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Faculty Publications Lead in 2014 National Media Coverage


Opinion pieces, letters to the editor, expert commentaries and studies, book reviews and special projects all contributed to Hamilton’s many appearances in the national media this year. From National Public Radio to The New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal, faculty and staff submissions and responses to media outlets made the college very visible.

Faculty books generated, perhaps, the most media attention beginning with How College Works, authored by Daniel Chambliss, the Eugene M. Tobin Distinguished Professor of Sociology, and his former student Chris Takacs ’05. Chambliss was first interviewed in the April 13 issue of The New York Times Education Life section for an article titled “What Makes a Positive College Experience?” The article offered a glimpse of the extensive results from Chambliss’ decade-long, Mellon Foundation-funded student study that culminated in the book. Many other articles, opinion pieces and reviews followed.

Inside Higher Ed included a positive review of the book and featured two additional essays by Chambliss in which he referenced research from the book. The Chronicle of Higher Education selected his book in their newly created “Book Club” column which led to a series of six weekly essays submitted by both Chambliss and Takacs in addition to another essay in a separate section of the publication.

The Chronicle also featured Chambliss in an online video in which he discussed his research results. Other papers quoted Chambliss on various book-related topics. These included USA Today and The Philadelphia Inquirer. The Washington Post selected the book on a summer reading list for college admission counselors and the Chronicle of Higher Education included it on its “Top 10 Books on Teaching” list.

Another book that attracted quite a bit of positive media attention was A History of Religion in 5 ½ Objects by Visiting Associate Professor of Religious Studies S. Brent Plate. The Utne Reader excerpted a section from the book for its site; the website Spirituality and Practice named it one of “The Best Spiritual Books of 2014,” describing it as “an elegant and illuminating book on the spiritual importance of objects in the religious life.” Plate discussed the book in an article titled “Blasphemy and Atheist Rituals” for a Religion News Service article and spoke with Interfaith Radio in a segment titled “Savoring Faith through the Senses.”

The book was also positively reviewed and featured prominently by several media outlets including the Library Journal, The Christian Century, The New Republic, Religion Dispatches and Marginalia Review of Books.

Essays by Plate appeared in numerous outlets, some directly related to topics in his book. Huffington Post featured six essays on topics ranging from religion and contemporary art to religion and the Academy Awards as well as one focused specifically on his book. Plate wrote another half dozen essays for Religion Dispatches on religion and the arts and sacred objects, among other topics. The public radio syndicated program, Academic Minute, featured another Plate essay, “An Object Lesson in Religion,” that also addressed his book. In a book-related New York Times letter to the editor titled “Why Religious Literacy is Important in Our Culture” Plate responded to a Nicholas Kristof column.

Other faculty also appeared prominently in the media as experts in their fields. Ann Owen, the Henry Platt Bristol Professor of Economics and a former Federal Reserve Board of Governors economist, was interviewed several times by American Public Media’s Marketplace as well as by National Public Radio on topics including quantitative easing, unemployment, inflation, interest rates and banking and the Federal Reserve. The Guardian featured an interview with Owen focused on how banks had benefited from the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing program and how banks would continue to benefit from the Fed’s decision to end that program. The Wall Street Journal’s “MarketWatch” also quoted Owen on the minimum wage.

Philip Klinkner, the James S. Sherman Professor of Government, was quoted, by Talking Points Memo on the leadership of the Democratic Party and in National Review Online about the race for U.S. Representative in New York’s 22nd district. 

Research by Professor Emeritus of Biology Ernest Williams was included in National Public Radio’s On Point program and New York Magazine’s “The Science of Us” featured Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology Azriel Grysman’s research on memory differences between the sexes. Professor of History Thomas Wilson spoke about Confucian philosophy in an article in the Chicago Tribune. Geosciences Technician Dave Tewksbury was quoted in The Guardian in an article titled “How Japan’s secret weapon brought second world war to rural Oregon” focused on the Japanese balloon bombs on which he has done extensive research. Discovery News included quotes from Maurice Isserman, the Publius Virgilius Rogers Professor of American History, in two articles about recent tragedies on Mt. Everest and the growth in the numbers of those attempting to climb the mountain.

On the heels of a Johns Hopkins University exam boycott, Dan Chambliss talked with Inside Higher Ed for a feature article about another boycott 25 years ago in which one student was able to convince his fellow students to boycott Chambliss’ sociology exam thereby earning A’s for the entire class. A TIME magazine article titled “Pregnancy Doesn’t Make Black Women Happier” focused on a study conducted by Professors of Economics Stephen Wu and Paul Hagstrom. 

Administrators also appeared in the national media including former Assistant Vice President of the Career and Life Outcomes Center Mary Evans who spoke with The Wall Street Journal for an article on paid and unpaid internships. Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Monica Inzer spoke about Hamilton’s move to a need-blind admission policy with University Business magazine, and Director of Financial Aid Cameron Feist discussed net price calculators with The New York Times.

Other faculty members wrote opinion pieces and letters to the editor for national publications including Maurice Isserman who wrote three articles for Dissent magazine chronicling the legal battle waged by Cecily McMillan to prove her innocence against charges of assaulting a police officer during the Occupy Wall Street movement. He also penned a history of the magazine’s first 60 years.

Associate Professor of Government Peter Cannavo published an op-ed in USA Today addressing climate change, and Assistant Professor of Government Erica De Bruin wrote an article for Foreign Affairs on the political strategies of Iraq’s leadership. Dean of Faculty Patrick Reynolds co-authored an essay titled “The Liberal Arts Contribution to edX” for The Huffington Post with Colgate Dean of Faculty Douglas Hicks that explored what the liberal arts model has to contribute to the open online platform.

Attendance at major higher education summits generated media attention for President Joan Stewart. Her comments as a panelist at the Innovation+Disruption Symposium hosted by Colgate University in Manhattan were included in a Chronicle of Higher Education article and Inside Higher Ed and Bloomberg News both noted her appearance at the White House’s Summit on Higher Education.

A student/faculty research project resulted in national media attention. The study of NFL draftee performance versus pay that began as a senior thesis directed by Professor of Economics Stephen Wu and conducted by Kendall Weir in 2012 was covered broadly by major outlets at the time. The study reappeared this year in The New York Times and Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Wu was also interviewed about the study on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition.

The Wellin Museum of Art continued to attract media attention. ARTnews proclaimed the exhibition of Pranlal K. Patel’s photographs a “must see” exhibit. The Times of India, the Indian Express and The New York Times “India Ink” offered the Patel show generous coverage. ArtDaily, whitewall and ARTINFO featured the Alyson Shotz show, and Modern Art Notes featured a podcast of the artist discussing her work. The Art Newspaper celebrated the museum’s outreach to local schools via its education programming.

The Sacerdote Great Names Speakers series attracted media attention both for upcoming and previous speakers. A great deal of media coverage was devoted to former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, her speaking appearances and her fees. Beginning with The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, Hamilton was regularly mentioned as one of the institutions that had hosted her through the support of a private endowment. Derek Jeter’s appearance as the next speaker generated a feature article in the New York Daily News by Hamilton alumnus and reporter Christian Red ’90.

Alumni whose articles generated attention for the college included an opinion piece by Board of Trustees President Stephen Sadove ’73 in Forbes titled “Employees Who Stand Out” in which he championed a liberal arts education as a pathway to success in the business world. Robert “Bob” Moses ’56 and his participation as a leader during Freedom Summer in 1964 were highlighted by many publications including The Huffington Post.

Finally, Hamilton appeared in seemingly countless rankings and related articles including those in U.S. News & World Report, the Princeton Review, Kiplinger’s, The Street, The Huffington Post, Forbes, The Daily Beast, Washington Monthly, The New York Times, CNN, and MONEY magazine.

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