online edition

The Student Newspaper of Hopkins School

    • CJ Chiu

    • Linda Isaacs

    • Ashley Sjolund

    • Mariana Torrens Arias

    • Sanil Patel

    • Lely Evans

Welcome to The Hill!

The Razor welcomes new faculty and staff to Hopkins. Here are some personal introductions and tidbits. Be sure to give them a warm welcome!
CJ Chiu:
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Stratford, CT, went to school in Schenectady, NY and taught in New York, Delaware, Chicago, Wisconsin, and Arizona before moving back to CT last summer.
What is your academic background?
I went to Bunnell High School, Union College for undergrad and Concordia University for grad school.
What are you teaching/coaching/advising this year?
I will be teaching Math 25 and Math 40, coaching the Mathcounts team and advising a group of 9th graders.
What was your favorite experience as a student?
When I was in college, I got to meet Benoit Mandelbrot at a math conference. He was considered the father of fractal geometry.
What particular tidbit should we know about you?
I’ve been lucky enough to travel extensively the past few summers. When we were in the Vatican City, we happened to come out into St. Peter’s Square in time to hear the Pope give his weekly address.
Who or what has inspired you most in life, and why?
Traveling has inspired me the most - to get to experience different cultures and meet people in different countries has been eye-opening and humbling.

Linda Isaacs:
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the Beaver Hills section of New Haven.
What is your academic background?
I attended Foote School, St. Mary’s High School, Connecticut College and Southern Connecticut State University.
What are you teaching/coaching/advising/ etc. this year?
This year I will be teaching two sections of Spanish 1.
Do you have a pet?
I am a huge supporter of rescuing animals. I have three rescue dogs. I have a German Shepherd mix named Greta, a Labrador mix named Tula and a Chihuahua named Rocky.
What was your favorite experience as a student?
My favorite experience as a student was participating in foreign language poetry recitation contests and I am so glad to know that Hopkins students participate in them too. I also enjoyed serving on student council.
What particular tidbit we should know about you?
My 15 minutes of fame has to be when I was in high school and my twin sister and I were chosen to be on the cover of three books about twin sisters and their adventures.

Sanil Patel:
Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Milford, CT.
What is your academic background?
My academic background is in the classics, biology, and education. I focused on Higher Education while obtaining my Masters Degree.
What are you teaching/coaching/advising/etc. this year?
This year, I will be working in the college counseling office and advising.
What particular tidbit we should know about you?
I am a serious foodie and love to cook. Living in New York City, I find myself always searching for the newest, trendiest restaurant. When I am not exploring, I am in the kitchen trying new recipes!
Are you a sports fan? Sport? Team? Participant in?
Yes! Sports consumes much of my life outside of work. I am a die-hard Yankees fan and find myself going to games quite often. In my spare time, I love to golf and bike.
Tell us about a book, film, television program, performance, etc. that has impacted you and why?
Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss is a door-stopper that I read a few years back. It looks at successful leaders in technology, business, health, and sports, and sheds insight into their lives and habits. I find it interesting to look at the habits of those who are successful and happy. One of the most recited habits? Make your bed in the morning. If only I would have known this when I was 10...

Mariana Torrens Arias:
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina and moved to the U.S. in 2003.
What is your academic background?
After teaching Spanish for four years in Maine and Massachusetts, I was admitted to the Communications program at the University of Texas at Austin and moved there to study. My focus was on cross-cultural communication, cultural translation and marketing for cultural institutions. Upon graduation, I applied these skills at the Blanton Museum of Art, the Thinkery (Austin’s children’s museum) and in International Development at Yale University.
What are you teaching/coaching/advising/etc.
this year?
At Hopkins I will be offering academic support and teaching Spanish 2 and 3 Accelerated, and Spanish 3.
What was your favorite experience as a student?
I loved living in Austin and having first-hand experience of the history and perspectives near the border with Mexico. My favorite experience about being a student there, other than the weather in February, was taking classes that challenged me to look at things from a perspective other than my own. It felt like yoga for the brain!
Ashley Sjolund:
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Hamden, CT and attended Hamden High School. I spend many hours throughout my childhood swimming for Chuck Elrick and the Hopkins Mariners. While I did not attend Hopkins as a student, I somehow feel that joining the faculty at Hopkins and coaching the swim team is bringing me full circle.
What is your academic background?
I attended Villanova University and earned a B.S. in Biology in 2008. While at Villanova, I worked in a research lab and completed a senior thesis studying the dysregulation of prolactin signaling in breast cancer. This experience led me to complete a Ph.D. in Genetics at Yale University. I studied a DNA repair protein that is mutated in a small percentage of the population and found that expression of this variant led to a cancerous phenotype in human cells and altered the effectiveness of treatment. After completing my doctorate, I taught biology at Greens Farms Academy in Westport and served as an advisor and the Assistant Director of Independent Research through
June 2019.
What are you teaching/coaching/advising/etc. this year?
I will be teaching freshman and AP Biology, and serving as the Assistant Coach for swimming, and coaching Science Olympiad. I am also excited to serve as a freshman advisor!
Do you have a pet? Tell us about it!
My husband and I rescued a little white Maltipoo from Korea in June. His name is Oscar. He loves a belly rub and will chase birds and squirrels all day if he could. He has freakishly long legs, can jump really high, and has the cutest fluffy tail. I hope Oscar is able to visit Hopkins one day, as I think petting and playing with a dog is a great way for students to de-stress.
Are you a sports fan? Sport? Team? Participant in?
I am a huge Villanova Basketball fan! You will see me around campus with my Villanova Nalgene, Villanova workout bag and Villanova car decal. I try to attend at least two home games a year with my college friends and love to trash talk other Big East teams. I also get extremely excited if I find out that a student is applying to college at Villanova and I am always happy to share a little about my experience as a student there. Come chat!

Lely Evans:
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Taiwan but grew up in California.
What is your academic background? 
I got my BA in violin performance and continued with 19th century performance practice in grad school, which was in Australia. I studied teaching Mandarin as a second language later on as a way to reconnect with my roots.
What are you teaching/coaching/ad-
vising/etc. this year?
I will be teaching Junior School Chinese.
What particular tidbit we should know about you?
I love to create things (food, clothing, metal work...). My junior year abroad in Vienna was an eye opener. I learned German and many other things in life.
Do you have a pet?
We have a cavachon named Brie.
Editor in Chief 
Julia Kosinski

Managing Editor 
Teddy Glover 

Anushree Vashist
Anjali Subramanian
Aanya Panyadahundi
Melody Cui
Sophie Sonnenfeld
Emmett Dowd
Vivian Wang
Evangeline Doolittle
Zach Williamson
Craigin Maloney
Matthew Breier
Anand Choudhary

Abby Regan
Riley Foushee
Sophia Neilson

Maeve Stauff
Kallie Schmeisser
Tanner Lee
Sophia Zhao
Juan Lopez

Emmett Dowd
Jon Schoelkopf

Nick Hughes

Business Manager
Sophia Cerroni
Luca Vujovic

Faculty Advisers
Jenny Nicolelli
Elizabeth Gleason
Sorrel Westbrook-Wilson 
The Razor's Edge reflects the opinion of 4/5 of the editorial board and will not be signed. The Razor welcomes letters to the editor but reserves the right to decide which letters to publish, and to edit letters for space reasons. Unsigned letters will not be published, but names may be withheld on request. Letters are subject to the same libel laws as articles. The views expressed in letters are not necessarily those of the editorial board.
The Razor,
 an open forum publication, is published monthly during the school year by students of: 
Hopkins School
986 Forest Road
New Haven, CT 06515

Phone: 203.397.1001 x271