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From the Editor

By Sherri Kimmel

editor_kimmel_sherri.JPGYesterday I saw tiny violet flowers cropping up outside my office in Sproul Hall. (According to the adjacent sign, they’re called Scilla bifolia.) It seems everyone I meet talks about the Dean Bond Rose Garden, from which seniors choose their Commencement roses. The heralded beauty of this campus—which I’ve been waiting to glimpse since my dead-of-winter start date—is beginning to reveal itself in small but magnificent ways.

Likewise, other flowers are sprouting on this hill. I’ve begun to meet the articulate, friendly, and incredibly curious and engaged students (you’ll find one example profiled in the story Andreas in 3-D in this issue); the cordial and intellectually charged faculty (you’ll hear from two in that same story); and a committed, personable, and dynamic administrative staff (as found in Karlene Burrell-McRae, one of the vibrant new faces on campus). I’ve also been delighted to meet several gracious alumni at on- and off-campus events and have received warm notes of welcome as well as visits to my office.

But as I begin to settle my hands on my keyboard, you may wonder what changes I have in mind for this venerable publication. Early on, I have no major pronouncements to make. Accurately reflecting our community’s passions, experiences, and interests is a key objective, of course. I also hope to take what has been so robustly developed in print, e.g., the popular class notes, and use digital tools to heighten engagement with classmates and the College. This could mean more deliberate use of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, and more multimedia on the magazine website (videos, audio slideshows) to extend the story platform from print to the electronic arena. Greater reader participation in print and online is a goal for me—by any means possible.

Hearing from new voices, in general, is an aspiration for me and for the College leadership. A new, occasional column—Community Voices—debuts this issue.  Columnists will vary and may be anyone in the campus community—alumni, students, professors, or staff. The only proviso is that the topic must pertain specifically to Swarthmore today or higher-ed topics more broadly. If you have opinions on a topic or recommendations for an author for this column, I would love to hear them.

I’ve already met with some alumni to hear their thoughts on what’s working well in the Bulletin and what could be improved or contemporized. I’ll be on the road some this spring, holding focus groups and meeting more informally with other alumni to hear readers’ thoughts. But if we don’t encounter each other face-to-face, please send me an email or letter and let me know your opinions on the magazine today and ideas for the future during this time of new opportunity for the Bulletin.

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