Alumni update: Sarah Boulanger Chavkin

Sarah Boulanger Chavkin has been in publishing since she graduated from IWU in 1988, first at a development house, then McGraw-Hill, then Houghton Mifflin, and now National Geographic in their School Publishing Division.

“I started out my career as an editor, but moved pretty quickly into operations work, and now direct a staff of managing editors as well as the Intellectual Property department,” she writes. “My official title is Director, Publishing Administration and Operations, but my day-to-day work includes managing the company’s product development budget, all project management functions, all contractual and legal agreements, and all intellectual property rights. And the best part is that the office is in Evanston, about a mile and a half from home, so I can walk to work. We also have offices in Monterey, Calif., and Washington, D.C., so I get to travel to fun places.”

Sarah credits Professor Kathleen O’Gorman for making an impact on her life and encouraging her to follow her dreams. Pictured is Sarah (left) and her family, including two daughters who “love literature as much as I do and would rather be reading than watching TV.”

Alums return to perform with profs

Austin Smith (’03) and Chip Corwin (’05) will join their former professor Mike Theune and ISU professor Gabe Gudding on Tuesday, May 18, at 7 p.m. for a poetry reading at the McLean County Arts Center.

Theune and Corwin will read new work from their continuing collaboration against a backdrop of an exhibit by emerging Illinois artists at the center, which is located at 601 East Street in Bloomington. A reception at Theune’s will follow.

Saying goodbye to 44 majors

Thirty English-Writing and 14 English-Literature majors received their degrees this past Sunday at IWU’s 160th Commencement. Rain stayed away as graduates, faculty, friends, and family crowded onto the Eckley Quadrangle for the ceremony, followed by the traditional strawberries, scones, and petit fours. Faculty assembled on the lawn and sidewalk in front of the old Buck Library to congratulate our graduates, meet their families, and wish them well. And yes, there were plenty of hugs and a few tears shed. This was a good group. We’ll miss them.

Pictured are Professor Kathleen O’Gorman and brand-new alumna Caitlin Milligan. Ann Stroink, M.D. (’76) delivered the Commencement address.