After graduating from UConn, Ron and I married and are celebrating our 46th anniversary. We lived in various parts of the country early on and I did, mostly, social work including house visits for the welfare department in Philadelphia while Ron got a Masters in Architecture. We moved to New Hampshire (deciding we'd rather live in northern New England and go to the city for fun rather than live in the city and come here for fun).
Ron now designs natural playgrounds, playgrounds without equipment, all over the country. Even did one in Russia. Our son, Ethan, whom we adopted at 3 months old, is his partner and manages the employees and client contracts. They're having a ball. We have a teenage step-grandson and he and Shawnna also have a wonderful African teenage boy living with them most of the time.
I got 2 masters' degrees and a Ph.D. in social psychology at the University of NH. I was a psychotherapist for many years and taught at universities. Since 1990, I've been a social psychologist and organizational consultant working throughout the US, Asia, and Canada. Neither Ron nor I ever plan to retire because we love our work, even though we both spend a good deal of our lives in airports and hotels. We agree that our life is fabulous.
My work includes delivering a lot of keynote speeches at conferences - presenting training seminars in areas of Leadership, Conflict Resolution, Managing Change and other topics - and facilitating mergers and acquisitions and strategic planning. I'm hoping to have a book on organizational leadership published by the Fall.
In addition to volunteering, I choreograph and direct for a theater company, sit on a number of Boards, and work really hard politically. Because NH holds the first primary, we get to meet all the presidential candidates several times. During the last election, Barack Obama was at our house - MIchelle, kids, and grandma, at our nearby park - and I was a delegate to the national democratic convention. We had a great time at the Inauguration and I also got to attend the First Lady's Luncheon. It's been quite a ride.
WHICH NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL EVENTS HAVE MOST INFLUENCED/IMPACTED YOU SINCE
I was devastated by the assassinations of both Kennedys and Martin Luther King. The latter spurred me on to devote myself to the elimination of prejudice and discrimination. Every election is an opportunity to fight for what I believe in and I admit to being a news junkie. Guess I'm impacted daily.
I spent some time in New Orleans and other southern states post-Katrina and other disasters. The present environmental horror in the Gulf breaks my heart.
WHAT PERSONAL EVENTS IMPACTED YOU THE MOST?
Losing my Dad when I was in college still makes me sad. My terrific Mom died at 85 and I miss her every day. My husband and son (and his family) are my constant joy.
Years ago, I wrote an article for the New Britain Herald saying that I got my work ethic from growing up in such a hardworking community. I learned that, even without money, happiness is possible. My life's motto came from that experience. "Happiness is the result of gratitude."
WHAT ARE YOUR GREATEST HOPES AND CONCERNS FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS?
That we finally take our environmental well-being seriously and take care of this planet.
That war becomes a relic of the past.
That hate toward other people/groups becomes so rare that we look back at the hurt caused others in astonishment.
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IN YOUR FUTURE?
Soon will have a book on organizational leadership published.
Plan to work until I can no longer stand. May semi-retire at 97.
A continuation of a life full of love and concern.
WHAT ARE YOUR SPECIAL OR MOST OUTSTANDING MEMORIES FROM OUR YEARS AT NBHS?
Having just gotten together with 40 high school women friends, followed by a day with my closest high school friends - Phyllis Matulis Fortier, Kathleen Walsh Fagan, and Linda DiFazio - a lot of memories flooded back. It was really, really fun and I'm looking forward to the reunion.