Notable Alumni

Major: Liberal Arts

Major: I was a liberal arts major.  Eventually I majored in literature and political science.

Most memorable Keystone moment:
My English 101 teacher, Jeanne Laurie (who later became Jeanne Laurie Bittner), told me that I had the potential to become a good writer if I was willing to work hard and read a lot. She lent me a book: Precious Bane by Mary Webb.  I think I stayed up all night reading it, and afterward I decided I wanted to become a writer.

What are you doing now?
I am writing screenplays of three of my novels that have been optioned by an independent film maker.  I also plan the program for The Gathering at Keystone College.  I am anxious to get back to work on a novel that I began writing more than a year ago.

Most interesting life experience:
I worked for many years as a news reporter, mostly in Asia, so I’ve had a lot of very interesting experiences.  One of the most exciting, interesting, and terrible times of my life involved coverage of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, and the two years of war that followed and continues today, now with direct American involvement.

I am married to Wayne Harley. Our first date was Keystone Homecoming my freshman year.  We lost track of each other the following year, and got together again about 27 years later.  We live just a few miles from Keystone on top of a hill in a large meadow, with two standard poodles and a cat.

What you hope to be doing in the future?
I’d love to continue writing and publishing novels and perhaps write some more screenplays based on other books I’ve written about Pakistan and India and Afghanistan – the part of the world I know best.

Message to the students of today:
Perhaps the most important thing I learned while living and working in Asia is the importance of keeping an open mind and an open heart.  It’s easy to be complacent about what we know of the world.  It’s difficult to learn if you aren’t open to new information.