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In the Media - October 2020 Roundup

For Halloween, President Bradley and spouse, John, celebrated as PB&J. Very, clever!

Vassar College and President Elizabeth Bradley were included in a New York Times article about the success of various colleges’ pandemic response plans. The College, which has an A+ ranking, was included in an Inside Higher Ed story about college COVID dashboards. The Yale School of Public Health website featured Bradley in its October Alumni Spotlight. Vassar’s innovative way of bringing local businesses to campus was mentioned in a Poughkeepsie Journal story about the impact of COVID-19 on local businesses. The College was also mentioned in a MuggleNet story about the 15th anniversary of Muggle quidditch.

Sherrilyn Ifill ’84, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, is one of Glamour magazine’s 2020 Women of the Year. She was also the subject of a Baltimore Sun story that centered on her selection.

Anna Horner '00

Anna Horner ’00, World Food Programme Chief of Global Partnerships, Innovative Finance and Knowledge Management for Nutrition, talked with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about the work of the organization, which won the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize.

Kyriell Noon ’94 was named Chief Executive Officer of Hamilton Families, a nonprofit that seeks to end family homelessness in San Francisco, as noted by Medium.

Amy Walsh ’87, a partner at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe focusing on white collar, investigations, securities litigation, and compliance, led a successful lawsuit challenging robocall voter suppression, as noted in the Amsterdam News and the New York Law Journal.

A Design for Six Feet Initiative project by the Vassar student-led design team DownupNY, which includes Kate Walters ’21, Aden Fischer-Brown ’21, and Nola Kim Mayer ’22—was the subject of a Chronogram story.

Tea Binder ’20 is one of several KPMG Future Leaders Program Class members who are making an impact in their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, as noted by PGA.

Perestroika in Paris, the latest novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jane Smiley ’71, was the subject of a Publishers Weekly story.

Jeff Kay ’99 was named City Manager of the city of Healdsburg, California, as noted by the Press Democrat.

Jubi Arriola-Headley '91

Author and poet Jubi Arriola-Headley ’91 was interviewed by PEN America about writing poetry, inspiration, getting published, and his first collection of poems, original kink.

Writer Marguerite Elisofon ’78 penned a Medium article, “An Autism Mom’s Tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”

Charles Lemonides ’84, Founder and Chief Investment Officer and ValueWorks LLC, was interviewed by ValueWalk.

Richard Born, Professor of Political Science, was quoted in a WalletHub article about minority voter turnout and redistricting.

Emlyn Doolittle ’20, part of the Johnson Service Corps, was quoted in an Episcopal News Service story.

Katy Finch ’96, co-creator of the zine, “The Pirate Ship,” talked to the Bangor Daily News about the zine, which chronicles the lives of marginalized people living on the streets of Portland, Maine.

Jason Blum ’91, Founder and CEO of Blumhouse Productions, and the production work he’s done, were the subjects of stories in the Saturday Evening Post and The Verge. Blum’s ‘Purge’ films, and their message about America, was the subject of a New York Times Magazine story. The Los Angeles Times wrote about how his production company is opening doors for women and filmmakers of color with the new series Welcome to the Blumhouse.

Rabbi Bryan Mann

Rabbi Bryan Mann, Rachlin Director for Jewish Student Life, was quoted in a Salon story about spiritual counsel during our tumultuous political times.

Kathy Teyler Jarrett ’73 was named Dorothy Mangurian Volunteer of the Year by the Lewy Body Dementia Association.

Gabriel Dunsmith ’15 wrote a moving Grist article as a tribute to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Bryan Van Norden, Professor of Philosophy on the James Monroe Taylor Chair, was quoted in a Daily Nous story about poor arguments against teaching Chinese philosophy.

Tony Award-winning composer and sound designer Fitz Patton ’88 was nominated again, this time for Best Original Score for his work on The Rose Tattoo, as noted by Playbill.

The book, The Stuff of Soldiers, by Brandon Schechter ’05 won the American Historical Association’s Paul Birdsall Prize in European Military and Strategic History, as noted by the association.

Professor Yu Zhou

Yu Zhou, Professor of Geography, was quoted in a Wired story about the possible impacts of China’s new climate pledge.Sophia Corwin ’23, who has a hearing impairment, talked to GBH about students in her classes wearing clear masks so she can read their lips.

Amitava Kumar, Professor of English on the Helen D. Lockwood Chair, wrote a Caravan article in response to the beating of a Caravan journalist, Ahan Penkar.

Fritz Friedman ’74, President of The Fritz Friedman Company, was named one of the 75 most influential Filipino-Americans for 2020, as noted by Media Play News.

Bobby Kinne ’18, Tampa Bay Rays scout and replay coordinator, talked with the Berkshire Eagle about the Rays’ advancement to the World Series.

Jyotsna Vaid ’76, Professor of Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience and Women’s and Gender Studies and Director of the Language and Cognition Laboratory at Texas A&M University, was named the winner of the 2020 Eminent Scholar Award by the university’s Aggie Women Network, as noted by Texas A&M Today.

Veronica Cuello ’97, a Vice President at Tetra Tech, discussed cybersecurity and risk management with CSRWire.

Artist Mira Lehr ’56 talked with OMTimes about her life and work.

Steven Cook ’90, Eni Enrico Mattei Senior Fellow for Middle East and Africa Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, was a Blog Talk Radio guest.

Professor Mia Mask

Mia Mask, Professor of Film on the Mary Riepma Ross ’32 Chair, discussed how movies reinforce racial stereotypes on Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien.

Sharon Jennings-Rojas ’91 was appointed Acupuncture and Oriental Medical Department Chair at Maryland University of Integrative Health, as noted by WSC.

Michael Barakiva ’97, Artistic Director of The Upstart Creatures, was mentioned in an story about a new Hangar Theatre production.

Maggie O’Haire ’08, Associate Professor of Human-Animal Interaction at the Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine, talked about her research on service dogs with Medical XPress.

William Plapinger ’74, Vassar’s former Board of Trustees Chair, was named to the Sundance Institute Board of Trustees, as noted by The Wrap and 

John Long, Professor of Biology and Professor of Cognitive Science on the John Guy Vassar Chair of Natural History, was quoted in a Great Courses Daily story about robots.

Mahlia Neely ’23 talked to the Nassau Guardian about her experiences on campus for the Fall Semester.

Rob Rosenbaum ’88, Center Manager at Miami Gardens for ChenMed, was the subject of a South Florida Hospital News story.

Drummer, vocalist, and songwriter Alouette Batteau ’23 was the subject of a Greenfield Recorder story.

Diana Dabby ’72, a professor and creator of the Olin Conductorless Orchestra, was the subject of an IEEE Spectrum story.

Faculty Accolades

Mark Schlessman, Professor of Biology, received a grant from the National Science Foundation that will support a project that allows six members of the Hudson Valley Environmental Monitoring and Management Alliance (EMMA) to digitize their collections. They will partner with the existing New England Vascular Plant Network (NEVP) to digitize approximately 22,250 specimens, of which around 13,550 are from New York state. Alongside Schlessman, the leadership team consists of Keri VanCamp, Field Station and Ecological Preserve Manager, and Nicole Scalessa, Head of Digital Scholarship and Technology Services. 

Kathleen Susman, Professor of Biology and Associate Dean of the Faculty, is lead and co-author of "Neonicotinoid-containing insecticide disruption of growth, locomotion, and fertility in Caenorhabditis elegans,” an article recently published in PLOS-ONE. The article documents a study that involved several Vassar students and high-schoolers in investigating how a commercially available pesticide (one implicated in disruption of honeybee behavior) affects the important soil nematode C. elegans. Elizabeth Whidden ’19 took on this project for her senior thesis, after working on it since she was a sophomore. Other students contributed early in the process, including JR Ko ’14, Tushar Agarwal ’14, Megan Northrup ’15, Alix Masters ’15, Yoona Park ’15, Emily Krebs ’17, Matthew Rodman ’18, Comus Hardman ’19 and Sashie Cephas ’19. 

Christopher White, Professor of Religion, is author of Other Worlds: Spirituality and the Search for Invisible Dimensions, which was recently awarded an inaugural book prize in science and religion from the International Society for Science and Religion. The ISSR’s book prize committee describes the monograph as “a remarkable book about connections between mathematics, physics, fiction, the visual arts, and theology. Christopher White shows how the idea that the universe has multiple, invisible dimensions has inspired science fiction, fantasy novels, films, modern art, spirituality, and religion.”

Photos: Halloween, Grace Adams Ward '24; Headley, Horner, O’Haire, and Mann, courtesy of the subjects; Mia Mask by Buck Lewis; Yu Zhou by Karl Rabe