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WWU / Fairhaven College of Interdiscipinary Studies

Image of the first Fairhaven College class, 1968: image copyright WWU Archives

The First Fairhaven Class, 1968. Image courtesy of WWU Libraries/Archives


The Connection is an e-newsletter for Alumni & Friends of Fairhaven College of Interdisicplinary Studies. Compiled by staff from Fairhaven and the WWU Alumni Association.


image of Roger Gilman, Dean of Fairhaven College, in 1972Dean's Letter to the Community

Greetings fellow Alums; Remember the Colon!

“The Fairhaven Experience: Designing my Education, Designing my Life.” Remember the pressure cooker of Concentration Seminar where you struggled to explain the meaning of the colon in your self-designed major? How it tied everything in the universe together? By the way, can you remember the title of your concentration and the names of those who worked alongside you in designing a major?


Coming up with the answers to these questions might be good preparation for visiting with your former professors and classmates at “Back 2 Bellingham” and the reunion of the Fairhaven College community. We look forward to seeing you in a few months (May 14 -16, 2010) on campus at our 40th Year Reunion of Fairhaven’s graduates and their families...more




Art Sharing Revival

Drue Robinson (83) revives the art of sharing art in the Fairhaven community.


Watch the Art Sharing video

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Peruvian MarketSettling the (Micro) Credit Score

Anna Van der Grift, Adventure Learning Grant recipient (2008-9), finds unexpected answers in her exploration of microfinancing in Latin America.


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Babafemi Akinrinade

Fairhaven's newest faculty member, Babafemi Akinrinade, tells about his life and perspective on his career in Human Rights Law and teaching.


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Rod BurtonDesigning a Life

We caught up with one of the first Fairhaven students, Rod Burton (74) and asked him to reflect on Fairhaven and his career.


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Theodore Bestor image by Harvard University Distinguished Alumni Award

image of book: Tsukiji - The Fish Market at the Center of the WorldTheodore C. Bestor (73) is a Professor and Chair of the Anthropology Department at Harvard University. Ted is a specialist on contemporary Japanese society and culture, focusing on Tokyo. His most recent book, Tsukiji: The Fish Market at the Center of the World (University of California Press, 2004), is based on his research since 1991 at Tokyo's Tsukiji market, the world's largest marketplace for seafood and the center of Japan's sushi trade.


Class Notes

Michael Turek

Michael Turek (82)

was co-author with Dr. Robert H. Keller of the book American Indians & National Parks, and is the Tribal Relations Program Manager at Six Rivers Nat'l Forest in Eureka, CA...more


Frank James, M.D.

Frank James (73)

is a doctor for the Nooksack Indian Tribe, faculty for the UW School of Public Health and Community Medicine, has worked abroad in India, China and East Timor...more


Carrie Blackwood

Carrie Blackwood (95)

This year Carrie's family can be seen on the locally produced reality TV show "The Greenest House" ...more


Class Notes (click to see summarized notes)

Detailed class notes >


Roger Gilman (73) worked with Harvey Gelder on a Fairhaven concentration in the philosophy of science, and is now the Dean of Fairhaven College...more


Frank James (73) is a doctor who works for the Nooksack Indian Tribe, teaches a bit at the UW in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, also has worked abroad, in India, China and East Timor...more


Karlin Frederick (74) worked in Bend, Oregon at Central Oregon Community College as a Career Exploration Counselor...more


T.G.“Torg” Hadley (74) tells us his life story, including hitchhiking in Europe, working on a kibbutz, a BA in English Literature, a stint as a sous-Chef, a Staff Sergeant career in the Army, an MS in Education, and now a career in theater and film. He's recently self-published a book of poetry...more


Carol V. Davis (75) won the T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry in 2007 after several trips (2 of them Fulbright awards) to Russia. She teacesh English at Santa Monica College and is working on a new book...more


Mary Fiorenza (75-77) got her PhD, and teaches undergrad writing courses at the University of Wisconsin...more


Gordon Scott (78) works with two former Fairhaven professors, Bob Keller and Rand Jack, as the Conservation Director for the Whatcom Land Trust, after receiving his Master's Degree in Environmental Planning...more


Wendy Walker (79) is currently teaching at both Fairhaven College and Huxley College, after many adventures including work as the first woman Wilderness Ranger in the Glacier Peak Wilderness...more


Tim Costello (81) has been an AIDS activist for over 22 years. Tim founded the Slum Doctor Programme (SDP), a grassroots non-profit organization that is providing hope, medicine, food, education and dignity to orphans and people living with AIDS in Africa...more


Lesley Thomas (82), wrote the award-winning novel Flight of the Goose, from the background of growing up in the Arctic within Inupiaq culture...more


Michael Turek (82) was the coauthor with Dr. Robert H. Keller of the book American Indians & National Parks, and is now the Tribal Relations Program Manager at Six Rivers National Forest located in Eureka, CA...more


Keiko Yokota-Carter (82) was voted North American Coordinating Council (NCC) Chair-Elect and will serve as Chair from 2010-2012. She received her Masters degrees from Stanford University in Education, and at the University of Michigan in Information and Library Studies, after teaching Japanese at Amherst College...more


Linda Sue Nelson Hoofnagle (84) is a fiber artist with a studio in downtown Bellingham...more


Kerri James Geary (85) Educator, Speaker, Journey Practitioner, and Spiritual Mentor--is no stranger to health care...more


Kathryn Johnston Chindaporn (attended 85-86) works as a translator for the Abbot at the Temple Wat Phra That in Sri Chom Thong, Thailand...more


Erika Ginnis (86) has worked as a Research Chemist, the lead singer in a band, singing as a part of an 85 person choir, and serving as the vice president a Modern-Jazz dance company...more


Eric Brown (87) started a Toaster Museum from a collection of toasters as artwork! more


Jennifer Eichstedt (87) was chosen as Outstanding Professor of the Year in 2009! Jennifer is a professor of Sociology at Humboldt State University in California...more


Michael Kleven (88) is in film school now...more


Flip Breskin (90) is teaching guitar and doing some neighborhood organizing...more


Chad Goller-Sojourner (93) is a spoken word performance artist, and 2007-2008 Seattle Poet Populist Nominee...more


Corbin Lewars (93) took the plunge to pursue her dream of becoming a self-employed writer and editor. She's never looked back and her memoir, Creating a Life (Catalyst Book Press, 2010) describes that journey...more


Vonita McGee (93) is a case manager for TRAC Associates, which helps people obtain employment through training and direct placement. She designed a health maintenance program called "Chronic Fitness"...more


Coll Thrush (93), author of the book "Native Seattle: Histories from the Crossing-Over Place" was named, along with MacArthur recipient, David Montgomery and Sherman Alexie, as one of six recipients of the Washington State Book Award...more


Carrie Blackwood (95) graduated from the Hamline University School of Law, and is now the Director of Training/ Union Representative for a progressive public employee union...more


Julie Jefferson (95) was named regional manager of Indian Policy and Support Services for the State Department of Social and Health Services in Olympia, Washington...more


Michael Hill (97) earned a PhD from Columbia University’s Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures and has been teaching Chinese and Comparative Literature at the University of South Carolina since 2007...more


Joel Runnels (97): is living in Minnesota to serve with Global Deaf Connection, a non-profit organization which supports Deaf Africans to become Deaf Educators...more


Dana Starr (97) is enrolled in a Master's of Fine Arts program for Creative Writing, volunteering at the Crocker Museum of Art, and will start the docent program there in 2011...more


Adam Carmel (00) moved to San Francisco to attend the California School of Professional Psychology Ph.D. program and has been working at the San Francisco Department of Public Health...more


Libby Chenault (00) runs her own craft business, Moth and Squirrel, and sells at the Bellingham Farmers Market...more


Allison Lutz (00) was working as Conservation Director at North Olympic Land Trust for 5 years, and has moved sunny Bend, Oregon to explore another beautiful place and rediscover my life purpose...more


Kim Morrison (00) is 8 months pregnant and due to have our little boy Ellison during the first week of December, and is the Information Literacy and Outreach Librarian at Chabot Community College...more


Skye Burn (01) is the executive director of The Flow Project, a non-profit organization based in Bellingham. The Flow Project works to integrate the principles of art into the practice of leadership and leadership education...more


Jane Carten (01) is a Director and President of the Bellingham headquarted financial services company Saturna Capital, which she joined in June 1997. She serves on the board of the Mount Baker Theatre...more


Nicole Champagne (01) was featured in Sunset Magazine for her jewelry company, Stone Soup Designs.


Ethan Kerber (01) is in graduate school for industrial design at San Francisco State University, and was recently commissioned to complete a 25ft public art sculpture in Washington D.C...more


Kyle Haley (03) graduated from The Conway School of Landscape Design with an MA in Landscape Design and is one of two recipients of the David Bird International Service Fellowship for 2009.


Shannon Gates (03) and George Thomsen (03) were married in 2005 and now live in Spokane with their one year old daughter, Charlotte. George moonlights as a live sound engineer, Shannon worked as a screen printer and taught yoga...more


Katherine Greiner (03) is pursuing her master’s degree in counseling at James Madison University...more


LaMesha Melton (05) is a a graduate student at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, getting an MPH in Maternal and Child Health with a Health Disparities concentration. She's currently on the cover of Hip Mama Zine...more


Trey Avery (06) lives in Brooklyn, NY and works for Keeling & Associates, a firm that develops cultural and organizational change strategies for colleges and universities to improve learning and the student experience...more


Jeffrey Howard (06) is working toward a Masters degree in Mental Health Counseling at Antioch University in Seattle...more


Afrose Ahmed (07) is living in Austin, TX, where she started an MA program in Asian Studies focusing on Urdu language and poetry and political and social movements in South Asia...more


Annalee Dunn (07) is working on an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College, and is writing and publishing poetry and teaching writing workshops in the community...more


Spencer Edwards (07) took an Americorps position with Habitat for Humanity New York City as a construction site leader...more


Ryan Hashagen (07) is the Owner of Cascadia Cabs, operating pedicabs comprised of tricycles and chariots in downtown Bellingham...more


Deborah Lutz (07) works with children with learning disorders as an Instructional Assistant at the new I.B. (International Baccalaureate) elementary school...more


Gabriel Lukeris (08) is choreographing for the tenth (tenth!) New Music/New Dance concert (his Fairhaven Senior Project). He may be performing in a duet at St. Marks Church in Manhattan...more


Kendra Peterson (08) is living in Japan working for a private English school called JOY English Academy...more


Seres Kyrie (09) is living in Ohio, having a second child soon, and is working on children's book...more


Jordan Rain (09) is just back from a three-week tour with Yogoman Burning Band, where he met some bigger players in the music industry...more



Notes from former Faculty & Staff

Bob Keller (retired faculty, 1968-1994) & Pat Karlberg (Administrative Assistant to the Fairhaven Dean, 1967-87) live in the same small southwestern German village located between the Rhine and Danube rivers each fall. Much of their social/intellectual life still involves Fairhaven...more


Bill Heid (retired faculty, 1970-1998) and June Gordon continue to enjoy life in Santa Cruz. Three around the world trips had such highlights as South Africa and Chile on our way to south India and the Phillipines while another trip included Lithuania, Croatia, and north India on our way to Japan...more


Sooby Barrett (former Curriculum, Assessment and Records Manager from 1983-2007) has, since retiring, sold some things on eBay, participated in some holiday arts & crafts sales, and spent a lot of time with family members. She gets together with David Mason (former faculty, 1968-1998) and Pat Jackson (76) for lunch fairly often, and has been doing lots of gardening...more

Thanks to:

Faculty, Alumni & Friends for sending in your stories and sharing your photos, please keep doing so; Story participants and Alumni Drue Robinson (and her Art Sharing students and faculty), Mario Orallo-Molinaro, Dario Ré, Anna Van der Grift, Babafemi Akinrinade, Rod Burton, Theodore Bestor, Daniel Larner; Contributors Thea Kleiber and Roger Gilman.


Feature Stories and Video by Amy Keeling (Fairhaven), Editing by Jeremy Mauck (WWU Alumni Association) and Fairahven faculty & staff, Alumni Association email newsletter design and coding by Laurie Rossman (WWU Alumni Association) and Jeremy Mauck.

Questions? Contact Amy Keeling, Alumni Outreach Coordinator, Fairhaven College.


40th Anniversary!

Fairhaven is joining Western Washington University's "Back 2 Bellingham Weekend" May 14-16, 2010. There are Fairhaven-specific events, including a dinner on the evening of May 13th, Faculty Seminars, a play, music, an Outback panel, a special edition of Inkspeak, an Oral History Booth, and more.



Featured Donor

Fairhaven alums fortunate enough to have taken classes with long-time faculty member Dan Larner will likely remember him for his passionate commitment to his students, and his unswerving dedication to social justice.