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Highlights from the latest alumni news columns. Log into the Alumni & Friends Web Community using your CNetID and password to browse all alumni news by class year.

Well versed

Laura Raidonis Bates, PhD’98, has been featured on MSNBC, NPR, and in the Chicago Tribune for her work creating Shakespeare programs in prisons. An English professor at Indiana State University, Bates first started reading the Bard to prisoners 25 years ago at Chicago’s Cook County Jail and has since opened and facilitated similar programs in Indiana, including at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute. She wrote about her experiences in Shakespeare Saved My Life (Sourcebooks, 2013). The prisoners have been able “to make sense of some passages that professional Shakespeare scholars have struggled with for 400 years,” she told NPR.

Observer in chief

The US State Department selected Tiffany Taylor, AB’12, as the US Youth Observer to the 68th United Nations General Assembly. She attended UN General Assembly events in New York, met with other nations’ youth representatives, and shared her experiences via social media. A master’s student at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Taylor has been a youth journalist for Geneva’s International Labour Organization and a Fulbright Fellow in business management in New Delhi.

Rapping in the limelight

Jonathan Rapping, AB’88, and his nonprofit, Gideon’s Promise, are the subject of the documentary Gideon’s Army (Trilogy Films, 2013), which won the editing prize at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Rapping directs the honors program in criminal justice at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School and is a lecturer at Harvard Law School. Named after Gideon v. Wainwright, which established an indigent criminal defendant’s right to a court-appointed attorney, Gideon’s Promise provides mentorship and training to public defenders as well as programming for lawyers and aspiring lawyers.

About Schmid

This October Julie Schmid, AB’90, became the new executive director of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). Schmid previously served as the chief of staff for the Wisconsin affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, worked in the AAUP’s department of organizing and services, and taught at Portland State University. Expressing enthusiasm for her position and asserting that US higher education is “in crisis,” she said, “This is where the fight is.”

Higher magnitude

David DeRosier, SB’61, PhD’65, has received the Microscopy Society of America’s highest honor, the Distinguished Scientist Award, recognizing achievement over a career. DeRosier, an emeritus professor of biology at Brandeis University, was recognized for his collaborations to develop 3-D reconstruction of cellular structures from electron micrographs. According to an August BrandeisNOW article, DeRosier’s contributions have helped enable scientists to see cellular structures, such as proteins, all the way down to the atoms.

Book art

Robert B. Silvers, AB’47, was awarded the Presidential Medal for the Humanities in a July ceremony at the White House “for offering critical perspectives on writing” and elevating “the book review to a literary art form.” Also this summer, Silvers was elected as an honorary fellow of the British Academy. Silvers cofounded the New York Review of Books in 1963, served as its coeditor until 2006, and is now its sole editor.

Colin him genius

Colin Camerer, MBA’79, PhD’81, is a 2013 MacArthur Fellow. The Robert Kirby professor of behavioral economics at the California Institute of Technology, Camerer will receive a five-year grant of $625,000 from the MacArthur Foundation. He helped pioneer behavioral game theory and is a leader in the nascent field of neuroeconomics, combining behavioral modeling with neuroimaging technology—studies that the foundation said “provide strong evidence of the inconsistencies between classical economic principles of rationality and observed choices and behavior of real people.”