Sunday, August 24, 2014

“On the Cover of the Rollin’ Stone...”

One of our former students who turns up in this blog from time to time is someone who didn't actually graduate from Ithaca College — Patrick Doyle. As a student here through 2008 he was one of our best Accent writers and was the assistant section editor, in line to become Accent editor, when he decided to transfer to NYU. During the process of earning his degree there, he interned at Rolling Stone, where his was eventually hired as a writer and then promoted to associate editor. Earlier this month he published his first Rolling Stone cover story, on Willie Nelson. 

Patrick has always kept in touch with me and his Ithaca classmates, and has never made a secret of how much his Ithacan experience contributed to his development as a writer and editor. And I’ve never made a secret of how proud we are of his success. Congratulations Patrick!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Good Times in Our Nation’s Capital

From left, Lena Yue ’10, Erica Hendry ’09, Nate Weixel ’08,
Max Steinmetz ’09 at the alumni dinner.
It was an exciting time in Washington, D.C., last weekend, when I was able to combine my annual dinner with our Washington alumni on Aug. 7 with attending the Aug. 9 wedding of one of our best former editors-in-chief, Beth Quill ’06, and Seth Zuckerman.

The D.C. dinner is always one of my favorite parts of summer, although it has the bittersweet quality of usually being the last fun thing I do before going back to work for the fall semester. Combine it with a wedding (the 14th wedding of an Ithacan alum I’ve attended) and there's nothing bitter about it.

Senior Miles Surrey, Kate Sheppard ’06 and Caitlin Connelly
Ellsworth ’05 at the alumni dinner.
The Bride: Beth Quill ’06

Bonnie Flock Tabasco ’01 and Mike Tabasco ’00 at the dinner.

We had a great time this year, as usual. Dinner was at our favorite spot, the Old Ebbitt Grill, and it brought out the usual cast of characters, plus a few new ones. This year’s crowd included Caitlin Connelly Ellsworth ’05, Charlie Ellsworth ’04, Erica Hendry ’09, Noria Litaker ‘06, Alexandra Palombo ’11, Max Steinmetz ’09, Kate Sheppard ’06, Bonnie Flock Tabasco ’01 and Mike Tabasco ’00, Megan Tetrick ’03 and her husband Brad Hopewell, Kerry Tkacik ’13, Nate Weixel ’08 and Lena Yue ’10. Current students Deanna Romanoff and Miles Surrey were also on hand. Jill Agostino ’86 was in New York on New York Times business the night of the dinner, so Erica, Max and I had brunch with her on Sunday.

Alex Palombo, Kerry Tkacik and
Yue again!
Enjoyable though the dinner was, however, the high point of the weekend was Beth’s wedding. The ceremony was beautiful, and the word “radiant” doesn’t do her justice. The ceremony was held at the St. Thomas Apostle Church in Woodley Park, and the reception at St. Francis Hall, adjacent to one of the coolest/creepiest American monasteries I know, the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America. (I love that place! I’ve visited it many times.) Nothing creepy about the reception though — just a lot of people coming together to celebrate a wonderful couple. It was also a nice chance to spend more time with people I like: Anne Walters Custer ’05, Noria Litaker ’06, Lyndsey Runaas ’06 (that’s Dr. Runaas to you) and Kate Sheppard ’06 and her husband Deen Freelon. I always tell current students that becoming involved with The Ithacan is like becoming part of a family, and it’s never more evident than at times like this.

The newly married bride and groom
come down the aisle.

Noria Litaker ’06, Kate Sheppard ’06, Lindsey Runaas ’06,
Beth Quill ’06, some goon photobombing, and Anne Walters
Custer ’06 at the wedding.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Some Summer Visitors

I had the pleasure of joining up with some alumni who returned to Ithaca to enjoy our beautiful summer weather during the past week. Former Ithacan news editor Aaron Mason ’02 came from Buffalo, former Managing Editor Jennifer Hodess Gonzalez came from Long Island and former Photo Editor Melissa Thornley Bloomrose came from Washington, D.C., along with children and friends, for a weekend visit, which prompted lunch at Viva on Saturday.

Back, from left, Ed Drantch, Aaron Mason ’02, Jennifer Hodess
 Gonzalez ’02, Melissa Thornley Bloomrose ’02 and Sarah
 Lentz ’02. Front, Isabella Gonzalez (standing), Eleanor
Bloomrose (in stroller). Henry Bloomrose was also there,
although he seems to have vanished for the photo. He was
probably off on superhero business.
Then last night another former news editor, Alex Leary ’97, who is also living in D.C., took a break from visiting family in Cortland to join me for dinner at ... where else? It was nice to see them all again. And I'm glad I got to see Melissa and Alex here, since they won't be in D.C. when I get there this weekend for my annual visit.
Alex Leary ’97

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Dropping in on the New York Alumni

After having dinner at Bubby’s in Tribeca on July 8, the usual suspects
and I went out for some additional libation. From left, Nic Barajas ’08,
Deepa Shah ’06, Emily Paulsen ’05, Jim Hawver ’07 and Matt Quintanilla
’07. Not shown is Stacey Coburn Williams ’07, who actually organized
 the Bubby’s gathering but couldn't come out with us later.

As part of my summer travels I had a chance to spend a few weeks in New York earlier this month after returning from a week in Prague. This gave me plenty of time to catch up with some of my favorite alumni. No matter how much time I have, there's never enough to see everyone I’d like to see, though, but here were the highlights.
Aaron Edwards ’12, now an associate editor at NBC’s
Breaking News, was kind enough to give me a tour of
the news operations at 30 Rock on July 10.
One of the high points of my visit was a
tour of the Lower East Side Tenement
on Orchard Street, conducted by
our own Emily Gallagher ’06 on July 14. I’ve
always been fascinated by that chapter of our
history, and Emily did an excellent job telling
the story of the immigrants and their struggles.

On July 11, I grabbed some coffee with the legendary
Sami Khan ’02, who had recently put the finishing
touches on “Khoya,” his first feature film.

Had brunch on the 13th with Edon Ophir ’09,
whom I had’t seen in way too long. We caught
 up, reminisced about the legendary Fight Club
of 2008–09, and he filled me on his new job
at Uber.
Back to Bubby’s on the 14th for dinner with Paul
Colombo ’00 (left) and Dave and Lisa Boyars Gehrke ’01.
And the best part was I finally got to meet little Aaron,
 who had just turned two months old the day before. 

Beer and apps with James Sigman ’98
 and Mike Cagnazzi ’97 at The Half King,
Sebastian Junger’s bar under the High
Line on W. 23rd.
And last, but far from least: Team Newsday! From left,
Casey Musarra ’11, Kaydi Poirier ’11 and Erin Geismar ’09,
all working at, came in from Long Island to
join me for tapas at El Quinto Pino on the 16th. A couple of
days later I had more tapas with Patrick Doyle at Bar
Basque just two blocks away, but I was so engrossed in
our conversation I forgot to take a picture. There's always
one. Sorry Patrick!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Musical Memories

#tbt It was five years ago this week that the members of the great class of 2009 left Ithaca to make their way in the world. At a post-Commencement party at Erica Hendry, Andy Swift and Tahleen Ovian’s apartment we were treated to the finest in musical entertainment.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Welcome, New Ithacan Alumni!

Commencement each spring brings new graduates to the ranks of the Ithacan alumni, and this year is no different. While we said goodbye to quite a few current editors and staff members who received their degrees on May 18, we’re happy to welcome them to the ever-growing network of those whose experience on the paper will provide a springboard for future successes.

Megan Devlin and her family.
Elma Gonzalez with her family.

Among the 2014 graduates who served on the editorial board were Megan Devlin (editor-in-chief 2013–14), Sara Webb (managing editor, spring 2013), Allie Healy (managing editor 2013–14), Anjali Patel (opinion editor, fall 2013), Patrick Feeney (opinion editor, spring 2014), Elma Gonzalez (news editor, fall 2012), Jackie Eisenberg (Accent editor, fall 2013), Taylor Palmer (sports editor, fall 2013; Year in Review editor, 2014), Rose Vardell (assistant Accent editor), Vicky Wolak (chief copy editor, 2013–14), Deanna Romanoff (multimedia editor, spring 2014), Kevin Dates (sales manager 2012–13) and Chelsea Russo (Year in Review design editor, 2014).
Allie Healy and her mom.
The mighty Wenmouth
Williams, who is retiring
as journalism department chair.

Graduates who served as staff members included Mike Caffrey, Nik Decosta-Klipa, Rebecca Helmich, Lewis Kendall, Nathan King, Andrew Kristy, Cady Lang, Bianca Lupi, Dylan Maloney, Nick Marcatelli, Benjii Maust, Meagan McGinnes, Gillian Nigro and Mark Warren.

In addition, at our end-of-the-year awards ceremony at the Ithacan Banquet on May 1, the following people were recognized for their work:
Story of the Year: Jackie Eisenberg, “Break Out," March 20, 2014.
Photo of the Year: Amanda den Hartog, “#Cortaca2013,” Nov. 21, 2013.
Multimedia Story of the Year: Samantha Certrulo, Amanda den Hartog, Emma McQuade and Jillian Baker, “Taste of Success,” Feb. 6, 2014.
Outstanding Section: The Ithacan Online (Evan Sobkowicz, webmaster; Jessica Corbett, social media manager; Jillian Baker, interactive designer)
Outstanding Editor: Tucker Mitchell (photo editor)
Outstanding Freshman: Kayla Dwyer (assistant news editor)
Outstanding Senior: Elma Gonzalez
Outstanding Achievement: Megan Devlin, Allie Healy
Amanda den Hartog’s Photo of the Year

Congratulations to everyone for a great year!

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Ithacan Power Couple

#tbt Ithacan power couple, Spring 1998: News Editor Rob Bluey ’01 and Layout Editor Melissa Bloomrose ’00.