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In the Media - October 2012 Roundup

Lee Zalben '95

Lee Zalben '95, founder and president of Peanut Butter & Co. (pictured), was quoted in the New York Times article “Peanut Butter Takes On an Unlikely Best Friend,” which exposed the latest cult snack: peanut butter and pickle sandwiches. It’s no news to Zalben, who has long had the sandwich, dubbed “The Pregnant Lady,” on the menu of his Greenwich Village store and café. Zalben says it all started when a pregnant woman came in with the odd request. “I’d never heard of it,” Zalben told the Times. “But we like to think we can take care of anyone’s peanut butter craving. So, I ran to the corner store and bought a jar of pickles. I made two sandwiches—one for her and one for me. That was all it took.”

The Hollywood Reporter reviewed Frances Ha, a “terrific new film” by Noah Baumbach ’91. The movie was filmed partially on the Vassar campus.

In the op-ed “Affirmative Action Back Before the Supreme Court,” published in the Guardian, Vijay Das ’06 discusses Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. The case is expected to make clearer whether and how race may be used in college admissions decisions. Das, a graduate student at UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, conducted research for a civil rights organization that submitted an amicus brief in the case.

Nancy Willard

“Tree House” from Vassar lecturer in English Nancy Willard’s new poetry collection, The Sea at Truro, was read by Garrison Keillor on the American Public Media radio show Writer’s Almanac on October 31, 2012. In addition, several poems by Willard (pictured) were featured on the show’s website.

Beth Feingold ’01, a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins and lead author of a study that showed that those who live in close proximity to livestock might be at greater risk of contracting Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (commonly known as MRSA), was interviewed about the findings by the New York Times.  The study was coauthored by Ellen Silbergeld ’67, professor in the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences, and conducted by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Dutch Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), and VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam. The results were published in the November issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases. Feingold was also interviewed for the Baltimore Sun.

Huang Hung ’84

CNN interviewed Chinese media leader Huang Hung ’84 in a series about the changing face of China. Hung earned the nickname “The Chinese Oprah” for her involvement in television, social media, blogging, fashion, and film.  

Kiese Laymon

In an interview by Michel Martin on NPR’s Tell Me More, Kiese Laymon, associate professor of English (pictured), recalls how his path to Vassar College was impacted by the threat of gun violence. The interview was inspired by his essay “How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America: A Remembrance,” which appeared to great acclaim on the Gawker website this summer. His essay  “The Sport of American Responsibility” was recently featured on the ESPN website.

Vassar professor of geography Joseph Nevins published the op-ed “Ecological Crisis and the Need to Challenge the 20 Percent” on the Al Jazeera website. He argues that the “gargantuan levels of consumption” by the planet’s “ecologically privileged class” must be redressed.

Andrew Zolli '95

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Andrew Zolli '95, executive director of PopTech (pictured), discusses how vulnerable people, organizations, and systems survive—and sometimes even thrive—amid unforeseeable disruptions. Read this New York Times article and find out more about Zolli’s book, Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back, coauthored with Ann Marie Healy, in the upcoming fall issue of the Vassar Quarterly.

Recent graduate Zach Sorgen’12 is a member of The Thirstbusters, a band that had two songs from their newest album, Caught Between, featured in Episode 3 of the new season of the CW show 90210. The songs are “All About the Girls” and the title track. Weeks after releasing the album last summer, another track, “Finders Keepers,” won a national award for Social Justice from the Elfenworks Foundation during Campus MovieFest. Listen to the album and stream or download it for free.

Credits: Laymon photo courtesy of the subject; Willard ©Eric Lindbloom; Zalben ©Eric Lindbloom; Zolli ©Heather Phelps-Lipton