Hamilton Garners National News Attention Throughout 2010
By Vige Barrie
December 29, 2010
Hamilton College attracted the media’s attention quite often this year in feature stories and news reports. A survey that tracks the frequency of words and phrases in the media generated by the Global Language Monitor ranked Hamilton College 10th among U.S. colleges in August. The organization reviews social media, the Internet and blogosphere, proprietary media databases and global print and electronic media in formulating its ranking.
Among the areas most often addressed by the media in covering Hamilton were topics related to the admission process. The New York Times announced the College’s decision to become need-blind in its admission decisions. The article appeared in print and on the publication’s education blog. Following the Times coverage in early March, InsideHigherEd, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Washington Monthly and Salon, among others, reported on the decision. The Times also interviewed and quoted Dean of Admission Monica Inzer on issues relating to the relevance of extracurricular activities in admission decisions. Inzer was also quoted in articles in U.S. News & World Report on the sensitivity required in declining applicants and in The Chronicle of Higher Education on assessing an applicant’s demonstrated interest. USA Today featured Inzer’s Convocation speech on its higher education blog and on the education page.
Dean of Students Nancy Thompson was also interviewed by The New York Times and quoted on roommate assignments. Other stories related to the campus included InsideHigherEducation and USA Today’s feature story on the College’s emergency preparedness drill in which Hamilton collaborated with the New York State Police and area emergency responders in a simulated hostage situation. The Chronicle of Higher Education devoted an article to the Kirner-Johnson Building and its LEED Gold certification and the building’s many sustainability features.
Students, too, received media coverage, most significantly in a New York Times article on textbook sales and the Entrepreneurship Club’s creation of getmytextbooks.org. The article, in which Hamilton was described as “a poster-perfect liberal arts school,” also appeared in or was referenced by The International Herald Tribune, Washington Monthly’s “College Guide” blog, University Business magazine and Syracuse Post-Standard, as well as many other blogs and websites. In addressing anti-Muslim sentiment and campus reactions, USA Today’s education blog described Hamilton’s fast-a-thon in which 170 Muslim and non-Muslim students participated in a fast and post-fast dinner.
The Levitt Public Affair Center released another youth poll in the spring, this one on high school students’ attitudes on and understanding of the economy and their perspectives on President Obama’s performance. News of the poll was covered by more than 2,600 outlets, including national and international publications and hundreds of local television stations and newspapers. The story first ran on the Associated Press’ national and world wires.
Ann Owen, director of the Levitt Public Affairs Center and Henry Platt Bristol Professor of Economics, spoke with the national media frequently and was quoted in stories related to Federal Reserve decisions by Reuters, American Public Media’s Marketplace, National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and MarketWatch. Director of New Media JD Ross spoke to the national media about a Facebook scam targeting incoming freshman across the country and was featured prominently by The New York Times, InsideHigherEd and The Washington Post education blog.
Several faculty members participated in public radio WAMC’s Academic Minute program, a production that features, according to its website, “professors from top institutions around the country, keeping listeners abreast of what’s new and exciting in the academy.” Those faculty members whose segments have already been aired include Associate Professor of Economics Stephen Wu, Professor of Anthropology Emeritus Douglas Raybeck, Professor of Government and Director of the Public Policy Program P. Gary Wyckoff, Visiting Associate Professor of Religious Studies S. Brent Plate, Associate Professor of History Chad Williams and Maurice Isserman, the James L. Ferguson Professor of History. Many other professors responded to media calls for expert comment throughout the year, keeping the Hamilton name in the national spotlight.