- The uncut video of Chris Meledandri '81 and Prof. Donald Pease's conversation
- The Theodore Geisel '25 and the creation of How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Listen in to hear holiday traditions from featured alumni 'round the girdled earth that you can incorporate into your own celebrations. And enjoy a conversation with Donald Pease, Professor of English at Dartmouth, and filmmaker Chris Meledandri ’81 about his recent film adaptation of the Dr. Seuss classic, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. End the year filled with shared stories of optimism and hope, joy, and laughter.
We want to hear your traditions! Share your holiday tradition, photo, and story with us on social media. Use #dartmouthalumni.
Celebrate with these Dr. Seuss themed recipes:
Chris Meledandri ’81
Chris is CEO of Illumination, the film and animation studio that brought us Despicable Me, The Secret Life of Pets franchises, and the film adaptations of Dr. Seuss’ books, The Lorax and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, among other blockbusters. Before founding Illumination in 2007, he was president of 20th Century Fox Animation and BlueSky Studios. His honors include the 2016 Venice Film Festival’s Biennale Award, two Academy Award nominations, and The Hollywood Reporter’s 2016 Animation Producer of the Year.
Kaya Thomas ’17
Kaya is an iOS developer, writer, public speaker, and senior software Engineer at Calm. In August 2014, while still studying at Dartmouth, she launched We Read Too, a popular resource app showcasing books for kids and teens written by Black, Latinx, Asian and Indigenous authors about people of color. In 2016, Glamour magazine named Kaya one of the “Top Ten College Women” of that year, and since then she’s been widely and favorably profiled in many other national media outlets. Kaya is a volunteer mentor with Black Girls Code, and a Made with Code role model.
Rebecca Leffler ’04
Rebecca is an author and journalist based in Paris. Rebecca moved to France after receiving a Reynold’s Grant from Dartmouth in 2004. She has published 4 books focused on healthy lifestyle and cooking. Her story inspired the main character of Darren Star’s #1 Netflix series ‘Emily in Paris’ for which she was a Creative Consultant. Rebecca is the former France Correspondent of The Hollywood Reporter, film critic on the Canal+ network’s hit show ‘Le Grand Journal’ and film correspondent on France 24. She is currently Editorial Lead, Brand Content at Publicis Luxe and also works with the Marché du Film (Cannes Film Festival), and Canneseries TV festival.
Hikaru Yamagishi ’12
Hikaru is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at Yale University, where she earned a master’s degree in East Asian studies in 2016. Her research in comparative political economy examines political party organization and its role in the flow of money in politics. Her geographic specialty is in Japan. Before entering Yale, she worked in finance on an interest rates sales and trading desk covering global central banks and Japanese institutional investors at Nomura Securities in New York City.
Aaluk Edwardson ’12
Aaluk is an Iñupiaq/Norwegian artist who graduated from Dartmouth College in 2012, and since then she has devoted herself to empowering students and supporting community resilience. She founded the organization Bright Shores, which develops and facilitates projects that provide space for people to creatively explore indigenous history, perspectives, practices, and ideas in an effort to promote healthy expression and wellness. Her experience as a writer and a teacher has led her to contribute as a writer for the hit PBS Kids show Molly of Denali, about the daily adventures of 10-year-old Alaska native Molly Mabray.
Isabelle Strong ’19
Born and raised in Stowe, Isabelle’s Vermont roots go back many generations. While at Dartmouth, Isabelle spent two years conducting an acoustic socio-phonetic study in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, looking at dialect changes and their social implications in those rural communities. After graduation, Isabelle began working at the Dartmouth Alumni Relations Office with the Admissions Ambassador Program. In this position, she enjoys the opportunity to connect with other alumni and share the infectious Dartmouth spirit with prospective students.
Ashley Manning '17
Ashley works as a digital business analyst at McKinsey & Company. She’s also worked with Thayer School of Engineering developing and managing the Senior Design Challenge, an experiential, design thinking course for seniors at Dartmouth. Originally from Lima, Peru, Ashley has worked with Dartmouth and Tuck on multiple occasions on experiential learning projects in Peru and beyond. Most recently, she worked with a team of five second-year Tuck students on Tuck’s OnSite global consulting project with the Peruvian Ministry of Education. At Dartmouth, Ashley was a geography major and Latin American Studies minor.
Arvind Suresh '19 MED '23
Arvind is an M.D. candidate at the Geisel School of Medicine. As an undergraduate and Stamps Scholar, he studied biology and computer science while examining holistic and integrative approaches to medicine. He also directed Dartmouth's annual TEDx conference in 2018 and 2019, bringing the Upper Valley community and learners of all ages together to showcase how bold ideas can drive positive change and innovation. As a current Schweitzer fellow with the Dartmouth Center for Social Impact, he is working to address food insecurity in regions of rural Vermont.