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A Healthy Decision?

By Sherri Kimmel

A Healthy Decision? A month after graduation you wouldn’t expect the second floor of Kohlberg Hall to be buzzing with activity. But on June 28, several economics professors were hunkered down in their offices, poised in anticipation. It was nearing 10 a.m., the witching hour for the Supreme Court’s decision on whether or not the Affordable Care Act (ACA), popularly and somewhat derisively known as Obamacare, would live or die. The media machine was in a race to be first out of the gate with the hot news. Assistant Professor Erin Todd Bronchetti pulled up CNN and saw that the Roberts Court had struck down the health-care reform law. Her eyes were not sparkling with delight.

Civic Connections Power Professor’s Work

By Carol Brévart-Demm

Associate Professor of Political Science Ben Berger teaching his students. This year, as he did four years ago, Associate Professor of Political Science Ben Berger is teaching his students about the electoral process not only in class but also on the streets. “We’re doing voter registration, and students also have an option to work with campaigns of their choice—whether local, state, national, Republican, Democrat—or to work with community partners outside of the political system,” he says. Driving students to surrounding communities so they can walk door to door encouraging residents to vote is another activity he anticipates during every election year as part of his community-based learning class, Democratic Theory and Practice.

Open to Debate

By Paul Wachter ’97

Peter Berkowitz ’81, a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, teaches a class. Peter Berkowitz ’81, a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, has accumulated advanced degrees with the frequency of a fashionista who must have the season’s new line. A master’s degree in philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. A law degree from Yale. A Ph.D. in political science from Yale. It’s an intellectual’s resumé, and it’s easy to imagine Berkowitz as a young child in Deerfield, Ill., curled over a challenging book. But as he tells it, it was his devotion to another object?the tennis racquet?which may have launched his career as a scholar.

The Right Kind of Economist

By Christopher Maier

The Right Kind of Economist Diana Furchtgott-Roth ’79 is the kind of person who savors opportunities to explain how economic theory affects the way we live our lives. “I prefer to translate economics into public policy” is how she puts it, her words coated in a polished English accent. And whether she’s talking about health care, green jobs, gender in the workplace, or any other of the near-infinite number of topics that pique her interest, she typically performs this translation while espousing a steadfast belief in the twin values of liberated markets and limited government—a stance the 53-year-old has honed throughout a long career in the nation’s capital.
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Community Voices

Cultivating a Diverse and Inclusive Learning Environment

By Liz Braun

Liz Braun, dean of students During the last two years, in the context of strategic planning, students, faculty, and staff have been in dialogue about Swarthmore’s strengths and challenges in fulfilling our commitment to cultivating a diverse and inclusive learning environment. The College has long been a leader in recruitment and retention of underrepresented students. Numbers are a critical component; however, they are only one facet of a diverse and inclusive learning community.
Books + Arts

Reducing Gun Violence is Author Kennedy’s Aim

David Kennedy, a well-known and highly respected academic criminologist, speaking at Swarthmore. David Kennedy ’80 describes his extra-ordinary book as a work of “experimental nonfiction.” Some people refer to it as a memoir. I call it an “autobiography of public policy.” Kennedy, a well-known and highly respected academic criminologist, tells the story of both his scholarship and his practical efforts to end gun violence in American cities. It is an unusually forthright book, intensely personal, and compelling in its message and conviction.
In My Life

Swarthmore in Brooklyn

By Abby Kluchin ’03

Abby Kluchin ’03 shares concepts with students in her course Dreams and Hysteria: An Introduction to Freud, one of two courses she taught this past summer at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research. In the fall of my senior year, Professor Mark Wallace announced to our Postmodern Religion Thought honors seminar that we could understand the 20th century as a choice between Roland Barthes and Karl Barth. Naturally, this inspired Christine Smallwood ’03, one of my first-year roommates, and me to go straight home to make matching hand-lettered T-shirts with the authors’ names emblazoned on the front. We proudly wore them to seminar the following week. I picked Karl; Christine chose Roland.