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‘Like Nailing Jell-O to a Wall’

By Elizabeth Vogdes

Pennsylvania’s new tough voter ID statute, passed in March, has had a dramatically polarizing effect. Voted into law down straight party lines, with Republican state legislators supporting it and Democrats opposing, the law has galvanized many Democrats who feel that its stringent requirements (already changed at least once during the summer) make it an act [...]

A Healthy Decision?

By Sherri Kimmel

A month after graduation you wouldn’t expect the second floor of Kohlberg Hall to be buzzing with activity. But on June 28, several economics professors were hunkered down in their offices, poised in anticipation.
It was nearing 10 a.m., the witching hour for the Supreme Court’s decision on whether or not the Affordable Care Act (ACA), [...]

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Social Justice on the Go

By Jessica Carew Kraft

When renowned Mexican poet Javier Sicilia’s son, Juan Francisco, was killed in a drug-related shootout in March 2011, the soft-spoken bard put down his pen and took up a megaphone. Launching the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD), Sicilia united a vast group of drug war victims—families who had lost innocent loved ones [...]

Of Injustice and Opportunity

By Carol Brevart-Demm

Ruth Dohi was excited. It was September 1942, and she was in a train, on her way to Swarthmore College. She was enjoying the ride—a long one, of more than two days—from Arizona to Pennsylvania. In a later letter, she wrote: “The fall leaves were quite lovely … and the countryside was most captivating and [...]

Paying Attention

By Sherri Kimmel

In these days of Instagrams, Instant Messenger, instant everything, paying attention to things that really matter is a tall order. And so several years ago, when Julia Haslett ’90 came across a quote by an obscure French philosopher/mystic, it was instant karma. “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity,” Haslett read. That line [...]

To the Ends of the Earth—to Save a Language

By Carol Brevart-Demm

K. David Harrison is not a botanist. But walking through the Chilean rainforest with Teresa Maripan, he listened with fascination as she pointed out the tiniest details of the forest’s flora and explained the important ritual and medicinal uses of some of the specimens. Interesting as the facts about the mosses, leaves, flowers, and plants [...]

Our Man in Hanoi

By Peter Slavin

For years Charles Bailey ’67 has awakened every morning thinking about his job: how to restore the ruined fields, forests, and rice paddies and help the human casualties of Agent Orange in Vietnam. For the Vietnamese people, Agent Orange has been the lasting curse of what they call “the American War.”
Five months after the Ford [...]

Andreas in 3-D

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 [...]

Tracking Away from Worry

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: [...]

From Business to the Board Room

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 [...]