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1990 — Consumer rights advocate Ralph Nader delivers a lecture, “Consumer Issues of the ’90s,” in Pickard Theater.

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Back at Home, Students Reflect on Alternative Spring Breaks

DSCN3550The 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.

Three Indicators the Economy is Back in Shape (Fortune)

One dollar origami money butterflyAs the snow finally melts and spring breaks through what was a polar vortex, the economy also seems to be coming out of hibernation.

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.

See for yourself signs that the economy is blooming once again here. 

On Being 65 (New York)

Abelardo Morell '71 and Lisa McElaney '77

Abelardo Morell ’71 and Lisa McElaney ’77

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 aka ‘DJ Spooky’ Breaks Barriers For Collaboration (Co.Create)

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.

Seoul Counterpoint: Piri from CultureHub on Vimeo.

Two Seniors Win Watson Travel Grants

2014 Watson fellows Alex Marecki ’14 and Rodrigo Bijou ’14

2014 Watson fellows Alex Marecki ’14 and Rodrigo Bijou ’14

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.

Kolster Takes Camera to the Savannah River (Augusta Chronicle)

As part of his Guggenheim-funded project ‘Take Me to the River,’ Associate Professor of Art Michael Kolster spent a month this spring photographing the Savannah River in the southeastern U.S., where his old-fashioned camera setup caught the eye of an editor at The Augusta Chronicle (of Augusta, Georgia).

Overlooking the Savannah River and I-20 Bridge, Aiken County, SC Michael Kolster, 2014, ambrotype, 7 3/8 x 9 3/16 inches

Overlooking the Savannah River and I-20 Bridge, Aiken County, SC
Michael Kolster, 2014, ambrotype, 7 3/8 x 9 3/16 inches

Starting in 2011, with Maine’s very own Androscoggin River as his first subject, Kolster has been using a 19th-century wet-plate photography technique to explore the stories of American rivers that were hit with pollution at the onset of the Industrial Revolution – rivers that went on to experience an age of recovery after the 1972 Clean Water Act.

“As they shed their role as depositories of waste and become cleaner, they are also undergoing large shifts in how we view them,” Kolster said in the story. “I use an older, antiquated photographic process to consider how the past and present uses of these places intermingle to affect their appearance.”

See more photographs and learn more about the project on Kolster’s website.

Alexa Staley ’11 Shares Her ‘Passion for Understanding’

 

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Alexa Staley ’11, interviewed in the documentary, “LIGO, A Passion for Understanding.”

Alexa Staley ’11, currently a graduate student at Columbia, is featured in the documentary, “LIGO, A Passion for Understanding,” which shares the work of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory and those who help support it. Staley, daughter of Bowdoin College Trustee Jes Staley ’79, thought perhaps she’d be an economics major when she first came to the College, but after encountering Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity in a course taught by Professor of Physics and Astronomy Thomas Baumgarte, Staley says she was hooked. Staley speaks of her work in experimental physics about 7:00 into the film.

Stop the Presses: Four Bowdoin Alumni Awarded Pulitzer Honors

pulitzer_logo

 

Breaking news, rolled into a correction: As the Bowdoin Daily Sun first told you Tuesday morning, a number of alumni have earned Pulitzer honors, but sources tell us there are more than first reported.

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.

 

 

Bowdoin College President to Step Down in 2015

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Bowdoin College President Barry Mills announced Monday that he will step down in June 2015 at the conclusion of his 14th year as head of Maine’s oldest college.

“Anyone who knows me knows how much I love leading Bowdoin, and Karen and I and our boys are proud citizens of Brunswick,” wrote Mills in an email message to Bowdoin students, faculty, and staff. “It is the honor of a lifetime to serve as president of this fantastic College, which is as strong today as in any period during its proud history. In fact, it is because of this strength and because of my affection for the College that I choose to step down next year. Transitions are inevitable, and after what will be 14 tremendous years as president, I believe it is time for me to make way for new leadership to propel Bowdoin into its next period of greatness.”

Mills, 63, said he does not intend to retire and will seek another “professional challenge.” He noted that he has “reinvented” himself several times during his career and is “eager to see what comes next.” In his message to the Bowdoin community, Mills said his announcement would do nothing to slow progress at the liberal arts college. “There will be plenty of time later to look back on our time together, but not now,” wrote Mills. “For now, it must be full speed ahead to preserve access and opportunity, and to strive constantly for the excellence that sets Bowdoin apart.”

In The News
U.S. Senator Angus King H’07 and U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud released statements about President Mills’ announcement. Read coverage in the Bangor Daily News.

In a separate message to students, faculty, and staff, the chair of Bowdoin’s Board of Trustees, Deborah Jensen Barker, praised Mills for his exceptional contributions and announced the formation of a search committee to name his successor. Barker said the committee will be named in May and will include representatives from Bowdoin’s faculty, staff, alumni, and student body. “Barry’s shoes will be tremendously difficult to fill,” said Barker, “but with thanks to his leadership, our College has never been in a stronger position. We will take on this task with gratitude for his remarkable service and with confidence in our ability to identify the very best candidate to serve as Bowdoin’s 15th president.”

A native of Rhode Island, Mills graduated in 1968 from Pilgrim High School in Warwick, RI. He was a Dean’s List student at Bowdoin, where he graduated cum laude in 1972 with a double major in biochemistry and government. He earned his doctorate in biology in 1976 at Syracuse University and his law degree at the Columbia University School of Law in 1979, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. Prior to becoming Bowdoin’s 14th president in 2001, he served as deputy presiding partner of Debevoise & Plimpton in New York City, one of the nation’s preeminent international law firms. His wife, Karen Gordon Mills, served in President Barack Obama’s cabinet as the administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration from 2009 until August 2013. She is currently a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Business School and at the Harvard Kennedy School, Beginning in July 2014, she will be a member of the Harvard Corporation, known formally as the President and Fellows of Harvard College — Harvard’s principal fiduciary governing board. The couple has three sons, William, Henry, and George, all of whom are graduates of Brunswick High School.

For additional biographical information, and downloadable photos of Barry and Karen Mills, visit the Bowdoin College website.

Students Show Off International Talents

At the International Club’s 2014 annual talent show, students and faculty performed acts representing cultures all over the world, including France, Cambodia, Vietnam, Spain, China and the United States.

Each year, Bowdoin’s student-run International Club hosts a show for students, staff and faculty to play music, dance, sing or, as the case may be, perform card tricks. The club also orders takeout from local ethnic restaurants, treating the show’s attendees to a feast of noodles, curries and spicy stir-fries.

The Saturday evening show included the following performers: Phoebe Zhang ’16 (piano); Max Miao ’17 (xiao); Postdoctoral Fellow in Mathematics Justin Marks (vocals); Alexis Little ’14 (piano and vocal); Justin Hung ’15 (guitar); Violet Ranson ’16 (poetry); Lucy Luo ’16 and Richard Guo ’17 (magic card performance); Viet Nguyen ’14 (piano and vocal); Amalie MacGowan ’15 (vocal); June Guo ’16 and June Woo ’16 (dance); Chandy Eng and Sivgech Chheng (dance and vocal); and Adjunct Lecturer in French Erin Curren (dance). Read the full story.