Hartwick Connectors

Speakers Series

Demonstrating the many outcomes possible with a Hartwick degree, alumni and parents share their paths and perspectives.

Political Landscape

Caitlin Jewett ’06, PhD, began the Leslie G. Rude Memorial Lecture with a memory: the J Term she and classmates spent with Dr. Elder in New Hampshire before the 2004 primary, an experience that shaped her career. Jewitt returned to campus at the invitation of her former professor to speak with classes and present the major lecture.

Now an author and assistant professor of political science at Virginia Tech, Jewitt said, “Our nominating process was created piecemeal over time and is now complicated and convoluted. It is not as democratic as everyone thinks; in fact, it is a private process run by the parties. The way we count votes matters.”

Caitlin Jewett


George Bruno ’64, H’96 joined the on-campus political dialogue via Skype to talk with students in Professor Laurel Elder’s 2020 Presidential Nomination Process class. Bruno focused his comments on his extensive experience with and knowledge of New Hampshire’s role in the presidential nomination process.

The former US Ambassador to Belize, Bruno’s distinguished career includes serving as chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, a member of the Democratic National Committee, and New Hampshire co-chair of both the Al Gore for President and the 1992 Bill Clinton for President campaigns.

Joanne Dittes Yepsen ’80, former two-term mayor of Saratoga Springs and now a public affairs consultant, is proof that a Hartwick liberal arts education is sound preparation for a career in virtually any field. Especially politics.

The 2019 Distinguished Alumna Award winner and psychology major returned to campus recently to share her career path in public service and public affairs. Generous with her time as she contributes to the education of today’s students, Yepsen said, “You cannot survive in the political world without understanding the psychology of politics.”

Joanne Dittes Yepsen with Hartwick students


Changing Healthcare

Anna Song Beeber ’98, PhD, RN, FAAN, offered her insights on the social impact of an aging society in the A. Lindsay and Olive B. O’Connor Lecture to a packed house of nursing students, faculty, and community members. Beeber, an associate professor of nursing and research fellow at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, is a recognized leader in gerontological nursing and health services research.

Creating a startling moment, she inquired how many nursing students plan to work with elderly patients. When only a few hands went up, she corrected the perceptions of this standing room only crowd.

“Hospital care is geriatric care,” Beeber explained. “Our population is aging, so you’re all going to be providing geriatric care in some way. Nurses need to prepare to contribute to this dire need. We have an aging population and that is a global problem.”

Anna Song Beeber

Steve Young ’76, MSPH, recently returned to campus to share his life’s work, calling his presentation “A case study of a critical public health issue, the relentless HIV epidemic.” Young, who recently retired as director of the Division of Community HIV/AIDS Programs in the Health Resources & Services Administration, has been working on the epidemic since 1984.

“At the beginning, the time from diagnosis to death was nine months,” Young recalled. “Now we can suppress the virus enough to disable it. HIV patients are living longer and that leads to an increase in dependency on care.” More than one million Americans are living with HIV and $20 billion is spent on this one disease every year, he said.

Nonetheless, “We’re in a period of excitement and hope,” Young asserted. “It’s time to take a chance and take a new approach.”

Steve Young with Hartwick student and Professor Cherilyn Lacy


Pushing Limits

“Take risks,” advised Frank Huckabone ’94 when he spoke in Professor Pauline Stamp’s business classes and met informally with students this winter. “It’s just as important to learn what you don’t like to do as it is to learn what you like.”

This self-described “sports freak” is perfectly suited to his role as the EVP/chief revenue officer of Fenway Sports Management. As a leader of this global sports marketing firm, Huckabone secures partners for the Boston Red Sox, LeBron James, Liverpool Football Club, MLB.com, NESN, and Roush Fenway Racing.

Describing his success securing a large contract with a global brand in the auto category, Huckabone shared, “You have to look yourself in the mirror and ask: ‘Did I do everything I could do to close the deal?’” In that instance, the answer was no, so Huckabone flew to Detroit without an appointment and closed the deal in person. “You have to make yourself available,” he said. “That’s key.”

Frank Huckabone with Hartwick business students


Trustee Steve Epstein P’18 didn’t need much time to grab the attention of his campus audience. “It’s stoooooory time!” he bellowed, startling a room full of pre-law students.

Epstein, a New York attorney and lecturer, identifies storytelling as a 21st century skill. As a tool in the courtroom, he says, a story can be conveyed though opening statements and summations. “The first and last things a jury hears are the most important,” he explained. “Above all, don’t be boring. Use emotion—it compels us to act.”

His daughter Alexis Epstein ’18 might be following in his footsteps. A student at Pace University School of Law, she has already been a legal intern at The Legal Aid Society of NYC.

Steve Epstein with Hartwick students


Professor Temple Grandin, PhD, breaks the stereotype of what a person with autism can do. A world-renowned expert on both autism and animal behavior, she has been featured on NPR and the BBC, in many print media outlets, and she is the subject of an HBO film starring Claire Danes.

“When you’re weird, the way you sell your skills is to show your portfolio,” Grandin told a Hartwick crowd when she visited campus this winter. “We have to show what people can do, not what they can’t do, and figure out how different minds can work together. We need to foster creativity and problem solving.

“There’s a tendency to overgeneralize this population,” explained the author of Calling all Minds. “Different kinds of minds do great things.”

Grandin’s visit was followed by a screening of This Business of Autism, an expository documentary about the economic and societal benefits of employing young adults with autism. The film features an appearance by Grandin and highlights Spectrum Designs, a custom screen printing company founded by Stella Spanako ’78.

Temple Grandin


Building Bridges: The insights of accomplished practitioners enrich students’education in powerful ways. That’s why fundraising for a Speakers Series is a priority in Hartwick225: Students First.

To learn how you can contribute to students’ awareness and understanding, please contact Vice President Paula Lee Hobson at hobsonp@hartwick.edu or 607-431-4026.

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