September 2016

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The 1851 Chronicle

September 2016 • Volume 11, Issue 1




Students, professors adjust to modular classrooms COLIN FROMENT

1851 Staff

Students and professors on campus are reacting positively to the new modular classrooms that were installed this year. These modular classrooms, located on Grove Street and Maple Terrace, are temporary substitutes for classrooms lost in the Wass/Wolfe renovation project. Students have shown a positive outlook on classes held in modulars, despite a little skepticism before the start of the 2016-17 school year. Sophomore James Macey admits he had his doubts before the school year started, but now believes they are just as good as normal classrooms. “It was a really well thought out plan,” Macey said. In addition to classrooms, the modulars include faculty offices, restrooms, water fountains, and storage rooms. Daniel Sargeant, Assistant Professor and Chair of Sports Management, has experience teaching classes in similar modulars in Florida. “The technology is actually an improvement over Wolfe,” he said. “The screens were old and the projectors were old.” He also noticed that the climate control is an improvement over the temperature in the Wass and Wolfe buildings. “We would have to cancel classes because it would get too hot or too cold,” Sargeant said. While there is much positivity, some minor problems have arisen in the modulars. Sargeant believes that the smaller classroom size makes it more difficult to work in group

projects and that the students feel “more cramped.” “The modular pods are not as bad as I had expected them to be,” said senior Tessa Dinnie. “Although it does make me sad that as a senior I don’t get to learn in the classrooms I’ve grown to love these past three years.” Sophomore Sara Gaebe recounts an incident where the ceiling tiles were being repaired in one of the Grove modulars that resulted in a metal pole protruding from the ceiling before her class. “My professor evacuated everyone out of the classroom and she called a repairman who came in and looked at it,” said Gaebe. Diane Parker, Associate Vice President for Administration and Finance, who also oversees the physical plant of the modulars, said, BY RYAN FITZGERALD “We take the safety and se- Students will have classes in temperature controlled modulars until December 2017. PHOTOS The modulars are located curity of our students and on Grove Street and Maple Terrace. our faculty and staff very seriously. Hearing about this is important in of our community.” Parker says she plans to the new academic building that will replace order for us to make sure that it doesn’t hap- include picnic tables and vending machines the current Wass/Wolfe renovation site. “I’m optimistic and it’s going to be awepen again, and so we can ensure the safety for next year. The faculty and staff are excited about some,” said Sargeant.

Alexander: Always wanted to be president RYAN FITZGERALD, TRISTAN DAVIS, TAYLOR RITCHIE, NICK STASIAK co-editor-in-chief, features editor, contributing writers

“I don’t know what he does. He comes in, maybe has a few meetings, and maybe does budget planning or something,” says one student. “He probably answers phones. He probably meets with faculty to discuss campus issues,” said another, “I literally have no idea.” Even some members of the faculty are stumped. “I think he has meetings of all kinds. I think he reads reports, and talks on the phone. He likes to know what’s going on, so he goes out to attend events. He probably looks at the internet and reads,” said a librarian. What, you ask, does Lasell College President Michael Alexander do all day? More than you think. As far as resumés go, Alexander’s is as colorful as they come. Born and raised in Columbus, OH, his father was a zookeeper-turned-stockbroker, and his mother was a psychologist. Alexander’s beloved grandfather was Dean of Faculty at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, OH. After graduating high school, Alexander attended Harvard University to study history and literature of America, but always knew higher education was a greater interest. “It may sound strange, but I always wanted to be the president of a small college,” Alexander said. It was at Ohio State University that he would earn a master’s degree in higher education before returning to Harvard. His very first weekend as a Harvard freshman, a dean approached him with an important favor. “There was a student who lived down the hall from me who had bipolar disorder, and was struggling with


the disease,” he said. “The dean asked me to befriend him, and help him remain stable and stay in school.” Four years later, that student received his diploma.

Assistant to the President at Barnard College from 1979 to 1981. Alexander married his wife Mary Barbara at the age of 20, after the two met in high


President Michael Alexander enjoys some well-deserved down time in his office.

Committed to working with colleges to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps, Alexander has been employed by a number of schools. He worked at Smith College, Ohio State, Harvard and served as the Executive

Parking & Shuttle Updates Page 3

school. An aspiring actress, she and Alexander traveled west to Hollywood to make names for themselves. Alexander tried to sell some of his writing, but received very few offers enticing enough to keep going.

“Patriots Day” scene filmed in Rosen over summer

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“We were broke,” he simply put. He was then hired by MCA Universal, an American media company known today as NBC Universal. “They hired me as an experiment, and quickly asked me to move back to New York and help them out there.” He was tasked with heading the struggling USA Network, a channel that airs now some of television’s most successful shows like “Mr. Robot” and “WWE Smackdown.” After proving himself in the entertainment and technology businesses, Alexander started an independent film distribution company a couple miles down the road from Lasell’s campus. He would receive an offer to apply for the school’s vacant presidential position just a few years later. Alexander made it to the final round of four candidates, and after spending a day and a half on-campus, he was picked. “It’s a miracle I got the job,” he said. “When I saw who the other finalists were, I thought I had no chance. But it appears it mattered who performed the best that day got the job, and I guess I did enough.” Alexander credits his “I Believe” speech to helping him come out on top in 2007. The Ohio native had big shoes to fill. Alexander’s predecessor, Thomas E. J. de Witt, served as president of Lasell from 1988 until 2007. When de Witt took over, Lasell was still a two-year junior college for women. After becoming the Executive Vice President of Endicott College, de Witt was inau-

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Friendly Toast restaurant review Page 7