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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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girl near water
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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random families cover
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
Dom Collins ’16 JD, MBA had been working as a media and entertainment banker on Wall Street for a year when he got the itch to leave his day job and pursue his passion. Drawing on his legal and business background, Collins formed Domarco7 Entertainment and launched an R&B career in New York City under the stage name Dom Marcell.

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dom marcell dom collins studio
When Richard Bourke became a volunteer at the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy in Scottsdale, Ariz., in 2012, he expected to spend an outdoorsy retirement in the nonprofit’s dry, mountainous desert preserve. “I just wanted to be outside, do physical activity and learn more about the desert,” he says.

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close-up richard bourke
Roderick Cox, the 2018 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award winner, occupies a highly visible position in an industry not noted for its inclusiveness, and he hopes his work continues to inspire people from different backgrounds to pursue music.

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close up roderick cox
When Jody Reeme ’01 MS purchased her first classic car, a 1939 Ford De Luxe Fordor Sedan, she expected it to be a one-off. Sure, she had always been interested in classic cars — Reeme grew up in Detroit, shares a birthday with Henry Ford and loved playing with slot cars as a kid — but she didn’t expect to wind up with a collection of almost a dozen vehicles.

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jody reeme
John Stroup, CEO of the global manufacturing company Belden, helped launch a first-of-its-kind program to help job applicants break the cycle of substance abuse and find employment. A mechanical engineering student at Northwestern, Stroup says the University's emphasis on the humanities helped him become a more well-rounded person.

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john stroup