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In the Media - April 2013 Roundup

Into the Fray: The Boston Marathon Bombings

When Boston was rocked by bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, several alumnae/i were there. Two responded by rushing to aid the victims and, in the aftermath, one mirrored the nation’s heartbreak in her heartfelt essay.

Bruce Mendelsohn ’90

After a female college student—who was only five feet away from the first explosion during the Boston Marathon bombings—was carried to safety by a local firefighter, Bruce Mendelsohn ’90 used a T-shirt to wrap a tourniquet around her bleeding leg, which contained a one-inch piece of shrapnel.

Mendelsohn, an Army veteran who serves as director of communications and outreach for the Bernard M. Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program, appeared on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams beside the brave survivor who wished to thank the kind stranger. “The doctor [at Tufts Medical Center] told me that if you hadn’t done that, I would’ve died. You saved my life!” she graciously proclaimed.

Meanwhile, one of the doctors on call to treat some of the most seriously injured victims was Peter Burke ’78, chief of trauma services for Boston Medical Center, who spoke with PBS NewsHour about administering wound assessments, infection control measures, and rehabilitation processes.

Jaime-Alexis Fowler ’04

Another bystander was Pathfinder International Associate Director of Public Relations and Online Communications Jaime-Alexis Fowler ’04, whose husband participated in the marathon. In a Huffington Post op-ed, she describes the incredible heartbreak surrounding the tragedy that had taken place just one block from the friend’s apartment inside which she and many others sought refuge. Fowler tells us that Caitlin Deschenes-Desmond ’04 completed the race a few minutes before the initial blast.

And after the bombings, English professor Amitava Kumar explored what it means to be "brown" in America in the New York Times.

Vassar stepped up in deed and in thought.

Noah Baumbach ’91 with co-writer and actress Greta Gerwig

The New Yorker details the relationship between screenwriter and director Noah Baumbach ’91 and actress Greta Gerwig as both a couple and a writing team for their latest film, Frances Ha. Baumbach shot some of the scenes on the Vassar campus. An article about making the film appeared in the winter issue of VQ.

After having their pictures taken on the red carpet, the multitalented first- and second-grade students of Neighborhood School on the Lower East Side classroom teacher Alexis Neider ’03 had their original short films presented at the Movietown Film Festival! More information—and one of the films—can be found on the New York Times City Room blog.

Andrew Zimmern ’84

Television personality, chef, and food writer Andrew Zimmern ’84 spoke about food’s cultural influence—and the “subtle form of persuasion at work when you travel”—at George Washington University, as recorded by Eater National. In addition, the New York Post revealed that Zimmern, who hosts the Travel Channel series Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern and Bizarre Foods America, will be the guest of honor at the James Beard Foundation’s Chefs & Champagne® New York fundraising event on July 20 at Wölffer Estate Vineyard. Zimmern and fellow alumnus Anthony Bourdain ’77 talked about “creative freedom, risk-taking, and fatherhood” in Delta Sky magazine’s April issue.

Anthony Bourdain ’77

In honor of National Poetry Month, Boston Review published a personal essay from Josey Foo ’85 entitled “Identity We Are Willing to Have.” She is the recipient of the 2001 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship.

New York City-based theater and opera director Jen Wineman ’00 shared her latest project, F#%king Up Everything, with Garnet Valley Press. Directed and choreographed by Wineman, the rock musical—featuring the award-winning artistry of puppet designer David Valentine—is playing at Elektra Theatre through May 18.

The Daily Freeman announced this year’s 175 Guggenheim Fellows, including Visiting Associate Professor of English David Means and Professor of Art Harry Roseman, who were selected from a group of nearly 3,000 artists, scholars, and scientists residing in the United States and Canada.

The New York Times highlighted the role of founding member of Pixar Animation Studios Eben Ostby ’77 in converting his family’s Shelter Island estate, Sylvester Manor, into a nonprofit educational farm.

Rebecca Schuman ’98, visiting assistant professor of German at Ohio State University, tells readers of Slate magazine why “getting a literature Ph.D. will turn you into an emotional trainwreck, not a professor.”

The Wall Street Journal ran an article written by President Catharine Hill, encouraging other selective private colleges and universities to follow in Vassar’s footsteps by recruiting, admitting, and educating more of America’s military veterans.

Jack Eubanks ’17

Jack Eubanks ’17, a member of the inaugural class of Vassar Posse Scholars, penned a reflective essay for the Miscellany News, chronicling his journey from wounded warrior to auteur aspirant. “The moment I stepped on the Vassar grounds, I felt like I had returned home for the first time since I left for Iraq all those years ago,” he writes.

BioShock Infinite, the newest first-person shooter and Aristotelian tragedy-inspired video game from creator Ken Levine ’88 (see earlier profile in the New York Times), was featured in a segment of NPR’s All Things Considered.

As reported by the San Marcos Daily Record, Chief Executive Officer of Pherson Associates Katherine Hibbs Pherson ’72—considered one of the country’s foremost authorities on intelligence analysis—recently delivered a lecture entitled “Critical Thinking for Strategic Intelligence” at Texas State University.

—Written and compiled by Jared Scott Tesler

Zimmern and Bourdain, courtesy Travel Channel; Baumbach, Getty Images; Eubanks, © Vassar College-John Abbott; all others courtesy of the subjects.