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For these alumni, beauty inspires what they do and how they live

periodiCALS, Vol. 9, Issue 1, 2019

Tony Craddock Jr. ’10

Tony Craddock Jr playing saxophone
Tony Craddock Jr. Photo by Hector Emanuel

Atmospheric Sciences Major
Saxophonist and recording artist at Cold Front Music

“Music and weather are canvases of natural beauty—one invisible, the other mostly visible. My love for them both began in my childhood, tuning into the Weather Channel’s smooth jazz, which led me to study atmospheric sciences in CALS. Now I uplift listeners with songs on the saxophone by using titles, sounds and accompanying lyrics that connect the messages of the songs with the emotions people experience through the weather. Whether it’s the radiance of a sunrise or the invisible force of wind, I hope my music paints pictures that help listeners feel the inspirational messages I created especially for them.”

Summer Rayne Oakes ’04

Summer Rayne Oakes
Summer Rayne Oakes. Photo by Joey L.

Natural Resources Major
Author and founder of Homestead Brooklyn, an initiative to help people become more attuned to nature in New York City

“Ever since I was a young girl, I found beauty in that which often goes unnoticed—from the tattered remains of insect-chewed leaves to the thin filaments of mycelium festooned beneath the forest floor. As an environmental communicator, I find it’s a joy to be able to take these often-overlooked elements of nature and rekindle people’s love for the outdoors. Sometimes this starts off with something as humble as a houseplant. But once someone is hooked, it’s easy to begin to share the beauty in all of Earth’s creations.”

Steve Lefton ’94

Steve Lefton
Steve Lefton. Photo by Hector Emanuel.

Landscape Architecture Major
President and CEO of Kimley-Horn, a planning, engineering and design consulting firm with projects worldwide

“As a landscape architect, I have always drawn my inspiration from the human condition. We create places for people, whether it’s a park, plaza, resort or downtown master plan. When you see a child’s exuberance as she explores a park or watch a young couple holding hands as they stroll down a streetscape you designed—to me, those human emotions, elicited by the place they are in, are beautiful. That is the reward of being a landscape architect!”


Sarah Bellos ’04

Sarah Bellos
Sarah Bellos. Photo by Alysse Gafkjen.

Natural Resources Major
CEO and founder of Stony Creek Colors, a Tennessee-based company offering naturally dyed clothing

“The concept of beauty can be superficial and fleeting in the fashion world. I am inspired by conscious designers and consumers who look at beauty through the lens of an entire supply chain, rather than just through the merchandising or selling of a garment. What is or is not left behind in the parts to creating the sum too often are the invisible parts of fashion: a pair of jeans whose dye helped sequester carbon and nutrients in the soil where it was grown, a T-shirt made from responsibly farmed cotton where beneficial insects can thrive, a waterway not polluted due to responsible dyeing of a garment. The beauty that inspires me lies in the integrity of the garment and the intentions of the maker and the wearer.”

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