Monday Morning Update

September 29, 2014

Peace Corp: Serving with the Peace Corp in Senegal, Tim Johnson ’13 is candid about the cultural challenge of helping small, local entrepreneurs build their businesses. As he wrote in his blog, “…many of my work partners do not think about business the same way I was taught. So that means I must essentially throw out the degree I just spent four years earning and rethink my approach. I have to craft a balance between technical aspects of running a business and the informal way of life that constantly pervades. For instance try to think a little about how you would teach marketing principles in a place where their go-to method of advertising is yelling, "Hey! Come buy some mangoes." It's certainly been frustrating, both in terms of misunderstandings and in that my priorities get confused.” To read more of Johnson’s blog, visit here.

Study Abroad: Forty percent of the Class of 2014 studied or interned abroad for a semester and some even opted for a year-long program. For a comprehensive look at where our students went and what they did, check out Tales from Abroad our online review of last year’s travels. It is packed with student essays and photos, all reflecting on their experiences, from mastering another language to sitting beside a prime minister to rebounding from illness. In their own words, the students discuss how they matured, grew in confidence and became more aware of other cultures. There is even a page of comments from parents. To read Tales from Abroad, visit here.

Travel Alone: Here’s some advice that one student, Abigail McDermott ’15, who studied in Croatia, shared in Tales from Abroad… “everyone should travel alone outside of the country at least once in their life. Becoming a stranger in a crowd of millions is such an extraordinary feeling that cannot be explained, it simply has to be felt.”

Raymo Lecture: The author of the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, A Visit From the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan, will be this year’s speaker at the annual Chet Raymo Literary Series Lecture on Wednesday, October 8 at 6 the Martin Institute. A Visit From the Goon Squad (2010) is a startling, exhilarating novel of self-destruction and redemption and it received the 2011 Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, and the LA Times Book Prize. For more on the event, which is free and open to the public, visit here.

Science Plus: It is hard to believe, but the Shields Science Center marked its fifth anniversary last week. Since opening in 2009, it has given our science program a modern home in which to foster scientific inquiry and learning, but it has also become one of the most popular spots on campus for students, staff and faculty, regardless of academic discipline. Day and night, students are seen with their books and laptops spread across the tables in the Center’s Pettit Atrium. A centerpiece for academic teaching, learning and research, the Center also hosts co-curricular programs including lectures, career fairs and students awards ceremonies.

Free Book: Former editor of The Summit and The Cairn, Julia MacDonnell ’70 is a novelist, short story writer and essayist. She is also the author of a new novel, Mimi Malloy, At Last! According to one reviewer, the novel, which is set in Quincy, is a “love letter to sisterhood, Frank Sinatra, late-in-life romance and the enduring ties of family.” We have two copies of her novel. First come, first served. Email

Passionate Teachers: When asked by the Stonehill Alumni Magazine in 2011 if she was a good writer while at Stonehill, Julia MacDonnell replied: “I loved working on those publications (Summit & Cairn) far more than I loved being a student…I have long realized that my liberal arts education at Stonehill, and the passionate commitment of my teachers there, was the best possible preparation for the writing life I have led.”