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Thursday, April 26, 2012
Looking ahead from inside the Ivy gates
Taking advantage of preferential recruiting, students flock to jobs offering structure and prestige
By MiriaM Furst aNd MatHias HEllEr Staff Writer and Senior Staff Writer
the moment of ruth
Eighty-six percent of college firstyears nationwide selected the ability to secure a better job as a “very important” factor in choosing to attend college — this compared to only 72 percent that chose gaining “a general education and appreciation of ideas” as very important, according to the 2011 Cooperative Institutional Research Program freshman survey. The survey also found that a school’s reputation for producing alums with high-paying jobs is the second-highest priority for students
choosing a college. Fifty-five percent of students placed this perception of job placement success as a “very important” factor, a seven percent jump from 1983, said John Pryor, director of CIRP, which is conducted by the Higher Education Research Institute. The academic reputation of a school has consistently remained the highest priority for survey respondents. This early concern about career choice stems from students’ anxieties about their economic futures, especially if they accrue a significant financial burden while in school. “A lot of (students) are motivated continued on page 15
Emily Gilbert / Herald
Ruth Simmons bid farewell to the campus at a SPEC festival yesterday.
In Simmons’ final year, student opinion remains favorable
By alisoN silvEr Senior Staff Writer
In a Herald poll conducted last month, 81 percent of students responded that President Ruth Simmons has contributed to their Brown experience in a positive way. Only two percent of students said Simmons contributed in a negative way. Behind these numbers is a genuine appreciation for what Simmons has achieved at Brown, not only as a president but as a person. “She’s kind of more than just our president in some ways,” said Ben LeVeque ’13. Many students echoed the sentiment that Simmons’ influence reaches beyond the walls of her
University Hall office. Her personality is what, for many students, sets her apart. “Though I’ve never met her personally, there’s something very maternal and loving about Ruth,” said Jenny Gorelick ’14. Madeleine Pasquariello ’15 described seeing Simmons playing with little kids outside the Blue Room one day, an example of her close interactions with the community. Caleb Williams ’14 has heard “nothing but praise and positive comments” about Simmons, adding that she always seems to be connected to the community. “I think in part, Ruth Simmons has been so successful because of
her wonderful personality. She’s a leader without question,” said Sheila Blumstein, professor of cognitive, linguistic and psychological sciences. “She’s bright, she’s articulate. She really has internalized the values of Brown.” Blumstein, who served as interim president from February 2000 to July 2001, when Simmons officially took office, said Simmons has “reached high and brought us with her” as an academic leader, a personal leader and a fundraiser for the University. Among numerous accomplishments during her tenure, Simmons enacted a need-blind financial aid policy for domestic first-year applicants and saw through significant building
and renovation projects. “She’s helped a lot with building the funds for financial aid and campaigning for Brown and representing Brown in the best light,” said Sheryl Hado ’13. The need-blind admission policy makes Brown “so much richer, so much better for the students who are here,” Blumstein said. Buildings such as the Metcalf Chemistry and Research Laboratory, the Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center and the new fitness and aquatics center “make students want to be here,” Blumstein said. While not all of Simmons’ decontinued on page 13
Brain patterns of passion revealed
By saraH lEwiN Contributing Writer
From College Hill to Pennsylvania Avenue
By MatHias HEllEr Senior Staff Writer
Love may be in the air, but it is also in your brainwaves. Xiaomeng Xu is part of a growing group of researchers using neuroimaging to reveal new insights about falling in love — and staying that way. Xu has found that the experience of love in the brain is consistent across cultures and can even predict the endurance of a relationship.
Xu, now a postdoctoral research fellow at Alpert Medical School and the Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center of Miriam Hospital, describes her early research as investigating one question: “What does it look like when you’re really, madly in love?” To answer that question, Xu went to the experts. She joined Arthur Aron, a professor of psychology at State University of New York at Stony Brook, who runs an interpersonal relationships lab. In 2005, Aron did one of the first studies looking at intense romantic love with a brain scanner. Xu decided to replicate that study, this time using Chinese subjects. Her results were published in the journal Human Brain Mapping in 2010 and a follow-up of this continued on page 6
Kate Brandt ’07 first encountered the President of the United States when she heard the sound of a basketball dribbling in the hallway. Brandt, special advisor for energy to the Secretary of the Navy, was attending a meeting of President Obama’s transition team when the president decided to make an impromptu appearance — basketball in hand.
Public and nonprofit sector positions are frequently pursued by seniors. And for some alums — particularly those now serving in the Obama administration — the pathway of public service can eventually lead to high-ranking positions in the federal government. Hundreds of alums work in the federal government, both in the United States and around the world, wrote Todd Andrews ’83, vice president for alumni relations, in an email to The Herald. It is difficult to state the exact number of alums serving in the Obama administration, but the majority are concentrated in Washington, D.C., he wrote, and dozens of alcontinued on page 9
an extensive network
“He thanked us personally for the work we were doing, and that was very nice,” she said, recalling how struck she was by Obama’s enthusiasm for basketball during the meeting several years ago.
Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Justice
Thomas Perez ‘83 is one of many alums working in the Obama administration.
news....................2-5 science.............6 feature............8-9 city & state..........10 money............15-17 opinions..........19
This is The Herald’s last issue of the semester. For updates throughout the summer, see browndailyherald.com.
Says goodbye for the year
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2 Campus news
THURSDAY 12 P.m. Teaching and Advising Awards Faculty Club 4:30 P.m. Zombies 101 Smith-Buonnano 106 8 P.m. The Yeomen of the Guard Alumnae Hall Auditorium APRIL 26 FRIDAY 3:30 P.m. Chinese Language Showcase Martinos Auditorium APRIL 27 By alExa PugH Staff Writer
the Brown Daily herald thursday, April 26, 2012
Scholarship honors Simmons’ legacy
The Annenberg Institute for School Reform announced the founding of the Ruth J. Simmons Scholarship in Urban Education Policy April 20 to honor outgoing President Ruth Simmons. The scholarship will be awarded annually to a graduate student in the education department’s master’s in Urban Education Policy program. Simmons, who has been chair of the Annenberg Institute’s Board of Overseers since 2001, was instrumental to the graduate program’s creation, encouraging the Annenberg Institute and the education department to combine their resources, said Kenneth Wong, professor of education and chair of the department, as well as founding director of the Urban Education Program. “She has set the challenge to both units to work together and come up with a coherent plan, which we met and exceeded,” he said. The strengths of the education department and the Annenberg Institute are complementary and create a unique program that can approach issues in urban school reform from both theoretical and practical angles, he said. The program — a year-long curriculum that includes a nine-month internship — has met great success since it began in the summer of 2006 and has seen the applicant pool triple as it established a national reputation, he said. “President Simmons has mentioned many, many times how teachers in her life have opened up opportunities for her,” Wong said. “Given her background in growing up in a challenging environment and the fact that public schools have become an avenue for her success along the way, I think honoring her with a scholarship in urban education policy is very, very appropriate.” He added that Simmons has directly influenced many of the applicants to the program. Scholarship recipients will be chosen by a committee composed of faculty and staff from both the Annenberg Institute and the education department and “will have to be someone who exemplifies President Simmons’ deep commitment to equity and excellence,” said Warren Simmons, executive director of the Annenberg Institute. A permanent annual budget allocation from the Annenberg Institute’s endowment has been established to fund the scholarship, Warren Simmons said. “The scholarship holder will have the long-term commitment to support improvement in urban education systems,” Wong said. “So we are looking at this as a significant investment.”
SHARPE REFECTORY Hot Turkey Sandwich with Gravy, Vegan Nuggets, Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli VERNEY-WOOLLEY DINING HALL LUNCH Turkey Cutlet, Stuffed Shells with Meatless Sauce, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Summer Squash
DINNER Salt and Pepper Jerk Chicken, Edamame with Peppers, Creamy Parmesan Primavera, Pear Pie Vegetarian Sub, Potato Salad, Chicken Caesar Salad Wrap, Cajun Corn Salad, French Pear Pie
Science-inspired art displayed with research
By racHEl occHiogrosso Contributing Writer
Twelve students displayed artwork celebrating the human form, insects, space and other scientific subjects in an exhibit entitled “The Art of Biology” Wednesday in Andrews Dining Hall. The exhibit was presented alongside 59 research posters during the annual poster day for undergraduate research in the biological sciences. The pieces included paintings, drawings, photographs and jewelry — all influenced by biological themes.
Beverly Skillings, program coordinator for the Office of Biology Undergraduate Affairs and the exhibit’s organizer, called the student work “absolutely exquisite.” She said she is always impressed with the imagination of the projects, saying that “they tell me a lot about the artist and who the student is.” In past years, exhibits have varied from skeletons to interactive websites. Though most students presenting artwork are biology or human biology concentrators, she said, some artwork has been contributed by students concentrating in other fields who were inspired by biological images. While some students are long-time artists, oth-
ers have had far less experience. “Most Brown students are artistic, and half of them don’t even know it,” Skillings said. Riwaj Thapaliya ’15 was one featured artist with more of a background in biological science than art. His submission, a picture of his chromosomes with a handpainted background, was based on his coursework in BIOL 0150A: “Techniques and Analyses using DNA-Based Biotechnology” with Jody Hall, undergraduate laboratories manager. As part of the course, students extract their own chromosomes from blood samples and visualize them using an electron microscope. When Thapaliya received an image of his sample, the ends of his chromosomes were particularly visible. The office of Associate Dean of Biological Sciences Marjorie Thompson ’74 PhD’79 P’02 P’07 P’09 P’12 P’14 later contacted him, he said, and encouraged him to submit the picture to the exhibit. Thapaliya, a prospective biology concentrator, said this was his first time submitting artwork to an exhibit. In contrast, Alexa Minc ’14, a Brown/Rhode Island School of Design Dual Degree Program student, said she began college interested in biological sciences but also wanted to continue studying art. At Brown,
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she is concentrating in human biology with a brain and behavior focus, while at RISD she is majoring in jewelry and metalsmithing. Almost all of her work, she said, is inspired by her coursework at Brown. Minc contributed photographs of jewelry that she made, including a locket meant to represent the soul that incorporated rodent brain structures. All of her work was hand-forged, which “took ages,” Minc said. She named NEUR 1670: “Neuropharmacology and Synaptic Transmission,” BIOL 0500: “Cell and Molecular Biology” and NEUR 1650: “Biology of Hearing” as courses that particularly influenced her artwork. “A lot of biology is art,” Minc said. The two subjects are “not as separate as most people think.” Katya Potkin ’13 has explored biology and art during much of her time at Brown. She entered as a prospective visual arts concentrator, then considered doubleconcentrating with human biology and finally dropped visual arts to further pursue human biology. But she said she still takes art classes whenever she can. She has taken drawing and painting classes and plans to take an anatomical drawing class at RISD next year. Potkin particularly likes drawing “people, muscles and bones” and has visited the cadaver lab at the Alpert Medical School in the past. While she was very involved in art in high school, it was only after she came to college that her artwork became more scientific, she said. Potkin is “very much fascinated by human form,” and said she continues to create biologically-influenced art because “it’s not enough to study how systems work — I want to represent the beauty behind them.” Also in attendance was Professor of Biology Ken Miller ’70 P’02, who said the fields of biology and art “complement brilliantly.” “At its best,” Miller said, “science is a kind of art that expresses how we perceive nature.”
the Brown Daily herald thursday, April 26, 2012
Campus news 3
(member) leading the project. I’m like the lucky exception that had it easy,” said Anna Andreeva ’12. Some faculty members said the IRB is afflicted by a lack of disciplinary diversity in its makeup, arguing that it is disproportionately biomedical. “I think we need to revisit the composition, the disciplinary representation of the IRB,” said Kenneth Wong, professor of education and chair of the department. “Are there enough social and behavioral scientists on the board? Even though the clinical side, historically, has always been the reason why we needed to have an IRB, to prevent potential harms on human subjects, we need to think about the nature of other research, which is very different from clinical drugs or medical trials. There needs to be enough balance on the board.” Though it is unclear whether an external review of the IRB will take place, many faculty members expressed the opinion that reform is in the works and that it should come to fruition as soon as possible. “I welcome the idea of an external evaluation of the research administration,” Wong said. He served as vice chair of the Research Advisory Board to the Office of the Vice President of Research from 2009 to 2011 and drafted multiple reports with recommendations to the IRB. In 2009, the IRB adopted a series of reforms outlined in one such report, which led to an increase in transparency, responsiveness and a clearer, more helpful website. “I think one always needs to deal with research, and I think it’s always good to have reviews of organizations and how we do things to see if we can do them better or more efficiently,” said Peter Shank, chair of the Faculty Executive Committee and professor of medical science. “So I think that might be under consideration, but I don’t know. I haven’t spoken to (Paxson) specifically about that.” What policy recommendations will be made to the IRB in the future cannot be predicted. But some faculty members have a sense of what might arise during the conversation. Besides revisiting the disciplinary representation on the board,
Possible reforms an external review
IRB likely to undergo review Minority mentoring
By aParaajit sriraM Senior Staff Writer
The University’s Institutional Review Board — the body that approves all faculty research projects involving human subjects — is likely to undergo an external review by an external consultant in the hopes of reforming current practices during President-elect Christina Paxson’s term. President Ruth Simmons intended to review the IRB “at an appropriate point,” she wrote in an email to The Herald. But that point never occurred during her presidency. “It would be appropriate for this assessment to take place in the next administration,” she wrote. Currently, the IRB is charged with reviewing and sanctioning all faculty research projects that involve human participants, from projects in the biomedical sciences to those in the social and behavioral sciences. But many students and faculty members have expressed grievances over this policy, saying the board, which was founded first to regulate human subject research in medicine, does not differentiate enough today between projects that are clinical in nature and those that are not. “Since the entire IRB apparatus was set up around the issue of medical experimentation, and since it has expanded to social sciences without ever being amended in any way to address social science issues. … The system needs to be changed,” wrote Ross Cheit, associate professor of political science and public policy, in an email to The Herald. Cheit, whose research emphasizes the intersection of law, public policy and psychology to examine responses to the sexual abuse of children, said he has had to endure cumbersome IRB paperwork and reformulate research proposals to meet IRB standards. “IRBs have distorted research priorities and made it less likely that researchers will engage topics like juvenile justice and child sexual abuse,” he wrote. Some students said they manage to avoid a drawn-out approval process by working with faculty members who are more wellknown. “My process was really streamlined, which I think might have been helped by the fact that I had kind of a prominent faculty
one size fits all?
Wong said he believes the University should consider setting up a second board charged with reviewing and approving non-biomedical human subject research. “There are some universities which have separate boards, and I think that may be one way to think about it. Obviously there are costs in setting up an additional IRB … but if we consider this more like a necessary investment in the infrastructure of the research component of a top research university, then I think these are resources well spent because the students will benefit from it,” Wong said. He also said the University should consider changing the charge of the IRB to make it not only a monitory board but also one that provides a more supportive and guiding role to research teams. “The single focus on just sanctioning may need to be revisited because we also need to provide sufficient support and guidance,” Wong said. But notwithstanding the possibility of an external review, the IRB remains internally committed to improvement, wrote Clyde Briant, vice president for research, in an email to The Herald. It has worked this past academic year on “addressing the increased submission of (human participant) protocols in the social sciences and responding to concerns about the speed with which protocols are processed,” Briant wrote. The board is also examining practices at other universities to determine what — if anything — it should try to emulate, he added.
group finds home at U.
By cHristiaN PEtrosKE Contributing Writer
A new chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science is now accepting members on campus and awaits national approval within the next three weeks. The group’s goal is to provide mentorship to minority students in science, technology, engineering and math fields, said Natalie Chavez ’14, national liaison for the chapter. The new chapter’s first priority, Chavez said, will be to obtain funding from the University to send students to the 2012 SACNAS National Conference in Seattle this fall. Chavez also expects the chapter to contribute to a “greater presence” of science in local high schools. For students, she said, “it helps just having someone outside the home they can reach out to.” Despite the name, SACNAS is open to students of “any and all cultural affiliations,” Chavez said. The group welcomes undergraduate, graduate, post-doctoral and faculty members, wrote Teresa Ramirez GS, president of the group, in an email to The Herald. Once approved, Brown’s chapter can officially begin the work of providing students at Brown and throughout Providence with the tools they need to reach their scientific goals. The SACNAS at Brown team has explored working with other
STEM support groups such as the Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and the Women in Science and Engineering program. Chavez said she was “quite shocked” to hear that no other members of the Ivy League — aside from Cornell — are home to a chapter of the organization. The organization has 70 chapters at colleges and universities across the country. SACNAS is committed to improving diversity within the nation’s scientific workforce. “A group like (the) SACNAS chapter at Brown is needed to motivate and provide different opportunities for students interested in pursuing careers in STEM fields,” Ramirez wrote. SACNAS was founded in the early 1970s — and, according to legend, in an elevator. There were few Native American and Hispanic or Chicano scientists in the United States at the time. According to the story, which is featured on the organization’s website, many of them met after a networking event at an American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting and stepped into an elevator together. One of them joked, “If this elevator crashes, it will wipe out the entire population of Chicano and Native American scientists.” Today, SACNAS has grown to include 25,000 students and professionals.
4 Campus news
By soPHiE FlyNN Contributing Writer
the Brown Daily herald thursday, April 26, 2012
Institute works to improve Randolph, Mass. schools
The Annenberg Institute for School Reform is trying something new in Randolph, Mass. By incorporating two of the institute’s focuses — district redesign and leadership and community organizing and engagement — the institute hopes to significantly improve educational outcomes in the district, said Richard Gray ’85, the director of community organizing and engagement at Annenberg. The Annenberg Institute aims to “improve practices and policies for student populations that are underserved, where public education is not performing as it should,” Gray said. Randolph in particular is classified as a level-four school district based on its poor academic performance, said Monica Roberts, the director of family and community relations in Randolph. When a school reaches level-five status, the state comes in to take over the school system. The district does not have sufficient in-school or out-ofschool support for its students, Roberts said. There are gaps in quality when it comes to English language learners, special education and racial and ethnic groups, she added. The district administrators hope to make improvements to the schools at an accelerated pace with the help of the institute. The goal of the institute’s work in Randolph is to identify specific needs in the school district and then to implement concrete policy and practice changes, Gray said. To identify those needs, the key will be including input from individuals at the district, community and classroom levels. Annenberg aims to take into account the “voice of stakeholders who are often closest to the education process,” such as teachers and parents, Gray said, noting that there is a “perceived lack of power on the part of people in communities.” The emphasis on community involvement is a way to “put ‘public’ back into ‘public schools’ in an authentic way,” Roberts said. Ultimately, the goal is to make community involvement sustainable and a part of the framework of improvement, Roberts said. There is a fundamental shift that should be happening, from asking permission for change to demanding more from the district, she added. Out of Annenberg’s three main areas of work — district redesign and leadership, community organizing and engagement and research and policy— the first two will be included in the plan to improve Randolph’s needs as a school district, Gray said. In the institute’s previous projects, the district and community efforts were not implemented simultaneously, he said. This double approach demonstrates their “willingness to try something new with us and for us,” Roberts said. This is not the first time Annenberg has worked with Randolph. In 2011, the Nellie Mae Education Foundation gave seven planning grants to various districts in New England, including Randolph. The purpose of the grants was to foster improvements in student-centered learning in the districts, Gray said. Annenberg worked with Randolph and other districts to garner community input during the process. Roberts said the Annenberg staff understands Randolph’s community. In “helping us think strategically” during the Nellie Mae process, Annenberg “went above and beyond working with not just the district but also the community,” Roberts said. Though Randolph did not receive an implementation grant after the initial planning grant, it renewed its relationship with Annenberg this year to plan new policy changes while creating a “public learning community,” Gray said. The district continues to have a student-based focus, including academic, emotional and social support, Roberts said. The institute is currently working with the district to pinpoint specific policies that will be implemented at the beginning of the next school year. Annenberg has previously worked in school districts across New England, from Maine to Rhode Island. Central Falls also received an initial planning grant by Nellie Mae. Central Falls High School was identified as a persistently low achieving school in 2010 by the Rhode Island Department of Education and had to choose from four interventions: turnaround, restart, school closure or transformation, said Elsa Dure ’09 MA’10, a research associate at Annenberg whose work is focused in the district. They chose the transformation approach, hoping to increase math proficiency, maintain reading achievement, improve the school climate and increase the graduation rate. Annenberg partnered with the Education Alliance at Brown to document the implementation of the high school’s transformation, Dure said. It also facilitated stakeholder meetings, said Frances Gallo, superintendent of schools in Central Falls. The institute’s work in Central Falls has since focused on data collection to evaluate the transformation, providing feedback based on quantitative data and information from focus groups and interviews with teachers and administrators. Though Central Falls did not receive a second Nellie Mae grant, the district has been able to find other grant options to fund its improvement efforts. One effect of Annenberg’s feedback has been improving communication between administrators and staff at the high school. A majority of teachers felt that the school administration had poor communication skills when it came to informing faculty. As a result, the district has updated their website, written to faculty on a weekly basis, posted their meeting calendar and made meetings open to both students and faculty, Gallo said. Some strategies implemented for improving the learning environment in Central Falls include extended learning opportunities like internship components and “P.M. school,” which students can attend in the afternoon and evening to make up for credits they miss during the day, Dure said. The transformation initiative is a one-year process, but improvements are already apparent, Dure said. Gallo pointed to a preliminary report in September that showed improvement in communication strategies. Annenberg has become a familiar presence in Central Falls, Gallo said, adding that “the more familiar they are, the more trust is developed.” Gallo said the trust in Annenberg by the faculty and administrators is “exquisite,” facilitating the speed with which changes can be made.
International space discussed at UCS meeting
By MargarEt NicKENs Senior Staff Writer
The University is fundraising to create a space for international students on campus, said Dean of the College Katherine Bergeron Wednesday at the final general body meeting of the Undergraduate Council of Students this semester. Bergeron and CareerLAB Director Andrew Simmons attended the meeting and discussed international student life, internship opportunities and the January Career Laboratory. The international house will help coordinate international student life and may concentrate resources for international students such as the visa office in one location, Bergeron said. It will be the “heart and hearth of the international community,” she said. Simmons discussed offering more career mentoring options for international students and said the University may host a half-day career program for international students in November. He said he hopes to bring former international students who remained in the U.S. to pursue career options to share their experiences. Bergeron also reviewed the University’s work to improve summer abroad programs, noting that Brown recently hired a new director for summer programs. She said they hope to offer more options in conjunction with other universities in
countries like Turkey, Cuba, China and Argentina. They also discussed making the January Career Lab more accessible to athletes in training and restructuring the LINK internship grant application process to accommodate people who hear back from internships later in the semester. The council approved a code change that would formalize the results of a joint UCS-Undergraduate Finance Board committee. The committee was created following a failed council referendum that would have allowed the council to allocate its own budget without UFB’s approval. Under the change, the council can receive funding for decorations and publicity and $1,200 for student initiatives. The change also allows UFB to make recommendations during the student group categorization process. Earlier in the semester, UFB gave the council $500 to allocate to the student groups of their choice. UCS chose to split the funding between student groups Fashion at Brown and Carefree Clinic, said Afia Kwakwa ’14, treasurer of the council. The council also approved the UCS-UFB leadership election results. Anthony White ’13 and Brandon Tomasso ’13 were elected president and vice-president of the council last Thursday, respectively. UCS is hosting the Teaching and Advising Awards at the Faculty Club and a New Leadership Orientation in Wilson Hall today.
the Brown Daily herald thursday, April 26, 2012
expands.” The Year of China has indirectly created a lot of contacts for Brown and featured a number of events on campus such as a lecture series, a visiting dance troupe and art exhibitions, said Chung-I Tan P’95 P’03, professor of physics and director of the Year of China. “We set out to incorporate as many disciplines as possible,” he said, adding that he was pleased the series went beyond aspects of culture and tradition to encompass science and social science as well. Through the Year of China, Brown expanded its educational opportunities and examined both American and Chinese cultures. “We’re taking a look at ourselves — how we fit into the world in which China is an increasingly important part,” Tan said. To conclude the series, there will be a film screening and lantern-making workshop at the Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts next week and a demonstration by a Chinese tea exporting company during the Year of China Gala May 21. Past initiatives, such as the Year of India, which took place during the 2009-10 academic year, have led to long-term internationalization programs. The Brown Governing Board established the Brown-India Initiative, which has raised $10.75 million and will focus on academic research in South Asia while also engaging the public sphere and policy debate, said Ashutosh Varshney, professor of political science and director of the initiative. Its inaugural events will take place on campus in the fall and plan to include lectures by novelist Rana Dasgupta as well as Kaushik Basu, Cornell professor of economics and international studies and chief economic adviser to the government of India, and various Indian chief ministers, he said. “It’s important to put research ideas in the public sphere and not keep them confined to the ivory tower,” Varshney said. “Any ideas that can improve the state of the world ought to be circulated and debated in the larger public sphere.” The University will be collaborating with five India-based organizations and will establish offices in New Delhi and Mumbai to help recruit talent. Undergraduate and graduate students will also be able to participate in the initiative through internship programs. “A great deal of scholarly attention in the coming years will have to focus on the emerging parts of the world,” Varshney said. “Brown’s research will relate to changes in international and political economy. … It will also have an impact on teaching and student interest and opportunities. The Eurocentrism of the 20th-century world is not sustainable.” Tan said it is unlikely a similar initiative will develop from the Year of China. Though it was the right step to take in India, it might not be appropriate for China, Tan said. Each year has “its own unique character, and it’s all helping add to the overall internationalization,” he said. He said he hopes President-elect Christina Paxson will develop the connections made with China in new ways. “Year of China is only part of the long-range goal of Brown’s increasing internationalization initiatives,” Tan said. “Hopefully the momentum we built this year can be carried forward.” Gutmann said plans for the next “Year of ” series have not yet been made, and instead of choosing a country, the University might center the year around a theme in the future. “We’re very open, a lot of ideas are being offered,” he said. In the past, there has been at least a oneyear gap between the different “Year of ” series. “I think Brown has always been a global university. This is not new,” he said. “But we’re finding new and important ways to connect with the rest of the world.”
By saNdra yaN Staff Writer
U. looks to expand profile in Asia New nanoparticle research no small task
By aParNa BaNsal featureS editor
Though the University’s Year of China initiative ends next month, Brown will continue to set its sights abroad as it looks to develop an international presence and establish relationships with institutions in Asia. To this end, Ed Wing, dean of medicine and biological sciences, Lawrence Larson, dean of the School of Engineering, and Julianne Ip, associate dean of medicine, visited China in mid-April to strengthen ties with Zhejiang University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
While there, they concluded an agreement for a four-plus-one program in which students can complete their first four years at Zhejiang and then study for a final fifth year at Brown before earning a master’s degree, Larson said. The University also has a medical student exchange with Zhejiang, Wing said, adding that he toured the hospitals and clinical units for the first time and developed “direct personal relationships” with the faculty there. Chinese officials are currently very interested in improving the country’s health care system and learning about American medical techniques, Wing said, and many American students and faculty want to study Chinese medicine and traditional treatments. Both countries face similar public health issues such as obesity and stroke, and they can collaborate on research. Wei Yang PhD’85, president of Zhejiang University, will be receiving an honorary degree at Commencement next month. “We have a historical relationship with Zhejiang University,” Larson said. “I think that the Year of China certainly helped to cement that relationship.” Wing, Larson and Ip also travelled to Hong Kong and Japan to meet with alums and accepted students in the region. Larson said they hope to facilitate more student exchanges with the Tokyo Institute of Technology. “We want the top students and scholars. We want them here teaching and studying at Brown,” said Matthew Gutmann, vice president for international affairs. He added that he also wants students to be able to work with top scientists at universities around the world. “There is an incredible desire for Chinese students to participate in universities in the U.S., and similarly our students have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in the growth of China through exchange programs,” Larson said. “Brown is going to benefit enormously from having very close ties with people in China as the Chinese economy
University researchers, together with scientists from Northwestern University and the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources, have employed a novel method to coat substances with graphene oxide. Their study was published in the journal Nano Letters last month. Graphene, a two-dimensional sheet one atom thick, is one of the newest nanomaterials. The 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded for experiments with graphene. Robert Hurt, professor of engineering, described graphene research as a “very competitive field in which people stay up all night.” Due to graphene’s transparent and extremely strong nature, previous research has looked into the possibility of using it to cover particles, similar to how plastic wrap covers objects, Hurt said. The researchers placed graphene oxide in an aqueous solution and suspended it with other particles, said Fei Guo GS, an author of the study. They then made tiny droplets out of the solution. After a great deal of heat was applied, the water from these droplets evaporated, crumpling the graphene into a cage around whatever else was suspended in the solution.
“When it dries, graphene wraps around nanoparticles,” Hurt explained. Nanoparticles are extremely tiny objects and can be used as cargo carried within the graphene sheets. More research needs to be conducted to determine possible applications, including studying potential cargo. “Nanoproducts like this are really hard to make, and that hinders their commercialization,” Hurt said. The group is still unsure whether the graphene coat is a permanent sack or whether it opens up. If the latter is true, the nanosack can be used to deliver drugs to the body, and if it remains sealed, it can be used to contain toxic agents useful for medical imaging. “The coolest thing is that they were the first ones to demonstrate … making (graphene-coated particles) in a very reproducible way. And it seemed like they were able to make them in large quantities, and that’s really cool,” said Christopher Zangmeister, research scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, who was not involved in the study. But Zangmeister questioned whether the aerosol method could be used to coat the amount of cargo required for drug delivery due to the larger scale. “When one can synthesize a new material, it is a nice feeling,” Guo said.
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continued from page 1 study is currently under review for publication. “In close relationship literature, there’s this really large difference between Easterners and Westerners on self-report questionnaires,” Xu said. American subjects described intense feelings of passion in new love, while Chinese subjects seemed to describe more pragmatic feelings. “Some people in the field jumped to the conclusion that there’s this cross-cultural difference in terms of the experience of love,” she said. “I didn’t buy that.” Xu hypothesized that cultural conventions were causing Easterners to downplay their passionate feelings, while Westerners were more inclined to exaggerate them to match a Hollywood ideal. In order to test the true experience of love, rather than relying on self-reports, she turned to neural imaging. “I’d had no neuro background at all,” Xu said. “It kind of helped because if I’d known how much work would go into it, I might have been more hesitant.” Instead, she enlisted the help of “neuro guru” Lucy Brown of Albert Einstein College of Medicine to help interpret the brain scans she collected. While spending a summer at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xu recruited 18 college-aged people who proclaimed themselves “passionately in love” and used functional magnetic resonance imaging to capture their brains while they looked at pictures of a loved one as well as those of a neutral acquaintance. The difference between the two scans revealed the areas of the brain that are activated by passionate love — both reward regions of the brain and motivation systems like those that are activated by drugs. “It’s that obsessive quality,” Xu explained. “Not just that hanging out with a person makes you happy, but that when you’re not with them there’s a sense of craving almost.” As Xu had suspected, the areas of brain activation for the Chinese participants were just like those of their American counterparts. To put a new spin on her experiment, Xu also surveyed the participants 18 months later and revisited 12 of the participants four years after the original fMRIs to search for a correlation between their brain scans and later relationship status. Six were still in their relationships, six were not. She found that less activation in the areas related to judgment, emotion regulation and hunger often correlated with higher satisfaction in and commitment to their relationships. “The data suggest that a longterm relationship involves suspending negative judgment and extending the concept of oneself,” Lucy Brown said. Xu’s paper on these follow-up findings is currently under review to be published. Xu is not limiting her study to brand new relationships. Xu and collaborators have also been investigating what leads to early intense love brain reactions in long-term couples. They found that couples who reported feeling “madly in love” after several years had brain scans to back up their self-reports and also had one major thing in common: participating in self-expanding activities on a regular basis. Taking part in challenging and novel activities as a couple has been known to strengthen relationship bonds, but Xu is among the first to verify it in the lab. Xu herself has been with her husband for 10 years now. “We’ve been through the gamut of the early stage, (wanting) to spend every second with this person and onwards,” she said. “We do try to practice what we preach — to keep doing self-expanding things.” And there is always more to explore when it comes to brains in love. “We’re starting to look at the picture. We know a lot from observational, behavioral and survey research about what predicts who will stay together,” Aron said. “But to actually be able to see some of the brain responses is just a whole new angle of getting at that issue.”
the Brown Daily herald thursday, April 26, 2012
Neural imaging study sheds light on science of love
Madeline Schlissel / Herald
Postdoctoral student Xiaoming Xu identified the brain regions activated by love.
the Brown Daily herald thursday, April 26, 2012
Campus news 7
“This small innovative program seems a natural for Brown, (bringing) a new and flexible mode of learning into play with potential gain for us all,” wrote Stephen Foley, associate professor of English and comparative literature and acting chair of the English department, in an email to The Herald. The University sees a demand for this new kind of education and aims to develop several other similar programs to address the needs of midcareer professionals, Beresford said, adding that the University may add up to five or six new similar executive programs. Though he doesn’t know much about this program, Frank Rinaldi ’12 said he is “generally wary of anything that takes away from what makes Brown unique.” Such expansion negatively impacts undergraduate teaching and “takes away from other opportunities” for undergraduates, he said. Such expansion also has the possibility to reduce student interaction with professors. These relationships should not be sacrificed to compete with programs at peer institutions, he said. The University takes pride in the fact that students are taught by their professors, Kendra Cornejo ’15 said, adding that she does not like that executive master’s students would not participate in a physical classroom experience. But expansion of graduate programs has expanded opportunities for undergraduates, said Terrie Wetle, associate dean of medicine for public health and public policy. “We have worked very hard ... to be sure that we’ve also expanded opportunities for undergraduates,” she said of the expanded public health program. Since 2008, the program in public health has increased the number of courses in which undergraduates can enroll by 50 percent — from 41 to 61 courses — Wetle said, adding that almost 1,000 undergraduates have enrolled in the program’s courses. “Keeping the college strong does not conflict (with) judicious shifts in structure or the considered redistribution of resources as the shape of knowledge and learning changes,” Foley wrote. Pitting undergraduate experience against graduate expansion “is just the wrong characterization of the issue,” Wetle said. The program in public health is looking to become an accredited school, an expansion that is “stepping up to a reputational goal” of the program, she said. This move would bring in a higher caliber of students and faculty and increase chances for government funding for research, she added. “You don’t have to choose one or the other,” said Mark Wu ’12, noting that the choice between graduate and undergraduate education need not be mutually exclusive. Bringing additional points of view with new graduate programs does not necessarily detract from the undergraduate experience, said Catalina Ramirez Hernandez ’12. Students should be in the classroom, said Akash Shah ’12, suggest-
Poll: Students approve of grad school expansions
By alExaNdra MacFarlaNE Senior Staff Writer
Roughly 70 percent of students approve of the University’s expansion of the medical and graduate schools, the development of executive master’s programs and the creation of a school of public health, according to a Herald poll conducted last month. Around 38 percent of students strongly approve of these changes and almost 35 percent somewhat approve. Around one-tenth of students somewhat disapprove, around 3 percent strongly disapprove, 10 percent of students said they have no opinion and about 3 percent of students said they were not familiar enough to answer the question, according to poll results. Students approve of these changes because there is a “positive element associated with bringing Brown prestige to a new audience,” said Associate Provost and Professor of Engineering Rod Beresford P’13, who was integral in gaining faculty approval for the new executive master’s program. The faculty endorsed the program at April’s faculty meeting, and it will go up for Corporation approval in May. Expanding these programs enhances the mission of Brown and falls in step with the university aspect of Brown’s university-college model, Beresford said. Instituting an executive master’s program will create a promising opportunity for the University to address the evolution of the nation’s health care, he said.
Brisa Bodell / Herald
ing that professionals who want to participate in programs like the executive master’s program — which is proposed to provide around 70 percent of learning online — should take time off for further education. “The world is changing, and Brown is adjusting accordingly,” Sarah Brandon ’13 said. Having more graduate students does not infringe on undergraduate opportunities and “Brown as it is does a good job of
keeping a college focus.” written questionnaires were administered to 1,530 undergraduates March 12–14 in the lobby of J. walter wilson and the Stephen robert ’62 Campus Center during the day and the Sciences Library at night. The poll has a 2.2 percent margin of error with 95 percent confidence. Find results of previous polls at thebdh.org/poll.
FEC looks to standardize promotion process
By HaNNaH KErMaN Senior Staff Writer
The Faculty Executive Committee hopes to release a more uniform procedure for promoting associate professors to full professor status, said Peter Shank, chair of the committee and professor of medical science. These guidelines, which the FEC plans to release in the fall, were partly inspired by the discussions last year that resulted in new rules for promoting assistant professors to associate, tenured positions. The old system of promotion from assistant to associate professor was defined by disparate rules that were not consistent among departments. While “there is no way that any single document could outline criteria that describe what makes a good English professor and what makes a good engineering professor,” last year’s discussions created more standard faculty rules, said Kenneth Breuer, chair of the Tenure, Promotions and Appointments Committee and professor of engineering. These rules provide greater standardization despite the differences between University departments, he said. The Faculty Rules and Regulations are “pretty silent” on the issue of promotion to full professor status currently, so more clarity is needed, Shank said.
This discussion comes as the University looks to establish guidelines ensuring the promotion process is more consistent for all faculty. Creating the new rules for promotion to associate professor brought to light a “kind of neglect” of other procedures, Breuer said. Last year’s debate was a “very active and engaged discussion,” Breuer said, but its conclusion brought about the realization that other areas of promotion may need similar levels of examination and restructuring. “We were hoping to get to it this year, but it just didn’t happen,” Shank said. Shank did not share many details about the proposal as it currently stands. Faculty members will discuss possible new procedures during the last FEC meeting this semester, and the proposal will be finalized in the fall. Determining how professors should be evaluated is at the heart of the issue, Breuer said. “Full professor is a more prestigious appointment. It looks better on your business card. It usually involves a higher salary,” he said. There is an “informal understanding that exists across every university — across the whole academic world — that you go from associate professor to full professor once you have received a measure of prestige and respect,” he added.
By HaNNaH loEwENtHEil Staff Writer
the Brown Daily herald thursday, April 26, 2012
BodyRox transforms working out into a dance party
Making sweat sexy and fitness fun is the mission of BodyRox — a business venture started by two best friends who share a passion for dance and fitness. Each BodyRox class offers a 55-minute “intense workout,” wrote Sadie Kurzban ’12, who started the business with Brielle Friedman ’12, in an email to The Herald. The workout features “world dance styles … so our clients are dancing to music from all over the world and from their favorite pop and hip-hop artists,” Kurzban wrote. The Brown Entrepreneurship Program startup competition recently awarded BodyRox about $30,000 in cash and client services to launch the program as a startup business venture. Using the prize money, Kurzban will travel to New York City after graduation to officially open her own studio. But the journey that jumpstarted Kurzban’s post-graduation pursuits began long before then. In her first year at Brown, Kurzban introduced Zumba and other dance workouts to the Brown community by teaching fitness classes, Friedman said. Kurzban and Friedman, a Herald staff writer, met at the Brown
the birth of Bodyrox
Outdoor Leadership Training program prior to their sophomore year. The trip marked the start of their friendship. Once classes started, Friedman decided to attend one of her new friend’s workout classes. “I went to support Sadie, and I loved it,” she said. Friedman was quickly drawn to the fun atmosphere and highenergy workout style, she said. “I had so much fun so I signed up for both her Zumba and body sculpting classes,” she added. Friedman and Kurzban spent their junior fall semesters abroad, and Kurzban remained abroad for her spring semester. In her absence, Friedman took over Kurzban’s workout classes. “We were always enthusiastic about fitness. We had this following,” Kurzban said. But the idea for BodyRox truly took form when Friedman went to visit Kurzban at her home in Miami just before their senior year. At a club, the two friends saw everyone was having a great time dancing. “Why can’t we get kids at Brown to have this much fun working out?” Kurzban said she asked herself at the time. So together, Kurzban and Friedman came up with a plan to “fuse fun and fitness,” Friedman said. Their plan was more than
“Zumba with a twist,” as Zumba only uses Latin music, does not necessarily offer as intense of a workout and does not always have the best instructors, Kurzban wrote in an email to The Herald. “With a bad teacher, a class can really stink,” Kurzban wrote. “But BodyRox hand selects its instructors. We only want the most energetic, inspiring and hottest instructors so that our clients know they can come to a BodyRox class and will leave soaked in sweat.” BodyRox is a private enterprise, independent from Brown. After creating the business, Friedman and Kurzban moved their classes out of the OlneyMargolies Athletic Center and into the Brown/RISD Hillel building, where they were offered a private space for their classes. “Hillel has been so generous, and we wouldn’t have been able to accomplish this without their help,” Kurzban said. They now teach classes on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights and have amassed a following of 200 to 300 clients from Brown, the Rhode Island School of Design and the broader East Providence community. In addition, Kurzban and Friedman said they see new faces at their classes every day.
clubbing in Hillel
Jeannie Witmer ’14 said she frequently attends the classes. A BodyRox workout is high energy and the fun atmosphere distinguishes it from other workouts, she said. “As a non-athlete, it is fun to do something different than going to the gym,” Witmer said. She also praised Kurzban and Friedman for their leadership. “It doesn’t matter how good of a dancer you are because they make you feel really included,” she added. Supreeti Sharma ’15 said she enjoys the BodyRox workout as well. After trying it for the first time two months ago, Sharma now attends classes every week. “I wanted something that would keep me motivated to work out,” she said. Sharma found BodyRox more involved and fun than simply going to the gym. At BodyRox, “you’re not just watching the meter on your treadmill. You are moving, being active and having fun, so you’re unaware of how much time has gone by,” Sharma said. “I love it because it doesn’t feel like a workout,” wrote Brooke Dalury ’12, who has participated in Kurzban’s workouts since her freshman year, in an email to The Herald. She attributed the enjoyable experience to Kurzban’s high energy during her sessions. Kurzban and Friedman aim to replicate a nightclub atmosphere for their workout classes. “Picture a DJ with lots of lights,” Kurzban said. “We try to make it very fun and sexy, where participants power through an awesome, highly intense workout with friends,” she added. The instructors have successfully created this type of atmosphere, Sharma said. “The workout is a really fun time. Especially if you go with your friends — it’s like an all-girls dance party,” she said. Dalury also said BodyRox is “more like a dance party than a workout” because of the high energy and genuine excitement
of the participants. “I had one varsity basketball player take my class the other day partly as a joke,” Kurzban wrote in an email to The Herald. “After he came to me, panting and soaked in sweat, to tell me it was by far the hardest workout he had ever done.” Kurzban and Friedman’s graduation in May will not mark the end of BodyRox. Friedman has not decided what she will do after graduation, but she will not pursue BodyRox. Friedman said she is excited for her best friend who will carry her passion beyond Brown. The majority of the profits they have raised will go toward paying for Kurzban’s studio space and business in NYC. The rest will be used for events this semester along with advertising and marketing ventures, Friedman said. “The hardest part of BodyRox was starting a business without prior experience,” Kurzban said. The friends enrolled in ENGN 1930X: “Entrepreneurship and New Ventures” taught by Danny Warshay ’87, entrepreneur and adjunct lecturer in engineering. Through the class, they learned how to develop their business and manage financial plans, they said. Kurzban and Friedman have received resources at Brown through both mentoring and funding. They will use the cash and client services awarded to them by the Brown Entrepreneurship Program for winning its startup competition to launch BodyRox as a startup business venture. In addition, BodyRox was selected to participate in the Brown Venture Labs Program, an entrepreneurship incubator program that offers mentorship, funding and feedback to startup businesses. All of these resources have allowed Kurzban and Friedman to transform their vision for BodyRox into a reality.
From startup to success
the Brown Daily herald thursday, April 26, 2012
from the previous administration,” Perez said, citing the restoration of office employees’ confidence in the integrity of their division as a highlight of his tenure. Other accomplishments under Perez’s leadership include increased prosecution of human traffickers and a successful discrimination lawsuit against Countrywide Financial Corporation. The loan company was charged with rejecting qualified African-American and Latino applicants’ requests for home ownership loans based on race. “We had the largest fair-lending settlement in history,” he said. Perez described his time at Brown as instrumental in giving him a broader worldview and necessary critical thinking skills. “Brown helped me to develop many of the values I have today,” he said. “I grew up in a very homogenous environment, and Brown was the antithesis of that.” Scott Harris ’73 P’15, who worked as general counsel to the U.S. Department of Energy until March 2011, said his undergraduate years had a formative impact on his decision to enter public service. He said his involvement in student government and in public service activities molded his career focus, as did the student body’s serviceoriented culture. After graduating from Harvard Law School, Perez moved to Washington, D.C. to combine public service with a career in the private sector. Perez also served in the Clinton administration as a counsel in the U.S. Department of Commerce and as chief of the international bureau of the Federal Communications Commission. Harris attributed his success at the DOE to improvements in four key areas — making the department more accessible to the public, posting the agency’s regulatory decisions online to increase transparency, making the department more efficient with limited resources and cracking down on companies that violated federal energy efficiency standards. Stephanie Weiner ’95, who worked with Harris as a senior legal advisor to the DOE until May 2011, agreed that enforcing federal energy standards was one of the Obama administration’s key environmental victories. “We were a crucial part of the whole regulatory process,” she said. Weiner double concentrated in
Preparing for the fast track
Alums draw upon time at Brown while working in Obama administration
continued from page 1 ums serve as political appointees nominated by the president in the administration. For Thomas Perez ’83, assistant attorney general for the civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice, the choice to enter public service was natural. “I believe life is not a dress rehearsal,” Perez said, “and my parents taught me that to whom much is given, much is expected. Public service is a wonderful way to give back.” Perez worked both in the Sharpe Refectory and at the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights, the state’s antidiscrimination law enforcement agency, to put himself through college, he said. Perez noted that his work at the commission exposed him to people who had been denied equal opportunities, shaping his interest in becoming a lawyer. Jason Bordoff ’94, associate director for energy and climate change at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said his experience at Brown piqued his interest in politics. As a general manager for WBRU, Bordoff reported firsthand on political news in Rhode Island. “Eventually, I realized what excited me most about journalism was the access it afforded me to the political process,” Bordoff said, explaining his decision to enter public service. Bordoff works with other members of the president’s staff to formulate energy and environmental policies. He said he is particularly proud of helping the Obama administration reduce carbon emissions, develop clean energy sources and set fuel efficiency standards. “The best part of the job is the enormous privilege of being in the White House,” Bordoff said. “You’re always faced with new issues and new challenges.” As the head of the DOJ’s civil rights division, Perez manages an office charged with enforcing laws related to disability rights and equal opportunities in education, employment, housing and voting. His division works to protect equal voting rights, monitor police departments to ensure compliance with antidiscrimination laws and safeguard fair housing opportunities. “We inherited a division that had some serious morale problems
an ‘enormous privilege’
economics and political science before beginning her career in public service. She worked at the Congressional Budget Office and the FCC before joining the Obama administration. A job in the federal government entails certain challenges, particularly oversight — special permission is required for small actions like making changes to a website, Weiner said. But the benefit of serving the public good outweighs this frustration, she added. Working a fast-paced job for the federal government can also interfere with personal time, Bordoff noted. “I don’t get to spend as much time with my kids as I’d like to,” he said. “You have to put your life on hold.” Harris described working in the Obama administration as a special experience because of the president’s talent for resolving tensions between different government agencies. “I thought he would be a wonderful president, and I believe he has been a wonderful president,” Harris said. Perez shared the view that Obama deserves credit for managing the federal government at a difficult time. “He inherited so many challenges and didn’t have the luxury of saying we’d focus on one at a time,” he said. Like Brandt, Perez said he was
Brunonians and basketball
struck by the president’s passion for basketball. “He had about six basketballs in his office when I first met him,” Perez said. “I think everybody needs an opportunity to escape from time to time from the remarkable pressures of the job.” Harris said one frustrating part of a federal government career is the slow pace of change in the bureaucracy. “I’ve never worked in a large organization, whether in the public sector or the private sector, where I didn’t feel there were organizational obstructions to getting things done,” he said. But Harris added that the Obama administration is more efficient than most people believe and that bureaucratic obstacles, while irritating, can play a positive role by allowing the public to comment on proposed policy changes. In addition to domestic policy jobs, Brunonians fill many national security positions. Brandt concentrated in international relations and served on the Undergraduate Council of Students while at Brown. Like Harris, she said her experience in student government spiked her interest in public service. “When I was at Brown, I imagined I’d be more at a think tank and be working on policy from the outside, so it’s really exciting and rewarding to have a direct impact on policies,” Brandt said. In her current position, Brandt advises the Navy to help it reach its
goal of sourcing half of its energy from fossil fuel alternatives by 2020. She said one of her proudest moments in the administration was her service as policy director of a report issued by the Secretary of the Navy on the status of the Gulf Coast’s economic recovery after the 2010 BP oil spill. Brandt said partisan polarization in Washington poses a major obstacle to progress for the Obama administration and a discouraging trend for functioning government. “It’s incredibly frustrating to see how polarized Capitol Hill is today, especially on issues like energy security that should not be partisan.” For many alums in the federal government, the value of a career in public service outweighs the drawback of forgoing greater earnings in the private sector. “The non-monetary rewards have been priceless,” Perez said. “It’s important not to get cynical.” Weiner voiced a similar sentiment, noting that a public sector stint is even valuable to workers looking to eventually return to the private sector. “It can be the case that you go into it and love it and stay for 30 years, or it can be part of a larger career,” she said. “When you measure yourself at the end of your life, you want to measure yourself in the lives you improved and not necessarily the amount in your bank account,” Perez said.
10 City & State
Plans for Providence Holocaust memorial unveiled
By toNya rilEy Staff Writer
the Brown Daily herald thursday, April 26, 2012
Last Thursday — on the Jewish holiday Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day — the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island revealed the design for a Holocaust memorial to be constructed in Providence. Herb Stern, chairman of the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island’s memorial committee, said the winning design — by artist Jonathan Bonner, adjunct lecturer in art at Brown and senior critic of foundation studies at the Rhode Island School of Design — was chosen out of 12 proposals. He said Bonner convinced the committee that a less “visceral” and more “cerebral” design would more effectively provoke contemplation in future generations, whose distance from the tragedy might cause them to view the subject with less personal attachment. The memorial, which is set to be constructed in Market Square, on the corner of North Main and College streets, has two posts inscribed with descriptions of the death camps that act as a gate. Bonner said this leads into a pathway that resembles railroad tracks, a symbolic image of the Holocaust. The path thins and curves as it moves forward and has names of victims on it. At the end of the path is a white granite stone that represents hope and the future, Bonner said. Curved around the stone is a line of six black granite columns to represent the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust. The phrase “Always Remember” will also be inscribed on the memo-
BOLT apps continue to rise
By saraH goddard Contributing Writer
Rachel A. kaplan / Herald
Jonathan Bonner, adjunct lecturer at Brown. created the winning design for a new Holocaust memorial.
rial, he said. “They’re oval and cross-sectioned so that they will have a different significance depending on how you look at it,” Bonner said of the columns, which are of varying heights to express the indiscriminate murder of women, men and children. The intentionally ambiguous columns can also be interpreted as bones or smoke stacks, Bonner said. Bonner first came up with his winning design in 2004. He worked with a group of Holocaust survivors in Rhode Island to create his design, which he finalized and had city permission to construct, but for various reasons the project stalled. “I moved to Providence in 1977, and on either side of me lived Holocaust survivors who be-
came dear friends,” Bonner said. “That’s what primarily inspired me to get involved.” When the Jewish Alliance initiated a design competition for the memorial in 2008, Bonner submitted his original design. Michelle Cicchitelli, director of Shalom Family, an organization involved with the Jewish Alliance, said the Jewish community of Providence has long expressed interest in a memorial to honor family members and other victims of the Holocaust. Stern said the Providence memorial was largely inspired by the New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston. Recent growth in Holocaust denial discourse and antisemitism in some European and Middle Eastern countries makes the issue especially salient, he said. “You need people to be re-
minded what happens when intolerance rules,” Stern said. “It’s not just a Jewish statement, it’s a statement we need to make as a community.” Cicchitelli said staff turnover contributed to why the project has stalled over the years. A decrease in fundraising due to the economic downturn also stymied the project, Stern said. Current Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island President and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Savitt has been instrumental in re-energizing the project, Stern said. “It’s not so much about honoring the dead and the living — which is probably more important at this point — but it’s about being a constant reminder,” Stern said. The memorial is set to be completed by next April, in time for next year’s Yom HaShoah.
The Brown Outdoor Leadership Training program, which facilitates bonding for sophomores and transfer students before classes start via backpacking trips, has drawn an increasing number of applicants each year — so much so that its organizers now want to add more groups to allow more students to participate. The program, which stopped receiving applications for this fall’s BOLT trip April 18, currently has a total of 160 spots and will celebrate its 25th trip this fall.
As the sole sophomore- and transfer-only outdoor program in the country, according to Director Shelley Adriance, BOLT is dedicated to promoting leadership and development, the environment, education and community. It trains students in outdoor leadership in preparation for a fiveday backpacking trip in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The program “adds a really nice support system going into sophomore year” and helps alleviate anxiety during the “sophomore slump,” BOLT leader Jeremy Jacob ’12 said. During the program, students “use the outdoors as an environment to meet new people and bond in ways that aren’t always possible on a college campus,” leader Katharine Mead ’12 said. The program provides a “chance to find a new community and reflect on your progress so far and figure out what you want to achieve,” leader David Emanuel ’13 said. While some students who participate in BOLT have prior outdoor experience, the program is designed so that it is not necessary. “When I was a freshman, I missed trees and thought I’d apply to BOLT to meet people,” even though she had never been backpacking, Mead said. Adriance said she would like to see more social events integrated into the program, including a “BOLTer and friend” program in which a participant can bring a friend from outside BOLT to get involved and meet others. “A lot of friendships are made that stick,” Adriance said. Due to Hurricane Irene last fall, BOLT participants spent the first night of the trip at Brown and then used a base camp in western Massachusetts for shorter day hikes, said Christopher Laurie ’14, a member of the program. “BOLT leadership was really good about organizing and having a backup plan,” Laurie said.
Islamic studies course taps Minassian Collection resources
By jasMiNE FullEr Contributing Writer
This semester, students in HIAA 1410C: “What Is Islamic Art?” are using the University’s Minassian Collection to explore questions surrounding the history, limitations and contemporary status of Islamic art.
artS & culture
The collection comprises primarily manuscripts and ceramics, Ian Straughn, Joukowsky family librarian for Middle Eastern studies, wrote in an email to The Herald. Items included in the collection came to the University in 1994 at the request of Adrienne Minassian, a second-generation dealer in Islamic art and artifacts, said University Curator and Senior Lecturer in American Civilization Robert Emlen. Minassian was the daughter of Kirkor Minassian, “a leading art dealer and collector,” Balaghi wrote in an email to The Herald. Adrienne Minassian was a friend of Marilyn Jenkins-Madina ’62, a former curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, who wanted “to leave her collection where it would have the most
use,” Emlen said. While portions of her collection were donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Harvard’s Sackler Museum, the majority of its contents were acquired by the University, Emlen said. “I think (she) was very keen that we establish a program here for the study of Islamic culture and Islamic art,” he added. The University is still working to fulfill Minassian’s wishes, Emlen said. Efforts are underway to auction off pieces not included in the University’s official Minassian Collection so profits can go toward funding a new position for instruction in Islamic studies, he said. Aly Abouzeid ’14, who is in the class, said he would like to see the Middle East studies program expanded. He cited current tensions between the United States and the Middle East as a key reason to further this academic area. “It’s important to understand these days how rich culture really is … instead of just judging it based on media or global perceptions,” Abouzeid said. The exact value of the collection remains unknown, and an official assessment of its contents has probably never been conducted, but Straughn wrote he would estimate their value to be more than $50,000. Emlen said values
of the items will not actually be determined until the pieces go to auction. “The main value of the Minassian Collection is as a teaching resource,” wrote Shiva Balaghi, postdoctoral fellow at the Cogut Center for the Humanities, who teaches the class. Many of the Minassian pieces possess considerable worth as instructive materials, Emlen said. For example, a broken vase can be far more valuable than something that is intact, he said. This notion of capitalizing on the Minassian Collection’s educational resources was exactly Balaghi’s thinking when she designed her seminar course, she wrote. The three-part course — including an overview of Islamic art, workshops featuring the Minassian Collection and an examination of contemporary Islamic art — is composed of students from a wide array of concentrations, said Leila Meglio ’12, an English concentrator. The course offers “a very different perspective into a very rich culture,” Abouzeid said. “You really start to challenge the perceptions of the Arab region itself … and start to figure out how an entire civilization was built up through
art,” he added. The class examines the Islamic culture in its entirety, including its art, literature and politics — all of which are interwoven in ways they are not in Western culture, Abouzeid said. The course’s workshops offer students the opportunity to handle items from the Minassian Collection and then present them to the class, Meglio said. Interacting with the collection “brings an added level of interest and engagement,” she added. “It just changed the dynamics of the course entirely,” Balaghi wrote. Rhode Island Hall has a case featuring several Minassian ceramics, but the whole collection can be found online, Straughn wrote. Alanna Benham ’99 began digitizing the collection as part of her thesis, according to the University’s Library Center for Digital Scholarship website. Since then, the John Hay Library has made a significant effort to make over 1,500 manuscripts available to students, scholars and the public online, Emlen said. Balaghi wrote that she plans to teach her course again next spring. “It provides a unique opportunity to offer a course in the humanities that integrates teaching and research in the classroom.”
the Brown Daily herald thursday, April 26, 2012
Campus news 11
Shasha said. “When I tried to research her, I couldn’t get a sense of what kind of president she would be because she has mostly an academic background.” McWilliams also said the lack of palpable enthusiasm might be related in part to “the fact that she’s an economist.” Nelson said she also wondered whether Paxson’s connection to economics might temper excitement, but she warned that classifying the president-elect as “a corporate type” would be misguided. “She’s knowledgeable about corporate stuff, but Ruth was on the Goldman Sachs board,” Nelson added. “Presidents have to be fluid and able to go in and out of these different environments.” Others on campus saw the poll results to be less indicative of a true lack of enthusiasm. “I don’t think those results necessarily mean students don’t care,” Shasha said. She added that students might not have taken the time to do much independent research about Paxson because they “trust the committee that chose her. I know a professor who was on the committee, and I know how hard they worked in trying to find a good fit for the school.” Shasha, like many others interviewed by The Herald, expressed recognition of the difficulties Paxson may face because “people have pretty high expectations of her to follow in President Simmons’ footsteps.” “It’s obviously difficult to live up to Ruth, but I don’t see her getting a lot of backlash unless she does something extremely wrong that people really disagree with,” said Tiffany Hsu ’12. “I think people understand Ruth was a huge figure — they don’t expect someone else to live up to that same standard, at least in a celebrity sort of sense.” Kat Reardon ’12.5 expressed concern that an outsider will be able to understand the unique student body. “What does she know about heteronormativity at Brown?” she asked. Nelson said such fears are unfounded. “If there’s somebody out there fearing she will take a stance we won’t recognize or isn’t a principled one, I can’t imagine that,” Nelson said.“Her undergraduate is from Swarthmore, and their activism puts Brown to shame. In that sense, she’s going to recognize us as a place where she’s at home.” In the atmosphere of general approval amidst a lack of specific knowledge or particular excitement, many students also said their judgments about the president-elect would ultimately be based on her actions in the coming years. “The excitement for Christina Paxson will come from what she does in office,” McWilliams said. The results of this spring’s poll indicated that students view
Priorities for Paxson ‘High expectations’
Plurality of students apathetic toward Paxson selection
By HaNNaH aBElow Senior Staff Writer
About 42 percent of students expressed satisfaction with the choice of Christina Paxson as the 19th president of the University in a poll conducted by The Herald last month, though the majority of respondents, about 54 percent, said they had no opinion or were not familiar enough to answer the question. Only 4.3 percent expressed some level of dissatisfaction with the selection. “It would be fairly arrogant of me to think that I would be more capable of deciding who should run the University than the board,” said Ryan Roelke ’14, who characterized himself as “pretty uninformed” about Paxson. Andrea McWilliams ’12 pointed to a lack of excitement about Paxson as a possible reason why students had not spent time learning about her. “Ruth Simmons is this legend — something new and different as the first black woman president in an Ivy League,” McWilliams said. “I don’t want to say Paxson doesn’t live up to the legacy because we haven’t given her the chance to do so yet, but there definitely aren’t those new and exciting feelings that surround someone like Ruth Simmons.” “I was definitely glad it was a woman, but maybe a minority would have gotten students more excited,” McWilliams added. “I’m sure there’s also a degree of happiness that she’s not a white male, even though that’s a superficial reason,” said Carolyn Shasha ’13. University Chaplain Janet Cooper Nelson said she wondered “if we’ve forgotten how we felt about Ruth’s appointment.” “We were still smarting from the misfit of Gordon Gee,” she said of the last time the University underwent a presidential transition. “We were yearning for a wonderful appointment in Ruth, and we got it.” After Simmons’ 11-year term, “people more than anything, emotionally, are thinking, ‘Oh, wow, she’s gone,’” Nelson said. Nelson said the differences in credentials Simmons brought and Paxson will bring to the presidency may also play a role in community perception. “I remember how exhilarated we were at the news of Ruth’s appointment, because not only was she someone of consummate abilities, but she had literally occupied every senior position at a University,” she said. “She was someone that many people in the world of education had heard about.” Meanwhile, Paxson’s experience “as head of Woodrow Wilson School is well-known,” she said, “but it’s a different kind of career.” “I think most students don’t have a good sense of what kind of president she would be, not because they don’t care, but because she doesn’t have that background,”
in the footsteps of a legend
Brisa Bodell / Herald
financial aid as the top issue currently facing the University. “What students want is for the University to address financial aid, and if (Paxson) does so, I think she would be more widely well-received, and her approval ratings will be high,” McWilliams said. “She definitely needs to show that she understands how big of an issue financial aid is to students,” Shasha said. “She needs to outline her policy for financial aid right away so everyone knows what she is planning on doing.” The University’s financial negotiations about its payments to the city of Providence is also a key issue, and several students said Paxson’s management of this relationship will influence their view of her moving forward. Students also pointed to changes in the admission process for international students as an area where Paxson could make her mark. “Ruth Simmons mostly pushed for need-blind admissions for local students,” said Kumud Ghimire ’13, an international student. “I think if Christina Paxson does that for international students, she could surpass expectations.” Jurica Bulovic ’13 said that his lack of interest results from a belief that she will not personally impact him. “I don’t see how the president is directly going to affect my life here, so I don’t really care about the president,” he said. “People say Ruth is good, but I don’t know what she did for Brown. She was good at fundraising, but who knows? Maybe Paxson is even better at that,” Bulovic added. Expectations are difficult to manage because many students do not necessarily know the details of Simmons’ accomplishments, said Kelly McGuire ’13. “Now, it’s someone they don’t know, and it’s harder because they don’t have some schematic of ‘Ruth Simmons
is the man’ to fall back on,” she added. Other students said Paxson may one day develop her own at image at the University. “When we came to Brown, Ruth Simmons already had that celebratory image,” Ghimire said. “It takes a while to build that. Once that image is there, students get more curious and try to find out more about their policies and what they’re doing.” “Once this year’s freshmen leave Brown and the next generation of students moves in, Paxson will have a reputation,” said Josh Sung ’13. Current students “are used to public events with people chant-
ing ‘Ruth, Ruth, Ruth!’” Nelson said, “but I was hired by Vartan Gregorian. Gregorian was a very different person than Ruth, but people loved Greg, too. They chanted ‘Greg, Greg, Greg!’ So I really expect that Christina will be loved.” written questionnaires were administered to 1,530 undergraduates March 12–14 in the lobby of J. walter wilson and the Stephen robert ’62 Campus Center during the day and the Sciences Library at night. the poll has a 2.2 percent margin of error with 95 percent confidence. Find results of previous polls at thebdh.org/poll.
12 City & State
By adaM tooBiN Senior Staff Writer
the Brown Daily herald thursday, April 26, 2012
New voter identification requirement stirs controversy
Tuesday’s presidential primaries marked the first time in Rhode Island history that voters were required to show identification to cast a standard ballot. The identification requirement has drawn criticism from organizations that believe the policy might disproportionately disenfranchise groups of people — particularly minorities, the poor and the disabled — who are less likely to have the proper identification, according to some reports. “By enacting a voter ID law, Rhode Island has taken a giant step backward in the long and continuing struggle for voting equality,” wrote Steven Brown, Rhode Island American Civil Liberties Union executive director, in a press release at the time of the legislation’s passage last year. Defenders of the bill highlight the opportunity for people to cast a provisional ballot even if they do not have proper identification, as proof the new law does not disenfranchise registered voters. A provisional ballot — unlike a normal ballot — must be signed. The local Board of Canvassers then compares the signature on the ballot to the voter’s original registration signature, and if the two match, the vote is counted. In a survey of more than half of the cities and towns in the state conducted by the office of the Rhode Island Secretary of State, around 25 provisional ballots were cast — 0.1 percent of all votes. “People were well prepared with voter IDs,” said Chris Barnett, communications director for the Secretary of State. The provisional ballot is still worrisome, because the elderly or the disabled may not have the same signature they had when they registered to vote, Steven Brown said. In some cases, decades could have passed since registration, he added. The low number of provisional ballots shows no voters have been disenfranchised as a result of the new law, Barnett said. Rhode Island is the national model for states implementing voter ID laws, he said. The low number of voter identification problems reflects positively on the state, but because of low turnout in Tuesday’s primary, the contest was essentially a “dry run,” Steven Brown said. In Tuesday’s primary, just over 22,500 voters, or 3 percent of the eligible population, cast a ballot in either the Democratic or Republican primaries. The voter identification laws still have not been tested on a scale large enough to understand what effect they will have, Steven Brown added. In the 2008 presidential election, almost 475,000 people cast ballots — 19 times as many as were cast Tuesday. There are no worries that in the general election the increased turnout will cause more difficulties with voter identification, Barnett said. The state’s aggressive public education campaign will guarantee that voters are informed of the new policy and able to vote, Barnett said. “We were in the media, we were on the radio, on all four Rhode Island network affiliated news casts, and we worked with vote canvassers … to ensure that no one is denied the right to vote,” Barnett said. The Secretary of State also organized mobile voter identification teams that visited every city and town in the state at least once starting 10 to 11 weeks before the election. The teams visited senior centers, community centers and affordable housing developments to help those who might have more difficulty obtaining identification, Barnett said. The state’s efforts to provide proper identification to everyone were important, but not comprehensive, Steven Brown said. “It looked like virtually all the outreach efforts were taking place during the day,” he said. “If someone had a nine-to-five job or two jobs, it would be very difficult for them to get an ID,” he added. Barnett challenged Steven Brown’s assertion, calling it “misinformed or misplaced.” He cited three occasions over the past few months when opportunities for state documentation were available past 5 p.m. On these occasions, the office’s staff was available until 6, 7 and 9 p.m. The visits were also available on demand — an opportunity several institutions took advantage of, Barnett added. For last Tuesday’s primary, voters needed to present some form of government identification with their name on it, including social security cards, birth certificates, utility bills and bank statements. Photo identification is not necessary for any of the elections this year but will be phased in over the next two election cycles.
Former senator warns against money in politics
By caroliNE FlaNagaN Senior Staff Writer
Russ Feingold, a former Democratic senator from Wisconsin, called for the overturn of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case and urged students to act against the abuse of corporate spending in a mostly full Salomon 101 Wednesday night. The event was hosted by the Brown Democrats and Democracy Matters, a student-run nonprofit that supports public financing of elections. In his speech, titled “Corporate Power in Politics and the Economy: What the Citizens United Decision
Means for Our Democracy,” Feingold condemned Citizens United as a “lawless decision” that “overturned 100 years of statutes and state laws … and handed unprecedented power to corporations to pervert and distort our elections.” Feingold spent some time establishing the historical background of the Citizens United decision, which
eradicated restrictions on corporate funding of political campaigns. He commented on the similarities between the current political climate and that of the corrupt Gilded Age during the late nineteenth
century — just as the Progressive Era of reform followed the Gilded Age, Feingold emphasized that the U.S. political system must undergo drastic reform so it does not fall into a second Gilded Age. Feingold said he could understand the desire of political candidates to “fight fire with fire” and accept contributions from corporations to keep up with their opponents. But the former senator stressed that the costs of massive corporate donations often outweigh the benefits. “We say in the Midwest that there’s no such thing as a free lunch,” Feingold said. “Well, there’s no such thing as a free $10 million contribution.” Companies are beginning to feel the detrimental effects of using their corporate treasuries to support political candidates, Feingold said. For example, Target faced intense backlash last year after the company contributed $150,000 to a Minnesota gubernatorial campaign for a candidate who didn’t support gay rights. “They made Lady Gaga very angry — you don’t want to do that,” he said, adding that such companies are almost “begging for boycotts.” “I don’t want to have to go down that road,” he said. “Overturning Citizens United is a far better alternative.”
Feingold lamented the fact that many Democrats have joined Republican candidates in accepting corporate contributions, ultimately weakening their image. “We have to hold Democrats accountable when they are seduced by corporate money,” he said. “Otherwise, people will see Democrats as weak.” Feingold emphasized that candidates should capitalize on passion and intensity to win elections, not money. He cited his own first campaign for senator and President Obama’s 2008 campaign as successful campaigns that refused soft money. In his campaign, Feingold raised $35,000 almost entirely from small contributions from citizens. President Obama used the Internet to raise millions of dollars and draw millions of people to his campaign, allowing all kinds of people to be “given a seat at the table of American politics.” “This is how real people campaign,” he said. “Nothing makes people feel like they don’t have a place in the political process than seeing it dominated by corporate donations. … It weakens the base of the Democrats.” In fact, Feingold said President Obama’s election was one of the reasons for the creation of Citizens United.
“When you examine the motives of the Citizens United decision, it’s that the corporate powers were rocked by the power of the Internet and the power of the citizens,” he said. “They saw the face of democracy, and they were terrified.” He urged the audience to take action, stressing that the future of democracy depends on efforts at the grassroots level. The upcoming presidential election will be a defining moment for the cause, he said. “We have a president right now who is more likely to overturn this than Mitt Romney,” he said. “This election could determine whether this is taken care of in a few years or a few decades.” Students said they were impressed by Feingold’s speech. Lex Rofes ’13, a Wisconsin resident, said he particularly enjoyed the historical context Feingold provided for the issue. “I’m a little upset that he’s not on the Senate right now,” he added. “He’s got a very good head on his shoulders, and he’s proven his ability to work across party lines.” “It was nice to hear a political speaker who talked about what you believed in but made you feel like you could accomplish it,” said Rebecca Kagan ’12.5. “You usually have to choose one or the other.”
the Brown Daily herald thursday, April 26, 2012
City & State 13
R.I. public colleges may implement RIPTA fee
By saraH PErElMaN Contributing Writer
NE WS IN BRIEF Gov. introduces municipal relief
To aid financially struggling cities and towns in Rhode Island, Gov. Lincoln Chafee ’75 P’14 proposed a municipal relief package composed of seven bills, which will be discussed in the House Finance Committee today. The bills include provisions that would decrease the impact of unfunded mandates on municipalities and would limit the power of municipal employees in negotiations in four “distressed” communities — Providence, Pawtucket, Woonsocket and West Warwick. The measures would also give cities and towns increased control of school budgets, remove the obligation of underfunded pension plans to rise with the costs of living and reduce disability pensions. “This is a good first step, but ultimately we have to eliminate the redundancy municipally,” said Leonard Lardaro, professor of economics at the University of Rhode Island. Despite the small size of many of the towns in the state, each maintains its own police department and fire department, as well as other services, and supporting them inflicts a heavy burden on the municipalities, he said. To advance economically it will be necessary to consolidate, he added. Woonsocket Mayor Leo Fontaine said the proposal would help the city face its $10 million education budget deficit, and mayors from Pawtucket, Cranston and other municipalities have also come out in favor of the relief package. Eleven city and town councils have passed resolutions in support of the proposal. But some of the provisions would adversely affect workers and retirees. Many union leaders, including Rhode Island AFL-CIO President George Nee, oppose the bills because they will decrease the pensions and benefits offered to laborers, the Providence Journal reported. At a State House hearing earlier this month, nearly 100 firefighters spoke out against the proposal. “We’re slowly moving toward being actuarially sound,” Lardaro said, but service consolidation, job creation and more innovation are necessary for Rhode Island’s fiscal situation to improve. “What the state is doing is more like managing decline than promoting growth,” he added. — sarah perelman
Students at Rhode Island’s public colleges and universities may soon see a tuition increase of $100 as part of a measure to raise funds for the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority. A bill currently under discussion in the Rhode Island Senate Finance Committee would assess a $50 per-semester public transportation fee on students, a measure that has raised concerns in the state’s higher education community. “With increased tuition and a weak economy, we think this would be a burden on students and unnecessary,” said Mike Trainor, special assistant to the commissioner of
the Board of Governors for Higher Education. He added that each of the three public universities — University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College and the Community College of Rhode Island — already has a system for charging students for public transportation, so the bill would be “redundant.” The board will discuss the bill at its next meeting May 7 to determine its collective opinion and whether to grant a motion to officially oppose the bill. Sen. Joshua Miller, D-Cranston, the primary sponsor of this bill, as well as the co-sponsors — Sen. Louis DiPalma, D-Little Compton, Middletown, Newport and Tiverton; Sen. Susan Sosnowski, D-New Shoreham, South Kingstown; Sen.
Paul Jabour, D-Providence and Sen. Daniel DaPonte, D-East Providence andPawtucket — did not respond to The Herald’s requests for comment. URI students can currently purchase weekly or monthly RIPTA passes at a discounted price. But the university’s Providence campus offers free parking for students, so many elect not to purchase public transportation passes, said Gail Harvey, president of the student government board for URI’s Providence campus.“They got a nerve,” she said of the senators who proposed the bill. “The fee would affect every student on campus but only positively affect the few who use (RIPTA passes),” said Stephanie Segal, the
student senate president at URI. Almost the entire student senate opposes the bill, she noted. CCRI, like URI, offers students discounted RIPTA passes, which are partially funded through a commuting and parking fee included in tuition. RIC levies a $15 fee per semester to cover transportation costs. Trainor said one RIC student called the board’s office favoring the bill due to sustainability and environmental concerns, but otherwise the board has not seen much public comment. The bill is “well-intentioned in light of RIPTA’s fiscal troubles,” Trainor said, but it could “hurt students at a time of declining state support and increased tuition.”
Poll finds widespread support for Simmons
continued from page 1 cisions were met with complete support, her openness and candor with regard to the administration’s agenda fostered a lot of respect, she said. Some people were concerned about the expansion of the graduate and research aspects of the University, maintaining that Brown should remain more of a college, focused primarily on undergraduates, Blumstein said. “It’s a delicate balance, but I think that’s what she’s been trying to meet,” she said. To commemorate Simmons’ accomplishments as president, hundreds of students, faculty and staff gathered for a campus celebration yesterday on the Main Green. The event — hosted by the Special Events Committee — included a few speeches in addition to dance, singing and spoken word performances. “Simmons has been a major supporter of SPEC for the past 11 years,” said Katherine Haves ’12, SPEC co-chair. “She has always been there when we need her.” When Simmons was first chosen as president, SPEC helped welcome her into the community, so yesterday’s celebration was a “full-circle type of event for us,” Haves said. Planning for the event began in January and involved collaboration with Catering, the Department of Facilities Management, outside vendors and the Staff Advisory Council. The volume of people who contributed “speaks to how much the University as a whole appreciates President Simmons and what she’s done,” Haves said. Students sporting brightly-colored Ruth Simmons T-shirts were mingling with friends and enjoying the free food when music signalled the start of the event. In seconds, students emerged from the middle of the audience and danced onto the stage set up in front of University Hall. The flash mob that followed included many different dance groups on campus and ended with the dancers forming a circle around Simmons, who was watching from the front row. After a spoken poetry tribute and joint a cappella song, Ralanda Nelson ’12, president of the Undergraduate Council of Students, and Matteo Riondato GS, president of the Graduate Student Council, gave some closing remarks. Nelson thanked Simmons for “making our ideas and goals a priority” and encouraging students to “dream big and make the impossible a reality.” Because of the magnitude of Simmons’ contributions to student life, Nelson said the students wanted Simmons to go out with a bang, at which point red and white streamers flew through the air, landing on the crowd. Teary-eyed and with streamers around her neck, Simmons rose to the stage to offer her own thanks. “I can’t believe that I’m crying,” she said. “I’m such a strong person,” which prompted laughter from an also emotional audience. Simmons said she is leaving Brown with a full heart, not with sadness but with joy for the lasting memories. She also encouraged the community to welcome President-elect Christina Paxson with an open heart. Following a standing ovation, Simmons greeted a flood of enthused students, posing for photos and giving a warm hug to anyone who approached. Even now, nearing the end of her last year as President, Simmons still embodies a celebritylike status on campus, evidenced just by the number of people who rushed to shake her hand. “I think it’s kind of awesome and crazy that she is perceived as such a celebrity and that people do care so much about her,” said Hunter Leeming ’15. “I think it shows that her passion reflects on the students and really changes the environment here.” Blumstein said she attributes Simmons’ celebrity-like status partly to the fact that “she doesn’t flaunt it” and partly to a quiet confidence and good sense of humor. “Why some people are stars and others are not, that’s the je ne sais quoi of life,” Blumstein said. “But she deserves it. No question. She deserves it.” written questionnaires were administered to 1,530 undergraduates March 12–14 in the lobby of J. walter wilson and the Stephen robert ’62 Campus Center during the day and the Sciences Library at night. The poll
Emily Gilbert / Herald
Body and Sole’s flash mob began yesterday’s tribute to President Ruth Simmons.
has a 2.2 percent margin of error with 95 percent confidence.
Find results of previous polls at thebdh.org/poll.
14 Campus news
By david cHuNg neWS editor
the Brown Daily herald thursday, April 26, 2012
Female applicants face lower acceptance rates
Admission to the nation’s top universities has grown increasingly selective in recent years. But for female applicants, who are applying in higher numbers than males to many of these institutions, including Brown, chances of admission may be even slimmer. The University accepted a record-low 8.9 percent of applicants last year when it received 30,944 applications for the class of 2015, roughly 60 percent of which were from females. But when the University offered places to 2,757 of those prospective students, male applicants were admitted at a rate of 10.8 percent, compared to an acceptance rate of 7.6 percent for females, according to the 2011-12 Common Data Set. The University denied admission to nearly 5,900 more females than males. Though Princeton admitted a smaller percentage overall of first-year applicants in 2011 — 8.5 percent — 8.6 percent of female applicants were admitted, making admission to Brown for females applying to the class of 2015 more competitive than to Princeton. The difference in admit rates for males and females at Brown has fluctuated between 2.5 percent and 5.2 percent in the past eight years. The gap reached its peak when 11.7 percent of females and 16.9 percent of males were accepted for the class of 2012. Universities may aim to maintain a gender balance, meaning women may not be admitted simply because of their gender, said Bev Taylor, founder of the Ivy Coach, a private college admissions consulting practice based in New York. “The reality is that because young men are rarer, they’re more valued applicants,” wrote Jennifer Delahunty, dean of admissions and financial aid at Kenyon College, in her 2006 New York Times oped entitled “To All the Girls I’ve Rejected.” “I admire the brilliant successes of our daughters. To parents and the students getting thin envelopes, I apologize for the demographic realities,” she wrote. But Dean of Admission Jim Miller ’73 wrote in an email to The Herald that admission officers at the University have not, at least during his time here, been pressured by administrators to maintain a gender balance. According to data from the Office of Institutional Research, 51.3 percent of undergraduates at the University in fall 2011 were female. Women began to apply to the University in greater numbers
‘a domino effect’
than men in the 1989-90 academic year, Miller wrote, a few years after the number of women attending college nationally surpassed the number of men in the mid-1980s. Males do not have to work hard as women to be admitted, Taylor said. Due to the different rates at which males and females mature, she said, males are more likely to receive disciplinary action, while females are more likely to enroll in the most rigorous courses and prepare for Advanced Placement tests and other standardized exams. “Maybe it’s all a domino effect starting from kindergarten when they are more mature than their male counterparts,” she said. Admission officers expect differences in behavior between males and females, Delahunty said. Parenting also reflects the disparity in expectations for different genders. “Saying that they’re disadvantaged is just part of the story,” she said. Females are expected to be “more on top of their game.” “What can we do about it? Not much,” Taylor said. “Unless males can get their act together and be as mature as females.” Female applicants also tend to oversee their own college admission process more than males, Delahunty said. Though Taylor said the 3.2 percent lower admit rate that female applicants to Brown experienced
Brisa Bodell / Herald
last year is not a major difference, other schools show more bias against female applicants. She added that this bias is similar to the disadvantage faced by Asian-Americans, especially those of Chinese and Indian descent. “It’s just one more group that faces discrimination in this process,” she said. The difference in admit rates between the genders is partly a result of the University’s recent efforts to attract students in the physical sciences, Miller wrote, as admission officers have increasingly tried to recruit students interested in pursuing the physical sciences for the past seven to eight years. “There are more women admitted than men in humanities, life sciences and social sciences, but men constitute nearly two-thirds of the students admitted in the physical sciences,” Miller wrote. Engineering has been among the top five most popular intended concentrations among admitted students, and a third of the admitted class last year declared its interest in the physical sciences, The Herald previously reported. “We spend a great deal of time recruiting and acting affirmatively in the admission process for female physical scientists, but the under-representation of women in the physical sciences is a national trend, not just a Brown phenomenon,” Miller wrote. “The good news is we admitted nearly 100 more female physical scientists this year than we did six years ago.” The gender disparity in applicants has become more pronounced over the last decade, especially at small liberal arts schools, said Ed Hu ’87, chief advancement officer at the HarvardWestlake School in Studio City, Calif. Hu, former associate dean
Brown’s appeal calling all scientists
of admission at Brown, said the University has always drawn more female applicants than males due to its reputation as an “open, progressive place.” Universities like Brown — known to be strong in the humanities and to foster interaction with the faculty and administration — tend to attract females in greater numbers, said Jeffrey Durso-Finley MAT’91, director of college counseling at the Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, N.J. Institutions like Carnegie Mellon University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology draw fewer girls because they are not known to be “nurturing,” said Durso-Finley, former associate director of admission at Brown. Hu said the gender issue was not as salient in the early 1990s when he worked in the Office of Admission, but as the discrepancy in acceptance rates has grown, admission officers have been willing to talk about how “boys are having an easier time.” Durso-Finley said that unlike some smaller liberal arts and former single-sex schools that are at a “tipover point” of 60 percent female or more, Brown is “not in the crosshairs yet.” Once the enrolled female population approaches and surpasses 60 percent, the campus atmosphere can change drastically and in turn affect future applicant pools, he said. “Brown doesn’t have to fight this yet,” he said. “They have not shown a demonstrable difference between how they select students (of different genders).” And with college admission becoming increasingly competitive, Hu said he believes the gender issue is just one of the contributors to a complex admission process that takes into consideration geography, academic interests, legacy status and more. “It’s just so competitive out there that it’s not just a gender thing,” Hu said.
the Brown Daily herald thursday, April 26, 2012
Money Matters 15
or government job I could get out of college would let me make a direct impact. … In entry-level positions, I could end up filing papers, fetching coffee and writing briefs that no one reads,” he added. He said that as a senior, he realized that “it didn’t matter if I was in the field I wanted to be in long-term right out of college. … I wanted to be challenged and be at a place that would give me real work and treat me like an adult right out of college.” “The only thing I thought that could do that was consulting,” he said. Of the 67 percent of Brown graduates who entered the workforce after graduation in 2011, 20 percent — 171 students — worked in either consulting or finance. Teach for America was the top employer of graduates, followed by Google and Goldman Sachs. When undergraduates “look into the future and see something that’s not structured, that’s scary,” Simmons said. Schools provide “reliability and an effort-reward-feedback structure,” he said. Therefore, paths that are structured — professional schools, finance
a familiar process
Students drawn to careers with structure, recruitment
continued from page 1 by the fact that they’ve got some fairly large loans they’ve got to pay back,” Pryor said. Though some college students express an interest in working for nonprofits, he said, organizations in the public sector suffer because they cannot offer salaries comparable to those of more lucrative private sector jobs. “The answer is, typically, ‘I can’t afford to do that,’” Pryor said. He added that students from lowincome backgrounds “place more of a premium on getting a job after graduation.” Robin Mount, director of career, research and international opportunities at Harvard’s Office of Career Services, wrote in an email to The Herald that she observes different employment trends for Harvard undergraduates depending on their socioeconomic backgrounds. Students from low-income backgrounds often look for high-paying jobs they can use to help other members of their families, Mount wrote, though some also head to nonprofits to give back to their own communities. Students from more privileged backgrounds, meanwhile, often have take someone for an internship unless they’re a junior … They look seriously at that age group because they have the ability to test what someone can do before making an offer if they have openings.” Lisa Berlin ’12 will work at Bank of America Merrill Lynch as an investment banking analyst after interning there the summer after her junior year. Berlin started on the path to a financial services job in the fall of her junior year, attending information sessions hosted by financial institutions on campus. She also applied for and received an invitation to attend the “Wall Street WarmUp” program, a day-long seminar where she met current employees and learned basic finance concepts. Employers play a crucial role in determining the success of the University’s career center — they alone dictate how accessible jobs are to students. “If they decide that they want to recruit, they’re going to recruit,” Simmons said. “Part of what we do in our office is go out there and talk to employers and say, ‘If you’re going to recruit, please come to Brown.’” Bain and Company employees visit Brown six to eight times a year to host a variety of events, including large information sessions, more intimate group sessions at coffee shops and workshops during which students can practice case interviews used in the hiring process, said Ben Siegal ’08, a consultant at Bain who leads the company’s recruiting efforts at Brown. Bain devotes “a great deal of resources” to its recruiting efforts, Siegal said. “The team is made up of consulting staff at different levels from associate consultant — the position that recent graduates start out in — to consultant, all the way up to top manager and partner,” he said. “We take recruiting very seriously. Getting the right people is critical for our success and keeping the Bain culture as we want it.” Branthover also stressed the importance of recruiting for interested firms. Companies “want to hire a certain amount of students from specific schools. It’s an incredible opportunity for students to be interviewed by a company,” she said. The process also exposes students to companies they may not have otherwise known about, Branthover added. Stephen Ting ’07, a neuroscience concentrator, said he planned on attending medical school after graduation. But during the fall of senior year, he said he began to question whether medical school was the right decision for him. Either way, he knew he wanted to work in the health care industry, and consulting stood out to him both because it was something he had heard of students pursuing and because recruiters were present on campus. “At Brown, in terms of recruiting, there were very limited options within the health care industry,” he said. He decided to apply for consulting jobs mostly “for practical reasons.” He received offers from three
the role of recruiters
Brisa Bodell / Herald
Data provided by Brown CareerLAB
“Going into the job market is like nothing you’ve ever dealt with before if you’re a student who’s been in school their entire life.”
Andrew Simmons Director of CareerLAB
more freedom following graduation, she wrote. “They have resources or connections that may help them connect to unique opportunities (such as working in politics if a parent is an elected official),” Mount wrote. “They may have more resources to take time off and travel or resources to start their own enterprise.” But Mount stressed that these general trends do not apply to all Harvard graduates. Students from high-income backgrounds can also be drawn to nonprofits. Despite such apparent differences, Mount said she has observed peer effects among students from all backgrounds. Crimson graduates often pursue careers — within either the public or private sector — similar to those already popular among fellow students, she said. And that job search is often a shock, regardless of socioeconomic background. “Going into the job market is like nothing you’ve ever dealt with before if you’re a student who’s been in school their entire life,” said Andrew Simmons, director of the University’s CareerLAB. Sam Byker ’10, a history and economics concentrator and former Herald senior staff writer, recalled that it was “really hard to find jobs in the government” as a college senior. “There might be great jobs out there, but I couldn’t find them as a student,” said Byker, who is now an associate at Boston Consulting Group. “In my job search, no nonprofit and consulting jobs and TFA, for example — are enticing to students, he said, because these options provide a familiar system in which effort and achievement meet rewards. These positions help students continue the familiar feedback loop of tangible rewards for achievement — except in the job market, rewards come in the form of offers rather than As. Ellen Perez ’12, who is planning to join TFA in the fall, said other jobs she looked into had application processes far less organized than that of TFA. As a religious studies concentrator, she talked to professors to learn about available jobs related to her concentration —but after sending emails, resumes and writing samples, she said she barely heard back. It was frustrating to send resumes “to this void and not know when you’ll hear back,” Perez said. TFA, on the other hand, set a timeline that outlined when applicants would receive a decision. “When the next couple of years are riding on this, you don’t want an unstructured process,” she said. Several days before hearing the outcome of her TFA application, she said it felt “like (being a senior) in high school again, waiting to hear back from college.” For jobs in finance and consulting, the path toward a career can begin in earnest as early as a student’s junior year, said Jeanne Branthover, managing director at Boyden Executive Search. Branthover’s clients include top firms like J.P. Morgan and Bloomberg. “My clients very often won’t even
boutique consulting firms, ultimately deciding to accept an offer at IMS Health. Because of the importance of oncampus recruiting, Simmons said the CareerLAB has “made a big effort in the last year and a half to bring in more of the nonprofit, sociallyoriented types of employers,” adding that the center makes an effort to connect students with recruiters from industries beyond finance and consulting. But the problem with nonprofit recruiting is that most employers, with the exception of TFA, do not have financial resources comparable to finance and consulting firms, Simmons said. As chief of staff for three and a half years at CARE, a humanitarian organization that aims to combat global poverty, Joe Iarocci ’81 P ’13 said he has seen firsthand the effects of the lack of recruiting resources among nonprofits. Iarocci, who serves on the board of three public sector organizations — Citizen Effect, Social Accountability International, and the Georgia Center for Nonprofits — said the key for getting a job in the nonprofit world is “to take initiative,” adding “there’s not a lot of hand-holding in the nonprofit sector.” But Byker, the associate at the Boston Consulting Group, said he does not think considerable financial resources are necessarily a prerequisite for successful recruiting. “The things that would be required to replicate what consulting firms do is to have a program that is structured — some area on the company’s website that outlines what students will do, has a clear application process and promises the opportunity to do interesting work,” he said. Angela Callado, a TFA recruitment manager, said that “when you have huge finance firms coming to campus who have the money to really recruit and get in front of kids, it can be hard to make other options seem appealing.” But TFA manages to impress students on College Hill — the organization was the top employer for graduating seniors in the Class of 2011. Callado follows a recruiting regimen that targets different students throughout the year. In the fall, she comes to Brown to meet specifi-
cally with seniors. She also visits the campus in April for five to six days to meet with juniors and organizes at least one event a year targeted to underclassmen. Perez, a senior who will be teaching in Phoenix as part of TFA next year, said she originally filled out part of the application online but never completed it. But a meeting with Callado in a cafe near campus, during which she heard about Callado’s personal experiences working for TFA, convinced her to complete her application, she said. “The fact that they reached out to me and showed me there would be a lot of support … was definitely a motivating factor,” she said. TFA has staked out a prominent position in on-campus recruiting at other schools, too. Tom Brinkley, executive director of corporate and employer relations at the Student Professional Development Center at Elon University in North Carolina, said TFA has an impressive operation that gives it an edge over nonprofits with fewer resources. “I think they have gotten very sophisticated in their recruitment efforts,” said Melanie Parker, executive director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Global Education and Career Development Center, adding that she believes TFA attracts many students because of its well-known brand name in the nonprofit sector and reputation for helping its alums get into graduate school.
Favoring the ivy league: a cyclical relationship
Brown students also benefit from a strong alumni presence in these firms, which proves helpful in gaining entrance into the most popular career fields. “Connections always count,” Branthover said. “I know some of the top senior executives of companies that take it upon themselves to go to their school to do the recruiting for their company.” Ting said that many employers recruit and hire applicants who earned undergraduate degrees from the same universities as people already working at the firm. At the two health care consulting firms where he has continued on page 16
16 Money Matters
continued from page 15 worked, 95 percent of the employees have come from Ivy League schools or MIT, he said. “Other top schools … like Duke (University) or (the University of Virginia) are represented in the very minority” of employees at these firms, he said. At the Big Three consulting firms — Bain, BCG and McKinsey and Company — Ting said “only 80 percent of the employees” come from the Ivy League. Ting said his personal experiences working in the hiring process at his consulting firm allow him to see the process from both the applicant’s and the recruiter’s perspective. “You know these companies are specifically looking at Brown, and how it works is if they’ve hired someone from Brown before, then they know they’ve had success at this school,” he said. “From the company’s perspective, they know that Brown alums perform well.” As an undergraduate, Ting “assumed that if (recruiters) were going to go through the Brown recruiting portal, that was probably my best shot at getting a job. When I went outside that recruiting channel, maybe just cold resume-dropping at companies, I never heard back from any of them … not even a ‘we’re not interested’ email.” This trend of hiring primarily from the Ivy League, he said, is the result of a cycle in which people look to prove their own schools’ worth by hiring its students. “It would weaken their own validity, coming from a school’s alumni network in these industries is not as large as an Ivy League school’s, he does not think students like himself are at a big disadvantage. “As a student, if you know what you want, you can still stand out in your field of expertise,” he said. But he added that if his school was “closer to New York, we would get a better look, and I kind of think that’s unfair. But I think deep down inside, if you want to make it happen, you can do it.”
silicon valley: Beyond finance and consulting
the Brown Daily herald thursday, April 26, 2012
Students and recruiters engage in cyclical relationship
Technology companies also attract a high share of graduates — 10 percent of those heading straight to the workforce after graduating in the class of 2011. In the high-tech industry, prominent firms focus their recruitment efforts on target schools, just as finance and consulting firms do. Students in the University’s computer science department are able to take advantage of the Industrial Partners Program, a collaboration with the tech industry started two decades ago that has evolved into a key on-campus recruiting tool for companies like Adobe, Facebook, Google and Twitter. Firms pay up to $25,000 for varying levels of “premier” or “affiliate” membership in the program, which enables them to send recruiters to the University, according to the department website. “Everybody’s pretty psyched about where it is now,” said Amy Tarbox, manager of the Industrial Partners Program, who added that many alums who found jobs through
Einat Brenner / Herald
Data provided by Brown CareerLAB.
“I’m not going to lie — the money was really attractive as a means for saving money towards a larger goal.”
Sam Sanders ’13 Student interning at Mckinsey and Company
liberal arts Ivy League school, if they hire from other schools, even if those schools might have finance-based programs and more vocational training,” he said. But not all employers share Ting’s view on recruiting trends. Siegal said he likes recruiting at Brown because he knows students on campus want to “make a difference in the world.” “People from Brown do well at Bain, and we have quite a few Brown alums. It’s a great team. I take a lot of pride in bringing more people from a place that I love, Brown, into a firm that I love, Bain.” But Branthover said the prevalence of Ivy League graduates in such jobs may not be directly correlated with alumni presence in the field. “No matter what, the better the school you went to, the better your chances of getting a job,” she said. “In today’s world, coming from a good school, where graduates are considered the best and the brightest, definitely gives you an edge in the interview process.” Peter Voth, a first-year at the College of William and Mary, is double majoring in computer science and finance. He said even though his the initiative are now returning to campus as recruiters. Eric Caruso ’14, a Herald web staffer who will work as an intern at Facebook this summer, said the program made his recruitment process simple. Facebook’s ability to recruit extensively on campus was a significant factor in his decision to seek an internship at the company, he said. Many computer science students said they were attracted by larger firms’ ability to provide both greater opportunities and more job security. Hannah Acheson-Field ’15 said she worked at a smaller startup last summer but that the wealth of opportunities afforded by larger firms like Google won her attention. Ben Leib ’12, who will work at Twitter after graduating this spring, said he chose to work at the wellknown company because it combined the exciting feel of a new venture with the maturity of a larger firm. “I didn’t really apply to any smaller places that offer more equity … it’s obviously a lot riskier,” Leib said, explaining that he prefers working for higher compensation at a large tech firm rather than working for small companies that offer shares of company stock, or equity, in lieu of
a higher salary. “I’d like to have more of a sure thing.” Many students decide the startup path is not worth giving up the chance to work at a more established company, Leib said. The recruiting structure only bolsters this trend, Leib said, providing larger companies an even more significant advantage on campus. “It’s a lot harder to find smaller startups with a lot of them not actively recruiting at Brown,” he said. Still, Tarbox said other students decide to join startup companies and are not swayed by the high salaries given by larger firms. “I don’t think that anybody who wants to do a startup would suddenly want to work at a large corporation,” she said, describing the independent attitude of many computer science concentrators as a reflection of the University’s distinctive character. For those who choose to enter graduate or professional school immediately after leaving the University — 22 percent of the class of 2011 — financial considerations are still a factor. “Finances, especially for professional schools, are a lot different,” said Seth Mohney ’11, a political science concentrator who is now a student at the University of Michigan Law School. “It definitely was a concern because it’s more debt than you’re used to.” Mohney said he decided the extra debt was worth it because of the increased appeal to employers he will have after finishing law school. The recent decline in available legal jobs did not cause him to consider forgoing law school, Mohney said, because he knew his Brown education would prepare him for the rigors of attending a top-tier law school, a path he said would likely lead to a secure job. In the fall 2011 admissions cycle, 91 percent of applicants from the University were accepted into law school, compared to a national average of 71 percent, according to the University website. Mohney said the decline in legal hires was a larger problem for graduates of lower-tier law schools. “Essentially, the market’s oversaturated with lawyers, so it’s tough for these newly founded law schools that
an alternative to the job market
are just trying to pump out lawyers,” Mohney said. “I knew when I got out of law school, I’d get a job that would help me pay off any debts I incurred,” said Richard Smith ’12, an economics concentrator who will attend the University of Texas School of Law in the fall. “I didn’t really have another job I wanted to have.” Smith said financial concerns were a significant factor in his decision about where to attend law school, so he was diligent in seeking out scholarships. Minimizing the costs of three years of law school forced him to consider his options carefully, but law school was the right choice for him, he said. Andrew Horne ’11, a classics PhD student at the University of Chicago, said he felt no need to enter the private sector after four undergraduate years. He did say he had to weigh the financial costs of pursuing an advanced degree, deciding that attending graduate school in the United Kingdom, which he had originally considered, was too costly. Securing a job after receiving a PhD is a worry for many graduate students, Horne said. But he added he believes his work will provide him with skills applicable to many areas. Horne said most of his academic advisors, peers and friends at the University encouraged him to pursue research and graduate school, so he felt little pressure to consider a career in a high-paying field like finance or consulting. His peer group was key in molding his post-graduating plans, he said. “If I had more contact with econ or engineering, I think that would have been a different story.” But why exactly are students drawn to consulting and finance? For some, an entry-level position in these industries is a logical next step in their path to a greater goal where they can accumulate marketable skills before moving elsewhere. “All companies really like people who have a consulting background, whether it be (General Electric) or Bloomberg, big financial services, big manufacturing firms or big technology companies,” said Branthover, the executive search director at Boyden. And students are attracted to the allure of such future opportunities.
Byker said he thinks the skills he is gaining at BCG will benefit him both in law school and in his future legal career. “If you want all the tools to have a great career, there are some interim steps you need to take after graduation,” Byker said. “Your education doesn’t end after you leave college, and a job can be part of that education.” Samantha Sanders ’13, a Program in Liberal Medical Education student and history concentrator, is interning at McKinsey this summer because she wants to eventually become a hospital administrator, she said. “Consulting opens you up to more general business models and the larger world out there,” she said. She said she plans to take time off after graduation before starting medical school and would “love to work in consulting” during this interim. “Other jobs don’t give you the power consulting does at that young an age,” she added. Professor of Economics Ross Levine said the financial industry’s ability to provide entry-level employees the chance to continue to learn is a prime reason for students flocking to the field. “Students are looking at salaries, exciting opportunities for growth and to learn more, and the financial industry will continue to offer those opportunities,” Levine said. Robbie Greenglass ’07, a public and private sector organizations concentrator, a predecessor to Business, Entrepreneurship and Organizations, worked in investment banking at CIBC World Markets for three years after graduation. He said the job provided him with “twice the experience” he could have gained at a different job. The analyst job was appealing because he “could get (his) feet wet quickly, understand how the financial system worked and how companies worked … and gain those analytical skills that would be transferable to other jobs later.” The responsibility he was given soon after joining the company was also appealing, he said. “You get thrown into the fire from the start, and you have to figure it out on your own.” That sense of responsibility contributed to Berlin’s decision to accept her job offer from Bank of America continued on page 17
the Brown Daily herald thursday, April 26, 2012
Money Matters 17
Ting said. He noted that “certain people at consulting firms, who are 25 or 26, get paid more than clients who are 40 years old. If you’re a kid coming out of college with loans, these jobs have good offers.” Sanders said one major reason she decided to intern at McKinsey this summer is because she will be financing her medical school education. “I’m not going to lie — the money was really attractive as a means for saving money towards a larger goal,” she said. Most students can be expected to be drawn to such high salaries, but Ting said students graduating from Brown and similar institutions are the best fit for the stressful jobs that accompany the high pay. “The big banks hire from the Ivy League because those students are used to that environment, where you’re expected to bring your best to work every day and be paid very well for it,” he said. “Students who go to Ivy League schools are driven, and that kind of occupation matches their energy and principles towards life.” But compensation should not be the decisive factor for students considering career paths, Branthover said. “Most young people choose the money without a thought,” Bran-
Though roles sometimes ‘not as sexy,’ compensation always a factor
continued from page 16 Merrill Lynch after completing her summer internship, she said. Though the promise of an exciting and stimulating work life is appealing, it is not always the reality, Ting said. “The way consultants describe the work they do, it seems really cool. They work with clients and help clients solve problems. That’s true, but there is definitely this mysticism and allure to consulting,” he said. “Day in and day out, consulting is not as sexy as it was pitched to you. … Half of the part of consulting we do is kind of outsourced, dull work for wealthy companies so they don’t have to do it themselves,” Ting added. “What we do isn’t super challenging or exciting.” Byker provided a different viewpoint about his day-to-day tasks as a consultant. “The work isn’t always interesting — that’s for sure — but you really are doing the same thing as higher-level people,” he said. “In my first year, once or twice a week, I would travel by myself to factories around the country and interview people. The fact that they trusted me, as a very recent college graduate, to go alone to totally foreign places, talk to a bunch of people,
Einat Brenner / Herald
Data provided by Brown CareerLAB.
“That first job out of Brown, Harvard, Yale, wherever, is critical because it’s pulling together all those years of hard work.”
shipping furniture or buying a car, Callado said. TFA also makes it possible for students to balance their nonprofit and business pursuits. The organization has partnerships with many well-known companies, including Bain, Google, General Electric, Deloitte and Goldman Sachs, that allow students to defer offers from those firms to teach for two years. Callado said these partnerships provide graduates “the best of both worlds.” The aftereffects of the 2008 financial crisis may have significant effects on student job choices, said Pryor, the director of CIRP. Though business has been the most popular major nationwide over the last 40 years, Pryor said survey results have shown a recent dip in business major interest among college first-years. “The downturn in recent years … may very well be tied to some of the high profile ethical lapses in the financial industry we’ve seen in recent years,” Pryor said. Parker, MIT’s career development director, said the number of MIT graduates headed to the financial services industry has dipped from a peak reached several years ago. Though she said the recent negative media coverage may have had some effect, the dip in the number of students headed to Wall Street has more to do with the reduced hiring
Jeanne Branthover Managing Director at Boyden Executive Search
represent the company, come back, turn what I learned into something meaningful for a client, was awesome,” he said. “I don’t think there are many places where you could do something like that immediately after college.” TFA also provides its members with trust, responsibility and opportunities to develop skills applicable to different jobs, Callado said. As teachers, corps members hone management, leadership and multitasking skills, she said. The program enhances future job prospects for corps members, Callado said, especially those interested in education policy or law, by providing them with “hands-on experience with the issues students are facing.” Finance and consulting jobs also promise high wages immediately after college. Compensation “is always going to be a factor” when making job decisions, “probably more in financial services than in other choices,” Branthover said. Greenglass said that compensation was a contributing factor to his decision to go into banking, though it was not his primary motivation. He said he had always wanted to move to New York City after graduation — since Manhattan has high living costs, he said he liked “that banking would be able to provide a good, comfortable lifestyle.” High compensation also inspires students to pursue consulting jobs,
thover said. “When given an offer between two jobs — one that pays $60,000 and one that pays $100,000 — most people will go with the $100,000. But that might not be the right decision if you live in a city you don’t like or don’t have friends because you’re working too hard.” People who choose jobs just for the money are usually miserable and leave the job or industry within a few years, Branthover added. Berlin echoed Branthover’s sentiment about the need to have a motive besides compensation. Finance jobs require so much energy and dedication that “it isn’t worth it to do it if you don’t like it. You’re working 100 to 120 hours a week, so if you actually divide the amount you make by the amount you’re working, you’re not making that much money,” Berlin said. Though Teach for America is a nonprofit organization, it also provides financial incentives to support its corps members and remain a viable option in the jobs market. “I openly tell people I would never want them to turn down this offer because you financially don’t think you can afford it,” Callado said. The undergraduate loans of program participants are deferred while they are teaching, Callado said. In addition, TFA members’ Stafford Loans are reduced by 15 percent for each year the individual teaches. Newly accepted TFA members can also apply for transitional funding — either grants or interest-free loans — that helps cover expenses such as
at financial firms. Levine said he has personally seen the influence of negative media coverage and populist movements like Occupy Wall Street on Brown students. “Some students have seemed apologetic to me in the wake of the crisis about their decisions to work for the financial services industry,” Levine said, adding that he believes these responses indicate the profession has a public relations problem. “There’s a bit of uncomfortableness because of the portrayal of the industry.” But Levine also said he thinks the current negative perception will do little in the long term to dissuade students from considering investment banking as an attractive career. Branthover agreed, saying the prestige of Wall Street in particular is likely to remain high. There are still “tons of people interviewing” for finance positions, she said. “Wall Street has an allure. It’s a cool place to be. The companies are fantastic. The careers can be unbelievable.” Branthover also said graduates will want to continue pursuing prestigious positions because their first job is the culmination of an entire education. “When you and your parents have worked hard to get you to the right school, and you’ve worked really hard through your undergraduate and high school, just putting any company on your resume would be horrible,” she said.
“That first job out of Brown, Harvard Yale, wherever, is critical because it’s pulling together all those years of hard work,” she added. Beyond the high compensation and peer pressure, the influx of graduates to a narrow range of industries may just be the byproduct of company need. Consulting and finance firms have “found a way to make undergrads into great employees,” Byker said. “A lot of organizations do not see a great use for recent grads.” Nonprofits often do not reach out to recent graduates — not only because they lack the financial means to do so, but also because they would sometimes prefer to hire employees several years out of college with work experience, said Iarocci, the CARE executive. Byker said recent media attention has noted that consulting and finance firms take advantage of undergraduate students’ liberal arts educations. But he said “it’s not rocket science what BCG does. They’ve found a way to use undergraduates in a way that’s good for them as an organization, and a way to make undergraduates good, useful employees.” The “underlying problem is not that companies have figured out how to draw in a large share of smart undergraduates,” he added. “The problem is that other organizations have not.”
what else is there?
Fraternity of Evil | Eshan Mitra, Brendan Hainline and Hector Ramirez
18 Diamonds & Coal
DIAMONDS & COAL
A diamond to President-elect Christina Paxson, whose nowfamous scarf has convinced us she will be the fashion icon Brown has been yearning for. Just wait — come September, her accessory choices will be all the rage among the denizens of the Rock steps. Coal to the Undergraduate Council of Students for its proposed constitutional amendment to allow it to determine its own funding without the approval from the Undergraduate Finance Board. Not since former President Barnaby Keeney led his infamous raid on the Gate’s snack shelves have we seen such effrontery. A diamond to everybody at Spring Weekend! We don’t remember a thing, but we hear there was sun and a low crime rate! Coal to the Cornell administrator who said, “Within the Ivy League, there’s Harvard, Princeton and Yale, and there’s the other five.” We didn’t see the Glitch Mob tweeting its love to the students in New Haven this weekend. … That is all. Cubic zirconia to Joe Barboza, facilities manager for Dining Services, who told The Herald, “It’s a good day when there are only a couple of potatoes left.” Millions of 19th century Irish peasants would beg to differ. Coal to this year’s announced housing changes, which wreaked havoc on the housing lottery, prompted Facebook memes galore and for once made Graduate Center cells — we mean, suites — a hot commodity in short supply. A diamond to the co-founder of BodyRox, a dance fitness class, who said, “BodyRox hand-selects its instructors. We only want the most energetic, inspiring and hottest instructors so that our clients know they can come to a BodyRox class and will leave soaked in sweat.” We know an outgoing president who sounds like the perfect fit and might just have some extra time on her hands. Cubic zirconia to the woman at a University of Rhode Island rally who shouted, “I pledge allegiance to Ron Paul.” Many light years away, William Jennings Bryan shed a single silver tear. A diamond to UCS President-elect Anthony White ’13. We look forward to many an impromptu Brown Band concert outside Provost Mark Schlissel’s P’15 office next semester as part of White’s bold new fundraising initiative. Might we suggest “Call Me Maybe”? And a final diamond to President Ruth Simmons, who has left us with 11 years worth of carbon lumps to fill this column. Just because we now have a scarf doesn’t mean we’ll be parting with those T-shirts.
the Brown Daily herald thursday, April 26, 2012
by j u l i a s h u b e
LE T TER TO THE EDITOR
Quote misrepresents squash team culture
To the Editor: I was quoted in Tuesday’s Herald (“Athletes struggle against ‘dumb jock’ stereotype,” April 24) as saying that “there is culture of drinking on the squash team,” but this is not the case. Alcohol is indeed a part of the college experience, and it is certainly an obstacle for all college athletes, but, in retrospect, it was a mistake to discuss the relationship between alcohol and athletics without being very careful not to let my message be confused with athletic stereotypes that we all can slip into using much too easily. The major point I wanted to make in discussing alcohol was that it is a large obstacle to many athletes because the culture of drinking at college in general is so prevalent, and it is especially a shock coming into college as a freshman and simultaneously maintaining athletic performance. Unfortunately, it came across that I believed there to be a drinking culture on the squash team. But this culture is not at all specific to the squash team nor to athletics nor even to Brown, but to college in general, and it is something that is especially relevant to athletes only because they rely on the condition of their bodies to compete. My experience with athletics and, indeed, my overall experience at Brown has been about choices because there isn’t enough time to do everything. Fraternities are another choice that incoming students face. They can be a large commitment and thus detract from athletics in the same way academics or any other worthwhile commitment does: by consuming time and energy, which are limited. I want to apologize to my teammates whom I have offended and grossly misrepresented. Overall, the squash team has proven year after year to be the most outstanding group of student-athletes of all the squash teams we compete against. I want to especially apologize to my coach, who has always led our team in the right direction both on and off the court. He has always been exceptionally helpful and easy to communicate with, no matter what issues players are going through. He has always been very accommodating to our academic priorities and our lives outside of squash. He has not only been a great squash coach, but a great life coach for all of us. Brad Thompson ’12 Captain of the men’s squash team
An article in Tuesday’s Herald (“Fashion Week celebrates student style and creativity,” April 24) incorrectly identified Ramya Mahalingam ’14 as American. In fact, she is in an international student from Dubai. The Herald regrets the error. An article in Tuesday’s Herald (“What happens when athletes quit,” April 24) incorrectly stated that Lauren Kessler ’13 would be rejoining the field hockey team next season. She actually rejoined the squad during the 2010 season before quitting again and taking a leave of absence from Brown. The Herald regrets the error.
t h e b r ow n da i ly h e r a l d
Editor-in-chiEf claire Peracchio ManaGinG Editors rebecca Ballhaus Nicole Boucher sEnior Editors tony Bakshi Natalie villacorta Business GEnEral ManaGErs siena delisser danielle Marshak officE ManaGEr shawn reilly editorial arts & culture editor sarah Mancone arts & culture editor Emma wohl city & state editor Elizabeth carr city & state editor Kat thornton features editor aparna Bansal assistant features editor jordan Hendricks news editor david chung news editor lucy Feldman news editor greg jordan-detamore news editor shefali luthra science editor sahil luthra sports editor Ethan Mccoy sports editor ashley Mcdonnell assistant sports editor sam rubinroit editorial page editor jonathan topaz opinions editor charles lebovitz opinions editor jared Moffat Graphics & photos Eva chen Emily gilbert rachel Kaplan jesse schwimmer Graphics editor photo editor photo editor sports photo editor
An article in a mid-April edition of The Herald (“Accusations against professor open to public,” April 17) stated that Amelia Weber attempted to file civil action against Alpert Medical School professor Timothy Kinsella and filed a criminal complaint, which the Cuyahoga County prosecutor investigated, finding “no action that warranted criminal prosecution.” The statement should have been attributed to Kinsella’s defamation suit.
dirEctors julia Kuwahara samuel Plotner Nikita Khadloya angel lee sales finance alumni relations Business Development ManaGErs justin lee Kaivan shroff gregory chatzinoff Mahima chawla luka ursic alison Pruzan Elizabeth gordon david winer Human resources research & Development collections collections finance operations alumni engagement fundraising marketing
“They made Lady Gaga very angry — you don’t want to do that.”
— Former Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold see feingold on page 12.
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the Brown Daily herald thursday, April 26, 2012
Feeling the brain drain
question of what they planned to do after graduation. A little more than half of the class responded with “employment.” Twelve percent of those employed reported working in finance and banking and 8 percent in consulting. In other words, one-fifth of the employed class of 2011 is working in finance, banking or consulting. But Brown is by no means an exception when it comes to this trend. Ivy League and elite universities are the most heavily recruited schools for the financial industry. Accordnationally, only 7 percent of young males are diagnosed with major depression. Another study done in Switzerland found that professional stock traders were more likely to engage in risky, competitive behavior than a subject pool of diagnosed psychopaths. Even worse, we’re losing some of the best minds to an industry whose social credentials are spotty at best. Goldman Sachs — the third largest employer of Brown students — played an instrumental role in the financial crisis that began in 2008. Instead of feeding students feel to leave college with a well-respected and financially secure future ahead of them. Making six figures immediately after graduation is a nice way to assure oneself that the education was worth it. This is especially true for individuals with burdensome student loans. Another common theme I’ve encountered is that most people plan to go into the financial industry only temporarily. They see it as a way to hone real-world skills that will prepare them for something more meaningful in the future. Judging from anecdotal evidence, however, I’m afraid this is something of a self-delusion. Working for an investment bank isn’t going to tell you much about how to run a nonprofit. Most concerning of all, though, is how easy it seems to be to choose this career path. I have applied math-economics friends who tell me that every day their inbox is filled with invitations to interviews and events with bigname banks and financial firms. The process of applying for these jobs is basically like applying for college all over again — just send a transcript, resume and a cover letter in before the deadline. I challenge all you non-seniors: Before you decide to spend some of the best years of your life in a Manhattan office, strung out from stress and sleeplessness, make sure you know what you’re getting into. Rebecca McGoldrick ’12 will decorate your Manhattan office with her artwork — for a fee, of course. She can be reached at email@example.com.
The graduation frenzy is palpable at Brown. Exams are impending. Senior dinners are happening. Families are visiting. Four years of hard work are finally culminating in this grand achievement: a degree from Brown University. We’re entering a new phase of life in which our decisions are entirely our own and the full weight of adult responsibility falls on our shoulders. Like many Brown seniors, I don’t know exactly what I’ll be doing after all the hype calms down — and, honestly, I’m not in much of a hurry to figure all that out yet. While at Brown, I’ve explored a diverse spectrum of academic and artistic interests, and I don’t plan to lock myself into any one thing for some time. But unlike me, some students have had their minds made up since they signed employment contracts back in the fall. Though the numbers aren’t in yet, I suspect that an overwhelming number of these contracts were signed with large financial and consulting firms. My suspicion is based on the Center for Careers and Life After Brown employment statistics for the class of 2011. Out of a class of 1,552 students, 1,260 responded to the survey. Students had the choice of replying “employment,” “full-time graduate or professional study” or “other endeavors” to the
We’re losing some of the best minds to an industry whose social credentials are spotty at best.
ing to university polls of the class of 2011, 52 percent of graduates from Penn, and 29 percent from Harvard are employed in financial services and consulting. The rising number of promising college grads entering the financial and consulting sectors should trouble all of us. First of all — let’s be honest — few students enter college with their eye on the financial industry. Somewhere along the way, many of us are giving up our original career aspirations. Students should be sticking with their first instincts, because recent studies have suggested that Wall Street employees tend to be some of the most mentally unhealthy individuals. In a study done at Florida’s Nova Southeastern University, 23 percent of young male stockbrokers were clinically diagnosed with major depression — troubling, since the homeless, some Brown graduates were actually a part of a get-rich-quick scheme that led to the millions of evictions we’ve seen in the past few years. The financial and consulting sectors truly are America’s greatest “brain drain.” At a time when we need social problem solvers and innovative scientists more than ever, many of our fellow students are entering a field that may be actively harming the stability and sustainability of our society. Why are so many attracted to a career in these industries? Of course, there’s no way to answer that question without oversimplifying and leaving out the nuance of each individual’s personal decision. But after doing some informal research, I’ve found several common reasons. First, attending a prestigious university increases the pressure that
The myth of giving back
BY LAUREN SCHLEIMER
just to practice. What we do in college is all about experimentation, and extracurriculars are a means of taking what we learn in the classroom and applying it hands-on. We have this idea that students working for a good cause without pay is a noble endeavor, but students’ motivations for the activities they spend time on are entirely self-centered. Students join philanthropic organizations not out of altruism but out of curiosof three weeks in the Ecuadorian Amazon, it felt great when all of my students would say, “Thank you, teacher!” over and over again. I came home from my trip with a wonderful new perspective on my life of privilege, a Facebook album full of pictures and some serious liberal street cred. But were those students and their community really better off? No, not really. Wouldn’t the people in the community have been better served if, instead of thousands of dollars being spent for me to live tions, but in the end no one asks whether they’ve been able to impact the lives of individuals or communities qualitatively for the better. Up here on College Hill, we are a small and privileged group that, thanks to our education, possesses additional knowledge about the way the world works. But just because we use bigger words to describe social problems does not mean we are entitled to mess around in other peoples’ lives. If anything, academic training makes us more prone to objectifying the communities we serve. We learn to speak about injustice with sweeping strokes — violence is structural, and human rights are universal. But people are people too, even when they are victims of systematic oppression, and other people’s communities are not our sandboxes to play in. Just because we understand their problems in academic terminology does not give us any claim on their hardships or a right to intervene. It’s certainly a valuable part of our education, but it’s also a part of their lives. These communities will continue to exist long after we graduate and our brief forays into serving their needs are over. It’s only through forging honest, reciprocal relationships that we might hope to change their lives for the better. The best we can do is recognize that when we engage with the problems of another community, we sometimes get more than we give. Lauren Schleimer ’12 is either emboldened or humbled, depending on her mood.
For many students at Brown, it seems as though the world beyond College Hill is just waiting for us to change it — and this attitude is fantastic. The passion and sheer optimism that many students display for good causes merit appreciation. Whether it’s bringing clean water to the slums of Mumbai, mentoring refugee children in Providence or selling jewelry handcrafted by women of an indigenous community in the Amazon, Brown students do some pretty inspiring work in their free time. Call it youthful optimism or liberal peer pressure, but the normal thing to do on our progressive campus is volunteer somewhere. Brown loves students who engage with issues outside the classroom, and as long as you’re addressing some greater societal problem or just “giving back to the community,” you’re bound to get props from socially conscious peers. What’s problematic is that it doesn’t actually matter what you do or who you’re doing it to. We view students’ engagement with the community as a categorically good thing. By exalting the fact that students devote time and energy toward serving the community beyond Brown, we’ve obscured the selfish motivation driving students’ philanthropic endeavors. The real goal of participating in a student group is not to effect real change in the world, it’s
The best we can do is recognize that when we engage with the problems of another community, we sometimes get more than we give.
ity, and it takes a decent amount of candy to bring them to the table at the Activities Fair in the first place. Even though their mission statement is ostensibly to serve others or promote a larger cause, the ways in which students “give back” in the abstract are deceptively self-serving. Consider how many students pay to volunteer in a developing country or, like me, decide to teach English as a way to see for myself some of the social problems I learned about in the classroom. At the end
with a host family and play with adorable schoolchildren, they were provided with the resources they need to give their children a decent education and lift themselves out of poverty? Most people agree that poverty tourism tends to perpetuate rather than address social inequalities, but not everyone sees the parallels in local interactions between town and gown. It’s truly wonderful how supportive the University can be when students have lofty change-the-world aspira-
Daily Herald Sports thursday
thursday, April 26, 2012
Hurster ’14 keeps lacrosse in playoff contention
By MadElEiNE wENstruP SportS Staff Writer
ATHLETE OF THE WEEk
With four seconds left in the men’s lacrosse game against former No. 3 Cornell, attackman Samuel Hurster ’14 sent the ball flying into the net to clinch the win for the Bears on a pass from co-captain Parker Brown ’12. Hurster’s goal not only ensured the win, but also kept Bruno in contention for the Ivy League playoffs. Hurster’s last-minute goal was his third of the afternoon and his 27th of season, making him the season high-scorer for the Bears. For his heroics and consistently strong play throughout the season, The Herald has named Hurster Athlete of the Week. Herald: Congratulations on the upset over Cornell. Can you explain more about the moment? Hurster: It was a back-and-forth battle — we fought our way back, tied it up. At about 20 seconds we got the ball, the score was 9-9. We started the ball with Parker behind, we cut back and forth to try and get the ball. He hit me with the ball with around four seconds left. Somehow, I get the ball in the net. We were running a play, and it unfolded the way we wanted it to. We almost got an excessive celebration penalty … but we got back in line. What does this win mean for
the rest of the season? Well, we are still in the hunt (for the final playoff spot) — we needed that win to stay in the hunt. Currently, we are fighting for the fourth spot in the Ivy League. We need Harvard to lose, and we need to beat Dartmouth on Saturday. We all agreed that our win against Cornell was our biggest win in the past two years. It was important for us as a team. How did you get into lacrosse? I am from St. Louis, which is not really a lacrosse hotbed. But when I was in fourth grade my neighbor (who) played for Holy Cross at the time got me into it, gave me a few sticks for my birthday, and from there I really picked it up. So is it true that you’re ambidextrous? As I was growing up learning the sport, I made sure I was doing equal reps right hand and lefthanded. I always felt out of balance when I did too many on my right hand. I guess you could say I was a little anal-retentive about keeping it balanced. It is nice when you are going up a defender, and he is not really sure if you are going left or going right. What are your plans for the summer — are you playing any lacrosse?
Golf squad prepares for Ivies
By coNNor grEaly SportS Staff Writer
Jesse Schwimmer / Herald
Sam Hurster ’14 has been a game changer this season, leading the team’s offense and putting it in position to qualify for the Ivy League tournament.
This summer I am going to be in New York City. I plan on doing the Gotham Lacrosse League, which is a league up in the city, which is pretty competitive. I am focusing on work this summer, but playing a little bit of lacrosse, too. do you have any sports role models? Michael Jordan, for obvious reasons. But lacrosse-wise, my neighbor was a huge idol to me as a little kid. He inspired me to start playing.
You have three sisters. How was it growing up as the only boy? do they play lacrosse? My younger sister that is a junior in high school right now — is playing in St. Louis — is very good. My other two sisters do not play. It was a little tough growing up in the house with all girls — my dad and I stick together a lot. My dad is awesome, he has been to almost every one of my games this season, flying out to Cornell, flying to Brown for every home game. What can I say? I don’t know any differently.
A columnist’s pursuit of understanding
the Clippers have on their roster. Lastly, I thought a Los Angeles Lakers-Memphis Grizzlies matchup would have been particularly exciting, given the size of the teams, a chance to see Tony Allen guard Kobe Bryant in the playoffs again and the sibling rivalry plot line of the monstrous Gasol brothers, Pau and Marc. But we now know it will be a surprisingly dangerous Utah Jazz team in the playoffs instead of Steve Nash’s Suns and that only my Mavericks-Thunder prediction is likely to come true. Now that that’s over with... I first started writing this column a year and a half ago to live the dream of every opinionated 20-something. That dream is to have a mouthpiece through which to parade around my ideas while being relatively shielded from the dangers of an actual dialogue — people disagreeing with me and (God forbid) illustrating their point better than I could my own. When I paired this disposition with my love of sports, sharing my unsolicited opinions about grown men playing games with each other seemed perfect for me. After all, it’s sports. It’s pretty lowstakes in terms of something to argue about. At the end of the day, it’s just a game. I wrote columns comparing LeBron James to the Fish Company, Hal Steinbrenner to Michael Scott and Eli Manning to a child who eats glue sticks. I enjoyed my little corner of the paper. But as silly as my prose sometimes turned out, writing a weekly column made me constantly ask myself why I was a sports fan. I gave every possible answer I could think of. One week I argued that sports were an evolutionary remainder of our competitive nature. Another week, I said that we enjoyed the persistent continuity of sports and that no matter what, there was always hope that this season would be the one when something good happened. Though I never wrote this in a column, I even hypothesized once that we love sports for the same reason we love superheroes. That sports represent the emergence of children with extraordinary powers who can come from any sort of background or situation and catapult themselves into fame and admiration. But I think, at the end of the day, the reason why I love sports so much is related to the reason why I chose Brown — to practice understanding what someone else has to say. I don’t mean that literally, even though sometimes those hockey players can have some difficult accents. Sportswriting and sports fandom are hotbeds of opinions and ideas — many of which are in direct opposition to what you may believe as a fan. In addition, these are charged with an energy and emotion that are typically associated with a political atmosphere. Long story short, it’s a very difficult medium in which to have a discussion that doesn’t dissolve into “nuh-uhs” and “yah-huhs.” Similarly, I came to Brown because of the campus’ openmindedness and diverse selection of ideas and values. Some of these I may not agree with, but I’ve always believed that understanding is something to be worked toward. It’s a sliding definition in which the more you learn about someone and why they believe what they do, the better chance you have of finding the common ground. Our greatest challenge today is the pursuit of empathy. It took me the better part of my time with this column to understand one of the reasons why I was writing it. I had fallen into our generation’s greatest flaw. I was more interested in telling everyone why my thoughts on the sports world were correct, instead of listening to why everyone else might disagree with me. Dialogue is our greatest asset, and it would be a shame for us not to use it. Though if someone wants to disagree with me about that, I’m willing to listen. Sam Sheehan ’12 would like to thank his readership for a great four semesters. If you guys were LeBron James, you would have read for three of them and taken the last one off.
By saM sHEEHaN SportS ColumniSt
When I promised a list of “most compelling NBA playoff matchups” for the West last week, I neglected two very important pieces of information. The first was that by the time that column ran, nearly all of the playoff matchups would have been decided, making the point of the column moot. The second was that this column will be my final column for The Herald. (A moment of silence from my seven fans and thunderous applause from the three dozen people who send me what I would tentatively describe as “you’re an idiotic, uninformed hack” mail.) In the interest of keeping my promise from last week, I will say that I intended to bill the San Antonio Spurs-Phoenix Suns as a great matchup because of the history between the two teams. I was also going to flag the likely Dallas Mavericks-Oklahoma City Thunder series for similar reasons. I thought pitting the Denver Nuggets against the Los Angeles Clippers would be fun just because of all of the young, explosive athleticism and the number of Nuggets castoffs
The men’s golf team fought through a weekend plagued by wind and rain to place sixth in the Century Intercollegiate at the par-71 Century Country Club with a two-round score of 628. The team was outpaced by all of the other Ivies except Cornell Saturday. But the Bears finished ahead of both Ivy favorites Dartmouth and Yale Sunday. “To beat Dartmouth and Yale in (Sunday’s) round was big — it showed toughness on our part,” said captain J.D. Ardell ’13. “It showed we can play with those guys.” “It was good to see us perform well,” said Head Coach Michael Hughes. “Once again, we had problems at the beginning and the end of rounds, but that’s a result of being a young team.” The team’s low score Sunday was in large part due to the brilliant round Justin Miller ’15 completed in the difficult conditions. Miller’s 72 was the lowest round of the weekend for the team, and his two-round 148 was good enough to earn him fourth overall individually. “(Sunday’s) conditions were brutal,” Miller said. “It was nice that I could maintain my play and build some momentum.” Brown was also buoyed by the phenomenal play of newcomer Nelson Hargrove ’13.5, who ranked twelfth individually for the tournament with a score of 155. “I think it was great to have an amazing tournament from Justin and Nelson,” Ardell said. Ardell followed up with a 161 for the weekend, while Peter Callas ’14 and Jon Greb ’15 both carded 167. Though the team showed flashes of great play, the main tournament of the season still has yet to be played. Bruno will participate next weekend in the Ivy League Golf Championship in Absecon, N.J. The tournament — to be played at the Galloway National Golf Club — not only determines the winner of the Ivy League, but guarantees the conference champion a spot in the upcoming NCAA golf championship. Brown will look to improve over its performance last year, when the team placed seventh after the weekend of play, edging out only Cornell of its Ivy competitors. “I like our chances — if nothing else, the last couple of weeks we’ve proven to everyone that we can play and win next week,” Miller said. “Everyone is playing well. We just need to piece our games together and avoid any big pitfalls,” Ardell said. “If we have three or four solid rounds from people this weekend, we can make an impact.”