Field Work Term

30 Under 30

A selection of recent alumni making waves in the world of work early in their careers.

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Small College Big Impact

The New York Times included Bennington as one of the five colleges in the country where “work counts.” They wrote, “Bennington sets aside the months of January and February as Field Work Term, which dates back to the college’s founding, in 1932. Most students leave campus for the duration—to work at places like television networks, publishing houses, museums and nonprofit groups…. While interships are often related to a student’s academic work, this is not a requirement, because the college sees the experience as ‘not just doing a specific job’ but as a way of ‘studying what it is to work.’”

Unigo ranks Bennington as the sixth “brainiest college” in the country. The Huffington Post identified Bennington as one of the 12 best colleges in the country to offer an education that is “a rigorous and inventive process.” The Princeton Review ranks Bennington as one of the top colleges where “classroom discussions are encouraged,” “students study the most,” and receive the “best classroom experience.

Law • Politics • Public Action

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Jess Kutch ’03: Co-founder of Winner of the inaugural J.M.K. Innovation Prize, which aims to support people addressing the country’s most pressing needs through social sector innovation
Junior FWT: Americans for Democratic Action, Washington, DC

Shira Sternberg ’05: Advisor to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of the Regional Administrator, Boston, MA; Co-founder
Junior FWT: Voter registration co-chair, North Bennington, VT

Jessica Alatorre ’08: Judicial Law Clerk, Executive Office for Immigration Review U.S. Department of Justice. Washington College of Law, American University
Junior FWT: Human Rights Watch, New York, NY

Brian Morrice ’10: Former personnel intern, The White House; digital organizer, Obama for America
Sophomore FWT: Democracy for America, Burlington, VT

Business • Marketing


Minden Koopmans ’05: Senior Management Advisor, Mayor’s Center for Economic Opportunity, New York. MBA, Stern School of Business, New York University
Sophomore FWT: Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, Portland, OR

Ayn Slavis ’06: COO, LED Waves, company that designs, manufactures, and distributes LED lighting in Brooklyn, NY; alumna, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program
First-year FWT: Kroyt Brandt Productions, Inc., New York, NY

Maj Anya DeBear ’07: Founder/president, Ursidae NYC, a fashion company featured in Elle, Design Bureau, NBC New York, and Marie Claire
Sophomore FWT: Robert Miller Gallery, New York, NY

Jacob Wolf ’07: Owner, Holy Smokes Booking, a Brooklyn-based independent booking agency
Junior FWT: Punk Rock Payroll/The Extraordinaires, tour manager/publicist, Philadelphia, PA

Nicholas Haas ’10: Analyst, Goldman Sachs
Sophomore FWT: East Carolina University, assistant to the Japanese professor, Greenville, NC

Lea Hershkowitz ’11: Producer, Juicy Couture
Senior FWT: Design Lab, Boston, MA

Visual and Performing Arts

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Savannah Dooley ’07: Writer/producer, Huge, ABC Family
First-year FWT: Maverick Productions, Beverly Hills, CA

Lindsay Howard ’08: Independant curator; tapped to curate the first-ever digital art sale at Phillios Auction House; named “Best of Young Brooklyn” by L Magazine
Senior FWT: Christie’s Auction House, New York, NY

Molly Tarlov ’08: Television actress, best known for her role as Sadie on MTV’s Awkward
First-year FWT: Bernard Telsey Casting, New York, NY

Will Stratton ’09: Singer/songwriter; four full-length albums released to wide acclaim
Sophomore FWT: The Buddy Project Studio, Astoria, NY

Mountain Man: Vocal trio; appearances at SXSW, the Newport Folk Festival, and the Mercury Lounge earned rave reviews from The New York Times, Spinner, and NPR

Alexandra Sauser-Monnig ’09
Sophomore FWT:
Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland, OR

Amelia Randall Meath ’10
Junior FWT:
Rude Mechanicals, Austin, TX

Molly Erin Sarle ’12
Junior FWT:
Brecht Forum, New York, NY

Sylvan Esso: Featuring Amelia Meath ‘10 as lead singer. Released their debut album, and NPR’s First Listen noted it as among the best songs of the year.
Junior FWT: Rude Mechanicals, Austin, TX

Science • Technology

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Mike Rugnetta ’05: Creator, host, and Webby Award winner of the PBS Idea Channel
Senior FWT: Greenhouse Studios, Reykjavik, Iceland

Max Cantor ’07: Programmer at Neo Innovation, Inc., best known for his “Beautiful Vim Cheat Sheet” programmer’s reference poster
Senior FWT: Aventis-Pasteur, web development intern, Stroudsburg, PA

Kathryn Furby ’08: Ph.D. candidate, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
First-year FWT: Shedd Aquarium, Wild Reef Aquarium Collections, Chicago, IL

Wyatt Kirby ’10: Founding Partner, Apsis Labs
Junior FWT:, Inc., marketing intern, San Mateo, CA

Max Nanis ’12: Conceptual artist/Programmer/Computational biologist was at the center of a New Yorker article about a cast of “digital rock stars” who are in such high demand that a talent agency was formed to represent them
Junior FWT: Mekentosj, Developer/Intern in Palo Alto, California

Matthew Nunes ’11: Cocoa developer, Pix System
Senior FWT: Konnessi LLC, Providence, RI

Ben Underwood ’13: Fulbright scholar working in China to develop a large-scale biogas plant in Kunming City. Named a “25 Under 25: Rising Stars in US-China Relations”
Senior FWT: DSM Pharmaceutical Products, Talent and Development Group, Parsippany, New Jersey

Medicine • Health

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Michelle Acciavatti ’05: Neuroscience consultant, Boston Children’s Hospital
Sophomore FWT: Department of Pathology, Columbia University, New York, NY

Suzanne Brundage ’08: Senior Health Policy Analyst, United Hospital Fund of New York; MPH Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Senior FWT: Catholic Aids Action, educational assistant, Windhoek, Namibia

Ryan Smith ’08: Disease intervention specialist, HIV/STD Program, Seattle-King County Public Health Department; medical student, University of Washington School of Medicine
Senior FWT: Instituto Guatemalteco de la Seguridad Social, medical intern, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala

Tambu Kudze ’10: Medical student, Yale School of Medicine; former research technician, Massachusetts General Hospital
Sophomore FWT: Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics, Princeton University

Writing • Literature

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Luke Mogelson ’05: Contributing writer for the New York Times Sunday Magazine, The New Yorker, The Nation, and others
Senior FWT: Independent study in fiction

Julieanne Smolinski ’05: Humor writer and columnist, named by Rolling Stone as one of the 25 funniest Twitter personalities
Sophomore FWT: Pelican Publications Co., Inc., Gretna, LA

David Archer ’08: Publicist, Vintage & Anchor Books, representing Camille Paglia, Tom McCarthy, David Rakoff, Heidi Julavits, Alan Hollinghurst, Susanna Moore, Michio Kaku
Senior FWT: Knopf Publishing Group, Division of Random House, Inc., New York, NY

Michael Nordine ’10: Film critic at LA Weekly and The Village Voice
Senior FWT: Seattle University, creative writing internship, Seattle, WA

Safiya Sinclair ’10: Winner of the 2015 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry, given by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, for her manuscript,Cannibal. Author and poet
First-year FWT: English Language Council

Daniel Goldberg ’11: TV critic for Slant
Junior FWT: Random House, Inc., New York, NY