Daily Debriefing

Almost half of the 41.7 million four-year college graduates currently in the workforce hold jobs that do not require a bachelor’s degree, according to a study released Monday using statistics compiled by the Federal Bureau of Labor. The report, titled “Why Are Recent College Graduates Underemployed? University Enrollments and Labor Market Realities,” was written by Richard Vedder, director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, and his colleagues argue that the current number of United States college graduates exceeds the number of jobs requiring such degrees, according to Inside Higher Ed. Vedder predicts that the number of college graduates will increase at twice the rate of job growth for openings requiring advanced degrees. Critics of the report said that this mismatch has existed in the labor market for over 30 years and is corrected by higher salaries for more educated workers, according to Inside Higher Ed.

Some college graduates have begun listing their Graduate Record Examination scores on their resumes to attract the attention of potential employers, according to The Chronicle of Education. Although the scores are intended for use by graduate school admissions offices, some job seekers claim that high scores have increased their competitiveness. Approximately 25 percent of human resources directors at companies of various sizes require or recommend that candidates submit GRE scores as part of their hiring evaluation process, according to a study compiled by the Educational Testing Service, which administers the GRE. Computer software and financial services companies were most likely to use GRE scores in their initial screening process for candidates.

President Barack Obama and a bipartisan group of senators are simultaneously planning to announce a push to pass an immigration reform package, according to Inside Higher Ed. The package may include policies that resemble the DREAM Act, which failed to pass in 2011 and aimed to provide young undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship. Other bills for immigration reform related to higher education issues include acts to expand visas available to highly educated immigrants. There is already bipartisan support in Congress to allow more visas for foreign graduates of U.S. colleges, and a bill is expected to be introduced in the Senate this week to lift the existing cap on visas for these graduates, according to Inside Higher Ed.

Prof’s work leads to breakthrough

Research by biochemistry professor Henry Higgs and his research team has led to new breakthroughs into the cause of the kidney disease Focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis and the neurodegenerative disease Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.

Higgs’s lab discovered over a year ago that the INF2 protein plays a key role in the fission process of mitochondria, which led to a recent collaborative publication with researchers at Harvard Medical School about how mutations on the INF2 protein are related to the formation of the FSGS kidney disease.

The disease hinders the kidney’s ability to function, requiring patients to undergo a full kidney transplant.

“This was part of the desert of the genome that did not have any mapped function yet,” said Higgs. “We started doing research on this protein with absolutely no idea what it did.”

Higgs’ lab focused its attention on the formin family of proteins, which includes the INF2 protein.

They discovered that the protein, which is generally found in the cell’s endoplasmic reticulum, helps in the fission process of mitochondria.

This function of the INF2 protein was previously unknown, Higgs said.

Vinay Ramabhadran GR’12, who began working with Higgs in his lab in 2006, said that their research aimed to discover the most fundamental source of the disease.

“The key is to start off small at the protein level, then go to the cellular level, then organs and then the whole body,” he said.

Mitochondria fission and fusion is important because it protects the mitochondria’s genome. Higgs hypothesized that fission is used to separate out the damaged parts of the genome.

In their research, Higgs and his research assistants found that when the INF2 protein mutates incorrectly, a cell’s mitochondria can no longer perform fission normally, and the cell becomes diseased, Higgs said.

“People have been looking at how mitochondria have been undergoing fission for a while, but there was a missing step that nobody knew how it worked. This filled that step,” Higgs said.

After Higgs and his team published an initial paper on the INF2 protein, his lab was contacted by a group from Harvard Medical School led by Martin Pollak that was researching mitochondrial fission and its connection to the FSGS kidney disease.

The two labs then worked together to produce a paper connecting the INF2 protein to problems with mitochondrial fission in the FSGS disease, Higgs said.

Shortly after, a French lab led by Corinne Antignac and Geraldine Mollet published a paper connecting mutations on the INF2 protein to the neurodegenerative Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.

The disease, currently incurable, affects 1 in 2,500 people and causes loss of muscle tissue and touch sensation in various parts of the body, according to Higgs.

The long-term goal of research related to the INF2 protein is to develop drugs to prevent the INF2 mutation that causes neurodegenerative diseases, according to Farida Korobova, who works on Higgs’ research team.

Higgs and his research team hope that their research will help with future discoveries about common neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases, Korobova said.

“It is not that direct, and it is a long way from a cure, but it is a starting direction,” Korobova said.

In the more immediate future, Higgs and his research team said they hope that their research can be used to help identify characteristics of individuals susceptible to developing these neurodegenerative diseases, according to Higgs. Identifying these diseases early in their development can improve patients’ outcomes and slow the progress of the diseases.

There is much more research to be done about the INF2 protein and its effect on mitchondrial fission, Higgs said.

“We strongly suspect now that our mechanism in Science journal is incomplete and we are trying to add to that mechanism,” Higgs said.

Judd Gregg promotes entitlement reform deal

Former Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., said that unsustainable entitlement programs exacerbated the national debt in a lecture on Monday.

Former Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., the current co-chair of the national initiative Fix the Debt, advocated for structural reforms to entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security in his lecture in Rockefeller Center on Monday afternoon.

In his lecture, Gregg said that the Simpson-Bowles initiative is “the first legitimate, comprehensive plan to address America’s debt issue in a bipartisan way.”

The initiative would reduce the U.S. debt by four trillion dollars over 10 years, focusing 75 percent of its efforts on spending restraints and 25 percent on generating new revenue.

Erskine Bowles and former Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., are the co-founders of Fix the Debt.

Although the Simpson-Bowles commission failed to pass a bill since convening in 2010, Gregg said that the main tenants of the proposal are still being discussed by congressmen on both sides of the aisle.

“Simpson-Bowles is about reaching a consensus between extremes on both sides extremely fiscally conservative members of Congress and extremely liberal ones,” Gregg said.

The U.S. deficit and debt began to increase dramatically after the 2008 economic downturn, according to Gregg.

The U.S. now faces a distinct possibility of bankruptcy because of the tremendous cost of its entitlement programs. The runaway debt will have an outsized effect on future generations who will be responsible for paying for the current programs if they are not reformed.

Gregg said that the key driving force behind such an extraordinary increase in national debt was an “explosion” in the size of government due to its unsustainable entitlement programs. These programs have grown with the aging of the baby boomer generation. Gregg noted that Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security together accounted for more than 50 percent of total federal outlays in 2012.

“Entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are running unfunded liabilities of 81 trillion dollars,” Gregg said. “Even with all the taxes paid for these programs, we’ve got 81 trillion dollars that have no way to be paid.”

Among major industrialized nations, the U.S. has one of the highest debt-to-GDP ratios. The country has been running an average trillion-dollar deficit for the last four years, Gregg said.

The U.S. government is prepared to enact 900 billion dollars of discretionary spending cuts from a 2011 agreement and 600 billion dollars over 10 years of new tax revenue from the recent fiscal cliff deal, he said.

He said that the entitlement programs have been growing at an untenable rate, because they are not subject to budget constraints. Gregg called for structural changes in the programs to limit the payouts to beneficiaries.

Despite its rising entitlement liabilities, Gregg said he believes the U.S. is likely to resolve the debt situation not only because of its economic advantages, but also because of the American “entrepreneurial spirit.”

He cited the nation’s move toward greater energy independence as an example of a positive change.

“We’re ready to go as a culture,” he said. “All we need is for our government to strongly commit to reforming these entitlement programs.”

In an interview, Gregg expressed hope that a comprehensive agreement could be reached by this summer.

He primarily blamed poor leadership for the slow progress.

Ronald Shaiko, Rockefeller Center associate director and a government professor, said that Gregg is “a sage in residence” to speak about the current deficit situation because of his experience serving as chairman and ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and his current involvement in the Simpson-Bowles and Fix the Debt initiatives.

During the Fall term, Gregg was named the inaugural Dartmouth Distinguished Fellow for an initial commitment of three years, Shaiko said.

Gregg conducts class visits, public lectures, office hours and meetings with students, faculty and student organizations at Dartmouth.

“The more you can have the practitioner world overlap with the academic world, the better,” Shaiko said.

Alexandros Sotirios Zervos ’16 said that Gregg offered clear and important opinions.

“I think most people at this point probably agree that entitlement reform is needed,” he said. “I think the challenge is getting over the politics.”

Latrell Williams ’16 said that he appreciates the Simpson-Bowles proposal because it protects the debt issue from extremists on both sides.

Gregg presented “accurate” solutions to the problem by explaining that the government does not need to cut benefits entirely, but simply needs to revise the structure of its existing programs, Williams said.

“Senator Gregg’s solution is great because it urges people to drop ideology to solve the issue,” he said. “I think this issue really requires a bipartisan effort.”

Gregg’s lecture, “Federal Budgeting in a Post-Cliff Environment,” is part of the Rockefeller Center’s Brooks Family Lecture series.

Sean Connolly contributed reporting to this article.

ROTC women could serve in combat roles

Three mornings each week, 15 Dartmouth students trek in camouflage fatigues to Leverone Field House for physical training, knowing that this effort, as a part of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, can be the first step to a military career. For three of these students, the Pentagon’s Jan. 23 announcement that women will be allowed to serve in combat roles opens up a wealth of new opportunities.

The lifted ban will offer new paths to female cadets as they progress in their careers, but it will not affect the ROTC program itself, according to Maj. Matt Aldrich, who oversees Dartmouth’s ROTC program.

“We run our organization the same way the Army’s trying to run their organization if you can do the job, then you can be in Dartmouth ROTC,” he said.

About half of Dartmouth’s ROTC members have signed a contract with the Army committing them to four years of active duty and four years in the Army Reserve after graduation, Aldrich said. While students interested in a military career can participate in the program without making a legal commitment, most choose to seek a contract, which allows them to apply for a potential full tuition scholarship, he said.

Graduating cadets who choose to sign the service contract indicate which Army branch they would prefer to join. Before Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s announcement, several military branches were effectively off-limits to women, including infantry, artillery, armor, combat engineers and special-operations units of battalion size. While the Pentagon will allow branches until January 2016 to evaluate if any positions will remain closed to women, the order has given women in the ROTC more flexibility in choosing a branch on their contract, ROTC participant Monica Wagdalt ’15 said.

“It’s probably something that’s been a long time coming,” Wagdalt said. “I don’t know if it’s necessarily a branch that I’m going to choose, but I think it’s great because they’re capable.”

Since cadets are not guaranteed a placement in their chosen branch, however, female service members may now receive a combat role assignment unintentionally, according to ROTC participant Kate Hopkins ’16. She said she is now reconsidering her preference order since she could now be placed in infantry if she does not end up in her first choice branch.

Hopkins said she is uncertain how she feels about the policy change allowing women to engage in active combat, but will defer to the positive reactions of women with military experience.

“I feel like you can’t really deny that there are differences between men and women physically and mentally,” Hopkins said. “It seems to me like it’s an experiment. We don’t know exactly how its going to go.”

All three female ROTC participants said that they were most interested in entering military intelligence, which was already open to women before the policy change.

The shift from a linear battlefield to counterinsurgency warfare, in which units are vulnerable to attacks on all sides, means that women who technically serve in a support capacity have already been acting in combat roles, Aldrich said.

Sgt. Maj. Lonnie Clary, who helps to oversee Dartmouth’s ROTC program, said that although physical differences between the sexes could impact their performance in the field, he supports the policy change. Clary expressed concern that many women may not have the strength to carry heavy packs, for example, or deal with unusual emergency situations that require more upper body strength. Other physical capabilities, however, such as women’s superior hand-eye coordination, can give them an advantage in the field.

“When you look at this overall, the only thing that’s going to stick out is the physical aspect,” Clary said.

The new announcement means that any service member in the Army with the physical capabilities for a job will be able to serve in that role regardless of gender, Aldrich said. In the ROTC, physical fitness standards are currently the only difference between male and female cadets, Aldrich said.

These requirements such as the ability to do a certain number of pushups are based on differences in muscle mass and body composition, according to Dartmouth ROTC military science instructor Sgt. Derek Gay. Female cadets are graded just as harshly as male cadets in fitness examinations and everyone takes the same written tests for tactics, he said.

Mac Murphy ’15 said that she joined ROTC during her freshman Fall due to her interest in law enforcement, but she decided to leave the program because she was not comfortable making the 12-year commitment. She said that the difference in ROTC physical standards bothered her.

“It kind of makes you feel bad when the maximum you can do is the minimum someone else needs to pass,” she said.

Students in the Dartmouth ROTC program complete soldiering and leadership courses, in addition to physical and tactical training, Aldrich said. Overall, the ROTC commissions about 5,000 second lieutenants each year.

At least two female members of the Class of 2017 have already signed up to joined in the Dartmouth program, according to Gay.

Four Greek houses on probation

Alpha Phi sorority and three fraternities are on probation for violating College policies, some houses for repeated offenses.

Three fraternities and one sorority are currently on probation for various social and hazing infractions, and at least one fraternity is awaiting action from the Organizational Adjudication Committee, according to representatives from the Greek system.

The number of Greek houses facing disciplinary action from the College has caused some student leaders to question the effectiveness of the administration’s top-down approach to working with the Greek system, according to Greek Leadership Council moderator Duncan Hall ’13.

Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson said that administrators and Greek Letter Organizations and Societies representatives have reached out to the GLC to work together toward a “constructive movement forward.” Despite the number of Greek organizations confronting sanctions, Johnson said that the College has not changed its policies in handling violations of the College’s standards of conduct.

“If there are a cluster of cases involving Greek organizations now, it’s more happenstance or coincidence and certainly not because we have changed our stance toward Greek organizations in any way,” she said. “Unfortunately, those are the cases that have been processed most recently with respect to those organizations.”

Hall said, however, that the administration’s recent sanctions are overstepping the College’s judicial system.

“I know that the administration is trying to change the culture here, which I think is a good thing, but I think in order to have effective change you need to have the support by and from these student groups because at the end of the day, they are the ones who control the environment,” he said.

As a result of the administration’s strict policies, Hall said leaders of Greek organizations are considering taking steps to limit accessibility into their houses.

“The open social scene which Dartmouth has loved to boast about will probably be very limited,” he said.

New Hampshire state law and the College hold Greek organizations legally liable for any non-members who enter their houses. Hall said that limiting access to fraternities, if voted into effect by Greek presidents, will allow houses to take control of their spaces.

Despite some Greek leaders’ concerns with the harshness of recent sentences, representatives from Psi Upsilon fraternity and Alpha Chi Alpha fraternity said they were not surprised by the recent sanctions their houses faced because resulted from repeat offenses.

Psi U was placed on a five-week social probation starting Jan. 28 for hosting an unregistered social event during the Fall term, according to fraternity president Christian Sherrill ’13.

The violation was discovered during an unrelated investigation into a supposed hazing incident at the fraternity, which was not proven to be true, he said. The fraternity had experienced a similar incident during Summer term and received a short probation during the Fall.

“I understand why sanctions are fairly harsh this term given that it’s a repeat offense,” Sherrill said.

Additionally, Psi U was given educational sanctions, which include working with GLOS to improve event management protocols and increase responsibility among individual fraternity members, he said.

Alpha Chi was placed on social probation on Jan. 18 when Safety and Security officers discovered unregistered kegs of beer in the fraternity’s basement, Alpha Chi social chair Ryan Collins ’13 said.

“Our situation seems a little draconian on the surface, but we’ve had a number of infractions keg violations in the last few years,” Collins said.

He said that the College’s policy treats repeat offenses more seriously.

Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and Alpha Phi sorority are also currently on probation for various infractions of College standards, according to Hall.

Alpha Phi president Lexi Campbell ’13 declined to comment and Alpha Phi Alpha president Will Hernandez ’13 could not be reached by press time.

OAC placed Alpha Phi Alpha on probation for a period of three terms for violating College hazing and new member education policies, according to the Undergraduate Judicial Affairs Office’s termly hazing report. Alpha Phi Alpha is not permitted to recruit new members during the probation period.

Chi Gamma Epsilon fraternity was taken off probation on Sunday following a four-week ban that took effect last term, according to president Will Conaway ’13.

The sanctions resulted from a miscommunication between the organization and GLOS regarding the type of event that Chi Gam registered. Safety and Security officers discovered that the house was serving mixed drinks instead of beer, Conoway said.

Alpha Delta fraternity is awaiting a date for an OAC hearing, according to AD alumni advisor John Engelman ’68. AD was recently indicted by the Grafton Superior Court on two charges for providing alcohol to minors.

Organizations that are accused of misconduct are brought before one of three OAC adjudicating bodies the student board for minor infractions, the full committee for more serious infractions or an OAC chair if an organization requests an individual hearing, according to dean for campus life Kate Burke.

If organizations are found responsible for an alleged infraction, the OAC considers various factors to determine sanctions, including the nature of the behavior, the organization’s disciplinary history and organizational outcomes in general, Burke said.

Probation information is not immediately publicly accessible, according to Nate Miller, director of undergraduate judicial affairs. Probation information is published annually in the Committee on Standards Annual Report. Law enforcement may access probation information through a court order that requires the College to release the information to officials, Miller said.

GLOS director Wes Schaub declined to comment. The presidents of Beta Alpha Omega fraternity and Theta Delta Chi fraternity could not be reached by press time.

Yang: Underappreciating Our Potential

At a panel session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg made a series of fiery comments on the gender stereotypes that she says prohibit women from advancing in the workplace. Sandberg singled out T-shirts sold in the United States, with the boys’ version bearing the words “Smart Like Daddy” and the girls’ version the words “Pretty Like Mommy” and said, “I would love to say that [those T-shirts were from] 1951, but [they were from] last year. As a woman becomes more successful, she is less liked, and as a man becomes more successful, he is more liked, and that starts with those t-shirts.”

Sandberg also criticized managers whose performance reviews of women reflect stereotypes, such as “she’s great at her job but she’s just not as well liked by her peers,” or “she’s just a bit aggressive,” and suggested that the same observations would not be made of successful men.

Unfortunately, Sandberg’s observations are all too true. For girls, much of the social conditioning that we go through via childrearing practices, literature and, indeed, others’ opinions of ourselves emphasizes likeability and sociability, rather than the assertiveness and outspokenness that are valued in boys as the ideals to which they should hew.

This leads to women being less assertive than men in the workplace, according to Sandberg. Specifically, she said that women “internalize the negative messages [they] get throughout [their] lives…[that] say it’s wrong to be outspoken, aggressive, more powerful than men,” and lower their expectations of what they can achieve, compromising their career goals “to make room for partners and children who may not even exist yet.”

All of this is unfortunately true and, in the case of women who buck these standards, many people make their disapproval all too evident. Marissa Mayer, who was announced as Yahoo’s new chief executive officer last July, can attest to this fact. Mayer, who was six months pregnant when her new job at Yahoo was announced, quickly became the center of an intense national discussion about the responsibility or lack thereof of her decision to take a high-pressure, high profile job at a time of personal transition. In an interview, Mayer explained that she only planned to take a few weeks of maternity leave and that she would be available throughout her leave thus making it clear that, in her mind, her pregnancy would not and should not prevent her from being an effective leader.

In Sandberg’s remarks at Davos, she indicated that the solution to the problem of women constantly underselling and underappreciating their potential is for them to simply be more assertive. However, as Nicholas Kristof wrote in The New York Times, that may not be enough. As Kristof points out, there is a need for structural change such as better childcare in offices and longer maternity and paternity leaves to accommodate women and families in corporate environments as well.

Even with that said, however, both Sandberg and Kristof wind up missing what may be perhaps be the biggest point aside from empowering women and changing institutional structures to accommodate them, the biggest obstacle to female ascent lies in how men view successful women. As long as men view traditional femininity, with its associated subservience, unassertiveness and assumption of secondary roles as an ideal, it will remain difficult to convince women that they can “have it all” as successful and desirable women and to fully embrace trailblazers like Sandberg and Mayer.

While the type of ideological change that this would require is difficult to effect, it is by no means impossible. The incremental success of efforts to move into post-racialism in the workplace proves that opinions and practices can be changed, however slowly that change may occur.

To work toward this change, we as a society and particularly successful, empowered people like Dartmouth men and women must make conscious efforts to encourage, rather than discourage, the types of women who will one day be the Sandbergs and Meyers of our generation: hardworking, outspoken and unafraid to speak their minds. In short, it is high time that we start encouraging women to think more like men in the office and to applaud, rather than condemn, them for undertaking actions and embracing mentalities that are perfectly acceptable from men.

Chang: Discouragement in Distributives

As a liberal arts institution, Dartmouth is committed to ensuring that its students achieve not only depth, but also breadth of learning during their tenure at the College. In order to create truly well-rounded individuals, it is not enough to simply take courses within a single area of study instead, it is critical that all students experience a diverse array of courses. From ethics to engineering sciences, mathematics to medieval studies, Dartmouth boasts an astounding variety of classes from which eager students may pick and choose to form the most comprehensive learning program possible.

The plan seems simple enough eight areas of study and three cultural specifications, which may be satisfied by 10 courses. While Dartmouth lauds its distributive requirements as flexible, the real problem lies not so much with the rule’s convenience, but rather with its artificiality. The distributives at the College are often perceived by students more as a burdensome prerequisite to graduation than as an opportunity to widen education. Though classes taken for the sake of fulfilling distributives have the potential of raising unanticipated and otherwise nonexistent interest in a subject, they also have the capacity to replace the discovery of learning with drudgery. It is time to reexamine the way in which Dartmouth approaches its liberal arts aspect and determine whether distributives really are the best way to go.

Because of the compulsory nature of the current methodology and students’ inevitable concern with their GPAs, when students are forced to take a course in an area that would remain otherwise unexplored they tend to look for the easiest way out. It is no secret that a “lay-up list” can be found every term, detailing the courses that will both fulfill a distributive and result in a solid grade without requiring much effort. Rather than instilling an honest and intrinsically motivated desire to learn something new, forcing students to take a Thought, Meaning and Value distributive, for instance, lends an obligatory character to the course that often has the capacity to overshadow the curiosity that should encourage students when choosing their classes.

Certainly, the hope is that students will stumble across a course that they might not have considered without the institutionalized requirements. And there is no doubt that this does happen quite often, in fact. But the reality remains that the distributive system can also create an atmosphere that is plagued by boredom and inundated by disinterest, completely undermining its purpose. When students take classes because they have to and not because they want to, the incentive to fully engage themselves, and by extension, perform at their best, decreases. For efficient students, the most strategic course of action is to take the easiest or most uninvolved course possible. When an entire class is driven by the same mindset (“I need an easy way to fulfill a distributive”), the quality of the course inevitably suffers.

The manifestation of such a problem is painfully obvious. When the majority of students are looking at their computer screens instead of the professor, it is difficult to believe that anyone is paying much attention. The back of a lecture hall is always a fun place to play “What’s going on in the Facebook world?”

Another striking, and perhaps less obvious, detrimental effect of our current system lies in its inadvertent discouragement of exploring courses that, without the distributive label, might be surprisingly attractive to students. Within the first few terms at Dartmouth, getting distributives out of the way is the most commonly utilized strategy in picking courses. But once a particular distributive requirement is fulfilled, students sometimes no longer feel it necessary, or are in fact dissuaded, from taking another course that falls under the same distributive category. Even if it is in an entirely different field, a fear of redundancy or the necessity of completing other distributives prevents further truly organic exploration. While this may become less of a problem as students get older, seniority should not determine the quality of class that students allow themselves to take.

Though the existence of some form of distributive system is undoubtedly necessary, our present method is rather lacking. We need a dialogue regarding how best to improve its structure, and consequently, the overall quality of our education at Dartmouth. A liberal arts education should inspire a truly diverse and comprehensive mode of learning, not impose a sense of compulsion.

Curating workshop demonstrates how Hood selects works

Works of transgressive photography were the focus of yesterday evening’s Museum Collecting 101 workshop, the second in a series of five to be held at the Hood Museum of Art this term.

Students are given the opportunity to view and discuss a wide selection of artistic works, and then vote on one object to be bought and put on display at the Hood.

The workshop is as interesting to the museum’s staff as it is to the students involved, according to Amelia Kahl, the coordinator of academic programming at the Hood.

“It’s very exciting for us; we love to see what the students choose,” Kahl said. “The debate about what to buy is always fascinating, and always shows the range of interest and the thoughtfulness of Dartmouth students.”

In the first session of the five-week program, held on Jan. 21, students reviewed the Hood’s acquisitions policy and looked at works that had been selected in previous years’ workshops.

Yesterday’s session featured a demonstration of photography techniques in the Black Family Visual Arts Center, led by Matt Sturm ’13.

Students were introduced to some of the basics of digital and darkroom photography to give them a sense of the kind of work that goes into a final print.

Sturm, a photography major, said that one of his motivations behind leading this lesson was to dispel the common belief that photography is not a true form of art.

“It’s nice to get to show people all of the creative choices that you have to make,” Sturm said. “Once you start realizing that every part of the image is deliberate, you see that there is a message that’s being conveyed and there are a lot of things that make it up other than just the subject in the photo.”

Anna Leah Berstein Simpson ’13 said she appreciated that the lesson in the VAC allowed the participants to become involved.

“I was surprised at how hands-on the workshop is,” Berstein Simpson said. “For instance, I didn’t think that we would actually learn how to produce photos. That was really cool.”

The third workshop, which will take place next Tuesday, will be a thematic study in which students look at other works in the Hood’s collection to understand the different ways in which the theme of transgression can be interpreted.

The workshop will also allow students to see where there may be gaps in the collection that need to be filled.

The purpose of this session is to ensure that students are making their decisions in an educated way, according to Kahl.

On Feb. 11, the fourth installment of the program, students will be shown a selection of works from about 10 artists that the museum is considering for purchase.

Students will then discuss the artists and vote to select one or two to move on to the final round of deliberation.

In the final session of the workshop, an array of works by these artists will be displayed to the students, who will then debate and vote to select one object for the museum to purchase and put on display. Berstein Simpson said that she is looking forward to this discussion and voting process.

“I think it’ll be really interesting to see how people decide which works or artists to choose,” Berstein Simpson said. “I think we bring so many different things to the table and I’m sure it’ll be a really interesting discussion.”

The object selected at this workshop will be featured in an upcoming photography show at the Hood about the theme of transgression and will be curated by studio art professors Brian Miller and Virginia Beahan.

The workshop will provide an interesting educational experience to the students who participate in it, according to Kahl.

“We really want students to gain an understanding of why and how museums acquire works of art and give them a glimpse behind the scenes,” Kahl said. “We hope that as they go out into the world, if they choose to collect themselves or to become patrons of museums, they will have some idea of how that works and what that world is like.”

Berstein Simpson said that the workshop would be especially interesting for students who had not had very much exposure to the arts at Dartmouth.

“I like that they bring in a really diverse group of people,” Berstein Simpson said. “I think that sometimes we get caught up in our own disciplines and we don’t really see what other people are doing.”

Museum Collecting 101 began as a Collis Miniversity class in 2002. It has stayed true to its origins as a non-curricular student program by remaining open only to students, Kahl said.

“Although we serve the community audience as well, we also serve the Dartmouth College audience,” Kahl said. “We really want to focus on that student experience.”

Kahl described the relationship between Dartmouth students and the Hood as a very close one, and said that it is always gratifying for Hood employees when students visit the museum and have positive experiences.

Kahl said she believes that student-only programs like Museum Collecting 101 contribute to this relationship.

“We want them as Dartmouth students to feel some ownership over the museum, that they have a voice and a stake in what is chosen,” Kahl said.

‘Art + Activism’ links poverty and sustainability

Featuring a perhaps unexpected combination of sustainability, poverty and art, the student art show “Art + Activism” will open this Thursday in the student gallery of the Black Family Visual Arts Center.

The show, which will run until the end of the term, is the result of collaborative efforts between the Office of Sustainability, the “A Monstrous Octopus: The Tentacles of Poverty” symposium team and “This Is Not a Group,” a student organization responsible for running, curating and installing exhibits in the gallery.

The theme “Art + Activism” originated when the Sustainability in the Arts interns and representatives from the “A Monstrous Octopus” symposium approached student gallery co-managers Luca Molnar ’13 and Sabrina Yegela ’13 about combining the arts with their respective focus areas.

Both student groups were especially eager to incorporate their ideas with the arts to align with the Hopkins Center’s Year of the Arts initiative, Sustainability in the Arts intern Anna Morenz ’13 said.

“We really felt that the arts can be a form of activism in terms of providing powerful visual images that get people thinking about social issues or raise consciousness about issues in a different way than say, a lecture or some of the other opportunities on campus,” Morenz said. “We were interested in tapping into that striking emotional power that art has.”

“A Monstrous Octopus: The Tentacles of Poverty” is a conference that will be held from Jan. 30 to Feb. 1 by the Nathan Smith Society, the Geisel School of Medicine’s chapter of Physicians for Human Rights and the Tuck School of Business’s Center for Business and Society.

The symposium features several events in conjunction with the “Art + Activism” exhibit throughout this week, according to Anna Huh Med’15, co-chair of the Geisel chapter of Physicians for Human Rights.

“We want to spark a conversation among Dartmouth students, the entire Upper Valley community and beyond about what each of us as individuals, as an institution and as a community can do about issues of poverty, homelessness and social inequity,” Huh said. “We often think the world of alleviating poverty is for someone else to do or is incompatible with some career we choose, but the fact of the matter is it’s not. What we want is to show people that there is something we can do. We only have to think of a way.”

As part of the schedule of events, letterpress printer Amos Kennedy, whose work is currently displayed in Baker-Berry Library, will hold a printmaking session on Jan. 30. Photojournalist James Nachtwey ’70 will also hold a discussion about his career and social justice work that afternoon.

Thursday’s opening reception of the art show will follow a screening of the Academy Award-nominated film “Beasts of the Southern Wild” (2012) in Loew Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. The event will feature refreshments, discussion of the artwork and the unveiling of an original poster designed by Amos Kennedy for “A Monstrous Octopus.” The group will also be collecting donations for the Peruvian philanthropy organization Visionarios, according to Huh.

Because the student gallery which opened this Fall is relatively new, “Art + Activism” will be one of the first shows to be hosted in the space, according to Molnar. Nearly all pieces submitted will be able to be showcased. Along with formally submitted work, “This Is Not a Group” and the Office of Sustainability encouraged students and community members to gather in the gallery to create artwork from trash, found items and recycled materials in three open studio sessions held this past weekend, Morenz said.

“We really hope to bring people who aren’t necessarily arts students into the space and into the idea of making art, and we’re really hoping people who are more experienced experiment with these materials and viewers get the idea of art and activism,” Molnar said.

Inviting the community to participate in the show was in part inspired by the community-based art projects of artist Candy Chang, Morenz said.

Some of those who came to participate in the open studio sessions were students preparing to spend the summer on Dartmouth’s Big Green Bus who were looking for new and creative ways to teach sustainability, according to Morenz.

“I think a lot about who is alienated by sustainability because it’s definitely been consumerized into the American diet,” Meegan Daigler ’14, who came to the galery to make art from recycled materials, said. “I don’t think that sustainability should be alienating because the issues of sustainability are things that are affecting people across race and gender, and art is a very different mode of communication than numbers and stats so I’m interested in who you can reach.”

Participants at the studio sessions generally expressed a belief that art and activism complement each other.

“I think that art, especially throughout history, has been used a lot to make people step back and think about society and choices and the way we treat other people,” Amanda Wheelock ’13 said. “I think that’s also the main goal and spirit of activism in most places, so I think that they are often very intricately linked and I think that art can be used as a form of activism and vice versa.”

Vann Island

With social media these days, you can find out anything you want to know about your favorite actors, singers or athletes. At this point, it’s not even that you can probably find out anything you can actually find anything. Look at Manti Te’o. His life was exposed and then torn to pieces through Twitter, Facebook and mainstream media.

But how about the celebrities who don’t use social media? How do you find out what shoes they decided to rock on Instagram? Or on a more serious note, who that person is? How they got to where they are today?

At Dartmouth specifically, what about the “famous” locals living under your nose? Yeah, you probably had a nice chat with the EBAs delivery guy one time after a few Keystone Lights. But do you really know him? Why he’s in Hanover? Who his favorite athlete is?

I doubt it. You might be asking, why is Corey asking me all these questions? What do I care about the guy who brings me late-night food, the nerd who helps me find books in the library or the football coach? But everyone has a story. If you don’t take the time to find out, it might hit you in the face, just like Te’o.

I’m old now at least in Dartmouth years. Being a ’13 and all, I feel like Kuno from “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” which made me realize that I need some answers to the questions that I posed to you earlier about notable Hanover locals.

So on that note, I wanted to find out more about Murphy’s on the Green and 3 Guys Basement Barbeque. I knew that Nigel Leeming owned both restaurants, but I had only met him in passing and wouldn’t be able to point him out in a crowd.

I went into Murphy’s the other day in typical Island fashion. Ordered a round, got up and left, didn’t think about paying. Why would I, right? I’m the Island JV All-American on both sides of the ball for the past four years. To put it lightly, people know me.

At Murphy’s they apparently didn’t, but I can assure you they do now. The bartender who I tried to skip out on was just the man I was looking for, the owner, Nigel. After I repaid him for my mistake, I finally had the forum to figure out just who this Leeming guy is after all.

Here’s the skinny Leeming is a self-made businessman from New Zealand. He moved to Boston in 1971, where he was the captain of the rugby team at Boston College. And due to his background in sports, he always thought the restaurant business was his future.

“In both industries the most competitive people get to the top,” Nigel said. “Being a business major at BC, and loving food, I thought owning a restaurant would feel natural and be a good fit.”

Why Hanover, I asked him? How was Boston not the first option? Not only was the liquor license too expensive for a recent college grad, but Hanover was actually the more attractive location.

“At the time, this town wasn’t sophisticated for restaurants,” Nigel said. “But the community was young, and it was vibrant. Being a big fish in a small pond, you get to know everyone.”

Even though Leeming relocated, he remains loyal to Boston.

“I’ve been a [New England] Patriots season ticket holder for the past 17 years, and I have been fortunate enough to be present for their last six Super Bowl appearances,” Leeming said. “Let’s just say I’m not a fan of Eli Manning.”

Surprisingly though, Tom Brady is not Nigel’s favorite player.

“I’m more of a defensive guy,” he said. “I think defense is all about heart and heart can change the spirit of a team. Rodney Harrison really brought the competitiveness out of the Pats.”

Like Patriots coach Bill Belichick, Leeming also believes in second chances.

“Like business, if someone takes personal responsibility for their actions, they can change and turn things around,” he said.

Could Te’o figure it out? Would Leeming, the Patriots and Belichick embrace him?

“Absolutely. We took in Randy Moss, Ryan Mallett and now Aqib Talib,” Leeming said.

Now that I’ve decided to find out more about the “luminaries” at Dartmouth, I know when I wrap things up here, I will be able to think about my experience in a different light. The people here are real, and they will make my memories that much more special.

Stay tuned for next week. Oh, and did I mention there’s video evidence?