Tag Archives: Lisa Jackson

Jackson *86 speaks about ‘unfinished business’ for the envionment

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.

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Names in the news: From the courts to the combat zone

i-cb871462d587ce5377455ff9e2535dd3-wb_alumni.jpgThough the vote likely is headed for a recount, for now JoAnne Kloppenburg *76 appears to have earned a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, winning by a margin of 0.01 percent. [Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel]
Federal Judge Denny Chin ’75 rejected Google’s legal settlement with authors and publishers, saying that the company’s book digitization would have been a “de facto monopoly.” [New York Times]
Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Jackson *86 was featured in Time magazine’s April 3 “10 Questions” column. [Time]
Major league pitcher Chris Young ’02 accomplished a rare feat in his New York Mets debut: He had two hits in the same inning. [New York Times]
Rutgers professor Alan Rosenthal *61 cast the tie-breaking vote as New Jersey chose a plan for redrawing the boundaries of its 40 legislative districts. [Star-Ledger]
Journalist and U.S. Army veteran Nate Rawlings ’04 wrote about his experience as an embedded reporter with the 4th Infantry Division in Afghanistan. [Time]

Personal odyssey

i-ab9ee2f708974b65e3cd6d6c1fa1e0bc-jordan.jpgA heartfelt translation, nine years in the making

In 1998 when Herbert Jordan ’60 visited his daughter at St. John’s College in Santa Fe, he picked up her copy of a translation of the Iliad. He read the first page and “it electrified me,” he says. So he got his own copy and read every translation of the Iliad and the Odyssey he could find. A year later, tragedy struck when his only son died in a car crash at 16. At the urging of a friend, he began to teach himself to read Homer in the original Greek, as a way, he says, “to channel grief.” He spent a couple years learning the language, spending four to six hours a day on the task.

As he began to learn the language and read the Iliad, says Jordan, “I felt that I could relate to the spirit of the original better than any of the translators I read.” And he sensed “I was there, by the ships on the beach below Troy,” says Jordan, who has had a wide-ranging career as an attorney, CEO of a window and door manufacturing business, and founder of a maple syrup production business and a charitable legal service. He tried his hand at translating the epic poem of gods and warriors, line by line, into English blank verse. The hardest part, he says, was “learning to deal with Greek irregular verbs.” Along the way he had some help from Henry Taylor, a Pulitzer-prize winning poet, who went over his drafts, coaching him on diction and tone. When he started the translation, Jordan had no intention of publishing it. But University of Oklahoma Press was impressed and last October published it. A reviewer from Bryn Mawr Classical Review called Jordan’s translation “remarkably lively and poetic” and a “very easy, vivid read.”

Even though it took nine years in all to complete the Iliad, Jordan is already at work on his next project: translating the Odyssey. By Katherine Federici Greenwood

(Photo courtesy Herbert Jordan)


Men’s and women’s basketball: Previewing the Ivies

The Princeton men’s and women’s basketball teams each entered the two-and-a-half-week exam break on winning streaks — streaks they hope to continue when the Ivy League tips off the heart of its schedule Jan. 30.

The men were picked to finish last in a preseason poll of Ivy media, and with a 5-8 record in non-league games, the Tigers still have much to prove. But a solid win over Lehigh Jan. 7 gave Princeton a confidence boost. Only two Ivy teams have winning records outside the league: Cornell (10-6 in non-Ivy games), the defending champion and Ivy favorite, and Harvard (8-6 non-Ivy), which notched an impressive upset win at Boston College Jan. 7. Yale topped Brown in its first two Ivy contests and could join Cornell and Harvard as a league title contender.

When Princeton faces Dartmouth Jan. 30, the starting lineup likely will include three four players who have never started an Ivy game: freshman Doug Davis, sophomores Kareem Maddox and Dan Mavraides, and junior Pawel Buczak. Coach Sydney Johnson ’97 said that stressing defense could help the Tigers overcome inexperience. “We need to get stops in the winning moments, and then the offense will come,” he said in early January. “If you look at us at this point, compared to last year, clearly we’re defending better.”

On the women’s side, perennial Ivy powers Dartmouth and Harvard look strong again, but the big two expect challenges from Cornell, which shared the league title with the Big Green and Crimson last year, and Columbia, led by sophomore Judie Lomax, a talented transfer from Oregon State who has averaged 13.8 points and 13.6 rebounds per game this year. Beginning Jan. 30, the Princeton women (6-9 overall) will play all four of those top teams in a nine-day span — a major challenge for coach Courtney Banghart’s young squad, which won its Ivy opener against Penn Jan. 10.

Whitney Downs ’09, Addie Micir ’11, and Lauren Edwards ’12 have led the way for the young Tigers so far this season. In the Ivy’s midseason media conference call, Banghart said she was thrilled with her team’s energy and hunger, but a little concerned about how her team would react to the Ivy League’s intense Friday-Saturday schedule. Said Banghart: “I don’t think you can understand the back-to-back and the battle of tournament play every weekend until you’ve actually lived through it.”


Names in the news

Karen Smyers ’83, one of five inductees included in the first class of the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame, talked about overcoming challenges in her career. [Endurance Planet]

Lisa Jackson *86, President Barack Obama’s choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, was a “master juggler” as an official in New Jersey. [The New York Times]

International Rescue Committee president George Rupp ’64 helped celebrate the 75th anniversary of the group’s founding. [Miami Herald]

Don Oberdorfer ’52 discussed America’s diplomacy with North Korea and the status of the country’s leader, Kim Jong-Il. [The New York Times]

The American Plan, a 1990 play written by Richard Greenberg ’80, returned to Broadway in a well-received revival. [The New York Times]


Power 101

Tilghman, Tigers among N.J.’s most influential

President Tilghman was profiled by New Jersey Monthly in a special January issue devoted to the state’s 101 most powerful residents. The magazine hailed Tilghman for investing in the sciences, reshaping student life, and inviting changes to campus culture. “The notion that the culture will be frozen in place at a university, which should always be pressing forward into the future, is, I think, just wrong,” Tilghman said.

Other powerful Princetonians spotlighted by the magazine include Michael Aron *70, a longtime senior political correspondent for the New Jersey Network; Lawrence Goldman *76, president and CEO of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark; David Grant ’72, president and CEO of the Morristown-based Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; Lisa Jackson *86, Gov. Jon Corzine’s former chief of staff and the Obama administration’s choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency; and former Gov. Tom Kean ’57, who served as chairman of the 9/11 Commission.

Names in the news

Carlin Romano ’76 covered the American Philosophical Association’s conference in Philadelphia, speaking with alumni Cornel West *80 and Joshua Weinstein ’87. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman ’77 may be paving her way for a gubernatorial bid in California. [Los Angeles Times]

Selden Edwards ’63‘s novel The Little Book earned high praise from reviewer Keith Runyon, who named it one of 2008’s best books and called it the best novel he’d read in nearly two decades. [Louisville Courier-Journal]

Outfielder Will Venable ’05 is aiming for a spot on the San Diego Padres’ opening-day lineup. [Marin Independent Journal]

Caltech chemical engineering professor Frances Arnold ’79 and colleagues are working to manipulate microbe communities and employ them in applications that range from drug delivery to fuel production. [Science News]

Contest winner

Congratulations to Jessica Dye ’05 of Brooklyn, N.Y., who won a $100 gift card from the U-Store in PAW’s drawing for readers who signed up to receive our e-mail alerts.