Posts Tagged “Alums”
In the middle of top student Jenny Hunter‘s (COL ’93) senior year at Georgetown, she was recruited by a classmate into a burgeoning Christian cult, the International Church of Christ. After years of participation, which included an arranged marriage to a man she did not love, she left the ICOC in 2004.
On Tuesday, the Division of Student Affairs and the Office of Campus Ministry hosted a discussion entitled “My Life in a Cult” with Hunter and Drew Bratcher, a writer for Washingtonian who first publicized Hunter’s story in an article for the magazine in 2008.
“I had written on sports, events, and even the Georgetown bulldog … I found this letter from a woman named Jenny Hunter willing to share her story about being in a cult and breaking away from it. I took it,” Bratcher said.
Hunter followed the journalist’s brief talk with her story. During her senior year at Georgetown, in her Performing Arts in Contemporary Society class, she met a young girl whom she befriended over the course of the year. She ended up joining the girl at an “international dinner” which turned into a bible study. She continued to attend the studies, and shortly thereafter, she became disciple in the group that hosted them—the International Church of Christ, often called the ICOC. Three days after graduation, she moved out to San Francisco to devote herself entirely to the organization.
“I rejected all of my previous dreams: law school, the Peace Corps. I just got a temp job, because all that mattered was saving souls. They put me on leadership track and had rules for every aspect of my life. I was allowed to date from a selection of three different men … I ended up marrying a man I did not love and having two children,” Hunter said. “The organization held control through these things called discipleships, and they held disciple groups—meetings where one or two people were singled out and bashed for breaking rules and not being enough like Christ.”
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Who says Econ majors can’t be creative?
Today, Georgetown Alums Mike Cahill (COL ’01) and Brit Marling (COL ’05), both of whom graduated with degrees in Economics, opened their feature film Another Earth, which gained acclaim months ago when it garnered two prestigious awards at the Sundance Film Festival, in New York and Los Angeles (the film is set for national release sometime in August). The film, the sophomore collaborative effort of the two producers, explores themes of fate and the vastness of the universe in the context of personal tragedy.
The film, which the pair co-wrote, Cahill directed, and Marling stars in, revolves around the relationship between Rhoda (Marling) and John, played by William Mapother, of Lost fame. Rhoda has recently been released from prison, after serving a four-year sentence after a car accident which put John in a coma, and killed his wife and child. Rhoda, the responsible party, was driving not only under the influence of alcohol, but distracted by the shocking sight of a newly visible planet in the sky. Four years later, the planet has become clearly identical to our own Earth.
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On Saturday, around 1000 activists from over 20 countries set sail for Gaza to try once again to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza and deliver humanitarian supplies.
The move is a repeat of last year’s failed aid mission in which nine pro-Palestinian activists were left dead in Israeli military raids. One of the members of the original flotilla, Paul Larudee, received a Ph.D in linguistics at Georgetown in 1973.
The California piano tuner was arrested by Israeli soldiers after he jumped from one of the ships in order to delay the raid. Vox caught up with Larudee late last week to get his perspectives on Georgetown and the Gaza issue.
“My studies at Georgetown facilitates my awareness and activism,” he said. “But I wouldn’t say that they’re directly related.”
“The Jesuit identity encourages activism. There are activists like Steve Kelly [arrested for trespassing on the School of the Americas] who are themselves members of the Jesuit community.”
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The White House announced yesterday that Kathryn Ruemmler (LAW ’96) – a Georgetown Law graduate – would replace Bob Bauer as President Obama’s legal counsel at the end of the month.
“Kathy is an outstanding lawyer with impeccable judgment,” President Obama said in a press release. “Together, Bob and Kathy have led the White House Counsel’s office, and Kathy will assure that it continues to successfully manage its wide variety of responsibilities.”
While at Georgetown Law, Ruemmler was editor-in-chief of the Georgetown Law Journal. After graduation, she worked as a law clerk for Honorable Timothy K. Lewis of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. She subsequently served as associate counsel in the Clinton Administration. In 2001, she was appointed Assistant U.S. Attorney.
In 2003, Ruemmler was picked to assist in the federal prosecution of energy giant Enron’s founder, Kenneth Lay, and former CEO Jeffrey Skilling for accounting fraud. She became deputy director of the Enron Task Force in 2005.
President Obama appointed Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice in 2009. She joined the Office of Counsel to the President in 2010.
Photo: Georgetown Law
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While Americans were busy “awww”ing over that Google ad on Sunday, Costa Ricans were handing a landslide victory to Georgetown graduate Laura Chinchilla, the center-right politician who has become the first woman elected President in the country’s history.
“Today we are making history,” said Chinchilla, who lead her closest rival by 22 points in the election. “The Costa Rican people have given me their confidence, and I will not betray it.”
Chinchilla received her master’s degree in public policy at Georgetown in the late ’80s after graduating from the University if Costa Rica. A social conservative who opposes abortion and same-sex marriage, she campaigned on continuing free market policies in Costa Rica. She is the former vice president and public security minister of Costa Rica, and when she takes office in May, she will be the fifth Latin American female president.
Of course, she’ll be one of several presidents to have graduated from Georgetown University. A few in particular come to mind. There’s everyone’s favorite former Harbin resident, of course—Bill Clinton (SFS ’68)—and then there’s Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the current president of the Philippines. Arroyo is incredibly unpopular and has been linked to the deaths of many Filipino activists and serious corruption scandals. (We like Chinchilla and Clinton a lot more.)
Before her victory, the Global Post‘s Alex Leff wrote that given Costa Rica’s very progressive laws about women in politics, it’s actually a wonder that Chinchilla was about to become only the first female president of that country.
“By law, women must make up 40 percent of a party’s seats in the Legislative Assembly, and by 2014, the law mandates a 50-50 split. That’s well above the world average,” he wrote. “Parties also are obligated to include at least one women on the ballot for their executive branch bids, whether for one of the two vice presidencies or the presidency.”
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Raising your children bilingual is pretty common, but one Georgetown grad took it to the next level. D’Armond Speers (GRD ’02), who earned a doctorate in computational linguistics at Georgetown and is a big Star Trek fan, decided to raise his newborn son speaking only Klingon, according to TrekToday.com.
Speers spoke to his son in Klingon for the first three years of the boy’s life. Speers even went so far as to sing lullabies to his son in Klingon, like “May the Empire Endure” before the child went to bed.
Despite Speers’s attempts, his son, now 15-years-old, speaks no Klingonese at all now.
However, Speers passion for the language hasn’t gone to waste. When Ultralingue, a dictionary, translation, and grammar software company, needed assistance with their latest Klingon dictionary project, they contacted Speers.
Ultralingue, best known for their mobile phone applications and learning software, developed a Klingon dictionary over the summer. It even features audio clips of Commander Work Klingon from the television series.
This is what we get for being the one school with both a solid linguistics program and a class on Philosophy and Star Trek…
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