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In the Media - May 2013 Roundup

Lizzy Plapinger ’10 and Max Hershenow ’10 of MS MR

Lizzy Plapinger ’10 and Max Hershenow ’10, also known as the New York-based duo MS MR, recently performed their song “Hurricane” on Late Show with David Letterman. If you missed it, check out the video on YouTube. The band discussed its foundation, sound, and style in an interview with Hall of Style. MS MR has used Tumblr to get its well-produced, visually stimulating videos in front of viewers. “Visual identities have always been an integral part of pop music,” Hershenow maintains, “but I think we understood from the beginning of the project that a unique and well-curated aesthetic is more important than ever now.”

Frances Ha, the latest film by screenwriter and director Noah Baumbach ’91, was designated a Critics’ Pick by the film reviewers of the New York Times, who call it “frequently delightful.” The talented cast includes Grace Gummer ’08, daughter of Meryl Streep ’71. Baumbach narrated a scene—and explained the blocking, camerawork, performance, and timing that went into it—for the TimesArtsBeat blog.

Daniel Alexander Jones ’91

PolicyMic published an essay penned by Steve Keller ’11, chief editor and social media coordinator for Wikistrat, who postulates, “College allows you to ‘find yourself,’ but is the investment worth it?”

In Central Park, CultureFphiles caught up with critically acclaimed performance artist and Fordham University theatre professor Daniel Alexander Jones ’91 and his alter ego "Jomama Jones," who performed at the Smashing History: 150 Years of LGBTIQA Vassar three-day conference in 2011.

Are the results of standardized tests a true indication of a child’s current intelligence and future aptitude? Headmaster of Touchstone Community School Susan Diller ’83 (Phi Beta Kappa) offers her opinion in the Telegram & Gazette.

Eric Marcus ’80

Sheree Winslow ’92, founder of Women at the Tables, an online community that supports women as leaders and mentors women and girls who aspire to lead, reflected upon her eventual journey to Vassar after reading about the college at the age of eight. Savvy Auntie captured her story, including techniques for bolstering self-confidence when faced with intimidating circumstances.

NPR reviewed Class A: Baseball in the Middle of Everywhere, the debut book by Lucas Mann ’08, provost’s postgraduate visiting writer in nonfiction at the University of Iowa’s M.F.A. program. The first-time author was also the subject of a Q&A with ArtsBeat blog.

In response to the New York Times front-page article “Baffling Rise in Suicides Plagues U.S. Military,” nonfiction writer and communications expert Eric Marcus ’80 contributed an insightful letter to the editor. Marcus—whose father, a Navy veteran, took his life in 1970is the author of Why Suicide? Questions and Answers About Suicide, Suicide Prevention, and Coping with the Suicide of Someone You Know. In honor and in memory of his father, he will be participating in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk.

April Yvette Thompson

In 1996, as part of a pioneering experiment in citizen journalism, Radio Diaries, an NPR program, equipped American teenagers with tape recorders in order to create audio accounts of their everyday lives. One of the participants was Josh Cutler ’01, who spoke on NPR’s All Things Considered this month about growing up with Tourette’s syndrome. During the broadcast, he revealed the many ways his life has changed over the past 16 years. “I’ve basically built my entire life on proving people wrong,” he says, citing snide comments made by peers regarding his future. (While at Vassar, Cutler received the Leo M. Prince Prize—for the most notable improvement.)

Indiewire highlighted the work of Tony Award-winning producer, actress, writer and alumna April Yvette Thompson and SimonSays Entertainment, the film and theatre production company for which she serves as director of development.

MS MR, courtesy of the band; Jones ©Vassar College-Cesar Cervantes ’14; Marcus, Dixie Sheridan’65; Thompson, courtesy of the subject.

Compiled by Jared Scott Tesler