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In the Media – December 2016 Roundup

Interim President Jonathan Chenette

Vassar College is participating with 29 other colleges and universities in the American Talent Initiative to help increase the number of low-income students at prestigious universities, as noted in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Inside Higher Ed, the New York Times, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, the Daily Freeman, and Education Week. President Emerita Catharine Hill penned an Inside Higher Ed  column about the importance of the higher education community to speak out about the nation’s path going forward following the presidential election. The college was noted for its minority graduation rates in a Huffington Post  column about increased college access and success among minority and low-income students and was included in the Alliance College-Ready Public Schools’ Power 150 Index —a list of the 150 colleges with the highest minority graduation rates—which was noted in LA School Report. Vassar was the recipient of the Hudson River Watershed Alliance’s 2016 Watershed WaveMaker Award for its work to protect, conserve, and restore Hudson River water resources, as noted in the Poughkeepsie Journal  and the Daily Freeman. The college and Interim President Jonathan Chenette were mentioned in Inside Higher Ed  and Boston Globe  stories about campus leaders who urged President-elect Donald Trump to take a stand against harassment, hate, and acts of violence. Both were also mentioned in a Campus Reform  story about the letter signed by the heads of Seven Sisters colleges critical of comments made by Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, and the college was included in a Poughkeepsie Journal  article about regional colleges that have coped with post-election concerns. Vassar was included in a Poughkeepsie Journal  story about the Eggnog Crawl held in the Arlington Business District and a Chicago Tribune  story about fudge. Research on traffic noise affecting birds’ ability to hear predators from Vassar was noted in a Times of India  story.

Astronomer Vera Rubin ’48, who helped discover dark matter and who recently passed away, was the subject of numerous stories, including those covered by the New York Times, WTOP, CNET, the International Business Times, and the Space Reporter

Playbill  and the Poughkeepsie Journal  noted the upcoming performance of six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald at the 15th annual Modfest. McDonald’s appearance will include a concert and discussion about her work.

Dr. George Greer '72

Dr. George Greer ’72 and the Heffter Research Institute, which he co-founded, were mentioned in a New York Times  story about research on psilocybin treatment for depression and anxiety in former cancer patients. Dr. Greer and his work were also mentioned by the Washington Post, the Atlantic, the Guardian, Time, CNN, PBS NewsHour , and the Daily Times.

Meryl Streep ’71 was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for her performance in Florence Foster Jenkins, as noted by the Los Angeles Times. The actress was also nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role, as mentioned in Variety.

Christine Sullivan '65

The Boston Globe  remembered Christine Sullivan ’65, a former Massachusetts secretary of consumer affairs and public relations firm founder.

The annual Service of Lessons and Carols held at the Vassar Chapel was noted in the Daily Freeman.

A special concert in honor of Richard Wilson, Professor of Music on the Mary Conover Mellon Chair, who is retiring this year, was noted in the Daily Freeman.

Eric Marcus '80

A Making Gay History podcast titled “Dear Abby” from Eric Marcus ’80 was included in Elle ’s top 10 list of podcast episodes for 2016. The episode looks at the history of Abigail Van Buren (Dear Abby) and the advice she gave gay people in her syndicated newspaper column. Marcus and his podcast were also mentioned in articles published by Slate, Wired, and uExpress.com.

A petition in support of a Presidential Citizens Medal for suffragist Inez Milholland, class of 1909, was the subject of a WAMC  story. Milholland was also the subject of Press-Republican  and Talking Points Memo  stories.

Political science professor Sidney Plotkin penned a Salon  op-ed about the history of the Electoral College and current criticisms it faces.

Actor and Obie Award winner Paul Thureen ’00 was mentioned in a BroadwayWorld.com  story about casting for The Light Years.

Computer pioneer Grace Hopper ’28 was mentioned in a White House  announcement celebrating women from four eras of space exploration.

The Art of Devastation: Medals and Posters of the Great War exhibition at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center was the subject of a Daily Freeman  story.

Karin Tanabe '02

The Gilded Years, about the life of Anita Hemmings, class of 1897, by author Karin Tanabe ’02, was included on Verily ’s list of “10 Great Books from 2016 That You Might Have Missed.”

Associate Professor of Economics Robert Rebelein penned a Seattle Post-Intelligencer  column about the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise its target interest rate.

Former Texas Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs ’66 was mentioned in a Fence Post  story.

Arushi Raina '14

Publishers Weekly  and Kirkus Reviews  reviewed the book When Morning Comes by author Arushi Raina ’14.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch  noted the appointment of Jim Nolan ’84 to lead the communications department of Richmond Mayor-elect Levar Stoney.

The Vassar field hockey team, assistant coach Abby Seward, and player Emma Bracken ’17 were included in a Poughkeepsie Journal  story about a new field hockey league in Dutchess County.

Hudson Valley News Network  noted the departure of Dutchess County Commissioner of Public Works Noel Knille ’79, who is taking a job as associate vice president at an undisclosed Egyptian university.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science Mark Hoffman co-wrote a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel  story about the job losses that would go along with an end to sanctuary cities.

Katia Beauchamp '05

Katia Beauchamp ’05, co-founder of Birchbox, offered career advice in a Teen Vogue  article.

University of Illinois history professor and author Adrian Burgos, Jr. ’93 was interviewed on NPR’s Morning Edition  about the incorrect rumors that Fidel Castro tried out for the New York Yankees.

Psychology professor Janet Gray was quoted in a Quiet Corner  story about reducing the risk of breast cancer.

Dr. Beatrix Hamburg '44

Dr. Beatrix Hamburg ’44, the first openly identified African American Vassar alumna, was mentioned in an Inside Philanthropy  story.

In her one-woman act Notes from the Field, Anna Deavere Smith plays and quotes real people, including Sherrilyn Ifill ’84, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, as noted in the New York Times .

Sophia Slater ’19, who is taking part in the Vassar-Wesleyan Program in Paris, co-authored three recent Newsweek stories, including one  about Donald Trump’s policies on the Syrian Civil War, one  that looks at the eviction of refugees from Paris, and one  about the removal of refugees from Calais.

Jennifer Raite '08

A Deadline Hollywood  story about a new YouTube Red series, 12 Deadly Days, mentioned the show’s production company, Blumhouse Productions—and its CEO, Jason Blum ’91—and the show’s co-creator, Jennifer Raite ’08.

Jacqueline Onassis ’51 and Susan Wilson ’51 were mentioned in a People  magazine story.

Pretend I’m Your Friend, the latest book by author MB Caschetta ’88, was reviewed by People*.

The appointment of Barbara Weinzierl ’85 to Chief of Staff for University of Akron President Matthew J. Wilson was noted in Crain’s Cleveland Business.

Barry Kostrinsky ’82 wrote a BroadwayWorld.com  column about great works of art.

Rebecca Andrews ’19 and her designation as a member of the College Sports Information Directors of America’s Academic All-American Division III Team were mentioned in a Los Altos Town Crier  article.

Rebecca Schuman '98

Rebecca Schuman ’98 was quoted in an Associations Now  story about censorship of student media.

Benjamin Morin, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Statistics, was mentioned in a Bioengineer.org  story about waging war effectively against viral outbreaks.

Katherine Harmon Courage ’05, Director of Communications for the College of Natural Sciences at Colorado State University, was mentioned in a Source  story about the college’s fall 2016 commencement ceremony.

Madeleine “Maddie” Cichy ’10 received the Cornell University College of Architecture, Art, and Planning’s John Hartell Graduate Award for Art and Architecture in recognition of excellence in studio practice, as noted by the college.

David Wallach ’17 co-authored a paper that appeared in Frontiers in Robotics and AI.

Dance professor John Meehan was mentioned in a Patch.com  story about the Guggenheim’s Performing Arts Series.

Marc Thiessen '89

Marc Thiessen ’89 penned a Fox News  column about the statements by Western leaders praising Fidel Castro.

Habitat for Humanity of Dutchess County intern Daniel Gutowski ’16 was quoted in a Hudson Valley One  story about the nonprofit moving a house.

The intention of soccer player Megan Saari ’21 to attend Vassar was the subject of a Community Advocate  story.

Faculty Accolades

Mihai Grünfeld

The Dressmaker’s Secret, a play by Mihai Grünfeld, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies, will open in New York “Off Broadway” on February 6, 2017, and will run through March 5. The play is an adaptation of a novel and it is about Robi, a 19-year-old electrician who craves all things Western as he searches for identity in post-World War II Communist Romania. It is co-authored with Sarah Levine Simon. More information about the production is available at www.dressmakerssecret.com

Professor of English Amitava Kumar has received a 2016 USA Ford Fellowship in Literature. Each year, United States Artists awards $50,000 fellowships to the country’s “most accomplished and innovative artists” working in nine fields—from architecture and design to music, theater, dance, and visual arts. Fellows are chosen through a highly competitive process involving hundreds of experts, scholars, museum curators, and artists who nominate candidates.

Travis Wilkerson, Visiting Assistant Professor of Film, has had a project accepted by the Sundance Institute for the 2017 New Frontier exhibition at the Sundance Film Festival. Wilkerson’s featured documentary, Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?, is described as a murder-mystery, “a Southern Gothic torn apart and reassembled.” Journeying straight into the black heart of a family and country, this multimedia performance explores a forgotten killing by the artist’s great-grandfather—a white Southern racist—of a black man in Lower Alabama.

­—Christine Sullivan ’65 by Leighton O’Connor; Dr. George Greer ’72, Marc Thiessen ’89, Karin Tanabe ’02, Jennifer Raite ’08, Mihai Grünfeld, Rebecca Schuman ’98, Arushi Raina '14, and Eric Marcus ’80 courtesy of the subjects; Jonathan Chenette ©Vassar College-John Abbott; Katia Beauchamp ’05 ©Vassar College; Dr. Beatrix Hamburg ’44 ©Vassar College-Karl Rabe. 

Posted by Office of Communications Friday, January 6, 2017