Class Notes - 1990s
Kent Herbert M.A.T. is very proud that his daughter, Taylor, will be enrolling at Lewis & Clark as an undergraduate this fall, 20 years after he earned his degree from the Graduate School of Education and Counseling. “I couldn’t be happier with her college choice.”
Arts & Sciences Reunion June 23−26, 2011
Abby Wool Landon J.D. has been named to the board of directors of the Northwest Academy, an independent school in Portland. Landon is a shareholder in Bullivant Houser Bailey’s Portland office.
Anna Long J.D. has been elected to the board of the Florida Brownfields Association as secretary treasurer. Long is an attorney with Lowndes Drosdick Doster Kantor & Reed in central Florida.
Cheryl Morgen B.S. began working part time at Bend Research this spring as a research specialist.
Phylis Myles J.D. has been elected president of the Oregon Women Lawyers Foundation. Myles is director of career services at Willamette University College of Law.
Stephanie Parent J.D. has joined the Oregon Department of Justice, working primarily in the Special Litigation Unit on the enforcement of state and federal environmental laws. Parent was managing attorney for the Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center, a legal clinic at the law school, from 1999 to 2007.
Pamela Strong B.A. lives in Indonesia with her husband, Abedin Bajagilovic, and son Luka, 5 years old. Her job with Catholic Relief Services allows her to travel the region, including East Timor, Cambodia, Laos, and India, to provide program development support and capacity building.
Brigitta Lee B.A. finished her Ph.D. in East Asian Studies at Princeton University in 2007.
Shahzeb Jillani B.S., after a six-month stint in Beirut as Middle East correspondent, has been appointed Middle East editor for BBC World Service Radio in London.
J.B. Kim J.D., director of the Law School’s Academic Enhancement Program, received the President’s Affirmative Action Award at the Oregon State Bar’s annual awards dinner in December 2009. Kim has chaired the OSB Diversity Section and is active as a school liaison with the OSB Affirmative Action Committee.
Gregory Moawad J.D. has been elected director of the Multnomah Bar Association. He is a deputy district attorney with the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, assigned to a violent crimes unit.
Amy Neal B.A. writes, “Since enjoying my time at Lewis & Clark I have created a life with a community service theme. After two years with AmeriCorps (where I met my husband), I have worked for nonprofit agencies focusing on issues including children, the elderly, transportation for people with special needs, and community development. I have put my degree in English to good use as a grant writer. Though we call Yakima our home, we enjoy travel, and most recently went to Vietnam to build homes with Habitat for Humanity.”
Edwin Skoch II J.D. has been promoted to executive vice president and chief underwriting officer at NYMAGIC, a holding company in New York. 1995 Shoshana Gordon B.A. is living in Portland with her two daughters. She is working as a personal trainer, group exercise instructor, and life coach.
Jessica Quayle Benenson B.A. completed her master of education in elementary education, with a focus in reading and literacy, from Northern Arizona University at Flagstaff in December 2009.
Gary Gunter B.A. is a member of a group called Cheap Shots, which writes, produces, and acts in short comic videos, mostly parodying celebrity-worship culture in Hollywood. He has also been cowriting a screenplay that a team of producers has optioned —a kids’ fantasy-comedy called Mail-Order Monster. Gunter works from home as a freelancer, most recently developing an electronic training program for caregivers of the elderly. He created a curriculum, wrote and adapted content, did the design, and directed video shoots and voice-over sessions.
Willard Chi J.D. received the New Lawyers Division’s Volunteer of the Year Award at the Oregon State Bar’s annual awards dinner in December 2009.
Paul Conable J.D. has joined the board of the Classroom Law Project. Conable is a Tonkon Torp attorney who specializes in commercial litigation.
Andrea Godfread-Brown J.D. has joined Hancock & Estabrook in Syracuse, New York. She is a member of the firm’s immigration, labor, employment, and health care practice groups.
Kirk Martin B.A. is director of Chinese cultural exchange programs at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. He returned to his hometown of Des Moines after living in China and California for the years immediately following graduation. During the past seven years, he says, “I have committed myself to working alongside central Iowa’s Latino and Chinese immigrant communities to make Iowa a more welcoming place for all peoples. I am a proud husband to my wife, Sarah, and father to our daughter, Lola Plum Martin. Drop me a line should you be passing through Iowa!”
Edward Tylicki J.D. is president of the Oregon chapter of the Federal Bar Association for 2009–10. Tylicki is in-house counsel for Nike.
Steven Chan B.A. joined the Department of Commerce in February 2009 as deputy director of the Office of the China Economic Area (covering Mongolia, Hong Kong, and Macau). The China office is part of the Market Access and Compliance unit in the International Trade Administration at the Department of Commerce.
Quinlan Steiner J.D. was reappointed as director of the State of Alaska’s Public Defender agency for a four year term.
Laura Maffei J.D. has passed her examination to become a LEED green associate, demonstrating that she has a basic knowledge of green design, construction, and operations. Maffei’s practice in Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt’s Portland office focuses on environmental and natural resource law.
Allison Rhodes J.D. has been elected partner in the Hinshaw & Culbertson Portland office. Rhodes focuses her practice in legal professional responsibility.
Bob Carlson M.A.T. ‘95
Bob Carlson M.A.T. ‘95
Forty-seven students strutted down the runway at Wilsonville High School this spring, modeling garments they had fashioned entirely from recyclable materials like phone books, newspapers, used Post-it Notes, pop cans, candy wrappers, CDs, raisin boxes, and coffee filters.
The “Trashion” show, conceived by West Linn–Wilsonville art teachers, is one of the main events at the school district’s annual Sustainability Showcase.
“It also highlights our connection to Jane Goodall’s global Roots and Shoots program, which is designed to help young people understand and solve sustainability issues,” says Bob Carlson, executive director of the Center for Research in Environmental Studies and Technologies (CREST). In September 2001, Goodall visited Oregon to dedicate the center.
Carlson works closely with district teachers and students at CREST, an integrated facility that engages them in hands-on science, field research, and community service projects both on- and off-site.
The center sits on four acres of land surrounded by two West Linn–Wilsonville schools and Graham Oaks Nature Park, a 250-acre green space recently purchased by the Metro regional government agency. Metro chose CREST to serve as one of the gateways to Graham Oaks, which includes several wetlands, creeks, fields, and a 75-acre forest containing a stand of old-growth Douglas fir. The site is slated to open in September.
“CREST is the centerpiece of science education in the district’s 13 schools,” says Carlson. “We lead students in active research and rigorous inquiry.”
Carlson says he’s created his dream job at CREST.
As a boy, he grew up in Oregon’s great outdoors, collecting snails and frogs that his parents generously allowed him to put in the family bathtub. He spent every other weekend and summers at his grandparents’ 20-acre farm outside of Portland and camping with his parents. And for a couple of weeks each year, he visited his other grandparents, who lived on the Oregon coast.
“I absolutely loved anything to do with nature and animals,” he says.
After a stint in Oregon’s Youth Conservation Corps, as a student and camp counselor, Carlson entered the forestry program at Oregon State University. But he missed working with students on conservation projects, so he decided to pursue a degree in teaching.
Later, working toward his M.A.T. at Lewis & Clark’s Graduate School of Education and Counseling, Carlson met Greg Smith, professor of teacher education, who specializes in place-based education. This approach promotes learning that’s rooted in the unique history, culture, and ecology of students’ local communities.
Inspired by the concept, Carlson selected Memorial Park in Wilsonville as a place to practice conservation in his local neighborhood. With the blessing of the park’s director, he began a restoration project along Boeckman Creek, which runs through the park. For three years, he and his students monitored the stream’s pH and oxygen levels, planted native trees, and ripped out invasive plants.
Eventually, he took a leap of faith. Teaching half time in the district, he spent the rest of his time creating his current position at CREST.
CREST offers a variety of programming, such as STEP (Salmon and Trout Enhancement Program), Learning-on-the-Go trips, spring break trips/camps, after-school classes, summer environmental camps, and wastereduction programs. The center’s newest venture is the Farm-to-School food initiative, which aims to transform 10 acres of unused school property into a working farm that will supply produce for 13 school cafeterias. Carlson’s duties include teaching, grant writing, and securing resources for the center.
“What we do at CREST is important because our natural resources are limited,” says Carlson. “It’s vital to show kids that they can make a difference.”
—by Pattie Pace
Amber Case B.A. ‘08
Amber Case B.A. ‘08
Standing onstage before a packed conference at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Amber Case made her argument for the importance of online fan communities. Devotees of shows like Star Trek, The Blair Witch Project, and Lost, she explained, have changed the viewing experience into a 360-degree interactive adventure.
“I had a crazy goal to speak at MIT before the age of 27,” Case says. “I got the chance six months after graduating from Lewis & Clark.”
Case is a cyborg anthropologist. She studies the interaction between humans and computers, examining how our relationship with information technology is changing the way we think, act, and understand the world around us.
Case, who rarely gives mainstream media interviews because of accuracy concerns, made an exception with Fast Company magazine. Pleasantly surprised with the resulting article, she was subsequently caught off guard when the publication named her one of the Most Influential Women in Technology in 2010.
“I learned about it online through my network of friends and colleagues,” she says. “It felt very much like a small-town experience, being congratulated by an amazing community.”
Case has always been goal-oriented and forward-thinking. In high school, she had her sights set on attending an eastern Ivy League college. But tales of laboratory sabotage and a cutthroat academic culture gave her pause. She received a generous financial aid package from Lewis & Clark, and when a Portland friend sent a photo of the lush Northwest landscape—the opposite of her hot, dry surroundings in Wyoming—she decided to head for Oregon.
Case credits Deborah Heath, associate professor of anthropology, for introducing her to the concept of cyborg anthropology during a 2005 spring philosophy extravaganza.
“I read a lot of science fiction books when I was younger, and cyborg anthropology is the real-world manifestation of the questions that science fiction poses,” she says.
Case, with Heath as her advisor, wrote her senior thesis on the technosocial aspects of the cell phone. During her final semester, she designed her own independent study course on corporate information systems.
“I attended all the local technology conferences, studying the real world from an academic point of view. That networking helped me secure consulting jobs,” says Case. “It’s important to create your own opportunities, not wait for jobs to come to you.”
Case has consulted with the Portland based advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy, where she helped initiate a two-year Facebook branding campaign for Old Spice. She has also conducted demographic research for Levi Strauss and Target, writing computer programs to search the Web for “everything that’s ever been said about the brand” and put it into a dashboard format for easy access and analysis.
In addition, Case founded CyborgCamp Portland. Half of this year’s hybrid event, scheduled for October, features structured experts as well as user-generated “unconference” sessions, where the audience chooses topics to explore. Discussion topics include social media, design, computer code, inventions, Web 2.0, Twitter, the future of communications, cyborg technology, anthropology, psychology, and philosophy.
Case is personally intrigued by the concept of time and space compression. “Actions and devices will become lighter and lighter, and social interactions will continue to become more and more mobile,” she says. “The convergence of various technologies will result in rapid learning and communication never imagined before.”
In June, Case accepted a full-time position as a user-experience designer at Vertigo in Portland. Vertigo is an award winning design and development firm that uses the latest Microsoft technologies to redefine the user experience for the Web, mobile, and multitouch environments.
“The next wave of successful technology will blend into the background,” she says, “allowing humans to intuitively interact with one another.”
—by Pattie Pace
Beth Skillern J.D. ‘86
Beth Skillern J.D. ‘86
As the story goes, a male senior partner in the Portland- based law firm of Bullivant Houser Bailey invited a number of female employees to dine with him at one of the city’s membership clubs—back in the early 1980s, when women were beginning to gain stature in the workplace. The senior partner was able to enter through the front entrance, but the women were required to enter through the back door.
“Our firm was founded in 1938, and things have changed dramatically over the years,” says Beth Skillern, president and general counsel. “Opportunities for women are now diverse and abundant.”
Skillern joined Bullivant Houser Bailey in 1987 and practiced primarily in the area of insurance coverage for more than 20 years. “The firm has grown, both in number of lawyers and offices, since I joined,” she says. “Our practice areas include business transactions and other complex litigation, in addition to insurance coverage.”
Skillern has been the firm’s general counsel since 2006. She took over as president three years later when the term of David Ernst J.D. ’85 ended and he returned to full-time practice at the firm.
Skillern’s interest in the law took root in high school and continued through college. “I loved history and political science classes, which led to my fascination with legal reasoning and analysis,” she says.
But following the advice of a favorite college professor, and at the urging of her parents, she earned her teaching degree at Southern Oregon State University. She taught at the junior high level in Grants Pass and in New Orleans.
Although she liked teaching, Skillern decided to revisit her dream of becoming a lawyer—about the time her youngest child entered kindergarten. She chose Lewis & Clark Law School because of its location, reputation, and flexible class schedule. She was familiar with the college because of her sister, Carolyn Roberts B.S. ’72.
Skillern’s skills as an educator translate naturally to the practice of law. “I teach clients the value of a case, what to do and what not to do,” she says. “I try to teach the judge and jury the merits of a case. And as a manager, I teach by example and direction.”
She advises lawyers, especially women, to find balance and perspective in their careers. She encourages them to examine their priorities and extended family circumstances.
“There are greater opportunities for balancing work and life now than ever before. Our firm has shareholders and practice group leaders with management responsibilities, both men and women, who have chosen to work part time,” she says.
Skillern strives for balance in her own life as well. For the past 25 years, she and a group of women friends have walked two miles together every morning. Rarely missing a day, except when rain showers turn into downpours, they talk as fast as they walk and keep things positive. No complaining or gossiping allowed.
She is also a 15-year member of a local book club, where she enjoys the spirited, convivial monthly discussions.
Community service is another of Skillern’s passions. She volunteers at the Northeast Emergency Food Program and recently joined the board of directors for Self Enhancement, Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to helping inner-city youth succeed.
Skillern understands the value of support and encouragement, a gift she extends to her two young grandchildren. She says that her own success “can be traced directly to the mentoring and understanding I’ve received from family, good friends, and colleagues who have encouraged me throughout my life.”
—by Pattie Pace
Marc Casto B.A. ‘97
Marc Casto B.A. ‘97
Whenever Marc Casto travels, one of his first goals is to find a good local cookbook. “You can’t understand a culture until you understand its food,” he says.
Casto knows a lot about cooking—and about travel: He’s president and COO of Casto Travel, the largest privately owned travel agency in Northern California, with 120 employees and offices in San Francisco and five other Bay Area cities, plus the Philippines. In business for 34 years, the company provides corporate, concierge, vacation, and group travel management services in addition to full-service visa and passport processing.
Driven by data, Casto is an avid reader who conducts ongoing research about travel industry trends and exotic locales. He’s also committed to anticipating clients’ needs—especially those of business travelers, who make up 60 percent of his company’s business. Casto schools his corporate clients in the art of spending travel dollars wisely while controlling expenses.
“We provide computer software, keep track of their expenses, and pinpoint the locations of employees when they’re traveling,” he says.
Before joining his family’s business, Casto studied philosophy at Lewis & Clark and spent a semester abroad in Ecuador.
“Geographically, Ecuador is incredibly diverse,” he says. “It offers pristine beaches, lush rain forests, and some of the highest snow-packed mountains in South America—not to mention the Galapagos Islands.”
He found philosophy equally fascinating. Studying the nature of inquiry, he says, taught him how to think and made him humble and unafraid to question his assumptions about life.
After college, he worked as an accountant for six years before the allure of travel became irresistible. He joined Casto Travel as a junior accountant in 2000. Maryles Casto, his mother and the company’s founder, named him president and COO in 2005.
“I’ve learned from the best,” he says. “There’s no one better than my mom in knowing how to motivate people.”
Every year the company brings all its employees in from the field to break bread together and laugh. Building strong relationships, he says, allows business to thrive within a nurturing family-oriented culture.
That close-knit culture flourishes online as well. Company specialists travel frequently and share their expertise and experiences through the company’s website, blogs, travel alerts, and RSS feeds.
“A common misperception is that all we do is book tickets,” he says. “In reality, we’re consultants and advocates for our clients.”
Those who travel for pleasure are looking for exceptional deals along with unique trips tailored to their needs and interests. Casto recommends lessfrequented cities like Torgiano and Positano in Italy instead of major cities like Florence and Rome, as well as Croatia’s Dalmation Coast over Italy’s Amalfi Coast.
“If someone loves Etruscan pottery, we can get them on an archaeological dig or behind the scenes at museums,” he says. “We design custom experiences for people who crave originality, who aren’t content to merely check locations off a map.”
—by Pattie Pace