News & Features


Five Questions for Barbara Scheiber '42

At the age of 92, Barbara Scheiber ’42 published her first novel, We’ll Go to Coney Island. It’s a tale of the courtship between Scheiber’s parents, followed by the dissolution of their marriage. The book is inspired by the author’s childhood, growing up in a Jewish emigrant enclave in New York City.

The Physics Classroom of the Future

Under the auspices of the Undergraduate Research Summer Institute (URSI), Adam Warner ’17 and physics lecturer David Rishell are using animation and other multimedia tools to convert traditional physics experiments into interactive, digital versions.

Building Robots To Study Evolution

Four Vassar students in the Undergraduate Research Summer Institute are participating in a two-year project in evolutionary robotics funded by a major grant from the National Science Foundation. Phase one: building a fleet of robots using a 3D printer.

The Art and the Science of Acoustics

How exactly do sound waves travel, and what happens when they hit an array of 200 diffusers along the way? Physics prof David Bradley and his students are investigating those questions in the college’s Undergraduate Research Summer Institute.

Pitching in at Local Non-Profits

Susie Martinez, Ishan Desai-Geller, and Ariadne Skoufos are part of a team of 11 Vassar students working this summer at Poughkeepsie non-profit social service agencies under the auspices of the college’s Community Fellows program.

One Year Out: Dante Varotsis ’13 Offers a Helping Hand

Dante Varotsis ’13, an aspiring physician and a member of an online community that brings together designers, fabricators, and distributors of 3-D printed prosthetics, is literally offering a hand to those in need.

Amitava Kumar writes about Harry Roseman's photography for the Paris Review

Empowering Artists with WildSpice

Sienna Brown ’13, Alyssa Aparicio ’11, and Indiana Garcia ’11 are giving photographers, writers, and visual artists a platform for artistic expression with their arts magazine, WildSpice. The founders say their focus is on quality over quantity.

The Shojo Manga Craze

Ford scholar Anne Fritzon ’16 studies the social impact of Shojo manga, a wildly popular comic book craze among women in Japan featuring teen girls who use courage and intelligence rather than physical beauty to find love and happiness.

Investigating p53, the Tumor Suppressor

Hundreds of thousands of researchers worldwide are actively engaged in the effort to understand and combat cancer—including three Vassar students who are using some novel approaches to investigate the disease under the supervision of chem prof Kelly Thayer.

Looking Back on the 1960s: Leonard Steinhorn ’77

The CNN series The Sixties will feature Leonard Steinhorn ’77, who will discuss social movements of the era. Topics will include the rise of hippie culture, Vietnam protests, the Kennedy and King assassinations, the Eugene McCarthy presidential campaign, the student movement, the 1968 Democratic National Convention, black power, and the rise of feminism and gay rights.

Homage at Notre-Dame

At age nine, Andrew Tallon fell in love with the Cathedral of Notre-Dame. Its structure inspired a career-long fascination with Gothic architecture. But the newly tenured Vassar associate professor of art never thought he’d find himself mounting an exhibition there.

Full House for Reunion 2014!

Nearly 2,000 alumnae/i, family, and friends participated in Reunion 2014. This year, Vassar hosted members of classes ending in 4s and 9s (as well as 1948). The guests even included two actresses (no, not Meryl Streep). Find out who they are and see loads of photos from Reunion.

Spirit of Vassar Award: Leah Johnson Wilcox '69

Spirit of Vassar Award recipient Leah Johnson Wilcox ’69 began volunteering as a student and hasn’t looked back. A former member of the Alumnae and Alumni of Vassar College (AAVC) Board of Directors, reunion chair, and admission interviewer, Wilcox continues to look for ways to serve her community.

One Year Out: Angela Dumlao '13, Assistant Director of SeaWife

One year out of Vassar, Angela Dumlao '13 was back on campus this summer as a member of the professional staff at the Powerhouse.

President Catharine Hill writes in the Washington Post about increasing socioeconomic diversity at selective colleges

Five Questions with Recipe Developer and Tester Linda Hall ’83

You might not know it, but chances are you’ve seen a recipe by Linda Hall ’83. A Culinary Institute of America graduate, Hall spent a few years working in the kitchens of New York City before starting a 15-year career in the test kitchen of Kraft, where she developed recipes used in millions of American homes.

Reclaiming the legacy of an ecology pioneer

This summer, with the help of two Undergraduate Research Summer Institute fellows, biology professor Margaret Ronsheim is continuing her quest to restore a unique 3.5-acre outdoor laboratory created in the 1920s by biology professor Edith Roberts.

What do we do now?

Their four years in the Vassar Bubble suddenly behind them, members of the class of 2014 are facing The Big Question: “What do we do now?” Some are off to graduate school, but most are testing the job market. Find out what nine newly minted grads have planned.

The New York Times Magazine looks at the work of fashion designer and writer Elizabeth Hawes '25

Olivia Iloetonma '14 talks with the Washington Post about the difficulty of educating Nigeria's girls

Reunion 2014

Nearly 2,000 alumnae/i, friends, and family came to campus June 14 and 15 for Reunion 2014. In addition to seeing old friends and making new ones, alumnae/i had plenty of time to enjoy concerts, dancing, lectures, tours, and the annual parade. It was an all-around fantastic weekend!

“Topping Out” the Bridge Building

Steelworkers recently hoisted the final beam atop Vassar's "bridge" building in a ceremony known as “topping out"—which takes place when a building has reached its maximum height. It's considered an important milestone in construction, one commemorated with quirky traditions. Read more about the origins of the ceremony and find out what Vassar did to honor the occasion.

Documentarians Win at Cannes

Paper State: Undocumented, Unafraid, Undeterred, which began as a senior project, won Best Student Documentary at the Cannes Emerging Filmmaker Showcase. Kudos to director Elena Gaby and crew Martin Couch, Ashlei Hardenburg, and Kelly Nguyen!

Commencement 2014

Thousands of of family and friends visited campus for the 150th Commencement Ceremony, held on May 25.

Vassar Adopts Robust New Career Networking Platform

Vassar’s partnership with Alumnifire, a powerful new career-networking platform, promises to help alumnae/i and students connect more easily.

Aubree Piepmeier ’14 caps her Vassar career with All-America honors

Aubree Piepmeier ‘14 earned All-America honors, posting her fastest time ever in the 5,000 and finishing fifth at the NCAA Division III track championships at Ohio Wesleyan University on May 24 – less than 24 hours before she received her Vassar diploma.

The Providence Journal features the art installation of Matthew Kramer '13

Commencement 2014

Words of wisdom, humor, and reflection took center stage, along with the 625 graduating students, at Vassar’s 150th Commencement Ceremony on Sunday. The impressive Class of 2014 includes 50 students who were elected to Phi Beta Kappa; 22 selected for Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society; and several honored with other prizes including Fulbright assistantships.

Nancy Crampton's Photo Op

Nancy Crampton ’56 started photographing writers in 1971—her first subject was Allen Ginsberg, who was doing a reading in New York. Since that auspicious beginning, Crampton has photographed hundreds of novelists, poets, and other writers as the in-house photographer for 92nd Street Y’s Unterberg Poetry Center.

“…at the edge of the world, doing really cool and interesting things…”

Research that has taken botanist Laura Vary ’04 around the world began at Vassar with her mentor, biology professor Mark Schlessman. Their collaboration on dioecious plants in New Caledonia has just been published in the International Journal of Plant Science.

Q&A with Death Row Defender Madeline Cohen ’92

Federal public defender Madeline Cohen ’92 is the last line of defense for prisoners condemned to death. In recent weeks, she has been a guest on The Rachel Maddow Show and Democracy Now! for her role as attorney for Oklahoma death row inmate Charles Warner, who received a temporary stay of execution following the controversial botched execution of another prisoner, Clayton Lockett, on April 29.

Spring at Notre-Dame

In a program sponsored by Vassar College, Assistant Professor of Art Andrew Tallon will present the exhibition and opening lecture Notre-Dame: Nine Centuries in the Life of a Cathedral on Saturday, May 31 at 6:30 pm at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame of Paris.

Author Receives Time-Out

Martha Elliott ’73 began working on her first novel 15 years ago, but life got in the way. She now has a chance to finish it, thanks to the 2014 Time-Out Grant. The teacher, journalist, and non-fiction author will leave the West Coast and move to her cottage in Maine for the next year to complete her book.

Spring Convocation

Actress Sakina Jaffrey ’84, VSA President Deborah Steinberg ’14, and Professor of English Patricia Wallace brought inspiration and a good dose of humor to Spring Convocation 2014. As seniors begin their final trek toward graduation, Jaffrey reminded them to “address the world directly, address it honestly.”

The New York Times remembers "Cultural Matchmaker" Priscilla Morgan '41

Matthew Vassar’s Crash Course on Western Philosophers

Take Matthew Vassar’s 1.4-minute crash course on Western Philosophers and heart your alma mater TODAY!

URSI robotics project uses autonomous robots to study the process of evolution

Two Vassar students are studying the behavior of some robots this summer in what biology professor John Long calls the “Evolutionary Olympics.” And while the project, conducted as part of Vassar’s Undergraduate Research Summer Institute (URSI), is still in its early stages, Long and his students are demonstrating that robots do have the capacity to evolve.


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