Rabbi Elwell has written “O Pioneers: Reflections from Five Women Rabbis of the First Generation,” a chapter in the book The Sacred Calling: Four Decades of Women in the Rabbinate. In this anthology, rabbis and scholars from across the Jewish world reflect on the historic significance of women in the rabbinate and explore issues related to both the professional and personal lives of women rabbis. This collection examines the ways in which the reality of women in the rabbinate has affected all aspects of Jewish life, including congregational culture, liturgical development, life cycle ritual, the Jewish healing movement, spirituality, theology and more.
Rabbi Elwell served the Union for Reform Judaism for nearly two decades, strengthening congregations by building strong partnerships between professional and lay leaders. She was founding director of the Los Angeles Jewish Feminist Center, the first rabbinic director of Ma’yan, and she has served congregations in California, New Jersey, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. She also co-edited Chapters of the Heart: Jewish Women Sharing the Torah of Our Lives, a finalist for the 2014 National Jewish Book Award; edited The Open Door, the CCAR Haggadah; served as the poetry editor and member of the editorial board of the award-winning The Torah: A Women’s Commentary; and co-edited Lesbian Rabbis: The First Generation. At K Rabbi Elwell majored in English and studied abroad in Israel. She was ordained by Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in 1986. She is the joyful mother of two adult daughters, is an ecstatic savta (grandmother), and lives in Philadelphia with her wife, Nurit Levi Shein.
Jennifer has published a book titled Women in the Shadows: Gender, Puppets, and the Power of Tradition in Bali. The book chronicles her studies to become a dalang, a Balinese shadow-master, narrator, and puppeteer who uses song, dramatization, puppet manipulation, music, and humor to present stories. Only a few Balinese dalangs are women. Jennifer is an assistant professor in the department of theatre, drama, and dance at Indiana University. She has performed Balinese shadow puppetry in China, Indonesia, and around the United States. Her research focuses on the relationship between tradition and modernity as expressed through puppetry in Southeast Asia. At K Jennifer majored in theatre arts and studied abroad in London, England. she earned a M.F.A. in theatre at the University of Hawaii.
Bethany is a coauthor of the article “Evaluation of 3D Printing and its Potential Impact on Biotechnology and the Chemical Sciences,” published in Analytical Chemistry in January. Nearing 30 years since its introduction, 3D printing technology is set to revolutionize research and teaching laboratories. The article encompasses the history of 3D printing, reviews various printing methods, and presents current applications. The authors offer an appraisal of the future direction and impact the technology will have on laboratory settings as 3D printers become more accessible. Gross’s research at Michigan State University encompasses the development of a flow-based 3D printed microfluidic device with integrated electrodes to initiate and evaluate injury-induced blood-clot formation.
David read his poetry for the Dickinson Poetry Series last month at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Door County (Wisconsin). David’s career path has been a spiral. He earned degrees in English (B.A. Kalamazoo College; M.A. University of Michigan) and then taught British and American literature at Drake University for three years. He earned his law degree from the University of Chicago and made a three-decade career change into the practice of law. All the while he continued to write poetry. When he moved to Door County (2001) he started writing more seriously, eventually achieving his goal of writing one poem a day. For the past six years he has taught poetry for the county’s Learning in Retirement Program. He has published two chapbooks: Shedding My Three Piece Birthday Suit and Doggysatva Love and Other Possible Illusions.
Mike recently authored a geology and paleontology guide of southern Colorado. That’s a great story, and Mike tells it best. During the summer of 2015 he did an internship with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) through the Geological Society of America’s GeoCorps program. “I was based in Canon City, Colorado, near both the Royal Gorge and several dinosaur quarries (so basically paradise),” he wrote. “My mentor had funding to write a book (for the BLM’s “Junior Explorer” series) that detailed the geology and paleontology of southern Colorado. So we teamed up with Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument; they paired me with another intern who had experience as an illustrator; and we went and wrote a book!” The book covers seven sites of historical and/or geologic importance along the Gold Belt National Scenic Byway so that kids on vacation with their parents can go to these sites after or while reading about them. Along the way, the book teaches geologic time, paleontology, how to recognize common types of rock, and how geologists interpret the rock record.
“Writing this thing was a lot of fun. Although there were some general guidelines for the book series that we had to follow, the activities and content were entirely up to us! And of course we had to go to all those places in person so that we’d know exactly what visitors would be able to see, and how each site might fit with our educational goals. The reception for the book has been fantastic as well. Not only were our mentors impressed at how quickly we put together a good product, but everyone outside of our group who has seen it has been impressed. The State Paleontologist for Wyoming (admittedly a friend of mine) told me that he wants his office to put out books like that.”
Mike and his illustrator and field partner (an undergraduate at Northern Arizona University) presented their book at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Baltimore in early December.
At K, Mike majored in biology and studied abroad in Wollongong, Australia. He earned his master’s degree at the University of Wyoming and is currently in a Ph.D. program at the University of Wisconsin (Madison). “Mike is an excellent example of someone who has pursued his passion,” wrote Associate Professor of Biology Ann Fraser. “I first met him when he was a sophomore in 2003, and even back then he was enthralled by paleontology.”
Sarah published her first book of poetry, Field Work, and it won the Cider House Review Editor’s Prize. The book has garnered critical acclaim in several publications, and Sarah has done several appearances for the iconic Los Angeles Beyond Baroque reading series. Her work has also appeared in Agni, The Atlantic, Christian Science Monitor, Cimarron, Crab Orchard Review, Field, The Missouri Review, New Orleans Review, Psychology Today, Scientific American, Southern Review and elsewhere. Sarah has taught poetry and composition at the University of Virginia, James Madison University, Young Writers’ Workshop and Tsurumaru High School in Kagoshima, Japan. She was a creative nonfiction fellow with Think, Write, Publish. She has worked with other writers as well, including New York Times columnist David Brooks (as an early reader for The Social Animal), social scientist Jonathan Haidt and the novelist Jonathan Franzen. “I was born in an unincorporated rural area outside of Peoria, Illinois,” Sarah writes, “and have lived in countries as far afield as Belgium and Japan. This has given me an unusual perspective on the rural/urban experience and the differences between liberals and conservatives–an uncommon vantage point that I bring to bear on my work in both poetry and nonfiction. I’ve enjoyed being able to work on a broad range of projects, and I try to bridge the seemingly disparate worlds of science, parenting and the arts.”
Carol has published a new textbook titled Florida Courts (5th Edition), designed for law students and those thinking about a legal career. Carol is an associate professor at the University of Central Florida, where she has taught for the past 24 years. She is the author of a previous textbook titled Foundations of Legal Research and Writing. Her areas of research and writing include eavesdropping and wiretapping, plagiarism, legal ethics, legal research, legal writing, and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. At K Carol majored in Spanish and studied abroad in Madrid. She earned her law degree (magna cum laude) from New York Law School.
Sam wrote a delightful entry for the real estate blog Movoto titled “30 Things You Need To Know About Kalamazoo Before You Move There.” (K received TWO entries in his post.) At last count, Sam’s entry had garnered nearly 50,000 views.
Danielle is working on her M.F.A. degree in poetry at George Mason University in Washington, D.C. She is the poetry editor of So To Speak literary journal. She recently published a chapbook of contrapuntal poetry, Dialogue with the Dead, through Finishing Line Press. In Spring 2015, she was a visiting writer at K where her chapbook was taught in intermediate and advanced poetry classes. She currently works as a T.A. at George Mason, teaching undergraduate English composition and an Arab-American literature course. Her working-thesis project involves creating conversation among marginalized communities through collaboration and de-centering authorship.
Teju has published a new collection of essays titled Known and Strange Things. The topics are digressive and eclectic, just one element of their individual and intense interest. Teju is the author of two previous works, the novels Every Day is for the Thief and Open City. At K, Teju went by the name of Obayemi Onafuwa. He majored in art and art history. Carolyn Cole of the Los Angeles Times wrote a review of the essay collection that includes a delightful interview with the author, including his final, wonderful and liberal arts-ish quote that ends the piece: “It’s OK not to be the smartest boy in class, because knowing how much you don’t know can then be the starting point for engaging with the world.”