People & Profiles
Kate Zambreno Earns a Guggenheim
Kate Zambreno ’99 considers herself a late bloomer. She began her career as a journalist with Chicago alt-weeklies before delving into more experimental fiction, pushing the boundaries of traditional forms. “Much of my writing goes past fact into the realm of fiction,” says Zambreno. The author of eight books, she is now nationally recognized for writing that “troubles genre,” as she puts it.
Chatting with … Nancy Johnson
Nancy Johnson ’93 worked for more than a decade as an award-winning television reporter for CBS and ABC affiliates before moving into corporate communications and public relations. “Still,” she says, “I always wanted to tell the stories of my own imagination, particularly those about the Black experience in America.” Johnson has accomplished just that in her debut novel, The Kindest Lie, named one of the most anticipated books of 2021 by Newsweek; O, The Oprah Magazine; and Elle.
Music to Your Ears
If you’re a fan of John Legend’s hit song “Conversations in the Dark,” you’re already a fan of Kellen “Pom Pom” Pomeranz too. A songwriter and producer based in New York City, Pomeranz has worked on some of today’s most popular songs, such as “Novocaine” by the Unlikely Candidates, which topped Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart for 33 weeks.
Sound Off: Silver Linings
Northwestern faculty, staff, alumni and students share sources of hope and growth after a difficult year.
Chatting with … Gita Pullapilly ’01 MS
Gita Pullapilly and her husband and filmmaking partner Aron Gaudet hope movie theater audiences are ready to laugh. Their counterfeit coupon crime caper, Queenpins, starring Kristen Bell and Vince Vaughn, opens in theaters nationwide Sept.
Hockey’s Healing Power
Chris Williams, who grew up figure skating and playing hockey in north Minneapolis, says he didn’t encounter racism on the rink until he got to high school. “Some of the guys on the hockey team were real cool, but a handful weren’t,” recalls Williams, now a pediatrician in his hometown.
Rosina Samadani had been on the job for just two weeks as CEO of Oculogica, a company that develops eye-tracking products for improved brain health, when she was struck in the head by an umbrella while sitting on the beach. That’s when she learned firsthand the benefits of Oculogica’s EyeBOX, a first-of-its-kind concussion diagnostic tool.
John Henry Pace coordinated the reveal of Ford’s new all-electric pickup truck.
In this season of celebration, we’re honoring our soon-to-be undergraduate and graduate alumni, and commemorating their time at the University. We reached out to the #NU2021 community via social media to ask for reflections on their time at Northwestern.
Jesse Humpal drifted in and out of special education classes as a child. He almost failed out of his undergraduate program at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, and at Northwestern, where Humpal has earned two master’s degrees and a PhD, he almost threw in the towel on higher education entirely during a course on linear regression.