Alumni

Jennifer Chiaverini, AM'92, Publishes Historical Novel

Jennifer Chiaverini, AM'92, published Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker, a Civil War-era historical novel that details the life of Elizabeth Keckley, a former slave who became Mary Todd Lincoln's personal seamstress. In a New York Times article on Keckley, Chiaverini says that the inspiration to write about Keckley's life came from research for earlier Civil War-era books, which often relied on Keckley. According to the article, after reading Keckley's controversial memoir, Chiaverini had the idea to write a novel based on "day-to-day moments between the seamstress and the first lady."

Chiaverini is also the author of the New York Times bestselling Elm Creek Quilts series.

More alumni-penned books can be found on the University of Chicago Magazine Goodreads page.

Justine Nagan, AM'04, Honored by New Leaders Council

Justine Nagan, AM'04, a graduate of the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH), was presented with one of the 2013 40 Under 40 Media Leadership Awards from the New Leaders Council. Nagan is the Executive Director of Kartemquin Films, which produces documentaries focused on social justice such as Hoop Dreams and The Interrupters. In 2009, she directed Typeface, a documentary that explored The Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum in Two Rivers, WI, and examined artists' responsibility to preserving a dying craft alongside how rural towns can "survive in a shifting industrial marketplace where big-box retailers are king."

The 40 Under 40 Leadership Awards honor individuals in four categories: political leadership, media leadership, advocacy, and entrepreneurship. Recipients are selected by members of the New Leaders Council for exemplifying the organization's "ideal of political entrepreneurship."

Learn more about the council here and see upcoming films from Kartemquin here.

Watch Kate Zambreno, AM'02, Read from Her Memoir, 'Heroines'

Kate Zambreno, AM'02, visited the Logan Center to give a reading from her newest work HeroinesWatch the video of the reading here.

The Rumpus called Heroines "relentless and reflective" and "a genre-defying battle cry about forgotten and suppressed women in literature (as well as her role in the gendered story of her own life)." Heroines developed in part from Zambreno's blog Frances Farmer is My Sister, where she meditates on the voices and biographies of writers like Vivienne Eliot, Jane Bowles, Jean Rhys, and Zelda Fitzgerald.

Alumni Recognized for Service and Professional Achievement During Alumni Weekend

Two alumni with ties to the Division of the Humanities will be recognized at the 72nd Annual Alumni Awards Ceremony on Saturday, June 8th.

Nancy Parra, AM'66, PhD'73, is a member of the Alumni Club of Houston, the Alumni Board of Governors, and the Visiting Committee to the Division of the Humanities. The years of her involvement with the Alumni Club of Houston have seen an increase in alumni participation. During her time with the Alumni Board of Governors she helped produce the Student Externship Program, which both positively impacts the lives of students and promotes alumni service. Parra will be presented with the Alumni Service Award in honor of her her continued advocacy for the University.

Eva Fishell Lichtenberg, LAB'49, AB'52, AM'55, PhD'60, will be presented with the Alumni Service Medal "for her thoughtful approach in identifying the needs of current students to ensure their overall experience – from curriculum, student life, and extracurricular activities – showed growth and revitalization." She has served on the Alumni Board of Governors, the Visiting Committee to the Department of Music, the Visiting Committee to the College, and currently serves on the University of Chicago Women’s Board and the Visiting Committee to the Division of the Humanities. She also serves on a number of charitable boards throughout Chicago.

Learn about the Alumni Awards Ceremony and read the full alumni biographies here.

Alumni Weekend will take place from June 6 to June 9. To find out more about the weekend's programming and to register, please visit the Alumni Weekend site.

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