Wednesday, September 26, 2012

David Todd Named 2-4p Host At 970 ESPN/Pittsburgh

Awesome news from Pittsburgh!

CLEAR CHANNEL Sports WBGG-A (970 ESPN)/PITTSBURGH has named fill-in host DAVID TODD as the full-time 2-4p (ET) weekday host, effective TODAY (8/29).  TODD, whose local show is replacing ESPN RADIO's SCOTT VAN PELT in the 970 lineup, will also host two hours on STEELERS NATION RADIO, airing online and on sister WDVE-HD2.

“We are thrilled to have DAVID TODD become a permanent fixture on 970 ESPN’s airwaves,” said OM DAVID EDGAR. “His great depth of PITTSBURGH sports knowledge will entertain listeners and enhance coverage.”

David Todd Named 2-4p Host At 970 ESPN/Pittsburgh |

2012 Yale Reunions Go Green

Our Reunion not only rocked, it was also Green.  The Class of '87 was at the forefront of helping Yale make sure all the Reunions this year were sustainable.  Check out the video telling the tale . . . brought to you by our own Darcy Troy Pollock and our friends at the AYA and Yale Blue Green.

YaleWomen Newsletter -- Check it out!

Get involved
Don't forget to keep checking our for more information about getting involved and participating in YaleWomen events
Stay connected
Join our virtual community on Facebook,LinkedIn, and Twitter
Questions or comments?
Please contact
Ming Min Hui (
Welcome! A letter from Ellen McGinnis, Chair of YaleWomen
I am delighted to introduce you to the first global quarterly newsletter for YaleWomen. It is an exciting time for our organization - we have launched our website yalewomen.netand have officially incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation. We are in the midst of planning an international conference for Spring 2013 and are developing some innovative mentoring projects and other programming. We have ten active chapters across the United States and a toolkit to support the formation of new chapters. Our hope is that you are inspired to engage, connect, and give back - we need your support and enthusiasm to sustain our growth and programs. YaleWomen's mission is to create a vibrant, engaged community of alums, drawn together by the common thread of our Yale experiences, that is committed to advancing women's voices and perspectives and to enriching and inspiring one another, Yale, and the world. We are looking forward to the many ways each of you will be part of it. Get your fellow Yale women involved and stay tuned for more!
YaleWomen's Inaugural Conference: Save the Date
The conference, YaleWomen's initial major event, will be held inWashington, DC, on the weekend of April 19-20, 2013and is being planned jointly with Yale's World Fellows Program, the University's international leadership training program for emerging leaders from across the globe. The overarching theme of the conference comes from YaleWomen's tagline - Vision, Values, Voice - and is focused on the place of women around the world today and the importance of women's voices on the world stage.
The conference will begin with a reception on Friday evening, followed by a day of programming that will feature both individual speakers and panels on such topics as the health and education of women, business and entrepreneurship, and women's status under the law both here and abroad. The focus will be on how women are making an impact and influencing the future of each area of endeavor. Speakers will represent a range of accomplished women; most, though not all, will have some Yale affiliation, and in keeping with the World Fellows partnership, many of the presenters will be from outside of the United States. This promises to be an extraordinary occasion -- save the date!
YaleWomen's Inaugural Conference: Call for Volunteers
YaleWomen is looking for passionate and committed volunteers to help plan the conference to be held the weekend of April 19-20, 2013. We need assistance in many ways, including development, speaker management, programs, and volunteer coordination, to name a few. There are volunteer opportunities for you no matter how much or how little time you can commit. If you have immediate availability and are interested in fundraising, please contact Erin Endean ( If you would like to hear about other ways in which you can help, please contact Beverly Jurenko (, who can give you more specifics. We need you to help make this a successful and significant conference!
Toolkit for YaleWomen Chapters now available
To date, ten YaleWomen Chapters are bringing alums together in Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Colorado, Connecticut, Los Angeles, New York City, Northern California, Seattle and Washington, DC!  Each chapter is unique, reflecting the number of alums in geographic areas and the interests of the particular participants.  We’ve learned a lot along the way and we continue to learn as we grow.  We welcome your involvement – whether it’s by joining an existing chapter, or forming a new one.  Please contact Barbara Wagner and Susan Lennon ( for more information and for a toolkit of best practices.

Yale Alumni Journalism Association

Yale Alumni Journalism AssociationPresents 

A Conversation with Humphrey Taylor
Chairman of the Harris Poll

“Strengths and Weaknesses of the Polls: What they do and do not tell us about the elections”

 Tuesday, October 9, 2012

5:30-6:15PM  Informal Reception
6:15-6:30PM  Review of YAJA Plans
6:30-7:30PM  Program 

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
919 Third Avenue
(Entrance at East 55th Street, between 2nd and 3rd Avenues)
New York, NY 10022

This is the second of a series of events to be presented by the Yale Alumni Journalism Association (YAJA).  Membership in the Association is open to Yale graduates working in, retired from, or interested in the field of journalism.
The October 9th program will be particularly timely in the midst of the current Presidential debates, and only weeks before the actual election.  Humphrey Taylor will be examining the following questions, and many others, about political polls: 
How accurate are they?
What is the real “margin of error”?
How reliable are exit polls?
Are polls getting better or worse?
What is the future of polling?  Can we trust on-line polling?
Humphrey Taylor has been Chairman of the Harris Poll, a service of Harris Interactive, since 1994.  He has overall responsibility for more than 8,000 surveys in more than 80 countries.  He has testified before Congressional Committees on Social Security, health care, taxation and privacy, and has made presentations in the White House and on Capitol Hill.
Humphrey has a distinguished track record in predicting election results.  In 1970, his British company was the only one of seven national polls to correctly predict a Conservative victory.  In the 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2008 Presidential elections, the Harris Poll, under Humphrey’s direction, accurately predicted the share of votes cast for each of the major candidates. 
Humphrey has authored more than 1,000 columns and articles, many of them appearing in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and the London Times.  In the 1980s, he pioneered the use of surveys to compare the health systems of diverse countries, and in the 1990s he was a leader in developing Internet-based surveys and on-line polling.  He is currently chairman of the National Council on Public Polls, and has guest-lectured at Harvard, Yale, Oxford, NYU and UCSF. 

 $10 Registration FeeSpace is Limited!  Register by October 7thClick Here To Register

Photo ID required for building access

Membership in the Yale Alumni Journalism Association (YAJA) is open to any graduate of Yale University working in, retired from, or interested in the journalism field.  There are more than 1000 Yale graduates currently working in news media organizations in print, television, or on-line.  The news business is the only private enterprise in American life that has a Constitutional protection--the First Amendment.  That distinction carries with it a moral obligation to responsibly serve the public interest, and strengthen the ethical standards of news gathering.  The Association will bring talented, diverse journalists to the campus, and other locations, for timely symposia and interaction with both students and faculty.  Other activities such as publications, a website, mentoring programs, and awards for excellence will develop over time. 
For more information, contact Henry Kwan, Director of Shared Interest Groups, at

Monday, September 24, 2012

Yale Alumni Service Corps Update

Have you read the posts about the Yale Alumni Service Corps trip to Nicaragua in March?  Click here for the details that are out now.

You should know that there are only 60 spots on this trip -- so, this trip will full up fast.  Stay tuned for when registrations open!

Meet President Levin in New Haven on October 9

RCL New Haven 9 October 2012
Greetings from the AYA,
The Yale Club of New Haven and The Yale Alumni Association cordially invite you to:
“An Evening with President Levin.”

Join other area Yale Alumni, families, and friends for a University update and thank
President Levin for his 20 years of leadership and service.

Event Details:
Yale West Campus Auditorium and Foyer
137 – 141 West Frontage Road, Orange, Ct. 06477
(Ample free parking is available, the guard at the entrance will give you directions to the auditorium)
Click here for map

6 pm  Reception with wine, beer, soda and appetizers
7 pm  President Levin’s address

$40 per person;  $20 for young Alumni and their guests (Class of 2003 and later)

Register here (registration deadline:  October 5, 2012)
At the Door:  Please call Johnson Flucker at for availability

Sunday, September 23, 2012

School food battles move from pink slime to cupcakes - Houston Chronicle

bettina  Check out classmate Bettina Siegel’s profile in the Houston Chronicle!  The whole piece can be read by clicking on the link below.

Bettina Siegel loves cupcakes, shops for groceries at the same Houston stores as everybody else and works at packing healthy lunches for her two kids.

"I'm not a food Nazi," she says.

When the house empties each weekday morning, however, the lawyer turned writer, blogger and advocate turns her laserlike focus on the food served in public schools here and around the country and the broader question: How do you raise healthy children in today's sugary, salty, super-sized food environment?

In her blogs, the Lunch Tray and the Spork Report, Siegel writes about controversies ranging from pink slime in the cafeteria to birthday cupcakes in the classroom. She tries to represent the millions of school children dependent on school meals - "a group that doesn't have much of a voice."

School food battles move from pink slime to cupcakes - Houston Chronicle

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Opt In to a Yale Shared Interest Group

By Margie Smith Whiteleather ‘87

Did you know there is a way to connect with Yale Alumni projects which are not class-year specific? The solution: Shared Interest Groups (SIGs), of which there are over 60 which Yale is aware of. I assumed that Yale organizations had a variety of alumni groups, but didn’t know there is a central list of such groups.  If you live in a rural area, as I do, you may not hear about them.

So I set out to learn how one signs up for a Yale Shared Interest Group, and what it means to join. Bottom line: In order to hear their announcements, you need to contact the interest group coordinators and be sure that you’re in one of their contact streams, whether that be email, Facebook, Twitter or something else.  The Yale Alumni Association does assist with some email announcements, but they usually relate to specific events and are sent only to alumni in the geographic region in which the event will occur.

Mindy A. Marks ‘00, AYA director for shared interest groups, recommends using the AYA web site to connect with individual SIGs. “Shared Interest and Identity Groups are a wonderful way to cross various silos within the alumni population. From the Yale Alumni International Alliance and Yale Summer Institute for the Arts to the Yale Black Alumni Association and Yale Alumni Non-Profit Alliance, there is no limitation on how these groups have a positive impact on their communities and the world. Other SIGs actively planning conferences or large events this year include YaleWomen, Yale in Hollywood, and Yale Veterans Association.”

All of us should have the opportunity to feel intellectual vitality about a topic or activity that we first explored at Yale, and to connect with others who are energized by it.  So go to the “Find a SIG” page and select the group(s) of your interests:  

A note from Alan Miles -- Please support his upcoming charity bike ride

Here is a note from classmate Alan Miles:

Dear Classmates,

From September 28th-30th I’ll be biking 300 miles from Boston to New York with 120 new friends to benefit Housing Works. I’ve been training for the ride, but I’ve left the fundraising for the final stretch from September 16th – 28th, so please help me out. My goal is to raise $10,000.

Housing Works provides housing, health care and support to hundreds of very poor New Yorkers living with or affected by HIV/AIDS. It’s the largest community-based HIV organization in the country, helping people in homes - not in hospitals.

If you can donate $500, 100, $50, or $25, it will provide lifesaving health, housing and other services to someone who desperately needs it to change their life. I'd really appreciate your doing what you can. You can visit my fundraising page here

Have a great day, wish me luck and safety on the road, and if you can help, please do.

With love and thanks,


Monday, September 17, 2012

March, 2013 Yale Alumni Service Corps Trip to Nicaragua

The Kids
We have more details now about the YASC trip to Nicaragua in March.  The advanced team visited Leon and the community of Trohilo, which is where the YASC/Yale School of Nursing team will be working.  Hopefully, there will be a large contingent of people from the Class of 87 on the trip.

Here is the basic itinerary:

March 16 -- Arrive in Nicaragua

There will be some basic orientation and people will be settling into Managua.  This is a one night stay before the team heads to Leon the following day.  If this trip is like our trip to the DR, the official programming will end around 9 or so.  Some of the trip participants may find their way to a bar or night club, if history is any guide.

March 17 -- Head to Leon

In the morning, the whole team will head to Leon and check in to the hotel there.  There will be a tour of Leon and introductions to community leaders.  Project teams will then meet and plan the work ahead.  This was an exciting day on the DR trip because it was the first real glimpse of what things would be like.  Plans start to crystalize and trip participants realize just how much there is to do, and how much can be done in just one week.  Here are pictures of the hotel in Leon.

March 18 - 22  Work in the Community of Trohilo

On Monday, the work begins.  Days will be spent in schools, in the clinic or on other community projects.  Evenings will include dinners, impromptu talent shows, planning for the next day, and hanging out.  Friday afternoon will include a celebration in the community, a trip back to Managua and a farewell dinner.

March 23 -- Return Home

On Saturday, people either head home, or head to the beach for a day of relaxation.  This final day was a hard one for us when Tyler and I went to the Domincan Republic.  We had done so much and made such good friends.

Here are some pictures to give you an idea of what the community in Leon is like:

A Trohilo Classroom
One of the classrooms
The Medical Clinic

Here is a video of the 2012 YASC Nicaragua Trip.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Ira Sachs' Movie -- Keep the Lights On

Ira Sachs has enjoyed some real success with his new film, Keep the Lights On.  Released around the world now, it has been well received.

Here is a link to the New York Times article about the Ira and the film:

THE relationship depicted in “Keep the Lights On” isn’t one that most people would want to revisit. The film, based on part of the director Ira Sachs’s life, immerses viewers in the love and protracted dysfunction involving Erik, a needy documentary filmmaker, and Paul, a charming yet drug-addicted lawyer in publishing.

Here is a trailer:

Here is an interview of Ira about the move:

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Four Years After Bailouts, Banks Have Bounced Back, Still Making Risky Bets | PBS NewsHour | Sept. 14, 2012 | PBS

Check out this PBS NewsHour piece,which features not one, but two members of the Class of 1987 – Jay Carney and Michael Barr.  Click below for the whole story.
After the fall of Lehman Brothers in 2008, Congress passed the Troubled Asset Relief Program, disbursing money to hundreds of banks, including AIG. Ray Suarez talks to University of Michigan's Michael Barr and Better Markets' Dennis Kelleher on whether the bailouts resulted in financial reform or banks are still too big to fail.

Four Years After Bailouts, Banks Have Bounced Back, Still Making Risky Bets | PBS NewsHour | Sept. 14, 2012 | PBS

Yale Alumni Service Corps -- Upcoming Trips

The Yale Alumni Service Corps has nailed down the dates for two of its three trips for 2013.  Next year, YASC will be heading to Nicaragua, West Virginia and Ghana.  The Ghana dates will be set soon, but the others are in ink.  Here are the details:

Nicaragua:  We will be going to a small community near Leon, Nicaragua from March 16-24.  Volunteers can help provide medical care, build buildings, work in the local school and perhaps a few other areas.  The planning for the trip is well under way.  You will be able to sign up soon -- we will let you know when.  Space will be limited, so you should sign up as quickly as you can.

Here is a video that shows you what happened on the YASC trip this year:

West Virginia:  We will be heading to West Virginia June 26-30 to work with College Summit to help kids learn about their college options.  Teach kids about the application process (College Summit will help get participants ready), help with essays, get students used to interviewing and help them understand what getting a college degree might mean for them.  Space is limited on this trip, too, so keep an eye out for sign ups.

Here is a video that explains a bit about College Summit -- featuring fellow Yale Alum and College Summit founder J.B. Schramm.

New Book from Steve Kantrowitz

Classmate Steve Kantrowitz has come out with a new book, "More than Freedom."  Steve is a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he has earned several teaching prizes. He is the author of Ben Tillman and the Reconstruction of White Supremacy, which was a New York Times Notable Book and won several scholarly awards. A native of Brookline, Massachusetts, he lives with his family in Madison and Denmark.
Here is a short write up of the book:

A major new narrative account of the long struggle of Northern activists-both black and white, famous and obscure-to establish African Americans as free citizens, from abolitionism through the Civil War, Reconstruction, and its demise

Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation is generally understood as the moment African Americans became free, and Reconstruction as the ultimately unsuccessful effort to extend that victory by establishing equal citizenship. In More Than Freedom, award-winning historian Stephen Kantrowitz boldly redefines our understanding of this entire era by showing that the fight to abolish slavery was always part of a much broader campaign to establish full citizenship for African Americans and find a place to belong in a white republic.

More Than Freedom chronicles this epic struggle through the lived experiences of black and white activists in and around Boston, including both famous reformers such as Frederick Douglass and Charles Sumner and lesser-known but equally important figures like the journalist William Cooper Nell and the ex-slaves Lewis and Harriet Hayden. While these freedom fighters have traditionally been called abolitionists, their goals and achievements went far beyond emancipation. They mobilized long before they had white allies to rely on and remained militant long after the Civil War ended.

These black freedmen called themselves "colored citizens" and fought to establish themselves in American public life, both by building their own networks and institutions and by fiercely, often violently, challenging proslavery and inegalitarian laws and prejudice. But as Kantrowitz explains, they also knew that until the white majority recognized them as equal participants in common projects they would remain a suspect class. Equal citizenship meant something far beyond freedom: not only full legal and political rights, but also acceptance, inclusion and respect across the color line.

Even though these reformers ultimately failed to remake the nation in the way they hoped, their struggle catalyzed the arrival of Civil War and left the social and political landscape of the Union forever altered. Without their efforts, war and Reconstruction could hardly have begun. Bringing a bold new perspective to one of our nation's defining moments, More Than Freedom helps to explain the extent and the limits of the so-called freedom achieved in 1865 and the legacy that endures today.

News from Courtney Walsh

Here is a note I received from Courtney Walsh (I added the pictures).  Check out her upcoming shows!

Hey there! I haven't sent in an update in forever. Long time no see - I hated missing reunion but was in rehearsal. (I took 15 years away from acting to be a children's attorney in abuse cases, but returned to theater about six years ago.) I am currently in Athens for three weeks performing in a stage version of the Odyssey called "The Wanderings of Odysseus." Greece may be struggling, but its culture is still inspiring. This production originated two years ago at Stanford Summer Theater (a professional rep company affiliated with Stanford - the Artistic Director is a professor of both Drama and Classics). the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation is producing it here, and we will end with another run at Stanford. In addition to the performances, we conduct open rehearsals, offer a seminar on our staging this epic poem, and teach acting workshops. The students here (mostly professional Greek actors) have inspired us with their commitment, openness and enthusiasm. And, of course, being in Greece and learning from Greek theater artists about their own relationship to ancient storytelling has been illuminating to me, having performed in five Greek dramas in the past few years. This has been an uplifting cultural exchange of the best kind. My eleven year old considers himself the dramaturg as he knows all things about mythology. My other three kids are merely amused at my Calypso and mortified by my Cyclops. Husband Peter is the rock that allows me to go on tour and keep the home front together while battling the dragons of corporate law.  

Courtney Walsh 

Pigott Theater July 19 - August 12 

Athens, Greece August 23 - Sept 16, The Nitery at Stanford Sept 25 - Oct 5 

 Appearing in the film THE TRACK

Singing Groups

My relationship with singing groups has long been complex.  On the one hand, I love all sorts of music and find myself really enjoying myself when I go to some a capella concerts.  On the other, I sometimes find too many singing groups a bit smug, self indulgent and just a tad annoying.

Perhaps singing groups put me off because of jealousy -- if Homeland Security had a "no sing" list, I would be on it.  It's not that I don't like singing.  I do.  I am just terrible at it.  When our daughter, Katie, was little, I would rock her to sleep and sing lullabies.  She would take her pacifier out of her mouth and shove it in mine.  At first, I thought she was being playful.  Her insistence proved otherwise; she wanted desperately for me to stop singing.  Message received.  I now only sing in very private places.

My relationship with singing groups is about to change.  Our oldest son, Tyler, announced earlier this week that he was trying out for his school's a cappella group.  It was a bit of surprise.  He's long been a musician, but not really a singer (at least as far as we knew).  Turns out the kid inherited some pipes.  (Thank goodness of recessive genes.)  He was selected to join the WildScats, so now we are proudly in full on a capella mode.  Get out the Manhattan Transfer, Whiffenpoof, Whim'N Rhythmn, and Nylons down loads.  We are going to be snapping, cheering, and humming along.  (I have had to swear that there will be no singing along.)

This whole thing has made me wonder what our class experience with singing groups have meant since we graduated.  There must be stories to share about our time singing, listening, touring, etc.  Would love to hear them.  

To punch this post up a bit, I will wrap up with a video.  The soloist is currently a Whiff who I met at a recent meeting in New Haven.  Makes me wonder what I missed by not learning how to sing.

News about Denise Gigante

Here is the latest about Denise Gigante:

Denise Gigante has been a Professor of English at Stanford University for several years. Her book, "The Keats Brothers: The Life of John and George", published by Harvard University Press this past year, was chosen by The New York Times as one of the 100 Notable books for 2011 and as an Editor's Choice by The New York Times Book Review. In Salon,
Carmela Ciuraru called it "a major accomplishment, one that will surely influence biographies of Keats yet to come," and the Australian Book Review proclaimed it "a welcome excursion from otherwise familiar terrain of biographical scholarship on Keats." It received positive reviews in the Times Higher Education, the The Independent, the Literary
Review, and among other electronic media, "Newstalk" Ireland andStanford's own KZSU ("Entitled Opinions" and "Spotlight On") featured programs about _The Keats Brothers_. Professor Gigante gave talks from the book at Oxford University, Cambridge University, Princeton University, The Keats House in Hampstead, The Keats-Shelley Memorial House in Rome, a branch of The New York Public Library, and at bookstores from Barnes & Noble to Books, Inc., among others.  She served as Faculty-in-Residence for the Stanford's Overseas Program in Oxford this past winter quarter, teaching undergraduate
seminars in Romantic poetry, and in the spring (while teaching a graduate seminar on Milton and Blake and an undergraduate lecture course on Poetry and Poetics), she won a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship to work on her current book project, "The Book Madness: A Story of Book Collectors in America". 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Webinar: Private Equity in Transition

Yale SOM is holding a webinar on Private Equity.  Might be interesting to some . . . I find it more interesting for what it might mean for alumni interested in topics that might be broadcast via “webinars.”  Is this the future?  Click below to register or for more information.

A panel of accomplished Yale SOM alumni from the private equity field will discuss their own experiences and the current state of the industry in a webinar moderated by Andrew Metrick, Deputy Dean for Faculty Development and Michael H. Jordan Professor of Finance and Management. Panelists include Dan O'Connell '80, and Sally Rocker '81, and Peter Schulte '83.

Register Now:

Webinar: Private Equity in Transition

Guest Post About YASC Trip to Ghana

Here is a guest post from Darcy Troy Pollock about her trip with the Yale Alumni Service Corps to Ghana this summer:

There is simply nothing that can compete with the feeling you get watching your teenage daughter inspire a class of literally dozens of Ghanaian children.  If you ever thought your children weren’t ready for a service trip, think again.  As Tim can attest, your kids will rise to the occasion…and knock your socks off.

Sophie and I were both pretty nervous about joining the Yale Alumni Service Corps on its trip to Ghana. YASC volunteers had the choice of joining the Education, Health Care, Construction, Business or College Mentoring teams.  Sophie chose Education.  We expected that she and her team would have classes of say 30 or so 7-9 year olds.  But Africa being Africa, they ended up with as many as 80 children, ranging in age from 7 to 12.  It was NUTS!  But, as the photo below attests, she did not shy from the challenge…

While Sophie was wrangling kids, I was coordinating site visits and advocacy sessions with the ONE Organization.  Founded by Bono and Yale alum Bobby Shriver, ONE is dedicated to advocating on behalf of the world’s poorest people.  Their slogan is “We don’t want your money -- we want your voice.”  ONE sent four team members on the trip and organized four site visits for us so that we could see the impact U.S.-funded programs are having on the ground.  It was pretty stunning to see the difference in the quality of life between villages where Feed the Future and USAID are funding programs that are teaching skills and providing tools for long-term sustainability, and Yamoransa, the village our YASC team was in,where no such help exists (well, at least until we arrived!).  In one cocoa farming village we visited, I asked one of the farmers how these programs had changed his life.  He patted his pocket and said, “I have enough in here to send my children to school.”  Pretty darn cool.  We will be continuing our partnership with ONE now that we are home, co-hosting events in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, NYC and New Haven.  I hope many of you will get a chance to join us for at least one of those! 

And what else did we accomplish?  Well, we poured the foundation for a new IT building, treated dozens (maybe hundreds) of patients in the medical clinic, inspired young women to apply to college and counseled local entrepreneurs on how to better organize, market and operate their businesses.  And almost as importantly, we became a team.  We made new friends (the teen posse cried when they had to part); we laughed and cried and ate cabbage & rice and killed ants and took photos and basically had a crazy great time. 

So maybe it wasn’t a fancy vacation.  But it was a wild ride, and a life experience neither Sophie nor I will ever forget!

Jonathan Becker's Team in Training in Honor of Classmate James Esseks

Here is a note I received from my Freshman Year Roommate, Jonathan Becker.  Please read it and consider supporting his efforts -- 

Dear Friends:

Would you consider sponsoring me for a triathlon to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society?  If that’s all you needed to hear, click here to donate.  Or read on …

My personal connection to this issue is really about two lawyers.  The first is my good college friend James Esseks, who inspires me with his work as director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & AIDS Project.  He is in remission from non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  A few years back, I was shocked to hear he had cancer.  I am so grateful that he is well now, because he is a close friend and I admire how he and his team help good people wanting very basic things about family and work.
The other lawyer was my grandfather, Harry Becker.  He too had non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma but died when I was seven years old.  I remember him as tremendously sweet, loving, and funny.  I often wish I could just spend a day with Grandpa Harry now.

Why James is surviving his cancer, while Grandpa Harry did not, I have to believe has to do with the amazing research done in the years between.  So it’s important to support ongoing research and care.
So what about the triathlon?  Many of you know that I enjoy cycling, and I also run some.  Swimming is another story – I have never been good at it.  So I am rising at 5:00am three days a week for a Masters swimming group and also swimming on my own.  I am making slow and steady progress; when I started, I was winded after one lap in the pool.  With the Team in Training practices added, I am working out 5-7 days a week.  It’s hard work, but I’m enjoying it.

About the beneficiary of your gift, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS):
-          LLS researchers helped develop half of all new cancer drugs approved by the FDA in the last decade.  Many of the treatments also are used to treat other cancers and diseases such as stomach cancer, diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
L    LLS's patient services programs include education, support groups and financial aid for patients and their families.  If you can imagine what it’s like to hear you have cancer, to get immediate help is so important.
-          It was rated a top non-profit on 2011 by Philanthropedia.

My mother had polio as a child and it affects her to this day.  I know when she was young and contracted it, people were terrified of polio.  Now we don’t fear it.  I only hope we can reach the same point with cancer.  We have all been touched by cancer in some way, and we can all be part of the solution.

I hope you’ll donate, because it helps so many people and it will inspire me to work harder.  Please click here to go to my fundraising page.

With love and thanks,

Yale Alumni Service Corps

This year the Yale Alumni Service Corps has done some remarkable things.  The trips to Nicaragua and Ghana were very successful -- both in terms of what we accomplished and in terms of the bonds built among those who went.  The friendships from these experiences span the world and generations.

This week, YASC started its work to plan next year's trips.  We are going to Leon, Nicaragua in March and Ghana again in late July 2013.  Stay tuned for details.

And, we are adding a trip to West Virginia with a Yalie-run group called College Summit.

Stay tuned for details on all of these trips.  It would be great to get big Class of 1987 involvement in all of them!

Yale Alumni Non Profit Alliance

YANA is seeking Program Coordinators for its Mentorship Program!

 The Yale Alumni Nonprofit Alliance (YANA) is seeking new Program Coordinators for the Mentorship Program, based in New York City. The YANA Mentorship Program fosters meaningful relationships among alumni to encourage nonprofit career development and cultivate a continuous learning environment beyond Yale. Program Coordinators organize all stages of the program, including reviewing participant applications, coordinating mentorship matches, organizing events, and liaising with program participants.

 For more information and to apply to be a Mentorship Program Coordinator, please complete the application at the link below by 5PM on Friday, September 21, 2012. If you have any questions about the application or the program, please email

  Application for YANA Mentorship Program Coordinators

GET INVOLVED WITH YANA! The Yale Alumni Nonprofit Alliance is continually seeking new members! There are many ways for alumni to get involved - your point of engagement can range anywhere from attending a meeting to chairing a committee or major project. Please contact us at if you're interested in joining one of our committees: Best Practices, Event Planning, Membership, Mentorship, Newsletter, Nonprofit Roundtable, Social Media, and University Relations. We look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Our Class E-newspaper

Our class e-newspaper is automatically populated each week by the stuff classmates post on twitter and on their blogs. Check it out.

I’ve Been Nominated as a “Mom on a Mission!”

Here is the latest from our own Bettina Elias Siegel.  Vote for Bettina!

I’ve Been Nominated as a “Mom on a Mission!”

by Bettina Elias Siegel on August 31, 2012
As a result of my recent efforts to end the use of LFTB in USDA-procured beef for the National School Lunch Program, I’ve been chosen as one of eight finalists for Healthy Child Healthy World’s 2012 Mom on a Mission campaign.
I’m truly honored by this nomination, but when you see the other seven finalists and their accomplishments, you’ll understand why I don’t feel I deserve to be in their company.  The strides we made this spring toward improved food transparency and consumer choice were only possible because we all voiced our opinion together.  It was truly a collective victory and I share this nomination with everyone who signed my petition.
Here’s a video statement I was asked to submit for the campaign:

Please vote!
Voting begins tomorrow, Saturday, September 1st and will end on Monday, October 15th.  When the link goes live tomorrow, you can vote here.   (I’ll also share the link on Facebook and Twitter now and then during the voting period.)  The winner will be honored at a special fundraising event in New York City this fall.
Thank you to Healthy Child, Healthy World!
I’ve Been Nominated as a “Mom on a Mission!”

Behind The Scenes Look At ‘The Quiet Ones’ Directed by Y87’s John Pogue

Check out classmate John Pogue in action shooting his newest movie, The Quiet Ones
Hammer Films’ follow-up to ‘The Woman in Black’, Daniel Radcliffe’s first post-Potter picture, will be titled ‘The Quiet Ones’ and it will star another name that will soon be known to the young adult audience worldwide. Directed by John Pogue, the supernatural thriller will feature ‘Mad Men’ star Jared Harris alongside Sam Claflin, who can be seen in ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ and the upcoming ‘Catching Fire’, where he’s cast as Finnick Odair.
Here’s a synopsis for this 1970s-set tale:
‘The Quiet Ones’ tells the story of an unorthodox professor who uses controversial methods and leads his best students off the grid to take part in a dangerous experiment: to create a poltergeist. Based on the theory that paranormal activity is caused by human negative energy, the rogue scientists perform a series of tests on a young patient, pushing her to the edge of sanity. As frightening occurrences begin to take place with shocking and gruesome consequences, the group quickly realizes they have triggered a force more terrifying than they ever could have imagined.”

Behind The Scenes Look At ‘The Quiet Ones’ Featuring Sam Claflin

With Opening Near, Yale Defends Singapore Venture -

Have you been following Yale’s venture in Singapore?  Click below to read all about it.

With Opening Near, Yale Defends Singapore Venture

Yale-NUS College

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore, right, with Pericles Lewis, center, the president of Yale-N.U.S. College. The college will offer liberal arts courses that study East and West side by side.

Published: August 27, 2012

SINGAPORE — Students have started to be admitted, faculty members have been hired, and construction has begun on the site that will become the home of Yale University ’s first joint college in its 300-year history.

With Opening Near, Yale Defends Singapore Venture -

AYA Excellence Award Nominations Due Soon -- Nominate your favorite Yale alumni volunteer group today!

Excellence Award Nominations are due by
September 15, 2012, 5:00 pm EDT
Nominate alumni groups for their impressive initiatives, creative technologies, excellent programming, fruitful collaborations, effective leadership development and significant service. See the full list of award categories for more ideas!

Seeking Nominations for the
2012 AYA Board of Governors Excellence Awards!

Dear Yale Alumni Volunteer:

You are the best of Yale, and we know you are working hard to be the best for Yale. Thank you!

Since the implementation of the AYA Strategic Plan in 2007, volunteers everywhere have been reinvigorating traditional programs and engaging alumni in new and innovative ways. Many classes, clubs, SIGs, and G&P schools have engaged in strategic planning themselves, and there are more alumni doing more things than ever before. Whether new “out of the box” ideas or reenergized versions of Yale traditions, these programs and activities are models for excellence and alumni involvement.

For the third year, the AYA Board of Governors seeks to recognize the accomplishments of outstanding alumni groups with their Excellence Awards, to be presented at the Assembly this November 8-10.

You are warmly invited to nominate an alumni organization with which you are familiar. The awards will be vetted by the Volunteer Leadership Committee of the AYA Board using the evaluation criteria described here. There are Excellence Awards given in five major categories, including Classes, Clubs, SIGs, G&P, and overall programming. All of the information and an online nomination form can be found on the AYA website.

If you think the AYA Board should recognize an organization – and the efforts of the volunteers who make it successful – please send in a nomination right away!

The deadline for nominations is Saturday, September 15, 2012 (5:00 pm Eastern). Awards will be announced in October and presented at the AYA Assembly.

We look forward to hearing from you, and thanks for all that you do!

Mark Dollhopf
AYA Executive Director

Yale Educational Travel Announces Second Cuba Trip

YET Cuba YET Cuba YET Cuba

Exploring Cuba's Cultural Heritage

November 8-15, 2012

with Hon. Jose A. Cabranes '65 JD
and Professor Kate Stith, Yale Law School
Cuba is a country of picturesque colonial towns and stunning 20th-century architecture, of lush landscapes and an intriguing Afro-Cuban culture. This highly customized 8-day, people-to-people program based in Havana promises to be a rare opportunity for in-depth insight into Cuba, including a number of day excursions into towns outside of the capital. Meet with economists, foreign policy experts, dancers and artists while at the same time being immersed in the rich local culture and rhythms of daily life.
A second Cuba departure is scheduled for January 12-19, 2013, featuring Yale Professor of Architecture Alan Plattus.
Only a few spaces left!
Yale has received the appropriate license required by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) for Yale Educational Travel.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Finding the Right Amount of Parental Involvement in School -


It’s O.K. to Skip That Bake Sale

Getty Images

Volunteering has become a status symbol of sorts. We’ve gone from  ‘Baby on Board’ to ‘Parent Overboard.’ Have you made your happy gram today?


THIS week my daughters will participate in a ritual my family has performed for almost 50 years. They will each make a sign that says “First Day of School” along with their grade and the name of their school. After breakfast, they’ll pose for pictures next to their newly purchased backpacks.

Read the rest of Bruce’s latest by clicking below


Finding the Right Amount of Parental Involvement in School -