‘Adventuring with purpose’

first_imgThis is one in a series of profiles showcasing some of Harvard’s stellar graduates. Liz Roux lives by the codes of optimism and resiliency. They have guided her through childhood tragedies and toward a career in medicine, helped her build new communities, and inspired her to reimagine her idea of home.Roux was born in China and abandoned as an infant. She was adopted from an orphanage and her family of two — she and her American mother — was tight-knit and adventurous from the start. Growing up in southwest Florida near the Gulf of Mexico, Ten Thousand Islands, and Everglades National Park, they spent their days exploring the region’s natural beauty and feeding Roux’s endless curiosity.“Whenever we went somewhere, I was always asking, ‘why are we walking? Why don’t we run?’” said Roux. “She definitely wanted me to channel my energy into something directed.”Roux found that direction in seventh grade, when she started running competitively, eventually becoming captain of her high school cross-country and track teams. Her mother was diagnosed with cancer and passed away when Roux was 16. Her teammates and running club rallied to support her, emotionally and financially, after Roux organized a running fundraiser to pay her mother’s medical bills. Her cross-country coach unofficially adopted her two years later and Roux joined his family of five. Roux’s running community showed up again when her coach’s youngest son, David, passed away from cancer during her sophomore year at Harvard. Roux’s family formed Team David, which runs the annual St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s Memphis Marathon and has raised more than $100,000 for the hospital in the past two years.These terrible losses — and the support she received in their wake — further defined Roux. “Taking care of my mom and brother when they were sick and eventually passed away helped solidify the idea that I wanted to help people,” Roux said.After her mother’s death, Roux decided to become a doctor and applied to Harvard on a pre-med track. When she got into Harvard and was offered a full financial aid package, Roux, who a few months earlier hadn’t truly considered leaving Florida for college, saw an opportunity for new adventures in academia and beyond.  Once she arrived on campus, she found a new calling in marine biology research. Deciding between the two paths was difficult, but Roux’s love of caregiving was solidified in the wake of her brother’s death. In her junior year, she reaffirmed her career goals in medicine and continued to pursue her fascination with the natural world as a concentrator in integrative biology, finding another home in the close-knit Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology (OEB).“Folks in the OEB Department are down to earth and love nature like I do,” said Roux. “It’s a place where pre-med and zoology people can come together and do research that they are all interested in.”Andrew Berry, a lecturer and undergraduate adviser for integrative biology concentrators in the department, was impressed by Roux’s dedication to field research. “Field biology is hard, and you have to be independent, think on your feet, and make your own decisions when you can’t ask for help,” said Berry. “Liz is already an accomplished field biologist, which is very impressive.“Liz is also a consummate community builder,” Berry added, “and as one of the two seniors responsible for the OEB undergraduate group, she has done a wonderful job in helping to foster vertical integration between classes of students from sophomores to seniors.”In another community building project, Roux worked with other integrative biology concentrators to propose a new undergraduate course that focused on field research and methodology and was first offered to sophomores in January.“Liz was willing to make this course happen even when it wasn’t going to be available to her as a senior, which was very generous to the other students,” said Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Harvard College Professor Gonzalo Giribet, who advised Roux’s senior thesis. “She does things for others and puts in the work for things that will benefit future students.”Roux’s sense of adventure didn’t waver at Harvard, despite her intensive pre-med curriculum and the culture shock of New England and its winters. But as she had with running, Roux directed herself toward opportunities: a study abroad summer program in Tanzania after her first year; a spring break trip to Panama to do field research with Giribet’s “Biology and Evolution of Invertebrate Animals” course; and last summer, a return to the shores of Florida for her senior thesis research.Roux’s thesis, “Phylogeographic differentiation of B. candida, ectocommensal flatworm of the Atlantic horseshoe crab,” was her contribution to understanding how the worm’s environment and location shape its symbiotic relationship to the crab that is its host. As she talked her way onto fishing boats and conducted solo kayaking trips around the Florida peninsula, she also learned a few things about her own identity and sense of belonging.“Doing field research in Florida was a way for me to see the state almost in its entirety,” said Roux. “I had an idyllic childhood, but I didn’t have a romanticized idea of home anymore. It was a place with good and bad things like any other. Doing my research there taught me to think more deeply about what makes a community.”Outside the classroom, Roux also worked diligently to experience life with intention. After a chance dining hall encounter with a participant, she joined Alzheimer’s Buddies, a Phillips Brooks House Association program that pairs College students with residents at long-term care homes in the Cambridge area. As a trip leader in the First-Year Outdoor Program (FOP) and the Outing Club, she helped students develop a love of nature on hikes and climbs around New England. Roux served as the women’s captain of the Harvard College Running Club for three years and led community runs at her on-campus job with Harvard on the Move. In the fall, she gave a TED talk at [email protected] titled “Run for, not from,” on the role of running in her life. Even jogging along the Charles River, Roux adds to her cohort.“I see strangers on my runs and we all wave to each other and say hello, like we’re all in it together,” she said. “There are many extraordinary people here, and when I take time to get to know and understand them, I feel more connected.”Through Harvard and into the future, Roux remains focused on the values and issues close to her heart. She plans to apply to medical school in 2020, and looks forward to new experiences in the interim.“People at Harvard are really passionate, and it’s very invigorating,” said Roux. “It took some time to narrow down my focus to a few key things that I love and enjoy, and I didn’t want to jump through hoops because I felt like I had to. Now, I’m adventuring with purpose.” The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.last_img read more

A new way to read

first_imgPoet Stephanie Burt wants to change the conversation about poetry’s place in the literary world.Her new book, “Don’t Read Poetry: A Book About How to Read Poems,” is a guide to understanding an art form that, for many readers, feels difficult to access. The professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of English explores the roles of lyric poetry, experimental language, character-driven poems, and other themes that can help skeptical readers engage with the field.In addition to teaching courses on 20th-century poets and poetry, science fiction, and graphic novels, Burt is also co-editor of poetry at The Nation magazine and the author of a forthcoming book of poems based on the work of the ancient Greek poet Callimachus.The Gazette spoke to Burt about the book, the poets she’s fallen out of love with, and creating a “travel guide” for poetry.Q&AStephanie BurtGAZETTE: How did you develop the idea for this book?BURT: My editor at Basic Books, Lara Heimert, asked me if I wanted to write a book on reading poetry, and I wanted to write an anti-“How to Read Poetry” book. So many of the existing guides to reading poetry were addressed to a previous generation, and for all the good they did, they were allied with schools and classrooms and tests in a way that’s counterproductive. If not that, they were really close to being anti-intellectual, saying, “Write poetry yourself and don’t bother to read critically.” Or they were just narrow [in scope] and would say, “Poetry is just a mystery that gives you access to the great framing of the world” or, “Poetry is a fun way to organize your friends and fight for social justice.” Those things are true for some poets, but only some, and I wanted to write a book that would not be anti-intellectual but would also not feel like it was designed to help you cram for a test.I had been frustrated for a long time by the way this particular art form gets treated, as if its presence in the academy were a necessary fact rather than a contingent fact. I want people to see poems the way we see music: There are a lot of different kinds that are related to other kinds, many people like some of it, some of it is really old, and some of it is new. If you get really into it, there’s a technical vocabulary that you may enjoy acquiring, but you don’t need it to enjoy the thing. The enjoyment can take place on different grounds or channels depending on the kind of music it is. I wanted to do all of that for poetry in this book.GAZETTE: What was your relationship with poetry like when you were growing up? Did you find yourself on one side of the academic-creative divide?BURT: I’ve always been a little baffled that there were sides, because when I encounter something that I really love, I want to find out how it works and take it apart in ways that let me put it back together and make friends who are also into the thing and talk about it all day. As far back as I can remember, I’ve been critical, or maybe nerdy, about poetry.I find the critic and poet William Empson very admirable for his commitment to this. In his book “Seven Types of Ambiguity,” Empson says he understood that there were people who thought scholarly or critical approaches to poems sucked the life out of them, but he didn’t see it that way. He found something he loved and wanted to know how it worked. That seemed like it was not a universal approach, but it doesn’t seem that weird to me. If you like cooking, you might want to know how a delicious dish gets made, or if you’re into figure skating, you might want to know what the skater is doing on the ice because you’ll appreciate it even more and maybe you’ll try to do something like it yourself.GAZETTE: Do you see this book as a guide for people who already like reading poems or for people who have never tried to read poetry?BURT: I see it as both. I used to work for Let’s Go, the Harvard-based travel guides. When you’re writing “Let’s Go Ireland,” your readers are people who have never been to Ireland, or people who have gone once and are curious about the place, or people who have to go for some reason and maybe they’re being dragged there. Poetry is like that too, and this book is in some ways a travel guide that is influenced from when I wrote for Let’s Go.GAZETTE: How do you hold all those potential readers in your head while writing? “I have been a poetry critic for long enough that occasionally people write essays or articles about why I’m not a very good one and that I’m something of a fangirl. And I am a fangirl! I think it is not only possible but desirable to be a fan in certain ways, and to produce detailed analyses that are useful to others.” BURT: I think a lot about my audience when I’m writing criticism and scholarly articles. The real way to make sure to maximize the chances I’m reaching the audience I’m trying to reach is to trust my editors. The editorial team at Basic Books were very good at telling me about draft chapters they rejected, when something was pitched wrong. Something I had written could be thoughtful and fascinating, but it wasn’t right for the audience, so they would ask me to try again. Even poetry writing, at this point, I think of as collaborative. And I know not all critics and poets think of it that way, but I have imagined readers in my head and actual readers who read my drafts, whom I trust. I don’t know what I would do without them.GAZETTE: You write that a person doesn’t need to know everything about a poem in order to enjoy it or be moved by it. Is there anything we do need in order to read a poem?BURT: It depends on the poem. Sometimes you need to be interested in the poem’s subject, whether it’s the future of Singapore or botany. Sometimes you need to be patient with unfamiliar vocabulary, especially if the poem comes from a place or time different from your own. Sometimes you need to love puzzles and extremely complex language that takes a long time to untangle. Sometimes you need to be able to step outside your expectations about what is complex and what is artful, to imagine readers who aren’t you so that you can be the best reader that you can be. Only some poems require any of these capacities or decisions. I don’t think there’s anything besides basic literacy and a willingness to listen. And some poetry is oral and doesn’t reward literacy, so you really just need a willingness to listen.GAZETTE: One of the refrains in the book is that we should like what we like as readers, which is a simple statement but often not practiced. Why is that so hard to do, especially when it comes to literature?BURT: I would like to disentangle the business of studying and appreciating and being critical about poetry from the business of giving things numerical ranking or conferring prestige. Prestige has its uses, but it also gets in the way. I go back and forth between thinking about and loving Yeats or Dickinson or Chaucer, who have been dead for a while and who are famous and prestigious, and loving and advocating the work of mid-career poets who are not at all well-known or are well known in only in certain circles.I have been a poetry critic for long enough that occasionally people write essays or articles about why I’m not a very good one and that I’m something of a fangirl. And I am a fangirl! I think it is not only possible but desirable to be a fan in certain ways, and to produce detailed analyses that are useful to others. I do sometimes write negative reviews and I think it’s important that they exist, but in terms of where I want to put my time and energy, they are the exception, and such pieces should always be punching up and not punching down. Poetry with personages Related When discussing verse, Elisa New says, celebrity quickly drops away center_img For example, e.e cummings is a writer I used to admire and don’t anymore. Perhaps I’ve grown out of it — it’s more common for people to like cummings at a certain age and then stop as they grow up. But it’s a waste of everyone’s time to tell people who are less powerful than me that they’re not allowed to like cummings because I don’t.I would rather spend my time helping people like things and helping create a world in which you can take risks by liking something. It’s risky to say, “I really like this and it speaks to me,” and that’s the kind of risk that I want to help people take.This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity. Poetry unbound Professor enlists Nas, Gehry, and others to increase teachers’ reach last_img read more

VCE Heads to Cisco Live in San Francisco

first_imgNext week VCE will be sponsoring Cisco Live US 2014 in San Francisco. Cisco will be highlighting how its ecosystem helps customers realize the full potential of the Internet of Everything – and VCE has a big part to play!As the leader in converged infrastructure, VCE is pioneering the path to IT transformation, helping customers rapidly deploy new infrastructure and applications with the highest performance and availability and at the lowest total cost of ownership.VCE recently announced the next step in that transformation – new Vblock™ Systems will enable enterprise and service provider customers to rapidly adopt Cisco Application-Centric Infrastructure (ACI) in their data centers. The new Vblock Systems include Cisco Nexus 9000-series switches, which serve as the building blocks for Cisco ACI. Combining the strength of VCE Vblock Systems with Cisco ACI will help customers further transform their IT infrastructure by delivering a holistic architecture with centralized automation and new policy-driven application profiles.VCE will be showcasing a Vblock System with Cisco Nexus 9000 in our booth (#1121) and describing the first proof of concept for Cisco ACI. Attendees should drop by the booth to discover how these “ACI-ready” Vblock Systems, combined with VCE Vision™ Intelligent Operations software, will help IT professionals manage the demands of new cloud applications by simplifying and scaling operations.VCE experts in the booth will also provide demos and presentations on VCE Vision Intelligent Operations, VCE policy management, and new VCE solutions with Cisco. Attendees can speak to our technology experts to walk through the demos and answer questions about how VCE is transforming IT through these new software and solution innovations.VCE will also be speaking at the show, with Ted Streete, Office of the CTO at VCE, presenting, “How the Cheetah Catches Dinner: The Importance of Agility in a World Defined by Speed” at the Solutions Theater on Wednesday, May 21 at 11:00 a.m. PT. Ted will describe how customers will use VCE Vblock Systems and the powerful network abstractions provided by Cisco ACI to enhance IT agility and accelerate business growth. In addition to Ted’s presentation, Steve Phillips will be moderating a Table Topic on Tuesday, May 20 from 11:30-12:30 on Vblock Systems and ACI.With five Vblock Systems spread out across the show floor (in the VCE, Cisco and VMware booths), attendees will have many opportunities to learn about VCE converged infrastructure at Cisco Live. Whether it’s a standard Vblock System 300 series or one of our Vblock Specialized Systems, stop by to let VCE show how it can transform IT.“If you are looking for in-depth coverage of VCE activities at Cisco Live, keep a close eye on our Vblog for live-blogs during the show, as well as our events page for full coverage. Hope to see you all there!Sharelast_img read more

Rapid Toxicity Tests

first_imgThe methods used by the Regenerative Bioscience Center will expand the number of chemicals that can be tested each year, reducing process time, effort and cost while also minimizing animal use. “By better predicting whether chemicals have the potential to impact health and human development, these grants will not only advance the science necessary to improve chemical safety but protect the well-being and futures of children in this nation,” said Lek Kadeli of the EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “This is an opportunity to further foster interdisciplinary research that encompasses toxicology, neural development, stem cells and new imaging technology,” Stice said. Because of the damaging presence of these toxicants, early interruptions in brain development can lead to a broad range of lifelong problems. With one in six children in the U.S. diagnosed with a developmental or cognitive disorder, “it is more important than ever to understand the potential toxicity in the chemicals that we come in contact with every day,” Stice said. Multiyear testing methods have left the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with a list of 80,000 household and industrial compounds that need to be assessed to determine potential health risks. Until now, determining the toxicity of each chemical could take almost two years. The UGA Regenerative Bioscience Center’s $799,938 share of the grant will allow researchers to modernize the current testing process using work they pioneered using undifferentiated cells. Stice presented the topic, “Human Neural Stem Cell Metabolomic, Cellular and Organ Level Adverse Outcome Pathway Relationships for Endocrine Active Compounds,” to 6,000-plus toxicologists from more than 50 countries on March 25 at the EPA Grants Kick-Off Meeting, part of the annual Society of Toxicology gathering in Phoenix, Ariz.center_img The funding for the Regenerative Bioscience Center’s study is provided by the EPA under grant No. R835551 on “Human Neural Stem Cell Metabolomic, Cellular and Organ Level Adverse Outcome Pathway Relationships for Endocrine Active Compounds.” For more information on the grant, see http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncer_abstracts/index.cfm/fuseaction/display.abstractDetail/abstract/10209/report/0. “This grant will span a wide range of disciplines to follow a toxin’s initial effects at the neural stem cells to how it affects people, potentially leading to uncovering environmental causes of autism. With EPA funding we can be a task force of a much-needed solution.” To help change the paradigm of how these chemicals are tested — and how rapidly the EPA receives results — the agency tapped researchers in the University of Georgia Regenerative Bioscience Center. The university is one of three institutions sharing a $3 million grant from the EPA to more quickly determine the physiological effects of environment chemicals on children and infants. The average American comes in contact with thousands of these chemicals each year. The biggest concern, though, is determining which of these compounds disrupt early fetal and infant brain development. “We hope to do a study in a dish that can be completed within a week so we’ll be able to speed up the process and make it less expensive and not have to use animals,” said center Director Steve Stice, a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Reproductive Physiology in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.last_img read more

Fly Fish Haywood County, North Carolina

first_imgThere is nothing quite like the memory of the time you caught your very first fish.  Whether you were a child or just felt like a child at heart, there is something very special about the moment when you fought the flipping and flopping to eventually land your first fish.  You can re-live that same memory with a trip to the NC Smokies of Haywood to cast your line on the Mountain Heritage Trout Waters.The program was established by North Carolina in 2007 to encourage trout fishing as a heritage tourism offering and needless to say, it was a big hit! Every year, both novice and experienced anglers flock to the pristine rivers and streams of Haywood County to cast their lines.  The towns of Maggie Valley and Waynesville are the two access areas in Haywood County where you can fish on the Mountain Heritage Trout waters.Fishing 2Both residents and non-residents of North Carolina who want to fish the designated Mountain Heritage Trout Waters can purchase a 3-day license for only $5.00! Keep in mind the license is valid only for waters that have been designated as Mountain Heritage Trout Waters, but with multiple access points through Haywood County, you won’t have a problem finding the perfect fishing hole. This special 3-day license can be purchased online at www.ncwildlife.org or by telephone Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM at 888-248-6834. Don’t have a trusty rod and reel? No worries! Stop by the Haywood County Visitor Center at 1110 Soco Road and pick up a free tackle box filled with lures or flies and borrow either a fly rod or a spinner rod. It’s the perfect opportunity to brush up on your skills or share the joys of fishing our local streams and rivers with someone for the first time. If you’re not familiar with the access points of the Mountain Heritage Trout Waters, we’ve got you covered on that one as well.  Visit NC Smokies offers a free Mountain Heritage Trout Waters map that highlights the access points throughout Maggie Valley. On the map you’ll also find another unique trail – the Plott Dog Trail, which tells the story of the official state dog of North Carolina, the Plott Hound. These incredible dogs originated in Haywood County and have left their mark on the area’s history and heritage. The trail traces the history of the dog throughout Maggie Valley and includes some pretty incredible landmarks that are well worth the visit.76085_Trout Map001.pdf.pdfAnd don’t forget that Haywood’s five towns — Maggie Valley, Waynesville, Canton, Clyde and Lake Junaluska — are conveniently located within the county and serve as the perfect base camp to launch your adventures from. Make plans to stay the night in one of the five towns and enjoy local craft breweries, an eclectic culinary scene, live music venues, fun festivals, and much more. To plan your next excursion in Haywood County visit www.visitncsmokies.com. last_img read more

LIRR Adds 8 Trains for Jewish Holidays

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The Long Island Rail Road is adding eight eastbound trains from Penn Station on Wednesday and Friday afternoon for commuters leaving work early for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.They include three trains each on the Port Jefferson and Babylon branches and one train each on the Port Washington and Far Rockaway lines.The Port Jeff trains leave at 2:08 p.m., 2:29 p.m. and 3:24 p.m. The Babylon trains leave at 2:32 p.m., 3 p.m. and 3:31 p.m. The Port Washington train leaves at 3:40 p.m. and the Far Rockaway train leaves at 3:48 p.m.For additional information, customers can consult the LIRR’s website or contact the LIRR’s Travel Information Center by calling 511.last_img

Wow. These Guys Are AMAZING Pole Dancers. Wait, What? (SFW) (Video)

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Here at The Buzz, we’ve had history with pole dancing. Often relegated to the underworld of scantily clad women who perform for ogling dollar bill rainmakers, I have shown how in some cases, this artform can be physically and artistically astounding.Then there’s my ex-girlfirend who I ran into when I was at… Um. Never mind.In any case, there is something to be said for scantily-clad acrobats, pouncing, swirling, ululating and sliding up and down a pole, in an impressive display of Olympian-like dexterity.Even if those scantily-clad pole performers are dudes.Wait. What?Yep. This shows another side to the pole-dancing phenomenon that had taken the rap world, and the suburban-mom-readers-of-50-Shades-of-Gray world, by storm.It’s an older video, so you may have seen it before, but if not, prepare to be amazed!(And fellas, it’s still worth the watch, but be prepared to cringe a little. OK. A lot.)And thanks to Eve for bringing this to my attention. Freak.last_img read more

Foundation grant helps spread “Financial Reality” to youth in Alaska

first_img 15SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The Foundation is a huge believer in experiential learning, or learning by “doing”. One example of this is high school Reality Fairs, which is an interactive fair for high school students to help prepare them for their financial futures. Today, 26 states are offering students Reality Fair Programs – 14 of which can be tied directly to the Foundation.The Financial Reality Foundation (FRF) of Alaska recently utilized a grant from the Foundation to bring financial education to high school seniors via credit unions across the state of Alaska. Through their Get REAL Financial Reality Fair Program, they reached 2,663 students, which is 34% of all enrolled high school seniors in Alaska.FRF offers financial reality fairs for free to communities by way of the cooperation among Alaskan credit unions. The Alaska Credit Union League has been a major supporter in bringing financial literacy efforts state-wide by providing the Get REAL Financial Reality Fairs in their respective communities and membership areas. Seeing the enthusiasm from schools and collaboration from credit unions, Matanuska Valley FCU was inspired to create FRF in August 2014, as a non-profit foundation to provide consumers the opportunity to learn about finances in a fun, realistic and memorable way. continue reading »last_img read more

Rights of passage

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London residential portfolio drives Grosvenor profits up

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img