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May 14, 2013
May 13, 2013
What could be better than seeing your picture in PAW? Seeing your picture in PAW — that favorite photo you snapped at the P-rade, a sentimental shot of your roommates returning to your freshman dorm, or maybe an image of the Saturday fireworks. Share your Reunions 2013 photos with us for the chance to see them in the pages of our July issue — and win prizes. For more information about our annual reader photo contest, click here.
– Marilyn H. Marks *86, editor
From combing through reference materials to crafting a piece of performance art, the senior thesis offers challenges and rewards, along with a few rituals (such as growing a “thesis beard”). WATCH
Highlights from the May 15 issue:
Agony! Ecstasy! The thesis is a senior’s final lonely journey.
The future of education? As the world gets a taste of Princeton through online education, Princeton gets ideas to improve at home.
Ryan Crocker *85, career ambassador with the U.S. Foreign Service, cautioned against a shift towards “neo-isolationism” at the Woodrow Wilson School’s annual colloquium May 4.
“I worry about the increasing mood in the administration of ‘pull back, fix our own problems, and if we’re going to do something, pivot to Asia,’” said Crocker. “If you pivot to Asia, you expose a very important part of your anatomy to the Middle East, which is probably going to bite it very hard.”
This year’s colloquium, on “Challenges to U.S. Policy in the Middle East,” drew 175 graduate alumni and their guests and featured several prominent speakers, including former Sen. George Mitchell, the U.S. special envoy for Middle East peace from 2009-11, who delivered Friday’s keynote. Crocker, who spent four decades in the Foreign Service and served as ambassador throughout the Middle East, most recently in Afghanistan, spoke during the Saturday keynote address.
Crocker said that his experience left him with two lessons: Be careful what you get into, but be just as careful of what you get out of. “Disengagement can have consequences as great and grave as getting in in the first place,” Crocker said.
The greatest challenge facing the current administration is Pakistan, he argued, with nuclear weapons, instability, and a government willing to support the Taliban “as a hedge against U.S. withdrawal.”
May 3, 2013
Two Princeton musicians recently have launched apps for children — one to calm them and another to teach them. Miriama Young ’07, a composer and musicologist in Sydney, Australia, has created an app to soothe babies and help them to fall asleep. Inspired by her own newborn that suffered from colic and cried constantly, the Hushabye app provides the kind of sounds that helped her child — white noise, heartbeat, and gentle singing. With Young’s app, the user can create her own mix of real heartbeat, water sounds, and her own lullaby.
The most famous skater in Princeton’s Class of 1914 was undoubtedly Hobey Baker, the Tiger football and hockey star and World War I aviator whose name adorns college hockey’s version of the Heisman Trophy. But classmate Harold Hartshorne also made a name for himself on the ice, earning national championship medals in pairs ice dancing in the 1930s and ’40s before becoming a respected judge in the sport.
Hartshorne, a stock broker in his day job, remained active in ice dancing into his late 60s and was traveling with the U.S. figure skating team in 1961 when its flight to the world championships crashed in Brussels, killing Hartshorne, his wife, Louisa, and the other 71 people on board.
Hartshorne is still remembered in the Jersey shore town of Little Silver, where he built a country home that featured, among other things, a skating pond on the property. The home, designed by Roger Harrington Bullard, earned designation as a Monmouth County Historic Site, and through June 9, it will be on display as a designer show house, presented by the Visiting Nurse Association Health Group. Click here to read more about the Hartshorne family, the house’s history, and the show house program.
April 22, 2013
This email alert from PAW comes a day after the selection of Provost Christopher Eisgruber ’83 as Princeton’s next president. Eisgruber sat down for an interview with PAW shortly after the University’s announcement; a link to excerpts from that interview appears below. See our May 15 issue for more on this story. PAW’s regular coverage begins with our feature about Dan Feyer ’99, who on most days can complete the New York Times crossword puzzle in the time it takes to brew a pot of coffee. Feyer, the champion of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in each of the last four years, is one of several alumni who have turned their fascination with puzzles into a competitive pursuit. Read more about Princeton’s top solvers in the April 24 issue, and follow the video link below to see them in action.
– Marilyn H. Marks *86, editor
Our video from the 2013 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament features interviews with top alumni solvers and highlights of the competition. WATCH
Browse additional images from the Princeton Art of Science exhibit in a Web-exclusive gallery. VIEW
Aida del Valle ’73 writes about the minority experience in the early days of coeducation. ... Claire Hurley ’82 explores the role of caregiving in the career/family debate.
Highlights from the April 24 issue:
Four down At the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, there is no match for Dan Feyer ’99.
Science as art A photo exhibition shows the beauty born in Princeton’s labs and field research.
Anne-Marie Slaughter ’80 to leave University The former Wilson School dean and State Department official will head a public-policy think tank.
A moment with … Jacob N. Shapiro An assistant professor and former U.S. Navy officer reflects on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq war.
April 16, 2013
Aluminum and bamboo might seem like an odd mix of materials for a bike frame. But entrepreneurs Nick Frey ’09, Drew Haugen *12, and James Wolf believe it may be the next big thing in cycling.
Frey, Haugen, and Wolf are cofounders of Aluboo, a startup that builds on earlier work by Frey, a professional cyclist and mechanical engineer, and Wolf, a craftsman and industrial designer. The two created Boo Bicycles, handcrafting frames from tam vong (“iron bamboo”) rods and carbon fiber joints in a workshop in Vietnam. Boo bikes have competed successfully in a number of cycling and cyclocross races, and Frey contends that “you could race the Boo in the Tour de France.”
Bamboo is actually an ideal material for bikes: The plant’s strong, fibrous structure dampens road vibrations and provides for an exceptionally smooth ride, and it is more sustainable than other popular bike materials, such as steel.
The major drawback is the price tag. Each Boo bike is custom-made and priced between $5,000 and $14,000 — not a bike for the weekend warrior. That’s where Haugen comes in.
Ever have that nightmare where you still haven’t finished your thesis? Former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson *86 has.
Returning to campus can counteract that “recurring nightmare,” Jackson said, addressing an audience of students, faculty, and community members in Dodds Auditorium April 9.
“I still have that nightmare that it’s the day before my master’s thesis defense. And I haven’t finished it, but I’m really stressed,” she said, the audience laughing. “But every time I’m here, it reinforces that I got the degree.”
Jackson, a chemical engineer who served as head of the EPA in the Obama administration from January 2009 until February of this year, recounted her personal story of how she came to define herself as environmentalist.
Noting that the word “environmentalist” has, in some circles, come to refer to environmental activism for political purposes, Jackson provided her own definition: An environmentalist is someone “who cares deeply about and prioritizes the environment — the environment, not as an outside concept, but more for its impact on our health, its impact on our well-being ... and its impacts on our prosperity,” she said.
Jackson recalled learning about environmental issues during her undergraduate years at Tulane, when she first heard of the “soup of chemicals” in the Mississippi River causing problems downstream in New Orleans as well as the government’s inability to adequately respond to large-scale, hazardous environmental problems like the infamous Love Canal in upstate New York.
April 11, 2013
“I can’t believe they let me do this and pay me for it.” That’s how Landon Jones ’66 described his career in journalism to a group of 20 Princeton freshmen who gathered at his home April 7.
Jones, a former managing editor of People (and former editor of PAW), said journalism has allowed him to satisfy his curiosity about virtually any subject. His speech kicked off “An Evening of Journalism and Writing,” organized as part of an ongoing effort to create a special relationship between the Class of 2016 and its “grandparent class,” or the class that will have its 50th reunion when the freshmen graduate.
Previous events have included a Campus Club pizza party and an oyster-eating contest at Blue Point Grill (during which Dominique Ibekwe ’16 ate 65 oysters in two minutes). “Tonight’s event will have a somewhat higher intellectual component … but the same spirit,” Class of ’66 president Charles Plohn Jr. said in his introductory remarks.
The evening’s speakers were generally encouraging about the journalism profession, despite its financial challenges. Washington Post deputy foreign editor Griff Witte ’00, son of Michael Witte ’66, said he appreciated the opportunity to be “constantly discovering” as a foreign correspondent. “Your preconceptions about the world are almost always wrong,” said Witte, who is teaching a course at Princeton this semester.
April 1, 2013
Beginning on April 11, Princeton will host its first conference for LGBT alumni, and for our April 3 cover story, journalist Richard Just ’01 spoke with several older gay alumni. Some of these graduates felt completely alone on campus; others found deep friendships and love. Most have complex feelings about their time at the University. But in one sense, their stories have a theme we can all relate to: They spent their college years, as Just writes, “struggling to figure out who they really were.”
– Marilyn H. Marks *86, editor
The women’s basketball team traveled to Texas for its fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. Browse photos from the trip. VIEW
Stanford professor Clifford Nass ’81 *86 explains why texts and social media don’t measure up to face-to-face interaction. WATCH
Browse the archives to read profiles of planet-finder Courtney Dressing ’10, LGBT-rights attorney Christopher Clark ’87, novelist Mohsin Hamid ’93, and others. READ MORE
Highlights from the April 3 issue:
Hidden lives Amid questioning, covering, and fear, gay students in the ’50s and ’60s found friendship and even love.
After Sandy Can Princeton professors help to prevent such damage from future storms?
Its nerdy image in the past, computer science takes off More than 1,700 students are taking at least one computer science course this semester, compared with 750 four years ago.
Reading Room: Adam Alter *09 The psychologist and author of Drunk Tank Pink discusses surprising forces that shape behavior.
March 21, 2013
Princeton plays a prominent role in the new Tina Fey and Paul Rudd film, Admission, opening nationwide March 22. The stars were in town last summer to shoot a few scenes for the movie, which is based on a 2009 novel by former Office of Admission reader Jean Korelitz.
Admission is the latest in a long line of films that feature the campus or the University — though the two don’t always go hand-in-hand. In Harold and Kumar go to White Castle (2004), for example, the title characters briefly visit Princeton, but the scenes were not filmed on campus; in Scent of a Woman (1992), on the other hand, real Princeton buildings stand in for a New England prep school.
Princeton’s film debut came nearly a century ago in the 1915 silent film Satan Sanderson, according to a 1999 PAW feature story by film historian Steven G. Kellman. In the early days of talkies, the University was portrayed as a Roaring ’20s party school in Varsity (1928), starring Charles “Buddy” Rogers. The story did not go over well with administrators — or alumni. One letter to PAW called it “an infantile and unusually moronic screen exhibition.”
March 19, 2013
President Tilghman’s final year has included trips to alumni events in the United States and abroad, not to mention a full schedule on campus. In February, she used her diplomatic skills to moderate the Center for Jewish Life’s annual latke-hamantaschen debate — in which funny and feisty professors and students debated the merits of these two traditional Jewish foods. PAW was on the scene to capture some of the night’s comical highlights. Follow the links below to see our video and view other web exclusives for the March 20 issue.
— Marilyn H. Marks *86, editor
|Video: Latkes v. Hamantaschen |
President Tilghman moderated February’s annual latke-hamantaschen debate at Whig Hall. Listen to some of the funniest arguments and find out which treat came out on top. WATCH
Highlights from the March 20 issue:
The dancer How Silas Riener ’06 leapt from Princeton to the world’s top stages.
McCosh 50 enters the high-tech age A look at new enhancements to the 105-year-old lecture hall.
Can women have it all? Anne-Marie Slaughter ’80 and President Tilghman discuss women’s leadership and work-life balance.
Six receive Princeton’s top student awards Meet this year’s Pyne Prize and Jacobus Fellowship winners.