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Home / Naropa Magazine Fall 2011 / Alumni Notes
Naropa University Alumni Tim Hernandez

Alumni Notes

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DAVID RASCH (MA ’78) recently published a book for blocked and procrastinating writers, The Blocked Writer’s Book of the Dead. The book draws from Buddhism, psychology, and other disciplines. Available



RANDY ROARK (BFA ’83 AND MFA ’91) has begun a weekly column in Newtopia Magazine, featuring his travel writing, photographs, and some of the music he’s collected from around the world. 

THOMAS PETERS (BA ’87) is author of Listen to My Machine, over the roofs of the world100 missed train stationsThe Book of SilenceI know why the caged bird drinks (collaborations) & forthcoming Certain Birds(2011) & Short Stories 1986–2011 (2012). He owns the Beat Book Shop on Pearl Street and has run an open poetry reading since 1987 under the guise of “So, You’re a Poet,” currently at the Laughing Goat. 

CONSTANTIN PÃRVULESCU (BA ’89) premiered his string quartet Voronets Blue at the third Annual Occultural Music Festival in May 2010. He continues to be active in the Northwest music scene, playing with The Bucharest Drinking Team, Bat Country, and with his teacher’s  band, Lache Cercel, and Roma Swing. By day he repairs violins and makes bows. 



SALLY BOYD (BA ’91) is practicing naturopathic medicine in sunny Hawaii. She shares: “Aloha all! I also have a ten-acre horse farm close to a beautiful rugged Polynesian shoreline in a tropical rainforest. It’s not all perfect, but it’s close!” 

OZZIE CHEEK (MFA ’91), formerly a television writer, will have his first book published in September 2011 by Skyhorse Publishing. A nonfiction narrative titled Between Heaven and Earth, the book explores the life of an aviation detective. 

ERICA LORRAINE SCHEIDT (BA ’91) is having two books published by St. Martin’s Press. One is a young adult novel, Uses for Boys, to be published in 2012. The two-book deal was announced in May 2011. Erica lives in Berkeley, California. 

BILL KEYS (BA ’94) has been working on a street performance project for the past few He has been traveling and working in Los Angeles; the Bay Area; Portland, Oregon; Maui; various festivals along the west coast; and this summer in Boulder on the Pearl Street Mall. 

KENNETH OBER (‘95) had a solo exhibit of recent paintings at K. Saari Gallery in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The exhibit opened June 3, 2011, and was up for a month. Please visit for more info. To see Kenneth Ober’s paintings visit:

CAREY WESTBROOK (MFA ’95). Thanks to Naropa University’s votes, Carey Westbrook’s short film, A Hustler’s Finale, won the 2010 Babelgum Online Film Festival Audience Award. Carey’s latest film is Restroom Bluesman

DOMENICO PINTO (MA ’96) works in an institute for minors in Italy and teaches conflict resolution in elementary, middle, and high schools. He has a private practice and shares presentations about “the wounded healer searching for the true self.” 

DONALD ATWOOD (BA ’97) and Barbara Dilley (professor) are being honored as Living Legends of Dance in Colorado by the Carson-Brierly Dance Library in Denver. 

JASON KERN (BA ’97) is a singer/songwriter in a kid’s indie rock band called The Bramble Jam. They have released one album and are working on a second one. He shares that “most of the songs are inspired by my five kiddos!” 

JULIETTE NELSON (BA ‘97) is painting and designing full-time out of her pistachio green home studio in Boulder, Colorado. She was honored to take part in the Cherry Creek Arts Festival last year, her first big deal art show. Visit her work online at

BARI TESSLER LINDEN (MA ’98) is offering a free video course that gives a comprehensive overview of her Conscious Bookkeeping method. She is launching a free four-part video course: Tools for Financial Transformation at

CHRISTOPHER LUNA (MFA ’99) recently edited Ghost Town Poetry, an anthology of poems from the popular open mic poetry series he founded in 2004. Big Bridge also published The Flame Is Ours: The Letters of Stan Brakhage and Michael McClure 1961–1978, which Luna edited at Brakhage’s request.



TAYLERE JOSEPH (BA ’00) had her first peer-reviewed article published in the Journal of Psychological Issues in Organizational Culture (Wiley Press) in April 2011. The article entitled “The Psychological Contract: What is Missing? What is Next?” can be found at 

BENJAMIN SPENCER (BA ’00) is proud to announce the release of a new line of single-vineyard small-batch wines from his label Leojami (lay-ohj-ah-mee): In addition to making some pretty incredible vino, he continues to travel, write, edit, and publish regularly. 

EVAN HUNDHAUSEN (MFA ’01) is currently DJing around Boulder at the Attic and Catacombs Bar, and he still uses the handle he had when he was at Naropa—Dj Cola. Most recently he had the pleasure of being part of an event for the movie called Beats, Rhymes & Life, a documentary about the music group A Tribe Called Quest, at the Dairy Center for the Arts. Catch up with him at

JACOB ART (BA ‘03) lives in San Francisco. After getting his MA from New College of California, he has recently become a licensed therapist and has a private practice ( In September, he got married in Big Sur. 

SETH BRAUN (BA ‘03) and ANAVICTORIA PABELLON (BA ‘05) are joyfully raising their kids, Paloma and Marisol. They attend Maharishi School for The Age of Enlightenment in Fairfield, Iowa. His new book,Indestructible Success, is out, and he is currently on a speaking tour. 

JENNY EPSTEIN KESSEM (MA ’03) gave birth to her daughter Raya Bina Kessem on June 21, 2011. (She and her husband, David Lang, both changed their last names to Kessem when they got married.) Since graduation, Jenny has worked with international survivors of torture as a mental health therapist, and later worked with low-income clients with mental illnesses. She now teaches graduate psychology at Naropa and works in her own private practice (, specializing in contemplative and body-centered psychotherapy. 

RYAN HARRISON (MA ’03) is nearly mid-way through a PsyD of Health & Wellness program (and has survived grad-level statistics in the process!). He continues teaching online and on campus at a local university, and is a health consultant in private practice. 

LISA WITTER (MA ’04) has started four businesses since graduation. Her latest business ( brings together her marketing BA, MA, and psychic energy training. “It feels like a fantastic fruition of combining my passions. Intuitive Business Coaching is what I call this unique combo.” 

REBECCA BRINGEWATT (MA ‘05) is pleased to announce that Mantis Counseling and Coaching Services, LLC (, is now open. Located in central Denver, this private practice was founded by two Naropa TCP graduates. 

TRACI HALESVASS (MFA ’05) is teaching creative writing and Beat literature at a college in New Mexico. She is the recent recipient of Distinguished Teaching Chair in Literacy with her project One Book/One Community. 

KEVIN KILROY’S (MFA ’05) essay, “Why Sherlock Holmes Is My Favorite Drug User,” appears in Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy, published by Open Court Books. Kevin was recently hired as full-time faculty in the Core Studies Department at Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy

REV. DANNY FISHER (MDIV ‘06) received the 2011 Outstanding Teaching Award at University of the West, where he is coordinator of the Buddhist chaplaincy and a tenure-track professor in the Religious Studies Department. 

BAO NGUYEN (MA ’06) was just appointed to serve on the board of education for his hometown of Garden Grove, California. 

WM. PERRY MORGAN-HALL (MFA ’06) was honored with the 2011 Fleming A. Thomas Faculty Information Literacy Award at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Perry joined the faculty of the Theatre and Dance Program immediately after his Naropa graduation. 

TIM TALBOTT (MA ’06) joyfully married Brooke Radloff in June 2009. The couple ventured into parenthood in July 2010 with the birth of their beautiful baby girl, Kaira. They have lived in the Bay Area for the past several years where Tim works as a client service representative at the wealth management firm Private Ocean. Brooke and Tim also recently invented and are now marketing an eco-friendly cat toy ( made in the United States, which they refer to as their “pet project.” 

RACHAEL (SKOLNIK) BONAIUTO (MA ’07) is enjoying her thriving private practice in Boulder and Denver,Embodied Wellness, and just celebrated two years of marriage and seven years of partnerhood with fellow Naropa alum David Bonaiuto. She performed in a Halloween show with her Hip Hop Dance Troupe ( and celebrates life with her blessed community. 

KATHY CONDE (MFA ’07) was a finalist in the 2011 New Millennium Writings Fiction Award. She recently had flash fiction published in the online magazine Pure Slush and has a short story forthcoming in Word Riot’s 10th Anniversary Anthology. 

ASHLEY COOPER (MA ‘07) is a doctoral candidate at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas. She is currently working on her dissertation titled “The Effects of Marital Naming Practices on Female Sense of Self.” 

JASON KIRKEY (BA ’07) just graduated from the California Institute of Integral Studies with an MA in philosophy, cosmology, and consciousness and has published a book entitled The Salmon in the Spring: The Ecology of Celtic Spirituality (Hiraeth Press, 2009), which was awarded the silver medal in Mind-Body-Spirit by the Independent Publishers Book Award. 

JAYME PETA (MA ’07) just started a PhD program in clinical psychology at Palo Alto University. “Quite a few people here are highly inter- ested in mindfulness and meditation in psychology! Nevertheless, I’m glad to have fellow alumni Penny Sands, Noah Jennings, Tiph Parrish, Dave Christy, Martine McDonald, and Liz Caine nearby for that essential Naropa energy!” 

CHRISTIE GESTAL (MA ’08) is excited to share that The Boulder Center for Play Therapy is in its fourth year! They currently have four interns and a practicum student. 

AIMEE HERMAN (BA ’08) will have her full-length book of poetry, to go without blinking, published by BlazeVOX Books in spring 2012. Aimee also currently works as guest editor and/or journal and sections editor for Oysters & Chocolate. 

KINDE NEBEKER (MA ’08) co-guided a women’s transformational trek in Nepal in November

LYNN ODGEN (MFA ’09) has been teaching as an adjunct professor of acting in the burgeoning Department of Theatre at Utah Valley University, and for other training and theatre programs. He continues to work in theatre and film regionally and beyond. 

DIANA MCLEAN (MFA ’09) recently moved with her young son to Louisville, Colorado, from Spokane, Washington, and accepted the position of administrative specialist for Naropa’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. 

KRISTEN BUTTS (BA ’10) is attending the Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Art to get her 900-hour certification as vegetarian/vegan chef. Kristen published a small cooking book called Bento: The Art of Lunch and maintains a food blog at

SHANE JOAQUIN JIMENEZ (MFA ’10) has had recent work published in Rain TaxiSaint Ann’s ReviewHunger MountainFlash MagazineDigital Americana, and Midwestern Gothic

SARAH ELIZABETH SCHANTZ (BA ’10). Her story “The Sound of Crying Sheep,” won first prize for the Third Coast Fiction Prize and will be published in the November 2011 issue. The same story was a finalist for a competition hosted by New Letters, a competition hosted by the Cream City Review, and an honorary mention for a contest hosted by Zoetrope. 

DONALD STIKELEATHER (MDIV ’10) is a chaplain for three Indianapolis hospital systems, the director of a little Buddhist sangha, and a contributor to an interreligious dialogue in the local paper. He recently sang a jazzed up Shakespeare sonnet solo with Encore Vocal Arts.