“Almost all battles can be boiled down to the irritable question: ‘Why can’t you be more like me?’” Author Marietta Pritchard in “Scenics from a Marriage,” which chronicles a lifetime of travel with her husband, English professor William Pritchard
Welcome to Amherst College, Jack and Sarah! These two names appear most often on the 470 new IDs created for the class of 2023.
Link: Orientation concludes on Monday, Sept. 2 with Convocation. See the full schedule.
“Amherst College was doing ‘community engagement’ long before it actually was a phrase.” Richard Aronson ’69 on the College’s deep ties to the town of Amherst’s A Better Chance House, now celebrating its 50th anniversary.
“Each course is amazing in and of itself, with obvious intellectual benefits. But, for me, it is actually the social part that is most compelling.” Catherine Epstein, provost and dean of the faculty, on course-specific trips that take students around the globe.
“There I was, floating around the Mediterranean—and it sounds kind of corny now, but I decided to devote my life to public service.” Longtime Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau ’41, speaking of his experience after German bombs sank his World War II destroyer. Morgenthau died, at age 99, on July 21.
“The micro, the macro, everything’s so different from what people had imagined.” Malloy’s groundbreaking “Dimensionism” show in the Mead's Art Museum, which includes Capricious Forms by Wassily Kandinsky, closes on July 28.
“What if we could redefine work so that instead of determining the lives we have, it enables the lives we want?” Christine Bader ’93, on picking up and moving to Bali with her family in order to live more sustainably.
“Tutoring at the ABC House helped me break out of the ‘Amherst bubble.’ It also helped me realize the importance of doing things with meaning rather than for yourself.” Brendan Seto ’18 is one of 109 alumni tutors, over 50 years, who have mentored the teen scholars of color at the A Better Chance House in the town of Amherst.
“To be honest, I didn't really know about being an academic until the Mellon Mays. It's made me understand exactly the topography of that world.” Chimaway Lopez ’20 is one of five Amherst juniors in a program that helps today’s students become tomorrow’s professors.
NOTE: Detail from ‘View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm — The Oxbow’ (1836) by Thomas Cole. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
“Two heads are not just better than one. They're actually like three.” Sheila Jaswal, associate professor of chemistry speaking of her weekly consultations with Amy S. Wagaman, associate professor of statistics.
63 years, 6 months, 3 weeks, 6 days, 1 hour and 6 minutes—Cumulative time the class of 2019 spent in Amherst classrooms during the past four years. More facts about the class that graduated on Sunday, May 26.
“Happiness, like the flu, is contagious.” Catherine Sanderson, the Manwell Family Professor in Life Sciences (Psychology), in her new book The Positive Shift: Mastering Mindset to Improve Happiness, Health, and Longevity.
“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.
“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.
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.
“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.
“He became smaller. It became very clear this was not Philip’s war.” Lisa Brooks, professor of English and American Studies, was just awarded the prestigious Bancroft Prize for History for her book Our Beloved Kin: A New History of King Philip's War.
“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.
“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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
“King is eminently quotable—perhaps too quotable—and I wanted to push students to return to both the source and the historical moment.” Visiting lecturer Alec F. Hickmott on the course he developed on the life and times of Martin Luther King Jr.
Note: President Lyndon B. Johnson meets with Martin Luther King, Jr. at the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.”
“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.
“Gregor. Charles. Nettie. Maud. Carl.” Caroline Goutte, biology professor.
NOTE: These are the names for the state-of-the-art freezers in Amherst’s new Science Center. They honor geneticist Gregor Mendel; naturalist and biologist Charles Darwin; Nettie Stevens, who discovered sex chromosomes; biochemist Maud Menten; and microbiologist Carl R. Woese ‘50.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“The story of beavers is the story of early American history, in all of its grandeur and destructiveness.” Ben Goldfarb was interviewed by Geoffrey Giller ’10 for the cover story of the newest issue of Amherst magazine.
“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.