Author Archives: Brett Tomlinson

Princeton Men’s Basketball Holds Off Saint Peter’s in Return to Dillon Gym

Princeton beat Saint Peter’s in the first game at Dillon Gym since 1969. (Beverly Schaefer)

Princeton beat Saint Peter’s in the first game at Dillon Gym since 1969. (Beverly Schaefer)

Princeton men’s basketball took a lead in the opening seconds against Saint Peter’s Saturday night and kept the edge for the rest of the game’s 40 minutes. But while the Tigers never trailed, they also never pulled away, holding off a series of late charges by the Peacocks to win 75-72 in the first game at Dillon Gym since 1969.

Forward Henry Caruso ’17 scored 20 points in the second half, tying a career-high of 23 points in the game, on 7-for-9 shooting. He added eight rebounds as well. Starting in place of Hans Brase ’16, who suffered a season-ending knee injury just before the Nov. 13 opener at Rider, Caruso showed a knack for working his way inside against the Saint Peter’s defense.

“Henry saved us in a lot of different ways, getting to the rim,” head coach Mitch Henderson ’98 said. “Our defense has been very good so far but tonight let us down a little bit, just lapses — but overall, happy to get a win.”

Princeton (2-0) scored more than half of its points in the paint, a significant development for a team that launched 46 percent of its shots from behind the three-point arc last year.

“We’ve got to go inside, because eventually you’re going to play some ugly games,” Henderson said. “Last year we got a little perimeter happy, so we’ve put a lot of emphasis on that.” Continue reading

Update: Nassau Hall Sit-In

On Wednesday afternoon, the sit-in spilled into the hallway outside President Eisgruber ’83’s office. (Mary Hui ’17)

On Wednesday afternoon, the sit-in spilled into the hallway outside President Eisgruber ’83’s office. (Mary Hui ’17)

The student sit-in led by Princeton’s Black Justice League will begin its second day with a town-hall meeting at the Nassau Hall atrium at 9 a.m. Last night, students slept inside President Eisgruber ’83’s office while other supporters camped outside Nassau Hall. The protesters received visitors, including Rev. William Barber II, a national NAACP board member; Professor Eddie Glaude *97, chair of the African American Studies department; and Ruth Simmons, a University trustee, former Princeton provost, and president emerita of Brown University.

READ MORE: The University Press Club’s ongoing coverage of the protest

From The Daily Princetonian, Students “walkout and speakout,” occupy Nassau Hall until demands of Black Justice League are met

From The New York Times, Princeton Students Hold Sit-In on Racial Justice

From WPRB News, audio coverage of the protest’s first 10 hours


Tiger of the Week: Daniel Velasco ’13, Teach for America Alum and Charter School Mentor Teacher

Daniel Velasco ’13 (Courtesy Daniel Velasco)

Daniel Velasco ’13 (Courtesy Daniel Velasco)

By Jeanette Beebe ’14

Outside Daniel Velasco ’13’s classroom window at the 21st Century Charter School in Gary, Ind., stands an abandoned building with boarded up windows. But the view doesn’t bother Velasco — his focus is on his students, not his surroundings.

“I absolutely love all of my students, even those that make me want to pull my hair out,” Velasco said with a chuckle. “The greatest lesson I have learned from them is patience.”

This is Velasco’s third year at the charter school. During his first two, he taught full time as a Teach for America fellow. Velasco taught AP United States history, AP world history, economics, government, and world history. He has also tried to build relationships with his students, and to connect with them as a mentor.

“When I teach my kids, stay after school with them, and host tutoring sessions during breaks, I think about the teachers that did that for me,” he said.

After completing his two-year Teach for America commitment, Velasco decided to stay at the 21st Century Charter School as a mentor teacher. In this role, he continues to teach half time, and he also serves as a building leader. Although he is young, he has considerable responsibility at the school. He works closely with two building administrators and 25 teachers.

In the mornings, Velasco teaches economics and government classes to 12th graders. In the afternoons, he observes teachers in their classrooms and gives them feedback in order to help them improve their teaching style and instruction.

“Life as a teacher is both draining and rewarding,” he said. “My life is completely different than when I was at Princeton, because I no longer have just my education and my future to worry about, but also my students’.”

Velasco’s own education was global. He’s a city-loving, second-generation Mexican Midwesterner who was born and raised in Chicago. He spent much of his time at Princeton — well, not at Princeton. Continue reading

Tiger of the Week: Race Car Aerodynamicist Arron Melvin ’01 *07

Arron Melvin ’01 *07 (Courtesy Arron Melvin)

Arron Melvin ’01 *07 (Courtesy Arron Melvin)

Arron Melvin ’01 *07 raced cars before coming to Princeton, and as a mechanical and aerospace engineering major, he found he had a knack for understanding the science of what makes cars go fast — fields such as fluid mechanics and aerodynamics. “What I enjoy doing in an academic sense was consistent with the career I wanted to pursue,” said Melvin, who now works as the chief aerodynamicist for Chevy IndyCar.

Melvin joined Pratt & Miller Engineering and the Chevy team in 2012, and much of his work came to fruition in 2015 when Chevy and its IndyCar rival, Honda, both released new aero kits — body components designed for greater speed and versatility. Chevy outpaced Honda to win pole position in each of the season’s 16 races, and two Chevy drivers, Juan Pablo Montoya and Scott Dixon, won the two biggest titles on the circuit, the Indianapolis 500 and the Verizon IndyCar Series Championship, respectively.

Racer magazine, in its season recap, wrote that Chevy was the clear winner in what would be remembered as “the Year of the Aero Kit,” and Melvin and colleagues Charles Ping III, Christopher Berube, and Mark Kent won the 2015 Louis Schwitzer Award, for “innovation and engineering excellence at the Indianapolis 500.”  But Melvin, who also has worked on the hyper-competitive Formula One circuit, knows that technological advantages often are short lived. He and his team are hard at work designing improvements for next year. “I’m very driven by the competitive side of things,” he said. “We’re pretty pumped up for 2016.” Continue reading

#ThrowbackThursday: Princeton’s Reach in Wartime

(PAW Archives, Oct. 12, 1945)

(PAW Archives, Oct. 12, 1945)

The Oct. 12, 1945, cover of PAW featured this photo of Pfc. Norman D. Weir Jr. ’46 perusing his favorite alumni periodical at the U.S. Army base on Okinawa. “It isn’t a flattering picture,” Weir wrote, “but at least it’s accurate.”

The address department of alumni records had a monumental task during the war years but did its best to keep mailing “the Weekly” to its loyal readers. The magazine was not the only printed material from Princeton that found its way into the hands of students serving abroad. In 1943, President Harold Dodds *1914 shared presents from the University with each student in the service, as Gregg Lange ’70 explained in a 2006 PAW column:

Approaching Christmas of 1943, the country and Nassau’s sons faced the certainty of an impending year bloodier than any since the Civil War. In the teeth of this, rather than despair, Dodds chose to send Christmas gifts. Each of the 1,300 Princetonians in the service received three books of his own choosing, each with a personal bookplate, delivered wherever he might be. With apologies to Dickens, Dodds brought the Best Damn Place of All to the Worst Damn Place of All. Alumni of the 1930s and ’40s speak about the gesture to this day.

Tiger of the Week: Chris Hamm ’14, Helping to Build a Better Solar-Powered Home

Chris Hamm ’14 was part of a Stevens Institute of Technology team that built the winning entry in the 2015 Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. (Courtesy Chris Hamm)

Chris Hamm ’14 was part of a Stevens Institute of Technology team that built the winning entry in the 2015 Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. (Courtesy Chris Hamm)

Last month, after more than a year of planning, four months of construction, a cross-country voyage, and nine days of on-site assembly, Chris Hamm ’14 and his teammates from Stevens Institute of Technology were ready to show off their work: SURE HOUSE, a “sustainable and resilient” solar-powered home that was among more than a dozen entrants in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon in Irvine, Calif.

The biennial competition rates projects in 10 categories, including architecture, engineering, and energy balance. At the end of more than a week of judging, the Stevens team topped the final rankings.

For Hamm, a master’s student who directed energy analysis for the project, creating the 1,000 square-foot home presented challenges he’d never encountered before. “Seeing a project through, from the beginning design phases to actually building it, requires another level of collaboration and compromise,” he said.

Hamm studied environmental engineering at Princeton and took a strong interest in sustainable building and energy modeling during his junior and senior years. His undergraduate thesis explored strategies for adapting Passive House, a popular building-energy standard developed in Germany, to apply to homes in various climates in the United States. Continue reading