Indelible Effects

Nine alums reflect on the professors who helped to set the foundation of their lives and careers.

Stewart  Woodworth

1 / Nick Stewart ’15 on Associate Professor of Theatre Chris Woodworth
Professor Woodworth inspired me to find what it was that I enjoyed about theatre. She pushed me to think about the content in a play and not just enjoy the story; there are always connections between a play and real or current events. When I was cast in Professor Woodworth’s production of Alice in Wonderland, I found my niche for losing myself and becoming the character. Professor Woodworth allowed me to see that there are no flaws in theatre. That year, I was able to pick myself off the ground and run head-on into the art as I embarked on my journey to graduate school to receive my MFA. If it wasn’t for Professor Woodworth as a mentor and supporter in who I was as a person, beyond the stage, I wouldn’t have the work ethic and drive I do today. Because of her, my favorite plays are written by women.

Stewart (left) is a company member with Step Afrika! in Washington, D.C. Woodworth (right) earned her doctorate at Bowling Green State University. She joined the faculty in 2013.

Haydon  Capreedy

2 / Nicholas Haydon ’19 on Associate Professor of Classics James Capreedy
When I was a senior in high school, I visited Hobart so I could have first-hand experience of what it would be like to attend. During that visit, I was privileged to meet with a few professors in the Classics department, my eventual major. Professor Capreedy took the time to have lunch with me. He answered my questions, provided insight and exuded a friendly, welcoming attitude that I would not forget. It was only fitting that three years later, Professor Capreedy served as my advisor for my Honors project. His knowledge, patience and tutelage guided me through the painstaking process of writing an Honors thesis. The writing and research skills I learned through working closely with him prepared me for my job after graduation, and I still use them to this day. But, more importantly, his mentorship and friendship made the experience something for which I am forever grateful.

Haydon (left) is the grants manager with the Texas Public Policy Foundation in Washington, D.C. Capreedy (right) received his doctorate from the University of British Columbia. He joined the faculty in 2009.

Aufses  Cook

3 / Robin Dissin Aufses ’71, P’11 on Professor of English Katherine Dapp Cook, L.H.D. ’84
I first encountered Katy Cook when she proctored a Western Civ exam. Halfway through she stopped us and served us Cokes. When I took her James Joyce seminar she had us over for Irish coffee, and when I visited her because I couldn't figure out how to write about Molly Bloom, she served me sherry. My memories of her are related to more than serving drinks, of course. I've been a high school English teacher for more than 40 years and I think of her whenever I hand something to my students. Professor Cook called all of her handouts Throwaways. That little James Joyce in-joke — and so much more — made us feel we were part of a family and that studying literature was the highest good and the most fun. I've tried to be like her, and in my best years and best classes I think I've succeeded, at least a little.

Aufses (left) is the director of English studies at the Lycée Français de New York in New York City. Cook (right) died in 1998. She served as a member of the faculty for 37 years.

Howard  Daise

4 / Thomas Howard ’72 on Professor Emeritus of Philosophy Benjamin Daise
Ben Daise was my teacher, mentor and friend (which he remains). He showed me how the study of philosophy is practiced — and that changed my life. His Socratic approach, wry wit and insistence that his students be passionate about their studies transformed me from an unfocused adolescent into an adult, with the intellectual foundation that has sustained me throughout my life. But Ben was more than the teacher, and I needed more than that to undertake a transformation. He became my mentor. Not only did we study Plato, Kant, Dewey, Sartre, Kierkegaard and others in the classroom, but we continued to discuss diverse issues through the night. He taught me to love knowledge and critical thinking, to learn. Thanks to him, I earned the Sutherland Prize for Excellence in Philosophy in 1972, graduated from New York University School of Law and was able to find reward in the substantial, but more practical, challenges of the law.

Howard (left) is a founding partner at Howard Law LLP in Hackensack, N.J. Daise (right) retired from teaching in 2008 and lives in Rochester, N.Y.

Jones-Johnson  Jimenez

5 / Themba Jones-Johnson ’92 on Associate Professor of Africana Studies Marilyn Jimenez P’12
Professor Jimenez’s classes were probably the most challenging ones I took at the Colleges. She had a unique ability to always make me stretch myself academically. Her classes were some of the few offered that dealt with marginalized people, and I was immediately drawn to the subject matter. She was a role model professor in the small HWS community and a welcome face for many students of color. To this day, I still remember some of the things that were taught in her film class. Thank you for the lessons learned.

Jones-Johnson (left) is a real estate agent in Teaneck, N.J. Jimenez (right) will retire in 2020 and lives in New York City. She joined the faculty in 1984.

Stolp  Millington

6 / Derek Stolp ’69 on Professor Emeritus of Political Science Tom Millington
When I began my teaching career in 1969, with no formal training, I drew upon the model of Professor Millington, who always engaged his students in discussion — a style that was open, welcoming and non-judgmental. While the lecture method in the hands of a talented performer could be entertaining and informative, I found this transmission model of teaching to be limiting. Instead, I asked my students from pre-algebra through calculus to wrestle with problem solving through discussions. After all, the task was never simply to get the right answer; the goal was to create an argument in support of a conclusion, and to convince others (not just me) that the argument was valid. Through this process, my students came to understand that learning is more than simply recapitulation; it is the personal construction of knowledge through conversation, and my students have Professor Millington to thank for that.

Stolp (left) recently retired from a career as a math teacher, including 29 years at Milton Academy in Milton, Mass. Millington (right) retired from teaching in 1997 and lives in Geneva, N.Y. He would love to hear from former students and can be reached at

McGivney  Smith

7 / James McGivney ’68 on Professor of Political Science Maynard Smith P’76
Maynard Smith taught me both political science and how to think and act. Thought was to be used not to reinforce already existing, probably inherited beliefs, but to analyze those beliefs and try to determine if they were correct. Action was to be taken only after well-conceived thought and only with due regard for the rights and feelings of others. Maynard taught by example: He was never rude or belittling; he had great questions, and it was your job to answer, not his to answer and for you to accept. We never knew whether he was a Democrat or a Republican. He did not avoid the controversies of the times, but he did not make his answers your answers by stating his thought as an absolute truth. Maynard turned 100 in November, which shows you what living right can do!

McGivney (left) is an attorney with Gibney, Anthony & Flaherty, LLP in New York City. Maynard (right) retired from teaching in 1990 and lives in Canandaigua, N.Y.

Walkley  de Denus

8 / Janelle Walkley ’10 on Associate Professor of Chemistry Christine de Denus
In the spring of 2008, I was selected for the Chemistry Student Summer Research Program with Professor de Denus. I quickly learned that planning, attention to detail and adapting to unforeseen challenges were very important to success in the lab. This experience led to an Honors project that expanded on my lab work. Summer research and my Honors project gave me invaluable exposure to the abstract submission process and poster presentations. Professor de Denus allowed me freedom to perform my research, but was always there to provide feedback and push me to contribute. She also supported my decision to expand into other areas of research after graduation. An entry-level research study position eventually led to my current role as a program manager for multicenter clinical trial operations. The skills that I learned working with Professor de Denus helped to set the foundation of my research career.

Walkley (left) is a clinical trial program manager at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. de Denus (right) received her doctorate from the University of Manitoba. She joined the HWS faculty in 1999.

Mnuchin  Ciletti

9 / Heather Crosby Mnuchin ’89 on Professor Emerita of Art History Elena Ciletti

When I arrived in Geneva in the fall of 1985 I immediately enrolled in every art history course I could. Professor Ciletti was famous for being a hard teacher who demanded a lot from her students. When I finally made it to one of her classes I found her to be warm and friendly; she made art history that much more interesting. Her passion made the history of art fascinating; she made the art relate to the politics, religion and music of the era and made it all tie in to one incredible piece of history. She soon became my advisor and helped me navigate to a successful cum laude graduation in art history and religion. My friends and I loved Houghton House, the gardens, the studios and all that Professor Ciletti let us explore as art history students.

Mnuchin (left) is retired from a career in entertainment marketing in Los Angeles, Calif. Ciletti (right) retired from teaching in 2013 and lives in Romulus, N.Y.


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