What is CWM

This newsletter originally began as a companion to my new book on persuasion. That purpose changed on June 1, 2022, when I lost my eighteen-year old son in a bicycle accident. Since then, it is my personal journal on the road I must now follow. I will write as long as there is something meaningful (I hope) to say and will stop on the anniversary of Enzo's death. You are welcome to travel this road with me.

About me

I am a researcher, author, and coach. I am also a Senior Research Fellow and Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland. Additionally, I serve on the Advisory Board for the Georgetown SCS Master’s Degree Program. Prior to writing full time, I was the Executive Director of World 50 Labs, the member-innovation team at World 50, Inc. Before World 50, I was a Principal in Ernst & Young’s Advisory Practice and, earlier, a Managing Director at Accenture.

About my son

Enzo Marcel Alvarenga was born on October 11, 2003, at Sibley Hospital in Washington, DC.

Enzo spent his whole life in Bethesda, MD and was educated at Lycée Rochambeau before enrolling at the Merrill School of Journalism at the University of Maryland, where he majored in Sports Journalism, planning to follow his dream to cover the world of sports.

He grew from a sweet and shy boy into a sensitive, thoughtful, and creative young man. Those of us who knew him were made better by his kindness, his calming demeanor, and his dry sense of humor. He was driven by his family’s diverse heritage, his Catholic faith, his passion for music, his love of sports, and his unique ability to empathize with the world around him, especially those less fortunate than him.

Above all, he was a responsible and dedicated older brother to Dino, over whom he would have watched and cared for the rest of his life.

He was a young poet of noble soul, excellent character and shining promise. He will be loved and missed by all who knew him.

About the title

The title of this newsletter is a reference to Conversations with Myself by the great jazz pianist Bill Evans. It is he who inspired me to learn the piano and whose music I play every day. On the album, Evans recorded three piano parts via overdubbing, which results in three distinctive "sides" or "personalities" playing together. Though complex and sometimes hard to access at first listen, I consider it to be his finest work.

About the images

All essay images are from Unsplash and are used with permission.


The posts about my son’s death are difficult to write. They would not be possible without the love and support of my wife Dima Hammoud, M.D. and the editing of my former teacher, and now friend, James A. Arieti, PhD. Jim’s learned and sensitive critiques improve everything I have written on this site.

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A writer's personal meditations on life, fatherhood, and loss


Carlos Alvarenga

Carlos Alvarenga is an author, researcher and coach. He is also a Senior Research Fellow and Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland. His new book, The Rules of Persuasion, will be available in early 2023.