Episode 18: From The Phillipian to Fallon

Jonathan Adler ’08 reflects on how crafting many, many bad jokes ultimately leads to finding laughs.

Jonathan Adler, class of 2008, is unnecessarily humble, completely self-depreciating, and while he’d never admit it, a hilarious talent. As a staff writer for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Adler is part of the team that — as he describes it —makes people laugh and feel good every night before they go to bed.

On this episode of Every Quarter, Adler traces his comic roots from writing for The Phillpian to the Harvard Lampoon to late-night TV in New York. He talks his first on-air pitch, how he ended up on camera in a recurring bit, and one controversial Features satire that had the PA administration knocking at his door. While he admits Andover initially wasn’t where he wanted to be, ten years later, he now credits his burgeoning comedy writing career to his time spent telling jokes and finding his voice in the basement of Morse Hall.

Episode 17: Empowering Women with Hafsat Abiola ’92

“I’m not really just accountable to the present, I’m accountable to the future.”

Hafsat Abiola ’92 is a fighter. A seeker of justice. A champion for human rights. Her life is a story of discovery, tragedy, resiliency, and action. Inspired by the unlawful imprisonment of her father and the assassination of her mother, Hafsat has dedicated her life to promoting democracy in Nigeria and empowering women around the world. In 1996 she founded the NGO Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND), which seeks to involve women and youth in Africa’s social, economic and political development. Most recently, Abiola was named Executive President of Women in Africa (WIA) Initiative.

In this episode of Every Quarter, Emily Ndiokho ’18 sits down with Abiola to discuss how Andover has become a “home,” current challenges facing Africa’s economic development, and the spread of Nigerian culture across the world.

Episode 16: Affecting Visual Effects

David Simons ’86 talks computing at Andover, start-ups, and collaborating with The Simpsons.

Adobe After Effects is a staple in the visual effects post-production world. It is used in large-scale Hollywood productions, network television, and even by the Office of Communication here at Andover. The software’s co-founder, David Simons, is a member of Andover’s class of 1986.

On this episode of Every Quarter, Simons sits down with Neil Evans to discuss his career path to Adobe, the struggles of having one of the first personal computers at Andover, and his advice for aspiring coders.

Simons’ new project, Character Animator, combines elements of After Effects with live action puppetry technology and has been featured recently on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert [embedded below] and a live episode of The Simpsons.

 

Episode 15: Scouting the Red Sox

Gus Quattlebaum ’93 dishes on his career as a pro scout and the upcoming baseball season.

Gus Quattlebaum ’93 is a baseball lifer. From his time at Andover playing in Phelps Park to setting hitting records at Davidson College to traveling across the Americas in search of the next big league star, Quattlebaum has made a career out of the game he loves. Now, as the Boston Red Sox’s Vice President of Professional Scouting, he manages a team of national scouts, compiles players reports that influence roster moves, and oversees the club’s minor league talent development.

Back in January Gus returned to Andover to participate in our Hot Stove night with fellow baseball insiders, and took some time to talk with Kevin Graber, Senior Associate Director of Admission and Varsity Baseball Coach. He even hints at the eventual signing of slugger J.D. Martinez. This one’s a must-listen for Red Sox die hards and anyone who follows baseball or is looking to break into the business of sports. Play ball!

Pictured above: Senior Associate Director of Admission Kevin Graber (left) with Gus Quattlebaum ’93. 

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Episode 14: What is Citizenship?

Three Andover faculty members offer their interpretations.

What does the term citizenship mean? Does it relate to place of birth or residency? What are the requirements of citizenship and have those requirements evolved over time? Who determines citizenship and by what criteria? We’ve been trying to answer this question in as many ways as possible in the classroom, during All-School Meetings and with varied guest speakers on campus. Citizenship is not only the theme for Andover’s 2017-2018 academic year but a pressing issue that is affecting everyone around the globe. Since September 2017, more than 20 guest speakers—recruited from departments across campus—have touched on the theme of citizenship. Their talks have addressed a range of timely issues and spurred ongoing conversations on topics such as gender-based violence, politics and identity, climate and economic policy, citizenship and race, and others. 

The winter 2018 issue of Andover magazine explores the complexities of citizenship. Andover faculty were asked to contribute to the conversation and write essays on their experiences and interpretations. We then asked three of them—Marisela Ramos, Elizabeth Meyer and, Eric Roland—to read their essays for Every Quarter. 

Episode 13: NBC News Correspondent Stephanie Gosk ’90

NBC Correspondent Stephanie Gosk ’90 talks the #MeToo movement, USA Gymnastics, and journalistic integrity in the era of fake news.

A prominent figure in network television news, NBC correspondent Stephanie Gosk has reported on some of our nation’s and the world’s most important events. She’s tackled issues from the opioid crisis to terrorist attacks, natural disasters to prison escapes. She’s been embedded with troops and witnessed the best and worst of humanity while reporting on conflicts abroad.

A member of the Class of 1990, Gosk returned to campus recently to discuss her latest assignment: the rise of the #MeToo movement and cases of sexual misconduct that are plaguing industries from business and entertainment to sports and politics.

In this episode of Every Quarter, she talks with Tracy Sweet, Andover’s director of communication, about the scandal erupting around USA Gymnastics, journalistic integrity, and what it’s like to report from a war zone. Super Bowl fans will want to stick around for her decidedly biased view of the big game.

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Gosk (left) and Sweet recording Every Quarter in Graham Hall.

Episode 12: Global Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution

John Marks ’61, P’95 discusses social entrepreneurship with Carmen Muñoz-Fernández and Eric Roland

As you scan the globe, what catches your attention the most? What are the highlights of a career dedicated to conflict resolution, peacebuilding, and social entrepreneurship? These are some of the questions that John Marks ’61, P’95, explored with the Phillips Academy community during a recent visit to campus.

Marks was, until 2014, president of Search for Common Ground, a peacebuilding NGO he founded in 1982 that now has 600 staff with offices in 36 countries. He also founded Common Ground Productions and is still a senior advisor to both organizations. He is a best-selling author, a former US Foreign Service member, a Skoll Awardee in Social Entrepreneurship, and an Ashoka Senior Fellow. The UN’s University of Peace awarded him an honorary PhD.

Continue reading “Episode 12: Global Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution”