Here's some recent news from the Naropa alumnx community! Check out the updates, organized by graduation year.
Lori Stultz, BA '15, started traveling at the end of August for an outreach position for the nonprofit organization Vegan Outreach. She will be on the road in her new position for the next year or two! "Compassion, critical thinking, warriorship, and bravery to stand up for what I believe in, all of which are traits that I strengthened during my time at Naropa, helped me land my dream job with a highly respected non-profit organization called Vegan Outreach (VO)."
Jenni Buczko, MA '14, recently started a small business as an artist, on the side of her mental health-related jobs. Her medium is silk painting, using dye to paint on real China Silks. Buczko does commissioned pieces and recently donated to the Somatic Arts Scholarship Concert this past January. She shares, "in addition to originals, I make professional matted prints and just signed a contract with the biggest private contributor to Yosemite National Park (Yosemite Conservancy) to publish my artwork on note cards! The boxed set will be coming out this coming October." Learn more about Buczko's work.
Justin Bogardus, MA '13, recently gave a talk at TEDxVail about his award-winning short viral comedy series - Nature Rx: Prescription Strength Nature. The film has over 10 million views, over 40 film festivals worldwide, and several Best Short awards. Bogardus will be giving a version of the TED talk "Does Nature have a marketing problem?" at the Wisdom 2.0 Conference in San Francisco. In April, he'll be giving a 20-minute version of the same TED talk at Clemson University as part of the US Play conference and US Play Coalition on the importance of play and getting outdoors throughout life. Watch the TEDx talk here.
Veronica Santoyo, MFA '13, shares: "I have been invited to be a full-time visiting professor of acting (2015-2016) in the Theatre and Dance Department at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, where Marc Devine is currently teaching. I am grateful for this opportunity and most grateful to all of you who have supported my artistic process throughout, and have been part of my learning and growth at Naropa." Congratulations, Veronica!
Tyler Norris, MDiv '11 and current Naropa board chair, was recently featured on the Social Venture Network talking about how the health of people is a powerful argument to bring together many diverse voices around social policies. Norris currently serves as Vice President of Total Health Partnerships at Kaiser Permanente.
Scott Brown, MA '10, has written a book The Path of Restoration: Living into the Truth of Interbeing and was interviewed by the Metta Center about his manuscript. Brown is planning a book and workshop tour in 2016.
Megan DiBello, MFA '10, and Daniel Dissinger, MFA '09, currently run Poetry Teachers NYC, a company that teaches Adult Education and offers multi-disciplinary events throughout New York City.
Amie Irene Winters, MA '09, recently published her first novel, Strange Luck - a fantasy novel in the vein of The Neverending Story meets The Wizard of Oz. Winters is a former park ranger turned YA Fantasy author. She is currently working on a sequel to her first novel. Learn more about Winters' work and find a copy of the novel.
Jorge Rodriguez-Miralles, MFA '08, shared one of his most recent publications, "Traducciones." Rodriguez-Miralles is a poet, literary critic, translator and activist for peace and the environment. He has published his work in magazines such as Ragazine, The Cimarron Review, Danse Macabre, TheThePoetry, Bombay Gin, Big Bridge and Metropolis. He currently teaches at Miami Dade College and the University of St. Thomas (Florida). In 2014 he published his book of poems Everything / Nothing.
Tristan Duke, BA '08, was featured in The News-Gazette about his work as a photographer building the Liminal Camera. In 2008, he founded Infinity Light Science and recently created holograms for several recording artists. Duke also is a fellow at the Museum of Jurassic Technology, a museum that displays artifacts in a way that breaks down conventional boundaries between art and science. Read more about Duke's work.
Saj Razvi, MA '05, works with the Denver-based non-profit, Trauma Dynamics. Razvi was recently interviewed on Colorado Public Radio regarding research on MDMA assisted psychotherapy which can help people who have post-traumatic stress disorder. Click here to listen to the interview.
Mary Morelli, BA '04, has published a children's book, The Lemonade Hurricane, which is featured in CBC's Hot Off the Press. A story of mindfulness and meditation, the story follows Emma and her little brother, Henry. Showing him how to sit, bow, and breath, Emma is able to calm the hurricane within Henry. Learn more about the book.
Marlene Prinzing, MA '03, is offering free Mini Intuitive Readings through her private practice, Gifted Whisperer. She shares, "I am offering this to introduce others to my work as The Body-Life Whisperer and CEO/Inventor of The Prinzing Method aka TPM." Learn more about Prinzing's work.
Evan Hundhausen, MFA '01, writes that "He has had poetry published in "The Asheville Poetry Review" and has won many awards for his writing. He is also a DJ and a freelance writer for music magazines. He is a fiction and short story writer. Hundhausen's short stories combine fantasy, magic realism, and a healthy dose of humor. His approach to writing is to capture the reader's attention as fast as he can, entertain them, and leave them wanting more!" You can check out Hundhausen's page on Amazon here.
Vassar Byrd, MA '01, began her career as an economist, working in Washington DC and Portland, OR. After ten years in the field, she chose to change her career entirely for the opportunity to work in nonprofit senior living. She obtained a Master’s degree in Gerontology at Naropa University and became CEO of Rose Villa, a not-for-profit CCRC, in 2006. She will be the keynote speaker at Naropa's Reimagining Death & Dying Conference in January 2016.
Mary Tischler, MFA '99, is currently working on a community garden in Detroit. It Takes A Village Garden recently reached their crowdfunding goal, supporting the transformation of the garden and other playground improvements, part of a comprehensive neighborhood rehabilitation project near 7 Mile and Evergreen in Detroit. The community garden features a Poetry Garden, and includes gardening areas for people to grow organic vegetables, as well as provide the community easier access to fresh produce. Learn more about the project.
Vishal Khanna, MFA '99, was recently awarded the Content Marketer of the Year award at the 2015 Content Marketing World Conference. Khanna leads all digital channels for Wake Forest Innovations, where he applies the leading digital strategies of B2B organizations to the university setting. A North Carolina writing fellow, Khanna’s fiction and nonfiction are published widely across the web. A serial entrepreneur, Khanna has founded or played an integral role in five companies, including his current digital strategy firm Produce Creative. Get in touch and learn more at vishalkhanna.com.
Congratulations to Megan Marsnik, MFA '98, on the publication of her new book, Under Ground, which is being serialized by the Star Tribune. According to Megan, "It begins as a classic immigrant story and slowly morphs into a protest novel highlighting the courage of the union organizers who fought for workers rights and human dignity." You can find the book at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Congratulations to Ryan Kennedy, MA '93, who is the 2015 recipient of the Nancy Biros Derdul Award for Vision, Innovation, and Clinical Excellence by the WINGS Foundation. The WINGS Foundation has been providing services to adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse in the Denver area for over 25 years and the award is given to individuals who have made "outstanding contributions to the field of counseling psychology, and more specifically, to the WINGS organization, the survivors that we serve, and the therapists who benefit from our clinical training program." Read more about this recognition and the work Kennedy is doing with the Noeticus Counseling Center.
A Naropa alumnx from the early years, Kirby Olson, '79, writes: "I studied poetry with Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, and Philip Whalen, among others. My first book of poetry, called Christmas at Rockefeller Center, will appear from WordTech Editions in November 2015. My poems have been inChristianity and Literature, First Things, Partisan Review, Chronicles, Cortland Review, Poetry East, and many other journals. My first poem ever published was in the Naropa Institute literary journal. I have a blurb from Allen Ginsberg. Currently, I teach creative writing and philosophy at SUNY-Delhi in the western Catskills."