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Alumni Class Notes

 

        Chidi Akusobi, HM Class of 2008

Chidi Akusobi ‘08 completed an eight-year MD-PhD program at Harvard Medical School and is beginning his internal medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Mira Armstrong ’10 is in Nairobi, Kenya, working as a summer fellow with Sanergy to expand their Fresh Life Toilet manufacturing to serve one million people in Nairobi and beyond. As engineeringforchange.com explains, “Sanergy sells the toilet as part of a franchise model which includes waste collection services. The collection service transfers waste to a treatment facility where the waste is converted to energy, fertilizer, and insect protein for animal feed.” Mira writes that the experience, which is part of her graduate school program, is “a combination of engineering, enterprise, and public health that I’m psyched for.”

Maddie Bender ’16 is joining The Daily Beast as an innovation reporter, covering science, tech, and health news, among other topics. Follow her at @MaddieOBender.

Allie Bienenstock ’11 is joining the strategy team at Chief, the “only private membership network focused on connecting and supporting women executive leaders” (chief.com). Allie looks forward to expanding mentorship opportunities for women to help them ascend to and thrive in leadership roles.

Stephen Bussey ’85 has started a new position as Managing Director at EY-Parthenon, Strategy and Transactions.

Rachel Cholst ’07 was featured in the BBC’s Deep Dive into Queer Country on BBC television stations and BBC Radio during the month of June, alongside Shana Goldin-Perschbacher, Lavender Country, Tommy Atkins, Grace Petrie, Amythyst Kiah, kd lang, and Lil Nas X.

Walt Cronkite ’07 has started a new position as a public relations manager at Latham & Watkins in Washington, DC.

Danielle Ellison ’11 has joined the Israel Policy Forum (IPF) Board of Directors.

Ashley Gerber ’13 is celebrating her one-year anniversary of joining Zesty. She writes that in the last year, she has “hired 10 BDRs, created most of the team’s current processes from scratch, attended four AWS summits (soon to be five) including AWS re:Invent and did I mention my team has brought in over $4M in ARR?! Can’t wait to continue learning, growing and building.”

            Diana Greenwald ‘07

Diana Greenwald ’07, Assistant Curator of the Collection at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, announced that “Drawing the Curtain:  Maurice Sendak’s Designs for Opera and Ballet,” has made its Boston debut. As the museum’s website explains, Sendak “was an avid fan of music who had his own successful ‘second act’ as a set and costume designer for opera and ballet.” The exhibition features “more than one hundred enchanting illustrations, detailed dioramas, and clever costumes — all in Sendak’s signature style — created for stage productions of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Prokofiev’s Love for Three Oranges, Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, and his own Where the Wild Things Are.” The show runs through September 11, 2022.

Three works by mixed media artist Laurie Miller Hornik ’86 are featured in “Summer Waves,” an exhibition that opened on July 30th at the Blue Door Art Center (13 Riverdale Avenue, Yonkers, NY). This free in-person and online exhibition runs through September 2nd. For more information  Blue Door Art Center.

Caroline Kuritzkes ’14 recently completed a three-year assignment working on Senator Jeff Merkley’s (D-OR) foreign policy team. She will attend the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs in the fall to pursue a Master’s in public administration.

Rachel Lander ’13 recently shared the following experience in the hopes it encourages others: “A few months ago, I suddenly lost my job at a startup. I had never really taken a coding class or had any sort of formal coding education, and only had a few months of software engineering experience. I wanted another software engineering job, but didn't want to start entirely from scratch in a Junior role. It was also so important to me to find a company where I believe in the product along with a team that I feel excited about. I started to go on interviews and was getting wrecked by the coding rounds and often met with extremely discouraging and sometimes harsh words (run-on sentence, yikes!). In addition to that, I was finding myself uninspired by a lot of openings I saw. I started grinding away at Leetcode and was making more progress in the process. However, I still couldn't get fully through a 5 round interview for a job I was excited about. Then, I stopped everything and took a 6 week-long Coursera class (Intro to Algorithms Part I - Princeton). Something clicked in my brain, so when the course ended I started applying again. I then instantly got 2 offers where I was excited about the product and the team! Woohoo! I signed on one last week! Woohoo!!! Hoping my experience can inspire other people to keep trekking on even if you have no formal training. If you've been through this process, you know how discouraging it can get. But I will say.. If you wanna do it, you can make it happen.”

Morgan Mackenzie ’19, a student at Duke University who in 2017 founded The Empowerment Hub – offering a free summer camp for kids in Harlem in addition to a virtual tutoring service, is excited to report that the nonprofit operated a free, nationwide, emergency medicine camp this summer called Camp Empowerment:  How to Save a Life! Students were taught how to react if someone goes into cardiac arrest, how to help a choking victim, how to bandage wounds, how to control bleeding, and much more. Topics were taught at age-appropriate levels by certified EMTs and AEMTs with real 911 experience and a passion for training students in basic life support. For a full description, please visit:
 

Genesis Maldonado ’16, a J.D. candidate at Rutgers Law School, is working this summer as a legal intern for Purpose and World Green Growth Organization. 

                 Kathan Mally '17

Business Wire reports that Dog is Human, a new venture co-founded by Kathan Mally ’17, recently closed a $1.2 million pre-seed round. The company, which launched in April 2022, is the world’s first human-grade pet health company. Business Wire reports that “the funding includes a list of executives, entrepreneurs, and investors led by beverage tycoon Ben Weiss, who sold his business Bai Brands to Dr. Pepper Snapple for $1.7 billion. Other participating investors include Lemon Perfect’s founder and CEO Yanni Hufnagel, consumer investor Ngan Capital, the founder of Lafayette Square Damien Dwin, and GoParrot Founder Yaniv Nissim, who sold his company to Block Inc.”

Timothy Oberweger ’92 started a new position as Senior Vice President at Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company.

Gustie Owens ’18 was one of five people selected for the inaugural three-month Diverse Crossword Constructor Fellowship sponsored by The New York Times. The fellowship was established to “provide mentorship and support for constructors from underrepresented groups, including women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community” (nytimes.com).

Anthony Ramirez II ‘96, CEO of Mainland Media and co-owner of The Bronx Beer Hall and From The Bronx, was included in a panel discussion focused on “Accelerating NYC’s Tourism Recovery.” The symposium, sponsored by United Airlines and Airbnb, took place at The Green Space at WNYC, can be viewed here:  https://lnkd.in/gWABpwvi

Jackson Siegel ’14, a NYC-based artist, has introduced Soft Serve, an “art and design platform that sells work by emerging artists and craftspeople” and “create[s] an accessible space for individuals to share their work.” As the website explains, softservenyc.com “aim[s] to bring you a sweet and memorable experience enjoying and collecting works of art (Soft) within an environment that promotes compassion and can serve as a vehicle for acts of service for those in need (Serve).” The initiative’s inaugural project is Art for Ukraine, a fundraiser to support Ukraine’s LGBTQI community. Soft Serve will donate 100% of the proceeds from the fundraiser to Kyiv Pride ‘s LGBTQI shelter and community center (https://kyivpride.org/en/about-us/). Jackson is a graduate of the Bard College Photography Program and the current Associate Director at ClampArt.

Josh Siegel ’15 has started a new position as Associate Producer at CBS News Streaming.

Raphael Silverman ’19 won a DownBeat magazine Student Music Award for Outstanding Soloist for his song, "How Deep is the Ocean."

           Raphael Silverman '19

The recording can be accessed on youtube:https://youtu.be/1u4jHIm2LfM.

According to cwu.edu, “the DownBeat Student Music Awards [established in 1976] are considered the most prestigious awards in jazz education. Hundreds of musicians, music educators, and music industry professionals compete for international recognition as a DownBeat Student Music Award winner.”
 
Raphael plays regularly at venues throughout the NYC metropolitan area, including:
 
  • Wednesdays from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at 3 Westerly in Ossining, NY
  • Fridays from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm at Bistro Versailles in Greenwich, CT
  • Saturdays from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm at Bistro Z in Tarrytown, NY
  • Sundays from 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm at Via Forno in White Plains, NY
  • Sunday nights from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm at Dubrovnik in New Rochelle, NY 

 

On June 23rd, acclaimed voice actor Alan Sklar ’52 delighted audiences with his reading of Robert Frost poems during a North Castle Public Library virtual presentation. Alan has been a full-time voice actor for over 25 years. He has narrated over 200 audiobooks, thousands of non-broadcast projects for medical and corporate clientele, and numerous radio and television commercials.

Eden Sung ’12 started a new position as an Associate at Morgan, Lewis, and Bocius LLP and looks forward to continuing her representation of clients in the antitrust space with a fantastic team at the top of the industry working in the Antitrust Practice Group.

                 Louis Toberisky '18

Louis Toberisky ’18 graduated Summa Cum Laude from Washington University in St. Louis’s College of Arts and Sciences with Highest Distinction in Art History and Archaeology. He also received WashU’s Murphy Family Prize for an Outstanding Honors Thesis in Art History for his paper, “The Rockefeller Brothers and the Museum of Modern Art: A Case Study of Mutual Benefit between Museums and their Art-Collecting Trustees.” The thesis examines how the prolific modern art collections of David and Nelson Rockefeller were personally advised by curators at MoMA, where both bothers served as board members for decades. David Rockefeller is especially relevant in recent art news, as his collection was surpassed by the Macklowe Collection just ten days ago as the most valuable private art collection ever sold at auction.

“Obsession,” a short film by Class of 2022 member Riva Vig, was featured in the Museum of the Moving Image’s Teen Film Festival, which took place in March 2022.