Goodbye, Graduates

August 29, 2013

Compiled by Katharine Arnold Luce

On Sunday, May 19, the ISM presented its newest graduates with their ISM certificates at a banquet at the New Haven Lawn Club. Some of them accepted our invitation to reflect on their experience at the Institute, and their plans and hopes for the future.


Megan Bernstein (M.A.R.) leaves the ISM grateful for the interdisciplinary study and travel opportunities afforded to her by the Institute, and the support provided by the faculty, particularly Sally Promey and Vasileios Marinis.  Over the summer, she will take part in a workshop on digital visualization of architecture and urban environments at Venice International University.  In August she will cross the country on a road trip with her partner Alessandra to UCLA, where they will both begin the PhD program in art history.  Meg will continue her study of gothic architecture in England and France while at UCLA, and already plans to present her research at SECAC and Kalamazoo in 2013-14.

Stephen Buzard (M.M.) has been appointed assistant organist at Saint Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue in New York City, where he will play for daily services, accompany the famous choir of men and boys, and work at the church’s unique residential choir school. “I have loved working and living alongside such wonderful colleagues at the ISM, and he will especially miss playing for Marquand morning services and Berkeley Eucharists.”

Jenifer Chatfield (M.Div.) says, “My ISM experience has been the icing on the cake of my Divinity School career!” She is grateful for the opportunity to study how art and religion intersect in relation to liturgical studies, and has been inspired and challenged by her “hugely talented and passionate colleagues and professors, making the call to ministry much more rich and informed.”  Jenifer will be moving back to Los Angeles and will be ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons in the Episcopal Church, followed by ordination to the priesthood in January 2014.  She will begin her call at a parish which is currently in the process of being determined.

Following her graduation from ISM and YDS, Linnéa Clark (M.Div.) will continue her candidacy for ordination in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) by serving as vicar at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Wilmington, DE. She will bring her love of worship, skill in pastoral ministry, and commitment to liturgical creativity, refined at YDS and the ISM, to the Good Shepherd community. Linnéa is grateful for three years of exploration, learning, travel, and musical excellence at the ISM, and will treasure her ISM friends and colleagues for many years to come.

Abigail Dunn (M.A.R.) is graduating with “much thankfulness in my heart for the opportunities the ISM has provided, both in relation to her interests in religion and American literature and as an avenue for gaining valuable knowledge well beyond the purview of that concentration.” She especially treasures her experience in Peter Hawkins’s transforming, yearlong Dante course and her time spent as the co-founding editor of the ISM’s new, student-run literary journal, Letters. After graduation, Abigail will be living in New York City and working in publishing at the New York Review of Books.

Charles Gillespie (M.A.R.) will begin studying for a Ph.D. in religious studies at the University of Virginia this fall.  He plans to further his “always over-the-top quest” to understand how performance, literature, and theology can transform our encounter with the created world.  While a student at the ISM, Charlie performed experimental theatre asking theological questions in far-flung places: from the ISM Great Hall to Edinburgh, Scotland to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.  “I will profoundly miss the collaborative beauty of the ISM family and sharing ideas, stories, those addictive peanut butter things, and music.  I want to thank the ISM faculty and staff, particularly my adviser Peter Hawkins, for their unyielding support and making the ISM an incredible home.”

Juiliette Jeanfreau (M.Div.) will be dancing at Nashville Ballet for the summer! At the end of five weeks, she’ll find out if she’s hired into the second company… fingers crossed!!!

Marilyn Kendrix’s (M.Div.) “love of a music that informs and deepens faith was fed spiritually by this incredible experience in the ISM.  While the community of talented people, the variety of inspiring colloquia and the unbelievably enriching trips to New York and Boston alone would have made this experience an amazing one, it was the study tour to Greece and Turkey that I will hold in my heart forever.  The entire ISM, packed into one small chapel in the St. Stephen Monastery in Meteora, perched high atop a cliff, listening to Sister Marina talk simply about the hospitality that she and the fifteen other nuns extend to every visitor who comes as if Christ himself were present, will always remain a sacred moment for me.”  Marilyn plans to continue integrating music and the arts in worship as she continues her journey toward ordination and parish ministry.

Nicholas Lewis (M.Div.) will be moving to the Hudson Valley where he has accepted an appointment as assistant dean of the college and community life chaplain at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. In this capacity, he will be working to foster and promote greater communal identity and inclusion within campus life, as well as teaching First Year Seminar and in the music program. Nicholas is tremendously grateful for his three years spent at the ISM. “The matrix of exceptional faculty scholars, outstanding staff administrators, and abundantly gifted student colleagues has constituted a community of support and encouragement that is singularly unique and absolutely extraordinary.”

Thanks to a Fulbright Research Fellowship, Benjamin Lindquist (M.A.R.) will spend the next year at the University of Zürich. There, Benjamin will investigate paratextual changes found in religious literature for children. After his year in Switzerland, Benjamin will begin working toward his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, where he will study religion and childhood in America.

After graduating, Kathryn Pocalyko (M.Div.) will continue seeking ordination in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, serving her one-year full-time internship with two congregations in Manhattan: Advent Lutheran Church on the Upper West Side and St. John’s Lutheran Church in the West Village. She will “hold the ISM and all the opportunities it provided her in fond memory—from traveling abroad to continuing to study religion and literature—and I am deeply grateful to the ISM for helping me develop friendships, mentorships, and collegial relationships during my theological education.”

For Tuesday Rupp (M.Div.), the best part about the ISM was how the integration of disciplines - music, art, architecture, literature, and theology - informed her own work in music and ministry. “The lectures, the study tours, and most importantly the people - both the faculty and her student colleagues - brought these concepts to life in a rich and unforgettable way!”

Michael Salazar (M.M.) is “incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work with world-class scholars” for the past two years at the Yale. “The time spent at the ISM has refreshed my outlook on the important role of music in the context of the sacred, and has broadened my perspective in the field of church music overall. However, apart from the seemingly endless scholarly resources, I am most thankful for the meaningful relationships with his colleagues and friends.” Though Michael will be pursuing a degree in finance at Arizona State University in the fall, he plans on continuing the work in sacred music that has been so cultivated during his time at Yale.

This summer, Andrew Schaeffer (M.M.)will be moving back to his hometown of Chicago to begin a position as interim director of music at Concordia Lutheran Church on Chicago’s north side.  Come January, Andrew will begin the long and arduous process of securing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Oklahoma, where he will study organ with John Schwandt and serve as the archivist for the American Theatre Organ Society archives, housed at the OU library. Andrew is particularly grateful for the guidance, patience and encouragement of his principal teachers, Thomas Murray, Larry Smith, and Jeff Brillhart.  Most importantly, Andrew would like to thank all of his friends and colleagues at the ISM who not only shared laughs, ideas and passions – “but also put up with my many impersonations!”

Dana Steele (M.M.) will be moving to Baltimore, MD to begin her D.M.A. studies in organ at the Peabody Conservatory in August. She is grateful to her teacher, Martin Jean, for his inspiration and guidance over the past two years, and for the camaraderie and support from colleagues and ISM staff.

Adrianna Tam (M.M.) will be spending the next academic year as a participant in the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange, a yearlong, federally-funded fellowship for study and work in Germany.  She will attend a two-month intensive German language course, study at a German university for four months, and complete a five-month internship.  While in Germany, she will miss the candy bowl.

Colleen Tichich (M.A.R.) is “incredibly thankful” for the wonderful opportunities she has had through the ISM.  Thanks to the ISM she has been able to see the conservation of Dura Europas, learn more about the relationship between icons and worship, further develop her architectural vocabulary, and travel to Greece and Turkey to see Hagia Sophia, ancient monasteries, and explore the Acropolis.  “Most importantly, I have been able to do all of this with a group of truly amazing people who not only taught me a great deal about the relationship between worship, music, and the arts, but who are also incredible scholars, teachers, and friends.”  Colleen looks forward to spending another year in New Haven with the Yale community and her husband Kevin.

Ian Tomesch (M.M.A.) has just assumed the post of principal organist and director of music for St. Mary’s Abbey in Morristown, NJ, a Benedictine community consisting of around 40 monks. Aside from playing daily office services and Sunday masses, Ian will be responsible for completing an organ building project, organizing a new concert series to make use of the renovated instrument, and facilitating a recording of chant and chant-based works with the monks and the new organ. Of his time at the ISM, he writes, “How difficult it is to leave the ISM, a community that has broadened my knowledge and appreciation of not only music, but religion and the arts, literature, and numerous other areas. My time at the ISM has equipped me with the knowledge and experience to take on these tasks with enthusiasm.”

John Taylor Ward (M.M.A.) will begin his post-residential life in Paris, studying with Gregory Reinhart via a fellowship from the Harriet Hale Wooley Foundation.  He writes, “Many thanks to the ISM for three formative years! Hoping to hop continents early and often to see y’all soon!”



Other 2013 graduates: Gabriel Aydin (M.A.R.), Christina Baik (M.A.R.), Caleb Bennetch (M.M.), Megan Chartrand (M.M.), Noah Horn (M.M.), Michelle Lewis (M.Div.), Susanna Mayer (M.A.R.), Scott Mello (A.D.), Kenneth Miller (M.M.A.), Ryan Napier (M.A.R.), Brent te Velde (M.M.), Paul Thomas ((M.M.), Virginia Warnken (M.M.), Amanda Weber (M.M.).