Princeton AlumniCorps Regional Updates


Boston is excited to welcome two new Project 55 fellows for the 2011-12 year: Dinah Chen’11 and Ben Stone ’11. They were formally brought into the fold with a meet and greet of current AlumniCorps area committee members, mentors, and past alumni at Scholars Bistro, a new restaurant in downtown Boston on September 13th.  We’re also pleased to announce matching our fellows with not one, but two mentors for the fellowship year to provide our new Bostonians with a rich and diverse set of knowledge and experience.

The first seminar was held September 27th at The Food Project, where fellows learned about the mission of this innovative nonprofit and also literally got their hands dirty helping out on the farm.  We’re also looking forward to a continuing partnership with Harvard’s CPIC program, alternating with seminar planning throughout the year.

Our steering committee is pleased to welcome Amy Burghardt Muehlbauer ’05 to Boston, a former NYC Fellow at Education Through Music and welcome back Jen Carpenter ’96Lizzie Harvey ’06 will be taking over as chair of the area committee after great leadership from Rebecca Nemec ’05.


The eight Chicago Project 55 fellows are off to an excellent start this fellowship year. They all report being extremely busy at their placements and have also begun their weekly seminar series with the fellows from University of Chicago, Northwestern and this year Harvard as well. For the first seminar, John Fish ’55 spoke about the history of Chicago politics, and after becoming better acquainted with their city, the fellows introduced themselves to each other and fellows from the other programs.

Project 55 Fellowship Program Manager Sara McCord also visited Chicago in September to meet with PP55 fellows, partner organizations and alums and brainstorm how we can get more applicants interested in the Windy City.

Additionally, Aiala Levy ’07 will be succeeded as Chicago Area Coordinator for the fellowship program by Vince Anderson ’65, who has been the point of contact for organizations and fellow support in recent years.  Founder of the Chicago Project 55 program and local resident John Fish ’55 was elected as AlumniCorps’ new Board Chair on October 1st.

AlumniCorps Board members Tom Allison ’66 and Paula Morency ’77 are working with Kef Kasdin ’85 to gather information and ideas for a potential Community Volunteers initiative reaching alumni from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s in the Windy City.

Fellows, alumni, and affiliates at a Camden Riversharks game in Philly: Carol Rosenfield '05, Tony Rosenthal P'07 (and Camden Riversharks owner), Joe Sengoba '10, Walt Schanbacher '73 P'04 (President of the Princeton Club of Philadelphia), Katie Thaeder '09, and PICS Intern Ugochukwu Udogwu '13


Harry Berkowitz ’55 recently welcomed the three Project 55 fellows for the 2011-12 fellowship year during a lunch with the directors of their organizations – two agencies which have been long-time partners of the Project 55 Fellowship Program. Julia Kearney ’11 and Michael Belmont ’11 are working at the Norwalk Community Health Center (NCHC), and Tiffany Lee ’11 is at Housing Development Fund (HDF) in Stamford.

Both programs have been expanded this year. Tiffany will be more directly involved with the families seeking loans and will help them qualify at HDF. NCHC has expanded the amount of involvement with patients, the hospital residents and programs that will expose the fellows to the nature of community health care. As always, the Connecticut fellows have also been graciously invited to participate in New York area programming.

New York

The year is off to an excellent start for the New York City area, where all 22 Project 55fellows gathered on September 10th for a local orientation. There the fellows had a productive discussion of what professionalism means in the fellowship context and how to face city life on a tight budget, and several stellar public-transit-related prizes were raffled off.  Several fellows also headed together to the Graduate School Fair on September 15th.

Sam Suratt ’55 and Judy Hole Suratt hosted the Welcoming Dinner on September 27th, and the first seminar will be a perennial favorite debate on the criminal justice system between a powerhouse prosecutor and a titan of the criminal justice bar, to take place October 18th. New York alumni Janice Nittoli *85 and Alejandro Perez ’10 joined the Board of Princeton AlumniCorps on October 1st.


The Philadelphia area got the 2011 – 2012 fellowship year off to a great start with a trip to a minor league baseball game featuring the Camden Riversharks. The outing was organized by the Princeton Club of Philadelphia, and Camden Riversharks owners Tony Rosenthal and Ruth Ganister P’07. There, the fellows got a chance to meet alumni in the area and socialize with the PICS summer interns. Later in the summer, fellows welcomed the Class of 2015 at the annual picnic for incoming freshman from the Philadelphia area (many of whom we hope will be future Project 55 fellows!). In September, the local AlumniCorps community got together for a potluck to welcome the Project 55 fellows. The dinner also featured a showing of Waiting for Superman and a discussion about the movie and ways to take action.

San Francisco Bay Area

10-11 San Francisco fellows at their closing dinner: Claudia Flores *05, Brandee Tate '09, Vince Kim '95, Jeff Campbell '10, Lori Bishop *06, Elisha Smith *09, Meredith Bock '10, Cameron White '09, Loe Chyi *06, Camille Logan-Wekes '95, Emily Chiswick-Paterson '05

San Francisco is home to six Project 55 fellows this year including a new placement at the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula, with Executive Director Peter Fortenbaugh ’89. In June, the fellows met at Palomino’s near the Bay Bridge for a small happy hour and will meet their regional TAN fellows of the Stanford SPIN and Harvard CPIC programs in October. The local programming continues to be led by committee, including alums Emily Chiswick-Patterson ’05, Camille Logan-Weekes ’95,

Jessie Garton Szymanski ’05, Helen Amick ’87, Erin Ebbel ’06 and welcomes new members Elisha Smith *09 and Julie Rubinger ’09. Elisha and Julie have fit right in: Elisha planned the closing dinner for the 2010-11 fellows and Julie, who spent the last two years at Education Through Music in New York, is planning the PP55 seminars and coordinating with  SPIN and CPIC. Bay Area alumna Leesy Taggart ’78 also recently joined the AlumniCorps Board of Directors in October.

Washington DC 

The AlumniCorps DC Area Committee officially greeted our fourteen 2011-12 fellows on July 21st, with a welcome dinner at Zorba’s Café in Dupont Circle.  Several weeks later, a group of current and former fellows spent the morning of Saturday August 20th volunteering together at Stuart-Hobson Middle School through the DC Public Schools Beautification Day initiative.  In preparation for the first day of school on Monday, our group helped distribute textbooks to classrooms, cleaned the blacktop playground, and swept the sidewalks in front of the building.  It was a great way not only for us to become acquainted with one another, but to spend time in the community and meet Stuart-Hobson students and parents working alongside us.

Lisa Lazarus ’02 and Elizabeth Pillion ’05, Mentoring Chair and Vice-Chair, led a successful training session for all new and returning mentors in August. With the help of our mentors, DC AlumniCorps will look to expand the mentors-at-large program this year as well.

The DC Area Committee will be chaired this year by Ari Altman ’97, after a successful year under the leadership of Kate Lewis-LaMonica ’08. Local alumni and a significant number of 2010-11 fellows will be assisting in the leadership effort.

Our pilot year of the AlumniCorps Emerging Leaders Program for professional development continues to be a success!

Calling All Nonprofit Organizations!

Are you connected to any organizations doing innovative public interest work in Boston, Chicago, Connecticut, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, or Washington, DC?

If you think they may be a good fit for a fellow for the 2012-13 fellowship year, please contact Sara McCord Princeton Project 55 Fellowship Program Manager at to learn more and be connected with a local program. Remember the partner organization deadline is Friday, December 2, 2011.

For over 20 years, PP55 fellowships have given recent Princeton graduates opportunities to work in the public interest and be connected with a supportive like-minded community. The program continues to grow under the direction of Program Leader Maria Orozco ’03.


Regional Updates

-Bay Area-

   The Bay Area is continuing its efforts to grow its program. Two new partner organizations, including the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula, where Peter Fortenbaugh ’89 is the Executive Director, are currently interviewing applicants for fellowship positions next year. The local committee has also begun brainstorming possible seminars for 2011-12 fellows, and looks forward to continuing its partnership with Stanford’s SPIN and Harvard’s CPIC program for these events.


   Fellows, AlumniCorps supporters, alumni and local members of the class of 1955 recently attended a seminar at The Food Project, where they visited the organization’s greenhouse. Looking ahead, AlumniCorps and the Harvard Center for Public Interest Careers will be volunteering at CitySprouts’ school gardens in Cambridge, MA for a half day of service. Boston is always looking for new Project 55 partner organizations to increase the number of placements!  If interested, visit the Boston area page on the AlumniCorps website.   —submitted by Rebecca Nemec ’05


   Over the last few months, the Chicago Area Committee has continued to stay busy, organizing weekly seminars with the Northwestern and University of Chicago Public Interest Programs as well as regular events for fellows. In February, fellows explored the city’s emerging arts scene as part of the Chicago Arts District Gallery Night. On March 5, PP55 Fellows, mentors, and Area Committee members gathered at the home of Amanda Peluse ’02 to discuss, over wine and cheese, fellows’ experiences thus far. Finally, we’re excited to announce our upcoming joint AlumniCorps/Princeton Club of Chicago precept on “The Future of Education Reform in Chicago”, organized by Committee members Erica Jones ’06 and Stacy McAuliffe ’98. The precept will take place on May 17 and will feature a panel of local Princeton alumni active in the education sector. Executive Director Kathleen Reilly will be attending. —submitted by Aiala Levy ’07


   Two fellows have already signed on to be a part of the 2011-12 fellowship year in Connecticut, both at Norwalk Community Health Center. Two other organizations are currently interviewing applicants and Harry Berkowitz ’55 is hopeful that we’ll be able to continue to grow the program.

-New York-

   On March 23, Dr. R. Gordon Douglas ’55 moderated our seminar on Sustainable Food and Public Health. Panelists included Nancy Easton ’88, CoFounder/Executive Director of Wellness in the Schools. We also invited fellows from Harvard, Stanford and Dartmouth to participate in the seminar. On April 3, Mike and Lois Robbins ’55 hosted the first ever Princeton AlumniCorps Alumni Fundraising Phone-a-thon during which 136 successful calls were made. We are also looking forward to welcoming more fellows to New York and participating in our annual “Politics and the Press” seminar which will be moderated by the First Lady of Princeton AlumniCorps in New York, Judy Hole Suratt. —submitted by Kristen Smith ’03


   Carol Rosenfeld ’05 and Katie Thaeder ’09 have teamed up to strengthen the Philadelphia program. They met with the Princeton Club of Philadelphia in February and Carol has led a successful effort to recruit new partner organizations for the 2011-12 fellowship year. If you’re interested in volunteering in Philadelphia, visit the Philadelphia area page on the AlumniCorps website. 

-Washington, DC-

   After a workshop on “Career Next Steps” in January, the DC program is wrapping up its seminar programming with a string of content-based sessions, covering education reform, federal government service, and health care reform. In February, AlumniCorps Board Member and Managing Director of the National Council for Teacher Quality, Arthur McKee ’90,  joined Shantelle Wright of Achievement Prep Academy to discuss the challenges and promise of DC public education. In  March, fellows heard from a panel of alumni working across the federal government, and  in April, they’ll be joining a health economist at the Department of Health and Human Services and one of President Obama’s senior policy analysts at the Office of Health Reform to understand how the implementation of the Affordable Care Act is fairing one year after its passage. For our fellows, it’s like they never left Princeton precept!  —submitted by Kate Lewis-LaMonica ’08

Find out who our newest fellows are! Click here to see the list.

Regional Updates: The PP55 Fellowship Program


In the Boston area, Princeton AlumniCorps is in full swing!  The current class of fellows has attended seminars on careers in the public interest as well as education reform in Massachusetts. The Area Committee has worked to engage previous fellows and is now focusing efforts on recruiting new partner organizations. Tom Flynn, parent of Julie Flynn ’10, who is currently a fellow at the New York District Attorney’s Office, has joined the Boston Area Committee and is leading up the partner organization recruitment efforts.

-Bay Area-

Our five fellows are very engaged in the work at their placements, including Christina Jones ’10 at KIPP Foundation, who was able to catch an advanced screening of widely discussed Waiting for “Superman” which features KIPP schools.  Another Bay Area highlight, Christina adds, is the popularity of orange and black after the San Francisco Giants World Series win! On November 11th, the fellows attended their first seminar at Stanford entitled “Strategic Philanthropy: Getting Results and Adding Value” along with TAN affiliates Harvard CPIC and Stanford SPIN fellows. Steve McNamara ’55 and his wife Kay generously hosted a welcome dinner on November 20th.


Kristen Molloy ’08 writes, “The weekly seminar program for 2010-11 Chicago PP55 fellows is off to a great start.  For the past two months, fellows have attended a series of seminars focusing on the theme of “hard times” and how the economic downturn has affected neighborhoods in Chicago.  During this series, fellows visited organizations such as the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, the Chicago Jobs Council, and the Greater Chicago Food Depository and heard from speakers such as journalist Salim Muwakkil, who discussed how the downturn has affected the African American community in Chicago.  Starting in December, seminars will focus on education reform in Chicago.  In other news, the Chicago Steering Committee has been busy recruiting new placement organizations, hosting events to acclimate new fellows to Chicago, and planning a spring event for PP55 alums.


Connecticut’s two fellows Blessing Agunwamba ’10 and Idil Kore ’10 are excelling at Norwalk Community Health Center. Harry Berkowitz ’55 is looking to work with Larry Cross, the health center’s executive director, to organize a day-long Public Health and Civic Service Event  for local Princeton alumni and the community.

-New York-

Kristen Smith ’03 writes, “We are thrilled to have 20 fellows in New York this year. On October 6th, Steve Houck ’69 and Toni Houck held our annual welcome dinner for the fellows complete with delicious Indian food. We recently held a seminar at the District Attorney’s office which was a debate between Peter Kougasian ’76 (Bureau Chief of Office of Special Narcotics) and Robin Steinberg (Founder and Executive Director of the Bronx Defenders).  We reached out to fellows from Harvard, Stanford and Dartmouth to participate in this debate creating a lively discussion about the criminal justice system. We are looking forward to our Career Night on November 30th hosted by the Arthur Malman ’64 P’96 P’03 and Professor Laurie Malman during which the fellows will have an opportunity to meet and network with industry professionals.”


Julianne Grasso ’10, fellow at Foundations, Inc. came to Princeton on October 12th to serve on a panel for an information session and encourage applicants to consider a fellowship in Philadelphia, as a key group of volunteers on the ground works to expand the program. This initiative is being led by Carol Rosenfeld ’05, who has been in touch with Chet Safian ’55 about growing a program.

-Washington, DC-

Kate Lewis-LaMonica ’08 shares the following: “The DC Region was excited to welcome our largest cohort ever – 13 fellows. In July, the early arrivers gathered in Chinatown to meet the other fellows and local volunteers, and then again in August to volunteer together at Bruce Monroe Elementary during DC Public Schools Beautification Day. We finally formally welcomed the fellows at our orientation dinner in September: As tradition,  AlumniCorps President Bill Leahy ’66 and his wife, Chris, hosted a wonderful dinner at their home. Fellows gathered for a September workshop, Career Reflection 101, and the most recent seminar, “Options in Your 20s,” featured a panel of successful young professionals degree who spoke to the career choices they’ve made since graduating. On the social front, volunteers and fellows have organized outings to farm festivals and community dinners to sprinkle fun into our fall calendar.”

Hooked on Boston: What I learned about PP55’s thriving community in the Northeast, and why I can’t wait to go back

By John Shriver, Program Manager

Hello to all of our friends and supporters in the Boston area and around the country! I recently had an action-packed 27-hour tour of everything PP55 is doing in Bean Town. This trip made me so excited about all the Boston area committee has accomplished, and what they have planned for the year ahead. Rebecca Nemec ’05 and the rest of our Boston volunteers have been working hard to offer our fellows an exciting year of service in the public interest and to expand the opportunities for Princeton alumni of all ages to get plugged into the PP55 community.

My trip began when I arrived in Boston’s Back Bay around 12:30 Monday afternoon, September 28th,on the Amtrak. After a restful trip up from Princeton, and with just enough time to grab a delicious fish sandwich on Washington St, I headed to a meeting with Annie Gayman ’09, our fellow at Children’s HealthWatch.

PP55 Fellow Annie Gayman '09 and her supervisor Stephanie Ettinger De Cuba from Children's HealthWatch
PP55 Fellow Annie Gayman '09 and her supervisor Stephanie Ettinger De Cuba from Children's HealthWatch

Annie and her supervisor, Stephanie Ettinger De Cuba were kind enough to show me their offices at Boston University, and share the ways Children’s HealthWatch has been working to address the needs of children growing up in poverty. Since Annie started her fellowship in July, she has been hard at work: preparing briefs on policy, interviewing children in the emergency room, and generally learning the ropes of the organization. Look for updates from Annie and the other PP55 fellows on the PP55 Fellows blog.
After meeting with Annie and Stephanie, I rushed to check into my hotel before heading down to Jamaica Plain for a meeting with the great volunteers on the PP55 Boston Area Committee.

As I mentioned before, Rebecca Nemec ’05 heads this committee of diverse and talented alumni. Jana Holt ’08, a second year High Meadows fellow at Environmental Defense, has taken on the task of planning this year’s seminars. Jana has worked with the Center for Public Interest Careers at Harvard (CPIC) to develop seminars on topics ranging from homelessness to social entrepreneurship. Karen Jeng ’08, a former fellow at Children’s HealthWatch is the PP55 Mentor Coordinator. Bob Amick ’55, previously on the PP55 Board, and John Hamilton ’55, former Chairmen of PP55’s Board, are a huge help to Rebecca with everything from arranging logistics to big-picture thinking.

At our meeting, we reviewed plans for the fellowship orientation breakfast the next morning and were able to discuss our thoughts and goals for the year ahead. One example of the great things in store for our community in Boston is a screening and discussion of former fellow Katrina Browne’s ’89 documentary, Traces of the Trade, co-hosted with PANE (Princeton Association of New England). The event will be held on November 10 as part of PP55’s national celebration of our 20th Anniversary. Stay tuned to our online newsletter Shared Effort for more details.

Tuesday began with a quick walk through the beautiful Back Bay neighborhood and a ride on the T downtown for a meeting with John Hamilton ’55. As I have come to expect, I heard a lot of wisdom and humor from John as we ate breakfast and prepared for the fellowship orientation in the offices of WilmerHale. Before long, I was saying hello to the twenty members of the local Princeton community who came to meet this year’s fellows and learn more about what PP55 is doing locally.

John Hamilton '55, Andrew Hoffman '89 former PANE President, Chris Milton '69
John Hamilton '55, Andrew Hoffman '89 former PANE President, Chris Milton '69

We were honored to hear from former fellow Sherry Riva ’92, who is the founder and director of Compass Working Capital, an organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty. I also had the opportunity to meet Andrew Hoffman ’89, the former president of PANE. The orientation breakfast was a great success, a reminder of just how many Princetonians are truly working “in the Nation’s service”.
On the heels of that inspirational morning, I headed out to Fenway for a meeting with Warner Slack ’55, another founder and a member of the PP55 Board. Warner too is an exemplar of PP55’s values. Over lunch, we had the opportunity to discuss the recent Board meeting and PP55’s interest in better engaging Princeton alumni of all ages. Before long, though, I was rushing off to a meeting with a potential new partner organization, Boston Healthcare for the Homeless (BHCHP). While BHCHP is already hosting summer interns through the Princeton Internships in Civic Service program, sponsored by the class of ’69 Community Service Fund, they are considering how they might continue to connect with the Princeton community through PP55.

All too quickly though, I was back on the train and headed south for Princeton. As for my time in Boston, I could not have asked for a more productive 27 hours. From a film screening to the many seminars the area committee will be opening to the wider Boston community, this is sure to be an exciting 20th Anniversary year. If you would like to learn more about all PP55 will be planning in the area, or to get involved, please be in touch me at or with Rebecca Nemec ’05 at

20th Anniversary Outreach Event: PP55 and Princeton Association of New England

20th-anniversary-stickerJoin us in celebrating 20 years of public service and civic leadership with a screening of

Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North

Directed, Produced & Written by 

Katrina Browne ’89 & PP55 ’91


Tuesday, November 10: 7:00 to 9:00pm
Boston Museum of Science

Click here for directions. 

Click Here to Reserve Your Tickets Online (Open Until November 10 at Noon)

 $7.00 if you Register Online

$10.00 CASH/CHECK at the door


The screening will be followed by a question and answer session with

Katrina Browne ’89

In this Emmy-nominated feature documentary Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North, filmmaker Katrina Browne discovers that her New England ancestors were the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. She and nine cousins retrace the Triangle Trade and gain a powerful new perspective on the black/white divide.

Questions? Please contact John Shriver, PP55 Fellowship Program Manager or Rebecca Nemec ’05, Boston Area Committee Coordinator