William Taubman

Quote by William Taubman

 “When you think about it, having your books stolen is a huge compliment.” Professor Emeritus William Taubman, on his acclaimed biography of Gorbachev.

John Michael Higgins ’85

Quote by John Michael Higgins

“The best thing Amherst ever taught me was curiosity.” John Michael Higgins ’85 is one of the most accomplished character actors of our time.

 

Emily Lakdawalla ’96

Quote by Emily Lakdawalla

“This mission is at the limit of what humans are capable of doing—remotely and even, possibly, beyond that limit.” What can a Mars rover teach us about space? What can it teach us about humanity? Emily Lakdawalla ‘96 explores these questions in the new Amherst magazine

Alexis Chavez-Salinas ’22

Quote by Alexis Chavez-Salinas

“It allowed me to look at myself completely differently. Classes like this are why I chose to come to Amherst.” Alexis Chavez-Salinas ’22 on his First-Year Seminar “ Finding Your Roots,” taught by Professor Rick A. Lopez ’93.

Amherst Fact: Pooja Rangan

Pooja Rangan receives the Harry Levin Prize for outstanding first book

Assistant Professor Pooja Rangan’s Immediations: The Humanitarian Impulse in Documentary has won the 2019 Harry Levin Prize for outstanding first book.

NOTE: Read a review of the book by her former student. 

Adrienne White-Faines ’82

Quote by Adrienne White-Faines

“Wade Fellows helped show us how to reconcile the blessing and burden of our education, to take it and do something for our communities.” Adrienne White-Faines ’82 speaking about a program that for decades has introduced Amherst students to the successful and rewarding careers of notable black alumni. 

Note: Neuroradiologist Nadia Biassou ’88, the newest Wade Fellow, has been appointed for the 2019-21 academic years.

Arianne Abela

Quote by Arianne Abela

“Why not take music one step further? Why not use it to help others, or to comment on injustices, or to speak up for people?” Arianne Abela, Amherst's choral director,  on leveraging the power of music.

Jennifer Egan

Quote by Jennifer Eagan

“There are a lot of writers who find a groove and spend a career mining that vein. I seem to be exactly the opposite.” Novelist Jennifer Egan in an interview with The Economist. She will keynote Amherst’s 4th annual LitFest this weekend. 

Andreas Georgiou ’83

Quote by Andreas Georgiou

“If you asked me what are the big loves of my life, as top three I would put my country, my daughter and my mother. So for me, this was very painful.”  Andreas Georgiou ’83, who faces life in prison for recalculating the Greek deficit

NOTE: After you read the article, let us know what you think. Submit a letter to the editor to magazine@amherst.edu

Breaking News

Amherst College plans to go carbon-neutral by 2030

College Plans to Go Carbon-Neutral by 2030. The College’s Climate Action Plan provides a roadmap for the College to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.

Doug Lowy ’64

Doug Lowy Quote: "I had a big growing up moment senior year."

“I had a big growing-up moment senior year.”  Doug Lowy ’64, a former art-history major, went on to pioneer the HPV vaccine

Note: After you read the article, let us know what you think. Submit a letter to the editor to magazine@amherst.edu.

Jakina Debnam

Quote by Jakina Debnam

“I found that economics was underlying a lot of things that I thought were wrong in the world.” Jakina Debnam, assistant professor of economics, studies the impact of economic policies and events on human thriving in this Amherst magazine Q&A

 

Amelie Hastie

Quote by Amelie Hastie

“All my plots for the future seemed equally out of reach and equally possible.” Amelie Hastie, professor of English in film and media studies, writing in Amherst magazine about a movie that haunts her.

Mohamed Ramy ’18

Quote by Mohamed Ramy '18

“I want to inspire people to be in awe of being alive—and to critically assess the direction of our generation.” Mohamed Ramy ’18 is a current Watson Fellow and future Schwarzman Scholar.

David Chen ’06

Quote by David Chen

“There’s something really interesting about this asymmetrical connection you have with people.” David Chen, in “Screen Talk,” speaking about the relationship between the podcaster and the audience. Chen created the podcast “The Watchers” with Devindra Hardawar ’05, and a number of other podcasts including “A Cast of Kings,” about the TV series Game of Thrones.

Steven Simon, visiting professor of history

Steve Simon quote

“I expect you all to put these recommendations in a combined memo for the president.” Steven Simon, visiting professor of history. In Steven Simon's class, “National Security Decision Making,” students role-played as the secretary of defense or head of homeland security, creating strategies to handle national security disaster scenarios. Simon himself was a member of the National Security Council in the Clinton and Obama administrations.

Marisa Parham, English professor

Quote by Marisa Parham

“One of the arguments a lot of digital humanists make is: In x number of years, we won’t call it ‘the digital humanities.’ It will just be ‘the humanities.’” English professor Marisa Parham, in “Deconstructing the Game,” which explores her highly popular course, “Videogames and the Boundaries of Narrative.”

Wallace Minot Leonard Jr., Class of 1916

Quote by Wallace Minot Leonard Jr., Class of 1916

“I don't recall much that happened. We spent most of our time hanging onto Mother Earth.” 1st Lieutenant Wallace Minot Leonard Jr., Class of 1916, recalling how he and his men crawled 1,000 yards across a field in northern France, under merciless enemy fire, to reach and take out an enemy gun emplacement in World War I. For his heroism, Leonard was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Croix de Guerre. He is one of 33 World War I servicemen honored on Amherst's War Memorial. The war ended 100 years ago this November 11th.

Hugo Ríos Cordero

Quote by Hugo Ríos Cordero

“The sand disappeared under the restless sea, in some cases permanently. By-the-shore establishments, which profited off the sea, were now swallowed by it.” Hugo Ríos Cordero. From Cordero's essay in the most recent issue of The Common literary magazine, which explores Puerto Rico a year after Hurricane Maria.

From a New York Times review of an exhibition devoted to Orra White Hitchcock

Orra White Hitchcock

“She was an artificer as much as an observer, imagining dramatic new ways to express the world's beauty and, as she saw it, its sacred order.” Hitchcock was one of the premier scientific illustrators of her time and the wife of Amherst’s third president. She is featured in the new Amherst magazine.

Gardner Watts ’35

"You know the truth better." Gardener Watts ’35

“You know the truth better.” Amherst’s oldest living graduate, Gardner Watts ‘35, on growing older and wiser.

Ilan Stavans, professor of Spanish

Quote by Ilan Stavans

“It made me think of the long chain of generations we all belong to and the ways past, present and future interact.” Professor  Ilan Stavans, offering a paean to his favorite building on campus. His essay appears in the new Amherst magazine.

Kiara Vigil, assistant professor of American Studies

Quote by Kiara Vigil, Assistant Professor of American Studies

“This is a place that now can be seen as a center—as a place to go to learn about Native history, culture, tradition, from Native peoples themselves.” Assistant Professor Kiara Vigil, speaking of the 2,600 volumes that brought scholars from around the country to study at Amherst this summer.

NOTE: The College’s Kim-Wait Eisenberg Native American Literature Collection is among the most comprehensive of its kind. 

Chelsea Cutler ’19

Chelsea Cutler

“Putting your team first is like putting your audience first.” Chelsea Cutler ’19, in “Songs Not Papers. Cutler's debut single, “You Make Me,” hit the Billboard viral chart last year. An Amherst soccer player, Cutler intentionally dresses like an athlete onstage, refusing to buy into the sexist stereotype of female performers in high heels and tight clothes.

Orin Hoffman ’01

Orin Hoffman

“We can suck the fish into the robot without killing it.” Orin Hoffman ’01 in “Send in the Robots.” Hoffman is the chief roboticist for the Lionfish Project, which helps fisherman by deploying robots to reach lionfish in deeper waters. Lionfish have no natural predators and are throwing off the ecological balance of coral reefs.

Min Cheng

Min Cheng

“Considering my chronically contentious relationship with the English language, it is no surprise that I came to realize my bilingualism in the midst of a fight.” Min Cheng, a staff therapist in the College’s Counseling Center. This essay is adapted from Confluences: Lost & Found in Translation, a new multilingual magazine conceived by Aqiil Gopee ’20, Hapshiba Kwon ’20 and Emily Merriam, a Writing Center advisor. You can read Cheng’s essay in Chinese, French, Korean and Urdu at confluences.wordpress.amherst.edu.

JinJin Xu ’17

Quote by JinJin Xu

“I went from introducing myself as a researcher, writer, student, to settling with and becoming a volunteer, and then in time, a friend.” JinJin Xu ’17, in “Real Lives of Refugees.” Traveling from China to India, Thailand to Germany, Xu interviewed a number of asylum seekers. She plans to transform those stories into a book about dislocated motherhood.

NOTE: In 2017, Amherst was distinguished for being the only school with three Watson Fellow winners, including JinJin Xu ’17. 

Rebecca Segal ’18

Rebecca Segal: "I hope that today helps normalize the process of going into the military while you're at school."

“I hope that today helps normalize the process of going into the military while you're at school. ”  U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Rebecca Segal ’18 in the new Amherst magazine.

Jeffrey Wright ’87

"Coming from theater, I try to grind down and polish, define and explore." Jeffrey Wright ’87

“Coming from the theater, I try to grind down and polish, define and explore.” Actor Jeffrey Wright ’87, speaking to Backstage about his role on HBO’s sci-fi thriller Westworld.

Jeffrey Suliveres ’20

Jeffrey Suliveres

“This documentary unexpectedly became one of the most rewarding experiences in my life.” Jeffrey Suliveres ’20 in the new Amherst magazine.

Katharine “Katie” Fretwell ’81

Quote by Katie Fretwell

“It is an accidental career. You won't find ‘admission officer’ on any of those career-pondering checklists. But as I was doing this work, I loved it.” Katharine “Katie” Fretwell ’81, former Dean of Admission, just retired after three decades of service to her alma mater. Read our interview.

Physics Professor David Hall ’91

Quote by David Hall ’91

“The experiment is conceptually simple, but the phenomenon is both beautiful and remarkably complex.” Physics Professor David Hall ’91, speaking of the rare electrical phenomenon of “ball lightning.” Hall and his students are among the only people in the world to have made and observed a microscopic simile of ball lightning in his Amherst lab.

Trent Maxey

Quote by Trent Maxey, associate professor of Asian languages & civilizations and history

“I was tired of intellectual historical ideas that float in ether. So I challenged myself to find out about how physical things shape how we experience ourselves.” Trent Maxey, associate professor of Asian languages & civilizations and history, speaking of his book in progress, Automotive Modernity: The Politics of Mobility in 20th-Century Japan.

Sabato Visconti ’09

Quote by Sabato Visconti ’09

“You find errors that happen seemingly randomly, and you create an environment in which they can happen at your wish.” Sabato Visconti ’09 is a “glitch artist,” who purposefully distorts images digitally. His art has been shown at many museums and festivals, including the Tate Britain.

Karen Sanchéz-Eppler

Quote by Karen Sanchez-Eppler

“Any study of human behavior or culture is going to have children in it.”
 Karen Sanchéz-Eppler, professor of American studies and English, speaking about the growing field of childhood studies. In “They Study Childhood,” four Amherst professors discuss their thought-provoking research into the history and psychology of children.

Jason Kung ’08

Quote about living in Shangai by entrepreneur Jason Kung ’08

“I had such a great experience being in a place that was so alive and different. I wondered: how could I recreate this for other students?” Jason Kung ’08, one of three young entrepreneurs in China profiled in the new Amherst magazine.

Adrienne White-Faines ’82

Quote by Adrienne White-Faines ’82

“These Wade Fellows helped show us how to reconcile the blessings and burden of our education, to take it and do something for our community.” Adrienne White-Faines ’82, speaking of the College’s Wade Fellows. Since 1977, black alumni Wade Fellows have returned to campus to engage with currents students as informal career counselors, mentors and role models.

Amy Summerville ’02

"I never tell anyone at a cocktail party that I'm an expert on regrets." Amy Summerville ’02

“I never tell anyone at a cocktail party that I’m an expert on regrets.”  Amy Summerville ’02, a social psychologist who leads the Regret Lab at Miami University in Ohio.

Rilla McKeegan ’21

“It was like we were waiting for paint to dry. Literally.” Rilla McKeegan ’21

“It was like we were waiting for paint to dry. Literally.” Rilla McKeegan ’21, on coloring sections of a Slinky toy for a design-your-own-adventure project for Physics 123 “The Newtonian Synthesis: Dynamics of Particles and Systems, Waves.”

NOTE: During the 2018 Undergraduate Awards, McKeegan was awarded the Bassett Physics Prize given to students who have “distinguished themselves by the excellence and maturity of their performance in the class and laboratory work of the first course in physics.” [Learn more]

Geoffrey Woglom

Quote by Professor Geoffrey Woglom, one of the speakers at Reunion 2018

“The only way to describe it is ‘Kafkaesque.’ ” Professor Geoffrey Woglom on the firestorm Andreas Georgiou ’83 entered after recalculating the Greek deficit. Woglom and Georgiou will speak at Reunion 2018. See the full schedule.

Catherine Newman ’90

Catherine Newman quote

“Nonfiction is like those TV contests where you get a basket of pre-chosen ingredients to cook with...Fiction, on the other hand. My god! There are no constraints.” Catherine Newman ’90, essayist and memoirist, on the challenges of writing her first novel.