Skip to main content

Swarthmore in the News June 3, 2011

WPVI Action News- Philadelphia ABC affiliate

Local coach's donation saves a young life

June 1, 2011

Jamison, Pa. - He is the fencing coach at Swarthmore College, and he savors every victory, but no triumph can compare to the experience he had this spring when he probably saved a young boy's life.

Home video of Marshal Davis from Jamison, Bucks County shows him meeting the little boy whose life he likely saved.

It all started a decade ago, when Marshal was still in college and signed up to be a blood and stem cell donor.

...Two years ago, Marshal got the call from the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Registry after they learned that he was a perfect match with 5 year old Jacob Kowalik of Suburban Chicago.

At that time, the little boy's parents had recently been informed that without a bone marrow transplant Jacob was going to develop a particularly aggressive form of Leukemia.

Marshal, an attorney in Bucks County, didn't hesitate. He set up the procedure, and donated his stem cells, which were then transported to Illinois. Jacob's treatments began a short time later.

But it wasn't until two months ago that Marshal went to Chicago to meet Jacob for the first time.

He says there's no way to describe what he was feeling.

"It's unbelievable I really can't put it into words. I never thought that I'd have the opportunity to save a life," said Marshal.

We're happy to report that Jacob is cancer-free. But he's now dealing with what's referred to as "graft vs. host" disease, which results in a terrible allergic reaction including severe bloating.

Still, his doctors say Jacob's overall prognosis is good.

Jacob's father, Michael, told Action News, "We can't even express the gratitude we feel toward a man we didn't even know until this past April. It's been a difficult time, but Marshal's selfless act has made all the difference."

Marshal says that's a reward in itself.


The Philadelphia Inquirer

The Inquirer Academic All-Stars - The players who excelled during the winter season as students and athletes - were selected by the Philadelphia Area Sports Information Directors Association.

May 31, 2011

Men's Swimming and Diving

Athlete School Class Major


Daniel Duncan Swarthmore  Sophomore Linguistics

 Travis Pollen Swarthmore  Junior Physics


Women's Swimming and Diving

Athlete School Class Major


Sarah Bedolfe Swarthmore  Senior Biology


Women's Basketball

 Swarthmore  College senior Kathryn Stockbower, co-player of the year, is a player of the year for the second time, having been selected in 2009-10. A four-time all-conference player, Stockbower led the Centennial Conference in rebounding average (12.4) and was the Garnet's leading scorer, averaging 14.8 points per game. The senior forward holds the all-time NCAA Division III record with 83 double-doubles and was an honorable-mention selection to the WBCA/State Farm Division III all-American team this season. Stockbower finished her career as Swarthmore 's all-time rebounds leader (1,335) and its third-leading scorer (1,677). A 2011 Capital One academic all-District 2 first-team selection, Stockbower was most recently named to the 2010-11 Capital One academic all-American first team (College Division). ...


The Daily Camera (CO)

CU-Boulder names Phil Weiser dean of law school

By Brittany Anas

May 31, 2011

Philip J. Weiser -- a White House adviser on technology and innovation and professor of law -- will be the University of Colorado's next dean of the law school, university officials announced Tuesday.

Weiser, who is the senior adviser for technology and innovation to the National Economic Council at the White House, will return to CU -- where he has taught law -- to begin his duties as dean on July 1.

A CU committee that conducted a national search presented four candidates to CU Provost Russell Moore. "His credentials are incredible," Moore said. "He's a well-known, nationally recognized great legal mind and a great legal scholar."

..."I am honored by this appointment," said Weiser in a statement. "Over the years I have enjoyed the opportunity to work with and learn from the Colorado law family -- its faculty, staff, students, alumni and supporters. I am both humbled and excited by the opportunity to lead this community in the years ahead."

...Weiser received his law degree from New York University School of Law and his bachelor's from Swarthmore College.


Law Week Colorado

Susan Bernhardt Joins Starrs Mihm as Counsel

Complex commercial and civil litigator Susan Bernhardt has joined Starrs Mihm as of counsel.

May 31, 2011

Bernhardt was a member of Sherman & Howard L.L.C and was a member of Netzorg McKeever Koclanes & Bernhardt LLC prior to that firm's combination with Sherman & Howard.

Bernhardt received her law degree from Stanford Law School, where she was Notes Editor of the Stanford Journal of International Law. She graduated with Distinction from Stanford Law School and was inducted into the Order of the Coif. Bernhardt received a B.A. with High Honors from Swarthmore College.


Public Opinion (Chambersburg, PA)

$90M settlement reached in bid-rigging

May 31, 2011

Acting Attorney General Bill Ryan recently announced a $90.8 million multi-state settlement with Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) as part of an ongoing national investigation into bid-rigging and fraudulent conduct that victimized state agencies, municipalities, school districts and non-profit organizations who were seeking to invest or protect the proceeds of tax exempt bonds.

"This settlement is expected to return significant amounts of restitution to organizations across Pennsylvania, including public school districts, cities, county governments, municipal authorities and state-related agencies," Ryan said. "These agencies were seeking safe investments for bond issues, or attempting to reduce the cost of borrowing or manage their risks, but instead fell victim to a national scheme intended to artificially increase costs or boost profits for large banks, brokers and financial service firms."

Ryan noted this multistate settlement with UBS is part of a coordinated national settlement that also involves several federal agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Department of Justice. The settlement with UBS follows a $67 million multi-state agreement involving similar conduct by Bank of America, which was announced in December 2010.

Ryan said the investigation has identified approximately 25 Pennsylvania entities that may be eligible for restitution, including: The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), Philadelphia University, Swarthmore College, LaSalle University, Lafayette College, Gettysburg College, Carnegie Mellon University, the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, Montgomery County and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.


USA Today

'Marriage Confidential' engages new realities;
How an institution adapts to the times

By Deirdre Donahue

May 31, 2011

Thanks to Arnold & Maria, everybody has marriage on the mind. Pamela Haag's Marriage Confidential is the perfect book club choice because it lets women vent on cheating husbands, betrayed wives and why people marry in the first place.

This personal meditation on the modern marital state asks questions instead of providing answers. It is also free of the inflammatory political and cultural baggage that usually accompanies the topic. Hers is the rare book a divorced parent can read without feeling he or she has personally undermined Western civilization. (Alas, it has no inside dish on famous couples.)

Haag writes about her own marriage, and examines other unions. If you have a low threshold for privileged young mommies whining about the dullness of domesticity, brace yourself. A mother of one child, Haag has degrees from Swarthmore, a history Ph.D from Yale and an MFA in creative non-fiction from Goucher. Her triathlete husband a devoted father does financial engineering for a commodities trading firm.

...Marriage Confidential won't make you stray if you're faithful nor sad if you're single. But it does make you reflect on modern mating habits. It's fun.


The Delaware County Daily Times (PA)

Swarthmore College grads take next step

By Susan L. Serbin, Times Correspondent

May 30, 2011

SWARTHMORE - As 366 distinct and unique young people prepared to clasp Swarthmore College diplomas in their hands, many of them had the same thought.

What now?
Natalie Bamdad was chosen by her peers as speaker for the Class of 2011.

"It is a difficult and probably impossible task to sum up the Swarthmore experience. It's like a really bad break-up; one bad oldies song lyric after another," Bamdad said. "My last thought is that at this moment (we all) are looking in the same direction, to do vaguely imperious things to make Swarthmore proud."

What they may do can be seen by the achievements of their predecessors.

Swarthmore invited three alumni to receive honorary degrees and speak to the newly minted graduates. Prior to their introduction, college President Rebecca Chopp framed the graduates' four years in terms of events, both on and off campus.

"There have been many changes: financial markets collapsed and are slowly rebounding; far too many natural disasters; political cultures which have changed around the world; the iPhone, Wikileaks and Lady Gaga," said Chopp.

At the heart of Swarthmore College's approach is the quest for critical thinking.

Chopp sent graduates off with a thought from novelist and clergyman Frederick Buechner, which advises finding a calling "where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet."(more)


The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

The recipe for contentment: Don't expect to eat the whole pie

By Sarah Hampson

May 30, 2011

Here's some counterintuitive news. You should aim for The Good Enough Life.

...You can be grateful, in fact, for the good fortune that comes your way.

The trouble is, that attitude doesn't fit with society's prevailing imperatives. There's a fundamental tension at play in how we're encouraged to think about our lives. We're exhorted to achieve our dreams and never give up, to think positive, and yet the resulting expectations - some unrealistically high - can make us dissatisfied, even depressed.

Go ahead, start by blaming your parents. "Have you ever heard a parent say 'I only want what's good enough for my children?' " offers Barry Schwartz, a professor of social theory at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and author of The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less.

..."Whatever standards we have for ourselves, they're not true for our children. We create people who are perfectionists because they observe us trying to provide the very best, showing us day after day that good enough is just not good enough for our precious jewels. And when the time comes to make their own decisions, children adopt the same standards."

...Apart from the influence of parents, Prof. Schwartz also fingers the culture of abundant choice. Everything about modern Western life encourages a pursuit of "the best," he says, adding that "every time a company comes out with a new product they're trying to convince you it's the best so you will throw out the old one. This notion of 'best' so suffuses the culture that you almost look like a shirker if you go through life trying to live the good enough life."

The solution is not about lowering standards, he says. It's about adjusting the way we think. "High standards are very different from wanting or expecting the best all the time," he says.

And the same is true for how we should think about our personal accomplishments. "Having very high standards of achievement - working hard, persevering, not being satisfied with what is merely acceptable - no doubt spurs people to achieve things that they would otherwise not achieve," Prof. Schwartz says.

"But there's a crucial difference between shooting for perfection, realizing you can't achieve it and yet still being satisfied with your accomplishments - and shooting for perfection, thinking you can and should achieve it, and thereby living a life of misery and perpetual disappointment."

What's required for a contented life is a personal investigation into what matters most. "It's having to figure out what is worth pursuing. If you have high standards, you need to say 'this is what's important to me,' in a job, in a college, in a relationship, in a house or whatever. It takes more reflection than simply allowing externally imposed ideals dictate what you should want." ...


The Associated Press State and Local Wire

Chance encounter inspires musical about dogs 

By Sandra Dias 

May 28, 2011

A few years ago, Evan Curran was sitting on a bench in downtown Northampton, getting ready to eat a few slices of pizza, when he met a man named Kinnie and his two dogs, Shiprock and Anchordog.

...It was one of those casual, easygoing encounters with a stranger that can happen on a sunny day on the sidewalks of Northampton's Main Street, but for some reason, it stuck with Curran. He never saw Kinnie again, or the dogs with the unusual names, but he found himself thinking about Shiprock and Anchordog. A budding songwriter, he penned a song about the dogs, and then another, until he had created a song cycle about them.

"That chance meeting was enough inspiration for me," he said. "I decided I wanted to do a whole series of songs about the dogs."

...About that same time, local performance/theater artist Nancy Vitale, 24, was looking for a performance project to launch. Vitale, who trained in theater at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and in Spain with Barcelona's Teatro de los Sentidos, heard Curran and Halman perform at a local house party, and thought the song cycle would translate well into a theatrical production.

...Vitale worked with Curran and Halman over the past eight months to transform "Shiprock and Anchordog" into an "adventure musical" that details the nomadic adventures of two canines who embark upon an epic quest in search of food security.

The play, which is produced by I'm A Tiger Productions, features live music, dance and giant puppets crafted by another Stone Soup farmer, Emily Vail. During the outdoor performances, audiences follow the dogs in their travels through imaginary blueberry fields, oceans and forests - moving with the actors to separate locations in the field that are designed to look like the pages of a storybook.

...Vitale said she wants the show to be a fun take on the sometimes-serious issue of food politics. ...


The Washington Monthly

Swarthmore, in Spanish

By Daniel Luzer

May 28, 2011

Pennsylvania's Swarthmore College will offer Spanish translation services at its commencement ceremonies tomorrow. According to an Associated Press article by Kathy Matheson:

Swarthmore is offering a live, simultaneous translation of Sunday's commencement, where guests will be able to listen to a Spanish version of the ceremony using wireless headsets.

Many universities, including Swarthmore, have long offered sign-language interpreters or closed captioning at their graduations for the deaf and hard of hearing. But translation into foreign languages appears to be uncommon.

Some Hispanic advocacy groups expressed surprise when told of Swarthmore's endeavor, calling it an unusual and welcome development for the nation's growing Latino population.

I suspect that the number of Swarthmore College graduates with relatives who speak no English at all is rather limited. Only 11 percent of Swarthmore's student body even identifies as Latino; that's like 38 students graduating this year.

Still, according to Deborah Santiago of Excelencia in Education, the Spanish translation may not be about actually assisting people who can't understand English so much as "Investing now in creating a campus culture that's inviting and supporting of Latinos." As she explained in the article, "I think that it's really going to pay off for them down the road."


The San Francisco Examiner

A Presidential appointment for SFS President John Goldman

May 28, 2011

Among the latest round of Administration appointments by President Barack Obama announced by The White House Office of the Press Secretary this past Thursday was one of both local and national interest in the world of the performing arts. John D. Goldman, President of the San Francisco Symphony, has been named as a Member of the Advisory Committee on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. ...

John D. Goldman was appointed President of the Symphony in December of 2001 and has been a member of the Symphony's Board of Governors since 1996. ...

Active in the community and philanthropic activities, Mr. Goldman was formerly the President of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma Counties, and the Peninsula. He recently completed his terms both as the Chair of the Stanford University Athletic Board and as a member of the Board of Managers of Swarthmore College.

...A native San Franciscan, Mr. Goldman graduated in 1967 from Lick-Wilmerding High School. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Swarthmore College in 1971 and a Masters in Business Administration from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business in 1975. Mr. Goldman lives on the Peninsula with his wife Marcia and two children.