This article first appeared in the summer 2017 Harker Magazine
Toku Chen attended the March 18 Asia alumni reunion and presented Joe Rosenthal with the Carley Service Award at the alumni dinner on the Bund in Shanghai. The Carley Service Award recognizes alumni or friends who have unselfishly devoted their time and energy, and made significant contributions toward, advancing the programs of The Harker School. Toku gave a warm speech that included memories of Mr. Rosenthal during the dorm days. He also highlighted Mr. Rosenthal’s work benefiting young people, education and fundraising over his 30-plus year investment at Harker Academy and The Harker School.
Leyna Cotran was the keynote speaker at an alumni networking luncheon held during the Harker Research Symposium last month. She focused on the important collaboration between academia and industry.
Alumnus-in-the-media alert! Wajahat Ali has been busy. Here he is in a CNN point-counterpoint discussion on the U.S. Attorney General nominee. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=440KPaYH-kI
And here’s an interesting opinion piece by Wajahat in the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/13/opinion/sunday/do-muslims-have-to-be-democrats-now.html
Several members of the Class of ‘96 met at Campo di Bocce and celebrated 20 years since graduating from eighth grade! Class agent Andrea (Nott) Miles submitted a few photos of the event.
Pictured left to right are Patrick Fellowes, Elizabeth (Keezer) Isaak, Andrea, Wendy (Okimura) Diaz, Sheila Collins, Ann (Chu) Blomquist, Marlen Alcaraz and Steven Blomquist.
Andrew Shvarts published his first book! “Royal Bastards,” for teens and young adults, is the story of a castle lord’s disenfranchised “natural” children who are drawn into castle intrigue. Check out our profile on Andrew on page 48.
Jessica Liu was married over the Memorial Day weekend to Tyler Chang Seaman, who was the boy next door all through their childhoods! Pictured (all ‘04 unless noted) are Vickie Duong, Jessica, Jen Lin and Jacinda Mein (front row); Nickisa Hodgson, Karla Bracken, Laena Keyashian and Christiana Rattazzi ’03 (middle row); and Tanya Schmidt ’08, Casey Near ’06 and Courtney Johnson (top row).
Adhir Ravipati received Positive Coaching Alliance’s National Double-Goal Coach Award. He was also one of four coaches selected out of more than 2,000 nominations to be featured on stage at PCA’s National Youth Sports Awards. Adhir is a football coach at Menlo-Atherton High School.
Gail Nakano is a chemist, but has been a volunteer in the San Francisco Symphony Chorus for seven seasons. The symphony did a great video featuring Gail: https://www.facebook.com/sfsymphony/videos/vl.554392084714335/10154570668528292/ ?type=1
The Class of 2006 met for a 10-year reunion in San Francisco just before Christmas. Alumni gathered to enjoy refreshments, appetizers and plenty of festive alumni company at the Thirsty Bear Brewing Company. There were more than 50 people at the event, including faculty members Brian Larsen and Lisa Radice. It was a nice, long evening – folks stayed quite late catching up and enjoying a (only slightly embarrassing) slideshow of archive photos!
Jacqueline Rousseau recently married Tommy Morphet. They met as undergrads at Caltech. Natalie Torban was one of Jacqueline’s bridesmaids.
The Washington Post made a wonderful video featuring employee Emily Chow. Check it out! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqAHf3gMhUo
Chetan Vakkalagadda graduated from Washington University School of Medicine in May. After eight years in St. Louis, he is moving to Chicago in June to start his internal medicine residency at Northwestern.
Stephanie Guo and Steven Tran met up in Copenhagen, Denmark, while he was on a business trip. Stephanie said Steven saw her Instagram post and reached out.
D.J. Blickenstaff’s acting career continues to heat up. He will appear as “Arman” in three episodes of Netflix’s new series, “Dear White People,” which premiered April 28. Check him out in the trailer:
The show can be streamed on Netflix at https://www.netflix.com/title/80095698
Evan Maynard was the alumni speaker at this year’s Harker Research Symposium. Evan works at Blue Origin as a propulsion development engineer. His talk focused on making spaceflight more affordable, as well as the development of reusable rockets. Check him out on the video playlist:
Neha Sabharwal, attending Harvard Law School, is an avid runner and ran this year’s Boston Marathon as part of the Girls on the Run team. Neha became involved with the nonprofit organization seven years ago while an undergraduate student at Duke University in North Carolina, where the organization is based. Here’s a nice article about her: https://www.losaltosonline.com/news/sections/community/177-features/54955-
Several Harker classmates helped Kevin Zhang celebrate his birthday. Pictured left to right are Albert Wu ’12, Stefan Eckhard ’10, Jackie Ho ’10, Kevin, James Feng ’10, Karthik Dhore ’11, Sean Morgan ’10 and Kyu Bok Lee ’08.
Priya Sathaye got engaged! After graduating from Cornell, Priya started grad school at the University of Pennsylvania. She and her fiancé, John, met while running out of their graduate student housing apartments when the fire alarm went off. They ran down 11 floors to the courtyard, and ended up cooking dinner together that evening. John is a Ph.D. student in the mechanical engineering department.
James Seifert found himself on the stage once again with Cecilia Lang-Ree ’13 in Stanford University’s spring mainstage production, “The Wild Party.” James and Cecilia were in “Les Misérables” and “Pippin” together at Harker, and both were in Downbeat. Both will graduate from Stanford this year. Cecilia plans to continue at Stanford, working on her master’s in community health and prevention research.
Pranav Sharma is the editor-in-chief of the Brown Journal of World Affairs (a journal similar to Foreign Affairs), which recently released an issue featuring scholarly work on global populism, India’s developing national identity, and art, identity and conflict (available for purchase at some Barnes & Noble locations).
Maverick McNealy is currently ranked No. 1 on the World Amateur Golf Rankings and is tied with Tiger Woods on the Stanford all-time wins list. He was named one of three finalists for The Ben Hogan Award, given annually to the top male college golfer. It’s the third year Maverick has been nominated; the winner will be named after our press time. He also recently received the 2017 Byron Nelson Award. Read all about it in Harker News: http://wp.me/pOeLQ-8hh
Ashvin Swaminathan was awarded a Soros Fellowship for New Americans, honoring the contributions of immigrants and children of immigrants to the United States. Ashvin was valedictorian and won a number of prizes while at Harker, including being named a semifinalist in the Intel Science Talent Search; he was also a John Near Endowment scholar.
Michael Amick was drafted by Major League Soccer team the Portland Timbers! Read all about it at
Izzy Connell and Ryan Mui got engaged to each other this spring! Huge congrats to both of them. The news emerged at the annual Keller Tour, so the whole group celebrated! Read more about it in the Keller Tour story on the next page.
Sarah Bean will be interning this summer at the studio of Alexander Wang ’98. She will be working in the merchandising department at the Broadway office in Manhattan.
Ayush Midha is still winning debate awards – now as a Harvard student! He and his debate partner won the Rex Copeland Award, which is presented to the top college debate team in the nation. The duo won several invitational tournaments, giving them the best overall record of the year. The award was announced at the National Debate Tournament, held in March at the University of Kansas. Harker debate coaches Greg Achten and Jenny (Alme) Achten (yes, they recently married!) attended the tournament and were very proud to see Ayush receive the Copeland and make it to the quarterfinals of the tournament. “It is a ton of fun to watch our alums debate so successfully at the collegiate level,” said Jenny Achten. Greg Achten added that Ayush’s debate achievements are especially laudable alongside his rigorous pre-med course of study.
Elisabeth Siegel has had her Harker Mitra grant paper, titled “Ideology through Subliminal Propaganda: A Critique of Portrayals of Palestine and Palestinians in Israeli and Western Online News Media during Operation Protective Edge,” published by Yale Review of International Studies! Read more at Harker news: http://wp.me/pOeLQ-8gh