Alumni Profiles & News
Be a featured alumni in our newsletter or blog! Did your study abroad experience with CYA impact your life? If so, we would love to hear about it! We are always looking for alumni to profile in our alumni newsletter, The Owl, or on our blog. If you would like to be considered for an ALUMNI PROFILE, please email and send a few of your favorite photos from your time at CYA to us at [email protected]. Please include your First and Last name, preferred email address, and answer the following questions:
- How did studying abroad with CYA impact your educational and career goals?
- How did CYA impact other areas of your life?
- Are you still in contact with any other CYAers?
- Are there any activities or traditions from your time abroad that you continue back in the US?
- Have you been back to Athens? What was that experience like for you?
- What are you doing currently (for work, school, etc.)?
CYA alumni are always doing interesting things; here you can see some of the recent updates we have received from alumni. To submit your own class note please click here.
Alumni Class Notes
Nancy Jones Newell ’65: Hardly seems possible that I have been retired for 8 years. These days I divide my time between Maine, New York and the southern California desert, visiting family and friends, cooking up fun adventures and seeing live theater. It also takes a bunch of time to stay healthy at this point in my life. Wishing health & happiness to all my really old CYA buddies.
Stacey Coates ‘66 is an educational drama consultant who works with both the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Interact Theatre in Washington, DC.
You can learn more here: https://www.playscripts.com/playwrights/bios/873
Lynne (Novack ’68) Dominick: We are staying in our casa in Patagonian Chile for an undetermined time this year, as 3 different flights to return to the States were canceled by the airlines because of Covid-19. Maybe we will leave in early June, but otherwise, we will hunker down here for the austral winter. We are well & safe, as are our families around the world in Europe, Asia, and in the US. Very thankful!
David Lewis ’77: After 25 years of creating concrete sculptures, fountains, and paintings under the name Little and Lewis (google us), George and I retired in 2015. We now devote our time to volunteering and giving back to a community that gave us so much support and love. I sit on several non-profit boards, tend our weedy garden, lament at the state of our Country, and often think fondly of CYA and how it influenced parts of my life in the last 4 decades. George and I, together 29 years, (married since 2013) try and visit Greece every couple of years.
Anne Steinhilper ’77 Scott: My husband and I bought a retirement home in Schinokapsala Crete. It’s time to come home!
Dr. Katherine Fleming, Spring ‘88, who is Provost at NYU was featured in the Greek Report news portal. A historian, she is the Alexander S. Onassis Professor of Hellenic Culture and Civilization in the Faculty of Arts and Science, and served for many years as the Associate Director and then Director of the Remarque Institute. Read the article here: https://usa.greekreporter.com/2020/02/05/nyu-provosts-love-affair-with-greece-started-at-a-taverna-on-crete-meet-dr-katherine-fleming/
Ed Brzytwa, Spring ’98: For the last two years I have led the international trade advocacy portfolio for the American Chemistry Council. I work on behalf of US chemical manufacturers to prevent and address barriers to trade and investment and have traveled to every continent except Antarctica. CYA remains a foundational part of my career and life. I will continue to support it in whatever way I can.
Ryan Tipps, Spring ’99: I just wrapped up my fourth year as Managing Editor for the digital farming publication AGDAILY.com (https://www.agdaily.com/) — a site that I founded and have enjoyed watching grow. Recently, I took on a second editorial role, this time spearheading the adventure sports website ActionHub.com (https://www.actionhub.com/). It brings together my love of the mountains, with my travels to beaches, national parks and countries like Costa Rica, and it gives me an outlet to help others better savor the outdoors! Especially amid the kind of year we’ve been having, hitting the trails, camping and kayaking are some of the best things we can still do to have fun and continue experiencing the world around us.
Bonnie Wright, Fall ’01: I manage a team of 6 education staff and around 250 docents at the Getty Villa, which is one of the two museum sites of the Getty Museum, the other being at the Getty Center. The Getty Villa is the only museum in the U.S. entirely devoted to antiquities! Docents specialize in school tours in-gallery, general public tours in-gallery, or general public tours of the Roman architecture and Roman gardens.
Ana Alvarez, Fall ‘17 recently finished her first year at Columbia University’s Art History and Archaeology PhD program and her first year of life in the Big Apple, although always holding Athens close to her heart.
Emilee Buytkins, Fall ’17: I graduated from Union College in 2018 and am on my way to finishing my masters in library science and digital conservation at the Pratt Institute in 2021. On top of that, I got married on the top of a mountain in 2019, got a job working for the NYPL Maps, Genealogy, and Local History research division, and most importantly adopted the most wonderful Wheaten Terrier puppy named Ellie!
Rachael Bittick, Fall ’17: In June of 2019, I graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology and Arts & Ideas in the Humanities. After spending last fall as a Campus Relations Representative for CYA, I am now exploring Public Relations as the Digital Content Manager for the Committee to Elect Barnett Jones for Oakland County Sheriff 2020.
The CYA Board of Trustees includes two alumni on the board to represent CYA alumni. Currently serving are:
Julia Hotz (CYA ‘14)
Community Manager, Solutions Journalism Network
Julia Hotz is Communities Manager at Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit working to elevate news that explains how we solve problems. She recently graduated from the University of Cambridge, where she received her Masters in Sociology and founded LokPal — a local community workshop initiative to increase offline social activity. While teaching literature and history as a Fulbright Fellow in Greece, she published essays and chapters on Epicurean wellbeing, the future of work, and loneliness. She’s also freelanced for YES! Magazine, HuffPost UK, Times Union, and others, and has worked as a junior reporter for IPS News.
Zoë Sophia Kontes (CYA ‘95)
Associate Professor and Chair of Classics, Kenyon College
Zoë Kontes ’95 is associate professor and chair of the Department of Classics at Kenyon College, where her research and award-winning teaching focus on classical archaeology and issues of cultural property. She loved her junior year at CYA so much that she stayed for the following summer language program on Paros, where she was joined by her brother Will Kontes ’98. Following her graduation from Bowdoin College, Kontes taught high school Latin and French for three years. Although she loved the classical languages, she had been inspired to study ancient material culture during her time at CYA, particularly by Professors Diamant and Yalouris. She was also eager to return to Greece, and so she enrolled in graduate school in Old World Archaeology at Brown University. While attending Brown, she spent two years studying at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. After earning her PhD, she began her career as a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Classical Studies at Duke University. Three years later, she took up her current position at Kenyon College.
Along the way, she excavated at sites in Sicily, Greece, and Cyprus. She incorporates material from these expeditions into her courses, which include surveys of both Greek and Roman art and archaeology. She also teaches seminars on Sicilian archaeology, Athenian topography and the illicit trade in antiquities, a course that is closely tied to her research interests. In 2015 she wrote an op-ed on the repatriation of antiquities for the New York Times, and she is the producer and host of Looted, a narrative podcast series on plundered antiquities, which draws on her experience as a college radio DJ. Kontes is also a Consulting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.
Kontes is thrilled to be an alumna member of CYA’s Board of Trustees, and in Summer 2019 she got to return to CYA for the summer, this time as a professor. Students in her course traveled to Corinth and Nemea, Crete, Thessaloniki, and Naxos, as part of their study of the history of looting and cultural property management in Greece. They were joined by Kontes’s one-year-old daughter Kalliope, a.k.a. Poppy, CYA Class of 2039.