By Sherri Kimmel
Take a page out of his notebook. Any page. There will be drawings, you can be sure. And there will be words, printed in a neat, artistic hand. But while designs for a high-tech printer dominate the upper margins, the page’s bottom half features sketches of wood-kiln-fired clay tea cups modeled on millennial-old Japanese folk pottery. This spiral-bound notebook tracks the musings of the inventive mind of engineering major Andreas Bastian ’12 as he moves between two very different disciplines.
“He’s always sketching something,” Matt Zucker, assistant professor of engineering, says of his spirited advisee. “He combines engineering with artistic creativity. It’s fun to look over his shoulder and see what’s going on in his notebook. Andy is a talented designer who has the ability to visualize structure and mechanics in 3-D. He’s particularly gifted at that.”
By Robert Strauss
It is the rare person who has avoided anxious moments. Those moments could be severe, but they could also be simple, yet the purpose of life is not to dwell on them, says psychologist Tamar Chansky ’84. Chansky has authored four books on the topic, the latest being her most inclusive: Freeing Yourself from Anxiety: 4 Simple Steps to Overcome Worry and Create the Life You Want.
At 71, Neil Austrian ’61 is vital as ever—gregarious, engaging, and happy to be working. He’s made several attempts to retire during the past decade, all of them futile. Austrian’s long and varied business career has taken many turns, but like a successful tight end, he’s stayed on his feet while managing companies such as advertising agency Doyle Dane Bernbach; private equity firm Dillon Read; cable TV’s Showtime/The Movie Channel; the National Football League; and a variety of entrepreneurial ventures. In October 2010, Austrian was asked to return to Office Depot for a second stint as its CEO, where he has made a three-year commitment. He has served on the Office Depot board since 1998 and ran the company on an interim basis for six months in 2004. He and his wife, Nancy, live in Delray Beach, Fla., a few miles from Office Depot’s headquarters.
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch ’10
Everyone enters college believing deep down that the immediately visible status quo is how things always have been. I had the same thought before I plumbed the musty archive in McCabe’s Rare Book Room shortly after I graduated. It houses every issue of every literary magazine that its heroic campus librarians have managed to track down. Had I surveyed such specimens as the Roc, the Dodo, the Vulture, the Grouse, the Tupenny Puffin (notice a theme?) the “bee in my bonnet”—as Jonathan Franzen ’81 describes the mad magazine-starting impulse among Swarthmore students—would I have felt a new satisfaction at entering a well-formed tradition?
I found this trove of curiosities that went a long way towards illuminating the development of the student literary experience at Swarthmore. Following are some highlights.
By Carol Brévart-Demm
After almost three decades of boosting and shaping the enterprises of others—as a lawyer, business operator, and fundraiser—Dan Werther ’83 concluded that what he really wanted was to run his own business. So he bought Sorbee International—a company that began about 30 years ago as a small, sugar-free candy business. The first and largest supplier of sugar-free lollipops to dentists’ and doctors’ offices around the United States, the company produces and sells candy and confection products worldwide.
By Garikai Campbell ’90
In December, the Board of Managers approved a set of strategic directions for the College. This plan is the culmination of almost two years of conversation and analysis, which included extensive internal discussions as well as reviews of trends in higher education more generally. As we begin to implement these strategic directions, I would like to highlight a few of the challenges and opportunities that emerge from my perspective as a mathematics faculty member.
Hormel’s service as the first openly gay U.S. ambassador was a major milestone in dismantling “straight government”—that is, breaking the presumption that high public office in America is reserved exclusively for straights. Ambassador Hormel did not succeed, to be sure, in his determined quest to get the U.S. Senate to do that openly and candidly. The Senate coalition supporting the nomination, which had been reported to the Senate by a 16-2 majority of the Foreign Relations Committee, never topped 58, two votes shy of the supermajority necessary to break the hold on his nomination. So President Bill Clinton—who first nominated Hormel in early October 1997—finally made a recess appointment in early June 1999.
By Tatiana Cozzarelli ’08
My seventh-grade students walk into an unfamiliar school, where we have been invited to hear visiting author Julia Alvarez. The girls are highly excited at the prospect of meeting the famed Dominican-American writer, but it’s the host school that quickly draws their attention. They have never seen anything like it. They are astounded at how big it is, surprised by unexpected amenities—a big cafeteria, band instruments!—and completely in love with the library. “I want to go here!” they whisper not so quietly. We settle in to see the presentation by Alvarez. My students are mesmerized. I peek over to my left and see one, Harielys, the proudest Dominican I know. She’s trying to be on her best behavior, but, as Alvarez speaks, I see her nodding her head wildly, giggling to herself, and making the hand sign we use for “me too!” I am struck by the unfairness of the educational system but also by how lucky my students are and how lucky I am to be with them.