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AACR honors Alan D’Andrea

March 1, 2021 | shgcmyqk | No Comments

first_imgThe American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) presented Alan D. D’Andrea, the Alvan T. and Viola D. Fuller American Cancer Society Professor of Radiation Oncology at Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, with the 52nd Annual AACR G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award for his work in understanding cancer survival and progression, which has included milestones such as cloning a key protein involved in red blood cell production and discovering a family of proteins that help maintain DNA stability.The award, presented to D’Andrea at the AACR’s annual meeting in Chicago, recognizes a scientific odyssey that began with research into a rare pediatric cancer susceptibility syndrome — Fanconi anemia — and led to new insights into how cells repair their DNA and thereby ward off cancer.In his acceptance speech, D’Andrea remarked: “I am greatly honored to receive the 2012 G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award from the AACR. Work from my laboratory has shown that the study of rare pediatric cancer susceptibility syndromes, such as Fanconi anemia, can lead to broad insights into the cause and treatment of cancer in the general population. My laboratory members and I are especially grateful to the children and families with Fanconi anemia who have been our close partners in this research during the last two decades.”During his postdoctoral studies, D’Andrea cloned the erythropoietin (EPO) receptor, a key protein involved in red blood cell production (erythropoiesis) and survival. The receptor’s role in erythropoiesis offers a potential avenue for cancer therapeutics, as a blood supply is necessary for the growth and spread of cancer. D’Andrea continues to investigate the receptor in hematological malignancies, examining the ways that inherent (somatic) mutations and/or epigenetic modifications of the receptor affect its downstream, intracellular signaling pathways including JAK/STAT (Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription) and MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase).The AACR & Eli Lilly and Co. established the G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award in 1961 to honor G.H.A. Clowes, a founding member of the AACR. This honor recognizes an individual with outstanding recent accomplishments in basic cancer research.“Dr. D’Andrea has been a vital contributor to cancer research,” said Margaret Foti, chief executive officer of the AACR. “His work has greatly enhanced our knowledge of the field of DNA instability and repair mechanisms. Furthermore, his studies have provided us with a better understanding of the biological relationships of rare hereditary diseases, such as Fanconi anemia, and cancer.”last_img read more

The oldest endowed professorship

March 1, 2021 | isuyyvzl | No Comments

first_imgLittle could a wealthy London merchant know that his gift to Harvard in 1721 would transform how students are taught in today’s universities, and lead to a fundamental shift in the School’s founding ethos.The seeds of change took root with creation of the Hollis Professorship of Divinity, the oldest endowed professorship in North America, enabled by Thomas Hollis, a philanthropist with a passion for liberty and religious expression.Though he never visited New England, Hollis was familiar with Harvard by way of his uncle Robert Thorner, who had left the sum of 500 pounds to the College in his will. Hollis was interested in, he wrote, “the liberties the Baptists in New England enjoyed.”“Hollis had come to believe that Harvard was an academic institution that would be broad-minded toward all sects, and he was interested in encouraging the liberal spirit that was gaining strength in Boston and Cambridge,” wrote William Bentinck-Smith and Elizabeth Stouffer in “Harvard University History of Named Chairs” (1995).The Londoner understood religious intolerance, since his Baptist faith put him at odds with the Church of England. Worried about the perceived intolerance of New England’s Congregationalists, Hollis stipulated several conditions for the new professorship, aimed at preventing religious bias.In the rules laid out by Hollis, the holder of the chair would have to “be a Masters of Arts, and in Communion with some Christian Church of one of the three Denominations, Congregational Presbiterian or Baptist.”Hollis’ philanthropy ran deep. Prior to creating the chair, which he endowed at 80 pounds a year, he sent casks of nails and cutlery along with scientific instruments to the College and regularly contributed books that reflected liberal thinking. In 1727, he established the Hollis Professorship of Mathematicks and Natural Philosophy. Some observers say his generosity even outmatched that of Harvard’s most famous benefactor, namesake John Harvard.While remaining true to their Calvinist trainings, early holders of the professorship gradually began to move toward a more liberal ideology. During his 43-year tenure as the first appointee, Edward Wigglesworth offered “antithetical views on a theological subject, forcing the student to think and draw his own conclusions,” wrote Russell V. Kohr in a 1981 master’s thesis for Western Michigan University. Edward Wigglesworth II, who took over for his father in 1765, was an authority on both theology and mathematics and an original member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.“The establishment of the chair really marked a critical step toward more ecumenical training,” said Harvey Cox, Hollis Research Professor of Divinity who held the Hollis professorship for several years until 2009.But trouble erupted in 1805 when Henry Ware, a Unitarian minister and the valedictorian of Harvard’s class of 1785, was elected to the position. The decision sent shockwaves through the Harvard campus. The move broke with the tradition of appointing an orthodox Calvinist to the post in favor of a more liberal Unitarian. So angered were some conservatives, led by acting president Eliphalet Pearson, that they decamped for nearby Andover, where in 1807 they founded the Andover Theological Seminary, the nation’s first formal school devoted to the education of ministers.But in addition to stirring controversy, Hollis’ gifts prompted an understanding of the need for professors who were authorities in their fields, as opposed to tutors who would instruct students in a variety of topics. The shift set the stage for creating more endowed professorships and gradually restructuring instruction at Harvard and beyond.“The establishment of the chair broke the lockstep of the practice inherited by Harvard College from Oxford and Cambridge Universities, by which a tutor taught all members of a class all subjects,” said Kohr in his essay. “Henceforth, the divinity professor taught only divinity, and thus the vertical, or departmental, system of curricular organization was begun at the College.”The Hollis Chair, as legend suggests, also came with one important right, resurrected by Cox: the right to graze a cow in Harvard Yard. As one of his parting acts before stepping down from the chair, Cox borrowed a bovine from the Farm School in Athol. The animal’s presence, Cox told a crowd near the steps of Memorial Church in 2009, represented “how much closer we need to be to the animals that sustain us, to the Earth, the grass, the vegetables.”The current holder of the professorship is Karen King, whose research centers on women and heresy in ancient Christianity. The first woman to hold the post, she called her selection extraordinary.“Appointing me to this chair connects the history of women at the University back to a time when women weren’t present,” said King, a member of the faculty at Harvard Divinity School.  “I think my appointment shows us, too, a lot about how far the University has come, and the direction Harvard has taken from a narrow piety of male clergy to the embrace of women and many religious traditions.”last_img read more

first_img Read Full Story The Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) has announced its 2012 HAA Award winners. The award, which recognizes outstanding service to Harvard University through alumni activities, was established in 1990 and has been an annual tradition since. This year’s recipients have devoted countless hours of service and work on behalf of the University and include former HAA presidents, chief marshals, class secretaries, and committee members.They are: Teresita Alvarez-Bjelland, A.B. ’76, M.B.A. ’79, of Oslo, Norway; F. Gorham Brigham, A.B. ’37, M.B.A. ’39, of West Newton, Mass.; Deborah Gelin, A.B. ’79, M.B.A. ’83, of Washington, D.C.; Joseph K. Hurd Jr., A.B. ’60, M.D. ’64, of Wellesley, Mass.; Judge John Paul Kennedy, A.B. ’63, of Salt Lake City, Utah; and Michael G. Yamin, A.B. ’53, LL.B. ’58, of New York City, New York.last_img read more

Radcliffe Gymnasium renamed

March 1, 2021 | uhjupwev | No Comments

first_imgAt a celebratory event on Wednesday, the Radcliffe Gymnasium was renamed the Knafel Center in honor of Sidney R. Knafel ’52, M.B.A. ’54, and in recognition of the center’s increasing role in promoting intellectual exchange across Harvard’s Schools and with the public.Radcliffe supports innovative work in the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences through its highly competitive Fellowship Program, its renowned Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, and its Academic Ventures program that supports collaborative, faculty-led research projects, as well as public events across all academic disciplines and the creative arts. The Radcliffe Institute is committed not only to the creation of bold ideas, but also to sharing them with a broad, global audience.Members of the Radcliffe community — including fellows, Harvard students who are research partners with fellows, faculty advisers, librarians, and other staff, as well as members of the Dean’s Advisory Council — gathered in Radcliffe Yard for a surprise announcement by Radcliffe Dean Lizabeth Cohen, the Howard Mumford Jones Professor of American Studies at Harvard.When Cohen and Knafel stepped onto the steps of the Radcliffe Gymnasium, Cohen announced that the building was being renamed the Knafel Center, “in honor of Sid’s longstanding and outstanding support for the Radcliffe Institute.” His most recent gift establishes the $10.5 million Knafel Fund, which will support programs at the institute that bring together Harvard faculty from across the University and scholars from around the world to work in private seminars and to create public programs.“It is wonderful, and wonderfully fitting, that the Radcliffe Gymnasium is now the Knafel Center, serving as the center of so much bold and creative work at the Radcliffe Institute and at Harvard,” said Cohen. “We recognize that Sid thinks big and appreciate that with his most recent gift, he is inspiring us all to unite big thinkers across disciplines and boundaries to connect in new ways with one another and the public.”“Sid was one of the early — and great — supporters of the Radcliffe Institute and is among the University’s most deeply engaged citizens,” said Harvard President Drew Faust, who grew close to Knafel when she was the dean of Radcliffe. “He is passionate about advancing Harvard, about supporting teaching and research, and about investing his resources wisely and well. I am pleased that one of our campus’ beloved spaces will bear his name as a lasting acknowledgement of his thoughtfulness and generosity.”“It’s a pretty simple proposition for me,” Knafel said of his generosity to and involvement with the institute. “A stronger Radcliffe contributes to a stronger Harvard. A great university needs a place where thinkers from across its campus and around the world come together to take risks, explore new ideas, and connect theory and practice. At Harvard, the Radcliffe Institute is that place.”The building formerly known as the Radcliffe Gymnasium is the center of that activity. Built in 1898 for Radcliffe College, and most recently renovated in 2005 for the Radcliffe Institute (which was founded in 1999), the Knafel Center will undergo external renovations this summer.  The first-floor conference rooms host intensive seminars led by Harvard faculty and former Radcliffe fellows that convene a diverse array of faculty, scholars, artists, and experts to launch research initiatives, publications, and public policies. Recent seminars include “Securing the Place of Organized Civil Society in Emerging Arab Democracies,” “A New Multidisciplinary Approach to Data Understanding: Integrating Human and Computational Approaches,” and “Human Rights to Water and Sanitation: From Theory to Practice.”The  second-floor auditorium is home to thought-provoking events that are free, open to the public, and often webcast live, such as recent lectures by NPR journalist Melissa Block ’83, prominent historian Anthony Grafton, and theoretical physicist Lawrence M. Krauss, and the upcoming “Crossing Borders: Immigration and Gender in the Americas” concert and conference.The Knafel Fund will support the Radcliffe Institute and the University’s long-term mission as planning continues for an upcoming capital campaign at Harvard, which is expected to launch in late 2013. Knafel runs SRK Management Co., a venture capital firm in New York, and supports a number of initiatives and schools across the University. He is the co-chair of the Radcliffe Campaign and honorary co-chair of the University-wide campaign.last_img read more

War-weary spirits

March 1, 2021 | lpjxbyhj | No Comments

first_imgAn exhibit now on view at Harvard Divinity School’s (HDS) Andover-Harvard Theological Library offers an intimate look at some of the religious dimensions to the Civil War, as well as a sense of the deep involvement of Harvard alumni in the nation’s bloodiest conflict.The show contains a selection from the library’s holdings of hundreds of pamphlets and other documents printed during the Civil War period, many of which have been digitized in connection with an ongoing preservation project.On the library’s second floor, two glass cases and two wall displays hold song and prayer books that were likely used by chaplains and soldiers, as well as a series of Civil War-related sermons and several eulogies delivered in honor of Harvard men who sacrificed their lives on the battlefield.“The chaplains of the Union army were populated with large numbers of Harvard-trained clergymen,” said David F. Holland, an associate professor of North American religious history at HDS.Among those fallen Harvard alumni was Arthur Buckminster Fuller, grandfather to the famed inventor Buckminster Fuller and brother to women’s rights advocate Margaret Fuller, who graduated from Harvard College in 1843 and from HDS four years later. A chaplain in the 16th Regiment of the Massachusetts Infantry, Fuller was honorably discharged from his post on Dec. 10, 1862. The following day, while still with his regiment, he was killed at the Battle of Fredericksburg.The library’s holdings include a version of “A Life Sketch of a New England Clergyman and Army Chaplain” by Fuller’s brother, Richard Frederick Fuller.Fuller’s tribute to his brother is “indicative of the valuable historical archival material this exhibit is offering,” said Holland.Among the exhibit’s many memorials is a touching tribute to Henry Ware Hall, a member of the 51st Regiment, Illinois Infantry, who attended Harvard in 1856. Ware died in 1864, at age 24, “while rallying the troops on June 27, in the assault on Kennesaw Mountain.”Ware’s memorial, delivered by Thomas B. Fox in the First Church, Dorchester, Mass., on Sunday, July 17, 1864, begins: “Henry, — you will allow me to call him familiarly by his Christian name, the name we best knew him by, — for I cannot use studied phrases, or be formal now, — Henry has also ‘died for his country.’”Several of the sermons in the show reflect the national sentiment following the assassination of the country’s 16th president. As the exhibit’s accompanying text notes: “Abraham Lincoln was shot on Good Friday, April 14, 1865, and died the next morning. In many pulpits on Easter, April 16, instead of joyous sermons about the resurrection of Jesus, there were somber reflections on the death of the President.”For Cliff Wunderlich, the exhibit and digital archive serve as an important reminder not only of the Civil War’s brutal toll, but also its proximity. “It’s easy to dismiss it as ancient history,” said Wunderlich, head of research services and curator of digital collections at Andover-Harvard Theological Library. “But it’s something that has to be faced.”last_img read more

Emancipation’s long foreshadowing

March 1, 2021 | xppcyhzz | No Comments

first_imgIra Berlin, a pre-eminent historian of African America who is now in his 70s, visited Harvard this week, both to give (lectures) and to receive (an award).Berlin, who teaches at the University of Maryland, delivered the lectures on “The Long Emancipation” for the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research.But the award, the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal for 2014, took him by surprise. On Tuesday, Berlin was poised to deliver the first of three days of lectures in this year’s Nathan I. Huggins series when center director Henry Louis Gates Jr. popped the news in front of a standing-room-only crowd.“His books are required reading,” said Gates, who added that one had “changed my life”: “Slaves Without Masters: The Free Negro in the Antebellum South” (1974). That was Berlin’s first book, and it turned Civil War history on its head. By using census data, he showed that by 1860 more freed blacks lived in the slaveholding South than in the slave-free North. “He did it,” said Gates, “by using numbers in plain sight.”The medal was the first awarded since the center changed its name in October. Given since 2000, the medal is Harvard’s highest honor for those whose work contributes to the African-American experience. As a Du Bois medalist, Berlin is in stellar company. Last fall, the award went to six recipients, including Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor and film director Steven Spielberg. At Tuesday’s lecture, stellar company was also present: celebrated historians Bernard Bailyn, David Brion Davis, Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, and Rebecca J. Scott. “If this roof falls in,” said Gates, “the fate of American history would be in serious trouble.”Berlin’s later scholarship traces the black American experience in ever-widening geographic arcs. His book “The Making of African America” (2010) challenges a dominant narrative in black history: the movement from bondage to freedom. He offers a counter-narrative, saying that “four great migrations” illuminate a less linear view of the black experience in America. These transformational dislocations, Berlin wrote, were creative and courageous searches for identity, meaning, and a sense of place.They start with the trans-Atlantic slave trade, continue with the forced migrations of slaves south and inland to work on cotton plantations, include the 20th century migration of blacks northward in search of work, and show new black Americans moving from Africa and elsewhere.The “long emancipation”In his lectures, Berlin laid out an argument for reassessing the trajectory of black liberty. “We tend to think of emancipation as a moment,” he said. “I’d like to think of it as a movement, a near century-long movement.” (Berlin’s last lecture, “Bloody Struggle,” is scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday in the Thompson Room.)The series had as its subtitle “Rethinking of the Demise of Slavery in the United States.” Berlin recast the temporal frame back to the 18th century, when he said the principles of the American Revolution helped to start the long unraveling of slavery. In 1776, opponents of slavery and slaves themselves acquired the “great weapon” of the Declaration of Independence, said Berlin. As far back as 1781, Thomas Jefferson, a slaveholder, foresaw the institution’s demise.By the end of the 18th century, states in the upper South were loosening their bonds to slavery as a way of life. Then came “a counter-revolution,” said Berlin, a 19th century in which abolitionists and slaveholders increasingly squared off in escalating conflicts that culminated in the Civil War.The resonant Declaration of Independence combined with the Bible to create what Berlin called the twin “ur-texts of American nationality.” Meanwhile, state governments, lawyers, and religious abolitionists continued to assault the institution of slavery, battling opponents who, Berlin said, “warred on all fronts.”Slavery was already weakening by the time of the war that banished it. By 1860, chattel bondage in the South was “leaking like a sieve,” Berlin said. Slaves were fleeing in greater numbers, “self-purchasing” their freedom, and winning “freedom suits” in the courts. So the demise of slavery was not a moment or an event (the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation, the 13th Amendment), said Berlin. “Slavery came apart in pieces,” starting nearly a century before the war of 1861-1865.Still, there were more American slaves in 1860 — about 4 million — than at any other time. The institution was coming apart, but it wasn’t happening quickly.Emancipation’s four elementsIn the end, four key elements wove through the 85-year story of the “long emancipation” that started in 1776: the primacy of ex-slaves, a shifting debate over race identity, deliberations about the meaning of equality, and constant violence.Central to the long road to freedom was the core of ex-slaves. They provided opposition that was “direct and personal,” and added fire to the message of white abolitionists. (Berlin acknowledged their efficacy.) These passionate black advocates also helped neutralize widespread apathy to the institution among many slaves, and among blacks already freed.Free and prosperous blacks contributed to inertia by hewing to hierarchical ideas of authority, by fearing the wrath of slave owners, and by limiting social contact with slaves. This added up to a trope of antebellum black newspapers that “freed people of color” were not doing enough to end slavery. (In many cases, Berlin said, they even bought slaves themselves.) Yet by 1860, freed blacks in the South — living representations that freedom could work in a post-slavery world — had become vital to ending slavery. Berlin called them “the yeast that makes the bread rise.”Then came another crosscurrent, a debate over the meaning of race. The Declaration of Independence “had made equality normative,” said Berlin, but in racial terms had it made equality real? People asked: What distinguished whites from blacks? Some even asked, are blacks human? (One unhappy consequence of the race debate was an uptick in physiological studies in pursuit of race differences.)Another element involved a different debate. If the Declaration demands a logic that the American republic be interracial, said Berlin, what does that mean and how far can it go? Thus began a “long chapter on the making and remaking of race.”As for the “final feature of emancipation” — violence — that was ubiquitous and consistent. With slavery’s grip loosening, “the violence begins almost immediately,” said Berlin. In particular, child kidnapping bloomed. Slavery proponents even snatched pregnant free women and moved them across borders so their children would be born in slave states. Berlin used the analog of the Amber Alert. “Think of this happening all the time,” he said.The violence ratcheted higher. By the 1820s and ’30s, there were race riots, race “cleansings,” and “open warfare” among vigilante societies, Berlin said, whose actions by the 1850s — the “years of great violence” in Bloody Kansas and elsewhere — foreshadowed the slaughter of the Civil War. By then, “violence was raised to yet another level,” said Berlin. “But the pattern was already established.”There was social violence too. In 1776, the Declaration of Independence became that “great weapon” of freedom. But in 1857 the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision opened the door for slavery to reach into the North. That set the stage for the war, and for an end to slavery, as well as (in theory) an explicit beginning of black American freedom. It was a long time coming, said Berlin. “Emancipation was a gradual struggle.”last_img read more

For French scholar, hope survives terror

March 1, 2021 | zelepmlo | No Comments

first_imgIt was with tragic timeliness that Professor Patrick Weil discussed “After the Paris Attacks: What Is the Future for French Society?” on Wednesday at Harvard Law School.The French sociologist, historian, and legal scholar, who is currently a visiting professor at Yale Law School, had been invited several months ago to speak on the roots and repercussions of the shootings at the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and at a kosher supermarket in Paris in January. After the city was again torn by terrorist violence on Friday, his topic was even more current.Weil began his lecture, which was co-sponsored by the Human Rights Program, Islamic Legal Studies Program, and Harvard European Law Association, by flashing back to the earlier attack — and the community response. The huge march, by some estimates 4 million, that coalesced in the days following the shooting demonstrated unity in the face of tragedy. But not everyone felt included, and Weil noted dismissive comments from members of both the Jewish and Muslim communities, some of whom felt marginalized and isolated by the show of supposed national solidarity.That reaction, he went on to say, offers both an explanation and a possible response to the question of how France — and by extension, the world — can move forward after yet another round of terrorism.“Some French think, ‘I don’t recognize my country,’” said Weil. “And some feel, ‘I am French on paper, but I am not recognized as such.’” In such fragmentation, he said, are the roots of discontent and violence.But how to promote a sense of le vivre ensemble — living together — that will help disparate communities feel engaged as what Weil called “part of a common society”? The answer, he said, lies in understanding history. He said many communities of contemporary France need to hear their stories incorporated into the national narrative.Modern France, Weil said, is built on four principles: equality under the law; the memory of the French Revolution, and thus the idea that people can change the law; a shared language and culture; and the concept of läicité, which roughly translates as the separation of church and state. But what unites the country — any country — is a sense of history: a shared story.Weil described how a French man from Marseilles could travel to Dunkirk and still know he is in France.“Why does he feel at home?” Weil asked. “The language. He can communicate with the people in the café and the restaurant. He can talk about politics. Why doesn’t he feel at home when he meets somebody who he might think is coming from Algeria? He has never been told the role of Algeria … in French history.”For Weil, a crucial part of this history is his country’s extensive colonization, particularly of North Africa. Calling the 130-year involvement in Algeria France’s “collective trauma,” Weil said, “Algeria is central because it was a racist colonization. Whatever point you take it, we come back to Algeria.”From the original inhabitants of the colony who were mistreated and impoverished, to the Algerian soldiers who sided with the French and were then abandoned, to the French settlers — the pied noir — who felt equally abandoned by their country, the history of Algeria is an unhappy one. Weil said that history also fed anti-Semitism among Muslims who compared their treatment with that afforded Jewish refugees, specifically after World War II.In order to move on, the scholar said, there must be more open discussion about these events. For France to get beyond its racism and the backlash of hate, he said, conflicts and injustices of the past must be more fully understood.History is “a progress of values, of principles,” he pointed out. “We went from slavery to abolishing slavery. We went from colonization to decolonization.”He also made a case for gaining a sense of history through the personal: “People have to find themselves through their parents and their grandparents, and through the country in which they live.”Only by accepting the many facets of its citizens’ diverse experiences, Weil said, will France be able to come together as a multicultural country, respectful of each of its four principles. But that, he stressed, can happen.“What I remember after January, in the days following, we felt — I felt — the need to call people,” Weil said, noting how he reached out to friends and students, including devout Muslims.“We needed to talk, to check that we were on the same path — that we were still friends,” he said. “We were able to talk about the situation as friends and compatriots. Across all the country, we had people meeting in their homes. I can see that happening again. People need to talk, and that’s a sign of a strong of a strong citizenry that wants to continue.”last_img read more

first_img The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. Last fall, Harvard’s Office of the Provost convened the first meeting of the University Accessibility Committee (UAC), a forum that brings senior leaders together to evaluate and promote accessibility on campus, and to share successful practices from across the University. In its inaugural year, the UAC focused preliminary efforts on initiatives that span the Harvard community, identifying three main areas for its work: the student experience, digital technology, and on-campus facilities.“We have convened this critically important committee in order to provide an opportunity for University leadership to come together with those who are working assiduously to build a Harvard that advances accessibility across departments, Schools, and our campus as a whole,” said Provost Alan Garber. “I’m pleased that the UAC already has begun to make recommendations that have led to meaningful improvements, and I look forward to ongoing progress in our commitment to support students, faculty, and staff with disabilities.”The UAC is designed to complement and bolster the efforts of University Disability Services (UDS) to promote an accessible and welcome working and learning environment for individuals with disabilities, while providing guidance for collaboration across the University. Its work also dovetails with the mission of Harvard’s Presidential Task Force on Inclusion and Belonging, which was established in 2016 to identify ways to support the academic and professional success of all members of the University community.“Our office has begun the years-long process of moving Harvard University toward a culture characterized by ‘inclusive excellence,’ and the work of the UAC is critical to these efforts,” said John Silvanus Wilson Jr., senior adviser and strategist to the president, who oversees implementation of the recommendations of the task force. “As a community, we are charged with building a Harvard that fully embraces the life experiences of people from all backgrounds. This includes ensuring that people living with disabilities have access to opportunities on campus that allow them to fulfill their potential and achieve their life goals. I’m grateful that leaders from across the University are so engaged in and committed to this work.”The UAC has appointed three working groups of Harvard staff members with relevant expertise to consider various topics and propose recommendations related to student experience, digital technology, and on-campus facilities. Last June, the groups presented their first round of findings and outlined opportunities and potential next steps. The UAC’s structure, which allows senior leaders to benefit from the knowledge of practitioners from across campus, is intended to streamline the process for implementing new measures. As a result, many of the first round of recommendations are already being instituted. These include:Cross-Registration. Students with disabilities must ask about accommodations when signing up for classes. For courses offered outside a student’s home School, or in a cross-listed course, additional steps and coordination may be required. This fall, the student experience working group helped implement updates to School, UDS, and local Student Disability Coordinator websites, and established best practices to better share information between home and host School registrars. Looking ahead, the group hopes to establish a “check-in module” within the online registration process to handle accommodation requests during cross-registration. It is also exploring centralized data collection to enhance communication between Schools.Digital Access. The digital technology working group has focused its efforts on big-picture recommendations for improving access. A starting point involves expanding resources, similar to those on the Harvard University Information Technology’s online accessibility website, to help web developers and content creators put together and promote widely accessible materials. In the past two years, the User Research Center at Harvard Library and digital accessibility manager Kyle Shachmut have used grants from the President’s Administrative Innovation Fund to build a pool of assistants to test speech-to-text technologies in places such as Lamont Library and on HarvardX and to create a comprehensive database of all accessible technology purchased University-wide. The working group hopes to use this data to standardize and streamline how accessibility is built into procuring digital technologies.The on-campus facilities working group has established two principal tasks: to enhance consideration of accessibility issues in the University’s construction projects, and improve “welcoming and wayfinding” with respect to its physical plant. The group is working to improve Harvard’s delivery guidelines for capital projects so they include accessibility considerations early in the development and construction processes. It also has made recommendations on how to help people with disabilities best navigate the physical campus, and has begun exploring products such as tactile maps and augmented reality technology for the visually impaired.The UAC will meet again early in the new year to hear a second cycle of recommendations from the three working groups, and to identify next steps.“It’s an exciting time at Harvard, as we celebrate the diversity of our students, and find new and improved ways to serve the needs of a community that continues to change demographically,” said UDS director and committee member Michele Clopper. “We’ve taken a critical step forward in engaging senior leadership in creating a welcoming environment across the University, and I look forward to ongoing projects that enhance accessibility at Harvard.”last_img read more

Coed Hasty Pudding makes its debut

March 1, 2021 | jqykayon | No Comments

first_imgFor Elle Shaheen ’21, being part of the first group of women cast in a Hasty Pudding Theatricals production felt like getting accepted into Harvard a second time.“It sparked that exact same feeling of utter excitement, joy, and relief after lots of intensely hard work,” said the sophomore from Portsmouth, N.H., who is studying Theater, Dance & Media.This year marked the first in the group’s 171-year history that women took the stage as part of the Hasty Pudding cast. Six men and six women make up this year’s onstage talent in the original student musical “France France Revolution!” The group performs on campus through March 10 before taking the show to New York City March 15 and 16 and to Bermuda for three spring break shows.“The talent is through the roof,” said first-time director Larry Sousa, who cast male performers to play roles of both genders and women to do the same.“France France Revolution!” tells the love story of a butcher and a princess who meet during the February Revolution of 1848. Ashley LaLonde ’20 plays the leading role of ingénue Theresa Sparkinme.“It’s historic and I think the quality of the show is top-notch,” said LaLonde, who acts professionally and has done five shows at the American Repertory Theater in the past two years. “It’s so cool to be part of literally the oldest theater group in the country and to be part of a show that has a huge legacy. I feel so lucky to be one of the first women. It’s a very special moment in history.”LaLonde earned the honor of being the first woman to sing the show-stopping Act II number called “Head of Heels,” a ballad that’s the turning point in the show.“It’s incredible to have a professional opportunity for collegiate performing artists that mirrors the professional world,” she said. “For me, that’s one of the most exciting aspects of being part of the cast.”,“When I found out I got to play a man, it felt even cooler, in some ways — that idea that women can play men on stage like men can play women and that women can be very comical and funny.” — Elle Shaheen,Women have been behind the scenes at the Pudding in the past, including actress Rashida Jones and comedy writer Megan Amram (“The Good Place”). Laura Sky Herman ’19, Shirley Chen ’22, Annabel O’Hagan ’19, and Celia Kenney ’20 comprise the rest of this year’s female cast. Shaheen said the Pudding pace is intense, with the show coming together in only three weeks of daily daylong rehearsals and songs being added just days before opening night.“It’s an extraordinary group of women and everyone in the company, male and female, has been extremely supportive,” she said. “To feel that everyone is so excited we’re here, we all feel incredibly grateful that we get to be a part of it.”The Leverett House resident auditioned in 2017 as a form of protest of the group’s exclusion of women. “I went in knowing full well that I wasn’t going to get it,” she said, “but [I wanted] to show them that there was this incredible range of talent that they were ignoring. When they announced that they would cast women at the [2018] Woman of the Year, I called my mom in tears and said, ‘I have to be part of that.’ I prepared for it almost every day since.”Shaheen is particularly pleased to be playing an evil Russian prince named Emmanuel Haftamarry. “When I found out I got to play a man,” she said, “it felt even cooler, in some ways — that idea that women can play men on stage like men can play women and that women can be very comical and funny.”To purchase tickets to the Hasty Pudding Theatricals’ 171st production, “France France Revolution,” contact the HPT Box Office at 617-495-5205 or order online at The show will be performed at Harvard University’s historic Farkas Hall at 12 Holyoke St. through March 10. The company then travels to New York to perform at The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College on March 15 and 16. Call 212-772-4448 for tickets. It will perform March 20-22 at Hamilton City Hall in Bermuda.last_img read more

first_img Read Full Story Harvard College’s Advising Programs Office awarded 12 advisers from throughout the University with the prestigious Star Family Prize for Excellence in Advising on Wednesday, May 8, 2019. The Star Prizes were established by James A. Star ’83 to recognize and reward individuals who contribute to the College through their exemplary intellectual and personal guidance of undergraduate students.Prizes are awarded each year to 12 advisers, three each in the categories of: first-year, sophomore, concentration, and faculty advisers.Nominations for the award were sought from the undergraduate student body earlier this year, and selection committees comprised of College staff, previous Star Prize recipients, and peer advising fellows chose from competitive pools of nominees to select this year’s recipients.First-year AdvisingTycie Coppett: first year proctor and assistant director of the Ed.L.D. program at Harvard Graduate School of EducationWilliam Lensch: chief of staff to the dean of the faculty at the Harvard Medical SchoolSteven M. Niemi: director of the office of animal Resources, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary BiologySophomore AdvisingJonathan E. Palmer: resident tutor, Dunster House and doctoral student at Harvard Business SchoolSteven Torrisi: resident tutor, Cabot House and Ph.D. candidate in physicsArielle Bernhardt & Natalia Rigol: non-resident Tutors in Quincy House; Ph.D. student in economics (Arielle); assistant professor at Harvard Business School (Natalia).Concentration AdvisingMeredith Dost: resident tutor, Quincy House and Ph.D. candidate in government and social policyCarla Heelan: assistant director of undergraduate studies in historyJohn Huth: Donner Professor of ScienceFaculty AdvisingJill Johnson: dance director, Office for the Arts; senior lecturer, Theater, Dance & Media; artistic director, Harvard Dance ProjectJon Rogowski: assistant professor in governmentIan Wallace: lecturer in human evolutionary biologyAnne Marie E. Sousa, director of advising programs commented: “Good academic advising has the opportunity to facilitate the intellectual transformation that is a critical part of the Harvard College mission. With the Star Prize for Excellence in Advising, we are able to recognize twelve amazing advisers who have given their time, their expertise, and their encouragement to the students at each step of their academic career.”Congratulations to the 2019 nominees and recipients of the Star Family Prize for Excellence in Advising!Faculty and Staff who are interested in serving on the Board of First-year Advisers should contact for more information.last_img read more