Tag Archives: alumni

Introducing the 2018–2019 Lang Social Impact Fellows

Congratulations to our alum Fatima Boozarhomehri ’17 as well as A’Dorian Murray-Thomas ’16!


From Swarthmore News and Events

Fatima Boozarhomehri '17
A’Dorian Murray-Thomas ’16 (left) and Fatima Boozarjomehri ’17 will build upon their Lang Opportunity Scholarship projects and mentor current Lang Scholars and other Swarthmore student innovators.

As this year’s pair of Lang Social Impact FellowsA’Dorian Murray-Thomas ’16 and Fatima Boozarjomehri ’17 will “scale up” their efforts for social change with support from the Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility.

Murray-Thomas and Boozarjomehri will build upon their Lang Opportunity Scholarship projects this year and mentor current Lang Scholars and other Swarthmore student innovators.

“It is through the vision and generosity of Eugene M. Lang ’38, H’81 that communities facing significant challenges have come to know Swarthmore College students and alumni like A’Dorian and Fatima as social change-makers,” says Jennifer Magee, senior associate director of the Lang Center, who designed the Lang Social Impact Fellows program with input from Ben Berger, executive director of the Lang Center, and Salem Shuchman ’84, former Lang Scholar and current Board of Managers chair.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to innovate and build upon the success of the Lang Opportunity Scholarship Program with this pilot program in its second year,” Magee adds. “And we are motivated and inspired to work with A’Dorian and Fatima as they sustain and scale their initiatives.”

The fellowship will allow Murray-Thomas to scale up her SHE Wins project, which started as a Lang Scholar project working with 12–15-year-old girls in Newark, N.J., who had lost a parent or sibling to homicide. Since then, SHE Wins has expanded to an Engaged Scholarship project that works at “the intersection of educational studies, restorative justice, and adolescent psychology” to “empower the next generation of young women leaders.”

“I am thrilled about the opportunity to collaborate with various parts of the greater Swarthmore College community to further enhance the SHE Wins model, and to use my experience to give back to current Lang Scholars, like so many other Lang alumni have given to me,” says Thomas-Murray, who graduated from Swarthmore with a special major in political science and educational studies and, in 2016, was named College Woman of the Year by Glamour and a White House Champion of Change.

Boozarjomehri will expand her efforts with the Afghan refugee population of southern Tehran, designing projects to improve education access and quality for Afghan youth and diversifying economic opportunities for Afghan women. This year, she will broaden the scope of The Fanoos Project, a vocational training program for single mothers.

“I am most looking forward to continue building strong partnerships with local [nongovernmental organizations] and expanding the reach of the program to more mothers in new locations and with better facilities,” says Boozarjohmehri, who majored in Islamic studies and peace & conflict studies at Swarthmore, with support from the Project Pericles Fund. “I’m also really excited about developing a sustainable business model to ensure the continuation of the program for many years.”

Human Rights Hummus: A Podcast Produced by Peace and Conflict Studies Alumni

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Swarthmore Peace and Conflict Studies recent graduates Lily Tyson and Marissa Cohen have already produced three episodes of their new podcast, “Human Rights Hummus: Voices of the Holy Land.”

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Lily and Marissa interview Israelis and Palestinians and record their stories, teaching listeners “what their lives are like and about what is going on with this occupation today, as they experience it.”

Swarthmore College, the Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility,  and Prof. Sa’ed Atshan of the Peace and Conflict Studies program all proudly support Lily and Marissa on this project!

Check out their website here.

History with a Future: Ben Goossen ’13

Goossen 13

McCabe Library Atrium
Thursday, September 7th, 4:30 pm

Please join us in welcoming back Ben Goossen ‘13! Ben will take you through the experiences at Swarthmore that helped shape his decision to pursue a Ph.D. at Harvard University. A History and German Studies double major, and four-time recipient of the Swarthmore College Libraries’ A. Edward Newton Award, Ben will discuss his new book, Chosen Nation: Mennonites and Germany in a Global Era.

Chosen Nation tells the story of a Christian religious group’s entanglement with German nationalism through Hitler’s Third Reich and the Holocaust. Goossen will share from his experiences researching this history of complicity and cover-up, a journey that began at Swarthmore College and led to Old World Europe, seized Nazi archives, and a remote “religious state” in rural Paraguay.

Light refreshments will be served.

Sponsored by German Studies, Department of History, Friends Historical Library, Peace Collection and Swarthmore College Libraries

Peace advocate Jeremy Stone ’57 dies at his home

We were saddened to learn recently of the death of Jeremy Stone ’57, a visionary and tireless advocate for peace and our Peace and Conflict Studies Program.

He spoke about Catalytic Diplomacy for Peace on campus in April 2016, and you can watch a video recording of the talk he gave on our blog.


The New York Times printed his obituary.

Jeremy Stone in Science Center 101

By RICHARD SANDOMIR

Jeremy J. Stone, a mathematician whose ideas about minimizing the possibility of a nuclear catastrophe influenced arms-control negotiators in the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, died on Sunday at his home in Carlsbad, Calif. He was 81.

The cause was heart failure, said Steven Aftergood, his executor and a former colleague at the Federation of American Scientists.

Mr. Stone’s focus on arms reduction began in 1963 with what he called “an electric thought”: If the Soviets could be persuaded not to build a missile defense system, then perhaps the United States could be persuaded not to build one of its own.

“Both sides would then avoid the waste of expensive, ineffective systems that would, still worse, accelerate each side’s interest in buying offsetting offensive missile systems,” Mr. Stone wrote in “Every Man Should Try” (1999), one of his two autobiographies.

It was a counterintuitive argument: that national missile defenses could encourage both sides to build more offensive weapons. But it was central to the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty, which limited the number, type and placement of missiles that the United States and the Soviet Union could deploy to shoot down attacking nuclear missiles.

Mr. Stone was not the only policy expert, in or out of the government, who thought that way. But Matthew Evangelista, the author of “Unarmed Forces: The Transnational Movement to End the Cold War” (2002), and other arms-control historians said that Mr. Stone made an important contribution: the regular trips he took to the Soviet Union to cajole scientists and foreign-policy experts about the wisdom of limiting missile defense systems. His wife, Betty Jane Yannet, also a mathematician (better known as B. J. Stone), learned Russian to help him on his missions.

“He was one of the leading figures in arms control,” Mr. Evangelista said. “It took a while for the Soviet side to appreciate the arguments, and he was involved in contacts with Soviet scientists over many years to persuade them. He changed a lot of minds.”

By 1966, Mr. Evangelista said, some Soviet scientists who were involved in military research and were close to Soviet leaders like Prime Minister Aleksei N. Kosygin were calling an American plan to limit missile defenses “Jeremy Stone’s proposal.”

Morton Halperin, who served three White House administrations in national security and diplomatic positions, said in an interview that Mr. Stone “understood what many advocates don’t: that if you want to influence governments, you have to give them an idea for what they can actually do rather than lecture them about peace or arms control.”

During the debate over the Strategic Defense Initiative, or Star Wars, the space-based missile defense system pushed by President Ronald Reagan, Mr. Stone told a meeting of Soviet scientists in 1985 in Moscow that disarmament was the best response to the White House plan.

“You people are saying that if we go ahead with Star Wars, there can be no disarmament,” Mr. Stone is quoted as saying in “The Master of the Game” (1988), a biography of the nuclear-arms negotiator Paul H. Nitze written by Strobe Talbott. “I agree, but you should turn it around. You should see that if both sides go ahead with disarmament, there can be no Star Wars.”

Mr. Talbott, a former deputy secretary of state under President Bill Clinton who is now president of the Brookings Institution, said in an interview that Mr. Stone “understood the technology and theology of nuclear war.”

Jeremy Judah Stone was born on Nov. 23, 1935, in Manhattan. His father was I. F. Stone, the radical journalist who published the muckraking newsletter I. F. Stone’s Weekly. His mother, Esther, ran the newsletter’s administrative operations.

After attending the Bronx High School of Science, Mr. Stone attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for one year before transferring to Swarthmore College, from which he graduated. He met Ms. Yannet while they were students there. In 1960, he received a Ph.D. in mathematics from Stanford University.

After working at the National Bureau of Standards, the RAND Corporation and the Stanford Research Institute, he joined the Hudson Institute, which was run by the physicist Herman Kahn, a leading thinker on nuclear strategies.

Mr. Kahn assigned Mr. Stone to study the hypothetical evacuation of American cities if a Soviet invasion of Western Europe were to be met with an American first strike, leaving a retaliatory strike by Moscow inevitable. In his report, Mr. Stone concluded that it would take three days to evacuate cities in the Northeast by car and rail. When he briefed the federal Office of Civil Defense, which had paid for the study, he was asked if he thought the plan would work.

“Thanks so much for asking,” he recalled replying. “No, I don’t think it would work at all!”

In 1970, he took over the Federation of American Scientists, which was formed by some of the scientists who had built the first atomic bomb and who were dedicated to reducing nuclear dangers. Mr. Stone used a monthly newsletter to turn the federation into a policy research organization that studied issues like nuclear proliferation, energy and government secrecy.

It also became a platform for Mr. Stone’s views on arms control and the value of scientific exchanges with the Soviet Union and China, and for his defense of the dissident Soviet physicist Andrei D. Sakharov.

Mr. Stone left the organization in 2000 and formed his own firm, Catalytic Diplomacy, to try to privately resolve conflicts in countries like Cambodia, Kosovo and Peru.

Mr. Stone is survived by a sister, Celia Gilbert, and a brother, Christopher Stone. His wife died last year. They had no children.

Mr. Stone never wanted to be a journalist like his father, whose views twice jeopardized the son’s security clearance. But Jeremy Stone, like his father, was a gadfly, and in recent years he helped to perpetuate his father’s memory by establishing an I. F. Stone website and helping to raise money for a documentary about him.

“With a free press,” Mr. Stone wrote recently, repeating what his father had told him, “if the government does something wrong, it will become known and the government can fix it. But if something goes wrong with a free press, the country will go straight to hell.”

Correction: January 6, 2017

Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this obituary misstated the middle name of Mr. Stone’s wife. She was Betty Jane Yannet, not Betty Jean.

Haverford Peace, Justice, and Human Rights Alum Career Panel and Dinner

Peace, Justice, and Human Rights Alum Career Panel and Dinner

Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017
Panel and conversation in Chase Auditorium at Haverford College

4:15 PM tea and refreshments
4:30 PM event

Featuring:

  • Angelique Bradford ’14
    (Jesuit Volunteer Corps, criminal justice/restorative justice)
  • Tamar Hoffman ’16
    (Haverford House Fellow, paralegal at Community Legal Services’ Housing Unit)
  • Leah Hollander ’15
    ( New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute)
  • Nora Landis-Shack ’13
    (Public Health/Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University, tech solutions and social justice/community empowerment)

Dinner in DC 118 (Bryn Mawr Room) following the panel, at 6:00 PM. If you wish to attend the dinner, please RSVP to Adam Rosenblatt

All are welcome; you do not need to be enrolled in the PJHR Concentration to attend this event.

Prof. Dominic Tierney and Nell Bang-Jensen ’11 Discuss Media and War

Political Scientist Dominic Tierney and Nell Bang-Jensen ’11 recently led a discussion on the media’s responsibilities in times of war.

Body of an American

The discussion followed The Body of An American, which explores the friendship of photojournalist Paul Watson and playwright Dan O’Brien (played by Harry Smith and Ian Merrill). Photo by Alexander Iziliaev.

Swarthmore’s zeal for interdisciplinary studies and collaboration took center stage at the Wilma Theater earlier this month, when Associate Professor of Political Science Dominic Tierney and Nell Bang-Jensen ’11 guided a lively discussion on the media’s responsibilities in times of war.

The discussion followed a performance of The Body of an American, which explores the international repercussions of the Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of a dead American soldier being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia. The image skewed the perception of the U.S. intervention in Somalia and may have dissuaded its leaders from intervening in catastrophes such as Rwanda, Tierney says.

Nell Bang-Jensen
Nell Bang-Jensen ’11 cites collaborating with Dominic Tierney and other Swarthmore community members as “a wonderful melding of worlds.”

“The play deals with important issues about the power of photographs in wartime, which resonates with my teaching and research,” says Tierney, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and an official correspondent of The Atlantic. “I was excited to participate.”

Prof Dominic Tierney
Prof. Dominic Tierney

One of the actors in the play, Harry Smith, is a friend of Tierney’s. He recommended him as someone who had researched the events in Mogadishu and could lend context to the performance. In what Bang-Jensen deems a “funny coincidence,” it was she who called Tierney to arrange the collaboration.

“I sent him the script in advance so he could get a feel for it and see the connections to his own work,” says Bang-Jensen, who works in the Wilma’s artistic department. “There are different levels on which to interpret the play: How do we come to terms with the idea that war lives inside all of us, and how can we solve these internal wars before we can solve global ones?”

The play centers on photojournalist Paul Watson, who is haunted by what he believes he heard the soldier say right as he took the prize-winning photo: “If you do this, I will own you forever.” Playwright Dan O’Brien, also obsessed with the notion of hauntings, heard Watson tell the story on the radio in 2007, and a friendship bloomed between them. Written by O’Brien and directed by Michael John Garcés, the production runs through February 1.

Tierney’s appearance followed the January 16th performance, which drew a young and socioeconomically diverse audience (thanks partly to the WynTix program that offers $10 tickets to students and theater employees). With the Charlie Hebdo attack in France fresh on everyone’s minds, the audience pondered the media’s obligation to citizens.

“It’s the constant question of how the media can give outsiders a more nuanced view of what’s happening,” says Bang-Jensen, “going beyond these images that often only tell one part of the story.”

Also lending context to the performance was an exhibit of wartime photography in the lobby. It included the work of David Swanson, an embedded correspondent for the Philadelphia Inquirer in Iraq in 2004 and the husband of Laila Swanson, assistant professor in set and costume design for Swarthmore’s Department of Theater.

Swarthmore’s connections to the Wilma don’t end there, however. Madeline Charne ’14 has been an intern at the theater since June, and Matt Saunders, assistant professor of design and resident set designer, has designed sets for its productions such as Age of Arousal and Angels in America.

“I feel very lucky to be a part of this wonderful melding of worlds,” says Bang-Jensen, who majored in English literature with a theater minor at Swarthmore and then traveled for a year as a Watson Fellow. “It’s so exciting to engage these fellow artists at the professional level, and for these academic conversations to carry beyond the classroom and manifest as art.”

Daniel Hirschel-Burns ’14 awarded PJSA thesis award

Last week, the annual meeting of the Peace and Justice Studies Association was held at the Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego.

At the closing banquet, Daniel Hirschel Burns ’14 was awarded the undergraduate thesis award.  As Danny was unable to attend, Professor Smithey had the honor of accepting the award on his behalf.

We offer our congratulations again to Danny for his outstanding and now internationally-recognized work.

Hirschel-Burns '14 award
Prof. Lee Smithey received the 2014 Undergraduate Thesis Award from Randall Amster, Executive Director of the PJSA,, on behalf of Danny Hirschel-Burns ’14.

 

Daniel Hirschel-Burns '14
Daniel Hirschel-Burns, class of 2014

PJSA thesis award

Another Philadelphian, Nico Amador, Co-Director of Training for Change, received the Peace Educator of the Year Award.

Nico Amador PJSA 2014
Nico Amador, Co-Director of Training for Change, received the Peace Educator of the Year Award

Extended article on Elowyn Corby’s 2013 PJSA Thesis Award

Many thanks to Swarthmore’s News and Information Office for this piece that has appeared on the College’s webpage. Congratulations again to Elowyn Corby!

Elowyn Corby ’13 Wins Peace and Justice Studies Thesis Award

by Jenni Lu ’16
October 21, 2013
Elowyn Corby
Elowyn Corby (class of 2013) Special Major in Peace Education

Elowyn Corby ’13 presented her winning thesis at the Peace and Justice Studies Association’s awards banquet this past weekend.

If you want to be heard, speak up. It’s a basic concept that has driven the progression of democracy, the rise of cohesive communities, and now, Elowyn Corby’s [’13] thesis research, which recently caught the attention of the Peace and Justice Studies Association (PJSA).

Titled “Training for Change: Moving from Theory to Practice in Adult Education for Empowerment,” Corby’s thesis garnered her the association’s 2013 Undergraduate Student Thesis Award. Corby, a peace education and political science major with a minor in conflict studies from Santa Cruz, Calif., accepted the award and presented her work this past weekend at PJSA’s annual meeting in Waterloo, Ontario.

Participation supports both the individual and the collective, according to Corby. It allows for the formation of social trust and social connection between people and within a society, and prevents communities from becoming too insular and controlling. However, participation has always been unevenly distributed.

“What we see is certain people getting heard a lot, often because they tend to participate a lot,” she says. “The government listens to those who participate. My question was, how does education tie into this? We know we need democratic skills and participatory skills. How do we get there? Is that something that can be trained?”

Corby’s hope was to determine whether activism training could reduce the inequalities that typically arise out of the most common way people develop activism skills: in the workplace.

“The experience that you accrue in the workplace is very biased along racial and socioeconomic lines,” she explains. “So if you’re developing leadership experience in the workplace, it’s much more likely that you’re a white male from a privileged socioeconomic background than you’re a person of color, or a woman, from a working class background.”

For her research, Corby chose to focus on Training for Change, an activism training organization that she had been in contact with since her freshman year at Swarthmore. Using them as a case study, she conducted 278 surveys and seven long-form interviews over the span of a year and a half.

“Statistically, Training for Change does increase [participants’] democratic confidence and how much they can engage in issues they care about across the board,” Corby says. “They engage more frequently, they attend more meetings, they run more meetings.”

However, Corby also stumbled upon a second discovery. Not only did Training for Change equalize the participatory playing field, it did so by exponentially increasing activism skills among people of color.

“Training for Change is not only increasing democratic participatory skills,” she says, “but it’s also doing it in a way that disproportionately affects communities that are much more likely to be silenced by our current democratic system. So it’s combating larger social inequalities.”

Corby’s findings have solidified her staunch belief that anyone can become an activist, and hopes that her research can compel more people to consider the inequalities found in current activist participation in a new light. It’s just a matter of channeling your passion and honing your skills.

“I think one of the things that holds activism training back is that it’s not understood very well,” she says. “It’s not seen as something that’s actually viable for facilitating and catalyzing social change. So there’s a lot of need for activism training.”

Corby credits her advisers, Associate Professor of Educational Studies Diane Anderson and Associate Professor of Sociology Lee Smithey, with providing support and encouragement. “Lee in particular spent hours and hours with me going over the data and number crunching,” Corby says. “I feel strange taking credit for this because it was all of us.”

Thanks to Mary Walton for her lecture on Alice Paul ’05 and Mabel Vernon ’06

We would like to thank author Mary Walton for her lecture this afternoon on the courageous work of Swarthmore alums Alice Paul ’05 and Mabel Vernon ’06 in their organizing and nonviolent campaigns to secure the vote for women in the United States.

A standing-room only crowd of people from the Swarthmore community and the local community gathered in the Scheuer Room to celebrate the International Day of Peace, the College’s sesquicentennial, and 125 years since the first peace studies course in higher education was taught at Swarthmore. The audience expressed their appreciation for Ms. Walton’s presentation with extended applause.

We would like to thank all of our co-sponsors who made this event a success, including Peace Day Philly for including our event in the city-wide celebration of the International Day of Peace.

walton_event_logos

 

Sponsors: Peace and Conflict Studies, the President’s Office, Swarthmore College Peace Collection, Friends Historical Library, History Department, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Women’s Resource Center, Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility, English Literature Department, and Political Science Department.

Ian Kysel ’04 on Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union

Ian Kysel ’04 will speak on Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union

Tuesday, March 27, 2012; 5:30pm in Science Center room 183 at Swarthmore College

Ian Kysel is the Aryeh Neier Fellow with Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union where he focuses on the solitary confinement of youth held in jails and prisons in the United States. He is also a volunteer with the International Migrants Bill of Rights (IMBR) Initiative, of which he was formerly a co-coordinator. While a law student at Georgetown, Ian worked with the Georgetown Center for Applied Legal Studies, the United States Department of State Office of the Legal Adviser, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Amnesty International USA and Shearman & Sterling, LLP.

Prior to law school, Ian worked with non-citizens seeking asylum in the United States at Bromberg, Kohler Maya & Maschler, PLLC and lived in both Moscow and Algiers. Ian received a B.A. with high honors, Phi Beta Kappa, from Swarthmore College in 2004, where he was a member of Sixteen Feet and helped create a pilot Outdoor Orientation Program with Swarthmore, Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges, and received a J.D., magna cum laude, with a Certificate in Refugees & Humanitarian Emergencies from Georgetown University Law Center in 2011, where he was a Global Law Scholar, recipient of the Bettina E. Pruckmayr Memorial Award and an Articles Editor of the Georgetown Journal of International Law.

Sponsor: Career Services