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In the Media - February 2014 Roundup

Janet Gray

A New York Times wellness blog post on the safety of parabens quoted Janet Gray, director of Vassar’s Science, Technology, and Society Program. Parabens are commonly found in personal care products such as lotions and shampoos.

President Barack Obama’s plan to increase access to college for the disadvantaged was the subject of a Poughkeepsie Journal article, which pointed to Vassar’s early orientation program for low-income and first-generation college students and its Veterans Posse Program.

Thompson Library made the list of “America’s Most Magical College Libraries” on TakePart.com. The list of 12 libraries also includes Andrew Dickson White Library at Cornell University, Linderman Library at Lehigh University, and Bapst Art Library at Boston College.

Variety announced that Sibyl Goldman ’92 was hired by Facebook to head a team focused on Hollywood outreach efforts to studios, networks, and celebrities. She previously served as executive vice president of new media for Ryan Seacrest Productions.

The Poughkeepsie Journal commended Vassar on its Princeton Review ranking as one of the top 10 best values among private colleges in the U.S., praising Vassar’s efforts to recruit and retain low-income and first-generation college students. Bloomberg.com ranked Vassar number two in the nation among the “Most Affordable Among the Most Expensive: Colleges” and number 16 on its list of “Best Graduation Rates: Colleges.” Vassar was also named the best college in New York State by TheBestSchools.org, which presents the best four-year liberal arts college and the best full-fledged research university in each of the 50 states. The New York Times recognized Vassar as one of the leading colleges focused on improving economic diversity on campus.

The Post-Bulletin mentioned President Catharine Hill’s meeting with Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, State University of New York Senior Vice Chancellor Bill Howard, and others as part of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault on February 26.

Luca Iaconi-Stewart ’13

CNN interviewed Luca Iaconi-Stewart ’13, who built a meticulously detailed scale model of a Boeing 777 entirely out of manila folders.

Lucas Mann ’08 told Poets & Writers Magazine that he recommends watching clips of stand-up comedians as a cure for writer’s block. Mann, the author of Class A: Baseball in the Middle of Everywhere, says Louis C.K., Patrice O’Neal, Richard Pryor, and Mo’Nique offer some of the very best in comedy writing.

Meryl Streep ’71 will receive an honorary doctoral degree from Indiana University on April 16, as reported by WISH-TV. Vanity Fair delved into Streep’s early comedic career in an interview with LA Weekly film critic Karina Longworth, author of the new book Meryl Streep: Anatomy of an Actor.

The Glen Cove Record Pilot reported on the Vassar Veterans Posse Program scholarship awarded to former National Guardsman Antoine Robinson ’18. Robinson is part of the second class of veterans to attend Vassar through the initiative.

Vassar’s Dean of the College Christopher Roelke is the incoming board chairman of the Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal.*

The Kingston Daily Freeman highlighted the Powerhouse Theater Training Program, currently accepting applications for the 2014 season. The program focuses on acting, playwriting, and directing.

The Register*, a weekly publication in Palmer, Mass., published a story on Gwen Schantz ’03. Chief operating officer of Brooklyn Grange, Schantz owns and operates rooftop gardens in Queens and Brooklyn, producing 50,000 pounds of food annually.

The Kingston Daily Freeman and the Hudson Valley Reporter reported on the $750,000 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant awarded to Vassar. The funding is slated for the “Creative Arts Across Disciplines” initiative to enhance the integration of creative arts throughout the college’s curriculum.

CNN featured Amazon’s 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime, including Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain ’77.

The New Yorker wrote about Elizabeth Bishop ’34, with information on her poetry and “The Art of Losing,” a collection of her published letters. Bishop’s work frequently appeared in the New Yorker.

A Journal News article on the uptick in donations to regional colleges in 2013 included Vassar’s World Changing campaign, which raised $431.46 million.

The scientific contributions of Professor of Biology and Chair of Biology John Long were presented in Scienceline. Long’s work uses robotics to reveal the evolutionary history of fish.

Michael Kimmel ’72 discusses American masculinity and its efforts on young boys in the documentary The Mask You Live In. Kimmel is a professor of sociology and director of the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities at Stony Brook University.

Jamshed Bharucha ’78

The Vassar500 challenge was highlighted on crowdsourcing.org. During the challenge, Vassar received donations from more than 1,000 donors in 24 hours, leading to a $175,000 Annual Fund contribution from Virginia Cretella Mars ’51, daughter Pamela Mars Wright ’82, and granddaughter Bernadette Schuetz Russell ’07.

Jamshed Bharucha ’78, president of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and a cognitive neuroscientist, spoke at Union College on February 25, as reported by the Suburban News of New Jersey.

The partnership between Koru and 13 leading U.S. colleges and universities, including Vassar, was profiled in the Sacramento Bee. Koru focuses on enhancing the college-to-career experience of students.

Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre

The Poughkeepsie Journal covered the fourth annual Christmas in February celebration at the Castle Point Campus of the VA Hudson Valley Health Care System. The event involved scores of volunteers, including many from Vassar.

Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre’s 32nd annual Weekend Gala at the Bardavon Theater was featured in Roll Magazine. The resident company performance will include ballet, jazz, and modern dance.

Faculty Accolades 

Susan Hiner, associate professor of French and francophone studies, received the third annual Visiting Fellow award for spring 2015 from The American Library in Paris for her work-in-progress Behind the Seams, a sociocultural study of women in the 19th-century fashion industry. The award supports a one-month stay during which the honoree is expected to present her work to the public in a weekday evening talk and conduct several workshops for library members.

Ben Smith, visiting assistant professor of anthropology, was awarded a Field-Initiated Grant from the Spencer Foundation for his new project, Online Gaming, Indigenous Masculinities, and the Peruvian School. The grant will provide funding for a three-year period of ethnographic research and analysis.  

*Link no longer available

--Photo credits: Janet Gray by © Vassar College-Tamar Thibodeau; Luca Iaconi-Steward coutesy of the subject; VRDT by © Vassar College-Rachel Garbade'15; Vassar & New York Stage and Film's Powerhouse Theatre Apprentice Company by © Vassar College-Buck Lewis Photography; Jamshed Bharucha '78 by Melody Ko-Tufts University.