Alumni News and Stories
Dr. Billy Osteen, associate professor in community engagement at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, has been named the Zagat Global Fellow for 2016-2017.
Dr. Osteen began his residence on the Riverdale campus on Feb. 6. He will participate in student assemblies, meetings with Riverdale faculty, a conference on service learning sponsored by the New York State Association of Independent Schools, and planning sessions for a Riverdale exchange trip to Honolulu and Christchurch in June that will focus on cultural traditions and belonging, community building, character education, sustainability, service learning, and personal and community resilience.
In addition to Dr. Osteen's teaching responsibilities at the University of Canterbury, he also serves as director of UC’s Community Engagement Hub, a program established to facilitate opportunities for all UC staff and students to engage with their communities. In this role, he makes possible solution-focused connections among businesses, community organizations, education, and governmental agencies with a particular emphasis on post-disaster contexts, inequality, and citizenship education. Dr. Osteen serves as a board member for the Sumner School in Christchurch, which his two daughters attended. He was a key organizer of Riverdale’s 2015 trip to Christchurch and the Sumner School, and has remained instrumental in helping to advance the exchange between Riverdale and Sumner, which will continue this year.
Prior to joining the University of Canterbury faculty in 2005, Dr. Osteen was a faculty member at North Carolina State University, served as a Peace Corps administrator, created and directed an intermediate school, taught English at a secondary school in Tennessee and two community colleges in California, guided whitewater raft trips in California, and facilitated multicultural education programs in Brazil and Tennessee.
His teaching and research focuses on curriculum design, higher education, and professional development with a concentration on experiential education and service learning.
The Zagat Global Fellows program, established by Riverdale alumnus Tim Zagat ’57 in 2015, fosters a partnership between Riverdale and various schools worldwide, with the purpose of introducing international educators to the Riverdale community for extended visits each year while also providing Riverdale faculty members an opportunity to become reciprocally immersed in each partner school’s educational program. This exchange will allow Riverdale to increase global connections and deepen the community’s understanding of other cultures.
Two members of Riverdale's Class of 2012 have received Stanford University medals for distinguished undergraduate research.
Soo Ji Lee received the Robert M. Golden Medal for Excellence in the Humanities and Creative Arts for her history thesis, “Photographing for Change: Reinterpreting Bob Fitch’s Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement and United Farm Workers Movement.”
Mark Walsh received the Firestone Medal for Excellence in Undergraduate Research for his thesis, “The Effect of Indian Community Health Workers: Multiple Tasks and Few Results.”
The awards were announced in June.
by John M. Davis '68
With only two years remaining until our big 50th Reunion, I thought that it would be fun to share a few events and occasions that involved some of my Riverdale childhood friends. This year, we have seven destination weddings, all children of childhood friends, some of whom were our classmates at Riverdale.
At the end of April, Andrew, the son of Tony Adler '68 (pictured with me on the right in the photograph at the left), was married in Santa Barbara. I had been the best man at Tony's first wedding to Hilda Herrera in Guatemala. I am godfather to their daughter, Monica.
For those of you who attended Riverdale dances, you will remember my great friends, Lorraine Carrady and Wendy Flink (pictured at right, below). Lorraine Carrady Quinn attended Riverdale for one year, and she was my date at our senior prom. Lorraine's middle son, Gregory, was married in Greece in June at a six-day celebration, which was phenomenal. Wendy was there as was Diane Levbarg Klein '68 (pictured at left, below) and her husband, Martin.
August will bring us back to Santa Barbara for the wedding of Jeremy, the youngest son of Richard and Niza Davidson. Jeremy and his fiancee, Jen, both age 24, are just as close to us as his parents. Richard attended Horace Mann. Another Horace Mann grad, David Sandberg, brother of Helen Sandberg Metzger '72, both childhood friends, will also attend.
While not a wedding, yet another event sparked Riverdale memories this year. I have always joked that I was one of the few students in my class who did not have famous parents. Anderson Cooper and his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, have written a wonderful new memoir entitled The Rainbow Comes and Goes. It was also made into a documentary for HBO this year. My old friend, Stan Stokowski '68, makes an appearance in the film. Stan now has grey hair and looks great. He is Anderson's half-brother. When they showed scenes of the Vanderbilt townhouse in the East 60s, I remembered being there with Stan as if it were yesterday!
All of these recent events reminded me of our wonderful days at Riverdale and made me all the more excited about our upcoming big Reunion!
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