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Q + A

Why is Bob Barr so deeply affected?

By Interview conducted and edited by Jeffrey Lott

I sat down with Bob Barr ’56 in November at the small but comfortable cottage at Foulkeways at Gwynedd—a retirement community north of Philadelphia—that he shares with his wife, Nony Moore Barr. Bob, whom I have known for two decades, has always looked younger than his years. At 77, he still exhibits the open, boyish [...]

A Tightly Choreographed Life

By Carol Brévart-Demm

The relationship between Carol Nackenoff and her field of scholarship was by no means a case of love at first sight. As an undergraduate at Smith College, she considered a major in English, but her father talked her out of it. She thought about music, history, and French but rejected each. Ultimately, a charismatic professor [...]

More Teams to Coach, More Fun to Have

By Robert Strauss

Mike Mullan’s office is, to put it kindly, a bit of a mess. The one presumed “guest” chair has a half-case of bottled water barely hugging its seat. A desk is filled with tennis balls, balancing as they can, with various bandages and wraps intertwined. There are old Swarthmore pennants and well-worn books and tennis [...]

Not Self

BEFORE HE RETIRED FROM THE SWARTHMORE FACULTY, Don Swearer would stop by my Parrish Hall office to tell me about his travels. His research in Thai Buddhism took him—and his wife and longtime editor Nancy Swearer—to Thailand as frequently as they could manage, particularly to the northern city of Chiang Mai. So when I visited [...]

Born to Teach—Literacy and, Sometimes, Knitting

By Carol Brévart-Demm

ONE DAY IN THE EARLY 1990s, while out playing with her two young daughters in Triangle Park in Rutledge, Pa., Diane Anderson, then a K–12 curriculum director in New Jersey schools, chatted with a man who was also in the park with his child. Anderson—now an associate professor of educational studies—made a deep enough impression [...]

“It’s not red, Eric—
It's Garnet!"

By Carol Brévart-Demm

HEAD SOCCER COACH ERIC WAGNER, relaxed and smiling, appears right at home in his cozy Field House office, surrounded by family photos and lots of soccer memorabilia, including a Manchester City banner and a giant poster of former Bayern München star Franz Beckenbauer.
When Wagner arrived at Swarthmore in 2002, his new team had just come [...]

The Mysteries of Poetry

POET AND LIBRETTIST NATHALIE ANDERSON is professor of English literature and director of Swarthmore’s Creative Writing Program. Her first book, Following Fred Astaire, won the 1998 Washington Prize from The Word Works, and her second, Crawlers, won the 2005 McGovern Prize from Ashland Poetry Press. A third collection, Quiver, will be published in fall 2010 [...]

What Does David Ramirez Know About Failure?

By Carol Brévart-Demm

For the past 16 years, the campus community has benefitted from the presence of David Ramirez, director of counseling and psychological services (CAPS). Overseeing a staff that provides counseling and therapy for all students on campus, he says that by graduation, typically about 36 percent of each graduating class will, at some point, have sought [...]

People and Context

By Carol Brévart-Demm

Professor of Educational Studies and Associate Provost Lisa Smulyan ’76 has always been interested in teaching as one way of addressing issues of inequity. Growing up in Syracuse, N.Y., she attended a public high school where black students were bussed to a predominantly white school; assemblies and dances were prohibited to prevent students from gathering [...]

Happily Hooked on China

By Carol Brévart-Demm

On the third floor of Kohlberg Hall, the wide-open door to Alan Berkowitz’s office is inviting. It’s hard to miss the newspaper clipping attached to its surface—about Bhutan, the small Himalayan kingdom whose monarchs prefer to measure quality of life in terms of gross national happiness rather than gross national product. It’s an appropriate introduction [...]