News & Updates from Brookers Around the Globe
Walt Gale ‘54 and wife, Ruth, are doing well after a pre-Christmas flood in their Houston, TX apartment. They hope to return home in the next month or two.
Richard Purchase ‘55 and wife, Elizabeth, celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary this month with 17 of their tribe on a Caribbean Cruise. “God says eight times in Genesis, ‘Be fruitful and multiply.’ I rest my case with 21 grandkids and 18 great-grandkids thanks to the five kids we raised.”
Carlos Chien Ching Tu ‘59 recently retired from being a professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Universidade de Sao Paulo. He is currently trying to finish a book on the faith of the pioneers of physics.
Donald Bird ’63 is a professor of Journalism and Communication Studies at Long Island University and has taught graduate courses on military bases in five states. He annually serves as a juror on LIU’s George Polk Awards for Investigative Journalism. Most of his classes have a remote option, and he teaches students throughout the country and the world, including South Africa, Ghana, and China. He is in his 43rd year at LIU–Brooklyn and is approaching his 50th of university teaching, “So, at least I’ve proven that I can hold down a job!” His greatest satisfaction comes from “helping place students in various media organizations—most lately Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, and Channel 12 Weather.
Rob Taylor ’67 got together with fellow alumni John Everitt ’00 and Andrew Rowsom ’87 in Greenport this month to discuss the SBS Sailing program (pictured above).
Karl Young ‘71 specializes in lithium-ion batteries, “so feel free to email me if you have any questions about any of the six Li-ion chemistries for cars, EVs, airplanes, boats, motorcycles, solar/wind, homes, etc.”
Theodoros Manousiades (Louie Gutierrez) ‘73 is retired and living in Florida, where he coaches and officiates basketball. He is also a season ticket holder for the Tampa Bay Lightning–“You may know the Hall of Famer next to me” (pictured above).
Peter Szto ‘73 was a Fulbright Scholar in Singapore, teaching a social work course on mental health care last fall at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Back home in Omaha, he was appointed to the Peter Kiewit Distinguished Professorship at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. (Pictured above with fellow alumnus Peter Lin ’74).
Laura Collins ‘79 and her husband recently purchased a townhouse on the Alentejo coast of Portugal after six years of living off the grid on a mountain in southern Spain. “Our village has fewer than 1,000 residents, but it seems lively compared to our remote life in Spain. We are fortunate to enjoy the benefits of each of these Southern European lifestyles.”
Ted Turnau ‘83 is currently the Chair of Journalism and Media Studies at Anglo-American University in Prague, Czech Republic. He just finished the manuscripts of two books on creative Christian cultural engagement to be published in July 2023, one co-written with jazz vocalist/art photographer/social activist Ruth Naomi Floyd. He and Carolyn, who is a Bible teacher at a local Christian school, celebrated 37 years of marriage on January 4th (pictured above).
Christian (Johnson) Taylor ‘84 is currently living in Wheaton, IL with her husband, Jeremy. While continuing to work as an on-camera and voiceover actress, Christian has added “filmmaker” to her resume. Her breakout, award-winning documentary, The Girl Who Wore Freedom, can be found on Amazon, AppleTV, and Vudu. Her company, Documentary First, has two other projects in the works: Carentan: Unlocking the Road to Liberty and The Brave Dutch. Christian can also be heard on her podcast, Documentary First, and The Holy Post Podcast with Phil Vischer and Skye Jethani. Christian was thrilled to run into her friend and fellow classmate Kris (McNutt) Loomis ‘84 during her recent travels (pictured above).
Heather (White) Pratt ‘85 and her husband, Chris, went to Las Vegas for the AWS Conference at the end of November, where they renewed their vows with Elvis (pictured above). “It was a blast!”
Emily Litman ‘94 is teaching ESL to middle school students in Jersey City, NJ. There are over 30 languages spoken in her students’ homes. She has also voluntarily taught ESL to adults for 13 years with The Open Door, a nonprofit founded by Luis and Maggie Iza (P ‘97). “I spend a lot of time with my brother Peter (‘96), who is also a teacher, and his two adorable children.”
Shannon (Hurst) Montague ‘94 published a children’s book in 2021, Vivienne’s Dancing Day, which is available from several online bookshops, including Troubador UK, Wordery, and Amazon (cover art pictured above). Shannon now lives in Lincolnshire, UK, with her husband, Mike, and their dog Elsie. She sends greetings to fellow alumni and teachers.
Pedro Hoffmeister ‘95 published his seventh book, American Afterlife (Crooked Lane, Penguin Random House), in December. It earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly in the fall of 2022. (Cover pictured above).
Mara (Eddy) Lewis ‘95 had a visit from her dad and former faculty member, Dr. Jerry Eddy, over the holidays. Dr. Eddy was excited to receive his first-ever “SBS Grandparent” golf shirt since his granddaughter Porter is enrolled in Gravitas, SBS’s online school (pictured above).
Lindsay (Brown) Dickinson ‘98 lives in Telluride, CO, “a majestic mountain town,” recruiting and building up family child care businesses throughout the Western Slope. She owns a babysitting service for tourists in Telluride.
Noelle Durfee ‘02 graduated with a Master’s Degree in Physician Assistant Studies in 2014 (pictured above) and worked in hospital medicine through the COVID pandemic. “God has kept me safe through the pandemic, and I am continuing to learn new things every day working on the hospital floors!”
Dennis Valet ‘04 was kind enough to judge Stony Brook’s mock trial team scrimmage vs. Southampton HS on January 18th (pictured above).
Megan (Cook) Tillotson ’06 is a middle school art and technology teacher in the Naperville, IL public school district. “It’s an exciting time to be in technology; from animation to podcast development and web design, we create and explore a lot of fun things. I enjoy helping students move from technology consumers to creators.” Megan and her husband, Grant, have three children: Liv (6), Cohen (5) & Violet (2) (pictured above), who keep them “busy and very entertained.” “We would be happy to connect with SBS alumni in the Chicagoland area.”
Brannon (Burke) O’Connor ‘11 lives in Brooklyn with her partner Brian and their dog Juneau. She is in her 8th year supporting schools as a teacher, special education coordinator, school administrator, and girls’ basketball coach and currently teaches at Brooklyn Prospect in Clinton Hill. She received her Masters in Special Education from NYU in 2019 and has found a deep sense of purpose in connecting students with the resources they need to thrive inside and outside of the classroom.
Luke Paige ‘11 launched his second musical album, Before There Was You, this month. He and his wife live in the Catskills, NY, and also work in film and woodworking.
Natalie (Istrati) Webster ‘11 & Michael Webster ‘10 both work at a PK-12, private, Christian, English-language school in the Dominican Republic called Santiago Christian School (where Seth Cohen ‘84 was the director for nine years). Natalie is the HR Manager, and Michael is a secondary math teacher. They are also greatly involved with their local church, which primarily serves the Haitian refugee population. “This is a great humanitarian crisis that is heavily on our hearts!” They have two young kids of their own, a third on the way (due in July!), and are fostering a local teenage orphan.
Elena Chen ‘18 graduated from UC Berkeley with a BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, and she is now working as a software engineer at Instagram.
Bobby Reuter ‘22 finished Cadet Basic Training and is currently in his first year at West Point. He will study Economics and is a part of West Point’s Finance Club, which recently took a trip to the New York Stock Exchange and Morgan Stanley headquarters. Bobby will serve a minimum of five years in the Army after he graduates and hopes to eventually become involved in investment banking and business.
Alumni Basketball Night
In the last home game before Christmas, the boys’ basketball team hosted an alumni night. Pictured above left to right: Coach Thom Brownworth, Wally Henry ’82, Josh Shteierman ’01, Marco Masakayan ’13, Andre Bruno ’13, Luke Meyer ’15, Nick Liberatore ’19, CJ Edwards ’22, TJ Wachter ’21, Dan Hickey ’04 & Joe Alexander ’87.