Anna Chlumsky, AB’02. (Sam Aronov/iStockphoto)
Highlights from the latest alumni news columns. Log into the Alumni & Friends Web Community using your CNetID and password to browse all alumni news by class year.

Emmy Brookheimer

Anna Chlumsky, AB’02, has been nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on HBO’s Veep, set in the office of a fictional US vice president (Julia Louis-Dreyfus). Chlumsky plays Amy Brookheimer, the vice president’s Machiavellian chief of staff. “She does see the world’s population as those who can and those who cannot, and those who cannot are just not worth her time,” Chlumsky told Backstage. Chlumsky starred at age 10 in the 1991 movie My Girl before taking a hiatus from acting to earn her AB in international studies. The Emmy Awards air September 22.  

Dallas dean

Joshua Parens, AM’88, PhD’92, became dean of the University of Dallas’s Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts in June. Parens, a scholar of medieval Jewish and Islamic philosophy, has taught at the university for 16 years and previously directed its philosophy graduate program. The University of Chicago Press published his book Maimonides and Spinoza: Their Conflicting Views of Human Nature in 2012.  

Data-driven fashion

Liz Kammel, MBA’13, and her company ZipFit Denim were featured in a July 26 Chicago Sun-Times article for her algorithm that matches men with jeans that flatter. Kammel developed the algorithm as a student in Chicago Booth’s weekend program. ZipFit’s team includes Alex Batdorf, AB’12, and Katie Easterly, MBA’12. The flagship store in downtown Chicago—where customers enter their measurements and fit preference into an iPad before getting pants from the “Jeanous” bar—opened last October. Kammel also is a contributor to, where she has written about her experiences studying at Booth and starting ZipFit.  

New Lord Chief in town

In July Sir John Thomas, JD’70, was named the new Lord Chief Justice, the head of the judiciary of England and Wales. Thomas, who was knighted in 1996 when he rose to Britain’s High Court, read law at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He was involved in Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s 2011 asylum case and the 2012 case to extradite radical cleric Abu Hamza from the UK.  

Trust him, he’s an (honorary) doctor

This May Ray Suarez, AM’93, received an honorary degree from the Chicago Theological Seminary. Suarez is a senior correspondent for the PBS NewsHour and the host of Public Radio International’s America Abroad. He previously hosted NPR’s Talk of the Nation, and in 2002 Suarez received the Alumni Association’s Professional Achievement Award. His Latino Americans: The 500-Year Legacy That Shaped a Nation (Celebra), a history of Latino migration, will be published in September.  

Journalistic justice

Brendan Kiley, AM’03, has received the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ 2013 Champion of Justice Award. Kiley writes for the Stranger, a Seattle alternative weekly, covering sentencing disparities, drug distribution, and grand jury resisters. The award recognizes work—legislative, judicial, journalistic, or humanitarian—that “has staunchly preserved or defended the constitutional rights of Washington residents and endeavored to ensure justice and due process for those accused of crime.” The association praised the way Kiley’s grand jury resister stories humanize those “caught in the dragnet,” and called his prose “replete with humanity, eloquence, and—despite the grimness of the issue—even humor.”  

Hyde Park homecoming

Ben Paterson, AB’04, is scheduled to play at this fall’s Hyde Park Jazz Festival. Over the course of a decade on the Chicago jazz scene, dating back to his undergraduate days, Paterson played in almost every major Chicago venue and festival before a recent move to New York. He was the first-call pianist for the late tenor saxophonist Von Freeman, who spent the entirety of his renowned career in Chicago. Paterson’s most recent album, Blues for Oscar, is a tribute to pianist Oscar Peterson. On September 28, Paterson will perform on organ at the West Stage on the Midway with his quintet of guitar, drums, trumpet, and sax.