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Class Notes

Posted December 2016


Robert F. Arnove

Robert F. Arnove, PhD ’69 (SIDEC), informs us that he retired from the Indiana University School of Education in 2001, as a chancellor’s professor emeritus of educational leadership and policy studies. Currently, he is producing a full-length documentary film on the world of BEEP Baseball, a game played by individuals who are visually impaired. His career spans five decades and he is considered to be a leading scholar of comparative and international education with a large body of work focused on Latin American education. He has been a Fulbright scholar and a visiting scholar at some 14 international universities. His CV lists six teaching and service awards, two documentary films, 12 books and over 100 other published writings. He is frequently asked by universities, nationally and internationally, to discuss the lessons derived from his latest book, Talent Abounds: Profiles of Master Teachers and Peak Performers.


David Longanecker

David Longanecker, EdD ’78, (APA), retired as president of the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education on November 10, 2016. In May he was featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education video interview “A Longtime Force in Higher Education Reflects on the Changing Landscape.” He is also former U.S. assistant secretary for postsecondary education. He wrote to share thoughts on how Stanford impacted his longstanding career: “I had a phenomenal career in higher education policy at the federal, regional, and state level, and while I’d like to believe it was great because of my contributions, in truth, I know it would never have happened without what Stanford provided to me. I often think back to my Stanford days and to the exceptional faculty under whom I studied. They were all nationally renowned, but also were regular folk, genuinely committed to their mentoring role. Hank Levin, Mike Kirst, Barbara Hatton, and the late and loved Steve Weiner, became friends and colleagues over my career as I continued to draw on their wisdom.”

Portia Brown-Jordan

Portia Brown-Jordan, MA ’79 (SIDEC), PhD ’80 [University of San Francisco], informs us that although she is retired from working in the public school system, she is self-employed and very active consulting, teaching and speaking about homeopathic medicine, spirituality and the body’s ability to heal itself through prayer and natural remedies. She has authored five books including Mind Games: A Biblical, Scientific, & Personal Perspective and is active in the performing arts as an actress and playwright.  You can visit her website 


Marie Battiste

Marie Battiste, EdD ’84, is professor of educational foundations at the University of Saskatchewan and a fellow of The Royal Society of Canada. She authored the book Decolonizing Education: Nourishing the Learning Spirit, which, according to the publisher’s book summary, chronicles the negative consequences of forced assimilation and the failure of current educational policies to bolster the social and economic conditions of Aboriginal populations. She writes: “I was the first First-Nations woman from Canada to graduate from Stanford, and the first Mi’kmaw woman to have a doctorate degree, and now am among the first few Indigenous full professors across Canada.” She added: “I have found my initial grounding in my field of study of Mi’kmaw education from my Stanford dissertation, An Historical Investigation of the Social and Cultural Consequences of Micmac Literacy. Still holding lots of P & V (piss and vinegar), I am happy to have had a life that has included the much beloved Stanford education and campus life that I think of fondly and cherish as an academic life starter.”


Gail Andrade Ahlas

Gail Andrade Ahlas, MA ’92 (Prospective Principals Program), shares that she is an educational-leadership consultant who coaches new principals and superintendents. She is the former superintendent of the Roseland School District and founder of Roseland Charter School. She says, “Upon entering the Prospective Principals Program at Stanford, I had no clear focus on future career goals. Dr. Edwin Bridges and the outstanding team in the program had a transformational effect on the trajectory of my career and life passion. As a result, I founded Roseland Charter School to champion the educational success of low income, immigrant students. This school raised the college-going rates of hundreds of students who have since begun to transform an entire community for the better.” She adds, “Dr. Bridges continues to be a life mentor and friend for which I will always be grateful. Life has been adventurous and fulfilling. What a blessing!”

Jacob Adams

Jacob Adams, PhD ’93 (APA), was appointed interim president of Claremont Graduate University beginning January 1, 2017. According to a press release, the transition will enable him to guide the university through the next phase of its restructuring and to raise new funds to support university programs and students. Currently, he is executive vice president and provost at CGU, a position in which he has served for the past five years. Earlier in his career, he worked in government, served as associate director of PACE, and taught at Vanderbilt, the University of Washington and CGU.


Amita Chudgar

Amita Chudgar, PhD ’06 (Economics of Education): See the item for Tom Luschei, PhD ’06 to read about the book they co-authored, Teacher Distribution in Developing Countries: Teachers of Marginalized Students in India, Mexico, and Tanzania.

Leila Ehsani-Tanyi

Leila Ehsani-Tanyi, MA ’06 (IEAPA), returned to Kenya after working in Israel and Zambia since 2006. She reports that she recently coordinated the expansion of a Baha’i-inspired educational program for African youth called Preparation for Social Action. The program helps youth to initiate their own social action efforts to transform their communities through improving education, health, agriculture and the environment. She notes: “I recently had a baby, which has been quite a transition, after having been constantly on the move throughout Africa. Now I work part-time from home.” In reference to her Stanford experience, she adds, “I am especially grateful to Professor Joel Samoff for his thoughtful teaching which still inspires me today.”

Denise Fafette

Denise Fafette, MA '06 (STEP), informed us that she has been invited to become a co-founder at Cubit and was also promoted to the position of chief operating officer. [For an earlier item on Denise, see her August 2016 Class Note.]

Tom Luschei

Tom Luschei, PhD ’06 (International Comparative Education), associate professor at Claremont Graduate University, and Amita Chudgar, PhD ’06, associate professor at Michigan State University, co-authored the book, Teacher Distribution in Developing Countries: Teachers of Marginalized Students in India, Mexico, and Tanzania. Tom reported that the book draws on case studies to examine the complex processes that lead to the educational marginalization of children through differential access to teachers. About their collaboration, he wrote: “Amita and I met on the first day of orientation in September 2001, and we have been collaborating ever since. We have fond memories of our incredible peers and the rigorous training we received working with amazing GSE faculty members like Martin Carnoy, Susanna Loeb, and Myra Strober.” [See the December 2016 item on Amita Chudgar PhD ’06.]


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