Dec 062012
 

Chris O’Connell ’13 is the director of the Dartmouth Outing Club’s First-Year Trips Program.

Class of 2017 – Welcome to Dartmouth!

Congratulations on your acceptance and for getting through one of the more stressful parts of high school!  I remember how overwhelmingly crazy this time of year was with college decisions, so I hope you have had a few minutes to relax, celebrate, and get as excited as you possibly can for your next four years in Hanover.

Students gather on the lawn of Robinson Hall for the start of their DOC Trip.

My name is Chris O’Connell and I am the director of the Dartmouth Outing Club First-Year Trips Program – usually just known as “Trips.”  I am SO incredibly excited for you all to come to Dartmouth in 8ish months.  It seems like a long ways away (…because it is), but it will fly by and before you know it, we’ll be welcoming you to campus for your First-Year Trip!

DOC First-Year Trips first got its start in 1935 when some older students involved in the College’s outing club invited some new students to go hiking with them before the school year started.  Since then, the program has evolved, grown, and expanded to be much more than exploring the beautiful New Hampshire outdoors – Trips is an introduction to the College’s traditions, a fun way to meet other ‘17s, and (most importantly) an exciting welcome into this community…your community!

Each Trip is 5 days long and takes place right before the College’s official orientation program in late August/early September.  The program is entirely student-run: 60 support crew members, 300 trip leaders, and countless other student volunteers make DOC Trips an incredibly memorable and exciting experience for the incoming class.  Each trip has two, well-trained, upperclassmen leaders & 7-10 new students.  Don’t worry if you haven’t been in the wilderness before – we offer trips of all levels and varieties, everything from Cabin Camping to Whitewater Kayaking to Community Service to Mountain Biking.  We have added a lot of different types of trips over the years, so we hope you’ll find one that interests you!

The hiking trip I had the chance to lead as a sophomore!

I’m a member of the (great) Class of 2013, so it was only four years ago that I went on my own DOC Trip – rock climbing! I had never been climbing before, but I had the chance to learn and check out a beautiful portion of the Appalachian Trail.  Three years ago, I got to lead a hiking trip in the White Mountains and had a blast leading a group of freshmen through their first days at Dartmouth.  The experience you can have on your DOC Trips is one of Dartmouth’s most unique traditions — it’s a great way to get introduced to people different from yourself, learn about the Dartmouth community, and get connected to upperclassmen who can help you out during your time at the College.

Everyone’s experience with DOC Trips is different, but we are working very hard to welcome YOU – whoever you are, wherever you came from, whoever you want to be in college – to your new home at Dartmouth.  Registration materials (with dates & details) for Trips will be sent to you later in 2013, but for now – enjoy this moment and get excited for an incredible four years!

I’m looking forward to welcoming you to campus next fall! Enjoy the rest of your senior year!

Chris O’Connell ‘13

P.S. Can’t get enough of Dartmouth right now? Check out our Trips blog for more stories, photos, and excitement!

 

May 252012
 

Peter Hackett is a Professor of Theater and chair of Dartmouth’s theater department.

To the Class of 2016:

Every day as I walk to my office in the Hopkins Center for the Arts, I pass the portraits of the extraordinarily dynamic teachers who served in the theater department years ago. The gentleman with the impish smile and the irresistible twinkle in his eye is Professor Rod Alexander, the man who guided me to a life in the theater when I was, like you, an eager and energetic Dartmouth undergraduate.

A consummate comedian and master teacher, Rod not only knew exactly what to say to achieve the maximum impact on his students, he knew the perfect time to say it.

During one of the last rehearsals for my senior directing project, The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd, Rod and I watched with dismay as the chorus of urchins tripped and shuffled their way through their dance numbers. Several evenings of extra dance rehearsals had resulted in no noticeable improvements. After the final blackout, Rod leaned over to me and whispered, “Put glitter on their shoes.” I had learned by this time that it would be very wise to follow Rod’s advice even if I didn’t necessarily understand it. Sure enough, on opening night, with the stage lights sparkling on their rainbow colored feet, the chorus danced with a nimbleness and precision I had never seen before! As I watched the urchins fly through their numbers, I realized that Rod was a motivational genius.

In 2004, after thirty years in the professional theater, I came back to Dartmouth to join the faculty and follow in my mentor’s footsteps. Rod had always made us keenly aware of theatrical tradition and of our shared obligation to train the next generation of aspiring theater artists.

Rod Alexander and his remarkable colleagues in those portraits inspired me with their passion for the theater, challenged me with their standards of artistic excellence, and gave me the skills to create a life in the vocation that I love. For that, I will be forever grateful.

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 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 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 292012
 

A note from tour guide David Jiang ’12: 

Hi ‘16s! At Dartmouth you can enjoy the beautiful Hanover campus as well as travel all over the world with our study abroad programs. I came into college knowing that I wanted to learn Chinese, but never imagined that I would end up spending three months traveling through China. Accompanied by 19 fellow Dartmouth students and a faculty advisor, I got to experience life as a student in Beijing.

During the day, we took classes with professors at Beijing Normal University. At night, we attended cultural events. With my free time I’d hop on a bus or subway and explore the city. From 10-story malls to traditional hutongs, Beijing has the perfect blend of old and new. We took two midterm trips, traveling to Tibet, Chengdu and Xi’an among others. I left the program with improved language skills, a greater understanding of Chinese culture and new friendships with my classmates that continued when we got back to campus. 64% of students study abroad in their four years here and now I know why. Come join the Big Green because you never know where your Dartmouth experience will take you.

Mar 292012
 

A note from Senior Tour Guide Dennis Zeveloff ’12: 

Congratulations on being accepted to Dartmouth! It’s been a great place to learn–the cross-curricular scope, student-professor interactions, and world-class research have really enhanced my academic experience. I can’t think of another place where I’d be able to help publish a textbook, run experiments on the school’s fMRI, travel to Bosnia, and write reports for the government all in four years.