Joseph Barrett ’14 at Alumni Day in February 2014. (Denise Applewhite, Office of Communications)
Joseph Barrett ’14, one of two Pyne Prize recipients from last June’s graduating class, has spent the past few months working to expand the Petey Greene Program, a prison-education nonprofit founded by alumni Jim Farrin ’58 and Charles Puttkammer ’58. Barrett had tutored inmates in GED studies and adult basic education during his time as an undergraduate. Now, as the regional field manager in Massachusetts, he builds partnerships between colleges and nearby correctional facilities. But Barrett’s work will take a detour next fall: Last week, he was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, joining two current undergraduates, Rachel Skokowski ’15 and Sarah Yerima ’15, in the class of 32 American recipients.
The news, Barrett said, was both exciting and shocking. “It was a really impressive group there as finalists — they could have chosen anyone,” he said. Continue reading
S.C. Gwynne ’74 (Corey Arnold)
As a writer and executive editor for Texas Monthly, S.C. (Sam) Gwynne ’74 covered big names of the early 21st century, including White House adviser Karl Rove and football phenom Johnny Manziel. But as an author of nonfiction books, Gwynne has found a niche telling the stories of notable 19th-century figures. His 2010 book about Comanche chief Quanah Parker, Empire of the Summer Moon, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Critics Circle Award. His new release, Rebel Yell, a biography of Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, has spent four weeks on the New York Times Best-Sellers list and earned praise from reviewers. Continue reading
Rebecca Levine ’01 of the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service during her September deployment in Sierra Leone. (Courtesy CDC)
In July, Rebecca “Bex” Levine ’01 started a new job as an officer in Epidemic Intelligence Service at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. She spent one month in training and then began working as a disease detective on one of the most significant health challenges in recent years: the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
Levine was deployed for a month in Freetown, Sierra Leone, with a CDC team that supported local partners in epidemiology and contract tracing, finding the people who’ve come in direct contact with sick Ebola patients. She will be heading back for another 30-day stretch beginning in mid-December.
The Ebola outbreak’s size and scope has presented significant barriers for public health officials, according to Levine. “It does sound like a major undertaking for us, as we sit here in the United States,” she said. “Take all of that and put it in a context where computers are not regularly used, where power is not reliable, where resources are so incredibly limited.” What we might think of as easy tasks, she said, become “immense challenges” in Sierra Leone. Continue reading
Ken Buck ’81 (Wikipedia)
The GOP dominated the midterm election results, which was good news for at least one Princetonian: Republican Ken Buck ’81, the district attorney for Colorado’s Weld County, will head to Washington, D.C., as a freshman representative from the state’s 4th district, the Denver Post reported. Buck ran for a U.S. Senate seat in 2010 and lost narrowly in the statewide election, but voters in his home district backed him this fall with more than 65 percent of votes cast in his favor.
Greg Orman ’91 (Courtesy Orman for U.S. Congress)
Other alumni challengers did not fare as well. Greg Orman ’91, running for Senate as an independent in Kansas, lost in a tight race to incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Roberts. Orman gave Roberts “the strongest challenge of his three-decade congressional career,” according to The Wichita Eagle.
Republican Nan Hayworth ’81, a former congresswoman attempting to regain her seat in New York’s Hudson Valley, trailed incumbent Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney — but as of Wednesday morning, she had not yet conceded, according to The Journal News. (Update: Hayworth did concede Wednesday afternoon.) Paul Clements *92 *96, D-Mich., won 40 percent of the vote in his state’s 6th district but could not unseat Republican Rep. Fred Upton. Republican Peter Theron ’78 won 31 percent of the vote in Wisconsin’s 2nd district and fell to incumbent Democrat Rep. Mark Pocan. Continue reading
Last December, when former All-Star pitcher Chris Young ’02 came to Princeton to speak on a panel of alumni baseball pros, he said in a PAW interview that he was ready to get back on the mound in the major leagues after missing nearly all of the 2013 season with a shoulder injury. “I’ve always said I want to play as long as I possibly can,” Young said. “I’m 34 right now, and I feel like there are still some good years ahead of me.”
Young’s peers agree: Last week, the Seattle Mariners righthander was voted the American League Comeback Player of the Year by a group of more than 100 players surveyed by Sporting News. Young finished the season with a 12-9 record and a 3.65 earned-run average in 29 starts. He pitched 165 innings, the most since his All-Star season in 2007.
Young had surgery in the offseason to correct a nerve injury that affected his pitching arm. “To think he won as many games as he did, and made 29 starts, coming off the type of surgery and the injuries that he had, I think it’s just tremendous,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon told Sporting News. “He is a tireless worker and showed his determination with his performance.” Continue reading
Richard Preston *83 (Nancy Jo Johnson)
Twenty years ago, Richard Preston *83’s best-seller, The Hot Zone, introduced readers to the Ebola virus in what was billed on the cover as a “terrifying true story.” When Ebola returned to the headlines in recent months, Preston came back to the story, reporting for The New Yorker, the magazine for which Preston first covered the Ebola story in 1992.
In August, Preston told the story of Daniel Bausch, an American doctor in an Ebola ward in Kenema, Sierra Leone. This week, the magazine published “The Ebola Wars,” Preston’s in-depth look at the situation on the ground in Sierra Leone intertwined with reporting on scientists at MIT’s Broad Institute who are working to understand Ebola’s genome. He also traced the stories of American Ebola survivors Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, and U.S. hospitals’ first encounter with the virus. “We weren’t prepared,” Preston told CNN on Monday. “I would say that many health workers in Africa were more prepared for Ebola than people in the most sophisticated hospitals in the U.S. This is a learning curve, but they’re coming up fast on that learning curve in the United States, and I have confidence that they’re going to be able to handle it.” Continue reading