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Winter 2001

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Contents

On Campus

Sports

People

Alumni Affairs
and Development

Class Notes

 

 
 

People and Projects

Synchro swimmers succeed in Munich
Videos empower women
Llamallennium
Restricting judicial politics
Culinary forecaster rises to new challenge
Pain in the wrist
Posting big numbers
Cows parade for charity
From rocks to clay


Synchro swimmers succeed in Munich

The Unsyncables, a team of senior athletes from California, took the most medals in synchronized swimming at this summer’s World Masters Swimming and Diving Championships in Munich, Germany. The event drew a record number of competitors, including more than 250 synchronized swimmers representing twelve countries from Asia, North America, Europe, and Central America. The U.S. comprised more than 25 percent of the total entries, with fifty-eight swimmers from six U.S. clubs.

And East Coast competitors were in the medals too. In the 65-and-over team finals, the Ramapo Aquamasters’ six swimmers, including Dorothy Roman Guenther ’44 from Wayne, N.J., took the gold. She added three bronze medals to her cache by finishing third in the technical routine solo for the 70-79 age group, in the 70-79 duet, and in the 65-79 trio events. To celebrate their victories, the Aquamasters took a land tour of Salzburg, Innsbruck, and Vienna before heading home.

Guenther had participated in the VII World Masters Championships in Casablanca, Morocco, in 1998, and her one-mile swim every day should be good preparation for the 2002 championships in Christchurch, New Zealand.

To find out more about swimming events for masters, you could check out www.masterswim.net; and if you need encouragement, you might heed a motto found on the site: “Master swimmers know that it is only when you are over the hill that you can pick up speed.” —ACH

Videos empower women

Throughout an interesting and varied career, Irene Senter ’50 of Cos Cob, Conn., says she always used her Skidmore training in art and English. “But,” she adds, “I never expected my ‘last hurrah’ to be so exciting and far reaching.”

In 1995 she and six other women, ranging in age from 30 to 70 and with varying professional experience in video production, writing, and women’s issues, formed a nonprofit production company whose agenda is the empowerment of women through the media. The first program produced by Third Wave Television Inc. documented the women-led and -orchestrated passage of landmark gun control in Connecticut; the second program addressed the need for adequate and affordable day care, especially with the new requirements of welfare reform.

The group’s third effort, which was aired over 85 public television stations, documented the moving of a statue of suffragists Lucretia Mott, Eilzabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony from the Capitol Crypt back up to the Capitol Rotunda, where it had stood seventy-six years earlier before it was banished. One viewer called the video, which also includes the history of the women’s rights movement, “stupendous,” and another found it “better than The Titanic.” The U.S. Information Agency contracted with Third Wave to distribute it to all consulates and embassies worldwide.

The night before Senter drove to Skidmore for her fiftieth reunion, her company premiered its fourth effort, which highlights the contributions of seventeenth-century New England women. The videos have garnered numerous awards, but the latest accolade was for the Third Wave founders themselves: they were named Women of the Year by the Connecticut Association of University Women. Hurrah for them! —ACH

Llamallennium

 Tucked into the rolling hills of eastern Pennsylvania is Berry Acres Llama Farm, run by two people whose careers were not even remotely connected to livestock until a dozen years ago.

In 1987 English teacher Dale Eddolls Goodyear ’69 and husband Dan, who was in the steel foundry business, purchased sixty-five acres of cornfields. Once they built barns and fences and converted the cornfields to pastures, they began to raise and breed elegant, robust, and well-mannered llamas. “To enjoy these animals fully, a person has to go into their world of serenity,” says Dale Goodyear. “Entering their world requires mutual respect but once achieved, the rewards are enormous.” Goodyear is now in her thirty-first year of teaching twelfth-grade English, and retirement will mean full-time llama duty at Berry Acres, allowing for more quality time with Heff, Bob Hoover, Blue Sterling, Copy Cat, Silver Belle, and the other 140 llamas. But it won’t mean giving up teaching: part of the farm’s stated mission is “to educate the public and new owners about llamas.”

A number of the Berry Acres herd visited Saratoga Springs last May, accompanying the Goodyears to the Saratoga Llama and Alpaca Festival in conjunction with the city’s annual dressage competition. (Part of the fun was that Dale and Dan got to stay in Dale’s old Skidmore dorm, now the Union Gables Bed & Breakfast.) Then in June the Goodyears drew 500 people from across the United States to a weekend festival at Berry Acres: the Llamallennium Production Sale and a concert by the Reading Pops Orchestra. Although the event culminated in the sale of 100 of their prized llamas, the Goodyears looked forward to many fall births, the result of their carefully planned breedings. Each new season, they say, brings something new to look forward to, as “each new project is a labor of love.” —ACH

Restricting judicial politics

The Constitution Project, based at Georgetown University Law Center, is a private bipartisan group that provides public education on legal issues. Its stated purpose, under executive director Virginia Sloan ’72, is to seek consensus on controversial issues through scholarship and activism, and its Web page describes three initiatives: the National Committee to Prevent Wrongful Executions, which is composed of death- penalty supporters and opponents who agree that the risk of wrongful executions in this country is high; Citizens for the Constitution, which urges restraint in the constitutional amendment process; and Citizens for Independent Courts, which receives a lot of press, especially during campaign years.

This fall, in a pilot program to be followed by a national campaign, the group asked judicial candidates in five of the forty-two states where judges are elected (Alabama, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Texas) to follow newly drafted standards of conduct in an effort to make the races more dignified and limit political free-for-alls. This program is a response to the trend in judicial races toward attack advertising and multimillion-dollar war chests, with the jurists transformed into politicians taking stands on issues.

Legal experts, former judges, bar association leaders, and others assembled to draft the project’s standards—for example, forbidding judicial candidates to promise how they would decide a case. “We are trying to create an environment where it’s safe for candidates to say, ‘I can’t tell you where I stand on issues that might come before me,’” Sloan told the New York Times in October. Sloan holds a law degree from the University of California at Los Angeles.

By the way, in the project’s five pilot states, some candidates pledged to follow the rules, while others remained silent. —ACH

Culinary forecaster rises to new challenge

He has a knack for knowing what’s coming down the culinary pike,” a food-service colleague says of entrepreneur John Yamin ’82. Yamin, who entered the restaurant business in typical teenage fashion—washing dishes in his native Troy, N.Y.—is twenty-plus years later taking on a big assignment for Starbucks, America’s largest gourmet coffee chain. As director of the four-unit Cafˇ Starbucks, a subsidiary of the Seattle-based Starbucks parent company, he is charged with taking a “brand”—one that has changed the way consumers view coffee beverages—and making it a full-service restaurant player. The challenge, Yamin told a reporter for Nation’s Restaurant News, is to enhance the core brand by focusing on “basic food that people can eat,” adding that the cafˇ concept is geared to bring the company into all three parts of the day and “to generate higher checks” at each table.

A Yamin dish that has met success already is the cafˇ’s $3.95 “sunrise focaccia.” His partner in this venture told the News, “John took bread, added some feel-good morning ingredients [ham, eggs, tomatoes, and mozzarella] and gave it great visual presentation; it’s one of our best sellers.” Drawing on a familiarity with European and Middle Eastern cuisines, Yamin is credited with doing focccia and flat breads way before they were mainstream, earning him the good-natured epithet “global dough boy.”

Nothing could be more basic, however, than what Yamin chooses to eat himself. Surprisingly, the man who loves to cook doesn’t love to eat. Serve him cornflakes three times a day, he says, and he’s one happy entrepreneur. —ACH

Pain in the wrist

Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor . . . writer, musician, carpenter, physician. . . . The list could go on. There’s hardly a profession or trade whose practitioners are not at some time bothered by musculoskeletal pain caused by repetitive motion, awkward posture, or vibration. Most everyone today knows the meaning of and can pronounce “ergonomics,” which made its way into the dictionary as recently as 1949. And just this fall, the federal government released controversial ergonomic standards that would require employers to protect workers from repetitive stress injuries.

Of course, there are independent professionals outside the government’s purview who face occupational risks on their own. One of them, pianist and piano teacher Sandra Rogers ’86, found herself with wrist pain at a time when she was simultaneously studying with a new teacher, getting her doctorate in music education, working at a desk that was not ergonomically correct, and coping with her mother’s critical illness. Who wouldn’t be stressed?

One positive result was that repetitive motion injuries and their relation to piano technique made a perfect topic for her dissertation. Rogers researched both medical and piano-pedagogy literature before interviewing a select group of piano teachers who were “highly aware” of factors that predispose pianists to injury. By chance, Skidmore artist-in-residence Richard Hihn was one of that group. Rogers learned that pain and inflammation most often occurred following sudden intense practice or overtraining for music festivals, juries, and recitals, and that fingering techniques not natural to hand position should be avoided.

For herself, her route to recovery included physical therapy, strength training, and yoga. To stay injury-free, Rogers wears a brace to keep her wrist in proper alignment, takes regular breaks, and remains acutely aware of the factors that could cause a relapse.

A piano student of Ed Hausman at Skidmore, Rogers is the executive director of the Adamant Music School, a summer piano school in Vermont. She also gives private lessons in her home and teaches at the Third Street Music School Settlement in Manhattan’s East Village. —ACH

Posting big numbers

His name is still on the Skidmore record books, but these days Jerry Rickrode ’86 is racking up numbers at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. In eight years as head men’s basketball coach, he has taken the Wilkes Colonels from struggling squad to five-time NCAA Division III championship contender. Three years ago, coming off a 26-5 season, the team made it as far as the Division III final four. The Colonels have won five of the last six Middle Atlantic Conference Freedom League championships and completed six of the last seven seasons with at least twenty wins.

All of that makes Rickrode one of the winningest coaches in Division III. At the start of this season, his win percentage of .793 put him at the top of the list of coaches with at least five years’ experience. No wonder the National Association of Basketball Coaches named him Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year three times.

In his alma mater’s records, Rickrode is fifteenth on the all-time scoring list, with 818 career points netted in just two years of play. “We actually had a pretty good team,” he remembers of his senior season. “I remember we beat NYU at NYU—that was a big win.”

After graduating with honors and a degree in biology-physical education, he did graduate work at Ithaca College. After four years as assistant coach at Ithaca, he made the move to Wilkes.

Coaching has suited him well. “I really love the recruiting process,” says Rickrode, “and then seeing how the kids mature through their senior year, and beyond.” Last year the Colonels stumbled after a couple of key players were injured. This season the team fields only one senior, but expectations are high, and the Colonels’ 8-0 start bodes well. “We really want to return to the top of the Freedom Conference,” says Coach Rickrode. Not to mention making another run at the NCAA championship. —KG

Cows parade for charity

 Art critics found the designs hokey and the puns hackneyed. But, hey, it was summer in the Big Apple and both natives and tourists thought Cow Parade New York 2000 was what summer should be: lighthearted, and maybe a little silly. So what if a dozen of the painted fiberglass sculptures were titled “Moo York” and more than one named “Moozart”? There was only one “Lady Cowdiva.” “Cow Moobile” grazed outside the New York Public Library, and the New York Times-sponsored entry was dubbed “All the Moos That’s Fit to Print.” Headline writers, too, milked the fun for all it was worth, coming up with “How Now Bronx Cow,” “New Yorkers Kowtow to Beast Art,” and, at summer’s end, “Fiberglass Herd Sent to Market.”

The event itself wasn’t an original, but the success of cow parades in Zurich and Chicago (raising a total of $5 million) prompted organizers to place 500 life-size cow sculptures throughout New York City, declaring it the first public art event to be held in all five boroughs. Participating artists began with one of three models—a cow standing, grazing, or seated—and then gave it a distinctive design. Josh Dorman ’88, commissioned by the organizers, painted cow No. 3005. His creation, “Yonder Cow,” spent the summer resting in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.

In September, seventy-five cows were auctioned before a sold-out crowd, with the highest bidder paying $60,000 for “Tiffany Cow,” a bovine with a stained-glass hide. The remaining cows were auctioned online at Amazon.com. The proceeds benefited six local charities, including City Meals-on-Wheels and New Yorkers for Children. So when Yonder went for $20,000, his creator didn’t reap any profits. That, says Dorman matter-of-factly, is “typical of an artist’s life.” —ACH

From rocks to clay

By his commencement, geology major Gregg Moore ’97 knew that a career in geology was not for him. In fact, he finished the major’s requirements with luke-warm enthusiasm. “I really loved to get down and dirty. I loved the texture of the rock, the color of rock, and the feel of it,” he says, but, “I was even more excited when I was working with clay, because I could see a possible future.” He spent the better part of his junior and senior years in Skidmore’s ceramic art studio.

Following graduation, Moore apprenticed with an Arizona potter, then spent a year in the artists-in-residence program at the Worcester Center for Crafts. At the end of the program—which provided studio space, use of equipment, and access to the faculty—he participated in a joint exhibition at the Krikorian Gallery in Worcester.

The summer show featured Moore’s massive vessels—inspired in part by antique Korean pottery he had studied in college—and the fiber art of Korean-born Hye Shin. A reviewer for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette observed, “Even though their paths did not cross until last fall, each found inspiration independently in the culture of the other. Despite their different media, the work of both artists is inspired by nature.”

“For me,” said Moore, “it’s mud and fire, two of the simplest elements.” Many of his pots have the worn and somewhat ravaged patina of pots excavated in an archaeological dig. The difference, however, is that his pots are not intended for daily use. “They’re more metaphors for who I am: big, rough, not smooth, not glassy. Their textures are coarse like earth’s textures are coarse.” Moore’s major discipline hasn’t led directly to his career, but it certainly informs his life’s work.

Following the Krikorian exhibit, Moore began graduate school at Alfred University and Shin returned to Seoul for her first solo exhibition. —ACH

 


© 2001 Skidmore College