Alysson Satterlund appointed new director of OPAL

Alysson Satterlund, the current director for student organizations and interim director of the Women’s Resource Center and PRIDE Center at California State University, Sacramento, will assume the position of director of the College’s Office of Pluralism and Leadership on Feb. 15, according to Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson.

The selection process for the new OPAL director involved a national search conducted by a committee composed of students, faculty and staff, Johnson said.

The committee narrowed the choice down to three “top-notch” finalists, but Satterlund was the “clear consensus candidate,” Johnson said.Satterlund’s experience working with groups including LGBT students and students of color influenced her selection, Johnson said.Satterlund worked in higher education for 17 years prior to her selection, including four years at the University of North Carolina and three years at the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University. Satterlund also worked at California State University and as dean and special assistant to the Chancellor at the City College of San Francisco in California, which Satterlund described as “a big experience in collaborating,” according to an email from the Dean of the College to staff. In this position, Satterlund served 95,000 students and coordinated bi-annual meetings of the San Francisco Higher Education Consortium.Satterlund’s expertise and leadership will move OPAL in a positive direction, helping it to evolve as an organization, Johnson said.

“In addition to her expertise in organizational management communication, I think she’ll bring a leadership style that encourages a collaborative work environment,” Johnson said.

Satterlund will help OPAL focus on its two complementary goals building an inclusive community for students and “building bridges between students across the spectrum,” according to Johnson.

“[OPAL] is one of the places where different students can connect to the campus and connect to the institution and engage,” Johnson said. “In order to be the well-rounded students we want them to be, they need to be able to communicate across difference.”Satterlund was drawn to Dartmouth because of its “amazing community” and the closeness that comes from working at a school smaller than ones she has been a part of in the past, she said.

“There’s an intimacy when you get to actually know people and see them on a regular basis,” Satterlund said. “That’s what I loved about Duke I could see my students in the cafeteria.”

As director of OPAL, Satterlund said she plans to emphasize the organization’s role in building communities and bridges between groups at Dartmouth.”One of the things I loved when I was visiting campus and doing research was this idea that OPAL, along with other partners, was really there to build a community,” Satterlund said. “I’m just so thrilled to be a part of what comes next and to help shape that in collaboration with others.”

In her new position at OPAL, Satterlund will aim to bring together different groups on campus to help the organization’s mission of community building.

“I would want it to be something that students and community members could look to and be proud to be associated with and support,” Satterlund said. “My vision is a community working together for the benefit of themselves and others.”

Satterlund received both her bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from California State University, Chico, and she received a PhD from UNC, Chapel Hill in interpersonal and organizational communication, according to the email. She additionally holds a certificate from Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management.

Daily Debriefing

College officials and financial aid experts are raising questions about U.S. President Barack Obama’s proposals regarding the affordability of college education, first outlined in last Tuesday’s State of the Union address, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. The proposals include a “Race to the Top” program for higher education that ties a proposed $10 billion of federal campus-based aid to colleges keeping tuition costs steady and the “enrollment and graduation of low-income students” high, The Chronicle reported. Experts have raised concerns about how this program would affect public institutions, which have been increasing tuition costs to balance cuts in state funding. Other proposals include keeping the interest rate of subsidized Stafford loans at 3.4 percent, doubling the number of available work-study jobs, and making the American Opportunity Tax Credit permanent, according to The Chronicle.

The U.S. Appeals Court for the Sixth Circuit revived the lawsuit of Julea Ward, a former psychology graduate student at Eastern Michigan University who refused to counsel gay students, according to Inside Higher Ed. Ward was dismissed from a master’s program for declining to counsel gay students and instead referring them to other counselors. Ward claimed that EMU denied her the right to observe her faith, while EMU said that a counselor who refers all members of a group to another counselor violates the code of conduct, Inside Higher Ed reported. The appeals ruling overturned a federal district judge’s 2010 decision that EMU was entitled to expel Ward from the program. In a unanimous decision, the court concluded that a jury could reasonably find that the university was using its policies as a pretext for discriminating against Ward for her religious beliefs, according to Inside Higher Ed.

At approximately 4 p.m. on Friday, many early decision applicants to Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., were incorrectly informed of their acceptance, The New York Times reported. Jeff Kosmacher, a Vassar spokesman, explained on Saturday that a “test letter” intended as a placeholder for the real admissions decision was not replaced before applicants viewed their decisions online. The error was discovered at around 4:30 p.m., according to The Times. A total of 254 students applied for this round of early decision, and 122 saw the test letter, 76 of whom were not actually accepted, The Times reported. The college sent a letter to all 254 students between 6:30 and 7 p.m. on Friday citing a “system error” and apologizing for the mistake. They were also informed that the correct decisions were now available online, according to The Times. While some parents have called for a refund of their application fees, Kosmacher said “no other step is in the works,” The Times reported.

Peter Brooks analyzes artists in their old age

Students and faculty crowded into Haldeman 41 Monday afternoon to discuss the works of William Butler Yeats, Paul Cezanne and Sigmund Freud with Yale University comparative literature professor Peter Brooks. Brooks discussed the way in which the artists took a radical turn in their work as they neared the ends of their lives. His lecture was based off the last chapter of his most recent book, “The Enigmas of Identity.”

“I have the impression that there have been over the ages artists with the capacity for what you might call self-reinvention late in their careers,” Brooks said. “Their work seems to take off in an audacious leap that both comments on and radically transforms their earlier practice.”

He said he has noted this phenomenon in the work of Yeats, Victor Hugo, Cezanne, Titian, Ludwig van Beethoven, Richard Wagner, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Marcel Proust and Freud. He briefly recited a section of poetry by Yeats before moving on to the late work of Cezanne, produced in Provence, France, in the final years of his life. Brooks showed several of Cezanne’s late paintings, drawing attention to the way in which “the paint is diminishing and blank canvas is beginning to take over.”

Brooks described these paintings as “strikingly non-representational” and yet “utterly lucid and readable.”

Brooks said that Cezanne was able to revert to a state of “infantile vision” at the end of his life due to his infirmity, a state he had desired to achieve earlier in his career.

The main body of Brooks’ lecture included a discussion of Freud’s later works which, according to Brooks, “cast a troubling retrospective light on the 19th century historicisms” with which he began his career.

“I only discovered Freud in my early 30s,” Brooks later said in an interview with The Dartmouth.

Brooks found that his own feelings regarding human beings corresponded to Freud’s work.

“It just seems to make so much sense of things,” he said.

In his work “Analysis Terminable and Interminable,” Freud “famously declares psychoanalysis to be an impossible profession,” Brooks said in his lecture. Freud’s work “Moses and Monotheism,” which he produced between 1934 and 1938, presents a compositional structure so strange that one wonders why he did not totally revise it, Brooks said. The work contains two prefaces, a host of repetitions and apparent non sequiturs, according to Brooks.

Within the course of the work, Freud “effectively declares a pox on both the major houses of religion at this time,” Brooks said.

Brooks questioned why Freud, who had such a negative view of religion, felt the need to write a book about Moses. Brooks said that “Freud has thoroughly self-identified with the man Moses,” which can be seen in the way that he portrays his sense of his own future importance.

Discussing the book’s conclusions, Brooks said that Freud’s acute awareness of Nazi aggression and the purging of Jews following the Anschluss is clear. He foretells a vaster murder of the bearers of ethical consciousness, according to Brooks.

Brooks went on to discuss the way in which Freud “addresses the ethics of psychoanalysis,” stating that the work of analysis involves two people, each of which have a distinct role. It is the patient’s role to remember even that which has been forgotten, and it is the analyst’s role to make out and construct what has been forgotten from the traces of what has been left behind.

Freud gave a final reading of Honore de Balzac’s novel “La Peau de Chagrin” before he died, which Freud said was an appropriate text for the end of life because it is all about shrinking, according to Brooks. It is significant that he chose to read this before his death because “all of Freud’s late system of thought really lies in a nutshell in the first of Balzac’s great novels,” Brooks said.

Brooks said that, like Yeats, Cezanne and Matisse, Freud’s response in later life was to reject forbearance and “to write the most provocative stuff of his long and provocative career.”

Comparative literature professor Lawrence Kritzman described Brooks as “one of the most outstanding literary critics in both French and [comparative literature].” Kritzman described Brooks’s work as “groundbreaking,” and said Brooks knows texts like few others.

German and comparative literature professor Klaus Mladek expressed disappointment that the question-and-answer session after the lecture did not last longer and was not more lively. He said the passages from Freud quoted by Brooks were very strong and were provocative enough to stimulate discussion.

Brooks’ lecture, titled “Late Work,” was part of the annual James Hoffman 1982 Memorial Lecture, co-sponsored by the comparative literature program, the Leslie Center for the Humanities and the French and Italian, German and art history departments.

The lecture series is held in honor of James Hoffman ’82, a comparative literature major who was killed in a car crash by a drunk driver the summer following his graduation, according to French professor Roxana Verona. Verona said Hoffman’s thesis, “The Political Connection in Literature: A Study of Four Socialist Novels,” reflected “his social awareness and his interest in socialism.”

The memorial lecture, established by Hoffman’s family and the comparative literature department, invites scholars who reflect Hoffman’s “vision of literature as a means of social change.” Previous speakers include world-renowned literary critic Edward Said and architect Teddy Cruz.

Brooks’ work “resonates soundly with the spirit of the Hoffman lecture,” Verona said.

Discussing Brooks’ work, Verona said there was a strong thread of psychoanalysis from the beginning.

“I wonder if desire is not the password for understanding Peter Brooks’ work,” Verona said.

Aveni says apocalypse not imminent

Colgate University professor Anthony Aveni discussed the common misconceptions surrounding the Maya-predicted apocalypse in a lecture on Monday.

Anthony Aveni has made a career of the history behind the current media fad surrounding the allegedly upcoming Maya-predicted apocalypse. An author with 26 book titles to his name, Aveni, an astronomy professor, anthropology and sociology professor at Colgate University, discussed three aspects of the Mayan apocalypse the predictions of the form it would take, its role in Mayan culture and the particular interest American pop culture has taken in the subject in his lecture, “The End of Time: Maya Apocalypse Soon?” The lecture took place in Filene Auditorium in Moore Hall on Monday afternoon.

The predicted apocalypse date, December 20, 2012, is the winter solstice and the last day of the Mayan Long Count calendar, the longest of the culture’s many predicted, measured time cycles. The Maya were skilled artists, constructors and astronomers and were able to make predictions of incredible accuracy based on naked-eye observations, Aveni said.

From the relatively few surviving carved monuments and codices, archaeologists have learned that the Maya were much more concerned with “digging their roots into the past” and repaying their past debts to the gods than with the future, according to Aveni.

The Maya anticipated the coming 2012 winter solstice as a marker of the beginning of a new era.

“There’s a lot of activity down there,” Aveni said. “They’re preparing for a celebration of renewal … they’re not worried about the end of the world so much as excited.”

Rather than either of the popular American pop culture projections of a violent Armageddon or transcendence into a higher state of consciousness, the authentic Mayan view of the “turnover of the odometer” is closer to typical Western conceptions of New Year’s Day or Mardi Gras, according to Aveni.

Those who believe in the approaching end of time point to solar flares, Hurricane Katrina and the recent Japanese earthquake as signs of an impending upheaval. Aveni presented slides to the audience that showed the scientific weakness of these claims.

For instance, a comb-like graph of sunspot activity showed the historic oscillating pattern of solar flare frequency and severity, which has remained constant over time. He also referenced previous attempts to date the end of the world that aligned with significant natural events, such as the Great Comet of 1843. When 1843 came and went, the date was extended to 1844.

The Dresden Manuscript is the only Mayan codex in existence today that contains an allusion to the future. The images in the manuscript depict a flood story of destruction, but such stories are common across cultures and appear in different religions throughout history as a “metaphoric passing of old ways and a time of renewal at the end of a cycle,” Aveni said.

“This type of prediction was not apocalyptic’ in the movie sense of the word,” he said.

Americans are particularly fascinated by the Mayan calendar and its supposed prediction of the world’s end, according to Aveni.

“Religion in America has a long tradition of the apocalyptic,” he said. “People of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, New York State and people all across northwestern New England had notions of preparing the New World as a place of renewal.”

The American one dollar bill is printed with the words “Novus Ordo Seclorum,” meaning “New World Order,” which the United States was intended to begin.

“Christopher Columbus claimed to be ordained by God to bring the second coming,” Aveni said.

In tough times such as the 2008 recession, people are more prone to falling into “fin-de-siecle counter-culture like anti-materialism, anti-science, and conspiracy theories,” according to Aveni.

Various historians and authors have also examined the psychology behind apocalyptic followings and why people believe in Mayan predictions in particular. In his book “History of Religions,” Mircea Eliade presents the idea of “shared nostalgia, a desire to return to an origin, to antiquity,” according to Aveni.

“Aldous Huxley, in Perennial Philosophy,’ echoes Eliadi and says that people tend to believe in the existence of one absolute truth that can be achieved by returning to the past, which is why the Maya, as an ancient people, draw a particular following,” Aveni said.

Aveni related the germination of his interest in the mathematical aspects of Mayan culture as the product of a trip to Mexico. Persuaded by a group of students to escape the New England snow and ice, Aveni and 15 undergraduates traveled to Mexico to measure and gather first-hand data of the Mayan pyramids.

Debbie Haynes, a former student of Aveni’s who attended the lecture and now works at the Hood Museum of Art, went to Mexico on one of the first trips. An anthropology, art history and studio art major, she was inspired to pursue independent work translating Mayan glyphs.

The Mayan glyph code has only recently been cracked “because of [its] complex nature and lack of external reference points,” Haynes said. “The first step was identifying repetition of symbols that turned out to be historical markings and signatures.”

The initial deciphered codes were largely dates and signatures, offering the public a limited view of Mayan culture. This narrow aspect of the Mayan code became the face of Mayan culture in America, and was most likely responsible for the general public’s continued associations of astronomy with the Mayans, according to Haynes.

Other attendees were drawn to the lecture by academic interests and a desire to learn more about a popular topic.

“It’s been in the media, so I wanted to get a scientific perspective on it,” Sanja Miklin ’12 said.

The lecture was sponsored by the religion department.

Lack of proof hinders hazing investigations

Hazing allegations are rarely brought against Dartmouth Greek organizations, sports teams and other student groups due to the difficulty of finding witnesses to corroborate such accusations, according to Hanover Chief of Police Nicholas Giaccone. Recent hazing allegations by Andrew Lohse ’12 have brought increased visibility to the issue of hazing at Dartmouth and how both the College and the Hanover Police Department respond to these allegations.

There are many “entry points” that can initiate an investigation into claims of alleged hazing, according to Director of Judicial Affairs Nathan Miller. Students can report hazing that they have personally experienced, or Safety and Security officers responding to an incident call can report potential hazing violations. Concerned parents, faculty members, staff and anonymous tipsters have also sent emails reporting incidents in the past, according to Miller.

Once such a claim is made, Miller, along with Associate Dean of the College for Campus Life April Thompson and Director of Safety and Security and College Proctor Harry Kinne, initiates discussions to determine how to proceed, Miller said. If the hazing claims are made against a Greek house, the talks will also involve Greek Letter Organization and Societies Director Wes Schaub. In addition, the College is required by law to report such claims to Hanover Police, Schaub said.

The College receives anywhere from zero to four complaints regarding hazing each year, Miller said, though he stressed that these numbers do not remain consistent from year to year. The cases usually involve a Greek organization, an athletic team or a student group endorsed by the Council on Student Organizations, according to Miller.

Giaccone said, however, that complaints exclusively regarding hazing in Greek organizations occur one or two times per term. Of those complaints, usually no more than one case has enough evidence to be prosecuted, he said.

On Jan. 25, The Dartmouth published an opinion column by Lohse, in which Lohse accused his former fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, of hazing violations. Lohse brought his complaints to Thompson and Chief of Staff David Spalding, who he alleges did not adequately respond to his claims. Spalding and Thompson said they were unable to investigate Lohse’s claims as thoroughly as they would have liked because of his unwillingness to file a complaint on the record and his insistence on anonymity.

Anonymity, however, does not prevent the College from investigating any accusations of hazing, but it can restrict whether the College is able to formally adjudicate a case, according to Miller.

“It does not mean that we aren’t going to ask questions or look into something,” Miller said. “Even if we receive an anonymous report, we’re always going to call in that group or individuals if there’s an allegation.”

When a student who is not willing to testify on the record accuses a fraternity of hazing practices, Hanover Police and the College must find evidence to support his or her claims, Giaccone said.

“In the particular case of SAE, you have a named person who wishes to remain anonymous,” Giaccone said. “If you’re not going to use that person to directly testify, you try to seek out other individuals who observed what happened to that person.”

While the level of hazing may differ from case to case and can ultimately affect the severity of penalties, the varying severity of accusations does not change the College’s approach to investigations, Schaub said.

“We address all allegations of hazing in the same manner,” Schaub said. “I can’t speak for the criminal court processes, but we investigate and approach [allegations] in the same way regardless of what could be perceived as a variance in severity.”

Once an investigation is initiated, the College and Hanover Police conduct separate investigations and keep separate files on the allegations, although information is shared between the two parties, according to Schaub. Typically, the College will assist Hanover Police in its investigation, Giaccone said. If it is determined that criminal charges can be brought against an organization, Hanover Police may subpoena Safety and Security’s file, according to Giaccone.

There is no specific protocol for how such claims are investigated, according to Giaccone.

“You go where the evidence takes you,” he said. “There is no set formula since each case has its own set of circumstances.”

The College defines hazing as “any action taken or situation created involving prospective or new members of a group or as a condition of continued membership in a group (fraternity, sorority, team, club or other organization), which would be perceived by a reasonable person as likely to produce mental or physical discomfort, harm, stress, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule,” according to the College’s Student Handbook.

New Hampshire state law, however, only covers situations in which psychological or physical harm could be inflicted on a student. Consequently, the College’s threshold is “far lower than New Hampshire state law,” Giaccone said.

As such, it is often difficult to build a case against an accused organization, even if pledging activities are witnessed, according to Giaccone.

In the fall, the College adjudicated two allegations of hazing by fraternities. Although the College has not formally released the names of those organizations, Giaccone confirmed that Hanover Police were involved in one of the investigations, which involved Theta Delta Chi fraternity.

An anonymous female called the Hanover Police on Oct. 10 at 8:30 p.m. to report that there was shouting and a possible physical altercation occurring at the stone church “behind West Wheelock Street,” according to the police report.

When police officers arrived on the scene, they found Theta Delt members and pledges participating in what the house refers to as “Hopes, Fears and Dreams,” Giaccone said. A group of pledges had been blindfolded and were being led individually to the steps of Theta Delt’s physical plant, where “fraternity members would beat the ground and stairs with sticks while another house member screamed like he was being hit,” Giaccone said.

In this case, no charges were filed against Theta Delt because Hanover Police felt the psychological effects of the initiation practices fell into a “gray area,” Giaccone said. The investigation is now closed.

For situations in which no actual hazing is witnessed such as Lohse’s accusations against SAE the only way to attempt to build a case is through interviews, according to Giaccone.

“We get assistance from the College in who the members of a fraternity are, who the pledges are,” he said.

In trying to find additional witnesses, Giaccone said investigators have run into problems in the past because students are unwilling to come forward.

“You have people who don’t want to be socially ostracized, no matter what the level you’re looking at whether it’s a fraternity, sorority, sports team or any other extracurricular where there’s a group membership,” he said. “Unless somebody was really seriously injured, there would more than likely not be corroborating witnesses.”

Giaccone said he believes the definition of hazing varies from person to person.

“I think there is a certain level of hazing that goes on, but it’s all just different forms of variations of what hazing is,” he said. “Hazing to one person may not be hazing to another.”

While Hanover Police’s role in investigating claims regarding hazing is purely procedural, Miller and Schaub said they are both involved in efforts to combat hazing at College.

“We are always trying to educate people on better methods of bringing in new members,” Schaub said.

The College focuses on opening lines of communication between students and the administration regarding hazing practices, according to Miller.

“Education is a key component of getting people knowledgeable of how to report it if they feel uncomfortable,” Miller said. “It’s very similar to reporting sexual assault there is hesitation to bring that forward sometimes, and we’re focused on letting people know it’s okay to come to us if you feel uncomfortable with something.”

On Feb. 1, the film “Finding Kind,” a documentary about the effects of “girl-on-girl bullying,” is being shown in Collis Common Ground, followed by a discussion led by Dartmouth professor and New Hampshire District Court Judge Jennifer Sargent. The event is being sponsored by the Panhellenic Council, GLOS and the College’s eight Panhellenic sororities and is part of the Greek system’s ongoing efforts to educate students about hazing, Miller said.

The College’s fraternities are also in the process of finding a speaker to come to the College and discuss hazing, according to Miller.

Prof. studies rare ‘face blindness’

Experts in psychology have long known that prosopagnosia a condition also known as face blindness is caused by brain damage, but it was unknown until recently that roughly 2 percent of the population is born with the facial recognition disorder, according to psychological and brain sciences professor Brad Duchaine, who devotes his time to studying the condition.

People with prosopagnosia often cannot recognize the faces of close friends or even family members and have to rely on other clues, such as voice or gait. Prosopagnosics usually have other types of recognition impairment, such as place or object recognition, but sometimes it is just an issue of face perception, Duchaine said.

“There are a lot of people out there that have face-processing deficiencies,” Duchaine said.

Through his research, Duchaine said he hopes to better understand the science behind the condition in order to develop ways to help those who suffer from it. In conjunction with Ken Nakayama, a psychology professor at Harvard University, Duchaine said he devotes his time to studying the cognitive and neural basis of prosopagnosia.

Duchaine said he is interested in discovering the process in the brain that leads to face perception and hopes to find the genes involved in developmental or genetically-based prosopagnosia. He is also working on developing better tests for identifying children with prosopagnosia, improving treatment and raising awareness about the condition. Nakayama and Duchaine created Faceblind.org in January 2002, a website that serves as a forum for people with prosopagnosia. Through the website, about 6,500 prosopagnosics can converse with prominent experts about their condition, according to Duchaine.

Duchaine’s research can be used to develop methods to help prosopagnosics improve their facial recognition abilities.

“[Duchaine’s research] is important for understanding social interactions, but it is also important for computer science and artificial intelligence,” Ming Meng, a psychological and brain sciences professor, said.

If scientists can understand how facial perception works in the human brain, perhaps one day they can develop technologies that can recognize faces as well, a development that would be important for the future of the technological world, according to Meng.

Duchaine joined the Dartmouth faculty in June 2010 and has been well-received by the community, he said. Duchaine offers a “unique perspective” on the field, and his presence has broadened the ability of the psychological and brain sciences department to address the complicated relationship between brain processing and social perception, Meng said.

“Of all the professors I’ve had at Darmouth, Duchaine has been one of my favorites,” Jesse Gomez ’12, who works with Duchaine in the psychological and brain sciences department’s social perception lab, said. “It’s been great working with him. He’s a genius, but he’s so down to earth.”

Gomez said that Duchaine is not only studying the problem but also developing tests to better identify the disease and spread awareness.

“Prosopagnosia can be debilitating, and Duchaine offers a personal viewpoint to the study of [the disease],” Gomez said.

Duchaine previously worked at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London, where he and his colleagues brought together the largest sample of prosopagnosics in the world. Duchaine recieved his PhD in psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Vision Sciences Lab at Harvard.

Men’s tennis team fares well on the road, women do not

The men's tennis team (3-0) defeated George Washington University, the University of Iowa and the College of William and Mary last weekend.

The Dartmouth men’s and women’s tennis teams were busy this weekend, both playing back-to-back games against tough opponents. The men’s team recorded wins against George Washington University, the University of Iowa and the College of William and Mary at the William and Mary tournament in Virginia, while the women’s team suffered tough losses on the road against Northwestern University and Arkansas University in Evanston, Ill.

The Big Green men (3-0, 0-0 Ivy) played well in their first official matches of the season after a scrimmage earlier this month against Ivy rival Harvard University. The men first stepped on the court on Saturday to play a tough GWU side looking to notch a winning start to the tournament.

Dartmouth won two of the three doubles encounters the other being abandoned at 5-5 to earn the doubles point before winning three out of the top five singles matches to settle the tie, 4-2.

The match against Iowa later that day proved to be a much tougher affair. After losing the doubles point 2-1 against its opponents, the fate of the Big Green rested on clutch play down the stretch by No. 1 Mike Laser ’12. Laser took the first set of his match, but quickly dropped the second set 6-0, Laser rebounded impressively to take the deciding third set 6-1 against Iowa’s Will Vasos, settling the tie 4-3 in the Big Green’s favor.

On Sunday, the men played their final game of the tournament against host team William and Mary, and the match proved to be a comfortable one for the team. After taking the doubles point 2-1, wins against the Tribe at the No. 2, No. 4 and No. 6 positions sealed the decision in Dartmouth’s favor. The men will now play Stony Brook University in their home opener on Saturday hoping to continue their undefeated start to this tennis season.

While the men came off their road trip with three straight wins, the No. 57 Big Green women (0-3, 0-0 Ivy) could not overcome Arkansas and host Northwestern in Evanston, Ill. this weekend. Northwestern, ranked No. 12 in the country, played true to its ranking with high-quality tennis on Saturday. Dartmouth lost its doubles match in addition to dropping all six of its singles matches in straight sets, losing the match 7-0.

Sunday’s match against No. 24 Arkansas also did not end well for the Big Green. Once again matched up against a strong team, the Big Green fought hard but lost the encounter 6-1. Dartmouth’s bright spot on the day came from No. 1 seed Sarah Leonard ’12. Leonard beat Arkansas’ Stephanie Roy in straight sets to win the match 6-3, 7-5.

Co-captain Shelley Carpeni ’12 said the team played well despite the loss.

“Two of the freshmen, Akiko Okuda [’15] and Janet Liu [’15], played really good games,” she said. “It was impressive because they are so young and played so well against top teams.”

Carpeni added that the team will train hard this week to prepare for next weekend’s upcoming matches.

“We’re going to go back to the court, work on our fitness and bring a higher level of concentration and overall level of play this coming weekend,” she said.

The Dartmouth women will look to rebound this weekend as they play their first two home games on Saturday with a doubleheader against St. John’s University and Stony Brook. The men will also host Stony Brook on Saturday in addition to taking on the United States Military Academy at West Point at home on Sunday.

Alexi Pappas ’12 trains with focus, breaks distance records

Alexi Pappas '12 (right) cheers on a teammate during the track and field team's Jan. 21 home meet against Yale and Columbia Universities.

Amidst the many pages and painful hours of effort that go into a senior English thesis, Alexi Pappas ’12 finds herself in season again. This is nothing new for Pappas, who has three competitive seasons during Fall, Winter and Spring terms. With cross-country in the fall and indoor and outdoor track throughout the winter and spring, respectively, Pappas exemplifies the balance and responsibility required from a Dartmouth student-athlete.

Unlike the majority of Dartmouth student-athletes, however, Pappas’ name is now in the Dartmouth record books. She ran a 9:14.75 in the 3000-meter run this past weekend at the Terrier Invitational hosted by Boston University, beating the previous record held by current women’s cross-country coach Maribel Sanchez Souther ’96 by a little more than a tenth of a second.

Prior to the Terrier invitational, Pappas’ personal record in the race was a 9:59.50. Her new record represents roughly a 45-second improvement, nothing short of spectacular in the world of distance running. Pappas’ drastic improvement has certainly caught the attention of many. Dartmouth’s distance coach Mark Coogan said, Pappas’ time has her on track to qualify for the NCAA National Championships in March. Her record time would have qualified for Nationals last season, and nothing seems to be stopping her this year.

She also holds the Big Green record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase for outdoor track. Still, Pappas’ track career had a different tone not long ago.

“My freshman year, I was definitely the worst on the team,” Pappas said.

Pappas said she attributes her success to her training in the summer and the change in mindset that accompanied it.

“This past summer, I was really able to establish a distance base for my running,” she said. “Running is a lifestyle. You need to get your intense training in, but it does not stop there. You need proper nutrition for your body and sleep to recover.”

Pappas also credits Coogan with preparing her to be successful.

“Our coach has done a fantastic job preparing all of us to be mentally strong,” she said. “He prepares us for the moment in the race when it hurts most so that we can push through the pain and keep going.”

Pappas is not the only one to see improvements throughout her time at Dartmouth. The entire women’s distance running program has improved as well, because the program was not as focused four years ago, according to Pappas. There was a history of quitting, and the program as a whole was not running at a top level, she said.

“Our team is now more responsible and better capable of maintaining a competitive level throughout the season,” she said. “We all do better at maintaining the running lifestyle that we need to be successful.”

Coogan, who took control of the program two years ago, said he is excited with the group’s development.

“When you have names like Alexi’s and Abbey [D’Agostino ’14]’s appearing nationally with great times, it helps significantly with recruiting girls and convincing them Dartmouth track and field is the right choice,” he said. “Girls want to go where they will be successful.”

Pappas’ achievements and improvements have many effects beyond the personal level. As a team captain, her performance has inspired others on her team to perform at a higher level. Caitie Meyer ’14 cites Pappas as a source of inspiration both on and off the track.

“She is really awesome with approaching people who are having a tough time with anything,” Meyer said. “She’s helped all of us out with encouragement during meets and talking about non-track related issues. She really leads by example.”

Pappas said she takes her captainship very seriously and uses her recent performance and improvement as a way to set the standard for incoming freshmen. Her 45-second improvement also helps show the benefits of her hard work to her teammates.

“She really shows everyone what hard work can do to improve ourselves,” Meyer said. “There is a lot of excitement around the team because of our performance so far, and Pappas proves that we can all get better.”

In addition to being in season for three terms every year, Pappas is a member of Kappa Delta Epsilon sorority, a member of the Dog Day Players, an improvisational comedy troupe, and writes for the Generic Good Morning Message. She also is a poetry lover and works as a teaching assistant for a poetry class this term.

After graduation, Pappas said she is interested in getting a master of fine arts degree. She said she is also considering becoming involved in making a film.