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Class Notes, 2013 January/February

January/February 2013

Happy New Year! I hope that it finds you and yours in good spirits. I would like to welcome Jennifer Leeds and Rob Hess, who share that they have moved from Boston to my neck of the woods here in Northern California. Jennifer is the executive director/head of antibacterial discovery at Novartis. Rob is a patent attorney with Solazyme, an "oil from algae" company in South San Francisco. He is enjoying the change from working in a Boston law firm to this in-house opportunity. Their two sons, Maximilian, 11, and Tjaden, 14, love the Bay Area and have adjusted well to the move. Jessica Lifland, BFA '92, is also in the area. She moved out of San Francisco and is now enjoying the sunshine in Marin County with her daughter Katie, 1-1/2. Jessica is a professional photojournalist/photographer. Susan Lipetz Brown also moved. After ten years in NYC, the family moved to Connecticut just in time for their oldest son to go to kindergarten. They are not far from Reunion chair Jeff, MD '95, and Robyn Lipsky Weintraub. "We had them and their great kids over for brunch, with the hope for more visits in the future."

I went to Ithaca in September and caught up with Shelley Stuart, who now oversees the social media efforts at Cornell Alumni Magazine. She writes, "I also write screenplays, manage bees, and grow commercial mushrooms. I will soon realize an agroforestry endeavor growing organic, gourmet Shiitake and Lion's Mane mushrooms on maple logs. I started with 100 logs, and plan to add about 50 logs a year for a steady production. I never thought I'd return to the family business of farming, but agroforestry fits my style perfectly! Next summer I anticipate good things from honeybees. I started with three beehives as a hobby, mostly to make my own mead, but this summer I jumped to eight hives for a more commercial venture. If the winter is kind, next year I will be able to sell a respectable amount of honey, small bees colonies, and queen bees."My visit coincided with Homecoming, which is a really big deal now--lots of family activities, great tailgates, and for the first time this year, a fantastic laser light show on Schoellkopf Field, where the Big Red later routed Yale 45-6 on nationwide television. If you can make it back, I highly recommend it.

Class entrepreneurs include Deb Moreau Dihel, who announces the launch of her app GeoReader ( for iPhone and Android, a must-have for any road trip with the kids. The app reads historical markers out loud as you pass by them on the road. Kim Brown Bixler has published her latest work of nonfiction, Growing Up in a Frank Lloyd Wright House. Read about it at www.kimbixler. com and watch for a PBS documentary about the Wright--designed Boynton House in Rochester, NY. Kim lives in Manhattan Beach, CA, with husband Tim, JD '93, and two teenage children. Carl Thorne Thomsen's Kansas City restaurant, Story, won a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, an honor that's been bestowed on only ten Kansas restaurants!

Karen Rosenberg Marks launched North Star Admissions, a consulting business in Hanover, NH, to help applicants get into college and business school. She was previously the associate director of admissions at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, leading diversity recruiting. She and husband Jeff have three kids: Hannah, 13, Emma, 10, and Ian, 7. In a similar vein, Grace Lee Sawin, BArch '91, has started Chicago School GPS to help families find the right school fit for their kids. "We serve families looking for public and/or private school options, from preschool to high school." Grace's two daughters, ages 13 and 10, are in the Chicago public school system--and happy to be back to school after the strike last fall. Grace also works part-time as an architect. Geoffrey Moskowitz opened his third business in Russia, Tip-Top Alpinism, high-level cleaning services using climbers. "We clean equipment, silos, beams, facades, and windows! It has been a big success, complementing our regular and technical cleaning businesses."

Other members of our class finding themselves far from Cayuga's waters include Jennifer Caci, an active duty lieutenant colonel in the Army's Medical Service Corps. She is in Afghanistan for the fourth time, this time as the deputy surgeon for the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force, Afghanistan. Thank you for your service, Jennifer. Tim O'Hara writes, "Our project, Rancho Mastatal, entered its 12th year in November. My wife, Robin, daughter Soledad, 4, and I continue to live most of the year in Costa Rica working at our sustainable living center, but are starting to spend a bit more time in the US each year as we become involved with food security and regional food production issues both here and in Central America."

Carolina Maduro is the executive director of a family foundation that works to promote quality, efficiency, and equity of education in Honduras. "We seek to influence public policy in education and carry on initiatives and programs that improve the quality of education. We have become specialized in nontraditional methodology for preschoolers in very poor communities." In addition to her work at the foundation, Carolina spends time with her six children, ages 15, 13, 12, 9, 7, and 1. Linda Craugh (Annapolis, MD) has completed her PhD in mechanical engineering and is headed to the US Naval Academy as a permanent military professor! Joanne Kaufman earned tenure in the Dept. of Sociology at the U. at Albany, SUNY. She remembers meeting friends for Sunday brunch at the dining hall in Willard Straight during our years on the Hill.

You can always submit class notes anytime by visiting Also visit our class website at and our Facebook page,, to stay up to date on news of our class. *Charles Wu,; Tom Greenberg, twg22@cornell. edu; Wendy Coburn,

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