Alumnae/i Panelists discuss their lives of service on Alumnae/i Weekend 2011- see their bios here.
By Julie Yates, Director of Alumnae/i Relations
On Saturday morning, October 1, 2011, Keynote speaker, Liz Zopfi Chace ’55, and four other alumnae/i panelists talked about their work and experience in the community service and non-profit sectors. Each panelist approached the topic with their own unique perspective based on their experiences in the field. You can read the panelist bios of this talented and multi-faceted group below!
Elizabeth (Liz) Zopfi Chace ’53 – Keynote Speaker and Panelist
Throughout her career, Liz has successfully combined her work in the business world and community service. She has taken skills acquired in one area and transferred them to another, opening numerous doors for others, particularly in the areas of education and the arts.
A Fellow of Brown University, her alma mater, Liz successfully co-chaired the recent $1.6 billion Campaign for Academic Excellence. She has also chaired the Facilities and Design Corporation Committee and served as a member of the Advisory and Executive Corporation Committee. Liz has long promoted women’s athletics, including chairing the Women’s Athletic Golf Tournament for five years, co-chairing the Brown Corporation Committee on Athletics, and serving as a director on the Executive Committee of the Brown Sports Foundation.
Always supportive of the arts, Liz co-chaired the successful three-year, $10 million comprehensive campaign of the highly esteemed regional theater, Trinity Repertory Company. This included major building development and renovation in downtown Providence. Liz also served for six years as one of nine members of the Board of Directors of The Rhode Island Foundation – the nearly century-old community foundation is the fifth oldest in the nation.
Other recent and current board memberships include, the John Hope Settlement House, where she is past president, as well as the Providence Country Day School. Liz is also a longtime Board Advisor to the International Institute and is involved with Planned Parenthood of Rhode Island.
Kristina (Stina) Engstrom ’56 – Panelist
Kristina has had an extensive career in education and training in international settings, first as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines and later as a trainer and developer for the Peace Corps, WHO, UNICEF, U.S. State Department, and non-governmental organizations. Kristina was training director for the Peace Corps’ all-women smallpox vaccination program depicted in the film Once in Afghanistan, as well as other training programs. She lived in Kabul in 1969 and 1970 to establish and direct an in-country training center for Peace Corps/Afghanistan.
After her Peace Corps years, Kristina earned a law degree and has continued her work in planning and directing training programs, developing curriculum materials and conducting workshops in the U.S. and in developing countries for organizations such as the World Health Organization, Save the Children Federation, Research Triangle Institute and UNICEF.
Kristina now lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she serves as a consultant to a local non-profit organization, the Institute for Training and Development. The institute helps health workers, teachers, school principals, and municipal officials from Asia and Eastern Europe.
Anne Wheeler Rowthorn ’58 – Panelist
Prior to her writing career, Anne was a teacher in London and also on a Native American reservation in South Dakota. She helped open two soup kitchens and a homeless shelter in New Haven, CT. Now, as an author, Anne has written and compiled eleven books on diverse topics, but ecological spirituality has become her specialty.
Anne is a life-long passionate environmentalist. She has taken her pen and notebook all over the USA, to Asia, Latin America, Oceana, and Europe. Wherever she goes, she seeks out the wildest hiking trails, mountains, and coastlines. Along the way she collects evocative ecological literature from the great cultures and religions of the world.
Earth and All the Stars (2000) was her first compilation of ecological readings. Her most recent books on the same theme are Song of the Universe (2008) and Feast of the Universe (2009). Song of the Universe was endorsed by the noted environmentalist, Bill McKibben, who said, “This lovely volume is useful as a reference—but even more as a source of inspiration. It will keep you going in the work of building a workable planet.”
At home in Connecticut, Anne is a founding board member of the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network that engages people from diverse faith traditions in prayer, dialogue, education, advocacy, and celebration of the sacredness of creation. She also is an active member of her local Land Trust and founded her town’s first organic community garden.
Brett Kaull ’80 – Panelist
Brett graduated Hampshire College in 1985 with an interdisciplinary degree in Environmental Sciences and Public Policy. He moved to Washington D.C. to seek employment as a Congressional Aide. From 1986 to 1992 he worked for the Chairman of the House Water Resources Subcommittee with jurisdiction over the Army Corps of Engineers, USEPA, FEMA and other federal agencies with environmental mandates. Brett worked successfully as a liaison between industry and environmental interests to pass legislation protective of the Great Lakes environment. He was the principal architect of the Ashtabula River Partnership, a nationally recognized public/private partnership that raised $50 million in public & private funding to dredge the Ashtabula River of contaminated sediments.
After a stint with two more congressmen (republican & democrat) he returned to Ohio in 1998 as Executive Director of the Ashtabula County Port Authority to work on economic development projects. Later, as a volunteer, he designed and secured grant funding for two segments of the Ashtabula Township Park.
Brett currently lives on his sailboat Muircu in Key West, Florida with his companion Jill. He was relief Captain and cook aboard 75 ft mothership in support of endurance swimmer Dianna Nyad during her attempt to swim 103 miles from Cuba to Key West in August and paddleboarder Cynthia Aguilar who successfully paddled across the straits of Florida to set two world records in July.
Kelly Cornell ’04 – Panelist
Kelly Cornell works as the marketing director for April Cornell, a family-run home furnishings and ladies fashion retail business. For the past two years he has traveled for extended periods of time to their production center in New Delhi, India. In that process he has overseen production, engaged in strategic planning, strengthened international relationships, and participated in several service-oriented projects.
April Cornell funds projects that focus on community development and on generating resources for individuals to make themselves self-sufficient. An integral portion of the April Cornell business model and core values is their sense of philanthropy and especially empowering women and children.
Kelly states of his experience, “One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned is that we, as individuals, are responsible for enacting the change in which we believe. You are never too small, too inexperienced, or too young to champion a cause. If you have convictions about the environment, social movements, equal rights, or global injustice, follow those beliefs. As a member of The White Mountain School community, I am proud to say that those principles were fostered and encouraged by my experience as a WMS student.”