Friday, October 21, 2011

You really need to check out these pictures

Our Reunion tech goddess, Bettina Elias Siegel, has done a terrific job with the Yale Class of 1987 25th Reunion Facebook page. People have been posting pictures from their bright college years. You should visit the page, by clicking here, or by clicking the title to this post.

Please "like" the page to get updates as they happen.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Mindset of this Year's College Freshman Class

Beloit college annually posts a list of facts that help let us know what the mindset of the entering college class might have. I always find these lists interesting. Her is the Mindset List for the Class of 2015

Andre the Giant, River Phoenix, Frank Zappa, Arthur Ashe and the Commodore 64 have always been dead.

Their classmates could include Taylor Momsen, Angus Jones, Howard Stern's daughter Ashley, and the Dilley Sextuplets.

There has always been an Internet ramp onto the information highway.

Ferris Bueller and Sloane Peterson could be their parents.

States and Velcro parents have always been requiring that they wear their bike helmets.

The only significant labor disputes in their lifetimes have been in major league sports.

There have nearly always been at least two women on the Supreme Court, and women have always commanded U.S. Navy ships.

They “swipe” cards, not merchandise.

As they’ve grown up on websites and cell phones, adult experts have constantly fretted about their alleged deficits of empathy and concentration.

Their school’s “blackboards” have always been getting smarter.

“Don’t touch that dial!”….what dial?

More Americans have always traveled to Latin America than to Europe.

Amazon has never been just a river in South America.

Japan has always been importing rice.

We have never asked, and they have never had to tell.

Life has always been like a box of chocolates.

Video games have always had ratings.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show has always been available on TV.

Jimmy Carter has always been a smiling elderly man who shows up on TV to promote fair elections and disaster relief.

Arnold Palmer has always been a drink.

Women have always been kissing women on television.

Music has always been available via free downloads.

Sears has never sold anything out of a Big Book that could also serve as a doorstop.

Electric cars have always been humming in relative silence on the road.

No longer known for just gambling and quickie divorces, Nevada has always been one of the fastest growing states in the Union.

They’re the first generation to grow up hearing about the dangerous overuse of antibiotics.

Russian courts have always had juries.

No state has ever failed to observe Martin Luther King Day.

Some of them have been inspired to actually cook by watching the Food Channel.

They’ve grown up with George Stephanopoulos as the Dick Clark of political analysts.

They’ve often broken up with their significant others via texting, Facebook, or MySpace.

Frasier, Sam, Woody and Rebecca have never Cheerfully frequented a bar in Boston during primetime.

Major League Baseball has never had fewer than three divisions and never lacked a wild card entry in the playoffs.

When they were 3, their parents may have battled other parents in toy stores to buy them a Tickle Me Elmo while they lasted.

Folks in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have always been able to energize with Pepsi Cola.

Andy Warhol is a museum in Pittsburgh.

Refugees and prisoners have always been housed by the U.S. government at Guantanamo.

The New York Times and the Boston Globe have never been rival newspapers.
For more, click here.

Yale Panel on Job Creation

The other night, Yale President Rick Levin and a group of experts held a panel discussion about the US economy and job creation.  You can listen in yourself by clicking on the video below.

Watch live streaming video from yale at

Amor Towles is Yale Alumni Magazine's Yalie of the Week

The Yale Alumni Magazine has a "Yale of Week".  Sometimes I hear about our classmates on there, sometimes I hear a little late.  This one is a little late.  Sorry.
Here's what YAM had to say:

Amor Towles ’87 “arrived in New York in 1989 with diplomas from Yale and Stanford and dreams of becoming a writer,”we learn from the New York Times. “But he quickly noticed that all his friends who were waiting tables and pursuing art on the side looked just as tired as the office drones they were serving. So he joined an investment firm instead.”

Surprising, perhaps, that 22 years later such a pragmatist would produce an “unabashedly romantic novel”—his first—that is also an NYT bestseller. Rules of Civility, which tells the story of a savvy, lovable, and upwardly mobile legal secretary in Depression-era New York City, is gathering glowing reviews from publications as varied as the Wall Street Journal, People, and O, the Oprah Magazine.

Shelving a previous novel after five years’ toil, Towles— who still works at an investment firm—took a businesslike approach to this book. “I started Rules of Civility on January 1, 2006, and wrapped it up 365 days later,” he told one interviewer. “The book was designed with 26 chapters because over 52 weeks I could allot myself two weeks to draft, revise and bank each chapter. Not coincidentally, the book opens on New Year’s Eve and ends a year later.”

But his inner romantic surfaced in talking with the Times: “I would’ve sold it for a penny, just to be able to say ‘O.K., I did it. … I always thought I was a writer on the inside, but after a few years of not writing you can’t make that claim anymore.”

Other Yalies of the Week from our class have been:  Michael Morand, Chris Dudley, Jay Carney, and Natasha Zupan.  Click the title of this post to link to all of the Yalies of the Week.

White House State Dinner: The Morning After - ABC News

Click on the link below to read about the recent state dinner at which the South Korean president was honored.  Our very own Chang Rae Lee was there, with his wife.  If you read the press coverage of the dinner carefully, you will notice that Chang Rae is noted for his literary skills, but it is his wife who earned the description of “cool.”  

White House State Dinner: The Morning After - ABC News

News about Charlene Gilbert

Charlene Gilbert, professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at The University of Toledo, recently returned to campus after serving as an American Council on Education Fellow for the 2010-2011 academic year.  Gilbert will be serving as the new Chair of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies in the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences.

Gilbert came to UT in 2007 from American University in Washington, D.C. where she was a documentary filmmaker and a tenured Associate Professor in the School of Communication. She is the past recipient of Harvard University’s Radcliffe Fellowship and the Rockefeller Media Arts Fellowship. Her documentary films have been screened nationally on PBS and in film festivals across the country. She is also the co-author of Homecoming, published by Beacon Press, as a companion book to her highly acclaimed film of the same title.

Gilbert spent the past year exploring issues in higher education with a focus on leadership, strategic planning and best practices in retention and graduation.  The fellowship program provided Gilbert with the opportunity to learn specifically about transfer policies and institutional partnerships while serving with President Larry McDougle at Owens Community College and visiting universities across the country including Wayne State University, Barnard College and DePaul University.

“I have gained a tremendous amount of respect for the challenges facing students who are arriving at universities from a variety of backgrounds, academic experiences and life circumstances,” Gilbert said.

Click below for the whole article:

The Truth's Articles

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Big News -- Yale makes huge archive available for alumni

Yale has announced that all Yale alumni now have free on-line access to an extraordinary treasure trove of scholarly articles in the JSTOR database, thanks to a collaboration among the AYA, the Yale University Library, and JSTOR.  Basically, any scholarly content that Yale has licensed through JSTOR for use by faculty, staff, and students is now also available to alumni.  You can read about the details in this news release posted at YaleNews (Yale's new media portal):

As an alum, your access to JSTOR requires only that you login with your Yale Alumni Community credentials, here:

News from David Pollay

Here is a note I received from David Pollay:

Hi Tim!  Thanks for all your doing.  Here's a short update from Florida!  The Law of the Garbage Truck book has now been translated into 12 languages.  I head to Spain next week to speak at a conference, and then promote the Spanish language edition.  We're hoping to travel Asia to support the Chinese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, and Japanese editions.

And this is pretty cool.  Dawn and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary with Peter Frampton!  Peter is a fan of The Law of the Garbage Truck, and he invited us backstage after the concert.  He's a great guy, his band is cool, and his team is gracious.  And Joel Osteen wrote about The Law of the Garbage Truck book in his new book, Every Day a Friday.  We're excited because our mission is to increase happiness, success, and civility in the world.  While my main work is speaking to corporations and associations, I have been speaking more frequently in schools (The Law applied to anti-bullying and character development), churches, and I even spoke to inmates at a maximum security prison recently.

My girls, Eliana (9) and Ariela (8) are doing great, and I'm thrilled to be married to Dawn. We're now living in Boca Raton, Florida.  All is good, and we're grateful.

Thanks, Tim.  I hope the new job is going great!

All the best,

Sunday, October 9, 2011

News about Eve Vogel

I get some of my class news from automatic Google searches that seek out news about the Class of 1987.  A recent hit came up abut Eve Vogel.

Eve has a webpage on which she describes what she has been up to.  You can click here to check it out.

Here is some of what Eve says about her varied and interesting career:

I’ve had an eclectic career. The theme over time has been trying to merge environmental conservation, social justice, and thoughtful analysis of how the two may be coordinated – as well as what are the constraints on this coordination. My current research on long-term river basin governance and politics and its social and environmental consequences follows this theme.

I grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and went to high school at Cambridge Rindge and Latin. In college at Yale I majored in environmental biology and spent two summers as a research assistant studying beetle and spider behavioral ecology. I loved science but by the time I graduated I knew I wanted something that could address some of the human causes and consequences of environmental problems.  After college, I joined the Peace Corps, working in wildlands management and environmental education in Honduras. I worked with foresters, agricultural extension agents, farmers, and especially rural teachers to help educate people about the importance of cloud forests.  (They’re important biodiversity refuges and critical sources of water, as well as places where nearby peasants can supplement their resources with game and medicinal plants.) I loved my job, but over time I became convinced that most environmental and social strains in Honduras were caused at least as much by U.S. policy and economics as by any lack of education in Honduras. I decided I needed to learn more about how to influence environmental policy and practice back in the U.S.

In 1990 I returned to the US and in 1991, I moved to Portland, Oregon. For two years I worked at the Audubon Society of Portland in environmental education. In 1993 I went back to school to get a high school teaching certificate, and from 1994-1997 I taught high school biology, math and Spanish in inner city Portland and at a new arts school in Vancouver, Washington.

In 1997 I left high school teaching to work more directly on environmental policy change. Working for the Sierra Club and the Oregon Natural Resources Council, I learned how to write an Endangered Species petition; I edited an economics report on the economics of removing four federal dams on the lower Snake River; and I went on two group lobbying trips to Washington, DC. This was a tremendously educational year for me, as it gave me great insights into policy-making and political negotiating processes, but ultimately I decided I needed to step back and understand the issues more broadly.

I returned to graduate school in 1998 at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon, in the Department of Geography.  As a graduate student, I TAed both Biology and Geography courses, and taught six of my own classes at the University of Oregon and at Portland State University, ranging from “Law, Geography and the Environment” to “Geography of East Asia.”  My son Ari was born in 2004.  I earned my PhD in December 2007 and moved to Amherst to work as Assistant Professor at UMass in summer 2008.

News from Dan Kohan

Our second book from Ruka Press, Cerulean Blues, is coming out October 18, so I want to alert people to that. Anyone interested in birding, the threats to our wild songbirds, mountaintop removal coal mining, and coffee production will appreciate the book. Cerulean Blues will be highlighted in the December issue of Birdwatching magazine as one of the year's top bird books.

Dan Kohan
Sensical Design & Communication
Ruka Press
Cerulean Blues coming October 18. Preorder now!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A note from Nicky Grist

Here is a note I just received from Nicky Grist:

Dear Colleagues and Friends, 

This month I'm hosting two events in Park Slope, Brooklyn, on behalf of an organization I truly admire: United for a Fair Economy (  I hope you'll join us and spread the word! 

(1) Public Workshop 

When: 2:00-3:30 pm, Sunday, October 30th. 

What happens at the workshop: Go beyond the sound bites that pass for national dialogue on the Great Recession, examine trends in the distribution of income and wealth using “human graphs,” explore the impact of trickle-down policies on our lives, and plan what we can do to protect vital public assets including our democracy - all in a participatory way that draws on your own experience.  
Who: Great for families, students, voters, immigrants, and everyone who cares about fairness and wants to better understand our economy. 
Cost: $15 or whatever you can afford. 

(2) Members & Friends Party 

When: 4:00-6:00 pm, Sunday, October 30th. 

What happens at the gathering: Learn how United for a Fair Economy (and its special project, Responsible Wealth) address growing income inequality and the racial wealth divide, meet people who share your values, discuss the economic issues of the day, experience a brief example of our workshop, enjoy light refreshments. 

Who: Great for people who care about organizations and strategies as well as issues; no children, please. 

Cost: Donations welcomed but not required up front.  We hope you’ll be inspired to join UFE/RW. 

Please RSVP for one or both of these events to Kathy at or 617-423-2148, x121 to get directions and tell us how many people will attend. 

best regards, Nicky Grist

Friday, October 7, 2011

Yale 1987 Reunion Facebook page

Check our new Yale 1987 Reunion Facebook page.  Bettina Ellias Siegel is our Facebook guru, and she has started posting pictures from our Bright College Years.  You really need to check it out -- and to send in pictures from college.  (For a small fee, we will ensure no embarrassing  pictures of you are posted.)

Just click here to visit the Reunion Facebook page.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A note from Rena (Longstreth) Hedeman . . . who, you should know, is coming to reunion

Hey Tim, thanks for the email about reunion! I'm definitely coming and bringing the whole family along this time (husband and 3 daughters). Can't wait! When will we get info about staying on campus? I know it might be crazy to put my gang in a dorm, but I think it'll be fun - and if it's too noisy, we'll come equipped with earplugs!

Rena (Longstreth) Hedeman

News from Peg McCarthy

Here is a note I received from Peg McCarthy:

Hi! This is Peg McCarthy writing in; I haven't updated for awhile. Hope this isn't too long.

I still live in my hometown, Topeka, Kansas. I was re-elected to the board of education for my local school district, the historic Topeka Public Schools, a high-poverty urban district rich in diversity. I also continue my private practice in clinical psychology. My time on the school board has been deeply rewarding, despite the wretched challenges facing our educational system. School boards truly have the power to make a significant difference in children's lives. I would encourage all of you to consider the opportunity to serve; it is interesting, challenging, and terribly important work.

My husband and I just shepherded our oldest son, Sam, through the college admissions process, and I wanted to share with others what a positive journey it was. I was alarmed by stories I had read (and heard in my office) about the conflict and heartache families experience. But in our case, it worked just the way it should have. As we visited schools with Sam, we had many wonderful discussions, and his thoughts became clearer about what he wanted from school and from life in general. We quickly discovered there were many, many fine colleges well-suited to his needs, which took the pressure off of everyone. He (and we!) matured in the process. He pared his list to a dozen small liberal arts colleges, was accepted to all but one, and selected his original top choice, Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where he currently is having a terrific experience. He had previously attended a writing workshop there, which I highly recommend to any young writers.

He had a lovely Cinderella-like experience along the way that helped lessen the stress of the college search. He submitted a short story to the Young Arts competition in the fall and promptly forgot about it. He was named a finalist in writing, attended week-long workshops in Miami and New York City, and ultimately was selected as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts--a great end to his high school career. He would like to write but also loves science and technology. You can imagine how he enjoyed talking with our classmate Carl Zimmer at our 20th reunion. I should point out that in our own class of '87 we had a Presidential Scholar in the Arts--the accomplished Kevin Berlin.

We really miss Sam--it is an unsettling experience to end such an intense phase of parenting. He is not the only one who has been searching his soul; we have reflected on the years and asked ourselves, Did we teach him what he needs to know? Should we have done this or that differently? But we are all adjusting to the new family dynamics, and our two remaining sons are absorbing the extra parental attention good-naturedly.

The whole family attended the Presidential Scholars week in Washington, D.C., in June, but first my middle son, Joe, and I took a quick sidetrip to New York, where we saw some shows and caught up with my old roommate, Sarah Zimmerman. Sarah and her husband, Wim Vanderhoof, have two gorgeous children, Julia and Kai. Sarah is the same dynamic, sharp, exhilarating gal we knew at Yale, and it was a treat to spend time with her again. She and her family have just re-located to Princeton.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Reunion News

Dear Classmates,

            Twenty-five years ago, we were seniors preparing for our future.  In the years since, we have done a lot -- built lives, raised families, established, switched and shaped careers, experienced the highs and lows of adult lives, travelled and explored, all sorts of things.  Now, it's time to reconnect as a class to share what we have experienced and create new memories that will last the rest of our lives.  We hope you can join us on May 24 -27, 2012 in New Haven to celebrate at our 25th Reunion.

            Why come to Reunion ?

            Reunions are fun.  It is as simple as that.  We are planning a weekend of informal gatherings, informative talks and big parties.  This weekend is NOT  going to be about who has earned the most or had the fanciest job.  This weekend is about spending time with the most engaged, intellectually alive and diverse group of people we have ever known  in a low-key environment.

            So, why come to Reunion?  Come to see your friends.  Come to reconnect with your classmates.  Come to experience Yale again.  Come back to enjoy yourself.  Come back to give back.  Just come back!

            What is planned?

            You can have the kind of weekend you want.  We will have a tent to hang out in.  You can spend your time doing just that. 

            Yale is providing two days of lectures and experiences aimed at everyone.  And, we have classmate panels planned, including discussions of sports, law, politics, the economy, books, movies, just to name a few.

            We have fun activities for the kids: Quidditch with the Yale Quidditch team, Camp Bulldog, just to name two.

            We have opportunities to give back.  We are participating in service projects by partnering with Dwight Hall and joining with other Reunion classes to accomplish something worthwhile for others, e.g. working at the Yale Farm, painting a local soup kitchen.  Some will be family friendly, some will be adults only. 

            Parties.  Can't forget those.  We will have two great events -- one on Friday night and one on Saturday night. 

            Who is coming?

            If history is any guide, we expect to have a very large crowd.  Our class comes to reunions -- we have been at or near attendance records pretty much every reunion since we graduated.  If you come, you will know people, lots of people.  And, they will be very happy to see you.

            What do need to do today?

            Connecting has never been easier.  Here is what you can do  . . . today:
    • Put the Reunion dates -- May 24-27, 2012 -- in your calendar
    • E-mail one classmate today -- and tell them they need to join you at Reunion
    • Send us pictures from our Bright College Years
                What can I do to help with Reunion?

                Classmate participation is critical for a successful reunion.  We have plenty to do:
    • Reach out to classmates to make sure that everyone comes
    • Join the Reunion Planning Committee
    • Share your reunion ideas
    • Volunteer to help with an activity at reunion
    • Contribute supplemental dues to help make sure that we have an extraordinary experience that is affordable for everyone.  Click here for more information on how to contribute to reunion.
          Just e-mail us at and we can get you involved.

    We look forward to seeing you all in May!

    Very truly yours,

    The Reunion Chairs

    Lisa Vigliotti Harkness     Darcy Troy Pollack    Tim Harkness

    Update on the YASC Trip to the Dominican Republic

    From March 12 - 19, 90 Yale alumni and family and friends of alumni traveled to the village of Las Charcas in the Dominican Republic with the Yale Alumni Service Corps. During one week we accomplished a lot! Here is a list of the trip highlights:

    * 500 medical patients seen
    * a concrete block & stucco house built in 3 days
    * the walls of a second house built to 3 block courses
    * English taught in the elementary school
    * art lessons and 10 murals painted at the school
    * music lessons and keyboard taught to the students
    * dance lessons and performances for the community by the students
    * computer lessons given to dozens of students
    * spa facial lessons given with demonstrations using local products
    * small business consulting for farmers and local businessmen
    * presentations to San Juan university students on business principals
    * soccer, basketball and baseball coaching
    * over 500 homes visited to distribute information on cholera and dengue...

    Join us on a trip in 2012. For trip updates, visit

    New York Class Lunch

    We have a New York class lunch on Thursday, October 13, from 12:30 to 2:00 at the Yale Club of New York.  These are great fun, so we hope you can attend.  You do not have to be a Yale Club member to attend.

    For more information, please e-mail Paul Sarkozi at

    New blog features

    There are a few new features on the blog, designed to make things easier for you.

    Tags  I have started tagging posts.  If you click on the tags in the right hand column, you can call up all posts related to that tag.  Click on "reunion", for instance, and you will get all of the reunion-related posts.

    Subscribe There are now two ways to get real-time notifications of changes to the blog.  Either sign up for e-mail notifications or include this blog in an RSS feed.  Both options on are on the left hand side.

    Blogs of the Class of 1987:  On the right hand column, I have added feeds from blogs of our classmates.

    Books  I try to include classmate books in the widget on the top of the page.  If you have one you'd like to recommend, please let me know.