Tagged: ithaca college

It’s been a month? No way…UMag inbox

How time flies when you’re under deadline. Got a 16-inch stack of alumni magazines here. Let’s see . . . .

pressedProving that you just never know where a story will come from (and that you can’t make this stuff up), Columns, the magazine of Southern Adventist University, has a story about ironing. Yes, ironing. “Pressed for Time” describes how a woman named Darlene Turner donates two hours a week to iron the church clothes for Southern Adventist undergraduates, which is awfully sweet of her. The sort of story you will only find in a university magazine, and hands down the best ironing story I’ve ever read.


Best adventure story in the last month comes from Window out of Western Washington University. Writer Caroline Van Hemert provides a first-person narrative account of a trek from Bellingham, Washington to the coast of Northwest Alaska. I don’t know why anyone would want to go out for that sort of a walk, but people do, and Van Hemert ably writes about the experience in “Pushing the Limits.”

The fourth morning greets us with more drizzle, another call to the pilot, another day of hateful waiting. Around noon, the tent’s beige, mosquito-pocked fabric brightens and I shut my eyes against another round of false hope. The clouds have remained low and stationary all day, and the forecast is for more rain. But when a harsh yellow light probes my closed lids and refuses to go away, I sit up and unzip the tent fly.

Pat is alert now, too, looking at my face expectantly. For the first time in days, my cracked lips stretch into a smile. Pat smiles back.

Within minutes I’ve reached the pilot with a weather update. “Please come. NOW.” I plead. “We can see all the way over the tops of the peaks, the sky is blue, the winds are light.” When he promises that he is on his way, we sit outside and listen for the drone of a distant plane, willing insects, birds, anything that moves, to be the sound that will save us.


Ithaca College’s IC View did something clever with it’s Winter ’13 cover that you can only do with print. Look closely at the center of the forehead on the kid in the cover illustration. That rectangle of text—”Don’t let me fall. I will be brave.”—is visible through a die cut. Open the cover and you find the text is actually on the table of contents page as part of an illustration of an iPad. The cover story, “Unlocking the Mind,” by Keith Davis, reports on speech pathologist Tina Caswell’s work using iPads to communicate with autistic kids. Smart cover.

Finally, The University of Virginia Magazine has a well-wrought science piece worthy of your attention, “The Science of Reincarnation.” Writer Sean Lyons explores the work of UVA psych professor Jim Tucker, who studies children who believe they have had past lives, or as one such child quoted in the lead puts it, “Mama, I think I used to be someone else.” (Try that as something you hope never to hear from your kid. That, and, “Mom, can I have 20 bucks for some crystal meth?”)

The story includes an infographic that set my physics nerdboy mind spinning in the best way. Click on it and expand your own noggin:


That does it for today. More coming in the days ahead, including the most dramatic redo I’ve ever seen in a university magazine. Happy holidays.

UMag inbox

What all is stuffed into the mailbox this week? Let’s see . . . mm-hm . . . mm-hm . . . Portland . . . looks like a food issue . . . damn you Doyle!

The winter issue of Portland flaunts editor Brian Doyle’s unparalleled ability to convince world-class writers to contribute to his magazine. This time, damn him, he has pieces from Michael Pollan, Pico Iyer, and Edward Hoagland. Pollan to Iyer to Hoagland—man, there’s an infield. To be accurate, Pollan’s long contribution, “The End of Cooking,” is an excerpted reprint of something he published in The New York Times Magazine, and Hoadland’s “The Top of the Continent” is drawn from the essayist’s new volume, Alaska Travels. But still.

By the way, there’s a lot more to a meaty issue. I especially liked the photo essay by Steve Hambuchen of Pacific Northwest farmers, bakers, vintners, and brewers.

IC View from Ithaca College sports a redesign, as well as my favorite subhead of the week: “Alumni See Trash With Fresh Eyes.” Robin Roger edits the magazine. (Below, new cover is on the left. Relative dimensions are not accurate. The new design has the same trim size.)

The 2013 record for most people smiling and facing the camera on the cover is currently held by The Baylor Line (editor Todd Copeland:

California (editor Wendy Miller) produced my favorite lead sentence of the year, so far, in David Tuller’s “Putin v. Pussy Riot“: “In a cozy, two-room apartment in a leafy Moscow neighborhood, I gathered with half a dozen local gay and lesbian activists on a mid-August evening to drink tea, munch on zakuski (snacks), and discuss the regime of creepy Russian president and former KGB thug Vladimir Putin.” Love the opening spread, too:

Good words alerts:

— Binghamton University Magazine (Diana Bean edits) has a recurring feature called “The Other Side,” and in the Fall 2012 issue devotes it to a four-question Q&A with associate professor Steven Tammariello, who at age 43 still plays football for the semi-pro Cortland Bulldogs. (I know what you’re thinking . . . another story about a PhD biologist who plays semi-pro football?) My favorite line: “I used to be the only player with a PhD, but one of our defensive linemen earned his doctorate in organic chemistry from Cornell, so I have some company.”

— My second-favorite lead sentence so far in 2013 comes from Immaculata Magazine: “When Bob Kelly’s radio station asked if he knew a football expert who could be on their morning show The Breakfast Club, he immediately said, ‘I know just the nun!'”

— Extraordinary, moving essay by Mel Livatino, “Dogged by the Dark,” in the latest Notre Dame Magazine, Kerry Temple, editor.

Finally, since I began this post with my nose out of joint—damn you, Brian Doyle!—I will end with this great spread, from the Fall 2012 Medicine at Michigan. The photo illustration is by Clint Blowers; editor of the magazine is Richard F. Krupinski.

Now you know (second of a series)

Things I know now because I read alumni magazines:

— In a University of Minnesota study, pasting pictures of vegetables in the compartments of school cafeteria lunch trays resulted in twice as many kids eating green beans. Consumption of carrots tripled. Oh, and astronauts on prolonged space flights lose weight in part because they just don’t eat enough while in orbit. (From “Serving Up Good News About Food,” Greg Breining, Reach from the University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts)

— Title IX, the piece of legislation that forced colleges and universities to provide equal access to intercollegiate sports for men and women, is composed of 37 words. “Sports,” “athletics,” and “women” are not among them. (From “In the Wake of Title IX,” Melissa Ludtke, Wellesley)

— Beloit College holds an annual theme party called Bizarro Beloit, in which students dress up as another Beloit person of their choosing. Me, I’d come dressed as one of those squirrels, but I bet it’s been done. (From “Incomplete Glossary of Beloitisms,” Beloit College Magazine)

— There is such a thing as a vegan doughnut. Apparently, that means they are made without benefit of eggs or milk, in this case by Dun-Well Doughnuts, founded by a couple of Ithaca College grads. The New York Daily News says Dun-Well makes the best doughnuts in New York City, and co-founder Dan Dunbar says it took he and his partner a while to perfect the recipe. When he dropped their first try at workable dough into the deep fryer, it sank to the bottom and did not pop to the surface for 40 minutes. I bet that one was good. (From “A Business Made from Scratch,” Robin Roger, IC View)