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ID: Julia Riseman

Julia Riseman, ID. 

Julia Riseman, ID. KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

Julia Riseman of Northampton says she is committed to helping make the world a better place: In her work and volunteerism she uses her skills and resources to help strengthen communities and enrich the lives of children and women, and to save the environment and promote world peace.

Full name: Julia Lorena Riseman

People know you as: Julia, but one person I know calls me JuliaTabolia from time to time

Date and place of birth: 1966, Cambridge

Address: Northampton, near Childs Park

Job: I’m a consultant to nonprofit organizations with a focus on fundraising and strategic planning and my passion is to help make the world a better place. I also serve as a founding officer of the Friends of Northampton Trails and Greenways and co-founder of Health in Harmony, which supports an innovative environmental health project in Indonesia

Who lives under the same roof as you? Nick Horton, a statistics professor at Smith College, but we have lots of visitors

Children: Alana, 20, and Kinari, 18

Education: Reed College, Portland, Ore., and Simmons School of Management in Boston (the only all-women’s MBA program in the world)

Pets: Since my children have flown the coop for college, my neighbor and I now have five lovely chickens: Opal, Skunk, Chloe, Puddle and Toot, all 6 months old, in the backyard (no eggs yet – but soon, we hope)

Hobbies: Would raising backyard chickens be a hobby, a chore or a delicious diversion?

Book you’d recommend to a friend: “Where the Sidewalk Ends” by Shel Silverstein, but only if you read it out loud to someone younger or much older than yourself. Otherwise I would recommend “A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction” by Christopher Alexander, et al. This book transformed my understanding of our human environment and how we experience it

Favorite movie: “Girl Walk // All Day” is an infectiously upbeat hour-long dance video that I find totally addictive

Five items you can’t live without: Hungry Ghost bread, local summer heirloom tomatoes, good olive oil, fresh garden basil and sea salt. Yum

Last thing you purchased just for fun: Yellow raspberries — they looked so strange to me, like albino berries, or raspberries with too much sunscreen. But they were delicious

What’s at the top of your bucket list? Exploring the great walks of New Zealand

Life-changing experience: The night I learned my father died unexpectedly. I was 18 years old and that night my first boyfriend called me out of the blue for no particular reason. Were the stars aligned? I married him 22 years ago

Strangest job you ever held: One summer I baby-sat for two girls in a house on the Elizabeth Islands off Cape Cod with no electricity, heat or running water. That small house was essentially unchanged since the mid-1800s and served as the inn, general store and post office for people sailing in and out of Boston Harbor. The kids and I had the best time playing “store”

Current Facebook status: I voted with my daughter Kinari in September — her first election since turning 18. “That didn’t take long,” she said (about voting). I thought the same thing (about her growing up)

A little-known fact about you: I don’t perceive myself as short

Dumbest thing you ever did: Getting cooked spaghetti up my nose — don’t ask me how. It was dumb

One trend you’d like to see return: Life before email. It’s depressing how much of my time is just spent reading and replying to email

What really sets you off? Thinking that war or military force is the answer to our problems in the world

If you could spend the day with a celebrity from any time in history, who would it be? I would love to meet Helen Keller together with her tutor, Anne Sullivan. I am very dyslexic and struggled in grade school to learn to read, spell and do math. I felt trapped and stupid. One of the first chapter books I read as a kid was their story and it gave me so much hope and inspiration. I had to learn to work for my personal best

Best advice you ever got: You can’t control how other people choose to react, you can only control how you choose to behave. That was from my Mom

Favorite place to get a bite: My current favorite place is Amanouz Café in Northampton. The food is yummy, healthy, not expensive, and there is something for both the vegans and the meat eaters in my family

Favorite team: The informal pickup summer kick-ball team in Northampton. Bring your own bug spray

What does your ideal weekend look like? A mix of lazy and crazy: Sleep late, a cup of tea, a nice run, puttering in the garden and a visit with a good friend to embark on a local adventure

One thing you would change about yourself: I would be fit and trim. Oh, that’s two things. If I had to pick just one, it would be fit first

What gives you the creeps? Earwigs. Because they look so creepy with those nasty-looking pincer things, and you think they want to crawl into your ear — ick!

People who knew you in high school thought you were: Anyone in high school who wasn’t one of my three closest friends must have thought I was geeky, earnest and poorly dressed. But honestly, I really didn’t care. I think the geeks in high school come out OK in life

Whom do you most admire? Thankfully, the person I admire the most in this world is also the person I spend most of my time with every day — my spouse. So I think that worked out well

Parting shot: We are all born into this world with one promise we must keep: to die. All the time inbetween is a gift, so make good use of life

Editor’s Note - To suggest someone for ID, email Keri-Ann Aubin at kaubin@gazettenet.com.

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