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Herald

the Brown

vol. cxxii, no. 27

Monday, March 5, 2012

Since 1891

Christina Paxson named 19th president

U. unveils president at community ceremony By elizabeth koh Senior Staff Writer

Chancellor Thomas Tisch ’76 announced the selection of Christina Paxson, dean of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, as the University’s 19th president to a packed audience of students and faculty in Sayles Hall at noon Friday. Paxson’s selection was first announced in a University-wide email prior to the Sayles meeting. The noon announcement was also broadcast live on the University website. In his opening remarks, Tisch expressed excitement about Paxson’s selection. “If she could make Brown any happier, we’d burst the thermometer,” he said. Professor of Physics Chung-I Tan P’95 P’03, who chaired the Campus Advisory Committee, also praised Paxson’s leadership and commitment to the University’s values. Paxson spoke briefly, commenting on her personal connection to the University through her brother, William Paxson ’75. “My brother was this kind of clean-cut, studious kid” before coming to Brown, she said. “I remember him coming back Thanksgiving vacation, and he had long hair, he was listening to new music, he argued with my continued on page 10

By shefali luthra News Editor

Christina Paxson, dean of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and a prize-winning economist, will serve as the next University president. The Corporation elected Paxson the 19th president in a special session Friday morning. “There was a sense from the first time we met her that she had a deep appreciation for the Brown culture and community,” said Thomas Tisch ’76, chair of the Presidential Search Committee and chancellor of the Corporation. Corporation Vice-Chair Jerome Vascellaro ’74 P’07 said Paxson was chosen in part for her “relentless pursuit of quality,” her “devotion to academic excellence” and her embodiment of the blend between teaching and research.

Paxson, who was chosen by the Presidential Search Committee and the Campus Advisory Committee formed after President Ruth Simmons announced her intent to step down in September, will begin her term July 1. The perfect fit

In an interview with The Herald, Paxson said Brown seemed like a “wonderful fit” based on its “values, character and spirit.” “I loved my time at Princeton, but I find the Brown character to be very appealing,” she said. In particular, she cited Brown’s university-college model as admirable, noting that she received her bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College, also a small liberal arts institution. “One of the goals of Brown is to continue to grow as a first-class continued on page 8

Rachel A. Kaplan / Herald

After a five-month search, Princeton dean Christina Paxson was named president of Brown.

In Simmons’ wake, financial challenges loom By Elizabeth Carr City & State Editor

Jonathan Bateman / Herald

Christina Paxson will succeed outgoing President Ruth Simmons, effective July 1.

Christina Paxson, dean of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, will assume the University’s presidency following a 25-year tenure at Princeton, where she was known for the leadership she displayed in her overhaul of the school’s undergraduate program and for her highprofile research. Her impending presidency comes as the University looks to simultaneously expand its research profile and adhere to its university-college model, all while facing the realities of its funding constraints. “Brown’s dedication to main-

taining a terrific undergraduate program — first-class with a lot of dedication to undergraduates — while focusing on the creation of new knowledge is something very special and something that is very important to protect,” Paxson said in an address to the University community. Paxson told The Herald her primary priority will be to identify opportunities for the University to grow. Paxson will succeed President Ruth Simmons, the historically popular University leader whom Provost Mark Schlissel P’15 described as “the standard against which others are judged.” Simcontinued on page 10

‘People person’ leaves mark on Princeton

Courtesy of Marisa Quinn

inside

Christina Paxson and her brother, William Paxson ’75, grew up near Pittsburgh.

news....................2-3 Feature..........4-5 Arts..................6 city & state..........7 SPORTS.............13 Editorial..........14

Joyful noise Music pays tribute to Simmons’ time at Brown

Arts & Culture, 6

From a Quaker upbringing to her selection as Brown’s president-elect, Christina Paxson has led a life marked by community involvement and strong leadership. She comes to Brown from Princeton with a reputation as a collaborator, an attentive listener and an efficient organizer. After graduating from Swarthmore College with an economics degree, she embarked on a career as an economist and landed at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. In 2009, after 23 years of teaching,

she became dean of the Woodrow Wilson School. That same year, she was one of two final candidates for Swarthmore’s presidency, said Rob Hollister, professor of economics at Swarthmore. She was named the 19th president of Brown Friday. Early influences

It was the end of the baby boom era, so Forest Hills, Pa. — the Pittsburgh suburb where the Paxson family lived — always had several children running around the neighborhood. And always running behind her two older siblings was the youngest child, Christina. “She decided at a young age that she wanted to do everything

Yes or no? Spencer-Salmon ’14 elucidates notion of consent

Opinions, 15

weather

By Lucy Feldman, Sahil LUTHRA and Kat Thornton News Editor, Science Editor and City & State Editor

that we did,” said William Paxson ’75, Christina Paxson’s brother. “Whatever we were doing — running around the backyard — she was there, doing exactly the same thing, and it didn’t matter to her that she was two years old and not six years old.” The Paxson family had been in Pennsylvania long before Christina’s birth in 1960 — the family had come to America to escape the Quaker persecution in England, journeying with Pennsylvania founder William Penn in 1682. Though she is no longer a Quaker, Paxson said her upbringing — particularly the Quaker model continued on page 9

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2 Campus News

New center to codify medical research

calendar Today

March 5

1 P.m.

ToMORROW

March 6

1 p.m. Student Exhibitions 2012,

CultureLab Open Hours,

List Art Building

Haffenreffer Museum

5:30 p.m.

5 p.m.

Women in the Corporate World,

Healthy Cooking Demonstration,

Salomon, Room 001

Brown Faculty Club

menu SHARPE REFECTORY

VERNEy-WOOLLEY DINING HALL LUNCH

Cajun Pasta with Chicken, Vegan Black Bean and Corn Stew, Caprese Salad

Macaroni and Cheese, Beef Noodle Soup, Tuna Salad, Potato Salad, Butter Cookies

DINNER Texas BBQ Beef Brisket, Jumbo Couscous, Artichokes with Stewed Tomatoes, S’mores Bars

The Brown Daily Herald Monday, March 5, 2012

Ziti, Carrots in Orange Sauce, Vegetarian Pesto Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes

Sudoku

Crossword

By phoebe draper Senior Staff Writer

The first article you read calls drinking coffee a death sentence. Then you flip the page and find a column touting coffee’s benefits. What’s a coffee drinker to do? Fortunately for scientists and consumers alike, the University’s new Center for Evidence-Based Medicine aims to solve just this sort of data synthesis crisis. A team of top-tier research synthesizers currently working at the Tufts University Medical Center will transfer to Brown throughout the year to develop the center. The center will develop new strategies for meta-analysis­— a “rather simple” premise, according to Joseph Lau, co-director of the center and professor of health services, policy and practice. “We put together all this information that comes from independent experiments and learn something more about the questions we are trying to address.” Independent experiments may target the same question but generate different conclusions, due to differences in sample selection, research methods and setting, Lau said. With such a vast array of independent results, making sense of research and forming broad conclusions can be difficult — which is where Lau and his colleagues come in. Using statistical software, the team synthesizes the results of multiple independent experiments. Their process grants them increased statistical power, guaranteeing a more accurate and focused conclusion, he said. “It’s as if you have many more lab rats,” said Christopher Schmid, professor of biostatistics. Though meta-analysis centers exist across the globe, the Brown

Daily

the Brown

center will be unique, Schmid said. “Most centers that do evidence-based medicine are basically applying techniques to answer questions in medicine, whereas we are not only doing that but we’re developing new approaches and new tools for doing the process,” Schmid said. Their search for innovative new strategies of meta-analysis puts the Tufts team at the “top of their field,” said Terrie Wetle, associate dean of medicine for public health and public policy. While the center’s name suggests its association with the field of medicine, the team’s synthesis techniques can be applied to a myriad of disciplines. “We see it as a way of approaching information that’s generalizable beyond medicine,” Lau said. The methods could be applied to studies conducted in the realms of ecology, economics or education, he said. The center’s development will constitute a “gradual transition,” according to Tom Trikalinos, codirector of the center and professor of health services, policy and practice. Trikalinos, who will arrive at Brown March 12, will be joined by colleagues Schmid and Lau in June and September, respectively. Additional Tufts collaborators — physician Issa Dahabreh and computer scientist Byron Wallace — will join the newly-assembled team in the coming months. In addition to their research positions at the center, Schmid and Trikalinos will become part-time faculty members in the biostatistics and health policy and practice departments. “One of our key interests is to train the next generation of researchers to carry out methodological research in research

synthesis,” Lau said. The opportunity for training up-and-coming researchers was one of the main motivators behind the team’s move from the Tufts Medical Center to Brown. The University’s bright undergraduate body and the program in public health offered “more opportunities to do such training,” Schmid said. Seeking to expand their program in an academically rich environment, the Tufts team approached the University with the idea of developing a Center for Evidence-Based Medicine. The Public Health Program recognized the team’s research as “exactly the source of expertise we wanted,” Wetle said. The team will be invaluable in researching how to spend health care dollars on the most effective treatments, she said. Funding also motivated the establishment of the new center. With funding from the National Institutes of Health “flattening,” the Department of Community Health is seeking to diversify its funding portfolio, Wetle said. The federally funded Tufts team, sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, will allow the department to fund its institutes and programs from a broader base, she said. “We feel that this a good match for us. And we think the leadership also thinks that this is a good match. The rest is history, as they say,” Lau said, laughing. Though the center currently exists only on paper, it will evolve into a full-fledged and vibrant reality over the next several months. “We are very anxious to learn everything there is to learn about Brown and start building bridges and forging new collaborations,” Lau said.

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Campus News 3

The Brown Daily Herald Monday, March 5, 2012

Apps remain constant for Swearer Center fellowship By max ernst Staff Writer

The Swearer Center for Public Service received about 40 applications this year for its Howard R. Swearer International Service Fellowship, which provides up to $3,500 for students to pursue a summer internship or project abroad backed by a non-governmental organization or government agency. The number of applications received by the March 2 deadline closely matched expectations, said Alan Flam, director of advising and community collaborations at the Swearer Center. The Swearer Center typically receives 35 to 50 applications for about 15 fellowship slots. “We always hope to attract a wide variety of students,” Flam said. “Students keep coming up with great ideas, and applications have increased steadily every year.” The fellowship allows students to work with an array of organizations and pursue interests that match their academic goals. “The fellowship is a very good way to gain perspective about global demographics,” said Natalie Ring ’13. “It’s easy to know conceptually that we’re privileged, but the biggest thing I gained from the experience was seeing it for myself.” Since international organiza-

tions rarely pay students for their summer work, the University set up this fellowship to make such opportunities financially available to students, Flam said. “The fellowships have a dual purpose of contributing to student learning and fostering work that is useful to NGOs,” Flam said. Though the organizations and projects students have chosen have not conformed to any particular subject area, the type of work has changed in predictable cycles. In the past, proposals have focused on issues of public health, democracy promotion and environmental quality, Flam said. “The fellowship runs a real gamut of exposure to work around the world,” he said. “It is an extension of the international emphasis within the curriculum at Brown.” The primary expense covered by the fellowship is the cost of international travel, which can amount to nearly $2,000, Flam said. The remaining funds pay for transportation, equipment and living costs during the summer abroad, he added. The proposals have increasingly incorporated technology for innovative projects and progress reporting. All students contribute to the Watson Institute for International Studies’ AT&T Global Conversation blog, where they promote their work, Flam said. Some students have also been making use of other online tools,

Herald file photo

About 40 students applied this year for a Swearer Center fellowship that provides funds for summer projects abroad.

such as documentary projects, he added. This year, students have already completed a lot of the planning and designing work for their projects. The Swearer Center meets with students before the application is due to help them craft their ideas, which can be a

valuable learning process in and of itself, Flam said. “The work of formulating the idea is a good and valuable learning experience, even if the student doesn’t get the award for that particular summer,” he added. Though the Swearer Center provides a great deal of support in

the development phase, past fellowship recipients have expressed the need for further communication after the project is complete. “The fellowships would be better with some additional followup,” said Rajvi Mehta ’13. “A time to time check up on what students were doing would be helpful.”

Office opens to support veterans, promote military careers By james williams Contributing Writer

An office to support student veterans and those interested in commissioning programs — including the Reserve Officer Training Corps and the Platoon Leaders Class — opened last week in room 317 of J. Walter Wilson. The Office of Student Veterans and Commissioning Programs, which occupies a vacant room in the Office of the Registrar, will aim to promote awareness and discussion about veterans and the military. The formation of the office was approved by the Corpora-

tion, the University’s highest governing body, at its meeting last October, in accordance with recommendations from President Ruth Simmons. The office’s opening was quiet, but a more publicized opening will occur later in the spring, said Ricky Gresh, project manager and general coordinator for the office and senior director for student engagement. Though the office is already open to students, its staff is currently focused on building a base of contacts and information about various commissioning programs to better offer guidance to interested students. Gresh emphasized that programs besides

ROTC offer students paths to military careers and said the office hopes to increase awareness about such programs. So far, the office has established contact with various recruiters for programs including the Judge Advocate General’s Corps — a law-focused program within the military — and a medical school program through the Navy. It has also scheduled an upcoming meeting about the Air Force ROTC program. Support for interested students will consist of general mentoring and advising, as well as presentations about the various military options, Gresh said. The office

will also be vital in promoting advocacy for student veterans and students interested or involved in commissioning programs. The increased advocacy and visibility may come in the form of a larger presence at activity fairs and Center for Careers and Life after Brown events, in addition to active dissemination of information through an office website and other media, said John Gayton ’12, one of two student coordinators in charge of commissioning programs. David Salsone ’12.5, the other student coordinator, is a resumed undergraduate student veteran who served in the Navy for six

years prior to coming to Brown. He said he believes the office will be vital in helping student veterans transition from military to student culture. Salsone added that the office is currently discussing the idea of a student veteran mentoring program geared specifically toward that goal. The office will also serve as a forum for the challenges faced by student veterans and will look to recruit qualified veterans looking to resume their education, Salsone said. The office will be open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.


4 Feature

The Brown Daily Herald Monday, March 5, 2012

Jockapella athlete-singers team up on stage and football field By Hannah Loewentheil Staff Writer

From the stadium lights to the stage lights, the members of the Jockapellas are team players who demonstrate commitment and passion both on and off the field. The Jockapellas, approved by the Undergraduate Council of Students as a Category I group last year, is an a cappella group made up of student-athletes. Three members of the football team — Brad Herzlich ’14, Jeffrey Izon ’13 and Ade Oyalowo ’14, founded the Jockapellas. Izon had considered joining pre-existing a cappella groups, but balancing the commitment around his football practice schedule was unfeasible, he said. “A cappella is a commitment of its own that wouldn’t coincide well with playing a sport,” he said. But the solution to Izon’s dilemma took shape during football preseason last fall. Izon and Oyalowo had been childhood friends, and when they met Herzlich at training camp, the three became quick friends and soon forged a musical bond. “On picture day we were sitting around waiting for our pictures to get taken, and someone started singing ‘A Whole New World’ from Aladdin,” Herzlich recalled. After this impromptu song, Izon posed his idea for an all-athlete a cappella group to Oyalowo and Herzlich. The group would cater to the demanding schedules of athletes. The trio was determined to showcase their hidden talent in a different arena — the musical stage. “Everyone was extremely supportive of the idea,” Herzlich said. “By the nature of how friends are, people will make jokes, but everyone was very excited and eager

to help out.” The Jockapellas had their first big gig at last year’s football banquet. The birth of Jockapella

The Jockapellas consists of 15 members — seven males and eight females — who hail from different athletic teams. Caroline Saltonstall ’13 is the sole non-athlete of the troupe. Five men hail from the football team, making up the Jockapellas’ largest constituency, followed by three track and field members. The group also includes members from the women’s ice hockey, field hockey, soccer, swimming and diving, equestrian and gymnastics teams. The founders call Saltonstall the group’s “superfan.” “I sometimes forget that I’m the only non-athlete in Jockapella,” Saltonstall wrote in an email to The Herald. She was interested in joining an a cappella group but was hesitant to try out for an established group because of her inability to read music. The Jockapellas was the perfect option. Since she was already friends with some members of the group, Saltonstall felt less intimidated. “I liked that for a lot of us, a cappella is something that we do because we simply enjoy doing it,” she wrote. While she feels comfortable among the group of athletes, an upcoming event will require her to run and sing at the same time. “That, I’m worried about. Nobody else seems phased by it!” Saltonstall wrote. A unique musical ensemble

Though the Jockapellas has staged a number of performances, so far they have been closed performances for private banquets and events. But the group plans on becoming more active in the public a cappella scene. Herzlich

Courtesy of Brad Herzlich

Student athletes created an a cappella group to better fit the demanding schedules of athletes interested in singing.

said the group has talked with the Jabberwocks — one of Brown’s allmale a cappella groups — about joining together for a collaborative effort under the name of “The JabberJocks.” In addition, the group plans on singing the National Anthem to open Special Events Committee’s Spring Carnival. Herzlich, Izon and Oyalowo all love the experience of performing, whether it involves a football or a microphone. But some members get more nervous preparing to sing than they do before a big game, Izon said. The Jockapellas take input from all their members and incorporate their different tastes. “Personally, I love Disney,” Izon said. The Jockapellas are different from other a cappella groups because they are not as rigid, Saltonstall wrote. “I think that we care more about the individual personalities of the performers as opposed to their ‘talent.’” Bumps in the road

The group’s success did not come without its fair share of challenges. Narrowing down the group was the first road-block. “We saw a lot of talented athletes

audition, but we decided to keep our group at a maximum of 15,” Oyalowo said. Many of those who auditioned brought different vocal ranges and strengths to the group, so turning people away was difficult. Despite the cuts, some of those who previously did not make the group auditioned again this year and gained a spot. Auditions were open to everyone — “we review people as not just ‘athletes or non-athletes’ but as people with cool and different skills,” Oyalowo added. But members of the group are required to appreciate sports even if they do not play for one of the University’s official teams, he said. Another issue was time commitment. The three founders lamented that they have lost a number of members due to busy schedules. Over the past year, the group has had a lot of turnover, which slowed them down, Herzlich said. “But with the group we have now, things are looking very hopeful,” he added. Finally, the Jockapellas is struggling in their search for another music director or choreographer. “We’ve done a lot of work ourselves, but our music theory is a

little bit rusty, so we appreciate outside help,” Izon said. Singing through stereotypes

This group of student-athletes has translated the qualities they have developed on the athletic fields — dedication, commitment, teamwork and practice — into a new arena. The founders have been overwhelmed by the support and interest the Jockapellas has received so far. Herzlich said that since forming the group, he has noticed a greater appreciation for athletes in the community. “Some people who aren’t very close with athletes see them as narrow-minded and associate them with a certain stigma,” he said. Like Herzlich, Izon and Oyalowo are “proud to have the opportunity to show people that we have more to offer than athletic ability.” Saltonstall has a new appreciation for Brown athletes after working closely with them in the Jockapellas. “I’ve seen how much effort they put into their athletic career, and it’s really impressive knowing how busy they are with athletics, that they have time for things like music,” she wrote.


Feature 5

The Brown Daily Herald Monday, March 5, 2012

Students in nonprofit careers find inspiration in public service By Mathias Heller Senior Staff Writer

Within the Ivy League, Brown has long held the reputation as a haven for social activism, stemming in part from the legacy of the New Curriculum’s creation. Many students still enter lucrative careers in the private sector, but figures from the Center for Careers and Life After Brown reveal the University’s historical activism bent is far from gone. According to Jim Amspacher, career advisor in Careers in the Common Good at the CareerLAB, 48 percent of graduates in the Class of 2010, the latest year of complete available data, decided to work in nonprofit or government sectors. Amspacher, who worked for nonprofit initiatives for 20 years before coming to the CareerLAB, said the percentage of each senior class headed to careers in the common good — like social entrepreneurship ventures, government agencies and public health programs — has remained constant over the years. Though recent media coverage on volunteers’ personal safety and financial stability has exposed drawbacks to careers in the common good, alums still agreed the benefits outweigh the challenges. Brown teaching for America

The most common nonprofit venture that seniors join has consistently been TFA, which recruits graduates from elite universities to teach in low-income communities in the United States, Amspacher said. Twelve percent of the Class of 2011 applied to work for TFA, with 43 students eventually joining the program. “We’ve definitely seen an increase in applications over the years,” said Angela Callado, TFA’s recruitment manager for the New England region. She said applicants from Brown stand out as exceptionally qualified each year. Callado said she thinks TFA is popular among Brown graduates because many have a desire to make a “socially minded impact” on the lives of less fortunate stu-

dents. “They know the potential that having an education can have on an individual,” she said. Nicola Fleischer ’12, an education concentrator headed to a San Francisco elementary school this fall, said education’s valuable impact drove her to join the program. For Fleischer and other TFA volunteers, the nonprofit venture offered them the attractive prospect of getting firsthand exposure to teaching students and further understanding of the problems in the nation’s public education system. “I didn’t really want to spend another year talking about this stuff in university classrooms,” Fleischer said. Top of the list

Another popular career in the common good among recent graduates is the Peace Corps, which ranked the University 21st in medium-sized colleges that produced the highest number of the agency’s volunteers in 2011. The University sent 24 graduates into the Peace Corps last year, according to the agency’s website. “Brown is a mainstay of the Peace Corps’ top college list,” said Elizabeth Chamberlain, public affairs specialist for the Peace Corps’ Northeast division. “Brown students seem to be very interested in international development and have strong language skills.” According to Chamberlain, the Peace Corps looks for applicants who are open to serving in a wide variety of countries. In response to recent concerns over cases of sexual abuse of female volunteers in the agency, Chamberlain sent The Herald an email highlighting the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011, which codified reforms aimed at increasing personal safety measures for the agency’s volunteers. “Safety and security really is a paramount concern for us,” Chamberlain said, adding that volunteers need to have their personal safety assured to give them the confidence necessary to immerse themselves in their

host cultures. Jeanine Chiu ’10, a development studies concentrator who also learned Arabic during her undergraduate years, is now volunteering for the Peace Corps in Jordan. While at Brown, Chiu worked for a middle school enrichment program. She said she feels her background in development studies provides her with a perspective different from many Peace Corps volunteers. Chiu described the experience of working on a committee for Camp GLOW — Girls Leading Our World — as particularly gratifying. On the committee, she helped recruit girls from rural areas to attend a week-long camp to learn healthy lifestyles, as well as leadership and critical thinking skills. Many of the girls entered the camp shy and uncertain, Chiu said. “Seeing them blossom and grow throughout the short six days was incredibly inspiring,” she added. One of the most surprising parts of Chiu’s experience has been the difference between Western media perceptions of the Middle East as a violence-ridden region and the welcoming spirit of the Jordanian rural community in which she has worked. “Everybody I’ve met has been incredibly welcoming to Americans,” she said. Charlie Wood ’10, who is now in his second year of teaching science at a high school in Mozambique, told The Herald in an email that the best moments are when his students, most of whom have had inconsistent educations, rise to the challenge of learning physics. The students not only had to “deal with adjusting to the crazy American teacher with his ‘radical’ ideas like games, group work and class participation, but also my simple grammar and terribly strong accent,” he said. Students who are interested in exploring the Peace Corps as an option should start looking into the program earlier rather than later, Chiu said. “The experience

is very different from what you expect it to be. You just never know what you’re going to get.” ‘Breadth of opportunities’

Apart from TFA and the Peace Corps, there are a multitude of other options available to students looking to make a difference after commencement. Harrison Stark ’11, who worked at the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice at Harvard after graduating last spring, said he believed many alums who may have leaned toward more lucrative careers in finance or consulting decided to consider careers in the common good after the financial crash. “A lot of the private sector companies are really good recruiters because they have the resources to do it,” Stark said. “I think Brown is unique in that so many of its students are interested in public good issues.” The breadth of opportunities for students interested in the common good was also striking for Ari Rubenstein ’11, who joined Green Corps, a grassroots activist organization that mobilizes campaigns for pro-environment issues. “I was active in environmental issues on campus, and I knew that I wanted to continue that work in some form after graduating from Brown,” Rubenstein said. Rubenstein was attracted to Green Corps for both its primacy in the environmental activism movement and for its strong job placement program. The organization connects its employees with other progressive groups after their one-year commitments to the program are over. Describing how he has moved to various locations, including Richmond, Va. and Chicago, Ill., to organize environmental movements for Green Corps, Rubenstein said the challenge of constantly moving has been outweighed by the difference he feels he has made. One case that Rubenstein found especially memorable is his work rallying members of a lowincome community in the South

Side of Chicago who were hard hit by pollution from a nearby coal plant. He said he helped mobilize 140 community members to attend an Environmental Protection Agency hearing, during which 30 witnesses testified about the firsthand effects of pollution. “It was really affirming because we were talking about real people’s lives,” Rubenstein said, adding that he believes many nonprofit groups remain a strong choice for recent college graduates. “Even in this poor economy, organizations like Green Corps have not been suffering as much as people might assume,” Rubenstein said, adding that he is not too concerned over his job prospects for the next few years. “Even in hard times, people still care about things they really value.” Career advice

To support students interested in nonprofit careers, the CareerLAB has pursued a threepronged strategy with increased advising, online resources advertising employment options on the Career Field Notes page and six or seven events per semester featuring alumni, Amspacher said. Past alumni forums that have drawn heavy student interest have featured topics like “Demystifying Nonprofits,” “Political Jobs in 2012,” “Pathways to Teaching and Education” and “Micro-financing.” In response to students’ concerns over their financial security in entering nonprofit careers, Amspacher said the CareerLAB held a forum called “Making a Living While Making a Difference.” He said students should devote serious consideration to “what they’re looking for after graduation” before deciding on a nonprofit career. The CareerLAB was not aimed at persuading students to pursue nonprofit careers, but rather at aiding those who already expressed an interest to explore options. “It’s less trying to rally the troops and more trying to help students do what they want,” Amspacher said.


6 Arts & Culture

The Brown Daily Herald Monday, March 5, 2012

Beethoven’s classic ninth honors Brown’s 18th By Maggie Finnegan Contributing Writer

The Brown University Orchestra and Chorus joined forces with the Providence College Cantori and Festival Chorus to pay tribute to President Ruth Simmons, who will be stepping down at the end of the academic year. Performing in front of a sold-out crowd of over 1,900 people Saturday night, the orchestra and choruses took on Beethoven’s seminal ninth symphony, one of the most influential and widely recognized pieces of Western music. As the familiar strain of “Ode to Joy” from the symphony’s fourth movement reverberated through the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in downtown Providence, it was clear that Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor was the perfect selection to celebrate a woman whose impact on the University has been so profound. The performance, billed as “A Joyful Tribute to President Ruth J. Simmons,” was a triumphant culmination of weeks of hard work on the part of the orchestra and choruses under the conductorship of Paul Phillips, Brown’s director of orchestras and chamber music.

The performance was, indeed, an expression of joy. “It brought lots of people together who don’t often have the chance to collaborate — students and faculty from Brown, Providence College and (the Rhode Island School of Design) — and gave all of us a very joyful experience,” said Phillips, who has been eager to perform a work he describes as “the ‘Mount Everest’ of Western music.” And it was perhaps the performance’s evident sense of passionate commitment and joyful collaboration that best characterizes President Simmons’ tenure as the head of the University. “It really was just an exhilarating experience, and it was great to be able to play for Ruth and honor the amazing impact that she has had on Brown and on all of our lives,” said principal cellist Saul Richmond-Rakerd ’13. “It was an experience I don’t think I will ever forget.” After a touching introduction by Chair of the Music Department James Baker and speeches from notable members of the community, including Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., the concert opened with a powerful rendition of Giuseppe Verdi’s overture to “La Forza del Destino” — the same

overture that opened the concert for President Simmon’s inauguration 11 years ago. This was followed by Johannes Brahms’ “Fest und Gedenksprüche,” and the first half of the concert concluded with an ethereal performance of Anton Bruckner’s “Motets” before breaking for a brief intermission. The performance resumed with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. The venue was particularly well-suited to fully capture the magnitude of the piece. Phillips called it “a superb concert hall — the finest in Rhode Island and one of the best in New England.” The superior acoustics of the auditorium showcased the impressive solos by soprano Jane Shivick, mezzo-soprano Alexandra Dietrich, tenor Jeffrey Hartman and baritone Craig Verm, as well as the flawless execution of the orchestra and chorus members. “It’s a big change from our usual venue in Sayles Hall and was awesome to have a sold-out audience,” said violinist Brooke Camarda ’13. “We often struggle just to fill up Sayles, so that was pretty exciting.” “It was amazing,” said wideeyed audience member Elizabeth Kelley ’13, a Herald contributing writer, after the final bow. “It liter-

Wonnie Sim / Herald

Beethoven’s ninth was played for a packed hall as tribute to President Simmons.

ally gave me goosebumps.” The performance also benefitted several local music organizations, who received complementary tickets. “A major goal of our project was to make the experience of a live performance of Beethoven’s Ninth available to young people,” Baker said. Among the recipient organizations were Community MusicWorks, The Met School, BASICS after-school music program, Nathan Bishop

Middle School, Bristol Community String Project, Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts and Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and Music School, he said. Though the concert was billed as a farewell tribute, the performance felt more like a celebration of a truly remarkable woman — a woman whose influence, like that of the symphony itself, will enrich generations to come with its enduring legacy.

Festival spotlights malnutrition in Mali By marshall katheder Contributing Writer

The guttural thump of drums was accompanied by bodies moving with graceful ferocity this past weekend at Brown’s third annual Rhythm of Change initiative, which aims to address social change in Africa and the diaspora through the arts. The project is an important part of the University’s 22-year study of the culture of the large West African ethnic group Mande, a largely understudied civilization that boasts rich artistic traditions. The three-day festival was a collaborative effort involving the Department of Theater Arts and Performance Studies and the Creative Arts Council, among others. Each day’s events began with yoga and meditation and progressed on to stirring guest speakers and numerous traditional Malian dance and musical performances, such as doun-doun drumming, which showcased astonishingly swift beats. On Saturday night there was a particularly lively event called the “Uhuru Afrika Afro-diasporic Dance Floor Explosion,” a dance party held by members of Boston-based Uhuru Afrika.

“The festival focused on public health and sharing experience,” said Emily Goldman ’14, one of the festival’s organizers. “One of the things I was most impressed by was the students’ willingness to engage with such an eclectic group of people to address the problems in Mali and Africa.” The festival’s theme, “The Communal Bowl,” continues a discussion between Brown students and Malian artists, nutritionists and social activists that began in 2011 concerning Mali’s malnutrition crisis, according to the TAPS website. “This year’s theme explored the ways in which food and art bring people together,” Goldman said. “Malnutrition is a serious issue in Mali, and Brown is a very foodconscious school. We make efforts for food justice and equality.” The Rhythm of Change initiative stands alongside other similar efforts such as the Alpert Medical School-sponsored Bloodline Project, which seeks to promote awareness in Mali and Sub-Saharan Africa about malaria through theater. This year’s Rhythm of Change is in cooperation with the Arts in One World Festival, a yearly Brown assembly with similar goals of social

Courtesy of the Department of Theater and Performance Studies

The Rhythm of Change festival this past weekend featured meditation, yoga and dance and musical performances.

change through human expression and performance. “We decided to partner with the Arts in One World because we have

similar missions — utilizing the arts for social change,” Goldman said. Professor of Theatre Arts and Performance Erik Ehn said of the

One World Festival, “It’s always free, there’s always food and conversation is at the heart of it,” according to the TAPS website.

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City & State 7

The Brown Daily Herald Monday, March 5, 2012

Mayor defends pension cuts to city’s retirees

W. Basketball

By Adam toobin Senior Staff Writer

Dave Deckey / Herald

The women’s basketball team finished with their best record since 2006, despite two losses this past weekend.

Strong season ends with losses By Madeleine Wenstrup Sports Staff Writer

The women’s basketball team ended its season with a hard-fought but definitive loss to top-ranked Princeton. The Tigers (23-4, 13-0 Ivy) walked off the court Saturday with a perfect Ivy season and will head to the NCAA Tournament, while the Bears (6-12, 7-7 Ivy) finished with an even .500 conference record. The previous night, the Bears fell to Penn (13-14, 6-7 Ivy), whom they had edged out in overtime in their previous matchup. Despite the two losses to close out the year, the Bears finished the season with their best overall record since 2006. Penn 72, Brown 66

Brown and Penn’s battle in February ended with a 59-55 overtime v i c t o r y Penn 72 for the Brown 66 Bears, and Friday night both teams were hungry for a win as they jostled for final positions in the Ivy standings. The game was a gritty back-and-forth contest in which 41 fouls were called, and the outcome came down to the final minute. “I think because this game was so important to us for maintaining our ranking, the officials were very present,” said Head Coach Jean Marie Burr. “They made it hard for our players to play their game, and they really interrupted the flow of the game.” With the Bears forced to play conservatively, the first half was

Quaker-dominated — Penn held as large as an 11-point lead before Bruno cut it to six at halftime, 3428, with a 9-4 closing run. Out of the locker room, the Bears began steadily chipping away at the Quakers’ lead. After eight minutes of hard work, a trey by guard Lindsay Nickel ’13 finally evened the score at 46 apiece. Penn was able to retake its lead briefly, but the Bears continued to fight back. The last five minutes of the game followed the same trend — Penn built up a lead, only for Bruno to regain ground. “It was definitely an atmosphere of adversity,” Burr said. “We had to adapt and play more of a half-court game.” With one minute left, the Bears were once again striving to cut into a Quaker lead. Guard Sheila Dixon ’13 stole the ball and took off on a fast break that ended with a lay-up to bring the Bears within two. With time running out, the Bears fouled to stop the clock, but the Quakers were unfazed, shooting six for six from the foul line in the last twenty seconds. The foul shots put the Quakers on top for good, 72-66, and Penn avenged its February loss to Bruno. Princeton 77, Brown 60

The following night, the Tigers jumped out to a strong start, playing an aggressive Princeton 77 game in Brown 60 the first half that the Bears struggled to keep up with. “We talked about how exciting

it was to play this team who had already secured the (NCAA) bid for the league,” Burr said. “We were inspired by it, but we got off to a slow start.” Princeton forward Niveen Rasheed led the offensive charge, scoring 14 of her 18 game points in the first half to give the Tigers a 46-27 advantage. Bruno also had strong numbers itself, shooting 55 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes, but the Tigers capitalized on Brown’s 14 turnovers throughout this period. The Bears did not seem to be discouraged by the scoreboard coming out of the locker room, as they kept up the pressure and outscored the Tigers in the second half, 33-31. Bruno cut its deficit down to 11 after a lay-up from co-captain Hannah Passafuime ’12 with 11 minutes remaining, the closest they came to the undefeated Tigers in the second half. Passafuime led Bruno on Senior Night with 13 points and six rebounds in her final game as a Bear. Despite the pair of losses this weekend, the Bears finished in the top half of the Ivy League. The team will look to build off its best season in recent years, and Burr said the team’s performance has her excited to come back to the court next season with 13 returning players. “This season, we saw a lot of games decided within one, two, three points.” Burr said. “It gives great experiences to our returners, and it’s the type of season where everyone shows up, which bodes well for next year’s season.”

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras defended his proposed cuts and reforms to the city’s pension and health care system to a group of about 500 retirees and beneficiaries Saturday morning in Cranston. The changes are necessary to save the city from bankruptcy in June, Taveras said. The mayor’s acting chief of staff, Michael D’Amico, who gave a long presentation explaining the reasoning behind the cuts, said though he understands these actions will cause some pain, they are a necessary result of years of financial mismanagement by former administrations. The Providence city government needs to cut $22.5 million before the end of the fiscal year or it may have to file for bankruptcy, a step taken by Central Falls last year. D’Amico established the parallel between Providence and Central Falls but said he hopes to avoid the smaller city’s fate. By the end of the fiscal year June 30, Providence will be in the red by between $11 and $16 million, D’Amico said. That debt will increase to $50 million at the end of July if nothing is done to confront it, he added. If the city declares bankruptcy, there most likely will be cuts made to the pension and health care systems without input from retirees, D’Amico said. Despite intensive work and sacrifice, D’Amico said it would be very difficult to cut an additional $22.5 million. With the year almost over, the city only has $46 million left to run the city. The city would have to cut 48 percent of everything it does to fill the budget without reforming pensions and increasing payments from the city’s nonprofits, D’Amico said. Providence spends $137 million to run the city annually. The rest of the almost $1 billion budget goes to salaries, pension plans and debt — programs the mayor does not have the power to cut, D’Amico said. In his presentation, D’Amico put additional pressure on the city’s universities and other nonprofits to increase their contributions. The chief of staff focused on Brown as an example of an institution that can contribute more. Because Brown’s original charter exempts it from certain taxes, it has a greater responsibility to contribute voluntarily to the city, D’Amico said. The audience applauded when D’Amico and the mayor called on Brown to increase its payments to the city. D’Amico said the mayor had planned to acquire an additional $7.1 million from the city’s nonprofit organizations, but so far has only secured $500,000. Negotiations between the University and the city are ongoing.

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The nationwide recession that led to a decrease in revenue for the city, combined with the cost of funding pension and health care programs, forced Providence to consider all kinds of cuts, D’Amico said. The pension plan was not funded in the early 1990s, and now the city has to pay an additional $45 million per year to make up for that loss in finances. D’Amico announced the specific reforms the city wants to make to the pension and health care system. The city will continue its efforts — recently blocked by a judge — to move pensioners over the age of 65 to Medicare. Taveras also wants to require a 20 percent co-share for new retiree health care plans for people under the age of 65. The mayor also intends to stop costof-living adjustment increases for pension payments until the pension budget reaches a safe funding level. Pension funds are considered to be in a dangerous position if they are less than 70 percent funded, and only 32 percent of Providence’s pension budget is accounted for, D’Amico said. Between pension funds and health care costs, the city must find an additional $2.1 billion in the coming years to keep its promises to pensioners and retirees. D’Amico said the mayor will seek to address the structural issues with Providence’s finances, instead of pursuing temporary fixes, like he said previous administrations have. As a result, this administration will not consider selling Providence Water, the city’s most valuable asset, D’Amico said. Even if the city could profit from the sale, it would be a one-time influx of cash, allowing leaders to avoid the existing structural problems, D’Amico said. Numerous Rhode Island politicians are suffering from severe unpopularity, but Taveras’ work seemed to be appreciated by the audience. Several people who asked questions commended the mayor on his boldness in confronting tough issues. The conference comes on the heels of a poll conducted by the University’s Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions and the John Hazen White Public Opinion Laboratory, which concluded Taveras had an approval rating of 60 percent. The same poll gave congressman and former Providence Mayor David Cicilline ’83 an approval rating of only 14.8 percent. Commentators have attributed the unpopularity to the perception that, as mayor, Cicilline did not do enough to confront Providence’s systemic problems. D’Amico called for the retirees and beneficiaries to create a committee that would meet with city officials twice a week throughout April to come to a compromise regarding the cuts and other reforms.


8 President-elect

The Brown Daily Herald Monday, March 5, 2012

Paxson chosen for ‘devotion to academic excellence’ continued from page 1 research institute” while maintaining a focus on undergraduates, she said. She also emphasized the necessity to ensure that Brown remains on a sound financial footing. “That’s one of the most important jobs of the president,” she said, “so I am looking forward to doing that.” Paxson will face financial pressures on two fronts — balancing the University’s support for Providence and keeping tuition affordable — when she arrives, Simmons said. “I think she has a very good sense of Brown and the unique institution that it is, and she will fight to protect that,” Simmons said. Provost Mark Schlissel P’15, who was not involved in the search process, called Paxson a “a consensus-builder and a very inclusive decision-maker.” Paxson expressed interest in launching additional fundraising campaigns, citing the success of the Campaign for Academic Enrichment and the fundraising opportunity that will accompany the University’s upcoming 250th anniversary. “I would love to be able to go loan-free. I would love to increase support for international students,” she said, citing the University’s increasing tuition as a “major concern.” Paxson said her upcoming presidency also marks a point for the University to reflect upon what it has achieved and to think about what comes next. “It’s an opportunity for reshaping or at least investigating if reshaping is needed,” she said. “I expect that will be something I focus on my first year.” From the outside in

Chung-I Tan P’95 P’03, chair of the Campus Advisory Committee and professor of physics, told The Herald that Paxson’s main challenge will stem from her current status as a University outsider. “There will be a learning curve,” he said. Paxson said she will need time to grow acquainted with the University’s senior staff, as well as its community, before she sets any specific agenda. Implementing initiatives she developed at Princeton, she added, would likely be an ineffective leadership strategy. “What develops here has to come from here,” she said. Paxson, whose brother attended Brown, acknowledged the differences that exist between Brown and Princeton, noting that her background in health and wellness will be especially helpful at Brown. Princeton does not have a school of public health or a school of medicine. The University has been working to establish a school of public health at Brown, though no such school has yet been approved. The Alpert Medical School, relaunched in the 1970s, recently

underwent a major expansion, moving to new facilities in the Jewelry District last year. “I’m excited to be at an institution that has both of those programs, and I do think that Rhode Island is an interesting place,” she said. “We’re in for a very interesting period with the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, and there’s a lot of uncertainty about how that will play out. But it’s exciting that Brown will be able to be a part of that in the next two to five to 10 years.” Finding a successor

The presidential search committees first learned about Paxson from the husband of one of the Corporation’s trustees, Tisch said. She was also identified by Spencer Stuart, the search firm the Corporation employed, as a “great star” in higher education, he said. The committees had broad lists at the end of December, but they zeroed in on top-tier candidates in the past two months. “She was appreciated all the way through,” Tisch said. “Like any great relationship, it just grew.” The full committees met in New York last week to determine a final recommendation. Though Tisch said it was “obvious” by Monday night that Paxson would be named, the groups reconvened Tuesday morning to make their final decision. While Paxson’s international relations experience intrigued the committees, Tisch said there was no defining criterion that determined their selection. Rather, he said, the committee evaluated the candidates holistically. “There’s a certain something intangible about her,” Tan said. “She just feels right.” Paxson said following Simmons’ tenure is particularly exciting, adding that she has “so much respect for Ruth.” “I think it’s an advantage to come into an institution after a strong leader,” she said, adding that Simmons’ presidency has left the University in a strong position. Given that strength, Paxson said one of the challenges of her tenure will be prioritizing “where to grow and how to grow.” “Ruth Simmons has done a terrific job building in a way that leaves it without a clear problem in any area,” Paxson said. Simmons was named in 2001 as the first black president of an Ivy League institution. Cornerstones of her presidency have included the Plan for Academic Enrichment, a roadmap for the University’s academic development, and the Campaign for Academic Enrichment, the largest fundraising campaign in the University’s history. Simmons also introduced need-blind admission to the University and presided over the creation of the School of Engineering. A Herald poll last fall reported that 68.2 percent of students approve of Simmons’ job

Lydia Yamaguchi / Herald

President-elect Christina Paxson deepens her sense of the Brown student body by talking with Elizabeth Weber ’14.

Rachel Kaplan / Herald

The presidential search committees that appointed Christina Paxon included members of the Corporation and faculty.

performance. Currently, Simmons is in the process of negotiating how much money the University will contribute to Providence. Simmons has expressed hope the negotiations will conclude before her term ends. Since the outcome of talks with the city government is still unclear, Paxson said she could not comment on how she will handle the situation after assuming the presidency. Paxson, a history

Paxson graduated from Swarthmore College and received her masters degree and PhD from Columbia. After being named dean of the Woodrow Wilson School in 2009, Paxson was praised in an editorial in the Daily Princetonian for her emphasis on multidisciplinary studies and for seeking to bridge divides between the studies of international and domestic policy. The Woodrow Wilson School is currently undergoing curricular redevelopment, the Daily Princetonian reported last month. It will now require students to take new prerequisite courses as part of an attempt to make the major more interdisciplinary. Tisch said a “great concern” for the com-

mittee had been whether Paxson would be ready to leave Princeton as the Woodrow Wilson School undergoes its changes. “Fortunately, Christina came to the conclusion that this was both the right fit for her and also that the work that had been put in place at Woodrow Wilson could be carried on without her being present,” he said. Paxson said she will be sad to not see the school’s curricular development “come to fruition.” But she said the “terrific faculty and staff ” there leave her confident changes will progress smoothly after she leaves. “The opportunity at Brown was just so wonderful,” she said. “That was not going to prevent me from moving.” While dean, Paxson ended selective admissions to the Woodrow Wilson School. Until then, the school was the only part of Princeton that undergraduates had to be admitted to specifically, the Daily Princetonian reported. In 2006, Paxson attracted media attention when she coauthored a study arguing that tall people earn more money because they possess superior cognitive abilities. As a professor of economics and public affairs whose research

focuses on children’s health, Paxson founded Princeton’s Center for Health and Wellbeing and served as the inaugural director of the school’s National Institute on Aging Center for the Economics and Demography of Aging. She also currently sits on the Council on Foreign Relations. Paxson’s experience with international affairs will enable her to be a “great spokesperson” on the importance of making Brown a global institution, Simmons told The Herald. Though she has yet to work out specifics, Paxson said she is particularly interested in strengthening the University on the international front, looking at “health issues” and creating “strong interdisciplinary programs.” Paxson will be visiting campus regularly throughout the spring to learn about campus issues, Simmons told The Herald. “Going forward with President Paxson, I think we are entering a truly exciting era of Brown’s history,” said Susan Harvey, professor of religious studies and a member of the Campus Advisor Committee. — With additional reporting by Elizabeth Carr, Lucy Feldman, Sahil Luthra and Margaret Nickens


President-elect 9

The Brown Daily Herald Monday, March 5, 2012

Christina Paxson: A history, from student to professor continued from page 1 of consensus decision-making — greatly shaped the person and administrator she is today. There were also several academics in the family, William Paxson said, which may have influenced his sister’s later career. “The people in the family that we really looked up to — we looked up to them because of their ethical behavior, their academic pursuits, their professionalism,” William Paxson said. “That was sort of part of the fabric of the family.” Studying at Swarthmore

After high school, Paxson enrolled at Swarthmore College, where her parents first met as students. In her freshman year, she met Ari Gabinet, whom she dated through college and married shortly after graduation. Swarthmore was also where she collected fond academic memories, Paxson said. At the end of her freshman year, Paxson had to write a final paper on Saint Anselm’s proof of the existence of God. “It was the first time I’d ever written a paper where I really — I don’t even know how to describe it — I really got into the material where I could really analyze it, really grasp it, really write about it in the right way,” Paxson said. As an undergraduate, Paxson

also produced student theater, a managerial role that would in some ways foreshadow her future career. She said she most enjoyed “getting together the sets and actors and directors and costumes.” Swarthmore was where Paxson got her first taste of economics. Though she started freshman year as a pre-medical student, Paxson said she “stopped pretty quickly,” realizing chemistry was not one of her strengths. It was not until her junior year that she took her first economics course, but when she did, she said she “fell in love.” “The goal of economics, the way I see it, is to develop a strategy for improving human welfare,” Paxson said. “That combination of logic with a purpose seemed perfect for me.” “She went at it with amazing purpose, basically doing an entire honors major in economics in two years and graduating with high honors,” wrote Stephen O’Connell, professor of economics at Swarthmore, in an email to The Herald. Though O’Connell was not yet at Swarthmore when Paxson was an undergraduate, he has known her throughout her professional career, he wrote. Professor Paxson

Paxson first started at Princeton as an economics lecturer in 1986 while pursuing her PhD at Colum-

bia. As a professor of economics, Paxson participated in collaborative research with fellow faculty members, working on several papers with Angus Deaton, professor of economics and international affairs. “Neither of us started out knowing very much about development economics, so we learned together as we worked,” he wrote in an email to The Herald. Deaton wrote that Paxson has always been a great economist with an ability to bring together different academic disciplines while still pursuing her own research agenda. Paxson became an associate professor of economics and public affairs in 1994. As a professor, Paxson “doesn’t teach to the top or the bottom or the middle,” said Emily Sands, a 2009 Princeton alum who took Paxson’s seminar on writing research papers her junior year. Instead, she involves as many people as possible in the classroom, then follows up with students to provide more specialized attention, she said. Paxson would essentially lecture from notes in her class, but her students “were still hanging on her every word because it was so informative,” said Kristin Mammen, assistant professor of economics at Barnard College and one of Paxson’s former PhD advisees. “Her accessibility, her dedication to each of the students … was really

Jonathan Bateman / Herald

President-elect Paxson discovered her passion for economics in her junior year.

memorable,” Sands said. Woodrow Wilson School graduate students granted Paxson five annual teaching awards, according to a University press release. In 2005, Paxson was promoted to associate chair of the department of Economics under then-Chair Bo Honore. Honore has known Paxson personally and professionally since 1994 when he first came to Princeton, he said. Paxson has the personality of an efficient leader, Honore said. “She’s a people person. Most economists

are not,” he said, adding that she can remain calm in the face of disagreements. “I don’t know anybody that doesn’t get along with her,” he said. As associate chair, Paxson planned curricular reform in the undergraduate economics program. Paxson reorganized the way juniors at Princeton, who are required to write an approximately 20-page thesis, tackled independent study. Before the changes, juniors were assigned graduate student advisers continued on page 11


10 President-elect

The Brown Daily Herald Monday, March 5, 2012

Students Paxson to focus on research, fundraising hopeful about selection continued from page 1

continued from page 1 mother about the ethics of eating meat.” “My mother was horrified,” she added, to laughter from the crowd. “I thought this was what happened to everybody who went to college. And I remember realizing, ‘It’s not everyone, it’s Brown.’” “I’ve just scratched the surface,” she said. “This is a rich institution with a lot going on and a lot of history, so I know I have a lot of learning ahead of me.” Paxson expressed hope for support from the Brown community. After the announcement, Tisch invited students to celebrate the news in the Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center. Both President Ruth Simmons and Paxson attended the reception following the event. Students were largely optimistic about Paxson’s selection. “She looks like she understands how important and challenging it’s going to be, and she’s excited to get started. She just seems like, you know, a good person,” said Max Clermont GS, who watched the announcement online, at the reception. “I think it’s really hard to know,” said Jonah Fisher ’12 at the reception. “It’s hard to get into details when you’re just saying how excited you are, how happy you are to take the position, how happy you are to become a part of Providence. I think next year, when the work begins, we’ll really see what this new president is all about.” Simmons is “obviously a hard act to follow,” he added. “(Paxson) is a fantastic scholar, and I think that her scholarship will not only inform the way that she executes her position here but also shape our future for the better,” said Christopher Geggie GS after the announcement in Sayles. Though the announcement was not followed by a question and answer session, students had the opportunity to talk with Paxson at the reception afterwards. “I think this is a celebratory moment. It’s not necessarily about the nitty-gritty,” Fisher said. “We all just kind of come together, celebrate the announcement and have some good snacks and be jolly together.”

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mons’ presidency was marked by the Plan for Academic Enrichment, which outlined a road map for the University’s advancement through investments in financial aid and the University’s infrastructure. The University has made a great deal of progress in the past decade under Simmons’ leadership, said Chung-I Tan P’95 P’03, chair of the Campus Advisory Committee and professor of physics. The transition period offers “a time to pause and assess what is the next step,” he added. Paxson told The Herald she would examine the Plan for Academic Enrichment — both its accomplishments under Simmons and the goals it has yet to achieve — to determine the University’s next steps. “What the Plan for Academic Enrichment has done is helped us build up capacity,” Schlissel said. “The challenge for the next president in the next decade is to figure out how to apply this capacity to (increase our) value to society.” During her presidency, Paxson will be charged with the task of determining the best strategy for moving the University forward while bolstering its brand locally and internationally and expanding its financial power to fund its advancement, Simmons told The Herald. ‘A learning curve’

Paxson is currently seeking input to inform the vision she will bring to the presidency. “She won’t be slow, but she does want to be careful that she knows enough to make decisions,” Simmons said. “There is a learning curve for her to know the specific needs of Brown,” Tan said. In his address to the University Friday, Tan said the search committee focused on finding a candidate with a “clear vision, one that embraces the University’s core values and emphasizes the liberal education in a contemporary setting.” Richard Spies, executive vice president for planning and senior advisor to the president, said he would be surprised if Paxson already had a definitive plan. “I’m sure she has a lot of questions and probably some instincts,” he said. Spies announced last week his intention to step down from his University position at the end of the calendar year. In an interview with The Herald, Paxson emphasized that she would not seek to recreate Princeton in Providence. “I don’t think people should be concerned that I’m trying to reinvent Brown in Princeton’s image. They’re both terrific institutions and very different, and that’s a good thing,” Paxson told The Herald. “What develops here has to come from here, and importing things from elsewhere is usually not a very good idea.” Jared Crooks, a student in the masters in public affairs program at Princeton, lauded Paxson’s abil-

ity to connect with students and teachers to improve academic quality. “Don’t expect anything radical, but if you’re talking about fundamentals and more efficiency, she’s the person for it,” he said. Many of Paxson’s colleagues at Princeton also praised her for her effective leadership. “She just goes in there, and she’s very practical,” said Sara McLanahan, professor of sociology and public affairs at Princeton. Making changes

Though Paxson has much to learn, Tan said she already “understands the culture (and) the core values” of the University. “She certainly shares the basic value of the importance of undergraduate scholarship and teaching.” Paxson told The Herald she aims to maintain the University’s distinctive university-college model, while focusing on the goal “to become, or continue to grow, as a first-class research institution while maintaining that very distinctive undergraduate character.” Paxson founded the Center for Health and Wellbeing — an interdisciplinary research center focused on health — within the Woodrow Wilson School in 2000. She has been actively involved in conducting research through the National Institutes of Health and recently co-authored a study examining the mental health of Hurricane Katrina survivors. Reconciling research objectives with the University’s mission of instructing undergraduates has been a decades-long challenge that Paxson will confront. Last year, Spies told The Herald that the University’s increased emphasis on research has raised concerns about negatively impacting the undergraduate experience. A majority of the faculty said research is the most time-consuming aspect of their jobs, according to a poll The Herald conducted last October. In a 1976 curriculum report, former Professor of Political Science Erwin Hargrove wrote that the University’s movement away from the small, liberal arts college model placed stress on faculty as they worked to meet the demands of both undergraduate and graduate teaching and research, The Herald reported last November. Paxson has already demonstrated the ability to reshape curricular engagement with research. As dean of the Woodrow Wilson School, Paxson drastically altered the undergraduate public and international affairs program, allowing open admissions and increasing the school’s emphasis on interdisciplinary studies and independent research. Many professors and students pointed to the changes as a testament to her effective leadership. McLanahan said her changes were met “with a minimum amount of angst.” Stanley Katz, faculty chair of the school’s undergraduate program, said the reforms altered the character of the program. “I thought the (former) program was a traditional

Rachel A. Kaplan / Herald

President Simmons said Christina Paxson is “going to be a great leader for Brown.”

liberal arts program better suited to undergraduate education, and the new program was more preprofessional,” said Stanley Katz, professor at the school. He said the reforms forced the students to focus on one discipline to meet the program’s rigorous standards at the expense of a multidisciplinary education. “The basic problem was that the senior faculty weren’t teaching,” he said. “They were more interested in the graduate students and students in their own departments. They were insulted by the fact that the people taking their classes and their advisees were not welltrained enough, or at least so they thought, on the disciplinary end.” But he said that overall “she put together a wonderful center” at the Woodrow Wilson School. Finding a role

Paxson will face “huge financial pressures” as president of the University, Simmons said. “We are still in discussions with the city about the fiscal challenges,” Simmons added, referring to the University’s ongoing discussions regarding increasing payments to the cash-strapped Providence. “She’s very keen to help.” “I’m looking forward to building a strong relationship with the city and state,” Paxson said in her address to the University. “Brown, like all universities, has a larger role to play, locally and globally.” It is unclear how negotiations between the University and the city will proceed over the coming months, and Paxson told The Herald she could not comment on how she will tackle the relationship when she takes office in July. “One thing I really enjoy doing at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton is helping to make the university accessible to the community, so that people who live around it understand its value,” Paxson told The Herald, adding that she finds such a close relationship between a University and surrounding area “attractive.” Paxson was largely responsible for building Princeton’s health program, though the university does not have any schools of pub-

lic health or medicine. She told The Herald she is excited by the prospect of overseeing the Alpert School of Medicine and the University’s public health program and that she expects health care to become an increasingly important issue in light of national health care reform. “I hope Brown can play a large role in health care in the region,” she said in her address to the University. Dollars and sense

Paxson faces “a tremendous challenge on the fundraising side,” Simmons said, noting an issue that has been a major focus of her own administration. “We can’t get enough revenue from tuition,” she said. “It’s too much of a burden for our families and our students,” she added, stressing the importance of accruing revenues. The Corporation, the University’s highest governing body, recently announced a 3.5 percent hike in tuition and fees. Simmons stressed the importance of financial aid — another top priority during her presidency — to reduce this burden and “make sure that Brown continues to attract people irrespective of their financial circumstances.” Paxson recognized the importance of access to financial aid to the University’s academic and social climate. “Brown celebrates the individual,” she said in her speech. “It creates a diverse community that enhances the education experience for everybody.” Maintaining the University’s financial strength and ensuring that education is accessible for qualified students of all economic backgrounds are main concerns facing the president of any university, Paxson told The Herald. Simmons also expressed concern about the recent political perception of higher education as a specifically “elitist” endeavor. “I hope she’s going to be a great spokesperson nationally in making known the significance of education,” she said. “She has so many of the qualities that a leader needs, and I think she’s going to be a great leader for Brown.”


President-elect 11

The Brown Daily Herald Monday, March 5, 2012

Paxson leaves legacy of curricular change at Princeton Faculty

Jonathan Bateman / Herald

Paxson and her husband Ari Gabinet have two sons, ages 22 and 14, together.

continued from page 9 to help them organize a plan for their independent studies. The reforms grouped juniors into groups of 10 to 12 students and created an organized system of lecturers that would meet with the group to discuss the methodology behind writing a thesis. The change better prepared students to write their mandatory senior theses, which is usually around 100 pages, said Markus Brunnermeier, professor of economics and Paxson’s colleague since 1999. “She cares a lot about the students and about the curriculum,” he said. Paxson became chair of the department in 2008. She was an effective leader in this administrative position, Brunnermeier said. One of the challenges of being chair is prioritizing the desires of multiple academic interests while also identifying areas of weakness, Brunnermeier said. Honore said he thought Paxson would have been a strong candidate for the future Princeton presidency if she had not been selected as Brown’s president. Advocacy and advising

During Paxson’s time as associate chair and chair of Princeton’s economics department, she developed a reputation as an advocate for student interests, said Sands, who had Paxson as her undergraduate adviser. Paxson made great efforts to resolve course scheduling issues for students in the economics department, Sands said. Professors within the department often scheduled their courses in the same time window, making it difficult for students to enroll in all of the courses they wanted, she said. “Chris literally went faculty member to faculty member, and encouraged them … to amend their schedules, when feasible, for the sake of the undergrads,” she said. Sands and Mammen both said they had great experiences with Paxson as an adviser. 
When Sands’ original senior thesis adviser left Princeton, Paxson contacted Sands of her own volition and offered to take over. “She still stayed in close contact with each of the students that she worked with and made

sure the rest of our undergraduate careers were as rewarding as they could be,” Sands said. “Your graduate student advisees are kind of last on your list of priorities,” Mammen said. “But when she was advising, she was always giving you 100 percent of her attention.” Paxson offered Mammen the opportunity to co-author a paper with her on women’s work in economic development when she was her dissertation advisor. The byline on an early draft listed Mammen’s name before Paxson’s. “When I suggested she put her name first, she was like, ‘Oh, no, no, no. Alphabetical order!” Mammen said. “It’s not like she’s all sweetness and light,” Mammen said. Paxson has a “sardonic” sense of humor, she said. “She is excellent, and she expects that — it’s just that she is not pushing it in your face all the time,” she said. “Her sense of humor is one of the many things that makes her easy to work with.” Sands heard the news of Paxson’s presidential appointment on Friday and sent her a congratulatory email. Paxson responded right away, she said. “She’s one of those professors who develops real lasting personal relationships with students,” she said. When Paxson recently visited Harvard, where Sands is currently an economics PhD candidate, she took Sands out to dinner. “She has a unique view of young people as whole people,” Sands said. “It’s very clear that she works hard to nurture all of who we are.” Administrative accomplishments

When Paxson began as dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and International Affairs in 2009, she followed a leader who had prioritized lifting the visibility and external reputation of the program, said Nannerl Keohane, visiting professor of public affairs at Princeton. Paxson has sustained that visibility but has also focused on building the internal strength of the school, Keohane said. A number of curricular reforms defined Paxson’s legacy at the Woodrow Wilson School, wrote Stephen Kotkin, vice dean of the school, in an email to The Herald. Paxson reviewed and reformed the school’s PhD, master’s and under-

graduate programs, “making them even more multidisciplinary, in line with our faculty and even more rooted in service and experience in the field,” he wrote. Among those changes was a revamping of the undergraduate concentration to increase requirements and make it more rigorous, said Sara McLanahan, professor of sociology and public affairs at Princeton. Paxson also changed the PhD program to diversify the degree options and connect curricula more closely to non-public policy departments. Under Paxson’s leadership, the faculty voted almost unanimously to eliminate the selectivity of the undergraduate public policy and international affairs program, Kotkin wrote. Before the change, which will be instituted next academic year, Princeton undergraduates hoping to major in the program would have to apply for admission to the school during their sophomore year. “Students who had been trying since they applied to Princeton to major in public policy couldn’t,” said Keohane, who sat on the committee Paxson led during deliberations. “It may sound like a little thing, but it was not a little thing, and she was crucial in getting that done,” she said. “She’s very much open to change and actually changing to suit the students,” said Omar Muhsin Usman, an undergraduate at Princeton. The elimination of selectivity will help the school “really attract students who have a genuine interest in policy work,” said Shannon Brink, a current master’s student in the Woodrow Wilson School. At Woodrow Wilson, Paxson has also been “enormously dedicated” to fundraising to increase the school’s endowment through an expansion of the donor network, Kotkin wrote. The success of her efforts in this area allowed her to create more professor and student internship positions, expand the offerings for the junior year policy task force, an independent study program integral to the school and to establish a new center for financial policy that will open soon, Kotkin wrote. Dean Chris

Paxson, affectionately known to faculty as “Dean Chris,” has “quite a significant number of relevant skills” to hold a university presidency, said Keohane, who formerly served as president of both Duke University and Wellesley College. As an administrator at the Woodrow Wilson School, Paxson has led with a “deliberative, consultative style” while instituting governance changes like the addition of an elected faculty council, Kotkin wrote. In working with a faculty of diverse backgrounds, Paxson has fostered a “good, cooperative atmosphere,” said McLanahan.“She’s really created much more consensus.” As dean of the Woodrow Wilson School, Paxson has demonstrated the abilities to delegate clearly, follow through and accept compromises, Keohane said. “She’s a leader,

she gets things done, but she doesn’t do it only in her own narrow way,” she said. Paxson is “very articulate, very good at describing the benefits and advantages of the school,” she said. When Paxson speaks, “everybody goes away inspired and delighted to have been there.” Paxson is a “calculated risktaker” who is ready “to encourage people to open up to their imaginations, to risk changing the way things have always been done,” Kotkin wrote in an email. She has a “quirky side” that comes through with her openness to other people’s ideas. Students at the Woodrow Wilson School echoed Kotkin’s and Keohane’s praise of Paxson. “She’s an all-star. Brown is really lucky,” said John Monagle, an undergraduate who knew Paxson from serving on the Woodrow Wilson Student Advisory Committee. “She’s down-to-earth and in touch with student needs,” he added. As dean, Paxson also oversees a small group of students in a program called the Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative. Students from across Princeton departments apply to the program as juniors and receive a scholarship for graduate study in public administration. Students must also work for the federal government for two years and are encouraged to travel abroad during the summer. Marlise Jean-Pierre, who entered the program as a non-Woodrow Wilson student, said she was thankful to be welcomed into the school community by Paxson. She added that she admired Paxson’s ability to manage community engagement and family life with strong leadership at the school. “When she comes into the room,” Jean-Pierre said, “she’s just someone that you know is a leader.” “She’s extremely personable with students,” said Jared Crooks, another student in the program. “It’s really easy to approach her. She doesn’t let her title get in the way.” Others admire Paxson for her investment in students’ projects. Kim Bonner, a graduate student at the Woodrow Wilson School, said she was especially impressed with Paxson’s investment in the success of a charity event she and other graduate students planned to benefit a nonprofit that provides afterschool activities for teens. Paxson helped to coordinate an auction and followed through by contacting faculty and staff and encouraging them to attend, as well as donating items herself, Bonner said. “Everybody who meets her leaves being in awe of her, but at the same time admiring her humility,” Usman said. “We’re losing a genuinely incredible person,” Kotkin wrote. “As we rue our loss, we tip our hats to our colleagues and friends at Brown.”

— With additional reporting by Mathias Heller, Shefali Luthra, Alexandra Macfarlane, Kate Nussenbaum, Eli Okun and Aparaajit Sriram

applauds Paxson’s scholarship continued from page 16 colleagues at Princeton telling him “we’re so lucky.” “She has worked on international questions and led one of the most important centers for international studies in the world,” he said. “All this bodes very well for Brown.” Roberto Serrano, chair of the economics department, called Paxson a “wonderful choice for Brown” in an email to The Herald. “As a scholar, she is a first-rate economist with important work on health, development and public policy.” “As a dean, she has demonstrated key leadership at the Woodrow Wilson School,” he wrote. “We should all look forward to working under her leadership.” Newell Stultz, professor emeritus of political science, said he had not heard of Paxson before the announcement, but “the positions she has held seem eminently appropriate.” The University will enjoy the distinction of having two female presidents in a row, he noted. “If she is as successful as her predecessor, it will be a great day for Brown.” McLaughlin noted that university presidents have to spend a lot of time both with senior administrators and representing the University to the public. “It will be for Christina to decide for herself what kind of profile she’s going to have on campus with the faculty, the students,” McLaughlin said. Student leaders also told The Herald they look forward to working with Paxson. Ralanda Nelson ’12, president of the Undergraduate Council of Students, said Paxson is “definitely someone that can move things forward, and that’s what Brown needs.” Nelson said she is interested in partnering with Paxson to sponsor a forum where students can freely ask questions to “get a sense of where Brown is going with its new leadership.” Matteo Riondato GS, president of Graduate Student Council, said he thinks there is “still room for improvement and expansion in the Graduate School,” and that Paxson seemed receptive when he spoke with her briefly. “You can start big projects that perhaps were postponed because of the news that Ruth was stepping down,” he said. “It’s almost like a new starting point.” — With additional reporting by Lucy Feldman, Aparna Bansal, Margaret Nickens and James Rattner

browndailyherald.com


12 President-elect

The Brown Daily Herald Monday, March 5, 2012

Paxson discusses past, plans for future continued from page 16 important for me. In terms of specific plans, do you have any idea what kinds of priorities you might be outlining? You know, I can tell you now what kinds of things I find really interesting and important, but in a broad-brush sense. ... The way things work in academics is that leaders have to work in groups, they work in teams, you’re surrounded by smart, energetic, entrepreneurial people who have great ideas and so, while I have things I’m very interested in — I’m interested in international issues, I’m interested in health issues, I’m interested in building very strong interdisciplinary programs that span the humanities and social sciences and sciences, but I think the specifics I am going to have to work out with the people here. And that means spending a lot of time learning, talking. It’s a collaboration. What kinds of plans or ideas do you have regarding the negotiations (between Brown and Providence)? Right now, Ruth Simmons and members of the Corporation are very deeply engaged in discussions with the city. They sound like they’re moving in a good direction, I think that’s terrific. It’s so unclear about where things will be as of July 1 that I can’t really comment about what will happen after I assume the position of president. Are there any Princeton programs or policies you would like to experiment with at Brown? No, let’s go back to something we discussed a few minutes ago, which is, you know, the broad plans, what I aspire Brown to be, which is a tremendous worldclass institution that has the best educational program around for undergraduates and supports world-class research. That’s where I want to be. That’s my major priority for Brown and to do those things while maintaining Brown’s very distinctive feeling and set of values. While I was at Princeton, I developed a large number of specific programs, but are they right for Brown? I don’t know. What develops here has to come from here, and importing things from elsewhere is usually not a very good idea. Do you think you will work within the Plan for Academic Enrichment, a cornerstone of President Simmons’ term, or do you think you will start afresh? I think the PAE was a great success. It is now in phase two,

I believe, and I think with a new president coming in, it’s a wonderful opportunity to sit down and take stock — okay, which goals have we accomplished, and I think many of the goals in the plan are there, and then start to think about what comes next. It’s an opportunity for reshaping or at least investigating if reshaping is needed. I expect that will be something I focus on my first year. The Plan for Academic Enrichment: the Sequel? Maybe a different name, I don’t know. Would it be a derivation on the existing document or something new? I think it would be really hard for me to say, because, you know, it may be that going through this we find out that there are areas where the University still has a lot to accomplish in the old plan, and that we want to focus on that. It may be that we decide, collectively, that there are new areas we want to focus attention, and we will find out. It will be interesting. Do you think there will be a change in senior administration? It’s way too early for me to say that. I very much like and respect the people I’ve met so far, and I’m looking forward to getting to know them better. Given your background in economics, do you have any ideas on how to tackle the discussion about the endowment size and tuition dependence? Fortunately, Brown completed a very successful capital campaign, we have the 250th (anniversary) coming up, and I expect that there’s another capital campaign in the future. It’s very important to keep Brown, maintain Brown’s financial strength, and that’s one of the most important jobs of the President. So, I am looking forward to doing that. One thing that’s been talked about is worries that rising tuition could squeeze out middle-class students who might find more attractive packages at schools like Princeton that have gone loan-free. Is that something you plan to address? I would love to be able to go loan-free, I would love to be able to increase support for international students, and I realize — anybody who’s in this business realizes — that tuition burden, even with very generous financial aid, is high, and it’s high well up into the upper middle class. So it’s a major concern of, I think, all university administrators.

Got tips?

How do you think your health care work would influence your approach to the Alpert Medical School and the public health program here? Well, I think it’s a very exciting time for health and health care. And I’ve been in an institution that does not have a medical school or a school of public health, and I built the health program there even despite the absence of those two types of schools. So I’m excited to be at an institution that has both of those programs, and I do think that Rhode Island is an interesting place. The health care system is interesting. We’re in for a very interesting period with the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, and there’s a lot of uncertainty about how that will play out. But it’s exciting that Brown will be able to be a part of that in the next two to five to 10 years. How do you think the status of Brown’s university-college model fits into higher education today? Well, I like the university-college model. Remember I went to a small liberal arts college for college, and I really feel very strongly that undergraduate education is important and that contact with faculty is important, that the opportunities for undergraduates to be involved in research is important. So those are great. I also know that, or believe, that research being conducted by the faculty can, if done correctly, enhance the value of undergraduate education, and one of the ... goals of Brown is to become, or continue to grow as, a firstclass research institution while maintaining that very distinctive undergraduate character. So the university-college model — I think it’s important to keep that as part of what Brown aspires to do. What kind of role do you think Brown will play in Providence during your term? I have to get to know the city of Providence, but I can tell you that one thing I really enjoy doing at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton is helping to make the university accessible to the community, so that people who live around it understand its value. They can come to events, they can come to lectures, they can be engaged and also getting students and faculty involved in programs that are valuable for them educationally, but also have a positive impact on the region. So I find it very attractive. It’s very attractive to me to be at a university that is so closely connected to a city because the opportunities for doing that are even greater. — Shefali Luthra

herald@browndailyherald.com

Jonathan Bateman / Herald

Chancellor Tisch ’76 delivers historic announcement Friday in Sayles Hall.

Paxson’s research spans many disciplines, themes continued from page 16 glected. “This is something that people within the social work and child welfare field obviously had thought about a lot over the years, but Chris was the first person to really nail this in a causal fashion,” Waldfogel said. “On every topic that she’s worked on, she’s made that kind of original contribution.” Some of Paxson’s recent research has focused on the effects of Hurricane Katrina, particularly investigating the impact of the natural disaster on the health of low-income families. Much of this work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, according to a University press release. Though her initial work was in the field of development economics, Paxson later explored issues in health and labor economics, contributing research to a variety of subfields. That same proclivity for interdisciplinary work surfaced in her stewardship of the Woodrow Wilson School and her work on various large projects, peer researchers said. Anna Aizer, associate professor of economics and public policy at Brown whose work has often focused on child wellbeing, described Paxson as “a very well-known, well-respected

economist” whose experience in research and interacting with students would serve her well at the University. “As she was director for the Center for Health and Wellbeing, she really embraced an interdisciplinary approach for looking at some incredibly important problems, social problems, specifically with respect to health,” Aizer said. Among Paxson’s most publicity-generating research was a 2008 paper she co-authored in the Journal of Political Economy that examined the reasons for the widely-known correlation between height and higher status and earnings. In the paper, which she co-authored with Anne Case, a Princeton professor of economics and public affairs, Paxson found that height was correlated with intelligence and traced the connection all the way to early childhood. Paxson is currently serving as vice president of the American Economic Association, a yearlong position, and she is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

— With additional reporting by Mathias Heller, Sona Mkrttchian and Margaret Nickens


Sports Monday 13

The Brown Daily Herald Monday, March 5, 2012

M. Lacrosse

No time to relax: No. 6 UMass too much to handle By ethan mccoy Sports Editor

The men’s lacrosse team put up a fight Saturday but ultimately did not have enough to overtake No. 6 University of Massachusetts at Meister-Kavan Field. The undefeated Minutemen (4-0) never trailed, scoring twice in the opening few minutes and displaying a skilled attack and staunch defensive backline en route to a 12-7 win. The Bears (1-1) outshot UMass and pushed the offensive but were frustrated by the strong play of UMass goalie Tim McCormack (15 saves). Several shots also went off the wrong side of the post. On the other end of the field, Will Round ’14 made a number of clutch saves for the Bears but could only do so much to repel a clinical Minuteman attack led by hat trick scorers Art Kell and Anthony Biscardi. “We lose by five, but our clearing game did well, our faceoffs were pretty good and we battled for ground balls,” said Head Coach Lars Tiffany ’90. “I think it just comes down to the shooting. I thought UMass buried their chances and they were more opportunistic when they had a good look at the cage.” UMass jumped out to a strong start with goals from Colin Fleming and Biscardi in the first 2:30 of the game. But after that, things settled down. Despite a number of chances and an up-tempo feel, neither defense budged much in the early going. Dan O’Brien ’12 scored the Bears’ only goal of the

half to cut the lead to 2-1 before a pair of UMass goals in the second quarter extended the Minuteman advantage to 4-1 at halftime. Brown had a number of chances that could have easily gone the other way and made it a different game at the first half. Co-captain Rob Schlesinger ’12 was the most aggressive attacker, firing off a number of shots that missed narrowly wide and another that clanged off the crossbar. Brown also appeared to have scored a goal with only 22 seconds left before halftime, but after conferring over a whistle that was blown right before the ball went into the net, the officials disallowed the score. “Even if (Schlesinger) doesn’t score, he’s always causing havoc,” said Roger Ferguson ’13. “He’s a true two-way middie, which you don’t see often anymore. He’s on our first-line offense and if we turn the ball over, he’s the first one back every time.” In the second half, the game opened up and both sides began to convert chances. UMass again came out strong in the early moments of the quarter, and this time built a comfortable lead to create some breathing room. Two goals in 1:14 from Biscardi and Kyle Smith extended the lead to 6-1 only five minutes into the half. But the Bears finally got their offense going and responded. With 4:40 left in the quarter, co-captain Parker Brown ’12 scored his first goal of the game on the doorstep after a good look from Nick Piroli ’15, who was circling behind the

net. Less than a minute later, Sam Hurster ’14 fought through traffic alongside the edge of the net and beat McCormack for an unassisted goal to cut the deficit to 6-3. “We pressed out more defensively, which is not our style of play,” Tiffany said. “We were starting to lose, so we had to start taking some chances.” “Both teams made their adjustments,” Ferguson said. “We did some things that were working against them and they did some things they knew would work against us. You expect to see that in a defensive game. You expect to see people make changes and bring different personnel in to mix up the flow of the game.” But after Hurster’s score, UMass scored a pair to extend its lead back to five goals. An unassisted Stephen Loudon ’15 goal early in the fourth quarter cut the deficit to 8-4, but UMass responded again with two goals. Kell and Will Manny scored only 25 seconds apart to make the score 10-4 and effectively put the game out of reach with nine minutes to play. The teams traded goals the rest of the way. Parker Brown scored three times in the final five minutes to give him a game-high four goals on the day, while Kell secured his hat trick with the final goal of the game, an empty net finish with 37 seconds remaining to make the final score 12-7. “We step away from this disappointed that we lost,” Tiffany said. “But having said that, we did a lot of things well. If we fin-

Jesse Schwimmer / Herald

The men’s lacrosse team could not stand up to undefeated UMass Saturday.

ish more shots and maybe their goalie doesn’t play so well, it’s a different outcome. We played with the No. 6 team in the country and yes, they’re better than us, but the differences are minimal. Now, we have to learn from this.” The squad only has a few days to recoup, as a midweek home matchup against Hartford (0-3) awaits Wednesday afternoon. The Hawks edged out Brown 8-6 in

Connecticut last season and will come to Providence on a quick turnaround as well, having lost a tight matchup against University of Denver (3-1) Saturday. “It’s not good to lose, but it’s good to learn from your losses,” Ferguson said. “I think we’ll go back from this and learn from this, watch film and figure out what we did wrong to get better for our next game.”

Exhibit reflects aesthetics of the art of curating By Casey Bleho Contributing Writer

ART//SHOW, a new exhibit in the Cohen Gallery of the Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, presents an eclectic juried exhibition of 22 sculptures, paintings, photographs, videos and prints collected from Brown and Rhode Island School of Design students.

arts & culture The exhibit is the product of a collaborative effort by students of MCM 1700R: “The Art of Curating,” a class that is intended to teach students how to design and curate a professional art show. “The idea was to give the students hands-on experience organizing an exhibition in a high-profile environment, and to do it in a way that exemplifies high standards of professionalism,” said Mark Tribe, assistant professor of modern culture and media who teaches the class. The art of curating has evolved from simply caring for a collection, he added. Rather, it is a craft that combines art history and theory with the practical aspects of putting together an exhibition. The show is as much about the curatorial practices behind putting together an exhibition as it is about

the art it showcases. “When we were talking about the different pieces and how they should be placed, we realized the kind of power and responsibility the curator had,” explained Stanislava Chyzhykova ’12. The name ART//SHOW reflects this, she said. The name’s simplicity protects each piece from the imposition of expectations and speaks to what the curators did — put together a show. Because its purpose was more to practice the craft of curating, the exhibition itself is organized aesthetically rather than conceptually. Each piece stands distinct in context and meaning, with works exploring themes including personal trials and tribulations as well as explorations of life in the 21st century. “In this case, the connections — and there are some — are more aesthetic,” Tribe said. While thematic interactions emerge as a result of the conversation between pieces, he said, this is not the organizing principle of the exhibition. The curators collected what they saw as the strongest works from around 200 submissions. “We really wanted to get as wide a variety of media as possible,” Chyzhykova said. As a result, the materials that comprise the different pieces range from the ephemeral, such as string and light, to the more concrete ele-

ments of steel and wood. “It turned out to be a very simple but elegant show, with lots of different textures and mediums,” she said. “I think some of the pieces here are beautiful and challenging,” said Jennifer Vincent ’13, co-chair of the MCM Departmental Undergraduate

Group. Pieces like “Baby Phat,” created by RISD student Anna Huemmer, are succinct and powerful in the questions they pose to our contemporary moment, Vincent said. The exhibition is comprised of submissions from both graduate and undergraduate works from Brown

and RISD students. “We wanted it to be open to the entire community,” Vincent said. “It’s very nice to see in one space pieces from a variety of people at very different levels of their artistic careers,” she added. The show will run until March 8.

comics Dreadful Cosmology |Oirad Macmit

Fraternity of Evil | Eshan Mitra, Brendan Hainline and Hector Ramirez


14 Editorial & Letter Editorial Brown’s next step

Editorial cartoon

Last Friday, the Corporation, the University’s highest governing body, announced the election of Christina Paxson, professor of economics and current dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton, as 19th president of Brown University. We congratulate Paxson on being entrusted with this position and extend her our warmest welcome to Brown. While it is all but impossible to know at this point what kind of leader she will be, many aspects of Paxson’s experience bode well for her ability to follow President Ruth Simmons’ impressive tenure. Paxson has a proven dedication to interdisciplinary work. Her research straddles the lines between economics, public health and international relations, and during her tenure at the Woodrow Wilson School, she worked to develop the school’s multidisciplinary offerings. Given that Brown has recently emphasized expanding its science and social science departments as well as the Alpert Medical School, we hope that Paxson’s stated interest in “develop(ing) links between the sciences and social sciences and humanities” translates into an institutional culture that values philosophers as much as physicists. The most exciting discoveries often come at the boundaries of academic fields, and we hope Paxson’s efforts as president reflect this. Paxson is also senior editor of the Future of Children, a journal that seeks to consolidate academic research on children and present practical information for public policymakers. Her commitment to engaged scholarship is laudable, and we hope it translates into a renewed emphasis on the role of such instruction beyond school walls. Whether through expanding existing institutions like the Swearer Center for Public Service or through new initiatives, we hope that Paxson ensures that Brown students and professors have ample incentive and means to have a tangible influence on the world around them. We are also happy to see that Paxson’s background reflects a commitment to teaching. She received her undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College, a top-tier liberal arts college, and while a member of Princeton’s faculty received five awards for teaching excellence. She therefore inherits her new role not only with impressive administrative and research experience, but also with an appreciation for high-quality teaching. We expressed concerns last semester about Brown’s shift away from its unique emphasis on the undergraduate experience toward emulating research-oriented institutions. As the University seeks to expand and establish itself as a global institution, it runs the risk of neglecting its focus on undergraduate teaching. We hope that Paxson remains grounded with an appreciation for every aspect of Brown’s identity. Given her undergraduate experience at a liberal arts college, her vast teaching experience and her remarks Friday about Brown’s “tremendous” undergraduate program, we hope that Paxson follows through by re-focusing the University on the undergraduate experience. As we prepare to bid Simmons a fond farewell in just a few short months, we are comforted with the knowledge that her successor is by all indications a worthy one. Her impressive background bodes well for a truly holistic effort to strengthen the University on all fronts — sciences and humanities, teaching and research. We look forward to seeing where her leadership will take Brown in the years to come. Editorials are written by The Herald’s editorial page board. Send comments to editorials@browndailyherald.com.

t h e b r ow n da i ly h e r a l d Editor-in-Chief

Managing Editors

Senior Editors

Claire Peracchio

Rebecca Ballhaus Nicole Boucher

Tony Bakshi Natalie Villacorta

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BLOG DAILY HERALD Jennifer Bloom Matt Klimerman

The Brown Daily Herald Monday, March 5, 2012

Editor-in-Chief Managing Editor

by pao l a e i s n e r

letter to the editor

Article does not consider all perspectives To the Editor: As a teacher of a fairly large biology course, BIOL 0530: “Principles of Immunology,” I read the article about a note-sharing site (“Students pilot note-sharing site,” March 2) with interest. Like the students proposing the Brown Scholars Club website, I want students to be able to pay attention to the substance of what is being discussed in my classes without being worried about scribbling down everything on the screen — this is why I make copies of my lecture slides available. Someone in my position might ask, “They have the slides, what else do they need?” However, one of the things I love most about Brown is the active role that students play in the educational process — one needs only to look to the undergraduates who serve courses with distinction as teaching assistants and in the various peer advising and counseling programs, while others work long hours behind the scenes to maintain vital campus resources such as Mocha, the Critical Review and The Herald. It makes sense then that there would be a student-maintained website devoted to course material, however in doing so

some important issues need to be considered, not all of them addressed in the article. To illustrate, while variable note quality, the ethical implications of the notes enabling class-skipping and potential Academic Code issues were all discussed, what surprised me was that the University’s interests were not directly addressed — was the General Counsel’s office solicited for an opinion? What about the thoughts of some of the faculty who produce the course material that the notes would be based upon? While it’s true that you “own” the knowledge that you acquire in your classes, as one quotation suggested, that does not convey ownership of the materials used to teach it to you. Your class notes are your own, and you can certainly do with them what you will — but if you post content to a commercial site that includes material that I produced such as images or text from my slides or questions from my exams and written assignments, then I do have a problem with it, and I suspect that the University will, too. Richard Bungiro PhD’99 Professor of Biology

quote of the day

“We are entering an … exciting era of Brown’s history.”— Susan Harvey, professor of religious studies

See paxson on page 8.

C O R R E C T I O N S P olicy The Brown Daily Herald is committed to providing the Brown University community with the most accurate information possible. Corrections may be submitted up to seven calendar days after publication. C ommentary P O L I C Y The editorial is the majority opinion of the editorial page board of The Brown Daily Herald. The editorial viewpoint does not necessarily reflect the views of The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. Columns, letters and comics reflect the opinions of their authors only. L etters to the E ditor P olicy Send letters to letters@browndailyherald.com. Include a telephone number with all letters. The Herald reserves the right to edit all letters for length and clarity and cannot assure the publication of any letter. Please limit letters to 250 words. Under special circumstances writers may request anonymity, but no letter will be printed if the author’s identity is unknown to the editors. Announcements of events will not be printed. advertising P olicy The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. reserves the right to accept or decline any advertisement at its discretion.


Opinions 15

The Brown Daily Herald Monday, March 5, 2012

What does sexual consent even mean? By Camille spencer-salmon Opinions Columnist For many, college is a chance to swim in one of the biggest potential mating pools ever to be swum in — perhaps whilst talking up the honeys, you have phrased it in a different way. This, plus the alcohol that lubricates so many of our social interactions, makes the question of sexual consent incredibly important. The “one in four women raped in college” statistic is probably familiar to you, and during the orientation pipeline, you may vaguely remember a presentation about sexual conduct, alcohol and rape. You’ve heard the word “consent” enough that it sounds like little more than a dull buzz, but what does it actually mean? In his column (“A discussion of rape and consent,” Feb. 17), David Hefer ’12 presents three conditions — consent must be capacitated, informed and voluntary. But the most pressing aspect of this is, how do we actually use these concepts in real life? There are plenty of things we don’t voluntarily agree to do. If you make a habit of going out in public, there’s a good chance you end up being watched on security cameras. Your friends may occasionally take unwanted pictures of you when you’re not looking, or while you’re making an unattractive expression or wearing only your

pajamas and a pink wig, for instance. We tend to laugh off, ignore or, at most, express minor annoyance over these things. What makes sexual consent different is that it directly involves another person’s body and vulnerability. That’s where things become messy and confusing — to the point where even people who care about dismantling rape culture hand wave the issue and call it a “gray area.” How about capacitated consent? This might sound familiar: Person X got really

one you would otherwise trust? How many of you have wheedled someone who didn’t particularly want to do anything sexual into agreeing? Did you use force, manipulation or threats? I suspect many readers could easily say yes to all of these questions. If you define consent as something that cannot be coerced, then, in these situations, there is a very good chance you have either enacted or experienced sexual violation. Maybe this doesn’t have to be complicated. No means no, and that is that. But

What makes sexual consent different is that it directly involves another person’s body and vulnerability. That’s where things become messy and confusing — to the point where even people who care about dismantling rape culture hand wave the issue and call it a “gray area.” drunk and had sex with person Y. It “just sort of happened.” No one wants to call their acquaintances, classmates or friends rapists. And the person who suffered the rape may not want to take on the heavy mantle of a “rape survivor.” But it’s rape all the same — reality isn’t neatly polarized into dark alleyways and violent encounters. Rape happens at parties with people you could run into on the street on your way to class. Say you don’t like this scenario. How many of you have said yes to sex you weren’t incredibly down for? Was this person some-

you’ve learned nothing by throwing your hands up like this. I believe this is what Hefer is getting at when he talks about whether any consent is truly voluntary — “no” is an undesirable answer no matter what the context. You say “yes” to a responsibility you can’t quite take on. You say “yes” to a night out when you’d rather stay in. Why would it be any easier to say “no” to sex, a situation already complicated by self-esteem, desire, self-image — not to mention the implicit societal messages you’re constantly bombarded with about how you should deal with this otherwise natural ap-

petite? Moreover, how often in life do you give an explicit “no”? You say, “I’m sorry, I just don’t think I can make it,” not, “No, I can’t go.” You say, “I’m not sure about that,” instead of, “No, I don’t like the idea.” Likewise, you’ve got to work with all kinds of nonverbal cues to figure out or give sexual consent. Ah! But to say that the person requesting consent must be the one decoding all these cues is to put unreasonable expectations on one party and treat the other as lacking agency or spine, yes? No. And again: no. An ideal world would be one in which everyone felt equipped to be clearheadedly responsible for their own sexual actions, a world in which every sex-related “yes” was a “hell yes,” in which all kinds of people were honest with themselves and others about their desires — a constant and difficult task to actually execute on a daily basis. True equality would require work and honesty on everyone’s part. But modern America, from what I’ve seen of it, is largely a sexually squeamish place, even here at Brown where we congratulate ourselves on how progressive we are. To actually drive down rape and other sexual inequalities, you’ve got to convince everyone of this — it’s crucial to acknowledge that there’s a lot more going on than a simple “yes” or “no” when you ask or receive consent. Camille Spencer-Salmon ’14 did not consent to that picture of her in pajamas and a pink wig. Thanks, suite.

The logic of divesting in the dark By nikhil kalyanpur Opinions Columnist

A corporation never tells, and ours is no exception. There is no way for the conscientious Brown student to march up to University Hall and ask the legitimate, logical question, “Where does our money go?” With its $2.5 billion endowment, Brown currently invests in a variety of companies with the ultimate goal of profit, and it does so behind closed doors, impossible to see, impossible to judge. The glaring lack of transparency in the Corporation, the University’s highest governing body, invades major aspects of Brown life. Decisions like the recent tuition hike reveal the opaque nature of decision-making at the University, reminding us yet again of the questionable manner in which our institution is being run. Our communications with the Corporation range from bureaucratic at best to nonexistent at worst, so it’s hard for students to have a say in the things that concern them, practical or political. Considering Brown’s reputation as the “liberal Ivy,” a hub of fierce and relentless student activism, I wish there was greater student action urging Brown to make its investment information public knowledge. While complacency remains the norm, there are notable exceptions. Groups like Students for a Democratic Society and the Student Labor Alliance de-

mand that the University opens the books and becomes accountable for its investments. Another such group is Brown Students for Justice in Palestine, which calls for Brown to divest from companies that profit from the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine. BSJP’s divestment campaign, a part of the worldwide Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement initiated by Palestinian civil society, targets companies that help maintain the occupation and violate the rights of Palestinians living in the occupied territories. As an in-

el. Concrete realities need to be matched with concrete actions, and it’s time the University takes them. It has been done in other places, and it can be done here, too. Our current investment information policies do not make matters easier for students of conscience. The Corporation’s need to keep us in the dark with regard to its investments poses unnecessary difficulties as it prevents us as students from making educated decisions. These are difficulties that would never arise in a truly democratic institution. Transparency is essential for the socially responsible,

As an institution that considers itself to be at the forefront of liberal ideology, we cannot allow ourselves to condone — and profit from — the violation of Palestinians’ basic human rights.

stitution that considers itself to be at the forefront of liberal ideology, we cannot allow ourselves to condone — and profit from — the violation of Palestinians’ basic human rights by the bulldozers of Caterpillar and the surveillance systems of Motorola. This much is clear. What needs to be emphasized is that students’ awareness of the situation, however keen, is nothing but an intellectual pastime as long as it does not translate into tangible action at the institutional lev-

morally accountable University that we deserve. However, we must not let its absence discourage us and prevent us from acting. Even with its current opaque investment structure, Brown has divested from companies facilitating human rights violations in Darfur and companies that manufacture tobacco products. There is no reason that Brown cannot divest again, and it is our responsibility to use our position as stake-holders in the University to

lobby, pressure and protest the Corporation to ensure that Brown’s investments align with the institution’s moral standards. Therefore, even blindfolded as we are by the University’s excessive secrecy, we are not powerless to fight injustice and our own complicity in it. The Corporation may be reluctant to tell us, but we can certainly tell them. We can tell them that we refuse to invest in companies such as Caterpillar — who has a heavy presence on our campus as part of the Building Brown initiative — that demolish the houses of Palestinians, construct the separation wall that divides families, illegally annex land or provide weapons to be used against civilians. We have the right to know, but we can divest well before they grant us this right. We can make sure that regardless of the Corporation’s unwillingness to reveal information about its current investments, we will not be the unknowing enablers of the Israeli occupation. Brown students have the power to put in place a policy that ensures we do not profit from the suffering of Palestinians and do not fund the perpetuation of injustices done to them. We cannot afford to wait for the University to open the books. The situation is far too grave for that. We need to act now, ignorant of investments, but fully conscious of the kind of beliefs our institution ought to uphold. Nikhil Kalyanpur ’13 loves the word “why.” He can be reached at nikhil_kalyanpur@brown.edu.


Daily Herald President-elect the Brown

Monday, March 5, 2012

Exclusive interview with President-elect Fun facts: Paxson talks

music, mentors and more

Christina Paxson, dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton, was named the University’s 19th president Friday morning. After the announcement, she sat down with The Herald to talk about her plans for the future and thoughts about Brown.

Favorite book? I have to confess, it’s “Pride and Prejudice.”

The Herald: Why do you want to be president of Brown? Christina Paxson: That’s a really terrific question. Brown is a remarkable university, and I discovered very early on that Brown’s values, its character and its spirit really resonate with my own values, so ... the most important thing was that it seemed Rachel Kaplan / Herald like, from my point of view, just President-elect Paxson told The Herald Brown’s values resonate with her own. a wonderful fit. your presidency at Brown? come into an institution after a Was this something you reWell, one thing that really strong leader because you come alized before you before you interests me about ... academic into a strong institution, and I’m became a candidate, or farther leadership is the fun of really fig- counting on building on her sucalong in the process? uring out how an organization cess. I’m happy about it. Well, I knew a lot about Brown, works and what its character is. a fair amount about Brown, be- Those are not things that you What do you think are some fore I started the process, but want to change, right? And you of the first steps you might take while I was involved in the pro- know, I loved my time at Princ- in the position? cess, and I talked with the mem- eton — great faculty, great stuWell, that’s a good question. bers of the Corporation, faculty, dents, great colleagues — but I What you have to remember is staff, students — it was a terrific find the Brown character and the that academics has its own unique committee, actually two search characteristics of Brown students cycle. So when I start on July 1, committees rolled into one — to be very appealing. So I’m really it’ll be the summer. And in a way, the distinctiveness of Brown and looking forward to moving into that’s a good thing, because I will the specialness of Brown really something new, and I don’t think need some time to really get to came through. I think I learned people should be concerned that know the senior staff with the as much about Brown from the I’m trying to reinvent Brown in students away, and start to make committee as they learned about Princeton’s image. They’re both plans for a number of things, kind me, and it was a great experience. terrific institutions and very dif- of reviewing where we are on the ferent, and that’s a good thing. Plan for Academic Enrichment You spent a lot of time at and making plans for the 250th Princeton. Princeton is a great Obviously President Sim- anniversary, you know a numschool, but different from mons has been a very big figure ber of initiatives that I know are Brown. at Brown and very well-known already going to be on the front It is. nationally. What is that like, burner. But having that time coming in after her legacy? initially to consolidate, to get to Brown has a unique curricuI don’t know yet. No, seriously, know people, understand what lum, a distinctive student body I have so much respect for Ruth. their priorities are, will be really personality. How do you think She has just been a terrific leadcontinued on page 12 those differences would affect er ... I think it’s an advantage to

Faculty pleased with Paxson’s record By greg jordan-detamore News Editor

Faculty, administrators and student leaders pointed to Christina Paxson’s scholarship and experience as indicators of her ability to continue the University’s momentum as its 19th president. Specifically, they noted her leadership positions at Princeton and her background in public health and international studies­— disciplines that the University is looking to expand. Though Brown is a “different kind of institution” from Princeton with a “different financial situation,” Paxson seems committed to ensuring that “she really understands what she’s going to be inheriting,” said Beppie Huidekoper, executive vice president for finance and administration. “I don’t think she would be taking the job if it wasn’t a good challenge,” Huidekoper said.

Provost Mark Schlissel P’15 called Paxson “very impressive.” She has “expertise that’s relevant to both the social sciences and efforts in public health and the medical school,” and is “used to working with interdisciplinary teams,” Schlissel said. With Paxson at the helm, Schlissel pointed out that the University’s top administrators will be well-rounded — Paxson is an economist, he is a biologist, Dean of the Faculty Kevin McLaughlin’s P’12 background is in English and Dean of the College Katherine Bergeron is in music. “The top several positions at the University actually form a great team,” he said. Paxson will also be vital in the University’s efforts to start a school of public health, Schlissel said. McLaughlin said Paxson’s selection is especially timely as the University prepares to appoint a

director of the Watson Institute for International Studies. “It’s interesting that the committee has very distinctly focused on someone who looks at a number of areas that we will be focusing on in the next five to 10 years,” he said. Vincent Mor, professor of medical science, said Paxson has “a very strong academic and research base in the world that I know, which is research on aging and health care.” Mor, who chaired the Department of Community Health from 1998 to 2010, said he “received lots of congratulations” from colleagues across the country. Faculty members and administrators also lauded Paxson’s work on international issues. Matthew Gutmann P’14, vice president for international affairs, said he has received emails from continued on page 11

Academic, or otherwise, role models? So I would have to say some very strong women in academics. I would put my great aunt Carol first, who was a PhD in economics, and people at Princeton who I really admired a lot are Nan Keohane, and Shirley Tilghman, just really terrific people. Favorite Brown alum? Look, I have to say my brother (William Paxson ’75). How could I say anything else for

favorite Brown alum? Favorite news publication? Well, I read the New York Times every morning. Dream Spring Weekend lineup? I don’t know whether I would pick things that other people would like — I saw a concert recently by Tommy Emmanuel, and it was just amazing, so that would be probably one. Maybe Bruce Springsteen. One famous person live or dead you would like to meet? As long as I am allowed to have a translator with me during the meeting: Leonardo da Vinci.

Paxson’s economics cover broad range of disciplines By Eli Okun Senior Staff Writer

Throughout her career, Presidentelect Christina Paxson’s research has spanned a wide range of economics-related issues, often bridging the social sciences and the sciences, friends and colleagues said. Much of her scholarship has examined matters of health, development and labor from an economic perspective, often with an eye toward how academic research might translate into realworld applications. Among Paxson’s achievements is the 2000 founding of the Center for Health and Wellbeing, a research center at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs that examines a cross-section of public health and developmentrelated issues. Paxson served as the center’s director until 2009. She also helped to found the Future of Children, a joint effort between the Woodrow Wilson School and the Brookings Institution that produces publications focusing on the effects of community health issues on children. The idea for the project arose when Paxson and other leaders at Princeton wanted to begin a discussion about community health, which they felt had been hampered by Princeton’s lack of a medical school, said Cecilia Rouse, professor of economic and public affairs at Princeton and senior editor of the Future of Children. Ron Haskins, senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution, said Princeton won a national competition to work on the Future of Children largely due to Paxson, who wrote a proposal that appealed to the institute. In the crowded field of economics, Paxson has often stood out for her strong interest in issues of children’s health, Haskins added. “She’s just so smart, talented — a calm leader with vision,” Rouse

said. “It was just a matter of time until someone saw that, and she moved on.” Paxson also led the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a study funded by the National Institutes of Health that has followed children born in urban areas at the end of the twentieth century, often to unmarried parents. The project tracks how the parents raise their children, assessing the children’s development and the influence of other environmental factors. Sara McLanahan, a Princeton professor of sociology and public affairs who worked with Paxson on the Fragile Families project and the Future of Children, said Paxson’s research elucidates the long-term negative effects of poor childhood health and the way health disparities at early stages continue to widen. She added that Paxson’s determination and humility made her an effective collaborator. “She just has this can-do attitude. She’s a problem-solver,” McLanahan said. “A lot of it is because she’s very selfless.” In her research, Paxson has also shown a propensity for expanding her scholarly focus beyond domestic issues. As an economics professor and leader of the Woodrow Wilson School, Paxson often applied “high-end statistical methods” to analyze trends and data in novel ways, said Jane Waldfogel, a Columbia professor of social work and public affairs who co-authored several papers on child neglect and abuse with Paxson. “She’s very well-known for her path-breaking work in economics and usually both within the U.S. and internationally,” said Waldfogel, adding that their work together looked at how children’s living arrangements affected their chances of being abused or necontinued on page 12


Monday, March 5, 2012