Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Newsmakers: Joanne Kourepinos Adams ’82

Joanne Kourepinos Adams ’82Joanne Kourepinos Adams ’82 was honored as 2010 Citizen of the Year in her hometown of Garden City, N.Y., last April. The Garden City Chamber of Commerce presented Adams with the award in recognition of her volunteerism and service to the Long Island community. Adams is president of the Garden City Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Inc., past president and board member of the Garden City Historical Society, director of the Property Owners Association of the Garden City Estates, Inc., a board member of the St. Mary’s and St. Paul’s Development Fund, and a member of the Garden City Belmont Festival planning committee.

In her professional life, Adams is community relations director for the New York Racing Association, Inc. She majored in government at Wheaton, where she also discovered the power of leadership. “I learned about the importance of effecting change through grassroots efforts in Professor Jay Goodman’s ‘Government 101’ course,” she said, and “Professor Sarah Weddington’s leadership course had a huge impact on my life, as she set an example about the importance of women in leadership positions.”

Newsmaker: Tracy Abrams Rosen ’92

On September 11, the Hallmark Channel will premiere Fairfield Road, which was written by screenwriter Tracy Abrams Rosen ’92. She counts it as one of her proudest accomplishments. The movie stars Jesse Metcalfe from “Desperate Housewives.” He plays the Fairfield Road main character, Noah McManus, a political strategist whose life comes crashing down when he loses his job and discovers his girlfriend has been cheating on him. Prior to this movie, Rosen wrote Daniel’s Daughter, which aired on the Hallmark Channel in 2008.

Tracy Abrams Rosen ’92At Wheaton, the political science major treasured the challenges that pushed her out of her comfort zone and prepared her for a fast-paced career, which has included writing for the television show “Felicity.” After graduation her first job was as an intern for a Sunday morning show at an ABC affiliate. She then worked on the assignment desk, which she says was like “working in an emergency room on Halloween. Every moment was a heart attack.... It was simultaneously nauseating and exhilarating. But I was a poli sci major and loved the intensity.”

She eventually moved to Los Angeles, where she was an assistant on “Felicity.” “I wrote a spec script for the producers to read the week we first aired. They gave me an episode to write. Then I co-wrote another one with my brother [writer/director/producer J.J. Abrams]. Then I wrote for E! Entertainment and a bit for MTV. I also wrote a pilot, which was turned into Fairfield Road.” The movie takes place in a fictitious town on Cape Cod, for which the screenwriter has a fondness. While attending Wheaton, Rosen and Kimberly Emrick ’92 would drive to the Cape on random weekends just for fun and a fancy, nondining-hall dinner.

Rosen comes from a talented show business family that includes her brother J.J. Abrams (co-creator of “Felicity,” “Alias,” “Lost” and “Fringe”), and parents Peabody award winner Carol Abrams and Gerald Abrams, who produced Fairfield Road. Ironically, she points out, that being a class notes secretary for the Quarterly helped lead her to writing movie scripts. Her brother read her writing in the magazine and encouraged her to write long form pieces. “So it was basically through Wheaton that I felt like what I was writing was good enough and further gave me the chance to write for a bigger audience. Wheaties were my first audience, I guess. Funny.”

Newsmakers: Stacey Linnartz ’95

Stacey Linnartz '95Since graduating from Wheaton in 1995, Stacey Linnartz has immersed herself in the New York theatre scene, building a career as an actor, acting coach and budding playwright. While her first love is live theatre, Linnartz also enjoys working in television. Last winter, she appeared in a co-star spot on Gossip Girl, the hit teen drama on the CW network. “I played—of all things—a reporter for a gossip magazine,” she says. “Before that, I played a book author on ‘As the World Turns,’ and I also did a guest spot on ‘Rescue Me.’” In 2008 Linnartz received an M.F.A. in acting from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She later played the role of Stella in Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire in summer stock at the New Harmony Theatre in New Harmony, Ind. This summer, she is appearing in Wendy Beckett’s Off-Broadway play, Modotti, “a beautiful piece about the convergence of politics and art in early-20th-century Mexico.”

Stacey Linnartz '95Linnartz is also refining her own play, Nothing Like Here, in a production at Studio Tisch. “As a theatre/dramatic literature major at Wheaton,” she says, “I had the opportunity not only to act, but to flex my muscles as a director and storyteller.” Encouraged by Professor of Theatre David Fox, Linnartz directed two Wheaton productions in her senior year. “I am so grateful for my liberal arts education,” she says. “My exposure to many disciplines has enriched my life as an artist. My time at Wheaton taught me always to be curious and ask questions, and this sensibility has been the cornerstone of my artistic and professional pursuits.”