Connecticut College Magazine · Summer 2014


Mike LeDuc '14, three-time national champion in track and field, with his teammates. Clockwise from top right: Mike LeDuc '14, botany major from Canton, Conn.; Ian Rathkey '14, East Asian studies major from Old Lyme, Conn.; Ben Bosworth '17, economics major from Dorchester, Mass.; Niall Williams '16, economics major from Niskayuna, N.Y.; Daniel Burns '16, government major from Alexandria, Va.; and Aaron Samuel-Davis '14, classics and dance major from New London, Conn. Photo by Bob MacDonnell

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Profiles of Carolyn Jones Schorer '63, Betsy Greenberg Feinberg '66, Amy Paterson '94 and
Justin Koufopoulos '10

Born to explore

“I've always been an adventurer,” admits Lonnie Jones Schorer '63. As a girl, she watched planes take off and land. As an adult, she has earned pilot licenses for single-engine and amphibious planes and belonged to a skydiving club.

An early role model for Schorer was Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly solo over the Atlantic Ocean, in 1932, and the first woman to attempt an around-the-world flight. She and her navigator Fred Noonan disappeared on that journey in 1937, while en route to Howland Island in the central Pacific.

Schorer and others have continued to search for Earhart and her plane. Schorer was selected to join The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) Earhart Expedition Team to Nikumaroro, Kiribati, and participated in 1997, 2007 and 2010. TIGHAR is testing the hypothesis that Earhart landed and eventually died on Gardner Island, now Nikumaroro. “It's like putting together a puzzle,” explains Schorer. One piece of evidence: The team has located shards of glass from what appears to be a Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream jar. Earhart was known to dislike her own freckles.

“When something is lost, people are curious about what happened,” says Schorer. “Think of the excitement surrounding the discovery of the Titanic or the fixation on the whereabouts of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370,” which disappeared March 8 with 239 people aboard en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur.

Now in her eighth decade, Schorer was asked to be an aquanaut on an expedition this fall to study the wreckage of the USS Macon, a dirigible aircraft carrier sunk in 1935, 1,500 feet deep off Point Sur, Calif. The aquanauts will use high-resolution sonar to map the wreck in three dimensions. Next year, Schorer will serve as historian on an expedition to locate the USS Lexington, torpedoed in the World War II Battle of the Coral Sea. She has worked as an archival researcher with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the past three years, locating sunken U.S. Navy ships.

“In the cases of the USS Lexington and the USS Macon,” Schorer says, “finding what has been lost is a matter of national pride, honoring those who served and enriching our collective memory.” Schorer says her interest in preserving cultural and industrial heritage is learned from “my guiding mentor,” uncle Deane Keller, a Monuments Man in Italy during World War II who is featured in Robert Edsel's book “Saving Italy.”

“The seed of exploration is innate curiosity, coupled with a willingness to risk,” Schorer says. “Connecticut College encouraged us to take on challenges. When I was president of the International Relations Club, the College sent me to the Collegiate Council of the United Nations in New York, where I was invited to dine with Eleanor Roosevelt. Her philosophy of 'doing something every day that scares you' echoes in my psyche.”

A Russian major and student body president at the College, Schorer earned a master's degree in architecture from Virginia Tech in 1986. She now serves on the Alumni Association Board. She is a member of the Explorers Club in New York. — David Treadwell

Writer David Treadwell is married to Tina Savel Treadwell '63 and met Schorer at Reunion in 2013.

A lifelong passion for Japanese art

The purchase of a $2 poster in 1972 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, of a Portuguese trading ship arriving in 16th-century Japan, helped start a voyage of discovery for Betsy Greenberg Feinberg '66 and her husband, Robert.

When Feinberg's sister Amy Greenberg Poster '68 saw the print framed in the couple's Manhattan apartment, she suggested they could buy real Japanese paintings for the price of the frame. “She took us to the Brooklyn Museum, where she was then an assistant curator in Japanese art, to look at paintings, and she eventually introduced us to a dealer in New York,” Feinberg recalls. “Her enthusiasm provided the impetus for our lifelong passion for Japanese paintings and ceramics.”

The Feinberg Collection is now considered one of the premier private collections of Japanese painting from the Edo period outside Japan. During this pivotal time, 1615-1868, the small fishing village of Edo was transformed into modern Tokyo.

Today, the Met is featuring 93 sets of scroll paintings and folding screens in an exhibition, “The Flowering of Edo Period Painting: Japanese Masterworks from the Feinberg Collection,” which will run until Sept. 7. A few weeks later, another exhibition will open at the Musée Cernuschi in Paris (Sept. 19 until Jan. 6, 2015).

Their collection now includes more than 300 paintings and screens, a selection of which toured Tokyo, Kyoto and Tottori ?City in Japan in 2013.

Feinberg says their lives changed when they made a first trip to Japan in 1982 with their kindergarten-aged daughter. “We fell in love with the culture and met people who have become lifelong friends. The process of purchasing objects for our home, of course, led to meeting collectors, scholars and students, and so our world expanded infinitely. ”

“At Connecticut College,” Feinberg adds, “the liberal arts education I received introduced me not only to history, my major, but led to an unending interest in the art and culture of peoples beyond the United States. It was there that I discovered the pleasure of studying a subject in depth, and that remains a part of my life.”

Feinberg went on to earn a master's in special education from Hunter College. She is a former public-school teacher of blind and visually impaired children in Montgomery County, Md. She currently volunteers with several organizations serving people of all ?ages with visual impairments. She resides near Washington, D.C., with her husband. — Josh Anusewicz

Award: 'Points of Light'

Why isn't babysitting available at most medical centers Amy Moore Paterson '94 decided to answer that question to help millions of parents and caregivers.

Paterson conceived and co-created My Little Waiting Room, a free drop-in child care service now available at two hospitals in Portland, Ore. Caretakers at the licensed centers supervise infants and children through age 10. Parents with a medical appointment can use the service, as can anyone attending an appointment with a family member or visiting a loved one on the hospitals' campuses.

She was honored for this effort with a Points of Light Tribute Award in Washington, D.C., last fall, presented by Neil Bush. His father, President George H. W. Bush, inspired the creation of the non-partisan Points of Light Foundation to encourage the spirit of service. Paterson also was honored at Reunion with an alumni award (see page 71 for all winners).

Paterson realized the acute need for a waiting room for children when she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in 2006. Then 34 years old, she and her husband, Justin Paterson '93, had a 2 1/2-year-old son, Jonah. Paterson realized that with roughly 140 appointments for treatment in her future, she would be responsible for 140 instances when she would have to line up child care. She was puzzled over why babysitting was available at gyms and Ikea, but not at most medical centers.

“When I got my diagnosis, I felt that all the timelines in my life shifted,” says Paterson. She felt an urgency to realize some of her bigger life goals, such as “being more present” for her family. She was also “looking for a way to make some meaning out of a difficult situation.”

Paterson's concept for My Little Waiting Room bloomed during weekly post-chemotherapy walks and talks with close friend Melissa Moore. They co-founded the child care service together. When Paterson finished her treatments in 2007, the two friends stepped into action. “I was pretty weak after treatment,” she says, “but this was something I could do on my own terms, on my own time.” As she regained her health, Paterson says the idea “took on a life of its own. It was such a positive force that I guess I got swept up into it.”

The first facility opened in Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in 2010, the second in Providence Portland Medical Center in 2013. Staffed by Volunteers of America Oregon, the two centers combined receive between 450 and 500 children a week. Since opening, the centers have hosted 22,000 child visits. Today, the nonprofit's goals are to increase visibility within the Providence Health & Services network to encourage others to open waiting rooms for children in their facilities.

As an English major who minored in theater, Paterson recalls her own participation as a student reader and participant on the Theater Department's advisory panel. The culture of service she experienced as a student, she says, still influences her interest in giving back.

“I like the phrase that goes something like, 'Build a bridge from where you are today into the future,'” Paterson says. “This was a way to build a bridge that could feel really good.” — Jessica Trobaugh Temple

A spoonful of social sugar

Fulbright scholar Justin Koufopoulos '10 tries to get people to take their medicine as prescribed. With a bachelor's degree in psychology from Connecticut College and a master's in science from the University of Leeds, he is using social media to build a community of patients who can help each other.

He is turning the traditional research model on its head. Most researchers examine the investment in nurses, schedule reminders and automatic check-in devices to determine how to get more patients to comply with doctors' orders. For his own research, Koufopoulos built a social network to help 500 people with chronic asthma manage their symptoms.

Koufopoulos named his project the Asthma Village and asked participants to post their medication use each day for three months. As he had hoped, Koufopoulos found that people took full advantage of the social dimension of the site. There were joyful posts when a treatment was working, helpful comments when someone hit a rough patch, self-reminders to do better, crowd-sourced solutions to ineffective medication, and good-humored venting about minor annoyances. He completed the study in fall of 2013 and is now writing about the results for publication.

The impact of deploying social networks could be huge. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, “Approximately 30 to 50 percent of U.S. adults are not adherent to long-term medications, leading to an estimated $100 billion in preventable costs annually.”

Koufopoulos initiated another project last year to create a community, called Fulbright 1:1. The idea is for Fulbright scholars to mentor low-income students in the United Kingdom. With support from the U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission, the U.S. Embassy in London and the Sutton Trust, the mentors assist young adults with job interviews, college applications, the transition to a rigorous educational environment, and their careers and lives.

Through early-action acceptances, 33 students in the program have already been admitted to prestigious American universities including Harvard and Yale. They have been offered a total of $7.5 million in financial aid, and 70 percent of them will be the first members of their families to receive a college education. The mentorship program is now in its second year and will expand this fall.

Koufopoulos says his work demonstrates that people we connect with can change our health, our behavior and our lives. Citing his own connection to Connecticut College, Koufopoulos credits Ann Devlin, the Sadowski Professor of Psychology, and others at the College with teaching him how to think, to explore and be curious about the world. “This is the value of a liberal arts degree. The common thread in my work has been communities. Connecticut College is more than a school; it is a community of talented young people working toward a common goal, their own education and the betterment of the world around them.”

A native of Fairfield, Conn., Koufopoulos has just accepted a job in Manhattan as head of business development with, a 3-D printing startup. — Alex Woods '16

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