Applause! Applause!

Ross faculty, staff, and students achieve many accomplishments throughout the year both on and off campus. This month, we’re recognizing students Carley Wootton, Julian Alvarez, Andrew Davis, Graylen Gatewood, Aiyana Jaffe, Lea Winkler, and Geige Silver. We’re also showcasing the successes of alumni Larissa Gaias, Grant Curatola, and Zoe Saunders, as well as yoga teacher Susan Verde. Please send your submissions to

Carley Wootton Seventh grader Carley Wootton was chosen out of hundreds of applicants around the country to attend the Presidential Inaugural Conference in Washington, D.C., this year. In addition to watching the formal inauguration of the President and Vice President live and listening to renowned speakers talk about leadership and anti-bullying efforts, Carley also entered a contest to win a chance to perform introductions during the conference. She had to submit a short video on an issue that affects her generation. Carley’s video about climate change earned her the opportunity to introduce two speakers before an audience of 800 people.

Julian Alvarez Junior Julian Alvarez’s short film, Tempus, will be featured on MSG Varsity’s The Student Director's Cut, which highlights original productions by students. Julian created the film in an Advanced Video Lab course with teacher Kenneth Kilfara this past fall.

20 Under Twenty Seniors Andrew Davis, Graylen Gatewood, Aiyana Jaffe, Lea Winkler, and Geige Silver debuted their artwork at the Neoteric Fine Arts Gallery in Amagansett during an opening reception for the “20 Under Twenty” show, a multimedia exhibit created to introduce the community to young artists who plan to pursue a higher education in fine arts. The show will remain open through April 18.

Larissa Gaias Larissa Gaias, ’07, received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, which funds graduate students from all fields of science to support their research-based training. This three-year fellowship provides $30,000 per year in addition to tuition coverage and international travel stipends. Larissa is a doctoral candidate at Arizona State University in developmental psychology. She is planning to conduct community- and/or school-based research, exploring the interactions between a child's environment and the individual characteristics they bring to the table.

Grant Curatola Grant Curatola, ’07, produced a feature film, Burma, which was shown at this year’s SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas. The film was also featured on and the official web page of the HBO hit series Girls.

Zoe Saunders Zoe Saunders, ’06, who has worked for Ross Institute for the past three years, was accepted to six top universities for graduate school—Oxford, Harvard, Yale, University College London, University of Chicago, and Boston University. In the fall, she will attend Oxford to work toward her Master of Studies in Archaeology.

Susan Verde Ross School yoga instructor and parent Susan Verde recently published a children’s book, The Museum, with award-winning author and illustrator Peter H. Reynolds. Published by Abrams, the book tells the story of a spirited young girl whose imagination soars as she explores some of the greatest works of art on display in a museum. This is Susan’s first book. Learn more at

Want to read more about our talented community? Check out last month's Applause! Applause!