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Alumni Profiles

Mary Purdy's picture
Mary Purdy
Arivale Coach, Adjunct Professor at Bastyr University
Class of
1984
Mary Purdy's picture

Mary Purdy

Arivale Coach, Adjunct Professor at Bastyr University
Class of
1984
Mary is working as a registered dietitian providing nutritional and lifestyle counseling with, Arivale, a startup scientific wellness company in Seattle. The company looks at hundreds of data markers of its clients, including genetic variants, to help determine the most appropriate strategies and approaches to wellness. Mary is also a mentor to a woman in prison, helping her to find ways to land on her feet when she is released. Mary is also an adjunct professor in the nutrition department at Bastyr University.
Alec Rogers's picture
Alec Rogers
Software Engineer and Author
Class of
1986
Alec Rogers's picture

Alec Rogers

Software Engineer and Author
Class of
1986
Alec Rogers is a software engineer and author with a deep interest in artificial and natural intelligence. He is the author of the book Cognitive Set Theory and several articles about psychology, spirituality and mathematics. He is particularly interested in the notion of selflessness and how understanding the mind can be used to train in various kinds of meditation.

After obtaining degrees in psychology, computer science, electrical engineering and working a short stint as a preschool teacher, he spent 10 years working in various roles for MathWorks in Natick, MA. After concluding that his available vacation time was not sufficient for various retreats and studies he wanted to pursue, he left MathWorks to spend more time volunteering and meditating. He has since attended numerous retreats, studied Buddhism in Nepal, volunteered for a dharma center in New Hampshire and taught Javascript to high school students in Thailand. A short summary of his work is available on the ArborRhythms website.

Alec is currently exploring how our culture can educate hearts and educates heads, and has a deep conviction in the transformative power of the spiritual dimension of psychology and meditation. It is with gratitude and love that he commends MCS for its well-rounded education. He has fond memories of having fun the Farm and would love to play kickball or tag in the meadow again.
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Ammon Shea
Writer, Dictionary Editor
Class of
1984
Ammon Shea's picture

Ammon Shea

Writer, Dictionary Editor
Class of
1984
Ammon Shea is a writer, known for his nonfiction books about the English language. In 2008, he read the entire Oxford English Dictionary and wrote about his observations in Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages. He works for Oxford University Press as a consulting editor of American dictionaries and has contributed to the “On Language” column in the Sunday edition of The New York Times. Ammon is also the author of The Phone Book: The Curious History of the Book That Everyone Uses But No One Reads (2010) and Bad English: A History of Linguistic Aggravation (2014). He is also a current Manhattan Country School parent.
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Franklin Sirmans
Art Critic, Editor, Writer, Curator
Class of
1983
Franklin Sirmans's picture

Franklin Sirmans

Art Critic, Editor, Writer, Curator
Class of
1983
Franklin Sirmans is the director of Pérez Art Museum Miami. Prior to this, he served as the department head and curator of contemporary art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and curator of modern and contemporary art at the Menil Collection in Houston. He is also known as a critic, editor and writer. His curatorial credits include “NeoHooDoo: Art for a Forgotten Faith,” an examination of spirituality in contemporary art, “Basquiat,” and “Steve Wolfe: On Paper.” He is the former U.S. Editor of Flash Art and former editor-in-chief of art at AsiaPacific magazines.
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Susanna Sonnenberg
Author
Class of
1979
Susanna Sonnenberg's picture

Susanna Sonnenberg

Author
Class of
1979
Susanna Sonnenberg is a successful author of The New York Times best-selling memoirs Her Last Death and She Matters. Her essays have appeared in Elle, O, The Oprah Magazine, Parenting and other magazines.
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Lorna Thomas
Executive Producer; Partner of Mad Dog Films
Class of
1981
Lorna Thomas's picture

Lorna Thomas

Executive Producer; Partner of Mad Dog Films
Class of
1981
Lorna Thomas is an Executive Producer at Discovery Communications, responsible for overseeing shows for Investigation Discovery (ID) and Discovery Life. She recently executive produced “Hate In America,” a special for ID featuring the work of Morris Dees and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Previously, she was a co-executive producer at ITV Studios where she oversaw production and post-production of the A&E television series “The First 48.”
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Lynn Vogelstein
Attorney
Class of
1980
Lynn Vogelstein's picture

Lynn Vogelstein

Attorney
Class of
1980
Lynn Vogelstein is a supervising attorney for the Brooklyn Family Defense Project, an organization with a mission to provide holistic and high-quality legal representation to protect parents’ due process rights while promoting access to benefits and services families need to remain safe and stable.
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Kai Williams
Class of
2012
Education / School 1: The Dalton School
Education / School 2: Wesleyan University
Kai Williams's picture

Kai Williams

Class of
2012
Kai Williams '12, along with her former classmate/good friend Emma Morgan-Bennett '12, were frustrated with the lack of performance opportunities for actors of color. In response, the two MCS alumnae consolidated their passions for social justice and theater by co-founding Eat At The Table Theatre Company (E.A.T.T.). Through this nonprofit theater company, the pair aims to fulfill the goals of an affinity theater—providing space to celebrate, recreate and generate theater for youth of color in New York City. The organization started in early 2015 and has performed at multiple educational venues, including a fundraising benefit that took place at none other than Manhattan Country School.

Kai is an aspiring author, race-relations activist and theater artist. Beyond fulfilling her role as one of the executive directors of E.A.T.T., Kai is a published writer. She is a 10-time Scholastic Art & Writing Awards winner, as well as the recipient of the Best Dramatic Play award in the 2014 Worldwide Plays Festival. She has been published in the Amerasia Journal, featured in the YoungArts Foundation’s 2015 Writers’ Anthology and VerbalEzye Press’ 2015 Young Writers’ anthology, "Pushing Past the Limits". Kai graduated from The Dalton School and later attended Wesleyan University.

At Wesleyan University, Kai was the recipient of a seed grant from Wesleyan's Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship. On March 2, 2018, Wesleyan students pitched their project ideas to a panel of judges at the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship (PCSE) Seed Grant finals. Of the six finalists who presented, three teams were awarded $5,000 seed grants to fund the launch of their social enterprise, program, organization or venture. The winning projects address a compelling social problem, have a clear objective and data strategy, and have potential to produce a lasting and replicable impact. In addition to the project itself, judges based their decisions on the applicants' passion, commitment, tenacity, leadership and personal integrity.

Kai was honored at Wesleyan's spring prize reception on May 8, 2019, where she was awarded the Monroe Prize - given annually to the Wesleyan sophomore or junior who, in the opinion of the review committee, submits the best scholarly essay in the field of African American studies. Wesleyan's awards, prizes, and scholarships program connects recipients to the legacies of alumni, administrators, faculty, and friends of the university whose lives and work are honored through endowed gifts. Recipients of the academic scholarships, fellowships, and prizes represent the highest ideals of Wesleyan--intellectual curiosity, academic excellence, creative expression, leadership, and service.
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Sasha Wilson
Co-Founder, Bronx Community Impact Charter School
Class of
1984
Sasha Wilson's picture

Sasha Wilson

Co-Founder, Bronx Community Impact Charter School
Class of
1984
Sasha Wilson and his partner, Kendra Sibley, are founders of Bronx Community Impact Charter School, a kindergarten through eighth grade school in the Bronx. As a school founded on Manhattan Country School’s principles, BCICS’ mission statement declares, “All members of our school community will be committed to making thoughtful choices, advancing democratic values, and effecting change in the broader community.”

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