Five seconds into my interview with Amy Ziering ’84, the distinguished producer and director of Academy Award-nominated “The Invisible War” (2012) and Emmy nominee “Outrage” (2009) tells me, “You know, I hate talking about myself. What about you? What do you study?” I knew I was supposed to stay on track and get the story, but her curious demeanor disarmed me as I slipped into a digression about my life.

Most students study world events from a safe distance. Abbey Gardner ’89, however, has the habit of being exactly where history is being made. From a visit to the Soviet Union during the Gorbachev era, to the halls of the Latvian parliament during the nation’s struggle for independence, to earthquake-shattered Haiti, Gardner has both witnessed and taken part in the changing world of international affairs. Today, she works with Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary General Paul Farmer to improve aid to developing countries.

Culling images and fragments from the world around her, Tess Taylor ’99 exemplifies how a poet can also be a historian, archaeologist, naturalist, teacher, student and witness. Whether she is describing her first post-college apartment in Brooklyn, her drives from northern to southern California or the bird sanctuary at Amherst, her thoughtful observations give a complex and distinct shape to a place’s unspoken stories.

The Root of a Poem
“Poetry is essentially a long conversation,” Taylor said.

Although Karti Subramanian ’07 initially started out with investment banking after graduating from Amherst, it became clear that that wasn’t all that he wanted to do for the rest of his life. His interests in international development and nonprofit organizations eventually led him and his two colleagues to found Vera Solutions, a company that aims to improve the quality of information and data in order to increase the efficiency of social impact groups. And now, as a young social entrepreneur, Subramanian attends John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

What do you expect when you pick up a piece of historical fiction? A story about a young Revolutionary War soldier rubbing shoulders with George Washington or an aspiring female actress desperate to appear in one of Shakespeare’s plays? Novels set in well-known historical moments such as these are popular and engaging, but rarely do these works of fiction look beyond our own Euro-centric culture. It’s rare to find novelists who can create protagonists and situations that explore the intersection between the East and the West in a meaningful way.

Darryl Harper ’90 is a jazz clarinetist who has split his career into equal parts jazz performance and teaching. Harper recently released his seventh studio jazz album, a double CD of collaborations with other jazz musicians, and is currently the music department chair at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Introduction to Jazz
Harper began playing the clarinet in his school’s band at the age of six.

On Oct. 25, the Amherst College baseball team presented a personal and informative recap of the 2014 Amherst College-Doshisha University Cultural Exchange, entitled “Recollections and Perspectives: Amherst-Doshisha (Japan) Baseball Cultural Exchange.” The event took place in Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall.