Monthly Archives: October 2008

Purple House

Erick Harris during his internship at the British Parliament

Erick Harris during his internship at the British Parliament

Neat article today in the L.A. Times about former Peabody honor student, Erick Harris, who is supporting McCain, and his roommate, who is going for Obama. The news hook that this reporter liked was that Harris is black and his roommate white, and their apartment this red-blue season is a spirited shade of purple. Read the story here.

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Time for The Commons

A typical conversation between my friend Fiona and me:

Me: Where do you want to have lunch?

Fiona: How about Hogwarts?

I usually agree and end up meeting her at The Commons Center, which Fiona immediately recognized conjures up images of the dining hall at Harry Potter’s Hogwarts, with its soaring space, gorgeous windows and grand fireplaces. Turns out Time Magazine agrees with Fi.

In a profile published today, the magazine profiles the new first year experience Vanderbilt has created at The Commons, taking the Hogwarts analogy so far as to christen Commons Dean Frank Wcislo as our own Dumbledore. One of the many neat things about the story is that several of the photos in the print version were taken by Vandy students. The article also features the now-classic ‘Class of 2012’ photo by our own John Russell.

Read it.

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VU ranks No. 1 USA Today athletics poll

Their poll of graduation rates for student athletes, that is. Vanderbilt tops the list on this week’s coaches’ football poll when said poll is re-ordered for graduation rate, coming in clear No. 1 with 91 percent. The overall numbers are up at all schools, hitting a record of 79 percent across-the-board average.

See the full results.

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Cure for diabetes?

From today’s Washington Post:

Perhaps we’re looking at a cure for diabetes
Chris Wright, director of developmental biology, and his team have discovered how to generate healthy pancreatic cells to replace the defective cells found in diabetics.

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Balser named dean of med school

Dr. Jeff Balser, associate vice chancellor for Research for Vanderbilt University Medical Center, has been named dean of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He’s served as interim dean since July 2008, when former dean Steven Gabbe departed for Ohio State.

Get the full story here.

Congratulations, Dean Balser!

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Video wrap up of win over Auburn

All Dores’ fans in the house check out the fantastic new video by the News Service’s Pat Slattery and Emily Pearce of GameDay at Vandy.

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Guest blog: A view from inside the debate by Mark Dalhouse

Mark Dalhouse, director of the Vanderbilt Office of Active Citizenship and Service and faculty head of house at East House, was one of the lucky few to have a ticket to last night’s historic presidential debate at Belmont University. Below are his impressions, written last night after the debate:

Tonight was every political junkie’s dream–I was able to attend the McCain-Obama debate at Belmont University thanks to the generosity of a Vanderbilt parent connected with one of the campaigns. We were seated in the Curb Center quite early; early enough for me to engage in some shameless spotting of the famous: there was Lamar Alexander and Harold Ford engaged in earnest conversation; Al and Tipper Gore walking to their seats shaking hands and stopping to have pictures taken; John Seigenthaler and Bernie Shaw from CNN greeting each other with backslaps and hands clasped; Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention talking with Fred Thompson; and Bill and Karyn Frist (who I knew from my days as a St. Albans faculty member with their son as my student) stopping to greet me. Knowing that we had some time before the debate, I had brought along Jonathan Alter’s wonderful book on FDR’s 1932 campaign The Defining Moment but with all of these people to see I quickly found my interest elsewhere (though I still recommend Alter’s book).

The candidates emerged to applause and it is always thrilling, even if one has read extensively about a campaign and the candidates, to see them in person and to feel the palpable sense of excitement that comes with a political rally. So caught up in the 24 hour news cycle of internet and cable, perhaps we have lost something from the days of the torchlight parades of the closing days of campaigns.

The emotions of experiencing first hand the actual playing out of this quadrennial exercise notwithstanding, I felt neither candidate scored a knock out blow; nor were there any moments approximating President Ford prematurely liberating Eastern Europe in 1976 or Lloyd Bentsen admonishing Dan Quayle that he was no Jack Kennedy. I come away with gratitude for this experience. And eager to see my students in the morning.

Mark Dalhouse

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