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Naphalai Chantarasak Areesorn ’74 is editor-in-chief of the upscale Thai lifestyle magazine, Thailand Tatler. She has been involved with the popular and successful monthly since the first issue 21 years ago, when she joined the staff as a consulting editor. She assumed the full-time position of editor-in-chief after leaving Chiva-Som Health Resort, an award-winning spa that she started in 1991 and managed for the next 10 years. In addition, she heads the editorial team of Blue Mango Publishing, publisher of Thailand Tatler, and its many other products.

Naphalai came to the U.S. from Thailand in her early childhood, attended Western for two years, then spent her junior year in Switzerland and returned to the U.S. to graduate from Colorado Women’s College in 1974. As a freshman at Western, she was one of 16 students living on the French corridor in Mary Lyon. Many close friendships were formed there as the small group shared the intensive experience of immersing themselves in all things French and, of course, speaking the language exclusively. They also had a lot of fun together. Good friend and classmate Betsy Salt, who visited Naphalai in December, remembers going ghost hunting in the largely deserted dorm. They didn’t find any ghosts, but enjoyed exploring the attic. Naphalai was not an eager participant, as Thai culture and Buddhist religion instill a fear of ghosts.

Naphalai returned to Thailand in 1974, completed an M.B.A. and spent the next 30 years in the media and hospitality industries, working for Bangkok newspapers and hotels. She is the founder of the Thai Spa Association, was its first president, and continues to act as an adviser. Naphalai and her husband live in Bangkok and have two sons, both in investment banking — one in Bangkok and one in London.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Donna Zimmerman ’04, from Cincinnati, made it perfectly clear as a first-year student in the Western College Program that she had an abundance of imagination. Together with team members, she submitted a proposal for a Natural Systems lab, the purpose of which was “to determine if there is a significant correlation between the lunar cycle and social activities and alcohol intake among Miami University college students living in dorms.” As a second-year, Donna petitioned and was accepted for enrollment in a team-taught pilot course, Rivers: Images, Policy and Science, part of the brand-new major in environmental science. Although they studied the hemisphere’s major rivers, they also took local field trips to Bachelor Wildlife Reserve … and the Western Duck Pond! Appropriately, she worked part-time in the WCAA office that year.



So no one should have been surprised when Donna (who now lives in Brooklyn, NY) made news last year, winning a contest sponsored by Urban Space NY, a special retail market developer, for most creative use of a repurposed shipping container. She and three cohorts (not the former WCPers) founded BBOX, a complete full-service radio station, entirely contained within and broadcasting live from a metal cargo container. Donna told GOOD magazine, “We're hoping to get some remarkable and wide-ranging material from the community. Brooklyn is full of wildly creative, insightful and opinionated folks. We created BBOX Radio to give them a platform."

They did just that. BBOX is today an established freeform community radio station, presenting original programming that includes music, radio journalism, screenings, live performances, exhibits and more. They have broadcast from the Brooklyn Historical Society; been covered by the Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, and others in addition to GOOD; and featured on-air via WNYC’s Culture Desk, NY1, Britain’s BBC Radio 5 Live and Japan’s NHK. So successful that they have outgrown their box, they have relocated to the Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg and plan to move into a brick-and-mortar studio this summer. BBOX is accessible to audiences on-site, and online at  http://www.bboxradio.com/.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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