In Memoriam: Alex Anderson ’95
Alex Anderson passed away on May 26, at the age of 38. Alex was a Harker boarding student for six years (grades 3-8). “Alex’s general enthusiasm and his natural ability to so comfortably interact with such a diverse group of friends was truly a special skill,” said Joe Rosenthal, who was the boarding director at that time. “Alex had a magnetic personality, set a very good example of how to treat one another, and was well-liked by hundreds of his peers who boarded at Harker from all over the world.” He is survived by many loving family members and friends, including his sister, Ashely Anderson ’91 (pictured with Alex), and his fiancée, Sarah Branam. He touched many lives and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Alex was assaulted in Denver and died from his injuries. In lieu of flowers, Alex’s loved ones ask that donations be made to their GoFundMe page, which will be used to increase his Crime Stoppers reward, as well as medical and memorial expenses: http://gf.me/u/x4sdzw. You can share memories and condolences with the family here: https://horancares.com/obits/alex-anderson/
Byron DeLear, host of the podcast “Intention,” interviewed fellow Harker Academy graduate Tiffany Tate (who now goes by Tate Orick). In the podcast’s third episode, they cover everything from their shared history at Harker (including Byron’s father, who attended Palo Alto Military Academy) to the episode’s main topic, “Job Loss, A Hammered Economy, and the New Abnormal.” Byron attended Harker for grades 4-6 from 1975-1978. Check out the podcast at https://www.buzzsprout.com/963421/3374647
Renee Conrad recently changed firms and is now working as an attorney at Gilfix & La Poll Associates in Palo Alto doing estate planning and trust administration.
Justin Pogue is working as a real estate consultant and an author in San Jose, and he’s completed his first book, “Rental Secrets.” By teaching renters how landlords think, he’s helping them negotiate better while improving our national housing conversation. The book is not just for renters; landlords, realtors and lenders can benefit as well. Justin is in negotiations with a few colleges to speak on their campuses in the near future. Mayor Sam Liccardo took great interest in Justin’s book at one of his North San Jose development round table meetings; he even purchased a copy!
Joe Sabeh has a successful track record of 20 years in the real estate industry and averages $50 million to $75 million a year in sales. He had the highest sale in the city of Fremont’s history in 2018, and more than 60 percent of his business comes from referrals from past clients. Joe learned the value of service and hard work from his late father, Joseph Sabeh, also an outstanding top producer in the real estate industry. His favorite part of the job is helping people accomplish their goals, whether it’s selling for the highest price or finding their dream home. Joe also gives back to the community by donating to and SAVE, nonprofits committed to supporting survivors of domestic violence.
Jennifer Lin and her husband, Steve Waite, welcomed son Hudson Lin Waite on April 17. Congratulations!
Kim Wong is the latest Life in the Arts recipient, awarded by Harker’s performing arts department. Kim’s love of the arts began at age 8 when she attended a Shakespeare camp, and she later fell in love with acting. After Harker, where she was Lifer and a musical theater certificate graduate, she headed East to study at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Since receiving her drama degree from NYU, Kim has amassed stage and television credits. She has had recurring and guest starring roles on HBO, NBC, CBS, The CW and Netflix, including “Law & Order: SVU,” “Blue Bloods,” and “FBI: Most Wanted.”
Fun fact: Kim has performed in 31 Shakespeare productions, spanning 18 plays and 66+ different roles!
Khadija Zanotto, store manager of family-owned and operated Zanotto’s Family Markets, was featured in a San Jose Mercury News article titled “Standing in harm’s way – essential workers on the front lines of COVID-19.” Read the entire story: https://bayareane.ws/2xU9Gac
In mid-March, Zanotto’s began designating exclusive shopping hours for seniors, to better support the local elderly population, a practice that larger chain stores would quickly adopt. Khadija shared the story on her Facebook page: “In this time of need, our family is committed to our community. Thankful to the many news channels that helped us spread the word and inspire bigger stores to do the same. Proud to pioneer this in our area.” See more: https://cbsloc.al/3540cWj
Jaya Pareek married Vipul Chhajer on Sept. 7, 2019, at Bear Flag Farm in Winters. Many Harker friends attended, including classmates Naeha Bhambhra, Akshay Bhatia, Tara Chandra, Meghana Dhar, Mina Lee, Amulya Mandava, Amit Mukherjee, Aalok Patel, Swasti Sarna and Priya Takiar. Friends from other classes were Vivek Patel ’02, Rishi Bhatia ’11 and Sahil Takiar ’09. The ceremony was officiated by Jaya’s brother, Ravi Pareek ’08.
Jaya attended Santa Clara University. Vipul went to the University of Michigan and then Harvard University for business school. They live in San Francisco and both work at tech startups.
Back in November, the Class of ‘09 held its 10th reunion at the Coterie Winery in downtown San Jose. More than 65 alumni and Harker faculty and staff gathered for wine tasting, charcuterie platters and warm conversation filled with memories and laughs.
In March, Sabrina Paseman founded the nonprofit Fix the Mask (http://www.fixthemask.com), which has developed a do-it-yourself method for constructing a surgical mask brace using rubber bands. The pandemic has caused a surge in demand for N95 surgical masks, leading to a shortage that has put medical workers at risk of infection, as the surgical masks currently in use do not attach to wearers’ faces tightly enough. The surgical mask brace developed by Fix the Mask significantly improves the efficacy of surgical masks and lowers the risk of infection. The company has posted a how-to video on its website.
And more recently, some ‘09 friends didn’t let the quarantine stop them from getting together on a Zoom meetup for a “Brady Bunch” style photo op! Shown from left to right, top to bottom are: Sean Mandell, Stephanie Guo, Barrett Glasauer, Brian Chao, Evan Maynard, David Kastelman, Jennifer Huang (friend of ’09), Daniel Tien and Alex Achkinazi.
Mark-Phillip Pebworth and his wife, Hanna, are pleased to announce the birth of their son, Elliott Ames Pebworth, on June 8, 2019. He was 7 lbs., 13 oz., and 21 inches long. He’s now nearly a year old and growing well! Mother and baby have been safe through this crazy COVID-19 season.
After graduating from Columbia School of Social Work in 2018, Kristi Sun obtained her licensed master social worker degree and started working with formerly homeless low-income seniors at the West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing, which provides permanent long-term housing in New York City. In February 2020, she was promoted to senior social worker and now runs her own building, using Mandarin, English and Spanish to communicate with her wide range of international residents. Kristi is currently the youngest supervisor in the agency, working directly with the director of clinical services, and she loves her job. She credits Harker Spanish teachers Sra. Rozanes, Sra. Pinzás and Sra. Grande for igniting her interest in Spanish, and Ms. Horan for her AP Psychology course; these classes were the building blocks that led to her current career.
Mary Liu was awarded a Schwarzman Scholarship. The program is “designed to prepare its graduates to build stronger relationships between China and a rapidly changing world and to address the most pressing challenges of the 21st century,” according to its website. Mary’s bio notes she is a Gilman Scholar, studied applied mathematics at Columbia University and dedicated a year in service to rural communities in China and Thailand, where she volunteered as a community organizer, teacher and website developer. Mary is passionate about increasing economic opportunity in rural communities. https://www.schwarzmanscholars.org/
Vikram Sundar was recently named a Hertz Foundation Fellow, offering full funding for his Ph.D. at MIT starting in the fall. Vikram is currently an AI resident at Google, and has degrees from Harvard (math, physics) and the University of Cambridge (chemistry). The official press release is here: https://bit.ly/2ZCZVJ2
Felix Wu worked on Elizabeth Warren’s campaign. In this video, he talks to her about his parents’ experience as immigrants. https://www.facebook.com/felix.wu.90/videos/10220343078630817/
Shannon Hong started a quarantine diary in April (https://medium.com/quarantine-diaries) to give members of the Harker community a space to share their experiences while living through the COVID-19 pandemic. Originating as a shared document between friends to bring each other closer during a time of separation, it has been expanded to include Harker students, faculty, staff and alumni. “It is valuable to write down that which we do, think and experience during these times,” said Shannon. “We decided that this project was one that we wanted to share with other people, to partake at least a little in each other’s lives.”
Molly Wancewicz earned two recognitions for her writing and research this year. In fall 2019, her paper “Environmental Law and Agents of Profit Throughout History” was published in the Texas Undergraduate Law Review (volume 8, issue 1). Then, in spring 2020, she won second place (and $300) in Rice University’s Fondren Undergraduate Research Awards for her paper, “Organized Labor and Faction in the United States, 1930s and 1940s.” Molly will be presenting her research to the board of Fondren Library next month.
Amy Jin, currently attending Harvard, is now a team member for the Crown Education Challenge (https://www.crowneducationchallenge.org/), an international contest for K-12 students that contains tracks in art, STEM and writing. Founded during the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent wave of worldwide school closures, the contest hopes to inspire students to continue their learning, become active in global issues and foster hope in troubled times.
Katherine Zhu was named the University of California, Berkeley’s women’s golf MVP. The award is given to the player with the lowest stroke average after the completion of the spring season. The player must have played in 75 percent of the season’s tournaments. Katherine’s stroke average was 73.5. Congratulations!
Kelsey Wu’s Near/Mitra paper was published in a Harvard journal. The report of Kelsey’s achievement was one of the most-read Harker News stories. Check out more on page 4.
Jarrett Anderson was recently named AVCA D3 Northeast Region Newcomer of the Year and NVA/AVCA D3 First-Team All-American. Jarrett plays volleyball at Springfield College in Massachusetts.