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A High-Energy Guy

By Elizabeth Vogdes

“I’m a huge supporter of liberal arts,” declares environmental lawyer Robert McKinstry Jr. ’75. The first of four siblings to attend Swarthmore, he was equally interested in humanities and sciences. “I didn’t have any trouble getting distribution requirements,” he reports. Uncertain as to whether to go into medicine or law, his course load covered the [...]

Powering Up, Virtually

By Matt Zencey ’79

When H.G. Chissell ’96 looks at a large building, he sees a “virtual power plant” that could be making money for its owner by selling electricity it doesn’t use.
Chissell helps large electricity customers shift their use away from peak times, when the cost of producing the power is at its highest. The utilities that would [...]

Cleaning and Greening China

By Carol Brévart-Demm

Elizabeth Economy ’84’s interest in China and the environment was first sparked at the University of Michigan, when she was working on her doctoral dissertation on Chinese and Soviet strategies toward global climate change. After finishing a year of fieldwork in China and the Soviet Union, she says, “I became interested not only in the [...]

Environmental Optimist

By H.J. Hormel

Although many sustainability experts express a doomsday view of Planet Earth’s future, David Burack ’62 is an optimist.
“It doesn’t mean the issues have gone away,” he explains, but addressing environmental concerns has become “second nature” around the world. Dealing with complex sustainability issues has led to the creation of a toolkit that includes legislation, analytical [...]

New Theater, New Main Street

By Paul Wachter ’97

Columbia’s Main Street corridor should be the hub of the city: It runs directly north from the South Carolina state capital grounds and abuts the city’s business district. Yet for several decades it has languished, a victim of suburban flight and related economic trends afflicting many American downtowns.
But now a serious effort to revitalize Main [...]

1 Plus 1 Makes Engaging Book

By Dana Mackenzie ’79

One was a math major at Swarthmore, the other was an English major. One of them is detail-oriented, the other likes to look at the big picture first. One teaches at an urban university in the middle of Detroit, the other at a tree-filled campus in suburban Tacoma, Wash.
But what Elizabeth Sherr Sklar ’63 and [...]

Doctor on the Ship, on the Beach, and in the Trenches

By Carol Brévart-Demm

Just before Labor Day 1939, David Goldsmith was out in a rowboat with his parents on Maxinkuckee Lake in northern Indiana. The family idyll was interrupted when their portable radio broadcast the news that Hitler had invaded Poland, sparking the start of World War II. At the time, Goldsmith was a student at Northwestern University [...]

Combating Exploitation

By H.J. Hormel

Civil rights and bioethics may seem like different fields but they started to gel for a Swarthmore alumnus when his copy of Anna Karenina was confiscated as obscene material during an arrest his sophomore year.
Alex Capron ’66, P’15, now a globally recognized legal expert in health policy and medical ethics, was detained during a civil-rights [...]

From the ER to State Senate and Back

By Carol Brévart-Demm

It was on a train somewhere between Madras and Delhi that Josh Green ’92 decided he wanted to become a doctor. After a tough first year at Swarthmore, Green applied for a grant to spend a semester abroad and ended up being recruited to spend a semester at sea as a research assistant to bird-migration [...]

A Caribbean Bench Mark

By Carrie Compton

One of the most distinctive professional attributes of recently appointed federal judge Wilma Lewis ’78 is her fervor for her profession—a quality she found in rich supply at the College.
“[Swarthmore professors] had a passion for developing students to their full potential,” says Lewis. “I think it was way back then that it dawned on me [...]