Thursday, December 24, 2009

Natasha Zupan has a new website

Classmate and fabulous artist Natasha Zupan has a new website that highlights her work. Check it out at

Chris Dudley is Running for Governor of Oregon

It's official. The Class of 1987 has a guberntorial candidate in Oregon. For more information, check out his website:

Good Luck, Chris!

News from Meridith Berlin

Classmate Meridith Berlin wrote in with news about a new book:

"I have a book out and if you would like to include it in the growing info about books by classmates, it is called The Ghost Light Kids Get Hooked. It’s a Mystery-Fantasy-Adventure for kids that takes place behind the scenes at a children’s theater (partially modeled on the Seattle Children’s Theatre, where I have been working for the past 15 years). It’s a fun read for kids age 5 and up (and their parents!).

Info about it can be found on my website:, or at the Amazon website at"

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A word from our Treasurer

Below is the e-mail that was sent out by Ray Gallo, our Class Treasurer:

Dear Classmates,

Those of you paying attention have noticed some terrific efforts by our fearless leader and Class Secretary Tim Harkness over the past two years. During that time, and with the support of inveterate party promoter Jordan Warshaw, ‘87, our class spearheaded the globalization of Feb Club through Feb Club Emeritus. 2010 will be its third year and it is quickly becoming an institution. 2009 saw 61 Feb Club Emeritus parties on five continents — watch for one near you in February 2010 and raise a glass with classmates and other Yalies sharing good cheer.

Class of 1987 lunches also have become regular events—in New York and Chicago, at least, and we plan to expand these events.

Tim has launched a class blog at, and has been making other efforts to use the web effectively—some of you are receiving his regular news bulletins via email. There is a Class of 1987 Facebook group (the only thing that would have gotten me on Facebook, which I admit has been fun).

This is our first e-only dues solicitation, saving the costs of printing, postage, and a tree or two.

Get involved! Any class member who wants to contribute by organizing events or programs please notify me or Tim Harkness directly at or We welcome all contributions, and there are in-progress efforts that you can join.

Pay your dues! Please remember that all our efforts, and future efforts, need your support. AYA data shows that the old blues pay their dues like clockwork. While we’ve beaten the giving records of other classes, our class dues participation is not so compelling. Let me inspire you to participate, at whatever level you can, by paying your class dues. Support our class’s leadership in this small, additional way. If everyone participates, more is possible. Our fearless leader has earned your support. Reach into your pockets for whatever dues you can afford. And remind your friends to pay theirs.

Suggested dues are $85 annually. But please pay what you can. $5 beats $0 and shows a little spirit. You can pay your dues:

· On the web at OR

· By mail: Checks should be made payable to: “Yale Class of 1987” and sent to Yale Class of 1987 dues, Association of Yale Alumni, PO Box 209010, New Haven, CT 06520-9010

With your support, the future holds increasing opportunities to come together with your classmates and other Yalies.

Help us keep everyone in touch! Finally, please be sure to keep your own records with AYA up to date by visiting the Alumni Directory at, by emailing, or by calling the 203-432-2110 landline.

And, if you have email addresses for any of the roughly ¼ of our class listed below (who haven’t given theirs to AYA), please email those email addresses to me so that we can update our class records (and to spare these individuals a call from me and a more serious squeeze to pay their dues!). It will be great for us and the planet when we can reach everyone by email.

Best personal regards,


Ray E. Gallo


Yale Class of 1987

Understanding Dyslexia

I read in the recent annual report from Yale's development folks that one of our classmates has been funding work on dyslexia:

Julia G. (Morton) Krapf '87, '91 M.A. is funding a new study to better understand the genetics of dyslexia via a grant from the Manton Foundation. Led by Yale School of Medicine scientist Jeffrey R. Gruen, associate professor of pediatrics, genetics, and investigative medicine, the study will compare the complete genomes of 1,000 dyslexic children with 1,000 fluent readers to identify the genes that may play a role in the condition. Gruen's ultimate goal is to develop a genetic test, enabling parents and teachers to intervene at the beginning of a child's education. He said, "If you can identify kids early, by third grade, and get them into an intervention program, you can frequently get them reading up to grade-level, and that effect is long-lasting. That's a wonderful thing."

Feb Club Emeritus 2010

Feb Club Emeritus is back . . . and bigger than ever. Thanks to the work of Jordan Warshaw, we have a great selection of cities -- with many parties hosted by members of the Class of 1987! Please check it out at And, please let your friends know about it.

New Book from Chang-rae Lee

Chang-rae Lee has a new book coming out in a few months called "The Surrendered." Here is what I have read about it:

With his three previous novels, Chang-rae Lee has established himself as one of the most talented writers of his generation. Now he has returned with a novel that amplifies everything we’ve seen in his earlier work. A stunning story about how love and war inalterably change the lives of those they touch, The Surrendered is elegant, suspenseful, and unforgettable: a profound meditation on the nature of heroism and sacrifice, the power of love, and the possibilities for mercy and salvation.

Keep an eye out for this new book . . .

Monday, November 23, 2009

News from Alexandra Natapoff

I received a nice e-mail from Alexandra Natapoff. Here's what she said:

I’ve been a law professor at Loyola Law School Los Angeles for seven years now, and my new book from NYU Press is just out. It’s called Snitching: Criminal Informants and the Erosion of American Justice, and it’s about how pervasively our legal system relies on information from criminal offenders while forgiving them their crimes. The link to Amazon is below, and I also blog about the subject at

More importantly, my son Raphael is now eleven years old and doing wonderfully.

Thanks for doing all this work to keep us informed.






Sunday, November 22, 2009

News about Meredith Hyde

Dr Meredith Hyde has now become Director of Syracuse University London Program ( Currently the center’s associate director, Meredith has held positions of increasing responsibility over her seven years with the University. As director, she will continue to work closely with faculty from both the home campus and at the center to ensure the academic quality of the program. She will also be responsible for the overall administration of the program, the general welfare of students and leading and mentoring SU London staff, faculty, and host administrators. Meredith received her BA from Yale, her PhD from Oxford, and was the first overseas winner of Syracuse University’s Women of Influence award.

A note from Mirem Villamil

Mirem Villamil wrote in with the following:

I'm finally en route to a new career after years of dealing with the immense change in priorities that comes with becoming a mom. I live in Brooklyn, NYC, have 2 daughters, ages 6 and 2, and at some point quit my job doing corporate set design (car shows, product launches etc.) in order to design gardens. I am now dedicated to creating gardens for public schools - designing them is a fairly minor part of the process as the real trick is to integrate them into the curriculum, the culture and the life of the school. Happily, all that is happening at my older daughter's school since we now have 15 classes gardening once or twice a week on a regular schedule as well as other classes that come out occasionally. We served school-grown salad in the lunchroom for our Garden to Cafe Day... and the kids loved it. How to get kids to eat arugula? Pound it into pesto right out there in the garden, and serve up on bread slices with parmesan shavings on top.

Needless to say - I'm having a great time! And please contact me if you're doing anything along the same lines, would love to hear about it (

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Class Tailgate this weekend

We will be having a class tailgate in D Special this weekend. If you are at the game and want to find us, you can call me on my cell phone -- 646 275 7622.

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A note from Edward Schwartz

I received the following notes from Edward Schwartz:

I haven't sent in an update in quite a while, so I figured I should hit you up with something.

I still live in Lexington, MA, with my wife, Alyssa Goodman, an Astronomy professor at Harvard, and our daughter, Abby, who just started Middle School (Yikes!). I run my own trial consulting business ( and publish a blog, The Jury Box, about jury trials, jury behavior research and jury reform ( I am very active in the Pro Bono Initiative of the American Society of Trial Consultants ( So, if you are a provider of legal services to clients of limited means, and you think you could use help with jury selection, case strategy, exhibit production or court technology, give me a holler. I am sure I can find someone to help you out. I am a heavy LinkedIn user (but I can stop anytime I want to, man) and I invite any Yalies to connect with me there. I am even more of a golf nut than I was in college and I am always up for a game (I still suck, but I play fast). I'd be up for a regular Boston Yale '87 lunch if someone wants to organize one... hint, hint. I look forward to hearing from old friends.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Coming of age

In the last month or so, I have had the privilege of joining two of our classmates -- Nurit Sonnenschein and Paul Sarkozi -- when they had a child celebrate a bar/bat mitzvah. Both of coming of age ceremonies were incredibly moving, personal celebrations. Nurit comes from a gifted musical family, and her family celebrated Nurit's son's bar mitzvah with soulful prayers set to music written by Nurit's father and performed by Nurit and her siblings and children. Paul's family marked their daughter's bat mitzvah with heartfelt and deeply spiritual prayers written by Paul and his wife. I couldn't help come away from these ceremonies without a few thoughts.

First, I was struck by the fact that the children we were celebration are not much younger than we were when we all first met. Many of our children are nearly old enough to go to college (and some of us already have college aged kids). It can't be that we are that old.

Second, and more seriously, I was struck by the maturity, poise and insightfulness of the children of our classmates. Although I spent some time in college worrying about how not to become a parent, I did not give a lot of thought back then to the sort of parent I (or my classmates) might be. Having been a parent for some time, now, I must say that I have been impressed by our classmates' parenting ability of late.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New York Party for the Yale College Classes of the 80s and 90s

Classes of the 80s and 90s Party

The Yale College Class of the 80s and 90s are getting together for a party. Hope you can make it!

When: November 10, 2009 6:30pm-9:30pm
Where: Retreat Lounge37 W 17th St(btn 5/6 Ave)New York, NY 10011

Your co-hosts,Audrey Leibovich, '97, My Luu, '96, Pamela Weinstock, '89, Tim Harkness '87 and many others! The host committee is in formation. If you're interesting in being a co-host for this event -- mainly to help spread the word among your classmates -- please contact Audrey at

Monday, October 12, 2009

A note from Cynthia Tignor Borgani

Dear Classmates

I have some news that I thought might of interest. I've been living in Sao Paulo since 1993 singing jazz professionally and teaching voice and improvisation at the college level here. Now things in Brazil have always had a funny way of working themselves out nicely under the table... especially in the popular music field. The Minestry of Education here is working to put a stop to that, though. Their requirements are that I validate my college and graduate school (Stanford,... sorry) diplomas. Validating them here means getting the Brazilian government to agree that they are 'equivalent' in merit to those which would be offered here in Brazil. Even though I was a resonably decent student at Yale and at Stanford, Brazil will not give me the needed stamp saying that my diplomas are equivalent since I graduated in Latin American Studies and the same department does not exist in this country!!

Since Brazil will not recognize my Yale and Stanford degress, the long and the short of it is that I find myself at this ripe old age needing to START OVER AGAIN!!! Since I am the professor at one of the top schools here, that seems to entail admitting myself and giving myself passing grades, so perhaps all is not lost... After having three kids I do find that some of my neurons have hidden themselves from sight, but since I'm such a nice professor, perhaps I could overlook my own missing brain cells and give myself passing grades so that I could have a diploma of "equal!!?" value to Yale's in Brazil's eyes... (I'm joking a bit here, but the predicament is fantastically and sadly real!)

I accept any and all advice on how to resolve my predicament!!

Cynthia Tignor Borgani
(Saybrook 87)

More notes from Classmates

Lynne Brooks wrote in: "Liz Swisher came out in late September to visit me in Philadelphia. We got to spend a day together on the links. Great to catch up with her. She has two girls, lives in Seattle and is a doc. She was out ehre for a cancer research conference."

Hanna Weg wrote in with the following: "Tim! Still living in Los Angeles, where tonight I will attend the premiere of The Film Department's (my husband's company) first movie -- LAW ABIDING CITIZEN. It will be released across the country on October 16th! I am still writing, and last week just attached a fantastic director -- Heitor Dalhia -- to a script of mine being produced at Lakeshore Entertainment. So all is well!"

Stephen Epstein had this update: "In Boston, still working at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in the ED (emergency department). Our major emergency medicine national conference is coming to Boston starting Monday ... listened to a great sermon about the shame of hunger on Yom Kippur ... kids are growing, and my son is discovering that 3rd grade is much more challenging than 2nd."

A note from Chris Liebig

Here is a note I received from Chris Liebig:

Hi, Tim -- this is my first time writing in to the class notes. I'm raising three daughters in Iowa City (where Sam Chang is a local celebrity) and teaching legal writing at the University of Iowa College of Law (where Peggie Smith is a professor). Watching what goes on in my kids' elementary school in the name of education -- and partly provoked by a recent article by E.D. Hirsch, Jr. in the Yale Alumni Magazine -- I have started a blog to talk about how high-stakes testing is not only hurting our kids but is causing the schools to indoctrinate them into authoritarian values. Thought I would pass the link ( along in case anyone's interested.

Governor Dudley?

The press is talking about classmate Chris Dudley as a possible gubernatorial candidate in Oregon. For more info, click here: Run, Chris, Run!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Katharine Beals Has a New Book

Katharine Beals writes in to report:

"My first book, "Raising a Left-Brain Child in a Right Brain World," has just been published. I began working on it once my youngest child started school--not just because I finally had the time to write a book, but because I also had three kids coming home bored and frustrated by various strange new classroom practices, like Reform Math and mandatory group learning. I soon found myself immersed in the Math Wars and other education controversies, and increasingly concerned about how today's schools treat unsocial children, math and science buffs, and kids on the autistic spectrum. I elaborate these concerns in my book, and suggest some ways that the parents and teachers of such children can make school life more engaging and hospitable."

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Class lunches

Please do not forget that we have class lunches every month in New York and Chicago.

The next lunch in New York is on Thursday, October 8, from 12:30 to 2:00 at the Yale Club. You do not have to be a member to join us at lunch. For more information, please e-mail Paul Sarkozi at

For information on the Chicago lunches, please contact Joe Gromacki at

Monday, September 28, 2009

And the news keeps pouring in . . .

Thanks to the overwhelming response to my recent request for information, we have even more news to report:

Karen Homsy Horst writes in: "Hi Tim, I live near Denver, CO am married and we have two children: Nick (age 13y) and Isabel (age 9y). I have a private psychiatry practice specializing in women's psychiatry (esp. around childbirth/miscarriage etc.) and am in my fourth year of psychoanalytic training. I had a great family trip to Costa Rica this summer. Does that count? Tracy Burke lives nearby and we get together occasionally."

Dennis Blackwell had an update. He recently finished a production singing the title role in "The Marriage of Figaro" in the Berkshires. and received positive reviews. Next up, productions of Mozart's "La clemenza di Tito" and the New York premiere of Cesar Cui's "A Feast in the Time of Plague", a setting of Pushkin's short story. For more info, visit Dennis and his partner Gabriel celebrated the fifth anniversary of their commitment ceremony this past August.

Peter Olszowka writes: "Despite spending most of my time in the theater at Yale, I've spent almost no time there since until this past weekend where I was sound designer of the world premier of "Never After" at the Somerville Theater near Boston, MA."

Kim Means-Guarnaccia sent this note: "Last week I was hired on as associate publisher and art director of the Shelburne Falls Independent newspaper in Shelburne Falls, MA. In the meantime I am living near Keene, NH and dating a musician/actor in Holyoke, MA. "

Paul Doiron had an interesting experience lately. He was guiding a Maine fishing trip and tried to have some fun by calling in a territorial bull moose by imitating another bull moose's calls. Fortunately, we were able to scramble back into the pickup before the angry moose trampled us all to death.

Laurent Stanevich had a quick update: "Living in Ann Arbor, MI with Jill and our two boys, and working in interactive marketing in Columbus, OH. My agency (Shift Global) just had a great outdoor party with live music, BBQ and a bonfire. "

Kathy Graff sent a note that reinforces why we need to do a class tailgate . . . something needs to be done here:

Funny Tim that I should receive your e-mail today. I actually have Yale-related activity on which to report.Yesterday I convinced my family what a blast it would be to go to the Yale-Cornell game. So off we went to New Haven as I treated them to a medley of Yale cheers and regaled them with my student experiences at Yale football games. (I believe I attended every Yale home game during my four years, which is definitely not to say I actually watched them). I told them how clever and politically on point the band is and how much spirit the students have.Well, my only memory that was correct or is the same today is of the Yale Bowl bathrooms.

The student section was sparse and the cheers were not so spirited. We sat in the alumni area in a sea of men in tweed jackets (when does that happen I wonder, when men determine a tweed blazer is football game attire? My husband swears you're bred that way or you're not.) The actual football was HORRIBLE. My family decided we're sticking with the NFL.The band's big clever jokes were based on the use of the words "balls" and "penetration". It's entirely possible I thought this was a hoot once upon a time. Today, not so much.I know I sound really negative, but it actually was fun and a worthwhile experience; the Yale Bowl is an historic place.

The day improved dramatically with our stop at Pepe's pizza. Living in New Yorkand being a bit of a foodie, I thought I had experienced the height of pizza. Not the case, Pepe's redefines the genre. It was outrageously fantastic. At first my husband was a little put out by the menu, not a lettuce leaf in sight to start. I actually heard the waitress tell a woman at the next table that if she wanted lemon with her drink she needed to bring her own. No matter the pizza absolves them. I'm still thinking about it, a lot.

Carl Zimmer wrote in: "'m living in Guilford, CT, with my wife Grace and daughters Charlotte (8) and Veronica (5). I've just started teaching a class on writing about science at Yale. "

John Sylvain is living in Los Angeles enjoying the beach with his 8 year old son Yogi and his wife Shelley. Recently had dinner with David Baron '87 and his family.

Doug Allen writes: "Living and working outside Hartford, CT at a boarding school with my wife Amy and two children 8 and 3. Looking forward to going to New Haven this coming weekend for the 100th anniversary of the Whiffenpoofs."

Class Dues

Every so often, we ask people to consider making a contribution to the Class Dues.

Class dues help keep Classes connected with one another and the University. Class treasury funds help make the following possible:

Class group subscription to the Yale Alumni Magazine

5-year Class reunions at Yale

Class communications

Class events between reunion years

Special projects, like class tailgates, Feb Club Emeritus, etc.

Class treasuries need replenishing every year. Please consider helping with Class Dues. To contribute, please click here.

Yale Harvard Game -- Class Tailgate

We're putting together a Class Tailgate for the Yale/Harvard Game on November, 21.

Please get your tickets through the ticket office -- and say you're with the Class of 1987. We can get our tickets together!

More details soon . . . we're thinking a class RV/Warming hut, hot choclate, Mory's cups and other fun pre-game at the Bowl.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

More news from the class

Thanks to all who responded to my email. Here is more news!

Glenn Gutmacher (DC 87) presented his popular "Beyond Job Boards" webinar ( on how to tap the hidden job market to the global Harvard Business School Alumni association to kick off their Career Webinar series in September - 800 pre-registered, which blew away HBSA's expectations. Gotta love a Yalie teaching Cantabridgians what to do!

David Baron wrote in to say: "Summer (such as it was) came to a crashing halt with the start of 1st and 3rd grade for the kids (Ellie and Sam, respectively), the Jewish Holidays (which negates the start of school) and the return of LA traffic to it's full and upright position. Still, it's all good... "

Tony Walsh sent the following: "I am living in Atlanta with my wife Stephanie, daughter Finn (5) and son Patrick (4). I spent this past week in arbitration hearings in Dallas, Texas (I am a litigator for GE)."

Phil Rodriguez, I learned, is teaching English and prepping his students for the Los Angeles County Academic Decathlon.

Caprice Young wrote to say: "Well, Labor Day weekend we moved the entire family form Los Angeles to Portland Oregon and my 13 year old daughter went off to high school on Vancouver Island (waaaaaah!)"

Marty Brennan sent the following note: "Jada and I have escaped the horrible traffic of the DC area to vacation in LA only to find the traffic there really isn't that much worse. We will head up to the Bay area and catch up with Melissa (Bauman) Ward. Our timing was bad in that we missed a chance to hear Sonya Baker come up to DC and sing. We heard Sonya sing at the Kennedy Center in April with the Murray State Wind Ensemble and she was fabulous as usual. "

Mark Wan wrote in to say: "Last week went to Jackson Hole with a few guys to play golf and mountain bike. great end to the summer"

Andy Imparato wrote the following: "I live in Baltimore with Betsy Nix (Silliman 87). We celebrated 20 years of marriage in July and visited Yale with our 16-year-old son Gareth and our 10-year-old Nicholas in August as Gareth is starting to think about colleges. I run a disability rights organization in DC called the American Association of People with Disabilities, and Betsy teaches American History at the University of Baltimore."

Joanne Lesner and her husband, Josh Rosenblum ('83), just presented a reading of their new musical, GARBO AND ME, at the York Theatre Company.

Sara (Unrue) Koulen is coaching 3rd grade soccer. Please stop laughing, Johanna Viglucci!

Eleanor Nell ter Horst wrote the following: "Tim, you caught me during a busy week! (But aren't they all like that?) I'm in Clarion, Pennsylvania and in the last week I have given a paper at a conference, biked 35 miles to raise money for MS and entered my photographs into a local art show. "

Lisa Kein Pearo wrote this note: "I have begun teaching my grad-level advertising course, which is jointly listed at the Hotel School and the Busines Schol at Cornell. I cannot believe that we just welcomed freshman born the same year I GRADUATED from business school. The parents are all now our age. So bizarre!"

Here is Minter Dial's spiel: "After 16 years at L'Oreal, I decided to leave to start up my own consultancy company, positioning myself as a business speaker and coach for the European market. Still based in Paris, I am busy writing a book and preparing an MBA class based on the vision I have for leadership in today's international marketplace. On the family front, my son, Oscar, 12, is enjoying boarding school in England (like father like son) while my daughter, Alexandra, 10, is developing beautifully with us in Paris. Aside from nourishing some Yale connections via Facebook, I was very glad to meet up with Brad Worrall in London and Paris over the summer. Still active on the blog front of course: (so come by and join in)"

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Recent news from the class

I sent out an e-mail to see what people are up to. No need for big stories - I just wanted to find out a little bit about our classmates. What follows are some of the responses:

From Val Norton: Was jonesing for the aspen color change in Colorado, so I flew there last weekend to see family and do some hiking. The fall colors were at their peak in the high country--food for the soul. --Val

I learned that Melissa Bauman Ward retired from the practice of law in June and is busier than ever with the family (husband Robert, kids Katie (13), Matthew (11), and Josie (8), and silly yellow lab Frodo (1)) in Walnut Creek, CA. This week she particularly enjoyed performing with the Diablo Symphony Orchestra, serving on the Walnut Creek Downtown Parking Task Force (strangely fascinating), and tie dying t-shirts with third graders.

M.A. Pomputius writes: "I'm still in Seattle, still a retired attorney. We're taking a break from restoring our hous on Volunteer Park, and instead I'm focusing on letterpress printing, writing a dog travel blog ( and trying to get a gorgeous 120's gas station declared a city landmark."

Jen Devore writes:

hi tim!hope all is well with you and week was filled with the usual family trivia...
-- filled out 5 middle school applications for my 11-year old twins
-- drove said twins to 4 swim team practices
-- went to back to school night for my 3 boys, 3 classes
-- ran 2 times wtih my running group at 5:30 am
-- made 1 amazing chocolate babka for Rosh Hashannah, my first ever
really not sure ANY of the above qualifies as news, but i really liked your last post to the 1987 blog and totally agree.

Lisa Zion McNiff writes: "In the last couple of weeks, I've successfully disentangled several couples from the holy bonds of matrimony, secured sole custody for a couple of dads (kind of a big deal), regularly harassed my 20-year-old son to get a job, gotten tipsy several times at the local microwbrewery, Darkhorse; had a fight and made up with my boyfriend and fired a secretary. Exciting, hmmm?"

I learned that Emanuel Pastreich works as the director of the Asia Institute at the SolBridge Business School in Daejeon, Korea's IT hub. he writes on science policy and current Asian affairs, often in Korean.

Catherine Spain wrote to say: "I married Rashi Soni in 2008. We live in West Hartford, CT. I am a tax lawyer at Michael A. Neufeld & Assoc. in Milford, CT. "

Friday, September 4, 2009

A note about class notes . . . .

My periodic e-mails elicit responses from time to time, some of which suggest that classmates who have not written books, made movies, launched companies or been appointed by presidents sometimes feel like they have nothing of note to share. Although it is true that I tend to highlight public successes -- often because I read about it on the internet -- I do not believe that this is the only worthy news of our class. Quite the opposite. The every day accomplishments of our classmates -- be they birth of a child, the graduation of a child from school, finding the time to get together with old friends, the celebration of a hobby or a cool trip, fighting for a cause -- are every bit as deserving of coverage on our class site as our more common fair. I am reminded of how true this is every Fall.

Ten years ago, my little brother, Luke, died suddenly. Luke was not a fancy guy. He tended bar, managed restaurants and, in the summer before he died, was a white water rafting guide in Wyoming. He never graduated from college and sometimes looked like Grizzly Adams. Yet, he had a huge impact on people because of his kind and generous spirit, and his adventurous way through life.

The first Saturday after Labor Day, we get together with his friends to have a charity golf event so we can send kids to the summer camp Luke attended. We thought initially that we would do the tournament for a year or two. After all, what had he done that would bring people together year after year? Ten years later, we are planning another tournament, and will get together with 100 or so people who will travel from all over the country to be there. At the end of our day together, this group will lift their glasses and remember their old friend. More than a couple of the kids who will be there are named after Luke. A fitting tribute to a wonderful life, that was completely devoid of the sorts of accomplishments I often report.

Luke's life is a steady and humbling reminder to me about how important the little things are, and how rich a life can be even without accolades. I have every confidence that the lives of our classmates -- whether heralded or not -- are just as full of wonder as Luke's was.

So, if you'd like to share the events of your life, even if they don't involve something fancy, I for one will look forward to reading about it.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

News from Jackie Horne -- Children's Literature Scholar

Jackie C. Horne, a scholar of children's literature, recently co-edited a collection of essays celebrating the 100th anniversary of Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows. The book will be published by Scarecrow Press in early 2010. Jackie also writes about contemporary children's literature: her essay on anti-racism pedagogies in the Harry Potter series will appear in the January 2010 issue of the journal The Lion and the Unicorn. Any Yalies interested in sharing thoughts about children's fantasy books can connect to Jackie via GoodReads...

News From Peter Barnes

Peter Barnes writes in to report:

I'm getting married in February, to Velina Pelgrift. We're enjoying the prospect of blending our families, though I never thought I'd have 4 teenagers!

I still live in Berkeley, CA, and work at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab, doing a variety of pure and applied physics research, which I love. I ran into Natasha Reichle ('87) a while ago, at the pediatrician, of all places. At the time she was in graduate school and curating at the Asian Art Museum of SF.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Karen Yarasavage Honored

Three Yalies were recently honored by being inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame, including our classmate Karen Yarasavage. According to the Yale Press release announcing the honor:

Yarasavage was the team leader in field goal percentage in her freshman season and stills hold the program record for career field goal percentage at .615. She also led the Bulldogs in rebounding in 1986-87. As a senior, she was team captain, a first team All-Ivy selection and was named the team’s Most Valuable Player. Yarasavage graduated with a degree in psychology as a member of the Class of 1987.Always a strong supporter of the Yale women’s basketball program, her legacy was recognized in 2006 with the institution of the Karen Yarasavage Award at the annual year-end team banquet. The award is presented annually to the player who most displays the attributes of grit and determination, Karen’s trademarks.

Congratulations, Karen!

New Book by Bruce Feiler

Bruce Feiler is coming out with a new book, entitled "America's Prophet, Moses and the American Story."

Here is the Amazon blurb on Bruce's book:

The exodus story is America's story. Moses is our real founding father.

The pilgrims quoted his story. Franklin and Jefferson proposed he appear on the U.S. seal. Washington and Lincoln were called his incarnations. The Statue of Liberty and Superman were molded in his image. Martin Luther King, Jr., invoked him the night before he died. Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama cited him as inspiration. For four hundred years, one figure inspired more Americans than any other. His name is Moses.

In this groundbreaking book, New York Times bestselling author Bruce Feiler travels through touchstones in American history and traces the biblical prophet's influence from the Mayflower through today. He visits the island where the pilgrims spent their first Sabbath, climbs the bell tower where the Liberty Bell was inscribed with a quote from Moses, retraces the Underground Railroad where "Go Down, Moses" was the national anthem of slaves, and dons the robe Charlton Heston wore in The Ten Commandments.

"Even a cursory review of American history indicates that Moses has emboldened leaders of all stripes," Feiler writes, "patriot and loyalist, slave and master, Jew and Christian. Could the persistence of his story serve as a reminder of our shared national values? Could he serve as a unifying force in a disunifying time? If Moses could split the Red Sea, could he unsplit America?"
One part adventure story, one part literary detective story, one part exploration of faith in contemporary life, America's Prophet takes readers through the landmarks of America's narrative—from Gettysburg to Selma, the Silver Screen to the Oval Office—to understand how Moses has shaped the nation's character.

Meticulously researched and highly readable, America's Prophet is a thrilling, original work of history that will forever change how we view America, our faith, and our future.

For more information, check out Bruce's website:

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bank reform architect defends 600-pages of changes - MarketWatch

Classmate Michael Barr is often in the news these days, given his high profile role in the Obama administration.  MarketWatch did a piece on his views.  Very interesting.

Bank reform architect defends 600-pages of changes - MarketWatch

Bruce Feiler: Charlton Heston the Face of the USA? How Moses Was Chosen for the Great Seal

Bruce Feiler had an interest piece on the Huffington Post.  Check it out.

Bruce Feiler: Charlton Heston the Face of the USA? How Moses Was Chosen for the Great Seal

The Index of Banned Words | The Loom | Discover Magazine

Classmate Carl Zimmer is teaching writing this summer.  He has banned the use of certain words -- something I have done when teaching younger lawyers to write briefs.  What do you think about Carl's list?

The Index of Banned Words | The Loom | Discover Magazine

Microbes Within Microbes Within Microbes - Origins

Our classmate Carl Zimmer has been blogging and writing some interesting posts.  I am passing two along . . .

Microbes Within Microbes Within Microbes - Origins

Friday, August 7, 2009

News from Abigail Pogrebin

I have heard from Abigail Pogerbin, whose second book will be published October 20th from Doubleday. It's called "One and the Same: My Life as an Identical Twin and What I've Learned about Everyone's Struggle to be Singular" and, in addition to fascinating interviews with twins, it includes personal revelations about her own twinship with Robin Pogrebin, also class of '87.

Curious about Abigail's first book, I snooped a bit on the internet and found that her first book, "Stars of David", featured interviews with prominent Jews about being Jewish. She interviewed a very impressive list of accomplished individuals for that book. For more information, you can visit

Abigail, I also learned, has been a producer for Charlie Rose, Bill Moyers, and 60 Minutes—for Mike Wallace and Ed Bradley. She was a senior correspondent for Brill’s Content, a contributing writer for Talk magazine, and is now a free-lance journalist whose work has appeared in many magazines and newspapers. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

Monday, August 3, 2009

News about Devin Odell

News from the Google wire . . .

A former newspaper reporter and natural resources attorney has been appointed to take over the district court docket of retiring Judge James Hiatt.

Effective Friday, Devin R. Odell of Fort Collins, Colorado, is the newest judge in the 8th Judicial District of Larimer and Jackson counties.

Odell is an assistant attorney general in the Natural Resources Division of the Colorado Attorney General's Office, a position he has held since 2006. His wife is a professor at Colorado State University.

Odell said he "off and on" wanted to be a judge from childhood, but a rough experience working at a law firm initially put him off.

Born in Colorado but raised largely in California, Odell said he graduated from Yale in 1987 and eventually worked as a “roving reporter” for the trade newspaper Alaska Fisherman’s Journal.

“It’s been downhill since then,” he said with a laugh.

Working in Alaska got him interested in water and other natural resources issues, Odell said, and he eventually went to law school, graduating from the University of California-Davis School of Law in 1997. He clerked for Alaska Supreme Court Judge Dana Fabe and then took a succession of private-sector jobs before he and his wife moved to Fort Collins and he took a job with the attorney general’s office.

He said his selection as judge is a testament to how welcoming the Fort Collins community is, having moved to the area only about six years ago.

Odell said he will take over Hiatt’s docket, which carries a mix of civil and criminal cases. Odell said he’s aware of Hiatt’s reputation as a fair jurist who listens carefully to all sides and said he aspires to do the same.

“That’s one of my goals as a judge — to work hard at being able to do that,” he said.
Odell said the 8th Judicial District has a reputation for being well-run, and he said he looks forward to helping administer justice efficiently.

“It’s really well-run,” Odell said. “They get cases done in a timely way. It’s a good court.”

Ritter chose Odell from a field of three finalists that also included Mary Joan Berenato, a Larimer County magistrate, and longtime Fort Collins private practice attorney Steven B. Ray.

Hiatt also served as chief district judge handling administrative duties. His retirement led the Colorado Supreme Court to name Stephen Schapanski as new chief judge for the district.

Odell’s initial term of office is a provisional term of two years. He will then have to stand for retention. He and his wife have two children, ages 11 and 6.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Passing Strange | Jon Spurney

Classmate Jon Spurney has been working on Passing Strange, an interesting piece of musical theater that is the subject of a Spike Lee documentary coming out in a few weeks.


Jon is an accomplished musician who played keyboards on David Byrne’s latest album, Looking Backward, and played guitar and sang on John Cale’s recent release Hobo Sapiens. He has performed with artists as diverse as Jewel, Natalie Merchant, Stew and Amy Rigby, and has made numerous television appearances including NBC’s Tonight Show with Jay Leno and CBS This Morning. He performed in Sarah McClachlan’s Lilith Fair Festival in 1999, and most recently appeared at the HBO Comedy Fest in Aspen with TastiSkank.

Jon performed on stage in the off-Broadway hit Hedwig and the Angry Inch with 80’s pop icon Ally Sheedy, which ran for two years at New York’s Jane Street Theater from 1999-2000, as well as in Greenburg and Goldwasser’s rock musical People are Wrong! at the Vineyard Theater in 2005. He served as musical director for the off-Broadway hit Planet Banana at the Ars Nova and as bandleader for The Soundtracks Live shows at the UCB Theater featuring cast members of Saturday Night Live. He participated in the Sundance Theater Lab in 2005 with Passing Strange, and participated in further workshops of the show in New York and at Stanford University.

Jon most recently composed and performed music for the new sketch comedy show Short Circuitz. He also composed and performed incidental music for The Colbert Report and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central. He has composed jingles for television commercials for over 19 years and was awarded a Bronze Lion at the Cannes film festival for his commercial scoring work. He provides live piano accompaniment for silent films at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art, The American Museum of the Moving Image, and for the Film Studies Department of Yale University.

If you would like to read more about Jon and his work, including a very interesting interview he gave (that includes a question about Jon waking up with Clarence Thomas in a Las Vegas hotel room), you should check out the link below.

Passing Strange | Jon Spurney

News from Joshua Berman

Josh Berman wrote recently. Josh writes: "Our daughter Karen was born in February, and at four months loves to "work the crowd" as did her older sister Rachel (now five years old) at the same age! I continue in private practice in psychiatry and in neuroscience research, and run into members of '87 when I least expect it."

News from Marcella Rosen

Marcella Rosen wrote in recently. She writes: "I just spent a fantastic week in Montauk, Long Island with Louisa Garry (Gerritz) and Liddy Manson. I brought my three daughters, Gabby (12), Anna (10) and Eva (5) who joined Louisa's two daughters, Kira (16) and Katrina (13) and Liddy's twin daughters, Katherine and Annie (8) for days of fun on the beach. Over the Fourth of July, Kathy Graff, busand Ben and son Nicholas joined our family for festivities at our summer house in Chatham, NY. Come September, I am looking forward to returning to a full-time teaching position as a 6th & 7th grate Humanities and English teached at The United Nationas International School, where my daughters are enrolled."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

News from Pearlena Igbokwe

Pearlena Igbokwe writes in to report that she is still working at Showtime Networks as the Senior Vice President, Original Programming and and that she is loving it.  She was recently received her second Emmy nomination for DEXTER, a show that she developed and oversees.  And, she just recently launched NURSE JACKIE, a new comedy starring Edie Falco.  Pearlena is living in Sherman Oaks, Californina with her husband and two children. 

Nicky Grist Testifies in Congress -- and could use your support concerning domestic partner benefits!

Nicky Grist writes in: 

Federal employees: want domestic partner benefits?

I'd like to talk with federal employees about the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act. It currently proposes to give same-sex partners the same benefits as spouses. This is a good idea, but my organization believes all federal employees should be able to add one adult to their benefit plan, or at least it should cover different-sex as well as same-sex partners.  For more detail on this position, check out my written testimony to Congress ( ).

Do federal employees agree with us?  How can we help them speak up?

Thanks so much,


Nicky Grist, Executive Director
Alternatives to Marriage Project, Inc.
PO Box 320151
Brooklyn NY 11232
Tel. 718-788-1911

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

An article by Mark Gevisser: Lives - Same-Sex Marriage in South Africa -

Classmate Mark Gevisser wrote an interesting piece in the New York Times recently about his recent marriage.  First, and most importantly, congratulations to Mark and his partner. 

It turns out that Mark has been quite busy since 1987.  After graduating from Yale with a degree in comparative literature, Mark he worked in New York, writing for Village Voice and The Nation before returning to South Africa in 1990. He is currently The Nation’s Southern African correspondent. In South Africa, his work has appeared in the Mail & Guardian, the Sunday Independent, the Sunday Times and many magazines and periodicals. Internationally, he has published widely on South African politics, culture and society, in publications ranging from Vogue and the New York Times to Foreign Affairs and Art in America.

Mark has previously published two books – Defiant Desire, Gay and Lesbian Lives In South Africa (Routledge, 1994), which he co-edited with Edwin Cameron, and Portraits of Power: Profiles in a Changing South Africa (David Philip, 1996), a collection of his celebrated political profiles from the Mail & Guardian. He has also published widely, in anthologies, on sexuality and on urbanism in South Africa. His essay, “Inheritance”, appears in the award-winning new anthology, Beautiful/Ugly (Duke/Kwela, 2006). His feature-length documentary, The Man Who Drove With Mandela, made with Greta Schiller, has been broadcast internationally, and won the Teddy Documentary Prize at the Berlin Film Festival in 1999. The film is an excavation of the life of Cecil Williams, the South African gay communist theatre director. Mark has also written scripts for the South African drama series Zero Tolerance; his scripts were short-listed for SAFTA and iEmmy awards.

Since 2002, Mark has also been involved in heritage development. He co-led the team that developed the heritage, education and tourism components of Constitution Hill, and co-curated the Hill’s permanent exhibitions. He is a founder and associate of Trace, a heritage research and design company. Mark also works as a political analyst; his clients have included several South African and multinational organisations and corporations.

Most recently, Mark wrote A LEGACY OF LIBERATION: THABO MBEKI AND THE FUTURE OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN DREAM, a new book which has been very well received.  For more information, check out Mark's website.

Mark lives in France and South Africa with his partner.

Lives - Same-Sex Marriage in South Africa -

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Because I just can't get enough of lawyers tonight . . . here's an update about Stuart Benjamin

Stuart Benjamin, who returned to Yale for law school, is an Associate Dean and a professor at Duke Law School.  Before he began teaching law, Stu served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal; clerked for Judge William C. Canby on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and for Justice David H. Souter of the U.S. Supreme Court; worked as an associate with Professor Laurence Tribe; served as staff attorney for the Legal Resources Centre in Port Elizabeth, South Africa; and worked as an attorney-advisor in the Office of Legal Counsel in the U.S. Department of Justice. From 1997 to 2001 he was an associate professor of law at the University of San Diego School of Law, and from 2001-2003 he was the Rex G. & Edna Baker Professor in Constitutional Law at the University of Texas School of Law. He is co-author of Telecommunications Law and Policy (1st ed. 2001, 2nd ed. 2006), and has written a number of law review articles.

Word on the web is that Stu and one of his colleagues propose that the Obama administration (or Congress, if Congress is willing) create an Office of Innovation Policy that would draw upon, and feed into, existing regulatory review processes but would have the specific mission of being the “innovation champion” within these processes.

Stuart M. Benjamin

Judges Call on U.S. to Simplify Sentencing Guidelines (Update1) -

Classmates in Washington are not just making waves in the Executive Branch.  Classmate Brett Kavanaugh weighed on concerning the Federal Sentencing Guidelines applied to those convicted of crimes in federal courts.  I won't bore you with the ins and outs of federal sentencing debates -- although I will note that one of the founders of my law firm was instrumental in drafting the guidelines to begin with and would probably agree with Judge Kavanaugh's viewpoints. 

Judges Call on U.S. to Simplify Sentencing Guidelines (Update1) -

UPDATE: Treasury's Barr: Banks Fees Seen Lower Under New Agency -

Our classmates have been busy in Washington.  One of them, recently confirmed Treasury official Michael Barr, is getting quite a bit of press lately.

UPDATE: Treasury's Barr: Banks Fees Seen Lower Under New Agency -

Thursday, July 9, 2009

New Book by Valerie Sperling

Valerie Sperling writes in about her new book: "I wanted to let you know that my new book on globalization and accountability is out from Cambridge University Press. The book is titled Altered States: The Globalization of Accountability. I won't even try to compare it to The Emperor's Children, but I hope it'll be gripping in its own way. I did manage to mention Steve Martin in the book's first paragraph, so there's at least some entertainment value in the book. "

Here's a summary:

Is globalization good for democracy? Or has it made our governing institutions less accountable to citizens? Located at the intersection of international relations and comparative politics, this book explores the effects of globalization on national governance. Under what circumstances do the transnational forces that embody globalization encourage or discourage political accountability? Among the transnational forces discussed in the book are the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, multinational corporations, the United Nations, private military contractors, peacekeepers, the European Court of Human Rights, and several transnational social movements. Using in-depth case studies of situations in which these transnational institutions interact with national governments and citizens, Valerie Sperling traces the impact of economic, political, military, judicial, and civic globalization on state accountability and investigates the degree to which transnational institutions are themselves responsible to the people whose lives they alter.


1. Transnational institutions and accountability; 2. For richer, for poorer: economic globalization; 3. Democracy from abroad? Political globalization; 4. Army for hire: transnational military forces; 5. Trials and tribulations: transnational judicial institutions; 6. My country is the whole world: transnational civil society; 7. Conclusion: altered states and altered citizens.


“Altered States is an excellent book that is broad ranging and provides a rich store of insights on crucial aspects of globalization that are rarely addressed in depth with this level of flair. It is gracefully written and full of incisive points on the big issues it tackles. The book is timely and will find a wide audience in political science, sociology, and the broader attentive public outside academia.” -Steven Fish, University of California, Berkeley

“Valerie Sperling tackles a question which lies at the heart of contemporary concerns about globalization in its various political, economic, military, and cultural guises: namely, just how can elites be held accountable for their actions in a world where the locus of authority seems to have shifted away from nation-states toward a shifting array of international agencies, INGOs, and other non-state actors? If accountability cannot be defined or defended in an increasingly globalized world, then the recent gains for global democracy may also be eroded or reversed. Sperling not only brings this crucial problem to the forefront of attention, but she also conducts careful empirical, comparative social science research into the circumstances under which various aspects of globalization facilitate or undermine accountability. The result is a book that will profoundly reshape multiple intellectual debates.” -Stephen Hanson, University of Washington

“At a time of world crisis, policymakers and scholars are perplexed about accountability in globalization. To grasp sources of global democracy, they should turn to Valerie Sperling’s meticulously researched and lucidly presented book.” -James H. Mittelman, University Professor at American University and author of Hyperconflict: Globalization and Insecurity (2010)

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Class of 1987 Sends a Child to Yale

Classmate Elliot Turrini writes in with breaking news about his daughter being accepted to Yale:

"I thought this good news for the Turrini family might bring hope to other Class of 1987 parents. Our daughter, Alexandra (currently a HS senior), will be entering the Class of 2013 this fall. While Alexandra has two Yale parents -- my wife Loren is Yale 89' -- she was accepted despite her parents' inability to donate a building."

I believe that this is the first child of a classmate to attend Yale.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

President Obama Appoints Class of 1987's Michael Barr to Treasury Department Post

In March, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate  Michael S. Barr as Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions.  Michael is a professor at the University of Michigan Law School and currently teaches Financial Institutions, International Finance, Transnational Law, and Jurisdiction and Choice of Law, and co-founded the International Transactions Clinic. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and at the Brookings Institution. Barr conducts large-scale empirical research regarding financial services and low- and moderate-income households and researches and writes about a wide range of issues in financial regulation. Barr recently co-edited Building Inclusive Financial Systems (Brookings Press 2007, with Kumar & Litan) and Insufficient Funds (Russell Sage 2008, with Blank). Barr previously served as Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin’s Special Assistant, as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, as Special Advisor to President William J. Clinton, as a special advisor and counselor on the policy planning staff at the State Department, and as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter and then-District Court Judge Pierre N. Leval, of the Southern District of New York. Barr received his J.D. from Yale Law School, an M. Phil in International Relations from Magdalen College, Oxford University, as a Rhodes Scholar, and his B.A., summa cum laude, with Honors in History, from Yale University.

The White House - Press Office - President Obama Announces Additional Treasury Department Posts

Yale Day of Service -- Los Angeles

Classmate Darcy (Troy) Pollack is coordinating the Yale Day of Service project in LA on May 16.  Here is what she Darcy passed along:

We will be working with the non-profit organization P.S. Arts to repaint a mural that was vandalized at Grand View School in Mar Vista.  As you know, public schools are struggling with their budgets, and the arts have been severely impacted.  P.S. Arts is dedicated to restoring arts education to Title One public schools (75% of families live at or below Federal Poverty Level), and currently provides programs in Visual Arts, Music, Theater and Dance to 12,000 students at 25 schools.  At Grand View, P.S. Arts provides free visual arts and music for every child during their school day.  Vandals recently destroyed the mural that was created by P.S. Arts students, and restoring it will not only clean up the school, but also will raise the spirits of students and faculty alike. 

The project will run May 16 from 10AM to 2PM, and you are welcome to come at any point during that time to help out.  This is a great activity for children as well as adults, and we will have arts and crafts if you do have any children you would like to bring with you.  We will also have snacks and drinks to help you refuel.

Grand View School is located at 3951 Grand View Blvd., Los Angeles 90066.

You can park on the street or in the Grand View parking lot.  There will be signs directing you to the arts bungalow, which is just behind the school parking lot.  If you have any questions that day (or before), please feel free to email me or call me at 310-740-7732.

Finally, P.S. Arts would welcome any donations of art supplies -- a box of crayons, package of construction paper, etc.  This is absolutely not required, but certainly would be appreciated.

Class of 1987 Pittsburgh Contingent

The Class of 1987 made it to this year's Super Bowl.  The Class of '87 Pittsburgh connection included Ken Lund, Dave Todd and Matthew Meade, who connected during halftime of  the game in Tampa.  JD Williams made it there, too.  A mini reunion and an unbelievable win by the Steelers.


(Sorry for the delay in the posting of this news . . . got lost in my e-mail.  If you ever send something in that doesn't get posted, please let me know.)

Chris Dudley Foundation

I have been amazed and humbled by the civic and charitable work done by many of our classmates. During my recent visit to LA, I heard about the remarkable work Jose Egurbide is doing in LA's public schools. And, it turns out, Darcy (Troy) Pollack is also involved in LA's schools. I have also recently learned about work Chris Dudley is doing for kids with diabetes. His foundation works with active children and young adults to be a clearinghouse for information and to empower young people living with diabetes to lead active lives. Please check out his web site to see what Chris is doing.

Chris Dudley Foundation

LA Class Get Together

We had a very nice Class get together in LA on April 28. About a dozen classmates got together in Santa Monica, with some lasting late enough into the night to get some dinner. We got to catch up with Jose Egurbide and his wife, Noreen, Ethan Goldstine, Gideon Brower, Jen Devore, Darcy (Troy) Pollack and her husband, Elizabeth Atlee, Lolly Hlade, Brandon Chabner, Ray Gallo and Tim Harkness. Some people got to catch up with old friends and some were meeting each other for the first time. Setting the event up was not hard - so think about putting together a class night out in your area.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

News About Marisa Chun


San Francisco, April 20, 2009 - Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass LLP Partner A. Marisa Chun has been appointed to serve as Deputy Associate Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice, starting May 1, 2009. Ms. Chun, who has practiced at the Coblentz firm for nearly a decade, brings civil litigation and leadership experience, in returning to the Justice Department, where she began her legal career.

The Associate Attorney General is the third-ranking official at the U.S. Department of Justice. The Office of the Associate Attorney General advises and assists the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General in formulating and implementing the Department's policies and programs pertaining to a broad range of civil justice, federal and local law enforcement, and public safety matters. The Office oversees the Department's civil litigating components, including the Antitrust, Civil, Civil Rights, Environmental and Natural Resources, and Tax Divisions. A Principal Deputy and four Deputies, including Ms. Chun, will assist Associate Attorney General Thomas J. Perrelli with respect to his responsibilities.

Richard R. Patch, the Firm's Litigation Chairman, said, "We are thrilled that Marisa has been selected by the Obama Administration for this position. Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass has a longstanding tradition of public service and we are proud that Marisa will be continuing this Coblentz tradition, by serving the nation."

Ms. Chun joined Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass in 1999 and became a partner in 2003. She practices complex civil litigation, with an emphasis on business litigation, consumer protection and unfair business practices actions, appellate litigation, and employment law. At Coblentz, she has worked on a wide variety of cases in the federal and state courts, including disputes involving breach of contract, business torts, unfair competition and antitrust, cable and telecommunications, trade secrets, employment, securities, and First Amendment claims.

"I am honored to have this opportunity to serve the American people and the Justice Department at this critical time in our history," said Ms. Chun. "At the same time, I will miss my colleagues at Coblentz very much. Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass has always stood for excellence in lawyering and the best values of our profession, so I hope to apply what I have learned here in Washington, D.C."

Ms. Chun first joined the Department of Justice in 1992, through the Attorney General's Honors Program. She served as a Trial Attorney and Senior Trial Attorney in the Civil Rights Division, from 1992 to 1996, where she investigated and prosecuted public employers for violations of federal civil rights laws.

Ms. Chun has been actively involved in the legal community. She has served as Chair of the State Bar of California's Federal Courts Committee, Chair of the Bar Association of San Francisco's (BASF) Litigation Section, a Lawyer Representative for the Northern District of California to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, and President of the Korean American Bar Association of Northern California. She was appointed by Chief Judge Vaughn Walker to the Northern District's Federal Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Review Panel, which recommended the re-appointment of Magistrate Judges Edward Chen and Richard Seeborg. Her pro bono work at Coblentz has included serving as a mediator for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Ms. Chun received her B.A. from Yale University, summa cum laude, in 1987. She graduated from Harvard Law School, cum laude, in 1991, where she served as Developments Editor of the Harvard Law Review. She served as a law clerk to the Honorable Robert Boochever of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Monday, April 13, 2009

News from Sasawati Paul

Saswati Paul wrote in to share some of her recent news: She recently joined GreenbergTraurig's Silicon Valley Office as Of Counsel in the Global Benefits and Compensation Group. She will continue to focus on ERISA fiduciary issues and matters involving the U.S. DOL. Saswati and her husband Nathan Krishnan have been living in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1997 and have two kids (Anika (7) and Amit (4)). Nathan is a software developer. She would love to hear from friends visiting the Bay Area and can be contacted at or

Saturday, April 11, 2009

This I Believe - Judith Warner Blog & a Piece by Bruce Feiler

I found this article, referred to me by one of our classmates, to be a fitting meditation on this holiday season, particularly as it kicks off with a reference to one of our classmates, Bruce Feiler, and an article he just wrote in Gourmet. Click here for Bruce's article.

At this stage of our lives, we have set up our own traditions -- morphing those of our parents and maybe the families of our husbands, wives, significant others, or partners into our own unique commemoration of major holidays and observances. I hope you find these articles interesting.

This I Believe - Judith Warner Blog -

Friday, April 10, 2009

LA Class Get Togeher -- April 28

On April 28, we'll be having a class get together.

When: April 28 from 7:00 to ??

What: We'll start off with drinks and appetizers at the bar. If people are so inclined, we'll all head to dinner.

Where: Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica, CA. Click here for directions.

RSVP: Please RSVP to Tim Harkness at

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A visit to LA

I was in LA recently and had time to have dinner with some classmates. Ethan Goldstine and Gideon Brower joined me for dinner the first night in town. Ethan runs a website design firm for non-profits and Gideon is a screenwriter and both of them live in LA. We had a really a great time catching up.

My second night in town, I had dinner at the home of classmate Hanna Weg, with her family. Hanna is a screenwriter who has a movie in production called The Beautiful and the Damned, which is essentially a history of our class. Well, actually, that's not it at all. It is a period love story based on the relationship of writers F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre. The film revolves around the Jazz Age icons Fitzgerald, famed for writing "The Great Gatsby," and Zayre known for living large, soaring high and crashing hard. Although they were both the toast of the town during the roaring '20s, their courtship and marriage was festooned with jealousy and acrimony with both parties using the relationship as the basis for their various novels.

I had such a good time in LA, that I am going back at the end of April -- and we're having a Class Dinner. For everyone in LA, please save the date: April 28. More details soon!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

AIG, I Quit -- a different perspective

I sometimes joke that I represent the "wrongly accused and misunderstood." But, for my clients that is not really a joke. You never really know until you get the full story. In this crazy time, I thought that the attached article by one of the recipients of the AIG bonuses was an interesting counterpoint to other perspectives.

So, this leads to some questions: anyone in our class working for the government on the bailout?How about in a bank doing bailout-related work? Any lawyers out there working on part of this? It would be great to hear what people are up to.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Financial Crisis Debate

With so many of our classmates in DC and on Wall Street, I pose the following question:  who is most responsible for our country's financial condition -- DC, Wall Street or Main Street?  Please let everyone know what you think.  As you consider your answer, please consider the attached post and related speakers via YouTube.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Liddy Manson is CEO of


Some interesting news about Liddy Manson.  Liddy is now the CEO of  Before joining DigitalSports in November of '08, she served as the Chief Operating Officer of Freewebs, Inc. a venture backed, early-stage internet company focused on user-generated content and social publishing.  Prior to joining Freewebs in January of '07, Liddy spent nine years in various senior management roles at the interactive subsidiary of The Washington Post Company.  In those years she served in both functional roles (sales, marketing, business development) and ran the largest P&L at the company, Local Commercial Products and Online Classifieds.

DigitalSports - About Us - Management Team

Wife/Mother/Worker/Spy - The Adult Thing to Do -

Last year, my mother passed away after a difficult struggle with cancer.  It is the sort of thing that people in our class are likely to face more and more frequently.  I found the article attached to this link relevant to all of us who have had to help a parent through an illness.

Wife/Mother/Worker/Spy - The Adult Thing to Do -

Yale Alumni Magazine -- David Swensen's Guide to Sleeping Soundly

Here is a very interesting article from the recent Yale Alumni Magazine.  The latest issue is, I think, particularly good.

Yale Alumni Magazine

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Thinking about the curve balls life sometimes throws us

As you can tell, the Class Blog is becoming a bit more than a posting of news.  It seems that many of us have dealt with the same things, which is not much of a surprise.  So, I thought that from time to time I might post a piece or two on items I find interesting with the hope that you find them interesting as well.  Please let me know if you do.

Sunday morning, over coffee, I read a New York Times piece written by the husband of a woman who became a paralyzed in a car accident.  I was touched by the article and thought I would share it.  (One of our classmates read the same article and posted it on Facebook.) 

When one chooses a life partner, one never knows what might come up.  For better or worse can seem like an easy promise to make, but life is not always easy.  There are bumps, sometimes big ones, along the way.  I found the way this couple dealt with one such bump inspirational.

If you come across other stories or topics that interest you that you would like to share, please send them my way.

Modern Love - In a Charmed Life, a Road Less Traveled -

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Yale Class of 1987 Lunch -- NYC

With Spring threatening to melt away the snow, we hope you can make it out for the class lunch on Thursday, March 12 from 12:30 to 2 in the Tap Room (3rd Floor). The Yale Club is located at 44th Street and Vanderbilt.


Our success has inspired the Class of 1989 (as well as the Classes of 1986 and 1988) to join us, so come early to get a seat at the main 1987 table.

As always, the lunch will consist of the Tap Room's buffet, non-alcoholic beverage and coffee.

The cost is only $25. Members can sign for the lunch and all others can pay by check payable to "The Yale Club of New York City."



Facebook | Yale Class of 1987 Lunch -- NYC

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Ivy Referral Network (IRN) on LinkedIn

I recently heard about a new networking group on LinkedIn for Ivy grads.  Apparently people have enjoyed this, so I pass it on for what it is worth.  Formed by a Princeton grad, the network not only links people together virtually, it also holds networking events.  This network is not run by a business -- it is run by the people who attend the events.

I hear that this group has a Yale Referral Network that they are about to launch, too.  If you're interested in more information, please let me know.

Welcome to Ivy Referral Network (IRN) on LinkedIn

Class of '87 Alumni Fund Update

A toast to our legion of Class Agents, who thus far have shepherded our annual Alumni Fund efforts through interesting times. As you may know, the endowment lost 25% of its value since mid-2008, proving it is neither invulnerable nor immune to the market. Versus our $230,000 target, our Class has raised $181,000(79% of goal) from 215 classmates, meaning that 1 in 6 of us has given to the Fund this fiscal year.

Here is the breakdown by college:

Calhoun 30.2% participation
Morse 23.1%
Branford 22.4%
Pierson 19.0%
D'port 17.6%
JE 16.5%
Saybrook 15.2%
Trumbull 14.4%
Stiles 14.3%
Berkeley 13.8%
TD 10.5%
Silliman 7.7%

Thanks much to those have already participated and thanks to our Agents. Recall that our class also has the legacy of breaking Yale's 10th, 15th, and 20th Reunion Gift Records. It's not too late. Do what you can, at any level, even $50. Annual participation adds up, and helps ensure the legacy of an institution that now gets 25,000 freshman applicants per year, and was first established over 300 years ago, by one single gift...........

Regards, Gavin Wellington (Chair of Agents '87)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Yale Global Day of Service

The Yale Global Day of Service is slated for May 16, 2009 -- and their web site is up and running.  Please visit it to find out about opportunities in your community to participate in this wonderful event.

Yale Global Day of Service

Feb Club Emeritus

Feb Club Emeritus 2009 is in the books.  

28 nights, 62 cities, 6 continents, 5,000+ Yale alums from 7 decades of classes later, Feb Club '09 has drawn to a close.  From the all-night fest in London to the elegant carving stations in Newport; from the six-foot groundhog in Pittsburgh to the celebration of Bacchus in New Orleans; from central command in Kabul to Alumni Tang in Boston; from the sophisticated Ambassador Bar in San Francisco to the month-ending blowout in New Haven, it was a month to remember (or not, depending exactly how much fun one might have had.....).

Check back over the next few days as the tales and photos from this legendary month continue to roll in.

A special thanks goes to Jordan Warshaw, for his tireless work to get this month going, as well as all of the hosts.  What a month!

Feb Club Emeritus

Laid-Off Lawyers and Other Professionals -

Classmate Kinney Zalesne wrote a very interesting article about lay offs and lawyers.  Being a lawyer at a big firm, I found the article to be interesting and insightful.  What do you think?

Laid-Off Lawyers and Other Professionals -

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Stealth Sex

I was reading the local paper the other day and a kid's advice column cracked me up. In a piece entitled Hey, Cherie, a 14-year-old complained that her parents were too frisky and too loud about thier friskiness. Once upon a time, I would have seen it from the kid's perspective. Now, of course, I see the parents' side of things.

I have heard from a few classmates that loud adult play time with a partner has caused some pretty funny questions from their kids -- which is why more than a few of us, I would suspect, have had to change some of their habits and now try to keep their amorous entanglements below the kiddie radar. In a phrase: stealth sex.

Now, not to be too lawerly about things, but the 14-year-old who wrote the letter that inspired this post does have one credibility problem. She writes that her parents are doing it "almost every single night." No way. Parents with four kids and jobs, absolutley no way. The average American does it 132 times a year, with married folks making love about 98 times a year. The only group who is above average in this regard are non-married people who live with each other. (I wonder if this point is one that Nicky Grist makes.)

Nicky Grist in the News

Classmate Nicky Grist was quoted recently in USA Today concerning a federally funded campaign to promote marriage. Here's what Nicky had to say:

"Most people want to get married someday, and most do. That's not at issue," says Nicky Grist of the Brooklyn-based Alternatives to Marriage Project, a non-profit advocate for the rights of the unmarried.

She and others have organized an ad hoc coalition that will ask the Obama administration to stop using anti-poverty money for marriage promotion.

"What's at issue is really two things, from our perspective," she says. "Should government tell people when to get married? And should government and society privilege marriage over all other relationships? Our answer to both those questions is no."

For those of you who don't know, Nicky is the executive director of the Alternatives to Marriage Project (AtMP), a national nonprofit dedicated to eliminating marital status discrimination from law and policy. Trained and experienced in both public policy analysis and grassroots organizing, she can speak about legal and economic institutions and their effects on people’s lives. AtMP critiques the role of marital status in health care, employment, welfare, taxes, housing, adoption, social security and immigration, as well as voter trends and social stigma. AtMP is a 501c3 with over 8,800 members in all 50 states and Canada. Ms. Grist connects media to an informal speakers bureau of hundreds of AtMP members who are willing to share personal stories, as well as a broad range of relevant academics and practitioners.

After graduating from Yale, Nicky earned a masters degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University as well as an executive certificate from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Before joining AtMP in 2005, she worked for 18 years in local and federal government, foundations, research institutions and community-based non-profits in New York City and Nairobi, Kenya.

Facebook and your kids

Well, many of us have kids. Some of these kids are getting on Facebook. I saw a New York Times piece on Facebook for Parents and thought I would pass it along. Although the fundamentals of parenting are probably the same for us as for our parents, some of the particulars -- like the internet -- are not. Any other topics of interest to people?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Does Facebook Replace Face Time or Enhance It?

I would love to get the whole Class of 1987 on Facebook. Why? Because it is a great tool for linking people together. It allows us to keep up with friends and catch up with people who we haven't seen in a while.

By clicking on the title of this post, you can connect to a Time article that discusses Facebook use by people our age. Time also ran an article about why Facebook is for Old Fogies.

Please let me know what you think.

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Valentine's Day Greeting from Dante Centouri

Freshman year, Dante Centouri sent a Valentine's Day card to every woman in the Class of 1987. He wanted to do that again, and sends the following greeting:

Roses are red,

My hair is still blue,

It's been 25 years,

A Happy Valentine's Day to you!

-- Dante

Sunday, January 25, 2009

So, we're in a recession . . . .

Over the last week or so, I have heard from a number of people with whom we went to college -- both in our class and in other classes -- who have lost their jobs. The tough times have spared no one. This raises a question: do we want to figure out a way to help each other out? A job posting network? Something like that?

Please let me know what you think.

A Class of 1987 Cause to Support

Betsy Nix wrote in the following:

"Were you addicted to The Wire? Have you read The Corner? Those stories were set in inner-city Baltimore, the place where Andy Imparato and I live. Five years ago I helped to start a K-8 public charter school to serve the kids in our neighborhood, and I am happy to report that it is thriving. One visit will show you engaged kids who love learning and are excited to come to school every day -- lots of hope in the middle of problems that often seems intractable. We have occupied the third floor of a conventional public school since we opened, and next year we are moving into our own building -- a repurposed printing factory. We are looking for creative thinkers in the Mid-Atlantic region -- architects with expertise in school design, people who might like to serve on our board, enthusiastic fundraisers and event planners, and, of course, donors for our capital campaign. Please email me if you would like to find out more."

For more information, here is Betsy's contact information:

Elizabeth M. Nix, Ph.D.
Program Director, Community Studies and Civic Engagement
University of Baltimore

News from Sara Unrue Koulen

Sara (Unrue, MC '87) Koulen and her family have moved their dog and pony show from Fort Worth, TX, to Kansas City, MO. She writes: "Actually, we've landed in nearby Leawood, KS. Husband Peter is starting a new eye and brain research program at UM-KC and Sara is scoping out the new place. Would love to hear from Yalies and especially would love to know where the nearest Feb Club party will be. "

News from Hugh Schoolman

I heard from Hugh Schoolman, who is now working in St. Petersburg, Florida. Hugh writes:

After reconnecting with Franci Diniz and marrying her in Costa Rica (and in Brazil as well...por que no?), we relocated in July of 2006 to St. Petersburg, Florida. Costa Rica was great (except for the roads) and Franci's transition to life in the US has gone reallynicely. The biggest news occurred this past year, however. On August 8th, 2008, (that's 8-8-08), our little Ana Julia was born. She weighed exactly 8 pounds to boot! She's taken to eating quite well (a Schoolman family characteristic, and a Diniz characteristicas well) and is big and smiley and, most importantly, healthy. We couldn't be happier.

We've been in St. Petersburg, Florida for two-and-a-half years now. We really like it. St. Pete is more like Franci's native Recife, Brazil, than most areas of the US. It's normally hot (cold was 60), it's on the coast with pretty great beaches, andit's urban. All good. We have a house (green and yellow, the colors of Brazil) that's less than ten minutes from my school (Shorecrest Prep). There are parks nearby as well as a great walking and running area called Coffee Pot Bayou where you can see manatee anddolphins. I've been serving as Middle Division Head (Principal) at Shorecrest, an independent school. I work with 5th through 8th graders and a great team of teachers and administrators. We are building a new 7th and 8th Grade Center--started before the economywent south--and it's an exciting time to be here.

Nellie Shipley Goes Green

The latest news from Nellie Shipley:

Womble Carlyle attorney Nellie Shipley has earned LEED Professional Accreditation, the leading professional accreditation in the green, or sustainable, construction and development industry.

LEED Accredited Professionals must demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the construction and development industry in general, with a particular focus on environmentally friendly building, development and operation practices. Typically, LEED accreditation is sought by architects and contractors, but Shipley believed the knowledge gained through the accreditation process would aid her clients and thus her legal practice.

“Many of my clients are actively involved in green construction and development,” Shipley said. “In order to give these clients the best possible service, I feel I need to know as much as possible about these topics. Attaining LEED accreditation isn’t as significant as the process it took to earn that accreditation. It really helped me understand green development from the developer’s perspective and the perspectives of the developer’s other service providers (like architects and engineers).”

In order to become a LEED Accredited Professional, candidates must pass a comprehensive written exam, which includes green construction and development topics such as:

Reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills;
Environmentally sensitive site selection and development;
Conserving energy and water;
Lowering greenhouse gas emissions; and
Qualifying for tax rebates, zoning allowances and other state and local incentives.

Shipley’s practice focuses on real estate development throughout North Carolina, including the rapidly growing Cary region of western Wake County, where Shipley lives. She’s played a role in developing many major residential, retail and business projects throughout North Carolina, however.

Shipley has particular experience with “green development,” including energy-efficient buildings and developments that use less processed water. She also is heading Womble Carlyle’s Green Initiative from the Raleigh office, which is working to help the firm itself adopt more environmentally friendly practices.

In addition to her work as a real estate attorney, Shipley is active in numerous community and economic development organizations in western Wake County. She is the chair of the Cary Economic Development Commission, and has served as chair of the Cary Chamber of Commerce and president of Triangle Commercial Real Estate Women. She is a founding member of the Triangle District Council of the Urban Land Institute and volunteers in local schools. Shipley can be seen driving around town from time to time with her younger daughter in their new Smart car, which qualifies for preferred parking in projects that earned a LEED point for providing preferred parking for fuel-efficient vehicles under Credit 4.3 of the Sustainable Sites point category.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

In memory of Becky (Bowser) Lowenthal

The friends and family of Becky (Bowser) Lowenthal have created a Facebook group in her memory.

Please note that the location of the viewing has changed.

Date: Saturday, January 24, 2009
Time: :00pm - 5:00pm
Location: Pumphrey's Funeral Home
Street: 7557 Wisconsin Ave
City/Town: Bethesda, MD

Also, the family has indicated that in lieu of flowers, please donate to Metro TeenAids: PO Box 15577 Washington DC 20003-5577202-543-8246

An announcement from the Family of Rebecca Bowser Lownethal

Rebecca Bowser Lowenthal , Yale Class of 1987, passed away suddenly in Potomac, MD on Jan 20, 2009. She was born and raised in Montclair,NJ. Becky leaves behind husband Andrew, and three beautiful children Nicholas, Julia and Jonathan.

Public viewing Saturday January 24 at River Road Unitarian Church Bethesda, MD. 3-5pm

Memorial Service Sunday January 25 at 4 pm at River Road Unitarian Church in Bethesda. Arrive by 3 p.m.

Please send condolences to A public facebook page is being set up.

Monday, January 5, 2009

News from Anne-Marie Fink

Anne-Marie Fink writes in with the following news: "I’m looking forward to the publication of my first book, “The Moneymakers: How Extraordinary Managers Win in a World Turned Upside Down” (Crown, 2009), on January 27th. In the vein of “Good to Great” or “Execution”, the book shares the management practices that really work, drawing on what shareowners have learned over years of investing with corporate leaders. I hope the book's insights will aid businesspeople in overcoming all the challenges they face these days."