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A chance encounter at a used-book store sent Brigid Hughes ’94 on a mission to rescue the forgotten work of a once-celebrated Chicago author. Bette Howland was “one of the significant writers of her generation” in the words of Saul Bellow ’37, ’62 H, but her work had nearly been lost to history when Hughes came across her 1974 memoir, W-3.

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bette howland
In April 1992 — just a few weeks before graduating from Northwestern with a degree in communication studies — Megan Conway Romano walked into Charlie Trotter’s on Halsted Street in Chicago looking for a job in the world of food. Even though she had no formal training, she eventually landed a position in the kitchen, working for a few hundred dollars a week.

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Jon Solomon is preparing for his 31st annual “25-Hour Holiday Radio Show,” his Christmas Day tradition at WPRB-FM, Princeton University’s student-run radio station. Solomon, whose holiday collection includes more than 6,000 songs, has only missed one year since — when he went to the 1996 Rose Bowl to cheer on the Wildcats.

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jon solomon
Phil Sklar co-founded the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum, which opened its doors near Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward this past February. More than 6,500 bobbleheads are featured on location, a display so large that Guinness World Records may name it the largest bobblehead collection by this summer.

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phil sklar founder national bobblehead hall of fame and museum
Benjamin Dreyer, author of Dreyer’s English, talks about finding the voice for his best-selling book on Twitter. The Random House copy chief also discusses his writing pet peeves and reveals what he learned about editing from working on scripts.

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benjamin dreyer
Lee Overtree presides over one of the best improv talent incubators around — just ask any savvy kid under 12. “Our secret is that we don’t think of it as making comedy for kids; we think of it as making comedy for each other.”

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peter mcnerney and joanna simmons
Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for kids between the ages of 1 and 4, with more than 3,000 children drowning every year. Shocked by those statistics, mother and swim coach Michelle Lang penned a guide to teach parents simple techniques to keep their children safe in the water.

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Rosanna Hertz, author of Random Families, interviewed more than 350 children, their parents and gamete donors to explore how they used cultural narratives about genes and genetics to understand their relationship to their immediate families and donor networks.

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As a James Beard Award–winning journalist for New York Magazine, Sierra Tishgart ’12 ate at some of New York City’s finest restaurants, but she wanted to cook better meals at home and realized she needed different pots and pans. Frustrated by the potential expense and unsure about what cookware she needed and why, Tishgart set out to create her own line of kitchenware, Great Jones.

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sierra tishgart great jones cookware
Lillian Hoodes ’13 MA is helping to fix a common problem for environmentally aware hikers: how to pack nutritious food when headed out on the trail. Hoodes is co-founder and CEO of TrailFork, a company dedicated to providing outdoor adventurers with sustainably packaged and healthy dehydrated food.

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lilian hoodes trailfork