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In the Media - August 2013 Roundup

In an in-depth article in the Washington Post, President Catharine Hill and college presidents from Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, University of Virginia, St. John’s, Davidson, and other institutions commented on President Obama’s plan to rate colleges on the value they provide to consumers. The article includes a Q&A with President Hill. In a Chronicle of Higher Education article, Hill also commented on new White House proposals to bring down college costs.

The kudos rolled in for Vassar last month. The college placed number one on BuzzFeeds list of “41 Scenic College Campuses That Were Made For Instagram.” Citing the work of alums Mary McCarthy ’33, Edna St. Vincent Millay ’17, Elizabeth Bishop ’34, Jane Smiley ’71, and Thomas Beller ’87—in addition to the college’s stellar English Department—Flavorwire also listed Vassar among the “25 Most Literary Colleges in America.”

For the website In The Fray, Joshunda Sanders ’00 reviewed the new HBO documentary series Americans in Bed, which features “candid interviews with 10 American couples—captured in the comfort of their own beds.”

In an article in Foreign Policy magazine, Steven A. Cook ’90 argued that, despite the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak during the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, “it’s still Mubarak’s Egypt.” Cook, the Hasib J. Sabbagh Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, is the author of The Struggle for Egypt: From Nasser to Tahrir Square.

Author Michael Joyce, a Vassar professor of English and media studies, spoke about his most recent novel, Going the Distance, in a “5 Questions” interview in the Troy Record.

David Carrell ’17

After 11½ years of service in the U.S. Army and four deployments in Iraq, David Carrell ’17 experienced an abrupt end to his career after suffering a serious injury. “I sat around my house not knowing what life would bring,” he wrote in USA Today. Then, one day, “I came to the realization that I had two choices: I could either stay in Texas and coast, or start my life over.” This fall, he is one of 11 veterans entering the college as freshmen, thanks to Vassar’s collaboration with the Posse Foundation. The non-profit organization has traditionally sent high school graduates in supportive “posses” to colleges that might have been financially out of reach.

The Mid-Hudson News reported on the appointment of Noel Knille ’79 as commissioner of the Department of Public Works (DPW) in Dutchess County. She is the first female DPW commissioner in the history of Dutchess County. According to the article, “Knille has more than two decades of experience in facilities management and operations, and architectural organizations. Most recently, she served as the director of facilities and operations for the Washington International School.”

The New York Times noted the passing of Penelope Fexas Casas ’65, an authority on Spanish cuisine and the author of several cookbooks focusing on tapas, paella, and other food of the region. The Vassar Quarterly profiled Casas in its most recent issue.

Paula Williams Madison ’74

The Los Angeles Times reported that Paula Williams Madison ’74, CEO of the Los Angeles Sparks and partner in Williams Group Holdings LLC, has been chosen by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to serve on the Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) civilian panel. Madison was among four appointees sworn in on August 29. The appointments have widely been seen as an effort to “shake up” the civilian panel that sets the LAPD’s policies and oversees its operations.

In an op-ed in the New York Times, Jennifer Finney Boylan P’16 urges parents to resist the urge to shield their progeny from every possible danger. Boylan says, “This means preparing them for a day when they live their lives without us. The world has not yet revealed the unique perils it holds in store for my sons, but I hope that, having been encouraged to take calculated risks, they will have learned to find the courage they need when those perils arise.”

The Brattleboro Reformer reported that Emma Redden and Jeffrey From, both ’15, spent the summer traveling “almost 10,000 miles across America, visiting domestic violence centers all over the country and talking with random people on the street about domestic violence.” The two documented the journey with photographs and quotes with an eye toward publishing a book on the topic. The project was funded by a $10,000 Projects for Peace grant from the Davis Foundation.

In the article “The Sex Lives of Modern Women ... Fifty Years On,” the Irish Examiner looked back at Mary McCarthy’s novel The Group a half-century after publication. “McCarthy was writing fiction, but it was hardly a stretch from the true sex lives of women, so often swept under the rug in her day,” the author wrote. The piece includes a clip from the HBO show Sex and the City, inspired by the book, as well as a video of McCarthy reading from the novel.

—Compiled by Elizabeth Randolph

Photos, from top, Tamar Thibodeau, John Abbott, courtesy of the subject.