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Call of the Wild: Arctic Program Update 10 Years of the Game-Changing Young Alumni Trustee Program Discovering Silver Linings and Opportunities During Remote Fall Semester

Revolutionary Challenge Airs Final Round Live The Revolutionary Challenge held its final round via livestream Thursday, Oct. 29. Each of the four finalists made virtual pitches for their ideas to harness Dickinson’s useful liberal-arts education for the greater good. The Dickinson community was then invited to vote online to help the President’s Panel on Innovation determine which of the four projects will be brought to life. This historic process began last fall with one challenge: to answer Benjamin Rush’s call to keep the Dickinson experience revolutionary with new initiatives that respond to the most pressing challenges of our time. President Margee Ensign put out this call to the global Dickinson community, and alumni, parents, faculty, staff and students responded with 49 proposals. After more than 5,000 Dickinsonians weighed in on those proposals, the President’s Panel on Innovation, a body of 15 innovative entrepreneurs, business leaders and educators, met in February to consider the proposals and the community feedback. Four finalists emerged:

• Developing Leaders for 21st-century Revolutionary Challenges • The Dickinson College Data Science Initiative • The Food, Agriculture & Resource Management (FARM) Lab • FutureLab: Collaborative Innovation for the Greater Good Now, after those finalists have made their pitches, the President’s Panel on Innovation and the Board of Trustees will consider input from the entire Dickinson community once again as they decide which initiatives will move forward.

Visit dickinson.edu/revolutionary in the coming weeks to learn the results and discover how you can continue to support this revolutionary initiative.

Photo by John Pohl ’78, P’06

HERE & THERE our view 2


your view 3


bragging rights 7



kudos 4

DISTINCTIVELY DICKINSON Discovering Silver Linings and Opportunities During Remote Semester Hear from students and faculty about how they’ve found ways to collaborate, innovate and get creative through an unprecedented situation.


before you go 48


Call of the Wild Dickinson’s distinctive Arctic program marks a major milestone thanks to permanent funding provided by alumni.


A Game-Changing Experience The Young Alumni Trustee program celebrates 10 years of success. Hear from some of the recipients about the experience, and the doors it has opened.

PAST & PRESENT our Dickinson 26

| obituaries 46

President Margee Ensign Vice President of Marketing & Communications Connie McNamara Editor Lauren Davidson Designer Amanda DeLorenzo Contributing Writers MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson Matt Getty Kandace Kohr Tony Moore Magazine Advisory Board Alexander Becket ’08 Catherine McDonald Davenport ’87 Jim Gerencser ’93 Gregory Lockard ’03 David O’Connell Megan Shelley Dapp ’05 Adrienne Su Alisa Valudes Whyte ’93

© Dickinson College 2020. Dickinson Magazine (USPS Permit No. 19568, ISSN 2719134) is published four times a year, in January, April, July and October, by Dickinson College, P.O. Box 1773, Carlisle, Cumberland County, PA 17013-1773. Periodicals postage paid at Carlisle, PA, and additional mailing office.

D I C K I N S O N M A G A Z I N E  Fall 2020 | Volume 98 | Number 2

Address changes may be sent to Dickinson Magazine, Dickinson College, P.O. Box 1773, Carlisle, PA 17013-2896.

A local Inuit guide looks out over the icy expanse during Dickinson’s 2016 fieldwork excursion to Baffin Island. Read more on Pages 14-19. Photo by John Pohl ’78, P’06.

www.dickinson.edu/magazine | dsonmag@dickinson.edu | 717-245-1289


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Printed using wind energy and soy-based inks on Finch paper. All Finch papers are produced in Glens Falls, N.Y., using 66% on-site sustainable energy sources: emission-free hydroelectricity from the Hudson River and biomass co-generation from wood waste. Finch sustains natural American forests, supports independently certified fiber sourcing and reduces fossil fuel emissions.

Head to the web for more. View a related video.


Carl Socolow ’77



Chair of the Board of Trustees


ne of the most salutary benefits of serving as chair of our Board of Trustees is the opportunity to visit our alumni in all parts of the world. The contacts I’ve made confirm the value that a Dickinson education has provided to our students over countless generations. They also personally renew me and enhance my feeling of pride in our college. It was just such a sojourn, prepandemic, that took me to the Miami area this past February, where I had the privilege of spending time with Sam Rose ’58. I have known Sam for several years in connection with his generous gifts to our college, not the least of which has been the Sam Rose ’58 and Julie Walters Prize for Global Environmental Activism. I have always found Sam to be a delight—he is passionate, thoughtful, candid, penetratingly intelligent and possessed of an abundant if somewhat sardonic sense of humor. A few years ago, Sam spoke at Commencement upon the awarding of the aforementioned prize—an experience that I have likened to watching a high-wire act due to Sam’s predilection for



calling things as he sees them. When I encountered Sam after the ceremony, I joked, “Sam, your problem is that you never say what’s on your mind.” This elicited a hearty laugh from Sam, who clearly enjoyed the moment. Sam has been written about frequently in these pages, and my purpose in mentioning him is not to revisit his remarkable successes in life and business. Rather, I want to talk about what Sam has meant to his alma mater and how instructive that should be for every Dickinson alum. Not long after I arrived at Sam’s winter home, I sat down with him as he carefully read the thank-you letters that had been submitted by the many Dickinson students who benefit from Sam’s incredible generosity in funding scholarships. The satisfaction Sam derived from these letters was palpable as he considered each one in turn. Just like Sam, these students were at Dickinson only because of financial aid and scholarships. Over the course of my several days with him, Sam recounted just how close he came to withdrawing from Dickinson due to lack of funds. It is clear that this experience has always informed Sam’s spirit of philanthropy when it comes to his alma mater. Today, over 77% of Dickinson students receive financial aid and scholarships, and the average institutional grant surpasses $35,000. If not for this level of assistance, more than 1,300 of our students would potentially not be able to attend Dickinson. This comprises 65% of our student body, and any measurable diminution in aid would leave Dickinson for only the wealthiest few. The impact this would have on diversity, not to mention our ability to attract the best and brightest, is abundantly clear. When you make a gift to Dickinson that enhances the college’s ability to fund scholarships, regardless of the size, you are truly paying it forward. You will experience your own version of the satisfaction Sam Rose feels when he reads those letters—it is the quiet but profound joy of knowing that you have helped to make a life-changing education accessible to someone who will have a hand in shaping the world you live in. The world has changed markedly since that visit, but happily Sam Rose hasn’t. His commitment to our college is stronger than ever. Try to imagine Dickinson without Sam. I certainly can’t. Let’s all try to be more like this terrific Dickinsonian. By emulating Sam’s philanthropic spirit, we will ensure that students destined to achieve great successes will continue to make Dickinson their college of first choice.




COVID Timeline, Trustee Transparency Appreciated When your summer issue arrived, I found myself with three magazines in hand—two that I had only skimmed plus the new one. I decided it was time to make up for past sins and promptly read all three issues cover to cover. All were well done, and I thought you did an especially nice job with the timeline showing COVID developments on campus. It was interesting to see what a short timespan elapsed between the first COVID diagnosis and the college’s move to suspend regular operations and send students home. I must respect the fact that key decision-makers had virtually no precedents to look back on for guidance. However, the main thing I wanted to say is that I enjoyed your interviews with the trustees. I was curious to learn why they joined, what they get out of it and what other people find interesting about their lives, livelihoods and college experiences. I agree with John Jones ’77 that many people probably have little idea what the trustees do. I have worked in public relations at three different institutions of higher learning. As a result, I’ve seen firsthand the problems that can arise when a school has trustees who are chosen for the wrong reasons, who serve for the wrong reasons or who are simply not up to the task. One of the universities where I worked is a state institution. The trustees were almost all political appointees, in a Southern state where the “good ol’ boy” network is alive and well. That situation was a disaster waiting to happen, and the school survived despite what the trustees did, not because of what they did. In short, the Dickinson trustee profiles were refreshing and reaffirming. The college is blessed to have a board that is essentially made up 100% of alumni. It makes a huge difference when all the trustees have that one thing in common. It means they have a personal stake in success that is hard to duplicate among outsiders. My wife and I both look forward to receiving each issue (and I pledge to read future issues more promptly). Keep up the good work! RAYMOND C. JONES ’70


“Blown Away” by Summer Issue I just finished reading the latest edition of Dickinson Magazine. I must admit, I don’t always read it cover to cover, just check out the class of 1965 class notes and the obituaries. I encourage you to read it because I was totally blown away by the accomplishments of the recent graduates highlighted (“What’s Next?”). I feel like my years at Dickinson were so very different. These kids are sophisticated world travelers who are sure to have great futures! I was also impressed with how involved Dickinson has become in Carlisle. The college has surely been a blessing to so many during this very difficult time. We have every reason to be very proud of our Dickinson diplomas. PATRICIA MILLER GABLE ’65


We want to hear from you! Send letters via email to dsonmag@dickinson.edu or mail to: Dickinson Magazine, P.O. Box 1773, Carlisle, PA 17013. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

Brain Teaser Enjoyed by Many Following are a few of the reactions sent in along with answers to the Hat Trick brain teaser: “Thanks for the head scratcher.” “These are a lot of fun—please keep them coming!” “Thanks for the fun diversion!” “Love love love the logic puzzle!” If anyone is interested in submitting a brain teaser, or any type of puzzle, for potential publication, please email editor Lauren Davidson at davidsol@dickinson.edu. Hat Trick Brain Teaser Answer If Students 1 and 2 were wearing the same hat, Student 3 would know that he/she was wearing the hat from the other society. Since Student 3 is silent (the big clue!), Student 2 knows that he/she is not wearing the same hat as Student 1. So Student 2 can correctly ascertain which hat he/she is wearing! Thank you to the 41 readers who submitted responses! They represented 14 states and included 25 class years ranging from 1954 to 2024, plus several parents, one spouse and one staff member. The 30 correct answers were entered into a random drawing, and the following received a $25 gift card to the Dickinson College Bookstore: Don Isaacson ’69, Joan Shockey Breslin ’80, Dana Storey Pianowski ’83, Tom Benz ’90 and Sean Hutchinson ’09.


Dickinson faculty members, including Associate Professor of Biology Tiffany Frey (pictured here), worked hard to transition course material for the remote fall semester. shared how our biases

with withdrawing from

may overwhelm our better

the Open Skies Treaty;

judgment. She was also

and on what a possible

quoted in a CNN article,

transition of power in

“Happiness Museum Looks

North Korea could look

at Brighter Feelings in

like. McCausland also was

Uncertain Times.”

a guest on New Orleans

Associate Professor of

Featured Faculty Assistant Professor of

Lecturer in Psychology

Political Science and

Michele Ford shared her

Latin American Studies

insight with WPMT FOX43

Santiago Anria was quoted

for a story about how

in The New York Times story

extreme uncertainty

“As Politicians Clashed,

during COVID-19 can

Bolivia’s Pandemic Death

affect the mental health of

Rate Soared.”

young people.

Associate Professor of

Bruno Grazioli, contributing

Psychology Suman Ambwani

faculty in Italian studies

was quoted in The New York

and director of the

Times story on weight gain

Dickinson in Italy program,

during COVID-19 lockdown.

was quoted by Money

Instead of obsessing about

magazine for a story about

weight and exercise,

adapting study abroad for

Ambwani suggested

remote education.

channeling energy into education and advocacy.

The Associated Press reported on Assistant

WITF’s Julia Agos

Professor of Earth

interviewed Professor

Sciences Jorden Hayes’

of American Studies

class’ efforts to use

and Women’s, Gender &

ground-penetrating radar

Sexuality Studies Amy

to map historic gravesites.

Farrell for a story on Pennsylvania’s suffrage movement. It was part of PBS’ “The Vote” project.

Marie Helweg-Larsen, professor of psychology, Glen E. & Mary Line Todd Chair in the Social

Instructor in American

Sciences and director

Studies Darren Lone Fight

of the Norwich Sciences

was a guest on WGHB

Program in England,

Boston in the segment

explained the concept of

Revisiting Native American

“optimistic bias” in a New

Representation in American

York Times article about

Culture. He is an enrolled

why we are not so good

member of the Three

with risk assessment

Affiliated Tribes—which

during the pandemic. And,

includes Mandan, Hidatsa

in a separate New York Times

and Arikara Nation.

story on dating during COVID-19, Helweg-Larsen


radio station WWL.

Art History Elizabeth Lee

Associate Professor of

published a piece in The

Political Science David

Conversation about one

O’Connell was quoted

19th-century artist’s

in the Newsweek article

efforts to grapple with

“Eight Congressional

tuberculosis and how it

Races Could Decide if

resonates with the current

Biden Beats Trump.”

COVID-19 pandemic. This piece was republished by Fast Company and dozens of other news websites through a Creative

Professor of History and Pohanka Chair in American Civil War History Matthew Pinsker was among a group

Commons license.

of prominent Civil War

The Sentinel spoke with

historical analyses of

Associate Professor of

President Lincoln’s

Sociology Erik Love about

Gettysburg Address in

social movements in the

contrast to President

wake of the George Floyd

Trump’s reported plan

racial justice protests this

to speak in Gettysburg


in the opinion section at

Associate Professor of Philosophy Chauncey Maher published a piece in The Conversation that looked at how books, music and movies can hinder protest movements. Visiting Professor of International Security Studies Jeff McCausland published five op-eds in NBC News THINK: On the possible chilling effect President Donald Trump’s treatment of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman could have on military leadership; on Trump’s questionable ability to formulate national security policy regarding Russia; on former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ criticism of the president; on the possible problems

scholars who contributed

CNN.com. Additionally, Pinsker explained to The Sentinel that politics and civic art often overshadow history when it comes to monuments, as protests against problematic monuments surged nationwide. WITF’s Smart Talk hosted a conversation with Pinsker on the legacy of Andrew Johnson, Reconstruction and racial inequality. Professor of Political Science and A. Lee Fritschler Professor of Public Policy Harry Pohlman was interviewed by WPMT FOX43 for a story on free speech.

HERE & THERE / kudos Associate Professor of

Archaeology magazine

Valerie Coleman’s Wish

Philosophy Crispin Sartwell

wrote about Assistant

Sonatine and Fanmi

published an op-ed,

Professor of Earth Sciences

Imèn,” analyzed seminal

“American Idolatry Meets

Alyson Thibodeau and

flute works by one of the

Woke Iconoclasm,” in

Allison Curley ’19, whose

leading contemporary


student-faculty research

American composers

into South American qero

of chamber music. This

drinking vessels provides

research was also named

insight into long-standing

the winner of the 2020

historical questions.

National Flute Association

Associate Professor of English Claire Seiler published Midcentury Suspension: Literature

Graduate Research

and Feeling in the Wake

West Virginia University

of World War II with

School of Music named

Columbia University Press.

Contributing Faculty in

Visiting Instructor of

She also had an essay,

Flute Brittany Trotter as

Environmental Studies Kim

“The Matter of Elizabeth

a winner of the Mary

Van Fleet was quoted in a

Bishop’s Professionalism,”

Tiffany Ferer Award for

Prevention article, “No, You

published in Elizabeth

Outstanding Doctoral

Don’t Need to Spend Extra

Bishop and the Literary

Research in Music

Money on Those Blue-light

Archive (Edited by

for 2019-20. Trotter’s

Blocking Glasses.”

Bethany Hicok. Lever

research, “Examining

Press, 2020. pp. 303-18).

Musical Hybridity and


(Kudos as of Sept. 6.)

Cultural Influences in

President Ensign in the News Dickinson’s decision to go remote for the fall semester—one of the first colleges in the national to do so—garnered significant national, regional and local news coverage, and President Margee Ensign’s perspective was sought by higher education reporters and editors. • Ensign and Vice President for Finance & Administration Brontè Burleigh-Jones were featured guests on the FutureU podcast, hosted by Jeff Selingo, NYT bestselling author, contributor to The Atlantic and The Washington Post and former editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. They discussed the decision to hold a remote fall semester and underscored Dickinson’s leadership in making choices based on values and priorities. • At the invitation of senior editors at The Chronicle of Higher Education, Ensign

Administrator Accolades

participated in a panel discussion about strategic decision-making during the pandemic. • Ensign was quoted in USA Today’s story on

The Philadelphia Inquirer

Executive Director of the

a WPMT FOX43 TV story on

interviewed Center

Center for Civic Learning

the farm’s use of electric

for Global Study &

& Action Gary Kirk was

and solar vehicles.

Engagement Executive

featured in The Sentinel for

Director and Associate

his work collaborating

Provost Samantha Brandauer

with the Carlisle Action

’95 and Daisheau Player

Network to launch a Civic

’22 for a report on the

Innovation Competition

cancelation of study

aimed at helping students

abroad and what that

in grades K-12.

The Sentinel as the protests

Education quoted Ensign in a story about

came to campus in June.

colleges reversing course and choosing

Assistant Vice President

In a CNN.com story about

remote fall semesters.

Vice President for

for Enrollment and

pop culture’s “moment

Enrollment Management

Director of Admissions

of reckoning” on race,

and Dean of Admissions

Recruitment Greg Moyer ’06

Stephens warned “we must

Inside Higher Ed, The Boston Globe and several

Catherine McDonald

was the featured guest on

be careful to not mistake

regional outlets referenced Dickinson in their

Davenport ’87 shared

the YouTube series Chats

sales for social reform.”

reporting on college and university plans for

her advice for students

With Colleges, hosted by

considering gap years with

Hobsons. He discussed how

Fast Company. Additionally,

Dickinson is supporting

for a story about test-

students and families

optional practices during

during their college search

the pandemic in the

while staying at home.

Career Development Damon

Dickinson College Farm

advice for recent graduates

Co-Director Matt Steiman

in the Society for Human

and Paige Baisley ’20

Resource Management’s

featured prominently in

SHRM News.

means for students.

educational technology outlet EdSurge, Davenport highlighted that Dickinson has been test-optional since 1996.

Popel Shaw Center for Race & Ethnicity Director Vincent Stephens shared his thoughts on the racial justice movement with

the college’s decision to hold the fall semester remotely. • The Philadelphia Inquirer quoted Ensign in a piece about some of the first colleges and universities to choose remote instruction for the fall semester. • Education Dive and The Chronicle of Higher

• The Associated Press, Philadelphia magazine,

the fall semester. Associate Provost and Executive Director of

• The public media reporting project PA Post

the Center for Advising,

quoted Ensign extensively in its in-depth report

Internships & Lifelong

on colleges preparing for the fall semester.

Yarnell shared job-search

• Additionally, WITF, The Sentinel, PennLive and several local television outlets highlighted the college’s decision to pursue a remote fall semester and included an explanation from Ensign in their reporting.


HERE & THERE / fine print

Clinical Psychiatry: A Handbook for Medical Students, Residents and Clinicians

The Day the Hugs Went Away: Inspired by the Imagination and Real Life Hugs of the Drake Girls

By Ira Glick ’57 and Charles DeBattista

By Gwyn Pohl Drake ’06

Scion Publishing Ltd.


Clinical Psychiatry provides all the essential information required for a successful psychiatry rotation. Written by two senior psychiatry professors, the book offers an exam-centered, reader-friendly style backed up with concise clinical guidance covering diagnosis and management based on the DSM-5 Criteria. Glick is professor emeritus of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine.

As a marketing professional, Drake is an expert in finding ways to creatively communicate. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, she worked with her three young children to write and illustrate their experience of staying connected. She is donating 10% of the book’s profits to UNICEF.


By Spencer Bailey ’08

By Mary Cappello ’82 Transit Books Cappello is a professor of English and creative writing at the University of Rhode Island and the author of six books of literary nonfiction, including Awkward: A Detour (a Los Angeles Times bestseller). Her latest work is a song for the forgotten art of the lecture. Cappello draws on examples from Virginia Woolf to Mary Ruefle, Ralph Waldo Emerson to James Baldwin, blending rigorous cultural criticism with personal history to explore the lecture in its many forms and give new life to knowledge’s dramatic form.

In Memory Of: Designing Contemporary Memorials Phaidon Press Through a collection of thoughtful essays on hope, strength, grief, loss and fear, In Memory Of commemorates some of the most destructive events of the 20th and 21st centuries, including war, genocide, massacre, terrorism, famine and slavery. Bailey is a writer, editor and journalist who has written at length about architecture, art, culture, design and technology, among other subjects. Bailey is also the co-founder of the media company The Slowdown and co-host of the Time Sensitive podcast.

Fiction 6 DICK INSON M AGAZINE Fall 2020 6


HERE & THERE / bragging rights #DSONPROUD

In September, Dickinson became one of the first liberal-arts colleges in the U.S. to move to a TEST-BLIND ADMISSION POLICY. dson.co/testblindfaq

Students in the News • N  PR featured Dickinson and an interview with Irem Ozturk ’22 in its reporting on colleges changing course for the fall semester. The story aired nationally on Morning Edition and was published on the websites of more than 100 NPR member stations. •  Reader’s Digest published an op-ed by Kat Pham ’21 about the uncertainty she faces as an international student during the COVID-19 pandemic.

No. 14 in Sierra magazine’s 2020 list of Cool Schools Dickinson has again been named to THE PRINCETON REVIEW’S GREEN HONOR ROLL, receiving the highest possible score of 99.

DICKINSON’S UPSILON DELTA CHAPTER OF DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY INC. took runner-up for the Community Service Hours Award in the Eastern Region of the sorority. Members of Upsilon Delta, which was founded at Dickinson in 2007, volunteer with Carlisle’s Hope Station and as prison inmate tutors while also serving as campus tour guides, Presidential Fellows, admissions student interviewers and panelists and first-year mentors.

After a national review and selection process, Dickinson’s Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM) was named a recipient of the Engagement Scholarship Consortium’s Excellence in Faculty Community Engagement Award.


Vincent Stephens

Liberace’s candelabra and bling-bejeweled hands. Johnnie Ray’s tears. Little Richard’s raucous ebullience. Johnny Mathis’ quiet sensitivity. Years before the start of the gay-liberation movement, and decades before “gender fluidity” entered our lexicon, each of these recording artists presented a sexually ambiguous persona that diverged sharply from midcentury-America ideas of what a man should look like and how he should be. A celebrated book by a Dickinson administrator and faculty member examines that cultural phenomenon and what it all means. Vincent Stephens’ book Rocking the Closet: How Little Richard, Johnnie Ray, Liberace, and Johnny Mathis Queered Pop Music is an Advocate Best Queer(ish) Nonfiction Tome of 2019 and was supported by a grant from the American Musicological Society, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Stephens is also co-editor of Postracial America? An Interdisciplinary Study (Bucknell University Press/Rowman & Littlefield, 2017), and he has written and maintained the popular-music blog Riffs, Beats, & Codas since 2015.


Vincent Stephens, director of Dickinson’s Popel Shaw Center for Race & Ethnicity and contributing faculty member in music, discusses his acclaimed new book—which combines his interests in midcentury America, popular culture and music—his role at Dickinson and more. By MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson

Carl Socolow ’77

Questions With

HERE & THERE / 10 questions

1. Tell me about your work as

director of the Popel Shaw Center (PSC). The PSC was previously the Office of Diversity Initiatives and was renamed in 2014 after Esther A.B. Popel, the first African American woman to graduate from Dickinson. I started in June 2015. I oversee annual diversity education programs for faculty, staff and students, including the Inclusive Leadership Student Training retreat for students, the Developing Awareness as a Management Practice workshop and facultyoriented workshops on topics like inclusive pedagogy and cultural-conflict resolution. I also play a lead role in the campus’ cultural heritage programming for Latinx Heritage Month, Black History Month and Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. The center administers the ACE peer-mentor program, advises MANdatory and hosts the Multiracial Mixer on a monthly basis. I also coordinate Dickinson’s Bias Education and Response Team, serve as lead coordinator for Campus Inclusion Week (co-sponsored by multiple offices) and manage the Senior Community Recognition Ceremony for graduating students of color and international students. Additionally, we co-sponsor lectures and salons with the Clarke Forum, book groups and thematic displays with the Waidner-Spahr Library and various programs with academic departments.

2. How did Rocking the Closet come about?

It’s an outgrowth of my dissertation research. My argument was based on the idea that people often think that before 1969 and the Stonewall Riots, people were closeted. And I wondered, “Well, if that were true, why is it that someone like Liberace was so popular?” The four men in this book were very openly not following the masculine norms, but you didn’t necessarily know anything about their sex lives. In interviews, Johnny Mathis would talk about his parents or music lessons or being an athlete. He didn’t talk about dating anyone. People just assumed that he hadn’t met the right woman yet. And then there are other performers who sort of played the freak, like Little Richard, who was able to stymie negative sexual stereotypes in black men by being this really over-the-top character. People were so focused on the makeup and the hair that they weren’t necessarily even thinking about his sex life, you know? Sometimes ambiguity can be very powerful.

It’s fascinating, especially in relationships today, when identity politics sometimes can be understood very rigidly.

3. In this book, and in your

scholarship, you focus on midcentury America. What is it about that era that interests you? For the book, I was really interested in seeing what was happening in popular culture before there was a formal gay-liberation political movement. And I wanted to understand these four artists, and the people that they were, in the context of competing dynamics in the late ’40s through the mid-’50s. More generally, when I was growing up in the ’80s, there was a lot of nostalgia for the ’50s and ’60s. It was the Reagan era, and The Wonder Years was a popular TV show. And my father is a Vietnam War vet. So I grew up really interested in learning about what actually took place during the war and in the decades before I was born. A lot of people were saying that the ’50s was an idyllic time, but I also remember feeling that the country was still processing the civil rights movement. I feel that a lot of our better writers and thinkers have poked holes in that sort of faux nostalgia, because the ’50s wasn’t great for everyone. Sometimes you think you understand something, but when you take a closer look, you see that there’s a lot more going on under the surface.

4. Your book is about music, and you teach music. Are you a musician?

Um, I think that would be a stretch. [Laughs] When I was a kid, I played the piano for a bit and I played the vibraphone.


When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to design automobiles. When I was a Boy Scout, I remember designing cars for the Pinewood Derby. They had templates for it, but I took it really seriously—I was, I don’t know, 8 or 9 at the time—and my father and I carved the cars out of wood. When I was a teenager, I spent a lot of my spare time designing the exteriors and interiors—I was really interested in ergonomics— and thinking about innovations, like a transmission that has manual and automatic modes, and a backup camera to help you park.

6. What book has had the

biggest impact on you?

A book by Alice Walker called In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens. I would call it essential reading for anyone who cares about post-World War II American history. The prose is gorgeous. She covers so many different things from a personal but informed perspective.

7. What music captivates you?

I have boxes of music, all different styles. I’m most interested in people who are doing things outside of what we recognize as mainstream; people who go against the grain; people who are their own universes. Like Laura Nyro—in terms of musical and lyrical innovation, she’s very comparable to Bob Dylan. I tell my students there’s a mainstream history, and then there are these other stories. Let’s see what else is out there. So we talk about rockabilly and about how women have often been excluded from the history. We talk about Brenda Lee and Bobbie Gentry.

8. You mentioned boxes of

music. Do you have shelves of vinyl at home? I have, like, 3,000 CDs. There is no computer that I have access to that can hold all of that music. But even if I could do that, I don’t want to listen to music through a computer all the time.

9. What are you writing now?

I’m writing about a show that aired on the CW network for four years called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. I’m interested in what it said about life in the 21st century.

10. What do you like to do outside of work?

Reading is essential to my life. I’m very into aerobic and cardio exercise. I need to have time to go to a park and just put on music and walk. I love cooking, eating, spending time with friends, going to a great museum or gallery. I’ve had some opportunities to travel, and I always want to see more. Whenever someone asks me, “Do you want to go here? Do you want to do this?” I always say, “Yes!” I want to be everywhere all the time.



happenings Snippets of stories from around campus Dickinson.edu/news

Alumni Invited to Audit Virtual Courses This Fall One-hundred and thirty-five alumni audited classes in fall 2020, thanks Courtesy American University by Jeff Watts.

to an online semester that made classes available outside the Carlisle area. Representing class years spanning from 1963 to 2020, they logged in from the U.S., China, Czech Republic, France, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Turkey and the U.K., adding a depth of perspective to classroom conversations in the humanities, sciences, social sciences and arts. Susanne Lee ’67, an environmental attorney, audited an environmental-studies class and designed a project tying into her probono work. Jeff Murison ’93, who audited an international business & management course along with Jeff Hopper ’06 and Abbie Wingerd ’19, illuminated key social issues during a group critique of the 2010 movie The King’s Speech.

Dickinson Discussion with Bestselling Author Ibram Kendi Ibram X. Kendi, the author of How to Be an Antiracist, discussed ways to understand, explain and solve the seemingly intractable problems of racial inequality during a Sept. 17 virtual event. Moderated by Director of Dickinson’s Popel Shaw Center for Race & Ethnicity Vincent Stephens, the deeply personal and empowering lecture encouraged audience members to go beyond an awareness of racism to the next step of contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.


“The academic material has been very useful professionally,” says Murison, CEO of a nonprofit economic-development agency. “And it has been wonderful to reconnect with the college and students in this very unique way during these very unique times.” dson.co/alumniaudits

Presidential Fellows Update Since the inception of the Presidential Discovery Initiative last summer, the college has collected invaluable insight from alumni regarding their hopes for the future of the college and to better understand how the Dickinson experience has shaped graduates’ lives. This summer, the Presidential Fellows conducted more than 1,000 virtual interviews with alumni to make this the most successful year of the program to date, despite challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

2020 Rose-Walters Prize Awarded to Clean-Air Champion This year’s recipient of the Sam Rose ’58 and Julie Walters Prize at Dickinson College for Global Environmental Activism is Armond Cohen, founder and executive director of the Clean Air Task Force (CATF). The $100,000 prize is given annually to an individual or organization that makes a defining difference and advances responsible action on behalf of the planet, its resources and people. The prize recognizes Cohen’s leadership with CATF, a primary force in reducing air pollution and climate pollutants from the nation’s power plants, industries and cars and trucks since its founding in 1996. As a recipient of the Rose-Walters Prize, Cohen presented a variety of lectures and discussions with Dickinson students and community members during a virtual residency this fall. His public lecture, “Hedgehogs and Foxes: Toward Climate Pragmatism,” was presented via livestream on Monday, Oct. 12.

Explore Campus Through Self-Guided QR Tour While on-campus programs and visits were limited this fall, Dickinson introduced a new and interactive way to explore campus. The self-guided QR code campus tour provides visitors with a look inside notable campus spots and buildings—from Old West to the Kline Center, Morgan Field to the Academic Quad. dson.co/qrtour


Carlo Robustelli joins Dickinson as Vice President for Advancement Carlo Robustelli, an accomplished fundraiser and collaborative leader, comes to Dickinson from Illinois Wesleyan University, where he served as assistant vice president of advancement. As a member of Dickinson’s senior leadership team, Robustelli will be responsible for strategic leadership and oversight for all areas of advancement, including alumni and parent engagement, leadership giving, planned giving, research and corporate, government and foundation support. “Carlo has extensive

Photo courtesy of Cohen.

experience across a wide swath of advancement roles, and I am impressed with his energy and vision. He understands Dickinson’s mission and is eager to lead our advancement team in support of it,” said Dickinson President Margee M. Ensign. Watch for more about Robustelli in the winter issue of Dickinson Magazine.

Red Devil Sports Network Launches Podcast From their various locations around the country, Sam St. Jean ’22 , Sam Glavin ’22 and Dom Fusco ’21 launched the Speak of the Devils podcast in September as a way to keep the Dickinson athletics community connected and engaged in meaningful conversations. Check it out, along with Dickinson’s award-winning podcast The Good, wherever you get your podcasts. 11

Joe O’Neill



@alison_22fifty shared this photo on Instagram from her home in Pottstown on the first day of remote classes.

It’s likely that all current Dickinson students will remember what they were doing when they got the email that said Dickinson—up against a wall of COVID-related obstacles—was going to be a remote experience in the fall. And many likely had the same question: How is this going to work out? Over the past few months, we’ve found out. The Dickinson faculty has collectively made Herculean efforts to keep the academic machine well-oiled and running, and online learning is underway instead of being feared. And, maybe against all odds, it seems to be working out.

‘A R E S O U R C E F U L A LT E R N AT I V E ’ “Although I would be happier on campus, virtual learning has proved to be a resourceful alternative, given the difficult environment,” says Olivia Cox ’24 (undeclared), who’s taking Professor of Art History and William W. Edel Professor of


Humanities Melinda Schlitt ’s FirstYear Seminar, Ideas That Have Shaped the World. “I’ve met more students through my classes than I originally believed I would, and I’m glad that I’m still working toward the same goals that I would have had on campus.” Those goals are being reached through no small amount of creativity on the part of Dickinson’s faculty, who have pivoted hard into online teaching in some interesting ways. For instance, Professor of Biology Chuck Zwemer has created something akin to a TV studio for holding physiology labs virtually, while Professor of Theatre Sherry Harper-McCombs has been shipping sewing machines across the country, so students in her Introduction to Stage Technology class can learn to sew at home. Meanwhile, Andrea Lieber, professor of religion and Sophia Ava Asbell Chair in Judaic Studies, has been “geeking out” using Jamboard, which allows creative real-time collaboration with students. And students have been noticing those efforts, which sometimes come in unexpected forms. “Professor [Scott] Boback has created a time and space for us as a class to hang out and not have to necessarily talk about ecology, which he calls ‘Ecology Virtual Coffee Hours,’ ” says Marja Van Mierlo ’22 (art & art history), who’s taking Boback’s Biology 314: Ecology. “Although it’s in the morning, it’s worth waking up for. Additionally, in class, he has introduced us to his dog and the plants in his yard. Having these relatively small chats has made my remote experience in his class a lot more enjoyable.” For Boback, associate professor of biology, it’s part of a holistic approach to teaching—taking into account what students need academically as well as socially.

“What we’re doing is taking the time to thoughtfully plan out exercises and activities students can do on their own, in a remote setting, while pushing them intellectually,” says Boback, who has also gone the extra mile in keeping students as stress-free as he can. “[The Virtual Coffee Hour] is a nice way to understand and learn about students’ unique situations, something we would normally do before or after class, perhaps when we bump into them in the hallway—something that’s much easier to do when we’re in person!”

UNEXPECTED BENEFITS Beyond pivoting to make the student experience as robust as possible in clearly challenging (not trying) times, faculty members have found elements of online life that have added to instead of subtracted from academic life. For instance, Adrienne Su , professor of creative writing and Dickinson’s poetin-residence, has been trading Zoom class visits with other poets around the country, bringing their classes together, mutually interviewing each other and inviting students to ask questions and request poems to be read. “In addition to being interesting for us, I think it gave students a chance to see their visiting poet as a teacher and their teacher as a visiting poet,” says Su, who traded a session in October with a poet whose work she has admired. “Since most poets teach, it’s a more holistic way of envisioning a career in creative writing than the traditional visit provides.” And that approach has also resonated with students, all of whom say they’d obviously rather be on campus this semester but have managed to find a silver lining in the current situation.

Claudia Bonaccorsi ’22

Erin Crawley-Woods , visiting assistant professor of dance, generally focuses on building awareness of and connection to self, others and environment through yoga, dance techniques and somatic modalities and improvisation—none of which is exactly conducive to online learning. But the fact that she’s been forced to rethink her approach might just have led to nuanced breakthroughs in her teaching style.

“There is truly no substitute for being in the same room together, and I’ve stopped trying to make it like there is and instead figure out what this new thing is,” she says, noting that teaching such a physical subject online is working out better than she expected it to. “Preparing to teach remotely forced me to reorganize a lot of material. I became much more aware of where things in my syllabi were unclear or of how I had structured an assignment was inefficient. I’m more open to changing things up and feel like a more versatile educator.” Hans Pfister, professor of physics and the George W. Pedlow Chair in Pedagogy, has also been changing things up. And while he says it’s about double the work of classroom teaching for himself and his science colleagues, it’s something he’s come to embrace.

“I’m still having a fantastic time, and I believe that my students have a great time as well,” he says, noting that in one class, students are exploring kinetic art, collecting data via video from thousands of miles away. “I can intrigue them and bend their minds with my physics puzzles in a Zoom class as much as during a class that would meet in Tome.”

N OT A R E P L AC E M E N T In the end, students have had a lot of good things to say about the fall 2020 semester, such as Sydney Loewy ’24, in Schlitt’s FYS, who says, “Although [it’s] not ideal, I don’t feel like I’m lacking a quality education. Every professor that I currently have has adapted their classes to be more fitted to a virtual environment and has been accommodating to every student as well as they can.” Madi McIntyre ’22 (biology, anthropology) is in agreement: “I have to say I am surprised how well remote learning is working as a science major.” “Dickinson has done a much better job [than my high school] of implementing different learning techniques and making us feel like we’re actually in the classroom,” says Ben Tomick ’24. “Whether that’s breakout rooms, videos, open discussions or some other online interactive assignment, it works. I definitely feel like I’m learning now and am at school rather than just waking up and logging on to a mandatory meeting.” But there are two sides to the remote-learning coin, of course. Students cite the lack of real social interactions and how much they miss fieldwork as major downsides of the remote semester. Some feel like they’re always on an academic schedule, finding it hard to break away and keep different facets of their lives separated. Then there’s the isolation of being a physical class

of one, at their dining room tables and in their bedrooms. And don’t get anyone started on studying abroad. Another issue exposed by the online semester—experienced from grade school to graduate school worldwide—is what could be called an unlevel playing field. “Remote instruction has heightened faculty sensitivity to issues of inclusivity and equity among students,” says Neil Weissman, provost and dean of the college. “The online context reveals significant disparities in access, technology, study space and family circumstances that affect student performance— many of which are normally at least partially attenuated by the leveling effect of campus residence. But we are working to provide all students the support they need.”  So while everyone is striving to make the best of a challenging situation, and students and faculty have remained safe—thereby helping to keep the Carlisle community safe as well—all the Herculean efforts on Earth can’t replace what Dickinson is at heart—an immersive, residential, tight-knit liberal-arts experience, as much community as classroom. But for now, there’s been a real silver lining to the dark clouds that got us all here. dson.co/remotefall20

Photos provided unless otherwise noted. From top: Maya Peck ’22 at Dickinson; Sara Soba ’21 in Sandy Springs, Georgia; Ben Tomick ’24 in Bethany, Deleware; Olivia Cox ’24 in Kennebunkport, Maine; Tao Xu ’21 at Dickinson. Peck and Xu are among the 160 students approved to live on campus this fall.

Joe O’Neill

“The challenge of the liberalarts education is that students want a personal experience of a small community and connection with peers and faculty, yet that’s incredibly difficult to do when we’re spread out throughout the world,” says Sara Soba ’21 (environmental science), also taking Biology 314. “But the fact that we can see how much the professors care about their students and the lengths they are willing to go to ensure they can teach their content well is honestly very inspiring.”






Distinctive Arctic program marks major milestone | By MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson




Professor of Earth Sciences Ben Edwards and John Pohl ’78, P’06 have been capturing the rugged and unspoiled Arctic in photographs in hopes of sharing its jaw-dropping natural majesty—and a message of the need to conserve it—with a larger audience. The two are cataloging the photographs they’ve taken, and some are featured in a permanent photo display in the Waidner-Spahr Library. Photographs of Arctic regions and of the trips are also posted at geophotography.org. A few are reproduced here.


First, a small aircraft

And then the research begins.

Arctic, your camping

During the past seven years, Dickinson’s Arctic program has provided 35 student researchers with wild and rare fieldwork opportunities like these. This year, the program marks a significant milestone, thanks to permanent funding made possible by alumni. This funding supports an endowed faculty position and coursework and fieldwork in one of the most valuable and vulnerable ecosystems in the world.

carries you over the gear and science

equipment in tow. Then you touch down, no airport in sight. You

take in exotic wildlife and snow-capped

mountains as you hike or kayak to an even

more remote area. You may connect with an Inuit guide who can

show you a safe path

across the frozen ocean. DI CK INSON M AGAZINE Fall 2020 1 6

Learning by experiencing The program began with a 2013 student-faculty-alumni fieldwork trip to Baffin, Bylot and Aulattivik islands, Canada. Four students took that flagship trip, along with Professor of Natural Philosophy Marcus Key, John ’78, P’06 and Susan Wyckoff Pohl ’80, P’06 and the Pohls’ daughter Merryl, a science teacher.

Susan, then a Dickinson Board of Trustees member, had a vision for experiential education at her alma mater. John, a geology and political science double major, had previously been on a Dickinson student-faculty geology research excursion in Sicily and had enjoyed the experience. As they hiked, camped and collected samples alongside students in Arctic Canada, they recognized an exceptional opportunity to give back. Seven years and 11 fieldwork trips later, and with the Pohls’ support, student-faculty teams have studied ice, lakes, volcanic rocks, glaciers and archaeological remains in Greenland, Alaska, Canada and Iceland. They’ve surveyed methane levels in freshwater lakes and used high-tech equipment to measure and map volcanic rocks and glaciers. They’ve interacted closely with local guides and learned about indigenous cultures. Some have collected additional data for their senior theses. }




} The students have also gained a deeper understanding of the land’s unspoiled natural resources and the pressing need to preserve them—some by rafting through the Gates of the Arctic National Park, others by kayaking through walrus-inhabited waters or by camping out on the ice, hiking to remote glaciers or soaring above the lip of a volcano by helicopter to do critical research. After their return, they’ve analyzed findings and presented original research at national conferences and co-published scientific papers.

The mother of invention That high-level work—along with the experience of team problem-solving on the fly in a challenging Arctic environment—


sharpens skills applicable to any field. For those now pursuing environmental and science careers, it’s potentially careerdefining. Some, like Arctic program alumni Allison Curley ’19 and Will Kochtitzky ’16 , are continuing to see the effects. A recent collaboration, springing from fieldwork during Curley’s junior year, is a prime example. Realizing that the student-faculty research team would use paper maps during the 2018 Arctic trip because no internet access would be available, Curley used geographic information systems (GIS) technology—a high-tech mapping tool—to create an interactive map. That inspired Professor of Earth Sciences Ben Edwards to use the department’s new GPS unit during the 2018 trip to make high-precision measurements of glacier melt.

Curley, Kochtitzky and Edwards then used GIS to record the retreat rate of eight glaciers,

using satellite images and photos from 1959 to 2019. The research group is preparing a paper for journal publication this fall.

On the map This year’s establishment of sustained program funding, spearheaded by the Pohls, ensures that still more high-level Arctic study and research is ahead, and the newly endowed Arctic program faculty position helps pave the way for expanded partnerships with the University of Ottawa, the Smithsonian Natural History Museum and others, as well as more interdisciplinary research. It’s a chance for students to research global cultures and to speak with indigenous people about their connections to the land while



So what happens to Arctic research during a pandemic?

Because of the global pandemic, this year’s student-faculty research team couldn’t travel to the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard as planned. So Professor of Earth Sciences Ben Edwards and Will Kochtitzky ’16 led a two-week virtual workshop for current and prospective students interested in Arctic research.

exploring the Arctic, side by side, with them. That was the case during a past trip, when students studying sea ice discussed the effects of climate change with an Inuit guide who’d led them to a safe sample-collection site on the ice. As they drilled through the ice to measure its thickness, they were stunned by the guide’s ability to estimate the measurements on sight. This is what a liberal-arts inflection on climate science looks like, and it’s an area for which Dickinson, as a leader in sustainability and global education, is poised to become nationally known. “The Arctic is a popular location for environmental research, and you often read about the Arctic region in the news because there are a lot of countries that want to use Arctic

waterways and Arctic resources,” says Edwards, who serves as the program’s first endowed faculty chair. “So it’s very exciting that in just seven years, we’ve developed a program that places Dickinson on the forefront of undergraduate institutions that take on these issues.” “That, in addition to getting the students up to the Arctic so they can understand the importance of protecting it, was the main reason that we wanted to do this,” says Susan Pohl.

“We wanted to put Dickinson on the map for its Arctic and Alpine research.”

Seventeen students from three colleges— including an incoming member of Dickinson’s class of 2024—learned the basics of GIS. Then they used GIS, satellite images and aerial photos to do a remote study of glaciers on Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada. A core group continued to collect and analyze data throughout the summer and will contribute to a research paper and to five projects submitted for virtual presentations at the largest annual international geoscience conference. Isabel Ruff ’21 was among them, and she looks forward to virtually presenting her work at the American Geophysical Union conference in December. While she hopes to see the glaciers she’s been studying in person one day, she’s grateful for the in-demand skills and experience she’s gained in the meantime.

“GIS is increasingly used in the environmental and earth-science fields,” says Ruff, who’s already used the technology in another context as well, through her summer work with Dickinson’s Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM), “so I know this will be helpful to me in the future.”





Young Alumni Trustee

“We’ve never had a who was afraid to voice their opinion, and their opinions are highly valued—they’re powerful on key issues. So something that started out as an has proved to be a great success.”


—Michael Bloom ’69, chair of the committee on governance for Dickinson’s Board of Trustees



A Game-Changing Experience Young Alumni Trustee program celebrates 10 years of success

By Tony Moore

Notable economic events have a way of serving as catalysts for change—both good and bad—and the Great Recession of 2008-09 was no exception. But something few people would guess is that Dickinson has that slowdown to thank for its Young Alumni Trustee (YAT) program.


From left to right: Laura Wilson Colony ’11, Darrell Pacheco ’12, Sara Nash ’19 and Ian Genao ’20.

e recognized after the recession that a lot of Dickinson alumni were having a tough time in the job market, and we thought we really needed input from younger graduates who had their finger on the pulse of current student issues and their concerns,” says Michael Bloom ’69, the chair of the committee on governance for Dickinson’s Board of Trustees. “So as an experiment we established the Young Alumni Trustees program.”

That spring 2011 experiment led to the college designating two new positions on the board for graduating seniors—for which they receive between 25 and 40 applications each year—and the new YAT is announced annually at Commencement. The staggered terms last two years, and the YATs must attend three on-campus meetings per year, serve on two committees and “engage in meaningful ways with the current student body and young alumni.” And it’s clear that the level of engagement is high. “I’ve had a voice and an immediate impact even before my term officially began,” says Ian Genao ’20, the college’s newest Young Alumni Trustee, who stays in contact with campus organizations to further students’ goals. “This level of involvement was immediately available to me and shows Dickinson’s true commitment to this position and the importance of my voice in the decision-making process.”


Now the initiative is celebrating its 10th anniversary, a decadelong testament to the college’s commitment to giving voice to the next generation of alumni.

“The board should be operating at a 50,000-foot level, but they must have a pulse on the student experience to ensure that strategic initiatives are relevant and impactful,” says Sara Nash ’19, the senior member of the board’s two current YATs. “As a recent student and a member of the board, the Young Alumni Trustee can voice both the day-to-day and strategic perspectives.”

And while the position isn’t designed to be a stepping stone to becoming a full board member, it’s now happened twice, first with Laura Wilson Colony ’11 and then again with Darrell Pacheco ’12 .

“As the first Young Alumni Trustee, I was learning how to navigate the role with no path to follow,” says Colony, explaining that the difference between serving as a YAT and a full board member comes down to “learning mode versus action mode. This time around, I have new goals, a different perspective and more experience to bring to the table.” 

The YAT serves as a perfect bridge between current students and those board members and their valuable life experiences, and Pacheco says serving as the YAT is a great way to hit postgrad life running. “I encourage others to strive for the role, because it’s a unique opportunity for hands-on learning on a dynamic board,” he says. “This experience early on in one’s career is game changing.” 


Responding to Racial Injustice Dickinson is taking steps to increase its commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout all areas of the institution. Several of these initiatives have been underway for some time, but others grew out of the racial tensions brought to the surface around the country in recent months. During the summer, members of the college administration met virtually with concerned students, including members of the Black Student Union, to address issues that had been raised. •

The Division of Student Life developed a community forum with the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and reorganized the DPS advisory board to consist of a diverse group of students who will review and discuss incidents that occur. In addition, DPS will move to a hybrid safety model by either adding unarmed security personnel or creating a student safety patrol. These units could respond to calls such as lockouts, lost keys and walking/ bicycle escorts where an armed officer is not necessary. In June, Dickinson welcomed Amer Ahmed, a nationally recognized expert in organizational strategy who has helped numerous institutions address inclusion, equity and intercultural development, as interim executive director of equity & inclusivity and visiting lecturer in intercultural studies. Ahmed is overseeing the Office of Equity & Inclusivity, which is working even more proactively with students,

faculty and staff to build a more inclusive community. In addition, Dickinson welcomed Todd Nordgren as the new director of the Office of LGBTQ Services. •

The All-College Committee on Equity, Inclusivity & Belonging (EIB) merged the President’s Commission on Inclusivity, the Working Group on Sexual Harassment & Misconduct and the Bias Education & Response Team into a single, permanent all-college committee. The committee is charged with improving policies related to harassment and discrimination, monitoring progress on the Inclusivity Strategic Plan and ensuring the training and education of all members of the community on equity, inclusivity and belonging. Dickinson is working closely with local organizations, including community partners through the Community Action Network, made up of individuals from local nonprofits;

health care, state, county and local government officials; faith-based organizations; and law enforcement, to develop strategies to combat racism and support social justice in the greater Carlisle community. •

In May, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved the recommendation from an all-campus task force to rename Cooper Hall to Spradley-Young Hall, honoring Henry Spradley and Robert Young, two formerly enslaved men and longtime college employees who helped integrate the Dickinson campus in the 19th century. The board also unanimously approved the renaming of East College Gate as the Pinkney Family Gate, honoring Carrie and Noah Pinkney, popular African American food sellers on campus for decades in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. When we return to campus, a ceremony will be held to mark this change.

In addition to these efforts, Marcus Witherspoon ’20 and Naji Thompson ’19 launched the Athletes of Color Coalition, which will work in conjunction with the athletics department and student life office to better Black and Brown student-athlete experiences as a whole, serve as an immediate support system for all athletes of color and oversee a newly created voluntary mentorship program for incoming athletes of color. Read more at dson.co/acc20.

Conversations regarding changes to campus structures and practices are ongoing. Any questions or suggestions can be directed to Vice President for Student Life George Stroud stroudg@dickinson.edu.



spaces we lcve East College at sunrise. Photo by Joe O’Neill.




Coming Full Circle During COVID-19 BY BECKY ANSTINE SMITH ’ 77


very person in the world has somehow been affected by this pandemic. When my anxious and sad emotions begin to take over, I reflect on all the good in my family’s life and try to focus on gratitude. However, I, like all my musical colleagues, scurried to remove instruments from performance venues that shuttered in mid-March. All the excitement, anticipation and gainful employment vanished for the foreseeable future; sadly, now well into 2021. I tried to find a way forward, but it seemed impossible. I looked around; I observed my church’s rector presenting an online service without congregation or music and my student’s lackluster demeanor at our FaceTime lessons. Gradually it hit me that by embracing technology, not only could I continue my own way forward, but I could also encourage those around me. I sprang into action to learn as much as possible about recording church music on my computer, researching teaching platforms and apps that permitted musicians to record simultaneous tracks. Suddenly sparks of inspiration, gratitude and enthusiasm appeared all around me! As my computer skills solidified, I taught my students and some members of my church choir how to record individual parts on top of a track that I created. These videos were then included in our church’s livestreamed services and online mini masterclasses that I offered for free. After honing my skills with breakout rooms on another platform, I encouraged a stymied professional harpist, whose

newly launched career screeched to a halt just as it began, to join me in presenting an online virtual harp camp. The hours no longer spent in my car driving into Washington, D.C., opened time and energy for creativity. I signed up for online classes in German and French literature at my local community college and am proud—but a little scared—to admit that I enrolled in two online undergraduate German classes at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County this fall. It’s exciting to have circled back to passions from my days at Dickinson. OK, I confess that I’ve also been bingeing on Cheetos and 3.5-gallon tubs of caramel corn from time to time. Luckily our beloved rescue dog keeps me walking two to three miles per day, and I’m gradually curbing my cravings. And our backyard and garden now bloom flowers and vegetables, as opposed to an untidy tangle of “native” grasses. Our annual “Dickinson Girls Getaway” still found us meeting on Zoom, but we all appreciated the time to catch up and hope to meet again as we are able. I am pleased to have discovered that there are ways to continue a rich and purposeful life, even without leaving the living room. Like our beloved mermaid, “whose arms open wide to the sky,” if we accept the changing and often unexpected winds that life sends forth, we can find a way to prevail.

Becky Anstine Smith ’77 continues to take delight in combining her love of the French and German languages with her career as a professional harpist. Returning regularly as second harpist to her beloved former post with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, two more recent performances there included Saint-Saëns’ Samson and Delilah, and Wagner’s entire Ring Cycle. As a teacher and performer, she has toured France, England, Wales, Canada and the United States. Becky offers private harp lessons in her home studio and at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, all currently online. Becky lives in Crofton, Md., with her husband, Jeff, and rescue dog, Sophie. They are proud parents of Amelia and her husband, Ben, and son Neal.



Joe O’Neill


E. F.

B. C.


Stay cozy this winter! Whether you are working from home, learning from home or just staying home more often, the Dickinson College Bookstore has all the Red Devil-approved essentials (including face coverings). Use promo code dsonmag1120 from Nov. 20 – Dec. 18 for 20% off the items shown (online at Dickinson.edu/store). Discount cannot be combined with other offers.


A. MSP Pom beanie hat B. Hanging photo board C. Ceramic & cork mug D. Russell red crew E. Cuddle Buddy sloth F. Koffe ceramic mug G. L.L.Bean wicked plush throw H. TCK Performance low-cut sock

P. O . B O X 1 7 7 3 C A R L I S L E , P A 1 7 0 1 3 - 2 8 9 6 W W W. D I C K I N S O N . E D U / M A G A Z I N E




We’ve never had a Young Alumni Trustee who was afraid to voice their opinion, and their opinions are highly valued—they’re powerful on key issues. M IC H A E L B L O OM ’ 6 9 ,

chair of the committee on governance for Dickinson’s Board of Trustees. Read more on Pages 20-22.

My biggest learning experiences came through dialogue with fellow students and with faculty. The conversations and debates I’ve had about financial literacy, masculinity, networking, leadership and other topics have opened up my perspective. (policy management, with an economics minor), who is a two-time All-Centennial Conference football player, member of the Black Student Union and the Order of the Scroll & Key honor society, treasurer of Kappa Alpha Psi and the first varsity football player to serve as Student Senate president. Read more at dson.co/butler21.


Really, it’s remote versus in-person in a pandemic. P R E S I DE N T M A R G E E E N S IG N ,

in the USA Today article “ ‘The virus beat us’: Colleges are increasingly going online for fall 2020 semester as COVID-19 cases rise.” Ensign and Dickinson received a great deal of local and national media attention for the early decision to go remote. Read more on Page 5.

We wanted to put Dickinson on the map for its Arctic and Alpine research. S U S A N W YC K OF F P OH L ’ 8 0 , P ’ 0 6 . Read about the game-changing funding for Dickinson’s Arctic program on Pages 14-19.

INSIDE: Call of the Wild: Arctic Program Update | 10 Years of the Game-Changing Young Alumni Trustee Program | 10 Questions With Popel Shaw Center Director Vincent Stephens | Discovering Silver Linings and Opportunities During Remote Fall Semester | Hat Trick Brain Teaser Answer Revealed

Profile for Dickinson College

Dickinson Magazine Fall 2020  

The fall 2020 issue includes features on 10 years of the Young Alumni Trustee program, an update on the fall remote semester, and a look at...

Dickinson Magazine Fall 2020  

The fall 2020 issue includes features on 10 years of the Young Alumni Trustee program, an update on the fall remote semester, and a look at...