The Communications and Marketing Office staff writes hundreds of stories each year for Hamilton’s news page. And although 2020 was a year like no other, creative and resourceful students, faculty, and staff still managed to create, collaborate, volunteer, and celebrate. Here are a few of our staff’s favorite stories of 2020.
Chris Browne '20
Chris Browne ’20

“I picked this story [EMT Browne ’20 Volunteers on COVID-19 Calls] because it was about a student’s courage and care for his community. It also demonstrated how the example of a parent had so positively affected his son. I was interested in the analogy the student, Chris Browne, made between the EMT team he served on and the hockey team he was a member of, pointing to the trust, reliance on each other and training, and readiness he found in both.” 
— Vige Barrie, senior director of media relations

Shay lashgari '24
Shay Lashgari ’24

Stories about perseverance and an optimistic spirit [How a Gap Year Led a New American to Hamilton] always appeal to me, especially when they feature Hamilton students. And some exciting recent news in this story, Marshall Program Selects Palmer ’18 for Coveted Scholarship. Hamilton has not had a Marshall Scholar in 30 years. Marquis is an amazing person destined to do amazing things, and this scholarship offers further proof.”
— Mike Debraggio P’07, associate vice president of communications 

podcast project Mckela Kanu '22, Emnet Sisay '22
Mckela Kanu ’22 and Emnet Sisay ’22

“As a food historian, baker, and cook, I find this project fascinating [‘Feeding Our Past, Nourishing Our Future’: A Student Podcast]. I am proud of these students for diving into the connections between food and identity, food and the land, and food and culture. It has broadened their understanding of themselves as well as other people around the world and through the ages.”
— Mona Dunn, production manager

“My favorites are from last spring — a time when we saw just how determined, resilient, and creative Hamiltonians could be when they needed to make something seem normal during a not-at-all-normal end of the year. I had a hard time picking just one story, so my favorites are The Show Must Go On(line)  and Bringing Hamilton to the Class of ’24.”
— Eileen Foote, communications assistant

Cameron Digiovanni ’20

“My favorite is Linking Farms and Food Banks, the story of Cameron Digiovanni’s ’20 involvement with FarmLink. I had seen a story about college students and FarmLink on the national news, and then learned Cameron became involved because he wanted to do something productive after the pandemic forced students to return home. What a way for a Class of ’20 grad to make a quick impact!”
— Holly Foster, associate director of content and news site editor

“In When You are Forced to Adjust, You Begin Learning Things, posted less than two months after students left campus to begin remote instruction, William Salzillo, the Kevin W. Kennedy Professor of Art, shared wonderful insights into how the move to online courses has forever changed how he teaches.”

And a footnote … “When we started the Because Hamiltonians series, we worried that we’d run out of folks to feature. Turns out our list of alumni doing amazing things in their workplaces and communities only grows. My favorite this year is Cevdet Samikoglu ’92, who left a successful career on Wall Street to join a biotech company working on finding a cure for the disease that took the life of his mother.”
— Stacey Himmelberger P’15,’22, senior director of content strategy

Charlie Guterman '22 arboretum
Charlie Guterman ’22

“I chose Tree Hugger, the article about Charlie Gutterman’s ’22 Arboretum internship. Charlie is one of the nicest, smartest, hardest-working, and most-talented interns I have had the pleasure to get to know in my 32 years at Hamilton. There is nothing Charlie can’t do when she puts her mind to it. I can’t wait to see where life will take her.”
— Phyllis Jackson, visual communications associate

A World Forever Changed. This shows our alumni trying to come to grips with a world-changing event in real time.”
— Maureen Nolan, senior writer/editor

Sammy Johnson'20 and Chad Varney'22 turn an independent study course about clothing into an upcycling company.

“I liked this story: From Class to Company with Upcurl: A Story and Video. It shows students who care about the environment are taking concrete steps to act on that interest. It showed true entrepreneurial spirit.”
—Tim O’Keeffe, senior director, marketing and analytics

Avery Cook '21
Avery Cook ’21 at her sewing machine.

A Constructive Study Break featuring Avery Cook ’21 was one of my favorites because it highlighted Avery’s resilience, problem-solving, and service — three characteristics that bind Hamiltonians together as a Hamily. Her semester abroad was cut short, so she turned it into an opportunity for good in a global crisis.”
— Melissa Richards, vice president of communications and marketing

Other favorite stories include: History is Too Important to be Boring,’ Hanna ’23: ‘We Have the Power to Do Something,’ Carissima Celebration (video), Pounding the Virtual Pavement for News, and Hamilton’s 3-D Printers Engaged in Fight against COVID-19.

And finally, not a story per se, but we loved the flipcards our Visual Communications team used in Who’s Zoomin’ Who? to share news of guests who “made appearances” in Hamilton classrooms this fall.

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