Meet Our Alumni Reunion Classes:
For the Class of 1996’s 20th Reunion write-up, see Nov 2016 issue
Class of 1991’s 25th Reunion
November 25th-26th, 2016
Welcome: Friday, 4pm at Matchbox, Merrifield
Main Event: Saturday, 6pm Fairview Park Marriott, Falls Church, featuring sit-down dinner
Reunion Organizers: Kristine (Mendoza) Daniels, Junnie Han, Maureen Mellody, Craig Taylor
A Few ’91 Alums of Note:
Dr. Carrie Finch was the first woman awarded tenure in the 264-year history of the Department of Mathematics at Washington and Lee University. Dr. Finch conducts research in the field of number theory, with significant results in the area of Sierpinski numbers.
Matt Blum is Editor-in-Chief of GeekDad, an online parenting magazine that seems to be written with TJ alumni parents in mind. In addition to his editorial duties, Blum writes about products, toys, movies, and activities, authoring many columns in the magazine’s popular “10 Things Parents Should Know About” format. From his GeekDad bio: “He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and two kids, all of whom are also geeks. In his day job Matt is a software engineer, and his many geeky interests include science fiction, the Muppets, LEGO, board games, video games, and bacon.”
Jenny (Garrison) Bristol is co-author of Geek Mom: Projects, Tips, and Adventures for Moms and Their 21st-Century Families and author of the fictional guidebook, The Isle of Kern. She writes on myriad topics at JennyBristol.com and on topics of interest to parents at GeekDad and GeekMom, where she is one of the founding editors. She reviews educational games at Common Sense Education and has covered architectural topics at Architectural Digest. She lives in Arizona — “not the hot part” — where she spends her time “learning, writing, crafting, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, losing herself in history, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.”
Dr. Ashley Jones is a Chemistry teacher at TJ, who was profiled previously in this newsletter (see Aug 2016 issue).
Christine (Kerick) Fuentes is founder and President of Polaris Strategic Communications, a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business providing public relations, graphic design and marketing consulting services. Fuentes graduated from the United States Air Force Academy and served as an Air Force public affairs officer early in her career.
Matt Appler co-founded Herndon-based Corsec Security, Inc., which provides third-party validation and certification for IT products — in cloud, mobile, network, and storage categories, among others — in 1998. He and his wife, Anne (McDivitt) Appler, TJ ’92, who holds a seat on TJ’s Alumni Association Board, have a daughter in the Class of 2020.
Kursten (Miller) Szabos is another ’91 alum with a daughter in the freshman class.
Bob Summers, currently a Senior Product Manager at Google, is a serial entrepreneur who splits his time between San Francisco and Blacksburg, Virginia, home of Virginia Tech. Founder of Fitnet, a popular mobile platform that connects fitness coaches with clients (see Washington Post, June 11, 2016), Summers has been developing and marketing consumer applications since 1994. He founded a co-working space near Virginia Tech, brought the world’s first free open-access gigabit WiFi network to Blacksburg, and is actively involved in encouraging entrepreneurship in Southwestern Virginia.
Helen Wan is a lawyer-turned-novelist who was profiled previously (see June 2016 issue).
Mark Lonergan is a Consulting Teacher (CT) in the Boston Public Schools. Lonergan, who taught Math in FCPS and English in Japan, was for 14 years a math and writing teacher at Boston Arts Academy, and in 2014 was awarded the Goldin Foundation Excellence in Education Award. As a CT, Lonergan works intensively with eligible teachers to improve curricular planning, classroom management, and instructional strategies through conferencing, modeling, co-teaching, observing, and providing support in areas identified as needing improvement.
Mason McDaniel, who served for over a dozen years as the Senior Advisor to the Chief Technology Officer of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), is the CTO of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
AJ Brown founded Trading Trader in 2005 and built it into a successful private online options trading community by sharing his simple, proprietary trading system and providing watch lists, market updates, training courses, and a forum for collaboration.
Class of 2001’s 15th Reunion
November 26th, 2016
Main Event: Saturday, 7pm at Ireland’s Four Courts, Arlington
Reunion Organizers: Bob Bland, Mindy Longanecker, Dalia Palchik, Kristen Zukosky
Some Noteworthy ’01 Alums
Sander Daniels is co-founder of Thumbtack.com, a website that connects people with personal services (plumber, photographer, etc.). With 200,000 active professionals on its network and available to consumers all over the country, the company has a valuation of over $1B. Daniels has hosted five Bay Area alumni get-togethers at his company’s San Francisco office and will host his sixth next month!
Bob Bland is the founder and CEO of Manufacture New York (MNY), a fashion incubator and factory aimed at bringing independent designers and local manufacturers together to bring innovative designs to market. Since 2012, the incubator has helped launch over 100 fashion, manufacturing, and wearable technology businesses. In July, MNY launched a non-profit to help underserved urban populations build businesses and create jobs in their own neighborhoods. Bland was also a co-founder and national organizer of — and frequently quoted spokesperson for — the post-inaugural Women’s March on Washington. She is the mother of two daughters, ages six and fifteen weeks.
Dalia Palchik is a world language teacher who currently represents Providence District on the Fairfax County School Board (see March 2016 issue).
Nathan Brasher, who is currently pursuing his MBA at Stanford Business School, obtained a BS in Math from the US Naval Academy in 2005 and an MS in Computational & Applied Math from the University of Texas at Austin in 2007. Before returning to school to study business, Brasher served as a Junior Officer with the US Navy strike fighter squadron VFA-154 Black Knights and as an Instructor Pilot with the VT-22 Golden Eagles, where he led advanced student jet pilots in the performance of complex maneuvers.
Joshua Blake is Co-founder and VP of Engineering at Seattle-based Orbbec, an artificial intelligence startup that is building a new and independent 3D sensor as the first step in creating novel innovative and intuitive computer interfaces. In 2010, Blake founded OpenKinect, a community of developers whose popular open-source Kinect drivers allowed a wave of user interaction that led Microsoft to form its Kinect for Windows business unit.
Darius Kazemi lives in Portland, OR, where under the name tinysubversions.com he creates bots that use information available on the Internet, including graphics, headlines, data, and other communications to generate what he calls “weird Internet stuff.” His most famous work is Random Shopper, a program that bought him random items from Amazon each month. He also founded NaNoGenMo, where participants spend November writing algorithms to generate 50,000-word novels (a play on NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, popular at TJ) and Bot Summit, an annual gathering of art bot creators.
Elana (Newberger) Suttenberg is an Assistant US Attorney for DC. She was Managing Editor of The Georgetown Law Journal and a clerk to Chief Judge (now senior judge) Royce Lamberth of the US District Court in the District of Columbia.
Greg Mattingly is Co-founder and CFO at Preston Wealth Advisors in Reston, VA, where he specializes in financial planning and money management for individuals, athletes and institutions.
Dr. Zeena Salman is a Pediatric Oncologist who trained and worked at New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where she also investigated new treatments for acute myeloid leukemia. Salman, who obtained her medical degree in Sudan, volunteers with the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund to help build the first pediatric cancer department in the Gaza Strip.
Dr. Elizabeth (Roody) Roodhouse is Director of Analytics at Blue Apron, the New York City-based company that delivers boxes of pre-measured fresh ingredients for at-home meal preparation.
Class of 2006’s 10th Reunion — November 25th-26th, 2016
Bar Night: Friday, 6pm at Bracket Room, Arlington
Main Event: Saturday, 7pm Smith Public Trust, DC
Reunion Organizers: Leslie Hansen, Anita Kinney
Some ’06 Alums to Watch
Alice Zhang was not merely included in the 2017 Forbes Magazine list of 30 Under 30 in Science – she headlined it. Her start-up, Verge Genomics, is using machine learning and genomic data to find new drugs to treat neurological disorders (see June 2016 issue).
Dr. Justin Solomon appeared with his classmate on the same Forbes Magazine list. Solomon is an Assistant Professor at MIT, where he leads the Geometric Data Processing group in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), studying problems processing, analysis, and editing of geometric data. He obtained his PhD in Computer Science from Stanford and held a postdoctoral fellowship in the Program in Applied & Computational Math at Princeton. In 2015 he published a textbook, Numerical Algorithms. While obtaining his undergraduate and master’s degrees at Stanford, he worked as a research assistant at Pixar Animation Studios. He also spent time in London as an Edison Fellow, where he worked on musicology research at the British Library Sound Archive.
Dr. Daniel Quinn returned last fall to his alma mater, UVA, as an assistant professor in the Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering department, where he conducts research in fluid dynamics and bio-inspired robotics and is a member of the Link Lab, a group studying Cyber-Physical Systems, including autonomous vehicles, body-sensor networks, and smart homes. He received his PhD from Princeton, was a Visiting Fellow at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Bio-Inspired Research and Design group at Stanford.
Jason Ethier is Founder, President & CEO of Dynamo Micropower, which makes advanced natural gas turbines for oilfield power equipment. In 2011 and 2014, Ethier was named to Forbes 30 Under 30 in Energy & Industry and in 2012 was named one of the top young entrepreneurs in Boston by “Under30CEO.” As an intern at Orbital, Ethier inspired the first TJ CubeSat program (see CubeSat, this issue).
Dr. Megan deBettencourt received her PhD in Neuroscience from Princeton and is currently a post-doctoral scholar in the Institute for Mind & Biology and Department of Psychology at the University of Chicago, where she uses brain-computer interfaces and neurofeedback to modify attention and memory.
Dr. Courtney Dressing obtained her PhD in Astronomy & Astrophysics from Harvard, where she researched the frequency, composition, and detectability of small planets orbiting small stars. She is currently a NASA Sagan Fellow in the Division of Geological & Planetary Sciences at Caltech, where her research focuses on searching for small, potentially habitable exoplanets orbiting nearby stars and characterizing exoplanets and their host stars.
Stephany Reaves Couper is a Staff Attorney at the District of Columbia’s Public Defender Service. A Yale alum, she graduated from Stanford Law School, where she worked in both the Criminal Defense and Supreme Court Litigation clinics, and followed that up with a clerkship on the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Before heading to law school, Couper was a math teacher at the District’s Ballou HS as part of the Teach for America corps, while obtaining her Master’s Degree in secondary math teaching.
Dilpreet Sidhu recently finished a 19-month stint working in the West Wing as the Special Assistant to Obama Administration National Security Advisor, Susan Rice. She came to that position after four years at the State Department, including two as a staffer to Secretary of State John Kerry, where she directly supported his overseas travel.
Class of 2011’s 5th Reunion — November 25th, 2016
Bar Night: Friday, 6pm at Spider Kelly’s, Arlington
Reunion Organizers: Ian Anderson, Keegan Cotton, Emily Crowe, Calvin Hartanto, Jamie Kim, Katie Lin, Alice Lu, Daniella Miller, Connor O’Sullivan, Serena Saffarini, Nate Skolnik, Olivia Walton
First Annual Alumni Art Show Features 2011 Artists
Art teacher Tim Davis, who not only creates and teaches art but also represents international artists and advises on collection management and curatorial services, decided that TJ’s new gallery would be a perfect venue for showcasing alumni art. He conceived of a show that would reach students interested in art and/or the intersection between art and science and brought the idea to Gloria Duan, TJ ’11, who works with him at his DC gallery, International Visions. The result was the First Annual TJ Alumni Art Exhibition, held for a month earlier this spring. The exhibition filled the school’s beautiful new gallery — located in a prominent spot near the front entrance — with diverse works by Duan and two other 2011 alumni artists.
Alumni Day in View
Held on the Saturday afternoon after Thanksgiving, Alumni Day is for all TJ alums, from the earliest graduates to those who graduated last June. Reunion classes turn out in large numbers for the renovation tours, panels, and just to spend more time together. Because the evening reunion events don’t often include children, it’s also a chance to see each others’ kids, some of whom may one day be TJ students themselves. See more photos.