News & Features


Student Orgs Working to Get Out the Vote

With Election Day less than a month away, Vassar student political clubs are running phone banks for Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney and NY State Senator Terry Gipson, advocating for campaign finance reform, and registering students to vote.

Oh, the Horror!

Jason Blum ’91, known for producing inexpensive independent horror movies—The Purge, Insidious, Paranormal Activity—that go on to make hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office, recently returned to Vassar to screen his latest feature, the critically acclaimed drama Whiplash, and to talk to film students about the business.

VCNY’s Unforgettable 4th Annual Fall Fête

On Thursday, October 16, several generations of Vassarions met at the historic Lotos Club in Manhattan for the Vassar Club of New York’s (VCNY) 4th Annual Fall Fête. It was an unforgettable night of spectacular company, food, drink, and jazz.

One Year Out: Brian Lu ’13, PhD Candidate at the Mayo Clinic

Now in his second year in the PhD program in biology at the Mayo School of Graduate Education at the world famous Mayo Clinic, Brian Lu ’13 and his team are concentrating on research that may eventually lead to a treatment for diabetes.

One Year Out: Preston Miller ’13, Master’s Candidate in Digital Forensics

What do you do with a degree in biochemistry and an interest in law enforcement? One year out of Vassar, Preston Miller ’13 is pursuing an MS in digital forensics at Marshall University, with a job waiting at one of the top NYC firms, Stroz Friedberg.

Less Than One Year Out: Asia Bryant, Software Developer for AT&T

A month after she graduated, Asia Bryant ’14 moved to Atlanta, GA, to take a job writing software for AT&T. A computer science and psychology double major, Bryant says, “I love the job, and I love the location—there’s lots to do in Atlanta.”

Screening of documentary by journalist Paula Williams Madison ’74, who traced her family’s heritage to China, October 29, 2014

The film Finding Samuel Lowe draws from intimate interviews with Madison and her family. The 90-minute documentary uses original footage, family photos, and archival footage and documents to chronicle the journey of a celebratory meeting with 20 family members meeting 300 Chinese descendants of Samuel Lowe.

Professor Hua Hsu pens a brief history of NYC graffiti for The New Yorker

Jezebel Welcomes Emma Carmichael ’10

The new editor-in-chief of Jezebel, Emma Carmichael ’10, plans to put her stamp on the well-known women’s website. A former editor at the Hairpin and Deadspin—as well as the Miscellany News—Carmichael offers a look at the fast-paced world of online publishing and advice for those looking to find their way in.

Donna Nagy ’86: Friend of the Court

Donna Nagy ’86 is executive associate dean for academic affairs and C. Ben Dutton professor of law at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law. Nagy filed an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief in support of the Obama administration in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. case, on which the U.S. Supreme Court recently sided with the retail establishment. Nagy will discuss the Hobby Lobby case during a campus lecture on Wednesday.

NYT: Linda Fairstein '69 to serve as special advisor to SUNY as it overhauls its sexual assault policies

Alumnae/i Present Options for Public Health Careers

This year's Freshman Families Weekend included a panel discussion "Career Paths in Public Health."

The New York Times interviews Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jane Smiley '71

Benjamin Busch '91 writes about his return to Iraq in Harper's Magazine

Posse veteran Carl Callender '17 and President Hill are quoted in the New York Times about vets attending highly selective colleges

The Sports Page

A roundup of Vassar athletics in action over the course of September 2014.

Geraldine Bond Laybourne ’69 Receives Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal Award

Former AAVC President Geraldine “Gerry” Laybourne ’69 was honored with the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal Award. The award, bestowed earlier this month, is given annually to individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to humanitarian efforts in their communities and around the world.

In the Media – September 2014 Round-up

A roundup of Vassar and its alumnae/i, faculty members, students, administrators, and staff in the news for September 2014.

Second Round of “Posse” Vets, Class of 2018

Ten students were selected from a pool of more than 200 applicants to become part of the college’s second cohort of veteran students participating in the Posse Foundation program initiated with Vassar in 2012.

MEChA and College Match Working Together

12 College Match students are enrolled in this year’s freshman class, thanks in large part to the Vassar chapter of MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana/o de Aztlan), which hosts about 40 Los Angeles high school juniors during their annual tour of East Coast colleges.

On Campus – October 2014 Preview

A preview of events on the Vassar campus for October 2014.

One Year Out: Andrew Kim ’13, Harvard Medical School Researcher

One year out of Vassar, Andrew Kim ’13 is part of a research team at Harvard Medical School that is tackling pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest forms of the disease. Kim’s team believe they have found a gene that may be promoting the progression of the disease.

Giving Voice to Homeless LGBTQ Youths

This summer, Lanbo Yang ’15 used creative writing as a way to help homeless LGBTQ youths explore the issues they face. As part of his Burnam Summer Fellowship, he created and conducted a writing workshop for the Ali Forney Center in New York City, which offers myriad services for homeless LGBTQ youths. In his downtime, Yang—who has plans to become a physician—also volunteered at a Bronx medical clinic.

One Year Out: Andrew Rovner ’13, Making Some Noise in Chicago

A double major in drama and philosophy, Andrew Rovner ’13 is working behind the scenes as a sound technician at the Steppenwolf, Jackalope, and Redmoon theater companies in Chicago. He’s also launched his own storefront theater group, First Floor.

One Year Out: Emily Izquierdo ’13, Production Assistant at ShadowMachine

Emily Izquierdo ’13 moved to L.A. with zero prospects but soon landed a job with Partizan Productions, a film and video production company. She’s since moved on to an animation studio called ShadowMachine that produces shows for Comedy Central.

Imrul Islam ’17 Captures “Songs of the Sea”

With a grant from Vassar’s June Ross Marks Travel Fund, Imrul Islam ’17 traveled to coastal villages of his native Bangladesh to learn more about the lives of fishermen and to tell their stories through photographs in a blog entitled “Songs of the Sea.”

Minerva Tantoco '86 named New York City's chief technology officer, reports Crain's

Testing, Testing, Testing

President George W. Bush predicted that test scores would rise under No Child Left Behind, but more than a decade later, they haven’t. Education professor Chris Bjork and Ford Scholar Kyle DeAngelis ’16 are looking at why.

One Year Out: Hannah Bober ’13, AmeriCorps Volunteer

Hannah Bober ’13 says that one of her post-Vassar goals was to get out of her comfort zone and expand her experiences. “AmeriCorps definitely did that for me,” she says. Right after graduation, she moved to rural Minnesota to work at a Boys and Girls Club.

Tobias Armborst of Interboro Partners: Planning Ahead For the Next Big One

Vassar assistant professor of art and urban studies Tobias Armborst and his partners at Interboro are the creators of one of the four plans selected from more than 140 to repair damage from Hurricane Sandy and protect Long Island from future storms.

Diving Into Research

Now in its fifth year, Diving Into Research gave Chase Morgan-Floyd, Alexandra Frazier, and four other members of the incoming class an opportunity to experience original research at the college level before the beginning of the semester.

Welcome, Class of 2018!

The Class of 2018 brings 665 freshmen to Vassar’s campus, including 36 valedictorians, students from 46 states and 31 foreign countries, and 74 first-generation college students. Among our newest students are class council presidents, editors-in-chief, authors, musicians, veterans, and varsity sports captains. Read more about the class.

Exploring College Program Changes Lives

Vassar initiated the Exploring College program in 2009 to increase college attendance rates for promising students from low-income families in Poughkeepsie and nearby. Almost all of the participants do go on to college, but NaIa Jackson is the first who will attend Vassar.

One Year Out: Dan Flynn ’13, City Year Boston

Dan Flynn’s long-term career goal is to practice law, but he took a year before applying to law schools to volunteer for City Year in the poverty stricken Dorchester section of Boston, an experience that he says will shape the rest of his life.

The Sports Page

A roundup of Vassar athletics in action over the course of August 2014.

Juliet Theater Gets New Life

The Juliet building has a celebrated history as the go-to place for campus moviegoers for more than 50 years—it operated as a cinema from 1938 to 1990. The extensively renovated brick building now has a new life as the Vassar College Store.

In the Media – August Round-up

A roundup of Vassar and its alumnae/i, faculty members, students, administrators, and staff in the news for August 2014.

Protection From the Storm

Assistant Professor of Art and Urban Studies Tobias Armborst and his colleagues at Interboro Partners are the creators of one of the four plans selected from more than 140 to repair damage from Hurricane Sandy and protect Long Island from future storms.

President Hill co-authors Wall Street Journal op-ed about collaboration between Vassar and West Point

On Campus – September 2014 Preview

A preview of events on the Vassar campus for September 2014.

Vassar Viewbook Wins UCDA Awards

Vassar's new viewbook for prospective students won two awards from the University and College Designers Association, including a Silver award in the recruitment/viewbook category and an Award of Excellence in the photography category.

Time-Out Grant applications now available online

Studying in China

Four Vassar alums will soon embark on a unique study abroad trip, each spending several months at a Chinese university via the Chinese Government Scholarship. Their studies will include Chinese language, international diplomacy, and visual arts and design.

On Campus – August 2014 Preview

A preview of events on the Vassar campus for August 2014.

Powerhouse Theater Training Program: Freedom to Fail

According to three Vassar students who spent the summer in the Powerhouse Theater Training Program, learning how to work with criticism is one of the keys to growth as an artist.

Vijay Das '06 offers his thoughts on expanding Medicare for all Americans on CNN

Paula Madison '74 talks to Poynter about the search for her family's Chinese roots

In the Media – July 2014 Roundup

A roundup of Vassar and its alumnae/i, faculty members, students, administrators, and staff in the news for July 2014.

Orange Is the New Black Villain Comes Clean

Alysia Reiner ’92 plays a tough, unfeeling, and law-breaking assistant warden on Orange Is the New Black , but in real life, she is dedicated to helping improve the lives of women entangled in the criminal justice system. For her volunteer efforts, Reiner was recently honored by the Women’s Prison Association.

It Got Better

In their web series It Got Better, Dan Bucatinsky ’87 and Lisa Kudrow ’85 give LGBTQ celebrities a chance to share their stories of adolescent struggles with today’s teenagers, many of whom are facing similar feelings of hopelessness.

One Year Out: Documentary Filmmaker Elena Gaby ‘13

One year out of Vassar, Elena Gaby ’13, who recently won Best Student Documentary at Cannes for her Vassar senior thesis film, is living in NYC, chasing freelance opportunities, and waitressing at a sports bar to close the gap.

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.

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.

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.

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!


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