Kudos: Fall 2018

images of newspapers and screen shots

Throughout the summer, Dickinson maintained a strong presence in national and international media, including a New York Times cover story and mentions in The Washington Post, National Geographic, Forbes, The Guardian, Science and The Hechinger Report. See the latest headlines at dickinson.edu/inthenews

Featured Faculty

Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Studies Nina Barzachka’s essay “Austria Now Holds the E.U. Presidency. Expect a Tougher Stance on Immigration” was published in The Washington Post (Monkey Cage).

Associate Professor of East Asian Studies Shawn Bender was interviewed  by OZY for a story on the growing numbers of Japanese youth moving from urban to rural areas.

Associate Professor of Biology Scott Boback—science writers’ go-to expert for all stories related to snakes—was interviewed by National Geographic for a story on a rare python attack in Indonesia and by Live Science for a report on a decapitated snake that bit a man in Texas.

Professor of Asian Law and Society Neil Diamant discussed skepticism among Chinese Army veterans of a new Ministry of Veterans Affairs for a story in The New York Times and authored an op-ed on People’s Liberation Army (PLA) veterans for East Asia Forum.

Volcanologist and Professor of Earth Sciences Ben Edwards continued to be a go-to source for information related to the Kilauea volcano eruption. In addition to the mentions in the summer issue, his expert analysis appeared in articles in Forbes, USA Today and Gizmodo, and he was interviewed by NPR member station WITF (Harrisburg, Pa.).

Professor of Mathematics Dick Forrester published “An Integer Programming Approach to Crop Rotation Planning at an Organic Farm,” which appeared in the UMAP Journal. The paper was coauthored with Miguel Rodriguez ’13 and is based on a student-faculty research project. The duo developed a mathematical model that determined a crop rotation schedule for the Dickinson College Farm that takes into account crop-yield requirements, irrigation type, weed control, feeding habits and other considerations.

Professor of Psychology Marie Helweg-Larsen was interviewed by The Guardian’s science editor for a video titled “After You: The Psychology of Queues and How to Beat Them.”

Associate Professor of Biology Dave Kushner published “SELEX and SHAPE reveal that sequence motifs and an extended hairpin in the 5’ portion of Turnip crinkle virus satellite RNA C mediate fitness in plants” in Virology (Vol. 520, 2018). Charlie Bayne ’15, Max Widawski ’14, Mohammed Masab ’13, Allison Murawski ’12, Robert Sansevere ’14, Bryan Lerner ’14, Rinaldys Castillo ’17, Trevor Griesman ’15, Jiantao Fu ’15, Jennifer Hibben ’14 and Alma Garcia-Perez ’17 were co-authors on the paper. The article is a follow-up to a 2015 Virology paper (Vol. 483) titled “Rapid evolution of in vivo-selected sequences and structures replacing 20% of a viral RNA” co-authored by Murawski, Johnathan Nieves ’11, Holleh Tajalli ’12, Tareq Azad ’12 and Nina Jean-Jacques ’11. Students who took RNA Biology (BIOL 419) in spring 2010, 2012 and 2014 were acknowledged for their efforts in initiating the experiments reported in these papers.

Associate Professor of Computer Science John MacCormick published What Can Be Computed? A Practical Guide to the Theory of Computation through Princeton University Press. It is a uniquely accessible yet rigorous introduction to the most profound ideas at the heart of computer science, crafted specifically for undergraduates who are studying the subject for the first time.

Professor of Creative Writing Susan Perabo’s “When Mothers Bully Back,” was the featured essay for the Modern Love podcast, which is based on The New York Times’ weekly column of the same name. Perabo’s essay was originally published in the Times’ Modern Love column in March 2017. Each week, a celebrity reads a beloved essay from the archives. The piece was voiced by Emmy nominated actress Ellie Kemper.

Professor of Political Science Harry Pohlman published U.S. National Security Law:  An International Perspective through Rowman & Littlefield. The book explores how international law relates to U.S. constitutional and statutory law in terms of the right to wage war, the law of armed conflict, combatant status, interrogation of detainees, military commissions, covert action, targeted killing, electronic surveillance and cyberwar.

Associate Professor of Psychology Tony Rauhut and Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology Meredith Curran-Rauhut published “17 β-Estradiol exacerbates methamphetamine-induced anxiety-like behavior in female mice” in Neuroscience Letters. Their research, which suggests women may have more difficulty than men in withdrawing from and staying off methamphetamine, was cited by WGN-TV Chicago, Science and MedicalXpress.com.

Jorge R. G. Sagastume, associate professor of Spanish, recently published “René Marqués: sobre la formación de una identidad autónoma en La víspera del hombre” in Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, Liverpool University Press, Vol. 95, 6: (2018), 673-693. Additionally, a selection of his short stories, translated into German by Utz Rachowski and Michael Ritterson, has been aired on German radio and later published in audio format with Kulturradio, a division of rbb24 radio, in Berlin, under the title “Im Schatten der Sehnsucht nach Freiheit.”

Professor of Chemistry Cindy Samet published “Fruit and Vegetable Peels as Efficient Renewable Adsorbents for Removal of Pollutants From Water: A Research Experience for General Chemistry Students” along with Suresh Valiyaveettil in the Journal of Chemical Education, 2018, 95, 1354-1358. Phys.org and Inverse reported on the research. Watch a video of Samet discussing the research.

Associate Professor of Philosophy Crispin Sartwell writes about the pursuit of factchecking President Trump and the “truth sandwich” in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal.

Associate Professor of American Studies Cotten Seiler authored an op-ed about Green Books, motoring guidebooks published from the 1930s to the 1960s for African-American travelers, for The Conversation.

Groundbreaking research by Assistant Professor of Earth Sciences Alyson Thibodeau—who used geochemical analysis to overturn more than a century of thought about the source of turquoise used by ancient civilizations in Mesoamerica—was featured in The New York Times’ science section and on The New York Times website. Thibodeau’s work also was featured in Smithsonian Magazine, Archaeology Magazine, Ars Technica, Medium and more than a dozen international news outlets.


  • Two op-eds by President Margee Ensign were published in national outlets. “We Say We Seek Diversity—but Where Are the Truly Inclusive Campuses?” was published in The Hechinger Report. “We Must Do More for International Students” was published in Inside Higher Ed.
  • Ensign’s editorial “No Time for Army to Retreat on Peacekeeping,” in response to Secretary of Defense James Mattis considering a proposal to shut down the U.S. Army War College’s Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI), was published in the Army Times as well as The Sentinel.

Administrator Accolades

Interim Vice President for Enrollment Management and Dean of Admissions Catherine McDonald Davenport ’87 discussed college admissions trends, issues and initiatives on WITF’s Smart Talk.

Tara Vasold Fischer ’02, associate dean of academic advising, contributed to “Using Career Competencies to Help the Undecided Decide,” published by NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising’s e-publication, Academic Advising Today.

The appointment of Vice President and Dean of Student Life George Stroud was announced in The Chronicle of Higher Education and in The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education.

(Kudos as of Sept. 6, 2018)

Read more from the fall 2018 issue of Dickinson Magazine.


Published October 23, 2018