Donald Kaplan (A45) taught the history of the western theater, beginning with the Greeks, since he retired six years ago. Classes in the Rossmoor retirement community—in the East Bay across from San Francisco—are part of an active drama association with classes in acting, directing, and playwrighting, plus producing works by its members.
Jeremy Leven’s (A64) novel, The Savior and the Singing Machine, is out and available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, your favorite bookstore (one hopes), and so on. It is the third and last of the Unholy Trilogy (God, Satan, and the Messiah) after Creator and Satan: His Psychotherapy and Cure by the Unfortunate Dr. Kassler, J.S.P.S. It certainly does not qualify for the reading list, but might be an amusing entertainment for some, he notes.
William N. McKeachie (A66) retired as dean (Episcopal/Anglican) emeritus of South Carolina in 2018 after 48 years in full-time ordained ministry. Currently he is writing a theological autobiography, Mere Anglicanism—The Body Broken, based on more than seven decades of playing, reading, traveling, teaching, and preaching in Canada, England, Europe, and the U.S. He and his wife of 37 years, harpist Elisabeth Gray, have four children and one grandchild.
Leslie Bornstein’s (SF68) feature documentary, Terra Pesada, on Mozambique’s heavy metal musicians, was an official selection of the 2019 Oakland International Film Festival.
Tom Keens (SF68) received the Pediatric Founders Award from the Pediatric Scientific Assembly of the American Thoracic Society at its Annual Meeting in Dallas, Tex., on May 19, 2019. Keens is only the tenth recipient of this award, which was established to recognize those individuals who were instrumental in founding the medical subspecialty of pediatric pulmonology. The inscription on the award says, “Honoring the pioneers of pediatric pulmonary medicine and research.” It is the most prestigious award given by the Pediatric Scientific Assembly.
He was also awarded a five-year NIH grant titled Revamping Exercise Assessment in Children’s Health to investigate novel ways of exercise testing in children to learn more about how lung diseases affect exercise performance. Exercise is studied in children because the body uses the same adaptations in exercise as in critical illness. It is increasingly difficult to obtain NIH funding, so this grant was an unexpected surprise at the age of 72.
Keens is a professor of pediatrics, physiology and biophysics at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, and works in the Division of Pediatric Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. He has been on the faculty there since 1977.
Rick Wicks (SF68) notes that his children’s godfather, John Hickenlooper—an old friend of his wife—is running for president, so they are very excited. Rick has been active for years (in Sweden) in Democrats Abroad, which counts as a state for party purposes, with votes in the DNC, at the national convention, etc.
Joseph Baratta (AN69) came to St. John’s from California after a three-year tour of duty with the U.S. Marine Corps. He was still in the reserves for another three years (to 1968), but he took the risk that President Johnson would not call up the reserves for Vietnam while he got an education. He loved the college—the great books, the four years of math, science, and language, the community of learning—and he considers his classical education one of the greatest boons to his life. He married Gay Singer (A67) and, after graduation, they went to Israel perhaps to stay. He got he first job: technical writer for Elbit Machshevim (computers) in Haifa but the politics of Israeli wars against the Palestinians drove them out, and he could see that to make peace they had to start in America. After a year, they took a leisurely camping trip through Greece (five weeks, a wonderful trip for Johnnies, he says), Yugoslavia, Italy, and Holland. They settled in Boston for its universities and he got very involved in the anti-war movement (VVAW, tax resistance, street demonstrations). Eventually their marriage broke up and it has been hard to go through life without the company of a Johnnie. He entered graduate school in history, in order to understand why his country had bases all around the world and was waging one war after another and determined to make an intellectual contribution to peace. He had no power but the truth and discovered the world federalist movement of WWII and the early Cold War, to which Stringfellow Barr and Scott Buchanan, the founders of the New Program, contributed after they left St. John’s in 1946. A federal union of national states, preserving diversity, seemed to him as a vision that was sorely lacking in the era of anti-communism. Then in 1978 his sister Mary, a prominent educator, was murdered in San Francisco. They never had the evidence to start a trial for first-degree murder, so they had to bear it. He was given scant comfort by Plato’s dictum that it is better to suffer evil than to inflict it. His parents died broken-hearted seven years later, and he became confirmed in Unamuno’s tragic sense of life—his mother had been his best friend. Joseph worked at the United Nations in the 1980s, as Mikhail Gorbachev ended the Cold War. For 20 years he remained unmarried and could never have asked a woman to share his sacrifices (earnings, children) in order to make his original contribution to knowledge. He says, “love had to wait until one finds meaningful work.” But finally, he did remarry—Virginia Swain from Hartford, a counselor about his age. He published his history, The Politics of World Federation, in 2004. He took up a mighty theme, as Melville advised, but, judging by sales, he did not produce a mighty book. It was his creative response to challenge, as Toynbee said of civilizations at their height. He finally landed a real job in his chosen profession as a teacher, historian, and scholar of international relations at Worcester State University, where he had been for 20 and retired as full professor in 2019. Joseph taught good judgment and imagination to 3,377 students and considers his life a success. He has come a long way from his origins—If happiness is the perfect exercise of virtue, as Aristotle said, he is happy.
Robert Fenton Gary (A71) was issued a patent called US 10176661 or Method to Authenticate Value Documents or Items. It provides a technical basis for Paper Bullion Bank Bill, which is a new form of currency with gold particles enmeshed in the paper of the bank bill and with fluorescent coding on the surface that allows very quick and totally reliable authentication of the bank bill.
If a major global bank buys his patent and issues such bank bills, the honesty of transactions and governments will rise to a much higher level than we enjoy at present he remarks. The Founders felt that gold and silver were what should be used as money, and they wrote that into the Constitution, but we have gotten away from that, first with fiat paper, and then with fiat electronic money that is created with a few keystrokes. Since 1971, we have experienced a slow descent into economic chaos, and bad faith in monetary matters. If the United States actually had to pay $23 trillion (our national debt) in gold bullion, we would never have been able to incur that debt. You can read his patent online.
You can read short notes on all his inventions on his website and read his latest and best book, Make Your Own Good Luck, edited by two Johnnies, available through Amazon.com
If you work for a big bank that wants to buy his patent, contact him at robert.gary(at)gmail.com The Photon-DSP Technology he originated also works on money orders, ID cards, container lock seals, auction tags, DNA tags, and evidence tags, among other things, many of which are listed in the patent.
Robert learned chemistry at Institut Le Rosey and photon physics at “The Beloved College” in Annapolis. Math by Newton, logic by Russell, English by Faulkner.
Carla Schick’s (A77) poetry has been published in the Berkeley Times (August 16, 2018), Earth’s Daughters Journal, theme: She Persisted, and online for A Gathering of the Tribes.
Carla is in her second year of retirement from teaching public school mathematics, continues to volunteer to help calculus students and the high school’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA), and works with new teachers.
Darcy Scholts (SF78) says hello to all! She has been living in the Pacific Northwest since 1979 and has been representing indigent clients in the area of criminal defense and juvenile law. She is beginning her 33rd year of representing juvenile offenders and her ninth year of being a children’s attorney helping kids in the foster care system. She has lots of ideas about what to do when she slows down on the work front, but that hasn't happened yet; writing poetry, which is a persistent habit, and art, which is (unfortunately) not, are at the top of the idea list. The radio silence since she graduated is workload related. “Waving hello from behind stacks of paper.”
Jim Sorrentino (A80) married Mary Ragland (nee Capriotti) in October 2018, whom he met in 1997 at an aikido seminar at Oberlin College. It’s her second marriage, his third, and their last! Ken Hom (A80) was the best man and Honor Bulkley (A80) was in the wedding party as well. Also attending were their mothers, Jim’s children, Sophia and Vincent, and brother Paul and sister Gina (SF85), and Mary’s sisters Katrina and Samantha. Their good friend and aikido colleague, Michael Lasky, performed the ceremony in the courtyard of the Sandy Spring Museum in Olney, Md. A raucous shindig at Urban Barbecue followed.
In January 2019, Jim received the rank of sixth-degree black belt in aikido, a Japanese martial discipline, from the Hombu (headquarters) Dojo in Tokyo. He began his study of this art in 1984, and opened a dojo of his own in Arlington, Va., in 1999, at which he continues to practice and teach.
He is a senior policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, in the Office of Single Family Housing. Jim welcomes questions from students and graduates who are curious about government service.
Elizabeth Colmant Estes (A82 and tutor, 1984–86) was ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament on January 6, in the Reformed Church in America and then, on February 17, installed as the 23rd pastor of Readington Reformed Church in Readington, N.J., a congregation celebrating its 300th year. Liz received her MDiv in 2017 from Union Theological Seminary in New York City and then served as a resident staff chaplain at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital from 2017 to 2018. She was elected to the denomination’s Commission on Theology where she serves as the sole welcoming and affirming member.
Don Dennis (SF82) in the past 4 years has become an ice cream chef and his wife is a dairy farmer. When the bulk milk price collapsed four years ago, they we needed to do something or lose the farm. So, they now bottle milk (in glass bottles) and make ice cream, and supply it to shops and hotels around Scotland. They are the only commercial dairy in Scotland that pasteurizes milk using an old-fashioned protocol (145˚F for 30 minutes) which preserves the wonderful raw milk flavor and richness, yet kills off any pathogens. If you come to Scotland check them out: Wee Isle Dairy on Facebook.
Jack Armstrong (SF83) was very sad to miss the Santa Fe Homecoming but had a great consolation prize: He and Joe Lennihan (SF) rafted down the Grand Canyon. The trip was a blast, but Jack says even better was spending five days in the outdoors with Joe.
George McDowell (A84) says to those it may interest: “Although I bear the same name as the central building on campus, the person after whom the building is named was not a direct ancestor and I have no evidence or reason to suspect that he was related to any direct ancestor. His and my time frames don’t support an allegation of quid pro quo. Those questions were raised as to my intellectual abilities before admission—and perhaps [some would say] justified after admission and during some classes—should not lead to the inference that I was granted advantage during the admission process: I passed every class I took, and was described in several don rags as one who made every effort to “endeavor to persevere.” [Although no one was happier than I that Nancy Winter took pains to discourage us from asking about our grades.] John Christensen went out of his way to assist me in preparing my application. But over the course of years in attendance, I observed him volunteering like and similar assistance [far above his job requirement] to any applicant who needed it. Carolyn Taylor also exceeded her job-description duties by scratching out loans and grants and a scholarship and jobs to supplement the GI Bill® and my savings to meet the school’s financial requirements. Although I spent everything, I had to attend St. John’s, the college invested far more in me than I in it. Conversations over the years revealed that I was but one of very many who benefited from Carolyn’s dedication. All of this is just a ponderous way of explaining why neither my parents nor yours will ever be featured in perp walks of those accused of greasing the way for their precious little brats to attend prestigious institutions.”
Michael Strong’s (SF84) most recent project is The Academy of Thought and Industry, a network of high schools with campuses in San Francisco, Austin, New York, and St. Louis. The core program includes an hour of Socratic Humanities daily based on the SJC experience and the parent organization is a Montessori organization with several dozen schools. This is the high school model for the Montessori elementary schools in the network. They are developing the capacity to open many small schools per year.
Terri (Luckett) Hamilton (SF85) and Harry Hamilton (A86) celebrated under an auspicious double rainbow on July 15, 2017, in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia, with singing and dancing under a canopy of stars. “Love is the longing for the half of ourselves that we have lost.” –Kundera
David Kidd (A85) was made head conservator at Archival Arts, Inc. in Baltimore, MD. They do hands-on and digital restoration of art, art objects, and works on paper and canvas.
Maggie (Kinser) Hohle (A85) shares that after a dozen years in northern California, her youngest is finally in high school, and she is able to begin concentrating more on her career again. She has updated her website, and is looking for nonfiction writing work (profiles, website “about” pages, book projects...). You can contact her through her site.
She also works as half of a translation partnership (Japanese-English): takumitranslate.com
She looks forward to hearing from you!
Kevin Fitzgerald (A85) was named the 2019 National Administrator of the Year by the National Association of Educational Office Professionals (NAEOP) at their national conference held in Boise, Idaho, July 15–20,2019.
Lucy Duncan (SF86) was arrested and participated as a core organizer in the American Friends Service Committee action “Love knows no borders: A moral call for migrant justice,” in which 400 faith leaders walked in a solemn walk through Border Field State Park to the border wall between San Diego and Tijuana to bless the migrants there and to protest the wall, the funding of ICE and Customs and Border Patrol, and the militarization of border communities. Thirty-two were arrested and detained for “failure to comply with lawful orders” or “non-complicity.” She had an op-ed published in Yes! magazine and a longer piece on the action published in Friends Journal. The day of action on December 10, International Human Rights Day, was followed by a week of action across the country in which communities organized echo actions in 76 cities.
Michael Silitch (SF86) writes to the SJC community that it feels great to reconnect! He has recently returned to the US after living in France and Switzerland for almost 20 years where he ran his own mountain and ski guiding business. His two boys were born in Aigle, Switzerland. Most recently, he has been the Executive Director and avalanche education nonprofit for the US Ski Team in Park City, Utah.
Michael’s wife, Nina, (Dartmouth '94) teaches at Cardigan Mountain School in Canaan, NH, where their boys, Birken (15) and Anders (13) are studying, ski racing and mountain biking. They all love it there.
Michael finished up his Executive MBA at the University of Utah
Ellen Schwindt (A88) premiered her second piano sonata last year. It is a three-movement sonata structured by the Fibonacci series, which she first heard of during Freshman year sometime. It was taught to her by Casey Carter using one of the blackboards surrounding the balcony looking down on the waltz party going on at the time. Perhaps that’s why it turned into music somehow in the intervening 30 (30!?!?) years. Her husband likes to call it “Five Months in Western Massachusetts.” She will publish it on IMSLP.org where you can find some other compositions of hers. If any alumnae want to try it out, please email her and she will send you a score.
Daniel Cohen (SF90) boot-strapped the “academic alliance” program at Information Builders where he and his father Gerald Cohen (SFGI90) have worked for (a cumulative total of) 71 years. Anyone interested in including WebFOCUS in their business and data analytics courses should contact him at daniel_cohen(at)ibi.com
Fritz Hinrichs (A90) finished his 25th year teaching the great books to homeschool students online through Escondido Tutorial Service. He still does not really understand Spinoza, but hopes that in another 25 years he will, or will have found grounds for justifying his continued ignorance. His eldest is now 6'2", an avid football player and, sadly, has little interest in croquet.
Peter Holland (AGI90) lives in Annapolis where he is a consumer rights lawyer. He enjoyed seeing his brother Steve (A79) get an Award of Merit in 2014, and he was proud to see his son attend the High School Summer Program in Santa Fe. Peter would love to hear from long lost classmates from the Annapolis GI.
Karl Meyer (A90) is working on his first solo album. The album will feature 10 new songs, written and performed by him and some friends.
Joan (Ross) Crist (A91) announced that she is partnering with FAITH Farms, an urban farming organization in Gary, Indiana, to offer students from the small college where she teaches (Calumet College of St. Joseph) the opportunity for service, research, and interfaith bridge-building around agriculture. Joan delivered a presentation on local sustainable agriculture in Flores, Indonesia at the University of Notre Dame’s Catholic Social Teaching conference in March 2019.
Kevin Thomas (A93) still lives in Williamstown with his wife Sonora and dog Banjo. For five years now he has been the Learning & Development Manager at Williams College. He recently started an online MFA program in Creative Non-fiction at Baypath University, so he can finally start writing that memoir.
J. D. Maddox (A95) published Lessons from the Information War, offering a practitioner’s perspective of the origins of current technological efforts to limit propaganda and disinformation online and exploring the complications presented by new directive government-industry counter-disinformation efforts. The paper was published by George Washington University’s Program on Extremism in support of the Congressional Counterterrorism Caucus and can be read online.
Douglas Lynam (SF96) shares that his first book, From Monk to Money Manager: A Former Monk’s Financial Guide to Becoming A Little Bit Wealthy—And Why That’s Okay, was released by a division of HarperCollins. In the book, Douglas unites the best money management practices and the highest ethical values together to make you wealthy, the world wealthier, and to help love flourish.
He has also launched a non-profit, the ESG Fiduciary Institute, which is dedicated to promoting environmentally and socially responsible investing, as well as fiduciary duty—the highest standard of care under the law. Because investing for the future while destroying the future makes no sense.
At LongView Asset Management, in Santa Fe, NM, he helped build the first environmentally responsible teacher retirement plan to default all employees into sustainable investments. They received excellent press coverage in geeky finance trade journals for their efforts.
Finally, he launched a cartoon series called “Money Is Funny.” One industry problem is that money management is a complex subject that can be boring—or terrifying. Putting difficult financial concepts into humorous images helps to lighten the learning process.
Johnnies can learn more about his adventures, or sign up to get free “Money is Funny” cartoons each week on his website.
Francesco Giuseffi (SF96), after a 22-year career in secondary education and earning his doctorate in education, is teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in the St. Louis, Missouri area and is thoroughly enjoying it. His current research interests have led to two edited books: Emerging Self-Directed Learning Strategies in the Digital Age and Self-Directed Learning Strategies in Adult Educational Contexts. He can be reached at fpaulg77(at)gmail.com.
He will always be grateful for the wonderful education he received at St. John’s College!
Lew Klatt (A96), professor of English at Calvin College, received the 2018 Presidential Award for Exemplary Teaching, the college’s highest honor given to a faculty member. Here’s a link to the story.
Joy Pope-Alandete (AGI96) has taken the helm as interim executive director of the Decatur Book Festival in Decatur, GA. Founded in 2006, the Decatur Book Festival is the largest independent book festival in the country and one of the five largest overall. Pope notes that the idea of “the festival” has been important across time and across cultures. “Book festivals celebrate the exchange of ideas. They embody the same kind of communal spirit and joy experienced by participants attending SXSW, the Paris Salon, or even the first annual Dionysia—an ancient celebration of theater. At the DBF, we’re proud to bring together a variety of public and private partnerships comprised of churches, booksellers, colleges, universities, the city, and local businesses in a purposeful way that allows our attendees to find themselves simultaneously pleased by something familiar and, hopefully, surprised by something new.”
Leah Fisch (SF98) shares that it’s been a whirlwind—she got married, her husband moved to the United States, and they moved to New Jersey with their son to be close to family.
She also launched the Joumor Institute to help entrepreneurs get and stay organized and productive, and this year she is launching CEO Rise, her yearlong VIP program. Over the next three years, Leah hopes to grow her family, get a radio show, and bring her work into universities to help students feel more confident.
She would love to hear what other Johnnies up to!
Liz Trice (SF98) shares that she has a number of projects she has been working on—She is using her experience running a coworking space and building policy collaborations to help the town of Millinocket, Maine, to plan a coworking and retail space as an economic development tool. Millinocket, population 4,300, is at the entrance to the North Woods in Maine, Baxter State Park, the Woods & Waters National Monument, and is a popular outdoor recreation destination that lost its primary employer, a paper mill, a decade ago.
She has also been working with a group, currently dubbed PCAX, to create a “community accelerator” that would invest community members’ time to support the creation of new businesses.
She has also been consulting with the largest health care system in Maine to design systems to implement best practices in preventive medicine into primary care.
Liz would like to connect with other alumni who are in Maine or interested in these topics.
Heather Richardson Wilde (A99) married fellow author and technologist Matthew Renze in their current home city of Las Vegas, Nev. Together, they have been working on multiple projects, including the AntarctiConf 2020 technology conference in Antarctica in January 2020. Heather’s book was released—Travel Hacking 101.
Luke Mitcheson (A01) and his wife Daphne recently welcomed their son George Harvey Mitcheson into their lives. It was the Mitchesons’ most exciting holiday season yet, and the family is now happily finding their new footing as a four-member clan. George’s big brother Henry (3 years old) has been especially adventurous, learning all about the joys and challenges of siblinghood while practicing his gentlest hugs.
Shelley (SFGI02, SFEC03) and Doug Saxen (SFEC03, SFGI04) celebrated 17 years of international adventures together this year, with over a decade of that in the U.S. diplomatic service. Shelley adores her career as a foreign service officer in the State Department, where she has shaped and implemented U.S. foreign policy on a range of issues including immigration and border security, counterterrorism, environmental issues and climate change, human rights, labor rights, energy security, and U.S.-EU trade. Doug remains dedicated to writing and producing digital illuminated manuscripts. Since SJC, they have lived and worked in South Korea, Montana, Washington DC, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, and Romania. They moved to Belgium and Shelley is dedicated to her yoga practice, and they both take every opportunity to enjoy hiking in the mountains, prepare and share meals with friends, and appreciate the simple joys of life.
Mary Duffy (A04) is in her fourth year as an editor of interactive fiction with Choice of Games LLC, alongside Jason Stevan Hill (AGI04), a partner in the firm and her boss. They’re both celebrating three of the company’s games (The Martian Job, Rent-a-Vice, and The Road to Canterbury) being finalists for the first Nebula Award for Game Writing, and attended the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America conference and Nebula Awards ceremony in May. Choice of Games has also published three games by Kyle Marquis (A03), Empyrean, Silverworld, and Tower Behind the Moon, with a fourth currently under contract, and one game by Katherine Nehring (A03), Grand Academy for Future Villains, with a sequel also under contract. They’re always on the lookout for Johnnie writers interested in text adventures.
Gideon Culman (SFGI04, SFEC05), K Street Coaching founder and Where Genius Grows podcast host, was invited to present at the International Coach Federation’s 2019 global conference in Prague.
Norman Allen (AGI06) was ordained a minister of the Unitarian Universalist faith on March 3, 2019. He now serves the congregation at Davies Memorial Unitarian Universalist Church in Camp Springs, MD.
Aran Donovan (SF06) notes that she has a job with the American Institute of Architects New Orleans.
Christopher Strauss’ (AGI06, EC10) book, Four Overarching Patterns of Culture, was published, a work he co-authored with his father. They wrote it for people working in the global marketplace, anyone doing business, training, or communicating across cultures. The book claims cultures fall into four types—justice, honor, reciprocity, and harmony—and unpacks how each pattern of culture works: what its people will tend to value, how they tend to think, communicate, and act. The book blends theory (drawn from anthropology, sociology, linguistics, and related fields) with first person accounts of international travel and training situations. Available on Amazon.
Lucas Smith (SF07) announces that a documentary film he edited, Harvest Season, had its Santa Fe premiere at the CCA Cinematheque in February 2019. The film, directed by Emmy-nominated Bernardo Ruiz, essays the lives of Mexican American winemakers and migrant labor in Napa Valley, culminating in the devastating forest fires of October 2017. The film had its broadcast premiere on PBS in May 2019.
Chelsea (Stiegman) Ihnacik (A07) writes that she is now the parent of three children, one of whom is school-aged. Being that she is an alumna of SJC, she has been reading ALL THE BOOKS on education and how children learn. Homeschooling has been the best fit for her family, and she saw a need for a print magazine for secular homeschoolers. So she started one! Rosemary Magazine is the secular homeschooling magazine that lifts up all lifelong learners. You can check it out (and subscribe, if this is your wavelength).
Laura Duncombe (SF08) welcomed two new creations into her life in summer 2019—her second child, Lucas Perry Duncombe, and her second book, A Pirate’s Life for She, a historical account of the women pirates of the world for ages 12 and above. She, her husband, and the boys are all happily living in Tulsa, Okla., and would love to see other heartland alums!
João (Fernandes) Santa-Rita (A09) and Brittany (McBride) Santa-Rita (A) are pleased to announce the birth of their daughter, Viveca Rae, on May 3, 2018. The Santa-Ritas are entering their third year living in New York City. João is practicing law at McKool Smith PC.
Mark McClay (A09) has finished his Ph.D. in Classics at the University of California, Berkeley, with a dissertation on Classical Greek mystery religion. Last year, he took a position as visiting assistant professor of Classics at the University of Miami.
Brian Cronin (SF10) announces he had a daughter and her name is Natalia Maria Cronin.
Mark Jedrzejczyk (AGI10) was honored to receive Carthage College’s Adult Undergraduate Studies Teacher of the Year award for his work in Western Heritage I & II, two St. John’s-style great books seminars.
Nareg Seferian (SF11) notes that after many adventures—mostly through Armenia and Turkey, mostly involving teaching and research—he began doctoral studies in politics at Virginia Tech’s campus in the Washington, DC-area in the spring of 2019—a JF once more!
Julia Coursey (SF12) shares that she graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alabama in May. Her thesis was a novel that draws on her time working at the Smithsonian, with a bit of Mrs. Dalloway and a few ghosts.
Nick Hoang (A13), since graduating from St. John’s in 2013, has been fortunate to have lived and worked in different countries, from France, to Hong Kong, to Singapore, and now Vietnam. He has been working mostly in investment funds and tech companies. He launched his own startup Zen Flowchart which is an online tool to create flowcharts easily. Since launching in May 2019, the software has been used by thousands of users worldwide and voted #1 product of the day on Product Hunt. It gives him immense joy to see his product bringing value to people.
Nick is currently based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam so if there is anyone in town, they can send an email to nick(at)zenflowchart.com and he would be happy to give them a city tour and tips on exploring Vietnam.
Hector Mendoza (SF14) married Teresa Coughlin in his hometown of Tucson, Ariz., on December 1, 2018. Fellow alumni that joined them on the wedding day were Adrian Angulo (SF15), Anya Cruz (SFGI12), Ernesto Cruz (SFGI13), Jackson Cusick (SF14), Noam Freshman (A14), Rory Hanlon (SF14), Hannah Herbst (SF16), Dohee Kang (SF14, SFEC15), and Hope Lang (SF16).
Johnathan Gooch (A14) writes that after graduating from St. John’s he started pursuing his Juris Doctorate at the University of Texas and landed a summer position clerking at the Supreme Court of Texas (SCOTX) in the chambers of Justice Boyd. Being a Johnnie to the core and a perpetual skeptic, after his time at SCOTX he set out to seek certainty as to whether a legal career was the right fit for him. Johnathan endeavored to write and pitch a sitcom and rose through the ranks of a property management company. After three years of soul-searching, he returned to law school with the wisdom of practical experience and a drive born out of purpose. Now halfway through his legal education, he is proud to report that he has received the Dean’s Achievement Award for Jurisprudence and Constitutional Law, and is the editor-in-chief of the Texas International Law Journal. By marrying the broad and rigorous education from St. John’s with the disciplined training from UT Law, he is launching his career as a public interest lawyer.
Casey Whitney (A14) has been in a master’s program at Hunter College in pure mathematics and graduated spring 2019. He was accepted to the CUNY Graduate Center for a PhD in pure mathematics and started fall 2019.
April Cleveland (SF15) says hi there, St. John’s! She wanted to let you know that her thesis production for her MFA in directing at The Theatre School at DePaul University will be ORESTEIA, which is a contemporary adaptation of Aeschylus' trilogy. It’s a big mainstage production, and it’s wonderful because she wrote her first seminar paper on the Oresteia at St. John’s. April will get her MFA in the spring, and then her first gig is an off-broadway workshop of Two Noble Kinsmen in New York.
Samuel Collins (A15) received his Juris Doctor from Temple University, Beasley School of Law and was studying for the New Jersey Bar exam. After the exam, he will be beginning a judicial clerkship in New Jersey state court.
Amelia Perkins (A15) received an MA in philosophy from Tufts University in spring 2019 and in the fall she moved away from the East Coast for the first time to pursue a Ph.D. at Northwestern University.
Cem Turkoz (A16) announced that, upon completion of his MA in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago in June, he would be moving on to Harvard University to pursue a PhD at the department of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations. His research at Harvard will explore the intellectual history of the Ottoman Empire, with a particular focus on the history of philosophy and science in the 16th and 17th centuries. He would love to connect with Johnnies living in Cambridge or Boston!