Digital Mapping Leads Scholar Benjamin Ray ’62 to New Salem Witch Trials Insight

Benjamin Ray ’62, a University of Virginia religious studies professor, has published a new book, Satan and Salem, that helps reveal when and how Salem’s witchcraft hysteria began more than 300 years ago. Scholars have never fully understood why the small Massachusetts village spawned a spate of accusations against supposed witches.

Ray led the development of an award-winning U.Va digital archive of primary source materials about the Salem witch trials, which allowed him to digitally map the geography and timing of each accusation. His work steered him to the conclusion that religious difference played a major part part in the mass delirium that left more than 150 people accused and 19 killed.

“Most of the accusers were daughters of church members, while most of the accused were outside of the church,” explains a University of Virginia article. “[Ray] also noticed that accusations began to leap to Andover, Reading and other villages in the region with the same message that Satan was not just trying to destroy [Samuel] Parris’ church [a controversial Salem minister], but the church as a whole.”

Brian Powers ’10: An ‘Emerging Voice in Medicine’ (Harvard Magazine)

brian powersIt has not taken long for 27-year-old Brian Powers to make his voice known in the medical field. As a rising fourth-year student in Harvard’s joint MD-MBA program, Powers has published 20 academic articles, many in some of the world’s most prestigious medical journals.

“[Harvard Medical School] faculty say that Powers has already made a real impact on America’s healthcare system,” notes a recent Harvard Magazine article. Keep reading about Powers.

Sean Kleier ’09 Stars in Bravo’s ‘Odd Mom Out’

Sean Kleier ’09 (left) with his co-stars at the premiere of “Odd Mom Out”

Comedian, actor and Motiv Creative co-founder Sean Kleier ’09 stars in Bravo’s new comedy series Odd Mom Out, which premiered June 8. The show features a group of “uber-wealthy momzillas” in New York City, and is based on the popular book Momzillas by Jill Kargman, who also created and stars in the show.

Kleier plays Lex von Weber, the extravagantly rich brother-in-law of Jill Weber, the “odd mom out” in this group of elite women. Lex can be found yachting, and generally (as the show puts it) being “as rich as Mark Zuckerberg’s pinky.”
Although this show marks one of network’s first ventures into scripted shows, which Kleier calls “a new frontier on Bravo,” this isn’t Kleier’s first foray into comedy television; he has had roles in Showtime’s Happyish and appears in the upcoming film The InternOdd Mom Out airs Mondays at 10/9c on Bravo.

Kent Island Life: Cook Sam Seda ’15 on Why It Has to be Comfort Food

Seda menu

Art history major Sam Seda ’15 is doing his second tour of duty as cook at the Bowdoin Scientific Station at Kent Island, where he’s telling stories one plate at a time. Emily Weyrauch ’17 has more in the latest in her series of stories on Kent Island life.