Honors College Alumni—Spring 2004
I'm now living in Brazil and working full time as a systems analysis and programmer for an airline company. It's hard work but a fun job. If you ever come and visit Rio, get in touch!
I spent five years planning for my retirement which I wanted to do when I hit 70. In those years I began a local newspaper column, "Life Lines", that appears in 70,000 homes on the North Shore in the Times-Record-Beacon publications every other Thursday. So far well over 100 articles have appeared. It gives me a chance to educate the adult public about the life sciences and how they affect our lives. When I retired I went again on Semester at Sea with Nedra and we were one day from Kobe in Japan at sea when Sept 11 happened. All our ports in Muslim countries were scratched by the State Department and we never knew where we going next. One surprise replacement port was Havana and Castro invited the entire shipboard community to a banquet and gave a four hour speech on terrorism. While I was at sea my book, "The Unfit: A History of a Bad Idea" came out. It got excellent reviews. I then spent a half year at the CSH archives and prepared a book on the history of classical genetics which CSH Press is also publishing. The book is called : "Mendel's Legacy: the Origin of Classical Genetics" and it should be out in January 2004. It's in production now. I am working on a third book which is in the early stages. It deals with evil and science—both real evil and alleged evil and how young scientists might assess the implications of their work. Nedra is also retired from her IVF work. We are both very busy, Nedra by resuming her quilt making (she had many published in quilt magazines and had one of her quilts exhibited at Quilt National, the top juried quilting show in the US) and I by going often to Cold Spring Harbor where I have worked on my past two books and have been a consultant for their on-line "eugenics archive" and for their "DNA: From the Beginning" on-line course. We also get to do more traveling now that we are retired and I have several books on the backburner from years of putting them aside while teaching. Now that I am not teaching, I hope to make writing my major activity. I think often of the Honors College and the eight wonderful years working with outstanding students. It is a pleasure to get email from some of you and to learn what you are doing with your careers. My email for students who want to say hello, firstname.lastname@example.org .
Ruth Schwartz Cowan
2003 turned out to be an extraordinary year in my life. Our second grandchild (a boy) was born on Valentine's Day—and our third and fourth (twins, a girl and a boy!) at the beginning of October. All four grandchildren reside in New York City, which means that I have been spending every free minute in New York, not Philadelphia. It also means that the book I had hoped to finish (on genetic screening) is not yet done and the one I had hoped to start (on women engineers) is still far from the starting gate—but I have found that the pleasures of grandparenting are as satisfying (even more so in some ways) that the pleasures of scholarship. Fortunately, I also continue to enjoy my students and colleagues at Penn—and the feeling must be mutual, since I was elected Chair of my department in July. So life is, to put it mildly, full—although not so full that I don't sometimes miss the Honors College. So if you are in Philadelphia, or just passing through, please get in touch: email@example.com .
Donna Di Donato
Since leaving my position as Director of the Honors College I have become involved
with the undergraduate academic experience more broadly here at Stony Brook.
First as Assistant Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences and now as Assistant
Provost my work has evolved to include the administrative oversight of a
number of our undergraduate programs including URECA, Living Learning Centers
and the Honors College. My office also coordinates the nomination process
for prestigious external scholarships like the Goldwater, Churchill, Marshall
and Rhodes. Honors College students are routinely nominated for these fine
opportunities and are sometimes successful! In November of 2000 I was fortunate
enough to be awarded the Student Life Award by Student Affairs and a year
later the President's and Chancellor's Awards for Professional Excellence.
I remember my days as Director of the Honors College most fondly and am delighted
to say that I continue to keep in touch with a number of you. Please let
me know how you are doing at Donna.DiDonato@stonybrook.edu
Alumni Spotlight Spring 2004
Jeff Barnett: Class of 2000
Life is good. I am working at a place that I like (I've stayed at Stony Brook since having graduated because of the strong connections I made with faculty, staff, and other students as an undergraduate; sense of community, job opportunities as well) and for an organization that is on the rise that I feel I can positively contribute to. After graduating, I began working as the Director of Residence Hall on campus at SBU. In this position, I was able to do much more than handle the stereotypical discipline and maintenance. Opportunities to engage in teaching (USB 101; LHD 487-SAFE; LHD 488-NOURISH, peer education course on eating disorders; Q-Course - Sanction for Academic Dishonesty), presenting at national conferences on student development & psychology and to administrators in the SUNY system, publishing a very "small time" paper on First Year Student academic experiences and supports, as well as other professional development opportunities presented themselves. These include opportunities to contribute to the growth and development of educational programs such as the Media Arts Living Learning Center, help create a residentially based tutoring program, strengthen academic supports for at-risk students, and other initiatives which work to create educationally purposeful environments and communities. Last year I got the itch to go back to school. I was accepted to Harvard University's Graduate School of Education and had planned to move there to live in a huge home of 2 MIT professors. I consciously chose to stay in the area and opting to move to Academic Advising and with the Undergraduate Colleges, while attending Columbia University's Teachers College pursuing a Master's in Higher Education Administration. My plans for the future are not specific, but center on the intersection and "dance" of student development, psychology and higher education. I have not forgotten nor lost my roots in psychology and see myself pursuing a PhD after Teachers College. My interests are too broad, still, to know exactly what discipline it will be in - perhaps I will propose my own PhD to an institution.