Go to navigation (press enter key)Menu


In the Media – September 2014 Round-up

President Catharine Hill

The New York Times ranked Vassar #1 in economic diversity in the recent release of its College Access Index. The college was noted as a selective institution that places socioeconomic diversity of students as a higher priority. The topic and ranking were also covered by the Chronicle of Higher Education, which included comments from President Catharine Hill, as well as Inside Higher Ed, Indian Country Today Media Network, Poughkeepsie Journal, USA Today, Vox, and Washington Monthly. Hill was also featured in a New York Times article about making top colleges less aristocratic and more meritocratic and participated in an Inside Higher Education podcast about ranking elite colleges on access. The Chronicle of Higher Education mentioned Vassar in a discussion about how colleges succeed or stumble when it comes to creating a more economically diverse student body. Vassar was also noted in an Inside Higher Education article about Pell Grants and private colleges that admit a relatively high number of low-income students. A New York Times article on QuestBridge, a scholarship admissions program for low-income students used by Vassar and other prestigious colleges, quoted Hill.

Eliza Hartley ’12 was featured in a New York Times Real Estate section story about Brooklyn apartment hunting. Hartley moved to Crown Heights to attend medical school at the State University of New York Health Science Center in Brooklyn.

Benjamin Busch '91

Benjamin Busch ’91 authored “Today Is Better Than Tomorrow” in Harper’s Magazine. Busch, a U.S. Marine who served in Iraq in 2003, shares his experiences during a recent return trip to the country. Busch was also interviewed by NPR and WNYC.

Lucinda Franks Morgenthau ’68 discussed her new memoir Timeless: Love, Morgenthau, and Me on The Leonard Lopate Show. The book details Franks’ marriage to former Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau.

Sociology and gender studies professor at Stony Brook University Michael Kimmel ’72 and Gloria Steinem discussed consensual sex on campus in a New York Times op-ed. Kimmel was also interviewed on WAMC’s 51%.  

Hannah Groch-Begley '12

Hannah Groch-Begley ’12 authored an article for the Atlantic on women from World War I who suffered from “shell shock” or post-traumatic stress disorder. The story focuses on women from Great Britain who endured air raids as well as those who worked on the front lines in France and Belgium.

Minerva Tantoco ’86 was named New York City’s first-ever chief technology officer, heading Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Office of Technology and Innovation, as reported by Crain’s New York Business. Tantoco will work with tech communities throughout the city’s five boroughs.

The Daily Freeman wrote about the Undergraduate Research Summer Institute (URSI) program, in which more than 100 Vassar students and professors participate each year.

Ellen Swallow Richards, Class of 1870

Women’s science and environmental studies pioneer Ellen Swallow Richards, Class of 1870, was the topic of a Herald & Review editorial. The piece mentions Swallow’s interest in science, noting that no New England colleges offered science programs to women, which led her to Vassar, where she graduated with a degree in chemistry. Swallow went on to open a laboratory for women at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she taught.

Pamela Clarke ’66 was named head of school at the Doane Stuart School in Rensselaer, N.Y., as reported by the Times Union. Previously head of Trevor Day School, an independent school in Manhattan, Clarke serves as a board member of the New York State Association of Independent Schools and Harlem Academy.

Steven Cook '90

The Council on Foreign Relations published two articles contributed by Steven Cook ’90. The first provides a detailed analysis on whether the U.S. should work with Syria’s Bashar al-Assad in the fight against ISIS. The second is a look at the nation’s plans to counter ISIS. Cook writes the council’s From the Potomac to the Euphrates blog, which examines developments in the Middle East and their resonance in Washington.

Laura Webber ’16 was featured on ABC7 News in San Francisco for her work with the millionth tree planting event of the 4-H Million Trees Project. Webber founded the service-learning project as a teenager.

The Poughkeepsie Journal noted women’s volleyball coach Jonathan Penn, who picked up his 300th career victory when the Brewers finished second at the recent Seven Sisters Tournament.

Barefoot Monkeys performance

A Poughkeepsie Journal article about the Arlington Street Fair mentioned the Barefoot Monkeys, a longtime Vassar juggling and circus troupe. The group performed at the annual  event, which also coincided with Freshman Families Weekend.

An upcoming lecture by Hamza Yusuf, president of Zaytuna College, the first Muslim liberal arts college in the United States, was highlighted in the Daily Freeman. Yusuf is scheduled to speak at Vassar on October 13.

The Litchfield County Times named Deluge one of its Passport Picks. The former Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center exhibition featured a fabric installation by artist Todd Knopke.

Professor Kiese Laymon

English and Africana studies professor Kiese Laymon was named one of The Root 100, a compilation of the most influential African Americans in the United States. Laymon, who was ranked #86 on the list, is a frequent contributor to various publications on a range of topics, including race and politics.

CBS This Morning featured a segment on the Folger Shakespeare Library, founded by prominent alumna Emily Jordan Folger, Class of 1879, and her husband, Henry.

The Wall Street Journal quoted Stuart Kaswell ’76, executive vice president and managing director, general counsel, of Managed Funds Association, for a story on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s easing of the hedge fund advertising ban.

The Vassar College Store was noted in a New York Times article about used textbook company Sidewalk and how it has managed to succeed alongside business giants such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The College Store uses Sidewalk’s kiosk product, Marketplace, to sell and rent textbooks to students.

New York-based writer Jean-Luc Bouchard ’14 penned an essay titled “Let’s Write About It,” which was published by Chicago Literati. The piece discusses writing on the topic of depression. Bouchard also contributed a CollegeHumor story on becoming “Facebook official” with relationship statuses.

Michaela Coplen '18

Michaela Coplen ’18 received the Daily Point of Light Award, a celebration of the power of individuals to spark change and improve the world. Coplen creates and conducts workshops around the country to teach children how to use poetry to release complicated emotions.

Quad-Cities Online interviewed Lisa Arkfeld ’91 about mental illness, how it wreaks havoc on lives, and ways people can get help. Arkfeld, who has bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and agoraphobia, volunteers with the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Professor Dara Greenwood

Associate Professor of Psychology Dara Greenwood was interviewed for a Discovery News article on why people take nude photos of themselves—in response to the stolen iCloud images of celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence and Rihanna.

The Daily Freeman wrote about Vassar’s Class of 2018. The 665 freshmen were accepted from a pool of 7,784 applicants.

A Philipstown.info story on hops production in New York State included information on Matthew Vassar, who made his fortune brewing beer in Poughkeepsie.

Faculty Accolades

Professor Eve Dunbar

Light Carruyo, associate professor of sociology, and Eve Dunbar, associate professor of English, received a Contemplative Mind Teaching and Learning Center Grant from the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. The grant is awarded to support the partnership between Vassar’s Learning, Teaching, and Research Center (LTRC) and the Exploring Transfer program to host a workshop that will bring Vassar and community college faculty members together to explore the role of contemplative practices in learning goal-centered course design and pedagogy.

Professor Eugenio Giusti

Eugenio Giusti, associate professor of Italian, is author of The Renaissance Courtesan in Words, Letters, and Images: Social Amphibology and Moral Framing (a Diachronic Perspective)—newly published for LED Edizioni Universitarie, Milan. In the book, Giusti analyzes how women in general, and prostitutes and courtesans in particular, repeatedly challenged the prevailing behavioral rules of the 16th-18th centuries in an attempt to affirm their individual freedom. 

Hua Hsu, associate professor of English, was selected as a Fellow of the New America Foundation. The New America Fellows Program supports talented journalists, academics, and other public policy analysts who offer a fresh and often unpredictable perspective on the major challenges facing our society. The fellowship will support Hsu’s research and writing for his new book on the history of diversity and multiculturalism.

Barbara Olsen, associate professor of Greek and Roman studies, had her book Women in Mycenaean Greece: The Linear B Tablets from Pylos and Knossos published. It is the first book-length study of women in the Linear B tablets from Mycenaean Greece and the only to collect and compile all the references to women in the documents of the two best attested sites of Late Bronze Age Greece. The manuscript was supported by awards from the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, a Faculty Committee on Research award, and a fellowship from the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C.

Chief Information Officer Michael Cato

Michael Cato, chief information officer, and his team of co-principal investigators from Vassar’s Computing and Information Services (CIS)—David Blahut, assistant director of networks and telecommunications; Victoria Cutrone, network administrator; Emily Harris, director of networks and systems; Elizabeth Hayes, director of administrative information services; David Susman, associate director of networks and systems and web manager; and Steven Taylor, director of academic computing services—were awarded two major grants from the Campus Cyberinfrastructure: Infrastructure, Innovation and Engineering program of the National Science Foundation.

Professor Julie Park

Julie Park, assistant professor of English, was selected as one of two long-term fellows in the Materialities, Texts and Images program of Caltech and the Huntington Library. She will be continuing work on her book project Dark Rooms and Moving Objects: Mediating Interior Life in Eighteenth-Century England while organizing an international workshop on perspective as a transhistorical and interdisciplinary concept and practice. 

Tom Parker, assistant professor of French and francophone studies, with colleagues from Smith, Grinnell, Wellesley, Bowdoin, Swarthmore, and Williams colleges, has received a grant from the Alliance to Advance Liberal Arts Colleges (AALAC) to advance the use of digital humanities in the classroom. The project, entitled Blended Learning Approaches to Teaching Early Modern France in a Liberal Arts Context, investigates a series of new strategies to create deeper learning outcomes for liberal arts college students.   

Harry Roseman, professor of art, opened a new exhibition, In the Mirror: Haircuts 1988-2014, at Sacha & Olivier in New York City. The exhibit celebrates one of the artist’s ongoing documentary photography projects. For over 25 years, Roseman has had his hair cut by Olivier—first at Olivier’s apartment on Cooper Square, then at his current location on 18th Street. Their hair went from brown to gray as the film went from black and white to color and then from film to digital.

Professor and assistant to the president Christopher Smart

Christopher Smart, assistant to the president and associate professor of chemistry, was awarded a grant from the Barth-Haas Group of Nuremberg, Germany, for his project entitled Chemical Study of Hop Oils, Alpha and Beta Acid Profiles as a Function of Growth Conditions, Handling and Storage. The project seeks to train students in chemical analysis of New York State-grown hops (Humulus lupulus) and to open new research questions concerning the chemical profile of hops as a function of time, handling, and more thorough analyses performed according to the methods of the American Society of Brewing Chemists (ASBC). 

—Compiled by Debbie Swartz


—Photo of Barefoot Monkeys ©Vassar College-Holly Wilmeth; Catharine Hill and Kiese Laymon ©Vassar College-John Abbott; Christopher Smart and Eugenio Giusti ©Vassar College-Buck Lewis; Michael Cato ©Vassar College-Evan Abramson; Eve Dunbar ©Vassar College-Gabriel Schuster ’11; Hannah Groch-Begley ’12 courtesy of subject.

Posted by Office of Communications Monday, September 29, 2014