Au Courant

Fall 2010

Created 2010-10-15


Jose Alejandrino (‘64)

At 66, I got married last June 19 to the girl who was my first girlfriend 48 years ago.  It is an incredible story that is too long to recount here. Sylvia Bastos Tigre is the grandniece of the former president of Brazil, Jose Linhares. Last December 28, we met at a romantic 11th-century inn surrounded by the snow-peaked mountains and snow-covered forests of Salzburg, Austria.  The wedding was held in Marbella, Spain.


Lili Wilson Hishmeh (‘64)

After a full-time career as a teacher and director of a school, I am slowing down a bit.  I now teach part time, tutor high school boys, and volunteer as a gardener at Brookside Gardens, a wonderful Maryland public garden.  When I left the school I had directed (and owned), I studied botany and landscaping at the University of Maryland Master Gardener Program.  Changing one’s career is certainly exhilarating!  My husband and I have two children in their twenties, neither married.  Our daughter, Leila, works with the National Geographic Society and our son, Omar, works as a sommelier in Washington, DC for the Jeff Boubin restaurants.  We travel often, especially to Europe.  Paris is as glorious as ever!

Mary Hermens Hardering (‘65)

Mary continued her studies at the University of Bonn, Germany where she majored in English and History.  She taught English to adults in Bonn.  In 1977 she returned to the United States and has lived in Miami, FL, since 1978.  She attended Miami-Dade College and the University of Miami where she studied nursing.  She worked as a registered nurse for about twenty years, and is now retired.  Mary has one son, Christopher, who is a commercial pilot.

Barbara Williams Thorsen (‘66)

It certainly was a culture shock going from independent apartment living in Paris to three in a dorm room and a curfew at Indiana University (BA Spanish, 1968) but nice to share the adjustment with two now long-term friends and fellow ACP ‘66 alumni, Merry Staser and Beth Ann Guina (with me in this May ‘67 photo at I.U.).  Following graduation, I worked for the Social Security Administration in midtown Manhattan and married Bruce Thorsen from Winnetka, Illinois in 1971.  From our 18th floor apartment across the Hudson, we watched the WTC towers being built and, 30 years later, Bruce was onsite the day they came down.  I ‘retired’ in 1975 to start a family, volunteer work and a home-based stationery/monogrammed gifts business (which did better in Fairfield County than it does on the prairie, especially in this economy).  We’ve lived primarily in New England, the longest – 17 years – in New Canaan, Connecticut until 2007, when we moved to a small lake in the southwest Minneapolis suburbs to be nearer our daughters and four grandchildren (with our son’s San Diego location available for winter refuge from the tundra!).  I am grateful for the AAO (AUP Alumni Online) website and look forward to re-connecting with old friends and sharing memories of those special days in Paris.

Liam Humphreys ('66)

There is plenty to do in a life of retirement -- to include the fulfillment of deferred youthful ambitions -- in this case, the four-day hike of the Inca Trail in Peru and marking a 67th birthday, along the way.  Talk about "Life after the Foreign Service"! (FYI - "LAFS" is the official 'insider' State Department acronym!) In proper retirement, life remains a matter of setting targets and realizing outcomes -- only perhaps, with the things one wants to do -- rather than those one has to do! I am now back home in a somewhat less-explosive Bangkok, attending to the duties of a good diplomatic spouse (my wife is still an active member of the Thai Foreign Service!) By the way, Machu Picchu tops my list of "World Wonders", ex aequo with Angkor Wat, and just ahead of Petra!  So much to see, so little time! Next up, the Moai -- on Easter Island! P.S. I enjoyed reading all of the excellent tributes to the late founding President Lloyd DeLamater on your alumni website, providing a report on the recent memorial service held for him. Cheers, Liam



Charlotte Baker-Shenk (‘70)

Charlotte Baker-Shenk (‘70) has enjoyed several careers after completing her PhD in Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley – authoring six books on American Sign Language while working as a research linguist and educator at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, then as a community organizer and ecumenical trainer focusing on deaf empowerment, and finally as a mother of two adopted children.  Charlotte is also an avid organic gardener, now living in Sharpsburg, MD.

Valerie Lawrence Henderson (‘73)

Valerie has been a property manager for many years, is getting her son off to college this fall, and is raising a German shepherd puppy. 

Marianne Elrick-Manley (‘74)

Marianne (nicknamed “Randi”) has been living in New York City for thirty years.  She graduated from The Institute of Fine Arts (NYU) with an MA in 1981 and has been a private dealer specializing in 19th and 20th-century art for 20 years.  She remarried three years ago to a wonderful man.  Unfortunately they live in a two city marriage: Detroit and NYC.  She has also returned to writing on art and curated a show for a small museum in Valencia Spain (MuVim) in 2008.  She has a daughter who will be graduating from Brandeis University in May 2011.

Susan (Brown) Hunt (‘78)

I currently reside in Medfield, MA just outside Boston.  I am an employed decorative painter enjoying the title of Art Director for The Fat Cactus restaurants in Lynnfield and Randolf.  More venues are on the horizon.  It is a new mexi/cali restaurant known for its unique ambiance, specialized margaritas, and the freshest of vegetables and marinated meats.  When I am not wildly painting I take care of a centenarian who is still more active than most my age.  He exhausts me.  I accompany him on trips and to doctor appointments.  I spent a short time as an International Tour Director until the economy crashed.  Aside from that I have been married to Roger Hunt Jr. for 27 years.  We have three children.  Roger III, 25, just got married.  He attended St. Mark’s School in Southboro, MA, the University of Montana, Bozeman and the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.  He is currently enrolled in a PhD program in Boston to become a psychoanalyst. Madelaine, 24, attended Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, CT and Hobart William Smith, Geneva, NY.  She is employed at EMS Boston as assistant manager and rides her bike everywhere.  Yes, she is one of "those".  Olivia, 22, just graduated from Wellesley College, spent a year at Trinity University Dublin, Ireland and is looking for work in an auction house or museum.  With all of the kids out of the house life has slowed down but thankfully work has been a welcomed replacement.  I still talk to Daina (Borrman) Chesser and Lisa Steward.  I loved attending the Boston alumni event and am looking forward to the next one.

Lisa Steward (‘78)

After doing some serious hanging out and getting married in Mallorca, Spain, Lisa went back to California to get her BA in Hispanic Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in 1985.  Subsequently, her Masters in Translation & Interpretation was sidetracked by an unplanned but welcomed pregnancy. After running her father’s trucking company in the heart of Los Angeles for seven years and concurrently expanding the family, it was decided to relocate back to Mallorca – a safer environment to raise a family.  For the past 13 years Lisa has been owner and operator of the largest staging and infrastructure company in Mallorca and has set up concerts for the likes of Sting, Van Morrison, Julio Iglesias, Jamiroquai, Juanes, John Mayall, and Gloria Estefan.  Website:

Denise K. Rago (‘78)

Denise is a longtime blogger, avid reader, and art history buff who earned her Master’s Degree in Museum Professions and interned at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.  This fall, she is publishing her first novel, an otherworldly blend of paranormal intrigue and literary fiction titled Immortal Obsession, which is attracting voracious fiction readers and lovers of the vampire genre alike. Find out more at:  Denise resides in New Jersey with her family.

Gulgun (Erdogan) Dokuz (‘79)

Gulgun has been living in Singapore with her husband for the last 12 years and working as COO, in charge of the commercial activities of an international company in cement industry.  Her son has been studying at the University of Newcastle in Australia.  Besides business trips around the globe, she has been shuttling between Australia and Turkey for family reunions.  She would be glad to get in touch with friends who attended AUP (American College in Paris) between 1977-1980. 


Michael Weaver (’82)

Since graduation from AUP in 1982, I’ve had the opportunity to work in various positions with the Australian government's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in posts around the world.  Attending AUP and living in Paris certainly prepared me for the challenges of working in a constantly changing and dynamic international environment.  I am currently Vice-Consul at the Australian Consulate General in Shanghai, China.  I've previously worked in Singapore, Guangzhou, Ho Chi Minh City, and Washington, DC.  Each city offered wonderful insights into the political, economic and social aspects of their country.  Although constant travel sounds (and sometimes is) exciting, I admit that, on occasion, I would prefer to be simply at home in Australia, near a beach, with the passport locked away!  My partner, Christopher Lim, and I celebrate our 20th anniversary next year and plan to marry in Quebec in mid-2011.  When I am in Paris, I always endeavour to pass by 31 avenue Bosquet, which is a sort of spiritual home.  When I eventually retire, I hope to spend part of my time in France, most likely in the Loire region near where I was born.  My brother, Robert (’82), also graduated from AUP and works at University College in Dublin, Ireland and spends as much time as possible in France.  He is married and has one daughter, Saoirse.  We try to maintain as many connections with Paris and with France as possible.  

Karen Albright Lin (‘84)

Karen Albright Lin is married to a wonderful man from Taiwan and has two sons.  She’s a writer, editor, consultant, pitch coach, and speaker. She ghost writes for multi-published authors.  Her genres include novels, screenplays, literary cookbooks, nonfiction articles and blogs, and screenplays (one co-written short was recently produced).  She’s published numerous times in literary magazines and has won over two dozen writing awards.

Michel Simiaut (‘85)

Michel Simiaut is currently working for Jet Airways (India’s leading airline) as General Manager South Europe based in Paris, after 25 years of experience in the airline industry.

Donald Gwira (‘85)

Donald graduated from AUP (then called the American College in Paris) with a BA in International Affairs.  He was also the Chief Instructor of the AUP Karate club.  Lessons were held at the American Church.  Donald is the Communications Manager for Guinness Ghana Breweries Ltd and was recently elevated to the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Ghana Netherlands Chamber of Commerce and Culture (GHANECC).  GHANECC, a membership based business association is positioned to facilitate trade, investment, and private business development as well as foster cultural understanding between Ghana and the Netherlands.

Paul Tocatlian (‘86)

I am currently Vice President of Engineering and Customer Support at Minerva Networks.  The company is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a provider of carrier-grade IPTV middleware and applications, enabling the delivery of live television, time-shifted programming, and video on demand services.  It is the most deployed IPTV platform with over 200 installations worldwide.

Joyce Anne Shulman (‘86)

After living in Paris for +20 years perfecting her French – working in finance, sales and finally International Public Relations – Joyce Anne moved back to New Jersey.  Albeit a difficult transition to the new way of life in America, she has made a wonderful new life.  Joyce Anne has continued her professional path in International PR and for the past three years has been working as the Senior PR Manager Worldwide for an application delivery and network security company (Radware).  Even more amazing was the birth of her only child, a daughter named Lena, who just celebrated her first birthday.


Sandra Bramwell-Riley (‘86)

Sandra Bramwell-Riley, Executive Director of Versan Educational Services, has been married to Jamaica’s reggae crooner Jimmy Riley for the past eight years and has increased her educational consultancy offices across Jamaica and New York.  Her most recent advertisement was featured in the Reform Judaism magazine as her success stories in educational consulting now spans China, Australia, South Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, and North America.  She has a large staff that deals with one-on-one consulting for private boarding schools, graduate, undergraduate, medical and law schools.

Elizabeth Vigil (‘88)

I am very excited about helping to plan and host a national conference for a charity called Dining for Women ( which will take place near the end of September in Atlanta. This organization focuses on giving money to women and girls in Third World countries (one meal at a time). The organization picks a different charity each month from around the world and donates money to that charity for a specific project that aids specifically women and girls.  We just had our August Dining for Women meeting last night and my chapter raised about four hundred dollars for a charity in Uganda called Bead for Life ( The organization empowers the poorest women in this country through donations which help them establish more training for women to make jewelry out of discarded paper they find. The jewelry is gorgeous and inexpensive!

Jennifer Dowd Giuliano (‘91)

While there is no place like Paris, Jennifer has certainly fallen in love with Los Angeles and has been working as a writer, editor and PR consultant in the city of angels for ten years.  Jennifer has written articles and features for a variety of publications and is currently working as a content and copy writer.  Her passion for storytelling drives her fiction, film and other creative writing during the moonlight hours.  She recently introduced the Madeline books to her youngster who has a newfound fondness for the Eiffel Tower.

Serene Ghazzawi (‘92)

Currently, I am teaching Professional Photography as a Lecturer for the Graphic and Interior Design Department at Dar El Hekma Private Girls College in Jeddah.  I joined a Photography Exhibition entitled "Through the Eyes of Saudi Arabian Women" which took place in Jeddah, then toured to Washington, DC and will be heading to other locations.  I have a Solo Photo Exhibition which will take place at the New England School of Photography in Boston, Massachusetts for the month of September 2010.  It is entitled "Scents" and the topic is female portraits digitally manipulated in black and white.  I have two wonderful daughters Tiyana (7) and Thuraya (4), and am looking forward to pursuing my career and earning a Masters of Fine Arts in Photography.

Nathalie Rayes Eutsey (‘94)

I got married in Las Vegas with an American flight engineer and we are going to live in Atlanta, Georgia for a couple of months.

Jean-Christophe Bieselaar (‘95)

Jean-Christophe Bieselaar (‘95) and Keiko Bieselaar (Matsushima ‘94) are still living in Paris with their children, Anne Megumi (10) and Paul Makoto (5).  Jean-Christophe is a PhD student at King’s College University of London and published this summer his first book, Mai ‘68: The Second French Revolution. Studies on a Spiritual Turning Point.  The book is available at Amazon France, US, UK, Germany, Japan…

Adrian Benjamin Burke, Esq. ('96)

Adrian spent July in Scotland researching an upcoming article on his mother's ancestor Catherine Duncanson who arrived in New Netherland (New York) in July 1639. Adrian was invited by Edinburgh Napier University to tour Merchiston Tower, ancient seat of the Lords Napier, and childhood home of John Napier, inventor of logarithms, and of some of Catherine Duncanson's Napier ancestors. Photo description: Adrian in highland attire in the Clan Donald lands on Skye.

Andy Smith (Riegel) (‘96)

I married Steve Smith in June 2009, and we welcomed our daughter, Story Katheryn in July 2010.  I am a graduate student studying analytical chemistry at California State University Fresno.  Life is rad.

Anahita Dastur (‘97)

Anahita Dastur has lived in Montreal, Canada for the past ten years.  Although she completed her MBA from York University and worked in Marketing for several years, her life took a turn two years ago and she now works for MLS Inc. as a Corporate ESL Teacher and Evaluator.

Caroline Knuefermann-Morton (‘98)

Caroline is taking a break from her Product Manager job and sees to her lovely twin daughters, who turned one this June.  She lives in Munich, Germany with her husband and daughters.

Camden McDaris Black (‘99)

After taking a "year off" to finish writing her novel, Camden "Cammie" McDaris Black, Class of ‘99, and her husband, Adam Black, moved to Brooklyn from upstate New York.  She worked as an attorney in Manhattan up until the birth of her and Adam’s first child, Zeke Charles Liev Black, on August 27, 2010.  Cammie plans to take some time off work in order to get better acquainted with her son. 


Mean Samnang “Ana” Nov  (‘00)

Ana Nov is a general manager for Ang Khmer Group, a company in Cambodia, that provides translation, public relations, and business/legal consulting to a number of clients including World Bank, Unicef, ADB, EU delegation, JICA as well as several other business and media organizations.  Ana Nov, 33, is still single and hopes to come to AUP next year for a one week visit.  Email:  Facebook: and

Morganne Freeborn (‘01)

Hello to all!  Steve and I continue to teach at the New Hampton School (located in New Hampshire).  Steve is finishing up his Masters from Dartmouth and I attended an International Baccalaureate teaching seminar at the United Nations International School in New York City.  We welcomed our son John on January 14, 2010.  He is full of energy, laughs, and joy.  If anyone happens to be in New Hampshire, swing on by the lakes region to say ‘hello’.  All of our best to everyone.

Courtney Montague (‘04)

Courtney Montague is currently living in New York City, where she is studying for her Master’s in Public Administration at New York University where she is a Catherine B. Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship.  Courtney is also the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Global Volunteer Network Foundation, a nonprofit that assists women and vulnerable children living in poverty in Africa, Asia and South America.  Courtney is GVN Foundation’s representative to the United Nations and her favorite past time is watching old sitcoms with her sister, drinking large glasses of wine with her parents, and cooking for her boyfriend.

Louise Kahrmann (‘05)

Louise continues to live in Paris and now works at Haute Couture house ELIE SAAB, as PR for France and the UK.  She also writes a blog in her spare time, covering fashion, beauty and lifestyle news and events:  

Nathalie Margi (‘06)

After graduating from AUP in 2006 with a BA in History and Social Sciences and a concentration in Gender Studies, I completed an MA in Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University in New Jersey. For the past couple of years, I worked with various international women’s rights NGOs in the New York area.  I notably engaged in global advocacy for the creation of a new UN agency for gender issues (which will officially come into force in January 2011!) and coordinated civil society assessments on reforms of the UN Country Teams in Tanzania and Viet Nam.  I also worked with a grassroots women’s organization in Lebanon on women’s economic empowerment.  I am currently working in Haiti with an international NGO called Heartland Alliance and its local partner organization, SEROvie, on HIV/AIDS prevention, LGBT/sexual rights and women’s leadership.  I am looking forward to starting an LL.M. in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at the University of Essex next October.

Géraldine Igou (‘07)

Since attending AUP, Géraldine Igou has been working in Paris in PR and Journalism. After working freelance in TV production, she joined the Vendée Globe sailing race in 2008 as the International Press Officer.  Following the end of the race, she joined Publicis Consultants in its Public Relations and Press Relations department as a Communications Consultant.

Audrey d’Assignies (08’) and Andrew Stanoch (07’)

AUP alumni and spouses, Audrey d’Assignies and Andrew Stanoch are currently serving in China for the Peace Corps.  They are both working in Guizhou province as University English professors. The duration of their service is 27 months with another 25 months remaining.  The picture is of Andrew, Audrey, and their host family.

Dominique Hess (‘09)

After graduating from AUP one year ago, Dominique Hess has been working and living in London as a Digital Communications Strategist for a marketing and advertising agency in the McCann group.  She spends her limited free time at her Kick Boxing gym, where she will be going for her Red belt in eight weeks time, as well as continuing her Parisian ways of wining and dining and writing about her Yuppie Lifestyle on her food blog:  She is living in the heart of East London with her boyfriend and plans on continuing her career in Digital Marketing until somebody tells her the Internet doesn’t actually exist.

Hamza Usman (‘10)

Hamza Usman has moved back to Karachi, Pakistan where he worked as a project manager with the Citizens Archive of Pakistan and helped curate a museum exposition titled "Birth of Pakistan" giving tours to schoolchildren about Pakistan’s history and identity.  Since then, he has made two documentaries, one concerning the state of street children on Karachi’s streets and another chronicling Pakistan’s spiraling population growth.  Currently, he is a Strategic Marketing Analyst at Interflow Communications, one of Pakistan’s most respected advertising agencies.  Hamza has been heavily involved in flood relief efforts for the past month.  He is working with an NGO called Karachi Relief Trust, and is part of a team that supervises three camps, providing food, shelter and medical aid to almost 2,000 people daily.  He has documented the plight of the flood victims in Pakistan and has just started blogging about his experiences at   Please contact him at if you would like to contribute in any way.