Skip to main content

Alumni Council Nominations

alumni council

The Alumni Council nominating committee welcomes all suggestions for candidates. The committee considers many factors in selecting new members, including geographic location, graduation year, and a demonstrated, ongoing interest in the College through volunteer service, participation in College-sponsored activities, and a consistent record of giving. Volunteer participation in other organizations is also of interest to the nominating committee.

To nominate a person for consideration, please send the following information to Lisa Shafer at lshafer1@swarthmore.edu: candidate's name, class year, and why you feel this person would be a good addition to the Alumni Council. (Nominations for the 2020-2021 academic year are due by October 1, 2019.)

Current slate of nominees just voted in (voting period ended on February 18, 2019) listed below. Thanks to all 1,393 alumni who voted!

Ted Abel ’85

Much of my life has focused on building academic communities. As an RA at Swarthmore, a Freshmen Proctor at Harvard, director of the Biological Basis of Behavior Program at Penn, and now founding director of the Iowa Neuroscience Institute, I have tried to create an intellectual environment that encourages collaboration, creativity and commitment. I am especially interested in the upcoming Alumni Council initiatives on mentoring students, as I have seen firsthand the exceptional intellect of Swarthmore students as an Honors Examiner and as a mentor to Swarthmore students in my lab carrying out independent research. Outside of the classroom and the lab, I sing (an interest begun at Swarthmore under Peter Gram Swing), play the clarinet, and enjoy opera.

Twan Claiborne ’07

Hello illustrious Swarthmore alumni! I hail from Seattle, Washington and class of '07. I currently reside in New York, working in the education field as a Special Education teacher and in nightlife as a drag entertainer.

Emily Mindel Gottlieb '95

I serve as Deputy Director for Law & Policy at the Center for Justice & Democracy, a non-profit consumer organization dedicated to protecting the U.S. civil justice system.  For many years, I’ve been actively involved with my high school as a Class of '91 Officer and member of its Alumni Council, co-chairing the Nominations and Alumni History committees, also co-chairing school task forces that further initiatives prioritized by the Board of Trustees and Head of School.  I live in New York City with my husband and two children and enjoy travel (six continents down, one to go!), yoga, the NYT crossword puzzle, baking and movies.

Ayanna Johnson ’09

I am a public health advisor in the federal government, focusing on strengthening partnerships to improve population health and eliminate health disparities. Outside of work, you can find me spending time with friends and family, trying out new restaurants, attempting to do yoga, immersed in art, traveling, or enjoying a comedy show.  I have remained involved with the College by serving as an alumni interviewer, attending local events, supporting SBAN, and mentoring current students interested in public health. 

David Kaufman ’94

I am Chief Medical officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute, a "nonprofit biotech" subsidiary of the Gates Foundation developing drugs and vaccines for global health.  I owe a lot to Swarthmore--from a career launched by undergrad biology, sociology and anthropology studies, to meeting my wife and closest friends there, to deepening my core values. I am passionate about helping Swarthmore students, particularly those from less privileged backgrounds, use the alumni network more effectively to explore career and life options.  

Maria P. Mello ’08

I am an Assistant Professor of Special Education at St. John’s University in New York City. In this role, I train future special educators and assist in running a college immersion program for the Cooke School for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). My research focuses on the availability and development of post-secondary opportunities for young adults with IDD, specifically in the areas of college immersion, independent living, accessible housing, and meaningful employment. While a graduate student at Vanderbilt University, I coordinated the Volunteer Advocacy Project (VAP)-a special education advocacy training program- which I hope to replicate in NYC with Latinx families.

Jim Sailer '90

I have spent my professional life working in and with public sector organizations to help transform operations to be more effective.  For the past 15 years, I have had progressively senior roles in a global non-profit devoted to reproductive health and rights, including developing new contraceptives to provide more options for women and men. My Swarthmore service has included extern hosting, Class Agent, and about 20 years as Class Secretary.

Peter Schoenbach ’62

I believe I owe my rich and successful career and life to my Swarthmore education. In that environment I was encouraged to pursue my two passions: music and foreign languages and cultures. My dual careers resulted in playing, teaching, researching, writing and administrating in Music as well in Spanish and Portuguese. I spent much of my life living abroad in such countries as Brazil, Spain, Portugal and France, and or entertaining visitors from abroad. Recently I have been lecturing on cruises as well. The melding of these interests was always encouraged and supported by the faculty, and fellow  students of Swarthmore, and is one of great strengths of the College.

Jamie Stiehm ’82

I am a columnist for Creators Syndicate, on national politics and history. I first worked as a journalist for CBS News in London, later as a reporter for The Baltimore Sun, and now write from Washington. True to my major, I've become a public speaker on historical figures who make nonviolent social change happen as outsiders, e.g. a famous College founder, Lucretia Mott, Alice Paul '05, and recently, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. (*Talk given with columnist Clarence Page, aired by C-Span.)

Dina Zingaro ’13

I am an associate producer at CBS 60 Minutes in NYC. I produce stories about domestic and foreign social and political issues, and have also developed a niche religion beat, which was born out of being a Religion Major at Swarthmore. As one of the College's Frank 5 Fellows, I am currently mentoring a Swarthmore senior and I hope to build upon my current alumni engagement, which includes the annual reunions and NYC networking events such as "Swarthmore Dinner with Strangers."