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In the Media - June 2018 Roundup

Vassar College President Elizabeth Bradley with local elected officials and Special Olympics athletes and organizers.

Vassar College received a $1 million Inclusive Excellence grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to help attract and retain more students who are traditionally underrepresented in the sciences, as noted by the New York Business Journal and the Daily Freeman. Vassar will host the 2019 and 2020 Special Olympics New York State Summer Games, as noted by the Poughkeepsie Journal and Mid-Hudson News Network. The college was noted for its commitment to socioeconomic diversity in a Knowledge@Wharton story and it was mentioned in a Weekly Mailer story about the history of women’s baseball. President Elizabeth Bradley was quoted in a New York Times article about how a more egalitarian hospital culture is better for patients and employees. President Emerita Catharine Bond Hill was quoted in a San Francisco Chronicle story about a new study indicating that a majority of Americans would complete their college degrees if time and/or money were not barriers. She was appointed senior trustee of Yale University’s board of trustees, as announced by YaleNews.

Raúl Esparza

Vassar & New York Stage and Film’s 2018 Powerhouse Theater season was the subject of stories published by WAMC, the New York Times, the Poughkeepsie Journal,,, and Hudson Valley One.  Hudson Valley magazine (written by Sabrina Sucato ’15),,, Times Square Chronicles, and Playbill. The cast of Radio Island, including lead actress Pascale Armand, was the subject of and Playbill stories. The addition of Raúl Esparza and Alice Ripley to the Powerhouse lineup was included in,, and Playbill stories. Jason Robert Brown’s new musical, The Connector, workshopped at Powerhouse, was mentioned in a story. New additions to the Powerhouse season, including Kate Shindle, Nick Blaemire, Alex Brightman, and Barbara Walsh, were the subjects of stories published by, Playbill, and

The $1 million Plapinger Family Posse Veterans Scholarship, established with the donations of more than 50 current and former Vassar trustees in honor of retiring Board of Trustees Chair William Plapinger ’74, P’10, was the subject of a Hudson Valley 360 story.

The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center and one of its works, Édouard Vuillard’s Buste De Femme Assise (Misia Natanson), were mentioned in a Wall Street Journal story.

Lilli Cooper ’12 and Ethan Slater ’14

Tony Award-nominated actor Ethan Slater ’14 won the 2018 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of SpongeBob SquarePants in the musical of the same name, as noted by many media outlets, including Playbill and American Theatre magazine. Slater was interviewed on WNYC’s Ask Me Another about how he became involved in the musical and he will be honored at the Broadway Beacon Awards, as noted by He also appeared on The View, singing one of the musical’s songs, “(Just A) Simple Sponge,” and was interviewed by Deadline Hollywood about how he came to work on the musical. Slater and Lilli Cooper ’12, who plays Sandy Cheeks, were mentioned in a Backstage magazine story about the 72nd annual Tony Awards.

The life of award-winning chef, author, and No Reservations and Parts Unknown host Anthony Bourdain ’77 was the subject of many news articles, including those appearing in the New York TimesVariety—written by fellow chef, author, and television host Andrew Zimmern ’84—and the Los Angeles Times.

Bryan Van Norden, Professor of Philosophy, wrote a New York Times op-ed about the right to free speech versus the right to provide speakers with an audience.

Jane Hertzmark Hudis ’81

Jane Hertzmark Hudis ’81, Group President of Estée Lauder Companies Inc., was the subject of a Cut story.

Author and former New York City prosecutor Linda Fairstein ’69 wrote a Medium op-ed about her work as one of the founders of the city’s sex crimes unit, which worked to find justice for sexual assault victims.

Geoffrey Wertime ’06 wrote a New York Times letter to the editor praising the newspaper’s story about problems facing New York City’s housing courts and defending tenants.

Making Gay History, the podcast created and hosted by Eric Marcus ’80, was the subject of a Windy City Times story.

Wendy Washington ’90

Wendy Washington ’90, founder and CEO of TID Agency, will be honored with a Living Legends Foundation award, as announced by the foundation.

Nick Lee ’19 wrote an Outsports op-ed about the support he received, as an LGBTQ athlete, from his men’s tennis teammates.

Mark Kluger ’84, founding partner at Kluger Healey LLC, was quoted in an NBC News story about sexual harassment at gyms and health clubs.

Deborah Wince-Smith ’72, President and CEO of the U.S. Council on Competitiveness, joined Skyworks’ strategic board of advisors, as noted by KXXV.

Joseph Nevins, Professor of Geography and Director of Independent Program, wrote an AlterNet column about how U.S. policy in Honduras helped set the stage for today’s mass migration.

Barry Lam

Barry Lam, Associate Professor of Philosophy, was quoted in a HuffPost story about how Facebook’s new advertising disclosure policy is impacting legitimate news sites, podcasts, and nonprofits.

Immigrant, Montana, by Amitava Kumar, Professor of English on the Helen D. Lockwood Chair, was included in Vanity Fair’s summer reading list.

The Immortalists, the latest book by author Chloe Benjamin ’10, was included in Newsweek’s “The 50 Coolest Books to Read this Summer” list.

Maria Höhn, Professor and Chair of History on the Marion Musser Lloyd ’32 Chair, penned a Chicago Defender story, remembering the African American soldiers who fought in World War II.

Richard Born, Professor of Political Science, was quoted in a New York Times story about how a presidential endorsement is impacting a Staten Island congressional race.

Yu Zhou, Professor of Geography, was mentioned in a Nature story about the effects of a possible U.S.-Chinese trade war on scientific research.

Sidney Plotkin, Professor of Political Science on the Margaret Stiles Halleck Chair, was quoted in an InsideSources story, penned by Andrew Solender ’20, about how health care will be a divisive issue within Democratic primaries.

Ade Raphael ’12

Ade Raphael ’12, who used cannabis to treat the pain associated with the chemotherapy and radiation therapy she received for nasopharyngeal carcinoma, was the subject of a Westword story.

Carlos Espina ’21, who participated in a protest against the separation of immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border, was quoted in a KVIA story about U.S. senators who were denied access to a shelter housing immigrant children.

Yvette Durant Downs ’82 was named Chief Financial Officer of the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans, as noted by the Times-Picayune.

Vassar’s first professor, astronomer Maria Mitchell, was the subject of a Nature article.

HeARTs Speak, a nonprofit organization dedicated to uniting art and advocacy to increase the visibility of shelter animals, founded by Lisa Prince Fishler ’97, was the subject of a story.

Helen Black ’45-44, a conservationist who founded Cincinnati Nature Center, was remembered by the Cincinnati Business Courier.

Actress Anne Hathaway ’04 was the subject of a Glamour magazine story.

Sessi Kuwabara Blanchard ’18 wrote a Refinery29 column about her experiences in the job market and her reasons for marketing her skills as a freelancer.

Debra Zeifman, Professor of Psychological Science, was quoted in a Broadly story about the trauma suffered by children who are taken away from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Amazon Prime series The Adventures of Snow White and Rose Red, written, directed, and produced by Nicole Coady ’89, was mentioned by Collider and Time Out New York Kids and was the subject of a Saratoga Living story.

Natalie Keng ’90

Natalie Keng ’90, founder of Chinese Southern Belle, was featured in Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Atlanta INtown stories about her company.

Matthew Beck ’00 was appointed Vice President of Investor Relations at CureVac AG biopharmaceutical company, as noted by Markets Insider.

Lynn Christenson, Associate Professor of Biology, was quoted in a Highlands Current story about global warming and its effects on a wildlife sanctuary.

Former Ann Cornelisen Fellow Lennon Jones ’16 was interviewed for a MENAFN story about the experience of an American student fasting in Morocco during Ramadan.

Tara Powers ’97 was named the City of Plattsburgh’s new Promotions and Special Events Coordinator, as noted by the Press-Republican.

A photo of CrossFit instructor Thomas Szymanski ’09 was featured in a Washington Post story about CrossFit founder Greg Glassman and his feud with the soda industry.

-Lilli Cooper ’12 and Ethan Slater ’14 ©Vassar College-Samuel Stuart; Wendy Washington ’90 courtesy of TID Agency; Ade Raphael ’12 ©Maria Levitov; Barry Lam ©Duke Photography-Megan Mendenhall; Jane Hertzmark Hudis ’81 ©WWD; Raúl Esparza and Natalie Keng ’90 courtesy of the subjects.; Special Olympics photo ©Vassar College-Karl Rabe.

Posted by Office of Communications Thursday, June 28, 2018