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In the Media – May 2015 Roundup

Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Art Rodriguez

An op-ed about the need for economic diversity at elite colleges co-written by President Catharine Bond Hill and Harold Levy, executive director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, was published in USA Today. Hill was quoted in an Inside Higher Ed story on income and resource disparities among colleges and universities. Vassar was part of a Bloomberg Business graphic depicting famous people giving graduation speeches across America. The college was included in a Forbes list of the 10 colleges whose students almost always repay their debts. The American performances of Ashinaga’s At Home in the World—featuring the Vassar College Choir—were written about in the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Vassar’s 150th Commencement was the subject of a Poughkeepsie Journal article.

A Wall Street Journal article about venture capitalists helping connect low-income students with elite colleges noted Vassar’s QuestBridge students and quoted Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Art Rodriguez

The college’s Archives & Special Collections Library was noted in a Fine Books & Collections story regarding its sponsorship of a special exhibition at the Grolier Club in New York City.

The acquisition of a 17th-century Baroque masterwork, The Finding of Moses, by the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center was noted in ArtDaily and Chronogram. The Poughkeepsie Journal reported on the Embodying Compassion in Buddhist Art: Image, Pilgrimage, Practice exhibition at the Art Center.

Kyra Sedgwick performs during the 2014 Powerhouse Theater season.

The 2015 Powerhouse Theater season, featuring new works by Stephen Trask, Duncan Sheik, and Michael John LaChiusa, was covered by Playbill, TheaterMania.com, Broadway.com, and BroadwayWorld.com.  

The Poughkeepsie Journal profiled Rabbi Kerry Chaplin, the new Rose and Irving Rachlin Director for Jewish Student Life and assistant director of the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life.

Crain’s Cleveland Business wrote about bank executive Diane Downing ’77, who was chosen to manage operations of the committee putting on the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in 2016.

Heather Ingraham '15

Heather Ingraham ’15, who captured the NCAA Division III national track title in the 400-meter dash, was featured in a Poughkeepsie Journal story.

Sirius XM Radio announced that best-selling author and executive recruiter Jim Citrin ’81 will host a new radio show, Career Playbook Radio, geared toward millennials, young professionals, and parents of recent college graduates. Citrin, author of The Career Playbook: Essential Advice for Today’s Aspiring Young Professional, was also interviewed on The Today Show.

Dante Varotsis ’13 and his teammates from eNable 3D Printed Prosthetic received a $100,000 Genesis Generation Challenge award for supporting innovative projects guided by Jewish values to address the world’s pressing issues.

Matt Elisofon ’13, co-author of the film Being Charlie, was mentioned in a Hollywood Reporter article about the movie.

Max Kutner '11

Newsweek published the latest story by Max Kutner ’11, who investigates recent prisoner escapes in the U.S., all of them taking place during hospital visits.

Sue Weinberg ’51 received the Distinguished Service Award of the New-York Historical Society. Weinberg served on the historical society’s board for several years.

Paula Williams Madison ’74 spoke with ABC News about her documentary and book Finding Samuel Lowe, which recounts her experiences of finding her Chinese family roots.

The retirement of Wesleyan University professor, author, and Chinese scholar Vera Schwarcz ’69 was illuminated in the Jewish Ledger.

Dr. Claudia Thomas '74

A story about Dr. Claudia Thomas ’74, the first black woman orthopedic surgeon in the U.S., appeared on BlackAmericaWeb.com.

Bruce Mendelsohn ’90, executive director of the New England Region of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, was noted in the “People on the Move” section of the Boston Business Journal.

Graham Campbell '99

Graham Campbell ’99, a former police officer, authored a BuzzFeed article on the lack of verbal response from police officers in light of recent episodes of fatal police violence in the U.S.

Iris Mack ’78, a trade and financial analyst and former MIT professor, was interviewed by WDET about the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

An Orlando Sentinel story on Orange County school district “Super Scholars”—students admitted to the top 20 nationally ranked colleges, universities, and military academies—noted a group of five Evans High School seniors, dubbed “the Vassar girls,” who were all admitted to Vassar. The article named two of the Vassar-bound seniors: Yold Delius ’19, a QuestBridge scholar, and Clarisel Paulino ’19.

Cherri Branson ’81, a former Montgomery County councilmember and chief counsel for oversight for the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security, was appointed to head the county’s Office of Procurement, as reported by MyMCMedia.

Sherrilyn Ifill '84

The Huffington Post published a blog by Lonna Saunders ’74, who recalls the protests and National Guard shootings at Kent State in 1970 and links them to the recent protests and riots in Baltimore. The post notes fellow alumna Sherrilyn Ifill ’84, head of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Ifill, who was this year’s commencement speaker at both Bard College and New York University, was also the subject of a Capital New York story.

Hudson Valley magazine ran a profile of former Vassar employee Vera Van Wagner, who turned 111 years old on May 24.

Associate Professor Christine Howlett

Christine Howlett, associate professor of music and director of choral activities, was noted in a Hearst Media Group article about free concerts in Danbury, Connecticut.

Emily Jordan Folger, Class of 1879, was mentioned in an NPR story about the creation of the Folger Shakespeare Library and a new book about its founders, Emily and her husband, Henry Clay Folger.

English professor Amitava Kumar appeared on WNYC’s The Takeaway to discuss the PEN American Center’s decision to honor the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo with its annual Freedom of Expression Courage Award. He also spoke to WNYC about his new book, Lunch with a Bigot.

Meghan Daum '92

Meghan Daum ’92 and her book Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids were featured in New York magazine.

Actress, author, and businesswoman Tanya Wright ’89 was interviewed on Arise Entertainment 360 about the Oliver Scholars, a program she’s been involved with since receiving a scholarship herself.

TVLine, Time, People, and Us Weekly reported on the 2015 Critics’ Choice Television Awards nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy Series for Lisa Kudrow ’85, who plays Valerie Cherish in HBO’s The Comeback.

Marie Dugo ’11 was quoted in a Daily News story about attractive men’s body types.

Vassar Chamber Group

Vassar and its Chamber Music Program was the subject of a Daily Mail article. 

Fulbright Award recipient Luke Kachelein ’15 was written about in Western World.

Rolling Out featured a story on Adelphi University professor Marsha Darling ’73, who recently spoke at the National Action Network Conference about the role of engaged intellectuals in social concerns.

Barbara Page, professor emerita of English, was quoted in a New York Times article about Welcome to This House, a documentary film about the life of poet Elizabeth Bishop ’34.

Faculty Accolades

Assistant Professor Lynn Christenson

Lynn Christenson, assistant professor of biology, was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation for a collaborative research project titled “Pathways and Patterns of Litter Chemistry During Decomposition,” which aims to expand understanding of the nature of plant litter chemistry changes throughout decomposition, informing the design of future experiments and models of decomposition.   

Rose Muravchick, Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Religion, has been selected as a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Scholar from a countrywide applicant pool to attend one of 23 seminars and institutes supported by the NEH. Muravchick will participate in an institute titled “American Muslims: History, Culture, and Politics,” to be hosted by George Washington University in Washington, D.C.   

Barbara Page, Professor Emerita of English on the Helen D. Lockwood Chair, appears as a narrator in award-winning documentary filmmaker Barbara Hammer’s latest film, Welcome to This House, chronicling the life of poet and Vassar alumna Elizabeth Bishop ’34 by focusing on her ambivalent relations to places at the water’s edge: Nova Scotia, Key West, Brazil, and Boston.  

Assistant Professor Thomas Parker

Thomas Parker, assistant professor of French and Francophone studies, is author of Tasting French Terroir: The History of an Idea. The book explores the origins and significance of the French concept of terroir, demonstrating that the way the French eat their food and drink their wine today derives from a cultural mythology that developed between the Renaissance and the Revolution. 

Bojana Zupan, assistant professor of psychology, and her Undergraduate Research Summer Institute student Kevin Newhall ’17 were on Capitol Hill April 22-23 as one of only two teams from New York State chosen for the Council on Undergraduate Research’s “Posters on the Hill” event, where students present original research to members of Congress. Newhall, whose project was “More Than Genetics: How Maternal Environment Induces Changes in Learning Strategies in Mice that Model Autism,” met personally with his home state Senator Ed Markey and local Congressman Seth Moulton as well as with staff of Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand. 

Adam Lowrance, assistant professor of mathematics, was awarded a Simons Foundation Collaboration Grant for Mathematicians for his project “Algebraic Structures in Link Homology.”   

Professor Richard Wilson

Professor of Music Richard Wilson’s On the Death of Juan Gelman, a setting of Lucy Miller Murray’s poem for mezzo-soprano, clarinet, and piano, will receive its first performance at the Chamber Music Northwest Summer Festival in Portland, Oregon, on July 10. The work was commissioned by Concert Artists Guild of New York City.

--Photo of Chamber Group rehearsal ©Vassar College-Russell Monk; Kyra Sedgwick ©Vassar College and New York Stage and Film-Buck Lewis; Heather Ingraham Vassar Athletics; Max Kutner '11, Graham Campbell '99, and Meghan Daum '92 courtesy of the subject; Dr. Claudia Thomas '71 ©Windsor Media Enterprises LLC; Sherrilyn Ifill '84 ©NAACP Legal Defense Fund; Associate Professor of Music Christine Howlett, Assistant Professor of Biology Lynn Christenson ©Vassar College; Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies Thomas Parker ©Vassar College-Amanda Crommett '13; Music Professor Richard Wilson ©Vassar College-Karl Rabe.

Posted by Office of Communications Tuesday, June 2, 2015