Sunday, December 11, 2016

With New Play and Book, Richard Greenberg is in the Spotlight

Richard Greenberg has had a busy fall. In October he published a book of essays, "Rules for Others to Live By," December saw the debut of his latest play, "The Babylon Line," Variety's review called the play "one of those modest little gems that contains sparks of white light if you look hard enough."

Lincoln Center Theatre's website describes the play thusly:
Levittown, 1967. It’s the first night of adult-ed Creative Writing class in a classroom at the local high school. The teacher, Aaron Port, lives in Greenwich Village and reverse commutes once a week on the Long Island Rail Road’s Babylon line to Wantagh. His students are a mixed bag: Frieda Cohen, Anna Cantor and Midge Braverman, housewives all, embrace each other on arrival, and update their running checklists on each other’s kids, husbands and lawns. Their opening gambit is to tell Aaron in no uncertain terms that they are only there because French Cooking and Flower Arranging are full. The two men in the class, Jack Hassenpflug and Marc Adams keep mostly to themselves. 
One final student, Joan Dellamond, rushes in late – but she actually does intend to be there. She is a housewife, but not like the others. Living on Long Island with no kids, she cannot be in the same conversation with those women. Nor does she seem to want to be. And yet, she does seek connection. Maybe this class will bring her, and Aaron, something that neither quite expects.
Greenberg did a fair amount of publicity around the play, For example, the Forward newspaper ran a lengthy Q&A on December 2, titled, "Tony-Winning Playwright Richard Greenberg Talks Baseball, Movies, Ferrante and Obscurity." One excerpt from the interview, conducted by writer Adam Langer:

AL: Are you going to be in rehearsal on election night?
RG: I don’t know. I think it might be a dress rehearsal. I remember being in a dress rehearsal the day after Obama got elected and all anyone was talking about was the cues. The show does go on, doesn’t it?
AL: It’s kind of a lovely world to live in.
RG: I guess. It has its exigencies. I remember doing a play at Lincoln Center. I was doing two plays during 9/11 and one of them was at Lincoln Center. Someone determined that Lincoln Center was number five on the terrorist hit list. I don’t know who came up with that list. But I remember feeling very, very secure there in that theater.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Robert Silverman Taking Part on new Muslim-Jewish Initiative

Six months after becoming the first director of Muslim-Jewish Relations at the AJC (American Jewish Committee), Robert Silverman has been playing a leading role in a related initiative that began in the weeks after the 2016 presidential election. According to a November 14 press release:

The Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council, a new national group of leading Muslim and Jewish Americans, was launched this month at a meeting convened by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).
The Council brings together recognized business, political, and religious leaders in the Jewish and Muslim American communities to jointly advocate on issues of common concern. Stanley Bergman, CEO of Henry Schein, and Farooq Kathwari, President and CEO of Ethan Allen, are the Council’s co-chairs.
At the group’s inaugural meeting, the Muslim and Jewish participants met for two hours to get to know one another, discuss the Council’s mission, and identify and agree on a domestic policy agenda. Among the Council’s initial action items are:

  • The Council will highlight the contributions of Muslims and Jews to American society, and aim to celebrate their contributions in the best traditions of American democracy.
  • The Council will develop a coordinated strategy to address anti-Muslim bigotry and anti-Semitism in the U.S.
  • The Council will work to protect and expand the rights of religious minorities in the U.S., as enshrined in the Constitution, so they may practice their faiths in full freedom and security.

Articles about the Council in the religious and secular press often quoted Silverman, who joined the AJC after a career in the State Department. An article in the November 16 issue of the New York Jewish Week said,

“The election rhetoric no doubt increased some people’s motivation in joining this council,” which was planned and began meeting before the election, said Robert Silverman, a career foreign service officer in the State Department who was named the AJC’s first director of Muslim-Jewish Relations six months ago. “But the underlying need to have such a group is longstanding and overdue, and is not directly related to the elections.” . . . 
The council, which calls itself the first-such major national organization that brings together prominent members of both religious communities, will concentrate on drafting and supporting enforcement of legislation in such areas as “reasonable accommodation” of religious practice, prevention of religious discrimination in the workplace, support for refugee immigration and enforcement of existing hate crime laws.
“The priorities are still being worked out,” said Silverman. He added that the council will also work to combat negative stereotypes that members of each religious group hold about the other. He said the “leaders of the two communities … are intrigued by the possibilities of working with this other community whom they don’t know very well.”

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Rich Greenberg's New Play, "The Babylon Line," to Debut in December

Playwright Rich Greenberg's new play, "The Babylon Line," will have its off-Broadway premiere on December 5 at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater in New York. Previews begin. Josh Radnor, Broadway star seen on TV in "How I Met Your Mother," has the lead role.

According to,

In addition to Radnor, the cast will feature Tony winners Randy Graff and Frank Wood, Elizabeth Reaser, Maddie Corman, Julie Halston and Michael Oberholtzer. Set in 1967, The Babylon Line follows a writer (played by Radnor) in Greenwich Village who teaches a creative writing class in Levittown. As he leads his students, one pupil (played by Reaser) revives his abandoned artistic endeavors.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

"Why Women Still Can't Have It All" Gets a Shout-Out in New Movie "Equity"

Published four years ago in The Atlantic, Anne-Marie Slaughter's seminal article "Why Women Still Can't Have It All" continues to resonate in popular culture.

The latest example: A very brief scene in the new movie "Equity," about three women working on Wall Street, two at an investment bank and one as a government prosecutor. Women's issues such as ambition, sexual harassment, pregnancy and family life weave through the movie. In one scene, a main character reads an article on her cell phone. And she's looking at . . . Why Women Still Can't Have It All," with Slaughter's name visible at the bottom of the screen. The article's theme fits well with the content of "Equity." But you have to look very fast or the scene will fly by.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Beth Cobert's Q&A with the Daily Princetonian

Beth Cobert, Acting Director of the Office of Personnel Management, spoke at length with the Daily Princetonian in a May 30 Q&A about her academic interests as an undergraduate, her career at McKinsey & Company, and her work at the OPM. The interview started,

Daily Princetonian: What made you interested in coming to Princeton?
Beth Cobert: I grew up in New Jersey, and my mother grew up right around the Princeton area, so I had always heard about Princeton. When I was in high school, I originally thought I wanted to be a math major, and Princeton had a great math department. I actually wanted to move Princeton to Massachusetts so I wouldn’t have to be an hour away from my parent’s house. I couldn’t persuade anyone to do that, so I came anyway. It was a great chance to go.
DP: What was your major, and what kinds of activities were you involved in?
BC: Academically, I was an economics major, and I focused on the quantitative side of economics. But, I took probably the minimum number of economics courses you needed to qualify for the major, and since they didn’t have the dual major and certificate programs that they do now, I sort of took advantage of taking all sorts of things. I took a bunch of art history, I took architecture, I took Russian history, I took chemistry, so I had a pretty eclectic curriculum, which was one of the things I loved about the place, since I could do all these different things. Outside of academics, the thing I was most involved in was Outdoor Action. I had gone backpacking before I came to Princeton, and I had gone on a freshman trip and then signed up to be a trip leader. I led freshman trips every year after that, and I taught a canoeing class with Rick Curtis ’79, who is the current head of OA. I probably spent most of my time on Outdoor Action.

The complete interview can be found here.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Susan Stefan Publishes Book on Legal and Social Policy Aspects of Suicide

Civil and disability rights lawyer Susan Stefan's new book, "Rational Suicide, Irrational Laws: Examining Current Approaches to Suicide in Policy and Law," is garnering attention for its unflinching look at issues surrounding suicide, in a book that draws on surveys and interviews with 244 survivors of suicide attempts. One of the interviewees, Leah Harris, wrote a long review, "A Radical New Direction for Suicide Prevention and Care," for the Huffington Post, noting,

Stefan delivers a scathing indictment of the suicide prevention and care status quo, based on her in-depth study of history, case law, and the first-person narratives of providers and survivors she interviewed, “our policies and practices regarding suicide create an irrational incentive structure where people understand they have to attempt suicide to get help, help which is of questionable utility, while community-based approaches that are less expensive and work are underfunded. We have a system that doesn’t work for anyone — neither the people who are supposed to be providing help, nor the people who are supposed to be receiving it.” She points out the hypocrisy in the caring rhetoric of suicide prevention versus the reality: a series of legally-sanctioned, uncaring policies and practices that may actually increase, rather than decrease, suicide risk.
The book tackles head-on perhaps the most controversial issue in law and social policy regarding suicide and mental health in general: legal capacity to make decisions regarding one’s own life and care. Stefan draws a conclusion from her research that may stun many: “The vast majority of people who are thinking about suicide, attempting suicide, and committing suicide are nowhere close to incompetent under our current legal standards.” The problem, however, is that any expression of suicidality is all too often presumed to be a sign of incompetence. This “suicidality equals incompetence” assumption, Stefan argues, “shuts down the conversation at the very point where the conversation is most needed.” It leads to coercive, knee-jerk responses that can be experienced as punitive and re-traumatizing by people in suicidal states.

Bob Silverman Tackles Jewish-Muslim Issues in New Post at AJC

Following a 27-career at the State Department, Robert Silverman is gaining attention as the new Director of Muslim-Jewish Relations at the AJC (previously known as the American Jewish Committee). A May 18 article in the New York Jewish Week, "AJC Muslim Push Comes Amid Rancor in U.S.," discussed the reasons that the AJC created the position, and the response from Jewish and Muslim observers. The article notes,

“This is a community that is in some distress because of some of the speech that is coming out of politicians,” Silverman told The Jewish Week. “We as Jews should do the right thing … [and] the AJC is the right address to work on stronger ties between the two communities.” 
He said that although both the Muslim and Jewish communities are minorities in the U.S., “we are the more settled, established community” and this is the “right time to develop ties with this community. Showing support at this critical time will lead to good results for the Jewish people down the road.” 
Fluent in Arabic, Hebrew and Turkish, Silverman, 58, worked for 27 years at the U.S. State Department. A senior foreign service officer, he completed his tenure as director of regional and multilateral affairs in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. 
“I had nine overseas tours and all but one was in a Muslim country,” he said. “I have spent my entire professional career forming ties and friendships with different communities and mostly in the Muslim world. Even in my ninth country, Sweden, I reached out to the Muslim community.”

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Tiger News from the TLA

Reliable sources indicate that a class member joined with other Tigers to hold a Princetonian-focused social hour at a public-spirited agency that we can call the TLA (Three-Letter Acronym). Those in attendance named the informal gathering "the Moe Berg '23 Society." Berg was a stellar Princeton baseball player and linguist who played catcher with four Major League Baseball teams. During World War II he put his language skills to work with the Office of Strategic Services reporting on German and Italian science research. A good and discreet time was had by all, just the way Moe Berg would have wanted it. For the inside baseball on the Moe behind the Moe Berg Society, one might read this

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Amy Hopkins' PAW Letter Focuses on Avian Safety

 Amy Hopkins published a compelling letter in the April 6, 2016 issue of PAW with the headline "Avian Hazards. In it, Hopkins wrote her concerns with the December article "Science, With Style." She said,

While the new Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment has many modern and environmentally sound features to recommend it, I was dismayed upon seeing the photos in PAW, which show a multistory avian deathtrap (feature, Dec. 2). In this day and age, erecting a glass structure reflecting the natural world without thought to the hundreds or thousands of bird deaths this will cause over the years as they try to fly “through” the glass shows a callous disregard for nature. Bird-friendly architecture is part of current LEED green building certification guidelines, and one would have hoped that a center dedicated specifically to energy and the environment would have taken these guidelines into consideration before building a structure that will contribute to the hundreds of millions of birds killed every year by man-made structures, especially glass windows and buildings. For more information on this devastating topic, please visit the American Bird Conservancy at
I’m hoping that perhaps the architects will think to retrofit their glass structure and save birds from untimely human-caused deaths. How ironic that the main article was titled “Where Collisions Are Key.”

Monday, March 21, 2016

Dr. Cato Laurencin Named PAW's "Tiger of the Week"

The Princeton Alumni Weekly named Dr. Cato Laurencin one of two "Tigers of the Week" in a blog post on March 2. Laurencin was honored as one of eight to receive the National Medal of Technology and Innovation awards later this spring. The PAW blog noted,

Two alumni, Cato Laurencin ’80 and Michael Artin ’55, will receive presidential honors for their groundbreaking research. Laurencin has been selected as one of this year’s eight National Medal of Technology and Innovation honorees, while Artin is one of the nine National Medal of Science recipients. Also among the science honorees is Princeton ecology and evolutionary biology professor Simon Levin, whose research focuses on how large-scale patterns are maintained by small-scale behavioral and evolutionary factors at the level of individual organisms.
Laurencin ’80, a distinguished orthopaedic surgeon, was selected for his research on regrowing human tissue, including one innovative method for regrowing knee ligaments that was ranked among Scientific American‘s top 50 discoveries in 2007.
The technology medal will not be Laurencin’s first White House honor. He was the recipient of the Presidential Faculty Fellow Award under President Bill Clinton, and he also received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Math, and Engineering Mentoring from President Barack Obama.
Laurencin has had an impressive road to success. After graduating from Central High School in Philadelphia and then from Princeton with a B.S.E. in chemical engineering, he simultaneously earned his M.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Medical School and his Ph.D. in biochemical engineering/biotechnology from MIT.
Today, in addition to his role as a groundbreaking researcher, Laurencin is a professor at the University of Connecticut and holds leadership roles for several scientific institutes. He also pays his success forward as a mentor for underrepresented students and young doctors.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

PAW Features Gen. Mark Milley, Tibor Baranski Jr.

Two class members, Gen. Mark Milley and Tibor Baranski Jr., are featured in the latest print and online editions of the Princeton Alumni Weekly.

Gen. Milley, the Army Chief of Staff, provided a Q&A in PAW's March 16 issue. The interview starts:

Is there a cultural divide between the military and Ivy League universities? 
It’s as much a geographic issue. The Army demographic is heavily weighted toward the Mountain West, the Midwest, the Deep South, and the Southwest. The two coasts are numerically underrepresented. As we move further into this century, the requirement for very technologically sophisticated, highly adaptive people is going to grow, and we’re missing out on the two parts of the country with very high education levels. 
I would like to see more students from the Ivy League serve; I think it’s healthy for the country. On the other hand, I think it’s overstated how few Ivy League graduates there are. It’s that people don’t know who they are.

On March 11, PAW published its "PAW Tracks" interview with Baranski titled "Citizen of the World." In it, Baranski discusses his family's move to Canada and then Buffalo, New York following the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. Once in Buffalo, he attended a Catholic school with a strong foreign-languages program, which perfectly fit with his budding interest in languages, as he related:

The Asian languages were all taught by native speakers, and the selection was Japanese, Chinese, Hindi, Arabic, and Hebrew. I had a tremendous interest, for some reason, in learning both Japanese and Chinese. I started to learn Chinese in September 1969 at Calasanctius in Buffalo, N.Y. I recall one day coming home, as I was 11 years old at the time, and my father had asked me, “Young man, I understand that you have chosen Chinese instead of Latin or Greek. Why?” I explained to him that I thought it was a very ancient civilization [as an] old country [with a] long history and a lot of traditions and people, and so it was a very important country that merited study. So my father looked at me and said, “That’s fine, but please do take it seriously, and don’t quit after a few months.” So here we are in 1969 to now 46 years later. I took it quite seriously.

Baranski goes on to relate his move to Taiwan to study Chinese, and then his language studies at Princeton. The work paid off--he's been a Shanghai-based lawyer for many years, putting his language skills to excellent use.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Todd Beaney Releases New CD, "Come Dance With Me"

Todd Beaney’s new CD, titled “Come Dance With Me” and just released in March, features 10 of Beaney's compositions for contemporary jazz-rock sextet in a variety of styles and grooves. The band includes Beaney on keyboards, classmate Steve Wexler on bass, and several other accomplished New York area musicians.

The Uptown Horns are special guests on one track. Sophisticated writing, impassioned improvisations, and one surprise after another infuse this sparkling sextet offering. Check it out through Beaney's website or at, iTunes, or Amazon.

Gen. Mark Milley: I'll Buy Handguns With a Credit Card

Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley had some straight-shooting comments at the recent Future of War Conference about the military procurement process looking to replace the 30-year old sidearm carried by soldiers. Fox News reported:

Last August, the Pentagon launched its "XM17 MHS competition," in which gun manufacturers had the opportunity to present their best pistols for consideration to replace the current standard sidearm, which critics say does not have adequate stopping power. 
Milley said at the conference that the program is an example of a bureaucratic system that makes it overly complicated to get field equipment to soldiers on the frontlines in a timely matter. 
"We are trying to figure out a way to speed up the acquisition system," Milley said. "Some of these systems take multiple years, some of them decades to develop."
Milley also pointed out many issues and concerns with the MHS, particularly the $17 million price tag. 
"[A] 367-page requirement document. Why?" Milley asked the crowd. "Well, a lawyer says this, and a lawyer says that, and you have to go through this process and that process and you have to have oversight from this that and the other." 
"The testing -- I got a briefing the other day -- the testing for this pistol is two years," he added. "Two years to test technology that we know exists. You give me $17 million on the credit card, I'll call Cabela’s tonight, and I'll outfit every soldier, sailor, airman, and Marine with a pistol and I'll get a discount on it for bulk buys."

Monday, March 7, 2016

Robert Klitzman Considers Whether Therapists Should Analyze Presidential Candidates

Robert Klitzman tackles an enduring issue in the coverage of political campaigns in an op-ed in today's New York Times. He asks, "Should Therapists Analyze Presidential Candidates?" His piece opened,

Not long ago, a journalist asked me what I thought, as a psychiatrist, of Donald J. Trump.
Many psychologists have been quick to offer diagnoses, calling him and other presidential candidates “narcissists,” and even providing thoughts about possible treatments.
I wondered what, if anything, to say. I’ve watched Mr. Trump on TV like everyone else, but never met him. So, I hesitated — for ethical reasons. The American Psychiatric Association (A.P.A.) prohibits its members from giving professional opinions about public figures we have not interviewed.

Klitzman provides the historical context for the APA position, going back to a magazine's survey of psychiatrists on the topic of Republic candidate Barry Goldwater during the 1964 campaign. Described in highly negative terms, Goldwater sued and one for libel. Klitzman tracks the history of the APA's "Goldwater Rule" and differing views on how broadly it applies to therapists beyond psychiatrists. Circling back to the inital query from the journalists, Klitzman notes,

To the journalist who contacted me, I thus explained the Goldwater Rule, and that I had not examined Mr. Trump, so could not say anything specific about him, but that, in general, egoism unfortunately motivates many presidential candidates. I said I hoped that would not impede them from acting in the public’s best interests — but that it was a danger.

Friday, February 12, 2016

AJC Names Robert Silverman as US Director of Muslim-Jewish Relations

Robert Silverman has been named U.S. Director of Muslim-Jewish Relations by the AJC, a new position for the global advocacy group. A February 10 statement from the AJC stated:

“Bob Silverman has a unique background to help lead AJC in this transformational, essential endeavor,” said AJC Chief Executive Officer David Harris. “He has the professional experience and wisdom, and, importantly, shares the AJC commitment to turn the vision of engagement with Muslims across the United States into a fruitful reality.” 
Silverman will join AJC’s Department of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations, led by Rabbi Noam Marans. 
“I am delighted to come to AJC, the global pioneer in interreligious and intergroup relations,” said Silverman. “Positive, smart engagement with Muslims is imperative for the Jewish community, indeed for the vibrant, pluralistic democracy that is the United States.” 
Silverman comes to AJC after a distinguished career spanning more than a quarter of a century at the U.S. Department of State. A Senior Foreign Service Officer, Silverman is concluding his tenure as Director of Regional and Multilateral Affairs in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. 
Fluent in Arabic, Hebrew and Turkish, Silverman served, among other posts, as political counselor in Tel Aviv, economic counselor in Riyadh and Baku, deputy economic counselor in Ankara, political officer in Cairo and Jerusalem, as well as Provincial Reconstruction Team leader in Tikrit, Iraq. In Washington, he has served as Director of the Iraq Reconstruction and Economic Affairs Office, and Kuwait desk officer. 
“I look forward to building upon AJC’s significant achievements in Muslim-Jewish relations, with the hope of greatly expanding our reach and impact,” said Silverman.

Monday, February 8, 2016

'80's McGrath and Brody Keep Things Hopping at The New Yorker

Doug McGrath and Richard Brody contributed hot-topic essays over the past month at The New Yorker (edited by David Remnick '81, keeping the Tiger spirit alive there).

McGrath got the party started in the January 18 issue with a piece titled "We Have a Serious Problem," in the Shouts & Murmurs section. McGrath provides a fanciful diary of key dates in imagined discussions between Donald Trump and a key aide in his presidential bid. One except:

JANUARY 12, 2016: Trump slumped in his chair. He’d been holding the last slice of an extra-large everything pizza for an unheard-of five whole minutes without eating it. Jeff’s applications to work for calmer, nicer men—Rahm Emanuel, Robert Durst, the new social-media guy at ISIS—had so far not come through. He hardly slept anymore, and even though he was only thirty, his hands shook as if he’d just survived a plane crash.

 In the February 3 issue, Brody gives a highly positive review to "Hail, Caesar!" the new comedy by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen '79. Brody found a lot to like in the film, noting:

“Hail, Caesar!” is a comedy, and a scintillating, uproarious one, filled with fast and light touches of exquisite incongruity in scenes that have the expansiveness of relaxed precision, performed and timed with the spontaneous authority of jazz. Hollywood has been ripe for lampooning from the start, but, for all the movie’s incisive humor, the Coens don’t so much mock the movie colony as look on with an unusually benign astonishment at the contrast—only superficially a contradiction—between the absurd wonders of the movies that were made at the time and the even more absurd stories of their making. 
Brody's other articles so far this year looked at the 2016 Oscar nominations and the Star Wars saga.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Danny Quah Keeps an Eye on the Global Economy

From his perch as Professor of Economics and International Development and Director of the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre at the London School of Economics, Danny Quah closely observes global economic trends and comments on them at his blog,, and for leading business publications. 

His latest think piece reprinted at the Fair Observer website has the provocative title, "China's Economy is Not Collapsing." Quah works his way through the statistics, assumptions and politics of China, in a way that's difficult to summarize here and should be read as a whole. His conclusion is:

Indeed, recent events in China’s economic trajectory have set off alarm bells for many observers. But these same incidents, set against a slightly more textured background, are actually nuanced in their implications.

China is not imminently in meltdown.

None of this is to say China’s economy will continue growing at double-digit rates forever. Nor does it argue that China’s policymakers have consistently done the right things. But neither are those policymakers obviously guilty of incompetence or excessive interventionism.
Steep challenges lie ahead. China’s pile of debt is a tricky mix of privatized, local governmental and national obligations, and there remains considerable uncertainty how this debt hangover will work out. China’s industrial restructuring, its anti-corruption campaign, its transition past the Lewis Turning Point and out of the middle-income trap, and its environmental and demographic challenges all remain daunting. These challenges are substantive and long-term, and China’s policymakers will have to deal with them in a properly measured and considered way.
But China’s exchange rate and stock market gyrations? They have likely already attracted far too much attention relative to substance.

'80 Members Take Part in PAW's "Lives Lived and Lost" Issue

The February 3 issue of the Princeton Alumni Weekly features members of the Class of 1980 throughout, especially in its cover theme on "Lives Lived and Lost: 2015."

The section opens with a two-page photograph of Nancy Sullivan, an anthopologist who lived in Papua New Guinea for 24 years and died on July 16,  The article about her says,

She used those years to become an advocate for the country’s indigenous people and their culture as well as a beloved mother figure to more than a dozen children from the jungle.

An essay about E. Alden Dunham '53, who served at Princeton's director of admissions starting in 1962, quotes his daughter, Ellen Dunham-Jones, who recalls her father sometimes was called to Nassau Hall to explain his admissions decisions. Following Princeton, he continued to work to expand opportunities in higher education. Dunham-Jones said,

“He wanted to make sure that my siblings and I didn’t grow up as Princeton kids, with the expectation that everybody is ... well-educated and has all these opportunities,” Dunham-Jones says. “[He made sure] we had a chance to meet and learn to love people who had a lousy education and limited opportunities, but were wonderful and smart people. He always wanted us to be aware of that.” 
Marc Fisher, senior editor of the Washington Post, wrote an essay about his Post colleague Don Oberdorfer '52, describing him as "a phenomemon that today is very much in danger of fading away entirely: a journalist who was an expert in his own right." Fisher wrote,

Oberdorfer spent the bulk of his career at The Washington Post, where he covered the White House, the State Department, and foreign policy, and served as the paper’s Tokyo bureau chief. Rare is the reporter whose notebooks are worth saving, let alone becoming part of Princeton’s Mudd Manuscript Library, where 17 boxes of Oberdorfer’s notes chronicle his time as what legendaryPost editor Ben Bradlee called “a foreign-affairs expert who could and did peg even with the very best foreign-affairs experts.”
Beyond the memorials, '80 members contributed in other ways to the issue. Scott Willenbrock contributed a letter to the editor identifying people in a 1976 photo with basketball coach Pate Carril, and a short article about February 20 Alumni Day notes that Gen. Mark Milley will be receiving the Woodrow Wilson Award.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Dr. Cato Laurencin to Receive National Medal of Technology & Innovation

Dr. Cato Laurencin of the University of Connecticut, a world-renowned surgeon-scientist in orthopaedic surgery, engineering, and materials science, is being honored by the U.S., as a recipient of the NationalMedal of Technology and Innovation from the president of the United States. The award is the nation’s highest honor for technological achievement that is bestowed by the president on America’s leading innovators.

According to a story published by UConn Today,

“I am excited to be honored by President Barack Obama with this highest award in our land for scientific innovation,” said Laurencin. “I need to thank my family, teachers, mentors, colleagues, and students for inspiring me each and every day. What has been accomplished on this journey is in large part due to them.” Laurencin will receive the medal at the White House (in 2016). This will mark the third time he has received White House honors. He is also the recipient of the Presidential Faculty Fellow Award from President Bill Clinton for his work bridging engineering and medicine, and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Math, and Engineering Mentoring from President Barack Obama.

At UConn, Dr. Laurencin serves as the eighth University Professor in UConn’s 130-year history. He is professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering; professor of materials science and engineering; and professor of biomedical engineering. He is also the chief executive officer of the Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (CICATS), UConn’s cross-university translational science institute. At UConn Health, he is director of the Institute for Regenerative Engineering; the Albert and Wilda Van Dusen Distinguished Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery; and director of The Raymond and Beverly Sackler Center for Biomedical, Biological, Physical, and Engineering Sciences. Laurencin is an elected member of both the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Engineering.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Edie Canter Reflects on Push for a Women's Studies Program

In the latest installment of its podcasts with Class of 1980 members, the Princeton Alumni Weekly spoke with Edie Canter about the push for a program in Women's Studies. The interview's introduction says, "As undergraduates, Edie Canter ’80 and her friends had many discussions about women’s issues, but rarely in an academic setting. That realization led them to push for a women’s studies program." Canter recalls the organizational efforts:

After a lot of reluctance, the University did respond to some of the advocacy by creating a student-faculty committee to examine whether or not to have women’s studies. They populated the committee on the faculty side, at least in part, with a bunch of faculty members who were known to be in opposition coming into it – either in opposition to women’s studies or generally negative about interdisciplinary programs. It wasn’t completely stacked, but there were definitely people known to have a negative opinion that were on that committee, which meant that it felt to those of us who were advocating for it like a bit of a set-up. Nevertheless, it wasn’t exclusively that, and there was the opportunity for students to have a voice in this committee.

After Princeton, Canter attended law school and practiced commercial litigation before shifting her focus to the nonprofit sector. She is the executive director of the Chicago Debate League and Chicago Debate Commission.