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Smith wins Truman scholarship

Emma Smith ’13, the co-founder of Mercy’s Dream Ministries — an organization that provides aid to an orphanage in Ghana — and Dartmouth’s 23rd Harry S. Truman scholar, considers her most influential college experience to be one far removed from Hanover. During her sophomore Fall, Smith took a road rarely traveled by Dartmouth students and decided to participate in the Semester at Sea program, sponsored by the University of Virginia. The experience served to both feed Smith’s passion for travel and to shape her career path, she said.

“It was definitely the highlight of my college career,” Smith said in an e-mail to The Dartmouth. “I was able to see fourteen countries in four months, interact with people on four different continents, and make lifelong friends. I learned more in those four months than I think I learned in my life that far.”… Read more »

Spotlight on: Professor Michael Bronski

Spotlight on: Professor Michael Bronski

    Though many of us may not re­al­ize it, sev­eral of our fa­vorite books from child­hood, in­clud­ing “The Wiz­ard of Oz” and “Peter Pan,” may ac­tu­ally pro­mote de­viant be­hav­ior. Women and gen­der stud­ies pro­fes­sor [Michael Bron­ski])(http://​www.​dartmouth.​edu/​~wstud­ies/fac­ulty/bronski.​html) is cur­rently ex­plor­ing this the­ory in his book, “The World Turned Up­side Down: The Queer­ness of Chil­dren’s Lit­er­a­ture.” “What we’ve called chil­dren’s lit­er­a­ture — the pieces that have lasted and been deemed most im­por­tant — are an­ti­thet­i­cal to how we want to bring up chil­dren,” Bron­ski said. These pop­u­lar books often send sub­ver­sive mes­sages. “Alice in Won­der­land” is sat­u­rated with in­ap­pro­pri­ate im­ages, in­clud­ing drug use. Even Seuss’ much beloved “The Cat in the Hat” ad­vo­cates de­struc­tion and dis­or­der rather than re­spon­si­ble be­hav­ior in the ab­sence of par­ents, Bron­ski said. Bron­ski’s main the­sis ex­am­ines the in­con­gru­ence of our cul­ture’s si­mul­ta­ne­ous pro­mo­tion of both the no­tion that chil­dren should be­have re­spon­si­bly and the re­bel­lious mes­sages of chil­dren’s lit­er­a­ture. Bron­ski asks, “What does this re­ally tell us about what we think about chil­dren?” The book was in­spired by a talk Bron­ski gave at Dart­mouth in 2000 called “Queer­ing Harry Pot­ter,” which points to how magic and de­vi­a­tion from tra­di­tional be­hav­ior are painted fa­vor­ably in the pop­u­lar se­ries. “The… Read more »

‘Dartmouth Idol:’ Meet the finalists, part 3

  To Nick Knezek ’12, of Sanger, Texas, Dart­mouth Idol is just one more part of a life­long en­gage­ment with music of all kinds. In ad­di­tion to play­ing the piano since kinder­garten, he played the clar­inet for seven years and learned the drums and marimba three years ago. In high school he joined the school and church choirs and even par­tic­i­pated in mu­si­cal the­atre be­fore com­ing to Dart­mouth. On cam­pus, Knezek is a mem­ber of both the Glee Club and X.​ado. A physics and en­gi­neer­ing major, he is also in­ter­ested in phi­los­o­phy and out­door sports like hik­ing, ski­ing, snow­board­ing, ca­noe­ing and swim­ming. For his final “Dart­mouth Idol” per­for­mance, Knezek will per­form four songs: “Take On Me,” “Let’s Stay To­gether,” a Johnny Cash and Garth Brooks med­ley and the part of the Grinch in a group per­for­mance of Seuss songs. In par­tic­u­lar, “Let’s Stay To­gether” will pose a chal­lenge to him be­cause of its high key and un­fa­mil­iar style, he said. He ad­mit­ted, how­ever, that chal­lenge was ex­actly what drew him to “Dart­mouth Idol” in the first place, when he au­di­tioned last year. “When I began singing, I al­ways sang choral bass parts, but re­cently I’ve been try­ing to tran­si­tion to… Read more »

Spotlight on: The Dartmouth Vibes

Spotlight on: The Dartmouth Vibes

  What do you get when you mix four tal­ented stu­dents, string in­stru­ments and great mod­ern songs? The newest mu­si­cal ven­ture on cam­pus: The Dart­mouth Vibes. The Dart­mouth Vibes was cre­ated by Em­manuel Kim ’15 when he re­al­ized that there was no other such club on cam­pus. They are a pop string group that per­forms ver­sions of hits by major artists such as Adele and Michael Jack­son. Though they are not yet an of­fi­cial Col­lege-spon­sored or­ga­ni­za­tion, The Vibes are still hard at work. “Prac­tice is every week, and it’s se­ri­ous but ca­sual,” Kim said. “We work on the pieces as if they are con­cer­tos to be per­fected — but we have lots of fun in the process, as well!” Cur­rently, Kim and Erica West­en­berg ’15 play the vi­o­lin, Joshua Prickel ’15 plays the viola and Pranam Chat­ter­jee ’15 is on the cello. Some of the songs they have in the works in­clude Lady Gaga’s “Bad Ro­mance,” Train’s “Hey Soul Sis­ter” and Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” Look­ing to­ward the fu­ture, The Vibes hope to ex­pand their mem­ber­ship and be­come an of­fi­cial group. Their goal is to in­crease mem­ber­ship by about five mu­si­cians next year, es­pe­cially with new mem­bers… Read more »

Dartmouth prof. analyzes first ever “Photo-shopped” image

A re­cent post by the ”Daily Mail” dis­cusses one of the first-ever al­tered im­ages: the 150 year-old por­trait of Abra­ham Lin­coln.     In­deed, the epit­o­mal por­trait (as dis­cussed here in a 2009 piece by Dart­mouth pro­fes­sor Hany Farid) is a com­pos­ite of Lin­coln’s head and south­ern politi­cian John Cal­houn’s body.   COUR­TESY OF DAILYMAIL.​CO.​UK   Farid, a dig­i­tal foren­sics ex­pert, told the Mail: ”Al­though we may have the im­pres­sion that pho­to­graphic tam­per­ing is some­thing rel­a­tively new – a prod­uct of the dig­i­tal age — the re­al­ity is that his­tory is rid­dled with pho­to­graphic fakes.” Farid said the air-brush­ing of im­ages by bru­tal dic­ta­tors — like Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler and Fidel Cas­tro — to re­move en­e­mies from pic­tures was com­mon.   COUR­TESY OF DAILYMAIL.​CO.​UK   He added: “Al­though there are many his­tor­i­cal ex­am­ples of pho­to­graphic fakes, time-con­sum­ing and cum­ber­some dark­room tech­niques were re­quired to cre­ate… Read more »

Spotlight on: Professor Misagh Parsa

    After im­mi­grat­ing to the United States in 1970, Mis­agh Parsa dis­cov­ered the rel­e­vance of so­ci­ol­ogy to his Iran­ian back­ground, even­tu­ally be­com­ing a mem­ber of Dart­mouth’s own so­ci­ol­ogy de­part­ment. Mem­bers of the field strive to un­der­stand the mech­a­nisms that cause poverty and per­se­cu­tion, both of which Parsa faced in his child­hood. Parsa was born into a poor fam­ily that be­longed to an eth­nic mi­nor­ity group rep­re­sent­ing only 40,000 of Iran’s total pop­u­la­tion of nearly 30 mil­lion at the time. “From early on, I no­ticed that we were eco­nom­i­cally poor, po­lit­i­cally pow­er­less, re­li­giously per­se­cuted and so­cially out­cast and ex­cluded in Iran­ian so­ci­ety at large,” Parsa said. After serv­ing in the Iran­ian army, Parsa ar­rived in New York with $320.68 and a de­sire for an ed­u­ca­tion. While work­ing and study­ing Eng­lish, Parsa at­tended Queens Col­lege, grad­u­at­ing in 1975. Through­out his un­der­grad­u­ate ex­pe­ri­ence, Parsa be­came in­trigued by how the study of so­ci­ol­ogy per­tained to his life. “I be­came very sen­si­tive to un­der­stand­ing the roots of poverty, po­lit­i­cal op­pres­sion, re­li­gious an­tag­o­nism and the so­cial ex­clu­sion of mi­nor­ity groups in human civ­i­liza­tions,” he said. Even today, after liv­ing in Amer­ica for 40 years, Parsa still finds that his re­search re­lates back to his per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ences. Due… Read more »