Kalamazoo College will host world premiere of WWII documentary by K alumnus John Davies ’75

ill Murphy plane handler aboard USS Wolverine
Heroes on Deck: World War II on Lake Michigan has it’s world premiere Tuesday Feb. 16, 7pm in Dalton Theatre, Light Fine Arts Building, on the K campus.

Heroes on Deck: World War II on Lake Michigan, a one-hour documentary film written, executive produced, and directed by Kalamazoo College alumnus John Davies ’75, will have its world premiere Tuesday February 16, at 7:00 p.m., in Dalton Theatre, Light Fine Arts Building (1140 Academy St.), on the K campus.

The film is free and open to the public through a partnership between Kalamazoo College, the Kalamazoo Film Society (www.kalfilmsociety.net), and the Air Zoo (www.airzoo.org) in Kalamazoo.

Heroes on Deck tells the story of a little known chapter of United States involvement in World War II that took place on Lake Michigan, not far from Kalamazoo. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States Navy was desperate for pilots who could take off from aircraft carriers, strike the enemy, navigate their way back to the ship, and land safely – no easy task in the vast Pacific. With only seven carriers left in the entire U.S. fleet, none could be spared for training. In order to train thousands of young aviators, two old passenger ships were stripped of their upper decks and converted to “flattops,” Navy slang for aircraft carriers.

John Davies ’’75 is writer, director and executive producer of Heroes on Deck: World War II on Lake Michigan.
Filmmaker John Davies ’75 will meet with K students and show his new film, Heroes on Deck, before taking the film to premieres in London, Washington, New York and other cities.

Between 1942 and the end of the war more than 15,000 pilots, including 41st President of the United States George H.W. Bush, practiced landings and takeoffs on the pitching decks of these “freshwater carriers” as they steamed up and down Lake Michigan. Eight successful takeoffs and landings, usually completed in a single day, were enough to guarantee a young pilot a trip to the Pacific.

Crashes, navigational errors, and “water landings” often led to serious injuries and occasionally death. As a result, more than 100 classic WWII fighters and dive-bombers sank to the bottom of the lake. For more than 30 years, with the U.S. Navy’s blessing, a team of skilled professionals has been identifying and recovering these forgotten warbirds, using deep-water divers, side-scan sonar, and Remote Operating Vehicles. More than 40 aircraft have been brought to the surface and a few have been restored to flying condition. Most are on display in museums and airports under the supervision of the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida.

One of these airplanes – a Grumman Wildcat – has been fully restored and is on display at the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo, while another is currently undergoing restoration there. Artifacts from these planes will be on display at the February 16 film premiere at K. Filmmaker John Davies and Air Zoo restoration experts will be present to answer questions.

Heroes on Deck spotlights a little known story of heroism performed on Lake Michigan off the coast of Chicago.
Heroes on Deck tells a little known story of heroism performed on Lake Michigan off the coast of Chicago during World War II.

Narrated by legendary newsman Bill Kurtis, Heroes on Deck uses interviews with surviving pilots and crew members, declassified film and stills, underwater recovery footage, and computer generated recreations that bring to life this vital chapter of American history.

The Kalamazoo College premiere is the first of 10 special viewings that are planned before Memorial Day weekend in May when Heroes on Deck will premiere nationally on Public Television. After K, Davies takes the film to premieres in London (The Royal Aeronautical Society); Cardiff, Wales; Pensacola, Fla. (National Naval Aviation Museum); Chicago, Ill. (Navy Pier); Washington, D.C. (Navy Memorial); Palm Springs, Calif.; and New York City.

John Davies is an Emmy Award-winning Producer/Director who spent the first decade of his career at WTTW-PBS Chicago helping to create documentaries and national series (including Sneak Previews with renowned film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert). Moving to Los Angeles in the 1990s, John created series and specials for networks and cable channels including NBC, ABC, FOX, AMC, TRU-TV, VH-1, BRAVO, and Comedy Central. He’s also produced episodes of Biography for A&E, Intimate Portrait for LIFETIME and documentary specials for Showtime, COURT TV, and ESPN. His reality series, Run’s House, was an MTV hit and his feature length documentary, Phunny Business, (about Chicago’s first black owned comedy club) was hailed as “one of the best documentaries of 2012” by film critic Roger Ebert. John’s recent documentary, The 25,000 Mile Love Story, has won film festivals around the world and premiered on Public Television in fall 2015. He is currently developing Carson the Magnificent, a mini-series about the life of Johnny Carson.

This is the third time Davies has returned to campus in recent years to show one of his films and meet with K students and faculty in documentary film, media arts, and theater arts classes.

Economic Inequality and Political Power in America

Martin Gilens
Martin Gilens

Martin Gilens will deliver the 2016 William Weber Lecture in Government and Society on January 25 at 8 p.m. in the Mandelle Hall Olmsted Room on the Kalamazoo College campus. The event is free and open to the public. Gilens is professor of politics at Princeton University, and the title of his lecture is “Economic Inequality and Political Power in America.” It is based on his recent book titled Affluence and Influence. Dr. Gilen’s research examines representation, public opinion and mass media as they relate to inequality and public policy. His work has been extensively reported in the media. “While his finding that the wealthiest minority in this country are the only ones who impact policy outcomes is not novel,” said Justin Berry, assistant professor of American politics at K, “the empirical evidence he provides for this common perception is overwhelming.” Gilens has held fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, and the Russell Sage Foundation. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and he taught at Yale University and UCLA prior to joining the faculty at Princeton. He also wrote the book Why Americans Hate Welfare: Race, Media and the Politics of Antipoverty Policy. The William Weber Lecture in Government and Society was founded by alumnus William Weber, class of 1939. Past lecturers in the series have included David Broder, E.J. Dionne, Frances Fox Piven, Spencer Overton, Van Jones and Joan Mandelle, among others.

Kalamazoo College Commencement 2015 Will Be Held June 14 at 2:15 on the Quad

Graduation caps are thrown in the air

NOTE: DUE TO RAIN, COMMENCEMENT IS CHANGED TO 2:15 OUTDOORS ON THE QUAD!

Kalamazoo College 2015 commencement will be held Sunday June 14, 2:15 p.m., on the campus Quad (1200 Academy St.). Approximately 330 K seniors will receive B.A. degrees.

Kalamazoo College commencement is free and open to the public. Parking will be in high demand, so allow extra time. The College sets up about 3,000 folding chairs on the Quad and guests are invited to bring a lawn chair or blanket to stretch out on the grass. In case of rain, Anderson Athletic Center (1015 Academy St.) is the alternate site. The gym can only accommodate the graduates and a few of their family members, as well as K administrators, trustees, and faculty members. K uses a special ticketing process for those seats.

Commencement will also be live-streamed at www.kzoo.edu/alumni/commencement.

Speakers include Kalamazoo College President Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran, Board Vice-Chair S. Si Johnson ’78, Alumni Association Executive Board Chair Alexandra Foley Altman ’97, and senior class speaker Asia Liza Morales ’15.

The Kalamazoo College class of 2015 is one of the most diverse in the College’s history. About 33 percent of students came from states other than Michigan. Nearly 20 percent self-identify as American Indian, Asian, Black or African-American, Hispanic, or two or more races. Fourteen students identify as non-U.S. resident aliens and 32 countries overall are represented by class members.

David Finkel, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and author of “The Good Soldiers” and “Thank You for Your Service,” will deliver the commencement address and receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the College. Finkel was the summer common reading author for the class of 2015 prior to their arrival as first-year students at the College in fall 2011. He visited the K campus during students’ orientation, giving a lecture and reading from “The Good Soldiers,” his bestselling account of a U.S. Army infantry unit during the Iraq War “surge.” Finkel won a Pulitzer Prize in 2006 for his case study of the United States government’s attempt to bring democracy to Yemen. Per K tradition, the summer common reading author returns to deliver the commencement address to the same class of students he met in 2011.

Attorney, author, and LGBTQ activist Urvashi Vaid, will receive an Honorary Doctor of Law degree from the College on Sunday. Vaid is the president the Vaid Group, LLC, a consulting firm that works on ending inequality of all kinds. She is the former director of the Engaging Tradition Project at the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School. Her most recent book is “Irresistible Revolution: Confronting Race, Class and the Assumptions of LGBT Politics.” She was executive director of the Arcus Foundation from 2005 to 2010 and was instrumental in creating the vision for what is now Kalamazoo College’s Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership.

Kalamazoo College (www.kzoo.edu), founded in Kalamazoo, Mich., in 1833, is a nationally recognized liberal arts college and the creator of the K-Plan that emphasizes rigorous scholarship, experiential learning, leadership development, and international and intercultural engagement.

Kalamazoo College does more in four years, so students can do more in a lifetime.

What’s the Value of a College Education?

Kalamazoo College is a member of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC). CIC President Richard Ekman participated in a panel discussion in San Francisco on April 29 on the topic, “What’s the Value of a College Education?” Other panelists included Mary Marcy, president of Dominican University of California; Alecia DeCoudreaux, president of Mills College; Claude Steele, executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of California Berkeley; and Mohammad Qayoumi, president of California State University San Jose. Monica R. Martinez, deeper learning senior fellow for the Hewlett Foundation and commissioner of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, served as moderator.

The show will air on Friday, May 15 at 8:00 p.m. on KQED88.5 FM Radio in San Francisco and will be subsequently broadcast on hundreds of radio stations nationally. The program was just over an hour.

Program Description: For the United States to remain competitive in the global economy, our citizens need to be innovative, versatile, and well-educated. To provide for these qualifications, does our model of higher education need a wholesale renovation? What would an education that is tailored to the needs of the 21st century – and affordable to all – even look like? Join this distinguished panel of public and private college educators to tackle the difficult challenges ahead: What is the value of a liberal arts college education versus a preprofessional vocational skill-building model? Why does college cost so much? How can we close the gap between attendance and graduation rates? Can we design blended in-person and online courses that are both instructive and cost-efficient? And finally, how can we get our state and federal governments to continue to support higher education and to take the financial burden off of students?

Author and Journalist David Finkel Delivers Kalamazoo College Commencement Address June 14

Graduation caps tossed in the airDavid Finkel, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and author of “The Good Soldiers” and “Thank You for Your Service,” will deliver the commencement address to the Kalamazoo College graduating class of 2015 on Sunday June 14 at 1:00 p.m. on the campus Quad, located at 1200 Academy St. in Kalamazoo.

Finkel will also receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the College. Asia Liza Morales ’15 will address her fellow graduates in the role of senior speaker. Attorney, author, and LGBTQ activist Urvashi Vaid, will receive an Honorary Doctor of Law degree from the College.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Finkel
David Finkel

Kalamazoo College commencement is free and open to the public. Parking will be in high demand, so allow extra time. The College sets up about 3,000 folding chairs on the campus Quad and guests are invited to bring a lawn chair or blanket to stretch out on the grass. In case of rain, Anderson Athletic Center (1015 Academy St.) is the alternate site. Unfortunately, the gym can only accommodate the graduates, a few of their family members, and K administrators and faculty. K uses a special ticketing process for those seats.

For those unable to attend, K Commencement will be live-streamed via the Web. Visit here for the link: www.kzoo.edu/alumni/commencement.

David Finkel was the summer common reading author for the class of 2015 prior to their arrival at the College in fall 2011. He visited the K campus during students’ first-year orientation, giving a lecture and reading from “The Good Soldiers,” his bestselling account of a U.S. Army infantry unit during the Iraq War “surge.” The book earned the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize and was named best book of 2009 by the New York Times.

Per K tradition, Finkel returns to deliver the commencement address to the same class of students he met in 2011.

Urvashi Vaid
Urvashi Vaid

Urvashi Vaid is director of the Engaging Tradition Project at the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School. Her most recent book is “Irresistible Revolution: Confronting Race, Class and the Assumptions of LGBT Politics.” She was executive director of the Arcus Foundation from 2005 to 2010 and was instrumental in creating the vision for what is now Kalamazoo College’s Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership. Ms. Vaid received her bachelor’s degree from Vassar College and her law degree from Northeastern University Law School.

Asia Morales has pursued a major in biology with an interest in environmental studies while at K. She has been a Peer Leader, President’s Ambassador, StuComm representative, and a member of multiple civic engagement programs and student organizations, including S3A (Sexual Safety & Support Alliance), which educates, advocates, and provides support for victims of sexual assault. A Posse Scholar from Los Angeles, Asia studied abroad in Spain.

Student speaker Asia Morales
Asia Morales ’15

Finkel’s most recent book, the critically acclaimed “Thank You for Your Service,” chronicles the challenges faced by American soldiers and their families in war’s aftermath. Among its many awards, the book was named a finalist for the 2013 National Book Critics Award in nonfiction and the New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism. It was named one of the best nonfiction books of 2013 by Publishers Weekly, one of the top 10 books of the year by The Washington Post, and best nonfiction book of 2013 by Kirkus Reviews.

An editor and writer for The Washington Post, Finkel has reported from Africa, Asia, Central America, Europe, and across the United States, and has covered wars in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. He received the MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant in 2012 for “his long-form newswriting that has transformed readers’ understanding of military service and sacrifice.”

Finkel won a Pulitzer Prize in 2006 for “his ambitious, clear-eyed case study of the United States government’s attempt to bring democracy to Yemen.” He received his B.A. degree from University of Florida in 1977.

Where’s the Beef?

Kalamazoo College alumna Nicolette Hahn Niman
Nicolette Hahn Niman

Why would a vegetarian defend beef? Nicolette Hahn Niman ’89, environmental lawyer, rancher, food activist, and vegetarian, does just that in her controversial new book, Defending Beef: The Case for Sustainable Meat Production, The Manifesto of an Environmental Lawyer and Vegetarian Turned Cattle Rancher, published by Chelsea Green in October 2014. Hahn Niman returns to the Kalamazoo College campus on April 27 (7 p.m., Stetson Chapel) for a talk and discussion on sustainable food production and farm animal welfare. The event is free and open to the public.

Hahn Niman’s first book, Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms (William Morrow, 2009), paves the path to her current work. Porkchop is an exposé of what ails BigAg, or big agriculture, the factory farms that Hahn Niman points out as major polluters across the planet, contributing to climate change, to the detriment of everyone’s health. It is also her love story, as vegetarian meets cattle rancher, Bill Niman, joining forces in marriage and business.

Defending Beef takes a further step. As Hahn Niman began her new life on the Bolinas, California, cattle ranch (the Nimans also raise heritage turkeys), she found herself drawn deeper and deeper into the lifestyle and the business. If at first she merely stood nearby and held out the tools for her husband to do his work, Hahn Niman gradually found herself in love with ranch life and fully involved with it. Her research into all things beef led her to write her manifesto.

“Environmentalists and health advocates have long blamed beef and cattle ranching, but it’s just not that simple,” she says.

With meticulous research, Hahn Niman addresses every concern commonly associated with beef: health issues, climate change, water supply, biodiversity, overgrazing, world hunger, the morality of eating meat.

“Meat, especially red meat, has been perceived as elitist,” she says. “It’s a strange way to view beef when about a billion of the world’s poorest people are dependent on livestock.”

Beef, Hahn Niman argues, can in fact play an important role in ending world hunger, even while helping to restore a balanced climate. She has presented her perspective in numerous articles in New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, Huffington Post, CHOW, and countless others, frequently stirring up dust. She is a frequent speaker at various food and farming events and conferences.

Hahn Niman majored in biology and French at Kalamazoo College and went on to earn her law degree, cum laude, from the University of Michigan in 1993. She served two terms on the Kalamazoo City Commission, worked as an attorney for the National Wildlife Federation, and later became senior attorney for Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Waterkeeper Alliance, an environmental organization where she was in charge of the organization’s campaign to reform the concentrated livestock and poultry industry.

“We’ve been told that beef isn’t good for us for decades,” Hahn Niman says. “But in fact, beef consumption is down 22 percent over the past three decades, saturated animal fat consumption is down 21 percent over the past century , while diabetes and cardiovascular disease have gone up. The perception that we are eating more red meat and animal fat is simply not correct.”

The culprits, Niman points out, are sugar, especially high-fructose corn syrup, and grain-based foods. Our consumption of sweeteners has spiked. While the great majority, around 70 percent, of heart attack victims have low cholesterol levels, usually associated with eating meat, many of these people are consuming much higher levels of sugar and processed foods.

“We’ve shifted how and what we eat,” Hahn Niman says. “We are eating a lot more fast food and processed food, and these are foods that are high in sugar and salt, another additive, and the body can’t metabolize these ingredients at these elevated levels. We’ve even changed how we eat—on the run, standing up, rather than at the dinner table. We need to reexamine how we eat in this country and get back to whole foods.”

In Defending Beef, Hahn Niman compares the grass-based, traditional family farm to the industrialized factory farms today. Family farms have not been able to compete, and many have bankrupted while factory farms continue to consolidate and grow ever larger. Not only are we losing a simpler, cleaner way of life, she writes, but with it we are losing the values of the traditional farmer and rancher. That includes sitting down at the dinner table in shared meals and conversation.

The grass-based farm should become the basis for a food revolution, Hahn Niman says. With industrialized factory farming come huge numbers of closely confined animals, and with that, crowding, disease, and lower (sometimes inhumane) standards of life. A corporation cannot care for a living animal in the same way that farmers and ranchers living alongside their animals can. The economics of the modern food industry, Hahn Niman states, require more and more processing. And while processed meat can indeed lead to health problems, unprocessed red meat, especially grass-fed, can contribute to good health.

“I believe strongly in good animal husbandry,” says Hahn Niman. “It ensures that life is worth living for that animal, but it also creates healthier food for us. Research shows that stress hormones affect the flavor and quality of meat. [On our ranch], we are there when the calves are born, we care for them and raise them, and we accompany them to the very end. Yes, it is difficult, but that’s why Bill, my husband, is present at the slaughterhouse, which reassures the animal, and making sure that we give our animals the respect they deserve. We have total oversight of the entire process and that’s why we have such confidence in the quality of our meat.”

On the Nimans’ BN Ranch, cattle are grass-fed only, grazing on approximately 1,000 acres of open pasture from the first to the last day of their lives. No chemical fertilizers, no pesticides or herbicides are used on the ranch, although the beef is not certified organic, primarily due to the prohibitive costs and burdensome processes required for certification. The Nimans supply their premium quality beef to high-end restaurants and specialty retailers.

“From the health standpoint, grass-fed beef has higher levels of omega-3s and other nutrients,” Hahn Niman says. “No weird additives or hormones.”

But then there is the health of the planet. Many environmentalists and vegetarians have argued against overgrazing, which disables land that might be used to grow more crops. They further contend that keeping livestock contributes to the carbon emissions and methane gases that lead to climate change. Hahn Niman disagrees.

Carbon dioxide, she notes, makes up the majority of agriculture-related greenhouse emissions. Keeping livestock on pasture, however, contributes little to such emissions because emissions come mostly from farm machinery and manufacture of agricultural chemicals, not animals. Absent the practice of crowding large numbers of animals together—which requires manure lagoons and has encouraged deforestation in order to clear areas for growing soy and livestock feed crops—animals actually contribute to sustainable living. Methane emissions from manure are minimal on traditional farms, where manure is not liquefied and quantities of manure, properly balanced with the amount of land, are worked back into the soil, enriching it.

The primary climate argument against cattle is enteric methane, in other words methane from their digestive processes. But Hahn Niman points out that U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official figures show the entire greenhouse gas emissions of cattle (for both dairy and beef) are around 2 percent of all U.S. emissions. “Two percent is not something to be ignored, but it’s manageable,” says Hahn Niman. “Agricultural colleges around the world are studying enteric emissions and have already discovered several ecological ways to significantly reduce them.”

“With well-managed grazing, cattle contribute to soil quality,” she says. “We’ve heard about overgrazing for years, but cattle actually stimulate the growth of plants with their pruning. Their hooves press seeds into the ground. Research shows that where cattle are allowed to graze, biodiversity improves and carbon sequestration (taking carbon out of the atmosphere and returning it to the soil) is enhanced. Soil feeds many forms of life, starting with microorganisms, and there are countless positive downstream effects.”

Whereas growing crops destroys natural habitat and the wildlife living on it, grazing cattle is often the best use of land unsuitable for growing crops.

“For many of the poor in the world, keeping livestock is their most important food source,” Niman says.

Niman also addresses diminishing water supplies and how much of that goes for livestock (less than you might think), the need for a national food policy (we have a policy for most everything else), and why being a meat-eater is a morally legitimate choice (as long as the meat comes from sustainable farming practices).

As for being a vegetarian, Niman says it is a personal choice. “If you are choosing vegetarianism because of health concerns or concern for the environment, well, then your reasons are poorly grounded.”

Text by Zinta Aistars; Photo by Mitch Tobias

Weber Lecture on Detroit Bankruptcy

Gerald Rosen, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of MichiganThe Honorable Gerald Rosen ’73, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, will deliver the 2015 William Weber Lecture in Social Science at 8 p.m. on Thursday, February 5. The lecture is free and open to the public and will take place in the Mandelle Hall Olmsted Room on Kalamazoo College’s campus. The lecture is titled “Detroit Bankruptcy: Lessons Learned” and will draw from Rosen’s experience as chief judicial administrator for the Detroit bankruptcy case, the largest municipal bankruptcy case in U.S. history.

At K, Rosen earned his bachelor’s degree in political science. He was the first K student to study abroad in Sweden (Stockholm), to which he returned in his senior year to complete his Senior Individualized Project, which focused on Swedish press coverage of the 1972 U.S. presidential election. He began his professional career as a legislative assistant to United States Senator Robert P. Griffin (R-Michigan), serving on Senator Griffin’s staff in Washington, D.C., from 1974 to 1979. During this time Rosen was involved in some of the most significant and challenging issues of the period. He also was attending the George Washington University Law School at night, and he obtained his J.D. degree in May 1979. (Today he is a member of the law school’s board of advisors).

For 20 years, Rosen has served as an adjunct professor of law for University of Michigan Law School, Wayne State University Law School, University of Detroit Law School, and Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Throughout the years he has presided over a number of high-profile, ground-breaking cases, including the first post-9/11 terrorism trial, an early partial-birth abortion case, and one of the first physician-assisted suicide cases. Nevertheless, he describes his work on the Detroit bankruptcy case as “the most challenging and rewarding experience of my professional career.”

Rosen is involved with several charitable and community organizations, including serving on the board of directors of Focus: HOPE and the Michigan Chapter of the Federalist Society. He has written and published articles for professional journals and the popular press on a wide range of issues, including civil procedure, evidence, due process, criminal law, labor law, and legal advertising, as well as numerous other topics. He is also a co-author of Federal Civil Trials and Evidence, Federal Employment Litigation, and Michigan Civil Trials and Evidence.

The William Weber Lecture in Government and Society was founded by Bill Weber, a 1939 graduate of Kalamazoo College. In addition to this lectureship, he established the William Weber Chair in Political Science at the College. Past lecturers in this series have included David Broder, Frances Moore Lappé, E. J. Dionne, Jeane Bethke Elshtain, William Greider, Ernesto Cortes, Jr., John Esposito, Benjamin Ginsberg, Frances Fox Piven, Spencer Overton, Tamara Draut, Van Jones, and Dr. Joan Mandelle.

Inaugural Symposium Features Distinguished Alumnus

The first ever economics and business Senior Individualized Project symposium is bringing back one the department’s own to serve as keynote speaker. Will Dobbie ’04 will address senior econ and business majors during a dinner that will follow the poster presentation to occur in the Hicks Center at 4:30 PM on May 22.

After graduating from K, Dobbie earned his master’s degree in economics from the University of Washington. He received his Ph.D. (economics and public policy) from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. Dobbie is an assistant professor of economics and public affairs at the Princeton University Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs.

Dobbie’s research interests are primarily in the areas of labor economics and the economics of education. His work has examined the effect of school inputs on student outcomes, the importance of peer effects, the impact of voluntary youth service, and the benefits of the consumer bankruptcy system. Earlier this year he received an award from the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research for writing the best doctoral dissertation in the field of labor-related economics. Ahmed Hussen, the Edward and Virginia Van Dalson Professor of Economics and Business, attended that event. “Will’s lecture was based on his highly acclaimed and controversial work on high performing charter schools in New York City,” says Hussen. “We are delighted to have him back for our first SIP symposium. He has accomplished a great deal in such a short period of time after graduating from K–living proof that we do more in four years so students can do more in a lifetime.”