Emily Stowe Reynolds ’06M.Ed.was named the new principal at Dan River Middle School. Emily was previously the assistant principal at Dan River High School for two years after five years as a TunstallHigh School teacher and two years as Fieldale-Collinsville Middle School assistant principal. She currently lives in Callands, Va.
Tammy Smith ’06M.Ed. won teacher of the year at Altavista Combined School. She is a special education teacher, department chair, and chair of theChild Student Committee. She lives in Rustburg, Va.
Gina Davis ’07 graduated from Towson University with a master of arts in experimental psychology in spring 2010. Sheworks at CIGNAHealthcare in the lead position of the intake staff in themental health division.Gina resides in Edgewood,Md.
LeighMackintosh ’07was awarded a $5,000 Fellow- ship by theNationalHonor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. Leigh plans to attend the YaleDivinity School this fall.
CarolineWesley ’07 graduated fromIndianaUniversity with amaster’s degree in kinesiology and athletic training. She completed her thesis with LC faculty member Dr. Patricia Aronson and is the assistant athletic trainer at OglethorpeUniversity in Atlanta,Ga.,where she lives.
Michael “Mike”Whorley ’07 wrote a play, “When We Get Grown,” that was performed by E.C. Glass High School’s advanced acting class in Lynchburg.Mike and hiswife, Brenda Pickrel ’86, reside in Lynchburg, Va.
James “Pete”Crigler ’08 released Keeping it Tight in the Old Dominion: AHistory of Virginia RockMusic, his first book. Pete’s book follows Virginia rock music from the 1950s to the twenty-first century. Included in the book aremusic artistsGary “U.S.” Bond, BillDeal and the Rhondels, Pentagram, BruceHornsby and the Range, and theDaveMatthews Band.Hewas included in theWest Point Library’s second Annual Book Fair. He resides inWest Point, Va.
Kathleen “Katie”Gardner ’08 gave a lecture about Hollywood’sGolden Age andWorldWar II at Cool- well Community Center in Amherst, Va. She lives in Bedford, Va.
Janey Joseph ’08M.Ed. has been promoted to district counselor in her school district in St. Lucia. Janey was in the school counseling cohort of graduate students trained in St. Lucia in 2008. She lives in Momrepos.
SterlingWilder ’08M.Ed. received a LynchburgMayor’s Award of Excellence for his work as co-founder and executive director of the Jubilee FamilyDevelopment Center,which helps at-risk youth through after-school programs and mentoring. He also served for nine years on the Lynchburg School Board.
KristenDivine ’09 is amarketing research associate at Stephen James Associates, a recruiting firmof executives in Reston, Va.
Undesigning a life byMonica Saigal Bhide ’92M.Ad.
When I was young, I knew what I’d be and where I’d live. How could not getting those things be good? “If you get what your heart desires, it is
good. If you don’t, it is better.” I posted a note about this philosophy on
my blog and got a lot of comments.What a losing attitude, most said. I grew up with the belief that I could design
my life, and I rebelled against letting go. I wanted to be on the debate team, so I practiced until I was accepted. I wanted to act in school plays, so I pursued the director until he gaveme a shot.How could not getting what I wanted be good for me? Although I’d grown up in Bahrain, a tiny
island in theMiddle East, I loved India, where I was born. I went there to study engineering in college and wanted to stay forever.
It was Dad’s dream that I go to graduate school in the United States.My father
had blessed me with abundance but, keenly aware of his humble beginnings, in- stilled inme the importance of a good education. While some traditional Indian fathers focus on theman their girls willmarry —
a rich doctor with a richer father — mine wantedme to have a “real” education, a “real” job.Other parents chided him: “Look at themoney you are spending on her — and now sending her to America. She is a daughter — she will go away to an- other house. She is not your son.” My father laughed it off. He insisted I go to America. I wanted to stay in India. The day in 1990 when we landed in America, the GulfWar was starting to affect
Bahrain.We were in a cramped hotel roomin Lynchburg, Virginia.My father’s hands trembled as he spoke on the phone.He worried about friends and coworkers—what would happen to them? He had to go back. After Dad left, I moved onto campus at Lynchburg College, where I had enrolled
for amaster’s in industrialmanagement. Imissed himandmymomterribly. I wanted to leave this unfamiliar country where I knew no one. I stayed inmy roomwatching tv, crying myself to sleep. Then, slowly, I started talking to people.Classmates invitedme over forThanksgiving
— a holiday I had never heard of — bachelorette parties, weddings. I learned about kimchee froma Korean roommate, about the Shinto religion froma Japanese friend, about Starbucks froman American teacher. I began to fall in love with theUnited States. There was a willingness to try anything: I read about a lawyer who became a radio pro- ducer, a policemanwhowent to business school, aWall Street hotshotwho became a chef. I’d always done what I was supposed to do. Had I stayed in India, I would have
had a good life — worked as an engineer,made a decent salary. I didn’t know then how many opportunities life would afford me if I let it. Two decades after coming here, I have the blessing to travel back to India whenever
I like.My adopted American home has allowedme to let go of an engineering career I disliked and become what I really longed to be — a food writer. In Lynchburg, Imet Sameer, the love ofmy life.We live inWashington, d.c., and
have two boys with independent spirits; a circle of caring, international friends who expose us to new cultures and ways of thinking; and, more than anything, a sea of yet-undesired desires.
This article first appeared in theWashingtonian in April 2010. Fall 2010 LC MAGAZINE 41
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