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Archive for the ‘Alumni’ Category

Fun With Jeffrey

Jeffrey & hood

Jeffrey Robb (Burke ’10) was a lotta fun while at Burke.  Such fun included his excellent Burke-themed comic strip – The Organization, which you can find right here on Burke.Word (he’s still waiting on those royalty checks).   Unnamed sources (meaning I can’t say who’s mom told me) now tell your humble scribe and school yenta, that the tradition of fun continues as Jeffrey concludes his second year at Muhlenberg College.  Jeffrey is a company member of a somewhat rogue comedy troop called “Fun With Science” (you can tell their roguishness by the number of beards in the troop).  In one of their recent videos, Fun With Randy, they somehow extorted the President of the College, Peyton Randolph Helm, to come play with them outside.  Like most things Jeffrey does – you’ll love it.

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Janine and her bro, Omar at graduation

Burke alum, Janine Khraishah was an unforgettable member of Burke world, excelling in school, on the field and in service to the community.  After graduating from Burke in 2008, Janine went to Brown University where she was recently welcomed, as a Junior, into the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honor society.  Here’s what she has to say about her experience so far at Brown and how life at Burke helped prepare her for Brown:

What are you studying at Brown?
I am studying International Relations with a focus in Political Economy and Middle Eastern Studies. My coursework is varied: Economics, Anthropology, History, Political Science, and Sociology, which is good because I think it is really important to take a variety of classes as an undergrad However, I’m concentrating in Middle Eastern Studies so that I will have in-depth knowledge about a particular area as well. Best of both worlds!

Favorite classes at Brown?
My favorite class at Brown so far is “Globalization and Social Conflict” taught by Professor Heller. You know a class is good when you are not looking at your watch every five minutes! This class really shaped how I perceive poverty and inequality in the world. Everything we learned was so relevant to what is going on in the world today.

Other things you’re working on at Brown?
In addition to my studies, I am on the Board of the Brown Muslim Students’ Association. Currently we are renovating the Brown Muslim Students’ Center: we have raised $12,000 so far! We also organize social events for Muslim students and other events that seek to educate the Brown community about Islam. I am also president of the Open Arms Initiative, a student group that works with immigrants (mostly Iraqi) in the Providence area, tutoring them in English and generally help them navigate life in the US.

What role did Burke play in your preparation for college?
Burke prepares you well to approach professors outside the classroom with confidence. At Burke, you are encouraged to talk to your teachers and  build relationships with them outside the classroom, which is a really important skill to have when you are one of five hundred students in a lecture-based class. I also developed strong writing skills and learned how to approach writing research papers at Burke, both of which are crucial college skills.

J9 and Bob K. and H.

What were some of your favorite classes at Burke?
Favorite classes at Burke included Chemistry with Bob and AP English with Robbie. Really good, challenging classes. Also both Robbie and Bob are really passionate about their respective subjects and it really shows through in their teaching.

Softball Senior Day

I am really glad I played sports at Burke. It was definitely integral to my experience at the school, and I made some of my best friends on those teams. I learned a lot of skills from playing sports that I still carry with me. I learned how to manage and organize my time better from balancing sports and school. I think its important to challenge yourself in different ways outside of the classroom, and being involved in athletics allowed me to do that. Nothing teaches you more about discipline like a 6:00 in the morning practice with Pam, or perseverance like trying to climb out of a 6-0  hole in a softball game!

What did the Burke community mean to you?

Softball Crew

I found that the community at Burke was strong and intimate. It is nice to go to a school where you are familiar with most everyone, and everyone knows you. Burke’s faculty facilitates this sense of community in a strong way. The teachers I had at Burke really cared about their students and would go out of their way to get to know them. That doesn’t stop when you graduate either. Last year I got a care package from Rachel Braun, went out to coffee with Robbie, and sent a few French papers I had written to Tamara for feedback. Whenever I come by something that I know will be interesting to a Burke teacher, I’ll email them about it. It’s nice to know that I’ll always have the support system I had at Burke.

Burke’s celebration and valuing of people’s differences also helped my transition to college. At Brown, I was really surprised by the diversity I encountered. I’m not just talking about racial diversity, which there is quite a bit of here. I also mean the diversity of interests that I have encountered. I have met potters, singers, poets, cricket players, breakdancers, and a lot more. I love belonging to a community where I experience such a mélange of people on a day to day basis. In high school, I found that my friends were quite similar to me, but at college that is definitely not the case

What does the Phi Beta Kappa honor mean for you?
I was really honored to receive Phi Beta Kappa. Phi Beta Kappa is not solely a reward that reflects the grades you receive. It also reflects the strength and variety of the coursework one chooses to take. At a school that offers its students an extraordinary amount of flexibility and liberality in the courses they choose, it is nice to receive a reward in recognition of how carefully and thoughtfully I have constructed the curriculum I have chosen to follow.

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The Burke Family…

…Just got a little bigger…

Rebecca Elizabeth

Congratulations to Nathan and Stacey Zee on the birth of their beautiful second daughter, Rebecca Elizabeth.  Nathan is a Burke alum and former Board member.  Here’s the tale of the tape:  born at a very reasonable 8:47am on 12/8/10, 8 lbs 1 oz., 21 inches, and like her parents she’s smart with a large brain measuring 14.5″ around.  Mazel Tov to the Zee family!

Parents & Rachel (only picture of Rachel that Burke.Word has) 😉

Hat tip to our resident technology maven, David Shapiro, for figuring out how to send in the lovely picture of Rebecca, while on a train to NYC, no less!!  Brava! (Yes, Daniel, maven).

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The Organization: The Virus

Mild mannered alum and author of The Organization, Jeffrey Robb (’10), was apparently bitten by a radioactive spider (or maybe it was a ladybug), while conducting a school science experiment on whether people blush in the dark.  Later, at his Uncle Ben’s, I mean his mom’s house, he began to discover that he had new super powers.  He could help others leap tall problems in a single bound, he pitched in faster than a speeding bullet, his friendship was more powerful than a locomotive.  And he could spin a story like Spidey can spin a web.  As proof, his recent comic, The Virus, took 1st Place in the Graphic Short Story Contest at Muhlenberg College.  Check it out!

You can read all of The Organization Comics by clicking here

The Organization is Copyright ©2010 Jeffrey Robb

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Where's Ollie?

Ollie

“For no particular reason I just kept on going. I ran clear to the ocean. And when I got there, I figured, since I’d gone this far, I might as well turn around, just keep on going. When I got to another ocean, I figured, since I’d gone this far, I might as well just turn back, keep right on going.”  – Forrest Gump

Unlike Forrest Gump, many of Burke’s X-Country alum legends are running still.  In fact, a number of them have run their way on to their college Cross-County teams.

Ollie St. John (’08) is one of the key members of Macalister College’s team.  In fact, Ollie led the team at the appropriately named St. Johns Invitational Meet in Minnesota, placing 33rd of 150 runners.

Don't let Henry catch you

Simon w/o saxophone

Henry Molofsky (’08) runs for Wesleyan and Simon Conrad (’10) just started his first year running for Earlham College.

Run, Burke! Run!

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Ariella Gladstein (Burke ’07, Beloit ’11) and Rachel Braun (Math Dept) had a reunion of sorts in July, enjoying some chai (latte) and chi (statistics).    Ariella took Linear Algebra at U Maryland this summer, and discovered some cool matrix connections to least-squares regression estimates that she remembered from her AP Statistics days with Rachel.   Girls just want to have geek fun, of course, so they met at Starbucks to take a second look at least-squares regression techniques, now illuminated by Ariella’s more recent prowess in calculus, matrix algebra, and further studies in statistics.  The applications to Ariella’s passion for genetics are extensive.

This comic strip  —  http://www.xkcd.com/747/ — was not helpful as the two debated whether they were geeks or nerds.  They did agree that multivariate statistics — an extension of topics in AP Stat —  is pretty cool, though.

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Past, Present, Future & a blue pajama'd mascot from another dimension

Burke’s past, present and future came together for the Alumni Weekend over the past few days.  There were parties, dinners, and a talent show for returning students.  But, one of the biggest highlights of the weekend was Saturday’s Volleyball Cage Match pitting alumni, staff and current students against one another.  The day was filled with vicious spikes, deadly aces, precise sets, towering roofs and ‘phone booths.’  The hard-fought final game pitted Blue Steel, a rough-tough bunch of vogueing 2010 vballers vs Team Represent, a who’s-who volleyball mash-up of students, alumni and staff.   Team Represent limped away with a 2-point victory – and the knowledge that there’ll be a big target on their back next year!  Some pics are below – and you can catch a slideshow of the action by clicking here.  H/T to Adam J. for the group photo!

Friends off the court!

Alums!

Team Leland

Future All-Star!

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