Posts Tagged Alumni

Jumbo Bonds Across Generations

Evan Weinberg, E03, discovered his passion for teaching through a resident tutor in math and physics he maintained while at Tufts. The fall after graduation, he began teaching math at the ninth grade level through the New York City Teaching Fellows program. Nine years later, Evan proudly praises one of his first students’ recent graduation from his alma mater, explaining the special connection two Jumbos share across generations:

It isn’t a miracle that he will cross the stage to receive his Tufts diploma today. Far from it – he did the hard work to get where he is, and I can’t take credit for the great things he learned both in my presence and away from it. And his story is far from over – I hope he (like many other students I’ve told this) keeps me in mind if I ever need a job. His story, and those of the rest of his class earning degrees this month, make me incredibly proud to be a teacher.

That said, there is something special about our story. The unique way that Tufts now connects us is unlike any I’ve ever had with others, even with my own Tufts classmates in the class of 2003. I hope that he can look back fondly to his times on campus as I do from time to time. For whatever small part I served in getting him there, I am glad to have helped him out.

Evan currently teaches Advanced Algebra/Algebra 2, Geometry, Calculus AB, Physics, and a robotics elective for both middle and high school students at the Hangzhou International School, currently serving 300 students K-12 from around the world. The excerpt above was taken from his personal blog about teaching, learning and technology.

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Alum talks of baseball legend grandfather

John Banas, A85, has a sports legend in his family tree. His grandfather was Lefty Gomez, the New York Yankees pitcher who won the very first major league All-Star Game. John was the force behind the new book, Lefty, An American Odyssey, and he recently appeared on a local Arizona television show to talk about his grandfather and the book. Check out this clip:

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Jumbo does the Irish Jig

Tufts alumni recently returned to campus to celebrate their reunions, meet old friends, and revisit campus. The weekend kicked off with the All Class Reunion in Gancher, with the theme “Dance of the Decades.” While alumni reminisced, mingled, and danced, the music changed each hour to represent a different decade. Four student groups also performed - BlackOut, Tufts Ballroom Team, Tufts Irish Dance Team, and Bhangra.

Perhaps the most surprising moment of the evening came when Jumbo joined the Irish Dance Team and performed a “jig” along with the group. In the full Jumbo costume that was no easy feat, I’m sure. Check out the video of “Jumbo’s Jig” below:

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To the Islands

Alber Sabanoglu, G86, is a true global citizen. Growing up in Turkey, he then obtained his B.A. and M.S. in the U.S., and now teaches mathematics in Spain. His story “To the Islands” was recently published in translation in the January 2012 edition of Words Without Borders.

It was a clear, peaceful day. The sky was blue, with patches of violet clouds toward the horizon, and the sea was like a darker sheet with small wrinkles on the surface, which showed that the wind came from the south from the islands. Facing the front of the boat, those islands looked like distant, mysterious lands: half-legendary, hidden behind a mist which revealed only their main curves. But the two children knew that the islands could also look different: there were days when the play of the light made the houses of the first—easternmost—island seem almost within a hand’s reach. It was hard to know which of the two views was an illusion, since there were no ferry lines from that part of the mainland to the islands. As for the small boats, it was forbidden for the children, and unthinkable for the grownups, to go beyond an invisible line near the end of the bay with them.

Read the rest of the story, and explore other works of contemporary international literature on the Words Without Borders site.

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After Nollywood

This fall, Tufts Magazine featured Bic Leu, A07, a Fulbright Scholar and project manager for Del-York International, a communications company that is helping to set up a media production training program in Lagos, Nigeria. The feature contained a blog post detailing Leu’s experiences doing on-site research on the Nigerian film industry, known as “Nollywood.”

As my stay in Nigeria drew to a close, I became more and more grateful for the opportunity I had had to meet so many amazing individuals and accumulate so many eye-opening experiences. I found I had also amassed evidence showing that Nigerian society has, by and large, benefited from Nollywood. I observed that a standard movie employs fifty to a hundred people and indirectly provides work for many others, thanks to collateral industries, from the yam vendors who supply the set caterer to the DVD manufacturing plants. At that rate, modern Nigerian cinema supports hundreds of thousands of jobs annually. That’s significant in a country that the World Bank estimates to have a 25 percent youth unemployment rate.

Recently, she blogged about a visit to Brazil that added more perspective to her Nollywood knowledge:

I feel extremely fortunate that my Nollywood immersion has come full circle. After being introduced to Nigerian cinema in Jonathan Haynes’ Long Island University office, my education was cemented on the set of Tunde Kelani’s Ma’ami in Abeokuta in October 2010 – just two weeks after my arrival in Nigeria on the Fulbright grant. I am so honored to complete my Nollywood research with these two amazing individuals, as well as be joined by new friends who have supported me along the way – Alex Andrade, Jamiu Shoyode and Hakeem Adenekan.

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Teach for America: Tufts Edition

This week marked the deadline for college seniors around the country to apply for Teach for America, a program in which graduates make a commitment to teach in poor urban or rural schools for two years. With Tufts’ focus on active citizenship, it’s no surprise that graduating Jumbos are top contributors in the program. In order to pass down the torch and inspire fellow Jumbos, current Teach for America members and Tufts alumni recorded a video expressing their love for their work:


Video by Marysa Sheren, A12, and Allison Hoffman, A12

For more on Tufts Teach for America, check them out on Twitter and Facebook. Good luck to all Jumbos who applied for Teach for America!

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Post-Homecoming: Tufts Football

This past weekend, our Jumbos faced the Trinity College Bantams and the Williams College Ephs! Before heading to the fields,  Coach Jay Civetti discussed the team both post-practice and at the New England Football Writers luncheon:

Show your support post-homecoming by following Tufts Football on Twitter and friending them on Facebook. GO JUMBOS!

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Too Big to Fail

William Hurt, A72, has been nominated for the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Mini-series or Movie Emmy Award for his portrayal of former treasury secretary Henry Paulson on HBO’s original film “Too Big To Fail”. This is Hurt’s second Emmy nomination, as he was previously nominated for the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his work on the show Damages. Check out his bio on the Emmys Website and watch the trailer for the movie below.

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Photo Memories On and Off the Hill

Tufts alumni from 2001, 2006 and 2010 returned to campus this June for the first Back to the Hill: Young Alumni Festival. To get the memories flowing, alums were encouraged to submit photos from their time at Tufts. Jumbo, homecoming, trips, parties, the marathon – it’s all right here for you to see.


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

For more photos of Tufts alums, visit the Tufts Alumni Flickr page.

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Jumbo Love Connections

We asked, you answered. Here are some Jumbo tales of love to warm your heart this Valentine’s Day:

“In the fall of 1991, I had a band friend who convinced me (a violinist) to join Pep Band. He (a saxophone player) had a different band friend who did the same. Thanks to John McCann and his wonderful attitude of welcoming any and all to the amazing, eclectic, fun Pep Band, we’ve now been married almost 15 years and have three children.”

– Katie Radin Bonner

“We met doing a Torn Ticket production of ‘Pippin’ in 1981: I was a freshman and Neal was a sophomore. At our wedding, we danced our first dance to “If I Could Share my Life with You” from the show’s score. We’ve been married for 25 years now! When we took our 16 year old son to visit the campus in November, he expressed an interest in musical theater to our guide, who told him that Torn Ticket was planning on performing ‘Pippin’ again this spring. It brought back such happy memories for us!”

– Susan and Neal Klausner

“We were both seniors and had just gotten back from study abroad. I first met Greg in early October at a friend’s birthday party. But, our true ‘Jumbo love connection’ happened during homecoming. After a great win on the rugby pitch, I met up with Greg and my teammates at tailgating. It was a very rainy day and the parking lot had become a huge mud pit. I talked to my teammate (also one of Greg’s housemates) about my new crush on Greg. At her suggestion, I rugby tackled Greg into the mud and casually said ‘hi.’ Luckily, we weren’t the only ones enjoying a little mud slip and slide that day.

This past October (5 years since the tackling incident), we came back to Tufts for our 5 year anniversary. And, on the night before homecoming, Greg proposed to me on the Tufts Library Roof. We’re so happy for Jumbo to have brought us together!”

– Shana Horak & Greg Hawley

“Brandon and I worked in David Kaplan’s lab as undergrads. All I wanted to do is get my lab work done and get out, but Brandon always wanted to chat. I finally gave in and went to see him perform with the Bubs and we’ve been together since. We’ve been together for 8 years and will be married this May!”

– Alyssa Ngangan & Brandon Kitchel

“Freshman year, move in day, ice cream social in the Hill Hall lounge, my roommate and introduced ourselves to two guys. They were Dave and Steve, I thought Dave was cute. Steve lived across the hall from Dave and was in most of my classes. Everytime I went to visit Dave, I would end up talking to Steve…and still am 28 years later.”

– Liz Milman Christo

“We met while we were working at the Tufts Conference Bureau during the summer of 2008; we lived next door to each other in Wilson House, which was the staff housing for that summer. He was initially annoyed with me for “appropriating” the room that he wanted his friend to take, and I was annoyed at him for hogging the shower in the morning. But we found mutual love for the show LOST and quickly warmed up to each other. We’re still dating, and this past summer, we even made a voluntary decision to live together again!”

– Ben Axelman & Julia Cheong

“We dreamed up and started Tufts’ Christian a cappella group (Anchord) together in 2008, when I was a sophomore and Ben was a freshman. We started off more as business partners, then friends, then close friends, and then… well… we got even closer! We got engaged at the end of my senior year in 2010 and got married after he graduated early in December 2010. He likes to say that ‘Hey… you have a nice voice… Do you want to start a Christian a cappella group with me?’ is the best pickup line ever.”

– Katherine (Kat) Runes Hampson

“We first met as freshman in Houston Hall, both taking Geology 101. No spark at that time. As sophmores, she roomed in Wren with a friend of mine and coming to parties at my apartment (Hillside). We started dating just before junior year (after she said no when I asked her out at the end of sophmore year). She painted the cannon for me on my 21st birthday. Two and a half years after graduation (94) we got married in December 1996 at Goddard Chapel. In 2006 we participated in a renewal of vows ceremony at Goddard Chapel during Homecoming Weekend. After 14 years of marriage, I still love her very much. Happy Valentine’s Day Kristen!”

– Marc Garrigus/Kristen Garrigus

We met while volunteering for Tufts for Eugene McCarthy and against the War in Vietnam. The McCarthy campaign failed but the romance blossomed to a marriage. Since then, we have given tens of thousands of dollars to Tufts, but it has been as tuition for three of our children. Our Jumbo love is we love Tufts.

– sheldon and lee van auken fishman

Junior year in coed dorm, Hill Hall, Fall of 1973.

– John Eckart and Karen Giannelli

You can find more stories of couples that met at Tufts in these stories collected by the Tufts Fund. Or share your own in the comments!

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