Parents and Families
In her first-place essay, “The Ethics of Intrusion,” Christiana Whitcomb ’14 looks at her role as a white outsider from Connecticut who drops into a Native American reservation in South Dakota. In the small prairie town of La Plant, Whitcomb interned for two summers (and part of a third) with an outside nonprofit that runs a summer camp for children, builds durable homes for families and hosts community events.
The 197 inhabitants of La Plant live a hardscrabble life on the windswept, tornado-prone plains. A staggering 99% of the townspeople are unemployed, the suicide rate is seven times the national average, and the nearest grocery store is 35 miles away. On the surface, Whitcomb’s motive in volunteering appears unquestionable, even noble. And so she thought at first, until she began to doubt herself.
“I have been hesitant to stop and question the ethics of this kind of intrusion because, for years, I have been seduced by the positive impacts,” she writes in her essay. “When a struggling family has a new roof over their heads, it seems petty to harp on the negative implications.” Read the full story.
Although few students will ever get the chance to hash out $200 million multiyear contracts for the best baseball players in the world, they could still learn a few negotiating tips from the guy who does it for a living.
David Prouty ’80, general counsel for the Major League Baseball Players Association, was on campus last week to give a talk on “power, money and how collective bargaining and players’ interests continue to shape the game of baseball.” While he was here, he also offered an afternoon negotiation workshop for 15 students. Read the full story.
The U.S. is currently suffering from the highest levels of income inequality since the 1920s, and nearly 40% of college graduates are “underemployed” — working service jobs that don’t require a college degree. For the first time, many expect the next generation to have lower standards of living than the current working generation. Thomas A. Kochan, a professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and author of the book, Restoring the American Dream: A Working Family’s Agenda for America, lays out his solution for reversing this downward trend.
From wealth distribution and whose voices are seemingly loudest to the balance of “hard” and “soft” news, check out Salon‘s list of “8 Shocking Facts the Media Doesn’t Have the Courage to Tell You.”
Seven Bowdoin faculty members have been promoted from the rank of associate to full professor: Aviva Briefel (English, Film Studies), Philip Camill (Environmental Studies; Earth and Oceanographic Science), Kristen Ghodsee (Gender and Women’s Studies), Samuel Putnam (Psychology), Patrick Rael (History), Shu-chin Tsui (Asian Studies; Film Studies), and Tricia Welsch (Film Studies).
“I am delighted to recognize each of these talented, respected, and dedicated faculty members,” said Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd in announcing the promotions. ”Promotion to full professor highlights the tremendous contributions that these seven teacher-scholars have made to the Bowdoin community, and particularly the opportunities they provide to our students,” Judd said. “It’s invaluable for students to work with such extraordinarily gifted and committed teachers who are at the same time distinguished scholars, engaged in shaping their fields of study nationally and internationally.”
In an article published by Columbia Journalism Review, news literacy experts express concern that news consumption through social media platforms comes with a high risk of readers taking parody news articles seriously. By sharing or retweeting links they haven’t even read, people are perpetuating the spread of fake news and exacerbating the long-standing problem faced by satirists: that some people just won’t get the joke.
Bowdoin’s most recent Santagata lecturer, an anthropology professor at the New School for Social Research in New York City, teaches courses with titles like “Humans,” “Quasi-Humans,” “Non-Humans,” and “Culture, Politics, and Nature.” So what is Hugh Raffles’ academic focus, exactly?
“While you call him an anthropologist, that label doesn’t really fit,” said President Mills in an introduction to the talk. “He studies people, animals, and objects, and the relationships among them, and his writing crosses interdisciplinary boundaries of anthropology, life science, history, economics, philosophy, and other subjects.”
Author of the award-winning book Insectopedia, Raffles is known for the unconventional perspectives he brings to his work. In this spring’s Kenneth V. Santagata Memorial Lecture, he presented a reflection on the history of Manhattan neighborhoods like Marble Hill, inspired by a long walk in the company of two friends last summer. Read more about Raffles’ talk.
The ‘lead’ in your pencil is actually graphite — the stablest element of carbon, the element that makes diamonds. Researchers at Stanford recently discovered that, by controlling the structural transition between carbon atoms at the nanoscale, they can actually turn graphite into diamonds.