2016-2017 Members of the Alumni Advisory Group | www.hampshire.edu

Members of the Alumni Advisory Group

A Hampshire College Student on Campus

Michael C. Ubell 70F
Oakland, CA

Image of Mike UbellMichael has retired from a 35-year career developing database management systems. Currently he is involved in volunteer work, mostly centered on ending gun violence and increasing public safety in Oakland. He is also a volunteer regional data manager for Organizing for Action. In addition to being the first computer science graduate from Hampshire, he holds an M.S. in computer science and electrical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. He has spent his 35-year career mostly at start-up companies focused on relational, object-relational, and key-value database management systems. Since 2008 he has worked as a volunteer data manager for political campaigns.

Michael has lived in the San Francisco Bay area since leaving Hampshire, and has two sons and five grandchildren.

Carol Bergman 72F
Silver Spring, MD

Image of Carol BergmanCarol serves as the vice president of government relations and public affairs for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), where she has worked since 2012. LSC is a non-profit funded by the federal government to provide free civil legal assistance to poor people. She has worked in federal legislative policy and political advocacy for 35 years in Washington focusing on issues that disproportionately impact poor people and people of color, including criminal justice reform, domestic violence, immigration and HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition to working for several NGOs, she worked in the federal government for ten years as director of legislative affairs for drug policy in the Clinton White House, and counsel for the Committee on Government Operations in the U.S. House of Representatives, under Chairman John Conyers. 

Carol was a resident fellow in the Program on Law and Government at American University's Washington College of Law and is an adjunct professor at George Washington University where she’s taught congressional affairs in the Department of Global Health. She is the single mom of a 19-year-old daughter she adopted in China as a baby. Now that her daughter is in college (Grinnell), Carol has room to add new things in her life, and is especially interested in finding ways to expand internship opportunities in social justice for Hampshire students

Leslie Hiebert 73F
Anchorage, AK

Image of Leslie HiebertTrial lawyer most of her career in Alaska. Supervisor at a public defender office in Anchorage working with excellent, dedicated attorneys for over 20 years. Volunteer with the bar association's law related education committee working with Alaskan youth. Currently retired and discovering many new areas of inquiry.


Tracy Calvan 74F P10
Purchase, NY

Image of Leslie HiebertThroughout my career, I have administered programs at non-profit institutions that aspire to improve the cultural fabric and quality of life for their constituents. Most recently, as a development specialist with 9+ years of experience in individual and institutional giving, I generate strategies and raise funds for educational, environmental and arts organizations. Towards that goal, I collaborate with leaders, staff, and funders to produce ambitious and achievable plans. I find that my balance of enthusiasm and conceptual and strategic thinking helps build strong and effective organizations. I am excited to contribute my skills and experience to the Alumni Advisory Group's goals.


Lauren Thaler 75S P08
Sleepy Hollow, NY

Image of Lauren ThalerLauren works as a relocation consultant for the Intrepid New Yorker, a woman-owned and -operated business, which provides cross-cultural and destination services for multi-national corporate employees and their families moving to the NY metro area. In addition, Lauren is involved with several not-for-profit organizations, including Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, American Jewish Committee, and their local synagogue. Lauren is married to William S. Null, 72F and they live in Sleepy Hollow, NY.  Their son, Evan Thaler-Null 08F, graduated from Hampshire and works with two horses in sustainable agriculture in the Hudson Valley area. Their daughter Danielle and son-in-law Yaniv live in CT with two young grandchildren, keeping everyone busy and smiling!

Ellen Sturgis 77F, chair
Stow, MA

Image of Ellen SturgisEllen (77F) is currently executive director of the Amazing Things Arts Center in Framingham, Mass, having served the nonprofit sector for nearly 30 years in various finance and administrative capacities. Ellen's volunteer efforts are focused largely on Hampshire, serving as chair of the AAG since its inception, and part of the Hampshire Women in Business group in Boston. Her favorite part of this work is meeting current students, who are amazing and affirming of the importance of Hampshire, as well as running into alums from different decades on the subways of Boston. Ellen is married to an MIT grad and therefore can communicate well with a range of people, and has two adult children, one a Reed College grad (“Hampshire west”) and the other an International Development major at George Washington University, who recently returned from a semester in Senegal, West Africa. Being a parent brings new meaning to the term “innovative learning.”

Daniel Sroka 85F
Morristown, NJ

Image of Dan SrokaDaniel is a professional artist, but for most of his life his artwork took a back seat to paying the bills. While working his way through Hampshire, he discovered a talent for graphic design which led him to his first career, becoming the original creative director for Yahoo!, where he helped guide them from a quirky curiosity into a globally-recognized brand. Using the experience he gained in design and marketing, he has been able to launch and run a successful business fueled by his own creativity for the past decade. He also serves on the board for Morris Arts, one of the largest arts non-profits in New Jersey, which is dedicated to enriching and building community through the arts. He hopes that by joining the AAG, he will be able to help engage our alumni to re-capture that energy, and help make Hampshire become the best possible version of itself. 

Karla Zarate-Ramirez 92F
Philadelphia, PA

Image of Karla Zarate-RamirezKarla has worked in the nonprofit sector for almost 15 years and is currently the associate director of development/campaign director at the American Friends Service Committee, an international peace and social justice organization based on Quaker principles. Karla is leading a team of development professionals in a multi-year, multi-million dollar fundraising effort that will celebrate AFSC’s 100th anniversary in 2017. She’s excited about the challenge of employing all the tools of the trade--grants, annual giving, planned and leadership gifts, and more--to raise resources for an organization that inspires her by its unwavering commitment to help communities worldwide meet human needs, end injustice, nurture the next generation of change makers, and foster lasting peace.

Hampshire holds many special memories for Karla: It’s where she met her husband, Kevin Ramirez 92F, and best friends. After Hampshire, Karla obtained a master's degree in organizational dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania and received her certified fundraising credential from CFRE International. She and Kevin have three children. Karla also keeps busy by indulging her passion for cooking as well as her enthusiasm for running and the spin classes she teaches.

Daniel Gregor 93F
Boston, MA

Image of Dan GregorDaniel is an attorney, activist, and organizer. His legal work is primarily in resistance and protest law, including working with individuals and communities in the southern coalfields of West Virginia resisting mountaintop removal mining and other destructive strip mining, and peace and justice and anti-war activism. His teaching and conference presentations have included legal ethics, movement lawyering, and street medic training. He holds a B.A. from Hampshire (experiential education and environmental history) and a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law. He likes to travel, ride bikes, and do civic activism and bicycle advocacy in his spare time.

Tashal Brown 03F
East Lansing, MI

Image of Tashal BrownTashal is an alumna of Hampshire’s James Baldwin Scholar program. While at Hampshire, Tashal studied comparative expressions of black identity through the arts. Her Division III focused on the politics of Jamaican music and culture in London, England. She earned an M.A. in Africana Studies from the State University of New York at Albany and has presented her work on music, culture, and the politics of social identity at several conferences in the U.S. and the Caribbean. Tashal has been working in education and youth development for over 7 years. In 2011, she began teaching in NYC public schools, the bulk of her time teaching 6th grade math in an integrated co-teaching environment at Democracy Prep Harlem Middle School. Tashal is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in education with a focus on curriculum, instruction, and teacher education at Michigan State University.

Catherine Craig 08F
Brooklyn, NY

Image of Catherine CraigCatherine Craig is a lawyer and environmentalist. After graduating from Hampshire, Catherine received her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law and a master's in Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School. Catherine's Div III was an argument against nuclear power, based on environmental ethics. At Hampshire, Catherine lived in the Greenhouse Mod and helped fund-raise for the greenhouse that now stands in Enfield. Catherine was a signer for the Local Foods Initiative and other student groups. As part of the AAG, Catherine looks forward to connecting alums back to campus and with each other. 

Robert J. Sakai 08F
Los Angeles, CA

Image of RJ SakaiDuring his time at Hampshire, RJ studied cultural anthropology and design, with a particular interest in questions of tourism (What constitutes an "authentic" notion of a culture, and how are experiences designed for tourists?). He was part of student groups such as Rehamping (community-led campus redesigns), DART (design, art, and technology), Tennis Club, and The Reader (art and literature journal). On-campus freelance graphic design work served as the basis for a professional graphic design practice. After graduation in 2012, RJ worked as the alumni fellow of the newly formed Creativity Center, whose mission it was to foster innovation and creativity across campus, and then on campus helping to teach a graphic design course, as well as serving as a cultural liaison for four visiting Cuban scholars. He is currently pursuing a three year M.F.A. in field track of the Media Design Practices Program at Art Center College of Design.

Sarah Gordon 09F
Newtonville, MA

Image of Sarah GordonSarah is a May 2013 Hampshire graduate, originally from Philadelphia, PA. At Hampshire she concentrated in Middle Eastern History and Cognitive Neuroscience, working closely with Prof. Aaron Berman and Prof. Joanna Morris. She graduated from Boston College Law School in May 2016­, and is moving back to Philadelphia to start her legal career.


Ex Officio Members

Carol Varney 90F
San Francisco, CA
Image of Carol VarneyCarol Varney is one of two elected alumni trustees. She is executive director of the Bay Area Video Coalition, where she provides leadership and vision for the 39-year-old media arts lab and oversees all program areas, including youth programs, independent media, adult training and workforce, and technology and media preservation. She also oversees all fundraising and development activities and participates on review panels for Media Maker Fellow Awards, as well as award and grants panels nationally. Before joining BAVC, Carol worked for many years in advancement activities for cultural organizations such as Stanford Lively Arts, Maine College of Art and the Portland Museum of Art. Carol was also very involved in the HIV/AIDS activist movement, serving on the board of the Bay Area Chapter of the NAMES Project, as a development officer for the policy and education organization Project Inform, and as an institutional grants manager at the Hesperian Foundation, where she fundraised for international HIV/AIDS publications. Carol has served on a number of boards, and is currently on the advisory board of SPACE Gallery.

William S. Null 72F P08
Sleepy Hollow, NY
Image of William NullWilliam Null is one of two elected alumni trustees. He is the managing partner of Cuddy & Feder LLP, one of the Hudson Valley's leading law firms. Bill has been lead counsel for many major development projects in Westchester County. His practice is focused on real estate, land use, and zoning issues relating to commercial, institutional, and residential development in the Hudson Valley. Bill received his B.A. from Hampshire College and earned his J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. He believes in actively participating in the community as a professional and a volunteer, serving on several not-for-profit boards. He currently sits on the boards of White Plains Hospital Center, Gilda's Club Westchester, and White Plains Bridge of Friendship Foundation. He has lectured on zoning and land use issues before the New York State Bar Association, the Westchester County Bar Association, and Westchester Municipal Planning Federation. Mr. Null, a resident of Westchester for 29 years, lives with his wife, Lauren E. Thaler (75S), in Sleepy Hollow, NY.


Melissa Mills-Dick 01F, director of Alumni and Family Relations
Amherst, MA
Image of Melissa Mills-Dick Melissa returns to Hampshire with ten years of experience in nonprofit communications, fund-raising, volunteer engagement, and administration. Most recently, she was the communications manager at Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. She has also held positions at Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, the Northwest Community Corrections Center, and the National Network of Abortion Funds. She graduated from Hampshire in 2005 and earned an M.F.A. in writing and literature from Bennington College.


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