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[ contents ] Dickinson

14 Shift Work: As the newspaper industry wrestles with intimations

Published by the Division of Enrollment, Marketing & Communications

of mortality, Dickinsonians in the profession discuss what’s lost, and

Publisher and Vice President Stephanie Balmer Editor Michelle Simmons

what might be gained, as storytelling goes digital.

20 Alternative

Ink: The Dickinsonian has been the campus paper of record since

Assistant Editor Lauren Davidson Staff Photographer Carl Socolow ’77

1872, but that hasn’t stopped generations of would-be publishers and

Design Landesberg Design Contributing Writers Matt Getty MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson Tony Moore

polemicists from offering their own take on the news.

24 Aspiring

Minds: Michael Healey ’01 wanted to introduce his World Cultures

Magazine Advisory Group Christina Van Buskirk Gail Birch Huganir ’80 David Richeson Adrienne Su Jim Gerencser ’93 Paula Lima-Jones

class to the power of global engagement and social action. He had no idea his efforts would lead to the United Nations and a visit from

Web site E-mail Address Telephone 717-245-1289 Facebook © Dickinson College 2012. Dickinson Magazine 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. Printed with soy-based inks. Please recycle after reading.

a Pulitzer Prize-winning author.

27 Liberal Direction: What is

the worth of a liberal-arts education? Quite a bit, according to a recent study measuring alumni engagement, satisfaction and success.

30 Silhouette: Capturing the beauty and vibrancy of Dickinson’s

campus is part and parcel of College Photographer Carl Socolow ’77’s daily routine. Last spring, he turned his lens toward a different milieu during a Mosaic trip to Cuba.

36 By the Numbers: While

attendees were immersed in the fun and reverie, there was a great deal happening at Alumni Weekend 2012 that often goes undetected. Find out what we were tracking during this record-setting event.

d ic k in s on ma g a z i n e Fall 2012


up front

14 20



your view


our view


from these grounds


ask the archivist


college & west high

i n b a ck

38 fine print 40 beyond the limestone walls 42 our Dickinson 54 obituaries 56 closing thoughts


on the cover

Jen Kopf ’87 photographed by Carl Socolow ’77


[  your view  ]

“Mission: Home” strikes a chord Thank you for that very well-written and moving feature in the summer issue. Those two men are truly courageous. This topic is of special interest to me because my father is a Vietnam veteran. He is extremely active in his post in Alden, N.Y., and regularly participates in activities to help veterans — both young and old. He is also a Patriot Rider, which is a group that guards soldiers who did not survive active duty on their journey to their final resting place. That is essentially why I found your article so impressive. It treated this delicate s­ ubject with great respect — the same respect that my father and many others out there show those who served. Jennifer M. Johnson ’94 Walldorf, Germany

Revisiting Rush’s place in history

Diversity in admissions

President Durden in the summer issue provided an insight regarding Benjamin Rush’s relative obscurity via his spat with George Washington over the Revolutionary Army’s medical facilities. Historians mostly wrote of founders who held high office, and Rush was not such a person. But there is a lot more. I contend that absent Rush, we might not have had our revolution and that once we had it, it might not have been successful. That statement may upset historians. Rush came back from Scotland imbued with republicanism, a radical notion then, and wrote pieces in support of our divorce from Mother England, mostly under pen names. Rush then was the most important physician of the day, and it is likely he persuaded our revolutionary troops to be inoculated against smallpox. Had he not done so, we might have lost that war. The British troops and the Hessians had natural immunity to this malady. Rush has lots of other accomplishments, including helping to end slavery and promoting higher education for women and for the humane treatment of the mentally ill. I am pleased that my classmates, including my good friend the late Walter Beach ’56, arranged for his statue to be erected on campus.

My daughter Bernadette will soon begin her senior year, but it is already clear that Dickinson College was a terrific choice for her. [Vice President Stephanie Balmer’s column in the summer issue] addresses one of the many reasons why I say that. What stands out in the article is the mission of student diversity at Dickinson. Your reach to include such a broad spectrum of students makes the college a place where students can truly prepare for their global endeavors after graduation. This, and the variety of opportunity the college provides for students to go far beyond Carlisle, makes Dickinson a very special place.

eric cox ’54 washington, d.c.

d ic k in s on ma g a z i n e Fall 2012


Brian Brandt P’13 Glencoe, Ill.

In the summer 2012 article “Momentum Drives More Demand in Admissions Cycle,” we are informed of Dickinson’s large applicant pool and low admission rate. The class is also academically talented, according to the SAT scores and the rankings of the students in their high-school class. This selectivity is a large achievement for Dickinson. That being said, I find it disappointing that only 5 percent of the students are first-generation college students. There are more international students and more domestic students from underrepresented racial / ethnic backgrounds than first-generation students. And I am

sure that many within those two categories already overlap with the first-generation college student category. ­Additionally, it was highlighted that only 47 percent receives need-based financial aid. This signifies to me that, along with Dickinson’s ­impressive curriculum, facility, annual giving and e ­ ndowment improvements over the last two decades, the student base is also becoming more gentrified (read: from wealthier and more-educated backgrounds) as the years pass. I understand the economics of attracting full-­ admission-price students to attend Dickinson, but I ask if that pursuit is cannibalizing opportunities for first-­generation college students to attend this school. Dickinson has always prided itself on creating oppor­tunities for all of those who pass through its arch in Old West. In that tradition, I ask Dickinson’s admissions team to find and consider more students from families without college backgrounds (some of whom may need financial aid) and to provide them the same opportunities as Dickinson gives students from wealthier, more-educated backgrounds. I certainly appreciated the opportunity. I only wish that more first-generation college students have the same. John Pappas ’02 Trumbull, Conn.

[  our view  ]

New ink

M i c h e l l e M . S i mm o n s , Ed i t o r


ast spring, I alluded to changes coming to Dickinson Magazine. Well, those changes have come, and you’re now holding a fully redesigned issue. As with all change, the redesign was a process — begun well over a year ago. As Dickinson considered our new visual identity, resulting in a new wordmark and refreshed college seal, we realized that the magazine was due for its own refresh. It had become predictable, said some. It didn’t fully convey the energy and vibrancy of our community, said others. So we began the process of re-visioning the magazine and asked Landesberg Design, our partners in our 2006 design efforts, to join us. To the serious task of building a magazine from the ground up, they injected their award-winning expertise, their expansive sense of possibility and more than just a hint of playfulness. While we looked at what other college and university magazines were doing, we also pored through some of the best periodicals on the market today — from Esquire and

Smithsonian to The New Yorker and Vermont Life. We mused about all the different ways to tell a good story, whether it be through narrative, photo essay, engaging graphics or multi­ media. We argued about what elements should stay and what should go. Through it all, we kept returning to the question of what made the magazine distinctive — what should the college’s flagship publication say? The answer was obvious: It should simply say Dickinson. And to simply say Dickinson meant capturing our depth of history, our sense of place, our commitment to excellence and our full-throated engagement with the world. It meant celebrating all members of the Dickinson community — alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff and friends of the college — in the big moments and the small. As the issue began to take shape, we realized we had come full circle, that the stories contained within also pointed to change — how people are both effecting and managing change, what’s worth keeping and when to let go. In these pages, you’ll hear from Dickinsonians gracefully navigating the twists and turns of an industry in crisis, get a peek at a report on the value and long-term impact of the liberal-arts experience and meet a teacher whose students aspire to much more than passing standardized tests. You’ll also find out how the director of dining services stays in shape, why we just can’t get enough of WDCV and how we scooped the satiric publication The Onion by about 100 years. So, although we’ve introduced some great new elements like Ask the Archivist and are shamelessly leveraging the phenomenal talent of College Photographer Carl Socolow ’77, there’s one thing that hasn’t changed — our focus on what ­matters most: you, our readers. We’re eager to hear what you think, so e-mail us at, post on our Facebook page or drop us a line or two the old-fashioned way — with paper, ink and stamp.


[  from these grounds  ]

Reflections William G. Durden ’71, president


n my final year as Dickinson’s president, I have been prompted to reflect on a number of topics, including what makes a Dickinson education so valuable and distinctive in today’s 21st-century society. Some of my thoughts on this, which were included in my August Convocation address when I welcomed the incoming students, are relevant for alumni and parents as well. In my remarks, I related that last summer I read in the International Herald Tribune about the “exploding” audience for original works of art. The head of venerable auction house Christie’s in London, Steven P. Murphy, explained the increased appeal: “I think that the virtual world, the ease of access to images in high definition, the total availability of art online —  all those things have increased the value of the object itself.” The role of an institution like Christie’s, he said, is that of “honoring the object.”

d ic k in s on ma g a z i n e Fall 2012


Well, in a strange way, Dickinson is like Christie’s —  our ­primary mission is to “honor the object itself.” Those who choose to come to Dickinson realize just how precious and ultimately useful the pursuit of the object itself is, as opposed to its mere image — a facsimile — even if it “costs” more. Of course, it has to cost more: It is the “object itself.” It is created by high-labor intensity and unfolds in intricate precision. Undergraduate research universities, and increasingly many colleges, are filled with exceedingly large classes, radically diminished in- and out-of-class resources, graduate-student and adjunct instructors, professors obsessed with their own research agendas, online / virtual courses and degree programs that often extend over six or more years because of the unavailability of required courses. Instead, Dickinson students have chosen to e­ xperience a premier undergraduate education — direct inter­action in a physically and emotionally safe 24 / 7 residential setting with a small group of similarly motivated learners. They have chosen to be among d ­ edicated professors who are committed solely to their students and their intellectual development, with sustained focus on original texts and artifacts and engagement in those skills and experiences in and out of the classroom that mature a student’s mind and emotion — and all of this in an efficient four years of study. This costs a considerable amount to honor. And like the “object itself”— the original work of art — it continues to increase in value as its scarcity becomes apparent in a broader world where a mere reflection of the original undergraduate education seemingly suffices. I, along with all Dickinson alumni, students and their families, have demonstrated that we collectively desire the real thing — the “object itself”— in higher education and will not suffer a substitute.

[  ask the archivist ] For the last 10 years, I’ve had the pleasure of sharing small vignettes of the college’s history, choosing a topic from among the many events and personalities that have shaped Dickinson’s past. Now you, the reader, will get to choose the topic. Just e-mail your questions to or post it on the magazine Facebook page, and my staff members and I will do our best to uncover the answers. As a way to get the new column started, I will answer a question often posed by our alumni. —Jim Gerencser ’93, college archivist


How did red and white become the colors o f D i ck i n s o n College?

he Belles Lettres Society was founded at Dickinson College in 1786. The Union Philosophical Society (UPS) was established just three years later. These two literary societies, which encouraged both intellectual growth and camaraderie, established their own symbols and traditions through the years. Before the habit of wearing lapel pins came into fashion, members would proudly sport flowers that showed their affiliations —  a red rose for Belles Lettres and a white rose for UPS. By the 1880s, when intercollegiate athletics were becoming a part of campus life, these two literary societies already had been around for a century. Their members and their traditions were thoroughly woven into the fabric of the college’s history. It seems quite natural, then, that their symbolic colors would come to define Dickinson. In 1900, Horatio Collins King, class of 1858, published Songs of Dickinson, which included several references to the school colors. Most notable among them is “The Red and White,” set to the tune of “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Several red-and-white pennants from that same time period are carefully preserved in the archives vault, further evidence that the school colors were well established by the turn of the 20th century. A side note to the school colors story is a bit of “what might have been.” As late as 1861, the Belles Lettres bylaws list the society’s badge as a pink rose, and members’ diplomas were adorned with a pink ribbon. A surviving 1868 diploma features a red ribbon, which suggests that the change from pink to red happened in the mid-1860s. No further documentation of this switch has been found, but imagine if Dickinson’s colors had become pink and white.



[ college & west high ]

years on air


t’s been 50 years since WDCV’s Linn Myers ’64, Jim Sharf ’65 and Howie Spencer ’64 flipped the on-air switch for the station’s first official broadcast. Today, the thrill of that fledgling moment re-ignites, as WDCV celebrates a land­ mark anniversary with special events, an online archive, new technology and programming — and a fond look back at its past. Steeped in classical and jazz “study music” and educational programming, early broadcasts were limited to a few hours daily. The station moved to FM and 18-hour programming in 1973, to stereo in 1983 and to 24-hour broad­ casting in 2003. Memorable on-air personalities include the class of 1984’s Rosie O’Donnell, whose morning show delivered “music to dry your hair by”; William G. Durden ’71, whose weekly roundtable boosted station ratings — and prestige — shortly after his installation as college president; and the resourceful Fred Barney ’98, who singlehandedly ran the station for a brief stint.

But for all of the programming and personnel changes WDCV has weathered, it’s the technological advancements that continue to spark the greatest trans­ forma­tions. Station engineer and former student-DJ Tom Vernon ’76 — who, as a high-schooler in the vinyl-only ’70s, often visited the station with his father, William, WDCV’s first advisor — is helping to bring WDCV’s equipment up-to-date. New additions include a stateof-the-art FM transmitter (the 1983 model is now the backup); text displays on car radios and mobile devices; and ISDN connections, allowing faculty and staff to be interviewed by major media organizations without leaving campus. An FTP server enables Dickinsonians to send audio files from anywhere in the world. WDCV also broadcasts live on Britton Plaza and at select local events. The station welcomes DJs from beyond the limestone walls, including a pediatrician who’s a world-music fan and a retired techie with a yen for jazz. Students maintain robust Twitter and Facebook accounts and recently launched a Tumblr archive.

View a WDCV timeline at

d ic k in s on ma g a z i n e Fall 2012


This year, WDCV enters a new age in sportscasting with the addition of Red Devil Radio advisor Keith Fischer ’02. The station has purchased equipment to improve away-game broadcasts and is bringing more sportscasters on board. Plans are to cover matches for all Dickinson sports for the first time in college history. Such new and expanded ­program­ming is only the beginning, says co-advisor Joy Verner. “We want to open up the circle — involve people with different perspectives, interests and life experiences who can shape a diverse radio community,” she says. “That brings vibrancy akin to the excitement Dickinson experienced when WDCV began.”— MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson

Early broadcasts were limited and could be heard only in residence halls. Because of occasional technical blips, the station also could be picked up on area phone lines.

With the advent of cassette tapes and compact discs, WDCV’s extensive vinyl c­ ollection was boxed up, carted away and donated to a local charity. Today, station advisors hope to rebuild that collection.

This Week’s Top Play List: 1. TV on the Radio Nine Types of Light 2. Bing Ji Ling Shadow to Shine 3. Movits! Out of My Head 4. Feelies Here Before 5. Pains of Being Pure at Heart Belong At the Top of the Charts 1962: P.S. I Love You The Beatles


[ college & west high ] farm, cook, eat


rom its cutting-edge sustainability practices to its longtime relationship with regional food bank Project SHARE, the Dickinson College Farm — begun as an experiment in organic gardening in 1999 — has long been a tangible local, regional and national presence. And under the guidance of Director Jenn Halpin, new programs continue to take root, including its latest community-outreach effort: Farm, Cook, Eat. Inspired by a 2010 Clarke Forum presentation by Marion Nestle, a New York University nutritionist and renowned food author, the new program centers on a student-led cooking class that teaches area youth about the impact their food choices have on their community, their health and the environment. “We hope that this shared experience will establish a joyful connection to fresh food and help pave the way for students to make healthier choices at school, in the grocery store or in their home kitchens,” says Ali Frohman, the farm’s program coordinator. Frohman also emphasizes the role that the program can play in addressing the unfortunate correlation between poverty and poor nutrition. “The proven link between poverty, obesity and disease was a significant motivation behind the creation of Farm, Cook, Eat,” she says. “And eating healthily on any budget, especially a very tight budget, is made easier when at least one member of the household is comfortable with picking out and cooking fresh food.” Oren Richkin ’15, who was involved with a similar program in Massachusetts, is co-leading Farm, Cook, Eat when it officially kicks off with 15 first-graders at Carlisle’s Bellaire Elementary this fall. Halpin and Frohman envision the students staying with the program as they progress through school from grade to grade — examining how food grows and what that means to consumers and the community. They also plan to extend Farm, Cook, Eat farther into the region as it evolves. “The goal is to involve students from all socioeconomic backgrounds, to teach as many children as we can about proper nutrition — how to eat healthy and to use fresh ingredients,” says Halpin. Along the way, they hope to change some picky palates. “For some children, Farm, Cook, Eat classes might be their first experience taking unprocessed, fresh food and transforming it into a finished dish,” Frohman explains. “And when you let a child engage the five senses in the journey from farm to fork, his or her curiosity and excitement about food goes through the roof.”— Tony Moore

130+ Number of families fed through the farm’s Campus-Supported Agriculture program

d ic k in s on ma g a z i n e Fall 2012


The other side of summer: student–faculty research roundup


ssociate Professor of Psychology Teresa Barber led a team of summer interns in a study of whether certain naturally occurring substances — cuminoids — can improve impaired memory. Barber’s interns administered a drug called scopolamine, which mimics the memory-loss effects of Alzheimer’s in humans. Then they administered cumin, whose memoryrestoration properties have been touted in alternative-medicine circles for decades. As they proved through their research project, cumin can indeed help restore impaired memory, a ­discovery that has implications reaching far behind Barber’s James Hall lab. Theatre major Sydney Moffat ’14 spent a large part of her summer in Lewisburg, W.Va., working on costume design and construction as part of a project with Associate Professor of Theatre Sherry Harper-McCombs. Putting on Mitch Albom’s Duck Hunter Shoots Angel, which required angel wings and an alligator head, proved to be an interesting endeavor. “This kind of project shows a more crafty side to this field,” Moffat said. “And this internship has offered me a look at what the professional theatrical world is really like.”

A team of four interns captured and tagged turtles as part of Assistant Professor of Biology Scott Boback’s summer project, which he dubbed “population ecology of painted and snapping t­ urtles in central PA.” Boback created an immersive research experience for the students, who visited the pond every day over a month-long period. The research team explored the daily habits and the life cycle of the turtles as part of a study in habitat, animal behavior and data collection that brought the students together to work as a unit. Assistant Professor of English David Ball explores literary “successful failure” and its implications for modernism in his book project, False Starts: The Rhetoric of Failure and the Making of American Modernism, which he edited this summer with the help of Colin Tripp ’14. Tripp succinctly explained the work’s primary aim as “redefining modernism through historical authorial failure,” and his gift for clarity was important to his overall role in the project: Parsing failure in modernist literature is inherently complex at times, so Tripp helped to ensure readability for a wider readership, one beyond academic circles.—Tony Moore Read full stories at


Events poetry dance lectures

Oct. 2 Clarke Forum Program China’s Leadership Transition & the Bo Xilai Case — Cheng Li, Brookings Institution Oct. 22–25 Semana Poética XI: International Poetry Festival Oct. 27–30 Fall Musical: The Spitfire Grill Nov. 3 Alumni Council Nov. 3 Networking Day Nov. 8 Clarke Forum Program The Arab Uprisings —  Marc Lynch, George Washington University nov. 10–March 23

Legacy: Recent Acquisitions at The Trout Gallery

Nov. 16–18 Five Under Forty: Dance Works by Five Emerging Female Choreographers


[ college & west high ] Honorable mention


hanks to a $6-million gift from Samuel G. Rose ’58 and Julie Walters, a new two-story, 25,000-square-foot athletics-training center will replace the current 1960s-era locker rooms at Dickinson’s recently renovated Biddle Field. The new facility, which will be named the Durden Center to honor the tenure of President William G. ’71 and Elke Durden, adds a sixth project to the extensive campus-enhancement effort the college announced in April. The new center will feature locker rooms for men’s and women’s lacrosse, football, field hockey, coaches, officials and visiting teams; a strength-training and free-weight room; sports-medicine facilities; a laundry and equipment room; and a team-meeting/event room with a viewing platform overlooking Biddle Field. The entrance will include an exhibition area to honor Dickinson athletics, including the 1958 national-championship lacrosse team. Rose played for the team 1954–58. Philanthropists and long-time supporters of Dickinson, Rose and Walters also have gifted the Sam Rose ’58 and Julie Walters Prize at Dickinson College for Global Environmental Activism and the Samuel G. Rose ’58 Scholarship for economically dis­ advantaged students from urban areas.

integrating internationals


or the second year, Dickinson’s Summer Institute for International Students offered more than just transition help for a select group of incoming first-year international students. The program, funded in part by a grant from the Teagle Foundation, included classroom sessions about American culture and society as well as college-level writing and communication skills. The 15 participants also enjoyed off-campus excursions to nearby cities including Harrisburg, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. “Joining the Summer Institute was one of the best choices I’ve made,” said Tu “Jane” Cao ’16 from Vietnam.

Don O’Neill ’58 (left) and Sam Rose ’58 were part of the storied lacrosse team that captured the 1958 national championship.

“I decided to participate because this is the first time I’ve been to the U.S., and I was afraid of culture shock and my English proficiency. The institute not only improved my English skills and provided me with knowledge of U.S. culture but also helped me get to know college life.” Xueyin Zha ’16 from China agreed, adding, “I think the wonderful academic experience the institute provided greatly prepared me for the first semester. It is really useful for international students like me.”— Lauren Davidson


far from home

Students from 48 foreign countries are enrolled at Dickinson.

Read more about Dickinson’s major facilities enhancements at

d ic k in s on ma g a z i n e Fall 2012



Marissa Kunkle ’13


arissa Kunkle ’13 has played soccer her whole life, and a spot on the Dickinson squad wasn’t hard for her to foresee. “I always knew I’d pursue soccer through my college career,” she says. “I just never saw myself being able to hang up the jersey and the cleats one last time.” Kunkle’s collegiate career has been laden with achievements: She was named second-team National Soccer Coaches of America All-Mid-Atlantic Region in 2010 and 2011, second-team All-Centennial Conference (CC) in 2010 and first-team All-CC in 2011. Helping her accumulate these honors have been her 18 goals, 11 assists and 47 total points over the last three seasons. In 2010, Kunkle helped Dickinson earn a spot in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. “My individual successes don’t amount to the same excitement as for what we accomplished that year,” she says. “Having success through the tournament is one of my favorite memories, and knowing my sister Ashley [’11] experienced that with me makes it even better.” While she and the team have had three great years together, the 2012 season will be special for Kunkle. “It’s my senior year, and I want this team to have another successful season,” she says. “I want us to have fun together on and off the field and enjoy every minute of it.” — Tony Moore

“It’s my senior year, and I want this team to have another successful season. I want us to have fun together on and off the field and enjoy every minute of it.”

[  in the game  ]

Tracking back s o cc e r s t a n d o u t s r e f l e c t o n t h e i r f i n a l s e a s o n

Sung Woo Kim ’13


lot of boys in Korea are crazy about soccer,” says Seoul’s Sung Woo Kim ’13, and he was certainly one of them growing up. “My father and older brother loved soccer, and we would play together whenever time allowed.” In more ways than one, Seoul is a world away from Carlisle, Pa., where Kim plays midfield for the Red Devils, but his lifelong love of soccer made the move to Dickinson seem like the obvious next step to take. “I didn’t want to stop playing soccer when I went to college, and I wanted to play competitively,” he says. It was in the thick of competition in the 2011 season that Kim achieved what every player dreams of growing up in the sport: scoring a game-winning goal, in this case against Muhlenberg College. “It felt amazing to score a goal that secured

the team’s place in the conference tournament,” he says. Meanwhile, Kim has settled into the Dickinson community. “I am getting a wonderful education and experience, and I’m meeting amazing people,” he says, noting of his teammates, “I’m very grateful to be on the field with such talented players.”— Tony Moore

“I didn’t want to stop playing soccer when I went to college, and I wanted to play competitively.”

Need more Red Devil sports? Check out all the stats, scores, schedules and highlights at Information about live-streaming and radio broadcasts are available on a game-by-game basis, so check the Web site regularly or follow @DsonRedDevils on Twitter for the latest updates.


“With the Internet, you have this fascinating thing where everyone is a publisher.� Lisa Helfert

Frank James '79 > digital news blogger, National Public Radio

[ cover ]

wor k Dickinsonians navigate an industry on the precipice. By Michelle Simmons


lec Johnson ’09 vividly remembers standing next to his grandfather and father, as a child, at the Watertown (N.Y.) Daily Times press, surrounded by the roar of mammoth paper rolls spinning before him. “Seeing the papers being printed was just phenomenal,” he recalls. “It fueled my desire to be in print journalism.” A fourth-generation newspaperman and graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Johnson currently writes for the Waterbury (Conn.) Republican-American. His family has been in the journalism business since his great-grandfather began writing for the Daily Times; today, his uncle and father are editor and co-publisher, respectively. “These days, I’m hearing more about the price of a ton of paper and ink prices,” Johnson says. “Right now the conversations are about what we can do to move journalism and the newspaper product forward.” It’s a conversation playing out in corner offices and cubicles, on press floors and loading docks and in journalism schools and on blogs, as the newspaper industry wrestles with intimations of mortality. “Newspapers are dying because the whole business model went to hell,” says Doug Harper ’83, copy editor for Lancaster Newspapers, which publishes The Intelligencer Journal / Lancaster New Era and The Sunday News. “The classifieds have gone to Craigslist, the downtown department stores are dead and there are no 9-year-olds on bikes who deliver the paper anymore.” Beside his desk sits a brass pneumatic-tube contraption, a relic from an era when newsrooms were full of editors and reporters who cracked wise à la Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell. Harper, a history major while at Dickinson, sees the newspaper as one of many industrial-age marvels — like that vacuum tube — whose time has come and gone. “The newspaper was a great model for moving large amounts of accurate information into people’s hands relatively quickly,” he says. “It doesn’t work anymore, but it still exists.” Harper has survived several rounds of layoffs at the paper, where fellow Dickinsonians Jen Kopf ’87 and Jack Brubaker ’66 also have spent the bulk of their careers. All three say they fell into the profession: Harper had considered teaching, and Kopf was an English and political-science double major who had


“What I’m hearing locally and across the country is that newspapers are trying to shift online. At the same time, we haven’t seen an online model that’s working. planned to go into the foreign service. Brubaker, an English major, thought of becoming a playwright. Instead he has become an award-winning investigative journalist, columnist and author of six history books about the Lancaster County region. “We’ve had layoffs for years now, as all newspapers have,” says Brubaker. “I’m not worried personally — I’ve had a long career. But I hate to see it happen, because every time you downsize the paper, the quality suffers.” Until about 10 years ago, the papers’ combined circulation was still growing; today, it is down 20 percent from its peak of nearly 200,000, says Kopf, and another upcoming round of layoffs has everyone on edge. Kopf, who is currently the co-editor of the lifestyle section, is down to just one staff reporter. “We’re churning through a lot of ideas because no one in this industry knows what’s next,” she says. “You might know how to put together a great newspaper, but how do you support it? The online versions allow people to just pick and choose.” Yet demand for online content continues to grow. “We’re also on Pinterest and Twitter,” Kopf says. “Every day people are following us, who don’t necessarily have any local connection to us. So the bottom-line question becomes, how can we best serve those ‘followers’ while still creating locally focused content — and, how can that peripheral readership help the newspaper generate revenue? In the end, having a lot of ‘followers’ or a great online presence won’t mean much if they’re not creating some kind of value that helps carry the whole enterprise.” Striking that right balance between print and digital is just one of many industry conundrums that Chuck Strum ’70 faces these days. “We’ve had to adapt to the modern world,” says Strum, a deputy national editor at The New York Times. “We’re trying very hard to integrate the news organizations — the one we were and the one we’ve become online.” Industry insiders are closely watching the Times’ early and aggressive adoption of the Web and multimedia storytelling

d ic k in s on ma g a z i n e Fall 2012


strategies, along with its business model. In June, the paper launched a Chinese-language online edition, which includes translated articles and columns from the English-language paper, as well as original reporting from Chinese journalists. The aim is to reach out to China’s large and growing middle class — and the high-end advertisers hoping to penetrate a market eager for luxury brands. “The industry wishes it had crystal-ball clarity, but it doesn’t,” says Strum. “It may be that we can make money on the Web and the Web alone. There may still be a print paper for those who want it. All forms are being discussed. The trick is to find the money to do it — it costs a lot of money to run a news organization.” “With the Internet, you have this fascinating thing where everyone is a publisher,” says Frank James ’79. An English major, Frank began as a proofreader with the Wall Street Journal and went on to a 30-plus-year career reporting for the Journal and the Chicago Tribune. In 2009, he left the foundering Tribune to launch a blog, The Two-Way, at National Public Radio (NPR). “NPR, CNN, CBS News and cable / broadcast businesses are all publishers,” he continues. “Right now, it’s an adventure. We don’t know where this is going. NPR, like every other news organization, is trying to figure out how to put the best journalism in front of people, and to do it every day.” James traces the decline of the industry not to the Internet, but much further back to the 1960s and ’70s. “Even then, we could see that circulation had stagnated,” he recalls. “We knew there was going to be a day of reckoning, but we didn’t anticipate the end would be so harsh.” Yet, “there will always be newspapers — we’ll always have Paris,” he says. “You’ll have The New York Times and The Washington Post in a print format, and some small-town news­ papers will do OK. You’re going to see more newspapers fold, but there will always be a niche for print.” One of those thriving niches is hyperlocal publication The Boston Courant, where Jennifer Maiola ’96 is managing editor. “What I’m hearing locally and across the country is that

J ennifer Maio la '96 > managing editor, The Boston Courant

Mitch Cardin

Michael Paras

Do u g Harper '8 4 > copy editor, Lancaster Newspapers

Eddie Small '10 > former intern, Waterbury Republican-American


Earl Wilson / The New York Times

Jen Ko pf ' 87 > features co-editor at Lancaster Newspapers

Chu ck St ru m '70 > deputy national editor, The New York Times

We’ve had to adapt to the modern world. We’re trying very hard to integrate the news organizations — the one we were and the one we’ve become online.”

d ic k in s on ma g a z i n e Fall 2012


Alec Johnson ' 09 > reporter, Waterbury Republican-American

Michael Paras

Jack Bru baker '66 > staff writer and columnist, Lancaster Newspapers

newspapers are trying to shift online,” says Maiola. “At the same time, we haven’t seen an online model that’s working.” The Courant serves some of the most affluent sections of Boston. It has yet to go online — the publisher has little interest in diluting the impact that print can offer to readers and advertisers. “We’re the city’s largest weekly community news­paper covering the Back Bay and other downtown neighborhoods,” Maiola explains from her Boston office. “When I put on my business hat, I have to ask, ‘How is [an online version] going to help my advertisers?’ ” For new and aspiring journalists like Johnson and Eddie Small ’10, there’s no longer much distinction between the two. “I just want to write — I don’t care if I’m doing it for a print or online publication,” says Small, who this summer completed his M.S. in journalism from Columbia and worked with Johnson at the Waterbury Republican-American. Small is currently on assignment in Australia for The Atlantic. Johnson and Small are plenty wired, savvy about social media and are part of a generation with allegedly short attention spans. Yet both extol the virtues of long, investigative pieces and believe there is a market for them. Johnson has been working on a series on drunk driving, for which the paper received a New England Associated Press News Executives Association award. “If you want to be a good journalist, you should write for a traditional paper,” Johnson says. “They still have the editing staff that can nurture you, help you realize what talents you may have. I don’t think you’d get that if you just worked for [the Web site] Patch. You can learn how to report breaking news and what’s going on, but you don’t go to the next level and get to the why. The why is what people really want to know.”

Wanting to know why comes naturally to someone steeped in the liberal arts and may be the perfect preparation for an industry on the cusp of what — no one knows. “There is such a flux in journalism now that you have to be prepared to do anything,” says Maiola. “The field is changing by the second. You have to be quick, have broad interests, and you have to dive in.” Maiola points to the critical-thinking skills she obtained as an undergraduate and the confidence she developed as a writer. “Dickinson makes you have an active mind. I was eating up everything — in my women’s studies class, even in geology. That feeds a mind suited to journalism.” Equally important may be the social contract undergirding the industry — and on the minds of its practitioners. As with the liberal arts, a thriving, free press is fundamental to a functioning democracy — which requires an educated, informed citizenry. From prosaic reports of school-board meetings to in-depth coverage of revolutions unfolding halfway around the globe, news­papers in their present form expose the reader to stories, people and ideas that he or she may not be interested in initially — or even knew existed. Whether neatly folded and tucked under the arm or spread across the dining-room table, a newspaper’s physicality keeps us moored to a tangible world, full of real people, actions and consequences. “People are glomming onto social media,” says Maiola. “Does it mean the death of traditional journalism? I don’t think so. Print still does something that you don’t get online. I still want my Sunday-morning coffee and to feel the newspaper on my fingertips.”



104 years of underground campus newspapers. By Tony Moore


(March to July 1849)

“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (the paper’s motto, originally in Latin). Abolitionist and author Moncure D. Conway, class of 1849, appears in the masthead. One article date-stamps itself in a particularly droll way: “There are few periods in history which deserve more close and careful study than the times of Gregory the Seventh.”

The Onion (1908–12)

Layout mimics that of The New York Times, and content includes gems such as “On saintly pulpit or sinful platform talk as if you had something to say; not as if you had to say something” (paraphrasing Plato).

Free Dickinsonian (July 17, 1944)

Generally newsy and mainstream, the paper proclaimed, “A new fad is sweeping the nation. Women are now smoking.” The article pleads with Dickinson administrators to install smoking lounges for female students in Metzger Hall and beyond.


n 1849, as James Polk was sitting for the first-ever presidential photograph and Minnesota was hitting the map as a U.S. territory, students at Dickinson were launching the school’s first serial publication, the Collegiate. The periodical lasted only six issues, but it was a serious publication that set the bar high for what would become The Dickinsonian. First appearing in print in 1872, The Dickinsonian came together in an effort, as the paper put it, to advance the “interests of the institution.” Although initially run by faculty and alumni, students soon began playing a larger role in the writing and management of the then-monthly paper. Today, the venerable Dickinsonian is a campus fixture and weekly source for all things Dickinson. But sometimes, “all the news that’s fit to print” just isn’t enough, and with a jab at The New York Times’ motto (which had debuted just 12 years earlier) and likely taking another at The Dickinsonian, students launched The Onion in 1908 under the motto “We print ALL THE NEWS, fit or unfit, with preference to the latter.” And for the next 104 years, from The Minced Onion to The Right Stuff, the college’s “underground” papers came and went — each with its own angle on the revolution. The collection of alternative Dickinson newspapers, likely incomplete, is packed into an archival box in Archives & Special Collections, and despite the 104-year stretch since The Onion made its appearance, the entire collection fits into a box the size of a desk drawer. Within their pages is both a history of Dickinson and a history of (chiefly) the 20th century, carbon-copied, printed out on a dot-matrix printer and slickly produced on modern computers — the evolution of student thought, underground publishing and our times on full display.



(October 1966)

A “magazine of thought and opinion,” Collages aimed to “fill the gap between the Belles Lettres Review [a campus literary publication] and The Dickinsonian.” Fourteen names appear in the masthead, each with an original signature scrawled next to it in pen. Issue 2 quotes the Selective Service Board as saying Dickinson was a “central Pennsylvania hotbed of sedition.”

The Minced Onion (circa 1970)

Six possible alternative titles for the paper are suggested on page 1 of issue 1 (e.g., Fried Shoes, Hairy Abdomen). The paper is a mix of stories, poetry and reprinted material. In issue 3, the editors acknowledge that the paper is “an above ground, pseudo-underground ego trip that will publish anything you send.”

Morgan News

(December 1977 to March 1978)

Carbon copy in which the capital M doesn’t fully strike the page in the initial issue ( organ News). Issue 1 sets forth the mission of the paper: “We publish what might seem a little off-beat and unexpected,” while addressing such items as needing brighter light bulbs in residence halls, how Adams Hall got its name and the “RA of the Week.”

Out of Hand (October 1978)

“All the News that Didn’t Fit.” Carbon copy. A contrarian political paper whose sole issue contains an excoriating piece on Dickinson’s food-services shortcomings, with a promise “to take a closer look at the cafeteria problem” in later issues. A piece from the Faculty Fashion Review column on one professor’s “Dutch look” says, “Jeans, clogs, and a priest’s collar makes one feel like plugging a leak in a dike.”

d ic k in s on ma g a z i n e Fall 2012


All the News Unfit to Print (May 3, 1984)

The New York Times’ motto strikes again. Issue contains three stories: one condemning campus renovations, one condemning a new campus alcohol policy and another insulting both the college and its students via a fabricated conversation between the Rolling Stones and the campus Concert Committee.

Globe of Frogs

(1989 to spring 1990)

Title inspired by the Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians album of the same name released in 1988. The first two issues were published anonymously via dot-matrix printer; in issue 3, Michael Daecher ’91 and Patrick Charles Lamb ’90 emerged as the culprits. “Pat and I started the paper to poke people in the eye,” says co-founder Daecher. “The frat culture at the time was pretty overwhelming, with very few alternative voices heard around campus. Globe of Frogs was an attempt to shake things up and get people talking.” Its examination of the CD vs. vinyl debate sides with vinyl and concludes, “Corporate America is throwing us a bone and we are biting.”

Box 46

(1990 to May 1992)

“A Magazine,” published anonymously. Purview is nearly exclusively short fiction and poetry. One of the few nonfiction pieces is about the failure of laissez-faire economics in the 1980s. The Dining Hall is again mentioned unfavorably, and poetry takes over completely by the final issues.

Whistling in the Dark (1992–94)

Published anonymously, it is the first alternative publication to have advertising throughout, some of which was for now-defunct Carlisle businesses: Herb Merchant, Victorian Lace, Prodejas Music.

By issue 5, the ads are gone. Also weighing in on the Dining Hall, Whistling says, “Many things have been said about our groovy new cafeteria, but I think that most of it makes less sense than [George H.W.] Bush running for president.”

Free Time Press (spring 1997)

The masthead is populated with pseudonyms, despite the paper’s mostly mainstream content: “Speech and Debate wins state honors,” “Communist leader Zyuganov wows crowded ATS” and “Campus cable: A blessing or a curse?” First campus alternative publication to mention e-mail.

the square

(October 2004 to present)

First alternative paper to have a Web site. In the first issue, Editor-in-Chief Pete Backof ’07 says the square wants to “fill up your calendars and your mind,” providing entertainment listings for central Pa., Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. “I looked around and saw a diverse campus with a lot of talented people who didn’t really have an outlet for alternative forms of writing,” Backof now says. “I felt pretty confident that we could produce something good and make a significant contribution to the community.” Facebook — which launched in February 2004, had fewer than one million users and became available in Pennsylvania only a month before — warrants two small pieces in issue 2: one (earnest) about how people should give it a try and another (satirical and quick to the punch) about how Facebook killed the author’s baby. Of this, Backof says, “Spoofing it early on was just a way of acknowledging that people shouldn’t get too carried away with this shiny new thing.”

A letter to the editor from Associate Professor of Art & Art History Crispin Sartwell appears in issue 2: “The Square is a valuable addition to discourse and entertainment at Dickinson. Keep it comin’!” Keep it comin’ they did, and the square remains the sole survivor in the battle of the alternative presses to this day. “I’m proud that we were able to build something that’s become an institution on campus,” Backof says.

The Right Stuff

(April and May 2006)

Editors-in-Chief Jeff Dzuranin ’07 and Betsy Nelsen ’08 take a stance on the right side of the political aisle. First issue sets out to uncover liberal bias on campus with what was to be a monthly poll: “Do You Think …?” Nelsen says the paper was founded “to get views out there that weren’t being represented, the alternative viewpoint,” noting that the publication was greeted with both praise and condemnation. When funding issues arose, and when content submissions grew heavy with editorializing, The Right Stuff closed its offices (borrowed from The Dickinsonian).

“Standard newspapers carry a set of expectations about style and content that I don’t think can capture the full spectrum of what people are interested in on a college campus,” says Backof. Dickinson has a 104-year history of student publishers, writers and editors who have agreed, putting in print their spin on what the student body wants to read again and again.

Read more about Globe of Frogs’ radical beginnings and where its editors are now at


Michael Healey ’01 and his students take their worldview to the U.N. and beyond. By Lauren Davidson

Kirk Van Zandbergen


[  profile  ]


t’s a good thing Michael Healey ’01 decided not to be a lawyer. Instead he is helping high-school students achieve great things and aspire to do even more. “With the interdisciplinary vision that Dickinson gave me, I realized teaching was the perfect opportunity to take everything and put it into practice,” says the political-science major. After Dickinson, Healey earned an M.Ed. from Marywood University and the University of Scranton and took a position as a world-cultures teacher at East Stroudsburg High School near his hometown of Scranton, Pa. “I thought I’d teach here for two or three years,” Healey admits. “Before I knew it, I was 10 years in. I became such a member of the community, and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. There’s such good energy here.” Healey realized he could really apply his Dickinson education, including his study-abroad experience in Málaga, Spain, to dig deeper into this diverse community. “East Stroudsburg is the whole world in one high school — 50 percent of the students are non-white, hailing from Pakistan, Ghana, Nigeria, the Caribbean Islands,” he says. Healey’s wife, Michele Vella, also offered her expertise and international perspective — fluent in Italian and Spanish, she interned for the United Nation’s Academic Impact, an initiative that assigns ASPIRE (Action by Students to Promote Innovation

and Reform through Education) status to student groups aligned with its 10 principles, which focus on areas like human rights, literacy, sustainability and conflict resolution. Together, Healey and Vella brought students from his World Cultures class on board to start U.N. ASPIRE South, a social-justice and global-citizenship student group serving as a district chapter of the Academic Impact initiative. Healey plans classroom lessons around subjects like gender inequality, child brides and diamond wars, and the students take these lessons beyond the classroom and into the forefront at the school and in the community. Community activities include fundraisers for the people of Haiti and T-shirt sales for Japan earthquake victims, as well as lectures and discussions. Healey says he wanted to “bring in people who look like the students, have backgrounds like them and have succeeded in life,” so his speakers have included a Fulbright Award winner, a member of the League of Kenya Women Voters, graduate students from Lehigh University and Lafayette College and members of the historically black fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi.


Kirk Van Zandbergen

“Anyone who thinks public education doesn’t succeed should see the energy that was injected into this school.” As the group became more active, students from outside Healey’s classroom joined. He also watched as several strong young women emerged as group leaders. In 2011, the students were invited to make a presentation on the role of young women in a global community at the 56th Commission on the Status of Women at the U.N. Headquarters in New York City. They have been invited back to the U.N. several more times. But all of this was just the beginning. On the bus heading to the city for one of these appearances, Healey passed out copies of a book to members of the group to read along the way. The book was Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and wife Sheryl WuDunn, a former Times correspondent. The book traces the authors’ odyssey through Africa and Asia and exposes the unjust treatment and deplorable living conditions of the women and young girls they encountered. “The next day I started getting urgent e-mails from the students saying we needed to do something,” Healey recalls. “They were so moved to action by this book, as I was. It was an eye-opening experience.” And it spread. More students from outside the group asked him for copies of the book, and he placed several orders from to keep up with the demand. “Anyone who thinks public education doesn’t succeed should see the energy that was injected into this school,” Healey says.

d ic k in s on ma g a z i n e Fall 2012


The students put that energy to use, holding a c­ ommunity roundtable to raise awareness and a fundraiser for the women and communities featured in the book. Healey, sensing something special, took pictures and e-mailed the Times and the book publisher. To his amazement, he received a response. Show of Force Productions was working on a PBS documentary based on Half the Sky, and on Jan. 13, WuDunn pulled up in front of East Stroudsburg High School to interview Healey and six of his students. “It was a fantastic experience,” says Healey, who received an Excellence in Education Award in May for his work. “They filmed for eight hours. The students talked about the impact the book had on them and how they could see themselves in the women featured.” And when the documentary, narrated by George Clooney, airs Oct. 1 and 2, their names will be listed in the credits alongside the likes of Hillary Clinton, Desmond Tutu and Melinda Gates. “Now we need to keep setting the bar higher,” Healey says. “I challenged the students over the summer to think about their community and how they can change lives on a global scale.” They also spent time volunteering at the Lehigh Valley Hospital Food Bank in July and August. “When you take students to the U.N., and when you give them a chance to meet a Pulitzer Prize winner, they’re never going back,” Healey says. “You’ve expanded their minds so far beyond where they were, and then they turn around and affect their families and friends. That’s a wonderful thing.”

after the glow of commencement or the latest class reunion has worn off, how happy are alumni with their college? Do they continue to find value in their educational experience? Do they really have an edge in a competitive global economy?

Liberal direction A recent study shows that some forms of education really are better than others. By Michelle Simmons


highlights survey

annapolis group



fair or poor




77% of AG alumni gave the top box response on their overall quality of education


fair or poor





top 50 public universities

“A campus where a strong sense of community pertains is both an attraction to students and a successful result of that attraction.” — Hardwick Day

d ic k in s on ma g a z i n e Fall 2012

72% of alumni reported they were “completely satisfied” with the quality of their education (41% among top 50 publics)

— Hardwick Day

annapolis group


annapolis group Annapolis Group

not as well prepared


equally well prepared




better prepared

Top 50 Public Universities


Percentage of alumni who said their college helped them learn to become leaders

60% of AG alumni grads felt “better prepared” for life after college not as well prepared


top 50 public universities



“All colleges and universities know that smaller classes work better than big ones. But there is a huge difference in how frequently this occurs.”

equally well prepared

87% of AG alumni graduated in four years or less




better prepared

top 50 public universities

According to a recent study, the answer

is a definitive yes,

especially among alumni of private residential colleges like Dickinson.

The study, titled “The Value and Impact of the College Experience,” was based on interviews conducted in 2002 and 2011 with 2,700 alumni of top-tier private and public insti­tutions and found overwhelming evidence that the return on investment in a liberal-arts education continues to grow long after the mortarboards and gowns are put away. The study was commissioned by The Annapolis Group, a consortium of 130 liberal-arts colleges and universities (of which Dickinson is a member) and conducted by highereducation consulting firm Hardwick Day. In the report’s ­executive summary, the authors note that it “address[es] three of the big questions in the current discussion about higher education: Is it worth the cost? Does residential learning matter now that the Internet seems to be making online courses and for-profit education viable models for college learning? And, with the economy a mess, does a college degree really make a difference in the job hunt?” Among its findings was some heartening news: 77 percent of liberal-arts graduates rated their overall undergraduate experi­ ence as “excellent,” compared with 56 percent from the top 50 public universities. Moreover, 79 percent reported benefiting “very much” from the high-quality, teaching-oriented model they experienced, versus 39 percent at top public u ­ niversities. Small class sizes, personalized attention, under­graduate student-faculty research opportunities and service-learning participation all factored highly in alumni reports of satisfaction. Two seemingly subjective characteristics — engagement and satisfaction — turned out to be highly important measures. Again, according to the authors, students who experienced higher engagement reported better learning and life outcomes than those who did not experience high levels of engagement, regardless of the institution they attended. The analysis also documented that private, residential liberal-arts colleges do a much better job of fully engaging students — academically and socially.

The report goes on to note, “on measure after measure —  from the quality of the learning experience to the nature of their engagement with faculty and peers, from the impact on intellectual and personal development to the value to their careers — alumni of private liberal-arts colleges, where the residential experience is a core dimension, say that they benefitted dramatically personally and professionally, academically and socially from their college experience. They report this in far greater numbers and percentages than do alumni of large state universities, including the top public universities.” “Clearly this is more evidence of the value of a liberal-arts education,” says President William G. Durden ’71. “The careful attention we bring to a student and the focus on individual intellectual and social development by faculty, staff and other students make a difference. This study contributes to that case.” Dickinson’s own recent survey of the class of 2006, conducted by the Office of Institutional Research, showed that within five years after graduation, 94 percent of alumni were working full time, in a graduate or professional school program or were accepted to attend such a program in fall 2011. Eightytwo percent of those working full time reported that they were either satisfied or very satisfied with their current job. Among those alumni is Jason Gong ’06, manager of global diversity and inclusion at American Express. “Dickinson challenged me to step outside of my comfort zone and beyond the boundaries I had set for myself,” he says of the intangible —  but now quantifiable — benefits of his Dickinson experience. “I developed the confidence to take risks and learned to trust my instincts — these are lessons that have yielded tremendous rewards in my professional and personal life.” Isn’t that what every college graduate deserves?


d ic k in s on ma g a z i n e Fall 2012


silhouette Scenes from Cuba. By Carl Socolow ’77

Last spring, I accompanied a group of students and faculty on a Dickinson Mosaic in Cuba. As college photographer, I was photographing the group to illustrate the cultural and international experience that has become a hallmark of a Dickinson education. I had also been invited by Victor Casaus to exhibit a series of photographs that I had made in Mexico in 2006 as a Guggenheim Fellow. Casaus had participated in Dickinson’s 10th-annual Semana Poética last fall and is director of Central Pablo, an arts and culture organization in Havana. I went to Cuba with a certain trepidation about how we might be received by the people of a country so geographically close to the United States yet so politically estranged. Yet everywhere we went we were welcomed with open arms. There was a genuine outpouring of hospitality and generosity —  whether it was the grandmother who chatted about the African roots of Cuban religion as she watched her grandson scoot around the park, the baristas at a café who shared stories about their neighborhood or the inspired artists and creative staff at Centro Pablo. These Cuban photos are — as those made in Mexico and elsewhere — a part of a personal body of work that I call “Scenes from Civic Life,” an ongoing series of visual essays. They are stories strung together from glimpses of everyday life, from things simply as they are. They are not intended to be sentimental portraits or documentation. Rather, they’re intended to be lyrical and poetic descriptions of a place and a time and its people.

Read a 2006 Dickinson Magazine story on Socolow’s work at


d ic k in s on ma g a z i n e Fall Fall2012 2012 2012 2632 32


d ic k in s on ma g a z i n e Fall 2012




ton of ice used


of tea cooler consumed

2,794 miles Greatest distance traveled

by the numbers: alumni



Amount of time the Men’s Glee Club and Octals practiced



Flavors at Ice-Cream Social

between oldest Men’s Glee Club member and youngest Octals member (class of 1950 and class of 2014)

d ic k in s on ma g a z i n e Fall 2012


Benjamin Rushberry / Black Raspberry, Old West Chip /Mint Chip, Devil’s Delight / Cookies & Cream and Limestone Lemon Sherbet / Lemon Sherbet

134 27 miles

Distance walked by Director of Dining Services Keith Martin (Friday, 9; Saturday, 14; Sunday, 4)


Champagne bottles uncorked

99 10 years

Age of oldest returning alumnus Ben James ’34


Age of youngest attendee Ezra Dylan, son of Jacob Wright ’05 and Becka Robins, grandson of Judith and Harold Wright ’80, P’05


Reunion class with most returning alumni: class of 2007

weekend 2012


Tours given at the College Farm

Total people registered





Taken by two college photographers

touchdowns in the flag football game


[  fine print ] Brother’s Keeper By Jim Waltzer ’71

The rackets ruled Atlantic City in the 1920s, a period that climaxed the seashore town’s day in the sun in the pre-casino age. Brother’s Keeper portrays the vintage resort in a story that explores ambition, high-level crime and racial conflict in “a place where people and jobs came and went like the tides, a city of temporary thrill and constant deception.” The central clash, between a land developer transplanted from the South and a dish-washer who moonlights as a rolling-chair pusher, plays out as crime lords from across the country gather in Atlantic City for a sit-down in May 1929 (an actual event). The drama provides, in the words of one reviewer, “vivid scenes, and sharp insights about race and class.” Waltzer is a contributor to New Jersey Lifestyle and the author of a previous novel and two nonfiction books.

Ice Cap By Chris Knopf ’73

A new addition to Chris Knopf ’73’s fun, smartly plotted series starring Jackie Swaitkowski, the Hamptons lawyer to the rich and criminal. It’s the middle of the worst winter on record in the Hamptons, and Swaitkowski’s client, Franco Raffinni, is headed for a first-degree-murder rap. The case pulls her reluctantly back into her late husband’s extended—and partly nutty—family, entangles her in intrigue both criminal and romantic and challenges her basic principles of right and wrong. Crazy weather, crazy artists, the close-knit and colorful Polish-American community in the East End of Long Island, organized crime and digital wizardry all play a role in Ice Cap, a murder mystery that could happen only in the Hamptons.

An Actress Prepares: Women and “the Method” By Rosemary Malague ’83

An Actress Prepares is the first book to investigate Method acting from a specifically feminist perspective. Rose Malague ’83 addresses “the Method” not only with much-needed critical distance but also the crucial insider’s view of a trained actor. Case studies examine the preeminent American teachers who popularized and transformed elements of Stanislavsky’s system within the U.S.— Strasberg, Adler, Meisner and Hagen — by analyzing and comparing their related but distinctly different approaches. This book confronts the sexism that still exists in actor training and exposes the gender biases embedded within the Method itself. Its in-depth examination of these Stanislavskian techniques seeks to reclaim Method acting from its patriarchal practices and to empower women who act.

d ic k in s on ma g a z i n e Fall 2012


Kudos In July, Ashton Nichols, Walter E. Beach ’56 Distinguished Chair in Sustainability Studies and professor of language and literature, led a full-day seminar for the Smithsonian Associates Program in Washington, D.C. His topic was Emerson, Thoreau and the Transcendentalist Movement. Associate Professor of Earth Sciences Ben Edwards received a $161,571 National Science Foundation grant for the project “Collaborative Research / RUI: Testing Hypotheses on Pillow Lava Production During Glaciovolcanic Eruptions.” He also received a $19,840 grant from the National Geographic Society to continue his field research on water-icelava interactions in the 2010 Gigjokull, Iceland, lava flow. Lars English, associate professor of physics, co-

Tom Arnold, assistant professor of biology, published “Ocean acidification and the loss of phenolic substances in marine plants” in PLoS ONE.

published with Paulo Candiani ’11 “Generation of Localized Modes in an Electrical Lattice using Subharmonic Driving” in the 2012 Physical Review Letters. In 2011, English published “Discrete breathers in a nonlinear electric line: Modeling, computation, and experiment” in Physical Review E, and co-published with Samuel Wheeler ’10 “Backwards-wave propagation and discrete solitons in a left-handed electrical lattice” in Physics Letters A. Assistant Professor of Russian Alyssa DeBlasio received a $6,000 National Endowment for the Humanities grant to complete her book project, “Russian Thought in the 21st Century.”

Jorge R. Sagastume, associate professor of Spanish

and Portuguese and director of Dickinson’s program in Málaga, Spain, recently published “El secreto de los flamencos: Jorge Luis Borges, Federico Andahazi, y el cuestionamiento de los sistemas epistémicos” in Signos Literarios, a refereed journal of philosophy. He also published “ ‘El inmortal’ de Jorge Luis Borges: el yo, infinitos, absolutos y vocabularies finales” in Aisthesis, a refereed journal devoted to philosophy and aesthetics. Margaret Frohlich, assistant professor of Spanish and

Portuguese, is conducting her sabbatical research, “Sexual Diversity in the Rhetorical Landscape of Post-Soviet Cuba,” at the New York University Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality’s Visiting Scholar Program. Greg Howard, assistant professor of environmental studies, received an $81,000 Science & Technology Policy Fellowship from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Howard will be placed with an executive-branch agency such as the EPA, NOAA or NASA.

The Penn Humanities Forum awarded Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese Mariana Past a $5,000 Mellon Regional Faculty Fellowship for “Re-imagining Hispaniola from the ‘periphery of the margins.’ ” The Ruth and Hal Launders Charitable Trust awarded Dickinson a grant of $12,500 to upgrade the Kline Center’s pool. Funds will be used to purchase lane lines, touch pads, a CTS timing harness, backstroke flags and lap counters.

David Liittschwager

The Center for Global Study & Engagement received two grants from the Council for International Exchange of Scholars Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant Program. The grants will support two teaching assistants — one in Arabic and another in Portuguese — for the 2012-13 academic year.


[  beyond the limestone walls  ]

The question J e n n i f e r L . B l a n ck ’ 9 2 , A l u m n i C o u n c i l P r e s i d e n t

What will you do after you graduate?


o you remember that question? That dreaded question. During senior year, it was always there haunting you. Taunting you. You heard it from your parents, your friends’ parents, your internship supervisor, professors or maybe even your friends. Or maybe you were one of the lucky ones — someone who had an answer to that question. It felt so good to have an answer to that question. Why should you care now? Because you have a chance to get back at that question and help more people have answers. It’s easy to do, and you can do it for free. Share a job or internship with the Dickinson community. When you learn of a job or internship, send it to Dickinson’s Career Center. You can find contacts and infor­mation about the DickinsonConnect system on the center’s Web site ( You can also share openings via Dickinson’s LinkedIn group or spread the word at events. The opening could be at your organization or someplace else. If it’s where you work or a place where you used to work, you could offer to be a resource for anyone with questions about the organization or the job itself, if you know anything about it. If you’re willing to go one step further, you could even create an internship at your organization solely for a Dickinson student. Not everyone can do this, but if you can, it can make an amazing difference in a student’s life. You could provide a chance for someone to

build and demonstrate skills and make a real contribution. You could help launch someone’s career. You could help a student have an answer to that dreaded question. Providing career help to students and other alumni is a great way to stay connected to the Dickinson community. I personally have been helped by other alumni, and it makes such a difference to have support when engaged in a job search. With the hidden job market —  70-80 percent of jobs are not a­ dvertised — and a tough economy, you can make a significant difference with very little effort. Don’t forget that you benefit too. In addition to the satisfaction you gain from making a difference in someone’s life, you can be the person who brings new talent into an organization. It’s for all these reasons that the Alumni Council is starting to focus on career issues and considering a new committee structure. We want to reflect on the current issues facing the college and the Dickinson community and do what we can to help. Our next meeting is this fall, intentionally coinciding with Networking Day, which is Saturday, Nov. 3. Please consider ­participating in Networking Day. There will be career workshops, an alumni-only reception and a student-alumni net­working event. Just like the All-College Alumni Weekend (which, by the way, was a fantastic weekend and a recordbreaking success!), Networking Day provides an opportunity for you to connect with friends, colleagues, staff, faculty and others. But it also comes with a bonus — the chance to help students and other alumni and make a difference in their lives. I hope to see you there!

For information regarding Networking Day or other alumni activities, e-mail Jennifer at

d ic k in s on ma g a z i n e Fall 2012


The Bow Tie Tour

Throughout the year, President William G. Durden and his wife, Elke, are hitting the road on this farewell tour celebrating their 14 years at Dickinson. Look for more information at

Coming to a city near you!

Boston, Oct. 2 Washington, D.C., Oct. 26 and 28 Pittsburgh, Nov. 14 New York City, Nov. 27 Philadelphia, Nov. 29


[  closing thoughts  ]

Babbling books by Christopher Maier ’99


n the 13 years since graduating from Dickinson, I’ve moved 12 times. When it’s time to pack up and go, I summon friends and family to help with the schlepping and stacking. Everything moves along smoothly until we come to whatever room I’ve designated “the office”— that’s where we find the wall of boxes labeled “BOOKS.” A few people glance at their watches and excuse themselves. The others start asking questions like, “Did you really read all of these?” and “You know you can get this stuff on the Kindle, right?” and “Why didn’t you just hire a professional mover like any other adult would do?” Wrapped up in there is a valid ­question: Why do some of us — many of us, I’m sure — elect to lug around ever-growing repositories of the written word that can be measured by the ton, the bulk of which we’ve already devoured and aren’t likely to re-read in full (or in even tiny part) anytime soon? Is it to make sure everyone who visits the house can see the notches on our well-cultured belts? Is it a shameful act of hoarding? Is it just because we like to torture our friends on moving day? In my case, it’s because books — in their old-school, ink-and-paper form — offer something that I’d rather not part with. Even as digitized literature dishes up new and convenient ways to interact with the written word, there are three things that will keep my library of printed books growing. Books are bookmarks. Life bookmarks, that is. I’ll often walk into my office and end up scanning spines of books that are rich with memories. They recall not just the narratives on their pages but also who I was when I read the book and where I was in life. I can remember the first time I read George Orwell’s 1984 — junior high, summertime, windows open, staying up all night. I think that was the summer I fell in love with writing. I can remember sitting in a hot attic room in London reading Graham Swift’s Waterland, a novel set in England’s East Anglia, where I’d begin a

transformative academic year abroad just a few weeks later. Every time I spot the thick, black spine of Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals, I remember giving that exact volume to my grandmother as a Christmas gift; when she died two months later, the book made its way back to me, her cardboard bookmark forever pressed between pages 26 and 27. Books are intimate. I take notes in books. I scrawl in the margins and highlight sentences and make dots in the corners of pages with particularly inspirational passages. I’ve tried to approximate these tactile experiences on my Nook, but I end up lost in two-dimensional space, feeling like I’m doctoring up a business report in Microsoft Word — and knowing that two months later I’ll never have the tenacity to track down that note again. Yet I can close my eyes and see that Mark Antony begins to address the grieving Romans on the top half of a right-hand page about three-fifths of the way through my printed copy of Julius Caesar. Books are beautiful. A lofty claim, perhaps, but we most often ­encounter something we call “beauty” when our senses are overwhelmed to the point that we might as well just start babbling. And reading a book in hard form is a rich, multisensory experience — one that doesn’t translate well to the digital world. Paper has texture. Ink smells. Colors bleed. Pages make a soft rubbing sound as they pass through our fingers. You could blindfold me and stick the 1993 Routledge reprint of William Morris’ News from Nowhere in my hands, and after giving it a few flips and a good sniffing, I could probably tell you what I was holding. Books have the power to engage our senses in ways that we often don’t even recognize, and because of this they provide us an experience of depth and immersion that you might call beauty. Look at me: I’m babbling.

Christopher Maier ’99 is a fiction writer and creative director at 50,000feet, heading up the agency’s Washington, D.C., office. At Dickinson, he majored in English and studied abroad in the college’s program at the University of East Anglia.

d ic k in s on ma g a z i n e Fall 2012




myDickinson is now your online home beyond the limestone walls:

classmate contact information ➤ events in your region ➤ volunteer opportunities ➤ career services ➤ giving back ➤

Visit to learn more!

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 Periodical

w w w. d i c k i n s o n . e d u / m a g a z i n e

P o s ta g e p a i d at C a r l i s l e , P A and additional mailing office




We all screamed and cheered so much that we lost our voices. Parisa Kaliush ’14,

member of Dickinson women’s soccer on witnessing the U.S. team beat Canada during the London Olympic Games

I can’t even give a ballpark estimate. Let’s just say that it is astronomical. D i ck F o r r e s t e r ,

associate professor of mathematics in “Better Living Through Mathematics”

We’re also on Pinterest, which will probably be obsolete by the time this article goes to print. Jen Kopf ’87

(See Page 14)

You know you can get this stuff on the Kindle, right? Christopher Maier ’99

(See Page 56)

During last year at Dson will tweet about observations on-off campus. BD First tweet by @PresidentDurden

The first moral of the story is I went on loan to the government for a year. It’s been eight. So I wasn’t very good at following instructions. Brian Kamoie ’93

during C-SPAN interview in June

Corporate America is throwing us a bone and we are biting. Globe of Frogs

(See Page 20)

Dickinson Magazine Fall 2012  

Check out Dickinson Magazine’s fall 2012 issue as it sets down some new ink—and a new look.

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