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Winter 2019

Chancellor’s Letter: Shaping the Course of Things

Feb. 19, 2019—At Vanderbilt, there is no shortage of exploration. Every day our talented faculty, students and staff are driven to make discoveries—not just for the recognition, but for the chance to move the dial, to permeate the boundaries, to affect our society at large and for the better.

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Launch Pad: Vanderbilt’s internationally acclaimed student rocket team has propelled many alumni into the science of spaceflight

Feb. 19, 2019—During the past 11 years, NASA has awarded the Vanderbilt rocket team eight payload design awards and five national championships. The team has won a total of 30 national and international awards and 16 regional awards. In addition, the Vanderbilt Aerospace Design Lab has launched an impressive number of graduates into roles at companies such as SpaceX, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, Rolls Royce, NASA and Northrop.

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The Innovation of Autism: The newly endowed Frist Center for Autism and Innovation seeks to unlock unique talents

Feb. 19, 2019—The Frist Center for Autism and Innovation seeks to transform workplaces by developing new technologies based on the specific skills and talents of people with autism, effectively inspiring advances that can lead to meaningful employment and a fuller life.

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Overachievers: Passions transform challenges into amazing feats for these four Commodores

Feb. 19, 2019—Three graduates and one current student have taken their passions to extreme levels—visiting every country on the planet, flying solo around the world, biking across the country, and walking the length of California.

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Pitched Battle: Vanderbilt’s reputation for producing top-notch pitchers was on full display at the 2018 World Series

Feb. 19, 2019—Last year 13 former Commodores played in the big leagues. Of those 13 players, eight were pitchers, including David Price and Walker Buehler, who both pitched in the 2018 World Series.

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On Watch: Vanderbilt alumna works to give a voice to victims of human rights abuses

Feb. 19, 2019—As the global initiatives director for Human Rights Watch, Worden curates and implements international outreach and advocacy campaigns and is now mobilizing the world of sport to tackle global abuses.

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A Center of Their Own: The Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center marks 40 years of interaction and change

Feb. 19, 2019—Tthe Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2018, is taking a look at its origins through an oral history project and a documentary exhibit.

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Pro Performance: New commissioning project gives Blair composition students a taste of professional life

Feb. 19, 2019—The composer Michael Slayton can’t remember the first time an ensemble performed one of his pieces. That’s perhaps not surprising, since Slayton’s works, especially his chamber music, are now frequently commissioned and performed the world over. But Slayton is certain of one thing: His music was never performed professionally during his undergraduate years. “In those...

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Accolade: Shadle wins inaugural Cohen/RIPM Award

Feb. 19, 2019—Douglas Shadle, assistant professor of musicology, was presented with the American Musicological Society’s inaugural H. Robert Cohen/RIPM Award at this year’s annual meeting in San Antonio for his book Orchestrating the Nation: The Nineteenth-Century American Symphonic Enterprise (2015, Oxford University Press). The award honors a work of scholarship of exceptional merit based upon 18th-, 19th-,...

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Trailblazers and Pioneers: Portrait projects honor Vanderbilt community members who have worked for diversity

Feb. 19, 2019—Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos unveiled four portraits during Reunion weekend in October that are part of a new Vanderbilt Trailblazers portrait series honoring members of the Vanderbilt community who broke barriers at the university and in society at large. The portraits depict Vanderbilt alumni Bishop Joseph Johnson, BDiv’54, PhD’58; the Rev. James Lawson, ’71; the...

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Patterns: Visual artist Alicia Henry challenges conventions of femininity

Feb. 19, 2019—Paper dolls have long been used to emphasize cultural norms regarding femininity and beauty. As often happens, childhood play subtly reinforces society’s notions of the “ideal.” Once these playthings are cast off and one enters adulthood, these romanticized notions should fall out of our conscience as easily as clothes from paper dolls. Yet, somehow, they...

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No one is an island. We are all connected.

Feb. 19, 2019—Few times in my life has this concept been more evident than while I was a student at Vanderbilt. With access to a broad range of ideas and perspectives, I quickly understood the importance of engaging individuals whose lives and stories could impact my own. At Vanderbilt, I was introduced to a larger world and...

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