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In the Media - March 2014 Roundup

Luke Harris

In its “The Assumptions Behind Obama’s Initiative” debate, the New York Times published opinion pieces by several experts, including Luke Harris, associate professor of American politics and constitutional law. An author and co-founder of the African American Policy Forum, Harris wrote about supporting the women who are raising men of color.

The Bluegrass and Beyond announced the appointment of Seamus Carey ’87 as the 26th president of Transylvania University. Carey will leave his post as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., to lead Kentucky’s oldest university.

Associate Dean of the College for Campus Life and Diversity Edward Pittman ’82 penned an article for Diverse: Issues In Higher Education entitled “Helping Young Black, Latino Men Succeed Through Support and Challenging Stereotypes.”

The Jewish Daily Forward ran a story by Dan Epstein ’89, who details the work of the late Harold Ramis and the impact Ramis’ acting, writing, and directing have had on Epstein’s generation.

English and environmental studies professor Paul Kane authored an opinion piece, “The Day Pete Seeger Came to Class,” in the Chronicle of Higher Education. The editorial calls attention to a request Kane made to Seeger—which was granted—to visit Vassar and speak with his students.

Joshunda Sanders ’00

The Week published an opinion piece from Joshunda Sanders ’00 on the topic of Sheryl Sandberg’s latest Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead strategy. The strategy—dealing with the word ‘bossy’—is focused largely on women with money and privilege, Sanders argues.

Academy Award-nominated screenwriter John Gatins ’90 discusses his new film, Need for Speed, in the Poughkeepsie Journal. Gatins produced the film, which was written by his brother, George.

The crowdfunding method adopted by Vassar for its Vassar500 challenge was covered by TheCrowdCafe. During the challenge, more than 1,000 donors gave to the college during a 24-hour period.

Andrew Zimmern ’84, host of Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods America, spoke with Bon Appétit about his use of social media to share his love of all things food. He also appeared on The Queen Latifah Show, where he prepared a variety of unusual dishes, including chicken fried squirrel and Mexican tripe soup.

Jessica Berger Gross ’94, whose memoir Estranged was published as an Amazon Kindle Single, wrote an article for the New York Times Magazine in which she describes a brief period of time in 1996 when she worked for Bella Abzug.

Katia Beauchamp ’05

The New York Times interviewed Birchbox co-founder Katia Beauchamp ’05 about opening the company’s first brick-and-mortar store. The SoHo shop is expected to open later this spring.

The Star Tribune reviewed Coyote Lost at Sea by Julia Plant ’75. The book is about her older brother, Mike Plant, an internationally renowned single-handed yachtsman who went missing mid-Atlantic in November 1992 while on his way to an around-the-world race.

Peace Bound: Portraits of Non-Violence was featured on Gawker. Created by Emma Redden ’15 and Jeffrey From ’15, the project included dozens of photographs, each superimposed with the handwritten answer to the same question: Why is it important to support victims of domestic violence?

Jeff Wallach ’82 won the 2014 Media Orthopaedic Reporting Excellence (MORE) Award from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons for his story “Joint Venture: Ideas for Lifelong Knee Health,” published in Horizon Edition Magazine, the monthly inflight magazine of Horizon Air.

Vera Cooper Rubin ’48

Astronomer Vera Cooper Rubin ’48 was a featured scientist on the Black Canyon Astronomical Society’s Women in Astronomy series on KVNF Public Radio. Rubin specialized in galaxy formation and properties, helped prove the existence of dark matter, and received the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1996.

Anne Tatlock ’61, a former Vassar trustee, was named a trustee of Carnegie Corporation of New York. The organization issued a press release to announce the appointment. highlighted the recent performances of INTERMEZZO Dance Company at Vassar. The group performed a program of new works at the Frances Daly Fergusson Dance Theater.

Dan Bucatinsky ’87

Dan Bucatinsky ’87 appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to talk about the television show Scandal. Bucatinsky plays James Novak on the popular drama series. The show and his character were the subject of stories in the Asbury Park Press, Access Hollywood,, and other media outlets. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Bucatinsky and Lisa Kudrow ’85 are partnering with other Hollywood producers to create a new web series called It Got Better. The project will use media to reach LGBT youth in an effort to provide support and a message of hope.

Vassar made Lumosity’s list of the 50 Smartest Colleges in America. The VentureBeat article says Lumosity used its brain-training exercises to test the cognitive performance of students.

In a New York Times letter to the editor, “Innovation in the Courts,” Brian Farkas ’10 discussed the importance of court innovation in “an era of slashed judicial budgets, backlogged civil dockets, and tenuous access to justice.”

Eddie Gamarra ’94, literary manager/producer with The Gotham Group, was included on Studio System News’ A-List: The Hottest Book to Film Dealmakers to Watch. Gamarra handles film and television rights for various Gotham Group projects, with such clients as James Dashner, Libba Bray, and Jerry Spinelli.

Douglas Bender ’00

The inaugural Art and Olfaction Awards nominated Charenton Macerations’ Christopher Street for an award in the Independent Finalists category. Douglas Bender ’00 is the founder of Charenton Macerations.

Adin Esther Lears ’05 was named a 2014 Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship in Women’s Studies winner, as reported by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. Lears’ dissertation is entitled World of Echo: Gender, Noise, and Knowing in Late-Medieval England.

Economics professor Ben Ho contributed “The Bright Side of Higher College Tuition” to U.S. News & World Report. The article examines the posted costs of higher education versus the amount many students actually pay once financial aid is considered.

The Asbury Park Press interviewed Sidney Johnson ’18, one of Vassar’s most recent Posse Foundation Veterans Initiative Scholarship recipients. Johnson spent four years as a yeoman in the U.S. Navy and served in Afghanistan.

Reuters reported on the At Home in the World performance through the Ashinaga organization. The production—which includes performances by Ugandan youth whose parents died of HIV/AIDS, Japanese youth who lost loved ones in the 2011 tsunami, and members of Vassar’s chorus—is a cross-cultural charity collaboration to raise money for orphans throughout the world.

Kenneth Miles ’07

The Valkova All Foundation interviewed Kenneth Miles ’07 about his role as an Alumnae and Alumni of Vassar College trustee, his thoughts on community, and his personal style.

Author Rebecca C. Tuite chronicles the fashions of Vassar and its women-only contemporaries in Seven Sisters Style. Featured in a recent Vanity Fair article, the book says the styles have lasted and continue to influence fashion choices today.

Faculty Accolades

Yu Zhou, professor of geography, was selected to participate in the 2014 ASIANetwork Faculty Enhancement Program’s Deepening Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts Seminar, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This year’s seminar is entitled ­­­­­­­­­­­India: Religion, Globalization, and the Environment in the 21st Century and will feature travel to and study in religious, historical, and environmental sites in the South Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh.

Seungsook Moon, professor of sociology, was named Sang-Kee Kim Visiting Professor of the Social Sciences at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University for the 2014-2015 academic year. Through this inaugural endowed visiting professorship, Moon will teach one course per semester in Harvard’s Department of Sociology. 

Christopher Roellke, dean of the college and professor of education (on research leave), was selected to participate in the 2014 Fulbright U.S.-Japan International Education Administrators Program, a two-week group seminar designed to introduce U.S. higher education administrators to Japan’s higher education system, society, and culture.  

—Photos of Vera Rubin ’48 and Dan Bucatinsky ’87 by ©Vassar College; Kenneth Miles ’07 by ©Vassar College-Yancey Hughes; Luke Harris by ©Vassar College-John Abbott; Katia Beauchamp '05 by Joy Asico Photography; Joshunda Sanders ’00 and Douglas Bender ‘00 courtesy of the subject.