Class Correspondent

My wife, Diane, and I recently became grandparents for the fourth time. We continue to reside in the same house in Newton, Massachusetts. Diane has retired, but I still develop real estate, particularly affordable housing, as well as renewable-energy facilities.

Arjun Appadurai teaches at New York University, where he is the Paulette Goddard Professor of Media, Communications and Culture. He and his wife, Gabika Bockaj, are the proud parents of Kabir Armaan, who is now 18 months old. Arjun just celebrated the publication of his book “Banking on Words: The Failure of Language in the Age of Derivative Finance” and in December 2015 gave the keynote lecture at the High Commissioner’s Dialogue on Protection at the United Nations High Commission on Refugees, in Geneva. After spending all but four years of her life in Massachusetts and the past 36 in the same house in Marblehead, Jane Klein Bright moved to Bellingham, Washington, to be near her grandchildren. She writes, “I would never have imagined we’d be living on the West Coast, ever, but here we are, thrilled to be with our children while building a new house, another endeavor we never imagined we’d do. Our current motto is ‘Life is an adventure.’” Rand Engel writes, “I went to Albania in June 1999 to volunteer in a refugee camp, intending to stay five months. In December, just a little later than intended, I’m leaving in other hands the NGO I was with for so long.” After a 30-year career as a health-policy “wonk” and science writer, Teddi Fine has turned her creative energies toward something new. When not enjoying travel with her husband, John Szabo, or hanging out with her two sons, two daughters-in-law and a grandchild, she has returned to a childhood passion — beadwork. She uses a needle and thread to sew together tiny glass beads to create what she calls “wearable bead woven art.” Her website is at When Mike Gerver found out that Eric Pasternack was going to be in Jerusalem for Hanukkah visiting his stepson and family, he told Menachem Fishbein, MA’77, PhD’78, and Menachem Malkosh, and they and their wives (including Judy Wolke Malkosh ’71) got together for dinner at a sushi restaurant there. Everyone had a great time. Martha Kanter is executive director of the College Promise Campaign, a national higher-education initiative working to build widespread support for a free community-college education for all responsible students. She is also a distinguished visiting professor of higher education and senior fellow at New York University. From 2009-13, she served as U.S. undersecretary of education, with responsibility for all federal postsecondary statutory, regulatory and administrative policies and programs in the Department of Education. Sam Poulten, P’99, who works in real estate, developed Lamplighter Green, one of the first single-family affordable-housing subdivisions in Massachusetts. He and his partners own the Lowell radio station WCAP, which operates as a talk station for the Merrimack Valley and southern New Hampshire during the day, and plays “Beatles and Before” music at night. Sam still hosts a big-band show, “Your Mother Should Know,” which had its start on WBRS. A former U.S. Army reservist who served 11 months in Iraq and Kuwait in 2004, he retired as a lieutenant colonel in 2008. He and his wife, Gail, P’99, a retired teacher, live in Chelmsford. They have three children, Geordarna, Johanna and Benari ’99 (also an Iraq/Afghanistan veteran), and five grandchildren. Michael Schonbach recently retired from Still Records After All These Years, a business he founded in 1989 that specializes in the sale of rare folk music on vinyl. In October 2015, Michael had a joyous and emotional reunion with Roy DeBerry ’69. Roy and Michael, the inaugural recipients of the Sachar Fellowship for Advanced Study Abroad, spent a year together, far from the tumult on campus, at Nigeria’s University of Life. In August 2015, Michael and his wife — singer, recording artist and design writer Judy Polan — celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. They have lived in Northampton, Massachusetts, since 1977. After graduating from medical school in 1989 and completing training in internal medicine, Penny Shar moved to Bangor, Maine, where she practiced medicine. After 12 years, she badly needed some time off, so she traveled around the country in a recreational vehicle for 3.5 years. After returning to Bangor in 2007, she established a small integrative-medicine practice at which she works three days a week, seeing three patients a day. Her son lives in Manhattan, where he works with his dad (Larry Shar ’69), and has two lovely children, ages 7 and 9. Her daughter lives in Brooklyn.

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