Robin was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Foreign Studies for Kyorin University located on the Hachioji campus in Tokyo, Japan. She may be the first foreign woman to hold the post of dean in a highly respected Japanese university. Sakamoto received her Ph.D. in educational policy and administration in 2006.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies recently featured Paul’s work in its column “Careers in Development.” Paul is executive vice president for communications at ACDI/VOCA, a private, nonprofit organization that promotes broad-based economic growth, higher living standards, and vibrant communities in low-income countries and emerging democracies. Paul’s career in agriculture, food security, and global development spans 40 years and has taken him to 70 countries, including long-term assignments in Senegal, Mauritania, Indonesia, Barbados, and Kenya. In those locations he headed agribusiness programs that incorporated activities in policy reform, business group strengthening, commercial marketing, equity financing, and investment promotion. Paul earned his B.A. at K in theatre arts and studied abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France. He earned a M.B.A. at Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Tyler is the assistant house manager for National Public Radio’s quiz show, “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.” in Chicago. He’s also events coordinator for all of public radio station WBEZ’s live events in Chicago and producer for “The Moth – Chicago StorySLAM.” At K he earned his B.A. degree in theatre arts. He also studied abroad at the University of London, Goldsmiths College and participated in an internship as a production assistant on an off-Broadway play in New York City directed by Terry Kinney, one of the original founders of Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago. After graduating from K, Tyler spent a year teaching English in South Korea before moving to Chicago.
Julia has worked on a children’s orchestra and social music project for more than a year in Bonn, Germany. The orchestra, called the Kinder VielHarmonie, recently had its first concert! “The children come from two very socially different schools,” wrote Julia, “and the aim of the project was to bring these children together through music (during the rehearsals we also played games and had snacks).” According to Julia, the seed for the project dates to her Senior Individualized Project, which she completed under the supervision of Professor of Music Les Tung. During the proposal and planning phases of the Kinder VielHarmonie, Julie relied on several K connections, including Tung, Associate Professor of Music Andrew Koehler, and Liz Youker, a fellow musician who played with Julia in the Kalamazoo College and Community Orchestra under direction of Professor Emeritus of Music Barry Ross. The KCCO is today’s Kalamazoo Philharmonia, directed by Koehler. Julia was also inspired by Kalamazoo Kids in Tune, an orchestra-based youth development program modeled after the Venezuelan youth orchestra program known as El Sistema. She spent a week as a K student observing Kids in Tune at Woodward Elementary School. An article (in German) on the first concert of Kinder VielHarmonie appeared in Bürgerstiftung Bonn.
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.
Laura is working as a preschool teacher’s aide at Pope John XXIII School of Saint Mary and Saint Nicholas Parishes in Evanston, Ill. She spends her summers teaching drama and music at the American School in Switzerland. Laura is working on her master of teaching (MAT) in elementary education at Northeastern Illinois University.
Jennifer works for the Tweedle Group in Europe. She travels the world (sometimes for work, sometimes on her own) taking pictures and keeping a blog about her adventures. Her photos and postings are amazing. Jennifer writes: “I’m a modern day nomad. When I’m not traveling for work, I explore destinations, both on and off the beaten path, all over the world. I love to experience new cities, cultures, food, adventures… what ever life has, I want to experience it all. My family and friends have often said that they live vicariously through my travels. I want to share these with you and hope you enjoy.” At K Jennifer majored in psychology and studied abroad in Strasbourg, France.
Sarah lives in Chicago and is a research associate for Food Tank: The Food Think Tank. The Food Tank highlights solutions to problems in food systems. Sarah majored in biology and art at K. She went on to graduate from DePaul University with her M.S. in International Public Service. She has traveled to many parts of the world, working to set up medical clinics, filming documentaries, practicing yoga, developing her cross cultural understanding, and building community centers.
Scott has practiced family medicine in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, for the past 19 years. He and Beth (Fiore) Vogel ’85 have been married for 29 years, and they have three adult children, all of whom attended (or attend) Kalamazoo College: Harrison ’11, Nikko ’12 and Roderick (Grahm) ’16. “Before moving to Mt. Pleasant, our family lived and went to school in Bavaria,” wrote Scott. “We have since maintained many old and cultivated many new relationships throughout Germany that have enriched our lives in innumerable ways. Kalamazoo College has helped open our minds to these and numerous other experiences. It as truly lived up to its claim of creating a learning environment so that we can be at home in the world.”
Ron is currently in Micronesia, on assignment with the Peace Corps. “The Peace Corps has a relatively young program for former Peace Corps Volunteers called Peace Corps Response,” explained Ron. “The program is for older folks who have a specific skill set for a specific job in countries around the world. I will be working with the fledgling health-care computer based information system being implemented in the State of Yap,” one of the four states that compose the Federated States of Micronesia (the other three are Kosrae, Pohnpei and Chuuk). Ron’s volunteer position will last a year.