This article originally appeared in the spring 2015 Harker Quarterly.
Class agents Maheen Kaleem and Julia Gitis were thrilled to report busy and productive happenings from the Class of 2003! The agents noted that last year both Ilya Sukhar and Surbhi Sarna were named to the Forbes “30 under 30” lists for their incredible accomplishments. Ilya is the co-founder and CEO of Parse and Surbhi is the founder of nVision Medical. The Harker Quarterly covered that story in its spring 2014 issue. (Please see the Alumni News section of this issue for an article about Andy Fang ’10 who was included on a Forbes list this year.)
Misha Nasledov is a lead engineer at if (we), a social and mobile technology company, and is one of only three people who’ve won two Weeble awards. He spends his free time car racing, sometimes doing nonstop endurance races that last up to 24 hours.
Dav Yendler works as an illustrator in Chicago. His work appeared in the Cards Against Humanity’s Holiday 2014 Campaign.
Cathy Kim is finishing up law school at Columbia and will be returning home to clerk for Magistrate Paul S. Grewal of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
After spending a few years in New York, Shanghai and Beijing, Deborah Tu returned to the Bay Area where she develops urban infill residential and mixed-use projects.
Speaking of coming back home, Peter Noonan’s son is now in kindergarten at Harker, and Julia Gitis is now the lower school’s admission director. Julia also recently got married. Please see the Celebrations section for details!
Jessica Liu sent in a fun photo of a mini-reunion she enjoyed with some former Harker classmates over the long Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. “We are all still very good friends and decided to rent a house in Santa Barbara over the MLK holiday. This photo was taken on the Santa Barbara pier with my GoPro,” she explained. Front row (L to R): Sameer Deen, Aditi Bhattacharyya, Nickisa Hodgson, Jacinda Mein. Back row (L to R): Courtney Johnson, Prithi Trivedi, Jessica Liu.
Having spent the last half of 2014 volunteering in India, Emma Hawley has relocated to the Bay Area for the first time since graduating from Harker and staying in LA after finishing at UCLA. While abroad, she volunteered at the ashram headquarters of the Shri Ram Chandra Mission in Chennai, an organization devoted to offering free heart-based meditation in more than 100 countries worldwide. She helped in the publications and media departments, including working on a redesign of the quarterly English magazine, various graphic design projects and artistic direction of multimedia. She’s happy to now be near the local ashram in Fremont where she continues to help in various capacities. She’s part of the open house committee, facilitating introductory meditation sessions around the Bay. She’s thrilled to be back in Santa Clara near her family (Harker’s upper school Latin teacher John Hawley and wife, Claire).
The Class of 2004 had its 10-year reunion the evening of Dec. 23 at the Village Bistro in Santana Row. Upper school faculty and staff were invited to attend as a gesture of gratitude for all the guidance and encouragement they provided the alumni during their special high school years. About 50 people attended and a good time was had by all.
Back in December, Neelaysh Vukkadala, who is now in medical school at UCSF, returned to Harker to lead a workshop during several afternoon classes of HAPy (Human Anatomy and Physiology). During his visit to the upper school, he showed students how to perform thoracic surgery as well as suturing up the incision.
Upper school math teacher Tony Silk enjoyed getting together for lunch with Evan Maynard back in December. “Evan recently graduated from Purdue with his master’s in aerospace engineering (as did I). He now works in Seattle on spacecraft,” recalled Silk.
Sophi Scarnewman (formerly Newman) got married. Please see the Celebrations section for details! In other news, Sophi is a newly minted birth and postpartum doula working in the Bay Area. She is currently building her doula business, Blackberry Babies. She graduated from Stanford University in 2013 and spent a year as an associate product manager at Google before leaving to pursue a career as a doula. “I spent a year working on Google+, with my biggest project being a complete redesign of the Android Google+ sharing function. Ultimately, my decision to leave Google has much less to do with any shortcomings of my teams (whom I loved) or Google (a truly great employer) than it does with my own passions and priorities as an individual. Although I certainly studied a lot of disciplines in college, I cared most about and put the most of myself into Stanford’s Sexual Health Peer Resource Center. I worked there for four years and spent my last two years of college at the helm. My work as a doula picks up those threads of reproductive health, running a business, and providing support/counseling. I hope to help mothers and their partners make birth into an empowering, energizing and meaningful experience,” she added.
Karthik Dhore sent in a photo from his fall racing season (he is at the front of the boat) on the crew of Princeton’s rowing team. “I’m a senior on Princeton’s lightweight rowing team and have been on the team for four years. Our spring racing season starts in a month so we’re getting ready for that right now,” he said.
Conservatory grad Lauren Pinzás, currently a junior studying vocal performance at Southern Methodist University, wrote to performing arts chair Laura Lang-Ree that she is getting serious mileage out of her musical theater certificate training at Harker! She notes she is debuting one of the lead roles in “Wading Home,” an opera based on Rosalyn Story’s novel, centered around the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The show opens in April. “My background in musical theater helped because I may have to dance for it, and I will definitely be acting and singing. Thank you for your input in my process as a singing artist!” she writes.
Rohan Chandra is part of Brown University’s all-male choir, “Brown Derbies.” In early January he came out here with the group and put on a great show at the upper school. Rohan is Derbie No. 153; to learn more about the group: http:// brownderbies.com/.
The College Board recently announced that Albert Zhao earned the distinction of being one of only 15 students who got perfect scores on their AP Micro-economics exams, taken in spring 2014. AP Exams are graded on a scale of one to five, with five being the top score, but Albert went a step further, earning every point possible on the examination, answering every multiple choice question correctly and earning full points on the free-response section of the exam.
Shenel Ekici, a freshman at Barnard College, was selected to be part of a photo shoot for the December issue of the Barnard Bulletin. Check out the online version at http://issuu.com/barnardbulletin/docs/barnardbulletindec2014. She’s featured on pages 3, 5 and 21 (main section) and is one of the “alternate” front covers. One of the things Shenel loves most about being at Barnard is that she gets to enjoy a small, liberal arts women’s college while attending classes on the same campus at a major ivy-league school (Columbia, with which Barnard is affiliated). Shenel is majoring in neuroscience and is on the pre-med track.