ursinus magazine - fall 2012

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Fall 2012 edition of the Ursinus Magazine


  • URSINUSmagazINe

    Fall 2012

    Childhood Obesity Ursinus Faculty and Alumni Fight the Growing Epidemic

    Alumni Weekend Photos | What Is Urban Foraging?Center for Science and the Common Good Opens

  • New students get to know each other through "icebreakers" during Welcome Week in August.

  • In This Issue

    On the CoverThe image of a lunch box represents the many foods that are contributing

    to the growing problem of childhood obesity. Story p. 12. Photo by Jeffrey D. Morgan.

    FeaturesRoamin Fever 10English professors Meredith Goldsmith, Rebecca Jaroff and Carol Dole traveled to Florence, Italy, to celebrate the sesquicentennial anniversary of the birth of Edith Wharton, one of Americas greatest writers. The three planned and participated in a three-day conference with Wharton scholars from all over the world.

    Keep Moving The Fight to Reshape Americas Kids 12Ursinus alumni and faculty explain why Americas children face such a daunting challenge in fighting the obesity epidemic. We explore their efforts to combat the serious health problem and why they say there is reason to hope for a healthier young America.

    Philosophically Speaking 20We sit down with Professor of Philosophy and Humanities Carlin Romano to learn more about why his new book, America the Philosophical, has sparked a literary buzz. A book about philosophy doesn't seem like something that would ruffle feathers beyond academia's walls, but this one has generated reviews that both celebrate and criticize his views. Read our conversation with Professor Romano and you might be rewriting your list of the great philosophers.

    Personal Courage 22Lieutenant Colonel Aaron Burgstein 1995 fought a brain tumor and lived to tell about it. His story illustrates the power of family and defines Burgsteins will to be well.

    Campus NewsThe new Center for Science and the Common Good will facilitate a campus-wide conversation about the intersection of science and society. Open this fall, it was made possible with an $800,000 grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). 3

    Class Notes Joseph M. DeSimone 1986, Chancellors Eminent Professor of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was elected into the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors that a U.S. scientist or engineer can receive. 28

  • EditorKathryn Campbell


    Director of CommunicationsWendy Greenberg


    Class Notes Editor and Staff WriterEllen Cosgrove Labrecque 1995


    Contributing to this IssueAdena Stevens, Joan Fairman Kanes, Kamaile Long,

    Kayana Szymczak, Steve Falk, George Widman, Zeba Hussaini 2014, Kevin Cook, Brian Garfinkel, Jim Roese,

    Sibel Sayili-Hurley, Jim Wagner, Carolyn Weigel, Jennifer Wolfe, Erin Hovey 1996, Paul Dempsey,

    Carolyn Smith 2011, Laura Moliken, and Ursinus College Archives

    DesignJeffrey Morgan

    JDM Creative Advertising, LLCwww.jdmcreative.com

    Chair, Board of TrusteesAlan P. Novak 1971

    PresidentDr. Bobby Fong

    Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College

    Dr. Lucien (Terry) Winegar

    Senior Vice President for AdvancementJill A. Leauber Marsteller 1978

    Vice President for EnrollmentRichard DiFeliciantonio

    Vice President for Finance and AdministrationWinfield Guilmette

    Vice President for Student AffairsDeborah Nolan

    The mission of Ursinus College is to enable students to become independent, responsible, and thoughtful individuals through

    a program of liberal education. That education prepares them to live creatively and usefully, and to provide leadership for their

    society in an interdependent world.

    Ursinus MagazineVolume CXI, No. 3 Fall 2012

    Third class postage paid at Lansdale, Pa. Ursinus Magazine is published seasonally three times a year.

    Copyright 2012 by Ursinus College. Editorial correspondence and submissions:

    Ursinus Magazine, P.O. Box 1000, Collegeville, PA 19426-1000. (610) 409-3300

    or e-mail: ucmag@ursinus.edu

    Page 2 ursinus magazine

    Dear Friends,

    With hopes that your summer has been refreshing and restful, I write during Welcome Week, in preparation for greeting the Class of 2016. The intervening months since our spring issue have been productive: weve welcomed our new Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College Terry Winegar to campus, and we are embarking on new activi-ties to engage more alumni.

    A new initiative from the Office of Alumni Relations is The National Council, comprised of regional networks of alumni and parents who have a strong interest in serving as champions of the College within their com-munities. An introductory event in New York City on July 18, hosted by our Trustee, the Rev. Dr. Harold C. Smith 1955, gathered a diverse group of alumni spanning the years 1953 through 2012. A second Council event was held in San Francisco on August 1, hosted by our Trustee, Michael C. Marcon 1986 generating thoughtful and creative ideas. Events were planned this fall for Boston and Washington, D.C., with continued outreach to pre-identified regions.

    The National Council will serve as the major platform for engagement and philanthropic activities for key alumni and parent leaders. Through this endeavor, we hope to build greater understanding and appreciation for the College. Look for further information on Council events from the Office of Advancement, and I encourage you to become active in the regional chapter in your area.

    In this issue of Ursinus Magazine, we bring you some lessons for healthy living. We report on alumni who are engaged in cutting-edge research on an important national issue, childhood obesity. In addition, Excercise and Sport Science Professor Laura Borsdorf completed the Capitol to Capitol One Ride this summer to raise awareness of the issue.

    Our faculty continues to take the Ursinus name beyond the campus. Three professors, Meredith Goldsmith, Rebecca Jaroff (Ursinus class of 1980) and Carol Dole from the department of English, presented at a conference in Florence, Italy, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Edith Whar-ton. You also will read how Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Patrick Hurley has stepped out of the classroom into New York Citys Central Park where he continued his research on urban foraging this summer.

    Go, Bears!

    Bobby Fong, President

  • fall 2012 Page 3

    GatewayTheursinus campus newsGatewayTheursinus campus news

    The new Center for Science and the Common Good will facilitate a campus-wide conversation about the intersection of science and so-ciety. The Center opens this fall and was made possible with an $800,000 grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). Ursinus is one of 47 small U.S. colleges and universities selected to work togeth-er to create more engaging science education, bring more research ex-periences to students, and increase the diversity of students who study science. The awardees were selected from 182 proposals.

    The Center for Science and the Common Good is designed to ad-vance inquiry into the profoundly significant questions about human good raised in our first-year pro-gram, The Common Intellectual Experience, says Professor of Poli-tics Paul Stern, a member of the steering committee. It expresses our view that an Ursinus education should prepare our students to en-gage thoughtfully with the world. Because modern science decisively shapes that world, such engage-ment must involve consideration of the ethical and political implica-tions of science.

    Ursinus is the perfect place to develop such a program, says Gabrielle Principe, Associate Pro-fessor and Chair of the Psychology Department. Where else but at

    Ursinus can a psychology professor sit in the same room as professors in biology, politics, theater, and history and discuss pieces by Gali-leo and Descartes, share our beliefs on what it means to be human, and collaborate on ways to get our students in all disciplines to do the same? One of the things we do dis-tinctively at Ursinus is getting our students to think about big human questions in an interdisciplinary manner, says Principe, a member of the steering committee. We do this beginning on the very first day of class in students first-year in CIE. The Center gives us the opportunity to build upon this first year experience in ways that enable our science students to continue to exercise the qualities of intellect, deliberation, and judgment first nurtured in CIE throughout their entire four years at Ursinus.

    The Center for Science and the Common Good will serve as a resource for all students who want to learn about the impact of science on society. It will provide opportunities for science students who want to pursue careers in civic leadership and will encourage un-derrepresented minority students who are interested in studying science, says Biology Professor Rebecca Kohn, Director of the Center. Fellows of the Center will prepare for careers in science and civic leadership through courses and internships, with opportuni-ties to explore their interests off campus in the U.S. or abroad.

    Students who are members of underrepresented minority groups will be encouraged to pursue careers in science through early

    The Center not only reflects Ursi-nus Colleges rich legacy in the sci-ences, but connects it to our values of civic engagement and working across the disciplines, says Presi-dent Bobby Fong. We hope it will enhance the breadth of the liberal arts education we offer while also providing experiences that will lead to post-college success.

    The Center for Science and the Common Good will incor