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

Tyler Austin Harper, environmental studies faculty

Stop accusing Tim Scott of racial heresy for being a Republican — Washington Post

In an op-ed for The Washington Post, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Tyler Austin Harper addressed the perception that Republican U.S. Sen. Tim Scott is a “race traitor” for his conservative politics. 

White politicians, Harper wrote, “are permitted to adopt a wide swath of political opinions without accusations of insanity, insincerity or self-hatred.” However, the “window on acceptable Black political discourse is extremely narrow.” 

“Politicians and political figures who don’t fit neatly within tightly calibrated models of Black political thought — which is to say, somewhere between the normie liberal center and the progressive fringe — are objects of exoticization that would have made a 19th-century anthropologist blush.”

A few weeks earlier, Harper, whose writing on culture, politics, and the environment has appeared in a number of outlets, including Slate, Salon, and the BBC, wrote an opinion essay for The Boston Globe about his experience as a Black professor who is an expert on 19th- and 20th-century British literature, “the infamous ‘dead white men’ of European art and letters,” and how he has had to defend his scholarly interest and “fight the assertion that I should spend my time researching authors who share my skin color.” He said he finds such criticism troubling: “an assault on the very idea of literature and art.”

Bates Dance Festival

10 dance events to enjoy this summer — WBUR
One performance to look forward to is “An Untitled Love,” by Kyle Abraham’s contemporary dance company, A.I.M., in Schaeffer Theatre July 7-9. (Photo by Carrie Schneider)

“The hills and the beaches will be alive with sights and sounds of dancers as their troupes head for the countryside in search of fresh air, sand, and new stages,” noted Iris Fanger in a preview of 10 dance events to enjoy this summer for WBUR, a list that includes the Bates Dance Festival. Fanger specifically highlighted the festival’s intriguing thematic presentations “related to race and identity.”

Laura Poppick ’10

A quaint Maine island with a billion year-old secret — Down East magazine
Laura Poppick '10 photo courtesy of Laura Poppick
Laura Poppick ’10 (Photo courtesy of Laura Poppick)

Science and environmental journalist Laura Poppick ’10, a regular contributor to Down East magazine, tapped into her Bates geology major for a first-person story about what researchers say are Maine’s (and quite possibly New England’s) very oldest rocks, found on 700 Acre Island in Penobscot Bay.

The ancient rocks on 700 Acre Island, she wrote, “formed more than a billion years ago, when life consisted mostly of microbial goo. The rest of Maine’s bedrock formed much more recently, with most of it dating less than 500 million years old — still plenty ancient, but from an era when the planet was more recognizable as the place we inhabit today.”  

“It’s been more than a decade since I was a geology undergrad at Bates College,” wrote Poppick. Since then, she added, “I’ve maintained an interest in rocks and the stories stuck within them. I find they offer a salve to the frenetic nature of the present. They can tell us, with a plain sort of wisdom, where we came from eons ago and where we might be going eons from now.”

Hallie Herz ’11

A new queer-focused outdoor gear library in Portland encourages the LGBTQ+ community to get outdoors — Maine Public

Maine Public’s Carol Bousquet talked to Hallie Herz ’11 and their partner, Eva Fury, about their startup nonprofit, Kindling Collective in Portland, the nation’s first queer-focused outdoor gear library

In the basement of Portland’s Equality Community Center, Portland’s newest gear library lacks the store-front appeal of the many outdoor retail shops in a state famous for its outdoor recreation. But one step inside Kindling Collective during its open house on June 10 and the orange and pink walls, the sound of laughter, and the mini outdoor-gear lessons breaking out spoke of a warm, welcoming community and, most of all: joy.

Kindling Collective, a gear library focused on the queer community, was founded this spring by business partners, spouses and outdoor enthusiasts Hallie Herz ‘11 (wearing striped shirt) and Eva Fury in an effort to help the LGBTQ+ community access the outdoors in a safe, fulfilling and affordable way. 

The tiny 400-square-foot space welcome everyone, though it's focused on helping queer people specifically feel welcome, empowered and inspired. Focusing on joy, Hertz said, is central to their mission.

Herz and Fury were photographed at 15 Casco St. on June 15, 2023.
Hallie Herz ‘11 (right) and their partner, Eva Fury, founded Kindling Collective in an effort to help the LGBTQ+ community access the outdoors in a safe, fulfilling and affordable way. Focusing on joy, Hertz said, is central to their mission. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

The mission of Kindling Collective is to help folks feel comfortable about camping, hiking, and other outdoor pursuits, to provide “a pathway into those beautiful embodied joyful experiences outside,” said Fury, “but in a way that people feel they can access without as much fear.”

The nonprofit’s membership model is also focused on economic justice, said Herz. “So based on resources and money, the more you have, the more you pay. The less you have, the less you pay.”

Ellie Vance ’21

Ellie Vance reaps a harvest as FoodCorps teacher at Lewiston schools — Lewiston Sun Journal
Ellie Vance '21, standing outside a greenhouse at Montello Elementary School in Lewiston. Photo courtesy of Ellie Vance
Ellie Vance ’21, stands outside a greenhouse she helped fill at Montello Elementary School in Lewiston. (Photo courtesy of Ellie Vance)

Ellie Vance ’21 spoke with the Lewiston Sun Journal’s Andrew Rice about her experience teaching students at a local elementary school about gardening, sustainability, and cooking.

“By giving students access to gardening and cooking, we can broaden their horizons and expand their curiosity around food,” said Vance. “When they have that curiosity, they have more agency over their food and knowing what foods they like to eat and what they don’t like.”

The program at Montello Elementary School is sponsored by St. Mary’s Nutrition Center in Lewiston and FoodCorps, a national nonprofit focused on connecting students to healthy food in schools.

Vance next is heading to Tufts University for graduate studies in agriculture, food, and environmental studies.

Jim Nutting ’76 

Lisbon Falls art studio creates stained glass masterpieces

Maine Art Glass in Lisbon Falls, where Jim Nutting ’76 operates his studio and gallery — and his own “bug museum” — was featured in Maine Home+Design and WGME, and he talked about how his biology major at Bates College led him to creating bug-themed stained glass pieces.

“My entire life, I’ve collected anything that has to do with natural history,” he said. “I’ve been collecting butterflies longer than I’ve been working with glass.” (Which he’s been doing for 43 years.) In addition to teaching classes and making his own art, Nutting performs stained glass restoration and repair. “I love crafting. I love making things. I love collecting things and I enjoy sharing it and teaching it,” Nutting said.

Read more: 

Stephen Hoad ’72 

Seeing their needs, teachers use technology to help visually impaired students thrive in the classroom — Lewiston Sun Journal

For a story about educational resources for visually impaired students in Maine, the Lewiston Sun Journal’s Vanessa Paolella ’21 interviewed Stephen Hoad ’72, who talked about his experience growing up blind decades ago in New Jersey. As a child, Hoad had extensive access to school books in braille. But at Bates, his textbooks were only available on tape. Today, people with visual impairments use speech screen readers to read text on their computer screens. 

Reunion registration in Commons

50th Reunion Program: Bates Sustainability Roadmap for 2030
As Bates moves beyond carbon neutral, our Board of Trustees has approved a new sustainability plan, which jumpstarts green initiatives across the campus—from solar, to electric vehicle chargers, to new building standards. With the Princeton Review recently ranking Bates among the top five greenest schools in the nation, come see what’s next for this sector of the college.
Pettengill Hall, Keck Classroom (G52)

50th Reunion Program: Community in Change
Join an armchair discussion with Hamza Abdi from the Bates Harward Center, Bright Luksa from Prosperity Maine, and Fowsia Muse from Maine Community Integration. They will talk about their personal immigrant journeys and how that has led to the work they are doing in the community. Erik Bertelsen ’72 will welcome everyone and start the program. Plus, enjoy snacking on sambusas during the program.
Pettengill Hall, Keck Classroom (G52)
Stephen Hoad ’72 (right) enjoys a meal in Commons with his wife, Helen Hoad, and classmates during Reunion in June 2022. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

“There has to be a mindset within each person that teaches a blind student that that blind student is normal,” Hoad said. “That’s very hard.”

He added that visually impaired children need to learn life skills alongside an academic education. “I know some older blind folks who have really suffered because they weren’t taught some of the skills, not just computer skills, but some of the general skills that are very necessary to operate as an independent blind person.”

Jean Thompson ’82

Meet Jean Thompson, the woman making a social impact through chocolate — Forbes

Speaking with Forbes, Jean Thompson ’82, owner and CEO of Seattle Chocolates, shared advice on aligning a career with a life purpose.

First, she offered, “try lots of jobs and expose yourself to different industries when you’re young.” From that, “you will quickly discover what you enjoy doing the most — your genius. Then commit yourself to spending most of your time in that genius zone.”

Second, don’t put yourself on a timetable. “Your life purpose will come when it comes; there’s no deadline or right time to learn this. I was in my late 40s when I realized that the chocolate company was so much more than a job for me. Go easy on yourself and the clock; the purpose will reveal itself along the way.”

Thompson is aligning her mission as a CEO with sustainability and empowering girls and women, because “as business owners, we have the power and responsibility to leave our industries and the world in a better place,” she said. “When it becomes clear how you can best serve, it becomes a purpose.”

Adriana Pastor ’25

This island and its birds are like a Hitchcock movie: it’s madness, but also part miracle — The Boston Globe
Adriana Pastor '25 of Asuncion, Paraguay, with a roseate tern perched on her head at Bird Island in Buzzards Bay, Mass. Photo courtesy of Adriana Pastor
Adriana Pastor ’25 of Asuncion, Paraguay, poses with a roseate tern perched on her head at Bird Island in Buzzards Bay, Mass. (Photo courtesy of Adriana Pastor)

An article in The Boston Globe highlighting tern restoration efforts in Massachusetts quoted Adriana Pastor ’25, a volunteer with MassWildlife, the state agency leading a project to support the endangered roseate terns that nest on three Buzzards Bay islands. 

Pastor volunteers on Bird Island, one of the three islands. It’s not an easy place to work, wrote reporter Billy Baker, noting that there is no “real way to prepare someone for the sensory overload that is Bird Island… The sound grows from a dull roar to a shattering shriek, and with it the realization from the crew — five young student volunteers — that they are going to spend the next five hours trapped inside a Hitchcock movie.”

“The first day here, I thought I was going to die,” said Pastor. “I was honestly wondering if I would ever see my family again. I wanted to leave. But now, I kind of love it.”

Sarah Sherman-Stokes ’05, Rachel Silver ’05

Titan rescue efforts raise questions about whether migrants’ lives are also worth saving — The Boston Globe

In an opinion piece for The Boston Globe, Bates classmates Sarah Sherman-Stokes ’05 and Rachel Silver ’05 suggested that the rescue operation mounted for the Titan submersible “raises questions about a differential valuation of human life.”

Rachel Silver ’05 (left) is an assistant professor at York University’s Faculty of Education and Centre for Refugee Studies in Toronto. Sarah Sherman-Stokes ’05 is a clinical associate professor of law and associate director of the Immigrants’ Rights and Human Trafficking Clinic at Boston University School of Law. (Photos courtesy of Rachel Silver and Boston University)

The authors noted that “the political will and resources devoted to trying to save the wealthiest among us far outweigh those directed at trying to rescue the thousands of migrants and asylum seekers who have also been lost at sea in their search for safety.”

Sherman-Stokes is a clinical associate professor of law and associate director of the Immigrants’ Rights and Human Trafficking Clinic at Boston University School of Law. Silver is an assistant professor at York University’s Faculty of Education and Centre for Refugee Studies in Toronto.

Elizabeth Castellano ’12

Save What’s Left is one of the summer’s nationally acclaimed reads

Praised for its wit and satirical humor, the debut novel by Elizabeth Castellano ’12, Save What’s Left, is popping up on a number of summer reading lists. Good Morning America picked it as their Book Club for July, Time included it among 25 books that “you need to read this summer,” and Oprah Daily named it among 25 of the “best books to read on your summer vacation,” calling it a “wickedly funny debut.”

Castellano, who majored in theater at Bates, draws on her small-town childhood on Long Island to follow her protagonist, Kathleen Deane, who tries to live an idyllic seaside life by buying a shack in Long Island. But instead, she finds herself embroiled in the trials and tribulations that come with living in a beach house — and the neighbors next to her,” wrote Good Morning America’s Haley Yamada. “Irreverent and unexpectedly tender, this story takes neighborhood feuding to new heights and finds beauty and reinvention in unlikely places,” noted Oprah Daily.