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In Class

Beyond Theory

Mar. 21, 2012—By Rob Simbeck Bob Whaley gets excited about the place where research and the marketplace collide. In fact, it’s an intersection that goes to the heart of his professional life. “I don’t believe in theory for theory’s sake,” says the Valere Blair Potter Professor of Finance at the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management. “I...

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The Body Electric

Apr. 15, 2011—When you first meet Michael Goldfarb, his soft-spoken demeanor and infectious enthusiasm immediately impress you. When you ask what it is that motivates him, his answer is as unambiguous as it is unassuming. “My research and engineering passion is developing assistive technologies for disabled persons,” Goldfarb says. “I’ve done other things in the past, but...

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Heart of a Champion

Dec. 6, 2010—In 1992, Virginia Shepherd was attending a conference where Bruce Alberts, then-future president of the National Academy of Sciences, was speaking to a large crowd of prominent scientists, exhorting them to “give something back” by spending at least four hours per week in a K–12 science classroom. “That sounded like a lot,” Shepherd says, “but...

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Second Nature

Aug. 22, 2010—By Rob Simbeck After a year of hard work on a doctoral thesis suggested by his adviser, Ken Catania made a fateful decision. “It was clear that his first love was the star-nosed mole,” remembers Glenn Northcutt, his adviser at the University of California-San Diego, “and he came to me and told me that’s what...

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Vox Populi

Apr. 7, 2010—Experienced in the context of our day-to-day lives, pop music can seem ephemeral at best, crass at worst. It’s what we hear blaring from the windows of passing cars, what kids listen to when they’re getting ready to go out on a Friday night. Blair School of Music professor Jim Lovensheimer knows better. If there’s...

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Harmonic Convergence

Nov. 23, 2009—When he was in high school, Marshall Eakin spent a summer in Guatemala. This was no fun-in-the-sun beach vacation. It changed his life. He was there to work, assisting public health clinics by giving smallpox inoculations, DPT shots and polio vaccine to the needy. “I came of age in the 1960s, and I was very...

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Lessons from the School of Life

Aug. 5, 2009—When Dr. Judy Aschner was busy completing her third year of fellowship in neonatology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, a personal experience did more to shape the way she practiced medicine than all her previous years of training. It was August of 1987, and Aschner was 21 weeks pregnant with her third...

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Double Vision

Mar. 16, 2009—In 1972, two Johns Hopkins University students started a Saturday school for poor children from their Baltimore neighborhood. With the help of college friends, they created centers for reading, chemistry, story writing and math. The Saturday school became so successful that the city of Baltimore gave them a grant to fund a summer program. From...

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Destinies Intertwined

Oct. 30, 2008—When David Wasserstein, the first holder of the Eugene Greener Jr. Chair in Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt, spoke at the Nash-ville downtown public library recently, he drew quite a crowd. His noontime talk, “Islam and Europe—Sites of Conflict,” was intended to get people thinking about Europe’s longstanding relationship with Islam and what it can teach us....

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Purified Minds, Sanctified Tongues

Jul. 13, 2008—A Rhodes Scholar and senior minister for the historic Douglas Memorial Community Church in Baltimore at age 26, Brad Braxton applies lessons he learned along the way as associate professor of New Testament and homiletics. He continues to guest preach as many as 25 sermons each semester. Photo by John Russell. Sometimes when Brad Braxton...

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Biology, Behavior, and the Tools of Law

Mar. 11, 2008—A childhood fascination with animal behavior led Owen Jones on a path to becoming one of the country’s foremost experts in the field of law and behavioral biology. Today he is one among a handful of academics in the country holding faculty appointments in law and biology and conducting significant research in both fields. “Everything...

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To Dance, Perchance to Dream

Nov. 1, 2007—Ever since she graduated from Vanderbilt School of Nursing in 1975 with a master’s degree in psych-mental health nursing, Carol Etherington has been providing care to people grasping at life in the midst of unfathomable tragedy. She has responded to victims of the killing fields of Cambodia, floods in Poland, civil conflict in Tajikistan, and...

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