Nicholas Clegg, a 1990 CLA graduate student, was named deputy prime minister of the United Kingdom last May. A Liberal Democrat, he is part of the coalition government headed by the Conservative Party's Prime Minister David Cameron—the result of a rare "hung parliament" in which no political party commanded a majority in the House of Commons.
At the U, Clegg studied politics and international relations, and pursued a special interest in human rights. His thesis title was "The Deep Green Movement and its Political Philosophy."
Clegg previously served as a Member of the European Parliament, co-founding a movement for reforms relating to its expenses, transparency, and accountability. Among his signature issues are civil liberties, opposition to identity cards and excessive counter-terrorism laws, and defense of Britain's Human Rights Act.
Gene Sperling, B.A. '82, political science, J.D. '85, Yale, is the new director of the White House National Economic Council, replacing Larry Summers. He will be involved in shaping virtually all of the administration's economic policies. In announcing Sperling's appointment, President Obama said, "He's a public servant who has devoted his life to making this economy work—and making it work specifically for middle-class families. Few people bring the level of intelligence and sheer work ethic that Gene brings to every assignment he's ever taken."
Sperling, who most recently served as counselor to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, actually held this NCE directorship before, during President Clinton's last four years as president. He previously was a corporate philanthropy consultant for Goldman Sachs, an economic columnist and commentator for Bloomberg News, and a consultant and contributing writer to the NBC drama series The West Wing.
In 1980, while at the U of M, Sperling captained the tennis team as he maintained a 4.0 grade point average. At Yale, he was the editor of the Yale Law Journal.
See Associated Press story and video of appointment at z.umn.edu/2vs
Mitch Anderson, B.A. '08, journalism, has joined Tunheim Partners, a Twin Cities strategic communications company. He previously held newspaper and communications positions at the Minneapolis Star Tribune's Washington, D.C., bureau, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal, and Edina Public Schools.
Sid Bacon, Ph.D. '85, experimental psychology, is the dean of natural sciences at Arizona State University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and directs ASU's Psychoacoustics Laboratory.
Emilie Buchwald, Ph.D. '71, English, received the 2010 A.P. Anderson Award from the Anderson Center in Red Wing, Minn., in recognition of her contributions to the cultural and artistic life of Minnesota. Buchwald recently retired from Milkweed Editions, the Minnesota-based influential literary press she co-founded. She has written award-winning children's novels and edited or co-edited books that together have won more than 200 awards. She received the McKnight Distinguished Artist Award, National Book Critics' Circle Lifetime Achievement Award, and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Minnesota.
Ann Cathcart Chaplin, B.A. '95, sociology, J.D. '98, Harvard Law School, was named a "Minnesotan on the Move" by Finance & Commerce magazine. The award honors 40 Minnesota businesspeople "poised to make business history during the coming years." Cathcart Chaplin is the managing principal of the Twin Cities office of Fish & Richardson, the country's largest intellectual property law firm. At 36, she is the firm's first female managing principal and the youngest woman ever to head a major Twin Cities law firm.
Deborah Ann (Offt) Peterson, B.A. '74, German, has joined the Northwest Area Foundation in Saint Paul as manager of grants and contracts. She formerly worked at 3M, negotiating and overseeing vendor contracts. Peterson holds a master's degree in organizational leadership from St. Catherine University and a mini MBA in nonprofit organizations from the University of St. Thomas.
Peter Purin, M.A. '07, Ph.D. music theory, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kan., has been named an assistant professor of music at Oklahoma Baptist University. He specializes in musical theater; his dissertation was titled "Musical Style in the Musical Theatre Works of Stephen Sondheim." Purin previously served as teaching assistant in CLA and at Kansas.
Kimberly Allen Snyder, B.A. '92, history, M.A. '97, has been elected to the board of directors of the Charities Review Council, Saint Paul. Snyder founded and is a partner of Excelsior Bay Group, LLC, a business that helps non-profit organizations build and assess their long-term fundraising capacity.
Jacqueline Stahlmann, B.A. '10, Spanish and global studies, worked at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., this fall as the Theater For Young Audiences intern. She researched, read, and reported on possible subjects for commissions, and contributed to conversations regarding future international children's theater festivals and tours.
Robert Tennessen, B.A. '65, economics, J.D. '68, was elected president of The Advocacy Group, a network of independent public affairs and government relations companies based in Arlington, Va., that provides professional advocacy services worldwide, and over multiple jurisdictions. A former state senator, Tennessen practices law in Minneapolis, specializing in government relations and administrative law. He is a state appointee to the national Uniform Law Commission, and chairs its legislative committee. CLA previously honored him with an Alumni of Notable Achievement award.
Kasisomayajula (Vish) Viswanath, M.A. '86, Ph.D. '90, journalism and mass communication, was named Outstanding Health Communication Scholar for 2010 by the health communication divisions of the National Communications Association and the Internal Communication Association.
He is an associate professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, and Director of the Health Communication Core of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center.
Melissa Weiner, Ph.D. '06, sociology, is an assistant professor of sociology at Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Conn. In her first book, Power, Protest, and the Public Schools: Jewish and African American Struggles in New York City, she describes how students in both groups were denied high-quality education, but Jews eventually advanced academically because their "whiteness" gave them more opportunity to assimilate. In her own effort to boost literacy and promote social justice, Weiner has started Brighter World Books, a nonprofit organization that collects used books in the United States and ships them to school libraries in South Africa.
Brenda Cassellius, B.A. '89, psychology, Ed.D. '07, University of Memphis, was appointed Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education. Most recently superintendent of the East Metro Integration District in the Twin Cities, she previously served as an associate superintendent in the Minneapolis Public Schools, and academic superintendent of middle schools in Memphis, Tennessee.
Kathy Tunheim, B.A. '79, political science, was named Governor Dayton's senior adviser for job creation, an unpaid position. She will continue as CEO of Tunheim Partners, a public relations firm she founded, and as president of IPREX Worldwide, a network of leading PR agencies.
Four of the 12 U of M alumni honored this year with UMAA Alumni Volunteer Service Awards hail from CLA.
CLA's nominee was Paul A. Taylor, B.A. '61, economics. He has served the University for many years as a volunteer: on the CLA Career Services Advisory Board (1987-1992), the CLA Alumni Society Board (1997-2003), the University's Council on Public Engagement (2003-2006), the Department of English Advisory Committee (2004-present); and as an active advocate in the Legislative Network and on the University of Minnesota Alumni Association's Advocacy Committee for more than 18 years. He is currently the principal in the Masters Alliance, a business-consulting firm, where he advises the senior management of his clients, and specializes in business development, project management, and long-range planning and strategic assessment.
Other CLA graduates receiving the volunteer award were:
Bernadine Joselyn, B.A. '78, humanities, M.A. '01, public affairs, nominated by the Humphrey Institute; she is the director of public policy and engagement at the Charles K. Blandin Foundation.
Bruce W. Mooty, B.A. '77, sociology, J.D. '80, nominated by the U of M Alumni Association and Law School. He is a principal at Gray Plant Mooty law firm, and was the immediate past president of the U of M Alumni Association.
Sandy Morris, B.A. '64, journalism, M.A. '72, educational psychology, nominated by the College of Design; she is past president of the Goldstein Museum of Design Board of Directors.