Daily Debriefing

The Dartmouth-Hitchcock Advanced Response Team, along with aviation services provider Metro Aviation, Inc., was awarded the New England Helicopter Council’s 2012 Safety Award on April 17 in Tewksbury, Mass., according to a Dartmouth-Hitchcock press release. The award, presented at the council’s annual meeting, recognizes DHART and Metro Aviation for their “innovative operative practices and impeccable safety record” that includes the use of real-time tracking software and state-of-the-art weather radar, according to the release. DHART medical teams include critical care nurses, paramedics and respiratory care practitioners with a wealth of experience and a commitment to ongoing education, according to the release.

Cooper Union, an engineering university located in New York City that has traditionally provided a free education to its students, will begin charging tuition for its graduate programs next year, according to The New York Times. University President Jamshed Bharucha said that this “exciting” change comes after a commitment from the school to reduce its operating deficit by $20 million by 2018. While undergraduate students beginning next year will not have to pay tuition, Bharucha said the college has not committed to providing free education for subsequent classes, according to The Times. In addition to instituting tuition payments, the university plans to start new master’s programs and online programs designed to increase the university’s revenue, The Times reported.

The Student Honor Court at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill had its authority to hear allegations of sexual assault revoked this week, Inside Higher Education reported on Tuesday. Assistant Dean of Students Melinda Manning said that some of the 25-member Student Honor Court felt emotionally unequipped to handle such cases. The change comes in the wake of last year’s “Dear Colleague” letter issued by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights that said colleges have the responsibility to address sexual assault cases under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Morgan Abbot, a senior at UNC and vice chairman of the undergraduate Honor Court, said that the students on the court are unable to handle cases with “high-level sensitivity,” Inside Higher Ed reported.

Debate team climbs national ranks

After hours of debating the United States’ obligation to provide democracy assistance to Middle Eastern countries, Zack Elias ’14 and Alex Resar ’14 advanced to the elimination rounds of the American Forensic Association’s National Debate Tournament. The event was held from March 29 to April 2 at Emory University, and the Dartmouth students’ success was an impressive feat for sophomore college students, according to debate coach Dylan Quigley.

The pairing of Elias and Resar was one of the top 30 teams out of 78 to advance through the eight preliminary rounds into the elimination rounds at the NDT, Resar said.

“It’s a tremendous accomplishment for anyone, but as sophomores it’s a very big deal,” Quigley said.

Dartmouth Forensic Union director Ken Strange said he expects that Elias and Resar will be one of the top five teams in the nation next year.

Each school is permitted to send two teams to the national tournament, and Joshua Lee ’13 and Zach Robinson ’14 also attended the NDT, Strange said.

Zach Markovich ’15 and Tatsuro Yamamura ’15 attended a separate national conference, the Cross Examination Debate Association Nationals at the University of Oklahoma, and they were the only team of two freshmen to compete, according to Strange.

Debate teams spend the year researching and debating a single topic, which is selected for the annual spring NDT. This year, teams considered whether or not the United States federal government should substantially increase its democracy assistance to Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen, according to the NDT website.

DFU members typically arrive on campus three weeks before Fall term begins to participate in intensive preparation for the season, Strange said. Before debaters began compiling their research electronically, team members typically completed each season with five to 10 plastic tubs full of printed material, Strange said.

While researching this year’s topic, the teammates each specialized in a North African or Middle Eastern country and were tasked with staying up to date on current events, which involved reading “almost every news article” published about their country, Resar said.

The amount of research that debate team members do in a single year is of similar magnitude to the research done for a graduate degree, Baker said.

The national debate community maintains an online database of teams’ arguments, according to Lee. While there are no consequences for declining to post one’s citations, it is the “community norm” to do so, and teams who do not participate are viewed as “suspicious,” he said.

In addition to conducting individual research, the team also holds weekly meetings and individual sessions practice debates or drills with its coaches to prepare for tournaments, according to Markovich.

Team members develop arguments in consultation with the coaches, Quigley said.

“We help them win debates in the ways they want to win them,” he said.

Much of the students’ preparation for tournaments also happens informally through “casual arguments” that students have while hanging out or eating lunch in the team’s lounge in Robinson Hall, Quigley said.

In addition to the NDT, each team participates in three or four weekend-long tournaments during the Fall and Winter terms, which occasionally forces students to miss their Friday or Monday classes due to travel time, Lee said. Some debate teams employ “scouts” from within their squad to gather information on particular opponents, he said.

Between tournaments, debate partners make adjustments to their arguments, Robinson said. The team’s “range of argumentative flexibility” is one of its greatest strengths, Lee said. Certain schools approach arguments through “specific intellectual paradigms,” but DFU uses evidence from both the social sciences and the humanities during debates, he said.

Students credit the College for its availability of resources and strong coaching staff, Lee said.

“[Strange] knows pretty much everything there is to know about debate,” Resar said.

Students also said that the College provides the financial resources for the team to participate in national competitions.

Many other teams, such as those at Cornell and Columbia Universities, do not have the same financial capacity as Dartmouth and can only travel locally, Lee said.

Many DFU members said that their experience structuring arguments in debate has been helpful in strengthening their writing skills. Lee said that participating in debate has taught him to accept a broad range of ideas and see the “big picture” of an argument.

Markovich also said that debate has taught him to assess arguments “less ideologically” and to “think more critically about [his] own beliefs.”

Debate has also connected team members with students with similar interests across the country, they said. Robinson said that debate has given him a community of friends that extends outside of Hanover. Attending debate tournaments and summer camps introduced Robinson to a “really cool community,” he said.

DFU came in second place at the NDT in 2008 and last won the tournament in 1993.

Tuck program aids Native businesses

Last Thursday, Leonard Greenhalgh, the director of Programs for Native American Businesses and a management professor at Tuck School of Business, met with officials in the Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C., to discuss new plans for a program known as “Building High-Performing Native American Businesses.” Assessing results from the past year and considering current public policy in the field, Greenhalgh and his colleagues considered potential changes to the program, which teaches business strategies and entrepreneurial skills to members of Native American communities, that would shift the emphasis from individual organizations to transforming a wider range of businesses.

The Building High-Performing Native American Businesses program runs intensive three to four-day educational retreats across the country for representatives from Native American businesses. Greenhalgh founded the program eight years ago and is working to carry on the program’s initiatives for the upcoming fiscal year.

Greenhalgh’s recent meeting with the Department of the Interior resulted in a rethinking of how the group approaches helping businesses, he said. Rather than focusing on individual businesses, it may be more effective to design business strategies that keep consider local economy as a whole, he said.

“What we’ve tried to do is help Native American tribes and entrepreneurs become economically self-sufficient,” Greenhalgh said. “We teach them how to run businesses that will bring wealth into communities, provide jobs and create positive role models. We’re looking at the businesses they have and how they can make the best use of them.”

The program teaches businesses to rely on more than a single source of revenue and ensures that businesses are geared toward high revenue-generating sectors, rather than “dead-end industries,” Greenhalgh said. He also hopes to teach the business leaders to take advantage of the natural resources, historically controlled by large outside corporations, that exist on reservations.

Greenhalgh and his team, which consists of several other professors and administrators at Tuck, travel to various locations throughout the year to host the program. While the program is often held on reservation grounds, meetings sometimes take place in larger cities, such as Dallas or Boston, to make the conferences more accessible to a variety of tribes.

“The programs are short and highly intensive,” Greenhalgh said. “It’s more like boot camp. We go to Indian country and we engage residents. It’s a little bit of lecturing and a whole lot of coaching.”

Overall, the team has worked with Native American tribes in over 20 states throughout the country, with typical participation ranging from 30 to 50 people at each program, according to Greenhalgh.

Greenhalgh is the principle instructor for the programs and is often joined by several Tuck professors, including Joseph Hall and Phillip Stocken. Together, they provide information on accounting, finance and marketing in order to create business strategies that will help Native American communities develop economically.

“On reservations, we’re dealing with tribal council members managing tribally owned businesses,” Hall said. “In some cases, we’re working with independent entrepreneurs, and just like the businesses represented, the reservations are pretty diverse. Some are doing quite well economically, while others are clearly struggling economically.”

One of the difficulties Greenhalgh and the government officials faced in trying to develop a new program was the issue of sovereignty, according to Greenhalgh.

Because the reservations are essentially sovereign entities within the U.S., the team has had difficulty helping these communities achieve economic vitality, he said.

Tuck collaborates with the Department of the Interior to support the Building High-Performing Native American Businesses program, with the Bureau of Indian affairs performing outreach and inviting Native Americans from different reservations to program locations, according to Greenhalgh.

Tuck plays a large role in subsidizing the program and providing various funds, including grants used to cover programs costs, while the teaching responsibility falls upon Greenhalgh and the other Tuck professors, he said.

“Dartmouth has a longstanding commitment to Native Americans,” Greenhalgh said. “This program is an obvious outgrowth of this mission. I saw that Native Americans were struggling to survive in the business arena, and so my goal was to help them become economically self-sufficient.”

Harvard University offers a program that features a similar relationship with Native American communities, known as the Harvard Project of American Indian Economic Development.

This program focuses more closely on nation-building, however, and attempts to address issues within the legal and governmental structures of Native American nations rather than business structures, according to Greenhalgh.

Greenhalgh’s vision for the Tuck program emerged as a result of his interactions with Native American students at the graduate school, he said.

“They told me they had some really special challenges and thought that if you could customize a program that addressed these exact issues, it would be the most powerful,” he said. “So that’s what I did.”

Officials from the Department of the Interior and directors of the Harvard Project of American Indian Economic Development did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

Mediation offers judicial alternative

With services beginning in the fall, the recently created conflict resolution group Mediation at Dartmouth hopes to tackle a variety of issues facing the College community, ranging from tension between roommates to hazing. The group is currently training its first mediators and collaborating with student and administrative organizations to solidify its plans.

Ji Hyae Lee ’13 formed the group after completing the Foundations of Leadership public policy course last fall, which compelled her to draw on the experiences she had with mediation in her high school, she said. Since then, the group has received funding, drafted a constitution, accepted members and received recognition from the Council on Student Organizations.

“It’s something I felt I could bring to Dartmouth,” Lee said. “I’m hoping mediation will generate a different culture of facing conflict and being open with it.”

By resolving conflicts rather than ignoring or escalating them, Lee said she hopes to use the group to provide an alternative to judicial action and to create a link between students and administrators. She said she has adopted a “bottom-up,” student-run approach and plans to work with various campus groups.

While the group cannot mediate cases in which students have broken the law, it can work to resolve other serious issues and is partnering with the Inter-Fraternity Council and presidents of Greek organizations to bring mediation services to various sectors of campus, she said.

To prepare students to offer mediation services, the organization has provided two-day training sessions led by graduate students from Champlain College. These eight-hour sessions allow students to become College-certified mediators, though participants are not yet eligible for state certification due to the state’s 48-hour training requirement, according to Lee.

The group, which will fill a role unlike that of any existing campus organization, will accept its first conflict cases during Fall term 2012, according to executive board member Adrian Ferrari ’14.

“Administrators can’t do what we’re doing all they can do is say this is right or this is wrong, and as students we can say, I understand where you’re coming from,'” Ferrari said. “The College is of the opinion that certain crimes need to be punished, things like sexual assault, but sometimes it’s just not as black and white as that.”

If a student is made to feel uncomfortable but the actions cannot be classified as sexual assault, for example, the two parties can sign an “enforceable agreement” via Mediation at Dartmouth.

Ferrari envisions the group as a resource to help students solve their own problems while avoiding College judicial processes that create “definite winners and losers,” he said. Students may be recommended for mediation or come of their own initiative, and by the end of the process, will have signed an agreement designed to resolve the issue at hand, he said.

While Dartmouth students led a similar mediation-based group in the 1990s, Mediation at Dartmouth focuses more closely on collaboration between students to resolve campus issues, a cause supported by Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson, according to Aine Donovan, director of the Ethics Institute and official advisor to the group.

“Dean Johnson has been incredibly enthusiastic about the training,” she said.

This support has been necessary for the growth of the program, especially due to the high costs associated with training student mediators, according to executive board member Joseph Miller ’14. Because each student’s training costs between $600 and $700, the group initially planned to accept just 15 members.

Johnson, however, encouraged the group to double the goal to its current size of 26 students and four administrators. As a result, the organization has been able to accept a greater variety of potential mediators, according to Ferrari.

“We were worried about diversity when we sent out these applications, but we have affiliated people, we have unaffiliated people, and if there’s anything that’s skewed, it’s skewed toward ’14s and ’15s to build institutional memory,” Ferrari said.

The group’s future plans may also involve a trip to Florida to shadow law students at the University of Miami in local conflict resolution situations. These efforts may appeal to students who are interested in law, but will also provide participants with generally useful skills, according to Donovan.

“It’s learning skills for communication, listening and strategies for resolving conflict,” Donovan said. “It’s learning ways to ask the right question.”

The group’s executive board members also hope to use the skills to reach out to a larger segment of campus, according to Miller.

“In the long term, I would like to see us become an established organization like the other mentor groups on campus,” he said. “I’d like to see us have logos that people recognize and have it in the public consciousness that any student can come to us and get help when they have any sort of a conflict.”

Staff writer Claire Groden contributed reporting to this article.

Brain scans may predict dietary, sexual behavior

Brain activity in response to visual representations of food and sexual activity can predict patterns of dietary and sexual behavior, according to a study conducted by Dartmouth psychology professors Todd Heatherton and Bill Kelley in conjunction with Kathryn Demos, a psychology and human behavior professor at Brown University. The study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience on April 18, compares activity levels in the reward center of the brain, known as the nucleus accumbens, with the changes in weight and sexual activity levels of 58 female Dartmouth freshmen over a period of six months, Kelley said.

The researchers found that higher levels of activity in the nucleus accumbens in response to images of food correlated with an average weight gain of approximately seven pounds, Heatherton said. Similarly, higher levels of activity in the nucleus accumbens in response to the images of people engaging in sexual behavior were correlated with greater reported sexual desires, he said.

Prior research indicating that college freshmen, particularly females, are likely to gain weight during their first year affected the team’s decision to use only freshman women in this study.

“We chose freshmen particularly because we could potentially see variability in terms of weight gain and sexual activity,” Demos said. “We were kind of capitalizing on the whole Freshman 15.'”

The nucleus accumbens region was targeted due to its established role as the major reward center of the brain, according to Kelley.

“It’s a hub of the dopaminergic reward system in the brain,” Demos said. “Going back to old studies of animals and rewards, it’s the same area of the brain that would show increased activity to things like cocaine and rewarding drugs like that in animals.”

Participants were recruited and weighed for the study within a month of arriving at the College. Functional magnetic resonance imaging technology was then used to scan their brains as they viewed images of food, landscapes, buildings, people engaging in sexual activity and people drinking alcohol, according to Demos.

The subjects were tasked with pressing a button every time they detected a person present in an image. The tests were aimed at measuring “automatic responses to environmental cues,” focusing on rapid responses rather than extensive evaluations of the images, Heatherton said.

Six months later, participants were re-weighed and asked to complete two surveys about their sexual activity and desire. The team focused on eating behavior and sexual activity to study reward and self-regulation processes.

“Everyone has to eat, but people will try to self-regulate their eating behavior,” Heatherton said. “This provides us with a model for studying the reward system and how it can be controlled.”

Due to “material specificity,” the activity of the nucleus accumbens had to be specific to the visual cues in order to predict behavior, according to Kelley. Participants who exhibited higher levels of nucleus accumbens activity only in response to food cues, for instance, gained weight but were not more sexually active, he said.

“Having an overactive nucleus accumbens does not necessarily indicate a weight gain,” Kelley said. “The individual responses are correlated with particular behaviors.”

The scientists also observed that the participants’ self-described food preferences were not correlated with their brains’ responses to seeing those foods, Heatherton said.

“These things were happening without people knowing it, so you don’t know when your brain is more active to something and when it’s not,” Demos said. “It’s interesting that we know this because then we can work on things that are under more conscious control, like self-control and self-regulation.”

Because responses to reward cues are automatic, individuals must exert conscious self-control to regulate behavior, according to Heatherton. By studying the process of self-regulation, scientists can better understand the circumstances under which self-control fails.

“Understanding that there are individual differences that underlie weight gain can really help us develop more effective treatments in the form of behavioral interventions,” Demos said.

The ability of scientists to predict behavior through measurements of brain activity by linking fMRI results with behavior outside the scanner is innovative, neuroscience major Jesse Gomez ’12 said.

“It’s fascinating to think we’re arriving at the point in neuroscience where we can put someone in a scanner, measure brain activity and predict their actual behavior,” Gomez said. “The approach they used measuring the strength of the connection between these frontal regions and reward centers with simple stimuli like images of people and food, and correlating that strength with other behaviors like dieting consistency was pretty novel.”

Heatherton and Kelley plan to continue their research on self-regulation to establish why some individuals are better at self-regulating than others, as well as to consider the lessons that can be learned from changes accompanying these brain processes, Kelley said.

PRIDE Week celebrates diversity

PRIDE Week kicked off on campus on Friday and will continue until April 29, with events ranging from a community barbecue to student performances.

Aimed at promoting awareness and celebrating diversity of sexual orientation and gender identity, Dartmouth’s PRIDE Week kicked off last Friday and will continue until April 29, according to PRIDE co-chairs Ashley Afrani-Sakyi ’13 and Aaron McGee ’14. The week includes 15 campus events, including the TransForm Runway Show held on Tuesday and the Gay Cabaret held last Friday.

This year marks the fifth anniversary of PRIDE Week at Dartmouth, which was created in 2007 when it was believed that campus acceptance of LGBT issues had grown sufficiently to enable most of the student body to take part in the celebration, according to Advisor to LGBT Students and Assistant Dean of Student Life Pam Misener. Prior to 2007, student groups held other events during Spring term, such as “Gay May,” she said.

“A growing number of people, in fact most people these days, have a broad awareness of sexual orientation and gender identity and the way these two things which are two things we all have integrate with whoever else we are as whole people,” Misener said.

Celebrating LGBT identity fosters greater awareness, learning and growth, she said.

Typically, the week’s most popular events include the opening CookOUT at Collis, the TransForm runway show in Collis Common Ground and the Dartmouth Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Alumni/ae Association dinner in Alumni Hall, scheduled for this Friday, Afrani-Sakyi said. New events this year included the Gay Cabaret, which took place in Bentley Theater and was “a huge success,” as well as an OUT of the Classroom event, during which faculty shared their perspectives on LGBT issues, according to Afrani-Sakyi.

Smaller events, such as “Coming Out Stories” on Wednesday, will provide a more personal and intimate experience for attendees, Misener said. The planning committee hopes to present a diverse range of events for students and tries to tailor events toward LGBT issues that are prominent in the public consciousness each year, she said.

Last year, Dartmouth received a five-star rating in Campus Pride’s LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index, which bases its rankings on criteria such as institutional commitment, support services, retention efforts and campus safety, according to the Campus Pride website.

Despite the ranking, PRIDE Week is important for fostering an environment that is welcoming rather than merely tolerant, Afrani-Sakyi said.

“Particularly if you’re not an LGBT student, it’s easy to forget that there are people who struggle with these issues,” she said. “So having a PRIDE Week is a way to acknowledge and celebrate this part of people’s identities.”

Approximately 40 students are directly involved in organizing PRIDE Week, in addition to a number of students from peer-advising and cultural groups on campus who partner with PRIDE to plan specific events, according to Afrani-Sakyi.

The committee faced challenges in organizing its budget, coordinating with other organizations involved in the planning process and finding a location for the DGALA dinner due to the closure of the Hanover Inn, McGee said. The week’s timing, typically in the middle of Spring term, is meant to encourage involvement by avoiding the busy period at the end of the term.

The week was also scheduled not to coincide with Cinco de Mayo and First-Year Parents’ Weekend, he said.

Freshmen typically feel more comfortable becoming involved in the LGBT community during Spring term, while upperclassmen have the experience to contribute enthusiasm and new ideas in the planning process, according to Misener. Alumni, parents, community members, faculty and staff can also participate, she said.

“One of the major goals that we were trying to accomplish this year is getting everyone involved as much as they can,” McGee said.

While the Special Programs and Events Committee provides much of the funding for PRIDE Week, the festivities also draw on funding from an array of administrative offices and student support organizations, Afrani-Sakyi said.

Other institutions such as Columbia University, Yale University and Amherst College celebrate LGBT pride with events throughout the year.

Columbia freshman Caitlin Lowell, the community outreach liaison for the Columbia Queer Alliance, said that Columbia and Barnard College partner for Queer Awareness Month, which is held annually in October and organized by a joint committee of student groups. Monthly “First Friday” fundraising dances and events with speakers who focus on LGBT issues are also very popular on campus, she said.

This year, Yale will hold approximately 35 events during its five-week celebration, known as “Gaypril,” according to sophomore Hilary O’Connell, LGBTQ Student Cooperative president and pride committee chair. Events range from “small-scale discussions to large scale parties” and include a lecture about LGBT youth and mental illness, an art exhibited titled “Love Makes Family” and a panel on how Greek organizations and athletic teams can be “unconventional allies.”

“The visibility and scale represent the feeling on Yale’s campus about LGBTQ issues,” O’Connell said.

Amherst College holds a pride week in the fall semester and an “allies week” in the spring semester, according to Pamela Stawasz, coordinator of LGBTQIA Student Support and Services at Amherst. Each week includes two to four events, such as educational programs, a dance party and tabling in the student center on campus.

Kantaria and Danford assume new positions

Student Body President Max Yoeli '12 and Vice President Amrita Sankar '12 ended their terms on Tuesday.

Former Student Body President Max Yoeli ’12 and Vice President Amrita Sankar ’12 officially stepped down from their positions at the General Assembly meeting on Tuesday, making way for new President Suril Kantaria ’13 and Vice President Julia Danford ’13. Kantaria and Danford outlined both long and short-term goals for Student Assembly, such as revamping the Assembly’s image and improving communication with the student body and administration.

Kantaria said he spoke to many students who did not understand the Assembly’s role on campus while campaigning for the presidency. He and Danford said they hope to foster student body involvement in the Assembly, potentially by installing a bulletin board in the Collis Center that offers information about the Assembly’s recent initiatives and by redesigning the Assembly’s website.

Kantaria and Danford said they hope to reach out to different groups on campus by establishing “senator” positions, or liaisons between campus groups and the Assembly, who will advocate for their respective groups’ interests at meetings. The Assembly may vote on an amendment to the Assembly’s constitution that would give these senators voting rights, according to Kantaria and Danford.

As College President Jim Yong Kim prepares to leave his post for the World Bank, the upcoming year will be especially important for the Assembly, which Kantaria said he hopes will allow students to influence the selection of the next College president. Kantaria said he hopes to ensure that Presidential Search Committee Chair Bill Helman ’80 will consider student perspectives by launching a website to solicit student input on key qualities for Kim’s successor.

“I think the student voice will be very loud and strong and clear during the search process itself,” Kantaria said.

Danford said the team also aims to design a leadership summit that would occur prior to Fall term and would enable campus leaders from different groups to come together for discussion.

The groups at the summit would compile a report that could be presented to the College president.

The administration also hopes to organize peer-to-peer freshman advising pilot program, according to Danford.

During the meeting, the group voted to approve legislation allocating $2,000 in funds for a tailgate at Alpha Delta fraternity on Saturday.

“I really think it’s a way to improve our image, and I think that’s really needed right now,” Kantaria said.

He said he hopes Assembly members will be at the event to discuss the group’s initiatives for the upcoming year.

To finish their respective terms, Yoeli and Sankar said they hope to complete two student service projects a revised Hacker Club course guide that would use information about students’ majors and grade point averages to provide expected grades in classes and an interactive map of campus offering data about events occurring at certain locations in real time.

“Our greatest ambition is that you will only be more successful than us,” Sankar said in a speech at the meeting.

Yoeli said that serving as president was “frustrating at times,” but added that the experience was an honor and expressed optimism about Kantaria and Danford’s tenure.

“You guys have a very bright future, and I think you’re going to play a great role in a transitional year and really advocate for the student voice,” Yoeli said.

D’Agostino and Pappas among NCAA leaders

This past weekend was full of record-breaking performances for the Dartmouth men’s and women’s track and field teams. At the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., Abbey D’Agostino ’14 ran the fastest time in the NCAA in the 5,000-meter run, and Alexi Pappas ’12 ran the NCAA’s No. 3 time in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Meanwhile, at the Larry Ellis Invitational at Princeton University, the men’s team finished with several season-best times.

The first meet on the schedule was the 54th Annual Mt. SAC Relays, hosted by Mount San Antonio College at the historic Hilmer Lodge Stadium. The top performance of the weekend belonged to D’Agostino, whose time of 15:23.35 was good for third in a loaded Invitational section of the 5,000-meters, won by the American record-holder at the distance, Molly Huddle. D’Agostino’s time broke her own Ivy League record by 17 seconds, and she now ranks eighth all-time in NCAA history at 5,000 meters. The sophomore is just three seconds off of the Olympic “A” standard for the event.

Pappas also posted an exceptional time in the women’s steeplechase. Just two weeks ago at Princeton, Pappas ran a 10:07.58 in the event, but on Thursday night, she crossed the line in 9:58.41, becoming just the second runner in Ivy League history to break the 10-minute barrier. Pappas’ was the only collegian in the Invitational section of the steeplechase, and her time was good for fourth against a field of professionals and post-collegiate runners.

Pappas said she is happy she got the opportunity to race at Mt. SAC.

“The Mt. SAC Relays were a completely different experience,” Pappas said. “There were few collegiate runners most of the participants were professionals. It was really a privilege to be there.”

Pappas said her mindset for her last term and season on campus is to give it her all on the track.

“I want to make sure that I’m putting 100 percent effort in every race I compete in,” Pappas said. “My senior spring is probably much different from other seniors. I go to bed reasonably early and don’t really go out much. But that’s a choice, not a sacrifice. I love what I do and want to give it my best.”

Pappas said watching D’Agostino break her own record was exciting and that it was a memorable experience for both of them.

“Abbey and I were so thrilled to be in such competitive races,” Pappas said. “We knew we belonged there, and that gave us confidence. I’m glad we both got to watch each other compete. During our races, we were thinking about our other teammates and doing it for Dartmouth.”

Several Dartmouth men’s runners also competed in California. Ethan Shaw ’12 came in 12th in the Invitational section of the 10,000-meter run, clocking a time of 29:17.89 on Thursday night. Teammate Jonathan Gault ’13 placed 19th in the Olympic Development section, crossing the line in 29:59.21. In the Open-A section of the 5,000-meter run, John Bleday ’14 placed 14th with a time of 14:07.92, moving him up to No. 11 on Dartmouth’s all-time list. Shaw’s time places him seventh on Dartmouth’s all-time list in the 10,000 meters.

“I thought the Mt. SAC Relays were a cool experience,” Shaw said. “It was an honor to compete with some of the fastest and most talented runners in the nation.”

While Shaw and company were busy in California, the rest of the team traveled to Princeton’s Weaver Stadium on Friday and Saturday to compete in the Larry Ellis Invitational against a field of over 200 collegiate and club teams and close to 2,000 athletes.

On Friday, the men’s team saw distance runner Steve Mangan ’14 run 3:45.36 in the 1,500-meter run, placing him fourth in a field of 80 and ranking him sixth in the program’s history. Lukas Zirngibl ’14 was the fastest Big Green runner in the 800-meter run, crossing the line in 1:52.04 for 24th overall. In the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Henry Sterling ’14 came in 19th overall, posting a time of 9:07.88.

In its second day of the competition, the Big Green set more season-best times. Connor Reilly ’13 ran a season-best time of 10.78 in the 100 meters, good for fourth in a field of 40 runners. Brett Buskey ’15 finished six places behind him with a time of 10.92. Jalil Bishop ’14, who competed in the 400 meters, placed 19th overall after crossing the line in 49.00. The foursome of Bishop, Joe Woiwode ’14, Jonathan Brady ’14 and Evan Bryant ’12 ran a season-best time of 3:17.64 in the 4×400-meter relay. The group won its heat and placed 10th overall out of 30 teams.

Shaw said he was proud of the team’s efforts this past weekend at both meets.

“Both the men and women had some outstanding performances over the weekend,” Shaw said. “Now I think we need to get as many people as we can to have their best races on the same day because [the Ivy League Heptagonal] Championships are coming in a few weeks. I know we are ready to compete, and I’d love to see us all put it together”

Arianna Vailas ’14 placed 13th in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 4:26.69 at Princeton on Friday. Teammate Hannah Rowe ’14 posted a 14th-place finish in the 5,000-meter run, crossing the line in 16:54.32. Alison Lanois ’15 came in 22nd in the same event in 17:08.61.

In the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Kate Sullivan ’13 and Sarah DeLozier ’15 came in 20th and 25th, respectively.

In the Saturday events, Megan Krumpoch ’14 placed 11th out of 40 and ran her fastest time of the year after running a 1:01.41 in the 400-meter hurdles. The team of Krumpoch, K.C. Cord ’15, Meggie Donovan ’15 and Naomi Stahl ’12 ran the 4×400-meter relay in 3:54.20, the fastest time for the Big Green this spring.

Several members of the men’s and women’s teams will next compete at the Penn Relays, which run Thursday through Saturday, while another squad will run at the University of New Hampshire Invitational on Saturday. The team of D’Agostino, Pappas, Vailas and Chrissy Supino ’12 will run the 4×1,500-meter relay at the Relays. Pappas said she is more than excited for the race.

“This event is a very competitive race at the Penn Relays,” Pappas said. “We’ll be facing teams like Oregon [University] and Georgetown [University], who have already won championships this season. We are thrilled to be competing there.”

Pappas has raced in competitive relays before, as she was a member of the Dartmouth squad that placed third in the distance medley relay at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in March. Pappas will run for Oregon as a fifth-year senior next year.

Shaw, who will not race again until the Heptagonal Championships, thinks the races at Penn will benefit the team as a whole.

“We’re only sending a small squad down to Penn, but hopefully our teammates get to compete against some great people,” Shaw said. “I want our distance runners and those competing in field events to take advantage of this opportunity as they face some of the best teams in the world.”

Sullivan is a member of The Dartmouth Staff. Gault is a member of The Dartmouth Senior Staff.