Class Notes (Alumni News)

Northwestern Parents Support Undergraduate Opportunities Fund
Christine Norman Heads Liberian Effort for Children
Get Wired with SESP
Class Notes
Northwestern Reunion

Northwestern Parents Support Undergraduate Opportunities Fund
Paul Sagan, a trustee of Northwestern University, at SESP Convocation with Dean Penelope Peterson.
Northwestern alumnus Paul Sagan and Ann Burks Sagan, the parents of Katie Sagan (BS09), want to maintain the quality of SESP’s student-centered programming and personalized attention that their daughter enjoyed. The Sagans recently made a gift to SESP’s newly established Undergraduate Opportunities Fund.

This new fund supports special projects for undergraduates, such as attending conferences, initiating community service or developing extracurricular organizations. For example, it may give students in the Legal Aspects of Education class the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., to observe oral arguments at the Supreme Court.

“We are very proud to support SESP to enable the School to continue to innovate and offer enhanced learning experiences for students,” Paul and Ann Sagan wrote. Likewise, Henry and Joanne Hubschman, parents of Lilly Hubschman (BS09) made a gift to the fund in tribute to their daughter’s undergraduate experience. The first contributors to the fund were Northwestern parents Rick and Nadine Woldenberg, who have a long family history with Northwestern and SESP. Rick Woldenberg, who heads a company called Learning Resources, is a member of SESP’s Board of Advisors.

Photo caption: Paul Sagan, a trustee of Northwestern University, at SESP Convocation with Dean Penelope Peterson.


Christine Norman Heads Liberian Effort for Children
Liberian child advocate Christine Norman visited the School of Education and Social Policy in June Christine Norman (MS68) has a goal of providing opportunities for the disadvantaged youth of Liberia. In 2002 after the country had been ravaged by civil war, she started Restoration of Educational Advancement Programs (REAP) and now serves as its executive director.

The humanitarian organization advances the education and development of disadvantaged Liberian children in a number of ways. It provides counseling and computer training for street children and orphans, brings teachers together to share effective teaching strategies, establishes school libraries and offers scholarships. Its leadership development program was endorsed by the United Nations and has had major impact, according to Norman.

“Our vision is that children need hope, and hope comes when children have the opportunity to learn better,” says Norman, who is the daughter of the late William Tolbert, the former president of Liberia.

Caption: Liberian child advocate Christine Norman visited the School of Education and Social Policy in June.


Get Wired with SESP
Get Wired with SESP Become a fan of Northwestern and SESP on Facebook! Network with other alumni, learn about upcoming events on campus, connect with the alumni club in your area and more. For more specific career networking, job postings and professional advice, join the Northwestern alumni group on LinkedIn.


Class Notes

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Charles P. Ruch (MS60, PhD66) of Lubbock, Texas, retired president of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, was appointed interim dean of the College of Education at Texas Tech University.

Ivy Cross (BS 61) of St. Paul, Minn., former NFL player and television sportscaster, received the 2009 Pete Rozelle Award for Radio and Television.

Peggy Gordon Elliott Miller (MS64) of Brookings, S.D., retired president of South Dakota State University, received a Distinguished Achievement Award from Transylvania University.

Wayne Watson Wayne Watson (BS69, MS70, PhD72) of Chicago, the retiring chancellor of City Colleges of Chicago, was named president of Chicago State University


Henry S. Bangser (MS71, PhD77) of Glenview, Ill., accepted a job as superintendent of schools in Ojai, Calif.

Stephen J. Gill (MA/MS74, PhD76) of Ann Arbor, Mich., has written a new book, Developing a Learning Culture in Nonprofit Organizations, published by Sage Publications.

Michael Komie

Michael Komie (MA75, PhD83) of Chicago is a professor and member of the affiliate faculty at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. He is also an advanced psychoanalytic candidate at the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis.

Jacob (Jay) Firsel Jacob (Jay) Firsel (MS77) of Nazareth, Israel, appeared on two episodes of the History Channel International’s The Naked Archaeologist as a guest guide. He has been living in Israel since 1977 and works as a tour guide.

Z. Jill Bryant Barclift (BS80) of Chenhassen, Minn., was named associate professor of law at Hamline University.
Susan Popkin (BS82, MS86, PhD88) of Vienna, Va., a senior fellow in the Urban Institute’s Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center, was named director of the organization’s new Program on Neighborhoods and Youth Development.
Susan Brinkman Benjamin (MA/MS84) of Highland Park, Ill., established Susan Benjamin Presents after retiring as assistant superintendent from Township High School District 113. She presents musical biography programs in the Chicago area.
Ross Peterson (BS88) of North Hampton, N.H., is executive director for partnership development with Adams & Associates, the third largest operator of Job Corps Centers. He is also chairman of the National Job Corps Association’s Government Affairs Committee.
Maureen Mullen Brown (BS89) of Castle Rock. Colo., is producer and host for the talk show Mom’s the Word on Castle Rock Radio.

Jeanne M. VanBriesen (BS90) of Pittsburgh, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, was named the 2008 Professor of the Year by the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Elizabeth Partoyan (BS93) of Falls Church, Va., moved from the National School Boards Association to the Council of Chief State School Officers to join the leadership team as a strategic initiative director.
Meryl McQueen Meryl McQueen (BS94) of Sydney, Australia, has published six novels. Her book about Asperger’s Syndrome has been used in parent education programs, and another of her novels was recently turned into a screenplay for a feature film project.
Cheryl Milloy (PhD95) of Mill Creek, Wash., a graduate of the Human Development and Social Policy program, joined the Marguerite Casey Foundation in Seattle as an evaluation officer.
Pat Fitzgerald (BS97) of Evanston received a contract extension from Northwestern University to serve as head football coach through the 2015 season. He is the subject of a profile in the August issue of Chicago magazine.
Amy Claessens Amy Claessens (BS98, PhD07) of Chicago has been appointed an assistant professor at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago.
John Rank John Rank (BS98, MS00) of Glenview, Ill., teaches English at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Ill., where he created a course on film studies and works with the honors program. He was the featured “special teacher” during the telecast of the Prep Bowl football game.
M. Yasmina McCarty (BS99) of New York City co-founded and launched GreenMango, a social enterprise that helps low-income entrepreneurs grow their businesses in developing countries.

Chasda Martin (BS02) of Chicago is establishing a network of culturally relevant health and community services at each Betty Shabazz International Charter School campus located on Chicago’s South Side.
Nancy Deutsch Nancy Deutsch (PhD04) of Charlottesville, Va., an assistant professor of education at the University of Virginia, was the first person to be awarded the Emerging Scholar Award by the Out-of-School Group of the American Education Research Association.
Adam Case (BS05) of Chicago, formerly chief of customer communications for the Chicago Transit Authority, was named acting chief of staff on a newly established executive team at Chicago Public Schools that is part of a larger restructuring plan.
Patrick McGrath (MS06) of Wilmette, Ill., a graduate of the Master of Science in Learning and Organizational Change program, was named president of Loyola Academy in Chicago.
Douglas Parks (MS06) of New York was recently promoted to managing consultant for IBM Strategy and Transformation, Internal Practice. In his current role, he is enabling the strategy to support IBM’s transition to a globally integrated enterprise.
Joseph Kennedy (BS07) of Lutherville, Md., became a staff assistant at the newly renamed U.S. Office of Public Engagement.
Kristen Ounanian Kristen Ounanian (BS07) of Washington, D.C., received a Fulbright fellowship for research and study in Denmark at Aalborg University. She will work on a new research project that concerns fishermen’s engagement in governance of fisheries.
Michael Wolf
Michael Wolf (MS07) of Geneva, Ill., director of the Center for Communication in Healthcare at Northwestern, received the Pfizer Health Literacy in Advancing Patient Safety Award from the Partnership for Clear Health Communication at the National Patient Safety Foundation.
Janet Rocha Janet Rocha of Los Angeles (BS08) received a master’s degree in Social Research Methodology from University of California-Los Angeles this spring and will begin a PhD program in the same area this fall.
Kelly Kirkpatrick Kelly Kirkpatrick (BS09) of Davis, Calif., won a Princeton in Asia fellowship to work with the Life Skills Development Foundation in Thailand for one year.
Christine Leung Christine Leung (MS09) of Chicago, an alumna of the Master of Science in Learning and Organizational Change program, was awarded a Broad Residency in Urban Education for work with the public schools in San Francisco.
Stacy Pancratz Stacy Pancratz (BS09) of Huntley, Ill., was selected for a Fulbright fellowship to pursue research in Morocco.
Tatiana Rostovtseva of Bryan, Texas, and Nicky Smith of Milwaukee (both BS09) were awarded Service Corps Fellowships by the American India Foundation to work with nonprofit organizations in India.

Northwestern Reunion
Date: October 23-25

By Marilyn Sherman