Bates in the News: June 9, 2023

A selection of recent mentions of Bates and Bates people in the news.

Arianna Fano ’19 

U.S. debt ceiling: Of political game theory and unsustainable debt — Forbes India
Arianna Fano '19
Arianna Fano ’19 works as an economic policy analyst in Washington, D.C. (Photo courtesy of Arianna Fano)

Arianna Fano ’19, an economic policy analyst for the Washington, D.C.–based Bipartisan Policy Center, told Forbes India that the U.S. debt-ceiling crisis could “undermine confidence in the global banking system and potentially lead to a wider financial crisis.”

“The growing national debt poses a threat to private investment, labour market productivity, and public spending on critical government programmes,” Fano said.

“Policymakers of both parties must come together to explore solutions to the unsustainable fiscal path we find ourselves on.” 

Bates Commencement

Bates College graduates emerge from ‘COVID-19’ college experience — Lewiston Sun Journal

The Lewiston Sun Journal’s coverage of Commencement included interviews with two local graduates who took non-traditional routes to Bates.

Jillian Richardson ‘23 of Auburn is a first-generation college grad who was home-schooled until coming to Bates, reported the Sun Journal‘s Joe Charpentier. “I’m forever grateful to my parents for making it possible for me to attend college, and to the people at Bates, who helped me along the way and opened doors to unforgettable opportunities,” said Richardson, who graduated with a biology major and All-America honors in cross country.

Environmental studies graduate Dylan LaRose ‘23 is a 38-year-old resident of Auburn who is a U.S. military veteran and co-owner of the popular Dag’s Bait & Sport Goods.

LaRose, reported Charpentier, “stared at the Bates campus for years while picking away — first at a science degree, then a business degree — at Central Maine Community College in Auburn. It then occurred to LaRose he could simply apply to Bates and see what happens.” “Somehow, I got in,” he told Charpentier.

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Loring Danforth, anthropology faculty

Firewalkers in Greece honor Saint Constantine in mystery-shrouded, centuries-old rituals — The Associated Press
Loring Danforth is the author of Firewalking and Religious Healing: The Anastenaria of Greece and the American Firewalking Movement.

In May, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology Loring Danforth was interviewed by Associated Press reporter Giovanna Dell’Orto for a story about the centuries-old ritual of firewalking in small Greek villages along the Bulgarian border. 

Dell’Orto’s story focused on the leader of a group of devotees of St. Constantine, known as the anastenaria, who still practice the ritual as a way of communicating with the saints.

Danforth, the author of Firewalking and Religious Healing: The Anastenaria of Greece and the American Firewalking Movement, put the ritual into historical context, explaining the way the anastenaria were persecuted by the Orthodox church for what were seen as pagan rites.

Bates Dance Festival

10 not-to-be-missed dance performances — The Boston Globe

Gearing up for its 41st season, the Bates Dance Festival has been covered by The Boston Globe, Portland Press Herald and Down East magazine. 

Boston Globe dance writer Karen Campbell featured the festival in her piece on 10 dance events not to be missed this summer, calling BDF “small but mighty.” Meanwhile, the festival was No. 63 on Down East magazine’s list of “101 Reasons to Love Summer in Maine.”

Bates Dance Festival performance at Lake Andrews on Monday, July 11, 2022. Fist & Heel Performance Group …together, they stood shaking, while others began to shout Mon, July 11, 7 pm Lake Andrews Tickets Available June 1st Join Fist & Heel Performance Group, Bates Dance Festival students and faculty members, and community members from all around Southern and Central Maine in a devised performance using dances from the company’s Shaker-inspired work Power. Fist & Heel Performance Group is a Brooklyn-based dance company that investigates the intersections of cultural anthropology and movement practices and believes in the potential of the body as a valid means for knowing. Our performance work is a continued manifestation of the rhythm languages of the body provoked by the spiritual and the mundane traditions of Africa and its Diaspora, including the Blues, Slave and Gospel idioms. The group has received support from major foundations and corporations and has performed at notable venues in the United States and abroad. In the spirit of building equitable relationships with our community partners, Bates Dance Festival would like to acknowledge the intellectual, creative and administrative labor that Indigo Arts Alliance has contributed to the fulfilment of Reggie Wilson’s residency. We could not have successfully executed community outreach and connections for all of the programs without the expertise of Indigo Arts Alliance.
A dancer with Fist & Heel Performance Group performs at the Keigwin Amphitheater along Lake Andrews during the 2022 Bates Dance Festival. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Festival Director Shoni Currier told Portland Press Herald feature writer Megan Gray about some of the performances that had been delayed by COVID and are on this summer’s roster.

The short, five weeks of the festival creates a “magical” atmosphere on campus, Currier said. “It creates its own space and time and dynamic and energy. There’s something about coming together around a purpose – and in this case, an artistic purpose – and having it be limited in time. It just feels essential.”

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Jamie Merisotis ’86

Colleges buck enrollment trends by increasing their supports for students — Forbes

Writing in Forbes about the worrisome numbers of students who leave college without completing their degree, Jamie Merisotis ‘86, president and CEO of the Lumina Foundation, wrote about what colleges can and are doing to buck that trend. He highlighted Madera Community College and the way the California school is countering the trend by prioritizing student needs.

Jamie Merisotis ’86 is an author and the president and CEO of the Lumina Foundation. (Photo courtesy of Jamie Merisotis)

Merisotis shared his personal experience, comparing what administrators at Madera are doing with his own Bates experience, where “extra attention” helped him with what wasn’t an easy transition as a first-generation student.

“Whether they are first-generation students, have pressing family responsibilities, or face any of the myriad other social, economic or other hurdles confronting students today, we know quite a bit about what helps people finish their degrees, including ‘student supports’ — the practice of schools offering everything from extra advising to food pantries and childcare.”

Rebecca Herzig, gender and sexuality studies faculty

How to have a realistic conversation about beauty with your kids — The Atlantic

Trying to convince your child that personal appearance doesn’t matter or create privilege is “a really complicated form of gaslighting,” said Rebecca Herzig, professor of gender and sexuality studies, in an interview with journalist, podcaster, and author Elise Hu for a story in The Atlantic about Hu talking to her own young daughters about beauty.

Hu wrote about trying to convince her daughters that looks didn’t matter. But they were skeptical, and empirical evidence — “study after study confirms that prettiness can be a privilege” — suggested they were right to be skeptical, no matter how much their mother wished it were otherwise. 

Sam Gerry ’24 

Woburn High School graduates raising awareness of teen suicide with kickball tournament — CBS News Boston

Sam Gerry ‘24 of Woburn, Mass., was featured in a CBS News Boston story about a charity kickball tournament he helped inspire while he was in high school. His friend Noah Dhaliwal started the Kick it for a Cause, a suicide prevention tournament as a junior, when Sam was struggling with his mental health, with Sam’s full endorsement.  

“Oftentimes, I find that people tend to shy away from really anything regarding suicide and suicide prevention,” Gerry told CBS. So Dhaliwal’s brainstorm back when they were still in high school was more than welcome. “It was really, really encouraging, not just any random teen but one of my best friends reaching out to express interest.”

Gerry, who became the co-founder of the tournament and helped to raise thousands of dollars for local groups, is studying psychology at Bates. “I’m planning to pursue a Ph.D. of some kind focusing on suicidology,” he told the outlet. 

Katherine Haesche Thomson ’00

Welcome to the great Marblehead newspaper war — The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe noted the hopeful growth of community journalism in the North Shore, specifically in Marblehead, where the new nonprofit weekly, The Marblehead Current has some Bates connections.

Kate Haesche Thomson ’00 is a board member, and the paper’s founders include consulting editor Kris Olson P’25, formerly with the Marblehead Reporter, which had pivoted away from local coverage; and Ed Bell ‘P’97, a former Associated Press bureau chief.

It’s been inspiring work, says Thomson, who uses her advertising and brand strategy background to help market the paper. “Literal cornerstone-of-democracy stuff.”

In a story over the winter, the Globe noted that a year ago, the “local news outlook… appeared bleak. Media giant Gannett had recently shifted the North Shore town’s longtime weekly, the Marblehead Reporter, from local to regional coverage, leaving the community of 20,000 without a dedicated newspaper for the first time in more than a century.”

Since then, three new outlets “are in the unexpected position of battling it out for the readers of Marblehead and wresting back hyperlocal news from corporate control.”

Brian McGrory ’84

The future of journalism is uncertain under Gannett CEO Mike Reed — The Boston Globe

Speaking of newspapers: In two columns for The Boston Globe, former editor Brian McGrory ‘84 took on Gannett CEO Mike Reed, saying that while Reed “didn’t cause the seismic collapse of the newspaper industry,” he had “inflicted brutal and probably irreversible damage on already struggling news organizations all across this country.”

McGrory recalled working at The Patriot Ledger right after Bates when it was “one of the best suburban papers in America” with a “couple hundred journalists at its peak.” The paper, now owned by Gannett, “has four news reporters: Four.”

Brian McGrory ’84, editor of The Boston Globe,  students in a course on public opinion taught by John Baughman, associate professor of politics.
In 2016, Brian McGrory ’84, then editor of The Boston Globe, spoke at Bates as part of the College Key’s Distinguished Alumni in Residence program. (Josh Kuckens/Bates College)

“We are at a perilous moment in our civic life,” wrote McGrory, who now chairs the Department of Journalism at Boston University.

“You’ve heard it before and I’ll say it again: Democracy is under threat. Quality information is in short supply. Misinformation and disinformation are all over your social media feeds. Lies have become the currency of a certain kind of office-holder at every level, right down to your local school committee.”

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Chuck Radis ’75, James Reese 

Remembering John Jenkins, political trailblazer and champion of Lewiston-Auburn — News Center Maine

When the late John Jenkins ’74 received his Bates degree, it was to a standing ovation, recalled Chuck Radis ’75 in a recent interview with Rob Caldwell for 207, a TV news magazine produced by News Center Maine.

“Oh, my gosh, it was like a rock star was getting the degree,” Radis smiled. “And John just soaked it up.”

Radis is the author of The Mayor of Maine, a biography about Jenkins, the former mayor of Lewiston and Auburn and Maine’s first Black state senator, who died in 2020.

Chuck Radis ’75 (seated, center), the author of The Mayor of Maine, a biography about the late John Jenkins ’74, recently spoke to the Marblehead (Mass.) Rotary Club at the invitation of Keith Taylor ’77 (standing, second from left), which brought out some Bates friends. Back, from left: Andy Lovely ’75, Taylor, Rinis Oosthoek, executive director of the Salem (Mass.) Chamber of Commerce, Cliff Boggis ’73; front, Gina Chase Oosthoek ’77, Radis, Mark Shapiro ’75.

James Reese, associate dean of students at Bates, joined the interview, telling Caldwell that he seldom meets a Bates person who knew Jenkins and doesn’t have “a powerful story, whatever the examples are.”

Robin Dodson ’00 

Body lotions, mothballs, cleaning fluids and other widely used products contain known toxic chemicals, study finds — The Conversation

Household and cleaning products like hairspray and windshield wiper fluid release thousands of tons of volatile organic compounds into California’s air every year, and consumers rarely know what is in the products they’re buying, said Robin Dodson ’00, in a brief for The Conversation.

Dodson, an adjunct assistant professor of environmental health at Boston University, recently co-wrote and published a study analyzing data on consumer product emissions in California and identifying product types and chemicals they see as high priorities for reformulation with safer alternatives or regulatory action.

“We believe our new analysis points to the need for national action that ensures consumers and workers alike have safer products,” she wrote.

Angela Twitchell ’90

Maine Coast Heritage Trust hires Topsham resident to lead program — The Times Record
Angela Twitchell ’90 (photo courtesy of Angela Twitchell)

Angela Twitchell ’90 is the new director of a signature program of the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, reported The Times Record of Brunswick.

As land trust program director, Twitchell will consult with and advise local land trusts and work to build a land trust network across Maine.

A Topsham resident, Twitchell has over 15 years of knowledge and experience in land conservation. Like many Mainers who grew up in the 1970s and 1980s, she experienced “firsthand the effects of pollution on the Androscoggin River and the result of humans not being good stewards of the land,” she said. “I knew from a young age that I wanted to go into an environmental field.”

Christian Beal ’21

Richmond outfielder Christian Beal will join Blue Jays, but not as player — Richmond Times-Dispatch

In joining the Toronto Blue Jays’ player development department, Christian Beal ’21 has begun a career in Major League Baseball that he hopes will include the big job of general manager, wrote John O’Connor for the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

“It kind of connects my passion for baseball and also my passion to be a business leader,” Beal said. After graduating from Bates, with eligibility remaining due to COVID, Beal played for two years for the University of Richmond, where he is studying for an M.B.A.

Bates defeats Bowdoin 3-2 at Bates on April 19,2019.
Christian Beal ’21 (No. 2) celebrates with his teammates after Bates defeated Bowdoin on April 19, 2019. (Theophil Syslo/Bates College)

He first applied for a “head of data” position with the Jays. He realized he wasn’t qualified for the position but hoped his resume might attract some attention, which it did. “I decided I was going to go out on a limb,” he said – it was a home run.

He’ll begin his career in Dunedin, Fla., home of Toronto’s spring-training facility, in a role that involves “data but also a lot of the day-to-day (operations), and understanding how it’s all connected.”

Dominick Pangallo ’03

Pangallo to become Salem’s next mayor — The Salem News

Longtime Salem, Mass., resident Dominick Pangallo ’03 is now his home city’s mayor after winning a special election to fill the seat on May 16.

Dominick Pangallo '05 (center) with his wife, Kristin (Smith) Pangallo '02, and their two children, Aurelia (left) and Lucy.
Dominick Pangallo ’03 (center) with his wife, Kristin (Smith) Pangallo ’02, and their two children, Aurelia (left) and Lucy. (Photo courtesy of Dominick Pangallo)

Pangallo is the longtime chief of staff to former mayor Kim Driscoll, whose move to become the commonwealth’s lieutenant governor created the special election.

Vanessa Paolella ’21, Pat Webber 

Androscoggin Watershed Conference set for Poland May 16 — Lewiston Sun Journal

Vanessa Paolella ’21 and Pat Webber, director of Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, spoke at the annual Androscoggin Watershed Conference on May 16, addressing the history of the Androscoggin River, said the Lewiston Sun Journal in a conference advance.

At the conference, Webber talked about the history of the river, beginning with its formation by glaciers and ending with the Clean Water Act, which became law 50 years ago through the efforts of U.S. Sen. Edmund Muskie ’36.

Paolella, a geology major who did her senior thesis on the Androsoggin, discussed remediation strategies for the river beginning in the 1940s. She provided data from her thesis to help illustrate what worked (the Clean Water Act and wastewater treatment facilities) and what had little effect (building lagoons to store waste and modifying the papermaking process.)