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Swarthmore in the News April 22, 2011


The Philadelphia Inquirer

Stimulating scholarship

By Daniel de Vise

April 22, 2011

Students walked into Deborah Stearns's classroom at Montgomery College one recent day to find the query WHAT IS LOVE? scrawled on the board and, beside it, a projected YouTube video of the '90s hit club song of the same name.

They were in for an engaging afternoon. Stearns, 43, earned the honor Maryland Professor of the Year in November for a distinctive brand of teaching, alternately rigorous, inspirational and playful. And this was her signature course: human sexuality.

...Some people imagine community college as the fifth year of high school or as a colorless compendium of career training. But Stearns's courses sound more like the offerings of a liberal arts school. Her success provides a reminder of the breadth of the community college mission, which encompasses everything from automotive technology and landscaping to philosophy and women's studies.

"To me, this is just the first two years of college," Stearns, a psychology professor, said. "It should be the same as the first two years of college anywhere."

Stearns taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Swarthmore College, the University of Chicago, and Georgetown and George Washington universities before joining Montgomery College, the largest community college in Maryland, in 2002.  ...


The Delaware County Daily Times (PA)

Voices for Change Puts Students in the Limelight

By John Kopp

April 20, 2011

CHESTER - Dwayne Johnson said Wildwood, N.J., is the place to be for Senior Week.

Ayanah Jenkins quickly shot that notion down, saying the town is a great place for a weekend trip with the family, but not necessarily the prime spot for Senior Week.

The discussion was one of many during a mock talk show hosted by the pair of high school seniors Tuesday afternoon at Widener University. The duo was participating in the year's final session of Voices For Change, an after-school activity that gives Chester teens the opportunity to gain experience in media productions.

...Jenkins and Johnson are among 10 students that have been meeting regularly to learn the various aspects of television production, including on-spot editing, script writing, microphone placement and live television appearances.

Joslyn Young founded Voices For Change as a six-week summer program run through the city of Chester's recreation department in 2009. Then a junior at Swarthmore College, Young started the program through the college's Eugene M. Lang Opportunity Scholarship Program and helped the students create a 45-minute film entitled "Through Our Eyes."

The students participated in all aspects of filmmaking, including acting, filming and editing. They also took part in internships with media outlets two days a week. ...

The Age (Melbourne, Australia)

People aren't donkeys, so best put away the carrot and stick;
Comment & debate

By Ross Gittins.

April 20, 2011

Politicians' reforms go awry because they treat people as dumb and lazy.

...Why is it that neither rules nor incentives seem to do the trick? And what else can we do that stands a better chance of working? There's a book that offers some answers - Practical Wisdom, by Barry Schwartz, a professor of psychology at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, and Kenneth Sharpe, a professor of political science at the same college.

...So what's the answer? Schwartz and Sharpe say that, though we'll always need rules and rewards in the running of institutions, increasing the emphasis on rules and incentives discourages and diminishes the third, more elusive element needed to make institutions work well: what Aristotle called phronesis and translates as practical wisdom. People exercising practical wisdom use their skills and experience to achieve to the best of their ability the "telos" or true purpose of their activity. Practical wisdom involves finding the right way to do the right thing in the particular case you're dealing with. People are motivated to exercise practical wisdom not to obey rules or increase their income but because they know it's the right thing to do, to benefit their students, patients, clients or customers and obtain personal satisfaction in the process.

...Institutions would work better if, rather than discouraging practical wisdom by tighter rules and bigger incentives, they gave practitioners more flexibility to innovate, improvise and generally exercise their own judgment in doing the right thing. ...


States News Service

Implications for Studying Human Aging, Werner Syndrome, and Bloom Syndrome

April 19, 2011

The following information was released by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine:

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine are delving into the details of the complex structure at the ends of chromosomes. Recent work, e-published in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology last month, describes how these structures, called telomeres, can be protected by caps made up of specialized proteins and stacks of DNA called G-quadruplexes, or "G4 DNA." Telomere caps are like a knot at the end of each chromosome string, with the knot's role preventing the string from unraveling.

"Although G4 DNA has been studied in test tubes for years, we did not know whether it could contribute to telomere protection in actual cells until we performed our studies in yeast cells," stated F. Brad Johnson, MD, PhD, associate professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

...The Penn researchers hope to eventually explore the role of G4 capping in human aging after they know more about the G4 cap in yeast cells, which are easy to study because they can be engineered to make very specific changes in their DNA and proteins.

...This study was supported by grants from the National Institute on Aging. The lead author, Jasmine S. Smith, PhD performed this study as part of her Ph.D. dissertation research, which grew from studies begun by the second author, Qijun Chen, PhD. Dr. Liliya Yatsunyk's lab at Swarthmore College performed many of the studies on G4 DNA structure.


The Wrap (blog)

Warner Bros. Names Mark Easton Deputy Counsel on Eve of Sheen Fight

April 18, 2011

On the eve of its first courtroom clash with Charlie Sheen, Warner Bros. announced the hiring of top attorney Mark Easton as its deputy general counsel.

The timing of the announcement is coincidental, but it occurs as Warner Bros. TV is being closely watched in its fight with the former "Two and a Half Men" star. Attorneys for Sheen and the studio will go to court Tuesday in a hearing that will address whether Sheen's $100 million suit against his former employers will be held in court or arbitration.

Easton will work closely with general counsel John Rogovin to supervise the studio's legal
support and on long-term growth strategies and business plans.

"Mark is one of the preeminent transactional lawyers in the country with broad legal experience and knowledge of our businesses, said Rogovin. His seasoned skill
set and tactical approach will make him a terrific Deputy General Counsel and a great
addition to our team."

...His undergraduate degree is from Swarthmore College, and he holds a Masters in Public Affairs from Princeton, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.



Do You Know These CFDA Nominees & Honorees? You Should!

By Julia Dinardo

April 18, 2011

Every year the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) honors a variety of fashion industry creative talent with awards in several areas, including womenswear, menswear and accessories. Nominees are selected by CFDA members in March and winners are announced at a gala event at NYC's Lincoln Center in early June. For this year's awards, StyleList decided to take a closer look at some of the rising talents and industry stalwarts that would most certainly be prudent to know.

While nominees such as Joseph Altuzarra, Prabal Gurung, Alejandro Ingelmo, Eddie Borgo, and Pamela Love might be lesser known to the wider public, they have already carved out a strong aesthetic and loyal following. ...

Joseph Altuzarra
Nominated for the Swarovski Award for Womenswear, Joseph Altuzarra grew up in Paris and came to the U.S. to attend Swarthmore College, graduating with a B.A. in Art and Art History. His first gig out of college was an internship at Marc Jacobs but he quickly moved on to positions at Proenza Schouler and Givenchy. In Spring 2009 he launched his own eponymous line for the "modern professional woman," with an aesthetic that is a mix between French heritage and New York cutting edge style. He had a quick ascent, with his runway show considered to be one of the most coveted invites during New York Fashion Week. Altuzarra's styles have been featured in publications such as W, Vogue (US, Italian, French, China, Nippon, Russian, UK, and Spain editions), Glamour, Pop, T, and V magazines, amongst others.  ...


The Delaware County Daily Times (PA)

Swarthmore students celebrate Passover

By Leslie Krowchenko, Times Correspondent
April 18, 2011

SWARTHMORE - Swarthmore College freshman Hannah Kosman will be joining her family in Haverford Tuesday evening for the second night of Passover.

Tonight, she will celebrate with her family on campus.

A member of the college Hillel, Kosman is participating in the Passover Co-op.

The 25 students - who purchased the food, cleared the Kosher kitchen in Bond Memorial Hall and will cook and eat together - are hosting Seders each evening for fellow students and members of the college and local community.

"It allows those who would not keep Kosher to do so," said Jewish student adviser Jacob Lieberman. "There are 45 people signed up for each Seder, but we plan to prepare for 70."

Derived from the Hebrew word "Pesach," Passover is the eight-day observance commemorating the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. ...

The most significant observance related to Pesach is the cleaning of the home and removal of chametz, yeast foods made from barley, oats, rye and wheat.

Students worked in two-hour shifts for several days to scrub the surfaces in the kitchen; wash, then boil, the dishes, glassware, utensils and pots and pans and place foil on all surfaces that will come in contact with food.

"Last year was the first time I made a kitchen Kosher for Passover," said sophomore Sydni Adler, co-president of Hillel. "It helped me to learn a lot about Judaism."

The Seder offers a time to gather and retell the story, and the Seder plate, the centerpiece of the table, contains foods reminiscent of the Israelites' struggle.

...Hillel board members from California, Colorado, Maryland, New York and North Carolina will join with those from other parts of the country for the meals.

The mix, including non-Jewish students, will reinforce the family, freedom, teaching and learning aspects of Passover.

"This will be the first time I have been away from my family for the Seder," said Kosman. "It will be interesting to learn from other people's traditions." (blog)

Film Critic Set to Reveal 'Secret Swarthmore Life'

By Richard Horgan

April 14, 2011

LA Times film critic Kenneth Turan graduated from Pennsylvania's Swarthmore College the same year as the release of The Graduate. This coming weekend, the 1967 alum, who went on to earn his master's at Columbia University in New York, will return for an Arts Weekend speech entitled "Swarthmore Made Me: A Critic's Secret Life."

Turan tells Swarthmore's The Phoenix, a student newspaper founded the same year as the LA Times (1881), that his current teaching style is heavily influenced by his time on campus as a history major:

Teaching film reviewing and nonfiction writing at USC, Turan sees a lot of himself in his own students. "I'm excited by the field and I was hoping there was a place for me, which is exactly how my students feel," he said... His teaching style is "an attempt to make my students get as much out of my class as I got out of the classes I took at Swarthmore."


The Wall Street Journal

Introverted Execs Find Ways to Shine

By Joann S. Lublin

April 14, 2011

Introverted executives are stepping into the limelight - even though many dislike being the center of attention.

Larry Page, a co-founder of Google Inc., is an introvert who keeps a low public profile. He reclaimed his role as chief executive of the Internet search giant on April 4, forcing himself into the public eye.

...About 65% of 1,542 senior managers see introversion as an impediment to reaching higher management levels, concluded a 2006 survey by, a jobs website.

Introverts typically act reserved, think before they speak and are most energized spending time alone. A flurry of books, blogs, coaches and research is helping transform those supposed career deficits into assets.

But many introverts make good executives even though "extroverts get all the attention," Mr. Conant noted in an interview. ...

Indeed, "introverts can be better bosses," especially in a dynamic and unpredictable environment, reports Adam M. Grant, an associate professor at University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School who studies this topic. Amid the uncertainty created by the increased pace of innovation and globalization, he adds, it's probably better "to be an introverted leader now than at any previous time on record."

Ambitious introverts tend to excel at one-on-one interactions, empathy and deliberate decision making, experts suggest. They also tend to be good listeners.

...Other introverted leaders navigate awkward situations by enlisting assistance from extroverted associates.

...Rebecca Chopp, a self-described introvert, tried a similar approach when she became president of Colgate University in 2002. At first, she says she found it hard to make cold calls requesting donations. So, she promoted the head of fundraising to be her special assistant. "He was the most extroverted person I ever had met," she says.

The fundraiser coached the novice president, arranged introductions with potential donors and accompanied her on donor visits for several years. "He loved being the connector," Ms. Chopp adds. She left Colgate to command Swarthmore College in 2009.  ...


States News Service

Rockefeller Chapel to Present the 1749 Version of Bach's St. John Passion

April 14, 2011

The following information was released by the University of Chicago:

The University of Chicago's Rockefeller Memorial Chapel will present J.S. Bachs masterwork, the St. John Passion, in its seldom-heard final form at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 17.

Michael Marissen, the Daniel Underhill Professor of Music at Swarthmore College, an internationally acclaimed J.S. Bach scholar, will deliver a pre-concert lecture at 2 p.m. in Ida Noyes Hall. He has published many articles on Bachs instrumental and vocal music and is the author of Bachs Oratorios - The parallel German-English texts, with annotations, and The Social and Religious Designs of J.S. Bachs Brandenburg Concertos, among others.

James Kallembach will direct the Rockefeller Chapel Choir, Motet Choir, and guest soloists in performing the St. John Passion.  ...





Washington College Sports (MD)

Garnet Rally for Dramatic 13-12 Win over Shorewomen

April 21, 2011

SWARTHMORE, PA -- Host Swarthmore College kept its Centennial Conference Tournament hopes alive by rallying from a three-goal halftime deficit to post a dramatic 13-12 Centennial Conference women's lacrosse victory over visiting Washington College tonight on Clothier Field. Despite the loss, the Shorewomen's tournament hopes also remained alive.

Swarthmore still needs a win over Haverford Saturday, an Ursinus win over Muhlenberg Friday, and a Franklin & Marshall win over Dickinson Saturday to grab the fifth and final spot in the conference tournament.  Dickinson would clinch that spot with a win over Franklin & Marshall Saturday. Any other scenario would give Washington the fifth and final spot.