Luka Bunnell '23
Alex DiCorpo '23
Two Tafties engaged in high-level scientific research internships at the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG). Both were mentored by NYBG Scientist. Read about their work.
Tafties come from all walks of life, each with a story that fascinates and inspires. Meet some of our students, faculty, and alumni here.
Luka Bunnell '23
Alex DiCorpo '23
Two Tafties engaged in high-level scientific research internships at the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG). Both were mentored by NYBG Scientist. Read about their work.
Fiona Chou ’25
Over the summer Fiona Chou '25 completed a cardiothoracic surgical skills internship at UCLA School of Medicine, where networked with pre-med students, medical interns, med school professors, and practicing surgeons.
Chris Joszczyk ’25
Chris Joszczyk ’25 traveled to Poland over the summer where he taught conversational English to 12- to-14-year-olds for three hours each day. The impact was tremendous, for both Chris and his students.
Isabel Cheng '23
With assistance from a Robert Keyes Poole ’50 Fellowship, Isabel Cheng '23 spent two weeks in La Paz, Mexico, using her skills as an open water diver to help protect and preserve essential coastal resources.
Erin Butler '24
With support from a Meg Page ’74 Fellowship, Erin Butler ’24 recently spent time with current medical students at Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School in the classroom, the anatomy lab, and the exam room.
LaZai's voice is an important one on campus. He is a respected student leader, captaining multiple sports teams and serving as a school monitor. Learn more about LaZai--and about Taft--through this quick Q & A.
One of the things that attracted Theresa to Taft was the opportunity for meaningful engagement outside of the classroom. And Theresa has truly made the most of the many opportunities available to Taft students. Read about them, and learn more about Taft though this quick Q & A.
Diana is the quintessential Taftie: Deeply involved in the community, deeply connected to her peers, and deeply grateful to be a Rhino. Learn more about Diana--and about Taft--through this quick Q & A.
Nico loves the many opportunities he has had at Taft to not only learn about other cultures from his peers, but to teach them about his own. Learn more about Nico—and about Taft—through a quick Q & A.
Karen Stevenson ’75 Honored
Karen Stevenson ’75 was awarded the Horace Dutton Taft Alumni Medal and is the first woman of color to receive the school’s highest alumni honor. After a career as a trial lawyer, she became the first Black woman to serve as a federal magistrate judge in the Central District of California. The award is given each year to a person whose life work best reflects the essence of the Taft School motto, Non ut sibi ministretur sed ut ministret.
Geoffrey Hoguet ’68
How Geoffrey Hoguet ’68 is fulfilling the charitable spirit of his Rothschild forebears
Learn why a descendant of the Austrian branch of the Rothschild family is pursuing restitution of his family’s legacy and property seized by the Nazis, such as a charity to establish a foundation for mental health, works of art, and more, which were later transferred to the city of Vienna and also taken by the Czech Republic.
Betsy Wagner ’85
As a longtime journalist and video producer, Betsy Wagner has seen the world of media shift and change over the years. She’s reported on such varied topics as education, science, and culture, and as a producer, Wagner has written news and documentary specials for cable clients including the Discovery Channel, A&E, and VH-1, and produced shows for Yahoo Finance.
Henry Siemon ’03
When Henry Siemon ’03 assumed the role of president and CEO of The Siemon Company in 2021, he became the fifth family member in as many generations to hold the position since his great-great-grandfather founded the company in 1903. The company is now based in Watertown, Connecticut, and produces telecommunications cabling and connectivity systems for data centers and local area networks.
Dani felt an immediate connection to Taft; the sense of community that drew her here remains one of the things she likes most about being a Taftie. Get to know Dani--and Taft--through a quick Q & A.
For Emma, Taft represents a perfect balance between academics and athletics. There is also a real sense of family here, which means a lot to Emma, whose own family is thousands of miles away. Learn more about Emma--and Taft--through this quick Q & A.
Samantha Lamy '14
First lieutenant Samantha Lamy ’14 in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division has been passionate about helping others since she graduated from Taft. In August 2021, she found herself on the frontlines assisting with the evacuation of American troops and citizens, as well as Afghan Special Immigrant Visa holders, during the U.S. withdrawal from Kabul.
Matt Griswold XI ’85 and Martin Griswold ’91
Brothers Matt Griswold XI ’85 and Martin Griswold ’91 are committed to building a plant nursery for the future through environmentally sustainable innovations at their wholesale business Judges Farm in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Operating on land stewarded by generations of their family since 1690, Matt and Martin are moving toward zero-generation-emissions electricity for their business vehicles.
Lyssa Lincoln Reed ’07
As an experienced geotechnical engineer, Lyssa Lincoln Reed ’07 evaluates soil, rock, groundwater, and manmade materials, particularly their interaction with earth retention systems and structure foundations as a project manager at Haley & Aldrich, one the of the country’s top environmental and geotechnical engineering consultants.
Molly Kellogg ’83
As chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Waterbury, Connecticut-based Hubbard-Hall, Molly Kellogg ’83 is the sixth generation to operate the family-run company, which sells surface finishing chemistries to manufacturers of durable goods. And with a philanthropic mission as part of its core, Hubbard-Hall is committed to giving back to the local community.
David Hanke '12
David Hanke ’12, superintendent of the San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad, a shortline that runs for 154 miles in southern Colorado near the New Mexico border, knew early on that he wanted to work in the train industry. After working in other fields, he’s doing what he likes best and solving logistical problems to keep products moving for customers who depend on it.
For Julian, being a Taftie is all about community and connection, both of which have been hallmarks of his experiences at Taft. Learn more about Julian--and about Taft--through a quick Q & A.
Anfisa loves living and learning with students from across the globe. She is eager add her worldview to the broad mix of perspectives and experiences that make up Taft's global community. Learn more about Anfisa--and about Taft--through a quick Q & A.
For Figo, Taft is all about opportunities, and he does his best to make the most of all of them. Get to know Figo--and life at Taft--through a quick Q & A.
Sadie holds a number of leadership positions in the Taft community, from editor-in-chief of the school newspaper to vice president of the Red Rhino Fund charity. Learn more about Sadie--and about Taft--through a quick Q & A.
For Callia, being a Rhino is all about making connections, something she has done as a school leader and three-team varsity captain. Learn more about Callia and Taft through this quick Q & A.
Thomas is a two-team varsity captain and community leader. What does that mean to him and for Taft? Find out in this quick Q & A with Thomas.
Elise is involved in a little bit of everything at Taft. She is a talented athlete, an admired leader, and a respected community volunteer. Her work inspires others and helps make Taft a better place. Meet Elise and learn more about Taft through a quick Q & A.
Ayden Cinel '22
Ayden Cinel '22 took a deep academic dive into biomedical building blocks through a new, virtual and immersive course in modern biology, part of Columbia University’s prestigious program for high school students.
Khai Shulman '23
Khai Shulman '23 traveled to the Galapagos Island to more fully understand and positively impact the interconnectedness of humans and the environment.
Macy Cherneff '22
Macy Cherneff took her passion for global and environmental issues to one of the world's conservation hotspots: the Galápagos Islands.
Lily Spencer '22
Lily Spencer '22 traveled to Morocco over the summer, where she engaged in an independent research project focused on education in a remote mountain village.
Julissa Mota '22
Julissa Mota '22 is a passionate learner. Over the summer she became a passionate teacher, guiding young students in Central America.
Angel Chukwuma '22
As a virtual teaching intern, Angel Chukwuma '22 shares her passion for learning with students in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.
Blake DiMarco Herrera ’00
Blake DiMarco Herrera has helped run schools for underserved children ever since leaving an earlier corporate career. She’s now product manager of school services at Bezos Academy, a nonprofit is opening tuition-free, Montessori-inspired preschools nationwide that will serve low-income and middle-class families, including families who earn too much to qualify for Head Start.
Jared Jackson ’10
Jared Jackson, literary programs manager for the New York branch of PEN America, helps foster conversations with some of today’s leading minds and works to promote free expression and effect social change, and also also leads the Emerging Voices Fellowship to encourage promising writers and diversify the publishing and media landscapes.
Hilary Klotz Steinman ’86
Hilary Klotz Steinman has been producing documentary films for more than 20 years, with subjects as varied as contraception and the environmental toll of the digital revolution. Her most recent release is The Codebreaker, the story of the untold hero of cryptology, Elizebeth Smith Friedman. Along with overseeing her production company, Napatree Films, Steinman is the senior vice president/executive producer of the documentary division of Engel Entertainment.
Willy Donaldson ’74
Across more than 35 years as a board member, president, and chief executive at eight companies, and more than three decades of teaching, Willy Donaldson has devoted his working life to getting himself and others to see the larger picture through systems thinking. Donaldson is an associate professor and the director of the Biotechnology and Management Program at Christopher Newport University.
Bianca Perren ’93
As a paleoecologist for the famed British Antarctic Survey, Bianca Perren’s fieldwork routinely involves visiting some of the most inhospitable locations on earth. She establishes ecological records through a process called “lake coring,” or drilling holes into the muddy bottom of lakes, retrieving samples from below the surface to gather an environmental record.
Dave Kirkpatrick ’89
As a coproducer, Dave Kirkpatrick helped create the critically acclaimed film Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President, which sheds light on Carter’s close ties to popular Southern rock musicians, both during the 1976 presidential campaign and well into his time in the White House.
Maria Dennis ’84
Maria Dennis, a member of the 1990 World Championships hockey team, continues her love affair with hockey, now as director of player health and safety at the National Hockey League Players’ Association and also acts as associate counsel for the NHLPA.
Will O’Meara ’12
Will O’Meara cofounded Hungry Reaper Farm in Morris, Connecticut, not far from Taft, with his fiancée in 2020, after nine years of experience farming in New England. O’Meara’s work at his vegetable farm is more than a job—it’s a passion, a calling, and an industry he wholeheartedly believes in and strives to improve.
Bob Anderson ’82
Bob Anderson ’82 is the cofounder of Leading Challenges and 1Hero Sports, which help clients grow and succeed through the power of emotional intelligence. He has spent the last 20 years crisscrossing the globe. “When something isn’t working at an organization, be that leadership struggles or problems within the team, we get brought in,” he says.
Matt Rice '94
As director of the Colorado River Basin for American Rivers, an advocacy group based in Washington, 1994 alum Matt Rice’s work is aimed at getting people in the region to recognize the urgency of the unfolding environmental disaster caused by global warming (aridification and the increasing reduction of water availability)—and to adapt before it’s too late.
Susie Banikarim '93
If ever there was a crucible for journalism, Susie Banikarim ’93, as executive VP and head of global newsgathering at Vice News, met this one head-on—a year consumed by a pandemic, protests, and a presidential election. The public health crisis sent media executives like Banikarim scrambling to reimagine the newsroom, coverage, and work-life balance.
Rick Wies '71
Throughout his four-decade career as a Connecticut architect, Rick Wies ’71 has stayed open and adaptable to each project that comes across his drawing board. At any given time, he might be designing a new apartment complex, overseeing renovations of a commuter rail station, helping reinvent a local theater, or volunteering to help build a house for a veteran with PTSD—sometimes simultaneously.
Eliza Geddes '97
Over the years, artist Eliza Geddes ’97 has explored several mediums—welding, mixed media sculpture—but ultimately chose to pursue painting as a career. Her paintings begin with a focus on color combinations, and she chooses to work with house paint over oils or acrylics. Geddes’ work has been displayed at exhibitions across the U.S. and in London, and is in three permanent collections in New York.
Tom Ely '67
As a lifelong musician and amateur songwriter, Tim Ely ’67 will finally see one of his songs make its way into a major motion picture this year. “The Long Haul” is in The Comeback Trail, starring Robert De Niro, Tommy Lee Jones, and Morgan Freeman.
Justin is one of the most active and engaged students on Taft's campus. The positive energy he brings to the community inspires others to do more, and be their best. Meet Justin and learn more about Taft through a quick Q & A.
Paton has always been a champion of the environment, and has furthered that commitment though her work as an EcoMon at Taft. Learn more about Paton--and about Taft--through a quick Q & A.
Tim embraces Taft's motto--not to be served but to serve--through his work on the Community Service Board. Get to know more about Tim--and about Taft--through a quick Q & A.
She's a school monitor and I-block teacher with a love for science. Get to know Celine--and Taft--through a quick Q & A.
Get to know Jack--and Taft--through a quick Q & A
Get to know Amanda--and Taft--through a quick Q & A. #lifeattaft #taftiscommunity
Neil Vigdor '95
A firsthand account from the desk of a New York Times reporter during the spring of COVID-19.
Dr. Charles Safran '69
How do hospitals share patient records across platforms during a pandemic? How can health-care workers treat patients without exposing them (or themselves) to the virus? Dr. Safran's work in clinical informatics yields unique insights.
Taft faculty members are teachers, coaches, advisors, dorm parents, mentors, and role models. Math Teacher and Lower Mid Class Dean Kevin Danaher has been almost all of those things to Sam Shaker ’21. The bond they share is undeniable and deeply valued.
Get to know Minori--and Taft--through a quick Q & A.
#taftlife #whytaft #mytaft
Director of Residential Life Erin Duffy also teaches Latin. Yuk Sum Chan '21 was in her class freshman year. Their shared values help strengthen their connection as teacher and student, and as advisor and advisee. The rewards for both have been immeasurable.
Get to know Ranon--and Taft--through a quick Q and A.
#taftlife #mytaft #whytaft
2020 Horace Dutton Taft Alumni Medal Honoree
Steven Erlanger’s enduring newspaper career is rich with vignettes of a nomadic life of war zones, far-flung capitals, and contrasting cultures. As the The New York Times chief diplomatic correspondent in Europe, Erlanger has also served as bureau chief in London, Paris, Jerusalem, Berlin, Prague, Moscow, and Bangkok. Taft recognizes him with the school’s highest alumni honor.
Liz Temkin ’83
As an epidemiologist with Israel’s National Center for Infection Control and Antibiotic Resistance, Dr. Liz Temkin ’83 focuses on how to control the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, how to limit unnecessary antibiotic use, and how to respond to the fact that few new antibiotics are in development.
Amber Guild ’95
As president of the T Brand portfolio—the marketing services division of The New York Times—Amber Guild ’95 helps brands tell their most powerful stories in innovative ways while connecting them to The Times’ vast and devoted audience.
Jeremiah Vargas ’16
Jeremiah Vargas ’16 cofounded Tater Bats, a Waterbury, Connecticut-based custom wooden baseball bat and accessories company, with his father and brother. What started in a backyard shed has become a 3,500-square foot workshop and storefront selling to players all over the county, including Major League professionals.
Fiona McFarland ’04
A desire to serve, which first took hold during her time at Taft, has gone on to drive many of Fiona McFarland’s life decisions, including her most recent ambition: being elected to the Florida State House.After graduating from the United States Naval Academy McFarland spent eight years on active duty, including six and a half years at sea.
Davis Liu '89
Dr. Davis Liu '89 and his colleagues not only had a substantial headstart on the telemedicine protocols that have taken root during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they are also working to bring the first at-home coronavirus antibody test to market this summer.
Alexa Bette Lehtinen ’94
Alexa Bette Lehtinen ’94 is a registered nurse in the ICU at Yale New Haven Hospital. Read about her round-the-clock work on the front lines of the fight against coronavirus.
Known as the “Queen of Remote Work,” Sara Sutton ’92 is the CEO and founder of FlexJobs, an innovative career website specializing in full-time and part-time remote jobs, employee and freelance jobs, and on-site jobs with flexible, part-time, and alternative schedules. She recently shared her thoughts about what the COVID-19 pandemic has meant for workers, workplaces, and employers with the Taft Bulletin.
Get to know Liz--and Taft--through a quick Q & A.
#taftlife #whytaft #mytaft
Get to know Peter--and Taft--through a quick Q & A.
#taftlife #whytaft #mytaft
As CEO of Cotswold Industries, James McKinnon ’87 is carrying on the legacy of the third-generation family-owned and operated American textile manufacturer. Cotswold is a leader in the development and distribution of technical textiles and apparel fabrics and has supplied a wide variety of products to the military, medical device manufacturers, and hospitals, including PPE.
Get to know Lily--and Taft--through a quick Q and A.
#taftlife #mytaft #whytaft
Get to know Maggie--and Taft--through a quick Q and A.
#taftlife #mytaft #whytaft
Get to know Diky--and Taft--through a quick Q and A.
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Get to know Cierra--and Taft--through a quick Q and A.
#taftlife #mytaft #whytaft
Taft teacher, coach, dorm faculty, advisor, and inspiration Gretchen Ulion Silverman earned Olympic gold on the ice in Nagano, Japan, in 1998. It almost didn't happen. Her story of hard work and persistence is inspiring.
Rob Terenzi ’01
Rob Terenzi ’01 and his wife, along with a college friend, saw an opportunity to help coffee farmers and upend the supply chain. They formed Vega Coffee, known for its dedication to individual coffee farmers in Nicaragua.
Sophie Savage '20 met Associate Dean of Students Lindsay Leal before she enrolled at Taft; their connection was immediate. As her advisor, Ms. Leal has played a pivotal role in Sophie's Taft carer.
Andrew Wertheim ’76
Andrew Wertheim ’76 is the owner and president of Tea Importers, a socially responsible business that buys from tea producing companies around the world and sells to major tea packers and blenders. The family-owned company was founded in 1958.
Ellie O’Neill ’11
Based on their view that water scarcity is a pressing issue of our time, Ellie O’Neill ’11 and Jack Hartpence cofounded Powwater, a social business that sells reusable water bottles, coffee mugs, and wine tumblers and reinvests profits into sustainable clean drinking water systems across the globe.
Charley Rosenberry ’77
CharleyRosenberry ’77, who retired from his law career, now spends his days organizing weeklong hikes for veterans who have recently returned from combat, and also doing llama pack trips into the Cascade Mountains to resupply trail crews working there.
Irina Prentice ’94
Read about the work of Irina Prentice ’94, who is part of a team at Encounter Edu, a London-based education agency using innovative teaching methods, such as live-stream learning, to help students in classrooms around the world learn about pressing environmental issues.
Katie Bootsma '20
Maile Kuyper '20
Seniors Katie Bootsma and Maile Kuyper spent time working with the Quebec-Labrador Foundation over the summer, an organization dedicated to environmental stewardship.
Eugene Acevedo '20
Eugene Acevedo '20 is passionate about science. A summer internship at the New York Botanical Garden helped him explore his place in a broad and ever-changing field.
Keren Egu '21
Keren Egu '21 walked in the footsteps of J.R.R. Tolkein and Samuel Johnson last summer, studying at their alma mater, the University of Oxford.
Rachel Peverly '20
Senior Rachel Peverly discovered a new and profound passion for botany during her summer internship at the New York Botanical Garden.
Abigail Hano '20
Abigail Hano '20 traveled to Peru over the summer to work in a medical clinic and in the local schools. The experience deepened her commitment to pursuing a career in medicine.
Bojana Drca '20
Bojana Drca ’20 is passionate about the environment. She is especially passionate about climate change. Over the summer, she studied it at the edge of the Arctic.
Alex Robertson '20
Alex Roberton spent a month in Rwanda over the summer, working with children and learning how an impoverished country built a progressive healthcare system.
Ben Le '21
For the past two summers, Ben Le has worked with children in Ho Chi Minh City's Ba Muoi Shelter, helping them gain confidence through public speaking and drama.
Julia Kashimura '20
Julia is not only an exceptional student, she is an exceptional golfer, earning impressive titles and course records across the globe.
Ranjit Bindra ’94
Read about the work of Dr. Ranjit Bindra ’94, co-director of Yale University’s Brain Tumor Center. Bindra is physician-scientist and biotechnology entrepreneur, specializing in the study of pediatric glioma. Two years ago, he started Cybrexa Therapeutics to bring its best tumor targeting technology to patients.
Liz Osterhus Fleuette ’84
Liz Osterhus Fleuette ’84 was inspired to start Ms President US when her daughter, Maggie, at age 5 announced that she wanted to be the first female president during a visit to the National Constitution Center. Through the nonpartisan, nonprofit, community-based program and its mentors, girls learn about public speaking, diplomacy and listening skills, local/state/federal government, and women’s history.
Wesley Jamieson ’13
In our Q&A, Wesley Jamieson ’13 unpacks what blockchain technology is and isn’t and how it works on a practical level. Jamieson is a lead blockchain technical resource in accounting firm RSM’s Blockchain and Digital Asset Management Consulting practice.
Alexandra Dickson ’99
For actor and improviser Alexandra Dickson ’99, who performs and teaches at New York’s Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, it all began in an introductory acting class during her mid year at Taft. After studying acting at the Circle in the Square Theatre School and taking workshops at Chicago’s The Second City, she now appears weekly with The Stepfathers.
Donna Eldridge ’76
For Bay Area-based Donna Eldridge ’76, delivering furniture to a family of Afghan refugees in her truck is just another day. But for these uprooted families who have landed in the U.S. with nothing, her services are invaluable, and, ultimately, life-altering. Read about her Non ut sibi-inspired service work.
Larry Morris ’65 received Taft’s highest alumni honor this year for his more than 40 years of work at the Quebec-Labrador Foundation, including as its president for three decades and for his role as a leader in the environmental and conservation fields. Read about Morris’s leadership at QLF with its broad-reaching, community-based conservation efforts.
Abby Fabiaschi ’98
Read about Abby Fabiaschi ’98, cofounder of Empower Her Network (EHN), a nonprofit that collaborates with survivors of human trafficking to help them on a path toward independence. Operating in several large cities and regions throughout the U.S., EHN helps break down barriers for victims of human trafficking.
Diky Izmirlian '20 and Sammed Bawa '20
International students Diky Izmirlian and Sammed Bawa followed different paths to Taft, but became fast friends when those paths converged on the soccer field.
Scott Barnsby ’94
Scott Barnsby ’94 has spent more than 10 years crisscrossing the country as a scout for the Cleveland Indians. Now as scouting director, his time is spent reading reports and talking with his staff about the club’s directions in the draft, but he’s still connected to the game he loves.
Bill Reynolds ’69
After a 35-year career as a painter and muralist, Bill Reynolds ’69 became a woodworking instructor, teaching newly blind adults to use woodworking tools (including some power tools) at the Carroll Center for the Blind, a leading blindness rehabilitation center in Newton, Massachusetts.
Moorhead Academic Center
For more than 20 years, Karen May has worked with Taft students and faculty to effectively maximize classroom experiences, while empowering students to harness their full potential as learners.
Eliza Clark '03
Based in Los Angeles, Eliza Clark '03 is both an accomplished playwright and the showrunner/executive producer of TNT's popular drama Animal Kingdom. On any given day, Clark is in the writers' room, the editing suite, on set, or in production meetings.
Liz Camp ’96
As visual development production supervisor for DreamWorks Animation, Liz Camp ’96 works on the popular How to Train Your Dragon series of films, including the recently released The Hidden World, third in the series. Camp crafts the look of the characters and the digital environments of the film, everything that gives a film its unique look.
Nick Gotten ’93
Blending the technical with the creative—that’s what Nick Gotten ’93 loves about his job as a re-recording mixer and sound engineer. Gotten takes recorded dialogue, sound effects, and music to create the final version of a soundtrack for a feature film or television program. He won an Emmy for his work on mixing the sound for the Disney juggernaut show, Sofia the First.
Nicholas Baird '20
Nicholas Baird's upbeat spirit is positively contagious, and an inspiration to the Taft community.
Shannon Lenz Guidotti
Science Department Head
Shannon's evolution as a scientist, teacher, and thought leader has been shaped by deeply personal experiences and driven by unparalleled passion.
Dylan Kim '19
Dylan Kim brought his technical skills as a film producer to a unique internship at The New York Botanical Garden.
Torie Snyder Pearce ’04
Torie Snyder Pearce ’04 has always been inspired by Taft’s motto, Not to be served but to serve. A strong resonance with Non ut sibi helped persuade her to become a pediatric nurse, and to cofound Urgent Care for Kids, an urgent care company specializing in pediatrics in Texas.
Chanda Gunn ’99
Former Olympic hockey player Chanda Gunn ’99 helped lead Team USA to a World Championship in 2005 and an Olympic Bronze Medal in Turin in 2006 while battling epilepsy. Diagnosed at the age of 9, she has turned a substantial obstacle into a fulfilling career. A longtime spokesperson for the Epilepsy Foundation of America, Gunn now works for the Epilepsy Foundation New England.
Eliza King Freedman '19
For two consecutive summers, Eliza King Freedman '19 has traveled to Cuenca, Ecuador, to work with children and young adults who have come to appreciate her warmth and caring.
Sophie Quinton ’06
In her work as a staff writer for Stateline.org, a news service affiliated with the Pew Charitable Trusts, Sophie Quinton ’06 is filling the need for deep, fact-based reporting on trends at the state and local level by uncovering stories in smaller communities throughout the U.S.
Teddy Verheggen ’20
Teddy Verheggen spent 10 weeks last summer working in The New York Botanical Garden’s 28,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Plant Research Laboratory.
Pete Alexander ’94
Pete Alexander has something in common with the animals he researches as a biologist. Like cougars, he pursues his prey, following them up mountains and through canyons in Wyoming. Unlike the big cats, though, Alexander is studying, not stalking.
CJ D'Virgilio '20 & Ian Staines '20
CJ and Ian spent nearly three weeks in South America last summer building cultural bridges by “speaking soccer” in the mountains of Peru.
Mihir Nayar '19
When Mihir Nayar '19 returned to the US after spending six weeks in India during the summer of 2017, he knew there was still so much to be done. He went back to India in 2018 to continue his work with the children of Ahmedabad.
Sean Dunbar '20
It was a pairing that was meant to be: Taft’s longstanding connection with The Island School in Eleuthera, Bahamas, and Upper Mid Sean Dunbar’s longstanding connection to the island, itself.
Caitlin Kennedy ’12
In the two years since graduating from Hamilton College, Caitlin Kennedy has already established herself in a career that wholeheartedly channels Taft’s ethic of Non ut sibi. Kennedy works as a contracts associate at the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO), a New York-based nonprofit providing employment services to men and women with criminal convictions.
Tania Tsunik '20
Tania traveled from her home in Ukraine to Sri Lanka last summer, where she taught English to young Buddhist monks.
Christopher Eanes ’94
After he assumed directorship of the Cincinnati Boychoir in 2009, Christopher Eanes soon discovered that the 45-year-old ensemble needed to adapt its mission. Eanes has grown the group of nearly 200 boys between kindergarten and high school age into an organization that uses music as an important teaching tool.
Michelle Lian '20
Michelle Lian ’20 spent two weeks in rural China teaching young women English and mathematics through Educating Girls of Rural China (EGRC), an organization working to empower women in rural regions of Western China to escape the cycle of poverty through education.
Kira Siebrecht '19
Kira Siebrecht '19 traveled to Argentina this summer to get involved in human rights issues at the grassroots level. She arrived on the eve of an important moment in the country's history.
Katie Putnam Martinez ’00
San Francisco-based designer Katie Putnam Martinez likes rooms and places that feel layered with old and new. “I gravitate more toward contemporary aspects in terms of clean lines and simplicity,” she says, but she often includes vintage pieces in her projects. Martinez focuses primarily on West Coast residential projects, but she has also worked on offices and a store.
For more than 1,000 years, pilgrims have journeyed along the Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile network of ancient pilgrim routes leading to Santiago de Compostela. This summer, Spanish Teacher Jon Bender was among them.
Collegium Musicum continued their summer tradition of spreading joy through music across the globe, this time through concerts in London and Paris.
Jamie Cheney Flaherty '98
Like many of the most successful start-ups, 1998 alum Jamie Flaherty Cheney’s innovative search firm Prokanga was born from a place of personal experience. Cheney asked herself the question frequently pondered by working moms who are experienced professionals: Can you care for your child and also hang on to the career that you’ve invested so much in? As a result, she launched Prokanga, a search firm blending access to traditional and flexible workforces.
Logan Clew-Bachrach '20
Logan Clew-Bachrach '20 spent 16 days exploring Cuba from behind a camera. It is a vantage point, she says, that allows her to see things more deeply.
Craig Reistad ’80
At the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in South Korea, Craig Reistad served as Olympic security coordinator for the U.S. contingent of athletes, staff, media, and dignitaries. Reistad was there for a nearly two-year assignment with the Diplomatic Security Service.
Jonathan Ip '20
For the second consecutive summer, Jonathan Ip ’20 traveled from his home in Hong Kong to Mainland China to work with children who have been "left behind."
Kaitlyn Macdonald '19
Kaitlyn Macdonald '19 learned how to suture lacerations, start IV lines, and intubate patients over the summer. She also learned that a career in medicine is the right path for her.
Francesca Nyakora '19
For Francesca Nyakora ’19, international relations is a way of life, with family in Kenya and relatives working for the United Nations across the globe. It also led her to Yale this summer to study international affairs and global security as a Yale Young Global Scholar.
Collin Amelsberg '19 spent a month in Belize this summer, building relationships, while delivering health education and medical care.
AJ Mleczko ’93
Former Olympic gold medalist AJ Mleczko had her fifth assignment as NBC’s women’s hockey analyst at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics for her post-playing broadcasting career, which started in 2006. In May 2018, she also became the first female broadcaster to call an NHL playoff game from the booth.
Stone Fenton '20
Stone Fenton stumbled upon a series of articles about agricultural advances. What he read changed the course of his summer, and may change farming worldwide.
Evelyn Barata Lee ’75
Evelyn Barata Lee transformed her Southport, CT, property into a fresh-cut flower garden that produces about 45,000 flowers a year. Since 2011, her business has grown to include a small retail cottage, wholesale accounts, weddings and events, workshops and presentations, and a local flower delivery subscription service.
Clarence Kwei ’91
Clarence Kwei is VP of product and engineering at Univision Communications Inc., where he oversees product and technical strategy across the company’s digital platforms for web, mobile, and television. If you’ve been on websites owned by the media brands Meredith, Time Inc., Condé Nast, or Univision, you’ve seen Kwei’s website development work.
Marina Martin '03
After serving as the chief technology officer for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Marina Martin moved to a digital services company that restores complex systems to service. Her true passion, though, is finding ways to make the nation's complex foster care system function safely and efficiently to minimize the time children spend in foster care.
Marcus Valenta '19
Marcus Valenta's connection to science runs deep, and may be rooted in a history he has only recently come to know.
Philip Howard '66
As an author and founder of Common Good, a nonpartisan reform coalition working to simplify government, Philip Howard is being recognized for his impressive work with Taft's highest alumni honor. He is also senior counsel at the New York City law firm Covington & Burling.
Kayla Robinson '19
A natural athlete and leader, Kayla uses her high-profile positions at Taft to help make others feel at home.
Eva Baurmeister '19
By jumping in with both feet and feeling the support of the Taft community, Eva Baurmeister continues to grow as a student, an athlete, an artist, and a leader.
Vanessa LeFebvre Robinson ’95
Vanessa LeFebvre Robinson is leading the women’s merchandising team at Stitch Fix, one of the most successful and exciting fashion/technology companies in the world.
Micah Umeh '19
Micah Umeh is guided by strength and values that shape his character and drive his achievement.
Dennis Liu '02
Netflix has ordered a 10-episode series of the sci-fi family drama called Raising Dion, based on Dennis Liu's short film and comic book of the same name. A graduate of NYU's Tisch School for the Arts, Liu has spent much of the last 10 years directing commercials and music videos for a variety of artists.
Eleanor Streit '19
The science of language sparks Eleanor Streit's passions, which led her to take a leap of faith.
Tom Losee ’84
Combine running and stand-up paddleboarding and what do you get? RUN/SUP®, outdoor sports entrepreneur Tom Losee’s increasingly popular training program that fuses his two favorite recreational fitness activities.
Adam Yonkers '89
Adam Yonkers '89 says that making a huge career change in his early-30s freed him to take on a career that feeds his soul. He went from corporate communications—marketing and public relations at a big corporate law firm—to teaching U.S. history and foreign policy to high schoolers at Palo Alto Unified in California.
Jeff Lamson's quest to uncover the layers of history not found in a textbook drives his passion for both teaching and learning.
Katie Maxey Sorrentino ’85
Ever wonder how retailers seem to know what you want to buy before you do? Mining data about our likes and dislikes to help perfect the relationship with consumers is what Go Think!, the company of Katie Maxey Sorrentino ’85, is doing to help guide retailers across the nation.
Pearl Young '18
Pearl Young '18 is an artist, an academic, a leader, and a role model. Her commitment to the community makes Taft a better place.
Mihir Nayar '19
Mihir Nayar '19 witnessed the effects of poor nutrition on learning during his summer in India. His recent win at a pitch competition will help him do something about it.
Peter Dzubay '18
Peter Dzubay is a talented self-starter who, in reaching for the stars, has become one.
Harrison Clay ’92
Early in his career, Harrison Clay ’92 began thinking about methane as a solution to the nation’s dependence on foreign oil and a way to reduce greenhouse gases. Read about Clay’s role as BP’s vice president of strategic development, global environmental products, and his work in biogas and biomethane project development.
Simone Foxman ’07
As an investing reporter for Bloomberg, Simone Foxman’s beat specific to the finance industry allows her to “uncover stories that the public deserves to hear,” she says. Read about her role as a journalist that allows her to be part of conversations happening at the highest level in the world of finance.
John McGowan ’81
John McGowan ’81 created Mathematical Software, a start-up dedicated to researching and developing tools and algorithms that can be used to automate complex data analysis. Learn about his work.
Klara Skrivankova ’96
In her role at Anti-Slavery International, Klara Skrivankova ’96 works with businesses on tackling forced labor in supply chains. Read more about her efforts to eradicate the modern slavery that reaches, often invisibly, into many aspects of our lives.
Meet Camila Jiang '14, and learn about her summer internship with world-renowned Garden scientists.
Doug Ellis ’54
After a long career in the textile industry, Doug Ellis ’54 decided it was an ideal time to return to his passion of flying. Ellis is a volunteer pilot for Angel Flight, which offers free transportation to patients in need of medical treatment.
Tyler Kneisel '99
Dockwa, cofounded by Tyler Kneisel ’99, makes reserving boat slips a snap. Since its launch in 2015, tens of thousands of boaters now find, reserve, and pay for moorings in real time, using the award-winning Dockwa platform on their computers or the free mobile app.
Aditya Balsekar '18
Founder, Meaningful Summers
Aditya Balsekar combined his passion for service with his talent as a leader to change his community for the better.
Director of Environmental Stewardship; Global Studies & Service; Science
Carly Borken brings a world of experiences into the Taft classroom.
Osi Bialunska '19
Osi recently traveled to Nepal an experience that brought new clarity and understanding to the value of a Taft education.
Natalie Waldram '18
Natalie Waldram ’18 is deeply connected to the environment. She spent time last summer in the Amazon rainforest, and at an environmental leadership academy.
Caleb Hannon '18
Caleb's efforts to immerse himself in other cultures have taken him around the world, and have him on track to earn a Global Studies and Service diploma from Taft in June.
Peter Van Der Mije ’98
After working for notable chefs in New York City, Peter Van Der Mije ’98 opened Osteria Leana, a chic, casual Italian restaurant in Oyster Bay on Long Island. He’s established a place that is small, local, and accessible for diners craving a city experience along the North Shore coastline, with easy access to excellent fresh produce and seafood.
Ally Anderson '18
Ally Anderson '18 worked with scientists from the New York Botanical Garden to develop an algorithm for an electronic plant identification program.
Taylor Jacobs '18
Taylor blends the places in her heart with her passion for touching children’s lives.
Leslie Herrlinger Lanahan ’73
Leslie Herrlinger Lanahan ’73 has made it her and her family’s mission to bring awareness about alcohol poisoning and hazing in order to save lives.
One day, Khalid Tellis may write a book he'll call Joy and Humor in the Classroom. For now, that's exactly what he brings to Taft.
Liila “Lee” Hass ’77
A trained naturopath, yoga instructor, and counselor, Hass works as a high-needs support counselor at Risdon, and her role is to focus on inmates with mental health issues and other disabilities.
Luisa Bonachea ’00
Luisa Bonachea ’00 combines her legal training with her love of wine in a fulfilling career. Read about her work as an intellectual property attorney based in Napa Valley and serving the wine industry.
Max Sandvoss '98
Read about the goat farm and creamery owned by Max Sandvoss ’98 in upstate New York and his transition from actor to experienced farmer and cheesemaker. He and his brother, Trystan, are committed to the entire natural process with grass-fed animals and organic pastures. First Light sells its cheeses at farmers’ markets and to stores and restaurants across six states.
Joanna Kleszczewski '18
Artist and ISP Scholar
Joanna Kleszczewski '18 tells stories through her art; each piece speaks volumes.
Gabriela Gonzalez Carpio '17
Capturing Ambiguity Through Art
Gabby is an artist in every sense of the word. She used the Independent Study Program to expand her skills and repertoire.
Nick Firestone ’84
Nick Firestone ’84 has loved racing since age 3. At 51, he’s a professional race car driver who has raced among the most acclaimed drivers in the world and has been racing since the late 1980s. Firestone’s niche is go-karts, and he regularly races in the U.S. and internationally.
Peter Horne '18
Peter came to Taft to hone his leadership skills, and found even greater opportunity than he imagined.
Sarah Surber teaches students to express thoughts and emotions though movement.
Ben Laufer '18
Ben Laufer has spent the last year working to change the world. He's done so with a global audience.
Ashley Wilberding Balavoine '90
As a perfumer, Ashley creates scents that are in products most of us use every day.
Leigh Sharpless '17
Leigh Sharpless '17 is studying cutting-edge cancer therapies, with an eye on the future.
Gabe McMackin ’94
Gabe McMackin ’94, chef and owner of The Finch, a restaurant in Brooklyn, wasn’t planning to “shoot for the stars,” when he opened. The Finch and McMackin’s were recently awarded a Michelin star.
Mathematics, Mid Class Dean
Lindsay Leal's time as a boarding school student help shaped her approach to being a boarding school teacher.
Billy Himmelrich ’82
Since 1999, owner Billy Himmelrich ’82 has been running Old School Bakery in Delray Beach, Florida, and providing bread to top restaurants, hotels, and country clubs in Southeast Florida, along with donating unsold bread to the Palm Beach County Food Bank and helping raise money for hunger relief through events.
Christopher Brown '64
Chris Brown '64 had "spectacularly good" English teachers at Taft. Naturally he became one.
Maeve Millen '17
Maeve is passionate about social issues, with wealth inequality at the top of the list.
Belle McDougald '17 and Emily Weaver '17
Kaedi Dalley '18
Singer, Actor, Leader
Kaedi Dalley's talent, passion, and leadership inspire respect and awe, while galvanizing our community.
Amy Lynd Luers ’84
When Latin American villagers needed help getting access to clean water, she answered the call. She co-founded an NGO called Agua Para La Vida to help build potable water systems in the region.
Zygi Jievaltas '17
GSS and GLI Scholar
Zygi Jievaltas says that Taft has spurred his intellectual development and helped crystallize his ambitions.
Benjamin Roberts '18
Benjamin Roberts '18 looked to the plagues of the past to predict health crises in the future.
Emma Bellet '18
Emma Bellet believes that Taft is a place to grow and thrive; a place where you will exceed even your own expectations.
Todd Gipstein '70
Keeper of the Light
Todd Gipstein returned to his childhood home to bring new life to a historic landmark.
Ezra Levy '15
Ezra spent seven weeks at the New York Botanical Garden developing scientific protocols that could revolutionize the way botanists collect samples in the field.
Spanish Teacher, International Student Advisor
Pilar Santos knows what it is like to be young and far from home.
Sydney Trevenen '17
Listen to Sydney Trevenen talk about her summer internship with the Yale University Discovery to Cure program.
Andrew Farrier '17
Hockey Captain, Student Leader
Andrew Farrier came to Taft from a much larger school near his home in Canada. What he found is that the strength of a community does not lie in its numbers.
Michael Klein '10
Michael Klein manages projects aimed at producing energy for local communities using natural, renewable resources.
Dr. Joyce Poole '74
For more than 40 years, Dr. Joyce Poole ’74, the 2017 Horace Dutton Taft Alumni Medal honoree, has been a passionate voice—a protector and defender—of elephants, dedicating her life to their conservation and welfare.
Shasha Alvares '17
Day student Shasha Alvares says that coming to Taft every day feels like going home.
Mathematics Department Head
Jack Elrad '17
Jack Elrad has established himself as a talented videographer and producer, documenting life at Taft, and working with Hollywood's best.
Director of Environmental Stewardship
Carly Borken is an environmentalist, a woman of vision, a change agent.
Shemar Christian '17
Eliza Price '17
Shemar and Eliza spent the summer of 2016 working side-by-side with world-renowned scientists, graduate students, and college interns in the laboratories of The New York Botanical Garden.
Boys' Head Soccer Coach
Upper Mid Class Dean
Ozzie Parente's strength as a coach and a teacher? He loves what he does.
Idara Foster '11
Penn Fellow in English
Idara Foster '11 left an indelible mark on the Taft community as a student. Her impact is no less meaningful now that she is member of the faculty.
AJ Barre '17
AJ Barre brings his passions for service and soccer together to raising funds and awareness for global causes.
Jane Kinney '06
Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineer
When Jane Kinney ’06 was five she knew she wanted to be involved in aerospace. Today, her aspirations have become a reality.
Andrew Eisen '04
Yee-Fun Yin wants his students to make pictures, not take pictures; to create art that is deliberate and personal.
Emerson Wickwire '91
Sleep expert Emerson Wickwire '91 studies the effects of what is known as “blue light” emitted from electronic devices on the body’s natural circadian rhythms, and discusses the importance of getting enough sleep.
Eliza Denious '17
Eliza Denious is a head mon, a team captain, and a student who quickly recognized the ties that bind all Tafties together.
Ciara Connolly '17
Ciara Connolly finds inspiration wherever the music takes her.
Andy Taylor ’72
Andy is changing the lives of students in Botswana.
What started with a poetic spark quickly caught Fire, and swept five Taft students into the white hot lights of the TriBeCa Film Festival.
Jalen Little '19
Jalen Little '19 is dedicated to service, both locally and globally.
Lauren Fadiman '17
Lauren Fadiman brought her dedication to service to a remote Alaskan village.
Natasha Batten '15
Natasha spent two summers working as an intern at the New York Botanical Garden. Her work with plant genetics, she says, will extend to her studies in human biology.
Nick Halmos '97
Nick Halmos '97 has created a way to efficiently grow food in urban environments by combining hydroponic systems with automation and live data. He safely and sustainably grows fresh food in a range of climates and everywhere from rooftops to parking lots.