s degree in enigmatology— the study of puzzles—from Indiana University in 1974 and famously remains the only person known to hold the degree. But the trend toward offering individualized majors in higher education is on the rise. The Wall Street Journal reported an uptick of 5.1 percent between 2005 and 2010 in schools offering individualized courses of study.2 Educators realize that complex global issues, such as climate change, epidemics, and terrorism, call for interdisciplinary thinking in the search for solutions.3

According to the Office of the Registrar, only a small number of BALA students are enrolled at any one time. For the past 10 years, the average number of graduates per year has been two or three. Schlesinger intentionally tries to weed out those students for whom the major isn’t quite right. The result is a small but serious group of students. “I don’t think that this is a program that benefits from having huge numbers in it. I think it’s a program that benefits those students for whom it is appropriate,” he explains. The program has appealed to a number of entrepreneurial spirits over the years. Parris Whittingham ’09, for one, is both a successful wedding photographer—referring to himself as a “relationship photographer”—and an independent creative producer. After taking an entrepreneurship class, he declared a BALA degree in independent study and arts management. “The BALA program allowed me to pursue my passion for entrepreneurship with a focus on the arts.” Whittingham has had a lifelong interest in telling stories. He remembers his mother buying the drawings he made as a 4-yearold for 25 cents each and hanging them throughout the house. “She really helped instill a value for my work and for the craft of presenting stories visually.” He launched his business as a relationship photographer from his dorm room in Fort Awesome. The first couple he ever photographed came to campus for their engagement session, since he didn’t drive. In 2010, he created a youth mentorship program called the RLS Project in Brooklyn’s High School for Global Citizenship. The program paired high school students with creative professionals to explore the art of storytelling and photojournalism and empower the next generation of emerging photographers and storytellers. PURCHASE | 8

Critics may contend that these degrees are impractical or lack depth, or that the creation of curriculum should be left to faculty. “I understand the appeal of depth, but if I personally had to choose, I would say leave depth for graduate school and let the student look as widely and broadly as possible,” Schlesinger argues. For certain students, selecting their course of study is a motivating factor in itself. “My feeling—it’s a very complicated political and educational issue—is that the less a student does that she feels she’s doing because she’s told she has to, the better,” he says. The BALA program is the epitome of the Purchase motto “Think Wide Open.” According to Schlesinger, “Purchase has always been a school that is especially rewarding for students who pursue what they want to do, whether it’s in a conventional major or not. The proactive, self-motivated student who has some sense of his or her own needs and wishes, and is willing to work for them, has always profited from the Purchase experience.” 1

Weil, Henry. “SUNY at Purchase, The Struggle for a Learning Utopia.” Change, vol 6. no. 6 (Summer 1974), pp 32-37, 40-141


Sue Shellenbarger, “Can’t Pick a College Major? Create One,” Wall Street Journal (Nov. 17, 2010).


Robert J. Sternberg, “Interdisciplinary Problem-Based Learning: An Alternative to Traditional Majors and Minors,” Liberal Education (Winter 2008): 12–17.

Scores of Purchase Musicians Make their Names Known with THINK wIDE OPEN tactics.

Playing for Success

By david Mckay wilson

3 During his decade and a half as a professional musician, Jason Rabinowitz ’99 has led a rock group called the Bloodsugars, taught music to toddlers, toured nationwide, performed for six months on Broadway, and formed an indie kids’ music duo that won a 2012 grammy nomination for the Pop Ups’ second album, Radio Jungle.

In Hollywood for the Grammys in early February, the Pop Ups played a benefit for the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation to raise money to bring instrumental music to elementary schools, and Rabinowitz reflected on his career in the 21st-century music world. “It has been 14 years, and it feels like I’m just starting in this fickle business,” says Rabinowitz, who lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. “I work really hard, all the time. I’ve become so much more organized, to get done all that needs to get done. But I’ve stuck it out, and when you stick it out, things can happen.” The Pop Ups, an indie kids’ music duo featuring Purchase alumnus Jason Rabinowitz ‘99, received a 2013 Grammy Award nomination.

Like scores of Purchase graduates, Rabinowitz pursues his musical dreams in a business transformed by the digital revolution, with the record industry in the tank, music stores barely in existence, pURChASe | 9

“You might carry the music in your pocket, but you are obliged to hear it performed live. We’ve created a new/old relationship between the audience and the performer.” stand the business aspects too, and figure out how digital media get monetized.” Suzanne Farrin, director of the Conservatory of Music, says that the digital revolution has made music ubiquitous—and cheap—and thus musicians have come full circle to a reliance on live performances to sustain their careers. Various social-media platforms, meanwhile, support the music enterprises and build loyal audiences. Classical musicians are venturing outside the concert hall to indie classical venues such as (Le) Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village. “It’s like a medieval model getting flipped over,” says Farrin, a composer whose piece Uscirmi di braccia was performed in February by the International Contemporary Ensemble at Trinity Wall Street in lower Manhattan. “You might carry the music in your pocket, but you are obliged to hear it performed live. We’ve created a new/old relationship between the audience and the performer.” Jenny Owen Youngs ‘04 integrates digital and social media, fun merchandise, and lots of live tours to build connections with audiences.

social media in full flower, and live performances taking center stage as musicians find new audiences with whom to share their sounds. In 2011, the Pop Ups toured with Yo Gabba Gabba! Live, a spin-off from the children’s television show of the same name that airs on the cable network Nick Jr. “It’s a strange and entrepreneurial time,” says Peter Denenberg, chair of studio composition at the Conservatory of Music and director of the college’s music studios. “Musicians need to learn how to play everything and do everything. They need to under-

Take Jenny Owen Youngs ’04, a singer-songwriter who went on an international jaunt this spring with Chuck Ragan’s Revival Tour, playing 23 shows in 24 days, with stops in Toronto, New Orleans, Nashville, and Manhattan. Her latest album, An Unwavering Band of Light, produced by Dan Romer ’04, is available on iTunes and also in a limited edition of 500 records on white vinyl through her revamped website,, which was launched in October 2012. The site integrates her social-media platforms with opportunities to buy her music, as well as the growing list of items in the JOY online store. For sale: a steel flask emblazoned with her JOY monogram, wool hats with titles from her songs (“Secrets up Here” and “We Could Be Pirates,” which sold out in February), T-shirts, buttons, patches, and a Jenny Owen Youngs bumper sticker.

STUDENTS WORK IT AS MUSICIANS Four Purchase students, recording as the Hiya Dunes, released their debut album, High Tide, in 2012. The student group is unique in that none of the band members is majoring in music. Over winter break this year, they spent time setting up a summer 2013 tour of Texas to showcase their surf-inspired brand of pop-rock, which they played across New England in the summer of 2012. The band, which was formed while the musicians were high school students in western Connecticut, includes Sean Henry Posila ’14 (new media), Eddie Golden ’15 (School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, undeclared), Alex Goosmann ’14 (new media), and Jeffrey Hoyt ’15 (film). Their venues include house parties and bars. They often pass the hat and sell their T-shirts and cassette tapes, which are available for $5 and come with a download from their website, The band’s name comes from the greeting “How ya doin’?” “This is the most intimate way to hear music: in an immediate, personal way,” says Goosmann. “There’s only so much promotion you can do online. Playing live is the way we connect with people. We’re trying to be rock ’n’ rollers, going across America.”

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The Hiya Dunes (L to R): Eddie Golden III, Jeffrey Hoyt, Sean Henry Posila, and Alex Goosmann.

Members of Swear and Shake. The band has been on the rise since its genesis at Purchase in 2010.

The website invites visitors to listen to her songs, including those on An Unwavering Band of Light, which features Romer on a slew of instruments as well as fellow Purchase alum Adam Christgau ’05 on percussion. Listeners can post comments about the tunes they like, which then get uploaded to their Facebook pages to help spread the word and develop Youngs’ reach. Her Tumblr page features comical photographs, video clips, and contemplations on love. Her Twitter feed, with 13,000 followers, can entertain, as it did on Valentine’s Day with seven disparate posts on such topics as Chet Baker’s voice, giving sloths as valentines, and her excitement about the whale exhibit coming to the Museum of Natural History. Youngs’ Facebook page is also bursting with new posts; just a glimpse catches her performing on a live stream from the Horseshack on Jan. 24. The page has more than 19,000 “likes,” and features a selection of music clips, including installments from her Exhibits project, which was inspired by Tuesday visits to New York City museums over eight weeks this winter. On Feb. 12, she uploaded her new song, “Firefight,” a plaintive lament, with harmony, about a breakup, which she wrote following a visit to the Museum of the Moving Image in Manhattan. The tune is available for $1—additional contributions are welcome—at There’s a real immediacy to Youngs’ creative process that finds resonance among members of her audience, who provide feedback on the songs she’s developing and even drop a buck or two to download them digitally to their mobile devices. “I wanted a writing exercise, to get the wheels greased for the next proper record,” says Youngs, who, like Rabinowitz, lives in Park Slope. “I have a tendency to get persnickety and perfectionistic about my writing, and I wanted to see what would happen if I gave myself a week. I’m surprised and pleased with what I’ve come up with.”

On the Road with Swear and Shake The multiplatform experience helps develop audiences. This winter, fans of the indie folk band Swear and Shake could follow the group on Facebook and as it traveled the country on tour with G. Love and Special Sauce, then did a rock cruise before ending up in Austin, TX, at the South by Southwest Festival in March. The band, whose members include Kari Spieler ’10, Adam McHeffey ’10, Ben Goldstein ’11, and Shaun Savage kept fans up to date with the latest gigs, band photos, and music clips. Swear and Shake had its genesis at Purchase in the spring of 2010, when both McHeffey and Spieler prepared to graduate. McHeffey had written a song called “Johnnie,” to be sung by a female vocalist. They’d known each other from classes, the Music Building, and open-mike performances. He asked her if she’d like to sing his song. “We demo-ed the tune, and realized it was such a pleasure to work together,” says McHeffey. “There was a real musical chemistry there. A couple of days later we were playing together. She brought some of her songs to the table. Before long we were booking shows. And we’re still singing ‘Johnnie.’” In 2012, the band released its first full-length recording, Maple Ridge, which was produced and mixed by Goldstein, who joined the group this year as its drummer. The band’s website has links to six social-media platforms, including Instagram, YouTube, and Songkick. “We love doing all the social-media stuff,” says Spieler, who lives in Brooklyn. “We get to interact with our fans in a different way. Even my mom signed up on Instagram. It’s a really good way to catch up with me and the band.” Social media also helped the group finance production of Maple Ridge through the fundraising site The site provides artists with a platform to fund their projects, with musicians offering CDs and other goods in exchange for investments in their enterprise. The goal for Maple Ridge was $4,500; the band raised $5,300. P U R C H A S E | 11

“We sent out a lot of CDs,” says McHeffey. “And while we’re on iTunes and Amazon, we still sell CDs from our own website. We have to go to the post office every so often, but it’s that whole independent way of making a buck. We’re doing it ourselves.” In the summer of 2012, however, Swear and Shake decided that self-promotion could go only so far. The band signed with a management company, which booked them for the G. Love and Special Sauce tour; it drew sold-out crowds in Boston and Philadelphia. The live performances are also an opportunity to sell some of the band’s CDs and T-shirts at their merchandise table—all dressed up with special lights to attract their concertgoers.

THINKING AND PLAYING WIDE OPEN When violinist Katie Kresek ’98 graduated from Purchase, she knew music would be her life, but was uncertain where the professional decision would lead her. She lit out on a journey in the freelance musicians’ world that took her to Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, Saturday Night Live and the David Letterman Show, as well as gigs with popular artists Kanye West, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Susan Boyle, and Adele. Along the way, she discovered the transformational possibilities of music education in New York City’s schools through residency programs at the New York Philharmonic and Lincoln Center. For the past two years, as she worked on her doctoral studies in music education during the day at Columbia’s Teachers College, she kept up a bustling performance schedule. In 2012, she toured Europe, Japan, and the U.S. with a six-piece acoustic group with singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey, which included appearances on Saturday Night Live and Jimmy Kimmel Live. Kresek says she plays in recording sessions with various artists about once a month, with her fat-bellied 1743 Carcass violin delivering the sweet sounds desired by some of popular music world’s leading artists. “I never knew any of this would happen,” says Kresek, 36, who attended Ossining High School, and lives in upper Manhattan’s Fort George neighborhood. “When you don’t know how you are going to survive, you are that much more motivated to work really hard.” Her pop-music breakthrough came in 2005, when Kanye West asked her to play in his band’s string section for the Saturday Night Live performance. She got noticed. Before long, she was recording with rock ‘n’ roll singer Lenny Kravitz and performing at Radio City Music Hall with Jay-Z and Beyoncé.

Developing One’s Own Project Studio Figuring out their music careers through the shifting landscape of social media and technology can present major challenges to students upon graduation. Career paths are much less clear than they were 20 years ago. In the past, Denenberg says, fledgling production professionals would be interns at recording studios, become assistants upon graduation, hope to get lucky and produce hit records, and have their careers launched. Today, the commercial studios are in decline, and much of pop music is recorded in project studios owned by the artists or by the producers for particular bands. So today’s Purchase graduates, like Dan Romer, are prepared to build their own project studios and link up with recording artists. Romer, who has produced records for

In the past year, she has toured and recorded with Phillip Phillips, the heartthrob who won the 2012 American Idol competition. “You show up on time, play the best you can, and have a great attitude,” she says. “It’s so much fun. And for the first time, you really get to make some money with this music.” Subbing in the pit on Broadway and Off-Broadway musicals has presented a slew of opportunities for Kresek but such gigs can also present a demanding musical challenge. Her first call from Broadway came in 2005 for the string section for the modern classic, The Phantom of the Opera. She received the musical’s book one day, learned the songs, and played her first performance the next evening. “There are no rehearsals, ever,” says Kresek, who did so well she subsequently played in string sections for American Idiot, The Lion King, Follies, and A Minister’s Wife. “You better be on your game.” The daughter of a college art professor and public-school music teacher, Kresek discovered music education shortly after her classical trio, Arabella, debuted in Carnegie Hall in 2002 and was booking gigs in classical venues. That’s when her mother, Emme, invited her to perform at her school in southwest Yonkers. “I didn’t feel connected to the classical audience, and I wasn’t rigorously digging into the music,” she recalls. “When I had to present at my mother’s school, I had to really think about the music and approach it in a more holistic way. It was so amazing how engaged the students became with Shostakovich and Schumann. I wanted to really get at it.”

Kresek hosts interactive performances with children.

Photo: Roger Kriegel

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Ingrid Michaelson, Lelia Broussard, Chris Ayer, Ian Axel, and the Age of Rockets, has also found a niche as a composer. His soundtrack for the 2011 film Beasts of the Southern Wild won such acclaim that Romer decided to yank up his roots in metropolitan New York and move to Los Angeles in 2013 to pursue more work in Hollywood. Romer recorded Jenny Owen Youngs’ first album in Studio A at Purchase while both were seniors. “He is such a killer arranger, has such a good ear, and has so many ideas that are so different from what I would have,” says Youngs. “We balance each other, and we’re able to call out each other, when necessary. We’ve been so close for so long that it’s an easy thing to do without any hurt feelings.”

THe Challenge for Classical Musicians and Composers

“It’s not for the faint of heart,” she says. “Along with talent, you need perseverance and stamina. You need to be an organism that can withstand rejection, take it on as part of your life. That’s part of what we have to do. We have to be good with that. And it’s not a bad thing.” Conservatory lecturer Du Yun, a composer and performer, says developing a strong work ethic and a solid foundation in music fundamentals is needed to propel today’s classical-music student into the shifting classical landscape. Yun, whose compositions are written for both acoustic and electronic instruments, says the computer programs she learned at Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences are now obsolete.

“In school, you learn the fundamentals of aesthetics and criticism. You need to learn how to motivate yourself and learn things by yourself. That’s the most important.” “What I use now I’ve learned by myself,” she says. “In school, you learn the fundamentals of aesthetics and criticism. You need to learn how to motivate yourself and learn things by yourself. That’s the most important. If you have a good ear and a good eye, you’ll always be two steps ahead of the curve. Even those of us who are successful are still trying to figure things out.” Other classical musicians have decided to pursue doctoral studies to teach the next generation of college students. Danielle Bastone ’09, who studied clarinet performance at the Conservatory, is a PhD candidate in musicology at the CUNY Graduate Center in Manhattan. She focuses on analyzing Mozart’s operas. Bastone says she was drawn to music history and theory in her freshman year at Purchase, and halfway through her studies decided to set her sights on earning her doctorate and becoming a professor. “Mozart’s operas are an area where there’s some analytical work to be done, which gives me the opportunity to have something new to say,” says Bastone. “I still get together now and then with musicology students for fun, and I do miss it. But I’m positive I made the right choice with music history.”

Photo: Shawn Brackbill

Classical musicians face challenges in the 21st-century music landscape as well, with dwindling audiences in concert halls and institutions such as symphony orchestras in decline. Farrin says freelancing has become a more prevalent way for classical musicians to make a living. She’s now seeing an upsurge in small ensembles.

Dan Deacon knocks down the barriers between performer and audience.

CUTTING A NEW GROOVE The music of composer and musician Dan Deacon ’02, ’04 (MM) spans the contemporary music scene—from rock music that he plays at festivals and concert venues around the world to new classical music performed in concert halls and art museums. In 2013, Deacon embarked on a European tour, performing 18 shows in London, Paris, Oslo, and Hamburg, with a band that included Chester Gwazda ’07 on keyboards and bass guitar. On tour, Deacon is known for knocking down the barriers between performer and audience, coming down from the stage to perform in the crowd while leading dance circles that are synchronized to the music. He kicked off the launch of his 2012 album, America, with the Dan Deacon smartphone app from Wham City Apps, which allows concertgoers to help light the show from their phones. He unveiled it on his network television debut on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live in December 2012. As Deacon bounced around the stage, playing keyboards and singing his song “True Thrush,” fans waved their phones, lit up in red, green, yellow, and white. “It’s awesome to see the light show extend into the crowd, and how the audience reacts and interacts with each other and their phones,” he says. “Changing the parameters of what a performance is has always been important to me.” Those parameters have also included the musical genres in which he writes and performs. Deacon says that his latest work in contemporary classical circles grew out of his studies at Purchase. “I don’t like to think of it as separate from any other music I make,” says Deacon. “The context may be different, but the choices still come from the same place.”

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NewsBriefs Professor David Grill ‘86 Lights Up First Lady’s Oscar Appearance David Grill ’86, assistant professor and cocoordinator of the theatre design/technology program at Purchase (Conservatory of Theatre Arts), served as lighting director for Michelle Obama’s Best Picture Award sequence during the Academy Awards in February. This presentation was the climactic moment of the Oscars—and represents an apex of achievement in the field of lighting design.

 he Neuberger Museum of art: T a grand reopening Having been closed for ten months during extensive HVAC renovation work, the Neuberger Museum of Art reopened on Sunday, April 28, with the timely exhibition Pre-Columbian Remix: The Art of Enrique Chagoya, Demián Flores, Rubén OrtizTorres, and Nadín Ospina, and a grand daylong celebration. Free and open to the public, festivities included tours of the exhibition, Latin jazz, hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and activities for all audiences. Pre-Columbian Remix runs through July 14. For more information on this and other exciting exhibitions coming to the Neuberger this year, see page 33. Purchase College Professor David Grill was honored to serve as the lighting director for First Lady Michelle Obama, as she presented the Academy Award for Best Picture at this year’s Oscars. [Photo provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.]

The invitation to Washington to light the First Lady was “top secret,” according to Grill, since her presentation was an Oscar first and a dramatic surprise to the worldwide audience. Grill designed the lighting for the remote presentation in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House. “The First Lady and her staff were wonderful to work with and it was a tremendous honor to be part of history in such a historic venue,” says Grill.

Grill is an Emmy Award winner with extensive experience in lighting design and direction for international events, dance, architecture, television, and corporate theatre. His credits encompass multiple Super Bowl halftime shows, including this year’s Beyoncé performance, as well as the Pan American Games and the Olympic Winter Games. “Dave exemplifies what distinguishes Purchase College: our faculty of top-tier working professionals who bring their firsthand knowledge and unsurpassed expertise to our students,” says Greg Taylor, director of the Conservatory of Theatre Arts. “We are proud that Dave has received this global validation of his talent.” Grill, who has taught at Purchase since 1988, is a Purchase alumnus, who earned his BFA in theatre design in 1986. “My education at Purchase College has given me a career I truly love,” he reflects. “It is a tribute to Purchase that it affords me the opportunity, as a working professional, to bring my knowledge back and impart it to the next generation of students who share my passion for lighting design and the arts.”

Making Lists, 2012–13 Each year, dozens of sources publish college rankings and reviews. In 2012–13, Purchase College made the grade on a number of the most important lists published, including: U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2013: U.S. News & World Report released its 2013 rankings of Best Colleges, and Purchase College is no. 9 on the list of Top Public Schools among national liberal arts colleges. It also made the lists of Best National Liberal Arts Colleges and the schools most recommended by high school guidance counselors. The Princeton Review’s Best 377 Colleges: According to a survey by the Princeton Review that asked 122,000 students at 377 top colleges to rate their schools on dozens of topics and report on their opinions and campus experiences at them, Purchase makes the grade. P U R C H A S E | 14

Neuberger Museum of Art patron enjoys “Wednesday Nights Out.” Painting by Kehinde Wiley. Photo by Carolyn Mandelker.

The Princeton Review’s Best Value Public Colleges for 2013: Robert Franek, the Princeton Review’s senior vice president, publisher, and lead author of the list, said, “We commend these colleges for their stellar academics and their exceptional affordability as evidenced by their generous financial aid awards or their comparatively low sticker prices—or both.” The Sierra Club’s Coolest Schools: The Sierra Club surveyed fouryear schools to discover which ones are “greenest.” It’s no surprise that Purchase made this list. Most Liberal Colleges 2012: Newsweek partnered with College Prowler to determine the most liberal colleges in the country and Purchase made the short list at No. 13. 100 Best Values by Kiplinger’s: Purchase College was included in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s list of 100 best values in public colleges for 2012–13. The ranking cites four-year schools that combine outstanding education with economic value.

Jonathan Royse Windham ’11: Dance Magazine Pick for 2013 Dance magazine named Jonathan Royse Windham ’11 one of “25 to Watch” in 2013. Windham, 26, is currently a company member with Gallim Dance, a contemporary dance company based in Brooklyn. He began dancing at age 14 in his hometown of Vail, CO, and has danced with the American Repertory Ballet. He has also worked with the Kevin Wynn Collective, Terra Firma Dance Theatre, Ballet Boy Productions, and Adam Barruch.

NewsBriefs A Dance magazine blog post by Wendy Perron included a performance by Windham on a list of Best Performances in 2012. “Jonathan Royse Windham: losing himself in a supremely eccentric, poignantly unstable sequence in Andrea Miller’s Sit, Kneel, Stand at Gallim’s Joyce season,” she wrote.

Purchase Opera Honored The National Opera Association (NOA) once again bestowed the Purchase Opera with first-place honors, this time for the spring 2012 production of Cendrillon. The win represents the fourth firstplace finish in six years and the ninth award from the NOA in the history of Purchase Opera—quite an accomplishment for a program that is merely 12 years old. Directed by Jacque Trussel, chair of the voice and opera studies program, and conducted by Hugh Murphy, associate professor of music, in the Conservatory of Music, Jules Massenet’s Cendrillon retells the classic fairy tale Cinderella in a four-act opera first performed in Paris in 1899. “What an exciting time for the college and our department. This award recognizes the outstanding caliber of our productions and the commitment of our distinguished faculty and dedicated students,” says Trussel, who also acknowledges the extraordinary efforts of the Purchase Symphony Orchestra. While Purchase Opera remains a production of the Conservatory of Music, its success would not be possible without significant contributions from students in the Conservatory of Theatre Arts. “I’m so thrilled that Purchase was again honored by this significant award. The students, faculty, and staff in our Conservatory of Theatre Arts’ design/technology program put their hearts and souls into our annual opera productions, and I’m incredibly proud of them. The intense collaboration with talented students and faculty in both conservatories produced a truly delightful show,” remarks Greg Taylor, director of the Conservatory of Theatre Arts.

PURCHASE HOSTS GOVERNOR CUOMO’s STATE OF THE STATE TOUR Purchase hosted Governor Andrew Cuomo on March 7 as he made the latest stop on his State of the State tour. He spoke in the Performing Arts Center’s Recital Hall to a packed house of local legislators and Purchase students, faculty, and staff. Photo:Chad Kraus President Schwarz introduced the governor, who then unveiled plans to stimulate job and economic growth, establish a world-class education system, and maintain fiscal integrity and discipline. “Jobs and education are our key 1-2 punch,” he said. The governor also discussed plans for his Women’s Equality Act, a minimum wage increase, and the option of extended school hours with costs to be covered by the state.

President’s annual Award for Public Art When Tova Hadar ’13 first encountered the oddly elongated “chairs” installed as part of the plaza renovation, she wondered what human shape they were meant to accommodate. Most would refer to the 26-foot seats as benches, but she says, “I distinguish these structures as chairs and not benches because at its end each features a two-footwide backrest.” Her daydream came to fruition when she received the President’s Award for Public Art last spring. Created three years ago, the annual competition is open to all majors and provides students with the means and support to display their art on campus. The project selected remains on view for one year. Hadar studies printmaking, but also “dabbles in different media.” She drew inspiration for her site-specific sculpture—taken out of context, it loses its meaning—from the work of Alberto Giacometti. She welded steel to create the armature and used Styrofoam and spray foam to form the body, which she then carved before covering it with thinned, pigmented cement. “I was surprised by how much like painting the final stages of making it were, in terms of freedom and spontaneity,” she notes. Hadar spent last summer on campus crafting and installing Idle, which is the title of the sculpture—but not its name. “To me, his name is Geo. Geo, as in Giacometti’s namesake. Geo, as in rock. Geo as a nickname for my ‘summer fling’ because really, my summer was all about him,” she muses.

Purchase Recognizes Local Leader in Science For the past 25 years, Judith Spitz, PhD, senior vice president of IT strategy and planning and chief information officer at Verizon, has been a global trailblazer in corporate IT and an international champion for young women, encouraging them to Judith Spitz, PhD become more involved in the sciences. An exemplary executive, Spitz transformed the IT culture at Verizon and, most recently, the development and deployment of a suite of social networking tools. Purchase College honored Spitz’s accomplishments on November 17 with its third annual Science Entrepreneurship Award at the Westchester County Association’s annual Apex Awards dinner in White Plains. A roll-up-your-sleeves advocate, Dr. Spitz participates in volunteer and professional organizations for young women, urging them to enter the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) disciplines. Purchase’s Science Entrepreneurship Award goes to an individual scientist who is employed by a metropolitan New York–based company and whose scientific work has made a significant contribution to his or her affiliated business or industry. The award is an acknowledgment by Purchase College of the importance of its growing relationship with the Westchester business community, P U R C H A S E | 15

NEwSBRIEFS especially as companies in the county are employing more and more of the college’s students, including women, who graduate in the sciences. There are 330 female students and 13 female faculty members in the sciences at Purchase. Previous winners of the science award are Dr. Andrew Blight of Acorda Therapeutics and Dr. David Valenzuela and Dr. Andrew Murphy of Regeneron.

purchase hosTs renowned cinemaTographer The School of Film and Media Studies hosted Ellen Kuras, one of the top cinematographers in the country and an Academy Award nominee, on Jan. 30, 2013. Kuras presented a lighting workshop for Purchase College production students, followed by a screening of her work and discussion of her career. A resident of Nyack, NY, Kuras has worked with renowned directors, including Martin Scorsese, Sam Mendes, and Spike Lee. She was nominated for a 2009 Academy Award for her directorial debut, the documentary feature The Betrayal. Her credits as a cinematographer include Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Analyze That, and The Mod Squad. The event was supported by a grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

ciTizen Kane sTill delivers The School of Film and Media Studies presented, in September 2012, the first event in a new series called “Great Films, Great Directors.” Acclaimed film scholar James Naremore, PhD, introduced the 1941 classic Citizen Kane to an audience of almost 300 people in the Performing Arts Center’s PepsiCo Theatre. A panel discussion followed, featuring Naremore; renowned director, actor, writer, and film historian Peter Bogdanovich; and Chuck Workman, the Oscar-winning filmmaker and visiting associate professor of film. The event was the first in a series of programs for the Friends and Alumni of Film and Media Studies. “The screening of Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane was an auspicious kickoff to our Alumni and Friends of FMS chapter,” comments Michelle Stewart, chair of the School of Film and Media Studies. “The audience stayed until late into the evening, held rapt by the personal stories and expertise about Welles recounted by our two speakers, Peter Bogdanovich and Professor James Naremore. Together, they provided deep insight into the film and regaled everyone with colorful impressions and anecdotes about the great director and his career.” Special support was provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. p U R C h A S e | 16

NEwSBRIEFS Kindie rocKer jason rabinowiTz ’00 earns grammY nominaTion Named one of the 25 Best Bands for Kids 2012 by Time Out New York Kids, the kindie rock band the Pop Ups received a Grammy nomination in the category of Best Children’s Album for Radio Jungle, its second CD. Jason Rabinowitz ’00 (studio composition) is half of the Brooklynbased musical duo who “reflect the creativity percolating on the independent children’s music scene,” according to the Wall Street Journal. Jacob Stein is the other half. Rabinowitz is also a founding member, frontman, and primary songwriter for the Bloodsugars, a synth-pop quartet whose members describe their music this way: “Imagine a house designed by Paul Simon, built by Prince, and decorated by the Flaming Lips and you’ll have some idea of where the Bloodsugars live.”

school oF humaniTies hosTs readings and lecTures In October, the School of Humanities presented the Shirley and Royal Durst Distinguished Lecture, Are You My Mother?: A Reading and Lecture with Alison Bechdel. A prizewinning cartoonist and author of the long-running, acclaimed strip Dykes to Watch Out For, Bechdel received rave reviews for her graphic memoir Are You My Mother? (2012). A sequel to Fun Home (2006), which dealt with the death of her father, Are You My Mother? traces her relationship with her mother. A reception and book-signing followed the lecture and reading.

purchase lends a helping hand

The mission was started by head women’s soccer and lacrosse coach Devon Whalen and assistant athletic director Francesca DeLorenzo. Whalen plans to continue organizing more food drives in the upcoming year. She hopes that more teams will get involved, too. “Every little bit that is donated makes a difference,” Whalen says. “This is a good cause that we as a department should do all year long, not just around the holidays.”

responding To supersTorm sandY In early November, Purchase students organized a relief effort for victims of Hurricane Sandy. Initiated by Staten Island natives Briana Buttermark ’15 and Valerie Hardt, the effort was originally intended to benefit Staten Island exclusively. The campus community response was so overwhelming, however, that the relief effort was expanded to include New Jersey; Breezy Point, Queens; Brooklyn; and Long Beach, Long Island, among other areas. The relief effort drew volunteers and donations from throughout the campus community. The staff of the Performing Arts Center, for instance, donated a trunkful of blankets, jackets, and nonperishable food, while some faculty members agreed to help deliver the donations. Students step out in the midst of final-exam week for evening vigil— an expression of grief, reflection, and care for the tragic loss of lives in Newtown, CT, and a moment of support and strength for one another.

The Durst Lecture Series is made possible through the generosity of the Shirley and Royal Durst Distinguished Chair in Literature Endowment. The lecture is co-sponsored by the Purchase Writers Center. In December 2012, the School of Humanities and the Purchase Writers Center co-sponsored a reading by Robert J. Seidman, a novelist and Emmy Award–winning screenwriter who has taught at Purchase among other institutions. Seidman read from his new novel, Moments Captured, a “technological romance” based loosely on the work and life of the pioneering 19th-century photographer Eadweard Muybridge.

Athletics at Purchase have never been stronger. For the third time in four years, the Purchase men’s basketball team reached the NCAA Tournament, punching its ticket to “March Madness” with another Skyline Conference title—this time in a home victory over rival Farmingdale State and All-American NBA prospect AJ Matthews. Purchase went on to face nationally ranked WPI in the NCAAs. Not to be outdone, women’s basketball also reached the Skyline final. However, FSC upset the Panthers in the closing seconds. Purchase would later take part in the ECACs—a regional postseason tournament, with many of the best teams from the metro area. OTHER HIGHLIGHTS:

Both the Purchase men’s and women’s swim teams, under head coach Peter Nestel, earned second-place finishes at championships on Feb. 1, 2013.

Happy 10th birthday to THE STOOD! Purchase students celebrated the anniversary of their space (formally, the Student Center) in September.

Focus on French cinema FesTival 2013 The best of contemporary French language films were showcased at the “Focus on French Cinema 2013” festival at the Performing Arts Center in March. Presented in partnership with the School of Film and Media Studies by the Alliance Française of Greenwich, the ninth annual festival featured a gala premiere screening of Thérèse Desqueyroux on opening night. The latest work from the renowned director Claude Miller, Thérèse Desqueyroux stars the French favorite Audrey Tautou (who also appeared in Amélie and The Da Vinci Code). The two-day festival, following opening-night festivities, featured continuous screenings of a dozen other critically acclaimed feature films and shorts—all in French with English subtitles. Students from the School of Film and Media Studies were able to interact with actors and directors at various events, such as a “Meet the Directors and Actors Roundtable” and master classes/workshops with a highly regarded guest filmmaker. Purchase professor Anne Kern, coordinator of the Cinema Studies program at Purchase, comments, “Many students have said the festival is a ‘French film camp’—a chance to be immersed in contemporary French culture, language, and visual images. The students gain privileged access to talented artists who provide insight and inspiration, as they also develop their own skills and creative vision.”

purchase jazz orchesTra hiTs legendarY Eleven Panthers received All-Skyline honors.

Purchase College is slated for a new baseball/turf field complex, complete with press box, stadium seating, and a multipurpose turf field. The complex will host baseball and be available for everything from softball to lacrosse. Groundbreaking is scheduled for this spring and the complex should be completed by

go panThers

sTood anniversarY

The Purchase College women’s soccer team delivered more than 80 pounds of canned goods and nonperishables to the Food Bank for Westchester in Elmsford, NY, just in time for the holidays. The women’s lacrosse and men’s volleyball teams helped with the collection.

fall 2013.

Purchase College men’s tennis advanced to the conference championship in spring 2012, led by SUNY Chancellor’s Scholar-Athlete and All-Skyline First Team selection Brenden Keeling.

Purchase athletics added women’s lacrosse in 2012, with the team set to debut in the spring of 2013. The overall athletic program at Purchase now stands at 16 intercollegiate varsity teams.

Purchase College women’s soccer participated in the inaugural ECAC Soccer Classic on Cape Cod in September.

Purchase head golf coach Jim Alfredo was named Skyline Conference Coach of the Year. The men’s golf team at Purchase also won the conference sportsmanship award. First-year Purchase College men’s and women’s cross-country coach Declan Foley also garnered Skyline Conference Coach of the Year honors.

Purchase College women’s tennis enjoyed a competitive fall campaign in 2012. The program returned to the postseason, reaching the league semifinals. Standouts Melissa Siller and Moriah Ormsby, who guided the squad, were later named to the All-Skyline Team for their efforts.

nYc venues In April, the Purchase Jazz Orchestra (PJO) continued its tradition of performing at two renowned jazz venues in New York City, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Lincoln Center and the Blue Note. The PJO is a 17-piece big band composed of exceedingly talented students from the Conservatory of Music’s jazz studies program, performing jazz from every era. Playing these venues affords the students invaluable experience, according to professor of music Todd Coolman, the Grammy Awardwinning jazz bassist who currently co-conducts the group with Purchase professor and jazz trumpeter Jon Faddis. The gigs also provide instruction not easily replicated in the classroom. “They perform for a real audience of bona fide jazz fans who are there by choice rather than coincidence. That audience is demanding and they expect excellence to be on display at venues of this reputation,” Coolman says. p U R C h A S e | 17

BREAKING NEWS: PURCHASE TRAINS JOURNALISTS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY By Kristi McKee he six full-time professors who make up the journalism faculty at Purchase assemble around a conference table in their temporary digs in the basement of the library. they sip coffee, answer questions, and discuss the “J program,” its students, and the future of journalism. the camaraderie and conversation make the library gathering feel the way a newsroom might—not surprising, since all six have significant experience in the business.

In 1998, the journalism department was launched as a fledgling concentration with a mere 20 students enrolled. As the death knell for the newspaper industry rose from a ting-a-ling to a clang, clang—it’s shrunk 43% since 2000 due to steady declines in ad revenue and circulation—online-only news sites started popping up across the Web, signaling the genesis of a paradigm shift still under way today. The same period saw exponential growth in the journalism program; it’s now the third-largest department in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, boasting more than 150 majors in 2012–13. According to the faculty members, that’s good news for the news: all were enthusiastic and optimistic about journalism’s future. While the traditional business models of news production, distribution, and consumption may be undergoing seismic shifts, the need for sharp, inquisitive, and well-trained journalists will not wane anytime soon. The proof? Purchase is on a roll, churning out graduates year after year who are finding their way—with great success—in this ever-changing media landscape.

appeTiTes For media For Amber Van Natten ’09, the path to journalism originated during internships at the Times Union in Albany and WNYT-NBC while still in high school. “I loved the idea that journalism could highlight stories of people who might otherwise be overlooked, and the idea of storytelling in general,” she explains. She’s now a digital conp U R C h A S e | 18

tent producer for the Paley Center for Media and a freelance writer for Contently. com covering technology and media. She’s also working on a digital media startup—about which she can mention nothing but the name, Villagr.

amber Van Natten’09

Virginia Breen, associate professor of journalism, concurs. “I think students have an incredible interest in media, and despite the contraction, there’s still this fascination with storytelling, and with the whole idea of journalism—it’s alluring to them.” Explains Ross Daly, associate professor of journalism and the journalism board of study coordinator, “All of us have old friends working at newspapers who think the business is really in trouble. And if you’re a print newspaper, the business may be in trouble, but for our students, they consume such profound amounts of media, and they’re able to think, ‘Someone needs to be producing this.’”

we builT iT and TheY came Journalism at Purchase College began under the aegis of Lisa Keller, professor of history, who served as its director for ten years before stepping down to pursue academic research opportunities. After

Photo: Kristi McKee


exhaustive investigation of both undergraduate and graduate programs nationwide, she developed the curriculum, deciding in the process “to do certain things that weren’t being done in 1998.” The program was ahead of the curve in its teaching methodology, faculty-hiring policy, and embrace of new technology. Courses such as Web Journalism and Electronic News Media were offered as early as 2001, when the program was first approved as a major. Courses would be taught in a hands-on style. “You wouldn’t just learn in a classroom, but you would learn by doing,” Keller explains. Internships, although not required, were strongly encouraged and remain so today. But it was Keller’s faculty-hiring policy that would be most prescient. “All of the faculty had to be working journalists; that was one of the main criteria,” Keller says. The structure of the journalism major indeed turned out to be ahead of its time. In August 2012, the Knight Foundation, a major

Journalism faculty members (back row, L to R): Andrew Salomon, Virginia Breen, Ross Daly; (front row, L to R): Mary Alice Williams, Tara George, and Donna Cornachio.

funder of journalism education, released an open letter to college and university presidents calling for the reform of journalism programs. “Simply put, universities must become forceful partners in revitalizing an industry at the very core of democracy,” the letter states. Citing the “teaching hospital” model as the ideal, it encourages giving more weight to professional experience over terminal degrees when hiring faculty and embracing technological innovation as it calls for schools to “update their curriculum and upgrade their faculties to reflect the profoundly different digital age of communication.” Fortunately, journalism at Purchase was already there. p U R C h A S e | 19

journalisTs FirsT: eaT The sandwich The journalism faculty members walk into every classroom with decades of collective experience. They share stories about and structure classes to resemble the “real world.” Not only do they better prepare students for life after Purchase; their credibility quells the doubts of even the most skeptical Purchase students.

“Eat the sandwich,” was the sage advice Corso received in class one day. “Professor Daly once told us a story about a reporter who wrote a news story about a popular deli sandwich he had never actually sampled. ‘Eat the sandwich,’ the reporter’s editor later told him with much anger. Such simple advice, but it goes a long way in proving the importance of knowing your story.”

Photo: Roman Dean

Phil Corso ’11 was 11 years old when the towers fell on 9/11. Surrounded by talk of terrorism and war in his early teens, he believes it was only natural for him to follow the news. “I paired that interest with my other lifelong interest in writing and came to the decision that if I wanted to write for a living, I wanted it to be informative and helpful,” he recalls. Sarah J. Halliday ‘10 Students from Tara George’s Journalism I class visited the dateline nBC Studio and met Chris Hansen, anchor of to Catch a predator.

As CNN’s vice president, she was one of the highest-ranking female executives in American television; she later moved to NBC, where she co-anchored the network’s Sunday Today program and anchored NBC News Special Reports and extended coverage of Desert Storm. In 1990, she was part of a team that won an Emmy Award for outstanding news coverage, earning her the distinction of being the first female anchor ever to have received an Emmy.

reality.” Breen was formerly a staff writer for the Daily News and a reporter for Gannett Newspapers. While an intern at New York Newsday she was part of a team of writers awarded a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the 1991 Union Square subway derailment. She’s been teaching at Purchase since 2000.

eXperienTial learning, on and oFF campus Kyle McKenzie ’13 loves morning television shows—in particular, NBC’s Today Show and MSNBC’s Morning Joe. His dream job is to anchor or host just such a show on a major network. In pursuit of that dream, he has interned at a local ABC affiliate in Albany, NY, and at both MSNBC and NBC News networks. The latter hired him to serve as a runner during the Democratic National Convention and then later at the presidential inauguration this past January.

According to Andrew Salomon, assistant professor of journalism, “That’s what makes them journalists, right? They’re skeptical. And that’s good. They should be a little bit distrustful of us. They’re not necessarily going to swallow everything whole just because we say it. They do have to go out and, in a sense, do the reporting and have it verified by another source. So in that sense, it’s almost meta-journalism.”

With unbridled enthusiasm, he describes his internship experience at MSNBC’s NewsNation with Tamron Hall as “a master class in television. It was awesome to be working in the studio, in the control room, to see how scripts are written, to see what happens when a guest is supposed to be on in thirty seconds and the guest is not around.”

Phil Corso ‘11

Professor Daly himself spent more than ten years as an editor at the daily newspaper Newsday, during which time the paper’s staff won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the crash of TWA flight 800 in 1997. He’s been teaching at Purchase since 2007.

The beaT Professor Salomon came to Purchase in 2009 from Backstage magazine, where he was the national news editor and remains a contributing writer today. He previously held editing roles at Newsday and the Washington Post, and was a freelance book critic at Politico and a contributor to the Hollywood Reporter.

Professor Breen stresses the importance of internships, not only for career preparation but to reinforce what students learn in the classroom. “A lot of times, we say these things and suddenly they’re out in the real world, and we hear ‘What you said about deadlines, it’s true!’ It’s almost like they become more trusting of what they’re getting in class. They see we’re on their side and we’re not being mean, we’re just trying to give them a dose of

“The journalism professors at Purchase have solid experience and real stories to tell. They aren’t teachers before they are journalists. That’s what matters,” adds Corso, who is now a reporter for the Times Ledger newspapers in Queens. The journalism faculty predicts that Corso will write for the New York Times some day; it’s only a matter of time.

He teaches the course The Beat of Music Journalism. As he graded the profiles and Q&A responses turned in by the 23 “rock star” students in his class last year, he felt compelled to share them with a (L to R): Purchase College President Thomas J. Schwarz with Ross Daly and Andrew Salomon at the launch party for the Beat.

pURChASe | 20

Kyle McKenzie ‘13

Photo: Roman Dean

Professor Williams came to Purchase in 2008 with an impressive resume in hand. She earned national attention as one of the founding anchors and designers of CNN, the first worldwide TV network.

Anthony Quintano / NBC News

Like Corso, Sarah J. Halliday ’10 always wanted to be a writer, but surmised she couldn’t make a living writing poetry. A journalism course she took in high school led to her fascination with Edward R. Murrow and the “gonzo” journalism of Hunter S. Thompson. Now an associate producer at Current TV, she’s worked on three shows: Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer, and Viewpoint hosted by comedian John Fuselgang. It was the professional caliber of the faculty that drew Halliday to Purchase, who attributes her success to Mary Alice Williams, assistant professor of journalism. “From writing scripts on a two-minute deadline to editing video with a team of three, she taught me the skills that got me hired,” Halliday says respectfully.

Students enjoy a launch party for the Beat magazine, a student-produced publication devoted to long-form journalism.

Christie Rotondo ‘12 reporting an alpaca story in the summer of 2011 as an intern for the Gazette Newspapers of Cape May County, NJ.

larger audience. The Beat, a print-based magazine devoted to longform journalism, and its accompanying website became reality in the fall of 2012. The release of the second issue was timed to coincide with last April’s Culture Shock. Salomon admits it might seem “counterintuitive” to create a print publication these days, but claims “I don’t care” in the first issue’s letter from the publisher. The students working on The Beat learn about time and space management. “Those lessons are much more malleable online because time and space are flexible there. But in print, they’re a lot more rigid,” explains Salomon. He hopes the students also learn about telling stories visually, fiscal and story budgeting, and production. Christie Rotondo ’12, features editor for the first issue of The Beat, explains what surprised her most about working on that issue. “We had 10 students and about 30 potential articles and we made a real, substantial magazine. It was professional, well written, and well reported.” Rotondo grew up writing poems and short stories in a composition book she kept with her at all times; she too always wanted to be a writer. While still in high school, however, she realized “that the truth was usually so much more interesting than fiction, so I wanted to work at a newspaper.” She’s now a staff writer for the Wildwood Leader, covering local government, politics, events, and people in the Wildwood, NJ, area. p U R C h A S e | 21

The bricK Another place for students to get published on campus is the Brick. The online news site,, known as The Brick Brick’s ’s founder, Van Natten, was dissatisfied with the options on campus for student writers. “So I just pulled together the most talented people I knew and built it from scratch,” she says. “We met in people’s living rooms—our supplies were stored in my car.” Donna Cornachio, assistant professor of journalism, has been the faculty advisor for The Brick for three years. She’s also been a freelance reporter and writer for more than 20 years, with feature articles in print and broadcast, including the New York Times, Times Newsweek, the Washington Post,, and NPR. For students, contributing to The Brick not only allows them to accumulate “clips” for their portfolios; “they are able to incorporate the nuts and bolts of what they’re learning in the classroom and put them into practice— making deadline, rewriting copy, posting stories, incorporating photos and video—while still having ownership of the finished product,” Professor Cornachio explains. According to Corso, who served as editor-in-chief of The Brick, “It really underscored the fact that very little can be done on your own, at least in this business. You need a team and everyone needs to be on the same page, or at least in the same chapter.”

Transcending boundaries The traditional lines that typically exist in journalism curricula— print, broadcast, magazine, photojournalism, and the like—are blurring as the media landscape buckles and morphs, but many colleges have been criticized for resisting change. At Purchase, however, those lines never really existed. Students here are trained for the digital age; they learn the fundamentals applicable to all media, as well as the tools necessary to cross platforms deftly. Emphasizing the importance of the basics, Professor Williams believes the most “journalistically rigid” online news sources always have the most credibility. “So the truth actually always rises to the top. And that’s who we’re training,” she says. Halliday hopes that’s exactly what she’ll contribute. “I want to bring back to the media a sense of unbiased reporting, a sense of truth. I believe the journalism industry can reignite a new era of factfinding and reporting that has in recent years been trampled by concerns over ratings and profit.” Eve Frohm ’13 remembers how, in her Multimedia Tools course, Tara George, an associate professor of journalism, conjured an image of “multimedia Barbie” to illustrate the breadth of skills required for contemporary journalism. “Professor George was showing us that you have to be a jack of all trades. You have to be able to write, to do video, audio, editing. You have to be able to do it all.” Professor George should know; she worked for many years for the New York Daily News as a generalassignment reporter before becoming a beat writer covering the courts. She has written for the Poynter Institute’s website and contributed articles, blog posts, and video stories to the New York Times; she also writes for Millburn Short Hills Magazine. The first full-time journalism professor hired at Purchase ten years ago, she maintains journeve Frohm ‘13, a blog that chronicles the news and activities of the journalism department. According to Louise Yelin, professor of literature and chair of the School of Humanities, “The journalism program has done an exemplary job of bringing its curriculum into line with new developments in the field, notably the fact that journalism is always now pURChASe | 22

‘multiplatform’ and involves video, audio, and photography as well as words on a page. The entire board of study is cognizant of the need to prepare students for journalism in the 21st century—and that means multimedia, not just print.”

purchase sTudenTs suiTed For journalism The faculty agrees that Purchase students share characteristics that suit them for success in the journalism field: self-motivation, creativity, and engagement with the world around them. Professor Williams adds, “If there’s one thing that connects the most successful journalism students, it’s curiosity. It’s something we can’t teach. You have to have an innate curiosity about what’s going on in the world to be able to look at the construction fence and imagine what’s on the other side.” Jordan Griffith ’13 coupled his love of sports with his gift for writing and found his way into sports reporting. He came to Purchase with an associate degree and a job at MSG Varsity. His current beat is girls’ high school basketball in Westchester County and the Hudson Valley, but he covers all high school sports on his weekly radio show on WFAS 1230AM. He’s discovering the reward that Jordan griffith ‘13 comes from following his natural curiosity during interviews. “If you hear something that doesn’t sound right, or if you hear something that sounds interesting, continue to ask questions about it, because that’s often what leads to the best story you may ever write. When I started my job, I would do a game story and then go home. But once I started here, I really got a sense of that questioning and it’s led to some really great stories,” he explains.

good nighT and good lucK Professor Daly provides context for what’s occurring in journalism today. “We’re having an economic transformation. If you look through the history of journalism, there are a lot of economic transformations. The penny press comes along because someone invents the steam engine and hooks it up to a printing press. So a paper goes from costing 6 cents or 10 cents to costing a penny, and it’s a huge economic dislocation, but eventually people figure out how to make it work again. That’s what we’re going through now, and I actually think we’re coming out of it; I think we’re at the tail end of that process.” Professor Williams acknowledges the shift in the business model and stresses the import of having well-trained journalists. “It’s just that now it’s all migrating to stuff on a screen, but that’s the only difference. And I think that it’s more important than ever because any hack with a cell phone can present him or herself as a journalist—we should have these battalions of agile, ethical digital journalists who actually know how to do it right.” Professor Salomon says he felt compelled to make the professional shift to teaching: “I saw the way in which journalism was going and, in certain respects, I thought it was getting dumber. I thought that the standards were eroding and I really wanted to have a say in training the next generation of journalists. I wanted to make sure that the fundamentals—the old-school stuff—were still being taught. “I can’t speak for everybody here, but I know for me, and I know for a lot of journalists, journalism really is a calling. And I care very much about it. It’s the closest thing that I have to a holy church and it really, really matters, and I really wanted to help be a steward for that for the next generation.” Amen.

Dear Alumni and Friends: The stories in this issue prove that Purchase continues to be a creative, vibrant, and unique campus community. The first highlights fellow alumni who are using new media and clever tactics to build awareness of their music and expand their audience. Another features the growth of our dynamic journalism program, while the third shares some success stories that have emerged from our Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts program. All three confirm what we already know: Purchase is unique. I’m honored to be both an alumnus and former employee of Purchase. Following my graduation in 1996, I served in multiple positions in the Division of Student Affairs until 2006, including one year as interim dean of students under President Tom Schwarz. The lessons I learned at Purchase during my twelve and a half years as both a student and administrator helped lead to where I am today. This past February, I was appointed as the new vice president for student affairs and dean of students at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. It’s an honor I could never have achieved without the lessons learned during my time at Purchase—lessons from my colleagues, but also from my fellow alumni as both my classmates and the students that I served. Take some time this year to visit the campus or attend one of the Alumni Association’s events, but be sure to join us on Facebook, Twitter (@purchasealumni ), or LinkedIn. There are so many ways to get reconnected and network with your fellow alumni. Help us grow our online communities and share in the Purchase experiences we have in common. Many of our endeavors, including the important initiatives of student scholarships and faculty development, are funded by the generous support of alumni like you through the Purchase Fund. If you have already given a gift to this year’s Purchase Fund, I thank you for your contribution. If you have never given, I encourage you to join me as a donor to the Purchase Fund. Every little bit counts. To find out more, visit http://www. and click on “The Purchase Fund.” You can even give online. As alumni and friends of Purchase, you have a place on the team as we join with the administration, faculty, staff, and current students of Purchase to continue to build a better college. Help lead the charge as a donor, or become a part of our team through scholarship support, volunteerism, and active participation in campus and alumni life. Please stay in touch by sending professional and personal news for “Alumni in Action,” as well as updated addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses, to


in Action


Hugh P. McDonald, PhD (philosophy), is a professor of philosophy at New York City College of Technology, CUNY. His newest book, Speculative Evaluations: Essays on a Pluralistic Universe, was recently published (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2012). He was also the guest editor of Contemporary Pragmatism’s special issue on the environment (June 2012). Heather Tunis (social science) is a senior consultant at the Southern California Center for Nonprofit Management (CNM). She landed in southern California (after 14 years in the Bay Area) to join her husband, who had accepted an endowed curatorial position at the Huntington Library in San Marino.


Nina Rubin (urban studies) lives in Atlanta and is a director of communications for the Georgia Charter Schools Association. She helped steer the successful passage of a constitutional amendment in Georgia that will establish a rigorous alternate authorizer for public charter-school petitioners who are unfairly denied by their local school boards. Follow Rubin on Twitter: @ninarubinatl.


Budd Berro (economics) completed his service as the Piedmont regional director for Governor Beverly Perdue of North Carolina (based in Charlotte) at the end of the governor’s term, and continued in that role for the new governor, Pat McCrory. Berro and his wife, Leslie, still live in the town Budd Berro of Davidson, just outside Charlotte.

Frank (Patrick) Daly

Frank (Patrick) Daly (film) says he has had fun watching his 20-year-old daughter Julia grow up and go off to Boston University. Ten years ago, he started racing open-wheel cars in the Skip Barber race series; five years ago he began working as an instructor. He has won races at Lime Rock Park, Watkins Glen, Sebring, and Laguna Seca, and has been on the podium at Road America, VIR, Mont Tremblant, and Mid-Ohio.

Larry Isaacs, MD (biology), was recently appointed assistant director of trauma surgery at Orange Regional Medical Center in Middletown, NY. After living out of state for 24 years, he says, he is looking forward to coming home. Ron Jacobson (acting), a/k/a “Jake,” “Michael Savage,” and “Sirtony,” wrote Tap Dancing All the Way to Omaha Beach (available from Amazon) about his father, a famous Hollywood tap dancer and World War II hero. Jacobson’s two feature films, Talking to Strangers and Execution.Kill, are shown in film festivals worldwide. He has created a new multicast genre via SirTony Films, Where the Actors Are the Special Effects. To see the development of his new film Forgotten Heroes, visit or Jonathan Lipton (music) is a horn player who has been a member of the London Symphony Orchestra since 1986. He is also a horn professor at the Guildhall School of Music.

Do you have any suggestions for how we may better connect with alumni? Let us know. I look forward to hearing from you and am honored to serve as your president.

Susan Rollins (anthropology) runs “Your Inn on the Arts,” a referral service to bed-and-breakfast rooms and short-stay furnished Manhattan rentals for visiting performers and the general public. She also worked with Dancing Classrooms, an awardwinning not-for-profit organization that teaches social skills and self-esteem through ballroom Susan Rollins dancing to New York City students. Rollins can be reached at, or at for nonbusiness matters.

Jeffrey S. Putman, EdD ’96 President, Purchase College Alumni Association, Inc.

Jean Thorsen (psychology) says she is forever grateful for her days at Purchase. Thorsen retired in 1997 and currently lives New London, CT.

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

1977 Andy Hugos (urban studies) is helping endow the Ernest L. Boyer Center at Messiah College in Grantham, PA, and served on the advisory board that helped establish the center in 1998. (Dr. Boyer was chancellor of the State University of New York from 1970 to 1977 and was the U.S. commissioner of education in 1977.) As a reservist, Hugos was assigned to the U.S. Fifth Army PURCHASE | 23


in Action

Defense Coordinating Unit, a Department of Defense liaison to civil authorities. He was the noncommissioned officer in charge of the main command element deployed to assist with response efforts for Hurricanes Sandy and Irene. Jeanne S. (McQuilken) McKnight (urban studies) has become an equity owner of the Boston law firm where she has worked for more than 20 years. Kopelman and Paige, P.C., concentrates on municipal law and represents over a third of the cities and towns in Massachusetts. McKnight lives in Massachusetts with her husband, Steve McKnight, a professor of engineering at Northeastern University, and has three children, three stepchildren, and 15 grandchildren. She says she is grateful to Purchase for the education she received as a young mother, and for the Purchase day care center. Ira Sakolsky (acting), musician, composer, actor, producer, and recording engineer, has been the owner and operator of the Riverway Studio for the past 10 years. His music credits include: composition/arrangement of the 2003 Grammy-nominated CD The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t, featuring John Lithgow; the 2004 Parents’ Choice Award–winning CD The Troubadour’s Tales; and musical contributions to the Obie-nominated off-Broadway play Hannah Senesh. Sakolsky has created industrial scores for Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Holiday Inn, and Arby’s.


Ira Sakolsky

Jon Cykman (political science) has retired from federal service after a career of more than 31 years, the last nine of which he spent as director of IT policy and planning for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the Department of Homeland Security. He is now working for a small consulting firm in Arlington, VA, and lives with his family in Ellicott City, MD. Geoff Loftus (literature) had two books published by Saugatuck Books in 2012. The first, Engaged to Kill, starts: “If my best friend hadn’t killed his mistress, I wouldn’t have had a chance with his fiancée. Funny how things turn out.” The second is Double Blind. Both are available on Mark Patnode (visual arts) is a member of the State of Connecticut Arts Council. Benjamin Verdery (music) has enjoyed an eclectic musical career as a performer, composer, and teacher. He is the artistic director of the 92nd Street Y’s “Art of the Guitar” series, and has been chair of the guitar department at the Yale University School of Music since 1985. He’s marking his 14th Hawaii Guitar Class on the island of Maui. Verdery has released 15 albums and has recorded or appeared with Andy Summers, John Williams, Paco Peña, and Jessye Norman. Visit

Mark Patnode



Audrey Cozzarin (visual arts) (president emerita of the Purchase College Alumni Association) is a graphic design and communications consultant at Malta House, Inc., a residence for homeless women and their small children in Norwalk, CT. Cozzarin continues to head her graphic design firm, Salderelli Design, LLC (founded by her late husband, Joe Salderelli ’79). She is also the owner/administrator of and teaches yoga in Greenwich, CT. She reports that she lives happily with her husband, Serafino Carri, and their bright and friendly cat, Margarita, in Norwalk.

Sandra Grace Dawson, MA (psychology), is a love and wellness coach and a trauma healing and relationship expert. She is also a certified couples communication trainer and a certified Somatic Experiencing Trauma practitioner. Leigh Dillon (acting) returned to Purchase to teach in the BFA program in theatre and acting from 2002 to 2012. Dillon was the on-set dialect coach for Julia Ormond in the Fox 21 pilot The Witches of East End. She continues to coach Archie Panjabi in The Good Wife (CBS), now in its fourth season, for which Ms. Panjabi was recently nominated for an Emmy and a Golden Globe, having won an Emmy in 2010. Dillon was Julianne Moore’s voice and dialect coach for the film Game Change. Ms. Moore won the Emmy and Golden Globe Awards and thanked Dillon in both acceptance speeches. Monica Levy (dance) is working with Blake Harvey and the New York–based corporate communications firm Lawrence Blake Group Int’l. Levy currently operates a unique organization that works with children, providing innovative movement programs designed to keep them fit and healthy. Rick Smith (economics), owner of JDR Window Treatments in Scarsdale, NY,  recently designed, manufactured, and installed specialty exterior lightcontrol systems for WABC Eyewitness News, Univision, NBC News in Washington, DC, and FUSE Network. Past projects include motorized vertical blinds, which created the entire set for Wings, directed by John Doyle (Second Stage Theater, New York); motorized blinds as part of the set for The Wedding Singer (Broadway production); and exterior light-control systems for ABC, Fox, CBS, and NBC.


regional LGBT college conferences: the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference and the Northeast LGBT Conference. More about Ochs’ adventures is available at


Paris-based Pedro de Alcantara (music) is having a busy writing year. Indirect Procedures: A Musician’s Guide to the Pedro de Alcantara Alexander Technique, which Oxford University Press (OUP) is publishing this spring, is a complete rewrite of his book of the same title, first published in 1997. The Alexander Technique: A Skill for Life is being translated into Estonian and will be published later in the year. And his essay “The Alexander Technique for Singers” is included in the anthology The Singer’s Guide to Complete Health, edited by Anthony F. Jahn, MD, and published by OUP in April.

Ann Casapini (acting) is a certified Anusara® Yoga teacher and has been teaching yoga since 1995. She currently teaches group and private classes in lower Westchester, Ann Casapini but has also taught in yoga studios in Manhattan, East Hampton, and New Jersey. In addition, Casapini sings with the Kirtan group Tejase. She is married to John Gredler and is the proud mother of their 15-year-old, Liam. Regina DeLuise (visual arts) is represented by Bonni Benrubi Gallery. A Guggenheim Fellow, she has work displayed in a number of collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of ReginaDeLuise Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. DeLuise is the chair of photography at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. Carole McDonnell (literature) will release The Constant Tower, her second fantasy novel, this summer, published by Wildside Press. Her “steamfunk novella,” A Cry for Hire, was published in the anthology Fantastic Stories of the Imagination last year. McDonnell’s short story “Oh, Western Wind” appears in the anthology Steamfunk! published by MV Media. The anthology was released in February at Anachron-Con.

Susan Kouguell (culture & society) is a screenwriting and film lecturer at Tufts University, and presents seminars worldwide; most recently she taught at the summer 2012 program at the Prague Film School in the Czech Republic. Her motion picture consulting company, Su-City Pictures East, LLC Sheilah Rechtschaffer (visual arts) entered Purchase when art classes were held in an old white wooden (, is now celebrating its 23rd house on campus. She was one of just a few anniversary. Kouguell is the author of The Savvy Screenwriter! and Savvy Characters Sell Screenplays. “returning” older students, and graduated among She says her proudest “production” is her daughter, artists much younger than she. Rechtschaffer later taught fresco painting at Parsons School of Design, a junior in high school. and continues to paint and create site-specific Robyn Ochs (language & culture) writes: “Purchase, sculpture installations. In 2011, a solo exhibition of I just can’t seem to quit you.” Ochs speaks about her work, Green in Vietnam, was held in Peekskill, sexual orientation and identity at colleges and uniand she had a dual show with Insun Kim in Beacon, versities across the United States and beyond, and NY. See on October 22, she returned to Purchase to speak Robert B. Schwarz (urban studies) completed develat the invitation of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, opment of an assisted-living, affordable rental Transgender, Queer Union. She also reports with property for seniors in 2012. He’s also back on his excitement that this year she will be keynoting two

bike, and completed six century rides last summer. When he’s not riding, he’s a consultant to institutional real estate investors and an adjunct lecturer at the University of Wisconsin School of Business. Susan Stein (culture and society) adapted the diaries and letters of Etty into a play that she is bringing to audiences around the world, one theatre, one classroom, one prison at a time. Etty has been performed in New York, Seattle, Chicago, the Netherlands, Belgium, Scotland, Susan Stein and London. Stein began bringing the play to prisons last September and the inmates opened their hearts to Etty’s words. The show was nominated by Amnesty International for its Freedom of Expression Award. See


Brenda Daniels (dance) is the associate dean of the School of Dance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNSCA). She also holds the Betsy Friday Distinguished Professorship for Contemporary Dance at UNCSA, and is on the faculty of the American Dance Festival.

Brenda Daniels

Mark Gabriele (biology) has published the first four picture books in his children’s series: J.D.’s Scratch Match; Melissa & Alfonso’s First Farewell; Sofia’s Backwards Day; and Elena’s Big Cheese Squeeze. While the stories are fiction, each of themain characters is a real child whom he knows. Originally created as personal gifts for the children, they are now being published, each with a dedication page written by the child himself or herself. For information, see DiAnn Iamarino Ohama (literature) and her husband Paul have moved into the house they have been building for years in Hopewell Junction, Dutchess County. After 33 years in other states, Ohama says, it feels fantastic to be back in New York. Anne Seeley (environmental science) is section chief of health assessment and policy coordination at the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. After Purchase, Seeley earned a master’s degree in public health (environmental health sciences) from Columbia University. At the departAnne Seeley ment since 1983, she has worked in many different areas. Since 2003, she’s also been an active volunteer on global water issues with Water for People. She lives in New York City.


Nora (Raleigh) Baskin (literature) is publishing her ninth and tenth novels for young adults in 2013: Surfacing (Candlewick Press) and Runt (Simon & Schuster). Raleigh didn’t learn how to swim— which provides the backstory

for Surfacing—until she took Bob Conklin’s course at Purchase, and she calls it the most important class she took here. She is looking for someone from SUNY to help her adapt her latest young-adult novel, Subway Love (Candlewick, 2014), into a film. or

Purchase and New York University. She is currently writing and illustrating a children’s book and working on a screenplay.

LisaBeth Weber (visual arts) is a creative business strategist/artist/writer/musician. She wrote Laura Olson Osterman (philosophy) published a a song about linemen working book with coauthor Svetlana Adonyeva. Based on in storms available on youtube. nearly three decades of fieldwork, from 1983 to com/lisabethweber since 2010, The Worlds of Russian Village Women: Tradition, Hurricane Sandy. She also volLisaBeth Weber Transgression, Compromise (University of Wisconsin unteered with the recovery at Press, 2012) follows three generations of Russian the shore. Weber was recently women and shows how they claim their considerproduction supervisor on an indie film, The North able social power through rituals, everyday acts, Star Movie, starring Jeremiah Trotter and John Diehl. and discourses. Weber was a theatre manager at the Sundance Film Festival, and has her own font called “ITC weber hand.” Find Weber at


Vicki Addesso (Victoria Malits Addesso) (art history) is one of four authors who have written about their mothers in a new book, Still Here Thinking of You: A Second Chance with Our Mothers, published in March by Big Table Publishing. Addesso, Susan Hodara, Joan Potter, and Lori Toppel formed a weekly writing group in 2006, and to their surprise, these memories became their focus. The resulting book is an examination of the true nature of mother-daughter relationships as told through four unique narratives. Brian Drillinger (acting) is producing a film called Hello Herman, starring Norman Reedus (of The Walking Dead), which will be released in June 2013. The story follows a journalist who, when confronted by a violent young person, is forced to relive his own troubled past. The trailer is available on YouTube.

Brian Drillinger

Jeffrey M. Markowitz (design/tech) is overseeing production for Columbia Artists’ worldwide presentations of Lord of the Rings—Live to Projection (films exhibited with a score played live by an orchestra, a choir, and soloists), continuing as production stage manager for Clinton Global Initiative events worldwide, and serving as stage manager for broadcast events such as the Tony Awards, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, and the 12-12-12 Sandy Relief Concert. His favorite credit remains being the husband of Kety Huberman and the father of 12-year-old Kyla Jade. Albert C. Petite, Jr. (liberal arts), is approaching his two-year anniversary teaching Chinese high school students in Beijing, all of whom are planning to attend universities abroad, mostly in Albert C. the United States. He hopes to Petite, Jr. stay through next year, and possibly beyond, because he wants to “see what Xi Jinping has up his sleeve; history is in the making every day.” He visited Xi’an this past summer and has plans to visit Chengdu and, perhaps, Singapore.  Janice Lynn Sokota (visual arts) is a digital editor on The Evening News with Scott Pelley; she’s in her 25th year at CBS Television. She won Emmys in 1990 and 1991 for the NFL Today show and currently serves as a television industry mentor for students at


Risa Bell Hoag (political science) is celebrating her 22nd year of owning GMG Public Relations, Inc., and says this past year was her busiest ever providing public relations, mar- Risa Bell Hoag keting, and social-media support to a wide range of clients. When she’s not working she spends time competing at dressage shows with her new horse, Sully. Risa is proud to announce that her daughter Kelley now attends Purchase as a sophomore. Sondra Gold (visual arts) will be having a show from June 6 to 23, 2013, at the Upstream Gallery in Dobbs Ferry, NY. It will include the work she has done in the past two years.

Sondra Gold

Corinne Innis (anthropology) says her life revolves around creating art. She takes cues from the ease of communication and community that exist on Facebook and Twitter. Graffiti and silly cartoons on walls around New York City also fascinate her. Innis’ art has been shown at the African American Museum in Texas and has appeared in the International Review of African American Art. It can be seen at Anne Wennerstrand (dance) is a nationally recognized expert on eating disorders, body image problems, and women’s mental health and wellness. She holds master’s degrees in clinical social work and dance/movement therapy from Hunter College and has a private psychotherapy practice in Katonah, NY. Wennerstrand serves on the governing board of directors and the faculty of the Women’s Therapy Centre Institute in New York City. Her writing has appeared in clinical journals as well as in Dance Magazine and Dance Insider. She lives in South Salem, NY, and is the proud mother of Liam Elkins, a sixth grader at John Jay Middle School.


Tom Bruno (acting) has followed a varied career as a stage actor, college professor, theatre department chair, corporate spokesperson, performance coach, educator, and director. Based in Milwaukee since 1994, he recently began to help corporate clients PURCHASE | 25


in Action

eliminate stage fright and refine their publicspeaking skills using the same principles he learned at Purchase. His coaching services are available worldwide through Deirdre Haj (acting) is in her third year as executive director of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. The festival recently qualified for the Producers’ Guild Awards. Haj will return to the Sundance Film Festival this year to serve on the Film Festival Forum; she is a founding member. Over the winter, Full Frame opened a brand-new 100-seat theatre in downtown Durham, NC, with new offices and a gallery for Full Frame’s program with the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. Robert Moskal (literature) recently launched, a web application that aggregates and republishes community-generated content on social networks. It is intended to help organizations and small brands foster and celebrate community.   Ursula Roma (visual arts) has spent the past 26 years as a professional artist, graphic designer, and illustrator. She recently earned an MFA in illustration from the University of Hartford. Roma creates paintings, mixed-media wall art, and sculptures using found objects and salvaged materials for galleries and private clients. Her illustrations also include her assemblage constructions. Roma’s portfolio can be found at and


Matt Conover (design/tech) is entering his 24th year with the Walt Disney Company. He currently serves as vice president of creative entertainment at Walt Disney Imagineering in Glendale, CA, leading the global casting, music development, costuming, and art department teams, among others. Conover had the opportunity to be the executive producer of several major events, including the christening of the Disney Fantasy cruise ship in New York City, the opening of Cars Land at Disney California Adventure, and the grand opening of Disney’s Aulani in Hawaii. Regina Curro Gelfer (visual arts) has been working in the fields of graphic design and illustration since graduation. In addition to her design work through her business, GelferGraphics, she teaches after-school art classes. Gelfer currently has two children’s books on the market. The Kiss Box is a book she wrote and illustrated as a tribute to her mother, who passed away in August 2009. Jon Tell (literature) recently joined Cult Health NYC, a healthcare communications company, as a creative director/writer. During his award-winning, 20-year career, Tell has worked at such leading advertising agencies as Young & Rubicam, TBWA/ Chiat/Day, and MRM Worldwide. He lives in East Brunswick, NJ, with his wife and two children.

1989 Ursula Roma


Lynn Frischmann Bottone (chemistry) has been appointed site leader of the Pfizer vaccine manufacturing facility in Sanford, NC. Since graduating from Purchase in 1987, Bottone has spent her career at Pfizer (formerly Lederle/Wyeth) in Pearl River, NY, in many capacities, beginning as a quality-control chemist in 1987, and most recently serving as the head of quality operations for the Pearl River site. She relocated to North Carolina with her husband, Sal, three children, Gianna, Sal, and Genevieve, and two cats, Igor and Mortisha.

Patricia Fryer D’Ascoli (literature) recently received her MS in English from Southern Connecticut State University, where she was the recipient of a graduate research fellowship and winner of the inaugural graduate commencement speechwriting contest. She teaches composition at Lincoln College of New England in Southington, CT, and publishes Connecticut Muse, a quarterly journal that celebrates the state’s literary life. Fabrice Kenwood (design/tech) won an Emmy in 2011–12 for Best Art Direction and Set Decoration and Scenic Design for a Daytime Drama for the CBS series The Bold and the Beautiful. His son, Austin Kenwood, is applying to the Conservatory of Music at Purchase for the fall of 2013. PURCHASE | 26

Maya Ciarrocchi (dance) recently received a NYC Film/Video grant from the Jerome Foundation to complete a video installation centered on mountaintop removal mining in West Virginia. She was granted a five-month Lower Manhattan Cultural Council residency on Governor’s Island and received a Jeff Award for projections design in the musical Crowns at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. 

Stephanie Maher (dance) relocated in 1998 to Berlin, where she continued to perform and teach in the community-based settings of K77 Studios. She founded the Ponderosa Tanz/Land Festival and P.O.R.C.H. (Ponderosa’s.ongoing.research.collaborative.happenings) in Stolzenhagen, Germany. P.O.R.C.H. is an artists-in-residence setting that offers space to “play and dream in”; Maher describes it as “a never-ending building site for artmaking and sustainable living.” Ellen (Plotnick) Maiara, CMP (design/tech), is head of Event Solutions Management, where she has coordinated a wide variety of projects, including conferences, incentive travel, speaker tours, trade shows, training programs, and film festivals. Maiara has been named a “Meeting Planner to Watch” by ConventionSouth MultiMedia Services. Jessica Tyler Bard (literature) is married to Callum Benepe and has a three-year-old daughter, Grace. Her business, Jessica Bard Culinary Services, celebrated its 10th anniversary in April. Bard styles food for cookbooks and writes recipes and articles for food magazines, but primarily she is a product-

development chef for a specialty food company. Still involved in photography, she is working on her black-and-white photo archives from the years 1980 to 1990, and plans a virtual show for the end of 2014 to celebrate her 25th year since graduating. She has installed an energy-producing windmill on her property.

1990 Jeanne Darst (literature) had her first book, Fiction Ruined My Family, published by Riverhead Books in 2011. A chapter from the book, ”Painters on Bicycles,” takes place at Purchase. Excerpts from the book, read by Darst, can be heard on the radio program This American Life with Ira Glass. She is a frequent contributor to that show, the New York Times Magazine, and Vogue magazine, and is currently adapting the book for HBO. She lives in Los Angeles with her son. For more information visit Reese Madigan (acting) is proud to be a part of the inaugural Associate Artist Initiative at the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. Madigan’s association with the Milwaukee Rep began in 1999 with a production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and since then he has appeared in 11 other plays with the company. He has worked both on and off Broadway, at many regional theatres, and on television and in film, notably in the martial arts cult classic American Shaolin. He lives in New York City with his cat, Aurora. James Mohan (visual arts) has been designing apparel for the past 12 years, most recently working for DaKine in California. Upon hearing that his childhood home in Belle Harbor, NY, was in the direct path of Hurricane Sandy, he boarded a flight to mitigate the damage; he James Mohan was able to save most of the furniture, despite two floors being flooded. Mohan is now safely home in Portland, OR, where he is a senior designer for Nike. Jennifer (Jen) Solomon (visual arts) is an executive chef in the San Francisco Bay area, and just recently began making art again “with abandon.” She is excited to have recently had, in San Rafael, CA, her first solo show in the 23 years since Purchase. Michael Strong (acting) has been married to Jody (Press) Strong ’91 (drama studies) for 20 years. They have a 12-year-old son named Zachary. Strong is the executive director of the Ritz Theatre in Tiffin, OH; see Thom Widmann (design/tech) just celebrated his seventh anniversary with Broadway’s Wicked, and his fifth as production supervisor of the show’s worldwide operations. Widmann has helped birth productions of “Broadway’s biggest blockbuster” in the U.S., the U.K., Japan, Germany, Australia, and Holland.  His return to Purchase as a lecturer in 2011–12 provided the opportunity to link his ongoing production work with the place where these skills were developed. He lives in Brooklyn in a 147-year-old row house with his wife and their two sons.

u 1991 Jodi Lewis (psychology) received her MSW from the Columbia University School of Social Work and is a licensed clinical social worker specializing in mental health and substance abuse. Currently, she is the program coordinator for a national case management program at Managed Health Network. Lewis has traveled extensively doing volunteer work in Haiti, Ecuador, and London. She is the author of the lifestyle blog CraftYourCraft. Debra Whitman (music) has led an active musical career as a private piano teacher and professional harpist. In 1999, she created the Classical Kids Music. Her new music-appreciation coloring book, Composer Celebration, accompanies the program and is available online and at several independent book and music stores throughout the Westchester area. She maintains a home/studio in Larchmont, NY, with her husband and 9-year-old daughter. For more information, see

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Luke Brussel, Esq. (visual arts), lives in Westchester with his wife Gail and two children, Harry and Gabby. The Brussels run Farm Share (myfarmshare. com), a home-delivery service for communitysupported agriculture, delivering family-farmraised organic vegetables, fruit, honey, and other goods throughout the reagion. Brussel is also the chief compliance officer and counsel for Cengage Learning, a global education publisher.

Jeff Croiter (design/tech) won the 2012 Tony Award for Best Lighting of a Play for Peter and the Starcatcher. His other Broadway productions include Newsies; The Performers; The Anarchist; The Pee-wee Herman Show; and Kiki and Herb. Other productions in New York City: Old Jews Telling Jokes; Love, Loss, and What I Wore; Soul Doctor; Harper Regan; Meet Vera Stark; A Lie of the Mind; Ordinary Days; Streamers; Family Guy Sings; Jerry Springer: The Opera; Rufus Wainwright’s Judy Concert at Carnegie Hall; The Internationalist; Jacques Brel; Almost, Maine; The Dazzle; and Jennifer Muller’s The Works. Mariah Anzaldo Hale (design/tech) designed costumes for new adaptations of Shakespeare’s Henry V (which opened January 28) and Twelfth Night (opening May 5), both directed by Robert Richmond, at the Folger Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC. She continues to teach in the fashion merchandising department at Brookdale Community College, NJ, and design for the musical theatre/acting department at Rider University, Westminster College of the Arts, NJ.

1994 1992 Jacques Jospitre, Jr., PhD (chemistry), started BrainMatriX, an educational software company that creates interactive test-prep applications. The company’s eReviewBook product line was just released for the Amazon Kindle eReader. The platform helps students quickly review thousands of questions for all of the major standardized exams. Cherie Mittenthal (MFA, visual arts) just celebrated her tenth anniversary as executive director of the Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill, an art school on Cape Cod. She coproduced the Seventh International Encaustic Conference in Provincetown with founder and director Joanne Mattera Mittenthal has shown work at the Kobalt Gallery in Provincetown and will be part of an invitational show of encaustic work at the Cape Cod Museum in June. Lisa Price (literature, drama studies) is a talent agent and the owner of The Price Group ( She represents talent for Broadway, tours, television, commercials, and film. Her clients have performed in such films and shows as Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Sister Act, Jersey Boys, The Book of Mormon, and Dreamgirls, and on television shows including Law and Order: SVU/CI, Nurse Jackie, Boardwalk Empire, Unforgettable, 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live, Hung, and HBO’s You Don’t Know Jack.

Amie Brockway-Metcalf (visual arts) and her husband, Evan Metcalf, packed up their home, three children, and comic books in 2011 as Evan relocated from the New York offices of DC Comics to DC Entertainment/Warner Bros. in Burbank, CA. Brockway-Metcalf runs a home-based design and production business catering mainly to comic book publishers. (See With New Year’s Day at the beach, Amie reports that her mom, Betsy Holderle Brockway ’92 (liberal studies), threatens to move into an RV in their driveway. Patrick Daniels (acting) and Sam Zuckerman (acting) have produced an independent film, Charlie Victor Romeo, that will premiere as part of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. See charlievictorromeo. com/ for more information on the film. Dannielle Tegeder (visual arts) is having her first solo museum show at the Wellin Museum at Hamilton College this May. The exhibition will profile her work from the past ten years, and includes some new pieces. Tegeder was recently granted tenure at CUNY, where she is an associate professor of drawing and painting. She lives in Brooklyn with fellow artist and husband Pablo Helguera and daughter Estela, and maintains a studio at the Elizabeth Foundation. Visit for information.


Derek Mele (visual arts) and Heather (O’Donnell) Mele ’99 (literature) met at Purchase on Heather’s first day of freshman year. She was sitting on the Henry Moore, and Derek rode by on his skateboard.

They reconnected in 2002 and married in 2004. Derek is a logistics manager for the Container Store in Manhattan; after a career as an executive in cosmetics and skincare, Heather is now a fulltime mother to Aila, 4, and Finn, 2. Heather and Derek live in Brooklyn. Aila is already showing a talent for painting and Finn shares a birthday with Heather’s favorite professor, Lee Schlesinger. Jennifer Wambach (visual arts) is branching out into the art-licensing field after years of freelance illustration and design. Her artwork has now been licensed by Silhouette America as downloadable digital designs and her fabric designs have won five Fabric of the Week contests on Spoonflower. She recently signed a contract to have her fabric produced by Timeless Treasures Fabrics (, and she has received two design awards: an Aster Award for Medical Marketing and an American Graphic Design Award. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and three children. Tracy Wanamaker Conte (literature) was recently appointed vice president for marketing and development at Lawrence Hospital Center, Bronxville, NY, where she oversees marketing, public relations, and fundraising. From 2001 to 2012 she was director of marketing and communications at KG&D Architects & Engineers, PC, of Mount Kisco—the design firm renovating and rehabilitating the physical education building and Campus Center South at Purchase. Conte lives in Briarcliff Manor with her husband Nico and two children, and visits the Neuberger frequently.

1996 Jodi Lomask (dance) founded Capacitor in 1997 and has since directed, in collaboration with scientists, seven full-evening works that have toured nationally and internationally. Most recently Okeanos, a “danceJodi Lomask cirque portrait of the ocean as body, environment, resource, metaphor and force,” has been used to promote ocean conservation. Lomask has created works for NASA, TED, SFO, and the Salvadorean Olympic gymnastics team. She speaks regularly at science, art, and technology conferences around the world. See more at or follow her on Facebook ( and Twitter (

1997 Brian Carter (MFA, music) is continuing his work as a music educator in the Westchester County and Bronx school systems. The Westchester Rocks Music Camp brings in local artists to mentor 10 to 20 students each summer. The New Rochelle Jazz Festival will return to the Library Green in downtown New Rochelle, NY, on July 13 and 14, 2013. The festival, which is in its fourth year, will be a part of the 325th anniversary celebration of the city of New Rochelle. Nam Holtz (dance) is in postproduction for her documentary film Found in Korea, which addresses adoption, Holtz’s first journey back to Korea, and her search for her birth family. More information on the film can be found online at PURCHASE | 27


in Action

Eric Newdom (music) is currently working as a spa director and massage therapist at the Still Point in Takoma Park, MD. He reports that he has a booming practice and is having a great time managing the spa, which was voted DC’s best spa in the City Paper for four years in a row.

Eric Newdom Roberto Pace (MFA, music) is having a five-concert tour of his Fantasie: Mélomanie for sextet. The work was commissioned by the baroque/contemporary ensemble Mélomanie, which will record it for its forthcoming Roberto Pace CD. Pace’s commission for a youth choir, Time Machine, will have its premiere at the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania as the centerpiece of its spring festival, and will be performed at the Settlement Music School of Philadelphia. Franklin A. Strachan, Jr. (theatre arts and film), has produced five feature films in the last 12 years through his company, Cypher Productions, LLC. His most recent production is Ghost Hunted: Death Is No Escape. In this independent horror film, a group of cocky paranormal investigators from a reality TV show spends the night locked in the basement of a haunted Brooklyn apartment building. The investigators quickly realize they are in trouble when their own personal demons show. The film was scored by Melvin Van Peebles.

1998 Michael Alexis Palmer (acting) recently debuted his comedy Platinum Wigs, cowritten with Theodore Ramon Campbell ’96 (drama studies), on BCAT/ MNN cable. Platinum Wigs, directed by Palmer for MermanAlexis Productions, is set in Coney Island and follows five senior black women as they battle ageism, isolation, and sexual identity. See Darlene Farris (MFA, visual arts), associate professor of art at East Stroudsburg University, has presented her art nationally and internationally. In 2012, Farris had a retrospective at the Wu Xing Gallery in Shanghai. She also exhibited Water Has No Boundaries at the WCC Fine Arts Gallery in Vahalla, NY, and at the Phillips Museum in Lancaster, PA. She presented her art at the Visualizing Science and the Environment symposium in Brighton, England. Farris has been invited to present her art this year in Bogota, Colombia, and Uppsala, Sweden. Katie Kresek (BFA, music; literature ’99) performed on the Late Show with David Letterman on CBS three PURCHASE | 28

times in 2012, with artists Lana Del Rey, MNDR, and Darlene Love. She toured Europe and Asia with Del Rey and performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Kresek played at Carnegie Hall with Jay-Z, at Le Poisson Rouge with Chilly Gonzales, on Jimmy Kimmel Live and American Idol, and with the postclassical string quartet Ethel in concerts at TED, the Noguchi Museum, and the Chautauqua Institute. She also played on the album The World from the Dark Side of the Moon by Phillip Phillips. Curtis Williams (acting) was inspired when his wife (actor Jama Williamson) was pregnant with their first daughter and they heard that playing music Curtis Williams was beneficial to a developing baby. Williams devised specialized “bellyphones” that are compatible with any music player and adhere to a pregnant belly. The devices, called Bellybuds (, have been selling successfully for three years and were just featured on an episode of Modern Family.

1999 Kerry Bosworth (mathematics) was recently promoted to the position of senior software engineer at IBM, and received an Eminence and Excellence Award for her leadership and execution during phase one of the Power 775 HighPerformance Computer project.

Kerry Bosworth

2000 Idaly P. Hidalgo (biology) graduated from the Educational Opportunity Program with a chemistry minor, and worked at a biotech company as a laboratory technician for four years. She received her medical degree in 2008 from Stony Brook School of Medicine and began her residency in emergency medicine at Jacobi Medical Center/Montefiore/ Albert Einstein. Hidalgo graduated in 2012 with a Physician of the Year Award and is now an attending physician at Jacobi Medical Center, a level-one trauma center, and North Central Bronx Hospital. Aldeth (Pullen) Lewin (literature) married fellow alum Daniel Lewin ’00 (history) and moved to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. She is a reporter with the Virgin Islands Daily News. She won the 2012 Associated Press Media Editors’ Public Service Award for her investigative reporting with a project called “License to Steal.” The project looked into an unregulated credit union operated by a con man with a criminal history who was stealing people’s money while the Virgin Islands government did nothing to stop it. Michael McCabe (liberal arts) graduated from the University of Miami last June, receiving his MBA in management. Two days after graduation, he flew to China with the School of Business Administration and visited Beijing, Xi’an, and Shanghai. He visited various companies such as Bao Steel, the world’s

largest steel factory, and cultural sites such as the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, and the Terracotta Warriors.


David Panarelli (visual arts) relocated to the Washington, DC, area to work on print design for the Ringling Brothers’ Circus before transitioning to interaction and user-experience design for Fortune 500 companies and startups such as He spent two years as an independent user-experience consultant before joining LivingSocial as a manager on the UX team, where he is now the lead interaction designer for When not working, he spends his time with his wife Katie and two daughters, Stella (5) and Rosalia (1), in Arlington, VA.

Jonathan Riedel (dance), a choreographer, dancer, and artistic director, took on an ambitious project this spring—the world premiere of In Violent Circles (Rite of Spring), a reinterpretation of the iconic Rite of Spring in honor of its 100th anniversary. The show, featuring Riedel Dance Theater and Ariel Rivka Dance, ran in March at the Ailey Citigroup Theatre in New York City.


Steve Blanco (music) and his girlfriend Heidi have created an artisanal cookie company called Black + Blanco. Their unique, vegan, Moroccan-inspired (by Blanco’s mother) shortbread biscuits are made with local organic rye, organic virgin coconut oil, and absolutely no genetically modified organisms. “Nothing derived from corn, canola, or soy,” he says. “Just real, whole food ingredients with wisdom from the ancients.” Kate (Mehan) St. Amand (dance) and Lynn Peterson (dance) celebrated SYREN Modern Dance’s international performance debut with the premiere of Hyacinth on December 17, 2012, in Paris. St. Amand and Peterson formed the company in 2003, and it has since produced nine New York seasons, created 18 dances, and performed for thousands of audience members in the tri-state area. The ensemble was featured on an international roster that included artists from France, Japan, Puerto Rico, and Italy. See Arieh D. Ress (philosophy) began shooting photos and video of the Occupy Wall Street movement in September 2011, when he read about a pair of filmmakers who were putting together a completely collaborative documentary (the first of its kind) about the movement. He submitted footage and became involved with the film, and was delighted to attend the premiere of 99%: The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film at Sundance. The day after he returned from the festival, he began a new adjunct position in the NYU library.


Jason Hanasik (visual arts) has been named a finalist in the National Portrait Gallery’s Outwin Boochever portrait competition for his piece Sharrod (Turn/Twirl), on view at the Smithsonian from March 2013 to February 2014. He also had a two-person show, Conversation 6: Jason Hanasik + Berndnaut Smilde, at the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, which ran from February through April 2013. The exhibition was named by

KQED one of the “10 Anticipated Bay Area Art Experiences.” Abby Koenig (dramatic writing) premiered her fulllength play Your Family Sucks at the Horse Head Theatre in Houston. The play was described by a critic as “strikingly realistic, hilarious, and heartbreaking all at the same time.” In 2012, Koenig had several short plays produced in Houston, and a short nonfiction essay she wrote was published in the literary magazine Cascadia Subduction Zone. She is a regular contributor to the Houston Press, Houston’s Village Voice Media publication. Oscar G. Torres (visual arts) received his MPS from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU, after which he won the TechCrunch Disrupt NYC Hackathon 2012 and Startup Weekend Mobile NYC 2012. He also won at the Photo Hack Day 2011. “Hackathons” have become popular events at which entrepreneurs build and test products. Torres decided to execute one of his hackathon concepts to launch his third startup company, called zenplaya, in 2012. It is a location-based mobile commerce and marketing platform that allows any business to sell and advertise anywhere through mobile devices.


Sherralyn Bologna Baker (film) is currently the television station manager at SUNY College at Old Westbury. She has taught both television production and video editing, and now teaches instructional courses on media technology and equipment. She was selected to be part of a campuswide event, “Women and Documentary Media,” featuring five female documentary filmmakers, at which she spoke about her new film project, Recovery in Me. Baker is also a freelance camera operator for Envirovideo and produces videos for not-for-profit organizations. Chris Petzold (biology) recently published a paper in the Journal of Comparative Neurology on multiple sclerosis called “Dependence of Paranodal Junctional Gap Width on Transverse Bands.” He currently works for the NYU Medical Center. Petzold says “Thanks, Purchase!”


Dara Boyko Riegel (journalism) runs a small communications firm, Unbiased Communications. Her clients include the Queens boutique employment law firm White, Ricotta and Marks, P.C.; the Corning Museum of Glass; and the Foundation for the Southern Tier Libraries, among others. She is using her journalism degree to write and edit text for projects ranging from resumes and cover letters to magazine articles to major marketing campaigns.

Mike Roeder

Mike Roeder (creative writing) has worked a few different jobs and freelanced since graduating from Purchase. He published a book in 2008 with four fic-

tion stories and some of his photography. His work was featured in a gallery show in April at the Rio Penthouse in New York City.

2006 Craig Dolezel (drama studies) completed his MFA in acting at Rutgers University in May 2012. He also became a certified instructor of Fitzmaurice Voicework in July 2012. Dolezel recently performed in A Steady Rain and It’s a Wonderful Life at the Pagosa Springs Pirate Achievement Center in southern Colorado, and is currently filming an independent feature film, Cowboys and Indians, starring Jennifer Blanc-Bien and Catherine Hicks and directed by Ian McCrudden. Dolezel is playing Trevor in The Submission at the Olney Theatre in Maryland this spring.

2007 Katie Bolding (music) made her debut with the Dallas Opera in 2010, and moved to Germany in August 2011 to pursue further opportunities in the theatre. In November 2011, she covered a role in Orpheus in the Underworld with the Staatsoper Berlin. In 2012, she began her first year as an ensemble member of the Theater Gera and Landestheater Altenburg in the state of Thuringia. So far this season, Bolding has sung leading roles in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Werther, and Carmen, and in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Alicia O’Brien (history) is in her first year at Boston University Law School. Meaghan Lara Perez (liberal studies/arts management certificate) currently works in film and television as an associate producer. She has worked on the new hit MTV show Washington Heights, as well as on Mob Wives, What Not to Wear, Glamour Belles, and The Next Big Thing. She is currently an associate producer for an HGTV show called Celebrities at Home. Andrew Spieler (film) has been active as an assistant director in Los Angeles following his graduation from the directing program at the American Film Institute in 2009. His graduate thesis short, The Response, garnered him a student BAFTA/LA Award, as well as nominations for the 2010 Student Academy Awards and the Student Emmy Awards. Recently, Andrew worked as the first assistant director on the horror film S-VHS, which was accepted for the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Andrew is currently working on two independent feature projects, which he intends to direct and produce in the coming year.

2008 Jennifer Castellano (MFA, music) was commissioned to write music for the North/South Consonance Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Max Lifchitz, and was selected by the New Jersey Music Teachers’ Association to be its 2012 commissioned composer. In 2011, she released her first recording, Spectrum: Piano Music Composed and Performed by Jennifer Castellano. Her work is published by Imagine Music, and recorded performances of her compositions have been featured on the weekly radio program Classical Discoveries, hosted and produced by Marvin Rosen on WPRB 103.3 FM in Princeton, NJ.

Daniel Hairston (liberal studies/arts) was assistant to the vice president of digital marketing at EMI/ Capitol Music Group in 2008, and became senior coordinator in 2010. He helped develop initiatives across social media platforms and online to drive sales and build fan bases for superstar acts such as Katy Perry, Coldplay, David Guetta, Norah Jones, and Chiddy Bang. In July 2012, Hairston joined RCA Records/Sony Music Entertainment as a digital marketing representative. He credits his evergreen passion for music and Purchase’s Conservatory of Music for any success that has come his way. Marina Isaac (cinema studies) is working at Visitors’ Services at the 911 Memorial and Museum. Andrew Jack (visual arts) makes and sells one-off traditional American Windsor chairs. He enjoys taking them to craft shows and demonstrating the splitting and shaving of spindles. Jack and his wife, Sarah, were married in August 2012. All of the wood chairs are made with hand tools in Jack’s spare bedroom in Northampton, MA. Ian Stewart (music) relocated in 2009 to Chicago, where he has been enjoying his musical career. He has shared the stage with Paul Wertico and the Chicago Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble, among others. Stewart is probably best known for his time performing with the band Marbin, which records on MoonJune Records. During his two years with the band, Stewart toured North America, opening for some of fusion’s elite such as Allan Holdsworth, Virgil Donati, and Jimmy Haslip.

2009 Ben Geyer (MFA, music) is currently a PhD student and teaching assistant in music theory and aural skills at the University of Kentucky. He will be presenting his research on swing microrhythm at two different theory conferences this semester, one at Florida State University and the other at Indiana University. Geyer remains active as a jazz pianist in the Lexington area, and performed internationally this summer. Angela Grosso-Toscano (liberal studies/media studies) earned a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy in 2011. She sends her best wishes to everyone at Purchase and all of her former classmates. Jillian F. Liebman (literature) works at the Taunton Press in Connecticut as an editorial assistant for Fine Gardening magazine. She has written numerous pieces for print and the Web, as well as editing two departments for each bimonthly issue. Liebman was recently given the opportunity to write a feature article, which will be published in the summer of 2013. She is also currently working on a novel. Martina Marie Parisi (visual arts) has served as an art director at Visual Profile Books since 2008. Shortly after graduation, Parisi wrote, designed, and published her first book, Choice. She took an academic approach to present a wide spectrum of information about the medical and moral phenomenon of abortion. In 2010, she established a company, Silently Screaming Designs, which creates customized and affordable invitations and party stationery, fine stationery, and handmade goods, including jewelry, wineglasses, greeting cards, shadow boxes, and notebooks. PURCHASE | 29


in Action

Daniel Pereira (piano performance certificate) is a doctoral candidate in piano performance at the University of Maryland, College Park. His dissertation project consists of a double compact disc with the complete preludes for piano solo by Alexander Scriabin, which will be recorded live in two concerts. Pereira has performed in the U.S. and Europe, and was co-director of the Vianden International Music Festival in Luxembourg. He is also completing a book on music with oboist Humbert Lucarelli. Visit his website, daniel-pereira. com, for more information.

2010 Erin Boylan (literature) is a projectionist at the Mall of America in Minnesota. It is a technical position and different from other jobs she has had, but she is learning skills that are highly applicable to her extracurricular activities and career goals. Her weekly podcast, “Paisley’s My Faivsley,” features intellectually stimulating, comedic discussions. Mark Feinman (music) is a professional musician and educator living in St. Petersburg, FL. He received a master’s degree in music from the University of South Florida. Feinman currently plays an active role in the Tampa Bay area’s jazz community by performing five to Mark Feinman seven days a week with various jazz, Latin jazz, and Brazilian bands. He is also the adjunct drum set instructor at St. Petersburg College and is currently the president of the Al Downing Tampa Bay Jazz Association. Keri Klick (music/arts management) has spent the past three years at the Yale School of Drama, where she is currently an MFA candidate in sound design. In March, she designed a production of Hamlet, directed by James Bundy and starring Paul Giamatti, at Yale Repertory Theatre. Her thesis project, The Global Sound Project, explores the way in which everyday sounds inspire cultural development and international collaborations. Klick plans to move back to New York City with her fiancé after their May 2013 wedding. Nadine Kulberg (MFA, music) has sung seven opera roles in Manhattan as a mezzo-soprano since her graduation from Purchase. Highlights include a fully staged production of Carmen (in which she sang the title role) and two performances at the Lincoln Center Library: Bersi in Andrea Chenier and Principessa de Bouillon in Adriana Lecouvreur. In December 2012, the children’s opera Hansel and Gretel was performed at Purchase, using Kulberg’s new English translation. Benjamin Potter (dramatic writing) is a professional television director working in London and New York. He recently directed a global Web series for Bing Microsoft, Help Your Britain, which was distributed to millions of people across the world. Having directed a Travel Channel TV show from 2011 to 2012, Potter is currently in talks with the BBC about a new TV show centered on sports, and is working with faculty member A. Dean Bell on a second sports TV project. PURCHASE | 30

2011 Francisco Donoso (visual arts) was awarded the 2013 Van Lier Fellowship at Wave Hill in the Bronx. Van Lier Fellows participate in the Winter Workspace Residency Program and receive commissions to create solo projects in the Sunroom Project Space. His solo exhibition at Wave Hill will open September 15, 2013. James Madejski (dramatic writing) is currently working as a story editor for the Radmin Company, a boutique Beverly Hills literary management and production company. Last year, he wrote and directed the Web series Mock Justice with Purchase alum Kris Wellman. Madejski also produced the special features on Olive Films’ upcoming Blu-ray release of Charles Shyer’s Irreconcilable Differences. Ashley Merchant (psychology) is going into her second semester of graduate school at SUNY Oneonta for school counseling. She is also currently the assistant complex coordinator of a freshman residence hall at SUNY Cobleskill. Jamie Murphy (arts management) began working for CBS after graduation. In June, however, at age 22, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She was able to keep her spirits high and remained “cool, calm, and collected” through chemotherapy. In August, she and her family participated in the Light the Night Walk sponsored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She set her goal at $850, but by the time of the walk in October, her family and friends had raised nearly $10,000 for the society, all by way of social media and word of mouth. Her greatest accomplishment since graduating has been using her arts management degree not only in the field but to raise money for a great cause. She is happy to say that she is in remission and can’t wait to see how much she can raise next year.

WANT TO SHARE YOUR UPDATES AND NEWS? Send an e-mail to: Please keep content under 50 words. Attach digital images in high-resolution format. Brian Otaño (dramatic writing) has, since graduating in 2011, had his plays developed at the Lark Play Development Center and the Glass Bandits Theatre Company (a group composed predominantly of Purchase Acting Conservatory alumni). What We Told the Neighbors, a play that Otaño presented for the first time in the Durst Humanities Theater, earned him a Van Lier Fellowship for Playwriting from New Dramatists and was further developed and presented by the Atlantic Theater Company in 2012. Most recently, Otaño has been inducted into ArsNova’s 2013 Playgroup, and his feature screenplay, The Groom, is currently in production, directed by Purchase alum Alyssa Codamon ’11 (film).   Aladdin Rutledge Collar (dramatic writing) has

been working as a freelance artist’s assistant, providing flat color separations for graphic novels. He has worked on Spiderman,Batman, Ironman,  Avengers, Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Captain Atom, Conan the Barbarian, and X-Men, among others. Collar is most proud to have provided background content and effects (in addition to flat colors) for Rick Riordan’s Red Pyramid graphic novel, adapted and illustrated by his brother, Orpheus Collar, which was a New York Times bestseller upon its release in October 2012. Grace Tully (psychology) is studying for her master’s degree at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development in counseling and guidance and working with students at the Life Sciences Secondary School Grace Tully in Manhattan. Her interest in working with a student population blossomed through her experiences with the inspiring Purchase psychology faculty. Esteban Valerio (political science) is currently an analyst at Citigroup in its Consulting and Technology Global Corporate Services group. He is currently attending the University of Costa Rica School of Business for an MBA in finance. Kris Wellman (dramatic writing) lives in Los Angeles where he works in postproduction at the ABC series Scandal. In 2012, he released his selfproduced Web series Mock Justice with cowriter/ director and fellow Purchase alumnus James Madejski (, and his half-hour comedy pilot Damien Jones was optioned by Eisenberg-Fisher Productions.  Mike Zacchio (journalism) was hired by the Journal News’ as a sports reporter after freelancing for the company since May 2010. Since then, Mike has written two breaking-news stories and several other front-page features in the sports section. Zacchio is the beat writer for girls’ volleyball and basketball in the area, also covering bowling and golf in the Lower Hudson Valley.


Paige Etheridge (creative writing/history) is a freelance writer. She has published a few articles in Inked Magazine, including one, “Killer Looks,” that referred to costume choices for Halloween.

Bryan Korn (dramatic writing) is working as the literary intern at the Ensemble Studio Theatre, where he participates in the submissions process for playwright grants administered by the theatre’s partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. In addition to his own television and theatre development, he is contributing short stories and poetry to American Eldritch, a Lovecraftian horror magazine published by fellow dramatic writing alum Aladdin Rutledge-Collar ’11. Jonathan Maxwell (history) is attending the CUNY Graduate Center, pursuing a master’s degree in liberal studies, focusing on digital humanities. After he obtains his degree, he will remain at the school to work toward a PhD in history. Alyssa M. Neuner (media, society, and the arts) has since gone on to start her master’s degree at the

University of Maryland, College Park. Her degree will be in American studies; she has not strayed far from her undergraduate research. Neuner’s thesis is on digital space and place and embodiment in virtual worlds. This coming spring, Alyssa will present her undergraduate thesis, Moving Beyond a Game: An Ethnographic Account of Girls, Gamers, and Gnomes, at the PCA/ACA Conference in Washington, DC. Alyse La Padula (history) is currently working at the Martin Luther King, Jr., High School in Westchester as a teacher’s aide, and is pursuing a master’s in education at Long Island University. She is the head varsity girls’ basketball coach at Hastings High School in Westchester, and (at age 22) one of the youngest head coaches in New York. She will return to Purchase this spring as a staff member for the womens’ softball team (one of the three teams she played on while at Purchase). Heather Swenson (visual arts) had a solo show, In the Space Separating, at the LAB Space at Rochester Contemporary Art Center in Rochester, NY, from January 31 through March 17. The exhibit brought together paintings, collages, drawings, and found objects to create abstract narratives that reflect Swenson’s thought processes. Visit for more information.

Births Idaly P. Hidalgo ’00 (biology) and her husband welcomed two children, Avah and Kaleb, in November 2012. Ben Hider ’02 (visual arts) and Amanda Frost ’03 (liberal studies) announce the birth of their son, Sebastian Andrew Mark Hider. Morgan (Levy-Levinson) Selkirk ’05 (media, society and the arts) gave birth to her second child, Harper Alice, on August 21, 2012. Angela Grosso-Toscano ’09 (liberal studies/communications/media studies) and her husband welcomed their first child, Zoe Alexa Toscano, in 2011.

Weddings Sarah Millman ’08 (visual arts) and Jonathan Divi ’08 (visual arts) were married on August 12, 2012 in a 100-year-old stone chapel in Greenwich, CT. Sarah continues to exhibit her fiber sculptures and installations while working as an office manager for a Sarah Millman school. Jonathan is an IT consultant for a private firm. Both are currently working in Greenwich, CT, and residing in Yonkers, NY. Christine Hennessey ‘04 (creative writing) and Nathan Woodward ‘03 (design technology) were married in North Carolina on November 10, 2012, ten years after they began dating while students at Purchase College. They currently reside in Wilmington, NC, where she is an MFA candidate at UNC Wilmington, and he is a paramedic intern. They share their home with two giant dogs, three chickens, a beehive, and a small vegetable garden.

Heather Swenson

In Memoriam Purchase alumnus Steven Wood died on December 30, 2012. A graduate of the design/technology program, Wood worked throughout the New York City area in various Broadway venues and was most notably known as the head of the Metropolitan Opera Carpenter Shop. He was born in 1955 and graduated from Purchase in the 1970s. He will be missed by family and friends alike.

Chelsea Jones & Andrew Jupin Chelsea Jones ‘06 (dramatic writing) and Andrew Jupin ‘06 (cinema studies) were married on October 6, 2012, in Latham, NY. The couple live in Astoria, Queens. Ashley Alderfer-Kaufman ’04 (history) and Nathan Kaufman ’04 (acting) met at Purchase in 2000. They didn't begin dating until 2009, when they ran into each other on the street in Manhattan. Ashley and Nathan had been in and out of each others’ lives since college, but the timing was never right. They were married this past August and probably wouldn’t have met without Purchase College. The couple lives in Manhattan. Joel Neville Anderson ’09 (film) and Aryana Law ’09 (dramatic writing) were married on Thursday, December 27, 2012 in New York City. Joel is a filmmaker and PhD student in the visual and cultural studies program at the University of Rochester. Aryana is an arts administrator at the Apollo Theater in Harlem and serves on the Emerging Leaders Advisory Council of Americans for the Arts.

Joel Neville Anderson & Aryana Law

Christine Hennessey & Nathan Woodward

Silvia Pereira ’00 (visual arts) is currently designing children’s wear for USPA (U.S. Polo Association) in NYC. In September 2012 she married Marcos Hidalgo, a CPA and a 1998 graduate of Hofstra University. They are currently living in Yonkers, NY.

Silvia Pereira

P U R C H A S E | 31

scot t rhyne

lisa altomare

ron fassler

shawn judge

leigh dillon

cecile call an

bijou clinger

Company 4 In the fall of 1975, 25 freshmen entered the acting program at Purchase, forging a tight bond as they slogged through the mud on unpaved pathways and took classes in makeshift spaces; many buildings were under construction. In those pioneering early years of Purchase, the entire class was expected to form a company that would prevail beyond graduation. This group was known as Company 4. Christopher Gorman ’79 was among the members of Company 4. Longtime friend and actor Ron Fassler ‘75–’78 explains how dedicated Gorman was to that early Purchase concept. “He was a force within our group—a glue if you will—that held the company together.” Many members remain close today, and miss Gorman terribly. The obituaries for Gorman fail to illustrate his depth of spirit. Indeed he was an award-winning casting director and television executive for Warner Brothers and CBS. And he was a member of the Writers Workshop at the AIDS Project from 1994 to 1998. In 1995, SUNY named him one of its 100 most distinguished graduates. And on May 20, 2001, he died from AIDS complications at the age of 45. Overlooked were Gorman’s sharp wit, way with words, and boundless spirit of generosity. He apparently helped boost the careers of countless others, never expecting anything in return. Fassler says, “He loved his Purchase experience and it was very dear to him. He never stopped returning there, either to scout new talent or to lend his expertise in speaking with students about how to make their way into the professional world.”

While he never pursued acting professionally, Gorman was known as a friend to actors. He developed a career in casting, and worked on casting movies such as Warner Brothers’ Heartbreak Ridge and Pale Rider. He won the Artios Award in 1988—casting’s highest honor given by the Casting Society of America—while working at CBS. He was CBS’s director of motion pictures for television and miniseries and later vice president of drama series production. Several members of Company 4 have committed to honor Gorman by raising funds for the Christopher Gorman Memorial Award, to be given each year to a graduating senior in the BFA acting program who embodies his generous spirit and love of Purchase. According to Fassler, “Upon his passing, which affected all of us deeply, we knew that an award in his name was the right thing to do to honor his spirit and commitment to Purchase.” Led by fellow classmate and dear friend Shawn Judge ‘79, along with Fassler, Lisa Altomare ‘75–‘79, Cecile Callan ‘75–‘79, Bijou Clinger ‘79, Leigh Dillon ‘79, and Scott Rhyne ’75–‘79, the group has begun the task of making the award a reality. Fassler explains, “Christopher, while he was at Purchase and beyond, was always trying to make a difference. He kept close ties with the school and valued its contribution to his professional success in the business.”

Contact us today to make a donation to the Christopher Gorman Memorial Award: Jeannine Starr Vice President of Institutional Advancement (914) 251-6040 Visit our online donation page at or scan the QR code. Select “Christopher Gorman Memorial Award” in the drop-down menu.


christopher gorman


Neuberger Museum of Art of Purchase College Spring/Summer 2013

Enrique Chagoya Abenteuer der Kannibalen Bioethicists (The Adventures of the Bioethicist Cannibals), 2001 Color lithograph, woodcut with chine collé and collage 7 x 92 inches

Rubén Ortiz-Torres Apocalypto, Campell, CA, 2007 Inkjet on paper 60 x 40 inches Courtesy of the artist and Galería OMR, Mexico

Nadín Ospina Casa de Xolotl 2005 Stone, 26.8 x 16.5 x 15.35 inches Collection of the artist

Pre-Columbian Remix: The Art of Enrique Chagoya, Demián Flores, Rubén Ortiz-Torres, and Nadín Ospina April 28—July 14, 2013 In Pre-Columbian Remix, the four leading Latin American artists featured address universal themes of corruption and globalization by fusing ancient Aztec, Mayan, or Incan art forms with pop-culture imagery in an ironic and often humorous manner. Do not miss! Wednesday, May 1, Neu First Wednesdays: Underground video, music, and performance artist group Sonido Apokalitzin from Mexico City performs with Purchase College student musicians and dancers.

Peter Mauss/Esto Photographics

Donna Dennis Coney Night Maze, 1997–2009 (detail) 12'6" x 27' x 19'4" (h x w x d) Mixed media Collection of the artist

Throughout each year the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College presents a stellar program of performing arts events in the fields of music, dance, and theatre. Audiences from Purchase College and the wider Westchester County and surrounding communities see world-renowned artists on our stages, often prior to or immediately after their performances in New York City’s major concert halls. The 2013–2014 season brings many internationally acclaimed performers to the PAC’s stages, including: violinist Joshua Bell, piano virtuoso Garrick Ohlsson, the Martha Graham Dance Company, the Vienna Boys Choir, tap dancer Savion Glover, the Moriinsky Orchestra, and jazz great Cassandra Wilson. Also on the roster for the PAC’s 36th season are the uniquely insane, all-male Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, a special classical summit with pianist Christopher O’Reilly and cellist Matt Haimovitz, and programs for families with young children such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Other Eric Carle Favorites. Entertainers who are less well known but whose artistry is equally unsurpassed include the newly minted chamber group The Declassified, an ensemble of young musicians selected in partnership with Carnegie Hall. For information about these and other programs, including a series of prerelease screenings of new independent films, contact the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College, 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, NY, call (914) 251-6200, or visit

Donna Dennis: Coney Night Maze June 7–September 15, 2013 One of the most popular New York City icons is the Coney Island Cyclone, a 1927 landmark wooden roller-coaster that has attracted millions of visitors. It also is the inspiration for Coney Night Maze, a new, complex sculptural installation by Donna Dennis. Opening party: Neu Nights Out, Friday, June 7, 6:00-8:30 p.m. The Compromised Land: Recent Photography and Video from Israel August 11–November 3, 2013     This exhibition brings together works that underscore the shift from the utopian goals of the first generation of Israeli settlers to the escalating complications and disillusionments experienced by present generations, grappling with a host of issues through the lens of the political, the nationalistic, the militaristic, the social, the religious, and the personal.

Africa: A Powerful Mask Rediscovered From the Neuberger Museum’s collection, a monumental mask from the Benue River Valley in present-day Nigeria is on view for the first time. PURCHASE | 33

Purchase college spring magazine 2013  
Purchase college spring magazine 2013