David Portowicz, Ph.D.’80, operates the Jaffa Institute, a nonprofit social service agency in Israel that provides 4,000 underprivileged children a year access to summer camps, afterschool programs, residential homes, a food bank and scholarships. The program is open to native Israeli Jews and Arabs, as well as Jews from Ethiopia and Russia. It operates in the communities of Jaffa, South Tel Aviv, Bat Yam and Holon. David founded the institute in 1982. Reuben Simoyi, M.A.’81, Ph.D.’82, has been a professor of chemistry at Portland State University in Oregon since 2002. He has also taught at West Virginia University. Marsha Wise, M.M.H.S.’81, is a member of the faculty at Fine Mortuary College in Norwood, Mass. “Seminar,” a new play by Theresa Rebeck, M.A.’83, M.F.A.’86, Ph.D.’89, opened on Broadway this fall. A dark comedy, “Seminar” tells the story of a legendary author who provides private instruction to four promising young writers. According to a news release for the production, “[as the author] deems some students more promising than others, tensions arise. Sex is used as a weapon, alliances are made and broken, and it’s not just the word play that turns vicious.” Mark Halliday, Ph.D.’83, was named the 2011 Distinguished Professor at Ohio University, where he has taught in the creative writing program since 1996. A widely published poet, he has also written essays about the work of other poets. He won a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2006. Chris Boyatzis, M.A.’84, Ph.D.’90, professor of psychology at Bucknell University, is now president of Division 36 (psychology of religion and spirituality) of the American Psychological Association (APA). After receiving early tenure at California State University, Fullerton, he has taught at Bucknell for 17 years. Chris serves as associate editor of the APA journal Psychology of Religion and Spirituality and is on the editorial board of four other journals. He recently completed the inaugural run of a new summer study-abroad program he created, Bucknell in Denmark, focusing on childhood in Denmark and Nordic countries. He can be reached at boyatzis@bucknell.edu. Chris Jansen, M.F.A.’85, serves as artistic director at the New Ground Theatre in Davenport, Iowa, which she founded in 2001. She is a native of the Quad Cities area. Michael Levine, Ph.D.’85, delivered the closing keynote address to the Games, Learning and Society’s seventh annual conference in Madison, Wis. He spoke about gaming education reform. Michael also appeared as a guest on Richard Heffner’s “The Open Mind” on PBS to discuss innovation in children’s media. Steven Rubenstein, M.A.’86, left Temple B’nai Abraham in Beverly, Mass., after a dozen years and is now staff rabbi for Shalom Cares in Aurora, Colo., an elderly community with independent living, assisted living, a nursing home, hospice and other services along a continuum of care. He describes the new position as one that he has spent the last six years unwittingly training for, as he has both held chaplaincy positions and is trained in pastoral counseling.

Alane Karen Shanks, M.M.H.S.’87, was named president of Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, Mass. She had been vice president of administration and finance at Roxbury (Mass.) Community College, where she worked to broaden access to high-quality public education for the educationally disadvantaged. She has also served as the associate dean for educational administration and finance at Harvard Medical School. Purdue English professor Daniel Morris, M.A.’88, Ph.D.’92, has published a new book, “After Weegee: Essays on Contemporary Jewish American Photographers.” Examining a range of styles from the gritty vernacular sensibility of Weegee (Arthur Fellig) to the glitzy theatricality of Annie Leibovitz, Daniel takes a thoughtful look at 10 American photographers, exploring the artists’ often-ambivalent relationships to attitudes about their Jewish backgrounds. In addition to working at Purdue, he is the co-editor of an interdisciplinary Jewish studies journal, Shofar. Peter Abeta Iyere, M.A.’89, Ph.D.’91, is dean of the Division of Science and Math at Vincennes University in Indiana. He has also been a chemistry professor at Tennessee State University and the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff and has headed the Department of Physical Sciences at Chapman University in Orange, Calif. Richard Godbeer, Ph.D.’89, is a history professor at the University of Miami. He specializes in Colonial and Revolutionary America, with an emphasis on religious culture, gender studies and the history of sexuality. He taught for 15 years at the University of California, Riverside.
Submit a Class Note