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A Grove in Your Pocket

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Ken Tomita '96's company builds unique cases for iPhones and iPads

From the Winter 2011-12 Caller

The coolest little phone and iPad cases around, no exception, are made by Grove, the small company started by Ken Tomita ’96 and a friend less than two years ago. These bamboo cases, made by hand in Portland, feature laser-etched designs on beautifully finished pieces, glowing with natural oils. The designs range from trees, to sea creatures, to Yellow Submarines, to abstractions. People are nuts about them.
 
For four years before Grove became a reality, Ken successfully designed and built custom furniture. When he moved to a new workshop his future partner, designer Joe Mansfield, lived across the street. They struck up a friendship and spent time tossing a football around on the street and talking about design, their passions, and their ideas. Out of those catches and tosses, the Grove bamboo case was born.
 
“We actually didn’t put much thought into it or formulate a business plan. Sometimes instinct is the best way to go,” says Ken. “Both Joe and I were already successful entrepreneurs, so the risks of starting a business did not scare us. Our previous experiences were key to our success at Grove.” They take great pride that all aspects of their business are done in house: manufacture, shipping, website, marketing, and more. Today their shop employs 23 people, and they are hiring more. Ken’s brother Yuji Tomita ’05 has been with Grove since the beginning as web and software designer. One of their mottos: “We do whatever it takes to make the most bad-ass product possible.”
 
After nine months of development, Grove’s very first product failed. “Instead of pouting about it we saw it as a learning experience and rocked it on the next one,” says Ken. “The key to success is not talent but rather hard work and a positive attitude. We have a culture here at Grove where instead of focusing on the inevitable problems that arise and pointing fingers at one another, we focus on the solutions and work together as a team to get better.” Ken plans to diversify and add more non-Apple items to Grove’s line, many of which will be lifestyle-oriented. “Our team and principles are strong, and we are capable of anything,” he says.
 
“The value we add to the world in terms of jobs and our lifestyles is something I didn’t consider when we first started,” says Ken. “What I am most proud of is the company we have created, rather than our products.”  

 

An Indie Bookstore at the Heart of its Community

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Brad Smith '74 left a familiar life to own Paulina Springs Books in Central Oregon

 From the Winter 2011-12 Caller

For 25 years, Brad Smith ’73 was thoroughly engaged in his position as manager of the Community Food Co-Op in Bellingham, Washington. During a time when the worlds of natural foods and organic agriculture grew exponentially, Brad saw this member-owned business grow just as quickly. He had loved the intimacy and personal sense of accomplishment of the co-op’s early years, but that grew harder to attain when the staff expanded five-fold.
 
When the 2000s rolled around, Brad realized that it was time for a change. His work didn’t provide what it did before, his partner Randi was aching to relocate, and he wanted to be closer to his father, who had developed Parkinson’s and lived in Bend. They took the plunge, and moved to Bend.
 
Brad considered starting or buying a business. When he found out in 2003 that Paulina Springs Books in Sisters was up for sale, he had to consider some significant drawbacks, including its insufficient revenue, its location away from Bend, and the advent of the digital publishing revolution. He made his decision—to buy the bookstore. He had a personal affinity for the business and recognized its integrity, and he believed in the value of literature and literacy.
 
“The biggest positive element was the degree to which the bookstore was an engaged member of the community,” he says. “It took me back to the early days of the co-op. People coming in the store knew one another and knew the staff. This is not a good measure for selecting a livelihood, but in terms of how to spend the hours of one’s life, I feel it’s a pretty good one.”
 
Brad opened a second location, closer to Bend in Redmond, in 2007. The biggest challenge of making a move like Brad and Randi did was losing the relationships they had built in Bellingham. But he found that owning the bookstores quickly integrated him into his new towns: he’s served on civic boards in both Redmond and Sisters, and in addition he serves the broader community on the board of directors of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association.
 
Independent bookstores have lost a large part of their market to Amazon and digital publishing. Brad says he is scrambling to re-invent the business so it can stay viable, and he’s not sure what the future holds. But he’s thankful for the rewards that lie in the kinds of personal interactions that small bookstores foster. “I get to know people—young and old, rich and poor— outside of my inner circle of relationships,” he says. “The relationships are not deep, but they’re real, and they evolve.”  

 

Where Resiliency is Tested

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Three of our alumni in the military talk about their lives in a most demanding job

From the Winter 2011-12 Caller

By Nadine Fiedler

MURPHY PFOHMAN ’08

U.S. Military Academy, West Point 
Murphy Pfohman made a decision in her senior year that set her apart from her peers and on the road to an extreme of rigorous training and a changed life. She applied to— and was accepted by—the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. There she has been tested to her limits, and has discovered great reserves of resiliency and strength.
 
Murphy’s biggest shock came during “Beast Barracks,” the first seven weeks of basic training. The first day was brutal, with people yelling constantly at her and her fellow cadets, demanding they do things they didn’t know how to do. The second day, Murphy woke up to the 5:10 a.m. whistle thinking, “What am I doing? Why didn’t I do better research on this? I wanted to tell the squad leader that I want to go home, but I was too scared. Then I told myself I could do it,” she says.
 
“I focused my mind. I broke my day down a little bit at a time, until the chunks of time got bigger. I could do the next 30 seconds, and then the next 10 minutes, then the next hour and a half, then the next four weeks. It always ended up being way better than I thought, and I built confidence,” says Murphy. “Part of the reason I hung in was what my family instilled in me: I never quit anything without serious thought,” she says.
 
Murphy is now a senior at West Point. After her years of intensive preparation in Army life and increasingly responsible leadership positions, she intends to serve as an officer in military intelligence after graduating and attending the basic officer leader course. Intelligence appeals to her because of its cerebral qualities, and because all her teachers in the discipline were very much like her—calm, organized, and smart. “I have learned a ton about leadership. But the best thing about West Point is the people, and that’s the reason I stay here,” she says. “They all want to serve their country. Everyone has the best intentions and wants to do the best they can.” “At Catlin Gabel, when I told people I was going to West Point, they thought it was very out of the box, but they were supportive,” says Murphy. “I’m positive about my future.”
 

RUPERT DALLAS ’97

Former U.S. Marine Corps
Rupert Dallas joined the military right after his time at Catlin Gabel, enlisting in the Marine Corps and leaving for boot camp only 30 days after graduation. “Catlin Gabel prepared me to be a critical thinker, to rely on my reason and intellect. Being well educated was a gift, and I was happy to take it with me through my experience in the Marines,” he says.
 
His work in the Marines entailed risky and dangerous missions, and Rupert found strength in his dedication to the Marines’ mission, and to the people at his side. “Facing danger was not easy,” Rupert says. “Training only gets you prepared to do what is necessary, but the belief in what you are doing and the trust you have to put in the Marines who are with you will help you carry on, even when faced with the most dire of situations.”
 
“Learning quickly is key to survival,” Rupert says about the lessons he took from his time in the Corps. During his time with the Marines, Rupert developed profound convictions. “The courage of those who took the oath before me and those who took the oath with me was and always will be inspiring. I learned that some bonds can never be broken if they are tempered through sweat and tears,” he says. “I learned that by looking a person in the eyes when they give you their word, I can measure the character of that person. I learned that to protect my family and those who I love, I was willing to give the ultimate sacrifice, and I would do it again if asked. I take with me so many lessons learned and I use them every day.”
 
From 2002 to 2008 Rupert worked while he attended college, earning a BS in urban development from Portland State University and an MBA in management from George Fox University. It was difficult to do both at once, but Rupert says that the degrees have been invaluable to propel his professional life forward. After holding positions at Coca Cola and ECOS Consulting, he now works as client service director at Ecova, an energy and sustainability management company. “I believe that what I learned at Catlin Gabel academically and the life experiences I gained in the Marines are the foundation on which I live my life today,” he says.
 

SANSARAE PICKETT ’01

Lieutenant, U.S. Navy
Sansarae Pickett went straight from Catlin Gabel to the U.S. Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, Rhode Island, then attended the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Her first tour was on the USS Whidbey Island, where she learned the foundations of naval leadership. After deploying to the Mediterranean, she was promoted to Surface Warfare Officer, having mastered, among many topics, seamanship skills and knowledge of weaponry and equipment on warfare ships.
 
Sansarae’s naval career has taken her off the coast of Somalia and to Bahrain. Today she is back at the U.S. Naval Academy, coordinating the visits of outside groups for events such as reunions and visits from foreign military delegations.
 
As a new officer Sansarae was much younger than many of the sailors and Marines she led on the USS Whidbey Island. She had to communicate the expectations of the commanding officer to her many charges and ensure the quality of their work. At the same time she was completely dependent on their engineering and maintenance expertise—and responsible for making sure they kept their lives in balance. “With attention to detail, and much trial and error, I soon gained the trust and respect of my sailors by being honest, remaining a superior, and not allowing myself to become a ‘friend’ to those who I worked and lived alongside every single day—no easy task in itself!”
 
Sansarae says her resiliency comes from her sense of integrity and responsibility, which her parents taught her. “Maintaining my personal sense of integrity has never failed me,” she says. “There were many nights in the pilot house of my ship with not a single object to look out for, and for five hours at a time I would stand on my feet guiding the ship to its next destination. I didn’t feel that I was any less happy with my responsibilities living a ‘Groundhog Day’ lifestyle. I knew I was doing something in support of an entity much larger than myself.”
 
Sansarae married Marine Buki Aghaji in November, and is now expecting their first child. She plans to transfer to the Naval Reserves to have more shore time to spend with her new family. “I would like to still be afforded the opportunity to serve my country, and advance as a proud officer in the Navy,” she says.
 

Nadine Fiedler is the editor of the Caller and Catlin Gabel's director of publications and public relations.

 

The Restless Economist

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Robert Novy-Marx '87 loves the challenge of economic research

From the Fall 2011 Caller

This spring, economist Robert Novy-Marx ’87 testified before a Congressional panel on state and municipal debt. His topic was one he has done extensive research on, and for which he is making a name for himself: the underfunding of pension plans for public employees and the burden that may impose on taxpayers. But take a look at what he’s also known for, and the picture becomes much more complex.
 
He won a prize last year for the best paper on real-estate economics, and an international prize for a paper on a study of operating leverage. Robert, an assistant professor of finance at the Simon Graduate School of Business of the University of Rochester, works on many other topics such as asset pricing and industrial organization. Here’s the thing: he loves the interesting questions, and he loves trying to figure out the answers.“I just pursue what intrigues me,” he says. “Some economists get involved only in questions that turn out to be productive. My method is not very systematic. I’m passionate, but not disciplined enough to work on stuff that doesn’t interest me. It’s a risky strategy. But good research is more art than science.”
 
It was the interesting questions that economics posed that got Robert into the field. He had loved math and science at Catlin Gabel, citing physics teacher Lowell Herr as instrumental in holding his interest. Robert graduated from Swarthmore in physics, and then put his career in academia on hold for seven years as he competed as a professional triathlete. His wife was in graduate school in economics at that time, and her studies engaged him. He decided to switch to economics, and went on to earn a PhD in the field from the University of California-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.
 
Robert stayed in academia, doing research and teaching at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business for seven years. He moved last year to Rochester as a member of the graduate finance faculty. He keeps abreast of developments in economics as a whole by going to talks by researchers and conferences, always keeping a fresh and engaged eye on what he hears. “If I don’t understand something I hear, I try to understand it myself by doing research,” he says.
 
Robert’s three young children are now attending a school like Catlin Gabel (the Harley School), and he’s gratified that they are getting the kind of education that has served him well as a lifer. “Catlin Gabel helped me develop my creativity and willingness to ask questions,” he says. “It’s a thing Catlin Gabel asks a lot, and it’s important in doing good research. Creativity is more important than technical skills. It’s the key.”  

 

Kit Hawkins '65: An Educator's Educator

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From the Fall 2011 Caller

“I have wanted to be a teacher almost as long as I can remember,” says Kit Abel Hawkins ’65. Inspired by her Catlin-Hillside teachers, she has forged a significant career in education. The products of her vision and experience include an independent K-8 school—and an institute that trains teachers and school leaders.

 
Kit’s first classroom teaching job was in the 1st grade at Catlin Gabel, as part of an independent study as a senior at Oberlin College. She ended up teaching as a substitute for three weeks. “The hook was fully set,” she says. She pursued an MAT right after graduation, and by the next spring she was hired as Catlin Gabel’s Lower School librarian.
 
Kit spent five years in the library, forging bonds that included developing research projects with 6th grade teachers for their students. She moved on to teach 6th grade and became deeply involved in the life of the school, even after she left to be with her newborn son, Will ’97. She returned for five more years to teach in the 3rd grade. Kit first started thinking seriously about what a good education meant after she left Catlin Gabel for a public high school. She realized the value of the freedom to learn and grow she experienced at Catlin Gabel. When she returned to teach at Catlin Gabel, Lower School head Herb Morss deepened her thinking about school leadership, providing an example with what she calls his “devotion to keeping children at the forefront of institutional practice.” Pam McComas, who became the Beginning School head, “created the ground for striding out and trying what I had always wanted to try.” In 1989 Kit announced the founding of the Arbor School of Arts and Sciences, in Tualatin. By the next fall she was teaching 4th/5th grade there and serving as director, a post she still holds.
 
For its K-8 students, Arbor emphasizes the cultivation of intellect, character, and creativity. “Natural beauty and simplicity, hard work intellectually, socially, and physically, and a pioneering spirit of resourcefulness are threaded through the campus, the day, and the nine-year career of a student,” says Kit. After they graduate from 8th grade, many Arbor students come to Catlin Gabel for high school. The Arbor Center for Teaching offers an MAT program, in conjunction with Marylhurst University, that features full-time, two-year apprenticeships at Arbor. Kit also runs a school leadership program at Arbor, a series of intensive seminars to help participants identify the elements that must be considered and integrated in reinventing or creating schools of any kind.
 
“My satisfaction has always been and will remain seeing students blossom,” says Kit. “Every day spent listening to a young reader who has just cracked the code, or helping a struggling math student master division, or greeting a graduate who is about to get married, or has just received her standing as a PhD candidate, or been recognized for her contribution—all are sources of great fulfillment.”

 

Annual Alumni Awards

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Distinguished Alumni Awards

From the Fall 2011 Caller

Every year the alumni association recognizes former Catlin Gabel students for their life work and accomplishments. Through their unique contributions, these alumni embody the school philosophy in “qualities of character, intelligence, responsibility, and purpose.” The 2010–11 honorees were recognized during Alumni Weekend at the celebration of leadership and service event in June.

Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award: David Shipley ’81

The Catlin Gabel alumni board chose David Shipley ’81 for the distinguished alumni achievement award because of his significant accomplishments as a writer and editor on a national platform. David is executive editor of Bloomberg View for Bloomberg.com and the author of SEND: Why People Email So Badly and How to Do It Better with Will Schwalbe. Previously he was op-ed editor and deputy editorial page editor of the New York Times. Before taking over the op-ed page in 2003, he held several other positions at the New York Times, including national enterprise editor and senior editor at the magazine. From 1993 to 1995, he was executive editor of the New Republic magazine in Washington, DC, and from 1995 to 1997 he served as special assistant to the president and senior presidential speechwriter in the Clinton administration.
 
David is a Catlin Gabel lifer and a graduate of Williams College. In 1985–86 he received a Watson Fellowship, which is a one-year grant for independent study for travel outside the United States awarded to graduating seniors nominated in participating institutions. David lives in Brooklyn, New York. He is the son of John and the late Joan Shipley (former trustee and development director), and brother of Ann ’83 and Tom ’87, who is married to Megan Sullivan Shipley ’87.
 

Distinguished Alumni Service Award: Roz Nelson Babener ’68

The distinguished alumni service award was presented to Rosalind “Roz” Nelson Babener ’68, founder and president of the Oregon Community Warehouse. Roz is a graduate of Occidental College. She was a teacher until 1989, after the birth of her third child. In 2001, Roz and several other volunteers opened Oregon Community Warehouse. Its mission was to address the needs of low-income people. OCW, now named Community Warehouse, is a nonprofit organization that has grown to become the “furniture bank” for the Portland metropolitan area, serving clients of more than 110 agencies, and furnishing more than 45 households per week with the basic necessities: beds, tables, and chairs. Roz’s long-term focus and unselfish dedication have created an enduring legacy to the Portland community. Roz’s husband, Jeffery, has been an active supporter of the Community Warehouse and involved in its creation. All three of their children, Rebecca ’01, Jeremy ’03, and Rachel ’07, have attended Catlin Gabel. Roz is the daughter of Madeline Brill Nelson ’42.
 

Distinguished Younger Alumni Award: Dr. Angel M. Foster ’91

The alumni board was proud to recognize Dr. Angel M. Foster ’91 for her international leadership in reproductive health. A 1996 Rhodes Scholar, she received her doctor of philosophy degree in Middle Eastern studies from Oxford University. Grounded in the fields of medical anthropology and public health, her doctoral and postdoctoral research focused on women’s comprehensive health care in Tunisia and involved more than two years of fieldwork. Angel also holds a doctor of medicine degree from Harvard Medical School and both a master’s degree in international policy studies and a bachelor’s degree in international relations and biology from Stanford University.
 
Angel joined Ibis Reproductive Health in 2002 and leads a program of work dedicated to reproductive health issues in the Middle East and North Africa. Her work at Ibis includes social science and health policy research on reproductive health, particularly emergency contraception and abortion, young women’s sexual behaviors and practices, and health professions education. She also works with the development of Arabic-language health education materials for both patients and health service providers. She divides her time between the Middle East and the United States. Her home is in Somerville, Massachusetts, with her partner, Eddy Neisten.
 
Angel wasn’t able to be at the award presentation, but she sent a video with remarks and thanks for the award. “I’ve been working with partners in Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, and the U.S. for over a year to organize a conference on public health and health policy in North Africa. And the conference is taking place here in Tunis this weekend,” she said. “It is thrilling to be convening this international event in post-revolution Tunisia, but I’m sorry that the timing prevented me from being able to be in Portland in person.”
 

“I feel very privileged to have grown up in environment that was at once intellectually challenging and nurturing, that set high expectations for all students and supported us to exceed them, and that valued critical thinking, exploration, and debate but demanded this take place in the context of respecting others. And I feel especially grateful to have been part of a community that placed primacy on creativity and individual expression, and supported all of us to undertake our various journeys.” —Dr. Angel M. Foster ’91, distinguished younger alumni award recipient

Joey Day Pope ’54 Volunteer Award: Brenda Miller Olson

The Joey Day Pope ’54 Volunteer Award was established in 1992 to honor its namesake, an outstanding volunteer. This award is given each year to a Catlin Gabel community member who personifies volunteerism within our community. 
 
Brenda Miller Olson stands out for her long span of service to the school’s athletic program. She has been an enthusiastic and committed three-season fan and team parent, has represented Catlin Gabel at countless school’s gyms, tracks, and fields, and has provided unparalleled support for Eagle athletes, parents, and coaches. Brenda has steadfastly given the gifts of time, talent, and food: her cookies are legendary. Her children are Eloise ’11, Isabelle ’09, Madeleine ’07, and Harry ’05. “I can’t even imagine another parent giving as much heart, mind, and effort over such a long period of time,” says John Hamilton, coach and PE teacher. “Brenda is in a class by herself.”  

 

Catlin Gabel's Class of 2011

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Our graduates, their college destinations, & their awards & honors

From the Fall 2011 Caller

The Catlin Gabel Class of 2011

Rohisha Adke
Stanford University
National Merit Finalist
 
Ian Agrimis
Occidental College
 
Max Baron
Whittier College
 
Chase Bennink
Portland State University
 
Mary Bishop
Washington University in St. Louis
 
Chelsea Booth
University of Oregon
 
Anders Byrnes
Colorado College
 
Anna Byrnes
Lewis & Clark College
 
Will Caplan
Washington and Lee University
Athletics Award
 
Conor Carlton
Arizona State University
 
Jahncie Cook
McDaniel College
 
Mona Corboy
University of Oregon
 
Alex Corey
Franklin College Switzerland
French Award
 
Alex Dachsel
University of Oregon
 
Anthony Eden
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Computer Science Award
 
Lily Ellenberg
Bridge year, Ecuador
 
Sarah Ellis
University of Southern California
 
Jenny Faber
University of Redlands
 
Brian Farci
Illinois Institute of Technology
 
Alex Foster
Emory University
Japanese Award
 
Eli Freedman
New York University
 
Spencer Fuller
University of Redlands
 
Mmaserame Gaefele
Williams College
 
Rebecca Garner
Grinnell College
Visual Arts Award
 
Reid Goodman
Pomona College
 
Henry Gordon
Carleton College
Awards in Technical Theater & Outdoor Leadership
 
Mannie Greenberg
Oberlin College
 
Nina Greenebaum
Occidental College
 
Nikom Hall
Occidental College
 
Alex Henry
University of Southern California
 
Morgan Henry
Washington University in St. Louis
National Merit Finalist, Chinese Award
 
Austin Hunter
Willamette University
 
Linnea Hurst
Grinnell College
 
Rohan Jhunjhunwala
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
 
Will Jolley
University of Redlands
 
Grace Kim
Emory University
 
Jesse Kimsey-Bennett
University of Southern California
Media Arts Award
 
Rebecca Kropp
Linfield College
Thespis Award, Community Service Award
 
Paul Krums
Montana State University, Bozeman
National Merit Finalist, Science Award
 
Josh Langfus
Johns Hopkins University
Pat Ehrman Award, Awards in Theater & Spanish
 
Rebecca Lazar
Smith College
 
Stephen Lezak
Oberlin College
National Merit Finalist, Thespis Award
 
Ben Lovitz
Bates College
Mathematics Award
 
Sarah Lowenstein
Lewis & Clark College
School Ring, Awards in Community Service & Science
 
Sarah Macdonald
University of North Carolina School of the Arts
 
Graham Marlitt
Washington State University
 
Kate McMurchie
Whitman College
 
Yoseph Melaku
University of Southern California
 
McKensie Mickler
Southern Oregon University
 
Eloise Miller
Grinnell College
Athletics Award
 
Tara Mills
Whitman College
 
Jackson Morawski
University of Oregon
Japanese Award
 
Joseph Oberholtzer
University of Southern California
 
Morgan Outzen
Portland State University
 
Philip Paek
Lafayette College
 
Jeremy Pashak
University of Alaska Anchorage
 
Anders Perrone
Oregon State University
 
Kate Posner
Portland State University
 
Sabin Ray
Brown University
 
Ko Ricker
University of Southern California
Creative Writing Award
 
Jenna Rolle
Whitman College
 
Sophia Roman
Carleton College
 
Ari Ronai-Durning
Whitman College
 
Julian Rosolie
Southern Oregon University
 
Max Semler
Duke University
 
Samme Sheikh
Swarthmore College
 
Vighnesh Shiv
California Institute of Technology
National Merit Finalist, Awards in Computer Science & Mathematics
 
Veronica Stanley-Katz
Portland State University
 
Lynne Stracovsky
Queen's University
 
Kashi Tamang
Portland State University
 
Leah Thompson
Amherst College
 
Karuna Tirumala
Washington University in St. Louis
Mathematics Award
 
Morgann Turkot
Northwestern University
National Merit Finalist
 
Michael Zhu
Boston University
 
Not pictured:
Olivia Derting
Bridge year
 
 

 

Our Malone Scholars Out in the World

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We revisit Kayce Coulterpark '07

From the Fall 2011 Caller

In 2005 Catlin Gabel received a great boost of $2 million from the Malone Family Foundation to establish the Malone Scholars program. Selection for the grant was an unexpected honor: the school was chosen by the Malone Foundation as part of its small roster of independent schools that meet its rigorous criteria. Funds from this endowment grant have supplied financial aid for 15 Middle and Upper School students so far, selected by the school for their exceptional academic motivation and capability, as well as financial need. Kayce Coulterpark ’07 was one of our first Malone Scholars, and here we find out what she’s been up to since her graduation.

 
Kayce Coulterpark ’07 was fascinated by her senior year classes at Catlin Gabel in advanced physics and chemistry. “Every day I would drive home with my sister and could not stop talking about the cool things I had learned that day, and how they explained a little more about how the world works,” she says. “Thinking about those worldly applications (or explanations, if you will) is what first drew me to science.” Kayce brought that curiosity about science to her studies at Oregon State University. During her sophomore year she worked at a lab in the Linus Pauling Institute, and at the end of that year she “settled” on a major in chemistry. But as she got involved in the student chemistry club, the field grew into a passion for her. She designed an upper-division chemistry laboratory experiment for her University Honors College thesis project, which will be included in a textbook written by the leader of her physical chemistry lab.
 
Kayce discovered another real passion at OSU: teaching. She started volunteering in a university program to teach science and math to local elementary, middle, and high school students. She loved the experience, along with her position as writing assistant in the OSU Center for Writing and Learning. The summer before her junior year Kayce spent five weeks volunteering as a teacher in a kindergarten in Peru. “The thing I love most about teaching is watching students struggle with something, sometimes for a painfully long time, but finally seeing that light bulb go off when they get it and will never forget either the concept or their struggle toward understanding,” says Kayce.
 
After completing her thesis this summer, Kayce married Richard Hawks, whom she had met at OSU, and traveled to Venezuela for their honeymoon. This fall she’s back at OSU, working in her physical chemistry lab and the Center for Writing and Learning as well as other outreach programs, designing another experiment, and co-authoring a paper on some of the lab’s work. She and her husband will move in January for five months to Missouri, where he will be commissioned in the Army and she will teach or work in research at Missouri University. They plan to return to the Pacific Northwest, where Kayce hopes to earn a master’s in education from the University of Washington and eventually teach in high schools. “That is the age at which students have matured to the point that you can really reach out to them and teach them something, especially those things they have convinced themselves they could never understand,” she says.
 
Kayce took away from Catlin Gabel an appreciation for the power of community. “The support of the teachers (my own teachers as well as others) and staff both within and outside of the school was the most memorable and helpful for my college career,” she says. “A sense of community is something that never ends, and being included in that even though I only attended Catlin Gabel for two short years was very precious.”

 

The Beauty of Not Having to Worry

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By Jessica Ramirez '10

From the Fall 2011 Caller

When I think of my 12 years at Catlin Gabel, I remember mornings running around on the castle-like playground, the little house in the Fir Grove, 12-minute runs on the track on hot days, spending Middle School Breakaway in Seattle, performing HMS Pinafore with a thick layer of makeup smeared on my face, rainy days spent in the library with the beautiful tall ceiling, hopping out of the yellow school bus at the Expo Center to sort piles of pants and shirts, and many one-on-one meetings with teachers. Now I’ve been asked to talk about financial aid at this school. The truth is I never gave much thought to how much it cost to give me my seat in the classroom every day. I had no time to think about it; I had to read Sir Gawain and think of a thesis for an essay, and understand Euclid for the math quiz the next day, and then I had cross country practice after school.
 
It may seem as if I wasn’t appreciative of all the money that was donated for me. However, that is the paradoxical beauty of financial aid; I didn’t have to worry about the money. Instead, I focused on the most important part of attending school, my classes. I carried around and read through piles of books, some of which were very expensive, and I was lucky to not have to give up anything or scramble to cover the costs. Instead, I sat down and read them. Although I didn’t think about the cost often, I am most definitely thankful to the people who financed my education. It wasn’t until this last summer that I really thought about the costs of running a school like Catlin Gabel. I worked on campus in summer programs and spent the rest of summer working in facilities. Many people make a living working at Catlin Gabel through teaching, maintaining, directing, planning, and just getting done the stuff that needs to be done. And all the collective work results in a school that moves students forward.
 
I never thought of anything as unattainable because I wasn’t as wealthy as many of my peers. In fact, I never thought much about how much they had and how much this was in comparison to myself. The social differences in a single school add to the value of financial aid, and the range of family income varied so extraordinarily within the school community. I can’t speak for others, but I think that difference in social class doesn’t register as a significant part of life at Catlin Gabel. Part of that may be the academic rigor that keeps students busy with school, but it’s also the self-confidence found in all the student body, including the financial aid kids. We saw each other as peers in the classroom, and outside of it some of us became friends.
 
Now I’ve left Catlin Gabel, and I think fondly upon the beautiful campus, sweet teachers, and strong friendships. But the school gave me even more than that. It gave me the opportunity to continue on to college and the critical skills to find what I want and then work for it. Catlin Gabel gave me a jump-start to whatever comes afterward, and the people who contribute to it financially made and continue to make a difference in what I’ve had the opportunity to do in my life. Thanks.
 
Jessica Ramirez ’10 was the recipient of financial aid from the Hawley Family Endowed Scholarship Fund. She is in her second year at Macalester College  

 

There's Nothing More Important

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Phil Hawley '43 is a great supporter of education & financial aid

By Nadine Fiedler

From the Fall 2011 Caller

He was called “the last of the old-time merchandisers” by Los Angeles mayor Richard Riordan. From the time he left college, Phil Hawley ’43 worked tirelessly in the retail business—working up from windows and stockrooms to a position as CEO of the retail giant Carter Hawley Hale. In the midst of his successes, Phil never forgot his experiences at the Gabel Country Day School—and never lost sight of the vital importance of education.
 
The Gabel Country Day School’s most important aspect for Phil was the way teachers encouraged him and his fellow students to think beyond the confines of family and school. “The great thing I took away from Gabel was learning to think critically and analytically about issues in a larger sense. For its time, that focus was quite enlightened,” he says. That bigger picture focus stood Phil in good stead as he studied at Stanford University and Reed College before serving in the Navy.
 
After graduating from UC Berkeley in 1946, Phil opened a small shop in Portland, then worked his way up in the Lipman-Wolfe department store. The store management saw his potential as well as his love of retail, and gave him some great chances. He had found his niche.
 
Phil’s biggest career move came when he left Portland in 1958 to work in largerscale retail for The Broadway, at a time of transition from large downtown stores to branch stores. He flew up the rungs of this aggressive, fast-moving chain, starting as buyer and ending up as chairman and CEO of the corporation. He presided until his retirement in 1993, having overseen the acquisition of other large store chains such as Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and Waldenbooks.
 
Phil loved the pace and the intellectual stimulation of the retail business. “Retailers are deeply involved in their communities, in the very ways life was developing and changing,” he says. “Retail was a broad canvas, and you could go as far as your wishes and wants.”
 
Even during these hectic times as corporate leader and father of a family of eight children, Phil prioritized his service to education. He served on the boards and was named life trustee of the California Institute of Technology, Notre Dame, and the Huntington Library. Phil was also the first lay chair of the board of Los Angeles’s Loyola High School. He never forgot his Gabel roots: he’s a member of the school’s endowment committee, and he established a scholarship for Upper School students. His life is still active as he pursues projects, oversees his family’s investments, and works in his community—and his commitment to providing educational opportunities remains unwavering.
 
“I’m a strong believer in the benefits of financial assistance,” says Phil. “With good financial aid, we can have a child’s aptitude and ability be more important than the family’s financial capacity. If we think deeply about creating the best educational experience for all concerned, we are best served by having many different cultural and economic backgrounds represented by the student body. The importance of financial aid can’t be overstressed.”
 
“I feel that educational opportunities given to any of us and to families in the community at large have the greatest influence on what kind of community and world we have,” he says. “I’m trying to help in any way possible. Supporting education is the most rewarding of any opportunity. There’s nothing more important in the scheme of things.”
 
Phil founded the Hawley Family Endowed Scholarship Fund in 2004 in honor of his siblings Adele Hawley Davie ’35, Willard Hawley ’41, Dinda Hawley Mills ’44, and Barbara Hawley Hosking ’49. It supports financial aid for Upper School students.
 
Nadine Fiedler is the editor of the Caller and Catlin Gabel’s director of publications and public relations.

 

Our Amazing & Creative Alumni: Caprice Neely '85

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Footwear design director

By Nadine Fiedler

From the Summer 2011 Caller

Caprice Neely, a true hands-on girl, loved art and woodshop when she attended Catlin Gabel’s Lower School. The skills she developed in making and building, combined with her aesthetic sense, formed the basis for her long career in footwear design.
 
Product design wasn’t something Caprice set out to do. But what got her far—so far that today she’s a lead designer in Nike’s blue-sky innovation team—was her absolute fearlessness and determination.
 
After working her way through college as an art major, Caprice landed a temp job in the Portland offices of Avia, a sports shoe company. Her curiosity led her to the design department, and she was immediately hooked on footwear design. She hung out with designers and asked if she could help. That led to a job with Adidas painting shoe models—until she confidently stepped up and asked to create models herself. Then she asked if she could create her own designs. Soon she went to see the president of Adidas with her designs and prototypes, and he offered her a designer job on the spot.
 
After three years Caprice moved to Nike, and with the exception of one foray into another venture, she’s been there ever since. She helped envision and create the first Nike sportswear line, and today she works on a creative team with the freedom to design the next big thing.
 

Caprice Neely's Cityknife shoe and sketches for Nike

 

Much of Caprice’s success lies in her knack for designing great-looking shoes that function well. “You have to keep in touch with popular culture and fashion trends, even if you’re working on something as technical as the next track spike for the Olympics. Athletes tell us that if they look good, they’ll perform better,” she says.
 
Caprice would like more students to consider product design: “The ability to build and fix things incorporates different problem-solving skills. If you mix that with art, you have the potential for a career in product design and engineering.”
 

“It’s amazing for me to think back to the foundation I received at Catlin Gabel, especially in art. I was encouraged to do and try anything. It gave me the confidence in myself to know that I would succeed if I worked hard enough.”

 

Our Amazing & Creative Alumni: Caroline Kuerschner MacLaren '89

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Land use and real estate attorney

By Nadine Fiedler

From the Summer 2011 Caller

Can the practice of law be a creative pursuit? We asked Portland attorney Carrie MacLaren ’89 to give it some thought.
 
“People come to me with a variety of issues: from development to conservation, and all points in between,” says Carrie, who works with Black Helterline LLP. “In many cases the due diligence, research and evaluation, is not creative. Once we know the particulars and evaluate how they affect the goal, then the creative thinking can come in. How do we resolve obstacles and find ways to reach the goals?”
 
Let’s say she has a client whose land-use project has come against a hurdle: a use that isn’t allowed or a development that is opposed by the planning staff or neighbors. She can try to change the zoning classification, which would be the analytical approach. But she can also talk with the client about finding ways to modify the proposal to fit within the existing zoning or address the neighbors’ concerns. “It’s about not going by the rote book and stepping back to look at the whole picture. It’s being able to look at the obstacles and ask if there’s a different way to conceptualize the project, if it’s too cumbersome and problematic,” says Carrie.
 
Carrie has also brought some cutting-edge thinking to her practice: she taught a University of Oregon course on the legal aspects of green building, a new field that raises all kinds of questions for lawyers. She’s a veteran in her field of law, having spent many years as staff attorney for the land use protection group 1000 Friends of Oregon.
 
“When all is considered, critical thinking is definitely key in law, but creative thinking is a big part of it, says Carrie. “I always have to think on my feet.”
 

“At Catlin Gabel I took weaving, I was photographer for the yearbook, and I took the art survey class. Having that exposure, and enabling the brain to think in different ways, is useful in any field.”

 

Our Amazing & Creative Alumni: Pat Carew '93

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Video producer and director

By Nadine Fiedler

From the Summer 2011 Caller

Among the many media that vie for our attention, video has become a familiar presence in all our lives. In his work with video, Pat Carew ’93 navigates a particular intersection of entertainment, education, and persuasive storytelling.
 
As video producer and director for CMD, a Portland advertising and marketing agency, Pat creates pieces that run the gamut from commercials, in-store videos, and trainings to online videos for a wide variety of clients. CMD is unusual in having its own small, dedicated video production team, and Pat enjoys the creative freedom of serving for various projects as producer, editor, writer, or director. In his producer role he guides the projects from beginning to end, working mostly with logistics (locations! schedules! budgets!). Directing is more creative, he says, setting the look, feel, and tone of the piece.
 
“In my work there’s a push and pull between the creative and practical aspects, and projects are always expanding and contracting. You dream up maybe 15 ideas, and then you pick one. You shoot way more than you need, with each scene shot from five different angles. And then you contract: you edit down to what you need. Every project is a little different, so the work is always fresh. My favorite project is the one I’m working on,” he says.
 
Pat began doing video while he was attending Tufts University, and his first piece was a music video for a band he was in with Scott Fisher ’93. He continued work on music videos and short films, and then freelanced on independent films and in audio on location and in recording studios. With two small children, his work is now all for CMD, and he loves what he does: “My work is alive to me,” he says.
 

“Soccer was not a big deal for me until I went to Catlin Gabel for high school. I would love to make a feature film someday — a compelling soccer drama. That’s not been done before!”

 

Our Amazing & Creative Alumni: Michael Hiestand '75

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Sports media journalist

By Nadine Fiedler

From the Summer 2011 Caller

Michael Hiestand ’75 is crazy about writing. He could write well about anything, and pretty much has. But he invented his own niche in journalism: he’s been writing for 20 years about sports media and the business side of sports for USA Today. He’s created a strong presence, with a focused voice in print and a trenchant, funny persona on the air.
 
Sports wasn’t his first choice for his career topic. He wrote at Catlin Gabel, including book reviews for the 2nd grade librarian that were published by the Oregonian and “nutty stuff for the school newspaper,” wrote more at Stanford, did a publishing course at Harvard, then wrote book copy for Simon & Schuster in New York while he freelanced more writing.
 
“I’d write any article that popped into my head and send it off to magazines,” says Michael. “I got great practice making the most boring topic interesting reporting on business for Adweek—and that’s always the goal. I suggested writing about the business side of sports—which is everything besides the game—and they loved the idea. People thought that sports was not a part of capitalism, so I found my niche.”
 
Michael spent a memorable year in Sydney, Australia, covering preparations for the Olympics. “I thought up my own stories to do, which were basically anything I could talk my way into. I would look for an exception to the norm, because that’s always more interesting. I loved Australia. I told them it did wonders for the U.S. self-esteem to break from Great Britain. I said I would stay and cover it if they had a revolution.”
 
“Now, with Facebook and other social media, people think everyone should be passionate or opinionated,” says Michael. “But when I write, I don’t have a dog in that fight. If you’re into sheer storytelling you can do it for a long time, adapting as you go.”
 

“I got a D in French my senior year. I told a French teacher, Jean-Claude Lachkar, that I was sort of challenged. At a basketball game, he came out on the court and said, ‘I found out that you’re not stupid!’ I said that was just a rumor.”