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Who's Who

While researching his story on the booming college-consultant industry, JEFF BRAZIL couldn't help wondering whether his own children might someday take advantage of such services. "It's the kind of thing everyone could benefit from," says Brazil, who has two sons and two daughters. "Thankfully, we don't have to think too much about it for a while -- we've got to get them through elementary school first." Brazil, 38, got to know Stanford as a cub reporter working for the now-defunct Peninsula Times Tribune of Palo Alto. In 1993 he won a Pulitzer Prize for an investigative series he co-wrote for the Orlando Sentinel exposing corruption and abuses in a sheriff's squad. He joined the Los Angeles Times in 1993 and in 1998 became city editor of its Orange County bureau.


As editor of the Stanford Daily during the height of the anti-war movement, PHIL TAUBMAN, '70, felt pressure from both sides. "The radical students thought we were cowards, somehow allied with the campus administration. The University felt we were unfair, too sympathetic to the radicals." Taubman says the stress of running the newspaper "made me wary" of a career in journalism. But he went on to Time, Esquire and, for the last 20 years, the New York Times, where he ran the Moscow bureau and now coordinates national security and foreign commentary for the editorial page. A University trustee from 1978 to 1982, Taubman came back to campus in September to drop off his son, Michael, for freshman year. He lives in Manhattan with his wife, Felicity Barringer, '72 (a Times reporter), and their younger son, Gregory.


RAY ISLE's stint at Larry McMurtry's bookshop in Washington, D.C., didn't lure him into the rare-book business. It led him, instead, into the wine industry. "There's an allure to specialized, esoteric knowledge that's common to both pursuits," says Isle, 36, who earned degrees at Rice and Boston University before arriving at Stanford in 1993 as a Stegner fellow in creative writing. The first remarkable bottle of wine he ever had was a gift from a socialite whose Jaguar had broken down outside McMurtry's bookstore. "I let her use the phone, and two days later she came rushing in and gave me a bottle of white burgundy." These days, Isle works in New York City for a wine importer but escapes to his home state of Texas whenever possible.


BARBARA RIES was one of a handful of photographers at USA Today when the paper started in 1982. "In those days we were really flying by the seat of our pants," she says of the staff in Arlington, Va. "We covered everything: wars, protests, droughts. We just jumped on a plane and went." Among her memorable assignments: documenting the conflicts in Nicaragua and El Salvador and making a portrait of Jimmy Carter on a fishing trip in Georgia. She left USA Today in 1990 to work as a freelance photojournalist in Washington, D.C. Her work has appeared in Time, Newsweek and Washingtonian. In 1997, Ries, now 41, moved to San Rafael, Calif., with her two sons and husband, John Ritter, a correspondent for USA Today. Her portrait of the Millmans and their college consultant appears in this issue.

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