The sausage company founded and owned by Charlie Munford DS’00 in Mississippi was recently featured in Gambit: Best of New Orleans. After finishing at Deep Springs, Charlie established Two Run Farm in his home state on land his grandfather had farmed. It was among the very first farms in Mississippi to be certified organic. Charlie then completed his MA at Yale before returning south to establish a farm-to-table company supplying pork directly to restaurants in New Orleans. Business is growing and he purchased his own slaughterhouse and smokehouse in Louisiana. His operation has proved so successful that the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry approached him for help with their runaway overpopulation of wild boars infesting Louisiana’s pine forests. Apparently, Charlie has a way with smoked meats and building a market for the porcine critters is proving successful – good for the environment and the grocery. But, don’t take our word for it, read the article.
Lee Talbot DS’48 remains as busy as ever. A roundup of his activities in the previous year includes multiple honors for his lifetime accomplishments: In March of 2016, the Cosmos Club of Washington D.C. bestowed the Powell Award – in honor of founder and eminent explorer John Wesley Powell – on Dr. Talbot because “he preeminently embodies the values represented by Powell’s distinguished career.” In his attendant lecture, Lee emphasized that his wife Marty has been his full partner through much of his career.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature convened in September of 2016 with over 10,000 attendees for their quadrennial World Congress. At the gathering, Lee was honored with the Harold Jefferson Coolidge Medal to recognize his lifelong contributions in the field of international conservation and environmental affairs, his outstanding initiatives in the field of exploration and his continuing dedication to the field of conservation.
Also in September, Lee received the Legacy Award from the Defenders of Wildlife at their annual dinner in Washington DC. Presented in recognition of lifetime achievements in wildlife conservation, the award was dedicated to: “Dr. Lee Talbot, World-Renowned Environmentalist for pioneering work in developing ecosystem science, shaping national and international environmental policies and principles, establishing an ecosystem basis for conservation, and conducting environmental work in 131 countries.”
Not one to focus only on work, Lee continues to compete (and win) regularly on the racing circuit. In June of 2016, he was recognized for his lifetime achievements with the first-ever Spirit of Vintage Racing award at the Vintage Automobile Racing Association of Canada’s historic Grand Prix in Ontario, Canada.
Dr. Talbot is a professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University.
Deep Springs alumni remain busy bringing new books to publication. We have three recent contributions to call your attention to. Check out the links for further information.
Roger Seiler DS59 has written a new historical novel titled Master of Alaska – The Saga of Alaska’s First Russian Governor, Aleksandr Boronov. Released by True North Publishing, it tells of Boronov’s exploits in Alaska at the close of the 18th Century, and the origins of Alaska’s ultimate inclusion in the United States. You can find the book here on Roger’s website. Roger is a filmmaker and software entrepreneur who grew up the son of a bush pilot in Alaska.
Former DS president Jack Newell DS56 served as co-editor for a new book on education in 2016: Hope, Heart, and the Humanities: How a Free College Course is Changing Lives. The book examines how Venture, a free interdisciplinary college humanities course that lowers barriers to college for nontraditional students. Check out the book at University of Utah Press. Jack is also formerly dean of Liberal Education at the University of Utah.
Journalist Graeme Wood DS97 has written an extensive analysis of the Islamic State, published by Random House last month. The Way of Strangers: Encounters With the Islamic State follows on the heels of his 2015 cover article for Atlantic magazine. Wood’s book distills his research and many interviews with IS supporters and sympathizers to examine “the strategy, psychology, and theology driving the Islamic State.” Graeme is a national correspondent at The Atlantic. He was the 2015-16 Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
We were deeply saddened to learn that Stefan Sperling DS’92 died on August 10, 2016 after a brief but aggressive illness. He was 45. Stefan had only recently received his law degree from Stanford University in 2013. At the time of his death, he was an attorney with the San Francisco office of Baker & McKenzie, specializing in issues of data protection and security compliance.
Stefan was born in East Germany in 1971; he escaped to West Germany at age twelve with his mother and sister. After completing compulsory service in the German army, Stefan came to Deep Springs at age 20. He was a much-loved member of the DS community; he enjoyed children and spent one summer working as an au pair for a faculty couple. Stefan received his B.A. from University of Chicago, an M.A. from Stanford, and ultimately his PhD in anthropology at Princeton. He taught at Harvard (where he was a post-doctoral fellow in the STS Program at the Harvard Kennedy School), University of Humboldt in Berlin, and at Deep Springs in 2009-2010. His courses in science, culture and ethics were popular with students and he was an active participant in faculty matters and community life. His keen intelligence and easy-going humor were much appreciated.
Stefan was a talented medical anthropologist and received a priority visa from U.S. Immigration to live and work in the United States. He closely examined the tension between scientific advancement and ethics. His dissertation Reasons of Conscience: The Bioethics Debate in Germany was published by University of Chicago Press in 2013. A memorial gathering was held at his home on August 21st. He will be greatly missed by family and scores of friends.
After graduating from Yale in May, Rhys Dubin DS’11 has relocated to Morocco where he is currently studying Arabic in preparation for his next move. Come September, he will take up residence in Beirut where he’ll spend a year working as a journalist for The Daily Star, an English language daily newspaper founded and published in Lebanon and distributed to several countries in the Middle East. Rhys received a fellowship from Yale to finance his year’s work overseas.