ALUMNI MAKING NEWS
Ken Elstein '68 was elected chair of the Belchertown Board of Selectmen in May. The board is the executive authority (analogous to mayor) of the western Massachusetts town of 15,000. In September, at the State House on Beacon Hill, he received a Kuehn Award for his work in support of community preservation. Elstein's political activity began in 1964, when he founded the Harpur College Democrats.
Susan McAllister '85 is a 2011-12 board member for the Junior League of Raleigh, N.C. The organization's 1,700-plus members serve the Wake County area with programs of education and volunteer service. They have contributed more than 232,000 volunteer hours since 2000, focusing on promising youth.
Theater J in Washington will present the world premiere of The Religion Thing by Renee Calarco '86, a dark little comedy about relationships, faith and the fine line between compromise and regret. Run dates are Jan. 4-29, 2012.
Diana Abu-Jaber, PhD '86, wrote the novel Birds of Paradise (W.W. Norton & Co., 2011), which centers on the fractured Muir family. Daughter Felice ran away at age 13. Five years later, as she is about to become an adult, the family is forced to confront its anguish, loss and sense of betrayal. And Felice must come face-to-face with the secret that drove her away.
Jared Scherz '91 is founder and CEO of UFeud, LLC, which has launched the next generation of social networking video-based websites. UFeud offers a medium for social commentary of all kinds, ranging from the absurd to the serious. UFeud encourages self-expression in nearly all forms about any issue or topic. On UFeud, users have a chance to Influence public opinion, resolve a difference, find others who share similar interests and beliefs, and expand their perspectives.
Jeffrey Schwartzenberg '96 is senior director of marketing at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and resides in Nashville, Tenn.
Leah Umansky '02 has one poem forthcoming in the next issue of Cream City Review and two poems forthcoming in the December/January issue of Barrow Street. She is also a contributing writer for BOMB Magazine's BOMBLOG and The Rumpus.