News & Features
Computer language pioneer Grace Hopper '28 is honored with a Google Doodle reports The Christian Science Monitor
Poughkeepsie Journal article on Nelson Mandela quotes Vassar College professors Ismail Rashid and Zacharian Mampilly
A roundup of Vassar and its alumnae/i, faculty members, students, administrators, and staff in the news for November 2013.
Take Matthew Vassar’s 1.4-minute crash course on Western Philosophers and heart your alma mater TODAY!
Head chef Mike Conlin opened the All-Campus Dining Center (ACDC) kitchen at 5:30 Thanksgiving morning, but he wasn’t working for the college. He was heading up more than 40 volunteers from Vassar and throughout the Hudson Valley who, like Conlin, were also foregoing a holiday morning at home so they could help prepare a special free meal for 1,000 people.
In its desire to become more sustainable, Vassar has ramped up its efforts in the past year—and the results have been good. Composting is up to an average of 909 pounds of food waste per day, an increase from 761 pounds per day the year before. Other current initiatives include reducing pesticide use on campus and switching to LED or HID light bulbs.
After losing their first game of the season 53-0, the women’s rugby team roared back with a vengeance , winning all but one of their next 10 games and securing a berth to the Final Four of the American Collegiate Rugby Association tournament in December.
Vassar is now well-represented when it comes to authors who write acclaimed books about baseball. In fact, Lucas Mann ’08 and Professor of English Michael Joyce are both finalists for the 2013 CASEY Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year.
Seth Warner ’14 would have preferred to win, of course, but he ran a clean, well-organized campaign for Dutchess County Legislator against a popular three-term incumbent. He came away with a whopping 45 percent of the vote and a wealth of experience. But don’t count him out just yet—he’s keeping his options open for the future.
Salon.com publishes an excerpt from Michael Kimmel's '72 book Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era
Lucas Mann '08 and Vassar English Professor Michael Joyce are both nominated for the same book award according to Spitball: The Literary Baseball Magazine
Dr. Jeffrey Brenner's '90 work featured in Population Health Management according to the Jefferson School of Public Health
The Chronicle of Philanthropy talks to Simon Greer '90 about the new direction of the Nathan Cummings Foundation
Dylan Molho '13 writes about his organization, Swim Empowerment Rhode Island, in the Providence Journal
Over Fall Break, geography students did field research projects in the Adirondacks and explored the conflict between conservationists and a mining company over 200 acres of “forever wild” land. Find out what the students learned about conservation, politics, and economic growth.
The Theater of War production brought hundreds to Vassar’s Chapel on November 3 to listen to unforgettable testimony on the psychological stresses of war on those who fight. The evening included a dramatic reading of Sophocles’ Ajax and a discussion from a panel composed of veterans and others familiar with the social and psychological issues faced by soldiers returning from war.
More than 675 Hudson Valley neighbors—including 165 alumnae/i—attended lectures and toured campus during the third annual A Day at Vassar. And the beautiful, crisp fall weather did not disappoint.
Art Almquist ’89, a theater teacher from Tucson High Magnet School, was named one of People magazine’s 2013 Teachers of the Year. For the past 17 years, Almquist has led students in a variety of productions—from popular musicals to plays about more serious topics such as AIDS and the Holocaust. He says being in the national spotlight hasn’t changed him … much.
A D3hoops.com All-American fourth-teamer in 2012-13, senior Cydni Matsuoka is one of 100 young players whose jerseys currently hang in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame’s “Ring of Honor.”
Vassar Student Association president Deb Steinberg ’14 studiously avoided the limelight during her pre-college years, but once here, she discovered to her surprise that she actually likes being a leader.
Love and passion, greed and manipulation, treachery and deceit—William Congreve’s timeless Restoration comedy The Way of the World comes to the Martel.
Guest director Kim Weild directs a cast of 20 Vassar students in The Way of the World, William Congreve’s Restoration comedy, with performances Nov. 14 through 16 at the Martel Theater.
A new course in American Studies explores the importance of Indigenous art and its marginalization by the mainstream art world
Molly McGlennen, assistant professor of English, and her students explore the marginalization of Native American artists by museums and art historians in “Decolonizing the Exhibition,” a new course that will culminate in a student-designed exhibition at the Loeb in December.
Above the Clouds, a non-profit organization founded by Gary Oberstein ’86 and Martha Calbick Oberstein ’84, offers one-time small plane flights to children with life-threatening illnesses and disadvantaged backgrounds, and pilot training for underprivileged Boston-area teenagers. More than 100 children have been introduced to the joys of flight. Watch the videos.
A dark comedy about a friendship gone awry, a quirky tale of a college graduate who is forced to move home and work at his younger brother’s lemonade stand, and a documentary on the impact of bullying on teenagers are but a few of the offerings at the ninth annual Vassar FilmFest to be held in Washington, D.C., on October 26. Read the article and watch the previews.
Preserved anatomical specimens. Models of the human body. Nineteenth-century surgical instruments. These are the subjects of Bones, Books & Bell Jars: Photographs of the Mütter Museum Collection, a fascinating exhibit of photography by Andrea Baldeck ’72, a medical doctor and fine art photographer. Through November 14 at the Palmer Gallery.
After working in locations as far away as Australia and Qatar, the newly appointed Dutchess County Commissioner of Public Works, Noel Knille ’79, says she’s thrilled to be back in Poughkeepsie and so close to Vassar. In this Five Questions interview, she talks about her new job, the experience of working in a male-dominated field, and the interesting experiences she has had working around the world.
Both valedictorians of their online high school, Oregon Connections Academy, Strider Kachelein ’17 and Luke Kachelein ’15 adapt to life at Vassar
Part of a growing number of students from non-traditional education backgrounds, Luke Kachelein ’15 and his brother Strider Kachelein ‘17 are currently the only Vassar students to have graduated from an online secondary school, Oregon Connections Academy. The brothers, both valedictorians, received their assignments, conferred with teachers, and handed in all of their work via the Internet.
Recognizing the ever-growing number of Vassar alumnae/i in China, Alessandra “Zan” Schmidt ’12 and Julia Nethero ’12, who work in Beijing, recently hosted the first-ever Vassar in China networking event. Their goals are to bring together alumnae/i from a variety of fields to create a strong Vassar community in Beijing, to raise awareness about Vassar and the liberal arts in China, and to aid the admissions office in recruitment.
With a grant from Projects for Peace, Vassar juniors Emma Redden and Jeffrey From undertook a 10,000-mile journey across the U.S. and asked hundreds of people the same question, “Why is it important to support victims of domestic violence?” The participants wrote their responses on photographs of their faces, which Redden and From then posted on their blog at peacebound.wordpress.com.
While Vassar has offered courses on education since 1898 and a teacher certification program since the 1960s, education as a major is new this fall. Following approval from the New York State Department of Education this summer, the Education Department now offers a concentration in educational studies for students who wish to pursue the study of education from a philosophical, theoretical, cultural, or psychological/cognitive point of view.
One of the outcomes of a Vassar education is the conviction that if you can dream it, you can do it. Three examples from the summer of 2013: film major Cesar Cervantes ’14 created an after-school film program for inner-city teens in Los Angeles; animal rights activist Rockwell Schwartz ’14 helped to rescue 3,000 chickens; and political science major Seth Warner ’14 launched a political campaign.
Author Lucas Mann ’08 offered a reading from his book Class A: Baseball in the Middle of Everywhere to students, faculty, and others, along with a book signing and a conversation with Associate Professor of English Kiese Laymon.
Physician Jeffrey Brenner ’90 has been chosen as a 2013 MacArthur Fellow for 2013. The prize often is called the "genius grant." He was honored for his work addressing the health care needs of the chronically ill in impoverished communities. Brenner is the founder of Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, which emphasizes a comprehensive, “team” approach to preventive and primary care, a model that is being replicated across the country.
Over three days in September, 240 volunteers planted more than 1,100 trees at the Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve, and fought back invasive plant species. The efforts were spearheaded by the Student Conservation Association—including Elizabeth Cushman Titus Putnam ’55, who founded the organization in 1957.
The James W. Palmer III Gallery is offering a display of student art in its Summer Work exhibition.
Sakina Jaffrey ’84 was just happy to audition for a role on the hit Netflix show House of Cards. She was thrilled when she was hired to star alongside Kevin Spacey, who plays a conniving politician. Jaffrey talks about her role as the president’s chief of staff, going to the Emmys, and “the bizarre phenomenon of almost-fame.”
This month, Vassar welcomed 666 members of its newest class—2017. It’s a highly diverse group that includes 79 first-generation students and students from 28 different nations. Turns out, many of Vassar’s incoming freshmen have already accomplished some pretty impressive things. Learn more about the class and view a slideshow of images from Move-In Day!
Time-Out Grant application materials are now available online. Vassar alumnae/i who have reached their 40th birthday by June 30, 2014 and who wish to make a career change or to take time out to pursue a strongly desired endeavor, but lack the financial resources to do so may apply.
If you want to learn more about Time-Out, please visit: http://alums.vassar.edu/connect/career/grants/timeout/index.html
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.
- Trustee Christianna Wood on Institutional Investing (Posted 5/20/2013)
- Rebecca Eaton '69 talks about her new book, Making Masterpiece, in the Wall Street Journal (Posted 10/25/2013)
- Vassar President Catharine Hill is quoted in a New York Times article on college costs (Posted 10/25/2013)
- The New York Times profiles producer Jason Blum '91, the maker of horror hits Paranormal Activity, Sinister and Insidious (Posted 10/25/2013)
- Mark Burstein '84 inaugurated as new Lawrence University president, Poughkeepsie Journal (Posted 10/25/2013)