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First Visit to Horse Show Nationals? Neigh!

In the Fall 2004 Rensselaer magazine, you’ve made an oversight. Although it’s excellent news that Mariah Hughlock qualified for the IHSA nationals, she was not quite the first Rensselaer student to do so.

My (now) wife, Dr. JoAnn Johnson ’92, qualified and competed in both 1991 and 1992. I don’t really know if she was the first Rensselaer student either, but that was what we were told at the time.

JoAnn now owns Frontier Equine Practice (www.frontierequine.com), was also a biomed major like Mariah, has a doctor of veterinary medicine from Cornell, and an MBA from the New York State University at Buffalo. One of the things that made Jo pick RPI over MIT was that RPI had a riding team and MIT didn’t.

On a personal note, Jo and I just had our first child, Megan Elizabeth (Oct. 28). Thanks for an always interesting magazine!

Keith Gargiulo ’92, PE
West Falls, N.Y.

As a past captain (and treasurer and co-captain) of the RPI Equestrian Team that is funded by the Student Union, I know of several other members who qualified and even placed in the National Horse Show in the early ’90s. JoAnn Johnson ’92, for stock seat open division, and Alison Lorig ’92, for English equitation. The equestrian team during the ’90-’94 span always had a member qualify for Regional Competition, and Zonal Competition, which leads on to Nationals.

Jaclyn Bailey ’95
Torrington, Conn.

Teach the Children
This is in reply to Carol Yeaton Hartman ’84’s letter in the Rensselaer Summer 2004 magazine. I am one of those female RPI engineers (Class of 1950) who, after having children, wanted to use my education to help defray the education costs for four children. There was a shortage of math, science, and industrial arts substitute teachers in our school district. I found that I enjoyed teaching. I got my certification by taking some “ed” courses and applied for a full-time position, and was hired because of my engineering background.

Do not denigrate the teaching profession. You will have many wonderful rewards if you use your technical background to influence and encourage young minds.

I had 22 years of gratifying work, and know that former students remember our classes. I am now retired for 20 years, but remember my teaching years fondly.

Irma Shaler Cohen ’50
Hempstead, N.Y.

Remembering Professor Gould
Coverage of the RPI Players in the Fall 2004 issue is, in my memory, the very first time that they have ever been featured in an article. After all these years! It is about time.

An error: The Players moved from the old playhouse to the 15th Street Lounge in 1950 (not 1966), due to condemnation of the playhouse for occupancy. You are correct, however, that the move to the Lounge presented problems — and a lot more of them than listed. One was lighting, due to inadequate electric service. And on, and on — but we were successful in making the transition without delaying any production.

I am taking liberties with this reply to report some of the accomplishments and honors accorded to Jay Gould that could not be included in the story. They will be of interest to alumni that enjoyed an association with Professor Gould. Most of us in “those days” had him for English.

Jay Reid Gould, professor of English and one of the Players founders, was the recipient of many honors for his efforts and dedication to teaching technical communication as a professional discipline. He established the world’s first master’s program in technical communication and, in the late 1960s, helped establish this country’s first Ph.D. program in communication and rhetoric, both on the hill. He was the founder of the RPI Technical Writer’s Institute, co-wrote two of the early classic textbooks in the field, produced over 50 journal articles, and was founding editor of both the Journal of Technical Communication and a book series.

As one of the founders of the Society for Technical Communication (STC), he was named a fellow of STC in 1965, and later received the STC President’s Award. STC presents the Jay R. Gould Award for Excellence in Teaching annually. A member of the honorary dramatic fraternity Alpha Psi Omega, he was deeply moved when STC established Sigma Tau Chi, the honorary fraternity for technical writers, with him as Member No. 1.

Jay Gould had the memory of two elephants. Our paths did not cross from 1952 until 1989; upon our meeting, without hesitation he knew my name and inquired if I was active in dramatics!

Don’t wait another 75 years for the follow-up Players article, or for one about any of the other organizations that made four years on the hill a broadening life experience.

David Dobson ’52, PE
Chevy Chase, Md.

We’d love to hear from you! To provide space for as many letters as possible, we often must edit them for length. Please address correspondence to: Rensselaer Magazine, Office of Communications, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180, e-mail to alum.mag@rpi.edu, or call (518) 276-6531.

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