Alumni Updates

Kate Shindle ’99

Kate ShindleKate Shindle is president of Actors’ Equity Association, the labor union representing professional stage actors and stage managers in the United States. She counseled actors at Hamilton behind the scenes as that cast made strides to renegotiate their contract to get some share of the show’s record-breaking earnings. Actors’ Equity negotiates contracts that determine minimum salaries, benefits and work rules, and while several contain language that permits Actors’ Equity members to move with the show and to share in the profits, the Hamilton cast was on one that did not include that rule. Shindle, a former Miss America, says she was a cheerleader for the Hamilton cast. When they successfully negotiated a profit-sharing contract, she felt that their success could reverberate across the industry as a win for actors everywhere. (See “Taking Center Stage,” summer 2000.)

Katrina Adams ’89

Former tennis superstar Katrina Adams was inducted into the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Hall of Fame in May. Adams credits Chicago’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boys & Girls Club for fostering her love for the game. Adams played for 12 years on the Women’s ­Tennis Association tour and is now chairman, president and CEO of the United States Tennis Association, the national governing body of the sport. She is the youngest person, as well as the first African American and first former pro player, to hold the USTA post. (See “In Service,” summer 2015.)

Katrina Adams
Photo by Jennifer Pottheiser

Heather Headley ’97

Heather Headley returned to the Broadway stage for the first time in more than 15 years when she replaced Jennifer Hudson in The Color Purple last May. It is her first ongoing role since her Tony Award–winning performance in Aida. Headley made her Broadway debut as Nala in the original cast of The Lion King. In the years since her last Broadway appearance, Headley recorded several albums, including two R&B records that went gold and a Grammy Award–winning gospel album. She has two sons and lives in Wheaton, Ill., with her husband, Brian Musso ’98. (See “Taking Center Stage,” summer 2000.)

Leah Varjacques ’15

Leah Varjacques returned to Northwestern in April with ­Katherine Nagasawa ’15 to screen their web documentary, Beyond the Seal, a Buffett Institute for Global Studies–supported project. Varjacques and ­Nagasawa traveled to Ecuador to capture the experience of ­banana farmers who are fighting for a fair-trade solution to end exploitative and hazardous working conditions. Varjacques recently joined the Atlantic’s video team. (See “Give Me a Break,” spring 2013.)

Leah Varjacques

Margaret Sullivan ’80 MS

Margaret Sullivan joined the Washington Post as its media columnist in the spring after nearly four years as public editor of the New York Times, where she wrote about journalism at the Times. ­Sullivan joined the Times after serving as the first woman editor and vice president of the ­Buffalo News, her hometown paper, where she had started as a summer intern.  (See “Making Headlines,” spring 2003.

Daniel Ivankovich ’94, ’95 MD, ’02 GFSM

Daniel Ivankovich

Photo by Tom Maday '95 MA

Orthopedic surgeon Daniel Ivankovich and his team at the OnePatient Global Health Initiative perform more than 600 surgeries a year, working with 14 inner-city hospitals in Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods to provide medical care to anyone who needs it, regardless of ability to pay. The American Red Cross honored him with a 2016 Community Impact Award for that work, and CNN named him a Top 10 Hero in late 2015. (See “Bigger than Life,” winter 2011.)

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