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Updated: 28 min 6 sec ago

Affordable Housing Entrepreneur Baxter ’75 Speaks to Aspiring Leaders

Tue, 03/18/2014 - 13:28


Ellen Baxter ’75, the founder and executive director of an innovative low-income housing organization in New York City, returned to Bowdoin recently to share her wisdom with students on leadership and making a difference.

“I am not a natural-born leader,” she confessed right off, speaking to a couple dozen students in Daggett Lounge. They are part of two ongoing leadership development series at Bowdoin run by Student Activities and the McKeen Center. “I used to be shy and introverted, and I still am. For those who are like that, hang in there, it gets better!”

Baxter went on to describe the early years of her post-college life, which took her from Bowdoin to Belgium on a Watson Fellowship, and then to New York City, where she eventually founded Broadway Housing Communities. Read the full story.

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The Downside of Positivity

Tue, 03/18/2014 - 13:28

Photograph courtesy of Sam PutnamIs there a negative side to positivity? Psychology researcher Cynthia Stifter explores that question in “exuberant” children — kids who are more positive and active than their peers, yet may also be more likely to show behavioral problems due to their impulsivity, interest in novelty, and lack of fear.

Stifter, a professor of human development and psychology at Pennsylvania State University — and the former graduate advisor of Bowdoin’s Associate Professor of Psychology Samuel Putnam — recently spoke about her research to a full audience of Bowdoin students and faculty in Kanbar Hall. Stifter and Putnam have published five papers together, analyzing exuberance and other aspects of temperament and behavior in early childhood.

Read the full story.

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Unintelligible Rock Lyrics Leave Us Hearing What We Want to Hear (Chronicle of Higher Education)

Tue, 03/18/2014 - 13:27


Ask someone who’s been married a long time: we hear what we want to hear. Truer words may never have been spoken — and they’ve been sung, too. Who thought Jimi Hendrix was singing “‘Scuse me while I kiss this guy”? Or believed CCR was simply being helpful with “There’s a bathroom on the right”?

Kevin J.H. Dettmar, chair of Pomona College’s English department, delves into what we think we hear and why in an essay for The Chronicle of Higher Education, adapted from his new book, Gang of Four’s “Entertainment!”.

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Bowdoin Artists Enjoy ‘Second Nature’ Opening in New York (Portland Press Herald)

Mon, 03/17/2014 - 13:48
 John Bisbee, Cyclonaut #1 (2014), Heated, hammered, and bent 12" spikes, 11 feet 9 inches in diameter. Right: Cassie Jones, From the Brink (2014), Sand on panel, 24 x 24 inches

Left: John Bisbee, Cyclonaut #1 (2014), Heated, hammered, and bent 12″ spikes, 11 feet 9 inches in diameter. Right: Cassie Jones, From the Brink (2014), Sand on panel, 24 x 24 inches

“Second Nature: Abstract Art from Maine,” the New York City gallery exhibition curated by Mark Wethli, Bowdoin’s A. LeRoy Greason Professor of Art, enjoyed a successful opening March 6 with a big turnout of Bowdoin alumni. Anne Goodyear, co-director of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, was on hand, as were a number of other museum directors, curators and artists from Maine. The inaugural exhibition at The Curator Gallery, founded by former Time Inc. chairman and CEO Ann Moore, includes work by John Bisbee, Meghan Brady, Clint Fulkerson, Cassie Jones ’01, Joe Kievitt and Andrea Sulzer. In addition to Wethli’s, Bisbee’s and Jones’s Bowdoin connections, Brady has taught at the College and Andrea Sulzer is a former lab instructor in biology here. Read coverage in the Portland Press Herald and in Bowdoin News.

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Bowdoin Wins Beckman Scholars Award for Scientific Research

Mon, 03/17/2014 - 13:47

Ketura (Kacey) Berry ’13, Bowdoin’s most recent Beckman Scholar, worked with biology professor Hadley Horch to study crickets’ ability to regrow neurons. Berry has gone on to a Fulbright research fellowship at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Germany.Bowdoin is one of only 12 colleges nationwide to win the coveted Beckman Scholars Program award, receiving $104,000 to support the research of four student-mentor pairs over the next three years in fields related to chemistry, biochemistry, biology, and medicine. The program’s mission is “to help stimulate, encourage and support research activities by exceptionally talented undergraduate students at our nation’s universities and colleges; young people who ultimately will become prominent leaders in their scientific and professional pursuits.”

Even a nomination to apply for the award is an honor, said Bowdoin’s Director of Health Professions Advising Seth Ramus, who directs the Beckman Scholars program at the College. To be among the winners speaks to the exceptionally high caliber of science research and education at Bowdoin. “It says that we have a program that is excellent in the quality of our faculty and their research, and in our ability to mentor undergraduates for careers in science,” Ramus said.

Read the full story.

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Bowdoin’s Spring Break Trip a ‘Favorite’ (NerdScholar)

Mon, 03/17/2014 - 13:47

passamaquoddytripNerdScholar, a division of the personal finance website NerdWallet, has called Bowdoin’s spring break trip to the Passamaquoddy reservation one of the best school-sponsored alternative spring break programs that colleges have to offer. ”We imagine that these trips are an unforgettable week of campus,” NerdScholar’s Paige Schaefer writes.

Bowdoin’s trip, “Learning and Living with the Passamaquoddy,” is fully financed by the president’s office as part of the Bowdoin-Colby-Bates Wabanaki Collaborative. The trip is run out of the McKeen Center.

The trip to Pleasant Point takes place during March vacation, and is organized and run by two student leaders. Students volunteer at the Beatrice Rafferty School, which incorporates Passamaquoddy culture and history into its lesson plans. Read the full Bowdoin story here.

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10 Things You Might Not Know About St. Patrick’s Day

Mon, 03/17/2014 - 13:46

While you wear green today in proud support of your Irish heritage, or merely to be festive, you might peruse a list that suggests that much of what we’ve come to believe about St. Patrick’s Day is wrong. Also check out the Trulia map showing where Irish-Americans live across the country.


Image: Trulia/Imgur

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Saturday Scoreboard; Coby Horowitz ’14 Wins Mile at NCAA Indoor Championship

Sun, 03/16/2014 - 13:14

Full bear256


Men’s Track and Field — Bowdoin College senior Coby Horowitz became the first individual NCAA Division III Champion in Polar Bear men’s indoor track and field history by claiming the mile run at the national championship meet in Nebraska on Saturday.

Women’s Track and Field — Three members of the women’s indoor track team competed at the NCAA Division III Championship hosted by Nebraska Wesleyan this weekend.

Women’s Lacrosse — The women’s lacrosse team jumped to an early lead and held off a second-half charge to defeat Hamilton, 13-9, Saturday at Ryan Field.

Men’s Lacrosse — Senior Will Wise scored the game-winning goal in the third overtime to lift the Bowdoin College men’s lacrosse team to a thrilling 9-8 win over Hamilton Saturday at Steuben Field.

Men’s Tennis — Emory 8, Bowdoin 1

Women’s Tennis — Claremont-M-S 5, Bowdoin 4

Baseball — The baseball team split a doubleheader with Western New England in Lakeland, Fla., losing game-one  2-1, before rebounding to take game-two, 2-1.

 Scores listed are those available at time of publication.

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Students Relaunch ‘Grinner’ (Green Dinner) Tradition

Sun, 03/16/2014 - 13:02
 Shannon Grimes ’14, Ian Kline ’15, Alithea McFarlane ’14, Lizzie Kenny ’16 and Julie O’Donnell ’17

Recent Grinner participants, from left to right: Shannon Grimes ’14, Ian Kline ’15, Alithea McFarlane ’14, Lizzie Kenny ’16 and Julie O’Donnell ’17

On a recent Wednesday evening, several students set down their dinner trays on table in a quiet room in Moulton Union to share a meal and a lively discussion about environmentalism.

They were part of the revitalization of a campus tradition students call “grinner,” for green dinner, which will take place every week for the remainder of the semester. Organizers Meredith Outterson ’17 and Courtney Payne ’15 said they were inspired to reestablish the Grinner after attending an all-day environmental justice symposium held at Bowdoin in early February. “I was motivated to keep the conversations going,” Outterson explained. Read the full story by Amanda Spiller ’17.

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Arresting the Development of Corporate Fraud? (Economist)

Sun, 03/16/2014 - 13:00

Justice is served

Kroll, a security consultant, found that 70 percent of the companies it studied were affected by fraud in 2013, up from 61 percent the previous year. This increase comes at a time when companies are straining the bonds of loyalty by using more contractors and temporary workers, and outsourcing to the emerging world. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners calculates that three times as may frauds are discovered through tips than by any other method, prompting the government to provide whistleblowers with increased legal protection and financial incentives. Read more about corporate fraudsters and what can be done about them.

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Friday Scoreboard

Sat, 03/15/2014 - 13:45

Logo circle and name128

Softball — The Polar Bears (4-2) posted an 8-4 win over Stevenson University in its first of two games Friday morning. Bowdoin outhit Monmouth (Ill.) in its second contest, but ultimately fell 4-3.

Baseball — The baseball team remained unbeaten after rallying for a wild 15-8 win over New Jersey City University Friday afternoon.

Men’s Tennis — The men’s tennis team won, 5-3, over Pomona-Pitzer at the Stag-Hen Invitational, but then fell to Claremont-M-S, 9-0, later in the day.

Scores listed are those available at time of publication.

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Bowdoin Then and Now, According to New and Old Timers

Sat, 03/15/2014 - 13:02

Students gathered in Ladd House to hear about how Bowdoin has changed from the 1970s to today.

In a recent editorial David Treadwell ’64 wrote for The Bowdoin Orient, the alumnus describes his impressions of Bowdoin when he was a student.

“In the early 1960s,” he writes, “Bowdoin had no women students and no women faculty. As to ‘diversity,’ our class of 223 included only two African-Americans, two Asian-Americans and no international students. Gays? Not an issue; no one dared come out. Our class enrolled more students from my high school in Delaware (3) than from the states of Florida, Georgia, California, Oregon, Washington and Texas combined (1). …Tuition was $2,500 a year and the average GPA was 2.3 (C+).”

Intrigued by the picture Treadwell paints of this bygone Bowdoin, the students of Ladd House decided to investigate further. They invited seven representatives from different eras, spanning the 1970s to the 2010s, to speak to students in their living room about Bowdoin through the ages. Read the full story.

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Video: The Law You Won’t Be Told That Could Get You Kicked Off a Jury (CGP Grey)

Sat, 03/15/2014 - 13:00

There is a law that no lawyer or judge will likely ever tell you that could get you kicked off a jury, having to do with the choice beyond the usual guilty or not guilty.

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New York Times, Boston Globe Put Museum of Art In Focus

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 14:30

Quarter-size dry plate camera manufactured around 1880, owned by artist Winslow Homer.


The Bowdoin College Museum of Art finds itself making news in two of the nation’s leading newspapers.

The New York Times shares news of a camera, owned by artist Winslow Homer and donated to the Museum by Scarborough, Maine, resident Neal Paulsen. The camera joins an extensive collection of archival material at the Museum related to the life and art of Homer, including nearly 100 vintage photographs. Read more about the camera owned by Winslow Homer.

Boston Globe reviewer Mark Feeney visited the Museum recently and writes of two exhibitions Under the Surface: Surrealist Photography and The Object Show: Discoveries in Bowdoin Collections.


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Bowdoin Receives Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Award

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 14:25


mellonmays2013Bowdoin has received $500,000 to support another four years of participation in the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) Program, along with $116,000 for continued support of a summer exchange program with the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Named in honor of Benjamin E. Mays (former president of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, and mentor to Martin Luther King, Jr.), MMUF was instituted by the Mellon Foundation to identify promising students from underrepresented minority groups and support them in becoming scholars, with the aim of increasing diversity among faculty in higher education across the nation. Bowdoin, one of 81 institutions working with the Mellon Foundation to offer the fellowship, has produced 91 Mellon Mays Fellows in its 22 years of participation in the program.

Continue reading about the MMUF program at Bowdoin. 

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The Fertility-Longevity Trade-Off (The Guardian)

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 14:23


A would-you-rather dilemma that is all too real: would you rather live longer but sacrifice your fertility, or keep your fertility but lose a few years of your life? As early as 40 years ago, gerontologist Tom Kirkwood hypothesized about a “limited energy budget that can either be used to repair damaged cells and halt this decline, or saved to allow us to reproduce.”

More recent research has proven his hypothesis may be true, especially upon the discovery of a hormone that stimulates vital processes such as the repair of damaged cells.

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Snow Doesn’t Deter Bowdoin Staffer From Bicycle Commute

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 13:05
Photo taken on March 13, 2014

Photo taken on March 13, 2014

While much of Bowdoin struggled to drive in to work during Thursday’s fierce snowstorm, Chris Derbyshire rolled along the 22 miles of snow- and ice-covered roads on his bicycle. “It was much less stressful for me than for the people driving,” he said.

On most week days Derbyshire, who works for Bowdoin Dining, cycles five miles from his Brunswick home. But on this blustery, frigid day he was coming in from Yarmouth. He rode a Hardrock bike with a hybrid tire in front to break snow and a studded tire in back for traction. The trek took him just about two hours, and he punched in on time at 7 a.m., according to Dining Director Mary Lou Kennedy.

Derbyshire said he gave up his car and started riding his bicycle to work in 1997 to protest the U.S.’s president’s policies toward oil. Since then, the 56-year-old has ridden his bike to work every day. Nothing deters him — not rain, snow, black ice, freezing rain, hail, slush, winds, soaring temperatures, or impatient tourists on the road. “It’s like an addiction,” he said of our need for cars. “Once you’re free of an addiction, you ask why do I need it? Why do I need 4,000 pounds of metal to haul around my 130-pound body?”

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Professor Henry Sheds Light on Crimean Conflict (MPBN)

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 12:19

Laura Henry128Professor Laura Henry was back on the public radio show Maine Calling Tuesday, helping illuminate the ongoing Ukraine/Russia conflict. Henry, Bowdoin’s John F. and Dorothy H. Magee Associate Professor of Government, is an expert on civil society and social movements in Russia and in the former Soviet Union. Earlier in February, she was invited onto the MPBN program to talk about the Sochi Olympics. Listen to Henry on Maine Calling.

At students’ request, Henry also gave on talk on campus last week about the situation in Ukraine. Read Erica Hummel ’16′s story about Henry’s talk.

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‘Science is Fiction’: The Fanciful Films of Jean Painlevé

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 12:18

Seahorse, Jean Painlevé


With subjects ranging from regal seahorses to scheming mollusks to “horrific” octopi, biologist and filmmaker Jean Painlevé merged science and fantasy, creating films that informed viewers about the natural world and captured their imaginations.

Five of Painlevé’s films from the 1930s-70s were recently screened at Bowdoin as part of the documentary film course “The Reality Effect,” taught by Visiting Assistant Professor of Film Studies Sarah Childress. The films were presented in conjunction with the exhibition Under the Surface: Surrealist Photography, on display at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art through June 1.

Continue reading about Painlevé’s fanciful science films.

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Real Science Behind Zodiac Signs (The Smithsonian)

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 12:17


Perhaps checking your horoscope everyday might be worth it after all. Scientists have recently discovered that there is a connection between birth season and personality traits. Columbia University researchers analyzed brain scans from 550 adult men and women, then compared the scans to determine the differences between people born in different seasons. Spring babies are more likely to develop schizophrenia, researchers found, while summer babies are more sensation seeking.

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