Monday, October 7, 2019

Fred Waitzkin (GSAS ’68), Author of “Searching for Bobby Fischer,” the Best-Selling Book that Became a Movie

Fred writingFred Waitzkin has written feature journalism, personal essays and reviews for numerous magazines including Esquire, Forbes, Outside Magazine, New York Magazine, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, and The New York Times Book Review.

In 1984, Fred published Searching for Bobby Fischer, chronicling three years in his life with his chess prodigy son, Josh Waitzkin. The book became an internationally acclaimed best seller. In 1993 the movie version was released by Paramount and that same year was nominated for an Academy Award.

Fred is now a fiction writer and avid fishing captain. His wife, Bonnie, is an NYU alumna and attended Washington Square College while Fred completed his graduate work in English at GSAS.

Fred Waitzkin: his story continues

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

How Sophie Kennedy (CAS ’19), Co-Founder and Chief Sustainability Officer at SeaStraws, Uses her Passion for Oceans to Drive Environmental Change

Sophie Kennedy in an NYU dining hall
What did you study at NYU?

I transferred to NYU after my first year at the University of Miami where I studied Marine Biology. We are an NYU family - my mother (Daphne Kennedy, Wagner 1994) and aunt (Sarah Goldsmith Harrelson, CAS 2000) are alumni and my brother, Harrison, is currently studying filmmaking at Tisch (Class of ’22). I always wanted to attend NYU. After just minutes on my tour of campus, I knew I wanted to be a part of this passionate community and take advantage of all of the opportunities within the university and the city at large. It was such a gift to be at NYU, I loved every second of it.

I majored in Environmental Studies with minors in Anthropology and Business Studies. All of my classes were amazing. Professor Disotell’s Health & Disease in Human Evolution class made me fall in love with Anthropology and inspired my minor. I love that he allowed me to examine my passion for the environment through an anthropological lens, exploring topics like the impact of evolution on coral restoration or even the links between fisheries science and human health. 

Professor Schlottmann was my advisor in Environmental Studies and helped make everything possible for me, from my environmental internships and studying abroad to graduating a semester early. Even abroad in Florence, Professor Semeghini supported my passion for the environment as I created mood boards with sustainability as the “trend of the future” for Italian designers like Prada. My Environmental Studies Capstone project was one of my favorite to work on as we designed a funding plan using innovative finance mechanisms to support the Bahamas Protected Areas Fund (BPAF) with Professor Tolisano. This class along with Jeffrey Hollender’s Sustainable Business class helped me identify my passion for sustainable business.

Sophie Kennedy: her story continues

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Horror Movie Expert Tony Timpone (WSC ’85) Shares his Journey from NYU Journalism to his Dream Job, as Editor of “Fangoria” Magazine

Tony Timpone is an expert on the horror industry. He was the editor of “Fangoria,” the nation's leading horror magazine for 25 years and continues to act as a consultant. He served as a producer on Bravo’s documentary series “The 100 Scariest Movie Moments” and acted as a consultant, writer and researcher for AMC’s show “Eli Roth’s History of Horror.” He is the co-director of International Programming for the annual Fantasia film festival in Montreal, which, according to Quentin Tarantino, is the “most important and prestigious genre film festival on this continent.” Timpone is also the author of “Men, Makeup and Monsters: Hollywood's Masters of Illusion and FX,” which profiles twelve masters of screen special effects.

What did you study at NYU?

When I was first studying at NYU I didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted to major in. While I was in high school I had been a freelance writer and it was a dream job of mine to work at a magazine. It wasn’t until my junior year, when I started writing for the two NYU student newspapers, “The Courier” and “Washington Square News,” that I realized that I wanted to major in Journalism.

I was born in NYC, raised in Queens and I was a commuter student at NYU. Most of the friends I made were also commuters. I’d take the subway to West 4th Street, go to classes, then I’d take the train to work.

Do you have a favorite memory from your time at NYU?

When I was a student, there were great lectures in the Loeb Student Center with various guest speakers. I had the chance to meet Gene Roddenberry (creator, writer and producer of “Star Trek” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation”) when I was working for the newspaper. I spent time getting to know him, before his presentation, which is a favorite memory.

Tony Timpone: his story continues

Monday, June 10, 2019

Chris Woods (CAS ’11), Director of the NYU LGBTQ Student Center, on Stonewall @ 50 and World Pride

Chris Woods (CAS '11)
Chris Woods (CAS '11)
In celebration of LGBTQ Pride Month, we caught up with Chris Woods (CAS ’11), the Director of the LGBTQ Student Center. He shared his first experiences with NYC Pride and what we can expect from this year’s World Pride festivities.

How did your education at NYU shape what you do now?

I initially studied Pre-Med and Biochemistry, then I double-majored in English and Religious Studies at CAS with a minor in Early Childhood Education at Steinhardt. My studies focused primarily on identity, and I took several courses that were cross-listed through the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis (SCA), on topics such as queer literature and racial migrations.

In my sophomore year, I was a Peer Educator in the Center for Multicultural Education and Programs. In my junior and senior years I worked in the LGBTQ Student Center, which is where I learned about LGBTQ resource centers as a field of work in higher education. After I graduated from NYU, I went to grad school at Ohio State and studied Higher Education and Student Affairs. I did LGBTQ work when I was a grad student and I also worked in residential life.

Chris Woods: his story continues