Welcome to the Fall 2012 issue of the William & Mary Alumni Magazine.
Welcome to the Fall 2012 issue of the William & Mary Alumni Magazine.
6 The College was ranked sixth in the Princeton Review’s “Top 10 Best Value Public Colleges,” part of their 2013 edition of The Best 377 Colleges, released Aug. 21. The Princeton Review does not rank the colleges from one to 377, however, it includes 62 ranking lists of colleges in a variety of categories.
4 In Forbes’ “America’s Top Colleges” guide to 650 undergraduate institutions, the College is the second-highest ranked state-supported school in the country. W&M comes in at fourth among public universities and 40th overall, up from 49th last year. The College is also 21st among research universities on the list. Complete rankings appeared in the Aug. 20 issue of Forbes Magazine
$43.6 million Supporters of William & Mary gave $43.6 million during fiscal year 2012, which ended on June 30. The effort represents a 6.5 percent increase from FY2011, which was $41 million. More than 30,300 individuals, corporations and foundations gave to the College during FY2012, breaking a record set last year.
528 For the first time, William & Mary will host 528 international students this fall semester. Of the expected international students, 247 are new students including 83 freshmen, 29 undergraduate exchange students, two members of the St. Andrews Joint Degree Programme, four law exchange students, and 129 degree-seeking graduate students. Countries represented by this year’s international students include China, India, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Austria, Thailand, Pakistan, Nigeria, Azerbaijan, Venezuela, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, France and Iran.
9 Nine recent graduates from the College of William & Mary have received Fulbright U.S. Student Grants, and four have been selected as alternates. The scholars will use the grants during 2012-2013 to travel to locations across the globe to teach or conduct research. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the largest U.S. exchange program for students and young professionals who wish to conduct graduate studies, undertake research or teach abroad.A About 1,800 grants are awarded annually to send scholars to more than 155 countries across the world.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, considered one of the world’s most influential spiritual leaders and winner of the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize, will speak at William & Mary on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. The event, which is sponsored by the William & Mary Student Assembly, is open to the public and will be held at 2 p.m. in William & Mary Hall. The Dalai Lama is expected to deliver a lecture focused on the virtues of human compassion. His lecture at William & Mary is part of a larger tour at a number of schools across the country, including stops at Middlebury College and Western Connecticut State University. The Dalai Lama has received many awards, honorary doctorates and prizes in recognition of his message of peace, inter-religious understanding, universal responsibility and compassion. The author of more than 72 books, he has traveled to more than 62 countries spanning 6 continents.
William & Mary and Eastern Virginia Medical School issued a joint statement on July 25 that both institutions have agreed to exclusively explore the feasibility of having EVMS become the William & Mary School of Medicine. President Taylor Reveley said both institutions will take a careful, long look at the possibility. EVMS, located near downtown Norfolk, Va., was responsible for the first successful in-vitro fertilization in the United States.
In mid-July, William & Mary President Taylor Reveley and Provost Michael Halleran moved their offices and staff from the Brafferton to James Blair Hall. Blair Hall, which sits on the northwest corner of the Sunken Garden, was constructed between 1934–1935 to house the offices of the president, bursar, business manager, registrar, treasurer and deans of the College. When the building opened in 1935, it was known as Marshall-Wythe Hall; the building was renamed James Blair Hall in honor of the College’s first president in 1968. Four presidents had their offices there before the president’s office was moved to Ewell Hall in 1962 and then to the Brafferton in 1985. The move to Blair is a temporary one. The renewal and preservation work at the Brafferton, built in 1723, is scheduled to take just a year to complete.
Rosemary Willis ’13, who was the reigning Miss Roanoke Valley, was crowned Miss Virginia at the annual pageant held in Roanoke, Va., in late June. Willis, who is majoring in government and minoring in kinesiology, won $17,000 in scholarship money when she received the Miss Virginia crown. Willis teaches exercise classes at the Student Recreation Center, and she is a member of the a capella group The Accidentals.
I f there’s been one constant in Sara Schaefer’s ’00 success, it’s been Justin Timberlake.
Though the Virginia native and Mr. SexyBack have never formally met, Timberlake has served as a comedic inspiration for Schaefer, whose new television program “The Nikki and Sara Show” will debut early next year on MTV.
On the phone from her apartment in Brooklyn, the 34-year-old reflects on college, her odd career path and her campaign to get Timberlake to once again bring sexy back.
Schaefer grew up outside of Richmond, and made the decision to attend William & Mary as a kid. At the College, she double-majored in theatre and English, and co-founded the campus’ sketch comedy group 7th Grade. The ensemble was originally titled Etch A Sketch, but a cease and desist letter from the toy’s manufacturers persuaded them to change the name.
After graduating, Schaefer lived briefly in New Orleans before moving to New York with a friend to pursue her sketch comedy dream. As she was getting ready to move, two planes crashed into the World Trade Center, making a scary enough transition a terrifying one.
“The city just had this feeling of hanging onto each other for dear life,” Schaefer says. “It was an interesting time to move here, but I did, and it was worth it.”
She immediately fell in love with New York’s comedy scene. To pay the bills, she took a job as an analyst for a security fraud firm.
“It was a horrible work environment, really unpleasant,” says Schaefer. She worked at the firm by day and pursued comedy at night, slowly building a name for herself. She also began hosting a talk show in a theater, interviewing better known comedians like Marc Maron. Four and a half years later she got her first big break as a web show host for AOL.
She quit her job at the firm, donated her office clothes and swore she would never work in an office again. The show was cancelled a year later, sending Schaefer back to her desk job, albeit only for a few months. She got a gig as a blogger for VH1’s “Best Week Ever,” then was hired as a blogger for “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” less than a year later.
“Jimmy is exactly the same off-camera as he is on-camera, enthusiastic and fun and nice,” Schaefer says. “He’s really excited about what he’s doing, and that excitement just spreads through the staff.”
Schaefer says the work schedule was demanding, but the work itself was fun. As head blogger, part of her duties included interviewing celebrities backstage. The experience weaned her from being star struck, but admits meeting Jon Hamm and former “Saturday Night Live” star Molly Shannon were still quite thrilling. Plus, she even locked eyes backstage once with Justin Timberlake.
“Working at ‘Late Night’ was my dream,” Schaefer says. “I couldn’t believe it came true.”
The long hours paid off, earning Schaefer two Emmy Awards for her work. But when it became clear to Schaefer that she wouldn’t be allowed to become a regular writer for the show, she made the unusual decision to leave “Late Night” to work on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” She says it was the smartest decision she ever made.
It was around this time that Schaefer met future “comedy soul mate” Nikki Glaser at a party. They bonded instantly over their love of Justin Timberlake.
“We were passionately yelling in each other’s faces ‘When is he going to make another album? This is Jessica Biel’s fault!’” recalls Schaefer. “That’s what brought us together, and our relationship grew from there.”
Though they had just met, the comedians decided to start “You Had to Be There,” a weekly podcast riffing on their personal lives and pop culture.
“It was like the movie ‘Knocked Up,’” jokes Glaser. “We got a little drunk at a party, met, [and] came up with an idea for a podcast over a party-sized hummus.”
Initially, the women would wait until the podcast to tell each other important or funny stories so they could share them with the audience at the same time. Their chemistry, and the premise of two people becoming friends while on-air, proved a hit with podcast listeners.
When the pair decided to take their brand of comedy to television, they decided their first conversation about Timberlake would be the place to start. Schaefer and Glaser created a mock public service announcement titled “Justin Timberlake, Make Music Again,” pleading the singer to pick up where his 2006 album “FutureSex/LoveSounds” left off. Timberlake was apparently amused, tweeting the video and posting it on his Facebook wall.
With this viral video under their belts, the women successfully pitched a pilot to MTV titled “The Nikki and Sara Show.” The halfhour show will begin with fast-paced jokes a la “Weekend Update” or “The Soup,” then segue into sketches and celebrity interviews.
“Their chemistry is ultimately the reason we made the pilot in the first place,” says Brent Haynes, MTV’s senior vice president of comedy and animation. “Nikki and Sara have a remarkable gift for making funny look easy, and it’s anything but.”
Pre-production for the show will begin later this fall, and the women plan to continue their podcast while filming. It hasn’t been lost on Schaefer that she’s quickly joining the ranks of the College’s other comedy notables, like Jon Stewart ’84, D.A. ’04, Patton Oswalt ’91 and Chip Esten ’87.
“People are like ‘You’re in an elite club now, and William & Mary will be known as the talk show host school,’” Schaefer jokes.
“I just feel that the creative environment is really strong. It’s not a hippy school. It’s creative enough where you have space to grow, but it’s structured enough that you learn how to get stuff done.”
On August 28, the Alumni Association welcomed freshmen into the William & Mary family at the annual Freshman Ice Cream Social. More than 1,000 newly affirmed members of the Tribe community filled Leadership Hall for an evening of sweets and games. Students’ cups were filled to the brim with their favorite hand-crushed toppings along with their preferred flavor of ice cream provided by Bruster’s. From crushed Reese’s, Oreos, rainbow sprinkles and hot fudge, none of the toppings were to be overlooked.
An adventurous few went head-to-head on Wii Sports, projected on a giant screen for all to see. Green water bottles with the “Tribe” logo were given to all who attended and were quite a hit. The evening ended with true Tribe Pride, when the men’s a capella group The Stairwells, welcomed the students with a few songs of their own from below the covered terrace.
The Freshman Ice Cream Social is sponsored by the Student Alumni Council. To view more photos of this event and others, please visit the William & Mary Student Alumni Council page on Facebook.
Kensey Wheeler joined the William & Mary Alumni Association in June 2012 as the assistant director of alumni engagement. She graduated with a B.A. in Spanish with minors in art history and business in 2010 from Wofford College before going on to get her M.A. in management from Wake Forest University in 2012.
During her master’s program, Kensey considered many career options, from law to marketing, but always felt most at home in higher education. She moved back to her hometown of Virginia Beach, Va., shortly after graduation, to be near family and friends.
Despite the commute, she loves the William & Mary community and has quickly adjusted to life back at the Beach. When she’s not working, Kensey enjoys traveling, reading and spending time outdoors with her fiancé, Josh, and her dog, Annabelle.
Kathryn Floyd ’05 — Arlington, Va. Floyd provides media consulting for large international conferences and security summits in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. She also teaches undergraduate courses on insurgency and terrorism and African conflicts at the College while pursuing her Ph.D. in Strategic Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University. Her current research is focused on immigrant youth violence and contemporary terrorism. Previously, Floyd served under Chief Judge Thammanoon Phitayaporn of Thailand, assisting his staff with research projects and reports on international dispute resolution. She later worked with Attorney General McDonnell as an intern and staff member from 2003-2005. As a student at the College, Floyd was involved in the Student Assembly and the Intersorority Council and was a member of the International Relations Club and Phi Mu. Floyd also holds a M.A. from King’s College London.
I close each semester with this: “you are the wonderful product of public education and have an obligation to give back whatever time and money you can to W&M.” In running for the Board of Directors, I aim to do just that while streamlining alumni activities around the country.
James D. Finn ’00 — New York City Finn is currently the vice president of business affairs at NorthSouth Productions, a television production company based in New York City. He holds a law degree from the University of North Carolina, where he served as the executive articles editor for the North Carol ina Law Review. Finn worked as an attorney for McDermott Will & Emery L.L.P. before pursuing his passion for television at the talent agency William Morris Endeavor and, later, at Left/Right Productions, a television production company. Since joining NorthSouth Productions in 2011, he has worked on a variety of television shows and films. As a student at the College, Finn was involved in theater, choir and student government. He also served as a resident assistant, a member of the Honor Council and a President’s Aide.
W&M helped shape the person I am and taught me lessons I use in business today. Serving on the Board is one way for me to “pay it forward.” As a Board member, I will use my experience in media and entertainment to help bridge the age gap and physical distance that separates our alumni and our students.
Lauren Elizabeth Schmidt ’97 — Denver Schmidt is a partner with the law firm of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck in Denver. Her practice focuses on commercial and natural resources litigation. She also serves as the firm’s pro bono partner. She attended the University of Michigan Law School, where she graduated with honors. She clerked for a federal judge in New Mexico and practiced with a national law firm before joining Brownstein in 2005. She serves on the board of directors for the Colorado Outward Bound School, and is the former chairwoman of the Denver Dumb Friends League, the largest animal welfare organization in the Rocky Mountains. She currently serves as the co-chair of the Class of 1997 Reunion Gift Committee and as the secretary of the new Colorado chapter of the Alumni Association. While at the College, Lauren was a vice president of the Student Association and a member of Alpha Chi Omega and the Inter-Sorority Council.
As co-chair of my class gift committee and an officer of the Colorado Alumni Chapter, I engage with alumni around the country about our shared love of the College, our passion for the institution, and our desire to maintain William & Mary's standard of excellence for future generations. I welcome the opportunity to serve on the Alumni Association Board to inspire our diverse alumni base and promote the welfare of the College.
G. Wayne Woolwine ’61 — Virginia Beach, Va. Woolwine is a retired employee of Xerox Corporation, where he worked for over 30 years after a brief career in sales. A proud graduate and former athlete of the College, he has held season tickets to football games for the past 40 years and maintains close relationships with coaches and former teammates. He has been married for 50 years to his wife Rita and they have three children, including a graduate of the College, and four grandchildren. As a student at the College, Woolwine played varsity football for three years, was a member of Kappa Alpha and the Anthropo logy Club, and served as the co-captain of the football team. He has since been a member of countless College committees, including the 45th and 50th Reunion Gift Committees and the AEF Executive Committee. Woolwine was inducted into the William & Mary Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002.
I was recently involved in our class’s 50th Reunion celebration from a fundraising and an activities planning/implementation standpoint. The success of our efforts enriched me in many ways through working with the ’61 classmates as well as the alumni staff who served us so well. This exercise again reinforced my appreciation and love for the College. If I can have a fraction of the personal satisfaction of serving on the Alumni Board and can make a positive contribution working with the Alumni Board and staff at the same time, I’m the man for the job!
Stephen S. Tang ’87 — Center Valley, Pa. Tang is currently the President and CEO of the University City Science Center in Philadelphia, PA, the oldest and largest urban science-based innovation and entrepreneurial park in the U.S. Tang holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering from Lehigh University, and an M.B.A. in Strategy, Finance, and Entrepreneurship from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. He is active in public service, including current board-level roles on the Innovation Advisory Board to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Team Pennsylvania Foundation, co-chaired by the Governor of Pennsylvania, and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. As a student at the College, Tang played varsity baseball and was an active member of Sigma Phi Epsilon and the Catholic Student Association. He also participated in Chemistry Club and the William and Mary Jazz Band. Tang served as a board member for the 20th and 30th Reunion Gift Committees at the College.
W&M prepared me for a diverse and rewarding career focused on connecting entrepreneurs, technology, and capital to drive innovation. My academic, industry, and nonprofit experiences provide a unique perspective and foundation from which I want to help our College strengthen our tradition and purpose in this rapidly changing world.
Todd W. Norris ’86 — Great Falls, Va. Norris is a self-employed real estate investor, developer and broker in the Washington, D.C. area, where he is involved in renovation and new home construction, multi-family operation and condominium development. Norris served as a co-chairman for the 15th, 20th and 25th Reunion Gift Committees at the College and frequently returns to Williamsburg. Having not missed a Homecoming since 1981, he also attends Tribe football games and each year's Charter Day Celebration. During his time at the College, Norris was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and the William & Mary Management Club and served as the president of the Emory Business Team. He is currently a member of the Green and Gold Society, Fourth Century Club, Washington Area Alumni Business Alliance and Tribe Club.
Having been born into a Tribe family I have seen the impact of alumni involvement. From that first thick envelope of acceptance to returning as alumni to Zable Stadium, we all share a connection to our founding in 1693. William & Mary is built on the efforts of its alumni and I believe with dedicated service we can build this bridge to past and future graduates. Being at William & Mary reminds me how fortunate we are to have gotten to spend time at such a wonderful place. I am honored to be nominated, and will serve with enthusiasm.
Join the conversation during Homecoming by tweeting out your message with the hashtag #wmhc before, during and after the big weekend. You might even see your tweets in the magazine!
Follow the William & Mary Alumni Association’s Twitter account at @WMAlumni to get the inside scoop on everything from time changes to the running count of eruptions of the Alma Mater. The W&M Alumni staff will be live-tweeting throughout Homecoming to give you the best experience, whether you’re in the Sunken Garden or Santa Fé.
Homecoming is an exciting experience chock full of great moments to capture on camera, whether that camera is a DSLR or on your smartphone.
Tag photos that you snap during Homecoming on Instagram or Twitter with #wmhc to share them with the online W&M community.
You can also add your photos to the W&M Homecoming Flickr group. Send in your favorite campus shots to the alumni.magazine@ wm.edu or submit them to the W&M Campus Shots Flickr group for a chance to see your photos in the magazine. Visit the page at a.wmalumni.com/campus_shots.
Can’t find an event? Want to check for rain plans? The W&M Homecoming mobi le site has everything you need to make sure you always know where you’re going.
Visit m.wm.edu/homecoming to view a full schedule of events, maps of the parade route and the events at the Sunken Garden, Twitter and photo feeds, and much more. You’ l l also f ind the phone number for rain plans and general questions.
You can find the mobile site using any smartphone or mobile device.
The 2007 season had already started for Tribe swimmers when they got a new head coach. He was young — newly turned 28 — had no staff and “had no idea what was going on.” But at least the place was familiar.
Matt Crispino ’02 had come back home. “It was sort of a career goal that I had in mind — that at some point in my career I would love to come back here and lead this program,” he says. “I didn’t think it would happen as early as it did.”
But it did happen, and Crispino’s subsequent success leading William & Mary’s swimming program has earned him the title of 2012 Coach of the Year. His accolades, however, pale in comparison to how he feels about his team’s accomplishments.
“More important for me is the development and evolution of where we are as a team,” he says. “We’re swimming faster now than we were five years ago. That’s something that I’m proud of: that we can continue to move forward.”
Tribe swimming is, in fact, faster than ever. A quick glance at the record board above the pool shows a huge majority of records set in the last five years — during Crispino’s tenure. But the focus never leaves the team.
“We start talking on day one about team goals and it’s always ‘team first,’” he says. “We’ve got individuals on the team that all buy into that. … We have to work together; we have to work as a unit. When we do, that’s when we get the Ws.”
But in a year like 2012, there are also some individual goals that require attention. A number of his swimmers came into his office early last season, with a single goal in mind: Olympic trials. Crispino had taken a swimmer to trials before (W&M pool legend Katie Radloff ’10), but that didn’t make it any easier. Sidney Glass ’13, Andrew Strait ’14 and Hailey Hewitt ’12 trained hard through their usual “kick back” time and qualified for the trials in Omaha, Neb., last summer. They even ran into incoming freshman Will Manion ’16 in Nebraska. While the Tribe swimmers didn’t make it to London, Crispino considers it a highlight.
“It was a pretty special moment,” he says. “A nice step in our journey to where we hope to be.”
Next up for the coach will be guiding Kemp Littlejohn ’15, the reigning CAA Rookie of the Year, to even faster times in his upperclass seasons. Crispino explains that his coaching style is not designed to improve new recruits as quickly as possible, but rather to gradually hone their skills to peak in their senior year. “If [Littlejohn] continues to train and challenge himself to raise the bar, he’s going to keep getting faster,” says Crispino. “It’s exciting.”
Also exciting are the prospects for Crispino. It took him three years in the head coach job before he felt ready to be a head coach, and he’s always learning. “I’m still not set in my ways,” he says. “It was a lot of learning on the job and now I feel like I’ve got a pretty good grasp on exactly what it takes.”
The flexibility he had when he started will come in handy going into the 2012 season, as he has again needed to replace his assistant coaching staff in its entirety. And he has the ability to learn from some other noted coaches in William & Mary Hall. “To be in the same sentence as a John Daly or a Chris Norris ’95 or a Jimmye Laycock ’70, I mean, that’s fantastic,” he says. In the end, though, Crispino has found success by earning the trust of his swimmers and keeping the core Tribe values of community and cooperation at the center of his philosophy. And he doesn’t get to leave it in the pool, either. His wife, Elizabeth Koch Crispino ’03, swam for the College as well. This past February, they had their first daughter.
“We have a Tribe family,” says Matt Crispino. “That’s important to me.”
Heroux ’12 selected as CAA’s overall male scholar-athlete of the year All-America javelin thrower Brandon Heroux ’12 was selected as the Colonial Athletic Association’s Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year on July 2. The award is the third CAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year award for Heroux, including his selections as the Men’s Track and Field winner in 2010 and 2012. Heroux is the fifth Tribesman to be selected as the conference’s top academic and athletic performer, joining Adam Hess ’04 (basketball), Keith Bechtol ’07 (cross country and track), Ryan Overdevest ’08 (soccer) and Nathaniel Baako ’11 (soccer) as previous winners.
W&M Names Jamie Pinzino as Head Baseball Coach Athletics director Terry Driscoll announced the hiring of Jamie Pinzino to the post of head baseball coach. Pinzino, a two-time conference coach of the year at Bryant University, spent six years as a head coach before serving as an assistant the last two seasons at Northeastern and William & Mary. In 2011-12, he was the Tribe’s pitching coach and served as the program’s recruiting coordinator, helping the Tribe post a 31- 25 record.
New Faces on W&M Hardwood Both Tribe basketball coaches have added new staff to their programs. Women’s basketball head coach Debbie Taylor ’86 has announced the appointment of Beth Bradley to the position of assistant coach. Bradley joins the Tribe from the University of Denver. Men’s head coach Tony Shaver announced the addition of Kevin Hogan to the men’s basketball staff as the program’s director of basketball operations. Hogan has two years of Division I coaching experience at Florida A&M; responsibilities on the Tribe staff will include film exchange, team travel, facilities, camp and other administrative duties.
Golden ’11 Selected to Team USA Former lacrosse All-American Grace Golden ’11 has been selected to the 2012- 14 U.S. Women’s National Senior Team. The team will meet for several training events before the final 18-player FIL World Cup roster is announced in February 2013. One of the greatest players in W&M history, she was honored as the 2011 Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year and became just the third player in league history to earn first-team all-conference distinction four times.
Todd W. Weaver ’08 sold his motorcycle to have the money he needed to study abroad in Russia. Because of the efforts of Weaver’s family, Dylan R. Kolhoff ’14 and future William & Mary students won’t have to make a similar sacrifice.
In early August, Kolhoff, an international relations major from Richmond, Va., packed his bags and headed for a semester abroad studying at Peking University in Beijing, China. A $2,500 scholarship awarded from the 1st Lt. Todd W. Weaver Memorial Endowment helped make the trip possible.
“Being chosen for the Todd Weaver scholarship is a reminder of the importance of cross-cultural understanding,” said Kolhoff, who is minoring in Chinese and hoping his global experience will reveal opportunities to possible career paths.
He sees the Weaver scholarship as “an invitation to make the most of my time abroad.”
Weaver, an Iraqi war veteran when he enrolled at William & Mary, returned to military service after majoring in government and graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 2008. He was killed in action in Kandahar, Afghanistan, on Sept. 9, 2010. The 26-year-old husband and father was leading his Army platoon on a night reconnaissance mission when he was killed by an improvised explosive device (IED).
His family and his memory were embraced by the College community. Flags at the College were flown at half-mast in honor and memory of Weaver, with one being presented to his young widow, Emma Cloyed Weaver, by President Taylor Reveley at a memorial service in Williamsburg.
A plaque honoring his memory was placed at the campus ROTC building, where Weaver was a cadet battalion commander as he earned his degree. The Veterans Society of William & Mary dedicated an American beech tree and plaque to Weaver’s memory on the campus grounds near the Brafferton’s Jamestown Road pathway. Weaver’s Army boots, placed there more than a year ago, still mark the spot.
Yet what continues to build a legacy and nurture his memory for the Weaver family is the scholarship they set up through the College to support study abroad opportunities for William & Mary students interested in government or international relations. The generosity of friends, students and people in the community generated the $50,000 needed to establish the endowment. Nearly $35,000 of that came from the Student Athletic Advisory Council’s sales of “One Tribe. One Family” wristbands.
On Sept. 11, 2011, a day marking the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that prompted Weaver to enlist in the Army National Guard after high school, and two days after the first anniversary of his untimely death, the 1st Lt. Todd W. Weaver Memorial Endowment was announced by his family during a campus gathering by the memorial tree.
It was a somber and sweet occasion, his family recalled. What’s important, said his parents, is for William & Mary students today and in the future to have a life-enriching experience by traveling and learning overseas.
“Establishing the scholarship … we know Todd’s smiling,” said his mother, Jeanne H. Weaver of Hampton, Va.
Born in Fairfax, Va., Todd grew up in three countries overseas. His father, Donn A. Weaver, a foreign service officer, was assigned to seven nations in Africa and Eastern Europe as his four children grew up. Todd, the youngest, learned Hungarian as a toddler during the family’s two years in Budapest. His formative years were spent in Lagos, Nigeria, while the lessons of early high school were learned in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Todd finished high school in Williamsburg, graduating in 2002 from Bruton High School. Enlisting in the Army National Guard, he spent 10 months deployed in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He then came to William & Mary, where he chose to build upon his understanding of the world through his studies on campus and abroad.
The fall semester of his senior year in 2007 was spent studying in St. Petersburg, Russia.
“He wanted to get into the military attaché program,” his father explained. “He spoke French and Russian. He knew the world and had been in the world. He experienced the world not just as a soldier, but as an ambassador through armed diplomacy.”
To generate the money he needed for travel and other expenses while studying abroad, Todd sold his prized possession — his motorcycle — his parents recalled. “He purchased it with money earned while in Iraq with the National Guard,” his mother said. “I remember that he had it and all accessories chosen before he returned from Mosul, Iraq.”
But Todd’s semester abroad was special for another reason, Donn Weaver explained. “He also invited his girlfriend, Emma, to visit him there. She had never been out of the country. And while she was there, he proposed.”
Their daughter, Kiley, turns 3 in August. She was 13 months old when Todd was killed.
Donn Weaver recently purchased a brick for the Elizabeth J. and Thomas C. Clarke ’22 Plaza of the Alumni House on campus. It bears Todd’s name, along with those of two of Todd’s siblings and their spouses, all of whom graduated from William & Mary.
“I call it the Weaver Tribe,” Donn Weaver said.
“Todd was proud of his school. He’d want other students to have the experience of foreign travel” without having to sacrifice something precious to get there, Donn Weaver said.
The first recipient of the scholarship, David R. Newbrander ’13, a Monroe Scholar and international relations major who grew up in Berlin, Germany, left school during the Fall 2011 semester, in part, to earn money for his planned semester abroad in Amman, Jordan, in spring 2012, said Professor John J. McGlennon, chair of the government department.
At the time, the Weaver endowment had not yet generated enough money to provide a scholarship. But the Weaver family, anxious to award the first scholarship, used proceeds from sales of Jeanne Weaver’s oil and watercolor paintings to present Newbrander a check for $2,500, McGlennon said.
“He sent us a wonderful email from Jordan,” Donn Weaver said. “We had met him at the Homecoming reception for the government department in October 2011 and had presented him with the scholarship in Todd’s name.”
Kolhoff, who will be in China during this year’s department reception during Homecoming, said he has learned much about Todd and the Weaver family by perusing a website created in Todd’s memory (1LTtoddweaver.org) and a website featuring Mrs. Weaver’s artwork memorializing her son (jeanneweaverartist.com).
Kolhoff said the scholarship paid for his visa to China and will allow him to extend his time abroad to include additional travel and volunteering once his formal studies at Peking University have ended.
“That is part of what a college education is about,” said Donn Weaver. “This could possibly impact a person’s whole life. And the wonderful thing is that long after we’re gone, the students who receive the scholarship would be connected to Todd.”
Fusion-fueled power generation has been the energy of the future for several decades. “There’s always been this sense that fusion is 50 years away,” Saskia Mordijck says, but she adds that the horizon for safer and more efficient fusionbased electricity in our homes is really, truly getting closer.
Mordijck, a research assistant professor based in the computer science department at William & Mary (with adjunct positions in physics and applied science), has received funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to continue her investigation of fusion energy. She says most people are only vaguely aware of how fusion works and therefore have little idea of the advantages it offers over “traditional” nuclear power.
“Fusion energy is the exact opposite of what we have across the river in Surry where we have a nuclear power plant,“ she explained. “In a nuclear power plant, they actually bombard their material with small particles so it splits apart so there is energy released — that’s fission.”
To accomplish fusion, she says, you take two very small particles and heat them at high enough temperatures so that they fuse together. “As a result of their fusing together they actually will release energy,” Mordijck explained. “This is all in Einstein’s famous equation E=mc2. That’s one most people recognize even if they have not had any physics.”
When it comes to power generation, fusion has a number of advantages over fission and many of them relate to safety. Mordijck says that the usual causes of anxiety over nuclear power generation just don’t exist with fusion. Fukushima/Chernobyl-type incidents are not part of the equation.
“The nice thing about a fusion reaction is that if somehow it would go out of control, it would just stop itself automatically. If a fission reaction goes out of control, it can really go out of control,” Mordijck explained. “You can’t stop it and it actually might go into a nuclear meltdown.”
The second set of fusion-over-fission benefits centers around radioactive waste. Mordijck acknowledges that a certain amount of waste is inescapable, but a fusion power plant would generate only a fraction of the amount of nuclear waste that even the most efficient fission plants produce. Not only is the amount smaller, but waste from a fusion plant also stays dangerous for much shorter periods of time.
“In a fission power plant, we create a lot of radioactive waste, which lasts for a very long time. It lasts longer than most things that we have here on Earth, and so we have to store it somewhere. We cannot clean it in any way,” Mordijck explained. “Whereas in a fusion power plant, the lifetime of this waste is very short. After 50 to 100 years, it will be completely gone and it will not be more radioactive than the surrounding environment and it won’t be able to contaminate anything.”
Fusion energy powers the sun, where the fusion of hydrogen nuclei into helium, generating light and heat that keep us warm. Despite all the potential advantages, fusion remains an experimental technology and an underfunded one at that, Mordijck says.
“When people say that fusion always seems to be perpetually 50 years off, we fusion scientists point out that our funding has been cut every single year, so it’s hard to make any progress,” she noted.
Mordijck says that to get fusion past the experimental stage, she and her fel low scient ists must solve several problems— scientific and engineering. One of the knottiest sets of problems involves thermal transfer. The challenges begin wi th the necessity of having something very hot next to something very cold.
“So, imagine you’re heating something to temperatures that are hotter than the sun, but two or three feet away you need super-cooled magnets,” she said. The high temperatures are necessary to induce fusion and the magnets are needed to contain the product of the fusion, a state of matter known as plasma.
Once fusion is achieved, the problem becomes how to get the energy out of the plasma. Both coal-fired and fission power plants use the heat generated to produce steam which spins turbine blades. Fusion, generating temperatures beyond the sun’s, creates a problem of producing too much heat for most materials to handle.
Mordijck’s own research focuses on containing the super-heated plasma. She explains that solar plasma is contained by the sun’s massive gravity.
“But we can’t create a sun here on earth,” she says, “so we do it through magnetic fields. But the plasma has a tendency to leak out, so you lose particles. I’ve been working on how you lose those particles.”
Fusion-control experiments are most often conducted in instruments known as tokamaks. A tokamak is a chamber shaped like a donut, designed to accommodate the magnetic fields needed to contain the plasma. Mordijck has worked extensively with the General Atomics DIII-D tokamak in San Diego. She notes that DIII-D is one of the leading tokamaks in the world, but said that newer and more advanced machines are being constructed in well-funded Asian programs.
Among physicists, the movement of particles is known as “transport ,” and Mordijck would say that she studies “perturbative transport” to investigate the loss of particles that are supposed to be confined by the magnetic fields of a tokamak. I t boi ls down to an attempt to measure a phenomenon that is not directly measurable.
“It is impossible to measure transport,” she explains. “So you have to kind of infer it.”
She said that she can’t even distinguish between the two types of transport — convective and diffusive — when she prepares computational models of particle loss, let alone in the control room of a tokamak. This is where the “perturbative” part comes in. Mordijck designs her experiments to introduce a new element, such as a gas puff, into the fusion experiment.
“We add more gas to the experiment, but we do it in very short bursts with some time in between,” she says.
The gas penetrates the plasma quickly and comes out slowly. Mordijck monitors the gas and says the perturbative effect of the gas on the plasma gives her insight into the particle transport.
“From the changes you can see in the measurements, you can infer the convective and the diffusive values,” she explains.
Her DOE grant will allow her to bring Xin Wang, a doctoral student, into the project. Mordijck says a student’s presence is a plus in many respects, not least of which is the tendency for projects to move more quickly in the line for time on a tokamak when a student needs a piece of data or two to graduate.
Read more about research at W&M at: wm.edu/research/ideation
Every year, the Alumni Association honors five outstanding faculty members with a $1,000 honorarium at its Fall Awards Ceremony. Endowed by the Class of 1968 at their 25th Reunion, the Alumni Fellowship Awards honor the College’s very best.
For Elena Prokhorova, the study of Russian language and culture isn’t just her chosen field of academia. For the Moscow native, it’s a major part of her identity.
A professor in the modern languages department, Prokhorova focuses her teachings on “anything Russian or post-Soviet, from language, to media, to film.” Her classes, including everything from introduction to global film to a course on the eastern front during the Second World War, draw upon her unique international perspective.
Changing countries led to a change in career plans for Prokhorova. During her time at Moscow State University, Prokhorova was not enthralled by the large class numbers and lack of student participation.
“I looked at my professors and thought I would never want to do what they do,” she says.
But when her postgraduate studies led her to the University of Pittsburgh in 1992, her opinions changed. She was impressed with her “engaged and challenging professors,” and interested by the more hands on educational approach. Prokhorova realized that she could make students as “excited” as she was. She recalls realizing, “Wow, this is what I want to do.”
Prokhorova claims that William & Mary students are the “most engaged, most enthusiastic, and have the highest endurance” of any student body she has worked with. Prokhorova is also a dedicated advisor. She encourages her students to participate in research, and even helped a group organize an international conference where they presented their work.
“Mentoring makes all the difference,” she says.
She often integrates avant-garde subject matter into academia — one of her courses examines vampires in popular culture.
“When I started researching, television and media was the exception rather than the rule,” she remarked. “The focus was on literary studies — high culture. But media is how a culture imagines itself.”
By studying everything from Soviet spy thrillers to True Blood, Prokhorova calls upon “modern topics students feel strongly about” to encourage discourse and critical thinking during class.
While she is on leave this semester, Professor Prokhorova will finish cowriting a book on genres in late Soviet cinema with her husband, a fellow professor at the College. Between editing other texts and reformatting syllabi, she’ll make time for watching movies and her daughter, a student at the University of Virginia.
“The world is a very complex place,” according to Prokhorova. Her unique research and novel insight help her students understand it. After all, she’s not just teaching about a culture, but one she both identifies with and views from a critical distance. As Prokhorova says, “I want my students to understand how cultural beliefs work.”
Irina Novikova is no stranger to hard work and long hours in the lab, and she strives to instill the same drive and commitment into her students at William & Mary. While on sabbatical this fall, she will continue to involve both graduate and undergraduate students in her research. She appreciates William & Mary’s focus on giving students hands-on experience in combination with standard classroom lectures.
“I like how W&M has a really unique balance between teaching and education in general,” she says. “It’s not just lecturing in classes; it’s educating our students in the surrounding community and letting them do research on their own. Professors aren’t just reading textbooks to them, they’re making the subject they’re teaching real to them and letting them get involved.”
Novikova is a prime example of this doctrine, working toward some amazing discoveries in her physics lab and using students of all academic ages to assist her. Her current focus is on using quantum mechanics to manipulate the behavior of light by using large lasers and crystals.
“The physics department faculty is doing research all the time,” she says, “and I have several students at different levels working with me right now — some who are in graduate school, some who are teaching, and even some who are in military training.”
This range of student-researchers not only helps Novikova accomplish her experiments but simultaneously gives her students once-in-a-lifetime experience in a working lab.
Novikova has taught various classes in her six years at the college, ranging from general physics to more advanced laboratory courses.
“I like all of the classes that I teach, they’re all very different,” she says. “Modern physics is probably my favorite, it really is the physics of the 21st-century, and it’s the first serious lab students take.” This class in particular is a favorite of Novikova’s because students study groundbreaking experiments and try to reproduce the results themselves, results like the refraction of light or the first principles of flight.
“I really love the lab courses that allow students to get their hands dirty and realize how experiments really work,” she says.
The College’s hard-working student body is an inspiration to many W&M faculty members, and Professor Novikova is no exception. When asked what she likes best about teaching at William & Mary Novikova immediately responded with the students’ work ethic.
“I really admire how smart and dedicated all of our students are. They constantly amaze me with their intelligence and maturity,” she says. “They think about helping others and doing community outreach and being involved in many different things, and it’s a real pleasure to work with human beings like that on a daily basis.”
Amy Oakes’ international politics classes examine a wide variety of cogs in the global system, from the causes of war to nuclear proliferation and from counterinsurgency to campaigns. Although it’s a complex subject, Oakes is able to summarize.
“It’s basically guns and bombs,” she says.
For Oakes, the study of guns, bombs and the international security that tries to contain them is not just academic analysis, but a practical pursuit to remedy global issues.
“I think the questions we examine — from why countries take up arms to resolve disputes to what motivates suicide terrorists — are important,” she says.
Although her academic focus extends to every corner of the world, her career ambitions have long been targeted at Williamsburg. “If you had asked me when I started graduate school where my ideal job would be, I would likely have put William & Mary at the top of my list,” she says. After teaching at her alma mater Davidson for two years, she relocated to the College.
“Of course, it was very easy to transition from teaching at Davidson to William & Mary as the students here are similarly smart, motivated and enthusiastic,” says Oakes.
From watching Game of Thrones to conducting extensive research, the analysis of conflict extends far outside of the classroom for Oakes. She recently published a book on diversionary war, which she defines as “when governments provoke conflicts abroad to distract a disgruntled citizenry from problems at home.” Oakes’ research is among the first to explore domestic unrest — a crucial facet of national and international conflict.
“Wars can empty treasuries, lead to revolutions and dramatically alter the distribution of power among countries,” she says. “Understanding why wars occur is one of the most important questions we study in international politics.”
This academic year, Oakes plans on devoting her sabbatical to her second book, which examines the pitfalls of nuclear nonproliferation. Additionally, she will continue to direct the Project on International Peace and Security, an undergraduate think tank she created with a colleague five years ago.
While William & Mary can proudly call her one of its own, Oakes may soon venture out into public service. “So far, I’ve spent most of my career in the ivory tower, but I would love to spend a year working in government,” she says.
But for now, students can continue to take advantage of the superb mentoring, insight, personal chats during office hours and enthusiasm that Professor Oakes brings to the College.
A relatively new face on the William & Mary faculty, Allison Larsen ’99 began teaching at the College’s law school in 2010. Professor Larsen completed her undergraduate degree at William & Mary before graduating first in her class at the University of Virginia Law School while serving on the managing board for the Virginia Law Review. Afterward, she clerked for two prominent judges, one on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and one on the U.S. Supreme Court. Since then, she has written articles concerning Supreme Court decisionmaking that have been featured in such publications as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe and the Wall Street Journal. At W&M, Larsen teaches constitutional law, administrative law and statutory interpretation courses to a “civic-minded, highlymotivated, very smart and extremely polite” group of students. She admits her bias towards the College since she went here herself, but Larsen asserts, “there is something special about a William & Mary student.” And it’s not just the students that make teaching here enjoyable for Larsen, but also the “terrifically supportive faculty [she] works with at the Law School every day.” Larsen continues to focus her research on the “informational dynamics of legal decision making,” or put simply, “how judges and juries are informed about the factors that influence their decisions.” Her recently featured article, “Confronting Supreme Court Fact Finding,” focuses on the new age of the Internet and its impact on information gathering at the Supreme Court. Larsen recognizes that the information age we live in changes the game of how our judicial system makes decisions and creates a dangerous, “unregulated ‘inhouse’” system of finding information where mistakes can be made and false information can be used in decisionmaking. She plans to continue research in this area to satisfy her fascination with “how law is changing and must change in order to adapt to the complete revolution in the way we all process information in the digital age.” Her widely acclaimed research and outstanding teaching methods led the William & Mary Provost to recommend Larsen for an Alumni Fellowship Award in 2012.
Nicole Santiago taught at five different universities before arriving at William & Mary in 2006, and like most people who come to the College she was instantly drawn in by its rigorous academic standards and highachieving students.
Santiago teaches drawing, 2-D foundations, color theory and life drawing in W&M’s art department, and her unbridled passion for her subject is instantly discernible to her students. She admits she finds her field “incredibly exciting” and says she thinks a love of what one teaches is necessary in any field.
“I suppose this is how most faculty feel about their subject, but it has to be that way,” she says. “You must be completely consumed in your area of research. If your field doesn’t enrapture you, you’re probably not going to spend the time required for excellent results.” Her personal work ethic has paid off, and she has recently been awarded a Best in Show in a Florida competition and a National Arts Club Award for Graphics in New York City, not to mention being a finalist in The Artist’s Magazine’s 27th Annual Art Competition in 2010.
Santiago’s research involves drawing and painting narrative figure compositions in the realist tradition using both oil paints and charcoal.
“I have always been interested in narrative figure tradition and foresee more investigation into this genre in the near future,” she says. “Mostly, the situations I depict are quiet and domestic, which usually makes for still compositions and stories that are more internal than external. I want to defy the stillness of the painting, to portray a layered narrative … to accomplish this, I use the scattered signs of daily existence to communicate accidental yet honest storylines that provide indirect insight into the cadence of daily life.”
Her artist’s statement truly sums up Santiago’s mission in the world of art: “For me at least, reality always comes down to stories. So in painting and drawing descriptive outward realities, I am also describing people and places as human situations that carry implied narratives, which stretch out beyond the moment shown. My goal is to give insight into the social roles and relationships of my figures and to suggest something about their lives … I like to explore how much of the figure can remain outside of the frame and yet stay ‘present as absent’.”
O ne of the biggest mysteries about the nature of the universe has been solved.
Probably. They’re not 100 percent sure yet. So they’re still looking.
In July, researchers at the Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire in Switzerland (better known as CERN) made a major scientific announcement. Using the powerful Large Hadron Collider (LHC), they had discovered — with a surprisingly high degree of certainty — what they believe to be the long-awaited Higgs boson.
“The raison d’etre for the Higgs boson is to explain how the fundamental particles have mass,” says William & Mary physicist Josh Erlich. Mainstream physics research has been focused on what’s called the “standard model” for decades (see "What is a boson?" below); the Higgs boson was the last piece of the model yet unproven.
But now they think they’ve got it — which, in some ways, might actually be a problem.
W&M Physics professor Marc Sher first began writing about the Higgs in 1978, a decade or so after Peter Higgs and others first theorized about it. He figured researchers at one of the many precursors to the LHC would discover the Higgs by, oh, 1982 or so.
But they didn’t find it. It soon became clear that they couldn’t have. Particle accelerators are very large, frequently circular structures that move subatomic particles at extremely high speeds in order to smash them into each other. By observing the resulting collision, scientists can see what other, even tinier particles come out, and how they decay. The subatomic particle’s mass is described by an equivalent measure of gigaelectron volts (GeV) involved in the collision; remember, E=mc2. The more energy the accelerator can produce, the better results they can get. And the facilities in the ’80s and ’90s just weren’t powerful enough.
Theoretically, the standard model predicted a Higgs boson, or Higgs-like particle, based on the math alone. Sher and researchers like him have run incredibly complex calculations to look at how a Higgs might behave while interacting with other fundamental particles.
“I’ve been doing other things, too, but I always keep coming back to taking the Higgs system in the standard model and extending it to two or more Higgs bosons,” says Sher.
Enter the LHC. Begun in 1998 to replace its pr ede c e s s o r, the Large Elect ron-Pos i t ron Collider, the LHC is 27 kilometers in diameter and sits 100 meters below the ground. After some initial hiccups, the LHC went online in 2009 as the most powerful instrument ever built for particle physics.
The LHC was supposed to nail down the truth: either there’s a Higgs or there’s not. But three years passed; it became clear 2012 was “make or break time.” Marc Sher started to get nervous.
Then, on the 4th of July, the announcement came. Something th at appeared to be very much like the Higgs boson was discovered at 125 GeV, a value only achievable by the LHC.
“As a layman, I would say, I think we have it,” said Rolf- Dieter Hauer, director general of CERN. The Telegraph of London quoted other scientists who described it as akin to the discovery of DNA or the Moon landing.
“If they had seen nothing, it would mean everything I’ve done is worthless,” says Sher, who was quoted in the media’s Higgs stories. “For me, it was a great relief.” But science still isn’t quite sure.
“We don’t know it’s the Higgs,” he says. “It looks like a duck, walks like a duck, swims like a duck, quacks like a duck, and it’s exactly what you expected a duck to be. However, you don’t know what kind of duck it is.”
“The way it was presented too often was, ‘OK, they found the Higgs, now we can shut down,’” he says.
The Higgs would be nice, but Sher wants even more to discover.
As the last unproven piece of the standard model puzzle, the Higgs boson is seen by some as the end of the line, joining the other bosons, electrons, muons and neutrinos already in place. To others, especially advocates of what physicists call supersymmetry, there is more hope for additional particles.
For another thing, CERN could turn out to be wrong. There are variations in the data produced before July that could indicate something else is at work.
“There are still skeptics among the particle physics community who cling to alternative interpretations of the particle that was recently discovered at CERN,” says Prof. Erlich, “leaving open the possibility that Nature has tricked us into believing that a distant cousin of the Higgs boson is really the Higgs boson itself.”
“If it hadn’t been there, there were so many interesting things that could have been there,” says Sher.
Alternatively, Sher is worried that the Higgs could be “it.” The relief he felt at the CERN announcement was tempered by a new worry. When the LHC closes and reopens at an even more powerful level in 2014, what if they realize there are no new particles to discover? After all, not everyone actually wanted to find it — one physicist wrote an article called “Why I Would Be Very Sad If A Higgs Boson Were Discovered” — in the hopes of a more complex problem to solve in its place. Some of that uncertainty will be erased by the end of the year. CERN is still running the LHC “like mad,” says Sher, and already has twice the data it did at the July announcement. More data means more certainty, as scientists eliminate statistical fluctuations to get a fuller picture of the Higgs’ behavior.
“There’s just so much data, it’s like the Library of Congress every second or two,” he says. “It’s not trivial to go through.”
When so much information is being produced, scientists have to narrow down the data to focus on what they’re actually looking for. So tons of stuff is just being thrown out. Even CERN can’t handle it all.
Sher’s last paper dealt with some of those concerns. Before CERN’s announcement, he had discussed the idea there might be two or more Higgs. But he made a few other suggestions. First, he theorized that the two Higgs bosons have differing masses. Then he assumed the 125 GeV Higgs was the heavier one, and went to work.
“What would you have to do to avoid [the lighter Higgs] having been seen in the past?” he asks. “There are accelerators that would have seen it ... so you can find parameters where it would have been missed.”
These calculations are not done underground in Switzerland, but on Sher’s computer in Williamsburg. Most particle theory is done this way. And 15 pages of code later, Sher’s team of researchers had their results, which would be widely read by the physicists at CERN and elsewhere.
Of course, all this presumes there are not just one, but two Higgs bosons. No one is sure yet, but Sher thinks they’ll have a better idea by December when the LHC has been running a while longer. Already there are hints there might be a second Higgs at 132 GeV, but only whispers.
In the near future, though, there’s more science to do at these smallest scales. For Marc Sher, the knowledge that the Higgs boson is real (or something like it) means the long hours theorizing about predicted behavior of these incredibly short-lived particles was rooted in real, observable fact. For a theorist dedicated to the tiniest of elemental particles, that’s no small feat.
Most people are familiar with the basic subatomic particles: electrons, protons and neutrons as well as a few of the fundamental properties of nature like electromagnetism and gravity. Physicists know that protons and neutrons are actually made up of other particles called quarks and that still more exotic particles such as neutrinos and muons show up as the residue from highenergy collisions inside particle accelerators.
The standard model of physics attempts to unite these forces and particles into a single model that describes how the universe is put together. It breaks the universe down into three types of particles: quarks, leptons and bosons. Quarks and leptons make up all of the matter. Bosons transmit the fundamental properties.
For example, electrons are actually one of the six types of leptons while protons and neutrons are composite particles and are each composed of three different types of quarks. Photons are a type of boson that transmit the electromagnetic force and the Higgs boson transmits the property of mass.
Not all mass is acquired by interactions with the Higgs boson. Composite particles such as the proton and neutron gather much of their mass from the quarks that they are composed of. The electron, however, is an elementary particle and so all of it's mass is attributed to the Higgs. Without the Higgs, the world as we know it would not exist. Any slight difference in the mass of the electron would result in a world where atoms are either too reactive to be stable or too inert to produce all of the molecules that make up life on our planet.
Unlike every-day objects that we're familiar with, the Higgs boson is an inherently unstable particle. In order to produce a Higgs boson, you need to smash two protons together at extremely high speeds. Even then, only a tiny fraction of those collisions will result in the production of a Higgs boson. Furthermore, on the off-chance that a collision does produce a Higgs boson, the Higgs only pops into existence for an instant before it decays, producing a spray of quarks, leptons and other types of bosons.
Not all Higgs bosons decay in the same way. Luckily, a small fraction of Higgs bosons decay in a way that the LHC can detect. The difficulty arises due to the fact that the results of a decaying Higgs are also identical to the results of the sea of other decaying particles inside the collider. This makes it extremely difficult to pick out the faint signals of a rare decaying Higgs among the noise of other energetic events.
Because of this, finding a Higgs is less like discovering buried treasure than it is like picking out the faint ringing of a distant cell phone from the front row of a raging rock concert.
ace it: the slogan “Alma Mater of a Nation” doesn’t come for free. While historically, the College’s contributions to American politics are well-known, William & Mary is instrumental even as the 2012 election cycle kicks into high gear: from the names on the ballot to the analysts talking shop.
Few universities can boast such a consistent and illustrious record of public service as William & Mary. Since opening its doors in 1693, the College has produced three U.S. presidents, 16 signers of the Declaration of Independence, Supreme Court Justice John Marshall 1780, a host of congressmen and governors, military generals such as Winfield Scott 1807, and a staggering number of state representatives.
This fall, three notable alumni seeking public office will carry on this proud tradition. Representing three regions across the nation, Eric Cantor J.D. ’88, LL.D. ’11 (R-Va.), Michele Bachmann LL.M. ’88 (R-Minn.), and Dina Titus ’70 (D-Nev.) exemplify the College’s enduring mission of serving the American citizenry and demonstrate that, although candidates may differ on political issues, they are all united by their commitment to their country. For many, that bond was forged at the College. (For predictions on the outcome of the fall elections, see the accompanying article on p. 51.)
Born and raised in Richmond, Va., Cantor earned his Juris Doctorate from William & Mary’s Marshall- Wythe School of Law in 1988. After a brief st int in real estate, he plunged into politics in 1992 as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, where he spent nine years before winning a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives for Virginia’s 7th District. When the Republicans assumed power of the House after the 2010 elections, Cantor was appointed House Majority Leader, a position he still holds today.
At Charter Day in 2011, Cantor spoke to the assembled William & Mary crowd to discuss his vision for America. “As students and faculty members of this university, you live and learn at the heart of the American experiment,” he said. “Our Commonwealth — this region — is a place where our founding principles of liberty, democracy and limited government were cultivated.
“But it’s also a place where the ideas of freedom and democracy in America were wedded to education. Our founders understood, as did the Crown at that time, that a successful democracy was just as much about education as it is about elections.”
“My experience at William & Mary Law School taught me the value of hard work, perseverance and giving back to the community,” he writes in an email. “What truly made W&M special were the relationships between faculty and students. Aside from providing a great atmosphere for learning, the teachers and administrators challenged us to think critically, be ef fect ive advocates for our beliefs and work together to solve problems.”
Titus expresses similar appreciation to the College for its role in encouraging both dialogue and a strong sense of civic engagement. Possibly the only student to ever graduate from William & Mary without a high school diploma (she was admitted directly as an undergraduate after attending a campus summer school program), she earned her degree in 1970.
“It was...an exciting time filled with great social unrest,” says Titus in a statement. “I was inspired by my studies and empowered by my experiences, joining the fray not only in heated classroom debates, but also in the streets of the nation’s capital.”
After graduation, Titus entered academia and eventually landed a position teaching political science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Turning theory into practice, she won election to the Nevada state senate in 1988 and then assumed the role of minority leader. In 2008, she successfully waged a campaign to represent Nevada’s 3rd District. Although she lost the seat in 2010, she has returned to the battlefield this fall.
“It was this nexus [of my experiences at the College],” she says, “that led me to teach young people the value of civic participation, to engage in scholarship on political topics and to run for office.”
Like Titus, Bachmann sees her political experience as grounded in her time at the College. After receiving her Juris Doctorate from Oral Roberts University, the Minnesota representative enrolled in William & Mary’s prestigious federal tax law program, earning her LL.M. in 1988.
“We were a small class and the faculty was excellent,” writes Bachmann. “It was the experience I gained at William & Mary that enabled me to begin and establish my career as a federal tax lawyer.”
After graduation, Bachmann worked as an attorney for the Internal Revenue Service; later, she and her husband established a counseling center in St. Paul. In 2000, she made a successful bid for a Minnesota state senate seat, and in 2006, she was elected to represent Minnesota’s 6th District in the U.S. Congress. Ascending rapidly through the ranks, she entered the race for the Republican presidential nomination in 2011. Although she withdrew her candidacy this past January, Bachmann remains a prominent figure on the national scene.
Despite the political tumult of the past decade, Bachmann still takes pleasure in looking back at her time at William & Mary.
“One of my fondest memories was working very hard every day and rewarding myself with a walk on Duke of Gloucester Street,” she says. “It remains a favorite family destination for me today.”
In this way, Bachmann joins countless other alumni who have trod the familiar road between the Wren Building and the old colonial capitol, mapping out a path between present and past and making clear the close ties between education and public service.
More than 300 years ago, George Wythe, the first professor of law both at the College and in the nation, articulated the goals of the new law school as follows: “Here we may form such characters as may be useful in the National Councils of our country.”
Judging from the 2012 election cycle, that hope is still alive and well at the College today.
As Tropical Storm Isaac churned toward the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., at the end of August, the William & Mary Alumni Magazine asked three of the College’s professors to weigh in on what to expect from this fall’s national elections. Turns out that when it comes to predicting the future, weather reporters might have it easier than political scientists.
“Most people agree that the economy is the most important issue,” says John McGlennon, chair of the department of government, “but the question of who’s responsible for the current state of the economy and whose plan is most likely to pull the nation out of the current doldrums is not at all a case of consensus among voters.”
This lack of agreement has bred much uncertainty. Analysts dispute whether Democrats or Republicans will seize control of Congress, and although polls conducted at the time of the party conventions gave Barack Obama a slight lead, neither party perceives that edge as secure.
In some ways, Assistant Professor of Government Jaime Settle observes, the 2012 elections contradict established models of political behavior.
“If you look historically, when incumbent presidents are leading the country with these [economic] numbers, it’s usually not extremely close,” says Settle.
Ronald Rapoport, John Marshall Professor of Government, points to Mitt Romney’s mid-campaign shift in strategy as an example of divergence from a traditional challenger campaign approach. Romney, says Rapoport, initially adopted a “referendum election” strategy, in which a challenger focuses primarily on the incumbent’s flaws rather than proposing alternative policies.
“Romney obviously felt that wasn’t working,” says Rapoport. The announcement of Paul Ryan (RWisc.) as the former Massachusetts governor’s running mate signaled a shift to a “choice election” strategy, which offers voters a set of policies in sharp contrast to those put forth by the incumbent.
“I think this is quite unusual,” says Rapoport. “I think the Obama people are really thrilled by that — having things that you can put your opponent down on.”
Put-downs have been flying hard and fast this election cycle, with all three professors citing elevated levels of negativity.
“The American electorate continues to be unusually polarized on a partisan basis,” says McGlennon. “There’s a tendency for the parties to emphasize their differences rather than blur those differences, and that’s a change from previous elections.”
Heading into the fall, it’s unclear whether that negativity will drive down voter turnout. Americans went to the polls in high numbers in both 2004 and 2008, and many analysts believe that a decline this November is inevitable. But, says Rapoport, “we don’t really know. We’re not as good at predicting that as predicting how people will vote.”
Although much of the voting behavior of a broadly polarized and entrenched electorate may be easy to predict, the outcome in a few states remains uncertain, with Virginia once again shaping up to be a swing state. After more than 40 years of dependable Republican voting in national elections, the Commonwealth suddenly found itself divided in 2008, before throwing its Electoral College votes to Obama. Now, four years later, both parties are pouring money into Virginia in an attempt to sway crucial voters.
“A lot of Virginians are praying for the days when we were not a contested state,” says McGlennon. He attributes the state’s political shift to changing demographics: an increase in residents born elsewhere and fairly rapid growth in Latino and Asian-American populations.
Whatever the reason, intense media scrutiny of Virginia is likely to persist throughout the fall, bolstered by ever-rising campaign expenditures. All three professors independently point to the enormous amounts of money raised by the presidential candidates as an unprecedented feature of the 2012 races.
“These are levels of money so far beyond what we’ve seen,” says Rapoport.
To McGlennon, although exorbitant campaign expenditures are likely to spark significant philosophical debate in the future, their influence on the current presidential race will be less than expected.
“Just the sheer volume of advertising that’s going on now on both sides. … Over time, it’s losing its effectiveness,” he says. “People’s minds are made up. We’ve had hundreds of millions of dollars spent in these campaigns, and it doesn’t appear to be moving voters either way.”
icture a young boy traipsing into the woods behind the framework of a suburban, lower middle-class home. He walks, perhaps, beyond the hedgerow into a standing grove of sugar maples, red mulberries and pawpaws. He has built a tree house at the edge of a clearing, and the boy has nothing but chaos and solitude in his heart.
"Until I was in college,” poet Henri Cole ’78 recalls in an oft-cited essay about his childhood, “I had no artistic friends. My only dialogue was with God, whom I besieged with my prayers.”
In fact, almost nothing of Henri Cole’s upbringing could have accurately foreshadowed a man who would go on to publish eight books of poetry while winning almost every major award in American letters. He was a product of the Virginia public school systems, the son of two parents who valued education but who never attended college.
“My father was a farm boy from North Carolina,” Cole says. “He was trained to be an electrical engineer in the Air Force. My mother was from Marseille, France. She was a seamstress, taking in sewing, until she became a civil servant.”
Cole’s childhood was characterized by regular beatings that persisted until he left the home. Cole remembers his teenage years in particular as being violent and unpredictable — “lamps being thrown across rooms,” and “one drunken parent sobbing over another.” As his family erupted into mindless violence, the confusion and heartache felt by Cole would later go on to yield some of the most startling poetry of the 20th century. Once away from his treehouse sanctuary and the ruined lamps, Cole began to harness the power of the written word to begin a relentless, lifelong examination of the self that has been both as cutting as it has been forgiving.
Henri Cole left his parents’ home for the first time to attend William & Mary. He took studio art courses such as drawing, printmaking and sculpture. Cole’s household had been devoutly Catholic, and he attended the folk masses every Saturday evening near the campus. He pledged a fraternity but says that he was terrible at being a brother. “I think I wanted another kind of love,” he says.
Cole found that love in his junior year when he enrolled in a poetry class and was instantly hooked.
“I was a nascent poet and knew nothing,” he admits. “Still, my teachers — Susan Thompson and Peter Klappert — nurtured me. I was like a buried seed at William & Mary, and then I germinated. The only thing I had was intensity.”
Cole tends to characterize his work from this period as unoriginal and heavily autobiographical, the work of a “closeted homosexual.” Ironically, his predilection for revisiting the bones of his past and for delving into his conflicts with sexuality are often cited as features earning him such literary accolades as the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, the Lenore Marshall Prize, multiple National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, a Guggenheim Fellowship and finalist nod for the Pulitzer Prize. In 2012, he was nominated for and awarded the Jackson Prize from Poets & Writers magazine.
Though always the solitary character, Cole found a group at William & Mary who nurtured his love for the arts, and he began to build a new home filled with writers and artists. Cole recalls, “Somehow a group of us — mostly English majors — found one another and lived together in a little farmhouse house on Mimosa Lane. My roommate my senior year was Steven Culp ’78, the film and television actor. I used to love listening to him play the guitar.
“I’ve remained friends with the marvelous Professor Elsa Nettels — who taught the novels of Henry James, Willa Cather, E. M. Forester, Joseph Conrad and Virginia Woolf, writers of the interior life. It was she who made me appreciate language as a delicate instrument of the imagination.”
This appreciation for language and sound were never more prevalent than in Cole’s first two collections of poetry, The Marble Queen (1986) and The Zoo Wheel of Knowledge (1989). One of the most impressive features to Cole’s contemporaries is the way in which his style has shifted somewhat drastically over time. The Marble Queen and The Zoo Wheel of Knowledge are controlled and acoustically precise, but at times the reader can feel the young Cole self-consciously adhering to technique and to form at the expense of anything fully revelatory. There is a painstaking attention paid to sound and to description that — while flashing the signs of a young lyric master — fails to reach the emotional honesty and sublimation a more mature Cole would find in later works such as Middle Earth (2003), Blackbird and Wolf (2007) and Touch (2011). This move toward a more trimmed-back, emotionally resonant aesthetic is the product of a man who has examined his life on paper for the better part of 35 years.
“I think my books are a record of the man I’ve become,” Cole says. “Probably living in Rome for a year and looking at thousands of paintings and sculptures of martyrs, saints and Christ had an influence on my style. It made me want to write poems that were more direct.
“Also, living in Japan, the country of my birth, influenced me. I had no possessions to speak of — except a futon and a wok — and I think this is why I started writing free verse sonnets in plain speech.
“Every great poem has to be at least two poems — a poem of felicitous language and a poem of emotion (with fear, grief, desperation or triumph). There are lots of poets who write one or the other poem, but a great poem has to accomplish both things.”
Cole has often noted that, like his father, he is a solitary man. He also notes that teaching at institutions like Harvard and Yale and the Ohio State University have been important to his growth, as have been the lessons he has learned from friends and supporters such as Seamus Heaney, Helen Vendler and James Merrill. In that way in which life folds back onto itself, Cole has made a life out of re-exploring the spirituality and doubts of his childhood while also having made his way back on to the campus of William & Mary at least once as a poet-in-residence.
“It was an honor returning to teach as poet-in-residence,” Cole says. “I spend way too much time alone, so teaching keeps me human. I don’t really expect my students to become poets — more importantly, I’m helping them to become themselves and to understand their authentic interests.
“In Williamsburg, every morning I awoke at dawn and walked the length of Duke of Gloucester Street. … I had first-rate students in my poetry writing classes, who were much more intelligent than I was as an undergraduate.
“Also, I loved hearing the train whistle again at night, after living in cities for so long. And it’s such a pretty campus, too. I can still smell those magnolias, if I concentrate.”
And in this wise you can feel Henri Cole using the music of the vowel and the consonant and the sentence to unlock the feelings and questions of bygone times, revisiting his old haunts to find something golden and holy fluttering within the trees. In an age of victimhood and cronyism, Cole has elevated himself into a poetic luminary by solitarily acknowledging the pain of his youth while at the same time having the artistic instinct to see the beauty in everyone. Cole scoffs at the notion that forgiveness is a part of his writing and is quite adamant that the staple of life is suffering, but if suffering is the stuff of life, he uses words to create the wound while simultaneously finding the grace to heal it. If he is cursing, then he is also blessing. In “Broom,” Cole recalls his childhood home, the “hands that once chased me gruesomely with a broom, then brushed / my hair.”
And in that you find the contradiction of Cole, the bitterness that comes off like honey. “Thank you,” Cole says in a “Self Portrait in a Gold Kimono,” a poem from Middle Earth. “Thank you, / Mother and Father, for creating me.”
Well, this is it for me here at the Alumni Magazine. After 24 issues, nine cover stories (including this one) and editing more than a million words of Class Notes, I’m off to the West Coast to start my new position at Stanford University. This was not a decision I made lightly. I’ve spent most of the last decade here in Williamsburg, and it’s no exaggeration to say it changed my life immeasurably for the better. Home is a hard place to leave behind. But I decided it’s time to enjoy being a William & Mary alum in the way so many of you do: from off-campus, as a fan, an advocate and a contributor.
There’s something special about a place where you get to interview an NFL head coach, Miss South Carolina, and the former Secretary of Defense all in the course of the job. I think we’ve improved a great magazine in my time here — an impossible task without the Alumni Association staff, especially Melissa, Jessica, Matthew, Mike, Sara, Megan, Mitch, Del and our many interns and freelancers. Now I get to find out what it’s like to be a reader.
Most of all though, I love this place. There will never be any substitute for the endless applause at Convocation, the electricity of a close game at Kaplan Arena, nor the Yule Log torchlight on the Wren walls and the long autumn shadows across the Sunken Garden. As a student and as a staff member, I’ve encountered so many people — from the class of 1940 to the Class of 2012 — who work tirelessly to make William & Mary better, stronger and more successful. I’ve been fortunate to get six extra years walking these canopied brick paths, inspired by their example.
I’ve loved telling the William & Mary stories in these pages. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them.
Executive Vice President: Karen R. Cottrell ’66, M.Ed. ’69, Ed.D. ’84
Editor: Mitch Vander Vorst
Managing Editor: Ben Kennedy ’05
Art Director/Graphic Designer: Michael D. Bartolotta
Graphic Designer: Megan M. Morrow
Online Editor: Del Putnam
Interns: Elizabeth Bloxam ’15, Ashley Chaney ’14, Shannon Crawford ’13, Phillip B. Jones
Production Assistant: Jenise L. Lacks ’11
Contributing Photographers: Jim Agnew, Bob Keroack, Kelly J. Mihalcoe, Mark Mitchell, Aliya Naumoff, Skip Rowland ’83, Stephen Salpukas,Geoffrey Wade
Contributing Writers: Rich Griset, Marna Ashburn Krajeski ’85, Daniel Long, Joseph McClain, Steve Otto ’82, W. Taylor Revely III, Sarah Vogelsong ’08, Bonnie V. Winston
Illustrator: Jonathan Carlson
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I’m driving illiterate in Williamsburg. Don’t ask me to take the wheel. I make wrong turns. I get lost and confused. I end up in Hampton.
It’s not my fault. During my formative years at William & Mary, I was a pedestrian. Occasionally, I rode with my roommate in her car, but do you think I paid attention? Heck no. Nothing between points A and B mattered, because, of course, I wasn’t driving. I droned as the streets and landmarks whizzed by. Now I’m paying for it. My adult brain just isn’t wired for driving in Williamsburg. It’s the navigational equivalent of never learning my phonics.
“As the crow flies” is the software loaded into my brain. Back in college, I was the all-terrain student, setting off confidently on foot, cutting through dorm breezeways, scaling bluffs, striding nonchalantly the wrong way down one-way streets, slaloming through parking lots, and jaywalking to my heart’s content.
Following paved roads and traffic rules in Williamsburg introduces an insurmountable obstacle. I know the three major thoroughfares—DOG Street, Richmond Road and Jamestown Road. Everything I needed was on Richmond Road. It was a straight shot to the Pottery Factory. Jamestown Road led to, well, Jamestown, which was always a fun bike ride. DOG Street was where I jogged.
Those are the three known vectors, and if I get beyond them without a GPS, I’m doomed. I don’t know my 60 from my 64, my 5 from my 199, my 143 from my 132, my last known point from my forward limit. I hyperventilate when I get to an intersection—all those black and white signs with numbers and arrows pointing every which-a-way. It feels like I’m 16 and back in driver’s education. Which lane? North or south? Right or left? Am I headed to Toano now?
From Confusion Corner, I can make a halting departure to 64 via Francis Street. With a few wrong turns and missed exits, I could find my way back from the Norfolk airport. But if you throw a detour at me or anything that requires improvisation, I’ll fail. Finding my way on back roads is, of course, out of the question.
Williamsburg is not laid out in any logical, intuitive or understandable way. What Colonial elder on acid designed this town? It’s a maze of inexplicable, traffic-clogged streets that double-back, make hairpin turns, and rename themselves mid-intersection. To confuse me even more, there are now neighborhoods, apartments, condominiums and commercial developments in what was the forested final frontier when I was in college. It looks nothing like what I remember.
My friend Susan, who lives and raises her family in Williamsburg, assures me that “there’s no shame in admitting you can’t find your way.” She’s a local; she knows all the shortcuts like the back of her hand. I pay attention whenever I’m in the car with her but I can’t follow. Occasionally I’ll catch a familiar site (Aha! Peebles department store) and feel a twitch of recognition, but mostly I’m in sensory overload. She doesn’t notice I’m a nervous wreck trying to figure out where we are, nor does she know the hours I’ve pored over maps trying to internalize the layout of Williamsburg. I’ll never absorb it in the brief trips an alum makes to the College. It’s like trying to learn Russian one weekend a year. What I need is an extended visit to get good and lost and re-assimilate the town from the perspective of a motor vehicle operator.
Until that happens, my mantra will be “Just get me to Richmond Road.” Everywhere else should be stamped “Uncharted Territory.” I’ll proceed to campus, park the car and walk. It feels natural and familiar to have the sureness of the cobblestones beneath my feet, dogwood blooms at eye level and the heady scent of boxwood around me. All I want is just a short stroll away.
E ach year, the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C., attracts tens of thousands of runners to the nation’s capital. Along the way, participants run past notable landmarks like the Pentagon, the Washington Monument and the Capitol building — making it one of the most dramatic and patriotic marathon courses in the country.
But what if it could mean even more?
fter completing the Marine Corps 10K run, Kay Floyd ’05 was “inspired.” Along with Katelyn Chubb ’06, the two decided their next run would raise money to help their alma mater. After contact with the development office, Floyd and Chubb directed their efforts toward fundraising for William & Mary’s Washington office and its summer institutes.
“[The marathon] is very personal to the D.C. office, as we will literally be running around Washington, D.C.,” says Floyd. “And it really resonates because so many of the runners’ lives are in the greater D.C. area.”
William & Mary’s D.C. Summer Institutes began in 2010 and are based out of the College’s offices in the Dupont Circle neighborhood. In summer 2013, separate institutes will cover national security, new media and community engagement. Floyd, now also an adjunct instructor in the government department, hopes the money raised this fall will be available to benefit next summer’s students. She has also been impressed with the level of involvement from long-disconnected alumni.
“We’ve had a lot of runners come out of the woodwork who haven’t been a part of the College [since graduation],” Floyd says. “They say, ‘I’m willing to run for the College.’“It speaks volumes that, out of all the wonderful, very noble charities out there, people are choosing to run for William & Mary.”
The team advocates training through Metro Run & Walk, a Springfield, Va., business owned by Mark Russell ’80. Russell and his wife Helen are both running coaches and have been assisting Floyd, Chubb and the rest of the team.
“[The marathon] represents a unique opportunity,” says Floyd. “If you can’t give a lot of money, you can give time.” As for Floyd’s own training: “I’m trying not to get any injuries between now and the very end of October.”
The Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) is a popular way to achieve a qualifying time for more selective marathons like Boston’s, since it doesn’t require a minimum time to register. But it goes fast. In 2011, registration for the 30,000-person MCM sold out in 28 hours. In 2012, it only took two hours and 41 minutes.
The marathon, which will take place Oct. 28 over Homecoming weekend, offers alumni who can’t make it to the ‘Burg a chance to take part in some Tribe pride for a good cause. With a donation, fans and fellow alumni can follow along with their favorite William & Mary runners on the Web.
In addition, runners supporting the College have the option to raise money by doing the 10K or the full marathon — 100 percent of the proceeds go to the W&M team’s cause. While Floyd hopes to raise $7,000 on her own, other runners will contribute differently.
“You raise the amount of money you feel comfortable with,” she says. “You buy the tennis shoes; we’ll help you raise the money.”
For more on the William & Mary team and the Marine Corps Marathon, or to make a donation, visit https://wmtribemcm.squarespace.com/
~ Dean of Arts & Sciences
Education: B.A., Harvard University; M.A., University of Colorado; M.A., Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
What might be surprising about your background? After college I started work as an assistant in the circulation department at The Old House Journal back when it was still a newsletter, and worked my way up to writing articles as an assistant editor. The decorative arts editor and I then had a chance to create Victorian Homes magazine, which we basically launched from her dining room. I was building a career in book publishing in Colorado when a kind French professor helped me envision an academic career, for which I am grateful to this day.
How do you see your role as Dean of Arts & Sciences? It’s a huge responsibility. Along with our select graduate programs, we are stewards of the undergraduate liberal arts education. Every freshman begins study in Arts & Sciences, and about 90 percent of graduating seniors hold one or more of our majors. As Dean, I’m on point for day-to-day management of our whole academic operation and, with my fellow faculty and deans, for the intellectual leadership that keeps us current.
What interested you about William & Mary? A main reason I wanted to come to William & Mary was the strong internal culture that understands, values and excels in the liberal arts education. Our educational model teaches students to think carefully and critically and to make new connections between various kinds of knowledge. In this, I agree completely with today’s corporate CEOs: To meet our many challenges, we need the liberal arts skills now more than ever.
What do you enjoy in your spare time? My husband, Richard Stamelman, teaches French poetry, culture, and art, including photography, and he loves taking pictures. This has made us wonderfully compatible in our pursuits and travels. Museums, historic sites, local arts and artists, restaurants – we enjoy a wide range of people and interests.
How are you adjusting to your move to Williamsburg? I’m fascinated by the way history and stories are woven into the present in Williamsburg and more broadly in Virginia. There’s a coherence to how the present lives alongside the past. As I settle in, I’m hoping to meet the people and explore the places that are part of this marvelous tapestry.
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