Class Notes, Fall 2014

October 2, 2014

Marc Eisenberg, BA ’94, works in the music industry, currently serving as the executive director of the Washington Bach Consort. He also founded and currently hosts the D.C. Music Salon. In October 2014, he moderated “Hear in DC: Vernacular Music in the Nation’s Capital,” the first annual symposium of the brand new DC Vernacular Music Archive at GW’s Gelman Library. Panelists included Ian MacKaye (punk), GW professor Kip Lornell (go-go) and others. He also serves on the board of Culture Capital and Arts Action DC.

Julie Elman, PhD ’09, published her first book, Chronic Youth: Disability, Sexuality, and U.S. Media Cultures of Rehabilitation, with New York University Press.

Amber Erin Kidd, MA ’07, is currently residing in Raleigh, N.C., where she is employed as an environmental review specialist for the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources-State Historic Preservation Office.

David Kieran, PhD ’09, expanded his dissertation project into a book, Forever Vietnam: How a Divisive War Changed American Public Memory, published with the University of Massachusetts Press.

Amy Kurland, BA ’77, founded The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville in 1982, and sold it to the Nashville Songwriters Association International in 2008. She has appeared as an extra in the audience at the Bluebird Cafe in the ABC TV show Nashville and occasionally hosts a tour of the real Bluebird and the set for the TV show. She currently writes grants and raises money as a volunteer for local charities, primarily those that help people who want to recover from alcoholism.

Since receiving his degree in May, Steve Lorenz, PhD ’14, helped to curate the opening exhibition for the new DC Vernacular Music Archives (DCVMA) at GW, a project started by music department professor Kip Lornell. The multimedia exhibition at Gelman Library on D.C. go-go, punk, bluegrass and folk music communities was accompanied by a symposium and performances at the Corcoran. He was also a panelist at the Washington D.C. Historical Society's 41st Annual Conference on DC Culture and Politics of the 1960s. He discussed his work on the schisms within the folk music revival in Washington in the early 60s.

Robert A. Michaels, BA ’74, is a self-employed city planning consultant working in northern New Jersey, representing several municipalities and private clients. He is on the board of trustees for the Housing Partnership of Northern New Jersey and stepped down as chair of the board this year. The Housing Partnership is a nonprofit organization that provides first-time home buyer education and foreclosure counseling, among other services.

At a joint meeting of the Southern Jewish Historical Society and the Texas Jewish Historical Society in Austin, Texas, on October 25, 2014, Peggy Pearlstein, PhD ’93, presented a paper on "A Journey to Palestine in 1946: the emergence of a Zionist a Lobby in the Southeast." She has also served as a consultant to library and media centers since retiring from the Library of Congress in 2013.

After graduation, Catherine Caouette née Rickard, BA ’98, worked in Washington and New York City for a few years, then went to the University of Virginia for law school. During law school, she focused on international and human rights law, and interned for a summer with the Shan Women's Action Network in Thailand, researching domestic workers and human trafficking issues. After law school, she worked for a large law firm and three years ago, took an in-house law job. She has three kids, ages 4, 6 and 8, and lives in San Jose, Calif.

Jay Silberman, BA ’69, went on to American University's law school (1973) and was a legislative assistant to U.S. Rep. Clarence Long (D-MD) before a career developing real estate (shopping centers and an antique mall, because Americans need to buy a lot of stuff, and storage facilities, because Americans need a place to put all their stuff). Twice elected citywide to D.C.'s school board, he is now retired, writing plays and screenplays, producing films, collecting Native American, Inuit and other tribal art, and has been a founding member of the MidAtlantic Literary Edification Society since 1986.

Sally Sims Stokes, MA ’75, has most recently served as interim head of the Art and Architecture Libraries at the University of Maryland while teaching courses in cultural heritage and art librarianship in the Department of Library and Information Science at Catholic University. Over the past 10 years, her publications have focused on the British author (and frequent American traveler) Noel Streatfeild (1895-1986), with her most recent essay, "'The Studio World Surprised and Disturbed Ruth: The Diffident Stage Mother and the Difficult Child in a Post-War Novel by Noel Streatfeild," appearing in Kidding Around: The Child in Film and Media (Bloomsbury, 2014). She is currently working on several interdisciplinary studies in religion, city planning and architectural history.

Keren Veisblatt Toledano, BA ’09, is a digital strategist at Brooklyn United, an agency that exists at the interdisciplinary juncture of interactive design, user experience and marketing for both web and mobile programming in a range of industries including museums, NGO's and higher education. She also founded a triannual literary magazine, with a fellow GW alumna, titled The Knickknackery. She resides in New York City with her husband, Michael and cat, Cagney Ferdinand.

James Zarsadiaz, BA ’08, received his PhD in history from Northwestern University in June 2014. He is currently turning his dissertation on post-WWII suburban planning and Asian American suburbanization into a manuscript. This fall, James is joining the faculty of the University of San Francisco as tenure-track assistant professor of history. He is serving as a fellow at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History for summer 2014 and summer 2015.

Natalie Zelt, BA ’08, completed her master’s this summer and is now a PhD student in American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She just opened an exhibition of photographic and video work entitled “LaToya Ruby Frazier: Riveted with INGZ Collective.” The exhibition will be on view at UT's Visual Arts Center, November 7-December 6, 2014 and the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies ISESE Gallery January 15-May 9, 2015.