News & Features


Community Fellows Make a Difference in Local Nonprofits

Now in its 18th year, the Community Fellows program matches the interests of a select group of Vassar students with the needs of local nonprofit agencies to fill vital needs during the summer months. Meet three of this summer’s Community Fellows.

In the Media – July 2015 Roundup

A roundup of Vassar and its alumnae/i, faculty members, students, administrators, and staff in the news for July 2015.

Vassar Welcomes New Leaders

New individuals have joined the Vassar family following exhaustive searches that began several months ago. Meet Michelle Walsh, who was selected as the Director of Athletics and Physical Education, and Andrew Ashton, who was named the new Director of the Libraries.

Malinda Kathleen Reese ’16: Singing a New Tune

Malinda Kathleen Reese ’16 puts her spin on popular tunes with the help of Google Translate. Reese submits a song’s lyrics into the app, translating them from one language to another—and a few more—before translating them back into English. She then uses her lovely voice to sing the new—and humorous—lyrics. Videos of her performances have received more than one million views on YouTube.

On Campus - August Preview

A preview of the events on the Vassar campus for August 2015

Archaeology in the Catskill Mountains

At the turn of the last century, thousands of acres were impounded to create the Ashokan Reservoir and its surrounding watershed. What happened to the people who lived there? That’s the question Prof. April Beisaw and her students are investigating this summer.

Vassar's New Science Building: Get a Preview

View a photo gallery highlighting the construction of Vassar's new bridge building—a centerpiece of the new Integrated Science Center. Scheduled to open in time for the spring 2016 semester, the bridge building adjoins Olmsted Hall and complements the recent and extensive renovations of Sanders Physics and New England Buildings.

URSI: Hijacking Photosystem 2

Chemistry prof Chris Smart and his Undergraduate Research Summer Institute fellow, biochem major Drew Needleman, are working with Photosystem 2 and carbon nanotubes developed by Smart and his colleague Stuart Belli in an attempt to generate electricity.

Nano Scale Thermodynamics

Associate prof Brian Daly and his three URSI students are using lasers to study the physical properties of tiny wafers, about one-millionth of a centimeter thick, used in microprocessors.

URSI Project Studies Tau Proteins Implicated in Alzheimer’s

In patients with Alzheimer’s, tau proteins cluster abnormally, but researchers don’t know whether these protein tangles cause Alzheimer’s or whether the disease causes the tangles. This URSI project seeks to learn more about how these proteins interact.

One Year Out: Alix Lowe-Server ’14, Legislative Correspondent for Kirsten Gillibrand

As a legislative correspondent for Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Alix Lowe-Server ’14 answers constituents’ inquiries on bills that Gillibrand is sponsoring or cosponsoring and monitors the status of legislation as it moves through the committee system.

New York Magazine interviews MS MR's Lizzy Plapinger '10 and Max Hershenow '10

Linda Fairstein ’69: Writing Crime

Linda Fairstein ’69 talks about her crime novels—the latest, Devil’s Bridge, will be released in August—her career, and her current writing project, which has a Vassar connection. A former New York City prosecutor and head of the Sex Crimes Unit at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Fairstein uses her writing to lead readers through the fictional courtrooms and city streets to uncover its criminal underbelly.

A Weeklong Dig at the Roosevelt Historic Site

Assistant anthropology prof April Beisaw has made an arrangement with the National Park Service whereby Vassar students, working under her supervision, have the opportunity to gain experience in archaeology at the Roosevelt Historic Site in Hyde Park.

The New York Times reviews book of essays by art historian and critic Linda Nochlin '51

The autism research of professor Marguerite O'Haire '08 is featured in the New York Times

Neshama: A Journal for Jewish Studies

Looking for a place to show off the works of Jewish Studies students, Bethan Johnson ’15 had a brainstorm—to create a new department journal. The result is Neshama: The Vassar College Journal of Jewish Studies—a 71-page journal that shares the original work of a dozen students.

Girding for the Invasion of Emerald Ash Borers

The emerald ash borer has already been spotted about 6 miles north of Vassar and is expected to arrive by late July. Biology prof Margaret Ronsheim and her URSI fellow Tim Veit ’16 are deploying predator wasps to try to protect a dozen ash trees on campus.

In the Media – June 2015 Roundup

A roundup of Vassar and its alumnae/i, faculty members, students, administrators, and staff in the news for June 2015.

One Year Out: Kevin Lee ’14, MA Candidate in Environmental Management at Yale

When Kevin Lee graduated with a degree in biology last year, he postponed graduate school for a year and completed three separate internships. Now he’s headed to Yale where he’ll pursue an MA in environmental management.

Meet the New Fulbright Scholars

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, Vassar has been one of the top 10 colleges in the country in producing Fulbright winners every year since 2007-08. Meet the new Fulbrights.

A Little Surprise for Liz Titus Putnam ‘55

On the eve of Reunion weekend, Vassar and the Hudson Valley chapter of the Student Conservation Association surprised Liz Titus Putnam ’55, SCA founder, with the news that Hudson Valley SCA is moving its headquarters to the Vassar Farm in the fall.

On Campus - July Preview

A preview of events on the Vassar campus for July 2015.

Reunion 2015

Nearly 2,000 alumnae/i returned to campus to celebrate Reunion 2015. Engaging in everything from get-togethers and special lectures to the annual BBQ and parade, alumnae/i and their families gathered to enjoy three days of activities and raised more than $16.8 million in gifts for Vassar.

20 Years Later: Still Riding High

Back in 1995, the men’s cycling team made Vassar history when they won the Eastern Collegiate Division II championship. These days, despite career and family obligations, about a dozen of them return to Potown every year for a couple of days of biking and camaraderie.

In the Media – May 2015 Roundup

A roundup of Vassar and its alumnae/i, faculty members, students, administrators, and staff in the news for May 2015.

Commencement 2015

Degrees were conferred to 610 members of the Class of 2015 at Vassar’s 151st Commencement on May 31. The recent graduates, along with their families and friends, heard from several speakers at Commencement, including keynote speaker Arianna Huffington (editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post), class president Zoe Heloise Fullerton ’15, and AAVC President Milbrey “Missie” Rennie Taylor ’68. Enjoy a photo gallery that captures the special day.

The Sweet Obsession of Darra Goldstein ’73

Many may remember Darra Goldstein ’73 as the guest editor of VQ’s popular EAT issue, published in the summer of 2013, but she’s better known as the founding editor of the James Beard Award-winning Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture. Her latest project, The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets, is a nearly 900-page volume that examines our obsession with sugar and sweets.

Sherrilyn Ifill '84 delivers the Bard College commencement address

The Sports Page

A review of Vassar Athletics in action over the course of May 2015.

2015 Spirit of Vassar Award: Linda Malone ’75

Linda Malone ’75, this year’s AAVC Spirit of Vassar Award recipient, is a law school professor, author, and champion for international human rights. In addition to writing numerous books and articles, Malone serves on the boards of several legal and human rights organizations and has worked on international cases including those involving war crimes.

One Year Out: Sara Drotzer ’14, master’s candidate, Richard Gilder Graduate School, Museum of Natural History.

Sara Drotzer’s childhood trips to the American Museum of Natural History sparked an early love of science. Now the 2014 Vassar grad is earning her master’s degree in teaching there and will soon begin sparking that passion in others.

Semester on the high seas: Ariana Sharma ’16 sails the South Pacific doing climate change research.

Physics major Ariana Sharma ’16 had no plans to study abroad when she came to Vassar. But when she saw a poster in the College Center of a majestic sailing ship in the South Pacific, she changed her mind.

On Campus - June 2015 Preview

A preview of events on the Vassar campus for June 2015.

One Year Out: Emily Breeze ’14, Artistic Resident at the Long Wharf Theater

After graduating with a major in drama and a correlate in English, Emily Breeze ’14 landed a paid internship as artistic resident at the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven, CT. She’s currently directing her first professional production, The Boy at the Edge of Everything.

Linda Fairstein '69 novel a finalist for 2015 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction

Cool Courses: Putting Sustainability Theory into Practice

Students in “Sustainability Planning: Putting Theory into Practice” spent part of Spring Break in New York City, meeting with public officials (including two Vassar alums) and energy experts to learn about how sustainability policies are being implemented.

Spring Convocation

The 2015 Spring Convocation featured guest speaker James Kelly '09, Biology Professor Kathleen Susman, who delivered the Convocation address, and others. Read the speeches and look through photos from this annual rite of passage for students.

Farenthold Conference Honors “Noble Citizen”

When Frances Tarlton “Sissy” Farenthold ’46 was elected to the Texas State Legislature in 1968, she became the only female member of the Texas House. She subsequently ran two spirited, highly competitive campaigns for Governor of Texas.

Documentary This is Sparta! Has Many Vassar Connections

In her documentary directorial debut, Miriam Zimmerman ’82 brings to the screen This is Sparta!, telling the tale of Michael Oosterhout ’18 and his friends—a group of self-described high school nerds—who create and perform their own autobiographical musical.

One Year Out: Eunice Chou ’14, MD/PhD Candidate at SUNY Downstate Medical School

Eunice Chou ’14 began doing research in biology professor Kate Susman’s lab freshman year and continued throughout her years at Vassar, studying the effects of a common fungicide on the central nervous system of nematodes. Now she’s pursuing her MD/PhD.

The Sports Page

A review of Vassar Athletics in action over the course of April 2015.

Professor Hua Hsu pens The Fader cover story about comedian Hannibal Buress

An Intern Finds Her Passion

Nicole Wong ’15 began as an intern at Family Services last year, worked full time as a domestic violence counselor over the summer, and has now been named senior high-risk case manager at Domestic Violence Services even though she won’t graduate until May.


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