history with Wesleyan goes back more than three decades. How did it start?
A: My story
with Wesleyan begins in 1971, when I came here as a freshman, graduating in
1975. I ended up working here most of my professional career here in the
Office of University Communications, formerly the Office of Public
director of publications, what are you in charge of?
A: I’m the
editor of “Wesleyan" magazine. I plan content for the magazine, write, edit
and oversee production, but really, the magazine is a collaborative venture
with a number of people here in communications, from beginning to end. I’m
glad to be part of this publication, which has been very well received. Our
office also produces most of Wesleyan’s publications: everything from
invitations to the course catalog.
like a satisfying career.
opportunities that came with doing the magazine have been very gratifying.
I’ve met so many wonderful people on and off campus, and the job presents
unending opportunities for personal growth. There are always challenges
Q: Who is the
audience of the magazine?
campus and alumni. The magazine has various names that reflect its history.
The correct name is “Wesleyan: the University Magazine,” but many people
still call it older names, such as ‘the Alumni Magazine,’ or ‘Alumnus,’
which I think originated in the single-sex era here. Some people still call
it “The Bulletin,” and that name goes way back. It’s funny how these old
names stick around.
Q: What was
your degree, and what led you into journalism/publications?
A: I actually
graduated with a degree in chemistry, and then I went on to graduate school
at the University of California at Berkley, wanting to become a research
chemist. But after one year, I realized it wasn’t for me.
Q: Then what
led you into journalism?
A: I learned
mostly through on-the-job training. After I graduated, my Wesleyan
connection served me well. I got a job as a science journalist with the
American Chemical Society in Washington D.C. and my supervisor had a
master’s from Wesleyan. Also, we both knew Max Tishler, who was a professor
of chemistry at Wesleyan between 1970 and 1987 and served a term as
president of the American Chemical Society. He influenced a lot of people,
Q: How did
you end up working at Wesleyan?
A: My wife,
Elisabeth, and I wanted to move back to New England, so I came here and
worked at the Middletown Press as a reporter for two years. My beat was
covering Wesleyan, so I got to know many people here. And when a job opened
up in Wesleyan’s public information office, I joined as a writer/editor.
Q: What were
A: We had a
newsletter for faculty and staff called the “Campus Report” and a tabloid
for alumni called “WesNews.” I wrote for those, and the magazine, and later
started WesOnline, which has since been replaced by the online
Q: How has
the Office of University Communications changed?
A: The public
information office in South College was much smaller. There were only six or
seven of us. Now there are 16, and the name changed to the Office of
University Communications in 2000 when Justin Harmon was hired as the
director. So back then I was doing a little bit of everything, including
writing and editing stories for the magazine and writing a lot of press
releases. Now there are three departments under the Office of
University Communications: Media Relations, headed by David Pesci, which
handles the media inquiries, press releases and the online newsletter; Web
Management, headed by Jennifer Carlstrom, which handles the design of the
bulk of the University’s Web pages; and my department, Publications, which
produces the "Wesleyan" magazine and most of Wesleyan’s higher profile
Q: You left
Wesleyan for a few years. Where did you end up going?
A: In 1990, I
went to Cornell’s news bureau. I was a full-time science writer, and that
was an interesting change, as Cornell is a much different institution. My
beat was the College of Agriculture, and I wrote articles on everything from
cows and apples to molecular biology. I was there three years, until the
magazine editor job opened here at Wesleyan and I came back.
Q: What do
you enjoy doing after work or on weekends?
A: I work out
regularly at the Freeman Athletic center, read, and I like to travel.
Recently, I went to visit my daughter in L.A.; other trips have included
visits to friends in Ottawa and in Switzerland. Our Swiss friends have a
view of Lake Geneva and the Alps to die for. I also am on the Middlesex
County United Way board of directors and a member of the Rockfall
Foundation, a local conservation and environmental group.
Q: Tell me
more about your family.
A: My wife,
Liz ‘76, teaches earth science at Rocky Hill High School. I have three
children, Anne, who is at USC in LA now; Luke, who will graduate from
Wesleyan this spring with the class of ’05, and Zoe, a freshman here at
Q: Any pets?
A: We have
two dogs, Acadia and Kona. We go on lots and lots of dog walks.