Parents and Families
Deke Weaver ’85, a performance and multi-media artist who teaches at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, has been awarded a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Weaver’s lifelong project, The Unreliable Bestiary, is presenting a performance for every letter of the alphabet, with each letter represented by an endangered animal. Read more about Deke Weaver and his work.
When it was first manufactured in Germany in the 19th century, cocaine had a different reputation from the one it carries today. Derived from South American coca leaves and called a “wonder drug” by Freud, it was used as an anesthetic that enabled delicate operations such as eye surgeries.
Cocaine’s subsequent slide into infamy was a global process that illustrates the complicated historical relationship between the German and Austrian Empires, according to Harvard history professor Alison Frank Johnson. Johnson presented a lecture at Bowdoin as part of this year’s “Germany In Europe” Campus Week, an annual initiative sponsored by the German Embassy and the Bowdoin College German Department with additional funding from the History Department.
“Johnson’s work on Austrian identity and the Austrian Empire provides insight into topics that tend to get lost in Europe’s history,” said Associate Professor of German Birgit Tautz, who introduced the talk. This historical perspective is relevant today, Tautz said, in understanding Germany’s current role as a bridge between Western and Eastern Europe.
When you’re a nation of more than 300 million citizens, change doesn’t happen smoothly — or at the same rate among all age, race or ethnic groups. Nevertheless, change is the only constant and The Atlantic provides a quick preview of Pew Research’s new report, The Next America, providing a breakdown of many shifts occurring in our ever-changing nation.
Cambodian exchange students Sivgech Chheng and Chandy Eng have both made Bowdoin their home for a year, thanks to the Harpswell Foundation in Cambodia.
The foundation provides motivated, intelligent Cambodian women free housing and scholarships to attend college in Phnom Penh. Bowdoin’s partnership with the Harpswell Foundation allows a pair of women to study at Bowdoin for one year. Chheng and Eng are the third pair to come.
The two both completed their undergraduate studies at law school in Cambodia. In the future, Chheng wants to attract investment to Cambodia, focusing on rural community development. Eng intends to apply to graduate school to study either human rights or gender and women’s studies.
The Bowdoin Orient‘s Katie Foley profiled Chheng and Eng, as well as Juliet Eyraud ’16, who was last year’s summer leadership resident in Cambodia.
In what has become an ongoing series, we have learned of yet another Bowdoin connection to this year’s Pulitzer Prizes. Deanne Urmy ’78, senior editor at Houghton Mifflin, edited Megan Marshall’s Margaret Fuller: A New American Life, which won a Pulitzer in the biography category. This brings to five the number of alumni with connections to the prestigious honor.
Boston Globe reporter Joshua Miller ’08, and Globe editors Cynthia Needham ’99 and Scott Allen ’83 are part of the team awarded a Pulitzer in the Breaking News Reporting category for its coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings and the ensuing manhunt. Miller and Allen both reported for the Bowdoin Orient.
Mary Helen Miller ’09 — who was the Orient‘s opinion editor in her first year, features editor the year after, managing editor during her junior year, and co-editor-in-chief as a senior — was nominated as part of a team from the Chattanooga Times Free Press as finalists for their work on “Speak No Evil,” a series exploring the “no-snitch” culture that helps perpetuate a cycle of violence in one of the most dangerous cities in the South.
And, by all means, if you know of any other Polar Bears with connections to the 2014 Pulitzer Prizes, we want to hear from you.
The 72 students who participated in the McKeen Center’s Alternative Spring Break program gathered for a special dinner at Daggett Lounge recently to reflect on their week of service.
Andrew Lardie, associate director at the McKeen Center, opened the dinner by encouraging students to “celebrate the discomfort that individuals and groups can experience as a result of encounters with difference during service trips.” He said a kind of “creative tension” can come from diverse groups and individuals taking the first steps in learning about each other without the presumption of privilege or domination.
Since its founding in 2004, the Alternative Spring Break program has allowed students to perform community service all over the U.S. and Guatemala during the first week of their spring vacation. Student leaders propose, design and run the trips. They are responsible for recruiting participants, planning trip logistics and coordinating with the host site. Read the full story by Kiyomi Mino ’16.
Despite a few months of poor job reports and other lousy statistics, Fortune points out three indicators that suggest signs of better days to come, including increased retail sales, large numbers of new cars being sold, and significant low numbers of unemployed Americans.
Age 65 comes with its strife–loss of physical acumen, a cynicism toward “da youth” or the successors of the world–but it also marks the age of wisdom, the culmination of experience, and the “liberating urgency of old age.” Writer Mark Jacobson grapples with the feeling of panic and claustrophobia warring the feeling of “fears, nightmares nurtured the bulk of his life [beginning] to lighten.” He discusses the feeling of being on the outside looking in, finally recognizing that “the world no longer belongs to us.” But he does have a least one piece of advice to offer for all the cynical teens who see only a dystopia of a world, including his daughter: “Wait. It will seem better in the morning.”
Jacobson’s article is featured in the New York magazine with portraits of New Yorkers born in 1948, including Abelardo Morell ’77. See these beautiful portraits and Jacobson’s entire article here.
Paul Miller ’92, perhaps better known as DJ Spooky, and art-tech incubator CultureHub have created a series of multi-media performances that will allow viewers to watch performers in Seoul and New York City perform live together communicating through super hi-def, hi-speed live video. The show, called Seoul Counterpoint, grew out of Miller’s residency at Seoul Institute of the Arts and played this weekend in New York. The show is scheduled to tour around the world for the next two years. Read more.
A humanitarian soccer player and an advocate for greater digital privacy have each won a one-year grant from the Thomas J. Watson Foundation to travel the world.
While the two seniors, Alexander Marecki and Rodrigo Bijou, share a strong sense of purpose and a deep curiosity, they have strikingly different agendas for next year. Marecki, a lifelong soccer player, plans to volunteer with nonprofits, from Scotland to Ghana, which help disadvantaged children through soccer. Bijou will investigate hacker communities in South America and Europe.
Each year, the Watson fellowship awards $28,000 to 40 or so graduating seniors, with the stipulation that they don’t return to the United States for 12 months. Cindy Stocks, Bowdoin’s director of student fellowships and research, said the fellowship supports students who have particular passions and specific aims. A compelling Watson project is one whose goals can’t be accomplished by any other means, such as graduate school or the Peace Corps. “Alex and Rodrigo proposed fascinating projects that couldn’t be achieved without the support of a Watson Fellowship,” Stocks said. Read more about the two seniors’ plans.