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Photo: James Glader

doers’ profiles


Home: New York City

AGE: 61

OCCUPATION: Management, development, grantmaking, and communications for nonprofit organizations

CURRENT POSITION: President of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (bcrfcure.org), a private nonprofit that supports “cutting-edge clinical and genetic research by the most brilliant minds around.” Grants have supported work by Charlotte Kuperwasser at Tufts School of Medicine and Robert Weinberg at MIT’s Whitehead Institute that identified new ways to fight metastasis.

MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENT: Increasing the foundation’s annual revenues from $10 million to $40 million in her eight years at the helm, providing grants to 166 research pioneers around the world.

FAVORITE COLOR: Pink, thanks to BCRF’s highly successful pink ribbon campaign. “Our corporate partners have sold an amazing variety of pink products to heighten awareness of breast cancer and raise funds—cosmetics, desk accessories, clothing, jewelry, sports equipment, even cleaning supplies. I am proud to fill my house and closet with these pink items. Luckily, my husband, Charles Biblowit, A68, has grown accustomed to them.”

MENTOR: Evelyn Lauder, BCRF’s founder and chair—“the most exceptional example of what can be accomplished with the right combination of determination, keen intuition, and heartfelt concern. Nothing is more motivating than her vote of confidence.”

FAVORITE RITE OF SPRING: “Each April for the past nine years, Sir Elton John has performed at our gala as a gift to the foundation.”

DEFINING TRAITS: Energy, optimism, moxie. A lifelong conviction that raising money for worthy causes feeds the soul. Admiration for the people her work helps. “I am astounded by the strength and courage of breast cancer survivors, and I am so very fortunate to lead an organization that has had an impact on their lives.”

HER PRIDE AND JOY: Daughter Rachel, 27, a recently married lawyer living in New York City, and son Michael, 23, who is enjoying his first job, at J.P. Morgan.

WHAT GIVES HER HOPE: “The men and women graduating from college today—their sense of social responsibility is extraordinary. I know the future is in good hands.”

HER SCHOOLING: Tufts (B.A., sociology), Brandeis (Master of Social Welfare)


Photo: James Glader


HOME: Wethersfield, Connecticut

AGE: 34

OCCUPATION: Astrophysicist; assistant professor of astronomy, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut

USING THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE TO: Explore the mysterious light-absorbing gas and dust between stars; investigate a “debris disk”—a new star almost done forming the planets that will revolve around it.

RECENTLY RECEIVED A NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION GRANT TO: Analyze data from research in which he and colleagues detected light passing through the upper atmosphere of a Jupiter-like planet orbiting another star.

FINDS IT EASY TO EXCITE STUDENTS BECAUSE: “Astronomy encompasses some of the deepest questions we can ask—for example, Where are we? Why are we here? Are we special or common? How did we come to be?”

EDUCATIONAL LUCKY BREAK: Tufts’ partnership with New England Conservatory. “It allowed me to go on studying oboe and piano while getting my bachelor’s degree in physics and astrophysics. I’ve kept up my music as much as possible, playing in community orchestras in both Boulder and Austin when my work took me to those places.”

ON THE CONNECTION BETWEEN MUSIC AND ASTROPHYSICS: “With music, you spend hours upon hours perfecting your craft and confronting the limits of your talent. Astrophysics is similar, in that you are constantly trying to expand your understanding despite your ingrained assumptions or limited conceptual abilities.”

FAVORITE SOURCE OF ENTERTAINMENT: Wife Kaethe. “We’re always cracking each other up with goofy phrases or songs.”

DEFINING TRAITS: Astute but easy-going, open to different ways of thinking. Relishes a challenge. Attuned to the music of the spheres. Eager for new discoveries about the universe, fascinated by the ones that have been made so far. Grew up in the middle of the country (Nebraska), in the middle of his family’s birth order (with five sisters, two older and three younger).

BOOK HE CAN’T WAIT TO READ TO HIS NEW SON, OWEN: J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. “It draws on such a grand and expansive world.”

HIS SCHOOLING: Tufts (B.S.), New England Conservatory (B.M.), University of Colorado at Boulder (M.S., Ph.D.)

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