Amherst Magazine: Winter 2014

Cover of Winter 2014 Amherst magazine
Brian Shactman ’94 on set

Shack’s Big Test
By Billy Townsend ’94
When Brian Shactman ’94 became an MSNBC host, he knew he had to boost ratings, beat CNN and get home in time to take the kids to soccer. Would that be enough?

Gertrude Bonnin

Infinite Sea
By Peter Rooney
Frost Library has acquired an unprecedented collection of Native American literature and history. “The research possibilities are endless,” says one English and American studies professor, who is already building a course around the material.



College Row
Mandela’s legacy at Amherst—The return of the College Republicans—Remembering George Shinn ’45—Biddy Martin at the White House—And more

Learning to Lead, both on and off the field

Beyond Campus
Social Media:
Pre-surgery dance made Deb Cohan ’90 a YouTube star
Baseball: Ben Cherington ’96 took a laughingstock team and made it a winner
Aging: Longitudinal study is following Americans as they grow old
Business: Nudging forward the treatment of diabetes
Physics: Michael Foss-Feig ’06 works on quantum simulators

Point of View
Signal 27:
On his last day of field training, police officer Ed Ducayet ’89 responded to a call he’ll never forget

Amherst Creates
Fiction: Maybe One Day, by Melissa Kantor ’91
Film: San Francisco, 1985
Comedy: A late-night debut on Conan
Poetry: Tess Taylor ’00 writes self-portraits
Documentary: Teller ’69 finds success in a new field

Remember When
Nelson Mandela loomed so large in history that he seemed out of place sitting quietly on a couch

Now and Then

Four students on toboggan by Merrill, 1986

While nothing can compare to sledding down Memorial Hill on a Valentine tray, some people crave more sophisticated winter thrills. Snowboarding only became an Olympic sport in 1998, which might explain why it’s a fairly recent addition to the winter scene on campus. Back in the 1980s, four speed-seekers opted for a single toboggan.

Student snowboarder airborne in front of Johnson Chapel

Top photo from Amherst College Archives; bottom photo by Mark Idelman ’15.