Beyond Vassar

Vassar People

Fifteen Vassar graduates are currently serving as United States Peace Corps volunteers, making the college eighth on the national list of colleges and universities who have alumni serving with the organization in developing countries, according to Charles R. Baquet III, acting director of the Peace Corps.

Geraldine Bond Laybourne ’69, chairman and chief executive officer of Oxygen Media, was one of 25 women honored for extraordinary achievement and leadership in the business world by NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund at its 30th anniversary celebration, Aiming High: A Celebration of the Power of Women. NOW Legal Defense is the nation’s preeminent women’s legal rights organization.

The American Academy of Arts and Letters recently elected author Jane Smiley ’71 to its membership. She was one of 14 inductees this year; the others included Garrison Keillor, John Irving, and Amiri Baraka. Smiley received the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for her book A Thousand Acres (Alfred A. Knopf, 1991). Her most recent work is Horse Heaven (Knopf, 2000).

America Online, Inc., a subsidiary of Time-Warner, has named Robert Friedman ’78 president of AOLTV. In his new position, Friedman will set strategic direction and oversee the daily operations of AOLTV, the world’s first interactive television service for mass market consumers. Friedman was formerly senior vice-president of marketing, promotion, and licensing for MTV and VH-1.

Barbara Coward ’88 and her team at the University of Bath School of Management were the recipients of the first ever Association of MBAs Marketers Millennium Award given to the business school that best markets itself and its accredited MBA program. Coward directs the MBA Admissions and Marketing Office for the University of Bath, one of the top five business schools in Great Britain, where she also completed her MBA in 1996.

Joan Clark Westcott ’41 was designated Outstanding Woman of the 21st Century by the Board of International Research of the American Biographical Institute. The author of six books of poetry, including Fragments of Stained Glass and Ribbon of Light, Westcott appeared in the 21st edition of Who’s Who of American Women and the second edition of Outstanding People of the Twentieth Century.

Sallie Ruperti Springmeyer '26 was recently honored as a Distinguished Nevadan by the University and Community College System of Nevada, the most prestigious award conferred by the Nevada Board of Regents. According to an article in the Reno Gazette-Journal, the award recognizes people who have made "significant achievements that have contributed to the cultural, scientific, or social advancement of Nevada." Springmeyer has lived in Nevada for almost 70 years and has been active in charitable work, reform of the state prison system, and ranching.

Adam Green ’95, founder and director of Rocking the Boat, recently announced the completion of the group’s fourth boat, Tenacity. The boat, a reconstruction of a 19-century Whitehall boat, has been in the works since September, and at 17 feet and three inches long, is the group’s largest yet. Rocking the Boat is a Bronx-based after-school and summer program that offers inner-city high-school students an alternative approach to education and development. Through the traditional craft of boat-building, students learn practical, academic, and social skills. For more information about Green and Rocking the Boat, see the Summer 2000 issue of Vassar The Alumae/i Quarterly.

The Poughkeepsie-based Children’s Media Project, home of a program directed by Benjamin Kalina ’98 named Talking Walls, recently announced the grand opening of their Youth Media Center in downtown Poughkeepsie. CMP is a non-profit art and education organization that uses media and technology to teach skills, tools, and processes necessary for critical thinking, creative self-expression, and community transformation to teens and educators. A local private school, Oakwood Friends School, will remain CMP’s administrative base, but the new center gives the program a community presence and will make it easier for parents, teachers, and young people to take advantage of CMP many offerings. To learn more about Kalina and Talking Walls, see the Fall 2000 issue ofVassar The Alumae/i Quarterly.