Contributors for the Spring 2012 Issue


Helen Hudson

Helen Hudson, MEd’94, has enjoyed a varied career: high school English teacher, songwriter, recording artist, actress, therapist, speaker and author. Her memoir, Kissing Tomatoes, which details the 13 years she and her husband cared for her grandmother with Alzheimer’s disease, was profiled recently in Counseling Today, and she speaks around the country about the importance of caring for the elderly with compassion. Hudson is completing work on her new CD, Whistle in the Dark, which soon will be available on iTunes. She lives in Nashville with her husband and two teenage daughters. Learn more at


Allena Berry

Allena Berry is a senior at Peabody College, majoring in human and organizational development and history. Although the Blair School of Music first attracted her to Vanderbilt, she says, “in the end, Peabody captured my heart.” A native of Racine, Wis., she has been a frequent contributor to the Vanderbilt Hustler and Inside Vandy and is also a VUceptor. Last year she spent a semester as an intern for the Washington, D.C., public school system.


Rob Simbeck

Rob Simbeck’s work has appeared in The Washington Post, Guideposts, Country Weekly, Field & Stream, Free Inquiry and many other publications. He has won three national awards for his work in the Nashville Scene and two international awards for his outdoor writing. Learn more at


Mardy Fones

Mardy Fones has been a writer and editor for more than 35 years and has worked at newspapers, in university public relations, and in publications management for a Fortune 500 company. Currently a freelancer, her clients range from USAA to New York Stock Exchange Magazine. A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, she focuses on people-driven stories reflecting their subjects’ passions and aspirations. When not writing, she works to support adoption of retired racing greyhounds as pets.


Joanne Beckham

Joanne Lamphere Beckham, BA’62, worked as an award-winning editor at Vanderbilt more than 25 years. Since retiring from a full-time career in 2006, she has continued writing for various publications and has taught in an ESL (English as a second language) program. At Vanderbilt she earned her undergraduate degree in English, cum laude, and did graduate work at Peabody College and the Owen Graduate School of Management.

Additional Contributors: Carole Bartoo, Barbara Bauer, Craig Boerner, Jerome Boettcher, Doug Campbell, Jennifer Johnston, Kurt Brobeck, Leslie Hill, Lyle Lankford, Elizabeth Latt, Princine Lewis, Cynthia Floyd Manley, Ann Marie Deer Owens, Jessica Pasley, Jim Patterson, Jerry and Jenny Reves, Kathy Rivers, David Salisbury, Bill Snyder, Cindy Thomsen, Jennifer Wetzel, Kathy Whitney, Sarah Wolf

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