|Bay Window : With Eyes Open: Biographies
Ray Suarez, Host of With Eyes Open
Ray Suarez is an award-winning journalist with 20 years experience in the news industry. Presently he is senior correspondent for the PBS program The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, interviewing newsmakers, leading studio discussions, conducting field reports and serving as backup anchor. Prior to joining The NewsHour in 1999, Suarez hosted National Public Radio's call-in news program Talk of the Nation.
Suarez has worked across the country and internationally. He spent seven years at the NBC affiliate WMAQ-TV in Chicago. He also was a Los Angeles correspondent for CNN, a producer for the ABC Radio Network in New York, a reporter for CBS Radio in Rome, and a reporter for various American and British news services in London. Additionally, Suarez has authored essays and criticisms published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune and The Baltimore Sun.
Suarez's coverage of local, national and international stories have won him honors, including: the Alfred I. DuPont Columbia Silver Baton Award with NPR in 1993-1994 and 1994-1995 for on-site coverage of the first all-race elections in South Africa and for coverage of the first 100 days of the 104th Congress, respectively. He was also recognized with the 1996 Ruben Salazar Award, Current History Magazine's 1995 Global Awareness Award and a Chicago Emmy Award.
A longtime member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Suarez is also a founding member of the Chicago Association of Hispanic Journalists.
Frank Ostaseski, With Eyes Open Featured Facilitator
Frank Ostaseski is the founder and guiding teacher of the Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco, the first Buddhist hospice in America. The internationally recognized program provides groundbreaking care for the dying, as well as innovative volunteer, residential and educational programs. The goal is to cultivate wisdom and compassion through service to the dying.
Ostaseski has introduced thousands of people in America and Europe to the practices of mindful and compassionate care of the dying. He is a frequent speaker at professional conferences and regularly leads workshops for both caregivers and those facing life-threatening illness.
Ostaseski says his work is inspired by 20 years of Buddhist practice and many years at the bedsides of ailing people. He also draws on his experience as a spiritual teacher-in-residence at the Esalen Institute, a grief counselor and a consultant to numerous medical centers and professional organizations, including the Soros Foundation Project on Death in America.
Robert Thurman, With Eyes Open Featured Guest
Robert Thurman, Ph.D., is a professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University. As a teacher, writer and speaker, Thurman's goal has been to offer the lessons of Tibetan Buddhism throughout the United States and abroad. The New York Times recently said Thurman "is considered the leading American expert on Tibetan Buddhism," and Time named him one of the 25 most influential Americans in 1997.
Thurman was the first American to be ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist monk in 1962. After several years of wearing monastic robes, Thurman felt he could be most effective educating Americans about Buddhism as a professor. He is credited with being at the forefront of making Tibetan art accessible and understandable in the West and was co-curator of several important traveling exhibitions. Additionally, Thurman is co-founder and President of Tibet House New York, a cultural organization dedicated to preserving the endangered civilization of Tibet.
The author and translator of numerous books, including the Tibetan Book of the Dead, Thurman has spoken before audiences ranging from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to viewers of Larry King Live, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America and The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. In his appearances, Thurman challenges people to apply the precepts of Buddhism to their daily lives, to look at death with eyes open so they can learn how to better live.
Rabbi David Wolpe, With Eyes Open Featured Guest
Rabbi David Wolpe is a teacher, an author, and, as senior rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, a spiritual leader. As a young man he studied to become a lawyer and called himself an "ardent, thoroughgoing atheist." But this son of a rabbi discovered "that faith might be more rich and complex than [he] had assumed, and God more immediate and possible." Since becoming a rabbi himself, Wolpe has been a scholar-in-residence and speaker at over 300 synagogues, churches, universities and other institutes.
Rabbi Wolpe studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Edinburgh University in Scotland. He holds degrees from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Judaism. He went on to teach at the Jewish Theological Seminary, the University of Judaism in Los Angeles and at Hunter College in New York.
Rabbi Wolpe writes two columns that run in Jewish newspapers throughout the country. His own writings, as well as commentary on his work, have appeared in Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today and The Washington Post. He has made numerous appearances on national television and radio. He was featured in the A&E series Mysteries of the Bible and on an episode of Biography, and has been interviewed by CNN, MSNBC and CBS This Morning.
The author of five books, Wolpe's credits include Making Loss Matter: Creating Meaning in Difficult Times, informed by his personal experience dealing with his wife's diagnosis with cancer and his experience instructing others how ancient Torah writings are relevant to their daily lives.
Peter Calabrese, Vice President of Television Production, KQED San Francisco
An accomplished television professional, Calabrese has held positions as vice president of programming with the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), president of Better Than Most Productions, executive vice president of Madison Square Garden Television Production, and most recently, president of television for Out of the Blue Entertainment. Calabrese holds degrees in political science and education, and is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Directors Guild of America. He is also the creator of three KQED productions, Digital West, Bay Window and Independent View.
Sue Ellen McCann, Executive Producer of With Eyes Open
Sue Ellen McCann has been in television production for 15 years. McCann's previous experience working on national PBS productions includes Frontline documentaries at the Center for Investigative Reporting and most recently on the Digital Divide episode "Fair Play," a documentary that examined the role computers play in widening social gaps throughout our society. McCann has also extended her work into new digital formats including web sites, CD-ROMs and touch screen kiosks. Presently, McCann serves as executive producer for Digital West, Bay Window and This Week in Northern California, all locally produced by KQED
Wendy Hanamura, Series Producer of With Eyes Open
Wendy Hanamura is an award-winning journalist and producer of documentaries, specials and news, most recently for KQED's Bay Window series. Hanamura has been a correspondent/producer based in Tokyo for World Monitor (Discovery Channel), a news reporter for KPIX-TV (CBS affiliate in San Francisco) and a reporter/researcher for Time in New York. Her 1995 documentary, Honor Bound: A Personal Journey, aired nationally on PBS. Hanamura graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University, and has been awarded three Emmy Awards, The Cine Golden Eagle, and Gold and Silver Medals at the Chicago Film Festival.
Lisa Aliferis, Producer of With Eyes Open
For the past decade, Lisa Aliferis has specialized in producing medical reports for television, most recently at Dateline NBC. She also produced health reports for five years at KPIX-TV in San Francisco. As a 1996 Kaiser Family Foundation Media Fellow, Aliferis examined issues related to end-of-life care. She spent months documenting the stories of three families and whose loved ones were hospitalized in an intensive care unit; the families struggled along with doctors in deciding how far to go with aggressive medical treatment. Aliferis is a graduate of Brown University.