All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘Julio Ramirez’

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Bravo for Beantown, Omming in the Berkshires, and the Great Halloween Hellstorm of 2011


I’m just back from a 10-day-plus-a-bonus-day vacation, largely tech-free (yay!) and partially electricity-free (boo!).

My view from the 25th floor of the Sheraton in Back Bay. Across the river is Harvard, the Davidson of the north.

• I flew to Boston and visited with my dear friends and erstwhile Davidson neighbors Jennifer ’92 and Ben Roe, late of WDAV fame.

Ben’s now managing director of WGBH’s classical services, and Jennifer’s trying to keep up with Roger Brown ’78, president of the Berklee School of Music, where she works in his office. Jennifer is still one of the planet’s hostesses with the mostest, whether it’s a fast beatnik coffee down the block from her office on an 11.3-minute break, or Sunday brunch at home overlooking the Mystic River. Bravo, Jennifer and Ben!

The aluminum, mid-century-modern, jet-age stairwell railings at Kripalu, which was originally constructed as a Jesuit monastery in 1957, tickle my fancy.

• I ommmed for five blissful days with Stephen Cope & Cie at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Lenox, Mass.

I’ve studied several angles of yoga with Stephen over the years, and am intrigued by his most recent work at Kripalu’s Institute for Extraordinary Living, to wit the neuroscience angles. I’m thinking that may be of interest to a Davidson friend, Julio Ramirez, the R. Stuart Dickson Professor of Psychology, who is recently receiving kudos for career success advancing undergraduate education in neuroscience, up to and including the White House. Hari om shanti, Julio!

Save the mums! My friend Amy wisely thought ahead to move her flowers inside before the snow hit the fan.

• Finally, I visited dear, longtime friends in the Hartford, Conn., area—just in time for the surprise October nor’easter that at this writing still has them without power.

We did manage to get in a Saturday morning Halloween yoga class, a movie (The Way, highly recommended) and a mostly-cooked ratatouille before the power failed under the crack and heave of falling branches, still fully clothed in their autumn finery as well as now approaching 12 inches of snow. This left us to a single fireplace, two down comforters, a couple half-gallons of soupy ice cream, a gas burner on the back porch for hot coffee, and a half a pack of Marlboro Reds between us. Hmmm, kinda like the old days in Winston-Salem.

Unfortunately, we didn't think ahead to move my rental car before the snow hit the fan. Chainsaws and much shoveling were required.

Miraculously, there was no damage to my rental car, and I got outta there about the time it all stopped being fun in any way. Keith has since reported by frozen-fingered e-mail that he has  broken out the brown liquor on weeknights to stay warm. Cheers, Keith and Amy!

Warmly, John.

My friend Keith has a favorite snow shovel. I hope I never have a favorite snow shovel.


Breaking News—Davidson Goes to Washington, and Vice Versa


The parade of Davidsonians shuttling back and forth to Washington is soon to become a torrent of Beltway types shuttling back and forth to Charlotte. CNN is reporting this morning that Charlotte will host the 2012 Democratic National Convention. That’ll please Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx ’93, Will Miller ’78, and other local alumni who helped make it happen. Associate Professor of Political Science Susan Roberts will be talking to Charlotte TV station WCNC tonight about that. More to come.

In addition to a recent trip to the White House by Foxx, other Davidson professors have been making a splash in the nation’s capital.

The lone non-poli-sci professor is R. Stuart Dickson Professor of Psychology Julio Ramirez, a neuroscientist, who has been named by President Barack Obama as a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. Huge kudos to Julio!

McGee Director of the Dean Rusk International Studies Program Chris Alexander  is shuttling to D.C. regularly these days as an advisor on current events in Tunisia. Alexander wrote Tunisia: Stability and Reform in the Modern Magreb (2010), and has been writing fast and furiously for Foreign Policy magazine and academic and governmental briefings in Washington. Go, Chris!

Associate Professor of Political Science Russell Crandall has returned home from his leave to serve as director of Andean Affairs in the National Security Council. Welcome back, Russ!

Finally, this morning, I ran into Professor of Political Science Ken Menkhaus over a bagel in the Davis Café at Union today. His next trip to D.C. is for a GAO briefing, and he continues his work with State, Defense, the FBI, and a slew and a stew of other government agencies. He said he’s learned to be careful how he phrases facts, for fear of fomenting interfamilial fighting amongst the acronyms.

It is politics, after all.