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Long odds and optimism
David Dudley, A&S '90, who writes about Nature Conservancy biologist Jonathan Adams, A&S '86 (MA), in this issue's "The Wilderness Campaign," says he found Adams fascinating in no small part because of his upbeat outlook. "I admire his optimism in the face of all the evidence that there are extremely long odds in terms of conservation in general," he says. "People have such disregard for the principles he is trying to advocate. Yet people like him are full of practical schemes for trying to reverse a process that seems to be kind of a lost cause."

Dudley earned his bachelor's degree from Johns Hopkins' Writing Seminars. He is an associate editor for Cornell Alumni Magazine (CAM) in Ithaca, New York, where he lives with his wife, Sondra; 2-year-old daughter Nora; and Foghat, the family dog. He says he enjoys the opportunity CAM offers to write about a wide variety of subjects. "I tend to gravitate toward topics in the sciences when writing for alumni magazines," he says. "It's a venue where you can write about fairly substantive science issues for a general audience." Dudley's work has appeared in Baltimore Magazine, Baltimore's City Paper, and AARP The Magazine.

Gathered art
Vintage photographs, spools of thread, wooden boxes, the tiny legs of an old-fashioned porcelain doll. Illustrator Polly Becker gathers cast-off toys, trinkets, and scraps, then fashions them into what she calls "assemblages." To illustrate "The Department of Second Chances," about Johns Hopkins heart transplant patients, Becker used threads to suggest the circulatory system and snippets of playing cards to evoke the idea of a heart. "It's difficult to represent the human heart in illustrations," she says. "You don't want to represent it with something too realistic. And yet if you're using the heart symbol, you're relying on a cliché that can ruin the image."

Becker, who attended the Rhode Island School of Design, says that in her work, she uses whatever is around. "I don't like to rely on a kit of parts," she says. "I like the idea of collage as an honorable economy — it's about using stuff I picked up here and there." Her work has also appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, and The New York Times Magazine. — MB

Illustrator William L. Brown (Wholly Hopkins: "Mock Trial Teaches Real Lessons") can be reached through his Web site,
Photographer Mike Ciesielski ("The Tutor Period") is based in Baltimore. Call him at 410-253-8274.
John Davis ("Your Other Life") is based in Baltimore. Contact him by calling 410-241-2767.
Illustrator Gilbert Ford (Essay: "On Demand") is a New-York based illustrator. He can be reached at 347-452-4098 or through his Web site,
New York-based freelance writer Virginia Hughes, A&S '06 (MA) ("The Department of Second Chances") was the magazine's Corbin Gwaltney Fellow. She be reached via email at, or visit her blog at
Will Kirk '99 (Wholly Hopkins: "Vignette" and "Richard Macksey's 70,000-book Library") is a photographer for Homewood Photographic Services. E-mail him at
Photographer Sam Kittner ("The Big Question") is based in Takoma Park, Maryland. Visit his Web site,
Photographer Keith Weller ("The Department of Second Chances") is based in Columbia, Maryland. He can be reached via e-mail at:

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