Alumni in the World
Maggie Chong - Class of 2006
New York City, New York
Moving to New York City in 2006 to attend New York University proved to be a life-changing experience for Oklahoma native, Maggie Chong. Not sure what to expect, she was excited for the next step in her life and her impending college experience. Studying History, East Asian Studies and Politics, Maggie loved her new school and thrived in the bustling city scene that surrounded her. She loved walking to all of her destinations and the availability of the multitude of restaurants and cuisines outside of her door.
Pursuing her love for fashion, Maggie interned at InStyle.com and WWD during her time in college. She was able to write entertainment stories for the website and attend fashion shows at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Bryant Park with the trade publication.
Taking full advantage of all of the study abroad opportunities provided by NYU, Maggie studied in London during the summer between her freshman and sophomore year of college. Here, she studied modern British literature and politics, and was able to visit Parliament and meet a Minister of Parliament. On the weekends she traveled all around the area, jet-setting to Scotland, Canterbury, Dover and Paris.
Belonging to the College of Arts and Science Honors Program her sophomore year allowed her the opportunity to travel to Ghana, Africa. She visited museums, schools and markets in the capital Accra, climbed through the rainforest in the interior, overlooked the ocean in Cape Coast and toured the haunting Elmina Slave Castle.
As an East Asian Studies major, Maggie chose to study abroad in Shanghai, China during her junior year of college. Due to the difference in culture and living experience, this was one of the most trying but rewarding experiences of her life. While in China, she traveled all around the country to cities like Beijing, Lijiang, Chengdu, Xian and Guilin. She also traveled around the region to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.
Maggie has been lucky enough to also travel to Japan and Turks and Caicos on separate spring break vacations and with her family to Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore and various destinations in Europe.
Maggie still lives in New York City today, close to her alma mater in the West Village. Since she moved to NYC, it didn’t take long for her to realize she wasn’t in Oklahoma anymore. While she loves the New York bagels and pizza by the slice available at any time of day or night, she definitely misses her beloved Oklahoma barbecue and Tex-Mex. She also misses being surrounded by her lifelong Oklahoma friends. Thus, it has been important for her friends to visit her in the Big Apple. Over the years, several of her friends from Bishop McGuinness have visited Maggie in NYC and her door is always open!
Michael Dougherty - Class of '04
San Diego, California
Michael Dougherty is in the United States Marine Corps stationed in San Diego, California. He was recently promoted to Sargent. Michael is currently deployed on the USS Ronald Reagan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The USS Ronald Reagan is a Nimitz class nuclear powered supercarrier in the service of the United States Navy. The ninth ship of her class she in named in honor of former President Ronald Reagan. In March of 2011, Reagan was in the Korean peninsula region for a long-planned exercise off Korea, but was redireded towards Japan to provide support after the massive 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. The ship stationed off Sendai, was used as a floating refueling station for the Japanese military and coast guard helicopters flying relief to the area. Michael was recently promoted to Sargent.On 4 April 2011, Japan's minister of defense,Toshimi Kitazawa, accompanied by US ambassador to Japan John Roos, visited the ship to thank its crew for its assistance as part of Operation Tomodachi. Said Kitazawa, "I have never been more encouraged by and proud of the fact that the United States is our ally."
You can follow Michael and the other members of the crew on the USS Ronald Reagan at https://www.facebook.com/ussronaldreagan this an official website of the Ronald Reagan Strike Group. All information posted by the command public affairs team is approved and releasable to the public.
Tracy Hawkins Farrell - Class of '86
I graduated from McGuinness HS in 1986 and went straight to college at Oklahoma State University. I started as a pre-vet student and meandered into art and music. As a French horn player I did well enough to participate in both the OSU Orchestra and Wind Ensemble for all three years I lived in Stillwater. Music was definitely the highlight of my experience at OSU. My major was Zoology and I was starting toward a minor in either fine arts or music.
In the summer of 1989 I landed a job with a concession company in Alaska. I moved to Denali National Park for the summer. I hiked several times a week and did several back packing trips. I went rafting on the Nenana River and every time I went out into the park I saw wildlife. Over the course of the summer I saw one or many of the following: ptarmigan, arctic hares, grizzly bears, mountain goats, caribou, white wolves and moose. One of the most memorable experiences was watching a herd of caribou run by the tent at close range.
I met my future husband, Kevin Farrell, in Alaska and when the summer was over we agreed to meet back up in San Diego so I could continue my education. San Diego State University was our selection as the cost for in-state students was very affordable. I completed a degree in Biology while getting experience as a field ecologist. I did an internship with a shorebird research biologist and with a vernal pool ecologist. As soon as I graduated in 1992 we moved to Missoula, Montana for about three months. The landscape is beautiful, but the job market in the early 90s for a biologist was abysmal. We hiked, biked and floated the river then moved to Olympia, WA.
I was hired by the United States Department of Agriculture as a microbiology technician. I worked in an animal health lab testing for contagious blood born disease in cattle, horses, sheep, pigs, goats and dogs. I worked for the USDA and for the Washington State Department of Agriculture laboratory for nearly four years. In 1995 I was accepted to graduate school at The Evergreen State College and we started our family. By the time I achieved my Masters Degree in Environmental Studies (1997) my first daughter (of three) was eight months old. The next five years went by fairly quickly. I stayed home with my first daughters and by the time I was pregnant with the last one I had my first job (2002) post graduate degree.
I have been a habitat biologist with a local tribe, a consultant, an environmental coordinator for a small local city (Shelton, WA) and currently work for the State of Washington Department of Ecology in the Water Quality Program. My daughters are 14, 12 and 8 years old. Their names are Caoilinn, Marin and Lindsey. The hobby that I am most passionate about is Dressage. This is a form of English horseback riding that requires hours of practice and training. I don’t expect to achieve my goals in this sport any time soon. Dressage takes decades to become proficient. I am still married to Kevin; we own a house in West Olympia. Kevin also works for the State Department of Ecology as an AmeriCorps program coordinator. He has worked for Ecology for nearly 15 years and also has a degree from The Evergreen State College.
Denise Thiebaut Hureston - Class of '92
After getting married in Santa Clara, California, in March, 2003, Denise Thiebaut Hureston and her husband Louis honeymooned along the coast, staying in Bed & Breakfasts. One day over breakfast, they commented to each other, ‘One day, when we retire, wouldn’t it be great to own a B&B along the coast?’
Little did they know in that moment that their lives would change rapidly within the next few months. Lou, an electrical engineer by training, who owns and runs his own management consulting firm, received word that he was awarded a contract in South Africa. ‘Denise, do you want to move to South Africa?’ he asked. ‘Sure!’ said Denise. Within weeks, Denise and Lou had relocated from Maryland to South Africa.
Time passed and a year flew by quickly. It was time the two of them took a holiday. Based on the advice of their South Africa friends, they visited the beautiful coastal area of South Africa named the Garden Route, along the Indian Ocean.
After touring the region for a few days, Denise and Lou ended their holiday in the town of Wilderness. While window shopping at the realtor’s office, they phoned the agent and asked to see a few places, as they were looking at buying a house for their second year in South Africa.
During that afternoon, the agent took Denise and Lou to several places, but none of them completely caught their interest, until... the last one. They were walked up the steps of Mont Fleur, and began to get the feeling one has when a person knows this house is ‘the one.’ Upon turning to enjoy the view of the ocean from the veranda, they instantly knew this Bed and Breakfast would be their new home!
The Hurestons have been enjoying being the proprietors of the 4-star B&B for nearly five years. Within those years, they have had the sheer pleasure of hosting guests from 50 countries throughout the world, from babies of a few months, to parents, to grandparents over of 80 years, from people travelling on their own, to multi-generational families meeting from all corners of the globe to enjoy the holidays together.
Denise and Lou take pride in the fact that their B&B consistently ranks among the top establishments in Wilderness, and the Garden Route, and is the only one to boast of serving American style pancakes for breakfast! When will you make the trip and order yours for breakfast?
Visit www.montfleur-wilderness.co.za to book your stay!