Archives

Chuck Bender ’66

Chuck was named 2014 Master Gardener of the Year by Lakelands Master Gardeners Inc. Chuck averages about six hours a day tending his spring and summer garden. Lakelands Master Gardeners Inc. is a nonprofit, service-based corporation in South Carolina with a mission to extend public research-based education, horticultural programs and activities that benefit the community. Chuck lives in Cross Hill (S.C.) with his wife, Carol. He earned his degree at K in economics and business and studied abroad in Muenster, Germany. He retired after a long career in financial operations. Chuck serves on the Lander University Arboretum Committee and volunteers with Greenwood Performing Arts youth outreach programs.

Gerald F. Tompkins ’61

Jerry died on January 7, 2014, from bladder cancer. He earned his B.A. at K in sociology and went on to get two master’s degrees. He enjoyed a long career at The Upjohn Company. When he retired (1996) he was able to indulge his hobby of collecting and selling antiques and collectibles. Jerry and his wife, Jane, moved to Boulder, Colorado, to be near their sons. They were married for 52 years.

Bill Atkinson ’63

Class (1963) Agent Don Schneider reports that Bill is battling cancer of the neck that has affected his vocal chords as well as other areas of the throat and surrounding vasculature. Bill and his wife Linda made a recent trip to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Treatment Center to explore surgery as an option, but unfortunately that course of action was ruled out. Bill and Linda had hoped otherwise. Bill is working with physicians to determine a course of chemotherapy in an effort to control the cancer. If the cancer fails to respond to treatment, Bill and his physicians may choose to try experimental drugs.

Keith Mestrich ’89

Keith is the president and CEO of the Amalgamated Bank – the nation’s only union-owned bank and the leading financial institution for the nation’s progressive community. Keith is a 25-year veteran of the labor movement, beginning his career as a researcher at the AFL-CIO. In that position he gained experience assisting unions on hundreds of organizing, bargaining and political campaigns. In 2002 Keith went to work for UNITE, the bank’s majority shareholder, where he served in various capacities. He first joined Amalgamated in June of 2012, initially directing the bank’s Washington Region and coordinating the bank’s operations in the nation’s capital. He has more than a quarter century of experience working with the bank’s core constituencies in the labor movement and non-profit organizations. Keith is currently on the board of directors and serves as treasurer of the Union Health Center in New York City, the Public Utility Law Project, and the DC Employment Justice Center. He is also on the board of directors of the National Consumers League and serves as an adviser to The Workers Lab. He also serves on the board of directors of the Democracy Alliance, which provides opportunities for individuals to leverage their progressive philanthropy by connecting their efforts with those of other investors/donors, organizations, political strategists and leaders. At K Keith earned his degree in political science and studied abroad in Strasbourg, France.

Brandon Faber ’07

Brandon Brandon Faber director of community engagement at the Grosse Pointe (Mich.) War Memorial Associationis the new director of community engagement at the Grosse Pointe (Mich.) War Memorial Association. Prior to taking this new position, Brandon was executive director of the Birmingham Bloomfield Symphony Orchestra. He earned a bachelor of arts in music and psychology from Kalamazoo College and a master of music in instrumental conducting from the Cole Conservatory of the California State University Long Beach.

Judy Bell ’71

Last October Judy was the featured artist at the 37th annual Quilt Show, sponsored by Washington State Quilters. Judy worked for two decades as a family practice physician in California. Her family’s roots trace back to the hills of West Virginia, where one of her grandmothers was a quilter. That fact and occasional visits to quilt museums in New England and Europe during a 40-year span kept her interested in quilting. When she retired in 2006 she started making quilts herself. She uses a long-arm quilting machine, “basically a sewing machine mounted on a big frame.” Judy has taken classes and taught herself the craft by watching videos and reading books. Since her retirement she’s made about 50 quilts. Asked in an interview about her thought process during the making of a quilt, Judy replied, “I think about classical music or Billy Joel or Elton John, because I like to have music on while I’m quilting. But I think about quilting and various patterns and what I’m going to do half the day, because it’s so fascinating to me. I spent my whole professional life being very technical, very scientific, very linear. And there’s a lot of that in quilting. You have to sew a seam and make one point come to another point. But what’s fun is that I can also ask myself, ’Can I try this? What if I do that?’ I couldn’t do that very much when I was in medicine.” Judy’s extensive post-retirement travel has influenced her work. She’s learned about fabric arts in countries such as Mozambique, Tanzania and Nepal. “Quilting has given me a way to connect to the women in those countries,” Judy said. “They may not quilt, but you can still immerse yourself in color and fabric.” Interestingly, Japan is a country where quilting is taking off. Explained Judy: “Japan already had a long tradition of handmade fabrics, but not patchwork quilts. Then the TV series “Little House on the Prairie” was syndicated in Japan about 15 years ago and became wildly popular. Because there were a lot of quilts in the show, reproducing this primitive American art form took over in Japan. Now, the Tokyo International Quilt Festival in January is the biggest quilt show in the world, with a whole section devoted to “Little House on the Prairie”-style quilts made by Japanese women.” Judy matriculated to K from Hillsdale, Michigan. At K, she majored in psychology and studied abroad in Erlangen, Germany.

Jeffrey Hsi ’83, Ph.D.

Jeff has joined the Boston-based intellectual property law firm Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks, P.C. as a shareholder. Jeff has nearly two decades of experience in corporate counseling, formation and execution of intellectual property strategy and patent prosecution and opinion work in the areas of chemistry, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, health and beauty, agriculture, animal health, nutraceuticals, polymers, diagnostics and medical devices. He also advises on the development of intellectual property, and he is experienced in establishing infrastructure for it. He has counseled multinational chemical and pharmaceutical companies, emerging biopharmaceutical companies, venture capital and financial institutions and academic and governmental research institutions throughout the world. Jeff majored in chemistry at K and studied abroad in Erlangen, Germany. He earned his M.S. (chemistry) from Indiana University, his Ph.D. (biochemistry) from the University of Michigan and his law degree from Rutgers University. He is a co-inventor on two U.S. patents and co-author of several scientific publications.

Amy Reckley ’98

myReckley2Artworks Loveland (in Loveland, Colorado) is hosting an exhibition of Amy’s artwork. Titled “Surface Variations,” the exhibition uses paint, paper, and other mixed media to explore the space between two and three dimensional drawing. Amy captures a shift between sculpture and drawing and challenges our associations with recognizable objects, surfaces and space. The work deliberately changes in orientation and scale to encourage the viewer to engage in an ongoing dialogue about the expanded definition of drawing. Amy majored in art at K and studied abroad in Kenya. She earned a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate from SACI in Florence, Italy, and an M.F.A. in Drawing from Colorado State University. She has exhibited internationally and participated in several residencies throughout the United States. Her exhibition in Loveland continues through February 27.

Chris Tucker ’82

Chris is a fellow in the formulation science group (FSG) within Dow Chemical Company’s research and development function. He is responsible for technical leadership for the FSG. Chris joined the central research function within Dow in 1982 after graduating from K. He has worked primarily in the area of colloid and interface science including new surfactant synthesis, ionomers, microemulsions, consumer and industrial product formulation, reaction media, nanoparticle synthesis, enhanced drug solubilization, drug delivery and high throughput research. Over the course of his career he has worked on R&D projects with nearly every business within Dow. He is author of more than 40 publications and patents. At K, Chris majored in chemistry and studied abroad in Muenster, Germany.