Laura Marcus, Executive Director

Laura Marcus is committed to a vision of education that integrates the active life with the life of the mind. As founding director of the Arete Project, she has worked with her students to create experiential and liberal educational programs that prepare students to be thoughtful stewards of the world around them. Prior to founding the Arete Project, Laura worked at Deep Springs College as a ranger with the National Park Service. Laura has her B.A. from Yale University, her M.Phil from the University of Cambridge, and is a doctoral candidate at Stanford University. In her spare time, she is an avid backpacker, reader, and cook.

Kavita Hardy, Blue Ridge Session Program Director

Kavita Hardy believes deeply in education that builds confidence and capacity through meaningful work and empowered decision-making in addition to intellectual pursuit. Since 2011, she has worked at Arthur Morgan School, where she developed an encompassing academic curriculum and pioneered a model of combining the work of the school with an academically rigorous classroom experience. She is currently the farm manager and co-clerk at AMS. In her free time, she loves looking for mushrooms and wildflowers in the woods, dipping her toes in the South Toe River, and feeding people. Kavita received her B.A. in chemistry and economics from Swarthmore College.

Board of Directors

Amity Wilczek, Chair. Amity is the Dean of Deep Springs College and professor of natural sciences. Working closely with students has been an important and constant emphasis, and prior to Deep Springs, she taught and mentored undergraduates at Brown and Harvard University, where she received her PhD and multiple teaching awards. Her current research explores how plants, both wild and cultivated, tolerate and adapt to diverse climates. As a teacher, she strives to emphasize the dynamic nature of scientific knowledge by incorporating practices that allow students to contribute to the process of building scientific understanding of the natural world.

Joseph Charlet, Vice Chair. Joe hails from the great state of North Carolina. Growing up in Cape Hatteras and finishing high school in Asheville, Joe has benefitted greatly from education that breaks down the silo of “the life of the mind” and integrates intellectual pursuits with physical ones and interaction with the environment. An associate at the law firm Hogan Lovells, Joe focuses his practice on litigation and regulatory counselling regarding environmental, land use, and tribal matters. Outside of his academic and professional life, Joe enjoys hiking, rock climbing, sea chanteys, and, of course, softball.

Amelia Wilson, Treasurer. Amelia Wilson is of Tlingit and Irish descent from the village of Hoonah, Alaska and a member of the Chookaneidi brown bear clan. Amelia serves as Executive Director for Huna Heritage Foundation, a non-profit affiliate of Huna Totem Corporation established to foster and support educational and cultural opportunities. She is a motivated service-to-community oriented professional who enjoys volunteering at the local level as a city council member, vice mayor of Hoonah, member of the Alaska Native Sisterhood, member of the Hoonah Liquor Board, Big Sister through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and a Tlingit dance group member of the Gaawx Xaayi Dancers. On a state level, Amelia was appointed by the governor of Alaska to serve on the Alaska State Historical Records Advisory Board. Amelia is personally and professionally committed to the ongoing development of her cultural knowledge base, passionate about building bridges and believes in the power of unity.

Shubhra Murarka, Secretary, Alumni Representative. Shubhra is drawn to the idea of community as a central component to education. She finds the Arete Project compelling because it intentionally moves beyond the classroom to include care of the land and community as integral to the pursuit of great learning. She attended the Blue Ridge Session in 2016 and has stayed involved with the Arete Project through the Faculty Hiring Committee and the Alumni Advisory Board. After receiving her B.A. from the University of Chicago, she has primarily taught both in the U.S. and abroad. In her spare time, Shubhra enjoys reading, dancing, and theater.

Hank Lentfer. I believe the quickest way to connect with the land is to eat it. Gardening, hunting and fishing transform food from groceries to gifts. Through writing, recording wild voices, and mentoring new arrivals to Alaska, I’m dedicated to helping others sense their connections to each other and the earth. I’ve spent all of my 50+ years here. Along the way, I’ve learned to pound nails, smoke fish, and a suite of other homesteading skills.  I’m eager to share them all.

Standing Committees

Applications CommitteeOutreach and Recruitment Committee
Nicole Cheng Emily Barr Co-Chair
Kavita HardyKavita Hardy
Hanwen Hu Annie Livingston
Huiqin Hu Haitian Ma
Noa Kattler Kupetz Co-ChairJohn Moriarty
Juna Keehn Co-ChairKatie Murphy
Olivia Lawrence-Weilmann Paige Parsons Co-Chair
Laura MarcusMolly Stuart
Margaret Schultz
Faculty Hiring CommitteeFinancial Aid Committee
Zoe FärberEmily Clott
Ruilin Fan Co-ChairSydney Goldman
Leila Faulstich-Hon Chloé Guilbert-Savary, Co-Chair
Amanda Friedman Katrina Lee
Jennifer KellerLaura Marcus
Laura MarcusBelén Rodriguez
Shubhra Murarka Co-ChairTabea Roschka Co-Chair
Anna Stonehocker Neel Sejer Solow