DartmouthDirect

Dec 092013
 

On behalf of Dartmouth and the Department of Athletics and Recreation, I would like to welcome you to Dartmouth College and the Class of 2018!

Next fall you will embark on a lifelong adventure with the friends you will make and the faculty and staff you will meet at the “College on the Hill.” It’s a close-knit community, and my players on the women’s tennis team always say they’re happy to be “home” whenever they return to Dartmouth.

When you arrive on campus in the fall, don’t be afraid to ask questions or to ask for help. Dartmouth is an extremely friendly place and we’re all here to make sure you have a superlative undergraduate experience. Until then, enjoy the holidays and the rest of your school year, and we’ll look forward to welcoming you in the fall!

Bob Dallis, Ed.D.
Dartmouth College Head Women’s Tennis Coach

A photograph of Bob Dallis on the Right with the Team High-Fiving.

Dartmouth Women’s Tennis Team Head Coach, Bob Dallis (right), slapping fives with the team at the Alexis Boss Tennis Center.

Apr 272012
 

Lisa Baldez is an Associate Professor of Government and LALACS

Last Thursday the temperature hit 70 degrees so I decided to hold class outside. The class is Gender Politics in Latin America, a class jointly offered by the departments of Government, Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies. We focus on the historical dynamics that have given rise to powerful women’s movements, surprising changes in public policy, a high percentage of women in legislative office, and several female presidents in the region. Last Thursday the 18 of us sat on the lawn outside Baker-Berry Library to discuss Rita Arditti’s Searching for Life, a book about the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, an Argentine human rights organization. The Grandmothers mobilized to find their relatives who had “disappeared” at the hands of the military dictatorship that ruled Argentina from 1976-1982. The Grandmothers work specifically to find children who were born to pregnant women in concentration camps and illegally adopted by families that supported the military regime. This is an intense and emotionally difficult topic to talk about, but also a hopeful one because the Grandmothers have located 87 of the estimated 500 children identified as missing. Being outside allowed everyone to relax and speak openly and honestly about their responses to the text. It was a sublime class.

Apr 272012
 

David Bucci is an Associate Professor of Psychological and Brain Studies at Dartmouth

Congratulations on your admission to Dartmouth! In my opinion, attending college is all about having transformational learning experiences in which you discover and nurture your true life passion.  Doing so requires ‘learning by doing.’  Dartmouth offers you tremendous and unparalleled opportunities to do just that, in part through a high level of access to faculty and their engagement both inside and (perhaps more importantly) outside the classroom.  This is because the faculty at Dartmouth are not only the ones teaching the classes, but they are the ones producing the knowledge through their research activities.  At Dartmouth you have the opportunity to work along side them in creating that new knowledge! I’d say that is a pretty good way to discover your passion.

Apr 232012
 

Professor Christopher Snyder: I teach in the Economics Department at Dartmouth.  One of my favorite parts of the job is to be able to work with students on research projects.  On one recent project, I worked with Dartmouth student Wills Begor ‘12 and an MIT professor.  The project ended up as an article published in the journal Health Affairs on which we are all three coauthors. Before getting into the details, Wills can talk about his involvement in the project.

Wills Begor ‘12: I started doing research with Professor Snyder during the winter of my junior year as part of the James O. Freedman Presidential Scholars Program, a unique program at Dartmouth that provides opportunities for juniors to work as research assistants for Dartmouth faculty.

Prof. Snyder:  My interest in this research began some years back when I worked a program sponsored by GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations) and the Gates Foundation to design an innovative solution, known as an advance market commitment, for procuring vaccines in developing countries.  Sponsors pledged $1.5 billion for a pilot program targeting second-generation vaccines for the pneumococcal disease.  Although pneumococcus is not a big killer in rich countries because we have ready access to antibiotics, it ends up killing nearly one million children in poor countries each year.  Our goal was to use the tools of economics to design the program to get the most health benefit out of the pledged fund.

Wills:  Our article in Health Affairs examined the performance of the program so far.  To gauge its performance, we compared the rollout of a first-generation pneumococcal vaccine without the advance market commitment to the rollout of second-generation vaccines under the pilot program.  You can see in Exhibit 4 that without the advanced market commitment there was a nine-year lag between the introduction of the vaccine in rich compared to poor (GAVI-eligible) countries.

On the other hand, in Exhibit 5, under the advanced market commitment, the lag between the rollout of the pneumococcal vaccine in developed and developing countries was virtually eliminated.  While time will tell the ultimate benefit of the program, it appears that the initiative had a dramatic effect.

These exhibits just scratch the surface of the work we did.  We collected all sorts of data on when vaccines were introduced in various countries, the number of vaccinations administered each year, not just for pneumococcus but for other vaccine rollouts such as for polio and measles.  We also used economics to study how alternative designs might have changed the costs and benefits of the program.

Prof. Snyder:  So you can see that the course work and research students are involved in at Dartmouth have the potential to make a real impact on broad issues like global health.  The opportunity to work closely on with undergraduates is one of the big reasons that I joined the Dartmouth faculty.

Wills and Prof. Snyder:  Congratulations Class of 2016 and welcome to Dartmouth!

Apr 192012
 

Dimensions of Dartmouth has officially begun! We’re so excited to meet future ’16s and welcome them to Dartmouth!

If you can’t make it, make sure to join us tonight for our live broadcast of the Class of 2016: Official Introduction starting at 8:30 PM Eastern Time.

Watch live online. No camera required. Parents & family welcome.

http://www.dartmouth.edu/~dartmouthdirect/dartmouth-direct-live

Taken by Dartmouth Flickr

Apr 182012
 

Emily Mason-Osann ’11 is the director of the Dartmouth Outing Club’s First-Year Trips Program.

Hi Class of 2016!!!!

Welcome, Welcome, Welcome! First of all, congratulations on making it through the stress (or not) of college applications and decisions, and welcome to Dartmouth!

I’m Emily, although I usually go by Emo, and I’m the Director of DOC First-Year Trips for 2012.  I’m a member of the class of 2011, and just finished my B.E. degree from Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering where I studied biochemical engineering.  I enjoy studying proteins, reading in my hammock, and – now – directing DOC Trips.  I’m incredibly excited about all of you coming to Dartmouth in a few months, and I hope you’re excited to go on a DOC Trip when you arrive!

DOC First-Year Trips started 77 years ago when a few upperclassmen invited some first year students to go on a hike before classes started.  Since then the program has grown and improved dramatically.  The program is run by students, including a program directorate, ~55 support crew members, ~300 trip leaders, and countless other student volunteers.  The primary goal of the program is to welcome the entire class of 2016!

We offer many levels of trips from beginner to advanced, and many different types of trips from whitewater kayaking to yoga to hiking.  We hope we have something that will interest each one of you.  Each trip has two upperclassmen leaders, and four to ten new Dartmouth students.   The trips consists of one afternoon and night in Hanover getting to know your group, two nights out exploring New Hampshire, and then one afternoon and night playing and eating at the beautiful Moosilauke Ravine Lodge (which Dartmouth College owns and operates in Warren, NH).  DOC Trips is a great way to have a lot of fun, meet some of your peers, and explore that beautiful area that Dartmouth is lucky enough to reside in.

My freshman year I went on canoeing a canoeing trip with eight other ‘11s, and last year I led a hiking trip across Franconia Ridge with six ‘15s.  I really want to go on our Nature Exploration trip that we offer because I wish I knew more about my surroundings when I’m in the wilderness. And while you will soon receive paperwork regarding registration for DOC Trips, just know that whatever trip you decide to go on – it can be a really fun and exciting experience!

Trips is a wonderful (in my opinion) and unique Dartmouth tradition, that can introduce you to the college, welcome you to the Dartmouth community, provide you with upperclassmen to help you when you need it and a whole lot more.  Everyone’s experience with Trips is different, but we try our very hardest to welcome YOU, whoever you are, wherever you came from, whoever you want to be, to your new home at Dartmouth.

In the upcoming weeks and months (as you count down the days until you arrive), explore our DOC Trips blog, check us out on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and if you ever have any questions – feel free to contact us Our team of volunteers is getting prepped for your arrival now and throughout the summer, so we want you to have the best experience possible this fall!

I’m excited for Trips and for all of you to be here!

See you soon,

Emily (Emo) Mason-Osann ‘11

Apr 172012
 

Kathy Cottingham is a Professor of Biological Sciences at Dartmouth.

Dear Class of 2016:

Welcome to Dartmouth!  I hope you give us a close look!

I do research and teach ecology and biostatistics in the Department of Biological Sciences, which is housed within the wonderful new Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center.  One of the many reasons I like Dartmouth is that I am able to meld my research and teaching in new, exciting, and fun ways.  This is especially true during summer quarter, which is the busy “field” season for most ecologists – we work very hard to collect lots of data and samples during the all-too-short New Hampshire summers.

Last August, I brought the 12 students enrolled in Methods in Ecology to Lake Sunapee, one of my primary study sites.  The students learned about aquatic ecology firsthand while helping our research team to sample the sediments (the muck at the bottom of the lake) at six sites around one cove.  We had great weather and it was a win-win outing – that level of sampling would have taken our research team weeks, but instead took just two afternoons, and I think the students had a lot of fun helping out!

In addition to classroom involvement in research projects, Dartmouth offers undergraduate students numerous opportunities to conduct independent research. For example, the Honors thesis of alumna Cayelan Carey ’06 helped launch our project on nuisance cyanobacteria in Lake Sunapee and other low-nutrient lakes across northern New England.

If you’re looking for an institution where you can take classes with faculty doing cutting-edge research – and then work side-by-side on research projects with those same faculty members, Dartmouth might be the right place for you.

Hope to see you in the fall!

Apr 142012
 

Art History Professor Adrian Randolph checks in with three quick posts about art history at Dartmouth.

Renaissance Society of America

A couple of weeks ago I was in Washington DC to give a paper at the Renaissance Society of America’s annual conference. I was speaking about centaurs in Renaissance art (I’m a professor of Art History), specifically in Botticelli’s painting of a “Woman with a Centaur” (see picture). In the audience was Diana Bullen Presciuti ’98, one of my first students at Dartmouth. She has gone on to get her PhD from Michigan is now teaching at the College of Wooster. In any event, I spoke about the centaur in the painting, focusing on some recent thinking about ‘posthumanism’ and animal studies. Why is it we are fascinated by human-animal hybrids? Why were fifteenth-century Italians fascinated by such creatures? I started thinking about these issues a few years back, and Maria Fillas ’11 (who is now working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art) helped me as a Presidential Scholar—this is a program that allows students to partner with a professor around a shared area of research for a term or two. Scholars can get paid or, under certain circumstances, get course credit. It’s a great opportunity.

The Hood Museum of Art

Draped figure of Dionysos, late 2nd–3rd century CE, marble. Yale University Art Gallery: Gift of the Olsen Foundation; 1956.8.1.

The Hood Museum of Art is a wonderful place. Right now, I’m writing up a short text about a small ancient Roman marble sculpture of Dionysos, on loan from Yale. It will be on display at an exhibition taking place this spring showcasing teaching with objects. The website linked to the exhibition has pictures of the objects that will be on display, as well as videos, where you’ll get to hear some Dartmouth students talk about a rather intriguing Greek vase). In the fall, the museum will be staging a major exhibition of works by indigenous artists of Australia; the Hood received a gift recently that makes it one of the major repositories of Australian “Aboriginal” painting.

Black Family Visual Arts Center

Next year will be the Year of the Arts at Dartmouth. The idea is to showcase some of the arts. It came about because we are opening the new Black Family Visual Arts Center, a sharp new building designed by Machado and Silvetti, and we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Hopkins Center for the Arts. There will be lots going on: visitors, performances, lectures and student activities. If you are interested in the arts, you’re going to love Dartmouth.

Apr 142012
 

Christine Wohlforth is the Acting Director of the Dickey Center for International Understanding


Some of the best parts of the Dartmouth experience take place away from Dartmouth. Take Victoria B. ’11, who did an internship in Hanoi, Vietnam with an organization promoting sustainable development in Vietnam two summers ago. By her own admission, she was unprepared for the experience, and struggled to work with no Vietnamese language, living in a dorm with a bunch of westerners and commuting an hour each way to her job. Upon her return, she described the experience as “challenging, exhausting, rewarding, frustrating and scary”. But her internship, supported by the Dickey Center for International Understanding, also gave her the opportunity to try out real research, some of which she incorporated into her senior honors thesis. It also gave her the desire to return to Vietnam. Better prepared to embrace the culture she had only superficially encountered previously, Victoria just completed a Lombard Public Service fellowship working with Save the Children. She took Vietnamese, and practiced this skill interviewing street youth and families living with HIV/AIDS. Victoria is now preparing for a career in public service and advancing her study of Vietnamese. As she says, “Vietnam truly changed my life, and I am grateful for every minute I got to spend in that amazing country.”

Victoria B. '11 with some of the youths she worked with on her Lombard Fellowship in Hanoi.

Mar 312012
 

Dear Class of 2016:

Congratulations to all of you and welcome! I’m the vice chair of the economics department and looking forward to seeing you here for Dimensions weekend and First Year Orientation. I spent today teaching my seminar on finance and I have a couple of ideas for you to ponder. Look at the enclosed graph. The green line is the yield on the Treasury Inflation Protected Security. The TIPS. This is the yield on the 5 year TIPS. The TIPS pays this rate PLUS the future change in the price level. Thus as an investor you get the real yield on the TIPS (the green line) plus inflation.

What is that enormous spike during the financial crisis? Apparently the market expected deflation (ie inflation would be negative) so in order to hold the TIPS investors demanded 4% figuring that -2% “inflation” would be added to their return. Would it make any sense to expect deflation in the US economy? Couldn’t the Federal Reserve just print more money to cause inflation if it needed to? You have probably heard the terms QE and QE2 meaning quantitative easing. QE and QE2 have a lot to do with this ability to create inflation. Under quantitative easing the Fed has been creating money and buying bonds with it. What does that accomplish? Creating (printing) more money and injecting it into the market keeps interest rates down and tends to increase the price level. This is exactly what the Fed wants to do in this weak economy.

Stranger still, why is the green line below zero now? Its at minus 1%. Why are investors willing to lock in a **negative** real yield on a five year Treasury investment? If banks are paying zero percent, and there is 2 percent inflation, banks are paying -2% in real terms and the TIPS is paying -1% in real terms. Is that the best investors can do and would they be better off putting their money in the stock market and trying to earn a positive real return?

The financial markets are a fascinating part of the economy and our aim is to help you understand these phenomena at a deep level. Each of my students is working on their own research project related to some aspect of asset prices or firm or investor behavior. I hope and suspect that many of you will be economics majors and it will be interesting to see how the world evolves during your time here

Yours truly,

Prof Bruce Sacerdote ’90