Laura Oster-Aaland (alcohol and its effects, pp. 44-47) is director of orientation and student success at North Dakota State University, and, in a career of many accomplishments, has a stellar recent success, having secured a $783,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to study ways to reduce high risk drinking in college students. She lives in the country with her husband, two sons, four horses and two dogs. She loves riding horses in the grasslands near Kindred, because it reminds her of growing up in western North Dakota. "I am passionate about women's issues, politics, horses, and working with college students," she says.
Gretchen (Greeno) McClain (Getting Edi, pp. 8-11) puts to rest any assumptions one might make about English teachers. She's an energetic type, so even in a traditional lecture, she'd be fun. Plus she teaches interesting electives, like Baseball and the Novel, which of course includes time spent playing catch and attending a professional baseball game, along with reading and writing. Her students even come to her for lessons in their off time, as she also is known to knit, so during study hall or after school, in her room where the wall of Shakespeare is next to bundles of donated yarn, students come to knit. She has lived in Wisconsin for many years, but still misses the prairie.
Christopher Vaughan (The world in a grape, pp. 18-23) has lived in California most of his life. In addition to having a degree in biophysics from the University of California, Berkeley, he is a wine lover. When not sampling wines or sailing, he enjoys writing books and articles about science. In writing his story about winemaker Victor McWilliams, Vaughan was able to combine two out of three of these passions. Combining that background in biophysics with a talent for writing also has served Vaughan well. His book with Professor William Dement, The Promise of Sleep, was a national bestseller and named one of the best books of the year by Publishers Weekly, and he has won prestigious awards for science articles written for the Stanford alumni magazine.