Haverford Winter 2013 : Page 6
main lines Colleen Farrell ’08 was one of four female soldiers to file suit, along with the ACLU, against the Defense Department over the ban on women in combat. On the Legal Front Lines for Female Troops hen news broke in November that four female soldiers, along with the American Civil Liberties Union, had filed suit against the Defense Department over its restric-tions on women in combat, it was a historic moment. Even more historic was what followed in January: The announcement that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was lifting the ban on women serving in combat—a decision that will allow women to officially move into frontline positions. Colleen Farrell ’08 , one of the four soldiers who filed the suit, is at the center of the story. Farrell, who was deployed to south-6 HaverfordMagazine W ern Afghanistan in 2010, was moved to join the suit by the experiences she had as a Marine first lieutenant in a war zone. Stationed in volatile Helmand Province, she went on daily patrols and worked with the Marine Corps’ newly created female engagement teams in their efforts to connect with Afghan women. (See the winter 2011 issue of Haverford .) “During my deployment, I faced a lot of discrimination and unnecessary road-blocks that prevented my team’s mis-sion from being accomplished,” says Farrell. To comply with the Defense Department’s Combat Exclusion Policy for women, Farrell’s entire team had to return to the main base every 45 days. Not only did battalion commanders have to reschedule major operations to accommodate this, she says, but those trips back to the base put her Marines in unnecessary danger, as the convoy had to travel though dangerous areas where insurgents had mined roads. “Because there are no women in the infantry, ad hoc teams like the female engagement team were created to oper-ate with combat units. My teams patrolled every day with the infantry units, lived in the same outposts as the infantry units and fought in combat with the infantry units. However, after return-ing back home, they did not receive the same recognition for their combat experience.” Yet the decision to join the lawsuit PHOTO: AP PHOTO/BEN MARGOT
On the Legal Front Lines for Female Troops
When news broke in November that four female soldiers, along with the American Civil Liberties Union, had filed suit against the Defense Department over its restrictions on women in combat, it was a historic moment. Even more historic was what followed in January: The announcement that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was lifting the ban on women serving in combat—a decision that will allow women to officially move into frontline positions.
Colleen Farrell ’08, one of the four soldiers who filed the suit, is at the center of the story.
Farrell, who was deployed to southern Afghanistan in 2010, was moved to join the suit by the experiences she had as a Marine first lieutenant in a war zone. Stationed in volatile Helmand Province, she went on daily patrols and worked with the Marine Corps’ newly created female engagement teams in their efforts to connect with Afghan women. (See the winter 2011 issue of Haverford.)
“During my deployment, I faced a lot of discrimination and unnecessary roadblocks that prevented my team’s mission from being accomplished,” says Farrell. To comply with the Defense Department’s Combat Exclusion Policy for women, Farrell’s entire team had to return to the main base every 45 days. Not only did battalion commanders have to reschedule major operations to accommodate this, she says, but those trips back to the base put her Marines in unnecessary danger, as the convoy had to travel though dangerous areas where insurgents had mined roads.
“Because there are no women in the infantry, ad hoc teams like the female engagement team were created to operate with combat units. My teams patrolled every day with the infantry units, lived in the same outposts as the infantry units and fought in combat with the infantry units. However, after returning back home, they did not receive the same recognition for their combat experience.”
Yet the decision to join the lawsuit was a difficult one for Farrell, a Quaker whose Meeting in her native Mullica Hill, N.J., supported her decision to join the armed forces. “I knew my command and fellow Marines would not approve of the manner in which I was speaking out against the policy,” she says. “However, knowing that this was the right thing to do for the future of female service members made it a lot easier.”
Farrell left active service just after the lawsuit was announced and is now a captain in the Marine Corps Reserve. “I think if I had remained in the military, I would have faced several career risks,” says Farrell, who lives in Cambridge, Mass., and works for fellow Ford Ted Rybeck ’85 in the social media services industry. “I know many honorable women who declined to be in this lawsuit because of the potential consequences.”
Farrell says she was surprised and thrilled when she heard the secretary of defense’s announcement about lifting the Combat Exclusion Policy. “It was completely unexpected and something I thought would take years, maybe decades, to accomplish,” she says. “I am cautiously optimistic, however, because there are still ways in which those who oppose us can prevent women from joining the infantry ranks.”
For now, the lawsuit has been suspended as the plaintiffs—and the nation—wait to see the plans for implementation that military leaders must present to the secretary of defense in May.
Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist Dave Barry ’69 gave up his syndicated column for The Miami Herald in 2005, after 22 years, but he’s hardly been taking it easy. In the last decade, he’s published a trio of comic novels and nine books for young adults, including five (with Ridley Pearson) in the Starcatcher series (the basis for the hit Broadway play Peter and the Starcatcher). Barry’s latest work, a novel called Insane City, was released in January. His first solo work of fiction in a decade, the black comedy is set in Miami and tells the story of the illfated destination wedding of slacker Seth and highstrung bridezilla Tina. “A year spent writing a novel is way, way harder than a year writing columns,” Barry told The Philadelphia Inquirer on the eve of Insane City’s release. “You can’t get by just telling jokes. You have to make characters and have them do something. And that, I gotta tell ya, is a pain.”
The Students’ Council Speakers Committee brought author and activist Gloria Steinem to Haverford in November to give a talk titled “The Progression of Feminism: Where are we going?” Steinem, a pioneering leader of the women’s movement, discussed social and economic issues facing women, and offered an idea for economic growth. “Equal pay for comparable work for women would be the greatest economic stimulus this country could ever have,” she said.
STUDENTS IN THE MIDST OF LATE-NIGHT STUDY SESSIONS no longer need to leave Magill Library to find a hit of caffeine. A new self-service coffee bar, dubbed The Daily Grind, has been installed in the Basement Lounge and offers coffee, tea and hot chocolate for 50 cents.
Ira deA. Reid House Rededicated
Haverford celebrated the rededication of the Ira deA. Reid House with a reception and panel discussion during February’s Volunteer Leadership Weekend.
According to Theresa Tensuan, associate dean and director of Multicultural Affairs, the past year has been an important one for Reid House, also known as the Black Cultural Center. Last spring, discussions about a proposed change in use for the space evoked vehement student opinion that it should remain a residence and cultural center. During the summer, the building underwent renovations to make it handicap accessible, and was explicitly designated a community space for meetings and events. “I see this year as a kind of reanimation of the Reid House,” Tensuan said, “and I have to credit this year’s residents for bringing the house through this transition.”
The rededication event began with a welcome from Black Students League Co-Heads Dawit Habtemariam ’15 and Sarah Puryear ’15, who discussed some of the activities taking place in the house, originally dedicated 20 years ago, and spoke about the building’s namesake, a sociologist who was the College’s first black tenured professor.
Another speaker at the reception, Garry Jenkins ’92, a member of the Board of Managers, noted that Haverford taught him the value of diversity and that diversity starts with leadership. “When I think about higher education, it’s ultimately about leadership,” he said. “We want people who will go out and change the world, and Haverford prepares you to do that.”
Later, an Alumni of Color panel brought together four Fords from different decades. Moderated by Sarah Willie-LeBreton ’86, a Swarthmore College sociology professor, the panel included Tiffany Johnston ’09, Iain Haley Pollock ’00 andJim Pabarue ’72,who spoke about arriving at Haverford in 1968 and joining a class that was the first in the College’s history to have a sizable number of African Americans. And panelist Nicole Myers Turner ’97 recalled her own freshman year. “I came in thinking the institution had everything figured out. I realized you have to bring your critiques and challenges to the institution,” she said. “It’s not your burden as a person of color, but your gift to the institution as a person of color.”
—Prarthana Jayaram ’10
De-stress. With dogs!
It was all smiling faces (and furiously wagging tails) in Ryan Gym on December 20 for Dog Day, an event sponsored by the Pre-Vet Society and HaverMinds, a new club at the College devoted to promoting awareness of mental health issues. With the idea that there is nothing like a few sloppy puppy kisses to ease tension, the two groups joined together to bring a contingent of adorable pooches from Main Line Animal Rescue to campus to help exam-frazzled students de-stress. Ryan was packed as Fords frolicked with six dogs of different shapes and sizes, from a pit bull-terrier mix to a bulldog with a charming underbite.
Microfinance Students Travel to Bangladesh
Sometimes, to really learn something you have to go to the source. Want to learn French? Go to France. Fascinated by ancient ruins? Go to Greece. And if microfinance is your area of interest, Bangladesh is where you need to go. Many consider the South Asian country the birthplace of the growing field, which aims to lift individuals out of poverty through microloans and other financial services. Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus formed his Grameen Bank in Bangladesh in 1983, and two of the other innovators in the field, BRAC and ASA, are also headquartered there. So when Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics Shannon Mudd was looking for a place to take his microfinance students for some field experience, Bangladesh was a natural destination.
“I was keen to take students to a place that would likely expose them both to a very different culture and to a level of poverty they had not seen before,” says Mudd, who helped launch Haverford’s Microfinance and Impact Investing Initiative (Mi3) in fall 2011. “And it is well understood that microfinance institutions have to adjust their practices to the context in which they are operating. So it was also important to see how they work in a very specific environment.”
Through a partnership with Alliance Forum Foundation, and with funding help from Haverford’s Center for Peace and Global Citizenship and Bryn Mawr College, Mudd was able to take nine Bi-Co students to Dhaka and Bogra over winter break. The group kept a busy schedule over its 10-day trip, visiting eight non-governmental organizations and microfinance institutions (MFIs) for lectures, and going to six sites to meet clients and observe the effects of the organizations’ work. The students heard from representatives of groups like the Association of Medical Doctors of Asia, a nonprofit that promotes the health of the poor, as well as those from more typical MFIs.
Back on campus, the trip’s influence is still being felt. Mudd is infusing his microfinance classes with observations from his travels. Students in the Microfinance Consulting Club are looking to focus on Bangladesh in their ongoing mapping project. And one student, Melissa Forrow ’13, used the trip to gather research for her economics senior thesis, on how microfinance loans affect women’s empowerment and levels of domestic violence.
“I [wanted] to finish writing my thesis in the spring feeling like I had taken advantage of all of the resources available to me and incorporated both personal and academic experiences to create an authentic and informative work,” says Forrow. “It would be arrogant to claim real knowledge of the social effects of microfinance in Bangladesh without ever interacting with a loan officer, loan recipient or other microfinance worker in the country. The study tour was an incredible opportunity to do that.”
Making Art Accessible
Putting together any major art exhibition is a big undertaking. Beyond determining just the right selection of work, gallery spaces must be reconfigured, lighting must be carefully adjusted, appropriate labels and signage must be devised—all of it focused on finding ways to best showcase the art and help gallery visitors connect with it. For the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery exhibition What Can a Body Do?, which featured nine artists whose work reframes disability, the task was even more complex.
In the words of curator Amanda Cachia, the work in the show, which ran October 26 through December 16, confronted “dominant cultural perceptions of scale, deafness, blindness, mobility, visible and invisible bodily differences.” Given those themes, the challenge for the organizers of What Can a Body Do? Was accessibility: How to take an art exhibition—typically a visual event experienced by walking through a space—and make it something that people of differing abilities could experience in a variety of ways.
To do that, the exhibitions team employed a number of strategies, including hanging the art at a height comfortable for visitors in wheelchairs, bringing in sign language interpreters for several exhibition-related events and talks, and making the show catalog available in a braille version and as an audio CD with recordings of the full text as well as supplemental material.
In an ambitious project carried out by 11 Haverford students who worked on the exhibition and in the gallery, descriptions of the work were recorded and placed on the exhibition website and on iPods nanos (which feature new software that increases their accessibility) available at the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery front desk. Those recordings offered multiple perspectives and included the voices of the artists themselves as well as descriptions recorded by the students.
Michael Rushmore ’14, co-manager of the Gallery staff with Aubree Penney ’13, handled the recording and editing of the sound files. “We recorded people in a few rooms around campus using a microphone from the Instructional Technology Center and Audacity, a simple sound recording program,” he says.
“All of the text was written by the students participating in the project,” says Penney, who coordinated the planning and writing. “It was a pretty incredible collaborative effort.”
Also completely rethought for What Can a Body Do?was the exhibition’s web presence. Haverford’s Web Communications Designer Sebastianna Skalisky and Senior Web Communications Developer David Moore strategized with the organizers to design a website that could accommodate visitors who are color blind, have low vision or contrast issues. They also included an audio-only interface for people who use voice-over technology on their computers
“Typically it is large museums and galleries that provide significant access features for people with disabilities,” says Visiting Assistant Professor of Writing Kristin Lindgren. “The Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery staff, the Hurford Center for the Arts and Humanities and the web designers in College Communications broke new ground on what’s possible for small galleries.”
Lindgren, who co-organized in/visible, a 2011 symposium on disability and the arts with Assistant Professor of English Debora Sherman, reports that What Can a Body Do? Curator Amanda Cachia spoke about the exhibition’s audio description project in a talk she gave at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “Haverford is way ahead of the curve in terms of creating multiple modes of access to a small gallery exhibition,” says Lindgren. —E. L.
Those left wondering about the current state of WHRC after reading our Haverford magazine history of the station “Haverford on the Radio” (spring/summer 2012) will be pleased to know that it has been revived. General Managers Karl Moll ’14 and Fairleigh Barnes ’13 (pictured right at a live broadcast from the Sunken Lounge in the Dining Center) have reconceived WHRC as an online-only station that features more than 40 shows—including one that spotlights music influenced by the Berlin club scene and another that offers folk music and political talk—hosted by members of the Bi-Co community. These shows are currently available only via live-streaming, meaning that listeners must tune in at the appointed hour, between 4 p.m. and midnight, to hear a given program. Check radioFords.com for a full schedule.
Journalist and author Andrew Sullivan (the creator of and central voice behind the influential political and social commentary blog The Dish) gave a talk at Haverford in February that offered his trenchant perspective on the world as a gay man, a conservative and a Catholic.
“Even I, as someone who has campaigned for marriage equality for gay people, don’t want the Supreme Court to decide for this society what marriage must legally be. I want the change to come from below. I want it to come from the changes in people’s hearts and consciences and minds. I want change, if change is necessary, not to disrupt the society that we have more than necessary, because, as a conservative, I like what I have.”—Andrew Sullivan
A Modern Take on Chekhov’s The Seagull
The Bryn Mawr and Haverford Theater Program presented The Nina Variations by Steven Dietz in November. Set in a lake house in the off season, Dietz’s play focuses on The Seagull’s final, tragic scene between Nina, an actress spurned by her lover, and Treplev, a young writer whose love Nina had rejected years earlier. With a cast of 16 playing a series of Ninas and Treplevs, the play offers 43 variations on their fateful encounter to explore what might have happened if the conversation had gone differently. The production, directed by Theater Program Instructor Catharine Slusar, ran for six performances in the Hepburn Teaching Theater in Bryn Mawr’s Goodhart Hall.
IN THE COLLECTION
Spotlighting the rare and marvelous holdings of Quaker & Special Collections
Artist and illustrator Maxfield Parrish, Class of 1892, already showed great promise while a student here, as evidenced by his fabulously illustrated chemistry notebook, which describes 33 experiments and features drawings of elves operating Bunsen burners and doing other lab tasks. The chemistry notebook is part of theMaxfield Parrish Collection, which includes letters, manuscripts, original sketches and drawings, and other items. Last year, the College acquired 18 photographs taken by Parrish, who used photos as an aid to developing his distinctive style.
A FAB Loveshack
Every February Fords Against Boredom, a student group that organizes fun, alcohol-free activities on and off campus, takes the crafty, homespun idea of making a gingerbread house and turns it into a distinctive Havertivity with Loveshack. This year, 150 students braved ice and snow to attend the pre-Valentines Day event in Ryan Gym. Loveshack’s ground rules are simple: Organize into teams of any size and make whatever you want out of graham crackers, icing and more candy than anyone knows what to do with. Prizes are awarded, but winning isn’t the point.
A number of this year’s Loveshack creations were Haverfordcentric, such as miniature models of the Duck Pond (left) and the Haverford College Apartments (below), as well as numerous replicas of squirrels. Others went with the Valentine’s Day theme and created hearts and heart-shaped buildings. (The crowning achievement in this category was undoubtedly the “Prison of Love,” which featured towers and even a drawbridge.) Still other Loveshack teams, going for the truly offbeat, created graham cracker and candy models of farm scenes, the Super Bowl, Noah’s Ark and a sarcophagus— complete with a napkinwrapped mummy inside.
—Jack Hasler ’15
THREE NEW GROUP STUDY ROOMS have opened on the fourth tier of Magill Library. The three new spaces—named Cervantes, Faulkner and Woolf—are equipped with monitors and white board tables.
Who Killed Sarah Stout?
There’s been a great mystery afoot on campus this winter, and the Haverford community is being called upon to help solve it. Sarah Stout, a wealthy British Quaker woman, has been found dead, presumably strangled. But the investigation of her alleged murderer, Spencer Cowper, and his accomplices has been fraught with scandal—rumored adultery, forged love letters, suicide accusations and political backstabbing—and they have been acquitted at trial. Did we mention that this murder actually took place in 1699 and was never solved?
Jen Rajchel BMC ’11, who serves a dual appointment as assistant director of the Tri-Co Digital Humanities and Digital Scholarship Curator at Haverford,, is reopening the case in the court of public opinion with Who Killed Sarah Stout? This interactive exhibit in Magill Library is based on the holdings of Haverford’s Special Collections relating to Cowper’s 1699 trial, which was one of the first to use an autopsy as evidence.
“Researching in the archives can be a bit like a detective adventure,” says Rajchel, who conceived of this participatory murdermystery game/exhibit as a way to promote use of Special Collections by students and faculty. “This is especially true of the material relating to this trial, because of the conflicting public opinion and accounts surrounding it. Every search in the collections uncovered new bits of evidence. The form of the exhibit really speaks to that experience.”
Visitors to the exhibit can explore several locations in Stout’s 17th-century village, including a coffeehouse, a tavern and the Quaker Meetinghouse, to gather clues by overhearing the defendants on the night of the murder or witnessing the autopsy. They can read primary source material such as pamphlets of post-trial commentary, study a book of 18th-century anatomical drawings, and view artifacts, all from the period.
There is also a digital component of the game that summons a character from the trial (such as Cowper himself or Sarah Stout’s mother) on a mobile device to give players further clues. This component, which allows the historical characters to be in dialogue with the archives and the game participants, was designed by Rose Abernathy ’13 and illustrated by Vanessa Hernandez ’13. (Rajchel was also aided by Mary Clare O’Donnell ’14, the assistant curator for the exhibit.)
“The goal of the game is to let the visitors enter Sarah Stout’s world,” says Abernathy, a computer science major who aims to be a game developer and relished the experience of designing for a mobile app. “Jen wanted visitors to explore the evidence and make their own decision about who killed Sarah Stout as if they were her contemporaries.”
You can make your own decision about the mystery by visiting the exhibit and following the hashtag #WhoKilledSStout on Twitter. March 18 will be Judgment Day, when the visitors’ verdicts will be tallied and announced and we’ll find out who, in fact, did kill Sarah Stout (at least in the minds of the Haverford community). For more information or to play the online game: hav.to/sarahstout.
Daniel Dae Kim ’90 Brings Linsanity to Sundance
When a 6-foot-3-inch Taiwanese-American point guard from Harvard University who had already been dropped by two NBA teams became the Knicks’ “most popular player in a decade” (according to The New York Times) by scoring a recordsetting 136 points in his first five games with the New York team, it seemed like the sort of underdog success story of a Hollywood film. But long before Jeremy Lin became a star, his life was already a movie; a filmmaker had been following him with a camera, catching every step of his seemingly meteoric rise. And the resulting documentary, Linsanity, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January to a standing ovation, features a Ford behind the scenes. The film is narrated by Daniel Dae Kim ’90, star of Lost and Hawaii Five-O, and Kim was on hand in Utah to introduce the film to audiences and help celebrate its success. The rights to Linsanity have been sold, though a release date has yet to be announced, so keep an eye out for this feel-good story told by a familiar voice.
Stephen Emerson ’74 Awarded France’s Legion of Honor
Former Haverford College President Stephen Emerson ’74 was named a chevalier (or knight) of the National Order of the Legion of Honor by French Ambassador François Delattre at a Jan. 18 ceremony in New York. The Légion d’honneur, as it is called in French, is bestowed in recognition of “outstanding achievement in the military as well as in the public and private sectors.” Emerson was honored for his role in returning to the Institut de France a stolen letter penned by René Descartes that was rediscovered in Haverford’s Special Collections.
A scholar from Utrecht University found the four-page letter, which was written in 1641, while doing research on Descartes in 2010. In it, the philosopher explains to his publisher that he has decided to change the content of his seminal Méditations métaphysiques. The letter is one of thousands that were stolen from the Institut de France in the mid-19th century by Count Guglielmo Libri, then-secretary of the committee for the general catalog of manuscripts in French public libraries, and its repatriation garnered much interest from the national and international press. (See Haverfordmagazine, spring 2010.)
“Cher Professeur, as soon as you were informed of the letter’s existence, you declared there was only one responsible course of action: to return it to France,” said Delattre in his speech at the reception. The ambassador also paid tribute to the College, calling it “the ideal model of an American liberal arts college, a model that France deeply admires.”
“I felt honored, very proud of Haverford and thrilled to have been able to elevate Haverford in the eyes of the Academy and the world, both in offering to return the letter, and in sharing with the French the history and values of the College,” said Emerson, a hematologist and oncologist who is now the director of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at New York Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center.
IN THE GALLERY
OPP: Other People’s Property (Jan. 25 – March 8) offers a broad survey of the work of photo conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas. Curated by Kalia Brooks, the solo show features pieces from several of Thomas’ series, including B®anded, which explores advertising language and logos; Unbranded,which presents images from ads created for black audiences; and Strange Fruit, which entwines the visual signifiers of lynching and professional sports. In all of his works, Thomas uses provocation and sly humor to help viewers understand their place in the consumer culture and the ways advertising affects how we see ourselves and others.
Following Other People’s Property, Thomas serves as curator, with Natasha Logan, of White Boys, a group show whose artists use photography, video, painting, printmaking and sculpture to variously imagine white male identity within a broader network of racial and sexual tropes and identities. White Boys is on view in the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery from March 22 through May 3.
Hank Willis Thomas, ”Branded Head,” 2003, LightJet Print, 20 x 30 inches
Read the full article at http://www.mydigitalpublication.com/article/Main+Lines/1347431/150199/article.html.
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