58 episodes

Conversations with the Harvard and Radcliffe Class of 1992, hosted by Will Bachman '92. Every member of the class has a story to tell, and the goal is to interview every one of them. There are 1,600 members of the class, so at a rate of one episode per week, this project will take 30 years. Register for email updates at 92report.com

The 92 Report Will Bachman

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    • 5.0 • 16 Ratings

Conversations with the Harvard and Radcliffe Class of 1992, hosted by Will Bachman '92. Every member of the class has a story to tell, and the goal is to interview every one of them. There are 1,600 members of the class, so at a rate of one episode per week, this project will take 30 years. Register for email updates at 92report.com

    58. Ruth Hertzman-Miller, Physician and Composer

    58. Ruth Hertzman-Miller, Physician and Composer

    Show Notes:
    Ruth Hertzman-Miller, a member of the Harvard and Radcliffe class of 1992, graduated with a degree in biology and went on to a career in medicine, completing a residency in internal medicine at Cambridge City Hospital and a fellowship in health services research in Los Angeles. After returning to the Boston area, she worked as a physician at Cambridge Health Alliance and then at NewBridge, a retirement community. Ruth discussed her journey since graduating, reflecting on the unexpected twists and turns it has taken. Ruth made the difficult decision to switch from medicine to music four or five years ago. She took catch up courses at a conservatory in Boston and is now doing a master’s in composition. Ruth is a pianist and choral singer and was inspired to pursue music again when her seven year old daughter joined North Cambridge Family Opera.
    An Education and Career in Medicine
    She didn’t know what she wanted to do with her life when she went to college, but her dad and grandfather were both psychiatrists, so she figured she’d take some premed courses and see what happened since she liked science and helping people, but she also got to take electives in other subjects like music. In medical school at Case Western, she was interested in the clinical aspects of the program where she was assigned to a pregnant woman and followed her through delivery and the baby’s first year of life, but along the way, she had many doubts about how much she wanted to be in the program.  At the end of her internship year, she went to her residency director and was considering quitting, but he talked her into staying. 
    Balancing Family Life and Work
    After the birth of her first child, she found it difficult to focus on both the intense schedule of work and study and family, but she finished her master’s and eventually made the decision to pursue a master’s in music and wrap up her medical career. Ruth balanced work and motherhood for many decades. Initially, she worked at Cambridge Health Alliance and then various medical but non-clinical jobs such as the Joslin Diabetes Clinic and the Hearst Company, and then at EBSCO Publishing. While she was in non-clinical positions, she worked clinically one day a week at Cambridge Health Alliance and then at various sites within Hebrew Rehab, finally landing at the NewBridge retirement community. When she decided to cut down on her work and dedicate more time to music, she kept her one day a week job at Hebrew Rehab and started studying for a certificate in music.
    Studying Musical Composition and Theory
    Ruth discusses her experience studying composition and writing music and what was included in  the coursework. As a composer, she is interested in exploring the form of music. She studies what has been done in the past, the many options and choices available, and considers how she can create something new. She refers to Mozart and Haydn, who approached their compositions differently and how they did so. Ruth is not expecting to make a professional career out of her work, as it is difficult for a composer to make money, but instead, is more interested in exploring new forms and having her work performed. Video game music and film music are some of the biggest markets for composers; however, Ruth is not particularly interested in these areas. She is more interested in writing for small ensembles such as string quartets, for which she can find performers without much difficulty. She also talks about the place of AI in composing music, and how it can provide inspiration but needs human intervention to create a finished product. 
    The Creative Process of Composing Music
    When asked if composing music feels three-dimensional, or if it has different mental qualities, Ruth answers that this is subjective and depends on the individual, but it is likely that the experience of composing music entails a combination of physical and mental elements. It requires both the ability to think

    • 43 min
    57. Mary Dixie Carter, Novelist

    57. Mary Dixie Carter, Novelist

    Show Notes
    Mary Dixie Carter, a journalist and author, talks about her journey after graduating from Harvard. She starts with her novel,  The Photographer. The novel focuses on Delta Dawn, a disturbed woman who is the subject of the novel. Mary explains that she got the idea for the book when she hired a photographer to take pictures of her kids. 
    The photographer took photos of the children but the eyes in the photos were unnaturally bright blue. When questioned, the photographer said that there is no real color, which made Mary think about the photographer's point of view, and how the character could make the world whatever she wanted it to be. This later transpired to be a novel about a woman who is an outsider and wants desperately to be part of something.
    The character in the novel is a photographer who inserts herself into a wealthy Manhattan family, and over the course of the book she becomes an integral part of the family. Her behavior is considered to be horrible, and it is suggested that her desperate desire to belong and her misplaced idea of what that means is the reason for this. The photographer ends up using the family and the family uses her, forming an awkward and fraught relationship.
    Mary talks about how her characters are based on a combination of her own experiences and people she knows. She talks about how the creepiness of the book reflects the dark and disturbing side of human nature. Will and Mary discuss the importance of creating art that reflects a variety of experiences and perspectives. 
    Mary talks about the media she did for the book and the questions. She explains that she was often asked where she got the idea for the book and the character, in addition to questions about motherhood, and social media. She also talks about lying, why she is so interested in it,  and how it is at the core of the book, as Delta Dawn lies to herself and actually believes the stories she makes up. Finally, she notes that we all come into contact with people who lie to themselves.
    A Career in Acting and Journalism
    Mary has had an interesting journey since graduating college. She moved to New York and auditioned for plays and studied acting, then moved to Los Angeles for a few years where she was cast in plays and classical theater.  Eventually she moved back to the East Coast when her husband was accepted to Harvard, and she accepted her father's offer to work for his newspaper, The New York Observer. She worked there for six years until Jared Kushner bought the paper and she left. She started freelancing and wrote for various publications such as The Economist, San Francisco Chronicle and Chicago Tribune.
    After becoming pregnant with her first child and her mother passing away, she decided to focus her creative energy on writing. She wrote a novel which was not published, and eventually put it aside before moving on and writing the book that became The Photographer.
     Finding an Agent and Focusing on Writing
    After a period of struggling to be published, Mary found a wonderful agent and is thrilled with the people at Minotaur Books, St. Martin's Press who published her first book. She is currently writing her second book tentatively called Marguerite by the Lake, which has a bit of a Gothic feel, meanwhile, the first book is being developed into a TV series. Though it has taken longer than she expected, she hopes to have the second book finished by the end of the summer, potentially releasing it in 2024.
    Meeting the Trumps
    Mary shares a few thoughts on Jared Kushner when he bought the paper from her father. She noted that he was very knowledgeable and charming in the beginning, but changed his direction once the paper was sold. She believes that Jared lacks a moral compass, and does what is convenient and most beneficial to him at the time, rather than being rooted in what is right or good. Mary talks about meeting Donald Trump. Mary speculated that Trump was hoping to get some positive coverage i

    • 48 min
    56. Sharif Ellozy, Vascular Surgeon

    56. Sharif Ellozy, Vascular Surgeon

    Show Notes
    Sharif is a vascular surgeon currently living in Manhattan. After graduating from Harvard in 1992, he went to NYU for medical school. He completed his residency and fellowship at Mount Sinai and was on faculty there for 12-13 years before going to Cornell in 2016.  Sharif is also a father of two sons, and, throughout the years, he  has managed to maintain some of his Harvard friendships and connections to his family in Egypt. He is currently part of the Society for Vascular Surgeries Communication Council to help raise awareness of the field.
    The Role and Responsibilites of a Vascular Surgeon
    Vascular surgeons are responsible for diseases involving blood vessels outside the heart and brain. Sharif explains how they treat these diseases with open surgical techniques, including bypasses, stents, and balloons. Vascular surgeons  also work with orthopedic surgeons, cancer surgeons, neurologists, or any time there is a challenge when dealing with blood vessels. Sharif talks about the diseases he commonly treats and the techniques he uses to perform surgery such as magnification in addition to muscle memory through repetition, and vascular repair techniques.
    Sharif discusses his work as the Program Director for the Vascular Surgery Fellowship of New York Presbyterian Hospital, which he has been running since 2016. To further trainees' education, Sharif has been involved in simulation training and runs a boot camp that has been operating since 2017. The boot camp is an in-person course with faculty from across the country and focuses on the technical side of vascular surgery and is designed to teach techniques without putting patients at risk. The program uses endovascular simulator and cadaver workshops to provide trainees with hands-on experience. This also gives them a chance to get to know the wider vascular community. 
    The Vascular Podcast, Audible Bleedings
    Sharif’s most proud accomplishment is the podcast he was asked to produce with the trainees. This podcast, Audible Bleedings, which was bought out to be the official podcast for the Society of Vascular Surgery, was trainee-driven and has become increasingly popular in the past couple of years. This is a great way for trainees to develop their content and professional development.
    On the podcast, Sharif interviews prominent vascular surgeons, giving listeners insight into the personal life of a vascular surgeon, how they approach the difficulties in their work, and what the process of being a vascular surgeon looks like. During the pandemic, his podcast provided the vascular community with knowledge and insight. 
    He interviewed two of his colleagues from Seattle, Ben Starnes and Nitin Singh, who are both vascular surgeons and military surgeons, to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Seattle. He also had another guest, Mel Sheehan, a vascular surgeon at LSU, who had been there during Katrina and stayed throughout the pandemic. The conversation focused on how to respond to unexpected situations and the process of being a vascular surgeon. 
    Recent Developments in Vascular Surgery
    Sharif points out that there are many specialists in the field, and talks about his focus, his practice, and recent developments in vascular surgery, including endovascular simulation and remote access points when the focus is on endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms. This procedure has revolutionized the treatment of these aneurysms, allowing patients to come in, have the procedure done percutaneously, under local anesthetic, and go home the next day. This technology has allowed for a much less invasive and much more convenient way of treating aneurysms, making it a major development in the field.
    He also talks about the limitations of current technology when it comes to repairing aneurysms. He explains that it can be difficult to maintain blood flow to branch vessels, such as the arteries to the kidneys and intestines, while also excluding the an

    • 43 min
    55. Rachel Pardes Berger, Child Abuse Pediatrician and Professor of Pediatrics

    55. Rachel Pardes Berger, Child Abuse Pediatrician and Professor of Pediatrics

    Show Notes:
    Rachel Berger and Will Bachman talk about Rachel's journey since graduating from Harvard. Rachel graduated with a degree in biochemistry and moved to New York City to attend Columbia medical school. She moved to Pittsburgh for her residency and ended up staying for 27 years. After completing her residency, she did a fellowship in general academic pediatrics in Braddock, Pennsylvania. 
    Rachel took  a job at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh in a new division for child advocacy as a child abuse pediatrician.  She eventually became board certified in the field when it became a subspecialty.  Rachel then advanced in her career to become a tenured professor in 2016. After nine years as the leader of the division of child advocacy, Rachel stepped down in September of 2022 and is now focusing on clinical research and advocacy for children. 
    Establishing the Child Advocacy Centre
    Child abuse work in the United States has been around since the mid-1970s, when laws were passed which mandated reporting of child abuse but it wasn’t a subspecialty until 2009. Establishing this subspecialty and law to report was in response to the number of children who were abused and sent back into a situation that was often fatal. The Child Advocacy Center was set up at the hospital and  employed physicians, nurses, social workers and forensic interviewers to ensure that this would not happen again. The subspecialty combines expertise in pediatric and orthopedic medicine, as well as knowledge in communicating with criminal courts and family courts to help keep children safe. Unfortunately, it is the most underfunded and understaffed of any pediatric subspecialty in the country. However, there are fellowships and other resources available for medical students and residents interested in this field.
    Recognising and Reporting Child Abuse
    Rachel explains that there are several different paths a child may take to get to see a child abuse pediatrician. These may include being referred by a hospital, Child Protective Services (CPS) if the child turns up at the Emergency room. Schools are a major source of reports, as teachers often have a close relationship with the children they are supervising, and can be more likely to spot possible abuse. Sometimes a family member may reach out. If abuse is suspected, the school or other responsible body can call the child abuse pediatrician to access their expertise.
    Rachel talks about how the specialists determine if abuse is taking or has taken place but they put support and services in place that, hopefully, help the children and family. To help recognise whether a child is the victim of abuse, Rachel suggests checking the TEN-4 FACES P mnemonic to identify any signs of abuse that may be serious. 
    The Prevalence of Child Abuse
    While it is difficult to determine the number of abuse cases since most children don’t or won’t talk about it until they are adults, the official data states that around one in seven girls say they have been victim of sexual abuse before they reached the age of 18. She also states that there is a myth that you can “tell” the perpetrators of abuse, and that parents who abuse their children don’t love them. Sometimes, it’s anger control issues, or even discipline gone awry.
    Rachel also reflects on the importance of communication between medical experts and child protective services, social workers, attorneys, and police. This can be difficult because they don’t understand the medical information. 
    She talks about how  the subspecialty of child abuse pediatrics had developed to advocate for children in court. It was seen as a combination of different elements, such as the increasing evidence base and the need for experts to advocate for children. However, there was a concern that other pediatrician reporters may become less involved if the subspecialty was created. 
    There is concern that this could lead to a dangerous precedent where the respon

    • 55 min
    54. Mark Wilson, History Professor and Author

    54. Mark Wilson, History Professor and Author

    Show Notes:
    Mark Wilson is a history professor at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte and author of several books on American business and the winning of World War Two, the business of Civil War, military mobilization, and the state and the military and the market. Mark talks about his journey since Harvard which includes teaching English in Japan, his PhD in history in Chicago and meeting his wife, the last two decades in Charlotte with his wife and two teenage boys, and writing his books. 
    Mark was finishing up his senior thesis and his last season on the Ultimate Frisbee team when he was nominated for a Harvard-run fellowship which allowed him to teach in the UK but the position didn’t come through, and, with the poor job market, he was unable to find suitable employment and didn’t know what to do, until he and his friend Ernie Chung  decided to go on a cross-country road trip in the US in his parents Honda Accord.
    They visited some friends, and explored national parks like Glacier and the Grand Canyon, and while on the trip, he received news that a potential job opportunity had opened up. Mark was offered a job to teach English in Japan and he decided to take the opportunity. During his time in Japan, he taught a variety of people from children to factory workers, doctors and fighter pilots and he traveled throughout the country. He also took a trip to Beijing in 1993, which was just before China shifted to fiber optics and leaped forward as a global economy. It was much different to China now.  He also saw a different side of Japan, which included some of the grittier parts of the country, as well as the typically polite and quiet people. Mark's fondest memories include being invited to join his students on weekend outings. 
    Stories about the Business of Civil War
    While in Japan, he applied to several grad schools and was accepted into the University of Chicago where they had a Phd. History program where he specialized in the History of the United States and completed his Phd dissertation project, The Business of Civil War. He wrote about how the North supplied its armies during the Civil War and focused on the business/political history of that economic mobilization project. During his research, he found records from correspondence records and court martial case files, which proved an interesting source of information.
    The Civil War and Industrialization
    Mark pointed out that there is a big debate among historians about the long-term economic impact of the Civil War on industrialization. His 300-page book on the subject offers insights into how the Civil War affected American business.
    The consensus among economic historians is that the US Civil War had very limited or even a negative impact on the country's industrialization. This is contrary to the popular notion that it stimulated industrial growth. Evidence for the limited impact of the war can be seen in the decisions of the North’s top contractor, John Martin, who invested his wartime fortune in high-end European paintings rather than advancing technology. However, the author of a book on the war economy argues that the army’s quartermasters should be recognized as among the greatest business leaders of the 19th century because of their massive acquisition efforts and logistics networks such as supply chain management difficulties. He talks about how the military set up army-run factories rather than going through the private sector but to meet demand they had to turn to the private sector. However, he believes that the public sector was as influential in the rise of big business as the private sector.
    Teaching History
    They left Chicago when his wife was offered a post at Cornell, and Mark started teaching part-time while he finished his dissertation. They moved to Charlotte in North Carolina where Mark was offered a position as an assistant professor.  
    In 2004, he went back to Harvard for a year where he got a postdoctoral. He

    • 58 min
    53. Tara Altebrando, YA Author and Writer of Scripted Audio Dramas

    53. Tara Altebrando, YA Author and Writer of Scripted Audio Dramas

    Show Notes
    Tara Altebrando is a scripted audio creator and author who was part of the Harvard and Radcliffe class of 1992. She spoke to Will Bachman about her journey since graduation. As a senior, she had been the arts editor of The Independent and had interviewed various artists passing through Boston. She met the editor of a magazine based in Dublin at a New Music Seminar in New York and expressed her interest in working for him. After this conversation, Tara went to Dublin and was given an internship at a magazine called Hot Press. She also worked at a bar-restaurant, music venue called the Rock Garden and wrote a column for the magazine reviewing demos by unsigned Irish bands. After a few years, she decided to move back to New York and tried to pursue rock journalism, but ended up cobbling together a bunch of weird jobs in writing-adjacent fields. She eventually worked at the Museum of Television and Radio in New York, where she watched TV with a headset and summarized programs for their database. She went on to work as a proofreader and copy editor for Romantic Times Magazine. While there, she noticed one of her classmates was already writing novels, and this led to her trying her hand at writing a romance novel.
    From Romance Writer to Published Author 
    Tara wrote two thirds of a contemporary romantic suspense novel, and a novel about a 20 something working at a music magazine, but neither were successful. She decided to take fiction workshops to learn the ropes as a fiction writer,  and ended up finding a job in publishing houses as a proofreader, copy editor, and copywriter. She found the books she read varied in quality, and decided to write her own. She was working at Simon and Schuster at the time, and they published women’s fiction at a time when Chick Lit was popular.  Will and Tara mention how 80% of literary fiction is bought by women, and more than 50% of paperbacks are romance novels.
    From Copywriting to a Young Adult Author
    She wrote a novel called Love, Love Will Tear Us Apart about a celebrity journalist hired to write the biography of a pair of conjoined twins. The book flopped in the market, but it led to her success as a novelist. However, when she was given an assignment to read a Young Adult novel, it inspired an idea for a Young Adult novel, and decided to explore writing in this genre. She had a book come out in June 2020, but due to the pandemic, it didn't find an audience. This made her reevaluate what she wanted to do with her time and creativity and led her to explore the world of scripted audio dramas. This was a new direction for Tara, and it was exciting to explore the possibilities and potential of audio drama writing.
    From YA Fiction to Scripted Radio Dramas
    During the pandemic, there was an influx of interest in this kind of screen-free entertainment because families needed something to keep them occupied during quarantines and lockdowns. She pitched an idea for a series called Dream Breachers which was picked up and is now in its third season. Tara describes the process of creating a scripted drama, from scripting and finding actors to recording and producing. They discussed differences between writing for audio dramas and audiobooks. Tara noted that for audio dramas, the writer needs to convey everything through dialogue and sound effects, which can be a challenge. She revealed that she often plays a game with herself to figure out how to convey information without being too obvious. Tara also shared her pet peeves when it comes to audio dramas and  talked about moving into producing her own show, and building an audience for these shows.  
    Chasing Creative Projects
    Tara followed a pattern of chasing creative projects throughout her career. She explains how the creative process differs when writing for a series over writing for a novel and shares how writing for Dream Bleachers required going deeply into world building and setting rules which cannot be broken. When wri

    • 45 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
16 Ratings

16 Ratings

SJW19 ,

A gift to our class

Thanks to host Will Bachman for seeking and sharing the stories of our 1992 classmates - fascinating and authentic sharing.

Mather Alum ,

A Real Class Gift

A tremendous service for the class of 1992. Really enjoyable interviews. Thanks Will.

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