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MCS Alumni Spotlight: Musa Jackson '79 & Alec Rogers '86

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Manhattan Country School nurtures well-rounded students who pursue a wide range of careers. This is well-illustrated in the stories of Musa Jackson ’79 and Alec Rogers ’86.

Musa Jackson, née Stacey, graduated from Manhattan Country School in 1979. He went on to attend Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art as a fine artist. As a college freshman at Parsons School of Design, Musa was discovered by the editor of GQ magazine and became a pioneering African-American model in the 1980s, working with GQ, Seventeen, and Vogue and walking the runways for Jean Paul Gaultier, Girbaud, Yohji and Chanel. He was a regular print model for Macy’s, JCPenney, Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman and Bloomingdales catalogues and became the first black male model for The Gap. Musa has starred in more than 30 commercials and is an award-winning screenwriter and film and TV producer. Today, Musa is CEO of Musa Jackson Productions (MJP) LLC, a Harlem-based event production company that has produced, promoted or contributed to some of Harlem’s signature events.

Musa lives in his beloved Harlem and pens a bi-monthly column, “My Uptown World,” for Uptown Magazine, where he serves as their Harlem ambassador. He is also the Harlem ambassador for the Go Africa Harlem Festival, which honors Harlem politicians, African dignitaries and local African businesses, and is on the board of the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance. He served as the president of the West 120th Street Block Association for almost sixteen years and was the first recipient of the Bank of America Local Hero Award for his innovative Light of the Block campaign focused on eradicating crime on his street.

Musa is the proud father of Elijah and Jade and best friends with his ex-wife photographer Crystal Blake.

 

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.